A/N: Edited version.

Disclaimer: I don't own Heroes.

Edge of Eternity

Claire can almost press her face between the banister bars, but never does, because it feels too much like the cage she's already in. When Nath—dad


When Nathan comes home with his family she isn't really sure how to feel. She watches them with wet eyes and a sad almost-smile

(why can't she ever smile like she's happy?)

and isn't jealous. This man is not her father. Her father is Noah, and whatever else he might be, that fact will never change. She wonders sometimes if he's dead—or if he remembers her at all.

She can't decide which is worse.

Peter looks at her pityingly.

That's another thing, Peter

(i don't want your pity)

thinks that she doesn't know that he looks at her. And she probably wouldn't, because Claire has never been great at that sort of thing, but Peter is a bad liar, and she spends a lot of time looking at him.

(it's really awkward when they catch each other)

She used to look down and away, because that was what he always did, but she's—angry. It isn't fair. She can look at whoever she wants.

It's not like Nathan can order her around. Nobody can tell her what to do—

It's a little scary. She really, really wishes that her mother had bought her a self-help book on stopping super massive explosions, instead of American Girl's advice on how to talk to her crush.

Fat lot of help that did.

(you don't need to say a word, just bend over in a shirt lower than depression)

Claire thinks her inner voice sounds pretty bitter. She wonders if people see her that way—if her mouth has the hard lines around it her grandmother has. If her eyes see distant like Nathan's.

She wonders what Peter sees her as.

Peter's going to supernova.

Hiro shows up one day and tells him about the future of cracked buildings and soot streaked faces, clogged with tears. The xenophobic hatred of anyone special—

Claire's gone, in the future.

Maybe that's why he walks onto the street and into a bus clocking sixty miles an hour.

It doesn't kill him, and he has to walk home on a broken leg because he didn't want people to see him snap it back into place.

(claire's gone)

He swallows seven bottles of sleeping pills, and threw them all up ten minutes later, completely intact and largely not disintegrated. He slits his wrists. He jumps off buildings. He even tries setting himself on fire—and even his hair grew back.

(he couldn't save simone)

He looks at Claire too long and too hard, especially when Nathan brings his store-bought family home, and he wonders if she even cares.

(he thinks he'd run if she ever looked back, but thinks she knows)

(yeah, she knows)

Just before they run away to Nowhere, Nebraska, population five, Peter takes her hand and says, "Let me show you something."

Claire's given up on him ever making some sort of romantic gesture, and knows that she should just get over her stupid, stupid crush already, but the little flare of hope rises in her chest before she can squash it.

He takes her up to the top of the building, and picks her up easily, because Claire is tiny.

(she kind of wonders if he'd mind if she kissed him)

Detonation: Ten hours.

He thinks of Nathan, and they fly.

At dangerously cold altitudes, Peter turns to her and asks, "Ready to fall?"

Claire feels dizzy from (life) the thin atmosphere, but manages a 'yeah' and impulsively rests her lips at the corner of his mouth, so fast it could be accidental.

He forgets how to fly.

She's kind of scared when they speed through the air, but it isn't of dying. It's the way he drops her legs and grips her waist and tangles his fingers in her hair. It's the way her heart goes tha-thump, bangbangbang, and the kind of weakness that makes him strong is fully out for her to see.

She moves her lips, all of the wind tear the words from her, "I don't want you to die. You're the only thing I have left. I want you to stay with me, please. Please and forever, because I don't think we'll ever die. And I don't care that you're ten years older. I don't care."

He can't hear her, can only feel the words traced against his collar bone, and the warm coolness of her tears.

He stops them just before they hit.

(but claire wanted to keep going)