2010-04-06: Change of Face



Date: April 6th, 2010


In the aftermath of losing Zelda, Gabriel Gray gets a visitor. Angela.

Previously on Heroes MUSH: Happily Never After

Gabriel's Apartment

… and she's gone. There's no way he could catch her now, not with the forcefield in his way. Rearing his arm back, he punches the forcefield as hard as he can, a violent shimmer of blue announcing where he connects. He punches it hard enough that it splits the skin over his knuckles, blood slowly dripping off of his hand as he slides down the wall to the floor, his forehead resting in his hands. The injured knuckles begin to heal themselves, skin sewing itself up over bone as he rests against the wall, already at a loss of what to do. It wasn't even four hours ago that he finally found Zelda, but now she's gone… in seemingly more ways than one.


"Change of Face"

Time passes. The occasional pair of feet is seen passing down the hallway, sometimes a voice accompanying them. All asking the same question. "Hey, are you okay?" No answer. The figure leaned against the hallway wall keeps his eyes on the ground, dead to the world. The grimace of frustration and anger slowly seeping onto his features. A myriad of emotions, everything from joy to pain to sadness to loss, flitting across his features until finally… nothing. His face no longer betrays the feelings on the inside, his eyes still fixed on the floor until he stands, blinking slowly, as if just become aware of his surroundings.

Timing is everything.

Everyone else who has passed may have shown their concern, but none of them were familiar as more than neighbours; none of them spoke the name of the man who sat desolately on the floor.

When he stands, all of that changes. A shift in the pattern.

"Gabriel." Angela Petrelli turns the corner into the hallway; purposefully. Obviously, this is no coincidence. The woman looks a bit desolate herself, pale, tired, but with a determination and immediately knowing expression that transcends all else. She cuts a strong image in the dim hall, her two-piece suit a bright, blood red. Her hands are in front of her, clutching a purse as if it holds bars of gold — something important. But her eyes — they're fixed intently on the man. "You know what they say, when one window closes— " Angela trails off. She steps closer, instead. "It's over. Whatever you had."

"I know," Gabriel says, almost before Angela can even finish speaking. He doesn't seem at all surprised to see her— after all, she has a knack for showing up at times such as these. Pushing the door to his apartment open, he moves inside, the door slowly shutting itself behind him, an eerie sounding creak emanting from it. Making a mental note to get that fixed, he steps into the kitchen, grabbing a bottle of water from the table and taking a few swings. He then goes about busying himself with the beginnings of preparing a meal— whether it's for two or not isn't easily discerned— and seems strangely lacking of any emotion regarding the departure of Zelda only a few hours before.

Of course, Angela follows — she presses a palm to the door, catching it, slowing down its gradual closing. She steps in, and it swings shut the rest of the way. She's there as he begins to tidy, and watches the hustle and bustle with a watchful eye. Her calmness is something of an illusion. "I have a favour to ask, Gabriel — and I wouldn't ask it it wasn't important." In other words: this is a last resort. However, there's more to the story. This is Angela Petrelli standing here in Gabriel's apartment, after all. "And if I couldn't repay it. You have so much potential… let me help you."

"Don't you always?" Again, the words of Gabriel cut across Angela's, barely letting her have time to say anything at all. "You always show up unannounced, suddenly, mysteriously," he continues, slamming a cooking iron down onto the range. He pauses for a moment, taking a deep breath, before lighting the pilot light and stepping over to the refridgerator. "Let me guess," he says, opening the unit and leaning over to peer in, his voice reflected oddly back to Angela from inside the refridgerator. "The world needs saving, and I'm your last hope, or some other off the wall tragedy." Straightening up, he pulls a carton of eggs out and closes the door behind him, turning back to the counter. "Really, Angela, why should I care?"

"Because I can find your friend for you, if that's what you want." Speaking of mysteriously… "I can fix her, too, there's something wrong with her, isn't there? With her head." Angela tips her head back, juts her chin out as she eyes Gabriel matter-of-factly. "Or maybe that's not the best route for you anymore; maybe you'd rather take another path. I can put you on it." She whisks around the counter, close to the serial killer turned cook. Dark eyes look up with intensity. She all but hisses. "But the bottom line is: what else are you gonna do?"

The skillet slams against the stove again, a loose egg bouncing off of the counter and landing on the floor, the crack of the shell a sharp snap against the otherwise silent room. Albumen and yolk leak out onto the floor slowly, jagged splinters of shell surrounding the floor around it. Gabriel turns his eyes to Angela, watching her for a long, long moment, his head slightly shaking with suppressed rage before he finally looks back down to the stove, hands placed flat on either side of the counter.

"I should just kill you now," Gabriel states matter-of-factly, the cold white of the oven looking back up at him. "But I don't have anyone else to turn to, do I? If there's even a chance you can fix her, then that's a chance I have to take, isn't it? I'm a serial killer. I can see it in people's faces when I look at them. That small hint of doubt. That evidence of the voice in the back of their head, wondering if I've really changed, if I'm not just going to snap one day and kill them too… she was the only one who never had it. I never saw that look in her eyes."

He lets out a deep, slow breath, before finally turning to Angela. "She's gone. Even if she can be fixed.. she shouldn't have had to go through this. It was my fault, if she wasn't with me when they came for me… and if he hadn't…" He trails off, eyes glazing over for a moment as Gabriel looks at some moment in the past, finally pulling himself back to the present to look Angela directly in the eye. "You have one chance to convince me."

Angela steps back in a hurry as Gabriel's would-be food drops to the floor, but keeps her gaze steady, dire. Now is no time for an omlette anyway.

One chance to convince him? Angela is up to the challenge. In fact, the words are already rehearsed in her head; she already saw herself speak them, saw Gabriel's answers. "Nathan is going to do something that could lead to disaster for all of us— " Gabriel wasn't quite wrong in guessing her motives, it would seem, and I need you to stop him. Not like that— " She raises a hand, as if to cut Gabriel off pre-emotively. "Trust me, if I wanted him killed I could have arranged it. No, I want him saved. And to do it, I need you, Gabriel. He's going to be at a press conference on April 15th, and someone is going to murder him."

All of that that isn't convincing anyone but Angela, however. The woman presses a hand into the counter's edge, all her bearing focused at the much taller figure. "If you're not happy with who you are," she says, "How would you like to be someone else?" The Petrelli matriarch pulls a paper out of her purse and unfolds it, pulling the creases smooth with her thumb.




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