2007-12-30: Tabula Rasa

WARNING: contains Season 3 material


Elle_icon.gif Sylar_icon.gif

Summary: Gabriel visits Elle at her apartment to apologize for what he did to her.

Date It Happened: December 30th, 2007

Tabula Rasa

Elle Bishop's Apartment

As soon as Peter left, Gabriel began his preparations for leaving. All the clothes he and Peter had bought for him shoved into one bag, plus enough food and water on top of those to survive at least for a few days. He didn't know where he wass going to go, or what he was going to do. He doesn't know what made him bring the items Elle left behind with him, but he did.

After wandering the city for a day, laying low, he finally settled on a destination. He was probably signing his death warrant by doing so, but he had to see and talk to her. She may not even be home— hell, she may even be in a hospital, but.. who knows what drives him to do the things he does.

Standing outside Elle's apartment, having gotten her information out of the wallet she left behind, he raises his hand to knock, but pauses just before he does. He thinks to himself for a moment, and reaches a hand back behind his waist to grip the gun that's tucked into his belt buckle. The winter outfit he wears conceals it, for the most part, but he would rather be ready. Hand on the gun, nerves fraught with the fact he's most likely about to get shocked some more, he raises his hand and knocks.

"It's nothing, I'm fine," Elle is saying as Sylar approaches the door, her voice muffled and distant, "I'm just coming down with something and needed the day off." Even through the door, one can hear the rasp in her voice from a sore throat. She's not lying about that part, at least. The knock takes her by surprise, and she turns to look back over her shoulder, instantly suspicious. "Look, someone's here," she says into the phone, pushing up from her seat. "I'll call you later."

As she approaches the door, she slips the phone back onto the base with a quiet click. Years of living within the walls of the Company have made Elle unaccustomed to surprise guests, and she presses one hand against the door silently, leaning up to the peephole to look out at the caller.

Clamping one hand over her mouth before she can make a sound of surprise, she pushes away from the door quickly. This isn't fair. She left, she got away. Why is he here? Adrenaline running high at the knowledge that the man who wanted to kill her less than twenty four hours ago is standing outside her door, Elle flattens herself against the opposite wall, staring at the doorknob. She says nothing, makes no move to let him know that she's here - but if he was listening, he almost certainly knows.

"Come on, Elle," Gabriel calls through the door, knocking on it again, this time a little harder. He loosens his grip on the gun, just slightly, but he does make sure to keep his fingers on it, just in case. "I heard you talking to someone." Probably someone who doesn't need to know he's here. "I know you're in there." He pauses again, placing his hand flat against the door and leaning forward slightly.

"I'm not going to hurt you," he says, although his voice is softer when he does, so she may not hear it. "Not anymore," he adds, taking his hand off of the door and retreating a step down the hallway, before he calls out one final time. "Please open the door."

When his voice grows softer, Elle steps towards the door, reaching out to place her hand against the door. She doesn't charge the door, at least not yet, but leans her ear towards it to hear him speak. Her heart is beating fast and hard, her eyes closing for a second or two as she considers his words. Why didn't she stay on the phone?

Sucking in a shaky breath, Elle turns from the door, but does not unlock it yet. She leans against the door, tipping her head back. It takes her another second or two to work up to speaking, and when she does, all that comes out is, "What do you want?"

The ex-killer, or at least the man trying to be an ex-killer turns away from the door, fully intent on leaving her alone. However, when he hears her voice towards the door, he turns back to it, taking another step closer. "I came here to talk to you," he says, hand fully leaving the gun now, so that he can bring both hands up and place them on the door. He would much rather being doing this face to face, but if he has to talk to her through a door, so be it. "I came… to apologize."

Sylar? Apologize? Really? "All I want to do is talk," he calls out again, not elaborating any further. "No guns, no tying you to a chair, no water, no electricity." He pauses again, waiting for her to speak, but throws something else in at the last moment, in a sad.. rather pathetic attempt at humour, one that most likely only Elle would understand. "We could make pie."

This is a dream. It's either a dream or a sick joke, and Elle isn't certain she wants to find out which of those is the case, when she hears his response. He wants to apologize? Serial killers don't say sorry to people they tried to kill. It's unfair of him to appeal to the part of her that feels responsible, she thinks, as she makes a sad, rueful little sound at the thought of pie. God damn him.

But it works. The next sound he'll hear isn't her voice - it's the locks sliding out of place. Elle pulls the door open, wide enough for him to step inside, with a blue glow in her free hand as something of a warning against trying anything to incapacitate her. …unless he brought a bottle of water with him, in which case she's pretty much helpless.

Gabriel waits outside the door, a hand on either frame, his eyes downcast towards the floor. He doesn't have anything else to say after his comment about pie, and so he just waits. He won't wait forever, but he'll wait long enough.

… and long enough he does wait. At the sound of the lock sliding out of place, he looks up, immediately noticing the blue glow in Elle's hand as the door opens. He raises both of his own hands out to either side in a gesture of peace, and slowly slides his way into the apartment, making sure to stay as far away as possible from Elle's lit up hand. He already had a date with electricity this week, he doesn't want another one.

"Here," he says, slowly reaching into his belt buckle, placing his fingers around the gun. It's with very slow movements that he removes it, holding it up by the end of the barrel, and slowly setting it down on the nearest surface, or, if need be, the floor. His eyes travel down her arm to her hand, eyeing the electricity that's gathered there. "That's not necessary," he says, nodding to it, but he'll understand if she continues.

Despite his words, Elle seems disinclined to lower her guard, the blue light briefly flaring when the gun appears. It dies down when she realizes that he is giving her the weapon, not pointing it at her, but lingers still as an idle threat. "A lot of things aren't necessary, but we still do them, just to be safe." But nothing about this situation is safe, she thinks. She moves after him and retrieves the gun, tucking it into the band of her jeans. At least she isn't threatening him with a second weapon.

Her eyes never leave him once he's inside her apartment. Elle isn't sure whether to invite him to sit or not; she isn't even really sure why he's here. "That's my coat," she says, as if he wasn't aware already, as if he hadn't brought it back to her intentionally. She watches him for a short moment, her eyes searching his face for any hint of malice or cruel intent. "Why are you here?"

At the mention of the coat, Gabriel looks down at it, before looking back up at her. "Yes," he replies simply, extending an arm out towards her, the coat hanging off of his hand. "I'm here because…" he says, very hesitant as he does. "Because of what I did to you. What I've done to you in the past. For.. everything— I—" He pauses, his mouth hanging open, and he looks frustrated at his own ability to speak.

"I don't know," he finally says, turning away from her. His eyes go a bit wide, and he quickly turns back around so that his back isn't too her. He hasn't had any Haitian pills for a day now, but despite that, he still can't use his abilities, and that means Elle could do a number on him. He's not going to keep his back turned to her just yet. "I'm sorry for what I did to you. That's why I'm here. I came to apologize. This.. ability, me being a monster— maybe you're right, maybe that's not your fault. You were just doing what you were told. I… can't even do that. Even what I tell myself. I told myself I wouldn't do that anymore, and look what I did to you." It was a lot easier when he was just killing people for their powers.

This is definitely a dream. As she reaches out to take the coat from his hand, Elle thinks this can't possibly be happening, for Sylar to be standing in her apartment apologizing. Apologizing for what he did to her. She's quick to take the coat, trying not to leave him time to grab her wrist, and set it on the dining table.

The more he speaks, the more anxious Elle grows, for reasons all her own. It's evident in the way the light in her hand pulsates, growing brighter for a few seconds and then dimming the next. 'Unstable' would be one way to put it. Finally, she lets out a sound of frustration, closing her eyes for a split second as she interrupts him. "Stop." Perhaps a bit more forcefully than she intended. "Just stop it. Stop saying you're sorry."

His words are upsetting her, that much is obvious, but if Elle had any murderous intent for him, surely she would have acted on it by now. She can hardly even look at him as he speaks, testament to her own sense of guilt as he stands there apologizing for being a monster.

A dream indeed. Never in his lifetime would Gabriel think he would be in a position like this. He thought he killed this woman once, but it turned out to be a fake. Now to be standing in the real Elle's apartment apologizing to her for everything… it's very different from where he was two months ago.

At her words to stop, Gabriel shuts his mouth quickly, most likely because of the force behind her words. The pulsing in her hand is noticed, as well, and for a few seconds, the man is fairly certain that he's about to get a few good shocks from her. He tenses up, noticably, but he doesn't move. If anything, he's about three seconds from turning and going through the door, but not because of the electricity.

"You don't have to forgive me," he says suddenly, eyes moving up to hers. "I'm not asking you for that. I just needed you to know." He falls silent after that, waiting for a sign from Elle before he does anything else, still visibly tense at the electricity pulsing in her hand.

This isn't how this was meant to go. Elle should have thrown open the door, blasted him to hell, and left him there to burn from the inside out as she ran to call the Company. He could be in their custody right now, or dead, or both. Instead, he's standing here in her apartment, looking at her like she deserves his apology, and…

…and she starts to wonder if this is what it feels like to hyperventilate. Her will is being pulled in all too many directions. Tears are welling in her eyes, and she tries desperately to hold them back; he shouldn't have to (get to?) see her cry. The glow in her hand is pulsating again, her fingers curling slightly. Finally, she breaks.

Everything falls apart at once. Her hold over her tears is gone, and as the first few fall down her cheeks, she loses her last vestige of control over her ability. Gabriel is the first to be hit, an arc of considerable power traveling from her palm straight towards him. It isn't even enough to cause him to lose consciousness, but it's going to hurt.

Elle stumbles backward, falling back against the wall. She slides down to the ground, pulling her knees up, hiding her face as she wraps her arms around her legs. A crack accompanies each small charge that travels up her arms; each time, there's a muffled sound. No, this is not at all how this should have gone.

Standing there, Gabriel keeps his eyes on Elle the entire time, watching her every move and expression, looking for… something. He isn't sure what it is he's looking for, but he's still searching. The tears do not go unnoticed, and when they appear, a crease forms along Gabriel's brow, his eyes narrowing slightly with the the slightest hint of a frown.

He ignores the pulsing glow in her hand, attention completely focused on Elle herself, and he doesn't even see the arc of electricity coming. It slams on the right side of his chest, luckily a place that /hasn't/ been burned yet, but it will soon match the left side. He stumbles backwards, very nearly tripping over Elle's coffee table; still, he has to catch himself on the couch to avoid completely falling over.

One hand on the arm of the couch, the other hand on his knee as he leans forward, breathing heavily, Gabriel lifts his head up to glance over at Elle. What he see surprises him, his eyes widening as confusion writes itself all over his features— but with each crack of electricity, and the muffled sounds coming with Elle, concern slowly starts to take over. He takes a small step forward, afraid to move closer for the moment, lest he get shocked again. "… Elle?"

When he says her name, the first thought in Elle's mind is that she didn't kill him. She isn't sure whether to feel relieved or annoyed, knowing that her life would be made much more simple if he would just die. But some part of her knows that she doesn't really want to kill him; if she did, he'd be dead by now. Several times over. No, she just doesn't want to be reminded of her past any more.

"Don't," Elle says, though her meaning is unclear. That one word could mean several things: don't speak, don't come near me, don't hurt me. A moment later, after another charge winds up her arms, she adds, "I can't control it." This is what it was like when she was a child, at times, and the reminder is unwelcome; all it does is remind her that she needed them, the same people who ordered her to destroy Gabriel's life, to help her gain control.

After a long moment of silence, Elle turns her head just enough to be able to look up at him through her bangs. "Don't look for forgiveness from me," she says, though her voice is free of bitterness for the first time in months. "You don't need it. Not after what I did to you."

Ignoring her command of don't, Gabriel continues forward, taking a few more steps and closing the distance between them that much further. He knows all about being unable to control part of your abilities. Of course, what's happening with Elle is vastly different than what was happening with his, but it doesn't stop him from feeling sorry for her.

"I'm not asking for your forgiveness," he says, still moving closer to Elle. Once he's within a few feet of her, he stops. "You were just doing what you thought you had to do, just like I was. I wanted to stop… but I couldn't. It took finding out about Peter to make me stop. But even now, if he's really not my brother.. I still want to stop. Because of what I did to you yesterday. That is the monster inside of me. A monster the Company created, not you. I want to get rid of that monster."

His proximity would ordinarily set her on edge, make her suspicious of his motives or fear for her personal safety, but today, when the killer steps towards her, Elle doesn't so much as flinch. Maybe she honestly believes his words when he says that he wants to change - or maybe she's resigned to her fate. Slowly, she is coming down from her anxiety at his presence in her home, whether or not it's wise to let her guard down even this much.

"It wasn't all a lie." Elle lifts her head further, able to look him in the eye without the obstruction of her hair, her eyes red. "When I first met you, when I told you that you deserved a second chance, I meant that." Even if they were listening the entire time, threatening to take away what little life she had to force her to comply with their orders. "You don't have to be a monster. You don't have to be anything just because someone else wants you to be." Her tone edges on bitterness again, but it's faint and not directed at him.

At Elle's words, Gabriel moves to the side, putting a bit more space between them. He should probably just go, get out of here so he can leave her alone, so she can gain control over herself and her ability. After all, being in your own apartment with a known serial killer who has actively tried to kill you has to be nervewracking. However, he's intending on staying. With what she's saying now.. he can't leave. Not yet.

Leaning against the wall to her side, looking down at her, he speaks slowly. "What about you?" he says, recognizing the bitterness in her tone. "You say that I don't have to be a monster, that I don't have to be anything just because someone else wants me to be," he continues, eyes on her. "You don't either, Elle. The Company doesn't.. your father doesn't have to be all that you have." He isn't saying he can be something to have besides all of that, but he knows the Company. It most certainly does not have to be them.

"It's different for you," Elle says, stretching her legs away from her just enough so that she can rest her elbows on her knees, leaning her head back against the wall behind her. "You had a life before. You lived in the real world." Flicking a sidelong glance up to him, she explains, "I spent sixteen years in a cage. I don't know how to live in the real world."

Running her hands through her hair, Elle draws in a deep breath, regaining much of the composure she had lost before. She's accepted the surreality of this situation, decided to run with it; two hours ago, she never would have imagined having this conversation with Gabriel Gray, prolific killer. "I can't leave," she says quietly, her tone resigned. "I know what he is, but he's my father. He's all I have. I don't know how to have anything else."

That elicits a small, bitter chuckle from Gabriel, despite the situation they've both found themselves in. "The real world," he says, closing his eyes and shaking his head. "My real world was dealing with my overbearing mother who wanted me to be special, who drove me to be.. something so much more than I thought I could be. My father was a watchmaker… and I, his son, became a watchmaker too. I restored time pieces for a living. It was all I did. It wasn't until I met Chandra Suresh, discovered that I had this ability.. and then I met you, and it all changed. But it didn't change into what it should have. Not what I wanted it to change into."

No, it all quite went wrong. He became a serial killer, destroying lives and taking abilities for himself. Quite the opposite of what he could have been, what he wanted to be. "But that's just it, Elle," he says, sliding down the wall so that he's sitting on his knees within arm's reach of her. "You can. If I can? I know you can. Even if you don't know how to, you can try. There's people that will help you try."

"There are people who tried to help me," is Elle's quick correction, punctuated by a faint sigh. "My father made sure they'd never try again." Her one chance at a real life, and he took it all away, made sure that everything she had was so far gone once she returned that she could never return to it. "Sometimes I think he sent me away just so that he could ruin it."

"No," and here Elle stumbles awkwardly, like she's not quite sure how to proceed. Haltingly, she continues, "G… Gabriel, you have people who will help you try. You have Peter. Even if he's not your brother, he'll help you, as long as you let him. I'm on my own."

"Then maybe you shouldn't work for your father anymore," Gabriel responds to Elle, his eyes narrowing at the thought of Bob Bishop. And to think he spared that man's life, when he's done all the horrible things he's done to people, and the worst of all, thet hings he's done to Elle. His own daughter. Gabriel pushes those thoughts away, focusing his attention back on Elle.

When Elle calls him by his real name, Gabriel pauses for a moment to allow that fact to sink in, before he speaks again. "There's someone that can help you," he says softly, eyes leaving Elle's and moving to the floor. "You don't have to be on your own." He looks back up at her, almost sure he's going to wake up at any moment now and be at the warehouse still, because surely this is all a very surreal dream. "When I met you.. just before you came in, you know what I was trying to do. I was trying to kill myself. Because I thought that was the only way out, the only way to be forgiven for what I had done. The blood that was on my hands. But when I met you, what I thought we had, what I thought we could have had before it all went wrong, I thought that maybe I could still be forgiven, that maybe.. I could stop. Be someone normal. I wanted to do that for you, Elle."

Could she even do that? Leave the Company, essentially leave her father, and find a new life? Elle isn't even certain she would know what to say to him. She certainly couldn't tell him the truth - that she'd been urged to start anew by the one man they want brought in at all costs. "God, he'd kill me," she mutters beneath her breath, as if she'd spoken the rest of her thoughts aloud.

Turning to look at him as he speaks, Elle listens attentively to his admission, seeming genuinely surprised by his words. They even garner a small smile once he's finished - a strangely bashful one, as she looks down at the floor. "It sounds trite to say I'm sorry," she says, shaking her head, "but I am."

Elle pushes up from the floor, brushing her hands down on her jeans as she stands. Still in pain from the encounter at the warehouse, she rolls her shoulders to loosen them some before looking back down to Gabriel with a second twitch of a smile. "Do you drink tea?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License