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Understanding

Title: Understanding
Author: jaune_chat
Fandom: Heroes
Characters/Pairings: Angela Petrelli, The Haitian (René)
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 636
Spoilers: pre-series, vague S3 spoilers
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: Heroes belongs to Tim Kring, NBC, et al.
A/N: Written for tvnetwork2_las for the prompt “[character] dreams of [character].”
Summary: Angela had forgotten what it was to dream without worry.



Angela had forgotten what it was to dream without worry. Without fear. Without wondering at meanings of places and objects and words. Without searching the faces of people in the crowd, knowing she would eventually meet the eyes of someone she had already seen before, when she was sleeping. Without knowing what was coming, whether small or large, whether a world-shaping event or an old friend showing up to surprise her.

It gave her a poise that disconcerted some people. They chalked it up to her experience, to her connections, that she gave such an impression of power to everyone she met.

When she was fourteen, she would have done anything to make it stop, just for one day.

By the time she was fifty, she had come to depend on it. Sleep was not a time to rest, but a time to plan for the future revealed to her dreaming mind.

The fact that she woke up in a cold sweat four times a week was something she’d learned to live with.

Until the night she dreamed of René. He’d been brought up from Haiti the following week, as an asset to the Company, his ability to erase memories and suppress abilities a useful addition to the Company’s goal of keeping those with special powers out of the public eye.

That was what Angela had told her employees when she’d sent them to bring the mute, orphaned boy to the United States. But he was more than that to her. She didn’t know his future yet. And she never wanted to know.

The first night he slept at one of the Company buildings, Angela had a cot wheeled in and slept right outside his door. She’d said she simply wanted to be on hand, in case something happened to him, and her employees were too afraid of her to press further.

That night, she’d had her first real, honest dream since she’d been a teenager. There were green fields and sunshine, and Angela had been running through them, trying to find Alice. Then the sunlight grew brighter, bleaching the grass until it had turned into sand, which tried to pull at Angela’s shoes. Hot wind whipped around her, whispers filling her ears, the wind speaking in Alice’s voice, her sister’s words almost being understandable. Angela waded through the sand, growing deeper and deeper until she was pushing through waist-deep dunes, until René appeared.

He squatted on the dune above her, and gave her a curious glance. He reached down a helping hand to her, and Angela reached up, as the wind whipped around them in a crescendo, driving the sand to scour them both from the face of the desert, but there was no pain, no pain at all…

Angela woke up, her pillow damp with tears. The dream had been muddled and strange and vivid, and unbelievably… real. There was no sense of urgency, no immediate sense of foreboding, that her prophetic dreams always left her with. Just her mind, trying to deal with her life in its own way.

The door opened, and René stood in the doorway, his solemn, dark eyes fixed on her as she freed herself from the twisted blankets on her cot. Angela crossed to him, knelt, and hugged him hard, something that would have shocked anyone who knew her here. Young René let her all but squeeze the breath out of him, and when she finally let go, he put a hand on her shoulder, and nodded at her in understanding.

“Will you help me?” she asked him softly. “When I need you?”

He held out his hand to her, and Angela reached to take it. René clasped it firmly, as if he would never let go, a promise for the future Angela needed no dream to know.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
bellonablack
Mar. 29th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I love that you showed this side of Angela. It would shock me, but I can still see that she was a young girl afraid once. (and still, with all that burden, shaken, her power isn't an easy one)...

Love this moment. Love it.
jaune_chat
Mar. 30th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
That picture of the vulnerable Angela Shaw in "1961" really gave her a whole new dimension, and I really liked putting some of that on the page. I'm so glad you liked it!
game_byrd
Mar. 29th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
Rene's ability is truly incredible, especially with the subtlety it has. I had never thought about how useful he might be to her. Thank you for writing and sharing such an idea!
jaune_chat
Mar. 30th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
Rene is the silent partner of Heroes, in more ways than one. I'm very pleased you enjoyed it!
amles80
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 Ohhh yes, how lovely!


That night, she’d had her first real, honest dream since she’d been a teenager.
Ah, of course he would have this effect on her, it's wonderful that you thought of this (I never did!). Beautiful fic, I love it.
jaune_chat
Mar. 30th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
Great icon! It's a little disturbing to think of something as healing as sleep becoming just as stressful if not more so than being awake, every night, night after night. It explains so much of Angela. I'm very glad you liked this story!
angary
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
I love this. You really gave a genuine feel for that unguarded, more vulnerable side of Ma Petrelli, and I've always been interested in René's loyalty to her. Also, the dream sequence really did seem dream-like and ethereal.

This is now part of my personal canon. Fantastic job on this!
jaune_chat
Apr. 3rd, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
She does have these great moment of vulnerability, and it's amazing to see how hard she holds onto her strength, and what that has cost her. And Rene is a great characters, full stop. I'm so very glad you liked it! :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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