In Dreams: Revelation
Pulling up in front of the two-story, white house with its picket fence, Sylar couldn't help but marvel at how picture perfect the Miles' residence was. Add a small dog romping through the front yard, and it could easily have been a postcard reading, "Welcome to the American Dream!" in scrawling letters. But like anything that appeared perfect on the outside, this stereotypical suburban home was hiding horrors within.
The Miles' home didn't hold an abusive husband or an adulterous mother. There weren't any skeletons in the closets that needed to be hid. No, the house protected a dying child from the outside world. A world whose germs and pests would only speed along his imminent demise. Just looking at the house, Sylar could feel the sadness that rested within. It was almost as if the hurt and anger that came along with watching your son die had formed a thin layer of depression over the white exterior of the home.
Staring at the expertly manicured hedge bushes, Sylar wanted to turn the car around and drive away. Not just drive away but run away. Run away from the source of his nightmares and waking dreams. He wanted, needed to get as far away from Billy Miles as he possibly could. Thinking back, he could recall the haunted look in Dr. Suresh's eyes with perfect clarity. Even thought the doctor had never told him exactly what he'd seen, he knew it had greatly affected the older man.
And that… scared him.
Shutting off the car's engine, he pulled the jacket he hadn't worn since he was known as Gabriel Gray from his bag. It was a simple coat, nothing special, but it was also a horrible reminder of his former life. But if he wanted to get into the Miles' home, he needed to seem… harmless. Or as harmless as he possibly could anyway.
Following the pansy-lined walkway up to the front door, Sylar felt as if he were marching to his death. Flashes of blood clouded his vision of the front door as his heart began to pound violently against his rib cage. The more rational part of his brain told him that he was being ridiculous, that he was being a fool. That same part of his brain also kept reminding him that he'd faced things much worse than a bed-ridden child. But the part of his soul that still clung desperately to Gabriel Gray screamed out that he should turn and leave as quickly as he could.
Sylar, however, refused to listen.
Gently pressing the doorbell, the man listened to the slow ding-dong ringing in the house and the subsequent, "I'm coming!" that followed. Quickly straightening his jacket, Sylar felt his stomach begin to twist itself into knots. The moment the doors swung open, he knew there was no turning back. This was it.
"Hello, my name is Gabriel Gray." His voice was softer than normal, an echo of his former self. He could only hope that it would help him appear non-threatening. "I work with Dr. Suresh. I'm here for a follow up visit with Billy."
The face before him was an approximation of her son's. Same eyes. Same lips. His ears and nose were different, and Sylar imagined they were Billy's father's. There were also a few gray hairs streaking her auburn mane that seemed premature for a woman in her early thirties. He could only assume that they were the result of stress and worry. "Oh. Please come in." Pale and tired looking, Mrs. Miles stepped aside to let the man by.
One step into the house and Sylar was blown away by the palpable sadness that seemed to fill every nook and cranny. It was almost as if all of the pain the family had endured threatened to suffocate Sylar as it clung to his body and dulled his senses. Normally, he could sense the abilities of others, could hear the tell tale ticking of that amazing extra gear in their brain. He couldn't pick up on what the person could do per say. Just the fact that another ispecial/i person was nearby. But despite that he knew about Billy Miles and his amazing power; he couldn't place it among the despair filling the home.
"His room's upstairs." Mrs. Miles quietly shut the door before crossing her arms protectively over her chest. "It's not that I don't believe you, Mr. Gray, but the last time he was here, Dr. Suresh said there was nothing he could do."
"Please, call me Gabriel." Putting on his most charming smile Sylar craned his neck around to look at the woman behind him. "Well, he decided to do a follow up visit just in case. So he asked me to come and see how Billy is doing,"
Nodding, Mrs. Miles looked as if she understood. After all of the second, third and fourth opinions she'd sought out, she could sympathize with Dr. Suresh and his quest for answers. "I understand." Gesturing towards the staircase, the woman allowed her visitor to walk ahead of her.
At the top of the stairs, Mrs. Miles pointed towards the left, her silence deafening. It wasn't until they stopped in front of a door bearing a dinosaur plaque reading "Billy's Room" that she spoke. With her hand on the doorknob and her head bowed, Mrs. Miles spoke the horrible truth that he'd somehow already known. "Billy… doesn't have much time left. He's been slipping away since last week."
He could hear the tears in her voice, but the only thing that mattered was the ominous nagging he hadn't been able to shake from the night before. He'd wanted to believe that it was simply a by-product of his nightmare. But this… He almost felt like the child had been calling him. Which was impossible. As far as Sylar knew, Billy couldn't walk through dreams. There was also no way for him to know who "Gabriel Gray" was, let alone "Sylar."
As the woman's soft tears turned into sniffles, she turned the handle and opened the door to her son's room. With a creek that cut through the heavy air between them, the door swung open. The room on the other side was the exact opposite of what he'd been expecting.
There were no toys scattered on the floor or stains on the carpet. The walls weren't painted bright blue with cartoon dinosaur appliqués on them. There was nothing in the room to suggest that it belonged to a five-year-old boy.
Instead, as his right foot passed from the tan carpet of the hallway to the white tile of Billy's room, he'd felt like he'd stepped into a different world. A world of sterile, white sheets and grey beeping monitors. A world devoid of laughter and hope. Walking further into the room, Sylar felt the same terror that had filled his dreams begin to tingle at the edges of his nerves.
Along the far side of the room was a bed much to large for a five-year old, and in the middle of it was a frighteningly frail child. Hooked up to every machine in the room, Billy looked like a human pincushion that'd been poked one too many times. If it hadn't been for the rhythmic beeping of the heart monitor, Sylar would have sworn Billy was already dead.
"He umh… sleeps a lot anymore." Mrs. Miles had walked in after him and had started straightening the ends of the sterile bedspread. Though she was speaking to her visitor, she could only look at her son. "The doctor says that it won't be long." Moving from the white cotton to the bald head of her child, the woman couldn't bring herself to look at Sylar.
"Dr. Suresh told me he has… a gift." His voice was soft, almost fearful. Trying to gain control of his terror, the man's eyes flicked from mother to son. Glued to his spot with his hands shoved deeply into his pockets, Sylar knew that he should try and comfort the grieving woman. If only for the sake of appearances. He, however, had more pressing matters than a few bitter tears. He needed answers. Now. "He told me that if you look into Billy's eyes, you can see your soul." Watching the woman, he knew that she knew. After all, Dr. Suresh was always honest with those he believed to be special.
"Whenever I look into my son's eyes, I see angels. I always thought that… that it was a reflection of how I saw him." For the first time, the boy's mother looked Gabriel Gray in the eye. "I know it should make me happy. To know that I have a good soul. But this igift/i is killing my child, Mr. Gray." The last few words were soaked with a bitterness that caused an involuntary chill to run the length of Sylar's spine.
Mrs. Miles walked away from her son and without explanation moved to leave the room. It wasn't until her hand was on the door handle that she turned back. "I need to run downstairs for a minute. I'll be right back."
Sylar watched as the woman looked towards her child once again before leaving the room with her head bowed. Glad that she was finally gone, Sylar thought about the dreams that had been haunting him. He couldn't help but be amazed that they were caused by a dying five-year old. But that was no longer important. He'd heard all he needed, and now it was time to confront his nightmares. But as he stood two feet away from the bed, he realized that he had absolutely no idea of how to approach Billy.
If he woke the boy, would he scream? Would he be able to scream? Or even speak for that matter? Sylar didn't have the answers to any of the questions, and therefore he couldn't take the chance. He could pry his eyes open with telekinesis, but he wasn't sure if the child needed to be conscious for his gift to work. Standing over the boy, he pondered his choices. He couldn't believe that the child in the bed was capable of causing so much agony simply by looking at someone.
Taking a step forward, Sylar froze as Billy's pale blue eyes fluttered open. He didn't search the room for his mother or try to scream. No, Billy Miles simply stared unquestioningly at the man standing over him. The quickened beating of the heart monitor was the only acknowledgement of Sylar's presence.
Stuck in between stepping and standing still, Gabriel froze as all sound, save the beeping of the monitor, stopped. The moment clear blue eyes locked onto brown, a tidal wave of blood began to crash around the white room, drowning everything in crimson. Everything but Billy Miles that was. He and the sterile hospital bed remained untouched.
As the wave began to soak through the jean material of his pants, the screams of his victims began to echo through Sylar's head. Bloodstained hands desperately clutched his ears as Sylar stared at a ghostly echo of himself at ten-years old, praying to God to be different, special.
Childhood memory slipped into recent memory, and though he couldn't stand the sound, his hands fell away from his ears. An eerie chorus of clocks joined with the rushing waves and echoing screams, but it was the frantic beating of the heart monitor that stood out the most.
With each beep, a different terrified person dying a different terrible death flashed before his own horrified eyes. As death after death assaulted him, his own voice, the voice he'd used as a small child began to profess the Our Father.
The last person to appear was his own mother, large silver scissors sticking out of her chest. The heart monitor that had been beeping frantically screamed out a steady, unflinching flat line as his mother's face twisted into an expression of shock and horror. Her lips twisted and began to form silent words. Despite the fact that no sounds came out, he could hear the words in his head. The voice, however, was not his mother's. It was Billy's.
"You know what you are, Gabriel. There's no salvation for your sins. You're a monster." The voice was simple and matter fact, strangely mature for such a small child.
The faint whining of the bedroom door cut through Sylar's thoughts, and all at once, everything disappeared. The blood. The screaming, voiceless faces of his victims. Everything. The only thing he could hear was Mrs. Miles' anguished sobs as she ran to her son's lifeless body.
With the flat line of the heart monitor still screaming out Billy's death, Sylar stumbled backwards out of the child's room before turning and running out of the house. Fumbling for his keys as he tried to wrench open a firmly locked car, Gabriel felt like a terrified child being punished. He'd always thought of himself as the evolution of humanity. As bettering the survival of those with special abilities. It was always about survival of the fittest with him at the head of the pack.
But now… he wasn't so sure.
Where there was once clarity, Sylar found shades of grey. Shades of grey that brought back memories of Sunday morning mass and reconciliation afterwards. He'd never once considered himself a murder or a monster. But after looking into Billy Miles' eyes, after seeing his own soul, he wasn't so sure…
Finally managing to get the car open, Gabriel Gray jumped in and sped off as quickly as he possibly could. He would never look back.
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- This was originally written for the lj community "heroesprompts" (Prompt: Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. – Strawberry Fields Forever)
- Katie: Thank you so much for your continued support with this. It means so much to me. :duck:
- Reviews are love.