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Title: You Can
Prompt: “I will not quit this game because of what the media has done to me.” (Michael Jordan)
Universe: A Villainous Apocalypse
Word Count: 580
Rating: G/PG
Summary: Elle’s not ready for this
Notes: Preemptive warning for a very obscure description of a panic attack, just in case. Also, this or something like it will go in a future update, so it’s spoilery, but somewhat out of context.

The very idea of an interview made Elle's heart pound with fear.

She managed to put off committing to it with the lousy excuse that she had to "check her schedule," which in actuality meant she had to go have a good panic in her room. Hanging up the phone, she ran upstairs, shut and locked the door, then slumped against it, pulling her knees up to her chest and trying to breathe.

Half an hour later, she heard a tap at the door. "Ellie?"

"Stuart?" she managed, feeling fresh panic threaten to overwhelm her. He was the last person who needed to see her like this now--well, except for Tristan.

"Yes. Gabriel let me in. Are you all right?"

Thank plumbbob he hadn't asked to come in and probably wouldn't. "Yeah, fine, just give me a minute and I'll be down."

There was a pause. Then he said, rather slowly, "You sound out of breath, are you unwell?"

Elle squeezed her eyes shut. Her first instinct was to tell him that of course she wasn't, and that he didn't need to worry, but she had to stop to catch her breath first and that was enough time to make her think better of it. They had promised to be honest with each other. If she couldn't rely on him now, when things were at their worst, when could she? "They want me to do an interview," she said.

"I see." Stuart knew her too well to have to ask why she had panicked. "Tristan has already done three. It would probably be best."

"I know." Tears welled up in her eyes. Her ex-husband had picked his attack well. She didn't have the right kind of skills to retaliate—she wasn't built for public exposure the way he was. "I know, but I can't."

"Of course you can," he said gently. "You aren’t giving yourself enough credit. That's what he wants."

"Stuart, I can’t," she insisted. "I can't...I don't do public speaking."

"Why not?"

Caught off guard, she could only stammer, "I...I've never..."

She could hear his smile as he replied, "That is not the same thing. Why should it be impossible for a woman of sense and education to meet him on his level? A laboratory technician is by no means inferior to a mayor. I daresay you've more than enough brains to manage it."

"That's not the problem," she muttered. "It's my mouth that doesn't work."

"I beg to differ," he teased.

It took her a minute to realize what he meant. When she did, she blushed, even though he couldn't see. "Different kind of skills."

"Useful all the same," he said easily.

"That's not the point!"

He sighed. "Ellie, you're more capable than you think you are. If you let him get to you now, he wins. Do you want that?"

"No, that's the last thing I want." She let her head fall back against the door. "I just wish there was another way. Who am I to...to convince people that he's the one in the wrong?"

"You're what the family has," he said gently. "They believe in you, and so do I."

Elle took a deep breath and got up. Without another word, she unlocked the door and opened it. He seemed surprised, even more so when she silently hugged him around the waist, but in the next moment she felt his arms go around her. "You can," he whispered.

"Help me?"

"Of course I will."


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Can my simself punch Tristan? Cause that would be very satisfying. Yay for Stuart returning though and for being the support Ellie needs to see that she can be strong! You can do it Ellie!
Oct. 2nd, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
Awww, poor Elle. But yeah, she really does have to do the interview, which is why I gave you that quote. :P And definitely yay for Stuart supporting her!
Oct. 2nd, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
*Melts into small, gooey pile.*
Oct. 3rd, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
D'aww this is a lovely look at how Eliart can be.

Poor Elle. :( I can understand how she feels, but she does need to do this, and Stuart and the rest of the family will be there to support her. *wants to push Tristan down a hole again*
Oct. 5th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
Poor Elle. But yes, she does need to do this, and let her side of the story be heard. Can't wait to see this in the apoc.
Oct. 8th, 2013 09:10 am (UTC)
Awww, how sweet. You CAN do it Elle! <3 Eliart ^-^

*punches Tristan*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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