Characters/Pairings: Claire, Sylar, Adam
Content Advistory: Gore, death, temporary death, strange morals
Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to Tim Kring, NBC et al.
A/N: Written for heroes_contest challenge, “Endings”
Summary: Sylar and Claire have remained together to take on the end of days.
On Ao3 or below the cut!
They keep each other together, literally. When Claire hurls herself over the barricade, she lets the bullets rip her apart, lets the soldiers cheer as she goes down under a hail of lead and fire. She’s a living crash-test dummy, a dry run for Sylar, and if the kids in the machine gun nest had learned anything about history, they would have remembered that where Claire Bennet died, Sylar was sure to follow.
She’s still putting herself together when he flies in during a reload, a half-dozen abilities blazing like wildfire as he takes out the latest batch of soldiers. He shoves a few arteries and body parts closer into alignment so she can heal faster, and she waves her thanks when her hand reattaches.
These kids are slow to learn, but their officers aren’t. The next time they come to a barricade, the soldiers are already in retreat. She’s glad to see it; she’d rather no more of them die. That’s the point of this, after all.
This isn’t about revenge; her father taught her better than that, in the decided “do what I say, not what I do” way. She’d seen for herself how well that worked out. The old advice went “when you embark upon a path of revenge, first dig two graves.” Claire had tried that. Didn’t work. She ended up having to live with herself after, no matter how much she’d wanted to lay down and rest.
Sylar had found her trying to find her off-switch, looking for a single stab that would let her rot in peace with the rest of her family, friends, and loved ones. He hadn’t tried to stop her, just told her a graphic story of lying in Pinehurst with a shard of glass in his head, and waking up as it melted in the fire, body burned to half-nothing.
“There’s enough people who want to hurt you. No need to do the job for them.”
She stabbed him then, just on principle. He smiled and took it.
That had been the end of hatred between them.
Claire landed softly and began scrambling up over the barricade. A sniper’s bullet passes through her eye, making her black out for a few minutes until she manages to pull herself back together, but by the time she’s up again, Sylar is blowing imaginary smoke off his finger and there’s a distant spot of red atop a tower the sniper was using for a nest. She smiled at him as she picked herself up, and stared towards the opposite tower, her lips still curved. There’s a glint from the scope, but no bullet follows. This man is smarter than his fellow soldier.
They could have used bombs. They could have used something horrible and destructive and guaranteed to reduce Sylar and Claire to ash; something they could be reasonably certain neither of them would survive. But they won’t do that. They tried with the others and left too many places in ruins. The world can’t accept another explosion after what happened in New York.
And this is still not about revenge. Claire knows this better than anyone. This was for her family’s love and Gretchen’s morning smile, Peter’s lopsided grin and Nathan’s attempts at doing something right, Matt’s attempts at normalcy and Mohinder’s endless quest, Micah and Molly’s determination and how they’d never let go of each other’s hands… It was for Hiro’s dying wish when he’d returned from the future, ancient and bleeding, a warning expiring on his lips as he spoke about fate.
How it was not inevitable. It just depended on how much you were willing to sacrifice. He’d given his all.
Sylar and Claire have so much more to give. Hiro had given time and space to wrench one answer from the past. Sylar and Claire have the blood of ages to show the world what’s necessary to survive.
When the sniper failed to slow them down, the squadrons and platoons retreating, dropping their guns, the way opens like a flower, right to the command post they’ve been looking for. The door was even unlocked.
“They understand now.”
The voice is unfamiliar as it drifts down the hall.
“Futility united them. Trying to destroy you saved what was left of them after the bomb. I was going to use a virus, but it all worked out in the end.”
They turn the corner to see a blonde man with blue eyes seated at a table. Sylar cocks his head and makes a negligent gesture with his hand, slicing the man’s throat. He chokes, breathing blood, and laughed as his flesh sealed again.
Both step back involuntarily as he raises his head again. “Adam Monroe. Or Takezo Kensei, if you prefer.”
Sylar shoots her a look, and Claire takes the lead.
“Hiro still admired you,” Claire says. There’s the tiniest flinch, and she smiles. She is the keeper of the past, the only thing that could ever hurt people like them.
“So he did. And you?”
“Vaguely admired the way you got everyone to kill us,” she says, still smiling.
“And then you got everyone retreating together. You two put on quite a show.”
Sylar raises his hand again, and Adam sighs, letting every year show in his eyes. He stands, shaking his head.
“You knew this was going to end the moment you jumped, Claire. You knew your father well enough for that. And Sylar, once someone outside the Company figured you out, well…”
Adam raises an eyebrow.
“We knew this had to end,” Claire says softly.
“So you walked into what could have been a trap?”
“Anyone who’s been calling the shots this long would have at least locked the door against us. Leaving it open is just suspicious,” Sylar says. He leans against the wall, hands shoved deep into the pockets of his coat, fingertips poking out through the bullet holes.
Adam smiles broadly. “And my fate?”
“Everyone I knew is dead except for him. Call me sentimental, but I wanted to remember how things were,” Claire says. “So no, we’re not going to try killing you.”
“Oh joyous day.” His tone is so dry Sylar smiled.
“But we thought you’d like to join us.”
“In getting shot at?”
“In saving what’s left. We’re history, Adam. We’re legend. We’re what they warn their children about at bedtime. They know that if they mess up, we’ll come for them.” Claire doesn’t smile, just reaches out her hand. “No more armies. No more endings. We can do that now. We can be their myths.”
Adam is silent for a long time, but all three of them have patience beyond the norm.
“To no more endings,” he says, taking her hand. Sylar’s hand descends on their joined ones, a trio of undying Musketeers, living past the end of days.