A Little Tug Back


colette_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Tug Back
Synopsis Engrossed in the Joseph problem to the exclusion of (almost) all else, Colette needs one. Drawn in too many directions by the burden of prescience, Tamara could probably use more than a little tug. Kaylee's the well-grounded one.
Date January 12, 2010

Grand Central Terminal

With the topside of the iconic Grand Central Terminal in ruins, it's its basement level that sees most activity, as covert as such activity may be. Entrances are sealed (at least, to those who don't know any better) to the upper levels leading above ground, whether with rubble, or with manmade additions of gates and blockades, and so most will find their way to this place via the countless tunnels that run like arteries in what could appropriately be termed the heart of Manhattan's train system.

Electric lights shine pallid white in the arching ceilings of the basement concourses and foyers, running off their own generators and so power is only used conservatively. Here, the wide open spaces are used for storage that is destined to be moved either towards the arching doorways opening to platforms and subways for shipping out, or waiting to be dragged down to the subbasements for longer term storage. The floors, the walls, the ceilings are differing kinds of tile and vary in cleanliness.

Tables have also been set up so that supplies can be sorted, shifted, packed properly. Folded cardboard boxes awaiting use can be discovered in most corners. Signs on the walls in the form of crude spray paint indicate where things might go, from food, to clothing, to medical supplies, and some things even more exotic. This is a place of motion and organization.

Last but not least, a makeshift recreation room has been set up for the workers of the Grand Central Station, and this can be found within what used to be known as the Whispering Walls. Famously, this interstitial space was known for its strange acoustics, wherein one could whisper to a companion from one far side of the corner to the other by talking directing into the curving corner, where sound would travel along the curve of the arcing ceiling. This, of course, still works, but now the space is no longer simply a foyer - there's a semi-portable kitchen area offering simple food and beverages, a television (which gets no reception, but is hooked into a VCR and a DVD player, with a modest library for both), a card table, a few comforts such as couches and armchairs.

Upon one of the walls, is a rough but well-meaning mural, a mock up of an aquarium - an addition that came after the Ferrymen claimed this space as theirs. It seems to grow in size every several days, with new aquatic characters added each time.

"We can't keep waiting…"

That very worried tone of voice echoes through the concrete halls of the derelict Grand Central Terminal. This makeshift living space, occupied now by a different breed of transportations authority, is lit purely by standing construction lamps, oil lanterns, and the glow of controlled fires for warmth in large steel drums.

"He's been gone for over a month, he could— We have to do something." Hunched over a folding table that was once used for ping-pong, Colette Nichols stares down at the maps strewn about the table's surface. Street maps are the underlay of everything covering the table's matte green surface, with red wax pencil markings in sketchy, scribbly marks to show how the devastation of Midtown has altered roadways. But distant portions of the map have circles and arrows drawn, clearly some sort of plan in the making.

"I don't know what to do…" Running pale fingers through her hair, she slouches over where she stands, elbows touching down on the table top, eyes closing tightly. Nearby to her, printed layouts for a warehouse, or perhaps a factory are strewn across the table, more arrows and lines scribbled, crossed out, and then drawn again litter the image. Crumpled pieces of paper sit haphazardly on the floor, discarded plans of approach to the structure.

She's been at this for days.

Maybe there are no options. Maybe there are too many. Or maybe — maybe the sybil simply chooses to keep her own council.

She offers none, as she stands in the shadows cast at the edge of the room by battery-powered artificial lighting, hooded gaze centered upon Colette. Blond hair falls free about Tamara's shoulders, ragged ends grown out past her elbows; her arms are not quite folded before her waist, right hand under left forearm, left fingers curled into a loose ball supported by her right forearm, silver ring a glint of light in the gloomy threshold. Her clothes are dark, black jeans made duller by a liberal dosing of dust, long-sleeved teal knit shirt less ill-used only by degree.

No words. No movement, save breathing, the occasional reflexive eyeblink. Virtually a shadow herself, the seeress looks on.

A muffled coughs come from behind the young woman, before Kaylee comes into view with a pair of mugs. "Hot chocolate," she murmurs, as she sets a mug right next to Colette. "I needed something for my throat." Hands wrap around her own mug and she takes a careful sip as she stares at the maps. "I've been a follower, not a planner… "

"I know we do… It is not helping that there are hardly any people around. I mean… It can't just be you and I waltzing in there. There is no guarantee my ability will be of any use." It used to fail so much when she needed it most. Reaching over, Kaylee rests a hand on her friends arm. "We are going to do this, but we have to do it right. Probably only one chance at this."

Hand sliding off the girl's arm, Kaylee turns one of the maps enough so that she can get a good look at it. "Wonder what sort of locks they have. I imagine guards will be around." She chews her lip. "Probably some kind of security system. So we'll want to make sure we don't get seen on cameras. Changing memories and making them think they saw something else is one thing. Security cameras are a whole other ball game."

"God… Adam would know what to do." The words slip from her mouth before she realizes it. Her stomach gives a painful twist, making her hiss at the sudden nausea. "Okay… okay I take it back." She grumbles, rubbing at her middle with a grimace. Eyes glance up at Colette giving her a sheepish look. "Sorry…"

"Okay…" Kaylee starts, straightening, trying to brush aside that little incident. "So.. what we need for this plan is an idea of who we need for this. What talents do we have at our disposal? Or more the question is who can we tap for this?"

"I… I dunno…" Colette's sighs out those words, the sound is a burdened one, accompanied by a frustrated noise in the back of her throat, brows tense. It's only after a moment of quiet staring at the maps with a blank expression that Colette notices the mug laid down on the table next to her. Green eyes watch the tendrils of steam rise up from it slowly, and she reaches out with one hesitant hand, fingers curling around the handle of the mug. "Thanks…"

Taking the mug between both pale hands, cradling it for warmth. Colette straightens from her slouch, looking pushed to the limits of her patience and ability to deal with this situation. She should sleep— she hasn't. Her eyes are shadowed by darkened circles, teeth working at her lower lip back and forth lightly. Green eyes flit back to the table, and she turns her back to it. Colette's green eyes settle on what her back has been put to, the mural on the large span of concrete wall behind her, showing a faded blue ocean scene with a menagerie of aquatic figures haphazardly added to it.

She'd never known Joseph had painted it, not until Robin had told her, and it's the last hook of proof she has about Joseph having been here, aside from that one lonely dog waiting here for her master's return. "Sorry…" Colette finally offers, shifting the way she holds her mug to wrap fingers around the ceramic handle, the silver ring she wears clinking against it. The sound makes her pause, makes her brows furrow, and makes her head angle forward as she stares down at her reflection muted in the steamy cocoa.

"I… I don't know who I'd want to get involved in this. Nobody I know well enough's around. Grace doesn't— " She pauses, squinting, "I don't think Grace has a power." You know, she's never asked. "Scott does that weird… thing with stuff." Very helpful, Colette. "I think Alistair might be like, a technopath or something." Not quite right, there. "Maybe we can ask Eric for help…"

The mural holds none of Tamara's attention, though a tilt of her head sets her gaze upon it in the wake of Colette's glance; it slides right back off, returns to the table. Rubber scuffs against concrete with the girl's second step forward; her hands fall back to her sides as she walks, course a curving path that might well bring her two-thirds of the way around the table before she actually reaches it. She looks over the papers littering its surface, the girls intent upon them, the mugs of chocolate and the dreary corners of the room with the same abstracted interest, demeanor close cousin to a cat's examination of new and unfamiliar surroundings.

Tamara pauses by one corner of the table, carefully unfolding a chart's dog-eared corner and pressing the crease firmly flat.

Sighing softly, causes the telepath to cough again which she covers with a wrist. "Well…" She starts when she knows she won't start up again. "I do imagine Eric will agree if I do some sweet talking." Kaylee's lip tugs up at the corner. "Once I'm inside I should be able to track down Joseph." A finger taps at her temple. She's quiet for a moment and she says. "David might be able to help… sounds like he might have combat training. I have none… I suck at shooting…" Her voice trails off as she notices movement at the edge of her sight.

"Tamara," Kaylee offers in soft hello, giving her a smile. "Welcome."

The sound of footsteps doesn't earn Colette's distracted attention, not at first, not until she hears the sound of that name on Kaylee's lips. Colette's eyes widen, she pivots sharply — too sharply — and sloshes hot cocoa across her fingers when she comes to a stop. The teen hisses, fingers reflexively unwinding from the mug, sending is slipping out of her grip and falling, but thanks to the angle of her turn it just bounces off the toe of her boot and rolls harmlessly across the concrete floor. Sure the cocoa is spilled, but the mug is spared.

Blinking back confusion in her eyes, Colette hisses out an apologetic noise, wiping the cocoa off of her fingers, watching Tamara without a second's attention spared to the dropped mug. "When did you— " The question isn't really important, and much like a horse with blinders, Colette has lost complete focus on what was being discussed the moment Tamara is added to the equation.

Leaving the spilled contents behind, Colette scuffs her footsteps across the floor as she makes her way to Tamara's side, eyeing the corner of the map she's unfolded, squinting, looking for something that probably isn't even there, before bringing her distracted attention back up to the blonde. She reaches up a hand, resting it on Tamara's shoulder, then steps in slowly and wraps her arms around the blonde tightly, hiding her head at the side of Tamara's neck in that wild tangle of blonde hair.

Now Colette feels tired.

Nothing there at all but a thing for her to fidget with, her fingers picking at a nascent tear at the page's edge right up until Colette's arms close around her. To Kaylee's perspective, the seer's response is disjointed; a momentary hesitation, a nonplussed look, before she embraces the younger girl in return. Albeit lightly, especially in comparison. "No clocks here to cut when," Tamara remarks conversationally, disregarding the fact that the question wasn't entirely asked. "Chop it into little Reese's Pieces." A moment's pause. "They don't have good colors."

And the complete non sequitur isn't a particularly good sign.

Grimacing at Colette's reaction, Kaylee sits down her mug carefully and slips around the pair to find a towel. Stopping for a moment, Kaylee crouches down to grab the mug on her way to the kitchen area. A pair of towels are found she turns around and pauses watching the pair for a long moment. Eyes sadden as she watches Colette hold the girl she loves, remembering what the girl said in the bookstore.

She feels for both of them really and the whole of the future that seems to keep them from being truly close. Kaylee sighs and approaches the girls, a smile on her lips again. "Did you get badly burned, Colette?" She asks softly as she passes, dropping a towel on the brown liquid, using her foot to mop at it.

Though Tamara's words make Kaylee pause in her clean up work, her foot pauses in a sweep and she turns to look at the young woman, brows dropping. This is the first time that Kaylee hasn't gotten at least an idea of what the woman is saying. "Tamara?" She asks carefully, the unspoken question asking if something is wrong.

Swallowing awkwardly at Tamara's nonsensical babble, Colette leans up and just far enough away from Tamara to regard the blonde more carefully. She hears Kaylee's question, looks at her, and her expression is almost indicative that she doesn't even understand what was asked. A moment later, Colette withdraws her hand, looks down at her knuckles, and just shakes her head. "I— No it's…" Green eyes look to Tamara, dark brows furrowed and confused.

She doesn't voice a question to Tamara, knows better than to in situations like this. Instead, she just reaches out with one hand, carefully brushing her palm over the girl's cheek, making a more visible attempt at grounding contact. She steps to the side as well, moving to interpose herself between Tamara and the table, keeping one arm draped around the blonde's shoulder.

"She's alright…" Colette offers distractedly, "she just needs— a little tug back." There's a hopeful crook of her lips, palm smoothing gently over Tamara's cheek. Colette doesn't address Tamara directly, not until she sees more recognition in her dark eyes — right now she's just trying to get that recognition to come back to her, fishing in those shadow-filled waters of the river for the reflection of the mirror. If only she were eloquent enough to say that.

Though her name is spoken, the girl doesn't so much as twitch in Kaylee's direction; it slides right on by, unrecognized. One foot moves back as Colette steps between her and the table, Tamara pivoting on the other, her final stance oblique to the younger teen. She shakes her head a bit, though not so much that would dislodge Colette's hand, a mumbled word or three half-buried beneath a heavier sigh. Her gaze wanders; to Colette, to Kaylee, to the fuzzy green towel sitting in a lump on the floor. To the hand that somehow wound up at her side again, her own hand, silver ring turned inwards with the stone against her palm. Tamara gives it a severe frown, but rather than fixing it lets her hand fall again. Blue eyes close, the seeress resting her head against Colette's shoulder.

She doesn't stay there long, though, straightening back up and stepping away; too much yet to stay so still. Kaylee cleans up the spilt chocolate; not unlike the cat her manner evoked before, Tamara goes after and collects the discarded lumps of crumpled paper, crinkled surfaces rasping in her hands. Or three of them, at any rate, before she stops, head turning as if to follow the progress of someone through the room… someone who isn't here. Crumpling all three tighter in one hand, Tamara grimaces and runs the other over her face.

Being new to the ways of Tamara, Kaylee has to defer to the more experienced of them. There is a short nod of her head as she watches Colette try to interact with the seer "You know her best," she concedes, but still concerned. It's still new to her really. Moving to rest a hip against the table, she leans over to grab her mug to take a drink, her throat acting up again.

As she sips at her own drink, she watches Tamara curiously, much like a cat would watch something interesting, her head tilting to the side some. Kaylee glance to Colette, hoping the younger girl would be able to explain it.

Feeling a bit useless, Kaylee decides to finish what she's doing. Scooping up the towel, she wipes up a small spot before moving to toss the towel on the counter for cleaning later.

Confusion paints through Colette's expression, green eyes wide as she watches the wholly unusual progression of Tamara's expressions and movement. "T— " she sound is a clipped one, she hesitates, breath hitching in the back of her throat. Swallowing noisily, she turns, watching the way Tamara goes about collecting the crumpled scraps of paper of the discarded attempts at infiltration plans. This must be what it feels like when Lassie is trying to tell you that Timmy is trapped down a well.

A quick, sharp look is afforded to Kaylee, intend in some sort of do something plea of raised brows. Colette's moving across the floor, coming to where Tamara has taken that observation of a ghost somewhere— when— else in the room. Dark brows crease together, and Colette follows the movements too, trying to make heads or tails of these moments of unusual behavior.

She steps closer to the blonde, carefully reaching out to to cradle her fingers around the hand holding the papers. It's a subtle touch, more so than the hand on her cheek, she's seeing where this goes and where it's leading now, rather than trying to fight against whatever current has the blonde moving.

"I don't know what's going on…" Colette offers quietly to Kaylee, "I don't know if she's lost, or if she's trying to find something or— " There's no mistaking that Colette is beyond the point of worry. "I don't know… I— " Colette tenses for a moment, a horrible idea crossing her mind because she's worried and because she is the patron of voicing bad ideas.

"Can you tell what she's seeing?" Colette asks over her shoulder to Kaylee, heedless of the potential dangers posed by the request she's made to the older blonde.

Tamara's right hand remains braced against her forehead, her gaze angling sideways towards the other hand that rests upon her left. She blinks slowly, head tilting just a hair to one side in a contemplative fashion — until Colette addresses Kaylee. The seeress' attention snaps to the telepath with an alacrity at complete opposites with her prior meandering; her eyes are darker, a quick sweep of tongue across upper lip nearly erasing the tinge of blood. "No." It could be an answer. A slight, half-breath's pause. "Not—"

The thought is literally lost between one word and the next, driving urgency disappearing along with the possibilities of Kaylee daring that particular hazard. Blue eyes return momentarily to Colette, then press tightly shut as she leans against the younger girl, her shoulders slumping down. "Tired," Tamara murmurs, although it's not quite the right word; there isn't any truly right word. "The fish were all over the place."

Coming to stand next to Colette, a hand rests n the teen's shoulder, giving it a squeeze, as a show of comfort as she watches Tamara. The question makes Kaylee look at her friend with brows raised. Her mouth starts to open to say no, but.. the only one that can really give her the answer is Tamara, so she turns her eyes to Tamara. "It's up to her. Right mind or not… but once I went into some one's head they were not a seer, but she could hold lots of information like a giant hard drive. It knocked me on my ass when I just peeked at her surface thoughts. If Tamara's head is… kind of like that with her future vision. It could overload my own brain."

Looking at the dark-haired girl next too her, Kaylee says softly, "And there is your answer… She knows better then us both what is in her head." For Colette, if it would help, she would have done it though. "If I see how her head processes things… maybe…" Eyes narrow at Tamara thoughtfully, but she doesn't dive into the other blonde's brain, just studies.

"When I search memories… I picture giant filing cabinets and each memory is a folder in a filing cabinet." Kaylee sighs softly. "If she doesn't think of her ability as more then a broken dam of information… she'll of course drown in it." She trails off and frowns… "Much like me when my mind is completely open to everything.. I get hit with a Semi of information." She gives Colette a sad smile, "I ended up in the hospital the first time it happened."

"The fish?" Kaylee asks brows lifting high on her head and she can't help but look at the wall. Of course, her first nightmare, the fish had swum around the image and when she had touch it, the water had rippled. "You know, Colette, maybe that's a sign…" Nodding to Tamara's form. "I know your exhausted too." Her voice gentle, hand gesturing to the table. "This will hold for a night. Maybe she'll go with you for some sleep."

The sound Colette makes is a pitiful one— helpless— brows raised in nervous countenance as she squeezes slightly tighter that hand around Tamara's. There's a nod, weak and lacking understanding. When Kaylee's hand comes down to steady Colette's shoulder, there's look of those green eyes up to the blonde, silently pleading, but truly not having anything to offer other than that expression of helplessness.

"Okay…" Colette offers in a hushed breath, lifting her free hand up to carefully glide her thumb across that bloody spot on Tamara's lip when she looks away from Kaylee. Green eyes meet far darker ones, and Colette's hand moves up to brush an errant lock of blonde hair from Tamara's face, the knuckles of that hand lightly ghosting across her cheek.

The teen nods, silently, stepping closer to wrap both arms around the sybil, squeezing her tightly, perhaps more for her own reassurance that Tamara is still there. Swallowing noisily, she leans back, offering a hesitant smile. "Come on…" Colette whispers, pressing her nose to Tamara's forehead for a moment, "this way…" she urges in nervous patience, edging away from the mural of the fish, one fleeting look given up to it before her attention comes back down to Kaylee.

The beds here may not be anything more than mattresses laid out on raised plywood frames, but sleep is sleep when you're tired enough, and maybe now Colette realizes why she needs to have a cleared mind, or at least a slightly less guilty one. "I'll stay with you…" Colette offers in a hushed tone of voice, even if Tamara already knows that stubborn truth.

Offering an apologetic look up to Kaylee, Colette keeps one arm around Tamara's shoulder and begins leading her to somewhere more conducive to rest. At least for now, plans to rescue Joseph will have to wait, because Colette can only obessively focus on one thing unhealthily at a time.

She's still holding the lumps of crumpled paper as Colette escorts her out of the room, forgotten baggage that will be set aside later; and Tamara tenders no farewell to Kaylee, because she so rarely does. She won't sleep, either; not really, the seeress' present state yielding something too fitful and haphazard to rightly be called sleep.

But Colette will, and that'll do for a start.

The smile Kaylee returns to Colette is a reassuring one and a hand gives a small shooing motions and a wink, trying to be light hearted about it. Eyes follow the pair's progress for a long moment, the smile sliding away slowly.

Turning to look back at the table, Kaylee's smile is gone, her shoulders slump some as she lets her feet carry her back to the table. Grabbing a folding chair and sliding it over, she sinks into it. Looking over the papers spread across the table, the telepath's eyes kind of unfocus as she lets her thoughts wander and listen to the sudden deafening silence.

She almost doesn't hear it, the click of claws on tile, before a cold nose tucks itself under her hand. Head turning first, before she drags her eyes to the source, she finds herself looking at Alicia. "Hey girl." She murmurs softly, burying her fingers in the dogs fur and scratching gently.

"You feeling lonely too?" Kaylee whispers, leaning down to press her forehead to the top of the shaggy head briefly. "Don't worry, you shouldn't be for much longer."

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