For a moment, Claire really thought she had him. His eyes had gone wide, he’d gone silent, even gone so far as to look at the counter. She couldn’t tell if he was excited by the prospect, but he was certainly shocked by it. Convinced he was going to haltingly change the subject, perhaps stammer a few times, Claire went back to her crepes, taking relish in the juicy strawberries and the fact that she’d likely scared him. And then Mohinder took his turn at shocking her.
…but for you, I would make an exception.
He’d taken her seriously. Far too seriously, and she didn’t know what to do with that either. The man had a knack for surprising her, and she wasn’t at all familiar with this version of the game. The field of play, the rules…they were entirely different when she wasn’t trying to hurt/kill/extract something from him. He’d already agreed to help her, there was no need to coerce him into that. Those liquid brown eyes met hers, his face so close, and she had absolutely nothing to say. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this. Murder most foul? Certainly. Deception, lies, manipulation? She’d mastered them before she’d hit double digits. Claire could hide and never be found. But a relationship? His arm around her, the mention of ‘the long haul,’ put her over the edge.
It started as a small smile and biting her lip in a half-hearted attempt to fight the inevitable. Then a grin, a chuckle, then quiet laughs that bubbled past her lips. One hand went to her mouth to try to hold them back, but they burst out regardless. Her shoulders shook and she had to let her head fall to the table, mirthful tears streaming down her face. A good five minutes passed before Claire could even breathe properly, let alone do anything but chuckle to herself some more and wipe at her eyes. The laughter was perhaps cruel and she was certain the poor lamb was confused, but she couldn’t help herself.
“I’ve not even showered yet and you’re trying to woo me…” she managed to say, voice breathy, as she sat up, still chuckling. Once she’d managed to tame the laughter and her expression, she inhaled deeply and let it out, a ghost of a smirk lingering on her face. “I was teasing you, garçon idiot,” she explained, shaking her head. “I don’t…you don’t have to be so sweet about it. Just breathe, I don’t want anything from you that way.” At least that’s what her words said, in that moment.
A kiss was not a promise, but….she didn’t say that. Promise or not, there was a small glimmer of hope somewhere deep inside her. Maybe he could teach her how normal people interacted for this 'relationship’ thing. If nothing else, her mood had been improved by both of their tactics backfiring in their faces. He wouldn’t shake, and she didn’t know how to behave herself…it was going to be an interesting two weeks…