Angels In Atlanta


b_colette_icon.gif b_elaine_icon.gif young-sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Angels in Atlanta
Synopsis Finally finding some solace in the past, Elaine and Colette try to bring peace of mind to Sable's young self, and instead wind up having to tell her some of the truth about who they are and where they're from…
Date June 12, 2004

Atlanta, Georgia

Late as it is, poor as this are is, cheap and seedy as the motel is, it's not much of a challenge for a determined photokinetic to get ahold of a room key. Just give her noisy ice machine, a dozing desk clerk, a card magnetizer and a remarkable easy to use UI on the computer, and bingo.

They can check into room 202, the furthest from the utility elevator that could be snagged. More warning when the room cleaner shows up. The halls smell faintly of mildew, and the air conditioning is cranked so low, it makes gooseflesh prickle on exposed skin. The room isn't much better, dingy, with one light fixture by the cheap desk that doesn't work. The sheets feel like they are slightly damp, unable to dry properly in the too-chilly air. Still, they are safe and out of the dark, and they have the whole room to themselves for… well… for a while at least.

And God knows, they must be tired.

Raven sure is. She has mostly kept her mouth shut for the trip, her silence not quite surly, but close. She keeps tugging up the too-large jeans and making rather obviously noises of discomfort and annoyance that are probably not just for her benefit. When the reach the hotel, however, as soon as the door clicks closed behind them, she pipes up instantly. "I call a bed!" It's stated with the seriousness of a lawyer calling out 'objection!' in court. A declaration supported by law.

"Great, fine." Elaine murmurs, her eyes flickering to the television before she absconds with the remote. It's tucked away, for now, mostly because she's not planning on letting Raven see the TV at all. She doesn't want her to see the news. She moves to sit, not bothering for a bed or a chair, and just slides down against the wall, letting out a breath.

In the dark, Colette lifts one hand as a circular plane of light appears above her palm, dirty yellow in coloration and from a distance looking like a dim flashlight's lens. The ambient glow like that of a candle is all Colette can make in here, mostly drawing illumination from the light passing under the motel room door.

It reveals, however, that this room has but one bed to claim.

"You and Elaine can share the bed," Colette quietly affirms as she locks the door, tossing the card key backwards towards the bed. "I'll be fine on the floor." Looking to the television set into the open faux-wood cabinet, Colette's brows furrow, mis-matched eyes angling over to Elaine on the floor. "We're gonna need to try and get as much sleep as we can. I— I don't know what we're gonna do tomorrow… I'll— I'll figure something out."

Already looking like she hasn't slept much in the last few days, Colette's exhausted countenance is made further defined by the unflattering angle of light making the dark circles under her eyes more pronounced. "We need to keep the lights off in here, so no one sees them on from outside. We don't want to draw any attention to ourselves."

Raven eyes Elaine briefly, tinged with suspicion. "She don't kick, right?" she asks Colette, warily, like this is some sort of trick, potentially. "Or have crazy person dreams and, like, spaz out while she's sleeping?" This is apparently a legitimate concern she's having.

Stealing a motel room seems qualitatively less cool, though, since they can't use lights and pretty much definitely can't use the TV. Still, stubborn or no, this day has taken its toll, and they have been walking for way, way too long. "You look like shit," Raven observes of Colette, matter of factly. She looks back at Elaine. "You know how that darkness thing works, or whatever? Is she doing that?" she points at Colette, apparently figuring each girl is best to ask for information about the other.

"You need the sleep more than me, Colette." Elaine nods towards the bed. "I'm not taking any exceptions. You need to be rested." She shuts her eyes, leaning her head against the wall. "We might need you to have energy tomorrow, you know? I don't think there'll be much need for me to talk French." She murmurs, but peeks open her eyes at Raven. "Just get some rest, okay?" That's all she affords as an answer.

That Elaine dodges Raven's question about the light tricks is appreciated, and the glow snuffs out in the same moment with a flex of Colette's hand. The firefly motes of light swirling around her hand afterward can't really be explained away. Exhaling a sigh, Colette's ability to see in this level of low light goes wholly unhindered, moving towards the bed with clomping bootfalls before she sets down her backpack.

"There's a closet about two feet behind you," Colette explains over to Elaine, "there's probably a spare pillow and blanket in it." Tonight she isn't going to argue about who gets the bed, even if the pit of her stomach is full of butterflies now at this predicament.

Unzipping the top of her backpack, Colette takes something out, rattling and metal. Slapping it against her palm, she exhales a sharp breath until the actual flashlight turns on, then is slid to the corner of the bed towards where Elaine's sitting beyond it against the wall.

"Don't aim it towards the windows," the photokinetic offers, sitting down on one corner of the bed, lifting up a booted foot to untie laces. She's thinking, about something, surprisingly it's actually important — if she manages to find the right way to voice it.

Raven narrows her eyes at Elaine as her question goes unaddressed. There's a moment's consideration, in which the younger girl seriously considers pressing the question to the end, maybe even threatening to do something very stupid and dangerous for them if they don't fill her in. But Elaine is very, very hard to feel spite towards, and even this bitter little middle schooler doesn't have it in her anymore. She just shrugs. "Whatever…" is the mark of her resignation.

She takes a moment to putter around the room, checking under things and poking into corners with a pointless curiosity - curious for the very sake of feline danger. But there's nothing to hold the catlike eyes or catlike mind, fleeting in its fascinations, and eventually Raven just perches on the cheap chair and starts to undo her own sneakers, wiggling her toes on an extended leg, black sock bearing a big old hole in the heel.

"Thank you," Elaine murmurs as she leans forward, taking the flashlight. She turns it on, just so she can make it to the closet to fish through for the spare pillow and blanket. Thankfully finding it, she pulls them both down, finding her way to the spot she's claimed on the floor. She spreads the blanket out, sets the pillow down, and turns off the flashlight as she moves to tug her own boots off.

"Where's your folks?" Colette's question comes as her boot drops to the floor with a noisy thump, revealing a dark purple argyle sock covering her foot. Mis-matched eyes lift up towards where Sable is nosily poking around in the dark at the question, brows furrowed. "I mean, you're— you have to have a family somewhere, right?" It's a slice of Sable's life that Colette simply doesn't know, save that she bounced around in foster care. It's not a part of the brunette's history she'd ever been able to pick at the scab of.

"I'm not gonna' like, turn you in to them or nothin' but…" Colette shakes her head from side to side, looking down to her other boot as she starts to untie the laces. "Aren't they worried about you?"

Raven kicks her other boot off, sending it through the air in a middling arc. It strikes the TV stand, then topples to the ground. She slides to her feet, arms going out in an unnecessary show of 'balance'. Her eyes cut over to Elaine, and maybe there's a moment's pity there. Just a second in which she considers maybe that she should give up her 'dibs'. But… nawww.

"Uh… no," Raven informs Colette with a tinge of 'duh' to her tone, "except for my foster fucks, but I've only been with 'em, like, four years. They're okay, I guess. For moochers. I'm a paycheck, you know? Fed money. That's what Ned says. He calls me 'FedEx'. Which doesn't make any fucking sense, but he's too stupid to know that."

These words are all delivered with a surly diffidence that one puts on when one is making very clear that one doesn't give a shit. She pads over to the bed and tosses herself onto it, face landing against the rather scratchy top blanket. "My, like, real folks are fucking deadbeats. Left me at a hospital when I was still a screaming shit machine," she informs the mattress her face is pressed into. This gets uncomfortable, her nose squished against prickling half-polyester blanket, so she turns her head, gazing at the wall with a small frown.

"You guys are shitty guardian angels," Raven declares, with the utmost frankness.

With boots off and carefully set aside, Elaine's laying down to rest on the floor, head against pillow which felt surprisingly good… which meant she was more tired than she thought. Raven's words, though, meet with a harsh reply. "I'm already aware I'm a fuck-up, you don't have to rub it in." There's the sound of Elaine turning over to lie on her side facing the wall, and perhaps even a murmured apology.

The other shoe drops, clunking bootishly onto the floor before falling onto its side. Colette looks up from her hunter orange sock to where Sable is laying on the bed. Brows furrowed, Colette lunges across the bed and smacks Sable in the back of the head with the flat of her hand. "Do you have any idea how much shit we've been through to save you! You— are— such an ungrateful piece of shit!"

Here comes the fury again.

Kneeling on the bed, Colette stares down at Sable with wide eyes. "Do you have any idea what kind of shit you put us through for you? Do— do you have any idea how worried we are about you!" Colette's throat hitches, breathinc catching in a hiccuped sob as her eyes water. "You— you're— " her jaw trembles, eyes wrench shut.

Raven's gone and made her cry.

Owww! Raven's hands go up over her head protectively and her legs curl up under her as she tries to shield herself from further blows. Colette's renewed verbal assault causes Raven to curl up even further, turning over to one side, back to Colette as Raven gets ready to ride out the storm. She's had a pretty hefty helping of such things in her life. She's good at weathering it. Shutting off. Shutting out.

At least, she's good at shutting out shouting. It becomes just white noise, the along with the roar of an air conditioner, or the thunder of a busy freeway. But is Elaine's drift into apology takes Raven off guard (which is does), then Colette's telltale hitch in breathing knocks her flat. Tears? Raven peeks up from her huddle, looking at Colette incredulously. Colette, who put a gun to her head. Colette in the body arm. Colette of the limitless fury and the summoned darkness. Colette the bad cop.

Raven can't quite believe it. She lifts herself into a sit, frowning at the dark haired girl in perplexity. Elaine gets a glance, just out of basic social instinct, an attempt to check that the redhead is seeing what Raven is seeing. Slowly, Raven pulls her legs up against her chest in a less total defensive posture. "I dunno you," she says, though she's lacking the sting of defiance, "why the- why d' you give a shit?" Another glance to Elaine, and now Sable's brow is furrowing in a thorough way that suggests she heading towards an emotional head as well. "What the fuck is going on? Who are you?" Her voice is starting to crack.

"Does it matter? Guardian angels don't have to have life stories or make sense. Besides, you aren't going to remember later." Elaine pulls the blanket up around her shoulders, voice muffled by both blanket and wall. She sounds… conflicted, at least. "I wish Hiro'd given more guidelines! I don't want to color outside the lines when I'm not sure I'm even coloring on the page…" She shifts, burying her face in the pillow.

Something Elaine says stills Colette's trembling jaw, halts her tears and gives her enough pause to look over to the sound of the redhead's voice.

Sable's not going to remember any of this.

In that, Colette now finally has a plan.

"We're your friends," Colette explains with a twitch of her brows, "maybe— moren that, I— it's complicated. We're— we're your family." Looking to the hotel room windows, Colette exhales a shuddering breath, then slouches down to sit on her side, looking to the quilt beneath herself, two fingers plucking at the damp fabric, trying to find lint.

"We're special, and so are you." Looking up to Raven, Colette's brows furrow and an ambient light begins to rise in the room, sculpting itself to angle darkness towards the windows, bending light around the window itself much in the way she renders people invisible. The light grows, campfire quality orange warmth. Lifting up one hand, as if demonstratively, Colette closes one hand and curls fingers to her palm.

She did this the day they met for the first time.

Fingers open, revealing a butterfly made from vibrant sapphire light with luminous purple trim and swallowtails. The illusory butterfly flaps its wings slowly, shedding a soft sapphire light before lifting up off of Colette's palms and floating in the air towards Sable.

Usually there's only one of two possible reactions to something like this.

Elaine gets a look that's just credulous enough to look a bit frightened, though she responds to her own fright by cranking down the credulity, convincing herself of the impossibility of what crazy #2 is saying. She is crazy after all. Hence the name.

And Colette's own words are also easily countered. What's she's saying is not only crazy, it's super, super gay, at incredibly corny and while she guesses it beats getting screamed at, there is something more than a little creepy about disappearing weirdos showing up and claiming they're your fam- woah, whatthefuckisthat?

Sable was already lined up to be impressed when she saw (will see) Colette's ability in action for the first time. But this time the circumstances, and the mood, are something entirely different. This time she does not smile. Instead she gapes. She had noticed the light disc Colette had used to illuminate the room upon entry, but it somehow got filtered out by Raven's perception, not so alert and watchful after all that trudging and, of course, dedicated to claiming the bed as quickly as possible. Just more weirdness from weirdos. This is… something else.

She reaches out a hand, cautiously, and offers her palm to the luminescent phantom. Treating it as if it might be an actual living creature. For all she knows, it is. These girls appeared out of thin air, for all she Raven can tell.

Elaine turns over to watch, her eyes focusing on the lightshow from Colette. It was certainly pretty. Unfortunately for her, the redhead didn't have as much she could use to show off and drive the point home. She does, however, see what's going on, in some ways. They could say whatever they wanted, if Hiro was already going to have it arranged so she wouldn't remember. "We came a very long way to find you."

"We're…" Colette strains when she's saying it, because goddamn it sounds crazy. "We're— " from the future is just ridiculous. It's preposterous, it's impossible, it's unlikely. More unlikely than a glowing butterfly of light at least. "We're your guardian angels."

Smiling weakly, Colette's brows furrow and her mis-matched stare goes to Elaine, then back to Raven. "We came a long way, because you were being tempted to do something terrible… because horrible, terrible people are trying to change the person you become, and— " Colette's voice cracks, "I— don't want t'lose you." It hurts both to admit, and because of the prospect of it happening.

"We're here t'protect you… an' put you back on the right path." Swallowing tensely, Colette guides the butterfly down into Sable's hand, lets it break apart slowly into tiny motes of zig-zagging blue light that swirls around Sable's palm, then flicker like sparkling fireworks before fading away entirely.

"And we might be stuck here," in Georgia.

The butterfly is the perfect aid, it would seem. It's miraculousness suspends Raven's natural defenses, her otherwise wholly possible urge to wall up Elaine and Colette's words behind barriers of cynicism. The fact that the butterfly's disintegration doesn't startle Raven is a marker of how much she's been lulled for the moment. If this is happening, then the rest of it can be happening. And if not, she's crazy too, so at least she's in good company. Raven regards the two girls, lips quirked. Her legs shift into an Indian-style sit.

"Where'd you come from, then?" is actually a pretty fair and relevant question, and one that Elaine's statement primed her for. How long is 'a very long way'? "Y'all can just tell me, okay? I'm… I'm not gonna do anything or run off or anything, okay? I'll stay put, I promise. Just, like, this don't make any sense. What you're saying." At points she sounds like she might be trying to comfort the other girls, not a totally inappropriate response considering the unambiguous upset both of them have been through in past hours. At the end, though, she just sounds pleading. Gently so, not wheedling or whining. But the questions remain.

Elaine shoots a glance towards Colette. What can they say, really. "Regardless of what we tell you, Raven, you won't believe us. I don't believe it myself. I want to sleep and wake up and suddenly have things be normal but…" She frowns, shifting so she's hugging her pillow instead of laying on it. "It's not gonna make any sense. But we really are here just for you, and we really are here to protect you and I can say that we don't want anything bad to happen to you." Her voice cracks, maybe the tiniest bit.

"It doesn't matter where we're from," Colette opines with a shake of her head, "it just— it matters that we're here, and you're here, and… and we need t'keep you safe until we can figure out how t'go home, or— or until we're sure you're safe, or…" or they're really stuck here, in Georgia.

Lifting up a hand to wipe at her eyes, Colette offers a faint smile as she settles her attention on Sable. "We called you Sable, because that's the name we knew you by. S'the name you introduced yourself to us by. I— we— you… you've never called yerself Raven 'round us." There's a crooked smile on Colette's face as she looks over to Elaine, then back to the girl on the bed.

"Doesn't matter what you call yerself either, 'cause— 'cause you're you, an' that's what matters. We— we'll figure out how t'make all've this right. Then…" Colette's shoulders hunch forward as she looks down to the bed. "We'll figure somethin' out."

That's it. Raven gives up on asking for explanations. Turns out the answers are just more confusing. And there's not enough gunpowder left in her to make an issue out of it. However insane the world has gone, and Raven has never thought it very reasonable to begin with, one thing does seem clear. When she looks into the faces of these two, she doesn't perceive even a shadow of deceptive intent. A clever kid, if pig headed, if purposefully resistant, she already has a fairly well tuned bullshit detector. And it doesn't give her the slightest warning blink, despite the total ludicrousness of what Elaine and Colette are saying. Elaine is almost right, whatever they tell her will be, if not disbelieved, then certainly unbelievable. But she can believe that they believe. And the believe she's… what? A friend. Family. Special. Someone they know. And they believe they're her guardian angels. However much they seem like rookies at the whole gig.

So Raven nods. It's not understanding, not really, but it doesn't have to be. It's acceptance. "'kay," she says, "I guess call me whatever, I dunno. Raven's a stupid name anyways."

The yellow eyed girl slowly lies back, legs extending, arms folding over her tummy. She stares up at the ceiling, then cuts her gaze over to Elaine. "Adie," she says, actually remembering the name the redhead gave her. She turns to peer up at Colette. "An' you?"

Elaine flinches. She gave Raven that name since it wouldn't be a total lie, but she hasn't actually used that name since before the bomb. Ironically, it now is before the bomb. She releases a breath. "C-Call yourself whatever you want to." She's scrunching up under the blanket again.

The question is, admittedly, an important one. Elaine had given an alias, but aside from her middle name Colette wouldn't be sure what else to call herself. Staring down at the bed, Colette offers a distant smile, then furrows her brows as she looks up to Sable with that same expression in place.

"I'm— " Real names may suddenly be an issue, depending on how much Sable is allowed to remember, forget or otherwise transpose around. Or, God forbid, if they're stuck in the past. "Adelaide," it was one of the last fond memories Colette has had since the Flash, a night out at the Opera with the Ferrymen, with Tasha, with the little lighthouse kids and Eileen.

Best to make an alias based on happier memories than anything. She's not sure what Elaine's is from, but hopefully the memories behind it are as strong as what Colette's offering here. Just the thought of the whole night is softening her smile.

"She's right," Colette delicately doesn't say Elaine's name, mostly because she forgot her cover name already, like Colette's are wont to do. "You— you can call yourself whatever you want…"

Colette cannot know what that name will yet come to mean for the woman who will be Sable. That, three years hence, should time be set to rights, that name will be burned in young Raven's psyche, marking the period of most profound change in her whole life, a name full of regret and rancor and a pledge of love eternal. She can't know that Adelaide, Raven's Adelaide, is the one butterfly that must not be trampled if they are to see this girl become Sable.

Of course Raven can't know it either, not by any means. "Arright…" she says, "Uh… I dun-" but she doesn't finish declaring ignorance. Instead, a yawn takes her, spreading her jaws achingly wide, causing her eyes to squeeze shut. She blinks a bit in the aftermath, droopy all of a sudden, the same way small animals get after an excess of gamboling. If only the day's activities - assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing justice, breaking and entering - were so innocent.

"Think mebbe I can sleep?" Raven says, looking between her for better or for worse angels. Needing permission, apparently. Or imagining that she does.

From what she remembers, Elaine's only mentioned her middle name once in front of Sable, but they were all drunk and sitting on Melissa's roof. Of all the things to remember that night, the name 'Adie' was unlikely to be one of them. However Raven's mention of sleep draws Elaine back to reality. "Yes. That's a good idea." Thank God for Raven being tired. She was too curious for her own good.

"Yeah," Colette agrees in echo of Elaine, offering a furrow of her brows in complete ignorance of the name she's chosen for herself. "It's— it's been a long day for all of us," the teen admits with an angle of her head to the side, brushing dark bangs away from her face as she lays out on top of the blankets, folding her hands behind her head. There's certain eventualities that will play out in the future, but for the time being she's fine with keeping a nice blanket divider between she and Sable's younger self.

Staring up at the ceiling, Colette lets the ambient light die down, bending back to normal illumination in the dark of the hotel, save for one little fluttering blue point of light flapping its wings near the ceiling, painting a sky colored glow on the white paint and leaving sparkling motes of light as mothdust behind it.

When Colette closes her eyes, it winks out of existance, and the motel room goes dark and quiet, save for the hum of the air conditioner.


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