In The Absence Of Color


colette_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Absence of Color
Synopsis Robyn comes to Colette for help.
Date May 27, 2018

The Bunker

The Bunker has been quiet as of late - in particular, the office belonging to Wolfhound's observer has been almost abandoned as of late. With little going of note, and not much to "observe", Robyn Quinn has been taking more and more frequent trips back to the Safe Zone. And when she has been around, she's been quiet, not really interacting much with the others - more like she was when she first arrived: distant and observational. It sometimes makes it a bit harder to tell when she's there and when she's not.

Which, really- isn't that part of the idea? Well, maybe not.

So it probably comes as a bit of a surprise to Colette when suddenly there's a slow, rhythmic knocking on the door to her room. Robyn leans into the door frame on the other side, a tired look on her face and rings under her uncovered eye to match. She repeats the knock a second time, a simple 4/4 beat repeated twice, a pause, and then it repeats again.

She takes a moment to straighten the sleeves of white button up blouse between repetitions, finally speaking up after the second one. "Hey, Colette. Know I shouldn't be bothering you, but- do you have a moment to talk?" There's been some things on her mind as of late, and really, the big one is something she can really only talk to Colette about so.

So, time to finally stop putting it off.

It's open,” is the exasperated and breathless response from the other side of the door. It's also true. When Robyn turns the knob the door opens, accompanied by the smacking sounds of a punching bag in use. Colette’s living space at the bunker is Spartan in design, concrete walls and floor, one wall of windows overlooking the twilight darkness of Rochester, where city lights glitter like stars strewn out across a blue plate. Robyn can't help but think of Incubus lyrics every time she sees a view like that.

There's a bed that's just a mattress and box spring on the floor, pushed into a corner, a small table with a tiny potted plant beside it — a colorful, flowering cactus — and a wheeled rack hanging with clothing. Colette is on the other side of the room, barefoot and in her workout clothes, hands wrapped in tape and sweat beading on her shoulders. She hops back, then springs forward and kicks the long bag, sending it jostling back and then swinging to her. She straightens her posture, catches the bag to stop its momentum, and peers from around the side of it at Robyn.

“You want to take a go at it?” Colette asks with a slap of one hand on the bag. “It's really therapeutic.”

Robyn stands in the doorway for a moment, eye unfocused. Several things vie for her attention, most of them grays and blacks blending together. The sky resembles a backlit canopy with holes punched in it through the window. The cactus sits dully off to the side, a curious and unexpected ornament in the room. The punching bag holds Robyn attention for a long moment, before finally her eye move behind it, to Colette. The odd thing out in the room, in always startling colour. It's almost enough to get her to remove the headband style eyepatch wrapped over her eye, so that she can look the colours properly. Instead she just adjusts it slightly, letting a frown linger longer than she'd like.

"Doesn't sound like a half bad idea," Robyn offers back, rolling her shoulders. It's definitely a weak link in her workout routine. Still, despite that, she doesn't move to the punching bag. Instead she simply closes the door behind her, letting out a tired sigh as she does. The spartan room doesn't surprise her; Robyn's is similarly sparsely decorated… but she has an office for that, as a manner of cheating. And both have beds, so it's debatable which is actually her room.

"In the interest of being… proper," she starts, reaching down into one of the pockets of her jeans - an unusually casual choice of dress for the SESA agent - and drawing out a flask. "I want to speak to you about a personal matter." She begins unscrewing the cap, training a tired eye on Colette. She focuses on her for a moment, before stepping forward and placing a hand on the punching bag. "So you can tell me to leave, if you'd rather. I won't be offended." Said, though, with a small grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. Flask rises to lips, a quick swig taken.

"You know." A small shrug. "Given my position," she adds, as if she has to clarify. She still remembers how Colette greeted her back in March, after all.

Colette’s assessment of Robyn and the situation is long and silent, her expression positively Gitelmanesque in its opaque quality. After a moment a smile starts to form on her lips and she wonders, “Is off the clock fraternization permitted by your job?” It's sarcasm, but reasonably so.

“It's fine. I think everyone was worried you were here to get me thrown in prison forever,” Colette admits with a shrug of her shoulders, “but I think we all know that's not what you're here for. Whether you like it or not you're becoming a part of the pack.”

Stepping aside from the punching bag, Colette starts to unwrap the tape from her hands. “Close the door, and tell me what's up.”

Robyn's brow nits together at Colette's joking jab. One of her own passes through her mind, I don't know, let's ask Nicole about all the happy hours we hit manages to get past the filter in her brain but doesn't quite make it to her lips - though Colette can probably see the amusement that suddenly forms on her face despite her weariness.

Despite that, Robyn remains silent as she turns back around to make sure that the door is closed. Taking a deep breath, she turns back to Colette and offers the flask out to her. "It's funny," she says with just a bare hint of amusement in her voice. "I'm not done here yet," would sound like a warning with a less friendly tone, "but Berlin voiced a similar sentiment. For better or worse." She doesn't acknowledge her feelings on it. She still feels slightly uncomfortable admitting that she likes and appreciates their level of acceptance.

Her unintentionally relaxed expression and the smile she gives Colette are a pretty good giveaway though.

Moving back to the punching bag, Robyn again places a hand against it. For a moment, she just stands there, gathering her thoughts. "I can't remember if I ever told you," she finally starts after a near minute of silence, "what it's been like for me the last few years. After the Arcology." Her lips thin, as she realises she's probably being over dramatic again, before she cuts to the point. "My-" Her hand that isn't on the punching bag reaches up, fingers flexing in and then out. "My ability isn't as gone as I thought it was," she finally just says. "And honestly I don't know who else to talk to about it."

“Of course it's not.” Is Colette’s matter-of-fact response, her nose wrinkled and brows furrowed. “I can still see you using it. I thought you— ” she cuts herself off, realizing the answer. “You thought it was gone?” Grabbing a towel from the floor, Colette wipes beaded sweat from her arms and the back of her neck.

Whipping the towel over her shoulder, she walks barefoot over to Robyn. “All around you,” Colette says with a motion of her hands in silhouette of Robyn, “when I concentrate I can see little… feathers of light. Like the little hairs from inside a barnacle or something.” The word she's looking for, and it finding, is cilia.

“I saw you using it in Detroit. I saw you using it at the gala. I thought…” Colette’s brow furrows as something comes to mind. “You didn't do that on purpose?” Then she realizes that Robyn might not even be aware of what she did. “When I was… when I was about to laser Bella fucking Sheridan in half, you turned my ability off like,” she snaps her fingers, “that.”

"Wouldn't you?" is what Robyn is quick to fire back with. "I shouldn't even be out in the field," Robyn remarks, motioning to her eyepatch, "much less with the-" But rather than talk over Colette further, she's stunned into silence as she listens to the other woman. She stares at her, her surprise plain on her face before she can attempt to regain composure, to a more neutral expression.

"No," she states flatly. "I had no idea. I- just wanted to encourage a friend to not make a mistake. Justifiable as it may be." She takes a deep breath, staring blankly at Colette. "I can't… do what I used to. Bend light, turn invisible. I don't see colour. Light actually hurts my eyes. It's been like that for years." She steps around Colette, around the punching bag, keeping on hand on it as she moves around it. "Except you," she notes. "You're in colour." She closes her eye, one hand curling into a fist. "The gala was how I knew that I was wrong though. I could see there, just like I used to." And that bring a smile to her face, both remembering the night, and Elaine's reaction to how she'd been able to see again.

"In Detroit, I-" She stops circling, brow stitching together and nose wrinkling as she tries to find words. "I saw you. Invisible. Never could do that before." She swallows loudly, stopping just before rounding the otherside of the bag. "I don't know what happened to me anymore."

Jesus,” Colette exhales, closing the distance to Robyn and putting hands on her shoulders. “I… wish you'd said something sooner.” There's an exasperation to her tone, but it's light. “Sometimes abilities change when we get older, come back weird after they've been burned out.”

“It's like…” Colette bobs her head from side to side, letting her hands come off of Robyn’s shoulders. “I had this friend in Elementary school? She screwed up her hair with a pair of scissors and her parents shaved her head as punishment. Except when it all grew back? Curly.” There's a raise of her brows. “Your ability’s come back curly.

"Curly." Robyn repeats, staring at Colette for a moment. The hand resting on the punching bag, lowers slightly, fingers curling inwards. It's with a possibly surprising amount of speed and strength that she suddenly draws her arm back, and just heaves a punch into the punching bag."That's horseshit!" isn't so much as yelled as said forcefully, in a tone that's likely all too familiar to Colette even after all these years.

Robyn takes a deep breath, eyes slightly wider as she stares at the bag. "Sorry. Not- you. I just…" Her other hand reaches up at her face, running down it in exasperation. "Sorry," she repeats, quieter this time. "It just… so frustrating. I was- so sure that it was gone, for years. I only registered Evo because they made me." She huffs out a breath. "But this, it's just…" She pulls her hand back, running it through her hair. "It feels like another thing I thought I knew about myself… but didn't."

She offers Colette a weak smile. "Sorry for the outburst."

“I'm really gonna be the one to scold you about outbursts,” Colette quips in a moment of unusual self-awareness. She cracks a smile, giving Robyn some space and walking to the windows. “You should be thankful, you could've ended up like Richard and without anything.”

As she reaches the windows, Colette rests her hands on her hips. “I can help,” she offers without solicitation. “Teach you, I mean.” Colette regards Robyn’s reflection in the glass. “Like before, but actually finish it this time.” Slowly, she turns to fully regard the agent. “I can see your ability, and your ability affects mine. It only makes sense.”

“Besides,” Colette grows more quiet. “Adel's told me… that I'm supposed to be a good teacher…” blind eyes avert to the floor. “In the future.”

Richard. Robyn's expression sours slightly at the mention of him. "I was content to be like Richard," she states very matter of factly. "Until the Gala. Now I just feel…" Fingers rub against each other in a circular motion as she tries to find the word. "Desperate," she eventually settles on, not looking directly at Colette. "Part of why I'm here now, not before."

The offer, the mention of Adel - they get a small chuckle. "You were a good teacher back then, too," Robyn offers back in a low voice to match Colette's. "I don't have any doubt you can teach me." She shakes head, before looking back up at Colette, looking as directly into the other woman's eyes as she can manage. "But should you?" Her head tilts slightly to the side.

"Not a trick question. You know I could've asked you about this months ago." Hands slip into pockets, and she huffs out a breath. "Came here to see… if maybe you had more insight than me. You did, but… I don't want my selfishness to get us both in trouble." Seems they're both having moments of unusual self-awareness.

The notion of trouble has Colette turning about on her heels, pacing the floor in fitful thought. “I dunno,” is a more honest answer than dismissive. “I'm not sure what would get you in trouble, what would make things hard for you.”

But on the same token, Colette both cares deeply and doesn't care about trouble. “I… guess I can't be the one to make that decision, really. I want to help you, but I don't want to get you fired, or… screw up things for Wolfhound.” Thoughtfully, Colette looks to the side. “I suppose it'd be easier if…” she doesn't finish the thought.

Robyn crosses her arms, looking up at the ceiling for a moment. "Sorry," she remarks a bit apologetically. "Guess I'm just a bit too mindful of things that could go wrong these days." She rolls her shoulders, a thoughtful look on her face. "But no. I'm not putting this off, not if I can help it."

She taps a finger against her chin, before looking up at Colette. "Let's do it," is offered with only a moment hesitation. "If you want to tell Hana, I have no problem. But I think it'll be fine, unless you have any better ideas." And if someone takes issue… well. This is on her.

“Hana needs to know before we do anything,” Colette agrees, resting her hands on her hips. “But her and Avi have both been really busy lately. Something big is going on, I can just feel it. But I'm going to let her know regardless, and see what advice she has.”

It's the most responsible thing Colette may have ever said.

“If she approves it, then we can go ahead.” Though Colette hesitates, wincing as she recalls something. “I don't have an instruction certification on my Registry card. I… might need to go for that first, which shouldn't be too hard. But I want this done by the books.” Who is this, again?

Something big. Robyn purses her lips at that - she obviously has vested interest in anything big happening, for a multitude of reasons. It's quickly pushed out of mind - her job is the last thing on Robyn's mind, even if it should probably be the first. Instead, she chuckles.

"I don't care how it happens. I really don't." Robyn admits as she closes her eye. "But like I said, I don't want to get you in trouble. If that's what suits you…" She spreads her hands out in front of her, a gesture of well there it is. "Just want to feel like me again, Colette." She's been told to figure out who she wants to be by multiple people, and so far it's been a struggle. But maybe it starts here.

She can't help quirk quirk an eyebrow at Colette, though, and smile despite her contrasting attitude with the other photokinetic. To see her being so responsible is a tad alien, but… "This attitude looks good on you," is an honest assessment, and really the most she feels she can say. "Even if this time I don't care."

“After June, after whatever Op is around the corner,” Colette says by way of a promise, “we’ll get together and figure you out. But I might recommend, maybe in the interim, seeing a doctor about your eyes.”

Hands on her hips, Colette squares her shoulders and looks Robyn up and down. “There's a nurse at Elmhurst, Lucille saw her recently. Uh, Julie uhh…” her brows furrow together in thought. “Julie— Raith’s daughter? I forget her last name. She can sense powers, tell what they are. She could probably give you an exam better than anybody during the war or before could've.”

Fournier sits on the tip of Robyn's tongue for a moment - she remembers her well from the escape from the Arc, though she's never known her much beyond that. Ultimately, she decides against correcting Colette… at least on that. "I've been to see doctors," she notes quietly. "After the war. Told me I had- basically, achromatopsia. Total colour blindness, light sensitivity, involuntary eye movement." She lets out a short sigh. "My eyes actually burned when it happened," she notes. "Never felt a pain like it before or after."

She rolls her shoulders a bit nervously, before looking back up at Colette. "But I never went to anyone about my ability. Never saw much need to. Even now, I've only really talked to you and Richard about it." She closes her eye, a hand moving to the back of her neck and scratching. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll go see her. That sounds like a plan."

It takes another moment before a genuine smile forms on her face. "Thank you, Colette." Spoken in a small voice, anxiety clear in the way Robyn subsequently avoids eye contact, in the way she slips her hands into jeans pockets. This would seem like a longer wait for her than it possibly ever could be in reality. But no one could blame her for being eager.

“Don't thank me yet,” Colette says with a flippant wave of one hand in the air, followed by a sweep of her bangs out of her face. “Because when the time comes? I'm gonna train you the same way I learned.”

“Sink or swim.”

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