Troll'd by FFnet SO HARD.

So a lot has happened that has made me like... scorn LTM. Part of which is surgery and pain killers, and another part is Kyle XY. This is the product of the latter and the awesome amazing XY Anthem "She Could Be You" by Shawn Hlookoff.

Honestly, if you like Heroes, watch Kyle XY on Netflix or what-have-you. There's actually a blatant cross-reference that killed me laughing when I should not have been laughing because of pain. So do it. Because that show can do no wrong, aside from being cancelled JUST LIKE HEROES, FFFFFF DAMN YOU 2006 FOR MAKING AWESOME SHOWS AND CANCELING THEM LATER.

But whatever. When I got this song, this somehow popped up in my brain. It's like... I don't even know how this happened. It's like an IABD-verse genderbending AU. WHAT IS THIS, I DON'T EVEN-

Seriously, though, hunt down that song and Kyle XY. Tom Foss, aka Ninja Man (my brain supplied and now it won't go away) is pretty boss. The world needs more ninja men like him.

And just to warn you... I have this great XY/Heroes fanfic in my brain and it is screaming to get out. So when (if I ever) finish Lie To Me, you can expect that.


ANd now the AN is longer than the drabble. FFFFFFF... I just miss y'all. Sorry about this.

His fingers grasp at the edge of the picture frame, his knuckles white, expression drawn. His eyes traced a hauntingly familiar figure— one he hadn't seen in years, but he was seeing every single day.

The girl's hair was long, falling in soft, honey-blonde curls to a slender waist. Green eyes glimmered from behind dark lashes, and though her lips were tilted in a smile, the expression was one of lost, vague sadness— that was, if one looked close enough. Well-manicured nails contrasted against red polyester, and the girl's proud stance and slightly tilted head made his eyes burn.

One hand released its grip in favor of pushing dark bangs back from his face. By all means, his hair should have been streaked with gray by now, but it was the presence of his fondest curse that kept him in his prime.

Never had he wished more for the ability to age—to die. As he watched the world pass around him, he was held fast to the same place he had been sixteen years ago, and four years before that.

Gabriel set the frame face down on his bedside table, aimlessly wandering from his rooms and around the halls of his familiar California home—her home, always her home—with a glass of amber alcohol in his hand.

A plain, worn gold band encircled his fourth finger on his left hand, despite the absence of its partner for... too long.

Where are you right now, Claire? He wondered silently, eyes scanning the pictures on the stairwell. Are you thinking about me, about us?

The house seemed so huge when it was empty.

Gabriel finished off his glass with a long sip, placing it in the sink as he looked to the clock—not that he needed to. He always knew the time; he'd been keeping track.

It was late, but he was too tired to pay the time much mind. He would sleep, he decided. Because he trusted in the house's other occupant, the only thing that made him stay.

The dark-haired man made it through his entire routine before there was any sign of a disturbance. It came in the form of a door opening and closing, muffled through the walls and by the deafening silence. A bittersweet smile pulled at his mouth as he sat on the edge of his too-large bed and took the picture into his hands again.

It didn't take long, but he didn't think it would. The bed dipped beside him, warmth radiating into his side along with the soft smell of vanilla and almond. Curious eyes looked over his shoulder to the photograph.

"I don't remember taking that picture," the girl muttered, confused.

He stayed silent, contemplating exactly what to say, when she did it for him.

"That's not me, is it? That's her."

"It is," he answered in a whisper.

"She looks just like me."

"You look just like her, yes," Gabriel agreed. "It's amazing, really."

"Amazing," the girl replied softly. "Was she? Like us?"

"Yes." He closed his eyes. "Yes, she was."

The figure beside him shifted. "You miss her?"

His hands clenched. "Always."

A long silence passed between them.

"That's enough of that," Gabriel said, putting the frame aside and turning his gaze to the girl beside him. Blonde curls, green eyes, flushed cheeks and bright lips—she could have walked right out of the photograph, and he never would have known the difference.

Except he did.

"Did you have a good time?"

She nodded, her expression brightening. "Yeah, definitely. I'm sorry I'm late, by the way- Jessie and I stopped by the ice cream place after dinner and we got all side-tracked taking about work. Then we met up with Lori and Amanda and got all wrapped up in the gossip of the day."

"That's okay," he answered with a reassuring smile. "I don't mind. You're not that late, anyway."

She gave him a wry look. "Forty-two minutes and twenty-seven seconds."

"You're getting better at that."

"I have a lot of practice."

Gabriel fought back the deja-vu he always seemed to get whenever he looked at her these days. How different would things be if Claire was here?

"Anyway," the girl said, her smile fading slightly into one that was familiar and lost and sad. "I should be getting to bed. I have an early morning tomorrow."

"Okay," he agreed, wrapping one arm around her shoulders and tugging her closer to brush his lips across her temple. "Happy birthday, Noel."

"Thank you, Daddy," she replied, wrapping her arms around him for a brief moment, giving him a slight squeeze before she pulled away. Gone were the days that she would curl in his lap and babble for hours.

It didn't surprise him. Her mother was a firecracker at sixteen, too.

"Goodnight," Noel added.

"Sleep well, honey," he whispered, an appreciative twist of his lips starting as she flicked off the light switch and closed the door behind her.

When he finally fell asleep, he dreamed of a world, of a time that the spot beside him was still filled.

She could be you, Claire. I just wish you were here to see her.