Ignorance Is Bliss


f_cat_icon.gif f_gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Ignorance Is Bliss
Synopsis Helena celebrates her engagement with two of her best friends, unaware that in nine days she's going to die.
Date May 9, 2011

Central Park - Tavern On The Green

It is May 9, 2011. Helena Dean is going to die in nine days.

But at this very moment in time, on a Monday afternoon when most people are back at work, Helena Dean is sitting in the Tavern On The Green. It's extremely upscale, the kind of place where patrons would not be coming up to Helena or either of the two women she's called to meet for a late lunch. She sounded so calm when she made those calls this morning, absolutely insistent that her two friends make it for a get-together. Helena sits at her table, hands resting in her lap.

This last year has been kind to her, restoring her health and vibrance, but at this particular moment, she looks as if she's glowing from the inside. The weather is beautiful today, sunny, with just a few big, beautiful, fluffy clouds of the sort that children lay on their backs to look at and dream them up as dragons and pirate ships.

She has no idea of what's coming in such a short span of days as she enters the Tavern, there being a blissful absence of precognitive persons to tell her any such dire fact between her home in Greenwich Village and here. Cat arrives in a muted purple knee length dress of a conservative kind, a clutch purse in one hand. No briefcase, no backpack, no guitar. She stops at the Hostess station.

"Doctor Chesterfield for Miss Dean."

Glowing would not be a word to describe Gillian as she arrives, right on schedule. Then again, for her glowing could be literal, and wouldn't necessarily be a good thing in the best of circumstances. The location meant she had to dress up, but already working at Pinehearst has made her accustomed to such attire. A black dress jacket, a pale shirt, a black skirt that clings close. Even high heels that make her a few inches taller. The spitting image of a professional woman, well on her way to twenty-five years. A tattoo peeks out from her ankle, a second one visible behind her ear, and a third on her wrist as she moves up behind Cat and raises her hand, A yin/yang tattoo of particular importance. "Me too. I'm with her. Childs." A small pause, and she glances over at the woman, "She seems to be in a good mood today." A nod to the nearest window.

"Oh ma'ams, we know who you are." assures the hostess, with visible admiration for the two women. Heroes, they are. Saviors of the country, members of Phoenix, who fought back against government conspiracy and the army of a mad man that would have killed millions of people. Helena turns her head when she sees them and beams, yes, literally quivering with excitement when she sees them, but does not rise as they are led to the table, does not offer hugs. Her right hand gestures to seats excitedly, "Sit, sit!" and she informs the hostess who guides them there, "We need champagne." The hostess doesn't hesitate, making her way off to go tend to Helena's request.

A smile forms when those words are spoken; one hand touches the Medal of Freedom ribbon pinned to her left chest briefly. "Thank you, Miss." A half-turn is made before Cat steps forward to spot and greet the arrival behind her. "Gillian. Pinehearst becomes you," she enthuses. She seems about to offer an embrace of greeting when the blonde's voice draws her attention. "Yes," she confirms as feet carry her to that table behind the Hostess. "She does look exceedingly elated. Something's up."

The Panmnesiac's genuine smile broadens, to see Helena this way after all they've been through. Once at the table she sits and smoothly places one ankle over the other. If it occurs to her to ask what the occasion is, she doesn't. The weather manager will share her thunder in her own time, as weather managers will.

"It's trying to. Sometimes I still miss the library," Gillian admits, but a dimple appears as she smiles, moving closer to the table with the other woman. There's a lot that doesn't pass as businessy about her, and her own medal sits at her home, rather than worn in public. Framed and up on a wall. When she finally gets her own office, it'll probably sit in there instead. "Afternoon, Helena," she says, still smiling. The knot in the back of her head has been forcefully tied for some time. No power leakage unless she wishes it, but she hasn't quite learned to shut it off completely. Not yet. One step at a time. "Things are looking pretty sunny."

Helena literally bounces in her seat, and then with a big breath, puts her left hand out on the table for them to see. The diamond's circular, on a white gold band, with just enough carat to suggest it wasn't cheap without crossing the line into gauche. "Last night." she says, the joy contained breaking like a dam as she says the words.

The eyes widen at the sight of Helena's ring, Cat lowering them to look at it, then raising them to make contact with the engaged woman's own. That smile broadens still further, and she gives voice to her thoughts in one word. "Congratulations!"

Carefully plucked eyebrows raise in surprise at the sight of, well… bling. It's not something that Gillian's used to seeing, really. Except for her parents. "That's… wow," she finally says, shaking her head a little in surprise as she moves to settle into a chair. She doesn't lean forward for a closer look, though, possibly cause two heads leaning over it would risk concussion. "Well, at least I don't have to ask who." There's a touch of a laugh in her raspy voice, the dimples still showing up on her cheeks. "Any plans on when?"

Helena's eyes go wide too, and for a moment she gets all anime-heroine looking. "Thank you!" she beams to Cat, before noting to Gillian, "I know, right?" she says, shaking her head. "I mean, I'd marry Peter in a heartbeat even if he gave me a decoder ring from a crackjack box." Oh, Helena. "We haven't fixed a date yet, but I'm hoping for fall. Arthur called me this morning and said he'd be happy to walk me down the aisle." Helena's father, who made a brief effort to capitalize on his child's fame, is more or less cut off from her life. "I've been trying to get ahold of Claire, but - you two are going to be bridesmaids…right? Please?" Can they resist those big blue eyes?

"Of course," Cat replies, grinning, even while she's briefly conspiring behind her own brown eyes to be a bridesmaid and still play the Wedding March on guitar for the occasion. "It's so good of him to offer. I think Father would too," she opines, before sounding a cautionary note with laughter to her features. "If you see Mother coming, though, Helena, you should run. Very far away. She'll take over and leave you no say in planning anything."

For a moment, the smile on Gillian's face has faltered. Enough that the dimples aren't quite visible. But the question brings them back, or perhaps the sudden attention of those blue eyes. "Of course— though you better not pick bright orange or neon green or anything crazy for the dress colors of you'll have to track down wherever Elvis ran off to and shove her in it." That would be a joke, that raspy laugh. Just cause she didn't end up with the idiot she'd been in love with, doesn't mean she shouldn't be happy for someone else. "You're lucky, Helena," she does add with that smile. "And I'm glad for you."

Helena laughs a little bit, bites her bottom lip. "I'm probably going to hire a wedding planner." she admits. "I mean God, I'm marrying a Petrelli. It's like he's one of the freaking Windsors but American, these days. But thanks for the warning, Cat." Everything about her is so happy. "I felt like the universe just didn't want us to be, you know? And then finally, we get our chance." Gillian's expression is noted, and Helena offers her brief, sympathetic glance before trying for humor. IT's really hard to diminish her happiness. "I never thought I'd be happier at the prospect of washing a guy's socks…except I think we're gonna have a maid." Then, "No way am I going to do you guys wrong. You can be as involved or not in the planning as you want to. And that definitely goes for dress selection as well. Ohmygod, Elvis in a dress! She'd probably insist on riding a bike down the aisle."

"With our stature," Cat muses, "President Mitchell may even offer up the White House Rose Garden for the ceremony." Laughing follows, she perhaps picturing Elvis doing just that. "So…" she switches tacks, "spill the details, Helena! How did he propose?"

This story she's eagerly intent on hearing.

"Don't short change yourself, Helena. You're just as popular in the media as he is," Gillian says with a hint of a smile, knowing that she's the golden child of the whole resistance against registration and the government of the last few years. Savior of the world, leader of Phoenix, unlawfully imprisoned, awarded a medal. All of it. "But yeah, details." Cat will remember them for everyone.

"Well, I spent yesterday afternoon talking to Brian about the speech I've got in about a week - the one at Columbia? You guys should totally come." Helena says, "And when I finally got home, Peter was waiting for me. He said he wanted to fly me out to dinner. Like I'm going to say no, right?" The champagne comes - Cristal. They're all three of them famous, and are generally offered the best wherever they go. As it's pouring, Helena says, "So we have dinner, and I think we're going back to his apartment, but…he took me to the rooftop of the Deveaux Building instead. What's left of it anyway."

Her head tilts as she listens, briefly looking away just long enough to wrap fingers around the stem of her glass when it's poured. On some occasions the mention of a place which figured in their past exploits would cause her to flash back and recall an event or three which happened there, but this time Cat keeps them at bay. All she gets is a recollection of how it looked when Conrad got done with shaking it senseless.

She'll say and do nothing to interrupt the tale.

There's a nod at first when the Columbia speech is mentioned. Gillian had already taken the day off for it, so she intended to go, whether or not she'd be on the stage. It's one of the things she's tried to do, supporting her friends when they're doing something. Same thing that got her in this mess. The mention of the Deveaux Building rooftop makes her eyebrows raise, and she has to smile. Memories of her own. Both fond and not. Including these two as well.

Instead of interupting, she sips on the champagne, listening.

"He asked me there on the roof." Helena concludes, faintly disbelieving, and suddenly almost shy about it. "I made him repeat himself because I didn't believe it was happening. But I said yes - almost too fast after that, because I kept thinking that something horrible was going to happen, you know?" She sips her champagne, looking content. All is right in the world.

She just smiles as the story is told, sipping at her champagne, and finally speaks when it's done. Or almost done. "So, go on," Cat encourages. "He did the whole production, down on one knee and everything?" Behind her eyes, however, she's plotting to arrange a wedding gift for them.

Her memory is searched to see if the necessary people are still alive to pull off a reunion of… Abba.

There's a small laugh at the other woman's enthusiasm. "I bet you she's fishing for details for the speech she'll have to write for your reception," Gillian says, grinning over at the other woman from behind the glass. Cause she most certainly is not planning to write a speech for it. "Looks like everything will work out this time," she adds, with a positive feeling to her voice, and a small raise of a glass. As long as they can avoid meteorites, comets and other disasters of epic proportions, right?

"Well, 'on' the roof may not have been quite correct." Helena ammends as she ships her champagne. "More like above it. So it was kind of hard for him to get down on one knee. The moon was very bright, though."

"To Helena and Peter," Cat offers, raising her glass with her smile constant and perhaps a glimpse of plotting visible in those brown eyes. The part of her she won't give voice to here and now, along with musing over Abba at the wedding, is wondering if there was a celebratory collaboration against the outer wall of a skyscraper after Helena accepted and if red heels were worn. Her hopes and expectations are for both of them being blissful, it's well deserved and then some. There will be nothing to interfere. Not even toilet seats from the sky.

"Who's your Maid of Honor, Helena?"

"I always kinda got a laugh over my nickname for you— even before I knew the two of you were together. Windy," Gillian's smile has increased a bit. "Wendy and Peter— heading off to Neverland." And they even fly together. It's fitting. Even if the end of the book doesn't technically have them together, it might be good in one reality where they could fly off to Neverland and live happily ever after. Or something of the sort. A sip from her glass.

Cat's question catches her by surprise, and there's a masked point in the lawyer-musicians direction. Her.

Helena grins at Gillian. "You know, I kind of always saw myself as Alice. But I'll take Wendy." To Cat, she cannot help but grin. "And deny you the opportunity to help coordinate like you're Napolean at Alexandria, and be able to give a speech? You, of course."

It's spot on, this is what Cat does. Let others take the lead, stay out of the spotlight, outline the staging of a production… Her mind goes back to when she concealed her resources and was head down to avoid the appearance of a power grab, careful not to overshadow anyone, and so it is still. Helena in the spotlight as she's the more sympathetic figure for the media… The only place Cat's wanted to be front and center is when she's onstage with her guitar.

"Thank you, Helena," she responds, clearly touched. "I accept."

"Neverland's only slightly less crazy than Wonderland," Gillian says with a grin, though if they read her letter to Peter that she left on the rooftop, it'd references Alice in Wonderland to try and hint to where he could go to find out where she was. Of course he had already been locked up by that point… And who would Peter even be in that analogy? The White Rabbit? "Good. Cause for the record, I fucking suck at speeches. I'll definitely help pick out the colors and stuff, though. Cause there's some I ain't putting anywhere on me."

Helena holds up her hands. "I am totally open for negotiation on that score. I'll probably have a few battles to fight anyway, you know - hello, Petrelli, Catholic, and I kind of want it out of doors. I mean, it's not like the weather's going to suck." Oh, no. On that day, it's garunteed to be glorious.

"Outdoors is easy," Cat believes vocally. "When President Mitchell offers the Rose Garden, it'd be hard for anyone to say no if they wanted to." She turns to Gillian after a sip of champagne to ask "How about a pale purple shade?"

"Are you Catholic?" Gillian asks with a hint of surprise, though she really shouldn't be surprised that Petrelli is. She just never really thought about it. Italian and all, it should have been obvious. "You know purple's my color, Cat. Though I usually prefer darker. I can live with a pastel." Live with it. Not the best review, but better than the 'BURN IT' that an orange or green would get.

"Nope, I'm not really much of anything." Helena admits. "What about like a nice rich wine color? Burgundy? Oh god, I'm gonna have to look at colors. And menus. And dresses. I am simultaneously overjoyed and horrified. Suddenly I want to elope. I mean, the only thing that matters is that Peter shows up, right?"

A grin is flashed toward Gillian. "I was going to suggest a darker shade at first," she admits, "but I think you and Helena would've rolled your eyes if I said deep purple." From there Cat's eyes settle on Helena. "I can deal with burgundy too. Eloping's an option, but hey, you know the media will be well behaved if this all comes off at the Rose Garden. Presidential security and all that."

"I'd love burgundy," Gillian says, just so that's pretty clear up front. Just for the record. That's definitely one of the top colors. She'll have to think of conservative ways to hide her tattoos, though the media hasn't given her too much trouble over them. Yet. "You're really pushing the Rose Garden, Cat," she says with a laugh. "You could elope, but Cat's already creating it in her head."

Helena grins. "What about here in Central Park? I mean, Pinehearst is really trying to turn Manhattan into something beautiful, you know? There might even be something in place by the time we're ready that would be perfect." She seems content to keep chattering on about the details of her wedding, even as no doubt confirmation of this little meeting of ladies who lunch will appear in the society pages.

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