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Gilded Genesis :: Chapter 1 :: Villains
[w] gabe :: hug attack!
Title: Gilded Genesis :: Chapter 1 :: Villains
Author: rebelle_elle
Artist: therisingmoon
Word Count: 2,636
Rating: PG
Type: Gen
Characters/Pairings: Gabriel Gray, Noah Bennet, Elle Bishop, (Eden McCain, Frank Cavanaugh, Chandra Suresh)
Warnings (sexual context, non-con, violence, strong language, characters death, etc) None
Gabriel Gray attempts to question Elle Bishop about the disappearance of Frank Cavanaugh, an intern for Company scientist, Chandra Suresh.

Gabriel hoped Noah was right about this. He hated parties, but if the Company needed him to go to a party, he would do it.

“It’s just surveillance,” Noah told him, rechecking the equipment. “You’ve been trained for this, Gabriel. Now are you an agent or not?” He spoke calmly, which wasn’t calming. Gabriel had noticed that the more nervous Noah was, the calmer he sounded.

He took a breath as he struggled with his tie. “Yeah. Yes. Agent.”

Noah sighed and leaned over, deftly knotting the tie. “You know the target?”

Gabriel nodded again and pushed his glasses back in place, his mouth dry. He had lived at the Company since he was a child; this was one of his first missions as an agent, and his first with such a woman as this. “Elle Bishop, implicated in the disappearance of Frank Cavanaugh. Unknown ability, if she even has one.” He checked himself in the mirror. They had to assume she had one as her father was a special. He suspected that her father’s ability – alchemy – was one of the reasons he had to go to this damned party; he disliked the man already.

“Are you ready?”

Gabriel nodded and took the keys from the panel. He’d never driven a Jaguar before, but having seen the Jaguar XJ the Company had supplied to help him blend in, he found himself looking forward to the drive over, if nothing else. It might be the only good part of this mission.

“Just remember. Relax.”

He nodded as he climbed out of the van. “Right.” He slid into the Jaguar and took a moment to run his fingers over the leather and test his grip on the steering wheel. He was finally beginning to enjoy himself. “I can do this,” he murmured.

“I can hear you,” Noah’s calm voice said from his earpiece.

Gabriel jumped, gave a small wave to the van, and peeled out of the parking lot.

The mansion sprawled before him on grounds was large enough that Gabriel couldn’t see the main road anymore. It was the sort of mansion new money would buy, and he wasn’t surprised to see how much gold there was in plain sight, with golden lanterns and gold wind chimes hanging from the trees lining the driveway. Gabriel couldn’t help but roll his eyes at how gaudy it all was. He was relieved to see Robert Bishop hadn’t turned the entire two-story brick structure to gold.

The car door was opened for him, as was the door to the mansion. Gabriel knew that Noah would follow the plan and park near the service road, but Gabriel still felt alone. He obviously didn’t belong. Everyone else looked comfortable in their designer clothing; Gabriel constantly had to force himself not to glance in mirrors and check his tie. It didn’t take him long to notice that he was the only person here whose hair wasn’t styled and gelled. And the only other people wearing black, thick-rimmed glasses were the people over sixty. Gabriel cursed his luck. He was undercover and stuck out like a moron.

He fell in with a group, trailing them, starting to sweat a little as he moved through the crowd. He wasn’t particularly good at mingling and didn’t bother to do so now, merely grabbing a drink from a tray and wandering around, looking for the target. Blonde, blonde, blonde. So many of these girls were blonde he wondered if they bothered lying about their natural hair color.

“See her?” Noah said in Gabriel’s ear.

Gabriel turned away from the room, pretending to admire a portrait. “No. I’ll keep an eye out, though.” He moved on, going from room to room as he sought one blond head in particular. As the second hour crawled to a close and he still hadn’t seen the target, more insistent questions came through the earbud, and Gabriel grew more frustrated.

On the verge of giving up, he went outside and sat on a lounge chair by the pool. He was already on his – he was vaguely sure - fifth drink, though as far as Noah knew he was still working his way through the second.

He leaned back on the chair, tactfully ignoring the half-naked couple making out a couple chairs down and feeling a little lightheaded. He shouldn’t drink, he knew that, especially on assignment, but with the night he was having…

He caught movement out of the corner of his eye, and he focused his gaze on the second floor. He only saw her for a second, but he was sure it was her, a perfect match to the photos in their folder and the smattering of pictures and family portraits in the mansion. He left his empty champagne flute on a table and got two fresh glasses on his way up.

Avoiding the more crowded rooms, he found a staircase and finally the room to which the window belonged. He stood outside the door for a few moments, wondering if he ought to knock and was on the verge of deciding against it when he realized his hands were full with the drinks. He closed his eyes, feeling like an idiot. He couldn’t turn away now; he was an agent with a mission. He’d got the champagne in order to fulfill that mission. He had to do this. Besides, he was a little worried he’d drink both glasses otherwise, and he already felt as if he’d had too much. He drew a breath and kicked the door softly with a foot.

Of course, it was going to be harder to think up a cover story this way. He bit his lip and then nodded. When in doubt, it was best to go with the truth. He’d seen her through the window and had come to… what?

“See you…” he said, startled into speaking aloud as the door opened. He stared into the brightest pair of blue eyes he’d ever seen. “Um…”

The woman huffed, her frown becoming more pronounced beneath a faintly hooked nose. She was wearing a blue robe that stopped at mid-thigh, and he felt part of his brain disconnect as he wondered what she was wearing underneath. He forced his eyes back up, even if they were painfully slow to do so.

“What do you want?”

He slowly gathered his wits again as he stared into her pale face, ignoring the bangs that someone should brush out of her eyes for her. He had to stop his fingers from doing it. “I brought you… this.” He held up a glass.

She looked at it, then back at him. “I don’t drink.”

“Oh. I’ll drink it, then.” He was still staring, knowing he had muddled this somehow but not sober enough to know what to do about it. “I’m Gabriel. Gabriel Gray.”

She stared at him, and right as he began to fear she would shut the door in his face, she said, “Elle Bishop.”

Thank God. They’d covered this part of the conversation at the Company when he and Eden had been practicing what he ought to say. “Bishop. Bob’s daughter, right? I was hoping to run into you here.” He flinched. That hadn’t come out right. They hadn’t run through introductions at her bedroom door in his practice conversations.

She raised an eyebrow; he couldn’t tell if she was naturally this pretty or if she’d had work done. She looked like an angel. “In my bedroom?”

“At the party,” he said quickly. “I just saw you through the window and thought I’d take my chance.”

She stared at him long enough that his arms started to ache from holding up the glasses. He felt ridiculous. “What did you say your name was again?”

“Gabriel. Gabriel Gray.”

“Well, Gabriel Gabriel Gray, you aren’t my type. Good night.”

“Good ni-” But he was already talking to her door.

Elle curled up in her bed. She knew it couldn’t still be there, but she kept seeing blood on her hands, and all the showers she’d taken in the past week could wash it off.

She looked from her hands to the TV and hugged a pillow to her chest. She didn’t want to be weak, didn’t want to be the stupid girl people expected her to be, nothing more than pretty and rich. She wanted to be more. She wanted her dad to look at her with pride.

She wanted to be strong.

“That didn’t go very well,” Noah said as he climbed out of the van. Gabriel knew he must have done badly as he hadn’t even turned off the Jag and Noah was already preparing a lecture. He couldn’t imagine how Noah would treat him if his father weren’t Samson Gray, one of the Founders of the Company. He’d never admit it out loud, but there was a part of Gabriel that hated his father; he had seen the way Samson looked at some people with abilities, as if they were tasty treats with prizes inside. Gabriel had felt that lust before, though he would never tell anyone that.

“It didn’t go according to plan, no.” He pulled at the knot in his tie. Noah had heard her reject him, and though Noah wasn’t a gossip, there was no telling how many people at the Company knew by now. He dreaded filing the report.

“Am I going to have to take you off this case?” Noah asked, his voice still painfully calm.

Gabriel’s gut twisted. “No! No. I can do it. I will do it.” He wasn’t what most women wanted, he knew. He’d seen the guys Company women talked about, leading men in movies and television shows. Men who had never had eyebrows as thick as Gabriel’s or had noses as… Well, if Gabriel were being honest, sometimes he looked in a mirror and thought he looked like an ape. But then, he’d thought that since he was a teen. “I can do this, Noah.”

Noah watched him, his hands on his hips, and nodded at last, turning back toward the van. “I’ll see you at the Company tomorrow. We’ll plan the next move.”

Gabriel nodded. He wouldn’t fail the Company, the people who had raised him. He would find out what ability Elle Bishop had and what part she had played in Frank Cavanaugh’s disappearance. And then… he would do what an agent had to do.

Elle Bishop had often wished her life were different. She didn’t care how, she just didn’t want her life. She didn’t want to be Elle Bishop anymore.

She hated her life even more now that she had killed Frank Cavanaugh.

She never would have done it if Daddy hadn’t kept treating her as if she were something to show off and nothing more. Do this, Elle. Do that, Elle. No, Elle, you must be perfect. Elle, you don’t exist if you aren’t perfect. You have to be better, Elle. Why can’t you be better, Elle. Better, better, better.

And then she’d met Frank. He’d been sweet, not terribly attractive but charming enough to skate by. Tall, blondish-brown hair, tan. He was from California, a friend of a friend, studying genetics and physics. He was smart, and if she weren’t pretty and rich, she wouldn’t have known what he saw in her. It was during coffee in the City that he’d gently tapped her forehead and said, “Electricity, right?”

She’d been frightened at first – almost panicked. How could he know? What had she done? Had anyone else found out?

He’d explained his ability, how he could see other special people, identify what was special about them. She’d been fascinated, and he’d told her everything.

They’d met only four times through February and March, talking about abilities, themselves… She had never been able to talk so freely about her ability before. Her parents had always made it clear that she wasn’t to mention it to anyone but them, and they didn’t want to talk about it. He had asked about her, her ability, and she had been… flattered. Finally, someone who looked at her as if she were special. As if she mattered.

And then there was the night she’d gone to his apartment. She’d shown up early, interrupted him. She’d found the file half-hidden under a pillow while he was getting ready to go to dinner. Frank had been studying genetics, all right, but specifically people with abilities. Elle had read the hand-written notes silently, and when he came out of the bathroom, asked, “Who’s Chandra Suresh?”

He looked from her to the file, his expression turning angry. “Nobody,” Frank snapped. He didn’t so much as glance at her as he reached for the file.

Elle had stared at him, cold. He’d snapped at her as if she were nothing. He’d grabbed the file away as if she were nothing.

The next thing she had known, she had been standing over his body, blood everywhere, his skull cracked open.

She had somehow known just what to do. After she cleaned up, she went to the address in the file and knocked on the apartment door. It was time to get some answers. The man was Indian, and one glance using Frank’s ability told her he was nothing special.

“Dr. Suresh?” She smiled at the bald man with a salt-and-pepper beard. He looked at her in confusion, and she hurried to explain. “I’m looking for Frank – he told me he works for you. May I come in?”

Gabriel watched Elle walk into Etienne’s and pressed a finger to his ear. “Do you hear me all right, Noah?”

“Yes, Gabriel. I hear you.”

Gabriel tried to ignore how tired Noah sounded as he got out of the car and hurried across the street. He stood behind her for a few seconds, pretending not to see her as he spoke over her head to the waiter, asking for a table. He glanced down at her absently and widened his eyes. “Oh! Hi!” He paused. “Elle, right?”

“Yeah.” She looked at him closely for a few moments and then turned away again. He had the distinct feeling he’d been dismissed, and he didn’t like it.

“So what brings you here?” he pressed, moving to stand beside her.


“You’re losing her, Gabriel.” Noah’s voice was clipped, and Gabriel could hear the silent, “If you ever had her at all.”

Gabriel frowned and held up two fingers to the hostess. “Table for two, please.” He glanced at Elle and grinned. “I’ll pay?” She frowned but didn’t protest, and he motioned for her to walk in front of him, chatting about the party and how good it was to see her again and finally – God help him – the weather.

She didn’t speak until they were seated and alone. “Okay, Gabriel, what is this about?”

He stared at her, leaned back as the hostess brought them water and muttered something about wanting tea. When they were alone again, she repeated her question.

“Tell her you just want to get to know her better,” Noah instructed.

“I just wanted to get to know you better.”


Gabriel didn’t need help answering this one. “I think you’re- um, well, I think you’re beautiful.”

Her eyes flashed, and he couldn’t understand why. “Is that all?”

Christ, no wonder Gabriel had so little to do with women. They were easy on the eyes and hard on everything else. And some of them weren’t even easy on the eyes. “I wanted to see you again.”

She stood. “I don’t want to see you. I don’t know what your game is, but you’d better stop. I’ll call the cops if I see you again.”

He watched her walk away and ignored Noah talking calmly into his ear.

Link to fic master post: here

Link to art master post: here

Chapter Two


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