Title: Snapshots: Carry On
Note: Snapshot--a record or view of a particular point in a sequence of events or a continuing process.
Big Story Disclaimer: To quote one reply (from LJ) on this fic, if the writers of Heroes were as smart as me, this fic would become canon. Okay, I'm not uberly-gifted (nor do I dare compare this little world I created to the world the Heroes creators have made), but the point is that if I were a writer or producer of this show, this fic would not exist. Ergo, no recognizable characters and/or plots are mine, and I write solely for the fun of it, to quench the Pelle thirst, and to keep teh plot bunnies from eating me alive.
A/N: Thank you to those who have replied, and for anyone's who's been reading this. I hope you'll enjoy this last part, and that have you have enjoyed the work as a whole. Please R&R, for the fic overall as this is the end.
Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?
Tears land on his lips, and he has to fight back a sob. It had been inevitable, but after so much preparation, he still finds it difficult to accept. Deep in his soul, he still feels her vibrant spirit beating. And her blue eyes…they are still so vivid in his mind.
A hand on his shoulder shakes him from his thoughts.
"Dad…" the tentative voice comes at him.
He looks over his shoulder, and sees those blue eyes. He blinks furiously, to remind himself it is their daughter, and not Elle.
He places his hand over hers, and presses it firmly. In a grunt he stands up hastily to turn to her. He takes her by the shoulders, and says, "You've always looked just like her, Emmie."
"Dad," she feels deep sadness for her father, for he had always loved her mother so much.
"It's fine, sweetie, and you should all be on your way now," he takes her in an embrace, kissing her on her hair softly. She lets her go slowly, then turns to his two boys.
"Michael," he beckons to his middle child, and pulls him in the same embrace.
"Remember, you always have a family with us, dad. We'll have dinner and everything," his son smirks.
Peter nodds at him, and says," Don't let your brother get the best of you." His son gives him a firm nod, and walks to stand beside his sister.
"Dad," the eldest walks to his father slowly, looking at him intently before Peter draws him into a hug.
"Take care of them, Nathan," he whispers, kissing him on the cheek.
"You just worry about yourself dad. Even the greatest of men can fall," he pulls away from him gingerly," I love you."
"You too son," Peter pulls away, and looking at the three standing together, traits of each parent playing out in their features, says his goodbye," I love you all."
Their children join hands, and turn away from their mother's grave, looking over their shoulder to their father, getting their last glance at him as the elder he truly is, before driving away, leaving him with Elle.
Peter turns back to the grave, looking over the stone once again.
April 16, 1983-October 2, 2070
The Spark of the Petrelli Heart
Loving Wife, Mother, & Hero
"She left you a tape, Peter," a soft voice whispers behind him. Surprised momentarily, he turns his head to confirm the speaker.
"How long have you been here, Claire?" he only looks at her for a moment, as her effervescent youth only serves to remind him of what he will have to do.
"About four or five days," the petite blond stared at the beautiful marker of Elle's grave. "Molly located me about a week ago, told me Elle really wanted to talk to me one last time."
Elle's health had begun failing only two months ago, and Peter saw from the start that she was preparing for the worse. It only made sense that she would try to get Claire to come back down to the states, Claire who had left almost 40 years ago, when her unchanging face began casting suspicion among certain people. Now, Peter felt reality to crashing down on him, to see his own brother's daughter, Claire (although not his relative niece, seeing as how the truth had come to light of Nathan being a gift from the company to the Petrelli's) looking to be in her early 20's, when she should be in her 70s.
"What'd she tell you?"
"Told me to make sure you kept you promise. Told me never to leave you alone for too long, and to give you this tape," she holds out a tape recorder, which clearly holds a tape in it.
"She gave it to me the night I left to Europe, said she made it the day she found out she was pregnant. Fifty-seven years ago, Peter, she recorded this tape for you, and she gave it to me as a sort of insurance that I'd come back when her time came…and you would need me."
He looks at her cautiously, with her sad little smile that remains as fresh as her youthful skin.
"And Peter," she says, before his fingers touch the tape recorder.
"You have to do this. For Elle, because you loved her, well, love her in that way I could only ever dream of someone loving me, so you have to make me believe people like us can make it past this loneliness. But it's not my word you need--it's hers, and I'm sure whatever she said on this thing will convince you of that," Claire nods to him, and turns to give him space to hear her tape.
Sighing, he looks fearfully at the tape, knowing the power her voice could have on him. Decidedly, he presses 'Play.'
There were some seconds of static before her voice begins playing.
"Is this thing on?…ugh, a video recorder would have been so much better, but someone kept insisting on wasting the video tapes on less than appropriate things…"
Peter laughs in spite of himself, her playful tone so missed.
"Anyway, turns out I'm pregnant, and at the time of this recording, you have no idea of that. By the time you've heard this, well pregnant is the last thing I am. But, knowing what it'll come to eventually, I do have some things I don't want left unsaid…"
There is a slight pause as her voice takes a serious undertone.
"You gave me a second chance at life Peter, and you know that already. You opened my eyes to this life where I could be me, just a better me, and all because you refused to give up on me. I guess that's why my defenses started falling, and I let you into my life so openly, like you did for me. By the time you've heard this, I hope we will have had a long, wonderful life together...
"While I'm on 'our lives together', here's hoping we didn't end up with a dozen kids. This one's already a surprise, although I've got a feeling it's a boy, which you'll insist on calling Nathan, and I'll protest only to give in because you're so cute when you're annoyed," he hears her giggle at her little rants and his heart warms.
He was the one with the power of telling the future, yet she could always predict things better than him.
"Aw, you always make me giggle Peter, and I'm hoping that's something that never changes. But you saved the cheerleader, you got her powers. And when you told me that you would control that power so we could both grow grey and old, I made you promise me something. I said you had to go on with life, that after I was gone, you had to stop suppressing your regenerative abilities. So, as frightening as it might be, move on Peter. I'm not telling you to forget me, or the kids we might have, because seriously, who could forget me…?"
The hesitancy in her voice has been evident for a couple of sentences now, as all sense of joking leaves her voice.
"Just carry on who I was, and continue with your life. Claire will be there, so you'll never be completely alone. So get up, get back to being your hot young self, and keep saving the world. That is a straight order from me, mister... "I'll admit it does hurt a little, though--but I love you, so, so much, and I want nothing but for you to be happy. Don't lose yourself, don't lose your ideals and belief in people, or anything that we were. Someday, forever will have to close its book, and then we'll have our peace together, until then, keep being a hero. I love you,"
"I'll admit it does hurt a little, though--but I love you, so, so much, and I want nothing but for you to be happy. Don't lose yourself, don't lose your ideals and belief in people, or anything that we were. Someday, forever will have to close its book, and then we'll have our peace together, until then, keep being a hero. I love you,"her words come softly, adding a 'mwah' and the click indicates the end of the tape.
Sobs wrench through his body again, but Peter cannot put it off any longer. With descending tears, he ceases blocking age and wounds, and allows himself to devolve physically.
"All those years ago, that afternoon before you escaped the company--why'd you kiss me?"
Peter turned to face his wife, who laid in his arms, physically weak, life almost drained from her.
"You didn't need to distract me," she added, letting him know that she knew better.
He smiled softly at her, not too surprised at her being aware, but surprised at her for asking after 63 years.
"I wanted to kiss you," he answered her, "I was drawn to you, but I didn't know what to make of it, so I used it as an excuse."
"So even then, Peter, I had your attention?"
He laughed heartedly, and closed his hand around her, "If I didn't know better, I would say you had much more than that."
"I just knew you'd grow to like me," she giggled.
Even in her most matured age, her laugh sounded the same, her giggle made him feel like that young man so inexplicably in love with her. It was she that made him feel young, exuberant, and alive, even if he looked anything but young. With her beside him, he didn't need his looks or the promise of tomorrow.
He knew that without her, and with the promise of tomorrow, in his youthful mask would be when he felt old, lifeless, and anxious for the end. As morbid as it sounded, Peter Petrelli knew this. Because Elle had become his light, his jolt of life. The one thing he would exchange immortality for. Elle was his gift, and she would say he was hers ('I'd be naively locked in a mentality ward if it weren't for you, Peter'
"Did you know I'd fall in love with you?" he asked her, half-jokingly.
"Nope, that was a surprise for the ages."
"But it was a good surprise."
"Uh, huh," she nodded, and she drew herself up, lying on his chest, her ear to his heart.
"I don't know if I can do this, Elle."
Peter whispered after they had a few moments of silence.
"You can do anything, Peter," she whispered softly.
"But I need you, remember, we're partners?"
"Partners in crime?" her smile in saying this could be heard," I remember. And all you have to do is remember, and you'll be fine."
"It's not enough."
"It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. Hiro said that to us, remember?"
"Hiro also said Superman was okay after Lois Lane left, but I doubt he loved her as much as I love you if it hurts me this much just to let you go."
"You're not letting me go, I'll be here with you," she took her hand, lifted her head, and placed her hand on his heart.
A painful sigh escaped him, and he placed his hand over hers, grasping onto it as though it was his lifeline.
"I love you, Elle," he breathed the words to her, as she was quietly, but forcibly being drifted off to a state of sleep.
"And I love you…Peter," her words were much softer, took more effort, but she meant this just as much as he did.
Soon thereafter, the two would fall asleep, peacefully and immune to the reality that would hit when the bright rays of the sun would awaken him, but not her. When she could not be awoken, and he lay with his arms entangled around her, in denial over her departure. Because there she was, but only physically--no air left her lungs, no giggle escaped her mouth, and no electric voltage sparked off her skin. And he cried into her non-moving frame, still unsure if he could carry on with only her memory.
But he replayed her voice over and over again, her soul becoming his life source, her voice begging him to keep on. Her being transcending into his, and despite his cries, his life went on.
He stands up straight, trying to calm his breath, refusing to look at his hands. He tucks the tape into his coat, bends his head to Elle's tomb, and places a kiss on her headstone.
"I love you. Always have, always will, and I'll never love anyone as much as you," and he finally brings his hand up to his eyes. He flinches at the smooth, fine, unhindered lines of his immortal skin.
He makes no effort to wipe the stale tears on his cheeks, and he walks back to Claire, simply nodding for her to follow him. She follows his trail, relief in her eyes at seeing him young again. The two immortal beings walk on, going on to save the world, together but alone.
But at least Peter Petrelli has the memory of his wife Elle Petrelli to carry on with him.
Whenever the end is
Do you think you can see it?
Well, until you get there
Go on, go ahead and scream it
Just say it
"Say (All I Need)" /OneRepublic