Audible Ellipses


gabriel_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Audible Ellipses
Synopsis Gabriel and Peter take a break on their journey from Pinehearst. They talk of family, fathers and futures. Dot, dot, dot.
Date July 24, 2009

New Jersey —Formerly Warehouse 13

Rain lightly patters down against a demolished metal roof, one twisted up and peeled away from the iron I-beams that once supported it. The building has a musty smell to it, where rain has pooled in damp concrete and shattered glass makes one side of the building treacherous for a barefoot Gabriel Gray. But it's not him who's crouched amidst the broken glass, pulling and tugging at rubble from a collapsed ceiling, fingers wrapping around waterlogged pieces of drywall, pulling them away in powdery chunks. No, that's Peter Petrelli.

Kneeling in a puddly of rusty water, perhaps Peter does not realize the irony of the warehouse he chose to occupy as a rest-stop on their journey through New Jersey towards Staten Island. Here in the unreclaimed regions of Jersey City, Warehouse 13 was once utilized months ago for a different purpose other than moldering away in the rain. It was one of the Vanguard's bases of operation.

"Here we are," Peter says with a crook of his head, one bare hand wipng rainwater away from his face, slicked bangs falling in front of his eyes as he uncovers a pair of booted feet attached to a body crushed by concrete rubble. "They might be a little tight," he notes, tugging at the laces and one by one wrenching the black combat boots off of swolen feet. Looking over his shoulder, Gabriel cannot help but see the unnaturally clear blue of his eyes amidst everything else that is nothing but shades of gray; concrete, murky water, a black suit, white shirt, black boots.

One boot is flung over Peter's shoulder towards an abandoned crate Gabriel is seated on, the boot clunks and bounces a few times, soon joined by the other that flops over onto its side against the damp concrete.

Staying crouched on the rubble pile, Peter turns to give Gabriel a side-long look with one blue eye, the other shadowed by his dark bangs, "Lucky guess," he says with a cracked smile, turning to settle down atop the rubble next to the half-buried corpse, resting his forearms against his knees, rainwater dripping off of his fingertips. "How about… we take a break?"

Both of them make a miserable pair, soaked to the bone as perhaps both of their mothers would have put it. The shuddering shivers have finally been staved off by the time Peter is dropping the boots near his feet onto the concrete floor, and after some consideration over logistics, Gabriel moves to join them. There's a scrape as the crate shifts a fraction when he comes to sit down on the cold concrete, back against it, and, with a numb sort of clumsiness, starts to negotiate the boots onto his feet.

His left arm continues to be cradled against his chest. He'd seen this before - hell, Gabriel had done exactly the same to Teodoro at one point, his hand currently reduced to the frail limb of a man much, much older than he is, fingers curled like claws and skin tight, veins standing out like blue wires beneath wet paper.

Oh, it hurts. This decidedly does not show on Gabriel's face. He manages to tug the boots on with his right hand with a few jerks, toes curling and flexing within the leather. "It's fine," he mutters, leaving the laces for the moment as he looks back at Peter. Normally a fleeting, shifting look, but not for the first time, his gaze gets hook and caught, momentarily, at the sight of pale blue eyes.

Too familiar, far too familiar. Gabriel's head rests back against the crate, in quiet confirmation of taking a break. His arms wrap back around himself, one disguising his injury. "Who shot you?" Well, while we're here.

For a time, Peter's expression is a blank one at the question, eyes distantly focused down into a puddle of gently rippling water, watching drizzling raindrops from the fading storm pattering down in the mirror-like surface. Eventually, distractedly, he lifts his head up and turns blue eyes to Gabriel. "Edward," his eyes narrow just a touch, "he shot me from behind, kicked me… off the roof of the building," those blue eyes wander as he talks, taking in the warehouse while the fingers of one hand continuously rub against the concrete slab he's seated upon.

Then, jerking his vision back to Gabriel, Peter's dark brows lower. "What did you do to me?" The question comes calmly, calmer than one would expect for the way in which he was recussecated, "that… smoke?" His head tilts to the side, one black brow rising, "I'm thankful for the help," his hand moves to finger at the bullet hole in the blood-stained front of his shirt. Then, after a moment, a more genuine question, "Why were you there? At Pinehearst?"

The warehouse, familiar in the kind of irony no one appreciates, is largely ignored by Gabriel. Shelter, privacy, and a dead man's shoes. He's more focused on Peter, watching him in a way more appropriate if a pane of glass was erected between them, observing him despite being not a few feet away and partaking in conversation, though he does raise an eyebrow about— the roof kicking. Talk about getting things done.

Stiffly, Gabriel comes to fold his legs, crossing them loosely in front of him in a tangle on the floor, trying to seek some form of comfort while they get their strength back. "It's a long story," he states, tone a little concrete. Regardless, he attempts it with; "Arthur had my body stashed there. I was in someone else's. Almost a month." A breath of air funnels out in the suggestion of laughter, but never quite makes it. A sneer, if we were to be generous. "I went along with them to get it back, and try to— help."

That word, which returns us to the first question. Gabriel flexes the fingers in his left hand, a shimmer of pain crossing his features, hesitating. His mouth his dryer when he says, "I was trying to heal you. The shadows— they can kill things, or fix things if there's something to pay it off. I don't know what happened.

"But you have it now." His good hand lifts and falls in a gesture of 'there you go', eyes hooded, and bitterness pervades his movement voice. Bitterness for himself or for Peter is something he'll have to figure out when less exhausted.

There's a brief look on Peter's face, vague recognition, as if remembering something. "Ah, right… Zimmerman mentioned they had you," his eyes narrow, blue irises turning away to focus on his distorted reflection in the water again, "everything's… a bit fuzzy right now," he brings one hand up to his head, raking fingers through his bangs, sweeping his hair away from his face as his eyes lift up to Gabriel again. He's silent, in his scrutiny of Gabriel, passing off half of the conversation where questions could be asked to offer nothing more than a plaintive smile.

"You look like shit," says the pot to the kettle, a smile creeping up on his lips. Peter searches for a moment, eyes wavering from side to side before adding, "I… don't have an ability anymore. Not— I mean, outside of what you gave to me. I've… I've never even heard of abilities that could be transferred like that. Do you…" he trails off, one brow rising again, "have you heard about anything like this before? This— is Kazimir Volken's ability, isn't it?" Despite being locked up in Homeland Security's care during the lion's share of the Vanguard's activities, Peter seems to have heard enough about the events in the interim. "How did it… switch places? Why're you still alive if it did?" As if he suspects something otherwise should have happened.

Gabriel nods once in jerky confirmation, and that's all the visible reaction he has for that name. The tip of his tongue drags along the dry surface of his bottom lip, eyes unfocusing for a moment at a particular question. He has no ability to simply rewind through his own headspace, hit play and sit back and watch, but he can still gather up the single frames within reach, analyse them just as anyone else can, and he does that now, quiet and thoughtful.

"I think— " His voice wavers with uncertainty, and he clears his throat, starts again. "I think his father gave his power to Kazimir. I saw it." Gabriel shakes his head. Don't ask. "It was like— what happened, back there. You were almost dead, and I didn't have anything to take from to heal you. Not enough. And it…

"I didn't mean to."

It's a switch of conversation, casting Peter a look bordering on resentment. "I'm still alive because I punched you in the face before you could kill me. And it didn't destroy me because— Kazimir was already a dead man. He had possessed someone else, his body gone, and he was tied to his power. I still had myself, I guess. Your eyes have changed."

Another flick of a glance, that feeling of being distinctly unsettled now showing on Gabriel's face, in the tension of his brow and jaw. "They look like his. Blue."

From the reaction Peter gives, he's noticed. He looks down into the surface of the water again, a hand moving up to tug at his lower eyelid for a moment, revealing the pinkish coloration beneath before letting go. "Yours didn't," Peter notes, looking back up to Gabriel with dark brows furrowed, slowly pressing one hand down onto the concrete to push himself back up onto tired feet. The concrete rubble underfoot clunks and clatters as he climbs down off of the pile, shoes crunching through broken glass as he makes his way over towards where Gabriel sits, coming to crouch down and then sit on the damp floor, cross legged; closer. It's easier to have a conversation at this distance.

"I'm sorry," It's possibly the most honest sounding thing he's said all day, but it takes him too long to elaborate, like the point is dangling just out of the reach of his mind. "I'm… I'm sorry for taking you to Pinehearst, leading you right into— " his eyes close, head shaking slowly from side to side, "I trusted my father like an idiot," Darkly clad shoulders slouch, "if he hadn't taken your ability from me, I— none of this would've happened." It's as if he blames the hunger for what became of his father, unable to see the madman for who he was.

"Maybe." The gravel in Gabriel's voice is harsher as he expresses this doubt, head still tilted back against the crate and watching Peter with partially hooded eyes, circles of black in this lighting. "But he took the ability from you in the first place." It's an offhanded observation, as to what Arthur was capable of and before, because honestly, Gabriel doesn't know. His good hand comes up, fingers curling to scratch his only slightly unshaven jaw.

Apparently, they kept him pretty while in possession of his body, a thought that crosses his mind for the first time before it's blinked away. Moving on. A shrug, letting Peter's apology tumble away, water sliding off the feathers of a duck's back. "It's fine. With everything I knew about Pinehearst, I shouldn't have gone with you. Shouldn't have expected they'd help me. I left you there," he adds. Quid pro quo, perhaps. "I thought he had killed you."

There's a moment of familiarity at exactly the same time Gabriel states, "I'm not a fan of my father either." He had a conversation like this once, and the corner of his mouth turns up in a flicker of a half-smile.

"If it's any consolation, I would've left you too," Peter notes with a sardonic grin, "I… did, for a minute back there," his nods his head, vaguely, in reference to the woods outside of Pinehearst. "I couldn't, though, not— " he cuts himself off, wiping one hand dryly over his face as he exhales a heavy sigh between his fingers. For a moment, there's a protracted silence, only the patter-pang on rain on the twisted metal roof giving any sort of texture to the quiet.

Turning to look up at Gabriel, Peter's blue eyes fix on him briefly, watching him with silent scrutiny while thinking of the best way to phrase this. "What was your dad like?" It's a heavy question, loaded, but it seems more natural. That halting, jerky awkwardness that was Peter's conversational pattern when they first arrived seems to be smoothing out, maybe the shock from what happened is finally ebbing away, and he's able to act more like himself again. "I… don't really know anything about you, come to think of it. But— I guess that goes both ways, doesn't it?"

"I did ask nicely," Gabriel states, voice just as sardonic as the smile flickered towards him in the darkness, and he shifts just enough to take his weight off the crate behind him, legs shifting. Slowly, but surely, he sets about tying up the laces of his boots, left hand awkward and without the finer control needed, but he takes his time. He shrugs broad shoulders at the fact that they truly do know nothing of the other, not really. "We've never wanted to." It's a simple and cutting truth, that they've made such judgements of hatred against the other despite this.

But right now— Gabriel glances up at blue eyes, hesitating, before looking back at his work. Around the tree, down the bunny hole. "I don't know my father. He left me to my mother when I was young, and she always seemed to think he'd come back."

Or so has been the story he's known for so long, but now, he hesitates, and says, "Your father told me something. That my parents weren't really my parents. I know he's a liar and a madman and all— " and he doesn't seem to take account of Peter's, you know, feelings in that observation, moving along with, "but it sounds right. It sounds like it might be true."

Peter's brows furrow, watching Gabriel for a moment with his head slowly tipping to one side. "You… you really think so?" His eyes cast to the side, watching the way the water paters in one of the puddles thorugh a hole in the ceiling. Not long ago, Phoenix was risking their lives at this very spot, fighting the Vanguard for the Shanti Virus. Now, Peter and Gabriel use it as a rest stop in a long journey, to discuss something equally important to the two of them; family.

"Did your parents have abilities? I mean— did you know if they did?" His blue irises stand out so much in the dark against his pale face and dark hair, "My mother, my father… they both have powers. Everyone I know who has an ability— at least one of their parents had one." He looks away, distant now, eyes closing as he finally takes the time to realize that his father is dead. He's lost the man who raised him twice now, and the emotional impact of that should be making him cry like he did at the funeral. But for some reason, it all feels distant, everything feels so far away. No tears this time.

"I mean, maybe they never manifested their powers, maybe they were afraid and kept 'em from you." He hesitates, biting down on his lower lip before asking in a quiet voice, "can… you ask your mother?" Not the best topic of discussion.

There's a sound that's a lot like laughter. It comes from a smile, too, so it must be. Dry, though, cardboard and breathy, about as mirthful as a desert would be. "No," Gabriel states, simply, and leaves that topic right where it is - dead in the water between them. For a moment it seems as though Gabriel is willing to cut this conversation altogether, set it free and go back to being tensely quiet in resentment and spite. Instead—

"I don't think she had anything. When she knew I had abilities, she was scared. Angry. Like I had become something else." He lifts a shoulder in a shrug, trying to sharply curb his mind from going down that particular memory lane. "I have these memories, too, from when I was a kid. Just— bits and pieces that don't make any sense. I always thought— " wished— "that maybe my family wasn't mine."

It would seem generous, normal, too much so for a psycho killer, that Gabriel would think to share this with Peter. But in truth, he seems fascinated by the sordid mystery that is his own past. With a jerk of his hands, the last boot is tied, and he settles back against the crate. "And I figure, your father knew so much about other people's origins— and he said things about my parents, too— maybe it's true.

"Maybe I just want it to be true." And a glance up at striking, pale blue eyes; inquiry desired, it seems, for Peter's opinion.

It's the first time Peter's heard anything even remotely like a laugh from Gabriel that wasn't intended to be sinister, wasn't sarcastic. For the briefest of moments Peter forgets himself and smiles, then shifts it to something more like a grimace as he leans back on the damp concrete, flattening his palms out on the floor behind him as he reclines, elbows straight and supporting his weight. "It could be worse," Peter notes jokingly, "we could be related."

Snorting out a laugh, Peter shakes his head and reaches up with one hand to thread his stringy bangs behind one ear, settling his palm flat against the concrete again. "Maybe it is… I mean, maybe you were adopted. Gillian was, Cat was," his head tilts to the side, "The Company had a habit of putting children from their tests with the Formula into foster care. I mean— if you can remember bits and pieces of stuff from your childhood…" his lips press together softly, "What do you remember?" One dark brow arches up, and Peter shifts his weight more to one shoulder than the other.

Related. Peter gets a look from Gabriel, an eyebrow raise and vague amusement that doesn't quite bring a smile to his face. There's some silence, punctuated by the steady drip, drip, drip of water from the roof that comes in threes, like an audible kind of ellipses. Discomfort manifests in stillness, as if Gabriel were reluctant to share the fragments of memories, unearthed little pieces that he's carried with him for who knows how long, and from Verse's hamfisted plunging through memory while he wasn't quite himself.

"A woman," he finally states, the words offered out carelessly, as if thrown into the shadows between them. "A dead one. And I felt the same way then like I did when my mother died." Which isn't to say he refers to the stone-cold sense of completion and justification, the yearning loss, or even the sense of petty loneliness - no, the initial, incredibly human band-aid tear of horrific realisation. "And I remember being left behind."

A sigh eases out, impatient that he has no detail. Voice verging on defensive, Gabriel adds, "I don't know. Like I said, what Arthur claims just feels correct. It's not rational, and it doesn't matter. It's not like blood family ever did anything for you," he adds, veering that spotlight around to shine brightly down on Peter.

Biting down on his lower lip when Gabriel clearly lays out that his mother — possibly both of them — are dead, he quickly comes to the conclusion that 'I'm sorry' isn't going to be an appropriate answer. Though something does seem to dwell in his mind, a conscious search for something, eyes wandering from side to side, a notion, an idea, and eventually those wandering blue irises lift up to Gabriel with marked scrutiny.

"Family does matter. I mean, I know my father is a bastard, my… alright my entire family is full of bastards," he winces at that, perhaps not entirely the truth, but truth enough. "Knowing where you come from, knowing who made you, it— it's important. I mean," he sits straight up again, wiping the grime off of his palms on his already dirty shirt, "if I didn't know who my parents were, maybe… maybe I'd fall right into the same traps they did? Maybe without realizing just how horrible they were, I'd end up becoming just like them?" He looks away, eyes halfway lidding, "I never want to become like my father, like my mother… but… I guess the potential for that kind of corruption, it's in my blood, you know?" His brows rise as an earnest look of something like apology crosses his face.

"It's hard to know where you're going without looking back, you know? I mean— if they abandoned you… or if something happened to them— " he shakes his head, "I'd want to know. Even… even if they deserved it, not knowing what happened to your parents, or if they really were yours? It would eat me alive."

Peter remains pinned under scrutiny as he talks, and it has little to do with familiar eye colours. Gabriel's face is impassive, arms coming to curl around him once more, the damp clothing clinging to him and doing nothing for warmth. At the mention of cannibalistic unknowns, Gabriel lets his gaze drop, having managed to hold it even upon the topic of corruption in the blood. "I used to resent that. As if mistakes were genetic. I followed in what foot steps my father left behind and it was just so futile." His lip curls at the notion, old sentiments resurfacing, rippling. "I thought I'd broken away from it, but now… now I have no idea anymore."

His feet come to brace the soles of his boots against the ground, looking towards the swollen extremities of the rubble-buried corpse. "I just want to know why." A simple enough demand spoken just as simply, brining his good hand up to rub at his face, before letting his attention veer towards a slice of broken roof shows off the night sky.

"We should get going, before it's light out. Staten Island's the safest bet."

Peter snorts out a laugh, pushing himself up from the ground, seeming not tired out by the walk at all. Brushing off his suit, for what little good it does, he reflexively offers out a hand to Gabriel, then curls his fingers against his palm and slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks, shoulders hunching forward. "Staten Island… safe," he shakes his head, a few meandering steps taking him away from Gabriel as he looks back down into his reflection in the disturbed surface of the water, "yeah… I guess it's as good as anywhere."

Blue eyes stare back at him from within the pool of water, the eyes aren't his, and his lips twist into a frown as they close. He turns, looking up and back over his shoulder to Gabriel, swallowing awkwardly. "While we walk… could you tell me something?" His words hang in the air for a moment, a few more drips falling from the ceiling; audible elipses.

"I want to know more about Kazimir."

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