Most of the carnival people were innocent—mostly young children afraid of their powers and adults with nowhere else to go. There was a handful left that followed Samuel's ideals about coming out and began targeting humans. The remaining Petrelli was strongly against the whole "coming out" party because he knew that society wasn't ready for it.

That's where Peter and Claire fought the most. Since the night at the carnival, saving Emma, Samuel escaping and rounding people up again, Claire had wanted to come out. She had longed for normalcy and above all acceptance. That fateful night, Peter had used his power from afar; allowing Claire to climb to the top of the carousel but eventually gave her a slight telekinetic nudge that sent her scrambling for the nearest crossbeam. With a little luck, he managed to climb up quickly enough to talk her down.

He had been latched to the ladder, facing a Claire who had the blinking beam beneath her armpits. "Claire, don't do this. It's going to change everything."

She had hissed in his face, "That's what I want! I can't stand hiding who I truly am anymore!" Tears began to blind her vision. She had slipped and Peter grabbed for her falling form quickly enough to grasp her forearm, popping and straining his shoulder uncomfortably. "Let go of me Peter!"

"I'm sorry Claire, I can't do that," Peter had grunted through the pain, feeling his body healing from Claire's transferred power, "It's not just about you. There are too many people that need to stay in hiding."

Getting a good stare down, literally, from Peter, Claire had huffed through her emotional break. She had seized the ladder below Peter's feet and began her descent. She had stormed passed the camera crews as Noah cleaned up her mess.

Now, Peter was stooped on a hill outside of the carnival, contemplating his next move.

XXX

Claire only had two more weeks at school and was becoming quite irritated.

Why?

Because Sylar insisted on being outside of every one of her classes. Today was no different.

She was exiting the Counseling and Psychology building when she noticed him leaning against the back of a bench, facing away from her, arms crossed. The young blonde woman approached his figure, stating, "Don't you have anything better to do?"

He stood up, feigning surprise, "Oh, funny seeing you here. What a coincidence, huh?"

"God, not only are you a serial killer but you're also a professional stalker."

"If I was a professional stalker, you wouldn't know I was stalking you."

Claire rolled her eyes and began walking across the quad. Sylar followed her like a puppy. She fiddled with the strap of her shoulder bag as she spoke, "Why don't you go find some other college coed to bother. Never mind, you're too old for them anyway."

"I actually don't truly know how old I am."

A confused look crossed Claire's face but she didn't give Sylar the courtesy to acknowledge him by looking at him, "How could you not know? What year were you born?"

"Well, technically, I was born in '76…"

"Which would make you 35…"

"Yes, but after acquiring your power, I stopped aging—which was about six years ago."

"Making you permanently about 29."

"Precisely." Claire finally looked at him, and he gave her a blinding smile.

She stopped to look up at him, "Tell me why you're here Sylar."

He shrugged to himself, "I've been here the last couple of weeks "stalking" you just to bug the hell out of you," and he had actually used air quotes, which caused Claire to smirk slightly, "and to help you."

"And how are you supposed to help me?"

"You're in the middle of finals and I have one hell of a memory."

XXX

Claire actually took Sylar up on his offer and now she was planted on her couch, listing off psychology theories—her major—to Sylar. He was currently pacing, absorbing everything she was reading off—his ability from Charlie categorizing and filing the information into an unfathomable format in his head.

The theories were covering how to help troubled youth to broken marriages to dating psychology. She had to memorize the names of the people exploring the current theories out there of why people do what they do.

After a few hours of reading and reviewing with the man in front of her, Claire closed her textbook and arched her back, popping it effectively. Sylar winced at her, "Oh, sounds like you need a good rub down," his eyebrows wiggling once.

Claire glared at him, "No. I don't want one. I heal, remember?"

Sylar's vision jerked. "Liar. And I know you're not lying about the healing part."

Claire sagged at the aspect of a nice massage, "That would be really nice," then she shook her head vehemently, "No, that would so wrong on so many levels!"

There was something unreadable about the eyes of the man standing in front of her in the living room of her barren apartment. Then, "because you know you'll enjoy it?" His voice was much too low for her liking.

At the depth of his suggestion, Claire shot up and walked into the kitchen, disposing of dishes and mugs that had long since been used for snacks during their study session. While placing the dishes gently in the sink, one crashed sharply to the bottom as warm, large hands clenched wonderfully at the base of her neck. She dismissed the idea that wearing her current shirt was a problem but the feeling of skin on skin caused her eyes to close.

"See?" His arrogant, deep voice was much to close to her ear. "Now would you like to lay down on the couch or are you going to lie to me again?"

She turned obediently and to her surprise, on her own will. Not daring to see the look on his face, she lay immediately down on the couch. Feeling Sylar stand above her, she no longer felt the threat of his presence as it would have five or six years ago. The weight on the couch shifted as he placed his knees on either side of her hips, relaxing on his haunches.

His hands went immediately to work, moving from her shoulders to her scapulas to the ridges down her spine. When he reached just above her sacrum, she couldn't help the small moan that escaped her lips into the pillow below her. Sylar froze for a second but continued his ministrations, now with a smirk adorning his face.

More than ten minutes passed before Sylar dared himself to slide his hands under her shirt. He felt her stiffen for a brief moment but relaxed as he applied more pressure. As he felt her breathing deepen with relaxation, his strokes and pressure changed to soft, feathery touches. He couldn't help himself as he licked his lips, loving the feel of her immensely soft skin. Sylar dared himself once more, inching his fingers around the curve of her belly, pleased with himself as she jerked violently, squeeling.

"Sylar! I'm ticklish!"

"I can see that," he chuckled to himself and continued to torture her from beneath him.

Somehow, she managed to buck around so hard, laughing crazily, and pivoted herself to be completely on her back underneath Sylar. He stopped, panting from laughing with her. She was red in the face and smilingly witlessly.

As their breathing subsided, Claire smirked wickedly at him, "Are you ticklish Sylar?" Her hands began to creep out from underneath her, threateningly.

Sylar caught her wrists in his hands, wildly smiling at her, "No."

"Ha! Liar. And I don't need an ability to tell me that."

Claire meekly struggled against him, but this only caused him laugh more at her futile attempts, "Sorry Claire, you're not going to win."

Claire stopped moving immediately, playing dead, "Yeah, you're right." Sylar knew better and didn't let go of her wrists.

Suddenly Claire yanked her wrists free, going right for his midriff. In a matter of moments, everything changed.

Sylar attempted to pull his lower body away from her hungry hands as he held them tightly to her sides on the plush couch. With that smooth move, Sylar had her pinned from head to toe, arms at her sides, face to face. "No fair," he growled at her and immediately went to raspberry her neck.

Claire was instantly in a fit of giggles as she attempted to arch away from him. No use. He raspberried her neck one more time for good measure.

As her laughing subsided, Sylar chuckled deeply to himself in the crook of her neck. God, she smelled good. Going on impulse, the next thing he knew he was nuzzling behind her ear into her hairline.

His nuzzling soon turned into gentle brushes of his lips. Claire moaned lightly and naturally stretched her neck out for more access.

His brushes soon turned into kisses, which found him grinding down into her center. Letting go of her wrists finally, his hands weaved through her hair, turning her head to bring his lips crashing down on to hers. She was more than willing this time. Moaning her consent, their tongues battled for more than mutual want.