claire2_icon.gif the_haitian_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif

Scene Title Invincible/Fragile
Synopsis Claire Bennet asks the Haitian for something very difficult, and Magnes asks of him something impossible. The Haitian asks of both of them — be strong.
Date January 11, 2009

USS George Washington

The lower decks of the USS George Washington do not share the same whitewashed color of the hangars, these more claustrophobic corridors are a matte Navy gray in coloration, fluorescent lights in the ceilings draining away any sense of vibrancy in color. Down in the crew quarters, this is equally true, where narrow bunk beds are stacked three high and carrier personnel are afforded little personal space. The white cloth mattresses of the bunks seem a bleached bone white in this lighting, and the confused looks on the faces of some of the crew there are from questions coming from a single young man cavassing the area with a single question. "Is your name Rene?"

Questioning each person he can find, one skinny aircraft technician approached by Magnes Varlane seems enthusiastic about it, but not in so much that his name is Rene, but in the way he points over Magnes' shoulder. Standing there, shoulders relaxed and his dark, lanky frame accented by the sleek lines of his camel colored suit. Dark eyes level beneath a furrowed brow towards Magnes, and the tall, thin memory manipulator offers a quirk of his brow, one hand lifting up to curl his finger, inviting Magnes to follow him.

The other naval offers offer a hesitant smile to Magnes, nodding their heads towards the tall, dark man in recognition of Rene, and after that beckoning gesture, Rene just turns wordlessly, and begins walking towards the exit of the bunks.

Combat boots clomp along the gun metal gray corridors of the USS George Washington, carrying Claire along an undetermined path even though her thoughts are turned inward. She barely dodges this body or that, as she's not exactly paying attention to where she is going. Each person she barely dodges, glare at her back, not that it phases her.

The young regenerator is worried, a part of her knows that maybe she's over reacting, but…. what if she isn't. That right there, that doubt is what bothers her the most, in that moment. Her discussion with Cardinal and Elisabeth still fresh in her head, as she's only just left their company a few moments earlier. What they said didn't help like she had hoped, though at the same time they gave her more to think on.

A hand lifts to rub across her forehead almost wearily, blocking her view of the tall dark man before her long enough that she bumps into him. Turning quickly with and apologetic look, hands lifting in a placating gesture, "Oh god.. I'm So….." Blue eyes have to travel up pretty far to find Rene's face and she blinks, as if surprised to see him.

"Rene… I… " She glances around them, spotting an open conference room right away. Claire moves forward to grip one of the Haitian's arms and points to the empty space, giving it a tug to start pulling him that direction. "Can I talk to you?" She looks a touch worried and nervous about what she need to talk to him about. "It.. kind of important."

Magnes, having met Rene two or three times already, has no idea who the man is when he sees him. He follows though, having apparently found who he was looking for, appearing slightly nervous. This guy is Rene? He's certainly not very feminine…

When they're away from everyone else, before they even stop walking, he has to speak up. "This isn't why I came to find you, but I was just wondering, there's nothing you can do for Claire at all?"

Turning slowly, the Haitian looks over his shoulder to Claire, one dark brow raised in curious contemplation. The tug to his sleeve brings Rene back, towards the door of the open room. Dim lights, a folding table of faux wood grain and many chairs surrounding it are the only furnishings in the long, narrow room save for a whiteboard at the far end. "Claire?" His voice urges concern, but at the same time has a hesitance to it. He looks to the open door, then very quietly presses his large hand to it, pushing it shut.

"What is the matta'?" He turns, regarding the tiny blonde over his shoulder, that brow still raised and shoulders squared in tension. The unusual order of Claire seeking him out seems to have Rene on alert, much as her posture and tone of voice does. Carefully withdrawing that blanket feeling of negation, the Haitian stares down at Claire, waiting.

A sharp look is offered to Magnes over Rene's shoulder, and the Haitian watches him for a moment before stepping into an unoccupied briefing room. The small, dimly lit office features a folding table of faux wood finish surrounded by several chairs and a whiteboard. Rene looks to Magnes as he walks in, then closes the door behind him. Dark eyes level back on the younger, shorter man, and the sound of a sigh escapes the normally stoic gentleman.

"Something does not come from nothing," he states in an accent tangentally similar to Huruma's, but thinner and lighter, his voice almost breathy. "I am sorry, Magnes." He knows exactly who he is, it only makes sense, "sorry for so many things." His dark eyes narrow, and Rene moves to sit on the corner of the table, arms folded across his chest. "Why have you been looking for me, if not about Claire?"

"Well, I got to thinking, about what Claire's lost, about what I've lost this year. I want to try and remember something good came out of everything, that I didn't just keep losing and losing. And, you don't have to be sorry, you didn't do anything to me." Other than a bag 'n tag and memory wipes. Magnes lifts one leg after the other, crossing his legs in the air. "I was in this place called The Company, my memories of it were partially wiped. I want them back, I mean, I don't even care about knowing sensitive information, if that can be left out, good, but… I want to remember the friends I made there, I want to have something else that's good to hold on to."

"I… think I need your help with something." Claire starts softly moving to grip the back of one of the chairs, knuckles whitening some. "I know… I use to complain about my dad asking you to use your ability on some one, but…." There is a grimace from the young woman and she suddenly can't look at her occasional savior. "… I think I'm starting to understand why he did it."

"I'm not proud of this," She murmurs, her express pained, eyes closing against a twist in her gut. Talking a deep breath she tries to think how she wants to word her requests… So she starts in the beginning. "But before all this.. before I got my head blown apart, it seems I dated a boy, Magnes Varlane." Blue eyes lift from the table to look at Rene, "I know you've see him on the boat."

She steps away from the chair, prying her fingers off of it so Claire can gesture with her hands, as she paces around the table. "Either floating around.. sitting on the ceiling.. and other things that make me wonder what the old me was thinking."

Claire sighs, pressing a hand to her forehead, her other hand rests on her hip, "And it seems I told him some rather important things."

Guilt paints itself as a furrow of brows across Rene's face, and the Haitian watches Magnes with scrutiny normally reserved for Claire. "Magnes," he offers in a hushed tone of voice, head shaking back and forth slowly, "tha' memories that were taken from you— " he hesitates, dark eyes narrowing, and angles his head down, a troubled look crossing his face. For a moment, Rene seems uncertain of something, silence dominating his countenance as he breathes in a deep breath and then exhales another.

"I…. could do that." The Haitian does not seem convinced of it, doe snot seem entirely sure of himself, or perhaps it is a different worry resting heavy on his head that keeps his brow furrowed and head bowed so. "You have more good t'hold on to than you know, Magnes. There s'more good in your life than just the things you 'ave lost, just the people you canno' remember. You are missing something…" Rene's fingers tap against his own dark brow, "an' so is Claire." That much is offered pointedly. "Would you so willingly sever that one last bond you two have? That you a'both missing something, that the place in your mind where there are empty spots, could instead b'filled by her?"

Swallowing tensely, Rene watches Magnes with a nervous anxiety. "Would y'so willingly give tha' up?"

Already, the Haitian does not seem to like where the direction of this conversation is going. His dark eyes follow Claire's movements around the room, and he comes to settle down on the corner of the table with a furrow of his brows and a deep breath inward. "Claire," he exhales as a sigh, looking down to the floor, "what you ask me to do, is very serious." When Rene looks up, tension has been replaced by guilt in his expression.

"A'you absolutely certain that 'e can'no be trusted with this information?" It seems in some ways, disobediance has become par for course with Rene, not immediately jumping at the request to wipe memories of Nathan's illicit secrets from Claire's confused friend. "I have already taken memories from him b'fore, Claire. Already stolen so much from him at th' Company's request. Is this truly wha'you want?"

Magnes rubs his forehead, frowning slightly when it's put that way, then looks to the door, and back to the man again. "I guess, if I think of it like that…" He releases a sigh, leaning against the wall as that hand moves from his forehead to clutch at his chest. "We made peace with eachother, we're gonna try and get to know eachother again when this nuke stuff is all over. But, it still hurts. She's still her, she's still the girl I love, I don't care if she's changed, but I'm still grieving over the part of her that died forever, that little part of the girl I love that I'll never see again… I don't even know why I'm saying this right now, but I try hard to hold it in, so I don't say this all to her, so I don't make her worry. I just.. needed to say it, to someone."

He closes his eyes, and finally just nods before they open again. "But you're right, I don't want to break the one bond we have left. I don't know why, but before my memories were lost, I wrote a note to myself, it said 'You did it for Claire'."

"I know." Claire says fiercely, turning back to the tall man, she advances towards her father's one time partner. "I remember taking my mom to the hospital cause my dad had to erase her memory too much." Her head tilts back as she looks at the ceiling, she looks so completely frustrated. She is frustrated at herself mostly. "But we're talking about secrets that could cause so many problems if they got out."

Eyes drop from the ceiling, slowly followed by her head as she continues. "He knows about Nathan Petrelli being my real father. If that got out… Oooh.. that could be so bad. Not just for my fathers, but me. And we know he doesn't even acknowledge I exist. And according to who I've talked too, he might not do it on purpose.. but it could." Claire gives him a look pleading for him to understand. "Not just that, he knows he truth about midtown… that puts Peter in danger. He didn't mean to do it.. and it was my fault for not being there when I told him I would."

Her emotions are in complete turmoil over what she's doing. It's the right thing to do.. she knows this, but there is that part of her that loathed every time her father did it to her family and friends " There has to be a reason I never told him about where I was staying or the mission of what I'm doing with Richard." She gives a wave at the door. "Why would I tell him all that, but not where I live?"

"You did do it for her…" Rene offers in solemn tone, watching Magnes carefully, "which makes this so much harder on me." Rising up from the table, the Haitian takes a few steps closer to the young man, his dark brow furrowed and a blanket wave of negation quickly washing over the young man, sending his equilibrium out of whack and knees buckling, just as it had before. Without his gravity manipulation to help him move around, Magnes' typical mode of locomotion collapses like a house of cards.

"Claire came to me," Rene offers in a hushed tone of voice, taking a knee beside where Magnes collapses on the floor of the conference room, the forefingers and thumb of one of his dark hands rubbing together. "She told me… that she wanted me to wipe portions of your memory, to erase certain things she told you, because she was no' sure if she could trust you with that knowledge."

Rene's dark eyes square on the young man, muscles at the sides of his jaw flexing as he clenches his teeth together.

The answer to that makes Rene's brows furrow, and he moves to clear the distance between himself and Claire. A large, firm hand comes down onto her shoulder, squeezing tightly. "Claire, your father is a very pragmatic man, but he is a man that has made so many mistakes in his life, ones he can never take back…" His dark eyes wander from each of Claire's far ighter ones in alternating scrutiny. Then, his grip relaxes just a little, jaw tensing and eyes averting from the young woman.

"You've many things hurting you right now, Claire, even if you can'no feel the pain as easily as others should." A hesitant smile rises on his features. "I unda'stand what you'a feeling, and how confused you are." Something tightens at the corners of Rene's eyes, an uncertainty and nervousness not typically becoming of him. "I know what must be done…" he says with a firm nod of his head, "what the boy knows is dangerous, you a'right."

When Rene's hand finally slips away from Claire's shoulder, his dark eyes settle on hers once more. "I will go," he offers in hushed quality, "an' do what must b'done."

"But she did trust me!" Magnes says after a slight yelp from his butt slamming to the floor. "Before she lost her memories, she told me everything. She only doesn't trust me now because…" He gets choked up, unable to really finish, likely feeling more pain, emotionally, than he ever has in his life. It hurts, more than anything, to suddenly have ones girlfriend to completely lose her trust, faith, everything, and tears just begin streaming down his cheeks. "Why is this happening to us… Why is life like this?" he asks in a plea for some sort of enlightenment, something that will make this all make sense.

Rene reaches out, dark fingers spread as his hand goes for Magnes. It is not for his head, however, but for his throat. Wrapping fingers around the collar of Magnes' shirt, Rene draws the gravitokinetic up into a seated position, so that he can lean in close, and make his points very clear. "You are lucky to be alive right now," he urges in a very firm imperitive. "Your work for the Company could have gotten you killed. I have seen Agents turned to empty shells for being forced out of the organization, I have seen men lose their whole lives." Swallowing tightly, Rene shakes his head, voice enunciating his choice of words so very carefully.

"Thank you , Rene."

The trembling words are whispered softly from Claire in relief, a tear finally sliding slowly down her cheek only to be joined by many more. "I never once in my life ever thought there would be a time that I would have to ask you do to this." She sniffles and swallows hard against the hard lump in her throat threatening to suffocate her. "And I'm so… so sorry that I have to now." The words are genuine as she says them, her heart in them.

"I just can't risk my family, any of them, while I try to figure it out." She wipes the back of her hand across her cheek, but the tears still fall. Claire looks at the moisture on her hand and gives a small sad chuckle. "I don't know how my dad did this and not feel like the worst human being in the world. I barely know Magnes yet… I feel so horrible, even if it is the right thing."

"I will'no do that to a boy, not again." Dark eyes are wide, //intense, the ring of white around them from his sclera making them seem coal black in contrast. "Claire is confused, hurt an' scared. You are a man," Rene states flatly, "you mus' take care of her, reassure her, and prove t'her tha' she is someone she can count on. One day, she is goin' to break from all the stress put upon her. She is invincible, but she is also very fragile."

Rene swallows, tightly, and looks from the door to Claire. His brows furrow, dark eyes narrow, and his words that come before his exit are very firmly placed. "You father felt terrible," Rene offers in a tight voice, "every single time." He opens the door, still watching Claire as he shakes his head from side to side, "remember that."

Breathing in deep, it's clear that the Haitian is trying to take control of his own emotions. "I will'no take your memories from you again," he adds in grave tone of voice, "but you will listen, very carefully to what I 'ave t'say."

There are many ways to define our fragile existence; Many ways to give it reason.

"I'll take care of her! I love her!" Magnes takes a deep breath when he gets called a man, which causes him to wipe his tears and try to strain it back. "I'm listening, I mean, you don't seem like a bad guy, so, I owe you that much." He's so emotional at the moment, the again part doesn't quite register, yet.

But it is our memories that shape its purpose and give it context. A private assortment, of images, fears, loves, regrets.

"You do'no owe me anything…" Rene offers quietly, and as his fingers unwind from Magnes' collar, so too does his negation field slink back away from the young man, folding up back inside of his body like a parachute tucked into a backpack. "But you owe her so very much." Rising up to stand straight, Rene adjusts the lapels of his suit, dark fingers straightening the smooth cloth as he turns to look away and to the door, then back down to Magnes, offering out a hand to help him up.

We alone choose the importance of each.

"Claire wants you to forget everything about her heritage, tha' she is a Petrelli an' what her uncle Peter did to Midtown." There is a very firm expression on Rene's face at that, and as he helps Magnes up to his feet, the Haitian squeezes Magnes' hand tightly. "A'want you to forget that," he asks, instead of demanding with his power. "A'want you to forget those things she told you, an' pretend like I did exactly what she asked. There will be no more forcing of memories to be lost, not from people so young, no' from children." When his fingers disengage from Magnes' hand, Rene watches him carefully. "Do you understand wha' a'ask of you? No one can fin' out tha' you know these things. You can'no talk to anyone about them."

Building our own unique histories one memory at a time.

Magnes nods quickly a few times, clearly understanding. "Before she lost her memories, Claire told me about being a Petrelli, and a lot of stuff about Midtown, because she trusted me to never tell anyone." Magnes places a hand on the door handle, though doesn't twist yet. "I won't tell anyone that I know, not even Claire. I'll take care of her, I'll try really hard, I'll save the goddamned world, I just want my girlfriend to be happy."

Hoping the ones we choose to remember don't betray or trap us.

"I think you can do that, Magnes." Rene doesn't quite clarify to which assertion he is agreeing in; perhaps it means all of the above. "But you mus' be strong for Claire. She has lost so much of her life from what has happened, she has suffered, and bled, and died. She needs someone strong by her side, to be the strength she lost with those memories. I know what she thought of you, Magnes, I know what you thought of her. You are the best thing to come into her life, in a ver' long time."

For it is the cruel irony of life that we are destined to hold the dark with the light, the good with the evil.

Rene squints, looking to the door to the conference room, then back to Magnes quietly. "Be strong for her, no matter how far it seems like she is distancing herself from you. Be hers, Magnes, no' someone else's, because for as strange as tha' two of you may seem together, a'think that you might be one of the few good influences in her whole life."

That is what separates us, makes us human.

"I guess getting more confidence will be more helpful than recovering my memories, in the long run." Magnes smiles, offering his free hand to the Haitian, seeming very thankful. "I'll be there for her, no matter what happens, I'll be there for her. No more sulking and worrying, I'm going to save the freakin' world and take my girlfriend to the movies!"

And in the end… what we must fight to hold on to.

Rene offers a smile, somewhat uncertain in its honesty, but reflexive. "As someone once said…" Rene offers in a quiet tone of voice, "save the cheerleader, save the world."

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