Daddy's Girls


elle4_icon.gif lene_icon.gif

Scene Title Daddy's Girls
Synopsis Two young women at odds with one another discover that they have something in common with their past and their future.
Date January 27, 2011

Redbird Security

The employees lounge at Redbird Security is usually quiet during daytime business hours. The small, lightly painted and well-lit dining area and kitchenette serves as a respite for the handful of legitimate employees calling the building their place of business. Thursday morning, with over a foot of snow having fallen on New York City, most employees of Redbird Security called out due to the inclement weather.

Most employees except Jolene Marley.

Music tinnily blasts through the employee's lounge, played from a portable radio spinning an old and scratched CD in its flip-top tray. The battered old radio hasn't been here in the lounge long, something that Lene had brought from her apartment in lieu of having anything as trendy as an MP3 player to keep herself company. On this cloudy, snowy day when no one else is around, she sings.

"There's a crystal view from my window…" Wavy burgundy red hair thrashes around as chunk-heeled shoes click-clop across the tiled floor from cupboard to sink, the noise of synth and strumming guitar filling the air, along with her half mumbled singing along. "And I can see years to come."

Swaying from side to side, Lene fills a coffee mug with water from the faucet, her head bobbing up and down and her wild mess of red hair flinging about with each motion. The song on the radio is sung by a man, sounding like some odd synthesis of popular 80s synth rock with a distinct UK vibe to it.

"I live for the burn and the sting of pleasure." Candy red lips part to sing the lyrics to the song as the mug is filled, and Lene dances her way towards the microwave, humming along to the base line and bobbing her head. "I live for the sword, the steel, and the gun" When the microwave is slapped closed, Lene breaks into a fitful bout of air guitar during the closing chorus of the song, pausing only to put the microwave on the beverage setting.

"I can tear down the walls, storm them barricades." Her shoes click and clack across the floor, the microwave hums loudly and Lene turns towards a cardboard box of Earl Grey tea bags, fishing one out and swinging it around as she rocks side to side on her toes, bouncing along to the slow rhythm of the song.

"Run to the place where the frightened crawl…" Green eyes stare over the candy-apple red frames of her glasses to the windows, watching the glow of red tail lights behind falling snow. "Desire lurks beyond good and evil…" Her hips sway from side to side, a swish of pleated skirt fabric following the motion. "So dance on the graves where the hammer falls."

Outside the windows, snow falls steadily and heavily. It will be hours before the storm stops, but Jolene Marley doesn't much mind.

"Over this land…"

She likes being alone, sometimes.

"All over this wasteland…"

It sounds like the 80's in the employee lounge today! Granted, it's a good-sounding song, but it's very…eighties.

Elle Bishop has been nursing that lovely head wound of hers up in her apartment for the past few days. The stitches are uncomfortable, they itch, and her head is pretty damn prone to random headaches if she moves wrong. Just your standard, run-of-the-mill head injury. At least it wasn't any worse.

Elle isn't dressed for work, either. She's wearing a pair of drapey gray gaucho pants, and a tank top— over which she wears that jacket that Howard left on her. Not that she needs it; it's actually pretty hot here in Redbird, by Elle's standards. But…it's a comfy jacket, and she likes to think about the guy who she attributes the success of the mission to. If it weren't for him, she wouldn't have gotten up. If it weren't for him, she wouldn't have had the balls to shoot Sylar when he was on one of his murderous rampages. If it weren't for Rrrr-Howard, she would probably be dead by now.

Bare feet carry Elle Bishop into the lounge, where she pauses in the doorway, blinking a few times as she watches the young woman as she sings, one eyebrow raised. Huh.

"Pretty good song."

Jolene's alone time is over, it seems.

"Woahly shit!" Lene quips, springing away from the microwave and holding up her hands in a feigned and comical Kung-Fu pose, brandishing one hand around in a circle as a single brow arches. The redhead manages a smile for a moment before snorting out a laugh and shaking her head. "Don't sneak up on a girl like that, I know Bro-Jutsu," Lene notes with a click of her tongue and a finger pointed at Elle. "I'll fist-bump you into next Sunday or somethin'."

The microwave behind Lene beeps noisily, eliciting an askance look from her, but her attention sweeps back to the jacket more so than Elle afterward. Lene's green eyes narrow, chin tilts up, and she stalks forward and over to Elle, looking down at the shorter woman, fluorescent lights reflecting brightly off of the lenses of her glasses.

"Nice coat," she whispers, then settles back down on her heels, eyes still teasingly narrowed as she shuffles sideways towards the microwave and pops it open with a touch of her fingertips. "My Howie friend has one just like it."

Elle watches Lene's display with what can only be described as a nonplussed look. She did, after all, just chase Sylar away recently. That's a little bit of an ego boost, really, especially when she was half-concussed and ready to curl up and die at the time. It doesn't stop her from laughing softly at the remark about knowing Bro-Jutsu, and fist-bumping her to death. "I'm brushing up on my mad ninja skills. Sorry for practicing on you." She smirks.

Then, Elle more than notices the fact that her jacket is being analyzed. This must be a very important jacket, to have so many people so interested in it. All the more reason why she won't let anyone but Howard have the jacket. His story just gets more and more interesting.

"Howie…Howard? Like, Rrrr-Howard?" Elle asks this with raised brows, her fingers idly running over the surface of the jacket that fits her so perfectly. "'Cause…a guy named Howard left this jacket on me." He could have grabbed it, but he didn't.

"Sounds like something he'd do," Lene admits off-handedly, leaning towards the microwave to carefully pull out her mug of hot water. "Howie's kind of a skirt-chaser, I guess. Well— depends on who's in the skirt? I dunno, he's a nice enough guy." The teabag is dunked down into the steaming hot water, and as Lene turns around, she rests back against the counter, propping her hands up on its edge. "Howie's Howard," she agrees with a tip of her head into a subtle nod of confirmation.

"The jacket's pretty distinctive, he tends to burn through clothes 'cause of his ability. So…" Lene's green eyes flit down to the floor, then back up to Elle. "You don't look right as a Citrus redhead," the other faux redhead opines, brushing a wavy lock of dyed hair from her face. "I think you're a better blonde, y'know?"

Elle tilts her head to the side. Why would he show up and stick next to her, only to disappear when she fell asleep, if he was skirt chasing? "He didn't have to leave his jacket on me if that's the case." She peers down at one of the burn marks, poking at it for a moment, before turning her eyes up to Lene. "He already did the whole 'knight in shining armor' thing and saved my life." A shrug.

"Do you know how to find him? He disappeared before I could thank him. I— I met a girl named Adel whose address was in the pocket. Seemed like— she was kind of jealous of me. Is she his girlfriend, or something?" Ah, and the questions flood in about the mysterious Howard.

At the mention of her hair not looking right, Elle raises a hand, running it through her dyed locks. "I'm inclined to agree with you, in all honesty. I feel like a damn carrot or something. But— little measures, you know?" She doesn't mention that the Institute is apparently looking for her.

"So…you said you knew my dad a while back?" She fidgets.

That's a lot of questions for Elle to ask Lene, all at once. Thankfully it means she can avoid the ones she doesn't want to answer, in favor of addressing the ones she does. "If Howie's living with Adel than I ain't got no idea how to get in touch with him. Truth be told I haven't seen him since I got to New York, we never really talked much anyway. As for Adel…" The redhead's brows furrow and lips purse. "They… used to be a thing, whatever kind of thing it was I dunno. They broke it off a while back, a few years, really. Back before Howie— "

Lene censors herself, shaking her head and turning around to put her back to Elle and focus her attention on the tea she's preparing. "Howard tends to disappear for long periods of time, it's sort of his thing. Don't take much offense if you never see him again, he isn't the most well-adjusted person you could meet." That much, notably, isn't said with a sharp edge, but more of a sympathetic one. Leaving her tea behind, Lene goes in search through the cabinets for sugar or honey, moving things around and standing up on her toes in the quest.

"Last I heard about Adel, she's in some sorta' band or something. I doubt Howard's into that sort've stuff. She's nice, though, 'Della. If she gave you the ol' stink-eye, it was probably because she's just over-protective of Howie, always wanting t'make sure that nobody's gonna' hurt him. She still cares," Lene admits, turning around with a little plastic bear full of honey in one hand. "Even if she says otherwise."

Elle nods slowly, her brows raised as Lene explains Howard and his ways, and about Adel. "Back before Howie what?" She asks, brows raised. But the question doesn't stand, the least important of her thoughts right now. After a long moment, Elle moves over to the coffee maker, setting about making herself some of the bitter caffeinated liquid.

"Adel was…nice. Aside from trying to rip the jacket out of my hand." And then scaring poor Richard Cardinal with her orange bubble…thing. Obviously, Elle still has an in tact jacket, so Adel didn't win the tug of war for it. "Small world…if you ever see Howard, let him know I'm looking for him. I'd really like to give him back this jacket— Adel told me that it was an important jacket. Plus, I'd like to thank him for the knight in shining armor display he put on."

In the middle of scooping some of the coffee into the filter, Elle turns, raising her brows as she peers at Lene. "So, like I was asking earlier…you said you knew my dad." She's persistent, if nothing else.

"I didn't," Lene dismisses, dodging the question about whatever it was Howard had done in the past to clarify Elle's latter question. "I said I knew his name, I never actually met your father. Not— that I remember, anyway. We talked about this, I'm pretty sure…" Cradling her teacup by her mouth, Lene stares through the twisting locks of her hair towards the shorter woman. "Anyway, I never knew your dad. My folks did, but they're done. So… I'm sorry."

Blowing across the top of her mug of tea, Lene keeps it cradled between slender fingers, resting her weight back against the counter again. "If you think you're going to wait around for Howard to show up and claim his jacket, you're probably going to be waiting a long time. He never lets it get out of his care, but…" Lene's brows furrow together, shoulders rise and fall and she breathes in the soothing aroma of her tea through her nose.

"I understand why he saved you, I guess. He's got a hero complex," Lene says teasingly, her voice quiet though despite the light tone. "But when you're a stranger in a strange land, 'guess there's worse things you could be."

Pouring the water into the coffee pot, Elle presses the 'on' button and steps away, lingering by the counter to watch the coffee brew itself. "Who were your parents? You never told me their names." She turns, peering thoughtfully at Lene with contact-less blue eyes. If she hadn't zapped the elevator, if she hadn't done all of those things that the Haitian let her remember…her dad would probably be safe now, instead of god knows where.

"And I don't intend on waiting around for Howard to show up. To hell with that— that jackass left even when I asked him to stick around. No, I'll find him, and thank him for his hero complex. It saved more than a few lives the other day. And then I'll throw his jacket at him, or something, for being such a jerk and not sticking around." She smirks back at Lene, before her eyes turn to the coffee pot.

There's a moment of silence, the woman's jaw working as she ponders a few things. She's really studying that coffee, long and hard. Because the process of watching coffee drizzle from the filter into the coffee pot is fascinating, or something. Then, she turns, pacing over toward the door to the lounge and leaning against it while she waits for her liquid awakening."

See…I'm having a little trouble here, Lene." Slowly, Elle turns to face the girl. "You're lying to me. A lot. Especially about the whole not knowing my dad thing. Because see, I very clearly remember that you said he used to come over for dinner, and show pictures of me, and that he used to talk about me like I was his pride and joy." A pause, and Elle is definitely blocking the door now, crossing her arms.

No Peyton here to save you now.

"You told me how he called me his angel…and now, you're telling me that you never knew him, that your folks did, and not your grandparents." She's not done yet. "You are quite possibly the worst liar I have ever met— I mean, really, you can't lie for shit. You need some acting lessons if you're going to keep lying."

Grimacing, Lene's green eyes shift to the side, her brows screw up and her posture sways from left to right. "How old do you really think I was when he came around?" It's a rhetorical question. "I was maybe six. I didn't know you dad, but I've seen him. He'd pat me on my head, tell me how much I was growing, and then my parents would shoo me off so they could talk about— whatever." There's a flippant wave of one of Lene's hands.

"My grandparents knew him, so did my folks. I think you understand how much of a, uh— family thing the paper business was, you know— back in the day." She still hasn't said who her parents are, of course. She also doesn't seem to have any intention of revealing that either. "Look— I know you've got some, like, personal issues? I dunno, but I can't tell you anything you probably don't already know about your father. He was a good man, from what I knew of him, but I was six."

"It's just kinda funny, how you talked about how you remembered a lot about him— and about the pictures he showed you, and how I hadn't changed a bit. And you're— what, twenty-something?! You're not that much younger than me, and I couldn't have been much more than a teenager." Elle's still looming in the doorway, arms crossed. She doesn't like it. Not a bit.

"Seriously, Lene, you need some acting skills. You suck at lying. You're a lying liar." Lies!

"How 'bout you just tell me everything you know? Then I'll leave you alone— after I fact check, of course." Elle frowns at Lene. "Right now, I don't like you. I don't like people who lie to me. And if you're lying to me, you might be lying to Richard, and to Liz, and to Peyton. And I like it even less when people lie to my friends. You'll understand my hesitance to take you at your word, I'm sure. These days, I really don't know who to trust."

"I'm not," Lene states flatly, finally taking a sip from her coffee. "You can stand there all day if you want, it doesn't change the fact that the only way I knew about you was from stuff I overheard your dad saying. Doesn't mean I was the guy's friend or anything. Besides, even if I did miraculously know everything about your father, or was some sort've long-lost family friend?" One of Lene's brows arches slowly.

"That doesn't mean I have to tell you anything. You're not my boss, you're sure as heck not Richard's boss, and frankly— I don't like you. I think you've got a really big sense of self-importance. But you know what, princess, the world doesn't revolve around you, and Howie is a dipshit for risking his ass to save you from whatever it was you got yourself into."

It's a total tonal change from Jolene's usual bubbly demeanor, markedly icy. "I was six the last time I saw your dad. If that's not good enough for you, too bad."

For a moment, Elle pauses, watching Jolene with a rather cold expression on her face. It's probably a good thing that Lene isn't standing too close. It's getting warm. Her clothes are starting to smell a little like freshly dried laundry— she's taken to wearing dryer sheets in her pockets to give a little extra hint that she's about to burn up.

The woman remains quiet for a long while, her eyes closing. And she stops dodging around the truth— she really doesn't care right now, it's all she can do to keep herself from burning her own clothes off while trying very hard to burn Lene as well. Right about now, she'd like to electrocute the girl. Except, instead of electrocuting her, she'd probably kill her or something.

"It's just weird, you showing up like you did, when you did. And things you say…don't add up." Elle's voice carries a rather deathly calm to it, her eyes turning down to the ground.

Breathe, Elle. How mad would Richard be at you if you attacked one of his people, and did even more structural damage— when the place is probably being watched, no less? You could ruin a lot of things for Redbird if you don't control yourself in this moment.

"My dad never called me his angel to my face. My dad never praised me, told me how much he loved me. I don't even remember the times he did take pictures. He stole my mother from me, he stole my childhood from me, he tortured me, put me through things that you can't even imagine, and he conditioned me to be dependent on him." Why does her throat feel so tight? Perhaps it's the emotions that she really hasn't faced since she had her mind wiped by the Institute.

Suddenly, her face crinkles up. She looks like she's about to cry, though she manages to keep the tears and the sobs back, at least. "But he was the only thing I had. And then I went and betrayed him. He's locked up somewhere because of me, and I don't know if I'll ever see him again!"

Well, emotional breakthrough! Probably for the wrong person. She still really wishes she could zap Lene.

Lene's quiet while Elle talks, drinking her tea and leaning against the counter, letting her get all that out. Green eyes stay fixed on the surface of the liquid inside, though their focus has long since gone rather distant. After a while, after letting Elle collect herself as best as she can, the faux redhead leans off of the counter and out towards the falling snow.

"My dad died before I was born," Lene admits in a small voice. "My real dad, anyway. I never got to know him, talk to him… My mother used to tell me stories about the things he did, the kind of man he was. But I never got to decide for myself. I never got the chance to love him or hate him, I never got the chance to make that choice." Those green eyes move from the window back to Elle.

"My mother raised me, mostly by herself. I had a dad in the picture, but he wasn't related to me, he was just— someone my mom cared about a lot. But she died eventually too, they both did. I got moved away…" Lene shakes her head slowly, eyes cast aside and she drinks down the last sip of tea from her mug and sets it aside.

"I never knew my grandparents. That was a lie." Though when she admits that, Lene doesn't look Elle in the eyes. "Your father knew my mother and her friends, loosely. But he did always talk about you, and he did love you, and I was six." Those green eyes finally meet Elle's, which are green only by merit of contact-lenses, unlike Lene's natural ones.

"At least your father's still out there somewhere. Life's unpredictable," Lene admits with a hushed tone of voice. "Maybe you should be more focused on finding him now than asking about what happened in a time you can't do anything about."

After a moment, Elle finally moves away from the door, closing the distance to the coffee machine to pour herself a cup, a frown on her face. There's silence from the little carrot-top for the time being, as she prepares her coffee. One sugar, lots and lots of cream. After stirring, she turns around, leaning against the counter as she sips at the bitter beverage.

"I know where he is," she murmurs, closing her eyes, "but I can't go to him. I can't go find him. He's with the paper company's replacement. You know…the one that bought them out and screwed over everyone who worked there." Who knows if Lene will know what she's talking about; she really doesn't care that much at this point. She lifts the cup to her lips, taking another sip.

Another long pause. "I'm sorry for calling you a lying liar. I— there's a lot of shit going on these days." Pause. "And Howard didn't just save me— he saved three other people that day, from the Midtown Man. You can hate me all you want, but don't insult Howard for doing what he did."

"I've known him long enough that he knows when I mean it and when I don't," Lene admits in a mild tone of voice, walking over to the sink near the coffee pot to set her mug down in. "But I understand why Howard did what he did, even if I don't agree with it…" Lene's nose wrinkles, her hands come to rest on her hips and her head tips forward, letting her wavy hair fall down to frame either side of her face. "I don't hate you, but I do hate who you are right now…" Lene turns to look over at Elle, one eye closed and a lock of hair crossing the bridge of her nose.

"You should talk to Richard about your dad. I think if anyone would be motivated enough to save him, it'd be Richard. Even if he doesn't give a shit that it's your father, Bob knew a lot of secrets about what the people he worked for did. He knows things, and if I know anything…" The corner of Lene's mouth quirks up in a faint smile.

"I know that Richard likes to accumulate knowledge." With that, Lene raises her brows, shuts her eyes, and turns away from the sink.

Oh, just you wait, Lene. The minute Elle gets her old ability back, you are so getting a shock to the back. You will so deserve it. Doesn't matter that you're playing nice, you deserve it. Elle frowns quietly over at Lene. "Better be glad you didn't meet me a few months ago, then." She mutters this. "You think I'm bad now…" She shakes her head slowly, sipping at her coffee as she eyes the younger girl. "Richard and Liz have done a pretty good job of taming me." Or as much as she can be tamed.

Then, she's mulling over her coffee, swirling its contents in her oversized coffee mug with a frown on her face. "…I don't want to be a bother to him." She mutters this in a quiet, barely audible tone. "He's got a lot of shit going on— last thing he needs is me begging him to pull my daddy out of the prison cell that I put him in."

She closes her eyes. "…But when you put it like that…maybe he wouldn't mind helping. But…" Elle sounds unsure.

Stepping around Elle, Lene averts her eyes to the floor. "Howard might be willing to help out, if you tell him…" Lene sounds unsure in return. "Just don't get your hopes up, whatever it is that happens. Because— " the young girl pauses, looking back to Elle as she crosses her arms over her chest. "Because life's unpredictable, and you never know what's going to happen."

Sliding her tongue over her lips, the redhead reaches out for the doorknob to the lobby, pausing in considering Elle. Her fingers curl around the doorknob, tightly, and when they pull away it's because Lene has something still left to say. "My— father." Dark brows furrow, and green eyes move towards Elle, slowly and hesitantly. "I know he liked you," she explains quietly, teeth toying with her lower lip.

"For— what it's worth." Looking away, Lene reaches out for the doorknob, and pushes the door open out into the lobby. "I need— to get back to work," she hurriedly admits.

Elle…moves to follow Lene, just to the door, at least. "I— if I can find Howard, I'll ask him. Do you know anywhere I could look? If— if you do, just slip it under my apartment door." She frowns. She really wants to find that stupid blonde guy already. Maybe— maybe he could help her out. Who knows? The woman frowns at her coffee, as if it baffles her.

The final comment has Elle looking outright baffled, and she moves, attempting to press her admittedly rather warm hand to Lene's arm— she's not grabbing, just touching her, more than anything, to get her attention. "Who is your father? You never answered my question…" She frowns. "It's— not worth a lot unless you tell me who he was." A fidget.

Looking down to Elle's hand, Lene furrows her brows, tears visible in her eyes. She bites down on her bottom lip, gently, then swallows audibly and looks away. "I'll ask if anyone's seen Howard," is her dismissive comment as she steps away, trying to clear her throat and wipe at her eyes with one hand.

"My father— " Those green eyes close and Lene shakes her head, looking back to Elle with apology and emotion in her eyes. That secret, she isn't willing to part with it just yet. But what she will share, before heading back upstairs to work, is enough for Lene.

"He was a hero."

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