The Red Door


f_deckard_icon.gif f_gabriel_icon.gif

Scene Title The Red Door
Synopsis After a meeting with Helena and Cat, Deckard lets Gabriel in on an important little detail.
Date May 1, 2019

Central Park

The sun is dragging its way into a fiery set and Deckard's ice cream has completely melted. Creamy brown sludge is flecked with a sad scattering of sprinkles that swirl blandly from one side of the cup to the other to keep pace with the casual clip of his walk away from Cat and Helena. Presumably with Gabriel. As eager as he was to skiv off, bros before hos etc etc etc and it's not like he has spare friends to lose falling out his ears anyway.

"Phoenix," he's saying, "the burning bird. More like a burning pain in my ass. Think it means anything to them that you have to save the world for more than a decade for it to really count?"

Melted strawberry ice is about as unappealing, enough so that as they walk, Gabriel veers towards a trash can and deposits it, spoon and all, hands returning to the pockets of his jacket and watching more the ground they walk than the man just next to him. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," he states, with a glance Flint's way. "And I think they want to save the world." That's about as good as one can get. His gaze returns to the sidewalk passing by under foot. "Paintings don't lie."

"They want to save their world," Deckard corrects without enough feeling for it to sound like he's actually pissed about it. Twenty year olds and Teo playing daddy. It's not exactly surprising that they'd want to make sure they saved all of their own asses first and foremost. He keeps his eyes up, clear blue washed pale by the increasingly warm range of yellows and oranges that blazes soft across the park.

"It wasn't all black." By itself and without context, the sentence doesn't make sense, so after a beat, he thinks to provide some. "The painting. It wasn't just black."

Half statement, half inquiry. Lines etch out flat across his forehead over a lift at his brow when he looks over to get a read on the response, evidently unsure of whether or not he's sharing something new.

And technically it's all the same world. Technically, in all ways that it's not, but theoretical ponderings on spacetime, in Gabriel's opinion, should be left to the experts. He only knows what he's seen, which probably qualifies as expert in some books, like that of Elisabeth and Peter evidently. But all the same, his mouth draws in something of a smiling grimace of acknowledge for the truth behind Deckard's sentiment. Their world. Whether they like it or not.

It wasn't just black. Flint is met with confusion, at first, even after he clarifies, Gabriel focusing on him in silence for a moment. Drawing up the memories of his own paintings, still stashed in the attic. Black on black on black. In truth, he hasn't studied them very much. What's there to study? "What do you mean?"

"I watched you for a little while before I tried to snap you out of it. Every time you painted a red door. The black didn't come until after." This is One Of Those Things He Might Have Mentioned Sooner, and if the sideways way he's eyeing Gabriel is any indication, he knows as much. He stops short at the trash can, eyes directed down long enough for him to toss away his own sludgy cup. "Your painting takes their way out into account and still ends in a shitstorm of nothing."

Deckard's pause at the trashcan is excuse enough for Gabriel to halt, too, and simply stare, shoulders slack and mouth slightly parted in an expression of incomprehension. Plot twist, one he painted himself and went utterly unseen. And presumably all he had to do was scratch the suface of black in the right place.

At least now he knows how he's going to be spending his evening.

A smile breaks around the time Gabriel is bringing up his hands to rub his face, smooth them back around to grip onto the back of his neck, as if trying to loosen the tension there. "I tried to tell her. Everything will change. Maybe she'll keep the world being a better place, maybe even better than this one, but it won't be the same. As far as we're concerned…"

Shitstorm of nothing. "It'd be better for everyone if they just stayed put. It's working out so far."

There's a tilt of Deckard's soot-scruffed head at the smile, hawk-like. Too attentive. Maybe too interested in what it might mean, if it means anything at all. More than anything it's clear that his figurative feathers have been ruffled the wrong way by the conversation they just finished having. Everybody dies. Jesus Christ.

"Think so?" There's a curt almost snippishness to the question, bristled coarse on the worn fringes of a temper gone long, long suppressed. But it isn't destined to last. Two deep breaths and a sideways set of his jaw later, he looks away, scowls hard and falls stonily silent.

The little show of anger draws Gabriel out of himself a little, slanting a look to try and meet Flint's eyes, but the older man is already turning away. He knows it, what it is to rein in a short fuse, and blows out a sigh as some silence settles between them, the question going unanswered.

"And they want me to help them," he intones, after a moment, hands dropping from the nape of his neck to hide themselves in the pockets of his jacket, restlessly scuffing a foot against the pavement like a mildly restless horse. "I don't know what Peter expects. If His Highness isn't too busy, maybe I'll book him in for an art exhibit." An eyebrow raises, thinking out loud. "But then again, if your one true love died several years ago and maybe she could change that for the better, wouldn't you want to move mountains?"

"Peter missed the boat. So did Teo. What if you knew she was going to die before it happened?" He's not really angry — not anymore. It's hard to feel much of anything too strongly when you're doped up the way he has been. Still. Resignation is plentiful in the fuzzy lines grooved in deep around his mouth while he watches joggers jog and dogs do dog things and whatever else is going on in a park that looks and feels very existent to him. "What if you knew everything she had worked for was going to be rendered irrelevent and forgotten because a few kids with their heads up their asses couldn't stop themselves from hitting 88 miles per hour?" Deckard still isn't looking at Sylar, though he unconsciously follows the other man's example and tucks his hands deep down into the pockets of his overcoat.

"I'm not saying we should do anything to screw with them. I just don't understand why you'd want to help."

Gabriel snorts a little, head tilting as if to acknowledge that this is a fair question. "Pride," he answers, simply and honestly. His gaze isn't met but he's still studying Flint, with just as much avidness has his smile had been noted. "They know who I was. It's tempting to show them who I could be instead, because— if the paintings are right, and they always are, it won't matter. The only impression that matters is the last one, right?"

Bitter bitter, in his voice. His mouth draws into a line, and then he adds, "If it makes you feel better, I haven't decided if I'm lying to them or not. So what, you think we should just— not touch?"

"I don't think they'll care one way or the other, so long as they get what they need." Deckard's voice is more gravelled than it's been. He might've picked up smoking again. He doesn't stink, though. Not like tobacco. Or alcohol.

"Best case scenario, they tell your past self how much better you are in ten years. You think you're going to want to hear it? Even if you believe it…" he trails off into a hazy shrug, brows tipped up in vague, aimless defeat. "I dunno. I dunno what we should do. I wasn't going to tell you about the door."

A twitch of a scowl pulls at Gabriel's mouth at the idea of Phoenix and friends going back to help his past self, and he simply shakes his head. No. Not something he wants. Which leaves not much logic left behind other than principle, but Gabriel has acted on less. "At least I know it's a mistake. That I was right." Slightly pompous thing to say, but. He tilts his gaze up to observe the sky, no less or more comforting than watching Flint instead. "Eileen has some ideas."

"Maybe," Flint agrees blandly. Not much being 'right,' helps now. They're pretty much all out of the plane and falling fast. No parachutes this time. He swallows, eyes casting back over the park one last time before they return to Gabriel. It's a look that's hard to read. Interested, but interested like people are interested in lions when they're behind metal bars or a concrete pit. It's cold, almost. Certainly lacking in warmth.

Gabriel isn't a particularly warm person, either, unless he's lying. Certainly nothing to lie about right now, except perhaps to leave some important details out. Flint doesn't ask, not with words, and Gabriel isn't quick to answer. Contemplative upwards glance to the sky turned more critical, before it's turned back down to earth. "Edward Ray was smart," he says, after a moment. "Gave them something to chase. I don't know." They've been saying that a lot, lately. How do you stop an apocalypse that can wipe out every fucking thing in a blink of an eye? Aside from Eileen's ideas. "I'll talk to Peter. He has— enough to lose too."

A slow nod gets more decisive towards its tail end in return. He'll talk to Peter. That's…something. What, exactly, he isn't sure. As there's no real reason to hope for anything other than a swift deletion, there's no reason to assume there's anything anyone can actually do to help. Making a big gory mess of things or dying quietly seem to be the only options, and if the re-enforced steel in the clamp of Deckard's jaw is any indication, he's toying with the idea of the former for the first time.

"I should get back." There is a bomb that needs defusing in his brain. He's read enough books by this point to know as much, which — is a thought that really only succeeds in furthering his vexation. Work harder, brave pills. "If you need anything…" he draws one hand out of its pocket to scratch at his sideburn as he walks off.

If the two most powerful Evolved in the world can't reach a consensus on how to not delete the world— well, the paintings were conclusive as to what would happen. Strange how all the power in the world can't prevent inevitable ends. Gabriel is quiet as Deckard goes to take his leave. Much like with Helena, there's no miracle solution that the former serial killer can spout to the other man, and defeat reads in the line of his shoulders. "You too," he says, rather blandly.

One step, two steps, and then a suddenly sound of air vacuum and pressure, a gust of wind as Gabriel goes soaring into the sky for a quick trip home. Critical gaze upwards not one for how to save the world, but one to judge as to how cold flying might be. Things needs to be tackled in steps, after all.

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