2008-02-12: Waffle Emergency

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Some very unlikely encounters at the International House of Pancakes.

Date It Happened: February 12th, 2009

Waffle Emergency


The IHOP, New York City

There is only so much time one can spend lying around an apartment waiting to get better before it gets very, very old - and to make her current predicament worse, Gabriel has been in something of a funk for the last few days. All in all, Elle needed to get out of that apartment. So she coerced her surly companion to take her out to IHOP, where she currently sits at a booth with her cast stuck awkwardly beneath the table, her crutches leaning against the side of the seat. "I'm just saying," she explains, folding her arms over the table in front of her glass of juice, "I think it'd be nice if Peter could have his place back instead of having to knock when he wants to come in. Except I have no idea where to look."

A hero's work is hungry work. And Hiro's food is waffles … food.

Looking decidedly tired, Hiro nudges the door to the IHOP open and makes his way in. He's wearing the cylindrical case over his shoulder that looks like it could hold a rolled-up poster but, to those in the know, is actually holding the Kensei sword. He keeps it with him all the time - losing it once was more than enough.

As he waits to be seated, he removes his glasses and rubs his eyes. The temporary blurry vision when he casts his gaze in the direction of the booth is enough to keep him from recognizing the people there. Suddenly he's being spoken to and directed towards a seat of his own, so his focus turns to the waitress.

Taking a break from looking out the window into the street, Gabriel turns his attention to Elle, reaching down and grabbing his own cup of juice to take a drink. Once he's finished, he sets it back onto the table, finally opening his mouth to speak. "I'm sure you could find something in the newspaper, or something like that. Peter might even be able to help you. It depends on what kind of place you want, what part of the city, how many bedrooms. All of that." As he speaks, he looks up past Elle, spotting Hiro as he enters the building. He motions in his direction with his hand and a nod, voice kept low for Elle. "Hiro Nakamura."

Anything she might have said on the subject of housing is set aside when Gabriel calls her attention to the new arrival. She resists the urge to look over her shoulder, settling instead for turning her head just slightly, on the off-chance that he might be in her peripheral vision. "Where is he?" she asks, her voice dropping low, flicking her eyes back to Gabriel with a faintly suspicious air. "… he doesn't have a sword again, does he?"

Hiro doesn't have super-hearing or super-ability-to-know-where-Gabriel-and-Elle-are so he is completely unaware of them as he's escorted towards his table for one and he sits down at it. He picks up the menu, flicking immediately to the waffles section and trying to decide just what sort of waffle he wishes to partake of today.

"That table over there," Gabriel responds to Elle, giving his head a little flick in the direction of Hiro's table. While Elle may seem suspicious, Gabriel doesn't seem worried in the least. "He's got a.. tube on his back. It probably has the sword in it." He takes another sip of his juice, turning his eyes back to Elle and watching her.

"You don't look very…" Shifting in her seat, Elle turns back to her companion with confusion on her face, arching a brow. "…worried." Astute observation, isn't it? Curling her hands around the glass of juice, she watches Gabriel curiously, as if he might snap at any moment. "The last time you saw him, he teleported you to the Sahara." Which seems, to Elle at least, a perfectly logical reason to be at least mildly concerned about Hiro's presence in the restaurant.

Hiro watches as the waitress steps over to him, spouting off his order. His English has been improving steadily since he arrived in the US but these last few weeks of being by himself without Ando to help have cause it to jump ahead in leaps and bounds. He orders some waffarus and apple juice, settling back in his seat with a contented-if-tired smile. Ahh.

Taking another sip of juice, Gabriel glances over at Hiro before looking back to Elle, shrugging slightly. "He just wanted to talk. Figure out if I was still…" Sylar. The name goes unsaid, but he believes Elle will understand. After the events at the watchshop… he's not so sure he can't creep up again, and he doesn't even want to say the name aloud. Superstitious of something he created. "I managed to convince him I wasn't, told him everything that had happened, and then he brought me back. That's when I went to the hotel."

Respecting his reluctance to say the name aloud, Elle only nods in acknowledgement of his words, her expression shifting in a subtle way. "Still not sure I like sitting in the same restaurant as him," she muses quietly, finally cautioning a glance over her shoulder to Hiro as he sits alone. "Not if he's going to walk around with a sword." Glancing back to Gabriel, a faint smirk graces her face. "I'm counting on you to carry me out of here if we have to make a fast exit."

Sitting there in silence as he waits for his meal, Hiro didn't bring a book or anything so it is only natural that his gaze begins to wander around the place and the other people present. And so, he turns slightly in his seat only to spot Elle and Gabriel in their booth. He doesn't attack, though. He doesn't even frown or look frightened and teleport away. He actually smiles a little, attempting to look covert as he raises a hand to wave at them under the table.

"It wouldn't be the first time I had to carry you," Gabriel says, his lips betraying the small hint of a smile. He hides it behind his juice, however, as he takes another drink, finishing the glass off. He just so happens to look back over to Hiro when he waves, and Gabriel gives him a small nod of his head in return. "Well, either way, it looks like he knows we're here now."

"Are you serious?" Gabriel may not be worried, but Elle can't deny that her heart skips a beat when he suggests that they've been spotted, ducking her head as if it would make any difference. The notion that they might encounter someone like Hiro - who harbored at least some measure of ill will against Gabriel once - without incident is alien to her, and she all but gapes at Gabriel when he nods in response to Hiro's wave. Poor little girl, never having experienced much by way of normalcy. Once more, she looks over her shoulder to Hiro, though she doesn't return the wave with any gesture of her own.

If Hiro does have any ill will he is masking it well as he stands up from his table. His enthusiasm over seeing them apparently isn't just 'Oh, some people I know are in a restaurant that I am also in' but something a little more. He begins to weave through the tables on his way towards them, the relieved smile still on his face as he waves a little more obviously as though to say he wants to speak to them.

"What are you so scared of?" Gabriel watches Elle, frowning at her slightly. "You don't have anything to worry about. He knows I'm— better now. He knows I ca—" Whatever he was going to say next isn't said, as Gabriel looks up and over at Hiro, who is on his way over. "Don't.. freak out or anything, but he's coming over here. If he tries to do anything, I'll make sure he doesn't. I really don't think he will."

Telling someone not to freak out is tantamount to telling someone not to push the large, tempting red button flashing in front of them. Her eyes going a tiny bit wider, Elle fixes Gabriel with an unwavering stare, willing herself not to look as Hiro approaches. Her muscles are tense, hands gripping the glass of juice tightly. Why is she so bothered? "What the hell does he want?" she asks urgently, her voice barely above a whisper.

Hiro is quite close by now, close enough to pick up the last part of Elle's frantic whisperings. He doesn't seem too worried about the possibility that they may freak out over his presence and attack him - he's trusting and he projects a trustworthy nature on everyone he meets. He isn't loud as he stops alongside the table, between the both of them, and looks a little more serious. His tone isn't menacing, though.

"I want to help."

While Elle may be freaking out even worse about Hiro coming over to him, Gabriel still doesn't seem bothered in the slightest. "… Elle," Gabriel says, sliding a hand across the table towards her. He may have been moody and on edge the past couple of days, but something about Elle's reaction to Hiro makes him want to comfort her. The more human side of him taking over. "It's going to be okay."

He looks up to Hiro when he arrives, and even though he isn't worried, he does look confused. ".. help with what?"

It's only when Hiro speaks that Elle manages to pull her eyes away from Gabriel; even then, it's only a cursory glance that is cast to Hiro before her gaze drops to the table. Her muscles are still tense, but she gradually releases the glass from her death grip, pushing it away from her. Rather than becoming an active participant in the conversation, she opts for prodding at the small corner of waffle remaining on her plate.

"Peter Petrelli," Hiro says flatly, keeping his head ducked slightly as he speaks to the pair of them as to not attract too much attention, "He killed my father. He needs help … to stop being how he is. I know somebody who can help."

Gabriel withdraws his hand from Elle's side of the table, cupping his glass between both hands. It's empty, but it's something to hold onto while he speaks. "Peter?" he says, giving Elle a quick, sidelong glance, before looking back to Hiro. Maybe a discussion about Peter will get her to open up a little bit. "It's.. not something you can just stop. It's— it's hard to describe." Gabriel knows exactly what Hiro is talking about that Peter needs help with. He knows all too well.

He knows her well. If anything pulls Elle's attention away from the table, it's the mention of Peter; she looks back up to Hiro abruptly as he speaks, searching his expression for any hint of deception or insincerity. Finding none, she somewhat awkwardly slides over to leave some of the seat free, wordlessly inviting him to sit down next to her. Her heart hasn't quite returned to a normal pace, and Gabriel at least will know her body language well enough by now to recognize that she isn't totally at ease, but these are baby steps she's taking here.

Hiro looks over as Elle moves, nodding his head and sitting down in the booth as well. He looks to the waffles on the plate before he slides it sidelong to sit in front of Elle as well. He likes waffles but these are Elle's waffles. As Gabriel speaks, he nods his head.

"I know. But … did you ever have it before you had your power? I think it is caused by the power, yes?"

"The hunger? No. It's the power what causes it. My power." Gabriel contemplates Hiro for a few moments before continuing. His voice drops a few notches, and he looks a little uncomfortable. "It's what… made him kill your father. I never meant for him to get it. He found out how to access it… once he did, that's when it started. It's something he'll probably always have to fight with."

The sky's darkened. There's even a good amount of cloud cover blocking out the moon and what stars might be visible in New York City. Not many, surely. There's always a lot of sounds of life, even over the music and the clinking of silverware and plates. But suddenly there's a bunch of horns that go off, honking at something…

Or someone.

There's a sudden sound as something slams into the glass window rather heavily. Know how those birds fly into windows and bounce off to die from the impact? That just happened— with something a lot bigger than a bird. A person, from the quick glimpse they might have gotten before he collapses outside. There's large impact cracks in the window.

Father, father, father. They aren't trying to be insensitive, but the longer she sits here, the more uncomfortable Elle is becoming. At first, she merely sits in silence, looking between the two men as they speak. Ultimately, however, it's a bit more than she can really take at the moment. Slowly, she slides out the opposite side of the booth, leaning over Hiro to pull her crutches over. "I'll be back in a minu— " And that's about when someone or something flies straight into the window. "Jesus." Quickly, Elle shoves her crutches beneath her arms and hurries over to the window, craning her neck to see outside.

Hiro is confused about Elle's reaction, pausing to watch her get up and move. He turns back to Gabriel after a second, continuing the conversation with an air of conspiracy.

"But I think I know a way for him to turn it off so he can't get to it anymore. If he can't control it like you. I know someone wh — <What?!>"

Hiro switches back into Japanese when he jumps a few inches from his seat and immediately turns his head to look at the window. The hero part of him quickly kicks into action and he moves to get out of the booth as well.

Gabriel does much the same as Hiro, watching Elle as she excuses herself from the booth. He frowns slightly, but he turns his attention back to Hiro when he begins speaking again. "It's.. not as easy as just turning it off. I wish it were." He opens his mouth to say something else, but the loud crash at the window causes him to jump, and a split second later he's out of the booth, turning towards it. Following after Elle and Hiro, he comes up behind them, standing on the tips of his toes to see over them and out the window. "What the hell was that?"

Luckily, the restraunt hadn't been that full when this… rather unique situation presented itself to them. There's still a couple customers, most who stand up to stare, while one of the waitresses asks someone to call 911. There's definite movement. There's also movement outside.

Definitely a person, as they get close enough to the broken window to look out and down. Someone who apparently survived the impact. A dark coat, dark hair, rather familiar in shape. Odd how destiny has a particular way of making people drop into the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time.

A hand rests on the window, to try and push himself up onto his feet better. Skin is visible under the sleeves. He's bleeding. The arm looks as if it took some damage from the "landing". He glances to what he hit, and just happens to look right through the window. At three people he knows. The person they were talking about just crashed into their window. There's blood on the side of his forehead.

Under the circumstances, Elle doesn't wait for Peter to rise to his feet and look through the window; the second that familiarity strikes her, she takes off at impressive speed, considering her crutches. She still hasn't said a word, but by the time Peter is standing and looking at them, all he's really going to see is the back of her head. Throwing the door open, she hobbles out onto the sidewalk, headed for the clumsy hero. There's very little chance that she's going to make it there before Hiro or Gabriel can catch up and surpass her, but this is where she chooses to speak, her voice fraught with concern and confusion: "Peter?!"

"Peter Petrelli!"

Hiro calls out towards the wounded hero as he rushes out of the IHOP towards him. He still pays careful attention to Elle's hobbling crutchesness, waiting for her to be clear of the door before he steps through himself. He hurries out himself, pausing to hold the door open for Gabriel of all people - how times have changed. He waves a hand over his head, shouting out in Peter's direction once again.

"Peter Petrelli!"

As soon as the ex-killer realizes who is on the other side of the window, he can't help the extreme surprise that crosses his face. Of all the people in the world to run into, much less in this fashion, it's Peter. Funny how things sometimes work out. As soon as Elle and Hiro bolt for the door, Gabriel follows, giving Hiro a quick nod of thanks when the door is held open for him. Times definitely have changed. He rushes quickly down the sidewalk, making sure not to bump Elle on his way. "Peter! What happened to you?!"

As they go to the door, Peter grinds his teeth in pain as he limps— yes, limps— to meet them halfway. There's blood on his legs too. The impact did a lot of damage. Damage that seems to be sticking. The blood gathers on the side of his forehead, dripping down his cheek. What happened? "I— saw my father." Everyone here happens to have issues with their father in some capacity, it would seem. "I think— I think he took… most of my… abilities." Which would explain why the wound on his forehead, the visible wounds on his arm… they're not healing. Though they aren't quite as plentiful as they should be. Thank god he could still fly. "What are you doing here?" he asks, looking from one to the other. He looks absolutely exhausted— and a crackle of electricity suddenly sparks from his fingers. This only serves to make him look even more exhausted.

"You're not healing." Elle wants nothing more right now than to be able to set her crutches aside and loop an arm around Peter to help him inside, but she couldn't do so without falling and doing more damage to herself. She'll rage in frustration about her broken leg another time. "Help him get inside," she suggests urgently, awkwardly backpedalling in a hobble towards the door. She doesn't even bother to explain what they were doing here. Right about now, the information that they were eating waffles five minutes ago just doesn't seem that pertinent.

"He stole your power?" Hiro doesn't quite understand that although he can see why somebody would. Why would Peter Petrelli's father be an evil power stealing villain? Yes, that is how Hiro's mind works. He jumps immediately to categorize new factors in his life - stealing powers? Birrain. He answers Elle's question on Peter's behalf by theorizing:

"He stole your healing power. You need a hospital!"

People don't fall out of the sky and not suffer some hospitalizing wounds, even in Hiro World.

Elle's right. Peter isn't healing. Gabriel steps forward, taking Peter's arm and throwing it around his shoulders, Gabriel throwing his own arm around Peter and supporting his weight. "Here," he says, helping him limp towards the restaurant's doors. "He just— took your powers?" He looks up at Hiro, wondering if a hospital isn't such a bad idea. Or at least somewhere better than here. He glances at Elle, concern on his face, and then looks at Peter. "A hospital will ask questions. Is there anyone else we can go to?"

"No— not here, not a hospital," Peter gets out, voice showing not just the pain he's feeling, supporting Gabriel in this situation, though he is pretty much telling the other two no. "Too public. I need… to get home." The people in the IHOP are already calling an ambulance, but they won't understand how he slammed into a window while trying to land, anymore than the witnesses who have pulled over on the street will. And he's not even sure he can tell them to forget everything that they just saw.

There's no protests against his arm being tossed over Gabriel's shoulder, or the physical support that follows. Though the man will get blood on his clothes. "Touched me. Took them. Not all, but…" He won't explain how he jumped off the roof with no idea at all if he could still fly… "Take me… home. I can deal with this… until I can call… someone who heals." It hurts. But he had been a nurse. He's pretty sure these aren't death causing. "I had slowed down… when I crashed. Was too tired…" They couldn't possibly understand just how tired… "Just need… to get home and sleep."

"Rebekah Morgan," Elle suggests quickly, casting a glance to the window, conscientious of the fact that they've left everything inside - coats, wallets, keys. "She's a doctor at the hospital. She's a healer and she won't ask questions." At least, she certainly didn't seem to be asking any when Elle was looking for help only a few days before. Adjusting the crutches beneath her arms, she gives a pointed look to Gabriel. "Don't go anywhere. Hiro and I will grab our stuff from inside and we can go. I know enough first aid to take care of him until we can get someone there to help." Without giving time to argue, Elle turns away from them and limps back to the doors, motioning for Hiro to come with her. If he really wants to help Peter, now's his chance.

"I will get it," Hiro says, taking note of Elle's limping about everything and deciding that she shouldn't be walking (crutching?) anywhere that she doesn't absolutely has to. He's almost inclined to teleport before he decides to just rush inside and scoop up everything, bustling out and looking (for the most part) like a bundle of coats with legs. From beneath them, his muffled voice asks:

"Do you need to teleport home?"

Looking around them, Gabriel is beginning to grow concerned, as the number of people looking at them is growing. It must be quite the sight. "Is there— all these people watching, should we really teleport in front of them?" Not that it probably matters. Peter needs to get home and quick. "Can you teleport all of us at once? If not, Peter should be the one to go first."

"Bekah," Peter says, looking at Elle with some tired kind of acknowledgement. He's not fuzzy, at least, his eyes aren't glazed over. It's unlikely he got a concussion when whatever caused the bleeding on his forehead happened. "Yes— call her— she…" The voice trails off, he slumps a big against Gabriel's shoulder as he closes his eyes. About to pass out? Not quite, though he might be looking that way, anyway. He can still fly— what other abilities does he still have? He doesn't even know if he can teleport. The people who are staring— they already got a story to tell. A man falling out of the sky (did he jump off a moving truck!? Did he jump off the roof!?) isn't something you see every day.

Hopefully no one got a future youtube video on their cellphone. Though the longer they linger, the more likely. "I can make it a few blocks," he says. "Might be able to teleport us— once we're out of sight."

Blinking several times as the little man hurries past her and collects all of the coats, Elle reaches out to take her own, at least, from his arms. "Thanks," she mumbles quickly, pulling her jacket on awkwardly as she balances the crutches. Glancing back to Gabriel, she continues, "If he can make it a few blocks, we'll do that. We don't really have a choice. No cabbie is going to stop and pick us up with him like that." Peter's lethargy is cause for concern, and for a few seconds Elle simply stands there unmoving, watching him sadly. "Let's go." Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Elle begins to hobble down the street, searching for an ideal place to teleport away.

Hiro does not really 'get' the whole idea of not teleporting in front of people. In his experience, most people just pretend they didn't see the diminutive Japanese man appearing in the middle of the street. But a hero's true identity must remain secret.

"I can."

He doesn't really know for certain as to whether or not he can carry so many people but he'll try. He always tries.

Gabriel \\o

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