Strings Attached


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Scene Title Strings Attached
Synopsis After a busy night, Sylar steams up the room with Gillian. No, really.
Date October 30, 2008

Siann Hall, Bronx

The apartment was empty for the whole night. Or at least of anyone except a former goth. Former because she took a short trip to a nearby store, bought some hair dye, and spent quite a few hours working on altering her appearance. By the next morning, Gillian's hair is a chestnut brown, as opposed to the black of before. The clothes she wears are too big for her, stuff she obviously just grabbed off the shelf, and more colorful and also more white than anything she'd have worn before. Jeans, a red scarf that acts as a belt. The top itself is white, hanging loose against her skin, masking her curves. And even though she's inside, her hair is pulled up, sticking out the back of a plaid baseball cap, red and black.

In her solitude, she's opened up her computer, one of the few things she grabbed from her apartment, and seems to be flicking through some files on it. An e-book. She may not have been able to grab her books, but her collection of e-books will do the job well enough.

It's been a very long night. Rather than bothering with an appearance that doesn't fit his clothes, Sylar moves down the hallway of the fourth floor, a glimmering, near-invisible wraith-like creature, and when he gets to the door, he concentrates for half a moment, before colours pool back into his body so that he's a natural shade, rather than haphazardly the colours of his surroundings. The small dufflebag he holds also gains back its colour, dangling from his left hand. When he goes to open the door with his right, he only grunts in vague pain, before concentrating, using telekinesis instead to undo the lock and push open the door.

Sylar's certainly a presence when he walks inside, dressed in black, a thick woolen coat filling out his frame with its length - there's a tear at his right arm, and something staining the fabric. He also appears to be rather tired, but he hasn't gotten any sleep, so go figure. "Gillian," he greets, gaze trained to her as he kicks the door shut behind him. He pauses. "You look different." He says this almost as if it's a mild inconvenience, studying the changes.

As soon as the door opens, Gillian looks up, eyebrows raising toward the hat that she wears. Her fingernails are pale, another difference, and she laid off the make up quite a bit, only vaguely lining her eyes, lightening the shade of the lipstick. The laptop is folded down, going into a sleep mode as she shifts it from her lap to the floor beside her. "Yeah— I figured if a group working with the Feds are after me, I should probably look a little different." She frowns a bit, "I was getting worried. You were gone all night. Was starting to think I was on my own here."

Oh, yeah. "That makes sense," Sylar says, moving further into the apartment room, setting down the tightly packed dufflebag onto the nearest flat surface. "I know, I had a hard time getting back." It's now he takes off his woolen coat, keeping any trace of pain off his face - the crisp white shirt underneath is a pretty stark contrast to the black, but it's not purely white - his right arm is soaked with red, from just under his shoulder to near his elbow, although not all the way around. He drags out a chair near a small table set up by the window, sitting down heavily. "Seems like you moved just in time."

"Holy shit," Gillian exclaims, fully standing now that she sees the blood staining his shirt and looking at him with shock. "Did someone attack you? Was it one of them? The Fed guys?" she asks, moving a little closer to the blood. She's still got a bandage under her shirt as well, but she changed it once overnight and it's not itching anymore. "I guess you can't go to a hospital…" She trails off. "You know, I know a guy. He's not— you know— reliable, but he's good if someone screws up a tattoo or something. But…" She trails off. The people she knows aren't reliable at all, come to think of it.

"I know a guy too," Sylar says, with a dismissive gesture. "Don't worry about me, it's a graze." He moves his arm so he can inspect the tear in the shirt, and when he shifts it, it's obvious that there's some clean bandaging beneath the ruined fabric. "I got to your apartment, and they'd torn it apart. Ransacked everything. Then these men showed up, suits, guns. I spent the night making sure they wouldn't follow me back here. You've been okay, right?" There's actually some true concern in his eyes when he looks at her - mostly because he wants to know that Kazimir's band of merry men aren't blindsiding him.

At the sight of the clean bandage, Gillian backs off a little, giving him space, even as he explains the situation. A bunch of suits going through her apartment. She expected it to happen eventually. It's actually one of the reasons her underwear drawer got dumped into the dufflebag in it's entirety. Feds are perverts. All men are, really. But she doesn't want one of those guys taking her underwear home. "Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. A little bored, but… that's why I brought the laptop. It's a whole library on it's own." She rubs a hand over her mouth, genuinely upset at all of this. He's hurt. She's on the run. They may not stop. "I didn't mean for you to get hurt." There's a tinge of guilt in her voice, in her breathing and heartbeat, before she shakes her head, trying to dismiss it, and failing in some ways. "At least you made it back okay. Maybe I should just leave the state or something…"

"Maybe," Sylar says, although there's no real agreement in his voice, looking up at her again. "But you'd be on your own. And they're not just located in New York - they're all over the country. Right now, you're safe. I promise." He pushes himself up to stand, moving towards the dufflebag, which he unzips. The thing practically bursts open when he does, he's stuffed it with as much as he could, apparently. It's obviously full of clothes, but the shape of the bag suggests other miscellaneous items as well. "You have time to think about the next step," he continues. "But for now, I brought you back some things. And a present."

There's a visible wince. Gillian could stay out of their way, if she had the right kind of connections, the right kind of people. That doesn't make her have them, though, and they both know it. "Thank you," she says faintly at the promise of safety, looking at him quietly. There's definite trust there, security in a way. The dufflebag practically bursting open draws her eyes down. "You got my stuff?" That really does seem to have surprised her, from the way everything about her sounds, all the little hints that can be read off a person. She moves forward, looking at the bag, seeing many things she'd chose to leave behind, a lot of it regretfully. "I can't believe you went back there for my stuff and not your own…" she says, sounding vaguely confused, before her eyes shift back up, partially hidden under the rim of her cap. And the fact she has to look way up. "A present?"

"I did bring one thing of mine back," Sylar admits, and he withdraws a sort of hard, fabric wallet, only too big to be that. He opens it enough for her to see the intricate tools trapped inside, little pockets as well - his watch repair things. This is set aside, before his hand buries itself back into the tightly folded clothes, and withdraws a handgun. "I'll get the ammunition you need for it later, but it's fully loaded right now," he says, casually, offering it to her. "And it's not as hard as people make you think it is. You turn off the safety, point, and squeeze. If it all goes according to plan, it rips holes in people. Happy birthday."

At the sight of the watch repairkit, Gillian can't help but smile faintly, as this would make one thing very possible— that she can break her watch again. Though she certainly thinks there's more to fix that isn't a watch. The birthday present makes her eyes widen, but she does reach out to take it, looking down at it carefully. Safety off, point, shoot. Not at people trying to help. "It's not that I never had the chance to use one, but they tend to attract attention if you carry them around. Police and all," she comments idly, shifting it over in her hands, before she looks up. "Never seen one quite like this before," she adds in a comment, looking over the plating, the style. Fully loaded and he just handed her a gun. "Thank you." She looks up at him now. "You'll show me a little about using this, right?"

"You'll want to keep this one hidden," Sylar agrees, moving to sit down again, taking the repairkit with him so she can have room to properly dig through the dufflebag should she want to. There's more than just clothes - he grabbed a few things off her dresser, like a hairbrush, a makeup bag, even a few candles. He nods towards the gun. "It belonged to one of the suits that ambushed me." More half-truths - it certainly used to belong to an agent. They make 'em durable - it only took a dethawing to become useable once more. "But for now, it's better than nothing."

"Oh, I won't go waving a gun around, that's for sure," Gillian says, setting it down somewhere nearby in favor of looking through the bag. Candles! She had a ton of candles in her apartment. There's also a couple sketchbooks she left behind, clothes, shoes, other things. She starts to sort through her stuff, but then looks back up. "You're a strange man. I have trust issues, but you're not setting off my sleeze meter yet, at least." There's a hint of a smile up at him, before she glances back at the gun. "It is better than nothing. Which is what I'd have without you. So thank you, Gabriel."

Sylar twists his mouth into a small smile, almost a shy one, and glances out the window, watching the pigeons gather on the sill just outside. He draws the curtains back into place after a moment, as if wary of being watched. "It's only fair that you can have company and protection without feeling like there's strings attached," he says, simply, looking back at her. "We have common ideas about what we want from this world, Gillian. I appreciate it too, so thank you."

There's a pause and Gillian pulls out one of her candles, sealed away under a lid. This one's dark red, a musky scent when she pulls off the lid, seeking out a lighter to light it up. She doesn't even glance toward the birds, not suspecting them at all. "There's always strings. I'm not naive. But I'm not a terrorist. I don't want to commit myself to a cause that would just use me." The wick lights, the little flame raising up, sending out a scent through the room as she lets the lighter shut off and cool. Picking up the candle, she goes over to where the gun is and settles back down, putting the candle down on the floor. That should help with the smell of the place, at least. If someone doesn't mind candles. "Attaching to one person gives more freedom."

Sylar's gaze follows the light of the candle a little, allowing himself… for the first time in the past few days… to relax slightly, despite the blood that makes his sleeve stiff, the injury twinging beneath the bandages. Stupid pain power, naturally, does not work on himself. Odessa will have to make up for that somehow, and he absently scratches at the bandages. "It's your power," he says, looking towards her again. "It's so selfless. Cruel irony, that someone like you should have it when all you want is to live your life. Naturally, there are people who would take advantage of that. It doesn't benefit you in any way." A beat. "Does it?"

There's a long pause. Selfless. "I've never been called that before," Gillian has to admit, looking up at him at his question, though. The ability certainly doesn't seem to fit with her personality— or does it? She thinks about it a moment, then does stand back up, walking over to him and holding out her hand. "I can't do anything, so I don't know if it benifits me. I'm not like you. But I do know when other people around me are doing things. Not exactly who or what, but maybe I can figure part of that out. Learn how to shut it off, but if I take your hand… I'll know if you're like us. Cause it's a lot stronger when that happens." There's a pause. "There's a girl in our complex. A kid. She's like us. But it felt different with her, like the pull was there, but it didn't go anywhere. Maybe she hasn't… I dunno, got her ability yet maybe?"

Now this is interesting. Sylar leans forward a little in his seat, listening, and glances down at her hand as she offers it to him. "Maybe," he agrees, looking back up at her face. "Tell me about the other times you've used it. Does it make powers— more, or make them go wild, or better?" He's had a few different experiences - his hearing had gone haywire upon their first meeting, and his telekinesis felt like it had expanded. His original, watch fixing ability seemed to enhance in her presence, but… He takes her hand, bracing himself— he likely has better control than those Evolved she's encountered. "What do you feel?"

As soon as they touch her hand starts to glow. Similar to how his hand glowed when he called upon his ice power. Gillian's hand turns purpleish, though, a dark-light color. When she looks back up at him, her eyes even have that tinge of color. "There's a pull. It's not strong yet. You might not be trying to do anything right now. Sometimes it's stronger than others— the strongest it's ever been was when that guy— Assface— the guy with the scar. First time I saw him he started going crazy— doing multiple things at once. Between him and the wind chick, they were probably both drawing on me, so that might have made it worse." She takes a slow breath. "It depends. Some people lose control. There was this guy in the park that started acting like a confused leaf-blower. Pushing stuff around away from him. Other people found they could do things with their power they couldn't do before. Take it further without the same consquences. What would have made them pass out, they could suddenly do without that."

Somewhat fascinated by the glow of her hand, Sylar watches that as she talks, then studies her eyes. "Here, may I… Can I try something?" he asks, careful to do so - the less she latches on to the idea that he needs her just as much as Ethan, if not more… "And we'll see if you can't feel it."

"Go ahead," Gillian says, looking back down at the hand, "Though not whatever you were doing before with the— I don't want to get hurt." The cold and hot hands looked like they would probably hurt somewhere down the line. "I want to figure out how this works too. It'd save me a lot of trouble if I could bump into people on the street and not have their hands light on fire." Not that that's happened, but it could.

Sylar manages to supress his smile, keeping it to a faint hint of one as she says this. "Then we'll work on it together," he says, before lifting his free hand, hovering it over his bloodied sleeve, directly above the wound. A few moments pass, and he shuts his eyes, a look of irritation crossing his features. "I don't think it works on me at all," he says. "That's annoying." Suddenly, the candle on the ground starts to flicker, but not flaring - more combatting to stay alive. There's a distinct feeling of damp in the room, now, water condensing onto the window, making skin shine, a fine mist, like a warm cloud, starting to become visible.

"The no pain thing? Sorry," Gillian says, looking at his wound for a moment. There's that pull, though. "It's getting stronger, whatever you're…" she trails off as she starts to notice the condensation, glancing to the window, then back to the candle, not letting go of his hand, but a little surprised. "This is like a weaker version of what my sister has— you really can do a lot of things. Just like Assface." One of the more insulting nicknames she could give a guy, really. If he's like Assface, though… she looks bck at him, "You can't fly though, can you?"

Sylar opens his eyes when she says she can feel something, and actually looks surprised to see the misty quality of the air. That— certainly wasn't his intention, and he doesn't let go yet either, glancing around. The candle finally flickers out completely, and it's almost like a bathroom after a hot shower - the walls have drips running down them, and it's certainly a little warmer, like a butterfly house. "…interesting," he says, then looks back at her, eyebrows raising. "…Assface?" he asks. "No, I can't fly. You called him Assface?" This is very important, because that's hilarious. Sure, he'd prefer to see Peter dead, or at least pay, but— he's not above mockery either.

"You might want to tone that down a bit, if you can," Gillian says, specifically watching the drops of water down the walls. Water damage could get bad if it stays too long. She has a sister who does something much worse, after all. There were reasons some of her furnature in the apartment had obvious water damage. "But yeah— not to his face I mean. I don't think he heard me, but it's the whole…" She reaches up and makes a gesture across her face, in the form close to his scar (though she has the direction of it wrong). "The scar. It's kind of… gross really. Reminded me of an asscrack. So… Assface." It sounded witty at the time, and she's glad he looks amused. "And he might be one of those feds. He was in a suit."

Sylar manages not to make anymore comments about Peter Petrelli, as tempting as it might be - the less he knows about the innerworkings of the Company, the more convincing he'll be. But still, he allows himself a flicker of a smirk, as he drags his free hand across his forehead. It's certainly getting hot in here. He considers something, her suggestion of toning it down, before he arches an eyebrow at her. "Make me. See if you can shut down what I'm doing."

There's a flicker of her eyes as Gillian glances up at him. "I don't know how I'd do that." There's a visible frown, a pressing together of her pale red lips, and she looks back down at their hands. "Letting go of you and getting further away is about the only way I know." That's the point, though, figuring it out. She closes her eyes, trying to focus on the energy that she feels pulling out of her, pouring into him. The consentration is apparent in her stance, her heartbeat, her breathing. With her head lowered, he can't see her face, but it's probably there too. There's no changes. Not yet.

The room is getting wetter and wetter - so much that they might even have to move before even getting settled, but Sylar doesn't really care that much. The mist thickens, even as Gillian concentrates, but it's also starting to get harder to breathe. Finally, Sylar simply releases her hand and concentrates, the mist dispersing quicker than it had formed, although the windows and the walls remain somewhat damp, as do their clothes, their hair, and Sylar runs a hand through his own. "We can give it another shot sometime," he tells her.

The glow vanishes as soon as their connection breaks, and Gillian looks back up startled, almost as if she hadn't expected that at all. "I think I was starting to feel it— maybe I can learn to stop it— shut it down. Probably just what came from me, though. Like turning off a faucet." She just has to figure out where the faucet is first. "We could try it with something else next time." Something that doesn't steam up the room.

Sylar rises from his seat, moving towards the kitchen area. An old dish towel is discovered, and he moves to mop up the window. "It's your ability, remember that," he says. "It's only out of control if you let it be out of control. Maybe you won't be able to shut down what people can do, but you should be able to shut down what you can do. I'm sure there's a lot of different aspects to your ability you haven't even thought of." Or at least, he hopes so. "In a way, it's selfless, like I said, but anything can be turned into a weapon."

October 30th: Tu Fui Ego Eris
October 30th: Vessel
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