claire_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Scars
Synopsis After years apart, Peter Petrelli and Claire Bennett finally reunite in the ruins of Midtown.
Date September 1, 2008

Ruins of Midtown

Standing in the ruins of Midtown, it's hard to believe New York is still a living city.

There's life enough around the fringes — the stubborn, who refused to rebuild somewhere else; the hopeful, who believe the radiation is gone, or that they somehow won't be affected. Businesses, apartment complexes, taxis and bicycles and subways going to and fro — life goes on. Perhaps more quietly than in other parts of the city, shadowed by the reminder that even a city can die, but it does go on.

Then there is the waste. The empty core for which the living city is only a distant memory. Though a few major thoroughfares wind through the ruins, arteries linking the surviving halves, and the forms of some truly desperate souls can occasionally be glimpsed skulking in the shadows, the loudest noise here is of the wind whistling through the mangled remnants of buildings. Twisted cords of rebar reach out from shattered concrete; piles of masonry and warped metal huddle on the ground, broken and forlorn. Short stretches of road peek out from under rubble and dust only to disappear again shortly afterwards, dotted with the mangled and contorted forms of rusting cars, their windows long since shattered into glittering dust.

There are no bodies — not even pieces, not anymore. Just the bits and pieces of destroyed lives: ragged streamers fluttering from the handlebar which juts out of a pile of debris; a flowerbox turned on its side, coated by brick dust, dry sticks still clinging to the packed dirt inside; a lawn chair, its aluminum frame twisted but still recognizable, leaning against a flight of stairs climbing to nowhere.

At the center of this broken wasteland lies nothing at all. A hollow scooped out of the earth, just over half a mile across, coated in a thick layer of dust and ash. Nothing lives here. Not a bird; not a plant. Nothing stands here. Not one concrete block atop another. There is only a scar in the earth, cauterized by atomic fire. This is Death's ground.

Why is everybody so damn shitty? Everybody betrays everybody. Nobody is who they claim to be.

Least of all Claire Bennet. And the irony is not lost on her. As she often does when she's feeling hopeless, she's wandering the ruins of Midtown Manhattan, indulging the pain that accompanies the ravaged wasteland of the New York That Was. She stands at the edge of the crater, staring into the mile-wide abyss. The tears flow freely from her eyes. The still and silence of her surroundings punctuated only by the sound of the breeze through the dust and debris, or her own quiet sniffling.

This world was blown half to hell, and it's all her fault.

The world is indeed a terrible place at times, and the cauterized scar on the face of New York is a sign of the greatest cruelty inflicted on it in recent memory. The sun is just setting now, casting a fiery orange glow over the ruined hole in the middle of the once bustling metropolitan area, reflecting off of broken glass, twisted steel and crumbling concrete.

"Claire." The voice is unmistakable. He wasn't standing there beside Claire a moment ago, but that's just how Peter is, always showing up when least expected. He's like a whole different person, a dark and dirty reflection of the optimistic young man that Claire had come to know years ago. But to anyone watching from the outside, it is obvious they are reflections of one another now, the past has become a dirty pane of glass through which the present is viewed. Peter is scarred, somehow, a vicious and deep cut that runs down from above his right brow, crossing the bridge of his nose before carving a jagged path through his left cheek. His expression is stern, serious and concerned. But that is all he says, her name, and as Peter stands there with his hands in his jacket pockets in the alley, he waits for her to take the next move.


Quick as a blink, Claire is slinging a shotgun out of her trench coat and shoving it into Peter's gut. When his appearance and his voice finally register, the firearm goes clattering to the ground. Blue-green eyes grow round as saucers and she stares upward in disbelief.


It can't be. But it is. It has to be, right? Is he just some sort of ghost, haunting the blemish of the City, created by her own guilt. "Is it really you?" Claire's jaw falls slack, unable to find more words.

Peter looks down at the shotgun, hands still in his coat pockets, and then looks back up to Claire with a calm and something crooked smile, "Yeah, it's me." He tilts his head to the side, "I…" He doesn't quite have the words at the moment, but he finds them as he looks back down to the shotgun again, "Is that really necessary?"

With an incredulous look, Claire nods. "Y- Yeah. Yeah, it is." Her face is a turmoil of emotions. Fear, anger, delight, sorrow. She raises one arm and slugs her uncle in the shoulder, hard. "You son of a bitch! Why didn't you tell me?!" In sharp contrast to the violence, Claire throws har arms around Peter, sobbing. One of her hands holds the shotgun by the midsection, "I thought you were dead!"

Peter looks away, sighing deeply as he does. "I…" He closes his eyes and furrows his brow, shaking his head, "Guess I was for a while. I don't think I can really explain it, and have it make anything better again." When he opens his eyes again, he's looking back at Claire, then out to the ruins of the city beyond. "Hiro knew. A couple others… but they had to keep it a secret. The Company is looking for me…" He narrows his eyes, "Mom knew, she had to."

"She knew?!" Claire pulls away from the hug, though she still keeps a grip on his shoulders. "Your mother is the reason I wasn't here to stop you!" She pulls one hand away to wipe at her eyes. "No… That isn't fair. She was only doing what she thought was best. I just wasn't strong enough to stop her. It's my fault."

Peter looks away after Claire releases him from the embrace — one he didn't return — and closes his eyes as he speaks, "I'd wondered." His voice is quiet, hushed and emotional. "I wondered why no one was there to help, except Hiro." His brow tenses, and Peter turns to look down to Claire, "It's not your fault, I was the one who couldn't control his powers. All this…" He looks out over the crater, "It's different now, but it's my burden. I need to talk to Nathan, do you know where he is?" No well-wishing, no asking how she's been, just straight and to the point. Peter has changed.

Peter has changed. And it's her fault. Claire withdraws her other hand to rub the back of it under her nose. "I can see if I can track him down for you. Is there anything special you want me to pass along to him? He may be skeptical. Anything I should say so he'll know for sure it's you who wants to see him?" Her brows shift, giving her a regretful expression, "We aren't exactly close. He might think I've finally lost my mind."

"No," Peter states rather urgently, "I don't want him to know I'm in the city, or even alive if he doesn't know. I…" He looks to the side, scowling, "Just find out where he is, so I can talk to him myself. I found out a lot of things recently, and I want to figure out just how deep in all this Nathan is before I do anything." The scarred man looks back to Claire, shaking his head slowly as compassion finally catches him, looking down at Claire's tear filled eyes. Peter hesitates, then closes his eyes for a moment before withdrawing a hand from his jacket pocket, brushing his knuckles over Claire's cheek to wipe the rolling tears away.

A strangled sob escapes Claire's throat and she reaches up to capture Peter's hand and hold it to her cheek. "I thought you were dead and that it was all my fault." All those people dead, and her concern was for her uncle. Family has always meant more to Claire than anything. "I had to just watch as the whole world fell apart! If I had just had the strength to fight and to be here for you then…"

Peter looks down to Claire, leaning forward to rest his forehead against hers for a moment in an all-too-fleeting show of compassion before he let his hand fall away, and leaned back from the girl. Something stirred inside of Peter, something barely contained as he takes a step away from his niece and looks from the broken and blasted alleyway between the two derelict buildings they stood between, and out to the ruined crater beyond where the street ended.

"I saw something on the news when I came back…" Peter's voice sounds distant, unfocused, "Something about terrorist attacks?" His tone shifted, indicating his disapproval, "As if this city needed help being torn apart." A scowl crossed his face as he rolls his shoulders, pacing in a circle in the alley, the tail of his coat swishing back and forth as he walked. "What the hell has gotten into everyone, don't they realize they're just making it worse?" He motions quickly with one hand, gesturing away from himself towards the crater.

"Fortis et liber." Claire pulls herself up straight to her full (albeit unimpressive) height. "What the government is doing is madness. We have to fight for the rights of us all." We. We have to fight. The conviction is unshakable. Unmistakable.

"We!? Are you out of your mind?" Peter's head jerked back towards Claire, an indignant expression taking over his face, "You've got to be kidding, what the hell do you think you're doing? Fighting the good fight?" He scoffed, raising a hand up to rake his fingers through his swept back hair as he shook his head. "You think by repeating my mistake on a smaller scale, over and over again makes anything better?" He looked back to his neice, angrily, "All you're doing is making their point for them," He clenched one hand closed into a fist, letting flames leap out from between his fingers before quelling again, "One bomb at a time."

"We don't hurt anybody!" Claire insists. "Never intentionally. We protect ourselves. We protect others. I thought you of all people would understand the importance of protecting people like us! Protecting everone's rights! No one should be locked up like they're doing. It's no better than the Nazis!"

"You're not protecting anyone! All you're doing is making it harder for people like us to be accepted!" Pater took a step away from claire, running both hands over his hair as he tried to collect his thoughts, "Every Evolved out there, now they're associated with more than just one bomb." He looks back over his shoulder, "Don't you see the harm to everyone's reputations this could cause? You can't think that violence will solve anything. So what if you don't hurt anyone intentionally now, people still get hurt. It's wrong Claire."

Breathing in a slow breath through his nose, Peter exhales a sharp breath through his mouth, "I can't believe this, from you of all people. No, it's not right — locking people up like they are — but neither is what you're doing. It doesn't somehow make it better…" He began to lose his drive to try and sway her mind, "I don't want you a part of that any more," He speaks as if he had the authority to, "I don't want you risking your life. Just because we're special, it doesn't make us indestructable. Even me and you." Peter cupped one hand at the bridge of his nose, passaging there for a moment, "I met someone, yesterday, he could negate all of my powers just by being near me… Just like that Haitian. He could negate your regeneration, or mine, and then where are we? Dead. This isn't what you should be doing, you should be in school, living your life…" Something begins to dawn on him, "Does Noah know you're doing this?"

"I was angry!" Claire shouts. "I hate this world that you and I both help to create by our inability to stop the events of that painting." In some ways, she hasn't evolved past the teenage temper tantrums. But there's something more fierce now than there was years ago. It isn't simply a childish outburst. "Don't worry. That son of a bitch who negates our powers will be dead if I have my say. Fucking traitor." She turns her head away from Peter and actually spits on the ground. "Bastard can't negate bullets." But it's that last question he asks that really sets her off. It's a good thing she doesn't have the abilities that Ted Sprague once possessed, or New York would be in a world of trouble once again. "Don't you dare bring him into this!"

"Traitor? Wait, those idiots from down in the sewers were — " Claire's tirade carries over whatever it was Peter was going to say, and in her outburst at the mention of Noah, there's a look of shock and confusion on his face. "What?" Peter took a step forward towards Claire, resting a hand on her shoulder, "Claire, I saw Noah when I was in Japan. It was a while ago, but he was doing everything in his power to keep you safe. Members of the Company, they were looking for you, and he had tracked some down and…" Peter shook his head, "He cares about you, he's your father." He doesn't seem to consider Nathan that in the least, "How can you talk about him like that, all he's wanted to do is keep you safe, you were all he could talk about."

"He made me stay away. He wouldn't let me help. He just wants to keep me locked up in some doll house like I'm not this freak show. How many dolls mend themselves after you set them on fire?" Claire's expression grows far more sour. "I have a new family now. Who do you think you are, telling me how to live my life? I thought you would understand."

"Claire, he's only trying to protect you. You don't know what kind of people the men from the Company are." Peter looks markedly concerned, "Your dad cares about you more than anyone else, he might be a hardass, but he cares." When Claire spoke of her 'new family' however, Peter clearly grew angry, "Those terrorist nutjobs? Claire, that isn't family. If they're the same psychos I saw down under the city, they're out of their minds. The guy with the fire? I've seen that look in his eyes before, Sylar used to get that same hungry look, like an animal. They're just using you."

Claire's hand pulls back to slap Peter across the face. Hard. "Cameron is a good man. Don't you ever talk like that about him again!" Whatever's happened to her over the time since the explosion, she's definitely devoted to him. To his group. "They care about me. They let me be a part of something. I don't have to sit helpless on the sidelines anymore!"

Peter recoils from the slap, working his jaw open and closed as he bring one hand to the side of his mouth. His expression changed, drasticly, and he glared down at Claire with a furrowed brow. "You keep letting yourself think that, just like how Matt keeps thinking he's working for the right side." Peter apparently heard about Parkman's choice of occupation, "Forget I said anything." He turned, moving his hand away from his cheek, "Forget about Nathan too, I'll find him myself…"

Claire's expression softens considerably and she looks regretful, clutching the hand she used to slap her uncle against her chest. "I'll find him for you, okay? I'll set up a meeting, but I'll tell him it's me who wants to see him. I'll tell you when and where. But it might take me a while." She stares down at the ground, overcome with shame. "I'm sorry. I'm not proud of everything I've done, Peter, but you and my father aren't the only people who're doing what you think is right."

"No." Peter says forcefully, "Forget it." He keps his back to Claire, taking his hands outof his pockets as he looked up at the darkening skies overhead. He stares up at the skies for a long while, closing his eyes and opening them again slowly, "You've done enough already." With that, there is a sudden burst of air, sending dust scattering as Peter explodes up into the air, soaring high into the skies before blasting off in another direction, punching a dissipating hole through a cloud from the speed he travels at…

And just like that, he was gone.


Claire screams at the sky long after her uncle has left her. After her voice is strained from shouting, she drops to the edge of the crater to curl up and cry, but only after retrieving her shotgun. The sound of footsteps minutes later rouses her from her sorrow. "You shouldn't even be here," she tells the interruption. "…No! No! Let me go! Leave me ALONE!"

September 1st: Hazing 101
September 1st: Interrogation
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