Euphoria's Knife


colette_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Euphoria's Knife
Synopsis Colette regrets her offer of negative emotions to Aaron when the actual claiming of them removes the guilt and regret from her about a tempting situation.
Date May 25, 2010

The Lighthouse

For a while, Sable was hard to find. Where large groups were, she wasn't. Reclusion has never really seemed her style, but then again, eccentricity permits a range of erratic behaviors without need of rational explanation. As of late, however, she's been back at the group tables, seeming cheerful enough, though she's taken to disappearing outside for longer stretches of time, emerging with snow-caked clothes and a flush that comes from a healthy work out. A look outside would reveal what's been occupying her out there - a great big snow fortress, its walls and dome too smooth to be the work of just Sable's hands. But, lacking time or curiosity, Sable's activity would remain a mystery, as she never mentions the first thing about it, keeping entirely mum.

The evening finds her free of her out-door insulation, dressed just in a pale blue camisole and sweat pants, but with a large quilt draped over her shoulders. She has a glue stick, brightly colored safety scissors, construction paper, and stacks of old, mangled magazines, all plucked right out of the Lighthouse crafts bin. Whereas most of the pictures from the magazines have been thoroughly plundered, Sable is searching for words, scanning line after line with a fingertip, pausing, peering, and then applying the scissors, cutting out a word or a letter, here and there. She works with steady concentration, the tip of her tongue occasionally poking out at the corner of her lips as she really focuses.

The clatter-clunk of the front door opening and closing manages to come without the hiss of someone pissing and moaning about how cold it is out. Certainly it's still frigid but after the last two months the thermostat only being at negative twelve degrees Fahrenheit is a pretty big victory. Dressed as if in emulation of a Pokemon character, the yellow and black plaid peacoat that Colette Nichols wears is a garish and offensive garment to the eyes, though the remainder of her clothing being nothing but matte black helps it be at least the only colorful noise on her person.

Unbuttoning the borrowed coat, the brunette is arriving home for the first time since the morning, snow dusting her hair and mismatched eyes scanning the now quiet ground floor of the Lighthouse. Attention lingers on Sable out of isolation more so than anything else, she's the only other person downstairs and that makes her interesting, especially with how little Colette has seen of her since their talk.

Swallowing noisily, she walks in with clunking footfalls of her heavy boots, that gaudy yellow jacket shed off of her shoulders to reveal the black hoodie beneath. Brows furrowed, she lingers in the doorway between the foyer and the living room, staring in quietly to where Sable is wrapped in her blanket and clipping at magazines.

"You… uh, holdin' somebody for ransom?" Colette inquires in with a crook of her lips into a nervous smile, shoulder bumping against the inside frame of the door and that bumble-bee colored jacket draped over one arm.

She's up to /something/ all right. The moment Colette speaks up, Sable's attention snaps from her work, eyes finding the other girl. There's a rush as each emotion and thought Sable feels makes a pell-mell dash to be expressed fully on her face, the result of which is a sort of awkward-surprised-nervous smile. And then the /words/ Colette says actually sink in. Sable leans over to cover her work hastily with her arms then, judging this insufficient, reached back and pulls the quilt up and over her head, tossing it over the whole project, making a droopy tent in the middle of the living room, with the corner of a magazine poking out from under one side.

"Naw, naw," Sable's voice comes from inside her dimly-lit, saggy-walled retreat. The cloth hill ripples as she shakes her head to match her words, "I dunno that this is safe with you. Y'all can't be trusted. Matter's too sensitive fer a… a…" Sable stalls her, unable to find the word she's looking for, not even sure what the word she's looking for is, or sounds like. Maybe if she checks the magazines? "Nothin' to see here. And hey," she turns in Colette's /general/ direction, the motion visible through the shifting of the quilt, which lifts up as she extends an arm and points what must be a finger a little off to Colette's left, "Where've /you/ been, huh? Howzit /yer/ the one askin' the questions?" Ah yes, the tables have turned now!

"'Cause I'm totally the boss," Colette impishly reminds with a raise of her brows and a toothy smile, leaning away from the door frame to step lazily into the living room, "that's a pretty good reason, yeah?" Cracking a smile, the teen comes over to the sofa, throws her borrowed coat across the back of the nearby armchair, then leans to the opposite side and comes down to sit on the arm of the couch, drawing one foot up and rolling up snow-soaked denim pant legs to start unlacing that boot.

"I was over at the Sweat Lodge, seeing how McRae weathered the storm. Apparently one of the safehouses called the Morgue got hit by some jerks or something, I don't even know. Nobody was hurt, I mean, too bad, but the operators moved in with McRae. He also had something for me." At that notion, Colette reaches into her hoodie's pouch and removes a folded piece of perforated-edge notebook pager, folded thrice over, waggling it around in one hand. "Your name is on it."

Curiosity piqued, Sable slowly inches her way towards the edge of the quilt and pokes her head out from under it, still keeping her project well hidden. She is again forced into a struggle: look at the notebook paper, or look at Colette's leg. This should be an easy choice. I mean, notebook paper? Really? Come on. But in a truly remarkable feat of self control, she peers at the thrice-folded missive, squinting then edging closer, stretching out her arm and trying to reach far enough that Colette can hand it to her. "Let's see it," she suggests, eyes finding a more comfortable middle ground, gaze resting on the other girl's face.

Shaking the document out so it unfolds properly, Colette hands it over to Sable, then focuses her attention on unlacing and sliding off her right boot, letting it land to the floor with a clunk. Mercifully the black and pink striped sock beneath is dry and the offensive looking rabbit holding a carrot embroidered on the side is reminding Sable via a cartoon thought bubble that No, you stink!

The letter itself is a handwritten missive to Colette, rather simply worded and written in a femening cursive handwriting. Colette, I need you to take Tasha, Sable and Magnes up to Gun Hill to help its operator with cleanup. This will be your safehouse assignment until the project is finished. If anything comes up, let me know.

"Eileen sent us marching orders," Colette notes with a waggle of her brows, lowering one leg and lifting the other, performing the same process of rolling up her soaked pant leg so she can unlace her boot. This one happens to be the boot where that six inch long hunting knife has been strapped to her calf, making the unlacing a little more complicated since she opts not to take off the knife.

Mismatched eyes flick from Sable to the letter and back again. "So, what… you're ransoming off Magnes' unmentionables?" The teen's smile grows a bit larger at that comment. "I'm not sure you'll get full market value on those."

Sable reads the letter over twice before looking up at Colette, frowning in thought. "When're we headin' out then?" she says, sounding wary, like there maybe be a wrong or at least inconvenient answer to this question. Not that getting out of the Lighthouse wouldn't be a fine thing - stir-craziness is an ever-present danger. It's just that Sable's not /done/ yet.

Speaking of which… As soon as Colette brings the conversation back to the collage Sable's working on, the yellow-eyed girl promptly disappears back under her blanket. "I ain't leakin' one damn word to someone who out 'n' out calls themselves a /boss/," she declares, speaking as if from the high perch of principle, "Guess away. This shit is strictly non-institutional, and now you've turned all management, lost yer edge…" There's definitely a tease somewhere in there, a relatively friendly goading. There's a pause as she remains hidden, then she sneaks out long enough to stick her spiky head into view, frowning slightly. "'m glad yer okay," she adds, never having had a chance to comment on Colette's welfare after the battle on the ice that she sat on out on, "Honest, that should go without sayin' 'n' all… but. Yeah." She disappears once more, fleeing from view.

"Timing was left up to me, so I'm thinking Thursday." Colette's decision comes with a subtle nod of her head, and halfway lidded eyes watching Sable beneath that lump of blanket. "It'll… give us time to do any last-minute things for Gillian before we head off, also to say goodbye to the kids. I mean— not like we can't come back, just that we won't have much time to. Gun Hill's all the way on the other side of the city, and until the roads are cleared I won't be biking anyone anywhere."

Snorting noisily after some deliberation, Colette narrows her eyes and lets her unlaced boot fall with a heavy thunk and then a clatter to the floor. "You never complained about me givin' you orders before," is the sly remark to something Colette doesn't usually talk about in public, or in private, or really to anyone. It's only when Sable feels the shifting of weight from the sofa's arm down to squeeze beside her with a crinkle of the magazines and paper she's hiding that it's clear Colette has taken a more hands-on approach of figuring out what it is beneath that blanket.

"Hidin' ain't your style," Colette explains, wedged in beside Sable as she is, leaning her weight against the blanket-shrouded young woman. "What're you workin' on?"

"Yah, well, gimme more orders I /want/ to follow," Sable says, elbowing at Colette through the quilt, "And you might find me a whole lot more obedient, eh?" She's invisible, but her smile is evident just in her tone of voice. Egged on, or feeling egged on, she sweeps her work-in-progress away from Colette's indentation with one arm, turning her back to Colette, though pressing back against her, playing both barrier and contact. Hard to get and come-get-me.

"You can grope around all y'want, bossgirl," Sable's voice comes from within her Fortress of Solitude, "'n fact, I encourage you. But I ain't writin' this thing in braille, so don't think you'll learn nothin' y'aren't already familiar with usin' your hands. You wanna see what I'm workin' on, y'gotta come in. And d'you think I'll make it easy? I'm no turncoat!"

Magazine corners crinkle, papers rustle, and somehow in that motion hands find their way beneath the blankets. Chilled fingers brush along a stomach hidden by the thin fabric of that camisole and Colette leans forward against the shrouded girl leaning back against her. "If you say so," is somewhat breathily noted, digits curling up beneath the lower hem of the shirt to brush over Sable's stomach, cold fingertips leaving goosebumps across bare skin before her thumbs hook in the elastic waistband of the sweatpants.

"You sure you're not going to show me?" Colette whispers with her nose up against where Sable's head is tucked beneath the blankets, drawing the older girl back towards herself in an uncharacteristic show of— God knows what this is. For all that it feels right it also feels a certain amount of wrong. There's a snap as Colette's thumbs slide out from the waistband of the sweats and they slap back against her skin.

"Or you should just… come out of that blanket…" One hand moves blindly, sliding up beneath the soft cotton of the camisole to brush fingers over Sable's ribs, the delicate touch of now warming fingertips counting every ridge on her side. Something isn't right about this.

That Sable set out to flirt is obvious. Show her an envelope, she'll push it. But this. This!

The tension in Sable's body can be felt in the smallest contact. Her stomach goes taut at Colette's first touch, it surface as smooth as it can get, the girl's breath catching as it does. Without any consent given from Sable's mental high command, she finds herself leaning back into Colette, head tilting at the whisper, compelled to listen closely. Beneath the quilt, it's already dim, and Sable tips herself into true darkness as her lids fall. Voice a and touch. Every time, she collapses her world into her voice, her touch.

The bite of elastic against her skin makes her jump, her arm moving up, fingers closing around the intrusive arm, squeezing, catching. Sable's breath, when it returns to her, comes in middle tone of a whimper, as if her ribs where keys and the girl beneath the blanket an instrument. The grip on Colette's arm tightens, its hold unmistakably needy. It'd be hard to get her in a more agreeable mood. But, when she finally finds her voice, Colette doesn't get simple agreement.

"Better idea," Sable murmurs, her other hand sliding out from under her veil, reaching behind herself and finding the younger girl's calf, the fabric of her lapine sock. She grips and wrinkles the sock, then slips her fingers up, towards Colette's knee. "Come on in. I'll let you in on it."

There's a whine of breath when Colette feels the hand on her arm, hears Sable's invitation, and Colette is slow to lift up that blanket, draw it wide and then insinuate herself inside by scooting up close and behind Sable, letting her legs part and wrap around the older brunette, then draws the blanket back up over them slowly to hide beneath it, as if nothing could go wrong in this instance. Colette draws Sable back against her, guiding the brunette to lay back, even as Colette's nose begins brushing through the dark locks of the older girl's hair.

She doesn't even so much as look at what Sable's working on, pay it a moment of attention, or even really listen to what the other girl said. There's just a noise, a breath in Sable's ear and a hand sliding back down over her stomach, lightly raking nails over pale skin. It's a sensation that comes with a tactile memory, a similar touch months back shared in desperation and neediness on Colette's part.

"You going to play with scissors or play with me," Colette whispers against the side of Sable's head, wrapping her other arm around the girl in a tight, warm embrace before parting lips to pluck softly at the side of Sable's ear. She's not really giving Sable much of a choice and yet— after their last talk this seems wholly inappropriate.

Eye's still locked tight, lips forming first a feline smile, then parting in another clear-toned whine, Sable melts into Colette's arms, hand finding her knee, fingers spreading, pinky and ring finger slipping between wet denim and soft skin. Her other hand releases Colette's arm, reaching back behind her, sinking into her hair as she tilts her head, her ear offered up as a willing oblation. Her back arches slightly as she presses against the warmth of Colette's body.

There's no answer forthcoming. To speak, to even pretend there is any other choice, would be at best a lie, and at worst the doorway to /making/ it a choice. Sable doesn't want to choose anything that's not this. Their last talk be damned, Sable's attempt at stoicism be damned, everything be damned, because this is her best blessing. Fingers grip black locks firmly. Sable's head turns, and her eyes finally open, falling on Colette's.

The first kiss is quick, a desert wanderer's first needy drink of water, too frail to take too much at once. The second takes longer, a skeptic stepping gently but inevitably towards belief. The third is unashamed, unabashed, and ends with Sable catching Colette's lower lip between her teeth, and tugging.

Swallowing noisily, Colette lifts a hand to brush over Sable's cheek as she turns in their embrace. She's feverishly warm to the touch now, despite the chill of the melted snow on the legs of her rolled up jeans. Her nose presses to Sable's, breath comes out as a feverish hitch and the return of that kiss is lacking any of the hesitance that it had earlier. It's all fire, all passion, everything that she'd been holding back when they had their talk in the kitchen.

Colette isn't behaving quite like she was the night they actually spent together, she's gentler and sweeter but not missing any of that passion that was there before. Her eyes fall shut ahd her back arches against the sofa, one arm draws Sable closer and a hand finds its way up the back of her tanktop slowly, right up until Sable feels osmething warm and wet on her cheeks in their kiss. It's— Colette's crying.

Good vibes can take away many things; the pain of regret and guilt are among them. What Aaron Michaels erratically supplies to the lighthouse is akin to free-floating drugs in the air. When they're there, everything and anything seems right, everything seems perfect and wonderful, and the moment they're gone everything feels a shade darker, dirtier, and wrong.

The noise Colette makes when the wave of euphoric happiness and emotion uninhibited by the regret she feels for their situaion ends, Sable can feel the warm dampness of tears against her skin, hear the hiccupped sound of a near sob before she recoils entirely from the brunette teen's side.

Colette scrambles, tangled up int he blanket and whimpering before she lands on her shoulders on the floor, kicking and pushing herself away with wide green eyes. Her breaths are hastened and deep, tears welled up fatly in her reddened eyes and dribbling down her chin. She sucks up a sob, a guilty noise of disappointment in herself at that inexplicable lack of self-restraint.

"No," Colette whines out weakly, shaking her head back and forth slowly, lifting a hand to rub at her cheeks, wipe fingers beneath her teared-up eyes and exasperatedly huff out a noise of raw emotion and confusion plucking at her heart strings. This is the other side of Aaron's ability, the side that doesn't involve punching and kicking. Neither ended prettily.

It was only through sheer force of denial that Sable suppressed a belief in this outcome. Since their second encounter, since the first 'I can't', the event has repeated itself, over and over. Rising upwards, then tumbling back down to earth. It's not even anger or pain that Sable feels, anymore. It's the flip of her stomach, as when the floor drops away from under you. It's a deep and simple loss.

Gutted, Sable struggles free of the quilt, her carefully assembled words scattering as small winds kick up from the settling blanket. On hands and knees she scrambles towards Colette, stopping just short of her. What she wants to do, what she can do, and what Colette needs… she can't know what relation any of these things have to one another in this moment. Seeing Colette, weeping and refusing - she wants to be there, to comfort. But her very closeness was, as far as Sable knows, what brought this on. She lifts her hands, voice low, halfway between comforting and imploring.

"It's jus' me. Okay, hon? Jus'… I ain't gonna push, I swear…" Sable inches forward, repeating herself for emphasis, "I swear. It's jus' me. Jus' yer friend. No more right now. I swear." She leans over, takes the risk, trying to set her hand against Colette's shoulder blade with a firm, centering touch that offers nothing besides comfort. That's how it's intended, at least, as Sable tries, in an instant, to go from lover to friend, to heal the very wound she inflicted.

Horrified in an instant, bubbled up levels of emotion tied to something so not this make hysterics easy to come to. Colette jerks away from the touch to her shoulder as if Sable's hand was a branding iron, curls up on herself for just the barest of moments to look as though she were afraid of the young woman in front of her, a wounded animal recoiling from a rolled up newspaper, knowing what comes next.

When that irrational fear ebbs away, Colette doesn't reach back out for Sable, but she doesn't draw any closer either. Instead, it's just a stare to the yellowed-eyed girl across from her and the steady shake of her head. "It wasn't me," is the hoarse whisper coming from Colette's lips, the same immediate reply of confusion and overwrought emotion that Sable had spilled to Tasha after their improvised fisticuffs. Choking back a sob, the younger girl wipes at her eyes embarrassedly, "Oh— Oh God Sable— I— I'm sorry! I— I don't— " she strangles back her words, staring in wide-eyed horror at her own reflection in Sable's eyes.

There's guilt there, more now than there ever was before. It's a sickening kind of stomach turning guilt, and the tears now aren't for her realization of the act, but for having hurt someone so dear to her. A shaky hand reaches towards Sable, lips downturned into a frown and brows raised. It's only then she notices words scattered on the floor.

And Sable remembers that line. She repeated it like a mantra to herself, insisted on its truth and with it the falseness of her actions. Here, outside herself, she is finally given some real perspective.

"It was a dream, hon," Sable says, slowly and softly, "Nothin' more. It ain't false, hon. It ain't a lie. But it didn't happen. We ain't guilty of what comes to us in sleep. It was a dream." Her words come out with the gentle steadiness of someone repeating a great comforting truth. That the sun will rise tomorrow, that the world will keep on spinning. She eases closer to Colette, reaching out a hand, offering it only if she wants it. Sable seems grounded, despite the intensity of the past moment. Maybe, just maybe, she's blinking a little to much, and her mouth is a little too set.

The words form a messy salad of empty signifiers. A bold pink 'EVER' clipped from a cover, a staid black 'my' in a Roman font, assorted 'a's and 's's' and 'the's. Many are crumpled, some are overturned, their chosen word hidden, their backside a mess of half-letters or the corner of an ad. They appear, and are in fact at this moment, forgotten and neglected by their re-maker.

"No— " Colette breathes out the word, "no it— it wasn't…" there's a tight swallow, before she takes the less literal meaning of what Sable said. It doesn't make it hurt less though, but the sentiment is awkwardly sweet enough. "I… I don't know— I don't know what came over me," Colette whispers into the palm of her hand, still trembling just a little. Colette takes Sable's offered hand, not eagerly but with reluctance, asif afraid of what she might do otherwise.

The tug is marginally unexpected, as is the arm she wraps around Sable's shoulders and the face she buries into the brunette's neck. The one, weak noise that sounds almost like crying is more in line with everything else, but the apology is so desperately honest; "I'm so sorry," not for what she did, but for hurting her again.

The hug is honest, isn't influenced by anyone or anything. The squeeze too is natural, intentional, purposeful and with meaning. Conflicting emotions are hard things to discern, but affection alone is a simple enough language spoken no matter the national divide. The gentle brush of a nose to the side of Sable's neck, so discrete in its meaning, like physical poetry with all its subtleties.

Sable receives the hug within outward signs of conflict. She knows what Colette needs, and she will give it unreservedly. To say she gives it wholeheartedly… that would be disingenuous. But the fullness of what dwells in her breast, she knows, is a violent and heedless thing and unfit for the task of comfort. There is an instant wherein Sable considers drawing the quilt over, wrapping Colette in it. But the drape of that blanket is charged with a too-recent other meaning. Her arms must do the work of warmth and enclosure. Fine. They are more than happy to. One across the small of Colette's back, another rising between her shoulders, a hand at the back of Colette's head, cradling it in the curve of her collar.

"I said I'd love you however I could, hon, however you'd let me," Sable says, chin touching against Colette's shoulder, her words both felt and heard, "You'll never need t' apologize t' me fer that. Put it out of yer mind. You're awake, hon. I'm here. You're here." Her arms press, squeezing the younger girl, "Can't ask for more."

That admission has Colette letting out a faint, weak sound as her fingers curl in the soft fabric of Sable's camisole. She exhales out another sob against the older girl's neck, tears warm against her skin and embrace tight. There's something there, what is hard to say, but that she feels so bad for so myriad a reason implies more than just guilt for being disingenuine on Tasha's account. She actually does care, in some manner.

"What happened?" Colette whispers at the side of Sable's neck, squeezing the brunette tightly, letting her nose press down against the hollow of her throat, clinging to Sable for the comfort and reassurance she can give. "What happened?" There's a despiration there, confusion and guilt. What else could it be, in her eyes, other than her own colossal failure at restraint.

"Please don't hate me," Colette fretfully whispers against Sable's neck despite reassurances, "please don't— don't— " she breaks again, another quiet and emotional fracture of her normally plucky self. It's hard to let this side of herself show, especially to someone she just did that to. "I'm sorry for— ruining your— " her whatever it is she was working on.

Does Sable have it in her to hate Colette? A lot is said about thin lines, and emotional energy has many ways of expressing itself. Songs have taught Sable a contemporary folk wisdom, and she knows better than to say anything like 'I could never hate you'. Instead she says, "I dunno."

"I dunno what happened, only that it happens and that there's nothin' to do but to treat it as somethin' else," Sable says, her embrace never faltering, her thumb brushing through Colette's hair in regular strokes, back and forth, "And I'll speak no word of it, I swear."

This promise of silence is two-fold. It is a silence on both Colette /and/ Tasha's behalf, a keeping of Tasha's secret through offering to keep one for Colette. The release of one will surely lead to the release of the other… and with Sable as a common disruptive element. It's strange, and Sable does not have the means to yet piece together this interlocking, but her relations have become tangled in a way that exceeds her original role of hopeless suitor. She may hold secrets for both parties, now, which in and of itself constitutes a bizarre intimacy.

Sable tips her head and kisses Colette's hair, a soothing contact that is as unambiguous as the brush of Colette's nose. Tenderness is the whole of it. Sable actually gives a low laugh at Colette's last apology. "Don' worry," she says, "Just a stupid little project of mine. A ransom, you were right. Was gonna kidnap the goddamn cocoa and have the kids, like, besiege my snow fort once it was warm enough. Give 'em a proper villain to fight, help 'em become proper heros for a little. Let 'em raise their own flag over Castle Crimson, 'n' march home with their prize."

The laugh Colette gives at that is laced with emotions not native to the source of her amusement. Tearfully looking up at Sable and embarrsedly wiping at her eyes once she's leaned back enough to, the teen just stares in smiling stupor at the idea. "I think it's perfect," she says quietly, shaking her head in odd juxtaposition to her words. "You're really good with kids…" is an admission of truth, and in their affectionate closeness, Colette squeezes Sable around the shoulders.

Mismatched green and cataract white eyes stare into yellow ones, watching Sable's expression thoughtfully. There's guilt, certainly, but there's also regret for what she did tonight in her eyes and a consideration for a certain blonde man she may need to have additional words with at some point.

But it's not so much her frustration with Aaron on her mind right now, but the lifting of one hand to Sable's cheek. Colette smiles, sadly, then wordlessly leans in towards the yellow-eyed girl, breathing out a soft exhalation as their lips meet. It was Sable's one request that night, show me what I'm missing and Colette couldn't bring herself to fullfill it, to give her that one wish.

Maybe it's guilt pulling her heartstrings now, maybe it's something else she sees in Sable now that she didn't back then. But the kiss isn't what she's ever given to Sable, isn't what she's shared with anyone else aside from two other people in her life. It's a small thing, soft and gentle, a brush of lips and a very faint pluck followed by a touch of her nose from side to side over Sable's. In tiering of intimacy they've been through more together, but on terms of tenderness it's never been like that.

"You should finish it," Colette whispers against Sable's lips, one hand still at the brunette's cheek and foreheads touching. "It'll be a good way to say goodbye before we leave."

Sable gives a small snort, dismissive, rueful, "Naw, I just know what'll get the little bastards riled up. Someone's gotta wear the black hat, eh? Be the bad man behind blue eyes. Well… yellow, I guess." She might well keep on chattering, her crisis-driven energy now diffusing into nervousness and fidgets. But then, she's kissed.

Though it's a reward, or a recompense, this is far, far more a punishment, in its way, than the uninhibited near-miss of minutes before. This is what she's missing, what she can't rely on sly flirtation and slowly escalating touches to achieve. In the space between heartbeats she feels the earth beneath her more firmly then ever, and then, just as quickly, feels it disappear. Another loss. Sable's blinking again. It's more than obvious why, from the way her brow strains and her lips tug down. Colette can even feel the tension in Sable's jaw. She's holding back tears with the ferocity of someone who never lets themselves cry. And while she's winning the battle, well trained as she is, but it's very, very close.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'll do that," Sable says, voice a little rough around the edges, remaining stalk still in case the energy for movement must be held in reserve in case they're needed for the skirmish around her eyes. "Don't… don't tell anyone, arright? Gotta be a proper surprise."

"I'm good at keeping secrets," is the whispered answer from Colette as she leans away from Sable, clearing her throat and rising up to stand straight, her shoulders squared and back stiff. Brows furrow, thoughtfully, and Colette offers a hand down to Sable to help her up off of the floor, still staring at the letters and words discarded by the emotional tangle they'd found themselves in.

Colette swallows, nervously, and the expression on her face belies a certain level of palpable anxiety. "But there's a few people I won't keep a secret from…" Colette says in a quiet, emotion-riddled tone of voice.

"You and Tasha are two've 'em."

Sable takes Colette's hands and gets unsteadily to her feet. She's been sitting, kneeling, and otherwise not really using her legs fully for a while, so her muscles complain at being suddenly summoned back from their extended coffee break. She reaches behind herself to scratch the nape of her neck, a sure fire sign of her own anxiety. But Colette's admission, while it should make her feel special, has the effect of spilling cold water into her viscera.

This is extremely not good. If Colette confesses to Tasha, then it is almost inevitable that Tasha will confess to Colette and none of this will end well for Sable. For Colette, Sable will be the brute who attacked Tasha. For Tasha, Sable will be the wolf who was all to ready to prey on Colette. At least, this is how Sable imagines it will be taken. So what can she possibly do?

She can't hide the anxiety - she looks stricken. Her words come out in stammers. "I… jus'… what'll you say? 'bout this?" Sable thought she made it clear: this didn't happen!

"The truth," Colette offers quietly, reachng up to brush a lock of errant dark hair from Sable's brow. "Aaron's power… freaked out on me," and that she openly admits to knowing that he has an ability is a stretch of news to most people. "I— I did something I didn't mean to do and… I apologized." It's a little slim, but it is the truth. "I'm sorry if I hurt you… I…" Colette closes her eyes, looks away and turns her head, letting her teeth worry at her lower lip.

"I'll tell her what I did, and… we'll talk about it, and we'll get through it, 'cause when you love someone, like I love her…" Colette's eyes become a little glassy at that, "I— you don't lie to them and you don't hide the truth, 'cause otherwise when it comes out, people'll get hurt. It wasn't… really my fault, an' I'm gonna' need t'have a serious talk with Aaron once everything's said an' done."

Letting her hand come down to Sable's shoulder, Colette gives it a gentle squeeze. "I never… wanted to hurt you," she offers in quiet, sheepish explanation. "I thought I… I thought I was just your fling, and I thought you were just mine and… and I never— " mismatched eyes close and Colette cuts herself off. "I hope, you know, one day… you realize I ain't that special."

Sable winces. It's crucial decision time. Pure honesty… what a notion. The truth is never so simple, its effects never so easy to predict. When it comes, and from whom… these things matter. These thing color the untarnished facts, if such untarnished facts ever existed in the first place, particularly when speaking of the wild tangles of emotion.

"Hon… hold on there, okay?" Sable says, her hands lifting in a call for delay. "I… There's mebbe somethin' I should say, only I dunno that it's my right t'say it. It's… it's somethin' I was asked to keep a secret. So it ain't my secret. Elsewise I would have told you already. But… I dunno. I ain't sure. Seems like a certain thing you'll be findin' out soon. Mebbe it's selfishness… but I feel like mebbe I should tell you now. Give you time t'like… y'know? Get ahold of it."

Worry lances through Colette easily at Sable's awkwardness. There's a subtle tension in her posture that makes her back straighten and fingers curl against her palms. Warily is the way she assesses the other brunette on that admission, and her lingering stare already has a somewhat judgemental quality to it. Trying to alleviate what she knows is a hard expression, Colette hides her anxiety behind an inappropriate joke. "If you and Tasha made out, that's totally hot okay?"

She only manages to crack half a smile at that, awkwardly laughing when it's clear that Sable isn't joking about the seriousness of what she's trying to confess. It makes Colette shrink back a little sheepishly, scratching at the back of her neck as she does.

Oh if /only/. Sable gives a strained smile at this. "I… y'know, please, /hold/ that thought, cuz this is a line of thinkin' I could get behind…" she says. Oh please, please let this magically turn into the planning of a ménage à trois. Please, oh, please! "But… yeah, it ain't so pretty as that." Jesus, where to begin. "What happened t' you… it happened to me. But it wasn't… like… /that/. It was bad. Real bad. I said… y'know… it was a dream? Hon, mine was a nightmare. The world, it turned so ugly, and I was the ugliest thing in it. Just… every black 'n' fuckin' foul feelin' you can imagine, bubblin' up inside me like tar on a real Georgia summer."

She pauses. The picture is painted, but it's just a still frame. There's no story yet. And she's so hesitant to begin. That last kiss was painful, yes, but it was good. And this… Sable can't imagine goodness coming of it. So she doesn't begin, yet. Instead, she jumps past the end. "Tasha was the one who said we shouldn't tell y'. I… I was gonna crawl to you after 'n' let you know. But she said we shouldn't. It ain't my secret. It's hers. I dunno. Should I tell?"

Half-blinded eyes meet Sable's without the usual lazy-eye wobble of a cataracted eye. There's still something like sight happening with it, even if it isn't in the traditional human sense of the word. "No…" is Colette's hushed answer, her brows furrowed and eyes somewhat distantly focused. After yesterday, the thought of a secret coming between she and Tasha would've been a laughable idea. Now, in the presence of something that she and Sable have both agreed to conceal from her, Colette can't help but feel something untoward fluttering in the pit of her stomach.

"I— think I'm going to ask her myself," Colette notes with the faintest hint of tension in her throat as she tries to say it, her strange eyes focused on Sable quietly in scrutiny. "Thanks for… for telling me, for letting me know something happened. But if this…" there's a tiny shake of her head, "I— I want to hear from Tasha why she didn't want to tell me." All manner of terrors flit through Colette's mind, none of them particularly flattering secrets to reveal.

"I… I appreciate you telling me," Colette offers afterward in quiet fashion, "I do."

Sable lets out a growl, and proceeds to pound her fists against her own head in a bizarre display of self-directed aggression. "Fuck /fuck/ fuck FUCK!" she snarls, "It's somethin' /I/ did, god fuckin' dammit! She prob'ly kept it from you as a fuckin' /kindness/ to me. Don't you… don't…" the yellow eyed girl visible seethes, "Don't let this trivial fuckin' bullshit ruin things! You love her, /Christ/. And I'd love you if I got the chance. And if nothin' happens for us, at least we've got, like /somethin'/ between worth havin', and I know you wanna keep what you've got with Tasha, so fer chrissake, don't /ruin/ things!"

The girl is working herself into a fever pitch of something or other. Her anger seems directed outwards as much as inwards, though not at Colette's person. Maybe, at worst, at a potential future Colette. And the world that would let such a future come to pass. "You know what it feels like! You aren't there, anymore. You're watchin' yerself go mad, eh? Doin' somethin' you mebbe wanted to do somewhere secret inside you where there ain't no consequences for shit? A dream, dammit, a nightmare! That shit doesn't count! It's what we fuckin' do /instead/ of that shit, /despite/ that shit! Unnerstand?" There is a sheer ferocity in Sable's gaze, which fixes on Colette, not just asking but /demanding/ that she comprehend what Sable is trying to convey.

Rubbing a hand across her forehead, Colette slowly shakes her head and breathes out a weary sigh. "I'm not— " she might have, and that realization is what makes her hesitate. Running her tongue over her lips, she looks askance and over to the words on the floor. Frustration drains out of Colette some and her shoulders slack, eyes close and head dips down into a bobbed nod.

"You're right…" is hard to admit, but Colette does it. "Sorry I— I just…" she's not even sure what she's saying anymore, head shaking from side to side as she sweeps bangs back from her brow and rakes fingers across her scalp. "You're… you're a really good friend, Sable." That's harder to admit for different reasons, not because she doesn't want to admit it, but because she knows Sable wishes it were more. It's hard to say what Colette actually wishes, but the thought of trying to figure it out makes the ring on her hand and bracelet on the opposite wrist feel ten pounds heavier.

"When Gillian gets back," Colette offers in quiet tone of voice, "I'm going to ask her to have Aaron leave, because this…" she gestures around to the mess on the floor, crouching before picking up some of the letters, holding them in one hand and offering them out to Sable.

"I'm sorry I messed up your ransom letter," Colette adds quietly, admittedly with a bit of a smirk.

Sable reaches out to catch the words that spill from cupped hand to cupped hand. She's descending from the height of temper she had worked herself up to, cheeks a little flushed still, but her color returning to normal. She sniffs, rubs her nose with the back of her arm. "Naw, it's arright. They'll look more, like, sinister if they're crumpled. It'll be an improvement," she brings the words towards her, fingers curling over to entrap them.

"I actually sorta like Tasha, just' for the record," Sable states, rather abruptly, "I mean, she's sorta bourgie as all fuckin' get out, but," she shrugs, "There's kinda a charm t' that fer us orphan fuckin' headcases, I figure." A wolfish grin suddenly springs to her lips, a familiar expression that suggests Sable's finally really coming back to her 'normal' self, "And real easy on the eyes. So, y'know, also for the record," she glances off to the side, as if 'casually' checking to see they have privacy, "That, uh… previously mentioned line of thought that I toldja to sorta… hold onto?" Her brows waggle, just to make it /totally/ obvious, "I'd be a real respectful 'n' enthusiastic guest."

"Just, y'know… if it comes up. Or whatever."

"She's really special…" Colette affirms to Sable, seeming a bit torn as she admits it to someone she knows has unresolved feelings, but the honesty thing goes both ways. Cracking a smile, though at that last comment Colette squints her blind eye and points one finger at Sable. "Don't press your luck," which is Colette's way of more tactfully saying;

I wish.

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