That smile of his brought one to her own face, unbidden. She didn’t even know why, except perhaps her tendency to mimic people to gain their trust, though that wasn’t exactly her goal here as she already seemed to have his. Get a hold of yourself, she mentally chided, finally biting into the bread stick. She felt his foot nudge against hers and was going to ignore it, though she grinned at his little ‘oops.’ He was almost like a puppy, she noticed, with paws too big for its body; words and such just got tripped over.
Swallowing the bite of bread, she shook her head. “Unless you’re screaming in your sleep, we should be fine. And thank you, for the offer of your lab. I’m sure it’s lovely, though I’d hate to disturb any of your own work…” Understanding the sanctity of her own setups, Claire was hesitant to actually touch any of his things, but the magnitude of the offer didn’t go unnoticed, or unappreciated. The doctor seemed most eager to share and grateful for her company; it made her wonder just what his daily life was like. Was he lonely? Did he not go out with friends? She of all people could understand what that was like, but she tried to stay anonymous on purpose. There were certain things she was sure Mohinder tried to keep out of the public eye, but from what she understood, he wasn’t exactly unknown.
“Lovely, yes, and quite strong,” she said with a chuckle, snapping out of her musings. “Perhaps you might want to get some green tea as well, if you want to remember dinner.” Claire wasn’t judging–who was she too, after all? She had a decanter of gin in almost every room of her house–and did her best not to sound disapproving, but amused. In reality, she was rather more selfishly concerned with getting back to his apartment. The GPS would help, but she tended to get nervous driving in unfamiliar areas. She liked to know escape routes and she hadn’t been to this part of town before.
Finishing off her bread stick, she considered Mohinder’s last question for a careful moment. She couldn’t tell him she made poisons for her murderous misadventures. it was hardly polite dinner conversation. But the man’s enthusiasm was both adorable and encouraging, and she couldn’t leave him without and answer; it would save her from asking nervous questions about the procedures to come, at least. Shaking off the tiny shiver that had run down her back at his lowered tone, Claire grinned, her own enthusiasm breaking through. “I study plants and their various properties. I keep a small garden at my apartment, since they allow us each a lot in the courtyard, and grow my own specimens. My lab is small as well, but I don’t need much space for what I do. Mostly, I just take extracts and make things out of them–lotions, perfumes, tinctures.” It was a truth, if a half one, and she was glad for once that the small set-up had been put away in her closet; he might’ve seen her recipes otherwise.
She leaned forward on the table too, setting the bread stick down to pour another cup of sake for herself. She didn’t drink it yet, engulfing the small cup in her hands instead to warm them. “The perfume I have on right now, actually, is one I made. Sandalwood, vanilla, and Abelmoschus moschatus. Rose mallow seeds, for musk.” Smiling, she drank her sake and set the cup back.
“It’s one of my favorites.”