A/N: A little something that popped into my head and demanded to be written. Makes no real sense, but I always kind of wondered what would happen if these two were to meet. I hope you guys enjoy!
Reviews are greatly appreciated!
He kind of thought the end of the world would look more cheery.
Adam Monroe sat on a piece of unidentifiable rubble (he thought it was a slab of concrete from what used to be a little bakery over on the corner, but now he wasn't really sure) poking the flames of his small fire. It's amazing how hard it was to find wood in New York City, what with all of the metal, concrete, and cinderblocks. With technology making all sorts of fun gizmos that took care of every little thing, who needed silly things like wood anymore? That was just absurd.
It was times like these when he missed Rural Japan. Not a lot. But a little.
He really should be happy. Someone with connections to a large amount of explosives just saved him a whole lot of trouble. Instead of having to destroy the world himself, someone had gone and done it for him. Then again, he amended; it was possible that the world hadn't been destroyed. But a major city had been destroyed. A good start, if you asked him.
He ran his hand through his short hair, favor of the Company. They had cut his hair when he first came into imprisonment, and over the years continued to cut it so it stayed in the short, impersonal style. However, he had curiously fast growing hair when he wanted and, to keep it at the desired length, they had to cut it every two weeks. At the time, annoyingly frequent haircuts were the only way he could make things difficult for those bastards. Yes, when all else fails, annoy your captors by making them have to cut your hair more often than normal. He was so evil. Bwahahaha.
Good God. After four hundred years of life, it was finally happening. He was finally going insane.
He blamed it on the scenery. Decimated buildings and clouds of ash that blocked out the stars (sun? Ask him later when he can find a watch that isn't ruined) weren't exactly conducive to a sane mind. Even if this was what he wanted… it bothered him.
He poked the fire again. Ashes leaped up as he stirred the wood. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust…
When did he start getting so melancholy?
He started when figure plopped down on the other side of his carefully maintained fire. It was a young girl, couldn't be older than seventeen, face streaked with dirt. She had long blonde (at least, he thought it was blonde. God knew what any colors were at this point) hair tangled up into knots. A decimated white and black jacket hung open, revealing equally ripped and burned clothing. The clothes, he mused, really would have been high quality. You know, if they hadn't been through an explosion.
But the most interesting thing about this lost little girl was that she was here at all. That she wasn't dead. Adam had yet to see another living soul for the…um… time he'd been here. He wondered, somewhat morbidly, what this girl's story was.
"Hey," he broke the silence between the two, but the strange girl didn't respond. "Hey. I'm talking to you."
She looked up from the fire, and without the reflection of the flames blocking her eyes, and he almost jumped back from what he saw. The green depths were tainted with a plethora of emotions, from anger to shock to guilt. But what he saw the most of, as he looked into her eyes, was hopelessness. The scene of hopelessness that one got, not after they had faced death, but seen everyone around them die instead. The hopelessness of an eternal survivor.
It was the exact same look he saw whenever he saw his reflection.
He voice was clear, albeit a bit rough. From crying or the dust that coated her throat, he wasn't sure.
"I…" his voice slowly trailed off, the single syllable hanging between them in the air. Now that he was finally on the spot, he had no idea what to say. Was he really just going to abandon this girl, leave her to die? Cast her away from the only source of light in this newly forsaken city?
He really was going insane. When had he gotten so soft? He jolted himself back into his senses, reminding himself that, if he had his way, this girl would be dead.
It's a lot easier to plot someone's destruction, he mused, when they aren't right in front of you.
They sat in silence for a while longer. It could have been hours, it could have been minutes. Did time really matter anymore?
"So," he would be lying if he said he wasn't shocked when the girl started speaking, "Are you going to try and kill me?"
He quirked his head at her "No, I won't. But I find it interesting that your first assumption after meeting me is that I'm going to kill you."
She shrugs, far too nonchalant considering the topic, "I've had a rough couple days and am taking refuge in black humor to hide my pain. Sue me."
He raised an eyebrow. "I don't think that you have any money left, nor are there are any lawyers alive to complete that transaction."
She laughs bitterly, "I dunno. If anyone would be able to survive a nuclear holocaust, it's a lawyer."
Nuclear, huh? Well, that explains all of he destruction. He really should have figured that out, he was there when Hiroshima was destroyed. He silently commended the person who had thought of it. It was a brilliant plot, really- even if the blast hadn't killed the people of the city, they would be screaming in pain from radiation poisoning.
So how on earth was this girl alive?
He had to be smart about his. Nearly four hundred years of life had made Adam alarmingly good at manipulation. At saying one thing and meaning another. He was a master of tact and-
"How the hell are you alive?"
And apparently lost all of his skills when the bomb had exploded. Strange. He blamed the radiation, if only to have something to blame.
"How am I alive?" the girl repeated bitterly, staring deeply into the fire without seeing it at all. "That's the question of the month, isn't it? How does a cheerleader from Texas fall sixty feet and pop her lungs back into place? How does she run through fire and not get burned? How does she have an autopsy and then walk on home? How does…how does…" her breath caught in her throat, but she continued talking, "how does someone die, over and over again, and then wake up the next day unblemished, unmarked? How does," she was crying now, her voice raising in volume "how does her goddamn uncle explode, how does her father, her family, everyone just die and she get away with nothing more than a couple burns in her clothes?" She laughed somewhat hysterically through her tears. "If I knew, I would tell you, but I don't know, so I can't tell you. Maybe you can help me figure it out!"
Her heart-broken sobs echoed around the empty city, filling the silent air and reverberating off of the broken, charred walls. Adam could do nothing but stare as the girl crumpled into herself, legs drawn to her chest and her head resting upon her knees. They sat there, her sobbing, him staring, for a good long while. Adam didn't really know the time but, hey, time really meant nothing to people like him.
"Us," the thought jumped out at him as if it had been lying in wait this whole time, ever since he first saw her. Maybe it had. 'To people like us.'
And it was then, when the girl's crying had gone down and she had gone silent, when the fire was crackling far-too-merrily on the salvaged wood, when the clouds of dust had thinned a little, just enough to show some of the stars, that Adam realized that he didn't have to be alone anymore.
"Maybe I can help you figure it out."
Her head shot up. Their eye's connected. Hers narrowed wearily. Even when experiencing the unbearable pain of loss, it appeared this girl was no fool.
"I highly doubt it." The words lost some of their venom when her voice shook, weak from crying. "So far, anyone who has offered that has been out to get me."
He shrugged. "I'm not anyone."
Her fists clench slightly as she thinks. She squirms a bit, and moves so her legs are crossed, and she's hunched over, forearms on her knees. For most people, holding that position for too long might give them back pains. But now he knew she wasn't most people."
"Why should I trust you?"
He smirked slightly and raised his eyebrows, meeting her hard look. Keeping her gaze, he took his hand and stuck it into the fire, ignoring the familiar pain of burning. Her eyes grew wide, out of horror or surprise, he wasn't sure. When he pulled out his hand, the end of his sleeve was smoldering, so he used his other hand to put it out. Holding out both of his hands for her to see, he watched her watch his hands slowly knit themselves back together. "Good enough for you?"
Once again, their eyes met each other. But, for the first time, they really saw.
She raised herself onto her knees and extended her hand, keeping well out of reach of the flames, even though they both knew it was unnecessary. She knelt there, her hand small but sure, and gave him a sad little smile that looked disturbingly at home on her face. "My name's Claire."
Her words and her hand were like a rope thrown out to him. All he had to do was catch it.
His hand connected with hers.
"Call me Adam."