Rating: R for violence, gore, and sexual situations
Word Count: 1,052
Spoilers: Through the end of S3
Warnings: Het, angst, violence, gore, bondage, character death, mindtripping
Disclaimer: Heroes is owned by Tim Kring, NBC, et al.
Notes: Written for the Heroes Kink Meme Rides Again for the prompt: “Claire/Sylar – a countdown to her giving in and loving him.”
Summary: Claire wanted to be normal. After so much time hunting Sylar, she realizes she never will be.
For two years he’d been her boogeyman horror, a horrific monster that had succeeded in taking her power and almost succeeded in killing her family. And she’d hated him.
Sylar had told her she’d get bored trying to kill him. Claire had flatly denied it, full enough righteous anger burning in her gut to keep her hating him for a hundred years, at the very least. After everything he’d done to her and people she loved, and everything he’d done to people she didn’t even know, she couldn’t forgive him.
For a year, he remained dead, and Claire almost remembered what it was like to be normal. After all, she’d been normal for fifteen years, and for a while, she’d been able to forget him.
When he returned, she’d been more furious than frightened. The first time he crossed her path, she killed him again. It didn’t stick, but she had said she was going to do it. He refused to stay down, and she killed him three more times, each time bloodier than the last. By the fourth time she was exhausted, her arms were aching, and she was spattered with blood from head to toe. When he got up the fifth time, she was crying. Sylar looked at her curiously as he pulled himself together, and Claire just waved at him to go with a trembling hand. She didn’t call her father. She didn’t even try to stop him. She stopped hating him for almost six months.
Five years later, Sylar came to her mother’s funeral. Noah shot him through the heart over Sandra’s coffin. Sylar remained in Company custody for four months before killing his way out again. Noah had been injured in Sylar’s escape, and Claire promised she would bring Sylar in. She thought she’d never hated him more than she had that day. She had to, didn’t she? Someone had to hate him enough to bring him in.
They played cat-and-mouse for another six months. He killed her seven times, she killed him four. He captured and held her for almost a month, chained to the floor, manacled on a bed, or locked in a room. They killed each other twice over again, and the last time she revived, finding Sylar’s lips locked on hers didn’t even phase her. It just seemed it had always been like that between them, harsh sweaty contact and painful penetration, just now with flesh instead of powers, glass, or metal.
She clawed at his back, biting into his flesh, wondering how much longer she could still hate him when they were screaming out each other’s names.
Had she doomed herself to be bound to him, till death never to part them?
They hunted each other for twenty more years, each death he caused forcing Claire to take to the road again, find him, punish him. She thought he was doing it deliberately to bring her to him when he got bored. When she asked him once, he only smiled and kissed her, drawing blood. She stabbed him in the stomach purely out of spite. They didn’t separate for three days, and Sylar only used the handcuffs instead of the chains. She could have escaped, if she’d tried. Claire didn’t tell Noah about those times.
On the first anniversary of Noah Bennet’s death, when Claire was forty-seven and still looked seventeen, she knelt at her father’s grave and cried. She’d hunted Sylar for most of her life, and for most of that, she’d done it at her father’s request. Be a hero, slay the monster, save the world. She’d remembered that other quote about hunting monsters. She’d asked her father about it on his deathbed.
“I never wanted you to have to do this, Claire-bear,” he’d whispered. “I wanted things to be normal for you.”
She’d held his hand, once so strong, wasted now with injury and disease, and waited for absolution that never came. He knew. He’d always known. He couldn’t protect her, and so she’d found ways of protecting herself. Whatever it took. He understood that better than anyone, and knew the only way to deal with it was to live with it yourself. No one else could forgive you.
It had taken a year for her to figure that out. A year in which she’d stayed away from Sylar, from specials, saving nobody, killing no one. Trying to live a normal life that she’d almost forgotten. Trying to hang around with Lyle and his wife and kids, take a normal job, and forget what she’d been doing all her life.
That had almost killed her inside.
She put her hand on Noah’s tombstone, and felt strong arms circling around her.
“You said you’d hate me forever,” Sylar rumbled in her ear.
Claire put a hand backwards, sliding it through his hair, slicked back with nothing but water, heavy and thick under her touch. She knew he’d be here.
“Forever’s a long time,” she whispered. “I didn’t even make it fifty years.”
“I didn’t even make it that long,” he confessed, holding her close.
“I know you didn’t kill those last ten people,” she said.
“I haven’t killed anyone but you in five years.”
She turned in his arms to kiss him hard, not drawing blood, but still desperate and needy.
“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t kill anyone but me.”
“I don’t want to. Claire… I want-.”
She pressed her lips back to his again, not wanting to hear a declaration of feeling. He’d chained himself to her the day he’d taken her power, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. She knew it now, clear as her father’s name carved into granite, that they’d never be rid of each other.
“I know what you want,” she said. “I don’t hate you anymore.”
Didn’t hate him, but couldn’t give him anything else. Not yet.
“Do you need me to use the cuffs?” he asked, and touched his lips to her tears.
She nodded, and tightened her hand on his hair, feeling the cuff of metal click around her wrist.
Sylar bent over her, pressing her back against the gravestone, and Claire muffled her cries of desire and despair and want.
In maybe another fifty years, she thought, she’d be ready for a band of gold around her finger.