You Can Tell Me Anything


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Scene Title You Can Tell Me Anything
Synopsis "Gabriel Wilkens" confronts "Eileen" in the stairwell about what happened upstairs in the hall with Felix.
Date October 23, 2008

Cliffside Apartments — Stairwell and Second Floor Hallway

The sounds of footsteps, Sylar's heavier ones and Munin's lighter ones, resonate off cement walls as they move on down the stairwell at a pace slightly more rapid than casual. Despite this echo, he tries to keep track of the curious activity going on in the scene they depart from, from the thundering cardiac arrest Felix seemed to be having, through to suspicious words spoken behind a door. There's not much more to keep track of, however, he lets it go. It's once they reach the second level, Sylar's original destination, that he reaches out a hand to take Munin's arm. It's not a rough gesture by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps a little more commanding and invasive than a relative stranger has a right to. "Eileen," he says, coming to a halt. "What was that?" The underlying tension between what would outwardly be a casual chance meeting that he only noticed through heart beats.

Munin tenses, the muscles in her arm going stiff beneath the abruptness of Sylar's touch. Breathless, she turns to face him, unruly curls of dark brown hair covering one half of her face — the other is flushed an uncomfortable shade of pink, one pale green eye wide and wild. It takes her another moment or two to calm herself, and slowly, gradually, the fear fades from her features when she realizes that no, Felix isn't coming down the stairwell after them. "That's Felix Ivanov," she says as though these three simple words explain everything, but just in case they don't she goes on to clarify in a shaky voice: "He works for the Federal Bureau."

He's not letting go just yet, almost forgetting that he's holding on to her arm as he studies her face, takes in her words. Such studiousness probably makes Sylar seemed concerned for the girl, but when he speaks again, his voice is more curious, more accusatory. "You were scared," he says, as if the look on her face when he'd grabbed her arm wasn't indication enough. "Your heart raced faster and he was trying to unnerve you. It worked. Why?"

Munin flexes her fingers a few times before balling her small hand into an even smaller fist. "You'd be scared too," she fires back, "if you thought you was going to get arrested." Although there's anger in her tone, it lacks any real heat. She's frustrated, but not at Sylar — most of her ire is directed at the man upstairs while the rest turns inward. "The situation— it's real complicated. You don't wanna get yourself involved. Trust me."

"I'm sure it must be complicated," Sylar agrees, raising an eyebrow at her, "if you're scared of the FBI. But you're not going to tell me why." Simple statement of truth - it's not exactly conversation to be talked about over coffee (or chai), especially with an apparent fed just upstairs. Sylar tilts his head to the side, concentrating for a short pause, before looking back at her. "He's not following us - he's probably gone back to his room." As if to explain, he gives her a small smile, and adds, "He has a very distinctive heartbeat."

It suddenly dawns on Munin that Sylar isn't saying these things just to reassure her — the certainty and confidence with which he speaks suggests he isn't guessing. He knows. "You— " she starts, her breath hitching in her throat. "You can hear him all the way from here, can't you?" The gears inside the young woman's head begin to click and turn, spinning like the inner-workings of pocketwatch being frantically wound. Either her neighbor "Gabriel" has exceptionally good hearing, or he's one of— "Them," she sputters. "You're one of them."

His smile remains, despite her sputter - as does his hand. "Gabriel" nods, just once. "I am," he says. "It's why I knew something was wrong. Between your roommate whispering Latin prayers and your heart racing like it did, how could I not? You should have heard the agent's, though - his heart was going so fast I don't think he should have lived through it. Perhaps he's one of 'us' too." Finally, his hand releases from her arm.

Munin's other hand touches the spot where Sylar's fingers were just a few moments ago, though her eyes remain fixed on his face. The fear is back, with one very important difference — it's not herself she's frightened for. It's him. "You haven't registered, have you?" she asks. It's a question of the rhetorical variety. Munin doesn't give him a chance to immediately answer, maybe because she doesn't really want to know, or maybe because she feels a need to drive her point home before he can interrupt her. "You can't. D'you understand me, Gabriel? Not ever."

Not a reaction he expected from the girl - there's a variable here that he's not seeing, that smile flickering away when she looks at him like that. Not an expression someone like Sylar sees very often. Fear for him, rather than themselves. As for whether he's registered, he doesn't say - whether he is or not isn't important, as there's no way he can - but her concern is far more interesting. "Why?" he says, mild curiousity turning more demanding. "Why shouldn't I register?"

"Elizabeth Marshall. Danielle Parsons. Alfred Weiland. Phillip Ames. The St. John children." Munin's voice grows haggard and weary, each name is spoken with more remorse than the last. "S'all over the news," she whispers, "you can't tell me you haven't been keeping up with the papers. The police won't say nothing, but they're using the registry— the names, the addresses, the faces. They don't discriminate neither. You got to watch yourself."

"The Evolved killings," Sylar says, with obvious recognition. Because like Munin says, it's not hard to keep up with the times when it comes to this case - but perhaps there's too much recognition there. In the same way Munin's confirmation that they use the registry implies more than just a paranoid concern for "Gabriel's" safety. His hands go out to take her arms again, head ducking enough so the he can meet her gaze a little squarer. "What do you know about that?" he asks, again, another demand. "'They'— you know who they are. What they do." Accusations that need confirmations, even if they're not phrased like a question. Good answer as to why she's scared of an FBI agent, but that's barely a blip on Sylar's radar right now. "I've been keeping up with more than the papers."

A minute ago, only Munin's voice was trembling. Now it's her whole body. When Sylar grabs her again, she digs her nails into his arms with enough force to dimple the fabric of his shirt and prick lightly at the skin beneath. "Yes. Yes. You gotta understand— " At this point, it isn't clear whether she's talking to Sylar or herself. Each breath is shorter, more shallow than the last — he shouldn't need enhanced hearing to realize that the air she's sucking down isn't making it all the way to her lungs. "You gotta understand. Everything, my whole life— I'm not even in the loop—"

Panic isn't something he's unfamiliar with, and Sylar can feel the girl start to shake beneath his hands, even though his focus remains on her answers, mostly ignoring what's happening to her as he listens to her words. But he's not going to get any answers if she can't breathe, is he, and the harshish grab on her arms turns a little gentler, even rubbing once, an attempt to be soothing, even if a flash of irritation shows on his expressive features. "Slow down," he tells her, voice taking on a milder tone that doesn't quite match his demeanor. "I'm not a cop, I'm not a fed. Just a guy without the blinders on. You can tell me anything."

It's true. Munin can tell Sylar anything, but that doesn't mean she should. Her eyes squeeze shut, and in the darkness, focusing on his voice, she's able to get her breathing back under control. "What they're doing," she murmurs after a long, strained silence, "it's wrong. I see it now, more'n ever. Killing the dangerous ones, putting 'em down… that's one thing. Not children. Never children. Nobody ever told me we'd be hurting children. Innocents." Munin lets out a slow sigh through her nostrils, and then opens her eyes again. They're a little more bloodshot than they were before she shut them, but she shows no sign of tears. She's keeping herself together, at least for now. "How much d'you already know?"

Killing the dangerous ones, using the registry. It makes more sense than Sylar would care to admit, having neglected to make the connection. A hand moves to Munin's shoulder, and he does an audio sweep of the place - no one's approaching. All the same, he goes to steer her down the hallway, away from the stairwell, hand remaining on her shoulder. "I don't know much," he admits to her. "But only through looking in the wrong places." He'd tried to start from the ground up when all he had to do was visit more apartments, apparently. The truth isn't out, however, as he says, "I've been curious about the murders, for my own safety. It seemed like more than just a hate crime, to me - it's not like these people were shot, or stabbed, or blown up. I saw the bodies." Not the work of a normal human.

Munin allows herself to be led down the hall, one foot stumbling dumbly in front of the other as she walks alongside Sylar. "All I can tell you is it's going to get worse before it gets better," she says. "Leaving New York City's the only way to be safe, an' even then there's no real guarantee. There are people everywhere, every country we've ever set foot in. England. Mexico. America. Nobody can fight it, not the Interpol, the Bureau, not HomeSec, not you."

"I'm a little different than the Bureau and Homeland Security," Sylar says, a hand slipping into the pocket if his pants, drawing out keys. "I'm not interested in getting in over my head or saving the day— or running away, for that matter." He places a hand on the handle of his door, looking at Munin with silent invitation. "But I am interested in why…" A hesitation, he doesn't want to push, but he has to— "And who."

"Those answers aren't mine to give." Munin's gaze drops to Sylar's pocket and then, longingly, slides back up to his face. She'd like to follow him into the apartment, but she knows Amato and Elias are probably already waiting for her outside. "Staten Island," she says somewhat abruptly, though the firmness of her tone makes it clear this isn't a location she's just pulled out of thin air. It has some meaning, some weight. "The old Farm Colony. You'll find what you're looking for there."

Sylar studies her for a moment, as if attempting to gauge out whether or not it's a lie, a red herring answer. A few seconds tick past, and he turns his shoulder to her to unlock his door, twisting the key in its lock. "Then I'll have to go looking," he concedes. There are ways in can wring answers from her. He'll just have to see how much of a dead end she might have lead him down before he does. "I suppose you're going to see to it, now, that you're not living next door to the FBI," he adds, with a nod up to indicate the floor above them.

"I wouldn't wanna live anywhere near him, all things considered." That's most likely a 'yes'. "An' neither should you." Munin shifts her knapsack from one shoulder to the other and glances back, toward the stairwell. She has to go. "Be careful, Gabriel," she says, placing one foot behind the other as she begins to move away. "Don't go repeating what I said to anybody else. I'll be watching you real close from now on." This time, when she speaks, there's a hard edge to her voice that wasn't there before — and while it might be difficult to imagine such a harshly spoken threat coming from such a small woman, there's no mistaking it for anything else.

The door to his apartment is finally cracked open, and Sylar steers a sharper glance Munin's way once that threat is tossed his direction - throwing just another puzzling piece into the mix to put into place. Though he doesn't know exactly how she'd keep an eye on him, there's confidence in his voice when he speaks next. "And I'll hear you coming," Sylar states, almost gently, but his voice resonates down the hallway towards her, and a moment later, he slips into his apartment, shutting the door quietly behind him.

October 23rd: Sloth

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 23rd: Trust the Midas Touch
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