November 2012

New York City


The ground-floor apartment was almost completely dark.

A lone floor lamp, equipped with a dim bulb, gave the only illumination—but it was enough for Sylar to see his victim's face, and that was all he needed.

Peter Petrelli struggled against the wall, but he knew he couldn't escape Sylar's grip. If he could get out of this, it would have to be with words.

"Come on," he began, "don't do this. You don't have to do this."

Sylar tilted his head. "Of course I do. It's my nature, Peter. I'm… curious. When I slice open your skull, which powers do I get? Just yours? Or all the powers you've accumulated?"

"What does it matter?"

"I could kill an infinite number of birds with one stone," replied Sylar. "Hiro Nakamura's power… Matt Parkman's…"

"You already killed Matt," Peter spat.

Sylar sneered. "That was because of what he did to me. He tried to turn me into your brother. And if you recall, I didn't take his power."

Peter definitely remembered. He had been the one to find Matt's body, skull crushed in, lying broken on the kitchen floor. The refrigerator had been wallpapered with Molly's artwork; one drawing, a picture of herself with Mohinder and Matt, had floated to the ground and lay, sopping wet, soaked in the blood of her adoptive father. He couldn't remember whether he'd retched or cried first.

"With your power," Sylar went on, "I'll absorb the abilities of anyone who attempts to fight me. I'll be invincible."

"You are invincible," Peter argued. "You already took Claire's ability… Jesus, you already took Claire…"

"I didn't take Claire's power," Sylar corrected, a smirk on his face. "I never took anything from Claire. She was always so willing… eager, even."

"God damn you!" Every inch of him ached to break free and wipe that impetuous grin off his face with his two fists.

"Did you really think I could settle down and be Gabriel Gray again? Be a suburban dad and take little Noah to soccer practice every weekend?"

"Claire thought you could," Peter said quietly. "She wanted it. I don't know what the hell got into her head, but she thought you could be a family."

The briefest shadow of regret passed through Sylar's eyes; then, they were cold onyx again. "She was wrong."

Peter had seen the softening. "You still love her."

"I don't love anyone."

"If you kill me—Gabriel—she'll never love you again."

Wordlessly, Sylar raised his index finger. "Goodbye, Peter."