Stubborn Truths


claire_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Stubborn Truths
Synopsis Liz brings food for Claire and tries to convince the younger woman that her guilt is for nothing.
Date October 11, 2010

Redbird Security: Upstairs

Above the ground floor that houses the lobby and office spaces, each of the upper floors can be accessed from the stairwell's landings. Wooden floors and pale cream walls keep the hallways modest and open - the rare window reinforced to prevent easy break-ins.

Each floor contains four small to moderate sized apartments, their doors painted a reddish umber hue and marked with a peephole above a black iron plaque with the apartment number on it. The lighting is soft and indirect in the halls, automatically turning on after six pm.

The apartment's door opens and Elisabeth steps in without apparent fear that Claire has let herself loose. Perhaps because the girl's heartbeat is indicating that she's entirely at rest at the moment — whether asleep or not, she's at least relaxed. Finally. The screaming was killing Elisabeth, honestly. And muting it just made her feel worse. But Claire needs sustenance, if she'll take it. At least something to drink. And so Elisabeth is bringing a tray. "Claire?" she says softly.

The small figure stand by the window, arms folded across her chest and her temple resting against the foggy glass of the window. Claire Bennet hadn't even attempted anything with the window yet, the black bars on the outside a pretty good deterrent. At the audio kinetic steps in, the ex-cheerleader doesn't move or acknowledge the other woman at first. Only way that Elisabeth would know she's even alive is that with each breath the window fogs white below her nose.

Her dark hair hangs around her face, unbrushed or cared for. Her clothing she still hasn't bothered with changing. She looks completely down trodden, like the world is crushing her. Claire's brain hasn't been able to think of anything but leaving and getting back to Rupert and Messiah.


The word is full of hopelessness and spokes ever so softly. Still Claire doesn't turn to a woman she's always been close too.

"I brought you some water bottles and dinner," Elisabeth says quietly, walking in to set the tray down out of the way. "Eat or don't, kiddo… it's your choice." She never takes her eyes off Claire, knowing exactly how deadly the now-brunette is. She came in unarmed for a very good reason. And as she studies the girl, Liz talks a bit more. Rambling as she walks idly around the apartment's empty space. "You know… when you came back aboard the carrier after Madagascar, I remember telling Richard that you were going to break." Her tone remains gentle, and she laces it very gently with the subsonics that she is so adept with. Enough to attempt to ease the girl somehow.

"I expected after everything you'd seen that you were going to need some time to sort through it all. But then the nuke happened, and we just didn't…. have time to collapse," Elisabeth continues quietly. "And I knew better. I knew you weren't entirely okay. I knew you were going to blame yourself for a lot of things. For not being able to stop them. For not being able to …. help more. You have a hugely overdeveloped sense of responsibility… not unlike my own in a lot of ways," she says as she walks the room. "I've often wondered what life would be like if Peter Petrelli had been killed before the Midtown explosion." The admission is hard. "Wanna know what I've come to realize?"

The younger woman's shoulder tense at the other's words, but Claire doesn't move. Her blue gaze just continues to watch a pair of pigeons on the window sill down the way courting each other, the male puffing up for the lady.

At least til Peter is mentioned that gets a jerk of the girl's head, only the brief movement before she forces herself to rest it back on the chilly glass. The coolness of the glass feels good against Claire's temple, her eyes close concentrating on that feeling other then the horrible images of a horrible mission that seems to want to overwhelm her. "What's that?" She murmurs finally, eyes opening again, less watching the outside world, then the faint reflection of the woman in the room with her.

"As horrible as it was…. as much as people lost," including Elisabeth herself, "if it hadn't happened…. perhaps something worse would have. I'm starting to believe that some things just… happen because they have to." Liz pauses and watches the younger woman. "Richard calls it inertia. Certain things will happen no matter what we do, they might just happen under slightly different circumstances." The blonde is continuing to walk but her attention is on Claire without being obvious.

"In another future… the Moab raid failed. Things got worse for Evos, and eventually they got better. In the future we're writing as we go… things are getting worse for Evos. But eventually, if we can keep things from derailing entirely, they will get better, Claire." Elisabeth stops and looks at her. "If you could have stopped Peter at Midtown… my mother might be alive. Or she might have been killed instead by the Vanguard's virus."

"Maybe." Claire murmurs softly, eyes dipping down from the window to the sill, brows furrowing. "That's what he asked of me. He had my healing, so couldn't stop it any other way." There is a slow soft sigh, as her arms unfold and one hand presses against the window. "I knew…. knew when my grandmother and Rene convinced me to go to Paris, it was wrong.

"Still, I let her put me on that plane. Knowing what I did." There is so much guilt there, it also seems to ooze off Claire with each word. "I condemned all those people to their deaths." The glass squeaks under her hand as it slides down the surface. "Not Peter… he couldn't stop it. Couldn't control such a horrible power. He tried, but he needed to be stopped. He asked me, took me aside and asked me… begged me to shoot him in the head on that day."

It's not the first Liz has heard of that. Claire told Richard too. And she says softly, her voice still laced with those tones of her own, "Think about this — we've all been traipsing into the past to try to keep the timelines from diverging. Not to change what happened, but to KEEP it from changing. I had time to realize… If I could have gone back to stop even just my own mother from being in Midtown during that explosion, Claire? I wouldn't do it. Because in the end, my mother's death is the catalyst that brought me where I am now. And I'm pretty sure she looks down on me from heaven and is damn proud of what I've done in the past couple of years. Her death was meaningless at the time — one death among so many. But her life and her death created me. And not to sound too arrogant about it…. I think all of you've been just a little better off with me around, don't you think?" She smiles faintly. "Just think about what would be different, Claire. Not the wishful thinking of how much better things could be. Think about the realities of very specific examples of what could change. And all you have to do is realize that we are all where we're supposed to be, sweetheart. For whatever reasons, we're supposed to be here doing what we're doing. Maybe because we're the only ones who can."

"I wouldn't have been a terrorist." Claire says softly, head shaking, she turns her head towards the other woman but doesn't look at her. "I wouldn't have ended up in Madagascar, being cut apart and pieced into jars… or forced to kill people over and over… only to have my parts used to bring that person back so that I could do it all over again.

"I wouldn't be where I am now." Claire sounds confident of that. "I might actually have a normal life." Something a part of her craves and something she can never have… ever.

She's quiet for a moment before she whispers a hoarse. "Just go… please." Pleading in that tone, until she bitterly adds, "take the food with you, too."

Elisabeth smiles very very sadly. "No, baby… you would have been a lab experiment or a Company agent when your father's bosses opted to come for you. As they inevitably would have. And maybe you'd have fought them, because you're one of the best people I've ever met and they might not have been able to convince you they were on the side of the angels…. in which case, they'd have had all the information they needed to kill you and be done with it." She leaves the tray on the floor. It's a simple sandwich on a styrofoam tray with sliced apples and cheese cubes, no utensils, and a bottle of water for now. She doesn't trust Claire not to try to cut herself again.

With a heavy sigh, Liz walks to the door and lets herself out. "Love you, kiddo. More than you know." And she slips out to continue monitoring.

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