Title: 20 Years
Word Count: 2112
Rating: M (Hard R)
Warnings: sex, language, BDSM, dub con
A/N: Thank you kathrynthegr8 and hiding_duh or betaing this fic. Your help and encouragement were priceless! Any mistakes you see are mine.
It didn't take Claire a century to fall for him. After twenty years, two months, one week, four days, nine hours, thirty minutes and three seconds she finally realized that Sylar was the one for her. That was soon, to say the least. But Claire had a good excuse.
In 20 years, 2 months, 1 week and 3 days
Sylar was right about her all along: when her loved ones did drop like flies, making her crumble, he was the one to catch her fall. He would be the one to take away her pain away, too, only there was no pain left in her heart.
When her father died, Claire felt nothing. Not grief, not sorrow. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't even remember what sorrow felt like. Was it the same as anger? Was it any different than love?
Standing beside the newly dug grave left Claire numb and bored beyond limits. So she enjoyed the sunny day and thought how lonely it should feel at night now that her father was gone and mused on the idea of taking the first flight to Washington. There she could fall into the arms of the black-eyed killer who was always there whenever she reached for him – soothing her, calming her, licking her imaginary wounds before they even had a chance to heal.
And then she could always push him away.
She first slept with Sylar the night her grandmother passed away. He felt strangely safe and offered Claire comfort in her loneliness. So she thought that maybe, if she got herself a companion, life would be less of a drag.
It didn't go all that great.
He started off gently enough. She kept arching her back and sighing her oohs until he'd had enough of her pretense. And then he turned her over and entered her from behind, making her stop dead in anticipation. Would she feel anything now?
Pain was gone for good but so were any other feelings. So she just lay there looking into the darkness of the room, wondering what it would be like when he'd come. Would he moan? Would he cry out her name? Either way she couldn't bring herself to care.
It took her by surprise though that Sylar didn't make a sound – only held his breath and pulled her closer so she could feel the violent beating of his heart against her back. And then he let out a shaky breath and kissed the back of her head, right on the spot that he knew was the death of her.
Claire closed her eyes trying to shake off the unwanted and untimely memories, but when she glanced around again he was there, standing beside her. Sylar looked at her with an expression she couldn't quite decipher. He sighed he shok his head, pulling her by her arm.
«Let's get out of here.»
That night she made a decision.
«Fix me,» she whispered, clinging to him. «Can you fix me?».
Sylar nodded, never taking his eyes off her.
He kept his promise. It was messy and bloody, and it obviously wasn't something she wanted to remember. When it was all over and she was healed again, her feelings came rushing back. They came in waves: pain, grief, and sorrow. She gasped at the strength of it all. She cried and sobbed, howled and screamed. She wept for the ones she loved and mourned for the ones she had lost, drowning in her tears like an Alice from some weird Nightmareland.
She was still sobbing violently when Sylar took her in his arms as if she were a broken doll and cradled her, holding her tight. He whispered some soothing nonsense in her ear until she cried herself to sleep.
In 20 years, 2 months, 1 week, 4 days and 9 hours
She woke up with a start. The room was pitch black and Claire couldn't figure out what time it was. Her head was swimming and her eyelids were so heavy she couldn't open her eyes. She shifted to find herself in the most awkward position to wake up in: laying on the bed naked, her head pressed against the matress, her knees tucked under her belly and her hands tied with duct tape behind her back.
Where was she and who had done this to her?
The answer to the latter question followed immediately.
«Wake up, Claire.»
The memories hit her like a freight train. Hatred, fear and disgust for him all came back at once. It didn't matter that he had last hurt her years ago. It only mattered that he had.
Claire licked her dry lips trying to focus her gaze on him. The bastard must have poisoned her with the tea he brought to her lips last night like a caring boyfriend. How many tranquilizers did it take to knock her unconscious? And most importantly, why did he drug her at all?
«Why?» she managed finally, her mouth as dry as a desert.
«Why?» he echoed, coming closer to stroke her cheek. «I'm doing this because I need answers Claire, or maybe because it's fun. I haven't decided which one».
She tried to elude his touch, but his telekinesis held her firmly in place. He caressed her face, letting his thumb ghost over her lips, and then slapped her roughly on the cheek with the back of his hand.
«Don't you dare black out again,» he commanded.
The pain was so sharp and unexpected she let out a short cry. Suddenly she wondered if this was all a game? Now that she could feel again maybe he wanted to introduce her to his favourite kinks? So what if Sylar wanted her to play victim with a Stockholm syndrome for him? If that was true the sooner it would be over the better. Inspired, Claire writhed against her restraints, spitting an angry «let me go!», for good measure.
«Not tonight Claire,» he said, turning on the light. «I'm not in the mood for any role-playing games».
The light seemed so blinding she had to close her eyes. The place was unfamiliar to her.
«Where am I?» she asked, trying to move her head to look around.
She heard him step behind her and then there was a strange swishing sound that made her catch her breath.
«I was thinking...» Sylar said coming into her view again. «We never really talked. I never asked you anything. You wanna know why?».
«Why?» she asked automatically, never taking her eyes off the black leather whip he held in his hand. She watched him clench the handle so tight his knuckles turned white with the strain.
«Because you're a liar, Claire,» he answered slowly. «And I hate liars».
Sylar stepped back, still looking at her.
«I'll ask you five questions,» he announced. «Think before you answer them. Remember, I can tell if you lie».
Claire could hardly believe it. This man had been there for her so many times in the past she almost forgot the monster he once was. The monster that was back again.
She tried to reason with him.
«I'll tell you what you want,» Claire said quickly. «No need to whip me. Please, just let me go and we'll...».
He lashed her across the back hard. She screamed, trying to break free. The pain was so exquisite her eyes watered. Five questions, he said? She bit her lip and tried not to plead for mercy.
«I didn't even ask you anything yet and you're already lying to me,» he accused as her wounds were healing. «You've been numb for so long you forgot what telling the truth feels like. But I'll remind you».
«There has to be some other way...» Claire tried, but Sylar interrupted her.
«I don't know any other way. Now, let's get started». He trailed the thin leather across her back in a soft caress. «Tell me Claire, did you love your biological mother?».
«Uh, we never really had a chance to bond, so...».
Another hit, another cry.
«Yes or no?».
«Did you sleep with Nathan?».
She was so outraged that she forgot about the punishment that was due for disobedience.
«How did you... What made you... You're insane!».
«I'm sorry,» he said airily. «It looked as if you did. What about Peter?».
The question caught her by surprise.
«What about Peter?»
«Did you fuck him?».
«I..» she mumbled.
«Can't hear you».
The whip sliced through the air with an ugly swishing sound.
«Yes! God, yes, I did!».
She glanced at Sylar over her shoulder just in time to catch the surprised look on his face. Here we go, Claire thought. Now he'd ask her who was better in bed.
«Why did you leave him? Wasn't he your hero?» he asked instead.
«That's not a yes or no question!» she stated. He whipped her again making her yelp in pain.
«Why did you leave him?»
«Because he's my uncle and I...»
Claire clenched her jaw and tried to shrink into herself, but the hit was inevitable.
«Because I didn't want to see him die one day...»
«Still not true. Why did you leave Peter?» he asked again.
«Because he was boring, okay? He was so predictable I couldn't stand it so I just left! Happy now?».
«Quite happy now, thank you,» he said politely, a smile in his voice. «What about you Claire? Are you happy?».
Now, that was it.
«Are you out of your mind, Sylar,» she hissed, struggling to free her hands. «My father just died! And you drugged me and tied me up in your bedroom where you whip me and ask me these stupid questions! Is this your idea of happy? Do I look happy to you?»
«Answer the question, Claire».
«No. NO! I'm not happy, you sick fuck!».
He sighed, visibly amused by her answer.
«Then why does it tingle?».
Her heart stopped as she realized the implications of his words.
«Is this the last question?» Claire asked in a pathetic attempt to gain herself some time.
«Maybe. Depends on your answer».
«I don't know!».
Another crack of the whip.
«Stop! Please! Let me think!».
«There's no time to think, answer the question».
Another crack of the whip.
«What makes you happy, Claire?».
She muttered something incoherent so Sylar had to lean in to hear. His hot breath brushed her sweaty skin. His hand crawled between her thighs and she whimpered, trying to break free. But it was too late. He laughed huskily into her hair and slid his finger inside her. It was an easy thing for him to do, she was shamefully wet. She shouldn't have been. Not for him. Claire held still trying hard to think about something unsexy like trigonometry. Or lawn-mowers. Or...
«Oh Claire...» he whispered, kissing her bare shoulder. «I still want you to answer the question. What makes you happy?».
Claire sobbed. She had her body tamed for so many years but now it was out of her control. Claire wanted to tell him the truth – or what she thought to be the truth. She wanted to say that it was the ability to feel again that gave her joy but only managed one word.
Sylar was silent for a moment. Then he broke the telekinetic bond and removed the duct tape.
Claire turned around, massaging her sore wrists. and looked at him. Then she helped him take his clothes off. Both were in a hurry: an eternity could be... well... forever, but losing even a moment of it seemed too much of a loss.
This time Sylar didn't even try to be gentle. His kisses were more like bites, he pushed roughly into her indulging in her need of pain. She had craved it for so long. Claire welcomed this, it was a clear, unmistakable sign of how alive she was again.
When it was over, Sylar rolled on his side still holding Claire tight. She closed her eyes, fighting the surprising need to snuggle against him. Suddenly she remembered something important that she wanted clear up right away.
«Did you get your answer?» she asked sleepily.
He paused to put his arms around her waist and kiss her neck.
«I got a lot of answers today».
«No... I mean... Do you know now what makes love stay?».
Sylar laughed quietly.
«Tomorrow,» he said. «I'll tell you whatever you want. Tomorrow will be your turn to ask».