Title: Terrified Modesty
Summary: Poor Henry. He's found himself naked and in front of his future wife to boot. A silly take on Henry when he first meets Clare.
Notes: I was reading The Time Traveler's Wife again for the millionth time. I'm so in love with that book. I came across the scene right at the start when Clare is telling Henry everything. She tells him that she thinks the first time he saw her was when she was ten, he was freaked out about being naked and kept saying "Oh my God!" so it's become one of those scenes that I wish had been included. She says the youngest she sees Henry is about 30 but going by his "Oh my God!" reaction I'm assuming it's before he met Clare at 28. So that's how I'm going to write it.
I come up with several missing 'scenes' to try to explain things to myself and I'm doing this to take a silly break. I don't know if I'll do more Time Traveler's Wife fics though I have several churning. I also did not want to attempt the "Henry" and "Clare" narrations because I worry I wouldn't be able to get them down well enough and do them justice. So anyway, here you go. Enjoy!
It started off as a normal day for Henry DeTamble. Well normal enough. He got up, showered, and was making coffee when he suddenly felt himself tumbling through time and then slamming into the side of something hard.
So pretty normal for Henry.
He let out a groan and clutched his side. It was then he realized he was standing in about two feet of grass and next to a decently sized rock. Sinking down on the rock, he tried to massage the pain from his side. Then he noticed her.
About six feet away from him was a girl. She was about ten, wearing a green plaid school jumper, sitting on a blanket with her school books scattered around her. The sunlight was reflecting her auburn hair in such a marvelous way. It was then he remembered being a chrono-displaced person, and as such he had a tendency to wind up naked when he traveled through time.
"Oh my God!" he whispered, hoping and praying to whatever higher power he could imagine at the time that this girl did not hear him hit her rock and maybe he could turn invisible as well.
"Hey Henry." she said softly, not looking up from the homework that was on her lap. "Are you ready to help me with my French verbs? There's dozens of them and I need all the help I can get."
"Oh my God!" With a yelp, Henry tumbled backwards off the rock and into the tall grass.
"Henry?" Clare Abshire tossed aside her school books and scaled the rock. As the top of her head began to enter Henry's line of sight, he began to protest.
"Oh my God. Please, don't. I'm naked and, and you're so young. I couldn't – " He broke off spluttering as she started to giggle. She tumbled backwards off the rock and into the soft grass, still giggling.
"The clothes box is where it always is." she said between peals of laughter. "And you're always naked, remember? You said you can't bring anything with you."
With a smile she peeked around the rock. Henry scurried further into the grass, hoping she would leave. Suddenly, she sat back and stared. "Henry?" she whispered. "It's me. It's Clare. Are you okay? Has something happened in your time to give you amnesia or something?"
"Oh my God," he whispered, "you know me?"
Giggling again, Clare said, "Oh no. There's a large assortment of naked men named Henry who happen to appear here every day. You're the hundredth."
Henry gawked at this young girl as though she were a two-headed beast who was about to devour him. Or a young girl whose father was large, burly, carried a shotgun around, and would first shoot off the dick of any man appearing naked in front of his daughter before outright killing him. He decided maybe it would be best if he made a run for it.
As he looked for a way of escape, Clare suddenly realized something.
"How old are you?" she asked.
"I don't see why that matters." Henry was pretty sure he was covered by enough grass that he would not be exposing himself to this redheaded child who apparently seemed to know him. His heart had been racing wildly since he first realized he was not alone in this meadow and it was still skipping as this fact hit him.
She cocked her head curiously to the side and then seemed to nod as though some invisible person had just whispered a message in her ear. Shooting to her feet, she gathered her books and tossed him a few sandwiches wrapped in tinfoil. "I know you're always hungry," she said, "and I can try to get Mama to help with my homework. Or call Ruth. See you in two weeks!" With that she raced up to the large house.
Henry watched her race away, panting slightly and trying to get his heart to calm down to a normal rhythm. He reached for the wrapped sandwiches, now realizing he was starving along with the fact that he was completely freaked out. And then it hit him. "Two weeks?" he yelped. This poor kid was going to be scarred for life and it was all his fault!