Your Turn


gabriel_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Your Turn
Synopsis Melissa seeks a meet with Gabriel, then fights not to get off subject.
Date July 5, 2010

The Rookery

You can't see the Rookery from space, but on some evenings, it almost tries. Down the road, there's the glare of the Lotus Blossom, all deep reds that spill as far as the dry road pavement, as inviting as the bouncers out front are foreboding. Shooters is a reasonably bright spot, with the yellow glow of its interior extending far enough to illuminate the outdoor seating that's actually useable in the mildness of a summer evening,sending wrought iron patterned shadows across concrete. There is distinctly less in the way of casual criminaling these days, of selling semi-automatic weaponry alongside stolen watches in the street markets, but even if there was more, the majority of the vendors would have packed up their wares by now.

There's a church, somewhere, and a home for teenagers with nowhere to go. It is not within any particular labeled building that Gabriel waits, boldly wearing his own face in the half light of the cooling evening. The streetside bench is not being sat in — the seat itself as been long since broken by restless vandals, but its back remains sturdy and concrete, and currently hunched over with his arms folded in a cross against it. The air is still and stuffy, and his jacket is light, but the evidence of a red scarf is still in view — if you know what to look for.

Rather than slung around his neck, he has it tied around his arm, just above his elbow, frayed ends knotted together.

This is a part of the city that Melissa has come to know fairly well since moving to Staten Island. A girl has to have her amusements. Which could be why she's picked this place. Or she could be just hoping to run into the Humanis First punks who tried to kick her ribs in. She's not sharing the reason though.

Hands are tucked into some of the pockets on her cargo pants, the scarf wrapped loosely around her waist, and partially hidden by the long-sleeved black shirt she's wearing. Her hair is blonde once more, tucked behind her ears which happens to show off the scar on her forehead. One Gabriel might recognize though this one isn't his fault.

Spotting him, Melissa moves over towards him, stopping on the opposite end of the bench from him, taking a moment to just study his face. It's the first chance she's gotten, when he wasn't beating the crap out of Luke. "Hi," is finally said, the tone nice and neutral.

It's a distinct profile, even if not associated with one of the most wanted~ men~ in America~ — large nose and doggish exaggeration to his jawline, the expressive angles of paint-stroke eyebrows as smoothed and black as raven wings. One ticks up a fraction as if unsettled when he hears the sound of her footsteps approaching him, but only looks her way when her voice adds itself to the subtle cacophony of the nighttime street setting. Gabriel sweeps a black look over her without rising up from his slouch.

Attention to detail, or a lack thereof, has him missing the scar initially, but that's only a matter of time. "Hi," he says back, voice coarse and low, not a deliberate choice. "Looking for someone?" Not that he wasn't there or anything when they made this date. Or was he. Yes, he was, don't worry.

The question has Melissa's brows lifting, and her lips curve a little. "Yes. And, unless you're wearing a face that you don't own, I'm looking for you. I guess you made a bigger impact on me than I did on you," she answers, shrugging. "Still though, I'd think with the phone call and scarf…" she says, absently toying with one edge of that very scarf.

"Anyway, mind if I sit, or was this just some place to meet before we went someplace less public? Either way's fine with me," she says, hands sliding back into her pockets. Nothing to worry about here. Just a nice chat with a serial killer!

A glance down down at the ruined seat has the corner of his mouth quirking up in an amusement as if catching her point, and Gabriel is standing up taller. "We could walk," he invites with clear reservation — either for her or for the possibilities of the Rookery in terms of quiet venues. There's a beat as his gaze registers the red of her scarf as something expected. "I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and wait for you where I could look for someone, but I think I'm only going to hit the one. Pays to use two stones, I guess."

Turning his back on the brighter end of the street, it's towards the more ruined and quiet half of the territory that Gabriel begins to move, hands tucking into the pockets of his jacket, shoulders curling inwards. "I remember you," he adds, as if to clarify. "Mostly by getting almost killed in front of an audience."

That last comment has Melissa rolling her eyes, but she does start to walk once he does, moving at his side, though there is a bit of tension to her shoulders. She may trust the people of Messiah, but that trust only goes so far with people she doesn't personally know. And it doesn't go quite that far when she's dealing with a serial killer. "Yeah, well, who knew the fucker would go apeshit at a bit of pain and decide to kill me. Besides, he backed off before they touched him. I may not have won any case, but as far as I'm concerned I won that fight," she says, shrugging lightly.

She glances up at him, then back towards the sidewalk ahead of them. "Who was it you were looking for? I've met a lot of people in this city, maybe I could help?" she offers lightly. "Though honestly, glad you didn't find 'em tonight. Been trying to meet as many people as I can. Get to know 'em, in case I end up needing to get their back. Or having to trust that they have mine. And let's face it, you were pretty damn impressive in your fight," she admits, albeit a tad grudgingly.

"This one is kidnapped, maybe dead. If you know anything about it, you probably wouldn't want to tell me," Gabriel informs her, neutrally, humour evidence only in the subtle hunt of wryness that edges his voice so regularly. The last of the working streetlamps hits light over the wool-clad angle of his shoulder, spills behind them in rich gold. Down here, the night is texture. "I used to fight. There's a ring, down this way, that got destroyed somehow. I don't know how. Drove them out of business even after their kidnapping operation broke down."

Storytime seems to be a listing of peripheral disasters, but if that's not what the Rookery is— "I'm a lot quicker than you saw," he states, watching the pavement roll by under their feet. "When it's a real fight."

"Why wouldn't I want to tell you?" Melissa asks, brow furrowing lightly. "And I only know of one person who's been kidnapped recently…and don't have any fucking clue where she is. Massachusetts maybe. Maybe right down the road. Who knows," she says with another shrug.

"Why weren't you quicker in your fight against Luke? Look like he got you good a couple times before you ended the fight. And I don't imagine that it felt too good either, given what his ability is and all," she says, giving him another quick glance, not seeming to be very concerned about where they're going.

There is a sidelong look when she asks him why she shouldn't tell him, a glance up and down through a thoughtful squint that snags distractedly on her scarring. Lingers there for all of a few steps before Gabriel is glancing back ahead of them, stride lazy, aimless. New York is probably used to scurrying between Point A and Point B to escape the freezing temperatures that had descended upon the city for so many months, but during the height of summer, an amicable stroll could be better than huddling in the cramped, noisy confines of a bar — or so Gabriel feels.

"I wasn't quick because it's no killing allowed," he points out. "And besides, if you want to fight there again, you better put on a show — not that Messiah isn't, but a different one. An execution.

"How'd you get that scar?" is an abrupt change of conversation, that niggling curiousity finally getting to him. "The one on your head."

A hand is pulled free of Mel's pocket, and lifted to rub lightly over the scar as she sighs softly. "Well…until a month or so ago, I thought I'd gotten it when you tried to kill me," she says bluntly after a moment, before letting her hand drop and return to her pocket. "A guy tried to cut my head open back in March. Wasn't very pleasant. He showed a couple different abilities, and people kept saying that you were the only guy who could do that." She looks back at him, her gaze steady. "I've since been told that it wasn't you, and I believe it. Otherwise I wouldn't be here talking to you."

A cigarette is pulled out, lit, and a stream of smoke exhaled. "And yeah, guess you're right about the show. Easier for you though, I think. You've got flashy abilities. Not everyone does. And it was a damn good show."

There are questions on the tip of his tongue, but for whatever reason, that's where they stay — for being swallowed entirely or released at a later time. Either way, Gabriel tucks his chin in a little, continues to pace. "I know," he agrees, as easy as a smile, even if he doesn't do that often either. It's always a damn good show, if he and the ego attached have any opinion on the matter. There's a glance at the plume of smoke now eddying from her lit cigarette, a wandering glance at the white, ghostly shape it makes in the air, its dry ashiness.

Something about it prompts him to pry further. "Who convinced you that it wasn't me?" A glance back to her eyes before quickly looking down again. "What did they say? There aren't a lot of people with what I can do."

The questions have Melissa stopping for a beat and frowning at him. Her head shakes and she continues walking. "I was talking to Peter and Ash, and one of 'em mentioned that you were one of the gang. I freaked a little, and Peter told me that it hadn't been you. The guy attacked us both that night. He said that it didn't feel like you, and that he was sure it wasn't you, but Samson. I didn't know you, but I trust him," she explains, watching him closely.

That makes sense, some suspicion confirmed if Melissa were to read his expression correctly — or what half of it she can see from her vantage point. "Old man's getting around," Gabriel observes, ruefully, but doesn't pry any more than that. Wherever Samson might be, it's probably not the same place he was when Melissa was attacked — the abandoned clinic down the way of the Rookery is a testament to that. "You probably shouldn't trust Peter otherwise. It's not healthy. As soon as he freaks out about what Messiah is doing, he'll bring down hell on his way out.

"If history repeats. It might not. I guess we have to wait and see."

Melissa's doing a lot of frowning during this conversation, because here comes another one. "What do you mean? Why would he freak out? Much less bring down hell? And mother fucker. I didn't call you up to talk about Peter. I'm still mad at him," she grumps, shoulders hunching a little, cigarette puffed from a little more often. "I think," is muttered a minute later.

She shakes her head and forces herself to straighten again as she changes the subject. "So how the hell do you have that many abilities anyway? Are they temporary? Knew a girl who could collect 'em, but they only lasted a couple months."

Well if we're not talking about him— Gabriel clams up accordingly, allowing her questions regarding Petrelli to string between them in weighted, chilly silence as they walk, Melissa's smoke leaving a dispersing trail of acrid scent and both of them leaving faint tracks on the dry concrete. He does at least add, a little mysteriously; "That's okay. So am I.

"My first power lets me take them," he responds, tone neutral and without lecture. He doesn't sound annoyed to explain. "And they're temporary depending on how I do that, like when I copied Luke's. But most of them are forever. Is he a friend of yours?"

Melissa's mouth opens to ask why, but she cuts that line of conversation off. Focus! "I'm not sure you'd call him a friend. When I was Ferry, he was one of my charges. When the safehouse I ran got raided, he ran, and I hadn't seen him again until the night he fought you. But what do you mean they're temporary depending on how you take 'em? I didn't realize there were different ways. I've just got the one."

"My power is intuitive aptitude," Gabriel states, now with a degree of edged impatience, but such moodiness is swift to retract. "It makes me understand how everything works. I can crack open the skulls of people who couldn't fend me off and see how it is they work to make their power what it is, and I can adapt to it. Other times— if I can read someone, understand them, I can mimic their power that way. Through empathy. It's not something we can all do — it's just my ability."

He shrugs a little, a shimmery twitch of a movement. "It's the latter that I copied— probably that same girl you just mentioned. The one who can collect powers. I was trying to teach her about her's, and walked away with it. It allows me to mimic powers I'm exposed to, without understanding them, and they degenerate like they do for her. I don't like it, but it's useful in a fight.

"Your turn."

"I sincerely hope it's not the same girl, if it involved skull cracking. She was another of the ones I promised to protect," Melissa murmurs thoughtfully. Another glance, another shrug. "I don't have anything so interesting or useful. I control pain. I can take it or give it, for short periods of time. It's hard to push enough pain out though to really affect anyone who's used to pain. You saw what it did to the guy in my fight. He just went nuts and tried to kill me. Not my intended reaction."

The slight shake of his head is timed to communicate no, Gabriel Gray did not crack open the skull of Liette, Institute pet project. "If used correctly, at the right time, with finesse, all powers are interesting and useful." There's a swift gleam of a shark's smile in the shadows, not beamed to her, but kept to himself if still visible out her periphery. "At least to me. You'll figure it out, with practice. As long as you're with Messiah, you'll get it."

Melissa shakes her head. "I know how to use my ability, Gabriel. I've had it long enough that I should." Though she doesn't point out that until a few months ago she didn't know she could take pain as well. Mustn't give him proof! "And you collect ability. Of course any ability is interesting to you. Just like I'm sure you see shot glasses as just something you use to do shots with, while I collect 'em. Still…you never know. And yeah, I'm sure I'll get plenty more practice."

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