2007-06-06: The Shadow Of The Beast


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Restless over Drake's news, Elena winds up at Peter's apartment to visit…and ends up spilling just how upset she is over the development.

Date It Happened: June 6, 2007

The Shadow of the Beast

Peter Petrelli's Apartment, Somewhere in New York City

Summer showers. Thanks to Global Warming (which might kill them all before the tornado), it was pouring buckets outside.

She tried walking, she tried napping. She tried hopping to the library and get something new to read, but nothing was working. Elena tried dance, and tried to listen to angry music, but that didn't help either. After wandering around aimlessly for a few hours, she didn't even realize the skies had begun to darken until the flash of lightning overhead had alerted her that it was going to rain, and she was going to get caught in it if she didn't act fast enough. Finally, she gives up. Besides…it was just rain, and she had a hood.

A few moments later, she finds herself at a familiar address, looking up the building and wondering just how the hell she got there. Might as well say hello, and besides….her brother almost killed Peter Petrelli. ….well, not almost. Did. Given her epiphany the other day, she wondered if he was actually -whole-, now that she suspected there was a limit in his regenerative abilities. So up she goes, through the lobby and into the elevators, and going up all the way to the 14th floor.

Stepping out, she pulls the soaked hood down her head, stuffing her hands in her pockets and shuffling down the hallway to door 1407. Pausing for a bit, she knocks on the door softly and waits. As she does, she can't help but rub her face with her hand, flicking away drops of rain from the outside.

With the downpour, Peter's opting to stay inside, his puppy lazying out on one of the chairs in the front room, curled up as if to keep warm. The apartment's air conditioning keeps the heat of the summer out, but the storms dropped the temperature outside enough that it might be cooler than necessarily in the top floor apartment. Dressed far more casually than the last time she saw him, with jeans and tennis shoes and layered white shirts, the owner of the apartment is sitting on the couch sorting through those pictures again. The knock causes him to drop them back into the box, closing it up, and he approaches the door to peek through.

The sight of a rain speckled Elena causes him to blink, before he starts to undo the deadbolts, and the safety chain, and then finally open the door and holding it open. There's a tweak of ears from the chair, but the puppy doesn't even bother to open her eyes and yawn, so there's no impending white bullet of fur to worry about.

"Elena. Did you get caught in the rain?" In some ways he likes the rain, but in other ways… it reminds him of some things. But there's a look in her eyes, an expression on her face. Could just be the rain, but… "Are you okay?"

When the door opens, Elena folds her arms behind her back and flashes Peter a bright smile - though considering how well he knows the expression, he knows it's put on for his benefit. "Hi!" she says perkily. "Are you busy?" But afterwards, when he asks her if she's okay, cutting to the quick, the smile fades, and she glances a bit to the side, her toe scuffing absently on the floor outside his door.

"I…uh. Sort of," she says after a pause, answering his rain question. "I was just wandering around aimlessly - I was feeling a little restless, you know? And then— " There is a pause, and her shoulders sag a little bit. Her eyes drop down to the floor for a little bit, and then she takes a deep breath, and flashes him a determined expression. "I got a text from Drake last night. He's back in New York," she tells him. But if that was the case, she should be happy, right? "But….it….he's…"

THAT was what's really bothering her, like the usual, she doesn't know how to deal - at least, not when the shock is so fresh. She blinks rapidly as moisture pools into her eyes. But to try and keep them from spilling, she forces herself to move on. "He's…..he's Company now. Something about…a half- brother…his father not really being….it…..he said he was going to…."

"No, I'm not busy," Peter answers almost immediately, not too fast, but with no hesitation either. The rain'll keep him inside for a couple hours most likely, though he may have to face it if he decides to go out and see his girlfriend tonight. But right now— he's definitely not in a hurry to go anywhere. The door held open, he watches her quietly, waiting to see why the expression in her eyes looks that way, why her smile seems put on just for him. Forced and fake. When her eyes drop, he leans against the door frame a bit, as if trying to get lower, until her eyes flash back up towards him. And the moisture starts to form.

Remembering the call last night, he nods, but it's what she says, who it was from, and why she's tearing up, that makes him move forward into the hall and pull her inside. A hand against her back, he gets her inside the apartment before closing the door and locking only a single lock. "Elena— It'll be okay." There's no promise with that. The Company isn't notorious for making everything okay when they get involved in someone's life.

"Come on— you should sit down. And take off your coat." It's damp. May be summer, but that doesn't make the cold any less dangerous if she wants to avoid a bug.

She is pulled into the apartment, Elena's feet shuffling after and the door closing. She doesn't say much of anything, all her willpower expended on not crying. But she does what he asks, shedding the hoodie from her shoulders and hanging it up neatly. She's dressed in her usual tanktop underneath, flecks of moisture on the golden sheen of her skin. He was a nurse, so she knows that sitting around in a wet jacket-thing was just tempting a summer bug to breach her immune system. But she keeps her back to him as she does - perhaps to compose herself further.

Everything will be okay.

She sinks on the couch, and glances down at her fingers. When she speaks up again, it's hollow. "I don't know if I ought to be sad or angry," she mutters. "Maybe both. I mean….I don't…I shouldn't be so judgmental anyway. I mean, you've thought about it. Papa thought about it, I just….he's -sixteen-, Peter. Just looking at his face today, I know I wouldn't be able to….not this time. Especially now that he's found out his dead -father- was an agent, and now his -half brother- is an agent. And he feels he could ferret information in to -me- about everything if he just…. and I'm just…just MAD! Maybe a little bit." She sweeps her hand to the side. "Why would he come back HERE when he was running in the first place from THEM only to come back and JOIN UP with the people he was running from?! Now we can't even…..he can't come through my window like he used to or…"

She buries her face in her hands. Tears soak into her skin. She takes a deep breath. "It's been cruel, I think. Lately… not even just -losing- people I care about just….it's always on the -verge-. Cass almost dying. You almost dying. Drake -almost- going over. It's never just one way or another, it's - always- the middle. It's just…I'm so tired and….."

"You're right— he's only sixteen, but he put himself into situations where the Company had to notice him," Peter explains, looking rather worried as she settles down on the couch. He doesn't kneel in front of her right away, detouring into the bedroom to grab a folded up blanket, before he does return. Unfolding the fleese, he wraps it around her shoulders and puts his hands on her arms, kneeling a bit before her, and nearly sitting on the coffee table. "Maybe they found him. It seems a little abrupt that he came back and joined up with them the same day. It could be he didn't have a choice."

There's no way to really know for sure. He doesn't know what the Company might have done to track him down. Elle didn't leave town, so it wasn't her, but he was in a coma for a week. Maybe she did travel and he doesn't know it— or maybe this Company Agent half brother found him.

As she lowers her head to cry, he gestures and the table behind him slides further away so he can fully kneel in front of her, reaching up to touch her covered face, brushing her hair back. "We're here. Least this way you'll know if he's okay. It's better than him being in the run, hiding from everything. You'll know where he is— you might be able to see him." On the verge is more stressful in some ways— but better in others. "Cass is still here." And for the final reassurance, he shifts to get up onto the couch and put a hand around her shoulder, like the blanket. "I'm still here too."

"It's lunacy!" Elena pulls her hands away from her face to stare at him, shaking her head. "It's -crazy-. He's a kid. He's just a kid. And god knows…..does he even have any -proof- this guy is his half-brother? Did he even show him his father's file to prove he was Company? And now's such a bad time….now's such a bad time to join up with them. I know it, someone told me. It's…" She takes a deep breath, and curls a fist to wipe her eyes defiantly, so no one else would have to do it for her. "I know…" she says, in a calmer voice. "That he's only doing this because he wants to know about his father. I just don't think…"

There was no way to know for sure. Peter was right in that. God was the only one who knew what was Truth, and what wasn't anymore. Her face scrunches up in frustration. In all of her perceptiveness and intellect, she couldn't….she doubted her ability now to parse out the differences.

At the arm around her shoulder and the final words, she closes her eyes and turns her face against his shoulder, feeling moisture leave her eyes and soak through his shirt. Her own hand comes up to curl around his neck, body twisting to the side slightly. She doesn't sob, at least, but there's the occasional sniffle, the ragged breath. Her fingers grip the fabric of his shirt tightly.

"We don't know, Elena— neither can he. The Company would've been going after him whether they had a half-brother or not," Peter says, admiting this reluctantly. When he'd heard the young man ran off, that he'd still be running around in costume saving the day, he knew they'd still be after him. They need to protect the secret, and this boy didn't just know about the Company, but he showed no restraint in using his abilities to rescue people. Noble a gesture as it may be, it's also highly dangerous. "Maybe this way he'll be able to keep his memories— or— I don't know." In some ways the decision is his to make. In other ways… does anyone involved in the Company in any way truly have a choice?

Right now, though… she's upset. And he's not about to push her away. Wouldn't be the first time he's had a young woman crying on his shirt— nor will it likely be the last time. Closing his eyes, he wraps his arms around her and holds her through her tears, whispering soft assurances that it's okay, but no effort to silence her or tell her to stop. In some ways he's trying to let her know it's okay to cry— while also letting her know that the terrible things will be okay.

He's willing to stay like this as long as she needs to let it all out. He's got two layers of shirt to soak up the moisture, and handkerchiefs in a box not too far away for later. Not to mention the blanket wrapped around her.

"There's no guarantee…" is all Elena says after a pause. Tears slip through now and then, but she doesn't sob. She closes her eyes, and turns her face into his collar. The blanket helps, warmth suffusing through cool skin and at the very least warding away the threat of cold. But she stays where she is - in a way she was keeping his promise to him. It was enough for him, or so he said, for her to let him know whether something was bothering her. While it wasn't her style, she did promise. It was better, much better, to keep a connection going than severing it utterly. They both know how well -that- went the last time.

The tension leaves after a few, her body sagging a touch. Her breathing is slower now, less ragged, and her eyes open again to stare a bit on the side. His breath was brushing on the top of her head just a bit.

She speaks up again once her throat has enough moisture to keep on going. "There's something evil there," she says. She believed in evil as much as she believed in God, because as the world operated on some sort of balance, one couldn't exist without the other. It was just another one of life's paradoxes. "A monster. I was told." She doesn't specify how or who, but he can probably guess who she's talking about. "I was surprised I was told that much. That there's someone who works there, but is trying to…" She falls quiet again, and saying, softly, "Elle was the first person I told. Despite everything, even after everything….I wanted her to be alert in case things go bad. I have no cause to not believe. I could've been left in the dark about it. But I wasn't. I don't even know why….when I can't even do…at least I don't think I can do anything with what I get half the time…"

"Never is," Peter says in a whispered voice, eyes remaining closed as he lowers his head against hers. The smell of her hair, fresh out of the rain, quiets him, and he continues to run his hands up and down her back, soothing, warming. Being there for each other had been the deal. Not out of debt, but because that's what close friends do. She'd been there through his coma, he'll be here through her vulnerability. Staying close, her doesn't pull back, but he does loosen his hold when she sags against him, so that she could escape his hold if she chooses.

He'll be glad when she doesn't, though not so glad to hear what she has to say next. Something evil. Bob Bishop may have been scary as hell to stand in a room with, as thoughts of murder ran through his head. But in many ways he knows that had been a over-protective and angry father, not true evil. There's a monster inside the Company.

"Knowing there's an evil within is a start, Elena. Sylar had been allowed to live more than once. Maybe… maybe this evil has something to do with that." Even if he has good reason to believe that Mr. Bishop is not going to hold back on Sylar if they manage to catch him again. "The more we know— the more people within and out who know— the more likely we'll be ready for it when we need to be."

"Yeah…" Elena says quietly. Her eyes feel sore, bloodshot. Even if she can't see it, she can feel it, but she relaxes further at least. All the while she couldn't help but find his memory remarkable when it came to her little gestures, little quirks. Like his brain was set permanently on record and he could just recall the signs, and act on them accordingly. His heartbeat is what it should be - strong and steady. It had been disconcerting not to feel it when he had been dead for a few moments the other day.

She keeps quiet at what he says, listening to him then. At least it was a start. At least it was something. But how to move on from there. She liked being able to -see- the other steps, she liked seeing the bigger picture. She liked having a plan, because having a plan meant that there could be no more excuses not to act. And she was more comfortable with acting on something than sitting on her ass waiting for something to happen. Here, she is forced to wait. Waiting was something she ….pretty much failed at usually.

"I wouldn't put it past," she whispers. "When they held….when they held my mother's killer, I thought it had been a fluke. That he managed to escape his custodians because they got careless. But it wasn't. It had been deliberate. -Orchestrated-. For some reason I don't know. I was told it was by this same person. So if anything….I know he exists. And active in Company affairs. Someone who has access, someone who knows how to get someone out of a secured compound and make it look like an accident."

She turns her face into his collar again, taking a breath, and her grip on the fabric of his shirt relaxes slowly…a gradual thing, but it does eventually. Fingers splay over it instead, the pressure more on the fingertips than the palm.

There's a lot being said that Peter hadn't known about before, and it makes him worried in more than a few ways. There's a lot going on, all the time, and they keep getting in the middle, or at the edge, of it. And this, while they're not in the middle, they are heavily involved. They both have someone they care about in harms way. And if this evil is as bad as everyone says it is… it could be far worse than they expected. As she leans into his collar, a hand slides up to her hair, soothing it back gently, and staying here, before he responds in the same whispered tones.

"I can try to find out more. But— if they're letting people go on purpose— dangerous people…" Unless of course that dangerous person happens to be him? Well, he fully expects people to do everything in their power to stop him if he's a danger once again. He'll put the gun to his head himself if he has to. The last thing he wants to do is hurt anyone.

"We'll find some way to help— to fix things without having to be on the inside…" Shifting his hand, he tries to pull her head back just enough that he can look into her face, finally opening his eyes—

And there there's a bark of to the side of the couch, a little white puppy staring eagerly up at them, shaking her tail. Can she cuddle too? Please?

Despite the serious situation, he can't help but smile, pulling his hands back carefully and starting to shift away, as if to make room for the puppy. "Do you need something to drink?"

This wasn't the way it was supposed to go. She wanted to stay -away- from the Company. Stay as far far FAR away as possible. But the harder she tries, the deeper she gets pulled in. If she was in a better state of mind, she'd make an analogy about being a sheep, and a shepherd's crook snagging her ankle and pulling her back into the herd. Elena keeps her eyes closed, feeling fingers in her hair that would've lulled her to sleep if it wasn't for the fact that she couldn't turn her brain off. There had to be something. Anything.

"I'd….actually rather you stay away from them as much as you can," she says, a hint of exasperated laughter in her tone, but not much of it. "You….don't exactly have the best relationship with them, after all. I mean everything is a risk, I just….like what Gene told me before, there's almost a duty to minimize it if people are determined to press forward."

She keeps her head where it is, until his hand shifts to lift it up and she opens her eyes on instinct to find him looking at her.

When Snowy barks, she turns her head, blinking. And then, she laughs, easing away so she could stretch out her arms and the puppy can jump into them. Animals had a great tendency to cure the doldrums, and as she scrunches up her face at the puppy kisses, she shakes her head at Peter. "No it's okay - it's getting late, and I ought to call a cab and head on home."

"Not the easiest thing to do considering who I'm dating— but I'll try to stay out of it, as long as it means we're prepared for whatever bad things are bound to happen." Evil within the Company can't lead to anything /good/.

As she accepts Snowy into her arms, Peter stands up and walks over to one of the bookshelves, opening a small box and pulling shifting through some handkerchiefs to find a red one and pull out. He's running out of handkerchiefs, actually, but one fewer for a good cause is important. While the puppy kisses may handle most woes, something to wipe the tears away on doesn't hurt either. "Here— and— I'll give you a spare umberella too. Keep you drier, less likely you'll catch a cold from wandering aimlessly."

But he's not going to stop her from leaving. Lifting an umbrella, he looks it over before nodding and handing it to her once she's close to the door and has her hoodie back on. It's not too bulky. "Don't worry about returning it. I have plenty."

She looks at the handkerchief, and she laughs, taking it. "I feel weird saying this," Elena says with a grin. "But there's almost a classic….50's thing to you." It's not a bad thing - there are values in the 50s sorely missing in the 21st century. She stands up after letting go of Snowy, and heads for the door so she can grab her hoodie, and take one of his spare umbrellas. "I'll remember to return these anyways, probably the next time I visit," she tells him.

Whenever he moves for the door to see her out, she reaches out to give him a quick hug, squeezing gently.

"Thank you," she tells him simply, pulling away and giving him a small smile. She shakes the umbrella a bit. "Give me a bit and if you look out the window you'll find me doing a Gene Kelly down your sidewalk," she jokes.

There's a laugh. "Well, I guess I am old fashioned in some ways," Peter admits, accepting the hug and returning it, before unlocking the door. He's forced to stoop down and grab Snowy before she takes advantage of the opportunity and thinks she's getting a walk. No walk right now. Maybe later. That umbrella isn't one he's going to cry over losing if she did choose not to return it, but he nods again, accepting that.

"You're welcome, Elena. I'm glad you wandered here." Aimlessly. "I'll look out one of the windows then." Reaching up to grab his puppy's paw, he forces her to give a goodbye wave, as he smiles lopsidedly. "See you later."

The puppeted gesture from the puppy causes her to laugh. Elena grins and ruffling Snowy's ears a bit. "Seeya Peter, Snowy." She turns to head for the elevators, swinging the umbrella a bit and whistling a familiar tune. She doesn't do the heels-click. At least, not yet. She'll probably do it while she's outside and do a cheesy, classic-movie dance bit about a lightpost before a cab comes by and decides that she's embarassed herself enough for one night.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License