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10 Things Claire Learns: Chaper 2, Part 2
1bill_sookie

 

4. 

He would fight for her.

Claire is sitting in a booth in a Caribou Coffee Shop, slowly nursing her French roast and fighting back tears. She has just left the nursing home where her dad now lives. Noah Bennett is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's Disease. He no longer recognizes anyone, not his old friend The Haitian, his daughter, or his grandson. Noah no longer recalls his work for the Company, his parents, not even his own name.

As she stares blankly into the dark liquid she is aware of someone sitting down across from her. Claire brushes her currently brown hair out of her face and looks up sharply, intending to tell this person, whomever they are, to get the hell out of her booth. When she sees the man only a foot or two away however, the words quickly die on her tongue.

Sylar is lounging in the booth opposite her, a muffin in front of him and appearing the same as he always has.

It’s funny how much your view of someone can change in forty years. Claire no longer loathes and fears Sylar. She doesn’t want to see him dead or in a prison cell. Claire recognizes that Sylar is trying to redeem himself, that he is fighting to control The Hunger. Claire knows that Sylar truly is a good person despite everything he’s done, and she also knows that he is determined to have her as a friend.

For all that though, Claire can’t muster up more then a slightly fond tolerance for him.

“Why are you here?” she asks wearily, not really in the mood for conversation.

Fourantly, Sylar doesn’t appear to be either, for he simply shrugs and stares at her for a few seconds, his dark eyes unreadable.

 “You looked like you could use some company, that’s all.” Sylar replies quietly.

 Claire opens her mouth, to say what exactly she doesn’t know, for it’s then that she catches sight of that tattoo on his arm. The image of her own face, still as clear and detailed as it was on the day she first saw it, that day in college over fifty years ago when Sylar briefly held her hostage in an empty classroom as he attempted to understand why they were so different.

“It’s destiny showing me what I desire. They told me I need a connection, a friend.”

“You'll get bored, after like a hundred years of trying to off me, watching all your loved ones drop like flies. You may eventually come to forgive me. Maybe you'll even love me.”

As Sylar’s words from so long ago echo through her memory the truth of them unexpectedly slam into her. Her loved ones are now dying all around her, most of her friends are dead (well, except Peter, but Claire hasn’t seen him since the day after she reveled herself to the public. Something about Peter being afraid of “screwing up her future”… whatever that meant) and her father is wasting away. Soon Sylar will be the only one left. If the tattoo contains an ounce of truth, she really will become friends with someone whom she barely tolerates.

Claire puts her head on the table and covers her face with her arms, trying to regain some compuse. As if a dam has burst, Claire becomes aware of the feeling of tears on her face and hears harsh sobs wrenched out of her throat.

Dimly Claire knows she should be embarrassed by the fact that she’s having a breakdown in a public coffee shop, but as the tears soak her shirt sleeves and the tidal wave of… just everything rises within her chest she finds that she doesn’t give a shit.

Claire feels the booth dip as someone sits down next to her, close enough for her to feel their body heat through the fabric of their shirt. She is aware of an arm tentavitally coming to rest on her shoulders, and without pausing to consider who this person is Claire grasps their large hand tightly and buriers her tear streaked face in the broad shoulder beside her. As she continues to sob she feels the arm tighten around her and hears a low voice calling the server over.

The next thing Claire is aware of is being carried outside, then experiences being teleported away, those arms still holding her tightly. After they arrive at their desention Claire feels the person holding her walk a few steps then attempt to lower her onto a soft surface. Still sobbing Claire clutches the person’s arms tightly as she feels them beginning to withdraw. She is aware of the person hesaiting for a long moment before they lower their weight onto the surface beside her. When she feels them settle she presses herself against them, feeling a broad, warm chest against her face and long, strong legs next to her own.

Claire isn’t sure how long she lies there, tears pouring from her eyes in a seemingly constant stream, but eventually they cease and she looks up to see who laying next to her.

When she finds Sylar watching her, she doesn’t feel surprise, partially because on some level Claire knew all along it was him, and also because emotional exhaustion is preventing her from feeling much of anything.

Claire is vaguely aware of Sylar removing her shoes and  pulling the blue comforter on her bed (so that’s what she’s been laying on) over her, unable to object due to the fact that she is already half asleep.

 “Why are you fighting so hard to get me to like you Sylar?”

Claire is slightly surprised to hear those words issuing from her mouth, not having realized she had spoken.

There is silence for such a long time that Claire assumes she is dreaming when she feels a surprisingly gentle hand brushing her hair back behind her ear. The hand moves downward to softly trace her jaw, lingering for a moment before withdrawing.

“I’ll always fight for you, Cheerleader.”

 The words are spoken in barley more then a whisper, but they ring with such tenderness, love, and sincerity that Claire knows whomever that voice is speaking to is the luckiest person in the world.

The next morning Claire has no recollection of the whispered voice, nor the hand that traced her features. She does remember how Sylar had given her comfort and safety when she needed it, and decides to make more of an effort. After all, if she’s going to be stuck with him for eternity, she may as well like him.

 

 

5.  

He will sacrifice everything for her.

Another world war has broken out, the third in 600 years. This time it’s a genetic war, similar to the Nazi Germany. Now, the “unclean” individuals are those with green eyes. Her eyes.

When the law was first passed, neither of them could truly believe it. A genetic war? After all these centuries that humans spent claiming that they were passed such things? After they swore that there would never be another Adolf Hitler, Rodland Jemri, or Patrick O’Neil? Did the human race never learn from their own history? As the soldiers began patrolling the streets, as the posters and new laws went into effect, as the killings began, it didn’t appear so.

Already tens of thousands of people have been either arrested and taken to camps, or executed in their homes. Those that are taken to the camps are forced into living conditions, labor, treatment, and expertamention that rivals the African American slave days and the Nazi Camps combined. If discovered, many force the soldiers to kill them, preferring death to the horror that awaits them.

All hours of the night gunshots and explosions are clearly heard as soldiers and police raid homes, the sewers, even seemingly deserted fields as “the devil eyes” are discovered, many of whom are killed like an animal going to slaughter.

After the law had initially passed they had tried to leave the country, only to discover that all forms of transport had been prevented from crossing the border. When the “cleansing process” and bombings began they had gone into hiding, forced to move every few days in order to avoid detection. They would find a new location at night, when it was safer, and, ignoring the people that lay dyeing in the streets, the explosions only a few feet away that burned the clothes from the bodies, and the scenes of mass genocide all around them, Claire and Gabriel Gray focused on saving themselves.

Claire and Gabriel are currently inside the dark, cold, dirty basement of an abandoned house. The basement is small; only 6 by 12. The floor is made of stone and rodents and insects scurry passed. Broken boards they have gathered cover the floor only a few feet away, the razor sharp, jagged ends turn the seemingly harmless objects into perfect impalements.

They are both covered in dirt from running through the streets, crawling on their stomach’s through fields, and swimming through rivers to escape the soldiers. Dried blood from gunshot wounds that would have surly killed them had they been normal paint their hair, clothes, and skin crimson. Neither have had anything to eat or drink for weeks, and although they do not appear to be, each are suffering the effects of starvation and sever dehydration. If they could not regenerate each would be little more then a walking skeleton.

Claire is leaning against her husband, her filthy head on his shoulder. His arm is wrapped around her waist, his right hand is clutching her bare, crimson stomach were, only hours ago six bullets were lodged. Her eyelids began to droop, but she fights the pull of sleep and forces them back open, terrified of their hiding place being discovered. Her gaze lands on the Gabriel’s face only a few inches above her own. He is watching her with concern and fear clearly visible in his eyes. Claire’s eyes fall closed once again, so she misses the moment when his gaze hardens, his descion made.

Gabriel strokes his wife’s hair back behind her ear and gently kisses her forehead. She presses herself closer to him and grips him tighter, seeking his presence even as she begins to fall into an exhausted sleep. Gabriel watches her, stalling for a moment before slowly removing his arm from around her body. As he stands  Claire awakens from the brief sleep she had fallen into and blinks blearily at Gabriel, assuming for a moment she is seeing things as his eyes suddenly change from brown to green. As he gains his footing relaztion, then horror crashes through her.

Gabriel is planning on going out there amongst the soldiers with green eyes, the color that is considered “unclean”. He would immediately be arrested and taken to a camp where he would be beaten, starved, experimented upon, and who knows what else. Gabriel would be sacrificing his freedom, dignity, perhaps even his life, all so that she may have a better chance to survive.

Claire grabs his hand with as much strength as she can muster, forcing a horse “No!” out of her dry, parched throat.

Gabriel looks back at her, those unfamiliar orbs shining like emeralds in the dim light, and weakly attempts to loosen her grip.

“Yes, Claire. You need to-“

“I need you!” she says, her voice low due to anger fueled by fear and desperation.

Gabriel gazes down at her for a few moments and, then, as if he has lost the strength to remain standing sinks back down beside her. He half pulls and half allows her to crawl into his lap, tightening his arms around her small frame. Claire tucks her head underneath her husband’s chin while he buriers his nose in her hair, not caring about the tangles and grease or dirt and dried blood, and simply inhales her sent.

Claire and Gabriel Gray sit there on the hard floor, amongst the dirt, spider webs, cockroaches and rats. They listen to the echoes of gunshots and bombs, to the screams of pain and pleads for mercy. They feel the cold stone and broken boards against skin that has been laid bare by the blasts of atomic bombs. They are exhausted, starving, filthy, bloody, and terrified. And each are clinging desperately to the only person that matters.

 

6.   

Although Peter is not Gabriel’s  brother biologically, he still considers him to be so. It probley has a lot to do with those seemingly eight years they spent together inside Sylar‘s  mind, not to mention the eight centuries since then they have spent in getting to know the other. Claire is sure that Gabriel would never show Peter such a high level of loyalty, respect, trust, and love otherwise. Short of something that would harm her, there is nothing that Gabriel would not do or say for Peter.

Peter’s feeling’s towards Gabriel are just as strong as they had once been for Nathan, perhaps even more so, due to all of the centuries they’ve spent together.  If you think of how much they used to hate each other it’s pretty ironic. Peter and Gabriel have lived together on and off for decades at a time, been to each other’s weddings, and saved the other’s life multiple times, just to name a few of the countless things they’ve each done for the other. If there are two closer “brothers” anywhere Claire has yet to find them.

 

7.   

Throughout his childhood Gabriel never had a friend. The only interaction he had with his peers was in the form of taunts and savage attacks, both of which left him aching, bruised and bleeding.  When his mother noticed his wounds Gabriel would lie to her about the source, claiming that he had spent recesses wrestling with his friends.  Sometimes his mother believed him, but others times when his wounds were especially bad concern, guilt, and an expression of knowing would enter her eyes. That was one of the few times that the small child knew that, despite everything, his mother loved him.



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First paragraph- I'm confused as to 'the Haitian, his daughter or his grandson.' Is this the Rene's daughter/grandson or Noah's? If the latter, consider adding 'his own daughter or grandson.'
Again- fortunately not fourantly.
“You looked like you could use some company, that’s all.” Sylar replies quietly. Change the period after 'all.' to a comma. Because 'Sylar replies quietly.' is describing what he just said. It is a continuation.
Tentatively not tentavitally. (Oh, that word! Such a good word, so hard to type!. Barely not barley, dying not dyeing (unless there's a mass uprising of hair dye-ing going on?) surely not surly (don't call me Shirley), severe not sever, realization not relaztion, scent not sent.
All that to say, a spell check would go a long ways and be quite easy for you :)
This is another wonderful piece. So many small details go much farther than you probably intended. Good job again.

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