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[personal profile] builtofsorrow
title: Put a Ring On It
rating: G
word count: ~600
character(s)/pairing(s): Gretchen Berg, Sylar. Implied/Assumed Sylar/Peter & Gretchen/Claire.
summary: Just like honesty needs a little plus, sometimes fate needs a little push. And no one can ever say Sylar doesn't appreciate the wisdom of the classics.
author’s notes: Clichéd title is clichéd.

[livejournal.com profile] trinsy_fics is about 60% responsible for the fact that this exists (& I mean that in the best of ways!), mainly because today is her half-birthday, which calls for more celebration than I can manage from the opposite side of the continent (D:). So at the very least, it called for an extension into fic of our fangirly e-mails. (We'll celebrate for real[sies] next month when you're here! ♡)

Sylar is still Sylar because I don't think he can ever go back to being Gabriel Gray, which I feel is important to note, but this is set in a future where he's not, you know, killing everyone. That said, this isn't really an AU fic as much as a prequel to The Most Logical Future for Our Heroes, and mainly that future involves lots of Sylar making pancakes, everyone being Awesome & Happy, and some other things that don't pertain to this fic so I won't mention them right now. (It also, in my own mind, involves a New York Senate that's made up of adults who keep their promises.) Anyway.


'So I had a thought,' Sylar says, without preamble, standing at her stove with his back to her.

Gretchen blinks, still not entirely awake. 'Thoughts… are good,' she says, lamely.

He turns, grinning, holding out a mug he'd swiped off the counter. 'Coffee. You're more fun when you're caffeinated.'

'You're more fun when you're not banging around in my kitchen at the crack of dawn on a Saturday,' she grumbles.

'The sun's been up for three hours and six minutes.'

'A, college student. B, shut up and let me drink my coffee, time freak.'

Sylar laughs and turns back to the stove. Twelve minutes later, they're both about halfway through generous stacks of pancakes, and Gretchen's awake enough to remember that this is really kind of strange.

'So not that these pancakes aren't, dismissing several other factors, nearly enough to ask you to move in, but why did you break into my apartment again?'

'Hey, it doesn't count as breaking in if I have a key.'

'Fair point. Still, you've had that key for months.'

'Normally I have better things to do on Saturday mornings than come down here and make you breakfast. No offense.'

Gretchen laughs. 'None taken, and right there with you.' She drinks more coffee, hoping he'll get the hint and carry on with an explanation.

He does. 'So basically, with our better things to do out of town, pun intended by the way, I was thinking you and I should go ring shopping.'

She sets the mug down so hard that coffee splatters onto the tabletop. 'I'm sorry, what?'

'Face it, Berg, in two weeks you'll be a college graduate. It's about time you made an honest woman out of my niece.'

'We're twenty-two!'

'Afraid she'll turn you down?' he asks, smirking.

She knows he's baiting her, and she snorts derisively. 'Please. Like she's going to find anyone else willing to put up with her freaky family.'

'Hey now, Peter's not that bad.'

Sylar's still smirking, and Gretchen raises an eyebrow at him, expression bemused. 'Yeah, Peter was the one I was talking about.' She pauses; takes a few more bites. 'Okay, but seriously. It's not like we haven't talked about it, 'cause we have, a lot. It's just…' her voice trails off, and she draws patterns with her fork in the leftover syrup on her plate.

He waits a minute before cutting in, 'You're going to have to buy her a ring eventually, whether she asks you or vice versa. What's the harm in looking now, on this incredibly ideal weekend, graced with the pleasure of my company?'

She ducks her head, laughing. 'I'm not sure I'm a fan of you reading me like that. And has anyone ever told you that you're weirdly invested in my relationship with Claire? But-'

'But I have a point,' he interrupts with a grin, as he stands up and starts to clear the table.

'You have a very good point,' Gretchen concedes.

'I always do,' he says, spinning around on his way to the sink with the dishes. 'Now go get dressed, would you?'

'God, you're bossy.'

He waves a hand dismissively in her direction, and she can't help but laugh as she retreats into her bedroom.


It isn't until forty minutes later, when he climbs into her passenger seat, opens up his satchel, and produces a thick folder containing — as she soon discovers — all the pertinent details of what must be every single shop that might possibly sell jewelry in a twenty-mile radius, that Gretchen really starts to be concerned.

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