Joseph used to tuck her hair behind her ear in an avuncular gesture and tell her what a good, sweet girl she was, but when he'd follow it up by shooing her back out to fleece the johns and marks she entertained for him, Lydia was forced to wonder how accurate a picture of "good" he'd ever really embraced.
Lydia didn't deceive herself that Sylar loved her in the way little girls dreamed of being loved one day, but she wasn't a little girl anymore, and what he offered was more than the shattered fantasies they both had left behind, and she promised herself she'd make sure he never regretted choosing her.
He'd betrayed everything she held dear, tried to have her killed, tossed her love and loyalty aside like they were nothing, and despite all of that, Lydia was forced to acknowledge that some part of her still longed for him, his touch, his smile, his approval, and, pathetic as it was and furious as it made her, she didn't think that part was ever going to go away.
So many of her tattoos move on their own, not etched into her skin so much as blossoming out of her ability, but the ones she creates for him come with the brush of fingertips, the press of a needle, the flow of his power and ink, and a ripple of pleasure and connection unlike anything she's ever known.
It was such a simple thing, but without her sweater in the chill of the morning in Samuel's trailer, Lydia slid into one of his shirts instead of back into hers and wrapped her arms around herself to press it close to her skin, breathe in the earthy scent of him that lingered on it, and smile as she remembered the night before.