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Joy to be Claimed, Chapter Six

Author: wild_force71
Fic Title: Joy to be Claimed
Rating: 15
Fandoms: JF/Heroes/SG1/SGA

“This is not a good idea!” Nathan called.

“It’s the only idea we have!” Peter yelled back.

“That doesn’t make it a good one!”

“Yes, we all remember how well my road trip worked out, don’t we?” Mohinder agreed.

Peter walked past his desk, taking the list out of his hand. “We’re not dragging Sylar around with us.”

“That’s not fair,” Nathan reminded him.

Peter waved it off, studying the list. “Where d’you want to start, Nathan?”

“By thinking this over very carefully for several days. We have no proof Sylar is going after any of these people, we can’t just walk up to them and say ‘Hey, a serial killer may be coming to…”

Peter clapped a hand on his shoulder.

“…freeze you and ki…where are we?”

“California,” Peter said cheerfully. “Specifically, Ocean Bluff.”

“And we’re in California because…”

“Because there’s a blood donor here who has both gene sequences, and we have to start somewhere.”

“No, Peter.” Nathan rubbed at the bridge of his nose. “We don’t have to start anywhere, we can just…”

“Um…we’re closed.”

They turned to see a young woman standing in a doorway. Nathan looked around for the first time; they were standing in the courtyard of what looked like a restaurant…a closed restaurant.

“We’re looking for Robert James,” Peter said politely.

The woman hesitated, glancing over her shoulder before turning back to them. “He’s not here right now.”

Peter took half a step back, and Nathan asked quickly, “Are you sure? It’s important.”

“I’m sorry.” She even looked sorry. “I don’t know when he’ll be back.”

“Fran, what’s going on?” A teenaged boy wearing a red hat came to join her at the door, eyes widening when he saw them. “Is something wrong?” he added, the words clearly aimed at her though he didn’t look away from the two men.

“They’re looking for RJ,” Fran explained. The boy tensed, and she added quickly, “But I told them he’s not here and we don’t know when he’ll be back, because we don’t.”

“Right,” he agreed.

“RJ’s upstairs,” Peter told Nathan, not bothering to keep his voice down.

The boy tensed again; another girl and boy joined him in the doorway, easing Fran back behind them.

“We’re not looking for trouble,” Nathan said quickly, raising his hands. “And if RJ’s not here, we’ll go away. But we came because he think he might be in trouble.”

The four looked at each other, frowning and raising eyebrows. Peter’s gaze was flicking from one to another, tracing the silent communications.

“What kind of trouble?” the second girl asked after a moment, looking back at them.

“The kind of trouble that’s hard to explain,” Peter said intently. “Maybe he’s able to do things he couldn’t before? Or…” He trailed off, studying the boy in the red hat. “A wolf?”

“Ok.” The boy immediately backed up, forcing the others with him. “This conversation is over.”

“We can help him!” Peter said urgently. The girl looked like she was trying to listen, but the two boys disagreed and were trying to lock the door. “Please, just…listen to us.”

“You listen,” the boy said, letting go of the door to face off against Peter. Nathan was quietly impressed; Peter’s height made him look deceptively lanky, but he was solid. The boy was looking up at him without any trace of doubt or fear. “Leave RJ alone. Or you’ll be sorry.”

“Pete, stop,” Nathan said firmly, catching his arm. “Sorry,” he added, addressing the girl in yellow. “We didn’t mean to disturb you. We’re leaving now. But look.” He held up a card, placing it carefully on the table beside them. “When RJ gets back, he might want to call us, ok?”

“I’ll pass the message on,” she agreed, watching as Nathan ushered Peter out of the courtyard.

“Nathan, what are…”

“Either keep walking, or take us back to New York, Peter.”

“He’s there,” Peter insisted. “And he’s…there’s something wrong, but I couldn’t sort out what.”

“You’re not going to find out by making them angry. And no teleporting there, or going invisible and walking through their wall, or…” he thought quickly. “Frying their electrics. Got it?”

Peter studied him for a moment before laughing. “You never let me have any fun,” he accused lightly.

“Someone’s got to be the grown up in this relationship. Can we please go back to New York?”

Peter nodded, still laughing, and touched his shoulder.

“No unexpected results,” Carson said, dropping a folder onto Elizabeth’s desk. “I tested all the artificial holders as well, just to be sure, but everyone’s clean. No Meta mutation anywhere. Our lone Meta is still alone.”

“That’s fine. Thank you, Carson.”

“More or less what you were expecting?” John asked, watching her flick through the file.

Elizabeth lifted her head, watching through the door as Carson exchanged a quiet word with Zelenka before leaving Control. “More or less, yes. John…”

“Meta mutation’s a secret, can’t tell anyone, yeah yeah yeah.” He leaned forward. “Population this small, Elizabeth, if anyone did manifest we’d know about it pretty quickly. We’re just lucky he’s not manifested, or not done it out loud.”

“You know they’re considering bringing it out into the open?” she said reflectively. “They wouldn’t force anyone to confess, of course, but they’re trying to lessen the stigma attached.”

“Won’t work,” John said quietly. “It’ll tear the country apart.”

“Yes, that’s what’s holding them back. That, and the fear of revealing the private companies currently charged with keeping the Meta population under control.”

John laughed softly. “I can see why that would hold them back. What would you have done if another of us were Meta?”

“I don’t know,” Elizabeth said reflectively. “You wouldn’t manifest, anyway, so maybe nothing.”

“They figured all that out from Joe Spencer? Poor guy.”

Elizabeth smiled faintly. “They still haven’t released your teams.”

John thumped the desk lightly. “Darn. Just not having any luck today.”

“Can you go find Rodney and make him report? He’s not answering his radio.”

“Yeah. I’ll let you know.”

“Well, that worked out well,” Nathan said, loosening his tie.

“No luck?” Mohinder asked mildly.

“He was there. But they weren’t talking. Something went wrong, he’s manifesting out of control.” Peter sighed, staring at the paintings.

“Do you think he’s dangerous?”

“He thinks he is. They think they can help him…it’s all mixed up, but they’re not nearly as surprised as they should be.”

“If he’s only manifesting now…”

“Yeah. There’s something funny about them.” Peter was still studying the painting of Mohinder in the lab.

“They might have been more willing to talk if you hadn't scared them,” Nathan pointed out.

“No. They weren’t going to talk to us anyway…they were hoping for someone else.” Peter frowned, tilting his head. “Nathan?”


“Is there someone else in this painting?”

Nathan frowned, coming to join him. Peter gestured to a shadowed corner, behind Mohinder.

“Maybe,” Nathan said after a minute. “It’s hard to tell.”

Mohinder joined them, squinting at the shape. “It could be,” he agreed finally. “It’s difficult to tell, the shadows are so deep.”

“Could you draw it any clearer?” Nathan asked.

“I don’t know. I didn’t try to draw that one.” He glanced around, shaking his head. “I’ll try, I guess.”

“He might have been able to help,” Lily was protesting as they came into the loft.

“No,” Theo said firmly. “This is a Pai Zhua problem. We’ll fix it.”

“It’s not a Pai Zhua problem,” RJ said without looking up. “Hey, Frannie.”

“Hey, RJ.” She came to hug him without hesitation; Dominic watched carefully, but the wolf didn’t react. “You Ok?”

“I’ve had better days,” he admitted.

“So I see,” she agreed, touching the back of his hand lightly. The purple mark was spreading up from his wrist. “Dom, can I have the first aid kit?”

“We’ve already put stuff on it.” RJ twisted gently out of her grip, taking a couple of steps back.

Casey touched Fran’s shoulder, urging her gently back. “Touch is bad,” he explained. “Makes the wolf surge. That’s what happened to Dom.”

“Oh!” Fran grimaced, seeing Dominic’s eye clearly for the first time.

“It’s fine,” he told her. “What were you guys talking about?”

“Two men came to the door,” Theo said from the base of the steps. “They wanted to talk to RJ because he might be in trouble.”

Dominic frowned. “Have you guys told anyone?”

Lily raised her hand. “I told Fran.”

“Apart from that.” Dominic gestured that away.


Fran shook her head when Dominic looked at her. “I didn’t tell anyone. Except you.”

“One of them said something about a wolf,” Casey said slowly.

“Pai Zhua?” Dominic asked.

“I didn’t recognise them. And they’d have identified themselves, surely? Everyone in the order knows RJ.”

“All the Masters know RJ,” Theo corrected him.

“They weren’t students,” Lily said. She held up a card; RJ made no move to take it, and she set it carefully down on the TV. “The other one left a number. In case you want to call.”

Dominic crossed to pick up the card, flicking it idly. “Geneticist. Why would a geneticist want to talk to you? This isn’t a genetics problem.”

“My sparkling wit and conversation skills?” RJ suggested.

“That must be it,” Dominic agreed.

“Is anyone else hungry?” Lily said abruptly. “Fran, think you remember how to make a pizza?”

“Sure,” Fran agreed, letting Lily urge her towards the stairs. “Dom, you want to help?”

“Maybe later. You know what I like.”

Fran giggled, following Lily down into the kitchen.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
This is getting really good :) I especially love the first ranger sequence - the characterization is brilliant. Looking forward to seeing more soon :)
Mar. 5th, 2009 09:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad they seem right; I was only halfway through waching the season when I wrote this, so Dom, expecially, I was worried about. More tomorrow!
Apr. 7th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
Someone’s got to be the grown up in this relationship.

Lovely line. Poor RJ. Hope he figures it out soon.
Apr. 7th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
I was really happy with that line because Peter and Nathan used to be like that, they used to be comfortable and joke around. They're not so much any more, too much drama-rama on the show, but I wanted to get a touch of that back.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )