What Baggage Is That


cat2_icon.gif gillian3_icon.gif

Scene Title What Baggage Is That?
Synopsis Gillian has some things she wants to get rid of, Cat speaks her opinion on it.
Date January 8, 2010

USS George Washington

It took a while for Magnes to be able to leave the room come morning. Hang overs can make people less willing to move around. To add to the clutter of crumpled up paper on the floor, there's no wrappers and bags of food and candy, and one empty bottle of alcohol. The second bottle is less than full, but no where near empty, sitting up on the table. Gillian's not hung over, as she avoided getting drunk in the first place. A trashbag in hand, she's cleaning up the room. The door's unlocked, and slightly ajar, as she's expecting to take the trash out soon enough, anwyay.

And so it is the door slides open, a female shape five feet and eight tall coming through it slowly. No voice calls out at first, the arriving person simply surveys the interior. The next sound she makes comes from pushing the door closed behind her, followed by more footsteps as she moves to the center of the space. Clothing is a Marine combat uniform without markings for name or rank, body armor and helmet being worn also, but no weapon at hand. Hair off the collar in the way Navy and Marine women wear theirs when in uniform.

"Interesting decor, Gillian," she offers, in bending to grab an item and place it somewhere more appropriate."

"Made myself at home, as the Agent lady would say," Gillian says, bending down to pick up the crumpled papers again. There's a sketchpad on the table, flipped over, and a pencil. It'd been the only thing she bothered asking for besides clothes when they got out of the jungle. "What all do they have you guys doing that you need to dress like that?" she asks, dropping down picking up the empty bottle and putting that in, before moving to sit on the lower bunk bed. It doesn't look like it's been made. She's not really cut out for the army life, as is obvious.

"We took over part of Marion Island," Cat states, "where the Verano is docked. It's a ship fueling and repair place the Vanguard used. They put up a fight at first, it was over quickly. Since then it's been mostly going through the place, looking at all their documents to find whatever's there to be found. We stay garbed like this for safety. Still might be stragglers on the island, and traps in the bunkers."

Then she chuckles lightly. "Haven't seen you in a while. Started to think you did more than make yourself at home, you made a cave and retreated into hibernation like a bear."

"I'm not really cut out for this… army stuff," Gillian admits softly, but that's probably been obvious. The one time she tried to make herself cut out for it was Pinehearst, when she acted as a one woman army in some cases. But that didn't really go as well as it could have. She didn't leave feeling great about herself. "I just— The Agent woman. The one in charge, I guess. She gave me an offer I've been thinking about. To go along with my pardon and everything." Thinking a lot about, it would seem.

"How do you handle remembering everything and not… breaking down? It sometimes seems like nothing at all phases you. Then again I might just be too emotional…"

"We talked about this once," Cat answers quietly, "when you visited me in a dream. How I handle being me. So many faces, people I've killed. One I loved and betrayed, because love simply wasn't enough. The guilt that leaves me with, that lingers on despite her advice to let it go. The key being to make new memories, stay busy, keep moving."

"And you know from that visit what I told you. That you didn't see me crack. For most people, I wouldn't ever acknowledge again that it happened in the first place."

"I don't remember very well," Gillian says, settling into her seat on the bed. "I kept journals, cause I knew I wouldn't keep your memory, but— I've been away from them for so long now. I haven't been able to keep them here. And I just— I keep holding on to hope in things that… I shouldn't. I wish I was as strong as you seem to be, sometimes. I have a hard time moving on." Which is exactly what she must need to do.

"I'll be fine. I just need to get rid of some baggage, and then I can go to the island and meet the person I'm supposed to be paired with."

"What baggage is that?" Cat asks, though something tells her she already knows the answer. The way Gillian got so quiet when she mentioned Peter at their last conversation, the triangle between him, her, and Helena that was developing. "I've got baggage too. I like my baggage, because it's mine and is part of making me who I am. I keep it locked in the closet as best I can, but it's still there. Since last December, I've never let anyone share my bed. I've been in a man's bed, spent the night with him there, or in a neutral bed, but I never take anyone to my own. If I did, and that person later died, if I had to make a choice like that again," she states softly, "I'd never be able to sleep in it again."

"Yeah, part of who I am. Maybe I'd want to keep them more if I liked who I am," Gillian says, shaking her head a bit and reaching down to find a wrapper in the covers and she leans forward to put it into the bag. "I want to change. I thought I had. And then he shows up in fucking Argentina and— makes me feel like an idiot and I just… Sorry. I shouldn't even really be talking to you about this stuff. I mean, you're Helena's best friend and I was pretty much trying to steal her boyfriend, even when he was still her boyfriend."

"I had hoped he and she might be able to make it work, but I had strong doubts," Cat shares gravely, "same as I would have regarding him and any other woman. He's damaged, carries such a burden he can't put down. So much guilt, things he can never completely atone for. But both you, and Helena, had to learn this by painful experience, and now I can see you have. I hope she has," Cat mutters, "after he backhanded her and she winded him into a pillar."

"Throwing away a part of yourself, though, won't make you like yourself any more. It won't change the basics. You'll still be you, only not remembering them so well, and having to eventually learn them again."

"I know he's damaged," Gillian says, frowning a bit as she looks down at the floor. Even his image is damaged, not that it's easy to see what she's drawn over and over on the sketchpad. Not with the pieces of paper all crumpled up and tossed away. And stepped on. "The problem is, he wats me to give up on him. Wants me to believe he's dead so I can move on, and I can't. Because I don't believe he's gone. I don't— It would be easier if I could believe he just died when he fell off the roof, and if I didn't know that we were supposed to have a future together. A future that'll never happen and something I should have never known about."

"I don't believe Kazimir is at the wheel either, Gillian," Cat replies quietly, "even though he won't let on it isn't an act. Maybe he feels if he eases up, he might not be able to get back into that place when he needs it believed. But it goes deeper than that. Your key to moving on, maybe, is to let go romantic notions. Believe he's there, respect him, but accept you won't be able to make him happy, or him make you happy." It's the thing Cat realized within a month of meeting Peter Petrelli. But she won't talk about that.

"Could be, also, what you're in love with is that idea, of being with someone. In the time I've known you, you've been all about Gabriel, and now a lot about Peter. Let go of them, with the memories intact, and be about Gillian for a while. Don't define yourself by your ties to a man."

"That's my piece, take it or leave it as you will. If you want to have your mind edited, have things stricken from the record, that's your choice too. But I believe you're strong enough to deal with them in place."

There's a laugh, raspy and breathy, but not really humored. "You sound like the tarot reader," Gillian says. "One of the cards she laid down said that's how people saw me. Starting to think her reading was a couple months too early." Now, it seems far more relevant than it did at the time. "I was focusing on myself for a couple months, until Argetina. It— " She sighs. She can't make him happy. "I need to finish cleaning up. I have to go over to the island and find that… Nori-something person."

"Noriko," Cat provides. "Noriko Imagi. Hydrokinetic." A few more items are picked up as she continues to assist Gillian in cleaning. "No matter what you decide, and I do hope you keep yourself intact because you're stronger than you let yourself believe, you won't forget me." There's a dry chuckle. "I'm a force of nature, unremovable."

A bit of mischief comes into her eyes. "Do you remember any of that trip to the moon?"

"Yeah, that name," Gillian says, as the rest of the name she heard once is filled in. It's who she's been partnered with. She's not even sure what she does, but she assumes she's Evolved. Why would they team her with anyone not? It wouldn't make sense. "The Moon… yeah, I do remember. I don't remember it vividly, but… I remember going to the moon."

"Good times," Cat states with a spreading grin as items picked up are put into a bag and the door is approached, then opened. "I still think that home run shot might still be on the way to the Sun. Say, whatever were you doing with Neil Armstrong out behind the LEM while the rest of us played golf and baseball?" She steps through the door and closes it behind her to escape the consequences of teasing before anything can be thrown at her.

"If you don't know, I'm not telling," Gillian says with a dimpled smile, even if the brand messes that up on one side. She reaches over and shoves the older woman's shoulder with a hand, but it does seem the tease brought a smile back on her face. "And I wouldn't forget you. I just wish I could live up to this strength you talk about." And the strength she used to see in herself. Until she stopped.

A short laugh comes when the shove arrives, she being foiled in her attempt to escape playful retribution. "You will," Cat asserts, "because you and others need it to show up." The door comes open, and now she passes through, leaving it ajar as it was found when she arrived.

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