Bennet knew that it would have been easier for him to get Sylar into the body bag and onto a gurney if Sylar were still alive, but he also knew that chances to kill Sylar would be few and far between. He went over to a footlocker that he knew conveniently contained a body bag, and when he turned back, he noticed that Sylar's arm twitched. Then it slowly raised, going straight for his head. When it pulled the knife out of his skull, Bennet dropped the body bag and pulled out his gun.
Sylar opened his eyes, and they locked on the gun. The next thing Bennet knew, the gun flew out of his hands. As his death grew imminent, Bennet could not help but think that Elle should have just stuck to the original plan.
Sylar sat up, becoming truly Sylar, and tsked at Bennet. "That way is not going to work anymore, Noah. You're going to have to get more creative." He dropped the knife to the floor and pushed himself up to his feet.
Bennet did not know how Sylar had come back from that, and he found that he did not actually care. Of all the things Sylar had survived, what was one more? "So now what happens?"
Sylar smirked, pulling the body bag into his hand. "Well, now, that is an excellent question. I could kill you, zip you up in this bag, and walk out of here with you on gurney." He shifted briefly into Bennet and then back to himself. "I could have kept working with Danko, meeting people like me and becoming like them. But, no, I am here for you, Noah." He was getting annoyed, but not angry. That did not really make him any less dangerous; Bennet just found it interesting. "This is just like last time when we worked together and you tried to get Stephen Canfield to kill me. And speaking of that, don't ever try to use Elle against me again."
Bennet rolled his eyes. "Of course she told you about that. All that talk about how she could never have feelings for you again." He shook his head. "I knew this would happen."
Sylar laid the bag out on the gurney. "Yeah, well, don't be too hard on her. She's the only reason you're still alive right now. So you want to know what we do now? We're going to stick to the plan. I am going to get in that body bag and let you wheel me out of here, so that you can tell everyone that you sent Donner back to his family in Connecticut. And I am going to do that for her."
Bennet had some experience with Sylar. He had been through all kinds of twists and turns and mind games, coming from both sides. He knew that Sylar had long intended to end this game of cat and mouse. But for some reason, he felt that he might believe that Sylar just wanted to stick to the plan. "Oh, that's right. Because you're falling for her. Tell me, how has anything changed since the night of the eclipse? What makes you, either of you think that it's going to work out any better this time?"
Sylar did not seem to have an answer for that. "Why do you care?" he asked with an edge to his voice.
This question left Bennet at a bit of a loss, and he was ready to drop this entire conversation. "I don't. Get in the body bag."
Sylar's eyes lingered on Bennet's for just a second too long. It occurred to Bennet that he might have just lied to Sylar. It did not matter. He could not kill Sylar, and he would not kill Elle unless he had to. It was better to just get them out of his life, at least until he could think of a more creative way to kill Sylar. If Sylar was feeling generous and forgiving at the moment, Bennet was not going to push his luck with another failed attempt on his life.
The moment was fleeting, like the lie, and Sylar climbed into the body bag. He changed back into Donner, and then the bag zipped itself up.
As Bennet puled the gurney into the hall, Harper came walking up. Bennet stopped because he knew it was expected. "Where are you taking him?" Harper asked.
Bennet hoped this would be brief. He knew that he needed to seem sad, but he had not even liked the real Donner that much. "He's being shipped back to his family. It's what he would have wanted."
Harper looked down at the bag. "Danko's been talking, mostly not making sense. He said that Donner had a girlfriend though. Did he ever mention anyone to you?"
Bennet shook his head. "I'll look into that." He started to go again, but the other agent was still staring at the body. "Harper, this wasn't your fault."
Harper finally made eye contact again. "Is it wrong that I'm glad it wasn't me?"
Now that Bennet knew he had gotten close to the root of it, he was able to proceed more confidently. "That's just human nature. I was in the room when it happened, and I'm really glad it wasn't me." He checked his watch. "He needs to be on a plane in an hour."
Harper nodded and took a step back. "I'm sorry, Steve."
When Bennet began to roll the gurney away, Harper did not stop him. No one said anything to Bennet as he commandeered a transport van, placing the body inside. The agents were going through the motions, trying to find their footing after this development, and Bennet was as much an authority figure as Danko had been. Once the van was away from the building, Sylar opened the body bag and sat up. Bennet thought about trying to make conversation, maybe ask again about Elle, but that would just lead back to the question of why he cared. For his part, Sylar did not say anything either.
He pulled into the prearranged meeting place, far enough out of town to be private. It seemed that they were the first to get there, but with Claude it was often hard to tell. After about a minute of waiting to see if he and Elle would appear out of thin air, Bennet finally decided that they were not there yet. He leaned back in his seat.
Sylar was antsy. He got out of the van and started to pace. Bennet rolled down his window. "Calm down, Gabriel. They'll be here."
Sylar snarled a little when Bennet used his given name, but then he shook it off. "I just want this to be over."
Bennet wanted to ask what that would mean for Elle, but again he refrained from bringing up her name. Instead, he said the only other thing that came to mind. "It will be. Soon enough."
Sylar looked at him, annoyed. He open his mouth to say something, but he stopped at the sound of a car approaching. Both men glanced up to make sure it was not an unexpected intruder. The second the car came to a stop, Elle jumped out of the driver's seat and ran up to Sylar. He pulled her away from the van, presumably so that they could talk away from Bennet.
Claude and Bennet both got out of their respective cars, meeting in the middle. "Sorry it took us so long," Claude said. "We had to drop off the boy. We wouldn't want to tempt Sylar unnecessarily."
Bennet nodded in agreement and angled himself so that he could watch Sylar and Elle's conversation, even if he could not hear it. "So I take it your work here is done then?"
He shrugged. "It will be once your government releases all of them."
"There will just be a new Company, you know. Angela has already sold her vision to Nathan, and he should be talking the President into it as we speak."
Claude noticed that Bennet was not looking at him, and he moved into his old partner's eye line. "There will always be a Company, Noah. Especially now that the President of the United States is involved. I don't suppose we could get the Haitian to unring that bell."
Bennet shook his head, but he was distracted by Sylar and Elle. Claude turned around to look at them. "You know, I happened to be in the room when you were talking to him before. It sounded like he might really love her."
"He killed her." Bennet was still having trouble determining why that bothered him. Hadn't he just said the day before that he would not consider her death much of a loss? Elle pulled Sylar's head down to kiss him, and Bennet finally looked away, not really wanting to see that.
Claude took time to think about the love/murder dichotomy. "Well, she's a big girl now, and we have to let her go. She's made her choice, and even if it gets her killed again, there's not much we can do about that anymore. She wants to be with him."
Bennet glanced back, but Elle was still hanging all over the man who killed her and her father. He found what Claude was saying to be comforting. This was her choice, and she had never really been his responsibility in the first place. He could just let her go.
Seeing Sylar again, Elle was so nervous about what would come next. They had never really talked about that. She got out of the car as soon as it was in park, without even bothering to turn off the engine. She let him lead her away from the van and Bennet. "I heard you did really well," she said.
He was staring at her lips. He moved his eyes up to meet hers and put his hands on her shoulders. "I just did what you told me to."
Elle knew that she needed to ask the question that was really weighing on her mind. "So, now that that's over, where do we go from here?"
"I don't know." He slid his hands from her shoulders down her arms. He looked behind her at the men standing by the cars. "I know that you think Rebel and Bennet are the only ones offering you a place in the world, but I think there might be somewhere else you belong."
Elle smiled with relief. That was really all she wanted him to say. Even though it might be a mistake, she knew that she was willing to follow him anywhere. She just needed to clear up a few things to make sure this could work. "Just for my information, are you still going to kill people?"
'Yes," he said without hesitation. "This is who I am, Elle, and when I try to deny it, that's when things go wrong."
Elle was willing to accept that interpretation of why things went wrong, although it was not entirely accurate. "That's okay. I like who you are" She put her hand on his chest. "But while we're being candid, I do kinda see you as a..." The first metaphor that came to her mind was a wild stallion who just needed to be broken, but she was able to come up with something that would probably be better received. "Like a lone wolf, hunting, picking off the weak sheep. I want you to know that if we're together, I'll probably never stop wanting to tame you."
He parted his lips in a smile, baring his teeth, making him look a little like a wolf actually. "Well, you can try."
Elle had worried that he would not see the difference between trying to tame him and trying to change him, but that did not seem to be the case. A slow smile spread across her face. Now that she had permission, she knew that she could. This entire day was proof that she had the ability to tame him. After all, she had been the one to release him into the wild in the first place. She pulled at his collar to bring his head down to hers and kissed him, not caring if Bennet and Claude were watching.
Sylar pulled away first. He kept his arms wrapped around her waist, but his eyes flicked over her head. "Bennet is staring at us."
Elle broke his hold on her and took his hand, pulling him over to Bennet and Claude. "We have to say goodbye."
"Not really," Sylar said under his breath.
Walking up to the other two men, Elle ignored him. "We're going to head out now. It was really a pleasure to work with you, but I kinda hope I never have to see either of you again." She held out her hand to shake each of their hands.
As he took hers, Bennet said, "The feeling's mutual." He dropped her hand and stepped back. "And Gabriel, someday I will find a way to kill you."
Sylar smirked. "Good luck with that."
Elle was confused by that exchange because she was pretty sure Bennet already knew a way to kill Sylar. "What is he talking about?" she asked in a low tone.
Sylar shook his head slightly. "I'll tell you later. Can we go now?"
"Sure." Elle looked at the car she had arrived in and realized that it was no longer running. "As soon as I--"
Before she could finish, Claude pulled the keys out of his pocket and held them out to her. As she reached for them, he said, "You know Noah. He talks tough, but if you ever need help--" He briefly looked over at Sylar. "--you can come to either of us."
On a whim, Elle hugged him, surprising herself and Claude. She knew that he was the closest thing she had left to a father, and even though she had not seen him much in the last ten years, she felt that she was going to miss him. She backed away, and noting the apprehension in Bennet's eyes, said in a teasing tone, "Don't worry, Noah. I'm not going to hug you too."
She sighed, knowing it was long past time to get Sylar away from Claude and his incredible ability. He was not that tame yet. She wanted to leave anyway, before things got any more sappy. She took Sylar by the hand and led him to the car. Once they were both buckled in and she was backing out onto the dirt road, she asked him where they were headed first.
Sylar thought about that. He seemed to have an answer that he was unwilling to give her. Elle realized that maybe she needed to clarify something. "I really don't mind if you kill people, Gabriel. I like killing people."
"No, that's not..." He shook his head, embarrassed. "Actually, I'd like to go back to Jersey first and check on Luke." Elle grinned as she shifted into drive, and Sylar shook his head again. "Don't look at me like that," he said. "It's just that his mother was not--"
"You don't have to explain," Elle said, now trying to hold back her grin. "I was there. I know how his mother was. I think it's sweet that you care about the kid so much."
Sylar rolled his eyes. "You are really bad for my image. First, you complain that I'm too nice, and now you're calling me sweet and saying you want to tame me." He held up his hands. "Never mind. I take it back. I don't care what happens to him. Let's just go kill some people."
Elle nodded very seriously. She was perfectly willing to be his humanity, if that was what it would take to protect his image. "You know what? I care. And, as the driver right now, I am going to have to put my foot down and say that we are going to New Jersey."
There was a hint of a smile on his lips as he leaned back and closed his eyes. "Well, if you insist."
Since he could not see her with his eyes closed, Elle took the opportunity to steal a glance at Sylar. What they had now was very different from whatever it had been the last two times. She could feel it. Maybe Claude and Bennet were right, and maybe she would need their help someday. But she knew, at a level that was not entirely rational, that everything was going to be fine this time. No spectacularly bad ending in sight.
Author's Note: That's it. I'm not so good at strong, definitive endings, but hopefully that leaves most of you satisfied.