colette_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Considerations
Synopsis Leaving the scene of the Cathedral's events behind, Ygraine gives Colette a lot to think about.
Date November 8, 2008

Le Rivage

Le Rivage is a building constructed very much in the Art Deco style. Its lobby walls are quilts of slim wooden paneling, primarily a light tan but with several pieces of darker hue mixed in. The floor is similar in scheme, if with geometric designs in taupe and chocolate on the golden background rather than random bits of color. The wooden receptionist's desk almost blends into its surroundings, despite a glossy black top and the painting centered behind it. This complex offers a variety of apartments for people of moderate income, from studios to three-bedroom suites.

The cycle ride might be slow by Ygraine's standards, but she's a gifted and experienced cyclist accustomed to New York's roads. Fortunately, that does mean that she never seems to be particularly close to crashing, and throughout she provides a steady support to which Colette is explicitly welcome to cling….

For much of the entire bicycle ride, Colette clung fearfully to Ygraine, uneasy and anxious about riding on the back of a bicycle. Her awkwardness in getting on is clearly amplified by her awkwardness to holding on to Ygraine, though as the Briton begins to weave thorugh traffic and navigate her way through the streets of downtown New York, she casts aside those reservations to hang on for what she presumes is dear life, more often than not muffling a squeak of fright into Ygraine's back.

By the time the pair arrive outside of the Le Rivage apartments, the sun has long since set, casting the sky into muted shades fo blue and black amidst the yellow glow of street lamps flanking the sidewalk. Colette is more than eager to dismount from the bicycle, unclasping the chin-strp of her borrowed helmet, removing it with a huff of exasperation, "I — Ohhh man I can't believe you do that!" She stammers, face red not only from the chill night air. "Drive between cars a-and, and I thought I was going to die." It was a tame enough ride, but her over-reactions are mildly endearing.

Ygraine giggles, helping Colette to remove her helmet - an all-black affair with a tinted visor - before doffing her own matching one and shaking free her braid. She grins broadly. "It's more fun on a bicycle, when it's just your skill against the road", she observes with a playful wink. "But I'm a speed freak, I admit. I somehow have the impression that you might not be…."

"I don't even like fast talkers, let alone cars of bicycles!" Colette's hands muss through her hair, ruffling the black locks to try and get them into some semblance of order, though to no avail. Her lips twist into a lopsided smirk as she looks up to the apartment building from where she stands on the sidewalk, her hands then smoothing down the front of her vest. "I'm in apartment 109 now, with Judah." Her mis-matched eyes divert back to Ygraine, "He um, he's back out of the hospital now. And… and he's going through the adoption process." There's a hint of shyness there, "So, I think we'll be neighbors for a while." A moment of hesitation, anxious and uncertain, "Um, w-what apartment are you in?"

Ygraine blinks, then cocks her head and laughs softly. "Two floors, directly above you, unless the layout's seriously different. 309. You're welcome to come up and have a look, if you like. And… I'm glad. That sounds good for you." As she talks, she locks the helmets away in the panniers of the bike, then arms its security measures, before turning to accompany Colette.

There's a bit of a nervous smile that creeps up on Colette's lips as she shifts her focus from Ygraine back to the apartment. "I…" she considers the offer, then, with a nervous smile nods her head slowly. "Y-yeah, actually. I'd love to." The girl walks backwards, hands folded behind her back until she taps one heel into the steps leading up to the front doors. "Judah's probably asleep right now anyway, I wouldn't want to wake him up by tripping over stuff when I come on in. So I could kill some time." Mismatched eyes lift up towards the sky, then back to Ygraine. "Those… those really were terrorists at the church, weren't they?"

Ygraine shrugs slowly, and wobbles a hand. "Or their supporters." Delving into an inner pocket of her jacket, she withdraws the keys required to let herself and Colette into the building, holding the door for the younger woman. "I love the outfit, by the way. Very smart. But… yeah. I wouldn't rate PARIAH like the IRA, though there was a Brit there shouting that they were the same. I agree with what PARIAH said their goals were, not too long ago - that video Trent showed you? I disagree with the methods, however. I'm one of those loons who tends not to believe that two rights make a wrong. If hurting people's bad, then hurting people's bad… whoever you do it to."

Colette cracks a broad smile at the comment to her outfit, looking down at it as the tugs on the ends of her vest, "T-thanks, it… Judah took me shopping for some new clothes. It's weird," she wrinkles her nose, "I kinda' feel like a girl wearing them." A laugh slips past her lips, and she raises one hand, showing off the colorful bracelet shaped like a flower. "Tamara got me this, for my birthday." There's pride there, in that tone of voice, pride and happiness. "She… E-everyone was really thoughtful, I…" She comes up the steps, walking into the front lobby of the building after Ygraine opens the door for her, "I didn't really think anyone even knew when my birthday was, l-let alone, you know… get me anythin'."

When Colette enters the lobby, she turns around on her heels, hands folding behind her back slowly, "What do you think?" She pauses, the wrinkles her nose, "I mean, um, about all that stuff they were talking about? I know you said you didn't agree with them, but, like… How do you feel about that stuff? I — " Colette's lips press together for a moment, considering her words. "It's hard, you know. I used to be so afraid of people like them," the emphasis is as clear as day, a division clearly drawn. "But, like, since I met Tamara… and Felix," Not a name particularly familiar to Ygraine, "It's been hard being, you know… scared of them all."

Ygraine ushers Colette into the apartment's lift - though she normally disdains its use, privacy seems sensible. "It might not be wise to talk about it too freely", she says with a gentle smile. "But… in most cases, the Evolved are no more threatening than anyone else. I'm smart, have dozens of hours of training in martial art, and have been exercising my legs seriously for most of my life. Should you be more scared of me, or of someone who can, oh, make a flower grow? Or be terrified of me because I'm "different" in other ways - foreign, or because I got caught in the blast and took a dose of radiation, or the fact that I have a girlfriend?"

She shakes her head, stepping out onto the third floor. "On the topic of friends - I'm sorry I missed your birthday, but I'm not surprised Tamara remembered. She seems like the type to recall odd facts like that…."

Slipping into the elevator, Colette glances down at the tiled floor beneath her feet, making her way to the back to lean up against the far wall, hands lightly clutching on the railing. It seems that bicycles aren't the only thing that makes her uncomfortable. "I… I dunno, it… it's not the people that can make flowers grow that I'd be scared of. It… it's the dangerous ones, y-you know? It's not like they wear big signs that say I can kill you with my mind or anythin'. I mean, there was this girl down in Chinatown, and… and she like, she poisoned Trent 'cause she got scared. It… he would've died if it wasn't for this girl. She, like, healed him or something." There's a conflict, right there. "S'hard to reconcile. You know, the difference between those two things. I mean, right there's someone who's really dangerous, and someone who could, like, save lives." And Judah's probability of ever walking normally again, but she leaves that detail out.

"Oh, s'okay." She finally catches on the apology about the birthday. "It's not like I told you when it was or anything." Her lips curl up into a faint smile. "T-Tamara… uh, yeah. She… she remembers some things." Colette's eyes dip down to the floor again, teeth nervously tugging at her lower lip. "Sometimes she's gotta be reminded about stuff though. You know, stuff from a while ago…"

Ygraine nods gently, frowning worriedly at Colette as she guides her along to the last door. "I can sympathise. With you and her. I was never so… fractured as she is, but…." She shrugs slightly, starting to unlock what seem to be pretty impressive security measures on the portal to her apartment. "I spent a while in an institution, after the blast", she says softly, darting a nervous glance over one shoulder. "I can recognise some of Tamara's behaviour. But that… that scares many people far more than anything else. Mental illness - any sort of "difference" in behaviour, but especially mental illness - can really terrify people."

Stepping aside, she grandly gestures an invitation for Colette to precede her into the apartment.

Slipping thorugh the apartment door, Colette's eyes wander with noticable scrutiny as she very hesitantly slips inside. She onlymoves just beyond the doorway, stepping to one side as her eyes survey the apartment's interior. But then, her focus shifts back to Ygraine, her brow furrowing slightly, "Tamara isn't mentally ill." Maybe she misinterpreted the conversation, but there's a defiant picking up of the words that are said, "She's special." The young girl folds her arms across her chest, shoulders rolling forward a little. "She's… she's really special, an' it's not her fault she's the way she is. She just does things differently, s'all."

As she talks, Colette starts to wander, espescially once Ygraine's inside. Her eyes flit over the sofa, then down to the floor, up along one wall, to the television, towards a window, then the dining table. Each glance fleeting and brief, that is until she spots something on the dining table that causes her to begin meandering closer, head tilting to one side.

Ygraine takes a few moments to close the door and restore its security measures, using the time to hide the hurt that crosses her features at Colette's strong rejection of the notion of mental illness. Another few seconds are spent shrugging out of her jacket, hanging it on a peg near the entrance, before heading towards the kitchenette. "Fancy a drink of something?", she asks, watching Colette's progress with some curiosity.

She clears the distance to the table, hesitating only when an offer for a drink is made, eyes flitting back over to Ygraine, "Huh? O-oh, um, no thanks…" It's a distracted reply, and she looks back to whatever it is on the table that secured her interest, fingers plucking up a single eight-by-ten photograph in one hand. Her brows furrow together, and then her eyes widen — Jennifer — it all starts to click into place. It's such a common name, she hadn't thought anything of it the first time it was dropped. But now, there's something more there, and as Colette turns around, she holds up the photo by one corner, walking back over to Ygraine.

"Y-you — This is your girlfriend?" Her eyes grow wide for a moment, "I know her! She's — " Her mouth shuts, quickly. There's a hesitant, crooked smile that crosses her lips. Maybe Ygraine doesn't know. "Um, s-she — I ran into her at Columbia, ah, when I was trying to ask professors about my sister. She said she had some sort've project she wanted my help with, but she's never gotten in touch with me about it." She turns the photograph around, staring at it again, "That's so weird."

Ygraine cocks her head, eyeing Colette quizzically - and very thoughtfully. She pours herself a glass of orange juice, grabbing a second receptacle and carrying the carton over to the coffee table. "What's weird, Colette? I have the impression it's more than just bumping into her somewhere - she's the type to help people, I know. But… I'd hope you feel you can trust me. Heck. You've seen the security measures on this place - how many people do you think I invite in here? So trust me in return, please - what's up? I won't bite, I promise."

There's a soft sound in the back of Colette's throat, and she lowers the hand holding the picture. "I don't — It's not really my place to say. I mean, that's Jennifer's business, y'know?" Her eyes settle uncertainly on Ygraine, there's a chance this has to do with the identical laptop that Colette was sporting the last time the Briton had seen her. "I just — She said she needed me to help her with something, but didn't say what. An, um…" She fidgets a bit, fingers toying with the folded cuffs of her dress shirt, "Well, the professor she said might know my sister, I haven't been able to catch him on Campus at all… s'all, really."

Ygraine laugh softly, then sets the glass and the carton within Colette's reach, settling onto one end of the sofa. "Well, I don't know what that project might've been… but I do know she's into girls, that she dresses up in funny costumes for Renaissance Faires, and that she's a bit of a geek at times… so I'd guess what's making you nervous is something to do with what we were just talking about, mmmm?"

Shrinking back a bit, Colette shakes her head and circles partly around the table, laying the photograph back down where she got it. Her eyes upturn to Ygraine, sheepishly shaking her head and biting down on her lower lip, "N-no i-it's not about anything like that, I just…" She grimaces, awkwardly. "It's nothing. Really." Her eyes divert to the picture again, then back to Ygraine. "Could you maybe tell her I'm around? I owe her the favor, so… I mean, since I live so close to you, she can stop by sometime." The girl takes a half-step away from the table, then decides to move towards the windows instead, peering out towards the street lamps outside. "I don't want her to think I'm blowing her off."

Ygraine sighs softly, watching Colette with a worried frown creasing her brow. "Of course I'll tell her…." She chews her lip, then after a few moments, rises to her feet and moves cautiously towards the younger girl. "Are you worried that someone you love - or even you yourself - might be Evolved?", she asks gently.

If there was ever a sentence that caused Colette's breath to hitch in her throat, that is it. She jerks around from the window, her eyes wide. "W-what?" The girl shrinks back a bit, edging closer towards the window, both brows disappearing behind her choppy bangs. "I — I'm not like them!" It's a knee-jerk reaction, and it's one that rather immediately earns a hissed breath and a click of her tongue. "I — I mean, that's not… I'm — I'm just an ordinary person. There's nothing special about me." Her eyes divert away from Ygraine, though, and she peers out the window, silently.

It takes a few moments for her to talk again, gaze vacant as she peers through the double-paned glass. "I… I already know the person I care about is… is different." It's said with some reluctance; maybe she can trust Ygraine, maybe she can't. But Colette is nothing if not naive, "Tamara's special. I knew… I knew before she told me, but… but I didn't want to believe it then." Her arms pull around herself, tighter. "It's hard, to… t'get over. But I do it, for her. I — I'm still scared of people like her. Sometimes even she scares me… but for different reasons."

Though she recoiled slightly at Colette's vehemence, face again momentarily betraying hurt, Ygraine can't help but smile at Colette's back as she makes her final confession. "Do you realise that _you_ will scare people, with the way you behave? I certainly do, myself. Difference is always… startling. And for many people, any surprise is unpleasant. Anything out of the ordinary to be feared. What far too many never realise is that you need to judge people for who they are - what they actually do with their lives - rather than for whatever… boxes they might be put into. Fearing the Evolved is at root no different to fearing the intelligent, the strong, or those of a different race or sexual orientation. Fear of things that you can't do, that aren't like you, can consume you, if you let it. And I'd hate to see that happen with you - because I think that inside you, there's a really fine human being, who's been through a lot and has so much to offer…. Please, keep fighting the urge to let your fears direct you."

While Ygraine speaks, Colette is left to let her gaze wander out of the windows again, watching cars zip past ont he street three stories below. Her half-blinded stare begins to close, lidding halfway as she listens, her look somewhat listless, as if what Ygraine is saying has an effect, though perhaps not the desired one. Her eyes close a moment after, head hanging as her fingers curl into the fabric of her white sleeves, "It's hard." Her tone of voice has a weak quality to it, fragile in the way her posture makes her look. "You know what happened… I — We both got hurt. We both spent time in the hospital… I… t-the Evolved t-took away — " She wrinkles her nose, eyes closing shut tighter, "One of them, t-took away the person in the world who mattered most to me." For a moment it sounded like Colette was about to break down, but remarkably she keeps her composure, though her eyes dare not open. "It's hard not to be afraid. J-just knowing someone has… has some sort've thing they can do, and not knowing what it is, o-or how… how it can work, it scares me."

When she does finally open her eyes, her reluctance to do so is clearly painted in the look that borders on tears. "I get so scared, and I can't control it. It — it's like my body just… it's so hard." Colette bites down on her lower lip, looking away from Ygraine, "When… when Felix told me he was different, l-like that, I… I was scared, even if it was Felix, and I knew he'd never hurt me." Her hands curl tighter, pulling the fabric taut around her biceps, showing just how thin her arms are. "I was scared until he explained it, told me how it worked… b-but even then I still felt nervous. I didn't want to, b-but I did." She's not proud of it.

Ygraine very cautiously, gently reaches out to try to rest a hand on Colette's upper back, intending the gesture to be comforting. "I know. I… I've spent a lot of time afraid. I'm here precisely because I still am", she murmurs. "I'm terrified of New York. I've got a safe home I could go to. All my family and long-term friends are thousands of miles away. But I'm here to face down at least some of my demons. Because if I don't… the fear'll eat at me until either it's in control, or I'm no longer anyone I _want_ to be. It's so tempting… it'd be so much easier… but I can't - we can't - give in, Colette. I'd hope…"

She sighs, voice trailing off as she turns her tear-blurred gaze to the window, blinking quickly as she draws in a shuddering breath. "You've already got people trying their best to take care of you. I don't know what you want from me - but if a confidant, or an advisor, would suit, as well as a friend…. You can ask me just about anything, if you like. I might not know an answer. And I might even give the wrong one - but I'll give my best one, if it's mine to give."

Colette doesn't shy away from the hand on her back, at least not immediately. She stands there, head held down just long enough to take in that modicum of comfort, before reluctantly pulling away to walk away from where Ygraine stands. "Thank you," she says in a quiet voice, not looking back as she talks. "I just — It's going to take a long time for me to ever really be comfortable around people like that." When she finally does turn around, there's a meager smile spread across her lips, "Friend." It's a rather clear decision, "I don't really have too many, espescially ones so close to home."

Looking back to the door, Colette grows quiet again, "I… I should probably go home. Judah will get worried if I stay out for too long, and s'not good for him to be worrying so much, espescially not on account of me." Her shoulders rise slightly as she looks back to Ygraine. "You — You should come over some time, meet Judah. He's really nice, I mean, you know… He's… kinda' a grump, but it's not so bad." Her smile becomes a bit more honest, even if her eyes divert again. "Thank you…" She echoes her earlier sentiment, looking back up with her blind eye shrouded by her messy bangs, "For listening to me ramble, n'stuff… Maybe… I mean, some other time, there's something I wanna' talk to you about. But… when I'm not so emotional."

Ygraine gently shakes her head, expression mingly worry with sympathy. After a moment, she offers her hand. "Friends it is, then. Though confidant and advisor can work with that, I hope. Whenever you want… ask. If I'm not caught up in work or the like, I should be free. And I can generally get free within the same day. As for rambling… don't be daft. You put up with my blundering attempts to help you, which has to count for more."

She can't help but laugh at Ygraine's self-deprecation, her smile perfectly genuine now as she walks back over to the Brit, reaching out to take the offered hand and give it a gentle squeeze, fingers still somewhat cold from the bicycle ride. "You might regret that, eventually." She says with clearly a teasing tone of voice, "I can get really rambly." Both brows raise quickly, then lower again as her head cants to one side, lips contorted into a gentle smile. Then, after a moment, Colette takes a step forward and lightly wraps her arms around Ygraine's waist, squeezing her into a hug. "Thanks, for putting up with me bein' all stupid." The young girl looks up, smile a bit wry now, "It's a bad habit."

Ygraine is surprised, but after a moment's startled hesitation, she enfolds the younger woman in a warm hug. Fortunately, the musculature of her arms isn't particularly fearsome, so it's rather less than bone-crushing. "You're welcome, my dear. And believe me… so long as you're trying to communicate, I don't mind. I study how wars start - hearing about something I might be able to help, for someone I like… that'll be welcome."

November 8th: Two Years Gone
November 8th: Son of a Bitch
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