Evolutionary Imperative

I don't care if it hurts.

Staring into the terrified eyes of Brian Davis, everything became clear. Frighteningly clear. Looking through the man's light blue irises, Gabriel could see the problem, the glitch that gave the man his extraordinary powers. It was so obvious now. The problem was lodged deep within the man's brain like a loose coil or a broken cog.

"You're broken." The realization fell from his lips. It was as if his own internal clock had been repaired. All of the answers that he'd been searching for, that Dr. Suresh had been searching for, stood in front of him like one giant broken watch piece.

Thankfully for Gabriel Gr… Sylar, broken pieces were very easily fixed.

Shoving Suresh's book into Davis's arms, Sylar's brain began to spin. Having seen the broken part through the telekinetic man's gaze, he knew that he could finally be everything he'd ever wanted. He could finally be… special.

Since he'd looked into Brian's eyes, insane thoughts had been racing through his mind. And they began to boil over as Sylar reeled with realization. Trembling on the tip of his tongue, what he had to say would answer Brain's question. But really, it was more a vocalization of his own realization than anything else. "Suresh was right. It's so clear now. How it all works." Standing behind the broken man, Sylar searched the back of his skull, his light brown eyes raking through the layers of hair, bone, and brain tissue.

Gripping the antique wooden counter top, Gabriel could barely contain his growing excitement, and the perpetual ticking of the surrounding clocks seemed to intensify. The thing that he'd always wanted, more than anything, was standing right before him. The last time that he and Dr. Suresh had met, the doctor had proclaimed the worst. He had confessed that their progress was lacking, that perhaps he was wrong. That Gabriel wasn't special. Standing so close to someone who had the power he deserved…

There was no way that it was going to escape now.

"… Pieces fitting together, it is in the brain." Looking down at the counter as the man asked for his help, he found his answer. It was nowhere near as refined as the tools he used on the clocks and watches he lovingly repaired, but the large white crystal would do the trick. He would worry about perfecting his technique later.

Weighing the glittering object in his hand, Sylar stared greedily at the back of Brian Davis as he continued to flip through Suresh's book.

"Don't worry, Brian. I can fix it." Gabriel Sylar tried to keep the lust, anger, and excitement out of his voice. He tried to remain calm. But as the blood began to course through his veins in a dangerous counterpoint to the surrounding clocks, he couldn't help it. Raising the heavy crystal over his head, Sylar closed the short distance between himself and Mr. Davis. "It's an evolutionary imperative."

With a sickening thud, the sharp points of the shimmering crystal connected with Brian Davis, right below his skull. At the moment of impact, Sylar had felt the man's fragile vertebrate crack and splinter. Where it would have bothered the gentle tempered Gabriel Gray, Sylar merely seized the moment, reaching out for his glasses.

Placing the multi-lens watchmaker's glasses on his greedy face, the man listened to the symphony of the ticking clocks. As he clung to life, a pool of crimson blood began to spill out around Brian Davis's dying body.

It was time to find the broken piece.

I wanna have control.

Rapping against Dr. Suresh's door, Gabriel Gray clutched the book the doctor had given him to his chest. For the past few days, he'd been able to think of nothing other than the wonderful possibility that he could be one of the few, the precious few that Suresh had written about. Even the watch, with its German parts from 1917, had been left forgotten. Its soft ticking merely a backdrop for the many hours that he'd spent at his work desk reading.

Any other time he'd have dropped everything to answer the call of a ticking timepiece. But not now. He was finally going to have control over his own destiny. Gabriel Gray, with his sweater vests and heavily rimmed glasses, was finally going to be special.

Trying to contain his boyish excitement, the watchmaker held his breath as the apartment door opened. Ever since he'd met the geneticist, he'd barely been able to contain his excitement. The promise of something… more had given him a reason to appreciate life again. It wasn't that he was unhappy with his life. No, Gabriel just didn't relish every moment of every day like he felt he should. Dr. Suresh's news had truly been the answer to one of his many bedtime prayers.

Biting back the eager smile that threatened to take over his face, the quiet man realized that he needn't have bothered. As he saw the doctor's own beaming face appear around the edge of the door he couldn't help but smile himself.

"Splendid. Please, come in." The joy in the doctor's voice was palpable as he ushered Gabriel into his meager apartment.

Sparsely furnished, the front room seemed to be covered in information relating to people with special abilities. Even the dining room table was covered in textbooks and various papers.

The highlight of the apartment, however, was the giant map covered in pushpins, multicolored strings, and photos. The idea that Dr. Suresh had located that many people with abilities was exhilarating. Sipping hot tea from the chartreuse mug the doctor had offered him, Gabriel felt as if he were in Heaven.

After a few minutes of small talk, or as small as talk concerning the soul could be, Gabriel stood next to the tiny dining room table. Dimly lit, the apartment seemed to be cast in a bluish haze from a few stained glass windows that hung around the apartment.

Excited about the work ahead of them, the younger man thought once again of his childhood dreams. Every night before bed, he would clasp his tiny hands together and pray for the same thing. So many years later, he'd never once told another soul what he'd asked for. Now, in the presence of the one who could make his dreams come true, he was ready to lend a voice to those nightly whispers. Parting his lips to speak, Gabriel felt as though he was confessing. Not a sin, but a side of himself that no one had ever seen before. "When I was a kid… I used to wish some stranger would come and tell me my family wasn't really my family."

Having taken the seat opposite of Suresh a few moments before, the watchmaker leaned forward slightly, eager to continue his tale, to explain his deepest wishes. "They weren't bad people, they were just… insignificant."

Unable to stand it anymore, the young man looked up, without waiting for Suresh to speak, Gabriel continued on. Too consumed by his tale to stop, "Special."

Looking forward but never quite meeting the doctor's eye, he continued on as if hungry to proclaim his desire for something more. "I wanted to change. A new name, a new life. The watchmaker's son…" Staring into Chandra Suresh's eyes, Gabriel Gray felt as if he were pleading for his very life. A life that only the geneticist could give him. "Became a watchmaker. It's so futile."

Leaning forward once again, Gabriel didn't bother to hide his yearning for something more. There was no point. He'd opened his very soul and laid it out upon the table for Chandra. There was no going back now. "And I wanted to be… important."

As the final word slipped from his lips, Gabriel Gray felt as if a weight had been removed from his shoulders. The slight smile that crossed the doctor's lips spread to his eyes, causing the watchmaker's heart to pound in his chest.

"You are important, Gabriel."

Leaning into the doctor more closely than before, the young man smiled as he asked the question that had been haunting him ever since he'd closed his book. "What do you think my abilities might be?"

I want a perfect body.

Staring at himself in the mirror through blood-splattered glasses, Gabriel Sylar pressed his fingertips against the reflection searching for the hidden difference.

Running his fingertips over the cool surface, the watchmaker traced the curves of his lips and the arch of his eyebrows. He looked no different than he had that morning. His hair was still neatly parted, and his eyes were still light brown. The man standing before the mirror was still Gabriel.

But the man staring out of the mirror was no longer Gabriel Gray.

Listening to the haunting symphony of his clocks ticking in counterpoint to one another, Gabriel Sylar carefully removed the bloody glasses from his face. Setting them on the edge of the sink, Sylar studied his reflection once again still trying to catch a glimpse of the new piece. Gripping the ceramic edges of the basin, the man commanded the tap to twist to the right.

Smiling slightly the watchmaker imagined that he could feel the new gear spinning into action in his brain. Gushing softly, the stream of cool water echoed through the tiny bathroom as it filled the sink.

The process had been simple really. The moment the last breath slipped from Brian Davis's lungs, Sylar had looked into the corpse's vacant eyes searching for the broken piece, the faulty gear. It only took a second before he saw Davis's ability twitching feebly in the depths of the dead irises.

Dipping his hands into the cool water, Sylar found the difference in his own gaze. The ability that he'd taken from Brian Davis was now safe in his own brain. The telekinesis finally belonged to someone worthy of its power.

Picking up the glasses once again, Sylar washed away the dried blood. Looking into the mirror, everything seemed so much clearer than it had before. Gray may have relied upon the thick-rimmed spectacles, but he didn't need them to see the truth.

Gabriel had finally found what made him special.

He'd always known that there was supposed to be more to his life than restoring broken watches and slow clocks. If God wasn't willing to bestow him with an extraordinary gift of his own, then he would find those who were unworthy of theirs.

He would find them and relieve them of their burdens, because he, Sylar, was worthy.

Testing out his telekinesis for the second time, the watchmaker commanded the tap to twist to the left. The absence of the gushing water caused the man to grin. Smiling back, his reflection showed him what was different.

The now perfectly working gear was ticking smoothly in his brain.

I want a perfect soul.

Raking his fingers through the soft strands of his dark hair, Sylar tugged at the roots. Hoping the pain would drown out his childhood morality he gripped the black mass more tightly before pulling again. Pacing from one side of the walk-in closet to the other, the man tried to ignore the constant grinding of the wheels in his head.

Tracking down the other people like Brian Davis, people who had gifts that they neither desired nor appreciated, was supposed to help fix him. But instead, the truth of what he was feeling had begun to haunt the watchmaker.

Killing the unworthy was the easy part.

It was simply evolution trying to push the human race forward. Sylar was merely doing what he had to do, and who was he to deny the call of destiny? Who was he to deny the call of greatness?

What bothered the miniscule part of Gabriel Gray that was still alive deep within Sylar's soul was how easy it all was. The timid watchmaker would have never killed fly, let alone another person.

For Sylar, however, all it took was one telekinetic slice from his pointed index finger.

In the past few months he'd refined his technique, the shimmering crystal from his first murder had been meticulously cleaned and once again placed on the antique countertop.

Yelling in frustration as the pain failed to drown out his conscience, the man continued to pace feverishly back and forth. Thinking of Brian Davis and the others he had killed for powers, Sylar fought to suppress the glee that was bubbling in the pit of his stomach.

Pounding against the closet wall, Gabriel thought about thick crimson blood oozing down the foreheads of his victims. Laughing manically he relished the memory of the harsh beauty of fear as it welled up in his preys eyes. Each person was different, but that terrific look of absolute terror and resignation never failed to touch him like a lover's tender caress.

It wasn't that he only enjoyed the simple act of snuffing out the light behind another person's eyes. He now looked forward to it, and that was what bothered Gabriel Gray the most.

When he'd begun his quest for importance and greatness, the fact that he had to murder people with special abilities was simply part of the evolutionary imperative. But now… he was hungry for it.

He ached for the fulfillment of murdering the undeserving.

Resuming his angry pacing, Gabriel tried not to think about the satisfaction and contentment he felt whenever he'd find the broken part behind his prey's frightened eyes. That particular joy, was far too much for the poor, insignificant watchmaker that still lingered within the beating heart of Sylar.

"I've sinned."

Gabriel had attended church with his mother every Sunday morning as a small boy and gone out for pancakes afterward. He'd made his first communion in the second grade and been confirmed in the eighth. The young watchmaker had never once missed saying his prayers before bed.

And now… he was a murderer.

Dropping to his knees, Sylar grabbed his coat, wiping away the thin sheen of sweat from his forehead. Scrambling frantically to get to the jacket's inner pocket, the watchmaker pulled out the expensive pen his father had given him on his twenty-first birthday.

Pushing himself to his feet once again, Gabriel ran the palm of his hand over the pristine white walls of the closet. Placing the tip of the pen to the wall, Gabriel Gray began to write frantically, the scratching of the pen the only sound to ease his pain.

Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me…

Squeeka Cuomo's Notes

- The song lyrics that inspired this fic (and that I used) are from the song Creep by Radiohead.

- Save for a very few lines of dialogue, the vast majority of the quotes in this are taken from the episode "Six Months Ago".

- Quack, thank you. For every comment. For every word. For every everything with this. You're amazing. :duck: