A Gold Star And A Cookie


claude_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title A Gold Star And A Cookie
Synopsis While Helena is trying to help combat the Midtown Fires, she has an unexpected reunion.
Date May 28, 2009

Deveaux Building

It's near impossible to sneak into Midtown right now, but just the right level of stealth on Helena's part manages it. There's really only one place in Midtown she cares about anymore, and the rooftop of the Deveaux Building has seen its fair share of damage. Thankfully, it's been spared assault by fire.

But Helena is not here to reminisce. She sits under one of the overhangs, back pressed against a wall as she looks up at the night sky and urges the clouds to form, for moisture to fill the air, and for rain to fall fast in a heavy deluge that may not do much against the major infernos, but will prevent them from spreading and take out any of the secondary or tertiary fires. It's a shame no one will realize just what is happening, but it's probably better this way.

Well, no one who will tell, anyway.

With practically his whole life spent either in the proverbial shadows, someone else's footsteps or completely off anyone's radar, the roof's other visitor had little trouble finding his way back here unnoticed. It seems someone's having a hard time letting go of memories. Or… maybe Helena is his reason for being here. Who knows.

As usual, he re-enters the visible spectrum without effort or concern, standing so close to the edge he'd look like he was thinking of jumping right off if he wasn't looking toward the billowing black smoke with such conviction. He may as well have been standing there for days, from the looks of him- on top of his usual unwashed and unkempt self, he's soaked to the bone from the already ongoing rain from before. His hands are in his pockets, and his expression is blank. "… New 'no smoking' policy my foot."

Helena is on her feet in a split second, hands moving up defensively until she peers through the pouring rain. "Claude?" she calls out from her spot under the overhang. "Is that you?" Her advance is cautious, but the scarecrow form, the accent, the incessant sneer of his tone, who else could it be?

Careless, as though he's some sort of of ill-timed Christmas Spirit instead of what was supposed to be a mentor missing from a few key people's lives for the past few months, Claude takes the liberty of waiting a few seconds before he responds. "Weather's a bit clammy, yeah?" He doesn't quite turn to face her, but looks in Helena's direction with what part of his smirk his face won't let him hold back. Oh hey, you here too? What a coincidence.

"It's putting out some of the fires." she says, her tone hard to describe. She stares at him in a direct, uncanny sort of way, asking in the same odd tone, "So what have you been doing with yourself since after Volken?" She knows he didn't get caught by HomeSec.

Alright, no jokes, then. His hands come out of his pockets so he can fold his arms across his chest. "About. Something came to my attention." Proper explanation be damned. He glances back toward the smoke and night sky, sniffs the air and and wrinkles his nose, before rubbing a wrist past it as though that may make the sooty smell in the area go away. "And here you are again, landed back on your two feet. Taking care of what doesn't need looking after."

"Those fires could easily get out of control." Helena argues. "It's not too much effort to help, and it's the right thing to do." She is so full of things she wishes she could say to him, and yet, none of them seem to be able to pass her lips. "You don't have to stay here if you don't want." she offers instead. "Cat has a pretty swank safehouse in the Village. Or there's Staten Island - it's pretty much lawless, but we have a place there. You could play peeping tom around the local criminal element all you'd like." For good measure, "And Peter wants to see you. You could come back with me, if you wanted to see him."

As if catching onto the fact that she holding something back, Claude grins impishly and quirks a brow. "I'm still alive, aren't I?" He looks back and inspects himself for a second, breathing in deeply and then letting it back out, before conclusing, "Yeah. So if I'm still alive, and obviously taking care of myself just dandy, there must be another reason you want me close." His tone is still light, despite his words. Unassuming, despite the words it carries. "Stupid me, here I was thinking you'd gone and growed up a little."

"I owe you." she says stiffly. Everyone's been asking her to tell them about it. Peter, Ben, Cat, everyone's been asking her to talk about what happened in Moab. The only person she's really want to give the specifics to is standing here mocking her. Stepping out from under the eaves, she lets herself get wet and watches him in silence for a moment. "They wanted information from me, in Moab. Where to find Phoenix. Our safehouses. Names. You want to know how they tried to get it out of me, Claude?"

"By doing their job, I'm guessing." Claude answers, simply. Perhaps the fact that he's quiet afterward, likely to let her speak, should tell Helena something. Unless he's just grown tired of this conversation already.

"By doing their job." she nods. "We'd have yard time, in the mornings and in the afternoons. At the end of each, they'd line everyone up, and sometimes, they'd call a name, single someone out to be sent elsewhere. Whenever they'd call my name, they sent me to the same place. Sometimes they'd put me out first, and sometimes they'd leave me awake. Sometimes they'd add a little something, like heat lamps. But each day, the bastard stuck his grubby fingers into my mind and tried to make me break."

Claude's eyes narrow, and whether she cares to see it or not, his expression goes grim and his head dips slightly. He'd probably rather she didn't. He should know not to worry— after all, she's standing right there, unscathed by the looks of it. But it's clear he's not completely unfazed. "Does this grubby bastard have a name?"

"Verse." Helena says, adding stonily, "He's dead. Needle full of air to the neck." Her jaw sets, stubborn girl. "I didn't break. Wanna know why?"

Claude's not sure what to expect at this point, but he does a reasonably job of hiding it. He lets out a sigh at the news of the dead mindprodder, then takes a step away from the edge to turn and face Helena fully, chin up and arms still crossed over his chest as he looks at her. "Why?"

Helena shakes her head, and even laughs a little, though it's a touch bitter. "Because of you, you stinky old sonuvabitch. 'All you can do is build the wall, Helena.' 'Remember it's your mind, Helena, your landscape.' I remembered those lessons, every one, every single time they strapped me down."

"Oh, if I had a gold star right now it would be going right on your pretty little forehead." There's definitely sarcasm in there, but he can't hide the bit of pride that comes along with it. Though he tries.

"And a cookie?" Helena fishes, her smile still full of pique, but it's there.

"Don't push it." Claude's quick to answer, feigning a disapproving look that all but lasts. "Maybe if you stay out of trouble for more than a few weeks at a time."

"Come back with me, Claude." she replies quietly. "There's so much going on and we could use your help. "Arthur Petrelli is alive, and his corporation Pinehearst and the Company are squaring off. FRONTLINE's becoming more a reality, and it's starting to draw more and more into some kind of war. There's so much more I need to learn, and Peter needs you."

"There's a lot you two need, and I'm about on the bottom of that list." Claude's brow furrows contemplatively, and he seems to relax slightly. "I can't look after you or your… people all the bloody time." He pauses, unsure of whether to continue but then doing so anyway, "I'll talk to Pete. I'll check back every now and then, but I have got my own things to be doing."

Helena nods. "That's fair." she says, letting out a breath she didn't realize she was holding. "You can slip onto boats back and forth from Staten pretty easily, I bet. Will you come with me now? I've got a boat, so I can take us across pretty easily."

There's a second of hesitation before Claude gives a dismissive handwave and answers nonchalantly, "Yeah, why the hell not." Suddenly his face lights up, and he cracks a happy grin as he starts walking. "Speaking about boats, did I ever tell you about that time I hugged Sylar? True story."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License