2008-01-06: Deadline


Gabriel_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif

Summary: Gabriel returns from picking up supplies, and he and Elle have what's almost a touching conversation, until Noah shows up.

Date It Happened: January 6th, 2008


A Super-Secret Hotel in New York City

There's the rattle of a key as it slides into the lock of the hotel room's door, accompanied by the familiar sound of crinkling paper bags. The door to the hotel room opens, stays that way for a few seconds, and then closes itself. All this seems to happen without the aid of a person, but once Gabriel is inside the hotel room it's evident he was the culprit, as a soft shimmer finally reveals him, the invisibility gone.

He highly doubts anyone at the store recognized him, but he still glances cautiously out through the drapes covering the window after setting the two grocery bags down on the table. He surveys the parking lot, and it takes a long moment before he's satisifed that no one followed him. He turns to the table and begins to take items out of the bag, setting them on the end of the table.

"You won't see them, if they're there." Standing in the doorway to the washroom, Elle leans her shoulder against the frame, arms crossed. "They kind of make a point of being stealthy." Not that she sounds particularly concerned; amused, perhaps, in an oddly resigned sort of way. She flashes him a swift smile, occupying her hands with the task of weaving her hair into a braid while she speaks to him. "I'm guessing you didn't run into any trouble while you were gone."

"Maybe they'll slip up, give us a break," Gabriel responds, head tilting up slightly so he can look over at Elle, returning the smile briefly. Out of first bag he pulls out the various things they'll need: water, your basic foodstuffs, things of that nature. Setting all of those aside to sort through in a moment, he begins to unload the other bag, peering down into it. "I forgot.." he murmurs to himself, but he trails off, brow creasing as he begins to unload the second bag. "No trouble," he says to her. "I don't think anyone recognized me."

When she's secured an elastic around the base of the braid, pulling it over her shoulder, Elle steps out of the washroom and watches as he unpacks the bags. "Good," she says absently, surprisingly underwhelmed by the information; she ought to be more concerned about his brief venture outside calling undue attention to them, but her attention is elsewhere. Taking another step towards him, surveying what he purchased, she asks, "What did you forget?"

"Juice," he says idly as he pulls more items out of the bag. "It's better than drinking water all of the time." Bread, lunch meat, a pie, snacks, plus more bottles of water. He has no idea how long they're going to be holed up here, but whatever they don't use they can take with them. Once the bags are empty, he folds both of them up and sets them to the side of the table, before moving towards the mini-refridgerator and taking a seat next to it as he begins to fill it up with the items he bought.

Before it can make it to the fridge with the rest, the pie is snatched up by Elle as she crosses behind Gabriel. Moving several feet away from him, far enough that he can't retrieve the pie without getting to his feet, she holds it up in one hand and points to it with the other. "You bought a pie," she says - a statement, not a question. "That's so…" Gripping it in both hands, she tips it forward slightly. "…cute." A smirk settles onto her face, and she moves forward, holding the pie out for him to take back now. She's quiet for a few seconds, watching him as he puts the items away. "You were talking in your sleep last night."

When the pie is snatched away, Gabriel lets out a sound of protest, turning in his seat so that his eyes can follow her across the room. At her words, he looks down, eyes falling to the floor as the hint of a smile crosses his lips. "Well," he says, somewhat bashfully, "I saw it and I thought I would get it." He accepts the pie once she hands it back to him, storing it into the refridgerator with everything else. Once he's finished, he turns back to her, eyes narrowing a bit as he listens to her. "I was? …. What was I saying?"

"Nothing that made any sense," Elle replies, returning to her bed to sit with her back against the headboard, legs drawn up in front of her. "Something about a watch, something else about fixing something." She rests her arms on her knees, idly linking her fingers together. "And fighting for someone." Tipping her head, regarding him with an arched eyebrow, she looks almost… concerned, despite her curiosity. "What were you dreaming about?"

"I… don't really know," Gabriel says, looking confused as he tries to piece together the words. He sits up in the chair, hands folding in front of him, an elbow on each thigh as he looks at the floor in concentration. "I don't remember. Something.. about Peter, and there was another woman there. Never seen her before. I think they may have been together?" He shakes his head, closing his eyes as he tries to pull the dream back, images slowly coming back to him. He isn't able to remember much, but the mention of the watch and fixing something helps. "It was in the watchshop."

"You didn't know her? Weird." That one word doesn't quite sum up Elle's feelings on the matter, in fact. It was strange just to be sleeping in the same room as the man who tried to kill her (and whom she tried to kill), let alone listening in to his dreams - and the more she hears about his odd visions last night, the stranger they sound. Shifting where she sits, she rolls her shoulders in a shrug. "I was up for a while, trying to figure out if you needed me to wake you up, but I guess I fell asleep at some point. What happened?"

"I don't know. I can't remember. It was me, Peter, and the woman. In the watchshop. I don't think it was very long. I woke up at some point, but you weren't awake." He shrugs as well, eyes leaving the floor to travel up to Elle's for a brief moment. "I'm not sure," he continues, looking away. "If anything else happened, I can't remember it. I didn't even know I talked in my sleep." It is rather odd that Elle would be the person of all people to tell him he was talking in his sleep, considering their mutual history. He looks back up at her, a small smirk on his face. "Are you spying on me while I'm asleep?"

Both the smirk and the question elicit a sheepish smile from Elle, and she bows her head in response, thankful for the low light in the room. It should be dim enough to hide the colour in her face at the slight embarrassment - but then, the fact that she looked away at all takes away much of her intended subtlety. "Maybe," she says finally, looking sidelong back to Gabriel. Her turn to smirk, now, as she considers one little remark she overheard while he slept. "Am I the person you're fighting for?"

The smirk on Gabriel's face grows when Elle turns away, and it's still there when she turns that sidelong look to him. However, her next question gives Gabriel reason to be sheepish, and he can't help the surprise that crosses his features. He stands from the chair, turning towards the window, looking out of it again. It gives him something to do, see, to delay answering the question. He can only delay so long, however, and his voice is low when he finally speaks. "What if I said yes?"

The last few days of Elle Bishop's life have led to many questions for which she has no proper answer, and Gabriel's last inquiry serves as a perfect example. "I'd tell you that you don't even really know me to know that you should fight for me," she says, her voice taking on a remorseful quality as she speaks, recalling the time they spent together while she was working for the Company to deceive him. "Fight for you, not me."

"I've been fighting for myself for a long time, Elle," he says, finally turning back to her, crossing his arms over his chest. "Ever since Brian Davis. You… know what I tried to did to stop it." His voice is soft, an ashamed quality to it. He doesn't like the fact he tried to kill himself, but he thought he had no other way. "But can that be enough? There has to be something in this world worth fighting for. Whether it's you, Peter, or someone else… sometimes fighting for yourself isn't enough."

To be fair, Elle can't say that what she did was any better; part of her was so adamant in chasing down Sylar only because she was hoping to lose, and another part of her was so adamant because she was hoping to impress someone whose influence was not a positive one. So yes, Elle can sympathize with needing to fight for something more than just herself. It's just that she isn't sure how she feels about being that 'something more.' "I'll give you that," she replies, stretching her hands out in front of her. "I don't know if there is something. I don't even know why I'm fighting. Not everything the Company does is wrong, but you don't get to choose."

"You'll find something," is the reply from Gabriel. He moves back to his chair, taking a seat, and he looks back at her. "I'll find something, too. There's good out there in the world. Peter has shown me that. We could all stand to be a little more like Peter." Little does he know what's happening across town at that exact moment. He reaches over toe the refridgerator, opening it to pull out a bottle of water for himself, eyes traveling over to Elle to see if she wants anything.

Holding her hands out when he looks her way, Elle silently asks for a bottle of water like the one he retrieved for himself. "I'll figure it out," she says dismissively, a poor attempt to brush off her own dilemma as if it were inconsequential. "You're right about Peter. And some of his friends, too. They've given me more chances than I deserve." And she ought to have realized that - and appreciated it - long ago. "I just kinda wish there was an easy answer to what we're supposed to do now."

"That's because they see you can be someone more than what the Company wants you to be," Gabriel says, grabbing a second bottle of out of the fridge and rising from his chair. He steps over to Elle, handing her the bottle, and then retreats back to his chair, uncapping his own water bottle and taking a few drinks from it. "I think that's what Peter sees in me. That I can be someone other than Sylar. I hope he's right." As for what they're supposed to do now, he gives a reluctant shrug, wondering the exact same thing. "I wish there were, too."

"I think he is." But those few reassuring words are all that Elle has to offer on the subject at hand before falling silent, resting her head against the headboard behind her and letting her eyes close. She stays this way for a short time, until all at once she slides down from the bed and rises to her feet. "That's long enough. I'm eating that pie." All of it, apparently, since she didn't bother to qualify. She crosses to the fridge, crouching down to retrieve the box from inside.

When Elle falls silent, so does Gabriel, his eyes wandering around the hotel room, but they never stay in one spot for two long. He's just about to open his mouth and say something to break the silence, but she beats him to the punch when announces pie. As she goes to the fridge to retrieve the dessert, he reaches over to a small stand next to the fridge, retrieving some paper plates and plastic forks from it, setting them out on the table next to him. It won't be easy eating pie with plastic utensils, but it's better than having no utensils at all. "All of it?"

"Yep," Elle replies quickly, nudging the door closed with a foot before carrying the box over to the table and setting it down. "That's what you get for buying cherry." She pulls a chair out from the table and settles down into it, her feet beneath her on the cushion. As she pulls the pie out of the box, she says, "I'm worried Peter's in way over his head. His mother has to know what he's doing, for both of us." But especially Gabriel, not that she's about to say that.

As if summoned by the talk of Peter's woes, a familar voice fills the air.

"Sylar? Syyyyylar? Here boy!"

From the other side of the door, a voice calls out as if it were calling for Mr. Muggles. Odd that Noah would be so vocal in his hunt for Sylar, but it's well known that the biggest mistakes come when you get emotional. And when it comes to emotion, few men, if any, have gotten under Noah's skin quite like the man that taught his baby girl what terror and pain truly were. There are a few seconds of silence before there is a loud knocking on the hotel room where Sylar and Elle happen to be. "We need to talk now. Run now and I promise things will only be more difficult. Not only for you, Sylar, but those that are aiding you!"

Gabriel recognizes that voice. As soon as he hears it calling out his old name, he's up from the table, thoughts of sharing a pie with Elle completely forgotten. He moves to the door, looking through the peephole, and his fears are confirmed. Noah Bennet. He must have been spotted. "It's Bennet," he whispers, remaining at the door with his hands on it, turning his head so that he can look at Elle. "He must have seen me, or followed us, or something. What are we going to do? I doubt that he wants to share pie with us."

"First, you're going to get the hell away from the door." Elle, for her part, got up from the table and away from the window as soon as she heard Bennet's voice. The curtains may be drawn, but she isn't taking chances; crouched against the wall, she's shielded by the table. "Unless you want to get shot. Company policy isn't ask first and shoot later. I don't think he wants to talk." But Elle's been surveying the room, and there really is not a good exit strategy from here. Even if there was, who's to say Noah didn't bring friends to cover them?

Seemingly unphased by the 'silence', Noah knocks once more. He knows Sylar can hear him. "Sylar, open up. If I wanted to kill you, I wouldn't have given you the warning. Sloppy mistakes is Elle's department, not mine. Now, be a man and open the door."

"I can handle getting shot," Gabriel says in Elle's direction, but he steps away from the door in any case, surveying the room as well. Their escape options are very limited. The door or the window. Both aren't exactly the best idea. "After what I did to Claire, yes, I really don't think that talking is what he wants to do." The tension Gabriel feels is growing by the second. He has his abilities, and so does Elle, so they can fight if they have to. But considering who Noah is, he's most likely prepared for that fact. When the man outside the door starts yelling again, Gabriel backs away further from the door, crouching down by the table near Elle. "Any ideas?"

"Is he alone?" Elle has to assume that he is, or Gabriel would have mentioned that he had someone with him. She looks to the door as Noah speaks again, refusing to let his remark get beneath her skin. She must be used to remarks like those, by now. "Just open it. The worst he'll have is a gun. I think we can handle it." Not that she imagines he really does just want to talk. It's Noah Bennet, and Bennet very rarely just wants to talk.

A hint of frustration is in Noah's voice. "I am giving you five seconds…. Then I'll leave. I promise you if that happens, you will consider days like this a cake walk." As usual, Noah gives a choice… Without really giving a choice.

"I didn't see anyone else but him," Gabriel responds to Elle, eyes moving to the door. Open it? Gabriel doesn't exactly like the idea, but that don't have much of a choice. Especially when Noah starts going on about cakewalks. "Be ready," he says, even though he's sure she doesn't need to hear him say it. He stands from his spot, slowly moving to the door. He places his hand on the doorknob, shooting a glance back at Elle, before he opens the door and pulls it open. "We just want to be left alone."

Elle is well acquainted with Bennet's "choices," and she winces when he speaks again, knowing that he likely means every word. As Gabriel moves to the door, she pushes up to her feet and moves away from the wall, keeping her hands free and held at her sides. She says nothing, her guard high, ready to react if necessary.

"And I just want you dead," Noah begins, his voice dripping with venom at the last word. "Guess we're both going to have to be used to disappointment." That said, he moves into the room, merely nodding to Elle after taking a couple of steps into the room. Placing his hands behind him, HRG just waits in the hallway as he glances about like most guests when entering a house for the first time.

"I guess so," Gabriel responds, eyes narrowing at Noah. He doesn't like this man. At all. Granted, he may have done a horrible thing to his daughter, something that he or Claire are never likely to forgive him for. At least Noah didn't pull a gun up and put a bullet right through his head. He steps back, allowing Noah to enter the room, and he moves nearer to Elle. "If you're here to talk, talk."

The fact that Noah doesn't come in shooting is little comfort to Elle. She's worked with him for long enough to know that she can't predict anything he does, at this point. The longer he is in the room with them, in fact, the more on edge Elle is becoming. Stalling? Or is he really not going to engage them?

The room they're in, as an aside, is a simple hotel room: two beds, a table and chairs, a television, a small fridge. The items they each brought with them are minimal, contained to bags kept beside or beneath the beds. Nothing all that out of the ordinary.

The Man with Killer Brows wants the direct route, so Noah gives it. Without looking toward Elle or Sylar, the Company Agent states his goal in his causal tone, still glancing around as if admiring the location. "I'm here to take you back to the Company, Sylar… And if your ability is working properly, you'll know that is the best place for you to be."

As soon as the words 'take you back' are out of Noah's mouth, before he even gets to 'the Company', Gabriel is already shaking his head. "No," he states simply, the expression on his face showing that he is very much NOT going. "I won't go back there. I'm not Sylar anymore. If you want to take me back there, you're going to have to force me." He looks at Noah, even if he won't return the favor, giving him the slightest of shrugs. "If you can."

The glower that descends upon Elle's face when Noah speaks ought to tell him what she feels about that particular plan. There's a reason she left, after all, and she had a lot more freedom than Gabriel does. She flicks an anxious glance to Gabriel as he speaks, questioning the wisdom in calling Noah out quite like that, but she says nothing.

"Force is not something I really am cleared for right now, as the Board of Directors knows you'll be visiting them soon. If you came with me now, it would mean that you'd be able to discuss important issues involving your past. As I'm sure Elle told you, the Company is part of who you are, like it or not."

Noah glances over at Elle at this time, her reaction as negative (albeit less noisy) as the Company Man imagined it would be. Moving toward a window, he opens a curtain, wanting to look outside.

"She talked to you about that, right?"

"That's exactly why I'm not going back, because of what they did to me." Gabriel turns his head slightly so he can look at Elle, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, and he turns his attention back to Noah. "Elle may have been part of that, but I don't care anymore. She was just following orders. Orders from the people you work for. The Company." Gabriel lets out a sigh, growing frustrated with Noah as this continues on. "There's nothing you can say that will make me go back there."

When he pulls her into this, Elle can't help the surge of frustration that flows through her, though she's quick to close her hands into her fists and keep them at her sides. It's a struggle to keep from lashing out at him with her ability, but a flash of the look on her father's face when she shocked him in his office is enough to keep her in line. For now, anyway. "The hell's your game, Bennet? You know he isn't going back. What are you doing here?"

"And you really think that you wouldn't have done that yourself in five or so years? If you've researched your kind, guilt and shame is nothing new to the breed. They feel like monsters for what they do, so they try and stop for awhile. Sometimes it's weeks before they go back, sometimes it's months. Why do they give in after time? Because they never solved what that issue was that brought them there in the first place and just give in."

Moving toward the fridge, Noah opens it up, trying to find something to drink. "And Elle did plenty of bad things all on her own. Should I tell you how many reprimands she got for killing people she WASN'T supposed to? Or how she only tended to disobey orders when it involved a man she wanted? Hell, if she didn't know what killing me would do to you, herself, and Peter, I'm sure she'd kill me now." Holding up a bottle of water and pointing it toward Elle, he gives her a playful wink. "Isn't that right, Elle?"

"I don't know what I would have done," Gabriel responds in exasperation, barely resisting the urge to throw his hands up in the air. "All I know is that I'm trying. I don't need the Company's help for that, and I don't need you here telling me that I have to go back to them to 'talk out my problems' or whatever it is they want me to do. I don't believe that, and I'm sure the moment I walk through the doors they'll lock me up and throw away the key."

All he wants to do right now is turn away from Noah and pound on something, perhaps the wall, but he isn't about to take his eyes off of the man. As for what Noah says about Elle, it causes Gabriel to lapse into silence, his eyes turning towards the woman standing near him.

"Don't listen to him," Elle hisses in response to what Noah says, unwilling to turn her eyes away from the agent now. Neither of them trusts him enough to look away, even for a second; yet, she could kill him here and now, in a matter of seconds. That knowledge is infuriating. "He's manipulating you, Gabriel. That's what they do." Oh, but he is beginning to get a rise out of her now, her heartbeat quickening.

Opening the bottle, Noah gives a simple sentence with a faint smirk. "She's not denying it," he swiftly replies before he drinks. "Peter and Elle have had plenty of tell you they are good people and they can guide you, but they are just as messed up as you and can't even direct their own lives." Noah moves to the fridge, getting another bottle to offer out to either party. "Water?"

"Elle may have done some horrible things in her past," Gabriel says, the sound of Elle's quickening heartbeat falling on his ears. He ignores it for the time being, focusing his attention on Noah. The water bottle is ignored, as well. The last thing Gabriel wants is get close enough to accept the bottle. "Maybe she's trying to change, too. You of all people should know about doing terrible things, Noah. Look who you work for."

"And you're so much better?" Elle's tone is harsh and biting when she speaks, a testament to her faltering restraint to snap at him in quite this way. This is a dangerous path to walk, but it's like Noah said: making stupid mistakes is her schtick, not his. "Where were you when your little cheerleader needed you?" It's heartless, in a way, to bring up what Sylar did to Claire when Gabriel is here defending her, but she isn't blaming him.

Elle's response is met with stony silence from the Family Man. After a few seconds without a sound from Noah, the first reaction from the blond's words can be heard. The water bottle crumbles somewhat under Noah's grasp, though it doesn't fall. "I couldn't protect the world and my own daughter at the same time. Unlike Peter, I knew that doing the right thing meant sacrifices." Noah's words are soft at first, as if trying to justify himself. One of the rare times that Gabriel and Elle will see HRG's other side… Of a man who sold his soul to the devil to protect his family.

Soon though, that guilt turns to anger. "When I needed help most, I trusted Peter to stop Sylar. He betrayed me and my family. But you know what they say about those that betray." He looks toward Gabriel, the eye to eye stare only broken by a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. Sylar will see only thing from Noah, the one thing he likely understands more than anything. A hateful desire to kill.

Without any warning, Noah breaks off the gaze and moves into the hallway once more. The conversation is over. "You have twenty-four hours to reconsider, Sylar. If not, the Board of Directors will do as they see fit." The Company Man begins to make his way toward the door. HRG would tell the pair to let Peter know that he would like to talk to him, but considering the events of the last few weeks… It's only a matter of time.

When Elle says what she says to Gabriel, he's pretty sure it's about to hit the fan. The last thing she should probably be bringing up is what happened to Claire. However, when Noah blames Peter, that gets a small rise out of Gabriel, one that he can't let slide. He matches Noah's stare, attention completely on him. "It isn't Peter's fault," Gabriel says, defending the man who has helped him this far. Their relationship may be rocky, considering the past, but at least Peter is giving him a chance. "Don't place the blame on someone else for being unable to take care of your own family. Claire came to me all on her own. She had my file. Stole it from you, I'm sure." Gabriel's right hand is tensing, and he continually curls it into a fist, keeping it at the ready. Should any bullets come flying, he wants to be able to stop them. Unless Noah pull out a grenade launcher. He wouldn't put it past him.

"I won't be there. You can tell them that when you get back. I'm never going back to that place." Gabriel's words are absolute, the resolution in his voice complete. The Company is the last place on Earth he'll go. "Just leave us alone. I may not be a killer anymore, but that doesn't mean I won't stop you." He waits, eyes still on the man. Should he continue to leave, so be it. If he turns around, however, Gabriel is ready.

When Noah moves towards the door, Elle is swift in distancing herself from him, still unconvinced that the man truly came just to talk. A wiser person would let him go without a word and count their blessings, but she has never been accused of being wise. "You should tell her that she was your sacrifice, Bennet. Tell her that everything she went through was because you decided everyone else was more important. That'll make everything better." Someone's a little bitter, it would seem. Her heart is still racing, tension high, as she listens to Gabriel's words; he says precisely what she imagined he might before he even opened his mouth to speak. She won't tear her eyes away from that door until she's convinced that he's gone - and not liable to turn right back around.

As soon as Noah is in the other side of the door, Gabriel lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. It was bad enough when they were on the run, knowing the Company knew they were out there— now the Company is going to actively be after them. "We'll have to leave," Gabriel says, motioning towards the room in general. "They know where we are. Peter… should be able to help us. If not… we can find somewhere, or split up, or… something." There is another of those times Gabriel wish he knew what to do. An easy answer. Stay here, leave the hotel, where to go… he shakes his head, moving to one of the beds and sitting on the edge of it. "At least we're in one piece." It could have gone worse. A lot worse.

"It doesn't matter," Elle says, reluctantly turning away from the door. Her guard is still high, her hands clenched at her sides; her nails dig into her palms, leaving marks which linger long after she's uncurled her fingers. "If he found us once, he can find us again. I'm guessing he used the Walker System." Even after she's left, she can't shake some of her old habits - such as distancing the 'system' from the little girl the Company exploits to find anyone, anywhere. "If we leave, we're just slowing him down, not stopping him." Her voice has taken on an angry edge, very clearly upset by the agent's words. "So we can run and leave ourselves open so they can ambush us on the way, or we can stay here and wait for them."

At Elle's words, Gabriel frowns, eyes falling to the floor. Run and possibly get ambushed, or stay here, and most likely end up having to fight them. There are the two of them. Elle's strong with her power, as is Gabriel… but you never know with the Company. "… Let's stay here for now," he says, eyes turning up to look at Elle. "We'll know they're coming. If we have to, we can run. I…" he pauses, another frown crossing his features, and all he can do is offer the woman a shrug. "That's the best I can think of for now." Only time will tell.

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