Title: Pleased to Make your Acquaintance
Word Count: 1886
Summary: Claire and Adam finally meet. Pre-prequel to Experimentation. (There will be one other story after this one and before Experimentation.)
Spoilers: Through the end of Volume 2, to be safe. Takes place in the not-too-distant future.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Tim Kring et al.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Thanks to KallieRose for the beta.
Pleased to Make your Acquaintance
Peter had introduced them, oddly enough. Well, he didn't so much as introduce them, as they met because of Peter.
Claire was a freshman at NYU, and often spent her free time hanging out with her cool Uncle Peter. She teased him mercilessly, calling him 'uncle', which never failed to make Peter complain that it made him sound old.
One Monday evening when she stopped by his place, using the key he'd long ago given her, she was surprised to discover that he wasn't alone.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know you were gonna have company today," she hastily apologized as she started to back out of the apartment.
"No, it's okay," Peter said, standing. "I was actually hoping you'd stop by today. I've been meaning to introduce the two of you, but you're never around at the same time."
Claire silently closed the door behind herself, sliding the keys into her jacket pocket.
"Claire," Peter began, gesturing for her to come further into the living room. "This is Adam. Adam, Claire."
Adam stood from the couch and came over to properly greet Claire. When she offered her hand, he raised it to his lips to brush a kiss against her knuckles. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Claire."
Claire couldn't entirely hide the blush that suffused her cheeks at the way he kissed her hand. Her breath hitched a bit and her heart pounded in her chest as she met his startling blue eyes. "It's great to meet you, too. It's good to put a face to the name, finally."
"I most heartily agree," Adam said, releasing her hand, his eyes running over her body.
Unconsciously, Claire took a step back, putting herself slightly behind Peter; a little bit afraid of the sudden attraction she was feeling for Adam. She'd just met him, after all.
"So, um, what were you guys doing?" she asked, sliding her book bag off to set on the floor behind the couch.
"I'm afraid nothing more exciting than preparing to watch the game," Adam answered.
Claire cocked her head and looked at Peter. "<I> You</I> were going to watch a football game?"
Peter cleared his throat. "What? It's not like I've never watched football before."
"I don't think that I have ever seen you watch a game in the entire time that I've known you," Claire said.
"I don't see you every time there's a game on," Peter countered.
"I hate to interrupt," Adam said, doing just that, "but what difference does it make whether or not Peter generally watches football?"
"Whose idea was it for you to come here to watch the game?" Claire asked Adam.
"Peter's," Adam answered. "Believe it or not, but it is something that men do."
"Not that man," Claire said.
"What's the big deal?" Peter asked, squirming slightly. "So I wanted to do a little guy bonding with Adam. So what?"
"So," Claire said. "Either you were trying to find some way of figuring out if he might be interested in you, or you were planning on setting him up with me."
"Where on earth do you come up with these things?" Peter asked. "You know that I'm not into guys."
"Then you're trying to set us up," Claire said.
"Would it be so bad if I were?" Peter quietly asked.
"You might have asked me if I wanted to meet anyone," Claire huffed.
"You're not seeing anyone, are you?" Peter asked. "You haven't mentioned dating anyone new."
"That's not the point," Claire said. "Besides, Adam's a little older than I am. No offense, but you're what, around 30, right?"
"A little closer to 430, actually," Adam said, smirking just a bit.
"See!" Claire said, glaring at Peter. As Adam's words sank in, she spun to face him. "What?"
Adam simply stood there grinning as Claire stared at him open-mouthed.
"If you'd let me explain before you went all crazy, I would have had a chance to tell you that Adam is like you. Only you. He can regenerate, too," Peter said.
"You can't die?" Claire asked in awe. Her feet slowly took her closer to Adam, although she didn't remember telling them to move.
"Not for long, no," Adam confirmed. "When Peter told me that he knew of another person who could heal, I practically insisted that he introduce us. He's taken his sweet time about it though."
"It's not like you stay in one place for very long, so introductions are hard to schedule," Peter said.
"You're really over 400 years old?" Claire asked.
"I truly am," Adam told her. He met her wide-eyed stare and she knew he was telling her the truth. He may look to be about the same age as Peter, but his eyes showed that he had experienced so much more.
"I'm never going to die," Claire gasped, suddenly needing to sit very badly. She had suspected that she would live a lot longer than the people that she knew, but to actually know that she would live forever was not something she was prepared to learn.
Having heard her thoughts, Peter quickly helped Claire move to sit on the couch and went to get her a glass of water.
Adam took a seat next to her. "It's a shocking realization, I know."
"How did you know?" Claire asked. "Four hundred years ago would have been the 1600s. It's not like they had all of the scientific equipment they have now."
"No, I had to find out the hard way, by dying. I was shot, with arrows mind you, and when they were removed from my chest the wounds closed. Had your friend Hiro not been there, I probably would have reacted much worse than I did. He made me a better man, for a while, at any rate."
"I've been killed before, too. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, but I always just get right back up," Claire said. Quieter, she added, "Well, almost always."
"You know, I think I'm going to go over to Nathan's and watch the game there. You two seem to have a lot to talk about, so you can just stay here. I'll be back later," Peter said. He quickly grabbed his coat and keys and was out the door before either of them could object.
"I knew he was trying to set us up," Claire mumbled, then smiled at Adam.
"I feel like there are all of these questions that I should be asking you, but I wouldn't even know where to start," she said.
Adam leaned against the couch, stretching one arm across the back. "There is plenty of time for that."
"Eternity, I suppose," Claire somberly agreed. "I'm really never going to die."
Adam reached for her hands and the contact worked to make her meet his eyes. "It isn't terrible. I promise. Yes, it can get lonely at times, but you meet some of the most extraordinary people, too."
"Are there more people like us, then?" Claire asked hopefully.
"None that I've found. You're the first person that I've met with the same ability as me."
"What about Peter. Is he going to live forever, too?" Claire asked.
"I honestly don't know," Adam replied. "He might. He has inherited the ability from the both of us. I must say that I do relish the prospect of having the both of you in my life for the next several centuries."
"That's a bit presumptuous of you, isn't it?" Claire asked, blushing again. "We've just met and you're already planning a life for us together?"
"I didn't mean it like that," Adam assured her. "However, if the opportunity presented itself, I certainly wouldn't say no." He ran his eyes over her body and Claire could feel herself being mentally undressed. She was ashamed to admit that she was enjoying it.
"I must seem like such a child to you," Claire said, fidgeting under his intense stare.
"You are far more mature than you give yourself credit for," Adam said. "You have seen more incredible things than most people your age."
"Maybe," Claire hesitantly agreed. "I guess that everyone would seem young compared to you, even old people."
Adam chuckled; a low resonant sound that sent pleasurable shivers down her back. "I never have to doubt that I am the oldest person in a room, despite not looking like it. I get underestimated quite a bit, which can be an advantage."
"Does this mean that I'm always going to look like a teenager?" she asked.
"Hmm, I cannot say, for certain. I was already of age when my ability kicked in. I am sorry, but I do not have an answer for you. One would think that your body would be allowed to come to full maturity before it stopped aging, but it is all speculation at this point."
"I was afraid that you'd say that," Claire sighed.
"Would it be so terrible?" Adam asked, running a finger over her collarbone. "To remain as you are for eternity?"
"Yes!" Claire insisted. "To know that I'm going to be carded my entire life is not a good thing. I was kind of hoping for a bit of a growth spurt, too."
Adam made that low, rumbly chuckle again. "Without sounding presumptuous, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you look now." He leaned closer to whisper in her ear. "It would be a pleasure to look upon that figure for many long years."
Claire inhaled sharply and turned to look at Adam, who was still leaning in so close that their noses brushed. Her eyes scanned his face to see if he were playing with her, but all that she saw was naked lust. She licked her lips and Adam's eyes darted down to watch.
"You're not so bad yourself," she managed to say.
"I'm going to kiss you now," Adam told her, brushing the hair away from her face.
"Okay," Claire sighed, seconds before Adam matched actions to words.
Adam wasn't shy or tentative with his kiss. He kissed her, knowing full well that she would enjoy it, with all the confidence of a man who had four centuries of experience seducing women.
Claire's hands slid up behind his head, pulling him in as she kissed him back. Admittedly, she had not been with many men in her life. She could probably count the number of guys she had kissed like this on one hand, but she didn't let that stop her from kissing Adam with every ounce of passion she had inside her.
Minutes, hours, seconds later, Claire found her mouth free while Adam panted above her. At some point Adam had maneuvered Claire onto her back and they were now stretched out on the couch.
"So that's what it's like with four hundred years of experience," Claire panted, her eyes slightly unfocused.
Adam chuckled, his breath exhaled against her neck as he began to lick and suck the skin there. He grinned as he watched the love bite he'd just made fade away as if it had never been. He'd never witnessed that on someone else before and it sent a bolt of lust straight to his groin.
"Oh, you haven't seen anything yet," he said, a promise clear in his voice.
"I can't wait," Claire said.
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Copyright© January 2008