2007-09-14: Triangles


Ramon_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After twenty-four hours since putting an end to one triangle, Elena finds herself in the middle of another one. This time, it's between Peter and her father.

Date It Happened: September 14th, 2007


The Cherry Blossoms Restaurant, Chinatown, New York

"Let's do lunch," is what her father said when she called him to tell him Peter wanted to talk to him. Hanging up the phone then, she couldn't help the amused little smile. A few months being Chairman of the board and her father was slowly getting the lingo. Now if he'd only remember that they're orcs and not orcas.

She had classes for most of the morning, but did mention to Peter and Ramon that she'll meet them at the Cherry Blossoms Restaurant for lunch after she tackled a few things on campus. By the time Elena arrives, she looks a little harried, common really for students with a lot to do in a sprawling city like New York. Dressed in a heavier skirt than normal, boots (with the fur!) and a ruffled blouse, she's got a black peacoat on to keep the slightly chilly edge of the weather off her. Outside, it's gray. It looks like it's about to rain again.

Man. She remembers the days when Fall was actually Fall, not Spring. Global warming sucked.

She walks over to the Chinese lady in front, who directs her to one of the private dining areas at the back. Toting her bag, she makes quick work of the rest of the floor to head there. There are three, private rooms at the back. She tries to ignore the shady Triad deaing going on in the far corner. It could be just a business lunch, mind, but she's been around. Sometimes it's better not to be nosy. She tries not to look for trouble though

While Peter doesn't work on Sundays (due to the bookstore being closed), he spent much of his morning trying to figure things out. More work on his files at home, more phonecalls attempted to a certain cellphone. How many more phone calls will it take? And then there's the newest problem, which— well— he's not exactly looking forward to. When Elena tells him where to meet them, he hops into a cab and arrives at the restraunt a little after she does, pausing outside the door to make one last attempt to call, before he too steps inside, asks for Mr. Gomez's table, and starts towards the back.

Ramon has no idea anything's wrong. Today is about to be some sort of classification on how being a telepath doesn't prevent misunderstandings. He was working on a Sunday, because most of the executives seem to put in a few hours and he figures he'd better too, even if for him putting in a few hours meant trying to translate what, exactly, was even going on. Still, he steps into the restaurant and makes a beeline for the kids, smiling amiably.

"Hey," she greets Peter the moment he comes in, standing up from her chair. Looks like she had been the first, though she hasn't been waiting long. Seeing someone come up behind him though, her smile gets a little bigger at the look on the older man's face. "Papa." The amiable smile triggers her own. She pecks her father lightly on the cheek, and one on Peter's. "I already ordered," she says, looking a little sheepish. What? She's hungry!

For a moment, Peter's smiling at her, reaching out to touch her arm briefly— but then he glances back and— there he is. The smile fades into something a little more serious, and he inclines his head towards him. Dealing with this won't be easy. Never is when you're a little unhappy with your new girlfriend's father. But alas… moving to sit down, he nods, "You were probably hungry, it's fine." She's allowed to order whenever she needs to. Carefully, he pulls out a flashdrive and holds it out. "Think I finished up the replacement files— it's not much, but at least it's something." He's been poking at them for a week now— trying to decide what was important to give to them, and what wasn't. It's not quite the list of what he needs people to do, but… it's something.

Ramon sits down and cocks an eyebrow at Peter. The first thought that flashes through /his/ mind is that Peter and Elena are about to announce an engagement. The second thought is: that was fast. The third thought is: mmmmm. General Tso's. The fourth thought is…what does a flash drive have to do with engagement? So he nods gravely, which is generally what he does when he would like to appear as though he is completely in control and knows exactly what's what here, and doesn't.

She's NINETEEN. She is NOT getting engaged ANY TIME SOON. She knows her father and mother had been engaged around that age, but come on! It's the 21st century! If Elena had been a telepath like her father, she would've been horrified. But when she's given a working, present day flashdrive, she nods, and takes it. "Alright, I'll see what I can parse out. Maybe give Papa a copy," she says, re-taking her seat at the table. One of the waitresses moves in to fill their cups with tea, and she did order for everyone else too - fried rice and veggie courses for Peter while her father gets his General Tso's. She clack-clack-clacks her chopsticks experimentally with her fingers. But she'll let Peter ask his questions.

Chopsticks aren't his strongest utencil, but Peter doesn't ask for a fork either, so at least he's trying. Still… he glances over at her quietly and realizes, after a few moments of silence, that she's going to make him ask. And no, not for her hand in marriage. He'd actually feel easier about asking for that. If this were a meeting about that, it definitely wouldn't be happening with her around. He'd have to state his intentions to her father first— or traditionally at least. Usually implies asking, but he's more of a state intentions kind of person right now. There's a hesitant glance towards his food, and without even taking a bite he looks across at Ramon. There's a lot of ways to approach this. "Mr. Gomez," he can still be polite. Instead of announcing an engagement, or even that they're offically together now, his question is something very different from what the telepath is expecting, "Did you talk to Mr. Winters about Evelyn?"

"That's what we discussed doing," Ramon says, frowning faintly. "Why would I have put it off?" There you have it. See. The root of this whole thing. About 40 conversations happened at that breakfast, and as far as Ramon understood it, /this was his job/.

"I think…" Elena pauses. "I don't know what you told Mr. Winters to do, Papa. But I think he brought this to the attention of someone else in the Company." Not think. Know. How else would Mr. Bennett know if Benjamin didn't say anything? "They might…know about you now." They've known about Ramon before. But the fact that he was a telepath had been carefully kept under wraps, hell, the Gomezes tended to keep their abilities under wraps save for a trusted few, hence why he and Elena don't have marks on their necks. "Peter got word from a source who said that the Company intends to do something about Evelyn Tash. Not leave her alone, but to do something. I don't know what yet."

"That's… not what we discussed. We never…" Peter looks away, that frustrated set to his mouth. It's difficult to really be mad, but it's not something he's happy about either. It's put things into a dangerous position. Not happy, he slouches a little into his chair, which makes it a good thing that Elena speaks up for a bit. It gives him something else to focus on for a minute. "I didn't even want them to know about her. And now they do and— I think you overestimated your friend. Even if he doesn't want to be working with them… this is for his daughter." And what wouldn't a man do to protect his children or the people he loves?

The lines on Ramon's face grow deeper. "I thought that was what we discussed. I can't remember who I talked about it with though, it seems like that morning had an awful lot of discussions and plans going on. He was emphatically supposed to keep them /off/ her back. And while I know he's doing it for his daughter, how hard should it have been to run an angle?" That's lingo too. Its new. He learned it. He stops the waitress. "Saki," he growls. He apparently is not fussed that the company knows about his telepathy. That doesn't even bother him. Whatever. "But I think you're right. I think I massively overestimated him." Now he starts doing a lot of low swearing in Spanish, but ends with, "The thing is, the company knew about the tornados from the Mendez painting long before we did. It was unrealistic to assume they wouldn't get involved somehow. I thought I could steer events." Then, a very English, "Motherfucker," and a fist slammed down on the table.

The little chinese waitress (that looks strangely like the Asian woman with green eyes in Big Trouble in Little China) turns to head out of the room after Ramon calls for some sake. …wait. Did they have sake? She'll have to go check. Ramon's in luck. She appears with a little ceramic bottle, and a little traditional cup for it. She gives a bow, before she heads off.

To her credit, Elena doesn't jump when Ramon pounds a fist on the table, even if the curse was sudden and even if the string of Spanish courses causes her to wince inwardly. She drags the sake bottle to her as well as the cup, so she could pour her father some….and also to limit his intake. He has to go back to work after this, after all. "Mr. Winters is new at this," she tells them both simply. "I don't know how long he's been working for the Company but this probably wasn't easy for him either. I don't think he has the….personality to play the sort of games these people seem live on at a regular basis." And Ramon might not be concerned about them knowing about his telepathy, but she does! "That or he was strong-armed into giving up what he knows. I honestly think he did try to help you out, Papa. It's Mr. Winters. He wouldn't give you up unless he had a choice, right?" She shakes her head. "I called Gene the other night, see if he can set up something to monitor Evelyn's home. Nothing big just…to keep an eye on things. Peter hasn't been able to reach her."

There's a flinch at the slam, the cursing, but Peter doesn't jump— nor does he understand what the man happens to be saying. The tone is enough. At least he switches back to English for the important stuff. "The Company likes to work by making you think you're doing the best thing possible— and if that doesn't work, they mention your family in ways that lets you know they could do whatever they want to them— help them, or otherwise." That's what they did to him, what they did to his niece, probably what they're doing to Benjamin. "There's very little that a man wouldn't do to protect his children." He very nearly signed a deal with them once, to protect the people he knew— to give them some kind of immunity. Not his child, of course, because he has none, but people he cared about. "I have no doubt at all the Company planned to do something about the tornados. But now that they know it's her… nothing they'll do could possibly be good for her. Might save the city— might save the world— but she's innocent and… I don't know if we can protect her now that they know about her."

Ramon drains the sake and then hangs his head. The man takes it very seriously when he has fouled up his obligations, his responsibility. He takes it very seriously that he might have set into motion events he is trying his damndest to prevent. He spreads his hands, a motion which says he has lost enough confidence in his abilities in this situation to have no suggestions to offer, feeling that anything he might offer in this case will make it worse.

She knows the gesture, Elena's lips pressing together in a faint line. Her eyes are on her father, even as Peter talks. She pours another cup for her father and hands it over, but she doesn't do anything else for a moment. Finally, she reaches out to touch her father's hand, squeezing reassuringly. "It's a snag," she tells him simply. "We don't know anything right now. I think it might be too early to think about the worst when we haven't even talked to Evelyn yet." If they could still talk to Evelyn. "It looks bad, but we're going to have to try," she tells Peter, when he says he doesn't know if they can protect her. But she can't just accept that it's over, or might be too late, in a mere week after Peter got back to give them the information he collected in the future. There has to be something, but it's hard to determine when the girl is unreachable, for now anyway.

"We know enough," Peter says, but he doesn't want to make the man feel even worse than he already does, so he glances down at his food and shakes his head. Unfortunately he's not the least bit hungry. He's wish they would've met somewhere other than a place he's supposed to eat. Especially since she already ordered, and will probably insist on paying. Maybe he can get it to go. "I'll keep trying. But now they've pushed a situation where we might have to do things I wanted to avoid." Like take her away from her home.

"Well it gets worse," Ramon rumbles, pushing his sake cup back at his daughter. He clearly wants more. "I talked to your brother. He wouldn't let me examine him or anything, so I don't have 100% confirmation, but he admitted to seeing flashes of a face in the mirror. He's already showing the signs. I hadn't decided what to do about it, or if my honor demanded that I keep my mouth shut, but given—" That he's already fucked up so royally…
"…what." Elena looks up to stare at her father. Flashes, an image in the mirror. What. WHAT? While she's has no idea what to feel about her father talking to Benjamin, she's grateful at the very least, even if the news was bad, that Ramon had spoken with Nathan. "…wh. When? How did…what?" She looks stunned. Her dark eyes wander over to Peter, her expression incredulous but also questioning. Did Peter know?

Did Peter know? From the look on his face— no— he didn't know. Didn't want to know, either, by the looks of it. When? Why? What could have happened to cause that if it wasn't Monty's death and what happened to Heidi? But he already knows. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the one other traumatizing event that could have triggered that. "It's my fault." Maybe he could use some of that sake too? But at the same time, he already looks like he's going to be sick. Suddenly he stands up, "I— should go. I have to go… check on Evelyn again…"

Ramon isn't going to stop him. For once the man has no advice to give, nothing to offer. He's dealing with a sudden surge of black, creeping despair that he hasn't felt since finding his wife dead in the living room on Thanksgiving Day. That is not condusive to offering courses of action.

"What?! How is it your fault?!" Elena blurts out, staring at Peter incredulously. It can't be - she doesn't know how Nathan and Logan fractured in the first place, the flashdrive probably has the answer, but it's clear that Peter knows how and…for some reason he believes it has something to do with him. Then again, she wasn't exactly in his life when Nathan walked in the sitting room of the mansion to find his brother dead, and hadn't been there when he had been forced to let go of him in the sky when he exploded. She inhales the last of her food (because despair always makes her hungry - in fact nothing ever quelled her appetite unless she was preoccupied with something). She looks like she's going to go with him…but there was her father, too. She can't just leave him.

Trading old problems for new ones.

It was a self-fulfilling prophecy she wanted gone, but it can't be helped.

"Papa, I'll be back," is offered. She'll walk Peter out of the restaurant, but that's as far as she can go. She can't let her father stay there in the headspace he was in, at the same time she can't abandon Peter entirely.

There's a whole nother plate of food that she can eat too, because someone else lost his appetite pretty fast. only a few of the veggies had even been picked at. And it seems that she won't have to follow him far, because when Peter sees her behind him, he turns around and touches her hand briefly, "Go back to your dad. I'll be fine." In some ways he learned a lesson he probably shouldn't have. Keeping things close to the chest didn't work out half as well as he'd like, and… if Nathan's already had flashes of another face in the mirror… Will he really be fine? Maybe not, but there's just some things he'd rather deal with on his own right now.

Ramon doesn't get hungry. He gets thirsty. The fact that he had a drinking problem pre-marriage, and the fact that it didn't come back while he was a single Dad because of responsibility, doesn't mean it can't come back /now/. He takes up the bottle and pours himself a drink while his daughter is rushing after her boyfriend.

"I'll walk you out," Elena says stubbornly, her fingers curling over his when he touches her hand and squeezes. "I have no intentions of leaving my father here the way he is, but the least I can do is do that." She's wearing the Stubborn Face, Peter, you're going to have to deal. She knows about Nathan's status in Peter's life, hearing about this couldn't have been easy. So she does just that, she accompanies him to the front of the restaurant. "I can't….even begin to figure out how…." She pauses. "But there's gotta be something." She looks over at him. "I'll see you tonight, okay?"
"All right," Peter says, squeezing her hand back, before he heads down the street. There's a lot that needs to be done. First thing's first, he pulls out his cellphone. A few more calls to attempt to make. Something has to go right today.

Ugh. Elena shakes her head, and steps back inside the restaurant…so she could undoubtedly wrestle the sake bottle away from her father, and probably ride with him to Evosoft. She's tempted to skip her other study session today just so she could be around and be a good girl to her Dad. But that will depend on whether he's going to insist she go.

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