bennet_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif

Scene Title Disappointed
Synopsis On her way back from the meeting with Knox, Claire Bennet is cornered by her father.
Date March 31, 2010

Greenwich Village

Moving through the city would have been tougher if it had been the middle of summer. However, with winter full on still, Claire Bennet can easily blend in. Bundled in a trenchcoat, her blonde hair tucked up under her knit cap, a black scarf wound around her neck and pulled up to cover the lower half of her mouth, supposedly from the chill. Hands tucked deep into pockets, shoulders hunched against the cold.

It is taking far longer to get back then she'd like, but having to hoof it just about everywhere doesn't help. She can't take any taxis or subways, she's not about to ask Magnes for a lift, so she has to wade through the snow and ice.

As she walks along, her mind is lost in thought, so much is happening and has happened. Never has she imagined she'd be right back where she was before she was deathly ill. At least, for the moment, she feels somewhat comforted by the fact that Rebel is supposedly watching out for her.

She hopes.

Out front of the Village Rennaisance Building, the snowbanks ont he street curbs are nearing seven feet tall, towering over Claire and swallowing up bus stop kiosks and mail boxes. Residents have done their best to try and shovel out areas of the snow, but the oppressive and wholly unnatural weather is making life miserable for everyone in the city. At least for Claire, it isn't the weather that's about to make her life as miserable as humanly possible.

"Claire." The voice comes not from behind Claire, but her side, and the tall, darkly dressed man stepping out from the alley is familiar in her periphery if only by the silhouette his dark-framed glasses cast on his face, as if his voice hadn't already got her blood boiling.

When Noah Bennet emerges from the alley beside the Village Rennaisance, his expression is one that's always driven thorugh claire like a bullet. It's that mixture of pleading and judgmental that he does so well. "Claire stop," Noah urges, long legs giving him a quick stride to move out in front of her when she tries to inevitably tune him out, a hand lashing up to her shoulder to try and stop her from moving away.

Knox thinks there is nothing that scares Claire… that isn't totally true. Though in truth, the voice stirs a lot of emotions in the young woman. Fear, anger… love. It's all these, like a torrential storm. It's why she hasn't seen him since she left Costa Verde, avoided him like the plague. She loves and hates her father.

During the Apollo mission she had called him, cried over voicemail, told him she understood and missed him. That she loved him.

So why, when he calls her, does her feet keep moving trying to act as if she didn't hear him. Of course, once that hand touches her shoulder, she can't ignore him, all she can do is move quickly to shrug off the hand off and turn sharply to look at him.

Once she looks him in the face, it becomes difficult to keep that neutral expression, so much pain wells up inside, it threatens to choke her. She can't trust herself to say anything to him. How much has she held back, buried deep. Liz once said that she'll break one day.

Hopefully it won't be today, not in front of him. "What, dad?" Claire hisses out much sharper then she intended. There is a grimace and she looks down and then away with a jerk of her head. With her hair hidden under a cap she can hide that flash of pain in her eyes. "I can't stay out here." Her voice a little rough from the lump in her throat.

"Well maybe that wouldn't be a problem if you weren't breaking into government agent's homes and shooting at them." Noah offers in a stern whisper as he moves to clear the distance with Claire, head angled to the side and one hand firmly planted on her shoulder again. "Claire your mother and I just about had a heart attack when we saw what happened in the papers. You didn't even think to //call us, or tell us everytyhing was okay?" There's a shake of Noah's head, expression something between disbelief and frustration.

"Clairebear, just tell me this was a mistake. Tell me it wasn't you and that this is all some sort of misunderstanding that can be cleared up. Tell me you didn't… do what they said you did." It's worse than Noah being angry at her, worse than yelling, or shouting.

He's disappointed in her.

There a twitch of that shoulder as his hand rests on it, she's nervous, and can't really look at him. Not at first, but the disappointment rakes at her nerves. How many times had he disappointed her, hurt her and done thing she thought was wrong?

It is enough that it has her vision ringed with red, he can feel the tension building under his grip. "Don't." She snaps out sharply, angry blue eyes moving to stare up at him. "Don't call me that. I am not a little girl anymore, dad." A hand comes up to shove that hand off her shoulder, if she's not careful, she's loose it and hug him. She can't afford to break down not right now, so she embraces the anger.

"It wasn't a mistake." She says softly, her chin tilting up in defiance. "I went in there and if I hadn't we wouldn't know what was going to happen tomorrow." Claire takes a deep breath and adds, "But the news lied."

"But, whatever I found out was important enough that, he shot me first without even trying to detain me." A hand flings out in a sweeping gesture, Claires still pissed about the way it all went down, probably would be for some time and no telling how many times she'd have to tell this story. "One moment I was snapping photos of a file, the next I'm dead. No warning. Nothing."

"Claire you broke into his apartment, he was a federal agent if he felt threatened he had ever right to shoot you dead on the spot. You're lucky you got away, you're lucky he was alone, you're lucky for so many reasons…" Oh, Noah, how disappointed you're going to continue to be. "Claire, I can't keep— you can't keep doing this to your mother. We thought you were going to try and put this all behind you after what the government recruited you to do. Claire…" Noah leans forward towards her, squinting as he does behind the lenses of his glasses. "Claire there's a lot going on right now, a lot I have't told you and a lot I still can't. But— " Her father's brows crease and his hand moves away from her shoulder.

"Claire, I didn't want you to get caught up in this. After— after you were done with PARIAH I thought you'd calm down, I thought you'd try and think about what living your life like this is doing to your mother." And doing to him, though he won't ever admit to the fear. "I need you to tell me who told you to go there, who gave you Howard Lemay's name?" Noah's head tilts forward, brows furrow. "Howard Lemay worked with me at the Company in Odessa Texas, Claire. He's a senior agent, he's… I can't stress to you how bad of a situation you've gotten yourself into."

"No." Claire her voice sharp, her eyes narrowing, her head shaking slightly with just as much defiance. "Just.. no, dad. I am not giving away my sources. If it hadn't have been me, it would have been someone that couldn't have gotten up after having a hole blown in their lungs. Someone who would have been much more willing to kill him." Though it was tempting and a part of her is wondering if she should have. Eyes study her father, knowing he would have.

There is a bit of a sigh, her mind turning to thoughts of her mother, well aware how her adoptive mother must feel. "Either way, dad, I am caught up in this. After — " Her voice falters, lips press tight for a moment and she's silent for a stretch of time.

"I can't go back to how it was, I can't put this all behind me. I'm going to protect the ones that can't protect themselves." The words are certain and firm, filled with determination. Claire refuses to look at him, her eyes keep on some point beyond him. "I have, too." It sounds lame even to her, but if he knew the truth. She almost needs this chaos in her life, nothing has been the same for her since Madagascar. It fills a part of her, makes her feel whole again.

"Claire you don't understand what you're getting yourself into. I know you've been through a lot, but that doesn't mean you have to keep fighting like this. You could've gotten that information another way, we could've figured it out if you'd just come to me about this." There's that admonishing tone she'd been missing. "Claire there is an entire network of people out there who are willing to go to great lengths to help protect people, you do not have to try and shoulder this burden all on your own. You know you could've come to me to talk to me about this, and— " he breathes in a sharp breath, "and we could've avoided making it almost impossible for you to see your brother and your mother."

There's a tension at the corners of Noah's eyes as he stares down at his little girl. "Claire, federal agents practically turned your mother's house inside out looking for you. They questioned Lyle, they questioned your mother, they had a warrant. Claire, you could've jeapordized your mother's safety, you know what she does for the network, you know she takes risks. This stupid and childish game you keep playing is just oging to get people hurt."

"Stupid and childish?" Claire asks, she can't believe she's hearing that, glancing up at him again. Anger smolders in her eyes. "You stay hiding in those shadows, dad. Your good at it. I'm tried of keeping my head down. I've got centuries ahead of me, I can't keep hiding."

"Besides, mom knew what she was getting into when she joined your group." Claire hisses out between tightly clenched teeth. Deep down it is killing her to say it, to force those words out. "I'm sure you warned her about getting involved, just as much as you did me. Still there she is." There is a pressuring building behind her eyes, threatening to fill her eyes with tears.

And the words just… spill from her in a rush of despair and fury, Claire's wall, the one she's carefully built brick by brick is cracking. "Just like I wasn't supposed to go through the worst fucking hell in my life, when I stepped on to that damn aircraft carrier. The break-in wasn't suppose to happen that way. In and out that's it. Shit happens dad." Her eyes start to glisten with unshed tears. "Shit happens. You either learn to endure, or you fall. I'm sure mom will do just fine, she has you and Lyle."

"Don't you dare pull that Claire, don't you dare try to make yourself not a part of this family. Claire, you have no idea how hard I have fought to protect you from people like Howard Lemay, and now you've gone and put yourself on his radar. Howard is a dangerous man, Claire, a dangerous man who'se loyalty to the Company is questionable at best." There's an urgency in Noah's tone, much as there always is when he's trying to make Claire feel like daddy knows best.

"I've never tried to keep you away from me, Claire, from us. You could've come to me and you didn't, and now you're in this— this mess and there's nothing I can do to get you out of it." And from the sounds of the way he's saying that, it kills him inside. "Clairebear… I have been trying to protect you for your whole life. All I've ever wanted was to know you're safe, because I love you." Noah's brows furrow behind the frames of his glasses, and he steps forward to clear the distance between himself and his daughter, thick fingers curling against calloused palms.

"Let me help you…" It's hard for a man his age to implore something so simple from someone so young, but for Claire, there isn't a mountain that Noah Bennet wouldn't try to move, or a river he'd endeavor to part.

He can see Claire's jaw working as she fights the welling of emotions, the wall is crumbling, her pain starting to show for all the world to see.

Damn him for being here.

"You can't all ways save me, dad." The words are spoken softly and from the heart, tears slide down her cheek, leaving a cold trail. "I learned that lesson the hard way, when I was a prisoner in Madagascar. When I stood at the bottom of stairs and held off an assault so my teammates could get away. When I had to fight my own team mates in a arena. When I had to go up against an army, bent on making sure I couldn't go home." Blue eyes filled with the pain she has endured for month written on the face of a young woman on the edge of twenty one. A hand lifts, fingers held in the shape of a gun and tucked under her chin, the words shaky, "When I had to put a gun to my own head to make sure a mad man couldn't destroy my home, family, and friend." Ever with watery eyes, she manages to give him a matter of fact look. "You were not there, dad."

"And yet… I'm right here. Somehow, I did just fine." Claire clips out each word gruffly, before she brushes the heel of her hand under each eye and sniffs. "And I'll do just fine. I just need the Ferrymen to hide me till things blow over." Her tone trying to sound a bit more business like. "I can rest when it's all done." That mantra the one thing that helps keep her going.

In all these years, Claire' never seen Noah crack, not fully. This, here, with the look in his eyes and the way he //backs down/ from her is the closest she'll ever get. The fact that she made Noah step back from the argument should make her feel good, but in truth all it does is eat her up inside more. "I didn't want you there…" he breathes out those words with a little force behind them as he can, having a hard time finding the breath with which to even talk at all. The way he dryly swallows and just looks down at his feet is something Claire's never truly seen in him either, that deferential expression of defeat.

"This isn't going to blow over." Noah asserts in the weakest voice he's used yet. "Not with Howard Lemay, not with the people you've chosen to start a fight with." When his eyes finally do meet Claire's again, the disappointment and the sadness in them is palpable. "I can't help you if you don't want to be helped, Claire… but your mother misses you."

And as he steps back towards the alley he'd emerged from, his silence implies those words he can't risk saying for fear of breaking down in front of her.

I miss you.

All he offers her is a look at the wya light reflects off of the lenses of his horn-gimmed glasses as he recedes into the shadows of the alley, shoulders slouched and head bowed; defeated.

Hands close into shaking fists, her body held completely still by pure will alone, watching as emotionless as she can, as he steps away from her. Claire can't allow herself to break. Not yet. Every ounce of her screams to run after him, throw her arms around him and be his little Claire-bear, his little girl. To cling to him and cry about all the hurt the world has down to her. To try and go back to how it was.

But that part of her died in Madagascar, left on a concrete floor in Rasoul's Palace, or that is where Claire has to think she is.

Too much has too be done, too many wrongs need to be righted. The future is looking like a bleak and lonely place, that has to be fixed. She has work to do.

Why do they always have to fight?

Why does she always have to push them away?

In the end, it is all an illusion, an attempt to make it easier on everyone. Push them away, make them think you don't need them.

In truth, all it does is leave you huddled cold, hollow, and alone.

In truth…

She misses them too.

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