|The Name of the Game
Author: Aurora Ciel PM
People with abilities have been forced into hiding to escape being sent to prison camps. When Claire gets taken to one, its up to Peter and Hiro to save her. As they join with others to take down the government, sparks will fly. Peter/Claire FYG universeRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Peter P. & Claire B. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 32,656 - Reviews: 80 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 48 - Updated: 11-16-08 - Published: 10-22-08 - id: 4611696
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I know, I know. I really need to stop coming up with new stories. But I couldn't get this one out of my head and I really like it so I'm just gonna take a chance and post it. We'll see how it goes from there.
Disclaimer: I own the DVDs of Heroes Season 1 and 2. Nothing else.
Warnings: This is Canon-Paire, which means Pairecest. If that offends you, click that little back arrow button because this is not the story for you. Spoilers for Season 1, Five Years Gone mostly, though. There will also be language, sexual situations, violence, and some possibly disturbing situations (i.e. torture).
NOTE: This is an AU of the Five Years Gone universe. None of Season 2 happens and what happens regarding the bomb is the same as what happened in the FYG episode. However, not all of FYG takes place in my story. I'll do a recap of the parts in the episode I'm including in the first few chapters and then everything will twist away from the ending of that episode into my own plot. Hopefully that makes sense.
H E R O E S
The Name of the Game
"Chapter One: Familiar Faces"
Peter watched quietly as his girlfriend talked to two familiar Japanese men. The conversation grew heated; Niki stood up, snapped something at Hiro, and stormed away from them. His dark hazel eyes watched her long ponytail swing back and forth as Niki walked up to the bar.
"How're the receipts tonight, Marco?" she asked the bartender, sliding into a tall barstool.
"It was a good night, ma'am," he replied, placing two glasses of whiskey in front of her.
Niki nodded, grabbing one for herself. She raised the glass to her lips, "Good."
She took a moment to hold the hard liquor in her mouth before swallowing it, feeling the burn go all the way down to her stomach. She let out a deep sigh, her forehead furrowing with worry.
She didn't even blink as the second glass slid down the bar into Peter's hand as he dissolved into visibility. He raised the glass to his lips and took a long swig.
"You don't have to be here," she said quietly, staring ahead. "I told you, I can handle it."
Peter ignored her comment, nodding his head in the direction Hiro and Ando had just left. "What'd he want?"
Niki looked over at him and arched an eyebrow. "What do you think? He's still trying to stop an exploding man…"
He narrowed his eyes. "Sylar's dead."
"I sent him off to Bennet, just let him deal," she said quickly, shaking her head.
They turned back to the flat screen TV hanging in front of them, watching quietly as the screen flashed different images of New York City five years ago. At the bottom of the screen was a small heading that read 'America Remembers'. Images of firefighters were shown, crushed buildings, cars on fire, and people being pulled away on stretchers flashed across the screen like it was all just a distant memory. To some it was.
Not the case with Peter and Niki.
"Of all the days, huh," Peter muttered into his hand, glancing over at her.
Niki shook her head. "Today is just another day."
"You lost your son, Niki."
"It's called 'letting go'," she snapped. "Maybe you should give it a try. Or would you rather go off with your buddy and fight the pain away?"
Peter frowned, rising off his barstool and stepping towards her. "I'm not going anywhere," he said quietly, pressing his mouth to hers. He kissed down her neck before pulling back to press his forehead against hers. Niki closed her eyes and licked her lips, waiting a moment before she stood up and walked back to the dressing rooms to get ready for her next shift.
Peter looked up at the TV and his heart burned with what he saw. The image of Sylar laughing at irony on that fateful night five years ago was still engrained in his memory; seeing his picture on the screen felt no different. He clenched his jaw, telepathically yanking the television power cord out of the wall.
While Sylar's picture was no longer on the television screen, lately his face was all Peter could see.
Claire frowned as she read the name on the new I.D. her father had left her.
Madeline Brady? That sounds like a fifty year old insurance saleswoman… She shook her head, reminding herself how immature she was being when there were more serious things happening. She couldn't believe Nathan was doing this—accusing people with special abilities of being terrorists and sending them off to containment camps. Sometimes she had half a mind to fly up to D.C. and talk some sense into him. But then she remembered he was the one who proposed the Linderman Act four years ago in the first place and came to her senses.
She shoved the I.D. and wad of cash back in the paper bag quickly, squaring her shoulders. She couldn't leave without Andy—couldn't do this without him. Maybe she could convince him to elope to somewhere warm, like Hawaii. Then she could wait till they were alone and tell him the truth. If he loved her—really loved her, like she believed he did—he would protect her.
Claire turned around and walked straight up to Andy. She took a deep breath. "Let's elope."
Andy blinked once and looked her over. "…What?"
She smiled, hoping he would believe her. "Let's elope. Right now. Run away—I'm thinking Vegas. Pack our bags; get hitched tonight. Take off, see the world. What do you think?"
He laughed. "I think you're crazy."
"Maybe." He raised his eyebrows. "Probably."
Andy nodded his head and smiled. She dropped the fake smile and looked deep into his eyes, trying to get him trust her, to listen to her. "But I've got my reasons. And I promise I'll tell you everything."
Andy seemed to sense the change in the mood, realized that she wasn't joking. The smile disappeared from his face and he swallowed hard. "Will you do it? For me?"
The corners of his mouth quirked up as he leaned in and whispered, "I'll do anything for you." He kissed her lips. "Let me get my things."
Claire grinned. "Kay." Andy pushed past the swinging door in the kitchen and began to untie his apron.
Needing something to focus her mind on, Claire grabbed the coffee pot and turned to the customers sitting up at the counter. "Coffee?" she offered, pouring some into a man's cup.
She walked up to a man sitting at the end of the counter, his face hidden by the Burnt Toast Café menu. She noted that his coffee cup was turned down and took another step forward.
"Can I get something from you sir?" she asked breathlessly.
The man lowered his menu and Claire's eyes widened as she recognized who was sitting behind it.
"I don't know, Claire," Matt Parkman started. "What's good?"
She dropped the pot, not even feeling the glass shards shooting into her feet or the scalding coffee splashing her. Her mouth dried and her throat tightened as she took a step backwards.
"No…" she whispered.
Matt stood up, reaching for the gun strapped to his belt. He pulled it out and raised it at her. "We can do this two ways Claire, it's up to you."
"Sandra? Is everything okay? I thought I heard—" Andy walked out of the kitchen with his jacket and cowboy hat on. He froze as he saw his fiancée being held at gunpoint. He was about to reach for the shotgun they hid behind the counter when Matt pulled out a badge.
"Relax. I'm Officer Parkman, I'm with the T.R.A."
"The Terrorist Recovery Association? But Sandra's not—"
"Her name's Claire Bennet," Matt interrupted, his eyes flashing over to Andy. "And yes, she is."
Claire glanced back at Andy, tears pooling in her eyes. "I wanted to tell you…" He put his hands up when she stepped towards him.
"D-Don't touch me."
She froze. "Andy…"
"Enough Claire. Now you can come with me willingly or forcibly. Which will it be?" Matt snapped.
Claire turned back to him, narrowing her eyes. "You're gonna have to catch me first," she snapped, lifting an empty coffee pot from under the counter and smashing it against Matt's head. She pushed past Andy and bounded around the counter, shoving chairs aside as she made her way towards the front door.
Suddenly three S.W.A.T. members crashed through the front windows of the diner, guns aimed at her. Claire stopped but laughed.
"You think guns are going to stop me?" She tried to ignore the way Andy gasped.
"She's right," Matt groaned as he lifted himself up from the ground. He pulled something out of his coat pocket. "But this will."
Before Claire could duck, Matt shot a taser at her, sending an electric current through her body. She made a choking sound as she fell to the ground, pinching her eyes shut and grinding her teeth to try to block out the pain.
"Don't hurt her!" Andy shouted, grabbing the shotgun from under the counter. A S.W.A.T. member came over to him, threatening him to mind his own business.
Claire moaned as she writhed on the ground, her arms and legs were shaking. She had a sick feeling in her stomach as Matt squatted down next to her. She couldn't move her head but her eyes glanced up to see him pressing a bloody cloth up to his forehead as he glared down at her.
Darkness was blurring outside Claire's vision as subconscious slowly called to her. Everything was getting blurry and Matt shook his head at her.
"I told you we were going to get you. You just had to choose the hard way," he whispered, brushing her hair away from her face. He stood up, looking over at someone in the doorway.
"Keep her secured down and heavily sedated," he ordered, waving the bloody rag around. "And get this place cleaned up."
Claire groaned as she slowly came to. Her head was pounding and the ringing in her ears wouldn't go away. She kept her eyes closed, trying to assess her situation.
She was laying down on something cold and hard—metal, most likely. Some kind of examination table? She hoped it wasn't another autopsy table.
But she could feel some kind of clothes on her body—sweatpants and a T-shirt. So it wasn't the morgue, but she could think of situations far worse than the morgue. Claire didn't notice the straps on her wrists until she tried to move them. They were padded and secured tightly to the table. Her legs were strapped down, too. Obviously whoever had her didn't want her to leave.
Claire sighed and opened her eyes, blinking quickly to adjust to the bright light shining overhead. She glanced around the room she was in to try to figure out her whereabouts.
The room was completely white. The only thing in it besides her was a small table, but Claire couldn't see what was on it.
The door opened and a bald man walked in. "Ah, I see you're awake." He removed his suit jacket and replaced it with a white overcoat. Was he some kind of doctor?
"Where am I?" Claire asked.
The man gave a little smile as he pulled on a pair of rubber gloves, releasing one of them with a loud snap. He flexed his fingers experimentally as he stepped towards her.
"I'm afraid that's not my information to tell, Claire. But I can tell you you're going to be here for a long time."
"Who are you?"
The man laughed. "They warned me you'd be like this. Tell me, have you ever heard the saying 'Curiosity killed the cat'?"
Claire narrowed her eyes. "You obviously know about my ability so you know that saying doesn't exactly pertain to me."
He laughed again, raising his eyebrows as he turned back towards the table. "You're smart. I like that. I like you, Claire. You fascinate me. …You can just call me Pat."
"So Pat, what do you want with me?" she spat, not bothering to hide her glare.
"Now that I can answer." Claire shuddered, the way he said that made her suddenly not want to know. She could hear Pat rummaging around, several things clanked together but she couldn't tell what they were from their sound.
"You have a very unique ability, Claire. You're different from the others… special. I like that about you—we do, actually."
"My, you are clever. The government research department I work for. That's why you're here, Claire. We want to know more about you, see what makes you tick. Why you do the things you do… and how far you can go."
Claire stiffened. "That's what you want? To push me to my limits?"
Pat remained silent but she knew she had hit her target.
"You're going to kill me over and over again until one day I don't wake up?"
Pat turned around, scalpel in hand, and gave what seemed to be a reassuring smile. "Not exactly. We don't want you to die, Claire. We'll do all we can do to make sure that never happens. We just want to figure out the way things work in your body."
"Are there others here like me?"
That one seemed to surprise him. "What do you mean?"
"I mean I know I'm the only person who can regenerate, but are you testing on other people with abilities?"
His face remained impassive. "You don't need to worry about that. Now, let's get started. We'll start slowly—tissue repair."
Pat rolled up Claire's shirt so her stomach was revealed and pressed the scalpel up to the skin just above her navel. She instinctively moved away, stretching her body to the side as far as her restraints would let her.
"You know I can feel pain right?" The words spilled out of her mouth so quickly she wondered if he even understood what she'd said. Pat held the scalpel in midair, a small frown setting on his face.
"I'm afraid that's the downside to these experiments. We can't throw in any unnecessary factors here, so no morphine—that would throw off the data, you know?"
"This isn't just data, this is my life!" Claire shouted, wincing suddenly as the blade cut into the flesh of her belly.
She gritted her teeth, feeling the cold metal stretch all the way from one side of her stomach to the other. Pat watched with enthrallment as her tissue knitted itself back together within seconds.
"Fascinating," he murmured, his eyes shining with delight. "You have a truly remarkable ability, Claire. I've never seen anything like this."
He pressed the blade into her shoulder, sliding it all the way down to her wrist. "You bastard," she said through gritted teeth, willing herself not to cry out.
Pat was silent for a moment. Claire almost wondered if he was feeling guilty, but then she saw the look in his eyes. She could practically see the wheels turning in his mind. He met her gaze.
"Do you re-grow limbs as well?" She narrowed her eyes and refused to answer him anymore.
Pat turned back to the table and returned with a large pair of scissors. He held it up to her pinky finger and snipped it off. A noise came out of Claire's throat and her eyes watered. Pat watched as the new bone of her pinky slowly peeked out, muscle and blood vessels wrapping around it, and finally the skin and fingernail re-grew.
"I wonder…" he murmured. He walked back to the table and set the scalpel down, returning with a much bigger blade in hand.
Claire gulped. "W-What's the saw for?"
Pat didn't answer her as he placed the blade just under her right knee. She began to breathe heavily, her hands shaking as she tilted her head down to look at him.
"Please don't do this…"
Pat remained silent and placed his free hand on her knee, then pressed the blade into her flesh. Claire couldn't hold back her groans of pain as he dragged the saw back and forth, cutting into the bone.
"I'll kill you," she spat out, feeling tears slide down her cheeks. "I swear to God, I'm going to kill you."
Claire gasped as she heard a sickening snap and then suddenly she couldn't feel below her right knee anymore. Pat pulled her old limb away, looking at the bone from the inside of her leg. He glanced down at her, watching as the new bone of her leg grew outward, then formed into her new foot.
This pain was even worse than when he'd removed her leg. The bone and muscle grew slowly, then the skin and new toenails grew gradually outside. Finally it was over and Claire whimpered. She dropped her head back down onto the table with a loud thump as she panted.
Pat quickly wrote down several notes, examining her new limb. He ran his hand down her shin, fingered her toes, prodded at her toenails.
"This is remarkable." He slid the cap down on his pen, walking back towards her head. If the frown on his face or the way he smoothed her chocolate brown hair away from her forehead were supposed to comfort her, they didn't.
"Alright, Claire. We're done today. You did an excellent job." Pat pulled out a syringe and injected it into a vein at the inside of her elbow. "You can sleep now."
Claire felt her eyelids grow heavy as she slowly drifted into a haze, welcoming the painless sleep with open arms.
A/N: Wow. That was a lot… gorier than I'd expected. That's what I get for writing this while watching CSI: New York I guess.
Anyway, I would appreciate feedback. You can expect an update soon. If you are curious about my other new story How Long is Forever?, see my profile under Fanfic Status.