Light, light, how wonderful it was to finally see light again. The warmth was pleasurable, a familiar scent of tea swirling about in the air. Tea, tea, she knew this tea, it smelled so painfully familiar. Rosemary...ah, that was it, Rosemary! The scent of Rosemary and old books overwhelmed her senses, nearly forcing her back into the greedy arms of sleep.

Ten years, Claire...

Chocolate brown eyes flew open, widening as they locked onto their target-the wood ceiling above her head. Slowly softening, she let her gaze begin to travel, attempting to gain her bearings of the place. A sofa, she was one somebodies sofa, which felt plush and molded remarkably to her back, another force trying to pull her into sleep. With a soft moan, she managed to pull herself up, hands gripping the sides as she closed her eyes, feeling the momentum get to her weary head within seconds. Had she passed out? Or maybe had a bad dream, and thought she traveled ten years in the future. Perhaps Hershal was in the other room, the kitchen most likely, making her a cup of Rosemary before she headed out, like always.

The time machine…detonated…

Her hand grazed over the her pocket, a small gasp of surprise escaping her as she soon discovered her treasured item was not there. The watch, her watch-! Where was her watch?! Standing up, she began to look around, eyes darting widly about the room as they tried to take in every visible object before her, forming an image of the room. A dark blue sofa, the small floor rug, wooden floors and a wooden ceiling. Paintings hung neatly on the walls, papers and books stacked around the building just like her own bedroom, a coffee table littered with even more books and papers lay to her right. Slowly she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down once more. Find the watch, Claire, find the watch. Slowly, she turned herself in a circle, doing a 360 of the room before pausing, a heavy sigh escaping her in defeat. No such luck.

"Where on earth is that watch..." she mumbled to herself, slowly weaving her way past the coffee table and into the main area of the room. It appeared she was in someone's living room, certainly not her own, a door way leading into the kitchen off to her left. Willing to take chances, she wandered in, eyes searching the room until falling onto their prey. The watch-! There it is! Hands slowly ran over the gold cover, nubby and worn like a book lovers-fingers nimble and used to such handling of both books and pen. A scientists hands, carefully cradling the said object.

Dimitri Allen sat in deafening silence, eyes locked upon the watch, not even noticing her entrance to into the room. Softly, he set it down, an almost weary sort of look flashing within his iris' as he caught sight of her. Eyes widening, he stood up, relief replacing the weariness in his body before she could even ask. "Claire, you're alright, I was worried...!" he flushed, arms extending into a hug as he embraced her, "I nearly thought you were fading on me, I'm so glad you woke up...! This is good...yes, yes, this is very good...!" he drew away, leaving the woman speechless as he swerved his way about the kitchen, trying to clear up any extra research materials and papers scattered about.

"D-Dimitri..." Claire found herself stumbling for the right words, completely lost as to what he was thinking when she spotted two cups of tea in his hands, one quiety being placed before an empty chair in front of her, the other placed where he was sitting. Noticing his beckoning, she pulled the chair back from it's place against the table, taking a seat as he plopped down in front of her, smiling rather giddily to himself. How happy he was, it was almost strange to see him so overjoyed about seeing her. It was just her, after all.

I-I found your body, Claire, you were—

The woman felt a hand drifting towards her mouth, the realization coming over her like a tidal wave. Their previous conversation was flowing back to her now, the talk, the truth, everything. How weak she felt, his words, the fear in his voice, all of it. Soundlessly, she glanced down into her lap, her mind desperately trying to take a hold of his words to pull herself out of the quicksand of her own memories. "...I can't believe you actually stabilize once you got here, Claire! I won't let you fade away this time, I'll find away to permanently stabilize you here and let you keep on living! You won't die, I...I...oh my, I'm rambling again, I'm so sorry-" Stabilize? Blinking, she shot up a curious eyebrow, trying to focus on what he was saying.

"Stabilize me?" she inquired, lost as to what Dimitri had been rambling on about while she basked in her own thoughts. Her body had felt weak when she first woke up, she could barely manage to think and speak clearly throughout that ordeal. Maybe...just maybe, that's what he was meaning?

"Yes...! You were unstable when I found you last night, like your body was trying to return to it's own time. Yet, you stabilized over the night, and you're still here-!" Dimitri was smiling to himself, like a little boy who had been granted allowance money to buy whatever he pleased, "I think because you are not from this time, your body was trying to take you back to ten years ago-your present. If I can manage to find a way to keep you here, instead of returning to that time, that day..." his hands quietly wrapped around the tea cup, his eyes staring at his reflection of the tea, still smiling, "Then...I can save you..." with nothing more to say, he sipped his tea, eyes closing as he let out a small hum of pleasure while doing so. Claire sat in silence, unable to even extend her hand to take a hold of the cup, her body seeming to freeze up instantaneously. He was...planning to do what!?

Standing up, she found herself turning away from the man, wandering towards the small window above the sink, gazing out at the scene before him. The streets were lined with people wandering too and fro, smiling and laughing just like the past. The sun was high in the sky, shining back down at her in golden rays, making her close her eyes wearily. "Dimitri, please..." the woman murmured, turning to once more face her old commerade and friend, shaking her head, "Don't...don't do this." A baffled sort of expression befell his face, his mouth opening up to object when she spoke out, much louder this time, "Dimitri, you can't seriously be thinking of doing that! You'll be altering the course of time-the course of history! Even if it is for one life,"

To think that she was dead in this time line...to think she had died ten years ago, yet was alive at this very second...it shook her to the core, the thought making her fumble with her words. "The flow of time must remain linear, Dimitri. We are only humans, not God. There are some things mankind should not tamper with...we have all learned that lesson by my death in your past, am I correct?" Speechless, the man looked away, eyes almost listless in response to her words. Despite the tightness in her chest, she kept going, the overwhelming urge taking over her mind and heart, "Dimitri...I know you were my friend, I know that I have put you through a lot of pain by what happened that day-and am still putting you through pain right now, seeing me like this." Claire sighed to herself, hands gripping the counter behind her as she leaned heavily against it.

"But you know what could possibly happen if we change the flow of time, try to take the power of God into our own hands. It just can't be done." the woman looked back up at him, finding him with his eyes closed, hands gripping the tea cup tightly now. Claire took a few steps forward, hands pressing down on the small table as she leaned forwards, speaking sternly now, "Please, I'm begging you, Dimitri, leave this work behind you! Do not try to keep me here, I am dead now in history, aren't I? Even the fact that I am still alive before you now is altering the flow of time..." folding her arms, she took a step back, waiting for his response. The silence encased the two of them, filling the air like toxin, rotting away at her lungs as she did her best not to let out her emotions at him.

After what felt like years, Dimitri was looking back up at her-but not with a gaze of pity, only...only anger. "Claire." the man spoke her name softly, almost as if she had betrayed him at that moment, and stood up, eyes closing silently, his hands gripping the sides of the table. "I thought you would agree with me...why do you choose death over life?" The words nearly shoved her over the edge, a look of disbelief filling her face before she could help herself.

"Life over death? Dimitri, surely you're joking! I am not choosing life or death, I am choosing what is right! This has nothing to do with that!" her hands balled up into fists, voice raising to get her point strait-something in which she almost never does, "Yes, I am scared, terrified even, of death, but that does not mean I am not willing to make that choice for the sake of the rest of the world, to keep any more mistakes from happening." A look of sadness paused over her friends face, eyes once more staring down into that tea cup, this time filled with loss.

"...I see..." he murmured, softly, his voice turning bitter as he spoke, "I am sorry, Claire. I...I have to do this, I won't be able to bear the thought of losing you again to my mistakes, my faults. I am...I am fixing my wrongs, can't you see?" Dimitri raised his head, pity within his eyes, "I pray you shall understand...someday." Now it was her turn to be speechless, clearly overwhelmed with the topic at hand. Within a few steps, she had grabbed her watch, shoving it into her pocket as she exited the kitchen and made her way back into the living room. Hands dove through closets, behind papers and books in search of something, eyes emotionless in the process. She could hear him, stepping into the room with her, leaning against the sofa as she finally managed to locate a light blue scarf from the little closet, a white hat also being pulled out. To think that he had something like this in his possession was a mystery to her. "Are you...leaving?" he inquired, his voice weak.

"What else can I do? I have to do something. Something important." wrapping the scarf around her neck, she plopped the hat right over her head, her makeshift disguise now complete. Making her way to the door, she pulled it open, stepping into the hallway before pausing. Turning her head to the side, she only nodded, exclaiming, "I'm sorry, Dimitri. But I have to do this." before he could question, she was out the door, pulling it shut behind her. Quickly, she located a stair case, rushing down it and out the main door of the building, sunlight pouring down from above. Sighing in relief, she took a glance around them, beginning to head down the street with a stride of confidence. There was something she had to do, all right, and that was stop Dimitri.

How much time do I have left?

A frown fell upon her features, hidden away within seconds as her hand pulled the scarf over her mouth, eyes closing softly.

No...I'll use every second of time I have left here to fix this. But...where do I start?

It was a question she did not even need to ask, the name swirling within her mind before long.

Hershel...maybe you can help me solve this little puzzle, like the old times. After all...you've solved every one I could not.

Chuckling, she opened her eyes, continuing to head down the street, this time letting her hands drop to her side. Gently rubbing the watch's lid, she found herself smiling, despite the previous turning of events.

I hope...I hope you remember me.


[Whoa, I am so, so, SOOOO sorry for not updating this for so long, everyone! I guess my muse that I had going for Claire faded rather quickly, and I've been busy and all. So as a bit of a way to make it up to you, I decided to make this a bit longer than the first two chapters. There are more to come, too, so don't worry! I should be updating a tad more frequently!]