Title: Heroes of War
Pairing: Sylar / Claire mostly
Summary: In a war torn far future, Sylar looses hope and seeks out his touchstone. Only to find that nothing can stay the same forever... even them.
Warning: mostly violence; graphic imagery; some sexual scenes. Spoilers throughout season 1-3
Chapter 1: The Commander
His fingers slid along her thighs, feather light, he didn't want to wake her, she was so much more peaceful this way. The over large t-shirt she wore slid up at his insistence, when had she started wearing anything to bed? His hands wavered over her skin, and he lowered his hovering form until he could feel her breath fanning out over his lips. It wouldn't take much to lower that extra inch or two, to press his lips to hers... there was a time when he wouldn't have hesitated.
There was a loud snore from the body in the bunk next to hers, Sylar spared the huge mountain of muscle a glance, he was sleeping restlessly his gun lay next to him, with a hand curled loosely around it. His eyes switched to the bunk on the opposite side, his was beneath his pillow. Sylar closed his eyes briefly before turning back to her, her eyes were open and she was staring at him coolly, he could see the debate warring out over her features. She could strike him, there was every chance she would be fast enough to reach the weapon he knew was beneath her own pillow. Or she could make a noise, any noise would do it, a grunt, a scream, even her silent body thrashing would wake the sleeping marines.
He smirked down at her and lifted his hands up from their position around her thighs, holding them out in front as if it would placate her. Her eyes darted for the barest of seconds to her men; he did hate the notion, that she was surrounded by nothing less than an army. It made these visits somewhat hazardous to his health, particular in the middle of a war zone.
Her mouth opened and she mouthed soundlessly. 'Leave!'
He narrowed his eyes, he hated it when she gave him orders, but she was so used to barking them now, of having fully grown men jump through hoops for her, that she didn't take his resistance well.
Sylar shook his head sharply, grinning at the way her hand slid surreptitiously beneath the thin material she had stuffed under her head as a pillow, going for her weapon. He flicked out his wrist, forcing his will upon her, attempting to control her as he had once done so easily. But she wasn't the same terrified high school cheerleader anymore, and his mind screamed in agony as she fought him, until the control snapped, and her arm shot beneath the pillow withdrawing the automatic pistol so fast that it was pressed against his forehead before he could even think about preventing it.
"I said get out!" she snarled. There was a sharp grunt and the large figures on either side rolled out of the bed, weapons sliding into hands with practiced ease.
"What the fuck!" one snarled and the gun against his forehead pressed more insistently. "Commander, everything in hand?" his terse voice alerted others, weapons clicked and he felt the scopes line up against his head.
"Everything's fine. Mr Gabriel Sylar was just leaving."
"Yes Ma'am." The grunt to her left snapped, but his weapon didn't waver. "You are aware that Mr Sylar is floating in mid air above your bed?"
"It's a bad habit of his." She snapped.
His patience wasn't infinite, "I'm not leaving Claire." He snarled, she might have been able to resist some of his more cerebral abilities, but he had plenty of others he had been itching to use for some time now. But there was a small rustle of surprise that went through the rather small room, that was currently packed full with well trained, testosterone fuelled marines, that had apparently just found out their precious Commander's first name.
"Claire's dead." She hissed and he winced as the gun pressed into his forehead with more intensity. "Don't you remember... you killed her!"
"Commander?" Trigger fingers were brushing impatiently.
"You won't shoot me Claire-bear." He smirked at the fire that blazed behind her eyes. "Besides, it wouldn't do you any good, you don't even know how to kill me; you don't even know how to kill yourself." The gun went off and he focussed every inch of his ability on keeping the round out of his cranium, the weapon backfired and the round exploded in the chamber, taking her hand clean off and leaving quite a mess. The sound of gunfire from all around dropped his concentration and he landed with a heavy thud directly over her, his hands held wide to keep the bullets at bay, so that they hovered in the air inches from him.
"Stop!" Claire screeched the order, shoving at his chest her hand reforming as she used it to deliver a blow to his cheek whilst he was distracted with the hail of bullets. It snapped his concentration and the bullets dropped to the floor like metal rain. But her men were trained well, they stopped as one, fingers positioned, eyes trained on his head. They'd obliterate him at her command, and he spotted one or two with weapons that gave him mild concern... energy rounds, he shuddered they really did make a mess.
"I'm not here to fight you!" he hissed, lifting his body off her enough so that he wasn't crushing her still tiny form with his weight.
"Well that would be a nice surprise Gabriel." Her eyes were hard and her tone brooked no escape, he wondered if she would really kill him this time; she certainly had the man power.
"You'd miss me." He quipped, and for a fraction of a second something tugged at the corners of her lips, he wouldn't call it a smile, but it wasn't a grimace either.
"Other than to molest me, what the hell are you doing here? You've got fifteen seconds to state your case." She snapped a signal off with her hands to her waiting grunts and he frowned, he wasn't familiar with what she'd signed them, apparently he'd been away too long.
It pained him to open up to her, to come to her like this, but there was really no option now. "I've been living in Paris." His voice shook slightly and he locked eyes with hers. "I'd made a life there." Her eyes narrowed and she simply watched him, he wasn't going to explain about the family he'd started, about the woman who had loved him, the son she had given him. About the friends...his job. The normality of simply being Gabriel again.
"You survived?" she asked quietly after a moment.
"Of course." He bit back, and this time she did smirk.
"It's always a bitch that... I'd have more pity for you Sylar, but then you wanted this. Wanted to be special!" amusement danced in her eyes and he fought to control his temper, Claire was a cold hearted bitch, but he'd known that coming in here.
"So what do you want... revenge?" Claire crossed her arms, and glared up at him, not in the least bit concerned that he was still pinning her to the bed with his lower half.
"Yes." Rage suffused that one word and she cocked her head observing him.
"Why come to me?" She asked finally, there was another gesture to her men and those at the back broke off, only the four surrounding her bed remained with weapons trained on him... her best. "If you're looking for someone to blame, I suggest you look up; or down." she snorted clearly finding something amusing. Rolling her eyes at his expression she continued. "We did our best to stop that from happening. Lost a lot of good people."
"I'm not blaming you." Sylar snarled, feeling that irritation that he always associated with her, creeping in behind his eyes.
"I thought I could ignore this. That it would blow over, that I didn't have to get involved."
"Coward." She hissed and he slammed his hands down on either side of her head, there was a click from behind him and a gun pressed between his shoulder blades. His hands crackled with blue lightening and Claire looked over his shoulder, the gun withdrew.
"Don't you dare." He snarled. "I have done my bit. But they never learn, it's always the same damn thing, one war after another!"
"I appreciate the sentiment Sylar. But in case you've only just woken up to the fact, we didn't start this war... they did." Claire was right of course, and he hated her for that, he was used to being right, the idea that the former pacifist had known when to get involved when the killer had retreated rankled.
"I want to join your team."
Her bark of laughter sent his whole body rigid and he struggled to hold onto his abilities, not to simply unleash his fury upon her... not that it would do any good, but it might have made him feel a little better.
Claire's laughter died away, but it had never reached her eyes, she wasn't amused in the slightest. "Why in hell would I let you within three feet of me and my team?"
"Because you're the best; isn't that what they say... Commander?" her rank perhaps got her attention more than anything else.
"Which is why there is no place for you Gabriel." She always liked to use his first name when she wanted her words to have that little extra sting.
"Bull." He hissed, leaning closer. "You damn well know I can be of use. Those... things." He snarled, unable to even say it. "I can hurt them. This won't be my first war Claire."
Claire shoved at his chest and he obliged, sliding back off her to kneel up giving her space. She slid out from beneath him with almost feline grace, her tiny form sliding between the men; 'her men', that hadn't relented; she was almost dwarfed by their crouched figures.
"I can't use you Sylar." She turned away from him, and he got the distinct impression he was dismissed.
"Don't you walk away!" he snarled and unleashed a bolt of electricity into her back, but her men didn't react and she spun on him, her eyes blazing, apparently her boys weren't worried about a little electricity to her.
Claire's eyes narrowed on him and she placed one hand on her hip, the disdain twisting her features was quite something. Her blonde hair spilled down around her shoulders, not her usual style, or so he'd seen from the images HQ broadcast; in truth he really had left it too long this time, she was different, even for her and her ever adaptive personality. But as he observed the more casual attire, the softer hair, it seemed to him that her squad were on some much needed down time for now.
"You don't take orders well Sylar." She finally spelled it out to him, snapping him from his revere. "Even if I could consider having you within my sight for more than five seconds every century... which by the way, I can't." She smirked at him and he felt the cut of her words solidly, she hadn't always known how to do that, and it bothered him that she'd only gotten better at it over the years, whilst he had apparently gotten worse. "You would compromise my team, you aren't trained... and don't start." Claire raised her hand. "This isn't like the last war, hell the weapons aren't even in the same category."
"I am a weapon!" he roared at her, the bellow of his voice rocking her back slightly on her feet and she brushed the dust that had blown up onto her shoulder away casually; as if men attempting to knock her over with the power of their voice was nothing more than a passing irritation.
"I don't trust you."
"Damn it Claire; give me a chance!" Her irritation showed and she glared solidly at him.
"That's Commander!" she barked deliberately and for once he didn't press, he was fully aware of what she'd done to earn that title and the undying loyalty of the men with the big guns.
"Find another team. You want to enlist, do your part. That's great; we could use all the help we can get. But you do it elsewhere. I don't want you near me, or my team." Her expression was flat and he realised she'd shut down on him; he'd get nothing from her. "I'll place a few calls, tell HQ to expect you, maybe then you can put your..." she hesitated and a dry smirk pulled at the corners of her mouth "talents." She settled on. "To good use for once."
"Claire." He tried one last time, letting her hear the pain in his voice, reaching for her.
"I owe you nothing Sylar." She reminded him sharply and he flinched at the rage in her eyes, he hadn't wanted to see her this way, this hadn't been his plan for them; once more he cursed himself for leaving her to her own devices for so long this time. "If I ever find your hands on me again I'll have you stuffed into a garbage pod and fired at the sun." His eye twitched, the threat was real and he felt the air leave him... she meant it this time. Something snapped in his chest, it felt like heartbreak, Claire had always been his constant, his touchstone to reality, to time and he had been hers; however much she'd hated him, she'd always needed him for that.
The realisation hit him soundly and he felt fear, true fear for the first time in centuries. "You don't think we can win."
Claire's lips pursed into a thin line and she raised her chin defiantly. "We will."
The lie reverberated around in his skull, shuddering down his back, and drawing his wide eyes to her as he watched her hand ruffle the hair of the closest marine, as they thumped each other in the arms, "Hell yes we will!" they barked in one form or another, but her eyes were cold as she met his and he felt his blood chill.
What was the use of a touchstone if there was no more forever?