You're What You Own


gabriel_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title You're What You Own
Synopsis Gabriel and Gillian finally come clean, and someone manages to say the right thing… until joining Lucy in the sky with diamonds courtesy of Delilah. Apparently kissing princesses is a lot like licking toads.
Date May 19, 2009

Queens Ferryplace

The first sign that someone's back in the safehouse would be the music playing. Like most of her music, the beat makes up almost all of it, a soft thud that carries through the room. Steam comes from the bathroom of the safehouse apartment, fogging over surfaces and leaving a small layer of condensation on some things. Someone took a rather long shower, for as long as the hot water came down. The water washed away all of the build up that felt different than sweat, taking it away down the drain and deluding it, but that didn't get Gillian out of the shower any faster.

It's the partially fogged over mirror that she stands in front of, a hand wiping a hole into it so she could look back at her reflection, right into her face. Into her eyes. Victor always had blue eyes. Jenny's were a little closer to her own, but even they were different.

Absolutely nothing has changed about her face or body in the last couple of days, but everything at all has changed at the same time. She's only pulled on a bathrobe while she examines herself in the mirror, trying to figure out how it could be she never noticed.

And when it comes down it to… who is she?

It's unfortunate the hot water has been used up. Gabriel could do with some. Or this Gillian would know, if they were in the same room.

By the sounds of it, they appear to be at least within the same building, and closer still when the sounds of foot steps, of a coat being taken off, something being set down, all sound through the bathroom door from the adjacent bedroom that is starting to look a little more lived in.

Gabriel doesn't like it much, but there are few places he likes anymore. The first time he had come here, there'd been a metal bedframe supporting a thin mattress. Medical equipment after that, an IV drip on skittery spider metal legs, Abby's chair as she watched over him like the angel he'd compared her to during their first encounter. It's moved on since then. A bigger bed found, shifted for their benefit into this room. An old table to set things down, such as the satchel he'd gotten from Eileen and now his coat folded over and placed beside it.

Bracing his hands against the edge of the table, Gabriel curves his back a little, cat-like, as if trying to rid himself of the stiffness a sleepless night on a flea-bitten couch has given him, and glances towards where the closed bathroom door has a halo of light peeping through the edges.

A mostly dried hand touches a button on the iPod that sends music throughout the bathroom thanks to a speaker mount. The music stops thumping mildly against the air, no longer drowning out the sounds from outside the room. There's a pile of clothes on the floor, but she's not sure if she needs to wash them first or not. New ability, as far as she knows the residue could remain.

Who is she?

A shake of her damp hair and she gathers up the sweaty clothes and opens the door to the bathroom, the halo of light becoming a stream that lets in some of the steamy air of the bathroom. It had been selfish, to use all the hot water, but there'd been reasons. Still damp on the skin, reddish around her cheeks, she spots him standing against the table. It's been a while since their argument, and for the first time she's the one who remembers it vividly. Each word. Each inflection. What she said and what he did. She's had a lot of time to think about it to, to dwell on it, even.

"Hi," she says, wincing even as she resorts to a simple greeting. One that has significant meaning to them, but still… simple.

"Hi," Gabriel says, without immediately looking up, the table shifting as he takes his weight off it. He looks exactly as she'd left him the previous day, in his usual choice of dark clothing likely needing a tumble in a washing machine and he no better. "I ended up having to hide out for the night." He looks towards her, gaze scanning her over then back up to her eyes, tilting his head as he continues with, "Curfew. Picked up a few things after that."

It's not completely a lie, in that false implications are made around honest words, which come quietly, tiredly. Gabriel wipes his hands down the side of his pants as he moves across the room, towards where a duffle bag full of his own clothing has been since stashed in favour of real furniture, crouching to paw through it.

"It— it's okay," Gillian rasps quietly, a whisper in her voice as she looks down and away for a moment. False implications aside, that night had been rough. Without him there, she'd had new worries, bigger ones. But seeing him helped alleviate them at least a little. "I'm glad that you're okay," she says, moving away from the bathroom to drop the clothes into a white mesh bag for laundry. Only the dark purple bathrobe makes this the least bit decsent. The tattoo wrapped around one of her ankles peeks out visibly.

"I— one of the abilities I picked up already is like the memory thing you had. I couldn't help but go over what— what was said, what wasn't… I'm sorry," she says, meaning the apology. When everything in her life could well be a lie, there's no excuse for doing the same to someone else… and everything that wasn't said that should have been.

"I was worried you went off to find Case and… you said you nearly died. No one told me exactly what happened, just that you'd been found and you were…"

A soft sweater is found, turned over in his hands, an inoccuous dark grey, hooded and plain. This gets tossed onto the end of the bed and subsequently followed as his hands track down the buttons of the shirt he's currently wearing, undoing them one after the other as his gaze draws reluctantly over to Gillian. The apology gets physical hesitation, and perhaps even before that. A perfect memory.

He'd told her the dangers of such a thing, right? The aggravations? He can't remember, ironically enough.

The shirt is pulled off, and the undershirt beneath that stripped away as well, showing a torso clean of injury save for old wounds and scars, the rough, twisted star shape on his shoulder from when she'd blown it away, amongst others. But nothing else, not even bruises, as if to defy her claim that he'd ever said such a thing. Bared skin is covered a moment later as the sweater is pulled on, and arms fold around his torso. "I nearly die a lot."

"I know," Gillian says in quiet response, eyes having settled on the gunshot wound for only an instant, but that instant was enough. It's just one of many wounds he's had since she met him, but one of particular significance. "But this time it's different." There's no raise in the volume of her voice, reluctantly keeping her eyes on him even if she's well aware she'll remember every single detail. It really is a curse in a way. Sometimes she can't help but wonder how he managed to live with it, or how the woman it came from manages to.

"That's why you started carrying that gun around, isn't it? To protect yourself." There'd been a time, when she thought a certain group of people might try to pick her off the street, where a certain man with a scarred face might try to kill her. She carried a gun in her bag whenever it was possible. And when it came down to it, she used it. More than once. Not that it killed anyone, though she used it again in Moab, when she thought the speedster woman might be getting back to her feet…

"It's almost as if… none of us… know who we are anymore…"

He'd like to say he bought a gun to best deal with Case, but he's been carrying it around for more than that. Everywhere he's gone, virtually. Gabriel's gaze shifts from hers, continuing the ritual of settling in for the evening, sitting down on the edge of the bed and ridding himself of shoes and socks. "That's because our function has been taken away. We're redefined. Changed."

Thud. The last boot falls, and Gabriel nudges it beneath the bed with his ankle, running a hand through his hair and squinching his eyes shut, briefly. "I carry a gun because I'm wanted for more things I can defend myself against, and I'm not even talking about the government," he tells her, flatly, meeting her eyes again. "That night— I went out to find someone I knew was in the same situation as us. She'd lost her power, so it seemed like a good start. In truth she found another, and she used it to try to kill me."

It's recounted without even a tenth of the broken frustration of the former night, as if too tired to summon that up again. "She would have succeeded if she hadn't pitied me."

Redefined. Changed. Gillian can't help but focus on those words for a few moments, until his explaination starts to settle in. Wanted for so much that he needs to defend himself against. It's something she can't blame him for at all. There's so much that people could hold against him, even if another face has been pinned to the Midtown incident, it doesn't change that most people still see Sylar when they think of that. Midtown man. And not only that— but so much more than that. The murders he actually did commit. Just like her sister.

Jenny. 'They're ours.'

The rest of the explaination wipes away some of her thoughts. Someone he tried to go to— who lost her power— gained a new one and…

Teeth grit marginally, as if from anger. In this situation she actually wants to protect him. How things change. A few slow steps bring her closer, "Do you think she wanted to kill you? That she was— like the people you carry a gun to defend against— that she wanted to… get revenge? Do I know this person?" Someone else like them.

"She wanted to kill me," Gabriel confirms, looking passed Gillian as he speaks. "At least in the moment. She wants to help, now." His head tilts towards the table and the satchel on top of it. "Horse tranquiliser, to take Case down if— if we find him. She was the woman on the bridge." His gaze flickers back to her, to see if that made sense to Gillian. There were a few women on the bridge, after all. "It's— " Impossible to describe, this only now occurs to him. He almost wants to say, ask Teo. He seems to understand everything Eileen a little better than most.

Gabriel sighs, instead, rueful, frustrated. "It doesn't matter. Anymore. But yes, she's why. There are others, from the Vanguard— it doesn't matter. It wasn't revenge. I hurt her too."

There were many women on the bridge, but few that seemed to matter to him. "The one you went back for," Gillian repeats quietly, reaching up to rub at her face. It's a gesture to hide some of how she feels about that, but doesn't do a very good job at it. No, she doesn't know her. But she knows of her. Which is almost as bad considering the situation. "I'm glad she wants to help now," is the most she can really offer on a positive note, before she moves even closer, glancing at the satchel. Horse tranquilizer…

That should be able to keep him down, if possible. Finding him… that's the first impossible step.

There's only one person she knows of who can find anyone anywhere. And after certain other things, she's not looking forward to being in the same room with that man ever again, even if he's laying in a bed.

There's a hesitation, as if she's not entirely sure she wants the answer to the question… "How'd you hurt her?"

Short of lasers, bone breaking slams of telekinesis and a million other ways that had once been at the tip of his fingers, Gabriel's answer is simple, accompanying a shrug; "Words." The bed creaks, standing up from it again and arms going back around his midsection, hands gripping either elbow. "I guess maybe you're wrong. I'm wrong. We're not changed, we're just— repeating the same mistakes differently."

There's a breath of a chuckle, a hint of a smile. "When I bought the gun, the man who— he has a power to do with his eyes. He shot at me, I used yours without meaning to, and his eyes burned so bright he couldn't see." He removes one hand from his elbow, splaying it, that patch of slightly differently toned skin on the side of it, on his palm, put on display for a moment before resuming that position.

"Burned me in the process. You did that to Peter, didn't you? Used it— like that."

Same things, same mistakes, in different ways. Gillian can't help but smile just faintly at this observation, mostly because it's right. They've all hurt each other with words, and much more besides that, but she doesn't ask further about the girl on the bridge. Not right now. Not yet. Especially not when he mentions what her power had been used for, how he got the burns, and…

"Sort of," she says, looking down at her hands. "If he hadn't fought so hard to stop it I could've caused him to destroy the city. Again." She shakes her head, not too proud of the use of her ability for that anymore. It'd been reckless. And would have killed a lot of people if it hadn't turned out okay. Half of her wonders if she came away with radiation poisoning— but Abby's healgasm might have fixed that. Maybe.

"I called my parents," she says, before her mind plays through everything again. She has to touch her face again, covering her mouth. "It— Peter's father has a company. It's called Pinehearst. They're the ones that wanted me to… that told me how I could help with Moab. They're interested in Phoenix and what Phoenix can do— and they want to take down the Company and all that they've caused. And according to… They're working on something to make normal people like us."

To Gabriel's ears, the information sounds scattered. From a call home to Peter's dad to Phoenix to the Company, his brow furrows a little, receiving more questions than answers. More questions than he'd care to ask, other than perhaps a simple, What? He settles on, "Why would they want to do that," a rhetorical question that he doesn't expect to have an answer to anyway.

Profit, power. Maybe it was only a matter of time before life could be harnessed and packaged and sold. Gabriel shakes his head to dismiss it. "What do they want with you?"

"I don't know," Gillian says, feeling the stress again. There's a long moment where she can't even pull her hand away from her face, as if she's trying to keep words in. So many things she hadn't told him. For so many reasons. First because he was Tavisha. Second because… her sister. The ghostly image telling her she was doing the right thing. That she made the right choice. And finally… "At first I just thought they wanted me to save Peter— and the others. But they seemed more concerned about Peter." But now… There's even more she needs to tell him, but right now…

"This happened before— the giving people abilities. Children mostly. They were just…" We.

She shakes her head, suddenly pulling back a little. There's so many details she needs to share for this to make any kind of sense. And some of them she just can't talk about with him. Her sister.

"My parents aren't my parents. My family… isn't my family. I was one of those kids." There's tears in her eyes at this point, a breaking in her voice, though she's trying her best to hide it. "I was never supposed to have a fucking ability at all."


Gabriel's posture remains closed off but he doesn't look away or disengage, studying her, the emotions visible, the way her words strain and snap around them and how hazel eyes begin to swim. His own remain cold, but that's because they just are. He takes a step towards her, making up for the amount she backed away, hands kept to himself for now while she huddles within her own bathrobe and horror.

"You never struck me as the kind to care about where she came from," he says, after a while. "You didn't even like your ability until I showed you why it might be worth liking. What's changed?"

"I saw what I could do help people," Gillian says in the same tight voice, trying to fight back more emotional displays. She doesn't even notice that the tears that start to stain her face don't exactly feel like tears, and don't even smell like tears. Sweet and sourish instead of salty. A slow breath to try and steady herself does very little really. "Fuck, I started to think it was kind of my purpose… To make people better." She shakes her head, as if she thinks the whole thing became stupid all of a sudden.

"I just started to accept what I was and what I could do— and then I lost it. Then everything got messed up. I'd even begun to— Victor and I had just made nice. He was even accepting that I was with you. I thought I'd just got messed up in this whole thing around the time that we met— and then I find out that my parents were in on this shit from the beginning. Fuck, they were even trying to keep me on the phone so they could figure out where I was calling from."

Even accepting. It's a casual barb that doesn't do nearly the amount of damage in comparison to the ones Eileen can hurl without thinking. Gabriel's mouth only twitches in something of a smirk at those choice of words, but he's listening. He is. He could try to reassure her that her parents might have wanted to know where she is for reasons of family, but—

He's also better at talking about himself. "I used to wish I was in your position," Gabriel states, drawing a little closer— enough that his hands can go out easily to touch her arms. "That my family wasn't really my family. That I'd turn out to be more special than the ordinariness I was raised in. I got my wish, in that sense. It doesn't really matter, who your parents are supposed to be. They'll never live up to what you need and it's probably more disappointing when they're actually related."

A breath of a chuckle at this notion, studying her face at this range. "Victor's still your brother. This ability I have— it's still yours. Just like all of the ones I took are mine and I'm theirs. They shaped me. And when you get it back— you can make people better again. We're not born into what makes us us."

So he hopes, anyway, goddamn. "You got your tattoos from a needle too."

It'd not been intended as a barb for him so much as her brother, and the fact she was surprised he accepted it at all. Accepting that she was in love with the man who killed their sister— his sister. Gillian doesn't say much as he speaks, but the tears that were in her eyes fall with each blink. He is better at talking about himself. But at the same time he's relating to what she's going through. And that…

The words he chooses may be meant for himself as much as her, but she selfishly takes them as her own. Her ability is her own. It made her who she is— and maybe it's no better than that tattoo at all. It's not the response she expected at all, but in some ways it's exactly what she needed.

"We just have to… make things right," she states quietly. Make everything go back to how they want it to be. While he studies her face at range, he'll find it suddenly getting closer, arms reaching up to grab his head and pull him down, so that she can kiss him. A kiss that just happens to be stained with tears that… aren't entirely tears.

It's a reward that keeps on giving. Gabriel willingly goes with the kiss, eyes closing, feeling some unknown relief untwist in his chest, a tension he wasn't aware was even there. It's a wonder, what personal crises, what matters of identity, what angsts and heartaches he can solve when he's been wallowing in them himself between irradiated buildings, graveyards and the dust ridden flaws of familiar places. Solve might be a generous notion, but helping—

Something is wrong. The knot kept tight around his own borrowed ability begins to slip, and he catches it just in time but only after the kiss falters during a wince. Headache. "Headache," he says out loud, as if to dismiss it, refocusing on her. He's just tired, really tired, dizzyingly so. "We'll make things right, it…"

Except that something is wrong. His back straightens, heart thudding a little harder in his chest. "It…" What was he saying? It something. "It… tingles."

Headache? Gillian's eyes open with a blink, as she tries to process what just happened. There's a distinct taste of something not salt on her lips. Tears are supposed to taste salty, but this… so sweet it's almost sour, smells like the candles she tends to prefer. He's trailing off, his voice sounds funny. And it tingles. Suddenly the dark haired girl is moving away, a hand coming up to cover her mouth, "Oh fuck. I got upset and— shit." The girl had just mentioned how the ability worked. Getting upset, negative emotions. Even if her emotions were starting to become positive rather quickly, an overwelming feeling of relief, the tears already had what was needed.

Who knows how much else there was that…

A small dose shouldn't hurt him too much, but… "Oh god damnit." Now they can't do with the kissing and other things that come after the kissing. The making up part! She likes that… Son of a bitch.

Okay… he's going to be tripping… "Maybe you should sit down."

Sitting down. Not entirely sure why he's being told to do so, why she would think to order it, it does seem like a good idea. Gabriel nods and steps backwards from where he'd come forward off his perch at the end of the bed, reaching a hand back— and misjudging the distance, hand and back hitting the bed, enough to make it shove against the wall as he abruptly comes to sit down on concrete floor. This, apparently, is alright, leaning back against metal frame and mattress, blinking rapidly.

He's seeing patterns where there shouldn't be any, and gravity isn't working the way he's used to. But somewhere buried deep beneath the growing strangeness— "What did— " He focuses on her feet. "What is it?" His voice is tense, not exactly scared, but Gabriel has a long career in distrusting most kinds of inebriation.

"I think I— I didn't mean to, Gabriel," Gillian says, a statement she has been saying a lot lately. It's as if the entire ability she got cursed with has 'didn't mean to' as a working manual. Kneeling down so she's closer to his level, she keeps a distance in case more of the substance has begun to flow from her pores. Sweat could carry it, everything could. But so far it seems her tears carried the majority of it.

"I think— no, I know— I drugged you. It was another one of those fucking abilities I picked up, it should wear off, but— I probably shouldn't be kissing on you until…" Later? This is fixed? Until she figures out how to control it? "It shouldn't hurt you, though. It's just like… licking toads, I hear. You'll probably start seeing things, if you haven't already."

God damnit, she hates this ability. First it messes with her life, now it's helping deny her make up sex.

"Thank you for what you said," she adds after a moment, before she straightens to glance around. "It might help if you had music."

His back curves into a lazier slump, managing to— take most of that in, or so it seems, anyway. He nodded, at one point, before closing his eyes and taking a steadier breath. "You're welcome," Gabriel says, voice docile if a little shaky, before braving seeing again from where he's half sprawled against the bed. A hand reaches out, though not for her, pulls back again.

"No," Gabriel says, more rapid blinking. "No music." The knot that ties his ability together is quickly unraveling, although without intent, just relaxing into the aura of augmentation that Gillian had so freely walked around with before. His hand moves out again, as if trying to sift through the air for something. A lazy smile draws itself across his face.

This isn't half bad, actually. "There's already music."

Yup, he's tripping.

It's the aura that settles that makes Gillian move back even further, getting to the furthest edge of the room that she can and still face him. Not quite far enough, but it should keep her from getting so much she can't handle it and goes crazy. The sweat on her palms grows thicker, but most of her dangerous abilities, besides that one… they aren't so much a problem at the moment. Good thing, too.

If he's already got music, she decides to do what most people who are tripping do… bring up conversations that sound silly to anyone else, "Tell me what it sounds like."

Getting comfortable. "I don't know. It changes." No focus to stare across at her and so Gabriel doesn't try. In slow and deliberate movements, he shifts to lie down instead, on his side, an arm curled beneath his head and the other one reaching out, fingernails seeking out the flaws in the concrete floor. "It's like the voices. When I used to have them. They're not mine, it's just…"

To his eyes, the floor ripples like oily water underneath his fingers. "It sounds like the machines. Am I going to stay like this?"

That makes her smile faintly, dimpling on her cheeks. The sweating has started to settle down. The emotional mood has changed, but who knows exactly what ability might be invoked. Maybe none of them. The further away, the less likely he'll push her power onto her— she knows how her ability works, what range was best when she used it to attack Peter.

The voices, though… that's something she'd wanted to ask about occassionally… Gillian hesitates a moment, knowing this is a topic she'd never bring up under any other circumstance, but… "Do you miss them? The voices in your head? One of them was… my sister, right?"

"Your sister," Gabriel agrees, eyes half hooded. "And you. Eileen. Kazimir. Wu-Long." Probably for the best that he's tripping when he doesn't have head ghosts competing for a starring role in whatever hallucination is playing out in front of his eyes. "Her hair was really red, wasn't it? Really. Redder. I kept seeing her in the water."

Whatever music he's hearing has him lifting his head, looking towards the further walls with a hint of paranoia, before settling again. He taps the concrete with two fingertips, lazy movements. "Not any more."

"Yeah— her hair was really red," Gillian says softly, even musing under her breath. Part of her had always wondered why her hair hadn't been naturally red even a little. Brown mostly, while her sister and brother… they had something else all together. Different hair, different eyes. "If you want to tell me about them… I've always wondered— if you pictured my sister in water, how did you usually picture me?" Sometimes people can be selfish and take advantage of the situation a little…

It might be the only time she could ask, but… "And it'll wear off," she adds on, finally answering his question. If it went on forever, she's sure Freckles would have said something about it doing that. She has no idea when… but… "Until then… might as well enjoy it." There's a smile tugging on her lips. May not be able to get drugged up herself, but she can at least hear about things she'd not dare as about…

His eyes shut, which doesn't mean he's not seeing anything, brow tensing now and then to imply he's seeing plenty. There's a silence that might imply he might have already fallen asleep in the distraction of delirium and fantastic dreams, until he mutters something, and repeats it again when he knows it likely wouldn't have been heard.

"Candles and shadow. Different from the others. Shapes, and— " He lets out a sigh, content in some way. "Feeling."

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