Chapter 1 – Reunited
Claire applied one more layer of mascara, in order to make her eyes look at least the little bit suitable. In all honesty, she hated visiting her father, her biological father that is. Don't get her wrong, she'd grown close to Nathan over the years but she still didn't feel like a Petrelli, deep down she'd knew that she'd always be a Bennett. She slipped on her short black dress and left the room to check on Andy, her fiancé.
"You look gorgeous." Andy said as Claire walked into the sitting room, all nervous. She smiled her toothy grin and kissed his cheek. "How long till we gotta leave?"
"Erm… in about ten minutes. Is that okay?" Claire asked, she had butterflies in her stomach. She couldn't believe Nathan and Heidi were renewing their vows, as if they hadn't been married long enough. No, she didn't have butterflies because she was seeing her father and the dreaded stepmother. Peter was going to be there. Claire hadn't seen Peter for years. They'd had a disagreement the last time they saw each other and they hadn't spoken to each other since. If she was honest. Claire had been in love with Peter the day she clapped her eyes on him at homecoming. She remembered every detail from that night. His eyes, the way they shined when he looked at her, his smile, so genuine and pure and the way his hair repeatedly flopped over his eyes.
She never did stop thinking about him and felt her heartbreak when she did see him for weeks after that day in jail. She felt even more heartbroken that no matter what she could never have him when she found out he was her uncle. At the memory of this Claire's eyes slid a tear. Seeing this Andy came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, kissing her neck.
"Hey… babe it will be fine, I'm sure your dad will be happy to see you!" Andy said trying to give her some confidence. Of course he thought that was the problem she couldn't exactly say that she was dreading to see her uncle could she.
"Oh dear, Andy that's not why I'm crying silly. See the thing is I have this uncle and he's absolutely drop dead gorgeous and although I'm with you I'm still in love with him even though we argued about something a few years ago. See?" Although Claire felt if she did say this, it might somehow make her feel a little better, to confide in someone for once about the whole 'situation'.
Claire nodded her head suddenly remembering that Andy was still holding her, she turned around and wiped the tear away, mentally thanking herself for putting on waterproof mascara.
There was a slight knock on the door. Claire turned her face to Andy and asked 'You ready?' knowing it was Nathan's limo coming to pick them up. He told Claire he sent her the limo due to the fact he was 'worried' about the transport in New York at the moment, but Claire knew that it was because he knew she probably wouldn't turn up if he didn't send the limo knowing full well about the situation between her and Peter.
Claire and Andy slid into the limo, loving the feel of the leather beneath her. It was a 20 minute ride to Nathan's what you'd call a mansion but he insisted it was a 'perfectly normal sized family home'. Yeah right. Claire began to feel conscience of what she was wearing. It was rather short and she was afraid the grandmother would comment on it. In her words it was probably 'cheap', 'flowy' and too 'showy offy' for a Petrelli party. She was also wearing Gucci Black Heels. So maybe they were one thing right. She felt Andy shaking next to her and took hold of his hand. It was slightly sweaty and Claire smiled to herself. She knew how worried Andy was about meeting her father although she was pretty sure not half as worried as what she was seeing him.
Claire stepped out onto the pavement outside the 'Petrelli Mansion' wrapping her bolero round her as she felt the coldness hit her, wrapped her hand round Andy's to tell him she was scared too and headed towards the door.
"Invitation ma'am?" Honestly, daughter of the man who's throwing the damn party and she has to give in an invite? Claire handed the invite to him, waiting for him to accept her then when she saw the flicker of a smile, grabbed Andy's hand and headed on inside. They both stood around amongst the crowd, knowing only themselves. Claire was looking for her father but at the same time, praying she wouldn't find him. She saw the grandmother and quickly turned around before she saw her. Claire and Andy went into a deep conversation when she heard her name mentioned.
"Claire?" Claire turned around and saw Matt Parkman.
"Matt!" Claire quietly squealed and gave him a hug. "How are you?"
"I'm okay and you?" Matt smiled at her and Claire nodded to show she was good. She noticed him looking at Andy with a quizzical look and immediately gasped at her stupidness.
"This is Andy. My Fiancé. " Matt smiled and held out his hand which Andy took.
"You know Nathan's right over there." Matt turned and pointed in his direction, Claire following with her eyes. He was right and if wasn't any better he was with Heidi, the grandma and Peter. All huddled like they were some sort of gangbang or something. Claire pulled a face, then quickly smiled when Matt looked at her. He looked at her expectantly.
"We're just… gonna go say hi…" She prayed for him to strike up a conversation again but all he did was nod then walk away to Mohinder. Claire breathed in and out then headed over there with Andy behind her, taking hold of her waist.
"Hey…Nathan." Claire spoke so quietly it was almost a whisper. Unfortunately, at that moment Nathan had looked up and saw her, he barely smiled and giving her a hug was out of the question.
"Claire!" Nathan bellowed causing half the room to turn around and making Claire want to die with embarrassment. She saw Heidi look up and saw her smile falter into a look of disgust. She noticed the grandmother merely just turn away and out of the corner of her eye, she saw Peter. His expression was blank, no smile but no evil glare either.
"So is this your new boyfriend Claire?" She hadn't told him she was seeing Andy as quite frankly she didn't want him to know any part of her life. Claire blushed and replied looking at Andy.
"Actually, we're engaged." Now it was Nathan's turn for his smile to falter and also noticed that Peter had a sudden of feeling on to his face all of a sudden. Although what it was she couldn't quite pinpoint. She tried to avoid looking at him, but found herself sneaking glances anyway.
"Oh…" Nathan said and held out of his hand to Andy, which he yet again took. She knew he obviously didn't approve but knowing Nathan he didn't want to cause a stir up ay his own party. "Well its nice to meet you…?"
"Andy." He suddenly found his voice again and Claire smiled at him, mentally promising herself she'd thank him later.
"Dinner is served…" A booming voice came from the stairs allowing everyone to find their seats.
To Claire's dismay she found herself seated with Nathan, Heidi, Angela, her new toyboy Adrian, Peter and some other woman who couldn't even speak English properly! What with her phoney Irish accent… Claire had immediately taken a dislike to this… Caitlin woman.
As the meals were being delivered to the whole room, Claire found herself being centre of the conversation.
"Claire, I have to say that we simply don't see enough of you, not only does it effect you but it also makes me look bad to the press!" Peter gave a harsh laugh, then went back to eating before his mother could smack him round the head. "Claire, in a months time we are going on a long family vacation, will you and… Andrew come with us? Please?" Nathan looked at her and for a moment Claire thought he was being genuine, then noticed him looking around for journalists. Bull Crap.
Claire looked at Andy and casually smiled. "Erm… we'll have to think about it and see if we can get time of work. Who else is erm… coming?" She looked at Peter, a part of her hoping he was going but the other part of her remembering they weren't on speaking terms anymore.
"All of us. Me, Heidi, the boys, Ma, Peter and … Caitlin." He looked away when he said Caitlin's name. Not just my partner that you disapprove of then? Claire thought. She smirked to herself, knowing that if Nathan didn't like Caitlin then surely Ma wouldn't either. "Also I'd like you to spend the night here tonight." This managed to get Claire and Andy's attention again.
"Erm… well we didn't bring anything…" Claire said thinking of an excuse. Being in the same house with Peter and his… trollop? No thank you…
"Oh that's okay, I'm sure Heidi will lend you some nightclothes right sweetheart?" Nathan looked at her expectantly and she smiled fakely back and looked at Claire as if she was about to puke up. The thought of her lending her clothes to Nathan's 'lovechild'.
"Of course… Claire." Claire nodded her thanks although made it clear to Heidi that she would rather skin a rabbit before she wore any of her clothes and Claire being a vegetarian – that meant a lot.
"Oh yes and Claire, what are you doing tomorrow?" Oh for fucks sakes just leave me alone! Claire wanted to scream but looked at her father gently smiling.
"Well, I've got a day off and Andy's working." Claire played with her food avoiding her fathers gaze.
"Excellent, Heidi's going to the spa, you can join her!" Claire snapped her head up and Claire felt a gaze on her. It was Peters. For the first time she saw him smiling and looking at her sympathetically, she couldn't help but smile back.
"Great!" Claire half-whispered. A day with the Wicked Witch of the West. Just great…