Spoilers: Up to 1x18 “Parasite”.
Summary: Sylar believes in what he's doing - making decisions others cannot face, that is mercy. Except he cannot face his own truth.
A/N: Thanks to jen_chan13 for a brief beta, though any grammar mistakes are mine - and some may come from the almost stream of consciousness style this takes.
As he looks up at the other man's dark eyes he reflect there were three things he had inherited from his father. Almost everyone seems to get more than they bargain for but some don't get enough. Mohinder was scorned by his dear father and in turn he is vengeful, or at least attempting it, because he can never gleam any more approval. Mohinder should have asked him about that, Gabriel knows how he feels – dropped like a rotten tomato because he lacked talent – but thankfully Sylar never has to feel that way again.
His genes, that he thought so unremarkable most of his life, meaningless sequences of data that made him that little bit different from those who had come before him. He'd never thought he'd been given such a gift as the one that his new father figure, the professor, had told him of. All his years he'd been a watchmaker, mainly a repairman of them, fixing everything from the greatest masterpieces to the bland homogenised piles of junk that made up cheap watches in the last few decades.
He'd felt normal, despite his expertise, and not in a good way. He'd never wanted to be normal, he didn't like getting looked over because he was a watchmaker, because he was thought to be as bland as the topic of his fascination. He wanted to be tangibly more than those before him, to see and experience life, explore the beautiful world. The only problem was that everywhere he looked he saw faults, flaws – in himself, in his customers babbling over their words, in the mundane people walking down the street as if being who they were and doing what they were in the world, to the world, was adequate. But back then he had tried not to dwell on such thoughts that he'd then thought of little consequence. His work was never done in the shop, he couldn't leave that small part of the world that he could improve by his existence. Of course, that had changed eventually and once he'd recognised what his new skills could mean, what he could do, those thoughts had that had taken seed long ago where finally nourished and flourished into so much more to match his need.
Genes and knowledge, that makes two; two seemingly insignificant factors of Gabriel Gray that made him into more, even before he had improved himself. The third thing he'd inherited, the name, had never been important to him though, it only served to define his as yet another in a line – one more bland weak watchmaker following in the family business. Then came a tiny step on his path to evolution - Mr. Gray, as Professor Suresh liked to address him at first, and it was a small delight to have respect from someone so prestigious who could teach him what he truly was.
And the respected Mr. Gray, became ever more full of shades of grey. Wanting, wishing, taking. Finally exploring, fixing all he found; them, himself. Morphing into Sylar came so easily, a name that, once assumed, you tend to become and it helped that Suresh cottoned on. He liked that Suresh knew, liked to see the moral dilemma play out in the old man's face but ultimately he chose wrongly. What Sylar did made the world a better place and of course there would be that which was discarded, like the feeble persona of Gabriel Gray, an unfortunate but foreseeable side effect, one he accepted and that was a key difference between who he had been and who he'd become.
Naturally having another Suresh to play with was thrilling, exhilarating and interesting. Waiting for the game to end, confession time, hadn't felt so awkward this time. It had been that much more fun by the mere fact that Mohinder thinks he knows what he's doing, thinks he can outsmart a man with the talents of so many people inside him. Mohinder calls him Gabriel, in defiance of his new status, he calls him Gabriel Gray, as if he should feel ashamed for evolving from that pithy creature into this.
Another angry denial of who he is causes another ping on the tuning fork as punishment, the pain of the pitch strikes deep inside his skull but all the while he knows he will kill this man. Though maybe daddy took him off the list and Mohinder's not only as useful as a man with the means to make a longer list. He'll have to do some study of his own once he's back in control, and taking control is so ridiculously easy – one mental click to turn the drip – that he has to resist laughing like a maniac. It might be expected but he has more dignity than that.
Experience tells him justice tastes sweet; all the sweeter when mixed with blood and the rush of adrenaline pumping through his veins, the beat of his body increased. He can't wait to see how this man bleeds, how his brain ticks, how he is so very normal- or otherwise not.
The watchmaker in his chimes in: for every problem there is a fix to find, a challenge. He'll prove he's better or he will take what he deserves and make himself that much more. That training he will never forget, where there is weakness there's a patch to apply, but he ignores the whisper inside, of Gabriel asking why, if that is true, can he never apply enough. Because deep down inside him that weak little boy from before listens, Gabriel knows Sylar like he can never know him in return. Sometimes the ears deceive and Gabriel knows you can't work in darkness, without light to see the what's missing - Sylar can never be fixed.