Summary: Sylar can reassure himself with the knowledge that Mohinder feels this connection too, and is just as confused and frustrated by it. Unfortunately, whereas Sylar wants to explore it, figure it out, Mohinder would like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Sex, language.
Original story: A Polite Fiction by perdiccas
Sylar knows how things work. It’s an innate instinct that surpasses any knowledge one could garner from study, and as such it comes with a set of odd compulsions. If he hadn’t been a watchmaker before he supposed he would have simply pulled apart every appliance and gadget he could get his hands on, just to put them back together again – only better. Of course, back then he wouldn’t have understood why.
It is said that every gift comes with a curse, and Sylar’s has wreaked a lot of havoc. If he were honest, however, he would acknowledge the blame that lies on his own shoulders. It was his pathology that led to such an extreme as murder. At the very least, Sylar can admit (not out loud, but in the quiet confession of nagging self-reflection) that in the hands of another, perhaps someone like Mohinder, his ability could have led to the greatest scientific discoveries the world has ever known.
Fate, however, left this double-edge sword in his hands and no one else’s.
Put simply, this curse is an insatiable thirst to know, in exquisite detail, what makes all things tick. When the secrets behind most of the world’s mysteries open like a flower to the light before you, the ones that stay closed are infuriating. The incessant desire to know, to understand, can be impossible to resist.
Sylar might like to say that his latest endeavor is a willfully minded exercise in self-control, and he’ll certainly pretend it to be the truth is to satisfy the mob of enemies who are now his reluctant allies, but the reality is quite the opposite.
Sylar is obsessed.
Since the day he first uncovered his true talent, he has gotten better at understanding all the intricacies of the human mind and body. He even has quite the talent for imitation, dressing up in the superficialities of someone else and sometimes finding, for a time, their skin more comfortable than his own. But there is still one person he can’t figure out, beside himself.
Sylar has been nursing an obsession, focused maddeningly on the one man who gets under his skin, and he doesn’t know why. He can make up a lot of excuses. Mohinder challenges him, attacks when he should cower, has a brilliant intellect, and he is, to be honest, a specimen of visual perfection; but these are excuses. Sylar understands why Mohinder does what he does, and daddy issues are no small part. He can respect the bravery, even if it really is laced with stupidity. He just can’t work out why he’s obsessed, why he craves the man with every fiber in his being, and why that craving is impossible to ignore.
At least he can reassure himself with the knowledge that Mohinder feels this connection too, and is just as confused and frustrated by it. Unfortunately, whereas Sylar wants to explore it, figure it out, Mohinder would like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
For the most part this is not a problem. If the others knew what simmered beneath the surface they would never have assigned Mohinder to be his partner – though they all know that the more appropriate term would be watcher, or handler. Long days of tracking down dangerous enemies involves a lot more waiting than action, especially with Sylar’s ability to end fights swiftly, and those long periods of close contact allow Sylar to pick away at Mohinder’s near-impenetrable walls.
What might be seen as banter of mutual loathing is something more akin to foreplay. It is Sylar slowly breaking down the barriers Mohinder insists on building with pointed remarks designed to aggravate and inflame. An observer wouldn’t be completely wrong in judging it a fight, in which even Sylar loses control occasionally. It is a battle, though not one with the intent of causing hurt, as that is only a side effect. It is a clash of two relentless wills trying to enforce a change in the other, to prove something the other won’t admit. It is relentless and calculated and passionate, and it always ends in sex.
Even the sex is a battle, in its own way.
Sylar can admit that he takes an immense amount of pleasure in reducing Mohinder to an incoherent mess. Mohinder’s body is his playground, an instrument he plays to perfection, every bit of sensitive skin a different note in his own private symphony. He uses his aptitude to draw out every moan and sigh and curse and he knows that he could make it last for hours. He could hold Mohinder teetering on the edge of abyss for so long that he wouldn’t even be able to remember his own name, so that every moment is a delicate blend of bliss and torture. He could take them both soaring to heights no mere mortals could even dream to achieve.
He wants to see just to see how far he can push, to see what new boundaries he can cross, how well he could play his perfect instrument, but-
“For fucks sake, Sylar just-“
- tonight is not that night. Sylar acquiesces, knowing that Mohinder is at the breaking point, that taking this any farther would be to start another game, one that despite his desire to explore it, would be avoiding his goal for this evening. Tonight he wants something different.
The cry Mohinder lets out as he comes is beautiful.
Sylar admires the taste lingering in his mouth as he crawls up Mohinder’s body, admiring his handiwork, the masterpiece he was able to create. Seeing Mohinder tense and fighting always inspires lust, but seeing him boneless and satisfied makes something else burn at Sylar’s core. He imagines he can see a crack in the last of barriers, but he’s been fooled before.
He is so caught up in admiration and expectation that it takes him a moment to realize Mohinder is moving, crawling downwards to return the favour, but that’s not what Sylar wants. He reacts without thinking, pulling Mohinder back up. A familiar thrill dances down his spine when Mohinder struggles and glares at him, but it is tempered by a more powerful urge. Fear is easy to inspire, and the struggle is fun, but lately the fight has been secondary, a means to an end, and Mohinder’s resolve on this one point has been stronger than any before.
“What?” Mohinder asks, clearly aggravated, and the words escape Sylar’s mouth without proper thought.
“Let me fuck you.” It’s easier than saying what he really wants, especially since he can’t even admit it to himself, but by now this struggle is getting repetitive and so far all his efforts have been for naught. It seems to be the one line Mohinder isn’t willing to cross.
“No.” Mohinder rolls his eyes and Sylar has to quietly admonish himself for not trying a less direct approach. “I’ll fuck you, if you like.”
It would be somewhat tempting offer, under normal circumstances. Certainly no one, least of all Sylar himself, would have guessed just how much he enjoys that scenario. Letting Mohinder take control like that, coming together in that way, is an oddly freeing experience, but it’s never quite right. Mohinder’s attempts to keep what they have as ‘just sex’ are getting less and less enjoyable to combat.
Fortunately, there is a very easy retort to Mohinder’s offer tonight.
“I think you’re done for the moment.” Sylar retorts as he traces a line through drying spit that makes Mohinder shiver uncomfortably.
“No, Mohinder.” Sylar barely restrains a growl of annoyance. It’s obvious to him that, buried deep inside, Mohinder wants the same as him. He wants to let go, give in to what they both know is meant to be, is inevitable. They’ve come so far but Mohinder’s stubborn streak has meant more fighting and denying and Sylar isn’t sure how much more of it he can take. The fighting is exhilarating, but being denied isn’t something he’s used to dealing with. Not anymore. Being honest wouldn’t help either. Mohinder suspects, he must, but saying it out loud removes the doubt and all the protection that brings. Vulnerability isn’t something he is ever willing to show, and even if he did decide it might be worth it, such confessions seem more likely to scare Mohinder off than anything else.
“I want to fuck you.” The crude words are an excellent mask.
- or so he thought.
“A handjob? Seriously?”
More ripostes are shared, ended only when Mohinder attempts to silence his protests with a kiss. Sylar does love kissing, an obsession that has surprised them both, and Mohinder can do incredible things with his tongue, but Sylar knows when he’s being distracted. As good as it feels to have Mohinder’s lips on his, Mohinder’s talented hands bringing him pleasure, it isn’t enough.
He’s rapidly losing control of the situation. Mohinder is the ultimate puzzle. Picking him apart is both fun and frustrating, but all his recent efforts to get what he wants have been stunning failures. Mohinder sees through his attempts at manipulation, provocation, and demand. The only option he sees left is precariously close to truth and shockingly close to vulnerability, but he’s desperate.
“Please.” He tries to think of it as another manipulation, but the plea is disturbingly honest and there is unnerving embarrassment as he hears the unspoken, I want to make love with you, hang in the tense silence between them. In the end, any real intimacy is ultimately Mohinder’s choice, and being at his mercy for this is the most terrifying thing he has experienced since taking the name Sylar as his own.
For a moment, he almost thought it had been worth it, a flicker in Mohinder’s eyes that betrayed a shared need for intimacy, but a sharp tongue cuts hope short.
“No,” Mohinder insists. He is adamant and angry now, and Sylar knows that anger means he’s close, means he’s hit a nerve.
As Mohinder attempts to distract him once more with talented lips, he considers his options and finds himself torn. Backing off now would be a major step backwards. Displaying more vulnerability certainly isn’t an option. He hadn’t meant to sound so needy the first time, and Mohinder’s instant disregard for that honesty only makes Sylar feel inclined to lash out, despite knowing that this rejection is simply Mohinder’s method of self-protection. Resuming his aggressive stance would be more likely to see Mohinder attempt to leave him unsatisfied out of spite. That might be a good state of mind to push Mohinder into; a state in which he might really consider the hinted honesty of Sylar’s thinly concealed desire for intimacy. Sylar is sure that once they cross that line this will all make sense, that he’ll finally understand why he needs this so badly. It wouldn’t be the most comfortable scenario right this moment, and he isn’t sure he has the willpower to go through with it, but it might just be worth it.
Then Mohinder is pulling away to rub lube between his thighs and for a moment Sylar is baffled. This is not something they’ve done before and, though he’ll never admit this out loud either, his relative inexperience with sex means that it takes him much longer than it should have to work out what Mohinder is getting at. It certainly doesn’t help that Mohinder’s expression is smug at the realization that for once Sylar is a little slow to comprehend.
The position is awkward. Sylar wonders if Mohinder is being deliberately difficult, because kissing from behind like this near impossible, though Sylar attempts it nonetheless. When Mohinder squeezes his thighs and they start moving together Sylar finds himself overcome. He bites down on Mohinder’s neck without thinking, the word mine thrumming through his body along with the shivers of pleasure. This is so close, so very close to what he craves, and yet even through the growing haze of lust he finds himself considering how it also is not.
This position is just a simulation, a lesser copy of what he wants, and Mohinder is attempting to placate him by offering it. Worse still, Sylar knows that Mohinder’s choice of this position is, consciously or not, still a way to deny the intimacy Sylar is craving. Like this, with Mohinder’s back to him, it’s another way of blocking him out, another failure to breach that boundary.
Yet, this is the closest he’s going to get tonight, perhaps for a long while, and Sylar has learned that with Mohinder he sometimes has to be content to take what he can get.
Tomorrow is another day.