Masks That Hide Us (15 & 16/?)
Title: Masks That Hide Us
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Chapters 15 & 16/?
Pairing: Peter/Claire (mentions of Claire/Andy and Peter/Niki but just for a while)
Spoilers: Season I finale (but specially Five Years Gone)
Warnings: None I can think of
Short Summary: What if New York didn’t blow up…but things turned out almost exactly as in Five Years Gone? Peter is a broken soul – believing he killed Claire. Claire is alive but running from her true identity to get away from the memories of Peter – who she believes is dead. AU (find out inside why)
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything…except maybe this computer I’m writing on…
Authors note: Thanks to kissedtragedy (Gina) for the banner. Let me know what you guys think… Xposted at paire_love and heroes_fic.
Previous chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Peter marched into the dimly lit club, determination written in every line of his face. He could see the shape of her body as she crouched over the bar, counting the nights’ tips. It only took her a few seconds to sense him, her senses already “tuned in” on him. There was no smile on her beautiful face when she turned to him.
“Didn’t I tell you to stay the hell out of here? Wasn’t that message clear enough for you?” Niki’s sarcastic comments shook Peter, more than he liked to admit. It showed the start of his lies to Claire. He had told her Niki had said nothing when he had left her. True, Niki had said nothing, but Jessica’s actions spoke louder than words.
“I could swear I killed you.” Jessica laughed before Niki returned to her body.
“I think Micah and D.L. are alive…and I need your help to find them.”
Niki studied him for a while, letting it all sink in as she lifted the alcohol filled glass to her lips.
“Even if this was true…why would I help you Peter Petrelli?” Peter’s eyes remained locked with hers, but a cloud swept over them.
“Because if they are alive then so if Sylar. Niki, I need to know if he’s alive – if he’s going to come after Claire; after our baby.”
“I’ve tried everything to get her to fall asleep.”
“She just keeps crying.”
“It’s not like Claire is to blame for all of this – Peter left her.”
“Isaac, let’s not judge. We all know when it comes to Peter you don’t see everything as black and white.”
Matt sighed as Isaac’s thoughts jumped back to the incident with Simone. Mohinder sat away from the rest, in one of the Petrelli’s couches – his eyes darting between the men in the room and the stairs leading towards Claire’s room. They had been there since early that morning when Claire had made a frantic and hysterical call to Mohinder – demanding to know where Peter was. Now Mohinder, Matt, Isaac and Hiro and Ando occupied the house. Hiro was the only one not present in the room – currently busy with Claire – trying to calm her down (not that anyone before him could do it).
They heard the door bang open and Matt sighed once more as more frantic thoughts filled the room.
“Enter Nathan Petrelli – stage left.”
Yale University was bustling with life as they came around the corner. In a weird way she fit into the scene in front of her while the man next to her, did not. He stuck out like a sore thumb and though no one paid any attention to them she wanted to keep a low profile.
“Will you be fine?” he asked, concerned about her safety and emotional state. She smiled sweetly.
“I have family here. I’ll be fine don’t worry.”
There was a pause as she wondered what to say.
“When you get back…tell Isaac what I told you. Tell them all that just like he needed to do it – so do I.”
The man smiled, unsure if he had made the right decision by taking her there.
“Thank you, Hiro.”
”Take care cheerleader Claire.”
Without another word he teleported back to New York.
Hiro made his way down the stairs, towards the people that cared most for Claire. They watched in anticipation – wandering if he had done what no one before him could do.
“She’s asleep…” he lied and he could feel the betrayal in those two words. How could he tell them what he had done? That he had helped her run away when what he really should have done was to convince her to stay.
“Bullshit.” The words ran through the room and with shock Nathan looked around to see who it was. Claude appeared, standing to the side.
“I’ve been sitting in that room for the past hour. You teleported her…and I need to know where you took her.” His voice was one of authority – much worse than Nathan’s – and still the gang did not surrender to it.
“Who do you think you are, commanding such things in my home!” Nathan bellowed and Claude raised his eyes.
“I’m a father…looking out for his daughter.”
Claire knocked against the wooden door, her hands clutching the paper where she had written his address. When he finally opened the door, she fell into him, letting his body hold her steady. Her eyes were full of tears.
Tears of joy.
Tears of pain.
Tears of unspoken memories.
She shed them, one by one, as Lyle Bennet led her into his dorm room – and straight to the bed where Zach sat.
The sun shone brightly through Zach and Lyle’s dorm room window, almost blinding Claire. A sense of calm had fallen over her as she sat there, looking down towards the students running around below her.
Zach sat in the chair in front of her holding Claire’s hands in his. When she had finally calmed down, Claire was surprised to see how much her little brother and her best friend had changed. Zach was much more mature; his hair was much longer - not as long as Peter’s, though - and his body was built better. All in all, he looked like someone that Jackie would have wanted to date.
Lyle on the other hand had grown to be taller than either of them. He had grown out of his awkward stages and was a handsome young man – if Claire had to say so herself. As he sat there next to her, letting his hand run through her dark hair, Claire wished with all her heart that he truly was her real brother.
“I can’t believe you’re pregnant!” Lyle’s astonished voice broke the silence and Claire smiled as she turned her eyes back to him.
“I can’t believe he left you…” Zach’s angry tones crushed the calmness and Lyle shot him a look.
Silence overtook them again.
Claire inspected Zach from under her lashes. He was different. Something about him was different. Yet she couldn’t place a finger on it.
“Zach-attack here is a genius! He’s like the best scholar in Yale’s history!” Lyle said after a while. Claire smiled brightly as Zach’s cheeks became tainted with red blush.
“Is that so?” a laugh escaped her lips and Lyle nodded as Zach looked down.
“Really…it’s not like that.” He tried but before he could defend himself more, a wave of absolute nonsense escaped Lyle’s lips.
Claire didn’t pay any attention to her brother. She kept her eyes firmly locked on Zach’s (who had looked up to see her staring at him). He mouthed the words she so desperately wanted to hear.
The only problem was, she wanted someone else to say it.
A week after he had disappeared into the African forest with Niki, they found Micah and D.L. alive and well. They were also very shocked to see Niki alive. That’s when Peter knew that Sylar was alive.
He spent another week in Africa – alone – looking for the man that he had every intention of killing. Peter argued with himself that if he died when he killed Sylar it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever – Claire and the baby would be safe. But he could hear her voice in his head, telling him how foolish his plan was and that he should come home.
When he finally did get home he was met with an empty house. All the windows were closed shut (like he had always imagined it would be if no one lived there) and the stuffiness in the air was enough to start his suspicion that the house was deserted.
The cupboard was empty – emptier than he had left it. The second page of the letter lay on the bed, torn into small pieces. A photo of Claire and Peter lay on the main pillow, broken glass strewn around it. But what caught Peter’s eye the most was a single golden band with a simple yet elegant diamond sitting on top of a letter.
Found this in your jacket pocket - you know that Emo one that you love so much. I’m taking it with me (the jacket, I mean) – even just to leave me with some memory of our time together. The ring I’m leaving for you because I can’t get over the fact that you…
Don’t come looking for me, Peter Petrelli, don’t you dare. It’s over. Just leave me and my child alone.