: Prompt (not so AU): The social effects, for Claude, of being invisible for so long. Maybe the first time he has to spend a decent amount of time with someone after going a long while without?
You picked through the wallet sitting on the table’s edge quickly, pulling out a few twenties and sparing a look for the photo of the guy’s very unattractive kids. Some bloke behind you was shouting for his friend’s attention. He was getting louder and closer, and you figure that his friend ran in front of you somehow while you were busy with your ill-gotten gains.
“Hey- Hey! Stop!” The voice shouted, and you decided to move out of the way before its owner stampeded over you.
Instead, it’s owner grabbed you by the arm.
You stiffened instantly, whirling around in pure shock to stare down at the
absolutely ridiculous floppy haired lad currently hanging on to you like a life line.
“You can see me?” You forced out at him, still in shock.
“Of course I can see you-” He started to answer, when your shock burned away to be replaced by pure fear, fear and anger and you were shoving the bloke up against the light post by his throat before you knew what you were doing.
“Nobody sees me!”
But he had seen you. After so long getting comfortable in your own invisible corner, off from everyone else in the world, you had finally allowed yourself to forget that such a thing as untrained empaths existed.
“I can do what you can do!”
“Fantastic. One of those.” You spat back at him. You’d had enough empaths in your life. The very last you hadn’t minded seeing through your ability, but- No. No, you weren’t going to think that. He could possibly read minds.
“Don’t come looking for me.”
Peter fucking Petrelli, his name was (middle courtesy of you, thanks very much). Son of Angela and Arthur goddamned Petrelli, who he probably had no idea were like him. Every ounce of his being screamed hope and naïveté and you wanted to beat it out of him.
The life you had been living made you cold. Sapped your tolerance for optimism, for empathy and kindness. Peter was a thorn in your side.
Yet you stayed where he could find you.
You agreed to train him on your own terms. The stick was for your own benefit. You could fight him hand to hand, but you didn’t want to touch him. Didnt want to admit to yourself how you’d missed something as basic as touch, simple human contact.
You hit him with a stick because you were afraid that you wouldn’t want to hit him without one. Didnt want to admit that you were impressed by how desperately he wanted to do something good.
That he was a better man than you would ever be, this floppy haired kid that had pulled you off the street because he bloody dreamed about you.
You almost hated yourself for it. Hated how you were getting used to him. How you almost looked forward to each passing day, because you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would be back.
You hated the routine. But there was no way in hell that you were going to break it. Petrelli was almost tolerable, and that in itself was horrifying.
Hell, he was almost your friend.
Were you so starved for company that you would accept the first idiot in years that could see you?