2008-01-19: They Never Lie Down

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Meryl_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif Haitian_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: In order to bait Peter, the Company sets up a trap…

Date It Happened: 19 JANUARY 2008

They Never Lie Down


Elena's Apartment & Level 5

The past few days just seem to be getting worse and worse. Fresh from his meeting with Bob, Benjamin finds himself in downtown. With him is Meryl, after her miraculous recovery. Outside the building, he looks up at it. "Let me try and talk to her first. I .. The Gomez's are the only people outside the Company who'll still talk to me as friends." From his coat pocket, he pulls a small case out. Opening it up, he withdraws one of two syringes, "If we need to use this, we both have one. This will negate her abilities. Just in case. I don't want to have to go that far. They've been nothing but kind towards me." Which could be a bad thing as far as him carrying this out.. or a good thing. "Ready to go up, Meryl?"

—-

Meryl has absolutely no problem with the peaceful approach, and given that she's still feeling like death - and looking like death, too, which she finds really cool with these OMINOUS dark circles under her eyes and pale skin and… thinness and… stuff - she'd rather do this the easy way, but she's more than prepared to use a little force if necessary. "You're giving me a pointy object. I'm not responsible for what happens with it," she says matter-of-factly as she reaches for the other one in the case. "But yes, I'm ready. Are you going to knock on the door, or should I helpfully kick it down?"

—-

Inside the Gomez apartment, Elena is studying. Having been isolated from much of the recent events because of Peter's desire to simply just keep her out of it, she's been living her life these days as a typical student, and working for her father's company (sound familiar?) on the side. Still, the young woman is curled on the couch, a text on biology on her lap and a glass of orange juice on the side table of her couch. She isn't expecting visitors, how could she? The world has been quiet these days, on her end. Alas, that's about to change. It was inevitable. It was……destiny.

Yes, I had to break out the cheese. Cut me a break, it's been a while.

—-

Benjamin shakes his head at Meryl. "I know.. just try to keep it capped and pocketed unless we have to use it." Yes, giving Meryl sharp objects is a stupid idea. So is giving her a gun, but let's move on. "No. No kicking the door down, I'll knock." With that, he's leading the way into the building and up to Elena's door. He's oddly quiet as he tries to mentally prepare for this. Once at the door, he exhales audibly, looks one time at Meryl. Then he's facing the door again and knocking in a business-like fashion.

—-

Today Meryl is wearing a tie.

She's wearing a tie for the sole reason that she can be straightening it - professionally - as the door is answered. It's not a black tie, but one of those that would make Nathan Petrelli proud. Despite the black powersuit, the black gloves, the black shoes, her tie is startlingly yellow with lime green polkadots. Pocketing the syringe, which may in and of itself not be a brilliant idea, and making sure her sidearm is still strapped to her leg and out of sight, Meryl reaches up to straighten her tie. "I love fieldwork," she says cheerfully to Benjamin. "And your hair looks like a baboon's arse. I like it."

—-

The door opens just as the words 'baboon's arse' escapes Meryl's mouth.

This would naturally give the young woman pause. Dark, gold-flecked eyes flick from Benjamin, to Meryl, then back to Benjamin again. "…..I….don't…usually watch the Discovery Channel," she says, grinning and looking, as ever, her cheerful self. "Hi Mr. Winters, it's been a while. Who's your friend?" Her gaze moves over to Meryl. However, she takes a step back and lets the two of them enter. The apartment is nice, clean - it still has some of Nadia's stuff, though more pictures have been put up in memory of her dead friend.

—-

Benjamin is spared having to respond to Meryl's comment as Elena opens the door. He's dressed in a suit as well, winter gloves on, coat as well. Let it be said, his tie is /much/ more tasteful than Meryl's. He tries to smile at Elena, and it comes across as weak. "Hi Elena, it's been too long.. This is my work associate Madam Snot.. I mean Meryl Wolfe." There, it was an attempt to inject humor by using one of Meryl's self made nicknames. He leads his partner in at Elena's offer, waiting for her to be in the room and the door shut before he continues.

—-

Well, his hair really does look like some sort of animal's backside. A good idea would be to give Meryl access to a pair of scissors so she could 'fix' it.

Outwardly relaxed, she smiles at Elena as she steps in, and elbows Ben hard in the side as she does so. That's her secret identity! "Do you want the whole world to know?" she says with an obvious Australian accent. "Really, he's kidding. Forget he said anything." And she holds out her hand to shake Elena's. "Meryl's fine. S'good to meet you. Bingo's told me nothing about you."

—-

"….because there's…really nothing to tell?" Elena says, grinning over at Meryl as the door is shut. Okay, it might be a little bit of a lie, but still. She moves towards the kitchen then, furrowing her brows a little bit at this strange visit. "What can I do for you two? Do you want anything to drink? Ummm…..I've got juice, and some Pepsi, water?" She looks over at the agents, sliding her hands in her pockets as she waits, in case they need anything. And she looks like the typical college girl, she's got on a sweatshirt-hoodie thing over her tank top underneath, a pair of jeans, and sneakers.

—-

Benjamin mmmphs at Meryl's elbow in his side and he rubs a hand against the spot. "For starters, I was kidnapped by the Company in front of her father almost a year ago," he grimly explains for Meryl. Better to not think about how things have changed in just a year. "I wish we were here for more pleasant conversation, Elena, but I have an important favor to ask of you." Knowing his time is short, he just cuts straight to the chase. "Peter's gotten himself into trouble with us. We have evidence that he murdered someone important in our ranks." There's no need for him to define 'us' now is there? His expression is grave, and completely speaks of him wanting to do other things but this. "I don't have to ask, but I will, because I like you and your father.. but please come with us for awhile. You won't be mistreated, I won't let you be hurt. It's just important than you come away with us until we find Peter."

—-

Poor Ben. A lot of people she knows were kidnapped by the Company, and Meryl frowns. This is kind of something she already knew. And another of her good friends, Megan, was also taken forcefully. This is why Meryl tries to make her own captures relatively without incident, and she's been successful so far. Once in awhile, though…

After letting Ben tell the story, Meryl - who is suddenly all business - adds, "We don't want to hurt anyone. If we can make it seem like you were taken under force…" She eyes the apartment, narrowing her eyes. There's stuff in here that they can break, certainly. Meryl's good at that. "We think that he might come to find, well, you, and I know this is an absolutely mad way to go about a kidnapping, but you're our best link to Petrelli."

She also doesn't look as if she wants to be doing this, but her green eyes carry a certain resolve, her hand moving fractionally toward the firearm. The outline of it is visible under her coat, and this one doesn't actually have tranqs in it. It's her Beretta. "I have colouring books," she adds as an incentive.

—-

There is a pause. Elena blinks at Benjamin, uncomprehendingly. But there's no shock. Not yet. Their ranks? The Company's? She furrows her brows at him, and then at Meryl. "….I know Peter," she says slowly. "And he'd never kill anyone." She would know. He's tried before, but he always pulled back. To hear that he had managed to actually murder someone is foreign, strange. And she's not believing it without proof. However when he asks her to come with them, she furrows her brows. "….he….tells me everything. Usually. But I haven't heard about anything like this." Her fingers close over the wristwatch in her left wrist, rubbing absently on it. But it sinks in. She's a smart girl, after all. She looks between Benjamin, and then Meryl. And then, her features go from friendly to neutral. "….you want me to come with you as bait." It's not an inquiry, it's a conclusion.

And Benjamin knows her. There's no way she was going to allow that. Even if she had to do something regrettable.

Like running.

She goes on attack, and they're well within range, pain receptors moving to open up as she throws her ability on both agents. And then, whether it works or not, the athletic girl hurdles over a chair and makes a break for her bedroom, where the fire exit is.

—-

"I thought I knew him too. Apparently I didn't. We have evidence he murdered one of our senior management. I understand he's not happy with the Company, but that doesn't excuse murder." And kidnapping someone for Peter bait isn't excuseable either. So, okay, that argument goes out the window. Benjamin was prepared for this regrettable turn. He was hoping it wouldn't come to this. He lashes out with his own ability as Elena strikes with hers.. and it's good timing as he's not able to stand up so great against Elena's attack. "S-stop her!," he says through gritted teeth as he doubles over in pain he hasn't had since getting shot.

—-

It might be because she's just suffered an injury and horrible infection lately, or it might be because Elena's too busy causing Benjamin a good deal of pain, but the only thing Meryl really feels is a twinge of some sort as Ben goes down.

Man, this is so not how she wanted it to go.

As Elena takes off on foot, Meryl chases after, pushing furniture aside when she has to and jumping over that same chair. Meanwhile, she's reaching into her pocket for the syringe, uncapping it and hoping to god that she doesn't stab herself with it. Crikey.

"Y'think 'e'd tell you if he killed a man?" she asks. This is the only way they're really going to be able to catch Peter. He's not going to come to them if they ask!

If she can catch up with Elena, she'll attempt to wrap the girl in a stranglehold so she can empty the contents of the syringe into her shoulder.

—-

When Benjamin fires her power off to her, Elena doesn't even stand a chance, even as Meryl barrels after the athletic girl. She should've used a higher dose, perhaps, but she didn't want to hurt Benjamin seriously despite everything. Which would prove, as it looks like, folly. The agent's sleep ability fries her synapses, and she falls in mid-run, very much like a narcoleptic who pushes her body suddenly only for the ailment to take her. She falls, a hand slamming heavily on the hallway table and goes down. The watch on her left hand snags on the edge when she goes, the delicate, metal thing breaking apart as the slender body sprawls on the wooden floorboards leading towards her room and Nadia's room across the hall from her. She's out like a light.

—-

Something is going through Benjamin's mind through the pain and that is, 'Ramon is going to /kill/ me.' Anyone else mad about this will have to get behind the one eyed Mexican. He's shakey with the residual effects of that blast of power from Elena as he tries to stand upright once again. "Inject her anyway Meryl.. I don't know how long she'll stay out for, not with her ability," he says, trying to think through the pain without injury. "We just need to keep her from using her ability while we get her transported to holding." Fumbling in his pocket for his cellphone, he withdraws it and dials a number with some difficulty. "The package has been picked up and ready for delivery," he says into the phone before hanging up.

—-

Meryl frowns as Elena goes down. It doesn't look like she has to use the syringe after all. Setting it aside, Meryl gently turns the girl over and cradles her head. "Sorry," she mutters, and really, she always feels bad about a capture in some capacity. This one more than some, because they wouldn't have had to bring her in in the first place if it weren't for Petrelli.

Reaching for a blanket to roll under Elena's head, she lowers the girl to the floor, before injecting her with the anti-ability medicine. "She's not a package, Benjamin. Have a little heart, would you? Remember when we told you that we didn't think of you as a pet? We don't think of you as items, either." And she seems adamant on this point. Standing, Meryl cracks her neck.

"Think we should tag her here? S'always more difficult after they wake up, and you've so kindly knocker her out." As she's talking, she ever, ever so carefully reaches into the pocket where Benjamin stored the other syringe. Yes, she's trying to pick-pocket it.

—-

".. Meryl, I know that. It's what I was told to say when we got her." Yes Benji's irritable. He just had to knock out and kidnap a very soon to be ex-friend's daughter. "We can do that in the car. I'd like to get her down and back to the office.. h..hey! The gun's in my other pocket!" No, he didn't want to do the tagging up here. But it's regulation, he's got it on him anyway. He tries to playfully shoo Meryl off from his pockets. Once he's got her hands out of his pockets, he walks over to Elena, kneels, then picks her up carefully as he would a child of his own. The pain isn't forgotten, nor gone, but he's gritted his teeth and soldiered on with gunshot and stab wounds before. Although.. "Meryl, could you drive back, cause I think I'm going to pass out once I get Elena in the car."

—-

As Ben's busy with Elena, Meryl holds the other syringe up in front of her face, eyes it carefully, then uncaps it. To a casual observer, it might almost seem like she's about to give Elena another dose, just in case, and considering the girl's ability, it might be a good idea. "Mm-hm. In the car," she says, then cheerfully, "I'd love to drive!" Driving is her favourite, and so she'll follow Ben out, with the syringe still in her hand.

"And this is for being an ass. And for your hair," she says as she stabs him with it in the shoulder, and drains the contents into his system. "I had it under control. The poor girl's gonna have a bruise all over half her face. It's just a pity she's not awake right now to see this." Tossing the empty needle onto the floor of the apartment, she makes sure the door is locked, before she closes it behind them.

—-

Benjamin damn near drops Elena on his way out the door when Meryl jumps on his case. And stabs him with the syringe.. What the.. shite. The case. He feels it missing from his coat pocket. There's no real effect other than the 'ow quit it' reaction to being jabbed with a needle. "If she wakes up I'm not going to be able to put her to sleep again!" Now he's annoyed, the one weapon he's got that he's good with using.. and it's now gone for as long as that drug is in his system. Glowering at Meryl on the way down to the car with Elena in his arms, he knows she has a valid point.

—-

Later…

—-

Blackened stone and mortar litter the ground, shadowed by what few skeletal remains of what was once an immense, powerful structure have been left behind. At night, it's downright ghostly. A haunted and destroyed memory of tragedy. Primatech, Hartsdale.

Deep, deep under ground, past floor upon floor that have been cleaned up painstakingly, yet continue to crumble, is a vestige of functionality. It's a reminder of the very worst the Company has to offer. Or depending on your perspective, the very best in protection.

And this is where Elena is instructed to be brought.

Level 5. Grey walls are interspersed with empty cells. One cell window has been melted, warped. The wall, in one place, is scorched. One cell, has a light in it, dim and greenish, flickering every now and then as it runs off of an emergency generator. The simple, cold slab inside has been pillowed — for comfort. The door is open.

—-

Level 5.

If she knew how symbollic those words were, Elena would be either a little more scared, and maybe even a little flattered. When she wakes up it's with a start, jerking upwards on the cold, concrete slab where her pillowed head rests. It's dim, at least, but the light could stand to be a little better. Fingers come up, rubbing her forehead and gritting her teeth. She could feel the bruise, the cut over close to her scalp at the fall. And her watch was missing. She didn't even know the time.

When the fog of sleep clears, she sees the open door. But she doesn't move towards it yet. Her eyes roam around where she is, and she needs to be a little more awake to process what she's seeing. She tries.

She fails.

Her abilities aren't working.

"Shit," she mutters under her breath, shoving herself off the concrete and moving to the open door. But cautiously. She peers out of it carefully. Where the hell was she? What the crap is Level 5?

—-

This really isn't where Meryl wants to bring Elena, and yet she knows it's probably the best place for her. At the moment, she's inside the cell, leaning against the farthest wall in shadow, so that Elena hopefully won't see her when she awakens. "You'll be happy to know that Ben got his," Meryl says. "Just settle down for a minute, we'll try to explain. I know it's not exactly a five-star hotel, but you can be comfortable." And, as Ben said, they're not going to treat her badly.

"Honestly," she adds as she steps toward the slab. Her eyes are gentle, and she speaks quietly. "It really would have been easier if you'd come along when we asked. You can't deny that Peter's a bit of a danger. If we can get him here as quickly as possible, it'll be better for a lot of people."

She doesn't come any closer to the slab; even if Elena has no abilities at the moment, the girl could still do something unexpected. Meryl still has her sidearm on her, for example, and she's been shot enough to last her a lifetime. The last thing she needs is someone taking it from her. "We've dosed you so that you can't use your ability at the moment. I really don't want to have to do it again." And that's more of a plea than it is a threat. She really doesn't want to do it again.

—-

Benjamin really wishes there were somewhere else they could put Elena. Not that a more comfortable place will make her forgive him or anything. Yet this place.. the ruins of their former building, it's a good call. After carrying Elena into her cell, he's remained vigilant. Standing there inside, just past the open door. The first aid kit rests outside the cell where he left it after tending to the small cut he caused Elena to receive. See Meryl, he's not a total bastard. Even if he's feeling like one these days. Thanks to Meryl, he can't use his power, but it's not needed. There are other methods at play for the moment if Elena tries to fight. Seeing the young woman waking up, he lets Meryl get in her say, "I'm sorry it had to go this way. We wouldn't have taken this step if it weren't important." There's a slight look of annoyance thrown Meryl's way for her quip about him getting his. Hopefully the dose will wear off by the time he's done with paperwork and some research. "These are the best accomodations we have.. for your safety and ours. I'm sorry it's not better.." And that it's, well, creepy.

—-

Her hand flies up to the cut on her forehead, feeling the bandaid that Benjamin had applied there. Elena would jump, at the words from the shadows, but she's honestly still trying to wake up and her movements are sluggish. She watches the two of them, warily this time. "What did you two think I was going to do? Come with you quietly? I'm not about to become bait when you're trying to lure people I love into God knows whatever your Company is planning." She rakes her fingers through her hair. "I don't even know why you all think he killed somebody. And he's always been a danger….if his powers are unchecked. But you've all let him run around until now. So what's changed? Aside from the fact that the two of you think he killed somebody." Because he wouldn't. Right? Peter wouldn't.

She's waiting for answers. Explanations. Otherwise she isn't going to believe them. And even if they gave it to her, there's a chance she might not anyway. The stubborn look that Benjamin finds familiar is on her face.

"It's not like I see him too often these days either," she tells them. "I'm busy with school, work…. and ever since the Sylar thing, he's been trying to keep me away from everything." Of course, that didn't really stop THIS from happening.

—-

A tall figure blocks the doorway, moving past Benjamin and sliding into place like a shadow. He may as well be. To Elena, he's a familiar one. The Haitian, whose watchful eyes glint in the on-off, on-off light — a light which gives his skin, in particular, a strange hue. Bright-dark, bright-dark.

It's not his voice that rings out, resonant in the corridor, outside the cell. It's that of a woman. "It's all true." Sharp footsteps sound until she appears in front of the wide cell window. Mrs. Petrelli. She slips past the Haitian into the cell. In a dark brown suit jacket, classically designed with a high collar, squared shoulders, matching slacks and pearls, she's a powerful woman. "Hello, Elena," she says, as if they were meeting over brunch, not in a destroyed evolved Guantanamo. "We never did get to spend much time together."

—-

Does Meryl expect Elena to change her mind and just sit here happily? No. Meryl's been through enough captures to know that no one ever really fully accepts this. "Well, we'd hoped," Meryl admits. "Of course, I also occasionally hope for a giant, endless dish of ice cream, but that never happens, either. And this one time I hoped for a tyrannosaurus rex. I… Just don't know. I don't think hope does a whole lot, so I really shouldn't be all that surprised. But I guess it's true what they say. If wishes were horses, they'd all go mad eventually and trample you. Is that what they say?"

She trails off, muttering to herself as the Haitian appears, as Angela appears, and it's only after Angela speaks that Meryl returns to earth from her brief trip to Mars or Pluto or something. She knows to be quiet when Ma Petrelli is around! Except that she doesn't. "Hey, Boss Lady. Your cankles look exceptionally luminescent today."

—-

Benjamin replies honestly to Elena, "I had hoped you would. Which is why I was up front with you on what we were doing and why. I know you love Peter and care about him. I thought he was a nice guy too, trying to do the right thing. That sort of stopped when he murdered someone of importance." When Angela enters the room after the Haitian, Ben stands up a little straighter. Angela might as well be Company royalty with her bearing and commanding nature. When Meryl says what she says to Angela, his jaw drops and he raises a hand to slap to his face. Shut up, and he'll buy you ice cream in a bit. Just.. He's getting more accostomed to the things Meryl says, but that just.. took the cake.

—-

When she sees the Haitian block the door, Elena does pause. She doesn't venture closer to the Haitian, but her features are schooled expressionless. Agents, agents everywhere. But it's the new voice that catches her attention. Her dark eyes shift, to move to a woman she's never met. But she could…well. The family resemblance. It's there. She knows who she is. She's seen pictures.

"….Mrs. Petrelli…?" she says slowly. She isn't quite sure what to make of this. "….and we never have, no." This is said matter-of-factly, her jaw tightening a bit from where it meets her neck. And then she falls quiet. She's still looking at the rest of them.

"….well?" She asks bluntly. "Now what? You all already know my answer. Otherwise I wouldn't have tried to run in the first place. I'm sure keeping me here would be enough to bait Peter to come in, but I'm not going to help the rest of you actively lure him in, or make him see reason. He'll see that as a betrayal, and I'm not betraying him. You'll all have to kill me first. It might be for his own good, and you all may very well be right, but I don't trust ANY OF YOU." A gamble? Maybe, but it's not as if she's lying. She doesn't trust anybody in this room. They kidnapped her.

"So why now? Who did he supposedly kill?" She turns her head to look at Benji. He's the only one she knows. "And why do you think he's the one who did it?"

—-

Angela ignores Meryl with exceptional skill, save to glance at the woman in the way one might eye a stray bug before someone sways it with a newspaper. "You're dismissed," she says to the two agents who brought in Elena.

She steps to one side, her back to the cell window, coolly regarding her son's significant other. "He killed a dear friend. His name was Kaito Nakamura, you may have heard of his death on the news. You go to NYU, you want to be a doctor someday, commendably overachieving— you're a smart girl. You know Peter has been spending a considerable amount of time with … Sylar," she says the name distastefully; the name, not the person behind it, though the distinction is unclear. "And you know about his own special ability. To absorb the abilities of others."

—-

Meryl crosses her arms, heading over to stand near Benjamin. Bygones, right? Her injecting him with that syringe is so two hours ago. "Sorry," she mutters to him. After all, it's not as if she hasn't used force before, and it could very well be that she just wanted to use the syringe on him. Who really knows?

"We didn't ask you to lure him in here," Meryl says, rolling her eyes. "You know, you captives really are all the same. All you do is make demands about your own welfare. Really gets old after the first hundred times or so. Not trusting us is really your own decision, but this would be a whole lot easier if you'd at least try to see things from our perspective."

When Angela speaks, though, Meryl does have the good sense to finally shut her mouth. She doesn't like Sylar any more than anyone else in the room does.

—-

There's a slight muscle twitch in Benjamin's face at Elena's words. He deserves that and more. He knows this. "It's alright," he says in a mutter to Meryl when she apologizes. "I had it coming." At the dismissal, he frowns, and actually opens his mouth against Angela. "With all due respect, Mrs. Petrelli. I'd like to stay nearby." He's not taking the dismissal well. "I gave Elena my word, and I will be checking on her welfare while she's here." He's probably going to get a smack down for it, but he doesn't care. Nudging at Meryl, Ben heads for the door, but isn't going too far from the cell.

—-

"Right. You're not. That's why I'm here to begin with," Elena tells Meryl, her temper blooming on her cheeks. "Just for the pleasure of all of you's company." She crosses her arms over her chest. "I know I'm pretty young, but can you give me a little bit of credit? I'm here because you want Peter to come in and answer for what he supposedly did. If that's not it, I'll eat my shoe." She would go on and on and on, and goad everyone else just to see if answers would be forthcoming, but Angela puts the boss lady hat on, and dismisses the rest. She turns around, to look at the Petrelli matriarch. Oh, she has the stubborn face on, but it looks like the woman's actually telling her something significant. So she listens.

Her jaw ticks a bit at what Benjamin says, but she doesn't look too angry with him. He's trying to fulfill a promise, and that's something she knows he'll make good on. Or try to. But her eyes move back to fix on Peter's mother. She didn't even know she was actively involved in all of this and she's now talking about Sylar?

"….." Her throat feels dry. "How do….were there cameras? How do you know it's not…" And why would Peter kill Hiro's father? "And yes. He does. Wait…" She rubs her face. "Are you trying to tell me Sylar's influence Peter somehow to kill? I don't know what sort of abilities he has, I just know that he's like Peter in a way that he can….take them from others as well. By their brains. I don't know how exactly. So is that why you all think…." Yes, think. She's not exactly sure if they know that Peter actually did kill Kaito. She can't seem to accept that he has.

—-

At least Meryl doesn't have the misfortune of having known Elena well before this, and so, really, Meryl doesn't much care what the girl thinks in a strictly professional manner. She doesn't like to see anyone hurt, but the fact that Elena's so angry doesn't sting her as much as it does Benjamin. She's spoken her piece, and at the moment, she has no need to stick around. After Ben pleads his case, she gives him a little tug around the elbow as she's nudged.

"C'mon, Ben. Better you talk to her when she's a little calmer," she whispers to him.

—-

"Wait outside until you're needed," Angela tells Benjamin and Meryl without so much as glancing at them. She steps further into the prison-like cell, circling about Elena like a well-dressed tiger. "They're very similar, he and Peter's; but his comes with a hunger, a need to know how things work. That's what causes him to kill, to study. Now Peter has his ability." It's all very matter-of-fact.

"I know because I've seen it. We're not trying to convince you that you're anything but bait. There's no point in sugar-coating it." The Company chairwoman now does flick a glance to the other agents. It's fleeting. Intense, dark brown eyes settle on Elena's own in no time, homing beacons. "He must be stopped. He cares about you a great deal," she says slowly, each syllable precise, smiling faintly. "Are you willing to cooperate?"

—-

Benjamin glances over his shoulder at Elena, Angela, then nods to Meryl and is nudged to wait out in the hall. Damn Angela's scary. No wonder she's in charge. He says nothing until they're out in the hall, and then he keeps his voice down. "Her father is going to murder me for this," he says, not fishing for pity, or dwelling in self-pity. It's just a statement of fact. "When we're done here, let's go grab something to eat." Then realizing he's sounding like Max not so long ago, he groans a little. "Besides.. I have a get-well present for you, although it's a little belated now."

—-

….what?

Elena keeps her features schooled. She watches as Meryl and Benjamin step outside and past the Haitian, but to the latter, she doesn't look at for long. She walks towards the middle of the room, to take a seat on the concrete slab. But true to her age, she doesn't sit on it properly. She crosses her legs, indian-sitting on it, and pulls the pillow so she could hug it. Like she's in some slumber party chatting with her friend's mom while she made her hot chocolate. Except this is hardly the case. However she knows deep down she's going to be here for a while.

She doesn't try to show it, but her heart sinks a little bit….more than. It drops into her stomach when she hears that Peter absorbed Sylar's ability and now he may very well be as unstable as he is. She looks down on the pillow, her jaw hard and stubborn, eyes narrowed on the surface of it.

"It depends on what you mean by cooperating, Mrs. Petrelli." She looks up from the pillow. "I already said I'm not going to actively try to lure him here. But if you mean stay put, here, and have him come because you and I know he will, then I don't really have much of a choice."

—-

The Haitian watches Elena unerringly — but, unobtrusive, he's as silent as ever, hands clasped in front of him at the door.

"I know it's not exactly the Marquis," Angela says with, shocker, a tone of apology. She offers Elena a fleetingly warm smile and steps close to the hard table, reaching out to touch the young woman on her nearest shoulder. Her hand squeezes, just a touch, while her face reverts to its stern, serious mask. Meanwhile, she reaches into a pocket of her jacket, swiftly retrieving a sleek, black phone (by Sprint), which she flips open with a red-painted thumbnail and hands to Elena. "Call your family, tell them you're visiting a friend and not to worry."

—-

She doesn't react at the warm squeeze, dark eyes staring across the opposite wall. Though given the reflective paneling of the window, she could see Angela's face, and the features Peter inherited. She couldn't help but feel something crack a little, but she shrugs it off internally. Elena reaches for the phone. Of course she'll call her family. She doesn't want them involved in this. She had three other siblings, two more with Portia and Maddox. An almost stepmom now too. She flips up the phone, and she dials the Gomez country home upstate.

She waits for someone to pick up.

"….hi….Dezi? I tried to get Papa on his cellphone but he's not answering," she tells her. "I just wanted to let him know that a friend of mine invited me up on a day trip to the Hamptons. I know it's a little out of season but apparently there's going to be a party there. Do you mind telling him and I promise him I won't be drinking or doing crazy teenager things?" She keeps her tone light.

—-

Angela remains precisely where she is for the entirety of the phone call: looking down at Elena, watching her every reaction, listening to every inflection of her voice, and that one hand on her shoulder. One thumb strokes the girl's sweatshirt. She holds out another long-fingered hand expectantly for the phone.

When the phone call is over, Elena hands the phone back. Finally, she looks up at the Petrelli woman. "What will you do to him?" she asks. "If he comes and if you get him, what will you do?" The question is straightforward, but her face is expressionless. Save for the brief flash of temper at Meryl and Benjamin earlier, she's trying her best not to show anything other than an impassive face.

—-

Angela hears out Elena's questions, but doesn't answer right away. It's not likely that she ever will, given that the girl will not like what Peter's mother has planned for him. She snaps the phone shut as her hand curls around it. "That's a good girl." Device tucked away once more, the corner of her lips turns down before she smiles thinly. "Contain him for his own safety and the safety of others, until he learns to control himself."

—-

She doesn't say anything to that. For all she knows Angela could be lying. But Elena nods, her jaw tight against her throat as she looks at his mother. Otherwise, it's silence. Save for the gripping of the pillow in her hands, she looks serious but at least she's not throwing things or channeling that latina temper. Her eyes move from her, to the Haitian, and then through the wall, as if she could see Meryl and Benjamin standing there.

—-

Angela regards Elena for several more moments before releasing her shoulder. She nods once, slowly, acknowledging the young woman's apparent acceptance of her circumstances, and heads for the door. The Haitian steps aside to let her pass.

"Get Ms. Gomez a cup of hot cocoa," Angela tells Meryl and Benjamin — then glances back, over her shoulder, at their captive, her expression pleasant, all things considered. "Do you like marshmallows, dear?"

—-

Benjamin glances at Angela at the order. Cocoa? Sure it's chilly down here. It's just.. kind of fake nice-nice to be making. To him anyway. Nudging Meryl, he disappears to go fetch a cup of cocoa. Marshmallows will be found anyway, and whatever other tasty snacks can be procured.

—-

"Sure, Mrs. Petrelli." She's not about to make her circumstances worse. It was better for everyone. Keep her family out of it. Give them no excuse to hurt her after trying to escape them. Because if she were hurt in any way, Peter will get more reckless than he already is, and she's not about to do anything that'll cause him harm either. As for the entire luring bit, well…

Elena's eyes move over to the Haitian, and then to Meryl and Benjamin. And there she goes, Angela Petrelli. Nice, but evil.

She needs food. She hopes she'll get something other than cocoa, though with her abilities suppressed, hopefully her monster metabolism would be too. Peter made sure to feed her multiple times a day, whenever she was so busy. Finals period, especially. But whenever they all leave her, she swallows, and glances down at her pillow.

….the pillow.

Realization, slowly, but surely, sets in. However, she shakes her head hard. She leans back, to wait for her food, absently rubbing her fingertips against the bandaid on her forehead. Benji probably patched her up.

—-

Meryl's silent as she tries to listen in, eyes darting back and forth between the Haitian and Ben. Man, this sucks more than most. Might actually be humane for the big guy to alter her memory so she doesn't remember any of it. At the same time, the thought of it kind of gives Meryl the shivers.

Hey, she doesn't necessarily have to like every aspect of her job. She's not insane.

…Okay, well. She is, but that's beside the point. As she follows after Ben, the smile returns, and completely contrary to her earlier admonishment, she pats him on the shoulder that she stabbed. "You know, you did really good, actually. I just really wanted to stab you with the needle…"

—-

When Angela departs, the Haitian moves to follow in her wake — but the move is not instant. He stops after stepping soft-footedly only once, looking back with those dark eyes at Elena. "I am sorry," he says quietly. "For what it's worth. It may be for … the best." And he, too, leaves Elena alone. And he closes the door. The high-tech locking mechanism may be defunct, but the metallic grind and slide that follows gives away a more classic approach.

—-

"It's okay," Elena tells the Haitian. "I'm not mad at you or anything." Not after all the help he gave. And with that, the door closes behind them, with the click-THUNK echoing into her cell and the rest of the basement level of this….Level 5 thing. Again, she doesn't know the significance. Still, she pulls her pillow back to set it on the concrete slab, and shifts so she could look at the door. She'll wait, for her hot chocolate. Eat. Try to get as many answers she can. And sleep.

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