Characters: Sylar, Peter, Luke and Mary Campbell, Rebel
Genre: AU, action, slash, romance, hurt/comfort
Rating: T for violence, swearing
Summary: Part two of the Rescue Me series. Sylar has saved Peter from Danko's men. Together, they go after Luke.
Disclaimer: The show Heroes and it's characters are the property of NBC. No rights infringement intended. The song Hero belongs to Chad Kroeger.
A/N: Peter does not know that Sylar is working with Rebel. Sylar has all his season 1 powers. In this AU, he also took Meredith's fire power before locking her up with Noah in Dual.
Sylar also has a power that he is only beginning to consciously realize. An ability that allows him to bring other people into his dreams. It is my interpretation of what happened in the episode Eris Quod Sum with Angela, and will be explained in detail in her part.
This part begins with a dream sequence of Peter's. Thoughts are in italics. Flashbacks are in italics and parenthesis. Musical lyrics are in italics with quotation marks. Beta by adahleida.
Do you ever get the feeling you were meant to do something extraordinary?
These powers, uncontrolled, unrestricted, I see only danger in that
Do you believe a man can fly?
People like me, we're different so we're scary
They'll know just how dangerous you are
But you wouldn't know anything about that
I coveted what you had
You're the good brother
It turned me into a monster
They're gonna come for us
The passionate one
Segregation, internment camps?
He scares the hell out of me
It's not what I woulda done
Because you're my brother Nathan
Tell me you're with me and I'll leave
How could you be my son?
Give your big brother a hug
Why'd you save me? Why'd you do it?
Come give your father a hug
What they're doing to us isn't justice
You think you're innocent?
I am better. It's not a belief it's a fact
I want them to pay
Our lives as we knew them are over
It's not ever gonna stop
We bring the fight to them
We do what it takes to survive, things we can't even imagine
It's just a scratch
They're gonna come for us
I'm the only one who can fix it
We have to find a way to defend ourselves
I'm the only one who cares whether you're alive or not, Pete
I'm done believing in you
When that day comes we have to be ready
I know you'll take care of me
This is just the beginning
Because you love me
It's not ever gonna stop
With everything we've got
When Peter woke up he actually felt rested for a change. It must be well past noon, he thought, noticing the sun shining brightly through the window's threadbare curtains. He hadn't gotten to sleep for so long in weeks. And certainly not so safely. He could feel Gabriel's back against his, warm and solid. He closed his eyes and allowed his thoughts to drift back to his dream - recurring nightmare, whatever. Interesting that there had been no Sylar in it this time. He was usually a prominent figure in Peter's dreams lately. Especially that version from the future.
Peter sighed and gently snuggled back against the larger man. Gabriel shifted and murmured but did not wake up. The trust the action displayed made Peter smile and marvel at the change occurring between them. As his introspection continued, he realized that besides exhaustion, the overwhelming melancholy he usually woke up with was absent as well. Never would he have thought that this madman's presence could be so soothing, so reassuring.
I'm beginning to see what they mean by it is better to be at the devil's right hand than in his path. But what does that make me?
(We have to do what it takes to survive, things we can't even imagine.) He had said it, and he had meant it. But he doubted that Hiro, Ando, Matt and Mohinder thought he meant something like this. Literally sleeping with the enemy, their own boogyman.
What are they gonna think? Scratch that.
Peter knew exactly what they would think. That he'd lost his mind. Cracked under the pressure. Or maybe that Sylar was controlling him. (I did not want you to die.) Using him. (I don't want to be alone.) Taking advantage of him with those dark desperate eyes.
Peter was really trying to ignore not only his tendencies, that for some reason were clamoring for attention lately, but his morning erection as well, which under the circumstances was just ridiculously inappropriate.
I wonder if I could shower before he wakes up...
Peter's self-exploration and clandestine masturbatory plans were interrupted by Sylar moving restlessly in his sleep, mumbling, then giving a short shout. Peter's debate on whether or not to wake him ended when a bolt of electricity flew by dangerously close to his face, singeing the already dodgy curtains. He touched the other man's shoulder.
"Sylar wake up. Hey, Sylar, man you're dreaming, wake up."
"Huh, what, Luke?"
"Uh, nooo, Peter here, wondering if I should be insulted, or maybe creeped out since didn't you say Luke was a teenager?"
Sylar squinted murder and mayhem in Peter's direction.
"He is seventeen. And Peter, for the record, I may be a cold-blooded killer, and Catholic, sort of, but I am not now, nor will I ever be a member of NAMBLA. Even I have lines." Sylar moved to lean against the headboard and scrubbed his face with his hands.
"Sorry. I usually try not to insult my bed mates so early in the relationship."
Sylar rolled his eyes, "Usually?" He snorted. "Whatever, listen. Luke, I was dreaming about him. He was in trouble. It was like I was here in this room, but he was in a cell somewhere else, but right here talking to me, asking for my help."
"And you think it might be real, right? Like a prophetic dream?" Like my mom's?
"No, something else. When I was in Level Five, the time you put me there, and you were being held by Arthur, and Angela was in a coma, she came to me. Angela did, in my sleep. She was just standing there in my cell, by my... slab, and we were talking, like normal. She was telling me to get up and rescue you. But she said that I was the one who brought her there. That the drugs weren't suppressing my powers all the way, that I was using them, and that I could wake myself up and escape. She said..."
"What did she say?"
"She said that I was far more powerful than I realized. That I didn't know half of what I was capable of."
Peter absorbed this for a moment. He thought back to one of his earliest powers.
"I knew a man, Charles Deveaux, that could enter other people's dreams, maybe even use them to communicate through space and time. Is it possible you could have powers that you don't know about? Did you have some kind of drunken killing spree and forget what you took?"
"Not likely." He jumped out of the bed, yanking down his pajamas to reveal that yes, they had on matching underwear. "I would never kill under the influence, even if I could get drunk."
Peter watched as Sylar pulled on his jeans. "So, we going after Luke then?"
"We?" Sylar spun around. His chin lowered and he looked up from beneath heavy brows to fix Peter with a stare that demanded an immediate and completely truthful answer.
Oh, yeah, that part was only in my head, Peter thought. And do I really need to watch him zip up his jeans? He lowered his eyes and ran his hands through his hair. Come on, focus, Pete. Time to lay the cards on the table. He stood up to face the other man, trying to ignore the fact that he was still only wearing his underwear.
"I think the only chance any of us has is if we band together. Hiding alone isn't working. It's just giving them a chance to pick us off one by one. We're stronger if we stick together, as a group, a team," he said.
"Forming a group means creating an awfully big and tempting target. It'll mean fighting back, as a group. As an army. Are you really prepared for that Peter? Are you really ready to lead an army against your own brother, and the United States military?" Sylar leaned back against a chair and looked at Peter skeptically.
"I'm the one that has to, right? Isn't he my responsibility? Contrary to popular belief, I am not, in actuality, stupid or blind to how the world works." Peter retrieved his pants from the bathroom, putting them on with angry motions.
"It doesn't matter that I never wanted this, or that a part of me still loves him. He will always be my brother. But he chose to be my enemy. Our enemy. He chose to be Arthur's son. I will do what I have to do. I'll do what I think is right. And if that means going head to head, well, I've already done that once, and I'll do it again. If that means with an army and in front the entire fucking world then so be it." Peter moved closer, meeting the other man's eyes squarely. "And if you're there to lead that army with me, then I don't see how we can fail."
Anger marred Sylar's face as he closed the gap between them, wrapping his hand around the slighter man's throat. "And why, in this world, would you want to team up with a monster like me?"
Peter raised his chin, pushing his throat defiantly into the hold. Ignoring the twinges of arousal and déjà vu brought on by Gabriel's strong grip, Peter met his gaze without an ounce of fear.
"Because I need you. WE need you. You're the strongest one of us. The smartest. The most resourceful." As the grip tightened Peter understood that the other man needed to hear a harsher truth.
"You're the deadliest of us Sylar," he whispered. "Of our collective, you are the weapon. The hunter. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's just life. Nature. Evolution." The choke hold loosened. "You are what you are, and that's all any of us can ever hope to be. To use our gifts, to do what we are able to."
Peter took advantage of Sylar's slackened grip to knock his arm completely out of the way and move even closer, raising his own hands to grasp the taller man's arms. Wanting, needing him to understand.
"But, and I cannot stress this enough, it's not because you're a killer that I want you by my side, not just because of that. It's because I can trust you. I do trust you. I know you better than you think I do. Better than you know yourself, and you are not a monster. I've seen you in the past and the future, and I've seen you in the now, and I know the man you can be. The man that you are. I know that you are MUCH more than just some cold-blooded murderer. And I KNOW that my mother was right when she said you have no idea what you can become."
Sylar refused to appear moved by Peter's impassioned speech. He took a step back out of the younger man's hold and crossed his arms in front of him. "And why would I want to partner up with you?" he asked in a low voice. "Why would I want to risk myself saving others who would happily kill me if given the chance?"
"I can't answer that. Only you can. And I'm looking forward to when you tell me why. But right now the why doesn't really matter. I know that you want more for yourself, whatever the reason. I believed you when you told me that before. And I can see the change in you already, even if you don't. Come on Gabriel," the killer's eyes narrowed at the name change, but he didn't protest it.
"You and me, let's be honest," Peter continued, "we've already killed together. " My father. "We've died together." (Save the cheerleader.) "You've already admitted you feel compelled to rescue me. You've proven that you're good at it." And at saving me from myself. "Give me the chance to return the favor. What do you say? Be my partner in all this craziness? Watch my back, and trust me to watch yours?"
"I'm not going to turn into some goody-two-shoes over night you know. Hopefully not ever. I may not be interested in hunting down other specials right now, but that does not mean I won't ever again. And I will admit I'm not sure what color hat I'm wearing these days, but some things about a person, you just can't change, Peter."
"I know. Believe me I know. All I'm asking for, right now, is that you fight with me, with us. If you tell me that I can trust you with my life, with the life of my family and my friends, then I'll believe you. I'll never doubt it."
Sylar stepped closer again until there was only a hair's breadth between them, their lips close, eyes searching, breath mingling. His voice was a whisper. "And what about you, Petrelli? You're family doesn't exactly have the best track record in the trust category. How do I know that you're not just going to use me to settle some childhood score with your big brother and then hang me out to dry the first chance you get?"
"I thought you had some kind of lie detector now?" Peter's voice was just as quiet.
"And have I lied to you yet?"
"No... but then you haven't exactly been making many promises of your own intentions now have you, only what you want mine to be."
"Fair enough." Peter put some space between them as he collected his thoughts.
"Alright then Sylar - Gabriel, I promise you that I am not going to use you or deceive you. I have no intention of betraying your trust to or for anyone. I do intend to fight next to you and protect you if need be. Yes, I want your help, and every power at your disposal, but only if and when you're willing to give them. And when we meet up with the others, if anyone says I should sell you out, stab you in the back, then I'll tell them to fuck off, even my mother and Claire. And as far as Nathan goes, the only issues I have with him are new ones, ones I hope we'll put to rest together. Satisfied?"
Sylar let his gaze drift down over Peter's face wearing its usual defiant expression: eyes wide and alive, chin raised, lips pushed together in a mulish pout. Beautiful. Sylar raised one eyebrow, his own smile wicked.
"I will be when I get some coffee. Let's get outta here." He whirled away, moving to grab a shirt from his bag.
That was in no way hot, Peter thought, shaking his head. "Hey don't we have time for showers?"
Sylar and Peter, west of Harrisburg, PA
"So where are we headed?" Peter asked once they were finally on the highway, Sylar driving their recently liberated Subaru station wagon.
"So what you're saying is that you don't trust him."
"Peter, I'm pretty sure he was playing me. ME. Hell. No. I don't trust him. But, god help me, I feel responsible for the little shit, and it's very annoying."
"Well from what you've told me, he hasn't had much in the way of positive human interaction. Maybe being forced to depend on and fight for others and being around people that he has something in common with will do him some good. War can bring out the best in some people. Maybe he just needs to grow up."
"Well maybe we'll run across someone with the power to age a person."
"Gee, we can only hope."
"Look Peter, I think this is more serious than a case of teenage angst. I'm pretty sure Luke is sociopathic."
"Well, duh. Don't take this the wrong way, but aren't you a sociopath?"
"No, Mr. Social Graces, I don't think I am. I act like one, no doubt, but I've done my reading and by definition, a sociopath wants absolutely no social ties, other than for his own amusement. Feels no need for them. Has no feeling what so ever for any other life, human or not. And, I have to admit, that, even though for the last couple of years I've been very antisocial, and at times, a complete psychopath, I am not, by definition a sociopath. I never have been. I... I loved my mother. All of them. I've felt... lots of emotions, lots of needs."
"Have you ever felt guilty?"
Sylar half smiled. "Yes Peter, I have felt guilt. After my first murder... I tried to hang myself. Did hang myself. The rope broke."
Peter didn't know what to say. They drove on in silence for a few minutes.
"Has Luke killed anyone yet?"
"Yes. I was there." The answer came after a long pause.
"How did he react?"
"Shocked. But he seemed to get over it quickly enough. It might not have been the first time though. He jokes about disabling pacemakers with his power."
"Seriously, that is fucked up! He's only seventeen!"
"I know Peter. Why the hell do you think I'm telling you this!"
"Okay, okay, settle down killer. Eyes on the road and hands at ten and two. I'm sure we can handle him."
"What did you just call me?"
"Oh, it's okay. As far as pet names go, at least it's accurate and not overly fuzzy."
"I did not just pet name you."
"No really, it's cool. Pet name me all you want. Just as long as you remember that I am not, in fact, your pet."
Peter scowled in mild confusion. "Hey, I'm not your pet either!"
"I am not your pet, Gabriel."
"Of course you're not," he said soothingly.
"And, for the record, I'm not your sidekick either."
"That's a relief," the antagonistic man was showing teeth now.
"God, you're annoying."
Sylar chuckled in response.
"So, since we're being all open and everything, why don't you tell me what happened in the future where I gave you my power?"
Peter wasn't surprised by the question, but he was reluctant to answer it.
"I guess now's as good a time as any. It was... what's the word? A dystopia. That I should have taken as a warning of more than what I did. Nathan was president. Claire was his hired gun, and I was wanted for terrorism, which I guess I was guilty of. I, I mean future-me said that we needed to go to you. He didn't get to tell me why, or where you were though. After watching Claire shoot him dead, I escaped and went to Isaac's loft. Found Mohinder hiding out there, which is a whole other story I'm gonna skip right now. He didn't want to tell me where you were, but I read his mind. Costa Verde. Bennett's house." He paused to collect his thoughts.
"Are you going to make me drag this out of you?"
"No, I just want to tell it right. It was... important to me at the time, and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be... something to you."
"Should I pull over?"
"Might not be a bad idea."
"So let me get this straight. Heh. You mistook brotherly affection for a lover's caress?"
Peter let his flushed cheeks speak for him.
"You know I always thought there was something off about your family."
"Hey! We're just really... demonstrative, okay?"
"If you say so. So who was the little boy?"
Peter turned eyes now full of guilt and regret on Sylar, hoping the other man would realize something bad was coming. Something that he was very sorry for.
"He was your son. He died. They came looking for me, Claire, her team. We fought, and... he was killed in the crossfire."
Sylar's eye lids fluttered as he looked away, breathing heavily. "What was his name?"
"God, why would I..." Sylar broke off with a short, hysterical laugh. "Was he...how old was he?"
"Not... He was too old to be... to still be..." Peter just could not bear to say it, but the older man seemed to understand what he meant.
Sylar nodded, still looking away, seeing nothing. He reached out to lay his hand on Peter's. "It wasn't your fault. I know you're probably blaming yourself but you shouldn't." He took a deep, shaky breath. "You just shouldn't."
Peter turned his hand over to intertwine their fingers, tightening the grip. "Gabriel..."
"Don't. Just..." He stroked his thumb over the back of Peter's hand, laying his head back on the rest and closing his eyes. "Can we just sit here for awhile?"
Peter didn't respond. He relaxed back into his own seat and gave Gabriel's hand a squeeze. Nothing else was said for a long time.
Sylar and Peter, I-78, Pennsylvania
Peter shifted his eyes again to the man in the passenger seat. The man that had been staring at him steadily for the last hour.
"FYI, you're starting to freak out the driver. Why are you staring at me?"
"Sorry, I've been working on the problem in your brain."
"Oh, okaaay. Got an answer yet? Preferably one that doesn't involve slicing off the top of my head and eating the goodies inside."
"Really Peter, don't you and Claire trade notes on me? And, yes, I do have a solution... but I don't think we should talk about it while you're driving."
"Not at all. But I'd still feel better if you pulled over. It can wait."
"Obviously you don't know me very well. I've never been good with delayed gratification."
"And this is supposed to surprise me how?"
"Oh my god, you're so funny I forgot to laugh."
"Peter, has anyone ever told you that you still talk like a college student?"
Oh, that's just perfect. First Claude and now him. "Two words. 'Screw' and 'you'. Now shut up while I try to merge over. We need gas anyway."
"I can fix you," Sylar said once they had parked and gotten gas and snacks.
"What do you mean?" Peter asked, throwing his empty Doritos bag into the backseat. Sylar's eyes followed the bag's journey with distaste before answering.
"Your power. Holding one at a time. I can make you like you were before, so you can hold them all again."
Peter shifted uneasily.
"And there's the problem." He took a sip of his coffee and grimaced at the taste.
"You. You are the problem. You don't trust yourself. It's like there is a wall in your mind, holding you back from keeping more than one power at a time. I could probably take down that wall without your help. But you are the one who put it up. Taking it down before you are ready could... will probably cause complications. Nuclear explosion type complications."
"Great. So what do I do?"
"Figure out why you put the wall up. What does it stand for? Find the courage to take it down by yourself. And when you are ready, when you want your true power back, I can help you access it. And then I will let you copy all of mine. Make sure you can use them all as well as I can."
"That's a pretty generous offer Gabriel."
"Not really. It's in my best interest after all."
Peter smiled, a little doubtful that the motivation was completely selfish. His thoughts turned to the wall Gabriel had talked about.
"The easy answer is that you put the block up as a reaction to the last power you took, before you lost them all to your dad. My power, the hunger, and what it drove you to do. But I don't think it's that easy, is it Peter? This stems from before that. From before you even had powers. This is left over from growing up with Arthur."
Peter's expression soured. Always his father. Did killing him even make a fucking difference? It seemed so obvious now. Author's constant derision. The scorn. His father had never seemed to have any faith in him, never thought he could amount to anything. The truth Peter could see now was that he had been naive, but not about the world, about his family. All the time Peter had thought he was such a disappointment, a failure, when really his dad had been killing him, purposefully, slowly. Trying to destroy his spirit, his will, his power.
He had been born to be Arthur's downfall, and he hadn't seen it... but Arthur had. His father had to have known all along, what he would become, like himself, like Gabriel, like Samson. Except he and Gabriel were only like their fathers in that they shared the same power. Peter was a good man. Gabriel had been, and still, somewhere, was a good man too. But their fathers... knew only taking, no giving. And they had tried to take everything they could from their sons. It really was like some kind of Greek myth. Men with the powers of gods, trying to eat their sons before they could be eaten. Peter sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"Look, I'm gonna need some time. I need to think about a lot of things. Okay?"
"Of course. I didn't expect..." Sylar laid a hand on Peter's shoulder.
"I just wanted you to be aware of what I think is going on. What I believe is still within your grasp. Remind you how powerful you are. You're supposed to be my foil in this life, Peter Petrelli. My balance. And you're falling down on the job."
Peter laughed. "Maybe you've forgotten that the last times we've fought, I've beat you down with my bare hands."
Sylar's look was intense with just a trace of humor. "No, Peter, I haven't forgotten."
"So what, you want me back to full strength so you can even the score?"
He shook his head and laughed. "Sylar, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you've been missing our fights." Peter watched as the smile stretched across the other man's face.
Sylar leaned in closer, looking the younger man up and down. "What's not to miss?" he purred.
Jesus. Is he flirting with me? Peter thought in amazement.
Sylar smirked. "Come on, its time to switch."
Peter watched in mild confusion as he got out of the car. Switch..? Switch what now? Was that flirting? Peter opened his door, pausing after he stood and considered the man walking towards him. More importantly, do I want it to be? he wondered.
Sylar and Peter, I-78, New Jersey
"You know, there's one more thing we haven't talked about yet."
"And that would be?"
"Where did you get this?" Sylar asked, looking at the drawing of himself, screaming. In rage? Sorrow?
"Matt drew it. Right after we escaped. Has it happened yet?"
"No. I don't think... Why do you have it? And since when does Parkman have Mendez' power?"
"That's a long and weird story, that actually has nothing to do with Isaac and... you know what. Long and weird, I'll tell you later. The important part is that after the plane crash we split up into three groups, Matt with Mohinder, Hiro and Ando. And me. Matt was compelled to draw these three future events, wrongs that needed to be fixed, prevented. We each picked one. I thought this was you, so I took it."
"But you didn't even know if I was still alive at that point."
Peter smiled, cutting his eyes to the side before resuming his watch for the Newark exit sign. "Of course I did."