A Place Like Home


colette_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif sable_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title A Place Like Home
Synopsis Colette brings her team to Gun Hill to help Lynette recover from all the damage the Great Storm caused and for some of them it means finding the titular subject.
Date May 27, 2010

Gun Hill

It's hard to imagine a time when ten degrees Fahrenheit is considered warm; but yet here it is.

The chirping beep of escavating equipment backing up rings out over the sunny streets of the Bronx, where red brick tenement buildings crusted with ice and half buried by snow are being dug out from the disastrous blizzard that nearly choked the entire northeast to death in just two short months. Bright yellow construcytion equipment works out on the streets, shoveling thousands of pounds of snow and ice into the back of dump trucks for disposal, ice and sand mixtures scattered on the streets and bucket cranes manned by Con-Edison repair crews work hastily to restore electricity and water services.

The Bronx is one of the few lucky regions of the city to have spotty electricity right now, one of the few lucky areas of the city to have a semblance of nomalcy returning. While there may be snowmen in May, there's at the very least a warm sun shining, burning away the cold that has settled into the bones of New York City.

The sound of laughter is an unusually organic noise to juxtapose against the sound of the mechanical noises and beeping sounds of the repair crews at work. Laughter from a pair of young women hustling up ice crusted steps of a red brick apartment building just a few hundred feet down the street from the major snow removal going on.

"I told you!" Colette Nichols spins around at the top of the stairs, arms spread and her yellow and black plaid jacket a gleaming eye-sore against the white snow. "I know my way around the city, I'm never wrong about directions oh ye of little faith!" Waggling her brows and offering an impish smile towards the brunette ascending the stairs behind her, Colette's half-blind stare focuses down on Tasha Oliver and then the other two headed up the steps, Magnes Varlane and Sable— Sable— well Colette's not sure what Sable's last name is. Maybe she doesn't have one, like Cher.

Inside the Gun Hill apartment building, one side of the double doors leading into the lobby creaks open with a gleam of sunlight in a gradually widening column to cast across scuffed floors. Eyes wide, Colette slides in to the lobby, letting a gust of cold air blow in from the street. Her eyes sweep up to the old architecture of the ceiling and its cracked white molding and old chandelier above the wooden staircase to the second floor.

Smile toothy and broad, she spins around and walks backwards on her way in, boots tracking snow on the hardwood floor. "Hello!?" Colette calls up to the higher floors, her voice echoing through the building.

"Never was a doubt on my mind," Sable says, smirking, "Just on my lips." Truth be told, she never seemed particularly bothered by the notion of getting lost, though the fact she entertained herself almost exclusively by singing Hank Williams III songs - most involving drugs, alcohol and loaded shotguns - as they made their way through a city just recently stirring from its ice-caked torpor may have proved even worse than bad tempered grumbling. Depends on how much you like country music.

Sable's well laden with a suitcase full of clothing and her ever present acoustic guitar which she handles like one might a Fabergé egg. Chipper though she has been, it'll be nice to set this shit down - her arm feels like it might fall off, and she's firmly rejected any and all offers to lighten her load, despite the fact they have a gravity controller /right with them/. As such, she's actually a little overheated, her face flushed from hauling her things across obstacles, of which there were and are still many. She takes off her hat and vigorously fans herself. "Now, y'sure this is the right place? And the right time? Yer good with directions, hon, but what about yer scheduling?" Just teasing, of course. But where is everyone?

"I never doubted you for … more than five minutes at a time," Tasha says cheerfully. The air is still chilly but being able to see the sun makes it feel warmer than it is, even as it descends in the evening sky. It's strange to see it so low in the sky with snow on the ground, this close to summer. She raises her brows as they enter the building. She's spent enough time in safehouses now that she's not expecting anything too glamorous, as "bourgie" as Sable might think she is. "I'm sure our new fearless leader is around here somewhere," Tasha says cheerfully enough toward Sable, though she stands closer to Colette and farther from the other two once they enter the lobby.

Given that there's only one resident in the building thus far, there's an almost unsettling quiet that's generally unfamiliar to crowded New York City apartment buildings. But, the empty halls help that call upward to carry to the current operator, a woman who calls back down, "Just a second!"

The sound of a door slamming shut precedes the sound of high heeled shoes clacking against the stairs as Lynette makes her way back down to the lobby. "Whew. Hi there, you all must be the crew. Lynette Rowan, for those of you I haven't met yet," she says with a friendly, even charming smile. "As you can see, the place is a little run down, but it is the Bronx, after all. And there's water damage… pretty much on every floor, so, on top of the normal set up, we have a bit of extra work for us. I hope you all don't mind a little manual labor?"

Magnes has a pile of bags on his back, mostly clothes, some comics, video game systems just in case. He left all of his retro games at the Lighthouse for the kids, since they need some culture for a proper upbringing! In each hand is an instrument, one is the bag for his keyboard, the other is his bass. Needless to say, his ability is definitely at work. He's been humming a lot, oddly cheerful, though Sable already knows why.

Offering a warm smile as she tugs off her gloves and tucks them into the pockets of her borrowed coat, Colette makes her approach over to Lynette to meet her at the bottom of the stairs. "Colette Nichols, I ah, do courier work usually. I don't think we've had a chance to meet yet, I didn't even know there was a safe house out here," she admits with a crooked smile.

"This is Tasha Oliver," a nod motions towards the girl closest to Colette, "Magnes Varlane — who gets to do all the heavy lifting." Colette flashes a toothy grin, "and Sable… uh…" no, she really doesn't know Sable's last name. "Sable." Clearing her throat awkwardly, Colette offers up a hand to Lynette and a warm smile. "I did a lot've work helping repair Summer Meadows over the fall, so I'm not a stranger to hard work. Don't you worry, we'll get this place all fixed up in no-time!"

It's not long before Sable's also up front to meet their new commandant. She assess Lynette quickly but thoroughly, eyes flashing up down, up down, up to her face. The yellow eyed girl smiles and, setting her suitcase in a stand, tugs off her glove with her teeth, one finger at a time, shoves it into a pocket and sticks out her now-free hand. "Pleasure," she says, "Just Sable, not Sable Sable. Catchier. You our new boss, then? For you hon, I don't figure I'd mind slavin' a bit." She tips Lynette a wink.

Tilting her head at the descent of the stairs, Tasha smiles at Lynette's entrance, following Colette as she gets closer to the safehouse's hostess. "Nice to meet you," Tasha says to Lynette, pulling off her gloves with her teeth before shoving them in her pocket; finally, she is able offer a hand for Lynette to shake after Colette's and Sable's. "I'm not as experienced with repair work, but I'm a pretty quick study and willing to try. Just point me at whatever and I'll do my best, and … hopefully I won't make it worse off."

"Magnes, good to see you didn't get yourself nabbed by the badges," Lynette says with a hint of an amused tilt to her smile. She nods to all the names, taking in each in turn. Hands are shaken, smiles doled out, although Sable gets an echo of that tilted smile. "Just Sable, huh? Like Madonna. Glad to be so motivating, hun." Tasha gets a chuckle for her words and a nod, "Don't worry, you can't be any worse at it than I am. We'll all be learning together. I want you all to know, I appreciate the help. The good news is, if you're all staying here for now, you do get your pick of the apartments. Except mine, that's already claimed. I'd like to start here on the first floor, we have a Doctor Knutson who seems interested in staying here and possibly setting up a clinic as well, and I'd like a space for her to be the priority at the moment. Does anyone have any questions before we have a look around? Something to drink?"

"You again!" Magnes exclaims excitedly, then winces when she mentions 'badges'. "Ah, yeah, they called it in and finally figured out I was telling the truth." He looks around curiously, since he's apparently gonna have two apartments now. "I can work out the physics stuff if we're gonna be doing labor, but I warn I'm not the best at physics, at least I know if something's gonna fall apart or not. Otherwise… I know absolutely nothing about repairing things, except skates and maybe computers."

"I picked up a few things working at Summer Meadows, so— I guess that's probably why Eileen had me come down here." Being as terrible with names as she is, Colette fails to recognize the familiar name of doctor Knutson, only focusing on the things she can settle on, which is the work at hand. "I didn't bring any tools with me today, just some clothes for the night. Tomorrow I'ma head down to Grand Central and pick up everything I need and get it delivered up here…"

Walking past Lynette, Colette looks up the stairs to the second floor, whistles appreciatively, then turns around and offers a broad smile to Tasha, then up to Lynette. "S'really nice've you to offer us places to stay, it's— kind've funny, I've been lookin' for an apartment for a while, I guess… this is right place right time." Somewhat dreamily staring around the lobby, Colette shakes her head and treads back over to the group, coming to stand beside Tasha, an arm snaking around her shoulders.

"I think I'm going to have one more person come to help us, too. His name's Eric, he's a pretty big guy and he helped out a lot at Summer Meadows too, maybe drag ol' Sulkenstein Caleb out here since I dont think he's likin' being around kids too much."

Sable glances at Magnes, catching his own curious look. Apartments? Sable has actually never had any place of her own. And what timing. "So how long'll we be set down here, then?" she asks Lynette, carefully swinging her guitar from her shoulder and propping it against her suitcase. Her arms fold across her chest, "Last stint was longer 'n anyone expected, 'course, but is this, like, our base 'f operations now? Just need to know if I should start puttin' up posters or if I should just carve my initials into shit." Because apparently temporary stays require permanent vandalism, and long terms stays just need sticky tack. The mention of Doyle is not terribly welcome to Sable, who has lingering misgivings vis a vis the puppeteer, but now is neither the time nor place. It's unclear if such a moment or location even exists.

A sidelong glance through long lashes at Colette brings a smile to the shorter girl's lips. "That'd be great. It'd be really hard to move in again at my mom's after being kinda on my own since August," Tasha says. The girl had been lucky enough to not have won in the lottery system for very limited campus housing, and her parents had paid for her to have a small studio of her own back in Boston. Then it was safehouses since February, landing at the Lighthouse last for the duration of the storm.

"If you have a supply list or anything you need that we don't have on stock somewhere, I can go get stuff now that stores are opening," Tasha offers, returning to the business at hand, leaning against Colette as she speaks.

"In the flesh, Slugger," Lynette says to Magnes with a chuckle. "Well, no one worry about skill levels just now. We'll do what we can do and for the rest… well, that's what the internet is for. And cute boys at the Home Depot. And we don't have to get to work this instant, no. I figure, you all can have some time to look around, get familiar with the space and then we'll set in. And extra hands are more than welcome, thank you… Colette. I don't think Caleb will be hard to convince, either. I've taken up teaching him a bit." She glances between the others, nodding lightly, "You aren't /required/ to make this your homebase, but the offer is there. If you'd like to help out around here after the set up's done, you're more than welcome. As for a list, I do have one… I'll get it to you before you leave. Hopefully, with a lot of hands, this will all go quickly and we can start using the place officially."

"Well, I guess I've just got two questions, three, actually." Magnes hunches slightly, appearing tired of holding his bags despite their weightlessness. Maybe he's just getting hot, being in heavy white winter clothing, the scarf, and his goggles again. "One, if we stay here, me and Sable I mean, it'd just be temporary until my electricity comes back on, unless she chooses to stay here, of course. Two, can my girlfriend stay with me, or is this just super secret stuff? And three, can I please put my bags somewhere? I need to get out of these clothes."

"Awesome!" Colette remarks as she leans her head to bonk gently against Tasha's before leaning away from her, arm snaking from around her back and hands clapping together. "I'm glad Caleb's got someone teaching him, with an ability like that he's gotta have some sort've like… caretaker." Wrinkling her nose, Colette offers a look over to Sable, then Tasha and Magnes. "I don't see the harm in us setting down roots here for a little while, right? Even if it's just as long as it takes to get everything working together again. I… kind've like the whole vagabond lifestyle I've got lately, setting up shop in a new place every few months." There's a flash of Colette's brows up to her hairline, and one hand raises to sweep a lock of dark hair away from her blinded eye.

Snorting out a laugh, Colette shakes her head slowly and offers a crooked smile to Magnes. "You don't have to stay here, a'course not. It's kinda' cool to all live in the same building though, I mean… I've gotten used to having you guys around." One of COlette's brows lifts quizzically as she looks back and forth between Magnes and Sable, then back to Lynette.

"Elaine's not a member of the Ferry, so that's entirely up to you, Lynette. I dunno how like, secret the operation here is, but you know it might not hurt to have someone out of the 'know' living here too… and…" offering a glance back to Magnes, Colette smiles. "Elaine doesn't have much of anywhere else to go. If I were a bettin' girl, I'd say she might wind up with us sooner or later."

"And a fine soul t' have on board," Sable vouches on Elaine's behalf, "Plus I dunno if Magnes mightn't go a bit fuckin' crazy if he don't have her around, eh boy?" The yellow eyed girl turns to Magnes and gives him a jack o' lantern grin. "Honest, I think it's in all our best int'rests to have her around. I don' want you t' get sulky 'n' knock out a support pillar or whatever in a fit of whatever." She starts to remove her winter wrappings, first the remaining glove, then her jacket. "Colette," she says as she loosens the ties on her boots, "I remember some time ago you sayin' I'd hafta move out of ol' Magnes' place sooner or later, on account of my uncanny fuckin' talent. You weren't just fuckin' with me when you said that, were ya?"

The youngest of the foursome (if only by a few days) smiles and moves to another area to inspect some peeling paint on a wall, then turns back. "Hey, I donno if you wanna do anything more creative than just plain white walls or whatever, and I can certainly make my way around a room with a paint roller, but if you want something like a mural or a tromp l'oeil or something, I can do that, too," she offers to Lynette, glancing at the wall through a wayward glance of dark hair before shaking it out of her eyes and glancing at the other. "And by the way, for Safehouse needs, I'm pretty good at making fake IDs, so you know, if you need any of that done, my X-acto knife es su X-acto knife, so to speak."

"Temporary's fine, your girlfriend can stay if you'd like, and that apartment there," Lynette says, pointing a finger toward her own, which has its door open a bit and actually seems to be decorated inside, unlike all the others. "We'll be having legitimate renters, too, so anyone here for safehousing will be warned to be careful about being too… open." Lynette gives a nod to Colette, "I agree. He'll need some guidance to get things under control. But he'll be alright." Turning to Tasha, the woman considers her for a moment. "If you'd be willing to do murals, by all means. You would just have to do every floor, it's a lot of work. But I'm open to you all making this place as much your creation as it is mine. Have fun, be creative. It'll feel less like work. As far as IDs… that skill will certainly come in handy."

"Awesome!" Magnes finally just starts sitting bags in the air, allowing them to float there, even pulling the ones from his back. Sometimes he forgets he can do that. Surrounded by floating bags, he begins peeling his thick white winter clothing off, revealing a long black leather coat zipped up under it, and blue jeans. "And I swear, I won't go insane without Elaine! I'll just be very bored."

"That's just as bad Magnes," Colette admits with a crooked smile, eyes rolling and head shaking in a good-natured chastisement. Though there's a look offered to Sable after that, throat hitching in words that started to come too quickly. Quickly averting mis-matched eyes down to her feet, Colette scrubs a hand to the back of her neck and lets her teeth toy with her lower lip.

"Well… I mean," she huffs out a sigh, "it's a possibility? I don't really know, but… you're not //registered. Like I said back then, it's a choice. You could go right down to a registration center and tell them the truth, that you really don't know what your ability is, or… I don't know, I bet yo could get a registration card…"

Smiling faintly, Colette lets her shoulders rise and fall into a shrug. "I know it's not what you want, but… the alternative is going completely off the grid, living in safehouses, working under the table for the Ferry to get what you need in life. You… you won't ever really be able to resurface, you know…" Colette tries not to say the you can't ever be famous that keeps dancing on the tip of her tongue, that's too much of a dream to crush so soundly.

"It's something you should decide on eventually." Colette's lips curve into a smile, but it doesn't quite reach her eyes. The truth of the matter is, it worries her because it's something she's going to have to deal with soon herself.

Sable fixes Colette with a /look/. "I've got an official fuckin' line on this, we arready talked 'bout this. If I go down there, I'ma gonna tell 'em how it is I know I'm fuckin' gifted. Let 'em quibble about the fuckin' details. A gift's a goddamn gift!" She glance to Lynette and, by way of explanation, thumbs at herself, "Evolved," she explains, "Born to rock. Blessed with incredible musical genius," with no small emphasis on the last three words.

Her eyes turn back to Colette, "Mebbe you and me c'n talk about it when we ain't tryin' to set up shop 'n' all. Figure it can wait a while, eh?" She casts a glance at Tasha, "This ain't shit you have to worry about, is it?" she suggests.

The ominous words of "going off grid" and living only in safehouses draw a glance from Tasha, and she reaches over to take Colette's hand, squeezing it in her own before interlacing fingers. The worry that Colette tries to hide is clear enough, and it resonates in Tasha who offers a weak smile to Colette, and then glances to Sable when the other speaks.

At the question, her brows knit together. As she's already told Sable she's not Evolved — though that is probably the intent of the question, it is not taken that way. "You mean beside the fact that she is Evolved, and all of my friends, and the fact I've risked my life and pissed off my family to try to help people who it is a worry for?" Tasha says in a low voice, her chin lifting in a stubborn pose not unlike the one her father usually takes.

"No, no reason to worry at all."

Lynette looks between the others, a brow lifted as the girls discuss. "It really depends on how much risk you want in your life. You could resurface, live out in the world, but the possibility of being caught at what you are will be a constant feature in your life." The woman looks over at Tasha, a hand coming to rest on her shoulder. "It's very brave of you," she says, sounding quite sincere there. But, curiosity brings her attention back to Sable. "Born to rock, huh? How did you find out about that?"

"You can just compromise like I did when I became a cop last year. I keep most of my ability a secret, I just wrote the bare essentials on the registration. Tell them you have rhythmic intuition, there's no way they can actually question your understanding of your ability, and you'd easily be able to demonstrate it. Furthermore, if you're ever caught in public somehow using your actual ability in some extreme way, the most they'd ask you to do is update your registration, if they even notice an ability as subtle as yours." Magnes explains his long-winded plan, crossing his arms as he waits for approval/disapproval.

"I… Don't— think Sable… would— I don't think law enforcement is for her." Colette offers with a furrow of her brows and something of a stare at Magnes. She squeezes Tasha's hand back after that dismissal, offering a look to the brunette and a lopsided smile, her brows creasing together and mis-matched eyes offering a mild look to Sable with one brow raised as if to imply really?

"Tasha and I are going to go pick out an apartment space, you guys feel free to set yourselves up. Maybe we can all have dinner at Lynette's place once we're all settled in," Colette nods her head once, smiling fondly, "I even offer to cook, in celebration of a new assignment." Taking a step back, there's a gentle tug of Tasha's hand, guiding her back and away from Sable before that particular conversational thread can go any further off the spool.

Tasha's sarcasm draws an enormously toothy grin from Sable, a hundred watt smile that just /beams/ in her direction. She caps it off by kissing her palm, and blowing it in Tasha's direction. Nothin' like a pretty girl, pissed off.

This little instance of insolence taking care of, she rolls her shoulders. "See, I don't take to none of this shit. All these worries and shit with the law. If I gotta go in, I'll go in sayin' what I think is best 'n' fuckin' brightest about me. Call that shit what you want." She nods at Lynette, "Thass right. Found out when I first heard the sweet sound. Once power's all back up in this place, Magnes 'n' I can provide the occasional tune, eh? Somethin' to lift the spirits of all the sad flotsam and whateversam that comes through your doors?"

Subdued by Colette's words and squeeze of hand, Tasha's cheeks flush pink when Sable grins and blows a kiss at her — that was not the reaction she expected after the flare of her sometimes-short temper, another Lazzaro and Renard family trait. She won't press the issue, and she knows that Sable didn't mean it the way she took it, but she isn't going to apologize either. She has some karma owed to her in that regard.

"I'll help with dinner," she adds, before smiling at Lynette. "Thanks, Lynette. Nice meeting you," she adds as she lets Colette lead her to choose an apartment.

"I think Magnes just means to point out that she can divulge as much or as little about her power as she wants," Lynette points out before the girls split off. "By all means, look around. Try to pick something upstairs. Have a look around, make yourselves at home and meet back in my apartment when you're done. I'll see what I have around to actually cook…" Which… may call for a run to the store. >.>

"Yeah, I'm not sure how you got joining the police academy from that. But Sable, you should definitely call it rhythmic intuition if you're gonna say it's your musical genius, it'll make things sound more official." Magnes explains, knowing how frustrated she can be with largish words. He starts gathering his floating bags, pulling them along until he realizes… "Uh, we can go to any floor? I wanna find something close to the roof…"

Pausing on the steps, Colette furrows her brows and squints at Magnes, then purses her lips and tilts her head to the side. There's a sheepish smile at that, one hand scratching at the back of her neck. "I— I knew that," she admits a little awkwardly, trying to cover up her misunderstanding. "I um— I'll see you all once Tash' and I get settled in." Teeth toying with her lower lip, Colette offers another look to Sable, then to Lynette before reaffirming her grip on Tasha's hand and headed up the stairs.

This place make be a bit of a fixer-upper, may be something of a waterlogged and run-down old building, but there's some charm in these old walls and in the peeling wallpaper on them. Maybe it's that it's something they can all repair and rebuild with their own two hands, maybe it's because it's a place they're needed.

Or maybe, for a couple of them, it's almost like finding something like home.

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