Title: Speed of Sound
Pairings: Daphne/Peter, Sylar/Elle
Summary: What if Daphne had acted on her conscience in Dying of the Light? How might the confrontation between Peter and Arthur been different? What would have happened next?
This was inspired by that look that was on Daphne's face when she was watching Arthur power-rape Peter. She was just so horrified and disgusted by what was happening... I like to think that maybe she would have done something about it if she'd figured out what was going to happen before it did. And once again, I KNOW I shouldn't be starting a new fic when I've got SO many in-progress, but I solemnly swear to update this [occasionally].
The doors flew open with a bang, and Daphne stared around for the source of their movement. All at once, a man slid into visibility. Daphne blinked; surely the handsome stranger hadn't been there just a few moments before...? But she was getting very used to everyone else's weirdness. She hadn't even jumped when Flint's hands flamed up right next to her. This guy must just be an invisible man. Not really all that odd...
Her surprise was great, therefore, when he formed twin balls of electricity into his palms. Wasn't there some kind of limit on how many powers somebody could have? But then, she supposed, there was Sylar, and Arthur Petrelli, of course...
Knox moved as if to block the newcomer from entering the room, and Daphne immediately felt the need to protect him from what was sure to be a vicious attack. Whoever he was, she could tell from his face that he was a good person. He didn't deserve to be savaged by Knox.
"It's alright," Arthur said, without turning around. "He's my son." He rotated to face the stunned young man. "Hello Peter," he said.
"Dad?" Peter gasped, shocked. "How is this possible? You-you're dead!"
Arthur shook his head. "It's a long story," he said by way of explanation.
"So you're behind all this?" Peter said, a look of deep hurt and betrayal creeping across his face as he began to understand. "You hurt Mom?" Daphne winced at the expression in his dark brown eyes. He looked so forlorn, as if his whole world had just come crashing down. She wished there was something she could do to make this right. It was partially her fault, after all. She was working for Petrelli.
"We need to talk," Arthur said, stepping toward him. "Come give your father a hug."
Peter took a step back, shaking his head slightly, recoiling in fear and uncertainty. Arthur snorted in unsurprised laughter. "It's alright Peter," he said. But Daphne recognized the tone in his voice. In his profile, she could read the hungry look that crept across his features right before he... Oh god. Oh no.
"Keep your hands off of him!" she yelled, surprising even herself.
Arthur whirled around. "What's that, Miss Milllbrook?" he said, irritation and carefully-controlled rage contorting his face.
She leaned past him to meet Peter's startled gaze. "Don't trust him!" she said. "He's just trying to steal your powers!" Infuriated, Arthur whirled, reaching for Peter's shoulder. His hand made contact and there was a brief flash of white light. But Daphne was too quick- naturally. One fractured second later, both she and Peter were standing outside the building. "Great," she said, throwing her arms about wildly in irritation. "I guess I just totally lost my job, saving your sorry ass."
"W-what?" Peter asked. "What did you just--?"
She groaned. "Come on," she said. "We can't stay here. They'll be after us any second now, and I personally do not want to meet up with an angry Knox. He's psycho."
Peter furrowed his brows in confusion. "But... but what was it that was going to happen?"
Daphne sighed in irritation. "Your charming father was about to take your powers away. Permanently. I'm sick of seeing him do that to people. And frankly, working for these crazies was getting kinda old. So I'm going as far away from here as I can get, and if you're smart, you'll do the same thing."
She disappeared with a whoosh and a puff of dust. Twenty seconds later, she had arrived in Paris. She set off at a normal walking pace toward her apartment, enjoying the sight of the sun that was just beginning to come up over the horizon, and the early-morning bustle of the City of Lights.
Suddenly, Peter appeared next to her. "How... how are you here?" she asked in surprise.
He shrugged. "I can do whatever you can do. I mimic other peoples' abilities, absorb them like a sponge. That's what I do." Daphne looked at him in surprise, but didn't comment. "Look, father or no father, I have to stop what Pinehearst is doing. It's wrong, and I think you know that. You worked with them. Would you help me?"
Daphne intended to refuse. Right now, it was best that she just forget the whole job for Pinehearst had ever happened, and do what she did best. It was best that she just run away. She could take care of herself, if she just kept running and never looked back.
But as she met Peter's pleading brown eyes, something gave way inside her. Dammit, she thought. "Alright," she said with a sigh. She was going to regret this for sure, but for some reason she just couldn't refuse that puppy-dog expression. And she couldn't quite bring herself to regret it just yet, when a look of elation broke out across his face in the form of a lopsided grin.
"Thanks. You know," he said, "we weren't properly introduced. I'm Peter Petrelli. Obviously."
She grinned. "I'm Daphne Millbrook. Fastest woman alive." He laughed, but suddenly stopped, frowning in confusion.
"What?" she asked.
"The Hunger," he said slowly. "It's gone." She narrowed her eyes, shaking her head to indicate her confusion. He sighed. "It's a long story, but I accidentally absorbed Sylar's power for intuitive aptitude, and... it comes with a side effect. You know who Sylar is?"
Daphne nodded. "Sure. Head-slicing serial killer, what's not to love, right?"
He laughed again. "Well, when I picked up his ability, I... had the irresistible urge to rip everybody's skull open to find out how their power worked." She grimaced in disgust. "But... it's gone now," he said in wonderment. "I guess... I guess when my dad touched me he managed to get that one away from me."
"His loss," she said, still feeling unsettled by his description of the Hunger.
Peter nodded. "Yeah. I wonder if he got anything else..." He held up his hands, forming little balls of electricity. For a moment he went invisible before snapping back. He levitated a few pebbles, proving he still had Sylar's telekinesis. His hands flickered with radiation. Pulling out his pocket knife, he made a small slice on the back of his hand, which healed instantly. Dredging up a vague memory of the super-strong blonde from Kirby Plaza, he bent a parking meter in half before straightening it back into its original position. Then he passed his hand right through the metal. He leapt off the pavement, hovering in the air, which drew stares from the few people already out on the streets.
Then he made a face. "Well, I kept almost everything. But I can't teleport, and I can't... can't read your mind."
Daphne cocked her head to the side, studying him. "Quite an arsenal," she said matter-of-factly. "Who'd you pick up the telepathy from? It wouldn't happen to be Matt Parkman, would it?"
"Actually," he said, "it was. Do you know him?"
"Unfortunately," she muttered. "He's kind of stalkerish, though. Apparently he had some kind of dream that we were supposed to get married in the future or whatever, and now he's a little bit obsessed with me."
Peter raised an eyebrow. "Really? That doesn't sound much like Parkman."
She shrugged. "Whatever. Look, I've got an apartment here in the city. We can crash there until you figure out what you're going to do about Pinehearst, okay?"
"That sounds... excellent," Peter said. "And Daphne... thanks for saving my life back there."
She shook her head. "It's what anybody would have done. Anybody completely crazy, that is."
"I don't think you're crazy," he said softly. "I think you're brave."
"That makes you the minority," she muttered, attempting to squash the happy little flutter her heart had given at his words. No one had ever thought she was brave before.... She shook her head, clearing the thought away. "Come on, Sponge-boy. We've got work to do."
To Be Continued...