colette_icon.gif [jennifer_icon.gif

Scene Title Guilt
Synopsis Colette finds a shoulder to lean on in Jennifer after some bad things are said.
Date November 10, 2008

Le Rivage

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

Seven PM means that Jennifer's coming back into the apartment building, complete with dinner in hand. At the moment, she's got a brown bag, holding their dinner for the evening in both arms, with her backpack slung over a shoulder. THIS, of course, makes her somewhat unbalanced and impedes her visibility a bit…it might not be Colette walking into someone for a change.

If only collisions were the worst thing on the menu today. It's a strange sound that greets Jennifer in the very Art-Deco lobby of Le Rivage. Sitting on one of the leather couches in the lobby, with her arms wrapped around her waist, hood pulled up over her head, and body curled forward is a young girl that seems to be trying to hide the fact that she's crying. It would be hard to tell who she is, were it not for that very bright red hoodie and the messy locks of black hair hanging down from the hood. She lets out strangled, very quiet whimpers and a soft sobbing sound, along with muffled sniffling. It's a rather pathetic sight, as well as a pathetic sound.

There's a surprise at that, given the sniffling and crying…and well, Jennifer's never one that would hesitate at helping someone in general. Especially if it's someone she knows. She changes her course to head through the lobby, towards the couch. She puts the bag down on a nearby end-table, and then reaches out, to gently touch her on the shoulder. "Hey…you okay?"

Colette recoils from the touch as if it were scalding hot, her shoulder jerking back and head coming up. In that motion, she reveals the face she was struggling to hide, and it's clear from the redness of her eyes and nose, the glistening sheen of her cheeks, and that tired expression on her face that she's been at this for a while. Those mis-matched eyes settle on Jennifer, looking for just a moment puzzled, and then looks away with her eyes cast to the side. She sniffles, wiping at her nose with her bright red sleeve, then nods slowly, her lower lip drawn between her teeth for but a moment until she replies, "M'fine… s-sorry for…" She looks around the lobby, "For lookin' stupid in public."

Jennifer makes a "pfft" noise, and moves to sit down on the couch next to Colette. "I think I have some tissues in here…" she rummages in her purse and comes up with one, offering it over. "What's the matter?" Honest concern in her tone.

Another sniffle slips from the girl, and she watches as Jennifer rummages for the tissue. The girl frowns, visibly, and reaches out to take it, smiling awkwardly, "T-thanks…" Blowing her nose, the young girl looks away, blinking her eyes closed before one hand curls fingers around the tissue, crushing it into a small ball in her hand. "S'nothing… just… people suck." It's not a sentiment like her to say, not in the least. "i just had a really bad day, n' I wanted to get all the crying out before I got home. Judah's got 'nuff problems w'out havin' to deal with me bawling my eyes out…"

Jennifer frowns, and looks sympathetic. "You wanna come over? You can get your crying out in a little more privacy, and I can hook you up with a sandwich and some cocoa?" She gives her a smile back.

Colette looks back up to Jennifer, sniffling again as her smile turns a bit more genuine. She seems surprised by the offer, until she puts two and two together and remembers the conversation from Saturday. "O-oh, yeah, sure…" The young girl smiles softly, reaching over for her messenger bag laid across the couch at her side, picking it up and slinging it over her shoulder as she stands. "T-thanks, um, Jennifer…" Colette lightly presses her teeth down on her lower lip. "Y-you know, I… I had no idea you and Ygraine…" The smile turns awkard, eyes downturning to the tiled floor. "I — She's a sweet person." That came out a bit more strange than Colette intended, causing her to grimace a bit as she looks to Jennifer, clearly going to let her lead the way up to the apartment.

Jennifer smiles, though she goes a bit beet red as Colette mentions Ygraine, and heads for the door. "Well, you're not throwing rocks at me, so that's a good first step." With that, she steps into the apartment. "Come on in."

Once led into the apartment, Colette cautiously glances around as she steps in. Not unfamiliar with the apartment, certainly navigating her way inside as if she's been there before, making her way over to the kitchenette as she unshoulders her messenger bag, settling it down on the dining table. "Is…" She murmurs, then speaks up as she turns around to look at Jennifer, "Is Ygraine out?" One brow raises slightly, teeth toying with her lower lip. Her eyes divert to look around the apartment, to the television, then the sofa, then the windows she was staring out just a few days ago.

Jennifer nods. "Looks that way…I expect she'll be in soon enough, but she might have had some errands to run. I've got some nice hot soup and sandwiches in here from the deli down the street…wanna join me for some dinner?" She asks, as she steps out of her shoes.

"I…" Colette hesitates, placing a hand over her stomach, "Y-yeah, I probably should eat something," her eyes divert to the kitchenette, "Soup." For a moment she lets that decision linger, but isn't long to follow up with a more pressing question. "Does Ygraine know about…" She tries to decide how to word it, "That you're special?" Colette's brow raises slowly, her teeth toying with her lower lip. "I — I almost said something about it, b-but, I — I wasn't sure if she knew. I — I mean, I just…" Wrapping her arms around herself, Colette meanders over into the kitchen with Jennifer, then looks down and realizes she's tracking in dirt from outside with her boots still on.

Jennifer smiles. "It wasn't an either/or, silly. It was a both." She takes out a container of soup, and then the sandwiches. "Turkey, or pastrami? And what will you take to drink?" She turns to head for the kitchen. "She knows." Jennifer answers quietly. "It's not my place to keep secrets from her. It's okay." And she smiles. "Take your boots off." she offers.

Grimacing slightly, Colette smiles and waves one hand a bit dismissively, "Oh, um, I — J-just the soup. My stomach's still a little upset from…" She purses her lips, then shakes her head slowly with a sullen look crossing her face. At the confirmation that Ygraine knows, though, Colette looks relieved, moving over to the sofa to sit on the back as she pulls up her long and wide pants legs to unlace her tall black boots. "I'm glad you're honest with her… It — That's really sweet of you." There's a faint frown as Colette fumbles with her laces, "So many people are afraid of what they have… of… of telling anyone what they can do." Then, guiltily, "P-probably because of people like me."

Jennifer smiles. "Well, when people want to put microchips in us like we're runaway dogs…it makes you a little touchy." She gets a bowl and spoon, and comes back to the bag. She duplicates one of the soup containers, pouring some into the bowl. "What makes you say that?" she asks Colette.

Colette's eyes widen as she watches Jennifer's ability, a hushed sound of awe even after having seen it once beefore. She blinks, realizing a question was asked of her, then looks a bit unsettled as her eyes go back to her laces, struggling to get them loosened before finally pulling off her boot to reveal a purple and green striped sock. "I… I have, problems sometimes…" She sets the boot down on the floor with a clunk, "I-if, if I know a person's different like that, but, you know, don't know what they can do? I… I get scared aorund them. L-like… like someone might get around a big scary dog they don't know." She wrings her hands together, then shifts the way her legs are folded to start working on the other boot, which unlaces much easier. "It — It's not something I can control. I just… I get afraid, and, and then I panic, and…" She frowns, hanging her head before removing the other boot, revealing a bright pink sock. "I… I don't know."

Jennifer sighs once. "Well, yeah. But…people being afraid of us isn't really going to help, Colette. It's how we got in this mess. We don't bite." And she offers the bowl of soup to the girl. "I'm just a person, just like you."

Rolling her shoulders forward, Colette lets out a quiet whimper, nodding her head in agreement as she curls and uncurls her toes. "I… I know, I just — It's hard. I…" Her eyes close, and with a shake of her head she settles down on her feet, walking over to the bowl of soup on the table. She leans against the table with her hip, eyes flicking over to Jennifer a moment after. "I think I did something terrible today." Her voice is a hushed whisper, and with that said, Colette's arms come to wrap around herself tighter.

Jennifer frowns, and she moves up to Colette. "You look like you need a hug." And she'll try to offer one. "Talk to me. What's going on?" she asks the other woman, trying to be as big-sisterly as possible.

"Y-yeah…" Colette lets out with an awkward laugh, her cheeks giving a flush of color as she leans over against Jennifer, one hand reaching out to settle on the small of her back. "I…" Her head turns down, resting it on the girl's shoulder. "I think I ruined this girl's life… she's a healer I — My friend Trent got hurt by an Evolved, and she was there, she… she healed him, saved his life." Swallowing loudly, Colette finds her other arm moving around Jennifer, squeezing gently. "I pressed her to help Judah, b-because of his busted leg and… and his back and…" She starts rambling, names and people Jennifer isn't familiar with. "But I didn't think about — I mean, she just — Abby came down to the church, an' told me no, and… and I threatened to turn her in if she didn't help Judah." The young girl swallows audibly, "I — I didn't mean to… she's probably terrified. I — I was so stupid…"

Jennifer does give the hug…but then she tenses when Colette gives her news, and she lets out a groan. She steps back, and sighs. "Yeah…that really wasn't a good idea, Colette." A deep sigh. Oh, what a mess. The brunette student runs a hand through her hair, before a loud exhalation. "When you're a Jew in Nazi Germany, people threatening to turn you in don't exactly go over well."

The analogy is only slightly lost on Colette, and her eyes cast to the side, leaning away a little when she feels that stiffness, arms slipping from around Jennifer. "I — I know I… s-she… I was so angry." Her jaw trembles, "I don't… I wouldn't do that, I — I just… I can't tell her." She looks at the soup, then down to her mis-matched socks. It's likely these events that have her stomach turning into so many knots. "It was stupid to say I… I just, I wanted her to help… so badly."

Jennifer nods. "Well, let's see what we can do to make it right. I'll see about getting word to her that you overreacted. As for Judah…what's the matter with him?"

Colette's brows furrow together, "H-How… how are you going to do that? I — I don't even know her name, or… I mean I know she works at a diner, but like, she might not show up." Head tilting to the side, Colette lets the issue of Judah lay on the wayside as she tries to assuage her curiosity about what Jennifer intends to do. "I… I wouldn't know the first way of getting in touch with her."

Jennifer smiles. "You let me worry about how." There can't be that many Abby's who heal in New York, and given there's one who matches the bill in PHOENIX, that's the likely hook. Of course, she's not about to let -that- slip. "I've got my ways. But what's wrong with Judah?" She reiterates. "That seems like what has you wound up anyway."

She's reluctant to let it go, but with her lips pursed to the side, Colette nods slowly and moves to settle down at the table. "He got hurt, like, kinda' bad." The chair scuffs across the floor as she slides it out and sits down, pulling the bowl of soup over. "He was on the case of that serial killer, the one who was like, killing everybody last month? He got hurt in the line of work, he…" Her eyes divert down to the bowl of soup. "He broke his back and his leg. I… He's out of the hospital now, but, he's in a lot of pain and on medication. I… I dunno if he's ever gonna walk right again." She toys with the spoon in the bowl, stirring the soup idly. "That means he won't ever be able to go back to work… and…" She sinks forward a bit, "That's his whole life."

Jennifer frowns. "Oh, jeez." Yeah, that's pretty serious. "I think they have workman's comp and disability…has he talked to the doctors? Seen if there's anything they can do? I mean, the right surgeon can do a lot these days. Practically work miracles and all."

"I dunno…" Colette offers, "I… He only came home a few weeks ago. I just — It's not like it's the money, it's the job. He loves it, he… he helps people, he saves lives." She taunts herself by lifting up the spoon with a little soup in it, but her stomach doesn't take to the taunting well, and it settles back down into the bowl. "I jus'… That girl has the abiity to help, so…" Brows furrow as Colette leans forward, poking at the soup as if checking it for foreign objects. "I just — latched onto that."

Jennifer nods, and she looks back. "Yes…she does. But she's probably not the only way to handle it, Colette. I mean, yes, it would be great…but I can see why she wouldn't want to. But I'll help you explore other possibilities, if you want."

The girl sighs slightly, finally managing to lift up the spoon and bring it to her mouth, taking a bite thoughtfully. She's silent for a time, and when she does finally speak, the girl has moved on, abandoning that topic for something a bit brighter. "I… I talked to some of the faculty at the College the other day. Um, they directed me to a Professor Gilbert. He, he was really nice. I guess he's gonna get the word spread around the school that m'lookin' for my sister." She smiles slightly, "Says he's gonna have some people call me. I… I wouldn't have thought of asking other teachers if it weren't for you. I'd have gotten all discouraged…"

Jennifer nods. "That's good. No, it's good! I'm glad he could help!" She pours some soup into a bowl for herself, and then she looks thoughtful. "Look…I don't want to see your friend end up all wiped out. If you need to, I'll make sure you've got the cash to get the best doctors for him, okay?"

Colette makes a soft sound in the back of her throat, eyes wide, "W-what? N-no I — I couldn't — " She hesitates, eyes casting to the side, then down to the soup. It took a moment to click. "Is — can you — Oh my god." She looks back up to Jennifer, never having even imagined the possibilities. Not that she can copy bills but valuable objects, certainly. "Y-you… I mean, h-he's not hard up for money, I… I just, I mean, I don't know about his leg. T-there's only so much medicine can do, but… I…" She looks nervous now, about something a bit more involved than a 'quick fix'.

Jennifer nods. "I'll try to keep working on a more direct solution. But good surgeons can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I don't think most police types make anywhere near that. But…just don't let it be a worry factor, okay? And I'll talk to some people and see what I can manage.

Taking another bite of her soup, Colette cracks a hesitant smile. "I… alright." Her eyes downcast to the bowl, and she breathes in a slow breath. "It's nice… having you and Ygraine here. I might come by, um, more often… If that's not a problem. I… there's some stuff I wanna' talk to Ygraine about." She purses her lips for a moment, setting down her spoon. "Actually…" It takes a moment for Colette to look back up at Jennifer, head tilted to the side. "Maybe I'll talk to you both about it sometime." She manages a smile, if not a somewhat nervous one.

Jennifer looks over, curiously now. "I'd really like it if you'd tell me what's on your mind. You don't -have- to. But I'd hoped that by now we kind of had a little bit of that "trust" thing going." she says, quietly, as she takes a bite of her own soup.

"Mmnh, w-well, it — It's not so much trust as, just… like…" Colette shifts in her seat awkwardly, staring down at the bowl in front of herself. "It's a weird thing to just… talk about to someone. Y-you know, personal?" She looks up to Jennifer with one brow raised, then back down to her soup, a little bit of color coming to her cheeks again. "It's hard to, um, explain… I just, I have questions about stuff, and… I figured you and Ygraine, um…" Her fingers curl up towards her palm. "I dunno…"

Jennifer isn't quite following yet, but she nods. "Well, if you've got questions, go ahead and ask 'em. I told you, I don't bite! Unless you're a sandwich." And she starts to unwrap one of those." Talking about it might get Colette out of the depths of crying-ville, and that's a good thing.

"Um…" She stirs her soup again, clearly not having the stomach for it at the moment. "I… I was… wondering how you told Ygraine, or — Um, m-maybe the other way around." She starts to mumble, her head down, fingers still manipulating that spoon to stir slowly in the bowl. "I — H-how did you two, um, you know…" The girl's mis-matched eyes lift up to look at Jennifer, brow furrowed together. "How'd you figure out, um, the whole… relationship thing?" Oh boy.

Jennifer blushes. "Oh. THAT. Well, that was sort of…awkward. Ygraine actually ended up asking me out. And I was kind of blindsided. I can be oblivious sometimes. But she asked me out, and I was a little too flustered to do much beyond agree…and we just…kinda went on from there."

Colette nods silently, then looks down to her soup, fingers thrumming against the table in one swift motion. "Oh." Clearly she was expecting more magic, something special and unexpected. "I… Hm." Her brows furrow together, head tilting to the side as she imagines the hypoehteitcl possibilities of that, and then brings one hand up to her face with a soft slap, shaking her head from side to side at the thought of just how poorly that would go.

When she lowers her hand, she's smiling a bit awkwardly, "W-well, I guess that worked for the two of you." Her teeth idly tug at her lower lip, and her eyes divert back down to the soup, exhaling a soft sigh. "I… I should probably get home. Judah will be worried if I'm too late getting home from the church."

Jennifer laughs a little. "Sorry…it's a little new to me too. Is there someone you—" But she doesn't press it. "All right. You know, you two are welcome to come over sometime. Or we can come over. Seems kind of silly to live so close and not socialize.

Cracking an awkward smile, Colette grins as she rises up from the chair, "I… That's a long story." She says with a hint of humor to her voice, "Ygraine might be able to fill you in a little better. she knows her." Walking around the table, Colette sets a hand on Jennifer's shoulder, smiling gently. "T-thanks, for… you know, listening to me complain and… and stuff. I needed that."

Jennifer nods. "Anytime." She stands, to give Colette another hug. "You needed an ear. I'm not usually more than a hallway away, and you've got my cell number." She pokes Colette's shoulder with a finger. "So next time, call." A wry grin. "Or I'll give you a twin sister to hang out and watch you for me."

Colette's eyes widen at the implications of that, staring at Jennifer with a blank stare. Her face turns bright red a moment later, and she breaks out laughing, doubling over and staggering to the couch, an enormous smile crossed over her face as she looks up to the somewhat older girl with a crooked, teasing smile, "You're terrible." She says with as much appreciation as she can muster.

Terribly appreciated.

November 10th: If I Were Special...

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 10th: Haven't Failed Yet
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