2007-10-27: The Lives Of Others


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter finds Elena to tell her about Elle's visit. Elena gets a little ticked off about the boyfriend being used in the way he was. However, nothing cures morning doldrums like waffles.

Date It Happened: October 27th, 2007

The Lives Of Others

Petrelli Mansion, New York City

She was at the sitting room, frowning a little bit at the laptop in front of her. Her organic chemistry textbook is out, and a few scientific sites are already pulled up on the screen. She seems to be working on something, or at the very least looking something up. A highlighter whirls and whirls around her fingers in a lazy fashion, and the cold glass of orange juice is left untouched near her computer. Elena's dark eyes are narrowed, brows furrowed in concentration. There is a passage in one of the websites she's looking at right in front of her.

Due to its suppressive effect on the immune system, epinephrine is the drug of choice for treating anaphylaxis. It is also useful in treating sepsis. Allergy patients undergoing immunotherapy may receive an epinephrine rinse before the allergen extract is administered, thus reducing the immune response to the administered allergen. It is also used as a bronchodilator for asthma if specific beta2-adrenergic receptor agonists are unavailable or ineffective….

"Sepsis…" Elena murmurs, rubbing her face on one side. Glancing down at her cherry-red jPhone, she picks it up, and thumbs at it absently. To call. Not to call. To call. Not to call. The little indicator button whirls and whirls around Jack's entry. She sighs and hangs her head a bit. Despite the ride to Brooklyn and the barebones story, he didn't really explain much. He did bad things. But what she really wanted to know were the bad things done to her nuncle. She'd love him no matter what but his condition was seriously bothering her.

The kitchen of the house is unexpectedly cold. The tea that he boiled has already cooled quite a bit on the stove, and breakfast hasn't even been started. A draft of cool air from outside also made it chilled. Even after the second draft led someone to leave, Peter couldn't get back to work on breakfast. A good thirty minutes, she should he having a plate of something laid in front of her, and she's not. There's a lot to think about, watching sparks dance between his fingers, a ball of lightning forming in his palm. He could throw on a coat, ignore quarantine, and go looking for him.

But he doesn't.

Spreading his fingers, he lets the electricity fade away into the air, and he pushes himself back to his feet and goes looking. The light in the sitting room attracts him first, stepping toward the door and opening it. Last night he'd been emotionally damaged by something that was said, which caused him to be distant, but when it settled down, he'd still been quiet, not ready to talk about it, but demanding of physical closeness. The expression on his face has changed. Wounded, betrayed, and… something else. The lack of a tray with food might also give an indication that something is decidiedly wrong.

"Elena?" is all he can really manage at first.

Peter's voice jerks her out of her reverie. He isn't the only one preoccupied, and Elena's head snaps up to tilt to where he's standing at the doorway of the sitting room. "Peter," she says, a hand depressing a button on the laptop which minimized all her windows. Jack had told her not to tell anyone, and….as much as she hated to keep things from Peter, she wasn't about to refuse her nuncle when he almost died on the Petrelli mansion's floor. She stands up from her seated position by the coffee table, leaving the throw pillow and moving over towards him. "Don't tell me you needed help in there after all," she teases, though there's something a little hesitant in how she says this.

Moving closer, she slows. Something was off, and she didn't know what it was but the expression on her face was something that seemed reminiscient of last night. Except at the same time it wasn't.

Perceptive as always, she picks it up. "….what's wrong?" she asks, straightforwardly. Part of her ices over. Did someone die? It's been nothing but bad news the past few weeks, with glints of bright spots here and there. Otherwise, the coming winter was shifting into a particularly dismal state. She doesn't touch him yet, but she does move closer.

"No, I didn't need help, it's just…" Peter trails off, moving further inside the sitting room and closing the doors behind him. There's no smell of food from outside, though. "I never got started," he admits, moving a little further in, paying no attention to her closing of the laptop. Mostly because he assumes it's work, and his mind is occupied by other things. Important things. Emotional things.

Once he's inside, he slumps into a chair, shoulders sagging a little. There's an expression on his face that could easily read as someone having died, so the conclusion is not unfounded. He stays silent for a moment, looking at her, trying to figure out how to say what he needs to say, and failing. "We had a visitor," he finally starts, taking in a slow breath. "Elle stopped by. She wanted to explain where she's been for the last six months."

There's a grimace. "Apparently you never actually got to know Elle. That painting— it wasn't the first prediction of her death at the hands of Sylar, and her father took steps to prevent it— even putting a decoy in to take her place until it happened." There's that betrayed and equally sad look again.

"The Elle that came over was the same one that helped me break out of Kirby— she has all of her memories…" The loss of memories had been one of the big wedges between the two of them, because he had been in love with someone who was no longer there. And now he just found out the person he tried desperately to reconnect with really hadn't been that person at all. "Whoever I was with for three months… whoever she was… the one who hurt you… I don't know who she was. What she felt— And now she's dead."

There is silence. Nothing is said for a long moment as she processes what is said. The Elle she knew was never the Elle Peter actually knew. And that there was a Fake Elle that replaced Real Elle to keep Peter company during the time he 'escaped' from Kirby Plaza. She was the Elle who was wiped, and who, apparently, went a little crazy. Her expression doesn't really reflect much of what she thinks, really. Finally, she turns away from him, walking back over to her computer so she can pick up the untouched orange juice that had been left there.

Walking over, she sits the glass on top of the coaster on the table next to Peter.

"So where was she?" she asks. Her jaw is tight on her face. In fact, she looks….incredibly angry though she isn't yelling or anything, and more than just a little bit disgusted. Not because of whatever jealousy that might remain, in fact, hearing that the Elle that Peter had been with who had been killed, the one she knew, hadn't been the real Elle at all eradicated whatever lingering traces of guilt she had of consenting to be the girlfriend of an acquaintance's ex-boyfriend. But no, the anger was over the fact that however they tried to swing it, they used Peter. Used that endless capacity to love for a specific purpose.

There is a pause. She rubs her face, and drops to a seat next to him. "I'm pissed," she tells him bluntly, her hard eyes fixed on the far wall. "I'm glad the Elle you knew and loved before is alive. The duplicity probably saved her life. But that doesn't change the fact that they used the most…they used you." She shakes her head slowly. "It's not like you wouldn't have cooperated if you knew. If they had told you that the ruse was necessary to save her life, you would've done what you could." She glances over at him, her lips pressed in a grim line.

"She didn't know what was going on. She just thought she was being sent on assignment for a few weeks," Peter rubs his forehead, still slouching in the chair. She's pissed, but he's still at the betrayed and heartbroken stage. And he's a little frustrated about something else, but there's a difference there. He's not happy with being lied to, but he'll be furious later. For now he's just… hurt.

"She didn't know what happened until she got back." So in some ways she'd been used just as much as he was. He rubs his hands over his face, letting out a long breath. "I would've done anything necessary to keep her safe, but they didn't…" He trails off. There's a ragged inhale and he shakes his head again. "I'm sorry. It was just— I never expected that to have happened at all. It wasn't… I didn't know. I should have. I should have known." But he had known something was wrong. Things changed between them. But it wasn't to the point he thought he was with someone else entirely.

"Her father wanted to protect her. That doesn't make it right, though."

At least Elle was innocent in all this. Elena feels a little better about that - it was a strange position to be in. She would've been pissed even more if Elle knew that Peter was being used and she didn't do anything to prevent it, if she felt anything for him….and she wondered why. She should be jealous. She should be feeling insecure, and worried, and a little crazed over what this all means. She should be having those stereotypical fits of crazy that whole teen films have been scripted around of. But she isn't. All she could focus on was the fact that two people who loved each other once (and probably did still - Peter wasn't the type to un-love anyone, and Elle…from what Peter told her of Elle, she's not the type to be so easily swayed by anyone either) had been used in the worst way. What was worse about it was that if Fake Elle had been truthful about how Bob Bishop treated his daughter…she wasn't surprised as to how twisted the guy actually was when it came to her.

"But they didn't see it fit to inform you." They had been Company. "To ask for your help when they knew full well they'd get it if she had been concerned." Assholes. When he apologizes, she shakes her head and stands up. "Don't be," she tells him, walking to the coffee table and closing the cover of her laptop. She picks it up, along with a few books, and clears the table. She was a guest in this house after all, and she moves her things to a nearby shelf instead.

"It's not like you were walking around blind, Peter," she tells him. "You knew she wasn't the same person. You just….you just couldn't accept it so easily." It was the same thing he had told her…well, both of her, present and future, when she asked him why she couldn't tell it hadn't been him all along.

The Elle that he'd first fallen in love with… is the one that remains now. The one that he found he couldn't live with, has died. Peter doesn't necessarily feel the pull that would draw him back into the arms of another, but the guilt is there, something he'd disguarded a while ago. "You're right. They should have asked for help and they didn't. They didn't trust me." It was done to save her, but it was the wrong thing to do as far as he's concerned. Because he'd invested as much as he had to give in a relationship that had been based on a lie. And he hates lies. "I don't like secrets, or…" He rubs his hands over his face yet again, there's a hint of moisture that isn't from sweat— his fever hasn't broken still, and then finally moves to stand.

"I should get back to cooking breakfast— but this time I think I will ask for your help, if you're offering it." He moves closer to her, where she's cleaning, and wraps his arms around her, burying his nose in her hair, smelling her shampoo and conditioner, and establishing a physical connection that he craves right now.

"She did tell me something else. I'm sure Bennet knows already, but I'm going to call him anyway. Sylar's loose again." Yet again.

She doesn't say anything, Elena's fingers absently adjusting the spine of a book within the shelf in front of her. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. Nathan had great taste in books, she decides, an absent digression to the current discussion in hand. There was a mix of conflicting somethings somewhere in that certain place in her heart where she stored things that she didn't want others to know or detect - guilt the forefront of it because she was hiding a few things from him now. Peter didn't like secrets, maybe, because his natural predisposition prevented him from keeping too many. He was too honest. She knew that deep down. Once upon a time she thought she was the same.


"If…the other Elle was right about what she said about her father, it… I'd like to be fair and say that any father would've done the same for his daughter if he found out she was in danger. But I can't say that because this isn't the way Papa would've handled it," she tells him. "He would've handled this himself. With his own hands. His sense of honor wouldn't dictate anything else. I…as far as he's concerned I don't feel like being generous. He doesn't care who he hurts, even if it's his own flesh and blood. He doesn't care who he gets killed. What……he might destroy."

She doesn't move when he wraps his arms around her, feeling his breath against her hair. After a moment, she closes her eyes, and lifts a hand to touch his forearm. Her inaction doesn't last too long though, she turns around, wrapping her arms around him and resting her cheek against where his neck meets his shoulder.

"I owe you breakfast anyway," she says finally, turning her face further into his chest and closing her eyes again. She doesn't move though. She stays right where she is.

The problem with this… they have to actually move away from each other to go and make breakfast, and Peter's eyes slide shut, his arms wrap more tightly around her, and he stays right where he is, breathing her in. The tension slowly starts to relax away. Much like last night when he finally came to her, he just needs the physical contact. Some things can't be talked about forever, but she already knows them anyway. She knows him well enough to know exactly what had upset him last night— and he explained enough to give her an idea why he might need the contact now.

After long deep breaths, he kisses her hair, and whispers softly, "I won't let anything happen to you." When he took Elle with him, he'd wanted to save her, carry her off and keep her from ever being hurt again by the people in the Company. She'd made noises of wanting to be saved— and it turns out he couldn't save her even if he wanted to. They wouldn't allow it. They wouldn't even allow him to save the decoy. Probably because they needed her in a position to get killed, so that the prophecy would be completed.

In some ways he failed her. "But I'll protect you in the right ways…" he adds, then a moment later, with a hint of a smile, as if he can hear her protest before she makes it. "Even if you can save yourself."

The hands on his back are soothing, fingertips slowly rubbing the tension away - though Elena's cheating a little bit, using her powers to uncoil the parts of him that are telling him to lock up his muscles on his back, as if bracing for a blow. Reading about Epinephrine, her quiet research into what could be ailing Jack, has at least taught her a few more things about the human body. When she feels him relax, she gives him another warm squeeze, her eyes opening partially. She's staring at the wall past his arm, her head tilted sideways given her position. And yes, she knows. She knows how much the future had affected him, how it reminded him that he could lose so many if he didn't do what had to be done. He had been right - that future matters, if not just for the lessons it carved into him.

"I'm sorry you had to find out the way you did….at least it came from her, you know?" she tells him quietly. "At least you know she had nothing to do with it and once she found out she told you. If she had, it would've made you feel a lot worse. I don't….think she would've let this happen if she knew." She would like to believe that anyway. She might not know Elle after all. But she knew at some point, at the very least, that she cared about Peter.

But she can't help but smile, the gnawing feeling dispelling for the moment when he whispers what he does - at the sentiment AND how he cuts her off before she could say what was in her mind. He knew her well. She gives him another squeeze. "I know," she murmurs. "I believe you. You always try to do things the right way….it's one of the things I love about you." She turns her head to press her lips over where his heart beats. After a moment, she pulls back, and gives him a small smile. "Come on. I owe you waffles."

"I'm glad I found out the way I did," Peter has to admit, knowing for a fact that finding out from anyone other than her would have been much more painful. It'd been like how he found out her future-self's secret, about the kidnapping and torture of his brother. Live television. Along with the rest of the nation. If she'd have told him, he would have been angry in a different way. Still mad, but there's various kinds of angry.

With her pulling back, though, his hands move away, lowering down from her back to find her own, grasping at her a little longer. "Waffles, huh?" It makes him smile a little, because waffles aren't something he usually makes, honestly. "Come on. We'll make extra for the others, too," he adds, shifting so he's just holding one of her hands in one of his, and moving to head back to the kitchen. With her in tow this time.

Maybe soon they'll talk about everything else they need to talk about, but right now breakfast, waffles and each other are what he needs. Any kind of conversation that could lead to a fight in his state would probably not go well. Which is why he doesn't push the fact that Sylar's loose. Not out loud. Not yet. He'll have to figure out if he's willing to do anything about that. After waffles.

"Truth be told it's been a while since I made them," Elena tells him with a laugh. "Mama was….she preferred pancakes. Pancakes with blueberries. But Luis and Juanita love waffles. So she made both every Sunday when she was alive, so I learned to make both. I'm a little rusty though. Hope your brother's got a good griddle." She squeezes his hands, smiling up at him - there's a strange twist to it, but it's no less warm or sincere. And when he drops one hand to tug her to the kitchen, she follows obediently, picking up the orange juice glass along the way. She's not about to let it go to waste. She takes a sip…maybe they could share it.

When they reach the kitchen, she eases away from him so she can equip herself with non-germy equipment. She puts on some latex gloves, and a mask to keep herself from breathing into the food. She can't help but laugh, outfitting herself with the gear. "I feel like I'm about to perform surgery instead of making waffles," she laughs, turning to face him and lifting her arms by the elbows to show him the gloves. "All I need is one of those skull-caps and surgical aprons. And a scalpel. Knives will have to do though." She moves to dig out the eggs, the pancake mix and trots around the kitchen to hunt for a griddle.

There's a pause. "…Peter?" she inquires, her back turned to him when she finally picks up the griddle. "…about what you said about secrets…" She looks over at him, concern softening her features. "…I know….I don't want to break confidences but…" She hesitates. "If I tell you, could you promise me you won't mention it?"

"I'm better at pancakes in general," Peter admits, allowing her to grab her drink before he pulls her all the way to the kitchen. There's something off about the smell. Even if he hadn't started cooking, there's the smell of tea and the ozone smell of electricity. If there'd been a fight, she probably would have noticed, but he was holding a ball of lightning in his hand for quite some time afterward. A couple minutes, at least. And it had to discharge somewhere— luckily it didn't fry anything electrical in the house. Or even his own watch.

While she gets prepared, he does too, washing his hands first, before he slips on the gloves at the mask. He has to smile at her joke, but she can't see it under the mask. It's while they're getting ready and she mentions secrets… confidences that she needs to keep…

There's a long pause. He can't help but look at her while he proccesses the question. Because there are catches. Ways he would not like what she's implying at all. But at the same time… "You don't have to tell me if it's breaking a confidence, Elena. Unless it's something that directly affects me, or something you think you need help with— or need to talk about with someone…" The first part are the secrets he really doesn't like, ones that affect him directly. It's the second one that's far more open to interpretation.

"You already know this. I want you to feel like you're able to come to me about anything that you need help with— or that bothers you."

"So am I," Elena admits, smiling at him from behind her mask as she moves over to the counter to help him prepare for breakfast. Standing side by side with him, she peers at the box of mix and starts working on making the batter. She manages to find a whisk as well, and she proceeds to break a few eggs over a bowl, along with some milk and the mix itself. She'll handle the batter, but Peter, being the guy, gets to handle the hot and metal stuff. So she hands the griddle to him for set-up. She doesn't say anything else after a while, concentrating on making sure that the batter is smooth and lump-free.

After another moment, she looks at him. "It doesn't really affect you directly. In fact I think….if anything it might affect Nathan, and it's already affecting Trina." And herself, with worry. But she doesn't want to admit it or say it out loud. She keeps working the whisk around the bowl. "It's Jack," she tells him. "He's not well. He…" She looks down at her hands, as if seeing something on them. But she shakes her head to clear it in favor of saying more. "He almost died here yesterday morning while I was making breakfast." She had managed to come back to clean up the mess before he woke up. "I….don't know what's wrong with him. It's not anything we have, but…."

She flashes him a worried look. "I think….while he was away I think someone did something to him, Peter. He told me a bit about what he did while he was away. Things he's not proud of. But he wouldn't tell me what was done to him."

Setting up the griddle is something that can occupy most of his time and energy while she explains. Peter looks over when she mentions Nathan— and continues to look as she mentions Trina. He doesn't look back to get everything ready until she starts explaining more thoroughly. He gets the idea that she's adding in all she knows. The furrow in his brow shows concern, whether she sees it or not, but he doesn't say anything at first.

There's a slow breath. "He injected himself with something the other day. When he visited to give me the 'uncle' talk." She knows which one he's talking about. The one that would end in him encased in carbonite. "I asked him about it— he said it was to boost his immune system, but I kind of got the idea he was leaving something out." No mind reading on his part, since that tends to strike him as a big invasion of privacy, but at least he's not without clues as to what she might be talking about.

"He was pretty roughed up when he got back— and apparently being a Catholic only made it worse. I'm not sure what that means— but I healed him. If they did something that I can't heal…" He trails off a bit, before turning to face her more fully. "I know how much Jack means to you." He'd meant even more in the future. "I want to help, if I can. Even if it's just a little bit right now."

She depresses the whisk against a large lump she manages to find, powdering it against the side of the bowl and swirling the batter around again to mix thoroughly. Brisk, even strokes. Elena's clearly worried, though she might not just be worried about Jack. There was something, emphasized further by the smell of ozone in the air that she could still faintly detect, and the words he had told her earlier. Jack, however, was a good place to focus on because it gave her an opportunity to at the very least talk about one thing that was bothering her - and it was something serious and important. She looks at him when he speaks, and Peter tells her about what he saw. Her lips press into a thin line.

"Sounds like Father Brady," she tells him. "He….Jack probably told him something he didn't like. Only way I could think of how him getting beat up and being Catholic would be connected." She shakes her head a bit. But it looks like Peter suspected it too - which is a little relieving. "And you're sweet," she says, her eyes on the bowl even as he faces her. "I just…he's so damned stubborn, you know? I had to yell at him when he tried to keep going on the way he was without my help and that was after I st— stabbed him in the heart with a giant f— reaking needle." She looks over at him, and reaches out with gloved fingers to touch the edge of his mask. "You all mean a lot to me," she affirms. "You and Papa and my siblings most of all."

She drops her hand and she chews on her bottom lip, though he can't see it through the mask. The silence stretches on for a while. "….so Sylar's gone again, huh?" she says a little flatly, a little hollow. There's no fear - she didn't fear the serial killer so much as she feared over what he would do to the man standing next to her and helping her make waffles for the entire house. But there's something in her tone that's frustrated, and resigned. The stupid Company did it again.

There's a long pause, and Peter nudges his masked face a little closer to her gloved fingers. Not enough to risk a contamination, but enough so she knows he's leaning into it. "I know, still nice to hear— but I know." It's always good to have reassurances, especially with his self-esteem issues. However, he won't push things beyond that, smiling a bit under his mask and adding with a nudge of his elbow against her arm, "You're going to need to get used to stabbing people with needles if you want to be a doctor, you know." One of many things she'll have to get used to if she plans to cure cancer.

At least he's not offering himself up as a test subject. Instead, he goes back to helping with the waffles. And nods again. "Yeah. Escaped it sounds like. Elle couldn't give me details. She probably wasn't even supposed to tell me about it, but… he's loose again. She wanted me to know, so he couldn't take me by surprise." He pauses.

"I have a feeling she was going to try and get me to go after him— but I can't. Not like this. Well… I could. But I don't know if it's worth the risk. Not after the dream." He's broke quarantine enough times. He doesn't want to cause an actual outbreak just to take down a serial killer.

She gives him a small smile. Reassurances are something she didn't mind giving, so Elena supposes it works out. Dropping her fingers, she tests the batter's consistency by letting it drip from the whisk - otherwise she doesn't make a move to taste it. Besides, it was a mix - it wasn't made from scratch. It should taste just fine. "I know but I've never seen a needle that big before," she tells Peter. "I'm not squeamish but…I've never administered an injection through the heart before. I was afraid with his flailing and convulsing that I was going to break the needle while it was inside him, he's a lot bigger and stronger than me. I suppose I could've used my abilities to calm him down but…if I had messed with his biochemistry then, I might've complicated his system further especially when he had the shot in hand already."

With the batter done, she takes a ladle and hands it to him, so he can start actually making the waffles. And then she'll pull out a plate for them, a bowl of fresh strawberries, another clear bowl, and the tub of sugar she finds in one of the cupboards. Taking a knife, she starts slicing the red fruit. She hip-checks him playfully. "That is…if I still have a scholarship," she tells him resignedly. "I've missed so many classes. I told my professors I have mono and I've been turning in my assignments online but…"

She looks over at him, with her face covered mostly by the mask it probably made her eyes stand out even further and now they fill with concern. "I know but…" She glances down at the knife and frowns, even if he can't see it. "I just…it makes me… wary that he seems to be so gung-ho in coming after you."

"Don't worry too much about it, Elena. Your dad has more than enough money to pay for you even if you lose your scholarship now. I know you don't want to rely on your father's money, but it's not your fault that this happened," Peter says, unable to give her quite as much of a reassurance as he would like, since he has his covered in latex, and touching her would probably not be a good idea. And he also needs to start actually making the waffles. Waffles for everyone.

Mmmm. The use of mono as a possible explaination makes him think of something, but he lets it slide for a moment. That's one of those viruses that has an interesting shelf-life.

"I'll be fine," he says absently, but then pauses again. In the future, he wasn't fine. Not in the least. His entire life was taken over by the man. His identity stolen. It could happen again. That could be why he's specifically hunting him down.

"Our abilities are so similar that he might just consider me his biggest threat— I'm not sure. But… I'll be fine. I won't let that future happen." There's also a pause. "And besides the cafe, he hasn't exactly come after me yet. I'm not difficult to find. I'm in the phone book, you know."

"It's not that…." Elena says with a quiet voice. "I know money's not an object but…I worked so hard for it. It wasn't easy to excel in the school I was in. There were so many things that got in the way. I wasn't rich. Wasn't connected." She drops the strawberry slices in the clear bowl, and measures out one cup of sugar to pour it on the fruit. "Saw rewards that I worked for given to someone else. The scholarship means more to me than just the money." After folding the sugar in, she drags some saran wrap out so she could seal the top so she could masticate the fruit, and moves over to put it in the fridge for a while so the sugar can work its magic. "I don't know. I guess I shouldn't worry about it so much. The prospect of losing it kind of stings a little." Losing anything important stings.

She looks over at the thoughtful look she can glimpse above the mask, but when he lets it slide, she doesn't pursue it. The topic shifts to Peter's nemesis, and she can't help but lean against the counter, and watch him make the waffles.

Waffles for everyone!

"…..yeah that's not exactly comforting," she tells him. It's half chastizing, and half dry. "I just worry. On top of the virus, you have to deal with….the knowledge of what Mr. Bishop and his goons did, and now Sylar escaping again. God willing they're able to put a lid down on the other psychos they've managed to recapture."

"I know it's not about the money— but this isn't your fault," Peter repeats again, quietly. It's his fault. But he doesn't say that again. Not right now. Even if he believes it to be true. Getting everything set up, he leaves the waffles to cook and turns around to address the rest of it. He knows it's hardly comforting at all, and even his reassurances that he'll be fine are unfounded. He knows this. But it's all he can give her right now. "I'll call and check in on them. I have a few sources in the Company now— it won't hurt to use them every so often."

Even if he never liked oweing anything to them, sometimes… they're necessary. And this may end up being one of those times. With the waffles cooking, he turns the heat back on the stove to heat up the tea— since tea is something that will help with their current symptoms.

"I still believe it'll be okay. We'll make it okay." Not just him.

To hear him be so optimistic with everything else going on….causes her to stare at him. He'd been so down the evening before, and he was so hurt over the Elle situation earlier that the sudden one-eighty causes her to…well, inwardly scratch her head. Elena watches him for a moment longer. Maybe it was the fever, or the illness, but the attitude seems a far cry from his more volatile, dark moods that marked him from the last few weeks. The change, while startling, was also relieving - and she can't help but feel her expression soften. Doubts and quiet ponderings melt away in a sudden, almost inexplicable spark of happiness that seemed so dormant since the onset of the virus, later Nadia's death, and then Jack's condition.

Her hand reaches up to pull down her mask, letting it curl around her neck. She doesn't go anywhere near the food, however. "I'm proud of you," she says, suddenly - he didn't know what she had been thinking so the comment probably seems sudden and out of place, but she just blurts that out without really thinking about it. Having stepped behind him at some point when she had placed the bowl in the fridge, she leans her cheek against his back, and her fingers dropping to curl over his hips. It's not a full on hug, since he's busy, but she stays there a while.

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