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Claire Brownlow

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Saviarre

Description

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Born in 1890, Claire became a silent movie star and by 1912, her face was well known. People would line up to see the newest Brownlow picture and she played opposite some of the best leading men of her time. By the end of 1913, however, Claire disappeared. Nobody had seen or heard from her since. It was as if she vanished from the face of the earth. Over time, she was forgotten. Hollywood made way for newer stars, and Claire's memory was nearly completely lost.

So begins...

Claire Brownlow's Story

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Claire Brownlow looked in at the main room of the bar known as Gambits through the window in the door. Her brows furrowed as she noted the different types of people in the room... not all human. Taking a deep breath, she pulled the door open and entered, welcoming the noise, the action. Not quite ready for a drink, Clare moved to a nearby table and set her bag on top, rooting around in the hand beaded bag for a tattered map. Sitting at the table, she crossed her legs under the skirt of her cream chiffon dress and opened the map, spreading it on the table as she studied it.

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Claire Brownlow frowned as she studied the map. She knew this place to be Wing City... the sign had said so... but she could not, for the life of her, locate it on her map. She sighed and bit her lip, leaning back in her seat. Lifting her head, her eyes met those of Swift and she looked away self consciously. Her eyes moved back to the map. Maybe she was just missing it. Wing City... Wing City... Pretending to continue to study the map, she looked at Swift from the corner of her eye, wondering at the look he had given her.

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Claire Brownlow looked up at Swift, an uncertain smile gracing her lips. She pointed to the map and then spread both of her hands wide in a shrug before gesturing around herself and then back down to the map. Her brows furrowed as she looked at him, wondering if he understood what she was attempting to ask. She was certain Wing City was not on the map... or... at least as certain as someone who was desperately lost could be.

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Claire Brownlow blinked up at Swift. Different planet? How was that possible? She lowered her head and sat blinking for a moment, thinking, trying to come up with any explanation for how she could possibly be on a different planet and not even know. She looked up at Swift helplessly for a moment before lifting a single shoulder in an apologetic shrug. She hadn't meant to waste his time. Folding up the map, she sighed and placed it back in her beaded bag. While her hand was in the bag, it brushed her wallet. She pulled it out and looked at him questioningly, looking pointedly at the bar and then down to her wallet, pulling out some American currency before looking up at him again, the unasked question written in her expression.

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Claire Brownlow smiled at Jeremiah and nodded, holding some money out for him, offering to pay for a drink. She glanced behind the counter and simulated holding a wineglass by the stem, wondering if he would understand her charades. At this point, however, it didn't matter. She was dreadfully thirsty and would probably happily drink pickle juice if she could.

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Claire Brownlow smiled broadly to Swift, nodding in thanks. She pointed to the money and then to the wine and then to Jeremiah, indicating that she would buy him a drink if he would accept it.... and then to the chair across from her.

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Claire Brownlow blushed furiously, lowering her eyes from Jeremiah's and biting her lip. Could she speak? She shook her head, holding her fingers over her lips and shrugging before looking back up at him. Holding a finger up as a sign for him to wait for a moment, she reached into her bag and pulled forth a tattered notepad and a small nub of a pencil. She opened the notepad and scribbled quickly:

Thank you. My name is Claire.


She hesitated for a moment before adding her last name.

Brownlow


He wouldn't have heard of her. Nobody had heard of her for decades... but still, she hesitated informing someone of her full name.

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Claire Brownlow blushed again, waving a gloved hand to indicate that it wasn't necessary to compliment her. Truthfully, while the compliments were not needed, they struck a chord in Claire... a chord that hadn't been struck for a long time. She held out the notepad and, under her name, scribbled one word.

California


She looked up at him, her expression curious and pointed at him before writing again.

What about you?

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At the mention of movies, Claire bit her lip and nodded. There was no way he would know of her though... Silent films had gone out of style as soon as talkies were introduced... Besides, Claire had fallen from public eye long before this man was born, surely. As he mentioned where he was from, Claire smiled. Germany. She'd visited there once... long long ago. Before the Great War. She tilted her head and wrote a couple words down before looking up into his eyes, brows furrowed.

Do you miss it?

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Claire Brownlow studied Jeremiah's face as he spoke, leaning forward slightly. The look in his eyes... his sigh... She smiled sadly and nodded resolutely as she wrote.

You should.


She commiserated with his look, herself missing California despite the fact that everyone she had known had long since passed away. She tried to lighten the mood by scribbling the next words with a smile.

And bring me some chocolate

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Claire Brownlow stood up with Jeremiah, biting her lip. He was offering to put her up? To stay with her? She blinked, unsure what to say... not that she would be able to say anything. She shook her head, trying to indicate that she didn't have a place to stay, but realized it might come off as a rejection. Holding a finger up, she scribbled for a little while before holding the notepad out for him.

I don't have a place to stay. Would you mind terribly helping me acquire a room? I will pay. You needn't offer to stay with me, but you know this city better than I do, and the dangers that go along with it. Do they have suites here? Rooms with multiple sleeping areas?

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Claire Brownlow stood, watching this man, this stranger, offer his arm to her. Jesus, Claire... what must he think of you, running up to his room with him... This is how bad things happen... Haven't you learned this already? She bit her lip and turned to pick up her bag. Well... she'd made it this long, right? He didn't seem like the type to do horrible things to a woman... She stepped closer to Jeremiah and took his arm but hesitated, holding a hand out, finger raised and shaking her head, a grin on her face, indicating that she wasn't going to put out. She figured he knew it, but she felt she should remind him just in case... hooking her arm through his, she followed him up the stairs.

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Claire Brownlow bit her lip as she descended the stairs, looking around at the patrons of the bar. Jeremiah had said it was a dangerous city... it didn't look too bad. Perhaps that had been his way of trying to convince her to stay with him... well, it had worked, hadn't it?

Putting her face in her hand she shook her head slightly. What had she been thinking... spending the night with a stranger!? It didn't matter that nothing was done... that didn't matter at all. What mattered was that she had done it... Stupid, Claire. Stupid.

Before she'd left the room, she'd scribbled a long note thanking Jeremiah for his hospitality... and now, today... what was her plan today? Simply put, she didn't have one. Making her way to the counter, she caught the bartender's attention and pointed to the coffee pot, signaling her wish for a cup of the bitter liquid.

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Claire Brownlow looked up at Jeremiah and her face broke into a brilliant smile before she caught herself and toned it down. She nodded in greeting and clutched the coffee tightly. Not wanting to dig out her pad and pencil, Claire tried hand signals. She pointed at Jeremiah and then tilted her head, her hands cradled beneath it like she were sleeping, and then held up a thumb, her brows furrowed to indicate that she meant it as a question.

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Claire Brownlow bit her lip and looked down at the counter, thinking for a moment. She had slept well, so she nodded. Well, she had slept well enough, considering. She had tossed and turned for a while, and woken a few times with the fear that she had been found... But, in comparison to recent nights, Claire had indeed slept well. Suddenly, Claire was chilled... no... cold... and she wrapped her arms around herself with a shiver.... she looked around curiously for the source of the music but found nothing.

Just as suddenly as she had grown cold, she warmed up again. Weird. Very weird. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out the notepad. Claire looked at Jeremiah with a smile before lowering her head and writing:

Thank you for your help. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

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Claire Brownlow froze momentarily at the question. Dangerous territory. Very dangerous territory. Her first instinct was to lie... as she had for nearly 100 years. But a quick glance at Jeremiah and, for some reason, she felt she owed him the truth... well... part of it, anyway.

She nodded. She had been able to talk before... but it was a long time ago. Her darkened with sadness and a hint of fear before she turned her head away. She waved her hand dismissively, as if to tell him that his questions did not bother her. That was the truth. The questions didn't bother her at all. It was the answers that did.

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Claire Brownlow bit her lip at the questions and merely shrugged and nodded at the ideas he had about the reason for her lack of speech. All in all they were good guesses... She decided to just nod and leave it at that before smiling to let him know that it was alright. The questions did not bother her.

Reaching forward to try to capture his jaw in her fingers, Claire leaned forward and peered into his eyes for a long moment before smiling again and releasing him, turning to her notebook.

I can picture them brown.


She hesitated for a moment, biting her lip, her pencil hovering over the paper before she added:

But I like them now too.

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Claire Brownlow noticed the blush and smiled, turning her head away a bit so she could pretend she hadn't seen it. Time to change the subject, Claire... it seems you've made your new friend uncomfortable.

She glanced around the room, trying to think of a new subject before scribbling:

You said yesterday that this place was dangerous. What makes it so?


Self-consciously, Claire began tugging at her gloves, ensuring that they stayed where they should, rising up to mid-forearm. Frowning down at them, she noticed some smudges of dirt on them.

Also, do you know of a good ladies' store?

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Claire Brownlow nodded as she studied the gloves. She would have to wash them at her earliest convenience. The stains were going to irritate her until then. She turned to face him fully, tilting her head, her expression purely jesting as she hastily wrote with a smirk on her lips.

Are you one such man?


She knew he wasn't... or at least, she didn't believe him to be. She winked at him before continuing to write.

I've been in dangerous places before.

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Claire Brownlow tilted her head as she looked at Jeremiah, her brows furrowed. She bit her lip as she lifted her notepad.

I think you do a fine job of talking to women. At least, from what I've seen.


She raised her eyes to his so he could see that her words were truth before biting her lip and continuing to write.

What kind of deal?


She hesitated as she considered how to answer his final question and chose to skirt the truthful answer with an unrelated truthful statement.

I grew up in California.

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Claire Brownlow lifted her notebook without hesitation and wrote:

Claire


He had no reason to be so formal with her... and, in truth, it had been a long time since someone had called her just Claire. He had spoken her name yesterday, and she liked the sound of it on his lips.

Considering his question, she frowned and tapped her gloved fingers on the counter for a bit, lifting her rapidly cooling coffee to take a sip, stalling as she figured out how to answer.

California has changed a lot since I was last there. I used to know a lot of movie stars. I enjoyed the sunsets over the beaches. I'd like to go back, but it won't be the way I remember it.

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Claire Brownlow smiled as he said her name. It felt good, hearing it. She noticed the way he was looking at her and looked back curiously before reaching out and touching his temple lightly, a questioning look on her face. She frowned as she turned to the notebook, wishing she could just say what was on her mind.

What are you thinking when you look at me like that?


She looked down at the words on the paper and rolled her eyes, shaking her head, indicating that he didn't have to answer. Instead, she wrote a new question.

Why can't you bring yourself to watch the sunset at the beaches here?

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Claire Brownlow nodded at his answer. It made sense. She held her hands up as a way of saying that he was more than welcome to tell her anything he wanted, but also more than welcome to keep anything he wanted from her. After all, she had her own secrets... but she didn't even have a close friend to tell. In fact...

You're the first person I've spoken with for a very very long time. I'm out of practice.


She grinned apologetically up at Jeremiah, studying his interesting colored eyes.

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Claire Brownlow stared at Jeremiah, taking in his words. She wished then that she could speak. She had so many questions.But she didn't want to overwhelm him with them. Slowly, she put her pencil to the paper.

A Demon? What promise?


She wasn't frightened, just curious. Very curious.

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Claire Brownlow looked at Jeremiah, surprised that he would open up so much to her, to tell her all of these things. Her expression would betray the myriad of emotions she felt for him at that moment. Emotions she didn't understand. She bit her lip and nodded before writing.

I am glad that you are alive. I am glad to have met you, regardless of what you went through to get here. You ar-


Her scrawl was interrupted by the arrival of Graystone, and she looked up at him curiously. She wondered about him but remained quiet. Ha ha.