Do What We Must


claire_icon.gif peter6_icon.gif

Scene Title Do What We Must
Synopsis Having been locked away in Pinehearst's research facility since her power was taken from her, Claire receives an unexpected meeting from Peter.
Date May 5, 2009

Pinehearst Headquarters, Research Level

A fluorescent light flickers and sputters overhead, draining away what little color consumes the white walls of this small medical room. For days now this has been Claire's constant companion, a sterile and colorless void made of surgical steel, white linens and locked doors. She's seen too many people coming and going in the halls, too often seen doctors passing by her room, never anyone to come in and check on her. The only times she's visited, is when two of the scientists come to deliver her food, and even they're armed with tasers to make sure she stays in line.

She can feel it now, like a tingling creep crawling up her skin, the sensation of the cool air of the lab, the haunting feeling of mortality that's claimed her days since Arthur stole away anything that was right with her, anything that was normal and acceptable. But in that same notion, isn't this always what she wanted? To be normal? Why then, now, does it feel so unwanted?

The click of the door's handle turning is the only thing that draws Claire's focus away from those thoughts, away from the idea that her life is so truly over now. Maybe a doctor, maybe Arthur come to try and convince her that this was all for the greater good. It's so hard to imagine anyone else, espescially not when someone who has every business being in a medical room, but no business being here comes in through the door.

"…Claire?" Peter's voice is unmistakable, a confused, hesitant tone that calls out just before he slips in through the doorway. Dark hair swept back, hanging down the nape of his neck, much longer than she last remembers him having. But when he sees her, seated on the white-sheeted bed with its back raised, his dark eyes narrow in disbelief, then widen in shock, each change of expression creasing that scar across his brow so deeply.

This isn't what she expected at all.

She clearly isn't what he expected, either, judging by his reaction. "Peter?!" Claire's eyes roam her visitor's face, wide and confused. She slides off the bed stiffly, groaning when her bare feet come flat to the floor and she no longer leans against the bed for support. How does anyone stand this sort of life? Every muscle and bone seems to ache. Her very cells seem to scream and die. Something she's certain no one else experiences, because it's second nature to them. It isn't to her.

"Peter," she repeats, "is it really you?" Gingerly, Claire pads across the room and toward the door, though she doesn't close the distance between them fully, in case she's walking into a trap.

The first odd notion is when he closes the door behind himself, head canted to one side, "It— yeah." There's a certain level of uncertainty in his voice, tongue wetting parched lips as he takes a few more hesitant steps inside. "Claire you— my dad told me you were here I— " there's a look of abject confusion on his face as he closes the distance to her. It's the first time he's seen her since the attempted reunion between his two divergent halves, she hardly looks any different.

"I'm sorry," he mumbles, motioning around the room, "for— for all of this. I— it'll get better, I promise." He promises? "You just— he's keeping you in here because you're not— not behaving." Clearing the distance between himself and Claire, Peter raises one hand to lightly brush across her cheek, the gesture so hesitant, the way one might approach a timid deer. "Are— are you alright?"

Claire pulls away from the touch a second too late to pretend that it wasn't welcomed. "Why should I behave? He tricked me and he took my ability, and then he locked me in here. You're on his side?" The dark-haired woman can't decide whether to be disgusted or confused. "He got what he wanted out of me. Why can't I leave?" Despite the anger coiling in her stomach, she doesn't back away. Not now. Not yet?

Peter's hand recoils some, fingers curling against his palm as looks away, "He's my father." Peter blurts out, "I— he's going to help me, he— he's going to help all of us, Claire. He just— he needed your help, he told me you refused, so…" There's a conflicted look on Peter's face as he takes a step back towards Claire, settling his hand on her shoulder this time, trying not to seem like he's cornering her, but unable to really comfort her from such an impassive distance.

"You have to trust me, I— I know things seem bad right now, but— but my dad, he— he's a good person." It's only now that Claire notices the red marks on Peter's face, tiny red slivers across his brow and a few on his cheek, bruising that at first just looked like dark circles around his eyes. "He's going to help us both get our powers back."

Claire reaches up to touch the side of Peter's face with one hand. "Nobody told me what was going on." Pale, trembling fingers examine the slivers of red on Peter's skin. "I wasn't given a chance to make an informed decision." Some things never change, and it's good to see Claire's dry humour remains even now. "How can I trust someone who doesn't want to believe me? It goes both ways, Peter."

Tensing slightly, Peter looks away and breathes in a slow breath. "I can understand why he can't trust us…" His eyes track the motions of her fingers moving to the scratches on his face, and then move back to eye contact. "He told me to come talk to you, to…" Peter's head tilts to the side, almost imperceptively, "to… I don't know. Maybe you'd be more comfortable with a freindly face." There's that crooked smile of his, even if the very idea that the two of them were friendly is something unusual. She did point a shotgun at him — one of him — the last time they met.

"Dad's going to make sure we both get our powers back, and you— everything you had, he needed to make that come true." There's a hesitant smile on Peter's face, one hand moving up to mimic her motion, letting his palm rest on Claire's cheek, fingers ghosting up to her bangs to brush her hair away from her face. "Can you trust me?"

"I don't know," Claire responds honestly, pulling her hand away. He's lost his abilities, too, has he? Then they're both being manipulated. The question is then, do they need each other? Or is he too deeply rooted in the lies Arthur Petrelli has told him to be of any help to her? "Do you remember the last time you saw me? I died," she reminds him. "Next time that happens, it's for good. You don't get to pull something out of the back of my neck and then rejoice that I'm able to scream at you again. Dead, Peter."

She lifts the hand opposite to the one she held to his cheek moments before, turning her palm toward him so that he can view the deep gash there that's only begun to scab over. Parts of the length - from the base of her middle finger down to her wrist - are still raw and look as though they have only just stopped bleeding. "This has never happened to me before. I hurt everywhere." Now he can see it when his eyes track back from the wound on her hand to her face - the fear in her eyes.

"I— " Peter tenses up when he looks down to her palm, then away. "It's— the same for me. Something happened, we— " Peter cuts himself off, right there and then, because the last thing Claire needs to hear right now is that he's hanging out with Sylar of all people. "I lost everything, I— "

Cutting himself off, Peter takes just a half step back away from Claire, looking down to the floor. "The only way we're ever going to get back what we lost, is my Dad. Otherwise," he turns to look up to Claire, brow tensed in such a way that his scar creases deeply across his forehead. "Otherwise we're going to be like this forever."

And forever, for them, is a whole lot shorter than it used to be.

Forever doesn't feel like forever at all anymore. Forever used to mean something akin to stretching on into infinity. This mortal existence doesn't feel like anything remotely close to forever. "So we help him," Claire decides finally. She's done terrible things before, they both have, in the name of a greater good. The greater good can't be served if they don't have their abilities back, can it? "What does he want us to do?"

Peter's dark eyes come to settle up on Claire, some of that tension bleeding away. "Nothing, yet. He's waiting on… something, someone in Tokyo, I'm not sure. It's probably Kaito." Oh Peter, if only you knew. "After that he said the doctors here will be able to help us, he just— he wants you to be able to come out of this room, but he wants to be sure you aren't going to hurt anyone."

Peter takes Claire's hand in his, giving it a gentle squeeze, "Or yourself." The words come a bit stiff, it's not something Peter's dealt with in a long time. Years ago, as a nurse, but not now, not in the world he's forced himself to live in. "Maybe now, maybe we can figure things out and just…" his head shakes slowly, "he just wants us to be happy, he's my dad Claire. All he wants is to help us."

"Why won't he come to see me?" The heartbreak is incredibly evident in Claire's face. "I would listen to him." She hasn't any other choice. "I would listen to him if he would just come speak to me. If he cared, wouldn't he make the time to explain to me what's going on? I could help if he'd just help me understand." Finally, Claire slumps against Peter, wrapping her arms around him loosely as she buries her face into his chest.

"Maybe now he will, he just— my father's a Petrelli," Peter admits with a lopsided smile, "stubborn to a fault." When Claire, the young woman he's so used to seeing pose her strength finally slumps against him, all Peter can do is shake his head, wrapping one arm around her shoulders, the other resting on her arm, "I promise… everything's going to get better from here on out, Claire. We're going to make it through this, and the world's going to be so much better for it…"

Leaning his head forward, Peter rests his mouth down on the top of Claire's head, giving her a faint hug at the same time, "I promise, Claire… everything's going to be better from here on out. I'm here, and I'm not going to leave you."There's a hesitant earnestness to his voice, as a smile creeps up on his lips. "Maybe if my Dad does what he says he can… maybe it will have all been right after all… Save the cheerleader,"

"Save the world."

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