Sir. William really did like that, probably more than he would admit. It certainly was the right way to appeal to his ego, given that they were not yet on familiar terms. He at least understood now why the man had been so nervous, though Mohinder had managed to hide it relatively well. He digested the tale as he leaned back, crossing his arms while his eyes flicked between the two of them.
The scientist gave no hint that he was being anything other than painfully honest, and he’d never known his sister to lie to him. At least not directly, and never for long. Truly, he had no real reason to believe this was anything other than what they were insisting it to be: honest-to-goodness real love. He was almost jealous.
Claire wriggled her fingers in between Mohinder’s, staring boldly at William the whole time as though daring him to challenge the validity of her feelings again. Had she been the sort to attach herself to others on a whim, she couldn’t have said she’d blame him for such interrogation, but this was perhaps the second time she’d ever made such feelings known. William had to understand her well enough to know this was no fleeting claim.
“Well if that’s not the most cheesy bit of sentiment I’ve ever heard outside of cinema,” he eventually laughed, taking his sister by surprise and interrupting her thoughts. Claire could feel her muscles relax, however, and she offered a small but genuine smile of thanks. William shook his head and uncrossed his arms to lay them across the top of his legs, leaning forward once again.
“Who am I to stand in the way of such obvious happiness? Not that dear sister would’ve let me anyway…” There was a mixture of pride and annoyance in his tone and the siblings smirked at each other knowingly. “I am touched that you would both seek my approval, however,” he continued, expression and voice sobering in an attempt to convey his sincerity, “and, given what I’ve seen and my familiarity with Claire, consider it granted.”
A long, slow breath escaped Claire’s lungs, and she moved slightly to place a hand on her brother’s knee. “Good. Now I don’t have to blackmail you six ways to Sunday.” Her smile was sweet and completely incongruous with her words, but William nodded in appreciation nonetheless. Looking to Mohinder, his grin was slightly more devious.
“Welcome to the jungle, sir,” he said, extending his hand to shake.