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Behind Closed Doors

Guest allibaz91

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Story Title: Behind Closed Doors

Type of story: long fic

Main Characters: Peter and Clare

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Remance/Drama

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: SC

Summary: Basically, this is my idea on what happened when Peter went into Witness Protection after his injuries in the barn fire, and how he and Clare came face to face again fter he left her in the city. Enjoy - all comments welcome :)

Note: This is my first fanfic so i apologise in advance if it isnt very good!

Chapter 1

Peter’s eyes flickered open. Where was he? The ceiling above him was white and dull; the paint was cracking; and it seemed to be dark outside. Was it late evening or early morning? He sat up in bed quite suddenly. He had only just remembered – the wedding! The barn had exploded, and he remembered being trapped, with Dan by his side. Idiot – why hadn’t he got out while he had the chance? After that he couldn’t remember anything else until waking up. How long had passed since the explosion? Had anybody been seriously hurt? Had the police caught Tracey and Zoë? His head swam with all the questions he wanted answered. Then the pain started.

It had probably taken so long to kick in because he was still in shock, but when it did hit him, it hit hard. All down his right side was in agony; he could see that he’d been badly burned down his arm; his head was thumping with the threat of an oncoming migraine. How did it come to this?

Forcing his eyes to open properly, he took in his surroundings. It certainly didn’t look like a hospital room – for one thing, he was only connected to an IV drip; no other machines in sight. Aside from that, it just wasn’t clean enough to be a hospital room, he decided: the paint was chipped, the windowsill was rotting and there was an odd sort of smell, as if the room had been empty for some time. So where was he?

He strained his ears to hear what was going on around him. He gathered from looking out the window that it must be quite late; the moon was high in the sky, and shining brightly straight into the room. The door was ajar, and he could see the top of a flight of stairs just outside. So he was upstairs, wherever he was, and it was late. From downstairs there was the faint murmur of voices, combined with a crackling sound – a TV, maybe? Outside there was the sound of an owl hooting, and a few lonely cricket chirps came to him, but other than that there was silence.

Peter lay back against his pillows, clenching his teeth to keep from crying out. The pain was getting steadily worse as the minutes wore on. The sound of the TV – if that was in fact what it was – made it quite clear that there was at least one other person in the building with him; maybe they would know what was going on? He didn’t like to disturb anybody’s sleep, but if they were watching the telly then maybe they wouldn’t mind too much. Besides, he surely deserved some answers! But how to get their attention? He was stuck in bed; he knew he’d never be able to get up and walk downstairs, not in the state he was in. Then he saw the button.

He was well familiar with those buttons – he remembered having one attached to the side of his bed for the weeks after waking up in hospital almost two years ago, from his coma. Back then, all he had to do was press the button, and the nurses would come. Presumably this was a similar arrangement now. He figured it was worth a shot. He reached out with his left arm – slightly less painful than the right – and pressed the red button taped rather messily to the bedside table. And sure enough, a moment later he heard hurried footsteps on the stairs, and the door was pushed open.

A woman stood there in the doorway – he couldn’t see her face; it was cast into shadow by the light from the hallway. But that didn’t matter. As she rushed across the room towards him; as she threw her arms around him; as he inhaled the scent of her shampoo from her hair so close to him: he knew her. A peaceful smile spread over his face, and he pulled her closer into his arms, gently stroking her silky hair with his better hand. As she hugged him as tightly as though she never wanted to let go, he whispered softly into her ear, smiling.

“I’ve missed you, Clare.”

Lol so that's chapter one for you - terrible, I know, but ....... there you go anyway. Please review!

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Lol of course there's more - that was just the introduction! I'm currently finishing chapter 11 and haven't even get to the end of the first section!! This is a rather long fic lol.

Glad you liked it anyway - thanks for the comment Oxidizer!! :D

I may even update later today if I get a minute - home computer's busted so I'm copying this from another forum right now, so you'll only get up to chapter 10 until I can get it fixed lol!!

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Okay, have to go to class (snore) and don't know when I'll be able to update again, so I'll post the second chapter just now. Enjoy!

Chapter 2

Clare didn’t let go of Peter for an extremely long time. Not that he minded this – quite the contrary. It felt amazing to hold her so close again; to be able to touch her; smell her hair; just to be near her … he felt more contented than he had in a long time – and he was pretty sure it was nothing to do with having woken up, either. However, eventually the hug had to end – much to his chagrin – and Clare pulled slowly away from him, tears shining in her eyes. She sat beside him on the bed, watching him closely.

“I can’t believe you’re awake,” she said, and her voice was hoarse. “The doctor said it could be another few weeks yet! I guess you’re more stubborn than they thought.”

“Yeah, well,” he said distractedly. “What’s going on – where are we; why are you here?”

“Shh …” she said soothingly, brushing his hair tenderly out of his eyes. “Sorry, but I’m under orders – you’re not to talk about what happened until you’re feeling better.”

“I feel fine,” he lied impatiently. He wanted answers! She smiled knowingly at him.

“Yeah, right,” she said, a smile playing on her lips. “I know you want an explanation, but for once I happen to agree with Sam: it won’t do you any good to talk about this until your body and mind have recovered at least a little. You’re not up to discussing it yet.”

“If I don’t know what’s happened, all I’ll do is sit and wonder, which can’t be any better for me than knowing the truth,” Peter protested. Clare laughed a little and shifted on the bed.

“You’re not going to let it go until I fill you in, are you?” she asked him, still smiling.

“It’s not likely,” he told her, also smiling. He had no idea how she had come to be there – wherever exactly ‘there’ was – but he did know that he’d never been happier to see a face.

“All right, well, if I tell you the basics, will you cut me some slack?” she asked, getting up and starting to pace, never lifting her eyes from his face. She was worried, he could tell.

“I just want to know what I deserve to know,” he said, trying to stay calm. “I want to know where I am; how I got here; what you’re doing here; what happened after the barn explosion; and how my friends and family are doing. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

“Maybe not, if you plan on keeping me up all night talking,” Clare laughed.

“Well then I’ll settle for the simple version, tonight. Where are we – why are we here?”

“Uh … all right, all right, I will give you the very brief version of events, if you promise you’ll at least try and get a decent rest tonight,” she said eventually. He nodded.

“Thank you,” he said sincerely. “I know it must be late; I didn’t mean to wake you …”

“I wasn’t really asleep; I was dozing in front of the TV. Not that there was much on, of course. But you shouldn’t apologize anyway – I’m just glad you’re awake!”

“Thanks … What actually happened to me? I mean, my side is really sore –”

“Oh, damn it!” she cried out in concern. “Hang on – I left your painkillers downstairs …”

Peter watched her, trying not to laugh, as she hurried out of the room. He then listened to her footsteps rushing down the stairs; moving around as she got his painkillers; then running back up the stairs quickly. She entered the room again within a matter of moments, and he couldn’t help but laugh at the look on her face. She looked insulted.

“What?” she said defensively, taking two tablets from the jar and holding them out to him.

“I could’ve waited an extra thirty seconds while you slowed down a bit,” he told her, still smiling, as he took the pills from her and swallowed them over quickly. Disgusting.

“Well, whatever,” she replied, sounding bored. “Here, let me get the light …”

“Actually, can you leave it off?” Peter asked her. She looked at him, eyebrows raised, and he knew what she was thinking: that he was up to something. Well – for once – he wasn’t.

“Seriously,” he said, looking imploringly into her eyes. “I’ve got a headache, and light … you know, it makes it worse. I promise, no games. It’s just sore on my eyes, that’s all.”

Clare half-smiled, seeming satisfied, and came and sat down on the bed again. She looked at him concernedly for a few moments, until the silence really began to get on his nerves.

“So?” he said, looking at her expectantly. “Are you going to tell me where we are?”

“If I knew, I would,” she replied, looking slightly irritated herself. He frowned.

“What do you mean, ‘if you knew’? How can you not know where you are? At least I have an excuse – I’ve been unconscious for … how long have I been unconscious?”

“Almost three weeks,” Clare told him gravely. “You were pretty badly injured in the fire.”

“What about everyone else?” Peter asked, brushing off her obvious concern – he would come back to that later. “What about my friends – my family – are they all right?”

“Elaine Armstrong died in the explosion,” she said quietly. “And so did Eve and Tracey – but nobody else. Dan, Leah, Sally – all your friends, they’re all fine. Matilda Hunter sustained some serious burns, and some others will need treatment, but everyone is expected to recover well. And, who else … Jack Holden, is that his name?”

“Jack?” Peter repeated, sitting up straighter and regretting it within moments. Clearly, it would make more sense to try and stay as still as possible. “What’s wrong with Jack?”

“Brace yourself,” Clare warned him, smiling a little. “You are never going to believe what I’m about to tell you.”

Sorry the start is so boring, but there's a lot of explaining required! I promise it will get more interesting as the story goes on :D

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Wow, Allison, that's brilliant. Like Lil said, your description is amazing. And, it's not boring at all. It's interesting. You definitely got me hooked from the very start.

It's really great to actually read a Peter/Clare fic because there's not many of them around. :D

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Aaaaw wow, thanks sooo much for all the lovely feedback, guys!! I really appreciate your comments Lilone, Zetti, Sarah_Lewis & swfc :D

^ Lol yeah I know swfc, there arent many of them, but I'm slightly obsessed :P

Lol well, here's chapter 3 cause I'm feeling generous :P

Chapter 3

“After the explosion, Sam put in an order while you were in the ambulance …” Clare began nervously. Her voice shook a little, and Peter knew he wasn’t going to like this story.

“Just, tell me,” he said. “I’m not going to fly off the handle – it’d hurt too much.”

“Well I’d better tell you soon then,” she joked. “Uh, how do I say this? … Sam, he ordered the paramedics, to … they injected you with a drug, I don’t know what it’s called … well, all right, you tell me – have you ever heard of an induced coma?” Peter was drawing a blank.

“An induced coma?” he repeated. “I don’t think so – why, what is it?”

“Well, basically, this drug … it fooled the hospital machines; it made it loo as though you had no brain activity; you couldn’t function; as though you were … well, as if you were …”

“Dead,” Peter supplied, the penny finally dropping. “He made me look dead.”

“Exactly,” Clare said, seeming even more nervous. “And, the doctors – all except one, I think – they all bought it. Your main doctor had to be told, but he’s under an oath of secrecy. And everyone else … they all think you’re dead, Pete. Your family; your friends; everyone. While you were in this induced coma, Sam had you removed from the hospital and brought here, to recover in secret. As far as your family know, they’ve buried you.”

“WHAT?!” Peter almost jumped out of bed – he would have, had Clare not been sitting there. He couldn’t believe what she was telling him! Surely she couldn’t be serious?

“I know you must be upset,” she said. She was serious all right. “I was furious for your sake when I found out; it’s not fair on anybody, but least of all on you, to do something like this without your permission. I had a right screaming match with Sam over it.”

“Why would he do that?” demanded Peter, shaking with fury. “He has no right!”

“Surely you remember the discussion you had about Dennis Gillan?” Clare reminded him. All of a sudden it made sense – why the Superintendent had done this. Peter swore loudly.

“So he’s put me into witness protection without my consent?” he asked angrily.

“Yes,” she said, and she looked upset for him. “I couldn’t believe it either. But you know what he’s like when he gets an idea in his head – I tried to talk him out of it, I really tried, Pete, but he wouldn’t listen to me. He’s going round the twist – nobody can control him.”

“And what about you?” he asked her. “Why are you here? Don’t tell me you agreed to turn your whole life upside down over the possibility of Dennis Gillan coming for revenge.”

“No, not exactly,” she agreed, and she looked away from him, seeming distracted.

For several minutes she didn’t answer his question, although he couldn’t for the life of him think why not. He reached out and brushed her cheek softly with his hand, concerned, and she looked up into his eyes quite suddenly. He looked back at her, still lost.

“I didn’t mean to upset you …” he said, somewhat lamely. “You don’t have to tell me …”

“No, I’m sorry, it isn’t your fault … I was just remembering the first day I came in here.”

“What happened?” asked Peter. He then felt awkward – it was none of his business, really.

“Well, I didn’t want to go into the Witness Protection either,” Clare told him. “So Sam said that was okay, and I thought it was over. Then he asked me to meet him to go on a stakeout, so I went to the place, and some guy came up behind me and bundled me into a car before I knew what was happening. They brought me here blindfolded; wouldn’t let me see the way; and then when I arrived Sam said you’d be arriving in a couple of hours. Then he told me what had happened. And I couldn’t leave – I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to, because there was nobody else to look after you. I had to be here for you.”

Peter didn’t know how to answer that. Really, what was anyone supposed to say at a moment like this? Was she even expecting an answer? His head began to thump again with the confusion. He hadn’t seen her in about six months – longer, in fact, if he really had been unconscious for three weeks – and now she was throwing this sort of emotion at him? He still cared for her so much; but he had hurt her … Clare seemed to realise she’d made him uncomfortable, and she cleared her throat and stood up rather quickly.

“Uh, can I get you anything?” she asked. “Another glass of water; something to eat – more tablets? You must be in agony.” He could tell she hated seeing him like this, so he tried his best to smile. It didn’t work.

“Thanks, but I’m okay,” he said, lying through his teeth. “Really. Come on, you said you were going to tell me what had happened. So, come on, sit back down.” She also tried to smile – which worked about as well as it had when he did it. But he wasn’t for giving up, and he knew she could see that. She rolled her eyes and sat down next to him again.

“Really, Pete, you’re in no fit state to be talking about this,” she reprimanded him.

“Well, you’ve started now, so you know there’s not a hope in hell of me letting it go until you tell me the rest of the story,” he replied, feeling a little better as he saw her relax.

“Well, where to start?” she said a little helplessly. “What else do you want to know?”

“Tell me about my supposed death. What about my family, my friends? Are they okay?”

“If you mean injuries-wise, then yes,” Clare said hesitantly. “Otherwise …”

“Tell me,” he said, and his voice broke then. How could Sam have done this to him without telling him – his boss, his friend? How could he lie to him like this? The very thought of it made his blood boil. Clare – instinctively, it seemed – put a comforting hand over his.

“All right,” she said, and her voice was calming. “All right … I don’t know all the details, but from what Sam’s told me, I can tell you this much. The funeral was two days after you supposedly ‘died,’ and it was up at your parents’ place. They held a memorial for you in the Bay – apparently it was packed, too. I think Dan took it hardest, though … from what I can gather, he’s not been coping too well. But they’ll get there … eventually. Hopefully.”

“And Jack?” Peter asked her, and she looked away from him. “Clare, what about Jack? You said he was, ill, he was injured … is he okay?”

Once again, she didn’t answer his question immediately. She stood up yet again, and walked up and down the room a few times. He waited for her to reply, as he knew that pushing her would be pointless. She had to be ready to talk to him. He just hoped it would be soon. He was worried sick – Jack had been hurt, he assumed, and something made Clare not want to go into detail. What could possibly be so bad? He had to know.

“Jack, Holden …” she said finally. “He, he was injured in the explosion – I don’t know exactly what his injuries were, but … he had to have a liver transplant, and … God … Peter, you have to promise me you won’t fly off the handle when I tell you this, okay?”

“I promise,” he said quickly, his heart pounding. What was she keeping from him?

“When they needed an emergency donor, they … they went to Dan, and they asked permission to take your liver to save Jack. And Dan said yes.”

Enjoy, everyone! :D

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That was amazing.

You can so tell Claire feels deadly sorry and she loves him.

Can't wait for the conversation about why he really left her because if your sticking to the same as what he said in Home And Away "I just had to leave and see you"- to leah (or something along those lines)

Sam did tell Leah aswell that he just upped and left with no explanation.

Here's me going on about it..... bet you haven't added it lol

Its awesome keep it up :D

*rant over*

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