It's Hard Watching You Bleed

BY : Discreet Kitty
Category: G through L > Heroes
Dragon prints: 587
Disclaimer: I do not own Heroes, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Sandra held the sticky handle under the faucet, grimacing as she watched the hot water wash the red liquid off the dull blade. She released the knife from her hand; the cooking utensil fell into the sink with a loud thump. She closed her eyes, praying that all of the blood had gone down the drain. She took a deep breath, telling herself that she needed to get used to seeing bloody objects around the house. This was her life now and the only thing she could do was cope. She held on to the edge of the sink when she opened her eyes, half-expecting to see a certain bouncy blonde. The only thing she saw was Claire's dry blood on her hands. The mother of two immediately gasped and placed her hands under the running water. She must have gotten the blood on her when she picked up the knife handle. That would explain the reason it was so sticky. Maybe she had blood on her for a different reason. Perhaps the Haitian was messing with her mind. Sandra shook her head when she realized that Noah wouldn't do that to her again.

"This needs to stop happening," Sandra said to herself as she scrubbed the blood off her hands.

How many times was she going to have to watch Claire hurt herself? Yesterday, she walked in on her "experimenting" with her power by cutting off her arm with a chainsaw. The other day she cut a part of her face off to remove an acne scar. Last week, she was proving to Lyle that she couldn't feel pain by placing her finger over a flame from a cigarette lighter. Today ... Sandra didn't want to know what Claire used to knife for. The only thing Sandra knew was that her seventeen-year-old daughter liked to hurt herself. As a mother, Sandra just could not allow her daughter to cut or burn herself anymore.

Sandra turned off the faucet as she thought about how to address this issue with Claire. She knew her daughter would become upset and say that she was misunderstood. The elder blonde just wanted her daughter to know that she could love her powers and use them to her advantage without purposely injuring herself all the time. Powers was supposed to make life easier and allow her to do things others can't. Yes, Sandra knew that Claire was just embracing her powers but there was no reason why she had to keep hurting herself. Afterall, Claire's power was to heal herself, not to hurt herself.

She thought that Claire would have stopped with all the self-injury after she stopped feeling pain. Instead, she seemed motivated to keep putting her powers to the test. What was there to test? She already found out she could survive gunshots, falls off tall buildings and car accidents. She knew that her blood could be used to heal people. She knew she wasn't going to get any new abilities. What was the point of retesting what she already knew?

Sandra was trying to be very supportive. She gave Claire as much time as she needed to play around with her abilities. Noah insisted that Sandra shouldn't discourage Claire from using her powers. Maybe it would be easy to do that if Claire had the gift of mind reading or invisibility - not cellular regeneration. Maybe Sandra would understand more if she had powers like Meredith Gordan. Of course, that would make it easier to accept the notion that her daughter would spend a lifetime stabbing herself and jumping off the World Trade Center.

Sandra turned her head towards the kitchen's entrance when she heard Claire come in. She was wearing a white tank and a pair of faded blue jeans. Her hair was tied up into a messy bun. She didn't have any blood or dirt on her. Maybe Claire didn't mean to cut herself with the knife that Sandra found in the sink. That couldn't be true. The blade was too dull for her to stab herself by accident and there was way too much blood on both the handle and the blade for it to be a simple cooking accident.

"Mom, you okay?" Claire asked as she walked over to the refrigerator.

She grabbed a red apple and took a bite of it as she waited for her mother to answer. Sandra realized that her silence was starting to worry her daughter. Sandra wrapped her sweater around her arms and sat at the kitchen table. She took a deep breath and patted the seat next her, urging Claire to sit down. Claire stared at her mother and walked slowly over to her. She sat down and locked her blue eyes on her mom's brown ones.

"Look, Claire, honey," Sandra began. "I need to talk to you about something."

"What?" Claire asked as took another bite of her apple.

"I want you to love your power and I'll always support you," Sandra said.

"Mom, I-" Claire started to say.

"But I need ... no ... I want you to stop hurting yourself," Sandra interrupted. "Listen, honey -"

Claire's eyes began watering and she jumped out of her chair. Sandra knew that Claire wouldn't want to hear her out. The only thing Claire probably wanted to do was walk away and go visit one of the other "special" people she knew. Sandra really wanted Claire to understand how hard it was for a mother to watch her only daughter hurt herself. It didn't have anything to do with the power. No mother could stand seeing her daughter injured over and over again.

"You know, I try so hard to live with this thing!" Claire cried. "I didn't ask for this. The enjoyment I get from this ability is to test my limits. Today I needed to find out how many milliseconds it takes for me to heal. How is that wrong?"

Sandra bit her lip as she waited for her daughter to finish yelling at her. Claire didn't realize how her mother was trying to approach this subject in a sensitive and loving way. Maybe Claire couldn't imagine that her mother was feeling upset living with Claire's abilities. Sandra knew she never appeared as an overprotective mother but she still felt the need to protect her. If only Claire could understand that.

"You think it's easy having evil people chase after you to remove a power from your head or knowing that I have to live in hiding my whole life," she continued. "Do you know it's terrible knowing that I'm still a victim? I can't protect myself. Dad's never around to help. The only thing I'm asking you to do is be supportive."

Sandra could feel tears welling up in her eyes. She could feel her body shaking as her daughter continue to speak. This wasn't the conversation that the elder Bennet had in mind. How could she make Claire understand what she was saying?

"It's hard watching you bleed," Sandra managed to choke out.

Claire shook her head, wiped the tears from her eyes and walked out the kitchen. As expected, Sandra heard the front door open and slam shut. Sandra rested her chin in her hand as she tried to rationalize what just happened. She failed as a mother and her daughter hated her so much that she couldn't understand any word that came out her mother's mouth. Maybe Claire refused to listen to her because she was "special" like Meredith. A thought crossed her mind that made her shoulder. Maybe Claire just couldn't connect with her because she wasn't her biological mother. Yes, Sandra knew she could be distant at times but she still came across as nurturing and supportive. Right? Maybe Claire just couldn't see that because they weren't related by blood. Or maybe Claire couldn't understand it because she was a teenager.

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