changehistory: (Contemplative)
I'm a pretty damn good pianist. Most people seem shocked when they find that out. I like playing down at the local bar, wouldn't mind a more regular gig. I sing well, too, and am actually really fond of music. I don't know why people end up being surprised by it--you live as long as I have, and you have time to get good at things, time to practice until you're more than proficient, even if you hadn't a great deal of natural talent.

Of course, music was mostly forbidden when I was growing up, which is probably why it always fascinated me. If it was supposedly of the devil, I was pretty determined to be a part of it. I'm contrary that way--that shouldn't surprise anyone, actually. But then I found that I loved music for itself. It has an inherent order to it, it grows on itself, it changes through the years, but a real understanding of music theory, of the past, allows you to create the new things of beauty that will last. I enjoy watching the trends change, and I love watching the instruments change, and yet the passion that drives musicians has been the same through the years.

Some things can only be expressed through song, through the poetry of mathematical progression of notes. It's an escape and an expression of the truest things about you. I can lose myself in a piece, and when I play...it connects me to the men I've been before, and the man I could be at the same time, past, present and future all united. It's some of the only time I truly feel like myself--no masks, no expectations, just me and the music.

Maybe that's why I'm good at it, and why it surprises so many. No one expects to see that side of me. Most don't think it exists, and if it does, why would I show any such vulnerability.

...Maybe that's why I don't tell most people when my gigs are.
changehistory: (Kensei - Waiting with sword)
I used to be fond of sake. Like really, really fond. The sort of fond that isn't really all that healthy, because you end up missing half your life in a haze and the other in a hangover and none of it is at all productive. But more than that--I loved the taste of it, the burn of it. Oh, don't get me wrong, I loved the black veil it drew over memory and blame just as much or more, I was fond of the stuff itself. After a youth of cheap ale and gin, sake was truly the godsend I thought I found in Japan.

I can't get drunk anymore. How funny--it was a set condition of becoming a hero, for me to stop drinking, but little did we know then that it was about to not matter anymore. My ability manifested fully. I woke from the dead. And, believe you me, promise or not, I worked desperately hard to get drunk that night, but to no avail. The sake burned out of my body the way it used to burn away regret, and left me face to face with the reality of what I was becoming.

Still, I drink for pleasure, now, for the taste and the loose-knit memory of a kinder oblivion than any I've found in ages, but it isn't sake. God, no. I won't touch the stuff unless forced to by politeness or custom, and only then if I'm in a mood to be conciliatory, not offensive. For the sake of a business deal I need or a connection I want to keep, I'll force the stuff down, but I don't enjoy it anymore.

It's laced with too many memories, too much lost hope, too many disappointments, too much failure. Every sip brings back something I'd rather forget, instead of driving an errant memory away, and when I cannot lose myself in any pleasant escape even, then I find it far more wise to avoid it when possible. If I'm going to drink, let it be a wine that brings to mind the halls of Versailles, or a beer that reminds me of afternoons with mates in a pub, or a solid whiskey sipped by a fire, imbued with memories of conversations and dreams that never quite died. But not sake, not anymore. That love, like so many others, is dead, and I'm fine with it staying a ghost of a past I won't repeat.
changehistory: ([Elle] -- Believe)
He talks to her when Elle is asleep. He'd feel pretty silly talking to her when Elle could hear. Truth be told, he feels rather silly doing it anyway, but there's something magical in the news that she can hear him, that she's learning his voice, to get to know him that way. That she doesn't understand a word he says, he's pretty certain. She has no images to relate the sounds to, no experiences. She cannot see the world around her yet, the towering buildings that rise up around them as he and Elle stroll through the town, and so cannot begin to understand or imagine how he reshapes them for her with his words in the dark of the night, bringing to life another, earlier time, when he walked these streets and the world was different.

While Elle sleeps, he lets himself tell the stories of his life to their daughter, arms settled around his wife, cheek to her stomach as he murmurs softly to the child growing inside of her. He tells her things he's never told anyone. Not the bad things, never those, but the good he's buried just as deeply. The boy he was is not the man he became, but the unborn child has no need to know that, not yet. It is something they can share, in his mind: the wonder of London as children. She'll walk the same streets he did, dance in the shadow of the same buildings that cast their shades over him. For the first time in a long time, he has a sense that he's come home.

Other images rise with it, though, because he cannot tell her the stories of his childhood without remembering that little boy. Calling him to mind with vivid recollection for her seems to raise his ghost from the grave Adam tossed him in centuries ago alone with all of those he loved. What he's become, that boy couldn't have imagined. Not just the wealth, the education, the ability, but so much more, and less. He swallows, pressing a kiss to the rise of Elle's stomach, fingers lightly stroking, wondering if the child can feel his touch. The darkness that has enveloped him for so many years now...the boy couldn't have grasped it, not even with the horrors he saw. Will it touch her, too? Will his own innocence lost so long ago live again in her? Or will his lack of it touch her, taint her? Will she stare at him with the horror he fancies the ghost of his forgotten self does?

He wants the world to be safe for her, to be the hero, for her, to be all a father should be. But every time he conjures the wonders of the past in the soft cadence of the storyteller's voice, he sees the betrayed eyes of the child he was, and wonders if he'll let her down as well.
changehistory: (You have GOT to be kidding me)
Really? Do we really want to go there? Fine. That would have been...January 2000, yes?

Shall I tell you the pleasant lie? Say I was sitting in a cell on Level 2 of the Company's cells, bored out of my mind with the atrocious books Bob dropped off now and again, twiddling my thumbs while I stared at the four walls that had been all I'd known for 22 years? Let's see...Elle was, what? 16, still in January, yes? So, I was watching her, waiting for her to turn 18, of course, but she was lovely, and I had been shut up in there for 22 years without any view of the outside world, so I think I can be excused for looking. It was dull, it was boring, but it had been for a long time. There was nothing really special about it.

Or would you rather the truth? What do you know of the Company? What do you know of what they did to those in their charge? Do you think they had me sit there, in their clutches, for 30 years without seeing just what the limits were to my ability? And do you really think that, having found them, Bob patted me on the head and let me be after? Oh no. There were agents to train, after all, and I made a very good training tool. There were new scientists to show what was possible, and I made a very good demonstrative aid. So, yes. There were stretches of boredom broken only by books and visits by the, let me tell you, not so innocent Elle, and before you get all righteous at me, I'm pointing out that I can hardly be expected to know that the age of consent had been raised to 17.* It used to be 16. And I was in a cell already, anyway. Stripped of privacy, stripped of possessions, stripped of self for longer than I'd ever been before. I distracted myself with plotting my revenge, but I'd no idea how to even begin to effect it. All I wanted was out, and them dead for what they'd done to me. You cannot even begin to imagine.

So what was I doing ten years ago? Living in Hell, with occasional visits by my own personal dark angel. And I'd rather not say anything more about it.

*My personal canon, not binding on any Elles who don't want it to be and want to stick to 18 instead of 16.
changehistory: (Upset/looking down)
Over the course of three and a half centuries, he's certain he's forgotten hundreds of things. The sound of his mother's laugh, the curve of his firstborn's smile, the feel of homespun cloth against his skin. Some memories he's worked to lose; others have been lost in the mists of time even as he tried to hold on to them. A few he doesn't miss, but there are some he'd give anything to get back.

One of them is the memory of what it felt like to be safe.

He went to Michigan looking for it, because, truly, he isn't sure he ever felt safe before he haltingly told Angelica his secret and found only acceptance in her gaze. She gave up everything for him--a normal life, a chance at being truly part of a community, the opportunity to grow old with the man she loved. She watched while girls threw their caps at him, thinking her his mother, then his grandmother, and though she never doubted him, nor did he give her cause, he can't imagine it was easy for her. Through it all, though, she never complained, and her absolute acceptance gave him something he'd never had in his life--a place that was his, a home where he belonged, arms in which he could rest. Thoughts of vengeance and power were pushed back in the light of her love, and for those six decades he could rest.

He didn't know if he had since.

He couldn't breathe again. He'd come back too soon, Baileigh's upset and Molly's pleas and Sylar's need for Mohinder driving him toward guilt that built upon the guilt he was already feeling until he had to go back, no matter what. He tried to bury it all in holiday preparations and forced cheer, figuring that would help, but the frenetic mania just left him exhausted, and where last year he'd steamrolled over any dissension with a smile, this year it made him want to throw in the towel and say fuck it all, and that...wasn't the attitude that he wanted to bring to something he loved so much.

He had to pull it together, to find that place, that memory at least, if nothing else, and a way to recreate it. They'd taken so much from him. He hated that they'd shattered even the memory of security, of safety, that they'd taken his ability to trust, to believe in people. Instead he waited each day for the storm to come, for the other shoe to drop, for the world he'd built to shatter into pieces. Or for it not to. No matter what Peter had said that night, he hadn't been clear about what he was going to do, and that left him teetering on the edge, walking around on a tightrope.

One way or the other, he had to pull it together, for himself, for the rest of them. Maybe he wouldn't ever remember that feeling, but he'd lived without it for over a century and a half.

Maybe that was what he needed to remember how to do.
changehistory: (Evil smirk)
I suppose, ultimately, that depends on just how attached to the point I was. Is it worth the time and energy to try and prove it? Do I really give a damn about convincing the person I'm arguing with? Does the person just need to be firmly put in their place for their arrogance or stupidity? Or, alternatively, is it in my best interests to maybe give in, and seem to accept their point of view for the moment in order to gain something greater down the road? Is the point one I believe in firmly, which I'm attached to and unwilling to bend on?

So many variables, but--how far would I be willing to go to prove a point that I believed in firmly to a person I really felt needed to understand the point, or to be put in their place?

That's easy. As far as it takes.
changehistory: (Are you kidding me?)
Dueling.

It really was a wonderful practice. You had a dispute with someone; you challenged them; you fought it out; you settled it. If they ended up dead, but it had been a fair fight, so be it. All right, some places technically outlawed dueling and you could be arrested for it, but it still wasn't murder. After all, the other guy had a weapon, too, and a chance to use it, and you took the risk of injury or death. Or, well, you know, most people did. Admittedly, I had an advantage in the whole process, but that's not really the point. It was trial by combat and a gentlemanly way to avenge one's honor or deal with a grudge. There were rules, codes of conduct. It wasn't some brawl where you had to watch your back after.

Even in the West, it continued in its own way, though a bit more deadly, with gunfights. Two men decide to fight it out in the street, both of them armed, and one of them falls in a fair fight? No one was getting strung up that day--you settled things, you went your way, no need to sue anyone or get anyone else involved.

But now we're so "civilized." We ask the courts to settle our disputes. We fight through lawyers and paperwork and use money and time and no one really winds up satisfied in the end. There's always the argument that someone got cheated, still, or the jury was rigged or the lawyer dropped the ball. And if two people decided to fight it out and one of them ends up dead--even though he had just as much chance, or agreed to the fight, or even started it--the other could wind up in jail. There's no respect for the centuries of precedent of people settling their own problems. Big Brother is watching us all, and it really is a shame.
changehistory: (Lost)
The cabin was an exercise in beautiful simplicity, perched on the edge of Lake Superior with its own beach and an unobstructed view of the expanse of water and, at this angle on a slight peninsula, both sunrise and sunset. There was no one else around for miles, no sounds but those of the water and those animals and birds still around. It wasn't winter, yet. Temperatures during the day were in the mid-50s, dropping to the upper-30s at night. The leaves had changed, though, into brilliant scarlet, yellow and orange, holding on to the branches of the trees with a fierce tenacity against the Lake winds which Adam had to respect.

He'd stocked up in Marquette with plenty of food and firewood. The cabin had central heat, but the wood fire at night made him smile, even though the expression was darkened by a wistful hauntedness. There had been another cabin near here, once upon a time. Not this one, full of its modern conveniences, however rustic. No, that one had been far more primitive. Just two rooms--a main one where they cooked and lived, and a smaller one for the bedroom, and to have the two was quite the luxury. It had taken him the whole summer to build, and he'd started to worry as the leaves changed that he wouldn't get the roof done and watertight before the snow started to fly. He had, but only just, and a good thing, too, as their first winter here had been colder than any in a decade. They hadn't minded, though, tucked away in their snug home, with plenty of game still around to be hunted, and plenty of wood to burn for heat.

Sitting out on the porch, sipping a cup of coffee, staring out over the water, Adam wondered if that was what had driven him here again. He hadn't been to this part of the country in 160 years. Even when he lived in Chicago in the 20s, he never ventured up here. It hadn't really been a conscious choice, not a decision that it was too soon or that he couldn't handle it or that he didn't need it or any sort of thing. Maybe subconsciously he'd been avoiding it, aware that the man he was chilling into was not one of which she would have approved. Maybe he just couldn't bear the contrast of lives. Maybe...maybe a lot of things, he thought, taking another sip of his coffee.

Whatever the reason, then, he was here now, pulled over the highway, through roads he'd never traveled to a city that had been just a village for mining concerns the last time he was here. It had grown, but not to really anything of any size compared to real size. Less than 25,000 people, it was still a good place to find the silence to get lost in for a while.

He'd run. There wasn't really any way to dress that up to make it seem better, he had to admit. He could say he needed to think, say he needed some space, say he needed to find himself, his purpose, his clarity, again, but really, he could have done it far better. No one would have begrudged him that, had he thought to tell anyone, but he'd just gone. Given it to do again...he didn't know that he'd do any differently. It was quiet here, he had his space and his silence, but his head was still too full and he was still torn. He couldn't remember when he'd been this torn, caught between who he was and who he presented himself as trying to be.

All his talk about making sacrifices for the greater good, and he couldn't even figure out what that was, anymore. He asked the world to sacrifice--then shouldn't he? Or when it came down to it, was he unwilling to make the necessary concessions when it was his own happiness and well-being at stake? Did he lack the power of his convictions when truly put to the test? It was a galling thought, making his stomach burn. It wasn't just about love and sex and who was fucking whom--the fate of the world was at stake, and here he was having a fit of jealousy, and pulling punches because of what people might think of him, because he might end up alone if he did what needed doing, or even what he wanted to.

It was pathetic.

Because if that were true, if he were so easily willing to toss aside the ideas, the goals he'd clung to for so many years, for the sake of a smile...what did that make him? Not some visionary, not some grand hero, no mythic figure with a destiny waiting to be fulfilled. It meant he was still just that guy, needing desperately to be loved, to be accepted, to be thought to be something more than he really was, hiding behind some grandiose mask, but, in the end, standing in the woods, watching his world fall apart.

And that realization was unacceptable.
changehistory: (Wedding ring)
There are ten of them looped together on a chain and resting in his vanity case. Some are worn with time, the metal darkened to the point that no amount of polishing in the world could get it clean. Some are simple, plain bands with little ornamentation around them to make them stand out save some scrollwork etched into them in an attempt at beauty, or the engraving one bears on the inside that hasn't worn away no matter how often he's rubbed his thumb over it to call her face back to mind. Two are highly ornate, with jewels embedded in the gold, a piece of art from a time of artifice. Three still gleam, a century or less old. One has flakes of salt and blood in the groove he's never bothered to clean--a permanent reminder of the price of trust and the pain of treachery. The newest bears dents from the concrete wall it hit again and again and again as he screamed for them to let him out.

Sometimes he lets them fall through his fingers, each one bringing to mind a memory, a face, a smell, a laugh, a time in his life that will never come back. The people he's loved, the loves he has lost.

Other times he stares at them, and sees only the absence. The ring that isn't there. The hole that wasn't filled. The vow that wasn't made. The road that wasn't taken.

That there will eventually be another added to the chain, he has no doubt. Life goes on. He goes on, forever and ever, amen.

But no matter how many other rings are added, he knows he'll always look at the chain and see the one that's missing.
changehistory: ([Sark] Double Trouble)
[ooc: Companion piece to this.]

All of his life he's prided himself on being unique, one of a kind, a god among men. He walked through them, untouched as time slid by, watching as rulers rose and fell, and an empire crumbled, and a new power came to stretch its shadow across the Earth like an eagle spreading its giant wings. It, too, would fall, crumbling to dust as men and monarchies had before it, and he would stand in the ashes as always. This time, however, he wouldn't be alone. Others had come whose blood copied his, blood of his blood, or DNA rearranging itself to match in a complicated process none of them fully understood. Three of them, by their very natures, stood by his side, and where once he would have resented his loss of uniqueness, centuries of loneliness had taught him the price of being a god, and he found he welcomed their arrival.

Then there was the boy and his project and the vials of his blood and the slices of his skin all filed away in the geneticist's lab. They moved through the streets together and a convenient lie started to form on their lips at curious looks, for all he'd denied it at the wedding. The resemblance was more than a passing one, more than one a second glance would dispel. With a care to the variation in their accents, they could step into each others' lives and pass one for the other, just as they were now, but for two things. The boy bore scars under his well tailored clothes that Adam would never share and should a blade or a bullet pierce the boy's skin, he wouldn't heal, but find himself with new scars, or taking that walk into a darkness Adam would never know.

When the geneticist said he could do it, that he'd gotten the apparatus built, the formula worked out, and had been able to alter some of the boy's donated tissue using Adam's samples, the seeming that had been a trick of fate stood before them as a possibility, something they could make true in all but timing of birth. Suresh had even managed to figure out how to remove the deliberate flaw pressed into the design to tell one from the other, though he thought it likely wouldn't have mattered anyway, given they were changing the boy at a cellular level, but not a structural one. It was really a far smaller, and yet far more profound, code rewriting than it would have been had he put say, himself, into the chamber. He went on talking, explaining, as Adam ran his fingers along the cold metal, and looked up to meet the boy's eyes across it. He'd given his own assent, his willingness to allow this when he gave the Indian his tissue to test, but now he watched the boy with a question in his eyes, and the full enormity of what it meant, of what they would create, the three of them, through this would mean washed over him.

The boy swallowed, and there was a flicker of fear in his eyes, as he, too, grasped what it would and could, entail, and life stretched taut, moments culling down to heartbeats and stilling, before he nodded and they snapped back into place and began passing at their normal speed once more.

"Let's do it."

Something queer twisted in Adam's gut, and he smiled, and the boy across from him echoed the smile back at him, identically manic and ambitious as they rewrote destiny.
changehistory: (Just listen to teacher)
I think the greater question to be asked should be "Is redemption truly necessary?" Who says we need to be redeemed? From what? By what? At what point? Do we need redemption if we violate society's notion of "good" and "evil"? If we break the Ten Commandments? Do we gain it by belief in the Son of God whose blood redeems our souls from the fiery pit of Hell? That's what they thundered from the pulpit and lashed into our backs when we disobeyed. Pity the mortal flesh, sinful and separate. Place your faith in the Son above, and be redeemed of all your worldly failings. But what of those like me? When flesh is not mortal and this world is all there is, because Death himself passes us by, does the Son still see, or care, and does it matter? There may be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt in Horatio's philosophy, but there is still little place for us in the grand scheme of sin and redemption, is there? For if we never die, then how can we be lifted up and into His arms, or cast down into the Pit? And if such eternal reward or punishment ceases to be a factor, then what is there? Morality for morality's sake? Right and wrong as defined by the social norm? The norm that says that love is not enough unless you have the right, and opposite, gender? That damned people for the color of their skin for centuries--seeing them as less than human? That rapes the Earth and pillages the nations of the poor, while the rich dance on in the bloated splendor of their excess?

Perhaps we do need redemption. Perhaps the Earth itself is crying out for our species to redeem itself somehow, out of the dregs it has been wallowing in since time immemorial. But by whose standards? Who decides? If I say it cannot be done, not by us the way we are, that some drastic measure must be taken if we are ever to be saved--you will deem me evil, corrupt, immoral, a monster. The solution cannot be more horrific than the problem, can it? But redemption comes with a price, always. The blood of the Lamb, the slaughter of the Innocent, ushering in a new paradigm for how we were supposed to live. Yet we learned nothing. We grew not at all. Everything has a price, and redemption cannot come free, not for the individual or the species. It is possible, but no one will ever be willing to pay the price, so it is not probable and so we will go on, forever damned to the Hell of our own creation, whether there waits one on the other side of the Veil or not.
changehistory: (Buried alive)
The explosion is a wave of heat more intense than anything he's ever felt, searing skin and muscle. For a moment he fears he can die, after all, but his brain continues through the agony, cataloging it. The blast has immobilized him for those few moments, though, and he feels it when his skin starts to peel. There's a noise over the roar of the flames, the explosion of each barrel, and he realizes it's him, screaming, before he can manage to cut off the sound. Dirt scrapes under his fingers, shredding his skin as he tries to pull himself toward the exit, toward the air, out of the inferno. It seems a century or more before he drags himself out into the cover of darkness, a blackened monster his own mother wouldn't recognize had she not met a similar fate in another fire a half a world away. Rolling in the dirt, he manages to put out the flames that linger, smoke trailing up from him, metal stuck into skin. The anguish is beyond measure, but his throat is too wounded for him to scream anymore. When the healing starts, however, it's worse, and, finally, blessed darkness reaches up to claim him and pull him down into sweet nothingness

* * *

If he thinks about it, he would swear that he can feel the weight of the earth pressing down on him. How the box he lies within doesn't crack with it, he doesn't know, though he almost wishes it would in his madder moments. Dirt and foamy earth would trickle then pour through the fissures, raining on him until they cut off everything left. He screams until his throat his raw and he tastes blood trickling down it, teasing and distracting, letting it heal and then he does it again, but nothing changes. No one comes. His hands beat on the satin lined lid above him, desperate, giving it every bit of strength he has, but all he has within him isn't enough. His hands become bloody pulp, heal and break again to no avail. Nothing budges. Nothing moves. The darkness is absolute, pressing in around him. There isn't enough air, and the ghosts of his life dance before him, in sparkling motes of color in his eyes. He's suffocating. He knows this, even as he struggles to find air, coughing, fighting off the drowsiness that creeps up with malicious insidiousness to claim him. His cheeks are wet, and he tastes salt on his lips. It can't end like this, not this way, he thinks, and then the darkness is absolute and there is no thought at all.

* * *

I think I'll skip the funeral if it's all the same to you. As they say--been there, done that. Neither option is all that appealing.
changehistory: (Kensei - Waiting with sword)
[ooc: Obviously entirely my own backstory as canon gives us nothing about Adam's childhood]

I was the middle child, actually, though the oldest son, which was something that mattered back then and gives your birth order charts a bit of a twist if you're going to start analyzing me based on that. Mary was the oldest by three years, and Stephen was three years younger. There were others in between, I think, but Mother either miscarried or they died in infancy.

Mary was the rebel. She felt she should have been a boy, I think, with ideas in her head that were centuries ahead of her time. Watching Mother's life, she knew she didn't want that for herself, swore even when she was just ten she wasn't going to have it. I don't think she expected it to go the way it did, of course, and given that, I sometimes think she might have preferred the life she disdained, but she never said so. She never lost that arrogant tilt to her chin, that determined look in her eye that looked out at the world and swore that she was going to own it one day and no one was going to hold her back and may God smite anyone who tried.

Stephen, on the other hand, was the dreamer. Even when things went badly, we tried to give him that, to protect him from the harsh realities of life. We'd play make believe and encourage him to think that life was different, because we didn't want him having to face what was out there. Mother said we were setting him up for a fall, and maybe we were, but Mary and I couldn't stand for him to have to know the things we did. He was...special. Delicate, in some ways. He got sick a lot, probably because he was so young when we moved. Mary and I at least got a decent start in life in terms of nutrition and what care there was in those days, but Stephen was only five, and the air and the food and the things down in our new part of town...they weren't good for any of us, but he was so young, so we did what we could to make it better for him however we could.

And then there was me, trying to take care of Stephen and keep Mary from getting herself in the stocks or hung or tied to a stake and convince Mother that it was all right when she knew it wasn't. Is it any wonder I developed a fondness for whiskey?
changehistory: (BW Manipulation)
Several, actually.

There's my pet time traveler - useful that, when things don't go your way and you need someone to pop back and fix them. Of course, he's a bit over-eager and sometimes has to be stopped from changing too much, or other times has to be coerced into seeing that manipulating the time-space continuum is for the best. Why have these powers if he's not going to use them after all?

There's my pet cheerleader - wanting so much to be normal, and to fit in--and if nothing else, I am her blood and someone who understands her, because I was her, once upon a time. And she is like me, indestructible, able to withstand anything, and those needs combined with that capability and her age and our bond--I can forge her into a weapon the likes of which this world has never seen. Not what Peter saw, not destroying her. Something else. Something better. She's my blood, after all, and I'll see to it that she leaves her mark on this world. Isn't that what every parent wants?

There's my pet Slayer - you'd be surprised how many things out there are actually just as threatening as those of us with abilities. Things that go bump in the night. Demons and vampires and black magic wielding creatures, and she, with her super strength and super speed, comes arrayed with a whole host of demon-fighting knowledge and a backup of witches and Watchers and a bunch of super-powered girls all loyal to her. You never know when that might come in handy.

Then, there's the puppy - my own pet assassin, spy, sociopath, and doppelganger. Of course, our resemblance really does benefit him far more than it does me--people are more likely to shoot at me, and I'm fond and I'll heal him if he gets hurt and he's got his little project going on to duplicate my DNA, but...he's got an in-depth knowledge of the world I'm lacking after thirty years in a cage and that the others don't have either, coupled with the ruthlessness to carry out what I need him to. And, well, I'm enough of a narcissist to like looking at him.

We can't forget my pet serial killer, of course - Willing to kill without remorse and in far more effectively gruesome ways than even the puppy. To take the powers from those who won't use them the way I need them used, and then put them into play how I deem fit. To be a weapon against those who stand against me, and craving being special nearly as much as I do--he'll stand for my vision of the world and help me carve it. And along with him comes that beautiful, brilliant brain of his geneticist's, so. It's two for one, and I can't go wrong.

Last, but not least, there's my pet empath - Because everyone, even I, need to be loved, and he's so very good at it. And under that...there is so much power there, just waiting to be pointed in the direction of reshaping the world. Carefully guided, letting him keep us "on track"...he's a pinnacle of perfection just begging for someone to know what to do with him, and I really think that I'm that someone. And he is so perfectly happy to be led.

...Oh, and I have a kitten, too.

[ooc: *facepalms. a lot.*]
changehistory: (Thoughtful)
[ooc: Bailiegh is [livejournal.com profile] deep_red_bells and used with the permission of her mun.]

Adam hit the wooden floor hard enough to feel it jar in his teeth, shaking through him. Almost immediately, though, he had his left hand behind him, pushing to shove himself back up to his feet. His other hand curled more tightly around the hilt of the sword in his hand, and as soon as he was upright, he launched back into a new attack, pressing his opponent hard. The blades clashed, the sound of metal meeting echoing through the cavernous room. He was hot, could feel the sweat beading on his skin and sliding down, but he dismissed the sensation, noting the man across from him was breathing hard as well. They danced around each other, back and forth across the floor, eyes intent and fixed on one another, blocking out any other distractions. While it may have been a while since he'd worked so hard, Adam's muscles still remembered the movements and his mind still found the advantages, always looking for any weakness he could exploit, any guard he could slip through to win.

He needed it.

* * *

"How is she?"

"The same." There were shadows under Sark's eyes he'd never seen there before, and the mirror image reflecting back at him was paler and more drawn, with a tightness about the mouth he felt inside. Adam nodded slightly and squeezed his hand as he stepped inside. "You think this will work?"

"I don't know," he murmured. "I...it works to counteract the Haitian, and what he does sounds like what you described this creature doing?"

Sark nodded shortly, then tilted his head back toward the living room. "She's back here."

The blankness in her eyes hurt, the complete lack of recognition, coupled with the shock as she glanced between them. "Are you two...?"

"Complete random chance," he assured her with a bit of a smile. "I keep hoping he'll turn out to be some long lost family member, but Dr. Suresh assures me it isn't so."

She just blinked at him.

He knew the look too well, the slightly dazed one. There were days Elle had worn it, when things had gone too badly, and then there was nothing left the next time he saw her, no memory of that, but she'd at least always known him. But Peter...in Montreal...the look he'd given Adam when he'd stepped into the room...he hadn't known him at all, and it had cut as deeply then as it did now. But Peter had healed, because his blood did what Adam's did, and now he had his to give to Baileigh.

"I'm going to see if I can help you," he told her quietly, sitting next to her on the sofa and trying not to frown when she flinched a bit. He pulled out the syringe he'd already filled with his blood and held out his hand. "May I see your arm, just for a moment?"

She regarded him warily, eyes darting to the syringe, then back to him, then to Sark, then back to the syringe, then him, before she finally nodded and held out her arm. Catching his lip between his teeth, he took her arm gently, then eased the needle into her vein, pressing his blood into hers. "Just...relax," he told her quietly, "And look at Julian. He loves you, and you love him. Try and remember. The blood should do the rest...heal the pathways and bring everything back..."

They'd waited, all of them, breathles with expectation, but he'd finally found the one thing his blood couldn't fix.


* * *

Adam felt his eyes sting slightly, and he gave a slightly frustrated sound. )
changehistory: (Evil smirk)
He has everything he needs. Oh, they haven't found a building, yet. No bricks and mortar rising up out of the ground as a testament to his renewed vision, tethered to a new hope. No plot of ground staked out, even, where they'll dig deep into the soil for the foundation of that building. It will come. They've been busy with other things, mini-crises that rise up to challenge them and confront them and have to be dealt with. But bricks and mortar aren't what he needs, anyway. They're useful, enough, and they'll be needed eventually, but bricks and mortar and buildings and labs...those things come easily, and, a lab, at least, he has, thank you Bob for setting it up so very nicely and Angela for being willing to surrender it after poor darling Bridget didn't come back from reconnaissance.

What he's got is far more important, and, this time, far more lasting. He has people again. People with a vision, and a goal, and they're fueled by their own sense of outrage, thinking it was their idea where when he'd tossed it out no one had been all that pleased, but now...Now everyone's on board.

He has Peter.

He has Sylar.

He has Claire.

He has Hiro.

He has Mohinder.

The two single most powerful people their kind have ever known. The only other person he's ever met born with his ability. A master of time and space manipulation. And the geneticist who single handedly recreated the formula he's not really sure he approves of but which can't be bad to have in reserve. And they are all on his side, looking to him, his new little batch of followers, all on board for creating their own foundation, their own company set to rival Pinehearst and Primatech. And three of them will stay there, forever, walking with him. It's almost too good to be true.

Arthur's dead. And he can't believe Angela would dare to really stand against him, not with her sons at his side. She'll see reason, eventually, and Primatech will fold, and they will level what is left of Pinehearst, and then the world really will be theirs for the taking.

Humanely, of course. He's seen the light, after all. Really.
changehistory: (I will now rise from the ashes)
There were few he hadn't crossed, he supposed. Lines others had drawn and called proper behavior or what should be done or how things ought to be. He'd killed, and not just in battle, but in cold blood. He'd maimed. He'd committed adultery (though, actually, Frederica was the only wife he'd ever cheated on, and, well, everyone at Versailles had a lover or two tucked away somewhere. Faithfulness was so very out of fashion that year. She'd actually introduced him to his mistress and told him to enjoy himself, so he hardly felt guilty for that one). He'd seduced minors, technically. Yes, more than one, though, really, age of consent laws still baffled him. He'd smuggled. He'd pirated. He'd turned traitor, though he tilted his head sort of sideways at that one, too, and wondered if he'd ever really owed Lincoln any loyalty before joining the Confederate army?

And, of course, the big one: He'd tried to destroy the world.

It would surprise people, then, to know there were ones he wouldn't cross, hadn't. That the experiments the Company had performed, he'd never approved, had never been part of his vision. That he'd never have condoned what was done to Elle. That curious as he, too, would have been about how his ability worked, he would never have allowed what was done to Gabriel Gray. That he'd argued against the formula and its use on the children from the start, telling them to destroy it, though no one had listened.

They were meant to be gods, special, chosen. With that came arrogance, of course, and a carelessness with the lives of lesser mortals who didn't fit in with his vision of a new world order or who hadn't captured a place in his affections on their own merits. But to turn on their own, to visit horrors on their own kind, their own children--on others just as chosen, just as special, others he full well meant to turn into his next generation of disciples not a generation of their pet lab rats?

Inconceivable.

He would just have to be certain the next generation was far more schooled in lessons of loyalty to their own kind (and to him) than their--now mostly deceased--parents, so those lines didn't get crossed again.
changehistory: (Stricken)
[ooc: Based upon RP in [livejournal.com profile] paradisa and not meant to reflect upon any other muses]

"I don't understand."

What a trifling three words to sum up a feeling so profoundly unsettling. It starts as fury, of course, every time. Fury and "How dare he/she/they?" and moral outrage, because fury is easy. Fury feels good. It's fire and heat and it blazes up through you and it feels good, lighting you up from the inside. You've been wronged, you've been hurt, you've been betrayed, and by those you trusted most, trusted with the inside parts of yourself you don't just show to anyone, the deep and dark shadows dragged into the light for their perusal. You trusted, when everything inside of you said not to, because you know not to do so, you know that way only ends badly, but you do so anyway, because some small part of you hopes this time will be different.

It's not.

You feel the fool, feel your heart ripped out from inside of you as you realize everything you trusted them with meant nothing, and that the person you tried to show your innermost heart to must not have known you at all to find the one way to wound you most deeply. You start seeing monsters in shadows again. It isn't the act itself so much as the betrayal of what you trusted them with and the act of the betrayal when they know, they know how hard it is for you to trust, and to trust them, with their blood, his blood, running thick with the sins of the betrayals of the generations of the past. He knows. He has to know, how hard it was to trust anyone after the life you have lived, and how hard it was to trust him, especially, with any part of yourself at all, after the things his parents did to you, but you did. You made promises you've never made, that choke on your lips now.

No more lies. No more secrets. No more. Just trust. Just truth.

You should have remembered who his parents were. )
changehistory: (Upset/looking down)
Bali is sounding better and better. Or Fiji. Or Bora Bora.

Somewhere warm, with rum and no responsibility or people who stab you in the back when you're just trying to help them.

Why the fuck I thought I wanted any of this is beyond me.

Considering leaving a note: "Keys to Company are in the upper left hand drawer if you want them, Angie. Taking the cats. Off to Bali. Fuck all of this. Love, Adam."

I don't really think that would go over well, but I'm not sure I care anymore.

[locked]

If someone could remind me of why I'm even trying when it's an exercise in futility, I would appreciate it, because fuck if I know. I never wanted to grow up to be the hero, anyway. I just wanted to...I don't even remember anymore. It all got twisted up and tangled around in far too many pairs of brown eyes that wanted me to be things that I never was, and blue ones that believed I was something and then when I tried to be...

Well, she walked away, too, didn't she?

So, what, I ask you, is the fucking point of hoping for anything?

Fuck all of it.

I was better off being the villain, but now I'm just tired.

What do I hope for? A beach. And a drink with an umbrella in it. And someone to rub completely unnecessary suntan oil on my skin and live without their fucking expectations and their fucking betrayals for just a few decades, for once.

I don't think it's too much to ask.
changehistory: (Sark: Double Trouble)
[ooc: Sometime after this and this.]

"What did you do?" Adam shot a glance out of the corner of his eyes toward where Julian was slumped in the other corner of the sofa, uncharacteristically glum looking.

"I didn't do anything."

"Oh, clearly. Is this still about the whole...debacle in the graveyard?"

"No. I don't think. Maybe."

Adam whistled slightly, flipping the channel on the television, without really watching. "Puppy, I need to teach you the fine art of apologizing."

"I didn't do anything wrong!"

"That has very little to do with anything in marriage. I should know."

"Spare me your overarching wisdom this one time, please?" Sark said with a sigh, "I didn't do anything wrong. I was perfectly safe. I didn't lie to her. I just wanted to go out with a friend and we didn't even...for fuck's sake, we...two of the most dangerous people, no, the two most dangerous people possibly in our entire circle of acquaintance and we were hunting vampires. Making the world a little safer for children and innocent puppies everywhere. How is that wrong?"

"You could have gotten hurt," Adam pointed out, taking a sip of his beer.

"Sylar could have fixed it if I did! Didn't you see to that?"

Adam shrugged. Boy had a point, he had to admit. "And she's still upset?"

"Not about that, I don't think. We talked. I think...then I went out with Sylar again--and, actually, on that point, the giant garden gnome, by the way, is disturbing and like what I'd imagine Hell to be--it all got dredged up..."

"You went to see the gnome?" Adam sat up with a smile. "The one at the mini-golf course I took Claire to?"

"Yes," Sark said, sitting up as well, and looking impatient. "Will you pay attention, please?"

"You're the one who brought up the gnome..."

"Never mind the bloody gnome."

"Right. Go ahead. What did you do, kill someone at the course? It's mini-golf, puppy, no one is supposed to die."

"No one died," Sark snapped. "Baileigh and Suresh went out to the bookstore or something. Sylar and I played mini-golf. Sylar and I came back to loft. Sylar and Suresh went...wherever Sylar and Suresh go, Baileigh and I went back to hotel. No one died, either at the bad guys' hands or the good guys' hands."

Adam looked faintly disappointed. )

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Adam Monroe

February 2014

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