Summary: Uncertainty. Hatred. Fear. Lust. It's all bottled up into those dark pools of brown and almost makes her lose her breath. But she's good at regaining her balance quickly. Peter and Claire. Oneshot.

Disclaimer: Nope.

A/N: Her name is Hider. The end.

--

"At least I don't have to rely on others for my powers," she snaps, and something burns in his eyes that sends vibrations of chills down her spine. Folding her arms across her chest to ward off the sensation, she stands her ground and keeps her gaze locked on his despite the overwhelming urge to look away. If he wants to fight, then she's not going to deny him that.

Maybe he'll give her a little honesty in the process.

"From what I hear being invincible isn't all that great, either," he retorts. Claire swallows hard around the thickness in her throat, an unexplained swelling that seems to occur whenever anyone mentions what she can do. Can't do. It's all the same anymore.

"Spend some actual time with me and find out for yourself if you're so curious," she murmurs smoothly. Peter glares at her and she smiles sardonically, a quick half-tilt of the corner of her mouth that's more reminiscent of a smirk than a grin. "You don't listen to what I have to say half the time anyway, so I don't know why you'd bother to believe me about that."

His eyes burn brighter and she backs up a step, unafraid of what he'll do and more afraid of her own pending actions. Flexing his hands, he looks away from her finally and suddenly her heart pounds, harder, faster, harder faster harder fasterharder. Claire inhales sharply and he looks up her just as suddenly as he looked away.

"Last time I checked I was the only one that even bothered to try to make a connection with you," he says slowly, almost like it's painful for the words to roll past his tongue and out into the open air. She steps forward and shrugs disinterestedly.

"Sex is only a physical connection, Peter. Not much more."

Chocolate eyes darken at the proclamation and she raises one perfectly-arched eyebrow, silently daring. Waiting. She's not giving into this until he admits that it's more than a thrill ride within an apocalyptic pandemonium. He takes a deep breath and reaches out for her before dropping his hand to his side.

Uncertainty. Hatred. Fear. Lust. It's all bottled up into those dark pools of brown and almost makes her lose her breath. But she's good at regaining her balance quickly. And then his mouth crushes hers and she digs her nails into his biceps because she's not really sure what else to do. After a moment he shoves away from her and she stumbles backwards, pulling herself upright just before she trips enough to hit the ground.

"I understand that this is killing you, but I'm not going to be your punching bag when you're pissed," he breathes. Her stomach bottoms out at the words and he watches her for a reaction that she carefully hides before turning and leaving the apartment. Claire looks around at the humble abode and bites her lip until it bleeds.

--

"It's not that he hates you," she whispers, and all of the hairs on the back of Claire's neck stand at attention. Nikki (Jessica) sits down next to her and she bows her head over her hand, focusing intently on spreading her new nail polish over her thumbnail. The older blonde snickers and Claire shifts uncomfortably. "You do, though, don't you?"

"Hate him?"

"Hate yourself," Jessica whispers, adding a short laugh to the end of the statement. Claire swallows thickly and looks up, attempting to brush her hair behind her ear with the back of her palm. They lock eyes and Jessica reaches out to do it for her, pulling stray blonde strands of hair out of her face.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Claire retorts bitterly. "And if you're so intent on talking to Peter about me, ask him why he's so goddamn insistent on making me discuss my problems."

"Well, we're all concerned about you," is the response. Generic. Overused. Even Hiro tells her that and he can hardly speak English clearly. "Of course, your boy thinks we're all out to betray the both of you, but if it comes down to that—"

"Stop," she says, darkly. Jessica furrows her brow at the command and for a moment Claire thinks that maybe Nikki is back, ready to give her actual advice that she can use in the fucked-up fuck buddy system she's established with the youngest Petrelli brother since she got to New York, but then the older woman grins and she gets chills down her spine that are too harsh and too rapid to be inspired by her friend.

Raising her eyes to the Tyler Durden wannabe, she takes a deep breath and ignores her bottle of nail polish when it tips over on the floor. "If anything, we're going to kill each other. We don't need any of your help with destroying each other."

She stands abruptly and rushes out of the room, out into the busy New York City streets to find refuge away from the constant paint smell of Isaac's studio. Thirty seconds after she realizes that it's dark and thugs roam the sidewalks at night, she runs back inside and cringes at the sound of NikkiJessica's laughter.

--

The skin of her elbow strikes the cement of the floor and she feels the crack of it all the way in her stomach, the harsh blow sending waves of pain through her body. She reaches up and tangles her fingers in his hair, pulling harshly and biting at his bottom lip to pay him back. He groans and she arches her hips, grinding against him in a vain attempt to speed this up.

A curse word spills from his lips and taints the delicate flesh of her collarbone, a stain that she wants to be permanent. Claire briefly considers getting it tattooed there, an inked bruise indicating that Peter Fucking Petrelli actually said something dirty during sex, but then his mouth is on her throat and the thought flies from her head before she can translate it into a mental note.

"God, I hate you," she gasps and he stills, breath hot and humid against her ear. She arches into him again and bites her bottom lip, raising glassy foggy eyes to his when he rises to his elbows above her. Peter furrows his brow and she strokes her hand across it slowly. "I shouldn't let you touch me like this," she whispers, though the comment isn't really directed at him.

He moves away from her and she sits up with him, frantically kissing his lips and grabbing at his shirt to pull him back down with her. Resisting, he rests his hands on her shoulders and presses a kiss to her forehead that brings a whole new batch of tears to her eyes. "You're too broken to be who you are," he murmurs.

Suddenly the tears are hot, angry, incinerating her pupils and burning translucent paths down her cheeks. "Whose fault is that?" she asked rhetorically, shoving him off of her completely and standing up. Claire doesn't bother to look at him as she screams in frustration, ending it on a sob that makes her close her hands around her throat to cut off the embarrassing sound. "You brought me here because you thought I was in danger," she shouts.

"You were," he argues calmly.

"Did you ever think that maybe I would've been okay with dying?" she finally looks down at him, his image blurry through the film of tears covering her eyes. She can still see his jaw clench and she gasps to catch her breath. "God, you don't know a thing about me other than how I like to be fucked, do you?"

"Never gave me the chance to find out," he replies. Wiping her tears and sobbing openly, now, she drops down on her knees in front of him and wrings her wet hands out in the pocket of her hoodie.

"I don't want to be here," she whispers under her breath. Peter reaches out for her and she says it again, and again, I don't want to be here I hate this I hate this Ihateyouforbringingmehere. He drags her into his lap and she collapses in his arms, fragmented into a million little pieces despite the fact that her skin never cracks for more than a second.

--

Curling into him, she buries her head in his chest and closes her eyes tightly. He strokes his hand through her hair lazily and she swallows slowly, careful not to provoke a fresh batch of tears. Claire spreads her fingers out against the skin of his shoulder and presses down lightly, pushing up and kissing him softly.

"We'll figure this out," she whispers, and it's more of a question than she wants it to be. Peter furrows his brow and nods in agreement, and she sighs as she burrows into him again. To be honest, she doesn't believe that and she never will, but the longer she stays with him the longer he stays alive and maybe that's her entire purpose anyway.

If it is, then she needs to stop pushing him away.