2007-09-07: Troubles In The Homestead


Elena_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Maria Esperanza "Grandma" Gomez, Juanita Gomez, Luis Gomez

Summary: Elena spends the weekend at the family's new country home upstate, and catches her father up on a few matters. They make a shocking discovery about Juanita. Having not seen her in the past twenty-four hours, Peter drives in to visit.

Date It Happened: September 7th, 2007

Troubles In The Homestead

The Gomez Country Home, Upstate New York

Ramon stands in his kitchen in jeans and a white shirt, literally pouring painkiller into his mouth. He has a giant mouthful of over the counter medicine, and he just shoves it in his mouth and tries to choke it down by sticking his mouth over the faucet. He's rather a mess of bruises between Lachlan and Jessica, and since nobody's watching him right now, or so he thinks, he's going to try to get something done about this.

"……..Papa several centuries ago, human civilization invented something really awesome. It's called a drinking glass."

UNEXPECTED DAUGHTER FIGURE. Elena has managed to awaken early enough in the morning to catch her father trying to kill himself with painkillers and water. She's teasing him, of course, but her expression doesn't seem to reflect it. She's frowning. While she knows that her father had been with Cass to help with the Niki/Jessica problem, she doesn't know how it went. But the fact that he's chugging down over the counter meds can't be good. Plus she could sense all the lactic acid accumulated underneath his back muscles, especially, from all the trauma.

She's still coming to grips with the fact that this house was theirs. This big house was theirs. Even now she can't get used to it, though admittedly riding in Papa's brand new Mercedes had been pretty cool. She's never ridden on a leather-swathed car seat before. Still the evening before, she had managed to meet her father at the Evosoft building so she could catch a ride with him back here. And she's still clad in her pajamas. Mornings in the countryside were really much more pleasant than the city. She can actually see trees and grass around here.

"You should be careful with those," she continues, still frowning. She moves over, touching her father's back and taking away the soreness. She can't do anything about the bruising, but she can make it not hurt anymore. "Over the counter or not they can still get pretty addicting."

Ramon gasps as she startles him and gasps again as she takes away the pain. Sure, he could have just asked her, but that would have meant admitting to the pain. "It's good to have you home," he says gruffly. He usually can't believe it about the house himself, but he's grateful for it, and that's usually enough to squeeze out any disbelief.

"I missed you too," Elena says in Spanish, switching back to her original tongue flawlessly. Once she takes away the pain, she hugs her father from behind, and squeezes - now that she knows it doesn't hurt anymore. She pulls away after a bit, and goes to the refrigerator, opening it and raiding through it. Dezi wasn't up yet, and neither are the kids….except for Juanita, who was busily being doted on by her grandmother. Ramon can see them playing outside the torn and upended dead earth outside where the landscapers had been working to transform the barren space out back into a garden. "How's everything?" Work. The thing with Niki. Things with Dezi. Everything.

"I'm feeling very happy and grateful, chiquita. That said, I cannot find the girl on the tapes. I think by the time I do 2009 will already be here." He sticks to Spanish as well. "I hope I can help Niki. Session 1 did not go well. I do not know if she will allow a Session 2. Dezi seems happy." He's got to go shopping, for Dezi.

"….yeah about that…" Elena says, looking over at her father. She looks a little hesitant, because this was Peter's story to tell, not hers. But with the look of frustration on her father's face, she couldn't help but relent. He was only trying to fulfill his promise to Desiree. Turning to the chopping board, she starts hacking up vegetables. "Peter came to see me the other day. He'd been gone for a month. He went to the future. In 2009." She looks over her shoulder. "He knows who it is. The girl we're looking for. He said she matched the description of the girl that we heard about when you, Eric, and I went looking for information one day."

"….." Ramon stares at Elena for a second, then just takes it in stride. "Who is she? And what exactly happens to cause all the horror? Dezi nearly fainted from fear at one of her visions, and blocked it out, it was so bad."

"…….I know. We all looked like that when we were told," Elena says when she sees the almost disbelieving look on her father's face. What could be funny about it if the topic wasn't so serious was the fact that it was just almost disbelieving as opposed to just disbelieving. She starts scrambling some eggs. "Her name is Evelyn. Evelyn Tash. Peter's got all of her information, address, phone number. He knows what she looks like. Apparently from what he told me….Gene knows her too. Well, in the future, he did. I don't know if they've met yet." She looks at her father apologetically. "I know it sounds weird. It was bad because…" She hesitates. "The storms destroy most of New York. A lot of people were killed. A war broke out after. That's when things start getting convoluted…before long, normal people are being forced into detention camps and…" She gestures vaguely. "Nathan Petrelli becomes President of the United States. Only…it's really not Nathan. It was like Niki's problem. His personality split into two people."

"…." Ramon says again. "Jesus. And that's a sticky problem, let me tell you. I'm not sure I understand what the fuck is going on there. But lets boil down to brass tacks. What do we have to /do/ to stop it, Elena? Do we talk to her? Bring her to Bat Country and help her control her power? How do we change all of this?"

She rakes a hand through her hair, and stops handling the knife for a while. "….if I remember correctly, something happens to Evelyn," Elena says slowly, turning to look at her father. She leans against the kitchen counter, crossing her arms over her chest and worrying her lower lip with her teeth as she thinks. "Peter and me….well. Older Me. From 2009. We…they? Argh. Anyway when they talked to her in the future, she said something weird happened to her. She knew about her powers. She could control them….but one day she went to practice, and realized she couldn't call it up. And then she realized her powers haven't manifested in a while. And then, one day, they suddenly returned, unstable. I haven't had a chance to look at the flash drives Peter came back with, but that's what I remember him telling me. Her powers were there one day, and went away for a while, then just came back all of a sudden uncontrollable. Apparently…this happens sometime this year. When it disappears. When it's 'colder'. So I'm guessing….fall or winter." And it was already September.

"As for Bat Country….I don't know. Peter told me Mr. Winters is Company now and he was sent to infiltrate the lab."

"I knew that already," Ramon says. "I told Cass when I vetted him, or at least that I strongly suspected it. I told her to show him what we wanted him to know and no more but not to kick over the beehive by revealing our ace in the hole. We're trying to position ourselves so we're not a threat, so we're seen as a resource or something, and so they see the need for us without ever imagining we're a problem."

"Wow. You're awesome, Papa," Elena says with a small smile. That was a lot more effective than just ejecting Benjamin out of the premises, or so she likes to think anyway. It makes sense. That way they'll leave Cass alone to do her work. Hopefully. "But yeah, as for the actual how…I don't know yet. I should look at those files." She rubs her face with her palm. "I mean we definitely should talk to her. Evelyn's around my age according to the girl we talked to. See what's going on. And keep an eye on her somehow. She doesn't remember when her powers actually vanished."

Ramon snorts. "Its awesome if it works. It makes me a moron if it doesn't." He reaches out to ruffle his little girl's hair and thinks it through. "No memories suggests the involvement of the Haitian." He lets that hang in the air for a long time. Therefore I have a theory. Given the Mendez paintings have been warning of this for a long time, I postulate the company goes after her. They try to shut her down— drugs, someone else's powers, something else— in their typical blundering for the good of all thing. Then for whatever reason— company upheaval, a standard defection, heroic types charging in and disrupting things— whatever they do to make this happen stops. And whatever they did atrophied the mental muscle it takes to control these powers. So instead of making the situation better, they'll make it worse. Its just a theory though."

"Either way she needs to be looked after," Elena says, looking concerned at her father's theory. "I mean, if they know about her….or they haven't, but they will, she needs protection. She's probably got parents so it's not like we could just barge over there and go, 'hey, guess what, we need to help you look after your daughter because she might destroy the whole city with tornados.' I wouldn't believe it if I was on the outside." She frowns. "Plus…I have no idea how this space-time thing is supposed to work. Now that we know what's going to happen, and try to stop it, will trying to stop it make it come true?"

Ramon smiles. "No," he says. "But her parents might let the Chairman of the Board of directors offer her a high level internship." As for what Elena says, he shakes his head. "Well, there's also the other half of the equation. The Nathan-Logan half. But I wouldn't let higher level physics drive you too crazy. Change one thing, you change it all."

"That's what you told me Dezi said," Elena says. "If we stop the storms, we stop it all, right?" She rubs the back of her neck. "I mentioned this to Peter before….the morning after we'd been stuck in the Mount Sinai quarantine. I'm not an astrophysicist or anything, I don't know how space-time stuff works but you'd think by common sense there has to be a ripple effect. The future is determined by all these interconnected elements, right? To bring about a certain outcome. I'm not confident enough to say that if you can change one thing, you can change it all. It has to be….I don't know. I think it has to be an important point enough to make a difference. So if what Dezi says is true, then…that could be the point we're looking for."

"We could take her somewhere remote and then drill her till her powers are under perfect control, then help her start a new life. Sooner or later the company will come for her. But that's extreme." Ramon smiles. "Or…we can turn to the agent we know, and convince him to back the company the hell off, while training her at Bat Country. Thus playing into every agenda at once."

She stares at her father, Elena blinking at him from where she's leaning on, until she speaks up softly. "….did you get all of this out of the Business for Dummies book you asked me to get for you?" Elena wonders out loud. But she does smile at her father. "That all sounds ideal, it's just that….well. First thing's first. Talk to Evelyn and see what she thinks, right? Peter'll probably do it but…" She pauses. "Honestly I don't think he's thought that far ahead. The 'now what?' step after talking to her." She looks at her father. "Maybe you ought to get together with him, share some ideas." She's not about to take credit for her father's brainstorm. Truth be told she hasn't even started thinking on what to actually do with the information they have. This is also operating under the assumption that her father was correct in that the future came about because the Company manhandled the wrong Evolved.

Ramon shakes his head. "Not exactly. Some of it is just common sense. Just because I sit and don't say much doesn't mean I'm clueless. Some of it—well. I sit and listen to the thoughts of cut throat executives day in and day out now. I listen to the ways in which the strategies grind through their brain at those meetings. They sit and anticipate the other person's moves and try to move accordingly. I guess this is the same. The company's move would be to relentlessly pursue their own course until convinced by one of their own its a better course. Benji is doing this for Rose. He said as much. He's only half their own. So if this will work, its key. I think convincing the company to back off is going to be key no matter what Evelyn wants. I think you, as a young female her age, ought to talk to her even after Peter does. But I'll be happy to chat with Peter. "

She can't help but smile at her father. "No I was just kidding about the Business for Dummies thing, I just…" Elena is still watching her father, half in awe and half in admiration. "I've known you all my life and I just keep getting surprised by you." This is said in her soft, affectionate tones. She's so proud of him, he can tell by her face. But then she nods. "This is his information…his work. I honestly think it's a good idea, but it's also your idea, I think you should tell him. As for me chatting with Evelyn as someone she might be able to relate to…" She hesitates. "…maybe when Peter approaches her, he and I can go together. I just…I wouldn't know what to say to her. I don't know her, you know? It can't be easy to hear what's going to come out of his mouth."

Ramon simply nods, not fussed one way or another about who goes to do the talking. "We'll keep an eye on Nathan," he says. "You're out there, and he and I are forming a friendship. Maybe I'll work on getting closer. Where was I during all of this?" Because if it wasn't close to Nathan, that's already something Ramon will work on changing. He can, if nothing else, alert people if the man starts going looney tunes, even if he's not sure how to stop it.

She looks at her father, Elena's face somewhat….well. It's indescribable. She glances down at the counter. But for some reason, she…just isn't talking. She isn't saying anything, not for a very long while. Part of her doesn't want to tell him anything else. But she finally lifts her head to look at him. The expression is almost heartbreakingly sorrowful. "….do you really want to know, Papa?" Because if he says yes, she'll tell him. It's clear on her face that whatever happened, it was bad.

Ramon is a man who tries not to show any fear, but that look on his daughter's face does it for him. Something in him clenches. She'd just say if he were dead, which means its worse. "No, nevermind," he says. "Give me tidbits if you think it will help me avoid the path you've learned of, but don't distress yourself." His heart is racing. His palms are sweating. He leans under the sink and drinks more water straight out of the tap.

"I….to be honest, Peter didn't give me much detail about what sort of man you were in the future," Elena says softly, almost timidly. Probably because the young man probably did what he could to spare her some pain, and really, it's not just out of love for her, though that maybe played a huge role in it - but he would've done the same to anyone in her position. But by her words, Ramon would find that whatever happened, it was worse. "We…" That was the thing, telling him what she was about to will give him a clue as to why it's worse. But there's no going around it. "….we have to keep close watch on Juanita and Luis…and…we really, really need to help Dezi take control of her powers without….any external influences." Her voice is still quiet. Her father might flash back to the time when he caught her trying to drink herself to a stupor to force herself to see visions.

His children. His children. Ramon stands up and clenches his fist. Well that settles it. His jaw clenches and his eyes narrow and his back firms. This is beyond just a responsibility from Dezi now. "Maybe you should get Peter on the phone now," he suggests. "Maybe he needs to get the girl on the phone. We need to start now. Not tomorrow, not in an hour, now, if we can."

"I…." Elena pauses. "Before I came up here, he called me and asked me if I was doing anything after class. I told him I was coming up to see you, but I did leave him directions as to how to get to our house here. He doesn't know if he'll be able to come up this weekend because Cass might put him back to work straight away, but I'll see if I can reach him." Her phone's in the other room, she's going to have to go get it. Not like she doesn't know Peter's number by heart by now. Her face is concerned now, seeing her father's reaction.

"RAMON!" Maria Esperanza Gomez, aka Grandma Gomez, suddenly bellows from the back of the house. But it is different….there's a strange tinge to the woman's typically brassy, no-nonsense voice. "Venido aqui! Ahora mismo!"

Elena blinks at the back door, and then looks at her father. When the older man starts moving, she follows after quickly.

"Coming Mama," Ramon says almost meekly. He holds up his hand to Elena and then…kind of runs double time. "What? What's happened?" He's speaking entirely in Spanish of course. One speaks to Abuela /only/ in Spanish.

She blinks when Ramon holds a hand up to her, so Elena, as dutiful as always, stays in the kitchen, furrowing her brows. What does her grandmother want?

When Ramon propels himself out the back door, Grandma Gomez, in all of her squat, rotund, 4'11" glory, is standing frozen at the edge of the not-quite-garden. When her oldest son reaches her side, she says nothing. Her eyes are locked forward, and lifts her tough, callused hand to point in front of her.

She had been playing with her youngest granddaughter in the barren lot at the back where Ramon hopes to have a garden landscaped. But when the Gomez patriarch turns to look at where the finger is pointing to, he'll find that it's not the case anymore.

Juanita, all of chubby eight-year-oldness, turns around and beams at her father, curly pigtails swinging. "Papa! Look! Look what I did!"

She's surrounded by green, a green patch of grass…that's only turning more lush, more vibrant. A withered tree that the landscapers intended to kill entirely and chop down to haul away is looking more and more refreshed at every minute. Flowers are already blooming at growing bushes behind her, and a butterfly's cocoon on the spare flower the little girl had managed to pick up somewhere is already twitching. "(Abuela wanted a garden)," is Juanita's beaming response. "(And she didn't want me to play anymore because my dress was getting dirty…)"

"/Mierda/," Ramon whispers, his eye going very, very wide indeed. Nevermind that his very fearsome mother is right there. /Shit/, said in tones of breathless disbelief, is about all that comes to mind here. He knew the day was coming when he'd see his remaining children manifest powers. What he did not expect was a girl who could regrow the garden of Eden. He then gets a hold of himself and pitches his voice to the gentlest tone he can find. "Juanita, Cuando aprendio usted hacer tales cosas?" When did you learn you could do such things?

"Ramon!" comes the snap. Language. Not in front of the children. Grandma Gomez peers at him from the tops of the rims of her spectacles, before turning around and stabbing her cane on the patch of barren earth she was standing in. "(Come now, dear. Let's go clean you up. Your dress is all dirty from all that soil.)" She stretches out a hand.

The little girl trots over happily towards Ramon and her grandmother, jumping up a bit so she could hug her father around the knees and look up at him with that same, bright, happy smile. "(I don't know)," she chats amicably. "(When something needs to be fixed, I just wish that they will be fixed and it happens. Like magic!)"

Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. Ramon bends down to scoop up his little girl, because Elena fixed his back pain. Its that cocoon, somehow, that scares him even worse than the plants, even as his business side is able to see all the possibilities. He strokes her hair, dirt or no dirt, and his hand is trembling. "Eso asombra… la miel." That's amazing honey. He can't exactly say 'that's terrifying' to his little girl. As they go inside: *Elena. Go to the back yard.*

The cocoon hanging helplessly from the blossom still clutched in Juanita's hand. She hugs her father and squeezes him like a teddy bear once she's picked up. She pulls away by arms length, and smiles at him winningly. She extends the flower towards Ramon. "(For you)," she says with a smile. As if on cue, the cocoon splits open from the top, and the colorful insect housed within it crawls out slowly, spreads its blue-and-black wings, and flutters away from both father and daughter as it drifts into the wind.

When she gets the telepathic message, Elena opens the back door and steps out. "(What's going on?)" she asks, stepping out into the not-quite-garden….and blinks at the small, living patch at the very end. "(Oh, the landscapers are taking care of it already? I thought they were going to start on the other side?)" She looks over at her father….and sees him shaking even as he strokes back Juanita's hair. "(….Papa…?)" she questions slowly.

Grandma Gomez strangely says nothing, nor does she look surprised or scared in any way. She just pushes up her glasses and watches her family. There's a serious expression on her face, but she doesn't say anything. For now.

Ramon watches that butterfly, as if its poison. When Elena hears his next thought, it is a slip in control. Because she only hears it because he was speaking to her a moment before.

*Oh Catalina. Oh Catalina, my love, what have you done?*

"Gracias," he tells Juanita solemnly, taking the blossom. "Now go do as your Abuela says." He puts her down, and stands there in the living room, turning that blossom slowly around in his hands.

"……….." Elena stares at Ramon, even as the words slip into her head. She looks at him hold her little sister, and her little sister's reaction, which doesn't really tell her much. Because she's so young, and so happy, and has absolutely no idea that what she did just worried the pants off her father.

Ramon lets little 'Nita down, and she smiles. "(Okay,)" she tells her Dad, and she looks to her grandmother, who takes her hand and walk-canes her way out of the living room. She gives Ramon a look, but otherwise she doesn't say anything. She will go clean her little granddaughter up.

His oldest doesn't say anything, not yet. Instead, she watches the butterfly too, as it drifts around and around their living room, trapped in the indoors. She walks over to close the back door, and opens up a window to let the insect out.

Closing it after, she looks at her father. She doesn't say anything, but she does look worried.

Ramon stands there, twirling that flower, staring at it and trying rapidly to prioritize problems. He has to figure out what Luis can do. He has to figure out how to keep Nita from showing off her powers. He has to help prevent the dark future. He has to find the people responsible for altering his children before they come for the kids. His single eye has gone very dark as he grows swiftly overwhelmed. So he takes the next reasonable action and finds a vase for the flower.

Seeing the very familiar expression of overwhelmedness on the Gomez Patriarch's face, Elena reaches up a hand to touch him gently on the back. Her powers are still active on him, so at the very least it doesn't hurt anymore. "….maybe we should have 'Nita homeschooled for a little bit. I hate to do that to her though," she says softly. "She should be with other kids her age. And she loves going to school." Because she socializes like whoa. Still, she watches her youngest sibling move off with her grandmother. "…but….maybe we don't have to worry too much," she says. Even though the statement is so not true that she herself knows it, but is dwelling in denial for just a few moments. "…I mean…from what it looks like, what she has is very benign. ….right?"

If Ramon would look up from putting the little flower in the vase, and over the large windows overlooking the not-quite-backyard, he'd find that the green, the bushes…they're still growing, spreading gradually along the soil. The tree that's supposed to be dead is sporting little leaves on a gnarled branch.

The directions that he'd been given are glanced at one last time, before Peter's sure he's at the right place. Nice house. He knows that Jaden helped with it, so it should be a nice place, but he's still surprised at the size of the place. Reminds him of their house upstate when he'd been growing up. Pulling up to the house, he steps out of the nice black car that he borrowed from his family's drivers, and straightens his clothes. He got up really early just to make this drive up here. Stepping up the stairs, unaware of the strange activity in the backyard, he knocks on the front door.

Ramon stares out the window. "NITA!" he calls. "You need to tell everything to rest now, okay?" Before they end up living in the Amazon, and not Upstate New York. Then he turns to Eldest Daughter. "Chiquita," he rasps. "Right now. Today. I could get on the phone. And sink a couple million dollars into building some big space ships, okay? You follow? And I could take that child up to Mars. And I could probably stand her on that hunk of rock and by the time she was done playing and not getting her dress dirty, the water would be flowing again, and it would be a fully habitable frontier colony. I could benevolently ship citizens there without making them pay a dime, poor people with no current prospects especially, and help them set up farms and mines and things, and get a return on my investment so major that I can't even contemplate it, and in fact would have as my biggest concern trying to keep wars from breaking out over it on earth. That is what I've thought up in the span of five minutes, and I'm notorious for not having any imagination, so tell me again how this isn't cause for concern?" He jumps when the knock comes, and goes scrambling for his gun which…he left in a locker. At work.

"Wh…." Elena at first doesn't understand what her father is getting at, because….well. It's rare that Ramon displays any sort of imagination. This sounds like something Luis would say, if he were awake or actually sociable. But when her father continues on, to talk about profit, return on investment - it almost sounded like it was coming from someone else than the humble technician the Gomez Patriarch started out as. And then, epiphany sinks in. She only saw that things grew on the not-quite backyard. She didn't really observe up close what happened with the butterfly coccoon. If she had, she'd probably be standing with her father, flipping out.

But the ramifications are certainly detailed enough. "Are you saying…?" she begins, just as the knock on the door suddenly jars them both away from present thoughts. When Ramon goes scrambling for a gun, Elena….doesn't need one. So she moves for the door. She had already mentioned that Peter might stop by over the weekend. She just wasn't sure he could. So when she opens the door to greet the visitor, she's not too surprised. But she does look a little tense around the eyes. Seeing him though, she does manage to give him a smile. "Hi…sorry, none of us are dressed," she greets. "Papa, it's Peter," she calls over her shoulder. Before Peter gets shot at again this week.

"Okay!" comes the little girl's call from somewhere in the house. And while the stop is gradual, the growing noticeably ceases.

Ramon relaxes. He is not in PJs, with or without snowflakes. Just jeans and a teeshirt. "Hola, Peter." A pause, then he looks back behind his shoulder. *Mama, please take Nita for a walk or something when you're done cleaning her up. Mr. Petrelli the younger is here, and he does not need to absorb this power, I think.* "Elena has just been filling me in."

"Hi," Peter responds, looking at her face for the whole time until she mentions not being dressed. He suddenly glances down, blinks a few times, and then looks back up at her face again, "Oh— sorry. I should have called ahead and warned that I was going to be showing up— but I was trying to surprise you…" Not so much that he pretended like he wouldn't try his best to drive all the way up here to see her new family house. He'd mentioned how much he wanted to try to do it when they talked last. It wouldn't be much of a surprise. "Mr. Gomez. Your new home is lovely."

"It's okay, I'm glad you made it," Elena says honestly, her smile turning more genuine. She takes a step back to let him in, after pecking him lightly on the cheek, and closes the door. "I was going to go make breakfast, have you eaten? Papa, you really should eat, too." She's home now, and Desiree isn't awake. Which means for the first part of the day, she'll have to make sure her father eats all three meals, with all the fiber, sprouts, and Non-Foods that he abhors. She'll make him, even if he's not hungry. He's tense. He needs to eat and get the happy juices going so he can think clearly. She doesn't hear the telepathic communique, but judging the way her father's looking over her shoulder, she could surmise what he's doing.

"RAMON!" booms the grandmother from the back of the house. "(Breathe! I'm not going to have my son asphyxiate himself over something that must have a solution. Take care of your guest and let me take care of your granddaughter.)" Looks like Grandma doesn't subscribe to telepathic messaging. But there's a shuffling in the upstairs. Little Nita's going for a walk. And to see one of the neighborhood kids. There's an excited stream of babbling Spanish somewhere in the upper floors of the house.

Ramon mutters under his breath at his mother. "I am not going to asphyxiate myself," he mutters. "Yes, Elena. I'll eat. I'd like eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits." In short, he thinks he can sucker his daughter into the cholesterol express. "Thank you, Peter." He looks solemnly at the boy. "Come in, make yourself at home. Please join us for breakfast. It seems we've got a lot to talk about."

The light peck on his cheek is returned, though when Peter does it, it's a lot closer to her lips than hers had been to his. Right on the corner of her mouth. "I'm glad I could too." Her starting the displays of affection in front of her own father certain loosened him up to one of his own. He's smiling lopsidedly as he fully gets into the house, making sure the door is closed and locked behind him. "I didn't eat, no. But I can help with the cooking if you want. I always like cooking breakfast." It's his favorite meal to cook, actually. And as a vegetarian, some of what he would make for himself would be healthier for her dad, probably. "Yeah— we have a lot to talk about…" But first, upon noticing the bruising, he has to ask. "Are you all right, Mr. Gomez?"

Ramon stares at this man who is standing in his kitchen. Not because he's kissing her daughter, but because he's talking about cooking. Men do not cook. And if they do, it is with /MEAT/. Over open FLAME. In the back yard. But…there are more important things at stake than certain weird habits of his daughter's boyfriend. "Based on what she told me I have a theory about what ends up happening to Evelyn."

"No. You're the guest. I cook," Elena says and gives Peter a look. Besides, she knows what her father likes. When Ramon requests for a one-way ticket to Cholesterol Express, her eyebrow ticks a little over one eye - but she's quick to cover that up with a very sweet smile. "Of course, Papa." Yes. Make him think his brand new Coercion trick actually works accidentally. So once both men are at the table, the first thing she does is pour them both a glass of orange juice on ice, and gets to work making breakfast. The chopchopchopchopchopchop of things on the block can easily be heard, considering the kitchen was rather well-built and almost cavernous. But she loves this kitchen. Loves, loves, loves it. It was like having an advanced graduation present from her father. But she'll let Peter and Ramon talk while she gets things going.

"I guess that means from now on when you're visiting me, I have to cook," Peter says, moving deeper into the kitchen to take a seat. He sheds a jacket that he'd worn into the house at this early hour and drapes it over his chair. Some men cook besides outside and on open flame. But he's a different kind of man than most. That's already been determined. "About losing her ability and then losing control over it? I'd like to hear it— because until I meet her and see if it's happened already… I don't really know what it could be." Only the Company has any way to take away people's abilities, and she wasn't tagged, and wasn't taking any pills.

"It was the whole thing about her losing her memory that caught my attention," Ramon says quietly. "That indicates the Haitian, or someone like him." He has to allow for other possibilities than his pet theory after all. Especially as he spun it out pre-breakfast and pre-coffee.

"She mentioned that she couldn't remember what happened if anything did happen, according to what Peter told me," Elena says from where she's working. "That might indicate the Haitian…" Though deep down she wondered if the man would actually do such a thing if he knew what was going on and what was going to happen. Despite seemingly loyal to the outfit he works for, she and her father have been privy to sparse instances of rebellion where he lets them go so they could do the right thing for him. They've been visited by him more than once and no one's been wiped. The order would have to come from someone higher, if that's the case. Still she doesn't say this out loud, mulling things over as she starts with sauteeing what she needs for a simple omelette, just tomatoes and greens and an assortment of peppers in some olive oil. Salt and pepper. Toss it around some more. Her back is to them so she can't really see the expressions on their faces, but she's listening.

Ramon does get some respite. Bacon is put to cook in a separate pan. She just won't tell him it's nothing out of a pig.

"I asked if she had the marks— she said she didn't have any marks… and as far as I know the Company's still tagging people they leave with memory holes," Peter leans forward on the table, glancing towards their cook, before putting most of his attention on the older man. "The Company— as far as I could tell— wasn't even really in existance in the future. But there were bigger problems there." Like an entire government that wanted to put most of the population into camps.

"Someone else could grab something that the company uses," Ramon says, tilting his head. "Or…a group of Evolved tries to take matters into their own hands in the wrong way and uses powers on her. Bottom line, having her shut down her powers instead of control them makes it worse in the end, so how do we attack that problem so she's left alone?"

That was a good question. "I think someone ought to talk to her first. She doesn't know any of this. I know I wouldn't believe it if someone sat me down and told me, yeah, you're gonna destroy New York because of what you are," Elena says, looking up from her work. "I don't know if you can say anything to a person that'll make them believe something like that. But if she's….controlling her powers now, or if she's at least aware of them, then maybe someone with news on the future won't be so farfetched." This is why she wants Peter to talk to Evelyn, because he's been there, and if the girl in the future gave him pointers as to how to approach her past self, then so much the better. She uses some cholesterol/fat-free egg substitute for the omelette, and starts folding it up. The bacon continues to fry. She starts hacking a loaf of whole-grain bread to slices so she can toast them.

"I have her phone number and her address— in her own handwriting," Peter says, opening up his wallet and pulling out the note on a piece of Hello Kitty stationary. Elena of the Future's, actually, but he doesn't say that. He puts it down. Name. Number. Address. "I was talking to Gene— FutureGene— and I told him who the tornado actually was, everyone in the future thought it was Sylar. He mentioned he knew Evelyn. I'm hoping he already knows her. I've met her twice, but it might be easier to deal with if she has someone she knows around…"

"Well for God's sake call him," Ramon grates. "Hell, get him over for breakfast. The kid gave me an entire lecture on responsibility which seemed to translate into something along the lines on how his brain is bigger than all three of ours put together and we need his gentle guidance with a touch of EZ Mac for good measure." In spite of his gruff words, he actually sounds fond of Gene, and like he respects him.

"It might very well be," Elena mutters, but she can't help the sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach when Peter says Gene's name out loud, and not only that, but that tone of gruffness/ in her father's voice that she knew very well indicated that he had grown fond of her friend. She pauses from hacking at the bread, glancing down at it. Thankfully her back is turned - the two of them won't see the expression on her face. She has to talk to him still about something entirely unrelated. Maybe inviting him up for the weekend would be good too. Just…she didn't know //how to approach this. How the hell do you tell a good friend of yours that you accidentally discovered he has a terminal disease? Still, she says nothing else. Instead, she plates the omelettes she made, and walks over to the table. Ramon and Peter first, neatly folded little pockets of veggies with melted cheese on top. Ramon has turkey bacon on the side, as well as toasted slices of whole grain bread and heart-friendly faux-butter spread for him. Peter doesn't eat meat, so he's got some assorted slices of fruit on his, and his toast is unadorned, but there's jelly, peanut butter, and other preserves in the small basket in the middle of the table.

"Might be a bit of a drive to invite him to breakfast right now," Peter says, folding the piece of paper up and putting it into the wallet again. "And I have to go back to the city tonight to meet with someone else already. I'll need to get his number from Elena, but I was thinking that the two of us could go visit him, talk to him about this— even if he doesn't know Evelyn, Future Gene gave me a couple computer files that we'll need to go through— and he wanted me to get Gene to help with Sylar too. Build things to help us find him, fight against him. Even if Evelyn's the tornado that we have to stop, Sylar's still a big problem in the future." One he's going to have to deal with.

"Thank you chiquita," Ramon says. He digs into the food, and then looks up at Peter. "Alright. Point me towards a course of action. What do you want me to do?" He's as comfortable following as he is leading. "Go through the computer files? Stay on the Niki problem because it will be important to understand how this personality splitting thing happens so it can be stopped if your brother starts showing the signs? Just tell me what to do, Peter. You were there. You know."

She's got her own omelette, and…GASP. It's NORMAL SIZED. The young lady's elephantine appetite should've meant that she'd have her plate full of all sorts of breakfast things, including things her father isn't allowed to it. But no, it's a regular portion, a couple of slices of turkey, and some assorted fruit. Looks like she's not that hungry, which almost never happens to Elena. She takes a seat at the table, and toys with her fork. "….Papa maybe…" she says hesitantly. But she stops before she could say it. Jessica almost turned him into salsa the last time he attempted it. She's not going to try and convince her father to stop it, but a spotter would be nice.

Choosing out the jelly, Peter works on making his toast a little more flavorful, but there's no rush to eat. The topic at hand is pretty important. "I don't really know, honestly. Your children are important and protecting them should take priority— but the situation with Niki is also important. I've tried to call her a bunch of times since I've got back and she hasn't answered the phone— I found out something important in the future that she needs to know— it might help with her situation. But…" Wait. "You didn't try to talk to her without me, did you?" he suddenly looks worried, then his eyes shift to the bruising. That wasn't because of him, was it?

"She called me," Ramon says. "When she called me, there was nothing I could do but go. None of us knew where you'd been at that point. I found out some things, but I don't know how to help her yet. She got control back when it counted though, and I find that interesting. You can talk to her even when Jessica's out front, and she /can/ get her own control back. Cass tranquilized her for me." That's…not entirely a true rendition of events, but he doesn't want them worrying.

His daughter? Is eyeballing him from across the table. The trauma she sensed earlier wasn't anything to be poo-poo'd at. Not to mention….she knows the Niki/Jessica creature hybrid is super strong. A love tap could break a jaw. She's SEEN the woman put her heel through Peter's ex-girlfriend's foot without so much as a bat of an eyelash. Worried? Hell yes. But she's not saying anything and contents herself to picking at her food, frowning just a little bit. "I'm thinking I might invite Gene up here tomorrow. He has a car." Hell, she's been in that car, running away from said ex-girlfriend after her Emperor Palpatine-like torture session. "I need to talk to him about some things anyway." Though she's looking at Peter curiously too, about Future Gene asking him to go back and recruit Old Gene to help with the Sylar problem.

"I'm sorry," Peter says with a grimace. "When I asked you to help, I'd intended to be there in case anything went wrong." That's why he'd been the best person for the job, because if he gets killed, he usually comes back. "I hadn't known I'd be gone that long when I decided to go." It'd been Desiree's vision that got him to decide to go, and he certainly doesn't regret going. But he hadn't meant to abandon his responsibilities here when he did. He'd thought he could just come back around the same time he left. "Next time, I want to be there." Even if he has so much else on his plate… There's a pause to take some of the stuff off of his breakfast plate, though, since Elena did cook for him. "I can try to come back up tomorrow morning— or maybe I can drive back up tonight. I just have to meet someone at the Bronx Zoo tonight— she was a big help in the future." If it wasn't for her, Elena of the future might not be alive.

"Getting her to go for 'next time' will be the trick," Ramon admits quietly. But something Peter has said has him staring out at that flower again, his single eye inscrutable and worried.

"Whatever you think might help," Elena says simply. "I think Niki is honestly a good person. If she's avoiding it, I don't think it's because she doesn't want help but to keep her from hurting anyone else. But we need to know how to do it, don't we? In case, just in case…" Just in case they fail. She was a realist enough to realize that they can and if they don't play their cards right, they probably will. But she's not about to accept that without a fight. Her fingers tighten on her fork even as she watches her father eye Juanita's flower in the vase. No, she didn't forget that either. To Peter, she nods - her expression looks a little relieved, but plenty grateful. She mouths a quiet 'thank you' to him when he offers to be there so he could look out after her father. And then, she nibbles on her breakfast. And as for his plans, she smiles faintly. "Yeah, well, you've got a busy week ahead of you just catching up to everybody," she says. "Just make sure you sleep on occasion."

The mouthed thank you earns a lopsided smile in return, but it's her final words that cause quite the reaction. Because… Peter honestly sleeps better with company, but he can't quite say that right in front of her father. He opens his mouth, though, and then hesitates and glances towards Ramon. Then back to his breakfast. A few mouthfuls later, and he continues. "Niki is a good person, and I think what I have to tell her will help with things a little. I'd explain, but I think she should know first." It's her husband that somehow came back from the dead, after all.

You know. It does not TAKE a telepath. Ramon grunts and stabs into his breakfast, staring at the two of them. "Nice to see you've made up," he growls archly. Stab, stab, stab.

Hmph. These are fake eggs.

At least he's quit staring at the flower though. "You can't be everywhere at once, Petrelli," he growls. "I suggest you write out a list at this kitchen table of things that need doing, and then you start assigning it to people who can handle it, even if it is just 'go to person X' and give out piece of information 'Y'."

"….what?" Elena glances over at her father, furrowing her brows. "But— " She never told her father she had been fighting with Peter in the first place. She never mentioned it. She went straight to Jaden's house that day, said goodbye to him over the phone, said bye to her siblings and grandmother, picked up her stuff, and left. She didn't tell Ramon any of that, which means………. she turns her head to give Peter a look. What? WHAT? He talked to Ramon while she was away? She can't help but be surprised….and honestly? More than just a little bit impressed. The father of a girl that a man spurns should be the LAST PERSON EVER that said guy would talk to about said girl. Maybe Peter WAS a little crazy. Oh my god. He really is insane. SHE MADE HIM THIS WAY. WHAT DID SHE DO?!

When her own father gets to the part on delegating, she shakes herself out of her gawking stare to nod. "He's got a point. You've got way too many people to see. You should at least ask for help for some of them."

When the father of the girl he's dating, wanting to be doing more with, makes the growl'd comment, Peter looks rather sheepish, suddenly paying a lot of attention to his omelet, or what's left of it. Yeah, she made him crazy. But he'd gone to talk to her father about the Niki situation— and she just happened to come up that day.

Write out a list of things to do. Tell people want to do. This— he's grimacing, looking very reluctant. Probably because he wants to take all of it upon himself, even if he promised FutureElena he wouldn't do all of this alone, even if he got riled up whenever she would take too much upon herself.

"Just a minute," he says, standing up from the table and grabbing his car keys. For a few moments, he's going to disappear outside, but he leaves his coat behind. When he returns, he's carrying a backpack. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack, which he puts on the counter for a short time and pulls out a few things. Two flashdrives and a DVD. "I honestly don't know what to tell people to do. But… this is all the information that Future Elena and Future Gene gathered for me. I haven't even had a chance to go through all of it yet. I made two copies. One of them I gave to Cass already, the other's in my apartment. These I was planning to give to Elena, but… I'm not sure what to do with it yet." He's not very good at delegating these types of things. He's a jump in and do it himself kinda guy.

"Fine," Ramon says. "I'm going to watch them and /I/ am going to make a list. And you're going to let me, because you're afraid I just peeked into your head right now."

Then he kind of smirks.

Meanwhile, Luis comes in, skateboarding in the house like he's been told not to do a zillion trillion times, and says, "DUDE. Is that a ninja turtle backpack? AWESOME. Do you play RPGs? I totally have the Ninja Turtle RPG. You'd make an awesome Donatello, man." So you see, Peter, in addition to saving the world, you'd make an awesome ninja turtle, and really, isn't that just what you needed to know this morning?

"…………." Elena has this look in her face. A look that says 'There is a reason why I chose not to date for years.' And this was before she found out her father was a telepath. Because like the young Gomez girl, Ramon does not sleep, he cheats. And he is cheating seriously hardcore at the present moment as he wrangles Peter into delegating some of the tasks in this massive amount of work he has to do for the good of the world. So instead, when he mentions that there are files he wants her to see, she reaches out for the TMNT backpack…

Only for Luis to skateboard into their pristine hardwood floors and accost Peter into being his Donatello.

"I'd agree but purple's not really his color," Elena says dryly, but she stands up to ruffle Luis' hair, and pack up the rest of her omelette in a handy sandwich to give to Luis. Who, like her (and everyone else in the Gomez clan who doesn't have cardiopulmonary problems), is a huge eater. Peter knows this, he had been horfing a sandwich as big as his head that Heidi bought him when they all visited Manny in the hospital.

"I'm not sure if there's videos on these files," Peter admits, though it wouldn't surprise them if Gene included the Saint's youtube site on there. It really wouldn't. He hadn't gone through them yet, though, beyond making copies, which he had to buy a bunch of new flash drives for. "I think I'd know if you did," he adds, though. But he's honestly not sure. Just he does sometimes get the feedback effect when someone tries to read his mind. "But you're right. I need to give some of thise to others." Even if he'd love to do all of it himself.

And then there's a kid. A kid who isn't alive in the future. He can't help but smile faintly, "Oh, the bag isn't mine. It— a friend gave it to me. I'm just holding onto it." Also in the bag is a set of clothes folded up. Work clothes from the Bronx Zoo, actually. Don't ask. He's sure the kid would love to hear the backpack is from the future, though.

"I think Elena's more of a Donatello," he adds. He always related more to Raphael. The reckless over-emotional one. Gee, wonder why.

Ramon still smirks. He looks hard at Luis though, as if wondering. "Luis, get your chores done," he says, but not unkindly. "The grown ups are talking now." Then back to Peter. "Whatever. I'll go through them and we'll make something happen. I don't know what you think the point of having a team is if you're not willing to use it. Just because you can do a lot more than the rest of us doesn't mean you don't need others." He's…

Ok, so he knows this from his own faults. Shut up. He learned.

She looks at Peter, and looks at his father. "He needs others. He's just not sure what to do with them most of the time," Elena says, flashing the younger Petrelli a teasing grin. And it's true. He did need them. Hell, his power is rooted on how strong his emotional ties are to others. He can't cut people out of his life even if he tried, it only made him weaker, not stronger. But she didn't really explain to Ramon how Peter is how he is. Ramon seemed pretty content with accepting Peter who he was without any explanations, so she just didn't bother with them. He was a straightforward kind of guy. So after clearing the table and loading up the dishwasher once everyone's done eating, and now that her father's got direction and trying to give Peter the same, she takes a step to the side. "I should go shower and change. I'll be back," she tells them both, and she turns to head out of the kitchen, leaving Peter at the tender mercies of her father.

Oh relax. He quit running over small animals!

And speaking of, there's a tiny meow from under the table. If anyone peeks under there, it's a tiny, fluffy white kitten with big green eyes. She stares at all of them: O_O

A little tag around the kitty collar says the kitten's name is Bulldog.

The two flashdrives are left on the table. The DVD is put back into the bag. Maybe he decided to handle that one on his own. Does it have 'Wonder Woman' sketcted across it in a female's handwriting? Yes it does.

At the meow, Peter bends down and sees said white kitten and reaches to pick her up, holding her against his chest and petting her head gently. "I didn't know you got a cat," he says, checking the tag. …Bulldog. That makes him smile. He's left alone to the mercies of the girl's father, he settles back into his chair, with the kitten still held and getting attention. "I know I need to get help, and thank you. I just… honestly don't know what to tell anyone to do." And there's some things he needs to deal with on his own. There's some things he has to do alone.

"Well, we'll find out. And it's Dezi's cat." That's his story and he's sticking to it. When it's not Elena's cat or Juanita's cat or even Abuela's cat. It's anyone's cat but his cat. It's also a boy cat, not a girl cat, in spite of the mysterious possession of female cat anatomy, and he had nothing to do with the name in spite of the fact that nobody else would pick such a moronic name. "Dumb thing walked in front of my car."

"Lucky cat," Peter says, scratching under her chin in an attempt to get her to purr at him. She's white, just like his puppy, who has a exceeding girly and obvious name like Snowy. But there was a reason he picked that name, and it was because of Elena and her poetry quoting. "How bad are you hurt?" he asks finally, inclining his chin in the direction of the man's bruises. He can heal, even if it doesn't always work.

Ramon grimaces. "Well, Lachlan and I got into a bit of a rumble, where I maybe threw out my back." he says slowly. "So some of it is from that. Jessica threw me into a wall and then hauled me up like Bulldog there." So translation: he is hurt like a son of a bitch. The women aren't here, you see, to watch this admission. Even then he is compelled to add:

"I walked it off."

Somewhere outside of the kitchen.



Damned parrot.

Bulldog, at the scritches. Leans. And leaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans. She nudges her head against the scritches. And purrs. She sounds like a miniature motorboat, eyes squinting half-way shut as she does.

With the kitten held against his chest, Peter stands up and walks over to the older man and touches his shoulder. He'll have a few moments warning to pull away from him, but then there'll be that healing warmth that he's felt before— it should help with some of it, since the pain reliever that happens to be his daughter can't take away that much. It's the damned bird that draws his eyes. Eric stares at Elena's ass?

…he will not be jealous. Eric of the Future is the one person he trusts with Elena of the future, and it's not Eric that's dating this Elena… The little motorboat close to his neck helps.

"Jaden," is Ramon's short explanation. Because really…nuff said. Everyone wants his daughter. He's going to have to schedule some massive tournament or something where they're all blindfold and not allowed to use their powers. He says, quietly, "You know. Maybe just spreading the word fixes this, Peter. None of our future selves came in knowing this had /all/ been foretold, right? Therefore, we know. Therefore, certain actions will get taken if we start seeing things go into effect. We know who the lynchpins are. So you need to stop stressing out. This is not all on your shoulders. We /all/ make choices. All of our choices are the threads which weave the tapestry ahead."

"It's already changed a little," Peter says, still staring in the direction of the bird, and the yelling at the bird. "Even before I got back, a few things changed. Elena didn't go to MIT. We're talking again. We're… dating." She also has a different tattoo, different location, but he's not sure her father knows she got a tattoo, so he doesn't say. The hand drops away from the man's shoulder and he moves back to sit on the chair. "Even if that's just a small change— it's pretty big. I know that learning of certain things in my future will change things I'd do… already did. One of the first things I did was try to find Elena. If she'd been at MIT, I would have been on the first flight there."

"Good," Ramon says. "She was worried that by trying to change the future we'd in fact bring it about. If we already know that's not necessarily true we'll go ahead and put her mind at ease on that point." He scratches at stubble beneath his chin and looks upward.

When she bounds back in, still looking irritatedly over her shoulder at Pauly (she loves the thing, really, it's just….), Elena's hair is damp from the shower, but pulled back with a claw clip. She's got on a shrunken, purple-and-white NYU short-sleeved shirt, and a pair of hip-hugging jeans. She's….also got a pair of monster fuzzy slippers on her feet, and they look like Donkey from the Shrek movies. And now that she's done some walking, she's making a beeline for the refrigerator again to find something to nom on, and settles on a whole pear which she washes in the sink. She drops down on a chair next to Peter, and furrows her brows at the folders sticking out of the TMNT backpack. Reaching over, she pulls out the paper files, taking a bite of the pear and looking over the data. But she freezes in mid-chew at what she reads. The text looks heavy. Scientific. With figures and diagrams. But she's staring at the paragraph on top that describes what it is that she'll be reading. "…."

"Nathan's been worried about that too. I… haven't told him everything, honestly. I don't know how to tell him that he might go insane and become someone else," Peter admits, looking down at his hands. "It's not quite the same, though. There'd just been some prophecies that he almost caused to happen because he was told them. But— there was the bomb, I don't know if Elena told you about that. We were able to stop that. I think we'll be able to stop this too." As long as they use what knowledge they have.

And there's Elena going through the files. A lot of it he didn't understand either. She wrote it. Future her. She has a better chance to figure it all out.

Ramon stares at Elena, his eye twitching faintly. Then he looks back at Peter. "He needs to know," Ramon says evenly. "So I will tell him. That's my job. Its now on the list. I have no problems pulling hard punches, and I've got some exposure to the phenomena that assaults him if things come to pass. Man to man, we can talk."

At least Peter's not oogling her like he could be. In fact, he pretty much leaves her alone to go through the files, except for the fact he lowers the kitten into his lap and reaches his hand under the table to touch her leg. Tactile contact. It's one of the many ways he works. "All right. Just as long as he understands that he was strong enough to fight him in the end— with your help and Jack's help— and mine too, but mostly you and Jack." His help was more… just being there. But he loves his brother. And telling his brother that he becomes a monster isn't easy.

Swallowing the bite of pear, Elena straightens up on her chair. "How….is this even possible?" she wonders out loud. The only handwriting she sees on the top is hers, but the rest look like official documents of some sort taken from a certain facility in the future. "It's not….we've been trying to perfect gene therapy for decades and suddenly these people think they can just bond an normal person's DNA with strains from people like us?" She fastforwards her reading, skipping sections to get to the results, and balks at the numbers. Not a lot of people survived the sample she was reading about. In fact, she looks a little gray. Feeling the touch on her leg, her hand drops down to rub her fingertips absently on Peter's knuckles, but she's still gawking at the numbers.


That's the idea plane, making its move right over Ramon's head. So except to offer a helpful, "Our generation has cloned dogs. We're victim to the disease that says we're all God."

With that, he stands up, and takes the flash drives so he can look at them at his computer. He moves for his study.

The older man takes the flash drives and goes to plug them in somewhere so he can read, and Peter shifts his hand around to hold onto hers on top of her leg. "I don't really know much about it." The files were difficult for him to understand. He's got a lot of science training, sure, but he was never that indepth in scientific medical theory or genetics. Which is why he's glad to have her for those— he'd been planning to give them to her and Cass anyway. The rest of the files are all on the flashdrives, and he's not made copies of those, so… "You might want to scan or photocopy those if you can— just in case."

There's a lot that he wants to say, but he can't quite bring himself to interupt her reading just yet. He'll sit here, hold her hand, and wait for her to get done— though he knows that may not happen before he has to go.

She doesn't even look up when her father takes the flash drives away from them so he can plug it into the computer. Ramon was a computer guy, he can get to those files no problem.

"I will," Elena says absently, and she sighs, lifting her hand to close the file's cover shut and resting a hand on it. She's still frowning, glancing over at the flower Ramon had been staring at worriedly earlier. There's something there to, on her face that she's not saying as she looks at that flower. Finally, she shakes her head, and squeezes his hand. "Come on, the least I can do is give you a tour of the place. You've never been here before, and Papa's pretty proud of it. The house is unique." Not a lot of people would convert a real farmhouse into an honest to goodness estate. The place is big enough for six children, two parents, and several pets - with room to spare. The fireplace in the living room was cavernous.

"Truth be told I can't wait to try the fireplace out during the winter. I bet it looks pretty out here with the snow." She glances out the large windows leading to the backyard. Finally, she stands up from the chair, tugging his hand lightly.

"What's going on with the flower?" Peter has to ask. If it'd only been glanced at worriedly once or twice, he might not have noticed, but he's seen it a few times now, and… With her hand holding on to his, he stands up and allows her to tug him along on the tour that she's promising.

"I love winters up here," he admits, looking towards the windows. "We had an upstate home when I was growing up— when it snows we should stay up here for a few nights, make snow angels or something. Assuming we have time between your classes and saving the world." At least she won't have to worry about getting snowed in if things go really bad. He can wrap his arms around her and fly her back to the city so she won't miss her classes if he has to.

"It is a really nice house." The poor kitten got left behind on the chair, but she'll probably pad after them if she really wants to.

Her hand in his, she leads him through the house. He already saw the living room, so she'll show him the basement levels/rec room before taking him upstairs to show him where the kids have been holing up when they're not in the city. Elena doesn't respond for a bit, wondering how to put this without sounding just a little bit more insane than she normally is. First, however, she'll respond to the winters. She tilts her head to him and gives him a smile. "Really? You guys have a house upstate? Is that where you grew up, or…?" She's been to the Petrelli mansion in Hyde Park, but she had no idea they have an upstate home. It sounds like he spent his childhood there though, it'd be interesting to see it. But she won't press for an invitation.

She laughs. "Well, we could," she says. "The great thing about college is that there are large blocks of time where students get to leave class. You know. Semester Break. Spring Break. Christmas Break. Thanksgiving Break. The Summer. All kinds of breaks. Hopefully I don't have to help you save the world through all those said breaks, because honestly that would really suck."

And about the flower, she chews on her bottom lip. "…I….don't…really know how to explain it…" she says, once they enter the basement level. It's huge, with hardwood floors, a huge plasma TV mounted in the back wall. There are Laz-E Boys, a stereo system and surround sound….and most importantly, there's a bar to the side. And it is well stocked. Near the other side is a pool table, which Elena has been using to improve her game whenever she comes up here.

"It's Juanita," she says finally, her brow creasing with worry. "She….I think Papa's implying that she terraformed the backyard." At eight years old.

"We had one— in Vernon— that's not too far from Syracuse," Peter explains, letting his question drop for the moment so that he can look around at her family's new home. He keeps his fingers entwined through hers and continues following her along. "I don't think we own it anymore— I only really lived up there part of the year— dad's business was in the city, so we spent a lot of time in the house in town too." But their schooling probably took place in the upstate private schools, most likely. Rich kid schooling. "Did grow up in the house in Hyde Park for later years…"

He pauses, there's a sudden thought, "You know, I didn't realize that I knew Eric when he was growing up until just recently. I mean he was a lot younger than me, but— we lived close to each other. When we stayed in the city. I knew his siblings a bit." Didn't really like them, but that's a story for another day! Despite the age difference between them, he actually remembers liking their youngest son best. They did some occassional sporty things together. Probably even played hockey, or lacrosse…

Then she does answer his question. And he frowns. Terraforming. "Are you sure?" he asks, looking back towards the stairs where they came. Weird powers are pretty common place these days, but… terraforming.

"That's too bad, I wish I could've seen it." If they don't own it anymore, no harm in saying that, right? Elena points out a few nuances about the rec room, before moving for the stairs again so they can go up the higher levels of the house. "Still I think that's good. Half city, half up here. I know I find being downtown pretty suffocating sometimes. I love it here, you can actually see trees and breathe fresh air." She takes a few steps up the second floor. The hall branches out from the right and left of them, so she starts at the left to make her way through the end. The master bedroom was huge, Ramon and Desiree's room. There's a jacuzzi tub in the master suite's bathroom. "Man. I wish I had my own bathroom," she says with a laugh. She might not get it here, but she can probably get it whenever she gets her own place.

"He did mention you guys were neighbors," she muses, recalling a past conversation - and she can't help but feel a little sinking somewhere inside her at the mention of Eric's name. Guilt wasn't logical in this case - when he declared himself in Spain, she told him the truth and he knew about Peter. But she also knew that he wasn't fickle about what he felt. And she didn't know how to approach that conversation, she's never done this before! "And the both of you play hockey. Eric plays lacross too, during the spring." She actually doesn't know that Peter played lacrosse. Just hockey. The hockey sticks were prominent in his apartment.

"I didn't see it. But Papa looks sure. He looked a little scared earlier. When I came to them, he was holding Nita and shaking. I don't know what he saw, but…Papa's not an imaginative guy. That's more Luis' thing. So for him to tell me that, he had to have been sure…he mentioned something about dropping her off at Mars and her converting it into a livable planet….return on investment and the things he could do with something like that to illustrate just why he was scared….I don't know, but he started to…." Scare her. "….make me worry too. Abuela took Juanita out for a walk, while you're here." She heard her grandmother bellow at her son earlier.

"I'll have to ask Nathan if we still own it," Peter says, thinking about it, "I haven't been up there since I was… twenty?" It's been a while, and that's just emphasising their age difference, something he usually tries to avoid. He keeps his hand on hers, looking at the nice bedroom with a nod. It does look like something that his family would have had, the rooms in the mansion in town are very nice, and something to envy— but she's known that while she's stayed there. "You'll have your own room soon enough," he says with a smile, knowing that she will when she gets her own place. They just have to get her into her own place.

"I play both too— just not in school or anything. I just played for fun." And he played with young Eric. Many years younger, but that doesn't stop neighbors from playing together. Probably taught him a lot of it. They have a lot in common, besides just the girl that they're both fallen for. It's a good thing he doesn't quite understand her guilt there— or why she has it. It might cause his own guilt. He knows that Eric won't give up on it. His future self even warned him of that.

But terraforming is important. "Well… we already know that your family has some… fairly powerful people in it." Her father. Her brother. Her. Now her sister it would seem. "And I could see how people would abuse that… maybe not for Mars— not when there's whole areas of our planet that can't be farmed… but… we'll figure out something."

This does make him look disappointed. Does that mean he'll never get to spend time with her little sister? He can't blame them for being cautious, but…

She laughs. "Nathan would know," Elena says. Because he seems to be the sort to keep track of the family holdings. And then she'll lead him down the hall, pointing out where Manny's room is, where Portia's room is. Luis's room has to be the most 'busy looking' of all the rooms so far because he has so many hobbies. He's got figurines, posters, computer games, gaming consoles, skateboards, boogie boards, snowboards, chalkboards, corkboards, drawings…. if it was possible, he probably had more interests than Elena did herself, and Elena was an overachiever. While Luis doesn't do as well in school, the number of his hobbies is staggering. There's even a half-built replica of a historical pirate ship on his desk, and judging by the measuring tools on it, the kid was probably trying to build it to scale.

"Eric actually quit the lacross team early last year in favor of his studies. I think Carson had to drag him back in," Elena says. Indicative that Eric and Elena have known each other for a while since she seems familiar with his frat buddies too. "For a few games because he considered him a lucky charm for the games against Columbia." Said with a wrinkle of her nose. Rivals. Boo. "Yeah…" she says softly. "….I don't know how it works." She rubs the back of her neck. "I found this out just today. I think it's good that Papa's keeping you and her separate for a bit until we figure things out." She looks over at him, giving him a small smile. It's slightly apologetic, but she means what she says. She'll do what she can to minimize the risks first, then Peter and Nita can play.

The door at the very end is her room, with a balcony overlooking the garden. Her closets are somewhat bare considering most of her clothes are in the city, for good reason, but she does keep a few things here - like the old dresser with her gazillion pictures from when she was young, to when she graduated high school, and the Wall of Overachievement. There's a balcony that leads out to look over the property, past gauzy, white drapes. ALL of her books are here. ALL of them. She's got a gazillion bookshelves now, while he would remmeber that there were books scattered everywhere in her tinier bedroom back in the old Gomez apartment. She has never sold back a single book in her life. She kept them all.

There's also a cd player, and her collection of CDs. These, too, are arranged in stacks. She moves further inside. There's also a display case now with a couple of familiar looking music boxes.

The tour does keep some of his attention, but Peter's also got his mind going elsewhere at the same time. Not just on Eric and his sports, or but on the young girl that it's not safe for him to meet. That makes two family members of hers it's probably best that he avoid as much as he can, and… honestly he doesn't exactly like this. He'd been looking forward to spending some time with her little sister— but he does understand. It just kind of bothers him, still. Abilities getting in the way of things that should be normal and natural, like meeting the girl you want to date's whole family.

But when she says she thinks it's good, he can't exactly argue it.

"I guess I probably shouldn't stay much longer, then. This is her home, she can't be forced to go walking for hours just because I'm here." It isn't exactly fair to her if she can't be in a place that should rightly be her own. It also means he probably shouldn't come visit again tonight or tomorrow… but… he doesn't say that part. Because then it might seem as if he's feeling sorry for himself. It was enough just to see the house, right?

And now they're at the room, the one that's definitely hers. Books upon books, many CDs and… the small music box collection. He smiles faintly at them. When she gets her own place, she'll display them there, right? Again, something he can't quite bring himself to ask outloud.

Well, he IS dating her. Elena certainly isn't seeing anyone else even if she knows she can while they're still in 'limbo', so to speak. She crouches down on her knees to look for something under her bed, and yanks out a few more books. She blows off the dust off one top of it, though it's not too dusty. How many does she keep under there? Probably a lot - the room shows signs that she's not done unpacking. Probably because she knows she'll be packing up some of this stuff anyway. Glancing over at his despondent expression, she watches him quietly for a moment, but she leaves it hanging. Instead, she walks over and shelves her books. In the right order. She has her own personal library now, this she'll keep in order even though her shoes tend to have problems staying together in her closet.

"She's at a neighbor's right now. Abuela actually lives near here," she tells Peter, tackling that first. "She probably took Juanita to see a friend of hers with a granddaughter her age. A few blocks down. She always liked roaming around….Papa and Mama used to get heart attacks because she tended to run off on her own while she was outside, if something caught her eye." Her voice is absent, as if remembering something. But she shakes her head afterwards. "Oh, did you see?" she asks, beaming at him and walking over to pat the display case. "I got it before we moved our stuff here. It's nothing too showy but it's nice enough."

She looks over at him, and she nods. "Yeah…" she says softly. There's a touch of regret there. Bad timing. "I'll…be back downtown on Monday. I just…I don't know what triggers your absorption yet. Cass is the one studying you, not me, so….if she's figured it out, she hasn't told me anything. But I promise, I'll find a way." It's not like he's the only one who wants to see him interact with her whole family. And if they start manifesting like this, she'll need to find out even more. She doesn't want him to keel over on the spot when he's at a house party here, if he chooses to go.

She reaches up a hand to touch his face in a gentle, reassuring manner, giving him a small smile. "You're giving me the kicked puppy look. It's not fair you know," she tells him softly.

More books. Peter almost smiles at that, but he's having a difficult time of it. Kicked puppy look and all. Serious expression. But he does follow her with his eyes as she adds more to the shelves. There's a small nod at the description of where the girl probably ended up, but he still looks a little hesitant. It's kinda the whole not really wanted thing that's manifesting. Even if it's his abilities that aren't really wanted.

"Yeah, I saw them— it's nice. I'm glad you found a way to display them." And there's plenty of room for more, too, but he doesn't say that, even if he's smiling faintly at her at that point. A smile that doesn't last too long, but it's there.

"I don't know if we'll ever figure it out. It's not like— it can be tested that often." He only has to meet a person once sometimes, right? Other times he has to meet them again and again. "I did figure out a way to avoid using a new ability I absorb, though— that's why I had the static response. I just have to use another ability I have control over. It works okay the few times I've done it— when I absorbed Evelyn's ability and started causing wind gusts— and when I absorbed Mr. Winters' and couldn't affoard to just put everyone to sleep." He used her ability both times, with the new friend, he used Elle's. But that's because Elle's was just closer.

But he still looks like a kicked puppy, because there's no way he can promise he won't absorb an ability, just that he found a way to control an unintended use— sometimes. Not all the time. He's leaving out how he almost fell through the floor a couple times after meeting someone who could phase.

With her touch, he leans into it, and then reaches up to touch the back of her neck and draw her into a kiss. It lightens his mood some. When it breaks, he nudges his nose against hers, and responds softly, "Sorry. Can't blame me for being a little disappointed, though…" He likes kids.

"….you did?" Elena says, looking over at him, surprised. She hadn't known that, that he learned how to keep a recently-absorbed power from manifesting accidentally by using one he could control. That was certainly a new one, and it's a rather creative approach. It made sense, really - if he was focusing on something else, his body would be concentrating on delivering that, instead of something it would trigger instinctively. By her expression, she looks quite impressed. "That makes sense actually, though I don't know if the same….method will work once your body start adapting to your powers further. I….Peter, I don't think this one-at-a-time thing is going to last. I mean, every month you discover something new about it, sometimes more than once a month. Hell even now you're still changing. Adapting. I don't think it's going to be forever, there'll be a point where you can wield two, maybe even more powers than that at the same time." His potential is limitless. Maximum potential, according to Darwin.

"Yeah, I know," she says softly. "Either we find a way for you to keep from using an absorbed one accidentally, or we drug you with the Haitian pills we have before you come to any family gatherings. I'd like to say I don't want to risk that….because something might happen, you know?" she says softly. So in other words, she doesn't know what to do. She needs to get struck by inspiration on that.

And aw. Kicked puppy look. She can't help but feel a little bad. But it is what he is. She knows he understands. And he knows that she knows. It will have to do for now.

She's pulled closer, and she kisses him back gently. She stays close, wrapping her arms around his neck, though her hold is loose around his shoulders. "When do you have to head back?" she whispers. His nose was against hers, and she can't help but close her eyes as he responds quietly near her mouth.

"I know— no way to know how it'll work, and I can already use two abilities at once… sometimes. It just isn't easy," Peter says softly, not wanting to argue with her, but not really liking this either. But it's just something he has to get used to. The one time he met her siblings, he vaguely remembers feeling woozy afterwards, and feeling a lot better once he left the room.

No one dropped dead, and the hospital room didn't suddenly grow trees, so he's not sure what that means in the end, but… "I know— too much at risk." He's a liability in a lot of ways. He's not particularly proud of all this maximum potential stuff, or the fact that he's pretty powerful. Especially not when it gets in the way of some things he wants— simple things. Extremely simple things.

But at least he gets to kiss the girl he's dating and trying to be more with.

There's another kiss, slightly longer now that she's draping on him. Arms slide around her to add additional support. Even if he feels bad about staying, she's making a good case to keep him around a while longer. "I have to be at the Bronx Zoo by six… so I can probably stay until four." Just long enough that he has plenty of time to get all the way there, and still have time to spare. That's a long time to hang out around the house… "Did you have something in mind?"

It would suck if they argued now. He just got back from the future, and he drove a couple of hours just to be here, and Elena….had gotten a little spoiled waking up to a warm body in the last two nights that last night she had problems sleeping. She's too proud to admit that though, probably not to him, but to everyone else, she would be. But she remembers that day in the hospital and the memory is probably what prompted her to say what she did. "Yeah…" she murmurs, absently rubbing the back of his neck soothingly with her fingertips. "I just need a good idea is all," the words come out as a quiet sigh.

At least there's that, and the more they do this the more her own misgivings about this falls away. It was just….it really wasn't so different as to how she's always acted around him. It's just that now he could touch and kiss her freely without worrying about people trying to kill her. Sort of. Maybe.

She doesn't respond yet, pulling closer. His mouth had its own ability to make her forget what she was about to say, and once they part, she watches him through half-lid eyes for a moment, uncomprehending, until.. "Oh…not anything in particular. I figured we could just hang around the house. Watch some movies." She sneaks a gentle kiss between words. "Maybe I'll be a brat and challenge you to pool." Or they could just do what they're doing for four hours. There's a reason why she doesn't remember the Illusionist even though they've tried to watch it again the second time. And she failed. Miserably.

No arguing. Not now. They'll probably argue again someday, maybe over something similar, but right now… no arguing. "I know— it can wait. Can't really afford a coma right now— even if I know you could fix it," Peter says, letting her know that it is okay, even if he doesn't have to be completely happy with it. He's still allowed to be disappointed. He'd wanted to meet her family. But just as he has a habit of distracting her and making her forget things, she has the same effect on him.

The hold doesn't lessen, and he continues to stay close, kissing her a few more times while she's speaking even, just at the side of her mouth— only when she's done speaking does he respond softly, "Whatever works— I'm just glad I got to be here… even if it's just for a little while. I missed you." He didn't sleep as well last night either, but he won't mention that. Instead…

There's a strong likelihood that they'll end up distracting each other until four, because he leans in to kiss her again. Wait, she mentioned pool… right… he should respond to that. "We could play a game or two, sure…" See— he can remember to respond.

Most likely. Peter was stubborn and Elena had a temper. If they won't argue now, they'll argue later, and probably explosively if their first fight was any indication. Her hold on him tightens just a bit. She knows he's disappointed. She feels extremely bad about it, but she doesn't know what else to do. She…they need to put their feet down on this, despite everything. But he does have a right to be disappointed. And on some level, in the small part of her that isn't afraid of things between them being so intense and serious since his return, she was disappointed too.

She can't help but smile as she talks, while his lips continue to roam over her face as she does. She can't help but stifle a giggle when he inadvertently tickles her at some point. "We saw each other the other day." Not yesterday, but the other day. It's only been twenty-four hours, if even, but… "I missed you too." She can understand it. They haven't talked for close to two months.

She would say more but she's silenced again. It felt good, to feel him everywhere even as she leans on him a little bit. "Okay…" she murmurs against his mouth. "Victor gets a back rub." Might as well make things interesting. Even if she's making no move to head for the door. Her kiss gets a little more heated, and then… "I think you need to pull me out of my own room," she groans against his mouth. Oh yeah. Smart idea, Elena, tell the GUY to stop and drag you out of this position.

There will be a fight in the future— but hopefully they both learned from the first one and will avoid such things that would drive them apart quite as badly as that last fight. Avoid telling the other to leave might be a good way to go about it. Some things probably shouldn't be said, even during heated arguments. Especially during heated arguments.

There's tenderness to the kiss, an attempt to keep things slow— but that isn't working out too well. As evidenced by her sudden request. Pull her out of her own room? Peter does break the kiss to look at her for a moment. This could be the break she needs to catch her breath so they can go and play pool. Or it could just be a break so he can glance over his shoulder and nod towards the door, closing it with his mind. Her father has a lot of reading to do… and… he really did miss her. Even if he had the advantage of being able to see her a lot of times the month that he was in the future. See her in a way, at least.

"Pool table will still be there in an hour."

Pulling her tighter against him, when he looks back he's kissing her again. The pool table will still be there in an hour. Or two. Or three. Or the next time he visits.

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