Forgive, But Never Forget


gillian2_icon.gif stef_icon.gif

Scene Title Forgive, But Never Forget
Synopsis A woman split in two sees a sunrise neither of them were supposed to see.
Date November 01, 2009

Municipal Lot 336

This large and free parking lot located in the heart of the Bronx was once the site of the Primatech Paper Company Research and Development building. Destroyed by an explosion in 2009, the buildings remains were bulldozed to the ground and the land paved over, creating a much-needed area of free parking for northern Manhattan. The spacious lot is surrounded by redbrick buildings, with a used car dealership across the street.

Curfews can be strict, but they usually lift at dawn. Even then the police probably had their hands full with Halloween, especially since it'd been a fairly nice night after the slight rain stopped in many areas of the city. Halloween often brings out the crazies, usually in teenager variety. The sun's begun to rise, peeking under the cloud cover in areas of the Bronx. There's no buildings in a close stretch, cause the public parking lot. Open all day, every day. Lots of fat space, with few buildings to block the light of the sun as it dips under the cloud cover for the few minutes. The sunlight shines into the windshield of the old rusted white Dodge Spirit, conveying a unique sight… as light rain still splatters down on the glass.

A hand raps lightly on the passenger side window. Gillian looks away from her day dreaming as she watches the rain, and into a face that could nearly be a mirror, if she wasn't darker of hair and fairly pale. The hooded raincoat doesn't cover that much. Leaning across the seat, she unlocks the door, and it opens, a heavy damp plop dropping into the old leather.

"Think we'll get a rainbow as a late birthday present?" Stef asks, a smile on her pale face. The rain probably didn't help with that, even if it could be considered a fairly descent early morning, for November the first.

"Doubt it. Maybe a 'look, you made it to November after all. Fuck Prophecy' reward," Gillian says, grinning a bit as she stays leaned close to open up the glove box. There's one thing that could easily get her in trouble in there, if it weren't closed and small enough that it wouldn't be a complete waste if they had to dump it out the window and leave it there. That or likely take a cab. "Think we earned a drink."

"Schnapps," Stef says with a snicker, picking up the tiny bottle of flavored schnapps, in the smallest size that any store would possibly sell. "Strawberry schnapps," she repeats in the rougher version of the raspy voice that they share. "One of our favorites. Got any pineapple juice? We can enjoy a Burning Sun." After a simple gesture to the glove compartment, there's a happy sound as she reaches in and pulls out two six ounce bottles of water, partially refilled with pineapple juice.

"Good to have someone who likes the exact same fucking things you do." Looking back out into the sunrise, Gillian can hear the prepping of the drinks. The rest of the water bottle gets splashed with a deep red and fruity smelling liquid, that sits on top of the yellow stuff. No ice, no high ball glass, but same basic effect. "Enjoying it while we watch the sunset I thought I wouldn't see— the same one I thought you wouldn't see instead."

One of the bottles gets shoved in front of the woman behind the steering wheel, parked and turned off or not, and Stef leans back in the seat and looks out as well. "I'm not done yet. That's the only reason I'm seeing it. Holding out til— til I can make sure White gets a taste of his own medicine." With that said, she drinks.

The movement is mirrored exactly across the street. Both women smile, dimpling slight as they look back out.

"So what the fuck is this place anyway?" Stef asks after she lets the drink settle down toward her stomach. The moments on her taste buds had been the best part.

The mirrored smile fades as Gillian's eyes slide shut, leaning back against the worn headrest. "It's a parking lot. Built over a building that got torn down. A building that used to belong to the Company. Research, I guess, Company stuff. I don't know all the details, I just… twenty-three years and a couple days ago… this is where we were born."

Stef's eyebrow raises, but she awaits the remainder of the explanation she knows is coming. The woman she used to be— the one she still technically is— had always been known for details, explanations when it was most important.

"I found out about our parents," Gillian starts, beginning the long explanation of her meeting with a woman running for mayor. One of the few living people she knew she could talk to about their parents and their situation.

Someone who answered her questions.

By the time the explanation finishes, the sun's already risen high enough it's disappeared in a haze. The six ounce bottles of pineapple and schnapps have both been emptied, tossed into a trash bag in the back. The small bottle of schnapps gets passed back and forth between them, to finish it off. One sip at a time. Though the one who isn't doing most the talking partakes in it a bit more.

"It's been over a year since we went missing," Stef says, after finishing another sip, that could nearly qualify as more. The small bottle gets passed and taken. "It happened just before our birthday. I wonder if our birthday is really in a different date— we've time traveled twice, you know. There was that jump into the past where we relived most of a day, and then the jump into the future. A week, I think. I wonder if that makes our real birthday like… November 4th, or something. Maybe that's why I get to live long enough."

"You get to live an extra six or so days cause we made a fucking mistake that got us flung to Antarctica?" From the snort, Gillian isn't quite on the same wave length. Instead she drinks from the bottle.

"If I did, I'm not going to complain. A couple more days is a couple more days," Stef says, before reaching across to snipe it back. She gives it a shake, holds it up to what light makes it through the clouds to them. "Never did get our rainbow, did we— fucking pathetic." Even then, she downs a good portion of what's left.

"Today was the day we first really saw him," Gillian says, not taking the drink back, instead choosing to put her hands together in her lap. "The one that didn't get shot in the head later on… the one that survived to take… to take on part of the other one."

"The one we tried to kill. The one who tried to kill us."

"The one we got nearly killed…" The tone of her voice drops, eyes sliding down, nearly shutting, until a harsh strawberry smell gets shoved under her nose.

"He didn't die." Stef says, not pulling her hand back, and in fact lowering the shared bottle until it touches the woman she was technically born out of's hand. After a moment, her hand moves, pushing the bottle into her fingers. "Drink already. It sounds like you need it. Stop being one of those emo drunks."

There's a snort sound, an exhale that could almost be a laugh, as she lifts the drink up. Once the sweet red drink has washed past her lips, over her taste buds, and down her throat, she finally responds to the first part, "I wonder if he'd rather be dead than become what he did."

"So who are we blaming? The guy who fucking shot him in the back like a god damn coward, the same fuck-face who tried to have that electric guy kill us in an alley? Or the guy who brought him back from the dead?" There's no immediate answer. Stef didn't expect one, honestly. The problem with knowing yourself… is when someone else happens to be you. Mostly. "You want to blame me. You want to blame you. Fine. You're to blame. You're the reason that everything happened. That Gabriel got possessed, that Peter got possessed, that Edward did the fucking time traveling bull shit, the Moab escapees are on us— White, Shard, all of them— you want to blame Arthur on us too? Cause we probably could… At least we know we didn't cause Midtown. We weren't anywhere near the epicenter and the power you got cursed with doesn't stretch that far, thankfully."

Again, Gillian's eyes slide shut. She forgets to pass the drink over, keeping it in her hands, but half expecting it'll be stolen. The silence stretches out for a few quiet moments. Until suddenly something breaks it. A smack against the back of her head.

"Ow— fuck."

"Be glad it wasn't your fucking face this time," Stef says with a grin, glancing across to examine the nose, which has mostly healed a fist first rammed into it. Only the slightest sign of where skin was broken can be seen, easily concealed with make up, if she'd bothered. The silence returns for a moment, before her expression becomes more serious. A hand reaches to take the bottle away, pulling it back towards her own lips. She doesn't drink right away.

"I forgive you."

Three simple words, and then she can sip to them.

From the pause, perhaps the words didn't process very well. Hazel eyes flash over, meeting hazel eyes. There's finally more movement in the parking lot. People who'd parked over night beginning to linger in, to take their cars to their jobs, or back home. But they don't even get a second glance. "What?" Gillian says, as words fail to form beyond that. Her mouth opens, but the words don't make it out— beyond that.

"I. Forgive. You." It's said in the same tone one would use with a child, or someone who doesn't quite understand English. "I know you can hear— do you need it in a card? Or written down in a journal?"

The dirty look shot her way could be considered worth the comment, because Stef just smiles, until dimples show up on pale face. All the talking hasn't improved her voice, but it's keeping her in some kind of higher spirits.

"Listen. You blame yourself. I'm you. I'm the one who's probably got a week or so to live— so I'm going to fucking say what I said to the mirror the morning after our birthday. I forgive you. For everything we did, both before we split and after. For fucking things up that we shouldn't have fucked up. For being genetically fucked with. For being the one who keeps surviving."

There's that silence again, but a lighter voice speaks up, less hoarse and less raspy. "For letting the people who love us down. For not being strong enough. For not protecting them. For not… realizing how much they loved us. What they did to protect us." Gillian has a lot to want forgiveness for, but… Maybe she needed to get forgiveness from herself first.

"There's a couple mirrors," Stef says, reaching over to poke at the rear view. It's dusty and unwashed, but clearner then the side mirrors, which also have a couple cracks. Unlikely the junker would pass inspection at this point, but there's a lot of crappy cars being driven around. The times have changed. "You need to say it to yourself. I may sorta count, but— you're the one who gotta live with everything. The one who never gets the chance to just… be done. To forget. I'm dying. For the final fucking time. Makes things a little easier."

Pulling up the bottle of schnapps, Gillian makes note of the remaining drink. It's not much, enough for maybe one more deep one, or two good sized sips. "You know most of what I've done that needs forgiving— And if you can forgive me— yourself…" She pauses, trailing off for a moment, before she takes a sip, and then hands it back across. "I can forgive us too."

"Forgive, but never forget. That's the point of those journals, isn't it." Stef states, knowing the point, even if they'd been apart through the writing of the last few months worth of memories. Ever since the battle at Pinehearst and the fall of Arthur Petrelli. "I gave mine to…" she trails off, realizing something that hasn't exactly been spoken of much since it happened. The best birthday present ever. "I gave them to Aaron." The last drops of schnapps are finished off, and the bottle is put down between them.

"You know I totally fucked him, don't you?"

There's no direct answer, but the sudden sting of the back of a hand across the face might be enough. Not as stinging as the punch. No blood falling from a broken nose. Just a red burn that shows up, and the sudden coughing that follows. "Okay— I fucking deserved that," the clone that had been meant to be temporary murmurs, a hand covering her mouth and then sliding to the reddened cheek.

The hard back of a hand also carries a burning redness, one that will take almost equal time to fade. A better direction and the momentum could have caused more damage. "You're still forgiven. But you did fucking deserve that. Another thing I get to live with when you don't have to."

The sprinkles on the windshield have settled. The sun barely shines through overcast clouds, still low in the sky. But neither of the girls leave for quite some time. There are still things that need to be said.

But at least it doesn't come to blows for the rest of the stay. In the place they were born. In the place they weren't supposed to live to see today.

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