No Excuses


brian_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title No Excuses
Synopsis Some times there no room for any.
Date September 19, 2009

The Lighthouse - Tower

The stairs get closer together as they wind all the way up to the top. A small hatch cuts off the stairs from the top of the tower, though the wooden thing is easily open and closed. Railing winds all the way around the top of the lighthouse tower, leaving a gap between the security rail and the canopy that ceilings the tower. The railing encircles the giant light that rests squarely on the middle of the top of the tower.

The giant light looks like it hasn't been turned on for years, and it most likely hasn't. Though with the new inhabitants claiming the Lighthouse, everything is kept clean. And a few chairs are set up, as well as a small table with a radio resting on top of it.

Getting to Staten isn't exactly easy, but Helena practically has it down to a science. Getting to the Lighthouse with relative certainty that she's covered tracks is also old hat, though she's conscious of being overconfident. The initial arrival sees her harrassed by the shorter residents for a little bit, but in an amiable children's sort of way, inquiries about her bruise are answered with 'I tripped and hit the edge of a table'. Yeah, she feels icky for lying about it, but they're not people who need to know the truth. Gillian's up in the tower? Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. No? Fine. Helena climbs up, knocks on the doorway. "Gillian? It's Hel."

The tower is a good place to get away from the children. Not that they're annoying, or anything, but after spending a good week rehabbing herself, Gillian's not quite feeling up to dealing with full babysitting duties just yet. Brian's more than capable of handling all of it. And doing a dozen other things besides. The dark haired young woman, no longer wearing that wig of the meeting, looks a little skinnier and paler than before as she turns to face the winding stairs. She's seated near one of the rails, looking out the non-lit tower. "This is a surprise," she says, before the light streaming in the window catches enough of her face to see a bruise. Eyebrows raise a bit in question, but anything she suspects is far from the truth.

"Yeah, well." Helena shrugs. "It merited the trip. I've got a little insight with what's going on with Peter, and I thought you should know. He gave me this," she lifts a hand, fingers indicating the large bruise at the corner of her mouth and chin, "And let's face it, neither of us is going to give up on him."

"Yeah, well." Helena shrugs. "It merited the trip. I've got a little insight with what's going on with Peter, and I thought you should know. He gave me this," she lifts a hand, fingers indicating the large bruise at the corner of her mouth and chin, "And let's face it, neither of us is going to give up on him."

"I'm not the giving up type," Gillian says, though there's a hint of distance in her gaze, as if she might be talking about more than a man who seems intent in keeping his distance. And perhaps for good reason, this time. "You're telling me he hit you?" It seems to have surprised her quite a bit. "Was there any reason for it, or is he turning into a major Assface again? I can call him that again right now, can't I?" Even if they both care about him a great deal, he's earning the nickname again.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

Finally nearing the top of the tower, Brian is about to call out a warning of his forthcoming presence. But a fragment of a sentence falls upon his ears and his mouth shuts with a round click. His approach to the top is continued in stealth mode. Pressing his back against the wall he takes a moment to listen, whilst positioning himself inside the stairwell, hiding behind the curvature of the walls.

"If you think a Harry Potter joke at his expense is a reason, then I guess that's why." Helena says wryly, "But I don't think it's a very good one. He hit me, and I…retaliated. And I don't regret doing so. I'm not going to just let someone hurt me like that." She shakes her head. "I don't think it was really him, though. I think it's what's inside him. He's not becoming Kazimir, but I think that thing - the dark kami that he's carrying, it's taking him away. And there's bits of Volken in there, but…" Helena shakes her head, beginning to pace. "I don't know. And it's not an excuse."

"Good for you. I'd have kicked him in the fucking nuts if he'd hit me. You can do one better, though," Gillian says quietly, looking at the weather witch. She may not be able to sling lightly accurately, but a good gust in a general direction can toss him into the ceiling. It happened the first time she met the two of them, actually. And Cat as well. It's something she can picture quite well. The stealth mode means she doesn't spot her brother, so her attention remains squarely on Helena. "It's not an excuse, no…" Yet she'd tried to excuse all the things that Gabriel had done…

"Are you retards talking about a retarded guy doing retarded things?" The first retards sounds endearing, likable retards, though the other 'r' words sound sour and definitely not friendly. His words precede his actual arrival though.

Wearing a pair of basketball shorts and a sleeveless shirt which allows part of his yin-yang tattoo to peak through the young man comes bearing gifts.

"Nachos." He announces happily. "Special Brian nachos. Tell me you've had better nachos than these. I dare you." Going to set the platter of nachos on the thick perimeter wall, he gestures with one finger to his crafty creation. "You better take some before I eat them all."

"So whatya talkin bout?" :D

"I slammed him against a wall face first." Helena explains. "Twisted his ankle, left him a nice match to this, too." Another gesture toward her face. "Whatever's in him - don't trust him, Gillian. If you want to get through in one piece, you can love him, but you can't trust him. Not now. He's manipulative, he's dangerous…everything about him is completely unlike the Peter that I - and I figure you - know." Helena isn't saying this as a move in a headgame. She know how easily one can be tempted to expose one's throat to someone you love." She turns as Brian walks in, and he can see it, the purple-black bloom of a bruise on the corner of her lip and along one side of her jaw. "Oooh," she says. "Nachos!"

This isn't the time for mindgames, really. "I'm glad you didn't hurt him too much," Gillian says quietly, with a very serious tone to her voice. Some concern, but maybe not at the person she could be concerned about. There's a lot she's not saying, but her brother suddenly appears talking about nachos. She laughs a bit as she pushes herself to her feet. Even with her week absense from the Lighthouse, she's back. At least for a night or two. Not that she's saying why she was gone, or what she needed to do. Good thing no one can see the small needle holes on her arm. She's got sleeves for that.

"Before all of you eat them all, you mean," she says, moving to grab one and get some of the melty cheese in her mouth. "Best nachos ever," she assures, though it could be as much a lie as her dimpled smile.

Bringing up his hand quickly, Winters goes to cup her cheek gently. Forcing her, (albeit gently) to look at him square in the face. Searching the wound, his lips pull down into a frown. "Peter Petrelli?" His eyes skim over to Gillian then back to Helena. "I won't start yelling and saying you're forbidden to see him, bla, bla, bla. But I will just remind you gently." His thumb goes to brush against Helena's cheek softly, the unbruised part that is, before recoiling. Taking a single chip, making sure to get lots of cheese, sour cream, and ground beef he takes a bite.

Smiling over his bite he munch munch munches, temporarily forgetting about abusive kinda-boyfriends. When the bite ends, he finishes his thought. "This is retarded." Another big smile. Taking a step over to Gillian, his arms curl around her in a brief hug. "Miss you around here Gilli."

Helena winces a little bit, but looks Brian right in the eye easily enough. "There's more going on here then meets the eye. The kami that was in Volken is in Peter, and the kami that was in Abby is in Deckard. I'm going to speak to someone who might be able to provide some insight as to what to do. I don't know if I can entirely not-blame Peter, but I know that it wasn't really him. That thing inside him is corrupting him." She walks to the bowl and attacks the nachos. Man, for a tiny little thing, she can scarf."Ohmygod," she moans in delight, "So cheezy delicious. I may weep."

"I do think what ability you have influences you, whether you know it or not. But Kazimir and Abby's power— this kami thing— it sounds like it's different, maybe even influences you more," Gillian says quietly, as she returns the hug. It's not quite as brief as he meant, cause she steps into it. Lengthens it. "I know. I missed you too." She's been under the radar for a while now, not answering calls, even for important meetings, like firestations and Alley Cats. That dimpled smile continues a bit while Helena scarfs, but she doesn't join in the battle of mouth vs nachos.

Brian smiles faintly once her arms fix around him and she tightens the hug. "Love you kid." Taking a step back, Brian delivers Gillian a somewhat searching look before dropping his hands to his sides. He looks longinly at the nachos for a moment. "Just bring down the platter when you're done, kay." Bringing up one hand he goes to set it on Helena's shoulder, giving it a squeeze he leans in to give her a tight hug as well.

Parting, Winters is back at the top of the stairs. "I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I think kami is either indian, or a character from anime. But…" He shrugs. "See you later, kiddo." This time it's directed at Helena the last word emphasized, knowing how much she hates being called kid.

Helena looks on with some faint air of wistfulness; she effectively has no family anymore and misses it terribly. She distracts herself with cheesy nacho goodness. Crunch crunch. "I think the kami are somehow sentient. Or self-aware. I mean, they have purpose and direction. The trick is figuring out what to do about it." Crunch. "That's why I'm going to go see Hokuto."

"I'll bring it down. And who you calling kid?" They're the same age! But Gillian doesn't yell after him, instead picking up one of the nachos and eating it. She's not going to dig in, but she'll have a few. The less she'll have to take down the stairs. "The tarot card reader?" she asks, obviously familiar. "I was planning to go see her again myself, but for more selfish reasons. I got kind of a confusing reading, cause I asked a confusing question. How does she know about this kami thing, though?"

"Whatever the cards have to tell her." Helena says. "Anyway." She pauses in her nacho gorging to eye Gillian. "I just came to tell you to look out for yourself. To let you know it's not the Peter we know. It wouldn't be," she pauses trying to find a word, "fair, to do otherwise."

"I dunno. The Peter I knew tried to kill me a couple times," Gillian says thoughtfully, but doesn't really sound angry or upset about it. It's the truth, but that'd not been why she feels the way she does. "But I do think that thing has a mind of it's own," she glances down the spiral stairs. "The last time I saw him was the night Eve and I extracted Else, saved her from Feng." She'd explained that much to Cat, but she'd really not said Peter was there. "According to Eve's dream, Else was going to die that night. Not because Feng killed her, but because Feng shot Peter. And his power, against his will and control, would have drained her of her life. We went there to save Peter as well as Else."

"Does he know that?" Helena asks, not really having known Peter had attacked Else, but not being surprised. Especially if Eve dreamed it. "It doesn't matter, actually. Even if he knows, he probably doesn't care, and is just angry that you managed to stop him from doing what he thought needed to be done."

"Pretty much that exactly," Gillian says, snorting a bit. It could sound like a laugh, but it's most certainly not one. "He said we were in his way, acted like we cost him a chance to stop Feng. But no one died that night, so the end result was better than it would've been. Which seems to be the most anyone can ask for these days. Something a little fucking better than what should've been. Even if it's not always what happens." There's a pause, before she takes another chip with cheese. "So anything I can do to help Phoenix out?"

Helena considers a moment. "What do you think you can do to help Phoenix out?" she asks. "I don't mean it as a deflection, it's just sometimes I feel like people are looking at me to give them…I don't know, like, homework assignments. How would you feel about working out of one of the Alley Cat branches? Rey's managing the original branch, but I don't think we have one for the new Bronx facility. I'd have to double check with Cat, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't okay."

"I'm considering that, definitely. Depends on how much time I can get away from the Lighthouse," Gillian says, glancing down the spiral stairs. The kids are great, but sometimes she needs a break. And right now is one of them. "I kinda meant right now. I'm not really ready to hang out with the kids, so I was fishing for an excuse to go back to Manhattan with you and help out with something."

Helena considers a moment. "There've been some folks we think are Humanis First watching the building. Cat wants to corner them. If you want to come around for that, we wouldn't say no." There's a pause and she adds, "The management position might be something ideal for you, actually. You'd be in a position to do a lot of research, direct inbound and outbound flow of information, keep an ear on what's being said on the floor. Processing and cataloging information, it's what you do as a librarian, right?"

"It is what I did as a librarian, yeah," Gillian says in a whispered voice, as she picks up the plate. There's not much left, really. Between her minor scarfing and the others. Brian had probably lit into it before he came up, too. "I'll think about it. I've made some promises to Brian that I have to keep, and…" There's a trail off, a mild flinch. "I'll think about it. Might be best to let Cat find some others for the time being, though, just in case. I'm sure there's other people just as qualified. But I'll definitely help out today."

Helena cocks her head and studies Gillian for a long moment. Does she have an idea? Possibly. Probably. "I'd hate to lose you." she says, and follows that up with, "Okay. I should head back. I'll call you with the go-time for that little project at the Verb."

"I'll probably change clothes and take a ferry over," Gillian says, letting the blonde woman go down first. Hate to lose her. There's a lot of things to lose. "No matter what I decide, I'll still help whenever I can, Hel— you'll always know where to find me. I can promise that much." If she's able to be found at all. "See you later."

"See you." is the quiet reply, and with that, Helena is gone.

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