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Good news: this chapter is extra long and has more Heroes characters (the bad news is at the bottom.)

Chapter 33: Trust Issues

Swallowing a groan as my muscles screamed in protest, I rose slowly to my feet. "I wasn't planning to sleep here, officer, but if you want me to move, fine."

"It's getting late out – maybe you should go home," the cop suggested.

"Would if I could, officer," I muttered.

His eyes narrowed as he looked at me more closely, taking in my scrapes and bruises. "Ah… Is there some reason you can't go home?"

The pity in his face nettled me – I didn't want it even if maybe I needed it. "If you're thinking I ran away from home because somebody beat me up it's not like that. I didn't run away, and I'd be happy to go back except that I don't have any money…and I don't know how to get there. I'm not sure where I am," I sheepishly admitted.

"You're on Kirby Plaza."

The name stirred something in my memory. "Kirby Plaza…that's in New York City, right?"

"Yeah, that's right."

New York City! My knees buckled and I sank back down onto the fountain's rim. "New York City… How am I going to get from here to Washington?" I asked no one in particular.

The cop, thinking I was talking to him, replied, "The same way you got here, maybe?"

I shook my head. "Can't – I really doubt the men that brought me here are going to give me a ride back." I felt like crying again, but all my tears were spent.

"Wait a minute. Did someone leave you stranded here?"

"No, I left them. Ran away from them, actually."

The officer inhaled sharply. "Why? Did they do something to you?" I looked up warily, realizing I'd walked right into a quicksand pit. He read my expression and said firmly, "Miss, I'm a cop. If you've been hurt, you need to tell me about it."

My instincts agreed with him – Charlie had taught me to always report crimes to the police in the event I ever witnessed one – Flint and Knox, however, were not your regular criminals. Sending a cop after them would be tantamount to signing that cop's death warrant. "No – no, I can't, officer, sorry."

He frowned, head turned slightly to one side, and I felt him pushing against my shield, trying to read my mind. I stood and backed away. "Oh great, this is just what I need! Telepathic cops – what will they think of next?"

The pressure in my brain mounted as he probed harder. "How do you know I can read minds? Why can't I read yours?"

"No one can!" I gasped. "So would you please stop trying?" Instantly, the pressure vanished; the telepath caught me as I sagged in relief, sat me back on the fountain and took a seat beside me.

"Who are you?"

I scowled. "Considering that you just tried to nose around in my mind and gave me a headache, I think that question's mine."

"I'm Detective Matt Parkman. Now can I get your name?"

"I'm Bella Swan. Those guys I mentioned earlier kidnapped me, but you can't try to arrest them. As a telepath, I'm sure you understand why."

"Because they're like us," he guessed. "They have dangerous powers?"

"Very dangerous."

"Well, you don't have to worry about them anymore." Detective Parkman got up and offered me his hand. "I'll protect you."

I didn't move. "Listen, Detective-"

"Call me Matt."

"Matt," I repeated. "Well, Matt, I was raised to believe cops are my friends and all, but you're clearly more than just a cop – and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that our kind don't have a lot of friends."

Matt smiled wryly. "I know what you mean, believe me, but not everyone's out to get you. You can trust me, Bella."

I searched Matt's face carefully; he looked honest enough. I took his hand and let him lead me away from Kirby Plaza.

###

We were barely inside the door of Matt's apartment when a red and blue blur streaked up to him; I blinked hard and the blur resolved into a woman in a red shirt and blue jeans whose short platinum blonde hair was styled in sharp-looking spikes. She gave Matt a brief but enthusiastic hug, then stepped back and said, "You're late. What kept you?"

Matt gestured to me by way of explanation. "This is Bella Swan – Bella, meet Daphne Millbrook."

I'd heard that name before, I felt sure, but my exhausted brain couldn't place it. "Hi," I murmured, giving Daphne a small wave and a shy smile.

She didn't return my smile. "And Bella Swan is here why?"

"I found her on Kirby Plaza; she's run away from some guys who kidnapped her, and I told her I'd keep her safe if they come after her again," Matt explained. "I'd go arrest the scumbags right now, except she won't tell me anything about them."

Daphne frowned. "Can't you just pull it out of her?"

"Already tried – that's the other reason I brought her with me. I can't read her mind, Daphne."

"Huh." She checked me over a second time, reappraising. "You look like you've been through the wringer. Can I get you anything – Band-Aid, some different clothes?"

Getting out of my filthy bloodstained clothes sounded wonderful, and there was no doubt that I needed several Band-Aids – there was, however, one thing I needed more. "Actually, what I really need is a phone. There're some people who are probably pretty worried about me…" …Although Peter would've found me already if that was true, wouldn't he? Unless something's happened and he's in no position to find anyone… Fear closed my throat, choking off my words.

Perhaps it showed on my face as well; Matt and Daphne were both staring curiously at me. "The phone?" I asked sharply.

"Down the hall to your left." Matt pointed.

"Thank you." I hurried down the hall, picked up the phone and started dialing. Eagerness and anxiety made my hands shake; I fumbled, nearly dropping the phone, then realized I'd messed up the digits' sequence. Crap! I hung up, tried again, and finally succeeded in dialing Peter's cell phone number. "C'mon, c'mon," I muttered, impatiently tapping my foot while waiting for a ring – which never came.

Instead a mechanical female voice informed me that, "The number you have reached has been disconnected. Please hang up and try again."

Slowly, I lowered the phone from my ear and hit the End Call button, my mind racing through possible explanations - he could have his phone off, or maybe it wasn't with him...but the recording had said disconnected. If Peter had turned his phone off or left it somewhere, my call would've gone to voicemail, right? Disconnected meant it was no longer working, which could be solid evidence toward my theory that he hadn't found me because he was in some kind of trouble. Arthur had mentioned sending Flint and Knox back to Forks…

"Oh, God," I murmured, sliding down the wall. If they'd caught Peter, what was I going to do? But then I remembered something else: Arthur wasn't after Peter. In fact, hadn't he said that Knox and Flint were only supposed to bring him Claire, and avoid involving Peter if possible? That was why they'd captured me after all, because they had stupidly mistaken me for Claire.

So maybe, just maybe, there was a chance that Knox hadn't followed through on his threat to put a bullet in Peter's brain – but if he and Flint had gone back for Claire and caught her, then they might have ditched her phone, and Peter might have found it… Realizing it was a long shot, I dialed Claire's cell, sucking in a sharp breath when it rang.

After about four rings someone picked up, but didn't say anything.

"…Claire?" I asked uncertainly.

The person on the other end gasped, then spoke – it was her. "Bella? Is that you?"

"Yeah."

"Is this some kind of joke?" Claire's voice sounded almost angry.

"Only if you think it's funny. Is Peter okay? I tried calling him first, and apparently his cell's been disconnected-"

"Never mind that," Claire interrupted. "Where are you?"

"Uh…hang on a sec." Covering the phone's speaker, I called, "Hey Matt, what's this apartment's address?" and then repeated his answer into the phone.

"Thanks; I'll send Peter to get you." The phone went dead.

Less than five minutes later, I heard a knock on the door.

"I'll get it," Matt called, but Daphne dashed to the door before he'd taken a single step. A speedster… Again something niggled at the back of my memory, like an itch that was just out of reach. It was maddening, but I forgot all about it when I heard Peter reply to Daphne's greeting – mostly because hearing his voice wiped everything else from my mind, but also because his reaction to Daphne was most unusual.

"You!" he exclaimed, pushing her back as he entered her and Matt's apartment and telekinetically slammed the door behind him.

Matt grabbed a skillet off the stove and whacked Peter on the head, then shoved him against the wall, shouting, "You've got some nerve showing up here!"

Peter caught Matt's right hand - which Matt was wrapping around his throat - and sent an electrical jolt through the policeman's body that knocked him to the floor. Then, while I stared open-mouthed, Daphne punched Peter on the nose and dodged his attempt at zapping her, but unfortunately for her, he could move as fast as she could; he caught her by the wrist and-

"Stop, all of you!" I reinforced the order by negating the powers of everyone in the room.

"Bella?" Peter looked like he wanted to come closer but hung back, almost as though he was afraid I might disappear if he tried to touch me.

"It's me. I'm here." I moved toward him but Matt seized my arm, holding me back. "Hey!"

"You can't trust him!"

"Let her go," Peter growled, somehow managing to look dangerous even without a fireball in hand.

"I'm doing her a favor keeping her away from you," Matt retorted. "You shot your own brother, you sent me to a desert in Africa-"

"No! He would never do that! Peter, tell him!"

"That wasn't me. Or it was, but it was my future self, not me – Matt, you've gotta believe me."

"How can I when I can't read your mind? Wait, why can't I read your mind?"

"Bella, please give the man his telepathy back."

I quickly restored everyone's access to their powers, and Peter let Matt into his mind although he obviously enjoyed having his thoughts read about as much as I did. After a moment his shield popped back into place, pushing the telepath out. "Satisfied now?"

"Yeah. Closing your mind is new – you copy that from Bella?"

"Yes."

"She didn't mention being able to let anyone in." Matt glanced accusingly at me.

"That's 'cause she doesn't like to," Peter said drily. "She's kinda sensitive to having her mind fooled with." Turning to me he asked, "Bella, you ready to get out of here? Claire's waiting for us."

"Definitely." I couldn't wait to see my best friend again. "Matt, Daphne, thanks for all your help; it was nice meeting you."

"You too," Daphne said politely.

"Hey, wait a minute. You never told me the names of those creeps-"

I cut Matt off. "Those creeps aren't important. Peter will take me home, and I won't be seeing them again. Okay?"

Judging by Matt's frown it wasn't okay, but I turned away before he could argue and snaked my arms around Peter. "Let's go before Claire gets worried."

###

Peter staggered slightly, as if teleporting had thrown him off-balance. "Peter! What's wrong?"

"Nothing – I'm fine."

"You're not fine, you're exhausted," Claire countered; she pushed Peter onto the couch and then enveloped me in a tight hug. "Bella Swan, you have got some explaining to do. First we find your house looking like a tornado went through it, and you've disappeared, and then you just pick up the phone and call me like it's no big deal – like we haven't been running in circles looking for you for the past three days-"

"Three days?" I repeated. "It's been that long?"

"It has," Peter confirmed.

I sat down beside him; my knees felt wobbly again. As I collapsed on the sofa, I noticed it wasn't the one from his and Claire's living room – in fact, we weren't in their living room. "Uh, guys…this isn't your house, is it?"

"No."

"Then whose is it?"

"Mine." Turning toward the unfamiliar voice, I saw that the speaker was a dark-haired older woman in a navy wool skirt and jacket over a matching silk blouse. I jumped up, uncomfortable with sitting while she stood over me. She walked slowly forward, stopped when less than two feet remained between us – I backed away – and looked me up and down, sizing me up.

"Isabella Swan, I presume?" Though worded as a question, it came out more as a demand. My mouth went dry as I nodded. The woman pursed her lips and extended a hand with immaculately manicured scarlet nails. "I'm Angela Petrelli, and you're the young woman my son has spent the last three days searching for – not very successfully, I might add."

My discomfort mounted. I pulled my hand out of Angela Petrelli's grasp and watched her face cautiously, unsure what she wanted me to say. "I…ah…" I started when Peter's arm slid around my shoulders, not having noticed him get up.

"Yeah, she's never easy to track down." He pulled me close in…was it just an affectionate squeeze, or was there something protective in his embrace? Remembering what I'd heard about his mother, I pressed myself closer to him, suddenly hoping it was the latter. "But now that I've got her, I think I'll take her and Claire home now."

Claire nodded, looking relieved, and moved closer so Peter could put his free hand on her shoulder and…nothing happened. Peter let go of me and Claire with a frustrated sigh and took a step toward his mother. "Is the Haitian here somewhere?"

"Am I trying to prevent you leaving, you mean? I should – you vanish off the face of the earth for months, then you barge in accusing me of abducting your girlfriend-"

"Cut the crap, Mom," Peter said evenly. "You know perfectly well why I left, and why Claire and I suspected you when Bella went missing."

Angela held up a finger. "You shouldn't interrupt, dear. Before you did so, I was going to say that the Haitian isn't here; you've simply overused your powers trying to locate Isabella – burned yourself out. If you're determined to leave now, I'm afraid you'll have to use a more conventional form of transportation. Of course you – and the girls – are also welcome to stay here tonight."

"No!"

"Claire…I think maybe we should."

She gaped at Peter in amazement. "Are you freaking kidding me?"

"Claire, Bella's in no shape to fly coach; she's practically dead on her feet!"

"So are you," I pointed out.

Claire huffed angrily. "Fine – but just for the record, I think hanging around here is a bad idea."

###

The Petrelli mansion was huge, and rather extravagant – the guest room Angela put me in had its own bathroom, which I was very grateful for – I needed a shower in the worst kind of way. Just as I finished toweling off and began wondering what I was supposed to wear to bed, someone rapped on the bathroom door. I told them to come in, hoping it wasn't Angela.

It wasn't; Claire entered, wearing ivory satin pajamas and carrying what looked like another set of the same for me. "Here, Angela said you could wear these."

"Thanks." I took them from her, but instead of leaving she just stood there with her eyes fixed on me. "Umm," I began awkwardly; it wasn't like she and I had never seen each other change clothes before – it was unavoidable when I slept over at her house so often – but we didn't usually stand around and watcheach other do it.

Abruptly, she asked, "Why couldn't Peter ever find you? He tried to the whole time you were gone, but he never got anything. We thought that you had…that you were…well…dead." Her eyes teared up as she whispered the last word.

"Part of it was my fault – I couldn't have you and Peter coming after me, so I channeled more energy than usual into my shield. That made it strong enough that his precognitive powers and clairvoyance couldn't get a lock on me."

Claire shook her head. "Why would you do that, Bella? You know whatever kind of trouble you were in, we would've helped you."

"I know. That's the problem." Claire opened her mouth to protest, but I headed her off. "Look, I'm really tired – can we please talk about this tomorrow?"

"Okay," she reluctantly agreed. "But don't think I'll forget. I won't."

"Of course you won't," I said wearily. "I'll explain everything in the morning – promise."

Claire left then, while I exchanged my towel for the pajamas and, not bothering to blow-dry my hair, switched off the bathroom light, crossed the adjoining bedroom, shut and locked the door, and turned around to see Peter sitting on the foot of my bed – where I was sure he hadn't been when I walked past it a second ago.

It was a mark of how truly depleted I was that his sudden appearance didn't make me jump a foot in the air. Instead I just said, "Thought your powers were supposed to be all tapped out."

He shrugged. "Turning invisible doesn't take quite as much energy as teleporting and taking two other people with me."

"Why'd you do it? Were you eavesdropping on me and Claire?"

"I overheard you, yeah," he said unapologetically, "but I wasn't trying to. I was just waiting for you."

A smile spread slowly over my face. "Really? And why would that be?"

Peter pulled me down beside him and asked, "Why do you think?" but covered my mouth with his before I could reply.

Our kisses started out slow and gentle but quickly became intense – after our time apart, trying to keep it slow was as impossible as trying not to gulp water after a long hike in the desert. It was such a relief to be with him again, especially since he hadn't had to fight his father for me to get here – imagining that sent a chill through my body. I shivered, and of course he noticed and rubbed my arm in an effort to warm me up, although the room wasn't chilly in the least. "Bella, you okay?"

I made myself smile and brushed my lips over his. "You're here, aren't you? I'm better than okay." In spite of my reassurance, he still seemed concerned; obviously I needed to distract him. I sank back onto the mattress, pulling him down so that he was leaning over me.

He kissed me once more, then pried my hands loose, disentangled himself and sat up. Frowning now, I sat up as well and put a hand on his shoulder. "Hey…"

Peter pulled back, holding me at arm's length when I tried to get close again. "Hey, what gives?" I complained.

"Your mind's somewhere else right now – you tell me what gives." I dropped my eyes from his, chewing the inside of my cheek. He pressed on. "Tell me what you're thinking about, Bella."

Realizing that he wasn't about to be put off but still not wanting to bring up Pinehearst, I settled on something else that had been bothering me a little. "You – more specifically, why you didn't come get me until I called you. Couldn't you have found me sooner…if you really were looking?"

He inhaled sharply. "You think I wasn't looking for you? Of course I was! I pushed myself to the point of exhaustion and damn near drove myself crazy trying to find you, but I never could! From what you told Claire – the stuff with your shield – it sounds like you didn't want me to. Care to explain that?"

"Yeah, I- I did punch up my shield for a while to keep you off my trail. But I quit doing that way before Matt let me use his phone-"

"But why even do it in the first place? What happened to you?"

This was the part of our reunion I'd been dreading – the part where he'd demand the information I really didn't want to give him. "These guys...broke in and made me leave with them," I answered, purposefully vague.

"I'd already figured that out – the busted door was kind of a dead giveaway. Can you tell me who they were?"

"Umm…"

"Can you tell me or not?" he asked again, more forcefully this time.

"I'd…rather…not," I said haltingly.

"Why not?"

My eyes roved over the carpet, the wallpaper, the bed we sat on – anywhere except Peter's face. I knew I couldn't withstand his searching gaze for long before I caved and told him whatever he wanted to know. He, of course, was wise to my evasion tactics and took my face between his hands, forcing me to look at him.

"Bella," was all he said – just my name, but it was enough to shatter my resistance.

"The men who kidnapped me," I began slowly, "are called Flint Gordon and Knox. Flint's a pyrokinetic, and Knox is a fear-feeder – it's like steroids for him. They were in Forks looking for Claire, but they mistook me for her after seeing us together in the Lodge's parking lot after graduation-"

"And they were sent by my father," Peter finished. I could feel his tension where his hands gripped my arms, and despite his calm tone I could hear the fury seething just beneath the surface.

I also felt a strange sensation, as if my stomach had dropped through the floor. "This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you about them; I knew you'd be angry, and I was afraid you might do something foolish…"

"Like going after those sons of bitches and taking their fucking heads off? 'Cause that's what I feel like doing." Peter turned my face so that the lamplight fell on my bruised cheek. "Which one of them did that to you?"

"Knox," I lied.

"You're lying," he said immediately. "Who really-?" He drew in a sharp breath, as if he'd been punched in the gut. "Arthur?" he asked incredulously. "He hit you?"

"It was my fault, I made him mad…"

My words, intended to calm Peter down, only made him angrier. "That bastard," he muttered. "He's escaped consequences for a hell of a lot – all the stuff he did while he was in business with Linderman, ordering that hit on Nathan, trying to take my powers, throwing me out that damn window, forcing me and Claire to hide out in Forks – but what he did to you went too far. He won't get away with it, I promise you."

"Peter, what are you saying?"

"You know what I'm saying."

And I did – his intentions were written clearly in his eyes, which seemed somehow darker than normal, though maybe that was just the rage boiling behind them. "Peter, no! You can't do what I think you're thinking about doing! Arthur's too powerful-"

"Arthur's nothing I can't handle."

"It's not just his powers I'm worried about," I whispered. "Peter…no matter what Arthur Petrelli's done, he's still your father."

Peter shook his head. "No, Bella – the day he supposedly died, Nathan told me that I gave up on him a long time ago. He was right. Arthur hasn't been my father in a long time – he's a criminal, a monster, and now he's hurt the girl I love. The world will be better off without him, and we definitely will – so I'm gonna do what I should've done a long time ago, Bella. I'm going to kill him."

So this is the last chapter – abrupt, I know. Here's the deal: I was already feeling like Resurgence has gotten way longer than intended, and the stuff I was going to get into in the next chap is fairly different from anything that's already been covered – enough so that it didn't feel like it belonged in the same story. So, please visit the new poll on my profile and help me decide what I should do with my ideas for possible continuation.

Everyone, thank you for making this my most popular fan-fic to date; I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.