Disclaimer: Heroes and all related material are copyrighted trademarks of Tim Kring and Universal, all rights reserved. This is a work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: After Claire convinces Daddy Bennet to leave, she and Sylar work out some issues *in their own way*, come to *something that remotely resembles* an understanding, and set a *tentative* plan for the future. Oh, and scheming may be involved.

Author's Note: Written for Brandie for the Sylar_Claire Fic Exchange on LJ. Many thanks to Bellonablack, who was extremely patient with me and helped me keep this fic from being a hot mess.

Set: Season 4 of Heroes, Alternate Ending to "Close to You."

Closer to You



Claire closed the door as calmly as she could. She waited for a moment, listening for her father's receding steps. She heard his even gait begin the descent down the stairs. She turned around, leaned back against the shut door, and let out a relieved sigh.

"That was too close," she said. "I'm still not convinced that he didn't suspect anything."

The long, lanky man who was sprawled out indecently on her bed gave her a slow, lazy grin.

"I don't really care if he's suspicious or not. Curiosity should have killed his cat long, long ago."

Claire narrowed her eyes and folded her arms across her chest.

"What did we just now talk about, Sylar?"

Sylar rolled his eyes and rested his head back on his hands.

"I'm not supposed to threaten or attack Daddy Dearest or Precious Peter because it makes Claire Bear grumpy," he mocked. "And, in return, Claire Bear is going to do whatever it takes to help me figure out why the hell her face is currently inked on my arm."

Claire simply glared at him. He cocked an eyebrow and raised a hand carelessly. All of the sudden, Claire felt control leave her body, and she seethed as he walked her over to him, using the ability that she loathed.

"Why don't you join me, Claire? There's no real teamwork if you're all the way over there and I'm all by my lonesome." Another hand raised and Claire struggled as he made her climb on the bed and curl her body into his.

"Much better."

"I hate you," Claire spat.

"Yes, Claire, I know. I was hoping you'd gotten past all that, but I don't think I could expect anything less from Noah Bennet's daughter." His arm curled around her body and she shivered as she felt his hand trace up and down her side softly.

"So, the tattoo. What am I supposed to do about it?" She really didn't like the idea of her face being inked on any part of his body. She didn't even want to think about the things he could have done with that arm while her face was on it...

"That's what I'm here to figure out. I guess you could say I've been off my game recently. I was in a place simply full with abilities just ripe for the stealing, and I didn't even kill. I tried to kill a man named Samuel, and I wasn't able to. I was there, ready, and... nothing happened. A woman, Lydia, she said she could feel that I was broken, that I was..." he stopped and scowled. Claire had the impression that he hadn't liked whatever it was that Lydia had said. Her regard for Lydia went up a notch.

"She said that something was missing. I took her ability, not even killing her, and then Samuel did this little ink trick and your face showed up. So naturally, I left that show of freaks and came looking for you."

Claire raised her head and looked at him.

"You were really at the carnival?"

"Have you been there?" he asked.

"I spent a few days there, looking for answers. I only came back two days ago. It was nice, I guess, not feeling like an outsider. Samuel is kind of strange, but he was nice to me. So was Lydia and everyone else. Well, everyone except Eli. He never took his eyes off of me."

Sylar stiffened and lifted her face up to his gently.

"Did he hurt you?"

Claire shook her head.

"I think he wanted to, though. He really didn't like me."

"Do you want me to take care of him for you?"

Claire shook her head again, almost violently.

"No! Of course not! I don't want you to hurt anyone from there!"

"I don't trust Samuel," Sylar said. "He's planning something, and he wants me there for it. I'm surprised he let you go."

"Why would he want me there?" Claire asked, leaning into him. He smells so nice, she thought and then was promptly disgusted with herself. The sociopath was holding her against her will. She shouldn't be thinking good thoughts about him...

"Because you're special. And he knows that if you were there, I wouldn't leave."

Claire was silent for a long time, processing what Sylar had said.

He said he couldn't kill, but it seemed like he just didn't have the desire for it. He'd offered to kill someone that wanted to hurt her. He was looking for answers, and something told him that she was his key to getting them. He admitted that if she had been at the carnival, he wouldn't have left.

"Sylar, did you want to kill those people at the carnival?" she asked, finally.

"Not really. There were a few abilities I would have liked to acquire, but it was as if there was no drive in me." He had shifted so that he could look her in the eyes.

"And why do you think that is?"

"Because I'm far gone enough as it is. For every person that I kill, that's one more piece of my humanity that I lose. And without that humanity, I'll never be able to connect with anyone."

"I suppose that makes sense. Why do you want to be able to connect with people?"

They were so, so close. Much closer than they'd been previously. It seemed as if every part of their bodies that could touch, was touching. Her hand was cupping his cheek, and he was running a hand through her hair. He smelled so nice, like clean air and pine. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She was so nervous. This couldn't possibly be happening...

She pulled her hand away from his face and turned her head away. She wasn't going to give him what he wanted, no matter how different he seemed. If he was going to do what she thought he was going to do, then by God she was going to remain detached. And if that didn't work, she'd find something to stab him with. She wasn't comfortable with how curious she was to see what would happen...

He pulled her face back to his.

"I don't want to be alone."

And he kissed her.

She couldn't remember when she started kissing him back, but she was glad that she had because he was very good at it. His lips were soft against hers as he ran his tongue over her lips. Her mouth opened beneath his, and his tongue darted into her mouth to taste her. It was a give and take game, tongues tangling, almost playfully.

Somehow the pair had shifted on her bed, and she could feel his weight pressing her into the mattress. It didn't seem to matter: it wasn't uncomfortable and somehow his presence was reassuring as they continued to kiss. Somehow, the words 'making out' and 'Sylar' didn't really fit together.

Her hands began to wander over his body, caressing his back and pulling him closer. In turn, his hands roamed her body, sliding underneath her shirt and bra in order to cup her bare breasts. Her legs seemed to part on their own, falling to cradle his body.

He finally pulled back, and she couldn't stop the whimper that he drew from her.

"We're the same," he said, breathing heavily. "I understand why it was your face that appeared."

Claire's heartbeat slowed to a normal pace. Had she really just done that?

"Why?"

"You do the same thing that I do, Claire. You use your ability to build walls around yourself in order to keep others away, to keep yourself from getting hurt."

"What? No, I don't," she denied. "I don't try to keep people out."

"But you do, Claire. Every time someone gets close to you or even tries to, you use your gift as a reason to not get involved. You can never die, but you're so very afraid of being hurt."

"It's simpler that way," Claire said softly, hating that Sylar was right.

"Why is it simpler?"

"Because everyone I love is going to die!" She could feel the onslaught of tears, ready to break free. "They're going to die, and I'm going to be left all alone. So, it's like I'm preparing myself for it. I keep telling myself that a normal life is all that I've ever wanted, but in the end, it's never going to happen. I don't deserve a normal life."

Sylar moved off of her, holding her close. She couldn't quite stop the tears that came and some remote part of her brain faintly registered the oddity of her sharing her pain with Sylar. His hands rubbed soothing circles on her back, his head rested on her own. She would have sworn that she felt him lightly kiss the top of her head, but she was frustrated and grieving.

"It'll be okay, Claire. I'll never leave, we can be alone together."

"It's just so hard to think about. I can't even being to imagine what it will be like fifty years from now." Dad: gone. Mom: gone. Lyle: most likely dead. Gretchen: most likely dead. Peter: …a small sliver of hope that he would still be around.

"We're strong and we'll manage."

"What if I don't want to spend forever with you?" she whispered.

Sylar froze, and Claire moved away from him, sitting back against the wall and drawing her knees up to her chest.

"I thought that-"

"You killed my parents. You stalked me, broke into my home, and cut my head open. You terrorized my mother. You killed Peter and countless others. Why would I ever I want to spend forever with you?" She wasn't crying any longer. She was angry and frustrated.

"But Claire, we're so alike-"

"I'm not like you! I don't kill people! We have a few things in common, I know that. But you and I are very different. I can't spend forever with someone who is going to kill another person just because that person has something shiny and new that he wants." She looked at him as if he were insane. "I can't spend forever with someone who's just going to hurt me."

"I told you that I don't want to kill any more, Claire. I don't want to hurt anyone." He moved closer to her. "I'm sorry that I killed Nathan and I'm sorry that I killed Meredith. Even if they were lousy parents, you loved them and I took them away from you. I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry for terrorizing your mother. She's a good woman, and she didn't deserve it."

"And Peter and the others?"

Sylar rolled his eyes.

"I'm sorry for the others, and I promise not to go after Peter again." He paused for a moment and then added, "Unless they come after me, then all bets are off. I'm not going to play passive if they're trying to kill me."

"How am I supposed to trust you?"

Sylar was quiet for a long time. When he finally looked her in the eyes, she could read the sincerity there.

"I've never lied to you. And I never will."

It was Claire's turn to think. He was right; he'd never lied to her. He had always been honest in regards to her. Even now, he'd bared his soul to her.

"I want to be a good person, Claire. I just don't know how. I used to be a good person, but I can't remember how I did it. It feels like it was so long ago."

"What did you do?"

"I created and restored timepieces."

"You mean like you fixed watches and clocks and stuff like that?"

He sighed. "Yes. Can you imagine a more boring existence?"

"No, it sounds interesting. It's like what, a dying art? It doesn't sound boring at all. Were you good at it?"

He practically preened at her words.

"I was very good at it. I have a way of understanding how things work. It's the only ability that's ever truly been mine."

"You enjoyed it."

"It was beneath me," he muttered bitterly. "It wasn't special enough."

"But you liked it and it made you happy. Sylar, it's okay that you like to make watches."

Sylar chuckled.

"No one's ever said that to me before. Everyone always said that I could be so much more, that I could be anything, like my job was just a hobby I had to amuse myself."

"So why not just go back to it? If you like it so much, why not just be the watchmaker again?"

"Well, for one, I'm a wanted killer. Two, if I went back there your father would hunt me down and make my life miserable... all over again. Three..." he stopped and looked irritated. "I don't really have a number three. You'll just have to settle for one and two."

"But you could, in the future. I mean, it's not like you're going to die anytime soon. Maybe a lifetime from now, you could go back."

"Maybe," Sylar said. "Right now I just want to stop Samuel." He sighed and lay back on Claire's bed.

Claire sighed as well and moved to lie next to him. Really, she was tired. That was the only reason, she'd swear to it.

"Why do you want to stop him? He is kind of skeevy, but he was really nice to me."

"I think he's nice to anyone who can benefit him. Believe me, Claire, that man is bad news."

"So you stop him, save the world from what he's planning, whatever. Then what?"

"I try to figure out what to do with my existence."

"Maybe..." Claire stopped and shook her head.

Sylar propped himself up on an elbow and looked down at her.

"What? I promise, Claire, I won't hurt you."

"Maybe I can help you figure it out, afterwards. I'm not going to die, so we have plenty of time."

She almost couldn't believe that she was contemplating it... helping him, being there for him. She hated him... but she couldn't shake the nagging feeling that this was her chance to make the most of her ability. If she could help someone like Sylar, maybe she could help other Specials with their abilities.

"It sounds like a plan."

"Good."

"Swell."

Claire looked at him, arching an eyebrow. "So what, we seal this with a handshake?"

Sylar smirked and drew her face up to his.

"I'd rather seal it with a kiss."

This time, in a fit of impulsiveness (or maybe a desire to not allow him to have the upper hand again), Claire kissed him.

It was like before, hands running over bodies, up and under clothing, exploring. It was the strangest feeling, being with him. She didn't like him, but she liked what his body was doing to hers.

She was on top of him, resting on him as they kissed and groped each other. His hands moved underneath her shirt, on her bare skin, and they skimmed up to unhook her bra. For reasons she couldn't explain, she didn't care. On a whim (or maybe because his hands felt so good), she broke the kiss and sat up, removing her shirt and bra.

Claire smirked slightly at Sylar's sharp intake of breath. His hands came up to cup her breasts and Claire loved the feeling of power that she had. She leaned down over him, claiming his lips again and his hands moved down her sides, dipping under the waist of her jeans.

"Are we really going to do this?" Claire mumbled against his lips.

"I'm game if you are," Sylar answered, moving his hands to undo the fastening of her jeans.

"Then get rid of your clothes." Claire sat up again and went to work on his shirt, fingers flying on the tiny buttons.

After a few minutes (and no powers used, imagine that), all articles of clothing had been flung haphazardly around the room.

They were resting on their sides, facing each other, completely naked. Claire could feel his erection against her stomach (it wasn't fair that she was so short and he was so tall) and heat flooded her body, settling in a pleasant ache between her thighs.

Sylar leaned in to kiss her again and then moved his lips up her forehead.

"What do you want?" he asked softly.

"I get a choice?" she asked in return, a lazy smile on her face.

Sylar laughed. "Sometimes."

"I don't really know. I've never done this before. Though it's not like I feel pain or anything."

"Just lay back and trust me."

So Claire did.

Every trashy romance book she'd sneaked from her mother's collection, every story she'd heard in high school or from Gretchen, all the bullshit scenes on television and in movies... nothing compared to what Sylar made her feel.

The weight of his body was reassuring, not suffocating. His hands were gentle as they moved over her, and one carefully coaxed a leg up to his hip. She could feel him pressing against her as he readied himself.

"Take a deep breath and relax," he whispered, pushing into her.

He was gentle, and Claire didn't feel the tell-tale pain of him breaking past her barrier. What she felt was a strange sort of fullness, as if a pressure had filled her, and she breathed deep as he'd instructed. Then she promptly gasped as he pulled back and pushed back in.

He clasped his hands with hers, gazing into her eyes as he moved. He was careful not to crush her, and instead of the pressure she'd felt, there was only a throbbing sort of pleasure. She gave her hips an experimental thrust into his and that pleasure only increased. Judging by his faster thrusts, he'd enjoyed it too.

It was a give and take, yet something felt off to Claire.

"Can you go harder?" she managed to ask between moans.

"My pleasure," Sylar smirked.

There. That was so much better. Sylar was moving harder, faster, deeper and Claire moaned in pleasure as she felt something big building, something she hadn't felt before. She kept arching her back and moving her hips. A sudden idea struck her, and she clenched her muscles around him as he thrust inside, holding him in place. She couldn't help but smile when she heard:

"Fuck! Claire!"

Ah. She kept doing it every time he pushed inside her. She liked the control, as well as the sensations it caused inside her.

A hand moved down between their bodies, and she felt a finger rubbing her clit.

"Oh God! Sylar!"

His thrusts came faster and faster and his finger kept up the steady rubbing on her clit until Claire arched her back violently and came with a cry. Sylar wasn't long behind, and he groaned her name as he shuddered, spilling himself inside her.

He collapsed atop her, not even moving to slide out of her.

"Wow," he finally managed, nearly five minutes later.

Claire couldn't help it; she felt fantastic. The sense of power she felt was amazing. She'd rendered Sylar speechless.

"You're welcome," she chuckled. It felt great to have the upper hand. Wonderful, really.

Nothing was going to ruin her afterglow. Nothing. Not even the fact that she'd just lost her virginity to a serial killer that she neither liked nor trusted. It'd been her choice, and that seemed to mean everything.

They didn't move for what seemed to be an eternity. Finally, they stirred and began to collect their clothing, flinging pieces at each other playfully. When Sylar moved to put on his shirt, however, he looked down at his arm and then motioned for Claire, who was in the middle of hooking her bra, to look.

Her face was dissolving. The ink shifted, and it turned into a compass like the one Claire had stolen from her father.

"I'm gone," Claire said, trying to be lighthearted.

Sylar looked almost disappointed.

"What's this supposed to be?" Sylar asked.

"It's a compass to the carnival. Maybe that's where we're supposed to go."

"We?" He looked at her as he buttoned up his shirt, concealing the chest that Claire had so admired earlier.

"You don't honestly think I can just sit here and be the content little college co-ed when the world's in danger, right?" she asked, giving him a look that made him feel like he was less-than-brilliant.

"If we both go, then we're playing to Samuel's hands," Sylar reasoned.

"Then we bring in an outside variable."

Sylar looked at her, clearly wondering what she had up her sleeve.

"Huh?"

"Samuel is probably expecting us, but I know who he won't be expecting."

"Not your father," Sylar groaned.

"Of course not my father!" Claire shot him another "you're stupid" look, before noticing a stray sock of Sylar's and bending down to pick it up.

"Then who..." Sylar shook his head. "No. Absolutely not."

"Yes," Claire said, tossing the sock to him.

"That would not be a good idea. Yes, he'd be useful, but no. It would be too tempting to kill him, or at the very least wipe that stupid crooked grin off his face."

"We need him."

"Please?"

"Sylar."

Fully dressed, Sylar groaned again as he sent her cell-phone flying towards her.

"You owe me, Claire."

Claire smirked and patted Sylar sympathetically on the shoulder.

"I knew you'd see reason. Besides, we're going to need something of a referee while we're discussing our issues." Not to mention she couldn't fully trust Sylar.

"Whatever." He flung himself onto her bed and pretended he wasn't hearing her dial the phone number she was dialing.

...

"Hello, Peter? Yeah, it's me. Listen, I need you to come over. ... Yeah, to my dorm room. Because we need your help. ... Who's we? Me and... someone. ... Well, Peter, it's kind of a matter of saving the world. Great. ... I'll see you soon."

Claire tossed the phone on the bed and sat down next to Sylar, who was apparently shunning her. Apparently her earlier help with his issues wasn't enough to make up for the phone call. Whatever. He'd get over it, eventually.

"Samuel isn't going to know what hit him," she said confidently.

Sylar barely lifted his head to roll his eyes at her in disgust.

"Yay, team."


I hope you enjoy! Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated!