Claire Bennet lay in the dark with her legs tangled in the sheets.
The heat from the summer outside seeped into the room and made it a hotbox, trapping her in its inferno. She lay on her back and stared at the ceiling, wishing feverently for something to think about so she didn't focus on the mental image of her skin melting and becoming one with the mattress.
Lying in bed at night was the hiccup in her life. During the day, under the eyes of the sun, her life was chaos. Pure and uncontrolled chaos. Lies, deceit, monitors. Threats around every corner. So many people vying for control and power, but no one powerful enough to seize it.
And yet, at night, she lay in her bed and listened to the crickets and the distant churning hum of the motor in the neighbour's backyard fountain. This was the pothole in her life. She had nothing to think about in these silences and they stretched on forever.
Her mind leapt from Peter, to her father, to her bio-dad. To orange jumpsuits and careening planes. Frustrated, Claire sucked in a breath of hot air and focused her eyes on the stucco ceiling. She willed herself to think of something normal.
Boys. Clothes. Shoes.
What was normal?
She pressed her head back into the pillow and squeezed her eyes shut, figuring she'd just think about the first thing she thought about when she opened her eyes. It worked last night when she spent two hours staring at a pair of sunglasses she'd never worn and wondering where they had been made. Her dreams had taken her to Mexico.
She counted to ten, and threw her eyes open and they landed on a lava lamp in the corner. The red lava in it looked like blood in a jar in the light.
Claire looked at it intently, studying the colour. She'd never seen so much blood that it looked black, until it had been her own. Of course, at the time she hadn't really been thinking straight, having Sylar's fingers probing inside her brain. He wasn't really rough. Very gentle and clinical, talking calmly to her in a smooth voice. His fingers had been cold, like ice.
She struggled to remember the words he said to her, but they were as evasive as her memories of being born. She remembered what he smelled like, because her nose had picked it out of all the other smells in the house for weeks.
He had smelled like soap, and something deeper. Muskier.
With his fingers in her brain, Claire had been pretty much paralyzed, watching her blood pool around her and wondering how her body coped with blood loss. Did she have a hyper drive option in her marrow?
So much power stemmed from them. He merely had to twitch them and invisible forces ploughed into her like a truck, crushing her or pinning her. She had no idea how many powers really resided in that brain, how many strengths and talents he had robbed from other's craniums. How many skulls he'd cracked.
How many people had simply given into the blood loss.
Those fingers, which could pin, crush, hold, choke, cut, sever, stroke, caress.
Telekinesis was a power he could play with, a power he should play with. What she would do with that power highlighted exactly why her molecules had not evolved to GIVE her that power.
Stroke, caress, lift, move.
He was looking at her with the same emotionless interest, inches from her face. Up close, his eyes weren't the black pits of death they looked like from a few feet away. Weapons of intelligence, studying and thinking and dissecting.
Medium brown with dark brown around the ring, these eyes were lined with lashes as black as the heavy eyebrows that loomed above them.
Claire glanced around, blanching at the room. The lime green of the cheap hotel room clashed horribly with the brown carpet and mustard yellow bedspread and curtains. Everything had a slightly shellacked appearance.
He studied her face with the same slightly sadistic smile on his face as he had when he was in her house. He cocked his head, locking gazes with her.
"Cheerleader," He greeted cordially.
"Sylar," Claire breathed back, her lips curling. The corner of his mouth twitched.
"Power is a nice thing. A nice feeling. You feel it every time you jump in front of a bullet, don't you?"
"Oh, I think you do." He said with a wider grin, walking over to a vinyl chair the colour of baby sick. He sat in it and leaned back, looking at her with the same malicious grin. He stretched his lithe body out, long legs splaying casually on the floor. He crossed his arms over his chest.
"What would you know? None of your abilities are actually yours. You're just a sociopathic thief."
He cocked his eyebrow and pursed his lips for a split second.
"Possession is nine tenths of ownership, Claire."
"You don't own my ability."
"No. I understand it though. I understand you."
"You don't understand me. You understand no one but yourself." Claire spat back at him. He laughed to himself and stood up, taking two or three steps and invading her space. She tilted her head back and glared fiercely at him. The heat that rolled off his body hit hers in waves, making her cheeks heat and her fists clench.
She tilted her head back and glared up at him, her body straining towards his in a defiant stance. His mouth curled and he looked down into her face.
"You like the power. The rush."
"Whenever you jump in front of a bullet, there's that part of you that smiles."
"When you feel your flesh burn in fires, there's a voice that cheers."
"Because you know that everyone else can die, but you. Nothing can save them, but you."
"They're weak, Claire."
"You like knowing that no one is as invincible as you. But me."
"No. You're lying."
"That seems to be your motto." He mocked, stepping closer. She took a step back, her body silently moaning as she left his heat. She felt paralyzed under his gaze, her rage being diluted by how close he was. His scent invaded her senses, the smell filling her nose and choking her brain.
Her lungs seemed to only accept 20% capacity, and her chest pumped furiously as she fought to inhale anything but the smell of his skin and clothes. Her skin crawled hotly.
"Get away from me."
"Well. If you don't like your own power, it must be mine." He said smoothly, his voice like velvet. Claire mustered up a disgusted look, and shot it up at him. His eyes were dark, and his lips parted slightly. His gaze seemed to travel over her, burning holes in her skin.
"Oh, yes. That's it isn't it? What I can do is what gets under your skin. And you like it. Do you like it? Do you like thinking about what I could do to you that you can't stop?"
"No, get -"
"Being attracted to such power is wrong, Claire. It's," He cocked his head again and his eyes slid down her chest and he smirked a little, "...dangerous."
Her face was burning like a hot pan, and she felt her breath catch and her body convulse slightly.
"Dangerous," She laughed breathlessly. "Like, you could do anything but try to kill me."
"Oh, that's right. You've only seen me toss people -"
Claire's arms and legs clamped together and she screamed as she was slammed down into the mattress, and then thrown across the room and plastered to the wall.
"- and hold them against walls." Sylar finished. Claire's breath whooshed out of her, and she looked at him across the room. His hand was raised and he had a wicked smile on his face. She felt trapped, and bound. She tried kicking her legs.
"And of course, I could cut off your head," He said proudly, raising his left pointer and drawing a straight line. Fire erupted on her forehead, and she screamed and struggled as blood dripped down over her right eye.
"NO. STOP IT."
"But I can do more than that. It may be damn near impossible to kill you, but there's more than one way to hurt you." He drawled softly, stopping the cut and crooking his finger. She was pulled from the wall and hurtled across the room, falling against his chest.
Weakly, she splayed her hands out over his chest. He felt warm under her fingers, and she could feel his heart thrumming through his ribs. She shook slightly as his arm slid around her back, holding her against him. He was tall enough that the muscles of his thighs flexed against the tops of hers through their clothes. Her head barely reached his pecs, and he tilted his torso slightly to accommodate her weight.
He leaned down slightly, gathering her up and against his throat with his free arm.
"There's a problem, though," he drawled from above her. She shivered as the sound of his voice echoed in his chest. He leaned down, and she could feel his breath in her ear.
"You can't rape the willing, can you Claire?" He whispered.
Goosebumps erupted painfully all over her body, and her nipples tightened and moved roughly against her bra as she gasped.
Her arms were forced away from her body slightly and her legs pushed a shoulders width apart as he held her in the air. He prowled around her, examining her as she floated before him.
"Everyone needs a little bit of control. Not as many people like it though." Sylar murmured as he passed by her other ear. His fingers buried in her blond hair, and he lifted a couple locks to his nose. She struggled to control her heart.
He studied her face, brown eyes washing over her green ones and a single finger tracing down her nose and out to her jaw. He trailed it down to her chin and down her neck. She felt three others join it, and he gently buried his face in her neck.
His lips trailed softly, sealing burning kisses along the underside of her jaw. Claire's stomach knotted and she yearned to arch her head back and give him more. His fingers brushed over her collar bones, and down to the edge of her shirt to play with the tops of her cleavage. He hit the spot where her shoulder joined her neck and bit slightly before massaging it with his lips.
Claire gasped and he raised his head, smiling smugly at her. She narrowed her eyes.
He moved like a snake, swooping down and slanting his lips over hers. Her nerves pulsed and her flesh twitched as his fingers traced around the outside slope of her breast and her nipples ached through the bra and shirt.
Her brain fought to function, and he sucked her lower lip into his mouth. Suddenly, he pulled away and smirked at her, brown fighting against green.
"I don't like it," She spat with as much raspy voice as she could muster. She could taste him and from the way he licked his lips, he could taste her.
His fingers abandoned their trailing down her ribs and spiralled around her breasts before he pinched her left nipple between two fingers. Claire gasped, and his fingers teased and rolled the bud between them.
"Yes, loathing comes easy for you," He observed sarcastically.
"Very." She ground out as his fingers teased and pulled and massaged. He smiled and tilted his head the other way. She couldn't hold in the shriek that jumped from her lips as her shirt shredded itself from her body. He managed to look surprise and raised his eyebrow.
He stepped back slightly and his eyes devoured her skin, a grin dashing across his face as he touched the jewellery strung through her bellybutton. He wiggled it and made the barbell jingle.
"Nice touch. Does everyone have one of these?" He asked her and she hissed at him to shut up, focused more on the other hand that was swirling fingertips across the expanse of her back, winding tortuously down to her butt. Her muscles jumped and her nerves twitched, and his handsskimmed over her hip bone.
"See, I can't help but notice the subtle rebellions you have. Running off with people, letting buildings blow up. Piercings, Claire? How very anti-conformist of you." He told her with a noticeable trace of scathing. She growled at him, jerking slightly as two fingers dipped below the waist of her jeans and tugged on the top of her underwear.
The button to her jeanspopped free, and the zipper slid down.
"It's amazing what I can do, isn't it?" Sylar asked her, meeting her eyes as her jeans slid limply down her legs and pooled beneath her dangling feet. She watched him shred her bra free of her body and it free fell from her shoulders and hit the floor.
"Kind ahh.." She trailed off, her mouth falling open as her nipple disappeared into his mouth. He watched her face as his tongue flicked back and forth over it and she bit her lip.
Everything between her thighs ached, and she could feel the slippery heat spilling from her. He released her with a soft pop, and began a quest leaving scorching marks down her belly and nipping at the skin on the inside of her hip. His teeth tugged gently at her underwear before skimming completely over it and kissing down the inside of her thigh. He paused and looked up at her.
"I can smell you Claire. Do you know what you smell like?" He asked her, fingers winding down over her butt cheeks and igniting the skin on the backs of her thighs. They spiralled and danced across her flesh, which shivered in their wake. They paused on the backs of her knees, grazing and tracing the skin and making her legs quiver.
"No," She gasped, struggling to breathe and not moan, even as her body longed for him to touch her. It pleaded with him to snap her underwear off and plunge into her.
"You smell...edible," He growled, biting the skin at the juncture of her leg and torso and making her jump. He kissed down her legs further, biting here and there as his fingers danced over her calves and down to her feet. Claire flexed her toes and a breathless moan escaped her as they traced the arches of her feet and his lips sealed over the bone on the inside of her right ankle.
He moved back up her legs, and a force pushed them further apart. Claire fought against it, trying to close her legs as her core screamed for him. His fingers pressed against her sex through her underwear, probing the heat. She watched both hands grasp the sides ofher underwear and pull them down, sliding one foot free and letting it drop off the other and join her jeans.
"Tell me, Claire.," Sylar said thickly, his breath ghosting over her. Claire fought her breathing, her heart pumping furiously in her chest. He looked up at her and smiled with a lazy crooked lift to his mouth.
Gently, his fingers parted her, holding her open while his other hands explored, pressing down on a sensitive little nub. He carefully rubbed a circle around it and then on it, pressing down on her clit and making her whimper and her muscles jerk pleasurably.
"Do you like power?" He asked. She bit down on her lip, trying to arch her hips into his hand.
"No," She cried out, fighting against him. His fingers moved away, circling down and gently massaging away from where she wanted him. She groaned, and her head fell back.
"What was that?" He questioned again.
"Yes," She breathedletting a sound of pleasure fall from her lips as he returned to her clit and continued moving wonderfully over it, pinching, pressing, tracing.
"Is it dangerous?" He quizzed hazily as her body clenched and she tried arching her hips up and making his fingers slip to where she wanted them to slide. He had a finger tracing the outside of her entrance, teasing her.
"Yes," She groaned and then her body jerked slightly as his tongue touched her. He played with her, listening to her gasps and moans and the way her paralyzed muscles clenched and spasmed.
"This is an admission." He said and she grunted at the loss of contact from his mouth.
"Yes. Sure. Yeah." She gasped, brain addled with sensation overload. One finger slid into her and Claire groaned loudly, her teeth biting her lip and then her mouth falling open. She tried rocking against his hand as it pumped slowly in and out of her.
She whimpered something, and he stood as his hands worked between her legs.
"More. Please, more." She broke, exhausted at trying to fight him.
"More," He echoed as he plunged another finger in tandem with the first. Claire keened and tightened around him, squeezing his fingers. Their breath slammed together as their faces hovered inches apart. His eyes were heavily hooded and Claire's body was coiled like a spring.
Her breath shook as his movements jammed her body.
"You know what?" She gasped.
"More?" He replied with a hitched but sarcastic laugh. She arched her back at little and opened her eyes to look into his endless ones.
"You like having the power." She accused, punctuating it with a moan as her body started to tingle and a climbing feeling in all her nerves caused her body to shake. He laughed huskily, and her hand was forced against his crotch so she could feel the hard bulge pulse and burn through the pants.
"What tipped you off? The dead bodies or the tent?" He asked bitingly, his breath coming out like hers. Claire was only half listening, trying desperately to ride to that edge.
"Neither. The fact that I can move," Claire whined, wrapping her legs loosely around his hips as she reached her peak and her body seized. Her mind went blank, and her eyes saw nothing as she plunged into white.
Claire gasped as she awoke, choking slightly on air and blinking furiously as she sat up in her bed, blinded by the near-white light the sun poured over her pillow. She sat up, clutching her sheet to her chest and gasping. Her heart raced a million miles a minute and she was covered in a sheen of sweat. Her body hummed slightly, and she fought back the images in her head.
A knock on her door caused her to jump and it opened to reveal Lyle leaning against the doorframe, eyes on his videogame.
"Uh, Mum said to tell you to hurry up. She's making waffles and Mr. Muggles has a bath appointment at nine. Oh, and you have to drive me to school." He said, finally looking up and catching his sister's wide-eyed and sweaty appearance.
Her blond bangs stuck together and her hair fell wildly around her shoulders.
His forehead wrinkled and he went back to his game.
"And you should probably not leave the house looking like that," Lyle finished, walking away and leaving the door open. Adjusting to reality, Claire fell back on her pillows and stared up at the ceiling. She turned her head and looked at the lava lamp. It sat innocently, cold lava illuminated by the morning light from the window.
Well, it didn't remind her of blood anymore.