That's Why It's Plan B


brian_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif gillian4_icon.gif samara_icon.gif


Scene Title That's Why Plan B Sucks
Synopsis Paul is not the only two phasers on Pollepel, and an unexpected hero comes to help them in Phase 2 (pun intended) of Operation Samara.
Date December 6, 2010

Pollepel Island

"Okay. So.. if you wake up in an apartment." He splays his hands out. "Remember, stay out of mirrors, bathrooms are a terrible place to go. Stay away from water.. like a pool maybe." He pauses, knitting his brows at the boy. "Don't ask me why there would be a pool in an apartment. I'm just saying, remember to stay away from stuff like that. And this is only in case of separation from Sami. Which you will not do." Winters insists.

Sitting in his room, Brian has maps and books laid out. A large mirror opposite him. Every night, just before bed time, he has sat the pair down and gone over maps and routes back to Pollepel. Gone over and over what to do if they should find themselves separated. Repeated a billion times to keep his head down, find a main road that Brian has gone over and head on the routes he has mapped out back to the island.

The evening is chilly like most, and the young man has a blanket draped over his shoulders. Leaning back on his hands, Brian surveys Sam and Paul in the mirror. "Well… I think that's it. Tired paul?"

Paul rolls his eyes. It's the same spiel every day, and it's not like he has a bad memory. He shakes his head at Brian and glances at Samara, his mouth making words that Brian can't hear, but Samara can.

"He just wants me to go to bed so you can talk, right? Do you like him? 'Cause he snores. If you wait a few years, I'll be old enough for you, Sam-Eye," he says with a mischievous grin. "Once you go PR, you never go back, that's what they say."

He scratches his head and shrugs. "I don't really know what that means, but that's what my tio Jorge used to say…" he muses aloud.

"Brian's right. Just remember to avoid anything reflective," Sami agrees with a half-smile. Like Paul, her words are inaudible to anyone visible without the aid of reflective surfaces. "My brother saw me in a stainless fridge not long ago. Totally freaked him out. I'm pretty sure he wanted to figure out the number for the Ghostbusters." She winks at Paul. "The good news is, you can walk right through walls and not think twice about it, right?"

Samara's smile extends as she stifles a chuckle. "I don't know… I bet you anything I'll just be oooold and wrinkled," to demonstrate, she splays her palms against her face and attempts to enact temporary wrinkles via demonstration, "by then! And then you'll find some young lady far prettier than I ever will be and forget all about me." Again she winks before lowering her voice— not that Brian can hear them anyways, "Does he really snore?"

Sadly they'd need a boat to get back to the island anyway, but Gillian squints as she overhears what her brother is saying to— thin air really. She may be used to him talking to himself, but it's a bit different when there's actually no one there. "I hope you're taking weird precautions, cause I don't have any idea how they'd manage to get to an apartment if they're standing right here— just out of phase, or whatever."

With a gesture at the room, she tries to emphatically reference what she's already said. Hands are used for talking sometimes. "I got Gabriel. If you think you're ready, the two of us will go in and try to get them." She gestures back behind her, as she steps further in, toward what is undoubtably Gabriel Gray, formerly Wilkins to her. Also known as Sylar, The Midtown Man. There's a lot of names he could go by.

"They ready to get back to the land of the… solid?"

"It's the only one I know," grumbles quietly behind her, only barely heard beyond. Land, that is. Maybe a touch cynical of the concept of a land of the unsolid. But that's as much as Gabriel is willing to engage in conversation about, as he moves after Gillian, in ordinary denim jeans, ordinary cotton sweater, and hands tucked into pockets with a shy sort of slouch to his shoulders. It's not exactly the demeanor of a known serial killer, and certainly, his features stamp him as the Midtown Man that—

That got them into this situation in the first place. Or at least, there's what the papers say.

A sharp, brown stare tricks along the contents of the room, dismissively passing over Brian until it focuses on where two beings stand invisibly, as if able to sense them. Mostly because he is. Able.

"Gilli." Brian smiles though the bright smile fades slowly as the man comes in behind him. His eyes give Gabriel a once over. Then a couple more-overs. He looks oddly unimpressed. That's Sylar. Brian expected a much bigger, blacker guy. Or maybe someone with a solid beard. Or a face tattoo. Or like a vicious snaggle-tooth. Pressing his hands on the table, Winters pushes up to his feet. Turning and looking into the mirror, he gives a little nod to the pair.

Looking back to Gillian and Gabriel, Brian takes a step to the side. "Thank you for agreeing to do this." He announces, "I really appreciate it." Taking another step back, he tucks his hands into his pockets and glances to Gillian then to Gabriel then back to Gillian. His sister is given a tight smile before he mouths, 'thanks'.

While those eyebrows and that jaw is imprinted in most of the minds of Americans, Paul is just a little too young to quite put it in place — he never watched much news or read the paper in his "younger" years, when Sylar's face was plastered all over every broadcast and newspaper. He does tilt his head, his own dark eyes narrowing as the man looks directly at him.

"Does he see us?" he says, tipping his head up toward Samara, then back at Gabriel. "Hi! Are you here to rescue us?" he asks, before beaming at Gillian, his chubby cheeks lifting upward with his broad toothy grin as he waves frantically at her, visible in the mirror to the redheaded woman.

"Do you know Gillian? She's great," Paul says appreciatively, in a side glance toward Samara. "You could like her. I don't think she snores. And it's okay for girls to like other girls, you know."

"Hiiiii," Sam waves a few fingers as a hello, yet her tone is wrought with the nervous energy hope bears, not quite confident that her world will change. Her eyes follow Gillian and then Gabriel, the latter causing greater pause. His face is familiar. "Can— can you see us?" Not that she really expects an answer, for years she's spoken words with no audible response. She turns to Paul and shrugs, "I think he can. See us, that is."

"I'm ready when you are, Paul," Samara murmurs at the question as she stands to her feet. She offers Paul her hand to help the kid to his feet. "You gonna be okay, kiddo?" her own voice wavers little around the question as it's more to steady herself than check on Paul. "And yes I know girls can like girls— I actually… I have a friend, you know that red haired girl? Rue? Yeah, she likes girls. I… don't really bat for that team though."

There's no recognition from Gillian to the two invisible people, but she seems to be trying to look around and see them, if the way here yes are travelling around— until— oh there they are. In the mirror. Waving back, she moves closer to Brian, to lean up and kiss him on the cheek lightly. She does this because she has one thing to say, before they try to do what they're going to do.

Her voice is a whisper, as if she's trying to keep it just between the two of them. "If anything goes wrong, if someone else gets stuck or left behind, or we don't have enough power to get everyone back… send one of you to find Peter Petrelli. That's a last resort, though." Since… Peter's unreliable at best? And her brother hates him with good reason? And… That's enough reasons to make it a last resort.

"Alright," she says as she settles back, turning and holding a hand out to a man whose reputation often preceeds him, whether he's fully recognized or not. "Don't use my power on me back unless mine alone isn't enough to get everyone back." In short, second to last resort.

Knowing where someone is is different to completely seeing them. For all that Gabriel's sharp focus gives this illusion, it's quick to slide away towards Brian, giving him a quiet nod. Of course, he doesn't respond to the two voices that go unheard by everyone else — he's not that good. "I've learned that lesson a couple of times," he notes to Gillian, before linking his hand with her's — it's not a callous hold, not so matter-of-fact to be detached or aloof. Anyone else might give a reassuring squeeze, however.

"I haven't done this before," he tells the room at large — a glance to Brian for a point of reference, but to the two victims of their own powers as well. "I can't even usually bring along a suitcase, let alone two people. So don't get your hopes up, because I'm not trying this again if it fails."

With that inspiring peptalk done, he nods to Gillian. Switch'er on.

"I… I'm okay. I mean, I haven't been stuck this way very long," Paul says gripping Samara's hand tightly despite his words and bravado. "Just don't get stuck, mister… I donno why I did, but I think I'm just too new and I couldn't grab her and get out right. But you're better at this, I bet, so it'll be okay."

Is Paul trying to convince Gabriel, Samara, or himself? All three, most likely. "Do you need us to do anything?" he asks, glancing at Gillian through the mirror and then Gabriel's physical form, holding a hand out should it need to be grabbed.

Skeptically, Samara arches an eyebrow at Gabriel before turning her gaze to Paul. That small flit of her eyes is enough to change her demeanour; it's moments like these she's thankful she grew up with a drama queen younger sister. She shoots the kid a confident grin and a nod of her head, "Alright kiddo, gimme a smile. Mom always used to say life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. SO. Let's be positive!"

That said, she squeezes Paul's hand again, shooting him another half-smile before taking a deep breath and closing her eyes. Her lips move but no sound comes out, not even for Paul, but someone watching closely may be able to see the subtlety of the mantra she's chosen, Please work. Please, please work. Please work

Oddly enough it's up to Gillian to give the reassuring squeeze, in this case, and she does. It's a quiet show of support, that she does believe in him, and his ability to do the favor she asked. He doesn't need to hear it outloud, probably doesn't need the squeeze either. But he does need the knot in the back of her head unravelling, and the violet glow that springs up around her where their hands connect. A flow of energy that's visible, as well as felt, though much paler than some may remember.

She's had two years to grow stronger since the first time he taught her to use her own ability and focus it into one person. One person is exactly who it flows into.

"I'm holding most for the trip back…" she says in a hoarse voice. His turn.

He takes a shaky breath in at that subtle nudge of power, and when you have— several to choose from, it can be felt. It's also captivatingly familiar. "Sounds like a plan…" And with a shimmer of that purple glow, they both— do absolutely nothing, from Brian's point of view. But on some other level of understanding, Gillian is the one that is thrown into sudden intangibility, the particles within the air able to flow through her rather than only around. Gabriel—

He phases in patches, but it hardly matters, undetectable visually which parts of him could be felt and which are not. He can, however, focus on the boy and the girl both, surprise ringing his dark irises.

This might actually work.

"Hold onto each other," he says, despite the fact they're way ahead of him. A hand goes out, then, and grips Paul's hand, Brian able to see the interaction in the mirror, and only a one-sided version of it in real life.

Pushing his back to the wall, Brian's chin dips. His brows narrow as he watches the mirror intently. His gaze flicks from the mirror back to Gabreil and Gillian rapidly. His lips quirk somewhat excitedly. Though he keeps his lips level. Winters tries to keep his features emotionless as he watches. Anything he could call out, encouragement or anything like that, he keeps to himself.

At Gabriel's words, Paul nods, his brown eyes wide and he tightens his grip on Samara's hand, then thinks better of it, slipping his hand lower to lock around her wrist. It's what Indiana Jones should have done in all those scenes where people's fingers slip through one another's, after all.

When Gabriel's hand catches hold of his, it is in fact a solid, flesh-to-flesh connection despite their phased form, and Paul grins up at the man that everyone else in the world thinks is a soulless killer. It is moment's like these that hero worship is borne.

"Now to break on through to the other side!" he declares with a playful smirk — music appreciation, including The Doors, an integral part of his education at the Lighthouse.

The fingers around her wrist beckons Samara's eyes open widely as well as her own trail up Paul's wrist, she won't easily let go. Where there had been a glimmer of hope before, faith is setting in— the idea that this may actually work rather than a shot in the dark at a hope that will get them nowhere. The phased Gabriel grasping Paul's hand is nothing short of a small miracle.

The lyrics bring a broad grin to Sami's lips as she focuses on the song. While he way have declared it, she repeats the line in more a sing-song voice, somewhere in between music and talking, "Break on through to the other side~"

For that, Gillian is sure Sable is to blame. Has to be. She'd talked about teaching the kids Yellow Submarine, and other such things… No joining in on the music, her breathing isn't quite steady enough for it, nor does she like singing at all. She's remarkably pleased to hear and be able to see them, though. "So he wasn't just imagining you after all," she mutters, though she thinks she caught a glimpse or two of her in the corner of her eye now that she thinks about it. Now she knows for sure who Veronica's competition for her brother is, at least.

Where their hands touch, the glow seems to get brighter, as it expands even further. That familiar flood of power, that intoxicating taste of it— it's even sweeter than the last time. Many times over. Her strength has increased, and she's throwing more into it than she might normally.

After all he doesn't usually phase luggage, much less a whole person, and he needs enough to unphase them.

This is where it gets a little unconventional.

Gabriel's mouth flattens into a line as he extends his own phasing ability through Paul, onwards to Samara, uncertainty weaving in the glance between the two out-of-sync'ers as purple light begins to shimmer not only over their hands, but across their skin, hair, clothing, rendering the whole world a little violet for all four of them as augmentation and phasing seem to interact directly, enough that out the corner of Brian's eye, he can see that faintly glowing purple make invisible outlines of both Samara and Paul, ghostly and uncertain.

And with a flicker, it's gone. They're gone. Gabriel and Gillian are gone.


The moment only lasts for a split second, however, because in phase world, Samara and Paul and Gillian will all see the instant reaction, or the back up plan, as it were. Black smogs over Gabriel's shape, rendering him into a black, inky silhouette, before the same climbs like black ink over Paul's knuckles, flowing up his arm, across his torso, consuming him fast and faster before Samara is drawn unstoppably into the same matrix of high energy. Gillian is brought along for the ride too, inevitably, until all four blackened figures condense, suddenly, into a whorling cloud of inky darkness.

One that immediately appears in the real world, spinning like a Tasmanian Devil whirlpool. It's a surreal experience for those inside, frightening, sounds reduced to vibrations and abstractions, getting a visual input of 360 degrees.

Samara is the first to be spit back out of it, practically flung and sent careeing directly for Brian, and rather than pass through him—

She'll smack, very solidly, into him.


Brian frowns deeply as Gillian and Gabriel fade out of land of the solid. "Shit." He follows up, taking a step forward. Away from the wall, Brian stares at the emptiness. He quickly glances over to the mirror. And then… Out of the corner of his eye he catches the Tasmanian Devil.

Staring at it very levelly, with uncertainty and a bit of fear growing in him the young man feels very alone all of a sudden. This is how aliens invade the world, or robots from the future. Regardless, Brian stands his ground facing down the smokey shadow… tornado.

And then Sami's shooting out of it! Yaayy!

Her forehead makes contact with his face, notably his nose. Head swinging back, he makes contact with the wall roughly. Blood flinging itself out of his nose, Winters throws his arms out all flaily like as he is unable to control the sudden momentum. And so down they go in a semi-bloody heap.

The failure brings momentary dejection followed by a distinct panic and instant butterflies in Sami's stomach. The internal whirlpool in its dizzying terror had literally made her sick, and when she's spit out of it and flung towards Brian (it's probably a good thing she hasn't eaten in awhile), there is no control in the motion, not even remotely. Everything about her head is spinning, the entire world becoming different.

Colourful. Bright.

Yet Sami doesn't notice these things; she can't notice these things. The pull of gravity on her newly densified self makes her feel heavy. Sick, heavy, and malnourished. Like wearing contacts for the first time, her perception itself changes.

The impact against Brian's body produces an audible groan from ghost-turned-woman. Her own hands instinctively held out against the impact and connecting with the floor, bringing another groan to her lips.

Unfortunately for Gabriel, once shifted into shadows, the augmentation cuts out. Phasing back into something solid, and taking all of them with him, is going to be a test of stamina. Which is why the shadows take their time, spinning a little slow, before Paul is shoved out to teeter off into a wall to right himself, leaving behind only Gabriel and Gillian in this unusual waltz. The augmentor is cast away only a few seconds later, propelled backwardsand stumbling on unsteady feet.

The inky swatch of black then, finally, ejects Gabriel, curving back around to melt into him, become a part of him, a heavy whud of his knees connecting with the ground as he tips forward, palms only just catching him from falling on his face completely. Head heavy, exhaustion seems to define him as he hooks fingers against the ground. Ugh.

The blood is flowing freely from his nose now, but that's hardly a priority right now. Pressing his hands into the ground, Brian pushes himself up to his knees. First, one hand reaches out to gently prod at Samara's face. She's real, she's alive, she's in pain. She can wait. Crawling over her, Brian goes to check on Paul next. Reaching out Winters places his hand on the boy's face. "You're okay." He murmurs softly.

Pushing to his feet, Winters makes his way over to inspect Gillian. Then finally he turns to look at Gabriel. A moment of heavy breathing. "You did it." He gasps. But.. Immediately Brian springs into action. Pillows of the room are gathered up quickly. Taking them first to Paul, Brian goes to try and shove one behind his head. The pillows are then passed off to the ladies then finally to Gabriel. "I have water on the way guys…" He announces. And finally he takes a step over to lean over his knees, peering down at Samara.

"You're baaaack." He smiles.

The round body of Paul stumbles, bouncing off the wall and to the floor, his eyes wide as he watches the shadows swirling. When finally everyone is out and corporeal, he lets out a whoop that can probably be heard down the hall.

"That was totally awesome!" he yells, ignoring the pillows and the apparent hint he's supposed to rest, and rolling to fling himself on Gabriel, hugging the man around the neck for a (thankfully for Gabriel) brief moment before falling away and onto his back — suddenly exhausted.

To say Gillian landed gracefully would be rather… gentler than the truth. But everyone's so preoccupied with their own various landings and interceptions that they may not notice that her hair fell out of the ponytail, and she looks like she wants to throw up. Luckily she does not. Instead, she pushes herself up off the floor and takes in slow breaths, before she spots what Paul does to poor Gabriel.

Is that a sympathetic grimace? Why yes it is. "Thanks," she says rather than offering hugs or other physical signs of gratitude.

The gentle prod at her face brings a weak smile to Sam's lips. "How many of you are there right now? I see five." her voice croaks around that parched feeling in throat like a giant frog in her throat. Her palm presses tightly to her forehead like somehow that will stop the dizzying pain in her head, "It was nice of them to coordinate their clothes."

Finally, she presses herself into a sitting position as her eyes scan the room: the colours are brighter than she'd expected. With widening eyes, a toothy grin spreads across her lips. "Woooooooow." Finally her gaze turns back to Gillian and Gabriel, "Thank you. Thank you so so so so soooo much!"


Gabriel doesn't really respond to hugs beyond bracing himself where he balances on all fours, squeezing his eyes shut until it's over. "'s— everyone, stop— talking. You're welcome." A hand creeps out to grip the pillow slid his way, and barely even noticing the faint smears of nose blood— ew— fingerprinted on otherwise clean white cotton, Gabriel nudges it into an approximation of where he might need it to be.

Before collapsing. Plan B was always going to suck, but that's why it's Plan B.

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