It was raining.
But, it always rained in this world. It was like nature was mocking humans for their pathetic attempts at pretending the planet wasn't dying around them while they blended into one large, mixed, catatonic race. What was left of nature, anyways.
After the poles had melted, dry land had become scarce. And even then 'dry' wasn't technically the term when the constant rain was saltwater. You had to be lucky, and out on a swift ocean current to feel the sun on your face. The majority of kids never felt that anymore, but no one was complaining. No one could remember hot days and summers and seasons.
There were two seasons. Winter, and rain.
'Old Cities' like New York and Tokyo were simply built up. New York teetered anyways, having flooded half to hell and expanding in the other direction. Skyscrapers became so tall they disappeared into the cloud line. Good real estate was snagging one of the canopy apartments. They were cheap because there was no view, unless you can somehow see something in the clouds. The rest of the world went into hyper drive, building cities in the crust of the earth and developing technologies to build cities in the ocean.
Some of the land city outlays had remnants of the old world. Like graveyards, and ghettos. Churches were more readily abandoned, religion fleeing culture like water running from cupped hands.
The majority of people were tan skinned, dark haired, dark eyed people. Occasionally, there was the usual anomaly like an albino or a magical line up of recessive genes.
Natural blondes were rare.
Irish reds were rarer.
But he saw a blond once every ten years like clockwork. She would come up out of Surri City, the amazing underwater city lurking on the west coast of what at one point in time had been 'Canada'. That name was only seen on textpads in public schools. The occasional child had a name after an old city, or an old country. The very morning someone had chastised their son, London, for running in the transports.
She would come up and make the regular journey across the rock that was the US, and somehow forge papers into NYC. And then she would be here, standing over the graves of family members who had long ago died, and had since been forgotten. People whom she had been born to. People who could fly, convince, absorb people's powers. All of her family was here, even the adoptive ones. He assumed it must be hard looking down at the cracked ground where your little brother was buried, having held his hand when he died at the age of 87 from a pulmonary embolism.
Harder watching everyone she loved die. Even as she made new ones, they too expired like food left in the fridge too long.
She was always the one left in stasis. Floating through life unchanging except for the age in her eyes. The centuries in those eyes were simply haunting, and for that people left her alone.
And she no longer reached out. She no longer hated. She just simply was.
Her state could echo his. He went through his 'life', every seven years like clockwork going and forging a new identity. Moving to a new region, combating with a new government. Living in oceans, underground, dry land, and even that one city that merely hovered annoyingly over the ocean.
He lived there once and couldn't get used to the hum of the engines, even 56 floors up.
She moved from dry land to submerged. Never living underground, and never in the same city as him.
She liked the sky, even if all it did was rain.
They rarely communicated, having no real need. They'd been doing this for so long, communication was merely a way to get their cover blown. Neither wanted to be found by the government. Tested upon, watched, monitored, experimented on. Their blood taken and injected in things and humans. He protected it merely because it was his silent gift, his unknown legacy.
She protected it because she didn't feel like inflicting her curse upon the earth, and the inevitable greed and war that would break out.
Every ten years, he found her there. Standing on top of the Petrelli crypt in the latest rain fashion clothes, which were looking very retro 2130 this year. He would peak the hill and spot the crypt, and she would be on it, feet shoulder width apart, rain shield on and an ancient camera in her hand. She took a picture of the city every ten years.
Sometimes, he was positive that was all she lived for.
Claire heard his tread long before he made himself known, climbing the mound of dirt heaped against the side of the tomb and sauntering over the crumbling cement to stand next to her. She heard the click and slight hum of his rain shield, and she didn't look at him.
Today was an especially depressing day.
She had to go stand at the back of a funeral of the grandchild of one of her good friends. It was just a death day all round. From the graveyard to the service in the city, transporting down to Linka city and then shuttling down into the earth into Dome city to go attend the reading of a will.
It was one of those years, where everyone she knew died. It happened every 8 - 12 years, about seven people would bite it. She'd get something, she might not.
At least it wasn't stretched out over a week.
She took a deep breath of the wet air, and the rotting soil where no vegetation grew. She shook her head slightly, and felt all her hair, pinned up underneath a hat. She once tried dying her hair brown, and that just hadn't worked.
Since then, she just kept it covered, and generally avoided detection. She was pale-skinned, which was glaringly obvious on public transport systems. If she wore a hat and glasses and kept her head down, generally people assumed she either had the disease that made people white before they died, or that she was one of those 'rare eccentric albinos'.
She'd met albinos, and they weren't eccentric. In fact, they were just as in awe of her as she was of them.
As for the disease, she'd seen those too. Looking for a cover story and all. Those people were white. A pale, waxy sallow skin with blue veins running underneath and no hair. She wasn't that kind of white, she was just...pale.
Pale skinned. The skin of an older world. The glasses hid her eyes. No one had green eyes anymore. The last time she had seen some one with green eyes it was a five year old girl, who had been made an instant celebrity overnight.
The same girl had died at 11 years of age trying to cross a parking lot while people tried to touch her or get a picture. A riot had broken out, and in the scuffle six people died including the child herself.
"Sylar," Claire greeted with a lousy exhale. She glanced at him, removing her glasses and simply looking at him. He taken off his hat, and rolled down the collar of his breaker. He looked the same, if not a little wet. He lifted one side of his mouth in a smirk.
She smiled and shook her head bemusedly. He grinned wolfishly into the rain, shoving his hands in his pockets and looking at the city.
"I hate this city," Claire declared blandly. There was no real use being gentle with him. He was bound to come out with something blunt and depressing. And it would only be depressing because it would be the honest truth.
"I'm not so much for the new age look either." He commented, shrugging his shoulders. Claire eyed him from the side, frowning and cocking her head.
"I guess it's gotta suck being you. Being all tall and everything. It's not like you can put a hat on that and call yourself disguised," She observed.
Sylar chuckled dryly, glaring out at the city.
"I make myself a little shorter. I only look like this when I'm here or sleeping. I can't sleep changed into someone else's body. It's just not right."
"Oh, I'm sure. Such a hard life, shape shifting," Claire teased him. He rolled his eyes and looked at her.
"It is. My neighbour thinks I'm gay because he sees different men going in and out of my apartment," Sylar told her seriously. Claire couldn't help but laugh.
He grinned back at her, seeing the smile light up her face. She glanced at him and the glasses perched on his nose, with his messy hair and five o'clock shadow. It was deeply comforting seeing him, seeing him real. He represented a time that they both came from, living well beyond what they would like to have.
Claire remembered distinctly that they had shared these moments looking at the dying remains of New York ghettos, and the distant pillars of glass and metal that people lived and worked in. They had both been there, but it had been a silence. A cold, numbing hatred for everything Sylar stood for. Claire had resented him, because out of every single person she loved, all of them died. The one person she didn't love lived.
Forty years ago, she had crawled onto this slab and begged him to kill her. Impale her on something, cut her into thousands of pieces and destroy them all in different ways and then scatter the ashes in the far reaches of the earth. She remembered that vividly, the need and desperation that burned in her chest causing her to slide to her knees and wail at the ground beneath her. She remembered feeling like she was going to shake apart, explode, implode, live forever. She had nightmares about the sun blowing up and destroying everything in its path and her somehow being alive on some random meteor looking at the remnants of her planet's entire existance.
Claire understood why people died, and decided humans were wrong.
They celebrated birth and mourned death, when it should be the other way around. Death was the delicate saving grace from having to watch the time meld together and the people turn to dust, and eventually the world turn to echoes. It was far beyond the human comprehension to explain to themselves what living forever meant, alone in a dark abyss where there is no air to scream.
Being the only human alive, floating on a rock in space. Even though she knew it wasn't possible, she also knew that in that the possibility of dying and regenerating every four to six seconds in the vaccum of space for the rest of eternity wasn't something she wanted to do either.
Forty years ago, she had broken. Given up, and wanted to kiss the lips of the Reaper so badly she had fallen to her knees and begged him to end her. When Sylar's warm fingers wrapped around her ice cold hands while they curled uselessly into claws that bit into the ground, she had looked at him as a person for the first time. He pulled her to her feet, and held her face steady between his hands and bored into her eyes with his own. Then he shook her.
He pointed out every single flaw in her self-pity. Why she was given this gift, why he took it. Why they had to be the strong ones, the guardians of history and the keepers of time. They were gods among men, and he'd be damned if he was going to be the only one standing on this rock to take pictures of the city.
He reminded her that she needed to quit trying to hold onto time as it passed, taught her to sit back and watch it go by. Trying to make it stop was only going to cause her pain, and the only way to savour things would be to plan for them. Have the foresight to see things coming, live through them with a smile and a bounce in your step, and then walk away, planning the next one.
He reminded her that she wasn't trapped, caught or suspended.
She'd forgotten how to live, and in harsh words that poured from perfect lips on a sugared tongue, he taught her with enough anger and outrage at her begging that she would have felt the same if he'd slapped her. In the moments following his tirade, he'd breathed down at her with his dark eyes promising mutiny and destruction while Claire's knees knocked together and she felt seventeen again, scared by his very nature. Absently, her fingers had travelled up the warm flesh of his face as she felt the heat from his skin and the harsh brush of the stubble threatening to break free of its recent shave. He looked defiantly unchanged by the decades and centuries that had passed over him, with his full lips and straight white teeth in clash with heady dark brown eyes.
It was then that she pulled his face down and pressed his lips against hers.
He had stiffened, his body going rigid in reaction, and Claire basked in the heat and the zing of the contact of his mouth on hers. She kissed him earnestly, asking him with her mouth to respond as she had coaxingly moved her lips over his while he stood there with his hands forgotten, resting on her upper arms.
Slowly, almost hesitantly he had responded, pressing himself against her and his arms sliding around and down her back to bring her waist closer to him until their bellies were touching. Claire remembered losing her cool there, needing to feel the rush of another human being. She had forgotten what it was like to touch someone, and feel their skin on hers. Sylar had caught her jaw between two fingers, holding it gently while he kissed her.
They had fallen into a blur of lips grazing over skin, pupils dilating, heart beats racing and breathing growing laboured. Claire remembered the way his mouth had travelled over the skin of her throat and the way he gently worried a mark into her skin at the join of her shoulder and neck. She remembered what he had smelled like, a spicy aroma of something dark and male while she nipped his earlobe, sinking a canine into it and feeling the lurch in his body and hearing the rattle of his breath as it brushed down her chest hotly. She remembered the tremble in her muscles and shiver of her skin as her fingers slid down the back of the neck of his shirt and felt the ribs of his spine and the hard muscle pillowing it.
He'd broken away from her with a gasp, steadying her as she swayed slightly. She had looked at him, memorizing the face of a thousand hates and knew she had just tied herself to him for eternity. He'd turned and walked away, long legs carrying him from her sight swiftly as he disappeared.
Ten years later, they had been silent in the two hours they stood side by side.
Ten years after that, they had exchanged information and casual conversation.
Ten years after that, they had had friendly conversation.
Ten years after that, they were acting like old and haunted friends.
"Hear anything new?" Claire asked heavily, shifting her weight and ignoring the rich crop of goosebumps that rose on her skin. Her heart squeezed a bit faster as her memories flew by, and she ignored the urge to reach out and touch him. He lifted a shoulder and sighed.
"It's going to rain tomorrow," He said with a lift in his voice, and Claire laughed. He glanced at her, managing to look surprised.
"I'm serious. Good thing, too. It's so dry here if you even flick a lighter this place is going to go up in flames."
She couldn't help but smile. He was so blandly nonchalant about a phenomena that no longer existed.
"Are you saying we're in danger of a forest fire?"
"What are we to do?"
"I heard Australia has water."
"Australia? Where's that?" Claire feigned, smiling at the foreign title for a continent aptly renamed.
"I think it's off the coast of Ireland."
"West." He answered her promptly, looking pleased with himself. She smothered her giggles, wrapping her arms around herself and sighing. The rain continued around them, sounding wet and miserable and thunder rolled somewhere east of them. There was a faint rat-a-tat-tat from a gun a couple blocks away, but those were noises common in the area.
"I miss laughing," Claire told him absently.
"I miss watches." He replied. She arched and eyebrow and looked at him. He stuck out an arm and showed her a gorgeous silver watch loosely linked around his wrist. He twisted his mouth and gave the city a sour look. "Everyone has digital this and digital that. The time is everywhere, so no one has to carry a watch. Watches are a dying gadget, which is almost as sad as painting dying out. It was an art form at one point, you know."
"I believe you. I miss salsa dancing and choirs."
They both went silent and glared at the distance. Sylar shifted, facing her and burrowing his hands further in his pockets.
"Where are you living?" He asked.
"Surri. I have a gorgeous view of the algae fields."
"Because you don't eat enough of it. You want to go home and look at it." He said dryly, his lip curling. Claire smirked and nodded slowly. He glanced down and saw her boot heel inches away from the name engraved in what had once been magnficent gold veined pale marble.
She followed his gaze and turned and they both looked down on her mother's grave.
"How are these still surfaced?" Sylar asked. Claire lifted a shoulder and stabbed at a guess.
They were quiet and Claire struggled to remember her mother's voice. It was vague and distant, and barely there. It no longer scared her that she couldn't hear their voices. It scared her more that during the decades in between meeting with him and standing over these graves remembering people who had been dead for too long, she thought of him more than she should. Sometimes she would write his name down and stare at it, conjuring his face in her head. The only person with a clear picture all of the time was him, and Claire hated it. She felt like she was betraying them, all of them who had fought and gave their lives. Most of them died at his hands, many to save her from him.
And here she stood, on their graves, ignoring the urge to pull Sylar down on top of her and feel something the government forbade people to feel without authorization codes. Sex and love was something that no longer existed, families made after paying money and being screened. Copulation and fornication and all kinds of fucking occurred in monitored rooms.
It had been so long since those laws were introduced that the middle-aged people who were having kids and getting pregnant in fornaclinics were the great-great-great-great-great grandchildren of the original people the laws had been imposed on. The majority of people got themselves fixed and then bought a year pass to the free clinics. People who had properly functioning reproductive organs were more closely monitored, and it occurred to no one that they could have sex anywhere they wanted, with anyone.
It gave rape victims whole new dimensions of guilt, shame and silent agony.
"I can't hear them anymore. I don't remember her face, and I can't hear her voice. But I miss her," Claire whispered as tears burned her eyes. He looked at her quietly, dark eyes studying her face. Some of his hair fell and brushed his forehead. His lips still pursed the same, and she could still see the vein on his temple that jumped with his heartbeat. You could only see it going at a certain angle, when the dreary grey light fell across his face.
He seemed curious, his forehead wrinkling slightly as his eyes travelled her face.
Claire sputtered a laugh as a tear ran down her cheek.
"I don't know. Don't you miss anyone?"
He suddenly looked uncomfortable, which was an expression he hid badly and was so glaringly obvious on his face it surprised her. She reached out to touch him and he moved away.
"Don't you?" She asked hollowly.
He looked slightly spooked and empty at the same time as he fixed his dark eyed gaze on her and a corner of his mouth lifted into a dangerous grin.
"Out of all the minds I've seen and fixed, the only one I would have missed can't die."
Claire's mouth fell open slightly and she averted her eyes.
"You'd miss me."
"Your mind." He amended shortly.
"My mind. My brain."
"More or less."
Claire sighed, crossing her arms and feeling her tears drying on her cheek. She rolled her greens to the sky and turned to glare at him.
"You really know how to charm people."
He raised his eyebrows and waved one hand in front of her face before pointing to his own chest.
She gave him a dirty look and peered at his face as he turned to scowl at the city in the distance.
"Don't remind me," she muttered.
She felt like touching him. She'd never felt as electrically alive as she had kissing him. Touching another human being and feeling their existence underneath her fingertips. Feeling someone just as alive as her, just as strong and invincible. Someone who wasn't going to turn into dust one day. She inhaled sharply as her skin remembered the feel of his fingers dancing along her throat.
He turned his head and looked at her inquisitively, and she broke. She faced him, staring at him blankly as she registered what she wanted, what she needed. Why she felt so plainly empty. She needed -;
"Sylar," Claire breathed with surprise, her fingers gripping the front of the jacket. He looked alarmed for a second as she rose up on her tiptoes and assaulted his mouth. He didn't go rigid, perhaps recognizing the way she threw herself into stupid situations. All she knew was she kissed him with the intent to paralyze him, and found herself drowning in him. He was everywhere and she loved it, dragging her arms over his shoulders and locking her chest against his. His own hands drifted down and linked across her waist, palms spread over her ribs.
His mouth was hot, and alert. He demanded of her what she rushed to give, pushing against him and scraping her teeth on his lips. She didn't feel his forearms lower as he bent slowly and wrapped his arms under her rear. She didn't feel her feet come away from the ground, but she did know that's the point where she lost all sense of what she was doing and who with. It all came rushing back in, flooding her senses as the faces of the people she loved faded to black.
They faded, and when she reached in to find them, she pulled him out.
They stumbled, fingers digging into flesh through clothes and air still in their lungs. Claire kissed him as if she were trying to wrench the last air in the world from his body and her nerves lit excitedly. He was a pillar of muscle under his dapper soft-material clothes and the way he clutched her to him begged her to wiggle.
She rolled her hips instinctively and he muttered something against her lips. Her brain discarded it and her ankles locked together as he rested her back against the shaded side of a mausoleum. An old, leafless tree pointed its gnarled branches at the sky as Sylar wrenched her head back and attacked her neck with a bitter nip and a trail of open-mouthed kisses.
A flare in Claire's abdomen turned into an all out throb as a need for him flooded her body almost painfully. She rolled her hips with more force, turning her head and enslaving his mouth again. Her hands quested blindly down his chest, fingers popping the buttons of his coat open as they fluttered down his chest in a mad search for skin.
Impatient, he grabbed the bottom of her coat and ripped it open, buttons clattering against the cement and the ground. She bit him in punishment and he jerked his hips upwards against her in insolent reply as he untucked her upperwear and thrust his hands up her shirt. Claire uttered a stilted moan as his cold digits seared her hot skin and her body unconsciously writhed while goosebumps peeled into her flesh. His hands closed around a breast as she freed his chest and soaked her palms against it, feeling the blood rush and the heat sink into her fingers.
Claire's blood moved sluggishly through her veins and she thrashed against him, dragging him to her and trying to press her body into his. Sylar's control outweighed her frenzy, and it was with roughly firm hands that he teased her nipples and sauntered down the plane of her stomach. Desperately and vengefully, Claire reached between them and moulded her fingers against the press of his erection through his pants. He showed no outward emotion, his eyes focusing on her sharply as his expression seemed to flare slightly.
Drunkenly, she smiled up at him before his head pitched forwards and plundered her mouth ruthlessly. She wiggled to assist him in the undoing of her pants, this instinctive urge to feel him pressing into her roughly fogging her brain and causing her skin to prickle painfully.
Anticipation worked over her raw nerves as the pants came free and Sylar's expert fingers slid down the waist, questing for the thatch of blond curls that hid between her legs. As his fingers probed into her folds, he found the blissful slickness that caused him to breathe a half-baked groan into her mouth. She pushed her fingers against the fabric of his jeans, squeezing gently and revelling in the hardness against her palm.
He thrust two fingers into her unceremoniously and she cried out, gasping sharply as he pulled out and repeated the movement. She moaned, soaking in the feeling and adjusting to the roar for more that started to rattle through her skull. His pants fell open before she had to register what she'd done, and her own digits were roving down to encircle him and give him a rough stroke in retribution. He felt aptly hung for a man of his stature, and she loved the feeling of domination as he pressed her harder against the rock and poured silky instructions into her ears with a velvet voice roughened by hormones.
"How long since you've done this?"
"125 years." He hissed, cupping her bare butt in his hands as she kicked her pants down and wrapped her thighs over his hips.
"75," Claire said, answering the unasked question while she tried to guide him into her. Leading him was like tugging on the reins of a stubborn horse, and he silenced her with a bite to her clavicles.
Claire moaned helplessly, jerking her breasts up against his mouth as his wandering tongue and sharp nips ventured across her torso. His hands, those masterful hands slid along her thighs while his fingers quested up the insides and pressed in between her lips. She dragged his head back up to hers, latching her lips to his and opening her mouth like a hungry chick when he flicked his tongue for entrance.
When he filled her mouth, exploring the depths and fighting her own defences, she caught him off guard by pulling back and sucking his tongue forcefully into her mouth. With that, she clamped her legs shut and fought against him as he sought to push them open again and continue his delicious ministrations on her. A low grumble poured from low in his chest, and Claire's laugh was mumbled and choked as he shoved her violently against the rock. She felt her bones compress slightly and she laughed again and he used his hands on her knees to wrench her legs apart. She squirmed, enjoying the look in his eyes as he fought her legs to get to her opening, and her mouth to reclaim his tongue.
Frustration, arousal. Without warning, a sharp notch of electricity stabbed into her thigh and she jumped with a squeal. Sylar seized the opportunity, slamming her wrists in a bone-crushing hold above her and jabbing his hips upwards so that he merged with her completely.
She grunted, the sound of their union echoing around them, and she cursed blindly at him as she dug her heels into his tightened butt to make him move. He didn't, leaning against her and breathing harshly.
Claire whined, using her pelvic muscles to milk him into moving, and although she saw rigid muscles twitch in his face, he didn't move at all as he glared at her.
"This should not happen."
All but blinded by need and desperation, Claire gasped raggedly at him.
"Too late. Move!"
He let out a rough epithet as she kicked him and slammed into her, meeting her eyes and then lightly letting the wet edges of the insides of his slackened lips drag over the skin of her jaw, ears and neck. The sensuality of his lips moulding against the skin and the fevered pace of his breathing seemingly mocked the violence with which he moved within her.
The soft and the rough, contrasting ever so wonderfully caused her to lose herself in the movement. She felt lost, happily drowning in the smell of his sweat and the wet ground around them. The cold bite of the wall against her lower back and ass compared to electrifying heat of his belly rubbing against hers, and the sound of his tenor growls tempering the weightless whines that slipped from her throat.
They contrasted starkly, from his height and her lack, to her fairness and his pitch black colouring. His control and her resentment of it, her need and his generosity. They rocked together, flesh shaking with the slam of their bodies and nails biting into each other's skin while they cursed and bit each other before moaning and loving the wound with their lips.
The tight squeeze in her abdomen grew, and the coiling of the muscles of her thighs and back grew stronger until she was riding, silently begging him to elevate her to the next level so she could break apart around him.
He angled himself so his pelvis moved against her clitoris and Claire whispered his name savagely, egging him on in his wild and erratic possession of her. The pressure built, and built like a hot bubble of screaming nerves waiting for the seize, and finally her body froze and her muscles stilled so thickly they felt made of stone.
Claire's scream shivered in the cold air, echoing plainly across the barren grounds and down into buildings filled with cockroaches and rats.
Sylar's groan was muted, and his reaction to the hold that rocked his body was muffled by the tender flesh of her breasts between his teeth. When his body finally relaxed, he breathed out thickly as the waves of release washed into his brain.
Gently, he let her down and Claire's legs rested upon the soil with jello knees and sagging limbs. He rolled, pressing his back into the wall while his hands did up his pants and she bent to pull her own up.
She pointedly ignored the sticky white fluid that spilled onto her thighs, covering the evidence with her underwear and slacks. She buttoned her pants, and straightened out her clothes as best she could with the distinct destruction of her fastens.
Sylar said nothing, crossing his arms over his chest and breathing quietly to himself. He watched her like a cat watches a bird as she wandered away, climbing back up onto the slab that was her adoptive mother's grave.
Idly, she dug in her pocket and withdrew an ancient camera. Some digital contraption from the early 2000's. She stood, legs shoulder-width apart and held it up against the city line, letting the camera focus as she pressed the shutter. It beeped, the flash illuminating the grey for a split second and then she glanced down at the screen.
Satisfied, she prepared to look at him, afraid to see what would be on his face. Taking a deep breath, she glanced up. Her least favourite part of intercourse was the awkward aftermath.
The wall where he'd been was empty, the only evidence of him being there was two distinct white drops on the ground where she had stood afterwards.
Claire let the air whoosh out of her heavily, leaning her weight on one hip as she turned to look at the city.
"I'll see you in ten years."
Hey guys! I know, it's been awhile since you've seen Claire and Sylar from me, but I've been planning this fic for awhile. It's full of bad science and unscientific stuff, and it's probably a cross over of at least three future worlds you've seen in various movies, but this is my imagining for the future, should humans survive that long. Anyways, I've always wanted to write something where the world was ending, and I might just do that yet, but I figured (from interest by my friends and some faithful reviewers) that you'd all like this.
So, here it is. Also; I have a full-time job. So, I've had increasingly less time to write. But, I'm posting this the night before Season 4 premiers because I know this season will change the whole Sylaire future.
Anyways, review for me, my loves!