Building Blocks


cat2_icon.gif colette_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Building Blocks
Synopsis Colette is building a garden, Cat is building a plan, Tamara is building… something.
Date July 7, 2010

Gun Hill, Rooftop

In the hours before noon, it's already 85 degrees out and getting worse.

Some people stay indoors to beat the heat, and certainly the air conditioned apartment 404 of Gun Hill would be an appropriate place to be to do that. But right now Colette Nichols isn't interested in beating the heat, she's interested in keeping her hands busy. The blazing hot sun falls down around her, and this time she's not making the mistake of assuming her ability can block ultra-violet radiation. Sitting cross-legged under a large canary yellow parasol, the noise of Colette's hammering of a nail into wood echoes across the rooftop and down the propped open stairwell to the apartments below.

Wood lumber lays all around her spot of shade, a paper bag of nails from a local hardware store, measuring tape, pencil and a water-warper old notebook her tools. The lengths of wood she's working with all look to have been pre cut, and no saws are — perhaps thankfully for her — up on the roof. Right now she's focused on nailing the frame of something together, and the spools of chicken-wire fencing, bags of loam and terra-cotta flower pots start to give this mess context.

A noisy black boombox dappled with long dried paint sits atop a closed cooler next to Colette, the tinny sounds of the Beatles A Hard Day's Night playing at full volume as she works. With it being Ringo Starr's 70th birthday today, practically every station on the radio is playing Beatles music in tribute to the aging rock star.

Here on the rooftop of Gun Hill, in the shadow of a parasol and with honest, hard work at hand, Colette Nichols would look like a stranger to anyone who hadn't seen her in over a year. The transformation from lazy teenager to motivated and dedicated young woman has almost been like something Franz Kafka would write about…

…and almost as unlikely.

Tamara's past experiences with the girl don't count — her memory is a fickle, unreliable thing. Her present isn't always much better, but she does have an almost reliable tendency to fill in what others forget. Today, the prescient sits quietly a short distance away, perched on a bag of potting soil; a safe distance behind Colette, she probably slipped out here and took up that post with the younger girl blissfully unaware of her presence.

Dressed in faded denim shorts and a pastel green tanktop, Tamara's shortened hair swings above her shoulders as she looks towards the stairwell door. The girl holds three cups of water that haven't been out in the sun long enough to be less than pleasantly cool; but so far, she appears inclined to keep them to herself.

The woman stepping from her car, thus moving from air-conditioned comfort to sweltering air in 0.5 of a second, is very aware of the significance to the date. Cat knows every word to all the Beatles' tunes. Really. Hard Day's Night, however, isn't the one in mind.

Nor are the Beatles the only topic in her mind. As she approaches the building from which music emerges, there are thoughts of electromagnetic forces, compasses, the spectrum, and finding Colette Nichols as words are quietly sung and a tune hummed between the segments. One written by the man himself.

I listen for your footsteps

Coming up the drive

Listen for your footsteps

But they don't arrive

Bobbing her head in in a slow nod, Colette twists to reach for the bag of nails, then hesitates and feels the reflection of colors on her back in an unusually familiar pattern. Turning and looking over her shoulder at Tamara, there's a shake of her head and a smile, lips creeping up appreciatively as she sees the glasses of water, and only in reaching out for them that she notices something that doesn't belong.

Three is a pretty significant number, especially to Colette and more so lately at any other time. Three cups of water is the incongruent bit in what she sees in the blonde girl, and Colette's smile comes slow in pleasure with herself for having noticed it. Living with Tamara is like a constant game of Where's Waldo, looking to find the hidden clues in the background.

"Tasha coming home?" is Colette's immediate question, both dark brows raising in blissful ignorance of the car that pulled up outside or the woman making her way thorugh the apartment building. It's almost like a treasure hunt, finding Colette. The registry downstairs shows Nichols/Oliver on the mailbox for 404, and a Post-It note stuck to door 404 was left for someone else, reading, "On the roof! <3 Colette."

At least it's an appreciatively short treasure hunt.

Tamara grins back at Colette, even as a shake of her head sends blonde hair flying. Pauses, briefly reconsidering that answer. "Well — eventually." She uncoils from her seat, moving the step forward that is needed to hand over a cup to the younger girl. "You had a visitor," the seeress says. "And there's many stairs." Now that Colette knows she's here, Tamara has no compunctions about folding herself into a new seat, appropriating about half of the industrious teen's work area for her own occupation.

She's in more than decent physical condition, given her regimen of physical training for endurance and strength, and so making her way up multiple flights of stairs doesn't take long. The 404 door is reached, the note there read, and Cat chuckles. "404. Object Colette not found." She turns away, back to the stairs, and commences the final flight with lyrics being voiced again.

I hear the clock a'ticking

On the mantel shelf

See the hands a'moving

But I'm by myself

Most likely they see the white-clad and ponytailed brunette before she can see them.

"Cat!" is the surprised greeting from Colette, and while it took her a second to recognize the brunette in her current state of dress the panmesiac is distinctive-looking enough. Flattening one palm to the concrete rooftop, Colette pushes herself up to stand with a scuff of her boots and a lopsided smile. Her hands brush dirt off of the back of her camouflage short before she steps out from beneath the shade of her umbrella, looking far more tanned than she ever has before. Baking in the sun a few days ago on the beach brought out that mixed Italian blood of hers.

"Hey, what brings you up to the exotic Gun Hill Gardens?" There's a crook of a smile creeping across Colette's lips at the joking sentiment, because the half finished planting frames and lack of any real vegetation up here doesn't make her pretentious title for it accurate. "You thirsty?" she offers with a grin, motioning back to the drinks under the umbrella. "I got some wraps in the cooler too if you're hungry."

Cat and Colette both have a bad habit of commpulsively offering food to guests.

Tamara, for her part, doesn't get up — she just sat down. But she does stretch out an arm, holding up a cup for the new arrival to take. Meanwhile, she takes a sip from her own water, peering contemplatvely at the bag of nails and the wooden frame half-built beside it. "Questions, questions. You might as well sit in the shade while it's here. The sky wasn't very friendly." Blue eyes drop to the concrete rooftop, the girl scuffing the toe of a shoe against it as if to test its suitability as a surface. Never mind that she's sitting on it.

Sunglasses of a mirrorlike quality are lowered to cover her eyes as she steps out fully onto the roof and the relentless assault of that bright baking yellow thing in the sky. "Morning, Colette, Tamara," Cat offers in reply behind a forming slight grin. As to her purpose in visiting this place, she states "I was thinking about the spectrum." There will be no elaboration on that yet, perhaps to let Nicole's sister seek it and have the initiative.

As now hidden eyes traverse the rooftop, evident in the turn of her head, to take in the garden's status, she inwardly wonders if Helena's splendors on the Verb roof the previous summer are an inspiration. "It's coming along well," she opines, "might be late for actually planting things, but it also might not." She accepts the offered water, thanking the Sybil for it, and turns attention to Colette's offer with similar expressed gratitude.

Some may call it a bad habit, but Cat will never consider it a fault to be a good hostess.

Dark brows up, Colette looks between Cat and Tamara slowly, then ducks back beneath the shade of that large parasol, pushing some of the untended wood aside and nudging the bag of nails out of the way with the toe of her boot. "C'mon an' sit down, if you don't mind gettin' your pants dirty." The folding lawn chairs aren't in the shade, folded up and propper against the brick wall near the stairwell. "This is a pretty slow work in progress, but it helps me keep myself busy when I ain't workin'…"

Moving over to Tamara and taking the other glass of water, Colette offers a thankful smile, leaning in to press a kiss to the top of the blonde's head before stepping back and taking up a perch atop the cooler, bootef feet spread apart and the glass of water chugged from before cradled between both hands at knee level.

"You just checkin' the place out?" One black brow raises as Colette poses the question. "Had a bunch've new people from the network here recently, Lynette's friend Toby who'se co-managing the place with Doyle, and I guess this new guy named Wyatt stopped by too. Sort've a handy-man, probably gonna's ee if he wants to help me put together some've this stuff…" mismatched eyes wander out to the unfinished garden planters.

"I've been here before," Cat provides, "quietly looking over documents and legal stuff, making sure it's all good. I'll make a point of meeting Toby and others soon enough." The water from Tamara is downed slowly, silence reigning as she does so. Afterward, she who sees well ahead of the present is glanced at, Cat believing Tamara knows what she's up to and choosing not to speak about it, then hidden eyes settle on Colette again. "I heard about some odd theory," she begins, "that some people might give off an electromagnetic field. It makes me curious," she admits.

Silence again, as Cat moves to grab one of the chairs and bring it over into the shaded zone.

"Huh?" Both of Colette's brows lift up, mismatched eyes settling on Cat. Furrowing her brows afterward, Colette smooths a hand over one bared knee, brushing condensation from her glass across bare skin. "Like, people who manipulate magnetism or something?" Squinting, there's a lack of connection between Cat's words and what it might meam for Colette. "I ain't never met anyone like that before, heard about 'em though…" and unbeknownst to Colette, Wyatt himself is one.

"You lookin' for one? 'Cause I can keep my ear to the ground, maybe ask around at McRae's place, I'm supposed to go down there later and talk to him about my garden. He said he wanted to see it, so, I might drive up here with him. He knows all sorts'a people though…"

It isn't Tamara's job to carry on other people's conversations for them — not when they're perfectly capable of conducting such themselves. Setting her cup down by the half-finished frame, she proceeds to disregard her own advice — 'practice what you preach' is not necessarily something the seeress partakes of on a regular basis. She drifts over to the pile of scrap wood, muted scraping and hollow-sounding thunks providing background noise for the conversation as Tamara… helpfully?… begins rearranging the pile.

"Not quite, Colette," the panmnesiac explains, "I'm not looking for people who manipulate magnetic fields. I'm wondering if they can emit them. If the theory is correct, it might be something you can perceive. Maybe you've sensed it, as something faint, and not really given it much thought before. Or maybe not. Look at me," Cat invites, "concentrate and try to pick out the individual bands of the spectrum."

Colette's attention shifts from her glass of water to Cat, brows furrowed and head tilted to the side as she pieces together the science of what Cat's talking about. "I can't," probably isn't what Cat wants to hear. "I mean, I'm pretty sure I can't. I manipulate and sense the electromagnetic spectrum as much as I can see it. My ability begins and ends at the visible spectrum, what you're talking about's probably in a higher or lower band, otherwise you'd be able to see it yourself. I can't do fancy infra-red stuff, or— "


"Actually," Colette's expression shifts to something more crooked and amused. "You know, I might not be able to see whatever it is you're talking about, but I bet I know somebody who can. I dunno if he can do it or not, but there's a kid who works at the Garden, name's Jonas. He's kinda' tall, lanky redhead? He used to work at the Armory before it got trashed, he's one of Tien's boys."

Taking a sip of her water as she inquisitively offers a look over to what Tamara's doing, Colette seems momentarialy worried, before breathing in a calming sigh and looking back up to Cat. "Jonas can see everything. Ultra-violet, infra-red and everything in between. I've heard him say that he can see radio waves before. He might be joking, or you know how guys are, but— he'd be your man."

She listens in quietude as Colette enumerates the limits of her photokinetic talents, not letting any disappointment which might exist show through. Eyebrows raise as Jonas is spoken of, and Cat nods at multiple points. "I remember him," she remarks, as if it were possible she might not. "Thanks, Colette," she offers. "I'll go look Jonas up soon." The cooler is approached, she intending to secure one of the wraps.

"If you would, Colette, don't go talking about that theory, yes? I mean, it's just a theory and spreading it around might make people laugh. It's not proven or disproven, y'know? And I get this sometimes, people rolling their eyes when I speculate or want to consider a possibility."

Furrowing her brows, Colette cracks a smile and bobs her head into a nod. "Yeah sure, no problem. I get weird ideas all the time, I usually just do 'em instead of asking people. Like this whole garden thing, people probably would've thought I was outta' my mind if I asked about it, y'know, 'cause I ain't a gardener or nothing." Wrinkling her nose, Colette looks over to Tamara again with a crease of her brows, then back to Cat.

"Since it's just between us though, what got you wonderin' about this? I mean, is it for a project or somethin'?" Downing the last of her water, Colette sets the glass down on the concrete rooftop and brushes her wet hands off on her shorts. "I mean, it sounds kinda' neat. An' if you do go lookin' for Jonas, he should still be at the Garden, I don't think he's been shipped off anywhere else."

"It's just like I said," Cat explains with a smile, "I heard someone talking about a theory, and wanted to see if it's real." She pauses then, her head turning a few times as the rooftop is again surveyed by shaded eyes. "Your garden isn't crazy, Colette. It's a really good idea. In fact, you've seen it done before. Last summer, at my place, up on the roof? Helena likes to garden."

The wrap in Cat's hand is bitten into, she eating carefully. Society background on display, no sound made as she chews, nothing escaping the mouth to dribble on shirt, and no speaking while she consumes. After that first bite, she checks out the cooler's contents.

"Oh right!" Colette admits with a grin, "That's where I'd seen it before, I knew it was last year but— I'd only been up there the once. You think Helena might… wanna' help out here?" Dark brows crease together and Colette wrinkles her nose uncertainly. "I um, I know she and I aren't really friends, but maybe… you might be able to talk to her for me? She's— more than welcome to come by and stuff if she wants, I'd appreciate the help, to be honest."

Faintly smiling and looking down to the shady patch of concrete, Colette seems hesitant to continue that line of thought anymore. "I um," there's a shake of Colette's head. "I won't hold you up anymore, 'specially if you got more stuff to do…" and that earns a look over to Tamara rearranging where the wood lays, her brows furrowed together.

"I think I might have to play Jenga for part of the afternoon anyway," the teen adds with a grimace, slowly turning to an awkward smile as her attention settles back on Cat.

"I'm sure she'll help, Colette," Cat assures with a nod and chuckle. "In fact, she'll probably even make it rain right over the planters and nowhere else from time to time." Another bite is taken of the wrap as she observes Tamara's activity for a moment, then turns back to Colette once her mouth is full. "I can stick around a bit," she offers.

Time will pass, before she leaves to go see Jonas or whatever else might be on her agenda after departure. At the very least Cat doesn't seem to be in a hurry, or opposed to join this brewing game of Jenga.

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