Title: Déjà vu
Rating: PG-13 (implied sexual references)
Characters: Peter/Claire (canon)
Summary: Peter saves Claire again, but he doesn't remember this isn't the first time. Set in the not too distant future.
Spoilers: General spoilers up to Season 2
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, just borrowing. All NBC's and Tim Kring's. Please don't sue!
Author's Notes: I was intrigued by this possibility - What if Peter never regains his memories but saves Claire again much like he did at Homecoming? How would their second "first" meeting go? I'm also trying to put a more positive spin on the doomsday reset scenario.
Feedback is love!
They run, hand in hand, trip up the stairs, across the bridge. Frantic, breathless, panting.
She would've fallen if he hadn't been there, but he is. They're far enough now to pause, gasp for breath, search the horizon for the blonde streak she knows now heralds death and destruction for them all.
He grabs her hand, flings himself around her. She's smothered against him but she's not going to panic, not when he's around.
"Do you trust me?" He needn't have asked, really. She'll trust him forever.
He looks down, hazel into emerald eyes full of conviction. She knows he'll save her, maybe he's destined to always will. Wonders though when she can even the score again; maybe that'll come later if they're lucky.
Without another word he blinks them out of existence, out of danger. He's saved her again but he doesn't know this isn't the first time.
He teleports them back to the only place in New York he recognizes, she guesses. Wrought iron gates, impeccably trimmed flowers lining a superbly positioned house on the Upper East Side.
If she peers into the foyer, she'll remember the checkered marble floor, the dangling chandelier. She'll remember like he doesn't because he still doesn't remember anything from his life.
She still clings to him and he hasn't let her go. She clears her throat and he unclamps his hold, hastily she thinks but she has to smile at his embarrassment.
"Thanks." She feels just a little ridiculous. Can she ever really do anything to repay him for saving her, again? "Um, for, you know."
"You're welcome." They're both deer caught in headlights, but it gets better in an instant because it's ridiculously awkward and there's nothing else to do but laugh at the absurdity of it all.
"Hey, what's your name?" It's cute the way he scrunches his nose; she'd forgotten that. It makes her smile that smirky, wide smile she hasn't smiled in a long, long time.
"Claire." Feels a sense of déjà vu, but what's new?
"I'm Peter." He swallows like he's still trying his name out. If only he knows it fits him like a glove. " Peter Petrelli."
"I know." It's not like that other time though, that dark night of blood and twisted limbs. For one thing she doesn't run away from him, scared and afraid. Instead she runs to him and before he can back away, kisses him chastely on the lips.
A kiss to last a lifetime, because she knows how short they can be now.
He's startled of course but it's only for a second. She smiles and thinks how much she'll enjoy teasing him about it later, but then the moment's turned on its head and the smile slips from her grasp; quicksilver in a moment of truth.
Slips when she feels his hands wrap around her waist, slips even further when he presses lips full against hers. It flushes her body with warmth, congealing into pulsating hotness that spreads like a virus into every part of her.
There's only one part of her that wants to resist and she studiously ignores it. Her brain's telling her what's right and wrong, but in this moment of truth she doesn't care.
His breath's hot against her neck, so hot, she thinks she hears it hissing, dissipating into mist. He cups her face gently with his hands, those sensitive hands she's always admired; doesn't ever want him to stop. Clings to him like he isn't her uncle and she immediately throws that dirty word from her mind.
Please, just please, she wants to be close to him again. Can't bear the thought of him not remembering their stolen moments, can't bear to think she's forever going to stand alone and watch their memories disappear into the horizon, into the distant past.
If she feels him now, tastes him, smells him, she can make the memories last longer this time, if they should ever fade again. But she doesn't ever want them to fade.
He presses her full against him, melding their bodies into one. It's gentle but strangely urgent and if she isn't completely sure what's happening well, what's wrong with that?
She responds in kind, runs her hands through shorn hair, laments the loss of bangs she'd adored to bits but that doesn't matter now, just being able to feel him is enough. Dips her tongue to taste him and it's just a little too much for both of them but not enough; they clash hungrily, all hands and tongues and lips and it's only then she realizes she's crying. Narrow slivers of salt-soaked tears tremble then tumble from her eyes when she closes them, to fully devour the heaven she's glimpsing.
She wants to – no, needs to – stop him because this shouldn't be happening, but it is. Need is the right word because it isn't want, want and need stopped being synchronous a while ago where Peter was concerned. She'd locked her secret daydreams about them in the deepest crypt in her brain she could find and thrown away the key.
And now it's happening but she needs to tell him to stop because she's his niece and they can't do this but she doesn't, not yet.
She needs this moment, this memory, for the ages to come. Another few moments and they'll be on the ground; yet another few and she'll truly know what having him inside her feels like.
But she can't do this to him even if she's willing to bear the guilt herself. Needs Peter too much in other ways and it's just the roll of the dice really, isn't it?
He's her uncle but he's also many, many other things. Family, friend, soulmate, and if that's just the wrong side of cheesy she knows he'll eventually feel the same again. Memories and thoughts shouldn't stand in the way of transcendental truth; they belong together and who is she to choose which way they should do so?
She gently pushes him away but somehow manages to cling to his hands. It's important for her to feel him when she does this; can't risk him slipping away into the night again.
His face is flushed, mouth wet and hot, eyes with shards of confusion surfacing in wicked, hazel depths. She flashes him a watery smile because she knows a little of what he must be feeling, cast adrift in an endless sea.
Their eyes meet and it's like glorious dawn to her, reminds her of the first time their eyes had locked; when two halves of the same soul instantly recognized each other; as what, she doesn't know, but they did recognize each other all the same.
"I'm sorry, we can't." Flushes a little because she's still so breathless; it somehow betrays the passion that'll become taboo and dirty in the moments to come. "We can't."
"Why?" She thinks she can get lost in his eyes, all golden confusion and kindness. He clings to her because he doesn't know the truth yet; or perhaps he does but it's not a truth that the world will be able to handle. "I feel like I know you. Do we?" She sees him swallow once, twice. "I feel like we shared something. Were you my …?"
She jumps in, sealing their fate forever, again. Smiles through it because what else can she do? "Your niece. I'm your –" Almost trips over it but recovers smoothly, winningly. She can't fail him, won't really. "Your niece." Predictably his eyes grow round, horrified even. She places a soft finger to those fevered lips she's going to adore forever but it'll always be off limits to her, re-starting now. "I'm sorry, I should've told you earlier. But I couldn't, I –"
She's obstinately holding onto him because she thinks he's going to bolt and she can't let that happen. She needs him, selfish as she is.
But he surprises her; stills for a moment before his eyes bore into hers. "It's … it's okay. I think I'll understand … it's okay."
"I think so." He smiles, presses his forehead against hers. When he whispers the words flow straight into her; there's nothing between them now. "Show me. Show me what we were."
"How?" She starts to ask but realizes he's going to read her thoughts, see her memories as she sees them. "Can you do that?"
"If you think about them I can. Close your eyes." Can she? Paint for him a vivid enough picture of them, as they were – as they are?
Her eyes widen and it's like the sun's coming up again in her life; the first time in a long time. If Peter can see her memories of him, of them, then maybe she wouldn't be so alone.
So she closes eyes, forgets about the world for a moment. Let's herself think about Homecoming, New York and the night that turned into day.