Title: Vampire Syndrome
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Era: Post season 4
Genre: General, humor
Rating: K+ / FRC
Characters: Peter Petrelli, Sylar (, Claire Bennet, Hesam)
Summary: Peter catches something that forces him and Sylar to come up with a rather odd plan.
Warnings: Vampire reference, language, verbally suggested violence and murder.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
Disclaimer: The show, its characters, its places, and everything else, belong to Tim Kring and the other respective creators and owners of ‘Heroes’. I have made no profit by writing this story, and make no claim over the show.
Feedback: The good, the bad, the ugly – as long as it’s fair, keep it coming.
About Vampire Syndrome: I was originally going to write this for Heroes_Contest’s (heroes_contest) Drabble Challenge 24: In the Shadows. It ended up way too lengthy for the challenge, though, so I decided to expand it a bit and make it into a story of its own.
While the challenge name “In the Shadows” simply reminded me of The Rasmus song, this was a very random idea that got stuck in my head on the way home from a bus stop. (This is a great achievement after a very dry spell in writing.) I don’t write humor very often, so I’m sure this one will also fail in that department, but if someone’s amused, good. And if someone feels like I’m dissing the Twilight series (just a little), then… yeah, maybe I am ;P (But really, it isn’t that bad… perhaps just a couple of references could be understood that way.)
Story and its status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
Peter and Hesam picked up a guy with severe sunburn and dehydration symptoms. It was a bit odd since it was rather late, the sun already going down, and it wasn’t a sunny day to begin with. They simply assumed the guy had fallen asleep in a solarium or something since he had been found on the street, acting disoriented. He seemed to be in quite a lot of pain, too, but once inside the ambulance, he calmed down a bit.
“You’re going to be fine,” Peter told the guy when they got to the hospital, then smiled and lightly patted the man’s shoulder when a nurse came to wheel him into an examination room. The guy mumbled something and grasped at Peter’s arm frantically; he had quite a grasp for someone in his condition. The man tried to pull Peter closer, or at least his hand, but Peter pried his fingers loose and shook his head as they took him away. Poor bastard.
They drove the rest of the night without bigger incidents, and when Peter’s shift ended in the morning, the sun was just coming up. He smiled, wondering if he would manage to sleep while it was so bright outside. He would have to tell Sylar to keep it down, although the man lived a quiet existence in his home; Sylar hadn’t been able to find a place of his own after the whole mess at the carnival, so Peter had taken pity on him and allowed him to sleep on his couch. It wasn’t as if he was home that much, and this way he could also keep an eye on Sylar. The company another person offered was nice, too, occasionally.
When he stepped through the hospital doors, he winced from the brightness of the sun. Damn it hurt… He put on his sunglasses, but after a few steps he began to notice something else; his skin was prickling and hurting, and each second it got worse. Almost as if he was on fire. He was almost certain he smelled something…
He stepped back indoors, and the pain lessened significantly at once, slowly vanishing. “What the hell…” he muttered, then tried again. When he looked at his hand after the second try, he could see same kind of burns on his skin as they had seen on the guy they brought in the previous evening. Either the guy carried some kind of odd disease and Peter had caught it when the man touched him, or he was a special.
Peter felt sweat trickling down his neck and took a quick look around. No one seemed to be paying attention to him going back and forth through the doors just yet. There were many people in the lobby even at this hour, and he could almost smell them, their combined pulses thrumming in his ears…
He blinked and realized this wasn’t the right way to think. Who thought like that?
A young boy passed him, a gash on his leg, and Peter could have sworn he smelled the blood as if the injured leg was inches from his nose.
Quickly he retreated to the nearest bathroom he could find, fumbled with his phone, and called Sylar.
Sylar had just woken up when Peter called him.
“You have to come and get me. I can’t go out while the sun’s up, and… God, I’m getting so thirsty I could just… You have to come and get me!”
“Slow down,” Sylar told the other man, yawning. “You’re not making any sense. You’re thirsty? Go get water or something.”
“I tried! It’s not helping. And my skin’s still itching, damn it, I just want to scratch it…”
Sylar frowned. “You have what? A rash?”
“No! No rash! Sunburn! And I think my skin was actually smoking, at least it smelled like it. You’ll have to come and get me, dammit! I’m in the men’s bathroom, and I can’t stay here forever. Find a car and come get me!”
Sylar listened to Peter carefully, trying to make some sense of his ramblings, and in the end the single thing that made sense to him was that Peter was losing it – or he had caught a power he had no control over. “Alright, I’ll come,” he finally promised. “But where am I supposed to get a car? I don’t exactly have an ID or driver’s license on me or anything…”
“Just think of something! It can’t be that hard! I swear if you don’t, I’ll dig my fingers so deep into your skull it doesn’t matter where the killing spot is.”
“Okay, okay! I’m coming,” he promised as Peter began to sound a bit too violent. “Geesh,” Sylar noted to himself once he disconnected, then went to put on some clothes.
He still couldn’t just go and rent a car. Perhaps he should steal one? Peter seemed to be adamant he couldn’t come out while the sun was still up, and he couldn’t stay in the bathroom forever, that was for sure.
As Sylar walked down the street towards the hospital where Peter worked, he suddenly stopped in front of a Laundromat. He peered inside, looking at the people there, and got the best idea of all time.
When someone knocked on the door of his stall, Peter hoped it was Sylar. His burns had disappeared, the skin as good as ever, but he was still feeling… well, thirsty. Only all the water in the world didn’t seem to make it stop.
Indeed, Sylar was standing there, looking at him oddly, something draped over his arm. Peter was very glad to see the other man. “What’s that?” Peter asked, frowning as he looked at the thing on Sylar’s arm. “Did you get the car?”
“No, but I have something else,” Sylar told him, and spread out what seemed to be a whole lot of fabric. Peter stared at it for almost a minute before he managed to think of anything to say.
“Where did you get that?”
“From a woman in a Laundromat. Well, to be technical, I stole it… But it should do the trick, right?”
Peter wasn’t so sure. “I’m not putting that on.”
“Do you want to stay in this stall until it’s dark? Walk in the shadows for the rest of your life?” Sylar asked.
“Why couldn’t you just bring me a damn car?!” Peter demanded. He breathed in sharply, and could smell the other man. Not the cologne, mind you, but his skin and sweat and the blood rushing just beneath the skin, the sweet sound of it like Christmas bells in Peter’s ears.
“Because if I did, they would call the cops on me. I’m flagged in the police database, remember?” Sylar snapped, frustrated.
It took Peter a moment to recall what he was talking about, which made Sylar frown at him and thrust the clothing into his arms.
“Why can’t this power make me the type of media-sexy vampire that simply sparkles in the sun and attracts young women?” Peter muttered. Sure, no one could see him under that thing, but he rather would have not worn it…
Walking in a burqa was rather difficult. At least Peter made it look like it was. Under all that fabric, it was impossible to tell it was a man, not a woman, and Sylar tried to keep his face straight as they walked. He was fairly certain Peter had put it on the wrong way somehow as he kept walking into objects. Of course that could be because he had insisted on putting on his sunglasses as well, which looked rather ridiculous. It wasn’t as if anyone could have recognized him with that thing on even without the glasses.
Eventually Sylar simply took Peter’s arm to stop him from making embarrassing movements and to avoid collisions with another person or a lamp post, not to mention tripping over a fire hydrant.
People looked at them go by, but it wasn’t such an odd sight to be honest. Only the fact that Peter had no control over his current outfit set him apart from anyone else wearing a similar dress.
That and the fact that every now and then Peter would just stop and sort of lean towards people passing him, as if he was smelling something delicious. Sometimes it seemed Peter even migrated towards people on purpose, and Sylar recalled the strange sort of look in his eyes while they were still standing in the men’s bathroom. Peter wasn’t acting like he usually did, and his attention span was pitiful at best, so maybe taking his arm was the smartest thing to do. After all, since Claire outed the specials, people kept an eye out for anyone who acted strangely, and if someone saw Peter like this and realized what he was… he would set a very bad example indeed. Sylar couldn’t allow him to get sidetracked and freak out innocent people who didn’t understand that he wasn’t actually mad, but in a rather strange condition he had no control over.
Once they got home, Peter pulled the burqa off himself. He was feeling very hot – and very thirsty. He had never noticed how attractive Sylar really looked. Good enough to eat…
“So, what are you planning to do next?” Sylar asked casually as he helped Peter out of the cloth that reminded him more of a tent than a garment.
“I don’t know. I have to eat,” Peter noted, almost frantically, and grasped at Sylar’s hand. Such a juicy –
And then it was gone. The thirst simply vanished. His thoughts were much clearer, too.
Peter blinked and frowned. “That’s weird…”
To test it, he went to the window, threw it open, and poked his arm out. Nothing. The sun was just as pleasant on his skin as always.
Sylar was making odd, suffocating sounds behind him, and Peter turned to look at him. The man was standing there with the stolen burqa, looking like he was trying not to burst out laughing.
That was the first moment Peter actually realized that he could have gotten rid of the ability had he simply touched Sylar back at the hospital. And there would have been none of this ridiculousness… “Why didn’t you say anything?”! Peter roared.
Sylar couldn’t contain it anymore, but sat back on the couch and laughed heartily. Peter simply glared at him, unable to believe they had gone through all this…
When Sylar finally managed to get some control over himself, he wiped a tear from the corner of his eye with the burqa and looked at Peter. “You were so adamant, I didn’t really get a say, and, well… I just didn’t think about it.”
“It would have been too obvious,” Peter muttered.
“Yes, but it’s your power; you should have been the one to think of it.”
That made sense, but Peter was still too upset to admit it. Besides, all he had been able to think about during the whole walk home was not jumping some innocent passer-by and draining their body dry of every last drop of blood… Now, the idea made him shudder, rather.
“Well, at least it’s over,” Sylar decided, setting the burqa beside him on the couch. He looked at it, then up at Peter and grinned. “Do you want to keep this?”
Because the ability Peter had accidentally taken from Sylar was telekinesis, the next thing Sylar did was hightail it out of the room to avoid anything Peter could set his eyes on which wasn’t attached to the walls or the floor too tightly. “You tell anyone about today and you’re a dead man!” Peter hollered after Sylar as objects flew past him towards the other man. “And this is the last time I want to see that damn burqa in this house!”
He wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard Sylar mutter something about Peter having no sense of humor when he took the trash out a few minutes later, wrapped in fabric rather than a plastic bag.