Boxes. So many boxes. Peter had no idea how he fit so much crap into his tiny apartment. He’d lost count of how many he’d taken up the stairs to their new place, but he knew exactly how many steps there were on the four flights to the top floor. He knew which ones squeaked too, and he found out that the old lady on the second floor thought he was cute. She’d flirted with him every time he’d gone by, which was a hell of a lot nicer than the dirty looks he got from the guy who lived under them. Peter thought it was unfair since they hadn’t even finished moving in yet.
“This is my last box,” he said with a groan as he pushed the door open with his ass. His t-shirt was clinging to his sweaty back, and he was starting to worry that he smelled like a yak. “How’s the kitchen coming?”
The door closed a little easier than he planned, and he knew downstairs would be having a fit. But Peter didn’t care. If he didn’t like it, he could move out. Might be fun to see how long it took to drive him away. “I’m starving. Want to order some delivery?”
"About damned time." Sylar smiled, running the rag over the cupboard shelves one last time before putting the dishes away. "You have way more stuff than you really need." He hadn’t really contributed much to the apartment, he didn’t have anything left. Not even his books and that hurt, he missed his bookshelves in his old apartment. Of course, Primatech had taken everything he had owned and he had no idea what had been done with it. He was going to have to start over.
"Kitchen’s mostly done. We might have to get a few more things, but that can wait. I left linens on your bed so you can make it later. The bathroom I waited with, I figured we should figure out who has what shelves in the medicine cabinet." He broke down the empty box and set it by the others near the door. Taking them down to the recycling container could wait until later.
"Food sounds good, what are you hungry for?" Sylar was actually looking forward to cooking again. He’d been living on delivery and fast food for so long, he wanted to eat a real meal but it’d have to wait until they were better settled. "I can’t believe you found this place so fast." It bothered him that Peter had insisted on paying for it all. Once he figured out what he was going to do, he was going to pay him back.
I can’t bring Nathan back, Peter, but I can sure as hell swing a sledgehammer.
“Of course we’re friends, and it’s OK that we didn’t get along. You were the bad guy, and I was the stupid hero. But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t learned to be friends. I like who you are—when you’re not growling and snarling at me—well sometimes I like that too.” I stepped closer and looped both my arms around his shoulders and stood on my toes to touch noses with him. “I want to be good friends with you, Sylar. You want to be friends with me too, right?”
I hoped he did. Last thing I wanted to do was throw his argument back in his face that he only liked me when he thought I was his brother. He didn’t need me to be a little shit. He needed to know that he mattered to me. Too someone. Anyone.
“Let’s go home. We can grab bagels or donuts on the way there. Later we can get you some more stuff too. You need some new underwear at least.” He seemed less snarly, and it was probably a miracle that he didn’t send me flying, but it gave me hope. “Want to fly or catch another cab? It’s up to you.”
"Good, because I’m not going to stop growling and snarling." I bite back the small smile that wanted to show itself to Peter. His arms go around my shoulders and I look to see if anyone’s watching. If they knew we were brothers…but we’re not, are we. It’s hard not to look cross-eyed at Peter when he’s this close and his hug feels good. "Yeah, I do." Of course I do, I’d be stupid not to want that. Problem is, I don’t know if ‘just friends’ is all I want. I’m so damned confused about how I feel. I shouldn’t feel that way, even if he’s not my brother anymore. I thought he was.
"If we can’t be brothers, I want to be friends Peter." I need him to help me not to go back to what I was before. I want to be good for him and I need to show him I’m worth the trouble. My face gets hot when he teases me about needing underwear. "I’ll need to find my own place to live too, I can’t crash with you forever." Even if I want to. There’s only one bedroom though and I don’t want to sleep on the couch for god knows how long. The couch isn’t that comfortable. "I don’t know if I’m really that hungry any more but we can get some coffee and I guess some donuts would be okay."
I look over at the street, stepping back to put some space between us. Even for a Sunday afternoon, cars are packed in stop-and-go traffic and I really don’t want to spend forever sitting in a cab. ”Why don’t we fly.” I know Peter loves doing that and it makes both of us feel more free. Turning back to him, I stare into his eyes. ”Does this mean I can beat the shit out of Nathan? He kind of deserves it.” I’d like to beat the shit out of Angela for lying to me too but I know Peter won’t go for that.
Listening to him talk about what he’s done, what his Nathan did, I’m reminded of what the son of a bitch did in mine. “He tried to do that here. He told the government about us. They started rounding us up. I don’t know what they were going to do with us, but they tortured so many.”
Tracy. I closed my eyes and let out another heavy sigh. She wasn’t my memory. She was another woman that Nathan fucked. Even Lydia wasn’t mine, and she’d been ordered to touch me by Samuel. Peter wasn’t my brother. He was Nathan’s. He hated me for taking Nathan away from him, and that would never change.
"No," I looked into my own eyes across the short distance between us. “I’d rather have power."
I was telling the truth. At least I thought I was.
"Bastard showed his true colors through the timelines it seems." Of course Nathan would do that, he was too afraid of not having any real power. I can’t help smiling big when he finally admits he wants power above all else. There’s hope for him yet. "Good, then I don’t have to kill you."
"So stop with all this bullshit." I gesture at the clocks and watches. "Be Sylar and not Gabriel. The Petrelli’s are beneath you, they have done nothing but hurt you." I watch his face. "Are you seriously going to let them turn you back into Gabriel? We’re the top of the food chain, they should be afraid of us, not us of them."
Now we just have to get out of here. “So, are you coming back with me to the real world and getting your hands bloody or are you staying here and hiding?”
"I enjoyed the hell out of it." With this other me looking at me, I didn’t feel the horror of what I’d done, I felt pride. I leaned forward, mirroring him with my elbows on my knees after blowing my nose, and I told him Peter left me alone with Nathan and what I did. Then I shared what I could remember about Peter shooting me up with the elephant tranquilizers.
"What Angela did to me was horrific. She raised the bar on being evil. My hate for her will never fade. She tried to erase me. I tried to kill her, but I couldn’t do it. Something happened." Peter happened. I couldn’t kill his mother in front of him too, but I should have. Peter will always hate me, and the love I feel for him probably isn’t even mine. If it is mine, it was cultivated out of lies.
"I want to stop the voices in my head." I chuckled and scrubbed at my face. “But that might backfire, since I’m pretty sure that you’re one of them."
I relish the story he tells me, wishing like hell I could’ve been there and felt Nathan’s blood on my own hands. I hate the bastard for what he did to me in my timeline and what they did to Gabriel here. “I killed Nathan in my timeline too, only after the bastard blamed me for blowing up New York City. He started killing specials, putting them in camps.” I stare at Gabriel. “He took away my hunting grounds.”
He still doesn’t get it though, he thinks I’m not real. I can understand that since he’s been alone for so long but the sooner he learns the truth, the better for us both. “Go ahead, stop them because that won’t stop me. I’m real and the sooner you realize that, Gabriel, the better.” I know he thinks of himself as Sylar but he’s not, not any more. Maybe if I poke the tiger enough, he’ll wake up.
"We need to figure out how to get out of here, so we can do what we’re made for. You can’t tell me that you’d rather have Peter in your life than powers, don’t lie to me or yourself."
I’m lost. I’m scared, and I’m insane. I know that. The powers made me crazy, and then they made everyone go away. I’m barely listening to him, but I can feel his rage when he snaps at me.
"Gabriel’s dead. It’s Nathan and Sylar in my head. Gabriel couldn’t fight what they did to me." I scrubbed at my face, hating that I was so weak. “I don’t know who I’m supposed to be."
He knows though. He wants me to be him. I closed my eyes, and then I told him how I killed Nathan. “I wanted to punish Peter and Angela for hurting me. She said she was my mother. I knew it was a lie, but even when we thought it was the truth, even when I saved Peter’s fucking ass, he never cared about me. It was all Nathan, Nathan, NATHAN! So I killed his precious brother.”
That’s one good thing at least, I don’t have to contend with Gabriel on top of everything else. Though, if he thinks Gabe’s dead, he’s wrong. He wouldn’t be weak like this if Gabe wasn’t in there somewhere.
I listen as he tells me his sob story and I snort. “Why the fuck you’d want anything to do with that family, I don’t understand.” I do, deep down, but I’d never give in to it. We’re so much better of without having a family tied around our neck.
"You did one good thing then. Did you enjoy it? I know I would’ve." I toss him a box of tissue, sitting down in the chair by the desk. It’s tempting to sweep the clock pieces off on to the floor but that will cause problems I don’t want to deal with.
"So now we need to reboot you. You’re so confused, so fucked up in the head, no wonder why you don’t know who you are." I lean forward, elbows on my knees. "I’ll teach you how to become yourself again."
Thinking about what they did to me made me want to puke. I dropped the hammer and collapsed onto the book strewn sofa. My head was spinning, stomach twisting.
"They killed me." My voice cracked when I said it. “I killed Nathan. They…Parkman…They forced Nathan’s memories into my body. I hid inside of Parkman. I don’t know who I am half the time."
I drew my legs up and wrapped my arms around them. I was crying, and I hated it. “I’m broken. I can’t fix myself. They broke me.”
Jesus Christ. No wonder he’s broken, god only knows what Parkman did to him, the bastard. He could barely wipe his own ass, how the hell did they think they could force Nathan’s memories into us?
He curls up, starting to cry and I try not to roll my eyes, though I fail. “Stop sniveling. You can’t fix yourself but I can fix you.” I think. There’s a lot of work to do and if he’s been brainwashed, I have my work cut out for me.
"But I’m not going to do anything if you don’t stop being Gabriel and grow a pair. I need to know what exactly they did to you so I can try and reverse it. Or at least work around it."
He’s talking to himself more than he is me, thinking out loud. I do that too, but then I’ve got no one else to talk to. I’m trying so hard to get my thoughts together, but I’m not having much luck. His rambling isn’t helping at all.
"Peter didn’t blow up. I went to stop him, but no one cared." That still pisses me off. I was the only one who could stop Peter, and the fucking idiots thought I was the bomb—assholes.
"Nathan flew him up really high." I trembled as Nathan’s memories filled my head. “I had to save Peter, save the world. I flew him up where everyone would be safe, but he was burning me alive. It hurt. He made me let go, and then I was falling."
Peter didn’t blow up. Fuck, that changes so much and I don’t know if I can even fix it now. Well, if I can’t change that, at least I can change Sylar and put him back where he belongs. He keeps going and I narrow my eyes at him. He’s talking like he was Nathan.
"What the fuck? You didn’t save Peter, you said Nathan did. How did you fly him up and why would you let him go?" None of this is making sense and I lean against the wall. "How badly are you broken?"
I can see that the gears in his head aren’t right, that they’re off and we’re not getting out of here until I get them back in place. “Just what did they do to you?”