Hush Now


gillian2_icon.gif hadley_icon.gif brian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hush Now
Synopsis After the incident at the Lighthouse, Gillian makes it to the mainland and tries to make sure one part of Brian remains intact. And spills all his secrets to the kind old lady he's been helped by.
Date July 4, 2009

Piece of Cake Bakery

The front room of the bakery is a long and narrow one. A great glass window covers the wall facing the street, so that anyone outside can see in. The door is glass as well; on bright days the shop is filled to the brim with sunshine. Drop lamps abovehead help at night, casting a warmer and softer light. Classic black and white tiling collects smudges more often than not on the floor and walls. In the back is a hallway which leads further to the kitchen, a small bathroom for customers to use, and a set of creaky stairs that go up to the second floor. The entire building is warm, and the air is redolent with the scents of pastry both savory and sweet, cookies, muffins, chocolate and fruit, bread and more.

A long, waist-high counter is on the left after stepping inside. The top is flat so purchases can be set down, and baked goods of all sorts are on display inside. Down at the far end is the cash register: leaving means walking past all the tempting wares all over again. Though it isn't particularly fancy, a coffee machine next to the register has a sign that reads "Donations": the cups and plain coffee are free, but change dropped inside goes to local charities. Three small bistro tables sit along the right wall; it's a tight fit, but three (or four if they're close friends) people can sit at each to enjoy a bite before going on their way. A bell above the door jangles merrily whenever it's opened.

It's late. Very late. And even though Mrs.Hadley finally got Winters to shove off to a neighbors house for sleeping, the young man always leaves a copy at the bakery. To protect Mrs.Hadley!… Or, to be there for anyone who may need to find him. The young ex-agent is sitting on the floor with his back against the counter. It's dark in the bakery, since it's long been closed and Winters is playing with a knife to pass the time away. A stifled yawn leaks out through his lips and past a balled fist, as he tilts his head back. His copy may be sleeping, and it is so difficult to feel that mentally and resist the awesome feeling of sleep.

Starting to hum, silently, the young man's eyes lift to the door and the world outside it. Idly wondering about those few individuals that he actually cares about…

The one that makes it across the bay and into Manhattan luckily has clothes on. The children she'd carried were dropped off at the closest safehouse, after a lot of heavy banging on the door, paniced words, and then she suddenly disappeared again. Curfew in action— anyone caught in the street would be in trouble, but there's no time to worry about that. Not with shadows chasing at her heels. Not with a dead brother. And she has to know…

The speeding run comes to a sudden halt, a skid just outside the door, where she has to catch herself against something to keep from falling down. A moment later there's a sudden knock on the front door. "Fuck, Brian, tell me one of you is still alive somewhere." She's wet from the rain, jittery, panicked. Not a good day for her.

Perhaps it's the pounding on the door; Mrs. Hadley is a light sleeper. Either way, there's some motion upstairs, footsteps crossing the floor in a bobbling patter. Light spears through the bakery from the back hallway where the stairs lead to the apartment above. The old owman has opened the door and is starting down with a called, "One moment! Just one moment!"

Jumping to his feet, the knife is held firmly in his hand as Winters goes into a crouch. Starting forward at the door, he is given pause at the at the sound from behind him. His jaw practically drops and his eyes go wide in amazement that Mrs.Hadley woke up at that! Old people aren't supposed to be able to hear things. She's coming down, she'll find him there and she'll most likely be upset. A little sigh passes through his lips.

"This better be good." Winters mumbles as he slips away the knife into his belt. The door gives a jingle as it is pushed open. "Get in, quickly." He mutters, waiting for Gillian to enter before closing the door behind her. And to avoid causing Hadley panic, "It's okay, Mrs.Hadley. I got it." Ugh.

Get in quickly? He doesn't even really need to say that. As soon as the door opens and Gillian makes out the man opening the door, she's running forward and wrapping her arms around him. Quite a hug there, one that might carry him back a bunch of steps. And get him a little on the damp side. "Thank fucking God, I thought all of you were dead." Good thing Mrs. H. came downstairs, cause someone's going to need to close the door. As soon as she's got her arms around him, it becomes very apparent that she's got blood on her clothes, small rips and punctures here and there. She's also shaking a little, a side effect of panic.

She has a terry-cloth robe tossed over a long green nightgown, and slippers on her feet, but that's all normal enough. Less normal: Mrs. Hadley doesn't look the least bit panicked. When she's down into the main room and bobbling forward, she asks in a sharp tone, "Is that you, Brian?" But she doesn't wait for an answer; the sight of Gillian earns a startled exclamation and then order: "Good heavens. Get her upstairs if she can walk, dear. Or in the back if not, the entire street can see what's going on from here." And with that, she's easing past them to reach for the door. Closed, locked, done.

"Wha-" Brian's ability to ask questions is warded off by the desparation of Gillian's aggressive hug. Wrapped up in her arms, he simply stares forward in bewilderment as she pushes him back away from the door. "Dead? What? Gillian, what are you-" He whips his head over his shoulder. "Yes it's me, Mrs-" It seems like the cool thing to do is cut Brian off tonight. Still in a state of confusion, Brian weakly starts to guide Gillian towards the back. "Gillian, what's going on?"

For the first few seconds, Gillian just holds on tight, grip quite strong, but then words process and she looks behind her, out into the street, at the old lady, and then back at Brian. "I'm fine, I can walk," she assures, so they can begin making their way upstairs, but her hands stick to Brian even then, as if she's afraid he'll disappear. "He killed you. The other you. The— " Her voice cracks and there's those tears again. God, fuck everything in her life. "You're okay, though— Do you still have your power?" In her panic, she's forgotten to double check that old lady is safe— and when that clicks after the question, she suddenly looks over at her, worried.

A low harumph escapes the old woman in question. The look she casts at Brian is telling, but she doesn't actually go into it right now. She simply motions him towards the stairs. "Up we go, we'll take a look at her up there, go on now. You're a big boy, pick her up and carry her if she needs the help, let's go." It's a herding motion and flutter of her hands that urges the both of them to go go go. "If I can help her I will, Brian. Upstairs, we need to see how badly she's hurt."

"I-" Oh God. Brian stares agape at Gillian as she rattles through some of Brian's prize secrets kept from Hadley and the Piece of Cake bakery. He glances over at Hadley for a moment before looking back at Gillian. "The.. He's dead?" Brian asks quietly, not so sure how to react, how to take in the death of the him that's not really him. His right hand raises at the question as to whether or not he still has his power.

And for a moment, where there should only be one hand, there are two, and the next moment, the extra hand is gone. "Yes." He answers quietly. He gulps shallowly as he looks at Mrs.Hadley. Going to scoop Gillian up and hold her to his chest, the replicator goes to make his way up the stairs. "Yes, Mrs.Hadley. This is Gillian, she's my…" What?

"Hey— I said I could…" Gillian protests, but at the same time, doesn't bother protesting too much more. An arm around him, she closes her eyes and lets the tears fall. Later she'll apologize for revealing his secrets, but… hopefully with the situation he'll understand. He's still alive. Still has his ability. That's a small win in a week of bad. "I'm his sister," she says once they're up stairs. She's not hesitating on it right now. The old lady gets a look as she adds, "I'm not hurt, I'm okay." Clothes don't heal like… more powers than you can shake a stick at… people can. "I had to know that— that you were okay." She looks back at the man carrying her. "That— god damn fucker keeps taking everything from me."

For now, Mrs. Hadley ignores Gillian's protests of being okay. For all the world, she acts like waking up in the middle of the night to someone bleeding on her front step is totally normal. "Set her at the table," she instructs Brian, with a gesture at the small dinette table in question. With that, she's moving into the kitchen and fetching a bowl, and hot water, and clean washcloths. The conversation between the siblings is either missed, or carefully ignored: it's the illusion of privacy, if not the reality of it.

Hadley's Apartment

As far as one-bedroom apartments above a bakery go, this one is cozy enough. It's small, composed of a living room, a door that likely leads to a bedroom, a small bathroom, and kitchentte. The stairs in the corner spill out directly into the living room itself. Every bit of the room is full of… stuff. Knick-knacks, doileys, bits of unfinished knitting, photographs of family members, a lifetime or two's worth of clutter. It all has a place, it isn't a trashy mess, but it is very busy. Every scent from below rises up, as well as the heat from the ovens.

Glancing down at her, Brian gives a small frown. "Mrs.Hadley. She's really okay. She has an ability." Winters tries to explain. "Heals herself." Among every other ability… So not fair. "Gillian. Slow down. What are you talking about? Who are you talking about? You're alright. I'm here." Brian says to her, rubbing one hand along the back of her head. She didn't hesitate on saying she was his sister. Does that mean…? "Did the bloodwork come back?" Hardly a time to ask a question like that, but it's still very important. Even though the other him died, and Gillian's a sobbing mess and all that.

The original power that a needle gave her wouldn't have been anything to envy— but right now… Things are very different. Curse a man with the ability to switch powers. "Yeah, I'm fine. Pretty sure they were just cuts anyway," Gillian says, looking at Brian for a moment, eyes a little startled, before she says, "I don't— may not be— More people getting involved is dangerous…" The old lady especially. "It's— a bad person. He'd probably kill you if he knew part of you survived." Perhaps the timing is why she doesn't answer the blood test question.

"Fuck, I probably shouldn't have come here— he destroyed the orphanage and killed Brian— you— other Brian— and… I currently split in four different places cause I had to get the kids out and— I'm not even sure how you handle that…" She's rambling. Not physically hurt, but there's a lot more lasting damage that can't just disappear from skin.

Despite this new information, Mrs. Hadley still gathers up the water and cloth, and brings them over to the table. "Then sit her down and help her clean up," she instructs firmly. "Hurt or not, it will help her calm down." She shifts sidelong a bit then to peer at Gillian directly. "I'm going to go get something for you to wear instead of those rags, dear. You just let your brother help you out." And with that, the old woman is bobbling off towards the bedroom, slippers flappin' with every step. Real privacy for a moment, instead of the faux sort.

Finally going to set her down on the table, Brian stares at Gillian for a moment. "The Lighthouse? Destroyed?" The ex-agent does a lot of staring. "Calm down, Gillian." Winters orders, coolly, his hand going to grasp hers. "You're safe here, he's not going to find you here. Or me. We're going to figure out how to fix this, but first you have to do your best, for me, to try and settle down." His thumb starts to rub back and forth on her hand. "Just take deep breaths." He says to his now, probably-sister. Looking over at the rapidly vanishing Hadley he takes a step forward to wrap Gillian in a hug again.

"Are all the kids alright?"

Calm down? Easier said than done, but Gillian closes her eyes and leans into the hug, ignoring the cleaning up for the moment in favor of it. Deep breaths aren't easy, but she manages a few, even if she's shaking. "Yeah— yeah, I got all the kids out. I hope I did anyway… It might not be destroyed— I heard an explosion but I didn't want to risk turning around with a kid in my arms and another one hanging onto my back."

There's a break, as she finally pulls away to grab a washcloth and rub it over her face. She needs that before she can break the news to the man. "It— it was Arthur Petrelli. I don't know if you met him, but that's who Roger Goodman was working for. He's the one who was wanting to destroy the— the people you used to work for. Not saying he was wrong about that, but he's got his own fucking agenda. He killed me a couple days ago. One of me. And then he killed you. And…"

After some rummaging about, Mrs. Hadley comes on out with a bundle of cloth in her arms. It's brought over and set down on the table nearby as well. "Men," she mutters under her breath when she realizes Brian hasn't done anything she told him to do. If the old biddy is paying any attention at all to the conversation, there's no sign of it. "Brian, help her clean up while you talk," she repeats before she moves back to the kitchen to start a kettle of hot water.

After some rummaging about, Mrs. Hadley comes on out with a bundle of cloth in her arms. It's brought over and set down on the table nearby as well. "Men," she mutters under her breath when she realizes Brian hasn't done anything she told him to do. If the old biddy is paying any attention at all to the conversation, there's no sign of it. "Brian, help her clean up while you talk," she repeats before she moves back to the kitchen to start a kettle of hot water.

Brian glances over at Hadley, giving a dismissive wave of his hand as if to say 'Yeah, yeah.' Then his attention returns to focus solely on Gillian. "Alright. It's okay, Gillian. I know you're really hurting right now, but we're going to get through this. You're safe with me." He ensures, going to take the washcloth from her. Going to run it down each of her arms equally to remove any bloodstains, dirt, or other assorted muck. "I'm sure you got all the kids out." The way he says it is with authority, as if he is actually sure they were all out safely. "So he.. he's dead? Completely? No copies left?"

"Maybe— maybe some of them weren't in the Lighthouse. Maybe there— he— Arthur can steal people's ability with just a touch, and he can look like anyone." Gillian shakes her head, before she looks at Mrs. Hadley. There's no further hesitation as she finally pulls the dull hoody off. Ruined as it might be, what signs of blood are under the garmet show no source at all. Not a scratch on her— but there are a whole hell of a lot of tattoos. A tiger head with tribal designs under visible on her stomach, a dragon peeking out from under her bra on her breast, a clock pointing at 11:55 on her shoulder, a tribal sun on her back, a rose on her arm, a yin/yang on her wrist… "Maybe there's one of him still out there." It's a small hope, but… "Well, there is, obviously. You're him too."

Even if he waved her off, he's doing as she said, and that's that. Mrs. Hadley gets the water going, then bobbles over to stand in the kitchentte, studying the pair. "Do you two need me to go so you can talk without someone listening?" The offer is made without any sign of weight or preference on her part. "There's hot water for tea, and I think I have a bottle of Mr. Hadley's whiskey under the sink still, if you need something stronger."

"I could.. I could lower my block. See if he's out there." Winters offers thoughtfully, averting his eyes thoughtlessly as she strips her hoodie. He goes to remain holding her hand, but simply won't look at her. She's his sister, he can't see her boobies! Looking over at Hadley, Brian's lips thin. "Mrs. Hadley.. I.. I'm sorry. For everything." Winters says quietly. "I suppose there's nothing to hide now." A little shrug. "We need to get you to rebsorb your copies, Gilli. So you can rest."

"If you can do that then… But he wouldn't have his ability anymore, I don't think," Gillian says, looking down at her body as she wipes off some of the blood. It's not going to be much, but since he's averting his eyes so much, she works quickly, before looking for those promised cleaner clothes to pull on. "I'm sorry. I— I'm Gillian Childs— or Winters, I guess. It's just a name." Name's don't make people who they are, really. "I didn't mean to just come in here and— I'm sorry, Brian. I can't really— my clones are all on Staten Island still, and they won't be able to get over here until the boats are running. I'll be fine. I can go if it's too much trouble."

"Hush now about leaving and all the apologies," Mrs. Hadley instructs with a huff of breath. She makes her way over to start helping Gillian with the clothes, a blouse and a skirt, old-lady outfit but clean and smelling of fresh laundry. "You can stay for as long as you need to, just come along with me and lay down for a while. You look like you're going into shock, dear, and I'm just not strong enough to carry you on my own. Brian here," she adds with a quick flash of a grin, "Might faint if he had to carry you without a shirt, so let's spare him the trouble."

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