From Emo To Absurd


conrad_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title From Emo To Absurd
Synopsis Conrad helps Helena cope with her first kill by getting her very, very, very drunk. Includes heaps of foul language!
Date December 8, 2009

New York Public Library - Rooftop

Between the physical injury and the meeting with Edward, Helena was overwhelmed, but felt somehow guilty for even considering mentioning that fact to anyone. Ben had called her a trooper, but she doesn't feel like one. She feels like she has no right to be doing what she's doing, and her dreams have been plagued by the sight of Dina's fragged body. Even if it was instinct, even if it was self-defense. Weren't there choices? So Helena hides.

She hides on the roof, her back pressed to one of her garden tubs and butt to the ground, kneels pulled in tight. Her head is bent, and tiny shoulders shake. Wedged between her sunflowers which aren't going to bloom until spring and the tomato vines, Helena cries, her face gone ugly and crumpled and red.

Though it ought to be obvious to anyone that's tried it, you can't cry or even say much around Conrad without him hearing about it. Literally. Not that it's why he's up here. He was actually looking for some place to be alone and smoke a cigar. Or else he was looking for Batman. But when he comes out onto the roof he immediately picks up the sound. And then he masks his own sounds so as to better sneak up on her.

"So what happened?" he asks, waiting until he's literally right next to Helena and couldn't get any closer without being seen.

Helena lets out a startled yelp and starts, breathing heavily and pressing a hand on her heart. "Jesus, Con!" she chokes, trying to quickly wipe at her eyes with the heel of one hand. "It's nothing, it's…" she shakes her head.

"Relax." Con says casually, hands in the pockets of his Dallas Cowboys jacket. He leans back against the wall between the sunflowers and Hel. "Tell me about nothing. C'mon."

"Before we found the warehouse." Helena makes it some kind of statement, even if it's merely a piece of one. "It's how we found the warehouse. We were scoping out the area, and we saw this girl. I saw her face before and it made me suspiscious. She got the idea that she was being tailed, sloppy, I know. We followed her, it's how me and Brian got shot." She's not looking at Conrad at all, her eyes dropping to her hands. "She had a grenade."

"Shit. Wonder where the fuck she got a grenade…" mutters Con to nobody in particular, eyes cutting down to ponder that before looking at the girl and hearing her out. Obviously there's more to the story.

"She threw it at us, and I just reacted, I - " she swallows and looks like she's going to be sick or just start crying again, "The wind sent it back to her." Her wind, the gale that sent Dina straight to Oz…in pieces.

Conrad frowns and sighs, then kneels to hug Helena. Nothing fancy. She's gonna get a hug.

Yeah. The gesture more or less bursts the damn, and Conrad's favorite jacket is going to have a pretty wet shoulder.

None of that seems to bother Conrad. He just squeezes Helena tight and lets her cry, saying only, "It's okay kid. Go ahead…I gotcha." And truthfully he's prepared to sit there for several minutes letting this go on. He even does Helena the added favor of a little privacy and using a silence bubble to contain the noises she makes. "Be as loud as you want. I got you covered."

Helena is not going to embarrass herself by exhibiting the sort of frustration and fury and despair that comes with the package that has been her life lately. Tantrums are for children. But she does cry, at least until she's cried herself out. "I could have sent it someplace else!" she insists - though not really, not without wider chance of structural damage that could've hurt everyone. "And her body, it was…there were pieces of her on the ground…"

"Yeah….yeah…" replies Con, not bothering to argue with any of it. Because arguing's not what it's about. He's old enough to have seen these happen. Knows the score. Knows how to help at least somewhat. When it looks like Hel's less at the mercy of herself, he says, "You ready to go out? I'm taking you someplace and you're getting drunk."

Helena blinks a moment at that. "Ben says that I can't afford to act like a kid." He made it clear when he saw her the next day, dealing with her hangover.

"Fuck that polesmoker." says Conrad simply.

Helena makes a sound that is something akin to a snigger that erupts more from her throat then her nose. She's been healed of the graze thanks to Abby earlier in the day, so she's off the pain medication. "Okay." she says. "I don't want a hangover, though."

"There are tricks to making it go away." assures Con gently. He gets to his feet and offers Helena a hand up. "C'mon. Let's get that snot wiped off your nose and I'll take you out and cockblock for you, so you can get as messy and stupid as you want."

Helena accepts the hand and lifts herself to her feet, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. "Oh god. I'm so ugly when I cry." she complains.

"Everybody's ugly when they cry. Or when they fuck, or take a shit, or eat. Reality's ugly." Con puts an arm around Helena's shoulders to kind of accompany her, and proceeds to try to sneak her to the nearest bathroom so she can use the sink. "You're pretty the rest of the time, don't worry. Everybody likes the pretty girls."

It's not too difficult. They bump into a few people along the way, some of which start to question, but Conrad can more or less Chin them into submission, and Helena gets herself washed up and meets him outside the lav. "Okay," she says, curious. "Um. Where are we going?"

Con has Helena follow him outside, and they're gonna walk down the block a ways until they get to some place where there's more civilization. "There's this place called Mac's. Scummy little hole in the wall. None of our common friends goes to it, which is why I'm always there. So it's my treat tonight. We got a little walk first though. I'm gonna have to find a ride."

"I don't mind a walk." says Helena gamely. Then, "I have an id that says I'm twenty-one, if I need it."

"You won't need it." replies Con. And since they have a walk he decides to talk. "Spoke to that shithead Harvard today. I gave him a disc with all the info we have on Volken's people."

"Liz's boss?" Helena questions. "How much of a jerk was he to you?" she inquires curiously. "Given Liz's warnings, he sounds like an asshole."

"Oh god he's a total asshole. He was trying to suck my dick too. Asking me where I'm from, if my mom was okay, shit like that. Drives a BMW. Man, only assholes drive BMWs." Beat. "I'm gonna boost his car someday." Yeah Con definitely has opinions. He walks with hands in his pockets and grins. "I told him he's a piece of shit, Abby is mentally ill, and if he wants any new information to go through Liz."

"And he didn't try to arrest you?" Helena asks with a sudden choked laugh. "Good. I mean, about you telling him to go to hell. God." She shakes her head. "Dealing with HomeSec and SCOUT makes me nervous. But I know, I know - necessary evil."

"What the fuck's he gonna arrest me for? And if he does, so the fuck what?" Conrad takes a hand out of his pocket to make a distinctive jacking-off motion. "Jail doesn't scare me. Shit, I know the jailers by name. Odds are they'd tell me to get lost as soon as I showed up. The thing is, he's frustrated and he's too lazy to hit the streets himself and follow up on the information we gave him without squeezing us for more first."

Helena shakes her head. "Sounds like SCOUT is going to be pretty useless." she comments as they stroll. Then, "But I kind of get the feeling that Elisabeth doesn't think we're terribly productive, either."

Con half-shrugs. "We do okay. We saved the president. And I bet we're the ones that take down Volken." They come up on a Honda civic parked outside a small bar on the street. Con says, "Ah. here we go…" He looks around and starts to loiter next to the car.

Helena tries not to watch him, but can't help but be somewhat fascinated by this whole process. Maybe Con will teach her how to hotwire a car as they make their way. That would be cool! She's not sure if she should talk to him or some such while he's 'working', though.

Convinced nobody's watching, Conrad pulls a little keyring out of his pocket and a multitool. He flips through the keys on the ring, getting a Honda one. They're not normal keys, either, having had their teeth filed such that only a few stand out. He stands next to the car and puts the key most of the way in the lock, leaving it just a little out. Then he takes the multitool and uses it like a hammer to tap the key in while putting turn-pressure on it at the same time. Doesn't work the first time. Nor the second time. The third time he puts the key in and bumps it, there's a brief struggle and he gets the key to turn, unlocking the car. Then the door's open and he hits the power locks and says, "Get in."

Once inside he expertly uses one of his multitool's screwdriver attachments to strip the steering column off of the wheel and throw it in the back seat. Then he's working on the wires. That doesn't take long, as he just touches two wires with the tool, completes the circuit, and has it started. The radio's set blasting on some rap station, which he immediately turns off. "I hate rap."

Helena does as instructed, getting in and watches as he hotwires the car with his little set of tools. "Oh my god," she says, laughing a little. "You have to teach me that. I can drive anything with at least four wheels, did you know that? I could have driven that big rig we found if I wasn't too short to reach the damn pedals." And bleeding everywhere. "Elvis is teaching me how to ride a motorcycle. I want one, but I don't have the funds."

"No I didn't know that." replies Con with a grin. "It's easy. Just takes practice and a couple of tools." He pulls out and pretty soon they're cruising down the street. So far the owner hasn't noticed his car missing, and likely won't until far too late. "Elvis is keeping one of her bikes at the Dispensary. That place is just better and better the more I look at it."

Helena smiles a bit. "I'm excited about it." she confesses. "It's going to be an incredible resource. The basement looks perfect for training and we can snag one of the office rooms for a central ops. And there's a place for a garden, and I want to set up a workshop area for Elvis in the loading dock…" she chatters happily about it. She might even appear more on board with the idea then Con has previously thought.

Probably the idea's grown on her, Con thinks. But he lets her talk and just grins about it. "I'm just glad it's workin out. And we really do need a good place to do training. Except what I'm looking for now is some kind of proving ground where we can tear shit up and really see how far powers go. Without it being any place we care about."

"Junkyard?" Helena muses. "Landfill?" She smirks. "Kazimir Volken's backyard?"

"I was thinking midtown someplace. Or we can vary it. I dunno. Teo gave me this kid Colette and she wants me to teach her how to use her abilities. But she's got some kind of light-based thing going on and there's no telling how powerful that can get. Might be full-on lasers for all I know." Yeah, Con's the designated teacher, it seems. "Apparently me teaching Liz has made my reputation as Obi-Wan Conobi." They drive past the bar Con was looking for and he looks at it, then makes a turn. "We're gonna ditch this car in the alley."

Helena blinks. "Colette? You're teaching Colette?" Helena just start laughing. "That is just…that is just peachy. I hope you teaching her involves kicking her ass a few teams. Oh hey, you should ask Claude to help you, he'll whack her a good one just the same way he worked over me." She nods to his instructions. "You want me to fog up the area a bit?"

"The kid was okay when I talked to her. A little skittish. Other than that…" Con shakes his head to the fog offer, backing the car up into an alley until it hits a dumpster going about ten. CRUNCH! Then he puts it in park and turns it off. "We're here! But no, I dunno shit about the girl except she's got a funky eye, can do some light tricks, and seems like she's got a few more issues than normal." He gets out of the car to walk out of the alley and down the block to the bar.

"I was there when her power went off for the firs time. We were dealing with those Crazy 88 wannabes, remember?" she says. "I tried to talk to her after that, and she told me to go to hell." Helena shrugs. "I at least appreciate the irony." She hurries to catch up with him. "You know, everyone at that bar is probably going to think I'm your barely legal floozy."

Con quips, "That's only because you are my barely legal floozy. For tonight anyway. So play the part, because I still don't get to have Claire's ass." Mmm. Claire's ass. It's tasty. "Anyway, she's probably just freaked out. We'll see. I'm pretty good with dealing with the issues of freaked out teenage girls." He DOES let a little sarcasm float into that.

"You're only getting away with that because you're covering my tab." Helena informs them as they head for the bar. "Does this mean I might have to give you a lapdance? Because I might mistake your chin for your butt."

"Okay, I'll say this once while you're sober," Conrad warns, chuckling a little and holding up a finger outside the door to the bar, "You and me? We're never ever having accidental sex. You? Off-limits. But for the record I really like it when girls dance on my chin."

"Well that's good," Helena says brightly, "Because Eww. I mean, really. Eww." She pauses. "Oh, wow." she says. "I totally get why Claire was so creeched about me and Peter now." Her smile turns wry, she shakes her head, and continues on. "Also, not only gross on account of your age, but also gross because you're like a brother. Amongst all the other brothers I have in our little dysfunctional family."

Con makes a face and goes, "Uh yeah. The brother thing's more the reason. Claire's your age and I wanna eat that with cream and a cherry." Then he ducks into the bar.


It's dark, cozy, warm, much unlike outside. There aren't a lot of people here. Maybe three, one of which is one of those old men that you see at every bar, like the bar comes equipped with one. The others are watching ESPN. There's a bored-looking old overweight woman tending bar who has a smoker's raspy voice and greets Conrad when he comes in. Con says to her, "Hey Florence." and then goes for a booth where they can be alone. "What's the poison, kid? I'll go get it. Flo won't ask questions."

Helena makes 'eww' face some more at the thought of Conrad and Claire, but then resorts to a more normal expression. "Uh. Kahlua and cream?" she requests. Yep, she likes her drinks sweet and girly.

"Kahlua and cream." Parrots Conrad, getting up. It takes him maybe three minutes to come back with the drink she asked for, a shotglass, a bottle of brandy, and a big glass of beer, all expertly carried with fingers and without spilling a drop. He sets the drinks on the table. "I want you to try a brandy shot. This is good, smooth stuff."

Helena looks at it musingly. "You promise you'll keep me from getting a hangover?" she asks him, eyeballing the brandy like she expects it to light on fire.

"No. Man up and drink the fuckin' booze." orders Conrad easily, absolutely no acid behind it. "You get a hangover for two reasons, because you're dehydrated and your body's been on overdrive trying to compensate for the alcohol. What you do to get rid of the hangover is drink a whole lot of water before you go to bed and when you wake up have one drink of some kind. A beer or something. And then take some headache pills or whatever. Better than ninety percent of the time that fixes everything."

"Yes sir." Helena says with mock military seriousness, and after taking a breath, downs the shot. She proceeds to gasp, and grips the table while her pupils dialate. "Nice." she manages, doing her best not to make faces.

Brandy like that tends to go down and clear out the sinuses, but doesn't actually taste bad. It's lacking the medicine-like unpalatability that most straight liquors have, and the sinus-clearing is more like a hypercharged minty sensation than anything else. "That's a girl." Con says with a grin. "So tell me about this dumb bitch with the grenade…" They gotta go there.

Helena looks around a little furtively, and then remembers, oh hey - audiokinetic. "She had all these weapons on her," she begins, waving her hands for emphasis. "Cat wanted to take them, but I told her to leave them so it'd be clear that she was some kind of terrorist and not some poor victim when she was found by the cops."

"Yeah well, I don't have to tell you she got what she had coming to her." remarks Con, pouring another shot and sliding it across the table for Helena. Then he takes a sip of his beer and adds, "I know that's not the point, but it's still true. Who the hell was she with? Do you know?"

"I know." Helena's voice is a little strained and soft when she says it. "We'd intercepted a Vanguard transmission, and she had the address for the pickup of the truck on her. So she was Vanguard." Then softly, "I'm worried about retaliation."

Conrad laughs a little at that, and it's clear there IS indeed a sound filter going on around them because nobody in the bar so much as looks up when he laughs. And yet the ambient sounds of the bar are coming through okay. Must be a one-way deal. "Hel, we're already at war. What's retaliation? For what? They fuck with us already."

Helena furrows her brow. "You saw what they did when we took Eileen. Now we've killed one of theirs. But you're not the only one who thinks that's crazy, so maybe it is."

"Yeah well they're aggressors. Does no good to just pussy around hoping we don't piss them off. What you did was absolutely right. And if you doubt that, just imagine it'd be pieces of you on the ground instead of crazy grenade bitch. So you did good. And I'm proud of you for defending your life." Con looks at the kahlua. "You gonna drink your girly drink?"

Helena wraps her hand around the glass. "I am." she says with emphasis, and takes a dainty sip. "It uhh…tastes different after you've had brandy in your mouth." she notes.

"That's what Claire's gonna say someday." says Con with a grin.

Helena clamps her hand over her mouth to keep herself from spitting out her liquour which Conrad is paying for, dammit. "Please stop talking about Claire in sexual terms." she says, wiping her mouth and trying not to have the kahlua go up her nose. "It's squicky."

"Mmm…squicky." he replies, having some of his beer before grinning. Conrad shrugs, "I dunno what you're gettin' worked up about. That Petrelli guy's way older than you and you still wanna ride his cock like a pogo stick."

Helena makes a faintly queasy noise and facepalms. "He's only twenty-eight." she mutters but adds more loudly, "I don't want to talk about Peter."

"Fair enough." replies Con with a grin. "Don't wanna talk about Peter. Don't wanna talk about Claire. Already kind of talked about Grenade Girl. So what else is going on? I told you about me and my new cop friend."

Helena rolls her eyes. "I haven't talked to Claire since Christmas, and that was over text, and the last time I saw her, she yelled at me. Peter's rotting in a HomeSec jail cell because he wants to be there and he's a fucking coward and what makes it worse is that there's still," she makes a vague gesture toward her chest, "And Hana took off after her fight with Bennet and you know what, half the time I feel like I'm juggling knives that are on fire while riding a tricycle across a greased tightrope."

"You are." replies Con. "It sucks. Half the time I wonder why you even want to. But I think it's because you're just the kind of person who can't let it go undone. And that makes you worth something." He's about halfway through his beer now. "So what do you think about this Edward guy and his plan to do the whole raid thing?"

"If I was thinking entirely with my head, I'd say he needs to be locked away in an I Lurve Me jacket." Helena admits. "But my gut tells me to trust him, or at least his intentions, something fierce. Sometimes I get that way about people. I know one day it's gonna fuck me." She shrugs. "I don't know how to not do it, Con. I watched them kill my mother. I can't just sit and watch with this." She stares at her kahlua, and abruptly chugs it.

There's an approving noise from Con, because she's drinking. And she needs to be drinking. The only reason he hasn't poured her another shot of brandy is because the second shot is undrunk. "I'll try to keep you on top, kid. I always do. I may not be the most active member of the gang or involved in every little thing, but I try to do things on the downlow that need doing."

"You're active enough." Helena says, tapping the now empty kahlua and cream glass. "Another, please. Unless she knows how to make a jolly rancher."

With a grin Conrad says, "She can make one." He takes the empty glass and gets up. Is gone for a couple of minutes. Comes back with another kahlua AND a jolly rancher. Sets them down in front of Helena. "By the way I bought the brandy bottle so what you don't finish comes home with me. But I expect you to have some more. You're still speaking straight."

Helena looks delighted at the prospect of two more drinks, and nods dutifully. "You know," she says, "One time West got me and Claire really drink and he got us to sing."

"Oh yeah? What'd you sing?" Con asks with a grin, sipping his own beer.

Helena grins. "ABBA." she says gleefully. "I was totally Agnetha cuz I'm prettier."

"Awww you had to do Blondie or something. I always wanted to do Debbie Harry. Though she's all old now…" Conrad makes a face. Damn women for getting old. The good ones just keep getting younger. "You oughta try karaoke with me sometime. It's an experience."

"Is she the one who sang 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'? Helena asks brightly. "I know that song! Every karaoke night in America always ends up having one chick who sings 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'." Helena educates Conrad about this quite solemnly. Though given her of absurdity, the alcohol is kicking in.

"No, shit, you know what always happens? Some jerk gets up there and does Mambo Number Nine and SUCKS at it." Con drains the rest of his beer and uses the empty glass to gesture at her, "As you know, I can sing anything. Because I cheat and I don't actually sing it. But I guess that's not really fair that I cheat because I have to use my ability just to hear. Without it I can't even hear what I'm saying, so…yeah."

Con gives the girl a look. "How do you even fucking know what a record player is? You were nothing but a DNA stain when those were around!" It's good natured though.

Fortunately nobody's gonna hear any loudness. Con's pretty much sober and can keep the silence bubble up just fine. "It was NOT crap. You're stupid."

"No, you are!" is the witty retort, and Helena giggles as she drinks her JR. "Oh, and you know what? I want a tattoo." Random is fun with tipsy Helena! She shifts in her seat so she's sort of on her side and tugs down her pants just a little so he can see the exposed flesh of her hip. "Hunh." she says. "Abby must have been really tired." As evidence by the scar, albeit a rather light one, considering.

"Where you want it? You oughta get a tramp stamp." That's Con's brilliant suggestion.

"I was gonna get it on my hip." She glares at the scar a bit balefully. "But I think the scar is good. Issa reminder." She pulls her jeans back up and finishes her JR before reaching for the kahlua. "Maybe on my shoulderblade instead."
Phoenix> Redneck Sith, Alexander says, "I can but imagine."

"See, now everybody thinks you and I are hooking up." kid Con with a big grin. Although nobody else in the bar is so much as noticing them it seems. Kind of easy to go unnoticed in here. Probably why Conrad likes coming here. "I think you oughta get your hair done in a ponytail braid. Like Angelina Jolie in that movie." Because he doesn't play Tomb Raider.

Helena finds that extraordinarily funny. "I met a bartender at Old Lucy's who looks just like Angelina Jolie." she informs him cheerfully. "She even had the crazy lips." Her third drink, second kahlua and cream, and she's positively thrumming. A hand accidentally strays to her hair. "But it's pretty!" she protests, and then, "Am I the sort of girl who makes men do what she wants, Connie?"

"Yup. You definitely are." Con says, pouring some brandy in his beer glass so he can drink it that way. "You're the kind of girl that somebody's always after." Then he drinks the swig out of his glass.

"Fuck." Helena pouts. She pouts. "I hate it when Ben's right. People that snarky have no right to those kind of cheekbones."

"What, you like Ben?" Conrad asks, a grin on his face.

Helena scowls. "No." she says emphatically. "I mean, I like him okay, but not like that. I'm not in middle school, for Chrissake. And besides," she makes a vague 'away' gesture, though what that means isn't clear. "Can I have another brandy?"

Con points at Helena's shotglass and says, "Sure, after you toss that one down." It's still full. He grins. "Kid, sometime I learned a long time ago is that life is high school. It doesn't change. Seventy year old ladies still giggle and gossip like seventeen year old girls. That's how it'll always be."

Helena beams at him. "That is good advice." she informs him, and reaches for the shot. Giving him a bright grin, she proceeds to knock the shot back, the whole thing, straight down to her gullet, and gasps, "Oh my god." before pitching forward a little and letting her head rest against the table. Forehead to formica, she starts to giggle.

That makes Con grin. And he picks up the cap for the bottle of brandy and caps it neatly. "Perfect." Then he gets up and goes around, saying, "C'mon. Let's go. You're spending the night in the Dispensary with me. I got a couple of cots up there already."

Helena lifts her head up, and blinks blearily. "Can I get a tattoo?" she asks, and starts to giggle again. Oh, this is so nice. She'll have to do this more often.

"You want it tonight?" asks Con with a chuckle. "Best time to get one's when you're shitfaced…"

Helena lights up like Con Edison. Oh, the irony. "Sure!" she says, then frowns. "No…wait. I don't have any money." She scowls.

"I'll pay, kid. My treat." promises Con with a grin, holding up the brandy. "C'mon! Let's get you branded…" Oh yeah. This'll go down well in the morning.

"Because I'm a girl who gets men to do stuff for her!" Helena declares with a snicker. And off they go. Conrad can watch her get inked (it'll end up on her right shoulderblade), make her drink water, and put her to bed in the dispensary, with the hair of the dog that bit her waiting in the morning.

January 8th: What Did You Think I Wanted?
January 8th: Something Sinister
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