Your Best Interest


zachery_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Your Best Interest
Synopsis There's a fine line.
Date November 3, 2008

Le Rivage: Zachery's Apartment

Upon entering the apartment's spacious living room, one thing should immediately be clear— someone doesn't like a lot of colours in their living space. With the exception of the hardwood floor nearly everything in sight is either black or white. Thanks to a decorator this is a pretty elegantly decorated apartment, complete with weird abstract little paintings by who-gives-a-crap and a few decorative plants here and there. At least there's also some more useful stuff present, like the overly comfortable black leather three seater and accompanying chairs, large flatscreen TV and shelves and shelves of books- the larger part of them medical or scientific, new and old. The apartment is remarkably clean, and one would be hard pressed to find anything that shows much signs of actually having been used much.

The monotonous theme continues into the kitchen, the bathroom and two bedrooms, both with double beds. Still, not much sign of someone actually living here. If someone were to look in any of the various cabinets, cupboards and closets, they would find the necessities of daily life very neatly in its place. With an exception, maybe, of the fridge; this merely contains a carton of milk, a few eggs, and some leftover take-out.

Casa de Zachery Miller is not empty as he likely expects it to be upon returning home.

The front door is opened just a fraction, although all the lights are out, save for the flickering of his TV screen which has been turned on, the sound muted. At this hour, there's just some tail end of a horror movie, heading into the credits as the Last Girl either gets away, or gets killed. As is the way it goes.

Upon observation, it seems like things have been touched, or moved a fraction - picked up and set down in not exactly the right place. The fact that this place isn't exactly cluttered might only draw attention to these differences. Then finally, there's a source of light from the bathroom door which is partially opened - the room is lit up, as can be seen through the crack of opened door, and the sound of running water from the sink. If there's a presence, it's likely to be there.

Zachery's presence is announced far before his footsteps can be heard approaching the apartment. He's holding a phone, and rolling his eyes as he tries to communicated with the person on the other end of the proverbial line.

"Yes, it could have been longer. Honestly, you should just read up on…" His sentence breaks off midway as his door comes into view. His (as usual) tired eyes narrow worriedly, and he claps the phone shut with a mumble of "I'll call you tomorrow." The front door is pushed open all the way, and closed quietly behind the coroner. There's a sigh of relief when he looks around and notices everything's still in place, but his next breath is held when he notices that it's not quite exactly in place. The sound of running water finally gets his attention, but instead of going into the direction of the bathroom… he heads brusquely into the kitchen. He learns! Find a weapon first, THEN investigate.

Sylar pauses what he's doing, and looks at himself in the mirror as he listens. Footsteps, voice, accompanying heart beat. With a small smile, his gaze lowers back down to his task.

Blood that hasn't completely dried comes away easily from his hands under the stream of warm water, but it's a messy job. Considering his state, he must have used something like telekinesis to touch things around Zachery's apartment, because the liquid fairly coats his hands, from his fingertips to high up on his wrists. His shirt sleeves, also stained, have been shoved up his arms, and blood now spatters the otherwise clean bathroom sink, inside the bowl of porcelain and on the outside as well, on the faucet taps and a few droplets here and there on the ground, on the wall, some even on the mirror. He listens to Zachery's progression and doesn't move from where he is, although now a jovial whistle starts up, tuneless and casual.

Where's a bonesaw when you need it? Zachery, unaware that trying to be quiet is to no avail, soon approaches the bathroom door with a woefully inadequate carving knife. The whistling makes him angle his head slightly, brow creasing. Heart rate still steadily increasing, he makes his way over to the bathroom and very nearly reaches to open it. Then, he withdraws his hand, hides the hand with the knife behind his back, and calls with a slightly shaky voice, "Look, I'm really not very good at this. If you want money, I can give you some. Just get out afterward so I can get a good night's rest."

The whistling stops when Zachery starts to speak, and then after a few moments, the running water is turned off as well. There's a rustle as likely still slightly bloodied hands are toweled dry. "That's just like you, doctor," comes what might now be Sylar's familiar voice, drifting out the door barely opened door. "Trying to find the loop hole, the way out, so that everyone goes home happy."

The grip on the knife in Zachery's hand tightens when his unwished for visitor speaks up. His heart skips a beat, then… just starts slowing down again. The weapon-wielding hand is pulled out from behind his back, and used to open the door with regained confidence. Trying to kill Sylar right now would be downright silly, which leaves him with no more reason to conceal the weapon. "I'll h— …" He stops, mouth hanging open as his eyes linger on the sink, "what did you do to my bathroom?!"

Sylar is standing in the middle of the room, redoing the cuffs of his shirt when Zachery enters, innocent as you please. He glances towards the sink, which is still spattered and smeared with blood, then towards the towels, which now have traces of telltale pink on them as well. Sylar, however, is mostly clean, although the black fabric of his shirt still shows faint sigsn of darker stains. "I couldn't use my apartment to clean up," he explains. "I have a new roommate who wouldn't really understand my extracurricular activities. Why do you have a knife?"

"Y-…." Zachery utters, rubbing the free hand over his face as he tries to figure out what the apt response to all of his should be. "Your extracurricular activities are none of my business! Or— actually—" He frowns, then quickly shakes his head and adds in a more annoyed tone, "That's not the point. I thought you were a burglar!" The knife is held up and wiggled lightly to prove a point. See. Sylar himself is squinted at before he looks around for any more mess.

"I'm not a burglar," Sylar says, watching the knife, mostly. "But I thought I'd come and tell you all about my day." And now, he lifts his arm, as if to mimic Zachery's hold on the knife, miming an invisible copy of the weapon in his hand. Then he raises that arm - and Zachery will feel compelled to do so too in a mirror image of Sylar. An unstoppable smile suddenly paints the killer's features. "Oh, this is a fun one."

"Your day. Yes. Interesting." Zachery, at first, doesn't even seem to be noticing his arm being so unwilling to move. "You can't come here. If someone traces your murders back to… me… what." His own - suddenly raised - arm gets a look, and as his eyes trail upward to the knife's blade, the cororner's expression changes from annoyance to slight panic. "Ahh, Sylar. W-why is my arm d-doing that?"

"I'm making it do that," Sylar responds, turning his hand so that the knife points up towards the ceiling, just experimentally moving Zachery's hand in small motions. Then, the other arm joins the party, Sylar holding his outstretched, and miming putting the knife to his wrist. Unfortunately for Zachery, as he's forced to copy the motions, it's less than mimed - although the blade doesn't cut, just rests against his sleeve. "Thought you should know, ahead of time, that a body might turn up at your work place," he says, conversationally. "A woman with her head sliced in half."

Zachery watches the blade with a twitch of an eye, before looking back up to Sylar. "That's…" Weird? Unnerving? Giving me the feeling that I really just should have waltzed in and tried to stab you so you won't eventually kill me? "… fascinating." He takes a deep breath, and proceeds to try and ignore the knife all together. Not to mention the fact that he is now, almost literally, Sylar's puppet. "At least that case won't be too hard to solve."

The killer gives a low chuckle, and has the knife drift up from Zachery's wrist. "The cause of death, certainly," Sylar agrees. Zachery can all but watch his hands transfer the knife from one to the other - blade first, and rather sharply, his fist will squeeze around the blade, edge cutting into his palm. "But you'll make sure that you have absolutely no idea as to anything else."

Though Zachery is no longer a surgeon, feeling that blade cut into his palm certainly hurts in more ways than one. He lets out a sharp breath, teeth gritting as he tries to keep his features from showing the pain that's inflicted. After a quick look down, his eyes lock back onto Sylar as blood starts to trickle down the coroner's hand. "But the head." He urges, jaw still clenched. "I can hardly deny it when you make it so very easy for others to see it was you."

The clench around the knife doesn't let up, Sylar soaking up the way Zachery tries not to show the reactions he's looking for - it's almost better than any cry of pain the coroner could have emitted. "Just because they'll know that someone named Sylar was responsible for the murder," he says, voice soothingly patient, although Zachery's hand begins to tremble with the pressure of his own hold, "doesn't mean they'll know what he looks like, where he goes, who he talks to. Are you following?"

Zachery's own voice is increasingly less patient. "I'm not stupid." He answers with a moment's delay, shooting a glance down to his hand as new drops join the old splatters on the floor. "Don't undestimate me just because I work for the people you despise. I know what the body will tell me, and no more. As always."

A tense pause, and then finally, Zachery's hands loosen - the knife clatters to the ground, and new sprays of blood from an opened palm join it. Now, Sylar puppets Zachery's hand forward - even has him take a step, although the movement is clunky, unpracticed, but no one falls over at least. Independent, now, from the strings he has tied to Zachery's motions, his own hand goes to hover over Zachery's palm. A moment later, the stinging pain of the cut all but fades - the skin is still broken and bleeding, but for now, it's numbed. "Thank you," Sylar says, with a hint of a smile, and all at once, the strings are cut from his temporary marionette. "Also you should know, I no longer need information on those corpses. I have everything I want to know."

It's all Zachery can do to keep calm as he's urged forward, heart once more beating at a dangerous rate. As soon as he's let go of, the fingers of his injured hand curl into a fist, and he holds tightly onto it with the other hand, holding both close. It may not hurt, but it's clear he's still worrying about the damage done. "Great." The coroner breathes out, trying not to glare too fervently at Sylar. "Was that all?"

"You're not even curious?" Sylar asks, with a raised eyebrow. "How those bodies got that way? And why?" If he feels slighted by the ingratitude towards his numbing of a wound (as illogical as expecting gratitude would be), he doesn't show it, but his gaze does flicker towards Zachery's fist and up again, arms folding across his chest.

"I have a feeling that giving you reasons to stay and explain," Zachery utters slowly, taking a step sideways and back while blood seeps down his wrist and into his sleeve, "would not be in my best interest. You may want to consider not cutting people open if you want them to play nice." He can't keep the anger out of his voice anymore, despite trying to.

"And yet, playing nice would in fact be in your best interest," Sylar says, almost musing. "Must be difficult for you, to find the fine line between despising me appropriately and making sure I don't decide you'd be better dead than alive." Now, he pushes past Zachery, out of the bathroom and into the main area of the apartment. As he goes, he seems to change - dark hair lightens into dirty blonde, he seems to become thinner, a little shorter, and by the time Zachery can see even some of his face, his appearance has changed entirely in that of a man at least ten years younger.

Zachery keeps looking at Sylar until he is far enough for the bathroom for him to be confident enough to turn his back. He turns to a medicine cabinet and starts fumbling around in it for some gauze, though with the pressure on the wound gone he just ends up making more of a bloody mess. "Do you know, the worst thing of it all is…" He mutters, finding a small roll of bandages and starting to tightly wrap it around his hand, "… the most conflicting feeling is, that I think you're the most interesting- LIVE person I've met in years. I'm not sure what that makes me."

As Zachery talks, his front door is opened with a flick of Sylar's hand, banging on its hinges a little as if to punctuate that final statement. The killer looks back at the human, an unreadable expression written on now unrecognsiable, youthful features, before his mouth twists into a smirk. "I don't know either," he says, voice completely different as well, but still with that same strange detached tone of voice. "But I know it doesn't make you innocent. Goodbye, doctor." He makes sure to shut the door behind himself as he leaves.

November 3rd: Hey There, You
November 3rd: Of Intimacy and Such
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