Peter Petrelli (mimic_peter) wrote in 12monthsback,
Peter Petrelli

Date: December 23rd, 2005
Character(s): Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennet
Summary: It's Peter's birthday. He's not really that jazzed about it. (Yes, we went back in time just a little for this one. It's nothing to do with the time plot. Just us feeling bad for the poor bastard.)
Status: Complete.
Mostly private. If you have a good reason to be there, then ping.

Peter sighed, slipping his fingers through his hair, curling one of his legs up to his chest and wrapping his arm around his ankle to hold it there. It was about eight in the morning and he was curled up on the couch, the news on the lowest volume setting that still produced actual sound and a newspaper in his free hand. He'd been up since three, after dozing for a little while on the couch with Claire. Not really that much but enough to give him enough energy to pick her up and carry her back to the bedroom, tuck her in there, and then retreat back to his spot in the living room.

To stare at the TV and flip through Suresh's book until he become frustrated enough to shove it to the ground and go fetch a newspaper from the stand outside the apartment building.

It took him until the third section of the Times to realize what the date was. His birthday. His twenty-sixth birthday. And he had a sixteen year old asleep in his bed in the next room.

Nathan used to wake him up in the middle of the night when he was a kid and ruffle his hair while sneaking him a cupcake or something too sweet for a kid to be having when he was supposed to be sleeping. The tradition had changed as he'd gotten older, turning into waking Peter up by wrestling him to the ground on his sixteenth birthday. Nathan had started calling him in the middle of the night after he'd moved out.

Right now, Peter would be surprised if he got any call from Nathan today. The simple fact that he didn't get one at two in the morning told that he probably wasn't going to get one. Which was fine. If Nathan wanted to be mad at him, then he'd be mad right back.

Peter sighed to himself, dropping his chin to rest against his knee as he flipped the page in the newspaper and started to read about last minute Christmas shopping tips.

Tags: claire bennet, it's your birthday bitch, peter petrelli
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"Morning," Peter remarked, finishing off the latest tip that he was on before glancing up at her, all but forcing himself to give her a little bit of a smile. Not one of his best smile, it hardly reached his eyes but he had to be given props for trying. With his power and his dad and Nathan and the prospect of going to jail for harboring a minor, there wasn't a lot to smile about lately.

Claire was one of the things that deserved a smile and that was why he tried.

Peter folded the newspaper haphazardly and tossed it onto the coffee table, patting the spot on the couch next to him. They could sit on a couch next to each other. That was going slow.

"You sleep okay?"
"It snowed a couple inches," Peter said, watching her for a moment. She was acting a little weird... or he was more tired then he thought he was. It was probably the latter since you know, he hadn't slept for a full eight hours in a while.

"And I know how to shop for Christmas presents last minute," he added with a little bit of a shrug and another tiny smile, this one seeming to be a lot less forced. He couldn't remember if he'd told her when his birthday was but on the off chance that he hadn't... Peter wasn't going to bring it up. Turning twenty-six wasn't that amazing when he was dating someone who was already illegal.

"Do you want breakfast?"
Peter looked at her curiously. So he had mentioned it and she did remember it was his birthday. Or she'd gone snooping around in his wallet and had noticed the date listed on his driver's license. Either way, he wasn't expecting anything from her and it was more shock then anything that was causing the look on his face.

"You didn't have to..." Peter told her, reaching for the box. He fiddled with it for a moment, giving her another curious look before prying the top off of it, frowning in confusion a little bit when he looked inside. She gave him... pieces of paper... no wait. There was writing on the paper, their writing to be specific. All the little notes that they'd passed to each other, right down to the very first one.

God, she kept all of these? She either really liked him or was a stalker.

Peter laughed softly, unfolding a piece of paper to reveal a doodle of Superman in her handwriting. "Thank you," he said softly, switching his eyes to her. "It's not every day that I find out I have my own stalker," he teased.
Peter gave her a real smile this time, reaching out and slipping his arm around her shoulders, pulling her in for a haphazard hug that was too quick to be taken as loving or anything like that. He just hugged people after they gave him a present. It was the nice thing to do.

"I know you're not a stalker," he said. "I love it. I really do," he added, a little more seriously. He really did like the box. Thought it was a little unnecessary since he was more then happy to ignore this particular birthday but if she wanted to do something for it, then he'd let her because it made her happy.

"Really, Claire. Thank you."
"Well... you did draw Superman in your bio notes and then you labeled it with my name, so..." Peter shrugged lightly and gave her a little bit of a smirk. It was cute to a point but he really didn't feel like he deserved her hero worship. He'd done what anyone else would've done.

"You're a little bit of a dork," he concluded, merely arching an eyebrow at her when she snatched the piece of paper out of his hand. It was probably because he'd already read the scribble that he didn't protest it, just arched the eyebrow and smirked at her a little as he stood up, offering her to the box.

And protesting could mean that he had to talk about 'Claire Petrelli' and that was not a subject to bring up between them right now. Or ever, if Peter had his way. Certainly no talk of marriage on his birthday.

"Pick out all the ones you don't actually want me to read while I go make breakfast."
It'd taken him a few minutes of searching through cupboards and the fridge, but Peter finally decided to make something simple. Meaning eggs and toast because that was pretty much all that he had and the only two normal breakfast things that he could make without burning something. Probably because they were the two easiest things to make.

Peter was just buttering the last piece of toast when she wandered into the kitchen, showered and dressed.. and with straight hair. It took him a moment to actually realize what was different about her. He was so used to her curls that seeing her with straight hair threw him for a little bit of a loop.

"You look nice," he said, trying to smile at her and not look confused while he did it. Was she dressed up for him?
"Thanks," Peter said, switching the burner off and lifting the pan off the stove, using a fork to push half of the eggs onto one plate and then half onto the other. It struck him as a little odd, how... domestic they were being but if he didn't mention it, then it didn't really exist and yeah, that logic worked all the time. It went perfectly with his inability to confront an issue.

"This is one of the few things that I can cook without burning anything," he remarked, setting a piece of toast on each plate, right next to the pile of eggs. It was pretty quaint.. and a little scary. That he could make something without messing it up.

So Peter ignored it more. "Do you want orange juice, milk that might be bad... or water?"
"You're just saying that because you haven't seen me almost burn down a kitchen while trying to make a pancake," Peter retorted with a soft smile, leaning against the counter and reaching for his own plate. That had been an interesting day. At least the cook at his parents' house and Nathan had found him funny as a twelve year old chef. He realized then that cooking was just not his thing.

"I think I'll stick to take out," he said, after swallowing a bite of eggs. Peter popped another forkful into his mouth before setting the plate down on the counter, moving to grab a glass from the cupboard. The water tasted fine to him. She was just picky.

"Or... cereal," Peter added with a little laugh. "I can make a good bowl of cereal."
Peter watched her sit down at the table, thinking about going to join her for a moment, actually moving a little like he really was going to before changing his mind. The movement became more of a shifting his weight as he leaned against the counter thing then anything else.

"You can't make macaroni and cheese with bad milk," he replied, glancing over at the carton of milk that she'd left on the counter. If he remembered right, then it was only a day past the expiration date, so it was probably still good actually. Good enough to use a little bit in a batch of boxed cheesy noodles.

"And if I'm going out to get more milk, then I'm going to get calzones or something and save us both the trouble of cooking."
"It's fine," Peter said, shaking his head a little. He trusted her to be able to handle picking up more milk and probably dinner if he insisted on it at the same time that she was trying to find her supposed biological father. It was just the city that he didn't trust alone with her and he kind of... almost... wanted to leave the apartment. Just for a little while.

She'd nag him if he didn't, anyway.

"It'll be good for me to get out," he added, purely for her sake. Peter knew that she worried about him and that was about as necessary as the hero worship in his mind.

"We can.. find him together...?" he offered, shrugging a little.
Peter smiled back at her and shrugged a little. What else was he going to do? Sit around his apartment and stare at the Suresh book until it either gave him answers or he got frustrated enough to push it to the side. Conveniently enough, the book didn't have any magical answers about his power. It talked about Claire's and Nathan's and just about every one that he knew about it. But not his. Maybe Suresh didn't think about the possibility of a human sponge.

"I don't really want to make a big deal out of my birthday," Peter said, setting his plate down in the sink. He'd wash it off later when he had nothing to do but clean. Right now he was making an effort for her sake.

"I'll go shower and then we can go, okay?" he added, waiting for her to show that she'd heard him before moving out of the kitchen and down the hall to the bathroom.
Peter took his time with showering. Just because he wanted to see if she'd forget that it was his birthday and any ideas she had about making a big deal out of it if he took a really long time with his shower. It wasn't likely to happen, Claire rarely forgot a crazy idea once she got it in his head but it was worth a shot.

He pulled his clothes back on after he dried off, deciding that it wasn't worth it to dirty another outfit when he'd just put on his current ensemble of jeans and a plain grey long sleeve shirt a few hours ago. And he was pretty sure that Claire was in or around the bedroom and walking near or around her in just a towel would blur too many lines.

"You look even nicer then I remember," Peter commented as he wandered into the bedroom, running a towel over his hair. That was his way of telling her that he'd noticed her primping and that he didn't think it was necessary.
"Please don't hurt yourself," Peter requested softly, coming out of the bedroom with his shoes on already and his jacket slung over his shoulder. He'd put it on before they left the building. That was all that really mattered.

He eyed her sitting on the table for a few moments before smiling softly at her. "Or the furniture," he added, waiting for her to finish tying up her shoes. Peter was trying to seem normal for sake. Smiling and teasing and all that were perfectly normal for them before both Texas trips and he was attempting to recapture a little bit of that.
"I don't think it counts when you're the only threat to the furniture's safety," Peter retorted, the soft smile on his face turning more towards a smirk. That wasn't exactly true. The coffee table was in danger from just about all of his guy friends from nursing school when they came over and started drinking. They hadn't done that recently. That was mostly his fault.

Peter watched her for a long moment, wanting to offer her his hand because that was his first instinct. He loved her and she was living with him and he wanted to hold her hand every once in a while. It might've been possible to pull it off in the apartment but not on the street and he wasn't sure if hand holding was a part of the going slow idea or not.

"So... do you know where we're headed?"
Honestly, it would've solved a good number of his problems if her biological father handed her back over to her adoptive one. He wouldn't be in constant danger of going to jail. Nathan wouldn't be that mad at him any more. Actually that would be the only problems that Claire leaving would solve.

If she left, then he'd be without her and without a reason to make an effort at his life and without any human contact and those didn't seem like much, but they were pretty big things to Peter.

"We can just see where he lives," Peter offered, glancing over at her. "Bryant's not that much of a walk from here," he added, trying to helpful. He wasn't sure if it really was or not, but it was the thought that counted.

"Or we can just buy milk and whatever else you want to eat."
Peter gave her a soft smile and slowed down his walk a little, directing her around a corner instead of crossing the street. They'd kind of walked past the closest store to his apartment but thankfully New York had one on just about every corner.

"I wouldn't mind getting you for Christmas," he told her softly, knowing that it probably wasn't the best thing to say to her all things considering. But he had pretty much gotten her for Christmas and his birthday and while it complicated things, he liked having her there.

"But it's different. Daughters are a little more complicated," Peter added a little louder. And now he was going to change the subject.

"Can we still pick a couple calzones for lunch or something?"
"I know what you meant," Peter said, coming really close to reaching for her hand. If she did or said one more thing that pulled at his empathy and his nice guy instincts, then he probably would grab her hand. But he could hold himself back for the moment.

"I don't mind having you around either," he added. He didn't really consider it being stuck with her. It was just a complication that he needed to work through.

"Everything'll work out okay. I promise."
And that look would be what made him break past whatever barrier should've been holding him back. Peter sighed to himself and reached out, taking her hand in his. She needed to comforted and holding her hand was the only thing that he could think of that he could pretty much get away with in public. Being arrested on his birthday wasn't one of those things that he wanted to do.

"If you actually want to teach me how to make macaroni and cheese, we'll need a box of that," Peter said like there wasn't anything wrong. Hopefully she'd understand his little gesture without making him explain it.

"And whatever you want. You're the cook."
"I have butter," Peter protested. So maybe he wasn't the world's best grocery shopper or cook and he'd rather order something then cook something but he had more then she said he did.

"There was butter on the toast this morning," he pointed out. Though it'd probably be a good idea to get more since that supply had pretty much been exhausted on the toast.

Peter stopped walking for a few seconds, picking up a basket from a stack of them and offering it to her. "Don't get anything with peanuts and I'll eat whatever you decide to get."
"I'm kind of... allergic to peanuts," Peter told her and that was something of an understatement. The one time he'd had peanuts that he could remember, it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made by Angela herself ironically enough, and he'd ended up in the hospital with his stomach pumped and an IV in his arm. He'd learned pretty quick to stay away from anything with peanuts in it.

"So if you want me to die, then by all means, Claire, buy peanuts," he added, teasing her a little and squeezing her fingers lightly. She hadn't said anything about it, so he wasn't going to say anything about it. That was how things worked.

"Don't forget the cookie dough and the soda," Peter said, grinning a little bit.
Peter hadn't thought of the consequences of her power like that. Maybe he was completely over his allergy to peanuts now that he'd met her and absorbed her magical cure-all power. Maybe he wasn't. It wasn't something that he wanted to test out on his birthday. He didn't want to make a big deal of it... but he didn't want to die on it either.

"I never kid about cookie dough," Peter said, reaching out and grabbing a couple boxes of Hamburger Helper and tossing them into the basket. He could brown hamburger meat too but that was also because it was ridiculously easy.

"If you bake it though, I might have to kick you out."
"Don't be silly. Macadamia anything is expensive," Peter said, reaching out and grabbing a tube of oatmeal chocolate chip. It was his favorite kind of baked cookie. Kind of made sense that he liked the dough version of it the best too. "You can get another kind if that doesn't satisfy you," he added, trying to make sure that she didn't feel trapped by his decision.

He reached out a moment later and grabbed the first tub of butter that his fingers came into contact with. Then he tried to put it into the basket on her arm without her noticing. Obviously, it was a lot easier in theory then it was in practice.
Peter was pretty sure that she'd seen him putting the butter in the basket but she hadn't said anything and like when it came to holding her hand, he wasn't going to say anything about it if she wasn't. At least she wasn't the sort to throw it in his face that he'd kind of lied about having butter.

"We'll get both," he told her, reaching for the box for her and placing it and the cherry kind in the basket. That little basket seemed kind of full and she was tiny and that was what prompted his next statement.

"I can carry that if you want."
Peter eyed the soda for a few moments. It wasn't that he was object to it. There was nothing healthy about it which meant that he was pretty much guaranteed to like it. It just.. wasn't something that he would've assumed that she liked. Maybe if it was bright pink instead.

"I'm not saying a word," he said, holding up his free hand like he was surrendering. The hand lingered in the air for a few seconds before he reached out and grabbed a gallon of bottled water, just for her. Since she hated his water and water was one of those things that she needed to survive.

"If you tell me this tastes bad too, I don't even know what I'll do."
"Well too bad cause Evian's too expensive," Peter retorted, pulling out his wallet. If she even thought about paying, he'd slap her money out of her hand. She was technically the person staying with him and until she paid him for the rent and to be her boyfriend, it wasn't up to her to pay for the food. Even though he had next to no money himself.

Peter ignored the look that the cashier was giving them, squeezing Claire's hand tighter to reassurance. People could stare at them all they wanted. They weren't doing anything wrong technically. He held his nephews hands in public all the time. It was a little different since Claire wasn't related to him and about ten years older then his nephews and he'd... you know, slept with her. But whatever.

He reached for the heaviest bags, sparing her from having to carry them. "Come on," Peter said softly, tugging her away from the counter and the glaring woman.
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