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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.

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

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!


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Oooh! *reads a few times*

The dove of Noah's ark, signaling safe arrival...though it also reminds me of the dove of the Pentecost, hinting at communion and communication as well. I can see the purple theme, but that one I don't have a specific link to (although I have to confess here I still haven't seen the last few episodes of season 2!)

I love the reference to her "visions" as well, which I suspect here are memories leaking through the mindwipes? It fits her name wonderfully...I really like the way she's active and has agency despite her limits, how you show her working around them to keep her consciousness from ever becoming aware of what's going on.

Also, any story with Mr Muggles in it is automatically a winner in my book. :)

*hugs* Thank you so much for this, it's subtle and beautiful and everything I could have possibly wished for!
Jun. 4th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Purple is a color associated with Cassandra, although if you read up on it, it also led to her death... and since we never know what will happen to any character at any time on the show... :)

Yes, the visions are just that. She knows them to be true, but she is unable to understand just why she has them, or what they mean. I do look forward to her mind-wiping being a thing of the past (with the Haitian in revolt) - because she has proven to be strong-willed and able to break through in the past. What an awesome force she would be to deal with clear-headed!

Hee. Mr. Muggles is win.

You're welcome! I hope you had a lovely birthday!

Edited at 2008-06-04 02:30 pm (UTC)
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
That was excellent. I liked how you fit the sad remnants of the windwipes in with the care Sandra's taking with his letter, it's a testament to how much Noah really could have trusted her with his secrets in the past.

Going to read the fic you've linked, as I love this pairing. Nice job!
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I completely agree, I wish he'd been able to trust her without resorting to destroying her mind. His guilt and her strength combined make for a fascinating relationship to me.

I hope you liked the other! She's awesome. ♥
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
I love that as well, to me it seems like they weren't particularly interesting (as a couple) until we found out about the mindwipes and saw her stick by him.

I did enjoy it! There's only a few Sandra/Noah fics I've seen, but fortunately most of them are well written.

A while back I made a fanvid about Sandra/Noah, if you're at all interested
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the spam, apparently I'm inept at linking: vid
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
That was really lovely! I like how most of it centered on the last episodes, where her strength of character really seemed to come out. :)
Jun. 4th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked it :)
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oooh! A Heroes fic? How cool! :D

And it's just awesome, too. (brain isn't functional enough for FDK that makes a lot of sense, this morning, but I'll be back when it's back in working order.)
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Yes! I do have about four others, all under the Heroes tag, if you, um, feel so inclined... :D

I'll look forward to your "more functional" FDK!
Jun. 7th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I read this again just now - it's even better than I remembered, which just shows how exhausted I actually was when I read it the first time. Oi.

I love how you portrayed Sandra, this is very much how I imagine her. Like she's in a prison in her own home and she puts on a show for everyone. And she's so very good at it, too, cause she's really not stupid at all, this woman. Excellent exploration into her daily routine.

And yay for Mr. Muggles. :D I love this dog!
Jun. 7th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

I truly believe she is just that strong. I hope that we'll see even more of her awesomeness now that the mindwipes are (hopefully) over. Noah would not fall in love with someone any less awesome than he is, after all.

Mr. Muggles = awesome, along with Claire. I think we officially have a family of awesome. (Lyle, though... ??) ;)
Jun. 5th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
Awww.. this was wonderful! So sad and bittersweet, yet so hopeful. I love the idea of the secret messages, that she'd have to skim them quickly and shred them to keep the company from figuring them out. Wow. Awesome symbolism, as well.

Jun. 5th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you!

When Noah left them at the end of S2, I just hoped he'd be able to keep in touch in some secret way. So here was my wish fulfillment. :)

The symbolism was extra fun to do. ♥
Jan. 3rd, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Incredibly late to the game here, but this is subtle and lovely. Excellent work.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Hey, I don't mind at all! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. :) These two were so awesome together. It makes me sad that they had so many problems. :(
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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