All the usual disclaimers
Thanks to all who have reviewed and have alerted this story, feedback is always appreciated!
So, I'm not sure if I should end this here and possibly do a sequel. Or, hurry though the 'war' and wrap this up. Or just keep on with this until it eventually ends. Opinions?
Noah was waiting for them when they finally arrived. He was surprised to see Angela. He'd expected Peter would follow Claire, but he never thought Angela would leave Nathan to his own devices. He had baby Noah in his arms and Claire rushed to him.
"Hi, Daddy. Was Noah a good boy?" She grinned at her son, who held his arms out to his mother. Claire scooped him up and gathered him close. "I missed you so much." She kissed him as Sylar walked up behind her.
"So, did he grow an inch while we were gone?" He asked with a smirk.
"Don't be dick. He's perfect." She kissed him again. "Where's Gabby, Dad?"
"Lyle has her." Noah sighed and went to Peter. "So, who talked you into coming?"
He shrugged as he stared as Claire and Sylar together with their child. "Um, seemed the right thing to do." His eyes never left his niece. "That has to be the most bizarre thing I've ever seen." He motioned to the trio.
"Yeah, I wake up every morning hoping it was just a nightmare." Noah retorted.
"I can hear everything you say, Noah." Sylar said over his shoulder.
Claire rolled her eyes. "So, you wanna meet your Uncle Peter?" She asked her son.
"Claire, I know they're gonna be special children, but really, they can't understand you." Sylar laughed as he took Noah from her. He strode over to Peter.
"This is Noah. Look anything like the one I had in that other future?" He asked.
Peter looked at the little boy in his father's arms. He was so alert, looking deeply into the older man's eyes. The baby looked up at his father and looked back to Peter. His chin started to quiver and he dug himself into Sylar's shoulder.
"Hey, little man, it's okay. Uncle Peter is a good guy. Really." He kissed his son's forehead and smoothed his hand over the baby's back. "Hmm, guess he needs to get used to you."
Sylar looked over to Claire and saw she was disturbed.
"What is it, babe?" He asked her.
She took a deep breath. "Noah, he can sense it. He can sense that Peter doesn't like you."
"Oh, Claire, come on. He's barely 7 months old. Give him at least 5 more months before…" Claire gave him a hard look that silenced him. "You really think so?"
"Yes, I really think so. Gabriel, you have so many powers and I have this really big one. We have to be ready for whatever Noah and Gabby are going to be." She said softly.
"But I didn't come into mine until I was older. And you, you were sixteen. Claire, I don't want them to have to deal with this. Not now, not for a long time." He held his son closer to him.
"If Suresh is right, this isn't something that's going to manifest. It's something that is, something that each generation will be born with." She bit her lip.
"What is it, niña?" Julia brought Gabby to her mother and father.
"Nothing, Julia. She's just being a mom." Sylar answered for Claire.
"Hmm, whatever you say, Gabriel." Julia handed Gabby over to Claire.
"Hi, sweetheart. Mommy missed you." She kissed her daughter's temple. "Let's go see your Uncle Peter, tell mommy what you think of him."
Claire turned to her father and Peter with Gabby in her arms, Sylar right behind her.
"Peter, here's our daughter." She smiled. "Gabriella Grey, meet your Uncle Peter." Claire handed Gabby over to Peter, who took her with an uncomfortable glance at Sylar.
"Hey there, little lady. You look just like…well; you really look like your Dad." He looked at her sweet face and smiled. "But you have you Mom's eyes."
"Yea, I was hoping she was going to have Claire's hair, too. But I guess my genes are just a little stronger." Sylar shrugged.
Peter took a deep breath. "Okay, I have to ask. How in the hell did you fall in love? I'm not looking to get killed, but come on; you both have to admit this is really bizarre."
Sylar barked out a laugh, causing his son to jump in his arms. "Sorry, sweetheart." He rubbed Noah's back.
Claire looked up at Sylar and shrugged. "Okay, I mean, look at him. He's totally hot. So, first came sexual attraction. I was only 18, never had a boyfriend and then I get trapped with him." She glanced over at her grandmother, who was closely studying her great-grandchildren. Claire reached over and took Gabby, holding her to her chest.
"Then we were given a drug to make us a little more…amorous." Sylar provided. "Once we had sex, well, I was sunk."
Smiling up at him, she shrugged. "Peter, we have so much in common, you'd never really understand. I mean, he was raised by some really screwed up people and Dad and Angela, they played a part in his psyche. But when it was all said and done, we were both lied to, used, played, all for the so-called betterment of human race."
"I know you don't want to hear this again, Noah, but Claire became my hunger. As long as I had her, I didn't need to feed the other. She, and now the kids, their all that matter to me. I could give a rat's ass about stealing any more powers. But if I need to, I can take them through empathy." He put his free arm around her.
Claire looked up at Sylar with an emotion Peter could only describe as absolute and complete devotion. The picture they made, a family, it shook his soul. Before he found out Claire was his niece, he had to admit to a little crush, and that was more because he realized she had a crush on him. He was her hero. And after, when Nathan revealed he was Claire's father, he saw the sense in it. She was too young for him and now that she was his niece, it could never go anywhere. Not that it ever would, he assured himself.
But Sylar, he had to be ten, twelve years older than Claire. To look at them, though, one would never really know. Maybe it was motherhood, maybe it was the fact that her youth was virtually striped from her, maybe it was love. But Claire looked every bit the responsible adult she claimed to be. In a way, he was jealous. Not that he desired Claire, but he was jealous that his young niece had the courage, the determination, to take Sylar and basically mold him into the man she could love for an eternity.
Peter sighed and shook his head. If she could do it with someone like Sylar, then when this was over, when they were safe, he could do it as well. He almost had it a couple of times, but that was then and this was now. Yeah, he thought, I can do it.
"Peter?" Claire was considering the look on his face. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. It's just all so strange. I mean, this is the man our nightmares had consisted of for so long. The man who tried to kill us. A lot. And now look at him. Look at you. You guys are a family and…it's just gonna take some getting used to." He stood up and looked the both of them in the eyes. "I trust you, Claire. And if you trust him, then I guess I do, too."
Claire smiled and hugged Peter. "You won't regret this, Peter. He's…Sylar is everything to me. And I want the people I love to, well if they can't love him, at least know that they can trust him. Thank you."
"Okay, well, let's get this party started. We need to end this before it has a chance to start." He went to Sylar and held his hand out. "Don't make a liar out of Claire."
Sylar squinted at the proffered hand and looked down at his son. Noah looked at his uncle and held his small hand out to Peter, laying his palm on his thumb. The baby gurgled and smiled. Peter took the child's hand in his and smiled.
"Well, if Noah believes you, I guess I can. But, Peter? I'm still me. I may not kill indiscriminately anymore, but I will do what needs to be done. And I need you to back me up on this if the rest are going to." Sylar's dark eyes bore into the smaller man.
Claire held her breath, waiting to see Peter's reaction. He had come so far so quickly, to offer Sylar the equivalent of an olive branch was a huge hurdle. If Peter agreed, the rest would follow.
"I'll defer to you, Sylar. Mom says you're basically the savior of our kind. So I'll back you. And I'll do whatever I need to do to protect your family. To protect my family." Peter waited.
Sylar nodded and took the still proffered hand in his. "Let's end this then. Claire and I need to get married and then I want to take her on a honeymoon, I'd kinda like to do it without guns aimed at our heads."