cardinal2_icon.gif gillian3_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif peter_icon.gif veronica2_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

dahlia_icon.gif ross_icon.gif

Scene Title Heavy
Synopsis Gravity. Words. Burdens. Backpacks.
Date November 29, 2009

Somewhere in Cerro de Hierro Negro


Ross isn't exactly happy right now.

About a half mile away from the destroyed base camp, he's done little but scowl at his feet and jerk his focus to even the slightest noise that erupts from anywhere in the dense jungle. The group that had both been the attacker of and rescuers of Team Alpha are a diverse lot, and every part of that seems to make Agent Ross uncomfortable. Saddled with a responsibility that is gradually becoming more and more difficult to fulfill, the Company Agent finds himself shoulder-to-shoulder with the indigenous rebels of the Argentinian wild.

Further back from where Ross is traveling, some of the branded rebels keep watch on the shadowed jungle floor. At their heart, the raven-haired woman that was their spokesperson, the woman Peter had called Dahlia. How the two know each other has gone unspoken, and neither have shared a word with the other since the encounter. The tension between them both seems palpable.

Perhaps that's why Peter has taken to bringing up the rear of the group. With his commandeered M16 slung over one shoulder against his backpack, he seems content to stay as far away from Dahlia and Ross as possible. When the group comes to a slower pace, then eventually stops, it's the sound of rushing water that seems to indicate the reason for their halt. Having emerged through a clearing of trees, the picturesque sight of water cascading down from a high mountain falls in the waxing moonlight makes the violence of the day seem a little more manageable.

At the fore of the group, Dahlia and Ross seem to have come to a consensus to stop here for the break, using the shelter of the jagged cliffs and cascading waterfall to make the group's presence. Some of Dahlia's men disappear like ghosts into the jungle, while she moves to the waterside and Ross paces back and forth with one hand holding the side of his head.

Silhouetted against the moon, a single cloud threatens the pale silvery light before passing onward, returning the moon's reflection to the rippling waters of the pool that the falls empty out to. It seems, finally, team Alpha has a moment to catch their breath.

For what good it will do them.

Walking near Gillian, as if to keep an eye on her and protect her if she needs to, Veronica asks questions about the landscape and other tidbits of information in Spanish from their strange group of guides, though she keeps the conversation "light" for now — she doesn't want to upset them by asking anything too uncomfortable, as the peace between the two groups seems tenuous at best. When the group slows, Veronica unclips her canteen and moves toward the rushing water to refill. The water is icy cold and sweetly refreshing as only fresh mountain water can be. She returns to Gillian to hand her the dripping wet canteen. "Drink a bit. How's the pain? I have some Tylenol in my pack; anything heavier should wait til we're off the trail."

'Join the Army', the posters all said. 'See the world', they said, conveniently leaving out the fact that the parts of the world likely to be seen are the miserable, horrible parts, filled with unpleasant terrain and people, animals, and insects that want to kill you and sometimes eat you. That's why Cardinal never listened to them, back in the day when they finally kicked his teenaged ass out of the orphanage.

And yet, here he is anyway. Clearly, something went terribly wrong in his life somewhere.

As they settle in for the break, Cardinal emerges from the shadows into physical form once more, settling down upon a moss-greened rock with a weary sigh dropping his shoulders a bit. The heavy backpack he's wearing is unslung into his lap, and he starts to dig through it, coming up with a powerbar that he unwraps with his teeth before eagerly sinking those same teeth into it. Chew, chew, chew, his gaze flickering up over the edge of his shades to look out and over the gathering, noting everyone as they move about.

"I'm fine, Vee," Gillian says softly, looking back the way they came for a few moments, before raising one of her feet up and putting her hand on her ankle. "Except for my feet. Where's fucking cabs when you need them, you know?" she mutters under her breath, straightening. There's almost no pain, really, except from her feet. Her clothes could use some work, but all her possessions are back in New York, either left behind at Peyton's, or in the Lighthouse.

Eyes shift in another direction, to look at the man who made almost all of her pain go away, then she looks back. "Seriously, I'm a lot better off than the rest of the people in the camp. They did this… I dunno. Gas attack I guess. I wasn't close enough." She shakes her head a moment and leans closer to Veronica.

To whisper a secret she doesn't want the men to hear, "Alive cause I had to fucking pee. Go figure."

"Peter." Magnes casually calls over as he steps on to the pool of water, walking calmly on top of it before standing near the edge of land. "Could you help me with something?" He's holding his hand out, so apparently he wants the man to join him on the water, gently rocking on its surface with the waves as if he were standing in a small boat. "From what I read, you should know a lot about this."

It's only by merit of his name being called out that Peter looks up to Magnes, spotting him walking on the water. Furrowing his brows, he looks from the young man towards where Dahlia is filling her canteen, then to the treeline and back again. The disapproving stare Peter gives is for the first time not echoed by Ross, since the Company agent is filling his time with wringing his hands and cursing his job while deciding on what part of the jungle won't kill him to take a piss in.

"Excuse me?" Peter's blue eyes flit down to the hand questioningly. He doesn't so much as make a motion to accept the offer, but he does walk to the edge of the water and give Magnes a more clear look. "I'm not really sure that's a good idea, for a lot of reasons…" He doesn't seem to quite understand.

"Well, I thank your bladder for having good timing, then. I'm so glad you're …" okay seems too generous a term, but alive is a bit too real. "Here," Veronica settles on, pulling out another protein bar and handing it to Gillian.

"Look — I just want you to know that I didn't know anything about them volunteering you or him or anything like that," she adds earnestly, giving a nod toward Magnes, knowing he too was not exactly a volunteer. She gives a shake of her head as she sees him walking on the water. "If I'd known they were going to nab you for this mission… shit, I can't believe they're doing something like this, something as serious as this with people that didn't sign up." Her eyes flicker over to Cardinal emerging from the shadows and she gives him a nod of acknowledgement. "Doing okay, there, Shade?"

Cardinal's gaze lands upon the young man standing upon the water, frankly dubious in its set as he finishes chewing on the bite of power-bar he'd taken and swallowing it. After a moment, he pushes himself up to his feet, brushing bits of moss off his ass. "He's not an empath anymore, Varlane, if you're hoping he could help you come up with 'cool gravity tricks' or something," he calls over in rather dry tones, before meandering at an unhurried stroll over towards Gillian and Veronica, the shades coming off as he walks. Once he's closer, he offers them both a faint smile, coming to a halt not far from the pair before lifting his chin up in a nod to them, "I'm good. How're you two? Didn't realize you knew each other…"

For a moment, Gillian's watching Magnes and Peter, carefully keeping an eye on them, but staying the distance. Where the energy bars are. And the other woman that she knows. There's some times when the comfort of a friend who happens to be female is more… comforting. "Technically I did sign up," she says after a few moments, taking a bite out of the protein bar and hoping that will make the trek easier. It really won't, but— it might. "Well, sort of, at least. Offered me a shot to not spend the rest of my natural life in a jail cell for being too dangerous to live in the world. Not their exact words, but fucking close."

The smile isn't as full as it'd been in the past, but it's there. Forced, perhaps. "We know each other, yeah— in fact I amazing know every single member of your ragtag group. Except baldy. I haven't met him. All the guys who came with me to Argentina were either gased to death or picked off one by one by these… guys. The guys who picked me out and…" She waves a hand at her branded cheek. "I guess they figured out I was Evolved and wanted to leave a message."

Briefly glancing over to Cardinal, Magnes shakes his head before focusing on Peter again. "Well, that's not it actually. Alright, it's something like that, but I more wanted to ask about your experience." He thumbs over at Gillian with the hand that was formerly offered. "When she augments me, I noticed that it's a lot like when I try to manipulate water. I have a seriously hard time manipulating water, it feels like controlling an entirely different part of your body. When she augments me, it's very similar, I'm not controlling the objects or anything, it's like, gravity is this other limb… I was wondering if TK was anything like that? Maybe what you know can help me."

Glancing down at the water, then up at Peter, he adds, "You sure you don't wanna come in?"

Peter's eyes shut, and he's silent for a moment. When his blue eyes open again he's leveled a stare at Cardinal that comes with no words. The languid and half-lidded stare that meets Magnes next seems far more patient than Peter's was. "Gravity manipulation is nothing like telekinesis, Mister Varlane." There's a slow incline of Peter's head as he paces around the edge of the water, reaching to the back pockets of his camouflage pants, removing a pair of leather gloves and carefully pulling them on one by one.

"With Telekinesis, you manipulate an object by means of readjusting its position in the air with a thought. There's no external source, telekinesis is the object. You move things, you do not strike with an unseen force." As Peter talks, he motions and gesticulates in the air. Even those who can't see him can see that he's at least engaged in the conversation of the moment.

"What you do affects the the up and down of an object, and then nature takes its course. Sure, you might be able to lessen the effect of gravity or change its pull, but there is always an up and there is always a down. Precarious moments of hovering like you did the other night… are taxing on you, yes?" One dark brow raises slowly, and Peter gives an experimental look down to the water, then offers out a gloved hand.

"If we're going up, no higher than the falls. We're trying to be subtle, Mister Varlane." There's a hesitant smile and a quirk of Peter's head. "I'll beat you into shape by the time we get out of this jungle, like iron to steel." That may have been a compliment, it's hard to tell.

The company agent listens to Gillian discuss the gassing and shooting of the people she was with. She shakes her head. "Some ultimatum. Jail or go on this kamikaze mission. You might have chosen the wrong door, Gill, but I'll do my best to get you out of here alive. And that's bullshit — too dangerous? You have control of your power, and you're an augmentor — by yourself, you're not dangerous at all. What assholes." Never mind she herself bagged Huruma for a similar "volunteer mission" — Huruma is a murderer, though, and part of Monroe's clan. To Veronica that made it ethical enough.

The agent's dark eyes flicker to Cardinal. "We're friends, yeah," she says. "I actually have some. I know it's hard to believe." There's a wry grin at that.

"That's a Petrelli for you," Cardinal agrees with Veronica in tones too quiet - or so he assumes - to carry to Peter's ears, his head tilting slightly to regard the man near the water for a few moments before returning his dark eyes to the two women, a wry smile tugging up at one corner of his lips, "Sorry. I suspect my boss planned this whole insane thing, too, not that it makes it any better…"

Then he clears his throat, arms folding across his chest as he gives Gillian a look, "And what is this about Refrain, young lady?"

"Not the way they saw it," Gillian says quietly in response to Veronica, looking over at the waterfall and watching Peter and Magnes again. Or is it actually Peter doing the talking? She can't really hear them at the moment, but there's something about the way he stands that doesn't fit the body he's standing in. "I still sometimes lose control. If I'm hurt or something— it has a mind of it's own. But considering some of the damage I've caused, it pretty much is exactly what I thought would happen if they ever found out what I could do and got their hands on me."

The mention of Cardinal's "boss" gets a long look, before she nods. There had been all those strings. Maybe she really was in there, cause here she is. In one of those strokes of 'how the hell did this happen.' There's a sudden pause and she narrows her eyes at Cardinal. "Exactly what are you asking, guy who's not that much fucking older than me?" It comes off as annoyed, but that fades after a moment. "I wasn't using it." That time. "One of the kids who I'm helping watch in the Lighthouse had been sneaking off— one of the older ones, Juniper. She's fifteen, and manipulates scent. Makes things smell nice, mostly. But she… started disappearing and I remembered being a fifteen year old girl and looked through her things and found some syringes of Refrain. Used. So I tracked her down to that place and went to drag her out of there. Almost like your boss had something to do with the timing of the police raid, cause it was too god damn coincidental."

"Well, normally I can't manipulate things without actually touching them. It's not so much taxing as completely overwhelming, like suddenly having giant hands that aren't hands, if that makes any sense. Without Gillian augmenting me, the only thing similar is moving water, or loose dirt or sand, and it always has to be touching the ground." Magnes takes Peter's hand so he can help him on to the water, and releases it soon after. He'll find that he can freely walk on the water, as strange as walking on it may be.

"Let me show you what I mean." They're clearly not going up, or anywhere else, the water is what he wanted to show. And he's not questioning the sudden change of speech, that's pushed to the back of his mind for later. He takes a deep breath like the night before when he lowered the heavy debris, then a tendril of water begins to rise up to about four feet tall, around the width of a baseball. It's very unstable, wobbling and almost barely able to stay up as he concentrates. "I can rise it, but if I start trying to move or turn it or anything, it'll break apart or fly away, sometimes it even gets stuck to me. It's like growing a third arm suddenly and having to quickly figure out how it works."

Watching the water, Peter's brows furrow and his head tilts to the side slightly. "It's not the fault of your ability, its the fault of water. You're expecting it to behave like clay, when it's not going to." Offering a thoughtful noise, Peter looks back to Magnes. "Have you ever seen what fire looks like in a zero gravity environment?" There's an awkward shifting of weight, an uneasy flex of one foot on the surface of the water as Peter tests his balance just a little.

"Without gravity's influence, fire doesn't confirm to common shapes. It is more spherical, round or domed. It flows like water in some instances, depending on the nature of the fuel. The Russians experimented with different states of matter in space in the 1980s; solids, liquids, gasses, to see how gravity effected them."

Motioning with one gloved hand out to the water Peter offers his own interpretation. "You're trying to force water to behave as it does in normal gravity, when it doesn't have that natural influence anymore. It isn't a single object, it isn't a solid. Rain doesn't fall in a perfect glob, it falls in tiny pellets." Looking back to Magnes, Peter quirks one brow. "Try breaking the water up. Don't focus on manipulating the gravity of each individual bead, but rather a whole area. Move the air not the water, and control it like mist, or fog, or rain." Then, with a more wry cast to his expression he adds. "Not that I'm sure that will work either…"

Veronica frowns at Gillian's explanation of how she got arrested. "That definitely sounds a little contrived, especially given the ultimatum they gave you instead of just the usual arraignment and rigamarole." She glances over at the two walking on the water and gives a shake of her head. "This is one strange group. I wonder how the others are faring." She pulls out a protein bar for herself and unwraps it, taking a bite before bringing her gaze over to Cardinal. "Your boss? Who might that be? Because… he has a strange sense of humor, if it's all his working."

The 'offended' eye-narrowing from the amplifier isn't given a moment's consideration, as Cardinal's gaze remains steady on Gillian… and then he nods, just a bit, apparently accepting her explanation. "Alright," he says with a slight shake of his head, "And I think I have the fucking right to be worried about my friends, don't I? Fuck, scared me off the shit when I saw your brother try it the first time…"

A look to Veronica, and a faint smile twitches to his lips. "Completely contrived. S'why it was probably him. And… it's a long story."

Had to mention Brain.

At first she'd been pleased that her friend had been worried, but at the mention of her brother, Gillian looks at Vee for a moment and then… changes the subject! "They arrested me for being Evolved and not having a registration card. This— guy touched me made me— I have no idea what he did to me. Felt like a panic attack. My ability went off and I started glowing," Gillian says with a simple explanation, but trying to fill in more for the storybooks. Not that she expects anyone will know it. "Fuck, if I knew everyone would think I was arrested using Refrain, I would have explained more when they honored my one phone call rule." Being arrested in a Refrain raid isn't something she really wants other people to think she was involved in. Especially since she had been before and she's not exactly proud of it.

A hand reaches across and touches Cardinals arm, a lingering touch. "I'm glad you were worried about me, though. Now all I gotta do is survive this thing, save the world another time, and I can go back and be an actual Librarian. Or at least be able to say my own damn name without grimacing and hoping the man isn't listening."

"Uh, the air? I've never really… tried that before, I mean, I can't see it, it's not something you think about." Magnes lets the tendril of water sink back into the pool, flailing his arms for a moment to try and get a feel for the air around him. "I'm not sure how to approach this, let me see…" He holds his palms in front of him, facing down at the water. "Maybe if I just think of it like I'm touching something, even though it doesn't seem like I'm touching it…" He starts concentrating on making something heavier, waiting to see if anything happens, then tilts his head.

"I don't think… oh, hey, check that out!" The water seems to dip down a bit, as if some invisible force were resting on top of it, but after a few seconds the imprint vanishes. "It's very difficult, since I can't see it, but maybe if I try to work out a system, or start thinking of air as a tangible force. I think it's like, a psychological thing, y'know?"

"Of course it's psychological…" Peter says in the same way someone might get chastised for not realizing the sky is blue. "If I learned anything in my time with Gabriel's power, it's that all of our abilities — no matter how different they are from one another — are completely at the whim of our minds and our preconceptions of it." One dark brow raises, and Peter offers a faint nod of approval to the water's movement. "When you have an ability for your whole life, you begin to make assumptions about it, become comfortable with how it works, assume that you know it all, have explored it all…"

"Then, someone comes along, and reminds you that no matter how old you are, there's always room to learn." Peter nods faintly, "That is what Gabriel taught me, that there is always room to innovate and discover." Looking from th water to Magnes, Peter offers a quirk of his head to the side. "He should be the one teaching you, not me. When," not if, "he makes it out of this situation, if he is still alive… you should look to him for instruction. He's a fair teacher, even if he doesn't realize he's teaching."

At Cardinal's mentioning of Gillian's brother, Veronica's head turns immediately to look at Gillian. Cardinal can't see her face, but the look clearly reads, "We're going to talk about that later." Her jaw is clenched tight, to keep herself from saying anything that would tip anyone off on just how close she is to Gillian's brother. She throws the unfinished protein bar back in her pack. "Well, you'll have to tell me the long story sometime. I think we'll have plenty of time together," she says to Cardinal, a stoic smile back in place.

At the touch to Cardinal's arm, his own hand shifts over to briefly lay over Gillian's own— a faint, tired smile offered to her, before his attention sweeps back to Veronica. A grin cracks his weary facade, and his hand lifts again to clap to her shoulder, "Sure. And you can tell me all about the Company's chain of command and your superiors too. We can brunch over it."

Oh, Gillian gets that look, and from the small fraction of a nod, she knows they'll be talking soon. There's so many people here that she needs to talk to, in one way or another. One guy she's slept with, one guy she wants to sleep with if he wasn't possessed by the devil and one guy who wanted to sleep with her before he got a girlfriend… And the woman sleeping with her brother. What a team. "If we're allowed to use guns one of you should teach me. Cause I think the only one here I can augment is Magnes. I don't know what would happen if I augmented you," she says while looking at Cardinal.

Then she looks away toward Magnes and Peter and there's a pause. "And I don't want to know what would happen if I augmented him." And by him, she means Peter.

"I'll work something out with Claire, she's, well, obviously not a big Gabriel fan, but if there's something I can learn to make everyone safer, well, it's worth her slapping me a few times until we work something out." Magnes starts to walk across the pond in the direction of everyone else, smiling back at Peter. "Well, I think that's enough of that for now, I need time to really think about this air thing. So I guess it'll be fine now to ask why your speech patterns and mannerisms have completely changed?" He stops, still not in hearing range of everyone else. "I don't know Agent Sawyer and the bald guy, I don't trust Cardinal much, and I care about Gillian too much to get her tied up in anything. So why don't you tell me what's going on with you?"

One dark brow raises slowly as Peter looks at Magnes and offers him a plaintive smile. Stepping off of the water and back on to dry land, he shrugs his shoulders and offers that as his explanation at first. "Sometimes I'm not myself, sometimes I am…" Blue eyes linger on Magnes, searching the young man for something but coming up empty. "You really don't know, do you?" There's surprise in his voice, humor in a way.

"Ask Cardinal." Peter says with a deferential tone of voice, eyes halfway lidded and somewhat disinterested in the long story. "I'm sure he'd love to get the opportunity to spin it however he would prefer." A few bootfalls take Peter away from the water, followed by a meeting of Dahlia's suspicious stare before he looks back to Magnes. "I'm not going to say any more on the matter. What is, is."

"Well, you brought it up," Sawyer says with a smirk to Cardinal. "Who knows. It might not be a big secret. Not everything is. Just most things, it seems." She then raises a brow at Gillian's words regarding her augmenting. They do have a lot to talk about indeed. "Yeah, I'd be careful about that," she says, following her friend's gaze to Peter as he leaves the water. Glancing back at Cardinal, she frowns a bit. "You think they'll actually evac us or just come up with Plan B?"

"I don't think any of us are meant to leave here alive," Cardinal replies quietly, simply, bluntly, regarding the pair by the water before his gaze drifts over to settle on Ross, "These global missions are meant to succeed… but after that? I think we're all going to need our own ways out of here." A turn back, a faint, tight smile to Veronica, "Well, maybe not you. Although I wouldn't even count on that."

"You don't think we're meant to leave here alive?" Gillian asks quietly, no longer even trying to smile. "You know, every time I've done anything remotely close to this, it always felt like a suicide mission and I always treated it as one, and it never was. Fuck, I just saw a whole lot of trained people get massacured by like… six guys. Sure they got gassed first, but there were a couple left after that. More than six. And they didn't even have a chance to raise an alarm. Maybe it is a suicide mission this time. But— here I am." The one who gets to survive.

"I don't intend to die in the middle of fucking nowhere."

"I don't take anyone's spin at face value." Magnes shakes his head and leaves Pizzamir with that, taking a few quick leaps across the water before landing about five feet away from the three person group. The person who gets a stare is Cardinal, then he thumbs back at Peter. "So, you gonna tell me the story on Typhoid Mary over there?" Considering he's familiar with the comics, he clearly doesn't mean Peter's life story. Though catching what Gillian says, he's quick to shake his head. "We're getting out of here alive, trust me." he assures quite confidently, in a tone that suggests he knows something she doesn't know.

With his instructions to Magnes over and his patience for story time worn thin, Peter makes his way over to where Dahlia has settled by the riverside. Finally, after all the silence exchanged by the two, Peter crouches down by her side and just offers her a silent stare. It's Dahlia that seems to talk first, but both she and Peter are keeping their voices low, letting the roar of the falls drown their conversation, keeping whatever past is between them to each other.

But, even to outsiders, it's obvious they have a past. Judging from Dahlia's narrowed eyes and tense posture, it's not an entirely favorable one either.

"I'll be honest in that there's things my superiors have done that I'm not okay with, but I don't think that they'd send me on a suicide mission without something of a head's up," Veronica says solemenly. "There are enough rabid agents that would do anything to serve; they certainly didn't need to go as low down on the list as me, and it's not like I have any special powers like Moonboots here," Veronica says, with a nod to Magnes as he leaps in front of them. She raises a brow at the mention of Typhoid Mary and shakes her head a little at his naive optimism. She glances at Cardinal to see how he will answer the request for yet another long story. All they need are some marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate.

"Maybe you're expendible." A faint smile from Cardinal, before he gives his head a tight shake, noting, "I don't plan on dying myself. I've got a few cards left in my hand to play, and a few more pieces on the board still…"

Then Magnes is heading over, and he turns to regard the young man, one brow lifting. He looks him up, and down, before asking dryly, "Depends. Can you take it without either shouting about it every five seconds, coming up with some sort've ridiculous plan based on something out've a comic book, or otherwise being a twit with the information?"

"Peter's not Typhoid Mary," Gillian says, moving to stand up from where she'd taken a seat reaching over to push Magnes' face. "Some things a better left unknown. You can barely keep a secret when your life depends on it. Even when you're trying." And she knows, cause she knew he was Company right up until he suddenly wasn't anymore. And he didn't even have to directly tell her. "I'm going for a walk. I'll just be over there." And as she moves, it's in the direction of the muffled conversation of Peter and the newcomer. Who almost killed them, but didn't.

Magnes shakes his head at Cardinal again, but Gillian's words have a definite ring of truth to them, even if he thinks he can keep a secret these days. "I'll wait. It's not important right now anyway." he decides, before walking off toward the water again, shrugging.

"I probably am," Veronica says to Cardinal grimly. Expendable, that is. "I have to say I'm not feeling as confident about things as he is," she adds, as Magnes walks away. "But then, I can't just float away if things get bad or turn into a will-o-whisp that can't get shot or whatever." She takes another sip of her water, then looks around for Ross. "We should probably start moving soon, you think?"

"Mnm." Magnes walks off, and Gillian does, and Cardinal watches them both go in silence for a few moments… and then he exhales a faint chuckle to Veronica's words. "Probably. Although it looks like our guide is a little— preoccupied over there for the moment." A turn, and he walks off back towards his boulder, shaking his head.

"…and that was when?" It's part of the tail-end of a conversation Gillian is beginning to become privy to. "How long ago was he here?" Peter's eyes are wide, confusion and disbelief having set in over something. Dahlia looks poised to snap back an answer, but she stills her tongue when Gillian's approach is spotted. The dark-haired woman offers only a shrug of her shoulders and a nod to the younger woman as she rises up from the water's edge.

"Don't get too comfortable, we'll be back to moving in fifteen minutes." Her dark eyes stare down at Peter, who wordlessly watches her departure. It's only when Dahlia is gone that Peter turns his blue-eyed stare up to Gillian. Accusatory, at first, and then merely bitter, until finally he looks a bit sullen, as if a world of emotions just rose and fell behind those eyes.

"Something… the matter?" Peter offers quietly, his tone far gentler than it was just a few moments ago. "M'sorry about what happened earlier. I didn't have time to see how badly you were hurt…"

It seems she interupted something. But Gillian doesn't seem to mind too much, or at least no apologizes slip out right away as she follows the woman with her eyes, and then looks back at the accusations. It takes a few moments, until the emotions make their way through his face, and his tone goes gentle. "Probably would've been worse to walk through the jungle with those wounds anyway— they'd be infected and all gross in a few days." She moves to get closer to the water's edge, to settle down nearby, and watch the waterfall.

She reaches up to touch the scarred skin on her cheek, the brand. A scar that covers up an older scar that she had from longer ago. It would have been barely visible now… and now it's not visible at all. "Didn't expect to see you here… It'd been a while." Longer even, since the last time they'd spoke it hadn't really been him. "It is you this time, right?" she asks, looking back over at him.

Left alone once more, Veronica sets about re-organizing her pack, then getting up from her seat by the falls to go speak to Ross, regarding their plans once they get to wherever the evolved guerrillas are leading them. Sawyer pulls her pack back on her shoulders, ready to march when the word is given.

"It's always me." Peter says defensively, and not explaining it any more than that. Looking at Dahlia's retreating back, Peter's blue-eyed focus comes to settle on Gillian again. "Come on, we…" His eyes avert to his feet, "we don't have time for this. We should get going, and then once we reach Dahlia's camp you can fill us all in on what happened at the base."

He's dismissive, just like he always is, that push people to arm's distance thing that both he and Gabriel have in common. But despite his attitude, it isn't Peter's blue-eyed stare that has Gillian's attention fully. It's something past him, something in the periphery of the jungle, as much there as it is not there. For just a moment, Gillian could see a pair of red glowing eyes, down low in the underbrush, watching the camp before disappearing from her sight.

The monster.

For that moment, Gillian forgets she's sitting next to Peter Petrelli. Forgets that she shouldn't touch him, cause suddenly she's reaching out for his arm. Luckily there's a jacket keeping the contact from causing more than tingling in her skin, and that's not enough to make her let go.

"Fuck— I though that thing was just my imagination or something." She's not letting go of his arm, and she looks away. "You didn't see it, did you? This— thing with red eyes. Glowing red eyes. I saw it back at the base, but I figured it was my head playing fucking tricks on me. I'd just watched a bunch of people die, there was this gas thing and not too much later I was grabbed and tied up and…" Branded. Hurt. She'd struggled a lot, but she…

"Cats are big out here, I know that, but they aren't supposed to have fucking glowing red eyes."

Glowing eyes? Peter looks back to the forest, one dark brow raised and head cocked to the side. He flicks a glance over to Cardinal, watching the man checking his pack and getting ready to move along with the rest of the group. Peter's brows furrow again, and he turns to look back at Gillian. "As soon as we get to civilization, I'm having Magnes send you home…" Peter's words come off as a little condescending. "There's no monster out here, no glowing-eyed Jaguar, just evolved and non-evolved. Both of which can be killed."

His words are colder this time, more mechanical, more pragmatic. "Go get your pack together and stick near Varlane. I'll go…" He rolls one shoulder, "keep an eye out for monsters." Says the man who doesn't believe her.

That makes her let go a lot faster than the prickling on her fingers. "I know there's not a monster out there. I said I fucking thought I was hallucinating when I saw it the first time, but I did fucking see something just now too," Gillian says, glaring at him angerly. It's not just the condescending followed by the coldness, it's the mention of Magnes taking her home. "I don't have a home, Peter. Or Kazimir. Or whoever the hell I'm talking to. You fucking know that. I haven't got anything to go back to if I ditch this place. Not if I want to be Gillian Childs, at least."

This time she's the one who is going to stand up, pulling her hands back and looking down at him. "I've lived in hiding for a year now. If I'm going back I want to go back as me, but as someone who has to duck around corners and avoid every single fucking thing just so I can walk outside of a cell."

Peter snaps around, it's a quick motion. For as much as it looks like he's about to hit Gillian, he just gets up very close to her and grumbles out his words quietly. "If you say that name again out loud, here in Vanguard territory you're going to get us all killed." There's a baleful look from Peter to Gillian, his jaw tense and brows furrowed. "You cannot control your emotions, this is exactly why you need to leave. I don't care where you go, but you can't stay here. You're not a soldier, you're not helpful." There's a flash of his tongue across his lips, leaning away from Gillian. "All you do is get in the way."

Breathing in deeply, Peter levels a stare at Gillian and turns partly away from her. "I already told Magnes he's taking you home as soon as he can. Neither of you need to be here, because none of us are making it out of this alive. None of us."

There's that look, for a split second before he turns partly away. Gillian was hurt by those words, stuck as firmly as if he had lashed out and hit her. Some things hurt a lot worse than physical pain. And they tend to last longer too. Even when they're only said to drive someone away. At least she recognizes that. There's a blink of her eyes, there's moisture, but she's sweating and tired and ouchie on her feet, so it could have been that way before!

After a moment, the stricken expression turns to determination. "Fuck you," she finally says, voice firm, if raspy, but also whispered. They're the same words, in almost the same tone that her clone had said when she grabbed him and carried him over her shoulder up to the roof. Where he got shot and knocked off the building, only to get a death-sprite inside him in return.

"You'll just have to deal with me being in the way until we both are fucking dead, then, cause I'm not leaving," She stays close enough so that her voice can be heard over the water, but she does start to back away. "And if Magnes tries to take me out of here, I'll kick him in the nuts and then augment him into fucking orbit. I'm not leaving. So just fucking deal with it."

"See?" There's no smile on Peter's face, just a languid stare of too cold blue eyes. She proved his point, and in all the bitterness that Gillian might be suffering, none of it is reflected on Peter, just the disquiet that seems to haunt him here in the jungles as he adjusts the way his rifle hangs over his shoulder and starts to walk towards the back of the group again, even as Dahlia starts rounding up her people and marshaling them to get moving again.

He doesn't say anything, doesn't do anything, but Peter tries in that inaction to make it seem as though that's why he's sending her away. She's a liability, she's useless, she's just a distraction. The truth, however, is far less stoic.

And far harder to voice.

"How the hell did we ever get married in the future?" Gillian asks outloud, but not loud enough to be heard by the one that's walking away. The one who always seems to walk away. Perhaps that's why she can't just walk away, yet. Because he always does it first.

While the marshalling occures, she makes her way toward Cardinal, "I'm sleeping with you whenever we end up settling down for longer than an hour." Totally not a request, or something she seems to think he'll question.

"And you better not be plotting to pack me up in a box like I'm some kind of fragile princess too."

At that declaration, Cardinal's head lifts from where he's going over his gear to make certain it's all still there, and no particularly foul little animals or insects have infested it. He blinks, twice, at Gillian, then cranes his neck a bit to look past her at Peter where he's walking away. It's not as if he wasn't keeping an eye on them, the emotion and gesturing in that conversation easy to read to someone who doesn't have any trouble seeing at night.

"Oh," he declares dryly, going back to rummaging through his pack, "I am not getting into the middle of this one."


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License