Can't tear my eyes away – it's magical.
Just blood – red cells, white cells, antibodies, so simple… but so much more.
This is the future.
No, that's not right.
I am the future.
But can't dwell on that now, no matter how perfectly the patterns merge, how clear it is all of a sudden, how… – amazing, terrifying, hypnotic it is.
I need to start making it.
I get up.
Always there – why does she have to always – dead. She's dead.
It doesn't matter. Don't cry over spilled milk, isn't that what they say?
I think they meant blood.
Why would anyone cry over spilled milk?
I go to the bathroom, wash my hands – it takes a while, and I don't know why Lady Macbeth was having such a problem with it – it's therapeutic, really.
Something – something in the back of my head, a distant scream, clawing, something…
No, nothing. Must've imagined it.
I've always had a slightly overactive imagination. That's what she always said.
She said that made me special.
And I am. It's all a matter of perspective, scope, vision. Clarity.
I have all that.
All clean – it's almost disappointing: no traces left, like it didn't happen, like it was all a dream and maybe - maybe it was, is, maybe it's not real –
I go back to the living room and she's still there.
It's so quiet – impossibly quiet - and I'm not sure whether my heart is beating so I stop to listen –
A steady, rhythmic thump. Everything's just the way it's supposed to be. Better, even. Clearer.
All fixed. Ticking perfectly.
Even dad's old clock.
I put my jacket on, open the door-
Don't look back.
The world is stretched wide – nothing like a snow globe – it's endless, hanging on the edge of a breath, sleeping. Waiting.
Waiting for me.
I don't plan to keep it in suspense much longer. That'd be cruel.
But there's something I need to take care of first. Something important.
The door is locked. I let myself in – simple lock, simple click.
I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
He hasn't even cleaned the place up since my last visit – must've been a busy day for him, too.
He's at his desk, almost as if he's waiting for me. Maybe he is.
He doesn't reach for the gun – that's smart. It didn't work out so well for him last time, and it's good that he's willing to learn from mistakes. Wouldn't want to have to paste him to the ceiling again. Entertaining as that little experience was, it's not why I'm here.
He stands up instead, posture stiff, defensive.
Does he expect death? No, it's too simplistic for us – he knows that.
That look he has - he can't even muster up the disbelief anymore . The fear is there of course, but only because it's supposed to be, and it's faint and faded and drained and...
Something else is different.
He's stronger, less needy, more… complete.
He's found something.
"What do you want, Sylar?"
Oh, this isn't about what I want. It's bigger than that.
"I need you to listen to me." The hate crawls into his features, taking over – so vibrant - and I belatedly remember to be polite – you can never be too polite, "Please."
"Please?" he spits the word out – well, that's definitely not polite. "You killed my father, you're a murderer, and you expect me to listen to you?"
Of course I expect him to. Not so much an expectation as a prediction, actually – he will listen. I know that much.
And I don't mean to sound racist, really I don't, but that mantra of his is getting a little tired.
He laughs. It's laughter tinged with pain and the smell of old blood - all dark and bitter and shards of glass sticking out of it. It dies out quickly – most beautiful things do.
"You're…" he struggles to find the right word. I'm sure it's difficult - there are just so many that apply – but none that fits.
I take a step closer.
"What am I Mohinder?"
And he keeps looking, not even at me, almost through me - that's a bit insulting, since I haven't actually acquired invisibility yet.
Finally, he shakes his head. "The bogeyman."
"The bogeyman doesn't exist Mohinder. That's childish."
He stares at me blankly, pretending he's made of steel and stone, that I'm not right under his skin, scraping against flesh and bone and nerve. And deeper.
He can't lie to me, not like that – I can hear him. Even if he can't.
"Just say what you came here to say."
But the stage isn't quite right yet, too much ambience, white noise surrounding us – it just won't do.
A few more steps destroy the distance between us - he wants to back away but it's magnetic, what we have, pure and simple physics – can't fight that.
Well, I can. He can't.
I trap his gaze with mine - I already own a part of him. The part that's boiling through him like tar – no feathers yet - slowly but surely, slipping through the cracks - defined by death and vengeance, twisted in a completely perfect way – it's restrained now, nothing he'd ever admit, but it's there – I can feel it.
The rest – well, the rest is just a matter of time, isn't it?
He waits, caught in suspense – not just him, everything.
When I speak, it's into complete silence.
"It's not me."
"The exploding man," that has such a funny ring to it. "It's not me. I saw it."
Of course, it's not as easy as simply saying it. There's still the small matter of trust – slightly problematic, that.
He can't bring himself to believe me, but he can't eliminate the possibility, either - it's too big to discard. Skepticism plays across his features – it's his natural stance on things; I don't bother feeling offended.
"Then what are you doing here?"
I have him now. He can't not listen. Can't resist the urge to know, to understand.
I know what it's like.
I incline my head, even closer now, our faces nearly touching - he draws back but it's not real, only a game – he's still right here, with me.
"We can stop him, Mohinder," I near-whisper, "together."
He shakes his head, can't quite reach a sneer – wouldn't look natural on him anyway - and his mouth is stuck on a slant of doubt.
"You want to," he pauses, the irony thick in his voice, almost suffocating, "save the world."
Why is it so hard to believe?
I've never had anything against the world.
"That's right," I construct a pause, look to my side – the map is there, what's left of it - such a great project gone to waste… but an interesting weapon, I have to admit. I turn back to him. "We'll be saviors, Mohinder. Heroes. The world will cheer for us."
Bow to us.
Can't get more special than that.
"You think you're a hero? Do you even know what you are?"
What an interesting question.
Didn't we go over this already? I reach for an echo.
He shudders – still scared of monsters, how adorable.
Why does that sound like a compliment?
And if sickness is the hot topic -
I don't even need to touch him – the air around us is filled with static – a surge of electricity generated for us alone, poisonous, infectious, an ultrasonic tune composed by nature.
He feels it – wets his lips, breath thickening – getting warmer, isn't it, Mohinder?
"Everybody's sick. Don't you see that? The whole world is sick."
"Some more than others," there's a bite to his voice, and it's amusing, I'll give him that, but we don't have time to be playing this game.
"What we have…" So close. "It's bigger than that Mohinder."
Bigger than mankind. Bigger than evolution.
"This is destiny."
"It's a psychotic nightmare."
But maybe it is, maybe none of this is real, maybe – you'll think of me, when you're all alone -
"Maybe. What difference does it make?" I'm next to his ear now, just breathing – the rest is for later, "It's us."
His eyes are shut, jaw set in what might've been determination if he wasn't so adrift – decisions, decisions. I give him his time.
A moment passes silently.
It's worth the wait – an abrupt motion and his hands are on my collar, clenched, pushing me back into the desk.
Ooh, now that's a game I enjoy.
"I'll help you. It doesn't change anything. After we're done," he injects all the loathing he has into these words, dark eyes consumed with resolute energy – I like him like that, "I will kill you."
So he thinks. Wants to think.
We'll see about that.
I offer him a warm smile in return.
"Oh, that's alright."
Only fair, really.
To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born, a time to die –
And a time for this.
"But first-" I begin, but the sentence is his to complete.
I hear the exact heartbeat that strips him from control, tears away the weight of imposed rules, fractures reality and brings us together.
His mouth crashes on mine – aninevitable, purposeful accident - teeth and hate and impossible craving.
Hands on my belt now - lifting my shirt, over my skin, looking for answers or an escape or – I don't care.
Before it really derails and catches fire, he stops, frowning.
"What're you wearing?"
Oh, that's right. I forgot to change from Gabriel.
Minor slipup. After all, it's a very… temporary arrangement.
"Does it matter?"
I emphasize my point - sliding my tongue over the edge of his ear, closing my teeth and pressing.
He closes his eyes, swallowing, losing breath – mine.
The answer comes, low and toneless.
In the dark, anything is possible.
Also, no one can hear you scream –
No, that's space. I always get those two confused.
There are no shadows in the dark, and in a way, everything is a shadow.
Luckily, I'm my own shadow.
His shadow is strong, angry, desperate. Biting into my shoulder.
We're starring in our very own shadow theater.
Not to say this is an illusion – just the opposite. This is as real as it gets.
He knows – it's different.
No playing pretend. I'm not Zane – not some puppet creation that was fun while it lasted but outstayed its welcome.
Not Gabriel – he was even less real than the other name. All dead now.
And that's what he's after – what he really wants.
He can hide behind empty words and accusations, behind guns and duct tape, but here none of it matters.
Not when the only thing separating us is motion, the same motion that drives us together, and we end up with a little personal paradox on our hands.
This is so unapologetic, so crude, like finger painting.
There's none of the uncertainty, the tentativeness, the awkward shyness - none of the cute.
Can't say I don't miss the old times, exactly, they were fun too, but this –
This is how it's meant to be.
I give him control, all of it – he needs it more, needs it to convince himself this isn't what it is, make up excuses, fairy tales - and the more control he has, the closer he gets, and the more he loses it.
It hurts - he's not being particularly gentle.
Such a good boy, Mohinder, making daddy proud.
Grunting, pounding, like he's trying to bring his dearly departed father back with every thrust – or at least fulfill his vengeful 'duty as a son.' Isn't that how it goes? With a bit of a twist, I suppose.
I don't mind, really.
But see, you can only let ghosts tag along for the ride for so long – they come with an expiration date.
This is exorcism. Just slightly unconventional. Not sure the church would approve.
In the end, amidst the raw acoustics and the wreckage, we wind up alone.
So primal, but actually evolved beyond human barriers, beyond all those silly limitations and artificial walls.
Sweat and need and pain – so easy to get lost in.
Then he slows down - his hand gets in my hair, pulling my head back.
His inflection hoarse and thick and struggling to hold onto form.
He thinks he's asserting – something. Oh, I was wrong - that is cute.
I can't resist a low chuckle. This is too amusing.
"Do it – or I stop."
Does it even get more perfect than this?
"Please," I groan out – it won't be enough for him, but I know better than to waste my best performance so early in the game.
He tightens his grip, leans closer, no needle this time though.
"You can do better."
Like a kid determined to play with fire.
He has no idea.
"Please Mohinder," I almost whine, hit every note perfectly, it's so easy. "Fuck me," I come closer to a growl, for good measure. "Please."
He won't be able to hold much longer – just needs a little push -
I repeat the magic word – more urgent, losing syllables - he's moving again - I whimper, moan, push every button -
His hand slides over my back, slipping on sweat, fingernails digging in painfully -
Tearing down and reconstructing and redefining – genesis in reverse.
And he breaks - a groan with a sob tearing it from the inside and he probably wishes he could keep it silent or stifled, but can't – too strong.
I'm not there yet, but that sound –
I focus on it, amplify - it shudders through me – the helplessness, shattered surrender.
A state of disconnect.
This is bliss.
For a while.
The ache is minor, it'll go away soon, but something lingers.
I turn around, sit up.
He's getting dressed, hiding self-loathing in layers of denial, trying to find himself – might be a bit difficult just now.
Something falls out of his pocket - a piece of paper. I pick it up - it's a drawing of a yellow star – reminds me of something distant.
People have stars, but they aren't the same. Where's this from?
And why would he have something like it? It makes no sense.
"Don't touch it," he snatches the paper away, as if it's some precious relic that I'm tainting.
Getting even colder. I suppress a shiver.
Something is slipping, hiding in the back of my throat, bleeding out.
Maybe – maybe he'll understand.
"I killed her, Mohinder."
He freezes, his face goes blank -
"I didn't mean to," the words exit with urgency, I can't control them. "It just happened. It was an accident."
"What're you talking about?"
Not blank. Horror – rage, all hanging by a thread, ready to break loose, consume.
And his expression changes – starts with relief, slips into confusion. Ends on a note more familiar to us - repulsion.
"What do you expect me to say?" he asks sharply. "Nice job?"
I lean against the wall, close my eyes for a second.
"No, I-" What did I expect? Why did I even bring it up? It was stupid. Pointless. "Nothing."
He keeps his gaze on me, frozen – for a second it looks like he might say something – something else - but then he shakes his head.
"I'm not your confessor, Sylar."
He leaves the room.
Why would I need a confessor, anyway?
I answer to no one. Least of all him.
I keep still.
And wonder –
Am I supposed to wish on a star now?
The snow globe isn't filled with snow.
I don't understand what it is – hold it up, try to look closer – it shouldn't be this difficult –
Air freezes in my lungs.
It's filled with blood.
Bleeding from the inside.
Why – why is it –
I feel a wave of nausea rising, fight to contain it.
It's getting darker inside, starting to slowly boil -
Warmer in my hand, burning.
Something is trying to get out –
I can't hold onto it any longer – my hand is shaking, it stings too much, hurts and I – let go.
The glass cracks.