2010-07-03: Fate or Space Aliens?



Date: July 3rd, 2010


Claire goes to her grandmother to find out what's going on in light of the eclipse, but doesn't quite get the answers she was looking for.

"Fate or Space Aliens?"

Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park

New York City

A concussion, broken arm, and chlorine-gas irritation to Claire's throat and nose meant a week of lounging around watching daytime television and being coddled by Sandra. Even Lyle was nice to his big sister. But now that the cast is itching and the pain in the arm is down to a dull ache, now that the black eye from the swelling of the cut to the corner of her eyebrow has faded, leaving just the cut and stitches above it, it's time to be a person, get out of the pajamas and find out just what the hell happened on Monday.

It won't take more than a second's glance for Angela to see Claire has been affected by the eclipse, thanks to the neon pink cast she wears from knuckles to elbow. After being led in by the mansion staffer, she sits waiting for her grandmother, her good hand flipping through text messages on her phone as she waits.

Claire will barely have time to check her messages before Angela Petrelli whisks in, heels clicking on the tile to announce her presence. She's a bustle of industrious energy, what appears to be dry-cleaning over one arm and her attention on the same member of help who ushered Claire in — the dry-cleaning is unloaded in his arms.

The waiting Claire — and her neon pink beacon of a cast — quickly sweep up Angela's attention then, concern immediately evident. Despite this, Claire is greeted with nothing short of a pleasant smile, barring everything that has transpired between this atypical grandmother and granddaughter pair in the past — recent and otherwise.

It seems that, if Angela has been affected by the Eclipse, some things never change. Though the woman's smile is warm, welcoming, it holds a certain knowing edge. There is, instantly, a wisdom in her eyes that leaves no room for surprise, even she says, by contrast: "Claire! What a surprise. I see you haven't quite adjusted…"

The petite blonde rises when her grandmother comes sweeping in, turning to offer her own smile to Angela. It's small but warm, with no animosity or uncertainty in it. A rare smile. After all, if she's mortal after all, there's no time for petty disagreements, right? She moves closer to the dark-haired woman and laughs a little, lifting her broken arm.

"Adjusting is a slow process, I think. Like healing." Her nose wrinkles as she waits for the man with the drycleaning to disappear, so that they can talk freely. She doesn't know what the staff knows or doesn't about her grandmother's life.

"Yours is probably less obvious to miss," Claire adds. Does Angela dream every night? She has no idea. They've never discussed it in that kind of detail. "I … wanted to know if maybe you know what's going on. And maybe how it ends," she murmurs, tentatively. No point to small talk.

"If you're asking if I saw it coming," Angela begins with a more wan smile, sitting down on the edge of one of the expensive pieces of furniture. She offers Claire a conceding, seemingly unconcerned raise of dark brows and a flippant gesture of her hand, "The answer is yes. As for how it ends, all I know is I haven't had a better sleep in years." Perhaps decades. "I'm as in the dark as anyone else, I'm afraid."

Claire's brows knit as she moves to perch on the edge of the sofa. "You saw it coming? And you didn't warn us?" she says slowly, head tilting in curiosity, eyes narrowing just a little to try to mask the hurt she feels.

"Losing my ability, in the long run, I don't really care. It just means I'm like everyone else, but," she says, shaking her head again, indignation beginning to show, "I was in that big car wreck, the chemical spill on the freeway. If I hadn't already broken my arm and hit my head… I might have taken more risks than I did. I could have died. Peter — we know what kind of risks he takes because he can… Nathan — what if he was flying?" She actually isn't sure where her father is. She swallows hard. "Is he okay? I haven't talked to him. But, you probably haven't either, right?"

"Well by that time, it was too late," Angela replies simple as that, nonchalant after the serious concerns Claire presents. She does not feel like giving her granddaughter a lesson in the intricacies of dreaming what's to come at the moment, or defending her reasons. She sits up straighter, curling her hands over the arms of the chair as she eyes Claire with an incrementally darkening gaze.

"Nathan is dead," the elder woman states brusquely. "…for all I've heard from him." If that was concern in her own voice, Angela quickly ignores it, looking indifferently instead out the window. "And Peter'll do well to stop running around for a minute. I'm sorry you were in an accident." Angela's gaze moves back to Claire. "Poor timing. But it's good to remember you're human."

"Too late? Did you sleep in until five minutes before the eclipse happened?" Claire says, dubiously. "You always struck me as the early worm type, not someone to sleep until afternoon. A text message would have done well enough, if you woke up that morning knowing that people's powers were gonna fritz out." Claire's eyes narrow at the mention of Nathan being dead. "What good is your ability if you don't use it to help people? Especially the people you … care about." Love seems a little strong of a word.

Claire closes her eyes, not expecting answers to those questions. "Has this happened before?" she asks, voice tight.

Claire is wise not to expect answers. Angela's eyes narrow dangerously in turn and focus stonily. She does not appreciate your tone, young lady. "No," she answers. "As far as I know, this is the first. That said… a few years ago there was a solar eclipse that seemed to coincide with a… surge in abilities; more people experiencing powers they had no knowledge of beforehand." It may not make any sense, but there it is. "It could be fate deciding we're meant for another path; maybe it's God saying we're not worthy; maybe it's space aliens, listen, there will always be things about these abilities we don't understand. There's a possibility things won't be the same again."

Did Angela Petrelli just say space aliens? Claire's brows knit together and she gives a nod, her eyes just as stony. "Well. The next time you see something in your dreams — if there is a next time — that might endanger us, you know, maybe send out a text message or something to warn us. Like… ET Phone Home or something if you don't want it to be understood by anyone peeking into the wires," she says tersely, standing up. "Enjoy your sleep." At least, for the time being, she doesn't have to worry about not getting the information about any similar visions — since there won't be any for Angela until something changes.

"I'll be sure to use my phone tree next time," Angela replies with an easy sarcasm. You're a big girl Claire," she adds matter-of-factly as she stands a few moments after Claire, delayed, but still quick on her feet. "You can take care of yourself. The second we rely on our abilities for everything, that's the day we become less human, not more." A thin smile pulls the woman's mouth, not quite living up to the warmth she showed on seeing the slightly broken young woman.

The small blonde shakes her head at the aphorisms that Angela spills. "Right. Don't worry. I won't rely on you for help in the future," she says, though the words don't come as easy; they are said in that fierce whisper she has when she's angry and hurt. "I'll show myself out." A little achy from the seat belt bruise from the accident and her knees still scabbed beneath her jeans from the glass she crawled over, her exit isn't as fast as she would like, but she at least manages to get out of the front door before the tears make their way past her lashes and onto her cheeks. They're quickly brushed aside with her good hand and the knowledge that she won't count on her grandmother for much in the future.

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