Filling in the Blanks


eileen_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif

Scene Title Filling in the Blanks
Synopsis Tavisha drops by the clinic to check on Teo, only Teo isn't there.
Date February 28, 2009

Filatov Clinic

As upside down as the Rookery can often be, there are a few inevitable things that remain constant. Such as, the world wakes up in the morning. Tavisha moves down the road at this early hour as around him, signs of life beginning to rise along with the sun, although the sky stays a kind of dark gunmetal grey, all cloud and chilliness. Puddles in the ground communicates the rain that fell the previous night, the scent of water heavy as he moves on by a cafe that is just now beginning to open its windows, the scent of baking desserts adding a sweetness to the air from its immediate vicinity. Not every building along this particular street is criminal. Just most of them.

He detours into the bakery, actually, emerges with a paperbag he holds carefully at his side, crossing the empty street once he's done to move off towards the clinic. The door is closed but upon touching the handle, feeling it give beneath a gentle push, it's not locked. He should probably knock, really, but instead, Tavisha levers the handle down all the way, pushing open the door and peering inside with only a foot inside. He's dressed in no way that would reinvent the wheel for himself, not even for Sylar - his clothes are dark and practical, not incredibly well tailored, his nicer green woolen coat missing. A dark blue scarf is wrapped around his throat and tucked into a black jacket, jeans of a lighter shade, worn down from work and activity, might be different, but otherwise…


Light filters in through Filatov's windows, casting the main room in a subdued glow that doesn't illuminate its every corner like it might on a sunnier day. In spite of the sign outside that dictates the clinics hours and declares it to be open, it appears empty but for the supplies on the shelves, the examination tables dominating the room and the dressing screen in the corner by which Ranger the bulldog is curled up into a ball composed of loose rolls of skin and fat that ripples every time he breathes in and out.

However, as Tavisha knows, appearances can often be deceiving — he doesn't have to stand in the doorway for more than a few moments before Eileen emerges from one of the back rooms, clothed much more modestly than the last time he saw her. Gone is the oversized dress shirt used as a makeshift nightgown in lieu of something feminine. A baggy gray sweater hangs from her slender frame, sleeves rolled all the way up to her elbows so the material doesn't get in the way of her work, and cuts off mid-thigh where a pair of black leggings take over and lead into a pair of simple indoor flats.

She isn't as surprised to find Tavisha on the clinic's doorstep as she was the night he and Colette delivered a half-drowned Teo Laudani, but the guarded expression on her face suggests she wasn't expecting him back again so soon. "He isn't here," she says. He being Dr. Filatov, most likely.

"No," Tavisha agrees. The additional heartbeat of the doctor himself doesn't reach his ears, but this nor the stony expression on the young woman's face is enough to quite push him back out the door. Instead, he draws himself inwards, the door shutting lightly behind him once it's released.

With him, he brings the cool air of the outside world that had eddied in through the door behind him before being cut off again, and the distinct scent of Staten Island harbors - not entirely unpleasant, beachy and ozone-like - and cigarette smoke. And of course his purchase, the paperbag hanging heavy in his hand as Tavisha lets himself in a few more feet, setting the offer down on the nearest flat surface.

"Breakfast," is the offer, backing up once again and hands finding his pockets. "I just came to… I wanted to know if Teo's alright."

"If by 'alright' you mean 'up and moving under his own power', then yes. Teo's fine." Eileen glances at the bag, curiosity lending her gray-green eyes luster and a certain sort of clarity that wasn't there before, though she's careful to keep her features otherwise cool and distant. "I wish I could say the same for Constantine's mood, but he's been stomping around like there's a raincloud hovering over his head ever since you left."

She moves across to the bag, saying nothing more that might shed further light on the subject, and uses her fingers to pull apart its lip so she can peer inside. What's breakfast?

A flimsy white box, apparently, but the lid is parted just enough to show a slice of the pastry inside, which radiates warmth from being freshly cooked, first sold slice of the day. Further prying will show off the rhubarb strudel nestled inside - not as sweet as the apple variety, the pastry flaky and warm and devoid of icing sugar.

"Ah," Tavisha says, on the news he gets of Teo's health, and the doctor's demeanor since that night. Where smoky, ashy shadows had broiled in the corners of the room, now is only the usual angles of shadow shying away from hazy morning light struggling inwards, still dim. "If you could tell him I didn't mean to do what I did, I'd appreciate it. And that I didn't mean to ignore him, just— he should know, though, I won't have any answers."

Okaybye. Something about being here makes Tavisha want to leap back out the window, despite the defiance of his presence. He opens his mouth to make sounds of goodbye but doesn't quite make it, though he does take a step back.

There's something about the sight of the pastry peeking out from beneath the lid of the box that, despite her best efforts, brings a smile to Eileen's lips. Either the source of mirth has its roots in baked goods, or she can't help but feel warmed by the gesture, familiar as it is. They've both been here before — the only difference is that this time their roles have been reversed, and it isn't key lime pie being put out on the table as an unspoken peace offering. It's rhubarb strudel.

"You don't have any answers," she agrees as she removes the box from the bag and hauls herself up to take a seat on the edge of one of the examination tables, legs dangling over the side. "But there are other people who do. Did you want to know?"

Step back, rock forward. The smile helps, as unwilling as it is. He seems off-balance for a few seconds, both physically and by the fact she isn't encouraging his offer to leave, before planting his feet a little more firmly against the ground and moving inside further, towards the second examination table in the room. This, Tavisha invites himself to sit down upon, hands bracing against the edge as he sits down, long legs meaning he doesn't really have to dangle his feet to achieve this, toes of his boots touching the scuffed wooden floors.

"I could always use answers," Tavisha says, not really looking at her - focused, it seems, on a spot on the opposite wall past her right shoulder. "Or— people with answers," he allows, meeting her eyes for a moment.

When Tavisha meets Eileen's gaze, she holds it for as long as he'll allow, dark lashes veiling whatever intentions are hidden behind them. She rests the box in her lap, though it's the man sitting across from her who commands her attention, might as her protesting stomach might wish otherwise. Not for the first time, she observes and silently dissects the physical distinctions that distinguish Tavisha from Sylar. He holds himself differently, no longer poised with the confident but cautious air of an experienced predator — Tavisha seems somehow younger, hesitant and almost timid like a wild animal not yet comfortable in its skin.

"You could have killed everyone in the clinic the other night," she says, adopting a more solemn tone reminiscent of the manner in which she addressed him when he first arrived. "If you hadn't gotten control of it. The man you turned to ashes at the Pancratium— it's the same thing."

Well she doesn't pull punches. Which is probably a good thing, and Tavisha knows this much, anyway, even if he didn't put words to it. "I didn't exactly control it," he admits to her, head tilting a little and gaze sliding away from her's. "I just— did something else and it stopped. But I felt it. I was taking from all of you, putting it into Teo." Back to her, agreement in his voice when he acknowledges, "Like the man I turned to ashes healed me. I didn't mean to do that either." Probably important that friends-of-Teo realise he isn't the killer he was. Perhaps— it would help. Or something.

A shoulder shrugs, a casual movement followed by him linking in his hands in his lap, nodding towards the box in her's. "You can eat," Tavisha adds. "I don't mind."

Eileen flips open the box and, without a fork, finds herself tearing off a corner from the pastry with her fingers. "I know you didn't," she says quietly as she lowers her gaze, not out of any aversion to his face, but because she has a harder time formulating her thoughts when she's looking at him. "But the man you used to be would have. He was good at killing."

So good, in fact, that Kazimir Volken recruited him to his cause, though Eileen doesn't know how to broach that particular subject, or even if she should. She pops the pastry into her mouth, savoring its unique taste and texture as she contemplates where to take this conversation next.

When she does part her lips again, it's just enough to breathe out a sigh, one hand raised and wiping a smudge of blood red filling from the corner of her mouth with the inside of her bare wrist. "The truth is, Tavisha — my people used you for what you could do without any real regard for your personal feelings. You were tool, and I played a willing part in making you that way. I'm not— I'm not the person you think I am."

There's a lot of the story Tavisha doesn't know, and these bits and pieces, hints, they tell him very little, all things considered. Or so one would think, if one knows the whole story, but the myriad of possibility and implication seems vast to someone with so little amount of memory to refer to. He keeps expressions off his face as best he can, although unable not to frown a little at the notion of being good at killing. He's pretty sure that Jack, for one, would disagree with this - in comparison to the cutthroats on this island, Tavisha's a puppy.

Eileen falls under his scrutiny, because it's simply easier to focus on her than inwards, again, some more. There's a short bit of silence, interrupted by a car rumbling rustily down the road outside, until he then smiles a little, shakes his head.

"You don't know what I think," he counters. "All I know is that you cared about me, that you knew things about me. And there're reasons Teo thinks it's safer I stay away from you. And it hurts you to be around me now. I don't know much about you, but I think I'm accurate so far."

And he relents, turning his head away, a streak of light from the window dancing brighter against an angle in his face, as the sun rises a little higher. He could do with a shave reasonably soon, whiskey stubble lining the slope of his jaw and throat. "But you don't have to fill in the blanks if you don't want to. I just don't want to— accidentally— " A sigh through his nose, and he looks back at her. "Is it this power? That makes me want to kill?" He hasn't felt it, but he has to check.

"No." This is one thing, at least, that Eileen can say with almost complete certainty. "The man who gifted it to you didn't part with his ability until he died, and that was only a few weeks ago. On the Narrows. You'd been a murderer for much longer than that." Just how long is something Eileen doesn't know — she couldn't share that information with him even if she wanted to.

Her appetite quelled, at least for the time being, she closes the box and sets it aside for later, touching the tips of her fingers together and testing them for stickiness. "It does hurt," she concedes, "and Teo's right. Around me isn't a good place to be, which is why you need to stay close to Gillian. She won't let anything like this happen again."

"But unlike Teo," Tavisha insists, again shaking his head and narrowing his eyes at her, "you don't really think it's do with our mutual safety. Because we were involved in some shit that we shouldn't have been, that might lead people to us, to hurt either one of us. But you just— I don't know, actually. If we were friends," and he will never truly understand how laughable a concept like this is, "then I… don't get it. I guess. You think you're bad for me. Or the other way around."

Considering pause, a searching look renewed. "Unless this is a new start for you too."

"Everyone I've ever had feelings for is either dead, missing, or doesn't remember who I am. I don't have much of a choice but to make a fresh start." Eileen's mouth adopts a rueful curve and she shakes her head, sending ripples through long curls of dark hair that have taken on brown highlights in the daylight. "You were never bad for me, Tavisha. If it hadn't been for you, I don't think I'd ever have found the strength."

The strength to reexamine her loyalties.

The strength to turn against Kazimir.

The strength to leave the Vanguard.

As much as Eileen is aching to tell Tavisha all of this, she knows it wouldn't mean anything to a man who doesn't even know who he is, never mind what she used to be when they first met. "It's my fault," she says finally, "that you can't remember anything." And in a way, at least in her eyes, it is. "It's my fault you were on the bridge when it collapsed. It's my fault he used you the way he did. If I'd stayed with you then instead of standing on the sidelines, then we wouldn't be here right now. This shouldn't be hard for you to accept."

"Maybe," Tavisha agrees, studying now the wood grain in the floor, shoulders curled inwards in a shape of poor posture, hands still grasping the edge of the table. "And I won't know unless I get my memories back. I'm kind of tired of taking everyone's word for it, though." But he will this time. He can't shake her into saying or doing anything else.

His feet make scuffing, thudding sounds as he gets off the table, stands up at his full height. Why had he come here? Because of Teo. So much to wade through, though. Tavisha shakes his head. "What I did— to all of you, to Teo— did it help him?"

"I think so. His recovery's exceeded our expectations so far, and unless he relapses…" Eileen trails off, a doubtful note entering her voice. The chances of Teo getting worse again before he gets better apparently aren't that high. "For what it's worth," she adds, looking down at the floor where a few errant droplets of blood still remain, ugly splotches of red on dusty hardwood, "I've never seen it used that way before. Giving life to others instead of taking it, I mean."

Her knuckles absently brush the bandage on her cheek and Eileen closes her eyes. She doubts Kazimir knew the full extent of what he was capable — or if he did, it was a secret she imagines he hoped he'd take to his grave. "You should see him."

"I have to go," Tavisha says by way of answer, shaking his head with some apology. "But I might be back later. Soon. If he's still around, I will. Maybe you could tell him— " Pause, considering what, exactly, he wants Eileen to tell Teo without it sounding foolish. "— that I stopped by, I guess." Selfish want for the man to know that Tavisha had a hand in saving him, perhaps. That he paid back some of his debt, that later, vague wish for Tavisha's assistance in the future coming good a little.

Also, serial killers don't help people typically. And he used a killing power in a good way. Well, a sort of good way. A well intentioned way. Not that he'll risk repeating the show anytime soon. His eyes dart from her eyes, to the bandages, then away as he makes for the door. "Take care of yourself, Eileen."

Eileen raises her hand, showing him the pale skin of her palm by way of farewell. Watching Tavisha — Sylar — hasn't gotten any easier since the last time, or the time before that, but she's found it hurts a little less with every repetition. While he hasn't yet found the happiness she envisions for him, he's making solid progress in forging something new out of something broken.

Not all that surprising — for a former timepiece repairman.

February 27th: In The Shadow Of Angels
February 28th: Good Cop, Hot Cop
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