Apocalypse by SLynn

Summary: Three years have passed since the explosion and life has drastically changed for everyone. This isn't the world they imagined they'd be saving.

Spoilers: Up to 'Fallout'

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing and will return them all when I'm done, virtually untouched.

Notes: This is it, the final chapter! I'm so relieved to be done and so very sleepy. Seriously, insomnia is the key to writing I believe. I haven't slept in days! Thanks again for all the reviews. I know not everyone is going to love this ending, and I'm sorry about that, but I'm happy with it. And I'm working on the sequel, because everything I write like this seems to have a sequel. Again, thank you Tripp3235 for the help. Thanks to everyone for all the reviews and for sticking with me through this monster. Enjoy!

Chapter 35: Boston

"Did you tell her?"

"I told her I was leaving," Matt answered. "She doesn't need to know any more than that. She'd only try and talk me out of it if she knew the truth."

Jacobs nodded in silent agreement. He had found Matt as soon as the meeting was over, gone looking for him, needing to know his answer.

"What about the other blond?"

Matt raised an eyebrow at him questioningly.

"The woman, I forget her name. The one with you…"

"Audrey?" Matt provided.

"Yes, Audrey. What about her? Have you asked her yet?"

"No," Matt admitted. "I'm not really sure she'll…"

"Of course she'll go with you."

"I'm not really sure I want her to," Matt said. "This isn't exactly a vacation you're asking me to go on."

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Jacobs asked. "You don't have to. I can always ask someone else."

"No," Matt said. "I'll do it, I want to do it. It will give me time to get my head back together. To calm down."

"Good," Jacobs sighed in relief. "To be honest, the list of people I can ask is rather short."

"Hey, I made the top of a short list. That's a first."

"Ha. Hardly," Jacobs said. "But seriously, are you going to ask Audrey to join you? You really shouldn't go alone, that wouldn't be safe. If not her, I can always find…"

"I'll ask her," Matt said quietly.

Jacobs stared at him, hard, as if deciding something.

"I feel compelled to tell you that I voted to let Nathan Petrelli stay with us," Jacobs confessed. "If I'd have said no it would have tied."

"Did you do that to get me on this trip?" Matt asked, equally as serious.

"No," Jacobs answered. "I did it because Jonah… because Peter believes in him and Peter has good instincts."

"Peter is a good man," Matt said with a short nod.

"When are you going to leave?"

"Early tomorrow morning. Before the first group leaves for Boston."

"Are you going to tell your other friends?"

"I'm going to tell them goodbye," Matt said firmly. "It's not going to be easy. I think D.L. is going to try to talk me out of it, I think he might already have an idea that… it doesn't matter. I'm going."

"One year," Jacobs said firmly. "I'll expect you in Boston a year from today, give or take a day or two."

"Boston it is," Matt said taking the man's offered hand. "I've never been there before and I'm lousy with a map, but I'll be there. One year from today."

"Good," Jacobs said with a sad smile.

"It's been a few years since I've been to Texas," Matt added. "Should be interesting."

"Be safe."

"I will."

The first group was set.

They had decided to send a small group up ahead of the main party to scout the location, find a suitable residence and basically ensure that Boston was still, in fact, livable.

Hiro had volunteered to lead the group of five. They were to return in a week with the details. In the mean time the remainder of the colony set about packing and preparing for the mass migration.

The new council, consisting of Daniel, Jacobs, Peter and Maggie, was a temporary thing. As soon as they were up and running in Boston they planned to hold their first ever election.

The council would essentially remain a three member board, but this time there would be a definite leader, elected by popular vote, the two remaining positions filled by the runner-ups. Elected members would serve two years. It wasn't much of a system, but it was a start.

Claire watched as they set off, waving to Hiro and the others; wishing them luck.

"So," Niki said throwing an arm around her shoulder, "how are you?"

"A mess," Claire admitted, turning to walk back in the main entrance with her towards a semi-secluded table. "A complete and total mess."

"He'll be back."

"I know he will," Claire said. "It's just… you know we've spent almost every day together in the past three years. We've talked… I don't know what I'm going to do."

"You'll do fine," Niki assured her.

"Do you think I did the right thing?" Claire asked her, knowing D.L. had to have filled her in on the details by now.

Niki paused briefly.

"Yes," she finally said. "I do. And you know what, Matt does too."

"No, he doesn't."

"Listen," Niki said seriously. "Matt is a great guy. I know you look up to him and respect his opinions, but you're allowed to disagree with them. You're allowed to think he's wrong."

"Do you think he was?"

"I don't know," Niki admitted. "I don't know if you were or he was or what. Time will tell. My point is that he loves you and he's not going to stop loving you because you don't see eye-to-eye. That's how it works."

"Then why did he leave?" Claire asked with a frown.

"Because it's been three years, three really stressful, long years and maybe he knows that you need to learn to trust your own decisions. And that as long as he's around you won't have a reason to."

"Did he tell you to say that?"

"Maybe," Niki said with a smile.

Claire nodded. It sounded like Matt.

"I really think he just wants what's best for you. What's best for all of us."

Claire was silent as she considered it.

"Did Audrey go with him?" she asked.

Niki nodded, scrutinizing the younger woman for a reaction.

"Good," Claire said with a small smile. "I'm glad he knows what's best for him, too. I wouldn't want him going alone to wherever… Wait, did he tell you where he was going?"

"No," Niki sighed. "Just that he needed some time away. Some time to think."

"That's strange," Claire said. "I mean, Matt makes plans for everything. It's like he can't cross a room unless he knows exactly which way is best."

"He might just not want us following him."

"You're probably right," Claire said with a nod.

"Right about what?" Peter asked, joining them at their table.

"Nothing," Claire said, dismissing the topic.

"I think I'll leave you two alone," Niki said as she got up with a smile.

Claire gave her a quick wave before turning her full attention to Peter.

"I heard that Matt left."

"Yeah," Claire said with a brisk nod.

"I'm sorry, Claire," Peter said. "I didn't think it would come to that. I really didn't. I just thought…"

"I know," she said. "It's not your fault."

Peter smiled tightly, knowing pretty well that it was his fault. That he'd been the one to insist Nathan join them.

"Besides," Claire continued. "He'll be back. He promised me he'd be back and he hasn't broken one yet."

"Yeah," Peter returned with a lot less enthusiasm.

There was an awkward pause and tension that neither of them knew how to combat.

"I heard…"

"I hope…"

They both spoke over one another before stopping and laughing.

"Sorry," he said, "go ahead."

"Oh, it's nothing," Claire said, still grinning. "I just, I heard you're pretty much a shoe in for a spot on the council is all."

Peter sighed, shaking his head, but smiling none-the-less.

"I'm not sure what to do about that," he admitted.

"You'll be great," Claire said encouragingly. "You're like a complete natural leader."

"More like a complete natural disaster," he laughed. "I mean, I can't even figure out how to do whatever it is I do."

"You're not giving yourself enough credit," Claire admonished.

"Maybe not," he admitted.

"So, um, what were you saying?" Claire asked.

"I just," Peter said, blushing slightly, "I was just hoping that you're not too upset about Matt leaving."

"I'm going to miss him," Claire said sincerely.

Peter nodded, biting his lower lip and looking at the table.

"Wait," Claire said as it suddenly occurred to her how this might look to him, "I'm not… You don't think that I have... That Matt and I? Because, no. No. It's not like that at all."

"Oh, no," Peter said quickly. "I didn't…"

"Yes you did," Claire said with a laugh. "Don't worry, you're not the first. But really, it's not that way."

"Well, you know you do…"

"Kind of talk about him a lot?" Claire provided.

"Yeah," Peter said with an embarrassed laugh.

"Well, I do. I know I do, but we've been by one another's side for three years," she returned. "He's my family. I don't know how to explain it better than that."

"So there's nothing…"

"No," Claire said emphatically. "No. Nothing like that. Seriously, if anything he's become like an older brother."

"Well, that would explain why instead of saying goodbye he told me that if I hurt you he'd come back and give me another scar."

"He did not," Claire said, shocked.

"I'm not making that up," Peter laughed.

"Well then," Claire said with a smile, "I guess you'd better not hurt me then."

"Mr. Davies, I'm glad you've returned."

"Thank you, sir. It's good to be back."

"Is it taken care of?"

"Yes, sir," Davies answered. "The Board has been eliminated and Ms. Yi has been set in place."

"What do you think of this woman?"

"I think she's ruthless," he answered.

"Good. And Petrelli?"

"Nathan Petrelli did escape," he answered. "We have confirmation that he made it into New York along with his brother, Peter, and the others."

"And our contact in the colony is still in place?"

"Yes, sir," Davies continued. "Maggie Jenson made contact today. She informed us that the colony is migrating north to Boston as soon as possible. She'll continue to check in at regular intervals."

"Have they replaced the council?"

"Not yet," Davies said. "They're waiting until they all reach their final destination. She anticipates that Henry Jacobs and Peter Petrelli will be named to serve. She is unsure who the third will be."

"Anything else?"

"Yes, sir. I've informed Ms. Yi of the new laws and initiatives that are to be put in place."

"I trust you are also sending her the means to do all of this."

"Of course."

"Good. Excellent work. Excellent. Keep a close eye on her, just to be certain, but I think she'll do very well. Finally our real work can begin."

Davies gave him a small nod, turning to go.

"Davies, what about our other little problem? Now that Peter Petrelli has reemerged so-to-speak, have we heard anything about the other one?"

"Not yet, sir, but we are on the lookout for him."

"Let's not make the same mistakes we made in the past. Is that understood, Mr. Davies?"

"Yes, sir, Mr. Linderman."

The End