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Scene Title Conversation
Synopsis This is what they have. Gabriel and Gillian talk about things that don't matter, and if they say it enough, maybe it will be true. A continuation of From Bad To Miserable, so you can imagine this was a cheery discussion.
Date June 12, 2009

Rooftop of Abandoned Apartment Building on Staten Island


The first few moments are too quiet to be considered such a thing. Gillian stares at the rooftop directly in front of where the man sat down, as if trying to count the small lines in the roofing. Every hint of water damage, every crack. In truth her eyes are too out of focus to make use of any kind of visual sight, other than blobs of color and lumps of other color. There's nothing to distinguish one thing from another, because her mind isn't processing what's directly in front of her— at the moment.

Such could be the case of almost anything.

A slow inhale before she lifts her eyes again, no where near as far as she had to. Part of the reason for the lack of focus is in the moisture still lingering in her eyes. The way her jaw is set shows she's trying to push them back, cause they won't exactly do any good… but the most she's doing is keeping them from turning into rivers. Or even streams. "What— what abilities did you get back?"

It's not the question he expects, keeping his gaze somewhere on the rooftop floor between them as well, his hands braced against the craggy concrete and posture slouching. "I don't know," Gabriel responds, looking up towards damp eyes. He hadn't shed tears for Peter, not even crocodile ones. Anger doesn't tend to bring around grief. It's unfair that Peter died— which many can agree upon, anyway, but more so because he had the audacity to save Gabriel's life before doing so.

Being in debt to dead people is about as bad as being in debt to alive ones. Maybe Moab counts for something. "I have Wu-Long's power," he adds, a hand up, palm turned towards the sky. It's a small, inky swatch of darkness that manifests above his palm, shifting and vague at the edges, before disappearing again, dispersing.

"Something to do with blood. My original power— I don't know what else." How can he not know, would be a fitting question, and the defensive cant to Gabriel's head reads like he expects it.

Wu-Long. There's a name she might have been able to do without hearing. It's remembered from the database, and also from a situation where she assumes the man had been directly involved. Right up there with Ethan in the ire she carries for almost every other member of Vanguard, whether they turned on their psycho boss or not… Gillian doesn't accuse him for not knowing what he should know— instead wincing and looking down again, before nodding slowly. The first due to Wu-Long, the second in response to what he admitedly doesn't understand. "At least you have something useful…"

Head out of the sand. Have to stop being weak in order to be strong.

There's a set of her jaw again, but her voice is tight, and there might be more reasons for those tears when she looks up. The question that started the conversation might have been out of place, but…

"I was hurt that you didn't want me to stay with you." Get no one by hiding. And there's so much she's tended to hide from. Certain admissions like this, especially.

He'd contemplated, before, that it's refreshing that Gillian gets to the point. Gabriel's head rears back a little in something like the beginnings of a nod, but his chin doesn't tip down. His expression is mainly unreadable, before his mouth quirks into exactly half a smile, a forcible tug. "I wanted Peter to leave," he says, doing her the courtesy of being just as blunt. "You might be able to relate. To that."

Nails dig into a little to the subtle grooves of the rooftop surface, contemplating his words. "And you wouldn't let him go. So I told you to leave. I didn't think you'd take days to come back."

What he means is, I didn't mean days, coded subtitles that read a little between the lines, but unspoken and implied all the same. "I know what I did— it was my fault, that I made it happen. It doesn't change that it happened." A beat, and then; "He started it."

"You could have told me to let him go. I just didn't want him to leave so he wouldn't go out and kill someone," Gillian says, still looking directly at him, even though the time for these things is pretty far gone. It'd not been something she'd intended to take so long, either, but… head in the sand. Cowardice. Avoidance. She knows there's no excuses and she can blame the ability she got saddled with for it all she wants… but it had been as much her own doing as anything it could have made her do.

"Peter was wrong, and he said terrible things and he… it doesn't matter now." The dead should matter, but the more she tries to think about it, the more it hurts. A hand lifts up to wipe at her face. Curse memory right now. It's a terrible thing to have.

"I didn't… intend to be gone for days. It just… turned out that way."

A soft snort follows her words, but quiet understanding, it seems. Things do just turn out that way. He didn't intend to stay in this building for over a week, either. He didn't mean to disappear between the fight and now. It just happened. There's an accusation on his tongue but it's swallowed back, at least for now. For the next few seconds.

"I had a concussion," Gabriel points out, a little wryly. A leg comes to bend at the knee, an elbow resting against that point, hand lax on his wrist. "And I didn't think you'd listen, anyway. It was easier at the time."

But. "It doesn't matter. He told me you went to see him. On Coney Island. He said he hurt you, and you stayed the night anyway." The words are ambiguous, but his tone is flat and without implication, even if there were any to make. No, what's damnable is, "And he told you to go to hell. But you found him. I wasn't exactly hiding." And his tone has a harsh edge to it, a mixture of that just sort of being his voice, natural gravel, and the rest being a raw sort of irritation, whether at her or for himself for bringing it to light.

"I didn't leave him… because I was tired of everyone just walking away. Me included," Gillian says quietly, but there's truth to her words. She remembers her thoughts at that moment, as well as she remembers that the scarred man had told her to go to hell. It'd hurt in a different way. In some ways she expected nothing better from him than walking out and leaving when things got rough. "I went to find him for the same reason I tried to stop him from leaving. I didn't… I didn't want him to hurt anyone. I didn't want more people to die because of your ability…"

More people like her sister. Eyes slide shut as she shifts her weight so she can rest arms on her knees before her feet fall asleep. "You— weren't the one who needed to be fixed." Probably not what he'd intended when he said those words, but they mattered.

"I went to see King Asshole cause I knew he could find him— and after he did, I'd intended to ask him to find Tyler Case too— so we could fix this. But…" There's a pause. "He wanted me to bring you to him. I don't… trust him. He manipulated my family, I think he bugged my parent's phone… and I— but I think I would have brought you to him. If I'd seen you."

"And Peter brought me to him anyway," Gabriel notes, blandly. "That doesn't absolve you."

Well this is familiar. The words come out as caustic as they are, a hand wandering up his face to run a fingertip along stitched skin, the annoying itch ever-present and somehow magnified at the very memory of what went down at Pinehearst. Almost defensively, Gabriel's bent leg pulls in a little closer to him.

"You knew about Pinehearst, Peter's father, all of this— long before you ever told me. You ask me about Vanguard and I tell you what I know. I'm not hiding things, Gillian, not anymore. It doesn't matter anymore. There's no secret I have that I'd be ashamed to tell you."

A pause, and his brow furrows, mouth pulls back in something like a sneer as he asks, as bewildered as he is accusing, "Why would you tell Peter about what I did to Jenny?"

From the way she shakes her heads at his denying of absolution, Gillian didn't really want to be absolved. There's a lot she doesn't feel she deserves absolution for, and that might well be one of the big ones. Pinehearst, the secrets surrounding it… and Jenny. Little does he know exactly how connected all of them are. "You were— I was living with Tavisha when Goodman approached me with the card. It took me a long time to actually go see them." There's a slow inhale. Tavisha.

"I kept so much from… him… that that became one of them." One and not only. "But the reason I didn't say anything when… It's because of Jenny. I can't— I couldn't talk to you about her." There's a pause. "I told Peter because I had to tell someone… because I wanted him to understand what happened that night in the Bronx… and because it was Jenny that told me… that helping Pinehearst was the right thing… I guess I was hallucinating…" she follows up with a laugh. Tavisha and then Jenny. The reasons for her silence.


If anyone knows anything about hallucinating— Gabriel's gaze is sharper and with accusation, this time. There's a pause, then, "When I was— " Tavisha. That name. A rueful twist to Gabriel's mouth is his displeasure for it manifested. "When I couldn't remember, and I told you about the voices. It wasn't new. Sometimes I see them, the people I touched. The telepathy. There's a reason behind them."

He raises an eyebrow at her. "Delphine said something similar." He glances towards the door leading inside the building, towards where the Irishwoman had disappeared. "Her brother met her, a few minutes before she got kidnapped. Gave her the sales pitch. But her ability— I don't know what it does, but it cut through. It was an illusion. When it failed, they took her by force."

On the axis of his wrist, his hand twitches in a loose gesture. "You got played."

Got played. That also stings, visibly. Gillian flinches, pulling back a fraction when she does, whether he had no intention of getting closer or not. It's an impulse. A hallucination. A ghost to reel her in and make her believe she was doing the right thing. "I wanted to believe that my sister still… that she might be able to forgive me for what happened to her. That she would be… proud of me." That was how Peter saw it. That she would be proud of her. For what she could do, for what she did, despite the things she failed to do.

"I blame myself for what happened to her more than I blame you," she finally says quietly, something she held in for far too long. There's more to it that that, too, but it all rounds up to the same thing. Blame aimed toward self, something that a certain deadman at least empathized with. "I told him because I had to tell someone…" It's a repeat.

"They used me," she says with a shake of her head. "They used Jenny…" The head ghost of her sister inside him didn't bother her near this much. "He killed Peter and he almost killed you…" Dead beats almost dead, in a way, at least she can still talk to this one. Can still look him in the eye, as much as she can with distorted vision "And I'm going to kill him." Despite the tears in her eyes and strain in her voice, there's stubborn conviction under that.

Gabriel shifts, a little restlessly, the air of a bored dog, although no, it's certainly not boredom that makes him fidget. Some similar discomfort, fingers on his lax hand curling inwards, looking down his nose towards the ground, mouth in a line as he listens to her.

He shakes his head, at one point. "Someone will have to," he says, voice dull. "Even if he seems to have all the answers. You're not the only one, now, who apparently doesn't know who their family is. It won't matter, I know how to get those answers, whether he's dead or alive. But listen to yourself."

Easily, the spotlight is turned back on her as his brown eyes go up to look into her hazel. "Everyone wants their family to be proud of them, and a father like Arthur Petrelli seems to know that. Kazimir knew that," he adds, voice grating around that word like a sharply steered car. "It's not your fault, what happened to Jenny, as much as you might want it to be. Being self-absorbed is easy."

For the moment, she seems to be convinced that someone should be her. It's better than keeping her head buried in the sand. Though chances are there could be a line to do it. Gillian closes her eyes as he tries to absolve her of one thing she wants to be absolved for. Family is important. Yet she didn't fight for Jenny at the time, and she didn't jump through the hoops to make her safe again. There's so much she could have done, but if she hadn't, so much else wouldn't have happened. Arthur had spoke of sacrifices, and maybe that's what her sister had been.

A sister who isn't a sister. Not the only one who doesn't know who their family is.

There's a blink. Her head tilts to the side, hair falling out of her face as she does. "I knew I wasn't the only kid that they fucked around with, but…" There's a questioning glance, more information will need to be given there. "What answers?"

"I don't know if it's the same," Gabriel states, quietly. "Not the way he spoke about it. He said my father, my mother, they're not my real parents— that my real father…" There's more, harsh words, ones he isn't sure are true, and so he doesn't spread what he hopes to be a lie. "I don't know what to think. On some level I don't care. On another…" He does.

Who wouldn't? "I'm going to find his wife. I'm not going to spare Arthur's life just for what he knows, because I can't trust it, but she might have something. Know something. He implied as much."

And over Gillian's head, over the opposite ledge of the rooftop, where Gabriel can't quite see the horizon— that's where he pitches his gaze when he adds, "I'm going to do it alone."

"Everything that's happened to you— no matter who your real parents are… What you are is what you are. It's yours still," Gillian says, paraphrasing part of what he'd told her, and adding a few more of her own words. But the part that aren't hers… those words that took such a burden off of her that she kissed him and drugged him. In many ways she didn't want to do what she did alone, but she did. She called her parents on her own, she dealt with the mystery on her own— at least she'd told him a few days after she knew for sure, rather than… never.

Even then, there's a quiet gritting of teeth that he's going on his own. It's painful, there's temptation to demand otherwise, but… "All right," she finally says, hoarsely, moving to stand up. On her feet, she hesitates, not looking at him, but not moving away either.

"I'm sorry, Gabriel."

He glances up towards her when she stands, and doesn't immediately follow, watching her from this angle for a moment, her wandering eyeline, her steadfast posture, before he goes to match it. A hand goes up to grip onto the ledge behind him, levering himself up, coming to lean against it.

"Peter tried to apologise to me too," Gabriel states, a little heavily. "He— didn't actually get it out," he adds, as if this just occurred to him, and a ruefully amused smile plays out across his face, "but it doesn't matter. I told him understanding's better than forgiveness."

He takes his weight off the ledge, a step around her, towards the door. "Means more. I should get my things too."

"Peter failed at a lot of things," Gillian says softly, eyes sliding away as he moves around her and toward the door. Understanding is better. It's not the easiest thing, though. It's difficult to understand when so much else gets in the way. Emotions. Secrets. Deception still hangs in the background. Pinehearst hadn't been the first time she'd been used. Or that her sister had been used against her in some way, shape, or form. But he understood that— or he wouldn't have mentioned Kazimir.

Maybe they're closer to the same page than she thought.

"I'm going to go to the safehouse that I left Chandra. But you should stay on the move…" At least now he's more capable than he'd been with her ability. He can defend himself with more than just a gun. His "friend" could fix her too. But…

"I'll see you later— good luck with your… I hope you find whatever it is you hope to find."

"It would be a change."

Much like Teo had twitchily observed the fact Gabriel did not step forward to embrace the woman in front of him as she'd fallen fairly apart over the death of a friend, he doesn't approach her now, and is uncomfortably aware of it. "Stay safe," he wishes her, instead, and heads to disappear inside the building.

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