"Nightshade!" Sylar hissed. "We have to go!"
"Wait." Nightshade ordered. Her blue eyes, almost violet, locked on his.
But she wasn't listening. She looked into the shadows, searching through them, her eyes straining against the darkness.
Suddenly, a harsh, cold smile crossed her face. A cry sounded out from the darkness and a young man came out, clutching his head. "P-P-Please…" He groaned. He collapsed to the ground in front of her.
Nightshade spat on the ground. "Shit!" She swore. "He's human. We have to move!"
Sylar didn't complain. Nightshade gave the man a good kick, but he seemed more relieved than hurt as he curled up on the stone ground.
Sylar ran ahead of Nightshade, though she was never more than a few steps behind.
"Where are we going?" She demanded at last.
"Hiro's." He replied simply.
She paled. "Yikes."
He nodded, but kept running.
Finally, they came to a large wall. No human could get above it.
"Trust me?" Sylar asked Nightshade.
"We need to go up." He told her.
She winced. "Flying?"
She shook her head. "It's fine. Let's just go."
He smiled and lifted her off the ground. She kept her eyes shut as tightly as possible until they were on the other side.
He set her down. She was pale and visibly shaken, but otherwise fine.
She took a deep breath. "Hiro's?"
Sylar smiled and nodded. They ran again.
Hiro's picture decorated a shelf, but the teleporter was long gone. Instead, his home had become a place for heroes to hide when they were on the run.
Sylar and Nightshade fit perfectly into that category. Sylar opened the door and motioned for Nightshade to enter.
"Who's there?" A harsh voice sounded out. Flames lit the man's hand.
"Relax. It's just us." Sylar whispered, coming in behind Nightshade.
The man looked at their faces and breathed a sigh in relief. "Shit, Sylar. You gave us a scare."
"Yeah. Nice to see you too, George." Nightshade growled.
George looked at her. "Sorry, 'Shade." He turned around. "The others are inside." He started to walk down the hallway that was immediately in front of the door.
Sylar shrugged and followed, Nightshade close behind.
Once inside, Sylar looked around. "Any word from Peter?" He asked.
"Another hero down." George spat. "The traitor."
"It's not his fault. If he doesn't do it…"
"Then what?" George demanded, whirling around to face her. "What will happen to him? Nothing! He'll die, so what? We'd get him out!"
"He doesn't know that." Nightshade snarled.
"Easy." Sylar placed a hand on her shoulder. "It's ok."
Nightshade looked at him, and took a deep breath. She nodded and kept walking ahead, brushing George aside.
When she was a few steps ahead, Sylar shoved George into the wall. "When are you going to learn?" he demanded.
George looked at him with wide eyes.
"When are you going to learn that it's not a good idea to make her angry?" Sylar continued. He shoved George into the wall one more time before following Nightshade down the hallway.
Once they were inside the next room, many curious heads turned towards them, only to turn away again as they recognized their faces.
Nightshade took Sylar's hand in hers, her eyes darting about nervously. He smiled softly. "It'll be ok." He whispered into her ear.
"No it won't. Shit, Sylar. I haven't been near this many scared people since the war began."
He looked at her, genuinely worried. "You need to leave?"
She shivered. Suddenly, her eyes locked on someone, hiding in the darkness. "You son of a bitch!" she screeched.
Every head turned to face her but one. That one in particular cringed against the wall.
Nightshade ran forward and grabbed him by the collar. "Listen, human." A few harsh gasps sounded at that revelation, but Nightshade ignored them. "What are you doing here?" She demanded.
He cringed. "I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm a hero…"
"Your mind says otherwise." She looked around. "Tell me there's a telepath here." She snarled to the other heroes.
A few heads shook from side to side. None of the surrounding heroes were telepaths, so none of them could have known that there was someone who wasn't a hero. But Nightshade knew. She always knew.
"Shit!" She hissed. She turned back to the man. "All right, what did you hear?"
His eyes were wide. "Nothing! Nothing, I promise!"
Her eyes darkened. "Tell. Me. The. Truth." She said, her voice commanding.
The man looked like he was about to respond, but then his eyes widened even further, fear the dominant emotion in his features. His eyes glazed over, as though he could see something that no one else could.
"N-No!" He whispered.
"Nightshade…" Sylar warned, behind her in a second. "Be careful…"
"Shut it." She spat. "I know what I'm doing."
Sylar nodded and stepped back. When it came to fear, Nightshade always knew what she was doing.
The man gasped. "P-P-Please! No!" He let out a blood-curdling shriek and collapsed to the floor.
"What did you hear?" Nightshade demanded.
"You're scared." The man volunteered the information without question. "You're scared of humans finding out about these places."
"Do you know of any other places?"
"Peter Petrelli's old home. No where else."
"How long have you been here?"
"Twenty-four hours." The man curled into a ball, his eyes wide and blank.
"Have you reported your information to anyone else?"
The man went silent.
Nightshade knelt down next to him. "Listen. What you're seeing now is nothing compared to what I can show you. I can show you enough to make you insane. I can make you kill yourself trying to get away. Now, tell me. Who sent you, and have you reported anything to them?"
He stayed quiet.
Nightshade stood up and looked at him coldly. The man cried out.
"No! Please!" He began to clutch his head. "Please, stop!"
"Who do you work for?"
"The humans! CIA! FBI! Every human spy agency there is!"
"And did you report anything to them?"
She looked at him, and his vision cleared.
She knelt down next to him again. "You realize I can't let you live."
He looked at her, and something in his eyes told her that he knew exactly what she was capable of. "Anything but that. Anything but that…" he kept repeating the phrase, curling into a ball on the floor, wrapping his hands around his legs, placing his knees next to his chin. "Please."
She looked at him. "Why not? Tell me why I shouldn't."
"I'll do anything." He whispered. "Anything!"
She nodded slowly and stood up. "Sylar."
Sylar came forward. "You sure?"
The man looked at Sylar, his eyes wide with fear. "Please. Anything but her."
Sylar smirked. "I know what you mean."
He pulled out a gun, and in one shot it was over.
"Check for wires." Sylar ordered one of the heroes. "Make sure he wasn't lying."
But he knew they would find nothing. No one could hold back the fear that Nightshade could put in your heart. No one could tell her a lie, for the sake of their own minds.
He sighed and followed her into the other room.
She was sitting on a chair, her eyes blank. Many heroes in the room had enough sense to leave, but some didn't know what she was capable of.
"Out." Sylar snapped at them.
Many stared at him with wide eyes.
"Why should…" One began, then trailed off as he recognized Sylar's face. He paled. "Yes, sir."
They all got out as quickly as they could.
Sylar sat down next to Nightshade. "It's ok. Go ahead."
Her deep near-violet eyes locked on his. "I'm sorry."
He nodded, and the world went black.
Sylar knew he shouldn't be afraid as the darkness pressed around him. He knew he shouldn't care that he was in a cage, because it was illusion. Nothing more. But he couldn't stop the terror that sent his heart pounding. He couldn't stop the fear that coursed through him.
His heart sped, faster and faster as his darkest fears became a reality around him. The sharp pain of a knife in the back of his head, the fear of being in a cage he could not escape.
He could hear his own pounding heart as the dark began to take its hold, began to bring forth his deepest nightmares, his worst fears.
He could not stop his heart as it continued to beat faster and faster, louder and louder in his over-sensitive ears.
And then it stopped. It simply stopped, unable to continue going after the terror that had gripped it so tightly.
He was dead.
Sylar gasped as his heart started again, thanks to a certain cheerleader's ability. "Shit!" he swore. It was rare than anyone ever came to life gracefully.
"Sylar!" Nightshade was at his side in a second. "Sylar, I'm so sorry…"
He blew it off with the wave of a hand, waiting for a moment as his heart healed itself completely. "It's ok. I'm fine."
She looked at him with wide eyes, and Sylar felt something familiar stir in his mind. A desperate need to take her ability, to destroy this girl and take away what was in her mind.
He shook his head, trying to clear it. "I'm fine." He repeated.
She breathed a sigh of relief. "He was so scared…" She whispered softly.
Sylar took her hand in his. "It will be ok." He promised her.
She nodded slowly.
"You believe she's the one?"
The old man turned to face the only other person in the room. "Indeed."
The younger man sighed. His blond hair was long enough to fall into his eyes, but not long enough to do anything about it. Irritated, he blew a strand out of his face. "If I may speak freely, sir…"
The old man gestured for him to continue.
"I don't like this. Nightshade has always been somewhat… reckless. And with Sylar in the picture, even more so. And… if we want the humans to listen to us, to not be afraid of us, why are we sending someone who can control their fear, terrify them further?"
"Because there is no one better than Nightshade for this. And, of course, no one else that Sylar will take with him to the past."
The younger man swallowed. "That's the problem, isn't it? Sylar is, without a doubt, incredibly powerful. But sometimes, he can't control his ability. Sometimes, he has to kill. You know that."
"He's managed not to kill Nightshade over the years." The older remarked dryly.
"That's different." He snapped back.
"Enough. The decision has been made. Sylar and Nightshade shall go together. Now, get the others ready."
The younger glared at him mutinously for a minute, then nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Nightshade?" The hero walked up to her.
"Yes?" Her eyes narrowed.
Sylar looked at the man in shock. "What does he want now?"
"To see you." The man replied. "Both of you. Now."
Nightshade glared at him. She didn't tend to trust people who randomly came up to you and said your name. But Sylar nodded and followed him, so she did the same.
She brought herself next to Sylar. "Who is he?"
"His name is Robert." Sylar explained, as though he'd told her everything she needed to know.
"And he works for the council."
Nightshade paled. "The council is a myth."
Sylar smirked. "So we let everyone think."
"We? You're on it too?"
He winked at her, and they kept walking.
They exited Hiro's house, and walked down a few streets. Finally, Robert (secretly, Nightshade started mentally calling him 'Bob') stopped in front of a door. "We're here." He whispered.
Sylar knocked three times quickly, then paused, and one final time.
"We changed that weeks ago." Bob grumbled. "Let me."
Sylar held him back. "Just wait."
Nightshade listened for noise on the other side of the door. She thought she heard a few words that weren't really for polite company, but she wasn't certain. Suddenly, the door swung open.
"Sylar!" The woman behind the door looked breathless and pale.
Sylar nodded once. "Claire."
Nightshade's heart skipped. So this was the infamous Claire Bennett.
Claire turned to Bob and nodded her head. "Robert."
"I take it they're with you?" She asked, gesturing to Sylar and Nightshade.
Bob nodded once, and Claire stepped aside.
Nightshade and Sylar entered the house, followed by Bob.
This time, Sylar was in the lead. They entered a room that instantly sent Nightshade's instincts on alert.
Sylar smiled as they entered the darkness. "Sam."
The old man smiled back. "Good to see you again, Sylar."
"And you. Now, what's this about?"
Nightshade gripped Sylar's hand tightly. If this really was a member of the council…
He squeezed it back, gently. "Careful." He whispered. "I thought I felt something snap."
She let go quickly, then slapped his shoulder when she realized he was laughing. "Not funny." She hissed, blushing.
He grinned and turned back to Sam.
Sam ignored their exchange. "Sylar, we need a favor."
"There are two jobs that need to be done. Both of which you are capable of. And remember, everything I'm going to tell you is secret."
"We're going to destroy the world."
Nightshade heard someone gasp, and realized it was her.
"We're going to place radioactive heroes at certain points across the world. The planet will burn, the war will end, and those few heroes that can heal themselves will live. And, of course, those who can heal others will work to heal every hero in sight."
Sylar looked like he was going to protest, but Sam raised a hand, cutting him off. "That is one team. Team 2 consists of time travelers."
Sylar paled. "Tell me you're not going to do what I think you're going to do."
"Unfortunately. Now, we've been avoiding this for all the obvious reasons. But now there is no other choice. The humans are too strong. We will lose again."
"Sylar? What's he talking about?" Nightshade asked.
"A simple time jump, young lady." Sam replied for Sylar. "We are planning to send certain heroes to the past in order to convince the Original not to do what she does."
Nightshade swallowed, fear plain in her eyes. The Original had been the first hero to reveal herself. She'd lit on fire in front of television cameras, which sent the videos across the world.
She'd become a celebrity for a long time, never realizing what had happened…
"So you want Sylar to change her mind?" Nightshade looked at him like he was insane.
"Not just Sylar, my dear…" Sam continued.
"No!" Sylar stepped in front of Nightshade protectively. "I can do this. But I will not let her travel to the past. It's too dangerous!"
"Any more dangerous than what we do every day?" Sam asked.
"There are Time Barriers in place! She'd burn!" Sylar glared at the man murderously.
"The Time Barriers will be destroyed before you leave. We have planned this already."
"I won't do this, Sam. I can heal, she can't!"
"Then take my ability." Bob said, stepping in front of Sylar. "If you fail, it won't matter anyway."
"No. You'll be needed if we fail." Sylar shook his head fiercely. "There will be other heroes depending on you."
"Not true." Bob replied. "I'm dying, Sylar. Already. Sam believes it's best if I don't try and heal others. I may end up killing them. You know how that works."
Sylar smiled ruefully. "No, Robert, I'm afraid I don't."
Bob smiled darkly, but Nightshade shivered. She didn't like it when someone was in Sylar's path like that. Too many times he'd come too close to snapping, to taking an ability right then and there.
"No." Nightshade snapped. "Sylar, don't do this. I'll be fine."
He whirled to face her. "Nightshade, nothing can get through Time Barriers. Nothing. I won't take you, and that's final."
"They're going to take them out." Nightshade replied. "I'm going. You're taking me. That's final."
He looked at her for a long time, then sighed. "Nightshade, you will be the death of me."
He turned to Sam. "Fine. We'll go." He looked back at Bob. "And you can keep your ability. I don't want it."
Nightshade's smile was filled with pride, but it faded as she realized how much of a lie it was. Sylar was biting his lip, as though it was impossible for him to turn away from the man who had just offered him something he'd always wanted…
"Excellent!" Sam said with a smile. "You shall leave tomorrow. By then, the Time Barriers will be destroyed."
Sylar had never felt so guilty in his life.
He hurriedly washed the blood off of his hands, as though it could wash away the murder he'd just committed. His mind kept flashing back to that proud smile on Nightshade's face, after he'd refused to kill Robert (Who he secretly called Bob as well, though only mentally. He didn't like being called Bob, for some reason) even when he'd offered to let him take his ability. She'd thought he'd come so far…
Darkness swept around him, enclosing him in a cage.
He sat back, trying to endure his punishment, but it was hard as the terror gripped him like a vice, threatening to take the breath from his lungs, to stop his heart from beating. Over and over, he felt the sharp, blazing pain of a knife in the back of his head. Over and over, he was trapped in a dark cage. Over and over he was murdered, and over and over he was the murderer. His worst fears came to life in front of him.
His heart beat its last.
Nightshade was trying to wipe away her tears as she waited for Sylar to come back to life. She'd gone to sleep earlier that night, and woken up to find that Sylar, who was supposed to be in the other room, was missing. She had no doubts as to where he was, but knew she was too late. He'd come inside and washed the blood off his hands, which erased any further doubt.
So she'd trapped him inside his own mind, in his deepest fears. She'd made him so terrified his heart stopped. And now, she just had to wait until it healed again.
Sylar woke with a gasp.
"You son of a bitch." She hissed, pushing him backwards as he sat up. "What is wrong with you? You had to go and kill him! Why? Just tell me, Sylar! Why?"
He looked down at the floor. "I'm sorry, Nightshade. It… it had to be done. To save you."
"To save me? Sylar, I would have been fine! The Time Barriers are going to be gone by the time we have to go through them! You just want that ability for yourself!"
He looked like he was going to protest, but Nightshade wouldn't let him.
"I know he can kill as well as heal, Sylar. I'm not stupid. That's why you wanted his ability! That's it!"
"Don't!" Nightshade shrieked. "I don't want excuses, you asshole! I want you to bring him back, or don't talk to me!"
Nightshade knew very well that Sylar couldn't bring Robert back. Not even his stolen healing ability could do that. The damage was done. She walked out of the room, though she didn't really know where she was going.
Sylar sighed, a deep heavy sigh.
But it didn't matter. Nightshade would be safe. They would get through time with no problems. They would do what they were meant to do. Maybe then, she wouldn't be so furious with him.