Title: Not So Much A Secret
Summary: Can a birthday wish be made for two? Future!fic
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Tim Kring et al.
Distribution: My LJ, my site, paire_love, heroes_fic. Anyone else - just ask.
Thanks to KallieRose for the beta and support.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing, especially new pairings.
Author's Note: This is my maiden voyage into the Heroes fandom, so please be kind.
Not So Much A Secret
Peter watched Claire from the doorway, waiting for her to finish saying good-bye to their friends. He was holding several bags full of unwrapped birthday presents, not minding being used as a packhorse. Not tonight at least. Not when they were celebrating Claire's 18th birthday.
Finally she was down to saying good-bye to Isaac, and Peter had to suppress a surge of jealousy when Isaac leaned over to whisper something in her ear and handed her one more wrapped gift, the size of one of his paintings. Claire giggled and blushed slightly as she gave him a parting hug and turned to join Peter.
"Thanks again, everyone," she called out as she ducked under Peter's arm and out the door.
Peter reached for the present Claire was carrying, but she pulled it out of his reach.
"What did Isaac say when he gave that to you?" he inquired.
Claire blushed, hugging the canvas to her body. "He told me that it was something special that he had painted a while ago, but thought that it was time to give it to me. Oh, and he said to wait until tomorrow to open it, for some reason." She shrugged.
Peter hailed a cab and they rode in silence back to their apartment.
Peter didn't even flinch at calling it 'their' apartment, not anymore; not for a long time now. It had been theirs ever since Claire had shown up on his doorstep six months ago, afraid to live with her father anymore, and turning to the one person she said she felt safe with, her hero.
They had barely known each other at the time. She was just some cheerleader he had to save in order to save the world, at first. But then she became his roommate, and his friend. She became Claire. She became his world.
But she had been seventeen, and it had been many years since he had been.
However, today she was eighteen and that invisible barrier that had been there for the past months was suddenly lifted. Glaring signs that shouted "jail bait" and "statutory rape" suddenly vanished, and the future looked a lot more hopeful. He didn't need one of Isaac's paintings to tell him that this dangerous situation was now past.
"Aren't you even curious about it?" he asked as she set the painting on the ground in front of her dresser, still wrapped in brown paper.
"Of course, but I've gotten pretty good at being patient," she answered, turning bright eyes on him.
Peter's breath caught at the meaningful look she was giving him. Her silent confirmation that this day, this birthday, meant as much to her as it did to him. He suddenly wondered if all of her casual flirting wasn't so casual. He prayed that it wasn't.
"Claire, I…" He took a hesitant step towards her, and then another, his hand lifting of its own volition to caress her cheek, but he stopped himself before making contact. When he was standing before her he couldn't keep himself from asking, "What have you been patient about?"
Her confident smile encouraged him more than her words. "The same thing that you have been," she said.
Her hand reached out to brush the hair out of his eyes, her fingers lingering on his cheek and slipping under his jaw. Gently, she encouraged his face towards her.
"Claire?" Peter asked, his voice desperate for clarification, needing to know that they were on the same page.
"You can kiss me now, Peter," Claire said, innocently. "I want you to. I know you want to kiss me too."
"You do?" he asked, in awe. He ran his fingers through her hair as he spoke. "I tried so hard not to want to. So hard. I thought that I had done a good job of hiding how I felt."
She grinned at his self-deprecating smile. "Peter, I think that everyone could tell how you felt. Well, I'm pretty sure that Matt knew, from the way he would look at us sometimes. Or should I say how he looked at you when we were together?" She giggled at Peter's blush, confirming less-than-innocent thoughts. "And I'm pretty sure that Isaac knew too."
Peter's eyes darted away from her face to the wrapped painting. "You think he saw this? Us? Together?"
"I certainly hope so." Claire laughed, her eyes sparking.
"Well, who am I to fight destiny?" Peter said, closing the remaining space between them.
"Not me," Claire agreed. "In fact, I'd say this is one destiny you should welcome with open arms."
"How about if I just wrap my arms around you?" he asked, internally groaning at how cheesy that must have sounded.
"Better yet; why don't you kiss the birthday girl?" Claire suggested.
Rather than answer, Peter dipped his head and brushed his lips against hers in the faintest of kisses before kissing her properly.
Claire whimpered into the kiss, relief at it finally happening after months of waiting and wanting. She pressed her body against his, encouraged by his arms wrapping around her tighter.
"Do you know what I wished for when I blew out the candle?" Claire panted when they finally parted for breath.
"If you tell me it won't come true," Peter cautioned.
"Wanna guess?" Mischief glinted in Claire's eyes as she rubbed her body against his.
Peter groaned. "Claire, you're killing me here."
"Nope, not what I wished for. Try again." She slipped her hands under his shirt and began to caress his back while her lips explored his neck.
Peter closed his eyes at the feeling of her small hands touching his bare flesh. He felt himself begin to harden and reluctantly pushed her away from his body.
Claire was pouting when he looked at her. "You're no fun," she told him, crossing her arms across her chest.
Peter's eyes were naturally drawn to her framed breasts before darting back up to her face. "You're not ready for that kind of fun," he told her.
"I'm eighteen," she protested.
"Just barely," he pointed out. "Claire, as much as I'd love to make love to you tonight, I don't want to rush anything."
"But you do, want to?" Claire eagerly confirmed.
"More than you know," Peter said, pulling her back into his arms, unable to keep his hands off of her.
"Then why can't we…?"
"Because I won't have your first time be something rushed or done just because you're of age," Peter said, hoping she wouldn't keep protesting and wear down his resolve.
"H-how did you know it would be my first time?" Claire asked, suddenly feeling every bit the teenager that she still was.
"I guess that I just assumed… From what you've told me about that football player… And you've never mentioned having had a lot of boyfriends…"
"No, you're right. You'll be my first," Claire confirmed. Her eyes willed him to agree that there would be a first time for them, that he wasn't turning her down forever.
Peter didn't miss the way she'd phrased it. "Just not tonight," he whispered.
Claire reluctantly nodded her head. "Will you stay with me tonight, though? We can sleep together, right?"
"I would love to fall asleep with you in my arms," Peter told her.
"Me too," Claire agreed.
In the morning, Peter woke to the feeling of a warm body pressed against his side and a head of blonde hair resting on his chest. A shaft of light that had snuck through the curtains shone on her hair, making it glow in the otherwise dim room. Unconsciously, he began to run his fingers through her hair.
He looked around the room and caught a glimpse of them in the mirror over the dresser. He gasped at what he saw in the reflection. Him and Claire, wrapped around each other. Looking like they belonged together.
Claire stirred at his gasp, rubbing her cheek against his chest as she came awake. She looked up and grinned when she realized that she had really slept in Peter's arms last night. And now he was looking down at her with such happiness in his eyes.
"Good morning," he whispered.
"Good morning," Claire said back, snuggling closer to him. "This feels good."
"The best," Peter agreed. "Just hold that thought."
Before she could respond, he jumped out of the bed and grabbed Isaac's present before resuming his place under the covers.
"I'm just dying to know," he said with a sheepish smile, handing it to her.
Giggling, Claire said, "Yeah, me too."
She quickly pulled the paper off, careful not to scratch the painting in the process.
Claire gasped at what she saw and rested back against Peter, unconsciously mimicking the painting. Peter wrapped an arm around her, smiling at what he had suspected he'd be seeing confirmed.
"It's us," Claire unnecessarily told him.
Laying the painting flat, Peter gestured towards the mirror, saying, "Look across the room."
Claire looked at the mirror and then quickly looked back to the painting. "I-it's the same."
Peter grinned. "It was meant to be."
"Told you so." Claire grinned smugly. "So do I get a good morning kiss?"
Rolling over Claire, Peter said, "This morning has been better than good, but you can still have a kiss."
Any retort Claire may have had was lost beneath his lips.
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Copyright© January 2007