Disclaimer: The only thing here that is mine is the character of Brenna McAlister. I don't get paid for this; I'm just a fan having fun.
Rating: PG mostly due to language and most kids might freak at some of the subject matter
Characters: Claude, Brenna (original)
Note: I originally wrote this the beginning of January 2007.
Spoilers: None save for maybe the end of episode 12, which this is set after. Of course, being as all I've seen of "Claude" has been still shots and what's been in the promos I could be way off on his personality....as for the conversation near the end, it’s based on the self effacing comments I’ve heard Chris make about his looks and a conversation I had with an Australian, also about Chris’ looks. I personally think he’s gorgeous…
Brenna couldn't help noticing him, even given that no one else seemed to notice him. She sensed something.
So did the stranger. He made eye contact. The smile that Brenna had found so charming faded. The sparkle in his blue eyes changed from amusement to a look of serious determination. As soon as the traffic cleared, he crossed the street, staring at Brenna the whole time.
Brenna was nervous, but she held her ground. She wondered what he wanted. She wondered why he looked so upset at her. She wondered if he was mad because she was watching him. She figured she should at least explain herself. That was why Brenna didn't run.
The man rounded on Brenna. "You can see me? How can you see me?" he asked, obviously upset. His voice Brenna thought was beautiful, despite the anger in it, but his accent was a dead giveaway that he was no
"Yes I can see you. What do you want?" Brenna remained calm and didn't break eye contact. Though the strange Englishman was only 6" taller than Brenna, she couldn't have been more intimidated if he'd been 10' tall rather than 6'.
"Who are you?" the stranger asked, closing into Brenna's personal space.
"Brenna McAlister. I'm from
"How can you see me?"
Brenna thought. Why was this so shocking to this man? In a split second she thought about why she'd come to
************************************in the past, distant and recent**********************************
Brenna was always aware she was different. She just knew. It started with the dreams. She'd dream something and then it would happen. Then came the ghosts. No one believed her. They all thought she had imaginary friends until she had found her grandmother’s hidden valuables. Nana had died before she could tell Brenna's parents where she'd put her most valuable possessions, mostly jewelry. Brenna had been 9 at the time. She wasn't afraid when Nana Lefebvre had appeared, she'd missed her.
"I can't stay shou-shou, but tell your mom this message," Nana's ghost had began and Brenna wrote down all she said.
Brenna told her mother the next day. Her mom was a born skeptic, but seeing as Brenna was determined not to let the matter rest, she checked the hiding place. To her great amazement, she discovered the valuables in a safe and Brenna told her the exact combination, something the precocious 9 year old never could have known. The combination worked and Brenna's mom told her to keep this ability a secret. Brenna's mom feared not only for her daughter's safety, but also that she might lose her to some agency, as Brenna was adopted.
As Brenna got older, she learned to read Tarot cards and often saw visions over the cards while she did so. She still saw people, usually dead people. This is what led up to her coming to NYC for a break.
A resident had died at the nursing home where Brenna worked, not unusual. Most goodbyes in such a place were often final like that. What made this death different was that the ghost kept plaguing Brenna to talk to his widow. He had left his wife savings bonds but had died before he could tell her where he'd hidden them. The fact that his wife was a skeptic certainly didn't help matters. She had even refused to have either the house chaplain or the hospice chaplain come and pray with her dying husband. She certainly didn't believe in ghosts or the sight. Brenna decided to make off that she'd heard from the man before he had died. She told the widow he'd been calling out in his sleep.
"Maybe it's nothing, but he kept yelling, 'Tell Helen to go into the attic and on the last rafter farthest from the trap door, there's a box! Tell her to take the box!'" Brenna told Helen, when she'd come for her husband's belongings.
Helen checked it out and found the box of savings bonds. There was no way Brenna could have known about them. Fortunately, Helen had bought the "Yelling in his sleep" story. Between this, normal work stress and a recurring dream that took place in
"I see stuff," Brenna answered the stranger's question.
"What kind of 'stuff?'"
"Ghosts, visions, and apparently you as well." Brenna could see the stranger's breath, in the cold November air, feel the warmth of his body and smell his cologne. He was definitely not a ghost or a vision. "Why shouldn't I see you?"
"I'm invisible." He'd leaned in close to tell her this.
Anyone other than Brenna might have bolted by now, convinced they were dealing with a lunatic, but Brenna sensed that, though the man was intimidating, he was also telling the truth.
No one else on the street seemed to notice their heated discussion. The man glanced around. No one was looking at him and no one had noticed Brenna either.
"Can you disappear as well?" he asked her.
"No not exactly. Folks just tend not to notice me some times, like now."
"Name's Claude," he told her. "C'mon, Brenna, we're going somewhere else, to talk. I don't think we should be discussing this here." Claude glanced around suspiciously.
"You trust me?"
"Why shouldn't I?"
"Aren't you afraid of me?"
"You're intimidating as hell, I'll give you that, but I don't see you meaning me any ill. Not that you couldn't but you wouldn't."
"How can you know that? You've only just met me!"
"I just know." Brenna followed Claude off the streets to an abandoned ware house.
"So we're not the only ones who are different?" Brenna asked.
"No. Aside from you and me, there are at least 8 or 9 others I know about. One gave me a warning, “Claude began.
"Explosion, here," Brenna interjected her eyes far away.
"Yes." Claude glanced at Brenna, "You see it? What causes it? How do we stop it?"
"I just see the explosion, looks like a nuke, but I know it isn't."
Claude looked thoughtful. “How’s your control?”
“Your control over your abilities. Can you control them or are they just spontaneous?”
“Bit of both. I see all the time but as for visions, I use my cards to bring those out. Otherwise, I either dream or just know things.”
“What about your disappearing act?”
Claude looked simultaneously annoyed and amused. “Another student. If I gotta be Professor Xavier, why can’t I be filthy rich too?”
“Maybe ‘cause you’re better looking?” Brenna offered.
“What?” Claude looked surprised. “Say that again.”
Brenna looked nervous but responded, “You’re better looking than the Prof.”
“No I’m not.”
“What, you can’t see yourself?”
“Yes I can. My ears are too big for starters.” Claude gave his earlobes a flick.
Brenna shrugged. “They look fine to me.”
“My neck’s too long.”
Brenna had started to blush but Claude hadn’t noticed.
“My nose is too bloody big too.” Claude glanced back at Brenna and noticed she was blushing, and he raised an eyebrow at her. “You gonna say otherwise?”
Brenna swallowed hard. “I thought I had.” She looked nervous as hell but her eyes never left Claude’s.
Brenna gave a nervous smile in return. “Hey, I look like Velma without glasses. Bore-ring!” She managed to reply.
Claude just had to laugh at that.