Word Count: 552
Summary: He finds her on the roof
Previous Chapters: 1 2
Sylar spends Christmas with Claire at her apartment. He even decorates a tree—white lights, white garland, red ribbon and red and white ornaments—for the first time in his life. It was not Claire’s idea, however, it was his, and Claire later confesses to it being her first tree in many years. And when he guides Claire to the tree on Christmas morning, he watches her stare in shocked silence at the many presents under the tree.
“What did you do?” she whispers half in awe, half seemingly scared.
Sylar can’t help but roll his eyes as he looks down at her. “I bought them, Claire,” he tells her simply, trying not to make a big deal out of something as simple as presents.
Claire walks closer to the tree and kneels down to take a closer look. “But why?” she asks. “I mean, we’re not—and you didn’t have to—I mean, I....” She doesn’t know what to say.
“It’s Christmas, Claire,” he reminds her with another eye roll, “presents are a part of the tradition, if you recall.”
She continues to stare at the carefully wrapped gifts, “But…I didn’t get you anything.”
He pushes her forward, until she’s kneeling right in front of one of the presents. “Don’t worry your pretty little head,” he says, “I picked up a few things for myself.”
He revels in her laugh when she sees the presents labeled: To: Sylar From: Claire.
On New Year’s Eve, they stay in again, and Sylar provides them both with a plethora of bottles of alcohol, and they wheedle the hours away getting drunk. Or, trying to, anyway, for they both know alcohol has little effect on them. It’s just the normality of the activity that provides the entertainment. And, complying with tradition, they also share the requisite kiss at the stroke of midnight.
The kiss, chaste as it was, seems to break through one of Claire’s carefully placed walls, and she pulls him closer and pushes him for more. For his part, he cannot help but give into her wordless demand, and eventually they end up in her bed, but in a twist not even he himself predicted, he stops her before they go so far that it cannot be taken back.
“We’re not normal, Claire,” he says, “much as we’re trying to be; and we can’t pretend to have a drunken one night stand when we’re both completely sober.”
And she looks up at him, bites her lower lip and considers his words for a moment. “But what if that’s not what I’m doing?” she whispers.
His forehead rests on hers and he kisses her chastely on a sigh. “You’re not ready,” he says, just realizing it himself. “And I’ll not rush this and have you hate me later when you realize it too. I don’t want that, and I hope you don’t either.”
He’s not used to being the responsible one , and he’s not sure he’s managing it so well or if he’s making the right decision to begin with. He wants her, after all, and she wants him, and he could so easily just….
But then, one of her hands grasp one of his, and she snuggles into the bed right beside him and whispers, “You’re right, thank you,” before falling asleep.