2008-02-06: Inadvertent Hope

Starring:

Logan_icon.gif Claire_icon.gif

Summary: Logan thinks he's got the upper hand. Logan better think again.

Date It Happened: February 6th, 2008

Inadvertent Hope


Fort Lee, NJ — Exam Room — Pinehearst Research

It's beyond the witching hour. Even this late, so late it's early, there are only a few live bodies within the Pinehearst Research building. Mostly security, a handful of diligent scientists, and last but not least, test subjects and their fathers.

Logan isn't doing too good. A doctor attended to him already, bandaging wrapped tightly around his shoulder, which rests in a sling, and more bandaging around his torso, collaring around his throat in order to effectively cover the stab wound so high up his back. He's sore, tired, and has lost a decent amount of blood. But there's no rest for the wicked.

The hallway is dimly lit as he descends down from the labs, down to the examination rooms at basement level whether the lights are low and the shadows are lengthy. He passes doors. D9, D10, D11…

D12.

He swipes a card through the lock, and wrenches the door open. His hand searches the wall, flicks the switch, and with a harsh buzz, fluorescent lights turn on in their cages high above. Claire Bennet lies on a hospital bed, secured with medical restraints as a precaution. Not a continual state of being, but often enough for it to become normal, and certainly late at night. Only her wrists and her ankles, to allow doctors to flit in and out and check up on her without risk. Logan, at first, lingers by the closed door, observing. It's the first time since he's come to see her. And for what other reason could he have… but her blood?

It's not a dramatic awakening. It's a leg first, trying to curl up and help her turn over. Then the pull of an arm as the leg finds its caught and sends hazy signals up the path of her nervous system. The arm, caught at the wrist, passes along the message that it, too, is unable to assist the teenaged body from being able to shy away from the light. The brain, in a slumber's fog, takes these two messages and begins to sort them.

Claire grimaces and groans unhappily.

Then blue eyes crack open, bleary vision at first only recognizing blinding, painful, noisy light. The flourescents above her, she finally processes. There's a check of her wrists and her ankles. Still secure. When her head falls to the side, she expects to see a doctor. When she doesn't find one there, she blinks and turns her head to the other side. Nope! None there, either. Her respiration rises, as she slowly turns her crystalline gaze to the foot of her bed. Fear and confusion give way to anger plainly upon her features as wide eyes narrow. "What do you want?"

When addressed, Logan starts the long approach across the room - in one hand, he holds a small metal case of some sort, the other hand occupied with that arm resting in a medical looking sling. He's pale, wearing a borrowed pale blue shirt, unbuttoned to show the white undershirt beneath which doesn't do much to disguise the bandaging. He's not here to impress her, after all. "What do you think I want?" he asks, voice graveled, as he approaches her bedside, but there is something similar to pity in his gaze. But not sympathy. Never that.

He sets the metal case down on her bed, near her shoulder, freed up hand then moving to unstrap his sling. "I'm sorry I haven't visited more," he says, blandly, eyes on his task rather than her. "But then again, I have a feeling we wouldn't have had much to talk about anyway."

"Like you'd care," Claire spits with all the spite of a cranky, newly woken kitten. It's grown so common. Being woken up for them to put this thing into her. Pull this thing out. Things that would be torturous for people without her ability are made horrific by the emotional experience alone. The problem is that she can't do anything about it, and she knows it. Her record is probably full of all sorts of notes about her Bad Behavior when she is loosed from restraints and she thought she had a play for the door. Or hostages. She wants out.

For now, she must content herself with conversation. "You're not sorry. Admit it. This is all you ever wanted, anyway — your chance at immortality."

"Immortality," Logan repeats with a soft sneer, loosening his arm from the sling and letting this fall, neglected, on the floor. If all goes well, he won't need it. He manages not to show pain, or make a sound, as his arm is made to support itself from a ruined shoulder. You get good at that, of masking everything. His good hand opens up the metal case next to Claire's shoulder - a needle kit, not unlike the kinds that Jack has. It's a good thing he lives with a junkie. Otherwise he might not know how to do this.

"You think I'm that selfish?"

He extracts the needle, checking it over. "As we speak, scientists are working through the night, studying ways to replicate what your blood can do, for the good of mankind. We'll never have to worry about injury, disease, nothing. I don't think I'm the selfish one in this room." He braces the hand of his ruined arm on her's, searching out a vein, before pressing the needle into her skin. Nothing very new for Claire, anymore.

The needle slips into her arm, unfelt but not unnoticed. "Nathan, the world isn't meant to be like that. Pain, sickness, death… Yeah, they suck! But you can't just play God and make it go away. Things work the way they do for a reason." Big talk coming from a seventeen year old. Then her eyes shift to Nathan's arm. Claire locks her gaze there for a few moments and then changes the subject. It was a dead horse, anyway. She needs the conversation—the interaction. No one talks to her here or addresses her. It's enough to make someone crazy. She frowns and looks up towards the ceiling. "So what'd you do to your arm, anyway?"

Dark red blood is drawn into the little glass chamber of the needle, filling it, and once it's done, this is set aside. A second needle, a second jab, a second dose of blood. "My wife stabbed me with a steak knife," Logan tells her, casually, voice distracted as he sets about this task. "Not just the shoulder, but the back, too. Unfortunately, I have a convention in Vegas I'm meant to be attending practically today, and I can't have people wondering why I couldn't make it." The needle withdraws, and he sets about preparing for his own injection, peeling back his sleeve. Difficult questions, difficult answers.

"You're right, though, that the world can't work that way." A sharp veer back towards that dead horse, and he flashes her a smile. "I was spinning it pretty for you, but you're a smart cookie."

No, that doesn't sound ominous. Not at all, no, sir! Except that it very much does.

Claire's eyes shift from the more glassy resignation that she was trying to lull herself into, finding instead a return to not just the subject but to a growing, abject horror as she looks to her father. She even lifts her head from the pillow beneath it so she can try to look at him more squarely. "What do you mean? …What are you really using it for?"

"Leverage."

Jab. The needle goes into his own arm, causing his eyes to squeeze shut for a moment, but he's treating himself with far more care than he did the teenager. Slowly, he injects himself, watching the blood drain down into his body with only a twitch of a grimace. "You have the miracle cure to everything in the world, what else are you supposed to do with it but sell it to the highest bidder?" Logan says. "And I'm not talking money. I'm talking about power." A glance is flicked to her. "Destiny. I guess you're right. I'm looking for immortality, just not in the way you know it."

Horror reaching optimal levels. Blue eyes widen again. For all of her talk of not being naive, somehow the possibility that someone would sell the secrets of her biology to someone else had just never occurred to her. She shakes her head, as though disbelieving. He's shooting himself up with her blood, shamelessly using her as his personal medicine, but she can't look anywhere but the eyes that aren't looking back at her. She begins pulling against her wrist restaints and slowly pulls herself up into an awkward sit. "Nathan. You can't do this." Her chin tucks as she tries to make him understand how cosmically BAD this idea is. "You. Can't. Do. This."

"I can," Logan defies, extracting the needle and setting it back inside the case. He repeats the procedure with the second dose of blood. Just in case. But he can feel it work its magic, needle pushes into the freshly healed track on his arm. He meets her gaze, eyes cold. Shark-like. "And I will. And I have you to thank for that."

Claire starts towards the man beside her as though she'd hurl herself at him, but the restraint on her right wrist keeps her well in place. Her body snaps as she's stopped short, blonde hair whipping back to hit her in the face. She tries to pull her knees up, but they are also very securely checked. So she scoots her body down as far as she can to get extra inches. The advantage of no pain is that the only resistance she feels is that of the bones her wrist protesting. "I'm not going to just let you do it! This is insane. I won't be a part of this!"

Nathan is largely a man of words — physical action is a last resort. So when Logan lets what he was carrying fall to the ground with a clatter, stepping forward and meeting her that last distance, it's uncharacteristic of the role he's used to playing as his hand lashes out and grips Claire's throat. She doesn't feel pain, so she isn't disciplined with the open-handed slap he'd been considering, but this way she can certainly acknowledge the crushing of her wind pipe as strong fingers clamp down. His face is closer to hers as he hisses, "You don't have a choice." His hand tightens a fraction. "And I'm not… insane." She didn't call him insane. But Logan is nothing if not his actions. "Incidentally," he adds, gaze lowering despite the proximity, "I'm feeling a lot better." He shoves her back.

Claire sputters as her airway is physically closed by the large hand that engulfs her throat in its grip. Its owner judges correctly, and the lack of air is certainly enough to efficiently get her attention. Her face reddens, but there is an equally brightly burning fury in the way she looks back at Nathan, still fiercely defiant. But then her vision starts to blur as the reduced blood and oxygen flow to her brain, unfocusing and diminishing the intensity of that glare.

The disorientation that comes with it makes it all the easier to just simply push Claire down against the bed again. She turns to her side to curl what marginal degree is possible, one arm straightened behind her as it remains pinned in place. After she catches her breath, she turns those angry eyes back to Nathan. "I hope Heidi stabs you in the head next time."

Logan does up the buttons of his shirt, as if in an effort to make himself more presentable after that show of violence, and now that his shoulder is in working order. His hand comes up to squeeze the former injury, testing the fast diminishing damage as Claire's blood works its magic. "If there's a next time," Logan says, moving to pick up what he'd dropped, used needles put back into the case, which is scooped up, along with the useless sling. "You should get some sleep, Claire. It's late." Sense of time is rather limited, in here - call it doing her a favour. "Goodnight, honey." And he heads back for the door, having taken what he wanted.

"I just want to go home," she mutters under her breath as she watches her father collect needles. And then… Then there's a pause, and Claire looks momentarily confused. Before she knows it, he has everything he wanted and everything he brought in with him. He's saying goodnight. "You're not insane," Claire agrees at last, peering curiously in the departing junior senator's direction. And, since he's leaving, the blonde decides to just throw one more thing out there. One last, lingering thing. "But you're not… You're not Nathan either, are you?" Great. Now she sounds insane. Stupid, stupid confusing too-real dreams.

His hand rests on the door's latch as she tosses out that last wrench, making his exit grind to a halt for a moment. Thoughtful. Then, his other hand reaches out to nudge the switch of the room, and with a seedy flicker, the lights die, throwing the room into darkness. A metallic, industrial wrench, and he opens the door, spilling low light through the frame and casting him into indistinct silhouette. "No," he says, amusement lacing his tone as he steps into the hallway, throwing that answer to echo over his shoulder. "I'm not."

The door swings closed at a casual bat of his hand, throwing shadow over the girl once more.

And in the dark, a smile begins to grow on Claire's lips. Just a little, knowing smile. Peter's coming for her. He's going to tell Noah. Noah is coming for her.

Pinehearst is in so much trouble.

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