Title: sick in her skin
Pairing: Sylar/Claire
Rating: PG-13
Song Title Prompt: Hunter Gets Captured by the Game
Beta: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You cheapvalentine for convincing me not to scrap this entirely. You're the best!
Summary: He can't be her hero. She doesn't believe in them anymore.
Author's Notes: This is a very experimental piece as it is in no way chronological. I'd love to know what you think :)

(beginning)

The cement is stained, cracked in fissures he's been memorizing for months. There's not much to do when she doesn't come calling. He's waiting for the day the sky opens up, washing all the filth, and concrete, and him away. If only he was so lucky.

But this is Texas and that kind of thing only happens in stories religious mothers tell their forsaken sons.

So he just keeps waiting.

But not for her.

(forward)

He presses kisses against the side of her neck. One for every 'no', until she says 'yes'. Even as she says 'no', they both know she doesn't mean it like the first and second time she had to say it. He bites against her skin, leaving a mark only they will know about. She leaves a matching one.

Our not so little secret.

Then he pulls away, fading into the distance as much as he can in this hell hole of a facility. It wouldn't do to get too attached. She came to him first, broken, begging. The death wish all but stained her lips.

But then he kissed her and found out just how broken she really was. He wants to kill them for it; she shouldn't be crying in his arms. He is no one's confidant.

Except now he's hers (and he wonders how anyone has ever said 'no' to Claire-Bennet).

They're push and pull and nothing solid, because a snap of her fingers will land him right back in his concrete hell. So he gives her nothing, and pretends it's everything, pretends she doesn't deserve more.

Just another lie.

(then)

In another world, he isn't Sylar or Gabriel, but hers. And as her hand finds his under the table during a mission debriefing, he thinks he might be ok with that.

As long as she's his and he doesn't have to go back into that cage, it might just be ok for once.

She almost tastes like freedom and not like vodka and orange juice. And not like a pretty boy hero who doesn't really know her at all. But not really, not at all. She tries to hide the shake of her hands and no one sees through it but him.

Just like a watch that isn't ticking right, he longs to dig his hands in, twist her back into place and set her right.

Once upon a time, he used to fix things. Now all he wants to do is fix her.

(again)

"You're not going to move, are you?" He asks rubbing her bare back, but he's not really complaining. This moment is theirs alone and it just might be the happiest he's seen her.

"Nope. Besides, this way makes sure you can't get up and do something naughty in the middle of the night." He raises an eyebrow and tries to hold back his laugh. She really didn't know him at all did she?

"Naughty like fucking the boss's daughter?" This time she does laugh, another first. He'll get the rest of them too. It's not like he could really go anywhere.

This was a risk, one that will likely get him shipped off to the big watch shop in the sky as soon as Noah anyone gets any kind of reason too.

But they won't find one he's careful, not with the way she relaxes against him and even sometimes smiles. They won't take that away from her.

He's not the villain in this story.

And how wrong is that.

(the preamble)

She's no longer shiny, pink, and innocent. A thousand cheers were traded in for knowledge of company protocol the day she first clipped on that ID badge. But her innocence was probably gone long before then, left bleeding on the steps of Union Wells High School, taken by the man she pulls into the closet right by her real fake does it matter father's office.

It's revenge, payback. And she can almost hear them cringing with every moan she never bothers to muffle. The way none of them can look her in the eye afterwards is much more satisfying than the knife she used to take to her skin.

"Take that," she wants to yell out to a father that coddled her with lies, or to another that didn't care enough, or to an uncle who really should have known better.

She wonders if it hurts, that she's getting everything she needs at the rough hands of the enemy in the back of a supply closet. Did it burn, the thought of her just throwing all precaution out the window like that for seven minutes in heaven?

It was the beginning of the end, but you would never know from looking at her. She wants to cut it out of herself, that pretty little girl look, so the outside would match what she's become, but then they would all know what happened. It's something she's not ready for.

Some secrets need to stay hidden.

He's the only one she can tell.

(before)

He counts the cracks and tries not to think of her and her shiny hair and the haughty lithe of her voice.

Just like him, she's just like him.

And he tells her this when she walks into his cell, the sharp click of heels and expensive perfume announcing her presence she doesn't even smell like herself anymore. He can read the boredom, the indifference, on every inch of her skin. Another thing that's changed; she used to care.

"I'm not the one in a cell."

"Just because you can't see the bars, doesn't mean they're not there."

(happily ever)

"What are you doing, she asks as he hands her the open ring box.

"Proposing. Do you get the idea or do I have to get down on one knee?"

She wants to say 'no', scream it, (but like those other times, she doubts it will mean anything).

He doesn't stop the glass vase from shattering next to his head. He's not the white knight, Prince Charming was behind door number two and just might be related to her, but she kept coming back and he could make her smile. He thought it meant something.

He throws the shards back at her, just as angry (we're the same you and me, he once said) and watches intrigued as the shards don't stay in her skin. They never do.

And suddenly he can see the scars no one else can.

(rewind)

She's such a good little girl for following orders. They all say that about her and it makes her want to scream.

So she throws them a curve ball ("I'm taking the prisoner with me on my next mission") She needs a new partner anyways, anyone but Peter. Her father ducks his head, pretending to ignore her pointed stare that screams you owe me, pretending he doesn't know why. He has to do that more and more lately.

He won't like working for them and he's not really a rule follower but look at where that got her. Maybe if she asks really nicely or promises things he could never have otherwise her, then maybe, just maybe he would help her out.

It is not like he has anything better to do.

What did they say about keeping your enemies close again?

(and then later)

"Have you tried living yet?"

"I've lived," she replies indignant. They both know it's a lie.

"You haven't lived. You've died. There's a difference."

"Is this part of your twelve step program: inform everyone else of the errors in their ways." He laughs, a hard, brittle sound that makes her want to cry. She can't remember the last time she did that herself.

"All I'm saying is apathy isn't really a goal, baby doll."

"Then make me feel something else."

(after)

One day, they'll escape with the fading sunset at their backs. He wants to blow up this cursed place, with all of them inside it, smashed into tiny enough pieces to fit through the cracks in his walls.

They did this to her; they deserve it. Especially him.

Then she'll feel on her own. She'll stop crying when he loves her, or clinging when he leaves, or flinching when he gets too close.

But right now, they're not going anywhere. So he closes his eyes and ignores the tears.

And he can't be her hero.

She doesn't believe in them anymore.