The Count Of Three


gillian_icon.gif gray_icon.gif

Scene Title The Count of Three
Synopsis Sylar reacts to a threat. Quickly.
Date November 19, 2008


The noise of the bowling alley still rings heavily in her ears. Gillian steps out one of the side doors, a backpack over her shoulder, the uniform she wore allday removed and stuffed into the bag. The parking lot of the bowling alley is full— and there's quite a few people visible through the glass doors, most of the lanes full. The shoe clerk that took over for her has their hands full.

With nothing covering her face, she walks toward the sidewalk, intending to walk home. The motorcycle that she rescued on Halloween Take Two still sits where she parked it the last time she road on it, which was quite some time ago now. No need for a bike when the job she's doing is only down the street. She fully intends to walk home, and take it slow.

Is there even a recognisable noise for the sound of running footsteps beating against the pavement at an insanely rapid rate? Maybe none at all, feet moving too swiftly to even make contact hard enough to make noise, but as Gillian walks, a dark, man-sized blur will suddenly zoom - for lack of a better term - past her, merely inches away and casting a breeze that makes strands of her hair whip around, clothes flap. A few feets away, Sylar comes to a staggering halt and therefore into view, no longer a cartoonish blur but whole and solid. Turning towards her, he looks as though he's just run the marathon of his life, as exhausted as he is windswept, and he takes a few steps so that he can reach out a hand and grab her arm. "We have to go." Hi, how are you, how was your day? None of that.

Though she doesn't hear the footsteps over the dull ringing in her ears from the bowling alley inside (possibly this very man's worst nightmare) — Gillian does feel the sudden tug on her senses at an ability inuse drawing on her own energy. The blur might well have been even more blurry as it went by, even as she clamped down on her additional energy as soon as she felt it. It's become a habit the last week, since she discovered how. Possibly saved the bowling alley from quite a few power misshaps because of it, too. Still, she's startled at the person running by, reaches to heft her bag as if to threaten them with it— until she sees who the man happens to be. "When— I— you have— we have to go?" she asks, stunned, but she looks down at his hand on her arm and doesn't argue.

And now the question of where. On this innocent, perhaps Sylar's icier brand of frantic seems misplaced. Flustered wouldn't be a good word to describe it, but determined, angered - those are good ones. Fatigued, as well - he hasn't exactly been eating to support the trek he just made. "Come on, move," he urges her, not letting go, and moving for the apartment - at a run, despite himself, not the speedster motion of moments prior, but still a sprint and attempting to drag Gillian along at the same pace.

Attempting being the keyword. Gillian doesn't pull out of his grip or anything, but she stumbles along the first few steps and makes protesting sounds, "Hey— wait— Gabriel— " until it's clear that he's not planning to slow down right away, or stop. So lucky she's not wearing heels, or this adventure might be having worse results than it is. The boots she had in her bag for the trek home are better than heels, without any platform quality even. They're not quite made for running, but her steps would only force him to slow him down a little. Any further questions will have to wait til they get there.

"I'll— " And he gives up automatically on actual speech, opting to project into her head with, I'll explain when we're inside, for now you just have to trust me. Sylar couldn't tell you how fast birds fly, and he couldn't maintain his kinetic transference ability for very long at all, using it only when the distance allowed, longer streets rather than winding alleyways and rubble.

But he can hear it, the sound of beating wings - at this time of night, it's an unusual one to hear, but it's a sound he'd been listening for. Stop, he instructs, slowing the running down to a halt before it can even really begin. No sense in leading Peter back to their apartment, and he even backs up a few steps when he looks towards the dark skies. "Peter," he states, gently, an explanation. "Using the birds to find you." In this day and age, can we call this crazy behaviour? Maybe a little.

Shit. Voice in her head is a new experience. Gillian's eyes widen quite a bit when he projects thoughts straight into her, but she shifts one of her hands to cling to his arm in return. She does trust him, she wants to explain, and she'd be projecting it right back if he could hear it. The grip on his arm, the way her heart beats and her breathing might give away what her own mental voice can not. How many abilities does this man actually have? She seems to learn a new one every week, at least… The response widens her eyes again, quickens her heartbeat, but she'll be easily moveable in whatever directions he might want now. Sounds crazy, birds, but… "Which one?"

"The one who thinks he has a spine," Sylar says, eyes still trained upwards but a definite snarl making his lips draw back to show teeth. "Not the agent." The hand not clinging to Gillian starts to glow a contemplative radioactive orange, but fades as soon as it begins. Sure, he could blow whatever feathered minion Peter sent his way out of the sky, but he's already felt what it's like to take the brunt of one explosion, not an experience he wants to leave through again. A second set of wings joins the first, and though they can't be seen, he knows they're nearby. A cawing sound of a raven above indicates as such. Welcome to Hitchcock. At least they were, as far as Sylar knows, only sent to find her - not attack. Both hands grips hers, now, turning towards her. "Count of three?" he suggests. "I'm going to make them go away but I need your help."

The glowing hand startles her a moment, glancing up at his face with the light reflected in her eyes. Not only that, but again, in her heart and the sharp breath. Either the use of that power, or the threat of it's use is enough to cause a reaction from her. It fades so suddenly that Gillian doesn't need to hold onto it long. "Of course, count of three," she says, shifting her hand to reach out— and take the one that was glowing mere moments ago, trusing that it won't burn her, that he won't call on that again. No surge of energy from her, despite everything— she's been practicing every chance she could get, with random people off the street. She'll wait til his count, and then open everything up for him.

This should be interesting. Sylar's hands squeeze around her's, and he doesn't count down yet, just sort of tries to… reach out towards the birds like he had reached out towards Munin, or the way he projects his voice into the heads of others. He shudders, a little, and his eyes go glassy, a brief and literal bird's eye vision before he pulls back again. Gets a sense of them both. "One," he says, with a nod to her, "two, three." When the surge comes, he utters one single telepathic command towards the birds above:


On his command, the surge opens up as promised. Gillian's eyes remain open, her hands glowing the same as they have in the past. The more she learns about her ability, the more she can control it— but with him, she doesn't even think to hold back, giving him all that he drags out of her to enhance his "attack" against the birds. She can see their shapes now, and squints to try and see more than that, having totally missed his brief display of glassy eyes. A few beats after three— after the pull of energy, she asks softly, "Did it work?"

The hurried flapping of wings is more than enough indication as not only those two birds are banished away, but roosting pigeons taking shelter nearby also hurriedly get the heck out of dodge when that booming command sends them far. Perhaps Sylar could have used that ability to confuse them, to attack the person that had sent them - but why risk it? He barely knows how this ability works, or how he even got it. All he knows is that one simple request of banishment did its duty. "It worked," he confirms needlessly, and gently lets go of her hands. "For now. We should get inside before he tries again." No running, this time, just an urge towards Siann Hall at a moderate pace.

The flow slackens, then cuts off entirely when he says it worked, but Gillian keeps a firm hold on his hand, not wanting to let go as they start the brisk walk to the apartment that they share. Her heartbeat settles down, as does her breathing, a sense of security settling in as they continue to move away. "That Peter scares me," she admits softly, whispered, not needing to speak up with him, as far as she knows. There's a pause. "You know… I thought I saw a bird following me around the last few weeks— but I thought it was just my imagination. Do you think that was him too?" Her voice has a worried tone, even if— part of her is sure she saw it before that Peter was even "born".

"No," Sylar answers, too quick for his own good, at that, because what other explanation does he have? A lie, of course. "That was me… actually." It's sort of the truth. A favour from Munin on his behalf. "Seeing as they both know who you are I thought it'd be a good idea to make sure you weren't being followed." He readily keeps his hand in hers as they make their hurried way down the street - the colours of sidewalk and building pool over them both, turning them not so much invisible as wraith-like. "Don't be scared of him, he's nothing." Despite the nature of his reaction upon intercepting Gillian, apparently.

"Oh," Gillian says softly, not sounding upset, but there's a tension in her voice that might indicate strong emotion. Even if it's just that single sound. Luckily, from her heartrate, it doesn't seem to be a negative kind of tension at all. "I don't exactly carry my gun to my new job— so if he shows up all I have is— I don't know, a bowling pin maybe." Bash him over the head a few times? While this might be a humorous image, if the gun couldn't do much the first time, it's unlikely that bashing him over the head will do the trick either. Of course the camoflauge sets in and she can't help but look down at her feet. Then all of a sudden she looks up at his face— tries to— she's really seeing a distorted view of the a building passing by. "You can't talk to the cat, can you? Cause if you can, will you tell him to stop stealing my pillow when I get up at night."

"Just birds," Sylar says, putting on the usual smile for her. Even though she can't see it. Is it an act when no one is there to watch? His next tone of voice, however, is - suggestive, persuading, tinged with hopefulness, and strangely detached. Even very, very good masks are still masks. "Maybe you should not go into work for a while. Just to be on the safe side."

That was at least a little bit funny. Gillian looks away from the face she can't see, and squeezes his hand gently instead. "No," she says stiffly, shaking her head. "I've already left one job already, one that I actually loved. This one I don't love, but it's still a job." Job implies independance and the ability to self-sustain. Even if she relies on him right now for just about everything, the job had been something she'd done on her own. "If it's just birds, I'll wear a scarf and bigger coat when I travel. Right time of year for it." There's a small shiver from her, as she's scarfless right now.

If he had it his way, Gillian might find herself locked in a basement for a while. But then she wouldn't help him when it came time. It's a good thing she can't really see his face right now, because the stormy expression wouldn't win him any points. "Fine," Sylar says, after a few moments. "Stick to crowds, even if it means you run late. I don't want him getting anywhere near you, even through the eyes of a pigeon."

"I'll play with my hours a bit," Gillian agrees with a nod, because getting out and going in at the hours she normally does wouldn't do much for this crowd thing. "I got one of those disposable phones," she adds, though she can't reach in to show it to him. "I'll give you the number when we get back to the apartment." Because she can't give it now, it's written on the phone and she doesn't have it memorized yet— doesn't really intend to, honestly. "I can call in and change my hours to when there's more people on the street. I'll be careful. I don't want him anywhere near me unless you're there too."

"Then we're in agreement," he says, lightly, steering them both up the stairs of the apartment. He pauses and gives a glance around, listening - nothing. People, yes, birds, no. Natural colours spreads back across their form as Sylar dials in to the apartment complex, leading the way. "I so can't wait to kill him," he mutters a little bitterly, sharing the sentiment with Gillian as severe as it might be.

"The world'll be better off without him," Gillian quietly agrees, looking up at her protector, all bitterness and muttering. Her protector who isn't wearing one of the important features of his masked appearance— he's not wearing glasses. Following inside the apartment complex, she doesn't let go of his hand, even though they're not needing his masking ability. "Fucker shouldn't even exist." People don't just fall out of other people. "So we'll get rid of him for good," she assures.

"And I'm more than willing to put the other one out of his misery as well," Sylar says, frankly. Perhaps he trusts her enough to no longer be scared of him when he shows a few true colours. Still, he glances back at her, even as he hits the 'up' button on the elevators. "The apple can't fall far from the tree, right?"

From her heartbeat— while Gillian may not have doubted the decision to kill the one that nearly killed her… she's less ready to sign the deathwarrent of the other, even if he did blow up the city just as much as the one before. And he's a puppet for the Company. Spineless. Her heart may be arguing one beat at a time, but she keeps her mouth shut down doesn't say a word the ride up the elevator. Only when the elevator dings, the doors open to their floor, does she speak up. "I've been practicing," she says instead, holding their hands up. Still no surge of energy from her.

The silence is telling enough, enhanced hearing or no, but there's nothing to argue against as a result. So Sylar remains silent as well. It's not up to Gillian, after all, as to the outcome of the fight. Sylar sees it ending only one way, and he has no plans to deviate from this goal. Stepping onto the floor as the elevator dings open, he looks towards their hands and the lack of glowing, the corner of his mouth tugging into a smile. "That's good," he commends her, as they make for door 410. "I guess that means I won't be spontaneously turning into other people now."

"I hope not," Gillian says, some of the humor returning to her, heartbeat settling to something else. Her lips part when she glances back up at him. "You know, we could always try that again— when you're not surprising me." A smile starts to tease on the corner of her mouth. "Did seem pretty worried about me— like you ran half way across the Bronx just to find me before he did…" There's that feeling again, that tension from before, the one that had nothing to do with anger.

"Something like that," Sylar says with a suppressed smile, observing the carpet of the hallway as it goes by underfoot, more sensing her smile than needing to see it. His fingers touch the door once they approach, unlocking it with his mind to save them both the trouble. Inside, the lamp he's still kept by the window - though not on the sill anymore - flicks on with a delicate use of telekinesis, not an alien thing for him to do - although he turns back to her rather than head for his room. It had been a moment of weakness, before, needing acceptance. Now, perhaps, a show of strength. "Count of three," he suggests, wryly. Peter wanted to crack her head open to show Sylar what it felt like, to lose someone, and at least for tonight, that's not gonna happen.

Skull getting cracked open isn't something that she wants, even if she's settling down now that they're back in the safety of the apartment. Gillian knows that if he did show up, she's not alone, which helps quite a bit in maintaining a sense of security. Even if she craves independance, that never means desire to be completely and utterly alone. She doesn't even look at him odd when he flicks the lights on with an ability— it's not odd, with him. Count of three? She looks up at him. Reaching, she puts her free hand on his neck, thumb against his jaw, and she has to get up on her toes to get closer— Just like he counted down for the attack against the birds, she takes the liberty of controlling this, with a smile on her mouth. "One… two… three."

No surge this time. That sudden rush of power usually makes his heart skip. This time, it simply beats steadily as Sylar obligingly meets the kiss, a hand on her waist and another in her hair. Slower, steadier, none of the awkward passion from the other night - perhaps better for it. Perhaps not. But rather than scattered, confused thoughts and feelings of someone who barely knew who they were supposed to be at the time, Sylar knows only grim satisfaction.

There's a confidence behind the kiss that makes it easier not to fall apart. Which was the plan. Gillian's side is missing a little something it'd had before— distracted by the forced double knot in the back of her head and keeping it from unravelling. If only she could figure out how to tie it for good, and only open it when she wishes— that would be the next step. For now, she remains a little too aware of it, while trying to enjoy the kiss. That awareness might be what saves one of both of them from having a very bad night.

As she starts to get more into it, pressing her body up against his, the knot begins to unravel— energy starts to trinkle out in higher doses—

And since she's paying attention, she quickly lowers away, putting a stop it it. "More practice…" Not on the kiss— he's got that part down. Practice for her. "This is a kind of practice you could talk me into every night," she adds with a teasing smile, reaffirming the double knot in the back of her head, as she extracts herself. "Thank you, Gabriel. For coming to my rescue."

Maybe for some, an end to the kiss is a disappointment. For Sylar, the kiss is enough, and he backs up a step when she does too, hands lingering just long enough before they've lost contact entirely. "The pleasure's all mine," he murmurs, and behind Gillian, the locks fasten securely with a series of metallic clicks. "I'm not letting you go anywhere."

November 19th: I Think I'm Paranoid

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 20th: The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License