A/N: This started as a collection of drabbles and little scenes. It became a story by itself.

Oh God, I hurt. Sylar sank down in his chair, letting a slight groan escape his lips. I should have never let him talk me into working out. Ow. Peter had insisted on a 'balancing' workout, which meant Sylar hurt all over.

Sylar looked up when Peter's hand came down on his shoulder. The empath met his questioning gaze briefly, then stepped behind him. He began to rub, gently at first, then more firmly.

Oh? He's … oh! The massage, and the contact, felt wonderful, but what Sylar was having trouble processing was why Peter would do it at all.

"Wait!" Peter got out as Sylar's hand gripped his shoulder, wrenching Peter up so he'd be in better range for Sylar to hit him.

Sylar glared at him, still a little befuddled from head-butting the empath, even if Peter had taken the worst of it. He cocked his fist.

Peter's own fist, that he'd clenched defensively, flexed open. He held it up, empty. "My bad, okay?"

Sylar snorted. The little turd deserved more than he'd gotten so far. Peter panted up at him, blood running down his upper lip and dripping onto the floor.

"Fuck," Sylar muttered and released him.

"Pete!" Sylar had intended that sarcastic and taunting. If he was going to lose the fight, he might as well piss Peter off as much as possible. But it came out … strained and almost a plea.

The body blows stopped immediately. Peter stared at him.

This was the moment when Sylar should counter-attack. He let it pass. Sylar had never asked for quarter in his life, but Nathan had, many times, and it had been granted, many times. Sylar shoved Peter away and it was allowed – the fight was over. Sylar marveled at this new trick he'd learned: mercy.

Peter scanned the titles on Sylar's bookshelves. Sylar himself was sitting on the couch, pretending to read, watching. Peter walked past fiction, historical, science and crime; paleontology, astronomy and guidebooks to the natural world; and paused before psychology including The Art of War, The Prince, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

"I'm sorry, Peter," Sylar drawled sarcastically, "I don't have a comic book section. But at least it will be easy to find something new."

Peter gestured at the books he stood near. "I've read all of these." To Sylar's stunned silence, Peter said, "I'm a Petrelli, remember?"