It's A Wonderful Life

Participants:

elvis_icon.gif helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title It's A Wonderful Life
Synopsis Helena makes it a white Christmas, and muses with Elvis on how different their lives might have been.
Date December 24, 2008

New York Public Library: Rooftop


It's Christmas Eve, and it's raining. Well, for most of New York, it's raining, but Helena has managed to turn it into a light, lovely snowfall in Midtown. She's standing on the roof, barefoot and without a stitch of proper winter clothing on, just jeans and a sweater, and appears utterly unbothered by the chill. She's looking out over the ruins, and beyond it to the glittering lights of the rest of the city, her face an odd composition of yearning and hope.

With the big steel tacks in her boots pulled off, Elvis really is actually rather stealthy. Its flick whisper of her vintage HRC lighter that brings attention to her position. "You know, I cant speak for everyone boss. I would rather prefer seventy degrees and sunny skies though, not that I dont appreciate snow and alla that shit but yaknow its sort've a pain in the fucking ass in the ass right?"She shrugs, tucking her lighter away as she works her way across the roof towards Helena. "So, sup?"

Helena grins sidelong to Elvis once the lighter flickers and Helena notices her. "I know," she says, "But a white Christmas is the least I can do, and it's not a heavy fall. Just enough to make things picturesque, you know? Merry Christmas, Elvis - if you celebrate it. Insert appropriate genero-greeting here."

Elvis just sort've rolls her shoulders. "Merry christmas boss. Not really the holiday type."she summarizes a fairly long explanation she'd had in mind. "Conrad seems pretty cool, the dispensary is really nice. I'm getting my shit moved over there, and then I'm probably gonna end up helping out there for awhile. Not like I have a whole lot else to do this time of year."

"It's wierd." Helena agrees. "I could call my dad, but…ehh. He hasn't bothered to try and see if I was okay. Probably wouldn't want to hear from me. I might get to see someone else…soon, but I don't know how happy he'll be to see me, either."

Elvis perks an eyebrow, offering over a flask as she steps downwind. "Yeah, my pops wont even talk to me. I tried sending him cigarettes and some photos of his bike and the dogs and shit, didnt want anything to do with me. I think all fathers are sort've like that, well hell all men really but thats like a whole other prescrption isnt it?"

Helena is on the roof with Elvis, and it's snowing in Midtown because Helena makes it so. She's barefoot in jeans and a tee, while Elvis is wearing clothes suited to the weather. She accepts the flask with a murmured thank you, takes a swig, and promptly chokes, her eyes tearing. "Oh…" she offers it back to Elvis. "Good stuff. I don't know about all men. Some aren't dogs."

Right on cue, the Sicilian shows. Audibly if not immediately to sight, blurred and distorted as he is by the static of falling snow. His feet make noise, though. Clomp-clomp up the stairs to the roof. Scuffing to a halt the instant he encounters the cold and the white, an expression that approximates horror on his face. He cranes his head to and fro, almost slaps the doorframe with his forehead. Unnh. "Buona sera." His voice creeps out into the open like a furtive thing.

Elvis smiles just a touch"I'm fairly certain your fulla shit, they're all dogs."she flicks a cigarette butt into a strategically placed coffee can. "So anyway, I'm gonna stop smoking for new years. I think-"she pauses abruptly, peering over her shoulder to Teo with a frown thats hidden in the swell of her silk scarf. A garment she quietly adjusts to cover for the lack a cigarette. "Oh hey, its Teo."she says, flatly. Yes, Teo.

Helena lets out a laugh. "Let's call it wishful thinking?" she counters Elvis, and then looks over at the Sicilian man. Another laugh, and she holds out her hands. "Come here, Teo. I'll make you warm." Only Helena can say that and have it not be suggestive. The snow abates, and in fact, it does start to warm up in the area around her, slowly but surely. "Buon natale."

Teo's eyes go crescent-shaped with a smile that doesn't reach his mouth, mostly because he doesn't like to expose his teeth to the cold: it makes closing his lips again dry-sticky and uncomfortable. Sending a dubious glance toward the sky, he nevertheless comes forward to join the women. "I'll be out of your hair in a moment," he promises Elvis with easy temperament that's as characteristic to him as bad temper. Not the worst blizzard in the world can block out the force of her censure when she cares to make it so. He installs himself inside Hel's bubble of warmth. "Not yet, donna, but soon. How are you both?"

Elvis shrugs "I'm gonna stop smoking, about the same time I'm gonna try making machineguns from plain stock."she nods, yep not having a happy holidays or any of that bullshit. Ohno, its guns and smoking. "How're you, still looking for a bike?"which is a predictable topic perhaps if only because its the only neutral topic she has with Teo.

Teo says, "all right, Hel?"

"Not bad." Helena says with a shrug. "Christmas Eve blues, you know what I mean? My dad's in Sleepy Hollow drinking scotch with his new wife or whatever…" And Peter's in the clink. "Are you going to go to Mass?" Looking over at Elvis, she can't help but grin. "Grinch." she teases. "Maybe I should go hang out with you and clean bike parts or something." And then randomly, "I kind of want pie."

"My friend's thinking about taking me to a…" What's the term? Teo takes a moment staring disfocusedly at the horizon to remember. "Boneyard. Find something to work on between saving the world, I think. Or maybe signor Edward will leave me off the hook, and I'll go accidentally blow up the remains of a bike while you all are using your abilities for great justice. Until then, no: no bike.

"I've stopped smoking before. Didn't stick." His gaze swivels back to Helena, and he nods his head. Twice: for both Mass and for the Christmas Eve blues. "Abby will be making dinner here. Assuming you don't tell her to stop. And tranquilize her, club her over the head, possibly cuff her to the opposite fucking end of the library from the kitchen. You should both eat some of it. I think she wants you to."

Elvis blechs "too snowy to do bike shit, I'm gonna head to my Krav maga gym around midnight if you wanna come with. I got a couple trainers I could loan you."She lifts a hand to sort've errantly futz with her ear"Man I'd kill like ten fucks for a big fat steak, with some crushed pepper and some sliced raw yeller peppers off to one side."and cigarettes, and beer.

"Of course I'll eat some of it." Helena pauses. "Do you uhh, know if it's good?" The food Helena makes is good, but she's never experienced Abigail's culinary stylings. "I dunno if I want to spend my Christmas Eve getting my ass handed to me. I mean, I'm good for it all the rest of the year."

It is probably hard to distinguish Teo's earnest enthusiasm from ironclad loyalties, but he probably means well either way. His right hand comes up, forefinger and thumb looped into an O, other fingers splayed to the K. "She cooks excellent. She could probably cook that," he adds, nodding at Elvis. "I think she bought a lot of meat. I'm not sure about the peppers, though." Mention of Krav Maga elicits a half a smile, but he thinks better than to mistake the invitation extended further than the blonder of the biker's current companions.

Elvis normally wouldnt mind bringing Teo along, he was like her brother in arms or some shit now right? The midnight class, was an all womens class however so there was a slight hiccup there. Anyway, Teo's vote of confidence garners an inquisitive peer at Helena. "You cook and I'll get get wine, I mean like proper dinner wine not the shit I normally get for its alcoholic effects. "not that she wouldnt drink thunderbird with her dinner mind you.

Helena grins. "I could do that." she agrees, "But it would be rude not to have some of Abby's cooking." There's a thoughtful pause. "We could have Abby's stuff now and I can cook while Teo and Abby are at Mass and when they get back we could have ourselves a way after midnight supper."

"And I should go help her," Teo realizes, after a moment, his eyes cutting humorously narrow with the realization. Abby, he means. "I hope you enjoy yourselves. And the wine. Signorina, signorina," inclining his head once for each of them; gives Hel's sleeve a tug of gratitude — for the warmth, and Elvis a grin with all his teeth, momentarily forgetting the inevitable discomfort. "See you in the morning at latest, I hope." He takes a backward step and turns away, a hand flaring: farewell.

Elvis watches Teo leave, before leaning towards Helena a touch. "Yaknow, she kinda creeps the holy fuck out of me. All jesus frak and shit, I mean I know she heals people but fuck if I could heal folks everyone would love me too."or so says Elvis anyway, nevermind the cop fighting and the chain smoking and the drunken brawling. " I'm sort've a bitch I know, but seriously no foolin."

"She freaks a lot of people." Helena admits. "She believes that she's no Evolved, that it's God who works through her." She shrugs. "I'm fairly certain you can mix science and faith, but that's just me." Her expression turns wry. "She wouldn't be in half as much trouble in her life if not for me, but thing is, no one forced her into it, either. Just try to ignore the Jesus stuff when it crosses the line into the crazy. She's essentially a good person."

Elvis sticks out her tongue "You didnt have to live with it, I did. Teo totally called me a liar when I first met'em, the two of them were together and shit. Boyfriend and girlfriend, they deny it but that got all those like quiet together moments yaknow? Thats what bugs me, the dishonesty of alla that shit."she nods, stuffing her face back down into her scarf.

Helena looks speculative. "Teo…Teo kind of has this vibe. Like, it doesn't matter who he's with, people just sort of assume there's something sexual going on with him and whoever, even if it's not. Abby's not the first person to be mistaken for his girlfriend. People have even mistaken him for having boyfriends. So truth be told, maybe it's going in that direction, but it's just as likely that it isn't. It's just Teo."

"Dude is fuckin sketchy then, ok so am I right?"she sniffles, watching the snow fall. "So ok topic change, You need a mother fucking bike. You and me have gotta go pick shit off, because I am the only chick in this entire criminal enterprise who rides motorcycles and frankly I like Diego but he's too much of a prick for me to wanna ride anywhere with him. You need to get'cher shit on two wheels."

Helena shakes her head ruefully. She really doesn't know how to explain the Teo thing. She trusts him and he's her friend, and it's a charisma thing, not a sketchy thing. She brightens a little at the prospect of a bike. "I really don't have much money of my own. I wouldn't want to take from Phoenix's resources, and asking Cat might seem kind of skeezy. Do you think?"

Elvis phbbbts"You need like five hundred bucks for a bike, and whatever else for gear. If you need to make some dollars I think Bootstrap has been looking for somone to man the desk and take care of shit, if you dont mind dealin with bikers all day long the pay's pretty awesome."

"That's five hundred bucks I don't have!" Hel protests with a laugh. "I could - maybe. Thing is, when things heat up here, with the fight against Kazimir's people and keeping us moving and stuff…that's kind of my full time job. I miss my courier work, but I could do anything really." Absently, "Those guys don't scare me, but I'd be far too wigged to sit behind a counter with a swastika draped on it."

Elvis waves a hand dismissively"its not a swastika to be a swastika, Bootstrap isnt racist or neo-nazi. The swastika thing started in the late fourties as a rebel thing to piss off society, if you ever see neo nazis mixing with real bikers theres usually gonna be a body count. They'll fuck those punks up, racism is verymuch frowned upon in the real scene. Everyone hears guys talkin bout niggers'n shit, and that aint to be racist or nothin they're just being asses to fuck with the public. Dont take it at face value, they're just bein pricks. Its part of the scene."

"I get it," Helena says carefully, "But I'm not part of the scene, and since it's too often misinterpeted, I'd be uncomfortable. I realize it's your thing, but I don't think it's something I could adjust to every day. Sorry about that, because working near you would be really cool."

Elvis shrugs "Aint no big thing, I'd rather the japanese flag but that'd never fly there. They'd flip out, all those america first pricks would positively flip. Anyway naw its cool, you want me to ask and shit anyway? I bet he could use somone to clean the books up and shit too and our old accountant didnt work out've the shop."

Helena looks thoughtful. "Hold off." she says. "I'll find something, somehow. I just - seriously, I'm not kidding about this place, it really is kind of like a job."

Elvis reaches across to gently set her hand on your shoulder for a little squeeze. "I know you work very hard, and you do a really fucking awesome job on a very difficult job. Its the only reason I'm tryna help you with it so much, if I thought it was easy I'd prolly try and take over and just run shit my way. So dont you worry, I bet we could get you a job as a weather girl."

Helena lets out a peal of laughter. "Oh god." She assumes a wide eyed expression (and when Helena does it, it's damn near anime like proportions) and a vapid air. "And like, today we have a cold front moving in with thirty percent chance of snow! Back to you, Bob!"

Elvis cant help but laugh in return"Yeah I know, and thats like all you gotta do. You dont even have to be right, I mean chrissakes you know they got like some dice with some shit written on'em. If your right like one tenth of the time, then shit you are squared away! You could like, well christ yaknow if you worked for the airport you could help people out."

"That's true!" Helena says. "You know, if none of this had ever happened, I'd probably be in college, probably a sorority girl, the only things on my mind my major and getting my dumb jock boyfriend to marry me. Life brings really wierd paths, but there are unexpected pleasures along the way. Knowing you's one of them." She balls up a fist and nudges it against Elvis' shoulder. "I don't think I'd complain for your ability either. I wish I was strong. Stronger."

Elvis lifts her hands "All I can do is beat the fuck out've people, and I aint been able to do that since before I got here. You get to use your shit whenever you want, when I do it people get hurt."she inhales deeply, peering back at the city. "I'm not sure what I'd be doing if I werent evolved, probably something really bad. Gotten myself killed along the way, nothin good though I didnt really have much of a future when dad got put away."

"I don't know if it's about being Evolved or not. More this," Helena beckons toward the building. "Pariah, then Phoenix. Meeting the people that I have, and knowing them like I do. Stuff I've experienced. I don't think I'd have been able to cope with something like this if I was just some silly registered sorority girl."

Elvis shakes her head"and I was a biker first before I figured out what I was. This doctor I met down in florida, he could touch somone and know everything about'em. I was actually mugging him to be honest, and he grabbed my wrist and just said I was evolved. I still dont know how I feel about all of this, I just know none of this bullshit is right. I beat the fuck out've a cop for pulling me over, and nearly kill him and yaknow they got a right to come after me. Thats fair, thats how the world works. I cant figure out how bein me, is a crime."

"Do you think you'd be as violent without it? Would you give it up if you could?" Helena asks.

Elvis has to think about that for a minute "yeah, I'd just be dead by now. Its saved me, my adrenaline I mean a few times now but it never starts the fights. I would've just carried a gun, and yaknow once you shoot one cop they stop playing stupid and just shoot first."

Helena puts a hand to her lips - something about Elvis' worldview just fills her with a wry sort of amusement. "Why do you think you're a bad person?"

Elvis hikes a brow as she looks over to Helena"I'm not a bad person, I just dont like society. I didnt chose to live by a set of rules, these are -their- rules not mine. I just wanna be me, but I cant cuz I got alla these people tryna tell me how I gotta live like its any of their fuckin business. So I aint bad, I'm just never gonna do what society tells me to. I'm gonna do what I wanna do, and if that brings me into conflict then I'll kill the fucker first time out. They already stole my dad away, robbed me of all the family I ever had. They get no warnings."

"Actually, one time - I think I was in your workshop - you told me you were a bad person. Which I don't believe." Helena says. "You're an anarchist, assuming that you consider yourself an adherent to its philosophy, which might just be too much conforming for you in and of itself."

Elvis eyerolls"I dont want no rules, I want the rules I chose. I'm a biker, we got our own laws. I dont like some jackoff, tellin me because of where or how I was born that I gotta follow some laws some other jackass picked."she takes a moment for the rest of that"Yeah, good people dont murder people in alleys for calling them a bitch. Good people, dont cheat, lie, steal and fight for their own devices. I didnt do it for some betterment of mankind, I didnt do it to save somone else. I did it because I could."

Helena frowns a little at that, seeming to take a long time in thinking about what Elvis has said. Then, "Would you still do those things? I mean, is that just your way?"

Elvis shrugs"I dunno to be honest. I'm not as angry as I was before, but If I go and say like I'll never do those things again that just makes me wanna do them. So I dont know, its not like I will or I wont. Maybe, I guess is the best answer. I'm a very different person now, I have a cause and a pair of friends I give a fuck about. "

"I'm glad." Helena says. "Doubly so because I know PARIAH probably would have fed into your violent tendencies. I know you understand I don't judge you for it, but you also understand I can't consider it acceptable. I just don't want you to think I'm fairweather about that kind of thing. Pardon the pun. Like I'm just going to bail on you if shit happens."

Elvis doesnt look over, she just keeps her eyes fixed on the city. "Your a good person, I'm a bad person. We share similar goals, but I have absolutely no illusions about where you and I stand when we're through fighting for alla this. I know what the deal is, and its not like I like or dislike them. Its the way things are."

"We're friends." Helena says quietly. The question mark is not inferred by her tone, but it still hangs in the air.

Elvis lets that hang for a moment too "Yes, we're friends."she reassures Helena. Sure, friends. Not sisters, not family. They were not cut from the same cloth, Helena had absolutely no fucking clue what she was talking about. Thats ok, thats how these things go. Helena was a fine woman who was working for a better society, one that'd see Elvis behind bars no doubt.

Helena looks vaguely uncomfortable, if only because she's intuitive enough to figure out what Elvis is thinking, or at least have a clue. "We should probably go see what Abby's cooking, yeah?" she asks softly. Funny thing, though. She and Claire have much more similar backgrounds, and yet she feels closer to Elvis right now then she does to her other friend.

It takes a moment, for the words to sort've catch up to Elvis. "Yeah, I reckon we better get down there and get some food."It was ok. She knew, at her very core that Helena was a friend she could enjoy for only a short while. That doesnt mean she couldnt enjoy her friendship for now. She would be alone again, she hated being alone almost as much as being abandoned but that would be ok to. She was ok with alone, she was fine with abandoned. She was Elvis, she didnt need anyone. She'd be fine, her against the world.


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December 24th: Apr├Ęs Sylar
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December 24th: Strangers in the Park
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