They heard an earsplitting roar echo throughout the empty park the morning after the Indominus incident. Claire didn't even look up from Owen's face at the sound; she merely looked at him and he looked at her. They both knew that this wasn't over. Not even close. Blue was still out there, and there was a T-Rex roaming free about the island. Not to mention the destruction all across the park, and, of course, the media. Claire could already see press helicopters flying towards Isla Nublar.
"I don't think so," said Owen, glaring at the press helicopters. He started to walk away, pulling Claire gently but insistently after him, leading her onto his motorcycle.
Claire shot him a look of gratitude. Let her clean up, find some clothes, take a shower, process what she had just been through, and maybe she'd be ready for an interview. The public needed to see a strong figure at the head of a tragedy, and a dirty, crying girl was not going to cut it.
Claire wasn't paying attention to where he was driving her. She had her head pressed into his back, smelling the sweat and dirt that covered his body. She wasn't surprised to find that the smell no longer bothered her. In fact, she rather liked it.
Claire felt the bike stop, and maybe Owen realized she couldn't move, because he lifted her off the seat and carried her to an old picnic table outside his bungalow.
Her breath started coming in short gasps, and her whole body began to shake. Instead of seeing Owen's concerned face, she saw stars in her eyes, clouding her vision. She heard the roars of a dinosaur unleashed, the screams of her nephews, the sound of Owen getting attacked by a pteranodon.
"Claire," said Owen softly. She tried to look at him, but he placed her head between her knees, and rubbed her back in slow circles. She knew what was happening; panic attacks were not new to her.
Deep breaths, she told herself.
"You're okay," said Owen. "Everyone is okay."
She knew he was lying. People were dead. The whole park was destroyed. How would they ever reopen? Jurassic World was her park now since Simon was dead. It was her responsibility to make sure it stayed functioning.
Owen seemed to guess what she was thinking. "You aren't in this alone, you know. I said we were sticking together, and that's what we're going to do. Blue is still out there. Every species in the park is loose. We've got a lot of work to do."
Claire laughed shakily, which somehow helped her catch her breath. The stars in her eyes disappeared, but she was still shaking. Involuntarily, she slid off the picnic table onto the bench with Owen, who took her in his arms immediately. He rested his chin on her head, and for a brief moment, everything was all right.
"I'm sorry," Claire whispered, apologizing for everything: the Indominus, the terror the dinosaur had caused, and the fact that she had no idea what to do next.
Owen didn't respond. He wasn't good at talking to people, and Claire knew it. He pressed his lips against her forehead and leaned back against the table. Despite the full sunlight shining on them, both of them were asleep in a few minutes.
Claire woke slowly, wondering why she had slept with her shoes on, and why it was the middle of the night. What time had she gone to bed? Her pillow was harder than usual. Come to that, her bed was rock-hard too. And where was her blanket?
She didn't remember where she was until she opened her eyes and found that she was lying on top of Owen Grady, who looked so peaceful in sleep that it was hard to imagine him having any job other than a kindergarten teacher. His arm was wrapped protectively around her, to prevent her from slipping off the bench that they were very precariously balanced on.
She heard a sound, like a sharp scratching noise. She tried to turn around to see what it was, but suddenly Owen stirred beneath her and laid her flat on the bench, his arm forcing her down. She looked at him questioningly, but didn't struggle against his arm.
She saw his nostrils flare and knew that whatever was making that scratching noise was something they needed to stay away from.
"Come on," he whispered, his eyes focused on the thing behind them. Claire resolutely kept her eyes on him, terrified of what she couldn't see. "Follow my footsteps," said Owen, pointing to all the dry leaves around them, "step exactly where I step. Less noise that way."
Claire focused entirely on stepping where Owen stepped. She heard heavy stomps behind her, felt the ground shake, but still refused to look back. Darkness surrounded them, but she could see the faint glint of the starlight reflecting off the gun in Owen's hand.
"Where are we going?" Claire whispered.
"You said the Indominus ate the sibling?" Owen whispered back, ignoring her previous question.
"I saw it happen," Claire answered, "maybe two days after they hatched."
Owen led her deeper into the forest, finally stopping amongst a bunch of bushes with small but fragrant flowers on them. He picked a few of the flowers and threw them on the ground, spreading their scent all around them. He gave one to her with the barest hint of a grin on his face.
"Okay," said Owen. "So if the Indominus ate the sibling, and we just saw it get eaten, then what is that?" He pointed back through the trees towards his bungalow, where a huge dinosaur towered over the picnic table they had just been sitting on.
Claire cursed. It wasn't the T-Rex; the spines on its back and length of its forearms canceled out that possibility. She saw something white flashing in its claws, and gasped when she realized that it was a fragment of the shirt Owen had changed out of earlier that day.
"It has your jacket too," said Owen, referring to the suit jacket she had shrugged off her shoulders when Zach and Gray had been attacked in the Gyrosphere.
"We keep quiet, we get away," Owen said. "And then we figure out how that thing is still alive."
Claire looked at the Indominus. There was no blood on it, no scratches or any other evidence that it had just been through a fight with a T-Rex.
"Owen…I think…look at it," Claire said. "Does it look like it's been attacked recently?"
Owen cursed. "That's why Hoskins was in the lab. He was checking to see if Dr. Wu had kept their agreement."
Claire met his eyes, and she knew what he was going to say before he said it.
"It's a clone," Claire whispered in horror.
"And it has our scent," said Owen, looking grimly at the Indominus.
"Run," Claire said, and Owen took her hand, leading her back into the pitch-black park at full speed, with a hunting Indominus at their back and a T-Rex running free along the grounds in front of them.