2007-10-08: Ice Cream: The Real Cure


Claire_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter calls up his niece after calling his brother and breaking the bad news. He needs to know if regenerators usually get sick or not. Him and his niece have a cute conversation. And make plans for Anniversary Ice Cream. It's been almost exactly a year since they first met.

Date It Happened: October 8th, 2007

Ice Cream: The Real Cure

On the Phone

It's evening hours when a certain uncle calls up his niece's cellphone. Little does he know he's huddling in a hallway, with a jacket pulled tight around him to ward off cold chills that aren't going away. Peter's not feeling too great. In fact, that's why he's calling. If she could see him, she'd notice his hair got sheered short in the last week, cut close enough it's almost a military cut, and he's looking pasty and pale, feverish. She'd seen him like that once before— without the hair cut, but considering this is a phone call from half a city away… she's not about to see what he actually looks like.

Holed up in a motel room for the evening (for the past week, more accurately), Claire is currently staring vacantly at the T.V. while laying on her stomach on the bed she's currently sharing with her mother. Lyle claimed his turn, and so now the whole room has been subjected to the evils of Jackass. "Do we have to watch this crap?" she whines.

And then there's a vibration from the dresser. Jumping up, Claire moves to grab the phone before her brother gets any stupid ideas. Peter? She glances at it with a confused expression for a moment before grabbing her black zippered hoodie and throwing it over her black tanktop. "Mom? I'm going outside to talk on the phone!" There's something yelled back from the bathroom about not going too far, but Claire's already outside the door.

Shutting that door behind her, she wraps an arm around herself and then tentatively speaks into the phone after hitting 'Send.' The cold night air is somewhat refreshing, and in the not-too-distant background, cars zipping past the parking lot might be heard. "Hello?"

There's nothing quite so activing going on in the hallway of the Seville Medical Center, unfortunately. Peter's by himself— the hallway empty for the moment. It's cold and sterile and there's quite a lot of echoing going on down the hall when he tries to speak. It carries sound well, really. Which is why he's whispering, keeping his voice down. "Claire? It's Peter," his voice sounds hoarse, not just whispered, as if he has a sore throat or something. And also tired the further he continues, "I wanted to ask you something… have you ever gotten sick? Like a cold or flu or… anything… since you got your ability?"

For a moment, Claire is awash in relief. "Peter! Thank God you're okay! Dad told me what happened and— " Wait. Her uncle said something else. She stops for a moment, and then her brow furrows in thought. "Sick? I— I don't think so. I mean, I don't remember getting sick." Bouncing a few times in her fuzz-trimmed slipper mules and red plaid flannel pants, the cheerleader then tilts her head. …Even if Peter can't see it. When a couple starts loudly arguing outside the door a few motel rooms down the strip, Claire turns her back on them and clamps her free hand over her other ear so she can hear better. "Why? Where are you? Your voice sounds funny."

"Your father told you about what?" Peter asks, blinking a little— though he can think of a few situations that may have come up eventually. He's had quite a few bad moments the last week or so, but the one he's called about can't be what she's heard. "I'm in a… hospital. Medical center, really. A clinic. They're— it's ran by a friend. She's… Claire I'm sick. And we can't figure out why I'm sick— she though regeneration— your regeneration— that it would have made me better, but it's not. I'm going to be staying here for a while. At least until we know if it's contagious, but I probably won't… won't be able to help much. If something bad happens." He doesn't sound like he likes this at all. He takes the phone away from his mouth to cough a few times, before he puts it back to wait to see what she has to say.

Oh, crap. She wasn't supposed to say anything. "About— nothing. It's not important." Claire is suddenly nothing but concern. "What do you mean you're sick? And who's she? Maybe… Hold on." When the couple continues yelling, Claire turns at the waist and muffles the speaker. "WOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP? I'M TRYING TO TALK ON THE PHONE, HERE!" They yell back a few unpleasant things, but eventually just disappear inside the room to continue the fight. There's a growl of frustration as Claire picks the phone back up to her ear to continue rambling. "Anyway. Maybe it's different because you weren't born with it? I don't know. I'm not a biologist or geneticist or…" Or whoever might even have a reasonable reason to be tackling these sorts of questions.

"What do you mean it's not important— Claire," Peter says in a delirious voice, before he might let it drop. Unseen to her, he's running a hand over his face. "I mean I'm sick. It's like I got some kind of super flu. It's wrecking havoc on me— at first I thought I was just overloading again— like when we spoke in Odessa after I saved you, but it's something different. I have a virus, and it's active now." That hand's getting rubbed over his face again, as well as a few frustrated sounds. "I just needed to ask if you'd ever been sick before— it could just be because it's your ability and not mine— could function differently."

"Would it help if I came? I can't get there tonight, but I could be there first thing in the morning." Who cares about stupid school, anyway? Certainly not the blonde on the phone. Plunging her free hand into her pocket, she moves to sit down on the bit of curb right next to her mother's car. "Where are you?"

"It's not— you don't need to come tonight," Peter says, shaking his head a little. "Or even tomorrow. Until we know if this thing is contagious I don't want to risk exposing anyone else further. Especially if it gets around regeneration." He's a worrier. That's for sure. "It's Seville Medical Center in Brooklyn— I'm in a lab called Bat Country. It's ran by a woman named Cass Aldric. She's actually my boss. I trust her quite a bit— she's been helping me with my abilities." Even if there's a Dr. Aldric in the Company, that was a guy. Coincidence? "It might be a good idea to come down later, maybe on the weekend? I don't want you to miss school, or anything."

Well, that might as well have been explicit permission as far as Claire's concerned. She's worried, too. However, she's not going to push the boundaries just yet. Her mom's already worried about Noah and the escapees and the millions of other things that she's got on her plate right now. She doesn't need to worry about Claire skipping school and then revealing her ability to some stranger. "I'll be there tomorrow. Right after school, I promise. I should be able to be there by four. Is that okay?" This is something she can do. Something that could make a difference. It's a million times better than hiding in a stupid motel room like a mouse from a cat.

There's a pause as if Peter's considering her offer carefully. "How about Friday after school? I think the— that way the labs can have a little more time to run tests and we might know for sure if it's contagious by then. Your father would kill me— permanently— if I got you sick." And he's pretty sure they both know that. "Should give you enough time to come up with an excuse too." Since he doubts she'll be telling them the truth about where she's running off to after school. "How have things been with you, Claire? It sounds like you're not at home."

"We're staying at a motel for a little bit." Peter doesn't see it, but maybe he can hear the faint sounds of a strained smile through the phone as she feeds him the lie of her father's design. "The house is getting some work done. And you know what a pain that can be. Tight quarters. One television. Recipe for disaster. Coming to see you will be like a vacation! …You sure you don't need me tomorrow?"

"I think a Friday would be better," Peter says after a moment, tilting his head back. He could call her on her manufactured story— which he actually could believe— so maybe he does believe it. Last time he'd been in her home he'd been part of it getting wrecked, after all. And her visiting on Friday would be best, because it could also mean that Nathan will be gone before she gets here— but even if he's not she'll probably tell him anyway. Her biodad is his brother, after all. And he cares about his brother a great deal. "But if you hear of anyone… like us… getting sick— or if you feel sick yourself, you might want to call me, or come in earlier. But only if that happens, okay? I promise to call you if I need you sooner than that."

Claire thinks about that for a second before finally just resting her forehead atop the heel of her palm. "Okay. But if I find out you didn't, I'm never listening to you about this stuff again. Deal?"

There's a hint of a laugh, even if it's hoarse and turns into a cough, and Peter responds simply, "Deal. I'll see you on Friday." The words are quietly fond. Even if he's only known he had a niece for less than a year, he certainly seems to like her. "Hey— you realize it's almost been exactly a year since we met."

Claire chuckles at that, but the concern never really leaves her tone. "Really? It seems like so much longer." Mostly because it seems like an eternity since she had anything resembling an actually normal life. "Once you get better and we get back into the house," AKA when scary psycho murderers aren't roaming the streets, "we should go get Anniversary Ice Cream or something."

"Anniversary Ice Cream sounds wonderful," Peter says, actually smiling, even if no one can really see it. It's a tired smile, but it's definitely there. Sounds there in his voice. "Good night, Claire." He finally adds, but he doesn't quite hang up, lingering a moment.

Biting the inside corner of her lower lip for a moment, Claire hesitates to say the words that will signify her end of the conversation. Yeah, okay, on one hand, it's cold, and she wants to go inside. On the other hand, her desire to drop everything and help her uncle like he's helped her in the past makes it so she lingers in the silence for a breath longer than she needs to, blue eyes lifting to look at the murky, light polluted sky. Yeah, okay. So not Odessa starlit night up there. "'Night, Peter," she finally offers back. "I hope you feel better tomorrow."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License