Title: Mr. Gray

Chapter Five: Labeling

Couple: Sylaire (Sylar/Gabriel GrayxClaire)

Rating: Debatably K+ (emphasis on debatably)

Summary: Mr. Gray teaches Claire Bennet how to act natural.

Spoilers: Character mentions. Isaac, the best of the best. Hiro and Ando, even bestest of the best. Nothing more than what has previously been mentioned. The power Sylar has in this one is called "Imprinting" (*immediately thinks of werewolves*). It's the ability to imprint words into paper or other surfaces. I thought it was rather neat.

Disclaimer: I believe the cliché line of "I don't own them; I simply play with them" is in order. But you see, I don't believe in clichés, "I don't own them; I just make them better." Is that too much? "I don't own them; I just portray what should have happened." Yeah, that's better.

Author's Note:Wowza. Yeah that's just about it. This chapter is going to be difficult. It's the planned ending. Let's just see how the goes down … I'm pretty sure it'll be very spacy. *after writing* Jeezus (as to not offend), it's so frickin long. My chapters are never four pages long … And it does indeed get rather spacy … I apologize …

Mr. Gray

Chapter 5: Labeling

Claire had once heard the story of Isaac Mendez. He had been artist, not well known. He had his own comic, 9th Wonders!, which Claire knew helped Hiro and Ando and many others. Lyle had once had a brief love of the comic series before realizing video games and football were much more important. Her father, Noah Bennet, had kept a file on the artist, which Claire had devoured in one go. Though a drug-addict, the man certainly had an interesting power. If she were honest, Claire would admit that it was one of her favorites. She just wished she had been able to meet the man herself instead of getting the secondhand fact from Sylar.

Staring up at the brown eyes that were eyeing her intensely, Claire flipped the picture over and began again. Now she had control of what she wanted to draw. Largely, the ex-cheerleader doodled a list of random names matched with miniature pictures. It was crude, but as were all of Claire's drawings. Eventually the list consisted of half a page of blank space. A pair of horn-rimmed glasses match her father's name and a cape matched West's. It was all very strange.

Claire was confused when she glanced up. Something in her mind wiggled around, urging her. She had to look up, if it was the last thing she did. Again, for not nearly the first time since the class had started, green eyes matched brown. Sylar had set the book down, placing it on the desk, page still kept open, hands tucked into his lap under the desk. He wasn't far along in the book, Claire noticed subconsciously. Perhaps at the end of the Introduction. Sylar had been reading all class hour though. How could he have not at least been to chapter one?

Was he, by chance, distracted?

Sylar rarely—

The thought was struck short by the mild glowing on Claire's list. Golden light filtered on the page. Claire snatched paper and hid in her lap, not wanting her classmates to notice the phenomenon. For a moment, Margaret glanced over, but after an insta-smile from Claire, she giggled and turned back to her own paper. Underneath the table the paper shaded down to blue, deeper and deeper into a navy.

The blonde couldn't help but again look up. Sylar's hands were now stuffed under his arms as he feigned reading again. Claire didn't recognize this power. What was it? Did it have to do with his hands? Surely this didn't happen coincidentally? There was no way when Gabriel "Sylar" Gray was involved.

"Look." Sylar's lips barely even moved.

His name was imprinted in the paper, underneath Samuel and his pile of dirt.

He wanted to be included in Claire's list.

But, what did Claire think of Sylar?

Murderer was the first word that came to her mind.

Broken was the next.

Unloved, monster, untouchable.

Beautiful.

Claire shook her head. It would do no good to think like that. He wanted her to think that way. He was playing her, that was all. If she gave it, he'd ruin it all. Break her just as he was broken years ago.

Claire's eyes drifted again to his eyes. They weren't hungered, weren't raving to kill, and certainly weren't disgusted at her naivety and innocence. There was new light, still very much mocking and dangerous, but overcrowded with an emotion of needed forgiveness. Not for Claire, but for himself. He needed the forgiveness. He needed to know that she didn't hate him as she once had.

It had been thirty-three years since she had last laid eyes on Sylar. Back then he had been power hungry, wanting her "brains" and acting too much like a zombie for Claire's personal taste in personality choice of men. He had cooled, relaxed for a small period, yes. But he had soon regained his true killing potential, murdering Claire's "bio-mom" as he crudely named Meredith.

How could Claire possibly forgive him?

How could she possibly believe that he had changed, after all he had done to her and her family?

But … surely thirty-plus years changed a person? Claire had certainly changed, soon excepting that the only way she could stay safe was to play normal again. All she had to do was continuously correct her last name into some other "B" name. Brent, Breck, Bailey, Birch, so on and so forth. The last names even seemed like her own when she wrote "Claire B." on her worksheets.

Could Sylar have changed?

"Sylar."

Why had she said that? She hadn't meant to say that.

"Claire." He nodded at the sheet, at her.

The movie continued around them both, adding whistles and pings to their ears. None of it was heard.

Claire lifted the paper from her lap, placing it on the table. It had long since stopped glowing. She didn't look up. Her right-hand reached for the red pencil, prepared to draw exactly what she thought and remembered through her experiences with Sylar. Red. It meant many things, symbolized so much to the world.

She began, twirling the colored pencil into a half circular motion, ongoing to—

'RING!' screamed the bell, dropping the pencil from the tight grasp.

Claire gasped.

"Are you coming, sugar-babe? I'm sure Charlie is waiting for us!" Margaret chirped from Claire's side. She had begun to pack her things and had pushed her chair back under the wooden desk.

"Um, I'll be right there, all right? Let me just pack up and get some of the worksheets I'm missing." Her hand pointed to the basket where all the extra copies were kept. Margaret nodded dolefully; she knew Claire struggled to remember assignments sometimes.

"Okey dokey, artichokie! I'll be in the lunchroom! You know the table!" she called as she left the classroom.

Claire didn't even bother picking up her things or pretend to venture towards the basket. Once everyone had left the classroom, the green-eyed girl stood from her desk. Claiming the paper to her chest, the blonde traveled to the man sitting in the front. He watched her, a predatory glaze covering his eyes. With a flick of his fingers, the door slammed silently and locked with a subtle click. In some ways, people cannot change, and even Claire understood that. But at the moment, she couldn't have care less. Something about Sylar was calling to her, beckoning her towards him. She couldn't dismiss this feeling.

"Claire." It was becoming a word in its own. Beginning to mean something other than a title for a silly ex-cheerleader. It was starting to mean everything.

He reached to her list. His eyes sparked when he flipped the sheet over, staring holes into her simple doodles. It was childish of her, to write what she did. It caused a flush to creep through her system. Sylar said nothing; it spoke loudly enough.

She was so stupid.

She—She was such an idi

Sylar grabbed her, crowded her, claimed her as his own. His lips were nothing but air: cool, dry, and necessary for life. She was pressed into the desk, shifting it loudly from its position. Claire didn't mind.

The list, only ten names long, flitted to the floor. It labeled one name in particular, boldly.

Gabriel Gray : *heart*


Author's Note: I'm a little peeved. It won't allow me to make a heart. Ya know, with less than and 3? So ... just imagine it or something ... thanks ...