Delta T


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Scene Title Delta T
Synopsis Elaine and Colette have a lot to change, and a lot of change to undo, and who knows how much time in which to do and undo it.
Date June 12, 2004

Atlanta, Georgia
June 12, 2004

There is a saying, that to walk a mile in one man's shoes is to understand him. By the time cool night air has replaced sticky, humid temperatures of the evening, Elaine Darrow and Raven Diego understand fully what it is like to live as a blind man does in a world of roaring engines, squealing brakes, whining sirens, buzzing insects and strange, undefinable noises that fill the cacophony of every waking moment of urban life.

Walking three miles in pitch blackness is a harrowing experience, led only by the verbal and tactile cues of Colette Nichols, the two young women in her care are escorted across shifting terrain, tripping over curbs, stumbling on gravel and up one very short flight of creaking wooden steps. The world around them is unaware of their presence, a minimalist footprint in history, perhaps in keeping with Hiro Nakamura's desired lesson plan, one that he is unfortunately absent to instruct on.

Creaking hinges, clunking wooden floorboards and stagnant air make the dark even more uninviting. But for as much as the lightless dark has been persistant, when it is robbed away the alternative is not considerably better. The stink of fertalizer and chemicals made the emergence into view of a dimly lit shed all the more unwelcoming. White plastic bags of lawn fertalizer are stacked against the far wall of a spacious — though cluttered — tool shed. Grimy windows view a suburban street outside lit by streetlights, the silhouette of a double-wide trailer sat squarely in an unmoved lawn looks uninhabited by the lack of interior lights.

Fading into view the same time the world is coming in to view for Elaine and Raven, Colette Nichols looks ragged and harried by her journey. Dark hair is matted with sweat, the same that beads on her shoulders and rolls down the side of her face, sweat not just from the heat but from the strain of exertion of her ability. A coppery smudge is brushed over her upper lip beneath her nose, matching a smear on the inside of her right hand where she'd wiped away evidence of her pressed limits.

Stumbling forward, Colette's tired legs buckle as one hand comes out to slap against the wooden wall, rattling a pegboard of rusty gardening tools from the impact. The slim teen slouches forward, hanging her head until her toussled crown comes into contact with a window's grimy panes. Braced there, all she does is breathe.

This is as far as her plan has gone.

It was scary enough the first time Colette had sent her into darkness, and Elaine wasn't entirely happy about the second time. Both times, though, she was grateful to be safe, to be hidden from a time they didn't belong in. Stumbling around is terrifying, but the redhead keeps a grip on Raven. It's not something out of fear that Raven would try and break away, but it's supportive. Every time they stumble, Elaine tries to make sure the younger girl doesn't fall on her face.

In spite of the darkness and the attempts to follow in the darkness, Elaine has time to think. Too much. Her mind is filled with worries and questions, and above all, she wonders how she's going to be able to deal with it all and not weird Raven out.

When at last the light comes back into view, Elaine looks worriedly at Colette. "Rest a bit. We should be safe for now. Don't worry." She's a hypocrite on that last part, and she turns to the shaggy haired young girl. "Are you okay?"

For little Raven, the other-shoed experience is two-fold. First, that of the blind. Second, that of the hostage. Fittingly enough. It doesn't particularly matter that coercion and further threat are not necessary, not after Colette disarmed her and put a gun to her chin that first time. It doesn't matter that she's been told these women are here to keep her safe. It doesn't even matter that they did most certainly prevent her from being taken in by the police. Being cloaked in an impenetrable, inexplicable darkness make her feel entirely, piteously, at someone else's mercy, pushing Raven through 'bolt' scared into 'paralyzed' scared, petering out into 'resigned trudge' scared as the walk stretches on.

Elaine, I'm afraid that Raven's well past 'weirded out' at this point.

When the world bleeds back into view, it initially looks like Colette's ability has had some lingering effect on Raven's chroma. In the shed, dark, though seeming very bright indeed in comparison to the lightless state that has just departed, her dark hair seems black, and her skin is near paper-white. Just her irises retain their vivid coloration, clearly visible within exposed whites as she looks about, frantic, wide-eyed.

It takes a moment for Raven to realize Elaine is talking to her, first because it's Colette that looks most worst for wear, and second because Raven is much, much too confused and frightened to imagine herself as having any agency in this situation, much less an interest that is being considered. Elaine gets a blank look for a good seven seconds, broken in the middle by a quick glance towards the shed's door. She doesn't answer in words, but she doesn't have to.

She's also well past 'okay'.

"What the fuck was that?" Colette's voice is a hoarse whisper, more for herself than anyone else. Bumping her head against the glass in a gentle knock, she remains slouched there against the wall. "What the fuck was that!?" This time it's a scream, ringing off the walls of the shed as Colette whips around, hair matted down to her forehead, shoulders rising and falling with the rhythm of her chest in heavy breathing.

Someone else is well past 'okay' too.

"What the fuck were you doing back there!?" Colette hollars at the top of her lungs, and were it not for the fortunate absence of the adjacent trailer's residents, this location may well have been compromised. To everyone else, someone shouting in a trailer park is probably par for course out here. "What the fuck did you think you were doing!? Why— you— you shot her!"

Clearly flipping out, Colette is rapidly clearing the distance between herself and where Elaine and Raven are, one hand raking her bangs back from her face and the other hand thankfully absent of a firearm for the moment, it safely tucked in the back of her pants again. The whole shouting lividly thing probably isn't going to help matters at all.

"Shh! Colette, keep it down." Elaine urges, though she moves to position herself between Raven and the door. No bolting, kid. "Remember, Hiro's not here. I think this was what we were supposed to stop. I think we got here too late. They could have had persuasion abilities or something. I mean, why else could she have done it?"

The redhead's brown eyes settle on Raven. "Why don't you tell us what you were thinking, why you did what you did. I'm sure you had to have a reason, or talk to someone who gave you the idea…"

That door is looking more and more inviting, though the sheer ferocity of Colette's diatribe ends up keeping Raven pinned to the spot. Halfway through the verbal assault, Raven is stepping back towards the wall of the shed, toppling over a rusty rake as she backtracks, stumbling, back striking the wall with a dull thud as her arms spread out, the various patches on her denim jacket creased into halfmoons of threadwork.

The look she has on her face would be instantly recognizable to her foster family, and some versions of the expression may well have been passed down to a future self, glimmers of the person they came back to make sure she became. The look, specifically, one of helpless disavowal: 'I didn't do it!' The major difference is, if this were Sable, she'd be making a show of it. This seems 100 percent without embellishment. A young mind selectively convincing itself of its own ignorance.

Elaine's intercession gives Raven something else to look at besides mismatched eyes under thunderous brows. Unfortunately, Elaine's words make absolutely no sense, and so fail to be comforting beyond creating the hope that maybe someone crazy #2 will talk crazy #1 down a bit using crazytalk. She can hope, right? Only now crazy #2 is addressing her directly. And, cornered like this, she knows she needs to give some sort of answer.

"I dunno!" isn't much of one, especially when delivered in such a transparently defensive tone.

Colette's mouth hangs open, jaw works from side to side, brows furrow and a huffed breath comes out. She turns around, stalking away from the pair in the cramped dark of the shed only so as to shed her backpack with a roll of her shoulders, sending it clattering down as far as her hooked elbows, then when her arms straighten down to her hands that catch the straps, then finally a third step to the floor. This motion reveals the handgun tucked into the back of Colette's cargo pants.

Turning around, however, it's clear she's going to be making a second pass. "You— you don't know?" Mis-matched eyes are furiously wide, Colette's face flushed a bright and livid red. "You shot a woman and were going to kill people! You— you held a school hostage!" Her voice cracks as she shouts, already tired of it. "How— how do you not know Sable, for fuck's sake!" It isn't her name, but Colette is too furious to put the name Raven in its place.

Had they already failed?

Elaine inhales deeply. It smells of fertilizer, which causes her to wrinkle her nose, but she looks back over at Colette. She sounds like she's about to yell back, but she stops, closing her mouth. She takes in another deep breath, followed by a disgusted face, then turns back towards Raven.

"Hey. Look at me, okay?" She sighs, deeply. "You were yelling about how no one knew your name. Why would you do something like that, Raven? Why were you angry enough to shoot someone?"

The barrage of Colette's words rain down on Raven, sliding her down the wall, down into a sit, knees drawn close to her body, arms tugged in tight around her belly, which part of her is feeling… bad. Really, very, very bad. The simple unreality of this whole situation, an unreality that has only been spiraling ever further and faster into the realms of the insane, had done a fantastic job not of making Raven feel safe, but at least making her feel distant from the events in the school. But Colette's recounting of them brings it back. The adrenaline pumping. The blood flowing. The smell of cordite.

What first sounds like a hiccup and then grows into what sounds like a sob is revealed, as Raven pitches forward, fingers pressing against the ground, hair hanging around her face, to be a heave. The young woman gives a few retches in short succession, shoulders shaking as a thin, insubstantial stream of stomach acid leaks from her lips.

Even after this, still hanging over the small pool of what she's expelled, she doesn't change her story. Just shakes her head and repeats. "I dunno…"

It's enough to defuse Colette, the sight. Piteous as it is, it draws more from associations with Sable that haven't even come to pass yet, more so than anything presently. The girl in front of her in the here and now isn't even the girl she knows, not from her perspective. Sliding her tongue over the back of her teeth, Colette turns away again, sucking in a sharp breath and running one hand through her hair. There was nothing in the events of the last twenty-four hours that could have prepared her for this, nothing that could have ever given her the tools necessary to turn this situation around.

When Colette turns around to come for a third pass, all the fire is gone from her expression, replaced now with a pleading look that is expressed to Elaine with pitiful raise of dark brows and a slow, absent shake of her head. Colette is rapidly running out of ideas, which makes the prescribed future all the more dire.

Colette wasn't the only one unprepared. Elaine frowns as she looks to Raven and the sight of her recalling the events. A lip is tugged between teeth and Elaine rubs her arms a little, trying to regain her focus before she looks back down at Sable. "Okay. Do you remember anyone strange coming and talking to you anytime recently? Some stranger, someone you didn't know just suddenly decide to talk to you?" She takes in another shaky breath.

It takes a moment for Raven to get right enough to draw, slowly, into a kneeling sit. She's still hunched, her palms still pressed to the ground, but she's not looming in that sickly position any more. Slowly she lifts one hand and draws the oversized sleeve of her jacket over her mouth, cleaning her lips. Back and forth, twice. This done, she slowly looks up at Elaine, eyes a little teary, but more clear sighted than before.

Now that Elaine mentions it… "Some guy…" Raven begins, and her pause could indicate either remembrance or invention or, the mind being malleable, perhaps a little of both, "I talked to some guy. Some guy at, like… uh…" again, memory or fabrication? She gulps, "the bus stop. Yesterday? I thought mebbe he was a perv but he just- just wanted to talk," she stops here, stealing a quick look at Colette, checking to see how this explanation is going over, then back to Elaine, the same look in place but with a touch more hopeful expectation. She wants an indicator that she's doing the right thing, giving the authority (however provisional) what they want. Survival strategy.

"Guess, uh, guess that's when- when I… uh… when I… when…" Raven wants to give them more, but she can't quite form the words. Not when it comes to mentioning the thing she actually did. That still makes her stomach turn.

Both of Colette's eyes angle up to the ceiling and she turns around rather quickly, putting her back to Sable and Elaine both. It wasn't entirely the answer that had that effect on her, but the sight of Sable as she is, as she was, and presumably as they failed her. Swallowing tightly, Colette shakes her head from side to side, lifting up one hand to rub at her eyes, walking to the grimy window at the back of the shed, furthest from the glow of the street lights invading the opposite side of the shed and giving that tiny amount of visible light.

Wiping that hand down her face, Colette breathes into her palm, shoulders trembling and then hunching forward as she hides a pitiful noise with her fingers. Tense and still for a moment, she turns with rapidly blinking eyes, trying to hide herself in the darker end of the shed, lifting up arm to wipe a streak of grime she'd picked up somewhere across her forehead as she dries her eyes.

"Sable…" Colette whispers, but she can't tell her it's alright, she can't exonorate her from what she did, she can't even say for certain that it wasn't her fault. For the moment, she's — as Tasha would say — all startle and leap.

"Shh…" Elaine soothes, shaking her head a little. "You don't have to talk about that incident, okay? Right now we just wanna know what happened before. It's important, understand?" This was progress… maybe. Maybe. Her gaze flickers to Colette, then back to Raven. "What'd you talk about with the guy? Anything you can remember? Anything at all." She takes another deep breath, then gently tries to lay a hand on Raven's arm… that is, should she not look as if she'll freak out from the touch. Maybe it's for her own comfort as opposed to the girl's.

Raven gives another gulp, swallowing the upwelling of emotion as best she can. She nods. Yeah. That'll work. No need to discuss the 'incident'. She lifts her sleeve again, though luckily it's the other sleeve, to dab at her eyes. "Just, uh, just about… I dunno," wait, no, that didn't work last time, "about, uh…" she lifts a hand, two fingers extended, and sets the fingers just under her eyes, twin points indicating them. "an' like… uh… he said, I remember what he said that… y' know… he said 'sad thing that's the only thing', like, 'anyone will remember'."

Which is a pretty subtle way to start someone off on a rampage, just all by itself.

Another glance is stolen at Colette, just as nervous, just as scared as the last; the photokinetic never fails to make an impression. This glance, however, lingers. "Why're you calling me that? I heard you. Before." While she was invisible, during the 'incident' she's not going to think to much about.

A briefly worried look crosses Colette's face before her expression shifts entirely to a frown. Looking around the shed, the dark-haired teen ambles over with shaky footfalls, then seems more than content to crouch down on the dirty floor and fold her legs beneath herself, crossing them as boots scuff dirt and grime on the floor and her head comes down in her hands. "I always liked that name," is Colette's lame explanation, hushed as it is.

Swallowing tensely, she looks up with a ragged, red tiny to the edges of her eyes from the emotional reaction to all of this that she's been trying to seem too tough to have for the last hour or so. "Keep going…" Colette urges with a lift of one hand to her forehead, rubbing at her brow. "Don't— don't worry about whatever it is I said. Just— just tell us more about what you heard… you're— " she's lost her fire, her anger. "You're safe with us, no— nobody's going to hurt you." All she has now is how she really feels. That's, admittedly, more dangerous.

"I knew it," Elaine whispers, a little hoarsely. They were too late. How to fix it. She looks back to Colette, then back to Raven. "I know this is kinda intense, but… we won't let anything happen to you. Not with the police or anyone, okay? So… he didn't give you any ideas on how you could make yourself remembered? Where'd you find the gun? … take your time, Raven. It'll be okay." They have time, likely. After all, Hiro was nowhere to be seen.

Colette's explanation holds water with Raven insofar as a.) it fills well within the rubric of 'crazy' that she's established for both these people and the whole situation and b.) she has much more substantial things to worry about. As well as a press for more information. But this is an improvement: no one is yelling at her anymore. She's still obviously scared, but talking seems to help, as her tone gets more level with each phrase.

"It was Ned's," Raven says, with a touch of blurt, tinged further with tattle, "the gun. It was Ned's. My… uh… my foster dad." She would not normally deign to use a paternal familiar like 'dad' but she's not talking on principle right now, she's talking for what she perceives may be her immediate safety, not felt as guaranteed no matter what Elaine may say.

"I guess, I dunno, just started thinking about it. Maybe. Don't remember all that good. Worried about him being a perv still. I…" Raven screws up her face in a very visible feat of concentration, which may in fact be in part for her audience's benefit. The tension releases and she looks from girl to girl. "Yeah. Yeah he said, he said stuff about how it was better to, uh, to go out with a bang 'stead of fading away. Yeah. That's what he said." There is weird tone of relief in her voice as she says that, along with an almost hopeful expression. This is what they want, right? This means she's off the hook?

Will that stand up in court?

Exhaling a sigh, Colette rubs one hand down her face, then looks up and over to Elaine. "Did she— ever tell you anything about winding up in 'Juvie or— or anything about herself when she was this age?" It's a slightly confusing sentiment, but the lack of a name being dropped might allow Raven to pass it off as something more innocuous than it really is.

That someone was talking to Sable doesn't quite prove the presence of some sort of grand conspiracy, but knowing that there is some force of people out there trying to subvert the Sable she knows from ever being makes it feel all the more plausible, even if just in the moment. Bobbing her head in a nod, Colette reaches down to her side and shifts over, thumbing out a cell phone from her pocket, flipping it open with a furrow of her brows and a shake of her head.

That's not going to be any help.

Tucking the phone back into her pocket, Colette pulls herself up onto one knee, then stands up and turns back for her backpack, dropping down into a crouch beside it, zippers noisily opening before she's elbow deep in whatever possessions she'd thought were important to bring along. "Kepe her talking," is offered back to Elaine while Colette fishes through her things.

"No, I don't think so." Elaine murmurs. "She didn't talk much about that stuff, really…" Now she feels guilty. For all she knows this is exactly what Sable went through. She goes on her hunch, her belief, like she did with Magnes' sudden disappearance to DragonCon. She's hoping the perv at the bus stop wasn't just a perv at the bus stop. Her doe-eyes flick back to Raven.

"You ever thought of doing something like that before? Of using a gun? … and how did it make you feel? After that guy said those things."

Raven watches the exchange between her two… whatever they are in relation to her… with quick eyed interest. Gaze flicking back and forth between them, she tugs her elbows up to her again, hiding everything from the nose down. She's a mop of hair with eyes, peering. She's doing some quick, basic social calculus, trying to figure out what's going on in what she doesn't understand but appears, at least to these two, to be very important.

She only gets to play observer for so long, however. When Elaine's attention shifts back to Raven, her eyes widen a little, meaning to suggest she's been looking at Elaine all along, not eavesdropping or anything. Not a convincing act.

"No!" is her immediate answer, because she figures that's the answer Elaine wants. But there are some little shards of pride that remain in Raven, those things that keep the flimsy tent of her life up as best they can. "Just, like… mebbe in the army. I want to, uh, to join the army…" this is apropos of not much anything, but it's a clarification she feels she needs to make. She's not scared of guns. She's going to be a solider. Hence the camo pants. Hence the patches on her sleeve which, on closer inspection, appear to be scavenged markers from various branches of the armed forces. Hence, also, the smudgy ink letters on her knuckles. 'BORN TO KILL' with 'T' and 'O' only forming the word when she holds her hands awkwardly thumb to thumb. She was supposed to go to detention for a whole week for refusing to wash the letters off.

Guess she's off the hook there.

"What's going on? Something's going on. I'm not stupid. I can tell," Raven is trying another tactic, seeing if maybe she can get the upper hand through asking questions of her own. Turning the tables. It's similarly transparent as a tactic, but the questions are not necessarily unfair. Especially not the final one: "Who are y'all?"

"Against our better judgement," Colette mumbles from by her backpack, "we're your friends." That a little time in the army to whip Sable into shape doesn't seem like such a bad idea from where Colette's sitting, some structure, some order, it's hard to think that it could be the chaotic mess that Hiro had spoken of. But at the very least there's a sense of worry that with all of the choices — terrible as they often are — Sable has made in her life, how far would the butterfly's flapping wings need to go before one choice became a hurricane?

Colette isn't quite ready to find out that answer.

"Army's for punks," Colette murmurs from the backpack, pulling out a change of clothing in the form of a pair of black jeans and another tanktop. "Get out of the bloody clothes, we can't walk anywhere on the street with you looking like Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Colette gruffly notes, whipping the clothes across the shed to Sable, landing with a scuff and a crumple by her on the floor.

"They might be a little big on you right now," is added after the fact, as Colette zips the bag closed and turns around to look at Sable and Elaine. "You're not going into the fucking army, don't be an idiot." Too harsh, and only realizing it on seeing Sable's awkwardly innocent looking face, Colette adds, "You're too short to be a stormtrooper anyway."

"How do I make you you…" Elaine murmurs to herself, though she listens to Raven's words. She folds her arms, hunching a bit as she takes it all in. Her lip is bitten, enough to draw blood and she turns away towards the window, marching over to it to stare out. She's trembling. Perhaps there are tears. Hard to tell at the angle she's at. "Where the fuck is Hiro?" She murmurs, facing away. She doesn't move from her spot.

"Hey, fuck you!" Raven says, piping up with a sudden burst of bother - much more recognizable, this brand, however. Her indignation sounds familiar. "I just haven't hit my growth spurt. I'm a late bloomer…" this last bit is mutter into her knees, between which she's shoved her face, becoming a mop with eyes again, and frowning brows. From her fortified bunker, she shoots a glare at Colette. Pissed. But guilelessly so. Anger can have its innocence too.

The clothes are considered with confusion, one that switches into thought and then finally into skepticism as she looks up from them and at Colette again. Elaine's comment, on the cryptic crazy person wavelength Raven can tune into by can't decode, draws her attention for a moment. 'How do I make you you' is a tough question at an age when the person in question doesn't themselves know who they are, much less who they may become.

But the matter of the clothes, right. Raven peeks around her legs to get another angle on them, then looks from girl to girl. "You gonna…" she starts, not quite sure how to phrase this, "you gonna, like, give me some, y' know… privacy?" She briefly tries to imagine what they may be thinking, an only recently acquired cognitive ability that's still a bit untriained. "I'm not gonna run. You can, like, watch the door or whatever I guess."

For the barest of moments Colette has a why expression on her face, before awkwardly realizing the ups and downs of time travel again. "Change," Colette gruffly demands as she scoots around in her crouch, then settles down to sit on the floor with her back to Sable, arms crossed over her chest. Silence is all Elaine's question earns, Hiro may well have abandoned them, and Tamara's oblique reference of you come back might well just imply waiting out the next six years to see everyone again.

The prospect of waiting until she's twenty-four to see Tasha and Tamara again makes her stomach turn. "That guy who talked to you at the bus stop was trying to set you up for what happened at the school…" Colette has to lie, a little. She can't be sure that's the case, but it helps what comes next. "Like, y'know, a narc or something… This is why you can't trust the three worst things in this world."

With her back turns to the other two, Colette lifts one hand into the air with a fist closed. "Cops," one finger goes up, "politicians," another finger goes up, "and skeevy guys at a bus stop." A third finger comes up, and Colette waves than hand to the side before lowering it down to her lap. "The Army's just full of a bunch of jerks who think they're better than cops…" She can't really buy into any of this, but it's so Sable.

Then, of course, all the disestablishmentarianism in the world couldn't have prepared her for having missed the most obvious avenue.

"The Army ain't punk," Colette adds wit a gruff snort, "is it?"

Right now she's praying there's Ramones or Clash or even Operation Ivy on that iPod. Beatles might not have worked, but maybe the miracle of Punk Rock can snap Sable back into place.

Right now, Elaine isn't thinking much about Ramones or Clash or much of any band. She hugs her arms, facing away in silence. Maybe it's to give the kid time to change, maybe it's still to hide the reason she's reaching up to rub at her eyes with one hand. She breathes out. "Shit like that ain't the kind of thing you want to do to get noticed. You're better off starting a band. Changing the world by making people listen, you know? Stuff like that, with guns? P-People don't come back from shit like that."

Change indeed. Change being the only real marker of time, the only way time can be measured. The only way time even exists. And a lot can change over the course of six years. Colette's aim is true, but her target's not in the right place. It starts with the word 'narc', which gets a brow to lift just a little. The enumeration of the untrustworthy crank it up three small notches, but ascent is not complete until the assertion about the unpunkness of the Army. After that there's no more up left to go, though the look gets swung around to favor Elaine as she pipes up.

"That's really fucking gay," is Raven's first thoughtful addition to the conversation, answering Colette and then, "and that's gayer," to Elaine. The best thing one can say is that it's an indication that she's no longer scared shitless. She's comfortable enough to be a purposeful pain in the ass. Which is so what they need right now.

Still, after a moment, Raven leans out and gathers the clothes into her arms. She gets to her feet, wincing at the stiffness in her legs, and looks around for something approximating a screen. She decides to head into the corner furthest from the other girls, and begins to change, casting occasional suspicious glances over her shoulder.

"Where we going after this?" Raven asks as she buttons up the jeans which, after she releases them, hang low on her lack-of-hips, "Mexico or something?" She doesn't sound terribly troubled by the notion.

"I dunno," is breathed out of Colette's mouth along with a laugh. If nothing else, Sable's reaction is something of a breath of fresh air, one that Colette is visibly trying to steel herself against so as to not raise false hopes. "We're not spending the night in the shed, I can tell y'that. Cops are gonna' be lookin' for you after what you did, might be lookin' for us too. I'm not too worried about that, but I don't wanna' draw attention to us either…"

Glancing askance at Sable as she changes, Colette partly lids her eyes before looking back to the floor in front of herself. "S'not safe t'break into the trailer here, in case somebody's home or comes home… I— I don't know, I've never been to Georgia before. I dunno where the hell anything is…"

"I brought cash. I figured we could always buy stuff we needed, you know, just in case, since credit cards wouldn't really work." Elaine turns, a red-eyed glance given to Raven before she looks back to Colette. "We can get a motel somewhere. We can find a pay phone and look it up in the phonebook. Sometimes they have maps in the back, too." She suggests, letting out a long breath. "I don't know how long we'll have to hide out."

"We can steal a car!" Raven suggests, ever-so-helpful. She's fully changed now, the tanktop fitting better than the jeans, which she keeps having to hitch up with her thumbs in the belt loops. She slips her sneakers back on, tugging at the backs to fit her heels. "I mebbe need sunglass, though? Like, for hiding my, y'know," she does the two-fingered point again. Resorting to pantomime on this one feature for whatever reason. Shame and angst can hang heavy in a teen's heart.

Colette gets a canny look, its canniness, of course, diminished by its very pointedness. "Y'all came from where, then? Out of state? For me?" Real smooth, real well planned. The look suggests she's 'catching them out', while her tone suggestions she's trying to just slip it by them. Working at cross purposes to herself. Then, directed at Elaine, the less shouty of the two, "I know something is going on, y' know. I'm not stupid." Just in case they had forgotten, after the last time she let them know.

"Coulda' fooled me," is Colette's sarcastic remark to Sable as she boosts herself up to her feet, looking down to Elaine with a furrow of her brows and a sharply exhaled sigh. "And we aren't stealin' a car, I don't even know how t'drive— one… so— " one hand waves flippantly in the air, "we'll do the motel thing. Elaine's plan sounds pretty good and it'll get us off the street for a bit. But— " Colette furrows her brows. "Damnit. Neither of us have legitimate IDs that'll fly here," in 2004, "and Sable's too young." There she goes again.

"I can sneak in and grab us keys to a room, we just have to be outta' there before checkout time when the cleaning ladies come and make sure to keep the noise down and the lights off." Walking over to Elaine's side, Colette crouches down and rests a hand on the redhead's shoulder. Dark brows furrow and lips downturn into a frown.

"Hey, c'mon… it'll be alright." Teeth draw across Colette's bottom lip in only the time it takes to realize Elaine's been crying. Squeezing her shoulder, Colette looks back out to Sable. "C'mon, your guardian angels need you t'find us a phonebook or a fuckin' map or something. If we're gonna' keep your dumb ass outta' trouble until Hiro shows back up than— you're doing some legwork too."

Elaine is composed. She's done a good job over the years figuring out how to pretend everything's peachy when it's not. She gives a half-smile to Colette before she looks back towards Raven. "Lead the way. Some of us guardian angels are dead tired." There's a hesitation. "And, for the record… you can call me Adie. It's what my parents called me."

Two hands go up, delivering the double dukes to Colette in answer to her little jibe. "Go an' fuck yourself," Raven offers, managing to produce and even less helpful suggestion somehow. Her hands drop, however, as she notes the interaction between the two self-styled 'angels'. It's only shortly after Colette notices Elaine's upset that Raven picks up on it, and only because of the nature of the touch Colette gives the redhead. Comforting, meaning comfort need be given. It takes Raven aback for a moment, before she lapses into a dark scowl then evaporates the moment Elaine turns towards her. In its place is a look of alert expectation. She nods, vigorously. "Arright."

Raven stoops to gather her discarded clothes into her arms and, moving over to Colette, tries to shove them into the older girl's arms. "Backpack," she says, address enough, she figures, for Colette to play delivery boy. She turns towards to Elaine. "I hope we didn't go too far 'cause I might be real fucking lost. Dunno if you noticed but everything got all creepy dark and shit for, like, some reason." She reaches up behind herself, and gives the back of her neck a scratch. A tic she'll never outgrow, it seems. "I guess, like, thanks? I don't know what the fuck is going on but I don't want to go to jail or nothin'. I guess," a snuck glance at Colette, who first postulated what Raven will now accede to, "I guess it was pretty fucking stupid of me."

News stations will report no fatalities in the shooting at Michael H. Steel K-12. Ms. Diego's picture is even now making the rounds, flitting across airwaves to the TV sets of millions of homes, her current fame far surpassing anything she achieved in the time Colette and Elaine left behind. But the past is past, even in the past.

It isn't the first time Colette's had an armful of bloody laundry to dispose of, unfortunately it won't be the last either. Carrying it over to her backback, she unzips the top and shoves the shed clothing inside, then reaches around behind herself and takes out the gun as well, choosing to stow it tucked under all the clothing for now. Presumably the danger has passed, and all that's left is the waiting game of getting out of here and ensuring that Sable gets back to her old — or future — self.

Swinging the pack around and over her shoulders, Colette looks over to Elaine, silent in her consideration of the redhead and also of the name she'd offered to Raven. Breathing in deeply, Colette says nothing; no name, not for a long time yet.

"C'mon," Colette quietly insists, crossing over to the door to the shed, lifting up the latch and pushing the door open with one hand as she cresps out onto the front steps and looks around the yard, then leans back inside. "Hey," Colette notes as she looks back to Elaine, then to Sable. "What happened back there… it's not your fault. An' when we're done…" Colette looks over to Elaine, then back to Sable before quietly stepping out the door to the shed, starting to walk off even as she murmurs the last bit to herself.

"You won't ever remember any of this."

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