In the Presence of Sleeping Prophets


colette_icon.gif judah_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Presence of Sleeping Prophets
Synopsis Colette summons her father to Tamara's bedside and somewhat inadvertently introduces him to Tasha for the first time.
Date June 15, 2010

Gun Hill: Odessa's Clinic

Were it not for the fact that Odessa kicked Colette out of the clinic after delivering Tamara, she might not have ever left the blonde's side. Certainly the night was a long one, of regretful words gone unsaid and awkward comforting embraces between Colette and Tasha. Moreover, the clear night skies viewed through the open windows of their apartment were what kept Colette company in the dark on that pair of mattresses that serves as their bed. Sleep is something Colette hasn't been able to find, not much since the flash, and not at all since Tamara's clollapse yesterday evening.

It's not much of a surprise that she was up and about at dawn, fatigued and detatched looking, the dark circles around her eyes hidden still by makeup darker still. Early morning has her down in Odessa's clinic, seated in that rickety chair beside the bed where Tamara lays, the only comfort in that image being that Odessa has taken the time to clean the blood off of Tamara's face and make sure she's at least comfortable. Where Odessa is, it's hard ot say, but the blonde Doctor could very well be anywhere given her seeming ability to teleport from one place to another in a flicker.

Seated with her cell phone held between her knees, cradled in shaky hands, Colette keeps staring down at the clock as the minutes tick past, as the clock quietly counts up thorugh the morning. It wasn't that long ago that she made a difficult phone call, left a nigh-dawn voicemail on Judah's phone, left him the message that no parent ever wants to hear about one of their children.

Dad, it's me. Something happened to Tamara. I— I really need to talk to you, Dad. I'm— I'm at the Gun Hill apartments in Brooklyn, at the clinic in the basement. I— she's okay but I don't know— I don't know what's wrong with her. I'm— I really need you.

No one needs to wake up to that, especially not Judah Demsky.

When Colette got up and gave up on the semblance of sleeping, Tasha rose as well, a groggy "I'll be down in a few minutes" murmured into Colette's hair. She took a little bit of time about it — taking the time to shower and wash her hair while the coffee pot brewed out the caffeine she'd need to start the day. The caffeine addict needs her joe on a good day — and this doesn't count as one, so she needs it all the more.

Finally, dressed and with two mismatched oversized cups of coffee, Tasha makes her way carefully down to the clinic, trying not to spill on the way. Converse-clad feet are quiet on the steps to the basement, though she's not trying to be sneaky. "Hey," she says softly a few feet away, before coming closer and handing one of the mugs to Colette. "Any change?"

Sitting down, she immediately brings her chewed-down thumbnail to her teeth, eyes flickering from Colette to Tamara and back. She doesn't look like she got much more sleep than Colette, though she pretended to sleep, so as not to add to the guilt-ridden girl's list of things to feel guilty on.

"No…" is a hushed answer, and Colette slides her phone shut with a snap as if that sound were punctuation her tone was lacking. Sighing, she looks up and over to Tasha then reaches up for the mug, offering an honestly thankful smile. "She did this once before…" Colette says in a quiet tone of voice. "She— Tamara disappeared for… for probably a couple months. She just shows up at the Lighthouse, unconscious, I dunno who dropped her off or how she even got there. Just— just one day there she is, like this." Colette's brows furrow together, head shaking slowly. "It's not… like I could ask her where she was, what she was doing. She— " the teen cuts herself off, lowering the hand cradling the coffee and stares down into the dark brew.

Colette's silence is brief, though in the stillness of the clinic it feels longer than it really is. "She just woke up on her own… but I was there when she woke up." Colette's jaw gives a slight tremor, turnign her head away from Tasha as she closes her eyes, voice cracking as she speaks. "I— I was always there for her," sounds more betrayed than it should, though less so than it would have just a single day ago.

Swallowing noisily, Colette sets down her phone in her lap, then brings up the coffee to hide her mouth behind the rim. "I don't… I don't understand."

Tasha brings her feet up onto the edge of the chair, resting her chin on top of her knees as she stares at the immobile blonde on the bed. She searches for something to make Colette feel better, but all she has to offer is something she's afraid of. Colette was here, in the Bronx, where almost no one got visions — she said she didn't get a vision. Tasha's vision included Tamara. It's all she has in the way of reassurance, beside the futile "it'll be okay," which she has no authority to promise.

"I … I had a vision. I saw her in my vision, Colette, so I think — I think, if what they say is true, that they might be visions of the future, that she'll — she'll be all right. She'll live through this," Tasha whispers. Of course, if she's all right, what does that mean for Colette in the future she saw?

As afraid of Tamara as Tasha was on Thursday, she can't reconcile the helpless body on the bed with the one she thinks hurt Colette in her dream, and for now, for Colette's sake, she's splitting the two into two different people. Once Tamara pulls through this — if Tamara pulls through this — Tasha will reassess that strategy. For now it's all she has.

The sound of footsteps descending the basement stairs could herald almost anyone, but they're too light to belong to the clinic's keeper or any of the children that Doyle, with Brian's blessing, extracted from the Lighthouse after Gillian's disappearance. It's probable that whoever it is followed Tasha downstairs, and when the broad-shouldered figure of a tall, dark man that the teen doesn't recognize appears in the doorway, there's a moment where it looks as though the situation is about to go from bad to worse.

Colette's perspective might be a little different. Although the stranger is wearing a shoulder holster under his leather jacket, unzipped, he's no stranger to her. Detective Judah Demsky does not hesitate; his body gravitates toward Tamara's, swiftly closing the distance between them in a series of long, purposeful strides.

"Dad," is the word that defuses all speculation as to the strong and stern-looking man's identity, a name spoken both needily and fondly enough that Colette alights from her chair as if it were on fire, sending her cell phone clattering to the floor in the process. She startles att he plastic clattering sound, glances down at the phone but leaves it there, half under the bed Tamara's laid out in. Carrying her coffee, Colette zips from the side of the bed she's on to move to Judah's, her mis-matched eyes wide and lips downturned into a frown.

Coming alongside the detective, Colette slides one arm around his waist and squeezes tightly, still juggling her coffee as she leans her head against his shoulder and presses her face into the leather there. That they needn't say much to one another to covey what's going on is a stark contrast to the father-daughter relationship Tasha has. Neither Judah nor Vincent are verbally communicative, but that's where their similarities as parents divide.

"She did… she did something, I dunno. She— she came to find me, about— about what happened on Thursday…" Colette hadn't been home since the flash, but she'd called. It's a bold enough fact that she lied to Tasha about where she'd been, and the worry in her eyes is only partially reserved to the notion of that coming up in conversation.

"She— she was really clear and— and making sense," Colette mutmurs out the explanation, her nose still pressed against the supple leather of his coat. "I— I should've told her to stop I— " a squeak cuts off her words, arm squeezing tighter around Judah's thick torso.

Colette also fails at introductions.

At the appearance of the man, Tasha doesn't immediately assume the worst but does jump to her feet quickly — spilling a little coffee on the floor in the process. Her eyes are wide as she watches the worried detective move toward Tamara's bedside, her brows quirking into their perpetually worried look as she watches Colette move toward him, listens to Colette's explanations.

"I… I'll leave you alone," she murmurs, dark eyes darting to Colette's face, and then up to Judah's, looking as apologetic and as guilt stricken as Colette does. After all — she's the "other woman" and both Tamara and Colette are his daughters. "W-would you like some coffee?" she asks, nodding up toward the ceiling. "I can bring you down a cup." Surely there's a coffee pot here somewhere, but it will buy her time to get away and let them be together in their worry for Tamara.

Judah takes Colette's chin in his hand and tilts her face upward, a callused thumb at the corner of his mouth, and allows his lips to convey an uneasy combination of disapproval and concern as he compares one opaque eye to the other, then releases her to place that same hand at the back of her neck. Brown eyes like a hawk's fixate on Tasha next. "No," he says, voice brusque, and it's unfortunate that they have to meet under these circumstances. If Colette had introduced them before, she'd realize that this gruffness is a facet of his personality and not an expression of his displeasure.

Mind you, he is displeased. Arm falling away from Colette, he takes a knee at Tamara's bedside and seeks out her small hand with his. "What happened then?"

Mismatched eyes flick to Tasha with a pleading look of don't go in that furrow of her brows and pout of her lips. The tension in worry that she shows at Judah's side is difficult to discern, but it's obvious that she needs a little backup. With Judah crouches down at Tamara's side, Colette holds out her free hand subtly away from herself, a tacit invitation for Tasha to come in and take it. In that motion, she finally takes a sip from her coffee, using that as an unspoken excuse as to why she's not answering yet.

"She… she started to bleed," is spoken in Colette's smallest voice, "from her nose. It— it's like what happens to me when I push myself too hard, I think. Like— like with my eye." It's something like an explanation, even if Judah didn't verbally demand one his eyes and frown did. "She fell, hit the sidewalk outside I— I panicked, started calling for help. Um, Tasha— " Colette glances over to the brunette, then looks back to Judah.

"Oh, um, this— " there's an awkward exchange of looks across Judah, Tamara and Tasha from Colette. "This is Tasha Lazzaro," sure that's not her last name but it's the important signifier to the name Judah might recognize. Plus she can't remember if her real last name is Oliver or Renard still.

"She— she's— we're living together here." Colette looks down to Tamara at that, then over to Judah. "So she— she was here to like— a few people helped carry Tamara down here, to Doctor Price's clinic."
Fox has arrived.

The brusque 'No' makes Tasha swallow audibly, though she knows his worry is all for Tamara. As of yet. He doesn't know who she is. She moves toward Colette, taking her hand when it's offered and taking a long swallow of her own coffee to help steady her nerves. Too bad it doesn't have any whiskey in it.

Her eyes widen a little at the sound of her father's last name — she knows how most cops feel about her father, and she glances down, cheeks coloring as her real relationship is put into so many — or so few — words. Her dark eyes drop, then come up again, smiling nervously and apologetically to Judah. "It's nice to meet you. I'm sorry it has to be like this," she murmurs, her words no more than a whisper.

Lazzaro isn't a common name, but it isn't uncommon enough for Judah to entertain the notion that the young woman standing in front of him might be related to the Lazzaro he knows — and now is not the time to be asking her whether or not her father used to work for Internal Affairs. "Thank you," is what he says instead, and though his voice is hard it's also heavy, weighed down by his sincerity and conflicting emotions that a different man would have no difficulty expressing.

He brushes his hand not closed around Tamara's across her brow and uses his fingers to push her hair away from her face, checking her head for any visible signs of injury. It's also probably not the time to ask Colette if Doctor Price is a real doctor. The fact that she's operating out of a basement under an apartment complex likely tells him all he needs to know.

"It isn't your fault. She's done this before."

That Judah has seen this happen himself is a surprise to Colette, because she didn't tell him about Tamara's return to the Lighthouse, all for the fact that there's some things that Judah just doesn't need to worry about in her mind. It's her own way of protecting him, even if misguided. "Wh— what?" Bewilderment from Colette, causing her hand to squeeze Tasha's a bit tighter, her brows furrowing and throat working up and down in a noisy swallow.

"Wh— when did this happen before?" Dark brows furrow together, and Colette's voice stays quiet, as if not to wake Tamara, like how a conversation would be held in the presence of someone merely taking a nap, not in some ability-forced state of comatose unconsciousness.

Shuffling to Judah's side, Colette's hand held by Tasha's trembles subtly, and her brows knit together as the question she wants to ask hangs on the tip of her tongue but goes unasked for now.

One hand wrapped tightly around Colette's squeezes back in reassurance; the other, splinted, grips her coffee cup tightly, leaning it against her chin, watching Colette and Judah and torn in two — she wants to be there for Colette, because Colette clearly wants her to be there, and she also wants to flee far from this room and the fear and grief and worry that seems almost choking in its thickness. "Just… just let me know if you want to be alone," she murmurs, eyes dropping down as she feels like she's invading a private moment between a man and his family.

Colette's question of when receives a short breath blown through his nostrils that ruffles Tamara's hair but does not cause her to so much as stir. Satisfied that she isn't bleeding and that her collision with the pavement hasn't resulted in more than a concussion, he gives her hand a squeeze, lays it across her lower stomach and then braces both of his against the side of the bed, though he does not yet rise to stand. If he feels the same way about the perceived invasion as Tasha does, it fails to show on his face.

But then, not much does. "She pushed herself too hard," he says, borrowing Colette's words for it. "She'll be all right after some more rest."

Reassurance from two wholly independant events offers a comfort to Colette that emptily placating she'll be fine the other day did not. Squeezing Tasha's hand, Colette looks over to the brunette, then to Judah with a tremble of her lower lip and a nod. It's not the first time he's seen her cry, especially not over Tamara as she is right now, but the silent manner in which she's trying to rein in her emotions seems more stubbornly done than out of some semblance of pride in wanting to seem strong for her father or for Tasha. It's almost as if she's trying to convince herself not to cry for Tamara.

"Dad," has that tone to it that all father's dread, the kind that comes before their children tell them they're gay or evolved. Thankfully both of those cats are well out of the bag, and pregnant is probably low on the totem pole of possibilities, "did— what did you see?"

That's a loaded question.

"See, she'll be okay," Tasha whispers, though her voice is not wholly certain — perhaps not even wholly happy, as that one small part of her asks the niggling question, if Tamara is okay, will she hurt Colette in the future? But it's Colette of the present she has to worry about, and Tamara needs to be okay for that Colette to be happy now. The rest may never come to pass.

When Colette asks Judah what he saw, Tasha's eyes return to his face, and she glances back at the stairwell again. Visions of a possible future might be personal, something to keep to one's self or to share with a select few — she hasn't shared hers at all. The offer is clear, if unspoken — let her know if she needs to leave the room.

Now Judah does rise, long limbs unfolding as he turns away from Tamara's prone shape and gives the other young women in the room his full attention. Or most of it, anyway. First, his eyes move past them to the bottom of the basement stairs as if expecting to find someone else standing there, but when his gaze finds nothing but empty space and shadows that look exactly like they should, he shifts it back to where it belongs.

Specifically: their intertwined hands. It's a detail he notes in stony silence, records on a metal sheet of paper with his adopted daughter's name at the header and files it away for later perusal. "I was reviewing a case at the Nite Owl," he says. "Too far north for anything. Where were you?"
"I don't know…" Colette murmurs, her jaw trembling and voice hushed. Swallowing tightly, she squeezes Tasha's hand and looks up to Judah with tear filled eyes and head shaking from side to side. The nightmare that's kept her sleepless for almost a week rests on the tip of her tongue, and it's in the silence of her stare that she has to choose whether to trust her father or not with something that truly matters.

"It was on fire, wherever I was."

Colette saw something in the flash, and that squeeze of her hand that borders on painful comes wit a fleeting look to Tasha, one that apologizes for lying to her about having seen nothing. In the presence of silent prophets, there's nothing that Colette can do other than tell the truth, because if there were any other setting where this would have to come up, she can't imagine it.

"I was hurt, dad. I— I was on the street in— I dunno, I could hear people shouting, and gunfire. I— I could hear Tasha screaming…" there's a look to Tasha, tears dribbling heavily from her eyes before she looks up to Judah. "Tam— " her voice cracks, it's not a shortening of the name, she never shortens Tamara's name. "T— Tamara was there. She— she had a knife," lips begint o quiver, eyes redden and Colette sucks back the sound of a sob to a more choked noise. "She stabbed me…"

The truth suddenly spilling out of Colette brings about the spill of the coffee in Tasha's hand, as she begins to shake. With a startled, choked sound, she turns to set it down on a nearby shelf; her hand rises to cover her mouth as she watches Colette with wide eyes that fill with tears. She gives a slight shake of her head, as if she can negate everything that Colette says as simply impossible. Won't happen. Can't happen. Not true.

But it's what she saw. She turns to look at Tamara, looking so helpless and harmless on the bed, and she shivers again, her free arm, wet with coffee, wrapping around herself. "It's… that's… w-what I saw, too," she says finally, her tone apologetic as she looks up to Judah, and then away.

"Do you know that she stabbed you?" asks Judah. "Or was she just holding the weapon responsible?" In stark contrast to Colette's, his voice is low. Level. "The Department of Evolved Affairs is investigating what happened. There's no firm evidence to suggest that what you saw was real. Precognitive. Telepath. Until we know what ability or combination of abilities is responsible for the visions, we're in no position to be calling them visions at all."

He turns his head just enough to glimpse Tamara in his peripheral vision and watch the slow rise and fall of her chest beneath the fabric of her blankets. "There are people with powers on the registry who can step in to help, offer us confirmation, rejection. I'll talk to her when she wakes up."

Jaw trembling, Colette looks away and seems torn by Judah's perfectly logical question. What she wouldn't give to be Catherine Chesterfield at this moment, but Colette finds herself incapable of mustering up the exact memories of what happened, just the fear and the sickness in the pit of her stomach and the heartbreak. "I don't— I don't remember…" her mismatched eyes fall shut, throat works up and down in a quiet swallow, "it felt like she did I— I don't remember."

Reaching up to wipe the tears from her eyes with forefingers and thumb, Colette swallows anxiously and turns to look over at Tasha, only now having the mental wherewithal to actually register that Tasha had seen the same thing. Wide eyes stare at the brunette, both apolgetically and sympathetically, she can't possibly express how bad she feels in looks alone though.

"I don't know what to do, Dad." Colette's slow turn to look at Judah comes with another tremor of her unstilled jaw, teeth biting gently onto her lower lip as if in the hopes to stop it. "I— I'm really scared. If— I mean wh— I don't know… I— if it's real— what if it's real?"

It's possibly not precognitive. Tasha clutches that, though she knows that it felt real. It could just be a hallucination of sorts. "I - I didn't see it happen in my vision," Tasha whispers, glancing from Colette to Tamara, and then down at the dirty white toes of her black Converse. "Just… what it looked like happened." She lets go of Colette's hand, taking a step backward and away from the two Demskys.

Suddenly, it's too hard to try to be brave for Colette and also to act like she's not frightened of the unconscious woman on the bed in front of Judah. Her lower lip trembles before she presses it into a thin line, stepping back again.

"It isn't true," Tasha finally manages to speak. "It either isn't true, or it won't be true — I mean, just us knowing that it could be — I mean, that's… it's like in Christmas Carol, with Scrooge. We can change it." It's a juvenile allusion that shows her naivete and youth, but she offers it with earnestness, dark eyes shining as tears spill over long lashes.

"If there have been any studies conducted about whether or not it's possible to change the future as dictated by a sibyl like Tamara, you can bet we'll be hearing about it through the media as soon as the people behind them step forward." Which is to say that Judah doesn't know for sure whether or not the future can truly be changed. Only that the girl in the bed at his back has helped him avert some and personally guaranteed that others come into being.

"You're frightened," he says. "I understand. But all you have to do is flip open the paper, turn on the T.V. or tune into the radio — you're not alone. We're going to work through this together." As a family, as a city— quite possibly as a nation. He doesn't specify which. "Listen to your friend, Colette."

The last thing Colette needs is Judah telling her to listen to Tasha, that implicit trust she has for the only slightly younger girl borders on blind at times, the same kind of blind trust that she had for Tamara right up until this confusing string of circumstances. Blinking her eyes shut, Colette nods her head once in acknowledgement of Judah, then steps over to Tasha's side and slides an arm around her hsoulders, pulling the brunette into an embrace and just holds her for a few long and silent moments.

Foreheads touching briefly, Colette disengages and looks over to Tamara, then up to Judah. "I… I didn't know if she'd be better off at home," is the quiet and uncertain query offered to Judah as Colette's mismatched stare tracks down to the blonde on the table. "I just— I don't know what to do." For all that Colette tries to seem mature and be the adult, moments like this remind Judah just how fragile she can be, and just how young she really is.

Tears sliding down her cheeks, Tasha's eyes dip as Colette comes close, her arms wrapping around the other girl's waist, her head bowed against the forehead Colette presses against hers. More palpable than heard is a shuddering intake of breath, a shiver that runs through Tasha's slight frame, now that she's finally been able to tell someone what she saw — or at least admit to it. Thankfully Colette said the words for her.

"How long is she usually out? It would probably be more comfortable at home for her — if she doesn't need the doctor here to do anything for her," Tasha adds quietly. It would also probably mean that Colette will go with her father and Tamara, to be at Tam's side, she knows. She brings her chewed-upon thumbnail back to her teeth to gnaw on, her other hand slipping into her pocket as she watches Colette and Judah.

Something causes Judah to hesitate, and it's got nothing to do with the obvious physical affection that the women have for each other. His eyes have grown darker, distant. "She'll be safer here with the two of you than she will be with me at the apartment," he decides, and does not offer any logic to support his verdict. Shouldn't have to, according to some parenting experts. Although not related by blood, he views himself as the father of two of the other three individuals in the room, and when he was their age, Rueben Demsky's word was still law.

"I'll bring her puppy by later this afternoon. Jupiter, if you want him."

It is always perfectly safe around Judah, he is like a big sasquatch-hairy Superman, that Judah thinks it's somehow less safe for Tamara at his side makes her nervous, gives her pause to look back to Tamara and settle her mismatched stare up on Judah anxiously. It's a quiet, searching anxiety that has her eyes tracking side to side across Judah's, trying to find some semblance of of comfort in his expression and instead discovering questions of her own that she's not sure she wants answers to.

"Puppy's good…" Colette quietly offers, then with a furrow of her brows considers Jupiter. "I… I do miss him," and her eyes cast to the side, lips creeping up into a smile. "But— I— I don't want you to be alone. I know I— I've got this place here, I just…" there's a hesitant step towards Judah, and Colette's lips creep up into a smile.

"I miss you, Dad… I— I miss you a lot." Sure, Judah's seen Colette cry before, it doesn't mean it's any easier after the first.

The moment is both touching and painful for Tasha — given that her own father and she lack the affection that Colette and Judah clearly share, awkward as theirs may be. She takes another step away, then picks up her coffee cup, using it as an excuse. "I'm going to go get another cup of coffee and, um, I have to make a phone call, I think," she murmurs quietly, another step back as she extricates herself from what she sees as a private moment. No doubt, too, that Judah has questions for Colette regarding her, though doubtful he'd ask them with Tamara in the room, asleep though she may be.

"I … text me if you need anything, Cole," she adds. It's more efficient than running up four flights of stairs or waiting for the too-slow elevator. "Nice to meet you, Mister Demsky."

With that, she turns and heads up the stairs, glancing back to offer a reassuring smile to Colette before she's out of sight.

"I'll stay for a few hours." It's not a compromise Colette asked Judah to make, but there it is. It might have to do with the moisture clinging to her eyes and lashes — more likely, it has to do with the fact that both of his girls are in the same place at the same time, and these days the chances of that happening are as good as spotting an albino pigeon or someone walking down the street in the Financial District without a bluetooth headset nestled in their ear.

He watches Tasha go, saying nothing, but you can bet that when he revisits the image of her fingers and Colette's knit together, he'll be sifting through the databases available to him in search of Ms. Lazzaro. "There's a Jewish deli a few blocks down the road if you're hungry. We can catch an early lunch."

Swallowing tightly, Colette glances back over her shoulder to the clinic door and where Tasha disappeared before moving to come to Judah's side, letting her hand take one of his and squeeze it tightly between fingers that seem so much smaller. She smiles, lifting the hand up and brings the calloused palm to her cheek, eyes falling shut and head nodding slowly in silent agreement to the offer Judah's made. They may be an oddly designed family unit, but the feeling of being family is something Colette hasn't ever truly felt in this way, Judah has become the father she never truly had.

"I'd love that," Colette whispers under her breath, pressing her nose against Judah's palm and placing a kiss there with her eyes still shut. "I've— I've got so much to tell you…"

It's a shame that they had to be reunited under these circumstances.

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