We Don't Know Them


claire_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title We Don't Know Them
Synopsis Helena brings Claire up to speed on recent PARIAH goings-on.
Date September 2, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

So after everyone broke off post-park and dealing Trask the big fat traitor, Claire met up with Peter and Trask or "Sergei" turned himself in. He'd been kept in the basement, tied up with duct tape, and Helena had gone out looking for Cameron. As a result, there was a brief thunderstorm over Chinatown, but in the wee hours, Helena did show back up, and right around sunrise this morning, so did Cameron. All this, Claire may or may not have heard.

Regardless of what has hit the tenement rumor mill, something has apparently led Helena to Claire's door. Maybe she's there to return the faux brunette's boots. Either way? Knock knock.

There's a quiet groan from inside the room, followed by the sudden creaking protest of the bedsprings and a rustle of clothes. Claire appears in the door moments later, wrapped tightly in a robe. Her expression manages to be alert, while remaining tired at the same time. "Helena? What's going on?" Always assuming the worst, this one.

"Hey. Can I come in? No major emergencies, but I need to return your boots, and um, I met Peter again last night. He asked me to pass on a message for you. Where's West?" If Claire doesn't prevent her, Helena will duck under Claire's arm in an attempt to gain access to the other young woman's room.

Claire frowns with faint annoyance as Helena invites herself into her room, as she always does. "What are you going to do when you duck under my arm before I can tell you West is sprawled naked over the bed, huh?" Not that he ever would be. But it might teach the other girl a lesson, right? "…What do you mean you saw Peter again?"

"Scream 'oh god, oh god, I'm blind'." says Helena brightly, and moves to find herself a spot to sit down. "You heard about the subway tunnel expedition Cameron wanted people to go on? The first time was then. And then last night, when I was out in Chinatown he kind of rescued me, or at least he helped me get away from some thugs. I almost didn't make the connection, that he's the one who saved you from getting your head lopped off back in Odessa." She gives a slight shudder before adding more quietly, "He asked me to tell you that he's sorry." She has no idea what the context is, but she doesn't ask. Helena's nosy, but she's not stupid.

"Why didn't you tell me that you saw Peter? Why didn't Cameron?" Claire's tone is bitter. She crosses her arms over her chest, looking rather bemused. But… her expression softens when Helena relays Peter's message. "He said that?"

"I'm telling you now." Helena says, a touch impatiently. "And I haven't exactly seen you anywhere around to talk to since Central Park. But yeah, that's what he said. Cameron wants us - well, me - to stay away from him. I just told him that I wouldn't go out of my way to seek him out, but well, he got my weather control, so I expect he's going to need a little help getting used to it." Since maintaining control of her emotions is key for Helena, that may well be true. "Look, Claire…are you okay?"

Claire frowns. "I guess I'll just have to follow the rain and thunderstorms." She takes a seat on the edge of her bed and doesn't even bother trying to fake a smile. "I'll be all right. It's just… I thought Peter was dead. And it seems like I was the last to find out he's alive."

"Does it really matter whether you found out first or third or twenty-second?" Hel asks pragmatically. "If you thought someone you cared about was dead and they turned out to be alive, you should be happy. Shouldn't you?" She's momentarily distracted by a blue tank top draping over Claire's dresser.

"Kind of." Claire stares down at the floor. "Why didn't he tell me? He should have known I would care. How could he not know that it was eating me up to think he was dead?"

"He seemed really concerned that you might be hurt." Helena observes. "Maybe he thought he was protecting you in some way." She gives a one shouldered shrug, and reaches out to snag the tank top, giving it a cursory inspection by holding it up by the straps this way and that. "When you saw him, did you ask him why?"

"Hurt? Why would he think that?" Claire's brows furrow in confusion and her face scrunches up, trying to think of some reason. With a shake of her head, the concentration is gone. "I… It's complicated, Hel'."

"Just because you're indestructible doesn't mean you can't be put in danger." Helena points out. "Regardless of whether you choose to put yourself in it on your own, maybe he was worried about collateral damage from being around him. He seems the sort who gets himself in trouble whether he wants to or not." She sighs. "It's always the cute, broody ones." Rising, she folds the tank top, placing it gently on top of the dresser before looking over her shoulder. "It's only as complicated as you make it. But he doesn't seem like the type to just be arbitrarily cruel. He can be an insensitive jerk, but it's generally only when he lets his mouth run ahead of his brain. At least that was my impression."

When Helena turns back, Claire is visibly bristling. "Don't talk about Peter as if you know him." Helena may be as close to family as Claire has these days, but Peter is blood. That's different entirely. "You don't know the first thing about him." She isn't sure she does, either.

Helena turns to face Claire. "I know he wasn't willing to leave me to the crowd. And I know he wanted you to know he's sorry. Are you pissed because I'm presuming, or are you pissed because I'm right?" Then she shrugs. "Dinner'll be in an hour or so. I'll see you there?"

For a moment, Claire isn't sure whether to pitch a fit at her friend or apologize. She covers for this by option for an attack of apathy. "Whatever. Yeah, I'll be down there. …Sergei still in the basement?"

Helena's mouth curves in a grin. "Turns out he is a mole, but he's our mole, in the PD. Cam's downstairs getting him out of all that duct tape." Her deep set eyes go wide with faux innocence. "Think I used too much."

"Good. Serves him right." It's clear Claire still doesn't trust him. He's dangerous. Especially, in her mind, to her. "Our mole, huh? What do you make of it?"

Helena gives another shrug. "I may not be too keen on trusting Sergei or whatever the heck is name is, but I do trust Cameron. I told him that this is going to cause trust issues, so we'll see how he deals with it."

"Cameron's a good man," Claire agrees. A delayed echo of what she told Peter. "I trust Cameron with a lot. If he says we can trust him, well… I'll trust Cam's judgment. His reasons must be good." But if their mole steps out of line…

Helena seems to echo Claire's thoughts. "Doesn't mean we shouldn't keep an eye on him. Also, kinda turns out he's a perv. You should have heard him with the bondage jokes after we got him trussed up." Helena makes a face. "Ewww."

"…Remind me to accidentally punch him in the face later." Accidentally. Right, Claire. "Men are such creeps sometimes." She gestures to the door. "Go on. I've gotta get dressed. I'm going to step out and see if West's hanging around. I'll try to drag his ass to dinner with us yet."

Helena grins. "Speaking of pervs…" she singsongs, and then flutters her hand as she moves to head for the door. And oh-so-unobtrusively snags that blue tank top on the way out.

September 2nd: Art and Things

Previously in this storyline…
Trust Issues

Next in this storyline…
I Need Help

September 2nd: Feint
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