Only Mostly Dead


cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif claire_icon.gif delphine_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Only Mostly Dead
Synopsis A crisis is faced.
Date July 21, 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 has been a very long couple of weeks since, Claire started to first show the symptoms. What they didn't know was at some point her body would stop holding off the illness and it would crash hard. Already once today she's been on the edge of trouble, but thanks to divine intervention — okay, maybe not divine. — in the form of Deckard, she was able to last long enough for Abigail to call her friends and tell them that time was running short.

Even with Deckard's help, Claire is again trying to hack up her lungs with a boiling fever, by time Helena and Cat show up. Her teeth are chattering as she sits in that ice bath, still in her underwear, covered in those tiny little red hearts.

When the news arrives that they are going up to the 4th floor, it takes time get the teenager out of the water and into clothes as her whole body is rattling with cold. Using whatever support she can get from her 'babysitter', Cardinal, Claire concentrates on placing one foot in front of the other and to keep her legs under her as they work their way upstairs.

So Cardinal's taking an elevator up to the fourth floor with a wet, shivering teenaged girl tucked under his arm barely able to walk. Somehow, no matter what way this is interpreted, on the good or bad side, it can't possibly be good for his reputation. Sigh. The things he gets into hanging around Abigail.

"You'll be fine," he mutters under his breath, one arm slid around Claire, "Just relax. Think warm thoughts. Arthur Petrelli, burning in hell, stuff like that."

That elevator is open and ready for her to be brought into by Richard Cardinal, the access panel which normally hides the buttons for the floors above three is unlocked. This was made so before it was sent down. On the fourth floor, Cat waits. The word has gone out to Delphine of being needed here, and of some urgency about it all. The door to the unit nearest it is open and ready for the patient to be helped into, where she can be placed in a more comfortable spot than the hallway floor. Under her breath she murmurs, "Seems Eve was right. Her body is crashing hard. Suresh's book doesn't say it'd connect to regeneration. But then again, it's got nothing on loss of ability."

Helena is pacing a bit behind Cat, wringing her hands. "She's probably crashing because she doesn't have any kind of immune system." Helena says worriedly. "I mean, her ability is her immune system, and Arthur took it from her. I should have been more insistent to Teo about the formula, or I should have made arrangements sooner for Claire." Her voice is wracked with guilt.

The sound of foot steps heralds Delphine's arrival, having spent a short while at this location already, preparing if only mentally for Her Next Trick. Comfortable, light cotton pants hang low on her hips, a tank top over her torso and her hair bound into a low, trailing ponytail, she offers a smile to the two women waiting. Her feet are bare, with a tattoo of a daisy printed atop one foot. She's first to offer words without a greeting, namely to the blonde woman of the two, "I met that man you had sent my way. Matt, and his little girl. 's all taken care of."

She'd really like to sit down… no more like lay down. Claire's fingers are buries her fingers in his clothes to help keep her up, but her whole body shakes, her teeth chattering loudly. Cardinal's words manage to get a bit of a smile, her eyes rolling up to look at the taller man. "Thanks, " her voice rough from all the coughing and the liquid sound of her breath, but still the amusement is there. The coughing fits are coming much too frequent as another tears at her lung as they come off the elevator. Her lungs burn with pain, as she trying to get out whatever her body is trying to get rid of.

When her head comes up, there is a touch of red on her lips and covering the hand she was using to cover her mouth. There is a soft groan from her, "I… feel… woozy." and she's suddenly pressing her face against his chest. Then just as suddenly her legs give out as her world starts to spin, the infection seems to be speeding along faster then before.

Ah hell.

"I've gotcha— " A quick shift as Cardinal's other arm twines around Claire, and he pulls her up more against him just as the soft 'ding' of the elevator's doors slide open to reveal the pair waiting for them. "I hope you've got your repair person on site, because she's not lastin' much longer," he informs Helena and Cat urgently, even as he ducks down, his arm sliding to curl behind Claire's knees and heft her up, off the floor and into his arms to carry her out of the elevator.

"I told her that day we'd get her to Delphine whenever she said the word," Cat replies with her head shaking. She knows Claire is stubborn, but to let herself go this far… The thought doesn't complete, what with Delphine emerging and the elevator opening to produce she who needs so direly. "This way," she directs, indicating the door with a turn of her head and moving through it. The sofa's ready for her. Because it's closer than the bed.

"I'm glad it worked out okay for Matt and Molly." Helena says quietly. "I just hope he'll be honorable about it - of course she's here." Helena addendums quickly to Cardinal, gesturing toward Delphine. "See? Oh my god Claire," she adds, trying to smile through her worry. "You look like shit." That's best friend talk right there, as only someone who's stolen your clothes and done your nails can tell you stuff like that and survive, right? "You're going to be okay, promise. Delphine's going to fix you." She flashes Delphine a look mixed with a touch of guilt for placing such assurances, but it's tempered by her worry for Claire. "You'll be okay again, swear to God."

Her gaze falls on the younger woman in the man's arms, Delphine's smile quickly vanishing and only giving a twitch of a nod to Helena. Right. Fix her. She can— "Y'sure it ain't too…" she starts to point out, but winds up biting down on her bottom lip with straight, white teeth, hands flexing, curling. "Alright, set 'er down and I'll give it a go," she says, swinging into action as if a switch had been flicked. In contrast to her former reluctance when Helena had first met her, the E.R. nurse in Delphine can see when someone is truly needed, reservations be damned.

It's good that someone has her, cause right now Claire is just fighting not to pass out, the darkness slowly creeping into her vision. There is no protest, no fighting as Cardinal scoops her up, she can't. As he lifts her up, her head lolls back with exhaustion, before it rolls over to rest against his shoulder. She can hear people talking, but it feels sort of… far away. The words are hollow, but one voice seems wiggle it's way into her brain, sparking off recognition. It takes effort, but her head turns to look at Helena and she smiles, it's sincerity marred by the fact it's flecked with blood.

She opens her mouth and draws a breath, with all the intent of saying, "Hey, Hel…" but all she succeeds in doing is starting that cough again. This time however, it's hard to cough, and they come out strained and weak as she tries to draw some sort of breath. More blood appears on her lips. Not good. Her fingers dig into Richard's shirt, gripping tightly with what little strength she has left, as she struggles to both cough and breath.

Then suddenly, Claire's whole body starts to go limp, fingers loosening their death grip, her eyes fluttering shut as her head falls back off the shoulder to just hang there limply.

Now, Richard Cardinal isn't a certified medical professional, but he's pretty certain that blood coming out of the mouth is in no way a positive sign - especially when you've just had a healer working on you. At the order to set her down, he eases himself down to one knee, carefully setting the limp girl on the floor before slanting a sharp look up and over to Delphine. Tightly, he observes, "Hope whatever you do's quick."

The ailing Claire is watched as Cardinal carries her, Cat standing just to the inside of the doorway waiting for them to come through. When she goes limp, the panmnesiac steps over to where she's being placed on the floor and drops to one knee. A hand reaches out to take Claire's wrist, fingers going for the pulse point to check her heart rate, while eyes settle on the chest for the simple purpose of seeing if it rises and falls any.

"Aye." It's a clipped word of agreement for Cardinal, barely looking at him as Delphine moves to take his place. It would be careless indeed not to make room. "I don't understand— what's happenin' to her? What'm I fixing?" she asks, not looking up from Claire as she moves a hand to hover over the young woman's cheek, uncertainty in the slight tremor of her hand. Delphine's eyes go wide for a moment. "She ain't breathin'…" Even as she points this out, Cat will be unable to find a pulse beneath Claire's clammy skin.

She's grown plants from ruined soil, but bringing someone back from the dead? "Don't know if there's anything…" But the sentence trails off as that familiar, white glow pulses from the Irishwoman's fingertips, that ashy white ambient-light tendril reaching out to touch Claire's face even as Delphine murmurs her doubt.

It's fixing something, at least, and after a while, the girl starts to cast off a gentle, white glow. Delphine's own eyes fall shut, but she remains steady, serene.

"She's a regenerator, apparently," is the only input from Cardinal at the inquiry from Delphine. As better hands than his turn to the work of healing, however, he rocks back onto his heels, one hand flat against the floor as he watches the process with a grim expression, frequently glancing down at Claire's face for signs of life.

"Once her ability is back, she'll be fine." says Helena, studying the whole procedure anxiously. She's watching with her arms folded tightly to her chest to keep from wringing her hands more.

No pulse. Cat lets go of the wrist where no vestige of a beating heart was detected and moves out of the way when Delphine's white light comes forth to Claire's face. Her expression is grim, she remains close and ready to perform CPR if needed, perhaps thinking to direct Helena or Cardinal to provide one part of that effort. Either breathing or compressions.

There is regeneration to be had through Delphine's talents, but this is uncharted territory. The genetic code may be put right, but she has no idea if that alone will reboot the deceased.

The seconds drag into the minutes, but it looks like nothing is going to happen, she continues to lay there not breathing, no heartbeat… nothing. In all appearances she is dead.

I'm not dead yet!

Unknown to the people in the room, there is a slight change as her ability switches on in her brain, kind of like a light switch getting flicked on, and it gets to work. There is the first thump of her heart moving the pulse under her skin. Just a single beat. And then again, taking up a slowly strengthening beat, apparent to the others as her skin starts to bleed into a healthier shade, casting away that sickly pallor.

Those moments continue to stretch, as her ability remembers slowly what to do. Blue eyes suddenly pop open, going wide as she tries to draw a breath into blood filled lungs. The need to breath, makes her push people away so that she can roll over onto knees, doubling over, one hand on the floor to hold her up. Her other hand moving to cover her mouth as she starts coughing deeply, gagging at the metallic taste, as her body works to expel all the blood in them. There is so much of it, the blood drips between her fingers to fall to the floor, not a pretty sight, but at least she's alive!

She's alive! That registers with her, and more then ever those words have meaning, cause this time she might not have come back. Her lungs clear enough for her, to give a relieved sob, tears pricking at her eyes, filling them fast.

As the time passes, Richard's eyes close, his head shaking ever so slightly as he starts to say quietly, "I don't think— " Then there's that sudden twist of her body, and his eyes snap open, leaning back sharply out of startlement. After a silent moment of staring, he clears his throat, "Well, hell. Welcome back, cute stuff…"

The glowing white light cuts out as soon as Claire begins to show signs of life. Delphine, already kneeling, only allows herself to spill sideways enough to land on her rear, hand up to grip her own forehead and letting out a streaming breath, almost a sigh that goes whistling past her teeth. Though she could never claim to be in bad shape anything like Claire had been, sweat has formed on her forehead, pinprick droplets, and her jaw is tense with clenched teeth.

But the girl's alive. Delphine squints an eye open to check that this is factually true.

"Claire!" When she sits up, the blonde rushes forward, but skids to a stop when she sees all the blood expelled from her friend's mouth. "….eww." she says, but her tone is belied by her expression of relief. This doesn't stop her from moving to kneel at Delphine's side though, putting a tenative hand on the woman's upper arm. "Vicodin? Whiskey? We've got a place for you to lie down. Tell us what you need."

It's gone on too long. Cat, watching as Delphine's ash-white light plays over Claire and poised to perform CPR, moves in to do just that. It might, for all she knows, require a jump-starting through rescue breathing and compressions, the brain doesn't have much time to get the oxygen restored. But Cat gets a semi-welcome surprise when the genetic Petrelli revives. The younger woman's scrambling and pushing causes her to fall backward and sprawl across the floor clear of blood which is later coughed up as the resurrection progresses.

From that position, eyes track to the people around her. Richard. The relieved Helena, the pain-stricken Delphine, and finally back to Claire.

Wiping her mouth on the sleeve of her sweatshirt, Claire echoes Helena's "Eww." As she looks at the mess on he arms, hand and carpet. She wipes her bloody hands on her jeans, she can always get more of those, or maybe for once she'll raid Helena's closet. She then moves to brush a lock of blonde hair out of her face, then something occurs to her and she grabs the lock and pulls it away from her face enough to get a good look at it. She gawks at it for a moment before pushing it behind her ear she turns to finally take in everyone else, she gives Cardinal a half smile as he welcomes her back. "Thanks." Then her eyes drift to Delphine and she crawls over to the woman, concern on her face. "Are you alright? You look like how I was feeling."

Swallowing back excess saliva, Delphine takes a couple of moments to breathe before answering Helena. "To get off the floor. Then whiskey, Vicodin, an' a bed sounds like a good afternoon to me," the Irishwoman chuckles, somewhat shakily, then turns her eyes towards Claire, a hand spread to wave it away vaguely. "I'll be alright. Just dizzy. You're the one we lost for a few moments, there. Never brought back someone from the dead before. Here— someone not dying help me up."

"Hey, on the bright side, now I've seen two people who look even worse'n I feel lately, so I know life could be worse," Cardinal offers in gallows humor, rocking himself up to his feet with an un-bending of knees, a hand offered down to Delphine with a wry crook of his lips, "Don't try'n fix me though. I won't be ready for that for another week or so at least."

Helena will move to help Delphine up, and indicates the foyer leading to an open door of one of Cat's guest rooms. "Cardinal, could you help her? I'll bring the pills and the booze." She won't step away from giving Delphine support until she knows there's someone to take over.

With Helena and Cardinal assisting Delphine to her feet, Cat is left to collect herself where she sprawled. She sits up, then stands, reaching down with one hand to assist Claire in standing. Her eyes rest on the woman's hair for a moment as an afterthought. But it isn't a surprise, she's seen this before. "Quite a scare," she murmurs. "So good to see you among the living."

The door of the place they were about to take Claire into before she died is still open and very near the group, Delphine won't have far to be taken for her recovery. Cardinal's deferral draws just a brief glance. Is he like Gillian, with some other ability he wishes to keep for a time? Curious.

As she stands by Claire, another thought enters Cat's mind. Collect some of the blood on the carpet and check into the immune system thing. Learn if there are any white blood cells and the like. Discover what disease or diseases Claire died of too.

Claire glances down at herself, is there anytime she does that she isn't left in a bloody mess? She glances back at Delphine with a real smile. "I was only mostly dead. I feel great now. Like myself again. Thank you."

As Cardinal approaches, Claire takes the offered hand from Cat and easily climbs to her feet, a huge difference from only moments before when he had to spend half the afternoon dragging her around. Watching him reach down to help her savior to her feet, she steps back out of the way. She moves to push blonde hair out of her face and starts to take mental note of that she needs. She will definitely be raiding someone's closet later.

Looking at Cat next to her, Claire gives she a small smile. "Thanks Cat, I can't even begin to explain how scared shitless I was towards the end there," her words soft as she looks at the others as they assist Delphine. "Glad her ability worked even though I was dead." The last time death affected her this much was the the time she woke up in the morgue, chest open to the world. A shudder of that memory runs though her and she shakes her head. "I think I needed that wake up call though."

"Sure thing, 'Evelyn'," Cardinal offers with a hint of dryness to Helena, even as he tilts his head towards the suggested locale; moving to help Delphine in that direction as indicated, offering casually to the woman, "Name's Richard, by the way."

Delphine's hands land both in Helena's and Cardinal's, levering herself up to stand - cautiously but not unsteadily, as dizzy would have dictated. "I won't be leapin' to do any fixin' at this rate, don't worry," she assures the man she presumes to be Cardinal, hand withdrawn from Helena's grasp coming up to run over her face, fingertips rubbing around her eye sockets before allowing herself to lean on the man's arm, headed for the guest room. "Delphine," she responds, simply, courteously. With one last glance back at the girl who lived, a curious look up and down, Delphine is ready to disappear out of sight and sleep away the migraine.

Helena flashes Cardinal a grin. "Helena. But you knew that." She doesn't begrudge him the verbal flicking, she deserved it. With that, it's straight for the kitchen to pour a finger of booze and to raid the Vicodin stores. "Claire, don't move, just…don't go anywhere, okay?" Helena calls from the kitchen.

"She wants to bake you cookies, I think," Cat remarks. Claire is looked over again, the blood on her clothing sighted again. "We'll get you something to wear also." There are many things she could say. Like hey, Claire, I read an article written by your boyfriend. Or hey, Claire, Micah Sanders and Monk wanted to find him for things to come so she's going to make contact. Or hey, Claire, soon we'll go take down your grandfather. But none of those seem fitting at all.

Instead, the next thing said to someone she's seen shotgun a man's face off is "Blonde fits you. I like it."

"Hey Richard… " Claire calls after him as he moves off with Irishwoman, moving a few steps forward. "Thanks again. By the way. You didn't have to stay and help a complete stranger.. I.. owe you pretty big for that." Part of her wants to say, that she'll hunt him down and hurt him if he tells anyone he saw her practically naked, but instead she backs away so that he can do what he was asked, giving him a smile of appreciation.

Claire glances over at the kitchen as she hears that order from Helena, a smile spreading across her face. Raising her voice enough for her friend to hear, "As you wish… I'm not moving, not going anywhere. I'm not gonna suddenly disappear on you. I'd like to sit, though, but I don't want to get the couch bloody… or wet."

She then turn to Cat giving an odd look but then murmurs. "Thank goodness… Could use some new underwear. My underthings are soaking wet. It's really cold in places I'd rather not be cold." She grabs a handful of blonde and looks at it in disgust. "And I need to buy more hair dye," she grumbles a bit with a frown. People don't really take you seriously when you're blonde, or at least in her own mind.

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