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.
A/N 2: Dialog borrowed from the episode "The Fix" using transcripts from Shadow Anthology
Get caught up: 1 | 2
Claire had worked very hard to convince Zach that they were friends over the past week, and he was slowly becoming the friend she remembered. When she told him that she had asked Peter to help her run away, he had a suggestion.
"What about your birth parents?" he asked.
"What about them?" Claire retorted, confused. "I have no idea who they are. The people my dad introduced me to were phonies."
"Couldn't you try to track them down? What do you do know about your adoption?" he pressed.
Claire thought about it. "Not much, but I think I know someone who might know."
Zach stayed in the car while Claire went to her secret meeting spot with the Haitian.
"Do you have any idea how dangerous this is?" a familiar accented voice said as he approached.
Claire turned to face him. "You said if I had an emergency, to hang the chimes outside my window."
"Is your father becoming suspicious?"
"No. And it's kind of a problem. Every word out of my mouth is a lie. I have to laugh, and smile, and look him in the eye. My own father. It's breaking my heart," she said, her voice wet with unshed tears.
"Would you prefer I took your memory?"
She shook her head. "I need to know that one thing in my life is real. Do you know who my real parents are?"
"Of your father, I know nothing," he elusively said.
"And my mother?"
Reluctantly, he told her, "Only that she died in an explosion here in Texas fourteen years ago."
Claire was heartbroken. "My mother died? Are you sure?"
"Your father told me many years ago. He had no reason to lie. This is the last conversation we have about this. Now you need to go back home and forget about your real parents."
The Haitian left as quickly as he'd arrived, not wanting his betrayal to be discovered.
Zach drove them to the Burnt Toast Diner for some cheer-up junk food; and some privacy. While Claire munched on fries, he used the café's free wireless internet to browse the newspaper archives on his laptop.
His face lit up when he came across one particular article. "There was a fire in an apartment house fourteen years ago in Kermit, Texas. Kermit, why does that sound so familiar?"
"'Cause of the frog?" Claire sarcastically pointed out.
Ignoring her, Zach said, "Check it out. A 21-year-old woman was killed in the explosion. Meredith Gordon."
"Oh, my God," Claire gasped.
Zach continued to read, "Also killed in the fire was her 18-month-old daughter. Claire, I think that's you."
"But I didn't die," Claire pointed out.
"Somebody thought you did."
"What am I supposed to do with all this?" Claire asked, bewildered.
"You may still have a real family out there. Maybe you got an aunt or a rich, eccentric uncle," pointed out.
"Great, an uncle," Claire huffed. Not exactly what she was looking for.
"Who knows, one of them might even know who your real father is," Zach said, trying to remain hopeful, getting caught up in the mystery of Claire's past.
Later that night, Claire decided to do some research into Zach's suggestion that maybe someone would have known Meredith Gordon, her maybe bio-mom.
She went through the phone book and started to call anyone with the last name of Gordon. After three calls, no one had heard of anyone named Meredith. She dialed the fourth number with little expectation that this call would pan out.
A woman answered. "Hello?"
Claire began her rehearsed speech. "Hi, I'm looking for someone related to Meredith Gordon. She died in an explosion fourteen years ago. I've been calling everyone in Kermit with the last name of 'Gordon.' Any chance that you're related to her?"
"Who is this?" the woman suspiciously asked.
"My name's Claire Bennet, I'm calling from Odessa."
"What -- What is this about? And how do you know the name 'Meredith Gordon'?"
"I think she was my mom," Claire admitted.
"Is this some kind of joke?"
"Well, Meredith only had one daughter, and she died in the fire," the woman said.
"That's kind of what I'm trying to say is ... I didn't die. I think I'm her and I'm looking for any information I can find about my mom," Claire acknowledged.
"Well, then you made the right call. This is her," Meredith confessed.
"Mom?" Claire asked in bewildered wonder.
"Yeah," Meredith confirmed, lighting a cigarette with her bare fingers.