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Heroes of Tomorrow -4- Good Times

Story Info

Title: Heroes of Tomorrow
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Heroes
Era: Post season 4
Genre: Action, drama
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Claire Bennet, Noah Bennet, Edgar, Ando Masahashi, Hiro Nakamura, Peter Petrelli, Micah Sanders, Mohinder Suresh, Sylar, Molly Walker (+ various other Heroes characters)
Summary: The road from hero to superhero isn’t easier or less bumpy than the one from citizen to becoming a hero in the first place. With the will of the many and injustice to fight, there are those who will stand up and do what others cannot – whether it means saving the world, or getting burned while trying.
Work in progress.
Pairing: Peter/Sylar
Warnings: Violence, slash (m/m).

~ ~ ~

Written for Heroes_Contest’s (heroes_contest) One-shot Challenge 29 (Collateral Damage).

Good Times

Being a hero was never easy.

Perhaps that was the point, because otherwise everyone would try to play one, and what kind of world would that be? Well, it might have been a better one in the end, but the chances were slight that that would be the case. After all, every superhero had at least half a dozen super villains to go up against…

Claire used to have such a rosy illusion about being a hero, and doing the right thing. And yet, it always somehow ended up with the routine speech about differences.

‘One of them, one of us.’

‘A hero, a villain.’

‘A special.’

For now, she hadn’t encountered a single major word she could use to face off against ‘special’ but she was sure it would come. People always needed a label for things, positive or negative.

She was also pretty certain people would say it to her face once they came up with it.

After jumping off a Ferris wheel in New York City’s Central Park, her life had been quite hectic. As she thought back to that moment, she wasn’t entirely certain why she had done it, or what had been the main goal of the act. To give herself a normal life, and all the other specials… it seemed like a faraway idea now.

Claire’s own life certainly hadn’t changed for the better; she was constantly in the eye of the media, forced to listen to slander and preaching about how she was an abomination not worthy of God’s Earth – or Heaven. That was what she had to endure, instead of a normal, quiet life without the terror of someone finding out that she could heal virtually any injury inflicted upon her.

A few of the specials had actually tried to kill her, so on top of worrying about the crowds every time she spoke to the public about the true nature of specials, she also had to watch out for those of her own ‘kind’.

Noah was not pleased about any of this, but he kept hanging around, even though Claire kept telling him he didn’t need to do it anymore. “I made a choice, and I’m going to go through with it,” she kept saying.

Apparently being Noah Bennet’s daughter made her argument invalid.

Then there were days, like the one in a small city in the state of Kansas, where the malcontent of the crowd really reached a new peak. Claire barely opened her mouth before someone was tossing objects towards the podium, the people hosting the event were dodging away. Claire tried to decide whether she should leave altogether, or stand there and take it, waiting for the crowd to get the message that she could take all they had to offer, and more. She meant them no harm, and just wanted to say her piece. It was too much to ask, though.

“Claire!” Noah shouted at her from the sidelines. If he had a gun, he surely would have used it on someone, but there were too many guards standing by when they arrived and he didn’t have a permit for it anymore. No Company to back him up…

She looked at her father, sighing, then felt a bottle smash at her feet, glass cutting skin. Gazing back at the crowd, whom the security couldn’t really control, she could see the situation was going to get very complicated very soon. While Claire wasn’t worried about what they would do once they got to her – often people didn’t think that far ahead, thinking someone would stop them long before – she was a bit concerned for the people trying to protect her.

Claire was just about to call out and try to reason with everyone one more time when a hand rose in the crowd, a gun in it. Either someone had a weapon by lucky chance, or they had come prepared.

People started to scream and push in different directions.

Claire steadied herself, hoping the shooter would hit her and not anyone else.

“Claire!” Noah called out again and pushed his way up to the stage, trying to drag her back to safety. Claire stood her ground, though, fighting him, knowing that if she disappeared, the person with the gun might actually kill innocent people in frustration, or out of fear of being seen and caught.

“Dad, let me go,” Claire demanded. “I can take it.”

Noah’s face was adamant and desperate, and a bit perturbed. “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it,” he exclaimed.

Before any such thing could happen, though, a shape dropped from the sky. Claire jumped back in surprise. “Peter!” she exclaimed as her uncle looked at her over his shoulder, then gazed back at the crowd.

Apparently the presence of a flying man was too much for the people, because the gun shifted, aimed, and a shot rang out. Claire shouted, afraid that it might hit Peter, who had placed himself before her, but even though he flinched, it didn’t seem Peter was hurt.

From above them, another shape soared down. Claire looked up, telling herself it wasn’t a surprise that she saw Sylar. The man landed before Peter, one hand raised, and something small floated through the air. Claire realized it was the bullet from the gun.

Sylar palmed the bullet and looked at Peter. “I told you to wait.”

Peter bristled. “I said we were in a hurry!”

“And you’re not bullet proof,” Sylar said, turning to look at him all the way.

Peter opened his mouth, but didn’t find a proper reply.

Another shot was fired, making the people scream and shout. Sylar jumped a bit, then frowned, an unhappy look on his face. Both he and Peter looked down, and there was a dark stain appearing on Sylar’s shirt.

With an irritated scowl, Sylar turned, the first bullet still in his grip. He looked towards the person with the gun, a man in his thirties, standing there as the crowd kept pushing away from him. “Will you stop firing, or shall I send them right back at you?” Sylar asked him.

“Freak!” was the reply, but the shooter probably didn’t want to chance it.

“I think it’s time we leave the stage,” Noah suggested once again.

Peter nodded, and Sylar followed them, digging the second bullet from his chest as he did.

“Why do you have to keep doing this?” Peter demanded once they were behind the stage and out of the crowd’s sight.

“You should know why,” Claire fired back. “One day, I want us not to be shot on sight just because of what we can do!” She looked between Peter and Sylar for a response. It was so odd that they were still together. After all, they all knew what Sylar had done, no matter how he said he had mended his ways.

Of course, he had just saved Peter’s life out there…

“Perhaps this is not the way it should be done,” Peter suggested. He sounded tired.

“You can never win them over all at once,” Claire snapped, “and there will be always be some moron waving a gun around. But I’m doing this for all of us, because we shouldn’t have to hide. We could help the world to be a better place.”

Peter looked at Sylar for support. The former serial killer had stopped poking at his chest and was shifting two bullets around in his hand instead. One of them was clean, one stained in red.

“I want to live a normal life just like anyone else,” Sylar started, which Claire somehow doubted, knowing what his past was like. “But what you’re doing is creating an unhealthy environment. Specials are getting beaten up every day, even people who are simply suspected of being special. The more you preach about our right to exist, the more some nutcases want to eradicate us from the face of the Earth. And as long as all of us don’t agree with you, there will be damage. How much collateral damage are you prepared to carry on your shoulders? How many lives are you willing to sacrifice?”

“There won’t be collateral anything,” Claire said. “I want a better life for all of us –”

“We know that,” Noah said patiently, trying to calm her down.

“If you did, you would try to help me, not stop me,” Claire snorted. “I know specials are getting attacked. I’m among them. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.”

“And you’re unwilling to reconsider that perhaps those who are getting hurt – people we haven’t even met and who don’t know you – want you to stop?” Peter challenged.

Claire was quiet. She knew that the bigger the decision and the stronger the cause, the more controversial ideas there would be. People would want you to stay quiet and go away, to choose the easy way.

She wasn’t going to go away, though. She had come this far, and would continue pushing forward.

Peter seemed to read as much on her face because he gave her one of those long-suffering looks. “We’ll talk about this later,” he finally vowed.

“Sure,” Claire agreed. She expected it wasn’t going to be much different than it was now.

“Your shift starts in three hours,” Sylar said to Peter very casually. “We should head back. Of course, if you don’t mind being a little late, we could stop by for an ice cream or something on the way home,” he ventured, which was a little odd.

“Landing from the sky, you in your bloody shirt? Another time, Romeo,” Peter refused as they started to walk away.

“I’m just trying to be nice, and find something that we can do together,” Sylar noted.

Peter sighed, but not the way he kept sighing at Claire these days. “After my shift, I promise we’ll do something. Go eat, or something. Unless we both end up on the six o’clock news because of this,” he added grimly.

To the shock of both Claire and her adoptive father, Sylar simply wrapped his arm around Peter, kissed his temple, then pulled Peter into the air with him.

“That was… odd,” Noah commented, shifting his glasses.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would say they’re dating,” Claire agreed, then shook her head. “But that can’t be the case, right?”

He was as unsure about it as she was.

“Let’s go,” Noah finally said. The crowd had quieted down, and as they rounded the building, they could see flashing lights of police vehicles and a few ambulances that must have arrived after someone told them a man had been shot. Claire knew she would get a letter or an email later, apologizing for the whole mess here, but it was nothing new – and it certainly wasn’t going to stop her from trying harder, just as she had promised her uncle.

They all deserved a normal life, should they want it.

to be continued…

Story info


Posted by: Vivihanna (vivihanna)
Posted at: June 25th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)

Thank you for sharing this. :)

Good to see Claire is trying to take some responsibility for what she's brought on everyone.

And Sylar, saving Peter's life again and wanting ice cream, all in a days work. *Imagines Sylar and Peter sharing an ice cream cone* @.@

Posted by: Del Rion (del_rion)
Posted at: June 26th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
Milo 17 (ponder)

Haha, what can I say, my Sylar is a gentleman - at least when it comes to his Peter.

Claire is... well, Claire. Young, a little naive in places. But she's trying to make it a better world, even if she's probably doomed to fail, knowing us humans.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Posted by: Paynesgrey (paynesgrey)
Posted at: June 26th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)

I just love Claire's characterization in this. You really portray her impulsiveness well, but also you show her strength and determination, something I've always loved about Claire.

And Peter and Sylar, haha, it's bound to happen eventually, right? I could totally believe it, even with the show off the air. :)

Fantastic work!

Posted by: Del Rion (del_rion)
Posted at: June 26th, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)
Peter & Sylar

Peter and Sylar... I think the show really pushed it to the surface with "The Wall" and their friendship after that. Or maybe that's just me - and a bunch of other hopeful shippers XD

Frankly, I dislike Claire a lot, but sometimes you have to write the characters you don't like so much, and try to breathe life into them. I'm glad you approve :D

Thanks for reading and dropping a lovely comment. ^^

Posted by: DD3 (dancingdragon3)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)

Wow. I have a feeling that I am going to be thinking about this chapter for a while. Stupendous job! You are doing a great job of showing us this world. I am really getting invested in this story, thanks!

Have to say, that I can't believe how blind Claire is to the potential damage she is causing. I appreciate her willingness to take what people will literally throw at her, but to ignore how innocent people could be hurt or killed due to her actions? It's almost sad that it has to be Sylar to point it out. Loved that, BTW. (And his reaction to getting shot!)

Even though the bulk is about Claire, you manage to convey Sylar's emotional growth very well. And with only a few sentences! I am comparing him to Claire, and finding Claire wanting. What a nice reversal!

Also love the bit at the end there about a date. Again, great showing Sylar's emotional growth. So sweet! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Posted by: Del Rion (del_rion)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Milo 11

I shall start with a "wow" of my own, because I didn't think this chapter was anything special. (Especially since I was repeating the same side of Claire I may have already explored in some other fics... well... that's how I see her, with her series finale actions.)

I'm glad you liked this one, and that the character growth (especially Sylar's), felt real. Seeing a certain path myself, it is sometimes hard to tell whether others think it's natural or not. :)

More will come... some parts more random than the others, I'm sure. I don't have a big picture in mind for this, just a few details to go with, so it can go in any direction still, I guess.

Thanks for reading, liking, and dropping me such a wonderful comment! Much, much appreciated!

Posted by: DD3 (dancingdragon3)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)

You're welcome, and I think it's exciting that it could go in any direction! That actually makes me more curious to see what you come up with.

And I like the random feel of the posts. Like glimpses into this world, forcing us to extrapolate the rest.

I still think the burning man was hysterical!

Posted by: Del Rion (del_rion)
Posted at: June 30th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
GAMER what an ass

Hehe, thanks ;)

I like this story because I can just write... almost anything, and it will fit. Or I can write a piece that fits the "main" storyline.

Lol, yes, the man in flames... Claire should imagine how miserable his life is.

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