Rating: PG-13/R (?)
Characters: Luke Campbell, Mary Campbell, Jeremy Greer, mentions of Sylar
Spoilers: Trust and Blood/Building 26/Exposed (s3), Tabula Rasa/Strange Attractors (s4)
Warnings: Slight AU, swearing, mentions of: violent thoughts, child abuse, bullying, and general mischief. Nothing too explicit.
Disclaimer: If Heroes was mine, it would still be on TV. So, clearly, it is not.
Summary: Once he's returned, Luke's home life leaves much to be desired; the thought that a new friend could fix this sounds downright stupid to him, but he can't know until he tries...
Author's Note: This'un was quite interesting to do...looots of editing, and I still don't know how I feel about it. But I'm not about to keep tinkering and driving myself nuts, so here ya go. Sorry if it sucks? </3
Two things came to mind when Luke found himself in front of the mirror in the boy's bathroom just before lunch.
One: that light, squirmy feeling he'd had earlier had grown hair and fangs, finally transforming into a puke-your-guts-out kinda thing - complete with pale skin and clammy hands.
Two: the cut on his lip, and the bruise around his eye that extended down his left cheek, were both completely and utterly gone.
Luke had absolutely no idea which he was more confused about.
Luke sat down at what had become his usual corner, tray full of unwanted food. He prodded it around with his fork, trying to make his mush into Devil's Tower. Just for the hell of it.
As his hands went about their meaningless task his mind raced. Ever since he could remember he'd never possessed any freakish healing abilities - so what was going on? Had his ability taken a completely unexpected turn, and transformed into healing somehow? He'd be the first to admit that he was no expert on the whole 'powers' thing, but it sounded far-fetched even to him.
A quick test was in order. He reached out and snatched the bottle of orange juice from his tray, twisted off the top and tossed it onto the table. With a slight squeeze he could feel the heat sliding down his arm, radiating from within. When it reached the release of his palm, boiling and bubbling the contents of the bottle, the point was just about lost. He could only sigh regretfully, peering into his orange juice as he lamented the fact he couldn't reverse the effects.
"Hey," a voice suddenly started behind him, and Luke was sure he nearly spilled his ruined drink all over himself.
It didn't take him long to realize who it was. It took significantly longer, however, for him to collect himself enough to even look over - never mind trying to think of some lame excuse to run off.
Stupid fucking teenage hormones.
"Hey," Luke answered, finally unhanding his drink in favor of a napkin. Despite his best efforts, his juice was quite set on at least spilling onto his hand.
Jeremy set his tray down next to Luke's, eyes going to the spilled drink. "Sorry...I wasn't trying to sneak up."
"Forget it, my fault," Luke quickly brushed it off. Jeremy tossed him an apologetic look before he turned to his food.
Luke did not find it comforting that he still hadn't managed to figure the other teen out.
He could understand Jeremy sitting with him in class, sure - Mrs. Dowley had all but thrown him at Luke. But choosing of his own free will to sit with the loser kid especially when at least a few of the 'popular' girls had made eyes at him? That shit was too weird.
Luke cocked his head, eying Jeremy as he tested his slop. The face he made was pretty priceless.
"You realize you're committing social suicide just by being within five feet of me, right?" The question was honest enough; maybe at Jeremy's old school, he didn't have to jump through all the bullshit hoops of cliques and bullies and what the fuck else.
The other teen gave him a strange look, something like confusion. A darkly intense air seemed to surround him at once, his eyes darting over to the table where the pretty girls had congregated. A few looked on incredulously, wordlessly saying that even a new kid was above Luke's status.
Jeremy's eyes remained fixed on them as he scooted closer to Luke.
"I know," he finally answered, going back to eating as if nothing had happened.
Luke was fairly certain he was going to be sick.
"You don't make any fucking sense," he said under his breath, body hunching over his tray once he felt the girls' gaze briefly shift to him.
Jeremy looked over at the comment, but said nothing to it. "How'd you get the rep?"
Luke blinked at the bluntness of the question, but let himself mull it over, playing back several memories - one in particular stood out, and he had to snort when it came to mind.
"I set a girl's backpack on fire," Luke's eyes casually flicked over to Jeremy to gauge his reaction.
"Did she deserve it?" He asked, brow arched and smile barely concealed. Luke let himself smirk at that.
"Well, she was spreading shit about me, so..." he trailed off with a shrug. It was the truth, but it wasn't all of it; it was around when he'd first started school after the move. Ever since his little road trip, his power had been all out of whack - going off at the slightest provocation, and even sometimes for no good reason at all. It was like when his power first manifested all over again.
She just had really, really bad timing when she and her group of friends approached him that day for a little taunting.
Luke blinked away the memory, and found Jeremy smiling over at him. He returned it without a thought.
"Could be worse," Jeremy said easily, though his eyes spoke of darker experiences and memories.
Luke's smile darkened as he was sure his own eyes reflected the look in the other teen's.
When Luke finally arrived home, hand curled protectively around the phone number scrawled upon it, his Mother was there waiting - arms crossed and gaze hard. He knew he was late, but he didn't know he was that late.
"Hey," he said casually, pretending he hadn't just frozen in the doorway at the sight of her. He took off his backpack and tossed it onto the couch, though her pointed silence hadn't slipped past him.
"Like it's the first time I've been late," he added once the silence had become too much. He mimicked her stance, jaw tense as a phantom flash of pain coursed through it. Thoughts of the previous night were threatening to break through his mental barriers, but he would not let her see. "I met a guy."
She took the time to toss her head back and really laugh.
"Let me guess. You're going to tell me you ran off and blew him in the bushes for a twenty. Right?"
I wish. He snorted, but had to feel a little offended - he liked to think he was more creative than that.
"No. I let him fuck me in the Wal-Mart bathroom for a ride home and half a pack of gum," he replied, brows gathering with disinterest. "You give me too much credit."
He wondered briefly what she'd think if she knew he was still a virgin.
"I wouldn't be surprised," was her only reply. He knew it was supposed to sting, and maybe it did a little on some level, but all he could do was smirk.
"Well, you know how I live to make you proud."
A moment of silence stretched on, in which he almost thought he'd won. Almost.
"You're just like him, you know."
All expression and blood drained from his face at the words - he didn't even realize he'd stumbled back until he bumped into a chair.
Now that...that one did sting.
He made sure to slam his bedroom door as loudly as possible.