Life in the Gray
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I've been watching the show from the start but this is my first Heroes fic. R/R if you enjoy.
She's never been good with silence. Before all this madness began, she was just a cheerleader. Cheerleaders aren't exactly known for being quiet. Of course there are a lot of other things that cheerleaders are known for but Claire Bennet likes to think she's totally better than that. At least, well, she tries to be better than that.
Claire realizes that the Haitian probably stole the car they're in now. It's a beat-up, old station wagon that makes Claire think it belonged to someone's grandmother. She wonders why the Haitian took this car in particular and figures it gives off a sense of normalcy. He hasn't said anything since they started driving but it's not like he's the talkative type in the first place. He prefers the silence and always has.
"Do you have a name?" asks Claire, her voice breaking the horribly uncomfortable silence that permeates the car, "I mean it's really weird to just call you 'the Haitian'." The Haitian doesn't respond and keeps his eyes focused on the road ahead. He does what he's told and he does it in silence. The silence helps him reconcile all that he's done with the person he wants to be. If no one talks about it then it will stop existing. If no one remembers his sins then maybe he too can simply forget them. Things only exist when they're spoken of and when they're remembered. That's why he prefers the silence.
"You probably think I talk a lot, huh?" asks Claire, "You'd be the only person to think that." Again, this declaration draws no response from the Haitian. Claire wonders how her father got used to the man's general creepiness. It's then that she realizes her father has been dealing with general creepiness for a very long time. She wonders where he is now and wonders the same about her mother and brother. Do any of them even still remember her? Claire has seen other people capable of doing what she can. Maybe some other Haitian mind-wiped her mother and brother at the order of this "company" her father works for. Is she even Claire Bennet anymore? Does that person exist if no one else remembers her?
"I wasn't anything special at school," admits Claire, "I wanted to be. I wanted to be popular. I wanted people to talk about me like I was something great." The Haitian remains stoic as ever, only allowing his eyes to flick in Claire's direction before returning to the road.
"They're probably all talking about me now," mutters Claire disdainfully, "I mean if anybody ever remembers what happened." She glares at him with a look of contempt. The Haitian isn't used to such looks. The only people who know of his powers are those that work for the Company. They have always praised his abilities. The rest of the world doesn't even know he exists. No one's ever given him such a look of hatred for what he can do.
"I'm never gonna see my family again," says Claire. The realization of it sinks in for her now. No more listening to her mother drone on and on about Mr. Muggles. No more fighting with Lyle over stupid, trivial things. No more going to school and getting a secret little thrill because she was special and could do things no one else could do. She could walk through fire without getting burned. Claire sobs for a few moments before the Haitian reaches out his hand. She instantly recoils because she knows what happens when he puts his hands on people. She'd rather be in pain than be in denial. She'd rather be the last person on Earth to know about Claire Bennet than to be one of the blissfully ignorant masses.
"Be quiet," says the Haitian as he wipes away one of her tears, "Please."
"I can't," replies Claire as she looks at him, "I'm not like you or my dad. I can't live my life with all these secrets while still pretending to be normal and keeping quiet. It was hard enough dealing with my ability."
"You are strong," assures the Haitian, "Your father knew it." His words sound hollow because he isn't used to talking. He's never been good with words even when he was a young boy. He can't relate to her desire to stand out because all his life all he's done is fade into the background, walking through the world like a ghost that no one is allowed to remember. The Haitian has never stood out in his entire life and he never wants to.
"Do you think God gave us these powers?" asks Claire.
"Yes," replies the Haitian with a solemn nod.
"Do you think some day you'll be punished for all the bad things you've done with yours?" presses Claire, "I mean you've been going around erasing people's pasts, erasing parts of who they are." The Haitian looks at her. She is not like him or her father. She could never be comfortable in the gray area where men like him have made their beds and now must lie in them. So many times he's asked himself the same question she asks him now. He can make others forget but, just like him, God remembers it all.
"I hope so" replies the Haitian honestly, "The world isn't always black and white. Sometimes it's gray." Claire knows she could never be like that. She could never do what her father has done even if it meant keeping her family safe. She'd rather risk her family than stare at herself in the mirror every day unable to recognize her own reflection.
"Not from where I stand," assures Claire.
"Then your father would be proud of you for standing there," says the Haitian. Claire smiles at him for a moment before the unlikely duo return to their uneasy silence. She's not so scared of the silence though. She wanted to stand out but now she feels like she's standing up for something even if it's only a personal victory. She's not going to be like her father and live in the gray, no matter the cost.