Vehicular Manslaughter For The Win


gillian_icon.gif gwen_icon.gif niki_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Vehicular Manslaughter For The Win
Synopsis An unexpected confrontation with Gillian leads to an unexpected confrontation with Niki, leading to another unexpected confrontation with a car.
Date November 21, 2008

Kingpin's Bowling Alley: Parking Lot

Rattle, rattle.

Rattle, rattle.

Click, pop, rattle.

Another entire bottle of asprin emptied. The green plastic is tossed into the trash can, pills swallowed dryly down a sore throat. Leaning against the brick wall behind him, Peter Petrelli covers his brow with one hand, breathing in a ragged sigh. As his hand slides down a pale face, dark and deep bags under his eyes show the pain of not having slept in weeks. The mind and body are in turmoil, and he refuses to acknowledge the only way to alleviate the growing pain he finds himself under.

Once those pills have roughly slid their way down into his stomach, Peter leans off of the wall and shoulders past a couple walking down the street. The young man stumbles away, turning to glare up at Peter, who in turn glares back. The two stare each other down for a moment, but it is Peter who relents this time, closing his eyes to stem the throbbing pain in his head. Moving away from the wall, his silhouette moves out of the way of a faded VOTE PETRELLI Campaign poster plastered to the brick. All that effort for such little in return.

Rounding the corner and moving off of the street, the muffled noise of the Kingpin Bowling Alley filters out through the partiall opened back doors of the business. A few cars in the parking lot at this hour of evening indicate that business is slowing down, despite the approaching weekend. Who really has time to bowl anymore?

Hesitating, Peter leans up against a telephone pole, letting his shoulder slump up against it. His vision blurs, and his senses focus back on a struggle going on inside of his mind. The birds have been reluctant to follow his orders as of late, something scared them away from the area, something powerful, and he has yet to be able to coerce them back. But the last thing he recalls, that last familiar landmark they relayed flashes on and off to illuminate the parking lot. The flickering neon billboard showing a bowling ball colliding with three pins. Peter gases up at it, his face half shadowed by pink and blue neon lights. It's playing havoc with his migraine.

She's got to be here, somewhere.

Patterns are easy, and it didn't hurt that Gwen and Niki had a Peter of their own to try and hazard a guess as to where they might pick up the rogue. Conveniently, the trail got sniffed out right around where he first entered the Bronx and well, Niki's now having herself a crash course in how to tail someone. Gwen's been praying that he doesn't decide to teleport, and so far they've been lucky. She taps her mic gently as it rests in her ear, her voice a low murmur unheard by anyone but her blonde companion.

"You see that?" she says softly. "He's been popping pills since we picked up his trail." The point is more to show Niki that this is a detail that may be important later, and while she had Niki watch from a different vantage point, the pair are still communicating. It's important they stay out of site, this Peter knowing much what Company Peter knows.

She's still not convinced, entirely, of this dual Peter thing. Mostly because she doesn't want to be; it's much easier for Niki Sanders to believe that someone is just impersonating Peter Petrelli rather than somehow him going bad. The blonde is in mostly dark attire, the better to be unseen, but she watches back. There's a reply over the mic to Gwen.

"Do we know what it is he's taking? That could be important." Maybe it's some kind of behavior-altering drug. Maybe it's SOMETHING that will explain away how this could happen rather than the more obvious answer that she really doesn't WANT to believe.

The cold air of the evening leaves good reasons to wear scarfs around someone's face, though one young woman moving down the street is taking this to an extreme. A black scarf wrapped around her head hides most of her face except her eyes. Unexpectedly, she's not exiting the bowling alley, and rather moving toward it, black boots with fur lining carrying her feet in the direction of the illuminated parking lot. Gillian's uncovered eyes glance to the sky a few times, checking for a bird— catching sight of at least one that she knows is safe— a raven. She's been keeping her eye on it more often then not— it's the only bird she doesn't want to throw a stone at the last few days. Then again, the area is unusually birdless—

With no awareness of the lurker near the telephone pole as of yet— the light's too low and she's looking elsewhere for threats. There are always lurkers at this time of night, she walks right in his direction, down the street and only notices something might be there when that familiar buzz starts to ring in the back of her head. It causes her to stop midstride and look around, eyes trying to find the direction of the drain.
Peter straightens off of the telephone pole, rolling one shoulder and cracking his head to the side with a pop of his neck. Something feels better, a little lighter, and the hand rubbing at his temple can't possibly be giving as much relief to his headache as it feels. Maybe the asprin are finally kicking in, four bottles so far have had no affect on alleviating the pain in his head, only adding discomfort to his stomach. At least that's better than could be said for anyone else who'd try that.

There's a twinge, something unsettled in Peter's expression, and his eyes upturn to the night sky. His focus shifts, not so much to the sky itself, but to the lack of illumination within. His pupils dialate wide, and there's another tug in the back of Gillian's mind, another power manifesting. The shadow-echolocation Peter obtained from that irishman he shared a pint with paints a clear picture of a raven in flight overhead, one that he didn't send here, one that hasn't been scared away.

In a rather birdlike gesture, Peter tucks his hands into his pockets and tilts his head to the side like a raven querying something puzzling as he takes a few meandering steps in the direction it's flying, which leads him a few paces away from Gillian. "Why aren't you listening to me…" He murmurs, one dark brow rising higher than the other as he extends his focus out towards the bird. The activation of his avian telepathy cues Gillian in to another tug from the same direction, to a man in a dark jacket under a street lamp, to Peter. "…why can't I control you?" He asks himself, and the rhetoric makes ideas bounce around in his head. Lips slowly curl up, forming a mocking smile, "Bird-girl lived. Sylar, you're two for two…"

"The last bottle he tossed in the garbage was generic aspirin." Gwen remarks in that same low, quiet tone. "But that doesn't preclude what might be in the bottles to begin with." She cocks her head, watching Peter's facial expressions, his reactions to his environment. Then even more quietly, "He's cruel."

Niki watches from her own position. "Maybe we should…I don't know. Maybe someone should try to talk to him. To find out what this is all about. I mean, if he's an imposter, we might get a clue as to who it really is. And if he's not…I mean, if it's some alternate Peter, maybe we could talk some sense into him; avert that whole fight in the painting." She wants to do something, not just sit here and watch. Almost as an afterthought, she says "We should get the bottle later; maybe there's some residue they can check for in the lab to find out if it was really just aspirin.

The surge draining out of her increases. Gillian's eyes catch the bird first, and then the man that it's looking at— the man moving away from her. A man with a familiar form. Last time she saw him, he'd been wearing a lot less, but such a figure is hard to forget. Quickly, she clamps down on the drain of energy from her and turns away, pulling the bag that hangs at her side around and reaching inside, searching for something that she honestly shouldn't be carrying around.

A gun. Company issue. Stolen from someone nearby. She feels around for the safety, clicking it off, and keeps her hand wrapped around it as she tries to walk away as quickly as she can. She can shoot him again if she has to. If he wants her, he's going to hurt a lot first.

The headache comes back in full throbbing force the moment Gillian disconnects that flow from Peter, and his regeneration once again strains under the degredation of his body's split strength. His brow twitches at the sensation, and his focus shifts from the bird down to street level. He'd felt this sensation before, this surge, this pulse. His memory is as keen as ever, remembering that tingling flow in his veins from Dorchester Tower. It was so much more intense then, and then faint recollections of it from the night he was reborn.

Dark eyes scan the street, feeling the presence of shapes and forms in the darkness, and then as he turns and looks down the street, past the many people moving to and from the nearby buildings, to the family of four getting into their minivan in the parking lot, to the man on a bicycle riding past, something stands out — The one person who's standing still in the cold. Their eyes meet, even at the far distance Gillian can feel his stare on her. Then, beneath the street light, his body distorts and bends light around it in a warping manner, causing him to fade from view like a heat mirage. Only Gillian can hear the thoughts extended into her mind, the voice echoing inside of her head. Hello, Gillian.

This time it isn't Sylar.

"That's not our assignment." Gwen says firmly. "Our assignment is to observe. If something happens in the field to make action necessary, than we'll deal with it. He - who is that?" The woman, looking at him, and him, looking at her. "We may have a problem. How close are you?"

He sees her. And then his voice invades her mind, much as Gabriel's had. It feels different. And then he fades out of normal sight, another ability she's come used to seeing— but not used by him. "Son of a bitch," Gillian cries out, keeping her hand on the gun as she breaks into a run in the direction of the bowling alley doors. Find people. She can barely shoot at what she can see, how will she hit something she can't. The thoughts of finding people stream through her mind, the warning that Gabriel gave her. To stick to crowds. Why didn't she listen. As she breaks into a run, the scarf unravels, revealing her face and hair better than before.

Niki looks over. "Across the street. Near the alley." It's a good place to hide. And then there's the cry. "We have to do something." She's already starting out from that alleyway, starting towards the woman in the scarf. Whether it's good Agenting or not, she can't just sit by and let someone get hurt.

Women. The voice pierces Gillian's mind again, You're the second one to run from me in as many days. There's a sharp tug at the middle of her center of mass, almost like running chest-first into a fence. The sensation not only stops Gillian, but it yanks her up off of her feet and sends her sailing back through the air, tumbling a few feet over the hood of a parked car until she comes to a sudden and abrupt halt in the air, upside-down. Several people in the parking lot see this, letting out confused shouts as they stop what they're doing and gawk at Gillian, suspended as she is in mid air. Hang around for a little while. We've got so much to talk about.

She can hear the sounds of footsteps slowly approaching, the rattling clump of zippered motorcycle boots approaching her telekineticly pinned form. The heat-haze fades away, slowly, revealing the black-clad Petrelli approaching Gillian from behind with a hand held at his brow. He pauses, looking down at himself, then around as a few people in the crowd in the parking lot that can see him. One headache after another, some more metaphorical than others.
Gwendolyn considers a moment. This woman is important to Peter. This Peter, anyway. And he's going to hurt her. Time for something quick. "See if you can grab the girl. You're strong enough to possibly break the telekinetic grip if you grab her with enough force. I'm going for the car." With that, Gwen turns and makes a dash for their non-descript looking sedan. Oh, yes. She has a plan.

As soon as she's grabbed, Gillian screams, flying toward the car and crashing into it. As she does, she loses control of her clamp on the ability, making things even worse for herself, making him even more powerful than he'd already been. The bag around her arm slips, dropping, and then she's hanging upside down. It slides to fall off her arm, the grip on the gun lost. It falls to the bottom of the bag, which she just barely holds onto as she hangs upside down. Son of a bitch.

I can't die here. He needs me…

She trashes in his grip, but is unable to get out, screaming— drawing even more attention. That scarf that had been supposed to protect her lies on the ground somewhere between the car she impacted and where he grabbed her.

The thrashing settles as he appears, eyes looking at him. The energy flow is clamped down on again, denied to him. "Fucking— asshole." She growls at him, voice pained from the impact, angry.

Sure, she might be strong enough. IF she could get to her strength. Which is always an iffy prospect, even at the best of times. Not to mention that between her superstrength and Peter's telekinesis, the weak link is Gillian's body. She starts running in that direction, and tries a more simple method; get Peter's attention off Gillian. "Peter!" she calls in a loud voice. "Peter, what are you doing?" She keeps running up to close the distance. Niki tends to be the talk-first type.

The on-and-off flickering of Gillian's power connecting to Peter causes him to wince, the pain of his headache fading only to pound back behind his eyes again. He hisses a slow and steady breath through his teeth and presses his hand against the side of his head, even as his telekinesis wavers for a moment. Gritting his teeth, his hand pivots and he whips Gillian around, right-side-up and draws her closer, two fingers beckoning her closer like a marionette on strings. "If you tell me where — "

Niki's voice breaks any attention he had on Gillian. Dark eyes sweep across the street he stands in the middle of to focus on the darkly-dressed agent. Both of his brows raise, mouth opening in a gaping expression of surprise as he sees her. "Y-you — " Then, that soft look hardens to a snarl, "This isn't any of your business, this is between me, her, and Sylar." His hand motions towards Gillian, and the girl is manipulated through the air and away from Niki and himself slowly, keeping her just a few feet off of the ground. "Why are you here?"

He sounds like Peter. He looks like Peter. But there's something sharper about his features, something rougher about his voice. It both is, and isn't the Peter that Niki knows. It's like a dirty, broken reflection.

A stream of liquid cursing in at least five languages streams into Niki's ear, but it's at surprisingly conversational tone. Gwen is pissed. But it also doesn't alter her plan. Annoyed as she is, this might just be the distraction that helps her end of things. Keeping the lights off, she backs the car out of its space and brings and snakes it around the curve of the bowling alley lot, hitting the pedal just as it rounds the curve.

There isn't even a squeal of the tires, just the surge of the engine as the sedan barrels toward Peter from the side, and then suddenly 'toward' becomes 'into' as the force of it sends him flying into the air. And even while he's imitating Nathan only in a completely involuntary way? Gwen hits the break, turns the wheel sharply, and forces the car to rotate so the passenger side is toward Niki and Gillian. It squeals to a stop a few feet midway between them. "Get in!" Don't know how long it'll take for him to regenerate, though she does have a special Jessica-B-Gone patch or two handy. Hmmm.

There's another scream as she's righted. Gillian barely manages to hold onto her bag, again, some of the contents spilling out this time. A makeup case, a disposable cellphone— but not the gun. It weights down the bottom of the bag as she keeps her hands on the straps, a defiance in her eyes as she's pulled closer. Defiance that ends up getting spat right at him, blood mingling with saliva as the impact with the car had caused some damage. Not that it will hit him very well. A little closer and she'll start kicking, and trying to hit him with the bag…

But there's an interuption. A voice. She looks to it as much as she can with the hold around her, a blonde woman, one she doesn't recognize. Someone who knows him.

The black suit draws a conclusion, one she can't help but suspect in this case. She knows who the other Assface works for.

But something that this Assface says makes her eyes look over, startled. "What?" She's confused— but then a car barrels out of nowhere, slamming into the man. She drops to the ground, hitting rather heavily and falling to her knees as the car swirves. She looks over.

No. These are the people who kidnapped her sister. They're the ones who tried to kidnap her. Different suits, same business. She gets to her feet and does her best to try to run in the opposite direction, unfortunately there's a lot of limping to start it off.

Niki's torn. But right now, getting Gillian away from Peter is the prime objective. She hurries up towards Gillian, long legs covering the distance quickly. "Come on! We have to get you out of here!" When Gillian keeps trying nonetheless, she'll reach out to grab on and try to manhandle her back to the car.

With the windshield shattered from the impact, Peter's ribs and back are in no better condition. He landed some ten feet behind the car after rolling over the hood, striking the windshield, and bouncing over the roof to tumble down the trunk onto the cold pavement. This is the second time in as many days that Peter has been laid flat-up on his back by a woman, and much to his disappointment it looks to be becoming a trend. Bones begin to set, though slower than they should. Peter struggles to move, his spine snapping back into place as vertibrate begin to fuse back together. His leg twists, meat tearing and re-stitching as his femur is pushed back into alignment painfully. There's loud, screaming agony behind the car amidst the smoke billowing from the exhaust.

Peter struggles up onto his hands and knees, spitting up blood onto the sidewalk as his lip begins to seal shut. "You…" He rasps out words as his ribs finally start to put themselves back into place, "…are really…" He tries to stand, only to land back down onto both his hands and knees from the dislocation of his spine not quite yet reorganized. "…pissing me off." He's regenerating much slower than he did last time in Gillian's presence, and from a much less severe wound — though coincidentally both were dealt by a fast-moving vehicle.

Gwendolyn's voice is sharp and cuttingly British, but she's priming the engine while keeping an eye on the rear view in the event of Peter starting to get up with any sort of confidance of movement. "I don't know who the bloody hell you think we are, but we don't have more than a few moments before he starts juggling this auto like it's bloody Carnivale, so get in the bloody fucking car, both of you!"

Oh, my. Woods would be so proud.

It is a coincidence. One that Gillian hopes to repeat every time she sees him. Until he's squished for good under one. Of course, she's still limping away when her arms is grabbed. With her ability clamped down firmly, there's no surge of energy, but the woman's still stronger than her, more athletic, and the grip better. "Let go of me!" she says in an angry voice, trying to wrench her arm back to no avail, but she can easily be carried over into the car and forced inside.

Niki wrestles Gillian over to the car, shoves her in next to Gwen…and then slams the door. "Go!" She shouts to her partner. Because getting Gillian clear is key…but at the same time, she can't just run. The only reason she's still alive at this point can be tracked back to Peter Petrelli, and him believing in her when no one else would. She has to try and save him; there's a debt owed.

She turns back to look at Peter, and starts a few steps in his direction. "Peter, please. Don't do this."

"Mmnh…" Peter exhales a deep and grunting breath through his nose with a spray of blood. Managing to get up onto one knee, Peter looks at the car, holding out one hand as the rear end lifts up off of the ground, tilting the car at a thirty-degree angle. "Every time, every single time I get close…" The bumper bends and twists into a knot, wrenching off of the car as bolts and screws holding it in place snap from the strain, clanking and clinking down to the ground. "Someone gets in my way!" With the raising of his voice, Peter throws his arm to one side, sending the rear end of the car swinging around, pivoting the vehicle on its front tires until it drops back down onto the street.

His dark eyes follow Niki, watching her approach from the vehicle, "Don't be that someone, Niki." Even as he speaks, the rear driver's side door begins to wrench and buckle, the handle snapping off as he works on the arduous process of ripping the door straight off of the car to get to Gillian with a telekinetic grasp. "This is about me and Sylar. This doesn't have anything to do with you, or her." His eyes focus past Niki's shoulder, to the car as the door finally rips free and crashes down to the pavement. "I need to know where he is."

Gwendolyn lets out an "OOF!" as the car is raised, jerked around, and dropped. Somewhere in the back of her brain, she's imaging filing this report with Sabra, advising her that what they say about dumb blondes is ENTIRELY TRUE. Reguardless, as soon as the wheels return to ground, and even in its shit state, Gwendolyn attempts to put the foot down on the pedal and get the hell out of there. Normally, she'd be of the 'don't leave your partner behind' train of thought, but in retrospect, Gwendolyn is also a firm believer in karma. And also, Darwinism.

In the backseat of the car, Gillian lets out another yelp of protest, growling as she's thrown around yet again. This time inside a car. She begins to move across to the other door, trying to open it while they're still in midair, to no avail. She shakes the handle, shoving against it, only to yelp again when they're dropped and the car start's screetching off. Each time she yelps, each jerk of surprise, causes her power to surge on and off. Not just in the direction of the man tossing the car about, but also the woman, increasing both of their energies. As the car speeds away, that will go away very quickly.

Niki moves towards Peter, hands slightly raised and out to the side. It's the classic "not armed" kind of pose. "Peter, please. I'll help you find him. But something's wrong. Please, talk to me. You were there for me when I needed someone. Let me be there for you."

As Niki approaches, Peter's head cants to the side slightly, his expression shifting for a moment. First it's a brief look of compassion, of understanding, a woman who also was divided into two distinct people. Her battle far more internal than Peter's. But it is this sympathy that lasts for only a fleeting moment, "I don't need you help."

That proclimation joins with Peter throwing one of his arms to the side, motioning towards the speeding car. With a violent shattering the back window explodes inwards, and then grasped by her head and shoulders, Gillian is ripped from the back of the car by that telekinetic hand, somehow managing to strike the sides of the rear window on her way out. She spirals thorugh the air out of control with each throbbing surge of power, ones that send Peter staggering from the ache in his head. "I don't need anyone!" The shout comes with a wave of telekinetic energy, this time directed towards Niki, but Gillian's pulse of energy fades too soon, and the burst is not nearly as strong as Peter intended, only enough to send her sliding back a foot, not even abrupt enough to knock her off of her feet.

However, Niki isn't the prize Peter wants, it is the brunette hurtling towards him. As she sails towards him, Peter reaches out to grab her by the hair, yanking her head back and wrapping his arm around her neck in a headlock. He watches Niki for a moment, hand still raised, but he hesitates on harming her, something deep inside causing him a pang of what on the outside looks like pain — or guilt.


Peter winces at the thought, squeezing Gillian tightly to himself. "We'll settle this," he takes a step back, "Later." And with a sudden eruption beneath his feet, Peter explodes upwards into the air in a burst of flight, in an instant clearing the rooftops, and with a burst of speed flashes thorugh the sky to the west like a missile, Gillian in tow.

Gwendolyn skids the car to a halt, and then slowly turns it around to drive it toward Niki. It shudders to its death not far from Niki, and with the sort of dignity that only an Englishwoman can summon after their car has been mauled by a circumstance such as this, she gets out of the car, reaching into her jacket pocket for her cell as she approaches the blonde. "Well done." she says crisply, even as she dials. "Yes." she says in the phone when there's an answer. "We'll need a pickup." Edgy. "And a tow truck."

November 21st: Still Burning

Previously in this storyline…
Hunches and Speculations

Next in this storyline…

November 21st: Courting Trouble
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