Dance With A Stranger
AU from 1x18 Parasite. Originally published in 2007, this fic depicts some facts and storylines that are not considered part of current Heroes canon. Chapter contains sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
Part I: Lies by Omission
Peter Petrelli had always been a law-abiding, God-fearing man. The latter was instilled as a result of coming from generations of traditional Italian Catholics. His father, Arthur, had not been a very devout man but one particularly concerned with keeping up appearances.
Consequently, he spent nineteen years of Sundays stifled in tie and suit jacket, self-conscious and uncomfortable upon the wooden pews listening to Father Mariano's weekly, recycled sermons. He was baptized in that church, had his First Eucharist and Confirmation there, watched Monty and Simon's christenings.
But after nineteen years, he let his obligations no longer rule his life, and he stopped attending Masses. A final blow-out with Arthur, then Nathan, over how they found him lacking. Lacking in ambition, lacking in expectation, his lack of a declared major, lacking in interest to practice law. And then it was good-bye to New York. The next three years were spent traveling wherever his whim and fancy took him.
He returned to school and graduated with a nursing degree, letting his family's doubts discourage him from medical school. He took his father's death onto his conscience with nothing but lingering regret and resentment, now having to deal with Nathan stepping into their patriarch's shoes and trying to enforce his will over little brother's life.
Through it all, Peter stuck to the moral codes and obedience to Scripture and law ingrained in him since childhood. At least he did…until now…and now was the entrance of one blonde-haired, doe-eyed, underage cheerleader into his life.
If he did not already feel quite so much a pedophilic pervert already for his less-than-innocent interest in his reason for being back in Odessa, Texas in the first place, he would have to add stalker to his résumé for his current preoccupation.
He'd tracked her for two days, memorizing her daily routine to find the best time and place to approach her unhindered by the small-town surrounding them. Claire had a habit of passing through a particular path in a more isolated part of town, intent on her destination being a local diner scene.
Or it would have been, if invisible hands wouldn't have suddenly grabbed her from behind and pulled her out of sight into a back alleyway. Materializing before her and reassuringly whispering her name to stop her struggling, Peter watched her apprehensively, smiling awkwardly at their first meeting since that dreaded Homecoming night. Not counting the visit to his holding cell, when she'd looked at him in a way that should have had him arrested in any state.
Claire Bennet stood before him, understandingly stunned at his sudden reappearance into her life. He hesitated for a moment, uncertain how to explain himself and vaguely disappointed she was not more enthusiastic to see him again; something he more than felt in large amounts of inappropriate glee. And then she smiled, and his world shifted all over again.
Suddenly she smiled…she smiled and threw her arms around him, leaving him both boyishly happy and bemusedly stunned as he returned her embrace with trembling arms. Hating himself for how much he loved the feel of her soft body pressing to his, the scent of vanilla-honey shampoo filling his nostrils.
"Peter, you have no idea how good it is to see you!"
He swallowed hard at those wide, earnest eyes staring up at him and he smiled weakly. "Oh, I think I have some idea."
She smiled at him again and he stared dazedly. Yep, he was going straight to hell…no ands, ifs or buts about it.
He awakened in the night, trembling, broken out in a cold sweat, lost in the throes of his own chaotic consciousness, the aftereffects of the nightmare still lingering…no manifestation of his troubled senses but rather a monstrous recollection destined to forever haunt him, mind and soul, twisting and clawing its way into the darkest reaches of his heart, his very perception of life around him.
Peter's head shot up from his pillow, his eyes adjusting in the darkness of the motel room to meet the concerned gaze of the other bed's occupant. Moonlight filtered in through the room's sole window just behind her, illuminating golden waves of hair falling around her shoulders, giving her an ethereal look in the pallid luminescence.
Her skin seemed to glow, sun-bronzed flesh his fingers itched to touch, her legs- exposed as the borrowed t-shirt she wore barely came down to her thighs- swung out from under the comforter as she sat up to face him.
"Peter? Are you okay?"
He nodded dumbly, averting his eyes from her as his traitorous mind grappled both with the lingering traces of his nightmare and the illicit attraction he harbored for his temporary roommate.
With the unreliability of his control, using Hiro's borrowed power was out of the question. And when the money borrowed from Nathan ended up not being enough to cover two return plane tickets, the Greyhound route was their only option. With the next bus not leaving until morning, he and Claire had settled into a hotel room in the next town over from Odessa to wait out their time.
Claire had been more than eager to join him, spilling an extraordinary story of erased memories and traitorous fathers, feelings of betrayal and isolation among the same people who were supposed to protect her, leaving him to nearly forget his reason for coming to get her in the first place.
He supposed, if his mind was a bit more rational and not so wired to be the white knight to her damsel in distress, he would have hesitated at the implications of aiding and abetting a teenage runaway. Or, considering it was his insistence that had her leaving in the first place, certain levels of kidnapping a minor.
But any trace of those trails of thought immediately dissipated as slender arms suddenly slipped around him, the bed creaking under the addition of her weight as she sat beside him. "You're not okay…please don't lie, Peter," she whispered into his ear, the brush of her breath against his skin sending a sensual shiver down his spine.
"Claire," he grunted out throatily, fighting to keep himself unresponsive to her embrace. "Go back to bed."
She eyed him closely, studying him, green eyes imploring and defiant as they locked with his, her head shaking to refuse him. "No. I heard you talking in your sleep…you had a nightmare. Talk to me. Don't pretend."
"Claire," and his voice dropped an octave, the dark quality to it sending inexplicable shivers through her as he repeated his command with more authority, "Go back to bed."
The pupils of his eyes were dilated, the warm brown of them more an opaque jet-black in the dark of the room, and the effect of them was mesmerizing. She swallowed hard, the hands previously trying to comfort him fisting in the material of his wife-beater, noting that the thin cotton was damp with a cold sweat.
"No," and she watched him scowl with her refusal, the severity of his expression having the resolution of her resolve wavering, not wanting to push him. But then she felt the muscles beneath her fingers quiver with tension and she remembered the mutters and the thrashing that had woken her in the first place. "Why won't you talk to me? What's so awful that you want me to go away so badly?"
"You need to go to bed. Now. If not…"
"If not…" she prompted, her breath hitching almost painfully as she met his eyes again, dark and glittering with something she couldn't quite read.
"If not…I'm going to do something we can't take back."
His gaze fell from her eyes to her lips and he was suddenly leaning forward, so close that his eyes were all that filled her vision, dark and full with what she recognized now as the same feeling coiling in her belly. It was the same feeling that heated in her blood with his proximity, that had her knees feeling weak and her mind blank of anything but him every time he was near.
Desire, hot and potent, burned between them…almost a palpable entity in its intensity.
Claire licked her lips, shifting closer. "What if I don't want to take it back?"
Peter seemed to tremble against her, closing his eyes. "Then," he said simply, his voice husky and pained, "We're both done for."
She watched him, her stomach a jumble of nerves and anticipation as she glanced at him demurely through the fan of thick lashes. She bit her lip in a gesture that earned a low, throaty whisper of "God, Claire," from him just before he wrapped his arms around her, pulled her into his lap and crushed his mouth to hers.
His lips moved over hers hungrily, his tongue demanding entrance she gladly granted, and dear God, she was drowning with no hopes of surfacing any time soon. His hands splayed across her back, pushing her flush against him as he kissed her ever more urgently.
An intense heat spiraled in her blood, settling in her abdomen and humming through her head, fuelled on as she felt him harden through the thin fabric of his boxers, instinctually rolling her hips against his arousal. He groaned low in his throat, plundering her mouth ever more insistently as he kissed her again, his weight pressed her back to the bed.
She mewled with pleasure as the unexpected spike of ecstasy that shot through her as he rocked into her, and she pushed against him, eager for more of the feeling. Aching to feel more, he shucked up the t-shirt to her hips, sliding his hands up the creamy skin of her legs and thighs. He tore his mouth from hers, trailing heated kisses down her neck, and she squirmed against him, made soft sounds of pleasure that left him feeling dizzy and utterly empowered as she begged him softly for more, something more…anything more.
"Peter…please…" She lifted her hips to his once more, rubbing wantonly against him while at the same time flushing red as he obeyed her silent requests, sliding down her underwear, urging her to lift her arms so he could pull the t-shirt over her head. Breathless, she lay back against the sheets, completely bare to him, and his eyes roved over her, feasting on warm, sun-kissed flesh and soft curves his imagination couldn't have even began to imagine.
He chuckled softly at the virgin uncertainty in her eyes, leaning his head down to nuzzle her neck as he whispered how beautiful she was. Her smile was infectious, Peter finding himself grinning rather boyishly despite the dark reminder her innocence inspired in his mind. That it was a child, an innocent, lying beneath him, subject to his touch and his lusts.
"Claire, listen…there's something I have to tell you…"
She shook her head, guiding his lips back to hers to cut off his line of speech. "Shh," catching his lower lip between her teeth, earning a low growl from him as he nipped at her in return, placating the sore spot with a deep, earnest kiss, "Whatever it is, it can wait."
He placed a kiss just below her ear, obediently rearing upward to allow her to pull his wife-beater over his head as she reminded him quietly she was the only one naked, and by the time his boxer shorts joined the small pile of clothing on the floor, the naked length of his body covering hers, he was too far gone to care about anything but her.
He lay there silently in the dark for hours after she had fallen into slumber, just listening to the sound of her breathing and reveling in the warm body spooned against his side. Guilt and disgust warred with sated euphoria in his mind, and he found it to be a fruitless battle. He couldn't hate himself for this anymore than he could have hated the act between them…something he would have given his life to savor just once before he died.
A low, barely audible beeping sound reached his ears and he rolled his eyes, reaching a hand down to feel around on the floor for his pants. Finally, he snagged a pair of dark jeans and fished them up to him, digging out a slim cell phone from the pocket. He squinted in the darkness, trying to make out the numbers on the tiny screen. Recognition filling him, he switched it off, attempting to sit up and cursing under his breath as his leg collided with the bedside table. Glaring at the offending object, he rubbed the sore spot, continuing his search for his clothing scattered across the carpet.
He pulled on his jeans, fingers redialing the familiar number into the phone even as he noiselessly padded across the carpet and slipped through the door, the chill outside raising goosebumps against his exposed skin as he stepped out into the night air. He raised the phone to his ear, answering rapid-fire inquiries from the caller the moment he picked up.
"Calm down, Nathan. She's safe…we both are," a pause, and then a sigh, "I'm more than capable of protecting her, Nathan, I swear. We'll be there in a few days, promise. We're catching a bus in the morning, straight for New York."
It was suddenly hard to breath, and the sick twisting in his gut, Peter knew, had nothing to do with the pizza they had for dinner. It had everything to do with the voice speaking in his ear, his brother's gruff and authoritative masculinity, and the voice ringing through his head, soft and feminine, whimpering his name and calling out to him in pleasure.
He raked a hand through his hair, falling heavily back against the hotel room door, ignoring the sting of cold metal against his naked back. "I promise, Nathan…I'll get your daughter home safe."