When Gillian Met Gabriel


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Scene Title When Gillian Met Gabriel
Synopsis Gillian meets her new neighbour.
Date October 10, 2008

Cliffside ApartmentsQueens

On the second level of Cliffside Apartments, just down the hallway, a man emerges from his apartment room. Those that have lived here for a while wouldn't recognise him, a new face in this block, ever since the previous occupant, a lone, older man named Roger Weightman, seemed to disappear. The apartment cleared of his things, the living space now belongs to the tall stranger that moves two doors down, checking the numbers over the thick-framed glasses resting on a somewhat bruised nose, as if it had been broken recently. Dressed in comfortable, casual clothes suited to a man of his age, Sylar lifts his hand and knocks almost jovially on door 202, a measuring cup in one hand as he turns his wrists to check the time on a watch that runs with immaculate precision.

There's music playing in the apartment. Not so loudly that it's a hindrance to all mankind and sleeping babies, but definite audible. A techno dance mix of some kind, by the sounds of it. Someone has interesting tastes. It turns off at the sound of the knock. There's also a distinct smell coming from the room, cloves and other scented objects. Possibly something illegal, but that's not uncommon in this area at all. When the door opens, just a crack, a dark hair'd woman peeks out, the chain keeping her from pulling the door open all the way. "Yeah?" She probably doesn't recognize the new neighbor, nor does she really care about the man who lived down the hallway enough to give a second thought to his abcense.

Sylar is reasonably tall, so when Gillian opens the door, he tilts his head just slightly so he can see her, brown eyes peering out from behind his glasses. Their second meeting, but now, Sylar is wearing his real face, one that's older, darker in some ways, not so clean shaven (if Timothy was ever capable of growing facial hair) but somehow, they share the same studious kind of gaze. Not that it's quite so distinctive that it might be recognised, but it's the only similarity. "Morning," he greets, with a mild smile. "This is your room, right? I just moved in down the hallway."

Not as outwardly observant as some people, Gillian gives the taller man a once over. Not a cop, not someone coming after her for that incident the other day. And he even describes the room down the hall. "Yeah, this is my room. Welcome to the shithole." She doesn't close the door and make it so that they can see each other better, not giving much visibility since the door is still mostly closed. There's enough room for either of them to reach through at each other. "You one of those guys who introduces himself to all his neighbors, or something?" There are strange people out there.

Sylar's not about to reach through any time soon. Last time, things had gone slightly haywire - he'd even been prepared to kill her right in the middle of the library - and so he's not going to risk skin-to-skin contact with this woman. Not now. His smile widens a little at her comment. "I make a point to say hi to other residents," he says, but then holds up the hand with the measuring cup. "And I was actually hoping to borrow some sugar from you. 203 wasn't home."

The geeky glasses perched on the tall man still cause her eyebrows to raise, but Gillian continues to listen, waiting to see what the man wants, because she suspects he does want something. When he actually says sugar though— there go those sculpted eyebrows again. "Is that the best line you could come up with? A cup of sugar?" She's accusing him of throwing her a line! Looking for an excuse to enter! But that's probably not far from the truth. She glances upstairs, making sure the sound of the person living just above her is there, before she finally steps back and closes the door. The chain rattles, and it opens, revealing her attire. She's dressed in a rather light top, dark purple, with straps that don't do anything to hide the fact she's wearing a black bra. It even shows off some of her tattoos. Ones he'd observed earlier, the hint of another on her chest, not quite fully visible, and a brand new on on the inside of her left wrist, a yin/yang symbol. It's so new her skin's still reddish around it. "What do you need sugar for?" she asks, before she moves away from the door, gesturing him to step inside. There's a couple candles burning, scented, and very little lighting. And there's an clock on a bookshelf. Tick-tock-tick-tock.

Sylar readily follows her inside, even shuts the door behind himself once he's in and sparing the room a glance, a hand raising to adjust his glasses and sit them a little further from the worst of the bruising. "It's true, though," he says, adding some shy amusement to his tone although his expression remains a little stony, detached, as he takes in what details he can from the dimly lit room. "I forgot to pick some up the other day when I was stocking my pantry. Can't abide my coffee without it. It's so dark in here."

The comment of how darkly lit it is, which it honestly is— thanks in part to black curtains drawn over the windows blocking out natural light— Gillian stops to flip one of the lightswitches on the way back to the kitchen in her apartment. This brightens the room a little more, though not much. The lightshade happens to be red, which casts an interesting glow around the room. There's bookshelves mostly, and candles, some lit, some not— stereo equipment and speakers, a television, and a couch. None of the furnature is too nice, really, ragged, hand me downs, and there's signs of water damage on the couch, as if it'd been in a flood at one point. As she's turned away now, there's hints of a bruise along her shoulderblades, where she slammed into the bookshelf that he threw her against. "Can't let someone go without their coffee— makes you crazy," she says, disappearing to look for sugar, and a container. "What happened to your face?"

Follow follow. Sylar says, "here," and offers out the cup for her to use as sugar distribution. "It's appreciated, really. Thank you." His hands slide into the pockets of his slacks, and he moves to lean against the kitchen bench as she hunts around for her sugar. "I got into a fight," he says, with a slightly crooked smile. She might even think he's lying, despite the fact that he's being perfectly honest. He seems perfectly harmless, after all, especially with big dorky glasses and a conservative way of dressing. "It ended in a draw." Head tilt. "What happened to your shoulder?"

It's the dorky glasses and conservative dress that makes her look over at him oddly as he admits to being in a fight. Gillian does take the cup, avoiding touching him as she does this. Not on purpose, though. It's taken into the kitchen, and she glances over her shoulder to respond, "You don't really look like the type to get into a fight— or tie for that matter." She sounds skeptical, but it's pretty close to how she normally sounds. The kitchen itself isn't fancy. Looks like she does cook, though, and cleans out her sink of dishes. There's only a small handful waiting to be washed, probably from whatever passed as breakfast. There's also an ashtray. Probably the least clean thing in the place. Someone smokes cloves. A bag of sugar is pulled down from the countertop. Her shoulder? There's a pause. "I fell. Didn't even know for sure that it bruised."

"New York's kind of a crazy place these days," Sylar points out, hands clasped patiently as she moves about the kitchen. "You get into situations you normally wouldn't be in. And I'm stronger than I look." There's a twist at the corner of his mouth as he says this, almost a smirk, and it remains as he speaks to her. The strap of his watch is played with, but he keeps his eyes on the woman. "You fell? Must have been quite a fall, it looks kind of sore. You got a lot of those?" That probably needs some clarification, so he inclines his head to her. "Tattoos. I'm counting three so far."

"Can't argue with that," Gillian says, opening up the bag of sugar. There's no argument at all from her on that. She's not being sarcastic, so much as pointed. So many situations just the last week. One would think she found herself cursed. "It probably looks worse than it is," she says, glancing over her shoulder at him again before she looks back to fill the cup of sugar up. With it's mostly full, she sets it down on the counter, closes the bag and puts it away, before picking it up and turning toward him. There's a smile, lips parting enough to show off teeth. She can't help it. "You'd have to get to know me a lot better to see all of them," it's almost a joke, really. Like he's not the type she'd ever show all of them, "But you're looking at number twelve." She raises the wrist up and shows off the freshest one of all.

"They suit you," Sylar says, lightly, as if stating a fact rather than attempting to hit on her - no doubt, however, he's hoping that such a sentence would please her. His gaze wanders towards the cup of sugar, which he takes from her with a nod of thanks. "Are there stories behind them?"

The comment makes her tilt her head briefly, the fringe of dark bangs sliding out of her eyes for a moment. Helps that she has to look up at the same time. Gillian doesn't seem to mind what he said, because she's smiling again, a hint of a dimple appearing on her cheek under the beauty mark there. "Thanks." Again, they just avoid touching. "There's stories behind a few of them, though I usually get them because of events, or people…" Her voice trails off, but then reaches up and lifts her hair out of the way, revealing the skin of her neck and actually turning away. Under her ear in the back, usually hidden by her hair, is a tribal tattoo shaped close to a music note. "I got this right after I graduated from high school. I was dating a DJ at the time. He was an asshole." She lets her hand drop, and she looks back at him again.

Sylar ducks his head a little so that he can see the displayed tattoo properly, giving a smaller smile when she shares that short and not-so-sweet story. His back straightens once more when the tattoo is covered up, Sylar letting his gaze fall away from her's in supposed shyness, down towards the cup of sugar in his hands. "If he was such an asshole, don't you regret having gotten it done?"

The shyness gains her attention. "Reminds me that he was an asshole, doesn't it?" Gillian says, smile lightening a bit, before she glances toward her stereo system. "And he was a good DJ, at least. I don't think he survived the city going nuclear, though." She doesn't sound too distraught about the idea that an ex-boyfriend probably died in the bomb. There's even a shrug of her shoulders. It doesn't seem like she's given too much time to worry about it. "I'm Gillian, by the way."

"Gillian, it's nice to meet you," Sylar offers politely. He doesn't go to shake her hand, keeping his own clasped about the measuring cup as an excuse not to do so. Not yet not yet. His mouth opens to give his name, but there is a moment of hesitation there. The briefest of inner debate - a negotiation - before he finally says, "…I'm Gabriel." One day, he can make sure she never addresses him as such ever again. For now, it's the face he's wearing, even if it bears that physical resemblance to his own. "I should probably let you get back to what you were doing."

The hesitation may be noticed— she's not blind, but Gillian doesn't call him on it. Some people don't give the names they really want to be known as— she's known quite a few people in her day. "Nice to meet you too, Gabriel," she says, calling him by the name he'll probably never want to hear again someday, before she gestures to the door. It's almost a 'you know the way out' kind of motion. "Word of advice— hand over your rent early." Friendly advice. From a not so friendly mouth, "The cock-monkey known as our landlord loves looking for excuses to charge extra."

He follows her gesture easily, not about to linger unnecessarily. There's plenty of time - so long as she's not going to move out any time soon, that would be such a hassle. "I'll remember that," Sylar says over his shoulder as he moves for the door, to let himself out, hand twisting the handle. "Thanks again for the sugar. If need you need anything, my door's 204. Anything at all."

Anything at all is casting quite the wide net. "And yet, I don't even know what you do, except drink coffee with sugar," Gillian says, watching him with that smile returning for a moment. She doesn't smile too often, but she will for him. She takes a few steps to follow after him, likely to lock the door. "I'll remember that, though. Enjoy your coffee."

Out into the hallway, Sylar pauses, turning towards her before she can shut the door completely. "I fix watches," he answers her non-question, with a flash of smile, before he's meandering back down to his door, taking keys out of his pocket.

Watches. Repairer of time. Gillian glances out the door, watching as he pulls out his keys, then she closes her own door and starts to lock everything up again. "What a strange man."

October 10th: Keep You Away?

Previously in this storyline…
Holding Hands

Next in this storyline…
Normal Is As Normal Does

October 10th: It Is What It Is
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