When We're Done


bennet_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif claire_icon.gif

Scene Title When We're Done
Synopsis We're Done.
Date October 9, 2010

Redbird Security Solutions

It's just another day around the office. The only difference is, there's an important meeting scheduled. Important enough that the receptionist was given the go on heading home for the weekend.

That's why Cardinal, dressed in a sharp black suit from the closets of the Company (circa 1992) is seated at the desk instead, leaning back in the chair, hands clasped over his chest and fingers steepled as he watches the computer's monitor while he waits.

He's just discovered 'Hulu', and Fringe is on.

Off of the street and with his hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks, the businessman walking in through the front door of Redbird Security Solutions may happen to be one of the most wanted men in the country at the moment. Being former Company doesn't mean much these days, but to Noah Bennet there's a certain confidence that will never break in his stride, even at his age. Unfortunately, it's not age that is wearing him down to the bone, but the weariness crated by emotional damage.

Horn-rimmed glasses decorate Noah's face, reflecting the fluorecent glow of ceiling lights on his entrance, shoes clicking on the floor all the way over to the reception desk. There's no smile, not today and certainly not on this topic. That he didn't come here with gun already drawn is a testament to how much he has mellowed out in his old age.

"Richard," Noah grates as he stands by the reception desk, "where is she?"

A hand reaches out, fingers covering the mouse and clicking on 'pause' before Cardinal pushes himself up to his feet… one hand raking back through his hair, his expression serious as he looks back at Noah. There's none of the sarcasm or dark humor that so often's there as he sizes up the other man, before he nods back to the hallway.

"She's upstairs," he says quietly, "Noah— she was pulled out of the middle of the assassination attempt on Mayes. She's not in good shape."

Noah doesn't need to vocalize his request, he just takes the initiative and heads directly towards the nearest elevator, hard-soled shoes clack-clicking noisily on the floor of the lobby as he walks, the cadence of his steps and speed in which he moves highlighting the urgency of his need to see his daughter. Even if there's no biological imperitive to Claire Bennet, he's done more for her than Nathan Petrelli ever will or ever would do.

He has more right to be her father than anyone.

Reaching the elevator and pressing the call button, Noah turns to face Cardinal, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown. "Richard, I need you to tell me what condition she's in before we get up there. I need to know what happened to her."

Noah's tone all but implies, and if you were responsible for any of it without so much daggers in his eyes as on the tip of his tongue.

Noah doesn't need to vocalize his request, he just takes the initiative and heads directly towards the stairwell access after a brief look for elevators and surprisingly finding none. Hard-soled shoes clack-clicking noisily on the floor of the lobby as he walks, the cadence of his steps and speed in which he moves highlighting the urgency of his need to see his daughter. Even if there's no biological imperitive to Claire Bennet, he's done more for her than Nathan Petrelli ever will or ever would do.

He has more right to be her father than anyone.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Noah turns to face Cardinal, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown. "Richard, I need you to tell me what condition she's in before we get up there. I need to know what happened to her."

Noah's tone all but implies, and if you were responsible for any of it without so much daggers in his eyes as on the tip of his tongue.

There's a reason that Cardinal didn't reach out to Nathan about this… as far as he's concerned, Claire's father's is right here. The implicit threat is seen, expected, and understood - given that he already feels guilty about not pulling her out sooner, he might even welcome it.

It's rare for him to suffer from his actions. Most of the time, he just has to watch someone else suffer… and, raised Catholic as he was, that's even worse.

"You know about what happened to her in Madagascar, I presume…? She was tortured by Gregor, had a big chunk of her brains blown out of her head," he says tightly as he steps along over to the stairs behind the other man, "Well, first of all… she's healing her memories, and it's all coming back to her. If that wasn't bad enough…"

He grimaces, "Carmichael's fucked with her brain pretty hard. She was getting submerged back in those horrific memories, and all the while that bastard was inserting guilt into her brain to drive her to kill for him. If I thought Peter knew what was going on, I'd fucking kill him myself."

Brows furrowed, Noah offers a look back to Cardinal with an uncertain stare. There's anger in his expression, fire, but that he focuses on ascending the stairs is once more testament to his much he has mellowed out, also that it is easier for Cardinal to show him where Claire is before he kills everyone in the whole goddamned building what did you do to my little girl!?

Clearing his throat, Noah offers an askance look back to the Shadowmorph. "She's done," he explains with no amount of uncertainty in his words, "when she leaves this building she is done. It is over. I don't care what good it is you think you're doing for her, what help you want to be. When I get her out of this building I am taking her away, and I am going to put her somewhere that no one will be able to find her, where she will be able to lead a normal life like a normal girl."

Turning to face Cardinal once he reaches the top of the staors, Noah's brows furrows and his throat works up and down in a slow swallow. "So help me God if I even think you or anyone else is looking for her I will not rest until I have torn down every last single building in my path to find you."

"It's her choice in the end, Bennet," Cardinal observes, but there's less strength to his insistence than there would have been in the past, his worry for the girl running bone-deep as well, "But… I didn't call you just to see her and then leave her with me. I don't have— I don't know what to do to help her."

It's a rare admission of impotence from the man who thinks he can move mountains, stepping out into the hallway and towards the door of the apartment she's been secured in - reaching into a pocket to pull out his key-ring, the keys rattling as he looks to the wood, "She needs her father right now, I think."

A sharp look to the man, "And if you tell her that one god-damn thing that's happened is her fault while we're in there, you'll be dead before your mouth closes, Bennet, you hear me? I've seen enough of what you Company types've done to your kids for one lifetime."

"Let me go!"

The shout can be heard even before they reach the door, along with the thump of chair legs agaisnt the floor. Having heard the murmur of voices and the sound of feet approaching Claire Bennet had started up her screaming again. "Dammit, Cardinal!?!"






Thump thump!

There is a sound of frustration from the woman on the other side of the door, but then there is silence again. When the door opens, Claire is sitting there, with her head hanging, but red-rimmed eyes are on the door. Her long dark hair hangs in her face, breaking up features of her face and obscuring her view of the door some. Her clothing is still the skater like grunge clothing she wore on the mission to kill Mayes.

For all that Bennet's eyes widen when Cardinal makes a threat, it's the sound of the thumping on the other side of the door that earns Richard Cardinal a reprieve from Noah Bennet's parental wrath. A warning stare is fired to the Shadowmorph, followed by Noah's hustle towards the door, "Claire?" Noah calls through the door, pressing his palm flat to it before looking back towards Cardinal and stepping away from the door.

"Unlock this door," he gestures towards it, "right now."

"I'm about to," Cardinal replies, regarding the man with a tight frown, "Just keep in mind that, right now, her number one priority is to go assassinate somebody at all costs, and she's convinced that everything is her fault because she didn't murder Peter before the Bomb… before you decide to untie her or anything."

The shadowman grimaces as he turns to the door, the key sliding into the lock - turning - and then he shoves it open for the other man.

"Hey, Claire. Got a visitor."

Father or not, the woman strapped to the chair glares at the shadow man, almost as if Noah isn't there. Her voice seems to growl as she snaps out softly, "Richard Cardinal you untie me right this second." Each word is clipped and short, spoken with a vicious force. She's almost like a trapped animal. "I have to go back. I have to go.

"I have to go back!" The last is practically shrieked, with a sudden stomp of her feet, bringing the chair off the floor some.

And then, just as suddenly like a flip switched, the regenerator's gaze falls on her father and she goes still. The anger seems to drain out of her face as she stares at the man who raised her. So much goes through her head. You never showed up when I called for you. or You were not there when I needed you.

That's not what passes through her lips, brows tip upward and she whispers out a more child-like. "Daddy?"

Cardinal is all but forgotten as Noah Bennet's single-minded focus takes him immediately to Claire's side, taking a knee next to her as he reaches out to lay a hand on hers, though clearly not moving to untie her, much in the way someone may be afraid to unleash a wild animal caught in a trap. "Clairebear," is whispered on Noah's lips, even as he rises up slowly from his crouch to place a kiss into his daughter's hair, then slowly sinks down to kneel by her side again, as if he can't quite decide whether or not he should be looing over her reproachfully or crouching by her side sympathetically.

He errs on the side of the latter.

"Clairebear you listen to me, okay?" Lifting up one hand, Noah rests it down on his daughter's shoulder. "Everything's going to be okay, but sweetheart," his hand moves to her cheek, gently urging her to look in his direction. "Claire? Claire, I need you to listen to me. Everything is going to be fine, but you're going to have to trust me."

The pause between words comes with a vacant stare, silence, and Noah wordlessly trying to puzzle this out. "I'm going to fix things for you, I promise, but you're going to have to trust me and Richard. It's going to take some time, but everything— everything's going to be fine."

A wise choice as far as Noah's concerned. Cardinal wasn't kidding about dealing with him if he tried to make her feel guilty.

As the two reunite, he steps just into the room, leaning against the wall beside the door - the door itself closed silently, in case anyone else happens down the hall. Moments like this aren't for public consumption.

The words spoken by her father, brings tears to her eyes, they glitter and shine in her eyes before sliding down her cheeks. Her chin trembles, before her head drops and hair slides from over her shoulder to make it hard to see her face.

There is a gasp of air, from a soft sob, "Please daddy?" Her words tremble with contained emotions, Claire won't look at him, she can't. "Please, please let me go?" Is it really like Claire to beg? Not really, but desperate times —

Her head slowly lifts so she can look between both men, cheeks wet from unchecked tears. "Please. I have to fix all of this." She leans towards her father, ropes straining against the arms of the chair, hands balled into tight fists. Claire's eyes begging understanding as her eyes wander his face. "I should have never let her talk me into going to Paris. Peter asked me — asked me to stop him. To shoot him in the head, cause I was the only one who could do it and know where."

None of that was a lie, the events happened, tho' Rupert played on that guilt… Bennet may or may not know this. "I have to fix all this."

Lifting his hand away from Claire, Noah's eyes go wide and his back straightens, as if not even recognizing her any longer. There's a stillness in his breath, a tightness in his throat and when he looks to Cardinal it's hard to tell what emotion is playing out across his face, the expression is a blank one.

"I…" Noah only then turns to look at Claire, slowly shaking his head. "I can't let you do that honey, you're going to need to stay here for a little while longer, untill I can fix everything. Don't you worry, Clairebear, you don't need to fix anything, Just let me handle it." There's something like sickness dawning across Noah's face as he slowly rises to stand, takes a step back away from Claire and offers her a smile, before turning to Cardinal with an unspoken look of we need to talk painted across his face.

"It wasn't your fault, Claire." Tired words from Cardinal, who's been telling her the same thing since she came in - told her the same thing over the phone. He rubs one hand against his face, turning with a nod to Noah, reaching out to open the door. They can talk out in the hall, apparently.

When Noah backs away, Claire's face twists into a look of sudden panic. "Daddy. Don't go.. please." She lurches forward only to be stopped by restraints, the sound of it unmistakable as he slides the chair forward just a little. The regenerator pulls hard against her bindings, twisting her wrists enough to scrape the rope roughly against her skin, but the lesions heal instantly. "Daddy! Please!"

As soon as the door opens, all that panic gives away to anger again. With a growl, Claire starts to shake the chair violently, the legs thumping again, "Don't you dare leave me here! Daddy! Don't!"

An angry sob cuts through the air, aimed straight for her father's heart, "Fine! Walk away!! GO! You didn't come see me at the Garden! When I needed you!! When I actually asked you to come see me." With a another jerk of her restraints, Claire slumps forward in a sort of defeat. The sound of her sobbing follows them out of the door, body rocking a little hindered by her situation. If she had been free, she would have drawn her knees up and buried her face against them.

For all that there was compassion on his face a moment ago there is nothing but stony disregard as he retreats from his daughter like Frankenstein from fire. Walking backwards for a few steps to watch her twist and contort into a howling representation of some addict-like mockery of his little girl, Bennet steps out into the hall, letting Cardinal shut the door behind himself. For a moment, Bennet says nothing, just lifts his glasses up off of the bridge of his nose and rubs two fingers over his eyes, turned away from Cardinal.

Silent and as motionless as a statue in that position, Bennet eventually does lower his glasses and turns around, brows lifting in plea. "I can't go to Rene for this," Bennet says with a quaver-beat in his voice, "I can't— the Ferrymen don't have a memory manipulator and I wouldn't trust our telepath's work to be able to hold long term on her."

Noah's brows pinch together, "Richard, tell me you know a telepath stronger than Kaylee?"

He does. But Noah might not like the answer.

The door's closed carefully, Cardinal's hand sliding off the doorknob's handle and falling away. There's pain in his own eyes, pain reflected a thousand times greater in Noah's as he meets the older man's eyes - and he takes a breath, exhaling it in a sigh.

His eyes close. "Only one… but we're not even supposed to know each other. I think he'd be willing to help a man in need of help for his daughter, though. He can empathize."

Then he looks at Noah again, and says simply, "Matthew Parkman."

"The last time I saw Matthew Parkman," Noah explains with a tension in his posture that seems to belie a certain anxiety he is trying to disguise in the presence of Parkman's memory, "I was unloading a clip from my gun into him in Midtown. If that helps explain how our relationship stands. He and I had a disagreement over how to handle the Molly Walker situation when she was the Company's tracking system…"

Bennet's brows level into a furrow, his lips downturn into a frown. "I don't think he'll be very amenable to help me," sounds spiteful, but in the interests of his daughter Noah reluctantly reins some of that in. "I don't think I need to explain to you how important this is to me… But if you think Parkman would do it for her, than I'd appreciate it if you could check with him."

Wary now, that Cardinal has associations with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Bennet squares his shoulder some, and suddenly this becomes work, and work is easier than emotions. "How is it you're in Parkman's good graces, given all that you do?"

"I'll ask him to do it," Richard Cardinal says in quiet tones, "And he will, because I asked him to do it, and because he's a good man. If you're holding protecting Molly against him…" His gaze cuts to the door, then back, one brow arching sharply upwards over his shades, "…maybe you've got a better point of view now."

"One condition. You don't tell anyone about this. Not your wife. Not the Council. Not Hana. Not even Mister fucking Muggles. If anyone knew that Matt and I were working together, it could ruin all've our chances for survival. Clear?"

"That goes likewise Richard," is said with a sense of gravity from Noah. "No one can know what it takes to get tihs done, because if they knew I was making backdoor deals with the Secretary of Homeland Security…" Noah lifts his glasses up and pinches fingers at the bridge of his nose, rubbing there in silence before lowering his hand and letting his glasses come down.

"In the meantime," Noah looks back to the door Claire is locked behind, "I don't want her leaving this building, but you can't keep her caged up in there like an animal. She can't hurt herself… get her set up in one of the apartments here, give her someone to talk to, at least…" Noah's eyes close and his head slowly shakes.

"Do you know where Carmichael is?" The sudden change of gears from his family to business once more shows the transition from a man who isn't sure what to do, to a man who has nothing but certainty.

"No." Cardinal's lips purse in a tight grimace, "I wish they hadn't moved… they put him on the run. I've warned some people in Messiah about him, I think I'm near breaking them apart and getting them to turn on him. No more fucking games, though, the minute I find out where the bastard is, his brains are all over the fucking sidewalk."

"And…" He pauses, "…Noah, she can hurt herself. At least twice, people in Messiah found her cutting herself up over and over again."

There's a stoic mask that crosses Noah's face, lips downturned into a frown as he lifts a hand to button his double-breasted suit jacket closed. "No permanent damage," he feels the need to clarify with a certain stony quality to his voice, turning away from Cardinal and headed towards the stairwell the pair had come up from.

"Nothing she'll remember when we're done."

And done they are, for now.

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