Different People, Different Needs


elle_icon.gif peter2_icon.gif

Scene Title Different People, Different Needs
Synopsis Peter and Elle snoop around in Odessa's files. Oh, the mysterious wants of women. (In this case, not really.)
Date November 18, 2008

Primatech - Odessa's office

It's always hard to tell what time of day it is down in Level-5, due to the lack of natural light to indicate day and night cycles.

As of the last few weeks, this holds even more true for Peter Petrelli. He can't recall the last time he slept, let alone the last time he even took a break. Either his mind or his body has been constantly going since the events in the Bronx that divided him into two distinct iterations of himself. One would have to imagine that being able to be in more than one place at a time would be a boon — Regretably that isn't the case.

But it isn't a specific cell in Level-5 that Peter Petrelli has found himself occupied with, rather it is the office of Doctor Odessa Knutson. Having shut himself into her office, he's become content with rifling through her paperwork while a green progress bar displayed on one of the flat-screen monitors on her desk very slowly moves from left to right with a gradually increasing percentage of completion displayed below. "I can't believe this…" He pages thorugh a few stapled papers, then settles down into the wheeled office chair near her filing cabinet, "How did she find anything in this mess?" It's a slow-going process.

The sleep problem isn't one that Elle's been having. Namely, because she has an actual /bed/ in an actual /room/ to sleep in again, etc. But that doesn't mean she hasn't been plenty preoccupied with the things that have been happening around the Company.

And her presence down here proves it. It is none other but she who shows up at Odessa's door now, dressed in an indigo sweater, skinny jeans, and furry boots; her hair is riding in a low ponytail. There is a green-and-white-striped rectangular bag swinging on her wrist, a vague aroma of 'bakery' rising between the papery handles. Black mittens are still on her hands, and it is one of these that gently rests and works the door to the office open, the cloth of the fingers contorting a little. When the door does swing ajar, she takes two long, preoccupied steps into the office before stopping short with a silent 'oh'. Apparently, Peter wasn't the only person who had ideas of snooping.

The click of the door opening causes Peter to leap up to a standing position, his legs sending the rolling chair scuttling back into an adjacent desk. His eyes flit over to the computer, then back up to Elle, a crooked smile forming on his lips. Dark eyes peer out the door, noticing the retreating form of one of the security officers who had already passed by the office. "Get in here," Peter whispers sharply, taking a few steps over to the door, settling one hand on Elle's shoulder, using the other to push the door quietly shut. "What are you — " he pauses in the middle of his words, one brow raising and his focus dipping down to the bag held on her arm. "Is that a pie?" He inquires, almost in disbelief of its presence.

Elle allows herself to be steered inside with the addition of several tiny, quick little steps. Her own blue eyes settle on Peter's face with a laugh of her own, after the surprise vanishes, and that mitten plunges into the bag to rustle around for a second. "No pie," she informs him. In a slyer voice: "But I /do/ have cookies." Huge ones! It is one of these that is extracted with a sharp increase of that fresh aroma, plastic wrapping rustling. "I hope you like chocolate chip."

In a more serious tone, however, a lingering moment later. "I came in here for the same thing you did, it looks like. I want some answers."

Eyes assess the bag for a moment, and Peter presses his lips together, making an awkward expression as another realization dawns on him — Just when was the last time I ate?

With a shake of his head, though, he tries not to dwell on that ephemeral memory. "Good luck," he adds, a bit tersely, "With getting the answers, that is." He gives one more spurious glance to the bag, then manages to extricate himself from Elle's side, despite the alluring scent of baked goods. "Exactly what are you looking to get answers about?" He pauses a few feet away from her, turning to look back over his shoulder. In the florescent lightning of the lab, Peter's dark circles beneath his eyes seem even more prominent, he looks terrible.

There is a momentary stillness on Elle's end at the question. "'bout what's happened. If Odessa's done something that could let /deranged psychos/ into the Company again, I want to know about it." Goodness knows she's had enough experience from the last time it happened. She withdraws her hand after a pause that implies a sigh, looking only slightly disappointed.

"/Peter/." It's her turn to attempt to grab Peter's shoulder so she can rest a mittened hand on it, scanning his eyes with a twist of concern at her mouth. "For heaven's sake, you look like someone just died on you. Have you been sleeping?" The same thought has crossed her own head, apparently!

"Odessa's situation is…" There's a strained sigh to accompany Peter's words, "It's complicated." From his tone of voice, complicated in the way of the previous conversation he had with Elle. The pause she takes finds Peter settling down into the wheeled chair, staring at the slowly creeping progress bar on the computer screen, and it's the topic she chooses to broach afterwards that brings a bit of a stiffness to his features.

"Elle…" One hand comes up to brush across Peter's brow, fingers stroking his forehead, "I don't have the time to, really. I mean, I'm pretty sure I don't have to sleep, my regeneration makes up for most of it." His lips downturn into a frown, and it's obvious that despite the lack of need, the desire to is still there. "Every minute I spent idle, more people are going to get hurt."

Elle stays poised in that position for another moment more, lips parted the smallest fraction (eyes flicking down and to the side), before she pulls up a chair from a few feet away to place it kind of close to Peter's. It is plastic and non-rolly, but slides easily. With an inhalation, a smile shifts up onto her lips that has nothing to do with mirth, and everything to do with an intent to try and persuade Peter to his senses.

"Pete. —C'mon, look at me." Her eyes are earnest. "You may not /have/ to sleep, but I'm pretty sure it's not helping you focus any."

A crooked smile creeps up on Peter's lips as Elle shifts a chair over and settles down nearby, "Is this how I sound when I lecture people?" The words are said in a joking nature, that smile shifting to a brief smirk before he leans back in the chair, tilting his head back to stare up at the ceiling for a moment before covering his face with both hands and slowly sighing. "I've tried," he finally admits, with a bit of difficulty, "but I just can't stay asleep. Ever time I close my eyes, it feels like there's something more productive I could be doing."

Turning his head to the side, Peter peers betwen his fingers at the progress bar, then breathes out another slow and heavy sigh. "You still didn't answer my question…" He tries to slip out from being the topic of focus, "What did you come here looking for?"

The eyebrows rise a little, and Elle's fingertips drum. The mittens had come off with a few shakes during Peter's answer. "But I did answer your question. 'Deranged psychos', remember?" Between hands, she delicately begins unwrapping the cookie she had originally offered to Peter, plastic edges crinkling quietly. "To give a more specific answer, though-" her chin tilts at the loading screen of the computer— "I want to know who Knutson's been thinking about. Talking to. That sort of thing. The stuff on her computer might have a clue."

"O-oh, right…" Peter stiffens in his chair at the correcting, was his brain really that scrambled? He straightens, sitting upright again as his hands come down from his face, eyeing the progress bar on the nearby screen again with a narrowed gaze. "Her primary computer is locked," his head indicates over his shoulder to an adjacent desk, "I don't know what her password is, and she didn't write it down on anything I was looking through. This one," his head nods to the closer computer, "Is up and running, but it doesn't have anything secure on it. Well — except what I'm downloading." His eyes peer at the progress bar, "Decrypting at the moment." He flicks his gaze back to Elle, "You're worried about Monroe and Huruma?"

There appears a brief glimmer of 'hah, see?' on Elle's face. "Not worried about /them/, except maybe for what you told me. They're not being very careful." Her eyes travel towards Peter's indicated direction, taking in the details of the glowing screen, and…suddenly, she gets something of a smirk. "For a pass? Just for kicks, try 'Adam.'"

Peter tilts his head to the side, glancing at the computer, then pushes with his heels and wheels himself over. With a jiggle of the mouse, he brings the screen back to life. "What makes you think that would be the password?" He asks, even while typing it in to the login prompt. A click of one key, followed by a tell-tale sound of denied access. Peter clicks his tongue, then strains out a sigh moments before a different sound dings from the opposite computer. The progress bar finishes, followed by the emergence of a file folder packed full of documentation. "Finally."

His attention all but stolen away by the completion of the decryption process, Peter begins scrolling through the documents and files available. "This is…" He clicks on one, bringing up a chart of complicated and detailed chemical analasys, "I'm going to need to wait for Mohinder to get here before I can make heads or tails of any of this." Behind Peter, the other computer flashes the login prompt again, with the quoted phrase, "What I Want Most In This World" displayed in serif font.

"She has an Adam /fixation/, okay. You have no idea." Elle kneads a sort, gooey corner off her cookie and pops it into her mouth. The denial-click is processed without much of a reaction except a reaffirmation of her smirk. She leans forward suddenly, attracted by the appearance of the question prompt. "What I Want Most In This World? …haha. I still would've said Adam." She Is Very Helpful. Let nobody tell you otherwise.

The notion unsettles Peter more so that it should have, "You…" Peter's eyes shoot over to the door, then back again. "Obsession with Adam?" It's obviously the first he's heard of this. As Peter closes the file window, Elle can notice almost every file there is prefaced with Homeland_Security followed by a string of alphanumerics. After he closes the window, his hand moves over to the tower next to the monitor, unplugging a USB device from the front. "After what I told you about Adam, that doesn't make you… scared?" It certainly scares Peter.

"Look I… I know I shared a lot with you that day, before I talked to Sabra." Peter's lips press together in a worried expression. "Sabra thinks that Odessa might have left on her own, not been abducted. I — I'm pretty much in agreement. She all but begged me to free her from the Company back when I first joined." His expression turnsa bit wistful, "Funny, I turned out to be more loyal than she expected."

Elle brushes her lip with a finger in preparation to make some ironic retort, but a moment of thought gives her pause. "Yeah…obsession. You would've thought /I/ had something going for him, cutting his hair and bringing him food and stuff, but Knutson? She always had this weird look in her eye after she got back from taking his blood. I've known her long enough to tell." A one-shouldered shrug.

"And anyway, Pete, I don't think Adam ever— you know— had anything for her in return. And. Really. What would he do with her?" A slight, uneasy shake of her head in response to Peter's fear.

Peter looks to the now empty screen displaying a pale blue gradient desktop and a few icons. "Adam, with Odessa…" He sounds disturbed, "I stopped time once, because she caught me in a lie and I needed time to think." It almost sounds like a joke the way he brings it up, "But she didn't stop. Everything around her did, but she was free to move and think and speak and…" He shakes his head, brows furrowing together. "I have no idea what her ability is. But she has one, and if it can bypass something like that… I have no idea what Adam would do with it, if he knew she could."

This time, Elle's fingers break off an entire round edge off her doughy treat. "You sure you don't want some?" she interjects into the silence immediately following Peter's reply, waggling the piece slightly right in front of her. The chocolate-y scent is quite obvious at a whiff. "It's really good. —And if nobody /else/ really knows what she can do, why should Adam know? It's classified and all that shiz. Even Odessa wouldn't be stupid enough to show it off to Adam just because she was crushing on him. …I think."

She turns her head towards the main computer again, ponytail bobbing up to rest against the front of her shoulder. "And hey. Let's…see. About figuring out that password hint."

"People do strange things when they get emotional." Peter's reply isn't spoken very loudly as he wheels his chair over to the other computer. He does pause, though, looking from the login screen to the bag of cookies. "Mmnh…" That nagging sensation that he hasn't eaten pangs in his gut again, and Peter finally relents, wheeling his chair over to Elle as he holds out one hand expectantly. "You win," he conceeds, cracking a smile, "Cookie first, password second." His head inclines towards the screen, "Unless you think you can guess better than I have. I spent a good half hour poking away at that thing."

But Elle does better than that tiny section she had wiggled. With a winning smile, she reaches her arm down into that bag by her feet to retrieve a cookie - a /whole/ one, which she places in Peter's palm still complete in its wrapping. "Knew you'd come around. And Iiii-" she lets the word drift- "Have /no/ idea what she wants most in the world. I'd guessed /Adam/, but that obviously wasn't it. Family?…Love? Recognition? What've you already tried?"

Peter laughs a bit to himself, "Exactly what you said. I'm not even sure what capitalization to use, there's so many options." Then, after a moment, Peter glances side-long to Elle. "What kind've password did you father use for his security access?" It seems like an innocent enough question, "I'm guessing it was your name." There's a bit of a smile as he lifts his cookie up to his lips, taking a bite as his eyes focus on the blonde agent for a moment. "I have no idea what she wants, I can't even understand why she does half of the things she does…"

Peter clouches back into his chair, taking another bite of the cookie, his pace at eating it becoming a bit ravenous as he finally has food at hand. A man with all the time in the world, you'd imagine, could find time to sit down and eat. "Odessa's… confusing, to me. Now that I know about her relationship with Adam, even more so."

Ahahah. The smile remains, though Elle's lips close and she tilts her head a small angle. "Silly, I'm not telling you what it is," she says lightly, eyebrows lifted in mock disbelief. "It wasn't my name, though, I can tell you that. And it…didn't really have a lot to do with what he /wants/." She seems to be more thoughtful now. "When you talked with her, Peter. Promised to help her escape. Did you she tell you anything? Any hint?"

There's a bit of a teasing smile there as Elle gives that playful rebuking of his attempt to query about Bob Bishop's password. His eyes divert back to the screen, folding his hands behind his head as he reclines in the chair. "She was frustrated with…" Peter's eyes close slowly, and hs hands brush up over the back of his head, run over his hair, and then smooth down the front of his face as if he were trying to rip it off. "I'm an idiot." Some would agree. "I think maybe I do need some sleep, if I couldn't see this in front of my face." Peter leans forward, reaching up to pick up the tiny glass snow-globe sitting near Odessa's keyboard. He shakes it up, then offers it to Elle, the little flakes of white dancing through the water contained within, sending snow falling down on a picturesque cottage. "What else could she want, living in her little snow globe?" He rests the snow globe down on Elle's thigh, then turns to type on the keyboard.


"That's what she wants most." His finger taps the enter key, and away vanishes the login screen, immediately pulling up a web browser that is pointed towards… shoes. Peter's brow twitches, leaning forward with disbelief as his eyes focus on a shoe store's website. His mouth hangs agape a little, and he turns to look at Elle, helplessly.

As far as a response goes, Elle's eyebrows actually disappear up into her bangs. She lets her mouth hang agape, followed by an incredulous smile that she turns towards Peter. "Lord. 'Promised to help her escape.' I didn't even think." She gently scoots her chair over so it's closer to where the screen is, scooping the snowglobe off her lap so it doesn't drop in the process. Absentmindedly her fingers turn the snowglobe without looking at it, letting the snow drift whichever way it may — her cookie is forgotten for now.

Another breath, and then? "…heh. Let's see what we can /find/."

Peter hastily closes the window about the shoes, clicking his tongue. "Hey, you didn't guess it either." He cracks a smile with the jab, hurriedly navigating the computer. There's most assuredly not supposed to be browsing around with her files as they are. But when he pulls down to the desktop, all of the icons displayed are in French. He hisses, frustratedly, and covers his face with one hand, "Tell me you speak French?" What Peter fails to notice, is the one icon on the desktop labeled, "To Peter."

Elle makes a silent face in return, but upon returning her attention to the screen, she immediately notices what Peter does not. "Of course I don't, but that's what Babel Fish is for." She edges her hand over to sneaaakily steal the mouse from right beneath Peter's hand, where she reopens the browser. Shoes again. But that soon changes to a white screen with a blocky red logo at the top. "Even a bad translation's better than none. Let's see. Why…don't we start with the one labeled 'À Peter'?" Clickclick.

There's a crooked smile when Elle makes that comment, and Peter raises one brow slowly, "Babelfish?" He's not very computer savvy, or internet savvy for that matter. But when Elle opens up the file marked for Peter on the desktop, what she's rewarded with is a massive spreadsheet file filled with notations and numbers along with documentation of tests, diagrams of brains, and other very detailed output.

It takes a moment for Peter to recognize exactly what he's looking at, but it starts to match up with things he had heard Mohinder speaking about, words and terminology relayed through his memory he inherited from Catherine Chesterfield. "This…"

Peter startles for a moment as his hand bumps into Elle's on the mouse, gently taking it from her to navigate through the files. "This is her research on the rage-dementia cases…" Immediately, what he catches on one page causes him to pause. It's a single line of text that he hilights with the mouse, as if to make sure he's reading the words in the proper order.

…retrovirus designed to confer abilities onto the Non-Evolved.

Peter's mouth hangs open, and his hand very slowly moves away from the mouse. He blinks, blankly, and begins reading down below the hilighted text. "…the virus amplifies itself to such a point that it causes the cells to burst…" He pales, breathing shallow breaths as his eyes shift over to Elle. All of the research in plain English, perhaps regretfully so.

"Um. Wow." Yeah, Elle's been reading too. Her eyes flicker sideways with a little sideways smile at Peter's reaction to the mouse theft, though it slips off as she browses. She continues slowly flipping the snowglobe over in her left hand, but her right leaves the mouse to extend behind her ear, smoothing a strand of hair behind it in thought. "Designed?" the blonde echoes, gaze scanning back and forth one on that one phrase. "Designed by /who/?"

Before either of them can get caught up in that one page, however, she minimizes that window and scrolls rapidly through the other documents littering the start menu, though she doesn't click on any. Her eyes are narrowed. "All in French— I /do/ see the name Adam here, though, and here— what all does she have /in/ here?"

"I don't know, I can't — " Peter hesitates for a moment, leaning back in his chair to cover his face with both hands. "Alright, if Odessa has gone rogue, or been captured, we're not breaking too many policies by rifling through her things." He tries to rationalize the rather selfish inquisition into Odessa's personal computer. "Neither of us speak French, so that really won't do us any good…" He leans forward with a slowly exhaled sigh, both hands coming to rest on seperate arms of the chair, "Sabra does." The affirmation comes with a twinge of uncertainty, does he ask the Director to help snoop around on Odessa's computer? It's a hard line to cross.

"What do you want to do with this?" Peter shifts his weight in the wheeled chair, leaning to one side to rest on his elbow and give Elle a sidelong stare. One hand rises to motion to the screen, "Neither of us are going to be able to make heads or tails out of this." His lips purse together, "Do you know anyone else that you trust in the Company that might speed French?"

The answer to Peter is only a sidelong glance of her own, this one sharper and more curious than his. "We do have these things called internet translators, remember?" Elle replies, eyes momentarily narrowing at the screen over her hovering fingers on the keyboard. "A Princeton thesis? No. But heads and tails? I think so." One of the icons she had glossed over is pulled up with a click, which happens to have the name 'Adam' conspicuously in its title.

As paragraphs upon paragraphs of text appear on the flickering screen, she highlights a long chunk of it with one fell /swoop/ of her hand. Copy. Paste into browser. Another few clicks, and ta-dah. Middle-school level French.

"Mmnh… I just — " Peter grimaces as he watches Elle work and the translations come up, "That…" His eyes narrow slightly as he leans in towards the screen, nose wrinkling up, "I'm not sure I follow half of this." His head tilts to the side, looking at one particular grammatical nightmare. "I… I guess there's a little here." He strains a bit, eyes drifting back and forth over the same sentence a few times to try and make sure he understand what is trying to be communicated. "What are we — " He tilts his head to the side, "What are you looking for about Adam anyway? All this is from his incarceration, right?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about." is Elle's too matter-of-fact response. She's still watching the screen narrowly. "Look at this. This is /fascinating/. It's like a story." There are certainly scattered mentions of country names and so on among the muddle of so-called English sentences; she pulls down her mouse wheel a little bit.

…And then harshly minimizes it. "I'm /not/ looking for anything about Adam. Except, well, what we need to know. Did you mention something about Sylar when you were talking about who might've done something with her?"

There's a bit of a sour expression when he hears Sylar's name from Elle, but it quickly passes, "He was her patient, according to medical records. Sylar got out once before, and I'm starting to wonder if Odessa let him out." Brown eyes track from the screen back over to Elle. "He was drugged, sedated, and locked away on Level-5. Now he's gone, and then Odessa manages to disappear not long after?" There's a shake of Peter's head, and he looks back to the computer screen. "I should've said something to your dad when Odessa first asked me. She wanted me to find Adam for her…" Leaning back into the chair, Peter stares at the computer screen with a distant, unfocused stare.

"There's not much I know about Adam, outside of what I told you in my office…" Slowly, Peter's focus starts to come back, eyes wandering back over to Elle, then lingering on her in silence for a time. "Do you really think any of this will help us figure out what he's up to?" It doesn't sound as though he has much hope for finding him after so long. "I think if we want to find Adam…" Peter looks to the USB device in his hand, "We have to find what he's looking for."

Elle does not notice the sourness in Peter's face, but something like casual slowness does creep into her voice. "Find out what he's up to? You mean Adam?" Her palms pause to rest on the cusp of the keyboard. "I'd be more concerned about Sylar — and I /am/ more concerned about Sylar. If Odessa wants Mr. Immortal? She can have him. Best of luck to them both. How long was it between Sylar's disappearance and Odessa's playing hooky?"

"I don't know." Peter rests his head in one hand, fingers stroking over his brow, "I can't find records detailing exactly what date he escaped on. Maybe no one knows?" He frowns slightly, craning his neck to the side, "I can't access the security footage from that night either, I don't have anywhere near the level of security clearance necessary."

There's a strained sigh, one of tired frustration. "I'm… sorry if I seem a bit snippy tonight. I think it's the lack of sleep." He's quiet for a moment, and he knows what he wants to say, but saying it doesn't come easy. "You're probably right about that. I can't do anything for anyone unless I take care of myself first." Though his expression does soften a bit at that, very subtly working into a smile. "I guess it's a bad habit of mine."

Finally, the woman does take note of the emotion Peter puts into his voice. Very serious note, it seems, because the next moment she's actually turned right around in her chair to take Peter by the forearm. As she squeezes this with what reassurance she can muster, her other hand reaches to close around his fingers - and the USB locked within them. "Let me have this," she suggests gently, her eyes flicking up to his with an inward press of her lips. "I'll give you /everything/ I find. But you?" A forefinger darts up to ~~zap~~ Peter in the nose, a single and playfully-meant thread of blue. "You need to get some sleep, sillyhead."

Peter grimaces slightly as Elle closes around his fingers, and his grip on the USB device tightens ever so slightly. He manages a somewhat crooked smile though, but before he starts to voice an opinion on the matter, that tiny little bolt of electricity sparks over his nose. He jumps, reflexively, at the crackling snap, even though he doesn't feel the tingle as he should. A crooked smile creeps up on his lips, "Be careful with that," He moves his hand under hers, but not away. "Electronics."

"I can't give it to you, not yet." There's just a little aixiety in his tone of voice, an almost secretive and conspiratorial tone. "I need to show this to Sabra first," though that may not be the whole length and width of the truth. "Then, when she'd done, I can give it to you. There's not much on here though, I mean, about that." Dark eyes lift up to Elle, "Doctor Suresh — Mohinder — He's coming back here from India. Might be here in a few days… If you talk to him, he'll be able to tell you more about the virus than is on here." Peter grows silent for a moment, turning in the chair to rest his free hand on top of Elle's. "But you can't let too many people know what you know. I don't think any of us are supposed to know about it…"

Those eyes become wider after taking in that response. Wider, more appraising; almost more childlike. "You can trust me, you know." is Elle's equally volumed reply, one side of her mouth hooking downwards. "But if that's how you /feel/, it isn't a big deal or anything. I'm around when you're up to it." One of her eyebrows quirks at Peter, and after holding that loose, wry expression, she lets her hand slip free from Peter's. "Like I said. I'll swipe everything I can get from this computer so we can look at it later. You should go now."

Eyes drift from Elle to the computer, not so much out of any real need to look at it, but only so he doesn't have to look at the frown on her face. He's failed her how many times now? "Look I…" Dark brows furrow together, and Peter's gaze slowly centers back on her, though hesitantly. "I just need to do something with this first, and I need to make sure I don't lose it. I went thorugh a lot of trouble to get this, and I just…" Peter grimaces slightly, "It's important." His hand squeezes hers as if to punctuate his sentence.

For a few moments, that's all that goes said, it's an awkward silence. And Peter is quick to let his gaze flit away from Elle, just a little anxiously. "I promise though, the minute I can, it's all yours." Slowly, a smile creeps up on his lips, and he realize shis hand's been lingering just a bit too long, recoiling as quick as his nose did from that zap. "I — Um…" His smile turns into a crooked grin, "I guss — I might try and catch a nap in my office on the couch." The recoiled hand comes to rub at the back of his neck. "You mind if I take another cookie?" His grin spreads, and Peter's eyes dip down to the striped bag, then back up to Elle, "You know, for the road?"

/That/ begs no hesitation from Elle (though it does seem to surprise her, as though she'd just remembered), who leaaans over, scoops up the top of the bag, and untroubledly presses the entire bag into Peter's arms. "Here. You need them more than I do." Level of earnestness at this point? Priceless.

The look of surprise at having the bag dropped in his lap as it were causes Peter to take a moment of bewildered silence. His brows furrow together, the one raises slowly in a way that tugs at his scar and stretches it slightly. "But — " He glances down at the bag, then back up to Elle. "Hey, um…" Peter's hands awkwardly grip at the sides of the bad, "I… I never got to apologize to you." There's a strained, torn look that briefly crosses the agent's face, and he can't quite find the strength to look Elle in the eyes again. "I heard — I found out about what happened, I mean… I saw the video of the raid. I — Alexander he…" One hand moves from the bag to pinch at the bridge of his nose, "It's my fault you got shot." Peter's admission of the gunman's name is a slip he doesn't intentionally give, but often mistakes are made when he thinks with his heart and not with his head. "I didn't — If I had known what I do now, I wouldn't…" He can't quite find the words. Too much heart.

And now Elle's smile sees a tiny return. At first it's that one-sided hook of her mouth she had displayed earlier, but now her brows rise and her lips part briefly, a weight-heavy sigh infusing resigned warmth back into the way she carries herself. Standing up and sliding her chair aside, she places herself close so she can gently finger a few threads of Peter's hair right at the base of his neck. "Peter." She draws the name out. "Don't blame yourself too hard— some things just /happen/. We can't help that we didn't know better." She lets another few seconds crawl by, bending her head to catch each angle his eyes turn - trying to get him to look at her.

He tries to smile, but the expression comes out looking a bit more like a grimace, whether intentional or not. "I know, everyone's said that, I just — " He closes his eyes, but doesn't move from the touch to the back of his neck, much like last time. There's something soothing about the gesture, and in his tired state he's not one to argue about the nature of the source. "I was practically the one that pulled the trigger. I… I saw you get shot. I had no idea what happened while you were gone, I… I used to watch that security tape, over and over…" Peter exhales a slow, tired sigh and lets his eyes open, finally meeting Elle's. "I'm sorry."

No /word/ about the apology, but Elle's fingers momentarily tighten a little in their soft faux-picking, as if they've taken on a life of their own. It slows a little, almost stopping, but not quite. "A lot of things happened while I was gone." she states more declaratively than before. "None of which I'm really interested in talking about. You know what I mean." A sharp, somewhat suggestive glance, though the sudden sharpness isn't so much directed as Peter as to lend weight behind her words. "Your hand wasn't the one that was on that trigger. Who'd you say again? Alexander; your friend?"

Perhaps it's the direction of the conversation that unsettles Peter, enough to have him slowly rise up from where he's sitting. The bag of cookies doesn't get abandoned though, no that's held fast in both hands. "I'm probably just tired, it…" His expression remains a very distinct look of awkward nervousness, "I'm going to go get a short nap. I'm — I didn't mean to lay all this on you." He tries to pull his way out of the conversation, and it's only when he really realizes Elle said Alexander's name that he starts to bristle a little, more at himself than anything. "Look I — I'm just tired." There's a bit of fear there too, fear and at her question reconsideration. "I… don't really think any of them are my friends anymore. To them, I sold out to the Company. I don't think they'd listen to me, even if — " A shake of his head cuts off his words, and Peter looks up to Elle with a plaintive smile, "I should…" He glances to the door, then back to Elle. "I should go."

Both of Elle's hands slip free so they're clasped in her possession again, and she takes a step backwards. "I wasn't asking you to do anything, Peter." She looks rather tired herself at that moment, and she absently reaches to work out a kink in her brush of a ponytail. Bangs are swept aside, only to futilely fall back. The smile is met with the lack of one, and the tip of her tongue glosses over her upper lip in a final exhalation. " 'Night. Sleep tight."

Eyes divert down to the bag of cookies, it's better than meeting Elle's eyes at the moment, he still has a hard time doing that. The blood stain on the floor was still there when he was let out of his cell. It's a hard image to forget, espescially with his memory. "I'll try." With a memory like his, it's hard to sleep well. Hard not to be plagued by the grainy black and white footage of the girl doubling over from automatic weapons fire. His brow twitches, trying to inwardly get it to stop. "You… you try to get some rest too." He cracks a smile, if not a bit weakly as looks down at the bag one last time.

"I'm glad you're back."

November 18th: The Notebook

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 18th: See SCOUT Hunt
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