He was born Gabriel Gray, and the Doctor knows this. He knows the man's history, he's even seen the place he grew up. Once, in a fit of curiosity, he went back in time to see the young Gabriel leaving his house. Crumbled and heartbroken, trying as always to make himself important to his family. His black glasses are too big for his face, now, but by the time he's 16 they'll be too small. Nothing fits. No, it does fit, but so briefly that all he's left with is a memory of what it was like before it doesn't fit again.
The Doctor understands what it's like. His own family was less than perfect, and he broke out by running away. Sylar broke out by slaughtering. Just because the Doctor understands doesn't mean he agrees.
He's holding back, now. The Doctor has seen goodness in him. Seen how he wants to change. To bring out the part of his mind that won't kill. Splitting, human psychologists call it. Dissociative Identity Disorder. Complex stuff, and for a man who's had ten lives behind him and has another three more on the way, it's almost silly stuff.
The Doctor won't laugh at him, though. He'll respect how he's trying. Respect how he's changing. Evolving. Restraining. Holding back the evil within.
He's even started going by his given name. By Gabriel. He's seen his lovers and friends call him that. It's what he wants. He wants to be the man who doesn't kill. Wants to be the man that is a man, not a monster. Sylar is the name the monster chose.
He wonders, sometimes, if the man he talks to doesn't like being called the monster's name. If he doesn't like remembering what he's done. He can't call him Gabriel, though. It would be like calling America "the colonies" or the Master "Koschei". They've changed, they've evolved. They've named themselves.
Sylar is the name he wanted to be. And while he's not that way, anymore, it's still a choice some part of him made. The Doctor respects that, even if he's not certain that Sylar will understand it. The name isn't what's important, but it is a choice.
The Doctor won't call him Gabriel anymore than he'll call himself his own given name. The Doctor is the name the monster chose.
And he can restrain the monster, but he can't erase him.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 405
Based on roleplay with eternityticking