Author: VaGal67 PM
Now working for The Company, Stan is partnered with Sylar for a special assignment.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - & Sylar/Gabriel G. - Words: 4,674 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 10-09-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7451227
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"I don't know about this, Angela," Bennett said shaking his head.
"It's the best solution to our mutual problem," the woman insisted. "I want him gone. You want him gone."
"Still, the risk..."
"I'm willing to take it," she said. She looked up and saw the subject of the conversation striding towards them. "Ah! Here he is now." She extended her hand and put on her best fake smile. "Stan! So good of you to join us!"
"No problem, Mrs. P," the man replied, not recognizing the lack of respect he was showing his current boss but then again, Stan Smith was never the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree. "I got here as soon as I received your message. So you have an important assignment for me?"
"I do," she said as she handed him a large document envelope. "I need you to deliver this top secret document to your old boss, Mr. Bullock. He's expecting it there within the week."
"You got it! I'll get on the road right away."
"Just a moment, Stan. You know the policy: One of us, one of them. Now since your last three partners have either quit, died, or mysteriously disappeared..."
"Hey, I can explain all that!" Stan began to protest. "It's not my fault McCann couldn't take a little teasing. Jeez, you'd think a guy with invisible legs would be a bit more thick skinned."
"He didn't have invisible legs, Stan," Bennett said trying to keep his composure. "He was a double amputee who lost his legs in a combine accident."
"The invisible legs thing wasn't his ability?"
"No! His ability was telepathy! What did you think the prosthetics were for?"
"I thought they were peg legs, like on pirates! It's why I kept asking 'Arghh! Where we be headed, matey?'" Stan noticed the shocked looks on Bennett's and Angela's faces. "What? I thought he had a fetish! It's real! Hey, if you don't believe me then Google it!"
"And Marcus?" Angela asked.
"How was I supposed to know he was allergic to nuts and shellfish? My wife made a lovely shrimp with peanut sauce and I generously offered him some while we were on that stake out in the middle of nowhere."
"Why didn't you call for help when he started having a reaction?" Bennett asked.
"I thought he was joking around! He was like that! See, if you knew your people, you'd have known his sense of humor."
"And Shelby?" Angela continued.
"I swear, I thought he was in the car when we left that Georgia mountain town. He must've gotten caught up talking to those nice gentlemen from the backwoods. I believe they were farmers because they kept talking about the sounds a pig makes. I went back as soon as I realized I'd left him behind."
"It took you six hours to realize he wasn't in the car with you?" Bennett asked in disbelief.
"He was always the quiet type. Plus, he was mad because I wouldn't let him play his new banjo on the trip so I figured he was just giving me the ol' 'silent treatment,'" Stan replied.
Bennett let out a long, exasperated breath as he noticed someone coming down the hall towards them. He put on a fake smile to match Angela's and said, "Never mind. It's all water under the bridge now. Why don't you meet your new partner. Stan Smith, this is Sylar.
"Stan turned and looked at the tall, lean man that now stood beside him. "Sylar! What a pleasure to meet you! Man, I've heard so many stories! Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," Sylar said as Stan continued to enthusiastically pump his hand.
"When you eat someone's brain..."
"I don't eat it," Sylar interrupted as a look of disgust crossed his face.
"You don't?" Stan said a bit disappointed.
"No. I probe around until I find the ability and absorb it."
"Really? Because I always thought you gobbled that thing up like a bowl of skull jello."
"No." Sylar replied as he began to become more uncomfortable with the conversation.
"Come on!" Stan said in disbelief. "You never even took a tiny bite, you know, just a taste?"
"God no!" Sylar said horrified as he completely lost his appetite.
"Ok, if you say so," Stan told him with more than a hint of disbelief in his voice.
"Bennett, I need to talk to you." Sylar and his nemesis stepped a few feet away as Angela did her best to distract Stan. "Just to clarify: I go with this guy to Langley and the Company leaves me alone from here on out."
"Sylar, you make it from Texas to Virginia without leaving pieces of Stan Smith along the highway, and I guarantee you'll never have to worry about the Company again."
Sylar concentrated and found Bennett wasn't lying. He looked over his shoulder as Stan let out a high-pitched laugh that sounded like a drunken sorority sister after an all night bender. "Fine. I'll do it." He took a deep breath and joined his new "partner" as he finished telling Angela an off-color joke that the woman obviously didn't find the least bit amusing. "Ok, I'm ready."
"Great!" Stan said as he swatted Sylar on the behind, surprised when the man glared at him. "Hey, football players do it all the time!"
"But I bet they don't grab and squeeze," Sylar pointed out between clenched teeth.
"Oh come on, relax! You know what you need? Some Kenny G. Good thing I have all his CDs with me. Let's head out and get to groovin' to some mellow tunes!" As he walked out of Primatech, Sylar looked behind him, wondering if he'd made the right decision.
Sylar clenched his jaw, thankful he could regenerate. Between the constant Kenny G and Stan's incessant yammering, he was sure he would have ground his teeth down to the gum line by now if he didn't have that particular ability.
"Stan, please! Can we just have a little while of silence?" he asked as he reached over and turned off the CD player.
"Sure thing, partner," Stan replied. He looked over at Sylar, trying not to stare. "Can I just say one thing?"
"What?" Sylar sighed.
"You have the most magnificent 5 o'clock shadow I've ever seen. Seriously, most men look like hobos when their stubble comes in but you look just downright rugged."
Sylar thought the whole "brain eating" conversation had made him feel uncomfortable but now he squirmed in his seat trying not to notice Stan's eyes shifting every now and then to look him over. He turned the CD player back on, willing to endure more lame easy listening rather than let Stan continue with his train of thought.
"Boy, I shouldn't have had that second cup of black coffee this morning," Stan chuckled. "There's a gas station. Whatta say to a pit stop?"
"Fine with me," Sylar muttered back. It would at least give him some relative peace and quiet for a few minutes even if it was in some dump of a convenience mart. He went in, grabbed a soda and a candy bar, then headed for the magazine rack.
"So you looking for a girlie magazine to keep you entertained on the long drive?" Stan asked way too loudly.
Sylar looked up and noticed the clerk smirking as he flipped through a gossip rag. "Actually, I'm getting a copy of Time magazine. There's an interesting article about how the foreign policy of the Bush administration has damaged our relations with our allies for years to come."
"Oh come on! You don't believe all that liberal agenda crap, do you?" Stan asked as he followed Sylar to the counter.
"It's not, 'crap' Stan. If you hadn't been brainwashed by your former employer, you'd see that." Sylar took the bag from the clerk and started for the door.
"Wait Sylar! You forgot something," Stan called.
Sylar stopped and looked in his bag then back at Stan, confused.
"Your wussy bleeding heart," Stan said.
Sylar angrily pushed the door open and stormed towards the car.
"Oh I see. Can't take a joke!" Stan said as he followed.
"My beliefs aren't a joke to me Stan!" Sylar said as he whirled around. "They're part of who I am!" He yanked open the car door and got in the passenger seat as Stan got in to drive. He took out his magazine and began reading as they pulled back out onto the highway.
Stan drove for a few minutes, occasionally looking over at Sylar as the man read intently. His mind began to churn as he thought of the liberal media poisoning he knew was taking place and decided he had to do something about it. He lowered the window then grabbed the magazine and flung it out.
"What the hell!" Sylar screamed at him.
"I did it for your own good!" Stan told him.
Sylar clenched his fist, barely able to control his rage. He looked at the pile of Kenny G CD's and couldn't take it any longer. He pulled the disc from the CD player, put it on top of the rest, then with a quick, electrical surge, melted everything into a lump of molten plastic which he then tossed out his window.
"My Kenny G CDs!" Stan wailed. "How could you!"
"It was for your own good," Sylar replied. "Your taste in music sucks as much as your political views!"
"Fine! I'll just stop at the next Wal-Mart and replace my CDs which you're going to pay for!"
Sylar placed his hand on the player's slot and melted it shut with his heat ability. "And how are you going to play them, smart guy?"
Stan swerved and pulled over to the side of the road with a screech. He got out of the car and began walking back the way they'd come."That's right! Walk away!" Sylar called as he got out as well.
"I am going to find my CDs and you're going to fix them!" Stan yelled back.
"First off, how am I supposed to do that and second, why would I?"
Stan turned and marched back towards the car, his gun drawn. "Because if you don't, I'll shoot you!"
"I regenerate, you idiot!" Sylar pointed out.
"Yeah, but that Armani jacket doesn't," Stan retorted. "I'll put holes in it bigger than the national debt, which was caused by your liberal friends, by the way, in every piece of clothing you have!"
"You wouldn't dare!" Sylar gasped. "And just to educate you a little bit, Stan, we had a surplus until you conservatives took over!" He noticed Stan was staring at him again. "What? What is it now?"
"You're really sexy when you're angry," Stan said. "You have this whole brooding, menacing quality but there's still this warmth to you, like a rabid puppy who just wants to be loved. And just like that puppy, you have to be loved from a distance otherwise, you'll rip out someone's heart."
"Ok, this is getting too creepy, even for me," Sylar said as he rubbed his temples with the thumb and ring finger of one hand, the other on his hip. "And keep in mind that statement comes from a serial killer who slices off the tops of people's heads!" He walked back to the car, got in and waited for Stan.
The two drove in silence, a blessing for Sylar, for several miles before Stan cleared his throat and prepared to speak.
"You know, you're not the only one who reads," Stan said. "I read civilization is supposed to end in 2012."
"That's all a bunch of hype," Sylar replied rolling his eyes.
"What if it isn't?" Stan questioned. "I know! Let's play a game!"
"I'd rather not," Sylar told him.
"We have to do something now that you have nothing to read and I don't have any music to listen to," Stan whined.
"Ok, fine," Sylar sighed. "What do you want to play? Twenty Questions?"
"No. Let's play 'If the world ended tomorrow,'" Stan suggested.
"I don't know that one." Sylar hoped Stan would drop the subject but he continued.
"I pose a hypothetical situation around the end of the world and you have to answer it," Stan said.
"Alright, go ahead."
"If the world ended tomorrow and you and I were the only beings left alive and we could somehow...mate...and produce children, would you do it?"
Sylar felt the headache coming back. "Stan, I'm not gay," he said.
"I never said you were!" Stan replied defensively. "And I'm married to a beautiful woman and have two kids so I'm not gay either. It's just, you know, hypothetical."
"If I answer, can we drive in complete and total silence until we reach the motel?" Sylar bargained.
"You have a deal," Stan promised. "So...would you?"
"No," Sylar said.
"Why not?" Stan asked, not trying to hide his hurt feelings. "What's so unappealing about me that you wouldn't mate with me to save the human race? Is it my hair?"
"My body. I can work out, you know. I've been meaning to get back to the gym and eat better but with my schedule and sitting in a car for long hours..."
"It's not that."
"My clothes? I know I don't have the same 'fashion sense' as you..."
"It's because you'd be a terrible father," Sylar finally clarified.
"What are you talking about? I'm a great father!"
"Oh yeah," Sylar said turning towards him. "Ok, what's Haley's favorite book?"
"'The Cat in the Hat,'" Stan replied without hesitation.
"I mean now, not when she was two-years-old," Sylar said.
"'The Cat in the Hat' is a classic. What can beat that?" Stan asked.
"According to her, 'The Bell Jar.' Let's talk about Steve. Name one of his friends?"
"Let's see, there's the fat kid, the Asian kid, and the spaz," Stan rattled off.
"Wow, just like a right-wing fanatic to reduce people to labels," Sylar said shaking his head. "Their names are Barry, Toshi, and Snot."
"How do you know all this?" Stan asked.
Sylar pulled out his iPhone and showed Stan the screen. "I read their facebook pages. Took me ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Here I am, a complete stranger, taking more time to learn about their lives than their own father. And you wonder why I wouldn't have children with you? You'd abandon them out in the woods somewhere to be eaten by rabid, love-starved puppies." He settled back in his seat and closed his eyes. "Now, I believe you owe me at least a couple of hours of peace and quiet so I'm going to take a nap."
Stan drove, the conversation he'd just had with Sylar making him seethe. Who was he to tell him he wasn't a good father? This silence was killing him! As he pulled into the motel parking lot near an airport, he began to reach over to wake his partner until something caught his eye: A man with long, curly hair walking to one of the rooms. Could it be? It had to be! Stan looked at Sylar as he snoozed and remembered the man's core ability. His partner owed him for those CDs one way or the other, and it was time to pay up.
Sylar jumped as maniacal laughter filled the inside of the car, thinking he should go with something less jarring than Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" for his ring tone. He looked at the caller ID and noticed Stan wasn't in the vehicle.
"Stan, where are you?" he said into his phone as he rubbed his eyes.
"I'll be right up." Sylar hung up, a bit peeved Stan hadn't woken him up before going to the room. His mood didn't lighten when he saw Stan's luggage still in the trunk. He grabbed his own overnight bag and headed up the stairs. "Stan, if you think I'm bringing your bags up..." Sylar stopped short as he entered the room and dropped his bag when he saw his partner, covered in blood, holding a severed head by the thick, curly hair attached to it. "Oh my God!" he said, trying desperately not to scream. "Stan! What did you do!"
"I killed Kenny G and severed his head so you could absorb his ability," Stan calmly explained.
"But...but...you love Kenny G! Why would you kill him! Now he can never make another CD!"
"I know but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to have my own sax virtuoso as my traveling companion." He thrust the head towards Sylar insistently. "Well, do what you gotta do!"
"I don't severe people's heads from their bodies! I cut off the tops!" Sylar pointed out.
"Whatever. Start absorbing. I need some music to help me unwind."
"He doesn't even have an ability, Stan!"
"Well, if making sweet lilting music to calm the savage breast isn't an ability I don't know what is," Stan replied.
Sylar shook his head in shock and looked closer at the head Stan was still holding. "You moron! That's not even Kenny G! It's 'Weird Al' Yankovic!"
Stan looked confused for a moment then took a closer look himself. "Oh hey! You're right!"
"Didn't the Hawaiian shirt tip you off?" Sylar asked.
"I thought Kenny was just slumming."
"And the accordion?" Sylar asked, pointing to the instrument on the floor.
"I thought he was learning a new musical skill. You know those artistic types. Always exploring their talents. This works out better anyway. I need to laugh. Absorb his ability, pick up that accordion, and start pumping out 'Another One Rides the Bus!' I love that song!"
"Yeah, I like that one too," Sylar said as a smile crept across his face. He shook his head to bring himself back to reality. "No! Damn it! I told you, it doesn't work that way! Even if it did, you didn't have to kill anyone! I can absorb abilities without the whole head slicing thing!"
"You can?" Stan asked stunned.
"Yes! Through empathetic contact. Did you even read my file?"
"I perused it," Stan said, tossing the head aside. "Well, guess we better get out of here before someone comes looking for Al." He walked casually past Sylar as if nothing had happened.
Sylar looked around at the carnage, picked up his bag, grabbed the "Do Not Disturb" sign, and hung it on the doorknob, hoping to buy him and Stan more time. That was it! The last straw! He caught up to Stan just as he rounded a corner and flung the man telekinetically up against the wall.
"Sylar! What are you doing? We're partners!"
Sylar tossed the overnight aside and rifled through Stan's pockets until he found the large document envelope Angela had given the man.
"Hey! You can't open that! It's marked 'Top Secret!'"
"You just murdered someone! You're the last person who should be talking about the rules." Sylar opened the envelope and pulled out the piece of paper inside. He stared at it for a moment in disbelief. "This has to be a joke," he said, releasing Stan.
"What is it?" Stan asked, now curious. He took the paper as Sylar handed it to him. "Lentil Soup recipe? It must be a code."
"No. It's just a recipe," Sylar said, a new wave of shock taking him over. He looked into the envelope and found another piece of paper. He pulled it out and began reading. "'My dear Bullock. Here's that recipe you asked for. It's been a family secret for generations but I give it to you as part of our bargain. You take Smith off our hands and you can pass it off as your own. Good luck with the 'Langley Falls Lentil Soup Challenge.' Regards, Angela Petrelli.'"
"They're...they're getting rid of me?" Stan said in disbelief. "But I thought I was doing a great job for them."
"Who told you that? Bennett? I wouldn't believe a word that came out of his mouth and I have lie detection ability," he said. "I bet they'll have Company agents waiting in Langley Falls to scoop me up and take me back to Primatech." Sylar leaned against the wall next to Stan.
"Bullock's been trying to win The Golden Ladle at the Soup Challenge for years now. I guess he finally found a way to get his hands on it." He sighed heavily and looked down at his feet. "Maybe I wasn't the best Company 'bag and tagger' but I know I'm worth more than some soup recipe."
"Hey Al! We're ready to go to rehearsal!" a voice upstairs called.
"We better get out of here." Sylar picked up his bag and the two made their way to their car and got back on the road. They drove silently for awhile, something Sylar would've otherwise appreciated. "So why did you leave the CIA in the first place?"
"Bullock fired me," Stan said as he gazed out towards the horizon. "I was taking care of his cat and fed the fur ball the wrong brand of food. It upset his 'delicate digestive system' as Bullock put it. I won't go into detail but let's just say there wasn't enough kitty litter in Langley Falls to take care of the results. Bullock said if he couldn't trust me with the simple task of taking care of Mr. Whiskers, he couldn't trust me with the security of our nation."
"Wow," Sylar said in disbelief. "Harsh." He took a breath before continuing. "Stan, I'm sorry about what I said earlier, about you being a bad father. Anyone who'd go through the humiliation you've put up with to provide for his family can't be all bad."
"So does that mean you've changed your mind about the whole 'repopulating the Earth' thing?"
"Let's not get back into that discussion," Sylar told him.
"I'll take that as a 'yes,'" Stan replied with a smile.
Sylar let it go as he looked at the paper, an idea coming to his head. "Hey Stan, what would you think of making this recipe 'extra' special for Bullock?"
"What did you have in mind?" Stan asked."I'll explain later. Just stop at the next drug store you see," Sylar instructed.
"Stan! I can't thank you enough for getting that 'special document' to me," Bullock told his newly rehired agent.
"Not a problem, sir. Just happy to be of service to my country," Stan replied.
"Too bad that Sylar fellow gave you the slip," Bullock said. "Bennett and Petrelli are none to happy about that but I explained things happen and that one is particularly crafty. He would've gotten away from our best agents so I'm not surprised he got past you."
"Thank you, sir." Stan felt himself bristle at the backhanded compliment.
"Sir, we're ready to take you to the Soup Challenge," Agent Cobb said as he stuck his head in the door.
"Then let's be on our way," Bullock said smiling. "When the votes of the people are tallied, I'm confident I'll be victorious! The Golden Ladle is in the bag this year, Stan. I can feel it!"
"I'm sure everyone will be feeling it as well," Stan replied as he followed his boss out the door.
Bullock grabbed the pot of fresh, hot soup that had been simmering on the CIA kitchen's stove and headed for his SUV. He was driven with full escort to the cook-off where he placed his pot proudly on the table for all to enjoy.
"Remember, when you fill out your ballot, that's Bullock. B U L L O C K," he said to everyone who took a big, heaping bowl of his soup.
Suddenly, one of those who'd helped themselves grabbed their stomach and ran for the port-a-johns. Then another. Then another. Soon, there were lines of anxious, sweating, cramping lentil soup lovers waiting their turn, a few unfortunate souls unable to hold out until they'd made it inside. Police and paramedics arrived on the scene to begin handling the chaos.
"What's going on?" one officer asked.
"It was the lentil soup he made!" said a man pointing as he doubled over. "It's made us all sick!"
The officer marched over, put Bullock to the ground, and cuffed him as another policeman joined him.
"Wait! Don't you know who I am?" the prisoner protested.
"Yeah, you're Bullock. B U L L O C K," one of the officers replied as he led the man to the squad car.
"Don't worry, sir," Stan called. "I'm sure it's just a huge misunderstanding. You should be able to post bail by tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest." He waited until the squad car had roared away before motioning for Cobb to follow him back to the SUV.
"That was brilliant!" Stan exclaimed giddily as Cobb took a seat beside him. He heard a groan and turned to see the agent morph back into his old Company partner. "Refilling the olive oil bottle in the CIA kitchen with castor oil was a stroke of genius, Sylar! How'd you come up with that idea?"
"My mom used to give me that stuff when I was a kid to 'purge my system' as she called it," Sylar explained. "I figured it would do the same here." He looked in the visor mirror and smoothed his hair back. "Best of all, when Bullock looks at the security footage, he'll think it was Cobb making the switch. You sure you don't have a problem with that?"
"Positive. I never liked that guy," Stan assured him. "So where to?"
"Take me to Union Station. I can catch a train up to New York City from there."
Stan made his way to the station, pulling up outside. "Here you go."
"By the way, Stan, the answer to your question is 'yes.' If by some bizarre chance we're the only two beings on Earth and we had to repopulate the planet together, even though that's simply not biologically possible, I'd have kids with you."
"I knew it!" Stan exclaimed "Thanks Sylar."
"You're welcome, Stan," he replied. He got out of the SUV and took his bag from the backseat. "Oh, one other thing, Haley's planning to go away for the weekend with Jeff but..."
"She's going to tell me and Francine she's going to an artists' retreat with her girlfriends," Stan finished. "I checked her facebook this morning."
"I see. Well, so long, Stan."
"So long, Sylar." Stan watched as his former partner disappeared into the crowd. His cell began ringing and he looked at the caller ID. It was Bullock, no doubt calling to get Stan to post bail. "I'll just let that go to voicemail," Stan said with a smile as he began his journey back home.