Fandom: Heroes/Fringe crossover
Characters/Pairing: Sylar, Olivia Dunham
Word Count: 1,371
Spoilers: S1 of Heroes, up to 2x02 of Fringe
Warnings: Descriptions of violence and wounds
Disclaimer: Heroes is owned by Tim Kring, NBC, et al., Fringe is owned by J.J. Abrahms and whoever else owns it. Not me, at any rate.
Notes: This was written for an idea from tiptoe39’s 4x05 Heroes Meta.
Summary: Sylar and Olivia can hear everything, including each other, no matter how far apart they are.
He could hear everything, no matter if he wanted to or not. The distant thunder of the approaching storm, the argument of the couple in the building down the block, the roaches in the walls, the mice in the cupboards. Whispers and secrets, lungs breathing and hearts beating. Wind blowing and glass breaking. The watch, ticking.
Perfect time now, he made sure of that. Perfect to the second, synchronized with all the others. He used that ticking to keep him sane, like Dale had used rap music to tune out all the extraneous sounds of the world.
It truly was like being Superman. He could practically hear people thinking, knew when their attention turned to him, hearing the muscle fibers in their necks bent his way. When the static and buzz of electronic surveillance penetrated his shop. When someone else was listening to him.
Beyond the broken music of her body, her throbbing head, shaking hands, and aching muscles around her hip.
Breathing, all around her, hers, Peter’s, Charlie’s, Walter’s, Astrid’s, Broyles’. Concern for her, shaken off. She was strong, she could handle this. Electric static and buzz, cell phones and lights. (Did she think them off and they obeyed? She prayed not. She hoped so.)
Things were different now, her world both incredibly tiny and now infinitely wide. So much more in it than she’d thought possible. New kinds of people, changed beyond the pale of everything she’d ever known. Shapeshifters, mutants, diseases and viruses-.
Sound. Bell tone. Something important she was supposed to remember.
Couldn’t now, listen again. She’d heard breathing in the walls before, surely she could hear this… Ticking. A watch? More soothing than breathing- wait, another’s lungs, another’s thoughts. (I can’t hear what people are thinking; that’s insane. Wait, not really. I’ve opened a door to another world, how can hearing thoughts be so strange? It’s not me, it’s not what I wanted to be. Walter, what did you do to me?)
Soldier. Guardian of the gate. Someone was knocking (ticking) for entrance. She could hear him out.
Someone was coming. He could hear her. Swish of hair, brush of fine fabric, creak of leather against metal. Gun. Cop? Fabric is too nice. Fed. A strange third step, out of balance. Limping with a cane.
He could hear her watch, ticking. It was out of sync with his-.
Wait, she paused outside his door. Click. Gears grinding. Click again. In sync with his now, down to the second. She could hear him. She turned towards him, fabric rustling, hand probably raised to knock on his door. Breathing was calm, heart was pounding. She wanted to appear fearless. She had courage. Did she have power?
The ticking distracted her. It was wrong, out of balance, not correct. She could hear her own watch as loudly as heels across a stone floor, a syncopated rhythm. Angrily she reset the time, not noticing her hands were still as she set it to the steady ticking on the other side of the door.
Another deep breath, feeling her hip throbbing and holding onto the cane like a weapon, she raised her hand to knock on the door.
He could hear her knocking, firm and businesslike. Every muscle in her strained to hear him, leaning towards him, wanting to hear his response. Out of duty, curiosity? No she’d heard him and come looking. Destiny. She had some kind of power, Sylar was sure of it. He opened the door
No one was there. The door opened under her hands, swinging into an empty apartment. Olivia stared, unbelieving, and the lights turned on. In the harsh glare, it was clear it was empty. She could hear the ticking so clearly… where was he?
Where was she?
Sylar stared, unbelieving, into the hallway. He could hear her ticking, everything in her straining, and he listened for her.
“Where are you?”
“Where are you?”
He jumped as the female voice echoed in his ear, distant even to him, but still clear.
“I can’t see you.”
“Who are you?”
She didn’t even hesitate. “Special Agent Olivia Dunham.”
No reaction, and he strained to hear her again. “Why can I hear you?”
“I can hear everything… especially you. Why?”
She wasn’t afraid of him. There was not the slightest tremor of fear or disgust or distain in her voice. Just determination.
“I came back from… somewhere. Another place. Another here. I hear everything now. I heard you from across town, across-.” She paused, unwilling to say what had to sound so strange. Sylar understood, and he considered himself an old pro at strange by now.
“I can figure it out.” The promise was reckless, but the challenge was irresistible. Something in her tone, her hesitant explanation, promised him a whole new world. A place clean of everything he’d done, where he could be-.
“You must be something special.” There was irony and hope in her tone, the strange combination of a cynic seeing God in action for the first time. Sylar had seen it when he’d cracked open Brian Davis’ skull. She had had a similar awakening.
“If you figure it out… be careful. I think it’s dangerous. I listen… I hear my hands shake. I nearly died. I almost… Are you a monster?” The question was abrupt, urgent, fearful with trauma.
Was it possible to hear your heart break? “I made myself. I’m Sylar, not a nightmare.”
“I hope I can believe you. Don’t break them. Here. There. I think they’re fragile, Sylar.” He could hear her shake her head, the liquid rush of tears in her eyes of confusion and pain. A brush of cloth, blotting unseen moisture from her eyes with her sleeve, and she was still again.
“I make watches. I can be careful,” he promised, hearing something catch in her breath. Responsibility. Weight. Shoulders squared under shirt and jacket to bear a burden.
“There’s a war. I think I’m supposed to stand at the gate. I have to be careful who I let in. It’s my responsibility.”
Responsibility. Evolutionary imperative. Not so righteous as others he’d heard. Chandra. Mohinder. Elle.
“You came here. You wanted to let me in.”
“You’re dangerous. You have to be, if I can hear you where you are.”
“So’re you. I know you have a gun, guardian.”
“I never told you that.” Her voice was sharp.
“I heard it, somehow.”
“Sylar,” she whispered, and he heard her muscles in her neck go slack as she let her head drop. Not in defeat, in fatigue. “I know more than I should. I know… Please be careful. I think this could kill us, I-.”
Her phone rang, loud and piercing in his ears. Click. She listened, the voice on the other end masculine and urgent.
“I have to go…” A pause, and then a hobbling three-step gait to the door. “You’re talking to an empty apartment, Olivia.” Her tone was disparaging, and Sylar heard her shake her head in disbelief.
“I’ll keep listening for you,” Sylar said impulsively. He had too much to run from and run too, too many powers to grab, too much to do, but she was almost soothing. Their conversation had been straight from the Twilight Zone, but spoke directly to him, to everything he was becoming, everything he truly wanted.
“I’ll… try to keep hearing,” she whispered, voice so low he could barely understand her. A triple-clack of her cane again, and she was gone.
I’m insane. I’m talking across dimensions and I’m insane, Olivia thought, her thoughts a shard of ice through her throbbing, aching head. New case coming in. Strange deaths she had to investigate. She could only listen on her own time.
Guardian of the gate. Why is that so familiar?
“Evolutionary imperative.” Had Sylar said that? Or had she just heard him think it? Was he like her? Had he been tested, given powers he didn’t understand? If he had, he’d taken to it better than she had.
She’d have to listen for him again, and ask him. Because so far he was the only person she’d met who knew how to hear her.