Do not own Heroes, as much as we keep dreaming.
Note: The number of years 'past' is to be added onto the conclusion of season 3. (ex 4 years past- 4 years after Sylar becomes Nathan Petrelli and all events pertaining to that period of time) Sorry if we ruin the characters, plots, pairing or completely alter the world of Heroes, this is our first joined fanfic ever and though we are loyal supporters, we might not remember every little detail that happened in season 3. We will try to keep as close to the facts as possible, but feel free to let us know if something does not match up.
NOTE OF MENTION: Sapphirehummingbird is my co-author, great friend and fellow Heroes lover.
Thanks for helping out.
Now, without much further ado, here we go.
Prologue: 3 Years Past: Washington, D.C.
Sylar sat at a desk, shuffling aimlessly through papers, more to keep his hands busy than for the sake of actual work. He'd been having unusual dreams lately, dreams of an alternate past, drastically different from the one he was sure had been real. Maybe it was the stress of his position. Maybe he was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Either way, he couldn't help wondering what the dreams meant.
The last few months had been so surreal. On one hand, daily life had continued as usual. He spent the weekdays in his office, focused on specific tasks, attempting to relax during the weekends. Last weekend, he'd talked to his mother over the phone, chatting briefly about seemingly insignificant events in each others' lives. 'Catching up', she called it, but Sylar knew that she called him regularly more out of a sense of responsibility than actual affection for her son. On the other hand, his thoughts had been wandering. While day-to-day events rushed by in a painfully real way, he found it hard to focus. It was like watching a movie, getting immersed, until he saw nothing but the world within the screen, then something would suddenly and forcibly snap him back to reality.
He didn't feel himself. He was Nathan Petrelli, United States senator, Angela's son, Peter's brother, and father of two. Yet he was starting to feel like all this was so foreign, someone else's life.
He wanted to figure out what this all meant, but before he could immerse himself too deep in thought, a knock came on the door.
"Come on in."
Peter Petrelli entered Sylar's handsome, wood-panelled office.
"Pete, you haven't stopped by in a while," Sylar said, smiling.
"I've been busy, but it's good to see you again, Nathan."
The two shared a brief embrace before Sylar stepped back, keeping his hand on his supposed brother's shoulder. Although his smile remained, he obviously seemed skeptical that Peter had been doing anything productive.
"Busy? With what?" he asked, trying not to sound too doubtful.
"I got hired at the hospital, in maternity," Peter announced with a grin.
"Maternity?" Sylar raised an eyebrow. "But you got a job. Congratulations, Peter! Does Ma know?"
"I haven't told her yet."
"We should celebrate, go out for dinner or something," Sylar responded, sitting back behind his desk. Peter followed suit, seating himself in a chair on the other side of the papers covering the surface. "So what's up?"
"Not much else, I just wanted to give you the good news," replied Peter, happy to see his brother after a few months of nothing but minimal contact.
A silence commenced, as Sylar's attention fell to Peter's watch. He could hear it tick, and could tell, just from the sound, that the minute wheel was slightly loose. The fact that he knew this confused him slightly. He'd never known anything about clocks, but in the past three years he'd noticed a strange ability to determine, simply by sound, all the details of the inner-workings. Because of this worrying affliction, Sylar switched to a digital watch a few months ago in an attempt to push unusual thoughts to the back of his mind.
Peter noticed Sylar fall silent, and their eyes met. Sylar broke the gaze, fiddling with the button on his sleeve cuff.
"What is it, Nathan?"
"Well, I just..." he paused, sighing. "It's nothing. Listen, Pete, I need to get back to work. About dinner, does 6:30 tomorrow night work for you?" he asked as he opened up his electronic planner, spotting an opening. "I'll pick you up. Where are you living these days?"
Peter was used to Nathan's straightforward, business-like way of talking. "I've got an apartment a few blocks away, but I'll be working at the hospital until 6."
"Alright, well I'll see you then. I'll wait for you near the entrance."
Peter found his own way out, shutting the door behind him. Sylar sighed again in the silence, finding himself alone with his own thoughts.
Sylar paced the hospital foyer, a little frustrated at Peter's lateness. It was almost 6:30, and they would miss the reservations if he had to wait any longer. Being a very punctual person, he couldn't wrap his head around the idea of someone unable to make it for a meeting time. He pulled out his phone and dialed the restaurant, letting the host know to expect them a few minutes later than he had booked.
He had arrived wearing one of his tailored suits, rarely found wearing anything else these days, even during his busy weekends. With a roll of his eyes, he figured Peter probably hadn't brought a change of clothes. It would be embarassing to be seen dressed so formally, eating in an expensive restaurant with his brother wearing scrubs and his hair still styled in such a juvenile way. While he sometimes resented the man's lack of seriousness regarding his career and professionalism, he had to admit Peter wouldn't be Peter without this particular attitude.
Growing evermore impatient, Sylar decided to browse the nearby gift shop to pass the time. He glanced at get well cards and flowers offering condolences as the cashier clicked her tongue upon seeing a patron so near to closing time.
Amongst the figurines and baby toys, he spotted a snow globe, featuring the picturesque hospital in a wintertime setting. He picked it up, tipping it upside-down momentarily to admire the slowly falling snow. The scene looked so tranquil, a stark contrast to the stresses of his life. The serenity allowed his mind to fade into calmness. Lost in thought, he failed to notice Peter walk up behind him and jumped as Peter spoke.
"Here you are, I've been looking. I thought you said you would be in the lobby."
Sylar spun to face his supposed brother, still holding the globe.
"Pete, do you think Ma would like this? You know how much she loves snow globes," he asked, showing the snowy scene.
"Does she?" Peter asked.
Sylar swallowed hard, his mind racing. He shivered, unnoticed by Peter, and with a shock wave like hitting a brick wall, a dam breaking, everything flooded his head. He suddenly felt the start of a cold sweat on his skin, remembering his own mother's snow globe collection, his own past, his own life. He remembered the fight with Peter and Nathan, and waking up believing he was someone else. The past three years had been spent in the role of Nathan Petrelli, living as a different man day after day, month after month. He felt physically sick as he came to the full realization of the extent of this fake existence, this paper-thin facade that had kept him imprisoned in the wrong life. It felt like the walls around him were crashing down.
All these thoughts occurred within a split second and Sylar regained his composure with little outwardly visible emotion.
"You're right, she probably wouldn't be interested," he smiled, "We better get to the restaurant before they cancel our reservation."
Sylar locked the front door behind him later that evening. Nathan Petrelli's front door. He'd had his chauffeur take Peter home before stopping at the elegant house that also belonged to Petrelli. He sat on Petrelli's couch, already planning out his actions for the next few days. He was thankful for the weekend, starting tomorrow, meaning he didn't need to be in the office in the morning. Sylar slid off the suit jacket, taking off the tie and unbuttoning his collar and cuffs, rolling up his sleeves to the elbow. All evening, he'd been thinking about the consequences of his recent realization. However, there was little point in getting upset about it yet.
Sylar was eager to try out all his old powers, having to think hard to remember what they all were. He remembered the more prominent ones: telekinesis, electricity, healing, and of course, shapeshifting. He paced the living room, flicking lights on with a simple hand gesture. He spent much of the evening using his telekinesis to rearrange the furniture. This proved to require a lot of effort but felt satisfying, like flexing a rarely-used muscle. After the quick breather, he stood and headed to the bathroom.
Petrelli looked back at him from the mirror. It had been so long since he'd used any of his powers and was finding shapeshifting to be particularly painful. He gripped the sink and screwed his eyes shut as his skin burned and contorted, his spine searing with pain as the transformation caused him to slowly grow by a few inches. Sylar slid to his hands and knees on the plush bathroom rug as his muscles tore and reformed. Thick, warm blood dripped from tears in his skin as the sloppy shift left him incomplete. However, his healing ability kicked in and the wounds closed as quickly as they had opened. When it was over, he stood shakily, wiping the blood and sweat from his brow.
Although the pain had quickly faded, the hot water of the shower was still a relief, easing the residual feeling created by his mind. Being in his own body after three years was like coming back to a familiar home from a long vacation, finding everything exactly where you had left it. Sylar used his mind to bring the soap from it's dish, washing his body to rid himself of the filth of the senator.
The doorbell echoed from the entrance hall to the bedroom, where Sylar slowly stirred. It rang twice more and Sylar leapt to his feet, the bright morning sunshine blinding him momentarily. He threw on a robe and headed downstairs. Halfway down the staircase, he transformed into Petrelli, doubling over for a moment, clenching his teeth, but the change was complete within a moment. Unbolting the door, he was faced with the senator's mother.
"Goodness, Nathan. Did you just wake up? It's nearly noon, for heaven's sake." Always critical, Angela Petrelli gave her scruffy-looking son a once-over, judgmental glance before walking through the door and settling herself down on the couch.
"Ma, I wasn't expecting you," Sylar replied, still holding the door open. He locked it and joined Angela in the living room.
"Can't I drop in on my own son every once-in-a-while?" Angela asked as she put a hand on Sylar's cheek and her expensive purse on the coffee table.
Sylar turned away, frowning.
"What's the matter?" she asked sharply.
"Why have you been lying to me, Angela Petrelli?"
Her face didn't show the underlying surprise at Sylar's rediscovered identity. Maybe after the years she'd acted as his mother, he had come to see her as such. Maybe her son would forgive her.
"The same reason any mother would lie to her son. I wanted to protect you."
"I don't need your protection. You're not my mother!" Sylar shouted, standing suddenly to face her.
She stood also. Although her face was barely at his shoulders, she looked up at him confidently, responding, "I can be, if you let me."
Sylar didn't answer right away. His thoughts drifted back to the death of his own mother. However, this woman could never replace her and wouldn't be able to undo his sins. He had murdered Virgina Gray, and she wasn't coming back. Her offer enraged him. How dare she suggest that he continue this lie?
"I'm going to kill you, Angela Petrelli. I wonder what Peter will say," he pondered aloud, his face turning into a smirk.
"Please, Gabriel, I only did what I thought was best. I'd just lost my son, and allowing you to die too wasn't what I wanted."
"You're lying. If you didn't want Nathan back so badly, you'd have killed me yourself," Sylar snapped, growing angry.
"Gabriel, that's not true. You were like a son to me once. I thought it could work again."
"Spare me the pleas, Angela. I can tell when you're lying. You've always been manipulative, spinning your threads of deceit around everyone you know. It seems like the spider has finally been caught in her own web."
As Sylar raised his arm, his hand making a gripping motion, Angela was lifted off her feet. Her hands scrambled at her neck and her mouth was open in a silet scream. Sylar's finger on his other hand slowly became level with her forehead and a horrific grinding sound was heard as her scalp split and her skull was sawn open in a straight line across her head. Angela's fingernails gouged at her neck as she tried to pry away the invisible force, tears streaming down her face. In a moment, the pain, blood loss, and brain damage became too much, and Angela Petrelli slipped into unconsciousness and death. Although the hunger had overcome Sylar, giving in to the feeling was far from satisfying.
With Angela's body safely buried in a remote location, to avoid people recognizing his characteristic killing methods, and his bloodstained hands carefully cleaned, Sylar finally felt the sense of relief for which he'd been hoping. He returned to his house, changing from a suit-clad Nathan to his own form, still wearing just a robe. Finally being himself again, he felt so free, so empowered. It would be important to keep up the current act, using it to his advantage, but Sylar enjoyed the time he would be able to spend alone, even if he had to hide his identity in public.
Entering the living room, Sylar spotted something shining from the floor. Crouching down, he picked up Angela's chain necklace. She must've pulled it off while grabbing at her own neck during the brief struggle. As his fingertips contacted the cold silver, his mind was filled with images, but he focused on ones relating to Angela's relationship with him. The object, worn regularly by the woman, told him the story of how he had become Nathan Petrelli. The details didn't concern him, but he paused as he learned of the involvement of both Matt Parkman and Noah Bennet. Sylar knew immediately that he would kill them both for what they had done to him. Parkman's ability would be very useful. However, it would require careful planning to take out Bennet. The man was smart, experienced, and resilient. If Sylar wanted him dead, it would have to work on the first try, to avoid revealing himself only to have the man escape. Figuring out the inner-workings of a plan was what Sylar excelled at.
Matt Parkman was the obvious choice for his first act of revenge. With Parkman's powerful abilities in his repertoire, it would be much easier to get Bennet with little personal risk.
While figuring out the details of his plan, Sylar browsed his closet for something to wear, wishing he had his own clothes. He chose Petrelli's only pair of jeans and opted for one of his more casual dress shirts. With a grimace, he transformed into Petrelli, although the change was getting easier every time. After booking a last-minute flight online to the west coast, Sylar grabbed the keys to one of his expensive cars and headed out the front door.
"Matt, he's crying again."
"I'll take care of it."
Matt dragged himself out of bed, walking slowly into the next room, the hallway partially illuminated by a streetlamp outside the window. He approached the toddler gate blocking the colorful bedroom's doorway to find his young son standing, holding into the bars, and crying.
"Come here, Matt. What's the matter?" he asked, picking up the boy and sitting down at the kitchen table with Matt Jr. on his knee. "Are you lonely? Or do you just like waking me up in the middle of the night?" he said in a quiet voice, although there was no bitterness in his tone. Being a dad was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and enduring sleepless nights while his son grew up was worth every moment. Matt always thought the terrible twos were supposed to be a trying time for parents, but the 'fearsome fours', as Matt had called them, were proving even worse.
"Daddy, I had a bad dream," his son sniffed, rubbing tears across his face with the back of his small hand.
"It's ok, Matty. Bad dreams are just our imaginations, remember?"
"Mm-hmm," the little boy replied, but his lower lip continued to tremble.
Matt knew that he could use his powers to relieve his son's unhappiness, but he had promised himself never to purposefully affect the thoughts of his family. He couldn't help reading their minds from time to time, but he wouldn't use his abilities of putting thoughts into their heads.
"Why don't I read you a little of your story, then tuck you back into bed?" Matt asked, putting the toddler down and taking a kid's book from the shelf in the adjoining room. Matt Jr. nodded silently.
Back in Matt Jr.'s room, Matt sat on the small bed with his son on his lap, opening the book at the marked page. The little boy looked at the vibrant pictures while his father read aloud.
"Matt!" came a shriek from the bedroom up the hall, followed by a scrambling noise and the shattering of ceramic.
"Janice, I'll be right there!" Matt yelled, quickly putting his son down and sprinting in the direction of his new-again wife.
As Matt's eyes scanned the dark room, he saw an upturned table, broken mirror, and a smashed lamp. Janice stood on the bed, looking stunned.
"What is it, Jan?"
"Oh gosh! I could've sworn I saw a huge mouse run under the bathroom door."
Matt laughed at her over-reaction, feeling slightly relieved.
"I'll take a look if you like," he suggested, walking towards the closed door, not minding his role of protective husband.
"You know what?" she said suddenly, "I probably just imagined it. Listen, why don't you go tuck in Matty and come back to bed."
"Alright." Matt sounded a little suspicious, but left to put his son to bed.
Upon his return, he found his wife under the covers. Matt climbed under with her, moving closer so her back rested against his chest, putting his arm around her waist. Janice flinched slightly, but didn't move. She felt a little tense, but Matt didn't think much of it, slowly drifting to sleep.
Matt was awoken suddenly by a sharp pain in his chest and a sensation of heavy pressure. His eyes flashed open to find himself face-to-face with his wife. She crouched over him, appearing to be pinning him down without touching him. A finger placed a few inches from his forehead caused a stabbing pain and deafening grinding sound. While Matt found himself unable to cry out, he focused his mind, sending out a telepathic, 'Stop.'
The sawing stopped before too much damage had been done. The person pinning him down, obviously not his wife, maintained the telekinetic grip.
'Let go, and get up,' came Matt's disembodied voice.
Although Sylar fought against the prompting, Matt's powers had greatly increased since last they met. Sylar gritted his teeth, conscious of the thoughts being forced into his mind, but unable to stop the urge to fulfill the commands. He relinquished his hold, stepping back off the bed, still glaring at Matt.
Matt stood also, facing his enemy. He realized Sylar must've finally broken through the mental hold Matt had put on him. Before him stood the image of his wife: pretty, nightgown-clad, and grinning in a twisted way he never thought possible to see on Janice's usually kind features.
"I was hoping to catch you off-guard, Parkman." The name was spat with contempt.
With a gut-wrenching realization, Matt glanced at the bathroom door. He knew why Sylar had stopped him from entering the room. Janice was dead. Sylar noticed the subtle movement of Matt's eyes, predicting his thoughts.
"I took care of Matty too," he mocked, "He didn't even cry, the brave little boy."
Matt's breathe caught in his throat and he blinked back tears. While Sylar gloated, continuing his little speech, Matt was deaf to his words. Before Sylar even had a moment to react, he fell headfirst into Matt's world of nightmares.
Virginia Gray stood before Sylar, looking frail, and smiling sadly.
"I always expected so much more from you, Gabriel."
"I just want to make you proud of me. That's all I ever wanted, to be a son you could love," Gabriel replied, looking away.
"You're no son of mine, Sylar!" she backed away from him, a look of terror marring her kind face.
Sylar's arm moved of his own accord, holding up a pair of scissors, despite his efforts to turn away from his mother, to protect her. While he watched in alarm, his hand reached out, stabbing the sharp point into her chest. His eyes widened as he saw her give him a look of betrayal, before she slowly glided away, fading into darkness.
Scene after scene played out in Sylar's mind. Each was more disturbing than the last. He had no choice but to watch as he relived each murder he had committed in sharp detail. Although the vision seemed to last hours, only minutes had passed. When Sylar was jolted back to reality, his knees gave way and he vomited on the carpet.
Once he had regained himself, still shaking and sweating, Matt's footsteps were already down the hall.
Sylar leapt to his feet, running after Matt, and just in time to see the front door slam. Once Sylar had made it outside, however, the scene caused him to yell out in frustration. On the ground lay Matt Parkman, face down, the contents of his skull sprayed across the driveway, his LAPD-issued handgun still gripped in his hand. He would rather take his own life than relinquish his power to his enemy. With no wife or child to protect, Matt had seen his purpose disappear so quickly.
As Sylar walked back into the house, he growled to himself. How useful telepathy would be, he would never find out. He approached the smaller bedroom, folding his arms as he looked into the child's eyes, so like his father's.
"What am I going to do with you, now?"
A few weeks later, and the city of New York was starting to get colder. An obvious chill was in the air, giving promises of another snowy winter approaching. The bustling city-goers barely noticed during the rush of busy lives. The Petrelli mansion, however, was always kept at a comfortable temperature, no matter the outside climate.
Matt Parkman cried.
"I can't go any faster, Matt!" came a frustrated call from the kitchen, as Sylar quickly slapped peanut butter onto a slice of bread and putting it on top of the other slice, already covered in strawberry jelly. He hurried into the living room, where the toddler sat in front of the tv.
"You better not say it has bumps in it this time. I got the jelly instead of jam."
It'd been grating on Sylar's nerves to care for the kid. He was almost wishing he'd killed him, like he told the boy's father. The fool had been so wrapped up in emotion that he hadn't even read Sylar's mind to find out the truth. Mohinder hadn't been answering his phone, or Sylar would've been rid of the boy ages ago. He had planned to call, simply to confirm the doctor's availability without revealing his own identity, in order to drop off the boy anonymously. He knew Mohinder had a fondness for kids, and was the only one nearby, excluding Peter of course.
The time at home had been frustrating to say the least. Not only had Matt's powers been lost, but Sylar had been unable to eliminate Bennet. As carefully as the plan had been executed, Bennet, always on his guard, had seen Sylar coming. The only thing to do was count his losses and return home, ready to try again when then time was right.
Chapter One: 16 Years Past: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Black, dark, grey.
"We are here to lay to rest Noah Bennet" the monotone voice pierced the husky silence and she looked up, across her father's closed eyes, unusually bare without their horn rimmed frame. She looked to Lyle, but as suspected, his gaze were cast down and he wouldn't meet her eyes. She felt the tears on her cheeks, trickling slowly to her mouth, salty taste flooding to her lips. She brushed them away, sniffling. She looked the same, more or less. 23, but how long had she been this old? She was surprised she could feel anything anymore, even weep for her father, who put her through all the trouble, the lies, the schemes. If she were Lyle, she wouldn't look at her either. She tried to imagine what it must be like, but she couldn't. He hadn't found out till years later, all the secrets that they'd been keeping from him. Neglect wore him down, changed him into a distant boy and his life, if he looks on it, would just be lies, broken trust and neglect. He'd been the only one bathed in lies, the others knowing the truth and she'd not seen him for 5 years now, since their mother's funeral. Everything and everyone was slipping away from her and she longed to be held so badly, to be soothed and told everything would be alright, but she wasn't that girl anymore, she wouldn't let that show, she was Claire and had forgotten pain long ago, learned how to heal from it ever so quickly.
The sermon was usual, nothing out of the ordinary, but no one here to lay him to rest. No haitian, no wife, no Angela, Nathan, just her and Lyle.
It's after the burial now, her father six feet under, the weight of the world on him, or at least some of it. She busied herself in the deserts and wondered if Lyle will speak to her, since he didn't at their mother's funeral. He hadn't spoken to her since he'd found out- years now, at least 8. But Claire was losing count of all the years, she couldn't grasp time, some of the events in her life seeming to take forever and others, like the fights with her Dad, the eclipse, homecoming, seem to flash by in an instant. She's unchanging and can't grasp time anymore.
"you look the same" came Lyle's quiet attempt at making conversation "but i guess that's part of the ability" his words burned, his expression, harsh and grabbing tea across from her, he sits down on the other side of the room, looking around. Every funeral at this parlor comes with a reception, room, refreshments and the like and Claire had booked it, thinking maybe all those company people might show up, might give her answers, but she supposed, there was no one left and among all the tea and biscuits, it was just her and Lyle.
She had imagined to be reunited with the Haitian or Claude, or Mohinder. She wished Peter to be here, just a familiar face, but Peter and her were distant now. Her father's funeral had proved what she'd never believed to be true- that he really did put family first. Either that, or everyone's dead. A thought echoed in her mind and she forced it out, hoping that someone was out there. She knew Peter was, but was scared to contact him, since the last time she had, it had been a grave mistake.
"I thought you said he was important?" Lyle asked and she looked up from her thoughts, realizing she'd been stirring her coffee before even putting sugar in. She spooned some in and resumed stirring, now to a purpose.
"He was" she whispered and he nodded.
"I'm surprised I even came" Lyle responded
"He was your father, Lyle"
"he lied to me my whole life!" Lyle countered
"One day you'll forgive him and you'll be glad that you came" she countered back and nothing more was said on the matter.
They left without another word, Claire paid the funeral services, said goodbye to the grave one more time and left, parting ways with the only bit of family she had left. Hopefully we'll reconcile one day, she thought, when everything is different.
Claire sat up in bed, jerked awake from the nightmare again. The nightmare that had been haunting her for the past years. The last time she'd seen Peter, the last time words had been spoken and it haunted her. It had been the night her mother had died, before the funeral procession, awkward conversation with Lyle, seeing her father again. It was 5 years ago, give or take a month, but she had been haunted by these visions and nightmares for 5 years now. Her dreams were always the same. She was glad Peter was staying away now, she wouldn't know how to handle being near him.
The dream always started the same, as it had in real life, a phone call. The dream was real life, the events that had happened that night her mother died and it haunted her often, and she usually woke up screaming. She couldn't shake the nightmare from her mind and remembered it flawlessly, it always being the same.
She closed her eyes, trying to push the thoughts away from her, but just saw the nightmare again........
11 Years Past: 5 Years Ago: The Night That Haunts Claire
"Peter?" her frightened voice asked, knowing she had woken him in the middle of the night.
"what is it Claire?" he asked, his voice soothing, but exhausted. He must have been working late at the hospital.
"I was wondering if you could just talk?" her paranoia asked, hoping he would agree.
"Claire, its 2 in the morning" his voice was stern, tired, not the Peter she had imagined after pacing and finally deciding to call. It's Peter She had thought to herself He's always there for me, always.
"What's wrong?" his voice asked again and she stifled a sob.
Peter sat up in his bed, flicked on the light and glanced at the time. Yup, 2 am in the morning. And he had to be at the hospital at ten.
"my.." she paused, unable to say the words herself "my mom died, Pete"
"oh god, Claire!" his voice filling with the compassion she knew well. She was crying fully now.
"I'm ok" she choked the lie.
"Claire, talk to me. It's ok. Just tell me everything" he whispered and she sobbed harder.
"I'm all alone" she whispered "and my mom's gone" You're stronger than this Claire, a voice told her, but she couldn't stop the onrush of tears.
"Claire, I'll send Nathan over, ok? I can't get there now, I have to work in the morning and I'll be there as soon as I can, ok?" he soothed and she nodded. He got this way too much in his field of work and was used to it by now, but the personal tragedy hit him hard.
"Claire, I'm sorry. I am" he whispered and she nodded, though he couldn't see.
"I know Pete, I just wish you were here"
"I know Claire, I will be soon" He promised. "I'm gonna call Nathan now, then I'll call you right back, ok?"
"ok" she sobbed and the line went dead.
"Pete! Do you know what time it is?"
"Nathan, you owe me something, as my brother. Don't ask questions, please. I know it's early, but you've got to get to Claire. Her mom just died, she's distraught, she really needs you now. You've got the connections, You can be there sooner than me, Please just do it" Peter was serious, fully awake now and glued to his computer screen, desperately searching.
"Pete, I can't" Nathan said on the other line
"Your daughter needs you Nathan!" Peter replied, snapping.
"Pete, I can't" he said again.
"Fine" and with that Peter hung up the line.
Claire was waiting by the phone, staring down on it. Peter had promised to call back and he was one to keep his promises. A thousand napkins were strewn across the floor and sitting in her fitted black tank-top and silk sleeping shorts, Claire huddled herself on the couch, hoping he would call soon. She heard a knock on the door and rose slowly, wearingly. Claire, get a hold of yourself, You can't die, you can't get hurt. She told herself and boldly walked to the door and peeked in the peep hole.
She swung the door open instantly and bounded into his arms, holding him tightly in a hug.
"Oh Peter!" she whispered, sobbing onto his shoulder, as they awkwardly stood, embraced in the hallway.
She pulled apart, instantly remembering what she was wearing, where they were and how wrong this all was.
"Sorry" she whispered and he nodded.
"It's fine Claire, you're in pain, I know" he soothed and she led him into the small apartment. A small tv stood in the corner of the room, an ancient looking sofa, the tiniest kitchen imaginable, a single coffee maker and microwave and not much else filled the apartment.
"you decided to come?" she asked
"I couldn't leave you here" A smile played at her lips, but she knew better.
"I thought you said you couldn't, you have work tomorrow"
"I can call in sick"
"you're a nurse"
"my niece needs me. Save the cheerleader, right?" he asked and she smiled now.
"you were my hero, Pete" she whispered, borderline inappropriate.
"How did you get here anyway?" she asked " I thought you still lived in New York"
"I met Hiro last week. Figured I'd use his ability for something good"
"your always thinking on the good" she smiled "can I get you something, coffee, tea, cake?"
"you do know what time it is, right?" he asked and she smiled.
"ya, sorry. Just so out of it"
"How long's it been?" Claire asked "Since your mom?" she stopped, unable to keep going.
"I didn't come here to bum you out about talking about death! Come on, sit down and let's cheer you up!" he offered, plopping himself down on the couch.
"Ok" she agreed, sitting on the other end.
"you've been crying lots?" he asked and she nodded, wanting to hold onto him again, but scared of the awkwardness.
"come here" he whispered, almost inviting in a non sympathetic way, but she did not notice and fit into his arms. He wrapped them around her and she pulled him in for a deep hug, never wanting to let go.
"I love you Pete" she heard herself say, before she could stop it and cursed to herself.
"and I you" he whispered back, letting himself smell her hair and pull her head against his chest, in their close embrace.
"Pete?" she looked up, inches away from his face, she stared into his deep chocolate brown eyes, feeling herself drawn to him, as she had been before all the torment, after he had first saved her, before all the real pain and suffering, the lies, the deaths. When it was just a cheerleader and her hero. He felt it too, it was undeniable and he stared back into her eyes, feeling himself draw in.
"mmhmm?" he asked, but she had lost her train of thought, staring now at his lips, moving closer.
"thanks" she paused, her words disconnected, her focus on shifting from his eyes to his lips " for com ing"
"Claire?" his voice was deep, expectant, as if knowing what was about to happen.
She placed her hand on his, holding it in hers, letting his fingers trace her forearm.
The phone startled her, she almost jumped out of her skin and in an instant, all the build up and the closeness was gone, as she had dashed off the couch and now stood at the other end of it, holding the cordless phone in her hand.
"Pete?" she asked, uneasiness creeping into her voice
"Yes Claire?" he asked
"How come you're calling me?
"what?" he asked
"Peter, how can you be calling me?" she asked again, more composed and she clicked the green button putting the phone to her ear.
"Who is this?" she asked
"It's Peter" the voice replied
"That's not possible"
"I promised I'd call back Claire" he said on the other end.
"No, you're in front of me" she responded, but as soon as she had said it, the phone dropped to the floor, as Peter, as he had been in front of her. Transformed into Sylar.
"CLAIRE? CLAIRE? CLAIRE?" the frantic voice came through the phone on the floor, but Claire was inching back now, away from the couch and Sylar. The phone drifted to his hand instantly and he switched into Nathan.
"It's alright Pete, I'm here" he spoke softly and Claire could hardly believe her eyes.
"Nathan!? Is she ok?"
"She's fine Pete, I decided to come after all"
"PETER IT'S SYLAR!!!!" Claire screamed, hoping he could hear her on the line, but she never got to find out. Sylar shut off the phone, throwing it onto the couch.
"Wish you hadn't said that" he played, moving slowly closer to her, predator.
"Sylar?" She asked, in disbelief "I saw you die" she told herself more and him and he chuckled.
"Angela couldn't bear Nathan's death, so Matt changed me into him. He convinced me I was Nathan Petrelli, but their all dead now, so it doesn't matter" She looked at him in disbelief, he was alive? He had been Nathan, for years! And she, had just hugged, held onto and said I love you, to her deepest enemy.
"he's gonna come and save me!" she cried, trying to reassure herself.
"Claire" her name echoed from his deep, dark voice. "He's in New York, first flight doesn't leave till morning. It's just you and me tonight"
So there we go, prologue and Chapter one! We hope you enjoyed and look forward to hearing your reactions, comments, questions or any feedback at all!