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RP: Lost Sons

Summary: Simmons wasn't lying when he said the Government had aprehended Samson Gray. Sylar gets a bare minimum of information out of him before the man goes for his gun and is microwaved into a puddle by Luke. Sensing a common spirit in the boy, Sylar baits Luke into following him with the bonus of stealing Mom's woodpanel station wagon. So begins the roadtrip toward Washington, D.C., and the answers both so desperately seek.

They had been traveling south on the I-95 for about a hour, mostly in silence in the dark of early evening. They had passed exits for East Brunswick a few minutes ago and the station wagon was still quiet, nothing but the sound of vehicles passing in the opposite direction on the other side of the divide. Sylar hadn't bothered to take his eyes off the road in some time now, except to check the mirrors, leaving his young companion in ambiguous solitude even though they were sitting side by side.

Truth be told he was intensely curious about the boy, but he was also exceedingly patient. He'd learned better about rash judgements and actions recently, charging ahead too quickly on assumptions of people's character. It was easier, now that no one could possibly deceive him, verbally anyway, but he was circumspect nonetheless. Not to mention he was savoring this. Like his trip with a certain foreign geneticist, he was letting Luke Campbell reveal himself naturally. He'd make a more honest observation of him like that. (Nevermind the small powertrip of making him wait with baited breath. And Gabriel could use such an ego boost after being used the way he was.)

Silence was something he was used to so he wasn't exactly eager to break it himself. It was going to be a long drive, sure but hey if this guy, this Gabriel wanted to know something about him he could just ask. He didn't need to know that Luke was bursting with questions about where he came from, how long he's known, what all he can do since--for one thing that coffee didn't leave a mark on him. Shifting under his seat belt he looks at the dashboard clock. Hm. Wonder how long before sirens show up in the rearview mirror. His mom must have called the cops...doesn't she get it that he doesn't need her? Especially not now. She couldn't answer the types of questions he has about what's happening to him and why. He leans forward and turns on the radio, an idle gesture if anything. People aren't supposed to be so comfortable in a silent car right? There should be something droning on in the background. He leans his head against the seatbelt, staring out of the window as he replays the scene at his former home in his mind again and again. That military guy didn't stand a change against what he can do. It felt good even when he watched his flesh had turned into--a boiled mass of soupy remains-- seep out from his fallen body. He did something, he acted, he wasn't a victim like the so-called bullies at school tried to make him. So what if he started the fight that landed him in that joke of a 'detention facility'?

NPR. Probably the mother's choice, but Gabriel approved. News without the sensationalism. They'd hear about politics, art, and certain catastrophes, but probably not Luke's 'abduction', and everything with a subdued dignity about it. Even some music, which was generally relaxing in nature. Which was good. He was about ready to flatten his foot to the floor to get to the address Simmons had divulged before he died. After a bit though, the older man's brandy eyes drifted to the mirror and this time caught they boy's reflection in it. "Which do you think she'll miss first?"

"The car. She'll file the report for that and then for me if she remembers. She hates public transportation." He knows that and it was probably a factor in why he did it. "It's why we even ended up with this piece of shit." His eyes flit over to catch Gabriel's looking over at him. "She's going to be pissed that you got all that blood on her clean, new carpet, she just had that put in like a month ago. I wandered through the living room with a soda in my hand once and you would have thought that I'd tried to burn the house down with how she yelled at me to stay out of the living room with that."

"Ah, I only made a little mess, now you... She'll have to go all the way down to the floorboards to get that out," he chuckled softly, liking Luke's answer. He didn't even have to plant the seeds of discord and resentment in this boy's mind. Get him out of earshot of Mom and it all just came pouring out. A sympathetic ear probably helped, and wasn't that just rare? That Sylar would ever be a sympathetic ear. He wondered how well the kid would hold up. Granted, Gabriel hadn't fixed up that noose until it all got out of hand and it wasn't just strangers dieing any more... But Luke was so much younger. Vestiges of an artificial conscience might still be eating at him.

Turns to him again, the softest chuckle coming out of his lips as well. Yeah...she will. He turns to look over at the man in the driver's seat a little more . "Who was that guy anyway? You made it sound like he was after you first." He'd like an idea of who he so instinctually erased from the world. It's not guilt he's feeling right now, it's curiosity. Gabriel seems like he's really a part of 'something big' and that's exciting for Luke. That pacemaker line for one, was not a joke or a lie. Something he learned when his mother forced him to visit his asshole grandfather in a nursing home. It was the day he first thought maybe something was 'off' about him. But his attitude has since changed, he really likes whatever this thing is he can do.

"To be perfectly honest with you? I don't completely know. He was the last one left of the men who tried to abduct me from the house down the street from yours, Samson Gray's," he didn't figure they were Primatech men. Not the Company's style. Perhaps the soldiers of Pinehearst, but Aurthur was dead and on his way through Jersey Sylar had seen the building had burnt to the ground. "I think they're military, and they're after people like us, people who can do things, special." And they had Samson Gray. That was all Gabriel really needed to know. He was confident he could handle anything thrown at him. As valiant as Luke's 'rescue' was, Sylar had stopped bullets headed his way before, and he'd be going in knowing the guards would be both specially trained and armed. They still wouldn't be ready for something like him.

"Ah yeah, old man Gray...The cautionary tale down the street. My mom would always use him as some sort of bad example for me. I talked to the guy once or twice. Kinda weird, but he's harmless. Do you know him or something?" He hadn't ever seen anyone hanging around Gray's place so it was weird that this guy came out of nowhere and cared so much about him. And military...that was not what he expected would happen when he found out what he could do. "Are there alot of people like us? I guess there has to be if there's military involvement."


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Feb. 12th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
"More than you would think. So many more," he answered that question in favor of the ones about Gray, senior. He hadn't even really introduced himself properly to the kid, but that didn't matter. He didn't need to know Gabriel's whole background up front. "And every one with a different ability.

"People who can hear your thoughts, or paint the future. People who can survive a nuclear blast or fly under their own power. People who can move things with their mind," he smiled a bit wider at that, obviously talking about not just Bryan Davis, but himself on that one. "Or light you up like you'd grabbed the frayed end of a downed powerline. Anything you can imagine, someone out there can do it, or will, when they're born."
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
The smile...he enjoys this--being different. It's nothing to be scared of or ashamed by.
"So...how many of them can do more than one? I saw you do at least two back there. You threw me and my mom around without even touching either of us--and you don't have a mark on you when you should be really--"
His brow lifted some, head tilting.
"--Really scalded. Look I don't like sitting here interrogating you Gabriel, but this is...it's unbelievable."
A slight crooked smile pulled his lips. It was, and he was part of it.
Feb. 13th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
"If you hit on a topic I don't want to talk about, I won't say anything," Gabriel explained easily. "But there aren't many who can use more than one ability. I've only met two others, and one of them is dead." He didn't sound sorry about that at all. Arthur Petrelli was a bastard in need of putting down. The revenge had been sweet, too.
Feb. 13th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
Luke nodded, fair enough. There was a renewed silence between them for a good six or seven minutes before he shifted and glanced over again.
"I uh--I want to thank you, again for letting me come with you. I don't just mean because my mother would have me committed if I had stayed I just mean...getting me out of Newark. Letting me do this with you. I was sure you'd just keep walking--and you didn't."
Though he still wasn't really sure about a lot of what was happening. There was a feeling that the man in the seat next to him wasn't entirely in control of the situation either. But he was pretty good at not showing it. Luke never had anyone to look up to before in his short sixteen and a half years on this planet. Mom wasn't an option he learned early on, when he was old enough to tell the difference. She always seemed more burdened by his presence in her house than anything else. Dad, well he didn't know him. The bastard left when Luke was young, and any slight memory he could have had was vague and he was pretty sure filled in by the cliches of deadbeat dads from tv shows and movies. No silbings to look to, it was hard to go through life trying to figure things out on your own. And then you accidentally burn a quarter inch thick spot in your computer desk at school with just your own hand-- that didn't help. At least this guy listens, and from what Luke can tell, he doesn't seem annoyed by him.
Feb. 13th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
"I was sorely tempted," he said honestly, and maybe with a hint that this free pass wasn't guaranteed indefinite, but he wasn't kicking him to the curb yet. "Last few people I traveled with it didn't work out so well."

He didn't elaborate on any of that though. The kid was probably getting more images of situations like Simmons' in his head and that wasn't inaccurate. He watched the boy's expression in the mirror to see if he was second guessing himself, yet.
Feb. 14th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
He turned in his seat a little more, the seat belt strained against his chest.
"Well, that may be but...I bet they couldn't do anything like you or I can, right?"
His lips curved in the subtlest of smirks as he sat there.
"You know that I can help you with what you're trying to do. Or you would have just kept walking."
Luke's face darkened a little, both eyes shifted to the floor of the station wagon.
"That or... you would have just killed me and left."
Feb. 14th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
"Hmf," Gabriel scoffed with a smirk. No, Mohinder couldn't do what they could do when he'd been on the roadtrip with Gabriel, and though Bennet couldn't he was more than a match. Elle on the otherhand had been well versed in her ability. It didn't matter. Let the boy think he was unique.

What amused Sylar was that Luke thought his ability had saved him. He didn't know a thing about how Gabriel had acquired all his aptitude, probably thought it came naturally. It was what was up inside the kid's head that made Gabriel think twice about splitting his skull, but not the ability. It was the thoughts, the feelings such as they were.

Killing Luke Campbell would have been like hanging himself all over again, and Gabriel had lost the inclination for that. The kid wasn't expecting Sylar to be anything but what he was, wouldn't ask him to change or pass judgement. He was looking up to the murderer as similar but free. The only expectations were the same as Gabriel had for himself. Answer to no one in the quest for that self.

"But you're the one who killed my victim. I imagine that's the first human life you've taken." Not really a question. The kid had looked shocked when the man went down, not really the reaction of a repeat offender.
Feb. 14th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
At this, Luke glanced up again.
"...Yeah it was. I guess I didn't--didn't even think of it like that. I just knew I had to act, and I did."
He shrugged nonchalently.
"I guess I didn't really think about it in those final terms until I saw what was left of him--how fast he went down. It felt pretty 'final' then, but not before. I didn't really care that what I was going to do would kill him. The 'shock' was that I was able to turn him into...that. I never thought before what my--"
Power? Should he call it a power, is that too comic book?
"--power could do to a person."
That was a lie, a big one. Pretty much ever since he found out what he could do, he'd pictured letting himself go off in front of disliked teachers, asshole peers...not his mother though. He had drawn some sort of a moral line in himself until this man came along and gave his resentment a chance to be let out into the open. Only now could he picture doing that.Now he wondered if he could boil flesh from a distance like he could a mug of coffee or a pot of water.
Feb. 14th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
"You can't. ...lie to me," Gabriel rolled his eyes to the side, looking straight at Luke for a long moment before bothering again with the road. "The bonus is, you don't get to lie to yourself any more, either, because I will call you on it, every time. So, you might as well not bother.

"Did your palm warm before you balled it up and slugged that punk kid that pissed you off? Did you imagine grabbing his forehead instead and just watching his brains scramble, leaking out his nose and eyes?" Sylar certainly liked the image. "That's the real power behind these abilities, Luke. The imagination, and the courage to really use them."
Feb. 14th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC)
That look was...whoa. What, can he read minds now too? He shook off the fear that washed over him when the man's eyes bore down into his core so easily. It was important for Luke to try and prove that he wasn't just some kid looking for excitement and freedom. What teenager wasn't?
"...Well it's not like he and I were alone, there was a crowd of people."
Bitterly said as he turned back to looking out of the window. The red mark on his face well-hid by the dark of the moving vehicle.
"I should have though. Because instead--I ended up looking weak no matter how many times I got a hit in, he still got in the last punch."
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
"No, it was smart to hold back then. Like you say, too many people and you had no idea what you were dealing with. But what does that kid matter now? Or any of it? You're leaving that whole life behind. It's not just a licking a bruised ego, you could have killed that kid. You had his life in your hands and spared it. That's power, too. He's beneath you.

"The hard part is to stop letting other people's opinions and expectations shape you. It's easy to say, but really letting go and determining your own worth, working without that net..." It was something Sylar himself was just now really doing. Chosing the people he considered his peers, and there really were so few of them. His quest for his father was part of that. To know if he was out from under that shadow or not, and if not, to get out.
Feb. 15th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
"But you can't sit there and expect me to believe that you prefer showing that kind of 'power' over the alternative. That guy--Simmons? You weren't about to let him go before I acted."
Doesn't say 'before I killed him'
"I mean...I looked at you when you were with him, and there's this look in your eyes... that was power...That was unlike anything I'd ever seen...I want to know what that feels like, Gabriel. Not the regret and embarassment I feel now even though I'll probably never see that asshole again."
When he turned in his seat, the look in his eyes could be described as 'imploring'. And it was, he wanted this man to show him things he hadn't seen...to make him feel like the person he was meant to be and not some scared kid who felt so alone in this world.
Feb. 15th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
"There have been a few choice occassions where I have prefered that to putting someone down," he gave Luke himself a significant look.

"I doubt I'd bother with any of the schoolyard bullies who harrassed me in my youth today in my prime. Their lives are menial, insignificant, compaired to mine. They couldn't hope to reach the heights I have, and he'll never live a life like you will, if you're up to it," Sylar reasoned, then conceeded, "It's a raw wound though, I know."

But the kid probably wouldn't even be thinking about it in just a few hours time. He'd be diving head first into Sylar's world, and if he was alive by the time he got out, his whole perspective would change.
Feb. 15th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
Okay yeah Luke himself benefitted from that moment's personal preference on Gabriel's behalf. It was hard to think about it like that since... well there wasn't even a threat of it after Simmons was put down in the boy's eyes. He just...gathered himself and left, Luke's mother moved from shouting to a stunned shock. Maybe Gabriel was used to stepping into and out of lives at his whim but Luke was not satisfied with that, he wanted to see more. And that's why he flung himself through that screen door and down the cement steps.
He shifted in his seat then glanced back over at the man in the driver's seat.
"What kind of life would that be, a life like yours? I don't have the first clue what that would mean. But this 'being on the run' thing doesn't seem new to you for one."
His voice got a little softer, his own fears of future years of gripping solitude quieting him.
"Isn't there anyone who cares about what you're doing--where you're going?"
Feb. 15th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
"The FBI," Gabriel smirked. "Who ever Simmons worked for, and you, apparently. What were you expecting when you ran out after me with your mother's keys? I'm looking for my own parents right now, for the father that pawned me off on his brother, and maybe the mother that let him, if she's still alive. But I'm not expecting a tearful, embracing reunion at the end, and you're probably not going to meet the girl of your dreams riding with me." Sylar wasn't a very likely wingman.
Feb. 15th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC)
Luke sighed some...that wasn't exactly what he was getting at but whatever. The 'dream girl' comment chafed at him though.
"So let me guess. I'm a sixteen-year old male so the only thing I could possibly care about would be getting laid at the end of every situation? I don't care about that...I don't care about meeting any girl. That's not what I want out of this."
At this point, Luke wasn't sure how he felt about things like dating. It was supposed to be what a normal teenager did, what a boy wanted was to get laid no matter what. It just never...appealed much to him. At least none of the girls he'd ever met did anything for, and sometimes he wondered if it was because he had a complete lack of interest. At least for that gender. Yet another question to pose about himself, like he really needed any more.
Feb. 15th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
"No," Gabriel certainly hadn't been. "I'm just saying that following a serial killer across country, you're probably not going to make a lot of intimate friends, people who would miss you. I disappear and pop back up when and where I'm least expected," usually, "It keeps me alive and unincarcerated, and means no papertrail, no one who knows me well enough to track me.

"Yes, I've been doing this for a while. I'm used to it, pretty comfortable with keeping my own company. I lived alone for long time, even before all this. You've probably been a loner, too, hm? Forced into associating with jerks and idiots by the public school system, maybe a 'close friend' or two, a small band of outcasts, but they don't really know you, do they? How could they? And I don't think they came to mind as a good reason to stay at home tonight, huh?"
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
Shit. Luke had no disillusions that this guy hadn't killed before, but to call himself a 'serial killer'? Bold claim. A light smirk curled his lip slightly.
"No...they didn't. And you're serious? A 'serial killer'? I've never heard of a serial killer named Gabriel."
Luke couldn't help a soft chuckle before he glanced back again. Okay he was being kind of an asshole to this guy who let him come along without even knowing him. But Luke was trying to hide the thrill that pounded inside of his heart at hearing someone say those words so non-chalently. Of being... proud of it.
"So...how many people?"

Feb. 15th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
"Oh, God..." His eyes rolled up a bit, but not out of incredulty, out of honest thought. He was trying to count, and it wasn't easy. He didn't have an eidetic memory any more. "I've lost count, and there isn't a serial killer known as 'Gabriel'. Investigators call me 'Sylar'. I don't know if that's leaked to the media or not."

Because unlike narcissistic amatures that kept scrapbooks or self-dedicated shrines, Gabriel didn't have a collection of news articles about himself, didn't care what reporters had to say. Even when he still had his apartment, the only clippings refered to victims who had yet to be located. Once a target had been acquired, it all went in the trash to make room for the next.
Feb. 15th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
"Hm. No I haven't heard that name before..."
Unbeknownst to Luke however, he had heard of Sylar's crimes. Random 'weird news' articles online about bodies with the skull caps sawed off, no fingerprints, brains removed. He thought it was fascinating, but lately it stopped happening...so he lost interest.
"Can I ask why? Were they all cops and yeah, Feds? What's the reason for it?"
Feb. 15th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
"No... They were definitely not all cops. Very few cops. Real cops, anyway. It became a federal investigation because I crossed enough state lines, and 'why'...?" Did the kid just seriously ask him 'why'? "It's who I am."

Gabriel wasn't ready to get much more explicit than that. Luke was still a stranger, compared to Mohinder and Chandra, to Bennet and Peter. He might feel the hunger, he might not, definitely not exactly the way Gabriel did. Similiar perhaps, in that need to know more, understand more, about himself, but it was different still. And no need to make the boy nervous, yet.
Feb. 15th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
Now it was Luke who rolled his eyes some. Everyone had a reason for doing it...even if they didn't know it. But he somehow doubted that was the case with Ga--Sylar? Should he call him Sylar now?
"See, you can know when I'm lying...well I can tell when I'm not getting the whole truth. Years of experience with that, no power necessary. I meant, why as in what's the point of it? You seem like a focused enough guy from how you were working over Simmons to get that information. You're not telling me something, I can feel it. Why do you kill...what's your reason?"
Blunt, sure. Too obvious and loaded of a question? Absolutely. But Luke wanted answers now that this had been revealed. He had to be getting something out of it...or why would he have possibly left he and his mother still breathing? Maybe that's what he really wanted to know...why was he considered 'worthy' of recieving that mercy? It couldn't just be what he could do, Sylar could take care of himself just fine, and he'd proven that.
Feb. 15th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC)
Gabriel pulled in a breath and let it out in a bit of a huff, annoyed at being asked to explain himself, to validate what he did. He'd figured it would come to this, but articulating it had never been his strong suit. The act itself spoke more eloquently of his intentions and motivations in his opinion. Trying to frame it in words was like trying to translate a monologue into a mime or vis-a-versa and not lose any of the subtleties and nuances.

"It depends on the death. Some people are just in my way. Others have something I want. This great nation we live in tells its populace a very nasty lie: that human beings have a 'right to life.' A right to life. No other animal on the planet is that deluded and arrogant. In the pursuit of my evolutionary imperatives I've done away with that 'higher-intellect'ual bullshit," he turned off the highway onto an exit with signs for gas and food. Speaking of biological imperatives.
Feb. 16th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Luke had never before heard someone speak in regard to human life as if it was no more comparable than that of an animal in the wild. To think that the exact same rules applied--was a terrifying concept but somehow freeing at the same time. Agent Simmons did not have a right to life...he had the privelege to life. That privilege had been revoked. As could be anyone's...absolutely anyone. Something he truly began to consider when the station wagon curved off of the highway. The boy couldn't help but shift in his seat as their speed decreased gradually.
"We're...stopping. There's a half a tank of gas still, we don't need to stop."
Feb. 16th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
"I need to stop," Gabriel asserted. He hadn't exactly taken the time out for a pit stop while torturing Simmons, and no matter what abilities he had, his body still metabolized liquids the same way. Even boogeymen had to piss. "And I'm hungry."

Lucky Luke didn't know the double edged meaning that word could sometimes take, or he'd have been even more nervous than before. But Gabriel wasn't using its more sinister connotation, not right now. He just wanted some huevos rancheros or waffles for dinner.
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