2007-09-13: Information Always Travels

Starring:

Claire_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Information often ends up traveling to the wrong ears. Peter checks his voice mail after big date.

Date It Happened: September 13th, 2007

Information Always Travels


Peter's Apartment

By the time Peter checked his voicemail, many hours have passed since it was sent. His phone had been off most of the night. Once he checked it, he immediately returned the phone call, sounding startled, then asked if she'd come to his apartment so they could talk. Phone calls never struck him as the best way to handle important info. But he did sound concerned. A quick shower and clean of the apartment, and he spends the rest of the time pacing back and forth, making his minature American Eskimo a little antsy. She watches him, barks every so often, and then finds something to chew on. How did Claire even hear that name? Maybe she met her randomly and saw her display air abilities? It could be something like that.

Dad was right. The phone call from Peter proved it. Or at least proved it to the point that Claire was reasonably certain he was right. Which is why she is currently standing on her uncle's door step, dressed in a pair of jeans with a bright yellow light knit jacket on. Blonde hair pulled into a low ponytail that hangs on the right side, the teenager takes a deep breath and then slowly pulls her hand out of her jacket pocket. Well, let's get this overwith. Her knuckles lightly rap against the door in quick succession, her lips set in a tiny frown of determination.

Hair combed back, Peter's wearing a polo shirt and jeans when the knock on the door attracts both his attention, and the dof that the young teenager has never got to meet yet. She'll hear a small bark, not too unlike what her mother's dog would sound like. The little white fluffy thing even makes a break for the door, only to be snatched up by her owner. After checking the spyhole, he unlocks the door and opens it, still holding the fuzzy pointed ear dog in his arms. "Hey, come on in." He nods her inside. There's signs that he recently cooked breakfast, possibly for two from the amount of plates in the sink. There's a lingering smell of sausage, bacon, eggs and potatoes. And some left over breakfast rolls sit on the counter.

When the door gets open, there's a self-conscious little smile that curls Claire's lips. A hand goes up to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Hey," she offers quietly in response, blue eyes mostly focused on the ground but glancing up every so often as she makes her way inside. Her white sneakers make little sound as she walks. "I'm really sorry about leaving a voicemail, Peter. I just… Kinda urgent." Then her eyes finally catch sight of the tiny canine in Peter's arms. Her smile grows a little bolder, and her stops looking away. Yay for changing the topic. "Cute dog."

Once she's inside, Peter closes the door behind her, locks it, and then looks at the fuzzy bundle in his arms. She's white, with pinkish tint to her skin, and big blue eyes— similar to a husky's eyes. It's a beautiful combo, even if it'd make her flawed in show circles. "No— it's okay. I'm sorry I didn't check my messages until an hour ago. I— was pretty busy." With various things, like being on a date with someone only two years older than her, but that's neither here nor there! The puppy his offered to her, if she'd like to hold her, the small canine curious and sniffing at her. Probably smells her dog. "Her name's Snowy." Topic change as there might be… he's got a rather apprehensive look about him when he asks, "How'd you know about Evelyn?"

In a voice taught and nurtured by Sandra, Claire takes the little white dog and holds it up after briefly introducing herself by way of holding her fingertips at the dog's nose. Yeah. Dogs she knows. "Hello, Snowy." Then the dog is carefully nestled into the crook of her arm and a hand held out so she can continue to sniff away at her whim. Her blue eyes, prettily dressed up in a frame of mascara, stay focused on the dog as she then moves to scratch idly behind a fuzzy ear. She breathes a deep breath, releasing it slowly between her lips and then offers two words. "Dad knows."

The dog— still a puppy by breed standards— responds well to the handling, tail wagging, leaning into her hand. She definitely likes the attention. Peter watches his niece handle the dog quietly, expression moving towards one that's far more serious by the moment. Reason why is the other topic. Evelyn. Who her father knows about. He grimaces. While he trusts her father, more or less, that's still one piece of information he didn't want anyone in the Company getting their hands on. He's only told a handful of people about her. "How did he find out?"

"I don't know." Claire's smile disappears, crushed under the weight of the grim topic. "But he told me to stay away from her because the Company was handling it." Her brow furrows, and then she stoops so she can finally set the little furball on the ground to wander as she will. Now its increasingly difficult to look in her uncle's direction. Even with everything that's happened, she feels like she's somehow betraying her father in this. That does bad things for her conscience. Making her way towards the window, she crosses her arms over her stomach and looks outside with a lean that makes it so she doesn't really have to get to close. Little paranoid? Maybe. "I didn't know who else to call."

Turning away from her, Peter paces briefly, but there's definitely a sense of panic in him from the way he's standing. Panic and anger both, actually. Everyone he told he was sure he could trust. Either someone betrayed him, or the Company has more places bugged than he thought. Either way, he's not happy. Hands moving into a fist, he paces into the main room of his apartment, with all of it's pictures, full bookshelves— everything. Definitely not pleased. "Whatever causes her to lose control isn't normal," he says. "Someone is behind it. If…" He rubs his hands through his hair. People knew about the plot for him to blow up the city— is this going to go just like that? "Thank you for telling me."

Looking back to her uncle, Claire pastes on another half-hearted smile. "You're welcome." Then it's back to pretend land, where everything is sunny and happy. "I guess that's it, really. Just lemme know if there's anything else I can do." There's a helpless little shrug, fueled by a silent exhalation. Then she shakes her head. "I'm not gonna keep you all tied up. I'm sure you've got important stuff to do. I hope everything… you know. Gets… fixed."

Pretend land. Where father's don't work for Companies that lean into the morally gray territory. Peter nods slowly, "Yeah— I have a couple phone calls I need to make." Find out if anyone told other people already— and if not then they're going to need to check their places for bugs. But first he needs to try to call Evelyn's number, and, if she doesn't answer, drop by in person. He'd been meaning to for the past week, but things hadn't gone the way he might have wanted. "Sorry you keep getting caught up in this. If there's anything you can do, I will let you know. I'd hoped the next time we'd see each other would be on the way to an ice rink." Not worry about the possible implications of the Company knowing about a girl who claimed she'd been the tornado.

"Hey," the blonde offers with a hollow chuckle. "Don't worry about it. If it's a choice between skating today or seeing tomorrow, five bucks says you can guess which one I'm gonna want." Stooping down, Claire offers a few more pats to the dog. "It was very nice to meet you, Snowy." And then she pushes herself back up to her feet, again pushing her hands deep down into her pockets and making her way towards the door. Just because it's Peter doesn't entirely eliminate the awkwardness inherent in the situation. "I'll keep an ear out."

There's a pause, but Peter moves to follow her to the door. Snowy likes the pats, but he's going to do something that they haven't gotten to do often. If he hadn't just learned about her a year ago— and if they hadn't spent so much time apart in that year due to various situations, this might be less awkward, but he does say, "Wait, Claire…" before he touches her shoulders and pulls her into a hug. It doesn't last long— not nearly as long as it probably would have if they'd known each other longer, but it's a hug. "You don't have to do this— but thank you for the warning, really. Just don't do anything you don't want to, okay?" Even when he dated Elle, he didn't want to use her as a Company spy, telling him what her father was up to. This situation is similar— even if they're family instead.

Extracting her hands from her pockets, Claire wraps her arms about Peter's waist and returns the hug gratefully. It helps diminish some of the guilt, you see, when someone feels that you did something right. Closing her eyes, she tries to internalize that little bit of reality. And then it's done, and there they are once more… niece and uncle and confused bits of familiarity. Hunching her shoulders, she puts her hands back in her pockets. It gives her something to do with her hands. "Isn't growing up all about doing stuff you don't wanna do because you have to do it? We don't get the luxury of a choice." Maybe her dad understands that. Maybe she's betraying him. Maybe he planned it. It's so hard to tell when no one seems inclined to tell you the whole truth. There's a pause. Then there's a frown. It's time to go. "Just be careful, okay? A lot of people are counting on you."

"Guess it is," Peter says with a smile, though he reaches up and brushes his knuckles against her cheek briefly. No tears to wipe away, but it's a similar gesture to what he'd done when there were. "Just don't forget there are still times you can lay back and have fun, even with everything else that's going on." There's always hardships and duties, but there's also a lot of things that make growing up worth it— which he hopes she gets to experience. Life does get better after high school. As long as people let it. "I'll be careful. Someone has to teach you how to ice skate." It's almost flippant, but… he means it.

Yeah. A whole lot of fun is in store. Middles of cheerleading pyramids and middles of bell curves and being the most boring girl ever conceived by the Mind of Noah. It sounded a lot better when it was the green grass on the other side of the fence. "Still sounds great. Dad said I could go, so." So at least they don't have to sneak around about that. Her smile gets pasted back. "Maybe after you finish being Evelyn's hero." Rolling her eyes playfully, the teenager rocks up onto the balls of her feet and then back down again. "I guess she can borrow you for a little bit."

"I'm not her only hero, luckily— There's a couple people who'll be helping me with that," Peter says, though he will go ahead and try to see her now without them. Maybe she'll answer the door and he'll just have to deal with things that way. Otherwise… "I'll see if there's time next week— it'll depend on how long it takes me to get to talk to her." She might be out of town— or the Company may have moved already. It's going to be tough to say… but… he's going to try. "Need me to walk you down to the street— make sure you get a cab?"

"No rush, and no worries. I got it covered," Claire says. Her hand moves to the doorknob, but she pauses before she opens it. Over the tied rope of blonde hair, there's a continued smile, feigning all of an adolescent's mischievousness. "If they don't want to stop, I'll just walk in front of one. Abilities gotta come in handy sometime, right?" Funny, ha ha. That's when she pulls the door open, being mindful that the dog doesn't get out. "Just give me a call whenever you think you'll have a night free."

"I'm gonna hope that's a joke," Peter says, smiling just a little bit. Not much, but perhaps enough. He doesn't seem to be outright accusing her of not joking, at least. "I will call you— be safe, Claire." he adds, waiting at the door as she opens it. He won't close it behind her, but he does have to duck down and snag the dog before she decides to go home with someone else. Play? Walk time? She's all excited— but no, it's not playtime or walk time. He'll hold the dog as he watches her go down the hallway.

"You, too." And please don't let Dad find out I blabbed, she silently adds on. God, he's gonna kill her if he ever finds out. Or ground her. Or take back his promise to give her ONE MORE SHOT at trying to maintain appearances on a cheerleading squad. As soon as she's partway down the hall, all pretense slips from Claire's features and she just stares at her feet as she goes before disappearing into the stairwell. Why is there always a sense of foreboding for these things?

Foreboding is really friggin' annoying.

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