2007-06-05: The Reaper's Touch

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Manuel_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: Peter drops by to surprise Elena with a thank-you gift for her visits at the hospital while he was in a coma. He comes face to face with Manny, who isn't too pleased to see him.

Date It Happened: June 5, 2007

The Reaper's Touch


The Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

Middle of the afternoon. There's a knock on the front door of the Gomez residence. Out in the hallway stands a young man, with hair curling just slightly at his forehead, longer than it'd been the last time he'd stood at the door of this apartment. He's dressed nicely, in a short jacket and pair of dark pants. Not wearing a tie of any sort, but that doesn't seem like it'd be out of place on him either. There's a present bag in dark red, with silver tissue hanging out the top, possibly the reason for his arrival. It's no one in the house's birthday, though, is it? Surely not.

It's damn sure not his birthday, and at first, Manny isn't inclined to get up and answer the door; he's actually settled on the couch for once, and as any of the Gomez family know, when that actually happens, Manny's not inclined to get up for anything barring fire. But…Elena's asleep. Ramon and Desiree are out…leaving, well…Manny to open. Sighing a little bit, the teen gets up to his feet, thumb hooking into his pocket as he opens the door to see … Peter. In a suit, more or less. Manny just blinks at the younger Petrelli brother, mouth opening for a second, then closing…repeating the gesture again before finally asking, "…Here for Ella?" He notably DOESN'T get out of the doorway just yet, though…

Somewhere, deep in Dreamland….

"My love for you is an eternally lit bunsen burner!"
"My love for you is like an overflowing petri dish!"
"Like base pairs that make the building block of human life as we know it, we'll always be together."
"Oh Mohinder!"
"Elena!"

The good doctor sweeps his cluttered desk clear dramatically, but before he can pick her up to set her upon it, they both gasp.

"The research!"

For nerd love is nerdy.

Elena rolls sideways, and then the other way, and then……rolls -completely- off her bed to land on the floor in a pile of blankets, a few science books dropping on her head.

Silence.

"…….I hate my brain," comes the muffled groan.

"Oh, Manny," Peter says, blinking in surprise at the young man who's answered the door and /only now/ remembering some warnings he'd heard about him. There's a slow inhale of breath, before he just nods, hoping that there's nothing bad about to happen (of his own fault). "Yeah— I— is she home?" He sounds awfully nervous all of a sudden, doesn't he? Of course it's because of a little voice in his head warning him that he shouldn't be around this young man, that he's skirting disaster, but— "Been a while since we met. I'm Peter Petrelli." In case he doesn't remember.

Obviously, Peter remembers Manny. And, frankly, Manny remembers Peter, but he nods a little bit as he's introduced, not bothering with his own name, as Peter already knows it. Manny just blinks, though, contemplating what to do with Peter; he could slam the door on him, but Elena might smack him. He could let him in, but he doesn't wanna have to deck his sister's … what, boyfriend? Manny takes a second, considering Peter before stepping out of the way, "She's asleep. Unless she fell out of bed. Again…" Yeah, he heard the thump.

"In bed— in the middle of the afternoon?" Peter sounds surprised, shifting the gift bag so that he can check his watch. Not that they'd had a plan to meet up, or anything, but he'd thought she'd be awake at least. She's either taking a nap from a tough morning at work, which is possible considering her boss, or… "Must have been up late last night," he says in passing, as he moves past the young man and inside. "How have you been lately? Still racing?" he asks, skirting more danger by staying around the young man and carrying on a conversation.

She can sense, somewhat, that Manny isn't alone - he seems to be talking to someone. Was there a visitor? Elena lifts her head blearily from the floor to look towards her door. At the other voice….she rubs her eyes. Was that…it sounded familiar. Was it Peter? She checks her heart-shaped Casio watch. It was in the afternoon, and usually when he stops by, he calls. It can't be him. So she drops her head back into her fallen pillow and closes her eyes.

Sleep addled, she can't trust her brain anymore, what with dreaming about people she knows, and hearing Peter's voice everywhere all of a sudden.

"Mm." Thumbs hooked into his pockets, Manny goes back to sitting on the couch, a smirk on his face as he replies, "Not much— after Jack blew up that lil pendejo, not many people are brave enough to step up." Manny grins a little bit, leaning back against the couch…and switching to Spanish, just to test Peter, "Que esta en la bolsa?" Way he sees it, if he's Elena's boyfriend— and Manny has no evidence that Peter's not— he might as well know what's being said about him.

Lil pendejo? Que esta en la bolsa? Huh?

If Peter did understand any of that, he's really good at pretending he doesn't. Based on the blinking expression, the way he tilts his head… he didn't understand a word. Maybe Que. He might have gotten that part. Maybe. Stepping over to the couch, he sets down the present and shrugs his shoulders. "Sorry, I don't speak Spanish." He glances back deeper into the apartment, unsure exactly where Elena's bedroom is, but looking more or less in the right direction. "Should've called first." He usually does. "Wanted to surprise her, I guess. You think she fell out of bed?"

"You missed the /thud/?" Manny smirks a little bit, liking the fact that he can fall back into his favored language to mess with Peter. Running a hand over his head, though, Manny sighs, "The bag, pendejo. What's in it?" Yes. He is going to keep this up. And if Peter doesn't figure out what 'pendejo' means, Manny's buying him that shirt he saw at the mall that says 'Tu es mi pendejo. (You are my friend!)'

"Yeah— guess I did miss the thud." Pendejo. Considering the first time he heard the word, Peter's really wondering if this happens to be an insult. Not that he will remember it for sure to ask someone. But he'll give the boy the benifit of the doubt. He'd been friends with the fellow racer, after all. That'd been part of the problem. "Oh, it's— a music box." Perhaps all the Spanish is throwing him off on his secretism, but then he's not trying to really be secret about it. "Well, jewelry box-music box both. It's a thank you present."

Manuel quirks an eyebrow, looking back at Peter at the mention of jewelry/music box. Thank you gift or not, that sounds like more than just something you buy for a friend. And, finally, Manny asks the question he really wants to know: "Her boyfriend, esse?" He doesn't exactly sound…happy about the notion, turning his body to look over at the other man in the room.

Still standing, Peter's eyebrows raise at the question, looking rather surprised. Guess the younger brother didn't hear about his girlfriend trying to kill his dear friend. Which is good considering his ability. Oh yeah, and she tried to kill her because she thought he was cheating on him with her… yeah… "No— uh— Elena and I are just good friends, that's all. She— I was in the hospital for a week and she visited every day— helped me get better."

Manuel smirks a little bit, pushing himself up to his feet. "('That's all,' huh?)" Manny glances back toward Elena's room, thinking for a little bit before heading back, holding a finger up (INDEX finger) to Peter. Knocking on Elena's door, Manny calls out "(Ella! Your boy's here.)" Coming back out to the living room, having to ask, "Hospital for a week?"

"……..rgghrgghrhrghrgghhh!" is Elena's oh-so-eloquent response from beyond the door. After a bit of stumbling around, a loud THUD, and a Spanish curse uttered, the door finally flies open as she stares at Manny blearily. Her hair is tousled, and she looks a little under the weather. Her hand is up and busily yanking her hair back from her face, clad in a tanktop, a pair of pajama bottoms with tiny penguins running down each leg, and a pair of fuzzy donkey slippers (incidentally Donkey, from the Shrek movies). "(What are you talking about?)" she grumbles, her voice smoky with sleep and an accent evident as she rubs her eyes. "(I don't have a— )" Her dark eyes shift past Manny, and she blinks, gaping at the person standing behind him. "……Peter?"

The first sentances aren't fully understood, of course, but Peter does know the universal sign for 'one minute' just as he understands English when the boy returns. "I heard it that time," he says, smiling faintly at the sound of a thud. "Yeah— I was in a coma. Kind of— a long story. But I'm better now, obviously." Standing on his own two feet, no IV sticking in his arm. And there appears sleepyhead. In donkey slippers and penguine pajamas (pyjamas?). "Morning," he says, reaching up and running a hand over— and through— his hair. "Sorry, I forgot to call first. I just wanted to… drop of a thank you present." There's still a bag on a coffee table. In red and with silver tissue paper. Two of her favorite colors, which apparently he remembered.

Manuel can't help but laugh a little bit as his sister appears in rather…odd pajamas. Not that Manny's not used to seeing Elena in such garments. It's just that he can't help but laugh ANY time she's so disheveled looking. Looking over at Elena, "(Ya sure? Not too many guys show up at a girl's house unannounced. Let alone with a gift.)" He glances back over at Peter, an eyebrow quirked upward, carefully watching him. Words are oen thing; Manny judges by actions.

Sure? -Sure-? Getting electrocuted for it made things pretty damned sure! Elena flashes Manny an extremely flat look. The sort of look only a sister could give a younger brother. She, instead, taps Manny on the forehead and moves towards her visitor. "Sorry about the mess. I-E, Me," she tells him sheepishly. "I've been tired through this week so I've been trying to get some sleep. Go figure when I put in for some vacation time at EvoSoft, vacation for me entails 'reading and sleeping for long long long hours' as opposed to going someplace fun. I think I'm on my way to becoming a chronic workaholic." She looks over at the table, and blinks over at Peter again. "Wait… -what-? Oh, Peter, you didn't have to get me anything. That's what friends do for people at the hospital, you didn't need to return…" And he even remembered her favorite colors. She smiles, walking over and toying with the length of ribbon. "You remember the most random things," she says with a laugh.

With one of them still speaking in Spanish, in a way that Peter still does not understand, he's looking blankly towards Manny until Elena gives him something to understand and respond to. "No, no, it's fine. You've seen me right when I wake up a few times." Meaning the hospital. And the time that she broke into his apartment. Neither of which he was in a put together state. Especially the breaking into his apartment time. "You should get more rest," he says worriedly, lips moving into a hint of a frown as he watches her, wondering if his condition had anything to do with this. "Oh— it's the least I could do, really. The nurses told me you visited every single day while I was out." He says, shifting where he stands in the middle of the living room, close to the coffee table and the couch, and now Elena. "A card just didn't seem to say 'thanks' enough for what you did. Not to mention I couldn't have helped Cass if it wasn't for you." Her ability kept his boss alive, even if he's the one who used it.

"…" That's Manny's initial reaction to being tapped on the forehead. "(What? He shows up unnanounced, dressed up and with a gift! That's a fuckin' boyfriend, Ella!)" The younger Gomez sibling folds his arms across his chest, choking on his breath at Peter's first statement, coughing just once. Manny shakes his head a little bit, just sorta…staring at Peter, not exactly looking happy.

What the crap? Elena -stares- at Manny, and she reaches up to rub her nosebridge with her thumb and forefinger. "(Manuel, he's just a -friend-, and he almost always dresses like that!)" she groans at her brother in Spanish. The look she flashes Peter is partly sheepish, incredibly embarassed, and also somewhat horrified that she's having this argument, in Spanish, while the person they're talking about is RIGHT THERE. Her look says it all, the apology is written all over her face. But turning to Peter anyway, she gives him a small smile. "Well, I figured I could use said abilities to wake you up like I always do," she says with a laugh. "But you honestly don't have to get me anything. Remember what I told you before? What we do for each other isn't about debt." She winks at him, and tugs on the ribbon, letting it unravel gently. And then? She picks up the present wrapped in tissue paper. The music box comes out, made out of gold-hued wood. Her eyes widen. "Peter…" she says, stunned as she examines the box with her eyes, her fingertips brushing over the beautifully carved lid. "I….it's -gorgeous-!"

Spanish he doesn't understand. Tone he can. Peter gets that she's a little groany at her younger brother, but the two seemed to have issues the first time he met them anyway. So— maybe they're still fighting over a few things? It's possible. But the apologetic look makes him wonder if it's about him— or just because she's arguing in Spanish when she knows he doesn't understand it? "Yeah— I know. Not about debt. Not why I got it. I…" His hand goes to his forehead, rubbing above his eyebrows a bit. "I like getting things for the people I care about." Like his friends and family. As she pulls it out, the corner of his mouth tugs into a smile, eyes shifting downwards. "Wasn't sure you'd like it. Only thing I knew you wanted I already got for you— glad you like it."

This is going to end badly, isn't it? He doesn't even notice Manny giving him a death-glare.

"(He always dresses like that? As in…/always,/ always?)" Manny smirks a little bit, unable to hide a laugh as he shaking his head, watching the interaction between Peter and Elena. Then…that silence. Manny's mind wraps around the phrase repeatedly: 'Like I always do.' WHAT?!?!

And … THAT is when Manny's self-control falters. Sure, he can handle his sister using his full name. He can handle a bit of patronization. But that protective bit of Manny toward his sister cracks, and a string of extremely fast-paced Spanish flashes toward Elena, the only word repeated too often is "Siempre? /Siempre/?" Yes, Manny is protective of his sister. Yes, he does feel like Elena's hiding something from him. And no, he's not going to shut up until or unless Elena can prove to him what she's saying his true, he's NOT going to stop the argument.

Peter's words don't help. 'People I care about'. 'I already got you the only thing I knew you wanted'. Manny finds himself not even moving at this point, just…staring, silently. With Manny, though, the phrase "staring holes through someone" is given a brand new meaning…and that might be proven soon.

Poor Elena. She can't even -sit- one moment and enjoy the fact that someone got her something awesome. Chewing on her bottom lip softly, she looks over at him. "It wasn't too expensive, was it?" she asks a little worriedly. "I mean, I do like it…..I -love- it, but I know you don't really…" She knows he doesn't really depend too much on his family for funds anymore, or at least that was what he had told her before. But for the life of her she can't stop smiling. It's rare that she gets nice things from anyone, not certainly something this beautiful. After a pause, she laughs. "Yeah…I'm pretty bad at that, huh?" she tells Peter with a grin. "Not being able to tell anyone what I really want. I guess in retrospective I'm pretty difficult to shop for, even if this isn't the first time you've gotten me something."

She hasn't even opened it yet to hear the song within. Instead, she reaches out so she could link her hand with his and squeeze warmly.

And then? Manny flips out. She turns around and stares at her little brother. And then, she blurts out, because she can't help it. "What the hell is -wrong with you-?" English, this time. But she can't help it, she's growing a little irate, and a little concerned.
You paged Manuel with 'There. She -touched- him XD'

"No, it was on sale, don't worry about it," Peter says, waving his hand a bit. Of course to him 'on sale' might still be quite expensive for a gift. "I got a pay check from the bookstore before the whole thing happened. So it's fine, really." The squeeze of his hand is returned, and the other hand goes down to touch the other side as well, briefly cupping her hand between his. "Yeah— you're not easy to shop for at all." Though he /did/ remember her favorite color after a conversation over balloon flowers.

"Went looking for household decorations, paper weights or statuettes— you've seen my apartment. I like that stuff. But the music box— Know you like music, and I've seen you wear some jewelry. Figured it'd be put to good use."

But— there's something going on? After a moment, he lets the extra hand drop, frowning at the girl's brother. Is this to do with all that Spanish? Words he doesn't recognize? What's 'siempre'? He even tries to repeat it, "Siempre?" Too bad he doesn't quite pronounce the vowels right.

Despite his sister's preference for English, whether it be on purpose or not, Manny sticks to Spanish, "(What's wrong with /me?/ How you gonna explain to Papa how this guy knows you so fuckin' well, Ella?)" Yeah, remember Peter's ability to read tone? Elena's snapping on him turned Manny's tone from somewhat protective to very…very pissed.

The flurry of Spanish lasts for a little while before Manny gives up, staring a hole through Peter…in this case, literally. The fire in Manny's belly, so to speak, might be felt by the younger Petrelli brother, a heartburn-esque feeling stirring as Manny's eyes flash red for only a moment, the teen's eyes never once leaving Peter, albeit through slitted lids.

The following pose has not been approved for all audiences.

As those flashing eyes fall on him, Peter feels a pain not unlike a sudden case of heartburn— and stomach cramping— and muscle weakness— all at the same time. The hand holding Elena's shakes, until it suddenly jerks back away from her as he stumbles away a few quick steps. Almost as if he's afraid of sharing this pain with her, unsure what's causing it— but knowing that if anything it feels like all the times he died— happening very, very slowly.

The pain explodes in his lungs next, as he gasps for air, letting out a yell that— if people missed the yelling between the two siblings, they shouldn't miss this part. The yell is cut off by a cough, blood dripping down the corner of his mouth, before he suddenly falls over, a cracking sound predating a liquidy gasp for air as he tries to breathe through the rot. Since his body isn't getting enough air, there's really no fear of him screaming too much longer, as he weakly thrashes about on the floor, a wet and painful sound erupting from his mouth between garggled gasps.

Staring up at the ceiling, with his regeneration unable to keep up with everything that's happening to his body, it doesn't take long at all for him to just stare— having suffocated on his own blood, insides rotting from the inside out. He might have even broken a few bones in the fall from the cracking sound.

Protective brother wins round one.

She knew that her brother had killed someone once. It had been a long time ago, and it had been an accident. Yet another dark secret that plagued this hard- up family. When Manny yells at her, Elena rounds on him, gritting her teeth and is about to retort when she feels the hand against hers shake, quiver, and wrench away from her. The sudden motion distracts her from her brother, whirling around to stare as Peter staggers further into the living room. Her brother's eyes….she thought she saw it flash red, for a moment.

And then, Death follows in swift wings.

She stares at the dead body of Peter Petrelli on her floor.

Panic wells within her, at first. She could feel the shriek rise in her throat, choking down her other words. But this moment is fleeting…..she remembers that so long as Manny didn't try to kill his brain, Peter can come back from this.

What is left….is seething rage.

She whirls around. All self-control usually reined in by her love for her mostly-misunderstood brother spirals into a typhoon of figurative fire. "WHAT DID YOU DO?!!!!" she screams. Oh, she was so mad - for a brief moment, the momentary scarlet tinge from her brother's eyes is reflected on her own. Not scarlet….but gold, ringed with the same scarlet, the dark irises fading away to reveal the vibrant, fiery color for just a moment. Blood is proven, once again, to be thicker than water.

She drops down on her knees, reaching out to cradle Peter's corpse towards her. He wasn't breathing. There was blood frothed into his mouth, his eyes were staring at nothing. She takes a deep breath to calm herself, and leans forward to make a cursory examination, fingertips brushing over his forehead, sliding down to the side of his neck. No pulse, but that was expected. But there was no blood from the nose, where it would've indicated that he took some damage to his brain. Calm. She had to stay calm.

"Water," she snarls towards Manny, glaring at him from narrowed eyes. "From the kitchen. You're lucky you haven't killed him permanently."

Permanently?

Whether Manny knows what he did or not isn't clear. What is clear is this was certainly NOT what he was INTENDING to do. The look of shock, of near horror on the face of the younger Gomez sibling tells the story as he finds himself stepping back, eyes wide open as he just…stares at the fallen Petrelli brother. Attentive eyes would find Manny's bottom lip quivering, the normally Ramon-esque stoic expression of the teen not present by any stretch of the imagination. The only motion the teen shows is an occasional twitch, his eyes flickering for a moment or his finger moving just a little bit. Otherwise…it's like Manny is nothing more than a statue, perfectly still.

And then, memories rush back; remembering the last time he saw this, remembering what happened last time these symptoms happened together. When Manny finally finds his voice, he finds himself flowing from English to Spanish and back, not even realizing it, "(What the fuck just happened…) I-I wasn't… (I didn't do anything to him…)" The kid stumbles backwards, looking more than a little weak in the knees. Whereas Manny's normally steeled to most emotions, this is one thing he never intended to see again, let alone in the presence of his sister—or on someone she cares about, whether he approves of it or not. "(God…fuck, fuck, fuck, what the HELL…I wasn't…I didn't do anything…I swear…)" Despite his sister's command, Manny can't move any direction but back, away from what he's already caused once before…

Peter Petrelli is currently dead. Move along.

It is this inopportune time that the door opens to admit the non-Gomez resident of the apartment. Bad timing? Definitely. To say Desiree doesn't know what she's walking into would be inaccurate, however. She's just… too late. The door doesn't only open, it /flies/ open, and she barrels in, her face already distraught and her eyes alight with something akin to panic. The way she spills inside very much suggests that she's been running. This is one of the very rare times she's not in a dress, just black slacks and a brown shirt with some stab at leopard print. But never mind that. There's someone dead on the floor.

"There was— a thing— with string and the gauze and— I saw— I saw it, I got here as fast as I could and—" Whatever she saw, it can't prepare her for what she sees now. She flattens herself against the door, closing it softly, her body moving in slow motion against her will. "…oh sweet /Jesus/…"

"You didn't do anything? YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING?" Elena whirls towards Manny, her eyes flashing and her lips peeled back in a snarl. She was -shaking-, she was so pissed, clutching onto Peter's corpse tightly and willing him to come back quickly. She's never seen him DIE before, die as in not breathing. It was a little traumatic, despite the fact that she knows he can come back from it. "TU ES UNO -STUPIDO- Y MENCO CABRON!" Oh god. She was -really- angry when she's throwing -those- words out there. And her brother isn't even trying to do anything to fix what he did. "(I saw you, Manuel! You and your damned Death Eyes!)" She didn't even know he HAD Death Eyes until today. If this were…..if it had killed anything else she would've been fascinated, as a budding scientist. But this was -Peter-. Peter Petrelli. Someone she cared about. Someone she…

The door flies open, and she looks up, her body freezing and clutching at the murder victim with her knees on the floor. "D….Dezi…" she croaks, her voice hoarse from her yelling. "….could…." She takes a deep breath, and in a show of stony willpower, pulls her expression together into something less angry, and something more determined. "Could you get some water from the kitchen, please? And a towel?"

She throws another -glare- at Manny. He -knows- what he can do. Half the time he even relished it. There was no excuse. -NONE-!

If there /is/ an excuse, it's the fact that Manny truly had no idea he could actively control that PARTICULAR part of his abilities. The fear, the shock in Manny's eyes remains, despite his sister rather audibly scolding him. And then…well…that's when his mind snaps. The willpower that kept Manny from freaking before breaks. The willpower that keeps him respectful, if rebellious, of his sister breaks. And the string of words that follows, well…to say the least, Manny's not proud of what he says to his sister.

"(DAMMIT, ELENA,)" Full name? "(YOU THINK I /REALLY/ WANTED THIS FUCKING THING TO HAPPEN AGAIN? It's already happened once, and HOW LONG was it? HOW LONG WAS IT before I could look in a FUCKING mirror again? HOW LONG WAS IT BEFORE STEPPING OUTSIDE WAS AN OPTION!?)" Manny? Caring? Shocking, to those who know him well. "(What the FUCK do you want me to do, Elena? It was a fucking mistake, I didn't know I could even control this…thing!)" At least…not this aspect of it.

Desiree doesn't react right away. She can't. She just stands there, her back pressed against the door, her fingers clutching at the flat, wooden surface it provides. Wide, horrified hazel eyes stare at the form of Peter; it's not the human injury that brings her horror. She just came back from a recertification class for being a paramedic. Injury, blood, she can handle. This— the gruesomeness of it, the … murder? Was it accidental? It had to be. It just had to. As the heated Spanish flies from Manny, she flinches until her eyes squeeze shut. After a few moments, she rushes into the kitchen, holding up a hand at the side of her face as if to shield the nearby scene from view. A glass from the cupboard, water from the tap, a dishtowel - she brings them to Elena. She pointedly does not look at Manuel. "He's—?" she looks down and back up at Elena, questioning as if to say 'you know he's dead, right?'.

"(YOU CAN FUCKING CALM DOWN AND ACCEPT THE FACT THAT WHAT YOU HAVE IS -DANGEROUS- AND TIED TO YOUR THOUGHTS. You KNOW that, Manuel! You can't just freely think ill of the people around you! Not with what you have! And don't even GIVE me the 'I didn't know that' shit! You're SMARTER than anyone gives you credit for!)" And Elena knows this, because she had been around when Manny's report cards in early life had come in. Unlike Elena, who had to work at being smart, Manny just…-naturally- was. At least, until he decided to quit giving a damn about school after their mother died. Tears sting her eyes, but they don't fall - she was too damned stubborn for that. She was too angry and frustrated to give anyone the satisfaction of crying over her brother and what HE JUST DID.

She takes the towel from Dezi, letting the woman hold the glass as she lifts Peter's head up with her other hand to wipe the blood from his mouth. It flowed freely, as if his insides had been liquified and there was nowhere else to go but out from his throat. Hence the water, it's going to taste nasty whenever he wakes up.

"He is," she tells Dezi, her voice muttered and the tone grim. "But don't worry too much. He'll be back. Manny got lucky this time around." She fixes her brother with that angry stare again. "Peter can regenerate. He can be killed, but not permanently."

Unless you take off his head. But Elena doesn't broadcast that particular weakness.

Elena's scolding…quite frankly, Manny can't take it at this point. Those steps backwards are replaced with foreward steps, approaching his sister. His temper flared and Elena's reaction not helping, Manny decidedly does NOT calm down. He's not screaming, anymore, but at this point, any sense of honor he had with his sister is forfeit.

"(Fine, Elena. You want to paint me like the bad guy here, for a fucking mistake? Fine.)" A smirk crosses Manny's lips, more along the lines of a sneer as he looks down at his sister, "(You want to get on me for something that happened beyond my control? Fine.)"

And then…Manny switches to English. Freely. "But remember who taught me how to USE this." He loves his sister. He really does. But in his mind, he's only at fault as much as his teacher; and in this case, his teacher is the sister currently kneeling on the ground, holding a corpse that she knows will regenerate. As quickly as he stepped forward, he stepped back, looking decidedly less concerned after his sister's…screaming at him. He told her the truth, she freaked; so now, Manny's going to give a slightly … opinionated perspective.

"He can … come back?" Desiree looks down once more at the body of Peter, and though she believes Elena in an instant, or at least /wants/ to, her shaken voice is nevertheless incredulous. "That's i-impossible. No one can come back from death like that," she says, shaking her head. "Not like that, unless you're-I mean, unless you're like Jesus or somethin'."

She's still shaking her head, when places the glass of water on a small table and listens - how can she not; the neighbours can probably hear the Gomez kids at this point - when Manny switches to English. She hears him loud and clear, squares her shoulders, and attempts to stubbornly plant herself between Elena and Manuel. "Manny," she begins on an undeniably stern note, raising a hand. "Now, I know you made his happen somehow. Somehow, I don't really understand and I don't know that I wanna, but YOU," she points, "Are gonna calm-the-goddamn-down! You really wanna get your temper goin' again? Hmm? Kill someone else? Your sister?" She reaches out; her intent is gentle, in contrast, as is the suggestion that follows. "Let's let Elena try'n help Peter, take a little walk. Yeah? Cool off."

If he intended to set her off like a firecracker, it doesn't happen. Elena narrows her eyes dangerously at Manny, her jaw clenching at how tight she's holding it to keep herself from screaming even more at her younger brother. Finally, after a few more moments of silence, she speaks up, and her voice is cold. As if she's talking to a stranger. "You're right," she hisses. "I did teach you how to use it, but not so you could hurt people. I taught you so you could -control- it. Which clearly -didn't- happen here. You want to throw that back at me, Manuel? -Really-? What's next? Going to tell me I didn't make you learn it faster? Better? Was I supposed to ignore the fact that you just -killed someone- and go easy on you and try to make you feel better about it? This kind of mistake? This mistake I'm supposed to look past? Is fucking -permanent- if it was someone else. So PARDON ME IF I'M JUST A -LITTLE BIT IRATE-!" The last is finished off in a yell, her temper exploding once again. Because she can't help it.

At least she isn't mentally backhanding him across the face. Because in her case, that would actually hurt.

When Dezi stands up and figuratively places herself between the two, feuding siblings, she takes a deep breath, closing her eyes. And then, she'll turn to tend to Peter, her hand shaking still as she wipes more blood off him. She was that mad. She was -so angry-, she shivered.

The dead Petrelli on the floor? As Elena predicted (or suspected) he doesn't stay dead long. Not Jesus, though, honest. He comes back faster. It hasn't even been a day. Just about five minutes of yelling.

Peter's eyes didn't even have a chance to glaze over before he suddenly coughs and spasms, body working hard to fix the damage that's been done to him, but there's so much in his lungs that needs to get removed that the coughing is required. As is sitting up before he suffocates on his own blood again. There's somemore blood running down from his mouth, and as he sits up suddenly and coughs into his hand, there's more than just liquid left behind as his body tries to expell the broken pieces of his organs so that the rest can rebuild. His other hand grips at Elena.

He's alive! But from the twist of his face, the sound of his breathing, the sound of his cough… he's not completely better just yet. His body has a lot of catching up to do. And God does it hurt.

Despite Desiree's attempts at calming him down, Elena's reaction just sets Manny off more. The Gomez house has probably been through enough abuse from Manny's temper, but he does it again. Pivoting toward a wall, Manny pushes his foot forward as hard his can, the dry wall crumbling in some places. Turning back to his sister, all he says is, "No. I don't think you meant it to hurt anyone. But watch your morals. You think you're free to do as you please, whether you say it or not. You're free to take me out, send whatever you want into people's bodies…" Manny pauses for a second, taking a breath to remain calmish, despite his…rant.

"You feel like you're free to do as you please. You play with people's bodies. Papa's free to dive into people's minds. So, somehow, it's up to you to judge what's best for other people? Stop and think before you condemn me, Elena…You think what you can do can't take someone out? Think what you can do can't put someone down? You're fooling yourself. If you'd taken me down ten seconds earlier, you'd have a brother in the hospital at best, and you know it."

Manny's piece spoken, he looks to Desiree. Nodding a little, the kid steps toward the door, thumbs tucked into his pockets. He doesn't look back; he can't. As much as he loves and respects his sister, any more contact with her right now and something bad might happen that Manny would truly regret. And while Manny can live with the memory of what's happened so far, there's one person who he couldn't live with hurting: that, of course, being his sister, his silent sense of honor toward his sister preventing even the thought from entering his head.

When Peter coughs and - look at that! - comes to life, Desiree looks swiftly over her shoulder in awe. Her mouth opens in a gape and closes a few times. Ultimately, she flattens her palm to her chest in relief - and prioritizes. "Alright, come on Manny, c'mon now," she drawls in a quiet and soothing voice to the young man, touching a hand to his back to lead him away from the scene of… whatever it is. She looks unsurely back at Elena and Peter, worry lines every which way. Determined, leaves them be. "You just come with me. We'll get this worked out!" she manages a very brief and hesitant smile in Manuel's direction. "Let's give 'Lena some space. You're jus' lucky that boy over there's some kinda miracle." She opens the unlocked door to the apartment to, hopefully, lead Manny out for some fresh air and distance.

"If I wanted to do all those things, I could. All the time. Every day," Elena rebutts with the quickness of someone who's mind was used to engaging words. "The difference between me and you, Manuel, is that I -don't-." Manuel may have said his piece, but his sister's own was short, and cuts to the quick. It wasn't about judging, it was about -what happened- because her brother got careless. So if he was trying to make her feel guilt over getting insanely mad at him over this, it wasn't working. So when he strides towards the door, her face is expressionless. At the very least, she isn't heartless enough to actually -snort- at him for his spiel.

This is the part where Peter awakens. She turns her attention from her brother as the young man sits up, gasping and hacking and clutching at her. She does her best to support him, a hand on his back and patting gently, her control stretching out to at the very least take away some of the excrutiating pain. She didn't need to sense pain to take it away, she knew it was there, it was written all over his face.

"Easy…" she tells him softly. "Just try to breathe, okay?" She'll apologize to him about her brother later, but right now all of her efforts are expended over making sure he was, for the most part, recovering from the powers FUBAR her own sibling had just put her through. Oh god. How the hell does one APOLOGIZE for something like this? 'I'm sorry, Peter. I'm sorry my brother just killed you for getting the wrong idea.'

Though there's a lot going on around him, Peter's too preoccupied with the pain of his body rebuilding his organs and clearing his lungs that he doesn't really notice Desiree and Manuel moving to leave. And he'd never heard the arguing going on. But he does hear her telling him to take it easy. And getting rid of the pain. With the pain gone, he's more weezing instead of choking, so breathing comes easier and easier— even though he has rather bloody brown and red bits on his hand that definitely aren't just liquid. Coughing up his own lung? Yeah, part of it. The part that couldn't just regenerate on it's own. What needed to get expelled so his body could fix itself.

Now he's going to have to go home and change, too. "'m okay," he manages to get out rather hoarsely. Now he's okay. Just give him a few more minutes and he'll be as good as new. "Water?" he asks, because, as she expected, this tastes /terrible/. She can wash away the pain, can she turn off his taste buds?

When the door closes, the exhaustion returns, Elena rubbing her eyes with her fingertips. But she ignores everything else for the time being. She pushes the towel in Peter's hand so he can clean off his hands, and leaves him sitting on the floor while she moves for the table where Dezi had left the glass of water. Picking it up, she drops on one knee on the floor, and hands it to him. "Here. Slowly - I don't know how….put together you are on the inside as of yet," she says. Because for all she knows, his stomach hasn't stopped….regrowing? Regenerating? She didn't know. But part of her was miserable - she didn't want Dezi to see all of that. The fact that the family was fraught with their own problems was something she usually kept at a down-low. But ….with her living in their apartment, it was bound to happen.

She waits for Peter to pull himself together, literally and figuratively. She won't force him to talk, she just waits patiently while she tries to expel the rest of her anger out of his body. Finally, she speaks up, once she's sure Peter can carry on a conversation. "How are you feeling?" she asks quietly. And then…she exhales. "Oh Peter, I'm so sorry. It's….my brother…" Oh god. Not again. She doesn't -want- to tell him just -why- he reacted the way he did. "What he can do is pretty dangerous and it typically manifests when he's upset. I've been trying to get him to control it, but…." She shakes her head. "I'm so, so, so, so sorry."

And after a pause, she takes a deep breath. "I should take you home." She doesn't say it, but Peter was a mess.

Slowly. Honestly, he wants to swish and spit right about now to get rid of all of it anyway. Wiping his hands off with the towel, he gets rid of what he's already coughed up, and then moves to try and stand, only getting as far as his knees before a new flash of pain bursts through. "…I think I broke a few ribs when I fell," he murmurs, holding the glass of water and suffering through a single sip for the time being. The sip goes down, but doesn't get rid of the taste. "It's okay— really— he's a teenager. You'd told me he was dangerous…" And he'd failed to remember this fact that tried to stay away. For all he knows, he did this to himself, or did something to make the kid do it. Either way, he doesn't seem to blame him.

He knows what it's like to have dangerous abilities that can hurt those around him if he loses control of his emotions. He knows all too well. Almost took out half the city when he lost control of his emotions while punching Sylar in the face.

"Yeah— getting back to the apartment might be— good idea. I— need to use your bathroom first." Keeping his hand on the glass, he braces himself until he gets to his feet, waits for instruction on the bathroom, before he stumbles that way, to rinse and spit a bunch of time, and wash the blood off his face. Still some on his nice clothes, but at least not as glaringly obvious by the time he finishes. And by the time he steps back out— his body will have had a chance to fix most of the damage, so he can at least walk normal, and no longer sounds like he's breathing through an straw.

"Okay," Elena says softly, and lets him go to the bathroom. Glancing down at her blood-caked hands, she sighs. At least she's desensitized to the sight of a lot of it in her hands now. Not like she hasn't been before, but for it to happen with some sort of regularity was disturbing. So she stands up and moves to the kitchen since the one bathroom in the apartment is occupied, washing the blood off and splashing her face with some of the water. Once she pats her face dry with a paper towel, and tossing it in the trash, she moves to her room after picking up her music box from the table, closing the door behind her.

She opens it again once she's done changing into a fresh, baby tee and a pair of jeans. Her feet, she stuffs in a pair of flat, comfortable moccasins. Dragging her hair from her face, she pulls it together at the nape of her neck into a loose ponytail, securing it with a hair tie and looking at her face in the mirror.

She looks so….so -tired-.

"Ugh," she grumps, glancing down at the music box that she had set on her dresser. Running her fingertip lightly on the carved design on the lid, she lifts it up absently, hearing the light tune stream out from the mechanism within. The tiny, lingering notes of 'Beautiful Dreamer' fill the room.

Dropping tiredly on the chair in front of it, she props her chin on her hand and absently listens as she waits.

Cleaned up, and no longer tasting his own rottened insides— or the bile from the times he threw up a few times in the toilet— Peter knocks on the door to her bedroom, hearing the soft tune from the music box he gave her and figuring that is where he went. He cleaned up after himself in the bathroom, and avoided using their towels. In fact, he has a towel in hand that he's carrying with him, that's the wrong color for this house. Looks like he's so self consious about making a mess, he called his own towel into his hand to clean up a majority of what he'd done to the bathroom.

"Sorry…" He says once he knows he won't be walking in on her in an indecent state, looking in the door and looking serious and regretful. "I cleaned up after myself. Feeling a lot better too— Can probably make it back to my apartment on my own." There's a glance down the hallway, as he's avoiding stepping inside her room. A woman's room is a sanctuary. One he's not about to enter uninvited. Especially when her protective brother tried to kill him.

"Your brother leave while I was… out?" Dead being more accurate.

Well the bedroom door was open, so when his knuckles rap on the doorframe, Elena looks up at him, and she smiles, though it's a little strained on the edges. "I was just listening," she explains - like he didn't know, reaching up to close the lid gently on the box and standing up. Looking him over, concern softens her features. However, when he tells her he feels a little better, she looks relieved. "Good. Good…" she breathes. "The last thing we all need is you back in the hospital again," she says, standing up and sliding her hands in her pockets.

With the door as open as it is, he can clearly see her room - and it's mostly decorated by three things: Books, awards, and pictures. There are plenty of the latter, and mostly plastered around the frame of her mirror. The Wall of Overachievement is set up on the wall adjacent to her bed - certificates, medals, and trophies she's accumulated over the years from middle school to high school, and they weren't all Academic. And the books - god the books. How can someone so young have so many, and how the hell did she find space for them all? When it came to education, and the social arena that came with it, the young woman seems to have made the most of it. Now that she was in college….god knows what she'll do there.

"Yeah, he did. Dezi dragged him out for a walk." She rakes a hand through her hair. "She saw me and Manny fighting once, in a vision. She said it was pretty serious, so she's determined to keep it from happening." Now that Peter knows what her brother could do, he can probably understand why Dezi was so concerned.

She takes a step towards the door, toe-to-toe with him. "It's no trouble, it's the least I can do," she says, in terms of seeing him home. "Seriously….besides….I feel really bad about what happened."

"Don't feel bad— I'm fine. Just— glad Desiree was here to look out for you— when did she get here?" How long was he out of things? Didn't feel too long, but at least he's back, which is the important part. The idea of Elena and Manuel fighting, considering what the boy did to him… Peter doesn't like that at all. He didn't even have a chance to fight it off and correct what was happening to him. His regen couldn't keep up. Maybe she's better at her powers and could knock the boy out before he killed her, but— the damage…

"Didn't mean to cause you two to fight…" There's a sudden ironic sounding laugh, before he tucks the towel into his dress jacket pocket. Now he knows how she felt, when she tried to stay away from him to protect him. He gets the idea that Manuel got the wrong idea, somewhat like Elle had gotten the wrong idea. It's eerie—

Glancing at the wall of achievements over her shoulder, his mouth twists into a hint of a smile, and he nods. "That— doesn't surprise me. You got more achedemic awards than Nathan did— and I thought he had too many." A hand reaches up to gesture at the wall, and then touches her cheek before he pulls back and steps back into the hallway. "If you insist on seeing me home, you better call a cab." Walking from Queens to where he lives is pretty much impossible anyway. The cab would have been required no matter what they might have wanted. Just this way she'd be coming with him.

"It's okay…" Elena tugs absently on her ponytail. "Truth be told, this isn't the first time Manny and I have had a disagreement. We don't exactly hold back on one another. As different as we are, our tempers are rather similar. Regrettably." A blush tinges on her cheeks. "I'm actually pretty glad you didn't see how mad I was….." Because whenever she got mad, it got ugly, and for some reason she didn't exactly relish the thought of Peter seeing that side of her.

She glances at the wall, Elena blinking at it, and then? She laughs - for the first time today and since what happened. "The wall is full because I didn't have a lot of friends," she says with a rueful little smile. "Growing up anyway. I was in an entirely different demographic after middle school, and when you're by yourself most of the time, you kind of tend to find things that would occupy your time, so…." She winks at Peter. "Nathan probably had less because he might've actually had a life during middle school and high school." Yes, Peter, she was a loser in high school with no friends, or very few of them. But that seems to have changed now. "And Dezi came running in right after you went down. She….was shocked, and she didn't believe me when I said you'd be back. Now she does."

The touch on her cheek is welcome, and she gives him a small smile. She reaches out to grab her satchel from the doorknob, and steps out with him, closing the door behind her. "Come on, we can wait for one outside."

Peter Petrelli's Apartment, New York City

The cab ride is uneventful, and quick - New York isn't that big of a city when you have a vehicle, it's just the traffic that gets in the way. Considering it isn't rush hour yet, cabbing it was relatively easy. Stepping out of the cab and paying for it, Elena ends up following Peter in his apartment building, slinging her bag across her shoulder and hip as she goes. "Was Nathan able to visit you and tell you about Jaden's random costume party?" she says, falling into a lighter topic as she follows. And upon saying that, there is a grin, slowly forming on her mouth.

Why?

Because she has pictures.

"Nathan had most of his awards because he had a life during high school and middle school. His academic achievements were more in the area of public speaking and group work— business and law— those kinds of things. I think he cowered in terror at the idea of a science fair— unless it involved studying people's reactions to things."

A politican through and through.

Peter can't help but grin at the mention of poor Desiree, though he also looks sheepish at the same time. Dying isn't easy, you know. Not easy at all… Once they get over to his apartment, he unlocks the door, bends down immediately to catch Snowy, who has been rather happy to see him since the incident. "I completely forgot about that." Dying does that, right? "Elle and Nathan came to visit me right after I woke up. Elle brought up the party— which Nathan tried to avoid talking about. But he /did/ let slip that you happen to have incriminating photographs, since you're Mr. Cain's PR person."

Gesturing her inside, he puts down the puppy and locks up the door carefully, before he sheds his blood stained jacket. He'll leave the other clothes on for now, though they'll need to be changed eventually too.

"Already born to sway people into his way of thinking, huh?" Elena says with a quirky grin, stepping inside and stretching her arms out for Snowy for some puppy kisses. "Hey buddy, how are you?" she murmurs, biting back a laugh when the puppy licks at her face. She sets her down gently after, and she pulls her bag off her to hang it up in a hook. "But that explains a lot, actually, about your brother. He can smile, and people will follow him." She doesn't say, however, that this -particular phenomenon- has happened to her. She's already embarassed enough today.

When Peter mentions Nathan let it slip that she had photographs, she gives him a broad smile. "Oh diiiiiiiiiiid heeeeeeeee?" she says, in a tone that essentially told him she was about to cause some trouble. She digs into her bag, and pulls out a familiar-looking cameravidphone, waving it at him.

"I haven't emptied the drive out yet," she says. "But I do have incriminating pictures of your brother in 80's Glam Rock Glory………..and your sister-in -law exploring a secret life as a furry." REVENGE. REVENGE FOR THE CHICKEN SUIT FIASCO. Karma was a blessed, blessed thing.

"Our father was a lawyer— Nathan went that way too. The politican thing only came later. After our father died." Always formal when he mentions their dad, Peter steps over to the laptop and opens it up and turns it on, letting it load so that he can see these pictures. "Heidi in a lion suit— yeah, I heard about that, too. And Elle said she was in a Princess Leia slavegirl costume." There's a hint of regret, possibly even guilt, when he talks about what his girlfriend's costume had been. "Looking forward to seeing what Nathan looked like, though. He hadn't even had big hair when he was alive in the 80s— though he'd also been in the Navy. Worst I remember him having is a mullet," he says with a hint of a smile, which isn't quite the same as big hair. "I actually have almost all the family pictures," he says, glancing towards the closet which is closed off, where most of his belongings that isn't on bookshelves or on one of the desks happens to be.

"Oh do you? Maybe we can add these in," Elena says with a grin, moving over and dropping heavily on the couch. She can't help it, she was pretty exhausted. She starts accessing the photo folder she had set aside in the jPhone for the party pictures. "Believe me when I say the morning after churned out the -best- issue of the EvoSoft newsletter ever. There were so many pictures….I promised your brother I would never release these to the press. But I never said anything about not releasing them to his own brother." She can't stop grinning, plus this helped to distract her from what's going on at the moment.

She accesses the folder, and whenever Pete moves closer, she'll show him. And there they were, in full Glam Rock glory. There's a picture of Nathan with the 80s hair, the eyeliner and the HUGE aviator glasses. He's even got a lime-green guitar with him. And next to him? Is Jack, with the wig, and the lipstick and the eyeliner. They both look absolutely HORRIFIED in the picture. And after that, there are others: Nathan with Heidi in the lion costume with his arm around her, Jack dancing with Mara Damaris dressed as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd. There's a picture of Jack gesturing at his crotch with both hands as he yells at a Care Bear….and the crotch looks like it's got a less-than-three on it. And then, there's Nathan, arguing with a squat, and very pink Care Bear, drink in hand and looking serious about it.

There's a picture of Dezi dressed as the Fairy Godmother, Jaden and Jane as Roger and Jessica Rabbit - she hadn't managed to catch the two Princess Leias, but there's Gene as Spiderman, and R2 dressed as a pimp with a purple fur coat, a feathered hat, and a pimp cane.

The sight of all the pictures makes Peter smile more than a little, even laughing at most of the pictures involving people he knows well, though it's not quite as genuine as it'd been in some of the past incidents. Maybe because he's a little disappointed at no Princess Leia slavegirl, or because there's no clue what Elena might have been wearing— unless she was just playing the role of camera girl. Which is entirely possible. "Won't tell Nathan. Mind copying that into a folder on my desk top? I'd love to have them," he says, before he moves away from the computer to step towards the closet, when he wrenches open and looks up at the top shelfing, where his boxes are. "When I got settled in at home, Nathan mentioned wanting to buy Heidi and the boys a puppy. Monty broke his arm, right? Well he's wanting to give them something— Took him shopping at the pet store."

While he says this, he reaches up and pulls down one box, which he carries over to the coffee table, before going back for a second one. He's been meaning to look through these for years. He has one of Heidi dressing her kids up in Halloween costumes. But nothing quite so funny. Not in the least. "He picked out a rottweiler puppy. I talked him into getting two of them. They were down to two— brothers, and— seemed a shame to seperate them just because one was slightly bigger and won the play fighting." Which had been his brother's reasoning. With the last box laid down, he shoves the closet closed again after pulling Snowy back.

Or maybe because he just got -killed by her brother-. How traumatizing was that? To die and come back to life every time? Still, Elena tries, and she grins, giving him a mock salute and hopping off the couch. "You got it," she says, bluetoothing the folder into his computer should he have the capability. Sometimes it was good to have a father who worked in the electronics business - at the very least she was able when it came to technology. She looks at Peter curiously, however, even after she copies the folder into his hard drive with a few clicks of the jPhone's buttons. And when that's done, she shifts the phone back into her bag….she wonders what's in those boxes?

As she busies herself putting away the jPhone, a small ringtone bursts to life all of a sudden from her pocket. It was John Williams's Raiders theme, popularized by the Indiana Jones movies. She pulls out her more familiar, cherry-red phone and checks the LCD screen and what she sees causes her to lift her brows, and then frown. Sending a quick text, she shoves it back in her pocket. "What are those?" she asks, plopping back on the couch in front of the boxes.

When she hears the puppy stories, she blinks. "Wait…Monty broke his arm??" she says, her jaw dropping open. "-How-?" Aw, the poor kid. And then, the puppies story. She smiles. "So you convinced him to take two, huh?" she says, her smile getting bigger around the edges. She can't help it. It was so….Peter. "You gave him the eyes, didn't you?" she asks with a laugh.

Might be difficult to do that on his computer, but if she knows how— it's easier. Peter's not a technology expert, even though he does have a little more techsavvy lately than he'd been before. Might be a side effect of having met Gene— though who knows for sure, right? He's not building R2D2 or anything. If she can't, then she can always burn him a CD of it, like she'd done with the video that they recorded. Speaking of which… He had added a new video or two to his private passworded folder. One happens to be titled cluckcluck. At the ringtone, he glances towards her phone, raising his eyebrows.

Snowy also has a few friend, which she may notice. There's a large stuffed white dog laying on the floor in the corner near one of the bookshelves. The puppy waltzes over and curls up next to it. He'd had it before the coma, so she might have noticed it before, too.

"Don't know all the details. Apparently something to do with a firehose— and someone liquifying it. Heidi and Nathan are trying to decide how much to tell the boys. Cause Monty's a smart kid. He realizes that something wasn't right with the hose that broke his arm. Not normal."

"And I wasn't the only one. The other puppy was too. Made sense. Two sons, two dogs, right? Keeps them from fighting over it." He'd given a legal argument, while also holding his brother's arm and giving him the eyes. He settles down on the couch as well, pulling open one of the boxes and checking to see which one, before passing the shoebox over. "They're the family pictures. I've been meaning to put them in an album for years— but never found the time. This one is Nathan, Heidi, and the boys." Cute family. The happier days. Pre wheelchair, all.

If she knew Peter had Gene's ability, that would've made it easier on her. Truth be told she was a little concerned with testing the Haitian Pills on Gene. But his abilities were internel - the effects were only visible after he was finished piecing together a new invention. And that could be anything - she needs to find a level ABOVE genius to prove to Gene that he was one of them……the only way she can conceivably prove that is if she used the pills to suppress his genius and see if he could still do his magic with the drug in his system. However if Peter managed to absorb that ability, that would mean that the ability has to exist in the first place for him to absorb it, removing any need to use the pills entirely. Alas, she wasn't a telepath like her father.

She smiles briefly when Snowy curls up with the large, white dog. At least she has a friend. However when Peter details what happened to Monty, she nods. "She was a little worried about that," she confesses. "When and how to tell her boys. I thought she could get away with waiting for a few years until they…if they show. The basic block that grants people these abilities are recessive, meaning the children of parents who are both evolved will probably have abilities too. However if it's just one parent….Heidi would need to be a carrier to affect both Simon and Monty. They might even grow up normal, but it's my opinion that at least -one- of them will develop abilities. She's the mother, though….I just wish this could be easier for her."

She looks over at him and smiles. "That makes sense," she agrees. "Besides….I've spent time with the boys before, Simon tends to be…well. He takes after Nate, I thought. Monty's more like Heidi. More cooperative than dominant. Plus I think a puppy would definitely cheer him up if he had his arm broken." She leans in a bit, and she smiles, reaching out to hold the picture on one end. "Looks like this was taken before Heidi's accident…" she states. ….looks like Heidi told her about that. "They look so happy." The last is said wistfully.

And Peter's not even sure he absorbed anything either. Just noticed he suddenly understands his computer a lot better than he should. No building of robots for this man. He's just not inclined in that direction, even without the ability he may, or may not, have absorbed.

"Yeah— she's pretty concerned about it. I— mentioned to her that people need to stop finding out on accident. Guess we should've figured with the influx of people like us in the city… the boys would see something sooner or later." Just like Heidi eventually saw something, well before Nathan had been ready to tell her. "It's up to them what they decide to tell the kids. I think Heidi decided to tell them about people like us— but leave out that Nathan has abilities. She's afraid they'll end up bragging about it at school." And thus get in trouble.

"Yeah— Simon takes after Nathan. Older son syndrome. In some ways he's Nathan's favorite too." Which makes him even more like Nathan. Not that parents are supposed to have a favorite. They usually do… "The accident was a year ago. Right after I graduated from passed my test to become a nurse— they were heading home from my party— Also a couple days before our father commited suicide." There's a twitch in his eye as he says that, though she should know why.

He reaches in, trying to find somemore pictures and ends up with a box of— him. No cow-suit pictures, but these pictures are definitely him. The smile's the same. The older he is in them, the easier he is to recognize. Apparently he'd sorted them before putting them away. He tries to put this particular box away so he can reach for a different one.

"….your father killed himself?" Elena says, her eyes rounding a bit. While she knew Arthur Petrelli had died a while back, she had absolutely no idea it was because of that. Then again, she should have been able to deduce how. He had mentioned that his father was a manic depressive. Heidi had a sad look on her face whenever she mentioned him, and kept insisting she was a good man. While greatly perceptive, she somehow missed this one. Still, the story sounds awfully familiar….except in this case, this actually was a suicide. Or was it? One never really knew anymore. At least, she didn't.

But she is familiar with Heidi's misgivings - that was the very reason why she had been so hesitant to tell her sons about Nathan. Elena shakes her head. One tragedy after the next. She's suddenly reminded of the Kennedy clan. Then again, it seemed to be that way for most political families.

As he puts away one box to reach for the other one, she blinks. "What's in this one?" she asks, reaching for the box that was put away while Peter was distracted in pulling out another one. She pulls it towards her, and looks down its contents. And then, she grins. "Is this the Peter box?" she asks with a laugh, catching sight of the first few pictures at the top.

"That's the story— course before that one he'd died of a heart attack," Peter admits, shaking his head a bit and showing that, just as she has missgivings, so does he. Once there's a lie told, it's hard to believe what comes after if the second story seems to have an agenda just as much as the first one. There are a few things in favor of the suicide, considering the situation and the timing, with everything that'd been going on, but still… "We may never know what actually happened."

And then… she spots 'the Peter Box'. He stops reaching down lower for another small box and then sighs before saying, "Yeah, those're me." Since she already reached for it, and has it in hand, he'd feel really silly trying to wrench it away. "The ones with me and Nathan are in another box." It's almost as if he's hoping to delay her looking through them, though he knows that won't really happen. What he pulls out into his lap, to distract himself, ends up being the 'group' photos. Not just his family, but also friends of the family. He's not really paying attention, though, watching her carefully.

"You won't find the cow suit in there." He got rid of that one a long time ago. Apparently Nathan kept a copy. The bastard.

"………..busted!" Elena exclaims, with a laugh. "God, I was wondering if I would find evidence of sheer hilarity in one of these," she teases. "You're no fun. What's Heidi supposed to show your future fiancee now? I thought the showing of embarassing childhood photographs was a pre-wedding tradition?" She does wink at him to let him know she's just teasing though, but she does lean back, fingers drifting over the few photographs on top. One seems to catch his eye though, and she sliders her digits underneath the edges to pull it out, and she can't help the smile quirking on her lips. "Were you always so babyfaced?" she wonders out loud, scrutinizing the photograph, before showing it to him.

It's a younger Peter, dressed in a tux. She can't help the smile on her face though, that's getting a little bigger. "Was this prom?" She can't help it, she looks at it again and she laughs. "Aw, Peter. You look so cute! How young were you? 17? 18?" She can't tell whether it was the Junior Prom or the Senior Prom….though honestly the only one that counts is the latter. She wouldn't really know, she missed hers when senior year rolled around.

She takes the box she has, and hands it towards Peter, smiling at him cheerfully. "Tell me a story," she says. "Come on, I've told you tons. It's your turn."

"They're not embarassing," Peter murmurs under his breath, after a moment of looking relatively stunned by what she's saying. As if he hadn't considered for an instant this strange tradition she's mentioning. "What you showed me earlier— /that/ is embarassing. Still don't even know what your outfit to the party had been. Doubt you were in the chicken suit… But you didn't talk about yourself." There's a long sigh before he nods.

"Eighteen. It was my Senior Prom. Heidi took that one, I think, after making sure I was all put together." They'd been married for a couple years at that point, his older sister who teased him for many years. And then she dumps the box on him and demands a story. "…I don't— know what you want to hear." There's signs of confusion and in some ways frustration, as he looks down into the box, unsure what would make a good story at all. He looks at her, as if hoping she'll take back this request, but then sighs and looks away, trying to think of something— anything.

Reaching into the box, he flips through some pictures before pulling out one. It's him. Not really recognizable. He's far too young to make that easy on her. Only his smile— lopsided and flawed— and his eyes are anywhere near the same. And he's wearing a cowboy outfit. "This was the Halloween after the cow costume. I was nine." That's not a story, is it? But he's already moving on, picking out a picture of an older him, far more recognizable, maybe fifteen, holding a dog, a small one, that looks like a chihuahua. "This was my dog. Nathan always called him MacGyver. Said it was because he'd always find a way into rooms he wasn't supposed to be in, but it was mostly because Nathan often forgets to close the door behind him. His real name was Gyro, but after a while everyone started to call him Mac, so I stopped trying to remind them." That's a bit more of a story.

"Not all stories have to be embarassing to be entertaining," Elena says simply, dragging one of the couch pillows from the side and draping her arms around it in a loose hug. "Sometimes it's good enough to show someone else some….I don't know. Historical color." What? "I mean you weren't always a nurse, and you weren't always Peter 'Practically Indestructible' Petrelli. At some point you were a kid, middle school student….in high school." She rests her chin on top of the pillow. "I miss that actually," she says absently. "Now that I think about it. Those childhood problems that pale in comparison to the stuff we're wading in now."

She laughs, and shakes her head at what he says about not knowing what she wants to hear. "And you're the mindreader," she jests. "You know you don't really have to cater to what you think I want. You're your own person. You're supposed to be telling me stuff that you feel free to tell me. I'm not holding a gun to your head." For a guy who's been wanting her to open up to him more, he seems to have some misgivings too when it came to himself. She doesn't believe that up to this point, nothing -interesting- or goofy or colorful has ever happened to him ever.

When he finally figures something out, she blinks. "…..what? That's….so adorable!" She can't help it. She's grinning broadly again, taking the photograph from him. "Actually….now that you brought it up…." She winks at him. "I donned up as Jim West. You know, from Wild Wild West? Will Smith's movie with Kevin Kline? Spurs, badge and everything. It was fun, some of the guests were calling me Marshall. Nothing skimpy for me, I'm afraid….there were plenty of girls around with the fishnets and the garters." And then, she switches to a horribly exagerrated Western accent. "Ahnd despaht thur best eh-furts, Jack an' Nate were still th'purdiest dames 'ere evah was."

At Gyro's picture, she grins. "You know I always thought you to be a big dog kind of guy," she says. But the Macgyver story makes her laugh. "MacGyver, or Houdini, but I suppose if you're a dog you need some serious engineering mojo to get into rooms like that. I think that's awesome. Then again, I loved the show growing up." She's a NERD OKAY? A TV show about an adventuring nerd would of course appeal to her.

"I've seen you dressed up as a skimpy cowgirl," Peter reminds, giving her a sideways grin before he reaches back into the pile of pictures for a /second/ photograph with a dog. This one is beside a Christmas Tree, and the dog has a ribbon around it's neck. Larger than Gyro, this dog is black, but not as large as she seems to think he'd like. He's older, but not much older than the last picture. Maybe a little before his Prom picture. "Nathan was the big dog person. Though he stopped owning any after he went off to college. Around the time I was born he had a dog named Hercules. Huge dog. Not mean, but— always liked smaller dogs. Mom gave me Roscoe after Gyro disappeared— MacGyvered his way right out of the house in town. A birthday-Christmas present. Bigger, but — still not big dog. Nathan never liked him, either. Had to give him up when I quit law school."

Actually his life /had/ been pretty boring, as he would consider. He's told her plenty of stories about the later years— but he can't really think his own life had been all that interesting until he started making his own decisions about things. "A lot of people would forget my birthday. Almost never had a seperate party. Usually whatever I got for Christmas was about what I'd get for my birthday." But…

He shifts through a few pictures, to find the one he's wanting to talk about. When he does, it's a young him sitting in front of a birthday cake. "It was my sixth birthday. The first one without Nathan. Didn't come home that year. Mom— decided to make me feel better by having the cook make me a cake, and giving it to me on my birthday instead of just celebrating at Christmas. Just me and her. Dad wasn't even there. He was busy— something to do with one of his clients, probably." Maybe even Linderman.

"-Hey-," Elena says, giving him a mock-glower before she bursts out laughing. "I've been hoping YOU would forget about that," she says with a laugh, curling her fingers into a fist and tapping it lightly on his shoulder. When another picture comes up, she scrutinizes the image presented to her. "Aw, I love big dogs. Maybe once I finally get a place of my own I'll get one. I want one that outweighs me. Something that can pass off as furniture," she jokes. "And his name's Roscoe?" It was a good name for a dog! But when he tells her Gyro disappeared, her jaw drops open. "What? -Really-? And he never came home? That's pretty sad……seems to live up to his moniker though."

She frowns. "What do you mean a lot of people forgot?" By the way her expression was, with a furrowed brow and a scrunched up look, she deems this unacceptable. She would have to tell Elle about it, maybe at least his girlfriend would celebrate the day of his birth with him if no one else would. "I mean I know it's close to Christmas, but….I mean, that just means you ought to get twice the presents." And the Petrellis were -rich-. They had no excuse. Still, it bothered her a bit that no one…

When he talks about his mother, she smiles, and takes the picture. Six year old Peter Ethan Petrelli. "But she stayed with you? Aw, Peter…" She scrutinizes the picture. While he seemed to be smiling the flawed smile, she could detect the sadness around the eyes. "I find it remarkable, actually," she observes contemplatively. "How the two of you could be so far apart by age and yet be so close. Best friends-like even."

"You're just lucky I haven't shared it with anyone," Peter says, sending a nudge in her direction, pushing on her shoulder. "Don't worry about it, I'm just teasing you. We both know it won't actually happen, right?" She insists rather loudly that she would never, ever become a stripper. And now that she knows the possibility might be there— there's less chance she'd ever allow it, right? He'd like to think so. Her brother would kill him (again) if he knew that Peter had a painting of his sister as a stripper in his closet, rolled up in a tube that he hopes no one will ever find.

"Yeah. His name was Roscoe. No idea what happened to Gyro. We lived in the city, so…" There's a lot of taxis out there. And best case scenerio would be someone else found him and took him in. He'll hope for that one.

"Oh, I got pretty good presents, but— just didn't have my own parties. This was kind of a singular incident." It's not much of an excuse, but he seems to have accepted it as a finality. "Even when I moved out I never bothered to throw my own parties… People are so busy around Christmas, so— if I did have one on the twenty-third, it was stylized as a Christmas party already." More likely that his friends from classes or work would show up, by his opinion. Closest thing he'd had to a birthday party last year, though… had been a cup full of pills and an electric shock from his current girlfriend.

"We've always been close, yeah." He shifts the box he's holding and puts it away, to look at the one it's been sitting on top of this whole time. Group pictures. It includes pictures of him and Nathan, but also pictures of their parents— and their parents friends. One big picture under most of the smaller ones might catch an eye, but he's really looking for pictures of him and his brother. And their mother. Their father— is not seen in any of them. He's shifting through them when he spots the picture near the bottom, and he pulls it out. Tweleve people. Linderman. Elle's father. Charles. He doesn't recognize most of them, but— He frowns at it quietly.

There is a gasp. "Well I would hope so because you -promised me- you won't show it to anyone," Elena says with a laugh, pushing back lightly on his shoulder after the nudge. "And hell no. It would never happen. Never ever ever ever." She lifts her chin defiantly. "I mean, here I am, trying to make sure I get straight As next year….and I think I might take summer classes after that, too. See if I can't graduate earlier. I plan on being a candidate for the dual MD/PhD program in NYU before I graduate. It would be cool if I could get there by 21." She grins over at Peter. "God, I sound like a nerd but to be a dual MD/doctoral candidate by the time I'm legally allowed to drink? That's something, right? Then maybe MIT will give me a second look." MIT? Wasn't that in Massachusetts? Did anyone even know she applied there? "I'd have to write a thesis for entry though…I'll need a good idea."

She smiles. "Well I think that should change this year," she says, curling her legs underneath her and turning to face Peter more fully. "Have a dual birthday/Christmas party. Instead of a Christmas Pudding, we can have a birthday cake. Hell, I'll make you one if it comes down to it. Why does it have to be just one celebration when it can be both? I mean….see? You have the Christmas lights set up already." She gestures to his apartment where the lights are set up, and she grins at him cheekily.

She picks up a batch from the box - more people she doesn't know, though she smiles at more pictures of Peter and Nathan. "You know Heidi told me she couldn't look at you for a time because…..you reminded her of Nate," she says. "I guess in….well, see, look at this one. I see the family resemblance better here." She shows him the photograph. "Same damned Petrelli smile." She pauses when he stops, and frowns at a picture. Curious, she shifts closer, her gold-flecked eyes casting down upon the image of twelve people. She doesn't know any of them.

"What's up?" she asks.

"Don't they have good programs right here in New York?" Peter speaks up softly, though he sounds rather tentative. As if he's not sure how to deal with this revelation. "Pity you can't write a thesis on all of this. Though guess you can still find a scientific— and normal— way to explain some of the revelations you make with your own abilities." It'd just be more difficult in some ways, going in reverse. Getting to the discovery and then having to find a way to explain it to normal people.

Glancing over his shoulder, he notes the Christmas lights. "Actually I just forgot to take them down. Looks like mom didn't do it while I was gone, either. But if you think people'd show up, I'll plan something when it gets closer. It's not even fall yet." Much less Winter. There's plenty of time to plan something, and— does he seem uncomfortable with this? Maybe a little. But there's other things on his mind.

"We don't have the same smile," he disagrees with her decision. "Nathan's smile is smarmy." And his is lopsided and flawed. There's nothing at all uneven with Nathan's unless he's being smirky. But there's another picture to talk about. When she asks him, he sighs and holds it out, pointing with his free hand. "This is my father and my mom. And— this is Charles Deveaux, my patient. Simone's dad. And this is Mr. Linderman." There's a longer pause, before he gestures towards the balding man with glasses. "And this is Bob Bishop— Elle's dad. Current leader of the Company."

That might come as quite the surprise. He gives her a moment to absorb that before he adds on. "I recognized him when they brought me in. He'd been a friend of my parents, just like Charles— and Mr. Linderman."

"Lots. New York University actually has one of the best medical schools in the country," Elena says, giving Peter a small smile. "I just…" She leans back against the backrest of the couch and looks up at the ceiling, a pensive expression on her face. "I'm actually quite glad they gave a full scholarship to get on the same campus, and so close to home besides. But….I wanted to see how high I could reach back in high school." She shrugs. "There was a mentality back in the Academy that if your parents weren't someone, you weren't going to get far. So I….sometime during my senior year I chanced it and applied to MIT. They've got more Nobel Prize winners working as professors there than any other campus in the country, unless I want to go overseas for grad school. I figured if I was working this hard, I was going to go to the best school I could find. And MIT is….well. Top shelf." She looks over at Peter, and smiles at him. "And I got in. I got -in-, Peter. I could've been butting heads with some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century."

She pauses, and she exhales. "Unfortunately MIT could only offer me a partial scholarship. Even with it, the expense was just…too great. And I didn't want to burden Papa further, so…..I took the next best thing. So…here I am in New York. Unless another grand opportunity presents itself I don't think I'd ever leave it. For a while anyway."

At the last, the talk about Nathan distracts her from any regrets she could've felt on staying, and she bursts out in genuine, surprised laughter. "-Smarmy -?" she repeats, staring at him incredulously and her eyes bright with mirth. "I don't know…if he showed his teeth on occasion. But he doesn't have the same angle." She watches his face for a moment, tilting her head on one side to examine closely. "Yeah, see…? One side turns down just a little."

She blinks at him as he identifies the people in the photograph, and she gently takes it from him to look at the picture. "……Elle must take after her mother then in terms of looks," she observes dryly, quietly observing the mousy, bi-spectacled Bob Bishop. Peter's mother and father… "Your mom looks so refined…" she murmurs. Stately. What she would expect from the likes of Vidalia Lancaster. "And that's Linderm— " She pauses, and she looks at Peter. "So you have….Linderman, some guy who heals and happened to heal Heidi to get her out of her wheelchair, and the head of the Company in the same room as your parents?" She also examines the Japanese guy in the picture, standing close to Mrs. Petrelli. "….didn't….wasn't Hiro's father a Company founder too? Is that him?"

"Congratulations on getting in." Peter says, sounding genuine, though at the same time he's quiet about it. The picture he's holding may have upset him too much to really give her the full smile. Or perhaps he's not too sure how to respond to this. "At least you got in on your own merit, though. You're a smart young woman. I'm sure you'll be able to do anything that you want to do." Of course her reapplying to MIT for a later program…

"It does not. Now you're just looking for it," he says, giving a hint of a smirk before he says, "I have nerve damage— it's a birth defect." And one that apparently his regen didn't fix for him. Maybe he'd have to have his whole face removed for that to happen, or maybe it'd reset to his current state. He has scars too, from his younger years, so maybe regen doesn't fix past mistakes. "Nathan doesn't have that." So therefor, in his mind, he can't possibly have the same smile.

But— the Founders. Or at least a Founder and maybe other Founders. "Maybe. I don't know. I— might've seen him before, but I don't really remember. Didn't really know Charles until I started working for him. Knew my mom knew him— half why he hired me. And I know that Linderman… Charles. Mom. Mr. Bishop. They all knew about the Bomb." And he's speculated that his dad must have known too.

"I don't know." If it is… what would that mean about his own family? With a sigh, he drops the pictures back into the boxes and starts to put them away. "I should let you get home."

She laughs. "Thanks, but that was a year ago or so," Elena says with a grin. "Ah well, it's not like I regret my decision for staying. I love New York. Besides, if I didn't stay, I wouldn't have….." She pauses, and she smiles at him brightly. "Well, needless to say my life wouldn't be as interesting as it is now." She would rather die early than live a dull, unhappy life. Because what was the use of living if you can't feel alive. It was from a James Bond movie she saw a while back, but she found the philosophy sound and in some ways adopted it as her own. At the quiet tone, she furrows her brows at him. There he was, those moods shifting again. She honestly didn't know how to read him sometimes…

"You make it sound as if you're horribly disfigured," she jokes, when he tells her its a birth defect, but when he insists again that he doesn't look like Nathan in any way, she just grins at his smirk. In a way, it was a typical little brother thing to say. But when he explains the connections, she purses her lips. "…everything's connected, huh…" she says softly, blowing a lock of hair from her eyes. She stands up, and she won't stay longer than she has to - so she helps him put away the boxes.

"I guess you were right," she says, after the last box is stowed away. "Secrets do run deep in your family, if that's the case." She turns to meet his eyes solemnly, but she doesn't say anything else after that.

Living is different than being alive. Peter would agree with that. Recently he tried to explain that to someone else, but it didn't work out quite that way. The person he was talking to took it as an insult, instead of advice. "No, it wouldn't be as interesting." They wouldn't have met each other if she'd gone off to MIT. Not to mention all the other things that have happened to her. There's a lot.

"Never said I was horribly disfigured, just that our smiles are different." He wouldn't say they look /nothing/ alike. Just not in that. But yes, everything is connected— and their family has so many secrets. "Every family has secrets, just— mine seems to have more than most." It would seem that way. But… he stands up, putting the boxes together for transportation back into the closet, before he holds out a hand to his friend. "You should get home before your brother thinks I stole you away." And tracks him down to kill him again! Not that he would, but— there's other reasons. "And I planned to stop in and see Elle tonight. We haven't spent much time together since the coma." That might explain why he was dressed up. Not just for her, or because he often dresses like that, but because he intended to go on a date afterwards.

"Thanks for showing me the pictures of Nathan and Heidi from the party. Hope I'm awake for the next party Jaden has."

Plenty. She could write a book and it would probably be stuck in the Fiction section of Barnes and Noble. Elena steps towards where she ditched her jacket and her bag, putting both on and glancing over at him. "Well, if anything, even if you were I'm pretty sure your regenerative abilities would take care of it - I find it curious that it hasn't though…" She pauses, suddenly struck by an epiphany. She looks over at Peter - that same expression that he knows very well by now. The look that typically hits her face when she's struck by something she hadn't realized before.

Could it be his regenerative abilities have a limit?

If so, what -was- the limit? Maybe it was of a lower threshold than she thought….. she was under this impression all this while that he can regenerate from anything so long as his head wasn't cut off. But what if that wasn't the case? The limit might actually be a little lower than that. Her eyes widen just a bit.

"Peter, your— " She pauses, and she smiles. Life first. Science later. "Right. I'll get out of your way - I wouldn't want to keep you." She'll tell him some other time. "Besides." She winks at him. "Girlfriend time is important." ….well she wouldn't really -know- considering she's never been in a relationship. But she can assume -logically- that it's important. So she takes a step forward and opens the door. "And you're welcome. It was the least I can do." She sighs. "I'm really sorry about what Manny did. I should've just told you what he actually could do."

She takes a step out. "I'll see you later, Peter. Take care of yourself."

There's a hint of a smile as she falls into science-mind. Peter can't really blame her for that. It's part of who she is. He follows right behind her as she moves towards the door, before he adds, "You're not in my way, just…" Girlfriend time. Still, he glances down as she says this, shifting on his feet. There's a regretful look on his eyes, but he does finally nod, reaching out to touch her shoulder and hold her there for a moment when he does look up.

"It's not your fault. Don't even think it was his fault. Know what it's like to have a power capable of killing millions. Hopefully this'll teach him to keep control of his emotions." And if not— well— then maybe it is his fault. But right now it's just a teenager who lost control of himself. "Don't be too mad at him, okay? I know why you are— just— give him the benifit of the doubt. He's a teenage boy." The hand drops away, after giving a final squeeze, and he steps outside of the apartment to pull her into a brief hug, running his hand along her back, before stepping back away again.

"I'll see you later."

"Oh I know," Elena laughs, looking over at him. "But you've got places to be," she says, turning to face him. "And…I'm not going home anyway, while I'm here. I don't think I can come back to the apartment for a while, in case Manny's come back." She needed to breathe, and not be mad when she comes back. "I need to talk to Gene for a while anyway, and he always seems so lonely being cooped up in the lab all the time….so I think I'll visit him." Her hand comes up, to adjust his shirt collar with both hands and straightening it up. "At least you didn't get any blood on the shirt….it all went on your jacket, I think," she observes - not really seeing any flecks of blood on the fabric.

She glances to the side and she sighs. "I don't know if he was -completely- faultless," she tells him. "He's been conscious of his powers way before I have ever been with mine. By all rights his control should be better than mine at this point - but it's not. And since I've taught him how it works, he -knows- better than to….think ill of people like that. Not when his powers are so closely tied to his thoughts. Anyway….he's my brother. I should try and talk to him." But not now. Not while she's mad.

She gives him a small smile. "I'll try not to," she says, feeling the squeeze on his shoulder, and when he pulls her in to hug her, her own arms curl around him, and she exhales a sigh. She relaxes - he could feel it, like the brief gesture is enough to soothe the strain away, though the passage of his palm down her spine would reveal more knots than she really ought to have.

"You too," she murmurs, stepping back and reaching up a hand, her thumb brushing on the side of his mouth where his smile hooks down just a tad. She grins. "Now that you've pointed it out….it does make your smile pretty unique. I kinda like it."

She takes a step back, and turns to head for the elevators.

At the brushing of her thumb across the flawed portion of his mouth, Peter smiles in that lopsided way, hand raising up briefly to touch her wrist before she pulls it away all the way. And then he does the only thing he really can. He watches her go. There's a long pause and it isn't until she's almost out of sight that he calls out, "Elena." He'll wait until she stops, a look of hesitation on his face before he finally continues, "When I said I liked my eyes best— on the video— I lied." From the way he's smirking, she might have an idea about what he really likes best about himself. And since she likes it too— it somehow makes it easier to admit it would seem.

With a final nod, he steps back through his door and closes it, looking back towards his puppy who's jumped up from her nap to wag her tail expectantly. "…Don't worry, I like you too."

She stops when her name is called, Elena looking over her shoulder at him. "Hm?" she says, turning back around just a bit. And when he smirks, she -laughs-. "Well, I learn something new every day. Seems to me you -can- crack a good one when you want to, Peter Ethan." She grins at him at that, and then, steps into the elevator, the double doors closing behind her.

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