gillian_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Empath
Synopsis Putting yourself in another person's shoes is the easiest way to learn about them, and sometimes the easiest way to learn about yourself.
Date May 15, 2008

Old Dispensary

On the outside, this sprawling multi-level complex has not seen use in many years, its walls covered in greenery and stone exterior and glass windows showing evidence of disrepair. Surrounded by a chain link fence, a drive leads from the street to a large dock, and around the back one can expect to find more sprawling greenery that eventually leads to a concrete drop off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passing through the chainlink fence and into the dispensary will reveal that the aged and crumbling outside is a facade. The loading dock is kept clear for the most part of everything save vehicles and supplies, though a section has been quartered off and transformed into an open workshop. The dispensary itself has been transformed into something akin to a makeshift dormitory, complete with common areas, a sizable kitchen and eating area, with various rooms converted into bedrooms for the residence. One room has even been set up as a makeshift clinic, amply stocked with supplies.

The back lawn and garden of the dispensary is surprisingly well tended, green and lush during the right months. Vegetables have been planted in accordance to season closer to the building, though someone has indulgently planted a plots of flowers - notably sunflowers - here and there. Further out, the ground drops a little and makes it to a concrete edge from which opens out into deeper water of the Atlantic.

The low sun peaks under hazy clouds casting long shadows through the crumbling fence and into the workshop. A flock of birds take off from the northern area, fluttering winds as they land on what's left of the fence and other hanging wires that can act as a perch. A gentle sound, rather than the cacophany of thoughts that could have been going through a certain man's head. Everything's quieter in some ways, louder in others. The drip of water falls from overhanging drainage, insects making sounds from the garden.

A small gust of wind disrupts greenery on the walls. A moment later, there's a crunch of rocks, almost a skidding sound, like someone had been running and ended up tripping, forcing them to take a bunch of balance regaining steps to keep from falling face first into the ground. And what it sounds like is pretty much exactly what happened, though the fact she'd been running almost a hundred miles an hour when she tripped over an overgrown piece of shrubbery… well…

"Fuck," the voice calls out, a raspy sound, relieved that she managed not to skid all over the floor, but also disgruntled at the same time. Lifting her feet up, she checks her shoes, making sure they weren't damaged, before taking the next few steps toward the door she entered just the day before. "Hello? Peter?"

Gillian had asked him to stay. But from the tone of her voice she's worried he didn't listen to that request.

"In here." The quiet reply comes from across the spacious main room, where a single light has been left on inside of a relatively cramped kitchen. Clinking metal echoes in the room, followed by Peter slowly walking out into the doorway, brushing the back of his hand over his brow, a crooked smile falling across his lips. "Gillian," there's a mild look of surprise, "I— didn't expect you to come back so soon." Or at all.

"I ah— " he jerks his head back, motioning into the kitchen, "I just cooked up some pasta, I ah— didn't have any meat, but— you know, sauce and noodles isn't entirely terrible." Grimacing a bit, he leans one shoulder against the door casing. "There's… uh- there's enough for two, if you're hungry?"

Looking down to the floor, Peter tucks his hands into the pockets of his worn, black denim pants as a quiet sigh escapes him. "I ah— I'm glad you came."

Each step brings her deeper inside, until he appears out of the kitchen with everything except the aprom to go with the look. Now that Gillian breaths in through her nose, she can smell the pasta on the air. It's a nice change from the usual smells of Staten Island, or the river. The surprise in her eyes might mirror his a bit as she reaches to begin unbuttoning her black coat so that it can be removed. A carrier bag hangs at her side as well, and similar black demin is worn on her legs. The black shoes are flat, due to the unfortunate incident back in the Library two weeks ago… Who knows when that'll happen again.

"You cook," she voices her surprise. A few more steps bring her closer, tilting her head to the side. Black bangs slide from in front of her eyes to off of her forehead, revealing a scar. Not as deep or as apparent as his, far more easily hidden, but telling, none-the-less. A scar she could have gotten rid of, much as his own.

"Fuck, yeah, I'd love to eat. Was trying out my brother's ability— he runs fast, and one of the side effects is I'm really hungry afterwards. I never understood how he could eat enough for five people," she says with a laugh. "Either pasta or I dig out some of those energy bars I bought." There's a reason she'd had them. "You look a little better. Actually smiling and everything."

"I got a little sleep last night, whoever had that room before me," he waves in the direction of a closed door on the other side of the main floor, "put a lot of thought into getting the most expensive mattress possible— and just stacked it on top of a box spring on the floor." Peter cracks a smile and laughs, giving a shake of his head as he steps back into the kitchen. "This place is still kind've stocked, no real perishables, but the basement was full of canned and jarred food, looks like when they built this place some people might've not been as optimistic about defeating the Vanguard."

Out of sight but still well in earshot, Peter clangs and clinks around with what sounds like pots, pans and dishes. "Super speed— that's really a hard one to get a handle of. I only had it once, thanks to an encounter with Felix Ivanov, but I never really used it all that much." After a few moments, Peter emerges from the kitchen carrying a pair of plates that have evenly portioned out the spaghetti onto them, "Hey can you take the plastic off of that couch?" He nods over to a sofa covered with a sheet of clear plastic spotted with dried paint, "Not really too many good places to sit."

A good matress definitely helps, which Gillian can't help but smile about, dimples showing up as she nods. It's not a good topic, but there's something fond in the way she speaks on it. How can someone speak fondly of the day the world nearly ended? Probably because it didn't. "Not every night you fight the end of the world with a handful of people— Figured we'd suceed or we'd die, so I wasn't planning much beyond what happened after." And what happened after included things she never could have anticipated. Ever.

"Sure you would've been helpful to have around," she adds, walking over to the couch as she pulls on the plastic. Felix Ivanov. That name sounds very familiar as she thinks on it, but unfortunately she didn't have the perfect memory until just recently. Her voice raises so he can hear her, over the distance and the crackling of plastic, "My brother walked me through it— but I admit it's difficult to hold onto. It seems to fall apart when I don't want it to." As she pulls the plastic up, rolling it in her arms before dropping it down beside the couch, she looks back to where he disappeared. "I almost tripped and fell when I tried to stop, and I couldn't get it to work at all until I was almost here."

"It's not so much your brother's ability that's hard to control," Peter explains, moving to settle down on the couch, balancing the plates of spaghetti and the forks resting on the edges of the plates. Once he's seated, he holds one hand up, offering Gillian's half of the makeshift dinner to her. "It's more my— er— your power that's hard to control." Managing a hesitant smile, Peter tilts his head to the side. "You're not just copying people's abilities, you're learning to resequence your own DNA by means of emotional response." Lips creeping up into a more honest smile, Peter seems to have said all that a little too awkwardly. "I ah— that was Mohinder's take on it, anyway, Claude's too but with less words. It— the whole ability's about feelings, more so than thoughts."

That's another name that's vaguely familiar. Gillian takes the offered plate as she settles down on the couch beside him, using the fork to twirl up some noodles into the sauce and eat a fork full. There's one ability that hasn't faltered very often since she acquired it, and that's the ability to remember things, recall new information. Feelings. As she swallows the first bite, she rubs her hand over her mouth and studies him. "So I'm actually… changing every time I use another ability?" Cause that's certainly what it sounds like. "That's a little weird. I liked my power a lot better. It kinda… worked like a net. Or a string, and I had to knot it up so that it didn't leak out anymore. Guess you don't know anyway to do the same with yours? Cause… not two hours after I left yesterday I ran into someone and…"

There's a raise of her hand, followed by a sound effect. From her own mouth, not from an actual power. "Bzzzt."

"Bzzt?" Peter parrots back, one brow raised, "Oh— oh you— oh Gillian." His brows furrow, head hanging as he twirls up a mouthful of spaghetti, occupying himself with chewing rather than speaking, briefly. "Alright, if you picked up something like electricity then— I'm going to have to give you a few pointers." There's a crooked smile on Peter's face as he leans back on the sofa, kicking his feet up on the plastic covered table adjacent to the couch.

"You've gotta' think about the ability as an emotional state, you have to imagine the way the person with the ability makes you feel, what your feeling are about them." He twirls his fork around in the pasta, watching Gillian with a faint smile. "Think about your brother, think about the way being around him makes you feel, and try to hold on to that. If you can keep that thought square in your heart, then you'll be able to call on his ability whenever you need it."

"It could've been worse," Gillian rasps softly, before she too occupies herself with eating. Electricity isn't exactly what she picked up, but pointers would be how she came to be here. Once he kicks up his feet, she stops with the fork still in her mouth and listens, only pulling it out as he finishes the explaination. "So basically what I have to do is think about my brother? And how I feel around him?" There's a quiet moment before she stops to down another fork full. If this is going to work, she should have some food in her stomach first, though she'd downed a whole couple of energy bars this morning.

The way he describes his ability is different from what little she understood of Gabriel's. So very different. They happen to be two entirely different people, with so many similarities. Less now, but…

"Okay," she says, putting her partially finished plate down on the couch as she stands. "All I have to do is… think of him, how I feel, and not just his ability and hold onto it? So it's like a… filing system. Based on emotions." She's a librarian…

Smirking a bit, Peter nods, "Something like that." Taking another few mouthfuls of Pasta, he watches her as she stands, letting his plate come to rest on his lap. "Just… keep yourself focused on your feelings about your brother, the stronger the better. Then just…" his eyes close partway, "imagine yourself doing what he does, and then take the next step from visualizing — just do it."

Scraping the tip of his fork against his plate, Peter winces briefly, then looks down to the plate. Swinging his legs off of the table, Peter leans forward and lays the plate down on top, then moves to stand up in front of the couch. "Just… try not to think too hard about it, just let it come to you. When I was first learning, I had an easier time controling my ability when I was around the person I was trying to mimic. Hell, the first few times I used my power I thought I could only use it around other people." There's a grimace, and Peter tips his head down, staring at the floor for a moment. "It turns out it's a lot more than just that."

There's a long moment when she watches him, turning to face him as he speaks, watching the way he winces and leans and… Gillian shakes her head, biting down on her lower lip for an instant as she breaths in through her nose. The way her eyebrows furrow gives a hint of frustration, or perhaps guilt. Not the emotions she should be focusing on, even if younger brothers often induce feelings of frustration. And the fact she nearly wrecked their relationship did cause guilt…

There was something said in the alley when she got the ability to expel an electromagnetic replicant. Something that made her realize why the current President of the fucking United States of America might have known who the hell she even was…

A deep breath makes her look back up at him aain, as he tips his eyes to the floor. "Hey, you know I… actually get it now," she suddenly says, despite the feelings of guilt, she reaches out to touch his arm with her hand. "When I was yelling at you up on the roof and calling you names— I get it now." He'd told her that her sister would be proud of her. The first step to forgiving herself for everything that happened. "I never meant to do any of the things that I did with your— with this ability. And you're right that I could hurt someone." Like he did… "But— I do understand now. And I'm sorry for saying all those things." This isn't part of practicing her new found ability at all, is it? She's not taking off at high speeds, so…

"Hey— " Peter winces and shakes his head, "No, look it— we both said some pretty stupid things back then." Taking a few steps over to clear the distance between himself and Gillian, Peter reaches up to lay a hand on her shoulder. "Look I— we were both under a lot of stress, a lot of terrible thing were happening and— " a smile manages to come, despite the topic. "Look, I… I'm sorry about a lot of the things I said too— things I did. It— none of that was fair to you."

Closing his eyes, Peter shakes his head and exhales a slow sigh out his nose. "You had a point, yoou did… I just— " when Peter opens his eyes again, he offers a crooked smile to Gillian, giving her shoulder another squeeze before letting his hand move from her shoulder to lightly press aainst her cheek, "I'm sorry." Brows furrowed, Peter seems for all his worth to have totally become lost in the notion of this now being the proper time to apologize. "I'm sorry for hurting you… for— for a lot of things. You— deserve a lot better."

At the contact of his hand against her cheek, Gillian closes eyes, revealing just how much thick black eyeliner she happens to be wearing, and moving toward purpleish eyeshadow as well. Deep red lipstick, all of it looks close to how she's often tried to look, but putting on make up for a early morning lesson? Better not to think too much on that. "You should be sorry," she rasps with a hint of a laugh in her voice, lips pressing into a smile that brings the impression of a dimple under his hand. Her own hand slaps lightly against his chest, similar to how she shoved the energy bar at him just yesterday.

"I spent fucking weeks sleeping in that artist's loft, the one with all the strings, waiting for you to come back, and you never did. I even left notes. There and on the roof— I have no idea if any of them are still there…" It'd been so long ago, and she didn't bother to check after the bridge collapse.

A slow breath later and her eyes open. They're not angry, though. There could very well be a point to doing this. Tension melts away, piece by piece. "But you're here now— and I think I need you more for this than I did back then." There's a pause. "Need your help, I mean. Maybe I can learn from you— and maybe you'll learn something from teaching me. For when we fix this and… get everything back the way it should be."

For the first time in a long time, Gillian's seeing Peter smile. A laugh comes too, one hard earned, and his hand slowly moves cross her cheek, fingers brushing down along the side of her neck as he studies her with a silent expression of uncertainty on his face. "I misjudged you…" Peter's voice is quiet, head tilting forward in a subtle nod as his eyes downcast to the floor. "I— think we might actually have a lot to teach each other," he adds in an equally quiet tone, "I…"

He loses his words somewhere there, just staring down at his feet until gradually, dark eyes find their way back to Gillian's. There's just a long, silent stare accompanied by a hesitant smile, and Peter slowly leans his head in to lightly rest his forehead against Gillian's. "We'll get this all figured out, I promise you. We'll figure everything out…"

Misjudged her? Gillian's lips part as if she might be about to ask him something, but he keeps speaking, his eyes fall away, then drift back up, and then… he's moving closer. The words get lost, only a shaky inhale happening at all. This happened before. When she started to forgive herself, started to allow herself to stop taking the blame for her sister's death. It's different now. Don't marry Peter Petrelli.

The tension starts to build up, not just because he's close, but because of where her mind is, and the fact that her entire being somehow got thrown back into that alley. Startlement might have been the initial feeling. Fear. Worry. Frustration and tension and nasuea once the ability began to take over, but there had been one more moment. The confusion and the realization all at once. A feeling that she's fallen into as he presses his forehead against hers. She doesn't even get the warning of double vision, because she's unfortunately closed her eyes.

The hand against his chest shifts, no longer slapping, but suddenly clasping his shirt. The fizzle isn't even audible as static suddenly starts to rise up in the air between them, but the bzzt of electricity that sparks where they're touching, and a larger form that suddenly flies out of her back? That's far more obvious. Joining the sudden electrical expulsion would be a rather deep sound in her throat, a gasp of relief as the tension gets torn away rather suddenly. It will take her a moment before she can even apologize for it.

Now there's a second Gillian in the room, a dancing electrical form that looks like her, but isn't. For the moment she can see them, the two of them.

Peter backs up the moment the hairs on his arms begin to rise, the moment the blue glow starts to suffuse the room and crackling bolts of electricity arc downwards from the electrical phantom behind Gillian to the floor. Sucking in a hissed breath, Peter stumbles away, arms out to his side and eyes wide as he looks up at the blue phantom hovering behind the brunette. "Oh my God," he breathes out almost in a whisper, "Gillian."

The tone there is meant to bring her back to reality, to bring her into focus, "Where'd— where did you— " he's never seen an ability like that, never even heard of an ability like that before. Drawing in a hushed breath, Peter's head slowly shakes from side to side, as he very slowly begins to inch back towards her, one hand outstretched, "Gillian… pull it in, it— " more sparks fly, and Peter's eyes follow them, "come on— draw it back—"

"I… shit," Gillian exclaims as she finally opens her eyes, seeing two overlapping versions of the man holding a hand out to him. For a moment it's almost as if he's the one that split in two, but she knows that's not the case this time. The dancing form shifts backwards, mimicing her facial expression, the hand that remains up even as he pulled away from her.

"I— I didn't mean— fuck," she curses, the hand that hovers between them hesitating and reaching up to touch her own face, covering her mouth for a moment. The replicant does the same exact thing where it hovers, crackling.

"Sorry— it's just, I started thinking about… It's one of those guys that Cat mentioned, the ones from the future. I'm not entirely sure how the ability works but…" He explained to her how to get it back inside. It wants to go somewhere. There's so much it's drawn to. The metal surrounding them. The man holding out a hand to her. Her own body.

Focusing on his hand with her real eyes, with the second set of eyes, she tries to make the images come closer together, tries to encourage it to rejoin her. That's sort of how the man explained it. The crackling and sparking of electricity gets closer to her, making dark hair stand up behind her, but it doesn't disappear. Yet.

"Are you okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Eyes focused up on the electromagnetic replicant, Peter hesitates for only a moment before stepping in and taking Gillian's hand. His fingers lace through hers as he squeezes gently, eyes fixed on the electrical ghost behind her. "Find the current to your body," Peter breathes out, brows furrowed, "just— follow that path back, the tether that's binding it to you. Let it flow, breathe." Something just clicked as Peter looks at the phantom, it just makes sense.

Tilting his head to the side, Peter gives Gillian's hand another squeeze, as his eyes finally move down to hers, her real eyes. "I'm— " he's not sure how to answer that question, "I— I'm fine." It's close enough to the truth. "Come on— draw that thing back inside before— before a spark catches something on fire."

"That's sort of how he described it," Gillian admits quietly, taking in quiet breaths as it draws in closer. The double vision would be horrible if either of them were moving much. Stationary views are slightly easier to death with. It's a good thing that flock of birds doesn't choose to fly by now… The hand squeezes back on his, as she keeps her eyes focused on his own face.

The replicant continues to hover forward, until it finally shifts, moving so fast it's just a flash of light that it slams into her back and dissipates. Even more quickly than it ripped out of her.

The static continues to hang in the air as she stumbles up against him, using his hand as support to stay on her feet. "Maybe we should… go somewhere that's less flammable. Before we try anything else." She says, not moving away from where she's ended up, invading his personal space just as much as the forehead touch. "I— thanks, Peter." No more Assface.

There's a release of that tension as Peter wraps one arm around Gillian's shoulders, leaning his head down as he talks to her. "Hey— it's alright. I— it feels good to be able to do something constructive…" there's a hesitant smile, and Peter lightly presses his nose to the top of Gillian's head, his hand around her shakily drawing her just a bit closer to him. "I ah— " swallowing, his hand starts to move away from her back, very slightly leaning away from her.

"Let's— there's a lot of space up on the roof," his eyes are cast back to the half finished dinners, then back to Gillian. "Plenty of… plenty of space there," he tilts his head to one side, managing a slightly less awkward smile. "Come on, it's got a heck of a view."

There's a lot of silence as some of the static discharges from off her clothes and hair and Gillian closes her eyes again briefly with the proximity, until he begins to pull his hand away from her back and lean away. Then her eyes open to glance at the half finished meals. "Roof sounds lovely. Maybe you can show me how you managed to do the whole… flying on fire thing," she laughs a little, remembering that encounter fairly well, considering it was one of the first times she saw him. And Cat too for that matter.

"Not that I can fly or be on fire, but there's got to be some way to combine something I've picked up." It'd just take a while to figure out…

"Course I'll need to find one that I can stick on first." There's a smile, as she finally starts to pull away as well, pushing her hand through her hair as if trying to smooth it back into place.

Smirking, Peter lets his arm fall away from Gillian, watchining her with a warm smile as he takes a few steps away towards the direction of the stairs. "Well, I think I've got a couple of ideas…" one brow rises as he turns around, speaking with his back to her in a teasing manner. "How about an electromagnetic iron body?" He turns on his heels, resting his hands on his hips, that smirk growing larger.

"Have you ever heard of a Tesla Coil?"

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