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" & "Distractions" using transcripts from Shadow Anthology
Get caught up: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
"Not that I'm not happy to have you here, but don't you need to be getting back home?" Meredith asked after they had all finished dinner.
Claire guiltily looked over at Peter. "Actually, I kind of ran away from home," Claire nervously admitted.
"What?" Meredith asked in disbelief. "Claire, what happened?"
"It's a long story," Claire said, not wanting to get into it. "The short version is that my dad isn't who I thought he was and I can't stand living with all of his lies anymore."
"And Peter, you're helping her?" Meredith guessed.
"Um, yes," Peter confessed. "Claire called and begged me to come help her and I just couldn't say no."
"Where are you going? Back to New York?" Meredith asked. She debated inviting Claire to stay with her, but she was in no more of a position to be a good mom now than she had been sixteen years ago.
"We hadn't really discussed that yet," Peter admitted. "Isaac had painted us coming here, so that's what we did. Also, Claire told me about you when I got here and she wanted to see you right away."
"I'm so glad that you did. I-is Nathan in New York too?" Meredith asked.
"Yeah, he's running for Congress," Peter said.
"Congress, really?" Meredith's eyes flickered with greed for a moment. "Learning that we're both alive probably wouldn't be a good thing for him right about now, then."
"No, you're probably right," Peter agreed. "Politically, at least. But if the press doesn't find out who Claire is, there's no reason she can't meet him. I bet Nathan would be very happy to learn that the daughter he thought had died is still alive, let alone can't be killed."
"Do you really think he'll want to meet me?" Claire asked in a small voice.
Peter turned his full attention to Claire. Forgetting for a moment that he was her uncle, he ran his fingers through her hair soothingly. "Of course he will. Nathan will probably come off as kind of cold at first, but that's just a mask that he wears for the public. He's a good man, and I know he'll be ecstatic that you're alive."
"Can we... Can we go to New York?" Claire asked, meeting Peter's eyes. "Will you take me to meet my bio-dad?"
"It'll be an honor to introduce you to Nathan," Peter told her, giving her a kiss on the forehead.
"What about you?" Claire asked Meredith.
"What about me?"
"I mean, I just found you and here I am making plans to go off to New York. Will I ever see you again?" Claire asked.
"Hey there, of course we'll still see each other. You've got my phone number; we can talk whenever you want. It's probably just as well that you're going off to New York. I was getting ready to head back to Mexico soon anyway. I've spent a lot of time there over the years and have been feeling drawn back there lately."
"Oh, you're leaving too," Claire said, sounding disappointed. "I guess it's all for the best. Good thing we found you before you left."
"The timing certainly did work out well," Meredith agreed.
Peter silently agreed with the timing. Although, he wished that he'd known Claire was his niece before he'd kissed her. But at least they hadn't done anything more before learning the truth.
Standing, Peter said, "It's getting late; we should go."
"Do we have to?" Claire asked him.
"I don't want us to overstay our welcome. We've all learned an awful lot today and need time to process it all," he said.
"Do y'all have a place to stay for tonight?" Meredith asked, hoping they'd say yes.
Before Claire could admit that they didn't, Peter said, "Yeah, we have a room at the Kermit Inn." He shot Claire a look to silence any contradictions.
"When are you leaving for New York?" Meredith asked.
"I'll call the airlines tomorrow to see if we can get on a flight," Peter said.
"I guess the price of a last minute ticket wouldn't really be an issue for a Petrelli, would it?" Meredith asked.
Peter tried not to be offended by her tone. "No, it's not."
Trying to diffuse the sudden tension, Claire crossed to Meredith to give her a hug. "I'm so glad to have finally met you."
Meredith couldn't help but to return the hug. "You're everything that I'd hoped you'd be. Even more so. You've made me proud, Claire."
Claire had tears in her eyes when she pulled away. "Thank you. I'll be in touch, I promise."
"I look forward to it," Meredith said, ushering Claire and Peter out.
Back in the car, Claire asked, "We're going back to the same motel?"
Peter shrugged. "May as well. It's too late to get a flight out tonight."
"So, um," Claire nervously started, "you're my uncle?"
Peter sighed. "It looks like it." He turned slightly to look at Claire. "I swear to you that I didn't know."
"I believe you. I doubt you would have kissed me if you had," Claire said. "What do we do now?"
"About what?" Peter asked. "Now we know that we're related so we won't do it again."
"I still... I'm still attracted to you," Claire admitted. "I can't help it, but I still want to kiss you."
"We can't," Peter harshly said, tamping down the thrill he felt hearing her say that. "I may still want you too, Claire, but we can't. We have to just forget that it ever happened."
"What if we didn't go to New York?" Claire proposed. "Only you, me and Meredith know right now. If we didn't tell Nathan..."
"No," Peter cut her off. "I can't do that. He's my brother and he deserves to know you're alive. Besides, we'd know. It would still be wrong."
"So that's it? I had the two best kisses of my life with you and you're saying it can never happen again?" Claire pouted.
It tore up Peter's guts to hear her say these things. He wished he could make it untrue. That he could be with her, but it just wasn't in the cards. He was losing a potential lover in order to gain a niece.
"I'm so sorry, Claire, but that's just the way that it has to be," Peter said. "Just think though, you're getting a father out of the deal."
"But I'm losing you," Claire whined.
"No, you're not. I'll be in your life even more now," Peter pointed out.
"But not like how I wanted you to be," Claire said.
"Not like how I wanted either," Peter admitted. "But it's gotta be better than nothing."
"It'll have to be," Claire reluctantly agreed.
"Come on," Peter said, pulling into the motel parking lot. "Let's get settled and I'll tell you all about Nathan."