2007-02-15: Those Meddling Kids


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Summary: With her father comatose, Elena decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to Benjamin Winters's apartment by herself to look for clues….and ends up staring down the barrel of a gun.

Date It Happened: February 15th, 2007

Those Meddling Kids

High Rise Apartments, Greenwich Village

Her father was out, comatose for 24 hours. Elena rakes a hand through her hair as she sits by his beside….well. Technically it's Eric's bedside, and she looks on worriedly. All his vitals are normal, but it was taking him a while to wake. It was just as well anyway - the man needed sleep and his damned machismo and pride was keeping him from accepting anyone's help. Even his own daughter's.

After sitting there, she mutters, standing up. "Screw this," she mutters, grabbing her hoodie on the way out as well as the spare key to Eric's pad. She closes the door behind her, Elena moving for the elevators so she could go down a couple of floors where the Winters apartment is. It can't hurt to try, right? Maybe someone would be home….like a wife. Or a child. …dog?

When she reaches the front door, she reaches out to knock upon it, sliding her hands in her jeans pockets to wait.

Though the knock takes her by surprise, the blaring, bass-heavy rock music filtering into the hallway from the Winters Apartment does not cut off even when Rose swings a leg around the cello in her hands and heads for the door. She's dressed in a denim skirt patched up with scraps of fabric, striped stockings, and a simple red tanktop, her hair tied back into a messy ponytail. She yanks the door open, casting a nonplussed look out into the hallway as she taps her cello bow against her thigh impatiently. "You sellin' something?" she asks over the sounds coming from the stereo, dragging her eyes over Elena's figure from face to toes to face again in an appraising way. "'Cause I'm not actually buying anything."

"Hi. Is….does Benjamin Winters live here?" Elena asks, blinking at Rose. She looks familiar - but she doesn't really remember, right now, where she's seen this one before. The rock music she hears, but she doesn't seem to mind it one bit, given she spends most of her spare time listening to music for studying and dancing. But when a girl around her age answers the door, she just doesn't want to assume anything. She could be a housesitter, or an au pair for Benjamin's kids.

"Yeah." Casting a glance over her shoulder, back into the apartment, Rose seems to hesitate before she responds to Elena with any more detail than this. She rests her free arm against the open door, slanting her head to lie against the arm. "He's not here." She seems to nudge the door then, as if she might close it on Elena, but she does not such thing. "There a… message or something I should be giving him when eh gets back?"
"Is he your dad?" Elena asks straightforwardly. "Because if he is, I've been wondering if you've heard anything from him." She rakes a hand through her hair and rolling her eyes to the ceiling. ", this is going to sound insane…" she mutters under her breath. "He's my father's accountant," she explains.

"Heard anything from him?" Pushing the door open with her foot, Rose makes a gesture with her cello bow, clearly inviting Elena to step inside. "I'm his kid. Not in the sense of him having, like… raised me or anything. Just in the whole 'donated the DNA that impregnated my mother' sense." As she regards Elena with a somewhat dubious expression, one eyebrow arches. "He's an accountant. So, uh, him being your dad's accountant? Not exactly 'insane' material."

"Not that part. THIS part is going to sound insane." Elena gladly steps inside, closing the door and looks at Rose. "Look, I'm fuzzy with the details because I wasn't there, but according to my dad, your dad was kidnapped while my dad was with him. Your dad stopped by our place apparently, to talk to my dad. And then a bunch of people grabbed him. That's why I was asking if you've heard anything from him, because my dad and your dad are buds and my dad's been trying to find the people who grabbed him…..but he can't exactly -move- right now, so I thought I'd give it a shot to help him out. I'm also hoping your dad got away and he managed to contact you."

Rose settles down into the armchair, swinging her cello around to lie against the chair. She settles a hand along the neck, absently plucking at some strings as she listens to what Elena has to say. Very little seems to make an impression on her, however. "Ooookay." She sucks in a breath, tapping the bow while she allows the other girl's words to sink in. "So my dad was kidnapped. That's what you're talling me." Barely able to get the words out with a straight face, Rose muffled the subsequent laughter until it's reduced to a snort. "Riiiight. I mean, I haven't talked to him, but it's not like I've been picking up the phone. No reason to. If it makes you feel better, I'll, uh, check the voicemail for you." She leans forward, snatching the portable phone from the coffee table.

"I'm not kidding," Elena says, her voice heavy with exhausted gravitas. "My dad saw your dad get taken by a bunch of people. Like I said, I don't have the details, except one name. Angie." She rubs her face with her hand. "Papa has this….conclusion that they grabbed him because he….can do things that apparently interest these people. And for some reason, Papa thinks he owes Mr. Winters. And if you knew my dad, you'll figure out pretty quickly that he doesn't have much of a sense of humor, so I doubt he'd joke about something like this especially since he's been killing himself trying to find him and get him back while watching his own ass." She falls silent though, watching Rose as she goes check on the voicemail.

It takes a few minutes before any voicemail elicits a reaction from Rose. Her expression of remarkable boredom suggests that the first couple are unrelated to any potential kidnapping situations. Under her breath, as her eyes go wide, she mutters, "Knew that junkie chick was bad news." There's a certain kind of suspicion that creeps into her face as she shoots a glance back to Elena. The bow stops tapping. She rises from the chair, heading down the hallway briefly, the phone still pressed to her ear. To Elena, she gives a swift gesture as if to say she'll be right back. There's a metallic 'click' as a briefcase is opened.

In the next instant, Rose returns to the living room, her expression newly resolved. The only lingering emotion is suspicion, made all the more obvious by the new accessory she carries: a handgun, trained on Elena. "Tell me who you are," she says, her brow twitching in something near a frown; for all her bravado, her voice waves a bit. "And who your father is."

She waits patiently, her hands still in her pockets as she looks around. Misplaced daughter running off to New York to look for her real dad? It reminded her of a certain Amanda Bynes movie. Except switch New York to United Kingdom. Regardless, Elena's dark eyes sweep over the layout of the modest space, running her fingers along the counter idly. She doesn't seem to be in any hurry, but she doesn't look completely relaxed either. Her shoulders are tense.

When Rose comes back, she turns around, only to see a gun leveled to her face. She freezes for a moment, her eyes fixed on the gun, rooted on the spot as momentary shock freezes her breathing in her throat. She doesn't respond to Rose. She's only looking at the gun. She also knows she has to calm down but…GUN. GUN AT HER FACE. HER FACE WITH NO POWERS LIKE DRAKE OR ERIC.

"My name," she says, forcing her voice to be calm. It is only with herculean willpower that she trains her dark eyes on Rose. "Is Elena Gomez. My father is Ramon Gomez. We live in Queens….but that's kinda gone the way of the dodo now ever since my dad became a witness to your dad's snatching. My father's being chased too. By the same people."

The name of Elena's father seems to trigger something in Rose, and there's a change in her expression that is very nearly imperceptible; still, it's there, if one looks hard enough. She shifts her weight between her feet, the gun wavering slightly, but holding steady on Elena. Nothing about her disposition suggests that she is about to pull the trigger and end Elena's life here and now, but it's likely very little consolation, with the business end of a pistol staring her down. "How do I know that I can trust you, and that you're not just one of them sent for me, too?"

"Because -they-….." Elena pauses, and she groans, rolling her head back, closing her eyes. "This is going to sound insane…this is going to sound insane…this is going to sound insane…" she whispers over and over before she finally just takes a deep breath and looks at the slightly younger girl squarely. "Alright. To tell you the truth? You don't. Because I don't know you, hence I don't know how to convince you. And the only way I -think- I could convince you that I'm not here to kill you or kidnap you is that I can strip down right now to show you that I have no weapons, and even if it'll probably hurt like a mad bastard, you can shoot me in the leg so I can writhe around and cry like a goddamned baby while we attempt to exchange information." She exhales a sigh. "Look. My dad's comatose. The past three days finally caught up with him and he crashed hard. If he knew I was here, he'd flip his sh** and probably ship me off to some Mexican nunnery, but I have to help him."

"Good enough." It isn't clear what, exactly, convinced Rose that Elena poses no threat. The safety is clicked back on, and she jams the pistol down into the waistband of her skirt at the small of her back. "Please don't strip. I know a lot of girls my age are into that whole bi-curious thing but me? Total stick-shift girl." Pulling the elastic out of her hair so that she can do a much better job of tying it back, Rose continues, "I'm game. I mean, chances are if these people kidnapped him like you said, we're running a good risk of getting shot or dissected or whatever it is people like that do. But I figure it's the least I can do." Her hair successfully tied back into a ponytail, she hefts her cello up and settled it into the open case lying on the floor, being remarkably gentle with the instrument. Light from the overhead lamp glints off the pistol as she bends. "Rose," she says, the case snapped shut once the bow is inside. "You got a plan?"

"Thank god. I'm not bi-curious. I'm neutered. Guys who look at me period tend to have my father growling, so I figured I'll do my part in saving innocent hormonal lives by not engaging in any nefarious activities like stripping. Which you thankfully saved me from so I guess I owe you." Elena quirks a small smile despite the banter, and she's back to business again. "To tell you the truth, not much of one, but since we're in your Dad's apartment, we can go through his stuff. See if we can find anything that might point us to where he could've been taken. Kidnappers don't exactly knock on your door and say hi and make themselves known before the body-heist, but…." She hesitates. "….you can say that at least one of them tends to hide little clues around. I'm hoping your father got planted with something that could help point us in the right direction."

Hopping up to sit on the arm of the chair, her feet on the seat cushion, Rose flicks a glance around the apartment. It isn't quite good enough to find any clues, but she does think to mention, "He said he was going to some kind of… institution. To help him. That was, like… five days ago. Some place in Hartsdale. He told me some chick's name, but I wasn't listening." There's a surprise, right? She hops back down to her feet, stretching her arms out to each side. She's strangely calm with this entire situation. "His message said it was the same people who came to see him, so it's gotta be those people. I just… don't remember who they are. So. Maybe he left himself a post-it or something."

"Out of curiosity….do you have any idea why they're so interested in him?" Elena asks, watching Rose carefully as she stands up. When Rose starts the search, she'll follow her lead. This was her father's apartment, after all. She was a relative stranger, and she didn't want to overstep her boundaries. So she'll start searching for things that look out of place. When Rose mentions the institution, something clicks. Drake's desperate words flood back into her mind, along with that same name. Angie.

"An institution? There's….some sort of hospital mentioned. By a friend and my dad. A 'freak' hospital. Maybe that's what that institution is."

Whenever they get to searching around - they find something easily enough. In Benjamin's room, on his desk, is a copy of Dr. Suresh's book, 'Activating Evolution'. The hospital entrance form for a facility in Hartsdale is pinned underneath it. And lo and behold, the form has an address.

"They're interested in him 'cause he's… special." There is no negative connotation in her voice as she speaks, and the short brunette simply looks to Elena with a shrug that's apologetic, in a way. "If you thought what you had to say to me was insane, you wouldn't wanna hear me talk about my dad." She shakes her head; it's a noncommittal answer, but the best Elena will get, for the time being. "Oh, hey. He's been into this book for days," Rose says as she snatches the copy of 'Activating Evolution' from the desk and points a finger at the title. "His message said something about another patient escaping and setting fire to the place or something. I hope he's not paying to stay there, else he totally got jacked."

"…..so he called after this place he was at burned down?" Elena looks out the window. "Maybe Papa can track him…" And special? She's heard that word before. In that tone. So her father was right. Benjamin, too, could do things. She looks over at Rose. "Insane like…..I don't know. Being able to read minds? Being able to poison by touch? Because if that's the case, I think it's spreading." She looks at the book, and blinks. "……that book. It's required reading for my Theoretical Genetics class." She pauses. "…..and I ran into this occult bookstore owner who told me she had to order extra copies because so many people were buying it all of a sudden."

"You got any friends in the police station? They could probably get some phone records, right? Do phone records even work that way in real life, that we could figure out where he is?" But the talk of a spreading condition seems to halt Rose's plotting, and she cants her head, blinking several times. "Yeah. Insane like that. You know anything about people like that?" She opens the book, flipping through the pages in an absent sort of way. "This book is messed. up. 'What else could the human body achieve with the subtlest changes in biochemistry? Teleportation, levitation, instantaneous tissue regeneration, precognitio—' Creepy. Okay, so. What do we do?"

"No. Thanks to my little brother's antics, the NYPD would rather hang up on us than help us. Manny's a bit of a troublemaker," Elena remarks, taking a seat. And then she pauses. "It depends on whether your Dad contacted you by cellphone or by a landline. I don't know anyone in the police department…" She pauses. "But I DO know someone in the DA's office who seems to have some pull with the PD. He got a case reopened for us recently. Maybe he can help with the trace." She pulls out her phone, a bright red one with a cartoon ninja on the LCD display and looks up Xander Marx's number. "…..damn. But I only have his office number. I guess I can leave him a message." That was a good idea though, why didn't she think of that? Oh right, because she didn't know Benjamin called Rose until a few minutes ago.

She glances at the book. "Scientifically it makes sense. I just…I thought it was all theoretical until a couple of days ago. But yeah. I know a bit about people like that. Papa swears he got poisoned without swallowing or being injected by anything when your Dad was going, and then….ugh. I told you it was nuts. I won't blame you if you don't believe me."

The book is closed again and tossed onto the sofa as Rose moves away, snatching up a messenger bag. "Leave a message with him," she says as she begins grabbing things and stuffing them into the bag - the hospital admittance form among them. "If we get really desperate, I know how to get the records without needing to know anyone." The pistol is slipped into the bag, too. "So. We try and trace the call. What else do we do? I, uh. I've never had to try and rescue anyone. And I have a feeling that if these guys can do what you're saying, if they can, like… poison by touch or whatever? Calling the cops would be a step backwards." Guess she didn't think it was insane, after all. She slips her winter coat over her shoulders, then pulls a knitted hat over her head.

"….you do?" Elena says, looking up. But how? She didn't look much older or younger than she was herself. Maybe Rose was a hacker AND a musician? She stands up from where she's sitting, hitting the call button on her cellphone and putting it to her ear. "We might not have to if he pulls through for us, but yeah, just in case." She turns away, leaving a message to Alexander Marx at the DA's office before slapping her phone shut. "Well, we can't do anything until we trace the call. I think that's our best bet to find your father's present location. And yeah, Papa said the same thing. These people….he said that they're the sort the cops can't handle. And he would know because…" She pauses. "Because he's psychic. But I don't think these guys know about him." Or Eric. And they might've gotten to Drake a long time ago. She tells Rose because SO FAR, she doesn't think she's insane. "And when we get a location, we might have to try and wake up my Dad. Because if he IS psychic, if there's a building we have to get into…..he'll know if someone's coming, or what they're planning."

Rose slips the strap of the bag over her head, then wraps two scarves around her neck. "You know what? While you're figuring out that whole DA thing, I'll just see if I can't get us something." She flashes Elena a playful grin, even winking quickly. "Luckily for me, there's nothing on paper anywhere that lists me as my dad's ki— oh, balls." She rolls her eyes dramatically, throwing her hands up helplessly. "DNA test. Alright. So these people dig at all, they're gonna find out he has a kid. And that she goes to college in NYC. So, uh, I'm not stickin' around so that a bad school photo of me can be on the six o'clock news." Grabbing an envelope from the table by the door, she flips through the bills inside, then stuffs it into her bag. "Let's go, chickie. Maybe we oughta meet up later. I mean, this whole phone record business? Think it's less suspicious if it's just me. Besides, if they're comin' for me, you shouldn't stick around more than you have to."

"Alright." Elena isn't about to tell Rose what to do, she's not her mother. And from what she's seen, Rose is smart. If she can grab the records like she says, she's willing to put a little faith on her. "I think it's better if we split up for now. If you can't get anything and if Xander can pull through for us, we'll at least have something by tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm gonna try and wake up Papa." She ponders for a minute. "Though…it's been a few days. If they wanted to come for you, they would've already. I think for now you're okay….for now I think they don't know about you, or rather, they know about you but they don't think they have a cause to be interested in you yet. Yet. So…whatever you're gonna do, be careful. Right now I'm staying at Eric Walker's apartment in this building." She tells her the apartment number. "His landline is listed in the white pages. Give me a call if you need anything or find anything."

"Misdirection," Rose replies, making a clucking sound with her tongue as she shrugs. "Coming after me right away would be predictable. Wait a few days, so I figure I'm safe, and then WHAM." She slams one fist into the opposite palm, making a face as she does. "Anyway. Not gonna happen." She scrawls the apartment number down on a slip of paper and slides it into her pocket, fastening it closed by button. "I'm never careful." As she holds the door open, that same playful grin breaks across her face, one eyebrow raising mischievously. "But I haven't been caught yet. Go, before Fate kicks me in the ass and proves me wrong, 'cause if you're still here when it happens, I am not above takin' you down with me. I'll call when I've got something."

"Might be better if they did try. Then Papa will wake up after the Daddy Alarm's been triggered and track me down and find your father too," Elena retorts dryly, but she smirks. "Keep in touch." And with that, she steps out of Benjamin Winters's apartment, looking left, then right at the empty hall, then proceeds to walk towards the elevators, her hands shoved in her pockets.

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