Summary: AU Set after "An Invisible Thread." People with abilities are no longer in danger since Nathan had lobbied the President and House to pass the bill. The newly established Company faces it new challenge as an old enemy comes back and takes one of their own. An unlikely hero emerges from the shadows to save Claire from an old threat.
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. Heroes and characters belong to Tim Kring and NBC.
Chapter 1 Abducted
"You won't regret this decision," Nathan Petrelli said as he shook the President's hand.
"I hope sake you're right," the President said as he brought his hand back, "You were the one that me that these people were dangerous."
"I was wrong," Nathan said, "People don't need abilities to inflict harm on the world. History has taught us well. Men who thrive in darkness and unleashed havoc in the world didn't have an ability. They were just power hungry."
"And what about those people with abilities who have the power to reek havoc and do so?"
"That's what the Company will do," Nathan assured the President, "Like it has been for the past decades under the radar. Those individuals with abilities that misuse their power to harm the general population will be imprisoned in a special cell made to hold them. Not all people with abilities need a cell."
"You have the backing of the United States of America," the President assured him, "We're trusting you to protect this country from people with abilities meant to harm this nation."
"Thank you Mr. President," Nathan said before making his exit. He was escorted outside and he looked around. When he didn't see any prying eyes he flew off to met his family and the rest of the newly developed Company. Nathan landed on the balcony of his mother's home and walked inside. He saw Peter, Matt Parkman, Noah Bennett, and his mother. His eyes continued to scan for someone most precious to him but she could not be found.
"How'd it go?" Noah asked when he saw Nathan walk in.
"Where's Claire?" Nathan asked as he yet found her. He saw Noah's body tense at the mention of her name but he dismissed it. Like all the other times he saw Noah tense up when he spoke about Claire, to Claire, or was near Claire. If he wasn't so concerned about her whereabouts, he might have investigated Noah's reaction more.
"She should be here soon," Peter said, "Her class at NYU just got out."
"I could go and get her," Nathan said, "get her home quickly." He didn't know why, but all week he had a feeling that Claire was in trouble. He remembered zoning out at his desk three days ago and when he woke up he found a drawing of a young woman who looked a lot like Claire and a gloved hand covering her mouth as the other hand had a needle in it. Since that drawing, he has been keeping a close eye on Claire. It was apparent someone was threatening his family. What he couldn't figure out was how someone could leave that painting on his desk with him sitting there and get away undetected.
"Don't be ridiculous Nathan," Angela said, "We'll catch her up when she gets here."
"You're right Ma," Nathan said as he walked over to his mother and kissed her on the cheek, "It's just there's a lot of crime…."
"It's New York City," Noah said, "when isn't there crime?" He looked at the man and was wondering what was going on. Was Sylar emerging or was Nathan truly concerned for his daughter's well being.
"I think we've had enough of interrogating Nathan," Matt said as he walked up to Nathan, "Claire will be here in a few minutes so everyone can just focus on what happen with the President today."
"Well," Nathan said, "the President will no longer be funding the operation to hunt down people with abilities. He will be shifting the funds into the Company and we go back to…what do the kids call it, the 'old school' method of bag and tag the baddies."
"Oh thank God this nightmare is finally over!" Peter said with a huge grin, "No more running like we're criminals." Peter walked towards Nathan to hug his older brother when he started walking away when he got close to him. "Where are you going?" He tried not showing that his brother's obvious rejection didn't hurt or how Nathan never wanted to touch Peter since Sylar went up in flames.
"Change my clothes," he said, "I feel like a politician."
"Because you are one," Noah yelled out after him.
"Noah," Matt hissed, "Stop antagonizing him!" Matt retreated after Nathan. He was beginning to feel more like his babysitter than anything else. Matt had convinced Janice to move out to New York after Angela and Noah convinced him to make Sylar believe he was Nathan Petrelli. They wanted him close incase his services were needed again. So he moved his wife and child closer to the serial that would rather cut open his son's head for his ability than anything else. That thought alone terrified Matt, but he was too selfish to give up another moment of his son's life.
"I don't need a babysitter," Nathan said to Matt.
"Just checking to see if you're okay," Matt said with his hands up like he was surrendering, "that's all."
"When did we become best buds," Nathan said.
"What do you mean?" Matt said, trying to keep his voice steady.
"I mean," He pressed on, "You all of a suddenly seem to care a lot about me than you ever did." Nathan said him hesitate so he continued, "You don't have a man crush on me do you Parkman? Because I'd hate to disappoint you but I'm into women…."
"What!" he yelled in horror, "God no!"
"Relax Parkman," Nathan said with a smile, "I was just kidding you." The Twilight Zone theme song started blaring from Nathan's phone. He smiled as he picked up the phone, "Claire," he said, "how was class?"
"I'm going to be late," she said, "I have to go to the library to get some books and meet up with members of my class. We're doing a group project."
"That is unacceptable," Nathan said, "it's already too late for you to be out by yourself."
"I'm fine," she said, "I'm almost to the library now."
"It's not safe," Nathan said, "there were three robberies just last week…"
"Sorry dad" she said sarcastically, "How about I let you pick me up when I'm done? Will that make this overly protective something go away?"
"Yes," Nathan said, "Call me when you're done and don't even think about walking home by yourself."
"Yes Sir!" she mocked her bio-dad again.
"Not funny," he hissed at her.
"Chill out," she said, "I'm walking up the steps of the library even as we speak and the world is still spinning."
"You annoy me with this little banter of yours," he said, "You know that right?"
"That's why I do it," Claire said, "I'll only be an hour tops."
"One hour," Nathan repeated."
"Yes, so please stop this over protective thing okay," she said, "I already have one dad that's overly protective. I was hoping you'd be the cool dad."
"I'm trying," he grunted out as a mental flash of that drawing popped into his mind.
"Try harder," Clare said, "Bye Nathan." Claire hung up the phone and was dropping it in her bag when a gloved hand covered her mouth stifling her screams as the other hand injected a needle into her neck.
"Sweet dreams," her attacker whispered in her ear.
The last moments of consciousness Claire wondered who her attacker could be and why her body wasn't healing itself from whatever drug she was injected with. Her bag fell from her shoulder as her world was overcome by darkness.
Two hours later
"You're making me dizzy," Peter said as he watched his brother pacing in front of him.
"She shouldn't have called by now," Nathan said, "She said she'd only be an hour."
"Nathan chill out," Peter said.
"Did you just say chill out?" he said stopping mid stride to stare at his brother, "You've been hanging around Claire too much."
"Whatever," he said rolling his eyes.
"I can't take this anymore," Nathan said heading towards the balcony, "I'm going to find her."
"I've done that 25 times already!" Nathan yelled as he flew off the balcony towards the campus library. Nathan landed on the in an alley near the library. He strode into the library searching for Claire. He couldn't find her he started calling her cell phone. He could hear the sounds of the theme song to the Addams Family and smiled. He started walking towards down the stairs when Claire's voicemail picked up. He hung up and redialed, following the sound of Claire's ring tone. He walked outside the library and heard the sound coming a few feet away, "Claire?" he yelled walking towards the sound. His brain didn't even register the fact he shouldn't have heard it from the second floor on the other side of the library. He stopped when he saw her book bag and the theme song coming from inside. He picked up the bag and looked around, "Claire!" he yelled, "CLAIRE!" He flew up in the air and started scanning the neighborhood as he started living every parent's worst nightmare. He saw a girl with blonde hair talking to a boy a few blocks from the library he landed behind the boy and ran up to them. "Get your hands off my…" his voice trailed off when he pulled the young boy away from a blonde hair girl that looked nothing like Claire, "I'm sorry," he said, "I thought you were someone else." They young couple just stared at him, "I'm looking for my daughter, she's about this tall," he said raising his hand, "blonde hair, blue eyes, she goes by the name Claire."
"Claire Bennett?" the girl asked.
"Yes," he said with relief washing over her, "she was supposed to be home by now. She said she was at the library getting books and meeting her group."
"I'm Casey and this is Tommy," she said gesturing to the boy, "We're in her group for the project."
"When did she leave…"
"She never showed up," Tommy said, "she ditched and left us to do all the work."
"That doesn't sound like Claire," Nathan said trying to piece this puzzle together, "Are you sure…"
"I'm sorry Sir," Casey said, "but she never showed up."
"We called her and she's picked up the phone either," Tommy said.
"But I…" Nathan looked down at Claire's book bag and then back at the people, "Thanks." He mumbled as he walked away with a vision of that artwork dancing through his mind. The cell phone ringing interrupted his thoughts, "Hello."
"Nathan," Noah said, "put Claire on."
"She's not with me…."
"You answered her phone Petrelli," Noah hissed, "She's with you."
"She's gone," Nathan interrupted, "She never showed up at my house. I went to the library and found her things outside. I ran into her group, they told me Claire never showed."
"What are you saying?" Noah said, hoping this was just a nightmare that he can wake up from.
Claire started to stir from her drug induced sleep. The first things that she noticed were the surgical equipment on a tray next to her. The second thing she noticed was that she was strapped down to a table. The last thing she noticed was that she was completely naked. She fought the tears back wondering what had happened to her when she blacked out and what was going to happen to her.
"Welcome back," a cold voice beside her said.
"Who are you?" she said with a trembling voice, "What do you want from me?"
Her attacker emerged from the shadows, "Revenge against your father."
Claire's gasped as she whispered, "Danko."
"Now the fun can begin," he said as he reached for the first surgical tool closest to him, "Don't worry your pretty little head about the nakedness; it just makes it easier to watch you bleed if those things aren't in the way. I'm really not a dirty old pervert."
Claire opened her mouth to retort but he had already started cutting from her shoulder all the way down to her big toe. She screamed from the pain and couldn't understand how she could feel pain again.
"Don't you just love the drugs," he remarked, "It's really quite interesting; it slows down your ability and gives you the opportunity to feel everything that I'm going to inflict on you." He gave her a sadistic smile, "You know I always was curious about your ability," he said, "Like for instance, if I were to cut out your heart, would you grow another one?" he asked her, "Let's find out shall we," he grabbed a scalpel and starting cutting her sternum.