Title: Untitled Prelude
Fandom, Pairing: Heroes, Hiro/Charlie
When he finally returned, it was with the mundane tinkle of the bell above the diner door rather than out of thin air. Ando grinned as soon as he saw him... but his face fell when he saw the deep, uncharacteristic despondence on Hiro’s.
“You saved her from Sylar?” He asked, tentatively, even though he thought he already knew the answer.
Hiro nodded slowly, adjusting the newspaper he carried under one arm.
Ando frowned. “Then... what’s wrong? Where is she?”
In response Hiro tossed the paper onto the table. “This is the day after she died.”
Ando leaned over to examine the paper. The date in the masthead matched, but the front page was missing the story about the death of the waitress. “I don’t understand.”
Hiro picked up the paper, flipping through the pages to a spot near the back. He laid it down again, and pointed to the small obituary.
It was only a few lines. When he had read it, Ando stared at Hiro. “She had a stroke?”
Again, Hiro nodded as he pulled a small paper crane from his pocket. “I failed.”
Ando watched, helpless, as he placed the crane on Charlie’s shrine.
“I loved her.”
Ando didn’t know what to say. Didn’t know if there was anything to say. Instead he rested his hand on his friend’s shoulder until he turned, and they both left in silence.
One day, though, he’d ask about the ring on Hiro’s left hand.