All The Things She Said


colette_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif

Scene Title All the Things She Said
Synopsis I'm in serious shit, I feel totally lost. If I'm asking for help, it's only because being with you has opened my eyes. Could I ever believe such a perfect surprise?
Date February 11, 2010

Solstice Condominiums - Nicole Nichols' Residence

Night has wrapped its embrace around New York City, leaving it twinkling with harsh, artificial lights that only manage to appear soft and serene when shrouded with a veil of fluffy snowflakes falling from the clouds. The heat in Nicole Nichols' apartment is uncomfortable to her, but it's left turned up for the benefit of the woman's younger sister, whether or not she actually expects her to actually make an appearance.

She's carrying a build up from her day's running, the dry air especially conducive to aiding her ability, whether she likes it or not. It leaves her eyes faintly luminescent in the dim of her bedroom, light filtering in through half-open vertical blinds over the floor to ceiling window.

Laying on her back over the plush comforter of her bed, a thin, pale pink tank top hugs her torso, matching a pair of pink and boyshorts with chocolate brown polka dots. Gazing up at the ceiling, smoke rises from a freshly lit cigarette and plumes over Nicole's head as she exhales slowly. Her face lacks expression, though it's obvious she's deep in her thoughts.

It's warm in the condo, but for reasons other than the thermostat being raised. Swallowing noisily, Colette Nichols rolls onto her back, dark hair spilling out in messy locks at either side of her head, messy bangs swept over one green eye. She reaches down for the blankets, pulling them up over herself, leaving a bare shoulder to the air. When her head rolls to the side, she breathes out a heavy breath, smiling towards her sister at her side. "S'not quite morning yet…" she admits in a hushed voice, shifting under the covers.

Offering up a hesitant smile, she rolls onto her back and drapes one bare arm over her forehead, eyes drifting shut as a contented smile crosses her lips. "I dunno how much longer I can stay…" Colette's voice is still small, smaller than she usually allows it to be around anyone else. Around Nicole, she lets herself seem smaller, younger, in need of protection. "I've— got some important things to do tomorrow— today." There's a wrinkle of her nose at that, and Colette lifts an arm out from under the blankets to lightly brush her knuckles over Nicole's shoulder.

"You're a jerk for keeping me up." Colette adds with a crooked smile.

"Eh," Nicole all but grunts with a shrug of the shoulder Colette touches, "you know how much I hate to suffer alone with my insomnia. Besides, you keep me up at night when you aren't around, so it's only fair." She tips her head to the side and smiles to her sister, shifting her position to plant a quick kiss on the girl's forehead before rolling back into place and taking another drag off her cigarette.

"Can I ask you something, Sissy?" The wide-awake woman's free hand comes to rest over the far sleepier one's.

Cracking a smile Colette rolls fully onto her side, folding one arm up to tuck her hand beneath her head, the other sliding under the covers to pull them up the rest of the way ovr her bared shoulder. "A'course you can… like, I've always told you, you can ask me anything." There's a wrinkle of her nose as she offers that up, a squint crossing her features briefly in confusion to the momentary sensation of awkwardness between the two.

Nicole's silent for a long moment, even after permission's been given to ask. She watches the smoke dancing fancy pirouettes over her head before it finally drifts so high and so thin that it can't be seen against the ceiling any longer.

"When did you figure it out?"

There's another bout of silence, giving the impression for a moment or two that Nicole might not actually elaborate on her query. Though there's nothing evident on her face, she hesitates due to a certain fear of offending with her question. But finally, she finishes it.

"That you were a lesbian, I mean."

There's a bright flash of red across Colette's face as the question is asked, a noise in the back of her throat that sort've screams oh god why as she hides her face against the pillow, snorts out a laugh and then looks back to Nicole. "Awesome question," she sarcastically notes with a sneer. "I— Rr— really do you have to ask that? I mean— I dunno. It's like asking when I learned to walk? I can't remember…" Dark brows furrow together, and Colette stares down at her pillow for a long moment.

"After what happened back home— " There's just a shake of her head, and Colette shuts her eyes. "I just didn't want to be touched. By anyone. If it weren't for— for getting away from there, for you, for just… I had to learn to open up all over again. I mean… after we left Boston, I just— Anybody who even laid a hand on me, 'sides for you, I just freaked out. Even if it was just being bumped into on the street."

Swallowing awkwardly Colette rolls onto her back and stares up at the ceiling. "It— wasn't until I met Tamara that I started comin' out of my shell. Like, I don't think I ever told you this story…" Colette angles a look over to Nicole. "Back when I was still looking for you, back when I first met Tamara, I just— one of those days you know— I nearly got hit by a speeding car in a crosswalk. I woulda' died, probably, I dunno. She just came out've nowhere, wrapped her arms around me, and tackled me to the ground and the car whipped past."

Green eyes drift back to the ceiling, following the line of a crack in it. "I think that's when I fell for her." She snickers, "I mean like— you know, not in the joking 'cause she tackled me way. I just… she was the first person in years that touched me, that I never freaked out about. I— she's really special."

Rolling her head to the side, Colette watches Nicole for a time, just smiling. "I dunno if I'd label myself, like, a— you know— I dunno. I'm just me."

Nicole chuckles quietly at her sister's discomfort, murmuring an apology. She listens patiently to the story of how her sister met her girlfriend - or at least that's how Nicole thinks of Tamara - and smiles fondly. "I'm so glad you had that. That you have her." The cigarette is crushed in the crystal ashtray that sits upon the nightstand so that Nicole can roll onto her side and brush Colette's hair from her face. "I went through all that stuff you went through, too. We never… really got to be little girls, you and I. I don't know how… growing up normal would have made us different, only that it would have."

Warm hands brush down Colette's cheek and rest on her bare shoulder. "You remember how terribly moody and horrid I was when you were little. When… Before he would…" Even now, Nicole can't bring herself to actually say what happened to her and her sister at the hands of their father. Not when they both already know what they suffered. "I guess I was kind of a vicious man hater for a while. I never, ever trusted a man more than five years older than me. And even the ones around my age or younger were guilty until proven innocent."

Nicole rolls over again to pluck a fresh menthol from her pack and light it with a flick-flick-flick! of her Bic. "It wasn't until I met Mister Linderman that things started to change for me, and I started to trust people again." Tucking one hand underneath the pillow an beneath her head and holding the hand with the cigarette aloft over her head, she watches the way the bracelet around her wrist catches the light from the window. Sparkles created erratically from the way the blinds waver in the warm air blowing through the heat vent set in the floorboards. She falls silent again for a time, seemingly entranced.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm jealous. You seem to have yourself all figured out sometimes." Nicole sighs a deep breath of acrid smoke diametrically opposed by the semi-sweet of menthol. "Most days, I'm not even sure who I am.

"Stephanie. Nicole. Steve. Nickels. I don't even know anymore."

"Definitely not a Steve." Colette offers in joking tone, nose wrinkled at the notion. "S'like the stupidest nickname ever." There's a grin now, and she's laughing for the first time in several days. "I don't have a whole lot figured out, I mean— honestly? Life's really complicated. Nobody knows everythin'. I mean— I'm havin' a hard time reconcilin' what I do with my life with my dad. I mean, he's totally cool with like— the girlfriend thing? But like, I dunno— I have people that depend on me and stuff now, so… It's just hard with his job to talk to him about what I do. At least you have cool co-workers and stuff, you know? Mister Logan and Mister Caliban are like, awesome."

Scooting closer to Nicole, Colette lifts her chin up and bushes her nose lightly at the corner of her sister's jaw beneath her ear, then lays her head back down against the pillow. "You're my sister's who you are. Doesn't matter much to me what else anyone says you are either. I'm— I'm just glad to have you back. I— You don't know how much it means to me to have you back." Lost in thought, Nicole can't see the fact that Colette's eyes are watering, but she can hear the emotional tone in her creaking voice.

Swallowing awkwardly and bringing up a hand to her face, Colette chokes out a laugh and wipes at her eyes with her thumbs. "Sorry, sorry, s'fucking stupid to still be bawling my eyes out over that. I just— I'm really glad I have you still Sis. I never stopped looking for you."

Nicole frowns, "I think I make a brilliant Steve. And besides, it was meant to make for a misleading business card. Net me more business." Her sister's laughter means her frown can't quite stay in place for long before it twists into a little smirk.

Though that fades some when Colette begins to cry. It's no secret that Nicole didn't exactly look for her little sister, but in her defence, their building was actually destroyed. Every scrap of information she could gather said that she was dead. Rather than focus on the mushy stuff, Nicole simply reaches out to take Colette's hand and give it a squeeze.

The matter of how cool her co-workers are realy must be addressed. Deep breath. "Yeah, about Mister Logan and Mister Caliban… You maybe shouldn't be so friendly with them. I mean, be nice to them. Be polite. But… They're not your friends, 'Letty. They're businessmen. They make a living out of convincing you that they're awesome, okay? It's not to be malicious or to take you for a fool, it's just what they do. Sometimes, they do it without realising it."

Smiling faintly, Colette turns her hand around in Nicole's and laces her fingers with her sister's. "S'okay, I know they'd never let anything bad happen to me. 'Sides, your boss would smack them around a lot, 'cause he totally likes me. I mean, he helped me see again, he's like the nicest guy I know who looks like Santa outside of my friend Eric, who— only looks like Santa when he puts the fake beard on but then it's like— no contest." The grin Colette offers is perhaps more goofy than it should be, but sleep deprivation will do that to a girl.

"You don't need t'worry about me so much," Colette adds, brows furrowed slightly. "I can totally take care've myself, I— learned a lot about takin' care of myself when you were gone. I mean— " she squeezes that hand a little more, "not blaming you Sis. I just learned a lot, and m'a lot more grown up than I was just a couple years ago. I had a bunch of good mentors, bunch… bunch of good people who helped me learn about myself."

"I'll show everybody, though." Colette adds with a smile, "Pretty soon, they're all gonna' see just how much they can trust me. I got some stuff to do today, but when I'm done, everybody'll know that I'm not just some kid. It— " The noise of Nicole's alarm going off causes the dark-haired girl to sit up slightly in bed, hissing a breath as she looks out to the windows, spotting faint hints of daylight behind the lightly falling snow. "Oh man it's seven already?"

Nicole's brows furrow and her expression shows no small sign of concern as Colette continues to expound upon her adoration for the people Nicole works with. It's disconcerting to say the least. She just… seems so happy, though. The older girl can't quite bring herself to continue warning the younger one off. "You're right," she murmurs, her serenity a stark contrast to the way she SLAPS! the alarm to shut it off. "I know you can take care of yourself." The last thing she wants to do is alienate her sister. They see so little of each other as it is. If Colette stopped spending the nights they have to themselves at her condo, Nicole wouldn't know what to do with herself anymore.

Nicole doesn't ask questions. She doesn't probe Colette for information on what she plans to do to prove to everyone that she isn't just some kid. It never even occurs to her. No one ever asked her questions at that age. She never had to answer to anyone, and she turned out just fine. Why should Colette be any different?

If she bothered to actually look back, Nicole might wonder just how fine she actually turned out. "Got somewhere to be?" she asks with a lazy smile.

"Yeah…" Colette admits as she slides bare legs out from the bed, sitting forward to show a long stretch of bare back, marked with a couple of dark spots of scars, tiny little things, one on her hip and one on her side, nothing quite like the groove in her shoulder. She leans forward, grabbing those dark jeans and sliding matchstick thin legs into them. "I gotta go meet some people down at Summer Meadows at eight…" The teen hops up onto her feet, tugging the tight jeans up, along with the growl of a zipper as she turns around to face Nicole.

She smiles, hesitant and affectionate as she leans one knee on the bed, crawling over to bump her nose against Nicole's forehead, reaching past her to find her sweater balled up on the other side of the bed from where she was laying. Turning it right-side out, she pulls it down over her head, skinny arms sliding through long sleeves before pulling the back of her hair out from the turtleneck. "There's a— project going on, I gotta' make sure I can hitch a ride in time to get in on it."

Sitting down on the edge of the bed again, Colette slides a mismatched pair of socks over her feet, rolling up the too long legs of her pants before one by one lacing up her black boots. "I promise I'll be around tonight, maybe tomorrow morning if I end up crashing at Kaylee's place." One booted foot clunks on the ground, and Colette turns around with a warm smile. "I'll let myself out, you get some rest…"

As Colette's body begins to slither away under shifting portions of slowly monochromatic hues, she eventually starts to turn invisible, and the last thing she says while Nicole can see her, is the same thing she says every time she has to leave somewhere. "I love you, Sis." Except this time, it's a little different.

It's the last time Nicole saw her sister.

Nicole stares at the ceiling with tears stinging her eyes, motionless for the longest time. Lingering memories are finally seared away when the cigarette held between two fingers has smouldered down to the filter, burning the woman's first knuckles.

Dropping the butt in the ashtray with so many other spent, Nicole finally rolls over. The pillow next to her smells still of her sister. Like soap and maybe it's strawberries or lilies.

Or maybe it's all in her head.

Clutching the pillow to her face and her chest, Nicole sobs. She can only hope that the last time she saw her sister won't truly be the last time that she'll ever see her sister.

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