Title: The Sweet Sound of Redemption
Author: Wikkibird
Characters: Sylar/Claire
Rating: M
Category: Angst/Romance
Spoilers: End of Season 4

Warnings: Mattress Mambo! And swear words…
Summary: Although Sylar has found redemption, he finds he can no longer control the Hunger, especially around Claire. Claire finds it's time to heal a lost soul…

A/N: This is totally unbeta'd, so any screw-ups are totally mine… Also, I haven't written a fanfic in about 6 YEARS so this may be a bit rough! Though, I am still working on my novel…

* * *

It had been eight years to the day since he had faced The Hunger and locked it away into deep, dark prison in the back of his mind. For eight years, he had waged a battle with it, struggling to keep his sanity while quelling the urges to give in to The Hunger's demand to feed on Specials. For eight years, he fought it as it begged to be let out of it's cage to play.

And for eight fucking years he hated it. While in reality it had only been three years since Peter had helped him find freedom from his own worst nightmare, it felt like eight. Five of those were spent alone, searching his soul for redemption. The other two were spent becoming friends with the brother of the man he murdered. Yet when he asked Peter for forgiveness, Sylar hadn't forgiven himself. As a former psychopath, Sylar felt he deserved his prison and oddly enough, he had felt guilty that he had taken Peter with him. It wasn't until Peter had convinced him that he had served his time and that he had to forgive himself so he could be the hero they needed him to be.

And hero he was. He had saved Emma, Peter's wife, and was one of the few people that agreed with Claire's decision to show the world who they were. He was reformed, entering into a brave new world as he called it, once battling Specials who were intent on using their abilities for more harm than good. He was a good man.

So, why then for the past three years, when working with Specials every day, he wanted nothing more than to give in and absorb their powers? He resisted, of course, but it was more than that. He still wanted – no desired – to kill. It was the greatest test of his ability to resist.

Yet, he wanted nothing more to give in to his desire and right now, he was trying to distract himself from doing so.

Cool tile pressed against his back as he sat at the bottom of the bathtub, letting the hottest water possible beat down on him. His skin was red and raw, burning with blisters from the heat of the water, but only for seconds. His stolen self-healing ability would kick in and the blisters and redness would disappear just as fast. It was a vicious cycle, one he would let continue forever, just by willing the water to stay at a scalding temperature. If only it would wash the metaphorical blood off his hands and the memories away…

It was just one of the ways Sylar chose to punish himself these days. He didn't even know how long he sat there, which surprised him given his knack to know when a clock was off by mere nanoseconds. Perhaps that's why he had destroyed anything with a beating tempo to it. It was ironic. As someone who could live forever, he didn't want time to dictate the rest of his sorry existence.

But his mind was weary and even a Special with all his abilities needed sleep. Sylar used his telekinesis to shut off the shower head and stood, not even bothering with the towel. Instead he used the electric manipulation ability he stole from Elle to generate sparks to evaporate the droplets on his skin into steam.

Ghostly images lit the dark, empty room as he paused on the way to his bedroom to stare at the flat screen that had been blaring in the background. CNN was replaying, again, the video of Claire launching herself off the top of the Ferris wheel at the Carnival three years ago. That fated night changed the world and it would go down as one of the most talked about events in history. Since then, Specials were coming out of the closet, so to speak, to meet opposition from everyone else. Sylar felt stuck in the middle, wanting to be normal again yet not wanting to give up what he had acquired even through evil means.

But he focused on Claire… dark circles under her eyes had betrayed the normally perky blonde's hope for the future. Sylar had no doubt he was the cause for ninety-nine percent of what she felt. He had been so proud of her when she took that flying leap. Even though she had tried to break his nose when he told her so, it didn't diminish the feelings he had for her.

Feelings that still hadn't gone away, apparently. For a blessed moment, his mind conjured a wicked image of Claire pinned beneath him, her cheeks a delightful shade of pink, as her fists pounded on his shoulders. She begged him not to stop as he slammed into her tight flesh, each time squeezing him like a vice. Next, with graphic clarity, he pictured the former cheerleader closing that sweet, little mouth around his…

Sylar groaned, receiving a full on erection as a consequence. Being aroused for the one person he could never have was damn unfair.

Swatting the thoughts of screwing Claire from his mind, Sylar clicked the television off and collapsed onto his bed, heeding the call of his pillow to sleep. Before he drifted off to sleep, however, one question popped into his mind. It was the same question he heard in his sick and twisted mind every fucking night, one he could never answer.

When would the living nightmare end?

# # #

Claire was going to give up hope if her latest quest turned up empty. She needed to find him or they were all doomed. The worst kinds of Specials were appearing everywhere and, as much as she hated to admit it, his help was required to fight them. It was a war they were sure to lose if she failed.

All her previous searches had gone nowhere, so in desperation she had gone to her grandmother, Angela Petrelli. Angela was gifted with the ability to see the future through her dreams, though she didn't always share her vision if it didn't benefit her or her family. Claire wasn't sure she could even call herself family anymore, as her only connection to the Petrelli's was through her uncle, Peter. Thankfully, Angela was willing to part with her vision with Claire. Well, sort of. Claire had barely set foot inside her grandmother's apartment when the woman had taken her hand and pushed a piece of paper into it. Angela had given Claire an address, kissed her cheek and said that it was time to forgive and heal a hopeless soul.

Claire didn't have the foggiest idea what Angela was talking about. Claire hadn't had a chance to tell her grandmother what she had come there for, before Angela announced she had a lunch date and left via a sleek limo. Claire had been left standing in the middle of a posh living room to contemplate her next move. Who was she supposed to heal? Was she supposed to share her blood with some unfortunate person that was dying? And to what end? And what did this have to do with finding him?

Claire continued to ponder those questions as she sat in the back of a taxi on her way to the address Angela had given her.

The woman did nothing but confuse the shit out of her. Even so, the address must have some importance to Claire and since hadn't found Sylar yet, why not check it out? Perhaps whoever lived here would either know where to find him or could help her against the dark Specials.

The cab rounded the corner and stopped. "This is the address, miss."

Claire careened her neck to peer through the window at the entrance to a swanky building. "Are you sure?"

"Yes ma'am." She double checked the address. Yup, this was where she was supposed to be according to the crumpled piece of paper in her hand. Not sure what she was getting into, Claire paid the cab fare and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

"Good evening, miss." The doorman nodded and gave her a pleasant smile. Noooo, this couldn't be right. This building was nicer – and taller – than the building Angela lived in. It was a freakin tower! Who in the world lived here that she needed to help? "May I help you find someone?"

Knowing she was being rude, Claire smiled back at the door man. "I'm not sure…2200?"

"Ah, the penthouse. But, I'm sorry miss. I can't let you in unless you have a key or your name is on the list."

Claire didn't know why, but she was extremely disappointed. She had no idea who or what waited her on the twenty-second floor, but she wanted to find out. She felt like a detective, on the hunt for clues and she was damned if she didn't try to continue to follow the trail. So, she gave it a shot. "Claire Bennet."

The doorman pulled a clipboard from the wall behind him and flipped to the second page. "Of course Miss Bennet. Right this way. The bank of elevators is through the door, to the left."

"I'm on the list?" Claire didn't realize she had blurted that out until the doorman smiled and opened the door for her.

"Yes Miss Bennet. For quite some time." With a wink and a wave of his hand, the doorman ushered her inside.

The foyer in the tower was, in a word, fucking awesome. A polished wood counter with two front desk staff was to the right, gleaming with a black marble surface. A polished pink marble floor led the way to the bank of elevators to the right and a chandelier, made with real crystal she guessed, lit the space in between. Wow. The foyer was spotless and she felt like she had to earn a million dollars a year just to walk through the door.

"Sarah, Miss Bennet is going to 2200," the doorman said from behind her to the woman with the bright, shiny nametag gleaming at her. The light from the chandelier bounced off of it, almost blinding her.

The woman looked up and smiled – what's with the smiles? – and swiped a card into a slot next to her computer. "Absolutely! Here's your keycard. Just insert it into the slot and it'll open to the suite." Sarah rounded the counter, waving the thin, plastic card in front of her.

"Thank you," Claire mumbled as she turned to pick an elevator to go up in. Se was stopped by the hand on her shoulder.

"Miss Bennet, uh, may I…um, have your autograph?"

While it wasn't a foreign request, Claire was still unprepared for it. It had been a long time since anyone had asked her for an autograph. She used to be annoyed at every request, but soon realized that it was her own fault they wanted it and she shouldn't be angry when someone asked. She had made herself a semi-celebrity with her little flying leap. Besides, a part of her secretly liked the attention.

"Sure," Claire said, turning back to Sarah with the waiting pen and pad of paper.

"We appreciate what you did, Claire. We both do."

Claire looked up mid-signature at hearing her first name and saw… hope? Sarah's eyes were practically glowing with it and the other woman behind the counter was nodding vigorously. They were Specials and Claire couldn't help but give them both an honest smile in response. "No one has ever told me that in three years. Thank you."

"No, thank you!"

With a boost in her step, Claire pushed the up button and with an immediate ding! the door opened. She stepped inside and – wow, were the walls gold? – and slid the keycard into the slot with a tiny red button above it. The button turned green and a friendly female voice indicated she was headed to the penthouse of the residential tower.

The penthouse. Butterflies were going bananas in her stomach as the elevator hurled up to the twenty-second floor. Odd, since she usually felt no fear as death wasn't an issue and she could feel no pain. Regardless, Claire knew she needed to be on her guard for anything. But really, would her grandmother send her into the proverbial death trap? Possibly… It wouldn't be the first time, but right now this was different. She didn't feel it was her proverbial death waiting for her, but rather her destiny.

It was a spooky thought.

The elevator lurched to a stop and with another ding and a tickle in her tummy, the glossy gold doors opened to reveal…

A dark room? Her senses on full alert, Claire stepped forward. Correction, it was a gynormous, dark room occupied by equally dark, masculine furniture that was illuminated only by the light coming from the elevator ceiling. A wall of windows directly in front of her complimented the room, revealing the sparkling, New York City skyline at night. The whole place screamed money.

"Hello?" Claire spoke into the darkness. Of course there was no response, so why did she expect one. Still, she half-hoped someone would at least ask what the hell she was doing in their apartment at eleven-thirty at night. But, she had a purpose in being here, even though she had no idea what that was. She had no choice but to trust the path her grandmother had sent her on.

A muffled sound – a cry – broke the silence. Claire swallowed the lump in her throat. For whatever reason, she would swear the cry was one of desperation, calling out for help. Her feet pushed her into motion and she carefully navigated her way into the darkness. Another cry, this time somewhat louder gave her focus to find where it came from. The sound lead her to what she could only assume was the bedroom.

A huge bed sat in the corner of the room, one side flanked by the wall of windows. A small bedside table sat on the other side and as Claire slowly approached she noticed the shattered pieces of…an analog alarm clock?

In that moment, she didn't know why, but knew exactly whose room she was in.

Sylar's.

He was her worst nightmare at one time and the one man she had been searching for, but something was off…

They say curiosity killed the cat, she thought, as she carefully and quietly crept into the room. Thank goodness she couldn't die, or she would never tempt fate like she was about to.

Another moan came from the bed, as she got closer. Sylar was thrashing, tossing and turning like he was hurt. Odd, since he had her healing ability. She stepped over the covers he had kicked off to see what was causing him pain.

He was in a deep sleep, apparently having a nightmare. Served him right, she thought, until she saw him wince. Ever the nurse, she sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. She took a moment to take him in. He looked innocent and vulnerable, so not evil lying in the big, white bed. Somehow, she thought he would have black silk sheets or something to sleep on. Maybe red, the color of the blood he had spilled so many times. But not white. White was angelic and not how she envisioned Sylar.

She didn't envision him to be so gorgeous, either. Wait, what? Had she seriously just thought that? Yes, she did because she noticed that his hair was a bit shorter than she remembered and it was in that messy, sexy bed-head style she loved. He liked to work out, too, apparently. He had bulked up quite nicely in her opinion and wait, what the hell was she thinking? Thoughts of how delicious he looked was not what she had intended when she came into the room to check on him, but still… he was nice eye candy and oh baby, did her hormones stand up and take notice.

Damn it, he was beautiful. She didn't know whether it was lust or sympathy that made her crawl onto the bed with the purpose of…what? Wake him and try not to drool over those puppy dog brown eyes he had? She had no idea she had become a sucker for the tall, dark, and handsome psychopathic serial killer type. Still, he was now in a deep sleep and for once, she felt like she had ultimate power over Syler in his vulnerable state.

She wanted him. Badly.

# # #

The nightmares came in waves, each causing him mental anguish. Over and over, the faces of all the innocent people he murdered appeared. Each of them were laughing and sneering at him, as if they knew the punch line to some sick, twisted joke. The thing was, he was the joke. A war raged in his mind and it was to the amusement of all his victims that he suffered so. In the exact order he had murdered them, his mind conjured a switch in roles. He was the victim, they the killers. They tortured him with the exact method he used to kill them. His head was sliced open over and over, the pain causing wicked stars to appear behind his eyelids. But he deserved it… all of it!

The blurry visions shifted to one of him covered in blood. Rather, he was wading through a pool of blood. The dark, sticky liquid slowed his progress and made it difficult to find the edge of the pool, to find a way out. In fact, the pool seemed to go on forever into a never ending horizon in the distance. His life, perhaps? He didn't know and didn't care, he only wanted a way out. A way to end this madness. Hadn't he paid enough for his sins? Or would he be plagued with this continuing nightmare for as long as he lived? If that was the case, he would commit suicide… only, that was part of the game. He couldn't. He would live forever, his soul in torment for the evil he had committed.

But then the dream changed to something new, something he had never experienced before in the dream. He heard his name being shouted in the distance. Yet, when he tried to respond he couldn't speak. Over and over, he strained his throat to say a word, anything, that would alert the caller to his peril. A vice grip clamped his throat shut and he could feel the air from his lungs being sucked out, before he was pulled under into the dark substance.

"NO!" The scream flew from his throat, reverberating throughout his bedroom a split second before he jerked up right. Involuntarily, blue arcs of electricity shot from his hands hitting the figure that was looming over him. A feminine squeak and the smell of burnt flesh alerted him that they had hit their target. Fear brought him to full, alert status. What had he done? Rather, who had he hurt?

A muffled curse brought him out of his daze and a welcome wave of relief washed over him as he recognized the voice.

"Claire?" Sylar winced. No doubt his voice was hoarse from screaming throughout the night. Strangely enough, his healing ability didn't seem to extend to fixing a sore throat at the moment.

"You're damn right it's me." Wow, she sounded really pissed off. He couldn't blame her. In his former life, he would have happily crucified her if their roles were reversed. Even in the glow of the city lights, he could see that both her arms and half her face were burned black.

Sylar just sat there with the sheet fisted at his waist. Air continued to heave from his lungs as he listened in silence, stupefied as Claire chewed him out.

"You are one lucky bastard, you know that." Sylar could only nod, watching as the charred flesh turned pink and eventually returned to fresh, beautiful skin. "Were I anyone else, I would be dead and it would be your fault!"

Sylar finally found his voice. "My fault? Claire, what the hell are you doing here?" Awe and confusion seeped into his voice. Good, because he was totally confused. The person that possibly hated him the most was in his bedroom, kneeling on his bed, glaring at him with those pretty, green eyes.

"Do you know how long I've been searching for you?" Before he could answer, she continued, "Three years. Three fucking years." The blond object of his desire for the life of his killing spree crossed her arms over her chest, pushing her breasts up to the point they almost popped out of her tank top.

His erection returned with full strength, reminding him that he was as naked as the day he was born. Fuck! Sylar swallowed. He never felt more vulnerable in his life than he did at this very moment. He clenched the sheet tighter to his abdomen and averted her glare.

"Where the hell have you been?"

"Living a nightmare, Claire!" His voice repaired, he roared his answer. Although he didn't have to explain a damn thing to her, he told her the truth. "Why do you care? You hate me, remember? You told me in no uncertain terms that you wished I lived the rest of my life seeing the faces of all the people I murdered. Well guess what? Your wish came true."

"Really?"

Damn, she sounded so hopeful.

Sylar growled, closing his eyes. He wanted to strangle her, and not because she was excited to hear he was suffering. No, he wanted to strangle her because she had yet to uncross her arms thereby relieving him of the delicious view of her exquisite breasts. She had to be blind not to notice the bulge beneath the sheet.

"Yes, really. What do you want?"

"We need your help."

Sylar arched an eyebrow, the lie detector ability zinging in his head.

"We are dying out there, Sylar. Specials, I mean. Your help is needed in stopping those who would, uh, who are—"

"Like me?" He let the tiny part of him that was still dark and sinister out to play. "Just say it, Claire. You know you want to." He intentionally dropped his voice. "Evil. Evil like I am."

"Was. You aren't evil, Sylar. You're a reformed man, remember?"

She didn't believe that for one second and he knew it. He was tired of this game. "Leave, Claire. I can't help you."

"Why not?"

"Leave. Please!" Desperation cracked in his voice.

"No."

"Damn it, Claire!"

"Damn it, Sylar! Answer me! You want to prove you've changed? Then help us!"

"I can't because I have to fight it every day!" Fuck, he could hear the anguish in his voice. Sylar dropped his chin to his chest and inhaled deeply, the floral scent of her shampoo wafting to his nose. It took every fiber of his demented being not to groan.

"Fight what?" Was she kidding? And yet she had said it so sweetly, with such innocence, that he could detect no falsehood. She honestly didn't know the torment he went through every day. When he cautiously returned his gaze to hers, her eyes were glossed with confusion.

"You wouldn't understand," he mumbled.

"Then help me understand. You can fight whatever it is, I know you can." Great, she suddenly had faith in him and she didn't even know what he was talking about. For years she loathed him, cursing at him that day at the carnival that a person couldn't change in the space of a few hours. It had been years…

"That's not the only reason why I can't help you, Claire."

"Explain it to me, then." Damn, she was persistent. Sylar didn't believe in Divine Intervention or even God, but at that very moment he silently prayed for a way to get out of this, to be able to lie to her. But, that was just it. He didn't want to lie to her, to Claire, not now. Not when he had made a commitment to better himself and that included even telling little white lies. He had convinced himself that if he even started down that path, it would snowball into letting the Hunger take over again. He was currently waging a war with it and with her here, baring his soul, he felt his armor starting to crack.

Still, he wanted to tell her so badly what his reasons were exactly. All of them, but this… this was the one reason he never wanted to reveal. It was something he could never have and if he told her, it would never happen.

"Fine. It's because of you."

# # #

Never had she heard such anguish in someone's voice, especially Sylar's. This man was a cold blooded serial killer. He tormented others and got a kick out of it…right? And yet, here she was in his bedroom – in a penthouse – demanding to know why he couldn't help her and expecting the answer to make sense. "You disappeared because of me? Sylar, I don't understand—"

"Here, let me help you understand." Sylar grabbed her hand, thrusting it to the straining erection between his legs. She tried to snap her hand back, but Sylar held it there covering her hand with both of his. He nodded and she could only stare at him in shock as she felt him twitch.

"It's the Hunger, Claire. It's everything. It's my whole being, the root of who I am. It always has been. I have to resist the urge to give in to the demand to take abilities, to kill, on a daily basis. I can't fight it anymore." Untamed desire haunted his dark eyes as he slowly moved her hand away from his cock. "And when I'm around you, a different kind of Hunger wants to feed. It's why I disappeared."

A light bulb suddenly popped over her head. Well, duh…

"Do you finally get it?"

She wanted to scream yes, that she absolutely understood but her mind emptied of anything coherent to say. The Hunger he referred to had manifested itself into the raw, sexual desire that blazed in his eyes and it wanted her for his last meal. Tingles raced down her spine as she realized the impact of what that meant. He wanted her, and holy shit, she could see the evidence hiding beneath the sheet. How could she have missed that?

"Claire, get out before I do something I may not regret."

But would she regret it? The Sylar she knew probably would have taken what he wanted, laughed at the fight she put up, and then left her to wallow in her own misery. Years ago, he had alluded to a future of them together, but she had dismissed it as the ravings of a lunatic. In fact, the very thought of it had made her sick. But, this Sylar was different.

This Sylar looked absolutely miserable and damn it, she wanted to be happy about that but a little thing called guilt squashed that feeling.

Suddenly Angela's words floated through her mind. "…it is time to forgive and heal a hopeless soul." Surely, she didn't mean Sylar, did she? Of all people… Sylar? No. This man had murdered her father, Angela's son, and yet the address Angela had given her led her to here, to this very moment. Claire wanted nothing more than to continue to hate this man but something told her she couldn't – no wouldn't – be able to anymore.

And that just sucked.

"Please Claire…"

He wanted her to leave, even after he had just told her he was two seconds away from becoming a psychopath again. Well, fat chance of that, she thought. She needed his help and if she could do something, anything, to keep him sane she would do it, by God. Even if that mean she had to forgive him and give him a tiny shred of hope.

She took a deep breath, mentally preparing herself for his wrath. "I'm not leaving, Sylar."

"Fuck, Claire, didn't you hear a word I just said?"

"I heard everything you said, Sylar. But, I'm still not leaving."

"You bitch!"

As if all common sense had just taken a vacation, Claire cupped the sides of his face and straddled Sylar to keep him from using his TK to fling her across the room. A startled gasp and fingers digging into her hips confirmed she had achieved her goal to distract him. And distract him, she did. Recent hot, summer nights in New York City had given her the wonderful idea to wear a tank top, flimsy skirt and skimpy thong today. The freedom of the skirt allowed Claire to bunch the material at her sides while inching her knees together. She cradled him perfectly between her legs. The ache she felt made it difficult to remember what she hated him for.

When Sylar whimpered, the sound tickled the corners of her lips into a smile. Claire decided at that moment she must've gone bat shit crazy and damn, she was happy about that.

# # #

"What the h-hell are you doing?" Panic strangled his voice. Claire was grinding her hips against his…"Claire, stop!" The Hunger had zapped his ability to push her off of him and he wasn't particularly sure he wanted to. Still, what the hell was she doing?

"Use me, Sylar."

"What?" He sounded like he was going to cry, but he couldn't blame himself. She was teasing him, she knew it, and he was letting her. Yes, she was torturing him and she knew that, too. And he was letting her do it because he had never wanted anything more in his life.

"What you feel, when you are near me? Let it out."

"Claire I…can't do that. Ever." If he did that, he would destroy Claire and truly crossover into The Dark Side forever.

"If there was a way to feed your Hunger, would you?"

That had to be the stupidest question in the universe. Hadn't that been his problem all along? "Christ, Claire…get off." Or he was about to. No matter how many times he tried to tug her off of him, however, his hands became immobilized. The Hunger knew what she was trying to do and it was eager to go along with it.

"Sylar, you can't hurt me."

It wasn't just her condescending smile that made him grit his teeth. He was ready to explode just by her gyrating hips. "Not physically, no, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't take a Special to fuck someone over mentally."

"You can trust me, Sylar."

"I can't trust myself, Claire! Whatever you think you can do to stop it won't work."

"How the fuck would you know? Stop being a pansy and let me help you!"

"Why the hell do you want to help me?"

"Because, I need you."

He detected no lie in her whispered confession and for a moment he was speechless. In any other situation, at any other time, Sylar would have shouted for joy at hearing the words "I need you" from the indestructible Claire Bennet, but right now his bullshit meter was going off.

"For what? And it better be a good answer."

Claire's cuteness factor multiplied when she bit her lower lip and looked down at her hands that were splayed against his abdomen. She was rubbing her thumbs over his belly button. "Stop that," Sylar ordered, the Hunger allowing him to free a hand. He flattened it over hers.

"I'm the one person, the only person, who may be able to help you. You know it's the truth. Don't you want to find out if I can?"

She was absolutely right. She probably was the only person who could help him, as she would live forever and no matter what he did to her physically, she would recover. The Hunger inside of him was shouting for joy at her seduction attempt. The Hunger had always wanted to kill and swim in blood, but around her it just wanted to screw her brains out. It was the one thing both he and his inner demon wanted, but Sylar promised himself he would never give in to it again, no matter how desperate he was to agree with it. .

"Yes…," Sylar felt like he had just swallowed sand.

Claire pushed up on her knees, rubbing her crotch – fuck he could feel the wetness on her panties – over his stomach as she pressed her lips to his ear. "So do I."

Sylar shuddered, turning his head away from her. The temptation was just too great. He had vowed he would never, ever use his ability on anyone again if he didn't have to, especially on Claire. But, if he had to, he would use the forces of the universe to remove her from his bedroom and—

"Sylar, look at me."

No! No, no, nonononono!

"Look at me." Claire's hand cupped the side of his face, gently forcing him to turn back to her. "Gabriel."

At the mention of his birth name Sylar paused in his silent denial. There was tenderness in her voice that he had never heard before. He looked into the green depth of her gaze to find warmth she was willing to share.

"I forgive you." It was the truth. She gave him a brilliant smile and reaffirmed what she just said, "I forgive you, Gabriel." It was the honest-to-God, she truly meant it truth!

It was the breaking point to smash the wall of emotions that he had built up around him.

Sylar fisted a hand in her blond curls before jerking her head back. The growl came just before he slammed his mouth down onto hers, swallowing her gasp and daring her to put up a fight. He wondered for exactly two seconds if Claire thought about whether or not she had made the right choice in forgiving him. The thought dissipated when she whimpered from his assault.

He didn't give her any room, or air for that matter, to breathe a protest if she had any. They pulled at each other, as if one couldn't get enough of the other. Her mouth was so sweet and he tasted her over and over again. Sylar invaded her mouth with his tongue and she responded in kind, and with much more aggression than he expected.

Sylar wanted to feel the heat of her body scorching him, wanted to hear her pants, and he wanted her cries to mix with his own. He halted his assault when she began to pull at the sheet that lay between them. He captured her hand in one of his and pushed it behind her back, not allowing her to divulge him of the sheet just yet. He used his other hand to tug down the tiny strap of her tank tap to reveal a perfect, perky nipple. Sylar cupped her breast, running his thumb over the dark pink flesh not once, but twice. He nipped at the skin there with his teeth when she pulled his hair with her other hand in protest.

Claire's breath came in shudders as his lips slowly closed around a nipple. Sylar used his thumb to tease her other one into a hard pebble, kneading and cupping her breast. She bit her lip and let out small cry as he used his tongue to scrape across the flesh, again and again. He released it from his mouth, only to take the same nub between his teeth, pulling ever so slightly, making her gasp in pleasure. He alternated between using his tongue and his teeth several times, doing the same to her other breast before stripping the tank top from her and returning to his task to drive her nuts.

He grinned around her nipple when she whispered his name, forcefully tugging on his hair. He knew she wanted him to kiss her again. Sylar could feel the wetness through her panties on his lower stomach as Claire rhythmically moved her hips against him. Releasing the nipple from his mouth he looked up at her. Her eyes were closed, but the serene look on her face was enough to convince him that this was right and this was good. Even so, an image of his inner demon, the Hunger, cheering him on in a uniform and waving pom-poms appeared in his mind. There was no doubt it was excited for what was about to happen. He sure as hell hoped they both were going to get exactly what they wanted and more.

"Take off your panties, Claire."

A spark of merriment flashed in her sleepy-sexy eyes as she gazed down at him. "Make me."

Sylar cocked an eyebrow. It was a challenge, daring him to force her to do his bidding. He felt the tug of a lopsided grin as he contemplated his next move. Did he give in to her demand and play her game? Wasn't that what he was doing now? Though he was fairly certain they were both going to win. Still, he had the perfect opportunity to make her do whatever he wanted and oh, he wanted her to do soooo many things to him – and to herself.

But, there would be time for that later. Right now, he was a very impatient man.

Sylar lifted her off of him, putting her in a kneeling position in front of him. He slid his hands up her skirt, rubbing his palms over her silky, soft thighs. Moving them up further, he discovered that she wasn't wearing panties at all, but rather a tiny slip of a thong. Perfect! He curled his fist around one of the thin straps that held it together and pulled, grinning when he heard a satisfying snap!

In a flash, he had her skirt over her head and tossed to the floor. Sylar leaned forward and kissed the spot just above the groomed strip of blond curls that rested between her legs. He wanted to go down further, but her impatience demanded his attention. Claire pushed his hands away and pulled the sheet aside, finally revealing the erection that had been plaguing him ever since he first laid eyes on her so many years ago.

Claire accepted his request for a kiss and held onto the headboard, positioning herself to straddle him again as he leaned back against the metal frame. Sylar once again placed his hands on her hips, slowly lowering her onto himself.

Entering Claire was exquisite, even when he encountered the barrier he needed to break to become fully implanted inside of her. "Are you—"

"No, it just heals every time," Claire explained against his lips before pushing herself onto him, forcing him to break her virginity. Sylar gasped and dug his fingers into her waist. It was so excruciatingly wonderful being inside his tight, wet Claire. For eons it seemed, he had fantasized about this. He never thought it would happen. She fit him perfectly and… fuck, she moved. All thoughts pertaining to how or why this could be happening disintegrated when she lifted her hips again, squeezing him as his length left her. She was so petite and perfect, that the pressure was too sweet. Claire increased her pace, using his shoulders to lift herself up and down on him. He moved his hands up to cup her breasts, groaning at the sensations the friction between them caused, and lifted his hips to meet hers with each thrust.

Yes! Sylar thought. He had died, God had forgiven him too, and he had gone to heaven.

# # #

It was agonizing bliss. Claire increased her pace, lifting herself up and down, causing her hair to bounce about her shoulders. When she moaned, she let Sylar take control. He lifted his hips and thrust more forcefully into her with each of her movements. She continued to squeeze him, letting her head fall back.

The sensation of his hands caressing her body sent her over the edge. She closed her eyes, only wanting to feel. Sylar was rock hard and embedded deep inside her and she wanted it to stay that way forever. She grabbed him by that messy hair and jerked him up to her mouth, causing him to whimper when he bumped his nose in the process.

Claire wound her fingers in his hair, keeping her lips in contact with hers. He felt so fucking good. Pleasure was building up, threatening to wash over her in an awesome wave. Sylar was going rip her orgasm right out of her body. When the absolutely wonderful ache became unbearable, Claire let out a groan.

Then he stopped. Just stopped! The bastard! But, before she could protest, Sylar flipped them over, pinning her underneath him. She tried to wrap her legs around his waist, but he wouldn't let her. Scowling, Claire glared at him and he just grinned sadistically in return. Instead, he reached behind her knees and placed her legs on his shoulders, arching her back.

"Oh, my God!" Claire cried, as he slammed back into her. Claire had never imagined anyone could go so deep and it feel so fucking good. The back of her thighs pounded against his chest and Sylar threw his head back, increasing his pace.

He was driving her to the brink of insanity. She would swear he had specifically targeted her sweet spot and was accurately hitting it with each thrust. She was having tiny little orgasms because of it. She tried to distract herself from the intense pleasure by kissing him, but he wouldn't allow it. He kept avoiding her mouth by placing tiny kisses on her brow, her nose, her chin…

"Fuck, Sylar!"

She was unable to hold back her scream as her orgasm erupted, radiating throughout her body as violently as Sylar fucked her. Tears streamed down her cheeks as wave after wave racked her body, arching her back as a blissful euphoria crept over her. She clawed at his biceps, scoring them with her nails before pounding the mattress beneath her with her fists.

Claire felt free…

# # #

Sylar groaned in pain, sweat beading on his body. He grabbed Claire's hands, lacing his fingers in hers. He lifted them above her head, preventing her from drawing any more blood. He continued to pound into her, faster and faster, making her scream with each hard, determined thrust.

He thought he was going to be deaf for the rest of his life with Claire's final scream. That, or she was going have a sore throat for eternity, even if she did have an awesome healing ability. It was the sweetest sound of redemption in his ears.

"Say it again, Claire," Sylar grunted between each hard thrust. He had to hear her say it, just one more time before he could let himself go completely and surrender. It wasn't just him that wanted to hear it, but the Hunger that was screaming in delight in his head wanted to hear it as well. Forcing himself not to orgasm was probably the most painful thing he had ever done in his life, but damn it he would wait forever if he had to just to hear it again.

"I…forgive…you," Claire responded in time to his thrusts, her voice breathy and soft.

"No… not that," Sylar panted, but happy to hear again that she really did absolve him of his past crimes. Noting her confusion and adorable pout with rosey kiss-a-fied lips, he clarified when his lungs gave him air one last time. "My name. Say…my name. Please…" Fuck, he couldn't hold back much longer. Sylar squeezed his eyes shut, silently begging her to say it. !

"Gabriel…"

Sylar thought he was going to lose all consciousness when he finally let his orgasm hit. The woman panting beneath him had surrendered herself to him and he to her. He shuddered and unfolded Claire's legs, raising them into the air and pushing himself deeper into her, unable to stop himself from coming into her. He let out a purely animalist shout as a million stars had just exploded inside his body.

Sylar dropped her legs and rested his head on Claire's shoulder as his body continued to jerk and spasm, emptying himself. He had never imagined that having sex with Claire Bennet could be so fantastic and so exhausting. And yet, he would be her slave for eternity in a heartbeat if it made all the horror he experienced every night go away.

Sylar was still shaking when Claire poked his arm. "You're crushing me," she whispered, her tongue tickling the outer edge of his ear.

A tiny part of his brain tried to convince him that this was a trick, that she would be disgusted by what they had done. He lifted his head, relieved to find her gazing up at him with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes and a brilliant, nymph-like smile on her face. He braced himself on his forearms, easing some of his weight off her. He could see the wetness on her cheeks and her hair was plastered to her forehead. He thought it was a rather amusing sight and the former fear he had created disappeared.

The Hunger, being a demon for so long in his mind, took the form of a fat cat, curling up into a black ball of fur. It purred, deeply satisfied and happily hibernating into sleep. Thankful to the woman who had saved his soul, he claimed her mouth in several long, deep kisses.

He knew Claire had fallen asleep when she stopped responding to his kisses. Sylar grinned and pushed the damp strands of hair off her face. He rolled to his side, wrapping an arm around her waist in a possessive move, spooning her against him.

Sylar held her tight, afraid that if he let her go, she would disappear forever…

# # #

He snored himself awake. Sylar blinked against the bright light pouring in through the window and squinted. Wait, was that sunshine? The warm ball of warmth and light that made the world go round was already up? Damn, how long had he slept? With a yawn, he sat up to see what time it was. Oh yea, that's right… he'd pulverized the offending clock before he went to bed.

Clock. Bed. Claire. Hot, steamy let's fuck-like-bunnies sex. Sylar's head swiveled to the spot next to him. Nope, no Claire. The bed was messy for sure, but it looked no different than every other night when he kicked and thrashed like some infant refusing to sleep. Peering over the side of the bed, he expected to find feminine clothing tossed all over the floor. Nope. The carpet was devoid of anything that may have belonged Claire. Sylar sat still, listening for any sign that she was in his apartment.

Well, shit. Was it just a dream? Nooooo…. Sylar didn't want to believe that, although if it were true that was one hell of a dream. But why last night when every other night was full of blood and horror? Why dream of Claire screwing his brains out, what was it… four times?

Because the Hunger was sick and twisted that's why. Of course it would jerk him around like that. Fool him into believing that Claire would seek him out, begging to understand what the hell was wrong with him, and then simply forgive him.

And the sex….man, he had a wicked imagination. And it was soooo cruel!

Sighing, Sylar held his head in his hands. Why me?

Clang!

He jerked his head up. Shit! He'd totally forgotten about Peter and Emma paying him a visit today. Emma had told him last week that she was going to use his massive kitchen to create a masterpiece for Peter's birthday and that was that. There was no arguing with Emma when she was determined and he didn't even want to try. Peter was his best friend, so he went along with it, but that meant it was closer to noon.

Sylar quickly jumped out of bed, finding the gray sweatpants and black t-shirt he had tossed on the chair before his supernova shower last night. Tugging them on, he ran his fingers through his hair, hoping he looked somewhat presentable. He padded barefoot into the living room, expecting to find Peter sprawled on his couch.

Except, there was no Peter or Emma. Another clang came from behind the kitchen door. Curious, Sylar crossed the living room and pushed the door open, expecting this time to find Emma up to her elbows in flour.

Instead he found Claire scowling at his stove.

The biggest turn on in his universe would have been to repeat the dream he had last night in his mind, but even better than that was seeing Claire performing the duties of a domestic goddess — and wearing only his shirt. On her petite frame, it was more like a dress, but still damn sexy.

"I can't figure out your stove." She was chewing on her lower lip again and her cheeks were a lovely shade of pink, a sign she was embarrassed. "Why can't I figure it out?"

Before he could explain to her that his stove used a touch-on system, it suddenly dawned on him that last night was not a dream and was indeed reality. The proof was Claire standing in his kitchen.

"That's my shirt." Wow. Great way to say good morning to the woman who fucked him like her life depended on it.

"No shit, Sherlock. I'm only wearing your shirt because you shredded my clothes last night. How do you turn this thing on? I want to make eggs, damn it! I'm hungry."

Sylar grinned, the memory slapping his brain. He had indeed.

"Of course, if you want it back, I'd be happy to take it off..."

"No!" Sylar lunged, grabbing her hands to stop her from unbuttoning the shirt. "If you do that, I won't be responsible for what I might do. Again." Damn, her pout would drive any normal man to the point of waging a war in her name. "I mean, Peter and Emma are supposed to stop by this morning."

"Peter and Emma?" Her pout became a thin line, her green eyes turning dark with fury. "You mean to tell me that my uncle and his wife knew where you lived this whole time?"

"Uh…isn't that how you found me?" Perplexed, Sylar furrowed his brow.

"No, I had to ask my grandmother." Damn, she was sexy when she was fuming about something. "Why do you live in a penthouse, anyways?"

"I have the Midas touch, remember?" Sylar answered, referring to the stolen ability to turn anything he wanted into gold. "Might as well live in luxury for eternity." It made perfect sense to him, but Claire rolled her eyes. "Claire, we need to talk about last night."

Sylar noticed the panic in her eyes. "Last night was—" His declaration was cut off by her hand cupping his mouth.

"Don't you dare say it was a mistake, or I will find a way to kill you." Her glare could cut holes into the ozone layer. "I wanted it, so did you, and I'm not going to take it back and you better not either. Damn it, Sylar—"

"Gabriel," Sylar clarified, removing her hand from his mouth, but holding it in his. He ran his thumb against her palm.

"What?"

"Gabriel, Claire." He walked backwards, guiding them through the kitchen door and to the black lacquered table in the dining room. He sat down, pulling her to straddle his lap. He wrapped his arms around her waist, effectively trapping her in his embrace. "I was going to say that last night put the Hunger to sleep. Thank you."

"Oh…" A cherry was pale in comparison to her blush. "You're welcome. I told you I could help you."

"Yes… but I don't know for how long it'll sleep. I'd like to think permanently, but I'm not that lucky." Which was true. The Hunger, although happy and sated for the moment, was asleep, dormant, but not dead or gone. It was a real possibility that it would wake up and want to kill again.

"Then I guess we know what we need to do." Determination flared in her eyes and with it a smile as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Sylar felt like his eyes were going to pop out of his head. "For how long?" She wasn't seriously proposing to…?

"Forever, I guess."

"Claire, I can't ask you to do that."

"You're not asking. I'm telling you. If I want to spend eternity making love to you everyday to keep that damn monster happy so it won't kill again, then that's what I'll do."

God help him, he loved this woman. Sylar swallowed, his imagination going into overdrive over all the things they could possibly do in bed. Or out of it. "Why would you do that?"

"I just explained why," an exasperated Claire answered.

"Is that the only reason?" Oh, he so hoped it was more than that.

"I don't want to die alone, either. And maybe… I don't know. Maybe there is room for more."

It was as good of an answer he was going to get, he supposed, and he would have to be happy with that. When she leaned in for a kiss, Sylar gave her a gentle one, but full of passion and hope. A second, then a third one followed, Claire becoming more aggressive with each one.

As much as he wanted to continue their make out session, a sudden thought occurred to him. "What are you going to tell Peter?" he asked, breaking contact with Claire's lips.

"I don't know, the truth? I'll think of something." Claire was determined to get his shirt off.

"You might want to think fast."

"Why?"

"Because he's here," Sylar announced, two seconds before the elevator door opened into his living room.

- - -

End