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09 September 2007 @ 10:45 am
Heroes Fic: Ashes to Ashes  
Posted to heroes_fic

Title: Ashes to Ashes
Pairing/Characters: Peter
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: The graveyard dirt is hard beneath Peter's feet
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

The ground is hard beneath his feet, harder than Peter thinks it should be, harder than graveyard dirt should be at least.

It's been over six months since he stood here at the family plot, but he doubts the legions of people who showed up for his father's funeral - he can hardly call most of them friends - caused this. Valet polished five hundred dollar dress shoes in mourning black could not have so beaten the earth into submission.

He kicks at it, making a divot in the grass, a spray of soil dirtying his city scuffed shoes. A gentle breeze ruffles his hair and blows the dirt away as he stares down, lost in the mundane.

When he lifts his head, he's startled to find he's not alone. Crowds of mourners surround the plot, heads bowed in good manners more than grief.

The silence is thick and he wants to speak if only to hear proof of sound in this hollow shell of a world. He opens his mouth, but a gust of wind steals his words, blowing them away unwanted as if scolding him for breaking the solemn quiet.

On some unseen cue, they start to turn and walk away, his mother first, turning her back on both husband and son.

The limousine door opens for her. She does not pause nor look back. Sentiment has never been her way and in that, Peter is not his mother's son.

A strong breeze, laden with northern chill, flutters his lapels and rustles the leaves on a nearby tree. A sole casualty is blown loose and floats red and gold down to the mound of earth covering the fresh grave.

Peter drops to his knees, mindless of his suit pants and of propriety, and picks up the leaf between two fingers. He examines it with a scientific eye as if it were foreign, esoteric, heretofore undiscovered. The veins flow from the green stem out, disappearing under brilliant color and shriveling as they reach dried brown edges.

He can't seem to part with it. It is a message, he thinks, one he is not yet able to decipher.

He puts it in his pocket.

The earth on the grave is loose and loamy - just how he thinks graveyard dirt should be.

He takes a handful and lets it run through his fingers like water, dirty water, dirty secrets the family must keep hidden. He makes a fist with what remains and forms a small clod, hard and ugly. He throws it aside, but he can still see it laying there on the pristine grass, making him wish he'd thrown it harder, further, hid it so no one would ever see, ever know.

The earth is soft and dark, inviting. Peter shoves his hands in, revels in the sensation, fingers swimming in a sea of sand and clay and mulch and mystery.

He doesn't mean to dig, for there is no China here, no escape to foreign lands like in children's tales. There is nothing beneath the dirt he thinks. A coffin means nothing. There's no one inside, just a thing - a former thing, a former thing of flesh, anima, animus.

His father's grave is to his right, all ostentatiousness, complete with marble statue and Grecian urns - grey like his father was: in coloring, in his work as a lawyer, in his love.

The headstone before him is modest, sedate, taking its place in his shadow, all dark polished granite and softened edges.

Wrist deep in soil he pauses, his train of thought easily diverted in the numbness of his dazed mind. Nathan deserved better. His headstone should be grand and bright and shout his name and importance. Here lies Congressman Nathan Petrelli! Cut down before his time! Look up on me and weep!

He crawls on his grave stained hands and dirty knees to the headstone, curls up beside it, fingers reaching out to trace the last name with a darkened fingertip. An I... Two Ls... He works his way backwards until he hits P.

A frigid wind buffets him hard, invades his clothing, stealing his warmth until he's left frozen in place staring at the name on the headstone.


Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 9th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
This story is - in spirit - a sister to Till Human Voices Wake Us.


He breaks, he crumbles. Millions of angry souls push him to the ground and shatter his remains.

Earth to earth.

Ashes to ashes.

Dust to dust.

This fic was midwifed into being by the supportive hands of asemic.

Its godmother is the quietly inspiring melissima.

Thank you both for ushering new life into my world.


Emma DeMarais
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for giving my fic a chance.

This is my second one in this style and I'm finding that Heroes is well suited to it. I'm tempted to try another now...

BTW, I really like your username.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 9th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
Thank you.

/offers plate of cranberry orange scones/
pcdarkrosepcdarkrose on September 9th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
The melancholy is wonderfully expressed.

And because this deserves to be repeated The silence is thick and he wants to speak if only to hear proof of sound in this hollow shell of a world. He opens his mouth, but a gust of wind steals his words, blowing them away unwanted as if scolding him for breaking the solemn quiet.

So sorrowful.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words about my words.

I'm pleased you felt they bore repeating.
Meli Parker: brothersmeli_64 on September 9th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Absolutely brilliant. :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)
Why thank you. /bows/
shimmeree: petershimmeree on September 10th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
This was really a beautiful, beautiful story. I loved the descriptives.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
Thank you. That means a lot to me since my normal style is *not* descriptive and this is an effort to move more in that direction.
Tori Love: Guilt and Grieflostandalone22 on September 10th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
I love this story. The ending was really chilling.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you and apologies for missing this before.
Tangles: Peter3entangled_now on December 24th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)
I really love this, you have some beautiful imagery here which you can really see (or feel even) And Peter, you really can't help but feel for Peter in this, he feels utterly disconnected from everyone else and I love that. You've set the whole thing down perfectly.