colette2_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif

Scene Title If…
Synopsis One person can make a change, two people can make a difference.
Date March 12, 2009

Staten Island, Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

There's a gradual kind of rhythm to the waves lapping up onto the sand, like a hand trying to grasp at its mother's sleeve. Continually failing, pulling back, trying again. And then, a single stream of water endeavors away from the lull of the shore, up the slightly slanting line of the gritty sand, over it, making its own snake-trail path until it comes within inches of where Tavisha's boots are planted in the damp sand, hand stretched out, hovering. His fingers relax, tension easing, and the stream rolls back, or soaks back into the sand, to slowly make its own path back towards the immense body of river he sits before.

Perhaps after discovering you killed someone for the ability to manipulate water, you'd think twice about being near so much of it the day after. Not so.

A gargoyle-like presence on the rough Staten Island coast, all brooding stillness, Tavisha sits upon a rock encrusted with passive sea life, dried salt, back hunched and elbows against his knees as he studies without seeing the patterns in the sand. The sun's quickly falling beyond the horizon, trailing a deep, inky blue over a surprisingly clear sky and setting one corner of the sky aflame with dying light. In the distance, the lights of a still functional New York can be seen across the choppy river waves, and it's getting colder and colder.

Strange how thinking all day reaches no conclusions. Just goes around and around in circles. A stick is picked up, weathered and breakable, and Tavisha uses this to draw a line in the sand, between his feet. He neglects to recall that not so long ago, he helped discover the broken form of Teo not so far away. He even neglects to quite hear the sound of someone approaching.

It's a small miracle for Tavisha to be distracted enough not to hear the sounds of someone else approaching. With senses as keen as his, it's a testament to just how much this revelation hurt him, just how deeply the scars of the mind can be cut. It's not the eventual shifting of rocks on someone's approach, but fireflies that catch his attention.

Winking in and out, like some vestige of a summer day in Central Park too far away to be real, these tiny motes of green light flicker through the air, drifting from where the sun sets behind Tavisha's back. One comes to settle on his stick, not so much a bio-luminscent bug, but just an ephemeral mote of color and light.

"What're— Tav?" The shortening of his name sounds so much more masculine, even when it's spoken by the small and soft voice of a teenage girl. "Hey, I— what're you doing out here?" Shifting rocks, clumbsy footsteps, and finally the presence of a young woman in a bright carnation red hooded sweatshirt in his peripheral vision. It's too thin for how cold it's getting now that the sun is setting, "…you alright?"

Colette stops just to Tavisha's side, hands tucked into the pouch at the front of her hoodie, leaning forward with her head tilted to the side, peering across Tavisha's darkened face. The sunlight catches her blind eye, mutely reflecting hues of blue, purple and orange in it. She's smiling, perhaps more for him than herself.

From Colette's perspective as she nears, she'll see his back straighten when the tiny motes swirl into his vision, settle upon the primitive instrument he acquired. The barest of twitches has the spark of light flickering away again as if caught in a breeze that doesn't exist, drawing his gaze up and up by the time Colette calls out his abbreviated name.

And asks that question, one that doesn't have him answering so quickly. Tavisha glances towards the girl as she comes into view, no smile in response. Mostly just tension, looking back down at the sand and the line he drew. Straight and precise, a surgeon's cut in the ground. He finds himself moving his boot, scuffing the mark away as he pitches the stick towards the water, the object tumbling and landing just shy of it, before a wave reaches out to steal it away again.

"Yes." The clip of defense in his tone makes this sound like the lie that it is, Tavisha bringing up a hand to rub the back of his neck, now longer looking at her after that initial glance. Tension, there is that, as if he were— angry at her. Or afraid. Or her presence is in, some other way, unwelcome, but he keeps whatever it is behind a decent mask of stoicism, clearing his throat. "I was just…" His eyes search out far past the water, one more glance to meet her mismatched eyes, down again. "Thinking. What're you doing out here?"

Smiles fade, but the concerned look in Colette's eyes doesn't, her brows only furrow further together in a knot of dark and worry. Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, she stalks towards Tavisha, hands still tucked in her pockets, the whole motion very vulture-like as she moves to his side, up with shaky steps onto a smaller rock beside him, then down to sit beside the much larger man on the barnicled stone he's perched upon, a far more colorful and youthful expression of equally troubled emotion.

"I… was on my way back from the Rookery." Her lips creep up into a hesitant smile, "I was practicing moving around, you know, without people seeing me. You… were right, it's like exercising a muscle." She leans to the side, brushing her shoulder into Tavisha's in some attempt to feign knocking him off of the seat.

"I went to go see Eileen at the clinic, but nobody was there." Her teeth tug at her lower lip, "or… nobody was answering." Mismatched eyes move to stare out at the blue-black horizon, and the shades of lighter azure that it fades into. "You look like someone peed in your Cheerios…" she adds with a wry smile, but it's quick to fade.

Tavisha's body sways a little to the side as her shoulder connects gently with his, feigning in turn. Perhaps on another day, news of Eileen's unavailability might strike a chord, however briefly - it could likely be dismissed a moment later. She wasn't in at the time, perhaps. But right now, the information skims by without even that, Tavisha unwilling to let it settle, like a pebble skipping eternally across a flat body of water. Eileen who? Doesn't bother me.

He allows a smile on his face at her last pointed comment, although it too is quick to fade. Silence falls, likely silence easily filled by Colette's sheer ability to talk, but Tavisha knows it's his turn. The young woman gets a quick study, as if trying to see from her eyes, her expression that he could trust her.

The answer being, he doesn't know, but what's the harm? "You remember in the clinic, when I fixed Teo and— you all got hurt," he says, looking at her now. From eye to eye, finally settling on the seeing one. "Something like that…" Something so much worse than that, a pause in between his words as if to imply this. "…happened, last night. Not exactly the same, but I hurt someone." One shoulder lifts, not a careless shrugs, but a gesture as if to ask if that answers the unspoken question.

She tenses, understandably, at the omission. But part of her that wants to be afraid, is the part of her that was slowly dying beneath the weight of responsibility and maturity that Colette has slowly been accumulating.Less than a year ago, she wouldn't have been able to look Tavisha in the eyes, she would've scrambled for a way to get out of this conversation, "Why'd you hurt 'em?" She isn't that girl anymore.

While the question is small, soft-spoken and gentle, there's an equally troubled look that dawns on her partially lit face, one small hand sliding out of her sweatshirt's pouch to settle down on Tavisha's knee. It's a measure of some comforting gesture that, like this conversation, she would have shied away from not long ago. The idea of contact once sickened her, and it's funny to think that now, she's beginning to understand how others can find comfort in it.

"It— was it an accident?"

In a moment of inappropriateness, Tavisha laughs at her question. It's not mirthful, or especially loud - a breathy chuckle, a hopeless and despairing sound, a hand coming up to rub at his eyes. How do you accidentally fling someone against the bars, pin them there, defenseless, and saw through their skulls? On accident? It's that one question he's been circling around all day, and yet somehow, when Colette asks it, puts it into four words, it seems so much simpler.

"Yeah," Tavisha says, voice audibly shaking. That hand drops again, to his other knee, the hand of her's resting where it is glanced at. "It was an accident. I couldn't stop." He waits, then, as if expecting those teenage compulsions Colette had battled with to surface, casting a wary glance towards her, and away again.

Wetting her lips, Colette looks away, down to the line in the sand that Tavisha had rubbed out. She nods once, understandingly, her voice equally small when she finally chooses her words again, "A few months ago…" she draws the focus away from what happened to Tavisha, away from what's been eating away at him, enough for him to be here, on this beach. "…I was walking my— " her head shakes, "I was walking in Chinatown. Some people, I dunno, Teo's friends— they were… people were shooting, there was a lot going on." It's not the first time she's mentioned this to him, "Some Chinese guy, with a gun… he— I got scared and I hurt him. It was the first time I ever did this," she moves her hand from his knee, letting those little firefly motes of colored light come to settle on the back of her hand. "I hurt him, he— I blinded him. I didn't mean to, but I… I was scared, and it happened."

Colette lowers her hand, settling it down on her lap, eyes focused on the sand again, "I beat myself up about it for a long time. I felt terrible, still do… that— really won't ever change." When she looks back up to Tavisha, the troubled look in her eyes has been replaced by a frustrated one, due to her inability to articulate herself like she would want to. "I… I used to think that hiding away, locking myself up in a bathroom and keeping myself in the dark was what I was supposed to do. 'Till people showed me, that…" Colette shifts her weight forward, coming up off of the rock, moving to walk in front of Tavisha, treading with black boots in that line had once been there. "They showed me that I'd always have accidents, always hurt people, 'till I learned how to control what I do." She holds out both of her hands, head tilted to the side with a rather expecting expression pursed on her lips.

"You're a whole lot older than me," that expression shifts to a smile, one brow raising up higher than the other over her blinded eye. "You don't have as much time to waste feeling sorry for yourself than I did. So…" She flexes her fingers open and closed "don't."

Colette's eyes don't maneuver from Tavisha's far darker ones, "Get up off of the rock, tell me what happened, and… we can figure it out. Like Conrad would say; pouting is for bitches," Colette's lips creep up into a smile, adopting a feigned gruff voice when she speaks Conrad's words, "are you a bitch? I didn't think so."

She's really trying not to laugh.

It's a good distraction, the story. Tavisha finds himself following it, enough so that at the end, when she moves to stand before him and make her declaration, it's enough again to incite a smile, one that's less quick to fade, a hand raising to rub his forehead, then back down again.

He can at least obey some of that. He can stand up. So, Tavisha does so, arms held out a little like 'there you go', before his hands find the pockets of his coat and hide within them, stepping away from the rock, past Colette, to come to stand on the barest edge of where the river wets the foreshore in fractions of inches. "There's a lot about me you don't know about," he reminds her, head tilted down, studying the movement of the water. "I think that if you did, you might not want to be around me so much."

A glance over his shoulder, a tilt of his head, eyes hooded. "I told you I hadn't been to Manhattan," he says, a little slower. "I wasn't lying. At least, I don't remember going to Manhattan. There's a lot of things I don't. I think I used to be a worse person than I am now, and my abilities… the dangerous ones, made me that way." It's a lot for someone new to his plight to swallow, but he states it all simply, factually, looking back over the water. "So I guess you're right. I have to control them before it becomes the other way around."

Easier said than done, something he recognizes, that makes his words fall heavier.

"We're not as different as you think." Colette admits, letting her head turn to follow Tavisha's motions, and allowing her words to sink in — as ridiculous as they seem. "I don't… remember a lot of stuff either," she finally has to move her feet, turn her body and reposition herself to watch him move to the shore's edge. "I— was at ground zero, or— I mean close enough." Her brows raise as she tucks her hands into her pockets, walking to move to Tavisha's side, her sahadow moving to join with his when she stands next to him, both their dark cast-offs reaching out across the rippling surface of lapping waves.

"The bomb? I— I fell asleep the night before, right before midnight, and… the next memory I have is waking up in a hospital, a whole lot later." She doesn't look up at him when she speaks, the young girl just stares out at the water, at their twinned shadows.

The river has shadows.

The notion makes her heart skip a beat, breath hitching in the back of her throat as her eyes flick up to Tavisha, part puzzled, part intrigued by the ghostly sybillic words of Tamara's in the back of her mind. "There's over a month of time I don't remember. I… used to think that everything would make sense if I could figure it out, you know?" One dark brow raises, and Colette shifts her eyes back to the shadows on the water. "I… lost my sister in the bomb. She was all I had left, really. I… I used to think that if I remembered what happened, that I could find her." For as young as she is, the things she says are problems someone her age really shouldn't ever have to deal with. "I was obsessed with finding out, figuring out like… what happened, finding her." The young woman's lips creep up into a smile, "So much so that I even convinced myself she was still alive — convinced myself that a total stranger might be her." Colette's eyes fall shut, and she hangs her head, "Once I found out the truth, that she really was gone… I…" Her sigh is as heavy sounding as the crash of water on stone, "It made me wonder why I wanted to find out so bad at all. It… was better not knowing, looking back on it."

Turning to face Tavisha, Colette reaches up and rests a hand on his arm, leaning to one side to look a bit more front-on at him. "What we can do doesn't make us dangerous. I— used to think that. But it's just a tool, it's all like— how we use it. You're absolutely right… you have to learn how to control it, before it controls you. That's what Conrad told me, that's what Ygraine told me…" She curls her fingers into his sleeve, gently trying to turn him to face her. "You've got more… tricks— than me. Which one was it?" Her tone becomes pleading, "Show me. I— want to be able to help."

For all the bad things Tavisha knows he's done— because he's read about them, or because he's googled it, or because he knows it like some inherent instinct in both his dreams and in more waking nightmares— he can at least rest assured that he didn't destroy Manhattan. And that he didn't destroy Colette, or at least force her to age any quicker than she already has, her milky-white white becoming slowly more and more familiar every time they spend a further second with each other.

He turns as she urges, gaze dull for a moment before sharpening at this thing she requests. No matter how much sugar-coating he glosses the truth over, she keeps making deeper and deeper stabs towards the truth at the center, and this

Tavisha jerks his arm out of her grip as if burned, stepping back, knowing a moment of panic at the idea of triggering whatever this ability was. Knowing what a slippery slope it was. What it could be. "No," he responds, too quickly, a little too loudly. His shoulders relax, forcibly, and he amends it with a quieter, "No. It's not… it's not like light going off too intensely, or even what I did in the clinic, things happening that you don't want. It makes me want— " He cuts that off, mouth drawing in a thin line. Starts again. "It changes who I am. It's like… I don't want to stop."

Colette flinches when Tavisha jerks away, her brows creasing together and eyes widening some, her expression like that of a startled cat; all pinpoint pupils and wide eyes. She swallows, tensely, straining against her fear, forcing herself to learn from the experience rather than run from it. She reacts, as best as she can, reaching back out for him without actually making that contact again.

"Makes you want what?" Her jaw sets, the rest of her words said through her teeth out of sheer nerves. It's like she's a mouse trying to coax a lion out of his cage so she can pull the thorn from his paw. "What is it? What's it— it's just an ability. It's like flexing a muscle, or breathing, or eating." Perhaps not the best choice of words, "it can't make you do— whatever. You're in charge of yourself, you— I don't believe that a guy like you gets all weak in the knees because of something in his head."

The words come out tense, sharp and forceful, even if she stills tumbles over them. "I need— " she snorts, "I want you to be strong, because I sure as shit can't be." Her jaw tightens, teeth clenching again as she takes a half step forward, grabbing Tavisha by the forearm again. "You're a fighter," she strains, "you told me so. So— so fucking fight it. You're the only person I've ever heard of who has more than one power, that— you're special." Why is it always that? "You're not fucking— some weak little girl who's afraid of her daddy or— or whatever the fuck." She's taking this so personally, "You're not fucking — owned — by some fucking muscle reflex or— or whatever it is!"

She doesn't even know why she's shouting, or why this upsets her so much.

She finds purchase, gripping his arm, for a few short moments, before Tavisha once again twists free of her grip, stalking away, pacing very much like that caged lion as he turns back to her, a look of angry bewilderment on his face. The shock of it, of her shouted words that come so fast and in such a desperate flurry, is superficially enough to make him want to push her away. She's berating him.

But there's more to it, and that's why he doesn't. He stares at her, that initial anger a dying flame, although it feels a hell of a lot better than the misery he's been enjoying for the past 24 hours. "Colette," he says, evenly, firmly, and a little pleadingly, an attempt at silencing her tirade. It works. And of course he's prepared nothing to say instead, mouth closing, swallowing, the unshaven skin of his throat shifting with the movement. Hands come up to run through his hair, muss it even more than it already has thanks to being exposed to the elements of a Staten Island coast for hours.

"It makes me want to learn," Tavisha says, finally, and it sounds so ludicrously nonthreatening said so simply. "Not matter the cost. Breaking, hurting, killing— it doesn't matter." He's unwilling to tell Colette he killed someone. Injury is so much more redeemable. "I hurt someone trying to find out how they worked, because it was all I could think about. I don't want that happening around you."

A look to her, regret written on his face and he shakes his head. "Not when I… don't have what you can do. It's too dangerous. I think it's… it's how I got my abilities, Colette. I think I took them from people. I'm not special, I'm just…" He doesn't know, if a vague handwave and no more words are to be of any indication.

There's a sharp, drawn in breath through her teeth at what Tavisha explains. Her neck muscles tighten, brows tense, and every part of her body becomes much akin to a tightly wound spring, just waiting for the release to run. Be it the rapid pace of her heart, or the heavy breathing, it's easy for Tavisha to see that he's frightened her. But despite all this, perhaps in spite of herself, she refuses to let the fear eat her alive like it used to; She needs this.

"You— " Her words come out as a croak, throat too tight. She swallows in an awkward, all-too-audible fashion, "you told me you mimic them, that— that's not what you said— you didn't say you— " Colette tenses further, enough so that her shoulders tremble, teeth pressing against her lower lip before she blurts out more hastily-formed words. "You are special! Because nobody else can do what you do! I— I fucking— I don't believe it!" She stamps one booted foot down down into the sand to emphasize her point, "I can't— nobody's a fucking slave to it! Nobody! It's— it's not fucking drugs!"

Breathing heavily, Colette's shoulders rise and fall, her brows lowering, face turning red, "If— if you can't— " she chokes back her words, "You told me you learn them differently, I— You can't not have control, it's not— " curling his fingers against her palms, Colette begins trembling. "How am I supposed to— to be able to control what I do if— if not even you can!?"

And there's the truth of it, nothing more pure than self-doubt. Colette's flavor, though, comes far sharper tham most. With her outburst, the colors around the girl begin to distort, all of the fiery hues of sunset bending and warping, shifting to bright and vibrant red that bleeds in to everything around her. The sky, the sand, everything takes on that deep crimson shade the likes of which spilled forth from Nina's head just the other evening.

"I— I can't be the strong one I— " Her eyes wrench shut, heart pounding inside of her chest. But it's even more than just the sound of her heart beating, Tavisha can feel her blood pumping through her veins, feel her heart flexing open and closed in quick vascular motions to send that life-giving essense through her body. He can feel the flow, the pressure, the clarity of it all coming into as sharp a focus as the world turning red all around him.

"If you can't control your power— h-how— how's someone like me supposed to!?"

The distortion of colour is one that hits home, easily. Tavisha goes still, save for his head, turning this way and that as everything drains bright crimson, and though Colette can't hear it, he can sense his own heart skipping— feel it, hear it— and his hands clenched into white-knuckles fists.

"Stop it," he murmurs, gaze finally traveling back to Colette, visible alarm there, before drawn down to where the water crests gently at the shore, an easy rhythm of red liquid that's neither blood nor water but something in between, so much like his visions from the previous night. "Stop it, stop it!" he finally snarls, far louder than he's ever raised her voice to her, in the brief time they've known each other.

It's tempting to strike out. A hand raises as if to do just that, but what then? The memory of Nina's body making the bars rattle beneath her, made helpless, caught prey. It could so easily be Colette's form against the rocks. His fingers curl inward, suppressing that initial desire, Tavisha's breaths coming shallow as he stares at her.

You told me you mimic them.

There's a silence, trying to cobble together words. It's difficult, having even worse a time of it than the emotional teenager in front of him. "Eileen," Tavisha blurts. "She talks to birds." A pause, hand coming to lower all the way, arms resting loosely from his shoulders. "And so can I. I got her… gift without hurting her. I didn't lie to you." Much. "I just… need to relearn. You don't know, Colette, what it was like. If I can— fight that…" He meets her mismatched gaze, gives a rueful snort, and says, as honestly as he does despondently, "you can fight anything."

Trying to control her breathing, Colette exhales a shuddering breath that slows her near hyperventilation from Tavisha's raised voice. It's the first time in her young life, where she hasn't flinched away from an older man yelling at her. But while her outward reaction doesn't change, the colors around them do, and the deep, vibrant red begins to soften and shift through violet hues, until it paints the world a soft, cold blue, and then eventually allows other colors to filter in.

Before she even has her erratic breathing under control, Colette is advancing towards Tavisha, ever the mouse to the Lion, "You're— you're right." She murmurs those words, lips barely moving from the under-enunciation. "I don't… I don't understand. But— " She cuts herself off, trying to calm down from the irrational fear, from the irrational desire to try and fix something so she can feel better about herself.

One hand slowly rises up to wipe at the side of her face, fingers brushing under her eyes as she croaks out awkward words, "I'm… just a kid, Tav. You— " she looks the man in front of her up and down, "You're like fucking Superman." That whole sentence comes out with an awkward laugh, her lips creeping up into a bittersweet smile. "Even if you're like, a retarded Superman," she adds teasingly, looking over to the water's rippling surface.

"I know yoou killed her," Colette finally whispers, wrapping her arms around herself, "I know what they're saying about you— about who you are. I… it's all over the Rookery. But they also say you— they say you're the guy who blew up New York," her mismatched eyes move from the currents to the man who could commend them. "I don't think you did that…" she doesn't specify which at first, "…and I don't think you hurt her on purpose. I— I just don't want to know the truth, even if I'm deluding myself." Colette manages a weak smile, looking up to Tavisha with her head tilted to one side, bangs covering her blind eye.

"If you could… do what Eileen does, then you can do what I can do." She looks down at herself, then back up again, "and if you can do what I can do, then— then I can help you, right? Then you'll know, and— and then you won't— " she just shakes her head, looking up to Tavisha with furrowed brows. "I don't like seeing people who I give a shit about… look as broken as you do right now."

Rumour spreads. Probably foolish to hope that over two hundred witnesses didn't go running to tell who would listen about seeing the Midtown Man in action. As Colette admits this, Tavisha looks a certain kind of lost for a moment, silent as he stares at her as she speaks and finally, his hands hide in his pockets again, stance becoming a little more casual as the elephant in the room strolls on out, banished by words. It's a weight off his shoulders, in a sense. He confirms nothing - not even the truth. One confirmed truth can shatter every other delusion.

"I thought I was the one who was supposed to be helping you," Tavisha says, voice a little dull, looking at her, over her head, then out towards the waters that have turned a more reassuring dark, shadowy blue. Only dimly reassuring, all things considered.

Then finally, the lion relaxes his paw for the mouse to remove the thorn. He looks at her evenly, and gives the simple instruction, "Show me." Just days ago, she'd been the one asking for him to display his powers. The table turns, but there's a graveness to this, rather than the avid curiosity of a teenager.

Managing a faint smile, all Colette can say in response is, "You are."

Raising both hands, the young woman closes her eyes, fingers spread as the ambient light of sunset is amplified and distorted. It begins as a mirage-like effect over her palms, a wavering ripple in the air like so much heat, which soon dimples inwards and begins to whorl, forming a pair of small discs of yellow-white light that hover over her palms, ringed on the edges with clusters of tiny amber-colored motes of light like stars.

When Colette's eyes open, the color of each lens fades, and then become translucent, nearly clear disks of refracted light that bend inwards, flexing like concave lenses. But to Tavisha it's far clearer what he's seeing — these lenses, like all of Colette's other manifestations are simple visual aids, small tricks of light and illusion that allow her to better visualize her manipulation of light waves.

She moves her hands, raising both of them as of to present the swirling discs to Tavisha, "I'm… not really somebody who's got a lot of friends." While the admission comes seemingly out of nowhere from Colette, it's not one spoken with any sense of pride or context. When the girl's shoulders slouch and her posture becomes lacking, it takes her a moment to find the right words again. "I guess, like — maybe that's why people who're broken — like us — sort've stick together…"

There's no context to her words, not yet anyway.

It's a pretty power. Tavisha had thought the same of what he could do with water, but this— it's like twin galaxies held in her palms, offered out to him. He meets her eyes, the twin points of light from her hands reflected in smaller versions in his eyes.

"I think so too."

His hands lift, much in the same way she did, but he doesn't shut his eyes. For a long moment, it doesn't work, it doesn't happen so easily and so well practiced as the others had - more like avian telepathy, something he truly did have to relearn. But then it begins, the air becoming hazy above his palms, the light distorting, before collecting into those slowly rotating discs of yellow-white light, hovering, flickering with far more haziness than her's. His shoulders tense, hawkish intensity and concentration on his face, mouth parting a little.

Capable of surprising himself still, it seems. A further second or two, before the light dissipates, bleeding back into the atmosphere and leaving his hands bereft, fingers loosening and curling back palmwards. Silent, a little stunned, he draws his arms back in to stare down at his own hands.

Awe, amazement, confusion and relief all play across Colette's expressive face, showing in her eyes and in the something of a wry smile she affords at the sight of what happens in Tavisha's hands. Colette's eyes follow Tavisha's stationary position, even as she takes one more step forward, ever the restless feline. "See?" she says rather abruptly, her hands moving up as those swirling motes of light vanish in her hands, turning to so many gold-hued fireflies that drift around them both as she reaches up to take his hands in hers, squeezing them gently, "You deserve this for… you know, putting up with me, when you don't really have to." Her smile fades just a little as she laughs, "No small feat."

A crooked smile spreads across her lips after those words, and she looks down and away while she talks. "I can't always be there for the people that, you know, matter. But you — you're different from most of the people I've known. We're both…" she laughs, awkwardly, "damaged goods, I guess."

With a wrinkle of her nose, Colette lets her mismatched eyes rise up to Tavisha's far darker ones. "We're both missing pieces of our memories… the doctors told me, that I forgot about what happened during the Bomb, as a natural reflex. The body makes the mind forget stuff that's traumatic, sort've like… mental scars," she tilts her head to the side, causing her bangs to swish down over her blind eye. "Maybe that's what you have too. Maybe… it's better not to find the answer you're looking for, and to just— make something new. Get away from— from everything you were, and just… just let the scars be."

"But we're both— " Her hands slip from his, fingers curling against her palms, "We're fucking stubborn, we want to understand who we are, what we are, all've that stuff." Colette shakes her head slightly, "I want to — I — I don't know, there's someone special to me, someone who means everything to me, and — " her brows scrunch together, "She's always been there for me, and — I know how it feels, to be alone, and feel like nobody's there, looking out for you, caring, but to have this one person who just — unconditionally — gives a shit." When she emphasizes that, her attention is focused solely on Tavisha.

She smirks again, this time taking a step back, "I wanted to give you something, that can't be taken away… because— " Her head shakes again, dark hair brushing across her brow, "people like us need everything we can get." Her teeth press lightly down against her lower lip as she manages a hesitant smile, uncertain of what the lights she saw in his hands really mean. "…and— and I need to know there's someone I can count on here."

And that someone, against all odds, seems to be Tavisha. If only because she's broken like him.

For all the blankness that greets him, and all the relearning he's had to do, the powers he could wield were a constant. Now something new, something his and well earned for the first time he can remember, something to keep. To light the darker paths.

Quite literally.

"Thank you," Tavisha says, almost quiet enough for the sound to slip within the ambiance of the place, still feeling the hold of her hands on his even after she's withdrawn. He studies her again, as if visually mapping out this new connection forged between himself and someone else. "I think… scars are only good if you understand how you earned them," he says. "And that takes memory. No matter what the doctors or— or anyone else says."

A hand lifts, motes of light collecting to spiral like a tiny, silent tornado above his palm, before he closes it again and they disperse. The corner of his mouth lifts in a smile, looking back towards Colette. "I'll remember this."

For the first time seeing her own ability in the hands of another, Colette's jaw tenses slightly. It's like seeing a portion of herself cradled in the grasp of another, like she's given away a part of what makes her unique. But hat moment of childish jealousy and anxiety quickly fades, and Colette is left with only a small, warm sense of pride that she — for once — was able to make a difference for someone.

"You better not forget," she leans up on her toes, curling her fingers against her palm as she does before knocking lightly on Tavisha's forehead with her knuckles. She smirks, settling down squarely on her feet again before taking a step back, arms down at her sides. "Now you figured it out," she says in a quiet voice, her teeth briefly grazing her lower lip as she considers something, "and nobody had to get hurt."

"I hope you remember that more."

March 12th: Smack My Bitch Up
March 12th: Road To Recuperation
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