"Of Hell and Hand Baskets"

By Viv

Title: "Of Hell and Hand Baskets"
Rating: PG-13 (warning for language)
Characters: Peter, Claire, Nathan
Summary: Peter, Claire and Nathan's reactions to the identity of Claire's bio-dad.
Spoilers: Spoilers for 1.14 Distractions.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, just borrowing. All NBC's and Tim Kring's. Please don't sue!
Author's Notes: I wrote this just before 1.14 Distractions aired as a way to deal with the big reveal. Ignorance is definitely bliss, but I'm way past that point at the moment, so I'm trying to deal in my own fanficcy way. Inspired by marblerose's "Ignorance is Bliss"

Feedback is love.

Claire Bennet (Petrelli, whatever)
(confessing certain indecent, shivering thoughts about her uncle. Her life is so screwed)
Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York

Oh dear god in heaven, I'm going straight to hell.

It's my second day in New York, the second day of the rest of my life. I should be more excited, I've finally got what I've always wanted. I've met my bio-parents and know where I've come from, who I've come from. Who my bio-parents were and more intriguingly, what they can do.

My bio-mom lives in a trailer park in Texas. That's cool, nothing wrong with that, I can deal. She's my bio-mom, I'm a part of her. I'm not ashamed of my heritage, of where I've come from. Of course, it did shatter my dreams of being the long lost daughter of a sophisticated and very, very rich socialite that somehow hadn't known I was alive, who'd welcome me back with open arms (and also my very own personal black Amex). Put me up in a swish New York penthouse with unlimited credit and my personal driver to drive me around everywhere.

She asked me not to call her mom, so she's still Meredith Gordon for now. I can't even call her Meredith in my own mind; she's either Meredith Gordon or bio-mom. She's a little on the white trashy side – not that I'm judging or anything – but she seems real nice, down to earth. I showed her what I could do and she gasped a little. Then she showed me what she could do and I totally freaked. It was the coolest thing in the world.

So some drama there, but no big deal. I'm a big girl now, I told myself. I could cope.

But then came the bombshell, news that exploded my world into a million tiny, irretrievable pieces. I finally met my bio-dad and instead of being happy that he was super rich, super suave and best of all, super not-icky looking, I was miserable.

Nathan Petrelli is my bio-dad. Which is an okay fact by itself – I've got nothing against Nathan – er, Dad (but it still seems weird calling him that, so I think I'll just stick with Nathan for now) – he seems a little on the high strung side, a little grouchy, but I could tell he genuinely cared about his family. Self-centered maybe, has odd taste in ties and cuff links and has a hideous penchant for pink shirts, but then, no one really cares what politicians wear anyway. Everyone's so busy trying to tell which lie's coming out of his mouth, trying to spin the whole 'secret illegitimate bastard child of his youth masquerading as an old Petrelli family friend' lie, it's hard to concentrate on his other faults, like his fashion sense and super grouchy-ness. Even the fact that he could fly doesn't distract me from the horror at finding him my bio-dad.

Nathan is my bio-dad. I could've dealt with that if not for one horrible, mystifying twist of destiny. Some higher being somewhere out there, where they arranged these sorts of strange intersections of lives that ostensibly had nothing to do with each other whatsoever – some higher being was laughing really, really hard at the mess I've found myself in.

Be careful what you wish for, the scary little man in B-grade horror pictures always told the heroine, because it may not turn out anything like you wanted.

It turns out, the scary little B-grade horror man was absolutely, blindingly right. Because my dream had been squashed flat into a nightmare, chucked into a blender to come out mushed and mashed to pieces on the other side. I had gained a bio-dad but I had also gained something else – an indecent attraction stroke hero worship type crush on Peter Petrelli, who incidentally it turns out – IS MY FUCKING UNCLE!!!

Oh god. Does this mean I have to call him "Uncle Peter" now? 'Cause that? Would be the most fucked up thing this side of the galaxy.

Peter is my UNCLE. There isn't enough ick in this world to describe the super yuckyness stemming from that fact. Since he'd rescued – well, saved me – from the evil brain eating ways of Sylar – I'd been having dreams about him (ew, not those sorts of dreams). But still, my dreams were lovely, cool, excellent dreams, full of us being happy together, him ignoring the whole me 15, him 26 type things, dreams that made me sigh happily and stare into the distance wishing for the day I turned 17 (that was the legal age in New York and Texas, I'd looked that up on Wikipedia). Dreams that made my days bearable when I had to pretend to my "father" that I'd lost all my memories of that horrible night when Peter and I finally connected.

And now he's my FUCKING UNCLE. UNCLE. Not even half-brother or step-brother or first or second cousin or son of my bio-mom's second cousin once removed. My. Uncle.

But he's still so cool. So attractive. I love everything about him, from the way he annoyingly flips his comic book bangs out of his face to his dark, piercingly passionate eyes. I love looking at his lean but quite nicely built frame, his decidedly lopsided, crooked smile. I love the tingling sensation that courses through my body every time our hands accidentally touch. Every time he looks at me, I shiver, because the feeling is just so. Freaking. Wonderful.

Dear God, please forgive me, because I can't help it. I'm going straight to hell.

Nathan Petrelli
(Stuck in his own personal hell)
Manhattan, New York
Offices of Penman & Mercer, Attorneys-At-Law

Oh god, I'm going straight to hell. No, strike my last, I'm already there. My election's in barely two weeks and god only knows how many hours – and I'm stuck here in my lawyer's office, sweating out the details on how to keep this stupid secret buried and hidden forever.

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against Claire Bennet – er, Petrelli (did she actually want to change her name? I need to get Mercer to look into that) – but come on! Couldn't she have waited another two fucking weeks to go look for – what had she called me? Her bio-dad?! Two weeks and my life wouldn't have gone straight to hell in a pretty fucking big hand basket. Two weeks and I wouldn't have quite the amount of stress I'm currently being put through, caught between a rock, a hard place and something infinitely so much harder than rock I'm sure the substance was a lot fucking harder than diamond.

Heidi keeps giving me looks that suggests all she wants to do is put my head through the garbage disposal and watch as my brain's ground up into a million tiny Petrelli pieces which, let's face it, wouldn't be at all beneficial in the election. Even Mom's so dirty on me she won't even look in my direction unless it involves a photo op and two bottles of vodka afterwards. I have a feeling she's planning another kleptomania induced shopping spree – I'm using the term 'shopping' in the loosest meaning of the term of course – just to see me suffer and stew in my sweaty 'I have no fucking idea how to clean this fucking mess up and I might as well throw myself off the nearest building' kind of way.

But their scathing looks of hatred can't hold a candle – or a bonfire more accurately – to my darling brother's looks of absolute, irredeemable putrid revulsion that he throws my way. He stalks around my own house – well, it was his house too before he up and left on his whirlwind 'I'm too good to be a Petrelli' shtick – but still. He stalks around giving me dirty looks and mumbling incoherently about shrinks and incest, as if I'd concocted this entire mess just for the hell of it.

I thought he'd be grateful – well, gratified at least – by my heart felt apology at all the times I'd ranted at him for dashing cross country to rescue some nameless cheerleader in Texas. How was I supposed to know everything's all connected (even though he did try to explain it to me)? How was I supposed to know life was so monumentally screwing with me that the one crazy thing he did ended up being pretty fucking brilliant? Life's got me by the balls and it ain't letting go any time soon.

I thanked my ungrateful brother for rescuing the cheerleader who turned out to be my daughter and what did he say back to me? "Screw you Nathan." What the fuck was wrong with his royal emo-ness anyhow? I wasn't fucking Matt Parkman, how am I supposed to know what's going on inside that screwed up mind of his?

Well yeah Petey, I'm sorry I enjoyed myself 16 fucking years ago by living like a normal man and oh by the way, I had no FUCKING IDEA that Claire even existed. Your honour, I'm innocent in this whole fucking mess.

Dear God, I'm in my own personal fucking hell and I only have a very faint recollection of who I screwed to get here.

Peter Petrelli
(Thoughts of a really sick and perverted bastard)
Manhattan, New York
Office of Dr Mancredi, Consulting Psychiatrist

Oh god, I'm going straight to hell.

Claire is my NIECE. My NIECE god damn it (capitalized because it is a very little BIG DEAL) and a pretty, pretty one at that. All flowing blonde locks, tendrils that cascade like a waterfall on a warm summer's day, wide doe-eyes and a figure to die for. Literally. Like, I actually have died for it, so really, that wasn't an exaggeration in the slightest.

No matter how I try to think about her – and yes, that's my NIECE I'm talking about (insert gagging, nauseous feeling), I just see a really nice, pretty – definitely unrelated to me in every conceivable way – girl. I'm a man for fuck's sake. These sorts of feelings – thoughts, sensations – can't be switched on and off like a fucking light switch. It's there, it's always been there, even as I saw her running towards me all panic and sweat and blood mixed into a gooey mess running from her own personal nightmare, I kind of dug her.

My NIECE. Claire Bennet – or is that Petrelli? – my NIECE. My NIECE. Maybe if I repeat it often enough, I'll be able to not-remember enough of her big blue eyes, her seductive, inviting smile.

I am such a pervert. Audrey Hanson had been right on the ball and I hadn't even known it. Peter Petrelli is a pervert. Not only did I have indecent feelings for a girl who I thought was actually 17 (legal in both New York and Texas, I rush to add) who turned out to be maybe 16 and now possibly 15, I'm now related to said girl. She's not even a first cousin or half-sister or someone else within the same generation. She's my FUCKING NIECE.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Apparently, it's also paved with saving the life of a cheerleader to save the world, only to find yourself attracted to her, which would be okay if only you waited a few years until she was sure of herself, if not for the tiny but significant fact that you turned out to be RELATED TO HER.

If I sound hysterical – its because I am hysterical. I'm even waiting to see a shrink right now, waiting to pay $300 per hour to a man who should have absolutely no problems telling me that I'm a sick, perverted bastard whose life was monumentally screwed at the moment because I'm still having indecent thoughts about my NIECE even though I knew her first as Claire but who's now my fucking NIECE and I have to really get a grip on myself because I just want to murder my stupid, stupid, screwed up brother who up and decided he hadn't ruined my life enough lately by pronouncing me a suicidal lunatic in front of half of Manhattan and couldn't also keep enough of himself in his pants to not ruin my life by turning the first attractive thing to me since Simone my NIECE!

I am going to kill my brother. Then we'd both end up in hell, together forever. I'd probably need some company down there, being sent just with a hand basket and all. Wonder what I'd need to pack in that hand basket? Maybe a picture of Claire. Hey, if I'm being damned for all eternity, I might as well just go with it …

I can't even look at Claire now, which in case you've missed the newsflash – is my NIECE. I can't tell whether she ever knew how attracted I was to her – how much I still am attracted to her, perverted being that I am – but obviously that can't happen now. I mean, it shouldn't happen. She's 15 but that's not even an issue. Which is – what's that phrase? Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it?

I had wished – intermittently of course, I'm not quite an obsessive stalker nutcase as I sound right now – that the whole age gap thing might miraculously go away overnight. Then I wouldn't have to deal with years repressing my sexual frustration and desire for her shimmering form in front of me, alluring and seductive in her vitality and beauty.

It turns out, dealing with an age gap was the least of my worries. I could have dealt. The gap in our ages wasn't insurmountable. People got older, not younger. It was all uphill from here.

Except now my wish has come true. Our ages didn't matter now, because she's my fucking NIECE.

I cannot emphasise this enough. I am going to KILL Nathan, then I'm going straight to Hell, for thinking about my NIECE in a decidedly unwholesome way.