Holding Hands


gillian_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Holding Hands
Synopsis You meet the most remarkable people in this city.
Date October 7, 2008

Brooklyn Public Library

As always when there's dangerous activity in this day and age, the security in the Brooklyn Public Library has increased, even if the chances of a repeat occurrence are fairly small. Still, people are asked to remove heavy coats when they enter — to check for weapons — and bags are given and even harsher look through. Sitting behind the counter, the young woman who'd been "in-charge" during the hostage crisis taps idly at the keyboard of a computer, glancing toward the fingernail marks on the wood where she gripped when the hostage crisis came to a fold. There's some missing tables, blank areas, and evidence of the attack in the form of bullet holes… but the library itself still looks better than parts of the city. Only a small amount of structural damage.

Gillian tilts her head at the computer screen, dark bangs spilling out of her eyes for a moment. Her black shirt reveals her arms and shoulders to an extent, though she has a nametag pinned on it still. A set of black armbands are wrapped around one of her wrists, and a tribal tattoo of a rose visible on the other. A second tattoo is partially visible on her shoulder blade, some kind of sun motif.

Business goes as usual, as usual as it can considering the circumstance. One of the many people still determined to check out a book, it seems, is a teenage boy — lanky and tall for his age but they do come in all shapes and sizes. With his coat taken from him, his bag checked through, he's allowed inside. Those who might recognise his face — although such people live in an entirely different city — would identify him as Timothy Lantz, although he has nothing on him that would prove this name. Sandy blonde hair, a little long around the ears, is swept back, and glasses perch on his nose as he browses along the books available.

He's been here for about half an hour, now, keeping his distance from everyone and apparently people watching as if he doesn't have anything else to do today. Finally, he takes down a book — a scrappy edition of the infamous Activating Evolution book, repeated bestseller since the equally infamous press conference — and makes his way towards the desk where the tattooed woman is seated. He stops a few feet away, studying her in a way that's probably a little strange.

It's actually not uncommon for someone in the library to have an active ability — Gillian's gotten used to the nagging sensation at times of her own energy getting called upon by an outside force. As long as it doesn't start making her fall through a floor, or turn books to mush, or something worse, she usually ignores it. If she even feels anything at all. From the way she looks, she's just handling some basic filing, and looking rather bored. After a time, someone walks over to check out a book and she goes through the quiet motions. Library card. Scanning. Date they're due back. The young person, a college student likely, takes checked out books and readies to go, and she catches sight of a teenager that's too young and too nerdy for her type. Her dark hair shifts as she tilts her head, overly reddened lips parting for a moment.

He could well just be a horny teenage boy ogling a pretty girl he wouldn't have a clue as to what to do with if he got her, and by the way he awkwardly looks down at his feet when she glances his way, that shows it might just be the case. "Sorry," he says, in a voice that very much matches his demeanor, and steps over, setting down the book on her desk. "Are you who I talk to about getting a library card? I don't have one yet." His gaze raises once more, watching her intently.

"Came to the right place," Gillian says, sighing a little, though she can definitely get the sensation that there's something nearby going on. She bends down out of sight for a moment, and returns with a folder, a couple simple forms. "Going to need some id, if you got it — driver's license or learners permit — something with a photo and your address, showing that you're in the district." Standard procedure. "Got that on you?"

"No," Timothy says with a skewed smile, and pushing his glasses back up his nose. "No, I don't, sorry. Um." Then, he's rifling around in the pockets of his sweatshirt — and taking a long time to do it before finally coming up with a newspaper clipping, which has been crumpled to hell and back, but he smooths it out on the desk anyway. It's this morning's report on yesterday's hostage situation. "Listen, I kind of just wanted to ask — I read this and it'd be really awesome for my media class — and if you had time maybe I could ask a few questions…"

"School ID works too," Gillian comments, though he seems to have given up on the possibility of getting himself a card. She closes up the folder, though, pursing her lips at the newspaper clipping. Of course she knows it already seen enough of them. She'd avoided answering questions from the newspapers, though she had to give police statements, of course. "Didn't see much," she says, shifting her shoulder a bit. The sleeve drops some more, showing that it's definitely a tribal sun etched into her skin, with a red center. "What do you want to know?"

"But you were there?" Timothy presses, a glint in his eye. "That's cool." And no, he's not commenting on the incident — his eyes had just traveled towards her tattoo, and to explain himself, he gestures. "That, I mean. Sorry. What did you see?" To narrow it down, he cuts in with, "I mean, of the hostages. The ones they wanted to kill."

There's a glance toward her shoulder and Gillian actually seems about to smile. Or at least he seems to have endeared himself more. "Thanks," she says, before looking back at him again. "Well… I was working behind the counter. They wanted to know who was in charge. Not in charge, there's other offices and the people who are in charge didn't even come out to help." Because people suck, really. "I'm in charge of the counter, though, so it counted." She rolls her eyes up toward the high ceiling for a moment. "What do you mean what I saw? They were all registered, except me. That was in the paper."

"I can't find a paper that gives names of the registered Evolved," Timothy says with what he hopes is a sweet smile. But his expression changes, just slightly, just enough, and he looks at her a little closer. "So what, you were unregistered?" he asks. "Or are you like everyone else? Normal, I mean."

"I don't remember much about that, sorry," Gillian responds, shaking her head a bit. There's a possibility she's not telling the whole truth, from the way her eyes twitch away. Probably not names, though, but she might be remembering one detail about some of them. "Most no one'd say I'm normal, but by those definitions?" There it is again, in the flippant way her dark and sculpted eyebrow lifts, hiding under the veil of bangs. "They just wanted me as a escape hostage," she rolls her eyes. "Said they wouldn't kill me. Cause I wasn't like them."

Head tilt, a sort of suspicious gesture. But how could a clueless kid like Timothy really latch on to whether a complete stranger is lying to him? He moves a little closer as she talks, just folding his arms on the desk to lean in casually, as if to engage, and he's opening his mouth to say something else — then, suddenly, he flinches away, a hand coming up to his ear with an audible yelp of pain that probably turns a few heads. "Oh, god," he groans, then frowns, hand slowly pulling away. Whatever just ailed him seems to have stopped.

The sudden gesture and yelp of pain make Gillian's hands raise up from the counter top in surprise, and she takes a half step back. Her lips part, hesitation coming over her. There'd been a feeling there — "You okay?" she asks, voice not so much concerned as it is sullen, though there's a hint of worry surrounding her eyes — something a clueless kid wouldn't notice, but what someone more equipped to understand variables might see. Stepping back also increases their distance, would should help again. She's not stepping away out of fright — and she knows it.

Timothy's eyes go back to her, clearly perplexed — that's a good way to describe his expression, an open and honest look of confusion as limp blonde hair falls into his eyes. Eyes that are looking at her in a slowly calculating way, almost too much so for a dreamy kid like him. He steps forward, against the desk when she steps back. "Your hand," he says, and reaches out with his own. There's authority in his voice that wasn't there before. "Give me your hand."

Months and months of having her ability, knowing when it came on, when people around it used her to increase their own power… Gillian's never seen someone figure it out, but the request actually startles her. She hides it well as she looks at the hand. There's a skeptical look, but under the surface something much deeper. Worry — and then curiousity. Finally she shrugs, reaches out, and takes his hand. She might regret this. Her eyes shift, the hazel in them changing over to a different color, a flash of dark purple.

It's almost a rush. Timothy again gasps in pain, clapping his free hand over his ear — but then a look of wonder flashes over his face. "It's gone!" he says, too loud for a library, but he grips her hand even harder. He shuts his eyes, and whatever's going on… he's not letting her be privy to it.

But for the readers at home, Timothy — or rather, Sylar's hearing seems to turn into something more, like multiple dials rather than just the one. He hears nothing of library, the noise of people outside it, but he can pick up the argument happening across the street, and then beyond, he hears a dog scrabbling at a door — in the Bronx — and then —

His eyes snap open again. "That's wonderful. You have a wonderful gift," he says, at a whisper, and there's a hungry look in his eyes.

There it is. The glow in her eyes continues, but now Gillian's starting to get worried, pulling back on the hand gripping her. She's not weak — but he's still physically stronger, despite his apparent size. "I don't know what you're talking about," she mutters under her breath, looking down at where their hands are connected. She could call for help. There's many security guards around, but it's the sight of their hands where they're connected that's keeping her silent. Her hand is glowing slightly now. If that's happened before, she's never noticed, but her eyes definitely widen now.

"That's okay," the boy says, and his voice has changed, deepened. "I know what I'm talking about." He's having a field day, psychically throwing his hearing range all over the place, not an aspect of his ability he could manage before, should have figured it out, can do it now, and his hand wrapped around her hand only tightens when she tries to pull away.

He's not letting her go. She's nobody, he can have this one, he can — and a telekinetic force is suddenly keeping her still, possessive, tilting her head up — but can he use it on himself, this talent she has? He freezes in indecision, still gripping that hand.

It's a strange sensation, suddenly being held up by an invisible force. Gillian straightens, her platform shoes not the only thing making her taller than she should be, head lifting upward. Her lips part, and she keeps trying to pull away — unable to really move much more than her fingers, and her mouth. "Son of a bitch," she mutters hoarsely, helpless under his hold, but looking back at him with defiance anyway. If he gets her registered, she's going to shove a can of compressed air somewhere unpleasant.

They must be attracting attention, but he ignores it, keeping dark eyes trained on her, the corner of his mouth twisting up when she curses him. While one hand grasps hers, his other hand has come up, as if to keep her in place. He has no problem with doing this right here, despite the people, they can die too for all he cares — but as he watches her closer, he becomes less and less certain. No, this is a special toy, one he can't just crack open and look inside. With an angry growl, he releases her hand, releases her body — with much more force than he intended, the young woman suddenly shoved back with some violence. As if caught in a wind, the forms, the newspaper clip, the heavier text book all pitch forward after her — and even the desk shudders. Sylar is not the kind to lose control, but something has to give with that prolonged contact, doesn't it? He steps back, to get out of range of her.

The wall behind the counter as a cork board, with pinup notes and other things and a low bookshelf with files and behind the counter reference books. Gillian flies into them. The glowing stops as soon as he lets go of her, and the bookshelf buckles and breaks under her weight, depositing many a book on the floor as she stumbles and falls. There's an audible groan from her as she lays there. She's not completely broken, but hurt, bruised. At worse she could have a cracked rib. She pushes herself up, slowly, trying to get back to her feet, but she only rises up enough to look over the counter, trying to find the young man's eyes. Ten meters.

The security guards start to move, pulling weapons. After the incident the day before, they're not taking any chances.

Sylar is careful to keep the shape he's in, that of a young blonde gawky looking teenager, especially now that people with authority have seen the commotion. He raises his hands as if in surrender, but his eyes are wide with adrenaline now. A finger merely twitches, and suddenly, the guards are flying back and up with sudden, violent force, and everything, everyone feels a slight tug in that direction, more than a few books falling from the shelves. "Whoops," he says, gently, with a growing smile. But it's time to go. Such incidents don't go unnoticed to those more powerful than a few armed security guards. Sylar turns to give Gillian one last look from where she peeks over the counter, and merely points at her with a wilder smile, before he's running for the door. She can expect to see him again… which doesn't mean she will recognise him when she does.

As he flees, Gillian curses under her breath again, groaning as she pushes herself back up to the counter. One of the guards gets up on his feet, moving after to make chase, while another stands up and approaches the counter, asking if she's all right. "I'm fine," she says, not sounding too convincing. The shelves will need repair, and she's certainly got a bruise or two, but her eyes move back to the door the nerdy kid disappeared out of. She'll have questions to answer, but moodily talk her way out of it. Maybe.

October 6th: A Sylar On The Roof

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
When Gillian Met Gabriel

October 7th: The Cliff Notes Version
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