Disclaimer: The only thing here that is mine is the character of Brenna McAlister and her dog Buddy. I don't get paid for this; I'm just a fan having fun. Also the nosy neighbor is also mine.
Rating: PG mostly due to language and most kids might freak at some of the subject matter
Characters: Claude, Brenna (original) Buddy (original) also some mentioning of Claude’s pigeons, Peter, Simone, and Isaac with a brief appearance of HRG and the Haitian
Note: I wrote this late on February 5 early February 6, 2007. I’ve revamped quite a bit from my last fic. That one is not connected with this one save that I wrote both and I kept my original character.
Spoilers: Possibly for episodes 15 and on, could be alternate reality. I based it off some info from interviews and what I’ve seen of Claude in episodes 12-14. Again, before someone assumes otherwise, I do happen to think Christopher Eccleston/ Claude is gorgeous.
On the Run
Brenna looked up from her book. There was nothing good on TV, so she’d decided to read. She had her folks’ condex to herself. Just her and their oversized Shih-Tzu, Buddy. She’d taken the week off work to veg and watch the rambunctious Chinese Lion-Dog. Now, she was getting annoyed at him. For the fifth time, he was growling in the direction of the front door. Brenna had taken Buddy out twice and was trying, unsuccessfully, to break him of his habit of barking at everyone who went by. She got up.
“OK, Bud, what is it this time?” she asked the overactive canine. Brenna crossed from the living room, through the dining room and to the front door. It was unlocked and slightly open and the glass external door was just swinging closed, like it had just been opened. “What the hell?” Brenna wondered aloud. “I swear I closed that when we got in, Bud!”
But the dog wasn’t listening. He’d bounded away from the front door and around the corner, and was eagerly climbing upstairs.
“Bud, get down here! You know you’re not allowed up there! Mummy doesn’t want you on her bed! And I don’t want to clean up any messes!” Angrily Brenna followed Bud up the stairs and was surprised the dog was no longer growling but “talking” like he did when new company came in. She also swore she heard a voice telling him softly, “Shh, pup.” So, Brenna went up, not just to get the dog, but also to verify where that voice was coming from.
Understandably, Brenna was surprised when she looked into her mother’s room and saw a strange shabbily dressed man there. His hair was light brown longish and what her mom would call “unkempt.” He also had piercing blue eyes, and a prominent nose and ears. He looked familiar to Brenna but she couldn’t recall from where. Some women might have screamed, but Brenna wasn’t afraid. Sure this man looked like a rough customer and he certainly was not an expected guest, but, somehow, Brenna knew he wasn’t there to hurt her or Bud. She also liked the way he looked.
“Uh, what are you doing here?” Brenna asked, not sure where to begin. He looked so familiar.
The man looked shocked. “You can see me? How?” Then he looked upset. “Don’t tell me you’re another one! Bloody hell! What are they doin’ cloning you lot?”
Brenna found she liked the sound of his voice as well, but his accent was a dead giveaway that he was a long way from home. “Another one what?” she asked.
“Empath.” His voice expressed his annoyance with this possible prospect.
“If you wanna know, can I read emotions? Yeah, I can.” Brenna was puzzled, but being honest.
“Not that. Copy other’s powers.” He still sounded upset.
“No,” she replied simply.
The man looked relieved. The he looked upset again. “Just bloody fantastic! Of all the times for my power to fail me-“ he began but was cut off by the front doorbell. Bud had forgotten the new arrival and had run downstairs to bark at the door.
“Stay here,” Brenna told the stranger after she’d looked out her mom’s window and noted it was her folks’ next door neighbor, Mrs. Falk. “I’ll see what Mrs. Falk wants and then I’ll be right back.” She ran to the front door.
The man moved to the window. He noted, though Mrs. Falk seemed to look up at him, she wasn’t seeing him.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Brenna was trying to get hold of a squirming Buddy and talk to Mrs. Falk.
“Yeah, just peachy, Mrs. Falk.”
“Saw you upstairs. That dog wander up again?”
“Yeah, he did. I’m gonna have to put the gate up. Bud chill or you go in the garage!”
“Well I’m right next door if you need anything.:”
“Thanks, Mrs. Falk. Have a nice afternoon.” Brenna closed the door as she left and put the dog down. She was a bit surprised to see the stranger had come downstairs.
“You could have turned me in, had her call the cops. You didn’t. Why?”
“Didn’t think I needed to.” Brenna shrugged.
“You usually this trusting with thieves?”
“Nope. But if you were gonna rob us, you would have cleaned us out already.”
The man looked like he was going to say something else, but Mrs. Falk was back at the front door again.
Brenna shooed Buddy into the cellar. The man went for the back bedroom. Brenna opened the door, and though her guest was not completely out of sight, Mrs. Falk ignored him. All her attention was on Brenna.
“Are you sure you’re OK? I was just out with the cats and I thought I saw you talking to yourself.”
“I do that sometimes.”
“Oh. OK. Just holler if you need me.”
Emboldened by the fact that Mrs. Falk didn’t seem to see him, the man came and stood near Brenna. Mrs. Falk just ignored him like he was invisible. Mrs. Falk left and Brenna closed the door again. She turned to he guest and said, “She didn’t see you. What are you the invisible man? Lemme guess, you’re gonna tell me you’re Claude Rains right?”
“That’s why you seemed so upset when I saw you.”
“But your neighbor saw you,” he added pointedly.
“Why wouldn’t she?”
“So you don’t mimic?”
“Not really. I mean sometimes folks ignore me but a good shout usually puts a stop to that. Not really the same thing. Look, uh Claude, why don’t we go back into my dad’s room. We don’t need any more unexpected guests. All the shades are pulled and I can shut the door. I’ve also gotta let the dog back up.”
“OK,” Claude said with some trepidation. He walked back to the back bedroom and Brenna joined him after freeing Bud from the cellar. Buddy bounded back over to Claude. Once the trio was inside, Brenna shut the door.
Noticing Bud’s reaction, Brenna said, “Buddy really likes you.”
“I like animals. Got no issue with them. It’s people that are the problem.” Claude sounded bitter and just a bit sad.
“Yeah. No kidding,” Brenna agreed. Absentmindedly she rubbed at some old scars on her forearms.
“Yeah, a lot do.”
Claude looked surprised. “What, no argument?”
“Why should I argue? I’ve seen quite a few bits of nastiness in my time.”
“In your time?” Claude repeated, incredulously.
“Yeah. What? I’m older than I look. I doubt I’m much younger than you.”
Claude gave a rueful smile. Then he looked serious. “So how can you see me?”
“I see all kinds of stuff, visions mostly, like when I use my tarot deck.”
“The future?” Claude ventured.
“Yeah and sometimes the past and sometimes the present but elsewhere. I can see lasers and stuff too. UV things. Stuff like that. As for Bud here, maybe your gift doesn’t work on animals.” She petted the dog.
“He probably can hear and smell me.”
“That too,” she agreed.
“So why haven’t you tried to call the cops?”
“I get the impression that although you could take me, easily, you’re not here for that. You need help and I also get the impression that you’re trying to hide.”
“What if I am?” he challenged.
“I wanna help if I can.”
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, girly.”
“I’m not a girl; I’m a woman,” she countered flatly.
“Maybe so, but it’s too dangerous. I gotta find somewhere else to hide,” Claude began, and he was preparing to leave, but stopped when he saw Brenna’s face. He was about to tell her “Don’t follow me,” but the words never left his throat. Brenna’s eyes looked far away and, for a split second, Claude swore he saw them glowing.
When she spoke, Brenna’s voice sounded distant. “So far from home. Now you’ve come here, to
“How did you? You saw that?!?”
“Can you paint it as well?”
“Nope. I just see it. I can draw a bit but not very well.” Then a flash of recognition. “That’s where I know you from!” Brenna exclaimed excitedly.
“What you drew me?”
“Kinda sorta, it’s not very good. I saw you briefly when I was reading my cards. I couldn’t get your face out of my head, so I tried drawing you. The I had dreams about an invisible man.”
Claude had to laugh. “Blimey! Another Isaac Mendez!”
“I told you I can’t paint and I’m not that good.”
“Show me,” Claude prompted.
“C’mon, show me.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Brenna fished a sketchbook out of a pile of books and handed it to Claude.
“Cor! Lookit me ears!” he exclaimed, but he was smiling.
Brenna was staring at the floor and she missed it. “I told you…” she began.
“Not bad really. You Takin’ lessons?” He handed the book back.
“No.” She was surprised.
“Really?” Now it was Claude’s turn to be surprised. “Y’know, I don’t even know your name?”
“Brenna, Brenna McAlister, and that overzealous ball of fur is Buddy.”
Buddy rumbled happily at Claude.
“Well, I’m Claude.”
“Yeah, you said.”
“Well, since you insisted I stay, I figured I ought to at least know your name.” He still seemed apprehensive.
Brenna noticed. “You still don’t trust me. ‘course given what I saw…” she began.
“Never mind what you saw! I don’t need your pity!” Claude cut her off angrily.
“Not pity. But you do need my help. I get the impression they’ll be even worse this time, if they find you.” Brenna started to get the odd look again then clutched her head in pain. “Menga!”
“What’s the matter?”
“Something’s blocking me. It’s like trying to watch a badly tuned TV: all static and snow.”
At the word static, Claude looked scared. “Oh bloody hell, not him!”
“I got one last insight before the snow. Claude, hide. Buddy with me.” Then the doorbell rang. Bud went nuts barking at it. Brenna let him bay a bit, then grabbed the gate and put Bud behind it, keeping him from the front door, but well within sight. She answered the door and there was a man there with brown hair and horn rimmed glasses. A bald West Indian man stood beside him.
The man with the glasses spoke. "Sorry to bother you, I’m with the government, “he flashed her a badge, “Are your parents home?”
“What, you think I’m not old enough to be on my own?” Brenna asked, defensively. The man didn’t look all that older than Brenna’s 33 years.
“No, but you certainly don’t look 55.”
“You’ve done your home work. No, it’s just me at 33 dog sitting Goofy over there for my folks. They’re on vacation for the week.”
Bud was growling angrily at the newcomers. He didn’t like them at all and he was letting Brenna know that.
“Mr. and Mrs. Falk are next door. The folks who own the condex attached to this one are in
“We’re looking for a dangerous man. He’s a murderer and a rapist among other things.” HRG handed Brenna a picture of Claude. In it, he looked a lot younger.
“Dangerous huh? Looks attractive, but I haven’t seen anyone like that. I know I’d remember a guy who looked like that.” She handed the photo back.
“Are you sure? He probably looks a bit different, a bit older and rougher looking. Maybe even has a beard.”
“Nah. I’d have noticed.”
HRG handed Brenna a card with an 800 number, the same number she’d seen before in an ad for Primatech Paper. “My extension is on the back. Call us if you see that man. Like I said he’s dangerous. Don’t even talk to him, or you could wind up on our missing persons’ list. I’d hate to have to see that happen.”
“OK. I sure will. Thanks for the tip, agent__?”
“OK. I hope you find him soon. This used to be a quiet town.”
Bennet and the strange bald man left.
Brenna waited until the men had left the neighborhood entirely, before she went to check on Claude. He was well hidden within a walk in closet on the opposite side of a large bathroom from the bedroom he and Brenna had been talking in. He looked angry when Brenna came to tell him it was clear.
“I certainly hope you didn’t buy any of that rubbish!” he spat with fury.
“Hell, no! If I did we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The only nice thing I have to say about that creep is I wish I had a copy of that pic he’s flashing around. Bud here didn’t care for him either.”
Buddy was trying his darndest to get Claude to pet him.
As he reached down to pet the dog, Claude asked, “You always trust your dog’s judgement?”
“No, but I should. Bud may not be a genius, but he’s usually right.”
Claude glanced around. “Not many pics of you here. This is your parents’ place?”
“Who’s this bloke?”
“My younger brother.”
“The blonde’s his wife?”
“Yeah. And before you ask, the 2 little girls are theirs. The elder is 11 and the baby is just over a year.”
“Just the two shots of you. One with your brother the other is that group shot. Why is that? You camera shy?”
“No. I know they had other pics of me besides those not so flattering ones.”
“You look fine.”
“I look like a house.”
Claude laughed. “So how come just these two?”
“I’ve often wondered myself why that is. It’s not just the pics either. My folks will brag like crazy about all the others. The only time they notice me is when they need a dog sitter or a nurse.”
When Brenna said nurse, Claude had to shake his head. “Great, another nurse with powers. Don’t tell me you want teaching.”
“No. I mean it would be nice if I could get the lottery numbers but, “ she paused to rap in the coffee table,” I’d like to think what I’ve been able to do thus far has been helpful.”
“How’s your migraine?”
“Much better thanks. It went as soon as the two creeps left the area. Did Bennet?” she began.
“Not him, that bald Haitian with him. He blocks powers.
“Y’could call him that, yeah.” Then Claude noticed Brenna’s pendant. “Interesting.”
“It’s a raven.”
“Yeah, I know. And I bet y’know your name means raven too? Bird of prophecy. Ironic that.” Claude got an almost wistful look
“What is it?”
“Nothin’. I just hope the birds back in
Brenna got a faraway look and saw an attractive African American woman with long hair on a rooftop in
“Simone Deveaux,” Claude commented.
Brenna noticed the scorn in Claude’s voice. She couldn’t help but ask, “Did she?”
“No, not me. She did betray my student, that empathic nurse I mentioned, Peter Petrelli.” Claude’s expression changed. “Well at least she’s feeding the birds.”