Every Way Except Blood


gillian2_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

Scene Title Every Way Except Blood
Synopsis That's how they're related. Gillian catches up with Victor before he leaves for the south, and explains some of what she's been up to. And she learns how to access augmentation again.
Date July 21, 2009

Cliffside Apartments : Victor's Apartment

Sparse would only begin to describe the decor in this apartment. It's not very well furnished, featuring only a discarded (but clean) couch that probably came from a garage sale or Craigslist giveaway ad and a motley crew of folding chairs and eggcrates used for storage furniture. The good news is that the place is mostly clean and there's no evidence of any roaches or rats or other vermin. Here and there a t-shirt can be seen draped on a chair or tossed unused in a corner, and there are quite a few college-level textbooks in the place.

The kitchen really deserves to have the obligatory "ette" on the end of it. There's a sink, a dishwasher, fridge, and a rangetop oven. The sink is conspicuously full of dishes that don't particularly smell but also don't look very clean either.

A bedroom that really deserves to be considered more of a large closet has a camping-style cot in it with blankets folded on it like cushions and a pillow. It's clear that's the only thing that passes for a bed in this place.

Vic's apartment is and has been a rat-hole since he moved in. He lives like a bachelor, which ought not be a surprise. He's still got the third-hand couch, the egg crates, the piles of clothes. But whatever. At least he CLEANS his laundry. It's with a big duffle bag that he's currently dealing with much of that clothing right now, packing for a trip. His police uniforms are hanging over a plastic chair with his duty rig rolled up in the chair proper. Chipper mood, really! Vic's going on a trip with his girlfriend.

Of all the times for a knock on the door! The young woman outside the door is dressed in a hoodie. The ass monkey of a landlord she used to have could be around still. Anyone could be watching the hall. All she had to do was wait for someone she didn't recognize to be on their way out and slip in the door without needing to buzz or anything. Why couldn't she have picked up the ability to walk through walls? Gillian glances down the hallway, looking so familiar, yet different, and then looks back at the door, hoping he's still here.

Knocking? "Minute!" shouts Vic, for some reason using normal human being speed to get to the door and open it. His bright expression falls as soon as he sees Gillian there, replaced with a sort of uncertainty. "Hey." he says, the words kicked out of him by combat boots.

"Took you long enough," Gillian says rather quickly, glancing back down the hall before ducking a bit to get inside the door, even if she has to go under his arm. "Really living like a bachelor, aren't you?" she comments at the first sight, before she looks back at him. "I know it's been a while, and I'm sorry. Have you talked to— to mom and dad lately?" There's a reason for the verbal skip.

Vic's only answer is to fling himself at Gillian and put his arms around her in a hug. He squeezes her as tight as he can, probably similar to if he were trying to catch and hold her, but it's obviously just desperate affection. "Come in." he mumbled against her shoulder, squeezing.

"Aaaaa," Gillian makes a sound of protest, obviously having not been expecting the hug to come out of nowhere. "Okay, so you're happy to see— thanks." For inviting her in, for the hug, which she starts to push away from a bit, so she can get herself fully inside. "I can't believe you moved into this apartment still."

It takes Vic just a second to get his fill before ushering Gilly in and closing the door. "Well I had to live somewhere and this was cheap. And since I started getting real money now I'm just saving it up. You know." He seems rather proud of himself really. "Anyway whatever you're here." He stands in a relaxed akimbo and just beams at her. "So what mystery crap have you been up to this time?"

"I think telling you would conflict between your family ties and your ties to your job," Gillian says quietly, eyes stopping on a set of police clothes. Yeah. There could be some conflicts there. "What I'm involved in isn't exactly why I'm here— I called mom and dad a while ago. To ask them some questions," she starts, looking a little nervous as she pulls the hood down and glances around. "I don't think you know anything about this…"

"Screw my job, I don't care." replies Vic easily, though that ease fades a little to see her mood. He steps toward her, voice softening slightly as he assures, "What is it? Did something happen to them?"

"No, not to…" Gillian hesitates a moment before glancing back at the door. She'd not put it past Pinehearst to have bugged her brother's apartment. "Fuck, I'm not even sure how to say this. You'd think having weeks to practice would make it easier." No, it hasn't. "I found out that I might not be their daughter so I asked them if I was adopted."

There's a flash of something behind Vic's eyes. It's either hurt or worry, but it transmutes to anger pretty quickly. "Are you fucking shitting me, Gilly?" he asks, voice quiet in spite of his tone. "Where the hell did that come from? What made you think you were adopted in the first place?"

"It's kind of— fuck, Victor, I don't even know if you'd believe me, but dad confirmed it right over the phone, after mom started crying and… They knew I was adopted," Gillian says quietly. Of course they'd known, unless they had memories altered in some way, they'd have to know. "I even got my blood tested, compared to someone I might have been related to if what had been said was true, and it was. I've got a twin brother that I never knew about." Until recently, at least.

Vic's reaction surprises even himself, if his face is any judge. He literally takes one step backward and then falls on his ass, sitting down hard on the floor. And he stares at nothing. It's like a puppet got his strings cut. He even opens his mouth to say something but nothing comes out of it. What kind of words could possibly do justice to this anyway? He doesn't even try.

As the brother she'd been raised with drops to the floor, Gillian moves forward and kneels down, reaching out to touch her hair. In the last two months, while he wasn't looking, she's changed quite a bit. This sudden compassion would be one of the products of the last few months. "You're still my brother, Victor. Even if we're not related. In every single way except blood."

Some more surprises for Vic as he actually raises his hands to fend off Gillian, just open hands in case she tries to touch him or hug him or something. "Am I adopted too?" he asks, his voice thick.

"I don't know," Gillian says, glancing at her hands before she straightens. He doesn't seem to want her compassion, but… "I asked about you and Jenny and dad said you were theirs. But I don't know for sure. If you could snatch some of their hair, I could send it off to get tested, though."

A hand covers his mouth, and it's obvious Vic is just utterly shocked at this. "What made you ask?" he mumbled through his hand, eyes on the floor.

"It's— hard to explain, really. There were a lot of things." Gillian sighs, moving to sit on one of the crates that might act as furnature. It's not easy to explain at all. "It involves what I'm… the trouble I'm getting into. There's a company in New Jersey called Pinehearst. They're a biotech firm. They… they're involved in some really bad stuff, and while they're new… some of what they're working on isn't. There's this… injection that they can give people, children I guess, that makes them… like you. Evolved. Synthetically. So someone born normal could have abilities."

In some ways it goes against logic. "The children the experimented on— their parents were killed, either in accidents or on purpose, I'm not sure exactly, but they were given to other families. I was one of them. My name— part of it at least, was on a list. I know there's probably a hundred Gillians in New York alone, but— it created enough doubt that… I had to ask."

"Synthetically? You mean I'm not natural?" See, that's a whole other ball of wax isn't it? Vic looks directly at Gillian again then and asks with disbelief, "You mean somebody DID THIS to me? I'm some fucking experiment??"

"No, Victor," Gillian says firmly, shaking her head a bit as he takes it to mean him. "Dad said you were theirs! You and Jenny are probably natural. I'm the one who was a fucking experiment." Some of the compassion is lost, but she still reaches out to attempt to touch him. "I don't know if you even have a place in any of this. You're too young to be part of it, anyway. Pretty sure the experiments ended not long after I was born."

Vic's done trying to fend her off. He just begins to look like a picture of conflict. "I'm not mad at you, Gilly." he says dully. "It's just like. It makes Jenny kind of worse somehow. Like. I dunno." Like maybe that's why Gillian didn't seem to care as much as he did? He won't say those words. Too much of Victor Childs is still the same happy young man he was about six months ago before his world began slowly descending by steps into shit. He dares to look at the only sister he has left again and tells her, "I swear I didn't know anything about this. What does this mean about Mom and Dad?"

Oh, Gillian cared. He just didn't see it very well. It ate her apart in ways he probably would never know. Even more now. The mention of Jenny brings back a flash of memory, perfectly detailed thanks to one of the many powers she picked up— and a memory gained by those many powers too. A memory not her own. Her hands pull away, no longer trying to reach out for him, and in fact she moves away even further, to find a place against the far wall. "I don't know how much they know about the assclown who runs Pinehearst, but I think they know something. Probably ex-employees. I don't know. There's a lot of things I don't fucking know. But I know I'm related to someone I never knew, and my last name is supposed to be Winters."

"I want in, Gilly." says Vic, staring hard at her even as she backs away. "I deserve to know too. Whatever this is you're into, don't keep me out of it anymore."

"You're trying to be a cop. You already gave up your schooling, do you really want to…" She trails off. Gillian closes her eyes for a moment. "We're going into Pinehearst to bring it down. Not the proper way, either. The boss is on his way to becoming a sociopath, and he's hurt and killed a lot of people. I don't know if I'm going to be involved with the people I'm with much more after that."

"I'm never gonna have what I want, Gilly." It's like an admission of defeat. Vic certainly sounds defeated where he's sitting, though he gets to his feet so as not to play up that bullshit anymore. "You know that's why I went after Gabriel Gray. For hurting and killing people. If being a cop means I can't stop people who do that, I don't want the job anymore." He gives her a look then that's no-nonsense, "Anyway I'm smarter than you think I am."

"Gabriel's different," Gillian says quietly, looking down even as she does. There's a slow inhale, before she looks back up. "But I guess you'd be happy to know I'm not with him anymore. I don't want you to hunt him down, though…" A memory looking back at her of what he did to their sister might argue, but she ignores it. It doesn't change all the other memories she still possesses, about how she feels. "We're going after Pinehearst soon. Like in the next couple of days."

Vic takes a few steps toward his sister, because she IS still his sister, intending to take her gently by the shoulders. "I know Gabriel's different." he says, "And I know you loved him. And I'm not going to hunt him down or anything. I'm sorry you're not still with him, because I dunno. I want you to be happy." And sure, there's a part of Vic that isn't happy at Gabriel and never will be, but he DOES mean what he says here in spite of it. His eyes cut down and he sighs, "I have a promise to keep to Abby. I can't help you with Pinehearst."

"You'll probably be waiting a long time for me to be really happy," Gillian admits quietly, having packed more than enough ups and downs into the last few months than most sane people should have in a lifetime. But— "Abby told me the two of you were dating. I'm happy for you, really." Even if she's afraid the saintly blonde girl will do her brother wrong some how. In some ways, she seems relieved. She didn't really want to drag her baby brother anywhere near Arthur Petrelli. "What did you promise her?"

"I promised her I'd go with her to Mississippi. I know she invited me along to get me out of the city." Vic sighs and puts his hands on his hips. "She's like you. Tries to protect me from the evil bad world, not realizing yesterday I arrested a man who raped his five year old stepdaughter whose legs he broke three weeks prior." A shake of his head and he adds, "I dunno what to think of her, Gilly. I think I might love her, but I don't think she does back." And he can't help but sound sad about it.

That's terrible, of course, but Gillian could believe that the things she's witnessed are just as bad, if not worse. Certainly they're more abnormal. "I don't think she'd lie to you, though," is all she says, looking at her younger brother and moving to step away from the wall. "She won't tell you she loves you if she doesn't, so if she ever does… you can at least trust that she means it."

"Yeah." sighs Vic, adding with a shrug, "Well. I'll follow my heart. And anyway I've never been to Mississippi. Or wait. It's Louisiana." He rolls his eyes at himself. "Sorry…I'm kinda not as smart as I think." Or rather he's just distracted. They could be going to Canada for all he knows, he just knows Abby will be on the plane. "Well. Can you stay and hang out a while?"

"One of the southern states works," Gillian says, having to smile a bit at her brother's admission to not being as smart as he thinks. Memory is a tricky thing, as she's learned recently. "I wish everyone could follow their heart as easily as you." Read that as 'I' rather than 'everyone'. But she moves a little closer. "I can stay a bit. Maybe you can help me with something. I— I need to figure out how to access my old ability before we go in, and I haven't figured it out. You've got pretty good control of your power, and you got experience being boosted, so I figure you might be a good person to try to access it around."

Vic grins about that. "Like back when we first discovered you could do it. You know, I kind of think of it as our secret. That I not only have superspeed but can do it along with you kicking me up a few levels." And then suddenly a frown creases his features. "I thought you lost that power. You got it back again?"

Their secret. One she'd never really intended to share back then, but she can't help but smile faintly now. Things have changed quite a bit in the last year. "Well, the ability I got actually… I got the ability to use abilities other people have," Gillian explains carefully, aware of how it could sound. "Kind of like that dude in the movie they're filming. Multiple Man? Only the articles says he doesn't get to keep them, and I do. I've got over a dozen different abilities now, and my old one is in there somewhere."

"Holy dogshit." mutters Vic, blinking at Gillian. He eyes her more closely and asks, "So…how you wanna do this?"

"Don't let Abby hear that mouth of yours," Gillian says with dimples showing up. "I know it sounds insane… one of the most powerful people on the planet happens to be your big sister. For the moment." A glance around the room accesses the location. "I guess I can… just try to find it. You can walk around until I do. Or— I dunno. What would be a good way to notice that you're speeding up?"

"Abby likes my mouth just fine, thanks." teases Vic with a wink. Oh yes. He went there! He seems to think for a second before saying, "I got just the thing." Then gestures Gilly to follow him as he rounds the corner into the kitchenette.

There he gets a cutting board and knife, and hauls a bag of carrots out of his refrigerator.

Can you tell Abby's been here? Because these are not Victor things to keep around.

He starts laying out the board with some carrots and the knife and asks, "See where I'm going with this?"

"That's good to know," Gillian says, not seeming to be disgusted at the idea of her brother getting smoochies. She'd actually been worried! What if Christian Girl'd been denying him every single base known to mankind? On the way to the kitchen, she gets the idea that Abby'd been there, and smiles, before she nods, "I get it. Cutting up carrots is better than pacing around the room." She rubs her hands together as if to try and warm them up. "All right. Get cutting. I'll see if I can find it." It is like searching, even. The perfect memory helps, too.

Vic nods along and rubs his hands together in preparation, putting a carrot down on the block and beginning to cut. He's going just a little faster than baseline, tapping just barely into his speed. Really his control is excellent. "I found out I can run up walls. You know, you can probably do it too if you practice it."

"Oh, cool," Gillian says, still trying to think back, even as she listens to her brother. The memory power didn't come with super multitasking, unfortunately. "I actually have the ability to fly now, too. Flight's even faster than what you got, but it doesn't come with superfast senses, so I have to really be careful so I don't splat into a building." No augmentation yet.

Still cutting, Vic isn't trying to hurry any more than he already is, just going along. He grabs a second carrot and starts on it. "Yeah it's the fast frame of mind that really saves you with the superspeed. I'm working on being able to do that without moving at speed. I figure that would be useful. Already know I can dodge bullets." Just HOW he knows that, he doesn't say.

In some ways, Gillian doesn't want to know how he knows that. "It is pretty neat," she admits, absently. Part of why she doesn't want to know is because she's trying to focus, trying to find the ability. It's like a needle in a haystack, almost literally. Searching for the right memory, the right time— she knows who. She'd been very close to who. How did he make her feel? It snaps into place almost immediately after she asks that question, a sudden increase in power pouring out of her, uncontrolled.

Brrrrrrrrrap. Carrot bits fly asunder. Vic only barely has the reflexes to pull his hands away and stop cutting. "I think you found it!" he says, a little bit of surprise in his voice. Because not only did he dice the carrot he was working on, in the process of that he pulled out three more and did those. It happened that fast. There literally are carrot discs all over the place now.

Yup. She found it. Gillian's smile widens, as she feels the flow of energy. A familiar sensation, even if it's been a while. Like getting a new tattoo after a year break, really. Something she remembers from just how many times she used it. The flow of energy cuts off as she wraps it up— testing out the control she'd learned. It doesn't go as tight, in fact it unravels at first and then disappears all together. "Might be better if I try to make a clone with it," she says quietly. "Got any ideas what we could do since you wanted me to stay for a bit? Any good movies?"

"Make a clone?" Okay, Vic looks funny at Gillian and guesses, "Uh. I haven't seen a movie for a long time." he says hollowly, almost like he's ashamed of it. Well, work has just never let up. "You can make a clone of yourself?" He grins and jumps to the next conclusion. "Are you the real Gilly?"

"Replicate is probably the better term for it, but I like cloning," Gillian says, reaching over to punch his shoulder gently. "And of course I'm the real one." He hasn't seen many movies lately, though— and honestly neither has she. They've both had a strange life the last year… "I could tell you about all the abilities I've got, if you want." It's almost like bragging. Actually it pretty much is.

"Yeah now that you don't have a lame stupid one like power-augmenting." smirks Vic, obviously teasing. "What're you gonna do with that much power? Have you even thought about it?"

Glare. Though she has to admit, in comparison to all the abilities she used, the knot in the back of her head that is her old power is pretty lame. "First I'm going to help take down Pinehearst and the guy whose in charge of it," Gillian says with a shrug of her shoulders. "I have no idea beyond that."

"That's it." decides Vic with solemn gravity, "It's time to start picking out costumes." He starts ticking off on his fingers, "You're gonna need a secret headquarters. And an arch-nemesis. And a sidekick. That won't be me, I'm not sidekick material."

"I'm not exactly super hero material, even if I got the power for it," Gillian says, eyebrows raising. It's funny cause there's another cop in training who she can think of that would offer up a very similar idea. "Besides, I do have some small plans after I get done with Pinehearst. It just doesn't involve my powers, really— I'm going to be helping take care of some orphans on Staten Island."

The difference is this cop's kidding. It's clear from the way he grins. "That's awesome, Gilly. When you get to doing that, let me know. I can be some help with that." Vic goes silent once more and falls into a more or less serious mode as he just looks at her levelly. "I'm sorry what happened to you."

"All right, just don't wear your uniform on Staten Island," Gillian says, though she's sure he knows the dangers of the place just as well as she does. It not the most law abiding place in the world. Hive of scum and villainy, really. "You don't even know the half of it… But I'm okay." As okay as she can be, at least.

Vic smiles a patient smile and says, "I've been to Staten Island a lot. I know it like the back of my hand. Remember?" He steps toward Gillian then and tries to hug her. "Thanks for telling me. It means a lot that you came to me and told me instead of I dunno. Vanishing."

"I got a bad habit of doing that," Gillian says, closing her eyes as she allows the hug a little longer than the last few times he tried it. "Do you got a phone? I could send you a text message when it's done— let you know I'm okay." There's a possibility she won't be okay, but…

"I know you do. And yeah, send me a text. I've got a phone." He lets go of his sister and digs the little motorola out of his pocket, flipping it open. Vic pulls up his phone number and shows it to her. "Listen. About Mom and Dad. Level with me Gilly: Are they part of something bad?"

The phone is looked at for just a few seconds, and Gillian doesn't need more. "I'll write it down when I get home. Perfect memory is another thing I picked up," she explains. No need to write this shit down on the spot. But the question causes her to hesitate. "I don't know, Victor. They could be innocent bystanders who just adopted a kid, or they could be involved. I honestly don't know."

That's when Vic gets That Look in his eye. It's the look he had for weeks about Gabriel, and it's too late to take it back. It's the dog with a bone look that says he'll get to the bottom of it, even if he says in the next breath, "Well, I guess we'll just have to wonder for now." Yeah as if. He lets a breath out and begins picking up the mess of carrots all around. Abby will be highly annoyed if he left those everywhere, even if it isn't her apartment.

A boy's apartment always partially belongs to his girlfriend. And his mother. It's just how it is. Gillian's not a neat freak of a girl, so she doesn't do much more than pull out the trashcan to make it easier on him. "For now, yeah."

The help gets a quiet, "Thanks," from Vic. He mentions, "I need to go to bed soon. Flight leaves at eight in the morning. You can stay over if you wanna hit the couch. It's been a safe place. I mean Monica stayed with me for a while." What? He's had a girl living here with him??

"How many girlfriends have you had?" Gillian has to ask, even giving a laugh, before she shakes her head. "I don't need a place to stay right now, and I'm avoiding this apartment." She's still missing! "But thanks."

"Uhhh!" replies Vic with a grin, choosing not to answer his sister's question about girlfriends. Hey, that answers itself doesn't it? "And I dunno. It was more just saying you can if you like. You don't have to avoid this place. I keep a safe house." He actually cheats quite a bit with picking up carrot bits, snatching up individual pieces in a hurry so that they don't take all day long. "And I didn't want you to think I was shoving you out the door. It's hard enough to get you to come IN my door."

"It's not your apartment I'm avoiding, it's the building," Gillian explains, looking toward the door. "I lived just one floor down. The ass-monkey of a landlord, assuming he hasn't switched with someone, might recognize me. I'm still missing, and in some ways I'd like to stay missing. Can you imagine what they'd try to do with me if I got brought in and registered right now?"

Vic points at the window and raises his eyebrows. "It's always open." he says with a grin.

A glance at the window makes her nod. Gillian could use that, sure. A walk over lets her examine the area, so she knows which window, before she says, "Well, I could certainly fly in, I guess. And fly out for that matter." It makes the exit less worrysome.

"Toldja. I can run up buildings. It's really for me but hey, totally use it." Vic goes to kneel by his bag he's packing to stuff some more clothes in it, which is what he was doing before Gillian and Drama arrived. "Don't think I don't love doing that when they shut the elevators down and only have one running, and everybody in the damned building wants to use it at the same time." Sometimes a guy needs to ge thome.

"I learned to appreciate only needing to go up a couple flights, recently," Gillian admits, pulling her hoodie up and glancing at the packing. "Have fun with Abby down south, okay?" It would appear she plans to be taking her Drama and leaving soon.

Who knows what fun they'll have? Only the Abby knows. Vic turns to watch Gilly and suggests with a grin, "Fly out the window for me? I wanna see that."

"Can do," Gillian says, checking the width of the opening, before streaking through it. Up, up and away! She's moving fairly fast, and disappears into the sky as she goes. Someone would have to be specifically watching his window (and not blinking) to have spotted her.

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