2007-03-11: Non-Non-Date


Claudine_icon.gif TC_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 11, 2007

Summary: after the heist that went wrong, T.C. is informed about the current situation going on with the Company by Claudine. In the end, he finally asks her out on a non-non-date, with a bit of nudging.


John Jay Dormitory, Columbia University, NYC

Cellphone stuff..
Claudine: A human bomb escaped. Be careful out there.
T.C.: WTH didn't check messages till this morning sorry. Bomb? Whowhat??? so confused. u ok?
Claudine: No. They almost killed my friends and the human bomb escaped.'
T.C.: Crap. Crapcrap. Who is a bomb? pls don't get exploded okay.
Claudine: Will tell u after I punch stuff. Meet me at my dorm, k?'

Later on that morning…

This is probably a first in T.C.'s college career, ducking out of class early grates against the conscientious student's inclinations, but this is exactly what he does, grabbing his books and his notes and slipping out of the back of the room to hurry towards Claudine's dorm. He does this at a near-run, which is really a bad idea for the asthmatic and unathletic teenager; by the time he's arrived, his face is flushed and his breaths are coming in heavy, ragged gasps. He knocks sharply on Claudine's door and then leans against the doorframe, panting and fumbling in one pocket for his inhaler.

Immediately after class, Claudine went to the gym to cut loose and practice some of that Company combat training that she's been receiving as of late, and not wanting to be stinky and sweaty for T.C. she had a nice long shower. She's just stepping out, wrapping a plush white towel as she leaves the bathroom and calls out, "Hold on!" She looks at her closet and still hasnt set out any clothes, but whatever, all her bits are covered, so she goes to the door and opens it.

"You okay? You um..didnt have to skip class ya know.." she says a bit sheepishly, knowing how much of a good student he is afterall. "I could've waited.."

T.C. blinks rapidly, blushing as she answers the door in her towel. He doesn't answer, instead lifting his inhaler and taking a puff; his breaths begin to calm soon after. He looks down at the floor, very pointedly not looking at towel-clad Clauding. "Hi," he says, still somewhat breathless. "I mean, well. Exploding man, class. Seems like after a point you gotta prioritize."

"You huffing and puffing while I'm wearing a towel is so not going to look good to anyone passing by the hallways, so why dont you come in, and I'll fill you in.." Claudine says, remaining calm as she reaches out and ruffles his hair before stepping to the side so he can come inside. "After this, I dont think you'll think we're the bad guys anymore.." she says firmly.

"Because you're trying to stop an exploding guy?" T.C. says dubiously, slipping into the room but still not looking at Claudine. "I mean, I don't think being a bomb is evil. /I/ hurt people and destroy things. Sometimes. Can't fault anyone for their genes. Only their intentions." His head shakes abruptly, and he leans against one wall, hands shoved into his pockets. "But — I'm ahead of — well. What happened?"

"Not just a guy who has the potential to explode. He /DID/ explode already.." Claudine emphasizes as she closes her door and locks it afterwards so she can flop onto her bed. She crosses her legs to get a tad bit more comfortable. "Look..this guy..he's incredibly powerful and has no control over his powers at all. That's why he was in the facility..he actually volunteered to come in, but people came in with guns thrashing all Matrix style to bust him out."

Claudine quickly adds, "Remember the explosion in November? That was him. He exploded in the sky. How he reformed after having his bits exploding probably everywhere is beyond me, but that shows you just how powerful this guy is."

"I still don't see the part where that proves you're good guys," T.C. answers uncertainly. "It certainly doesn't make him a bad one. Who is this guy?"

"There is no good or evil. I'm sure that the people who came had their own intentions as well, but we dont want this guy out there. He has lots of powers apparently..not just exploding.." Claudine says as she crosses her legs and facepalms a little. "The painting with the tornado in New York..what if that's him? And he's out there with no control over his powers. He came in willingly..and people busted him out. What if they want him to do bad things?" sighing a little as she mulls over a few things.

"That's a lot of what if," T.C. says, frowning. "What if he was tired of being in there? What if people were as freaked out and worried about him disappearing as I was when you vanished? I'd go try to bust a friend of mine out of that place, too. I don't see how it's up to you to decide if this person is out there or not. If he was really rescued against his wishes, won't he come back?"

And that's when she reaches underneath her bed to pull out bits and pieces of a report. It describes what happened to the people defending the facility while not revealing who they are or where it was. "Broken bones, beatings, mauling by dogs. This is what they did to bust out their friend. They hurt innocent people. Humans without powers even. Just regular security guys. If you found out I was there, would you have gone to all these lengths to get me out? I dont think this guy's friends are good people.." Claudine says matter of factly as she hands over the file to him.

T.C.'s lips press together, expression darkening as he reads the report. He reads it over once, and then again, and then again before he finally hands it back. "I don't know," he says softly. "I don't think anyone working for them counts as /innocent people/. If someone was being locked up and tested on — I don't know. If it was my friend — my family — I have no idea what lengths I'd go through to help them." His head bows, and he exhales a sigh, fingers running distractedly through his hair. "That paper doesn't mention anything about what happened to the people trying to help him."

"I work for them. Does that make me a bad person?" Claudine asks matter of factly as she takes the report and puts it back under her bed once more. "I was there. We had tranquilizer guns to defend ourselves..they came in with semi-automatics and other sorts of things." she says sighing a little while rubbing her temples a little. "I had security duty in another room..how would you have acted if I was one of these people in the report that got this badly hurt?" Claudine quickly adds, "And the people trying to help him? They got away scot free.."

"I don't know how I'd have acted," T.C. says shakily. "I don't really like thinking about you getting hurt." He shudders slightly, and lifts a hand to rub at his eyes. "But — considering the people you work for — I really can't find it in me to blame people for trying to bust someone out, by any means necessary. Those people — they /kidnap/ us — they test us — they think they have some right to imprison us and use us — even /kids/ —" He breaks off with a disgusted snort. "I'm sorry. I'm trying to find sympathy for the "innocent" guards who are just trying to keep their prisoners imprisoned, and it's really not happening."

"Those guards have no idea what's going. They're regular security guards..like the one you'd find in a mall." Claudine says matter of factly as she sighs and buries her face in her hands for a few moments. "We dont kidnap people. I havent yet kidnapped anyone. Everyone whom I've spoken with has come in willingly after I explained to them that they may need help in controlling their powers.." she says, sounding a bit frustrated now before she looks up back to him. "And I'm sorry you have trouble finding sympathy for those 'innocent' guards..especially considering I was one of them.."

"/You/ don't even have the excuse of having no idea what's going on," T.C. replies tersely. "And you can't say they don't kidnap people. They kidnapped /you/. And you're not the only one. And some of the people they /use/ are — minors." There's every bit as much frustration in his own expression, and he scowls down at the floor. "I'm sorry, but I think it's going to take a lot more than people trying to rescue a /hostage/ to convince me these people are alright."

"We dont know that for sure.." Claudine says, sighing a little as she runs her fingers through her hair once more. "I blacked out and I found myself in their hospital. It was my powers acting out of whack.." she explains, but it seems like the explanation is more for herself than him. "I was dangerous okay? I've caused a number of earthquakes in the city, and they helped me.." sounds like someone was duped..

"If all they were interested in was helping you, there are other ways to offer." T.C.'s scowl is still firmly in place, but his voice is gentler, frustration and irritation giving way to concern. "I just — they're not okay. I don't want — this is what they do. Kidnap people. Use them. For things that — they really aren't comfortable with. I don't think you're a bad person, Claudine, but I'm scared after too long they could make you one."

Claudine sighs once more and looks over towards him, reaching out to give his hand a gentle squeeze. It's more for her than him. "I..I know who I am. I know why I joined them, and I promise you that I wont resort to those tactics that other people have used in the past. The Company..they have really good intentions. There's just a few bad apples here and there, but it doesnt have to spoil the whole barrel ya know." She pauses and gives him a gentle kiss on the cheek, "And if I ever do become like that..please zap the crap outta me until I regain my senses?"

T.C.'s lips twist in a wry smile without much humour in it. His other hand lifts, and there's a crackle in the air as tiny lightning-like shards of electricity arc from fingertip to fingertip; the first really visual and potentially dangerous display of his powers he's shown around her yet. "Zapping, I can do." He slumps back against the wall, hand dropping to his side, though electricity continues to play between his fingers. "But I really would rather you never /lose/ your senses in the first place, you know? But you're playing with — fire. So to speak."

"I know I am.." she whispers softly while resting her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes for a few moments. "But like I said, I'm in too deep now. I cant leave them.." Claudine whispers as she opens her eyes once more to look at him. "That's why I want you here..to keepme grounded ya know..that is..if..ya know..well..want to stick around me, even if I'm a secret agent of doom.." she says with an impish giggle.

T.C.'s fingers curl into a loose fist, and the crackling arcs of electricity vanish, absorbed harmlessly back into himself; only then does he lift his hand to stroke Claudine's head, fingers curling through her hair. "I'm good at keeping things grounded," he says with a slight smirk. He exhales a quiet sigh, and admits, honestly — "I'm still — trying to work through this secret agent of doom thing. But I do want to — stick around."

Her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red as all the intrigue and crazyness with the Company seems to disappear. For now, she's just a normal college girl hanging out with the boy she likes. "Thanks..I was hoping you'd stick around.." Claudine whispers while cooing contentedly as she feels his fingers run through her hair. "I..do like you..and well..sometime, ya know..maybe if you arent busy..instead of a non-date..we could um.." and she chews on her bottom lip. Gone is Claudine, Sooper Seekrit Agent of Doom. Now, there's Claudine, inexperienced with boys nerdlet.

"Uhm," T.C. echoes, teeth catching his own lip as well. "I — um. I'm not really very — good at the — non-non-date — thing," he stammers with a bright blush. "I mean not that I've ever tried. I just have this feeling."

"Well..you ya know..never know until you try?" Claudine offers as she giggles impishly and peers up towards him with a bright smile. "Besides, I totally think boys should do the asking and all.." she offers with a quick nudge.

"I thought things were all modern now and we didn't have to get pigeonholed into those gender roles," T.C. replies, a soft laugh escaping him. "I've never really been the best at being a — proper boy." He stops, and clears his throat, blush deepening. "But — uhm. Do you think maybe — you'd like to — go on a — non-non-date with me?"

"Ya know..you can just call it a date. I've never been a fan of double negative.." Claudine quips teasingly before giving him a quick kiss on the cheek, as if that would stop the blushing. "But, I never thought you'd ask..lemme check my schedule.." And after a split second, she replies, "Of course I would."

Predictably, it has quite the opposite effect from stopping the blushing, serving only to make it worse. T.C. smiles, bright, if nervous, at her reply, and then immediately frowns. "— I didn't really think far enough ahead to the when and the where part."

"Well..I'll leave that up to you. I mean, I know it's suppose to be equal opportunity and all, but hey..I'm still an old fashioned kind of girl.." Claudine admits ruefully before bumping fore forehead against his own. "And then after that..I still owe you a non-date of home cooked Filipino food.."

"Alright," T.C. says with a sheepish smile. "I will think of something more romantic than magic cards and comic books which is — how I tend to spend my time." He rests his forehead against hers for a moment before pulling back. "I'll let you know once I settle on something hopefully not /too/ lame." He straightens away from the wall, glancing towards the door. "I should probably — not miss my next class, too. But. I'll see you. Soon."

"Hey..magic cards and comic books can be romantic.." Claudine says teasingly as she eases on up and walks him towards the door. "Besides, I really should put on some clothes, so I'm not late to my next class either.." laughing heartily in the end. And then there's another kiss! This time on the lips. She's really into this whole smoochie thing afterall. "Have a good rest of the day then. And I'll see you soon as well. Looking forward to it.."

T.C. tenses at the kiss, and then blushes and bows his head as he opens the door. "Looking — forward to it. Yes," he stammers nervously, and heads into the hall, though he turns back a moment to ask: "Hey — I — was just curious about something. This human bomb — does he have a name?"

Way to kill a tender moment, T.C.! Claudine seems surprised by that last little bit and she idly runs her fingers through her hair. Thinking that she can trust him, she nods and says, "Peter Petrelli. Younger brother of that guy who ran for Congress.."

T.C. is super good at killing romance. It's like his secondary power. He purses his lips slightly, and then nods. "I'll — see you," he says, and offers her a weak, lopsided smile before he hurries away down the hall.

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