Everyone Has Limits


colette2_icon.gif conrad_icon.gif

Scene Title Everyone Has Limits
Synopsis Colette and Conrad go for their second round of training, and Colette learns that even her power has limits.
Date November 19, 2008


Originally associated with the arts, and later famous for both being a destination for shopping and its downtown scene, SoHo has changed drasticly since the bomb. The evacuation of SoHo after the bomb, due to its position in the path of the fallout caused as much chaos and hysteria as the bomb itself did. The damage done to the district in that upheaval alone never truly went away. Only finally reopened to the public on New Years day in 2008, SoHo has been struggling to reclaim itself in the time since. The vast majority of the neighborhood suffered as much of New York did from fires caused both by the bomb itself and arson-related incidents.

The reclimation process for SoHo has been slow going. Portions of the northern edge of the neighborhood were remarkably damaged by debris from the initial blast of the bomb, and even more were gutted by fires. The worst of the lot remain behind the one-story high concrete barricades that divide SoHo from the ruins of midtown, accessed only by Department of Homeland Security checkpoints reinforced by the presence of the national guard.

The fear of ratiation from the fallout has also kept many out of SoHo, even after its reopening. While SoHo had become fairly commercialized, much of that business closed and moved on in steady economic collapse that engulfed the city. Yet, the southern part of the neighborhood, along Grand Street and Canal Street, retains some of the feel of SoHo's earlier days, with a handful of small business struggling to remain open despite the rising cost of living.

Visualize, if you will, a lonely rooftop of a condemned building. It's silent up here. Peaceful. The building itself is a modestly high one of about twelve floors, and no electricity. Nobody's here and the wind blows chilly in the mid-day sun, the effects of both causing it to be cold in spite of the light, but snowless because of the sun. Pan the camera to the locked door for rooftop access with its hinges and knobs rusted impossibly over. It's one of those steel doors too, and has kept people off of this roof since this part of town was pretty much left to its own devices.

THOOMP! goes a mini-explosion that leaves a small shotgun-like hole ripped in the door where the knob used to be. THOOMP THOOMP THOOMP! THOOMP! And the hinges fly off and the door itself at first lists to the side and then finds itself blown mightily across the rooftop gravel, kicking up pebbles before it comes to rest about a dozen feet away.

Conrad is in no mood to fuck around with trying to finesse the door open. You get tired climbing twelve flights, particularly when you're in your mid-30's. He's not in the kind of shape to do this shit all the time. Stepping out, his feet crunch on the roof's surface and he takes a deep breath in the brisk wind. Fortunately he's got a nice thick Miami Dolphins jacket on with a matching watchcap and some gloves. "Man. The shit I do for lost little girls." he grumbles.

Learning she has the ability to manipulate light with the same ease most people manipulate their eyelids is one thing; explosions are anotheer. Even with warning, Colette shrieks and runs down the stairwell to the next landing, curling into a ball and covering her had from the blast. The girl is a picture of post-traumatic stress syndrome, shivvering long after the door has blown clear off its hinges and hit the ground.

However, it would seem her bravery works in proxy, in the form of an old dog with graying fur around the mouth, and mottled brown-black everywhere else. Unphased by the explosion, the dog tilts his head to the side with a jingle of his collar, then proceeds to rush back downstairs, wedging his nose between the makeshift shield of Colette's arms to press a cold and wet nose into her cheek, forehead and left eye. As if to say, get up, it's just noise.

"Jupiter." The girl hisses out, startled from her trembling fear by the abrupt nose to the eye. Her own nose wrinkles in response, and the dog's lapping tongue against her cheek takes away what vestiges of irrational fear may have been hanging over. "Alright, alright." She whispers, getting to her feet to wipe her face dry with the sleeve of her jacket. "Come on."

The pair emerge out on to the roof not long after, boots crunching mostly ice underfoot, and claws scraping the dried patches where the sun has melted ice away to reveal concrete tiles. "S'fucking cold up here," Colette mutters, stuffing her gloved hands into her pockets as Jupiter rushes past Conrad, sniffing the ground on his way across the rooftop.

"Yeah, but it's bright." Conrad says, fishing some shades out of his pocket to put them on. That's a lot better. He spends more time out at night than the day so the bright sun isn't really his cup of tea. He looks at the dog for a moment, having so far not asked: What's with the dog?

At this point it seems it'd probably be too late anyway. "So. You said you've been doing better with some I guess…making images and shit. Plenty of light up here. Plenty of quiet. No distractions but me, the dog, and the wind. Show me what you got, kid." He takes a moment to check behind the maintenance shack up here just to be sure there aren't any people somehow hiding out, then faces Colette, waiting for her to perform.

Apparently the whole production about her PTSD reaction to explosions is ignored.

Scrunching hr face up as she stares up into the sky, eyes squinted from the bright sun directly overhead and the glare from the snow and ice, Colette takes a moment in silence to really think of what to show Conrad. "Well…" It's mumbled out, slow and thoughtful, "I just — You know, working with the things that don't scare the shit out of me?" Finally looking down to him, her eyes only briefly track over to Jupiter as the dog continues to follow the periphery of the roof, sniffing at the ground intently. "Like, the whole darkness invisibility thing? Scares the shit out of me." Her eyes track back to Conrad, "You're going to say it's stupid," she adds with a wrinkle of her nose, taking her hands out of her pockets. Slowly, she tugs off her brick-red cotton gloves, stuffing them into her pockets after she does.

"Okay, so…" Holding both hands out, she generates those lenses of light that he had seen before over her palms. Then, curling her fingers towards them, the circular discs begin to bleed with color, as if someone was adding dye to a glass dish. The color blossoms in the lens, bent and refracted strangely. As her fingers close around her hand, the color seems to run out between her fingers, like watercolor paints. Tilting her had to the side, she begins to move, raising one hand and tracing her fingertips in the air, leaving unmoving colored streaks as if she were painting on an unseen canvas. The colors move, smudge and react the way one would imagine paints should, colors shifting and changing at the girl's desire.

"It started with just this, being able to… like, I can make these colors just hang there as long as I think about 'em." It's not particularly artistic, just free-floating blotches of red, orange and yellow like fire. Then, with a wave of one hand all of those smudged colors fade away in sparkling firefly-like motes of yellow light.

"Then I tried doing something more… uh, I dunno, cool?" She cups her hands together, closing her eyes as her brows knit together in obvious concentration. There, between her hands, daubs of paint-like color begin to form into a shape. First it's an abstract lump, then a slightly more recognizable abstract lump that looks like a butterfly; wings of red that fade to dark purple, a yellow body, and long, curly antenna of orange. She raises her hands, then moves them apart as her eyes open, and the butterfly moves, in a sort've watercolor painting come to life manner, fluttering thorugh the air for a few fet before breaking up into colorful dots of light. Looking strained by the effort, Colette clouches a bit and huffs out a sigh. "I… um, used to fingerpaint, like, for real. My therapist I had in the hospital said it was a way to like, vent my stress? That was back when I was getting radiation therapy. So like, I guess it sort've stuck. I still do it, well, used to. But, more like this now."

Keeping quiet while he listens and then watches, Con bids, "Keep doin it." He points a finger at where the butterfly used to be and all that, he says, "This is real good progress, kid. None of it's stupid. See, you don't have yourself trained to where you can do real extreme things yet, but that's the sort of thing you have to work up to. This here is how you get started. Play with what you know. If that means drawing pretty little pictures in the air, there's nothing wrong with that."

Conrad rubs his gloved hands together and seems to think for a moment. "How big an image can you make? Given all this light and space, how big?"

"How… big?" That sort've question never really dawned on Colette before now, and it's a good one. "I — I don't…" Her brows scrunch together as she looks around, rubbing her hands together, blowing a hot breath between them to try and warm them up. "I… never tried for big." She rolls her tongue across the inside of her cheek, casting mis-matched eyes over to where Jupiter has decided to lay down and lazily bask in the sun, giving a click of her tongue and a roll of her eyes at him.

"Um, I guess — " She rubs her fingers togethr, taking a step back with her eyes squinted because of the light. "Lemmie…" Spreading her fingers, Colette seems to almost inject color into the air, like a squid blows ink underwater. It's a billowing cloud of blue-green that spreads out from her fingertips, rolling and undulating through the air in shifting waves, changing hue from that aqua shade to a royal blue at the edges, then towards a deep purple.

Closing her eyes, Colette looks to strain as she focuses with the colors, tilting her head to the side as the cloud begins to take on more shapes, more lines and details, working with a mental image. Focusing on what she recalls most distinctly in her mind, Colette pulls the colors apart, adds definition of light and dark, and in the end… creates what ammounts to a twenty foot wide and ten foot high panorama of New York's skyline, as if done with oil paints, smudged and blurry but recognizable. One rather abstract arrangement of still undulating colors is clearly trying to mimic Conrad from memory, but failing.

The girl tenses, fingers flexing. It's a small wonder how she knows which colors to manipulate with her eyes closed, what colors she's changing things. "I — I think…" The image expands, from the center out, like someone was flattening a nwspapr imprint on a sheet of silly putty. It distorts the image in odd places, but expands it — she's testing size, not detail. The image rolls out to thirty feet across, nearly fifteen feet tall, and through the haze of semi-opaque colors, Conrad can pick out one that doesn't belong; a trail of scarlet, dribbling out of one of her closed eyes.

Con does some stepping back to behold what Colette's doing, and it occurs to him a little late, perhaps, that people elsewhere might be able to see this thing and wonder what it is. But whatever. He's not going to worry about that now. So it's a moment before he spares a glance for the girl herself and notices her eye. "Hey kid, relax for a minute and look at me."

"Huh?" The request breaks the fragile concentration requires to manipulate the colorful image, and when it all breaks apart in a milion zig-zagging fireflies of yellow light, Colette is left standing with her hands in the air, head cocked to the side like a confused kitten. But with her eyes open, it just doesn't look good. Her good eye, the one she isn't blind in, looks like a blood vessel burst in it; all of the white mostly bled out to red, with a trail of it running down her cheek. There's a little redness in her other, blinded, eye as well, but not narly as bad. "Sup?" It's so cold she probably can't even feel it rolling down her cheek.

In silent signal, Conrad taps his cheek where he sees Colette bleeding down her own face. "Think we found a side-effect to you straining too much."

"…Huh?" Again, clueless. She reaches up and daubs her fingers into the blood on her cheek, blinking as she feels the wetness and draws back her fingers. There's a sharp, sudden breath as she sees the color of blood on her hand. Mouth opens, no sound, just a rattling gasp as she moves her fingrs back up to feel around, smudging the blood all across her cheek, "Oh— Oh god! Oh shit!" She's panicking, "W-what happened!? Oh my god, fuck, where's it coming from!?" She's feeling for a cut, missing perhaps the more grisly truth, "Fuck, fuck!" Not calm at the sight of blood, not at all.

Staggering back, Colette touches at the cheek below her blinded eye, finding nothing of particular concern there. She closes it, thoug, squinting to look out her good eye just to make sure everything is okay. "Oh my god, w-what, what the fuck. Fuck!" Her brows tense again, looking down shakily at her reddened fingertips, "W-what do I do!? Oh shit, oh shit!" The ground beneath her feet begins to bleed out with colors of green and yellow, sick and unhealthy shades.

"Would you relax?" chides Conrad in a stern tone of voice, trying to get the girl's attention. Thankfully he isn't shouting it. "Look at me." he says, stepping in front of her, pointing fingers at his own eyes by way of emphasis. "Do you hurt? Do-you-hurt." Repeated, also for emphasis.

Still shivering, Colette looks up to Conrad with her eyes wide, swallowing dryly before wetting her lips with a flicker of her tongue. The question, it's hard to answer, she's so panicked. Then, taking a moment to really listen to what he asked, she just shakes her head, sniffling quietly as it becomes apparent that blood is gradually mising with tears. "N-no, I — It… it doesn't hurt." She bites down on her lower lip, exhaling another shuddering breath before yanking one of her red gloves out of her pocket, uneasily trying to daub away both blood and tears from her cheeks — sort've making a mess of herself in the process.

"You don't hurt because you're fine. It's like a nosebleed. Don't let it freak you out." counsels Conrad, tone softening a little but still keeping stern because that seems to be working. He starts searching his pockets, looking for something to help her clean up with, and comes up with nothing. Dammit. A woman would have a purse full of useful shit to wipe nasty things up with. Because women have disgusting excretions. "Look, we just learned a lesson, that's all. When you push it harder than you're ready to go, you bust a blood vessel. It'll heal up, don't worry. Do you see okay?"

Do you see okay? The question rattles her a little, and if it weren't for the cold and Conrad's rather lacking bedside manner, she might have a relapse of her hospital stay. Colette closes and opens her eyes, blinking them to make sure everything is okay, "Y-Yeah I… I think so." Her voice is small, timid and uncertain, she's scared. She's only got one good eye after all, and being blind would make her more useless than a wet newspaper.

"I um, y-yeah, it's okay." She closes her blind eye again, just to make sure everything comes in clearly. Glancing to Jupiter, then Conrad, everything seems to be. "Yeah I — F-Fuck that was scary." Continuing to try and clean up the mess with her glove, Colette turns her head away, embarassed by the rather patent failure.

Finally moving her glove away from her face, Colette stares down at the wet splotches that blend in with the rest of the red. "Fuck." It's about all she can say to the point, because just when you think superpowers are cool, you push yourself too far, and hemmorhage. Wonderful.

"Good. If you see, you're fine. Like I said it's like a nosebleed. And also? You're too high strung. What's up with that? Look, I get that you've been through some shit. Obviously a lot of things have happened to you and a lot of them were bad. But toughen up, kid." Conrad persists in his utter lack of a so-called bedside manner. He points at the ground at his feet. "This is here and now. Yesterday's past and means jack shit now. You deal with now. As it is, that was a good experience. I'm glad it happened because now…" pause for emphasis, making sure she's listening, "…now we know where one of your limits is. What we do now is figure out how to push that limit back so you're not crying blood when you do something big. Which, by the way, is not 'scary'. It's just a little disgusting, that's all. You with me so far?"

The slow bob of her head and a nod while she sniffles is a good indication that she's listening, but a terrible start at toughening up. When she does finally, somewhat shamefully, raise her head, her brows are skewed at uneven angles, giving Conrad a lopsided and really weird stare; given that one of her eyes is mostly milky white, and the other is like a big ball of crimson with a green ring at the center. "I'm tough stuff," she mumbles, sarcastically, managing something of a smile. She can joke around, she'll be fine.

"Y-yeah I — I got it. I'll, like, it's just… I don't wanna' go blind. That's fuckin' scary, so… so yeah." She wrinkles her nose, exhaling a sigh thorugh it afterwards as she crumples her glove into her closed hand. "So, I got limits. Good t'know, an' like, yeah — I guess you're right, that, y'know, we figured it out now."

Exhaling a slow sigh, Colette brings up a hand to rub at her forehead, "I do feel a little woozy, like, uh, lightheaded?" She looks up with one arched brow at the questioning statement. "But it's getting better. I noticed that before too, if I do this stuff too much, it like — I get all tired. When I was on that parking garage all morning, I totally slept on the bus the whole way home because I wore myself out, like, hardly doing anything." She pauses, narrowing her eyes, "Does that happen t'you?"

"It used to." allows Conrad, grinning a little. He crosses his arms. "I used to do all this. Only by myself, nobody chewing my ass when I got all hung up on what I did or wasn't doing, or did wrong. Which, I wish I'd had that. Because of the way I had to teach myself, I made myself deaf." He lets that sink in. Reaches up and tugs on one of his ears. "These don't work. I have to use my ability to hear you or anything else. But the truth is I hear better with my ability than I ever did with my ears. And when I lost my hearing it kind of helped me get better faster, which is a steep price to pay I guess." Then he nods his head toward Colette. "The good news is, I have a feeling you might have the same thing going on. Because I was watching you. Eyes closed, you still made a picture that made visual sense. You're sensing the light without having to look at it with your eyes, so I'm betting if you had to you could see with your eyes closed. Or even blind. But we're gonna try to keep you from losing what eyesight you have left. Just don't think of it as life-ending if you did lose your sight, okay? Because with your ability I think your eyes are probably more of a formality."

He's deaf!? The irony of that isn't lost on Colette, but at the same time the idea that he can hear without his ears is something otherworldly. But what he says, what he suggests, it all makes good sense to her. "You — I closed my eyes?" She did, and she knows it from the wavering tone of her voice, "God I — That just, like — you're right." Brows creasing together, Colette looks down at the bloodied glove in her hand, fingers squeezing it just a bit harder for reassurance.

"I — W-when I do that, I like, it's not like I can see but… I can tell what color things are, which is weird, it — it's not quite the same as seeing but…" There's a faint smile creeping up on Colette's lips, "I — I can feel colors. T-that's…" She's been doing it, and it never dawned on her as something else, just something reflexive.

"Conrad, this… this is fucking weird." She says with a lopsided smirk, "You're weird, I'm weird, this is just fucking silly!" She can't help but laugh, that kind of awkward and nervous giggling some people are prone to in stressful situations. "I mean, this… We're talking about this, we're doing this, how — " The absurdity of everything, of the world she lives in only really hits her now. "This is a joke, right? We're gonna wake up one day, and there's gonna be a punchline on the news, right?" Her smile turns a bit more sarcastic as she closes her eyes and shakes her head. "Sometimes, I wanna believe I'm still lying in my hospital bed, in a coma. Just… dreamin' a really awesome life."

She opens her eyes, looking up at Conrad with that weird smile, "Thanks for being an awesome hallucination."

Conrad gives one of those smug little smirks and puts his hands up in a gesture of: Of Course I'm Right, I'm Conrad! But then when the girl gives him that smile and the thanks and all that, well it almost makes it worth climbing twelve flights of stairs just to watch her shoot blood from her eyes and freak out. "Hey if the world's a hallucination, I'm feelin it too. It's cool to think hey, all this shit's fake. It's just a dream. But do yourself a favor and just pretend it's all real. Saves a lot of work."

It'd be so easy for him to go soft and all awww and squishy feelings and hugs and after school special, but Con's not really the guy that goes for that. At least not with most people. "So, ready to try something that ought to be a lot less stressful? Because I got an idea of something you can try that oughta be easy."

Wrinkling her nose, Colette's response is pretty quick, "Long as it doesn't involve me popping my eye out of the socket," Even if the answer is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Shifting her hands back into her pockets, Colette rolls her shoulders forward, a reflexive reaction when the cold wind comes whipping across the rooftop. "What'cha got in mind?"

"Nah we'll spoon out your eyes later." retorts Con easily as if it really were on the to-do list. "I want you to practice seeing with your eyes closed. That's it." He puts a hand behind his back in preparation for something.

"Huh?" She loves giving that as a knee-jerk response, "Um, I — I'm not sure if…" Then again, she wasn't sure of much of any of this to begin with. Not until she tried anyway. "I — I guess so." Her eyes uplift to Conrad, watching him for a moment before squinting, "L-Like right now?" There's a bit more confusion, even if she knows the answer. Rhetorical as it was, the question isn't given time for the answer before the girl hesitantly begins to close her eyes. "It's… not really, like…"

"No, tomorrow." retorts Con with mild sarcasm, waiting for her to close her eyes before holding up a closed fist. "Why's everything a production with you? Stop worrying about doing shit, whether you can do shit, and just start doing it. Now how many fingers am I holding up?"

"Pfft," She snorts out a rather non-answer, "Hey, this is all new to me, cut me some slack, jerk." And yet there's no real anger in any of that, as if she's either accustomed to or doesn't mind Conrad's unique and bitter blend of crass and snide. "And.. uh, I…" Colette's brows scrunch together, and she snorts out a laugh that turns into a snicker. "I'm going to just guess you're flipping me off, but like I — I can't really tell." She tilts her head to the side, reaching up blindly with one hand, jabbing Conrad rather accidentally in the chest. Her hand moves over, to his sleeve. "B-but, I can tell that here," She touches near the shoulder of the jacket, "That's like, an aqua color and…" She moves her finger down along the sleeve, "White." There's a wrinkling of heer nose, and her hand moves away. "I mean, I know I saw the jacket earlier, but like, it's weird. I can't like… I can feel the colors with my hands, but I can't see anything."

Good. Back-sass. Finally they're breaking that particular ice, and it makes Con grin. "So you can get colors but not detail?" he asks. "You have to touch it?"

"Yeah, it's like, I don't even see the colors, I just — Know?" There's a bit of a halt there in her words, it's hard for her to really piece together how to explain it. "When I take my hand away, it's like, I'unno, nothing." Her fingers rub together, eyes still closed. "The weird part is, like, I don't know like, the proper names for all the shades of every color, so I just have to kinda' describe it… But it's like, I feel it, more than, you know, see it? This is weird, it's like trying to describe color to a blind guy. But they feel different to me, like, textures? And… somehow it makes sense."

"So try touching my jacket with your ability. Make one of those light-things from your hand and try to touch my jacket with it." Con puts his hand down since that's not going to be helpful just now.

That's a weird though. Colette tilts her head to the side, breathing in a slow breath as her forefingers and thumb roll together for a moment, then expand to reveal a billowing cloud of inky colors. Rolling her palm, she sends it drifting like a stream of liquid paint thorugh the air, a meandering trail that eventually brushes up against Conrad's jacket. Her brow scrunches up, and she makes a quiet, disconcerted sound before shaking her head. "N-nope… Nothing, I can't quite, the colors don't like, I can't feel anything through them, just what color they are."

With a soft sigh, the girl snaps her fingers, creating tiny sparks of yellow light that disperses the cloud of red and yellow she had sent out like water swirled through a cup of paint. "Nothin'," She says disappointedly, "That really sounded like it was gonna' work too."

It's not like Con's given up on the thought. He grins and says, "It might still work. I don't see any reason it shouldn't. Might just be some next-level stuff. The best thing is if you're practicing sensing things, that's the sort of thing you can practice around other people and they don't need to know what you're doing. I do it all the time, listening to heartbeats or people's joints creaking and whatever. Sometimes I can tell about how old somebody is by listening to their bones grind. They get louder the older they get." Belatedly, he adds, "You can open your eyes now. I never asked but what happened to your bad one?"

There's a bit of a smile, the idea she can be secretive with her power. Something just a little fun about that, at least to a girl her age. Though the question, it doesn't really come with a smile of fun and spy-games, more a disappointed look. "I don't know." That really isn't a good answer. She reaches up, giving her lower eyelid a tug, "I… don't really remember a lot of stuff." It's funny, she used to be so open with all of this to people, and now it feels alien going over the past like this.

Colette rolls one shoulder, letting her weight shift to one foot, the other scuffing at some ice. "Like, I remember falling asleep on the couch where I lived in Midtown, um… the night before the bomb?" She looks up with a brow raised, "My sister, uh it was just me an' her living together." Her hand moves down to the pocket of her jacket, fingers curling around the crinkling thickness of laminated paper. "She hadn't come home, so I was like, worried n'stuff." A dry laugh comes next, "I woke up sometime in… March? In a hospital. Doctors say emergency rescue people found me in the street like, four blocks from Midtown. I don't remember anything, like… my eye was like this." She tilts her head to the side again, bangs falling to cover the blind whiteness.

"Um, it… Since you brought this up." She pulls out a photograph from her pocket, white-side showing, then turns it around to face Conrad, holding it up to him in a manner that sort've blots the girl out, since she practically shoves it in his face. "My sister never came home. I um, I dunno if she like… died in the bomb or nothin'. Do… Did you know her, maybe?" They do look alike, dark hair, expressive smiles. Though her sister's clearly older, mid to late 20s, really classy looking, even if it looks like the photo was clearly a candid from her expression. And, you know, she's having dinner with Daniel Linderman. There's that too.

Con takes all that in, then looks at the photo with a critical eye, frowning. "Huh. She kinda looks like Winona Ryder. Don't think I've ever seen her." he remarks. Which is probable because he has never A) Hit on her, B) Slept with her, or most of all C) Been slapped by her. And Conrad never forgets a slap. "Hey, is that that Linderman guy?"

Colette purses her lips, more prepared for the letdown of Conrad not having seen her before. "Who?" To the Daniel Linderman, not the Winona Ryder part, "I — Oh, is that who this is? I haven't had a clean copy of the picture in forever. I um, went back to our old apartment — what's left of it — to get this one. My copy's all… burney." Her eyes flick back up to Conrad, "Who's Linderman?" She can't possibly be that naive. Then, a click, "Like, the… Act, dude? Is he like, a Senator or somethin'?" Her brows furrow together at the notion, looking back to the picture with growing suspicion.

"Eh. I dunno. I don't deal with him, but I hear he's a big player in organized crime." That would be because Conrad is a tiny bit player in organized crime. So much that he really can't claim the 'organized' part. "But yeah I think he's one of the main players behind getting the Linderman Act passed. So your sister there might've been mixed up in some heavy shit. If you're not careful YOU might be mixed up in some heavy shit. I recommend you don't GET mixed up in it." He grins then and adds, "At least not until you learn how to burn peoples' faces off without bleeding all over em."

The photo goes right back into her pocket, practically jammed in there. She winces as a pointed corner jabs her finger, only partially, "He's— " She sneers, just a little. "I um, t-thanks." Colette is terrible at hiding her emotions, espescially when one of them is a bit panicked. "U-um, Conrad? I…" She steps away from him, wringing her hands together and pacing in a circle. Oh god. Oh god. When she stops, Colette has one foot positioned on a rough and loose piece of ice, working it back and forth against the rooftop, "Fuck. Um, I — " She slips her hand into the other pocket, removing a cell phone which she flips open, cycling through numbers before hitting dial.

Something's nagging at her, and as the phone continues to ring, Colette begins pacing more and more, enough so that Jupiter finally rises from his sunny spot on the roof, trotting over to her with one ear flopped forward awkwardly. "Pick up, shit." She hisses into the phone, and then finally a response.

"You've reached the Bright & Reinhold Detective Agency, we're not in right now, but if you'd like to leave —"

She flips the phone shut with a click, hissing as she does, looking back over to Conrad. "Um, I… I don't feel so good. Can — Do you think we can, um, call it quites, f-for today?"

"Sure, kid." replies Con simply, not worried about stopping. "Actually I was kinda thinking it anyway after you had the bleed. But if you don't mind my sayin so," and really that's a formality of a statement because Conrad never seems to care if someone minds what he's about to say, "if you've got some PIs looking for your sister that's cool. But don't go making assumptions about what's happened to her just because I told you who Daniel Linderman is." There. Now she has a first name. "Look, what's your sister's full name? Maybe I can a little asking around. No promises though."

"No." Colette answrs abruptly, "It — It's fine." It's the first time she's ever turned away the offer of help, "R-really I, she…" The girl can't admit, even as a lie, that she believes her sister is dead. It just doesn't work like that, not to Colette. "No I — T-there's some people who — I already have someone looking for her. I just — Thanks, I mean, it's just… I was surprised, is all." Anselm, Brett, fuck I don't know what happened to either of them. Jesus, fuck, they were both — Oh god. The internal dialogue of the girl leads to a path of confusion and fear. Is this what happened to Nicole?

Feigning a smile to show that she's alright, Colette tucks her phone back into her pocket, swallowing awkwardly. "Let's just — Can you take me home?" Her teeth tug at her lower lip. "Tomorrow we'll, um, we'll do more."

"Whatever you say," Conrad gives a shrug. "I got no business talking you into or out of anything. You're a big enough girl. C'mon, let's get you home." He looks to the dog and Does Something that cannot be heard by humans.

Jupiter looks right at Conrad, ears perked, and whimpers a little. That high a pitch sound is probably a little uncomfortable for a dog.

"C'mon, mutt." mutters Con, jerking his head toward the door before headed that direction himself. It's gonna be a long (but easier) trip down the stairwells.

January 19th: DIY, Star Wars, And Memories
January 19th: Heal 'Em While They're Down
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