Hey, there! It's its-dei-chan-un, back with a story that I hardly anticipated. This one just procreated and ran away before I could capture the plotbunnies... and now, here I am, with another story that I will hopefully (actually) finish.

Most of this is pre-written, but I'm going to have to catch up to myself, and it won't be finished in actuality until I get back from school next month, at the earliest.

Pairing: Sylar/Claire

Warnings: Sexual-ness and potentially others. Let's just hope I don't get banned for this... it IS my first half-assed lemon, after all.

Yes, it's het. I know. But this IS my OTP, so please show it some love! ^^" And I apologize for Sylar's OOC-ness... I tried to keep him under control... :/

On with the Sylaire!

3x13 Post "Dual"

Claire sighed, making her way up the stairs to her room in the Petrelli mansion- it had been just over a week since the fiasco at Pinehearst, and she had been jittery ever since. Sylar was alive and she knew it- she didn't know how, but she was positive that he was out there, just watching, waiting for the opportunity to strike again. That very notion had kept her awake nearly every night since she watched Primatech burn to the ground- would probably keep her up again tonight, since it was already approaching midnight.

Turning the door handle, Claire entered her room and reached for the light switch. The dim bulbs flickered on overhead just as the door slammed closed behind her. She glanced behind her in alarm before she turned back, her face contorting in hate and fear when she saw the familiar man that was lounging on her bed.

"Sylar," Claire spat. "I knew it. How did you survive? What the hell are you doing here?"

And then she realized the shadows under his eyes, the slightly-disheveled style of his hair and the way his arms were crossed protectively over his chest. "Claire."

Treading carefully to the other side of the large, comfortable room, Claire repeated, "Sylar, what are you doing here?"

Sylar leaned his head back with a heavy thud against the wall, eyes closing and showing the full extent of his obvious insomnia. "I just wanted to know if everyone is a liar. I thought that I should come to you- you're always the person to give me the answers I need."

Claire frowned, sitting precariously on the edge of her vanity bench, fists clenched and resting atop her legs. "What are you talking about?"

He sighed heavily, one dark brown eye opening and looking to her. "My entire life is a lie. Everyone I've ever known has lied to me. I need to know that it's not just bad luck- that everyone lies." He sat up from his seat, sitting cross-legged on her bed, facing her. One of his hands traced the elaborate embroidery of her crimson coverlet, his eyes flickering to it before they came back to rest on her. "Lie to me, Claire," he whispered. "Please."

She scowled, tensing and moving back on the cushioned seat, staying as far as she could from him. "Get out of here, Sylar. I'm not going to encourage your honesty complex. I should be calling Angela- I don't know why I'm not."

Sylar's hand clenched- nothing. No tingling. She hadn't lied at all. "Just lie to me, Claire. And then I'll leave."

"I don't want to lie. I just want you to go."

He scowled, anger flashing across his face. "You know, I could make you. I don't have to be nice about this. You'd be better off just cooperating."

Claire's lip curled. "What exactly are you hoping to hear, Sylar? That part of me is actually happy that you're not dead?"

Sylar frowned as he waited... and waited. But nothing came. Nothing at all. "You're not lying." His eyes narrowed in confusion. "I don't understand."

Green eyes widened at the implication, lips parting slightly as she searched for words that would not come. "But I..."

"You thought that you were," he answered for her, head tilting to the side. "So... perhaps you're lying to yourself." His lips twitched into a smirk. "I didn't know you cared so much."

She snorted. "I don't like you, Sylar. All I care about is keeping you in line."

Sylar's smirk grew, and one tan hand reached out, fingers twitching, and Claire stood involuntarily. "Hey- let me go, you sick bastard!"

"I don't think so." Claire struggled against his control as he brought her forward, sitting her opposite of him on her bed, both cross-legged and facing each other. She growled in irritation as one finger brushed across her knee, then shivered at the touch. "How does that feel?"

Determined not to give in, not to lie, she hissed, "Strange- it tickles. Don't touch me!"

"I told you that I could make you lie," Sylar replied, voice low and soft, eyes watching her carefully as he traced circles on her calf. "And I will. I have to know, Claire."

"Why not anyone else?" the blonde growled, trying desperately to move away, but unable to do so under the force of Eric Doyle's ability. "Why me?"

He shrugged a little, brown eyes downcast to watch the progress of his hand along her denim-clothed leg. "Because, when I think about it, you're the only person that comes to mind that I don't think has ever lied to me. And I want you to. I want to know that it's not my fault... that I couldn't help being lied to. Not that I was just a fool for trusting the wrong people."

"Everyone feels like that sometimes," she replied. "Because everyone lies."

"But not you," he countered. "You've never lied to me."

"But I have lied to other people," Claire argued. "My father. Nathan. Angela. The Haitian. My mother."

Sylar frowned, and Claire could see the confusion that flickered across his face. "Then why not me?"

It was Claire's turn to shrug, averting her eyes uncomfortably as his hand skimmed up to her outer thigh. "Because I don't see the point. You would know if I lied, because of your abilities- and I'm a terrible liar anyway. Why bother? I might as well just tell the truth. It would get me in less trouble... and it hurts less."

Brown eyes flickered up to meet green, and Sylar's face was abruptly serious, desperation lingering in his eyes. "Claire, if I released you from Doyle's ability right now, would you try to run?"

She was silent for a moment, considering his question before she murmured, "No."

Immediately, she felt a heavy weight lift off her shoulders. Even knowing that she could run, she didn't try- she didn't want to try. And, somewhere deep underneath, she wanted to help. Somehow.

"Do you hate me?" Sylar asked quietly, his hand stilling, hand open and resting above her knee.

Claire sighed, shoulders slumping a bit when she replied, "I'm not sure. I used to. Now... I'm angry. I'm really pissed about what you did to me, what you did to Peter and how you took my mom... Meredith... away. But, at the same time, I can't exactly blame you." Her fingers twitched, and she struggled internally with herself before she finally rested her hand atop his. "Because it wasn't entirely your fault. They could have stopped you from being who you were, but they just egged you on. But your decisions are your own, at the same time. Even if they're influenced by the side-effect of your ability. So... I guess I don't hate you. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for you."

He couldn't help the bitter laugh that escaped him a few seconds later. "I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad. You don't hate me, but you feel sorry for me... I have all these abilities, Claire, but next to you, I've never felt so weak. So insignificant." He ran his other hand over his aching eyes. "I wanted to be special, but with you, I feel like I'm back to where I started."

"But you are special," Claire replied incredulously, frowning. "You're one of us. You have an ability. How many abilities or the strength of the abilities you have doesn't matter. The most important thing is that you understand what it's like to be different, to have a secret."

Sylar stared at her like she was insane. "You're saying that you don't care about power at all?"

She shrugged. "Well, my ability is stupid. It doesn't do anything. What I'm saying is that it's not so much about the ability, but being able to share a secret with someone. My dad doesn't have an ability, but he's still just as important to me as Peter, because I can talk to him."

"Your ability isn't stupid!" Sylar protested, grabbing her hand in both of his own, eyes wide and surprisingly earnest. "You can never die, Claire. You can't be hurt, can't be injured. You can't even feel pain- you're perfect."

"Feeling pain is a gift," Claire replied, drawing her knees up to her chest, but allowing him to keep his grasp on her hand. "It was the only thing that made me feel human, once I started healing. Then I lost it, and now I've forgotten what it feels like... to feel."

Sylar considered her for a moment before he tugged on her hand, sending her sprawling forward into him. He grabbed her around the waist, pulling her into his lap, despite her surprised and alarmed protesting. When he finally had Claire settled, he hesitated for only a moment before he brought his hand to her face, stroking his thumb over her cheekbone. Claire froze in his grasp, her eyes locked with his, green against brown, confusion against desperation.

"Can you feel this?" Sylar asked, his deep, soft voice the only disruption of the silence.

And she could- possibly more than anything she had ever felt. She felt the slow path of his thumb, the slight callus on his skin, the warmth that his body radiated into hers from that one small touch. Where their skin was connected, hers tingled like touched by electricity, prickling like when a limb fell asleep, except without the hint of pain.

Claire's mouth opened and she searched for the words to reply with, but nothing came to mind other than a whispered, "Yes."

He hummed thoughtfully, biting softly at his bottom lip, and Claire realized for the first time how attractive the man actually was- lightly tanned with a strong, angled jaw. Teeth that were straight, sharp and white, intimidating to some when he showed them. A slender, defined body, hidden behind a black shirt and dark-wash jeans. Black hair, healthy and carelessly styled, a few strands fallen out of place, hanging in eyes that were so deep a brown that they were nearly black. They were fathomless, expressive and always intense with whatever emotion he was feeling inside- no matter the role he was playing or the person he was pretending to be, his eyes always gave him away.

And Claire was trapped under the weight of his gaze.


And she was fairly sure that her heart would beat right out of her chest.

"What are you thinking about right now?" He asked, brushing a stray curl from her eyes before his hand returned to its casual- and yet, terribly intimate- touch.

Claire swallowed, fighting the urge to shiver when his eyes watched the movement of her throat. "You."

His lips twitched upwards a slight bit, and he hummed again. "What about me?"

She surprised both him and herself when she leaned into his hand, eyelids closing slightly and replying, "I'm wondering how you're doing this to me. What ability you're using to make me feel like this, to make my heart beat so fast... to make me want this."

He blinked, then frowned... before his mouth opened in surprise. "You're not lying. You really do want..."

She nodded just barely, her fingers raising to touch his wrist. His hand opened in response, molding to the contours of her cheek, curls brushing against his fingers. "So," she asked. "Which one is it?"

"I'm not using one," he answered, eyes unusually open and vulnerable.

"I'm not sure if I believe that," Claire replied, her heart speeding even further at the thought... that it might even be possible to feel this way without being manipulated... and with Sylar, of all people.

He sighed, leaning down to rest their foreheads together, her eyes half-mast and alluring, connected solidly with his in such a direct way that it made a thrill start in his gut. "I'm not lying," Sylar murmured. "I wish I could prove it to you."

"You can," Claire breathed. "Just..."

His arm around her tightened, and the hand that held her face still began to move, fingers tracing the fluttering vein down the side of her neck before coming to rest at her throat. Long, thin fingers curled around it, but applied no pressure. Claire glanced at his arm before she looked back to him. Though she couldn't die and couldn't feel pain, her breath still shallowed in alarm, though it did nothing to deter her- or him.

His pupils dilated, brown fading into black, desperate and crazed and gorgeous, and she felt his fingers twitch in reflex against her neck, felt the temptation that he felt to kill her, the urge to hurt her if she didn't cooperate.

The need to know the truth.

"Tell me," he whispered hoarsely. "Tell me that you want me to, Claire. God, please just mean it, and I will."

Claire swallowed, and Sylar's fingers twitched again in response, a soft, frustrated noise escaping from deep within his chest.

"Claire," Sylar repeated- demanded. "Tell me."

And, suddenly, she smiled, leaning forward enough so their noses touched and, when she spoke, their lips brushed together. "I don't want you to."

His eyes held hers, though she could see the anger brewing in them, his hand starting to put pressure on her neck-

And then Sylar shuddered. His eyes narrowed in confusion, before comprehension dawned on him. His hand tightened before it relaxed, and slipped from its position around her throat to the back of her neck. He jerked her forward, their mouths crushing together and lips parting and tongues meeting.

Claire moaned softly into his mouth, her hands sliding into his hair, legs moving apart so she could straddle his lap. His hips bucked upwards, and she let out another sound as she felt him, felt the proof of his arousal, of his interest and desire for her. She rolled her hips in response, denim-on-denim causing beautiful friction, excitement shooting through her gut when he growled, rolling her over onto her back.

He slid between her jean-clad legs, one hand resting on her waist where her purple t-shirt had ridden up, the other resting behind her head on her pillow. Claire tilted her head in order to kiss him better, raising her hips into his again, grinning to herself when he gasped harshly into her mouth and scraped his nails against her skin.

"Shit," she whispered into the kiss, arching both toward him and away, all at the same time. "Sylar."

"Say it again," he mumbled. "Lie to me."

And Claire stuttered out in a broken voice, "I want you to stop."

His eyes squeezed closed and a shudder wracked his whole body, transferring through her. He slipped his hand under the edge of her t-shirt, hissing, "Aah... fuck, Claire, I want you."

Claire arched up suddenly when he scraped his nails across her midriff, scrapes reddening before fading, gone by the time he'd pushed her shirt up to just below her breasts. His mouth tore away from hers, attaching to her neck and leaving dark, suckling bruises, biting down every time she clawed at his back.

"Shit, shit, shit..." Claire whispered, tossing her head back and closing her eyes. "Unh... Sylar. Shit. It feels..."

He pulled away from her with a feral grin. "Good?"

"Mmm... yeah." Her eyes opened again, feeling the bruises on her neck fade from a deep red back to golden tan.

One wide, warm hand splayed over her stomach, and Sylar pushed himself to his knees, his eyes gazing over her body. His eyes lingered where her jeans hugged low on her hips, hipbones exposed and paler than the rest of her. He brushed his knuckles over them before he leaned down, pressing his lips to the hollow just beside one, then moving his way up to her slender stomach.

He left soft, quick kisses across the canvas of her belly, making her squeak and squirm when his warm breath fell across her skin. It was only when his tongue traced the base of her ribcage that she sighed, whimpering when he blew on the skin and it immediately turned cold.

"So, I'm, uh, thinking," Claire panted as his fingers traced her sides. "That, if I'm telling the truth, then you- ahh, damnit- should, too."

"If you have questions, ask away," he replied with a smirk, nuzzling near her bellybutton before he pulled back, leaving her shirt where it was- breasts still covered and stomach exposed- and moving to her jeans. His fingers worked at the button fly, popping two of the four before she could speak again.

"Did you know, when you came here, that this was gonna happen?" Claire tensed when his hand accidentally brushed the softness of her red cotton panties, plain and simple. Innocent.

"No," Sylar admitted with a sharp laugh, moving to the third button. "Hell no. I just came to prove a point- that all people are liars. I didn't think that things would end up like this..." He hesitated, hands stilling before moving again. "Though, I'll admit, it's a nice development."

Claire gasped when his hands moved to the last button, closing her eyes tightly. "Are you doing this because I'm my father's daughter, then?"

"No," he answered. "I'm doing this because you are a beautiful, powerful girl that has no idea of her potential, and because I'm absolutely addicted to you. Like a drug, except more powerful- maybe even more so than the Hunger. The fact that you're Noah Bennet's daughter is just an added bonus. Maybe a curse, if you want to see it that way."

The last button popped open, and with it came violent butterflies in Claire's stomach. "Do you even care about me? Or is this just a game?"

Long fingers hooked in her belt loops, tugging sharply down to peel the fabric from slender legs. "I don't know if I care, Claire, but that's because I don't know how. But I know that I feel something when I'm around you- and that's something, at least."

He stopped when the pants reached her ankles, for just long enough to pull her tennis shoes and socks from her feet, kicking his own off in the process. Then, he pulled the denim from her legs and tossed them aside, pressing a gentle kiss to the sensitive curve of her calf, and allowed his hands to slide over firm muscles and soft, slender thighs.

His eyes met hers in hesitation, and after a second, she nodded just barely. His hand paused for only a moment before they brushed over the front of her panties. Claire's hips raised instinctively, and he was filled with insistent need when he felt the slight dampness there. "God, Claire," he murmured, leaning down to press their mouths together again and pulling away when he felt hands at his own shirt.

Sylar looked at her questioningly when she scowled, sitting up and pulling at his t-shirt. He suddenly understood, helping her pull it over his head and throwing it to land on the floor with her pants. Dainty hands touched every ridge of solid muscle, skimmed over the sparse hair before her hand lay flat against his chest-

Against his heart.

"It feels the same as mine," she said quietly. "Strong and steady. Quick. Nervous. But it's eternal, like mine, too." She looked to him, and for the first time, it was Claire who was vulnerable before his eyes. "When it's over, are you going to be done with me?"

He frowned, leaning in to kiss her forehead. "We don't have to if you don't-"

"I want to," Claire insisted, and he felt no trace of a lie. "I just want to know if this will be the only time."

His expression darkened at the thought. "I don't know if once will be enough. I... desire... your company. Intimately, as well as not. And if I taste something once, I almost always want it again and again..." His throat contracted and relaxed. "Claire, there's just one thing I want you to know."

"Hm?" She asked, feeling his heartbeat against her palm.

He closed his eyes. "I'm not going to change for you, Claire. I'm still going to kill... and, when the time comes, you're going to have to stop me to prove yourself to your family. In any way possible."

The thought of shoving glass into his skull again made her feel sick, just like she had that night, watching the building burn and wondering if she would someday be the only one left on the planet, forever seventeen.

"And you'll have to pretend that I'm the enemy. You'll have to hate me, but... if you can do that, and if you can pretend that's the truth every time we meet until that day, then... maybe it could work out, somehow."

"I don't know if I could ever hate you again," Claire murmured, leaning forward to nuzzle his neck, nudging her nose up under his jaw and sighing when he rested his chin atop her head. "But, if that's what you want... I'll show them exactly what they want to see."

"Good girl," Sylar replied, pulling away enough so he could bend to kiss her again. Claire hummed into his mouth, allowing him to push her onto her back once more. She lifted her arms so he could remove her shirt, crossing them over herself when he turned to toss it aside.

He frowned at her, obviously not pleased. "Claire, don't start that." He reached for her, moving the thin strap of her bra off her shoulder and brushing blonde curls from golden skin.

She pouted, turning her head away, a dark blush coloring her cheeks. "Well, it's not like I'm used to this..."

His head tilted to the side, surveying her stance before understanding kicked in. He pulled away from her, eyes wide and almost horrified. "Claire, you... you've never been with anyone like this before, have you?"

She shook her head, little more than a minute movement that was barely detectable.

"Damn it, Claire," he breathed. "You should have said something. I... I shouldn't be the person that..."

At that, she pushed herself up, reaching for him as he drew away. "Sylar, stop."

He froze. "But, Claire..."

"No." She grabbed him by the wrist, pulling him back to her with a surprising amount of strength. "This is my life, and I can make my own decisions. I want you to be the first, and I..." She paused, sighing, and tugged him close. He balanced on all fours above her, their eyes meeting uncertainly, and Claire continued. "I don't want it to be anyone else."

He sighed, lowering himself so their bodies fit together, toying with the straps of her bra. He rested his forehead against hers, rolling one of her curls around his finger. "Why not?"

She was almost positive that the breath had left her body, their chests pressed together, legs tangling and feeling her heart beat against his. "Because you know me for who I am... and because you'll always be there."

"I'm not a hero, Claire," he reminded her gently. "I probably won't be there when you need me."

"But you'll be there for forever." Claire reached up, pushing his hair back from his eyes. "And that's when I'm going to need you. Otherwise, I can take care of myself."

Sylar laughed quietly. "I suppose so."

"Now, sit up," Claire said with a sly smile, pushing lightly on his shoulders. "You're wearing far too many clothes."

He hummed his agreement, letting her roll them over so she was on top. His hands settled at her waist when she straddled his hips, watching as she bit her lip in concentration as she worked to pop open the button on his jeans.

"Stupid..." she mumbled. "Stupid thing. I can't..."

He laughed at her reaction, covering her hands with his and helping her free the stubborn piece of brass from the buttonhole. "It's alright."

"Lift your hips," Claire demanded impatiently. "And help me get these off you."

"Alright, alright," Sylar replied, smiling faintly. "Be patient."

"Well excuse me for not wanting to get caught," Claire growled. "Because Angela could show up, you know, like, any time. Or Peter. Or the Haitian. And that wouldn't exactly be a good thing."

"Don't worry about it," the man said, shifting to pull his jeans off, leaving him bare but for his boxer-briefs. "We won't get caught." He tapped his temple. "Powers, Claire. They're wonderful things."


"Hush." He grabbed her around the waist, moving her farther up the bed, despite her indignant grumblings. He kissed her quiet, twisting his fingers into her hair and holding her there until she gave in. Her body relaxed back against her pillows and her eyes cracked open, sighing when he pulled away, her foot tracing idly back and forth across his calf.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, shaking her head slightly and eyes falling closed. "I'm just scared, I guess."

"Claire, I told you that we don't have to do anything. I can wait for you for as long as it takes."

"Not that kind of scared," she sighed. "Well, maybe a little. More scared about my father finding out about... whatever this is." She chewed at her kiss-swollen lips, green eyes honestly nervous and almost... worried. "And what if something happens? Something... unexpected."

He shook his head with a slight smile, kissing her once, twice, and once more. "Don't worry so much, Claire. If something happens..." His smile faded slightly. "We'll cross that bridge if we should come to it. Okay?"

Claire swallowed, exhaling sharply and forcing a smile, leaning up to kiss him quickly before she replied, "Okay."

"Okay," he repeated, smile returning as he slipped a hand between them, fingers skimming over the front of her bra- Claire shivered at the indirect touch. "Feel good?"

"Yeah," she breathed, arching up slightly when his hand went to her back, the other slipping under her after a moment. He scowled, fingers fumbling with the clasp of her bra, and Claire grinned.

"Having some difficulty?" the blonde asked with a cocky grin.

He rolled his eyes, but he couldn't possibly be annoyed by her when she looked like that- grinning widely, cheeks flushed and hair a bit disheveled, leaning back on her elbows and clothed only in thin cotton panties and a mismatched bra, the straps falling off her shoulders. He tugged again at the offensive garment, the warmth bubbling through him making anything more than touching her insanely difficult.

"Not fun, is it?" Claire reached behind herself, unfastening the clasp and laying back as he practically ripped it from her body.

"Shut up, Claire," he growled, attaching their mouths together as he palmed her bare breast, squeezing slightly and making her arch up into him. Rough, callused fingers found the pert bud of her nipple, rolling it between his fingers.

A loud, throaty moan escaped the petite blonde, and her nails dug into his sides. Sylar winced, biting down on her lip hard enough to break the skin. However, the cut was gone before he could sooth it over with his tongue, leaving only the sharp tang of blood behind.

There was something about that violent and strangely erotic addition that finally drove him over the edge, fingers twitching out of reflex, the sides of her underwear- and a bit of skin- sliced. He pulled the scrap of fabric away, leaving her completely bare under his hungry gaze, a few sticky drops of red smudged at her hips. Short, blonde curls were her only protection now, slightly coarse when he tentatively touched them, but no less appealing, by any means.

"Claire..." Sylar breathed, one hand tracing the curves and dips of her body. "You are absolutely beautiful. Flawless. Perfect."

She shifted, both embarrassed and flattered, but she smiled and reached for him, sitting up and kissing him. Her hands pushed his hair back from his face, smoothed over his shoulders and down his chest, finally settling at his hips and toying with the waistband of his boxers, the final barrier between them. He groaned at the feeling of her soft hands against his skin, combined with his anticipation of finally, finally being with her.

He pulled back just barely, brushing his lips over the corner of her mouth, her cheeks, forehead, eyelids, and the tip of her nose, smiling slightly when Claire broke out into a fit of giggling. Then, as soon as it had come, she had stopped, her eyes meeting his uncertainly before she carefully started pushing the garment down his hips.

His hands covered hers, helping her to remove his boxers, gasping and hissing under his breath when the elastic waistband dragged against his aching erection. Claire averted her eyes, sinking her teeth into her lip and badly suppressing a violent shudder when she heard his quiet noises. Sylar, seeing her discomfort, gently pushed her hands away and completed the task himself, left completely bare and shivering in the mild air of Claire's room.

Reaching out to her, he brushed his fingertips over her collarbone, skimming over her breast and tracing the dips of her ribs, following the natural curve of her body to her hips. His thumb stroked over one of the slightly protruding bones there, humming quietly in response to her soft whimper. "Claire, look at me."

Her eyes hesitantly raised to his and she worried her lip between her teeth, stopping only when his other hand raised to rub his thumb over her mouth. His eyes darkened when her lips parted, carefully taking hold of his finger between her teeth and sucking it into her mouth.

"God, you gorgeous, gorgeous girl," he murmured, pulling his hand from her and covering her mouth with his own. Claire hardened her resolve when she felt that kiss, and slowly lowered her hand to rest against his abdomen, pulling her mouth away, looking for affirmation that she was okay, that she would be accepted.

"Claire, you don't have to-" Sylar started when he realized what she was intending, the rest of that statement cut off by his shuddering moan when her fingers brushed his straining cock. "Oh god, Claire."

Her mouth curved into a small smile, her confidence boosted by his reaction, her hand taking hold of the flushed organ and giving it a firm stroke. "'Feel good?'" she asked, grinning when she realized that she'd finally turned the tables on him.

"You have n- no idea," he breathed. "Jesus, Claire you have to stop."

Her smile fell. "Am I doing it wrong?" she asked quietly.

"No, no, no," he replied quickly. "You're doing it right, Claire. Very right. It's just the fact that it's you... you're driving me crazy. You have to stop if you want this to go any further."

"Okay," she replied, allowing him to push her hand away. He reached for her, but she grabbed his hand before it could touch her heated skin. "Don't- I don't want to wait anymore, and it won't hurt, either way."

He swallowed, his eyes locked with hers when he said, "I don't have a..."

"I don't care," Claire whispered. "Just be with me."

"Are you sure?"

Claire rolled her eyes, reaching up and linking her arms around his neck, pulling him down until their bodies were pressed flush together- stomach to stomach, chest to chest, heartbeat against pounding heartbeat. "More sure than I've ever been about anything. You're the one thing that I can have to myself... the one person who understands how I work, without fail."

He nodded in understanding, pulling back just enough to guide himself to the entrance of her body, shuddering at the feeling. "Are you ready?"

"Yes," she whispered breathlessly, lifting her hips to push him closer.

They both moaned as he pushed himself forward, slipping inside and not stopping until he was fully sheathed inside her.

Claire's chest heaved as she took in oxygen, her body by no means in pain but uncomfortable with the feeling of being stretched. She shifted her hips in an effort to find comfort, suddenly stilled when Sylar gripped her hips, hissing, "Wait a second, Claire."

"Okay," she whispered, not able to stop the trembling of her body as she slowly started to adjust to the feeling of him being within her.

"Fuck," he growled under his breath. "So tight... so hot. Feels so good."

"Good to know," the blonde breathed, resting her head back and closing her eyes.

Without warning, he began to pull back, slowly sliding out and leaving Claire feeling empty- at least until his hips snapped forward, the friction sending jolts of pleasure through her body that fizzled like lightening, a quiet cry escaping her mouth and a sharp snarl escaping his.

Claire whined softly, shifting her hips again in search of that feeling. Her skin was tingling all over, and though she'd heard the girls at all her past schools speak of sex before, she never imagined that it was like this.

"Sylar," she gasped, clinging to him when he repeated the motion, her arms linking together around his back and her nails digging into his skin. Blood welled up from the scratches, but Sylar didn't seem to mind it- in fact, the pain seemed to make the force of his hips increase.

"Move with me, Claire," the dark-haired man ordered, his hands finding their way to her hips and aiding her as she arched up into him. "Mmm, yeah, that's it."

Claire threw her head back as their rhythm grew faster, no longer entirely in control of her body and not entirely sure that he was, either. At this point, she didn't really care, as long as the intoxicating friction between them didn't stop anytime soon.

Pleasure was rolling and churning and bubbling in her stomach, slowly starting to boil over and Claire wasn't sure how long she could hold it back. "Sylar," Claire moaned, her voice cracking halfway through his name. "God, please don't stop."

"Wasn't planning on it, Babydoll," he growled, blue sparks pulsing from his hands sporadically, burning her skin and electrifying her entire body.

Claire's back arched off the bed with a hoarse shout, legs wrapping around his waist and biting down hard on his shoulder to keep herself quiet. Sylar snarled out a curse, pushing up to his knees and using them as leverage for a new angle, one that had Claire's vision bursting with colors and sounds blurring together.

And then Sylar leaned down to her, nipping at the shell of her ear before he choked out, "My name is Gabriel."

Through the haze of her mind, this sentence somehow seemed to compute, despite the impending sensory overload that was sure and soon to come. Claire's jade-green eyes opened halfway, locking with his, black and fathomless and expectant and watching her with unrestrained lust as she writhed beneath him.

"Gabriel!" Claire yelled, and the pleasure exploded outward, filling her painless body with more sensation than she had ever felt or even thought that she could feel. The colors washed over her until they melted and mixed into one, a solid white that completely took over her vision and body and left nothing behind but the man above her.

Sylar shuddered, his body tensing beyond the point of pain, leaving him a mass of sensation that was completely controlled by the blonde woman he was buried within. Claire's every touch shot feelings through him that he'd never imagined existed- the feelings that he always assumed were exaggerated by those who had ever felt affection or care or love for another.

They reached and came down from their high together- Sylar gasping for every breath and Claire completely lost, eyes open but unseeing, body shaking even still from the force of her orgasm. Her cheeks were flushed, lips swollen and parted, long, golden curls spread over her pillows, and Sylar thought that she was the single most beautiful woman he'd ever seen- intimately or otherwise.

He pushed his bangs back from his eyes, leaning down to kiss her and feeling her respond, but only barely. Her lips were a whisper against his, her fingertips touching his cheek for a moment before they fell, her head leaning back and her eyes closing, breathing slowing to a moderate pace.

He smiled to himself- she'd fallen asleep. That realization made him immeasurably proud of himself- but he still needed to take care of her. He knew for a fact that allowing himself to fall asleep now, no matter how wonderful that option sounded, would provide a potentially messy hassle later. He carefully drew away from the sleeping girl, not bothering to cover himself as he crossed to her en suite bathroom, cleaning himself off before he dampened a hand towel and returned to her side.

As he cleaned the unconscious woman off, he wondered why he even bothered- before tonight, he never saw the need to look out for anyone but himself. However, Claire...

Claire was different. She was the one victim who wasn't a victim. The one person that wasn't just another person. And before tonight, she'd hated him, despised him. But now... she'd given him everything, and asked for so little in return. It wasn't fair, really. He wanted to give it all to her, wanted to stay with her, but his dark past and dim future would only cause her trouble and pain.

It was for that reason that he had to leave.

He returned to the bathroom, placing the towel in the hamper and crossing back into her room. He sat at the edge of her bed, frowning, thoughts racing through his head.

She's glowing, he thought, cupping her cheek in his hand. She's such a beautiful girl. I don't want to leave her, but I should. But the lingering exhaustion weighed his body down, and Sylar found that he couldn't move.

He sighed, forcing himself to stand and about to leave before he felt a hand clasp around his. He turned in surprise, his eyes meeting green, and the insistent woman tugged at his hand again.

"What is it, Claire?" Sylar asked.

"Stay," she replied simply.

He frowned at her, but sat again at the edge of the bed. "...I shouldn't."

"Do it anyway." Sleepy but determined, she pulled at his hand once more. "Please."

He chewed at the inside of his cheek, contemplating, but her vulnerable and hopeful gaze won him over. He pulled the sheets aside for her to slip under, following closely to embrace her from behind. His telekinesis reached out to turn off the lights before his hands twined with hers, settling on her stomach and tracing a careful arc around her belly button with his thumb.

"Thank you," Claire whispered through the dark, leaning her head back to tuck under his chin.

"For what?" Sylar asked softly.

"For being here. For making me into who I am today." Claire paused, obviously considering something before she tilted her head back even more, green eyes looking at him upside-down, looking surprisingly feline when illuminated by the dim moonlight that streamed through her curtained windows. "For taking my ability."

"You always hated that I took it from you," he reminded her. "That I took away your pain, that I took what was yours by birth."

"Maybe," she agreed. "But, now, you can be with me. And I don't feel so alone. We can be together, if you want to be..."

"I want it, Babydoll, maybe more than anything I've ever wanted before," Sylar mumbled through the darkness, her newfound nickname escaping him before he realized, far too late for him to draw it back.

"But...?" Claire asked, a faint smile pulling at her lips at his little slip, vowing to remember the way that name rolled from his tongue for the future.

He grimaced- she could always read him so well. "But, that can't happen now. I have to leave, both to find my answers and protect you from suspicion. No one can know what happened here tonight, Claire. No one. They can't know about us- you'll have to do whatever it takes to convince them that you hate me."

"Like I said before," she replied. "I'll show them what they want to see."

He sighed, nuzzling her temple and closing his eyes and said, "Sleep, Claire. You're exhausted."

Claire laughed under her breath. "And whose fault is that?"

His lips curled in a smirk. "I suppose it would be mine..." Sylar murmured and breathed into her ear, "...but you started it."

"If you say so," she replied with a roll of her eyes, settling back into him and eyelids finally sliding closed. "But I'm glad I did."

Claire awoke when the room was faintly tinged with gray- no longer nighttime, but not early enough to be called dawn. She blinked blearily, wondering what had woken her before her eyes settled on a man that was headed toward her window.

"You weren't going to say goodbye?"

He turned with a frown, eyes softening when they landed on her. "How long have you been awake?"

"Only a few seconds," she answered. "But long enough to know what you were planning."

Sylar hesitated before he made his way to her side, footsteps silent against the carpeted floor. "I just thought it would be easier," he sighed, crouching by the side of her bed.

"Easier for you, maybe," Claire grumbled. "But it wouldn't have been easy for me, waking up alone and wondering if it was all a dream."

Sylar pushed her hair away from her eyes, leaning forward to kiss her forehead. "Better to wake and wonder than know and regret."

"I'll never regret it," Claire vowed, moving closer to the edge of the bed, her palm resting against his cheek. "What happened between us, what we did last night was beautiful, Sylar, whether or not you think so. I'll never regret it and never forget it, no matter how old I live to be."

He smiled a little, turning his face into her hand and kissing her palm. "I won't forget it, either. I just wasn't sure how you would feel about it... I'm not exactly a good man, Claire."

"So I've been told," she replied in a whisper, hand falling to rest against his neck, feeling his pulse against her fingertips. "...how do I know that this is real?"

Sylar frowned, pulling away and standing, a slight glint catching his eye. He made his way to her vanity, where several silver rings were tucked at the back. He picked up one and turned it in his hand- just a simple band, probably steel. A faint smile pulled at his lips, and Robert Bishop's ability turned the circlet to gold. Inspecting the simple band, he looked to the empty inside and frowned, finger moving minutely before he returned to her, crouching and sliding the ring onto the fourth finger of her left hand.

Claire glanced at her hand, eyes widening, before she looked back to him. "I'm not exactly sure how I should feel about this," she admitted honestly. "Or what this even means."

"Just think of it as a promise," Sylar murmured, sliding one hand into her hair and tugging her closer. Claire's eyes slipped closed just as their mouths met, kissing him slowly, leisurely, but her heart speeding all the same.

"A promise?" Claire asked, when she finally had enough room to speak.

"A promise," he affirmed. "That I'll always be thinking of you. That I'll always come back to you, even though it might take a while."

"I wish I could give you something," she sighed, sitting up and pulling her blankets around her. Sylar shook his head in exasperation, moving to her closet and pulling out a dressing robe, tossing it to her. Claire mumbled a quiet thanks and pulled it on, tying the sash around her waist and getting out of bed.

"I don't need anything from you, Claire."

"But I want to," Claire insisted, inspecting her vanity. She opened a drawer with a frown, which quickly melted into a smile as she pulled out a chain, grabbing another ring and sliding it on. She held out her hand and Sylar frowned, letting it fall into his palm.

"What is this?" he asked.

"Something to remember me by," Claire said softly. "You don't have to wear it. Just... keep it, maybe? If you want to."

"Claire, I..." The man sighed, cutting himself off, pulling the chain on over his head and fingers sliding the ring back and forth, smooth against his fingers, except for a tiny C that was pressed into the metal. "...thank you."

Claire smiled when he tucked it under his shirt, a churning starting in her stomach that made her suddenly feel very cold, her smile falling from her face. "You're leaving now, aren't you?"

"I have to. It's almost four, and I want to be out of here before anyone wakes up." He reached for her hand, using it to pull her forward and kissing her on the forehead. Claire's arms wrapped around his neck, resting her head against his shoulder and sighing heavily. His hand rubbed over her back, resting his cheek against her temple. "You're a good girl, Claire. Please don't let me have changed that."

"You didn't," she assured him. "Because you're a good man, Sylar. A bit misguided, it's true, but... underneath, you have a good heart."

"I think I may have taken away more than your pain when I took your ability," he said incredulously. "Like your sense of reason."

"Well, I think I lost that a long time ago," she teased, raising up onto her tiptoes and kissing him. "I'll miss you."

"Believe it or not, I'll miss you too," Sylar replied, removing her hands from around his neck and starting for the window.

Claire fidgeted, unsure of what to do, before she followed, spinning him before he could reach for the glass and kissing him hard. Sylar hummed under his breath, arms surrounding her and lifting her up. Claire's legs locked securely around his hips, moaning when his tongue slid into her mouth and rubbed against hers.

After a long moment, he finally pulled away from her. Claire frowned, resting her forehead against his. "I don't want you to go."

"I have to, Claire. If I stay any longer, we'll get caught, and you need to stay in your family's good graces for what's to come."

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Nothing. I just have to go, now. But I promise that I'll be back, okay? Sometime when it'll just be us. Remember what to do if we aren't?"

"Act like I hate you," Claire whispered. "Okay, I got it."


He carefully let her down, kissing her forehead and reaching for the window. He slid up the glass, thankful that there was no screen, and stepped out onto the ledge. He leaned back in for one quick kiss before he said, "See you around, Babydoll."

"Bye," Claire murmured, and with a rush of air, he was gone.

Claire closed the window with a heavy sigh, but the churning in her stomach had not yet faded. She groaned softly before she felt something raise in her throat, burning like acid.

Claire ran to the bathroom and fell to her knees, and, for the first time in her life, threw up.