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Fic- Whatever it takes 7

Title- Whatever it takes 7/?
Author- Faythbrady
Show/Ship- Heroes, Sylar/Claire, Peter/Emma
Disclaimer- I have magic powers. You will believe I own it all.
Summary- Claire suddenly realizes who she was laughing with.
 


Chapter

Claire's smile faded as the words came out more harshly than she'd intended. The look on his face showed that he hadn't meant to bring up bad memories but he had. Memories of everyone saying that they knew her; that they knew what was best. Memories of everyone telling her who she should be and not who she was, assuming that they knew who Claire Bennett really was.

But they didn't. None of them did.

Except maybe Sylar.

He knew her secrets; he'd played at being Gretchen for long enough to find out some of her true feelings- things she'd never told anyone. He'd known of her foray into lesbianism and what a disaster that had been. He knew of her dark moments, her weak moments, those precious moments when she'd gone as far as she could go and was within inches of giving in. He knew that she held darkness inside and what she was capable of probably better than anyone. He knew her because he knew himself- the longing to be acknowledged 'special' even as they wished for a normal life. The feelings of abandonment and wishing to know who your parents were. The loneliness of potential immortality.

He knew it all and if he were anyone else that would be enough for them to be friends.

But Sylar was that man.

The man who tied her down and messed with her head and killed her family and did so many things that she couldn't even begin to count the therapy she'd need to deal with them. And yet, for a moment she'd forgotten all of that.

She'd been actually having fun with Sylar. He had a sense of humor that was bordering on the surreal; like hers. He wasn't exactly hard to look at and that shy grin he gave was bordering on cute. She'd forgotten that he was a killer and had just focused on the man. The man who wanted to give his best friend the party he'd dreamed of.

For a moment Sylar had been normal. Just a guy. A nice guy.

She'd liked him.

Actually liked him.

And what did that say about him? About her?

For so long Claire had been focused on ignoring him, she had put him firmly in the category of 'evil: avoid' and had left him there in that box to rot, despite what Peter and Emma and everyone had told her. But what had he done that her father hadn't?

He'd killed people for their powers. Noah had killed people because of their powers He had taken off the top of their heads and messed with their brains. Daddy dearest had taken their freedom and messed with their memories.. Sylar had killed Nathan and Meredith. Noah had threatened Gretchen and almost destroyed Sandra by taking her memories. Dad had lied to her every day for most of her life. Sylar had never lied to her- ever.

Yet Sylar was branded evil and she was slowly forgiving her father, just because he was her father. She'd forgiven Mohinder even though he'd shot and killed her dad, just because her dad came back to life. She'd forgiven Peter even though he'd shot and killed Nathan in the future. She'd even forgiven Doyle for making her into a puppet.

Why was Sylar any different?

She looked across the table to where Sylar sat, dejected and despondent at her snappish behavior and wondered when she'd become such a hypocrite.

Maybe it was time to start rebuilding those bridges he'd talked about.

She took a deep breath and laid the first stone. “Sorry. Sore subject. I got fed up of everyone saying 'I know you, Claire, you won't do this.' It gets kinda grating when everyone thinks they know all about you. A girl likes to have some mystery, ya know.”

He just blinked at her.

“Hello?”

“Did you just... apologize... to me?”

She felt a smile coming at the sheer incredulity on his voice. “Yeah, I guess I did.”

He shook his head in disbelief. “For what I put you through, yelling is the least of what I deserve.”

“Urgh!” she rolled her eyes. “No more self-recriminations, okay? I was actually having a blast with 'funny' Sylar.”

His jaw actually dropped. “Wha-?”

“You know you're actually not that bad when you drop the chip on your shoulder... and of course you're not licking brain matter.”

“I never- eww, Claire, that is disgusting.” But his words were more full of wonder than disgust and Claire felt better than she had in a long time. It was good to let go of hate and prejudices and just be herself.

“Leaving aside homicidal and culinary fetishes for a moment, we should probably get back to Peter's party.”

He nodded once but couldn't seem to stop staring at her in disbelief and delight.

“Poker!” she exclaimed and he jumped.

“What?”

“You could have a big poker night, invite all the guys and do a tournament.”

Sylar shook his head. “Peter has an awful poker face, he can't lie... and Parkman can read minds- it wouldn't exactly be a fair game. Then there's the fact that Ando always makes Hiro cheat at cards by freezing time and checking out the other players cards.”

Claire's jaw dropped. “I knew it!”

He grinned at her indignation. “How much did you lose?”

“Couple weeks laundry. I had to take my stuff home to mom.” She frowned heavily. “I'm so gonna get him back, that stinking cheat.”

Sylar leaned forward, resting his forearms on the table. “It took me a while before I cottoned on to it too.”

She smiled. This was nice. She was having a conversation with him. She could do this, it wasn't so hard as long as she didn't over think it.

She wracked her brain to think of other things.

“How about camping? The great outdoors. You guys could set up somewhere and have a couple of days roughing it. Manly bonding experience.”

Sylar considered that for a moment. “It's a possibility.”

“Beach, mountains or forest. I mean with you guys along you could do one of each. Go hiking and other awesome camping stuff.”

“Like what?”

The curiosity in his voice made Claire frown. “Haven't you ever been camping before?”

“No.”

She gaped. “Not ever?”

Sylar sat back and folded his arms over his chest. “My mother didn't like the outdoors. We never really went on vacation.”

Claire's eyes softened. “That sucks, some of my best memories were going camping with my dad. Him teaching us how to set snares and fish and put up a tent.”

“Wouldn't know how to do that,” Sylar admitted. “I could probably learn for Peter,” he frowned suddenly. “I don't know if Peter's ever been camping. I can't imagine Angela being one for roughing it.”

“Well, Edgar and Eli would know- I think,” Claire winced at the thought of twelve men not knowing how to build a tent. “Okay, maybe we put that one on the back-burner for a moment as a possibility. What else does Peter like?”

“Emma.” Sylar groaned and rubbed his face. “This is impossible.”

Claire cocked her head, deep in thought.

“What?”

“I had this one friend in college who was getting married and he said that he didn't want the usual bachelor stuff, what he wanted was to go paint-balling... with his fiancee. Why not surprise Peter- and Emma by combining bachelor and bachelorette parties?”

A slow smile made its way across his face. “I like that... I think Peter would like that.”

Claire bit her lip. “Just one problem.”

“What?”

“Well, what I'd got planned for Emma wouldn't work for you guys.”

“Why not?” he paled. “It's not a spa thing or manicures is it?”

Then Claire did something that blew both their minds.

Without thinking she reached across the table and grabbed his hand, looking at his short smart nails. “Huh, like you couldn't do with having a full mani and pedi yourself mister, although your hands are quite soft for a--”

She looked up into his eyes and her breath caught in her throat. She'd pulled him across the table in her move and he was close- much closer than he'd ever been to her without one of his 'plans' to screw her up or screw her over. He was so close that she could see the green flecks in his eyes and the emotion that swelled there.

She dropped his hand and sat back quickly. “Sorry.”

He shook his head, his mouth opening and closing.

Claire took a deep breath. And then other, feeling like he'd just zapped her with a thousand volts.

That was unexpected. She'd touched him before to calm him down and she'd attributed the nerves as a residual effect of fear. She was scared of Sylar. But this time fear had nothing to do with it. She was smiling, she was having fun and it had been natural to touch him.
That spark, that emotion in his eyes- that wasn't fear, it wasn't even electricity- at least not the special abilities type. That had been good old fashioned lust and that was just wrong.

It was only moments ago that she'd decided to try talking to him and treating him like a man.

How could she go from that to that in minutes? It wasn't possible. Okay, so she'd always thought that Sylar was attractive in a scary psycho way; but there was no way that she would ever have feelings like that for him. No way at all. Ever.

That being the case, Claire decided to do what she did best.

Ignore it.

“So I'd booked for me and Emma and a couple of us girls to go an amusement park. Emma told me that she'd loved the lights and Sullivan's Carnival and had always wanted to do the whole wild rides deal,” she babbled, avoiding his eyes. “I was gonna take her to that huge theme park over by the Lake. But that wouldn't work for you guys.”

“W-why not?” he asked hoarsely.

Claire gathered her courage and looked up, hiding her shaking hands under the table. “Please, Sylar. You and Peter can fly- what's the thrill of a roller-coaster when you can loop the loop around an airplane? What's the point of a Ferris wheel when you can land on top of the Hollywood sign? Matt would read the mind of the 'guess how many' dude, what fun is that? Mohinder has super-strength so why would he want to knock some hoops off a duck to win a stuffed toy? Plus Edgar and Eli worked in a carnival, it's not like they'd enjoy it.”

“I think you're wrong,” he said softly. “I think Peter would love the Ferris wheel if he got to sit with Emma at the top. I think Matt would like to play the guess my age game if he could win a toy for Matty and Mohinder might like to show off for Mira. A fair would be a wonderful idea, it all depends on the company. Who you're holding onto when you go into the haunted house, who you're screaming next to on the roller-coaster.” His voice was low and thrummed through her. “It's the company that makes the date.”

She had a feeling he wasn't just talking about Peter and Emma.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
spaceanjl
Jan. 9th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
*grins*

I love the shifting morality in this, where there has to be the sudden realisation that the rules ARE a bit different for these folks. And that little twist on what their 'normal' is. Plus, yeah, a bunch of superpowered guys still being utterly useless at putting up a tent amuses me.

*brain-fart* Sylar, roasting marshmallows over a camp-fire, and singing 'row your boat'? Meta xover moment...
gerriv
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Good for you Clair, finally seeing the man instead of the past actions. Nobody is totally innocent here. Nice chapter!
thegreyhawke
Jan. 9th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh my....
Intense-ness.
So many good ideas in there for the party, but Sy getting a manicure takes the cake. You know he'd suffer through it for Claire.
Finally, Claire, take notice of the man, sheesh.
firestonedust
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
G-g-g-good!
As usual, I love everything you write. Each time I read a new chapter, I get a double dose of happiness--one shot from your awesome story and one shot from you Doctor Who icons.

Anyway, I am sooo pleased by what is happening and what seems to be developing in this tale. I cannot wait for more.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )