Author: bigbadwolfeboro aka Tarot (me)
Disclaimer: I don’t own Heroes or any of the characters. Tim Kring created it and as far as I know NBC owns it. Natalie Chaidez is listed as the writer of “The Fix,” which is a jumping off point for this.
Spoilers: Season 1 all the way through Season 4, including the graphic novels. Starts with an intro in 2006 but the bulk is set during 1984
Characters: Primarily: Claude Rains and Charles Deveaux. Peter Petrelli is in the brief section from “The Fix” leading to this flashback, and there is a brief moment in that flashback with the mysterious Sylvia
Pairings: Claude/Sylvia (brief and nothing graphic)
Rating: PG13 as most kids might not get this and there’s’ some mild swearing.
Summary: Missing scene and flashback explaining how Claude wound up working for the Company in the first place
The Ex-Company Man
October 2006 Manhattan, NY- Central Park West
Peter had followed the invisible man, Claude to the roof of the Deveaux Building in search of answers. What he got was more cold shoulder.
“I told you not to follow me,” Claude said, annoyed. He didn’t look up. His attention was focused on the pigeons.
“I need help,” Peter began then said, taking the scene in, “You live up here?”
“You’re not a fast learner, eh, mate?” Claude said in reply, still focused on the birds. He was methodically opening the coop doors and giving each some seed to eat.
“I took care of a man who owned this building. His name was Charles Deveaux?” Peter persisted.
“Never ‘eard of ‘im.” Claude’s back was to Peter so Peter didn’t see the brief expression that was on Claude’s face. Oh he knew that name all right.
1984 London, UK.
A much younger Claude woke up in bed next to a beautiful young woman. His hair was longish and light brown, almost dark blond. He was clean shaven and 20. Hurriedly he got up and began dressing, quietly. The woman stirred a moment then settled back down, still asleep. Her hair was long, light brown with blond streaks. Claude finished dressing and getting his belongings. He grabbed a condom package off a nearby dresser. As he left the building he checked the package and found it empty. He frowned a moment and chucked it into the nearest bin, making a mental note to nick some more. As soon as he was out of the building he muttered to himself, “Bye, Sylvia.” Claude looked around at the empty street, then he went invisible.
Claude continued on, invisible, and nicking items along the way: a paper here, a wallet there. He got to the end of the street and went through the wallets. He took any cash or condoms he found and smiled to himself. The wallets and the rest of their contents he discarded in the nearest rubbish bin. The paper he kept on him. Carefully, he crossed the street and then paused to read the paper on the next corner. Claude scanned over the articles, not seeing much of interest. Then he found an article about a business convention being held in a nearby posh hotel. I could do with a stay in that place, Claude thought to himself. Probably be plenty of cash and food to be had as well. His next course of action decided, Claude set off for the hotel.
Sometime later, Claude had nicked himself a key to one of the suites, and was relaxing in the hot tub when he heard a noise across the hall. Out of habit, he went invisible. His door was still locked and bolted, no one was getting in without a battering ram. Claude got up out of the tub and grabbed a towel. To the casual observer, the towel was floating and moving in mid air but in reality, Claude was wrapping it around his invisible waist. The towel faded out of view once it was in place. That done, Claude went to the eyehole of his room door to watch.
“Yes, Mr. Deveaux, I think these quarters will be to your liking sir. I do hope you enjoy you stay with us and the conference as well,” the bellhop was saying.
Yes! thought Claude to himself. One of the business men staying so close would be handy.
“Thank you,” Mr. Deveaux responded.
American? Claude thought, noticing the accent. Wonder how much that bloke has on him. Bet it’s more than a few pounds. Claude was still behind the shut door and still invisible but he suddenly backed away from the eyehole. Mr. Deveaux appeared to be looking right at him. Impossible, Claude thought, shaking his invisible head as if to clear it. He dismissed the occurrence as a coincidence, then returned to the hot tub to relax and plan how he was going to rob his new neighbor.
Meanwhile in the hallway, an amused look crossed Charles Deveaux’s face as he turned his attention from the door of the other suite back to the bellhop.
“Will there be anything else sir?”
“No. This will do just fine. Thank you,” Charles replied and handed the bellhop a generous tip. Once his luggage was inside, Charles began exploring his own suite.
Sometime later, Claude emerged from his room, both dressed and invisible. Given what I read in the paper, that bloke should be at the conference now, Claude thought. Pulling out a lock pick, Claude set to work on the door lock. He had it open in seconds. Hope he left his wallet or sommat. Claude looked around the suite for any cash or anything else worth stealing.
“Invisibility, now that’s a good power to have.”
Claude was still invisible but he turned in shock anyway. Someone knew his secret. Bollocks! Claude swore mentally.
“Nice language you got there, son,” Charles said, bemused, stepping out from one of the far rooms of the suite.
Claude remained invisible but glared at Mr. Deveaux, fighting down the rising panic. Shite! He knows I’m here, now what?
“How about you go visible? I feel stupid talking to an empty room.”
Claude swallowed hard, considering. He hadn’t said anything aloud. He can read me thoughts, must be a telepath. Claude went visible.
“Yes, I’m a telepath and you’re the invisible man. Nice trick you got there.”
“Thanks,” Claude said awkwardly. “You gonna call the coppers?”
Charles paused, looking Claude over, considering. “Actually I’d rather offer you a job.”
Claude’s jaw dropped just about hitting the floor.
Charles laughed. “I can tell you're surprised but I can also tell, you’re not a bad guy, even though I also know that you came here to rob me.”
Claude was stunned speechless, but kept listening.
“I’m sure you’ve run across other like us, specials. As I’ said, I’m a telepath, you can go invisible, and I know a fella that can turn anything into gold. There’s another fella who can heal others by touching them. I’m part of a Company, and we could use a fella with your skills and your gift. Not everyone with a gift is so careful with it. Some are downright dangerous. Also, if the general population knew what we were capable of, they’d panic. Round us all up and put us in concentration camps.”
Claude nodded quietly. He was still stunned but he’d learned to think on his feet. Living on the streets for the past 4 years, he’d had to, just to survive, regardless of his gift. He could see how the masses would panic. Even in the old film from 1933, The Invisible Man, which had inspired Claude to steal the name of the lead actor, he’d seen people driven into a panic by just one invisible man, who was far more limited than Claude. Claude was fully aware how the general public would react to more than one special individual revealed in their midst, especially specials with no discretion or ones with dangerous gifts.
“So I’d be doin’ covert ops stuff? Breakin’ and enterin’? Observation? Spy stuff?” Claude asked.
Charles smiled. “You’d be a regular James Bond with invisibility,” Charles replied, reading Claude’s thoughts. Bond was another source of inspiration for Claude. “You’d not only have a good job, you’d be doing good.”
Claude paused. I’ve gotta be dreamin’.
“I assure you, you’re very much awake and my offer is very real.”
“I’m Charles Deveaux, but I figure you know that already. What’s your name?” Charles said extending his hand.
“Claude Rains.” Claude replied taking the hand he was offered.
“It may not be what was on me birth certificate but that’s the name I’ve been usin’ these past 4 years.”
“Welcome to the Company, Mr. Rains.”