Aiming Westwards


gillian_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Aiming Westwards
Synopsis At the bowling alley after work, two people talk about what they're going to do when the dust settles.
Date December 02, 2008

Kingpin's Bowling Alley

The desk at the front accepts players' money and rents out the flat-bottomed shoes used in bowling alleys anywhere. Plaques from past tournaments held at Kingpin's line the posts on either side of the counter, along with an assortment of pictures and posters.

Thin red carpet covers the floor as far as the broad, shallow stairs leading down into the bowling pit. An assortment of vending and arcade game machines line the back wall; a counter and corresponding line of stools provide places for people to watch the games while they eat. Snacks are not, of course, allowed on the floor.

Below the stairs are the computers controlling the lanes and the games, with groups of chairs clustered about. Beyond them are the hardwood-paneled lanes, just waiting for pins to be set; behind, in the shadow of the counter, are shelves and shelves of bowling balls in all sizes and colors.

Seated amongst the patrons dining around him on junk food and sodas between bowling sessions, Sylar doesn't observe his surroundings. The continual sound of bowling balls knocking over pins is an echoing reverberation, distracting and drowning, and so he only flicks his gaze around occasionally. If there's the potential of a threat nearby, he doesn't seem too concerned. Of course, if he wasn't concerned, he wouldn't be here in the first place. But that's beside the point.

He turns his arm to glance at the time at his wrist, slouching casually in a booth on his lonesome, having polished off a small dish of fries while he waited. Dressed, not unusually, in black, it's warm in the building and his coat is set to one side, revealing a dark dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows.

This, gives him the opportunity to turn his arm and reveal the soft underside of his forearm to the light for inspection. The circular tribal tattoo is a black, stark contrast to paler skin, only outlining its sharp edges, jagged points that create a haphazard shape that reminded him of the inside of a watch, reminds him now of a hybrid mix between sun and moon, and last of all, annoys the hell out of him. He doesn't need anymore distinctive features, and his shapeshifting ability doesn't quite work well enough to change localised skin pigmentation. The area around the tattoo is still mildly red and healing, but he'd gotten rid of the bandages just this morning. Now, Sylar traces the shape with a fingertip, a look of bemusement on his face.

Among all the clashing of bowling balls to pins, it's no wonder that he missed the soft conversation by the rental desk between "Leanne" and one of her male coworkers. After the exchange, she breaks away from the counter, and moves toward the greasy junk food and soda, a bag that she'd stashed behind the counter over one shoulder. The nametag on her chest still reads "Leanne", though he knows exactly who she happens to be. Gillian walks straight to his table, not even attempting to be stealthy about it, and settles down in a nearby seat across from him.

"It looks good on you," she says, nodding toward the tattoo. The red highlights in her hair stand out much more brightly under this light, and for a change she's actually wearing make up. Not the black and red heavy makeup he first met her in, but still make up, accenting her eyes and her lips.

It doesn't take enhanced hearing to detect someone's approach, even in this environment. "Leanne"'s pointed footsteps cause Sylar to look up and watch until she's sat down, and tilts his head a little at her compliment, gaze dropping back down to his tattoo. "It was a good day," he says, tone a little odd, as if 'good day' means something else, or something different to him, at least. "I'm not sure what it means exactly. I guess it means I have your taste in tattoos if anything." More than she'd know. He starts to roll his sleeves back down his arms.

The words shared don't seem to disappoint her. Gillian smiles, dimples visible in her cheek. There's no outward anxiety in her heartbeat, as if she genuinely feels safe with him here— and probably pleased just to be done with work. "It is a nice tattoo— something to remember a good day by," she says, using his words as if they have particular meaning that way. "I got my clock tattoo finished, too," she adds, glancing toward her arm. It's not visible under her sleeve, but she can feel it.

There's a moment before she adds, reminded after mentioning the clock, "I'm getting paid on Friday, even after missing all those days. And I told them I had a possible emergency that would mean I'd have to leave if I get a call. I said a close friend is having medical issues— might need me at the hospital at a moment's notice." All lies, of course, but she doesn't want to get left out of certain things just because she's working at an unimportant shoe rental job. Some nights she does work until after midnight, so it's a legitimate worry.

"It's a good lie," Sylar allows, the other sleeve fixed too before the buttons of his cuffs are slid back into place. "And now you'll have something to go back to when everything is over." Because though it's only something like a week away, it feels like a kind of finale. He even knows that Gillian expects some sort of ending in regards to this by the time the fight is over and, presumably, survived. He's not touched on the subject - his future is too uncertain to do so, and no amount of painting has helped. "Perhaps you should think about reclaiming your librarian career."

"I somehow doubt I could do that— not with… certain people still around," Gillian says, keeping her voice down, but still avoiding anything telling. He knows who she's meaning, anyway. She leans forward, resting her arms on the table. "They know my name, where I worked, where I lived… if I got a job, even at another branch… they'd probably have an easier time finding me. Maybe if I left the city, or the state." It's a mention, but from the sound, she doesn't want to take that step if she doesn't need to. Especially since… "What about you? After you finish what you need to do— are you going to take up watch repairing again?" There's that hint of anxiety now, mostly in her breath, tone of voice. It almost gives an 'or…?'

Sylar watches her as she answers, unknowingly spilling more lies. Ethan's lies. The irony being that it'd now be safer for her to go back to the library than to remain here, in order to avoid the Company. But he says nothing, allowing her to divert the conversation back to himself. An almost incredulous smile tugs at his mouth at her question. "No," he says. "I'm not going to be a watchmaker, not— " After everything. "I don't know what I'm going to do." Destroy the world, maybe.

Unknowing of the lies that she's spilling, told to control her actions, Gillian watches him carefully, even smiling still, especially as he returns it, at least part way. But what she has to say in response causes her to look down, toward her hands, her watch. "You know, Gabriel," she starts, voice barely above a whisper. In a normal conversation, this would not be audible, especially in this location. The rolling, the crashing, the music, everything would drown it out. "We could always… leave," she finally finishes her suggestion, glancing up. Her smile is lessened, and there's a strain in her breath that shows she doubts he would take this option. "The two of us. Go find… something else. Away from here."

It's not something he expected her to say, a reaction clear in the way he looks across at her, momentarily silenced. Surprise that she'd say that, and surprise that he himself hadn't thought of it before. Not since he'd come back to begin his work again, and then, well… he'd been sidetracked. A few moments thinking, Sylar looking away from her towards the people bowling, the echoey clatter and dim from the sport making their silent moment less than silent. Finally, he asks, "Where would we go?" It's not an argument. He sounds curious.

"Somewhere else. Chicago, Detroit— I'm not really a small town girl, so I wouldn't suggest going to the fucking boonies or anything," Gillian says, looking mildly encouraged that he's not arguing with her. The hint of tension remains, though, underlying her words. "This city's a little higher profile for— people like us. It is where the bomb happened, and all. The beginning. I dunno if they're out there, but I know they got libraries in almost every major city— and there's always some rich asshole who needs a Rolex repaired."

Sylar's arms come to fold on the table in an almost casual posture, like people should chat within a bowling alley - but his expression is serious as he regards her, as if trying to sift through her words to find the hidden danger. "Maybe we should," he says, finally, meeting her gaze. "Maybe we should go somewhere. Maybe that would be enough."

There's that tension again. A breath that sounds like a laugh. Gillian shakes her head, raising her hand up to push bangs off of her forehead. "I didn't think you'd actually agree," she says the tension turning into a wondering tone. She's genuinely surprised, and at the same time pleased. There's no trick behind this, but with her. The only alterior motive might be she just wants to leave if she can. The hand drops away from her hair, reaching across the table to touch his arm.

"Me neither," Sylar admits, heart starting to pound. Leave New York. Leave his battle with the last Peter left standing. Leave the Company, Homeland Security, everyone here who knows him and would do anything to kill him.

Leave the Vanguard.

A semi-laugh is breathed out, glancing down at her hand on his arm. "It's just… I've always wanted to wake up and know that everything was okay, that my existence was meaningful and maybe I don't have to be here to do that." Leave old habits behind. Now that, that makes his slight smile fade somewhat in anxiety. He's not sure he can. It's just not how he functions.

"You don't laugh very often," Gillian comments as the hand shifts, seeking out his wrist, then his own hand, and trying to fold her fingers around his. No surge of power, but there is a trinkle allowed through, a small amount left flowing from her into him. Shouldn't be enough to make him angry at the rolling and crashing, but at it's there— one of the first times she's knowingly allowed it to happen since she found out what he did— really did. "The most meaningful existance that I want is one I choose for myself. Free to make my own decisions. I do want to go back to being a librarian— I just don't know if I can do it here."

Sylar loosens his hand to allow the hold, and he seems frozen in place by her words, although his posture is a little more relaxed. After a moment, his head tilts a little. "You don't really care about what anyone thinks of you, do you? What anyone expects of you?"

Loosening hand lets her snake her fingers around some of his and Gillian smiles again, a hint of a laugh, but she doesn't look away. She's still looking into his eyes. "I never liked other people telling me what to do, or where to be. Sure, they influence me, can't live completely devoid of influence. But most decisions I make, I make for myself." Manipulated though she may be, the best manipulations are when the person doesn't even realize they're being manipulated. "Being a librarian isn't the most meaningful job in the world, but I enjoy it. Certainly beats this place," she adds, tilting her head and looking away in the direction of a rather large older man with beer and nachos.

Sylar glances as she does, a twitch of an amused smirk. "The library's quieter," he adds, looking back towards her. A thoughtful pause, looking back down at their linked hands. "We should go somewhere far," he sais, suddenly serious. "West coast kind of far. A plane trip can't be so hard to arrange, can it?" Not a rhetorical question. No one ever said Sylar was a good planner beyond the immediate.

"Might be a little difficult. They check IDs," Gillian says, not wanting to push away the thought, except— well. "There's also trains, or buses, or cars. They still have most of that stuff, but just— taking my bike we could probably get pretty far, though I don't think we could bring the cat if we do that…" Their cat. "West Coast is interesting choice, though. I've actually been to California. Know they got libraries." It's a mild dream, one that she may have to discard. But it's nice to think about it. "Get a hole in the wall apartment somewhere, similar to what we got now, really— and just— be us. Gillian and Gabriel." Rather than Leanne and Sylar.

Bike. There's something slightly freer about that that appeals to Sylar, even if it wouldn't take them where they want to go quicker than a plane. "They read in California," he assures her, tone so dry that it's hard to tell as to whether that was a joking statement. "Maybe we should just… aim westwards and see what happens. The journey's more important than the destination, right?" And other cliches, a more definite trace of irony in his voice when he recites this phrase.

Aim westward. Gillian can't help but smile, apparently enjoying this dream that may never be. Seems she likes this idea, hopes for it to actually come true. Despite everything. "We can always get another cat when we find a place to stay," she finally says, still enjoying the cliche. Sorry Chandra. Not an anchor that would hold her down too much.

"Chandra doesn't have much to run away from," he agrees, mildly. His gaze switches back and forth between her eyes, as if trying to read her like a book, but ultimately, he lacks the skills needed to delve into the more complex motivations and wants and needs of the human mind. Empathy. Not without taking a snapshot. Sylar let's the conversation fall between them, unconfirmed and currently idyllic, letting it stay untouched for a while. "Are you finished here?" he asks, with a nod towards the area she usually works.

This conversation is one she definitely wants— that's noticable. Freedom, away from this place, the people who might lock her up in a camp. And he's included in this too. Gillian lets go of his hand finally when he asks the question, mostly to reach for her back and begin to stand. "Yeah. Nothing to really stay here for, unless you wanted to try the nachos." Now that she doubts, as there's a hint of a laugh in her voice at the mere mention.

December 2nd: Flex Your Trigger-Finger
December 2nd: T&A
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