Move On


gillian2_icon.gif kazimir5_icon.gif

Scene Title Move On
Synopsis Sometimes the only way to let go of something is to face the truth about it. Gillian questions what happened to her in the last year when she runs into Peter walking around the Library looking for Cardinal.
Date October 13, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

The Library isn't empty, by any means, even in the middle of the day. There's often a few people lurking in the halls, staying in rooms in makeshift beds and mattresses, bundled up against the cold. One such woman stands outside a room in a wing with smaller amounts of damage than some. It might have had desks once upon a time, a study room, but now there's strings. A rainbow of colors connected and looping around, tangled in places. Little notes hang from them.

Even if Gillian's not entirely sure what to make of the work of Edward Ray, she can't help but glance into the room while she visits, and waits. The halls offer protection against the wind, at least, but a cold draft goes through some unsealed cracks, a whistling sound. A shattered bookshelf, that seems to have been busted apart, spilled some books on the floor. Some with pages ripped out, some with covers removed— but there's some that are in fine shape. If water damaged and neglected.

A glance gets cast towards one of the visible windows, to look at the level of the sunlight. She might have to wait til night to see Cardinal again, at this rate. The coat she wears gets pulled tighter around her, the dyed streak of pale bronze-gold standing out in her otherwise dark hair.

"Hiro's working with him?" The voice cuts thorugh the silence of the Library like a knife, through doors and security and labyrinthine halls to right behind Gillian. Peter's voice, not Richard Cardinal's, Peter's voice here inside of Richard Cardinal's sanctuary and bastion from the outside world, standing with gloved hands folded behind his back in the doorway of the spacious, high-ceilinged chamber. His voice echoes, in this dimly-lit place, and the click of his shoes on the marble floor reverberates up into the vaulted ceiling.

There's a startled sound and a light jump from the young woman, who spins to face the familiar voice. "Fuck. Didn't I tell you not to do the sneaking up on people thing?" Gillian says in a rasp once she's settled down, giving him a grumbling look before she can even process his question. "Hiro? Um— I don't think so. I haven't even seen him since Moab. No idea what he's been up to lately— other than what Cat mentioned a few times." And while she would have remembered a few months ago to the letter, she just remembers that Cat mentioned him a few times. No idea what the mentions were— except for the— Oh yeah, having his brother's power.

It's been a while since she's seen him, and she can't help but chew on her lip for a moment, and then look away, toward the strings. "He said Edward Ray did it before he left, to help with stuff, or whatever. Not the one that shot you." There's a pause. "At least I hope not the one that shot you."

There's a quiver in her voice for a moment, and then she bites it back and looks back toward him, seeking out his face, his eyes, "What are you doing here?"

A quiet stare is given to Gillian, then blue eyes track to the string web as a brow slowly arches. Those black dress shoes click-clack against the floor as Peter tucks his hands into the pockets of his slacks, making his way past her towards the web itself. Blue eyes peer over the colored thread, far less notes and clippings attached to this one, just colors and woven patterns, but this is Edward not Hiro. Different minds.

"Edward…" The blue eyes narrow, and Peter reaches up a gloved hand to trace his fingers across a black string, following it down to a point where it becomes tangled with a white ribbon. Those blue eyes squint, and he plucks the string like it belongs on a guitar and turns back to face Gillian again. "I'm looking for Richard." His expression is a considering one, head slowly crooking to one side as he takes a few steps around the long conference table in the room, letting a gloved hand trace out over the dark wood as he moves. "What're you doing here?"

As he moves, a set of eyes follow him, watching his gloved hands touch the strings, and the table. Gillian watches for differences from the men she'd known— for a year now. A fact she only knows for sure because it's creeping closer and closer to when she disappeared from her life and left everything behind. Always changing— even now he's…

"I'm here for the same reason," she says in a whispery sound, moving to lean against the door frame, putting somemore distance between them, but also blocking him in the room, sort of. He'd have to squeeze close by her to get out.

And that's exactly what she intends. Also allows her to glance down the hallway for the shadow-man, or it would if she could look away from Peter for very long.

"I came to talk to Cardinal and see if he could help with some things…" Even if she knows his first name, it seems like she's content with calling him Cardinal. A hand reaches up to push a lock of hair behind her ear, and then she lets the arm drop to her side again, "I'm not sure when he'll get back. He could be anywhere right now."

"Then if you're playing his librarian," Blue eyes level to Gillian's with an undercut tone, "relay that I'm looking for him and that we need to talk." Stepping past the table now, Peter's smooth gait takes him right to the doorway, well inside of arm's reach as he looks across to Gillian, his head quirking to the side again, eyes moving up past her shoulder than back to her again.

Wordlessly, the look says move, but it's just that — wordless. He stands there for a moment, silently considering her as his gloved hands move to tuck into his pockets, one dark brow raising in question of her sentinel-like posture between himself and the doorway. A brush by is too much of a risk for him to take, all things considered.

"I'm not his librarian, but I'll tell him," Gillian says, catching the wordless look and shifting a bit. She does move, but instead of moving out of the door, she moves to fill it more, stepping to where she's in the center of it, wearing her comfortable boots. Walking is too common place these days to wear anything that isn't comfortable for her feet.

Her gaze slides over his face, focusing first on the scar, then on those blue eyes— eyes that she liked better before. They just seem… unnatural now. And perhaps that's the point. "I know you're still in there," she rasps softly, hesitation in her voice. These are things she'd wanted to say, and who knows when she'll get the chance to say it again. If Edward Ray was right and his calculations were just off, maybe she's got a month to live, a couple weeks before her power fritzes out. Or maybe she'll die another way. A hundred ways to die.

"I know that you're still in there, Peter— or else I doubt many of us would be walking around right now. And I don't— I don't think that he would have saved me." That's when she looks down, off to the side a bit, grimacing. "But— Helena thinks a part of Kazimir is still… there too. With his… Ability." His whatever-that-crazy-word-was. Then she looks back up, that determined look he's seen out of her a few times. "If he is at all. I want to know something."

Blue eyes narrow down at Gillian, and Peter's head tilts to the side with one dark brow slowly rising. He stares at her, awkwardly, for too long to be comfortable for either of them. His posture is squared, shoulders back and spine straight as his brow slowly lowers, and the question on his lips is one loaded with a certain amount of suspicion. "Who do you think you're talking to?" The question is enough to send chills up her spine, and the way Peter's head slowly rolls to the other side, like a curious bird, makes it seem all the less like his mannerisms.

At first, there's the instinct to back away. Gillian's feet shift, but then stick in place, knees locking. Locking knees is always dangerous, risks fainting if they stay that way too long, but it beats them shaking visibly. Hands flex and move, fidgeting as she tries to keep herself there. "I— I'm not entirely sure." The question came of as rhetorical, one that she should know the answer too. The head tilt, the way he moves…

Her eyes slide down, to his chest, allow her to steady her breath a bit. It doesn't work out well, but once she's sure her voice won't shake, she looks back up at his eyes. His eyes.

Her answer was correct, though. Even with his mannerisms and… everything, she's not sure who she's talking to right now. The face and voice belong to one man, the eyes belong to another. Perhaps… "I want to know why Vanguard went after me and my sister."

"Really?" Dark brows furrow together, and Peter slides his hands out of his pockets and folds his arms across his chest, inclining his head as he gives Gillian a stern look. "Do you really care why any of that happened? Do you think it will bring your sister back, or make her death at Gabriel's hands any easier? Do you think that it won't open up old wounds, old pains, old worries?" The cold blue eyes narrow as he regards the younger woman with a certainly level of scrutiny and annoyance.

"Ask me again, and I'll tell you exactly what you want to know. Or," he nods to the doorway, "you can get out of my way and remember to deliver my message to Richard." The blue eyes divert to the hall beyond the door, then return to Gillian. "The choice is entirely yours. But I'd think about what you really want very carefully."

There's always a choice. Running away, or facing something. The first instinct that comes over her is to shuffle backwards and out of the doorway and find somewhere slightly warmer to wait for Cardinal. But what Gillian would be running from is the same thing she ran from all those months ago… "It won't bring her back. It won't what he did…" Her sister isn't proud of her, and since she saw her sister die through his own eyes, in a vision she didn't mean to have— while he used the ability of the man who stands before her to heal himself—

"I need to know why because… because then I can… move on." There's some hint of tears beginning to form, but she makes a sudden sound of frustration and reaches up with cold hands to swipe at them. The lighter lock of hair falls into her face for a moment, before getting brushed aside.

"If I'm ever going to stop living in the fucking past… Then I have to face it. It won't change anything, really." Not anything that happened. It'll just… "It'll just change… me." Knowing things has always been important to her. The details. "Why did Vanguard go after me and my sister?"

"Your sister was only to feed Gabriel's appetite for powers and make you afraid and willing to do what we wanted." Peter's voice is cold, emotionless, the facts stated as if he were reading them off of a medical chart. "We wanted you to augment the other members of the Vanguard, perhaps condition you and twist you into working for us like we'd done in the past." We. "You were going to be a hopeful recruit, and your relationship with Gabriel was a perfect foundation for this. You had infinite possibilities for our organization, and yet— " there's a roll of Peter's shoulders, and that's all he has to offer. "You've done fair enough for yourself I suppose."

A look is given back to the strings, then once more to Gillian as dark brows crease together flatly. "When you tell Cardinal who came asking after him?" One of those brows rises slowly, "Tell him it was Peter. For both our sakes."

It's never easy to hear the truth, but— it's the truth. Gillian's breath shakes softly as she inhales, coming out in puffs of visible air. It's getting that cold these days. It won't be comfortable waiting in the library for the shadow man to wander in. "That— that's what I wanted to know," she says softly, even if… "Your plans were messed up, cause… Gabriel didn't do what was expected. He— he killed my sister, yes, but he didn't— he didn't push me toward you as… as much as he could." He'd said it once, that he'd protected her.

And… he did. She would have considered his words if he'd more firmly pushed, or he knew her well enough to know what to say that would make her jump one way and… become molded into what they wanted.

"I'm not planning to tell anyone that Kazimir's still walking around in…" In the body of someone she still cares about. "It might help if— if I could— Is Peter still in there? Does he know that we're talking?" There's a small tremor of her voice, a fidget of her hands again. "Can I talk to him at all?" Even as she asks this, she… takes a few steps back, clearing space in the door way so he can leave without getting too close.

A silent, half-lidded stare is afforded to Gillian during her emotional stammering, little sympathy plays out across Peter's stoic face. One dark brow raises, and his response is, "What makes you think he wants to talk to you?" Hard-soled shoes click on the marble floor as Peter walks past Gillian now that she's moved out of the way, and stops just on the other side of the door, turning to look over his shoulder at the dark-haired woman with that steely expression from earlier.

"Do be more mindful of who follows you home," he admits afterward, "I'm not the only thing that goes bump in the night in the ruins." No answers, nothing substantial anyway, and Peter's shoulders rise into another shrug as he turns and begins headed back towards the lobby far beyond the stacks. This is how it's become for them, and this is what she's left with.

There's a quiver that immediately follows the harsh response, but it's not tears or hurt emotion, it's anger. One thing in her past given some kind of resolution, while another one clings with the force of a powerful vice. Gillian doesn't let him walk away in silence, though— she's never been good at letting someone else have the last word. "If he didn't want to talk to me again, then he would have just let me die." It's firm, and the anger bleeds out of her raspy voice.

"You're not trying to use me, cause if you were, you'd take advantage of how I feel, just like you wanted to do with Gabriel. You had no reason to save me, so it was him that did it." She takes a few steps after, so she doesn't quite have to yell. Her voice isn't really made for yelling— it's too raspy.

"And I don't have a home anymore. I haven't had one for almost a year."

The back-clad man in the hall stops at those words, turning to look back at Gillian with one brow raised. "Perhaps you should fix your own life first then, before worrying about the hearts of others." Those blue eyes narrow in the dark, "It's hard to love someone, without loving yourself first." But what would Kazimir Volken know of love?

As he turns down the hall and rounds a corner, that wonder will have to be answered another day.

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