***Part Twelve***
Word Count: 1,507

How she ended up in Wisconsin was beyond her. Rene said Peter was in the Hampton's. She'd pictured something along those lines when she'd agreed to this.

They had a large cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere. Like thirty miles to the nearest town nowhere. She had a nice allowance and a credit card for emergencies. Other than groceries and day-to-day incidentals she really had no expenses, though. So, money wasn't an issue.

She'd met Peter at a small airport. She had no idea who had traveled with him. They hadn't gotten off the plane. It was so hard seeing that look in his eyes. Confusion. Lost. A blank slate.

He'd looked at the cabin much the same way she had at first.

"I like the other place better," he'd said.

Claire had no doubt it was better. While the cabin was nice, it would look like a shack in the Hamptons.

They swam, went for walks in the woods, boat rides on the lake, and even fished. Claire wasn't great at fishing or boating, but there was no telling what might jog his memory. So, whatever he wanted to do she did.

Claire cooked most of the time, but every couple of days they went to a nearby bar for burgers. Peter drank beer while she had Coke. It was nice to get out of the cabin and be among people.

She talked to Rene every night before bed. They didn't say a whole lot, but she just felt better talking to him. He called if she was running more than ten minutes late from the usual time she called. So she knew he missed her, too.

Today, she'd get better than a phone call, though. He was coming to visit. She'd brought Peter with her to town, buying groceries before picking Rene up from the airport.

"No improvement?" Rene asked when they'd gotten to the cabin.

"Not really."

"I'm sorry."

"It's all right. It's why I'm here, right? The expendable one."

"Indeed," he said, sliding his arms around her. "I don't like it."

She frowned, her head against his chest. "Like what?"

"You being so far away from me."

"Me neither," she whispered, listening to his heartbeat. She'd gotten used to fallen asleep to that sound.

He stepped away a little, sliding his hands to either cheek. He kissed her, this one much better than the one at the airport had been.

"I've missed you," he murmured.

"Me, too," she replied.

"You're okay sharing a room with me here?"

"Yes. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Just making sure."

"I'm sure. Now let's go make some dinner."

"Sounds good."

"Did I mention there's a hot tub out on the deck?"


"We can use it later if you want."

"With or without Peter?"

"I was thinking after he went to sleep, but if you'd rather do it before."

"I like the sound of this plan."


They played Monopoly after dinner. It was odd to have two of them to help her in the kitchen. Rene helped her at the apartment so they were kind of used to each other. Peter was a different story. She wondered how used to helping people with any housework he was.

"You know Nathan was healed, right." Rene asked later in the hot tub.


"Someone like you healed him."


"I'm wondering if giving Peter some of your blood would help."

"My blood?"

"Yes," he said.

"Why didn't anyone else suggest it?"

"I think they were hoping by being near you, that it would trigger his ability to try and gain yours."

"He already has it."

"He doesn't remember, though."

"You think not remembering could affect the ability working?"

"I can't explain it otherwise."

"I don't remember everything from before you stopped taking my memories."

"Have you tried?"

"Well, no," she admitted. She never had. "I just assumed they weren't there."

"Try it."


"Later," he said, drawing her onto his lap.

"Later, huh?"



"I'd much rather kiss you."

"I guess that's a good enough reason to put off trying."

"You guess?"

"Prove to me it is."



"I don't want to get up," she murmured against his chest.

"Then do not."

"I have to make breakfast."

"Peter is a grown man who can see to his own breakfast this morning."

"He is, but that's why I'm here. To take care of him."

"You are here to try and help him. Doing everything for him isn't the solution."

"You're right. They're being so generous, though, I almost feel like I have to."

"As they should be, taking you away from me for weeks."

"Serves you right! Now you know how I feel."


"I'm glad you thought to bring protection with you."

"I may have overthought."

"How so?"

"Overcompensated for months of not needing any."

"Oh. Well, I'm up for making up for those months."

"As am I."

"But we still have to eat and I can't have Peter telling his mother that I stayed in bed with you the entire time you were here."

"Yes, yes, all right."

"Okay." She leaned up and kissed him. "I'm really glad you're here."

"Are you?"




"You like it here," he said when she came in from swimming in the lake. She didn't miss the look he gave her, and she was surprised at how much she liked him looking. He'd seen her naked plenty of times so the fact that he still got that look in his eye at the sight of her in a swimsuit was cool.

"Why do you say that?"

"I observe. You seem happy here. Happier than I've seen you in a long time."

"Well, I'm not sure I'd want to live like this forever, but yes I like it. The area is nice, being able to do stuff outdoors is a definitely bonus."

"And if you could live like this every day?"

"Well, I'd want to be a little closer to a city. Not a town. A city."

"That's your only complaint?"

"Yes," she said with a shrug. She finished toweling off and hung her suit up in the shower to dry. She joined him on the bed, discovering when he drew the covers back that he was more than ready for her.

"Why?" she asked as she grabbed a condom and slid it over his length. "You going to move to the sticks with me?"

"If it would make you happy, I would."

She slid over his length, pausing just a moment as she usually had to. And it had been a while so she definitely had to today.

"I just want to be wherever you are."

"You mean that?" he asked.

She gasped as she finished taking him inside of her.

"Yes," she murmured hoarsely.

"Even after being here with Peter?"

"Jealous much?" She laughed. "Yes, even after."

"Then I will make it happen. Somewhere similar but not quite so distant from the things you crave."

"What about what you want?"

"I already have it."

"You do?"

"Yes, right here. You."

"You meant what you said about adopting? If it's me, I mean. I know there are things we can try first. Surrogates and stuff, but if I'm defective."

"It's not a defect, but yes, I meant it."

She slid off of him, reaching between their bodies. She tugged at the condom a little.



"Are you sure?"


"I don't want you to go through that again."

"I want to. I mean. People miscarry and have stillbirths all the time. I'm not going to let one stop us from trying. And now that Peter is better, we'll be leaving soon."

"How soon?"

"Whenever he decides he's ready to go back home. There's no time table. I'm not even sure he's told anyone he remembers yet. He's still getting his bearings, I think."

"All right."

"So that leaves you."


"This isn't a one-night stand accident if I take this off and throw the rest away."

"Your father."

"I'm not asking about him. He's not here. And he's not us."

"I would love nothing more than to see you carrying my child once more. Hopefully to a better end this time around."

He reached for her hand, stopping her from removing the condom.

"You, however, need to finish school. I am not going anywhere, Claire, and if what I know about your ability holds true."


"Yes. It's unquestionably important that you have a formal education to survive."

"I know," she said, sliding her head to his chest.

"Look at me, Claire." She did, sliding herself onto him again.

"I love you. I love that you would do this for me and when we do try again I will wholeheartedly enjoy the task."

"The task, huh?"

He chuckled as he gripped her hips, bringing himself deeper into her.

"Until then, let's enjoy building a life together without doubt or uncertainty between us."

"I like the sound of that," she whispered.

"Me, too, Claire."

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The non-illustrated icon is courtesy of lay-of-luthien @ LJ. She's got some nice work, and did this and 4 others very quickly! The illustrated icon is courtesy of: julietbunny who gave me this in addition to some other great goodies for the Heroes_Holidays Spring Hiatus project.

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