Sylar glances up to watch Mohinder as the over-stimulated man wanders down the bare convenience store aisle, running his fingers over American-brand candies like he's never seen them before. Because to Mohinder, he hasn't.
"You can get anything you want," he says, flipping through the borrowed phonebook at the counter while the attendant watches a soap opera.
"Oh I don't need anything I'm just excited to be in some sort of civilization and out of that sodded cabin - do I like these?" Mohinder questions, snatching a bag of skittles off the rack and holding it up. Sylar grins and quirks a bushy brow at the adorable look of concerned curiosity on Mohinder's face.
"Well to be honest I don't know but here, we'll get them and find out." He motions and Mohinder walks it over, setting the candy down on the counter. "Go grab a drink too while I find this."
Sylar watches Mohinder closely as the man wanders over to the drink section a few feet away, feeling a disturbing amount of protective instinct over the man. He isn't sure if it has to do with Mohinder's heightened vulnerability, or if it's the deep seeded connection he's formed with his memory-less lover the past couple of weeks. Either way, he's sure that this isn't going to end well for either of them. There's no coming back from what he's done and Sylar doesn't think he'll have the gull to fight back when the old Mohinder starts attacking him for his crimes.
Sylar turns his attention back to the phone book and continues flipping through the annoyingly loud pages. Parker, Patley, Patron, Peck, Pennly, Peshin, Petra…Petrelli. His index finger drags slowly down the list of names, landing on what looks to be an unfamiliar address for Peter Petrelli in the city.
He tucks the information neatly away in the folds of his brain with eidetic memory and snaps the phonebook closed just as Mohinder walks up, setting two ice-cold raspberry teas and a blueberry muffin on the counter.
"Not for me, you didn't eat breakfast and I worry."
"How sweet," he comments with a small smile, kissing Mohinder on the cheek and letting his lips linger for a moment longer than they should. He's going to miss this more than anything; there's already a dull ache growing in his chest for what he hasn't yet lost.
Sylar pulls his wallet out of his back pocket and taps
the counter to get the attendant's attention, placing seven dollars
near the register after quickly doing the math. He grabs their treats
and lets Mohinder head out first, telling the man to 'Keep the
change' in a tone that forebodes I won't need it anymore.
Once back in the car with their spoils all sorted out amongst themselves he revs the engine in such a way that causes Mohinder to ask with an amused look,
"Are we going into battle, Gabriel?"
"Something like that."
Peter lives in a rather small apartment building, much to Sylar's surprise. He would have expected a Petrelli spawn to have massive space and the comfort any rich snob could desire. Though Peter has never been very much like the rest of his family, Sylar has come to realize, and for that he has faith that he won't be turned away. Playing off of the empath's emotions is a tactic far too easy, tried and true, but Sylar is desperate.
He walks hand-in-hand with Mohinder up the building's stairwell, their fingers laced tightly together, and Sylar has no intention of letting go until his lover is the one who shoves him away.
"I do like these," Mohinder comments idly, looking into the half-eaten bag of skittles. "They sort of melt on my tongue."
"Yeah they're good."
"Are you alright?"
"Just…excited to see an old friend."
He puts on a smile for Mohinder and opens the door to the third level of the building, following his companion through it, down the hall.
"And his name is Peter you said?"
"Yes…don't be alarmed, he may act…strange."
"Strange? How so?" Mohinder asks, stopping in front of the proper door. "He's not going to hurt me, is he?"
"No. No I wouldn't let him do that."
"But he'll fix this…fix what you did?"
"I hope so Mohinder."
If not, Sylar isn't exactly sure what he'll do. There will be a battle, he knows, a struggle to keep Mohinder as Peter will surely do anything and everything in his power to protect an old friend.
"And what if he isn't home?"
"Then we wait."
Sylar keeps a tight hold on the hand in his own and raises a clenched fist, knocking loudly on the maroon colored door. He turns his attention sideways to watch Mohinder tilt his head back and dump a few skittles from the bag into his opened mouth, blissfully unaware of the damaging change about to take place between them. And for a fleeting second every muscle in his body tenses with the urge to turn and walk away - to keep the shell of a man he once knew and fall back into the frustrating motions of having Mohinder unaware that his memories are being muddled.
Both of their attentions flick to the door when a scraping noise sounds, indicating locks being undone. It opens, Peter nonchalantly pushing his long bang out of his eyes before he realizes who is standing before him.
"Oh shit!" he proclaims, stumbling back a few steps and angling his body sideways, one hand in front of him at the ready. His eyes ping-pong between the two men in the hall; one of his nightmares standing silently stoic and one of his daydreams chewing happily on skittles. Finally, his gaze slides down to their tightly clasped hands and then up to Mohinder's face questioningly.
"Are you alright?" Mohinder asks, brow quirked in confusion at the strangers reaction.
"Mohinder what the hell?!"
"Calm down Petrelli, I'm not here to fight. I need your help." Sylar takes a small, non-threatening step into Peter's apartment and the empath matches it, moving backwards.
"You stay away from me - Mohinder come here!"
"What? Gabriel what's wrong with him?"
"Gabriel? No, no this man is Sylar - what'd you do to him??"
"That's what I need your help with damn it now calm down or you'll scare him!"
"What did you do?!" Peter roars, throwing his hand sideways and sending Sylar flying through the air. Mohinder stumbles in his direction, having been yanked with the force of it all, and gasps sharply.
"What was that?!" he yells in complete shock, breathing heavily and trying to discern how his lover just flew across the room. "Gabriel??"
Despite everything inside of him screaming to get up, to throw Petrelli around the apartment until he listens, Sylar knows he needs to stay down and admit defeat before this gets out of hand. So he does, watching with deflated pride as Peter rushes towards Mohinder and catches him just before the fainting man hits the apartment floor.
"Happy now Petrelli?"
Not a moment after Peter lays Mohinder down softly on his bed in the other room is he running back at Sylar with full force.
"F-fuck…stop…" Sylar gurgles pathetically, on all fours with a constant stream of blood flowing from his mouth to the hardwood floor. He winces heavily when Peter's boot connects with his ribs for what feels like the hundredth time, coughing more blood onto the floor.
"Fight back damn it!"
"No." He clenches his teeth and takes the nonstop barrage that started the moment he told Peter about removing Mohinder's memories. "I just…want your help."
"You don't deserve help after what you've done!"
The empath growls and telekinetically flicks Sylar up to the ceiling, then lets gravity tug him back down to the floor where he hits like a bag of rocks.
"Oof!" Groaning deeply and rolling over onto his back, Sylar wishes now more than ever he'd killed that fucking cheerleader a while ago.
"Stop!" they both hear Mohinder yell from the doorway of the bedroom. Peter looks back and points at him with a stern fire in his eyes.
"Stay in there!"
"No…" Mohinder hesitates before walking over to Sylar and kneeling down, brushing blood off of his face with gentle care. "Gods, why are you doing this to him??"
"Mohinder you don't know the half of what he's done to you!"
"So tell me damn it I thought we were coming here to get help! To fix what he did!"
"You're better off not knowing right now just go back into the bedroom so I can take care of him."
"No." Mohinder stands slowly, looking this somewhat familiar stranger in the eye. "I don't know who you are or who you think I am but I love this man. I want you to fix this right now so that we can all three figure it out."
Peter wants to slap Mohinder, wants to grab him by his shoulders and shake him but he knows the only way to get Mohinder to see what's going on is to do what he says.
"Okay…alright…fine. Sit down on the couch." He guides Mohinder to his leather loveseat, stepping carelessly over Sylar who, despite his defeated and bloody position on the ground, is watching the empath closely.
"Gabriel?" Mohinder says, looking for affirmation as he slowly sits down.
"Its okay Mohinder. Let him." Sylar coughs and very slowly rolls over onto his side to try and sit up, settling for resting his weight on a forearm with his free hand holding a bruised and sore stomach. "He's your friend. Trust him."
Mohinder sighs out shakily and rubs his hands together, nervous and unprepared for such a whirlwind of events. But he smiles lightly and nods to Sylar, saying with confidence,
"I love you Gabriel."
Peter whips his head towards the broken and bleeding man, glaring at him for using this ability to twist and pull Mohinder's mind so harshly that he actually believes he loves the killer. Or is that look in the empath's eye stemming from jealousy and the blunt reality that Mohinder could have, under other circumstances, fallen in love with him?
"I love you too."
"Close your eyes," Peter says, bringing his attention back to Mohinder and softening his features a little. "Just relax."
Mohinder nods and obeys, resting his head back on the couch and letting out another deep breath. He feels a warm, soft hand mould over his forehead and knits his brow, about to ask what Peter is going to do when a stabbing sharp pain shoots through his skull and he cries out in surprise.
He feels something icy cold on his head and moans softly, trying to push it off.
"No Mohinder its okay. Its Gabriel."
"And Peter. I'm here too."
"Open your eyes."
Mohinder tries again to push the icy object away and this time succeeds, Sylar removing his kryokinetically frozen hand.
"Open your eyes and sit up," he hears again, this time being nudged forwards by a gentle force.
"Yeah," the empath replies, smiling softly. "I'm here."
Frowning, Sylar moves back and sits on the coffee table, waiting for what is sure to be an emotional assault as soon as Mohinder can clear his mind. And the moment he does, Sylar flinches.
Mohinder gasps sharply and opens his eyes wide, remembering everything; including what has happened the past couple of weeks. A nonstop barrage of emotions courses through his body from anger to embarrassment and utter grief as he turns his eyes to the man sitting off-center in front of him.
"You." He attempts to stand up, immediately falling back to the couch with dizziness, Peter's hand on his arm.
"Take it easy."
"You son of a bitch!"
Sylar keeps his eyes on the floor for a long moment and then says cautiously,
"Before you say anything…do anything…I just want you to know that I've seen something in us. Something I want. I'm sorry I hurt you and I can't take back what I did but…I'd give anything to have what we had ten minutes ago."
When he looks up into Mohinder's fury-drenched stare, he knows what he just said doesn't mean anything. He barely registers the sharp slap across his cheek and blinks harshly at the wall, head now turned to the side.
"You selfish, egotistical bastard, why does everything have to be about power with you?! Did you ever stop to think that if you'd tried like a normal human being this could have happened on its own??"
"I'm not normal!" he yells back, unable to stop himself.
"Oh right how could I forget? Sylar, the special man that everyone will eventually bow down to or suffer the godly consequences."
"That's not what I meant."
"Then enlighten me!"
"I don't feel things the way others do! The way Peter does, or you for that matter! I can't fucking…fucking let my guard down and smile at puppies or help an old woman cross the street!"
"Why the hell not?!"
"Because he's emotionally weak and feels the need to overcompensate with abilities," Peter chimes in. Sylar rolls his eyes at the double-teaming and wipes some blood off of his lips angrily.
"Screw you Petrelli you can't control your powers worth shit."
"I did a pretty damn good job kicking your ass and fixing Mohinder just now!"
"Luck what the hell do you mean luck?! Can't you just accept that someone is more powerful than you and get over yourself?!"
"This coming from the guy that nearly blew up New York City because he didn't know when to ask me for help!"
"Help - you wanted me to blow up!"
"I was going to stop you!"
"ENOUGH!" Mohinder yells, visibly shaking with his hands over his face. The bickering demi-Gods let out huffing breaths and turn to Mohinder, Peter setting a hand on his friend's back.
"Mohinder maybe you should go lay dow-"
"-Shut up," he snaps at Peter and the empath, looking taken aback, does so. In a slow, fluid movement Mohinder stands up from the couch gazing down at Sylar sadly. "I could have loved you. I would have loved you, if you'd just used your heart for once. Even after you murdered Brian Davis you could have sought out help and I would have been there. You wouldn't be such a feared, horrible man today. Gabriel Gray might have been something great, he might not have, but you? You're a monster. And if you continue down this path nobody will be able to save you or love you or give you what you think you need. Certainly not me."
Sylar watches with heart-clenching sorrow as Mohinder steps around the coffee table and walks rather calmly to Peter's bedroom with a tremble to his hands. After the door clicks softly shut Peter and Sylar both hang their heads at the amplified sound of Mohinder breaking down and crying.
"Good job," Peter quips. "I hope you're proud of yourself for ruining his life yet again."
"Peter will you shut up and listen to me for once?"
"Why should I?"
"Because coming here and having you fix him wasn't the last part of my plan."
"If you're planning on killing me right now then I should warn you that-"
"-No…no I have no desire to kill you so just be quiet."
"Fine. You have thirty seconds to talk and then I'm going to finish kicking your ass."
Sylar's tongue darts out of his mouth to swipe across his bloody lip and he cringes inwardly at the sharp, iron taste.
"I want you to do something for me and if…if he doesn't care after its done then I'll leave. I won't come back."
Mohinder rubs his arms softly up and down, hugging himself on the edge of Peter's bed, sniffling. He can hear the dull murmur of voices coming from the other room and he is starting to wonder why Sylar hasn't left yet. Forgiveness is out the window and it hurts him more than he thinks Sylar will ever know that this was the last abusing straw.
He wipes his nose roughly and then grips the edge of the bed with both hands, hanging his head in shame for wanting so badly what they had in the past couple of days.
Mohinder flinches when a soft knocking sound rings through the room and he's on his feet in an instant, thinking Peter is coming to see if he's alright.
"Just a moment," he says, wiping his face with the sleeve of his jacket and walking over to the door. When he opens it Mohinder can't help but sigh in frustration at the man towering over him. "You…what do you want? I'm tired."
Sylar purses his lips, eyes wide, and extends a hand; the action causing Mohinder to take a small step back.
"My name is Gabriel Gray. The man over there…Peter…said I blacked out and fell down some stairs. I guess I've been doing it a lot lately, that's why I'm all bloody. Anyways the blackouts probably have to do with…well I can do something special…and I've read your father's book. You're Mohinder Suresh right? Sorry, my minds all fuzzy and confused." When Mohinder doesn't move or speak, he continues to babble like a nervous wreck. "The photo of you and Chandra in the book doesn't do you justice." Gabriel blinks harshly and his cheeks flush bright pink. He drops his hand when he realizes that clearly this man isn't going to take it. "I'm sorry, were you sleeping or something?"
"No…no…its…nice to meet you? Hold on a moment." Mohinder edges past the man and walks briskly to Peter who is busy cleaning blood off his floor before Gabriel can see it. "What the hell is going on?"
The bloody paper towels float over to the kitchen trash and Peter stands, glancing past Mohinder to make sure Gabriel isn't listening.
"He asked me to take his memories."
"He'll get them back eventually! Are you going to remove them every time he does?"
"No. Hell no. He said he…wanted to make it up to you by knowing what its like and he wanted to give you the chance you were talking about."
"Yeah of getting to know each other when he's just Gabriel Gray. Personally I think we should just send him on his way, after everything he did why should he get a second chance?"
Mohinder worries his lip and glances to the man who is picking at his black jacket and black jeans, presumably trying to figure out where his sweater vest and khaki pants went.
"Everyone deserves a second chance Peter," he says quietly, looking back to his friend.
"Even a killer?"
"I suppose so. I mean I saw a different side of him…and I fell in love with that side."
"And when his memories come back?"
"He'll feel what I felt and we'll go from there."
"That simple huh?" Peter curls his nose, watching as Gabriel sifts through his wallet with curiosity.
"Its not simple at all."
"And he's worth it…I don't get it."
"Me neither. Thank you for your help Peter but if you'll excuse me…" Mohinder chews the inside of his cheek and walks back to Gabriel, extending a hand. "Its nice to meet you, Mister Gray."
Shaking his hand firmly with a small smile, Gabriel nods.
"You as well. Do you think you can help me?"
"Certainly. Lets get you cleaned up and then we'll talk about just how special you are."