On Not Judging By Covers


colette_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title On Not Judging By Covers
Synopsis Kendall shows up for his 'appointment' at Ichihara Bookstore and finds himself in the company of way too many openly Evolved girls. He's less normal than he seems; they're close enough to harmless, all rumors aside; and the book he's gifted with is a case in point on why judging by covers leads to erroneous conclusions. On the other hand, his first impression of Colette is just about right on the money.
Date January 09, 2010

Ichihara Bookstore

Nestled in the heart of the main street marketplace, the Ichihara Bookstore is an old and crooked structure pressed between two newer high-rise tenement buildings. The old glass windows and creaking wooden door on the shop's front give it a rustic and old-world feel. Catering to both antique books and newer prints, the narrow aisles and tall shelves are packed full of literature. A single shelf for periodicals lies near the front counter, while signage both out front by the register and in the back of the store indicates that tarot card reading is done on-site at request for ten dollars per reading.

Behind the old and weathered wooden counter that contains the register and a small stack of reserved books, a narrow wooden staircase leads upwards to a black wooden door with peeling paint, revealing red paint in narrow strips beneath, a rope crossing in front of that door hangs with a small sign that reads, "Private".

After a long bit of downtime right after she got the job, Kaylee is finally working. A stack of books cradled in one arm, wearing a dark gray turtle neck, dark blue jeans with her black boots… her blonde hair is pulled up into a ponytail on the back of her head. Tucking her hand in her sleeve, she brings it up to cough into it. While her fever has been gone, the small cough has persisted.

"You know… I have to wonder at her system… Oh wait… I don't think she had a system." Kaylee murmurs to the other employee there. The telepath is at the end of her shift, it being midday, and Wendy is about to take up her own. Though right now they are somewhat united on trying to find some semblance of order. "I mean look… she has this book about cooking… surrounded by science fiction books." Fingers tug and pull the book out of the shelf to add to her stack.

"Kaylee, I think she has a system, only, that system is in her head somewhere, and not actually written down. Maybe she has them by published year?" Wendy knows the woman she's working with is a telepath. Knew that long ago and is one of the few who are so very comfortable with it. Not like she has state secrets tucked away in her head. "I mean, there's a book about Ballet that's tucked in with the whole Automechanics. It's sure as fuck not alphabetical either, nor by publisher."

Wendy's in ripped tights, denim skirt that is just barely short of being indecent, boots, layered shirts, bracelets, and popping bubbles with her bubblegum quite frequently. Bad habits have to be supplanted by other habits. For all that she told Peyton the job was okay, she was enjoying it. The handful of books she bought as well for her own self helped to boost sales.

"Maybe we'll get customers today, Kay. Shocking, wouldn't it be. Hey, where's Gabriel?" She pauses in plucking a book from the shelf to crane her head around and look for the lumbering white and black brow'd beast. You know. The cat.

In some respect, it's probably a good thing Hokuto is out — no temptation to have a fortune told for the girl who walks through the bookstore's front door. She has the same green scarf as yesterday, and the same well-worn, washed-out jeans, but a dark blue sweater half-hidden by unkempt blond hair. Plastic crinkles as Tamara steps into the bookstore, a bag at her side visibly weighted down; her gaze flicks only briefly over the shelves. The sight of Kaylee is met with a smile; Wendy, with passing suspicion. Then the seeress beelines off to a different set of shelves, as if she knows exactly where to find what she's here for.

Well, she does.

Kendall was given a date and a time on the business card, and so he showed up. Since when did you need an appointment to show up at a bookstore? Oh well. Warily, he pushes open the door to look around. People present isn't surprising, since the store has to make money somehow, but he knows at least one of the people here. It's that crazy lady he met in the park that one day…

"I found it!" A voice comes chirping from the back of the store, frantic and fluttery. A few clomping footfalls come storming out from that cluttered back room, and her noisy footsteps and shouting is heard long before she's seen. Eventually, rounding a corner past the nook where fortunes are usually read, the bouncing form of a dark-haired young girl passes on the opposite side of the shelves from Tamara.

When she finally comes into sight, Kendall Cunningham is remarkably the only person in the store who hasn't at some point met Colette Nichols. The dark-haired teen is covered in smots of dust, her dark hair mussed up and messy as usual, skidding to a stop on the hardwood floor when she comes up at Kaylee's side, holding up a book that reads 2009 New York City Atlas in both hands with a triumphant smile. "It was under a bookshelf keeping it level! Who puts an atlas under a— "

The sound in the back of the stockroom is something like a car driving through the wall of the shop; all crashing and rumbling. But the noise is more attributed to a now improperly weighted bookshelf falling over in the stockroom, spilling dozens upon dozens of books to the floor.

Colette doesn't really do anything. She just stands there, grimacing, wider and wider and wider until all she can do is make a very guilty, very awkward noise in the back of her throat. "I found the maps… heh… a-heh…"

"Dunno.. not an animal telepath." Kaylee's tone is distracted as she plucks another book form the shelf. "Wait.. A book about cannibalism with the children's books? Oh wait.. maybe alphabetical by subjec……" She trails off at the sound of someone entering the store. "Hey.. say that more often…" She calls to Wendy… "I think it's working."

Her amused smile turns into a grin when she catches the smile of Tamara. "Hello again." She offers politely for the young woman who seems to have a destination in mind. Blue eyes follow her, watching. The woman is strange, that's about all Kaylee really understands… well that and what she sees, which Kaylee does not envy.

"Oh dear god! Colette!" Kaylee turns at the sound of the crash and gives the teen a look. She quickly moves to put the books on the counter and rushes to look in the backroom. Opening the door, "Holy…" She quickly censors herself, pressing a hand to her mouth. The hand comes away to squeak out a, "Ooooh… Corbin is going to not be happy."

Tamara's presence, and quick beeline for a different aisle, and the strange familiarity to the Evo detector garners a furrowing of black brows. "You know here?" The sensation that follows in the wake of the sybil has Wendy easing off her stool in favor of letting Kaylee deal with the crash — which the moment Colette who came in and got scrutinized for her blaring Evo signs that she set off on Wendy's personal radar declared it was holding up an unbalanced shelf knew what exactly was going to happen. "Hey!" She calls out to Tamara, glancing back towards the door when Kendall appears. There's a raise of brows again, a roll of eyes and she's trailing after Tamara. "Hey, hi, welcome to Ichihara Books, can I help you?"

"Now go pick up the bookshelf."

The voice is unmistakable, though the dryness of its humor is a little atypical; more characteristic of the sybil than the girl. But then, it's the sybil who's here today. Tamara pokes her head around the shelf to look at Colette, lips quirked in a lopsided smile. "Silly kitty." Dark eyes flick to Kendall. "Hello, Kendall. I'm a moment still." Stepping out away from the shelves, the teen holds up the book she's obtained; points at Wendy with it. "Just don't interrupt me. That — well. Don't." A beat of silence. "You can sell me this book, though," Tamara allows.

Kendall jumps when he hears a loud crash from the back room, looking over and edging a step or two away especially when a girl comes out. He just met her and she seems to be a walking disaster. Of course, that may not be the case, but first impressions really do matter. "Ah… hi, I was…" he lifts his hand with the business card that has green writing on it and shows it to everyone, gaze flickering over to Tamara. "I was, uh… told to come here…?" He stares at Tamara expectantly.

Wringing the atlas of maps between her fingers, Colette presses a bite down to her lower lop, green eyes alight to the brunette that wasn't out front when she'd come slinking in earlier. "O— Oh ah, h— hey you— must be Wendy." There's a grimace that spreads across Colette's lips as she takes a few cautious steps over to the front counter and lays the atlas down on it, then looks back over to Kaylee over her shoulder. The expression is apologetic, one of those, how did I know the stock room was booby-trapped expressions. But as much as she's about to say something, it's the sound of the blonde sybil's voice that has her eyes going wide, lips creeping up into a smile, and Colette ignoring much else of anything.

"You!" Colette bounds with booted footfalls across the aisle to where Tamara emerged, arms wide and thrown around the blonde's shoulders, letting her weight swing herself to one side before she presses her nose into Tamara's hair at her temple. There's a goofily-offered giggle, a curl of her lips into a broad smile, and a flushing of her cheeks as she realizes she just did that in the middle of the store.

Biting down on her lower lip, Colette takes a step back and runs her pale fingers thorugh her hair, smoothing it out before glancing over towards Kendall, green eyes fixed on the young man thoughtfully, then looks up to Wendy and then in the direction of the back room where Kaylee disappeared.

A little finger-wiggle wave really doesn't do much more for the situation. She seems unusually hyper today, it's likely the fault of the four cups of coffee and little else she's had to eat so far. She's self sufficient.

Backing out of the backroom, Kaylee shakes her head and then turns back to the group out there. "Colette… you… are not allowed to leave till that is picked up." She sounds rather serious about that, glancing at Kendall for the first time and giving him a once over. The atlas is plucked form the counter and held against her chest with both arms as she levels Colette with a look again. "You'll get this back when you're done." Mean, but then it isn't Colette's job on the line.

"Yeah. I'm Wendy." pop Tamara's frowned at, one brow staying up, the other remains down and a silently muttered oookay as she reaches for the book that Tamara's waggling in outstretched hand to be sold. "How on earth would I interrupt you. Unless you don't intend to pay for this book." Wendy glances over her shoulder at Colette along with Kendall and Kaylee who's leveling an ultimatum at the clumsy teenager. "Bet your fucking ass she's cleaning it up before she leaves or gets a book. Hey artsie." That offered to Kendall as she looks back to Tamara, taking the book with only the barest brush of her fingers against the other womans.

It's enough for Wendy to discern what it is that the other woman does, for her to blink a bit and the sense of deja vu to take her own before contact is broken and it's all gone. "Wow." She breathes out, staring at Tamara. She takes the book proper then, glancing down to the title while heading for the cash register, still shaking her head. Pre-cog. Go figure.

Tamara gives Wendy a level look as the young woman takes the book from her. "You don't really need me to tell you," she states. That's the case now, anyway. Dark eyes flicker to Colette and that smile reappears, silver ring glinting on the girl's left hand as she brushes a bit of book-dust from the younger teen's shoulder. "No, you," she counters with a small smile, before following Wendy over towards the counter. Kendall is waved over to join them.

Oh, and the book? A slightly used copy of Activating Evolution.

Kendall shakes his head at being called artsie, but he gets distracted by Tamara's offering of a book. "Oh, this…?" he asks, looking at it reluctantly. "I, uh… wait, isn't this about Evolved?"

"Sss— sorry." Ducking her head and grimacing, Colette furrows her brows and chews on her lower lip gently. Green eyes wander over to Tamara again, then to the book she's purchasing, then around like she's trying to find something else all of the sudden. There's a step of her booted feet over to the old and notched counter, rising up on her toes as she looks to the book Tamara's purchasing, squinting once. "Yeah I'll— go, ah— " Brows scrunched as she gives it considerable scrutiny, someone trying to piece together a very interesting puzzle.

Biting down gently on her lower lip, Colette smiles sheepishly at the dusting to her shoulder, settling down from the toes of her boots and onto her heels, rocking back and forth on them. Catching sight of that silver ring, she unconsciously turns its reciprocal version on her own hand with her thumb. "Kaylee, I brought Ygraine the uh— goggles. We're gonna go take a look at that building after the weekend. She wanted a hard copy of the maps so we know what's around it while we're out there." Wrinkling her nose, Colette shifts her weight to one foot and looks back towards Kendall curiously, then to Tamara, one dark brow rising.

Something is afoot.

"Sure is," Colette notes with a raise of her brows, circling around behind Tamara, one arm lazily hanging across her shoulders as she makes that sweeping step. But it's placed her closer to Kendall's side. "So you're buying that for…" Colette's green eyes angle up to Tamara, then flick over to Kendall, and the brunette teen offers out a hand towards him, smirk spread across her lips.

"Colette," she introduces informally, "you must be…" green eyes flick to Tamara for a moment, then back to Kendall, "someone I should meet." She adds with a quirk of one dark brow, and absolutely no explanation.

"Wendy…" Kaylee starts blandly, but with a smirk to Tamara. "It's better not to question her." Watching both Colette and Tamara, Kaylee's expression turns a touch unreadable as she gets thoughtful, before she ducks down to tuck the atlas away. When she straightens again, she leans on the counter giving a glance at the book and then at Kendall. "I've yet to read that book. Looked at it a couple of times."

Then an amused look goes to Colette, a hand tucks into dark jeans and pull out her iphone. "I'll call Ygraine and tell her why you can't have those maps. I am pretty sure she'll understand and support my decision." Either way it would be leaving with them today, even if it means Kaylee helping Colette. Chances are… Colette is banking on that.

"I'm not questioning her. I am not doing anything to her. I'm just ringing up her book like she asked." The book choice is mentally questioned. Oh yes it is as she turns it over to check the price and start to ring it up while Colette introduces herself to Kendall. Visions of the park and Kendall's little spaz session, the caliber of art that he draws. Her right fingers dance across the cash register to depress the appropriate buttons and fire off a a number to Tamara to cough up the money for.

"That's Kendall. He's an artist though he refuses to draw." Wendy not so mannerly interjects between Colette and Kendall. "He's pretty good though, if he'd finish things. Illusionist as well, though he vehemently denies it. Haven't figure out what you are yet though." The last aimed at Colette. "Though I think Kaylee might know."

Tamara tilts her head at Kendall's question, gazing into the distance. "It is," she affirms… "…and it isn't." She smiles at Kendall, the style of fleeting expression two conspirators might share — for all that only one of them is in on the secret. Something is afoot, indeed.

Wendy gets a sidelong look as she goes sharing Kendall's secrets, and the seeress shakes her head — but she sets the money on the counter for the book regardless. Doesn't wait for change, but scoops up the volume and moves down the counter. Using it as a pointer again, Tamara sketches out a space. "My counter." So don't you be using it.

Then she plants the book on her claimed section, along with the plastic bag — from which two sheets of white paper, a bottle of glue, two paintbrushes, and a thin-bladed knife superficially similar to a letter-opener are all produced. Along with a second book similar in dimensions but utterly distinct in content — a hardbound collection of comic books.

Tamara herself hops up to sit on the edge of the counter, focusing on these objects to the exclusion of the others in the store; except for Kendall, as she arranges the materials to her satisfaction. "Give me…" Dark eyes sweep briefly in the general direction of the clock. "…five minutes, tops," the sybil tells him.

Kendall turns to Colette as she approaches him, and he takes a step back. "Ah, someone you should meet? I'm not sure about that, I'm no one special." He glowers at Wendy. Nevertheless, he shakes Colette's hand. "Uh… I'm Kendall. Cunningham," he introduces himself despite Wendy having just done so for him. Suddenly he blinks, and looks around. Why is he constantly surrounded by women? He's just realizing this. Maybe his real power is animal magnetism. When Tamara brings out a collection of items, however, the curiosity gets the better of him and he moves closer to see what she's doing. Huh. Wazzat?

A choked breath is sucked up at the back of Colette's throat when Wendy outs both her and Kendall. Green eyes go wide, confused, but then she does know Kaylee maybe— "Kaylee." Colette squints at the telepath, pursing her lips into a less than pleased expression, the only reasonable answer is that Kaylee can't keep a secret to save her life; of course, she's completely wrong on that. "I'll— get those books in a second." Green eyes narrow a little further, she's not terribly upset, but the feigned look does linger for a moment.

"Well I guess since everybody in here knows," Colette adds with an arch of her brows, atention soon focused on Tamara's collection of whatever that is going to be. Clearly something's up if she's doing arts and crafts, because this entire situation is just to the left of normal.

"I'm kind of an artist myself, Ken." Colette curtails his name appropriately, then slides her hand from his, curls her fingers closed to her palm, and opens them to reveal a stylized butterfly made from what looks like luminous paint. It's wings flap, and then it flutters up into the air on intangible wings of glowing color.

Looking over to Wendy, she offers, "S'what I do." Apparently what she doesn't do is straighten up messes she's made because she still isn't heading out back yet.

"Just warning…" Kaylee explains and then frowns a bit at Wendy, though she still manages to look a touch amused. "Will you stop blurting that stuff out… and yes, I know some about Colette, she's pretty much my best friend." The telepath explains giving the photokenetic a wink, that is until…

Eyes suddenly narrow at Colette and her accusation, as if trying to fathom why she's think that. "No… I didn't say nothing..it's something she does.." She wrinkles her nose a bit and presses a hand to her chest, as she adds, "And I'm kinda hurt you'd even think it." Literally… though Kendall is the only one to not know the meaning behind that.

Of course, as Tamara starts claiming counter space, Kaylee looks fascinated. Colette has talked about the precog, but it's another thing watching the odd woman in action. If she didn't know better, then she'd be peeking to see what's going through her head.

Damn those morals.

Money is slid into the till, bills put away with a roll of her eyes at the admonition from people. Whatever change that goes back to Tamara, was going to be slid across the counter, but the pre-cog has claimed it. She opens her mouth to tell her to go use the table in the back but at the last second there's the remembrance of what she said. Don't interrupt her. So the change is left just outside the range of the claimed area along with the receipt.

To focus fully on what Colette can do. "Fuck me, seriously?" Wendy leans over the counter, one leg going up so that she can try and run her fingers through the butterfly, uncaring that it's that hand that's doing the reaching so there's a bit less finger to touch the light-created insect. "Never ceases to just fucking amaze me about how many abilities there are out there. It's like a god damned smorg' for me, every time I turn around, there's a new one, or a new variation. Did you know there's more of them here it seems, ratio wise, than there is everywhere else I've been? I mean, I was in Japan once and it was nothing like here, now." Wendy shakes her head, reaching out to brush her hand against Colette's shoulder to get a proper 'reading' with only a glance back over to Tamara.

"Kaylee didn't tell. She's kept your secret. I can sense Evolveds, figure out their abilities" She doesn't blurt out that Kaylee's a telepath. She knows that it's something the other woman is insecure about, and for good reason.

Tamara pauses in her preparations to glance over her shoulder at Kaylee, the telepath caught in the very edge of the sybil's peripheral vision. "Careful, Kaylee," she says, the timbre of her words soft and dark. "Even the water that runs quiet, runs deep."

She holds that posture for a moment, then offers Kendall a flash of brilliant smile before picking up the knife and the comic book. It's hardcover, but a mass-market cheap hardcover, the page block glued in rather than properly sown; but it'll serve exactly the purpose Tamara has in mind. The thin blade slices deftly through endpapers, worries the glued paper away from the book's spine as the girl draws her lower lip in between her teeth, dark eyes narrowing in concentration.

A protest forms when Kendall realizes she's cutting the cover off a book. He stays quiet though, at least until Colette summons a painted butterfly. He squeaks. Loudly. Then he stumbles backwards and might knock over a shelf of books himself except that he's more careful than that. This is the first time he's seen proof that people can do stuff. And as for Kaylee's words, well… "I agree." he mutters.

The touch to her shoulder jostles Colette's attention. Green eyes wink up to Wendy, and that butterfly of light breaks apart into sparkler-like motes of colorless light, flickering and winking in and out before fading away entirely. The teen cracks a lopsided smile, then looks towards Kaylee, dark brows raised and an apologetic expression on her face. Her teeth toy at her lower lip, eyes cast down to the ground, and Colette's focus turns back to the taller and lankier brunette.

"You— you really can? That's so cool," Colette admits with a warm smile, starting to wash away that look of regret. "Can you use them too once you find out what they are?" She asks excitedly, "My friend Gabriel can, he's like— a genius." Dark brows raise and her smile grows. "I showed him what I could do, we talked a lot, and then like— he totally learned how to do what I do!"

Even as she rambles, Colette flicks a look over to what Tamara's working on, she'd been bad at fingerpainting when Colette tried to get her to, who knew she was an ace at making collages. A sly look flashes back towards Kendall though, and Colette wrinkles her nose and snaps her fingers in his direction a bit teasingly, creating a shower of sparks that them blossom into multifolate roses in the air, each a different color and luminosity, before they break apart and turn into squares of color like confetti.

"Sheesh, you act like you've never seen something like that before." Somewhere, behind Colette's quirked smile, she sees an image of herself over a year ago painted across the boy's face, a mirror of her own hesitance and uncertainty. She frowns, briefly, and looks down to her feet. "Sorry it's…" her dark brows scrunch up, "I guess I'm getting used to what it is I do, and people— you know— like us?" She assumes Wendy's assertation is correct.

"C'mon," she urges Kendall, shifting her weight to one foot and crossing her arms over her chest. "Show me what you can do, s'cool, we're all friends here. I mean, if you know Tamara that's pretty much as good as gold in my book."

There is actually a gentle smile towards the precog from Kaylee as she seems to fathom her struggle. "I know… but just cause the cat is curious, doesn't mean it'll jump at the wiggling string." Yes, it's odd, but it makes sense to her. "I have no intention of purposely jumping at the string." Cause what's at the other end could bite her on the ass.

Kendall's reaction to the butterfly grabs Kaylee's attention and she can't help but chuckle. "Careful or you'll be picking up books too. Calm… you're among…" Then Colette's little display, makes Kaylee reach over to lightly thwap at a shoulder. "Will you quit scaring him, he's skittish enough. He knocks down anything cause of your display I'll be making you clean that up too."

"Has something to do with his drawing. I got that much outta him before he took off like a bat out of hell. I told you, I'm never wrong and no, I don't collect them. I just—" There's a shrug and Wendy raises a hand to twirl a strand of hair. "I just know there's people with the suresh linkage gene when they're within a certain distance of me. I touch 'em and I know what they have. If I've touched someone with what they've had before and I know the name for it."

Which means to say she's never wrong, or she just hasn't discovered it yet. There is no in between. "About fifty yards or so. You all just sorta, pull on me you know, like a compass. Someone moves and this mental arrow sorta moves with them. Can be annoying." And can be dangerous to her if there's too many. Kaylee would remember that time. "Saaaay whatcha making there Tamara?" She's taking an interest in the collage, no gasp at the mutilation of book.

Just as well he didn't protest, because when she's finished removing the cover of the comic book — Tamara does exactly the same thing to the copy of Activating Evolution that she just bought. What she doesn't do is look back at the others, or Colette's lightshow, or even respond to Kaylee's remarks; never mind Wendy's question. The sybil curls her shoulders forward, snatching up the glue and a brush and quickly adhering the comic book cover to the text of Activating Evolution. Laying the new endpapers inside is a bit more of a hassle, but she does it with the same rapid certainty of movement, no hesitation or second thoughts, heedless that she's bitten through her own lip in the meantime.

"I can't do anything." Kendall denies hotly, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm not like you… they lock people like you up and stuff. Mental hospitals." What kind of rumors does this kid listen to? "I…" Well really, if he's not Evolved, why the sudden interest in abilities, one might ask?

Colette frowns, both at Kaylee's chastising and Kendall's hesitance. The girl's brows furrow, and her lips downturn at the edges. When she curls her fingers up to her palm, the display of light fades like a light-switch shut off, and she takes a step back from the young man, glancing up and over to Kaylee. "Sorry…" she offers quietly, seemingly upset from something she saw in Kendall's expression, something she recognizes in his face — the very same fear she once had.

Swallowing dryly, Colette shakes her head and starts to move for the back room, only to catch out of her periphery the tiny bubble of crimson on the bottom of Tamara's lip. The brunette's breath hitches in the back of her throat, and she carefully makes her way up behind Tamara. There's a look down to the organization of slices and pages, not quite understanding the puzzle yet, but then her wide-eyed stare looks back up to the young blonde, and she very carefully reaches out to lay a hand on the middle of Tamara's back; featherlight, but reassuring. She makes no move to go anywhere else.

"Who have you been talking to, kid?" Kaylee asks, arching a brow at Kendall. What he says almost makes her think of what Adam has told her now and then… of course as always the mere thought of the man twists her stomach. "…and they only do that if you shout out what you are…or…" Her head turns to Wendy and gives her co-worker an amused look. "…people blurt it out."

The looks Kaylee gives Colette is an understanding one, her smile soft. "Don't need to apologize." The touch across Colette's mind is feather-light, the telepath's own way of making sure the young teen knows she's not mad at her. "Just don't want him scared out of his wits… we're good people after all." Those last words angled at the young man as she studies him.

"Hey now. I got taken because I collapsed in a god damned bar from too many evo's coming in on top of what already was there. It was my friend who spilled the beans," Wendy protests. "No one's ever been singled out from what I know of with regards to me blurting out anything." Wendy defends herself, one elbow against the counter and regarding the quartet. Well, not that she knows of. Joseph and Jet might claim otherwise if they knew that it was she who outed them to the company whrink who's seen fit to kidnap both for some Refrain trials.

"What do you need maps and goggles for? It's not safe in Midtown if that's where you're going. Humanis First assholes hide up in there."

The muscles beneath Colette's hand twitch at its touch, the start of one jolted out of reverie. "Hnnn…" Tamara releases the cover she had just attached an endpaper to, a shift in her weight causing one foot to slide off from where it had been tucked up on the countertop; her shoe thunks against the structure's side. Her gaze flickers between book, book pieces, glue, and brush, a crease gathering in her brow; bewilderment and a thin edge of apprehension, though the latter fades with passing moments. Another shift puts both feet on the ground, the girl's forearms braced against the counter's edge and hands sliding through the hair at her temples, fingers curving over the contours of her skull. A moment later, Tamara lifts her head, one hand pressing reassuringly against Colette's shoulder.

"Humanis First, another reason to…" Kendall mutters. "They bombed my school, after all." Whoa, so he actually went to the school that got blown up? Harsh. When Tamara flinches, he does too, since she does have a knife in her hand. "Don't cut yourself…"

"Spelunking," Colette affirms with a nod, because it sounded awesome in that Batman movie when that was the excuse Bruce Wayne gave, "urban spelunking." Her dark brows furrow, that hand of Tamara's on her shoulder causing the look of worry to slowly fade from her expression. Colette's green eyes divert towards Kendall — she remembers that attack, remembering being glad she'd dropped out, remember how it terrified her. In that moment, her lips downturn into a frown, and she looks down squarely to her feet.

A moment later, and her attention is back to Tamara, and all of this seems to make sense to the young woman all of the sudden. Kendall, his ability, his struggle and his fears. She swallows, a bit awkwardly, and looks across from Tamara to the young man, offering him a reassuring smile.

"None've them here." Colette says in a hushed tone of voice, "not a one."

"I will give you credit for not blurting out to a table of hot movie guys, cause they would have fled like they had a fire under their asses… Most guys do." Kaylee gives a big grin, though it doesn't reach her eyes; it bothers her really. She nods in agreement to Colette… Easier that way. "Curiosity and all that…" And she leaves it at that.

Watching Tamara, Kaylee's brows lift slightly on her head at the results of what the woman is doing. Kendall gets a glance and she adds, "Well… they are less of a threat here now." She did after all help bring one of the ringleaders in.

Wendy can't help but snort at the production of the book. Hidden inside a supposed comic book volume… was a copy of the evolution book by Chandra Suresh. Wendy can't help but grin at that. "I have a feeling, that someone in this room is about to get a present." A pointed look at Kendall. "Hope you like comics. Guess it's better than a textbook with porn in it. At least if your teacher catches you with this you won't be that kind of embarassed."

Spelunking though, gets her attention. "Yeah, well, you were doing me a favor and sometimes, I just like to touch. Peyton calls me a touch slut for a reason. Where are you gonna spelunk, maybe I'll come with you."

"Didn't," is Tamara's absent reply to Kendall, although her left hand drifts up to touch her lips, the girl studying the resultant red blotch with a puzzled air. It is a mystery — but not an important one, which fact causes that hand to fall shortly thereafter. She picks up the book with transplanted covers in her unbloodied hand, regarding its face briefly. This does her absolutely no good…

…and her gaze sweeps over the other four, coming to rest on the sole male of the group. "Yes," the seeress states, holding it out for him to take. Her eyes shift just slightly to one side, blue shade darkening as they lose apparent focus. "Nothing to catch if they don't look," Tamara observes wearily, leaving out the part about how it isn't the teachers that matter most.

Kendall meets Tamara's gaze for a split second before dropping his eyes to the book. "Yeah…" He thinks she means the teachers, he doesn't think she knows who he's really hiding it from. "I do like comics… I used to draw some. Not very good though."

"Pey— " Colette shuts herself up before finishing the confusedly familiar tone of voice. A wary look is angled at Wendy, followed by a shake of her head. "Nnn— no ah, it's kind've a personal thing. Er, that does remind me though," Colette reaches inside the front pouch of her red hoodie, pulling out a folded piece of paper. "Kaylee, do you think you could head up to Old Lucy's at some point? It's a bar, address is on here, I need you to look for a little blonde— " she squints, "blue?" There's a furrow of her brows. "Err— look for ths southern girl named Abby." The folded paper is slid across the counter under two fingers. "She needs to know about what happened to Joseph," is said just a little bit quieter, but not conspiratorially so; everyone else heard it, she's just trying to be discreet.

The sound of Tamara's voice, unfortunately, causes Colette to look back, moving her hand up and around Tamara's shoulder, squeezing her in a one-armed embrace before leaning in and asking quietly of her; "You need me to help? I mean— him?" Yes, she's whispering to Tamara and looking up and past her to Kendall. She's terrible at this not making people nervous thing.

Leaning on the counter, Kaylee glances at the piece of paper and smirks. "Abigail? I know her… I know the bar as well. I used to work there before Adam wanted me to work Biddy's. I know who she is… I'll see if I can talk to her." Her smile drops a bit at the mention of Joseph. "I'll let her know…" She gives a brief nod. "I have a stop to make this evening… " I need to have a doctor look at me. I'm going to Dr. Constantine. She keeps it mental since the doctor is not exactly practicing legally.

A glance to Tamara… and then the book, then Kaylee's blue eyes shift to Kendall. "I would take it… whoever you don't want to know your secret won't look at your comics?"

Talk of bars, southern girls, secret books and all that, Wendy turns away to hit a button on the cash register that prints up the days total so far and to pass over a box of tissues to Tamara at seeing the trickle of red from her lip. An all-too familiar thing for the black-haired woman and she does it all without blinking an eye. "Don't forget to go straighten that back room before you go spelunking. You're not getting out of it, evo or not."

The seeress sighs when Kendall doesn't take the book; well, it was one possibility. So she proceeds to shove it into his hands, letting go as his fingers reflexively close. Now it's all his. Tamara shakes her head at Colette, but doesn't speak; she scrambles back up onto the counter instead, the debris from her earlier project fitting neatly inside the curve her body defines. Pillowing her head on one arm she leaves the other four to their conversation, blue eyes sliding closed. Wendy can keep her tissues, too; the lip will stop bleeding very soon now.

Another plus to Hokuto's absence: there wouldn't be enough free counter space for both of them to nap on.

Kendall does indeed reflexively grab the book. Oh, so she was done with it? "Er, does she do that often?" he asks the others when Tamara starts sleeping on the counter. "Uh…" wait, hold a second. "I don't have any secrets." Yep, still in denial. And yet he's still holding the book. "I… I think I'd better go." He starts edging towards the door, giving Colette a suspicious glance.

Relief shows in Colette's features when Kaylee seems to know Abby; Of course, everyone knows Abby is fired as an errant thought to the telepath. But all of that attention to anything else fades away the moment Tamara climbs up on the counter. Colette's eyes go wide, confused, and she lets out a croaking sound at the back of her throat, grimacing awkwardly, hands flailing in apology to Kaylee and Wendy as if her house cat had just made itself home there.

She fails to see Kendall squirming out of the store, and instead the brunette moves to stand close to where Tamara's laid, brushing a pale hand across her forehead, fingers sweeping light locks of hair from her brow. There's a lean inwards, a brush of her nose and a kiss to the precognitive's forehead, and then Colette sits up straight, looking over her shoulder to the door of the store when the bell rings, from Kendall's escape. She huffs out a breath, and turns to Kaylee and Wendy awkwardly.

"So…." Colette murmurs in a small voice, "who wants to help me clean up those books?"

Good luck with that, Colette.

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