Fun with Claire and Elle
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I decided to do something fun this time so R/R if it works out right.
"There's no way I'm doing this." Peter Petrelli rolled his eyes at his niece as he moved the car forward out of the airport parking lot and into the constantly flowing traffic of New York City.
"Please?" asked Peter, "It'll just be for one day." Claire Bennet snorted in her uncle's direction. This trip was supposed to be fun for her. Now that things had returned to their relatively normal state, Claire thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with her other family. She thought it would at least be considerate to hang out with Peter considering last time Claire checked he had blown himself up. The problem, however, was Peter's new girlfriend.
"I'm not spending a day with Elle," stated Claire firmly, "Seriously, Peter, she's a psycho."
"She's not a psycho," explained Peter as he continued driving, "Look, Elle has her problems but she's getting better."
"Hurray for her," said Claire in a sardonic tone, "If she's so great then why are you trying to pawn her off on me?"
"She's a little . . . clingy sometimes," replied Peter, "Besides, you two have a lot more in common than you think. You might actually like her if you take the time to hang out with her."
"I think she's rubbing off on you," said Claire, "I mean you know it's impossible for me to die but you want to put me in a situation that will make me want to die. Sounds like sadism to me."
"You're such a drama queen," declared Peter, "C'mon don't make me have to get drastic."
"You mean I'm going to get one of those puppy faces with the big, wide eyes?" asked Claire with a grin. Peter's grin, however, was much wider as he produced something from his pocket and held it up in front of Claire.
"Elle always falls for the puppy face," assured Peter, "You, however, get a different approach."
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Claire in disbelief as she reached for what was in Peter's hand, "Is that a black AMEX card? Wait, you stole Nathan's credit card?"
"Borrowed," corrected Peter as he flicked the card back and out of Claire's reach, "I figured you might need a little extra persuasion."
"Those things don't have a spending limit," said Claire, "Do you know how much stuff I could buy with one of those? I can't even imagine how much stuff I could buy with one of those."
"And just think," said Peter with a smile, "All this can be yours if the price is right."
"Fine, you've totally won me over by appealing to my greed," declared Claire, "What's this great idea of yours?"
"What the hell is she doing here?" Elle Bishop was already in a cranky mood. Peter had inadvertently woken her up when he had left for the airport to pick up Claire. Elle's attempts at returning to sleep proved futile and she eventually decided on getting up. The hot water in the shower was non-existent due to the building's recent plumbing problems. This meant Elle was not only up earlier than she needed to be but also that she was forced to take a cold shower. These things would ordinarily irritate Elle until Peter returned and she could indulge in his delightful company. Unfortunately, this time Peter returned with extra baggage of the blond cheerleader variety.
"Claire's going to be in town for a few days," explained Peter, "I told you this already."
"You never said she'd be here," said Elle, staring at Claire icily, "You know, 'here' as in 'this building' or 'our apartment'."
"Trust me," assured Claire, "On the list of places I'd rather not be the one at the top is the same room you're in." There was a crackling noise as Elle's hands suddenly came alive with electricity, the arcs of lightning dancing between her fingertips.
"Elle," said Peter sternly.
"She started it," whined Elle, "I can't believe you're taking her side."
"I'm not taking sides," assured Peter, "I just think you two should stop with the blood feud and be friends. The least you could do is be in the same room together without trying to kill each other."
"Hey I'm not the one who's all territorial," reminded Claire, "Maybe if she dials it back a little I'd get to hear what this brilliant idea you have is."
"Fine," grumbled Elle, "Go ahead and explain yourself."
"Here are the rules of the game," began Peter, "First of all, you have to spend the whole day with each other and yes I will know if you did or didn't."
"Totally unfair," commented Elle, irritated that Peter had already deduced her strategy for cheating at this little game.
"Second," continued Peter as if Elle hadn't spoken, "I'm giving one of you this card. Your limit is five thousand dollars for the day. Don't go above it or Nathan will really kill me."
"What's that, like, five new outfits for Elle?" asked Claire snidely.
"Not even that many," pouted Elle, "I mean, my God, I should just go back to Daddy if this is how you're going to treat me."
"I thought he kicked you out," said Claire.
"I left!" corrected Elle sharply, "I swear if you don't shut up then I'll . . ."
"Elle," said Peter as he looked at her, "Please try to make an effort with this. For me?" Elle knew what was coming. He was going to stare at her with those big, sad eyes and she was going to turn to mush after just one look into them. Maybe she really was insane.
"Okay," agreed Elle, "Do we take your car?"
"Nope," replied Peter, "I will be over at Nathan's delivering Claire's bags and spending time with my brother. You two ladies enjoy yourselves." With that, Peter left the credit card on the coffee table and then left the apartment.
"Who gets it?" asked Claire as she turned to Elle.
"We should take turns," suggested Elle.
"That doesn't solve the problem of who goes first," reminded Claire.
"Rock, paper, scissors for first," declared Elle as she held up her hand in a fist.
"God you're like a little kid," said Claire, "Fine, whatever. One. Two. Three. Shoot." An arc of lightning snaked from Elle's hand and zapped Claire's. In the amount of time it took Claire to yelp and jerk her hand back, Elle had grabbed the card from the coffee table.
"Lightning zaps cheerleader," declared Elle happily, "I win!" She quickly skipped over to the door while Claire's hand healed from the jolt.
"This is going to be a nightmare," muttered Claire as she followed the older girl out of Peter's apartment.
Claire had to admit that the level of cunningness in Peter's scheme bordered on insane genius. Of course the girls carried cash on them but their main supply of money was Nathan's card. That meant if the girl currently without the card wanted to buy something she either had to pay out of her own pocket or be in close proximity to the girl with the card. Claire couldn't simply part ways with Elle, not if she wanted to take full advantage of her uncle's generosity. That meant that Claire actually had to spend time with Elle and vice versa, something that both girls seemed to abhor with every fiber of their being.
"You do realize half these outfits make you look slutty, right?" asked Claire as she watched Elle try on another blouse, "I mean it's not that I really care it's just that you're dating my uncle and people might talk."
"Oh please," scoffed Elle, "You are such a crybaby. This is only the first store and already you're complaining. I'm glad your uncle has more . . . stamina."
"Could you please try not to burn images into my brain like that?" asked Claire, "Seriously though, you could try being a little more modest."
"Women don't get places by being 'modest'," assured Elle as she looked herself over in the mirror and then went back into the changing room, "Are you seriously going to tell me you don't dress yourself up for your little boyfriend every once and a while?"
"Who says I need to?" countered Claire as Elle finished changing and put the blouse in the stack of ones she intended to purchase, "Besides, relationships aren't all about sex anyway."
"Ha!" laughed Elle, "You call me childish? Seriously, Claire, is that what you honestly believe? All guys want sex. Why not just give them what they want?"
"West happens to be different," assured Claire, "Peter's different too."
"Not different enough," said Elle in a rather sad tone. Claire didn't say anything and the two girls stood there in silence for a few moments.
"He really does care about you," said Claire finally, "I hope you know that."
"Time to go," said Elle although Claire detected a slight hollowness in her voice, "We have to hit Victoria's Secret. Maybe if you behave I'll let you buy something to impress your boyfriend with." Claire decided it was best not to argue with her.
In a rare moment of foresight and planning, Elle had suggested they dump their shopping bags at Peter's apartment before going to a different place. As gratitude for this, Claire had waited until they were once again outside before declaring it was her turn with the card. As much as Elle despised giving up control of the day's activities, she realized she had to play fair so she gave Claire the card. Elle would later refer to this action as "mistake number one".
"There's no way I'm seeing this movie," stated Elle as she stared at the poster and wrinkled her nose the way a normal person would if they were staring at something loathsome.
"You're really not a girl are you?" asked Claire.
"I used to be," reminded Elle, "Now I just play the part. Seriously, this will be torture for me."
"What goes around comes around," assured Claire with a grin, "Nobody's saying you have to see it but if you want your turn . . ."
"I know, I know," grumbled Elle as she stared at the poster again and attempted to find one redeeming quality concerning the horror she was about to view. Elle wasn't exactly the girly type. Sure she enjoyed shopping and liked clothes but that was about as far as it went. This movie was more Claire's type. Elle knew watching it would only end up depressing her.
"Cheer up," suggested Claire as she saw Elle's face sour, "It'll only be a couple hours and then you can have your turn with . . ." Claire stopped as her hands reached into the pockets of her jeans and grasped empty air. This couldn't be happening. There was no way this was possible. Claire began patting up and down her legs, trying desperately to assure herself that she was not stuck in some sort of horrible nightmare.
"You're suddenly aware those jeans make you look fat?" asked Elle skeptically as she watched Claire become more frantic by the minute.
"I think I lost my wallet," explained Claire.
"Who cares?" asked Elle with a shrug, "It's not like you need it when you have . . ."
"The card was in my wallet!" exclaimed Claire frantically, "We lost Nathan's black card!"
"We didn't do anything," corrected Elle with a grin, "You lost the card." Elle could hardly contain her excitement at this new development. Finally, she had an excuse to ditch this cheerleader and go take a nap or do something fun.
"You have to help me find it," stated Claire, "Peter gave it to both of us remember?"
"But only one of us lost it," reminded Elle, "I'm really not seeing why I should bother."
"Do you want to live?" asked Claire, "Nathan is going to kill us, Elle. Worse yet have you ever met Nathan and Peter's mom? If Nathan doesn't finish us off then she probably will. After that she'll probably kill Peter for trusting us and maybe just kill Nathan for the hell of it."
"I don't care," sang Elle gleefully, "This is all on you, Miss Teen America. I didn't do anything wrong." Claire had to restrain herself from throttling Elle in public. She knew that, like it or not, she and Elle were in this mess together and it would be in their best interests to cooperate with one another. In the midst of her desperation, Claire suddenly seized upon the perfect way to get Elle to see this.
"Gee, I hope Peter doesn't get mad at you for this," said Claire as Elle turned to walk away, "I mean wouldn't you just hate to see him give you that disappointed look when we have to tell him I lost the card and you wouldn't help me find it?"
"But I didn't do anything!" whined Elle, stamping her foot and pouting, "You don't really think he'd get mad at me do you?"
"I'm just his young, impressionable niece," reminded Claire, "You're the older, wiser, more mature one of us so that makes you responsible for me. You're like my big sister."
"I am not," replied Elle, "Don't you dare drag me into this." She tried not to picture seeing the look of disappointment in Peter's eyes. She hated seeing anyone give her that look. She had to get that card back. She just had to.
"Help me think," offered Claire.
"Alright," said Elle with a defeated sigh, "You had it outside the apartment and we went straight here from there. That means . . ."
"It must've fallen out of my pocket while we were in the cab," finished Claire.
"You paid for it with the card though," reminded Elle, "I saw you take it out of your wallet and swipe it."
"The wallet must've slipped out when I was getting out of the cab," said Claire as she started scanning the sidewalk, hoping in vain that the wallet had landed there instead of inside the taxi, "Do you remember the name of the cab company?"
"I remember the car was a hybrid," replied Elle, "That has to narrow it down."
"The driver was gross," commented Claire, "He kept hitting on me."
"Oh right, like you could call that flirting," said Elle, "That guy probably hits on anyone who gets in his cab. I'm surprised he didn't say anything to me."
"You weren't his type," said Claire with a grin, "Too old."
"Ew," muttered Elle, "Let's just hurry up and find that card before Peter finds out what happened."
"I think I know somebody who can help us," said Claire suddenly, "Follow me."