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for The Company We Keep

8/18/2020 c36 FateDebated
I am very much undecided on this fic – there are parts of it that I find brilliant and there are parts of it that feel so alien that I don’t really know what I’m reading, but if there is one common denominator to it, it is surely never boring. And believe you me, when I say that about something that is 36 chapters long, it means A LOT.

This story is mainly character driven for the most part and I absolutely LOVE IT. To be frank, I can’t even recall any other multi-chapter that is so focused on the two main characters and their relationship, aside from this one. Yet, you manage to keep it an engaging read. It is reminiscent of a good play – a lot of things are discussed within a closed setting with static background. The drive is in the dialogue, in the perception, in the angle, not so much in plot. I think this is marvelous and indicative of a very skilled writer. To be honest, I do believe it would have been an absolute favorite of mine, had it not gone through the final part with all that kid and Peter doppelganger stuff, staying focused on Sylaire dynamic as it was for the initial half. But it is a marvelous read as is.

The writing is delicious. Although multichapters are rarely written in that particular telegram style that I love about oneshots, but this one manages to maintain the baseline pretty well. “Waterproof mascara is a blessing in an otherwise accursed existence”; “boosting his ego any higher might crack what’s left in the ozone”; “Trojan horse powered by malicious excitement”… there are many, many more pointy one-liners for me to sink my teeth into and it’s such a treat to read! And it does get better as it progresses. Not to mention that this story is one of those where I was absolutely blown away by description of “le sex”. I realize that maybe what’s in here is not qualified as smut. Maybe it’s erotica. But whatever it is, it is nothing short of grand. It has meaning, it has style. It’s not crude, but it does not shy away from explicit imagery. It strangely reminds me of the sexually charged scene in the movie Piano, where we get to see Harvey Keitel’s genitalia full screen, but it’s not porn. It’s art. I salute you for this.

The subject matter of this fic, at least the way I see it, is very interesting. It grapples with the concepts of fate, permanence, companionship, being judged by association (Company We Keep) and the concept of heroism. For Sylar, fate seems to embody a logical course of action - that is why he believes that he and Claire are destined to end up together. They’re both immortal, so it MUST be fate. Claire sees deeper into it – if she accepts that fate cannot be altered, it means that all Sylar’s actions, including despicable ones, are justified. This is a very interesting difference in depth of perception, considering the fact that Sylar is the educated one, while Claire is portrayed as rather shallow. It makes it even more curious, as towards the end of the story, it’s Claire that we see embracing her fate with open arms, at least in Micah’s eyes. But does she, really? There’s a lot to ponder there.

Companionship, respectively, is also quite important here. From what I am able to surmise, Sylar doesn’t need one, but he wants it with Claire. Claire, on the contrary, is trying somehow to distance herself from the need of companionship – she can’t seem to be able sleep on her own. It sound unhealthy, right? Too bad poor Sylar gets his hopes crushed in Claire’s quest for independence… As for being judged by the company we keep – chapter 27 (the Unfailingly Noble) is all that needs to be known. Just brilliant.

The concept of heroism in here is my absolute favorite theme. It is clear that Sylar is positioned and fleshed out as a villain, even if a retired one. He hungers, he yearns, he wants. He does not care about the general good, nor is he remorseful of his past atrocities (he does not have trouble sleeping). But what’s mouth-wateringly delicious about him is that he is not trying to make himself all encompassing. To the contrary - he is very specific and increasingly personal. He does not seek world domination – even if for the purposes of obtaining Leslie’s power he kinda pretends he does – he’s perfectly happy living in his own snowglobe, thank you very much. Joshua, on the other hand, being this “homage” to Peter that he is, gets all these illusions grandeur, believing that he can be the true hero and save the world. Quite ironically, eventually, it is Sylar that champions for life and for good – anything he does is to protect what he believes is worth protecting. No atrocities in the fic are committed just for the sake of it (even the killing spree after Claire leaves can be explained away by lashing out). Joshua, however, all righteous to the point of becoming utterly prude, somehow justifies himself all the way to practically kill an innocent baby just for an abstract notion or “ridding the world of evil”. I think this provides a lot of food for thought. It is my personal belief that people that justify violence and hostility with good intentions and morals are the worst breed of them all. I am genuinely afraid of them. This piece seems to suggest the same.

As for Sylar and Claire and their dynamic – I adore them. Sylar is so quintessentially male, like a textbook variety, it makes my heart swell. He seems to believe that Claire’s problems will be solved by a shopping spree. He wants her to wear his shirts, make her tummy swell with his baby. He wants to go out and provide for a proverbial wife and child waiting for him at home. Claire, on the other hand, is sick of this quintessential female pedestal she’s been placed on. She does not want to be daddy’s girl or pampered southern wife. She wants to be a mother and be able to look after herself. No wonder they both clash so often. But it’s sure fun to read.

Although I do not necessarily subscribe to idea of redemption, I find that Sylar’s path in here is quite believable. If I had it my way I would probably forego the whole child plot (somehow the flip side of a coin for Sylar and Claire is their supposed inability to procreate), but the idea of him breaking the pattern of his father’s legacy by finally sacrificing himself for somebody else – his own son, whom he’s known only a few hours – is poetic. That being said, I feel compelled to congratulate you on the epilogue – I am really happy you made one. I even to a certain extend agree with the jabs you make at the HEA wishers (little women, anyone?), but really, it’s great you made it. And I have a perfectly sound and explainable reason for that too – I needed the epilogue not because I need a HEA, but because I am absolutely fed up with this “do right and die” redemption storyarc – Yes, I’m looking at you, Star Wars! If we want bad guys to do good, we gotta sell ‘em.

All in all, it is a very fun story to read and I am absolutely convinced you should come back in the fandom. Maybe do a little one-shot, now and then.

Much Love.
6/18/2019 c36 starcrossedloddy
Perfect ending! For Claire and Sylar of course. Only for Claire and Sylar could an ending like that be perfect LOL great story! Thank you so much for your writing!
12/23/2018 c36 NataCara
Oh my fucking god this is one of the best fics I’ve ever read. Why of why did I not discover it sooner?
10/20/2017 c36 113Lyn Harkeran
There are no words for how amazing this story is. I started it and ended up reading it all in one sitting. The emotions, both happy and heart wrenching, were real and well written. I laughed, I cringed, I cried, and I felt each moment. This story took on a life of its own and as a result I will never forget it. Sylar's transformation was particularly interesting to see. He never stopped being himself, and he was never lovey dovey, but in the end he chose Claire and baby Noah over the powers and killing. And I absolutely loved the Gabriel/Sylar moments where they talked. It seemed like multiple personality disorder at times, but I loved that you made them separate entities. All in all, this is one of the best Heroes fanfictions I've ever read. I will be rereading it again and again. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this story with us!
7/31/2016 c36 RussetPearl
Great story. Thank you
10/7/2015 c36 Guest
Just wanted to say this was awesome and thank you for all the hard work and time you put into this!
8/19/2015 c36 19GallonsoftheStuff
The end of chapter thirty-five was sort of... agonizing in its possibilities. On the one hand, Joshua's vanishing power could have made them cease to exist, which sort of seems like a fate worse than death to me. On the other, it could have sent them somewhere, but who knows if that somewhere would have been any better than no longer existing.

All that is pretty much my way of saying that I am EXTREMELY thankful for the epilogue. Otherwise, I might have dwelled on what-could-have-been for a few days, with the thought popping up again every once in a while.

I almost thought, reading both chapter thirty-five and the beginning of thirty-six, that Sylar wouldn't find his way back to "reality" until the end of the world, a la Claire's dream earlier in the fic. While not an ideal reunion, at least that was a hopeful thought; I like the way you ended it much better. Hope and little Noah (who, for all we know, could be as immortal as his mom and dad) and Sylaire, stretching on into infinity.

It's pretty darn awesome. Thank you for writing such a wonderful fic (and thanks to the readers who lobbied for just a slice more with a HEA note).
8/1/2015 c36 Serendipity989
Last line kinda punched me in the gut before I started laughing :)
7/22/2015 c36 Guest
Okay. I no longer hate you... as much. Did not appreciate that mini heart attack.
7/22/2015 c35 Guest
I cant stop crying holy crap I can't stop crying. Why?
7/20/2015 c28 Guest
"she's lost a lot of respect for claire over the last few hours" screw you Molly! and screw you too, judgmental micah!
7/20/2015 c27 Guest
by the company she keeps. omg what a perfect line!
5/6/2015 c36 18emmaleewhittaker
Super awe
4/29/2015 c36 Nerdlee
This was agony and ecstasy. I'm glad I didn't hsve to do the waiiting, because this is divne and it would have killed me.

Mia
4/8/2015 c1 10CelestialElegy
I want there to be more on what happened. Their interactions are the best part. How does Clair react to him taking her memory of her son and what did sylar go through to get him back. Did he lose all of his powers or just the ones that were the strongest? He clearly kept his base skill so maybe it was just the ones he collected. And doors Noah have his ability the same way do they teach him control that Gabriel never had?
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