Pairing: Peter/Claire, some Peter/Simone
Summary: Peter and Claire discover they're related, but in a different way.
Spoilers: through Distractions.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Tim Kring et al.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Thanks to kallie_kat for the beta!
A/N: Just pretend that Peter wasn't in a coma for several weeks; he just passed out for a few hours, then went back to New York with Nathan. Claire is 17 in this story.
Get caught up: 1
Peter sat staring at the quiet cell phone in his hand for several minutes after hanging up with Claire.
"What was that all about?" Simone asked, stepping out of his kitchen with a bottle of water.
"Claire…the girl I saved in Texas…she's having some trouble at home," Peter slowly said, trying to process the information himself before he could share it.
"And she called you?"
"Yeah," Peter said. He shook himself out of his daze and set the phone down, turning his attention to Simone.
"You must have made quite the impression," she said, sitting beside him on the couch and running a possessive hand across his shoulders. "Should I be jealous?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Peter retorted, standing up. "She's just a kid."
Simone laughed. "I know. Just making sure. So what did the kid want?"
Peter huffed a laugh. "To run away from home."
"And come here?" Simone asked.
Peter shrugged. "Maybe. She didn't ask outright if she could come to New York, but she said she didn't know how much longer she could remain at home."
"You're not actually thinking of helping a minor to run away, across state lines, are you? You know that's illegal, Peter. If Nathan knew you were even thinking—"
"Don't tell Nathan," Peter said, cutting her off. Simone looked shocked at the harsh tone Peter used. He softened his expression and his voice. "It's just…you know how he gets when it comes to people with abilities. He's an even bigger skeptic than you are."
"What do abilities have to do with anything?"
"Claire can heal. She's the reason I'm not dead right now. She said that there's a man who can take away people's memories working for her dad, and he was supposed to remove her memories of the whole ordeal with Sylar, at her father's orders. But he didn't."
Simone's eyes were wide as she said, "I can see how that would make it difficult living with her father. But he is still her father and she is still a minor. You know you can't interfere."
"I know, I know," Peter said, plopping back down on the couch.
"You know how teenagers are," Simone continued. "Everything is life and death at that age, especially for a girl."
"With Sylar out there, Claire's life really is in danger. I don't understand how her father could put her at risk by denying her the knowledge that a psychotic serial killer is after her."
"Maybe he wanted to take away the pain that knowledge brought," Simone suggested.
"Whose side are you on?" Peter asked.
"I'm not on anyone's side," Simone said.
Peter stood abruptly, striding over to pick up his jacket and keys. "I need to see Isaac. Maybe he can lend his particular brand of insight to this situation."
Simone's features darkened. "You shouldn't be encouraging him."
"He's clean now. You know that. He's going to paint the future regardless of whether or not I ask him about this situation. He's a valuable resource and I'm not afraid to ask him for help."
"Fine, if you're going, I'm not coming with you," Simone said, crossing her arms.
"That's probably a good idea. Things are tense enough between us when you're not there," Peter agreed. He ignored Simone's hurt look as he turned to leave.
On the subway ride over to Isaac's, Peter went over his conversation with Simone in his head. She had a valid point; he knew that. It would be wrong for him to encourage Claire to run away from home, and even worse if he helped her. However, he couldn't help feeling like he owed it to her to support her decision.
There was a bond between them now. It wasn't just because he'd saved her life, although he was sure that was a large part of it. He'd felt it the moment they literally bumped into each other in the hallway at the high school. There was just something about Claire that shouted that she was supposed to be in his life.
He'd thought that maybe he'd imagined it. He told himself that he was allowing his imagination to run wild and it was just his ego being flattered by Claire saying he was her hero. Except that when he'd heard her voice today, he had felt calmer than he had the entire time he'd been back in New York.
Peter knocked on the door to Isaac's studio and anxiously waited for the door to open. He hoped the artist was home, suddenly realizing that he should have called first.
"Peter, I've been expecting you," Isaac said, opening the door.
"You were?" he asked, entering the studio.
"Yeah, Simone called to say you were on your way over," Isaac said, crossing to the canvasses set up in the middle of the room.
"Oh, yeah, I was just thinking that I should have called first," Peter said.
"That would have been the polite thing to do," Isaac pointed out.
"Sorry. So, um, did she tell you why I was coming?"
Isaac rolled his eyes, hating being around the man who had stolen his girlfriend. "She told me to tell you not to go to Texas, regardless of what I had painted."
"Why does that not surprise me?" Peter grumbled.
"Because Simone is selfish and she doesn't want your attention anywhere except on her," Isaac answered the rhetorical question.
"I hate to ask, man, but have you painted anything else about Claire? Will she be in danger if she stays at home?"
Isaac shrugged, picking up a rag and starting to clean his brushes. "Look for yourself."
Peter turned to look at the freshly painted canvases surrounding him. He'd been so caught up on feeling guilty that he hadn't looked at the paintings yet.
There was one with an open hand, fire sitting on her palm. The manicured nails and bracelets revealed it to be a woman's hand. Peter was intrigued by the idea of someone who could wield fire. He had no idea what she had to do with Claire's situation though.
In another painting, a tall black man with a shaved head held a frightened Claire against his chest, a hand over her mouth. This must be the Haitian that Claire told him about. So this painting had already happened.
One was more of a landscape painting. A road sign welcomed a car to Kermit, TX - you could see a man with brown hair driving the car, a girl with blonde hair in the passenger seat.
"It looks like I'm headed back to Texas," Peter muttered to himself.