"What?" The panic was in his voice, he just couldn't help it.
"Hey, man, I just asked you for the ti—"
"I'm…look, I'm sorry. Just…excuse me a moment."
Matt was stung briefly by the expression that passed over his partner's face. Once more his ability had him acting like a complete basket-case. If he kept operating at his current rate, by the end of the month there wouldn't be a precinct in the country where his reputation of mental instability would not follow. Then again, half the country had already seen him standing in the middle of D.C. with a bomb strapped to his chest. Despite the incident having been officially pardoned as part of an undercover anti-terror operation, projecting the image of a well balanced human being might already be hopeless. It was a near impossible feat to ignore that look, as well as his partner's protests as his feet carried him swiftly toward the restroom.
He allowed himself a quick scan to make sure he was alone. Satisfied with the mental silence, he closed the door behind him and turned the lock. The nausea had already taken hold by the time he folded himself into a stall, limbs shaking.
He still wasn't sure how it had even happened. It wasn't something he'd ever tried before. He couldn't be sure if it was something that was supposed to happen, or if he'd simply screwed up, or if somehow Sylar had managed to damage him in return. His current theory was that, simply, the memories had to go somewhere. As he'd sifted through the killer's mind, cutting out the rot and replacing it, he'd found himself bombarded. The debris of broken memories, a broken mind. Emotional shrapnel. Images, emotions, fragmented and distorted and simply filthy with his madness. They had faded, since. Most of them almost immediately after he broke his link, melting away as he watched Sylar's form vanish, changed. Others, though, stayed, embedding themselves in hidden corners of his mind, set to jump out at him later like monsters from the dark.
It made a sort sense that those memories that managed to cling to him would be ones concerning people and things that they both knew. He already had a nail for those recollections to hang on, so to speak. However, that fact was what made those scraps of not-memory far more disturbing. Anticipation, the dark corridors of the building where he'd come after Molly, his amusement at how close he'd been to having Audrey pull the trigger. Kirby Plaza, where they'd next stood face to face—funny how both sets of memories condemned him as useless and a fool for going after Sylar with that gun. He had a smattering of recollections of the time Sylar had spent with Mohinder, using the doctor's earnest search to further his own hunt. He'd even seen the bloody way in which that had ended, in the apartment he and the geneticist had shared.
A handful of glimpses showed Sylar observing the Walker home. But the worst was…
He'd found it rather crass, in hindsight. Perhaps even a little overkill. It had been necessary for the woman to die, of course. He couldn't afford to have someone identify him. He could have made it quick, though. He'd intended to, at first. Even after she'd come at him, fingers clasping the fabric of his coat, begging pathetically for the lives of her husband and daughter. She wasn't important. He could easily have afforded her the mercy of a painless end. But then he'd looked down at the hands that grasped him, thin fingers and slim wrists. He'd felt his lips curve into a disgusted sneer before he even registered consciously what he saw. He enjoyed it a little too much when he stapled her to the wall with her own cutlery and set back about the task at hand…
Parkman shuddered as he remembered, thankful that time had dulled that alien memory into barely a shadow. The first time he had experienced it, it had been far more vivid—so vivid that Sylar's thoughts had felt like his own. He hoped that eventually it would fade entirely. The last thing he wanted to carry to his grave was the knowledge that Mrs. Walker had died so horribly for the unforgivable sin of owning a Mickey Mouse watch.