Fun with Claire and Elle (Part Two)
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. This was originally supposed to be one chapter but it was too long. R/R because I gave you a break.
All in all, Detective Matt Parkman figured his day so far was pretty average. He still had a stack of paperwork to finish concerning a few cases but at least nothing monumentally bad had occurred yet so by cop standards it was a decent day. Unfortunately, it was also an uneventful one. When Parkman decided he wanted to make Detective, he always envisioned his life would suddenly turn into a noir film but sadly such was not the case. He had made peace with this sad fact of life and was now content to accept that real life greatly differed from movies. However, when two young, attractive girls suddenly walked in and made their way to his desk he really reconsidered his previous assessment of reality.
"Claire?" said Parkman in surprise as he looked at the two girls, "Elle."
"Aw," cooed Elle, "You didn't tell me we were visiting Officer Teddy Bear."
"I take it you know each other," said Claire.
"Elle has a bad habit of getting in trouble," said Parkman, "What did she do this time and what does it have to do with you?"
"Oh you're always such a big grumpypuss," chided Elle as she reached over the desk and pinched Parkman's cheek, "You should lighten up."
"Please do that again," said Parkman facetiously as he swatted Elle's hand away, "I mean, really, my day's not complete unless someone treats me like a five-year-old."
"Dad told me I should ask for you if I'm in trouble during my trip and need some extra help," explained Claire, "We kinda have a problem."
"I haven't spoken to your dad in months," reminded Parkman, "How the hell does he know where I am and what I'm doing?"
"Dad kinda makes it his business to know where everybody is," replied Claire, "Look, I lost my wallet in a cab and the only thing we really remember about it is that it was a hybrid car. Do you guys have some sort of database or something that would help more than the phonebook?"
"Is this really important?" asked Parkman, "I mean like 'world-saving' important?"
"Nathan's credit card was in the wallet," added Elle, "Claire was the one who lost it and not me. Can you remember to write that down so it'll be on the record?"
"It's burned into my memory," assured Parkman, "Look, there's no way I'm letting you two go through NYPD's databases so you can just look over my shoulder or something while I see what I can find."
"You're my new hero," assured Claire.
"That's what they all say," replied Parkman, "Let me turn in this file and then I'll do what you need me to do. Don't touch anything." Parkman grabbed a file folder and left the room.
"How do you know him?" asked Claire as she looked at Elle.
"I sometimes have trouble with my abilities," explained Elle, "Matt helps me out when the cops get involved. I think he just does it because Peter asks him to."
"You really don't have any friends, do you?" asked Claire in what she hoped wasn't a mocking tone.
"I never said I needed them," reminded Elle, "I have Peter and that's enough for me."
"Sure it is," mumbled Claire as Parkman came back and began typing at his computer. Claire was starting to understand the method to Peter's madness concerning this little game. Claire realized he was right when he said that she and Elle had a lot in common but there were a few glaring differences. At least Claire could say Zach was her best friend and she could count a few kids from Costa Verde as friends too. She wasn't so sure Elle ever had anyone she could say that about.
"Congrats," said Parkman as he took a sip of his coffee, "You have over a thousand different cabs in New York to choose from that are hybrids."
"Great," said Claire in a tone that reflected the utter hopelessness of the situation at hand.
"This would be so much easier if you could give me the cab's number," explained Parkman before his tone dropped to a much lower one, "I suppose I could get into your head and rewind your memory."
"Can you really do that?" asked Claire skeptically.
"Maybe," admitted Parkman, "I've never tried it before. On the bright side, at least I can't damage your brain while trying."
"Wait," said Elle, "Those numbers on the side are important?" Claire and Parkman looked at Elle with a look that suggested she better say something useful in the next two seconds.
"A783," said Elle without hesitation, smiling slightly as if she were very pleased with herself and deserved a reward.
"Did you know that all along?" asked Claire, her voice rising in anger.
"August 7th, 1983," explained Elle, "That's how I remembered it. You never asked about it before so I never said anything."
"If you two are going to kill each other then do it outside," said Parkman as he punched the number into the computer and then flipped open his cell phone to dial the phone number he was given, "This is faster than waiting for TLC to handle it."
"I don't even know what that is," said Claire.
"Taxi and Limo Commission," explained Parkman, "Hi, is this dispatch? Right, this is Detective Matt Parkman with NYPD. I need you to call in cab number A783. We're going to need to come down there and search it."
"Don't you have to have a warrant?" asked Claire as Parkman hung up the phone and threw on his coat.
"We'll worry about that later," assured Parkman, "C'mon, we need to hurry." Parkman and Claire headed for the door while Elle stood there sulking.
"Good job, Elle," muttered Elle to herself, "How did you manage to remember that number? Oh well, you know, it's not like that date is special to me or anything."
"Elle, let's go," said Claire, "We need that card."
"I hate cheerleaders," grumbled Elle as she hurried to catch up.
Parkman pulled his car into the cab company's main lot and saw a man standing around leaning against what Parkman presumed was the man's cab.
"That your driver?" asked Parkman.
"Yeah," replied Claire, "I'd rather just stay in here. He's kind of a pedophile."
"I'll look into that later," assured Parkman, "Elle, come with me and follow my lead."
"Okie dokie," agreed Elle as she got out of the car with Parkman and followed him to the cab.
"What the hell's the deal?" asked the cabbie.
"Sir, we're conducting some surprise inspections concerning the cabs this company uses," explained Parkman, "Just step over here with me while my partner searches your cab. This shouldn't take very long." Parkman led the cabbie off to the side while Elle crawled into the backseat of the vehicle and began poking around.
"Never would do this for me," grumbled Elle as she snaked her arm under the seats, "No, it's always tough crap for Elle. I swear I never should've gone along with this stupid . . ." Elle's hand grazed a patch of leather. She strained and pulled the wallet out from under the seat. She flipped it open to verify it was Claire's and then checked to make sure the card was still in there.
"Cheerleaders," mumbled Elle as she stuffed the wallet into the pocket of her coat and came out of the cab, "All clear. Everything's fine."
"Great," said Parkman as he nodded to the cabbie, "Thanks for your cooperation." He and Elle both headed back to his car.
"Here," said Elle as she tossed Claire the wallet, "Please try to hang on to it this time."
"Oh don't worry," assured Claire as she double-checked to make sure she had the card, "We're totally taking this thing back to Peter's place. Can you drop us off there? I really don't want to take a cab."
"Sure," replied Parkman.
"Well that was fun," said Elle sarcastically as she flopped down on Peter's couch, "Any brilliant ideas on how we should spend the rest of the day?"
"Whatever they might be I don't think we'll need this," assured Claire as she took the credit card out of her wallet and put it on the coffee table, "Hey, why'd you pick that date?"
"Hm?" asked Elle.
"August 7th, 1983," reminded Claire, "What happened that day?"
"It's nothing," assured Elle dismissively, "It was just an easy way to remember the number."
"C'mon, tell me," prodded Claire, "I wanna know."
"It's my birthday," mumbled Elle, "Not like you should care. I haven't had a real one since I was five." Claire frowned at that. It was slowly dawning on her how much she took for granted and how lucky she really was. Things could've been a lot worse for her.
"You've got an ID right?" asked Claire suddenly.
"Yeah, so?" asked Elle with a shrug.
"So I noticed there's a bar down the street from here," explained Claire, "I say we walk over to that bar and proceed to get plastered."
"Daddy said I'm never allowed to have alcohol," explained Elle, "Besides, you're not even twenty-one."
"You left 'Daddy'," reminded Claire, "I also happen to have an ID that says I'm exactly twenty-one. C'mon, it'll be fun and I for one could use it after the day we've had."
"Where'd you get a fake ID?" asked Elle.
"Would I really be Noah Bennet's daughter if I didn't pick up some of his super-secret spy tricks?" asked Claire in return, "I had a friend in Odessa help me make it."
"Must be nice," said Elle sadly, "You know, that whole 'friend' thing."
"I'm trying to be yours," admitted Claire, "C'mon, you'd rather get drunk with complete strangers than with a friend?"
"Good point," admitted Elle, "Fine, let's go."
They were four tequila shots apiece into the night when both girls realized something. Claire was uncannily adept at holding her liquor given her size. Conversely, Elle was terrible at this skill given anyone's size.
"We should do this forever," said Elle as she clapped her hands with glee, "How much do you think you can drink?"
"I dunno," admitted Claire, "I should be stumbling by now but I'm not even buzzed."
"Drink more," suggested Elle as she downed another shot, "Is it bad that I like how it burns me on the way down?"
"I think it's typical for you," said Claire with a grin, "You want more?"
"I wanna see how much you can drink," giggled Elle, "We should get a pitcher of the strongest stuff they've got and you should chug it."
"No way," stated Claire, "You're crazy.
"Yep!" beamed Elle proudly as she flagged down a waitress, "What's the strongest thing you have?"
"We've got some imported stuff that's pretty strong," assured the waitress, "I think you might've had enough already."
"Just bring a pitcher of whatever's the strongest," ordered Elle as she opened up her wallet.
"You really are crazy," stated Claire as Elle handed the waitress some money.
"Oh don't be such a baby," teased Elle, "I mean, hey, it's not like this'll kill ya." Both girls started laughing at the joke.
"Alright," said Claire after she stopped laughing, "Let's make a deal. If I do this, you have to talk to me about stuff."
"What stuff?" asked Elle warily.
"Personal stuff," explained Claire, "I mean we're friends, right?"
"Chug that and then we'll see," said Elle as she pointed to the pitcher. Claire grinned as she grabbed the pitcher with both hands and tipped it to her lips. She drank and drank and drank some more. She couldn't believe she was doing this. Then again, it wasn't like she was going to need a stomach pump. She figured her power was keeping her healthy and relatively sober. She hoped this stunt didn't somehow overload it.
"God . . . that's foul," breathed Claire as she swallowed the final contents of the pitcher and set it down on the table.
"You are my hero," declared Elle as she clapped, "Bravo!"
"I really have to pee now," said Claire, "After that we should head back. Peter will probably be home soon and you still have to tell me stuff."
"I think in that case I should drink more," decided Elle as she had another shot.
"Easy," said Claire as she caught Elle before the older girl fell over, "We're not even up the stairs yet." Claire wobbled slightly as she and Elle moved up the stairs towards Peter's apartment.
"Are we moving up?" asked Elle as they reached the top, "I can't really tell." Elle teetered and veered into a wall, laughing at herself.
"You're going to hurt yourself," stated Claire as she righted Elle's course and directed her to the apartment. Claire reached into Elle's purse and rummaged for the older girl's key. She successfully fished it out and unlocked the door.
"Yay, we're home!" sang Elle as she literally bounced into the room, "We're home, we're home, we're . . ." Claire could've sworn Elle's face turned green as the older girl suddenly sprinted towards the bathroom.
"You should've gone before we . . ." began Claire but she was cut off by the sound of Elle vomiting. Claire quickly moved into the bathroom and pulled Elle's hair back. Elle promptly threw up again and then let out a low, sickly whimper before flopping onto the floor like a dead fish.
"C'mon," said Claire as she helped Elle up, "You need to wash your mouth out." Claire filled a cup of water and handed it to Elle, "Get that in your mouth and then spit it out."
"You're a lot better at this than Adam," commented Elle as she swished the water around in her mouth and then spat it out in the sink.
"Wait, what?" asked Claire, "You got drunk with Adam? When did that ever happen?"
"August 7th, 2001," rattled off Elle as Claire helped her to the couch and fixed her a glass of water, "Happy eighteenth birthday to me."
"Tell me the whole story," said Claire.
"Daddy wasn't around and there was no one else to have a party with," explained Elle with a sigh, "Adam said we should celebrate 'cause I was eighteen. I got the beer and we drank it in his cell. Then, well, we . . . you know."
"Seriously?" asked Claire as Elle drank some water.
"Well, I was drunk and he was lonely," reminded Elle, "I said it was okay so we . . ."
"Right," said Claire, not needing any further detail, "All guys want is sex, huh?"
"Yeah," agreed Elle glumly, "Even Peter."
"If you think that's all Peter wants then you really don't know him," stated Claire, "Maybe he just thinks it's all you want."
"Sometimes it is," admitted Elle, "I think I really do love him. It's scary."
"It's supposed to be," assured Claire with a grin, "He really loves you, Elle. He wouldn't take so much crap from everybody for just any girl."
"Yeah," admitted Elle with a somewhat spastic nod, "I guess you're right. You know, I really am jealous of you."
"Really?" asked Claire sarcastically, "I mean I can't tell at all."
"Oh shut up," said Elle as she hit Claire in the arm, "Geez, I'm trying to be all personal and you have to screw it up."
"No, keep going," encouraged Claire.
"You just . . . have all this stuff," explained Elle, "My God, you have two fathers who love you and I don't even get one. You have two families and a home and so many friends but I don't have any of that anymore. You had a real childhood while I got a nightmare. You have this perfect, pretty life and all I get are scraps because I'm the puppy everyone kicks around. I really hate you for that."
"Hey," said Claire soothingly as she squeezed Elle's hand while the older girl sniffled, "It's alright. I get it. I mean I just thought you were this crazy, heartless psycho but you're not. You got yourself together and that takes guts. I totally admire you for that."
"Are we friends now?" asked Elle timidly, "I mean I think I wanna be but I've never done this before."
"Yeah, we're friends," assured Claire with a smile.
"It's about damn time," said a disembodied voice. Peter Petrelli suddenly appeared in the room and smiled at Claire and Elle, "I was starting to think this was never going to work out."
"Wait," said Claire as she looked at her uncle, "Exactly how long have you been there?"
"About as long as you have," replied Peter, "I mean I got here from that bar quicker than you did because I was sober. I actually made that trip invisible but there were a couple times today I had to teleport to catch up. I guess I should thank Hiro for having such a useful ability."
"No way," said Elle suddenly, "No freakin' way!" You've been following us all day?"
"Maybe," said Peter with a grin.
"Oh my God you're an ass!" declared Claire, "You couldn't have said something when we lost that card? We were going insane trying to find that thing."
"If I had done something then you wouldn't have worked out your problem together," explained Peter, "Look at you two. You're actually getting along just like I said you would. I just gave you a little nudge in the right direction."
"When I get sober again, I'm going to shock you into next week," promised Elle, "You really weren't supposed to hear any of that stuff I just said."
"It's nothing I didn't already know," assured Peter, "Look, you two are friends now and that's all that really matters. Now Claire can have a nice trip without having to look over her shoulder and I can trust you enough to leave you in the same room with her."
"You're a sneaky bastard," admitted Claire, "You did make a point though. It was fun but I need to get to Nathan's. I think I'll take my chances with a taxi."
"Elle, say 'bye' to your new friend," said Peter.
"Claire," replied Elle in an uppity tone, "Please tell your uncle I'm not speaking to him. Oh and bye. It was fun."
"Later, Elle," said Claire as she grabbed the shopping bags with her stuff in them and left the apartment, "We'll have to do this again some time if you can make sure he stays at home." Peter proceeded to sit down on the couch and scoot closer to Elle, intending to get a kiss for his hard work. Elle proceeded to hit Peter in the face with a pillow and then turn away.
"Oh c'mon," said Peter, "You had a great time and made a new friend. Why am I the bad guy?"
"You weren't supposed to hear that stuff I said," explained Elle, "I mean that stuff about Adam and Claire and you was really personal. You just shouldn't have listened."
"I'm sorry," apologized Peter, "I just wanted you and Claire to be friends and, c'mon, this was probably the only way to do it."
"You're still a sneaky bastard," stated Elle, "I'd get used to this couch because you're not sleeping with me tonight."
"Elle!" said Peter in an exasperated tone, "It's my apartment."
"You're not helping," sang Elle.
"I'm sorry," apologized Peter again.
"More," ordered Elle with a grin.
"I'll never do it again," promised Peter.
"Keep going," giggled Elle, "I like this game."
"You are the most wonderful girl in the world and I am madly and hopelessly in love with you," said Peter, "You are my little lightning bug and I am terribly and deeply sorry I made you mad at me."
"And don't you ever forget it," finished Elle sweetly as she kissed his cheek and then headed towards the bedroom, "You're lucky I'm so drunk and helpless that you'll have to protect me." Peter figured that was as good a reward as any for all his hard work of helping Elle gain her first official best friend.