Hope And A Box Of Pictures


cat_icon.gif claire_icon.gif eve_icon.gif

Scene Title Hope And A Box Of Pictures
Synopsis After dreaming about Claire's illness, Eve comes to the Safe House to visit with Claire. Cat shows up as well and hints are made about the trouble going on, but more importantly… there is hope for Claire.
Date July 16, 2009

Village Renaissance Building - Fourth Floor Safehouse

The floors here on the fourth level of the Village Renaissance Building at 14 East 4th Street are of polished grey marble and the smooth walls are painted a cream color. Four corridors with four apartments each are found here, with stairwells at the front and back and elevators centrally placed in each corridor. The elevators have buttons for the first three floors visible, and control panels requiring both key and keycard to open.

The apartment doors, made from sturdy pine, are operated by keycards only on this floor. Like the second and third floors, they're numbered 401-416.

But that's where the similarity ends. This floor isn't for rental to the general public. It's a place reserved for temporary stays by whomever the person who lives on the top floor chooses to give sanctuary.

It's a safehouse of the Ferrymen, operated by a member of Phoenix, using the cover of musician's eccentricities to explain away the motley crew of folks who might come and go if anyone should ask.

It's been a couple of days since Claire had visited Abigail and been pampered. At that time she had thought the world was coming to an end with as sick as she was feeling. She had thought it couldn't get any worst. There was no way. Boy, was she ever wrong.

When she was at Abby's it had only been a tickle in the back of her throat, but it steadily got worse as the days went by. No amount of cough medicine seemed to help the rattling in her chest. She was closing on two weeks sick and she wasn't getting better. Maybe Abigail was wrong. She had to be. People stayed sick for longer right?

Shuffling, through the safe house in the pair of fuzzy bunny slippers she rescued from the back of a closet and a throw wrapped around her shoulders, Claire felt like gravity was trying to drag her to the floor. Working her way to the kitchen she grips the doorjamb, as the urge to cough gripped her again. Pressing a corner of the blanket to her mouth she leans against the jam as the racking cough makes her feel momentarily weak. Glancing around as the rattling subsides, she can only think… Thank god, no one there to see it.

A knock on the door. And the woman there at the door… is none other than Eve Mas. The singer is standing at the door with a box in her hand. She tilts her head at the door. "Claire?" she calls. She knows the woman is there though, she dreamt it.

Wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white tank top, all with grease stains on them. She looks like a totally different person. Her arm's still bandaged a lot. No blood can be seen now tough. Thank God.

Claire's luck is not so good. Or, depending on the viewpoint, it could be very good. One of the elevators open, and out steps the five foot eight inch mysterious person who keeps all this going through various persons and legal proxies. There's nothing in her hands except a key card and keys, Cat is looking for Delilah and/or Abby. Her head turns one way, then the other, to find neither of those two but to instead settle on Eve as she stands outside a door with box in hand. Her course is adjusted, Eve is approached.

It seems Cat has something to cover with her?

Claire clears her throat to try and avoid another coughing attack, almost missing the knock. However, she hears the sound of a familiar voice, which makes her straighten, pushing away from the door jam. See, not so sick. She quickly combs brown hair from her ashen face, before she starts for the door. Making an attempt at trying to make herself sound better, she adds a tone of false cheerfulness in it. "Hey. Yeah. Just a moment." She drops the blanket off her shoulders and sets it over the back of a chair and proceeds to straighten her rumpled sweats. Finally, she opens the door and offers as good a smile as she can muster. "Hey Eve…" Eyes flick to the approaching woman behind her friend. "Cat." She opens the door more so that people can come in, though she also uses the door to prop herself up.

"No use faking with me. I already know." Eve whispers softly to Claire and pats her shoulder as she walks in. Cat is given a brief look as she enters the place. Eve comes to sit down on the couch and place the little box on her lap.

The whisper goes not caught as Cat approaches and steps through the door Claire left open for entry through. "Eve, Claire," she greets in turn with a nod. Her features seem calm enough, but they're businesslike as ever. Little more is said by the Renaissance Woman who never forgets, she opts not to interrupt the two for the moment. "Good to see you both."

Claire winces a bit at Eve's words and gives her a pained look. "You would." She returns softly, though there is a small smile that goes along with it. Once Cat is through the door, Claire shuts it again slowly. "Hey, Cat. Been awhile." Her eyes move to Eve as the statement is addressed to them both. She tries to keep her shoulders straight as she moves to settles on the couch as well. She starts to say something but the words catch in her throat. A hand retreats into her sleeve so that she can cough, the wet rattle of it noticeable. When it passes, she can't hide how miserable she feels. Her words are rough as she addresses Eve again, "I'm guessing the fact that you know is why your here?"

"Nice to see you as well." Is said to Cat but Eve's eyes are still on Claire. "I've seen some things with you that I had been worried about. I missed you too." She says softly and holds up the box. "I brought you something, I don't know if it will cheer you up or not, but I just moved the other day and I was going through old stuff and I found these." There's a small smile thrown Claire's way. Her white bandages are the only part of her clothing that aren't greasy.

What she means to discuss with Eve is set aside for the present, it being likely the dreamer already knows of the connection between her and Else Kjelstrom. That song's been getting some circulation, after all, and the apparently precog songstress is drawing good crowds. Also making Cat a decent amount of money, which helps maintain the rebellious organization and operate this place, among other things.

It's Claire her eyes settle on when that rattling cough is heard. The tallest of the three present withholds comments on that also while she runs over a list of what illnesses cause a sound like that in her panmnesiac brain.

She hates looking weak; it bothers Claire to be this weak around friends, but she keeps that fake smile on her lips, trying to look a little less sick then she really is. "Things? Like what?" She is trying hard to sound like there is nothing up. "It's just a little cold." Her gaze drops to the box and she looks curious. Hands slip out of her sleeves and she reaches for the box, one of her own hands bandaged the skin around it looking an angry red. The brunette's hands shake slightly as she takes the box. Attention shifts to the other woman's bandages and then up to Eve. "What happened?" is asked as she's suddenly concerned, hell with her own sickness.

"You don't get sick.." Eve says and tilts her head. "It maybe your body crashing, it isn't use to feeling like this. You're vulnerable to a number of sicknesses I bet."

In regards to the box, Eve hands it over. Inside are tons of pictures from the old PARIAH days, like back in the day before the Primatech raid and such. There's one of Helena and Claire, and one of Eve, Claire and Cameron. "I don't really want to keep them anymore. Seems like I'm the only one that really remembers the old days.." she says softly and takes her hands back to places them on her lap.

"Had a dream, had to get the message out somehow. Blood was the answer at the time." She says it so matter of fact like.

Her eyes move between the two, Cat listening to Eve and studying Claire at the same time, to assess whether or not this is just a little cold or something worse like pneumonia; then her attention shifts to the bandages Eve wears and the explanation given for them. Speculation follows: She hasn't seen Claire sick, but then again hasn't been around her long enough to know if the claim Eve made is true or not. She only met Adam once, and that wasn't a topic of conversation then. It was all about Claire's grandfather. She hasn't seen Peter sick, at least not physically, but again the frame of reference is too limited. The mention of a crashing body, however, raises an eyebrow.

As does Eve's mention of the dream and getting the message out. "That wasn't necessary, Eve," she quietly offers. "The message is out already. I heard about your dream, and there's another having it, I think."

The open question in her mind remains: does the loss of regeneration cause the body to crash?

Watching Claire, Cat would see it. From that wet rattling cough, to her pale clammy skin and the dark circles under her eyes. There is the occasional shiver that goes through the small woman's frame, as her fever has been getting steadily worse. Not to mention she just looks like crap in general.

Opening bow slowly, Claire reaches in to pick up some of the photos, emotions flitting across her face. She puts those done and picks up one with her, Peter, West, Helena and Eve, and a smile threatens her lips as her gaze turns thoughtful. "Seems like it's been longer ago then it really has," she says softly. "Feels like it been aged. I hope Peter's okay." She turns her head suddenly as her voice catches again and she's coughing hard again. This time it makes her hunch over as she works to stop and catch her breath.

When it does, she takes a shaky breath and looks embarrassed, dropping the photo back in the box and closes it. "Thanks Eve." She presses her hands against to sides of the box to stop their shaking. A glance to Cat she adds for no reason, "I'm fine.. it's just a cough. I'll probably start greeting better here soon." It sounded much more convincing in her head.

"What dream are you speaking of?" Eve tilts her head. "The only dream I've said anything about was the one about the Ruins of Midtown being destroyed by the Vanguard. Though how could you destroy it.. I don't know. It's already pretty.. well destroyed."

Eve smiles down at the pictures Claire has, "Yeah, it actually wasn't all that long ago. But I guess we move on, towards the future."

The singer looks up towards the ceiling and then to Cat. "So Pinehearst is set to be brought down soon, hm?" Eve raises an eyebrow towards Cat and nods, "No, this message I had to get out. Was something new… something… just something new."

She looks skeptical, not at all buying Claire's explanation, but opting not to push the issue right now. Cat's focus goes to Eve instead. "The one with a large bird and feathers that make mushroom clouds," is stated solemnly. "The past is prologue." She settles into a chair just as if she owns the place and leans back in it.

"There's a singer/songwriter, she's been playing shows at the Rock Cellar here and there lately, drawing great audiences. She's really good, and her songs strike chords. Else Kjelstrom. I looked into her. No ties to the Vanguard, the only thing in her record was being arrested a couple years back for possession of Oxycodone."

The mention of Pinehearst isn't addressed: Cat's not so willing to discuss a mission to kill Claire's grandfather in front of her. Even after what he did, it's still a family thing. It could still be objected to, and it was enough those few months back when Cat asked her to try getting past working with Gabriel Gray on the mission to Moab.

She chooses instead to sing the lyrics of the tune in question.

There is a saddening of Claire's features at Eve's words, her head drooping a bit as she looks at the box in her lap. "Yeah… we move on." Her head comes up slowly and she gives Eve that sad look. "I miss you guy.. You.. Helena.." A soft sigh escapes her, of course, there is a small cough at the end.

Pressing her sleeve to her nose, she glances at Cat as she speaks, fishing in her pocket for a kleenix so that she can blow her nose. "Mushroom clouds?" there is a flash of fear that passes over her face. "Come on. What's going one?" She looks like she's ready to get upset sick or not, she doesn't like feeling in the dark and she's been completely out of the loop.

As Cat sings, she listens worry plain on her face. She presses the tissue to her nose but doesn't blow so that she can hear it all. Once done she quickly blows her nose, her eyes closing against the pressure and pain. With a sniffle, she finally says, "So things are getting really bad… and I'm stuck here sick and unable to help anyone." Her eyes drop to her lap again, her thoughts going to that photo with Peter in it. It is not the first time she's had to sit back and watch the world blow up.

Eyes widen slightly at the news of Else. "Hmm well that's interesting. I'll need to meet with her… alone." She says and looks down at her lap. "Have you done something for the pain?" she whispers softly and shakes her head.

As the song is sung.. it's good her head is down and her hair is in her face.. because her mouth opens wide and she shakes her head. It takes her a moment before she can sit back up and face the two women. "That's a very good song." Looks like the messenger has been found after all.

"Yes.." she says to Claire. "The Vanguard may be coming back to wreck more havoc. I'm not sure yet though" she reassures Claire and places a hand on her shoulder. "I know, I miss everyone too.. even Helena at times. Though it may be hard to believe." She shakes her head. "You can't think like that. You'll be better soon. Then you can help out."

Her head tilts. "Something for the pain… That would explain the oxycodone bust…" Cat's voice trails off there, she nodding about the song when it returns. "Yes, good, and harrowing. But I came across another precognitive, she says this doesn't become a factor until a bit further on. Futures aren't written in stone. Kazimir was stopped, Cameron's killer was removed from the Earth. If remnants of his organization make more trouble, they'll fail just as he did." There's not a trace of doubt in her voice or on her face.

And in the same tone, Claire is spoken to. "As for you helping people, we can fix that easily. Just say the word and Helena or I will take you to Delphine. Maybe both of us."

Claire tucks the tissue in her pocket after giving her nose another wipe. Then she gives Eve a sad smile. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time really." It still hurts to think about what she did, and how it effected everyone.

Of course, Cat's words pull her attention and there is a look of confusion on her face. "Wait. Who?" Of course, she doesn't know, else she wouldn't have allowed herself to sit here sick for that last few weeks. She searches Cat's face as she asks carefully. "You're saying… I can be done with all this? I can get fixed?" Of course, she wants to be fixed this being sick crap is for the birds.

"You have enough to worry about, leave this be for now. After Pinehearst and other things are dealt with.." Basically Eve is agreeing with the other precog, it's not something to worry about now. The singer looks down at her hands and the dream races through her mind. "Don't sound so sure Cat.. there are things in this world. We cannot imagine. There isn't a hell of a lot of information on the whole of his faction. Be cautious. Not overconfident. We banished the beast but his children are just as powerful as he is."

Eve gives Claire a soft smile. "You can be fixed.. see you'll be back in no time."

"At the same time," Cat calmly counsels Eve, "to speak as if success isn't certain invites doubt, and doubt can by itself become a self-fulfilling prophecy. One where the fear is so great people cause it to happen by their own actions. If you predict you can't do something, and you don't believe you're capable of it, little else matters. You'd make yourself fail no matter how good you are."

Aaaaaand back to Claire. "Yes," she certifies. We'll set up the meeting, it'll be pulled off soon. I've seen her work." The unsaid part being Cat knows firsthand; after Claire's evil grandfather ripped her memory away, tossed her out the window with telekinesis, and burned down the family home it was Delphine who set her right again.

Mental note for Cat: Ask Abby why she didn't pass the word.

The relief that hits Claire it thick enough that it doesn't take an empath to feel it. "Oh thank god." She says with a groan. "I thought I was going to be stuck this way forever." Her head comes up there is tears in her eyes, she had been really scared that this was going to be her life. The look she gives Cat is pleading, "Please set it up?" And then Claire suddenly looks tired. "I think I need to go lay down.' She pulls the box close to her chest and actually smiles, though it looks odd with her sickly looks. "Thanks for these again Eve. I needed them, I think.

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