I'm working on a multi-chapter Sylaire. While this isn't required for the story, it will be mentioned, so I decided to write it out. As always, I only own the dvd's. Post-BNW.
Claire's eyes crossed as she looked down at her textbook, and she sighed, throwing her head back and rubbing her eyes. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave," she declared dramatically.
"Who's being deceived?"
She jumped in her seat, and turned to glare as a lanky, dark-clothed bogeyman brushed past her and set a travel mug in front of her, steam wafting out of the top of it. "What are you doing here?"
"Keeping an eye on you."
She snorted. "You expect me to believe that my dad let you be in charge of watching me?"
"No, but obviously he should have. The guy currently 'in charge' hasn't even noticed I'm here. He's off flirting with some cheerleader."
Claire smirked. "I was a cheerleader."
He shrugged. "That's different."
He frowned down at her textbook, reading it upside down. "European Literature?"
"Smooth," Claire scoffed, and frowned at him. "I don't think you should be here, Sylar."
"You're never going to stop calling me that, are you?"
Claire hesitated, and looked away from him, suddenly awake again. Still, to keep her hands busy she reached for the mug, sipping, then froze. "This is my mug, and my mom's homemade hot chocolate. From my apartment."
Now Sylar wouldn't meet her gaze. He had grabbed her notebook and was reading her notes.
"Sylar? Did you break into my apartment?"
"Break into is such a general phrase…"
"I have a pencil, and I will shove it in your other eye this time," she threatened.
He sighed and set her notebook back on the table. "You looked like you needed it when I checked on you earlier."
"Oh my God," she groaned, laying her head on her crossed arms. "This stalking thing is really getting old."
He blinked at her. "You haven't seen me in at least a month."
"What are you doing here, Sylar?"
"I want to make you a deal," he looked at her very seriously.
"That's a good show." At his look she shrugged. "I'm listening."
"I will leave you alone, no checking up on you, no phone calls."
"That was you?"
He ignored her outburst. "I won't bother you again until you make the first move. You just have to call me Gabriel."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "You'll leave me to study for my final in peace?"
"Deal starts at midnight. I can help you study for the rest of the day."
"I don't want your help, I want your absence."
"Be nice, cheerleader."
"You know, if I agree to this, there won't be any first move. Not on my part."
"Then, no more me, unless it's an emergency. Or a social event we're both at. Or unless it's work-related." He considered for a moment. "Maybe we should discuss the loopholes."
Whatever Claire was going to angrily reply was interrupted by a voice calling out to Claire in sudden worry. They blinked at each other, both turning as her escort bounded towards them, glaring at Sylar. "What are you doing here? You're not supposed to come near her!"
Sylar tilted his head at the boy. "What are you going to do about it? Fly me through a window?" He let electricity play across his hands.
The boy paled slightly, but held his hands up as if to fight.
"Oh, for God's sake." Claire stood suddenly, getting both males' attention. "West, he's not gonna hurt me. Sylar, down."
"I'm not a dog, Claire."
She gritted her teeth for a moment. "Please, Gabriel, play nice."
Sylar closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and smiled very slightly. "Thank you, Claire."
She rolled her eyes, but turned to her escort. "You can head home, West."
The boy gaped at her, then turned on Sylar. "You got mind-control?"
Sylar smirked, "If I had mind-control she wouldn't be telling me to get down, she'd be-" he stopped at the look on Claire's face. "Pencil?"
Claire gave him a smile that most people would run away from while screaming in fear.
"Ruin all my fun." Sylar muttered, gave West a long look, and finally turned away, obviously dismissing him. "So you're studying Walter Scott?"
"Sir Walter Scott," she corrected. "And shut up, I don't want your help." She had a silent battle of wills and looks with West until he sighed.
"I'll call you later." Then he was gone.
"He has a thing for you."
"So do you. Gives you something in common. It's also more than a little creepy."
He made a face at her, then obediently sat by and watched her study for over an hour, saying nothing to her. Finally he said simply "I'm hungry."
She rolled her shoulders before looking up at him. "Huh?"
He ignored the half-vacant expression on her face and reached for her arm. She jerked away from him before his hand could make contact. "Hey, calm down."
"Don't touch me," she hissed.
For a moment he was very still, his face blank, and then he nodded. "Right. Sorry." He shoved his hands in his pockets. "Let's get something to eat."
Claire hesitated, glanced at her watch and sighed. "Fine."
They walked together silently, more than a little space between them. They stopped at a fast food restaurant and Sylar watched the people around them with a sort of wonder as they ate.
"What is it?" When he didn't answer she frowned. "Gabriel?"
He smiled very slightly. "I watch the people around us, and I wonder how they'll be remembered. What are their legacies?"
"Their families, their futures. What they have and haven't accomplished." Claire frowned. "Sometimes people do things that are more noteworthy than others. It isn't that complicated."
"Shakespeare wrote a line that I love," he said slowly. "'What's past is prologue.' Everything that happens is someone's past somewhere. An influence on who they are, what they do."
"He was using that as an argument for fate directing him to murder someone," she said snidely, then winced, suddenly realizing that might be the exact reason that Sylar -Gabriel- liked it. She blinked after correcting herself in her head. "Shakespeare also asked 'What is a name?'"
"I don't want to be a monster, Claire. I control my hunger. As Sylar, I couldn't. Not really. Besides no one wants to be reminded of what I was every time they hear my name." He looked out over the people. "It's a struggle, don't get me wrong. You have no idea how much of one."
Claire nodded, having indeed already heard the same explanation from Peter. It meant something, coming from the bogeyman himself. "I need to finish studying."
They made their way back to the library in an only slightly uncomfortable silence. As Claire studied, Sylar would try to read over her shoulder until she finally began talking to him about which piece of lit she was reading about. They debated the point of Ivanhoe, and discussed several authors and how their experiences leaked into what they wrote and how Dickens had been reduced to Christmas cartoons. When Claire realized what time it was they were on how people could even wonder whether or not Shakespeare wrote what was credited to him.
She stared at the clock. "They'll be kicking us out soon." Had she really just spent hours alone with Sylar without violence, and with good conversation.
Sylar stood before she could, holding his hand out to help her up. She ignored it and stood, closing her notebook.
"Would you like me to walk you home, Claire?"
"You don't have to."
He shrugged. "It's not quite ten, I still have two hours until the deal kicks in."
The unspoken I want to stay as long as I can was still heard loud and clear. Claire gathered her books and shoved them in her backpack, leaving the others on the desk for the librarians to put up.
As they walked they spoke quietly about the nice weather, with Claire lamenting that she yet to see any snow. On the subway they barely spoke at all, with Sylar glaring at the one guy who stood a little too close to her even though there was plenty of room.
A block away from her apartment Sylar found his voice again. "Do you think any of those authors ever realized how long their work would last? That they'd be considered to be so amazing?"
"I wonder that about the art I see in the Met. I spend a lot of time there thinking of things like that."
They walked up to her apartment in silence. She hesitated at her door, her ingrained manners telling her to invite him in, and all of her past experience telling her to slam the door in his face. Instead of either she decided to tell him what had been on her tongue while they were eating earlier.
"I go into museums sometimes, and watch the people there." She cleared her throat, unable to believe she was telling him what sh'ed told no one else. "I can't help it. I look at the exhibits, and I look at the people. I think about the fact that in a thousand years, I will be in another museum, watching those people, and thinking of the exhibits made up of the people from today."
For a moment they were both silent, and she was careful not to look at him, but she could feel his eyes watching her.
"You're going to do fine on your exam, Claire. Flying colors, I predict."
The words cleared the air, and Claire almost smiled in relief, turning to him finally. "Good night, Gabriel."
He considered her for a moment, and she barely resisted shuddering, from his look. "Call me Sylar until you're ready."
"Really?" She was startled. "After wanting me to call you Gabriel so badly?"
There was no explanation forthcoming so she frowned. "What if I never am ready? What if I never make that first move we were talking about?"
Sylar took a deep breath and shrugged nonchalantly. "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. Tolstoy." His hand twitched as though he wanted to brush the hair from her face. "I'll stay away Claire. Except for those loopholes." He grinned at her. "Goodbye."
Claire hesitated, watching him take several steps away, and then she took a deep breath and recited. "'If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be punishment, as well as the prison.' Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment." She looked away, purposely not looking at his reaction, if he had one. "I was reading it earlier, and thought of you."
"Thank you, Claire," he said quietly.
When she looked up he was gone. "It didn't mean anything," she said loudly, unsure if he could hear still. "I still hate you."
She really kind of hoped he couldn't still hear her, because even she knew there wasn't much conviction behind that last comment.
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