Need

It wasn't that there was somewhere else that Claire wanted to be…somewhere else that she could be. It wasn't that there was someone that she wanted, or something…it wasn't that she could truly define anything that she desired.

Claire had no desires. What she felt each day as she watched the Actives, coming in and out of her office physically healed but mentally and emotionally broken, was not a simple want or wish, but a need. She needed to look at their relaxed forms and content smiles, their innocent eyes and unlined faces, and feel anger, resentment…almost hatred. Not for what they were, although this too angered her, but for what they had, at least while under the dubious protection of the Dollhouse walls. Peace of mind, satisfaction, a lack of thought or questioning… a lack of desire, if not need. They were cared for. They had somewhere to go, someone to look out for them….they belonged, in a way Claire no longer did.

Sometimes when they gave her one of their childlike, guileless smiles, took her hand, or even worse, gently touched the scars of her face with nothing but concern in their eyes, Claire's heart twisted, and she could do nothing but pull away fast, trying to calm her suddenly heightened heartbeat, to loosen the sudden choking in her throat. Other times she felt her blood pulse, hot, heavy, angry in her veins, and it was all she could do to keep from striking out violently, attempting to destroy the innocence, the peace, but most of all the sense of belonging they possessed and that so eluded herself.