Title: A Silent Song To Sing
Spoilers: Heroes, Season Three
I haven't written fan-fic in... a long time. This idea just struck me, though, and I wanted to get it down. I altered the Second Coming timeline, wanting to simply take it a step further. Angst (and some odd sentences) ensued.
Everything is quiet, quiet, quiet.
The clocks have been silenced, the dial tones stolen, the planks stripped of their wincing, whining bolts.
Because noises--when unexpected, when unwanted--frighten Peter.
Everything is bright, bright, bright.
The curtains have been snatched, the hearth forever burning, the lights replaced to halogen halos.
Because shadows--when creeping, when permanent--frighten Peter.
Everything is soft, soft, soft.
The gestures are easy, the smiles sweet, the kisses ghosted against skin.
Because touches--when wild, when frantic--frighten Peter.
And Claude moves carefully through a home he never wanted, straightening pictures that have been tilted, replacing sharp corners with felt and feathers. The rooms are shaped to echoes and saturated colors, towers of fairy tales and crayon scribbles.
Because Peter-- Peter--
Is staring at a mirror, confused by his reflection. It mimics every sigh, every pout, and there's a promise of panic in dark eyes. Alarm.
Claude shuffles over to stop it, drapes a quilt across the glass to hide the vacant image of a vacant child.
And Peter-- Peter--
Grins. Chirps. Wraps clumsy arms against a waist and clings.
"The Other is gone now," he says, the joy muffled against Claude's throat.
"Do you want him back?" Because a boy is mercurial, changeable, unsure.
What if I do?
But the Other no longer exists. He was taken away with a single cut: blade to the brain, pressed to the vein. Claire Petrelli--no longer Noah's darling girl, not since she spat a bullet in his chest when he refused to participate in her experiments, tried to stop science for the sake of mercy--hunted him, trapped him, opened his mind. And Peter was… no more. Just a body. Just a breath. Just a broken, broken boy found crying in the dark.
"Claude?" It took months to master a name, to remember it.
"Where's Nathan?" It's a familiar question, the remnants of his last moments. Before he went blank.
"He's busy, Pete, but he'll be here soon." The lie is a kindness he can spare. He's done it before and he'll do it again.
"What say you pick out a book to read while you're waiting for him, yeah? I think we've got some Alice left. Gotta see if she gets outta Wonderland, don't we?"
"Yes, yes," he sings, sliding away, padding toward a chair in the corner. The laces of his shoes flop uselessly; his sleeves hang long. Peter settles down amongst an excess of pillows, tugs one to his chest and rests his chin to velvet.
And Claude simply follows, helpless, hopeless. A book is taken then from a table, opened to pages he's recited so many times (Peter never remembers that they've reached this ending already. He simply likes the rhythm of the nonsense). He pulls a boy close then, keeps him safe and shielded and sheltered. Like he should've been before. Like he never was. Lips glimpse against a cheek. "I love you, you know. I do."
The words… aren't understood.
And everything is quiet, quiet, quiet.