"You didn't tell me Nathan had a power."
"So, you're back to not talking to me?"
He regarded her then, still saying nothing.
"I'm sorry okay. I had to find Peter."
More silence. Well, now what was she supposed to say? There was no law that said they had to talk, but since she'd been told to stay put she was stuck with him for the time being.
"I know, Claire," he said finally. "You did as I expected you to do."
Her eyes widened at that. He'd known?
"Why do you think I left your memories?"
Her mouth formed 'oh' but she said nothing, speechless for a change to realize that she'd played right into his plan. Somehow, she suspected it was his plan, not her father's, not Angela's, and certainly not Nathan's.
"Do you think he'd take me?"
She smiled then with a shake of her head. "Sorry, I do that sometimes, half speak assuming people know what I'm talking about. My dad always seems to."
"Your father loves you very much. Don't ever think that he doesn't."
"I know. Anyway, I meant Nathan. Do you think he'd take me flying?"
"That is something you'd have to ask him. I'm not sure at this time he would."
"I know, someone might see him, us together, and ruin his chances at getting elected."
"You could ask him."
"He doesn't talk to me. He talks at me, through me, but not to me."
"Make him. You got me to speak to you."
She laughed lightly. "Yeah, but only because you wanted to."
"True. You're difficult to resist, and I'm sure Nathan will come to the same conclusion."
"Have you ever flown with him?"
It was The Haitian's turn to laugh. "No, Claire. I do not make it a practice to do such things."
"You mean have fun?"
"If you see it as such."
"I do. Who wouldn't want to fly? I mean, it'd be like Superman. How cool is that?"
"You don't think it'd be cool? You probably don't even know who Superman is."
"I do know who he is and I suppose I can see where one might think it'd be a neat gift to have."
"I really don't know if I consider it a gift. It's not really. But it would be super cool to have that type of gift."
"What would?" It was Nathan, standing in the doorway.
"Yours," Claire said simply, swallowing hard. Why did she get like this around him? Nervous. Afraid to speak up.
"Yours is quite impressive as well. It saved Peter's life. For that I can't thank you enough."
"You don't have to thank me. I don't want your thanks."
"What do you want?"
Claire's eyes darted to The Haitian who simply nodded. "To fly."
"Just once. I want to see what you see. To feel what you feel. I haven't asked anything of you since I got here. I've let you pretend I'm not here. I haven't run up to Heidi or your boys announcing who I am. I think I'm allowed to want one little thing from you."
"Risky, I know. I'm sorry I asked." She glanced at the Haitian, knowing he saw the tears in her eyes. As long as Nathan didn't see them. She ran from the room then, up the stairs, careful not to slam her door. No sense making a scene over her own stupidity. She should have known better. He wasn't ever going to go out on a limb for her.
It baffled her how Peter and Nathan could be brothers. They were so different. Nathan was so uptight, distant, and over thought everything. Peter was all heart, caring. He'd come to Odessa to save her not even knowing who she was or that he would survive. She doubted Nathan would have done it, even knowing she was his daughter.
She collapsed face down on her bed, letting the tears come. Crying into her pillow. She couldn't remember the last time she'd done that, certain it had been over a gyy though. Funny, this time it was over a guy too, just the one that was supposed to be her father and treat her decently.
She'd heard of adoptees who'd found their birth parents having odd experiences. This had to be the oddest. She came here to find Peter Petrelli, the man who'd saved her life. Instead, she'd found Angela Petrelli, grandmother. And Peter Petrelli, uncle. And Nathan Petrelli, father. She had brothers, a step-mother, and who knew who else was out there. It was all so strange. And they treated her, looked at her like she'd done it intentionally, was out to bring their family down. She had a family, she wasn't looking for another one. They didn't get that!
A gentle hand on her shoulder brought her from her thoughts. She turned onto her back, wiping away the tears.
"I'm very sorry, Claire. I shouldn't have pushed you to approach the subject with him. Perhaps after the election."
"I don't want to wait until after the election. I didn't come here to cause him problems, but I'm here. Why can't he just admit it? He was told I was dead and here I am. Wouldn't that make him look GOOD to some people? Taking in the daughter he didn't even know he had."
"That would be true if his wife and boys knew of you."
"Yes, because Petrelli's have more secrets than those Mario Brothers games."
She shook her head, sniffling. "Never mind." She sat up then. "Where were you going to take me?"
"Where were you going to take me? Before we left Texas, we were on our way somewhere."
"You didn't look at your ticket?"
"No, I threw yours away and traded mine in for a ticket to New York."
"Why do you want to know?"
She threw her arms around him. "Take me. Take me now. Please. Just take me away from here."
"Claire," he said, smoothing down her hair. She hiccupped softly against his shoulder, brushing her cheek against his neck.
"Please. I can't do this. I can't be here and have him looking at me like I'm a bother. I had nothing to do with his mother lying about me. I didn't make her do that!"
"I cannot," he whispered, lifting her head away from him. "You are needed here."
"You can unhand my daughter now."
"What?" Claire hadn't heard the door open and was quite sure she was hearing him wrong. He was getting upset because someone was comforting her?
The Haitian did just as Nathan requested, released Claire and stood from the bed. Nathan's eyes were piercing as he looked from one to the other. She could see the question.
"Nothing happened. He was just being nice, as opposed to everyone else in this house."
"No, it's not enough." Something in the look he gave her made her stop. He looked sort of amused, not at all unhappy or upset. What was that about?
"Did you want me to take you flying or not? Because the longer you talk, the later it's going to get and then Heidi's going to come looking for me."
"I'm sorry, did you say," she said, certain she'd heard wrong. He'd come here to take her flying? Her eyes met the Haitian's. "He didn't do anything wrong. Please don't send him away. I need one person on my side."
"Peter's on your side."
"Peter's one of you, my side or not, he's still one of you. He's not."
Nathan regarded the other man, it wasn't necessarily a sizing up, but an assessment. "If you say nothing happened, I believe you. Your father entrusted your care to him, I have to believe the man wouldn't do that recklessly."
"Now, you'll want a sweatshirt or something. It's going to be cool."
"All right," she said, going to her dresser and taking out the YALE sweatshirt Angela had given her. She eyed him as she drew the sweatshirt over her head. Her heart was racing. She was excited, beyond excited. This was going to be the coolest thing ever. "You're really doing this?"
"And you're not going to drop me as some sort of experiment to make sure I'm really invincible?"
"What kind of question is that?"
"A logical one since not more than fifteen minutes ago it seemed out of the realm of possibilities."
"I changed my mind."
"All right," she said simply, following him toward the window. She turned to look at the Haitian over her shoulder. "Thank you," she mouthed to which he merely nodded.
"I can't believe I'm going to fly. Lyle would freak if he knew."
"Oh, right. I'm sorry I haven't bothered to find that out before now."
"It's okay. You're busy."
"I make time for my boys, I need to start doing the same for you. It's just going to take me a while to realize that bedtime stories and hot cocoa aren't going to appease you."
"Well, hot cocoa is always good."
"But not as good as flying. Here," he said, taking her into his arms. "Let me show you…"
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com