A Side to Choose

Nov 22, 2008 23:34

Title: A Side to Choose
Rating: PG
Summary: Arthur has sent Sylar to recruit Claire to their side. Peter’s already told her that she’s becoming a killer. Will this be how she embraces her destiny?
Spoilers: Up to and including 3x10
Disclaimer: Heroes is not owned by me, but by Tim Kring. I’m simply borrowing these characters for non-profit entertainment.
Word Count: 2914
A/N: Yes I know that it’s currently canon that Sylar and Claire are related. No I don’t care. In my world they never were and never will be. Well, outside of marriage at least :p And for my friends/fans, I sowwie it’s smut-less… I just didn’t want it to be 10 pages or more lol. Besides I still have a certain sequel to work on ;)


“Son, your second assignment for me is to find Claire and bring her to me,” Arthur stated with a hand on his son’s shoulder.

“I’ll go with you,” Elle eagerly volunteered.

“That won’t be necessary, my dear,” the older man intervened as he turned his attention towards her. “Sylar can handle this task himself, I’m sure. It isn’t as though he’s needed help with Claire in the past,” he couldn’t help but add with a slight smirk back to his son.

“Why do you need me to bring her here?”

He wasn’t sure why he felt this uncertainty . Maybe because despite how he attacked her she had managed to stop her father from killing him. Or maybe it was because of how he had been able to understand her since that day. Ever since he had touched her hand.

“Because she will be very important to us,” was all Arthur said before waving his son off in search of the former cheerleader.

Claire didn’t want to be back here. She wanted her powers fixed, she wanted to feel again, to feel human, normal. To be normal. That was all Elle had wanted too and she hadn’t seen her since.

And the first time Peter had left her side in the last day she had found herself alone with Sylar back in the place where he had first saved her.

He had known where to find her. His father seemed to know exactly where to find anyone. A power he once would have killed for. A power he would likely still be tempted to kill for if not for his newfound sense of family and belonging.

Now here she was, moments after having awakened in a vast, darkened cell. She wasn’t confined, which surprised her. Yet still it was the quick, loud echo of the turning lock at her cell door that followed that made her stand a little straighter.

The fact it was Sylar who was stepping cautiously also surprised her. Though she refused to let it show. She wouldn’t let him see her fear again. Only her seething hatred. That was all she felt he deserved.

“We need you on our side, Claire,” he stated, repeating his father’s words as he moved closer to her.

She stepped back, but demanded, “’We’ who? What side? Why am I here?! Why am I in a cell?!”

“Would you stay willingly, Claire? Would you listen to what I have to say if not confined with me in a room?”

“The last thing I want to see is you,” she spat.

“Exactly.” He didn’t know why it hurt that she wouldn’t forgive him, but he wouldn’t let that detour him from the goal his father had set for him. “We want the same things, to see this world change for the better, to not have to hide who we are or what we can do.”

“I guess that means getting away with murder for you,” she muttered..

“Why is it so hard for you to believe that’s not me anymore? After I saved you and haven’t even tried to hurt you since I came in here?”

“People like you don’t change. As it is I bet this is just another plot to try to take over the world or destroy it, only now you’re not the one who wants that victory. You’re just some second or third in command. One who’ll just be used up and thrown away like the rest of us once whomever’s pulling the strings decides they’ve gotten what they need from us.”

That hit Sylar harder than any punch she could give him. He refused to believe his father would do that to his own son. But then he knew what Arthur had done to Peter. And he knew he had done it because Peter hadn’t chosen their side. He had seen for himself that anyone who challenged Arthur, even Angela, wound up paying for it.

That was why he had saved Peter, why he had kept him from falling at a speed that would have killed him. His sense of family had struck again and Arthur knew it. Already he had gone against him in a sense and had paid for it himself in a way. If not for Claire’s power Elle would have succeeded in her attempt to kill him.

Sylar knew then Claire was right. More than that he knew he couldn’t deny it. If he spoke out against his father, if he betrayed him, if he went after him alone, he knew what would become of him. Like Arthur, he would need his own army. Of course he couldn’t know then that Claire, Peter, Nathan, Matt and Daphne had formed their own alliance.

“You know I’m right,” Claire finally breathed, amazed that her words had actually reached him. Only then did she step closer to him, unable to believe the sight of him like this. Trusting, almost. Regretful, disbelieving.

“What have I done?” he asked through a ragged breath, his eyes focused downwards almost as though he was seeing the blood of his victims at his feet.

Claire was stunned, her eyes searching his suddenly seemingly deflated appearance. All of the times she had wondered if she was broken, not she couldn’t help but wonder if he was. She could almost even swear she saw tears in his eyes when he repeated the question to himself.

“You murdered people because you wanted to be special. You wanted to be the best, to have every power there is and you didn’t care what you had to do or who you had to hurt to get what you wanted.”

“This wasn’t always me,” he told her, finally beginning to gain control of himself again.

“And yet now you’re working for someone who’s somehow worse than you. Someone who’s able to see and use you as a pawn and I’m betting that someone wouldn’t think twice of taking all that you’ve taken when they feel they’re done with you.”

Sylar closed his eyes and took a deep, but shaky breath. Again she was right and again he couldn’t deny it.

“If you go against him,” he began, struggling for the words and keeping his voice just above a whisper, “he will kill you. He’s tried to kill his own blood before, his own son and wife, nothing would stop him from killing either of us.”

“Then why not pretend to be on his side and use it against him?” she asked, following his lead of keeping her voice down.

“Like when I saved Peter from that fall out of a thirty story window?”

“That was you?!” she gasped. She was shocked. How many times already had they tried to kill each other? And still he saved him?

He nodded.

“So you’ve done it already. You say you want people to believe that you’ve changed, that you’re not a killer anymore, prove it. This could be your chance to prove it, Sylar.”

“He knows I saved Peter. If I got against him again -”

“How would he know until it’s too late if you do it right? You’ve kept to the shadows long enough, you know how to manipulate people -”

“This is different.”

“Only if you let it be. I’m not just saying this for me, think of all the others you could save like this.”

“But if he figures it out -”

“We’ll already have our own side, we’ll fight him. It wouldn’t just be you. Who do you think Peter turned to after that fall? Nathan and me and it’s not just the three of us anymore.”

“You really think that all of us, even if I joined your side and fought with the good guys that we would beat him and his own army?”

“Even if we don’t at least we would know we died fighting on the right side. Even Angela -”

He didn’t hear the rest of what she had said. Just the mention of his mother had given him pause. Arthur had told him that Angela had seen the future when he was born, that she had seen what he would become and because she was so terrified of that she had tried to drown him.

Sylar couldn’t help but wonder then if this hadn’t been part of that future. If she hadn’t seen his choosing his father’s side in this war that had caused him to do worse things than he had in the past and had attempted to kill him then because of it.

“I can’t let you go,” he finally told her. “I can’t help you escape.”

“Sylar -”

“You have to follow my lead. You’re right. This man’s own blood is meaningless to him unless they do his bidding.” He was angry now and his anger was awakening his want for blood. Only now he wasn’t out for innocents. He wanted the blood of those who were upstairs. “You have to go along with what he asks. Just don’t’ let him touch you.”

“Why not?”

“Because that’s how he stole Peter’s powers.”

She knew he was telling the truth then. That was what Peter had told her and Nathan.

“I saved you once already, Claire. Don’t think I won’t again. But if he knows he can’t trust you, if he figures this out -”

“He won’t. Even Peter things I’m becoming a killer.”

Sylar nodded, that would work in their favor. “Good. Because soon everyone will have to think it. It won’t matter what you really are so long as these people don’t know what you’re hiding. As for me -”

“Why are you doing this for me?” she interrupted.

“Because I have changed and maybe you’re the one who needs to see it most. I’ve managed to help where before I would have destroyed and if this war ends up being the end of us all I don’t want to die a killer. Maybe I won’t die a hero but I don’t want to die as what I was. Or worse.”

“Then don’t be what he wants you to be. Don’t kill because he says to, don’t sacrifice others because it makes him see you as special. You can be better than that. You can be better than him.”

“By being a hero?” he half-smiled.

“By being who you were before you were a killer. He may not have sounded like much to you but he sounded pretty special to me.”

“What would you know?” he growled. Everything she had done for him now on the brink of being shattered with that one statement.

“You really think my dad didn’t leave your file laying around once or twice?”

“Not a chance.”

She rolled her eyes. “Maybe he should’ve thought twice about keeping it locked in his desk. Anyway, the fact that you nearly did what you nearly did just so you wouldn’t hurt anyone else, the fact that you didn’t want to be a killer and had to be pushed into it in the first place, that makes you special. At least to me.”

“Even after -”

“We’ve all done things we’re not proud of,” she interrupted. It was the first time she felt that she couldn’t judge him for the things he had done. Not with what she now knew of him. And not when she thought back to how harshly she had originally judged Stephen and how her earlier pursuits had nearly resulted in her being responsible for the deaths of both of her mothers.

“You’ll have to trust me,” he stated, certain she would balk at those words. Instead her eyes remained on his as she gave a slight nod. “And there will be things you’ll have to do and go along with that you won’t like. It won’t be easy, Claire. You have to know what you’re getting into. For all we know Peter’s right and by the end of this we could be mirror images of each other again. Only not in the way we are now.”

“I’ll do what I have to to save the people that I love,” she replied sternly, wanting him to know just how serious she was.

“Even by doing this you might not be able to save them all. Could you live with yourself if you ended up losing one of those that you love while saving an enemy?”

“I guess it would depend on the enemy,” she answered as she looked up at him.

“Your father’s life for Elle’s? Peter’s life for mine?”

“I don’t want to lose them, any of them, but if I have to I don’t want it to be without one hell of a fight. And if I have to side with you to help them then I’ll do it.”

As she walked with Sylar into the main room moments later, seeing the others Arthur had assembled, she knew this wouldn’t be an easy feat.

This wasn’t her. She didn’t want this to become her. But if it meant buying her friends and family some time, if it meant the difference between their lives and their deaths, then she would force herself to stand it.

By the time Judgment Day, as some had come to think of it, had arrived Claire knew she had changed.

It was in the eye of the beholder as to if it had been for the better. Peter had made his opinions clear, feeling she had gone to the dark side. Never wasting a moment to remind her of what he had seen.

Claire refused to listen. If he had been so right then why would she still be sending messages to him, telling him what she knew to try to give her friends and family the upper hand?

He had been right about one thing though. One thing about her had changed. Walking away from this side would be more difficult for her than she had originally imagined.

Sylar had kept to his word. She had been protected from Arthur at every turn. Often by him. Part of her wondered if it wasn’t because of that day in that cell. Or if he was as determined to change as she was to not. Whatever the case, it kept her from being able to turn her back on him. From abandoning him, from betraying him, from wanting to see him destroyed.

I’ll do what I have to to save the people that I love. The words repeated in her mind. Somehow louder every time the supposed monster was near her. She had never grown used to being a damsel in distress and thoroughly loathed being a victim. Sylar never made her feel as though she were either now. Not since she had joined him. She couldn’t remember a time she hadn’t been by his side since, mostly literally. More and more she was liking the idea of it.

When the dust finally settled after the final battle and the casualties were being added up, still she found herself looking to him first. It didn’t matter that his skin was still in the process of regenerating beneath his badly burned clothes after his walk through a building that had recently exploded, still she found herself smiling.

It was what she did next though that surprised him even more than the fact she still had yet to go in search of her family who had joined the fight.

“What’s this for?” he asked as he found himself returning her tight embrace.

“For proving yourself,” she smiled against his chest. “You’re a hero whether you like it or not.”

He almost laughed. It was the relief, he convinced himself. “Why haven’t you gone in search of the others yet?” He had to ask, this wasn’t normal for her. Especially not in these circumstances. After a battle she always ran to the ones she loved.

“Because I’m glad you’re still here and it kind of scares me,” she admitted as she pulled back.


“I don’t want to be another cliché. I don’t want to be the good girl who falls for the enemy, the bad boy.”

He smiled. He understood now. It was all too clear when he thought of how close she had been staying to him these weeks, how she hadn’t complained when they had to share a room or when he wanted to talk to her alone. He couldn’t stop himself, he had to remind her of how still saw her.

“You’re not a cliché, Claire. You’re still different. You’re still special.” He had to remind her of that night. To see if she could really see him as something other than the Boogeyman.

She smiled. She would never forget that night, yet now she didn’t look back on it with fear. If it hadn’t been for that he wouldn’t have been standing there then and in that moment there was nothing she felt she needed more.

“So are you,” she breathed as she stared up at him.

It didn’t matter how many fires or bodies of their fallen enemies surrounded them. It didn’t matter how much blood had spilled in these last weeks or who had died. All that mattered to them then was that they were still alive and had the rest of time to feel what they did then.

Mutual, unconditional acceptance above all.

Well, aside from the impassioned kiss they soon found themselves swept up in despite the surprise of their surviving allies looking on.

The End


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