Give Me A Sunset


abby_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Give Me A Sunset
Synopsis Sylar comes for the healer for healing, not stealing. Abigail makes a demand, and Sylar gives a promise.
Date January 7, 2008

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains partially unfinished to this day, despite its construction having begun in 1892 - true to form for buildings of its type. Nonetheless, it is a grand and imposing sight; possessing the characteristic grand arches, pointed spires, and beautiful stained glass windows, including a large and striking Rose window. Where the walls aren't covered with old and meticulously preserved tapestries, they are often ornamented.

Guided tours are offered six days out of the week. Services are open to all. Since the bomb, the main nave is open at all but the latest hours, though the smaller subject-specific chapels close in the evening. The cathedral is also a site for major workshops, speakers, and musical events - most especially the free New Year's Eve concert, which has been held without fail each year since the bomb.

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone - non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

The day is turning to dusk, under Sylar's watch, as he waits outside the Cathedral. It's been quite a long time since he's entered a church and he chooses not to now, for that reason and one of a different nature. Unusually, he has neglected to change into a different shape, his own about as serious as the statues, paintings and pane glass windows that decorate the vast place of worship he doesn't welcome himself into. Not the smartest of moves but whatever this meeting is, it certainly won't be about hiding. He's dressed in his usual black woolen coat, double-breasted and closed against the dry but frosty weather, hands gloved, and spares a glance, now and then, towards the door he's certain to be watching. The sky up above grows dimmer behind its clouds.

She's late. She's usually there sooner. She's missed service. Too busy fetching her scooter, shuffling her things to Niki's place, shopping with the older woman. The scooter putt putt's right past Sylar in a shimmery pea green blur. An old Vespa, with a smattering of gold letters on the side. One could swear it says "lazarus" But there's that golden hair beneath a blue toque, a blue scooter jacket lined for winter. The sling is absent. The little red brake light blinks into being as she stops, and turns, making to park the espa in with the other cars that populate the parking lot. She parks, turns it off, doing everything to secure her transportation and grab her purse from the storage in the back of it before she starts to scurry for the street, headed for the front of the church.

He could stop her with a thought, trip her up with telekinesis, or a whole other plethora of ways outside normal human capability to get her to stop. Sylar breathes out a sigh of visible steam before his boots crunch against snow and ring against cement as he trails after her. To be fair, a reasonably tall man pushing 30 and wearing a long black coat walking with briskness towards a girl isn't the most unthreatening thing in the world, but it's the best Sylar can come up with. A hand, clad in a finger grey woolen gloves, comes out to grip her arm from behind, just above the elbow, right before they can enter the Cathedral. "Abby." Fresh bruises are visible on his face, notably the right side of his jaw, and a stitched gaze high at his temple. He's obviously been through some kind of meat grinder since Eileen's healing.

He can hear her heart jump, a flip flop at hearing that particular voice. The slide of her hair against the fabric of her jacket as she looks back to who grabbed her arm. Even in the rising darkness, there's her blue eyes locking onto his brown one. "I told you all. Church is Sacred. Please don't, not in a house of God. Or on his steps. It's.." She wants to say blasphemous. "The week isn't up yet" It's all spoken, carefully, trying to hide the fear that sends her heart hammering, and her body tightly strung. Her gaze doesn't leave his though and she doesn't make a move for a phone. She couldn't summon help in time. She could scream, she could scream really loud before he could kill her. But she doesn't, not yet.

The hand clasping onto her arm readily lets go when she sees him. Sylar casts a glance towards the building they're almost approaching, before meeting her wide-eyed gaze. "I know," he says, simply, listening to the rising fear in her heart. "And so you're not going to die. Not today." He backs up a step— well down, away from the door.

It doesn't slow her hearts pace, his letting go and stepping back, nor does she take her eyes off him yet. "Some day. Some day you'll take it. I'm sure of it. Now that I'm on your… radar. Who wouldn't. I only hope your worthy of it Sylar" But it's not going to be today it seems. "If you didn't come to take it, why'd you come?" The bruises, the slice on his head all stitched up. "You came for me to heal you, didn't you?"

While Abby's heart races, Sylar himself seems to be dealing with his own brand of tension. He says nothing of her inevitable death at his hands, or of whether or not he's worthy. It's not a conversation completely fit for this time or place, or really the woman standing in front of him. The question she asks is one he can answer, however. "Yes," he responds, simply.

"If I don't?" The question has to be asked. It hangs there in the air between them the moment she speaks it. She's not waiting on baited breath though. She won't wait on baited breath for that answer. She knows it, she thinks.

He expels an irritated sigh, visible in steam as it hits frosty air and temperature, turning his head to spare a glance around their surroundings, hands sliding into the pockets of his coat. Beneath the fabric, cracked ribs twinge uncomfortably. Sylar knows the answer she's expecting and it's the answer he's expecting too. Instead, he says, "Like you said. You have a week. But I need this today."

"Need, or want?" She sucks her lips in, pressing them together, running her tongue along her lips. "I can't believe that i'm put in this position. And they call me judgemental and righteous" A gloved hand reaches up to rub her face. "It'll cost you"

"Need," Sylar readily confirms, and then tilts his head to the side at this last part, for a moment slightly stunned that she'd have the audacity to suggest that, despite his claim that he'd respect the pact she had made. There's a silence as he slowly pulls together his patience, glancing down at the cold stone steps they're standing on, and then back up at the blonde healer. "What will it cost me?"

"I want a quiet peaceful death. When you come for it. Promise me that" That's what she has the audacity to ask for. "I don't want to go screaming. I'm tired of screaming. I want to see the sunset when I die, and I want quiet, and I want painless. I deserve as much" There's something to be said, for choosing your death.

A soft, quickly aborted chuckle is Sylar's first answer, looking away from the woman when she sets out her terms, as if awaiting the punchline though it never comes. More silence, before Sylar finally looks at her, and shrugs his shoulders. Careful apathy. "I can take away pain," he says. "It's one of my abilities. I can do that if that's what you want."

"It's not funny. Death isn't funny." When she hears the halted laugh. "Promise me it, say it here, on the steps of this place" Because saying it, on the steps to a church gives some solidity to it, some measure of moral obligation. Not that… sylar might have morals. That's always questionable really. "A quiet kind death, painless, and I'll get to see a sunset before you do it" It may mean nothing to him, but it means something, to her. "It's in your power to give it, when it's my time to pass. And see that I'm not made a spectacle of and on the morning news" She takes the step down though, from the church and sits. "Come sit" Offered in a kind voice to the serial killer before she starts using her teeth to loosen her fingers in her gloves and start to pull them off.

Sylar pauses before following suit, sitting next to her, a sharp intake of breath as ribs protest with twinges, and removing his own gloves. "Fine," he says, voice low and tone unreadable. "Painless." Though the corner of his mouth turns up in a grim smile, he doesn't laugh again. Sunset. "Most people negotiate for their lives," he says. "They throw friends, ethics under the bus for the sake of their existence. You're asking me how I should kill you. If that's the promise you want me to make then I can do that."

"If you haven't figured it out, i'm not most people. I've.. gotten a tongue lashing and worse from some people for even setting foot wherever you brought me, to take care of Eileen. I could ask you for another week, I could ask you to spare those I know in phoenix, or in SCOUT. But i've learned that not everyone appreciates it when I include them in my requests" Some bitterness there. "I don't take money, so what else can I ask for? How's Eileen?" She pulls off the other gloves, plucking at the cloth digits with her bare hand. Thankfully it seems there's no one coming or going yet to be witness to the miracle that's going to occur. Just the way she likes it.

"Eileen is fine," Sylar says, apparently not interested in rushing Abby, even if the discomfort of talking to her now is obvious in his stiff-backed posture, although that could just be him, or even his injuries. "She talked to your people today. Perhaps you won't regret this when you do the same." He glances sidelong at her, and then asks, "What are you going to pray?"

"They're not my people" Comes quietly. "I come, when they call. Same as I do for everyone. Our principles don't mesh. They expected me to restrain myself from healing everyone that god placed before me. After I healed Ethan. I couldn't, I can't. So I left" Not a drop of pity or regret. "I'm.. a rogue faith healer, doing my little bit to make the world a little less painful for people. as for what i'll pray" She looks over, slipping her hands into his, her hands warm despite the cool air since she hasn't been ungloved long. Her blue eyes search his. "Is there a request?"

"They're your friends. Some of them are," Sylar says, opens his mouth to say more, then decides against it and shakes his head. "Doesn't matter." He glances down at her hand on his and clasps it back absent-mindedly, his hand lending warmth as well. When she asks for a request, the killer is only silent, then shakes his head once. Another glance about the setting, as if wary of being watched, but it's also an easier alternative to making eye contact.

"Some are friends. But they are not my people. I'm learning that slowly. The rest, are like you. In a way. Using me. But i'm used to that and I accept that" But he has no requests, poor Sylar and through this all, her heart's gone from rabbit speed, to normal. "Your not trying to off me. He won't attack you if he shows up" as if possibly reading his mind. She quiets then, one hand detaching from his to unleash the little gold cross around her neck and close one hand around it. "Watch thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend thy sick ones, Lord Christ. Rest thy weary ones. Bless thy dying ones. Soothe thy suffering ones. Pity thine afflicted ones. Shield thy joyous ones. And all, for thy love's sake. Amen." Through it all, there's nothing, no reprieve for Sylar's wounds. Till she's at the end, and then it flares, a spreading warmth, that tingle that's familiar to him. God gives his permission, or to those who don't believe, Abby's unconsciousness.

Sylar shuts his eyes halfway through Abby's prayer, as if content to do so only then. When the warmth comes, his hand tightens, briefly, in Abby's hand before relaxing completely. Bone starts to knit back together the way it should, and the dark bruises on his face begin to fade, even if they don't quite make it. "I don't think," he says, with a brief, breathless chuckle, "I'd understand your power even if… even when I take it. Does God act for you or those He heals?"

"Jesus walked upon the land, and healed those who he came across. Regardless of faith, belief in him, or in themselves, in something else. A test of faith my parents called it, his own faith. Of my own faith. Maybe it's my faith he rewards? Maybe it's another's? I don't question it. I just.. do it, if he allows it" Her voice is quiet and her eyes closed. "I'm going to touch your forehead, is that okay?" Not making a move till he gives assent, her eyes still closed. 'When you take it, you'll know how. He wouldn't let you take it otherwise"

"If He listens at all," Sylar says, and it doesn't sound bitter, exactly. And otherwise, he doesn't question Abby's interpretation of her own ability. If anyone in the world could testify as to the biological, evolved aspects of these powers, it's Sylar. But he doesn't argue, perhaps he doesn't have an argument at all. "Yes," he says, answering her question.

"He listens. Sometimes, he doesn't answer. Because we find the answer in ourselves" She lets the little cross go, gingerly, carefully laying her palm on the fide of his face, fingertips resting on the stitching on his forehead. INstead of talking though, she sings again, like with Eileen. A small surge in the warmth and all, as she kicks it up a notch. "In the sweet light Of the valley, when the sun falls Upon the pine, I shall lay down all of my troubles, and I lift up, this heart of mine. Take me home, Lord, oh take me home. O'er the hillside, and o'er the sea, to the soft grass of the valley, Where your grace Shall set me free." To anyone who passes, it's not that strange a sight. They're sitting, holding a hand, she's touching his forehead. Her voice singing quietly, softly between the two of them and barely heard. "Through the shadow Of the darkness, through the storms that lead me astray. I shall travel forever knowing, In your light, I will always stay. Take me home, Lord, oh take me home. O'er the hillside, and o'er the sea, to the soft grass of the valley, where your grace Shall set me free"

Somewhat more intimate, in some respects, than their first encounter, and Sylar simply keeps still, shuts his eyes as well and feels the warmth that seems to slowly close the head injury, eventually striving to make the stitches useless. "You can control it," he murmurs. "How fast it is, how slow." In some ways, that's more than just the greedy killer's talk - he's always been curious. You don't crack open clocks without such a trait.

"I can push it. Too fast, if i'm trying to remove cancer, and it can shock the body, and do more harm. If it's something delicate, I don't push. Slow and steady wins the race. But I can push it, once he grants it. The faster, the more it takes from me, but it fixes things faster. Everything comes with a cost, bearable. But a cost" She smiles. "He gave me a caffeine addiction with it. I should invest in red bull"

Sylar answers with a wordless, rough sound at the back of his throat, a verbal shrug, before he braces his hands against his seat and pushes himself up to stand. The movement comes easier, and he knows a moment of relief. Considering his current lifestyle, such healthiness comes to be appreciated. He glances at her, a moment of indecision as to what to say to someone who is almost a willing— no, not willing… accepting future victim, before he simply tilts his head towards the Cathedral. "Enjoy mass."

She pulls her hands back, a fraction of a second before he moves. She knew before him that it was finished, the man was whole again. "I will. I always do. It brings me comfort. Thank you, for honoring his promise to not take it this week. It doesn't make me like you, but, it's appreciated" She's not standing yet, she's too tired. Low shoulders, the heart beating a little slower, heavier breaths. The weight of his wounds transferred to her body in another form. No red bull in the purse either. "Try not to come around asking for another favor. I don't like seeing people hurt. Even.. You" She huddles in on herself. She'll rest here, a little bit, tucking her chin and cross into the neck of her jacket. The song she sang a few moments again, being sung again, under her breath. Attention not on him anymore.

If Sylar were less soulless, he's rather sure Abby would drive him to drink. As it stands, maybe grabbing a beer on the way home wouldn't be such a bad move. "I won't," Sylar says, shortly, and with that, not even a thank you or perhaps he's too distracted to think of such, he moves down the rest of the steps, black coat flapping against his legs as he moves, head ducked to the cold wind of winter as he moves away from the place of worship.

January 7th: The Hand Untaken
January 7th: Heal The Body, Heal The Soul
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