AN: Sequel to Grave New World. Takes place in the exposed future around the events of the "Second Coming" and "I am Become Death" episodes, as well as the "Resistance" online graphic novel chapter 106 (which I would recommend reading if you want some early chapters to make sense).
The Devil and Her Treasures
Chapter One: The President's Daughter
Claire Bennet swiveled in the President's expensive leather chair, putting her feet up on his desk while she waited for him to arrive. She just loved thinking about the look on his face when he saw her in his chair.
Of course, this wasn't his real chair, not anymore; it used to be when he was only a Senator and CEO of Pinehearst's operations. As President, now Nathan only used this chair and office when he was visiting from Washington D.C. If Claire could sneak into the Oval office she would, but even though she was his daughter and his finest Pinehearst agent, there were some things even she couldn't do.
Yet, she rather felt like home in Nathan's chair at Pinehearst, almost like it was hers and especially when he wasn't here. She wondered if she request use of it from him while he was in Washington. It really wasn't a bad idea.
The door opened and Claire saw the usual security detail flank outside Nathan's office as he came inside, returning from his party at the White House celebrating his first 100 days in office. He brushed off supposed wrinkles from his coat, and he pursed his lips when he met her eyes.
"You look comfortable," he told her wryly. He walked up and pushed her feet off his desk. They were caught in an odious stare-down for a few seconds before Claire slipped out of his chair and found her usual place sitting on the top of his desk. Nathan frowned, as he always did, when she took her place there, and she crossed her legs as she leaned close, peering over at his paperwork.
"Tell me you have a reason for being here. I'm due for a conference call in ten minutes with my top specialists," Nathan said, and Claire knew that his meeting was no doubt involving the formula. They were already mass producing it and selling it among consumers. Prices were astronomical, but in time, if she knew Nathan well enough, she knew he'd lower the price, letting everyone buy it and tax the hell out of people so he could pay down the national deficit. It was almost perfect. You get powers, but you paid for the privilege. It was only fair, but it put America at a surplus that it hadn't seen for over twenty years. Not only that, the president was betting that he could build a secret army this way by giving civilians powers. If any other country tried to threaten them, well, the people who paid for those powers would be more than willing to step up and give their lives to protect their country. And as far as selling the formula overseas to allies and enemies alike? Well, that was a whole different strategy, one that made the President and Pinehearst loads of money.
Nathan occupied himself with his notes, and when Claire ignored his question by studying his latest numbers on the formula, he cleared his throat and met her eyes, covering his files.
"Have any luck tracking down Peter yet? Or Sylar, for that matter?" he asked her, and she glared at him.
"Peter is hiding them, as usual. It's like tracking a ghost. I told you this yesterday. Nothing has changed since then, and I have my best people on it. Peter is obviously using his invisibility powers on Sylar, Elle, and the brat. Among the other powers he's acquired," Claire said.
"And here you are bothering me at my job when you should be out doing yours," Nathan grumbled at her.
Claire stared at him blankly. "Forget Peter for a moment. It's not like he's in charge of the terrorist cells I've been following or anything. He's just harboring fugitives - one of them being your long lost brother. You know how he is. He's a bleeding heart for family members." Claire pursed her lips when she caught Nathan rolling his eyes.
"Oh, wait, sorry...I do have news. There's a resistance cell I'm tracking. I think it's the one responsible for all those deaths at the chemical plant. It may not be as big as Peter, but it's something. I'm going in to destroy it, one terrorist at a time." Nathan turned away, nodding and murmuring affirmation. Claire blew out a breath, becoming insulted by his lack of attention. She grabbed a tiny knife she'd always hid in her thigh pocket and brought it down on his desk, inches away from his thumb. "Are you listening? There may be explosions. They have bombs and I'm going to take them out."
"You want me to be concerned for your safety?" Nathan asked her, drawing his fingers away and settling back in his chair, peering at her with bored interest. "The girl who can't get hurt? Who can heal from anything? Come on, be serious, Claire."
Claire leaned forward, tugged on his red tie and brought his face inches from hers. She stared at his lips, smiling wickedly. "I thought you'd like to know civilians may die, and as the President of the United States, I want you to be prepared to give a heartfelt speech to console all your mourning and frightened fellow Americans."
"I have heartfelt speeches written and stored for many uses, Claire; you know that," he said, his voice dropping to a whisper. She could feel his weighty stare on her own lips.
"Well, good. I just thought that someone should have feelings of remorse in all this, since I can no longer feel anything," Claire said, loosening the grip on his tie, but not releasing him. Nathan tilted his head, and he caught a loose strand of her hair that had escaped from her tight ponytail and tucked it behind her ear.
"Claire, you seriously don't believe you can't feel anymore because of your abilities, do you? Maybe you need the right motivation," he said, and Claire emitted a deep chuckle as she released his tie.
"Are you offering, Mr. President?" she asked him coyly, bending closer to him and knowing she crossed a line; quickly, he backed off, cleared his throat and glared at her.
"Keep me updated on the terrorist cell and any sign of Peter," he said stiffly, waving her off. Claire bounced off his desk and sashayed out of his office, throwing one last look over her shoulder to meet his eyes. When she caught his gaze, she smiled sweetly, knowing full well she had rattled him.
She wondered when it became so entertaining to play games with her own father.