The Doctor Is Out


elle_icon.gif peter2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Doctor Is Out
Synopsis Peter finds out some very disturbing news, and breaks it to Elle.
Date November 10, 2008

Primatech Research, Level 1: Agent Petrelli's Office

After parting ways with Montag, Elle had promptly returned to more familiar quarters in Primatech. The mood of grouchiness she had taken from her encounter with Adam and Huruma had subsided, if you could call it that - softened into a sort of passive moodiness rather than outright irritation, at any rate. That moodiness is still on her face and in her breathing as she clop-clops down a hallway in Level 1, fingers working at unbuttoning the top of a long, muted purple coat. There are flushes of color in both cheeks from the chill of outside. There is a glossy layer on her lips, too, another sign that she had just dropped in from somewhere.

"…what do you mean she's gone?" The frustration in Agent Petrelli's voice is clear as it echoes down the hall. With the door to his office open, his irritation is left to spread out to those nearby on the level of lowest security in the facility. "Exactly when did she leave Level-5? Was anyone even watching her?" The voice raises in frustration, even before Elle manages to come up on the small office. Through the single glass window that views into the room, she can see Peter Petrelli seated at his desk, phone held up between his shoulder and ear, writing something down on a tablet of note paper with one free hand, the other holding a cup of coffee.

"You're absolutely certain she isn't in one of the cells or sleeping in one of the corpse lockers again?" A moment of pause, followed by a deep sigh, "Damnit, damnit." Clearly today is a day for unwelcomed phone conversations.

The reverberations of Elle's walking are…loud, yes, but nothing compared to the din carrying from the small office just across from her. As she struggles with the button right at her throat, she pauses to eavesdrop. Or, leans a little to catch her breath. Really, they're one and the same.

"Alright, does the Director know yet?" Peter leans back in his chair with a creak, setting down his pen. He's silent for a moment, interrupted only by hshed tones of acknowledgement, "Alright, I'll — Yes, I know. See if Agent Woods has been down to get a checkup with her yet." Peter's free hand rises up to run fingers through his hair, eyes closing with a strained sigh. "I'll go pick up some canvas and paints and see if I can find anything out about where she might have gone and with who." Another short pause, head tilting to the side, "Yes, right. Alright sir." The phone is set down, hard, onto the base, and Peter leans forward and groans loudly. "You've got to be kidding me."

Leaning back slowly, Peter's chair creaks and groans, his eyes upturning to the tiled ceiling. But then, in a jerking motion, flit back down to peer out his open door, catching half a head of blonde hair and curious blue eyes peering in. His head cants to the side, one brow raising as he manages to notice the other Agent eavesdropping on the conversation. "You can come in," he says with a crooked smile, "Saves me the trouble of going to look for you."

With half a smile of her own, though far more sardonic on her end, Elle inclines her head obligingly and slips towards the opening of Peter's office without lingering much further. The single loop of blonde hair is still riding comfortably at her neck, despite an accompanying loosening of her collar. "/Sorry/. Wasn't planning on listening for long. You were going to-" A quick and questioning rise of her eyebrows. " — look for me?"

"It's not eavesdropping if I forget to close the door." Peter cracks a smile as Elle enters, a subtle nod of his head accompanying her question. "I just got a call from the security office down on Level-5. They're telling me that Doctor Knutson has disappeared from the facility, they think someone may have abducted her." Peter rises up from his chair, draining the last of his lukewarm coffee from the paper cup before tossing it towards the trash bin. It bounces off the rim, and lands on the floor. Peter's a terrible shot.

"I was going to see if you'd seen her at all today, I know you were going to her for regular check ups." Circling around his desk, Peter wanders over to the trash bin, crouching down to pick up the cup and toss it in with a click of his tongue. "If not, we've got a serious problem on our hands." As he rises back up, his dark eyes settle on Elle, a frown crossing his face.

Elle's eyes follow Peter on his journey across the room, digesting the information she'd just been given. She adjusts the strap of her handbag, which swings once against her hip. "No. Iiii've been out most of the day. Besides, I've been skipping out on 'regular checkups' for who knows how long." She shifts her weight to one foot, and tilts her head that way, reaching up to scratch at one lifted brow. "What do you mean, Knutson's been abducted? Have you looked at the tapes?"

"Not yet, I just got the call from security, they're letting eveyone with clearance to Level-5 know. You provably have a message waiting at your office." Peter tucls his hands into the pockets of his slacks, glancing out the window to the hall as he spots two agents walking past hurriedly, then flicks his gaze back to Elle. "No one knows much of anything yet, except that she's gone and they can't find her. I…" Peter furrows his brows, tilting his head down, "I wouldn't be surprised if there's no evidence of her escape on tape though. She — Odessa is sneaky." A hissed breath slips out from Peter, "I'm going to have to go to India, I think." It's said almost to himself, a frustrated murmur.

Oh, right. The door. Elle clicks it shut behind her without looking, momentarily tightening her clasp on her purse so she can sink into the black loveseat shoved up against the window a moment later. So it's the other Golden-Haired Princess who's gone missing now, apparently. "I haven't heard much from 'Dess lately. My own problems with a disco boy and his kitten, you know? —And. What do you mean? India?" It seems as though she isn't sure she's heard correctly, the brights of her eyes flicking more perturbedly now.

Peter scratches at the side o fhis face with one hand, idly, moving over around the small table in front of the loveseat, then settles down to sit on top of his desk, looking down at the tile floor. "The case I'm working on, the Rage-Dementia thing, Odessa had some lab results she was waiting on that were supposed to come from Doctor Suresh in India." His hands come to fold in his lap, though he's still fidgeting. "I think I'm going to head there, maybe today. I need to see if I can get the information directly from him — Hell, find out if she's even talked to him yet." One hand moves up, rubbing at the back of his neck anxiously.

"Odessa wanted me to help her escape the Company. I — I don't think she wanted to be here any more. That — It's what she was arguing with me about when you came in that time." Peter's dark eyes lift back up to Elle, uncertainly watching her. "I told her that if she helped me track you down and save you, that I'd consider helping her escape. I — It was a stupid plan, and I never had to follow through with it. But now that she's gone, I'm worried if she made a bargain with someone else."

"Peter. You promised to what?" By now Elle's eyes /have/ gone first wider, than immediately narrower, and she gazes up towards where Peter is sitting as though she's trying to figure out what planet he is talking about. She sucks on her bottom lip, briefly. "This could be. My god. Really bad for us. /Who/ are you thinking she's made a bargain with, Peter?" If there is something the Company does not need at this juncture in time, it is another plot to bring it down from the inside.

"Don't get started on that, it was a stupid idea, I just — I was desperate for help so you…" He shakes his head, one hand coming up to rest against his brow. "I'm not sure, there's not many people who could sneak in here and sneak out without getting noticed. A couple of members of PARIAH, Sylar, maybe someone on the inside here she's been conspiring with." Peter's brow furrows, and an anxious look comes over his face again. "Buckley." There's almost a hiss when he says the agent's name, "He and Odessa are close, I overheard them talking about her going outside at some point too…" Peter glances back to Elle, "How well do you know him? Agent Buckley?"

Aw. That is rather touching. Though she's only been there for a minute, Elle slides off her perch so she can head around to stand behind Peter, perhaps bringing her chin close to his shoulder so she can lean on it with one encroaching hand, if he'll allow the touch. "Hey. I'll answer your other question in a sec, but I've been wondering. Why /were/ you so, I don't know, /doglike/ in trying to save me? You didn't even know me." The same is almost just as true now.

As distracted by his thoughts as he was, Peter didn't pay much attention to Elle when she rose up from the loveseat, it's the touch to his shoulder that snaps him out of his daze, his head tilting to the side to look askance at the blonde. He manages a faint smile, a little lopsided in his awkwardness, "I — " His dark eyes flick across her for a moment as the expression on his face becomes a bit conflicted.

"It was my fault you were captured in the first place…" There's no pride in admitting that, rather a considerable amount of guilt. "I was the one who organized that raid on this facility, I was the one who led it." His head lowers just a little, "I… It was my fault those lunatics escaped, that you… that you had to endure god knows what while you were gone." He swallows, loudly and awkwardly. "I promised… I made a promise to your dad, to bring you home safe. To make up for what I did."

"It wasn't your fault I was shot," Elle says matter-of-factly. After a pause, two of her fingers creep down - just a /little/ - to begin playing with an imaginary speck near the shoulder of Peter's shirt. "I'm not blaming /you/ for what happened, Peter. You know you did the right thing when you came here." The way she says it, it's an assumption; breezy. "—And that alone goes a long way towards making anything up." In other words: don't worry about it! She gives him a quick, mysterious little smile sideways just before her fingers slip free from his shoulder.

It's funny, to see a grown man look like an awkward teenager in the face of just the slightest hint of affection. Peter cracks another smile, ducking his head down slightly as those fingers trail down his arm, and he only speaks up once she's started to move away, head tilting to one side slowly. "I — " He struggles to find his voice, grimacing in that awkwardness for a moment before continuing. "H-how is your dad doing, anyway?" Peter starts to slide off of the desk, settling his feet to the tile floor. "I… I haven't talked to him since that time we spoke about you. I — He's got to be happy to have you back."

It isn't back towards the loveseat that Elle heads, instead wandering along one dimension of the office with deliberate, yet careless steps. She traces one fingertip along that tabletop just beyond where Peter still is, letting it trail as lightly as a bird's wing at the end. "Well, you know he isn't well enough to be out of bed yet." Of course. Sabra's still around. This does contain an audible trace of a sigh. "Now that I'm back, though, I hope it'll help a little. You know. No worry."

"I imagine it will… He cares about you, I wish I could say the same for my dad." One hand moves up, ringers rubbing at his ear, "I don't even know what to think about him now." There's a bit of a sigh, and Peter tucks his hands into his pockets, rolling his shoulders a little before his eyes lift back up to settle on Elle again. "You were going to tell me about Buckley." Business is on the agenda again, it helps distract him from problems he can't solve. "Do you think he'd help Doctor Knutson escape?"

A minor puff through Elle's nose, and there is a curl of a smile again, though of a different type than before. "That wouldn't be the Bryan /I/ know. For one thing, it'd be incredibly stupid if he did, especially after someone found him out." Bryan, of course, has lived much of his life with the Company; he'd know how one-sided a risk /that/ would be. "So if you want my answer? No. I can talk to him later, see if he seems flighty or anything, but."

There's a slow nod there, as if Elle's words assuaged any concerns about that. "He has a kind've watchdog thing, doesn't he?" That smile creeps back up, all words said in a joking manner it seems. "I've been meaning to give Sabra my status report on my assignment, I'll see if I can pry any other information out of her…" Peter pauses, head tilting to the side, "Have you gotten any official assignments yet? I heard there was a transfer from the British agency that came in a couple of days ago, I was wondering if that had anything to do with you, now that you're back up and running."

"Montag?" Elle's mouth comes open a loose amount before words form. "Yeah, we've been teamed up on Monroe's butt. That's where I just came from, actually. Ran into Adam and /his/ little watchdog in Chinatown." From one pocket, she peripherally notices a fringe of black glove peeking out. It's tapped back inside, meditatively.

"Monroe?" Peter's eyes jump to the door, anxiously, and there's a visible concentration on his part as the sounds from the hallway outside all suddenly go muted, as if everyone who is walking by just stopped making noise. He turns back to Elle, brows knitted together, "What I say can't go out of this room." Peter takes a few steps closer to Elle, looking back to the door again, then raises a hand and twists his fingers as the metal blinds fold shut. He looks back to the blonde agent, anxiously. "Monroe is a hell of a lot more dangerous than they're telling you, Elle. You and your partner need to be extra careful… he…" Peter purses his lips, then breathes out a sudden sigh.

"I talked to a former founding member of the Company, one of your father's friends… one of my father's friends." His jaw clenches slightly, "Adam… He was the founder of the Company. He started this all…" His eyes wander to the door, then back to Elle, fretting that someone will walk in.

"Kaito Nakamura locked him away back in the seventies when he tried to unleash something called the Shanti Virus. It was supposed to wipe out thirty percent of the world's population… I… I don't know all of the details. It's a dark secret around here, something that might get me sent into deep, dark hole for knowing." Peter lifts one hand out of his pocket, settling it on Elle's shoulder. "You have to be careful. Adam knows all of the Company's old protocols and strategies, he helped create them. If he finds this virus he — I don't want you getting hurt…"

Nope, the door is still shut! No need to be antsy. With Elle, either. "Oh, I know how dangerous Adam is, Peter. I spent over six weeks with him. Remember? — "

That is, at least, until everything about the virus is mentioned. Elle's fingers slow down on the fabric of the glove and eventually freeze, relaxing. Her gaze pierces Peter's again after a brief shake of her head. "Wait, so. How do /you/ know about this?"

There's no easy way to explain what he should, and it's clear Peter isn't pleased with leaving out some of the details, but at the moment he has to be careful who he trusts. "I talked to Kaito Nakamura, personally. He's the one who put Adam away, he told me." Peter's eyes drift towards the door, again, and then back to Elle. "I don't know what the virus can do, or how it works, but if Adam manages to get his hands on it, he could kill millions of people… This goes a lot further than I originally imagined." Peter rolls his shoulders, a nervous tensing of his body. "My Mother and Father, they were founders of the Company. I — I never knew. They knew about this, a lot of things, and kept it from me." He's getting off track, and the shake of his head, coupled with the way he takes his hand off of Elle's shoulders accompanies his stepping back slightly.

"I can't find Adam, and I don't know where to look for the virus. I — I'm going to bring it up to Mohinder when I talk to him. See if he might be able to give me some sort of help…" Peter's eyes drift down to the floor, "Something to go on."

Elle doesn't know what to say to all this at first, apparent in the way her eyes move back and forth on Peter's at intervals, searching them even as the other agent moves back and forth across the room. "Well, I knew he always had an 'I hate the world' emo problem. You're positive about - all of this? I mean, they haven't told /me/, and I'm helping to work on his case."

"I know Kaito wouldn't lie to me." He seems relatively certain of this, "It's not somethinig the Company wants to get out. I — I confronted my mother about it, and she said the files were sealed to people far above my pay grade." He cracks a smile, "I don't think she intended to let that much slip." His eyes meet with Elle's after a moment, "Look, you can't tell anyone about this. I mean — If word got out that you knew, I don't know what would happen. But, Elle, your father has to have known… I imagine Sabra does as well. There's a chance — I mean," He straightens up, one hand brushing over his brow, "There's a possibility they were keeping the virus for something. My mother said it was destroyed, but Kaito seemed certain that it was just hidden somewhere."

Now that Elle thinks about it? She never /had/ known the original reason for Adam's locking-up of thirty years. Sometimes, it had almost been an assumption that he'd just…always been there. Like a part of the furniture, or something. "Don't worry. You can trust me, Pete." There is a small, silent 'huh' through her nose. Those blue eyes are earnest in their meeting with Peter's, one of her hands stretching across to the opposite sleeve to fix a fold on the coat's cuff. "If all of that's /true/, it's…probably more important than Monty thought that we get his butt back here." There is a wry note to this.

Peter manages a slight nod, a faint smile crooking up on his lips at the tone of Elle's voice. A moment later, the sound from outside comes back with the muffled quality of being heard through a closed door. "Be careful who you talk to about that, okay?" He takes a step back over, curling the fingers of one hand near his palm, and lightly brshing his knuckles across Elle's jawline for a fleeting moment of contact, under the guide of moving a lock of hair away from her face. "I ah…" Peter's brow furrows slightly, "I'm going to head down and see if I can get a minute of Sabra's time. If not I'm going to hop over to see Mohinder," He talks like a trip to India is a drive down the street.

It's with a blink that Elle's attention turns behind her, to that sudden reemergence of sound around them - when Peter's touch slides across her cheek. Though startled, she lightly catches Peter's wrist just as it's making its way down away from her face, brush-stroking it with a shadowy return of her smile. "Like I said. My lips are zipped."

And then she retracts her grasp, placing the hand so both are atop her purse. It's time to start retracing her steps towards the door, though when she gets there, she pauses right at the frame with a look behind her, brows lifted and one end of her mouth curved downwards. "Hey. Good luck with the India thing. And everything else."

Peter arches a brow as his eyes follow Elle to the door, a smile creeping up across his lips. "Thanks…" The expression turns a bit wry, "I'm probably going to need it."

November 10th: IOU

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
Midnight Oil

November 10th: So Much Melted Ice Cream
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