2007-12-10: Better Man

WARNING: contains Season 3 Material.


Sylar_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif

Summary: Whoever he is, he's not present. Nathan breaks more things in Cass's lab.

Date It Happened: December 10th, 2007

Better Man

Bat Country Labs

The lone man sits on a cot in the corner of the lab, legs stretched out in front of him, back leaned up against the
wall. He holds a book in front of him, The Road, and he idly turns the pages as he completes them. The rest of the lab has been cleaned up, making it look somewhat like a reasonable living place, but it still gives off the fact that it's a scientific lab. Sylar isn't allowed anywhere else in the facility, and with his abilities dampened by the set of Haitian pills Peter managed to obtain, the killer has little to do except read and contemplate his situation, his past, and his future.

With his abilities deadened, Sylar likely won't hear the sound of someone's approach until, not a moment later, a key scrapes in the lock to his door. Perhaps any one of his 'guards' coming to check that the serial killer is being good, which, for all intents and purposes, he is. Who opens the door, however, is not the more familiar Cass Aldric or Peter Petrelli, but, in fact, his brother. Nathan barely spares Sylar a glance when he steps inside the room, and there doesn't seem to be a key in his hand when he does, shutting the door behind him. He's left his jacket, his tie just out in the main room, folded neatly, and the sleeves of light blue button-down have already been rolled up towards his elbows, one of which he adjusts as now he observes the other man. His stance is casual but tension lines his body language all the same and he can't really help that. Maybe it's fear. "I don't think we've been properly introduced," he says, thin voice also tense, but maybe he always sounds that way. "I'm Nathan Petrelli."

At the sound of the key scraping into the lock, Sylar's eyes raise towards the door, and he shuts his book before setting it down on the bed beside him. When Nathan enters, the killer stands from his cot, taking a step forward in Nathan's direction. "I know who you are," he says, eyes narrowing slightly as he takes a better look at Nathan, head turning to the side slightly. "You're Peter's brother. You were there the night I tried to kill the detective."

"It's polite to respond back with your name," Nathan says, now looking up to meet Sylar's gaze, and only there is the anger visible, should Sylar recognise it. More or less sparked by the killer's words. "But you're right. I was there." He takes a step forward, and his voice is quiet enough that it's almost hard to make out the words, but he makes sure the other man can hear. "And I was there when Claire Bennet arrived at my doorstep when you just couldn't help yourself. I was there when I had to collect Peter off the street after you were done with him too." His hands suddenly whip out to grab the front of Sylar's shirt, to yank the somewhat taller man closer only to shove him back against the wall.

"I've no doubt you know exactly what my name is," Sylar responds back to Nathan, his voice only slightly filled with venom. The anger is recognized, but Sylar makes no comment on it. Nathan has more than enough reasons to be angry at him. Most people do. In fact, if Sylar thought about it, he can't think of one person that wouldn't be angry with him. That's for another time and place, however. "Claire came after me," Sylar responds, meeting Nathan's gaze. "As did Peter. Peter more than once, as a matter of fact, and I know— " That's about when Nathan's hands reach out and grab him, slamming him up against the wall. Sylar's head bounces off of it and he closes his eyes at the pain, before slowly opening them as he smiles at Nathan. "Oh. That's why you're here."

"Oh they came after you? Why is that," Nathan snaps, the rhetorical question coming out as a growl, the first sense of that anger in his words coming to surface. "You think that gives you any kind of excuse?" He still keeps his voice low, no matter what. Because they're not completely alone in the building. In fact, if Sylar wanted to, he could probably call for help. He might even get it. And it's the smile, really, no matter its purpose, that makes that anger flair up again within the ex-military man keeping Sylar cornered. "Son of a bitch." Keeping up that proximity, Nathan flattens a hand against Sylar's chest onto to make his other hand into a fist, cock it back, and attempt to bury it in the serial killer's stomach in an impacting blow. And again.

"I'm not making excuses and I never said I was." Sylar doesn't fight back, not in the least, but allows Nathan to keep him held up against the wall. He responds only when spoken to, taking both of Nathan's punches to the stomach as well as he can, doubling over when the second one hits. "Yes, that's it," he says, coughing through the words, and he pulls himself back up to his full height, looking at Nathan once again. "Hit me. Take it out on me. Your anger. Your fear. It's the only way you can forgive yourself for what you let happen to Claire, isn't it? Taking out your revenge on me."

A tense, electrical pause settles in the room, Nathan's head tilting just a little as he regards the other man. The barb hits easily, because that's the price of letting someone see what's driving you. Nathan could always be a better man about it - walk away now, and truly, that's what he's good at doing. But he really… really didn't come here to be the better man. That gets to be Peter's job in regards to the killer. His fist whips around again, to catch Sylar in the mouth, as if to make him regret taking liberties with what he has to say. "You don't have any idea, do you?" Nathan asks, voice venomous sounding. A hand comes out to grip Sylar's shirt, haul him upright if needed. "You don't have a damn clue about what you've done to any of them." Another blow, not dissimilar to the last, is executed almost coldly.

Nathan's fist catches Sylar right in the mouth, sending the man's head snapping to the right. The killer pauses, the blow clearly having an effect on him, and he spits, blood landing on the floor. He turns his eyes back to Nathan as he's lifted upright again, blood visible on his lips and chin. "You think I don't have a clue? Do you think I'm here for no reason, taking those pills to stop my abilities, sitting here letting Peter try to help me?" He raises a hand, wiping the blood from his mouth, and continues to speak. "You don't have a clue— " Nathan's fist connects again, and this time Sylar takes a longer pause before bringing his head back around, an ugly bruise already beginning to form on the side of his jaw. "I'm not going to insult you by asking for your forgiveness. Clearly you came here with a mission and nothing can stop you from it."

"Correct," Nathan says, tone icy. Another blow is impacted into Sylar's gut - slower, this time, but just as hard. It could be fatigue, or perhaps Nathan is taking some leisure in it, as no one's fighting back. "And I'm not looking for an apology. I don't think you're capable. You should have been dead six ways before now." The Company had their chance. Mara had her chance. Peter had his chance. Nathan supposes, bitterly, that this is his chance. Rather suddenly angry for knowing he'd never be able to do such a thing to a half-beaten man in a locked room, he shoves Sylar against the adjacent wall. "You don't just take lives," he says, voice harsh. "You ruin them. That a side effect of your ability too, you fuck?" Apparently Peter's debriefed him, and yet, he's still here. Just as unforgiving as he was before.

Doubling over at the new punch from Nathan, Sylar stays hunched over, not coming up. Despite being in this position, he still addresses Nathan, using his words rather than his fists to fight back. "In all of this, all of your power over me right now, you're still helpless," he says, struggling to lift himself up so that he can look Nathan in the face. "Picking on a helpless man, kicking him when he's down… you're no better than me, Nathan."

This time, that draws a laugh from Nathan, a dry and utterly mirthless chuckle that barely even echoes. "If that's the price of this," he says, voice wavering with barely restained fury, "then so be it." His fists again clench the front of Sylar's shirt, and now he voice raises, unable to keep that quiet. "If you even feel a fraction," he snarls, "of what you made Claire feel," another body shot, fist burying into Sylar's side, "what you made Peter feel," and again, "what you made Mara feel," and again, "then I'll stoop to your level, you bastard."

Sylar takes every hit from Nathan, his words stopping as Nathan's fist buries itself into Sylar's stomach over and over. Only when the barrage stop does Sylar finally make a move, opening his mouth to say something… but no words come out. He coughs once, twice, before finally succumbing and falling down to one knee, a hand reaching up to grab at Nathan's shoulder reflexively.

Nathan almost recoils when that reflexive touch lands on his shoulder, shoving Sylar's arm away as he watches with grim satisfaction. "I like you more when you can't talk," he mutters. "At least I know that if Peter gets his way," he grips Sylar's arm, not harshly, it's a steadying hold to help him to his feet, although by now Sylar might not be disillusioned into thinking that this is a good thing, "and if you somehow, god knows how, redeem yourself… you get to live with it. All of it. For now?" A now familiar sound rings out in the room, flesh against flesh as his fist comes around again, relentlessly, to mark Sylar's face once more. "You get to hurt." At this stage, Nathan is feeling it too, right hand's knuckle swollen and painful red.

The killer is caught by the arm, using Nathan's help to stand once again, whether it's intentional or not. No words come from him, just more coughing, and Nathan's next punch may be the one that seals the deal. It slams into the side of his face, sending Sylar to the floor, where he is just barely able to catch himself, falling against the cold concrete. He pushes himself up, just barely, more coughs escaping him as he spits more blood onto the floor, unable to stand yet.

Though Cass has tried to be as watchful as she can, it's been a strange couple of months, not to mention exhausting ones. Left to guard, the woman has tried to stay awake and on guard, but somewhere in the intervening moments, she dropped off. Not for that long. Just a few minutes before Nathan entered, most likely. However, she's still alert and ears are perked for anything strange happening. So the raised voices and then the noises of someone dropping to the floor and crashing into walls wakes her up with a jolt. Fearing the worst, she quickly pushes herself up and goes flying out of the office toward the room where Sylar is being kept, grabbing a heavy book to hopefully beat intruder's about the head with it, only to find that he's not alone. "Nathan?!" It doesn't take her long to figure out what exactly is going on here. The book is kept raised. "Step back."

Nathan doesn't get time to decide if he's above quite literally kicking a man when he's down. His eyes stay on Sylar's downed form for a moment, even when the sound of Cass's running reaches his ears. Play time's over, kids, and he resignedly looks over at her, gaze switching from the raised book to her face. His hands come up, a flash of bruised fist speaking of exactly what happened here, and he obligingly steps back as asked, no longer shadowing the fallen killer. "He'll live," he says, dryly.

The killer stays down, resorted to actually crawling back towards his cot. The pain in his stomach is too much for him to risk stretching the muscles there as he stands, so he resigns to moving along the floor, slowly, blood dripping from his face and hitting the concrete, leaving a trail of drops from where he and Nathan were to his cot. "I'm fine," he says, whether they care or not, his voice rasping through the pain. He begins to pull himself onto the bed, ignoring Nathan and the new arrival for the time being.

Having been woken up, startled and now feeling like she's let Peter down somehow, Cass all but thrusts the heavy book at Nathan's chest for him to catch. "How did you get in here?" her eyes narrow at Nathan. The security has been upped since Sylar was placed here to make sure something like this didn't happen. Eyeing Nathan and seeing that he only has bruised knuckles, she makes the deduction that Sylar must not have his powers back yet. She watches him crawl back up onto the bed and approaches him with a very business-like manner to study his wounds and bleeding. "Since you're so good at making messes, Nathan, I think it's about time you learned how to clean one up. Go get my first aid kit in the office." She doesn't talk much to Sylar until she finally stares at him apprehensively, trying to act brave in his presence. It's easier with Nathan here for some reason. She's got to show him who's in charge here. "If you so much as try to touch me, I've got more curare where that first one came from."

Oof. Nathan catches the book, shutting his eyes for a moment as he tries to keep a hold of his patience, which he'd so easily let free for these precious few minutes. "Peter gave me the access code," he says, roughly, and a hand dips into his pocket. A key to the room. He doesn't explain where he got that, just holds it out for Cass to take. "He wanted me to come play babysitter for him." Nathan apparently had other things in mind, and his narrows his eyes across at Cass when she starts to tend to Sylar— and asks for his help. He manages not to physically, visibly balk at the idea. "Cass," he says, evenly. "Let's go. Everything will be taken care of when he gets his abilities back." Using Claire's power. No, he's not going to help the man heal anymore than he already can. Nathan starts for the door.

"I'm fine," Sylar coughs, managing to pull himself fully onto the cot. He leans against the wall, closing his eyes and letting out a sigh, after which he brings a hand up to his face to tenderly poke at the place Nathan hit so many times. His hand then moves down to his gut, poking there gently as well, flinching slightly at the pressure. He seems to be ignoring both Cass and Nathan, and with another wipe at his mouth to remove the blood, he picks up his book, flipping through the pages as he looks for the spot he left off.

The bookstore owner doesn't really want to be here in the room all that often with Sylar. He's a serial killer and, quite frankly, gives her the creeps. But, this is a clinic. And like she told Elle, she can't just deny treatment to anyone. "Yeah, well, I'm not planning to let him get his abilities back for awhile so that they can heal up." The explanation is taken at face value and she takes the key away from him with something like a swipe. "I might as well be Samuel bloody Mudd. I'm not letting someone get beat up in my clinic. I don't care who they are." It's the principle of the thing that Cass can't stand to bend. "You're the one that came here and bloodied my floors." And she'll hold him to it. "No, you're not fine," she snaps at Sylar. "You're a serial killer under my roof and deserve everything you have coming to you." Upon saying that, she quickly takes steps backwards, though, as if afraid of his reaction to her words.

"I was done anyway," Nathan responds, coldly, pausing in the doorway to look towards Sylar, then to Cass, as if concerned for her safety, the only thing that stops him from walking away. But apparently he knows the damage he did. Sylar can barely walk from the internal bruising, possible bleeding - the marks on his face are probably only the tip of the iceberg in comparison as to where the most of his violence was directed. And Nathan has to get out before he starts again, Cass's presence or not. He turns, picks up the jacket and tie he'd left just outside and begins to put the items back on, making for out as he ties the tie with quick, efficient movements. If not for his hand, one would never guess what had just happened just by looking at him.

"I said I was fine," the killer responds to Cass, his eyes leaving the pages of his book for just a moment to look
at her, before he's back to looking at the pages again. Nathan is ignored completely. He got what he came for, and as far as Sylar is concerned, there's nothing he has to say to him now. "I'll only speak to Peter," he finishes, and as far as he concerned, the matter is settled. He may not have his abilities, and he may be hated beyond hate here, but he still has his pride. What's left of it, anyway.

The last thing that Cass wants is to be left in a room alone with Sylar. The last time she was in that situation, he attacked her and the only way she got out was by a shot of curare. Without Nathan there, most of her bravado deflates. And without so much as a witty remark, she quickly is out after her so called friend, shutting the door firmly behind her as she goes. "What the hell Nathan. Since when did you turn into a— I don't even know what to call what you just did there. Whatever it is, you need to reign in your horses and help me patch him up because I'm not about to let that man internally bleed while he's in this clinic. We're in a hospital for god's sake."

Nathan slows when Cass follows, turning towards her as he just adjusts the collar of his shirt and slips his tie into place, buttoning his suit jacket together. Considering all of their banter and history, he's almost unfamiliar right now, expression one of cold, hollowed-out anger, not directed at her. "We are," he agrees, voice flat and almost toneless. "But Peter was the nurse in the family, Cass. Not me." The smile that goes with that doesn't reach his eyes and dies almost instantly.

It's a change in Nathan that Cass notices quickly, unsure of what footing she stands on when she now faces him. "Yeah, well, you can hold my band-aids for me and look intimidating so he doesn't come after me." Which is really what she's looking for in a nurse at the moment. The banter is something she doesn't even attempt to bring up at the moment. Maybe she knows that it may not be received well. Also, she's just as frustrated with this situation as the others. Having to treat Sylar is not exactly something she every wanted to do. She's been training Peter to control his abilities and, if it came to it, to kill him, after all. "I didn't ask you to bring this fight here."

Nathan nods in acknowledgment, and there's a crack in the metaphorical wall of ice he's put between himself and her. "I'm sorry," he says. Not for what he did that he did. Just where he had to do it, in her clinic. The position he's put Cass in. The position he's not about to help get any easier, save for this last offer, "I'll call Peter, he'll be here in a few minutes." The man can fly, after all. Might take even less time. Nathan looks down for a moment, at the lab floor, before nodding to her, and making, once again, for the stairwell out of the labs.

The ice wall is acknowledged and, well, nodded at. Cass can't force Nathan to do anything, as much as she'd like to at the moment. The last thing she wants is for him to feel happy about what he's done here, so she doesn't say anything more. She can't stop him from leaving, she just sighs deeply and runs a hand through her hair. Her gaze switches back between the departing Nathan and the locked door that leads to Sylar.

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