Title: The Hollow Men

Author: chocolatemooses

Characters/Pairings: Sylar/Elle

Rating: M

Summary: We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men

Author's Note: We began reading some poetry in class today and the first we read was T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men". It struck me as such a sad poem, although I do realize the way I interpreted it here isn't what the poem is really about. I decided to write a little drabble-ish fiction about Sylar's life without Elle. Try to enjoy but be warned it is depressing.

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

The slanted shades of the blinds let in only the smallest amount of light. The room smells of musk and loneliness, the small space taking on the characteristics of its solitary occupant. He lies on his side, watching the light flicker as cars drive past on the highway. He wants to get up, wants to find purpose but he feels only half-human. He wasn't dead, not quite, not ever, but he wasn't really alive either. He felt like a scarecrow. Prop him up and he can function, he can destroy families and lives with a simple flick of his finger, but his heart wasn't in it, not anymore. And honestly, how could it be, he lost it years ago.

Shape without form, shade without color,
Paralyzed force, gesture without motion

He takes the ability to fly in St. Louis, Missouri from Thomas Stearns. He follows the man for days, stalking his victim much longer than he usually would. But he finds that he is never quite ready to kill the man. Instead he watches him from a distance, watches him go to work, watches his raise his kids, watches his wife an affair, watches him go to a bar five out seven days a week, watches his unexciting life fold out before his eyes. For almost three weeks, he lives the life of Thomas Stearns. It is the most alive he had felt in years. It could have gone on like this for months, him living a half-life through Thomas Stearns, but he gets sloppy, he gets caught. It is the eighteenth day when Thomas approaches him. For a week, he had been noticing the same man following him wherever he went, a strange shadow that lurked behind every corner. Thomas' accusation's bring the reality of his life into sharp focus. He isn't Thomas Stearns and he doesn't have any place in the man's life. There is, however, a definite place for him in the man's death. When he kills the Thomas Stearns, nineteen days later, he is unnecessarily cruel, taking special care to remove his skull cap with agonizing precision and creating a cut so pristine that the man stays alive for minutes after he began to prod through his gray matter. He wishes he could enjoy his new ability more.

Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men

Loneliness isn't a real feeling, it doesn't have a sensation that he can tangibly understand. The closest he could come to describing it would be as a sense of nothingness, which wasn't really a description at all because nothingness was nothing. Most of his life he had been nothing, he wishes he could get used to it. He wishes he could feel something; anger, love, jealousy, ecstasy; anything but the hollow beating of his lonely heart. He wishes he could be something. He was something once. Once upon a time, he was a hero of the best kind, her hero.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss

He dreams of her, electric eyes and sunshine hair. They are fleeting images of supple skin that feels like silk, lips that graze his own, teeth that nip at his heart. He wakes aroused, covered in sweat and tears. Sometimes he feels guilt, sometimes he feels sorrow, but he always wakes up alone. He washes himself when he wakes, scrubs his naked body with intense, angry ferocity. He doesn't even use soap, he uses the scalding water to burn his skin and his fingernails to rip away layers. He scrubs his skin until he bleeds, only to have the fibers of his body knit back together in moments, he hates that. He repeats the process until his skin is an unchanging shade of pink. He wishes that he could shed his life, shed it like he doesn't his skin. Scrub away the mistakes, the anger, the loss. Scrub it all away and return fresh, clean, good. Life just doesn't work like that though.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley

He stops trying to kill himself, realizes it is just a waste of time. The first time, he tried to hang himself, just to make the heartbreak a little worse. His neck snapped the moment he kicked the chair away, no struggling this time, no gagging, no fighting for his (still) pathetic life. He hung like that for days, his body technically dead but his brain still alive and well. It was five days later that the hotel manager, a man named Henry Ware, found his body in the cheap room. Henry Ware cut him down from his deadly perch and it took only a few minutes for him to recover. He didn't feel anything when he killed the man who saved his life, he didn't need Henry Ware going around telling the world about the man who could came back to life. After his first attempt, the tries became more and more adventurous, more and more determined. Jumping off a twenty story building, gunshot to the head, poison in his morning meal, he even tried to stab himself. After the thirtieth attempt, he just stopped trying. Instead, he goes back to living the life of a serial killer, praying that somebody like Peter or Noah puts a stop to him for good.

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

He doesn't have Claire's little existential problem. He knows that he is human, is reminded every moment of every day by the aching loneliness in his heart. Only humans can crave a person this way. Only humans can hurt from loss. Only humans can lose their hearts. The only thing that makes him different from ever other person in the fucked up world is that he isn't allowed to run away. The only difference is that he is stuck with his mistake for what looks like eternity. An eternity of half-hearted attempts at his own life and fulfilled attempts on other's lives. An eternity of walking around with a gaping hole in his chest, a hemorrhaging wound, the one wound that won't heal. An eternity of life as a shadow. An eternity he would spend alone.

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.