There Is Always A Company


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Scene Title There Is Always A Company
Synopsis Claire and Noah Bennet come full circle.
Date March 4, 2020

The last five days have felt like the end of the world…

…and the beginning of another.

For Claire Bennet, looking out over the Detroit River gives her something tangible to tether to, something other than the distinct feeling of transformation and promise that has clouded her senses and left her unusually nostalgic for times long since gone. In the surface of the river, afternoon sunlight is refracted like glittering diamonds strewn across a blue plate. Across the water, Canada watches on with the same sense of reproachful uncertainty it did a decade ago.

But for Claire, there’s a part of her mind that is as rewound as her physiology is. Like a watch with its hands turned back, subconscious parts of Claire’s mind latch on to ideas and concepts from a younger iteration of herself. If she relaxes her mind just enough, it feels like her mother and Lyle are still alive, that she could go visit them if she wanted to. But when she looks back at Detroit behind her, when she is reminded of the here and now, those illusions fade.

For Claire Bennet, time has become a circle. A wheel with no beginning or ending, wherein she relives the loves and losses of a lifetime of violence into infinity.

So she looks to the river, because it only flows in one direction. Always ahead.


Detroit Waterfront
Detroit, Michigan

March 4th
3:12 pm

“I thought I might find you here.”

The voice of Claire’s father brings her back into the moment with stunning clarity. Noah Bennet approaches with the looming silhouette of the Raytech Renaissance Center towering at his back. She’s had so precious little time with her father since everything that happened. Neither of them addressed the elephant in the room, the moment that everyone else but Claire remembers.

“How’s my girl doing?” Noah asks as he comes to join her by the railing overlooking the water.

Not dead anymore is one answer.

And “Rejuvenated,” is another.

“It’s going to take time to get used to this feeling again.” Claire angles a half smile at her father from where she is leaning on the railing with her elbows and hands folded. Her clothing had changed of course, she was borrowing from others, at least the jeans, the red shirt was from the Raytech gift shop. Claire had been more than happy to get out of that monstrosity of a dress.

“But I… can’t shake this cold dread in the pit of my stomach.” Unfolding her hands, she straightens and turns so she can fully look at the man that raised her.

“I died, Dad. I know I’ve died a million times before, but… this time was different.” The woman had been avoiding that subject with just about everyone, but now here with her father… She finally felt she could unload a bit. “I don’t remember what happened, but… I saw the footage. I shouldn’t have come back, my ability was gone.” Claire looks confused and relieved that she was still able to walk this earth a little longer.

“We don’t know a lot about what happened,” is how Noah chooses to frame it. “That could take months, it could take years, or maybe we’ll never know. This…” he looks out over the water, “thing, this entity that changed you… It’s old. The Company fought it once, imprisoned it, and now it’s back. I don’t think it’s gone, and…” Noah shakes his head, looking over at Claire.

“Not everyone can say they got a second lease on life.” Noah says in a change of the topic. “I’m not sure how many leases you’re at, but I’m…” he looks away, jaw muscles flexing, trying to keep from letting emotions get the best of him. “We all walked away from this more fortunate than we should have.”

There is a softening of Claire’s features when she looks at her dad. Even though he tries so hard, she knows him. She knows the signs of him struggling to keep his feelings in check. Hates that he feels he has too. “It’s okay, dad,” she says quietly, shifting to hug her father and resting her head on his chest like she always does. “Don’t think of what could have happened, it only makes it worse, just focus on the fact I’m here.

Claire is quiet for a moment, before she says, “But you’re right we got lucky. That’s why I’m going back to Snoqualmie. Would have left a few days ago, but I wanted to see you first.” SHe pulls back so she can see her father. “Tired of pushing people away. It’s time I start actually living again and I think my future is there.” Levi Walker she means. “What about you?”

It isn’t often that Claire sees surprise in Noah’s eyes. It’s his response to both her statement of purpose and her question. Noah draws in a deep breath, biting down on his bottom lip, then looks out to the water again.

“I suppose it’s a little late to convince you to come to New York with me?” Noah asks with a laugh. He doesn’t expect an answer. “I thought about going back west, but I’ve been given a somewhat singular opportunity to put myself in on the ground level of what’s going on back east. It isn’t like the Ferrymen, being able to interface with SESA.” Noah looks back to Claire, one brow raised. He looks like he might ask a question, but instead rests his hands on the railing and leans forward, returning his attention to the water.

There is no hiding that questioning look from his daughter, Claire mirrors her father with that lean, except she also rests her arm against his. “It was nice while it lasted. Our time just being a family again, no crisis or world ending to be averted. Just me and you. Only thing that would have made it perfect would be mom and Lyle,” her voice thickens just saying their names. Some pains never go away. “Mr. Muggles,” she adds gruffly.

Swallowing hard, Claire nudges her father’s arm with her shoulder and tilts her head to look at him. “But… let's face it, that’s not our lives. It found us anyhow, so go do what you have to do.” Even though her appearance had changed, she was still the woman that found him in Snoqualmie. His girl.

With a soft sigh, Claire looks out over the water, too. “If you have a question… Just ask, dad.”

“You answered it for me,” Noah says with a gentle smile. “Not with words, just…” he shakes his head and keeps his focus on the distant shores of Canada across the river. “You have a determination in you that I only ever saw in your mother.” He means Sandra, not Meredith. “She raised you right, and in spite of everything I did to try and undercut her parenting…” Noah closes his eyes for a moment and looks down, then over to Claire. “You turned out to be an amazing woman.”

It’s difficult for Noah to verbalize this, even all these years later. “I bought up your mother’s house in New York from the Deveaux Society. I want you to know if you ever decide to visit New York… you’ll always have a home there.” In a way, this is like saying goodbye. Getting through this is a struggle for Noah.

“I’ll still visit, of course.” Noah admits, but the when of it seems nebulous. Noah does little else to clarify, either. “But I know you’ll get by fine without me there. I just…” Noah smiles again, easier this time. “I think I just realized where I belong, and at the same time realized that isn’t always where you are.”

Noah looks back to Claire and lifts a hand, resting it on her shoulder. “I’m proud of you, Clairebear.”

“No,” Claire rests her head against his arm, a small smile on her face. “You raised me too and taught me to be resilient and never give up. I never appreciated everything you did when I was younger, now… now I get it.” Eyes roll upward to look at him. “If I ever have my own kid, I can only hope I’m half the parent you are.” She curls an arm around his, hugging it like she did when she was a little girl.

“I’m proud of you, dad.”

Noah Bennet’s heart nearly breaks when he hears Claire say that. He turns toward her, wrapping his free arm around her shoulders and bringing her head to his chest. Pressing a kiss to the top of Claire’s head, Noah takes a moment to appreciate this in the stark contrast of the times that came before, all leading up to this moment and the impossibilities that led here.

“I’m sure you’d be an amazing mom,” Noah says into Claire’s hair. “I hope one day, if you make that choice, I get to see just how good you’d be.” It’s hard for him to imagine a world in which he is a grandfather, but there are impossible futures Noah Bennet has seen that seem less unimaginable than that, especially now. But with this chapter of their lives drawing to a close, Noah can feel a new uncertainty growing.

Being here with Claire reminded Noah that he was always a family man. That no matter how many losses the Bennet’s suffer, they would always return to one-another. Claire meant the world to him, and he had dedicated so much of his life to protecting her. But there was something that came before Claire, a part of Noah Bennet that had been dormant for a long time. Presented with his daughter’s independence and acceptance, Noah can hear this old self calling to him.

Noah sees the skyline with new eyes, unfettered by the weight of his past and facing an unknown future that he is late to arrive in. But the road ahead of him is one of possibility and uncertainty, not predicated by the tragedies of the past, but by a shared hope for the future.

Noah Bennet may be a dedicated father, but the turn of the age was reminding him of where it all stated. Before he was a family man

Noah Bennet was a Company man.

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