2007-08-03: Revelations


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Summary: Jessica was right to think she was hearing things and feel as though she was being watched. The years come crashing to this point.

Dark Future Date: August 3rd, 2009


The Syndicate's Headquarters, New York City

The dark marble flooring spreads into this room as well, black and grey blooming with charcoal veins over its gleaming surface. The lighting is comfortably ambient or ominously dim, depending on one's point of view — and why they're here. A wide, open space is made less wide and open by dividers in black wood and white paper: behind them, mystery. Otherwise, red prevails, pinned to the very walls in the form of curtains; rather than the sumptuous draperies of the lower floor, these decorations are more haphazard. A few curtains sparkle with beads or tassels. Not every wall is covered. To the left, a shadowed white wall houses several Rorschach Blots in frames; one such inkblot painting resembles a smoky blue helix.

An expansive plate-glass window monopolizes most of the wall opposite the entrance with a view of the cityscape. The view is lofty, and it's not hard to tell, from here, that some of the city is in ruins. The window is slightly dark, tinted, and electronic shutters wait on either side to horizontally engulf the view at a moment's notice. A heavy desk of black metal and thick glass sits boldly in front of the window. A few picture frames, their photos turned toward the high-backed black leather chair, are scattered on the desk along with some writing implements, a flat-screened computer monitor, a phone, and a silver letter opener. There are no chairs gathered 'round. The space is not meant to lend comfort to its guests.

A door opens. It isn't the entrance to the room itself, the one with the black corridor and the nondescript, nameless office door; it's hidden away, behind one of the elegant dividers. It's here, through an organized mess of clothes and furniture and dressers, that the blonde enters into. She's still wearing the not-quite-robe that shimmers with silver, and there's blood on her hands. There's a sink back here, stainless steel. Jessica washes her hands, scrubbing them well. It's so routine and mechanical, her expression cold and blank, that she might as well be a surgeon, scrubbing after a surgery. It was just as bloody.

Afterward, she walks through the expansive so-called office, undoes the sash at her waist, and sits at the desk. A drawer is pulled open; from that, a black leatherbound portfolio holding files. It's flipped open carelessly as she crosses her legs - bare, save for the straps of her shoes - under the glass desk. A sheet inside is addressed to the Oval Office in Washington, DC. Behind Jessica, through the tinted plateglass windows, the city looks deceptively abandoned.

"You never cease to disgust me, Jessica."

It's a familiar voice that rings out through the office. It could be coming from somewhere. It could be coming from nowhere. It could be Jessica hallucinating. Though, the voice continues to carry through the office, bouncing off the silence and the walls.

The walls.

"You've been a very, very bad girl."

Jessica is in the process of reaching for a pen. It's gold. Such a mundane object, aside from that. Here she is, doing paperwork. The future really is bleak. With the pen in her hands, she turns a page. Forms. Official documents that spell out a dangerous blending of power and resources that just snap the thin straw of fairness in this world in half.

The ink never touches paper. The pen drops, as if the hand that holds it, capable of crushing bone, is suddenly weak.

"Oh, we're a lot of things, Niki, but we're not crazy," she said once upon a time. But now? Maybe she really is cracked. No. It's a hallucination. Someone's tricking her. Gotta be.

That voice…

"Where are you," she spits out, harsh and low and demanding under her breath, shoving to her feet in an instant. The desk rattles. To say the woman looks scared would be stretching it — but just barely. Above all, she looks furious, but there's that roving of her eyes to the walls, flickering this way and that guardedly as she backs up. "What is this," Jessica says hollowly. "I swear, I'll— "

"You already did."

Jessica gets the innate and delicious pleasure of backing right up. Backing away from the desk that's been rattled. Away from the walls and the lighting of the office. Away from the door. Away from the hallucinations that could have the crazy woman going crazier. She gets the joy of backing up into…

D.L. Hawkins.

The big black man that's been dead for over two years stands firm and proud, looking a bit older and wiser for all intents and purposes. His eyes are narrowed with the anger of a man that's been betrayed by everything he ever held dear. He's still as clean shaven and sexy as ever, but the emotional state of furiousness that's etched onto his features is taking the cake. Hopefully.

For a dead man, D.L. moves quickly. Because he's already reaching out to grab Jessica by the throat, regardless of what dangers may lurk in the hearts of evil women. He's pretty much banking on the element of surprise and shock factor to give him the upper hand. Teeth are gritted, "My turn."

There are hands on her throat. Jessica doesn't see it coming; even though she's felt it, in some form, all day. Maybe for days. Maybe for… years, looking over her shoulder. Instantly, out of instinct — and hers is sharp, finely-tuned — her own hands reach up to grab the bigger hands that restrict her. She can't see him, but she can feel him. He feels awfully solid for a figment of a woman's cracked imagination. "You're dead," she rasps, tearing at the hands to free her throat, trying to whirl around in a mad flail of golden blonde hair and silvery fabric. The attire underneath the open robe is a testament to what the powerful woman does to keep an eye on the ground level, and maybe for other reasons, too: a criss-cross of slender black fabric here and there, hardly anything, lingerie. But back to our regularly scheduled violence. "You're not real."

"Look who's talkin'." D.L.'s grip is almost ready to tighten, but instead he phases his fingers to allow her to spin free from that tight grip and he keeps those eyes narrowed in the anger of a thousand dead men. Or just one. "I'm more real than you'll ever be, Jessica. That's what you can't stand." It almost comes as a realization to D.L. himself, though he doesn't sound like he's learning any self-righteous things at the moment. He doesn't advance on her. No reason to. He's F'ing with her mind enough as it is.

Now she can see him. Every muscle in her body seems tensed - visibly, in a lot of cases — ready to pounce, but Jessica just stands there, holding a hand to her throat, staring with white hot fury and disbelief. Combined, the result is on the manic side. If D.L. wanted to shock her, the mission is definitely successful. "I'm more real than your wife is. Was," she counters hatefully, tipping her chin up for a second in gesture at the … ghost? Might as well be. "You come back from the dead to bitch, or are you here to kill me, D.L.?" She's calling him out, a mirthless smirk twitching at her glossed lips for a split second, a challenge gleaming in her eye.

D.L. just smiles. "You never change. I, on the other hand, have grown past the days where I actually believe that there's some part of my wife left inside you. I know there's not. She died the same moment Micah did." Closing his eyes for a moment, D.L. has to show that one hint of emotion. Loss. His wife and child both gone and he lives. Perhaps to avenge them. "I'm not here to kill you. Not yet, anyway." He almost sounds like her. A bit. Maybe he's picked up on a few tricks of the verbal trade by now. He slides across the floor, feet-phased to bring him over to the desk, where he sits on the edge of it. Relaxed. "But I could fit it into my schedule if you're feeling /that/ bad about what you did to my family." His hand is sliding over the desk, trying to remember where (and if) she keeps a gun in there.

Jessica's eyes narrow suddenly when D.L. mentions Micah, almost a twitch. "We've been a lot of people since then," she says evenly. "How do y'know some part of Niki isn't still in here? Trapped and helpless?" Jessica affects a dulcet, sweet tone and the mockery of a kittenlike visage to go with it. "You gonna take that risk?" She scoffs, brows lifting. "About time you grew some balls." Watchful of the man's every movement, she eyes his hand. She knows what he's looking for. It's there. Its friend is in the deep pocket of her robe from her errand in the basement. She slides it out, points it. "Why are you here." How should be the question, not why. It's barely a question, more like a demand. Typical Jessica. She has changed, but it's hard to see. That is her desk D.L. is sitting on, after all, evidence of how far she's come. How high. Or how low. Matter of perspective.

D.L. doesn't even flinch. He's been shot, numerous times. Blown up. Left for dead. He's been through quite a bit and even more so to keep himself 'dead', this entire two year period. He's been doing things that, well, he may not be proud of. So a little gun pointed at him by the woman that stole the woman that he once loved… still loves… isn't exactly making him nervous. He just immediately phases, keeping himself that way in case bullets do start to fly. His hand sinks into the desk and comes out with the other gun. Only his hand seems to have solidfied so that he can point that gun at Jessica. "No pain, no gain, right?" And, it's almost too non-chalant, but he moves the gun slightly to aim at her shoulder and pulls the trigger.

Somebody's run out of patience since they've been dead.

For as quickly as it happens, the result almost seems to happen in slow motion. Blood spatters the window behind Jessica, flying from her shoulder as she reels from the gunshot, mouth wide. For an instant, she's a ragdoll. There's a harsh cry of anger, rather than pain, about the time she hits the floor. Hard. But she's already climbing to her feet - she's not even standing up all the way when she fires a shot at D.L., and she's barely finished pulling the trigger before she's stalking swiftly toward him and lashing out to hit him with her gunhand. She knows he's going to be ready. Bullets, and apparently explosions, don't always stop D.L. Hawkins.

Much to her chagrin.

D.L. is, in fact, ready. What in the hell is Jessica doing trying to shoot him. The bullet goes through him, as does the swinging of the gunhand. He doesn't look smug or anything, so much as he just is trying to make sure he stays phased. He drops the gun he had, not needing it any more and slides out of her general vicinity, in order to make his leg solid for a kick aimed at her side. If he can get her on the desk then maybe he can end this the way he wants to. And not the way that sounds… even though it /has/ been some years. No witty remarks, just a grunt of leg-thrusting action!

#$^&-ing phasing. "You need to learn to stay dead," Jessica informs D.L. as she anticipates that kick. They're both pretty sharp now, aren't they. It's not unlike kicking a brick wall, since she sees it coming - but even with her resistance, she stumbles a little when he hits her. The desk rattles, like it first did with her surprise when the walls started talking; she leans sideways against its edge, awkward. It's from there that she grabs one of the desk's metal legs and lifts it up to hurl it, flipping it toward D.L.. The force is on the Crazy Level enough that the heavy glass fissures right away. Maybe he'll phase right through it. But maybe it'll give her some space to back the hell up. The contents of the desk — computer, phone, the usual fall to the floor, along with a few framed pictures that fall and shatter; namely, one of Micah. Around it, the papers signed by President Petrelli flutter from their folder.

D.L.'s wincing at the pain that comes into his leg. He forgot that he wasn't fighting a girl… he was fighting a monster. He actually limps for a second, before seeing the desk come sailing at him. Whether it's just the leg or the whole desk, D.L. is not taking any more chances. He phases… dropping through the floor and out of sight. Things get smashed where he once was standing and things may or may not seem to be quiet for the next brief moment.

That is, of course, until a hand comes up through the floor, snatching at the Petrelli Papers that have (by D.L.'s timing) fluttered to the floor.


The second D.L. pulls his vanishing act and decides to take the Very Important Documents with him, Jessica is on her knees cursing the floor. A fist comes down where the man's hand used to be and pounds the marble floor. "You son of a WHORE." Yeah, she just called Paulette a whore, move on. Her hair is in her face; it sticks to her lips and to the flecks of blood along her jaw, from her shoulder. The gunshot turns the silver fabric at her shoulder a strange colour. She grabs her gun from where it's skittered onto the floor now that she's down here, stands and backs up; the distinct sound of her heels seems to echo, louder, now that she looks to be alone again. Jessica disbelieves, at first. She watches, waiting, making a gradual trek to the office's main door out.

Heels are not a good thing to wear when trying to hide from a ghost. D.L. is beneath the floor… or in the floor… who knows. He hears where those heels stop and a smile probably crosses his features by that point. Soon enough, though, if she's not quick enough, she'll feel the hands of D.L. wrapping around her ankles. He's not a killer so he works on phasing her too, just to pull her through the floor and down the floor beneath, where he is. Unfortunately, talking about his Mom is still one of the things that sets him off. Grrrr.

With a shout of rage, Jessica is hauled down through the freaking floor. She's not happy about it.

The room on the beneath them happens to be another office, not nearly so large or personalized as the one they fall from. It's dark, but there's a small desk lamp on at the desk in the corner where a man works, filing, that gives a little glow. He might not have noticed D.L. at first, but when two people come through his ceiling and one of them is shouting, papers fly and folders everywhere and he backs up into a corner.

The downside of being a mysterious figurehead everyone's afraid of: no one knows who the hell you are. That's the point, but it means no one's going to help her. Not that she needs it. Right?

D.L. keeps a firm grip on those ankles, not really wanting to give her the chance of doing much of anything. All he does is let his body drop, going solid as he hits the floor and swings around to try and slam Jessica's body into the desk that's been worked on for the past few hours. It's then that he lets go of her ankles, so that he can back up and put some space between himself and her, just in case he needs to protect himself or something. Even though he's mastered his ability, almost, he still needs to know things are happening at him so he -can- phase.

It's easy enough for D.L. He has the upper hand of being able to be non-solid and also land on his feet. Jessica, on the other hand, is slammed into that desk with no time nor opportunity to get free in the one second it takes to fall. This man's desk is made of wood; it cracks dully when she lands on it.

"Nnnh." The woman's head lolls beside an array of spilled pencils and pens, her black kohl-rimmed eyes threatening to flutter shut — but she's a tough bitch, Jessica, and she rolls off the desk slightly less-than-gracefully onto her feet. "What do you want from me, D.L.?" Angry, but steady. "Is this making you feel better? Coming back after two years and throwing me around? Does it make you feel important?" She walks toward him, without throwing a punch - but there's a sort of challenge in her glower and in her slow saunter. "Niki thought you were important." She laughs, callous. "All that time she mourned and whined. Made her stronger and she still broke. You didn't die at all," she accuses, "You just left."

Standing up tall and proud like any black man should feel, D.L. just stands there and listens. This is normally the part where D.L. breaks down from Jessica speaking the truth. But she doesn't speak the truth this time. He left and he's been Guardian Angel to the 'Cause ever since. He's been helping, assisting, doing things… and nobody's been the wiser. He's been behind the scenes working and keeping things as balanced as possible. It's now come time to make everything all better. "Micah sends his best, you crazy bitch." and with those words, he flips open a lighter and holds it right up to the Petrelli Papers. Burn, baby. Burn.

Enough talking. Jessica's eyes narrow. She's close now - in reach. She lashes out for D.L.'s hand - because he has to be holding that lighter on with something, right? She's been waiting for a moment like this. It's not even about the papers, although that clearly doesn't please her. They're doomed as soon as the flames lick their corners. She tries to shove them aside as she grabs, however transiently. 'Cause, well. Fire. "Get. Out."

"With pleasure." D.L. phases his arm out of Jessica's grip and lets the lighter fall to the floor with the burning pages that are making this whole scene look… stranger than fiction. He chuckles just a bit as he walks backwards, "I'll come back when you're having a better day." A with a wink, he disappears through the wall and makes his clean getaway. Oh, the fun is just beginning for Mr. Hawkins…

Jessica sets her jaw hard. If looks could kill, D.L. would have been dead long ago and half the wall would be in shambles.

At this juncture, the man in the office figures these two are self-obsessed enough for him to sneak away. He would be wrong, since D.L. chooses this time to disappear like a ghost. As he starts to edge along the wall toward his door, Jessica glances him, trying to place his name and job. No such luck. Doesn't matter. She ups with her gun and shoots him in the face twice — then she takes a heavy glass paperweight from his desk and throws it viciously at the wall where D.L. used to be. It sounds like a third bullet and turns into all but powder. Glistening faintly with a sheen of sweat, she glares, breathing heavily.

She was having a fine day until this revelation. Presently, she decides to turn on her particularly high heel and get out of here. The blonde steps carefully, precisely through the mess of burning paper and ash.

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