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Birthday Fic: Fight or...?, 1/1

Title: Fight or...?
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Heroes, after episode 207: Out of Time.
Pairing: Claire/West
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1003 words
Summary: Claire and West have different ways of dealing with adversity...
Author's Notes: A birthday ficlet for ksarasara. Her prompt: "Claire and West talk about their powers and stuff." After the way the last episode ended, I had to take this a little different direction than I had originally intended. Hope you like it! Thanks to van_el and sean_montgomery for the beta, and jadeblood for the wonderful story banner!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Claire sighed tiredly.  Ahead of her, she could see the tall steel letters and the scaffolding which held them in place, with the lights of Los Angeles beyond... but the security fence only inches from her face prevented her from getting any closer.  She had switched buses several times between Costa Verde and the Hollywood sign, and even shelled out a little extra cash to get a taxi to take her as close as possible. She had walked all the way up, only to be stopped short of her goal.  Her feet hurt - her healing power didn't protect her from exhaustion - and her jacket wasn't doing much to cut the wind on the top of the hill, either. I didn't even notice the fences the last time we were here... Of course, when your boyfriend could fly, why would you notice?

After the blowout she had with her father tonight over West, she had locked her bedroom door. She hoped that he felt guilty enough not to check on her until morning.  But she couldn't count on it - she half-expected the house to be packed up by the time she got home, no matter how much she refused to leave. And once he found her gone, he certainly had the resources to find her...

Claire shivered and pondered the fence again.  She could probably climb it, since she would heal from any injury, but the signs posted along its length warned of a high-tech security system as well. Well, this was as close as she was going to get.  She pulled her cell phone out of her jacket pocket, checking her text messages one more time. No new messages.  She opened a new text window: At the sign now. Just me. If you really meant you never wanted to see me hurt...

Bending slowly, Claire settled herself cross-legged on the ground to wait. She couldn't leave things the way they had, not without an explanation of why she had kept her father's identity a secret.  Besides, wasn't West the one who had been trying to get her to trust him? she thought angrily.  He had taken off, literally, at the first sign of trouble, just like her biological fa--

"I did mean it, Claire."  West's voice floated down from above, his smooth tenor laced with fear and pain. 

Claire stood quickly, looking up at his backlit form, hovering at least 20 feet in the air. "Did you?  Or maybe a better question is - do you anymore?"

He flew nearer, but still out of reach.  "I love you, Claire... but when I saw that man - your father? - in your house, what was I supposed to do?"

"Oh, I don't know..." she began, unable to keep the hint of sarcasm out of her voice, "...maybe something other than fly off 'faster than a speeding bullet.'  You could have let me explain."

Even from this distance, she could see him flinch.  "But, he's the one who took me, Claire.  The man who gave me this mark."  He touched his right shoulder briefly, where the two thin black lines were tattooed on his skin.  "What explanation could there be?  Are you telling me that he isn't the man who abducted me?"

"No, he is..."  West's breath caught, echoing in the air. He hadn't expected her to admit it. "But he's not.  The man who abducted you was the man my father used to be.  When he worked for the Company."

"Worked?  As in, he doesn't anymore?" he asked, hope warring with disbelief in his tone.  "How do you know he's not lying to you?"

She stepped closer.  "I don't.  But my dad has always done everything he could to protect me.  That's why we're here, West - we're in hiding from the Company.  He's so afraid they'll find us that he forbade me to date, you know."

West drifted downward just a few feet - she could almost see his face.  "So when you said your dad was overprotective..."

"I wasn't kidding." A flash of annoyance filled her suddenly.  "Besides, it was you who pursued me, West, not the other way around.  I mean, for godssakes, you were in my kitchen making me waffles only this morning." 

"I know.  I did.  But that was before..."

"Before you really knew what you were getting into?"

He didn't answer, hovering there silently.  She just wanted to reach out and take his hand, to let him know that he was safe with her, the way she had felt safe in his arms when they went soaring over the L.A. skyline.  But she was beginning to see that he was a lot more fragile than he looked... a scared bird, afraid of getting his wings clipped.  He loved to fly free, but put him in a cage...

She tried a different tack.  "You know, it's funny... my dad wanted us to pack up and move immediately as soon as he found out about you.  He was sure you were dangerous, and would lead the Company straight to our door."

"He did?" West asked in a quiet voice.

"And I told him no.  I'm not going anywhere, West.  I've survived a lot worse than just a boyfriend with a few, um, stalkerish tendencies."

He laughed, but added seriously, "Not all of us are invincible, Claire."

"And not all of us can touch the stars." Claire extended a gentle hand toward him.  "But come down to earth.  You were right before, West, we've got to stand together... or it'll be too easy to pick us off one by one."

Finally, West stood before her, still clearly frightened.  The tension between them snapped and they fell into each other's arms, holding on tightly.  "Oh, Claire, I'm sorry..." he murmured.

"I'm sorry, too, I should have told you, but I was afraid you'd... well, what you did."

"I promise..." He pulled back to look into her eyes. "Next time I fly away, you'll be right here in my arms."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
bretzysdude
Nov. 11th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I asked this, but do you think you would be able to do a Monk ficlet?
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
You did, and yes! I need your birthday again, I think, but definitely. And a prompt (A sentence basically describing what you want) would also be great. :)
misseri44
Nov. 11th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was fantastic!!! And i really needed to read some Claire/West fics (people doesn't seem to like the pairing).

I understand West's position in ep 7, with all the running away from Mr Bennet, but he should let Claire explain what's happening
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of you the whole time I was writing, don't you know... there aren't too many Claire/West shippers out there, it's true, and I do like them, even with all their faults.

Of course, you never know where the writers will take them next, so I figured it was a great time to jump in with a snapshot fic! :)
misseri44
Nov. 12th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! The truth is that i've found more people disliking this pairing than followers like me, and it's a pity because they look good together
lastwordslinger
Nov. 11th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not exactly a fan of West/Claire, but this was incredibly sweet. I like that she didn't pull any punches and said outright that he'd been acting like a stalker, lol! Wonderful as always! :D
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, great! The fact that a non-Claire/West fan liked it is high praise!

Yes, what is it with the stalker boys and me lately? Clark... West... :D
lastwordslinger
Nov. 11th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
Remember when you said that one of your holiday wishes was getting banners for the stories that didn't have them?



So I guess this is now a gift squared! LOL!
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
Jade, you totally rock! *huge kisses and big squeezy hugs*
misseri44
Nov. 12th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
That banner was great!!!

I really like it
thrace_adams
Nov. 11th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Aww this was sweet...and the first Heroes fic I've ever read! Very well done :)
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Really, your first? I have 3 others on my heroes tag... (Shameless, I know.)
thrace_adams
Nov. 11th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Cool, I'll have to check them out :)
fool_of_ships
Nov. 11th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, bravo! Literally talking him down, and neither one of them is dancing around anything. I'm not a huge fan of the CW, but if something like this were to happen in-show I'd embrace the concept a lot more. Fantastic!
htbthomas
Nov. 11th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
I've always liked Claire/West, even though it's not popular - and a healthy dose of honesty would certainly win a bunch of folks over, wouldn't it? :)

Thanks for reviewing! ♥
ksarasara
Nov. 13th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I love it! I'm so behind on Heroes right now, so I wasn't sure I wanted to read it before I caught up... but I couldn't not read my bday fic. ;) This was beautifully written with great emotions! *sigh* My absolute favorite lines:

He laughed, but added seriously, "Not all of us are invincible, Claire."

"And not all of us can touch the stars."


I love that.

Thank you, thank you! :D
htbthomas
Nov. 13th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
Oh no! I wouldn't have made it so current if I'd known... but I'm glad that you enjoyed it anyway. :)

Your icon fits very nicely - Claire looking up at the sky. ♥ Hope you had a wonderful birthday!
babettew54
Nov. 14th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
I like how you’ve made us feel sympathy for West. I admit I’m a bit skeptical of their relationship right now, but that could change. At least I hope so. In your piece, he seems just as afraid to open up just like Claire, which is good. He seems more vulnerable and human this way. Ok, I’m warming up to him.:D

Thanks, Barb.
htbthomas
Nov. 15th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Well, hey! I made a difference in at least one reader's life... :D

Of course, now that I wrote this, he'll probably go all evil and really shoot Mr. Bennet or something. :O

Thanks for the review!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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