Title: Stranger Things Have Happened
Characters: Claire Bennet, Peter Petrelli
Spoilers: S2 up to episode 3 "Kindred"
Rating: NC-17 for canon love.
Summary: Set after 2X03; also know as the KISSING episode. Claire and some of her schoolmates go on a Senior Trip to Europe, with a pit stop in Ireland. Claire has escaped the stranglehold her chaperone and West are holding on her and runs into an old friend. Smut follows...
A/N: This story is somewhat inspired by the song "Stranger Things Have Happened" off of the Foo Fighters new CD.
You are not alone, dear loneliness
You forgot that I remembered thisOh, stranger, stranger
Stranger things have happened, I know
It was beautiful.
Claire didn't know if it was beautiful because it was different from anything she'd ever known, or if it was beautiful because it simply was.
She heard her classmates talking loudly and snidely a few feet behind her, but her eyes were for the horizon that stretched out beyond the window. Everything here was so green and the sky so blue by comparison. She would give anything to just walk out of this airport and never look back.
There's something here, Claire thought, because these thoughts are not like her. She knows better than anyone that she can't ever escape her destiny, and her destiny right now consisted of a stalker and a Haitian.
She turned from the window and stared up at her dark protector, once a silent watcher and now the only thing standing between her and an autopsy at the Company's hands. His eyes were concerned and as she'd always believed, they saw more than they let on. His hand settled on her arm and he began to lead her back to the group. She felt more than saw West shift his attention away from sneering at the crowd of "robots" and onto her.
"Hey, there, Claire," he said quietly, his eyes alive with the manic energy he always seemed to have about him.
Claire didn't care if they were both "freaks" and that in all likelihood their kind should "stick together".
"Fuck off, stalker-boy."
The Haitian squeezed her arm in warning, so she smiled broadly, but falsely, as they walked past the amused teenage boy. By the time they'd retrieved their luggage and piled onto the chartered bus that would take the group of twenty to the hotel, Claire was thoroughly irritated and ready the pull out several of the cheerleaders' fake blonde hair. How was it possible that she'd ever been one of "them"?
There were three chaperones to the seventeen students, her father had bribed and bullied the Haitian into one of those positions. It was the only way he'd agree to let Claire go on the trip, so she'd accepted it with little argument. Besides, it'd be nice to have the company.
"Are you settled in?" He asked from the doorway of her room. Since there were an odd number of students she'd been able to get a room alone. There had also been a bit of bribing involved in allowing her that privilege.
"As settled in as I can get if we're only staying three days," she replied, her voice oddly dry and monotone.
Before they could speak further there was a knock at the door and Mrs. Jackson cracked the door open a notch. Her eyebrows shot up when she found the Haitian in Claire's room, but she didn't say anything about it. "Lights out in ten minutes. We've got an early start tomorrow."
Claire nodded and turned to watch the Haitian and the high school guidance counselor leave the room. Though her protector didn't realize it, Mrs. Jackson, a widower of African descent, had a massive crush on the younger man. Through the hours long plane ride over the United States, and then the Atlantic, the woman had engaged the normally silent man into several conversations, glowing with pleasure when she succeeded.
Claire locked the door behind them and moved back to the window. The group had taken over one of the floors of the hotel and from her window she could see over most of the city. It was late here, and she felt exhaustion pulling at her. She could heal herself of any injury, but even she needed to rest at some point.
Before she slipped into the double bed just feet away, she placed her hand on the cool window and searched the shadows with her eyes.
She didn't know what it was, or where, but something here was calling her.
The museums were reverently silent, and the various dilapidated castles and churches they visited had a ghostly grace to them, but what Claire wanted to know was when they would get a chance to shop. She'd seen several clothing and souvenir shops that had looked interesting.
After seven hours of wandering the 'sights' of Dublin and it's surrounding territory, finally the three chaperones announced it was time to split up. It would be two groups of six, with Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Temple, the gym teacher, and one group of five with Mr. Bennet, the rather ironic name that the Haitian had decided to use as he pretended to be an appointed guide from the travel company.
Though how the group truly believed he was a guide when he barely spoke to anyone but Claire remained a mystery.
They were walking down a crowded street that doubled as an open market when Claire first heard it.
She hadn't wanted to go looking for "snacks", but she'd been outvoted by two of the bitch cheerleaders and West, though clearly he'd made that decision solely to get back at her. She sucked up her displeasure, however, and made a point to walk several feet away from her classmates.
She was in the middle of smelling some flowers at a stand when the most peculiar thing happened.
She heard Peter's voice.
Through the crowd, the mingling of yells, whispers, haggling, and conversation, his voice came to her quite clearly.
She froze in place, her face in the bouquet in her hands, but her senses reaching out for confirmation. Slowly, so slowly that it was almost imperceptible, she set down the flowers and turned. People moved around her, lilting accents tickling her ears like music. All she wanted to hear was a slightly husky New York accent, though.
Claire jumped when the Haitian appeared at her side suddenly. She sighed and smiled grimly. "What?"
"What's wrong?" He asked suspiciously, his eyes scanning the crowd for Company operatives or anything out of the usual.
"Nothing. Thought I heard something, that's all," Claire replied quickly, turning and pulling out her credit card, the one with the name "Claire Butler" on it, and handing it to the woman behind the stand. She picked up her flowers, a mixture of roses and wild flowers, and brought them to her nose again.
"These smell great," she noted brightly as she accepted her card back and moved to sign the receipt that printed out. The Haitian's hand remained tight on her arm and Claire could see just over his shoulder enough to see the other students beginning to spread out amongst the crowd. "Aren't you supposed to be watching the entire group, and not just me?"
He stared intently at her and Claire had the nauseating feeling that he knew exactly what she'd thought she heard.
Then it happened again, closer this time.
"...come on, Caitlin, I didn't mean it like that!"
"Peter, he is my brother-"
"I know that, but this isn't safe-"
Then the voices, one of them definitely Peter's, faded into the crowd again. She didn't hesitate this time, already moving to follow and find her lost hero. The Haitian pulled her back suddenly, hard enough to bruise her arm immediately. She watched the bruises heal and looked up into his eyes with a hard glint. "Let me go."
"You can't go to him."
"It's not safe."
"Screw being safe! I've been safe for five months. I'm tired of it."
"Then think of your family. If you're seen, they can trace your alias back to your father and your family."
It was only that thought that kept her from breaking away from him and chasing after Peter. As she stared up at the Haitian however, she saw something in his highly chiseled features that concerned her.
"What do you know? For months my father has been telling me he doesn't know anything, but I'm looking at you and I'm seeing something."
Finally, he removed his fingers from around her arm. He shifted into an "intimidation" stance, hands behind his back, legs wide, looking down his nose at her. "I know noth-"
"If you lie to me, I'll run right now and you and my father will never see me again." The determination in her voice made it through to the Haitian. He believed that she'd do what she said.
"We became aware several weeks ago through a source that Peter had resurfaced in Ireland. It was part of the reason why your father did not want you to come on this trip. It was decided, however, that I would accompany you and that while you were occupied with your 'sight-seeing', I would try and find him."
"What do you mean resurfaced?"
"We have been looking for Peter every day for the past five months. Finally, she located him."
"Someone of no importance to you."
"Did you see him? Can I see him?"
Claire frowned harshly, her eyes spitting fire. "What do you mean 'no'?"
"He is no longer Peter Petrelli, Claire. His memories of you, his family, and New York are gone. They will never return to him."
"He's got amnesia?"
"No. He's got nothing. There is nothing there. I've been in his head, Claire. Even if you told him everything you knew about him, he would never remember. Leave him to his life. He's happy."
The Haitian used cold fingers to turn her head just enough that she could see Peter.
He looked good, better in fact than he had in the few days she'd been with him.
He'd cut his hair, his beautiful hair that her fingers ached to run through in her dreams.
His eyes danced with life that she had never seen in his eyes.
Claire sucked in a deep breath and felt tears stinging the back of her eyes. He moved through the crowd easily, as if he'd been doing it forever. His arm was wrapped around a brunette, clearly Irish and very happy to be there. They laughed, their voices carrying through the air as they walked into a crowded pub just across the street.
Claire turned away and her thoughts circled around a drain in her mind. "We should go."
"I'm glad you're making the sensible decision."
"Shut up," she said through tears that leaked out, a sob caught on her voice and she ducked her head so no one would see. "Just shut up."
It was midnight here, and the entire floor was asleep. Even the Haitian, for being the all powerful person that he was, needed to sleep.
She couldn't go out the front door; cameras covered every entrance and exit down there.
The window unlatched and opened onto the street below, however.
It was late enough that no one saw her fall, pick herself up and slide her bones back to their rightful places. She'd brought a change of clothes down with her since holes covered in blood never really made the best impressions.
It wasn't hard to make it back to the marketplace from earlier that day, and wasn't much harder to suck up her courage and walk into the same pub Peter had.
She'd expected some sort of variation on the bar theme from America, loud music from a corner, gyrating couples on a dance floor, several people trying to drink themselves under the table.
Instead it was rather mellow.
Music was being played but it came from a live band and was softly Irish in nature. People spoke quietly, their murmurs perfectly fitting with the dim shadows. It was a little hard to see anything from the door, so she moved deeper into the room, heading for the bar to ask about Peter, hoping they'd know where she could find him.
The Haitian had believed she was willing to let sleeping dogs lie.
He'd thought she was willing to let Peter be happy in this new life.
She'd spent long hours debating her happiness versus Peter's.
She didn't need to ask about Peter, it turned out, because as soon as she moved further into the room she spotted him. He sat alone at a booth in the corner, nursing a pint and listening to the music intently. It was clear his thoughts were elsewhere.
Claire hesitated as she stared at him because the doubt hit her again.
Could she believe that the Haitian had been telling her the truth? Was she going to really fuck up Peter's new life by going to him? Did she care?
Her feet were moving before her thoughts were resolved.
She stood at the side of his table for several seconds before he looked up at her.
His eyes were blank and held no recognition of her.
"My name is Claire."
He quirked an eyebrow and smiled into his drink. "I'm Peter."
"I know. Peter Petrelli."
His eyes shot back to hers sharply. "How do you know?"
"I know you."
"When? Where?" His questions became louder and were starting to draw attention, something Claire didn't want.
"Can we go somewhere a little more private?" Claire asked anxiously, certain that at any moment. The bartender, a tall man with dark blonde hair, was staring at her a little too closely for comfort.
Peter stood and grabbed her hand, ready to pull her toward the stairs that led upstairs. Immediately a spark fired within him and he couldn't move. Her skin seemed electric and her scent sizzled along his senses. He looked into her blue eyes and the crazy buzzing that seemed to echo in his mind all the time suddenly dissipated.
The world seemed clearer suddenly, and it focused on this small girl in front of him.
No, not girl; she may seem young in body but no one with those eyes and the emotions in them could be considered a girl.
Their hearts almost seemed to beat as one as they walked up the stairs slowly, their hands still joined as they moved around the few people coming down from the rented rooms above.
The silence stretched between them reaching its breaking point when they slipped into his room and stood mere feet from each other. Claire pulled her hand from his and wrapped her arms around her self, very aware that she was trembling.
"How do you know me?" He asked, his voice startling husky and intimate.
"We were...involved not too long ago," Claire struggled to explain. She didn't want to say too much, didn't want to hold back important details. She smiled brightly as she remembered all the things they'd done together, all the little moments. "You saved my life. A few weeks later, I guess you could say I saved yours."
Claire shook her head, blonde hair painstakingly straightened every morning shimmering around her face in a translucent shield. "I can heal. By association, when you came into contact with me, you could heal."
Peter's eyes widened and he stepped closer. "You know about what I can do?"
"About as much as you probably do. You never shared a lot of the details. All I know is when you come into close contact with others that have gifts like ours, they become yours."
Peter started to say something; in fact his mouth opened and closed in quick succession as his eyes flickered back and forth in thought. "I can't know if you're telling the truth. You just suddenly show up and I'm supposed to believe every word you say?"
His sudden derision of her had Claire's teeth grinding and anger firing every synapse in her mind. "You think I came here easily? I'm risking everything to tell you this! If you don't believe me, read my mind! You'll see the truth there!" All of it, Claire knew, he'd know all of it and he would never look at her the way he had downstairs again.
Peter's scorn faded from his face and for the first time since she'd found him he seemed vulnerable. "I can't. I can't control it like that. It's more instinctive than anything."
"Peter..." Her voice was soft as she whispered his name and she moved close enough to place her hand on his chest. His heart beat steadily under her hand and suddenly it all seemed to be too much.
She'd wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her mouth to his without thinking.
He responded in much the same way.
His long arms were around her waist, lifting her high enough that their faces were level and she didn't have to stretch and he didn't have to stoop. He couldn't remember if they'd done this before, couldn't remember what she had been to him, but the feelings she evoked in him were clear.
He wanted her closer than close, wanted to breathe in her scent and feel the weight of her on top of him. Her eyes were hauntingly sad and her smile astonishingly bright, and would haunt his every thought and he had the feeling that that was nothing new. It was almost like déjà vu, except he couldn't remember if he'd ever done this before.
Claire fisted her hands in his short hair and in her mind this new look was replacing his old one in her fantasies. His skin felt harshly hot under the flannel shirt he wore and together they pushed it off his shoulders even as he propelled them forward, toward his unmade bed.
Then they didn't think at all.
He didn't think of Caitlin, his pseudo-girlfriend whose brother had watched him take Claire up to his room.
She didn't think of her bio-father, Peter's brother, and how this would affect them all.
His hands streaked under her sweater, sliding up the silk camisole she wore underneath, and his palms were roughly delicious as he caressed her stomach on his way to her heaving chest. Claire gasped into his mouth when he brushed his fingers around her already taut nipples.
Peter smiled at the sound and almost choked on the sudden rush of air into his lungs when she fell back on the bed suddenly, pulling her tops off as she did so. She rose up on her elbows, grinning mischievously, before reaching out her hand for him to join her.
Peter sank to his knees, straddling her on the bed as he ran one shaking finger down the center of her chest, avoiding her sensitive areas but still making her squirm under him. When he hooked his finger just under the button-fly of her jeans the laughter caught in her throat and her hips involuntarily rose off the bed in anticipation.
Peter bent and pressed a kiss to her soft stomach, just above her belly-button. As he did so he unbuttoned her jeans and slid down the zipper in a soft hiss. Claire bit her lip to fight moaning but when he slid his hand inside her jeans and under her white cotton briefs the moan escaped anyways.
Peter's fingers slid through her curls easily, tickled by the softness of them but anticipating the warmth of her center. Claire's hands flew to his shoulders, digging in hard enough to have small half-moons of blood forming beneath her nails. Peter slid one finger in, just enough to tease her, then two fingers. He stroked her quickly, roughly, and she keened beneath him, her hips rising and falling as she tried to meet his rhythm.
Peter watched her face as pleasure slid across it and tried to memorize every detail.
Every touch, caress, and kiss felt like it was of monumental importance. Like what they were doing would draw the attention of Fate itself.
It felt like nothing would ever be the same again.
Peter removed his hand from inside her and she moaned her disapproval into the air, he only grinned in response, brushing a kiss across her lips. He moved back, pulling her jeans and underwear down her legs until she lay blissfully naked and tempting across his bed.
Peter stood and reached for his own pants, discarding them within seconds and moving back to be near her. Her legs widened and he slid between them as if it was the most natural thing.
With one thrust of his hips he was inside her and it felt like being home.
They couldn't move, seemingly frozen in place, pleasure warring with shock inside both of them. Claire's pleasure at being with Peter, truly with him after months of hoping and wishing was battling with her shock at the depths of depravity she was willing to sink to get what she wanted. Peter's shock at the feeling she was evoking in him was mixed with the pleasure, the two emotions as intimately entwined as he and Claire were.
Then, time began to move again, and neither could help their actions.
Peter moved back, sliding over every nerve ending she had and pushing them to the edge. Claire held her breath and almost felt like she was on the edge of oblivion, all it would take was one push from Peter and she would be blissfully empty, no thought, no horror-derived emotions clouding her heart.
Then he was inside her again and she realized she didn't want to be unaware. She wanted to live the rest of her life with this feeling of 'completeness' and 'rightness' and be damned any consequences might come.
All they could do after that was move, slick skin rubbing and catching, breath mingling hotly as they panted together, their hearts racing out of sync so that an almost constant pulse buzzed along their skin.
Again and again their hips met with a solid slapping sound, a sound lost amidst the moans and slight gasps that tore from their throats. He was so large he seemed to fill up her entire body, forcing all the air out just to make room. She never quite got that air back and her head spun as her body moved with his with energy she couldn't imagine dragging up ever again.
Their movements became more frantic as the tension between them seemed to swell. Peter levied himself onto his hands, his eyes locked onto her face as his hips thrust roughly.
Claire's hands clenched and released on his shoulders in answer to the body-shaking tremors that were beginning to swell within her and Peter swooped down to cover her scream with his mouth as her body seized up and clenched around him. Her orgasm started with a bang and only got stronger from there. Wave after wave of ecstasy weakened her limbs until her hands slipped from his shoulder to clench in the sheets beneath her even as her legs bent to cradle him and her toes curled.
Peter could feel her tightening and releasing around him and his own movements lost control. His hips moved fast enough to be a blur to the common eye and within seconds he could feel his loins tightening and struggling to release. His head bowed as he sank to his elbows above her, their faces inches about as their eyes met and refused to budge.
Claire's lips brushed his and it was enough.
Peter could feel the tension in his body releasing as his seed rushed from his body to fill Claire's. She sighed and wrapped her arms around Peter's neck, pulling him close as he moved within her slowly and shallowly, using her own receding waves of pleasure to pull the last of his seed from his body.
When Peter had roused enough energy to realize that he was crushing Claire with his weight, he spun them over so that she lay on top instead. Her hair was matted and darkened with sweat, but a smile was on her lips as she laid there, her finger tracing idle patterns on his chest.
Peter's mouth was dry and he wished he'd thought to bring his drink up with him from the pub. He struggled to speak and not have the words come out as a croak. "I don't know what just happened."
His voice proved to be Claire's undoing. Maybe it was the note of incredulous in his tone, maybe it was the love and lust that wove through it, or maybe it was one of a dozen things. A tear leaked out her eye and she didn't wipe it away, but only hoped he would mistake it for sweat. "It's called destiny, Peter."
"Destiny," he murmured almost too quietly for her to hear. His eyes began to close, heavy from the long hours he'd been awake and the unexpected exertion of making love to Claire. The word sounded natural as it came out of his mouth, like he'd said it a thousand times before and would say it a thousand times again.
When he woke two hours later, Claire was long gone.
The Haitian was waiting for her when she returned to her hotel room, disapproval clear on his face. "Was it worth it?"
Claire's face was tracked with tears, but displayed no redness of nose or cheek. She looked like an angel, all blonde hair and big blue eyes. Her protector could deny her nothing.
"Take it from him?" She asked quietly as she pressed herself against the wall beside the door, indeed the only thing holding her up. "The memories of me. Take them all."
It wasn't what he'd expected her to say, not at all. The Haitian moved from the window until he stood in front of her. He didn't have to read her memories to know that something traumatic had happened to her and he struggled to figure out what it was one had to do to comfort one in such grief.
Claire shook her head when he reached out a hand to touch her in comfort. "It's fine. Just go. Do what I ask. Please?"
He nodded silently and hesitated briefly before letting himself out. Claire's sob echoed through the now empty room and she fought to hold back her tears as she stumbled to her bag where it lay on her bed. She pulled her cell phone from its pocket and dialed blindly, the numbers coming to her without thought.
It rang only briefly before he picked up.
"I thought we agreed you'd stop calling." The slight slurring on the ends of his words told her all she needed to know. Nathan had been drinking his sorrows away, a privilege that Claire couldn't enjoy, both because of her age and because of her abilities.
"I found Peter."
Nathan was speechless and she could only hope her words had sobered him up enough to register her words.
"He's in Dublin, Ireland, living above a pub. Come get him."
She ended the call without another word and knew it would be the last time she talked to her biological father. She could only hope to never encounter any member of the Petrelli family ever again.
Her pleasure would be her greatest shame, and she would bear it alone but gladly.