2008-08-18: DF: The Rarer Action

Starring:

DFElena_icon.gif DFNathanReal_icon.gif DFLogan_icon.gif

Summary: After finding out the horrors that had been inflicted to Cass by Logan, Elena storms to his prison to exact her own pound of flesh. But that's not all she's after.

Dark Future Date: August 18th, 2009

The Rarer Action


The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance.
— Prospero, The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Weischel House, Somewhere in New York

First we have the packing room. It's very big. Then, we have the cattle cage. Not big, but one can stand, walk around, or you know, throw people around in. But Logan isn't making use of even this space. Towards the wall where one side of the cage has been secured to the building, towards the corner, he huddles. For all Jack's done to him, it's the threat of Ramon that has him on edge. Thankfully, the Gomez elder has left, and Logan is taking what control there is, possessing this body for what time he has left. He's completely still… save for intermissions when he turns his head, knocking it against a bar. As if to remind himself to stay away, or perhaps he doesn't even realise he's doing it. Either way, it's clear that a disturbed man is even more ruffled. And he can't hear Nathan at all.

When Elena arrives at the meatpacking plant, she's quiet….but her very presence might very well taint the air with an ominous tinge. She has something with her, a black bag. It's slung on her shoulder. Walking inside, she sets the bag down, and heads for the cage. She takes deep breaths. She wants to be calm. She wants to be calm. She can do this. Her fists ball on her sides as she approaches, but her face is not as calm as she would like. There's a fiery spark to her gaze, threatening to scorch his cage and him in it asunder when she moves closer. The dim lights above cast an eerie glow around her head as her feral expression directs itself on Logan/Nathan as he leans against the bars of his cage. Her shadow casts over him, and she is silent, for now. Eyeballing him.

He doesn't notice Elena, at first. It's silent in his head and perhaps he's enjoying that a little too much. Despite the addition of a fatigue shirt and bandages wrapped (not very well) around his right hand, he looks worse for wear - fresh bruises and cuts and scrapes - than when Elena last saw him. When what dim light there is on him is suddenly shadowed by someone's presence, the response is instinctive - Logan pushes himself away from the bars by about a foot, not managing to quite get to his feet when his gaze lands on her, and he pauses, gaze narrowing. From what Nathan remembers of the young woman, the Elena Gomez standing in front of him varies in a whole lot of ways. "What do you want," he demands, as if she had just intruded into something important.

Her stare cuts at him through the bars as Elena watches him. Logan. Nathan. She had to remember there were two of them. She can't go overboard. But Cass. -Cass-. She knew. She had seen her before she left the base that morning, and it took a bit but she asked. She couldn't -not- sense there was something wrong. Hell, the older woman, her big sister figure, began to tell her when she saw her after her rescue. She should've seen the signs. The look on her face this morning when she stumbled over the question said it all. "You….YOU…" Elena's voice trembles a bit as fury starts to pour into her blood. "YOU…FUCKING BASTARD!"

The attack was so sudden that the President might fall back at the sudden lash. A fiery sensation starts to course through him. From everywhere. From his brainstem, his joints. All his most sensitive pain receptors are triggered all at once in a blinding flash of quite possibly the most excrutiating sensation he could ever experience in his wasted life.

"DID YOU THINK I WOULDN'T KNOW?! DID YOU THINK I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO TELL?! YOU FILTHY BASTARD!"

Another jolt. This time from …well. From where his potential children in this dark future might come from. "YOU FUCKING SONUVABITCH! HOW DARE YOU TOUCH HER! HOW DARE. YOU."

That was, to say the least, unexpected. Logan's back hits the ground with a jerk, like a marionette with cut strings, and he can barely hear himself scream over the sheer pain of the fiery jolts. He convulsively twitches, before curling up, especially when that last jolt hits him. Need to hide. Need to vanish. "Stop," he chokes out, hoarsely. "Stop. STOP."

Okay Nathan, you win, enjoy this. You wanted to suffer for that sin so here, take it.

But he's not there, still as silent as ever, and it's not under Logan's control. With a frustrated, pained growl, he clambers away from Elena until his shoulder hits the other end of the cage, hooking an arm around a bar, to ground himself.

The younger Gomez pants raggedly, her cheeks aflame from her rage and her eyes burning at him, like a vengeful valkyrie about to reach over and tear his soul forcibly out of his body and consume it. And that's what it's going to feel in the next run. She lifts her hand, fingers that look so gentle and delicate drifting out to the side, curling in on itself….and making as if to crumble something with her fingers. He would feel the same, reflected somewhere on his insides. Perhaps his spleen. His liver. His kidneys, maybe? Either way, the muscle contracts, spasms, feeling as if it were being squashed by an industrial sized french press. To her credit, Elena doesn't look like she's enjoying this. The expression in her face is one torn with grief. And anger. The Dark Side was here.

"Is that what you did to every other woman Nathan associated with before?" she hisses, still crumpling with her fingers. "Did you do the same to Damaris? Desiree? -Heidi-?" The last two names cause another swell of grief to rise from her chest. And then, she lets fire run, coursing through his body like a neverending stream of intangible hurt. She doesn't tell him to scream. She doesn't tell him to beg for forgiveness. Deep in the back of her rage-filled mind she knows Nathan is in there. But it's not Nathan. It's not. Which means it will continue. But she gives him a moments' respite. She let's go of her control, suddenly.

Logan is kind of a cockroach in that no matter what happens, he will never die, never wish for it, because that's weak. That's an Arthur Petrelli brand of weakness, one he's sure that Nathan had to inherit. But right now… he's coming close to understanding it. Almost. He gives a pained groan as his insides seem to twist up, curling up again against the bars, and giving a spasming jerk as intangible pain wracks him. When it pauses, he lets out a sob, instinctive tears streaming out the corners of his eyes, which he ignores. It's finished, maybe. He hopes.

Shaking, he pulls himself up to stand, catching his breath back, and then staggering towards Elena, falling against the bars nearest. There is an unhinged look in his eye, wild and clearly irrational. "Damaris? You shoulda seen what I did to Damaris," he bleats out with a rasping chuckle. "But it was nothing in comparison to what I did to Heidi." He might be lying, he might be telling the truth, but this is how he can lash out. All he knows is retaliation - not remorse.

Dark eyes narrow at Logan.

"Wrong answer."

The blast of pain that follows is even more indescribable. Right in the brain, Elena swirls those pain neurotransmitters around like she's got her finger in a martini glass and stirring up the olives underneath. The sensation explodes across the entire organ like no one's business - and it continues down his spine. All those nerve endings. And even worse she makes them even more sensitive. Just the right amount, before slamming the sensation back down again.

"You know what I'm going to do?" she murmurs. "I'm going to alternate. From this, to feeling your stomach acid eating the linings of your body, to outright bile choked out of you. If what you say is true," she says softly. "I guess I'm just going to get Heidi back the hard way. Through you. Before she suffers any more from what you did." And then, she gives him a provebial kick in the balls - without actually doing it. "Where's Heidi, Logan." Oh yes, she knows. She gives another 'kick'. "Where's Heidi? I can go on all night if I have to. And what's great about it is you won't have a mark on you. No one's going to know. Just you and me."

It's almost as if she'd physically smacked him down, because Logan lands hard on the cement once more. Oh god, his head. His entire body. It's too much and he knows he'll die if it keeps going, right? No one should live through this. For a while, his cage was almost a protection - with the exception of Trina, no one passing through could really hurt him unless he made the stupid mistake of getting close to the bars. Now, it's a trap, and there's no where to run even he could remember how his legs were supposed to work.

Logan can see him, now, out the corner of his blurred vision. Nathan stands, invisible to Elena, within the cage, before crouching down just beside Logan. He's here, thank god. Logan attempts the tried and true method of slamming Nathan's consciousness back into place, retreating into the darkness, the lack of feeling… but nothing happens. Suddenly, his own body is even worse than the cage. "You win," he barks, to seemingly no one. "You win. Take it. Just take it. Please."

"Where's Heidi, Logan," Nathan repeats, echoing Elena. "Tell her, and all the pain will go away. I promise."

The pain never gets old. It just seems to spiral higher, and Logan actually lashes out a hand, wildly, to grab Nathan. Of course, that doesn't work. He's not real. Logan crumbles back down, and to both of them, he chokes out, "Heidi was-was shipped to New Mexico. Sh-she's in a clinic for-for human carriers." And just like that, Logan is almost lovingly extracted and sent into the temporary oblivion, although as far as he's concerned, it might not be so temporary.

And Nathan is the one to experience the pain afresh, giving a startled, pained yell of his own, but he manages to breathlessly say, "Find her, you have to find her."

When the answer is given, Elena lets go, seeing the change. Even the tone is different, not the raspy, rabid snarl from the doppleganger that resided in Nathan's body. She doesn't start up anymore, even if she wants to. Even when tears want to roll down her face right now. But she holds strong - like her father and grandmother, Elena isn't much one for tears. She watches as Nathan grips the bars, his body slumped there. But she lets him breathe. She lets him breathe.

"Nate," she says softly around the lump in her throat. "Tell him if he interrupts us, he's going to regret it in ways I can't even describe." She can't talk to Logan directly, but clearly Nathan can. She heard the words. You win. You win. Her father had been good enough to his own daughter to tell her what's going on.

She walks back over to the bag, and unzips it. Something….smells good when the insulated bag opens and the scent of fresh food wafts out. She walks over to him, close to the cage. She plunks her butt down on the ground and pulls out a tupperware. Roast chicken, rice, and a medley of vegetables. She even brought him a can of beer.

"I'll find her," she promises Nathan. "But you have to eat." She lifts her fingers, to ebb away the remaining pains and to settle his stomach.

Breathe, breathe. He can do that. Nathan stays slumped against the bars for a time, eyes shut as he reawakens himself to his own body. Logan is silent, and although that's not an uncommon thing to experience, it gives Nathan a sense of hope. Little by little, he keeps claiming back some territory. You win, he said.

Nathan opens his eyes to regard Elena, almost with wonder. She really has changed. "I think the message is received," he says, still breathless, with a touch of a smile. He wasn't there for the bulk of the pain, but his body feels like it's vibrating just from the aftermath, like a steel sponge scraped over every inch of him, inside and out.

Using the bars, he pulls himself up to sit, and despite his hunger, the smell of food kind of makes him want to throw up. But like magic, the nausea seems to lift, and even the pain starts to melt away. "Thanks," he murmurs, folding his legs in an effort of comfort. He doesn't quite look at her now, however - she knew about Cass and that puts him on edge. Though she called him 'Nate'. That's a start. Through the bars, he goes to reach for the beer can. Because holy hell, yes.

She changed out of necessity. She had people to look after. Lives to save. Loved ones to find. Heidi was one of all of the above. Elena hopes Nathan knows that held true then, and that held true still. Their relationship had been a little unorthodox from when she had been his housemate for a little while. But she even manages to hint a smile towards Nate. The teenager he knew and played pranks on was still there, somewhere. She pulls out the utensils. She had been careful to cut the tender chicken in bitesized chunks, and she brought a spoon instead of a fork and knife. Yes, Nathan. She's going to spoonfeed you. Not even Peter or Eric gets that treatment. At least she had no excuse to.

When he reaches for the beer can, she…actually swats his hand lightly like a naughty child. "Let me," she says simply. Picking it up, she pops the tab, and pours the cold one in a paper cup. This, she hands to the bars. "Sorry, precautions….I don't want anything metallic near you. Even if it's just a can." But he gets a beer! And it's cold!

"We'll get Heidi as soon as I manage to pull myself away from here. But definitely as soon as possible. Your….brother's with us too. From the past. He said Logan shot him, so you already know he's here. He knows about you being captive by us." She lets him savor his beer first, before digging into the food with a spoon. She doesn't feed him yet. "Cass and her family are safe." Searching his averted face, that's all she says about Cass. Instead… "What happened to you, Nathan? This…this thing you have. It can't have just happened overnight."

Times like this you feel like Hannibal Lecter. Don't approach the glass, no pens or paperclips allowed. Even if the reasons are a little different. But Nathan makes no protest - now there's a change. He's far less the somewhat callous, demanding alpha male type figure he was two years ago. Having someone like Logan make your decisions every waking moment for what seems like ever sort of beats that out of you. The paper cup is taken, and he drains a good few mouthfuls. Logan was never a drinker. So ha.

He makes no comment in Cass, just nods once, minutely, at this news. It's the talk of Peter, however, that gains his attention, and he breathes a small sigh of relief that Peter circa 2007 knows the truth. Knows who really shot him like it was a sport. Ignoring, for now, the question of how he split like this, he focuses on this. "Glad you guys got to him," he says, taking another sip of beer, swirling the liquid around in a slightly restless movement. "Does he want to see me?" The way he states the question, it doesn't seem like he's hoping for much, either way, now meeting Elena's gaze.

She gives him a flat look, wry. It's an older shade of the 'Oh You Silly Politician' face she used to give him every time she sat on the couch with him to watch One Life to Live. ….except, oh irony, Nathan's actually got two lives sharing his body. But after that face, Elena quirks a slight smile. She reaches over to refill his paper cup as he swirls at it restlessly. She's clearly messing with him. Pour a little more, and he'll quit it so he won't spill PRECIOUS BOOZE. She meets his eyes directly. "Of course he does," she says. She exhales a breath and rakes a hand through her hair. "Might've been two years for me, but I know this Peter. No matter what you've become, he'd still want to see you. He's made progress, you know. With what he's trying to do." She leaves out the details. "I play to win these days, so I don't even bat an eyelash at the concept of cheating the present."

"I'm not above erasing the past two years," Nathan says, firmly. "If it all disappears tomorrow…" He cuts himself off from the bitterness that could well spill out - though no doubt Elena would more than understand. Everyone has changed and not always for the better. Change out of survival rarely is. He just isn't sure he has a right to bitch about it, really, so he sips his beer, slowing down because it's hitting a mostly empty stomach.

But Peter still wants to see him. Considering the unadulterated hate the current Peter has for him, it's almost a surprise. But Nathan tries to think back, those two years ago. They were still friends, as much as two so opposite people could be, by simple virtue of being brothers. It would be refreshing to talk to a Peter who still thought and felt that. Maybe now, Nathan can shield him from Logan when they meet again.

Nathan seems to go into his own little world for a moment, staring blankly down at the cement floor, before rather sharply remembering her presence. "He did take control nearly over night," he says. Subject change. "But he'd been around for a long time before then. After that, I— I don't remember much. You know how surreal it is to wake up to being President of the United States?" It still seems strange, to him. It's not a title he associates with himself.

"We're working on it," Elena tells Nathan simply. "Just another operation on our end. I'm actually hoping after Peter gets back than I'll wake up one morning here to blue skies again." She takes a bit of chicken, rice, and peas and carrots up into the spoon. "Eat," she instructs, and holds the spoon through the bars. "I know the two of you share one body, but it's the only body you've got." She had waited this long to make sure that the pain's gone, and the stomach's settled. She could sense it in his stomach. Hell, she could sense he's developing an ulcer from the lack of food.

She watches him drift off at the mention of Peter, but she patiently holds the spoon out. "I don't do this often." It sounds like a quip. "Don't tell anyone."

What he says though, she inclines her head and furrows her brows. "….so you weren't even aware you won the election?" she asks, abandoning the topic of his brother for currently more important things about the STATE OF THE WORLD.

Nathan… manages not to snicker. Or smirk. He does, however, raise an eyebrow at her at the almost-quip, and reserves all comment until after he takes and swallows that bite. Since the discovery, Jack has been better about feeding him - but it's hard to ignore two days of no food and almost no water. He's unsure if he'll ever not be hungry again. "Really? You seem practiced." There, his inevitable quip. Had to happen. "Secret's safe with me."

Nathan then shrugs once. "In the beginning, Logan… he didn't take any chances. I woke up and everything was different. Before— there were plans. I was going to run for office, but after Monty died, Heidi got hurt, I couldn't do it. Didn't want to. He did, I guess. Months, maybe, went by, I'm not sure, they had to have. But for a long time, it was just him. Only got a sense of what he'd done to the world through whatever he wanted to share with me." He talks about this flatly, because though this is sort of… a big deal, in terms of the man America elected, this was his whole existence, and he knows it too well to think it's shocking.

"I fake it," Elena returns with a deadpanned expression, throwing the double entendre there like no one's business. But she can't help the quirked smile back, and she feeds him another spoonful. She does this gradually, even if Nathan can probably just horf onto the tupperwear. But he's been without food or water for two days, from what Jack had been able to tell her. His stomach needs to get used to real stuff again. She keeps feeding him in silence, while she mulls over his words. Her brain was on overdrive.

When she speaks up again, it's contemplative. "I don't mean to make it sound like you're a lab rat or something but…." She looks over at him. "I'm trying to figure out how….I mean, I'm sure you're not the only other Evolved out there with this problem. I wonder if the trauma actually triggered the personality to come out. I'm not a psychologist, but….Monty's…" There's a pause. Elena's babysat his two children on multiple occasions. "…death, and Heidi's trauma might've….I've seen my father lose two children and two wives," she tells him simply. "He hasn't been the same again, but his condition is almost similar to yours. Except something kept him from having another manifestation of his more destructive traits split off into another personality. I think maybe if we can figure out what that is, he can help you more using his own experiences."

"Sanders," Nathan says, after listening to what Elena has to say. He takes another sip of beer, draining the cup, and places it on the floor just outside the bars. Her choice whether she wants to refill it with what's left in the can or not, as Nathan is now more focused on the food. Despite thinking he'd always feel hungry, he's filling pretty quickly - even after just a few bites. He'd taken a while to get through the food Jack had given him, too, so when Elena offers him another spoonful, he briskly shakes his head.

"Niki Sanders. She's— she has exactly the same problem. Something happened, though, Jessica took over. I don't even know if Niki was still…" He killed her. As far as he's aware, she's still dead. He'd told Cass that he wasn't the murderer, but of course, he sort of is. Of two women, as far as he's concerned. He moves on. "Your dad is a powerful man," Nathan adds. "So's his mind, his ability. That could've stopped this from happening to him, if it was a risk. I don't know psychology, but I know he's been able to beat Logan back. We're— we're gonna be working on that." He scratches the back of his neck, looking thoughtful. He's had a lot of time to think about this, after all. "Logan says he developed out of necessity," he states, bitterly.

"Yes. Papa helped her out back then. He mentioned it before, Peter put him up to it," Elena says. At least some of the food is gone - a good half. She's not going to force it, so she packs away the remains. She's not leaving yet though. She digs back into the bag, and cracks open another beer. She's got an entire six pack in there. So she pours him another cup. He's earned it, with the way he's been trying to beat back his warden these days - and she didn't mean Jack.

"Maybe," Elena says quietly. "I'll ask him. But if there's anyone else in the planet who knows how the mind works on that level, it's him." She can't help the small, proud smile on her mouth. She had trained her father, gave him exercises, told him how his powers worked - now, he's clearly surpassed anything she could figure out for him. "And I think these personalities usually are. Especially when the brain experiences something traumatic. Evolved brains and ordinary brains aren't all that different when it comes to experiencing trauma. I know." Because of what she could do. "So in a way, he's right. He developed out of necessity, probably to keep you from….crumbling after you lost Monty and Heidi. I'm just guessing here, I…don't know what happened to you after the two of them. I'm just benchmarking what I learned from my mad-track at MIT." The school she left his brother for.

Beer. Yay. Nathan gladly takes the refilled cup… especially seeing as they've delved into this territory. He's quiet for a moment, drinking deep, feeling the alcohol release some tension and warm his insides, a familiar kind of comfort. "No," he says, but nods. "You're right. At the time it felt like too much." He's not going to go into detail about that time period after Monty died, after Heidi was injured - Elena knows trauma well, after all, from the sounds of it, and can guess the pain. One he wasn't given the opportunity to heal from. The cup is drained once more, set down. "If you find Heidi… I need you to tell her what happened." He's not expecting her to ever want to see him again, it seems.

"Everything? Or just the truth?" Elena says. She's clinging onto the hope that Heidi's alive. She looks at him seriously, and her voice softens. "Nate….I'm not going to lie. If she was brought to New Mexico at a clinic for carriers…" She closes her eyes. Oh Heidi. Heidi. "She could….she could be being treated as nothing but breeding stock right now." Just as Project Advent had treated her before. And the implications of that were worse. In a sense, Logan was right. Whatever the hell he did to Damaris, it was nothing with what he did to his own wife. Oh god. Oh god. "But I'm not giving up hope. If Logan says she's alive, she's alive. And when we get her, we'll get her treated ASAP."

Elena also pours him another cup of beer. It's just beer. At least it's not anything stronger.

Logan had kept knowledge of where Heidi was kept, what had happened to her, far from Nathan. Nathan had assumed and Logan had even implied that this was due to the fact that clinging to that one hope might make Nathan stronger. But as Elena puts this to him, it suddenly slams him with the realisation that telling him might have made him so furious that— well anything could have happened. None of what Elena has to say now seems to have occurred to him, but now it is, slamming into him. "The… there was a breeding program," he says, a little vacantly. Nathan knew well that it was all very sick and wrong, but he'd never made the connection before. Thought she was dead, or simply detained. Stupid, stupid.

He doesn't take the beer, barely even notices it. He'd rather be hitting something. "Just the truth," he murmurs, and rather abruptly, with more dexterity than a beat up prisoner in a cage should have, he stands up to pace like a restless tiger in a zoo. "Forget me," he growls out. "Just throw away the key. It's my own fucking fault for now doing anything. Just…" Just as quickly, that angry energy drains away, and he stops, running his uninjured hand through his hair, tugging in frustration. "Look after her. Give her back Simon. Fix the world first."

She watches Nathan pace around his cage like an angry tiger. She remains seated on the ground where she is. She leaves the beer there, but she's packed up the leftovers. She listens to him quietly as he talks, though when he mentions the breeding program…to her credit, she doesn't blanch. There was one? So there WAS one. Elena closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, or two, or three. She keeps her calm. Part of her, however, wants to go racing to New Mexico and blow the facility up and rescue its women. Heidi can't be the only one there. Oh god. Heidi. Heidi.

When he says his last, she stares at him. "Nate," she says, slowly getting up from the floor so she could look him in the eye. He was still significantly taller than her, of course. But she speaks to him informally. She was closely connected to his family once. It had been a while ago, but she tries to re-establish the connection now, in hopes that Nathan would seize it and get stronger. "Don't you get it? Now that we know the problem, we can fix this and end everything on this end. If you beat back Logan with our help, if you're able to learn how to do battle with him and take back what's yours, you can fix this. He's committed so much evil under your name. Don't you want to have the satisfaction to grab the chance to do it with your own hands and kick him in the balls? You might not be able to undo all the shit he's done, but you can stop it. You can stop it all. Fixing can come later, but this all has to end first before we could even think about healing." She sighs. "And I will. Even if I have to do it myself."

The idea of walking back into the world… it possibly scares him more than he'd care to admit. At least in a cage, if things go wrong, Logan can't hurt anyone. He folds his arms around himself, but stops, meets Elena's gaze as she speaks. Maybe he meant it. Throw away the key. Let him give in to whatever fate has handed him. Taking action… once upon a time, he'd leap at the opportunity. Now, though, it terrifies him, and he shakes his head. "I can't fix it," Nathan admits, roughly. "I can't. All I can do is make sure Logan doesn't do anything else, and if I can't, then a cage can." The flash of anger over now, he looks on the verge of tears, but old habits die hard and he refuses to succumb to it in anyone's presence, especially someone like Elena.

Then, rather out of place, he chuckles, though sadly. "You're reminding me of Peter," he states, with a wry, faded smile. "I always thought you'd've been good for him."

"You can. It's YOUR HEAD. YOUR body. All you have to do I think is find his weak point and exploit it like the mad bastard I know you can be," Elena says. "….and you can be a pretty damned mad bastard." She knows. She can't help but quirk a smile. "You know I only send incriminating photographs disguised as presidential-looking portraits to people who get me good." She can't help it. She reminds him of the time she sent THAT THING to his campaign headquarters as payback for the red, white, and blue chicken suit he sent her while he was still running for Senator. If she notices the watering of his eyes, she doesn't show it. In fact, she throws him a lifeline to distract him from it.

At the sad chuckle, she sighs, and reaches over to pick up the bag to sling it on her shoulder. "I left him, Nate. When I was a child. I feel like if I'd have been there, he could've turned out differently." Instead of become the bastard who hates him now. She isn't talking about Peter '07, but the one on the other side of the line. "I always thought you'd've been good for this country. I still think that. But you need to exorcize your demon first."

That unearthing of remnants of the bizarre friendship that was Nathan and Elena's Experimental Escapades is almost startling, but appreciated. The moment of weakness is traded in for brief amusement, and a hint of a smile shows through. His attitude is unmoved, but all the same, he meets her gaze and nods once. "I'll try," he promises, finally. Because the idea of trying is only scary because he'd have so much to gain if he succeeded.

"Deal," Elena quirks a smile. She leaves the beer there, but she wiggles her fingers at him, and turns to head out of his "cell." She doesn't look back, but the reflective surfaces show a contemplative look and a jaw set with that same, stubborn angle. The heavy metal doors open, and once she's through, the doors close with a loud clang. And there's the rotating, grinding sound of her sealing him his hopefully temporary prison.

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