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Whatever it takes3/?

Title- Whatever it takes 3/?
Author- Faythbrady
Show/Ship- Heroes, Sylar/Claire, Peter/Emma
Disclaimer- I have magic powers. You will believe I own it all.
Summary- Peter and Emma have something to ask our ex-cheerleader. What will Claire say?
A/N- Basically a set-up chapter. Please let me know if anything is off, voices, dates anything.



Chapter 3

Two weeks earlier.

Claire stared at the computer screen with more than a little hatred. Outside the sun was shining and the birds were singing and she was desperate to feel the wind on her face. But if she didn't finish off this report her boss was going to yell at her. Again.

God, she hated her job.

Was this what a normal life was really all about? Four years at college, pulling all-nighters and downing coffee like it was going out of fashion and for what?

Some crappy little office job where your line manager tries to look up your skirt and the office gossip calls you frigid.

If this was what she and her father had been fighting for her entire life then she felt cheated. With one eye on the clock Claire finished typing her report, wishing she had Hiro Nakamura's power and could push that second hand just that little bit faster.

But no. Sadly she didn't have a power as cool as that. The best she could do was regrow an arm.

She brightened slightly.

Maybe that was it; she could cut off her arm and claim to have to spend the rest of the day in the emergency room. But then again there would be those awkward questions about how said limb regrew in hours. Claire sagged again. There had got to be more to it than this.

The phone trilled on her desk and with the attitude of one who had picked up the phone more than once only to be given more work, Claire picked up the receiver and winced.

“Claire Bennett.”

“Wow, that didn't sound forced at all.”

A genuine smile filled her face. “Peter!”

“Did I call at a bad time?”

“It's work,” she said with a roll of her eyes, “when is it not a bad time.”

“That doesn't sound promising. Surely it can't be all that dire?”

Claire tapped her fingers on the desk. “That depends; do thoughts of maiming yourself to get an afternoon off sound dire?”

She heard Peter's rich laugh down the phone and felt a thrill of pleasure that she could make him laugh. Since the whole deal with Samuel
and the Carnival Peter had seemed to go into a slump, pushing himself to beyond breaking point to try and atone for some misdemeanor.

But now he was getting better, he was laughing and smiling and joking and she hoped that she had a hand in it, even though she knew that it was probably more down to that quiet blonde with the Synethesia.

Well, her and him. Deliberately Claire pushed thoughts of the dark-haired enigma away and focused back on the conversation.

“-if that's a workable plan?”

Claire winced. “Sorry, Peter, I totally blacked out for a minute. What plan?”

“Am I boring you, Claire?” She could hear the amusement in his voice.

“No. Just feels like Monday, ya know?”

“Yeah. Anyway I was asking if you were available for dinner this evening.”

“Why, Peter, I'm flattered but you're my uncle and that's just wrong, and of course there's Emma,” she teased and could almost hear him blushing down the phone.

“Claire!”

She laughed out loud, startling the birds just outside the window. “Sure, let me check my diary. Uh, I have a date with a bowl of Ramen Noodles but I think I can postpone.”

“Great. Me and Em will pick you up at six... what? Hold on, Claire.” He said something to someone at the other end and Claire could almost hear the puzzlement in his voice, “-she doesn't need to know that? Does... okay.” He came back on the line. “Uh, Emma said smart casual, no jeans, no dress. Does that make sense?”

“Yep,” Claire beamed. “That's great, tell her thanks.”

“I swear, a million years and I'll never get women.”

“Hey!” Claire squawked indignantly and heard the sound of a slap from down the phone.

“Ow, don't worry, Emma represented the female population. She packs a mean punch for such a little thing. Okay, okay. I have to go, catch you later.”

“Sure. Bye Peter.”

She put the phone back in its cradle and smiled fondly at it. Now that was what she called real life. That was normal, two people falling in love and making a life for themselves, teasing and just living.

Family.

Her family.

She turned back to her computer with a bright smile.

---

She could tell it was something big as soon as they sat down in the restaurant. The way that Peter helped Emma to her chair and tucked her in; the way his hand lingered too long on the small of her back and the way their eyes couldn't seem to tear away from each other. They had been dating far too long for it to be simple hormones and Claire was oscillating between engagement and pregnancy. She surreptitiously glanced down at Emma's mid-section. But no, it was as flat as ever. She then checked out the ring finger and a broad smile swept over her face.

Emma caught her stare and laughed.

“Girl's know!”

“Know what?” Peter looked between them and sagged as he realized Claire had guessed their reason for inviting her out. “Well, there goes the surprise.”

“Oh, I'm sorry,” Claire was immediately contrite but delight was dancing in her eyes. “But this is awesome, congratulations you guys.” She got up and came around the table to hug her uncle and his intended bride.

Emma squeezed her tight and Claire returned it, knowing full well that she was giving Peter to the best person possible. Emma was calm where Peter was volatile, serene where he was excitable and loving whenever he needed it. He seemed more relaxed just being around her and Claire could almost see the love between them.

She sat back down. “It's amazing... and about time, you've only known her for... three years?”

Peter laughed. “That's exactly what Sylar said when we told him. But he said eight years, I guess things get slightly messed up when you can time travel and spend years trapped inside someone's head.”

“Don't think that means you can forget anniversaries,” Emma signed quickly.

Peter bowed his head. The picture of the whipped man. “Yes, dear.”

Claire grinned. “So have you told Angela yet?”

Peter grimaced at the thought. “No. Not yet. Mom is... we wanted to tell you and Sylar first and sort of work up to telling mom... on the day... after the ceremony.”

Emma nodded fervently. “We were going to tell my mom and Angela Petrelli together, but my mom would want a say in it and Angela-” She shuddered and Claire felt her pain.

“Yeah, with the control freak that your mom is, no offense Peter-”

“None taken.”

“-I can't see her not wanting to take over the reigns of the whole thing and making it into some sort of Circus. It might be better if you guys elope,” she said only half teasing.

“But we've agreed on two things-” Peter started as the waiter came over to take their order.

He waited until the man went to fetch their drinks and continued. “They're both very important to us and we wanted to talk to you about them.”

Claire frowned and shifted in her chair. “Sounds serious.”

Peter nodded and she felt a stir of unease. What did they want most? A normal life away from the freak show that 'specials' brought with them. A day away from the chaos of abilities. What of they didn't even want her at the wedding?

She swallowed. “Yeah?”

Peter nudged Emma and she took a deep breath. “I don't have a sister and you've become very close to me, Claire. Would you be my maid of honor?”

Claire's eyes widened. “Oh my god, yes, of course!”

Peter held up a hand. “Wait, there's something you should know before you decide to agree.”

“Oh, god, you're not gonna put me in peach are you?”

Peter opened and closed his mouth, wrong-footed. “Of all the things I was gonna say, that didn't even rank up there with them. Seriously, Claire!”

She giggled. “Sorry.”

He shook his head and then paused. “Would that be a deal breaker? Peach?”

Both Claire and Emma nodded.

“Women, I don't get.”

The two girls grinned at each other at his male incomprehension.

Claire sobered first. “So, what's the addendum?”

Peter looked at her seriously. “I'm going to ask Sylar to be my Best Man.”

“Oh.”

The reason for Peter's unease was obvious. Although Claire no longer wanted Sylar-Gabriel (or whatever he was calling himself now) dead and buried by her own hand she had never done anything to persuade them otherwise.

They took her avoidance and refusal to even mention him as evidence that she still felt the same way and she hadn't disabused them of that notion.

She didn't know why.

Peter lived with the guy, spent all of his time with him and was very evidently not dead. Peter had tried to wax rhapsodic about him straight after their little sojourn in Sylar's mind, but Claire had changed the subject, made her excuses and left. Peter had caught on quickly that Sylar was off limits and he limited himself to the occasional anecdote which featured Sylar in a positive light.

She knew that Peter had been trying to erode her hatred of Sylar one slice at a time but she wouldn't listen. The truth was that she had no idea how she felt about Sylar. She couldn't say that she no longer feared him, or wasn't waiting for the call to say he'd changed his mind (again) and had removed Peter's head. But at the same time she had faith in Peter and Peter trusted him implicitly. He even trusted him with Emma... and Claire.

But he made her uncomfortable and so she avoided him. His new personality was so at odds with the killer she had feared and the psycho who had obsessed over her.

At least he was over that.

She glanced up to see Peter and Emma watching her tensely. They probably expected her to turn the offer down, to cite myriad reasons why this wouldn't work, why she couldn't be alongside Sylar for any length of time.

And she wanted to. Wanted to be that selfish little cheerleader who pouted and screamed and whined until she got her own way. But the day she'd agreed that exposure was bad, the day she'd almost tipped herself off the Ferris wheel and changed history, had altered that little girl.

Here her favorite uncle and his fiancee wanted her to be a part of their special day. Who was she to deny them that, and if it meant having to make nice with Sylar then that is what she'd do.

She took a deep breath. “I can do that. As long as I don't have to dance with the guy, I'm all set. It'd be my pleasure.”

Emma beamed widely and Peter gave her a small smile, a little sad over her words but understanding nonetheless.

“Hey, you never know. You might find that you and Sylar have more things in common than you think.”

A memory of a blackboard sent her palms tingling and she sat up straighter in her seat. “Let's not go nuts, Peter. Now, tell me all your plans for this thing.”

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
firestonedust
Nov. 15th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
Yay!
The first thing that popped into my head after reading was the exclamation "Yay!" repeated over and over and in the tune of Raiders of the Lost Arc. But I will spare you all those yays.

Anywho, thanks for the update. And I just love Claire and the way Claire loves Peter and the way Peter loves Emma and the way Claire loves Emma and the way Sylar loves Claire and on and on an on. I know the chaos of wedding preparation, so I'm pretty excited to see Claire and Sylar...bickering? And then falling in lurve?

You're great.

(Also, Doctor Who is awesome. And I'm sure you know this, but Peter Davison was in the West End's original cast of Legally Blonde. Which I didn't see, but my aunt did. I sure did love him and his celery as the Fifth Doctor. Sorry that this is unrelated to your magnificent story.)
thegreyhawke
Nov. 15th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
YESSS! An update!
Two moments really struck me:
“Don't think that means you can forget anniversaries,” Emma signed quickly.

Peter bowed his head. The picture of the whipped man. “Yes, dear.”

And:
Emma beamed widely and Peter gave her a small smile, a little sad over her words but understanding nonetheless.

But there were lots more. I picture Claire being a stick in the mud the instant Sylar's in the room while he's busy being helpful and she's feeling guilty because she should be happy and helping. I dunno. Funny image.
Great work, voices again are great.
gerriv
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Great update!
devon380black
Nov. 17th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
It's good to readit from Claire's POV...
There's a part which really struck me:

"She took a deep breath. “I can do that. As long as I don't have to dance with the guy, I'm all set. It'd be my pleasure.”

Because I rememebered reading the previous chapter and Sylar was thinking that the best man and maid of honor had to walk before the bride and groom and all that stuff... ;)

So I couldn't help imagining it from Claire's pov when she realizes that...hehehe...

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself...hehehe...
revdorothyl
Dec. 17th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
"...do thoughts of maiming yourself to get an afternoon off sound dire?”

I so feel for Claire! Just because she can't feel physical pain doesn't mean she's free from the mental suffering of a spirit-killing, mind-numbing job.
devilsduplicity
Jan. 9th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
Oooo, I really love how you write Claire, and Peter and Emma are just all sorts of adorable.
(Deleted comment)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )