A Perfect Storm


colette_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title A Perfect Storm
Synopsis Colette opens up to Tasha about various battles she's fighting, and enlists Tasha's help for the one involving naked women. Typical.
Date October 9, 2010

Gun Hill

Dishes clink and clatter in the sink, the sound of running water fills the kitchen, and Colette Nichols is up to her elbows in soapy water. Scrubbing away at a sink full of plates, cups and bowls that has piled up over the week, there's a contented look on her face as she works, finding menial tasks afford her more time to get her mind off of the more difficult things in her life, or in some instances afford her opportunity to get it off her chest.

"…so then while we were down in Grand Central, I asked her to take a look at some different colors of paint. She couldn't pick out the red or the green. She's burned out part of her vision, I— guess colorblindness or something." Brows furrowed, there's a momentary expression of guilt that crosses Colette's face as she lifts a soapy dish out of the water, running it under the faucet to rinse it clean before handing it off towards where Tasha Oliver stands at her side with a dishtowel and a stack of dried dishes on the counterspace.

"I dunno if it'll be permanent, I guess it— " Colette hesitates as she looks at the rest of the dishes in the sink, swiping her forearm over her brow to brush hair from her face, leaving a tuft of soapy foam on her forehead in its wake. "It's not easy teaching someone, but nobody else understands what we do s'good as I do. I don't trust Ygraine not t'mess somethin' up to teach her wrong or somethin'. Gravity ain't like light at all."

It's times like this, the moments in between breaths, where Colette and Tasha are able to share their own problems, to bounce each others' issues off of one another. There's a lot that's built up the last few months, a lot to talk about, and a lot to be truthful about. All one step at a time, though.

Taking the plate, Tasha towels it dry, frowning as she listens to Quinn's new malady. "Huh," she says thoughtfully. "I know color blindness has to do with like, rods and cones on the retina. Red and green is the most common. There was a guy in my art class that had it, back in Boston. He's a really good artist, but he had to ask us all the time on colors, 'cause he just can't see the difference between reds and greens. He wanted to be an airforce pilot but you're not allowed to fly solo, if they can't pass a color test of like, lights. 'Cause of landing and stuff."

She chews her lower lips as she thinks. "I think his kind was genetic, but there must be a way you can damage it, too. Hopefully it's just like … strained… and'll come back if she doesn't do anything that strenuous again." She glances a little sadly at Colette's pale eye — that hasn't come back yet, so the voiced hope might be just a touch sanguine.

She moves to put the plate in its proper cabinet, then steps back to her place in the assembly line, reaching to thumb that bit of foam off Colette's forehead affectionately. "No. Gravity's not like what you guys can do. You know firsthand — even if your powers are a little different." She sighs with some worry, and then leans to kiss Colette's cheek. "She'll be okay… and is it like yours — I mean, can she see like you can, without really needing her eyes anyway?"

"I don't know," is softly spoken in repsonse by Colette as her eyes fall shut at the touch of Tasha's lips to her cheek. There's a smile that crosses Colette's lips once she's quiet, but that pause only gives her time to come up with a better answer than I don't know. "Quinn's… I don't think she can see the way I do, I haven't figured out exactly why she can make light and I can't, but I think we're on different ends of some sorta' spectrum of our ability. Maybe we use different parts've our brains? I— I dunno."

Reaching into the sink, pulling up another dish with hardened spaghetti dried onto it from several nights ago, Colette picks up a steel wool brush and begins vigorously scrubbing the plate's surface. "So… um, I— I might— " Colette cuts herself off and shakes her head. "I'm going to stop with our training for a while, I've… I've got a lot on my plate coming up too an'… an' I know I haven't really been open with yu about what'm doing."

Colette stops scrubbing the plate for a moment, looking up to Tasha with a worried expression. "M'sorry about like, being so closed off t'you lately… it's been hard, an'— I've been worried 'bout scaring you n'stuff. Sable told me I shouldn't be keepin' anything from you, an' she's right. So…"

Trailing off, Colette stares down into the sudsy water.

Picking up another of the already washed plates, Tasha frowns at Colette's ominous beginnings, drying the plate very, very thoroughly and slowly before setting it in the cupboard. She leans against the counter, waiting for Colette to continue to talk for a moment, but when she trails off, Tasha frowns and reaches to touch her shoulder, squeezing lightly.

"Don't apologize for anything. We said we're not gonna lie about stuff, but not telling every emotion we have — that's not… you're allowed time to process things, okay? We both are. You can't know or understand everything that has happened to you and that you've been through, I know that," Tasha murmurs, moving closer and curling her fingers into Colette's hair, her palm resting lightly on Colette's cheek.

"And if you need to the time to figure it out, I'm gonna give it to you. If you need to talk to me to help you figure it out, you know I'm here for that when you need me. Whenever it is." She pauses for a moment and looks down. "If it's easier to talk to someone else — I get that, too. Even if it's Sable. I'd rather you talk to someone than no one, even if sometimes I might prefer it was me." The last is admitted in a whisper, but her full lips curve upward to soften the complaint.

Turning off the faucet with a brush of her wrist over the lever control, Colette looks to Tasha, then borrows the dish towel to dry her hands. She can finish the dishes later, right now Tasha is her primary area of focus. Hands dried off, Colette throws the towel at the counter and steps in to wrap her arms around Tasha tightly, drawing the small brunette into a tight embrace, pressing a kiss to the side of her head as she dies, fingers sliding up through the back of her hair.

"M'sorry," is murmured into Tasha's hair as Colette breathily places a kiss above her ear, "there's just— I just want t'make you happy, not constantly make you worry." It's that insecurity that has Colette clinging to the girl in her arms, not wanting to let her go for fear of driving her away. After a few long moments of silence in the hug, Colette rests her head down on Tasha's shoulder, swaying slowly left to right with Tasha in her arms.

"I got asked to help Francois," is quietly murmured against Tasha's neck, "rescuing someone who's been trapped by the Institute in some sort've facility up north n'Massachusetts. It's— I won't be alone, a bunch've us are going, they need me t'help get 'em in though… I— I leave tomorrow night."

Tasha's arms wrap tightly against Colette's thin frame; a whispered 'you do' into Colette's dark hair goes too soft to be heard as Tasha tries to reassure the other girl with the warmth and closeness of the embrace. Her head drops down to rest on top of Colette's and she nods slowly when the words come out.

"Okay," she agrees easily enough. They're both in the Ferry to help people, after all; it would be hypocritical of Tasha to tell Colette not to go, not to fight this battle. "Do you need help? You know I'll go with you, if you need more manpower. I mean… not that there's a lot I can do, I know, that anyone couldn't do." The only power she can add is firepower, and guns only do so much in a world of super powers.

She swallows and tips her head to kiss Colette's cheek. "You don't have to hide that kinda thing from me. I mean, yeah, I'll worry, but… I mean, it's what we do, right? It's how we met. It's who you are, and I love you for it."

Fingers curl in Tasha's hair and Colette presses a kiss to the brunette's cheek warmly, exhaling a soft breath downwards against her neck. "You should stay here, everyone's already been picked t'go. I figure I'll be back Tuesday night, it's a long drive up, and… and I don't know what's going t'happen. But I'll come back, I promise." Stroking her hand down Tasha's back, Colette leans away just enough to be able to meet Tasha's darker eyes.

"There's… something I could use your help on though." That much is admitted with a heavy reluctance. But on saying it, Colette nods her head towards the living room. "Y'wanna go sit down on the couch? It ain't really a standin' up sort've conversation." Dark brows lift in an imploring expression of helplessness. She's trying to be more open about things.

"Okay," Tasha says softly at the stay here. "You better." She intertwines her fingers with Colette's and tugs her toward the living room, though her own brows knit together into that worried expression she so often wears. She moves slowly, stepping over a pile of books and her sketchpad where she was sprawled earlier doing school work, lying on her stomach and coloring like a little kid with crayons — only the crayons are much much more expensive colored pencils these days.

At the couch, she picks up another textbook off the cushions, and tosses it on the coffee table to get it out of the way before settling into what's become her corner. "I never got the whole 'are you sitting down' thing — do people swoon all the time at big news? I don't think I've ever fainted from information before," she quips nervously.

"I'm lazy and just wanted to sit," Colette admits afterward with a wry smile, folding one leg beneath herself as she sits down on the sofa, leaning her weight against Tasha and wrapping one arm around her. There's a quiet time where Colette rests herself more heavily against Tasha, leans her head down on the girl's shoulder and presses a kiss there, then nudges her nose against that spot.

"So…" there's a huff of breath and Colette looks up to Tasha, "do… you know that kid at McRae's safehouse? He goes by the nickname Chuckles?" There's a pause, then an awkward splurt of laughter. "Well— kid— I mean he's like in his twenties but he acts like a kid." Because someone in their early twenties is a big adult to Colette.

"Lazy ass," Tasha chuckles, once more leaning her head on top of Colette's until Colette tips her head to look up, so she leans back, tipping her head to rest it on the back of the sofa cushion so she can watch those mismatched eyes, her own brown gaze still worried. Bringing her arms around Colette, she cuddles them into a lying down position — it might not be a standing up conversation, but Colette didn't say it couldn't be a lying down one, too.

She nods. "Yeah, I know who he is. I mean, I doubt he knows who I am, but I remember him from when we've done runs over there and stuff, yeah." She's always a little quiet around the Ferry "Grown ups," usually standing in Colette's shadow and letting the other girl do the talking.

"Me, him an' Eric got to talking a few weeks ago…" Colette begins with a hint of a more ominous tone, "we ah, it— there's been rumors flyin' around Staten Island for a while now, about like…" Colette turns her eyes away, looking down to the sofa, then slowly back up to Tasha. "About like— child predators n'stuff. Like— kidnappings and…" Closing her eyes and shaking her head, Colette only opens her eyes again when she's looking down at her lap.

"S'true, they're real. There's like… there's somebody on Staten Island who's sellin' little kids… like— just— " Colette's eyes wrench shut, and it's obvious by the difficulty with which she addresses this topic what the children are being made to do. "Chuckles— " she practically exhales his name in a strained sigh, "he— we're gonna' try an' shut it down. Eileen's heard about it, wants t'help. So does Eric. I— I gotta' go talk t'this guy my sister knows from work, named John. He— " Colette looks up to Tasha, brows furrowed. "He might know something. He's good like that, bein' smart n'stuff."

Someone just called John Logan smart. Thus begins the Apocalypse.

"But i've got so much shit goin' on, I ain't had time t'like… go see him or nothin', and this— the kids at the Lighthouse are so close to where this is happening, if— I just— " she's starting to lose her composure, face turning red from frustration.

Knowing Colette's background, Tasha knows how sensitive the topic is, and she simply listens, her hands slowly stroking Colette's arms and hair. Her face continues to wear that worried expression, brows knit together as she nods now and then.

"That's … that's… God, that's horrible. But why… you could have told me this ages ago. I mean — I know I'm busy with school and stuff, but you know I'd help you anyway I possibly can. I love the kids at the Lighthouse and don't want them to… God." She swallows, and brings one hand to her mouth to bite at the thumbnail, her voice cracking slightly as she shivers. "I mean… I brought Pauly from Boston to be safe here, and if something happened to him, it'd be like it was my fault, Colette."

She takes a deep breath and returns both hands to the hug, tightly squeezing Colette. "You're not in this alone, okay?"

Biting down on her bottom lip, Colette dips her head down in a series of short nods. "I know— I know. I've… I've got all these amazing friends and I just— I panic when stuff like this comes up. M'afraid that if I seem like I can't handle things on my own, then— then Eileen won't trust me with responsibilities. It— the Ferry depends on me, Tasha. I'm— I need to be as strong as Eileen is. She's only— did you know she's only like two years older than me? I thought she was almost thirty!"

Both of Colette's brows lift up slowly in a worried expression. "She's— she's so tough and so collected and nothing phases her. I— I have to be as strong as she is or nobody'll think I can handle my responsibilities, or trust me, or— or I just…" Abandonment issues, is a term psychiatrists would probably label Colette's problem with, likely stemming from her traumatic childhood.

She'd see that as an excuse.

"Colette," Tasha says firmly, sitting up and sitting Colette up, so that Tasha can gaze at her with loving but stern dark eyes. "It is a network for a reason." Her words are slow, firmly stated, in hopes that they will imprint on Colette's mind. "No one can handle everything on their own. No one. Eileen probably breaks down when we don't see her. I mean — she has to, right? No one is that strong. But she has someone to support her when she does, right? I'm here to support you when you do. Got it?"

She gives a playful little shake of Colette's shoulder, then leans forward to bump her forehead against Colette's. "We are kids. But the way we learn to handle all this is to handle it. But no one expects you, by yourself, to handle it all. I'm pretty sure that's why they have a council and that's why there's grownups telling us what to do sometimes. They trust you — and they're testing you, by giving you stuff, but if you make a mistake? It doesn't mean you're not good at this, it means that you have more to learn, okay?"

The noise Colette makes in the back of her throat is a sheepish one, but it — coupled with the expression she's making — implies a certain amount of guilt, guilt born of the fact that Tasha is totally right and she knows it. The smile that comes next is awkward, a bit rueful and slow to form. Exhaling a steady sigh, Colette scoots closer to Tasha and throws her arms around her shoulders, leaning in and pressing her lips to the other brunette's, followed by a brush of their noses together.

"I'm sorry," sounds much more earnest than earlier, and as she lets her cheek come down to rest against Tasha's, Colette squeezes the other girl tighter, then gradually relaxes her grip. "I'm— so lucky to have someone like you around who'll tell me what's what when I'm all stupid. I— I'm so sorry I've been shutting you out, I just— I don't want to lose you…"

It's a silly thing to imagine, that not shutting Tasha out would push her away. "I'm… I'm so sorry for being selfish. I really— really need your help, Tasha. More'n ever…"

The smaller girl actually laughs, though not meanly, just a short little laugh to imply Colette is being silly, though her arms wrap tightly around Colette and she sighs happily into the hug.

"I love you, you goofball. I'm not going to not love you because you want to help people who need your help, okay? It just makes me love you more, if that's at all possible. I mean — it'd be kinda hypocritical of me to be in Ferry and expect you to sit by and let people who need your help suffer, when I'm not willing to do that myself. Right?" She punctuates the question with a kiss on the nose.

"I'm here. I'm here, whenever you need me. Sometimes even when you don't," Tasha's lips curve into a smile against Colette's skin. "I'm kinda a pest that way."

"I love you too," Colette whispers as she brushes her nose against Tasha's cheek, "pest."

Wryly curling her lips into a smile, Colette bubbles with laughter and slowly slouches away from Tasha, lifting up a hand to cup her cheek, smile broad on her lips. "Then I hope you won't be too mad when I ask you if um," Colette's teeth draw slowly over her bottom lip. "That— I need your help seeing if Mister Logan knows anything about what's going on with those kids, right?" Both of Colette's brows shoot up slowly, a smile spreading wide across her lips in nervous quality.

"He— happens— " her speech is awkwardly halting, "to ah, run a club called Burlesque." There's a flush of color to Colette's cheeks as her nose wrinkles and brows furrow. "Could you maybe go— see him at work? I— I don't really know a good way to get in touch with him otherwise that wouldn't make Nicole suspicious."

"A strip club?" Tasha says, her eyes widening as if that's the worst thing that Colette could ask her to do. After all, she's an intelligent, educated woman of 2010. Her mother is a high-powered lawyer. She's been taught that women should use their brains, not their bodies to make a living. Her cheeks color at just the thought of it — she's never been in such a place, and she can't imagine what it might be like, aside from what she's seen in the movies.

She swallows and laughs a little nervously, knocking her head into Colette's. "Yeah, whatever, I'll go. Just… I don't have to look do I?"

At least Colette doesn't have to worry about Tasha checking out women in nudey bars on the side.

"Not— unless… you want to?" One of Colette's brows raise, her expression looking totally serious for about a good three seconds before she breaks down into giggling laughter, covering her bright red face with one hand, snorting amidst one bout of laughs and huffing out breathless yelps of amusement. Smile bright and wide, her giggle fit comes between gasped attempts to talk.

"You— you should see— the look on your face!" Colette's fingers spread to try and cover her own face, wheezy laughter coming out as she leans towards Tasha in a playful slouch that pushes her to the sie a little. "Ohmygod," she whines with a burst of laughter, "ahhh I love you Tasha."

The giggles are contagious, and Tasha buries her face into Colette's neck, laughing until she's breathless. "I just… I don't even know what the allure is to places like that. I mean — yeah, I get that the body is beautiful and all, but…" she shakes her head, wiping her eyes that are teary from mirth. "But I'd rather look at you, if I'm going to be looking at naked women."

She bites her lip to keep from laughing more, and brings her face closer to Colette's, brushing her lips softly along jawline then cheek and finally lips. It's all teasingly slow, torturously soft, a hand brushing lower on a knee, another hand curling in dark strands of hair.

And then there is that mischievous smile. "And cheaper, too."
Brows lifting playfully, Colette's lips draw back into a fond smile, tongue brushing against the inside of her bottom lip briefly as she regards Tasha with mismatched eyes shadowed by dark lashes. The touch of lips to her jawline has Colette's eyes falling shut, a breath sharply drawn in through her nose, one arm winding around Tasha's waist as she pulls the brunette closer, pressing a kiss to her hair, exhaling a breath sharply through her nose, fingers reaching down to start peeling up Tasha's shirt along her back, even as she relents to the assault of affection and begins to slowly lean back, taking Tasha with her.

"You callin' me cheap?" Colette teasingly whispers with a coy smile spread across her lips, nails lightly scraping across Tasha's bare skin as she pulls that shirt up further, "'cause a girl could probably take offense to that." Business, work, responsibility, dishes; none of those are really important any longer, all of the sudden. For all the Colette Nichols is a dutiful young woman, she is also easily distracted by the right people and the right circumstances.

Tasha Oliver is the perfect storm of all that.

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