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Fic- Whatever it takes 9

 Title- Whatever it takes 9/?
Author- Faythbrady
Show/Ship- Heroes, Sylar/Claire, Peter/Emma
Disclaimer- I have magic powers. You will believe I own it all.
Summary- Sylar has plans.
A/N- I am a feedback tart. I'm also not above begging for validation...or I'll send Sylar round.


Chapter 9

Josephville was named after Samuel Sullivan's brother and the original owner of the Sullivan Brothers Carnival. The founders had wanted to remind themselves that, once upon a time, they had been led by someone who truly believed in family and protecting people like themselves. Before it had all gone so very wrong.

Lydia's daughter Amanda had taken her surrogate father's idea and made it a reality- without him around, obviously. Samuel might have had wrong intentions but his idea had been sound and they had taken that plot of desert land and turned it into a thriving community.

There was a small school for the children and a community hall and a hospital and even a small church.

As Sylar walked through the miniature town he could see children running and playing and enjoying their childhood in a way that he had never been allowed to.

His mother had never wanted her darling, precious boy to go out and play with the dirty, harsh children of the neighborhood. She had thought that they were heathens and that her angelic Gabriel needed to stay away from the godless children of their neighborhood. She also thought that he was too fragile to roughhouse with the older boys- although she was probably right in that regard. With his timid ways and his odd manner of speaking, he'd been practically a moving target for childhood bullies. Whilst he'd never learned to throw a punch or take a hit, there was no one who could hide better than Gabriel Grey; he had twisted his little body into spaces that even a child half his age shouldn't have been able to get into and all to escape a beating.

In the end he stopped trying to be a normal child and acquiesced to his mothers ideal.

His life had been mostly helping out in the shop and studying to be better, to be special.

The words made him shudder even now and he forced those memories away by concentrating on the happy smiling faces in front of him.

They looked so happy and carefree and he found himself soothed by their antics. He had never really been one for children but even he was hard pressed not to feel a sense of satisfaction that he was part of the reason that they were free to be themselves. It was, in part, due to his had work with Peter and Emma that these children had somewhere where they could use their powers without fear of being found and dissected. He was making a better world for these children.

He leaned against a small hastily built house and watched for a while as the children seemed to be playing a bastardized version of basketball.

It was some moments before he realized that he was not alone.

One small girl was sitting on the steps by his feet, hugging a tiny doll to herself and staring longingly at the older children playing.

“Hi,” he said and she looked up blinking in the light.

“Hello,” she said solemnly. “Are you a stranger?”

He froze. Normal children were taught stranger danger in school and that it was a good idea to scream if one tried to talk to you. But this was a community full of specials. They might have been taught to incinerate strangers.

“Uh...maybe? I know Amanda, Edgar and Eli and I used to live at the Carnival for a while. I'm Sylar.” He held out a hand.

The little girl stared at it. “Your life line is very long.”

He blinked and peered down at his palm. “I suppose it would be.”

“That's good,” she gave him a shy smile. “I'm Anna.”

That seemed to be permission to sit and Sylar sat himself down on the step next to her.

“Why aren't you out there playing, Anna?”

“I'm too short,” she said with a heavy sigh. “I can't reach the hoop. I haven't got 'kinesis like Olly and I can't lev'tate like Josh so I can't play. Sally says we'd only get in the way.” She gestured to the doll. “She's got a long life line too.”

“Well that's...good.” He frowned a little. “What's your power then, Anna.”

She reached over and grasped his hand in her tiny fingers. She rubbed at a smudge on his hand and tutted at the state of his hands before sniffing slightly. “You're gonna live for a long time. Longer than everyone. You weren't happy before but you will be soon. You won't be alone for much longer. I can see lots of people being very 'portant to you; some dark, some light. But this one has a line that bisects yours lots before it joins with you. Bisects means cuts across,” she said sagely, looking up at him with big doe eyes. “It's a big word but very 'portant.”

“I see,” Sylar smiled. “And this one line that bisects mine, any chance it's a girl?”

“Beats me,” Anna sighed and let go. “But there are lots of mini lines so you'll probably have kids someday. Everybody does.” She sighed again and Sylar's lips twitched at her mini-adult demeanor.

“That they do.”

They sat in companionable silence.

“That's quite a gift you have,” he said eventually. “Being able to tell people's lives from their palms like that.”

Anna shrugged. “It's boring. It's not cool like flying or anything. And it doesn't help with being short.” She frowned again and looked longingly at the game. “They let Josh play and he can't fly, not really. He only lev'tates a little bit. It's not fair.”

“No it's not.” Sylar remembered sitting at his bedroom window and watching the boys play in the street and wishing so badly that one of them would invite him to come join in.

Anna looked up at his balefully. “What can you do?”

Sylar bit his lip, a mischievous smile flitting around his lips.

“How about this-” He flicked his fingers and her little body rose into the air. Anna squeaked, dropping her doll, and looked at him in shock. He waved his hand and she went soaring above the playground. The children gasped and pointed up at her as she ducked and dived over their heads shrieking in delight.

Sylar focused hard and the ball jumped out of a short boy's hand and leaped into her fingers. Then Anna spun in a circle and headed to the posts, dropping it in from just above.

Cheers and whoops of joy followed as Sylar slowly lowered her to the ground, only for her to be swallowed up by the gang of children.

“Anna can be on our team.”

“No ours.”

“Mine.”

“She scored in our goal.”

“No way.”

Sylar leaned over and picked up the doll from where she'd dropped it and brushed off her dusty dress.

Footsteps hurried over and he looked up just as a missile wrapped itself around his legs. He looked down at Anna's beaming smile.

“You,” she cried, “are my favorite person, ever, ever, ever!”

“Glad to hear it,” he laughed, “although Sally here is a little jealous.”

“Me and Sally are gonna go play.” She took the toy off him and gave him another beaming smile before running off to join her new friends.

Sylar felt the same rush of pleasure that he got when he had helped a new person understand their ability. It was a good feeling and he luxuriated for a moment, not hearing the footsteps until they were up close.

“Never knew you were such a push-over.”

“Hello, Tracey.”

The tall blonde pushed herself away from the wall and sauntered over, her long legs making the action look graceful instead of mundane.

Sylar watched appreciatively as her tight dress swung and swayed against her curves. He might only have eyes for one woman but he could appreciate beauty as much as anyone and Tracey Strauss was very beautiful; strong, lean- if a little too skinny- and blonde. She was also vicious and quite ruthless in getting her own way.

“That was cute,” she said, humor coloring her voice. “I wonder how many people would have guessed that Sylar has a soft spot for the kids.”

He shrugged uncomfortably. “How's Edgar?”

“Fast,” Tracey gave him a purely female smile. “But I'm slowing him down some.”

“Yeah, thanks darlin',” Edgar said from behind her. “Nothing a bloke likes his mates to hear more than that he's 'fast'.”

“Sylar knows what I meant, baby,” she said, wrapping an arm around him. “I was only teasing.”

A kiss from her had his surly expression melting and Sylar watched as yet another of his friends showed himself to be truly whipped. He saw the same expression on Peter's face every single time he was with Emma.

As Tracey walked away leaving them to their boy-talk, Edgar flushed slightly.

“You know how it is, mate.”

And Sylar did. Sort of. He was well aware that if Claire showed even the slightest hint of affection towards him, he would be just as wrapped around her little finger as Edgar and Peter were.

Of course, he didn't have to tell them that. Peter and Emma were the only ones who knew his secret as far as he was aware, and he wanted to keep it that way.

“This a casual visit or business?” Edgar asked, motioning for Sylar to follow him to his own little house.

Like so many of the other buildings around here, it was built in a hurry with the hands of everyone in the town and what it lacked in skill was more than made up for in love.

Edgar had chosen his interior décor to match his own flamboyant style and the contrasting colors often gave Sylar a headache if he stayed in there too long. Magenta and citrus do not go together- especially not in a hallway.

He balked in the doorway and the two men sat outside in the sunshine.

“Pleasure this time,” Sylar answered after he'd been given a beer. “Been thinking about Peter's bachelor party.”

“Yeah?” Edgar was only half-interested. “And what have we decided for Saint Peter? Six hours at Habitat for Homes followed by an evening of self-flagellation?”

Sylar gave him a warning look and Edgar held up his hands.

“I like the bloke, you know that. Can't help it if his piousness grates a touch. That is one boy who needs to loosen his drawers before they strangle him.” He sipped his beer. “So, with you in charge I'm guessing not strippers and gin?”

“No. What do you think about going to an amusement park?”

Edgar spat out his beer. “You are taking Peter to Disneyland?” He stared incredulously at Sylar for a moment and then burst out laughing. “I know you wanted a baby brother, Sylar, but forcing him to go to Disneyland is taking this regressed childhood a bit too far. Or does Peter have a thing for Minnie Mouse?”

Sylar rolled his eyes and waited for Edgar to stop sniggering.

“We-I was thinking that maybe Peter would prefer a day of fun with friends and Emma than a night of debauchery with just us men.”

“You want to go to Disneyland. I'd rethink your choice of pronoun, boy-o.” Edgar snorted. “You want to throw him a bachelor party with his missus?”

Sylar was plagued with doubts. “You think it's a bad idea?”

“It's my idea of hell. Clean, pure, boring family entertainment. Peter will love it, mate,” Edgar finished his beer.

Sylar watched him carefully. “And you won't mind, won't bring back memories best left buried?”

“Would you care if it did?” Edgar stared back.

He thought about it. Would it bother him if Edgar and Eli and the other Carnies refused to come? Would it matter to him if they all thought it was terrible idea and never wanted to speak to him again? It was Peter's day, true. But Sylar had made friends with these people and surely part of being a good friend meant that you tried to make them as comfortable as possible. His old self wouldn't have even bothered to ask. His even older self would have craved approval at all costs. Which was he now? Did he care?

Gabriel said yes. Sylar said screw 'em.

“No,” he said after a while. “It wouldn't matter and I don't give a rats ass.”

“That's what I thought,” Edgar nodded. “We'll be safe, mate. Safe and sound. Besides, a theme park is different to a Carnival. We'll swing along just fine.”

Sylar nodded once. “It doesn't bother you?”

“What? That you don't give a rats ass?” Edgar snorted again. “Bug me more if you did. They say a leopard can't change his spots, but if he did, he'd be a zebra. You're Sylar, mate. Not a fricking Petrelli. Giving a toss is for Zebra's.”

“That's possibly the most disturbing metaphor I've ever heard.”

Edgar grinned. “I know.”

Sylar tipped his beer back and drained the can with a grimace,. He'd much prefer a fine wine, but when in Rome. He stood and incinerated the can with his powers.

“Show-off,” Edgar grumbled.

“Unlike you,” Sylar pointed out, “I'll be around long enough that Global warming will be an issue and, probably, my problem for years to come. I'm going to protect the planet since I'll be spending centuries on it. You could do the same for when you're older and grey-er.”

“Rub it in,” Edgar touched the silvery threads that had started to appear.

“Look at it this way,” Sylar said as he started to rise into the air. “The grey and black kinda makes you look like a zebra.”

He dodged out of the way as Edgar threw his can in the air.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ccmom
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
I'm undecided if having Sylar came around is a good or a bad. I'm thinking good. So pretend I didn't leave this and send him to Colorado. *grin*

I liked this chapter too. But then, I'm a fan so this really isn't a surprise. I loved the interactions with the kids and the backstory. I can't wait till they all get to Disneyland. Should be fun!
cagedbirdsings
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
I really like this story. I love the trials and tribulations of Sylar in desperate love. He's so cute and it's sad. I adore the relationship you have between Sylar and Peter. Also, love the hatter icon.
thegreyhawke
Feb. 5th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. Just wonderful all around. I heard Tracey and Edgar's voices like they were right beside me. Wonderful touch about Virginia and his childhood (I'm a real sucker for those).
Keep up the amazing work!
revdorothyl
Feb. 7th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
Sylar and little Anna? Adorable!

Sylar snarking with Edgar? Delicious!

Edgar 'getting' that new-and-improved-Sylar is still Sylar enough not to be able to pass for Peter Petrelli's self-sacrificing twin anytime soon? Priceless!

Nice work on this -- very nice indeed!
(Anonymous)
Mar. 6th, 2011 05:37 am (UTC)
Like your other reviewers I like this story a lot. The characters feel and sound real and I dig redemption storys. Nice touch having a town for the specials and their children to be themselves in, too. When I think about how season 3-4 went off the track, I wish they'd have used something like your story line instead of what they did. Nice work.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )