Barbara (htbthomas) wrote,

Birthday fic: Peace of Heart, 1/1

Title: Peace of Heart
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Heroes, post Season 2
Characters/Pairing: Sandra, mentions of Noah/Sandra
Rating: G
Word Count: 810 words
Beta: mark_clark
Author’s Note: A birthday fic for jen_in_japan. She asked me for an exploration of Noah and Sandra Bennet’s relationship based on their historical namesakes. Then she wrote a lovely one for me for my birthday! But she still wants my take on it… I hope you enjoy it.

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Sandra slid a silver letter opener under the flap of the envelope, humming idly to herself. No need to behave any differently. This was just a piece of junk mail, one of a dozen advertisements for a lower interest credit card that she received every week, just like the rest of middle America. There was nothing to mark the letter as special… there was certainly no reason for her control her breathing so that it would not hitch in recognition.

She removed the folded paper from the inside and placed it in the stack of documents to shred later. Instead, she picked up her new issue of Dog Fancy and turned to lean against the marble countertop. She flipped idly through the pages, careful to keep her eyes on the magazine, or around the kitchen, or glancing out the window at the leaves brushing against the window in the breeze… anything but at the piece of unimportant mail lying a foot from her elbow.

She heard the clicking of tiny nails and the jingle of the collar long before she felt the nuzzling of Mr. Muggles’ nose on her ankles. But she waited for his impatient yip to reach down and lift him into her arms. “Do you want to read this with me, Mr. Muggles?” she asked him in the simpering voice that had once been for show but now was habit. “You know it doesn’t come with any dog food samples, don’t you?”

He snuggled into her arms in answer and she hugged the little Pomeranian to her chest. She walked over to sit at the kitchen table with him in her lap, petting him with one hand, while turning the pages of the magazine with the other. She could feel Mr. Muggles’ body settle into her lap, the muscles relaxing, the nervous twitches of a small hyperactive dog stilling… and she knew he had fallen asleep there.

She mentally shrugged. Why disturb his slumber? The errand would wait. Must wait.

Sandra let her thoughts drift, her eyes not really focusing on what she was reading, or indeed on anything at all. Though the sun was bright in the afternoon sky, a gray pallor slowly crept across her vision. Shadowy figures murmured at the fringes of her consciousness. She never felt anything like clarity when this happened, at least, she hadn’t felt that for years… But there was no sense of foreboding. Only… waiting.

She closed her eyes, reopened them, and found herself back in the warm light of her kitchen. The little dog stirred on her lap, and leapt to the floor, trotting toward his water dish, his nails once again tapping against the floor.

Sandra sighed and stood back up, heading nonchalantly for the stack of mail. As she picked it up, she purposely did not linger on the symbol watermarked in the corner, a dove with an olive branch in its beak. She walked over toward the small business desk in one corner of the dining room, and sat beside the shredder.

One by one, she fed the sheets, her eyes glancing at the letter still in her hand. While the words promised dreams of easy credit, throughout the page her eyes picked out certain words, marked with a tiny purple fleck. …can’t believe… and …plan… And farther down …waiting… Then near the bottom …safe

But at least one minute had passed since she had begun her scan. If there were more words, she was out of time. It would have to be enough. She tilted the sheet upside-down into the feeder and it buzzed into a thousand tiny shreds.

She never knew in which envelope the message would come, nor the day. Her only clue was the “Peace” stamp on the outside. And she knew that she could not linger upon the message, lest the eyes… ears… minds… of the Company notice something amiss. She was long used to being watched.

But her… visions… if she could really call them that, had never steered her wrong. His few words, coupled with her gut feeling (maybe that was a better word) that he was all right, had given her a sense of peace.

Sandra strolled over to the hutch, and opened one of the drawers. “What should it be today, Mr. Muggles? Blackberry or Lavender?”

His answering bark made her smile. “Lavender it is, then.”

Humming again, she carried the jar candle to the windowsill and lit it. Within moments, its fragrance began to seep into the kitchen, its flame flickering against the glass.

Long after dinner had been made and cleared away, after the conversations and the television viewing, the flame still burned away in the window. She would put it out before going to bed, but she believed he had seen it. She would hold onto that hope.

Until the next letter came.

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Author’s Note: I found it fun to sprinkle a little symbolism throughout the story. You could call it an Easter Egg Hunt if you like. :)

Is your birthday soon? Request a ficlet!
Tags: birthday fic, fanfiction, heroes

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