2007-04-06: No Use Crying Over Undead Uncles

Starring:

Claire_icon.gif Drake_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif

Summary: Drake comes by to give Claire her birthday presents, but instead of a nice night at home, Claire gets upset when Drake tells her just how far his sparring with Peter went.

Date It Happened: April 6th, 2007

No Use Crying Over Undead Uncles


Bennet Residence - New York

It is the day after Claire's birthday, and Drake has finally got out of soccer practice. After a quick run home to throw himself in the shower and change his clothes, he picks up the large paper bag with handles and takes an uneventful bus ride over. After a quick three block jog from the stop to the house, he waits for a moment out on the sidewalk before finally sucking in a deep breath, and making his way up the stone pathway to the door. Reaching out, he presses his finger into the doorbell, listening to the faint chimes behind the door, then waits, working his bottom lip a bit with his teeth. He's wearing a button down shirt with a flared collar, and a new pair of dark pants over his worn down sneakers. First impressions are always the best.

"I'm not interested in your excuses, Parker, I'm interested in results." Noah doesn't raise his voice, his tone level, but icy cold. "Is someone going to get that?" he calls out, sounding annoyed. He doesn't pay attention to the sputtered protestations and apologies that are coming from the other end of the phone. "And if you ever pull a stunt like that again I will deal with you personally, do I make myself clear?" Nostrils slightly flaring, he snaps his phone shut sharply. "I'll get it," he grumbles, as no one seems to be listening to him. It has been a very bad day at work. He pulls the door open quickly, then tilts his head to look down at the boy. He seems to take in everything, at a glance. Including the shoes. "Yes?"

Staring up at Noah, Drake takes a reflexive step back, swallowing hard in his throat. For a guy that can probably kill this horn rimmed guy in less than a second, he sure looks intimidated. ".. Ah.. um… Good.. afternoon, Mr. Bennet, sir. Mister sir." He stammers out. "I'm Drake. Um.." He pauses. "Is.. Claire.. here?" He asks, tapping the toe of one foot against the ground in a fidgety manner. Tap. Tap.

"Drake," Noah says, possibly disapproving of the very name itself. Something tugs at the back of his mind. Noah lets a long and possibly uncomfortable moment of silence pass, staring at the boy. "Come on in," he says with a sudden smile, that passes too quickly. He steps back to allow Drake room to enter.

"Yes sir, Drake Maxwell. Um.." Wait, come inside? This has to be a trap. Right? Claire practically described this guy as the over protective guy from hell. Wait. Waaaait. He's going to get his gun, isn't he? The young boy's eyes widen for a moment, before swallowing, and glancing over his shoulder, as if it would be the last time he'd see daylight again. "Yes sir." He says again, repeating in polite tones as he follows after. "I go to school with Claire, and.. I..got her a birthday present, just.. a few things." No big deal, right? He won't let out the boyfriend thing, yet. Maybe her mom will be home to stop the bloodshed, or Mr. Muggles. That's right, he'll protect him.

"Have a seat," Noah says quietly, passing the living room. The face of a younger boy peeks around the corner of the hallway, with an insufferable grin of curiosity on his face. "Go find your sister," Noah says, and it sounds like an order. "Drake Maxwell," Noah repeats, musing. "I think she mentioned you." The name is familiar, at least.

Settling himself down into a chair, hoping that he's not sitting in -Noah's- chair, that is, if he has one, Drake's lips quirk a bit upwards. ".. Really? She has?" Oh, this may not go so badly after all. "She told me that her mom.. your wife knows about me. I.. really didn't know she talked about me to you." He says, practically babbling. ".. Hopefully all good things, right?" Insert nervous chuckle here as he wrings his hands together. "So.. you.. have a really nice place, sir. Big..comfy.." He says, glancing about for a moment. "My mom would love the decorating." Shut up already.

Noah takes a seat directly across from Drake, settling in with a smile. He seems to be enjoying himself. This is one of the true joys of being a father. "Thank you Drake," Noah says pleasantly. "She didn't tell me much, really." The name just keeps nagging at him. "A present, you said. That's very thoughtful."

"Oh, yeah.. um.. I know she really likes those underground Indie type bands, so, I got her a few collector edition vinyls. I just love the classic feel of a record, instead of a CD, you know? The music seems to sound better. Got her a few shirts also. Nothing great, really, just.. ah.. hot topic type stuff." He shifts some in the seat, offering a quick smile in return to Noah. OK, now what? "So.. Claire says she's a big Cowboy fan, you know, you all being from Texas. How about you? Into football?"

"No," Noah says, folding his hands together and not giving the boy any more than that. He crosses one leg over hte other, his eyebrows raising. "Well that's very generous of you, Drake, getting her all that stuff." If it's not a boyfriend it's someone who wants to be. "Must have cost a bit of money. Do you have a job?"

"Yes sir. I work part time at a Starbucks. Figured I'd get a head start on working early, even if it's just.. something small, you know?" Drake says as he clears his throat a bit. "But, didn't really cost.. all that much." He trails off. "I mean.. well.. maybe one of the records did, but whatever. I live with my mom, so it's not like I have bills or anything. I'm only working for the experience." He's babbling again. "Um.. so.. " He glances up to the stairs for a moment, before looking back to Noah. Brain. Fart. "What do you do, sir? For a living, I mean." Don't say shoot people, please.

"I think every young man or lady should have a job," Noah says with an approving nod. Starbucks. They have all those fancy coffees Noah can't even order. That might explain the hair. "Well Drake, I sell paper." He doesn't elaborate.

"Paper?" Drake pauses for a moment. "Oh. You sell.. paper." That doesn't seem scary. "So you .. I guess sell your paper to corporations like Staples or Office Max? That kind of thing? Do you guys make the paper there also, or do you buy it wholesale and then mark it up before pushing it to other customers?" Looks like someone is in Economics this semester.

"The local branch is distribution and sales," Noah smiles. This must be a boyfriend. Who else is going to sit there and try to talk paper? Noah sits up and looks behind him towards the stairs. No sign of either of his children. Noah's smile starts to fade as he thinks about work. "Excuse me a moment," he says, standing up. "There's a call I have to make."

"Oh. OK." No problem. Drake offers up a quick smile, nodding his head, before he finds his foot once more doing the nervous tapping against the floor. His fingers curl in, and out of the straw handles of the paper bag which holds the wrapped gifts. With a tilt of his head towards the second story of the house again, he practically 'wills' Claire to stop fixing with her hair and rescue him.

What an opportune time for Claire to step into the room! This conversation about paper sales is going nowhere interesting - and nowhere good. Lyle is nowhere to be seen, maybe, but Claire appears in the doorway of the living room, unaware that Drake might need rescuing. "Hey," she greets Drake with a bright smile, though the presence of her father stops her from going straight over to him, at first. Her smile turns into a smirk, somewhat, and she flicks a glance to Noah. "You two getting to know each other?"

Noah steps into the kitchen and pulls out his cellphone. He types out a text message quickly, frowning. The name. Very familiar. "Claire?" he calls again, just as she's stepping into the room. "There you are. There's a boy here to see you," he says, with a faint smirk. "Ah, hold that thought," he says, as his phone beeps, a text message received. He steps into the kitchen, bending his head down to read it.

"Oh, Hey Claire!" Drake says, brightening up like a sunbeam as he straightens in the chair, quietly clearing his throat. "I um.. Yeah. We're getting along. I didn't know you told your dad about me." He says with a grin on his face. "Hey, I got you a birthday present. I'm sorry I didn't drop by yesterday. I was um.. out with a friend, working on a project with him for school." He says, before letting out a relaxing breath. "How you doing?"

"Of course I told him about you." Capitalizing on her father's distraction, Claire sneaks over to the chair to teasingly ruffle his hair. One swift, chaste kiss on the cheek, and she settles onto the arm of the chair, facing him. "It's okay. I was busy yesterday." Doing things like sneaking out for ice cream with Peter, but she decides to keep that part to herself. "I'm alright." Nudging his shoulder gently, she adds, "Heard you went shopping with Peter the other day."

Noah stops in his tracks, reading the message and rereading it again. He raises his head slowly, staring at the wall that separates him from the room with the two teenagers. He nods slowly to himself, then puts the phone away. Mr. Bennet walks slowly towards the living room, not above a bit of eavesdropping.

"Yeah. He needed advice on present buying for you." Drake says with a grin, shrugging his shoulders. "I told him your shoe size since he wanted to get you ice skates." With a brush of his fingers against the top of her hand, he seems a bit more relaxed now that she is here, and the weight of the room has been lifted, so he thinks. "Hope you like what I got you." He chuckles. "I had to guess for most of the stuff, but, I figured if you didn't like it, you could always stick 'em in the closet or something."

Regarding him with a vaguely amused expression, Claire asks, "How did *you* know my shoe size?" It's clear that his attention to detail has surprised her. Maybe even impressed her. Maybe. "Don't worry. I bet I'll like it." Casting a glance back to the kitchen, in the direction her father went, she frowns in a kind of apology, though it's not particularly grave. "How long were you sitting there with my dad?"

"Claire honey, I'm going to have to go back into the office, there's a bit of a crisis at work," Noah says. He doesn't sound particularly worried, but how bad could a crisis at a paper company be? "There's money in the kitchen for supper, but make sure your brother gets some too."

"Long enough to see my life flash before my eyes, at least twice." Drake murmurs quietly with a smile on his face, before glancing up, and over towards Noah as he speaks. With a tilt of his head, he lifts a hand upwards. "Oh. Ah.. it was really nice to meet you Mr. Bennet." He says, before shifting slightly to glance to Claire, grinning. "Peeked at the tongue of one of your shoes when you kicked them off. I.. had a gift idea in mind but Peter was kinda beating me to it. I was gonna pick you up roller blades."

Her father's voice drives her to hop down from the arm of the chair, and Claire crosses the living room to where Noah stands, giving him a swift one-armed hug. "Are you sure you have to go?" If he doesn't sound concerned, then she isn't about to worry, but her eyes still search his face for any indication of sometihng more serious than paper. When she finds nothing - either because it isn't there or because she's not quite perceptive enough to catch it - she smirks, asking, "Another paper emergency?"

"Same as always," Noah says with a faint smile, then glances towards Drake. "You be careful, okay?" Noah reminds her, his look serious. There are worse things than papercuts. "Tell your mother I'll be home late when she gets in. Take care," Noah says, bending to give Claire a quick kiss on the top of her head. "It was nice to meet you, Drake."

Watching the pair interact, Drake is perceptive as he shifts his eyes from him to her, trying to pick out each movement of their eyes. They happen to be windows, right? With a wiggle of his fingers in Noah's direction, he nudges the bag of gifts with his foot a bit, as if to remind himself to why he came over here. So far, so good. "Take care. Don't work too hard."

"He always works too hard." Claire looks back to her father with a warm smile, though there's a vague disappointment in her eyes now that he's speaking of leaving. "I'll be careful." She doesn't need to be reminded of the dangers lurking in the shadows. After she's seen him to the door and locked it after him, Claire returns to the living room and settles onto the sofa, her legs stretched out, back resting against the arm. "He didn't scare you too bad, did he?"

"No, he didn't scare me, which.. scares me. You really told him about me?" Drake says as he heads to the couch, settling down next to her with a grin as he reaches out to take one of her hands, giving it a squeeze as he settles his gaze on hers. "He seemed really normal, actually. I know you don't really talk 'bout him much and all.. which… I understand, but, he seemed nice." His lips twitch upwards. "So, you wanna open up your gifts?"

When he takes a seat next to her, Claire moves her legs out of the way only long enough for him to sit down, and then she stretches them out again, over his lap. "Well, he's not psychic, so either I told him about you or he's a spy," she jokes, a smirk returning to her face now. "He's pretty normal, I guess." Lie. "I definitely want to open my presents." And rather than having to sit up at all and get them herself, she holds her hands out expectantly with a somewhat silly smile.

Unfortunately, Drake has a Claire seatbelt now across his lap. Reaching over a bit as he scoots, with one arm holding her legs to him, he snags the bag with his fingertips and drags it over close enough she can reach. "I hope you like." He says. "If you don't, too bad. I'm your boyfriend, and you have to pretend to." He says, plucking up a large squarish type wrapped package. Inside, it's the Cure's first album, autographed by the drummer. So it's not the lead singer. Whatever. It has ink on it.

Flipping the record over in her hands once it's open, Claire looks suitably impressed by the purchase, even looking up to Drake with a somewhat dubious expression. "Seriously? I can't believe you even found this." She flashes him a grin, carefully setting the record down beside the couch so that she can pick up the next present. "I like the Cure. I mean, every teenager is supposed to, right?" She takes her time unwrapping them, careful not to rip the paper any more than necessary, folding it and setting it aside once it's removed. How very environmentally conscious of her.

Most of the presents from there out are hardly as exciting. A few more records of some Indie bands, and then the shirts. He got a baby Tee for her with big block letters that says: I <3 FOOTBALL on it, another that says: G.I. Jane was my hero, and a camouflaged shirt without any type of slogan or decoration. Seems random, but it'd look good with a pair of cargo pants. Drake chuckles as he watches her immaculate gift wrapping, which most of it seems like left over Christmas paper.

Each gift warrants an impressed, appreciative look from Claire, and when they've all been unwrapped and safely set aside, she pushes herself up from the arm of the sofa, pressing her lips to his in a kiss that is not nearly as chaste as her greeting was. She is in no particular hurry, with one hand resting on his side and the other curled around the back of his neck, toying with a lock of hair. "Thank you," she says, her voice quiet, when she finally does break the kiss and pull away. It's only so that she can settle into his arms, however, with her head resting against his shoulder. "I love them. I wasn't even expecting you to get me anything. You really went all-out."

The kiss is met with a bit more than he usually gives in his typically shy way. There is a hint of passion lingering, obviously something he's been holding back. Drake practically envelopes her in his arms as he holds her close, then allows her to sink into his warm embrace. Pressing his head against her's lightly, he says, "It seems like you've had it rough, and I wanted you to have a bit of happiness in your life." He lets a bit of silence slip between them as he just holds her, tracing fingers up, and down her back in a slow, and lazy pattern. "I've done a lot of thinking lately, and I had a long, long talk with Peter. Um.. kinda.. after I killed him. He made me realize that I've been holding back some things. Made me realize how much I really care about you."

"…after you what?" Instantly, there's a distance between them that wasn't there before, as Claire pulls away from Drake and regards him with a questioning stare. "You *killed* Peter?" Whatever kind, affectionate things he might have said, and whatever motivation he might have had for such an action, are pushed aside in favour of a surprised kind of anger. "Jesus, Drake," she says, her voice suddenly dropped to a whisper. "What were you two *doing*?"

"Yeah.. I.. um… I killed him, but, obviously he's very well alive, right?" Drake says with a nod of his head. "He and I were practicing, training together. I guess you can say it was a bonding experience." He grows quiet for a moment. "He told me to not hold back, to pretend he was Sylar, and lay it all out on the line to protect you. So.. it's what I did. I had to shove it all behind me, and fight. I used my powers to snap him in two. He didn't even see me coming." He clears his throat as he speaks in soft tones. "I really freaked out afterwards. I.. um… it's OK though. Really. He was just pushing me hard. We were pushing each other. Kinda like brothers would."

"You can't just do that, Drake." Evidently, Claire is not comforted by the notion that Peter is alive. There's a frown etched deep into her brow, and she maintains the space between them, searching his face for something to make the idea more palatable. "It's not okay. He— he doesn't always come back, Drake. What if he hadn't come back? If you'd gotten something stuck in his head…" She winces, recalling a memory of Peter lying dead, and how she was the only one who knew how to set it right. "There's a way to fix it, to make it better, but you didn't know." Says the girl who jumps out of windows and intentionally killed herself dozens of times. Big words, when it's not her death she's talking about.

Frowning, Drake lets out a soft breath, eyes squinting at her. Suddenly, he grows uncomfortable, and he shrugs his shoulders a bit. "Well, what can I say. I guess I just suck." With that, he pushes himself off the couch, then smoothes down his shirt for a moment, then glances to the door. "You know, this isn't easy for me, Claire." There seems to be a billion things hiding behind his lips, but he keeps them back, wisely, behind closed teeth.

There's a fiercely protective side of Claire that stops her from feeling guilty about upsetting Drake, at first, and she watches him get up with a brooding glare. The stubborn part of her refuses to get up when he does, choosing instead to remain on the sofa, arms folded over her chest. "What isn't easy?" she asks, her tone a tiny bit biting, as she watches him carefully for a reaction. "Killing my uncle?" The emotion fueling this tiff, on her side, is actually a grave kind of concern for Peter, but it might be hard for Drake to pick through her snippy remarks to realize it.

Fighting hard to hold back the tidal wave of emotion that threatens to spill over, Drake bites his bottom lip hard for a moment, then hisses out. "Whatever, Claire." Turning, he starts for the door, curling his fingers in, and out reflexively as he swallows tightly in his throat. He obviously is not having this type of conversation. Not with all that is weighing down upon him. "I'll just call you later, or something. I need air."

The fact that he isn't acting like himself doesn't seem to matter to Claire, as she makes no attempt to change his mind about leaving. Not at first, anyway. She watches him from the sofa with that same glare. For a second it seems as if she might say something more, but ultimately - and this is probably for the best - she keeps her mouth shut. It's only once he's gone that her expression will change and she'll realize just how irrational she was being. Even then, as she gets her emotions under control once more, it will be some time before she gets up the nerve to call him again.

After closing the door behind him, lightly, because Drake isn't the type to slam doors, especially those that do not belong to him, he lets out a long sigh and stares up at the sky. With a glance over his shoulder for a moment, he frowns, then starts on down the sidewalk at a quick pace, ducking his head a bit. Looks like tonight is going to be a roof leaping evening, and woe to who may cross his path on the side of the devil this night.

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