Rick Sanchez C154 (bigbadwolfeboro) wrote,
Rick Sanchez C154
bigbadwolfeboro

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Crossing Paths part 5

Disclaimer: The only thing here that is mine is the character of Theodora “Thea” Frost (she’s named for my late dog, Teddy, who was a traditional empath and the poet Robert Frost.)  I don't get paid for this; I'm just a fan having fun.

Rating: PG 13 mostly due to language and most kids might freak at some of the subject matter (all except chapter 4 which is R-NC17 )


Characters: Claude, Thea, mentions of Peter and other characters

 

Pairings: Claude/Thea (aftermath of last chapter mentions of sexual situations)

Note:  I started this story line back in April after and have gone through 2-3 rewrites before settling on a direction.  This bit I worked out in early July.  As for how many chapters…time will tell, but at least I know where this is all going.

Spoilers: Heroes season one (all of it)

Part 1(Histories)    
Part 2(Recent events- where Claude went)    
Part 3(The Exploding man- it was on the news)   
Part 4( A distraction- warning this is a rather graphic chapter )

Crossing Paths 5 of?

 

A few days later

 

            “Thea, you’re adopted, yeah?”

            “Yeah. What about it?”

            “Any idea who your birth parents are?”

            “None.  All I know is that my birth dad was in the military, my birth mom wanted to be a teacher, I was born in Wolfeboro, and my heritage is Finnish and English.  Why?”

            “You mean to tell me in 33 years you aren’t curious about your origins?”

            “Curious, yes, but the records were sealed.”

            “There’s ways around that, you know.”

            “What, you saying you want to dig up my history, Claude?”

            “Why not?”  Claude shrugged. “Of course if you’d rather I didn’t…”

            “I don’t mind.  I always did want to know, but why this sudden interest in my background?”

            Claude’s expression was difficult for Thea to read.  “Actually I was curious about your origins back when we first met in 1994, even after I had told myself that you weren’t one of the special.  I did try doing some digging, but really didn’t get much accomplished.  Too many other projects, and then I was on the run.”

            “You’re bored.”  Thea was guessing, but looked ever so slightly worried.

            “No, I’m not.  Well, OK, maybe just a bit.  I feel like I should be doing something.”  What Claude didn’t say is that he also wanted some space and some time so he could sort his thoughts out about Thea.

            “I’m not gonna make you stay, Claude.  If you want to leave, you’re free to go at any time.  Just be careful and remember you’re welcome here anytime- and keep those keys I gave you, just in case I’m not in.”  Thea looked a bit sad but wasn’t pushing the point.

            “What about researching your background?”

            “If you really want to, I would appreciate that.  I’m curious to know if anyone of my ancestors recent or distant had any abilities.”

            “Right, then, I’ll be off.  I’ll let you know what I find out.  And I will be careful.”  Despite the fact the two had recently been quite intimate, Claude didn’t kiss Thea goodbye, but he did give her a smile as he left.  He found it interesting that Thea hadn’t pressed that point either.  Claude wasn’t regretting sleeping with the seer- he’d actually enjoyed that.  What was actually bothering him is that Claude feared he was getting too close to Thea.  He wanted time to think and the all too rural town of Wolfeboro provided a great place to do just that.

            Claude had been honest when he’d said he was curious about Thea’s biological background.  Between her clairvoyant talent and the fact that she had English heritage, for all Claude knew they could be related.  Claude had mixed feelings about that prospect.  He mused them over as he took stock of the quiet town.  On the one hand, if Thea was a relative, Claude would be reconnecting with family.  Primatech had negated all his other connections between work and his “death.”  On the other hand, if Thea was a relative, that would mean Claude would have to break things off, and he had mixed feelings about that, as well.  Thea was no Kate Moss, and certainly no beauty queen, though she wasn’t ugly either.  It didn’t hurt that she wasn’t bad in the sack either, although, that did complicate matters.

            Claude spent a week in Wolfeboro, and slept in empty cabins and vacant motel rooms.  He got Thea’s records at the end of the week.  Claude almost couldn’t do it.  He’d deliberately waited a week to try and get his “mind straight.”  He was torn about what to do and how he felt.  Claude would just decide that he would be OK with being related to Thea and then he’d change his mind and decide that he’d rather they weren’t related.

            When Claude finally did get the records, he was still torn, though, this time he didn’t know whether to be relieved or worried.  As it turned out, Thea wasn’t a relative of his at all.  Thea’s bio-dad was listed as a Lt. Thomas Smyth with the US Navy.  He was born in the US, but his parents were English immigrants.  Thea’s bio-mom was a Kirsten Ericsson, no relation to the phone manufacturer or a descendant of the Viking explorer.  Neither Kirsten nor Thomas had any abilities; Claude would have recognized the names.  The only name in the records Claude did recognize was that of Kirsten’s mother Aura Neeman.  Neeman, as Claude recalled, had had an unusual affinity with plants, a green thumb of sorts, which Claude had to smile at, as Thea had no skill with growing plants at all.

            The secret revealed, Claude wasn’t sure whether to be relived or worried.  No attachments, exactly what he’d warned Peter about and here Claude was getting attached.

            “I’m not a bloody ghost!”  Claude yelled out into the woods.  It was winter and now an early night so only owls and one lone wolf responded.  Deciding that he would just see what happened with Thea when he got back to Derry, Claude curled up on the cabin’s bed and went to sleep.  Early the next day, well before sunrise, Claude got up and hitched a ride back south on board a tractor trailer.  The sun still hadn’t risen when the truck stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Derry.  Claude got off there, and decided he’d walk to Thea’s.  He was still invisible and he still had the keys Thea had given him.  It was now about 5 am and although Thea wouldn’t be home from work for at least 2&1/2 hours, Claude noted that she already had “guests” waiting for her, guests that he knew all too well.  They were two men from Primatech: Jackson and Smithers.  The latter was a mousy book keeper, but a good shot with any kind of gun and the former could turn asphalt into quick sand.  The two men were not the ones the Company would send to recruit someone; these two would capture experts.  Claude got close enough to see that they didn’t have any gear that could track him and also to hear that they were in fact after Thea.

            “So, Smithers, you think I’m gonna need to redo the parking lot?”

            “No, Jackson.  I hear this nurse is slow.  She’ll probably be exhausted when she arrives and you know I can hit nearly anyone.”

            As the two men rambled on, Claude was formulating a plan of action.  Part of him wanted to run.  Clearly, they had no idea that he was here, and were just after Thea.  Granted Thea was clairvoyant, but her gift hadn’t been strong enough to warn her about her ex-boyfriend.  Claude still felt badly about the fact that he’d left Peter and then the empath had exploded, so Claude resolved that he would warn Thea.  Fortunately, Claude knew the route she took home 5 days a week, and if he couldn’t get to her work, he would meet her on the way home.

 

 

 

            Thea was having a bad night. Several patients were acting up and their meds were ineffective.  Elderberry Healthcare wasn’t a bad place to work, but it could be trying.  Thea had another week off coming and she needed it.  Between work stress and poor sleep since Claude had left, Thea had a bad migraine.  While a migraine made regular life difficult, it made it impossible for Thea to try and read her cards.  She had tried one reading two nights ago- she’d been worried about Claude, but had been rewarded with stabbing pain for her effort.  Thea had given up trying to read after that.  Her dreams had been uneventful and sadly Claude free as well.  The last intuitive flash Thea had gotten, was back when she’d warned Claude to leave the Wal-Mart, the same day she’d re-met him and offered to let him stay with her.  That was nearly two weeks ago.  About a week after that and Claude had gone to Wolfeboro.  Thea missed Claude terribly, but she tried to hide it. She didn’t expect Claude to change for her, and didn’t want him to.  If Claude stayed with her for any substantial amount of time, Thea wanted it to be because Claude wanted to, not because he felt he had to.  The one bright spot with Claude’s excursion was that if anyone could get sealed records it would be an invisible man, and Claude had 15 years experience at it.

 

 

 

Claude was in Windham by 7 am. He didn’t mind walking, but he still wished that he’d nicked a cell phone so he could call Thea and warn her about her uninvited guests.  Claude then reasoned with himself that it was likely that Primatech had tapped Thea’s work phone, so not only would a call from Claude be  likely to send Primatech to her work, it would also alert them that Claude was working with her.  He was her secret weapon, her ace in the hole, and if he was going to be of help to Thea, Claude needed to reach her before she got home.

 

 

 

Thea’s migraine had considerably worsened.  She was glad when she finished reporting off to the oncoming nurses and hoped she’d be able to drive home before she’d have to stop.  She had taken her migraine meds, but her neurologist had warned her that 10% of her migraines wouldn’t respond to meds and, unfortunately, this was one of those times.  Quietly Thea gathered up her belongings, went to her car, and left for home.

 

 

            Claude was just at the Windham Salem boarder when he spotted Thea’s car.  She was approaching the traffic light in front of the Wal-Mart she’d picked him up at nearly two weeks ago.  As the car got closer, Claude knew that something was wrong.  Standing where he was, Thea would surely see him, unless there was a problem, that is.  He waved at her, when she stopped at the light, but got no reaction.  Claude wondered if Thea was angry with him for some reason.  Uncharacteristically, Claude started jumping up and down but still got no reaction.  He raced back to a traffic light near the boarders of the two towns and quickly spotted its control box.  These he could rewire in his sleep, but at the moment, Claude would settle for getting Thea to stop for a red light.  He got the light to change before Thea’s car reached it.  Claude waved at her again, and noticed that, although Thea was looking in his direction, it was like she couldn’t see him.  Fearful that his trick with the light wouldn’t hold Thea much longer, Claude gave a quick look around and did something he hadn’t done in ages; he decloaked willingly.  Thea’s eyes went wide as Claude revealed himself, and the now visible invisible man wasted no time.  He ran to Thea’s car and got in the passenger seat.  He reckoned he’d work out later why Thea hadn’t been able to see him.

            “Thea, the Company’s at your place.  They’re after you.”

            Thea just quietly nodded then clutched at her head.

            “Are you all right?”

            “Migraine, bad one.”

            A migraine, Claude pondered it a moment then realized, that’s why she couldn’t see me!  “Do you want me to drive?”

            “Sure.”

            The light was still red and, being as it was Saturday, there was little traffic, so Thea and Claude had no trouble switching seats.  The light changed and Claude drove, back to Derry, but not back to Thea’s apartment.  Instead of taking Thea to a likely ambush, Claude went to a nearby shopping center.  Primatech wouldn’t risk causing a scene there.  Claude parked the car and got out.

            “Thea, whatever ‘appens, if I’m not back in ‘alf an ‘our, leave.  Don’t go ‘ome or anywhere they’re likely to trace you to.  Leave the state.  Go on holiday.”

            Thea looked sad and worried but nodded.

            Claude steeled himself and then recloaked as he walked back to Thea’s building.

            Claude what the hell are you doing?  Have you gone daft? Claude thought as he walked. No.  What was daft was trusting the bloody Company in the first place.  They’ve taken everything but my life.  Now I find someone who honestly gives a damn about me and I’ll be damned if I let them take her away too.  They got Bennet to betray me and probably Claire as well.  Peter is probably dead.  I am not gonna let them take Thea.  Maybe they know I’m not dead, but they don’t know I’m here and that is my advantage.

 

            “No one knows you’re alive except for some pigeons.”

 

            Peter’s words haunted Claude more than he cared to admit.  He was about to take a chance for the late Peter, the still living Thea, and all those he felt he’d failed in the past.  Claude was determined to balance the scales.  Claude was quite shocked to discover, upon arriving at the building, that Jackson and Smithers were leaving the building and preparing to drive away.  He was close enough to hear their conversation.

            “Looks like this one gets away.  A shame, Smithers, she could have been useful if her file is right.”

            “No kidding, Jackson, but finding that Walker kid will be far better than bagging a fortune teller.”

            As his two former colleagues sped off, Claude wasn’t sure whether to be relieved that he hadn’t had to reveal his presence, or scared that he’d been willing to.  Quietly and briskly, he walked back to Thea’s car.  The injured seer was sitting quietly with her eyes closed.  Her eyes opened as she heard footsteps approaching, but even when she was looking right at Claude, she still couldn’t see him.  Claude noticed that and decloaked again, after checking to make certain he wasn’t being watched.  He was rewarded with a smile from Thea.

            “It’s OK.  They left,” he said simply as he got back into the car.

            “More importantly, you’re OK.”

            “Yeah,” Claude replied a little awkwardly.  He was silent for the short drive back to Thea’s building.  Once there, Claude told Thea to wait in the car while he checked and disabled any “presents” that Primatech might have left.  He was right to worry, as Claude found not one but two hidden cameras, one in a main hall, the other inside Thea’s apartment.  The cameras were not equipped to perceive him, so disabling them was easy.  It looked like some policies hadn’t changed, which was bad for the Company but good for Claude and, by extension, Thea.  When Claude got back to Thea, she looked even worse.  He actually had to almost half carry her in.  He got her shoes off and helped her into bed.  He grabbed an ice pack and put it on Thea’s head, then Claude took a seat out in the common room and put the news on at a low volume.  He intended to keep watch, just in case Primatech came back to see what had gone wrong with their cameras.  Claude also reckoned that Thea wasn’t safe to be left alone right now, the Company’s interest in her notwithstanding.  Claude hadn’t realized how tired he was after his long trip until he dozed off.

 

 

Meanwhile, in the next room, Thea lapsed into a deep sleep and then into a dream.  Thea saw Claude in the dream and several people that she didn’t recognize.  Everyone was wandering around and looking for each other but not seeing.  The dream’s background kept changing.  One minute it was a sewer, the next a cityscape, the next open country, and almost none of it was familiar to Thea.  The last thing Thea saw was a young man in his 20’s with dark hair and dark eyes in tattered clothing.  He was also wandering around and looked confused.  Then Thea awoke and her migraine had grown considerably worse.  It was worse than the worst migraine she’d ever had prior to this one.  Thea couldn’t help but sob in pain.

 

 

 

            Claude heard Thea and awoke with a start.  Reflexively, he turned invisible and dashed into Thea’s room.  It took mere moments for Claude to assess Thea.  She still couldn’t see him, so Claude decloaked.  He could see the pain on her face and the nosebleed she had as well.  Claude grabbed a washcloth off a nearby shelf and handed it to Thea.  He glanced at the phone, debating whether to call an ambulance.

            “No ambulances,” Thea said weakly, guessing his thoughts.

            “Look, I’m no doctor, but it seems to me this isn’t just a migraine,” Claude replied, concern creeping into his voice and forgetting his usually detached policy.

            “Just get me a new icepack. Let me sleep.”

            “Tried that, luv, now you’re in more pain and your nose is bleedin’.”

            “Probably to do with the vision I got.”

            Claude’s eyes went wide.  “You’re trying to see in your condition?!?”

            “I wasn’t trying to do anything beyond sleep this migraine off.  Then I started dreaming.  I stopped trying to see two days ago.”

            “So what ‘appened then that made you stop?”

            “I was trying to read my cards and got nothing but pain.”

            “Did the migraine start before or after?”

            “Before, but it was mild.”

            “What was so important two days ago?”

            “I was worried about you.”
            “I’m fine, but you injuring yourself isn’t gonna help either of us.  Never mind about me.  Just stop trying to see.”

            “Like I said, I wasn’t trying to do anything but sleep.”

            His curiosity getting the better of him, Claude asked, “So what did you dream of?  What put you in this state?”

            “I saw people.  I saw you and a bunch of people I don’t know all over the place, wandering around.  The last thing I saw was this guy in his 20’s with dark hair and dark eyes in tattered clothing.  He looked lost and confused.”

            As Thea described the young man, Claude thought of Peter.  Was it even possible that Peter had survived, after all?  Claude wanted to know, but first he had to be certain Thea got proper rest.  “C’mon, Thea, out into the main room.  You can rest out there and if you start dreaming again, I’ll wake you,” Claude said, ushering her out of the bedroom.  What Claude didn’t add is that he’d been tempted to leave Thea where she was and join her himself, but nosebleed and migraine aside, Thea didn’t look like she was up for much of anything.

            Thea followed quietly, and Claude noted that her nosebleed had stopped, which was a good sign at the very least.  He assisted her into one of her two recliners and got her a fresh icepack.  Claude was just about to place the pack on Thea’s head when he noticed the news story.  Nathan Petrelli, the Congressman Elect, was addressing a crowd in New York.

           

            “Please, if anyone had seen or knows where my brother is call this number.” An 800 number flashed on the screen along with a recent photo of Peter.

           

“Thea, the man in your dream, is that him?”

            “Yes.  I’m positive.”

            Claude set the icepack on Thea’s head and sat down in the other recliner.  “Thea, do you know where he is?”

            “No. The dream was all scrambled.”

            Claude looked up, just as Thea was reaching for one of her many Tarot decks.  Gently but firmly, he took her wrist.  “You hurting yourself won’t help.”

            “But if he needs help,” Thea began.

            “Like I said, injuring yourself further won’t help.  I’ll find another way.”  Claude noted that Thea looked a bit hurt and, before he could stop himself added, “We’ll find another way.”

            “You mean that?”

            Claude nodded and wondered what he was getting himself into.  They didn’t discuss Peter or any more of Thea’s dream that night.  Claude told Thea about what he’d uncovered up in Wolfeboro about her birth family.  They both had a laugh over the fact that Thea’s maternal grandmother had a “green thumb” as a gift, whereas Thea was rubbish with plants.  When Thea dozed off, Claude tried to work out how best to proceed.   He wanted to go find Peter.  He was aware that Thea was now effectively powerless, and had no idea how long she would remain that way.  The draconian pragmatist in him told Claude to leave Thea behind, but he didn’t want to.  Granted, from a practical standpoint, Claude could plead that leaving Thea here, powerless would put him at risk as Primatech would easily capture her and learn of Claude and possibly Peter as well, whether Thea wanted to tell them or not.  He had yet to define exactly what Thea was to him and he wasn’t ready to see her gone from his life, yet.  Moreover, Claude knew Thea didn’t mind travel, and had previously expressed a desire to see New York.  Claude wondered if he dared ask Thea to join him and he wasn’t sure which he was more afraid of: what he’d do if she said “no” or what he’d do if she said “yes.”

 

Tags: claude rains, creative extrapolation, heroes, thea
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