The Hunger


sarisa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title The Hunger
Synopsis If you stare into the Abyss long enough the Abyss stares back at you.
Date January 29th, 2011

Washington D.C.

Sylar knows about purging.

Being comprised of basic function, mainly, he admires what he is. A weapon, something sharpened, honed, with excess softness chipped away to form something true and honest. He is detoxed of poisonous doubt and sympathy. He is a pure creature, one he knows that deep down, somewhere dark, Gabriel Gray can only envy him for. The cloning— if it can even be called that— is the best thing that could possibly happen to him, reborn and free. So much freedom.

But no one ever said that shedding excess flesh wasn't fucking painful.

As Sarisa moves down the hallway, the dingy little apartment building he's chosen for himself in Washington D.C., she hears a sudden and sharp cry if agony, raw, animal, and somewhat indulgent. The door has a mark where the 6 used to be, long since removed and identified only as such by the layer of grime that rims where the brass number used to be nailed. The carpet beneath her feet is cheap and thin, the paint flaking off the walls coloured the same tone as peasoup, and one of the lights that guide her way above her head flicker like a seizure.

A cockroach scuttles between her feet, a shiny black little shape that darts, quick as a flash and with a bizarre amount of bravery, away from any stomping heels. It squirms beneath the bottom of a door, and disappears.

Another howl comes from the room. Good thing she has a key, or else she might not get let in.

Leather gloved hands curl tightly shut after the sound receeds from the hallway, but not from memory. The key held fast between fingers feels heavier, now, and whatever is happening beyond the door is suddenly more important than the reason she'd come here at all. Swallowing back a mouthful of uncertain words, mostly curses, she lifts the key up to the door, drawing the deadbolt back with a firm clack in the door. Opening the door into the apartment, Sarisa's darkly dressed figure looks notably drab, all matte black and unforgiving, save for that blonde hair spilling down shoulder length on the wool of her overcoat.

She doesn't call out once the door has opened, only slips inside and eases the door shut behind herself, affordint the interior a profile view as she casually slides the chan lock across the door with a rattle. She needn't announce herself for Sylar to know she's here, though she'll appreciate an explanation of why he is later.

That he's not at Epstein's means something is either wrong, or right.

Eyes as blue and as cold as a winter's sky scan through the apartment, in search of on which side of the divide Sylar's situation falls on today.

A squeak of bedsprings signals her attention to the right, where the bedroom door is flung open, and she can see a dark shape upon the slice of bed in her view. Legs, clothed, kick the sheets off the bed as if in the fit of a restless dream, and she can see the material piling down on the cheap carpeting. It's stained in blood, which is diluted in turn with other fluids. Sweat, maybe, the smell is similar, if strong enough to rival the copper-reek of red.

Her entrance, nor her approach, are acknowledge. Sylar has his eyes shut, expression relaxing, a little, by the time she moves enough for him to come into view. Stomach down, hands gripping onto the edge of a crippled mattress, the sight could be. Friendlier. Scarred flesh mars up his back, with ridiculous, useless flutters of bandaging, soaked in with blood, taped loose on slippery skin. Bullet holes are the least of his worries, because as well as burns, the entirety of his back looks like hamburger, a slightly greyish, dead cast to his skin that extends all the way from the nape of his neck to the small of his back, around to his rib cage, over his shoulders.

A low groan escapes him, and Sarisa can see what looks like exaggerated goosebumps raised on dying skin. Bandaging is taped along the side of his neck, slightly more secure, up as far as his cheekbone. The pink shine of a burn peeks at the edges.

Confusion sets in just prior to horror, and Sarisa is quick to cover the distance between herself and her injured consort. Gloved hands reach out for him, but then as if in consideration of petting a wild animal, she hesitates, gloved fingers curling back in on themselves like wilting flower petals. Sarisa's eyes are wide, throat tight, jaw set square. Dark brows say more than ummoving lips do, dancing across her forehead in expressions of conflicting emotions; Worry and concern, blame and accusation, regret and fear.

The entirety of her face decides to agree on worry by the time her mouth catches up to the rest.

"What happened?" It's breathy on her lips, gone are the interrogative questions as to why he's not at Epstein's apartment. It's obvious now, why he isn't. "Why— " Sarisa treads lightly, but closer. "We need to find you someone…" Like finding a junkie a new fix, Sarisa needs to find a band-aid solution to whatever his problem is. She knows a couple healers, but she unfortunately only knows one regenerator, and she can't find Claire Bennet anywhere.

It's sort of nice, to be worried about. On this, he reflects, briefly, feverish enough that he doesn't reply to Sarisa immediately. He does, however, move. Hands brace against the the mattress and Sylar gets to his knees and hands. Fresh blood courses in rivulets down his shoulders and chest as the edge of dying, beaten skin breaks from new flesh under the movement. "Burned," he states, rawly, his voice cracking as freely as the skin in the process of sloughing off his shoulder blades. A piece falls away, along with rough bandaging, revealing the bullet wound still remaining messy in his back. That arm quakes beneath his own weight.

"Two ambushes. Too many. They killed Amid before I could— augh." Like a sliding sheet of ice, the rest of the skin comes away, piling on the mattress and oozing. There is a soft, new quality to the skin beneath it, save for where gunfire cuts too deeply to be replaced.

In her time as an active field operative for the CIA, and her military career prior, Sarisa has seen the recovery of burn victims. What is happening to Sylar is nothing of the sort, it reminds her more of her youth, reminds her of watching cicadas on the screen porch of her grandfather's house, crawling out of their own skin; molting.

She's silent on lifting one gloved hand up as she advances on the injured man, letting the cool touch of leather press against Sylar's cheek, thumb stroking the skin beneath his right eye. She leans in to adjust the difference in their height from his position on the bed, dark brows furrowing more intently, as if studying something fascinating, something new.

As her head cranes to the side, subtly, a lock of blonde hair falls to cross Sarisa's brow, and the psychometer considers Sylar's injuries and his gruesome recovery more closely now. "Are you going to become my butterfly?" She asks in a whispering, sing-song tone of voice, her expression creeping up into a ghost of a smile, lost behind something more unhinged and over-attentive.

The dark discs of iris and pupil seem to shiver atop watery, bloodshot domes of white as he regards her, head listing into the touch his face. His skin is cold to touch, anemically pale, the grain of his unshaven jaw rough as sandpaper even through her gloves, with the other side of his face papered over with bandaging and messily applied medical tape. His smile splits, then, the cracks of dry skin on his lips showing that basic things like dehydration and good health are only somewhere on his list of priorities.

He, stinking of blood and sweat and dead flesh, in this grimy little apartment bedroom, is invincible. "The kind that create tornadoes," he promises her, before he's pulling away from her touch and moving to sit on the edge of the bed. There's a grunt as wounds jostle with the movement, brushing a hand up his arm and shoulder to brush away still clinging flakes of skin.

Eyes sunk into his face, shadowed, but he's no longer screaming.

"You need more," Sarisa asserts, not as though to damage his pride, but to ensure Sylar that she's still looking out for his best interests. "I don't… I don't know how they found out about Halebi, probably too many eyes watching the Institute. We can't— we can't rely on them any more for shipments, we're going to have to take a different approach." Lifting her gloved hand up his face, Sarisa is undeterred by the stink of gore, the smell of that sloughed off blood and the stink of sweat. The gloved hand strokes across Sylar's brow, the back of her knuckles smudging beards of sweat ineffectually with waterproof leather. It's more the contact she craves.

Leaning in closer, her nose becomes dangerously close to his, but retains that distance of touch. "I'm putting together a list," she whispers breathily, "I think you'll… I think you'll like what I'm working on. Epstein is only going to take you so far, so fast. We— we should find you a new face. A better one." Sliding her tongue across her lips, Sarisa exhales a shuddering breath across Sylar's cheek.

"There's a man in Washington, lobbyist… I've been having him watched. Very Pro-Evolved, very popular, very liked." Sarisa swallows audibly, settling down to sit her weight across Sylar's lap, one leg on either side of his. She's careful, mindful of his injuries in that hesitant way someone might reassure a wounded lion.

"Have you ever wanted X-Ray vision?" Sarisa asks in exhalation of the request, tracing one gloved fingertip across chapped lips.

"A couple of times."

He's not even being facetious. Though Sylar takes very little pride in his history, it's still his, and he recalls chases in the wrecked ruins of Midtown, seeking out the glowing set of eyes he'd detected that first time behind the black of Flint Deckard's sunglasses worn in the evening. Feeling much better, he tilts his face to regard her's, mouth mumbling words beneath the gentle touch of her fingertips, teeth showing white and grazing.

His hands rest on her hips, and then sharply tighten, for no real reason but to show off the strength that remains in his hands, down his arms. Small bruises develop beneath the pads of his fingers, making marks. "Pro-Evolved and liked?" is cynical, one thick eyebrow raising up. "You sure that's the vessel I need, or are you making good use out of attack dog Sylar?" His own name is near purred out — maybe in some sort of mocking mimicry of the admiration she shows him.

"Donovan," Sarisa exhales breathily, sharply, at the blossoming of bruises. Her throat works up and down in a tense swallow, blue eyes nearly swallowed by wide pupils. She leans close, still ghosting the distance between his face and hers, blonde hair falling down around her shoulders, eyes like a feral cat in the dark. "Marcus Donovan. He was almost mayor, beaten out by Lockheart. He's a champion of the people… charismatic… family man. Divorced, though. No ties there, but the daughter angle…" Sarisa's lips slowly creep up into a smile. "It makes for a good platform to stand on."

One gloved hand traces across Gabriel's lip, then down his stubbled chin. She's being mindful, not to make that biometric link, savoring the moments before she gets what she wants out of Sylar. Nothing so physical, nothing so base as something that is just sex. No, Sarisa lives vicariously through something more intimate than that.

"Talk later," Whispers across Sylar's lips. "Show me," one hand tugs the glove off of another, warm breath passing through parted lips, and a leather glove falls down into her lap. "Show me what it's like again, the feeling…" She's addicted to his addiction.

"Show me a kill."

His hand seals strong at her throat when Sylar crushes her mouth to his, air funneling through nasal passages in delayed exhale. His lips are rough, dehydrated, and little skill in a kiss save to receive one in deceptive passivity. Whether he chooses exactly what she sees is up for debate, but he does, however, do as asked, the vision flashing with her mind as if the memory were her own. She feels his heart pounding, the fluid motions of the hunt, and the ravenous need to complete what he pursues.

A young man, his headphones skittering behind him and blaring Tool, bolts through the parking lot as if the hounds of hell were after him. The wire catches on a railing, yanks from the MP3 player in his pocket, throwing the scene into silence save for his thudding steps that ring sharp against the concrete and echo between floor and ceiling.

The world blurs as Sylar gives chase properly, converting into raw sound that zooms in a blink along side, bursting every window in every car he crosses through in cacophonous shrieks and shatters, sirens wailing and lights binking. The young man skids to a bewildered, panicky halt, turning towards where Sylar has materialised, and in Sarisa's memory-view, she sees arms go forward, two bony spines puncturing the young victim's torso with effortless ease. They're a gurgling shriek, before the man is tossed carelessly aside, back near snapping against a pillar before he collapses in bleeding mess.

A few slow strides close the distance, a boot kicking the man onto his back. Bone spine morphing into something more saw capable, the victim is paralysed in puppetry, eyes wide and glistening and trembling in his sockets, as skin begins to separate beneath the sawing motions of bone, and then his own skill gives way with an audible crack.

Muffled screams behind closed teeth and sealed lips usher out the vision, echoing in Sarisa's head.

That she comes to from the vision on her back is unsurprising, welcomed, intoxicating. Pupils dilate and tighten as she focuses on reality again, a noise in the back of her throat suggesting some insane level of need from what she saw. There is a context in those visions, the ability to feel what Sylar felt, the ability to feel the hunger and the lust for power that his ability demands of him. She is a leech, a parasite, sympathetic to his addictions, trapped by them.

"Nothing can stop you…" Sarisa whispers against the edge of Gabriel's jaw, scraping her mouth across the scruff of his stubble. One ungloved hand wanders up the still molten flesh on his back, still new, still tender. The subtle roughness of something as minute as a fingerprint tracks sensations of prickling pain up his side, mixed with the warmth of her breath down the side of his neck.

The fingers of her hand that still is sheathed in aleather glove wind up in dark hair, blue eyes close and Sarisa's mouth opens in a silent scream as she elicits another memory texture from the fresh skin at his back, the bloodlust and hunger on seeing Amid Halebi's helpless form trapped inside of the ACTS container, the want for his power — one so familiar — and the sudden burning denial that flayed flesh from his muscle.

Her throat works up and down, back arches and one pinstripe clad leg bends to Hook around Gabriel's waist. As Sarisa's eyes open again, she lifts that bare hand up to his jaw, nails pressing against the underside of his chin. Her lips part in an open-mouthed smile, face flushed red and pupils fluctuating between wide and narrow, eyes bloodshot.

"This world needs you…" Sarisa exhales in trembling hush against Sylar's lips, arching herself up against him.

It has been suggested that Sylar's ability is what drove Arthur Petrelli into the final days of his homocidal dementia. It has been shown that the hunger could turn even someone like Peter Petrelli into a monster, enslaved to the addiction of power and the thrill of the hunt. Even Samson Gray isn't immune to the lust, the need and the desire. What Sarisa Kershner first brushed Sylar's mind, she too saw a window into that addiction.

As the old quotation by Freidrich Nietzsche goes: If you stare long enough into the Abyss…

…the Abyss stares back.

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