Title: Your Daddy, The Hero
Word Count: 1,561
Summary: "You're going to hear something about me pretty soon. Something that'll make both of you proud of me." He glanced back at her to see her hand covering her mouth and tears in her eyes, looking so sad and broken. He closed his eyes, begging for the strength to get into the car and drive away. "I just want you to know, that I'm doing it for you and him, just for you and him."
Author's Note: Oh my, I am finally back. My computer crapped out a couple weeks ago and I have been without any access to my word documents for most of the Winter Break. But my laptop is all fixed now and I should be updating most of my stories in a few days. Anyway, I was watching Armageddon last night and I loved this one scene about halfway through the movie. So I made the Gabriel and Elle version of it to get me back into the groove of writing. Please don't hate me for being so angsty.
The neighborhood was completely average, totally insignificant, one of ten million and his heart ached for the ability to call it home. He savored driving slowly through the aisles of houses, sticking out like a sore thumb in his beat-up Chevy. His hands tensed and gripped at the steering wheel as the house came into view. A little white building with a picket fence and everything, the perfect little home for the perfect little family.
His ancient truck sputtered and groaned as he pulled up to the driveway, making a racket that could be heard all the way down the block. He winced, wishing he could have made a more gallant entrance. But time was short and he knew he only had a little bit of it to spare before he got back, time he would only spare for her, for Elle.
He got out of the car and pulled off the old baseball cap that had been on his head, nervously running his hands through his short cropped hair. He ran his palm down across his face and winced at the week-old stubble he found there but sighed, there was nothing he could really do about it now. He was only half-way up the driveway when she opened the front door.
He froze in his tracks, hat in hand and heart on his sleeve. She looked just the same, their four years apart not leaving a single trace on her porcelain skin. He suddenly felt so inadequate standing before her with nothing to offer her beside the same declarations of love she had so adamantly refused time and time again. He knew how he looked, so haggard, so tired. The years had not been as merciful to him as they had to Elle. His once youthful face was now marred with years of heartbreak, worry, and war. He was no longer the man he had been half a decade ago and his transformation showed clearly in his face. He was a changed man, be it better or worse, he wasn't Sylar anymore.
She wrapped her arms around her body at the sight of him, if she was surprised at his sudden appearance she didn't show it in her expression and kept a look of studied coolness and dispassion. They stood like that, just staring at each other and taking in the changes, for what seemed like an eternity. Elle was the one who spoke first.
"Sylar." He flinched at the old moniker but said nothing, she had every right to call him that. Her voice held the same venom and distaste that he had heard the last time they met, it caused the fractures of his heart to deepen. The dopey expression of pure love that he so foolishly displayed slid away and he lowered his eyes to hide the hurt. She must have noticed because her next words were much softer even though the strength behind them remained. "What are you doing here?"
"I--uh," he cleared his throat, his nerves making it difficult to speak, "I had to see you, wanted to tell you some-"
"Mommy, who's that man?" A little boy with blonde hair and brown eyes popped out from behind his mother's legs. Gabriel's breath caught in his throat and he felt hot tears prick at the corner of his eyes. He wanted to look away, felt he should, but he couldn't tear his gaze away from the most perfect little boy he had ever seen in his life.
The boy's mother didn't miss a beat, even though her face became pale with worry, and turned her son away from his father. "He's just a salesman, Noah. Go inside and let me hear what he is selling this time." The little boy stared at the strange man for a second longer and Gabriel prayed that he recognized him even though he knew it was impossible. But Noah only stared before padding softly back to his life.
"Wow. He sure got big. He is five now, right?" He wanted to talk to her, wanted to hear all about his boy's life, wanted to be a part of it, wanted to be a part of them.
Elle arms tightened around herself and a moment of heartbreak flitted across her face before she steeled herself to it. She sighed and let her head drop down to her chest, eyes shut tightly. "What do you want, Gabriel? You know you're not supposed to be here."
Gabriel snapped out of it, remembering he actually came to them for a reason. Even though it was a selfish one. "I wanted to see you, both." He caught her eyes and held her gaze, trying to convey everything he felt, the love, the sorrow, even the anger. Everything. He shoved his hands in his pants pocket fisting tightly around the small package that he had rammed in there only hours ago. He couldn't stall much longer, he had to leave soon.
He pulled out the package and set it on the step in front of her. She looked down at it but made no move to take it. "I was also wondering if you could give this to him." Apprehension showed in her face and he quickly added. "You don't have to tell him it's from me just, you know, give it to him." He pleaded her, begged her, to let him have this, his last request. Elle pulled her bottom lip into her mouth, chewing on it with concentration, debating with her heart and her head. After a moment, she finally nodded her acquiescence but refused to look up at him.
He smiled to himself, satisfied, and sensed that it was time he left. He was turning to go, when he stopped, clenching and unclenching his hands into fists. Back stilled turned to her, he spoke in a whisper only she could hear. "You're going to hear something about me pretty soon. Something that'll make both of you proud of me." He glanced back at her to see her hand covering her mouth and tears in her eyes, looking so sad and broken. He closed his eyes, begging for the strength to get into the car and drive away. "I just want you to know, that I'm doing it for you and him, just for you and him."
With that he rammed the cap back over his head and climbed into the car, driving away with tears blurring his vision. He was three houses away when his reacquired super hearing picked up the rustle of paper, the tick of his old pocket watch, and the sound of her sobbing.
"The recent incident at Pineheart, bio-tech firm, is still under investigation but preliminary reports are already able to identify three of the twenty casualties. CEO of Pinehearst and former Senator of New York, Nathan Petrelli was one of the first victims identified. Also with Petrelli in the blast that took out nearly three blocks of the business district in downtown Fort Lee, New Jersey was Nathan Petrelli's wife, Tracy Petrelli. Along with the Petrellis was Gabriel Gray, watchmaker from Queens, New York, who has been a fugitive of the law for the past five years for the murder of his mother Virginia Gray. Authorities believe that Gray was the mastermind behind the attack and perhaps even the one to set off the bomb. We also have early reports that one of the unidentified victims maybe an employee of Angela Petrelli, mother of Nathan Petrelli, and an illegal immigrant from Haiti. Reports are coming in that Pinehearst may have been involved in illegal activities, including human experimentation and illegal distribution of pharmacy drugs, but the reports remain sketchy as…"
Little Noah Bishop studied the television with a kind of intensity rarely found in a boy so young. As he watched the television a photo caught his eye and he turned to the kitchen where his mother was cooking dinner. "Mommy! That salesman is on the T V."
His mother curiously walked into the living room, wiping her hands on an old dishrag and looking curiously at her son. "What are you talking about Noah?"
Noah pointed to the screen that now showed an old photo of Gabriel Gray along with camera shot of the gaping crater that once was Pinehearst. The gaping crater where special people were locked away to be tortured, used, and then killed. The gaping hole that had been the greatest fear, the worst nightmare, of man, woman, and child who had an ability.
Noah's mommy stared at the television for a long time, saying nothing as tears began to gather in her eyes and her hands began to shake with sorrow and regret. She gripped onto the arm of the couch, trying to stabilize herself as her tears began to fall and her body began to be wracked with heaving sobs. Noah didn't understand what was happening but he knew he had to comfort his mommy. He ran to her and threw his arms around her tightly, anchoring her to the rest of the world.
"Mommy? Mommy, what's wrong?"
His mother's sobs subsided and she held her boy tightly to her chest, staring at the picture on the screen. She bent her head down and smiled at her boy. "That wasn't a salesman…that was your daddy. Your daddy, the hero."