2007-04-15: The Jack And The Furious

Starring:

Jack_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Manuel "Manny" Gomez

Summary: After getting an emergency phone call from her grandmother about her younger brother, Manny, Elena enlists the help of Jack to get him back before he does something stupid. Peter goes along for the ride…in more ways than one.

Watch For: Jack blowing up a car. Peter getting in a brawl. Elena getting half a gang high. You will not see Jack cry. It never happened.

Date It Happened: April 15, 2007

The Jack And The Furious


Den of Iniquity + Somewhere Between Hartsdale and New York

All she wanted this week was one quiet day. One. And it looked like she was getting that for a bit until the phone in the Gomez Apartment rings, and Elena picks up, putting it to her ear as she dons her jacket. She looks ready to go somewhere, her hair curled and tousled around her face and the black jacket getting pulled over a flowery, bohemian-styled top. "Si?" she inquires in Spanish. And then……rapid fire Spanish. Her eyes go wide, and she hangs up, grabbing her purse as she takes off down the hallway.

"Mannyyyy…." she groans, sliding down the stairs and bursting out of the building, looking around to realize that she…? Has absolutely no way of -getting- there.

"Ah crap," she mutters, spinning around and dialing a certain number. That of her Nuncle Jack's. She knows she can probably get into the Den of Iniquity considering the bouncers know her by now. But this is really the one drinking establishment that she could get into without being carded. And Jack was there. Jack was in the know. He was all underground. She needs to know where this…ngggghhh….party is at. Before Manny gets arrested. AGAIN.

PHONE: You dial the number 283-8164. It begins to ring.

PHONE: The other end answers, "Hello?"

PHONE: Elena groans a little bit at the receiver, there is the sound of someone running. "Nuncle, PLEASE tell me you have a car," she says, crossing the street and running -all- the way to Den of Iniquity. She's lucky New York is small, and she's luckier still that she's in great shape.

PHONE: Jack's ponderously broody enough that one can actually hear him frown at the distress in 'Lena's voice. "Yeh. I have several. What's up?""

Here Peter is, sitting in the Tavern, minding his own business. He's not actually started drinking just yet, but has been preparing to do so for a while. When he first entered, he'd asked about the man's friend, just making sure she was okay, then settled into a chair to wait for a moment. He has a drink, but he hasn't even sipped on it yet. He glances up when the phone rings, raising his eyebrows at Jack's brooding frown. Of course, the young lady on the phone will have no idea that he's there, looking up.

PHONE: Elena exhales. "My grandmother called. Apparently some…..thugs picked up my brother from Albany and brought him back to New York to compete in a drag race. Said something about owing them money. The problem is it's not in the city and it's not like I can just get there by cab. Luis said Manny mentioned some huge party near the Hartsdale area. I need to go get him, he's already got a record not to mention he's being an absolute MORON taking money he shouldn't in the first place!"

For his part, Jack is mostly (and surprisingly) sober. He has a bottle in one hand, and is halfway to Peter's seat when he stops and clenches both eyes shut in the time-honored fashion of an exasperated father figure.

PHONE: Jack says, "Shit." Jack's voice is low and carefully tolerant. "It's not a party, it's a bloody festival for motorheads to swap cars and girlfriends. I don't wanna know why he's there. Just get to the Den, prontissimo. We'll go get your brother and I'll shake the ill-conceived notions right outta his brainpan.""

The words said over the phone continue to draw Peter's eyes, the surprise turning to conern at the level of harshness. Someone's in trouble, from the sound of things. Someone's brother? That sounds quite important, really, worrysome, and he can't help but be nosey after a few quiet moments, "What's going on?" He's ignoring the drink he's already paid for, but this particular man has helped him out… and it's possible now he might be able to further return the favor.

PHONE: Elena sputters. "Swap GIRLFRIENDS? Manny doesn't have a girlfriend! He doesn't even have a ca—" And then she blanches. "Oh. My. God." She doesn't even want to know what girl he brought, what girl he SAID he had, or what sort of car he said he had. "Alright Jack, I'm headed over there. Thanks so much, I owe you! Mwah!" She kisses the receiver, and then she hangs up.

PHONE: You end your current call.

Stifling a groan, Jack closes his phone and stuffs it into a pocket. Then he peers over at Peter. "Scra—err. Elena. Right. 'Lena's little brother is nose deep in the shit heap. I'm about to go play hero. Wanna come with?" Yes, it's a simplified version of the issue, but there'll be plenty of time to explain on the ride between Brooklyn and Hartsdale. Despite the fact that Jack's been trying to mind his legal Ps and Qs, he can't keep a crooked grin from creeping across his face.

Scra—err? Peter doesn't ask for a finish on that, once he recognizes the name, and the other man doesn't even fully finish the question before he's standing up and pulling the coat sleeves through his arms, and fixing the collar. "Yeah, I'm in." This means leaving his drink behind, but he's sure someone will clean it up, or take it later on. With this coat on, he reaches into the pocket to make sure that his phone is there, flipping it open as if to check if she tried to call him. …Not that she would call him when her notuncle is a lot closer, technically.

Jack absently sets down the bottle he's carrying and motions toward the door without pausing to double-back for his coat. Outside, he digs a clunky, janitor-like cluster of keys from a pants pocket and thumbs a button on the attached alarm box. With a quick WHIP-WHOOP and a flash of lights, his 1967 Pontiac GTO starts up and a purrs throatily. The car is a rich, dark purple with chrome trim, suede interior, a chopped hard-top, and spoked wheels. With a wink, he tosses a thumb toward the passenger's side. "Get in. She'll be here soon. It'll give me time to think."

The door bursts open, Elena practically falling through the doorframe and crashing into Jack who was already heading out of it if it wasn't for the other palm that's clutched on it, panting breathlessly and lifting a finger in that universal gesture of wait-a-minute to the people inside. She lowers her head, taking huge, gulping breaths. She wasn't kidding when she said she was going to -run all the way there- to get to Den of Iniquity as fast as possible. So much for her carefully done hair for a night out in the town with the rest of her dance corps girls, the running had only tangled it around her face. "Jack….I…." She takes a deep breath. "….'m here." Gurgle. Pant. She rests one hand on one knee, hunching over slightly. "Knew I…shouldn't…have….quit…..track."

And if Peter checks his phone….it looks like she didn't try to call him. Probably because this was dealing with the more unsavory characters in the city, and Jack would know more about them. Peter was a good guy. She didn't know his mentor was also a dirty pigeon-fancying purse snatcher.

Moving along with them, Peter doesn't even ask for a full explanation of the problem, just shoving his phone back into his pocket and moving to touch the frazzled girl on the shoulder. Yes, that'll be the first sign that he's there. "It'll be okay. We'll help you figure it out," he says, before he moves to get into the car, allowing Elena to have the passenger side as he moves into the back seat. Don't mind him. He'll be fine back here. "This is a really nice car," he adds in an impressed sound, trying not to sound as if he's worried just what level of danger they might be heading right into. Yes, his former mentor committed quite a few purse snatchings in his day— including dropping one in his hands and nearly getting him arrested, but we'll leave that for another day, yes.

Startled, Jack almost drops his keys while trying to catch the runaway Elena. "Shit. Well, I guess I'm done thinkin'. I'm better at wingin' it anyway." With an under-breath chuckle and a quick headshake, he gives the girl a gentle push toward the car, then climbs into the driver's seat. Flicking a red toggle switch on the dash produces illumination from an array of dials, meters, and measures that outstrip the vehicle's standard package by a mile. "Thanks, Pete. I'm old-fashioned. A man's car is an extension of his penis, and all that. Now buckle up," he grins roguishly. "I drive real fuckin' fast and I don't use my breaks."

"Thanks, Peter," she breathes, reaching up to touch the hand on her shoulder before she could even process the idea that Peter was there. And then she pauses when it finally sinks in. Peter? Elena looks up, dark eyes wide and the exerted color in her cheeks flushing further. She -groans-, her head hanging. Oh god. This is the worst night ever. To think she wanted to -hide- the fact that she had some Failure of a Jason Statham for a brother. Not like she wasn't embarrassed enough running over to the Den looking like a bat out of hell in heels. She's ushered to the car, looking extremely apologetic, climbing through the passenger seat and buckling up, drawing the belt tight on her. "I'm so sorry, guys," she says, and she does look extremely, and really bad about this. She'll hide her face now. Oh god.

And wait. She looks at Jack. "………….what do you mean when you don't use your brakes?!"

And whenever Jack punches in the gas pedal, she bites back a muffled shriek, pressing back against the chair and making the sign of the cross.

Settled in directly behind her, Peter glances over at Jack in an incredulous way, and then reaches to buckle up as much as the back seat will allow. "I'll take your word on that first part, Jack," he says about the man's penis, not quite pulled into the drasticness of the situation. After all, all he knows is her brother is doing something dumb and it's up to them to pull his ass out of the fire, right? Right. As Elena freaks out, he says from his seat in the back, "I'm sure he's just exaggerating…" Of course then he peels out and he pushes back against his own chair as well. "Let's not get pulled over, okay?" His brother will kill him…

And punch it Jack does. With a quick clutch-shift-gas, the GTO screeches away from the curb and tears down the street. Jack's laughter can barely be heard over the roar of the engine. When he shifts into second, the rumble settles back down to a purr. "Don't sweat it, Scrappy. You just stick by me. Everybody knows that when Ol' Jackie comes to a race, he don't swap a damn thing. You keep that in mind, we'll have us a positively smashin' time. For those of you watching the speedometer, it's clocking in at a breezy ninety-five. With help from Elena, he quickly fills Peter in on the situation. At the rate Jack drives, it doesn't take the trio long to get there.

The drive to Hartsdale is quick. Because Jack doesn't use brakes. The streets are a blur, because Jack drives like a bat out of hell, though he certainly isn't without skill. Elena has spent most of the ride with her eyes closed and gripping the sides of her chair. But soon….well, the "party" was easy to spot, given there are several metal drums lit on fire, and there are cars parked -everywhere-. It looks like a rough crowd, and a multicultural affair. Girls as young as….you don't want to know how young they could be….are walking around in really high heels, and really short skirts despite the weather. Thuggish men of all shapes and sizes, no matter how tall, or big, or short, are all around, waiting for the race to start. There is really loud hip hop music blaring from a turntable set and large speakers set up. The gathering even has its own DJ. And of course, there was booze.

If this wasn't a recipe for disaster, nothing was.

And the cars….unlike most of the populace that surrounded this part of Hartsdale, they looked a sight better, MUCH better, than most of their tattooed, pierced, or clean-cut preppy owners. Reds, yellows, blacks, silvers….all colors of the rainbow. Rims gleam, decorative flames flank the sides of some of the vehicles as shadows and light dance thanks to the makeshift bonfires set up all around the gathering. The first wave looks like they've just taken off, for the purpose of eliminating others for the finals.

Whenever Jack parks, Elena is -staring- at the 'party'. "…….oh. My. God," she says, dropping her forehead on the dashboard. "….I'm going to kill him."

From his seat in the back, Peter can't help but want to reach out and comfort the poor girl who's eyes are clenched shut. What he's been informed of during the trip makes his expression more serious by the minute. By the time they arrive, he glances towards the party with that serious expression. "Exactly how old is this brother?" Guessing that he's younger, but… my god. If he'd ever attended a party like this when he was younger, his brother really /would/ have killed him. Just being here might get him in trouble. But— this is for Elena. "So what's the plan? We going to just grab your brother and go, or is the money issue something… that we'll need to deal with?" Not up for fighting, he doesn't really want her brother to be maimed by unhappy race car drivers…

"So…" This might not look like Jack's sort of gathering, but events like this are where he thrives. He inhales deeply through his nose, then lets out a satisfied sigh. "Ahh. Smells like my childhood." From under his seat, he produces a Beretta and tosses the smooth, black pistol into Peter's lap. "You know how to use that? You know what, nevermind. I don't wanna get shot because you couldn't hold your wad. Now. Guys like this always want something. I'm not thinkin' they'll let us waltz in and out. So we find out what they want," Jack pulls his well-worn TMP from under his seat and ratchets back the slide. "And we give it to them."

She takes a deep breath, and Elena opens the door. She doesn't -want- to, some of these people looked scary. She looks over at Peter with a half-mortified, half-frustrated look on her face. "He's sixteen. Sixteen and -stupid-," she grumbles, pushing her hair away from her face as she looks over the backseat to cast an apologetic glance at Peter. "As for a plan, I don't know. I'm thinking of just marching in there with temper blazing and drag him out by the ear if I have to and give whoever put him up to this a blistering earful." Though Jack probably knows that approach is NOT going to work. She was a girl, and a girl who wasn't much in a fight if she didn't use her powers that she's been doing her best to hide. She stands up from the passenger seat, and looks around to try and find Manny. When she sees the gun though, she stiffens up when it's given to Peter. Oh god.

Jack, however, looks as calm as can be. The young woman looks around and her eyes narrow when she spots a small gathering to the front and to the side of them. The group looks comprised, mostly, of Latin American youths. "There he is," she murmurs, catching sight of her brother. Lanky, and tall, Manuel "Manny" Gomez has a shock of curly, dark hair on his head, a black leather jacket on, and baggy jeans. He looks nothing like Elena - save for the eyes, dark with bits of gold embedded in the irises. He looks bent over the engine of a dark red Acura, working on it under the cautious gaze of a bigger, Mexican youth decked out in a wifebeater, a hoodie wrapped around his hips, and baggy jeans. A tattoo of a large, vicious snake is coiled down his bicep.

"Armando," Elena hisses softly, recognizing the 'monitor', anger rising in her cheeks, and rolling the 'r' softly with the Spanish accent more pronounced in the throaty tone. If she isn't stopped, she's going to step over there.

As Peter's tossed a gun he blinks, obviously surprised, but he doesn't pick it up like he's entirely inept. At least he doesn't shoot himself in the foot when he checks to see if it's loaded. "You don't really think we'll need this, right?" he asks softly, getting out of the back seat and sticking the weapon into his coat pocket, after making sure the safety is on— because he really doesn't want to shoot himself in the leg carrying it around. Following behind the two, he glances around feeling entirely out of place, but sticks rather close to the young woman. Glancing between her and the 'brother' he nods slowly, then looks towards Jack. In all honesty, he'd be better off without the firearm, and could cause just as much damage, potentially… but let's hope it doesn't come to that, right?

With a quiet groan, Jack rubs at the premature worry lines that crease his brow. He frequently forgets that not everyone is a semi-retired career criminal. He also doesn't really know shit about Peter Petrelli, except that he's a nice guy. All the same, he tucks the blocky TMP inside his coat after chambering a round. Better safe than sorry. Then he takes a deep breath and climbs out of the car. "Sorry. Force of habit," he murmurs to the other man. "I doubt you'll need it. And you," He snags Elena by the collar before she can take off toward her brother. "Need to calm down before you get me shot. Now let's go see what the hell's goin' on." The Irishman gives the girl's shoulder a quick squeeze, then heads toward the Acura.

Before she could take a step further, Elena is collared by Jack. "Jack…" she is about to protest, and then looks around the party and thinks better at it. When she's squeezed and let go, she looks nervous, watching Jack take a step towards the Acura. With Peter lingering close to her she reaches out, fingers resting on the arm of his coat. But she can't stop herself from following, and she moves forward, trying to remove the apprehensive look on her face as she follows. Slowly at first, and then, with a purpose.

Armando looks up, and his smile widens. His teeth look like they're lined with silver, or whatever metal doctors use these days to reinforce teeth. While he doesn't recognize Jack, and quirks a brow at Peter's presence, he does recognize Elena. "You know when you said you had someone to swap I didn't think you meant your sister, cholo," he says with a grin at Manny. "Even -I'm- not that heartless."

"What the -hell- are you talking about?" Manny growls, looking up and narrowing his eyes at Armando, spinning around…and the snarling visage fades when he sees Elena and two others. "……Elena! What the -fuck-!" he curses, and switches to rapid fire Spanish. "(What are you DOING here? You're not supposed to be here, are you -crazy-?!)"

"What the hell -else- was I supposed to do, Manny?" Elena shoots back, in English. She had companions after all. Ignoring Armando, she pleads. "Don't do this. Let's just go home, okay?" She can't help it, her expression shifting from anger to worry.

"Uh-uh. Not so fast, bonita," Armando says, even as his 'boys' look up from the other side of the ring. "Dunno what he's been keeping from you, 'Lena, but your bro's pretty good with the wheel. Told him if he could win this shindig for me, he can get off the debt he owes me scott-free." He pauses, and he smiles slowly. "Unless…you know. You got a better idea."

This would be the part where most girls would recoil. Elena just stares at Armando uncomprehendingly. "….what?"

Manuel FACEPALMS. Armando stares. "Holy shit she really IS a nun. I thought you were just kidding!" he tells the younger Gomez.

While 'the nun' might not comprehend, Peter does, and his eyes narrow. Without even thinking about it he moves a step forward and plants himself firmly between the girl and this man who made a suggestive comment. He's not exactly versed in the dynamics of street life, but he certainly isn't about to stand by and let a young woman he knows quite well be insulted and potentially threated like an object to be traded around. Still, considering /Jack/ is the expert on this, he knows better than to talk. He'll just… stand here. And look Italian. And broodingly serious. Possibly too rich and goodie-goodie to be here Italian. Not to mention he's short, and rather lightly built. A hand shifts back towards her, as if for an offer to hold onto said hand, as he waits to see what the expert has to say on this.

"I've got a better idea." Jack nods approvingly to Peter, then steps forward until he's nose to chin with Armando. Despite the difference in size, Jack's stares up at the larger man impassively. Any other time and place he'd be all fists and teeth, but when this greatly outnumbered, a bit of finesse is required. "Why don't you stop pickin' on children and pretend you're a fuckin' man for one night." It's a direct, irrefutable challenge. Without waiting for him to respond, Jack spins around and addresses the crowd. "Hey! Listen up! Who wants to see Armando race his own damn car against that?" Like a father showing off his newborn son, he points to the GTO.

When called out, Armando narrows his eyes. Machismo dominated his culture, he can't help it. He stares down Jack, his lips curling back in a sneer. But he pauses, especially when the turntable stops and all eyes turn to the challenge issued. Well. At the very least….this night just got a little more interesting. He quirks a brow. "I'm no mafioso-type like 'Lena's pretty boy over there," he says, jabbing a rude thumb over to where Peter just pulled his knight-in-black-overcoat routine. "But I was just giving the kid a business proposition. A man works off his debts, si?" He eyes the car, and then his own, and he smirks. "Since you called me out, fine. Let's see how good y'are, English." Yeah, he totally doesn't even peg Jack's accent right. "You win, the punk kid's got nothin' to worry about. And you can even get my baby over there." He nods to the souped up, well-kept vehicle. "But if I win? Your car's mine, the kid stays, and you stay the fuck away from my business. We coo'?"

"Jack you don't have to do this…" Elena was already thinking about what she has saved up in the bank. She'll -pay- from her own money just so no one else gets hurt, feeling Peter's fingers reach back and reaching out to rest her hand into it. She takes a step closer, but her eyes are on Jack, and then her little brother who's looked away from her and shuffling his feet nervously, and then to Armando. "God, what happened to you anyway?" she says, frustration bleeding out in her voice. "You used to be a good kid!" Her delicate features are tight with tension. Drag racing was dangerous, ESPECIALLY at night. She wasn't even sure if Jack knew this area well.

Armando ignores her, his dark eyes focused on Jack. "You can take the kid as your navigator," he continues, with a confident smirk. "In good faith. But his sister stays with my boys." He throws a look towards Elena and Peter. "As collateral."

The Irish and the Italian working together against the Mexicans? That might be a sight to see… Peter continues to look serious, even as he's thumbed as a pretty boy, and /her/ pretty boy at that. It's not something he's going to correct for the moment, but he's also not moving away from the girl either, keeping his hand against hers as he waits to see how this pans out. He'd seen the bartender drive on the way here, but losing his /car/ and the kid they came here to get? Those stakes are a little high… and who knows if both the cars will make it through in one piece. The Irish earns an incline of his chin, a sign of trust that the man'll win, and about the only hint of a good luck he's going to verbally get.

What he's worried about most right now… "I'm staying with her," he says firmly when it becomes clear that she's going to be forced to stay behind. "Just stay close to me, okay, Elena?" If things get rough… He glances towards the car that they'll be running against, looking for a moment as if he's both studying it, and trying to decide.

"HEY!" With both hands, Jack shoves the larger man back into his car. "I'm Irish, you degenerate, taco-eatin' bastard. And you're on. When you get to the finish line, I'll be the guy climbin' off of your mom. And you fuckers," with no regard for his own safety, Jack strides into the center of Armando's knot of comrades. "You take good care of my Scrappy. If I get back and she didn't like the way your farts smelled, I swear to Christ, I'm gonna cut your fingers off and eat 'em. Get me?" With a final glare, he stalks back over to Elena and Peter. "Whoo. That was bloody excitin'." With his back turned and his voice lowered, they're the only ones who can see his boyish grin and hear his nervousness. "This isn't exactly ideal, but it's what has to happen. You two just stick together, yes? I'll be back in a flash." With a wink, he opens the Pontiac's driver's side door and whistles for Manny. "Hey kid! You comin' or what?"

"Porque, pobresito?" Armando taunts Peter with a smirk. "You no wanna ride with me?" His brow quirks a bit when the Italian looks like he's not budging an inch from where he is. "Tch. Pegged you to run at the first sign of trouble." Peter didn't look like much of a threat after all. But with him distracted, Jack's able to shove him back, just a bit when he calls him English. His lips bare into a snarl, and he looks like he's about to just outright -brawl- with Jack before the damned race if it wasn't for one of his boys snagging him by the arm. "It's on," his comrade mutters. "There's a ravine by the curve."

"Y'know where it is?" Armando mutters. When his comrade nods, he smirks. "You're my navi then. Get in the car." Both turn, and start climbing in the Acura, to move the bright-red vehicle towards the starting line as Jack turns away and threatens the rest of the gang……who doesn't look all that impressed when he addresses them. In fact, they're all looking at him with narrowed eyes, and look like they're about to jump him.

She GROANS. "Wouldn't it have been easier if I just gave up what I had on my savings?" Elena mourns, though she glances at Peter apprehensively when he states, and rather firmly, that he was sticking around with her in the middle of a den of wolves. She squeezes his hand, perhaps a little tighter than she intended - the only sign of her nervousness at the present moment. When Jack says what he does, she gives him a resigned glance. "You've done this before, right? -Right-? God, Jack, be careful," she moans. Oh god. She could die right now, this is the worst night ever. She nods to what Peter says, though to her credit she doesn't hide -too- much behind him. Otherwise she wouldn't be able to see what's going on.

Manny looks reluctant to go, his eyes on Elena and Peter, but when Jack calls him out, he turns around to look at him. "What about my sister?" he asks, and now that he's away from the other gang members, he looks…. a little apprehensive, even though the determined glare is there on his face. "I didn't think she'd actually….ugh! So reckless," he grumbles, getting in the passenger seat and closing the door, yanking the rolled up and grungy looking map from his boot and unfurling it. "Starting line's right up ahead with the fruit with the feather hat," he mutters, nodding to a flamboyant looking Asian kid somewhere in front of the vast, empty road with the handkerchief in his hand.

"I'm staying with her," Peter says plainly, leaving it there. Though if he did go in the car with the man, he could potentially do something to insure that his friend won… But that would mean leaving her alone with a bunch of lowlifes who obviously threat women like possessions and trading cards and not people. "Are you sure you can handle this, Jack?" he asks, voice also lowered, though he's starting to look noticeably worried. "I could probably still catch up, ride with him, if— if Elena thinks she'd be okay… make sure he doesn't get too far…" Cheat, in other words. But he doesn't sound as if leaving her here with them is anything he wants to do. Pretty damn obvious, especially to her, considering the noticeable squeeze of his hand. Protective older brother type? Definitely. The offer is made, even if he hopes it isn't necessary. "You're good enough at this, right?"

"Trust me. I'll be back before you know it. Just make sure our baby girl doesn't get mussed." Jack climbs into the car, starts it up, and idles up to the line. When he reaches it, he spares a withering glare for his co-pilot. "You. You just shut up and let me know if I'm about to hit a hard turn. I'm pissed at you for getting your sister involved." With the casual precision of a fighter pilot prepping his jet for takeoff, Jack revs the engine and checks the tach, then flips a set of three toggle-switches on the dash. Finally, he pulls the tuning knob off of the stereo. Under it there's a red button with a white skull and crossbones branded across it. "Ok. Hold on to your balls, kid."

"I'll be fine," Elena tries to interject, and she starts to pull away. She knows what Peter is thinking and she thinks it's a -solid- plan. Screw honesty in events like these, these stupid people are trying to mess with her brother….no matter how stupid he's being. But when Jack tells Peter to stick around and get back into his car, she can't help but lift a hand and just bury her face in it. "Peter I'm -so- sorry," she groans. "I didn't think, I didn't even know you were with -Jack-…." Yeah, the apology? Peter probably saw coming a mile away. This? This was embarrassing, in so many different ways. Watching both cars go off, she lets out a weak little laugh. "Hah. Hah hah. How NOT funny is this going to be when the cars are so wrecked that nothing'll get us -away- from here when Jack wins?" WHEN Jack wins? Definitely. She had faith. She HAD to have faith. Maybe if she willed it hard enough, it would happen.

Manny glares at Jack, and looks away, muttering. "I didn't -want- her to get involved," he mutters. Like he told her about this in the first place. But he does do what the man says. Besides. Jack looked bigger. He taps on the map. "Route's gonna take us straight first, then downhill 'round the bluffs. And then back up. There's like….kids with CB radios broadcasting updates posted all along the checkpoints to the finish line here." Looks like they go down, around, and go back up to where they started.

When the cars are lined up, the Asian kid with the feather hat strides up in between the two cars, as a placeholder to make sure that the cars at least START in two lanes. He points to a young girl on his left. "Ready!" she chimes.

Pointed to the other on the right. "Set!" the race bunny calls out.

"GO!" the Asian kid calls, swiping the handkerchief he's got in his hand.

Hopefully, this will not end in tears.

The Red Acura leaps from the starting line at the go, Armando throttling the gas and shifting the gears instantly. This was clearly not his first time behind the wheel, much less in an event like this. The modified car's speedometer climbs up and fast, tearing down the road and away from the starting line as the race kicks up. The crowd is cheering. He knows the checkpoints down the route will be broadcasting the updates back on the starting line. But his confident smirk returns, eyeing his rearview mirror. This was it. He's going to show English…Irish…whatever the hell he is what's up.

"I'll take care of her," Peter says to the other man, inclining his chin again. It's hard to believe he might actually be older than the Irish, with how young he happens to look. "Just make sure her brother makes it through in one piece, even if you are pissed at him," he adds on, eyebrows raising suggestively, before he moves more to her side and retakes her hand. "Quit apologizing. It's not your fault your brother's being a kid, right? You're a great person to try and help him out. I'm sure both cars'll be fine when this is over— and they'll both be Jack's, right?" Cause he will win, if the man doesn't have doubts enough to set up a backup plan… "Let's get to where we can hear what's going on, okay?" He moves along, keeping a firm hold of her hand so that any of the man around will think she's been claimed… by a average-short Italian, who doesn't look like much of a threat.

Jack surveys the projected route, committing the slopes and turns to memory. When his cue comes, the Irishman throws the GTO into gear and takes off smoothly. Though his car is V8-touting beast, the Acura has been tuned to within an inch of its life, and Armando is no mean driver. Still, the wide-bodied classic has a few secrets under the hood that aren't to be taken lightly.

After quickly shifting to second, then to third, Jack pulls up alongside Armando. Every muscle in his body is taut, and his eyes are wide and unblinkingly fixed on the road. Despite his efforts, the GTO is forced to the outside on the first turn, costing precious fractions of a second. Smiling grimly, he jerks the wheel. In response, the Pontiac collides with the Acura just hard to enough to scrape paint from both vehicles. It's a warning. Gimme some space, I'm bigger than you are.

Thankfully for Peter, this is New York….or at least close to New York where pretty girls were seen with average-short Italians year-round. So they don't look too unusual. What DOES look unusual was the fact that Peter looks like he just came out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue while he's surrounded by nose piercings (or….other piercings), tattoos, and clear heels. When Peter takes her hand again, Elena is compelled to follow, looking over her shoulder at Armando's 'boys' eying them suspiciously as she is moved towards the nearest CB radio that's broadcasting updates on the race, a small, Caucasian kid with a mohawk tweaking the dials to get the right frequency. "Right…" she says softly. She watches the now empty space of road in front of them and she speaks up. "As much as I'm fond of Jack I was never really acquainted with….you know. His history about these sorts of things. Was always kind of afraid of prying into something personal." She looks over at him and attempts a small smile. "But he's been nothing short of kickass, so I'm banking his cred's going to see him through at the very least."

Armando growls as he's slammed into. Wow. He wasn't expecting that, usually he wasn't expecting the body slams so early in the game. With a jerk of his hand, he twists the steering wheel, yanking the lighter-bodied vehicle away from the much bigger Pontiac, and puts on a burst of speed forward…..and then, he switches gears, puts one foot on the shift and one foot on the gas, and completes the turn, grifting through the first curve on the road that he sees in front of him. He pulls just ahead of the Pontiac, but depending on how Jack approaches the curve, the lead gained by the surprisingly skillful manuever can either be nonexistent, small, or substantial.

The CB radio broadcasts this all, as both cars whip past the first checkpoint.

"Certainly doing better than I could," Peter admits as they settle in to listen. "Sounds like you picked the right person to call." There's a smile over at her, a hint of one, to show that there'd been no hard feelings that he got dragged into this, or that he hadn't been the one she would have called had she known he would come along. "Most I could have done is channel them all to arm wrestling contests and hope I could manage it." He's not quite a noodle for an arm, but he's certainly not what people would expect to see winning a bunch of arm wrestling contests. Especially when… he looks like he stepped out of a catalogue. There's a flinch as he hears of the aggressive driving, and he holds a bit tighter to Elena's hand. Okay, just don't talk about the GTO crashing into anything and tumbling off a cliff…

Unfortunately, catching the outside of the turn and trading paint has cost Jack any chance he had of taking the lead. Engine growling, the GTO fades back until its fender is barely ahead of the Acura's rear bumper. Things aren't looking good. Remember, it doesn't matter how much you win by. You just have to win. A growl builds in Jack's throat that matches the rumbling of his car's motor. "Hold on, kid," he mutters to Manny. "If I don't get your ass out of this, your sister's gonna be pissed." Narrowing his eyes to dangerous slits, he jerks the wheel inward again. This time when the Pontiac strikes the Acura, it's just behind the rear passenger's side wheel and there's nothing gentle about it.

She smiles, and looks away, looking a touched embarrassed by the pink flush on her cheeks. "When going to a battle, pick your weapons well, right?" Elena says softly. "That and….it wasn't like…" She pauses. "It sounds bad but Manny's….situation isn't something I like to broadcast. I mean, even when I was talking to Jack, I couldn't help but wince because I had to let him know what's up. He's always been our problem, you know? Our family's. It's…." She exhales. "It's not like I didn't think you'd help me, or that you wouldn't be capable of finding out a way. I was just…..that and you've assisted me so much already I didn't want you to think I was taking advantage of how you are. I -did- think about calling you, I just…" It was a lot of things. Shame over Manny's behavior. The desire -not- to drag Peter into anything like this knowing how his brother was, and so on, and so forth. But when the CB radio broadcasts the update, she keeps her jaw set and determined, squeezing his hand back in reassurance. Jack's fine. Jack will -be- fine.

"I know," Manny grunts, and braces himself when the Pontiac puts on a burst of speed forward, slamming hard into the car in front of them. He looks over at Jack, gaping at him, and goes….because this HAD to be asked at some point tonight. "….who ARE you anyway?" He was used to seeing his sister hang out with girls or guys HER age, this guy was clearly older. Not like Jack was showing signs of age - he was just older.

Armando grunts when the Acura is slammed forward by the Pontiac. A steady stream of curses fly from his lips as the Pontiac manages to push at the car enough that the rear wheels lift slightly. The four-wheel drive vehicle spins out just a bit, shoved away from Jack's lane. But Armando recovers, maintaining his line for a while, eyes narrowing. He waits for the Pontiac to catch up, just a bit, before he jerks the wheel sharply to plow bodily and scrape against the GTO's side, perhaps in an effort to make Jack lose control of the car just a bit with the friction and the force bearing in full throttle from his side of the road.

"Don't worry about it," Peter says, giving his head a shake as he actually ends up putting his other hand over the one he's holding, cupping her hand between two of his. "Trust me, there's skeletons in my family closet too." She knows some of them. He has a niece with a totally different last name, right? "Didn't we agree to share the worry at least?" he adds on, a soft tone of voice, but very serious. He's also an older friend, but age doesn't change much here… And he could probably pass for younger than he actually is, even with his shorter-than-last-year haircut. The serious expression remains, though, mainly thanks to the tense situation over the radio. "Jack'll be fine… your brother, too." He has to be fine, right? Now he's too far away to do anything about it. Or is he?

"The moniker's Jack. I'm kinda like your crazy white uncle. Mostly, I—SHIIIIT!" Jack swears and groans when the Acura tears paint and painstaking body work from the side of his car. "Oh. Julia, I'm so sorry baby." As close to blubbering as he's ever been before, the Irishman pets the dash with a trembling hand. Then he shoots a glare over at Armando, now side by side with the other driver again. "OOOH. YOU SONOFABITCH. NOW YOU'RE GONNA PAY." Showing what can only be described as wickedly poor judgement, he presses his knees on either side of the wheel so he can free both hands. Then he presses the previously concealed red button the stereo panel to the first setting. In almost the same motion, he presses a yellow button to the other side of the wheel that's prominently labeled 'TRUNK.' The first button sends a fog of liquid nitrous oxide across the intake, and the GTO guns forward in response to the added power. When the trunk lid pops open, a precariously perched spare tire and a box of tools are jostled loose by the accelleration and sent flying out into the roadway. Now Jack has one hand on the wheel again. The other is busy making a ubiquitous one-finger salute out the window.

She feels the shift, warmth suffusing her hand when cradled and Elena shifting her eyes from the CB radio that's telling them about the latest crunch, and moving her line of sight in favor of Peter's face. She nods. "Drake told me about Claire," she confesses softly. "A while back. About…a month ago or so I think when he stopped by my window one day." She smiles ruefully. "A few of my friends tend to bypass the front door in favor of the fire escape that leads up to my room in our building, so he tends to do that." She uses this to explain the window comment, a bit of a Clarissa Explains It All bit in her life. "And I know. Believe me, I've seen him in worse. It's how we met actually. He…" She bites back a small laugh, as if she can't believe it herself. "He claims I saved his life. Even though I did a pretty bad job at defending myself after." She shakes her head, a tress moving away to expose a thin cut on her left cheek at the gesture. "And things have been exploding around me ever since. I think Jack just carries some kind of action movie miasma with him at all times. But yeah…" she ventures softly. "We did agree."

"My crazy white— look, I already got a gazillion uncles and they're all crazy enouAAAHWHATAREYOUDOINGNOTWHILEWE'REPRESSEDUPAGAINSTHISAA-hoooooooooly SHIIIIT!" Manny cries, as Jack goes a little nuts on the wheel. Jesus! When he said he was white and crazy he totally wasn't kidding! And when Jack presses the red button, the Pontiac forces its way past the Acura, the scrape so loud and grinding it was like dragging giant metal nails down the chalkboard. The sound was almost defeaning, and fiery sparks flash between the friction the two cars are making before the Pontiac finally peels off.

Armando swears, forced to push off before the damage gets any worse between BOTH their cars, watching the man boost his speed and take off in front of him. He grits his teeth, and rams his foot in the gas pedal, shifting gears again as he speeds off after the GTO in a straight line. Now he was behind - but only a little bit. That's okay, there's another turn up the road….and that's when he'll make his move.

Nathan has arrived.
GAME: Nathan has rolled RAMMING SPEED and got a result of GOOD.
Nathan has left.
(This Cameo is Brought to You by the Petrelli Campaign: Petrelli for '12!)

There is excited chatter on the CB radio. The GTO's pulled ahead, but not much, and the close call is recounted in excruciating detail by onlookers perched on the bluffs.

Noticably flinching, Peter just continues to hold onto her hand, glancing away from the radio towards the men still around to make sure none of them are edging closer than they should be to the two of them, while he continues to listen. Each description of the aggressive driving is making this difficult for him. "Sounds like it… he's driving like a maniac. Maybe I should have handled things a different way— it sounds like his nice car is getting torn up." And the man did say it's an extension of his penis. He's definitely putting a dent in his manhood right now. "Action movie guys always make it out okay, right?" Unless they're… like… side kick guy. But Jack doesn't strike him as sidekick guy.

Jack quickly rolls the window back up and grins crookedly over at his co-pilot. "Aww c'mon, kid. This is fun. Whoa!" He jerks the GTO tightly against the inside of the curve and squeezes every last bit of horse juice out of its engine. With his NOS already blown and his trunk-missles depleted, he's going to have to rely on superior speed to see him through the race. The trunk lid flaps wildly, then clanks closed. "Hey kid! Look in the glovebox, see if I've got any shit in there you can throw at the bastard if he pulls up alongside again. I'm /not/ losin' this fuckin' car."

She groans softly. "He wouldn't be Jack if he didn't drive like a maniac," Elena says dryly, giving his hand a squeeze. When Peter cranes his neck over his shoulder to look at Armando's Angels with a tight look on his face, she lifts her other hand to rest on his shoulder. "Peter we don't have to listen. We can just wait," she offers. It's not like she was confident on the state of her stomach hearing about how Jack's doing his best to drive Armando off the road with RAMMING SPEED. But she could sense Peter's twitchiness about the entire situation. And when both of them look over the gang, they're staring at them in a manner that's a little unsettling. Her jaw tenses a little bit. While she had been okay with the idea of Peter making a move to cheat earlier, with just how freaky looking the other goons were, she's actually -really- glad Peter stayed. "If it makes you feel any better," she murmurs. "As out of place as you look, you look more than just a sight better than eighty percent of these guys," she jests, trying to make light of the conversation.

"Wh…wha….are you SERIOUS?" Manny exclaims, staring at Jack. And there's a pause, before the kid shrugs. " 'kay." Flipping open the glove compartment, he buries his hands into it - and comes up with several things. A flashlight, a few heavy batteries, a spare .45 cartridge, and………a ski mask? He stares at the two latter objects, and stares at Jack. "…….dude. You're like….you're not IRA are you?" HEY HE HAD TO ASK, even as he rolls down his window.

Armand is driving along until his windshield suddenly CRACKS when the flashlight bounces off it from a hard and sharp throw by the younger Gomez. A curse in Spanish can be heard for MILES. The Acura roars to life, leaping foward and trying to gain on the Pontiac….but the curve was coming, and closer. He better act now or lose this chance forever. So he flips the top of his gearshift, and depresses his own nitrus oxide button after lining up his car with the GTO. And then? Burst of speed. He'll use the car to jettison forward and slam hard and drag the Pontiac across the road before Jack could make the turn, and perhaps send him off the edge of the road and down the waiting arms of the grassy bluff and the hard trees down the incline.

"……I think I made him mad," is Manny's opinion of this entire situation.

When the Acura slams into the rear end of the Pontiac, Jack does what comes naturally. He yanks up on the handbrake, bringing the GTO's thousand-plus pounds of superior weight to bear as he screeches around the corner. The sound of metal and glass splintering is eardrum-smashingly good as the NOS-propulsion and antiquated braking technology meet in what can only be described as a clash of the titans. Front and rear bumpers are pulped. Most of the GTO's trunk is smashed in when the Acura continues to grind forward. Then the Irishman drops the handbrake, allowing the other car to shove his GTO forward. At this point, there's little he can do but make a stupid face and pray that the vehicles will be stuck together through the final straight stretch. "Oh man! Fuck me! No, I'm not in the goddamn IRA, you little smartass. Shut up and throw some batteries at his windshield. I think he's pinned against us."

"Doesn't take much to be better looking than these guys," Peter admits, casting another glance up towards them and scanning them over. Yeah, he's not got the best eye when it comes to spotting concealed weapons… heck, the beretta in his coat probably isn't even concealed as well as they might have theirs… But he's keeping his hands on the teenager, for her, and for himself too. Share the stress, right? The more he hears over the radio, the less he likes, flinching again. "If it makes /you/ feel any better… I'm glad I was there to come along with the two of you." The idea of her in one of those cars or alone with— tattoos and piercings and who knows what else… doesn't sit well with him. "Just hope this puts the fear of Jack into your brother…" Cause the fear of God must not be working.

"…you're right," Elena says, grinning at Peter rather sheepishly. "It doesn't take a lot, to be honest I was just trying to distract you." She exhales a breath. "To his credit, Manny tries to keep me out of this - he's used to Papa coming to get him when he's being a moron and hanging with a rough crowd. It's just that Papa's not there all the time, and it's not like I could send Luis after him. They'll only beat him up. He's just a little kid." The words come a little easily now, but she's got her eyes turned away from him, perhaps the only indication that she's embarrassed in describing how her family situation is as far as Manuel is concerned. However when he tells her that, she looks up at him and grins. "Even when surrounded by chainsaws and hockey masks?" she jests, squeezing his hand gently. "Yeah…" she confesses quietly. "I am too."

One of Armando's boys shifts away from his own souped up vehicle, striding up to Peter and Elena on the side. By the look on his dark eyes, he doesn't look amused, sizing up the Italian, and then ignoring him to address the girl. " 'Lena," he grouses, thumbing over his shoulder. "Don't kill the messenger or nothin' but Carlos wants to talk to you. He says it's not a request."

Elena narrows her eyes at him. "You can tell him I don't want to talk to him," she retorts.

BAM. CRUNCH. SLAM. The screeching of twisted metal is almost deafening as the Acura plows hard into the back of the Pontiac, Armando having not expected the crazy Irishman to….go and do that. "What the FUCK?" he yells out, his navigator hanging on beside him as the cars end up sticking together, screeching full bore towards the curve. With the force, and the speed of the import car, there was no way they were going to make that turn. And that space is suspiciously dark.

"…..are you CRAZY?" Manny cries, staring at Jack wide-eyed. "I'm not gonna stick my hands out there while that puta's riding on our ass! We—" There is a pause, his eyes staring at the windshield as he realizes where they are, and where they're headed straight towards. "BLUFFS! BLUFFSWE'REGONNAGOOVEROHMYGOD!!!"

"Oh SHIT!!!" cries the two other ones from the other car. Armando slams his foot on the brake, twisting the steering wheel hard in an effort to try and peel his car away from the ruined bumper of the one in front of him.

"Good. I'd have for you to keep apologizing for bringing me along," Peter says, a hint of a smile pulling at the corner of his mouth, before the serious expression returns. Though the commentary on the illegal race causes quite a bit of worry and has a lot of his attention, the approaching footsteps also draw his eyes, which narrow at the other young man, giving him a return look until he's up and ignored. As Elena's addressed, he releases her hands and shifts so he's mostly in front of her. It's overly protective gesture on his part, but he can't really help it. What height he has certainly is needed at this moment, though the other man probably has more than a little height on him. Voice a little raspier than the one he uses when talking to Elena, he speaks to him. "You can tell Carlos he can walk over here if he wants to talk to her."

"FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK!" It's about as eloquent as Jack can be under the circumstances. Operating on a mixture of terror, desperation, and instinct, he slams on the gas and jerks the wheel away from the bluffs, cutting into a nearly ninety degree turn at high speed. With a nails-on-chalkboard screech, the Acura and the GTO separate and Jack's car spins out of control. It rocks up on both passenger's side wheels when he rips the e-brake in a vague attempt to halt the Pontiac's swerving. "Whoooooaaaaaholyshit!" With two more quick wheel-jerks, he gets all four tires seated on the pavement. Unfortunately, he's now facing the wrong direction. With a growl, he shifts into reverse and punches it, sending the GTO squealing ass-first toward the finish line. One more straight stretch. Just one more. Grimacing, he rolls his window down again and pulls the TMP from under his coat. It wasn't part of the game plan, but he's not above shooting out tires if he has to.

"No it wasn't like that at all, I just…" Elena says, laughing as an embarrassed, pink color suffuses into her cheekbones. "….didn't we talk about this already?" But when things get serious, that's the last thing she says on the subject. Her dark eyes are still on the 'messenger' who's moseyed over their general direction. It's also the last thing she says because before she could say anything else that may be interpreted as confrontational, Peter steps in front of her and outright sends the other guy back to Armando's 'second-in-command'. "Peter…" she begins cautiously, fingers reaching up to curl on one of his sleeves. Granted she knows Peter has an arsenal of abilities but she just didn't want him to have to use them in such a public event. There were people everywhere. She'll try to pull him back if she can, but her eyes are fixed on the current threat.

The Current Threat doesn't look too impressed however. He looks on rather apathetically, and for a moment or two, there is a tense silence. Finally, he waves a hand, folding his arms behind the back of his head and moseys on to his crew, who are loitering around their own car cluster and drinking liquor. "Whateeeveeeer," he drawls. He heads back, tells Carlos, who promptly, and violently, throws back the bottle he's been drinking. It smashes into pieces on the rocks as he shoves the girl he's with away, and stalks towards the Italian Pretty Boy, a sneer on his lips. Unlike Armando, Carlos is, at the very least, shorter and slighter. A nose ring gleams from his left nostril. Four more follow, trailing behind him.

"What, 'Lena?" he sneers, menacing steps stomping over towards them, alcohol manifested by the crimson tinge of his eyes. "Just 'cause yer a college girl you gonna pretend you don' know me? And -you-." This directed to Peter, and without preamble, his fist cocks back to just move in for a downright dirty suckerpunch. "Who the -hell- do you think you are?"

Well, there's one thing Jack and Armando have in common. They're yelling the same thing as both cars careen slightly out of control, struggling against one another before breaking apart and the brakes finally finding purchase, rubber streaks embedded on the pavement as the Acura twists and spins out, and finally stops before it could go over. Grinding his teeth together, the thug shifts his gears, spins his wheel, and steps on the gas again. The Pontiac was recovering. He can see the Finish Line. It's a straight race through. Speed will determine the winner now. And so the mangled, red car leaps forwards, the speedometer climbing up rapidly. It gains on Jack's GTO fast.

In the few moments they have while the man moseys away to fetch the second in command, Peter glances back towards Elena and says, "Don't worry. It'll be okay. This guy isn't like… your ex-boyfriend or anything, is he?" It's just a question, but he's certainly going to hope not, as he looks back as the man downs a drink and approaches. There's certain aspects of his youth he's glad he missed out on, honestly, though if this party gets busted… he knows he'll be in trouble, especially with his brother. No matter that he's no longer running for Congress. Watching the man, he inclines his chin just as he's addressed… but doesn't dodge the punch that swings at his face. In fact what actually hits is directly taken, though doesn't even appear to stagger him. Knocks his head to the side a bit and forces him to take a step over, but he's definitely not going down, or even bleeding. A hand raises up to rub the back of his hand against his chin. "I'm a good friend."

Jack's not losing his car tonight, and he's not losing Scrappy's pain in the ass little brother, either. Shouting an intellible mix of curses in several languages, he pokes the muzzle of his machine pistol out the driver's side window and empties the clip in short, controlled bursts directed at the Acura's front set of tires. "Shit-shit!" When you drive in reverse at 90+ miles per hour, it's usually a good idea to look behind the car. Jack's smoking firearm clatters to the pavement when he bangs his elbow against the windowframe. Twisting around, he fixes his eyes on what he can see of the road through the GTO's cracked rear window and pushes the gas pedal the rest of the way to the floor. It's now or never.

"Carlos? -Ew-. No," Elena says, wrinkling her nose. She looks to the side and grimaces. "There was one point where most of the guys over there and my siblings played together. Same neighborhood events. Same elementary school. The community's pretty tight-knit back in Queens. But when middle school and high school started, we all just kind of drifted apart. They were already going down that road, you know. I wasn't about to follow," she says with narrowed eyes. It was almost odd, how they could be kindred spirits when their worlds were a cosmos or two apart from one another. He lived a life of privilege. She….well, didn't. And then, Carlos suckerpunches Peter. Elena's eyes widen. A string of angry, rapid Spanish escapes her lips as she takes several steps forward. "I'm NOT going to talk to you when you're drunk! what sort of conversation are we going to have when you're being this -stupid-? Leave him al—!"

Carlos' hand snaps forward, grabbing the front of her jacket and shoving her back to the waiting arms of another one of his buddies, whose arms go down in a vise around the girl to keep her arms in place even as she kicks out to try and get away. "Shut up," Carlos drawls, his blood-tinged eyes on Peter. "Tough guy, huh?" He cracks his knuckles. " 'm not gonna miss the second time." And he does, indeed, attempt a second time. This…would be known as Rye Rage. Clearly, Carlos is not a happy drunk.

And then, even as Armando cuts the distance - shots are fired. "WHAT THE FUCK?" he yells, swerving away to try and avoid them, the bullets riddling along the lower side of the car. Oh that was it. NOW it was on. His navigator pulls down his window, and drags out his own piece as Armando drives, popping a few shots towards the GTO towards the tires. Who the hell was this bastard? Is he actually going to try and finish riding this race backwards???"

"WHAT THE FUCK?" echoes Manny even as the car races backwards. And when the arm with the piece comes out from the Acura, he yells out another curse. He does what any sixteen year old would do in a situation like this….he ducks, hands covering the back of his head and pulling it low behind the dash.

"Oh, good," Peter says, sounding relieved for some reason. The reason for the relief will come clear after the man actually shoves Elena back into the waiting arms of his friends. Oh, there's definitely a change in the look in his eyes when he looks back at the man, not at all pleased about this particular turn of events. He doesn't even try to dodge the punch, honestly, but it might as well not have hit him at all. There's not even any pain. If his breath sounds rough, it's due to tension, which makes his forehead crease. There's a few moments of a pause, before he actually swings right back, aiming for the man's head. Not one to punch normally, there's no obvious skill in his swing, but at least he's not falling over drunk while trying to punch.

"YOU SONOFABITCH!" Not only has Jack's assault failed to slow the Acura down perceptably, there are more bullets, and this time they're aimed at his car. The GTO's headlights are knocked out, the grill and radiator are punctured, and finally one round shatters the windshield and tears a bloody crease across Jack's shoulder. "Now you're all in big fucking trouble!" he shouts. With a snap of his fingers, he relocates the grenade he keeps tucked in a desk drawer at the Den In Case Of Emergency. Lifting it to he lips, he yanks the pin out with his teeth ala John Wayne. "One.. Two.. Three!" At the same moment, he spits the pin out the window and chucks the grenade after it in a high arc. It detonates ten feet above the pavement, spraying the front of the GTO with shrapnel. Luckily Manny's ducking, but several small shards tag Jack in the upper torso. His leather coat deflects all but one, which clips him high on the collarbone.

Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like it when he's angry. Carlos looks to be more than just a little bit inebriated - he was piss drunk. He doesn't dodge Peter's punch very well, and it glances off his forehead as he tries to move away. Staggering backwards, his aim isn't any better, cocking back his fist and sending it fly towards Peter. The other guy from earlier just FACEPALMS, and rolls his eyes skywards. The others, however, don't look that drunk. And they all look eager to take a turn. The only reason they're holding back now is….well, quite frankly, Carlos's attempts look extremely hilarious.

"Oh you have to be kidding me," Elena mutters under her breath, and takes a deep inhale, closing her eyes and ceasing her struggling so she could focus. She could feel the grip of the guy who's got her loosening a bit, but not enough for her to break way. She's trying to be gentle - even in the position she was in, she didn't want to hurt anyone. But the bigger man blinks his eyes a touch, and shakes his head to ward off a momentary bit of fuzziness. Just how much has he had to drink already?

"…yo, Carlos," drawls the Apathetic One. "…you gonna hit him someday when we can still get it up or what?"

"….dude…what…"

"…no way, is that a—"

"FUCK!" Both the driver and the navi of the Acura watches as the grenade sails towards them, the thing bouncing lightly on the hood of the car and getting lodged into the crevice between the hood and the groove used for the windshield wipers. Armando slams his foot on the brakes, the car twisting about and the doors flying open so Armando and his buddy can leap out of the still moving car….which promptly EXPLODES. Jack…has just pushed cheating on a whole new level.

Manny is staring at everything, slack-jawed, even as the Acura is reduced to a ball of flame. "………..whoa," he Keanus.

Well, some people wouldn't like Peter when he's angry either, and they're doing a good job of making him angry… Grabbing at Elena would definitely be a bad start on keeping his emotions at bay. At the punch that's swung at him, bad as it might be, he actually moves out of the way this time, glaring back towards the Apathetic One at his comment, before he turns back towards Carlos and puts quite a bit more force behind his next swing, hoping to finish this so they'll all join in and leave her alone. "Let her go," is all the talking or threats he's going to make, voice rough and deepened by tension and worry, and the beginnings of anger. He knows the longer this lasts… the less likely he'll be able to just use his fists to solve the problem. The longer she's in their hands… These men aren't anywhere near as scary as Sylar, but the idea that she's being held onto by them… the knowledge of what they /might/ try to do to her— that's bad enough.

"YEAH! YOU SEE THAT SHIT?" Grinning like a maniac, covered in shattered windshield and oozing blood from the cuts at his, Jack is likely as frightening a sight to Manny as the exploding Acura. When the GTO sails past Armando and his exploded car, the sounds of Jack's laughter can be heard briefly but clearly, and his middle finger can be seen out the window. When he crosses the line in reverse, it's easy to spot Peter and Elena in the middle of the rapidly gathering crowd. Rather than slow, he barrels toward Carlos with the car's rear bumper leading the way.

Could be one thing, could be another. Right now all the thug holding Elena is concerned about is trying to keep the meddling miss away from the beef Drunk!Carlos has with Peter - which was telling him off in a place where HE belonged, and Peter didn't. And in front of his buddies, and a girl he knew. All, in that drunken haze, legitimate reasons to be angry and start swinging. However, Peter's next swing finds purchase, -plowing- right into his jaw, and forcing Carlos back. Surprisingly, he manages to swing around, sway a bit, and manage to stay on his feet. He's bleeding though, a cut on his lip apparent where Peter had struck him. With a roar, he steps forward, swinging his fist towards the young Petrelli as Jack….well. Uses his car. And aims it at him. While he does detect the car sounding a lot closer to him, he doesn't know what's happening until it's too late, turning around…just in time for the rear bumper to send him -flying- through the crowd and crash somewhere.

There is dead silence. Elena stares slackjawed. So is the thug holding her. Manny shoves his head through the passenger window of the car. "Holy SHIT!" he exclaims.

The Apathetic One just falls over, ROARING with laughter. That was the FUNNIEST THING he's ever seen tonight.

This is also the part where he feels strangely dizzy. He looks at his hand. "……I think this shit just kicked in," he tells his colleagues, who slowly exhibit signs of….not being there anymore. At least, not all there. One drops on his knees. Another one drops his booze. They all look a little woozy, and even the guy holding Elena has slackened his grip enough for her to yank herself away and shove him back. Not hard. She doesn't have to. She's able to topple him into the ground in a state of delirium.

Okay, so, Peter managed to hit the guy, right? In the moments after the fist finds purchase, he steps back and starts shaking his hand around and making a ow face. That hurt. Luckily, backing away means there's some added space between him and Carlos when the man behind the wheel backs his car into him and sends him flying. Fist still hurting, the Italian man who'd lived rich all his life just stares, following the tumbling drunk man with his eyes, before looking towards the passenger window, and the boy hanging out, exclaiming loudly. "…guess that means we win?" he asks, reaching up to rub his fist, which actually has blood on it. The guy must have some kind of steel jaw or something, holy crap. Or he's just not used to hitting people. That's more likely. Glancing back towards Elena, hoping he doesn't have to keep swinging, he sees the men with her dropping down laughing. "Think we should get out of here— Does your car still run?" he turns back towards Jack to ask, waiting for Elena, but definitely planning to tumble into the car if they can use it.

Finally. It worked. Elena looks around her, a little surprised at the range. She had taken to targets one at a time, but it looks like she could also affect a certain radius if she's determined enough. Another discovery - at least tonight hadn't been a complete loss. She steps quickly, catching sight of blood on Peter's fist. "Hell, Peter," she says, lifting his hand by the wrist to inspect the knuckles. It was bleeding, and she knows it was going to bruise like a mofo in the morrow. "I agree," she says, looking at Jack. "I think we're done here and……..made our point perfectly clear," she says, looking over her shoulder. Yeah, Carlos? NOT getting up any time soon, and neither is the rest of Armando's crew, who are rolling around seeing pink elephants everywhere.

"…that was so hardcore," Manny says, grinning over at Jack. Sure, the guy's pissed at him. But he can't help it. Jack REARENDED Carlos.

"Wooohoooo!" As soon as Carlos goes flying, Jack brakes and bring the GTO to a hard stop. "Hey kid," he says to Manny with a crooked smile. "You did good." Now it's time for more goodies from under the driver's seat. This time it's a refillable squeeze bottle, the kind that athletes use to carry around a liter or so of water. As he climbs out of the car, he screws a cigarette between his lips and lights it with a match. Then he points the water bottle at first one person, then another, and another. A quick spray of liquid is directed toward each of them, and toward several others. From the smell, it's definitely gasoline. He waves the cigarette threateningly, and looks a little disappointed when he sees that his antics are hardly required at this point. Combined with the ragged appearance of the car and the man himself, the situation can only be described as comical. "Ok. We're gonna leave now. When your friend gets back, tell him he can keep his car." With a disdainful snort, he climbs back into the driver's seat of the wrecked-but-running Pontiac.

Sure, Peter's shaking his hand around a bit and while the /blood/ doesn't disappear, the wound itself seals up as she's inspecting his knuckles. No, it won't leave a bruise tomorrow. There's a hint of a sheepish look on his face as he takes his hand back, "I'll be fine." He'll leave it at that while he opens the door for her to get inside, planning to pile into the back beside her, assuming that the younger brother doesn't relinquish his seat, but hoping the boy at least moves out of the way so they can get in. "I'd offer to help you fix up your car, but you probably don't want me to," he adds towards Jack. "The other one looks worse, I hope?"

Manny grins and pops a knuckle against Jack's. "Yeah? You did more than okay. That was kick ass. AND the car still runs. S'that whatcha call the Luck of the Irish?" he asks. And he keeps to his seat, he's already there, why was he going to move? " 'Lena! Other Guy! Y'alright?" he asks, looking over his shoulder when the passenger car doors are opened.

The door opened for her in a gentlemanly fashion, as if Peter hadn't JUST spent the last few minutes trading blows with some other guy, Elena looks on with wide eyes when she actually -sees- the hand regenerate and recover from its injuries. She had forgotten about that, but to actually see it in action? It was almost shocking. She's never seen anyone regenerate before. She eases away, and piles on to the backseat of the car, glancing over at Jack. "Yeah, we're fine," she says, and she reaches over to -thwap- Manny lightly upside the head.

"Ow!"

"I honestly hope that you know JUST HOW lucky you are right now," she says, looking extremely displeased. "I'm still debating whether or not to tell Papa about this!"

"See that?" Jack points a finger toward a vauge, reddish-orange glow off in the distance. "That's the other car. Why you think I didn't keep it?" As he puts the engine in gear and pulls away from the remnants of the party/race, he swivels around to wink at Manny and ruffle the boy's hair. "Go easy on the kid, Scrappy. Boys will be boys, and all that. Gettin' shot at teaches a lad a thing or two. Besides, Julia here was our only real casualty, and she can be fixed. Wouldn't be the first time, y'know?" Turning back toward the street, he shifts into second and pats the steering wheel fondly. "You did a great job, baby. I'm proud of you," he croons to the car.

"You guys got shot at?" Peter asks as he settles into the seat, pulling the baretta he'd had in his pocket out and holding it out by the barrel towards the Irish. There's blood on his knuckles still, but no sign at all of how it got there. "I'm good, kid," he says to the younger brother. "I'm Peter. I'm— a friend of your sister's." Obviously. Glancing through the window, he looks to see the explody car and shakes his head. "I hope he's not— too badly hurt…" Or dead. Because that would be bad, to him. Settling back into the seat, he waves a hand, "Let's get Elena and her little brother home, then I'll call a cab." Whether she tells their father is her own business, so he doesn't give advice one way or the other, except to add… "Kid, don't put your sister through this again. If I hadn't stayed back with her your friends might have hurt her. No matter what they were taking along with the alcohol." Though he doesn't know for sure, he can guess she had something to do with what happened to those men. But at the same time… "They didn't hurt /you/ right?" he adds, looking back towards where they were grabbing at her, as if he could see bruises under her clothes.

"Yeah, you heard the man. Go easy on me," Manny says petulantly, with a grin. But when he's reminded that he just got SHOT AT, he looks somewhat…well, mollified. To his credit, he does look extremely apologetic. "I'm sorry. I didn't….I thought you'd know better than to come after me," he tells Elena. "You know the kind of people I still talk to."

"I thought moving you to Albany would -cure- that," Elena tells her brother, crossing her arms over her chest and looking incredibly frustrated. She looks away for a moment, and then she exhales. "Just….try and keep yourself out of trouble while you're staying at Abuela's. She was out of her mind worried about you, crying on the phone the way she was."

Manny nods, and falls silent, smiling at Jack when his hair is ruffled, and then Julia, in all of her coughing and sputtering glory, peels away from the gathering to get on the road back to New York. When Peter chastises him, he falls quiet, but he does nod after a while. Especially when he brings Elena into it. He honestly didn't mean for her to get involved. "Yeah, Peter," he says, looking away, somewhat petulantly. "I won't." Or he'll at least try.

Elena sinks heavily into the backseat of the car and expels a breath once they are pulling out of there. She closes her eyes momentarily, perhaps in silent prayer of thanks to whoever had been keeping this from being a giant mess. When Peter addresses her, she opens her eyes and looks over at him. And then she smiles. "I'm okay." She furrows her brows a little bit. "Though to be honest I think they were more concerned about you than me. I think I was just being held back so I wouldn't jump in the middle. Which….granted I was already thinking about it." Digging out a bandanna from the back of her jeans, she turns slightly on the seat so she could wipe the blood away from his knuckles if he'll let her. It looked pretty grisly - though it was still amazing, seeing the unbroken flesh underneath once the red is cleared.

Shaking his head at the Gomez kids' spatting, Jack drives them back to the city, then calls them a cab home from the Den. After Peter departs, Jack pours himself four shots of bourbon and drinks them in quick succession, then walks back out to where Julia is parked. Bashed, smashed, scraped, and riddled with bullet holes, the GTO coasted up to the pub on its last legs before sputtering and dying. When the Irishman and his car are finally alone, he collapses across the hood and weeps unabashedly. It was /such/ a pretty car.

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