Outside Our Control


gillian_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Outside Our Control
Synopsis Sylar's plan was to avoid everything that happens in this log. But you know what they say about best-laid plans.
Date December 21, 2008

Siann Hall: Gabriel and Gillian's Apartment

Despite the hour, there's noise coming from the apartment. Quiet, at a low volume. Music playing from a small radio in one of the back rooms. No one in any of the other rooms would be able to hear it, no one in the hallway— no one who doesn't already have enhanced hearing, at least. The small amount of noise has been a constant in this apartment. It's music with a softer beat, lyrics in a foreign language— French from the sound of it. And no one's awake to listen to it.

The ticking of a clock also comes from the bedroom, by the table side, a pocket watch stained black. Even the cat's asleep, having claimed the bed that Gillian used to use. Laundry lays on the floor in a few places— both her own and shirts of his. Even one of his coats has been dropped on the floor next to the door. The dishes have been done, for the most part, but one glass sits on the table, some water remaining at the bottom from melted ice, with no coaster.

And Gillian herself is asleep on his bed, wrapped in warm covers that try to block out the mild chill that remains in the room despite the heat being on. One of her hands is visible, the wristwatch he repaired for her secured on it— but it's broken again, thick cracks along the glass, the second hand broken off entirely.

In the dark and quiet of the outside hallway, a hand gains back its colour as it presses against the door. With more concentration that he normally gives this task, Sylar quietly - quietly - unlocks the door. Without a key. He can't help the slight creak of the door, and it almost makes him laugh. He can throw an armored car into a building, he could probably create a nuclear device if given the pieces and the means, he could become a nuclear device with enough motivation… but there's not much to do about a squeaky door.

Inside, it's warmer, but he doesn't take off his coat. He doesn't intend to stay long at all. Woolen and black, the long coat is not unlike his usual choice in clothing, dark jeans basically black in this light, boots leaving damp footprints on the cheap carpeting. He doesn't notice the water marks on the table, the laundry lying everywhere, the general disorganisation of the place. Just quietly, Sylar makes for the door that used to be his bedroom.

And stops.

A look of confusion crosses his features when that gentle sound of a heart beat drifts from his room, and nothing from the adjacent bedroom. The silence wraps around him, emphasising his own indecision, before he resumes his slow pace towards the door, gently pushing it open. The curled up form of Gillian, made bulky and without shape beneath the covers of the bed linens, gets his attention for several seconds, before he's walking further in, towards the set of drawers pushed near the window. Get in, take what he needs, get out. More difficult than you think.

The chain on the door was broken by Ethan, and she hasn't had a chance to fix it yet, so that probably helped him get in too. It hangs snapped in two parts, giving indication of someone who forced the door open. The squeak is enough to cause her to shift under the covers, but Gillian doesn't jump out of bed and start throwing things just yet. She's still curled up when he walkes into the room, trying to move quietly to his things. There's clothes on the floor, concealed by shadows, as well as shoes and other things. It looks as if this room has been claimed as her own.

There's no sudden movement, but he can tell the moment she hears him— the moment she realizes it's not just the soft music, or the cat, or anything else. Her heart skips once, then starts to speed up, her breathing changes under the covers, quiet, but shaky and with hints of fear. There's a shift as if she's reaching for something, skin against fabric.

He doesn't go for clothes, shoes - trivial, replaceable belongings. It occurs to him to collect his watchmaker tools, but these are replaceable too, in the end. No, it's the bag he'd stashed in the bottom drawer with a ridiculous sum of money that he's after, and he reaches out a hand to start to pull it open— Sylar goes still, listening to the woman in the bed several feet away. She's awake. That much is certain. Her heart rate changes, her breathing changes, she's shifting, reaching for— He doesn't stop her, but quietly, he breathes a little bit more sound into the room with a quiet, rasped, "Don't."

The other indicator of her being awake would be her ability seeping out, reaching toward him. Gillian doesn't think to tie it off immediately. Not a surge that leaves him reeling— but a energy, a small amount. It's the voice that she recognizes that actually stops her hand. The heartbeat changes a fraction, as does her breathing. Still something there, but it sounds different. "You're back," she murmurs in a tired voice. Her hand slides out from under the pillow, without nothing in hand, and she shifts, reaching for the bedside lamp and turning it on. The knot in the back of her head starts getting tied, as she looks to confirm with eyes that squint against the sudden change in light. The covers have fallen away… and she's wearing a shirt that definitely is not her own. It's one of his. Far too big for her.

Sylar manages not to flinch as the light comes on, and he doesn't prevent it either. His back straightens as the room is flooded with yellow light. Snow speckles his black coat, a very outside presence into the sanctuary of a bedroom. Hair combed, face clean shaven, clothes clean and expensive, there's not a visible trace of any of the recent ordeals he's been through. Everything, as usual, is hidden. In one way or another. "I wasn't going to stay," he tells her, visibly tense. His gaze sweeps her over, noting the attire, and for a moment, he flickers an honestly confused look up to her eyes before looking away. "I left some things behind."

Wasn't going to stay. There's something in her breath when he says that, almost a huff of air. They spent enough time around each other that he'd recognize it as anger and frustration. Gillian shakes her head, still squinting through the light, waiting for her eyes to adjust. A hand raises to shade her face and help with that. It doesn't help as much as she'd probably like. Whereas he looks expensive and polished, she looks tired… overwrought. She did just wake up, though. That could have a lot to do with it. No visible signs of injury, but the hand shielding her eyes shows something else on her wrist. "So I wait for you to come back and you're just going to grab your things and leave," she says in a grouchy voice. Doesn't seem like she's grouchy just about being woken up, either. "Nice to see you didn't freeze to death in Antarctica," she says, voice almost spitting the words at him, as she shifts to get out of the bed. Doesn't look like she's wearing anything except his shirt.

Nothing but the shirt and the watch, which does catch a glance from him— but he's more occupied in watching her with something like disbelief. If anything, he expected… maybe fear. Or violence. Not this. The way he blinks rapidly at her is bordering on comical, mouth opening once, then shutting again, as he stands there in his winter coat, still dripping snow as if he'd only stepped in from Antarctica just now. "Gillian, you— shot me in the shoulder," Sylar feels moved to point out, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "I thought I was doing you a favour."

"Were you doing me a favor when you lied to me?" Gillian asks, voice harsh and angry. She's not awake enough to be afraid. She's too furious at him for walking in, going to grab his things, and then leave. She might be afraid later. Much later. "Were you doing me a favor when you let me believe the people who attacked me were part of that Company? That they attacked my sister? That they killed her? Or maybe you were doing a me a favor when you killed her?" Her voice is raising a little. It might be loud enough to be heard as a muffle in the apartment over, but probably not enough for words to be made out. "I waited this long to ask you one fucking question, and now you have me asking twenty." She actually grabs a pillow off the bed and throws it at him. What was under the pillow that she was reaching for? It looks like a taser of some kind.

His right hand comes up to catch the pillow, somewhat awkwardly, head turning so it doesn't completely hit him in the face before letting the item drop. That look of confusion never really leaves… but now it dulls some, gaze drawing down towards the carpet underfoot before slowly meeting her's again. "You know the answers," Sylar points out, quietly. "The ones that mean anything at the end of the day. The fundamental truths. You know exactly what I am." His chin lifts a little, regarding her, eyes hooded a little. "What was your one question?"

"You said you didn't even know who you were when you were around me," Gillian says, remembering those words due to some kind of significance and not a perfect memory like he might have. She isn't dumb, though— she had been a librarian. A lot of what she knew relied on memory, knowing what things said— where they were. Nothing else comes flying across the room at him, though there's a couple heavier things handy. The lamp she turned on would be a good one, though she'd have to unplug it or it wouldn't go far. She stands there, shaking in an emotion entirely seperate from fear. Her one question, as opposed to the seven hundred that suddenly came up the moment he appeared. "Were you going to leave with me?"

That's right. He did say that. Sylar has no response other than a cynical sigh at his own sentiment, wishing he'd been quieter, wishing he truly could have ghosted out of her life. But he'd convinced himself he'd needed the money, everyone needs money, and come here anyway. Maybe there was more to it than that. Maybe he could have been quieter after all. He grips his left arm with his right hand, almost a defensive posture, although it has nothing to do with an emotional response. He's been out of the sling for a little too long.

Her question makes him pause, mind racing back towards that conversation in the bowling alley, the one of hope that happiness was possible. Sylar doesn't really look at her when he responds simply with, "Yes."

He would have left. The fact that he just says it makes it seem even more truthful than anything else he could have said. So simple. That makes it hurt even more. Gillian'd been looking at him with anger and frustration and it all deflates. He's seen her cry before, in fear of her own life, but somehow this is different. Moisture forms, which she turns and rubs away, facing the bedside table with the lamp. That shaking is back again, for more reasons that before, a tightness taking over her throat, her chest. "I didn't want you to die," she says, hands touching the table, gripping the edge. Her voice is tight. "I just wanted you to feel what I felt." Not the gunshot itself, but everything that she hoped came with it.

There's a silence as Gillian turns away, but then maybe she will be able to hear his two steps towards her - the gentle sway of his coat, the softer foot falls against carpet - although he goes no further. Sylar is at his best when he knows what he's doing. Gillian has since smashed his plan to pieces. After all the betrayal of the pit of vipers that is Vanguard, it's new to be in a room where someone cares for you. Where someone loves you. Even if they hate you. "There's a part of me that isn't going to go away," he says, voice at a low rasp that on occasion hitches not with tears but something a little broken all the same. Very much like the night they'd kissed the first time. "It's the part that killed Jenny." He says her name as if he knows her well, and in a way… he does. He knows her very well indeed. "It's the part that killed all of them, that made me find you. It's the part that can't stop until there's nothing left. But there's more than that. And it's not going away either."

In a stubborn way, Gillian had turned around to make sure that the moisture that fell would be the last of it. That there'd be nothing more. That would be it. What he said took those plans and threw a truck through the fragile glass that she hoped would protect her for even a moment. A surge of energy bleeds out of her rather suddenly, proof of the emotional affect that it had on her. The shaking in her shoulders also gives it away, the grip of her hand on the table… the way her heart shifts, her breath catches. He killed Jenny. Not a question she needed to ask. She knew. The confirmation still weakens her knees, forces her to rely on those arms. That made him find her. It's the last part that really does it. "What?" she asks in a voice slightly higher pitched and more drawn out than normal. She takes in a slow breath, tries again in a more normal voice— one that still shakes, "What more is there?" Though she's turned away, there's tears on her cheeks, ones she can't wipe away if she doesn't want to end up sitting on the floor.

The surge is a surprise, and though she can't see it, the evidence that it catches him off-guard flickers over him— in that customary inky manner, colour pools out of his body until he's perfectly invisible, and, gaining control once more, he clamps the wayward ability down, colour flooding back into place as he shuts his eyes. It's such a familiar connection. Silence crackles between them and wraps them both up, suffocating, and Sylar looks at her again, even if she's still turned away. Another step is taken, close enough now that she might be able to hear his breathing. He can hear hers, the way it catches with suppressed tears. His head tilts. "Just a man," he says, voice hollow.

Right now she can't even think to smash it down, to lock it back up. It pours out of her much like the tears, the emotions… everything that comes from hating and loving someone at the same time. Gillian should want to kill him. Should want to beat against him until he cries out in pain. But what he says actually makes her laugh. Little humor in the laugh, but there it is. Repeating her own words back at her. A slow break preceeds her turning around and looking up at him, more than a few tears she's probably just as furious at streaking down her face. She doesn't start screaming or beating him, "I don't know if I can forgive you." It's clear and honest. But it's followed by her clearing what little distance is between them and reaching up to touch his head and pull him closer to her level, intending to do exactly what she'd been doing the first time she said he was just a man. Problem is she's not even thinking of holding it back. It's all up to him, because her hands start to glow the moment she touches him.

Sylar was there the day Peter Petrelli lost control of his abilities when they all clambered together to send radiation rippling out of his body, flattening buildings, corroding a city from its center. He lost control. Simple as that. Sylar doesn't lose control, not when he doesn't want to, even when his hearing goes a little haywire, picking up and intensifying sounds it shouldn't though it goes ignored. Of all the things that can happen, Gillian doesn't turn to ice from his touch, she isn't pierced with alien-green lasers, water doesn't flood the room and drown them both. He's even able to kiss her back when the stunning out pour of energy flows into him, a hand coming up to cradle against her throat, a needy bite to the kiss.

But there's always been one thing he couldn't control. One thing that always controlled him.

The kiss is broken, Sylar twisting his head away as if stung, taking a step back. This is… new. And he can't stop it. Not this time. "Gillian…" he hisses, looking back at her, a fleeting look of something - confusion-fear-overwhelmed - when suddenly the brunette is picked up by something invisible and pushed back against the wall, like he did to her sister against the crate, like he's done to so many before. "I'm so sorry," is all he can say, hand outstretched, keeping her there. But the words sound like they're coming from miles away.

The surge lessens, but doesn't disappear as Gillian finds herself shoved away against the wall… Only that impact makes her cry out suddenly. The lamp shakes on the table beside her, but doesn't fall and break. It's the distance only that makes the glow fade away, the sudden burst of energy settle down… She's not regained control. There's that spike of fear finally, but it settles into something else as his voice whispers at her. For a few moments she's wide eyed. Tears continue to fall, similar to how they did with her sister, with many of his victims. This time, and only this time, she doesn't kick, thrash, or yell. The few times Petrelli manhandled her with invisible hands, she did all of that and more. This is different, though. The determination she fought with remains, but it has a different purpose this time. "Take what you came for… and go…" There's pain in her voice.

"You have no idea what you're asking for," Sylar almost purrs, that anxiety gone, that conflict thrown out the window. There's nothing that exists but this. He knows exactly what he has to do, what he wants, what he always wanted from her. Right? Maybe not. But the world has gone hazy and all he wants to do is see the wheels turn, to see what makes her go… tick. Tock. Ignoring the pain in his shoulder the action brings him, because it's totally irrelevant, his left hand comes up, a finger pointed almost lazily and with a dreamy look on his face, he starts to cut.

This is what it looked like he would do to that woman in the dance club— what he probably did to her sister, to that Mendez guy— all of it. Gillian lets out a cry at first, surprised and in pain. The first thrash happens, though it does nothing. She can barely even kick the wall. No escape. The only thing she could do with her ability is make him stronger— he won't lose control like Petrelli. It won't work that way. The only thing she really has left is a confession. Something she couldn't admit to anyone— barely even admited it to herself. It's said in a whine, wanting to yell and scream, but limiting it to just a few whined words, "I fell— in love— with you." It's not said to stop him so much as said because it's the one thing she needed to say, needed to admit to. The blood starts to pour down one side of her forehead, as the cut forms, sliding onto her eyebrow, further mingling with tears.

You don't squeeze a trigger and will the bullet to stop. You don't let a wild dog off its leash and expect it to stay. Skin splits, blood starts to drip, and Gillian's ebbing of her ability starts to cut through the fog in his mind. Her words force his eyes from the progression of the cut to meet her watery gaze. It's never going to go away, he'd said, he'd warned. Then there's the other part. Was that a lie? It can't be. She fell in love with that part.

Gillian is dropped gracelessly, Sylar's hands drawing away from his action like he'd been burned, gripping onto his coat for want of something to grip, knuckles going white as he can only stare down at what he almost did, what he came so close to doing. Again. His voice is raw when he talks next. "There's nothing left to fall in love with," he says harshly, trying to at least keep the volume down if not the waver. "Do you see now? Do you see who I can be around you?"

There's no strength for her to land on her feet. Gillian ends up kneeling on the floor, blood dripping onto the carpet. When she looks back up, her hair is falling into her face, covering some of what he did, but from the amount of blood… ideally she should be going to a hospital and getting stitches. But he knows already she won't do that. As is she may be okay, but it won't heal clean… she only has one eye open as she glances up, the other shut against the blood dripping over her. She shudders once at his words. He showed her what she'd always defended him with. He'd never hurt her before. Until now. "Get out," she says, voice carrying pain, physical and more. She doesn't even try to stand up.

It's amazing how close you can get to happiness before all it's all taken away and replaced by something bitter and icy. Something empty. Sylar, Gabriel Gray, whoever he is, stands still for only a second, staring down at the bleeding woman. How little time ago, it seemed, that he'd been so scared of the bad thoughts that drove him here. How well he knows them now. Her final request pierces through the spell much like the bullet had passed through his shoulder.

He gets out.

The money in the drawer may as well be Chandra's for all he cares, completely forgotten despite a perfect memory, and he doesn't use telekinesis either to shove and pull open doors until he's in the hallway, out onto the street in the middle of a blizzard that beats the city senseless with ice and wind.

He might hear the small cry, almost a whimper that follows him while he leaves quickly. Gillian doesn't move for a time. The bleeding hasn't stopped yet, something she'll need to take care of soon. Ethan's losing his security deposit, and she can't find herself feeling sorry for him on that. Pushing herself up, she doesn't try to stop the blood still, and instead reaches for the pocket watch, flipping it open and checking the time with one eye.

She broke her wrist watch at 3:33… when she knew that she'd been in love with the man who killed her sister.

And at 2:47, she knew it would never be fixed.

December 20th: One More for the Ranks
December 21st: Braced
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