What Is


gillian_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif

Scene Title What is
Synopsis Between what was and what will be is a simple fact of what is.
Date February 28, 2009

Abandoned Home - Staten Island

The suburban house has long since been looted.

Anything valuable, anything useful, anything not bolted down and even some stuff that has has been lifted over the course of two years. But throughout all of this, one thing did remain, by the mercy of people too uncaring to notice it. A light-catching wind chime dangles over a window, stained glass sending coloured light onto Tavisha's face and the surrounding environment. A shape of a cat, different patches of glass puzzling together to build it's shape - blue ears, a purple head, a blue belly, green paws, cartoonish and covered in dust. Hanging from it on fine strings, four lyrically twinkling metal chimes - it's clear there are meant to be five.

He curls a large hand around the cat shape and then brings up his dusting cloth to wipe it free of grime, to let the light shine through it a little better before letting it swing free again, chimes knocking against each other in a soft, ringing sound that goes on for long to his ears than anyone else, and resumes cleaning grime from the window, the one that isn't broken and boarded over.

Tavisha had started cleaning up this place even before he'd brought Gillian back here. He'd removed rugs that had suffered water damage, had replaced the broken locks on the doors in a sort of haphazard spell of DYI repair and so now they kind of work, and procured an actually nice mattress for sleeping in. It gives off an aura more of a student flat that needs filling than a bomb shell wreck of a house, save for all the graffiti that needs painting over.

Wearing a loose sweater, comfortable pants and socks, Tavisha soaks the wash cloth in the bucket at his feet, and starts work on the window sill to remove the aged, ingrained dust marks and plastered in dead bugs.

The first day back from her apartment, all Gillian brought had been a large dufflebag full of clothes (nothing the ferryman wanted to take as payment) and the cat. Cat supplies could be bought on the Island, for a price, but her cash is running thin. Without any more rent bills to pay, though (and the last one skipped out on), she's got enough for a few more trips back and forth… The first dufflebag of clothes weren't the last thing she brought over. Today she'd left for another trip to Manhattan Island, but this time she didn't stay the night. It's the dufflebag thrown over her shoulder that she went for.

A new sound can be heard. First footsteps approaching the house, then the unlocking of the lock on the front door. He's heard her rhythms enough times the last few days to recognize them, even before she steps through the door and into the house. From the soft thump, the dufflebag is much heavier than what it had been when it was full of clothes.

After locking the door behind her, she abandons her belongings on the floor and walks to the window, where he's washing away dirt on a windchime. "Still the neat one," she says with a smile on her lips. "Used to make sure I used a coaster."

Her voice is fond, if tight from the cold. "Chandra always used to like you. I'm not sure what's gotten into him."

"Cats are meant to be inuitive," Tavisha says, letting the wash cloth fall back into the bucket, wiping his hands cleaner on the sides of his trousers. "Maybe he knows something's missing." There's some melancholy there, some wryness, but ultimately it's a passing, superficial notion. The cat doesn't take food from him, doesn't accept pettings, which mostly just means that he's Gillian's responsibility. He doesn't remember ever liking the feline, or the feline liking him, and dismisses it as maybe he's just not very good with animals.

Or perhaps Chandra knows he's more of a bird person. That could be it. He looks towards where she's rested the duffle bag down, back to her. "Next time you should go out with Jack and I," he suggests. "I'll just work off whatever you'd owe for that and whatever you want to bring back. I could help, might make it easier."

"Probably a good idea," Gillian says, glancing back toward the dufflebag as she undoes the buttons on her coat so she can shed it. Her coat, this time. The cut is more feminine and fitting to her size. The sleeves don't hang over her hands, the back doesn't threaten to drag on the floor when she walks. Still black and still thick, it gets folded over her arm for the moment, rather than tossed on the floor. "The next batch of stuff includes what's left of my jewelry and my electronics. Those are more likely to get stolen on the boats I've been taking so far."

She's not too fond of this back and forth, it sounds like. "I need to meet this Jack of yours. Sure it's a guy you don't mind oweing more too? I could probably work for it on my own. I've been thinking I should get a job over here— I could probably pay it off just as well as you can."

The bucket is picked up, Tavisha tilting his head a little— follow, follow— as he moves off towards the kitchen. The lip of the bucket is rested against the metal basin, dirty water spilling down into it, swirling around into the drain as he fishes out the cloth and lets it hang over the faucet. "It's easier to pay with work," Tavisha says, shaking his head. "Money— well, money would be nice, if we can afford not to give it to Jack. He sort of doesn't want that from me, anyway."

Hard to explain Jack's logic, but Tavisha's happily bought into it. Easier to owe someone time when that's all you have, not cash-money when you have very little of that at all. "What sort of job are you looking for?" The bucket is set aside, and Tavisha moves to perch up on a kitchen counter - likely too restless to sit still for long, but it seems a good place to be.

Following close behind, Gillian moves into the kitchen but hangs close to the door rather than impose on his space… possibly to keep from being asked to help. It looks as if she's content to watch, setting the coat down onto the counter top near the door and leaning there. Under the coat she's still dressed in mostly black, including a fishnet shirt that's sleeves are visible, clinging to her arms. The rest of her clothing is sensible for the weather, though the sweater vest on top could be more covering.

"I can do a little of everything. Trained to be a librarian, but I won't exactly be using my resume, or even my name. Got myself a new ID while I was out." Thanks to Teo, but she doesn't give credit where credit is due this time. "Thinking somewhere quiet. I worked at a bowling alley recently. I've had enough noise and fat alcoholics. You didn't like visiting me there, either. Too loud for you." Something she doubts will change. Hearing is one of his abilities still.

"So what exactly do you do to work off your debts?"


Tavisha shrugs a little, and unknown to him, the act of keeping his life secret from her is strangely familiar. Maybe too much so for the woman, wisened up as she is, and in his defense, he's new to it, and not the best of liars. Omission, though, maybe that doesn't count. A heel protected only by thin woolen socks connects lightly against kitchen cabinet doors when his legs swings a little. "He needs an extra pair of hands, sometimes, on his yacht," he says. "Ferrying people to Manhattan and back. He says that after he pulled me out of the river, I was practically crew anyway, so. It gave me something to do."

Lies are going both ways this time. Gillian hasn't exactly been forthcoming with the reasons for her sudden desire to abandon her apartment and old identities… Nor has she told him of all of the people he's killed, specifically her own sister. Some things are better left unsaid. At least the lies go both ways, this time. From the arch of her eyebrow, she might suspect omission. "Well if it's a yacht… you can count me in. I've been coming over on what could hardly count as a pontoon. Look forward to meeting him." His rescuer.

And unlike her, Tavisha suspects very little. Even omission. Which is incredibly foolish in his position but if he doesn't trust the people he deems trustable, he might just go crazy with paranoia. Too many potential liars. So as it happens, the raise of her eyebrow crumbles more defenses than her words and pointed questions from months ago ever did, even as he nods. "It's a nice boat. I'll convince Jack to let us go out in it, I mean… I did sort of help him steal it."

Just a little bit. Head tips again, a sheepish gesture. "Nothing is really— exactly legitimate on this island, ever. Which is why you might want to be careful about where you work. The closest neighbourhood is the Rookery, and that's— " A cesspool. But also his home. Tavisha drops off his perch on the counter, shrugging again. "Not the safest place in the world. Find a bookshop or something. No bars." And certainly not the Dagger.

"You stole a boat," Gillian repeats, moving away from the counter finally to close the distance between them, especially helped by the fact he's dropped down to the floor again. Hands go up and start to touch at his shirt, gestures he's had to get used to since they met again in the library. "You get fished out of the water and you're suddenly a pirate." That's what boat theives are, after all. From the shift in her heart beat… she might just like this idea.

"Alright— here's a deal. I'll find somewhere positively boring to work… or as boring as you can get on this island… and you let me watch you work one of these days. I guarantee it will be worth it." And from the way her hands slide along his chest… She never did get to watch him work before…

The idea of bringing Gillian into the world of piracy— because she's right, that kind of is what it is— even as a spectator is a bit like trying to imagine worlds colliding. Generally something to be avoided, even if warm palms are sliding up his chest with that much promise.

Maybe not so direly avoided after all, actually. "Well I'm not the captain," Tavisha says, noncommittally, hands moving to place high on her waist, amusement evident in the way he looks down at her. "I'd have to ask. You still have to find a boring job. There's an antique store that's had a sign up for weeks, maybe they won't require you to know anything."

He's still not telling her everything, and he'd easily pass up the idea of having her on a boat in favour of letting her come along to see one of the fights, but Teo had warned him. And if Muldoon got near her— his hands grip the fabric of her shirt a little, as of protective, unconsciously, in reaction to whatever this idea stirs up inside him. Rumours of kidnapping. One's he doesn't have faith in, but all the same, he'll follow the Italian's instincts.

"I know things," Gillian corrects quietly, voice rasped and rather absent, as if her mind isn't completely on the conversation. "Antique store sounds right up my alley," she adds on, moving in closer as if she's missinterpreted the hands gripping her shirt. Fingers continue to move over fabric, pushing down harder to feel muscle tone. She knows he's still the type to get himself in trouble, even if he's different from the man she knew… he's not completely different. Same knack for getting into trouble. And somehow getting out of it.

"Don't worry, I don't expect to come along to boat-stealing or anything… but the idea of you manning a boat, I imagine it's difficult work." Difficult… meaning… Sweaty? Possibly with less clothing than normal, even in the air of not-yet-Spring?

Most likely watching him fight would earn much the same kind of response from her, but what she doesn't know, she can't really benifit from… "I'm sure your 'captain' won't mind if I ask him."

Yes, he could bring her down to the harbor and she could ask Jack and Jack… would…


Jack would probably say something stupid about that one time Tavisha woke up in the body of the woman currently groping him through his sweater, something he conveniently left out of the conversations they'd been having. Suddenly this is turning into a bad idea, not just because Gillian would probably be disappointed in the lack of shirtless men doing manly things, especially in this weather. Check again come summer, but right now it's all wind-breaker jackets and cleaning bird shit off surfaces while people yell at you.

Suddenly Teo's logic doesn't seem all that impressive, but he suppresses the urge, just a little. His dignity > Gillian's safety. "I'll take you down to the harbor soon," Tavisha promises with only the slightest loosening of his shoulders. "I think you'll be disappointed, but hey," his hands raise up to push her hair back from her face, "if that's what you want." Voice a little singsong and teasing, and he urges her into a kiss.

The kiss makes her smile, hand no longer groping at his muscle tone through his shirt and instead grasping the fabric. It's also returned, lifting up on her toes a bit to deepen the kiss. Gillian lowers herself away to murmur in that same raspy tone, unaware of his debate for her safety, "If it's too disappointing… you can find a way to make it up to me." There's that tease, as she draws her tongue over her own lips, and then kisses him again. Shorter. "You're suprisingly creative, Tavisha…" As promised, she uses his name as much as possible. A few slips every so often, but she's usually pretty careful. "Even now, maybe especially now… I trust you'll think of something."

What were they even talking about again? Something. Antique stores. Pirates. Um. Tavisha's mind is occupied in trying to remember the layout of the house - not hard, perfect memory (ish) handing up practically a blue print - and possible obstacles between here and the comfortable mattress lying sadly without a frame on the bedroom floor, nearest a space heater and swathed in comfortable bed linens.

It's kind of like a home. It will certainly do.

Gillian will find herself with an arm wrapped secured about a leg and a broad shoulder against her stomach, and a certain twist of gravity as she's rather safely picked up, hauled over, and taken to the bedroom. "What do you mean surprisingly creative," Tavisha rhetorics, and no real answer in the world can save her from falling into what passes as a bed with him.

Now… that is new. From the laugh that emits as she's manhandled against his shoulder and carried off, there's no real disapproval in this case. Any other man and she'd likely be kicking and scratching and cursing at him to unhand her. This is a very different case, though. No clawing, her hands grip against his shirt rather strongly, though. Not out of fear of being dropped. Luckily he didn't surprise her enough that the secure knot in the back of her head completely unravels… that'd be a difficult thing right now.

The chuckle remains in her voice when she finally gets the chance to answer. "You used to fix watches… only so much creativity needed… for something like that. Pirates… they have to be much more creative." The whole idea of him being a pirate. Of some kind. She must like it. Beats being a serial killer?

To be fair, being a serial killer takes some creativity too. Tavisha's head tilts a little at the referral to his old life, this tumble into bed stilling in a solemn way, and it all seems so contradictory. Like being Sylar, being Gabriel, were two different lives, and from the sounds of it, from what Gillian's said, it was confusing even with his memories too. How could a watch repairman turn into one of the most powerful killers in the world? Perhaps by putting these things under different labels and keeping them at arms' length apart and hoping he doesn't crumble.

Perhaps Gillian had something to do with that. Perhaps she stopped him from crumbling. Perhaps she showed him how impossible it was to separate the two. Perhaps she reminded him of that single constant, that no matter what he did, no matter his efforts - he was still a man, still made of flesh, bone, muscle, still with all the weaknesses of humanity, and strengths too. Has to be some strength.

He rolls them over, pulling her on top of him and turning his face away from the sudden curtain of black hair that cascades down before she can push it back. Hands glide up the back of her shirt, but the playfulness has vanished, as it does, in lieu of thoughtfulness. "Is it bad if I'm different, and you like it better?" he asks, not really looking at her as he wonders out loud. "Or worse if you miss— me. Miss who I was."

Thoughtfulness… Gillian settles on top of him where she's set, arms moving so that she can lift herself up more. There's a lot of clothes between them, and now a curtain of hair. She does reach to push it back, which amounts mostly to shifting it all on one side. There's that scar. Usually not visible under a curtain of bangs. Healed, but a reminder. "Gabe— " She starts, slipping out the name, though she stops herself before she says it all. There's a small pause. "Listen…" Opting to skip names entirely. "I was just beginning to know who you were… what I was seeing… it's still here. In you." Though they're pressed together as they are… there's seriousness in her tone.

"Without who you were before… I wouldn't be here right now…" she admits, but the hand that pushed her hair aside shifts, to touch his face, to run fingernails through his hair. "But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for who you are either…" The past drew her in, intrigued her… the present makes her feel somehow more secure… the future… that's a little more cloudy… "And I'm looking forward to who you could be when this all gets settled…"

It's a good answer. One an amnesiac can accept. Tavisha's eyes hood a little as her fingers make paths through his hair, so much easier distracted than he ever was before - the simple things in life easier to grasp and enjoy. Sylar had discarded those often in favour of greater pursuits. Of destiny.

Tavisha can live without destiny in favour of an existence. Thanks anyway.

His arms curl, hands grab at fabric. Done with thinking. He's been doing it too much. Can't be good for the soul. "Then I hope I don't disappoint," is his light answer, meaningless and easy to throw away, lifting his head to meet her for a kiss again, and once again.

Thinking has it's place. It's place is not here on a matress-made bed… not with the way they're touching. As soon as he kisses her again, Gillian's touch gets more assertive, grasping at his head and leaning more heavily into him. "Better not," she teases between kisses, a hint of a demand in her voice, but that laugh that she'd lost after getting settled down has returned. There's a lot he could do to disappoint her eventually. They'll have to cross those bridges if they come to it… and maybe it's better that the last one got pulled down.

New perspective to go with a new name and new life.

A chance to have something— a chance to do what they tried to talk about once. Leave it all behind. Find something else. This time they don't have a bike. No plan to go cross country trip. Aiming for uncharted territory.

February 28th: Workshop, War Room
February 28th: Building Trust
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License