Family Is Important


claire2_icon.gif sandra_icon.gif

Scene Title Family Is Important
Synopsis Claire finally gets up the nerve to go see her adoptive mom.
Date November 10, 2009

The Hangar

A wrought-iron fence borders several small garden beds and the stone stairs leading up to the house's front door. The house itself is a structure of old stone - not even concrete blocks, but quarried stone — with natural-color wood doors and window frames. The windows on the ground floor are barred.

Inside, the level is divided into only three rooms. The first is the foyer, with polished hardwood flooring, a freestanding coatrack on either side, iron-dark against soft-amber interior walls. The main staircase spirals up from one corner of the foyer, girded by a wrought-iron railing.

To the right from the entrance is the kitchen. The walls just off from white, the floor tiled in dark gray. In the center of the kitchen is a black-topped island, matching the counters that line the room. One wall is dominated by an eminently modern stove framed by an anachronistic brick hearth. Cabinets above the counters have glass doors; the windows above the sink are framed in light-colored curtains, the illumination they let in adding to the expansive atmosphere.

The dining room takes up the back of this floor. The far wall is brick and stone, with a facade of a fireplace mantle in the center. Interior walls have been painted a tone intermediate between amber and ivory, which is also the accent color in the dark rug beneath the long dining table.

For those staying at any Ferryman safehouse without a specific, designated duty, life can be founds to be fairly dull. This is no exception for Sandra. While she has been taken out to see other safehouses and the like, there's little else for her to do except for walk Mr. Muggles, talk to any of the current residents if they wish to do so, and bake. Even Lyle has started going on walks around the neighbourhood, which is where he is now, on one of these said walks. Currently Sandra in the kitchen baking once more. This time she is making pies. After thinking about her run in with Claire's boyfriend, she has decided to make apple pie, which she hasn't made in a long time, and a strawberry rhubarb pie, both which currently she is currently taking out of the oven. Mr. Muggles has been residing upstairs, watching dog shows.

She spent all night looking for clothing that looked…. okay. She's dressed in a nice shirt, jeans and her boots. Claire paces outside the safehouse, working up the nerve to walk in the place. "It's just mom. I can do this.. It's just mom." Stopping at the bottom of the stairs she fidgets a bit and takes a deep breath. "Okay Claire…. time to go in." She takes the stairs and knocks before she looses her nerve. Biting her lip and waits for someone to answer the door.

Being, perhaps, the closest to the door, since she's in the kitchen, Sandra hears the door knock quite clearly. She takes off her oven mitts, dusts herself off and heads to the door. Opening it slowly, as you never know who could be on the other side of the door at places like this, she lets out a little gasp as she recognizes the girl on the other side. Flinging the door open she exclaims, "Claire!" She can't believe her eyes. Is it really her? The daughter that has been missing from her life for a few years? After running into Magnes, she'd got up plenty of hopes of seeing Claire soon, but this not like this. Not at the safehouse. She's positively shocked. "Is it really you?"

When the door opens, Claire is already turning away, her nerve suddenly lost. However the click of the door and the gasp, gives her pause. Turning back to face her mother, the ex-cheerleader gives Sandra a nervous smile. "Hi mom." The words are soft and nervous. "I heard you were in town…." The words trail off when she really looks at her mother. A hand lifts to motion to the room beyond, "Mind if I come in?"

Instinctively, Sandra pulls Claire into a hug. "I'm so happy to see you." She whispers into her daughter's ear. Finally letting go, she smiles, he eyes glistening as if on the verge of tears. This is better than she'd hoped! Her daughter literally came right to her! "Of course! Of course! Come in. Yes! Stay as long as you want. Heck, stay the night if you want! We can stay up chatting. And I made some pies that have just come out of the oven!" When Claire is fully inside, Sandra closes the door behind her.

Claire braced herself for the hug, but found that even trying to prepare for it was not enough. As soon as her mother pulls her into that tight hug, all those emotions she had bottled away come surging to the surface, and Claire returns it. "I missed you too, mom." Is whispered in return, before the two separate.

Blinking several times and willing away the tears that start to gather in her eyes, Claire quickly ducks into the house. Clearing her throat, so that it doesn't hitch when she talks, she notices the smell in the house. "Apple pie?" She asks sounding a touch amused. "Magnes told me how you helped him with one." She might as well, just get that part past them.

Sandra looks as if she is about to give Claire another hug, but hesitates. Would that be too much? Can there be too many hugs when you haven't seen nor heard of your daughter for nearly three years? "I…" There's a pause as she attempts to collect herself. "I thought it would be nice." She says with a small smile. "I…um…well…Magnes…I wanted to help him make something good for you, Claire." She says, just happy for her daughter being here. "Magnes…oh, I couldn't believe it when he started talking about you! But as much as I wanted to tell him…as much as I did…I couldn't. Do you understand?" She sighs. "Oh, I think your father has started to rub off on me. Keeping secrets…" She looks down for a moment before looking back at Claire. "I should have just told him."

"Your not the only one he's rubbing of on… I've noticed I sound like him more and more. You did the right thing. He knows now though." Claire assures her mother with a small smile, but then the smile falls away. She looks around at the safe house before saying softly, "Why are you in New York, mom?" The concern she's feeling thick in her voice. "Didn't dad tell you what is going on and how dangerous it is right now?" She doesn't mention the argument on the phone of course.

Sandra ushers Claire into a more living room like area, toward the couch. "Have a seat, dear." Is all she says, sitting down herself. "Well, it's hard not to act like him these days, what with all that's going on." She says this, attempting to sounds neutral, even if a touch of sorrow may come through. "Regardless of what your father did or did not tell me, I would have come anyway. My only regret is for Lyle, who had no say in the matter. He's been doing rather better than I expected." She smiles at Claire. "I couldn't stay away, no matter how dangerous it was or is. You're father couldn't have stopped me. Event if he wanted to." And no, she won't let him use the Haitian on her anymore. No forgetting that she wants to move! "I just want our family to be together again. It doesn't matter how safe or how dangerous. Families stick together through even the toughest of times, God help us." At that moment, a shrill barking comes from upstairs and slowly starts to get closer and closer. Finally, a small orange blur comes running into the room. That orange blur is none other than Mr. Muggles who is barking happily at Claire.

Settling into a chair, Claire looks like she might be stubborn about the whole thing. She takes a deep breath and bites her lower lip again. Was her mom always so fragile looking? "There is too much dangerous going on. You should have waited…." The words trail off as she realizes that safe may never really come. She starts to say more and suddenly there is a streak of orange fur. Claire brightens suddenly. "Mr Muggles!" And Claire is that teenager again as she scoops up the excited bundle of fur to hug and pet happily, "He looks so good.. Yes he does." Good thing Cardinal isn't around to see this as she's reduced to the same babytalk her mom uses.

If she's looking frail, it would come as no surprise to her. Sandra has been in a constant state of 'What's going on?' since she agreed to operate a safehouse in Costa Verde. "There is always something dangerous going on, dear. There's always someone wanting to kill someone else and someone loosing control of their dangerous ability. That's always how it's going to be. The only difference is how we act in those situations, and how we treat others. What we do to others." She looks at Claire with worried eyes. She's heard of what Claire has been doing. Being a 'terrorist'. Dare she broach that subject? Some relief is had when Mr. Muggles does arrive, however. Sandra attempts a smile as licking Claire. "Someone's supposed to be upstairs watching dog shows, isn't he?" She says in similar babytalk.

Fingers curl deep into the rusty orange fur as Claire scratches the ruff of the family dog. She pulls back from the dog enough to look at him with a bright smile. "Were you watching the dogs and telling them what amatures the are?" The smile falls away again when Claire looks at her mom, fingers still buried in the comforting fur. "Dad told me you were working with the Ferrymen.. and had for awhile. I still can't wrap my head around it. My mom… buried over her head in everything dad use to try and protect her from."

Sandra looks at her daughter with sorrowful eyes, attempting to smile. "It's what your father tried to protect us from. He never wanted us to be a part of any of this. But I've grown tired of the secrecy, Claire. I've had enough of it. So, if that I've got to be over my head in people with abilities to…to shoot light from their fingers and to create juice out of thin air and to shoot shards of ice from their eyes, then so be it. Besides, how can I ignore the fact that my very own daughter has an ability?"

Claire gives her mom a slightly embarrassed smile. "Yeah well… I guess you can't ignore that." Sighing heavily Claire gives in a bit. "Alright… I guess I can't blame you after everything. Having me and Dad gone would make it rather boring in Costa Verde." She kisses the top of Mr. Muggles furry head and loosens her grip on him. She is quiet for a long moment before she asks carefully.

"How much did dad tell you?"

Mr. Muggles tries to lick Claire again as she kisses him on the head, and then settles for relaxing on her lap. It's a dog's life, that's for sure! Sandra gives Claire a smile. "Well, I had Lyle. And…I THINK he liked school." She says softly, gazing at her daughter. "About you? Your father told me little bits. I heard bits of this and that quite often, whenever there was something to hear." The worried look is back. "It's a dangerous world, Claire! And there's only so many times a person should be allowed to get killed!" 'A person' being Claire. "I hate to hear that you're putting yourself in danger. I just hate it! I don't care if you regenerate! When does it stop? You can only regenerate so many times!" Okay, maybe that's not quite true, but she's a worried mother.

"Mom… mom…" The word is repeated as Sandra rants on about her health and well being. "Mom!" Claire sounds exasperated as when she's done. "I save people." She states simply. "I regenerate, others don't. I've saved so many people putting myself in danger." She can think of many of them and one fairly recently. "I'm doing a good thing mom, I'm working to save the future." She gives her mom a pointed look. "I'm more worried about you and Lyle being here. I'm sure you've seen the reports of that building falling."

Sandra places her hands on her hips. "Saving people is all good and fine, but you shouldn't have to needlessly put yourself in constant danger like that. Besides that, how many times have you died? And an honest count too!" She says, still quite concerned. "You may not have to worry as much about being hurt, dear, but I worry for you. I worry that you've stopped being as cautious and careful as the rest of us in the face of physical danger." There's a short pause. "Just because you can regenerate, don't mean you should keep putting yourself in physical danger!"

The look Claire gives her mom is one of tolerance as she listens, but there is a small frown on her lips, fingers continue to scratch at Mr. Muggles fur. "I can honestly say there has only been one time recently that I purposely got myself hurt, but each time it saved someones life." Her jaw clenches slightly as she continues, her words have a sharper edge to them, but she still keeps her voice soft. "I've been doing things for years mom and I'm still sitting here. Your not going to stop me from this anymore then I'm able to get you out of New York."

Sandra sorrow flicks through her eyes. She hates the thought of Claire getting hurt. There's no amount of assurances that can change that. "I still don't like it, Claire. It's…how would you feel if one of us got hurt? Your father or myself or Lyle?" She asks of her daughter. "Only we have to see it happen to you over and over again!" Mr. Muggles looks up at Claire at that exact same moment, with his big bright eyes.

"I know, but I have a gift, mom." Claire stiffly, "So does Magnes… so do a lot of the people I work with." Feeling little eyes on her, she looks down at Mr. Muggles and smirks. "Don't you start too." She chides the tiny show Pom. "The guy I work for mom… He's got a lot of information on the future. He doesn't have a lot of people helping him. There are so many dangers that could happen and will happen if he doesn't have help. I believe in what he is doing." She holds up a hand. "And I know it could happen cause some have witnessed it."

Mr. Muggles gives Claire a little bark. Sandra just shakes her head. "Don't you see, though? Your father believed in what he was doing too, back when he was…doing everything else! This isn't a case of bringing in some evolved people and hiding them from the authorities. This is getting yourself killed or hurt time and time again! And I hate the thought of it happening." She says, before standing up suddenly. "Would you like some pie? It's still really hot, but I'm sure it's still good."

She touches the dogs tiny nose, "Your not the boss of me." Claire ruffles Mr. Muggles first, before depositing him on the floor so that she can stand and follow her mother. A change in subject is desperately needed, "Pie sounds great, I miss your pie… well, your cooking in general… The pie Magnes made wasn't exactly like yours, but it was close."

Mr. Muggles barks at Claire again as if to say 'Oh yeah?' But then she puts him down, and there's not much he can do about that besides dancing about in an amusing fashion to try to get attention back on him again. He finally follows Claire and Sandra to the kitchen. Sandra get to quick work of getting some plates and slicing the apple pie into pieces, giving both her and Claire generous portions. "So…if Magnes is your boyfriend…whatever happened to West? He was a nice boy."

There is a grimace at the mention of West. "I.. .ah… we had a disagreement about a year or two ago. Magnes and I have been dating for about three months nows." She leans on the counter watching her mom, before moving to take the plates to the table for her. "Kind of a weird question… but what did you think of Magnes?"

Sandra furrows her brow. "What kind of disagreement?" She's Claire's mother, she cares about her relationships. "Magnes seems…" Sandra actually has to think about that, as she collects up a couple of forks and takes them to the table while Claire takes the plates. "Forgive me for saying, but he seems a little naive. Not just about relationships, though he did ask me a few things about them. I was more than happy to help, though, since it was to do with you. But he told me that he had an ability. These days that is not something that is safe to do. If it had been someone else, it could have been more dangerous. Though, to his benefit, he did hold out fairly well in regard to not telling me that you had an ability." She says. "But I figured for someone so young who is also supposed to be a police officer….well, he could have been a bit more cautious."

"Uh.. differences of opinion on where our relationship was going." Claire murmurs before brushing a subject aside as she sits at the table. Taking one of the forks, she smiles a bit. "You obviously haven't seen all the news about him. The police officer that saved all those people when he brought that helicopter down. Or his radio interview? He's all over the news, so his ability isn't a secret."She cuts a small section of pie away and sighs. "Probably going to lose his job over it, but he really means well…. Most don't think much of him."

Sandra frowns. "Can I let you in on a secret? Men don't really know where they want their relationships to go. We women have to take all the initiative." She says softly. "I've only just moved to New York, dear! I didn't quite pay much attention to anything outside of local news in Costa Verde. I was too worried that the safe house was going to be discovered! What with people with abilities arguing with one another and all." She sighs. "Well, tell him he can work for the Ferrymen. I'm sure I can get him in with us. It may not pay much, if at all actually, but he can help people like him. I'm sure I can talk your father into letting him help us. But still…he has some growing up to do, I think. He did ask a totally strange woman relationship advice, after all. If I hadn't caught on almost immediately that he was talking about you, I may have thought it even stranger that he was asking me for advice."

Something about Sandra's words makes Claire smirk, her words are amused. "Somehow I think once dad knows who, he'll have somethings to say about that. I don't think it will be that easy to get him in, but I'll mention it." She takes a few bites the pie before she speaks up again. "I know he has growing up to do, but he's a a good guy and I think there is potential in him. Trust me, he's slowly learning." She swirls her fork in the juice on her plate. "I really like this one, mom." She admits, her cheeks coloring a bit. "Even if he has a lot to learn about this side of things."

Mr. Muggles curls up on Claire's feet, sighing softly. Sandra smiles at her daughter. "You just leave your father to me, Claire. Just let me know if Magnes wants to help or not." She may not fully approve of Magnes at his current stage, but she's not going to just. And if he's not actually hurting Claire…well, who is she to say anything against him straight off. "I do want you to be careful, though. I don't want you to get hurt. Emotional damage can be worse than physical. You can't heal it with your ability." She says with a nod. "I thought you really liked West. You even flew out here with him. Literally." Obviously she liked West. She thought he was good for her. "So…tell me. How much do you like him?" She asks. "If we're going to have some girl time, I might as well ask. Besides…I'm your mother. You should be able to talk to me." She says, taking a bite of the pie.

"Magnes flies too, Mom." There is a soft chuckle from the ex-cheerleader. "Not in the same way, he can effect gravity of things." She wiggles her feet abit as Mr. Muggles settles on them. "You know he gave me roller skates with pictures of Mr. Muggles on them? I mean, the comic book version of him. And I like him a lot… a lot." There is a lot of meaning behind the way she says that word. "He hasn't pushed me to do anything.. and truth be told." Her cheeks brighten to a shade of red. "In that respect… He's like me." Her eyes stay fixed on the pie. This is the only part of her life that hasn't progressed since high school.

"Effecting gravity…that's a new one to me." Sandra replies, stilling eating the pie. She gazes at Claire. "Roller skates…with pictures of Mr. Muggles on them?" Mr. Muggles moves his head at the mention of his name, perhaps looking up at them. Though it's hard to tell from under the table. Sandra smiles. "Well, I'm glad he hasn't pushed you to do anything." She gazes at her daughter with a soft, understanding smile. "It's nothing to be embarrassed about, dear." She says, seeing her daughter blushing. "You shouldn't feel rushed into it."

"Yeah.. our first date was on a blanket floating in the sky." She explains with a soft smile. "Kinda won me over right there… I dunno.. And we haven't rushed… I mean it has been three months since we started dating." She eats a few bites and ventures to add carefully. "But I've been giving it some serious thought. I mean… I am twenty." Her lip tugs up at the corner.

Sandra shakes her head and smiles softly. "Well, sounds like he was Aladin and you were Jasmine." She responds. "Though you were always much prettier than that Jasmin girl in the movie." That's not motherly bias, right? "You can be thirty for all it matters. It isn't something you should do until you are absolutely ready. You have to think, do you like this boy enough for it?"

Opening her mouth, Claire has all the intentions to says she's more then ready, but she doesn't. "I don't know. I've been kind of going with the flow." She admits with an embarrassed smile, her head ducks down and she blushes eating a couple more bites. "I can't believe we are having this conversation." Her head comes up, "Are you running this safe house now? Or is dad going to assign you to another?"

Sandra shakes her head. "Well, it's only fair. I had to be embarrassed about it when my own mother talked to me about it. Now it's your turn." She smiles. "I only want the best for you, though. I care about you. A lot. I don't want you to do something that you'll regret." She says. "I've been looking at various safe houses. Someone else runs this one. I may just end up helping out with one. I'm not sure. Or I may end up doing something else entirely for the Ferrymen. Who knows."

"I'll leave my number with you, so you can let me know." Glancing at the window, Claire sighs. "I need to get back." She sounds rather sad about that, but… "We have some training to do for events coming up." She sets her fork on the plate carefully and pushes it away, before standing. "I'm sorry, for not keeping in touch. I promise now that you are in New York, I'll do better." She smiles a bit, one side of her mouth, "Maybe I'll bring Magnes by."

Sandra furrows her brow. "You don't really have to go, do you? I mean…if you can't die, certainly you can forgo a little bit of training, can't you?" This is the only acceptable use of Claire's ability she can think of right now, to keep Claire around longer. Mr. Muggles lets out a little confused noise as the feet he was resting on move. He trots out from under the table and looks up at Claire, barking a couple of time. "Please…can't you just stay a little while longer?"

Giving her mother a pained look, Claire sighs. "I wish I could, but this is important. Someone is going to try to take out the Statue of Liberty before long. How would that go over? So we're training for the mission to stop the man responsible. If it wasn't important I would stay longer." She moves to push her chair in, her expression sad. "You remember how it was with dad…. as much as I hate doing it now."

Sandra scoops down and picks up Mr. Muggles, who barks again at Claire, as if he's telling her to stay as well. "Please Claire…" Sandra says. "I remember all too well how it is with your father even still. That's why I ask you to stay. We've only just come back together. We should make the last as long as it can." She looks at her daughter sorrowfully. "I don't want it to be another three years before I see you again."

What is it about moms… they know how to guilt their daughters into anything. Seeing her mom beg, Claire sighs softly. "Alright. I'll stay." She holds up her finger, "..until Lyle gets back so I can at least say hello to him. Then I have to get back." She moves to half hug her mother around the fluff ball of a dog. "I promise you though, it won't be a three years. I've learned lately that I'm missing having family in my life."

Sandra sighs and smiles, obviously happy. "Good. Good. Lyle will absolutely love seeing you." She says nodding. She embraces Claire in a great big hug…or as best a one she can while holding Mr. Muggles. "I'm glad. Family is important. Lyle and I have missed you and your father greatly." She says to her daughter.

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