Title: A Game of Villains and Heroes
Disclaimer: Heroes comes from and Chuck from .
Spoilers: Season One of Heroes and Through 1x11 of Chuck.
Characters: Chuck Bartowski and Sylar.
Summary: A look at Sylar in the aftermath of the season one finale.
Words Count: 1,117
Notes: I'm placing part of the blame for this one on entangled_now, part on my brain, part on the BBC for showing Sin City last night and part on the two Zachary's and those photos with the matching t-shirts and the dog for putting the idea in my head!
- written 7th Jan - completely blanked on posting anywhere other than my own LJ!
He could tell himself that he was here to see if Chuck had powers, to see if he could add them to his collection. He could tell himself that he was here to see if Chuck even remembered 'Gabe', if he'd ever seen past Bryce Larkin. He could tell himself that he was here because it was the last place anyone would look. He could tell himself all these things and more, yet he still didn't know why.
Why he was standing in a line in a Buy More in LA waiting to have his cell fixed by the nerd behind the desk. A cell he knew fine well he could fix himself. Watches, brains, cell phones. Not too much of a difference.
He let himself smile.
Chuck always made things... interesting.
***He was bent over a watch that would take him thirty seconds maximum to fix. The sun was bright enough that it had reached far into the room; rays hitting the edge of his desk. Reminding him that it was summer.
"C'mon, Chuck... who gets their watch fixed these days, anyway? Just let me buy you a new one."
"Bryce! Whoever's in here can probably here you!"
"Fine. Your loss."
The conversation he overheard lasted barely a minute; he'd counted the seconds on the watch as he checked that he'd fixed it correctly. He had.
The final word was spoken as a tall man, presumably Chuck, appeared around the corner of the shelving that protected him from the world. The man had an impossibly large grin, one that made another man wish to be his friend forever.
"Hi! I'm Chuck, this..." he turned to glare at his companion, "idiot here is Bryce, Bryce Larkin."
Chuck placed an old battered Mickey Mouse watch on the counter,
"Can you fix this?"
He looked at the man in front of him, watched as his eyes grew impossibly large with hope, and resisted the urge he often felt - to tell the customer that he wasn't stupid and it would barely take him more than a moment to fix, and by the way the watch their friend was wearing was off count.
Instead he picked up the watch and turned it carefully, as if checking it over to find a problem.
"Of course, Sir."
Bryce Larkin laughed. Then received an elbow in the gut.
"It's just Chuck, call me Chuck."
"If you wish... Chuck."
He blinked, then turned back to the watch, flipping the back open.
It seemed that he was perhaps tempting fate, bringing things as full circle as he was. The same fate that determined who was hero and who was villain. The same fate that hid her divining from the world and left them to muddle it out themselves. He had tempted fate perhaps one too many times. Played both the villain and the hero.
The game wasn't over yet.
He stepped to the counter and watched as Chuck glared at the large man behind him and told him to get back to work. He finally turned to face him. It took a moment, and then the recognition was there.
"Gabe! I see you lost the glasses finally! Maybe one day we can get you to do something about that hair... it's worse than mine."
He had once thought that the Chuck Bartowski smile was like a hug, one thing he had received few of from anyone other than-, from precious few people. His recollection was not wrong.
"Chuck, lovely to see you again. I had not realised you were working here," lie
, "I just came in to get my cell-"
"Ah!" Chuck exclaimed as he plucked the cell from his grasp, "this one, I really wish people wouldn't buy it, it seems like I fix it at least ten times a day!"
A normal conversation. Perhaps the most normal since Mohinder. He carried it on without a thought, a normal person having a normal conversation. The other part of his mind, no. There is no other. It is all one. Whilst carrying out the conversation he was also listening to several others, watching several staff members and patrons and calculating how long he had in such a store before any cameras picked him up for long enough that a match could be made and sent to the Company - letting them know that he did not lay dead in a sewer in New York.
Ah, Chuck. He seemed to have landed on his feet, to have such protective co-workers, one was discussing his sister and his girlfriend and another seemed to be phoning said 'girlfriend' and having a conversation about cheese.
He smiled. Perhaps he was here to see about the power Chuck held.
He turned his full conscious thought back to his conversation with Chuck.
"-and then things happened, and well... here I am. Welcome to the Buy More!"
His cell was returned to him fully operational. It seemed that Chuck had not lost the talent he had of fixing things of a technological nature. One that at times had seemed to match his own with time pieces.
"Happened?" He really did want to know, he had spent many nights listening to Chuck and Bryce Larkin discussing what they would be doing, what they would be running, or retiring from, at this stage of their lives.
"Bryce," the confusion and pain in his tone is palpable, "Bryce happened. But he's... he's dead now, so water under the bridge, you know?"
Since the mess with the painter he sees new memories as pictures, this one flashes the moment Bryce is mentioned, the fear in the man's eyes is captured as slowly flowing away as they die, the top of his head several feet from his body and the image of Chuck Bartowski painted in his blood.
"He most certainly is."
"What?" Shock and perhaps a little fear.
"Oh, I'm sorry Chuck. I mean that he is, I, uh, I saw an article in the paper whilst on my travels, I finally got away from New York, you know, got to explore past the city and one of the first things I find is that Bryce is dead."
"Oh," the relief in Chuck's eyes sparks a further thought, perhaps there was more than one reason for what Bryce Larkin's blood drew, not just the connections in his mind.
"Bartowski!" The large man who had been discussing cheese with the girlfriend bellows from mere feet away.
"Be right there, Casey." And then to Sylar, "Sorry, Gabe... let me grab your number and I'll call you after work. You are staying in town, right?"
"I think I can be persuaded."