"I'm Sorry"


gillian_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

Scene Title "I'm Sorry"
Synopsis Things are never quite as simple as black and white or love and hate.
Date February 25, 2009

Confucius Plaza : Gillian's Apartment

It's hard to believe this would be the place. Victor'd all but given up on this particular project. Not that he's had ANY luck at all finding Sylar since the rather shameful showdown on the streets of Staten Island with Mailbox Man. And he's only after Sylar because nobody else has any good lead at all on what exactly happened to Jenny or who did it to her.

The things Victor doesn't know could fill the Internet.

But what he does know is Leanne Lennox, whoever she is, lives in this apartment in Confucious Plaza. Lennox not exactly being an uncommon name, there were two other Leanne Lennoxes, one deceased and the other in New Jersey. By chance Vic is hoping that this one, the closest, is the one he thinks it might be.

He didn't think it'd be so hard to knock on the door.

How long has Vic been standing outside there, folding and re-folding the same scrap of paper with this apartment number on it…five minutes? More? He finally just knocks and whispers to himself, "…get it over with…"

"What are you doing here?" comes a sound. Not from inside the apartment. From the hallway. A raspy voice that he'd know by heart, a little raspier at the moment as she's just come in from the cold. Good timing. Or perhaps bad timing. "Leanne" moves right up to him, eyes narrowed with frustration. If she'd have just turned around, she might have avoided this confrontation a little longer. Instead… she didn't even think and spoke as soon as she saw him standing there. Perhaps the anger in the set of her mouth is at herself.

Wearing an oversized coat, obviously a man's, she's covered from neck to feet, but her scarf has already been unwrapped, and her face is plain as day. Gillian reaches into her carrier bag and pulls out her keys, reaching to unlock the door. "I can't believe you're here," she mutters, unlocking the deadbolt and the doorknob and pushing the door open.

Boy did he have this scripted. Vic was going to say one of a dozen different things when he finally got to see Gillian again, but none of them were, "I'm sorry."

But that's what he says first.

Vic doesn't so much as wait for an invitation to step inside. He just does. She can figure out how to kick him out later if she's up to it. "Gilly, what the hell is going on?" he says, realizing already he's pretty much botching up all the things he wanted to say to her. His hands are stuffed securely in the pouch pockets of the dark blue faux leather jacket he's wearing over a hoodie, the gray hood flopping flat against his back behind.

There's someone else in the apartment! Or at least there's the sound of little feet running across the floor and an orange cat appears out of nowhere. He looks hungry, and happy to see people at this point of time. There's signs of angry cat life in the room, too. A pillow that's been used as a scratching board on the couch, and knocked over water bowls. "God damnit, Chandra," Gillian mutters, kicking the door shut instead of her brother and dropping her bag on the floor. "If you lose me my cleaning deposit, you're…" she doesn't finish as she picks up the cat and ruffles his head and ears.

"I wanted you to leave New York. After what happened last month, you should have guessed why." She puts the cat down and walks into the little kitchen corner to find dry catfood and fill one of the bowls. That's what he wants, so he immediately starts munching.

"It would have been a lot worse if we hadn't done what was necessary. You'd be dead. As would probably half of the population of the world."

Awww a kitty. Vic wants to smile, really, but the mood's a little chaotic. He uses the cat as an excuse to step closer to Gilly so he can pet the kitty. "You know, about that. I talked to Abby. She's a friend of mine. She knew who you were. Mentioned you by name. She told me to get out of town too."

Chewing his lip, Vic glances up at Gillian's face and stares. "What happened to you?" Is that a scar? It's not obvious, but, "Did you get your ass kicked or something?"

"Yeah, Abby mentioned she saw you. She wanted me to contact you, but… damnit, Victor," Gillian shakes her head, reaching up to touch the scar that's on her forehead when he mentions it. Her black-again bangs cover it most of the way, but with her hair pushed aside by her hand, it's more visible. A straight line on the side of her forehead. It looks healed over, years old instead of two months.

"I've been involved in a lot in the last few months," she says to her taller brother. "I can't tell you much, it's too dangerous, but if Abby mentioned me… it was because we were working together. To stop the end of the world. The people who forced me into hiding and orchastrated Jenny's death… they were behind it." It's a simple statement, as she undoes the buttons on her coat.

Victor looks skeptical at that. "Right. Because you're really interested in doing something about Jenny." This is more like what he was planning. Something angry. Because he has been angry. Turning away from Gillian he begins taking a walk around her apartment.

God it really looks like the kind of place she'd live too, he thinks to himself. None of this stuff is stuff he's seen her have, but the feel. It's the same. "I'm getting to the bottom of Jenny myself. Since all you seem to want to do is wish me away. Mom and Dad've lost two daughters. I'm not leaving them."

"You can't do anything about Jenny," Gillian yells with frustration, taking the anger and turning it back at him, even louder. This is why she hadn't wanted to see him. She pulls the coat off and drops it to the floor, stalking toward one of the bookshelves and picking up matches and striking them to light a candle. She might need the musky smell to calm her nerves right now.

With it lit, she waves out the match and drops it onto a glass coaster that isn't used for glasses and faces her brother. "Jenny is dead. You can't change it. If you want to stay with mom and dad, then fine, stay with them, but it'd be safer if you take them and left too."

Vic whirls and shouts right back, "Why is she dead, Gilly?! Who killed her??" He knows. Or thinks he does. Is he sure? No, but he's sure enough to plan around it. He points a finger at Gilly and says, "You've GIVEN UP on our SISTER, Gillian. She's dead and you don't even fucking care that whoever did it OUT there…" There was more to that sentence but it's just not coming out as he points toward the door symbolically. He takes a swallow to finish that thought in a voice of forced calm, "Out there, walking free. I think you just want me out of your life before I learn the truth. And I think you know it."

"You want to blame someone for it?" Gillian says, voice breaking as she puts her hand onto the black candle surrounded by glass. "You don't think I fucking care? You don't think it broke me up the day I found out? Don't fucking decide how I feel, Victor." With that word, her eyes flash purple and a surge of energy comes out of her, reaching to augment someone, anyone. He's the only one in range. And at the same time her arm jerks forward and she throws the candle across the room. It bounces off the wall, the glass cracking. It's heavy duty glass. The wall actually has more damage than it does. Chandra looks up, startled, but goes back to his meal. The small flame flickers out.

"You want to blame someone? Fine. Blame me. They kidnapped her to get to me. Because they wanted to use me. I probably could have gotten her released and I didn't."

This has happened before. Never with this much raw emotion behind it, but it's a matter of degree rather than effect, so when the wash of Power Surge thrums out from his sister, Vic only takes an instant to ramp himself down.

The electric dynamo of the speedster's metabolism temporarily upgrades to something more like a nuclear furnace, and he watches the glass slow-motion impact with the wall, able to see each tiny fissure in the glass as it cracks and weaves and the hairlines meet before the object flies apart. At this speed the world is like the Moon, where gravity seems more sluggish and negotiable. Gillian's voice is a foghorn in his ears for all that she's yelling, and it's only once he manages to get control of himself that he finally hears that last part of what she says.

There would be a witty retort to all that, and it'd probably be yelled, but the power-flux broke up the rhythm of that. So Vic puts his hand to his head and says with his eyes on the floor, "Tell me…what happened…please Gillian…"

"Do you have any idea what certain people would do to get their hands on me?" Gillian says, voice strained even as she speaks, further rasped by having yelled a moment ago. She could use some water. She doesn't move away from the bookshelf. The glass candle cover has split into a few pieces, the wax unmolested. At least nothing will catch on fire. Her neighbors may have a complaint or two because of all the yelling, and her cleaning deposit is likely gone now…

"I was attacked. In the middle of October. The night before I disappeared. These guys in suits shoved me into the back seat of a car. They knew my name, where I lived, where I worked, where I walked… They knew what I could do." It's said clearly enough, but there's definite emotion behind her voice. "I was 'rescued'— " From the way she spits the word out, it might not have been a rescue " —by a man who said he worked for one of those terrorist organizations. You might've heard of them. They were real big in the newspaper. Pariah. He told me that the people who tried to take me worked with the government. That if I didn't let him help me, and help him in return, the government would find me. And I would be brainwashed, made to work for them, or locked away forever. I didn't want to be a terrorist, so I ran on my own."

Surprisingly that actually answers some questions for Vic, but he's trying not to let on about what little he DOES know. Sighing, he takes a moment to step over toward the stuff on the floor and starts to pick it up. It's kind of his fault it got thrown anyway. Still kneeling, he asks, "Is that what Abby does? She's one of these Pariah people?" It'd be interesting to find out that Abby's been lying to him all this time about her motivations. If she's one of those people. "You know Gilly, this hiding out, hiding from me…I'm beginning to think you might be a terrorist yourself. Have they forced you into this and you just won't tell me?"

"No. Abby's different," Gillian says, though she has no idea if she'd been part of the old Pariah or not. "The guy who saved me wasn't even Pariah. He used that name to try and make me go to them. I don't know what the plan was, I fucked it up. When I fucked it up, they kidnapped Jenny when she came to my apartment to clean it out. I knew she was taken. And I thought it was the government guys who tried to grab me. But it wasn't. It was all a fucking game to them. A ruse. A trick." She walks over to the boom box and suddenly turns it on. Goth metal, specifically. It doesn't drown out the words she says, though, but it adds some background music.

"I didn't know until long after she was dead. When I read the report that she was found, I thought the Agents had killed her. I didn't know what happened. Not until… If I would have just played along. If I would have let them use me for what I could do… maybe she'd still be alive. And maybe the whole world would be destroyed right now."

She takes in a slow breath. She blames herself, but there's so much that… "If I would've worked with them and saved Jenny, I don't know what would've happened. These people… they were called Vanguard. They were led by a Nazi son of a bitch who wanted to release a virus that would destroy humankind as we know it. Wipe them out. He would be King. Fuhrer. He would have fucking ruled the world. As the most powerful person of them all. And who knows… he might've used me to make him even more powerful."

So this is something. In fact it's a lot of something. And Vic stays kneeling there with the candle and cracked up holder in hand along with assorted smaller pieces. He rises and puts them on the bookshelf they came from just to get them off the floor, and it's obvious he's in a heavy mood because the guy has rarely picked up a thing in his life that he didn't have to. "Do you know which one of them killed her?" he asks. He's not even trying to look at her. Broken candle is his best friend right now. "If this is all true I'm glad you didn't work with them. But we need to find who did it and get him. Whoever it is. They need to go to jail, Gilly. What if they still come for you?"

"I know," Gillian says, but there's something about this that softens her voice. She walks away from the bookshelf finally to sit down on the couch. Chandra has finished his meal and pads over to hop up onto her lap, and she unconsciously obligates him with a hand to pet down his back, his tail swishing back and forth. "It's complicated, Vic. Jail isn't always the answer. Jail doesn't fix anything. Vanguard is dead. Abby and I got rid of their leader. Isn't that enough?"

"No…" replies Vic simply. No vitriol in his tone, just simple defiance. "No, it's not enough." he turns to look at his last sister with brows furrowed in worry. "Gilly. What if it was me? What if I were the one with his head cut open and dumped on a pig farm in Rhode Island?"

Thank the police who were willing to give that one up to him. It was a slip but it was information nonetheless.

"Would you and Jenny just say it's enough? I.." he puts his closed fist to his mouth and gathers the next thought, "I know you've always been dark. You're the girl who wraps herself in sadness and looks for the…heh…the beauty in the dirt. But we're family. I can't just let it go. I need this to be resolved. You have no idea…" Vic begins to pace, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I quit school again. I've quit two jobs. This is all I do now. Look for her killer and look for you. Though I gave up looking for you for a while. Why do you avoid me?"

"I don't wrap myself in sadness," Gillian protests with a grumbly tone. She'd never been that kind of goth. She just likes the look and the music, really. She never delved into the suicide wishes or the stupid cutting of self crap. That isn't her. Black candles is not the same as writing bad poetry about the grave. "It's complicated," she says, reaching up to put her hands on her head, touching her forehead. She can feel the cut on her skin, she can still remember how it felt at the time. "It won't be resolved. It can't be resolved. I won't let you keep chasing after this."

"Riiiiiight." allows Vic, letting just a hair of his normal sunny self shine through to kid his sister. He thinks she's into it. He always has. Whether he's correct or not, that's not really the important point is it? But he turns over her last words very carefully. Back to Gillian, Vic says in a low tone, "You can't stop me."

"You going to get me arrested too?" Gillian asks, eyes narrowing as she lets her hands drop so she can look at him again, even with his back to her. "I'm as much to blame for what happened to her. Maybe even more so." It's firm voice, but at the same time… it cracks near the end. "You keep going after this… You don't know what this is doing to me. I can't have you waste your fucking life chasing a man who may not even be… Victor you don't even understand what's going on here! You don't know the half of it! It's not black and white. It's not going to be fixed by anything you do, and even if you did get what you want…"

Part of Victor right now imagines that Gillian is creeping up on him right now with a knife, ready to plunge it into his back to get him out of the way. Or a pistol or something. Out of the way of what, he has no idea.

He hates that part of himself. Where did it come from? That part is just not Vic. And because he even thinks it, he keeps his back turned toward his sister in hopes that maybe she IS up to that and WILL do it.

"You didn't kill her, Gillian. Because I think I know who did. You don't cut skulls open and take their brains. Or leave footprints that vanish into thin air, like someone flew there or flew away." His voice is dull and monotoned. And Vic looks at the stereo, blithely playing its angry music, angry at superficial things and therefore suffering from its own ironic superficiality. "Your little brother's been busy hunting for the truth, Gilly. So I think I know a little more about it than you realize. Not the whole story, but enough to figure out what my next move is."

If she knew that was what he was thinking of her… Gillian doesn't, though, and it's a good thing. "You don't know anything. I don't give a fuck what anyone told you, or what you found out. They don't know— " She had been about to say something and bites it back. This isn't the time. Chandra is done with her half-hearted pets and hops down to go and do something else. Cats are so independant.

She does stand up, but she doesn't reach for a knife, or a gun, or anything like that. She just stands. "I know who killed her. Because he's the one who really helped me. He's the man lived with for a month and a half. I didn't know who he was, or who he was working with… I didn't know he knew what was happening to Jenny. And I sure as fuck didn't know he killed her until it was too late. But the point is… there's more to this than that. Think of him like… a weapon. Because that's what he was."

Some part of Vic actually suspected this, in spite of having so little reason to think it. But enough of him, the vast whole of him, is surprised enough at this revelation that he turns to look at his sister with widened eyes. Eyes that cut. "You know? You've Known? Are you hiding him? Who is it?" Say his name. Please. Just say the name so he'll know…

"You said you already knew," Gillian retorts bitterly as the music switches to a darker song. "I can tell you that half the shit you've heard about him is a lie. And the rest… the biggest lie of all… All those people they say he killed when he blew up New York— he didn't kill a single one of them. Because he wasn't the one who did it. He was just the scape goat." She shakes her head, angry. "But yeah, whatever. Sylar killed her. But Sylar isn't who you'll find even if you did hunt him down."

Oh my God. It IS him. "So I was right." Vic says, looking like he's been punched in the gut. Right now he couldn't give a damn for all those people that died in the Bomb, and he hates THAT part of himself too. The deeper he delves into this, the more he finds about himself to hate. Why exactly is that? Vic's breath quickens a little, like he's beginning a pant. And he whispers the name, "Gabriel Gray." Eyes cut toward his sister again. "Why're you…" He shakes his head. At first just a little and then insistently. No. And he has to move for the door. He has to leave but doesn't have the presence of mind or concentration to call upon his speed to do it.

"Victor," Gillian snaps as he starts to move toward the door, glad that he's not zooming out of it. She grabs for his arm, trying to keep him in place. "If you keep doing this… if you keep going after him… you're going to hurt me. If you get him arrested… you'll get me arrested to. If you send people to kill him… they'll kill me too. I've made so many deals to keep him alive— and if you won't even listen to me… then walk out that door. You'll never find me here again."

Victor's grabbed but he jerks away from the grasp. The gesture has the intended effect in part though, because he stops at the door, hand on the knob without opening it. His forehead presses against the door itself so he doesn't have to look at her. "I wouldn't have found you anyway. You vanished the last time I saw you. Remember? Phone number. Job. Bowling alley you worked in? You vanished. I was pretty sure this would be our only chance to talk." His face screws up but it's not where they can look at each other. He will not cry, god dammit. It was enough doing it in public for all those strangers for the stupidest of reasons. Why the hell would he do it now? "Does he have something on you?" he asks, voice thick. It's a straw he's grasping at. Maybe Sylar's manipulating her somehow. Maybe he could live with that.

"Yeah. You could say that," Gillian says, letting her hand fall away since he jerked away from her like he did. The rejection is pretty clear, but she also knows she hurt him. Teo didn't want her to fuck this up, but really… "I had to leave. A lot happened. I went on the run again, and…" She looks down. "When I tried to tell you you didn't know him… I meant it. I lived with him. I've… his ability does something to him. I know because one day I augmented it. That's what I do. I make people's abilities stronger, and they tend to lose control when it happens. That's how Jenny flooded her apartment when she got forced to Register. I did that. Not her, and she took the blame for it."

That had been a pretty extreme demonstration of her ability. "I'm not saying he's innocent. I'm not saying his faultless. But I'm as much to blame for what happened to Jenny as he is. And even more because he doesn't even remember what happened now. He's not the same man."

There's another pause. "And I'm in love with him."

Well if anything was going to get Victor to look at Gillian again, that sure fit on the short list of successful strategies. Vic turns his head and looks at her with disbelief, mouth open because he's still panting. "He killed our sister. And you're in love with him?" No, he just doesn't believe it. It sounds so surreal and…like some kind of joke.

"Believe me, it'd be a fuck lot easier if I hated him," Gillian says, stepping back a little. She understands his surprise and disbelief. She'd been pissed off at herself when she realized what had happened, why she felt the way she did. "When I found out he killed Jenny, I shot him in the back. I betrayed him. We were working together to stop the man who blew up New York, to keep him from hurting anyone else… and I found out that he killed her. And I nearly got him killed." She trails off for a moment. "Instead… he got sent to a place where he could find out what the people he was helping were up to. And he came back… and he… tried to stop the end of the world. If he hadn't gone there… if he hadn't come back… If he hadn't… tried to be something besides the monster you think of when you hear his name… You. Mom. Dad. Most of the population of the world… would be dead."

He almost says that she needs deserves to rot in jail too. He almost says that, but he can't. Because in Vic's eyes there is no difference between the value of Gillian and the value of Jenny. He can no sooner throw her away than he could Jenny.

This is just impossible.

Turning to thump his back to the door, Vic looks at Gillian, panting still because that panic is not going away. "Help me." he pleads. "Please. I can't do this, Gilly." Head shakes decisively, "I can't let Jenny's killer just wander around breathing free air and not have TRIED. Don't you get it? I don't want him dead. I just want him put away. Help me."

"I can't help you do that," Gillian says, shaking her head, unable to agree with this. It goes against all her firmest beliefs. Locking him up would be worse than killing him, in her mind. "I can't help you. I won't help you. In fact, I'll do whatever I can to stop you. Because locking him up won't change anything. It won't bring her back. It won't give her justice. It certainly won't make it so it'll never happen again. In fact, it'll probably turn him into even more of a monster when he breaks out again. Look at this world that we live in, Victor. You can't just put it in a box and expect everything to be okay. He's a person."

"I'm sorry." Vic says heavily, opening the door. But since he's leaning on it he has to lean away from it and trips himself up a little as the door hits his foot. It's not a cool smooth exit. Cool and smooth just isn't possible. What else is there to say? Could anything really be changed between these two by words alone at this point? Victor doesn't think so.

What more words could they possibly say? "I'm sorry, too," Gillian responds, shaking her head. There's a text message that plays across her memory. Don't fuck it up. You're all he has left. Too late. It was already all messed up before they ever reunited. "Good bye," she says, turning away to walk over to her coat. She has a couple text messages to send, and then bags to pack. Like she said… he wouldn't find her here again. Hopefully Tavisha likes cats.

Text message to Teo on 02/25:

I fucked it up.

February 25th: On The Surface
February 25th: Shell Shock
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