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Hero's Luck

Title: Hero's Luck
Fandom: Heroes
Summary: Snippets of Hiro and his power (D)




It takes far too much concentration at first, so much so that he sometimes thinks he's going to break something. (Can people get strokes from trying to freeze time?) He squints, and pushes, and strains, like pushing against a giant boulder. Uphill. And even when he gets it, when time shifts, it's still got the weight of a boulder, and he trembles and it shifts back into position.

Later he realizes that he's gotten used to it, and that it doesn't take nearly so much effort, either to shift or to maintain. More like picking up a pebble and setting it gently down two inches to the left. He wonders why that changed.

#

Looking back on it later, he isn't quite sure when it first occurred to him to go back in time. It's one of those things that changes with no warning from impossible to blindingly obvious. After all, if he can do a controlled leap forward (for some definitions of controlled; he's fairly sure that the jump forward in time happened at the same time as the jump sideways in space, and somewhat sure that it was actually real and not just some sort of hallucination) and return to the time he left, it stands to reason that he can do things the other way too, jumping back and then returning to the time he left.

He's always careful to avoid places where his otherself is, though, when he goes back in time. Doesn't want a paradox.

Except once.

Once, when he's tired -- beyond tired, exhausted in a way that makes each second of subjective time feel like an eternity -- he goes home. A dark room; he can barely see a younger version of himself, sleeping soundly on the couch, and the normality of it hits him like a punch to the stomach. Not that he'd trade normal for what he has, but a bit of respite...

His otherself cracks his eyes open, blinks, gazes blearily at the shadowed figure in the corner. Takes a breath to speak. Hiro holds up his hands, says, "Please--" and realizes that he's speaking English. The shift to Japanese in his head feels oddly like the shift to a time-freeze state. "Don't be afraid."

"Who are you?"

"I am--" Would he believe himself, if he told the truth? No. Not yet. "--a friend."

The earlier Hiro rubs his eyes, still half asleep, and mutters to himself.

"Yes," Hiro says. "It's a dream." He pauses, considering whether to say more. "Hiro, listen to me. Time... time is flexible, not rigid. It's possible to bend it... if you want to." Which, of course, he did.

The earlier Hiro mumbles sleepily enthusiastic assent, drifts back to sleep. Hiro, watching, wonders if he'll remember in the morning. Wonders if he's thrown the space-time continuum off too badly.

Then again, he wonders, as he freezes time and settles down to take a quick catnap on the floor of his old room: how had he thought of it in the first place?

#

"You're lucky," Claire says to him once, not quite looking at him. "If you mess up... you can just go back and do it again."

Hiro closes his eyes, trying not to see the images his mind brings up. Trying not to see Ando -- ("You can't save everyone," he'd said, the words grating awkwardly like shattered bone. "It's one of the rules of superheroes." And then he'd died before Hiro could answer, and for a few moments time went wild around him, freezing and then speeding up and then freezing again, flickering like bad TV reception.) -- or any of the other things he could think of. It doesn't work the way Claire thinks it does, but all he says is, "--hmm."

He knows he's lucky, but not for the same reasons that the others think.

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