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North by northwest

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More than once Claire has compared Owen Grady to a cat in her mind. He is stubborn, seems to have nine lives, and territorial in ways subtle and sometimes not. Other times he has more in common with his raptors than those he works with. A calm and calculating glance. Hisses and growls. He never hides what he is. It is written clear in his file. Feral mutant Class Alpha. Unlike some Owen has no slotted eyes or visible claws. But his senses are highly developed, super human almost along with his reflexes, strength, etc. He is more than capable of keeping up with the animals in his charge. Claire is wary of him. No scared of him. Nothing really scares her anymore. But she wonders if he can smell it on her. 

There is a real she keeps away from most of the animals in the park. They can smell it on her. Just like they know Owen is sometimes more animal than human. She can sometimes be more steel or metal than not. But Claire is careful. She and Lowery have always been rigid in their code. Never let the world know. Lowery keeps it out of the computers and she keeps an ear to ground in her position. Everyone thinks Lowery a lazy man with a plastic Dino fetish and her an ice queen. It is a facade that has worked well for almost twenty- three years. And Claire does not plan on letting that change anytime soon.

but of course the stupid Indominus Rex has to change all of that. Now she is chasing after her nephews and trying to keep it all together while not letting herself sink into the cold metal that runs through her. One second and she could be numb to it all. But that would do her no favors. So instead she tries to be strong. She can't fail Karen or the boys. They are all the family she had left. 

So instead here she is running through the jungle with a man who draws her in in ways she has never been able to understand. Claire hates not being in control. She hates not being able to keep her secrets. And the rugged Owen Grady makes her want in ways she can't afford. He makes her want to let go and let him in. She think she could love him. Maybe she already does. But she is selfish and guarded woman. She doesn't have anymore room in her heart for anyone aside from Karen, the boys, and Lowery. 

And sometimes it is one of her greatest regrets and triumphs. She has survived this long by being this way. But sometimes she wants to ask herself when will she ever let herself live? 

Chapter Text

Claire has known Lowery since she was nine years old. He moved down the street from her family and since that day he has been her best friend. Her brother in all but blood. He knows her inside out. She knows his quirks and weaknesses. And they have always had each other's backs. If Claire ever did truly fall in love with someone it is a fact that there are parts of that only Lowery would know and understand. He has been with her through everything. He helped her when her mother died and she kept him calm when machines made more sense to him than people. 

Claire trusts him eight everything she has. She doesn't trust Owen Grady as far as she can throw him. But something has always drawn her back in. After one disastrous date with one of the on,y open mutants on the island she had known. She had had a sliver of hope that maybe he could be someone she could open up to. But his arrogance and instincts had it one thing clear. Something about Owen Grady made her want to break her rules and control. The very things that had kept her safe and protected. 

So after one disaster she had never given him another chance. It was not worth the risk. And now running through the jungle some part of her cant help but regret that choice. She wonders what could have been had she had more courage. But on the other had she could not be reckless. After all her life was so closely tied with Lowery that if she was careless she could drag him down with her. Their secrets and lies and house of cards crashing down. Having to run.mleave everything she had built and worked so hard for behind. It was not worth it.

running through th jungle in he heels is nothing. Owen has made more than one comment about her stupid shoes. He knows nothing. Claire has been running all of her life. It has been something that always gives her freedom. She was track and cross country throughout high school and university. She was always careful. How many hours had she and Lowery spent on the forest trails. How many shoes had she destroyed? Eventually she learnt to run without calling forth the metal from her bones. But now? She calls it forth now. 

If Claire were to remove her heels Owen could see the soles of her feet. Her toes and heel. All are metal. Claire has such fine control after years of obsessive control she can transform a fingernail but not the finger. One finger but not the hand. An ear and a patch of hair. This is what makes her shine with pride and only Lowery, Karen, and her father know. Other metas morphs have to transform their entire bodies. Claire can do a limb or a patch of skin. Ever since they entered her track she has had had every part of her feet covered by her heels transformed. She once ran in her bare feet teansformed for al oat six hours before she began to feel fatigue. The only hard part is keeping the transformation from being too complete or else she would shatter the shoes under the hard metal. 

Smothering herself with dinosaur poo was a way to stop Owen from smelling the metallic tinge in her scent. After she smothered it she let her skin under her shirt transform. Her stomach and part of her chest to protect her organs and heart.

when Claire transforms there are layers. If she tneasforms down to the bone she can shatter concrete walls. If she keeps it just to the upper layer of her skin she can stop a knife. And she suspects she may be able to keep it from Owen. But if it comes down to it she will not hesitate to become a creature full of organic metal to save Zachary and Grey. 

But when Owen grabs her hand she has to stop her gut reaction of allowing the metal to creep up from shock. His hand is larger than her and engulfs it fully. He runs warm to her cold steel. She wonders if her hand became metal if he would still hold her hand as readily as he does now?