Title: That's Gotta Hurt
Summary: On a rainy day stuck in the Petrelli mansion, Claire and her uncle Peter decide to liven things up and test their limits by trying to kill themselves repeatedly. You can imagine that the rest of the family doesn't exactly appreciate their jovial sentiments.
Authors Note: On no account is any reader to copy any stunt performed by the characters in the story. You could be killed and/or maimed and if you do I will blame it on your own stupidity rather than my own responsibility. You have been warned.
"Should I?" Peter laughed, waving the blazing piece of wood around.
"Go for it!" Claire's eyes were alight with mischief, "let's see if you get splinters as well."
Happy to impress his niece, Peter Petrelli did as he was told and shoved the wood as far down his throat as it possibly could go. The fire set to work destroying the delicate regions of his throat and damaged the fragile tubes leading to Peter's lungs.
The young man screamed in pain while Claire laughed with joy, watching Peter as he tried to run around the room, still gripping the wood tightly. An intelligent person would have removed it from his mouth by now.
But this is Peter Petrelli and you can't exactly call him intelligent.
He fell on the floor and required Claire's assistance to pull the now extinguished stick from his throat and he lay coughing, unable to breathe, unable to move. His niece watched with apparent concern but no real anxiety, stroking Peter's forehead while the cells re-grew, the tissue re-formed, and he became able to swallow again.
Peter coughed up some splinters and ash and his face flushed while his body began circulating precious oxygen.
"Looks like I won't be able to deep-throat any time soon." Peter remarked jokingly and then wished he hadn't from the expression on Claire's face, "not that… I'm gay or anything."
"Well it's not like I'm against it. Just… you're my uncle. Please don't ever use the term deep-throat in front of me unless you're talking about Nixon or that movie."
Peter laughed uncomfortably and ran a hand through his hair, inwardly marvelling how his body had healed itself, "so what's next on our to-do list?"
"Well we put our hands in the blender and switched it on," Claire read from the list.
"My fingers are still tingling."
"I stuck my head in the oven," Claire scratched it off the list.
"You smelled like brownies."
Claire smirked at him, "Does dearest Daddy have a gun?"
"Of course he does," Peter wondered where it would be, "we're from New York. Of course we have a gun. Just like everyone in Texas has a gun."
"So I do have something in common with him apart from being my own personal freak show," Claire said thoughtfully, "I was beginning to think I should have a paternity test taken or something."
Peter chuckled, "you're more alike than you think. He's a lot more fun when he's relaxed; he's just forgotten how to actually do that. And I'd be sad if you were not my niece. It's nice to be bossed around by someone other than my mother, my brother, his wife, his sons, the security guy that follows him around, his secretary, the postman…"
"Aww doormat," Claire couldn't help but laugh too, "I'd never boss my uncle Peter around."
"…Simone, my barber," Peter gestured to his hair, "Mohinder basically told me I needed my head examined, that Sylar guy tries to beat me up every time I see him. It's like 'hey! There's Peter! Let's go jump on him! He doesn't mind!"
"There's something we can do!" Claire interrupted excitedly, "we can take turns jumping on each other's heads!"
"And then even Claude threw me off the roof of a 30 storey building…"
Claire whacked Peter with her pencil, "I was making a suggestion and you interrupted!"
"Sorry," Peter apologised sheepishly.
"Since you did it last you can jump on my head this time," Claire said and Peter disagreed quite strongly but even after five minutes of saying "No I will not," Claire finally settled the argument by saying "Yes you will or I'll tell my Daddy on you."
Peter agreed even though he knew fine well Nathan would never allow him to jump on Claire's head. But he didn't want to be lectured for doing these stupid stunts either.
Claire lay on the floor on her side and her uncle Peter used her head as a trampoline, making her squeal and squeak in pain but she never pushed him away. Even when her skull cracked she let him continue. It only stopped when Peter lost his balance and fell onto the floor himself, hitting his head of a small side table and falling unconscious.
They regained consciousness together a few minutes later when their skulls eventually fused back together. Unfortunately someone had heard all of the commotion and was sitting looking particularly pissed off on the sofa.
"Would one of you care to explain why there's blood all over the floor and what appears to be fragments of bone stuck to the table?" Nathan asked, his voice intimidating and sinister.
"We had an accident," Peter coughed up some blood onto his shirt. The vein in Nathan's forehead pulsed dangerously.
"Peter forgot to tie his shoelaces and fell over," Claire lied.
"And he knocked you down, bounced on your head, banged off the table and then lay comatose for 3 minutes?"
"Why is this getting blamed on me?" Peter asked.
Claire glared at her uncle.
"Would you guys…" Nathan straightened one of the cushions, refusing to look at the pair of them, "be trying to kill yourselves or at the very least cause some grievous bodily harm?"
"Would we be in trouble if we were?" Peter asked and was given another glare in response.
"Listen," it was up to Claire to try and get them out of trouble, "Peter and I… we can heal, as you know. And we were wondering that if the worst should happen and we found ourselves in one of those life and death situations, what would we be able to survive and would limbs, bones, everything actually grow back or not?"
"So you're covering my home in your blood?" Nathan asked coldly, "it'll look sorta suspicious, don't you think, if one of you succeeds in dying and the other is covered in that person's blood? My daughter killing her uncle? Her uncle killing my daughter? You've got no concept of consequences have you?"
"But we can't die," Peter protested, "and even if we did there's that little bit in our brains that acts like a computer reboot."
"Despite what you may think of me," Nathan stood up, looming over them both, "I do actually care about you two. And I want these little games to stop."
"Now if you'll excuse me," Nathan straightened his tie, "I have some important phone calls to make. So no more noise!"
He strode out of the room leaving them alone, sitting on the floor and looking disheartened.
"We never asked about the gun," Claire sighed unhappily.
"You didn't," Peter winked, ready to impress his young niece again, "But I can read minds now as well. I know where it is."
Claire beamed at him, "Oh Uncle Peter! You're my favourite uncle in the whole wide world."
"I'm your only uncle."
"My point exactly! Now where's the gun?" Claire asked excitedly.
"In my Mom's room strangely. For some reason Nathan thinks she's the least likely out of all of us to use it. But I disagree; she'd shoot something before I would."
The pair snuck over the Angela Petrelli's room and located the gun in her dresser drawer. In the middle of the search Claire found a whip and what appeared to be a Japanese fan bundled together but she pointed neither of them out to her uncle.
Instead she said, "I don't think your Mom would shoot anyone. She seems more the type to shoot laser beams out of her eyes. The way she looks at you… if looks could kill? I think hers could."
"That's my Mom you're insulting there," Peter felt a strange sense of déjà vu, "but that would be a pretty deadly power. Death by staring. Nathan could kill with his glare; he just doesn't have the laser beams."
"I hope not."
"He doesn't want us making a lot of noise so what about on the terrace?" Peter suggested, "It's raining but it's not like we can die of pneumonia or anything."
They went out into the bad weather, Peter's hair falling on front of his eyes and Claire's shirt clinging to her skin. And then despite the neighbours Peter shot three rounds in his niece and she retaliated by shooting him 3 times in the stomach. Peter lay on the ground and coughed up blood, the bullets taking an extraordinary long time to make their way out of his body.
"I coughed up my bullets but yours are pretty low down," Claire said, "maybe they'll come out the other way."
"I… am… not… shitting a bullet."
"Uncle Peter," one of Nathan's sons appeared at the terrace door, "Daddy says if you get the neighbours around complaining he's going to kick your ass."
Peter's eyes widened, "Is that actually what your father said or have you put in your own input?"
"No, he said ass. But please don't tell my Mom! She'll kick my ass and wash my mouth out with soap!"
"Don't worry," another idea filtered into Peter's head, "I won't tell a soul."
When Peter had coughed up his bullets he turned back to his niece, "Want to swallow some bleach?"
"Sure. Why not? Test our immunity to poisons as well."
Claire and Peter went on to drink not only the bleach, but some washing up liquid, some laundry detergent, they mixed in rat poison with the fabric softener and the result was Peter holding back Claire's hair while she vomited the foulsome concoction into the toilet bowl.
Angela Petrelli wasn't concerned about her niece in the slightest, "You'll have to replace all of those items, Peter. It's coming out of your pocket."
"Sure thing, Mom."
"Can I ask you both, what are you tying to do?" Angela asked, wrinkling her nose distastefully. Claire could feel the mental laser beams on the back of her head.
"We're testing our limits," Claire vomited up the rat poison.
"Using my household chemicals and appliances and filling my bathroom with the smell of sick?"
"Nobody said testing your limits would be pretty," Peter shrugged. He had not thrown up yet and was now more concerned about the stuff coming out the other end. He suspected it would be worse than the world's spiciest chilli.
"After your father killing himself I thought you would be a little more sympathetic Peter," Angela sniffed and turned on her heel.
"Does anyone in your family still possess a shell suit?" Claire asked curiously.
"No," Peter sniggered, "Why?"
When Claire explained Peter wondered whether Heidi may still have had a shell suit in the deepest regions of her closet. To Heidi's discredit she did and Claire changed into it while Peter waited outside with a lighter.
"I'm not going to help you peel that material off," Peter told her as melted shell suits had the nasty consequence of bonding with the skin and ripping off several layers of flesh when it's peeled away, "I think I could be arrested since you're under age."
"You'd be arrested for a lot more reasons," Claire called out, "and what would my father say if he found you with his half naked daughter?"
"Nathan wouldn't have me arrested," Peter shrugged half heartedly; "He'd be too concerned about his campaign. He'd just throw me out of the window."
Claire opened the door, her eyes wide, clad in a horrendous pink and orange shell suit from the 1980s.
"We gotta do that," she breathed in wonder.
"We gotta do what now?"
"You can fly right?" Claire asked.
"Well… yeah… when I can remember how."
"You should fly me up and see how high I can go before I completely go splat!" Claire grabbed the lighter, "I've been on fire before, and it's no big deal. But this… this should be fun."
Tossing the lighter away she grabbed her uncle instead and ran back out onto the terrace. Peter laughed with confusion, unable to trust his flying abilities.
"I don't know if it's a good idea to do this here," he was beginning to feel sorry for Nathan's plight.
"Well," Claire bit her lip and thought, "how about around the Empire State Building? Then it looks like I'm a jumper."
"Now that sounds pretty funny," Peter concentrated hard on how to fly, remembering how it had felt, how Nathan's abilities had changed his own. He laughed with joy when he floated several feet up into the air.
Peter swept down and gathered his niece up in his arms, "Have you been the Empire State Building yet?"
"This will be my first visit," Claire clung to Peter as New York blurred beneath them, "but if you call me a tourist I'll cut your hair."
"I can grow it back," did cell regeneration apply to hair as well? Or was that a totally different kettle of fish?
When they reached the famous landmark Peter flew up to as far as 30 storeys off the ground, using that as the first threshold.
Claire survived. But the old man she nearly landed on may have died later from a heart attack.
Peter doubled the height again and again, anxious about Claire's abilities. He was shaking after he let her go, and shivered when she squealed. But luckily the splat she made was fixable. She just stuck her bones back in and adjusted her vital organs to the horror of the tourists nearby, horror frozen on their faces.
The young man landed beside her even as Claire restarted her own heart by squeezing it with her fist. He looked away while she closed herself up but kneeled beside her when she was fully formed again.
"I don't wanna lose you Claire," Peter sighed, "I haven't known you a long time but you mean a lot to me already."
"Yeah?" Claire's expression softened after the pain of reconstruction.
"I like having a niece," Peter admitted, "although considering our ages you're more like my sister. I've never had one of those before. And if something happened to you… I'd lose Nathan too. He'd never forgive me, and I'd never forgive myself if I let something bad happen to you."
"I can't be broken," she argued.
"I'm not going to take that chance," Peter told her as he suddenly seemed to disappear.
"Peter!" Claire called out and tried to reach for him.
"What?" a disembodied voice asked curiously.
"What happened? I can't see you!"
"No one can see Peter Petrelli but I'm sure as hell that everyone in New York saw you die twice," Claude, the invisible man, was shaking his head not too far away. "Pretty girl like that? Nice shell suit? Sticks out like a sore thumb in this hellhole. Not even I could make her invisible."
"It's you," Peter stood up, colour filtering into his cheeks; luckily Claire did not see.
"If we're trying to kill people here then can I help?" Claude asked, his breath smelling of beer as usual. Peter wrinkled his nose in distaste but his eyes were still adoring.
"Well that's not exactly the point of the experiment," Peter began but he was rudely cut off when Claude swung around an empty beer bottle onto the top of his head.
Claire saw the glass smash and let out a small scream, struggling to see the pair of them.
"That's for being a whiny little bitch," Claude nudged Peter's unconscious form with his toe, the young Petrelli slowly being soaked by the falling rain. "I like you kid but that voice just pisses me right off."
Claude looked down at the horrified Claire and helped her to her feet. She couldn't see him but she felt his hand on her arm, "Who are you?"
"You can call me Mr Rains," he smiled unseen and let her away from Peter, "and if you want to see the real New York you only have to come to me. Come on, I can show the best places to jump in front of the subway."
"You'd push me!" Claire frowned.
"Yeah but if that old guy nearly dying of a heart attack was funny then I want to see what happens when you jump in front of a train."
"Will wake up eventually, maybe, I think. But would it be such a big loss if he didn't?"
So would it? Let me know. Here's hoping for more Peter abuse in season 2.