Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes or Yu-Gi-Oh! That's the last time you'll see this for the duration of the story, so hopefully you were paying attention.

While Noah was disoriented, Sylar and Bakura took off.

At first, Sylar assumed they were going their separate ways, which he would have been completely happy with; he was curious about that power, part of him wanted it, but to be honest, there was something off about the kid who wielded it. He wasn't afraid of him, exactly, not outside in the daylight; but he was wary.

But then Bakura took two steps, glanced back, and jerked his head, a clear sign of "let's go." Curious about what the kid wanted, Sylar followed. As they passed the body of the dead woman, Bakura flicked two fingers absently, and it disappeared, swallowed by a single shadow. Ryou didn't comment; he knew it was force of habit, from Bakura's darker days, when "paying rent" was stealing and killing bullies.

Sylar, however...

"Why did you do that?" he asked quietly as they stepped back out onto the sidewalk.

Bakura shrugged. "Why not?"

/I don't think he's used to people helping him very much,/ Ryou observed.


/Why're you so snappy today? I'm just observing! Isn't that what you wanted me to do, pay closer attention to things, stop taking them for granted?/



Bakura huffed and glanced around, walking down the street. "Any good coffee shops around here?" he asked their new companion. /We were just followed for three blocks by someone, Ryou, so forgive me if I'm a little short tempered!/

"There's a Starbucks about two blocks up." Sylar kept his face blank, matching the kid's pace casually, watching his face alternate from alert and introspective. If he had to guess, Sylar would say the kid was deep in thought, or maybe-

-maybe having a mental conversation.


/Do we have the money for a coffee, Kura?/

/No, but we will./

/Knew it couldn't last forever./ Ryou sounded strangely cheerful. Bakura gave him the mental equivalent of a raised eyebrow. /Sorry, after that whole-/ Ryou sounded almost like he would be waving his hand./-thing, I'm kind of happy about something being normal. Even if I don't really agree with it. Is that weird?/

/Only for you./

/Gee, thanks./ Ryou's voice dripped with sarcasm.

/It was a compliment./

/I'm sure./ Ryou sounded appropriately suspicious; Bakura never gave compliments.

"Who're you talking to?"

Bakura glanced at him, clearly surprised; it wasn't often that anyone noticed his mental conversations with Ryou, and it had always been a shadow wielder before. But he didn't stop walking, still intent on finding that Starbucks.

"A friend of mine." He scanned the streets-there. Someone was walking towards them, face buried in a newspaper, glancing up occasionally to keep from stepping into the street. A man, loose trench coat, wallet in the front pocket...perfect.

"Is he nearby?" Sylar took a look at the guy walking towards them, wondering what he had done to catch this kid's attention, and ultimately decided to ignore him. Bakura was every bit as wary of people as Sylar had been once, when he was a killer; it was a natural reaction to watch people.

Although it sharpened his curiosity even further that this seemed so normal to him.

"You could say that." Bakura couldn't keep the smirk off his face. Yeah, you could say Ryou was nearby, alright-right inside his head, actually! He stepped casually to his left, lining himself up so he could brush against the guy.

When he did, he lifted the wallet without the guy even noticing it was gone. A perfunctory "sorry" left his mouth before he could stop it, completely unnecessary, but another habit that usually kept people from getting mad at the "clumsy kid" who knocked into them-and kept them from noticing anything amiss.

Sylar watched, eyes just a little wide, as Bakura pulled the bills out and tossed the square of leather into the next alley they passed. He swore another shadow swallowed it. Damn, but that kid had guts; he would never have pulled a stunt like that at his age.

"Who was that man?" Bakura asked abruptly, shaking Sylar from his thoughts.

"Noah Bennet." No sense in lying about it.

"You know him?"

"You could say that," Sylar said easily, grinning as he turned his new companion's words back on himself. Bakura's lips quirked up.

/There's the Starbucks. You think this guy has answers for us?/

/He knew who was following us, Ryou. He has to know something. We just need to find out how much-/


Bakura looked up sharply, eyes widening in surprise as he saw who was walking down the street.

/Is that-?/


A/N: I know it's short, but I wanted to update and I really wanted to work Malik in, and this seemed like the perfect place to stop for the next chapter. Don't worry, I'm working on the next one as you read this! I won't update until at least tomorrow, though, to give everyone a chance to read this.

Thanks everyone, brownies to you if you read and review!