Fic: Heroes/The Office: Start Over, Break Down (Claire/Hunter) PG-13
Title: Start Over, Break Down
Fandom: Heroes/The Office
Characters: Claire Bennet, Hunter. Mentions of others.
Summary: Claire moves to New York and meets someone who looks a little too familiar. Okay, it's not that cliche.
Word Count: 1633
Rating: PG-13 to be safe
Note: For hazyflights. I hope you like it! Nicolas D'Agosto plays West on Heroes and Hunter on The Office (he was Jan's assistant). Not beta'd. First actual crossover. Feedback appreciated. Enjoy!
It's three years after she's been involved in saving the world four times and it's getting tiring. At first she loved being part of something so spectacular, something she never really thought that she would get to do. After all, she was supposed to just be a cheerleader from a tiny town in Texas. It was funny to her sometimes how things can change from one moment to the next.
She moves to Pennsylvania when she's twenty three. She finds it relaxing and not all that different from Texas, just a little bigger and a little colder. Eventually she gets tired of living in a small town and decides to move to New York City.
She gets a job as a receptionist at a paper company (the irony is not lost on her) and takes classes at a small community college outside of the city. She likes being a normal girl from a small town living in the big city.
She dated other guys after West, at least while she was in Pennsylvania, but no one that she ever told about her ability. She still talks to Zach because it is nice to have someone that knows everything about you. Still, there's something missing and it's strange that she's still hung up over a guy she only knew for a few months.
She meets him on her second day of work while she's haphazardly trying to balance a yogurt cup on top of a paper tray in the cafeteria. Some of the yogurt flings out of the cup when she runs into the wall while trying to get a spoon. A hand flies in front of her face and grabs the yogurt before it falls and she looks up.
Her breath catches the moment he opens his mouth.
"Hi, I'm Hunter. You must be... Claire. Right?"
She nods and swallows thickly. She lets her eyes scan his face just to be sure. She's sure that her eyes are betraying her, but even after she blinks a few times, he's still there.
"Uhh, yes. I'm Claire."
"Well, welcome to Dunder Mifflin."
She nods and places her tray onto a table and reaches her hand out for the yogurt. "Thanks."
She takes the yogurt and sits down at the table and smiles at him while he's still standing.
"May I?" He gestures to the table and she nods.
"Sure." He sits.
"I just thought that I would be a good person to let you in on everything here at the company." She shudders inwardly at the name The Company, but lets her head nod yet again.
She sees him around five times a day when he comes to tell people that the person they're there to meet with is available. He usually stops by the desk and says a short hello before heading back to his office. He's busier than she is and is working when she leaves in the late afternoon, but there are those nights where she has to stay into the evening.
She looks up from her computer and smiles at him. He smiles back and tucks his tiny notebook into his briefcase.
"Amber called in sick so I offered to stay until someone else could come, but it looks like I'm going to be here until closing. Are you on your way out?"
"Yeah, I got off a little early tonight. I have a gig."
She raises an eyebrow. "A gig?"
He blushes slightly and nods. "Yes, a gig. Are you honestly telling me that I didn't scream 'Rock God' when you met me?"
She laughs lightly and shakes her head. "Not even a little."
"A year ago you would have been all over me. I swear."
"I'll take your word for it."
He looks at his watch and bites his lower lip. "I should get going. If you get off any time soon, we're playing at 8 down the street, on the corner, at that bar that just opened up. I think it's called Mister Ace."
"Are you sure that's not a strip club?"
"Hey, I have nothing to hide. If it is, the whole band may get up there."
She laughs for real this time and he presses his hands on to the desk. "I could call you if it's actually called something else. I wouldn't want you getting lost here in the middle of the night."
It's the first time in a year that a guy who seems decent has half asked for her number and, whether he looks like one of her ex-boyfriends or not, she decides that it would be acceptable for him to call her. "OK."
She gives him her number and after he leaves she goes back to answering the phone that only rings every thirty minutes. She shuts down the computer after all of the executives and assistants and leaves with the crowd.
She gets into a cab and settles into the seat after telling the driver where her apartment building is. Her phone vibrates in her coat pocket and she fishes it out.
Yes, it is called Mister Ace. No half-naked men, or women, on stage, though.
She smiles and starts to type a response without thinking.
"Excuse me. I need to go somewhere else." The driver groans and nods as she finishes her message.
Are you on?
The cab turns down a side street and she watches the toll turn over to $35.00.
We're up next.
She looks up from it and meets the driver's expectant eyes in the rear view mirror. "Mister Ace, please."
The driver looks back to the street and makes a quick turn and goes back the way they came. She settles back into the seat and looks back down at the screen of her phone before typing another response.
I'll be there soon.
The first time he kisses her Claire pulls away. Her hands are clinched on the front of his shirt and she moves them to his face before kissing him back. She's gotten used to looking at him and not automatically thinking of West.
The wind whips around them and he pulls her closer, not moving his lips from hers.
They've barely been dating for four months, but she finds herself falling for him quickly and she convinces herself that it's not that bad.
He asks about her family and it's hard for her to decide which one to tell him about. She could say that her grandmother died a few months before she moved to New York and that her father and uncle moved away, or she could say that her parents and brother are still in Texas. Instead she tells him that she's adopted and it's... complicated.
She giggles as his fingers trail down her side and swats at his hands.
"Stop! I'm trying to watch the movie."
She looks up at him and leans back. He kisses the top of her head and she moves her head to his chest and continues to watch the movie.
The couple on screen argue about secrets as the chorus to a horrible song from the eighties plays too loud in the background. She laughs despite the seriousness of the scene and shakes her head.
"This is a horrible movie, Hunter. Just terrible."
"What? This is an important part of their relationship. These secrets will make or break it. Are you telling me that the lyrics of the song, oh, and that dance beat, aren't convincing you of how serious this movie is?"
She leans forward and back up at him. "Yes. That is exactly what I'm saying."
He smiles and wraps an arm around her shoulders and pulls her back to his chest.
He shrugs. "Fair enough."
They watch the next twenty minutes of the movie in near silence, only ocassionally letting out laughs of humor or pure terror.
"So, do you have any secrets?"
Her heart thumps hard against her chest and she composes herself before shaking her head.
"I don't... think so."
"I don't believe that. Everyone has a secret. At least one."
"You're right. I'm adopted, but I've already told you that."
"I had an affair - a short one - with my old boss."
"With you boss?"
"She taught me a lot. About life. I would say that she taught me a lot about relationships, but she wouldn't be the best to follow. I probably shouldn't listen to her about life either, though..."
"Is that the worst you got?"
"I think that's my worst, yeah. Is that your worst?"
She laughs because she can't help herself. I won't be growing old with you. "Yeah." She turns back to the screen before he can see the sadness in her eyes.
It's Hunter's birthday when she wakes up to the sound of her phone vibrating on the bedside table. She rolls out from under his arm and reaches for the phone, sits up and opens it.
We need you.
She looks to Hunter and watches him sleep until the phone vibrates in her hand.
It's worse this time, Claire.
She looks at the sender's name once again and a breath she hadn't realized she was holding escapes her lips. Peter.
She gets out of bed and tosses the phone in her bag. She grabs some clothes and hurriedly puts them on and grabs her bag before padding quickly out of the room.
She stops in the living room and writes a short note on the pad of paper they leave next to the phone.
I'm sorry. I can't stay. Someone needs me and I have to help them.
Maybe one day I can explain everything, but it might be best this way. I love you.