It Only Gets Harder


colette_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title It Only Gets Harder
Synopsis Colette, Tasha and Quinn discuss the Ferrymen and the situation surrounding Elaine's disappearance.
Date August 2, 2010

Gun Hill

Worry. That had more or less defined the last 16 or hours of Quinn's life Pacing in her room, waiting to hear or get a call from Eileen, or from Magnes, some sort of update. Even Sable and Ygraine hadn't been able to abate the cloud that hung over her head. Even music, she had found herself much too distracted from, unable to write anything she was pleased with, or even really play anything without hitting flat notes or generally feeling detached from her playing.

So, she had decided it was time to do the next ebst thing to calm her nerves, something she was loath to do where others could find her. But the fire escape was uncomfortable, and she couldn't just do it in her room. So, up to the roof she had come, standing on the far end with her bag slung around her shoulder, staring out over the city, a lighter in one hand and a cigarette between her lips.

Not a big deal for most, but for her, a dirty little secret she would be very unlikely to fess up to with anyone who didn't actually catch her. She'd been up here for several minutes now, just quietly thinking as she took long drag after long drag. It had been a long day, and it wasn't getting any shorter.

"…so then he just left and didn't say another word. I wish I was more in the loop about this kinda' stuff, I hate hearing about it second hand." A voice quietly rings up the stairwell to the roof, along with the sounds of multiple feet clomping up the steps. "I know you told me what went on up there, but I figured Scott would tell me something. He looked like he had a lot on his mind though, so— I dunno."

Walking backwards through the doorway with a shove of her shoulders against the door, Colette Nichols looks both breezily dressed and uncharacteristically girly. White isn't usually a color she wears, nor is a sundress something that the typically boyish teen ever wears. Sandals are borrowed, she doesn't have any of her own, and her hair being pinned back by chromed clips in a semblance of style is even more likewise unexpected.

Holding the door open with her shoulder and unaware of Quinn's rooftop presence, Colette folds her hands behind her back as the wind rustles the knee-length hem of the sundress around lightly tanned legs. "You can put Alberto anywhere, really. I think he'll like the sun." Somewhere down on the stairwell still, Tasha Oliver is making her way up on Colette's heels, carrying a very important piece of cargo.


Alberto also happens to be a four foot tall cactus in a terra-cotta pot. Dressed from an afternoon out with her father, Colette is ill-suited for gardening, which is likely why she's enlisted Tasha's assistance in transporting the prickly flowering cactus up onto the roof to join the trellice and planters now arranged for the roof garden.

"Alberto is a dignified cactus gentleman," Colette opines with a brush of one thumb across her chin, eyeing the stairwell, "don't you think?"

"No. He is a prick," Tasha says, glancing up at Alberto as she carries him carefully, already having found out just how sharp his prickles can be, a bloody thumbprint smeared on the lip of terra-cotta cot. And Alberto is an ungainly thing to carry for the petite teen, so she's only too happy to find a spot for the plant when she makes the last step out onto the rooftop.

"Typical man. Pokes you and then doesn't even want to talk after," Tasha continues her metaphor, as she sets down the cactus. She is dressed in her short denim shorts and a red bikini top of all things, having been painting one of the non-airconditioned apartments when Colette returned home and texted her to come carry cacti. "Oh, hey, Quinn," she says with a wave for the other young woman on the roof. "Hope we're not bugging you. If we are, we can go and … I don't think Alberto will say much." Her lips quirk into a smile at the ongoing joke.

Quinn is withdrawn enough into her own thoughts that she only realises that the other two women have come up to the roof when she hears her name. The Irishwoman spins around with surprise on her face, her dark blue skirt billowing a bit from the speed at which she spins, a compliment to her black Get Up Kids t-shirt. She's also entirely forgotten that there's a cigarette in her hand as she turns, making no effort to hide it.

"Oh, um, hey guys," she remarks with a bit of an awkward smile, her head tilting when she spies the cactus. "Adding to the garden? It kinda stands out," she says with a motion to the plant. Her tone betrays her smile, quiet and somewhat distant. She glances back towards the door to the room, and then shrugs. "Nah, you're not interruptin'. I was just inchin' to get out of my room a bit. What about you guys?"

Looking a bit startled by Quinn's presence, Colette hesitates at the door, letting Tasha walks past her. She lingers there for a moment, smoothing down the back of her sundress as she steps away from the door and lets it swing slowly shut on its hissing, hydraulic hinge. "Hey, we're not doin' much, I just got back from lunch with my dad and picking up mister Alberto here from McRae's place…" there's a furrow of Colette's brows when she notices the cigarette, but remains quiet otherwise.

Stepping away from the closing door, Colette walks beneath the arched trellice of white-painted wood latticework and crawling ivy, her hands still folded behind her back and attention squared on Quinn. "You alright? 'Cause you look like someone peed in your cereal this mornin' or somethin'…" mismatched eyes cast askance to Tasha, then flick back to Quinn.

"Or are you just practicing being a somber and broodin' musician?" A smile cracks up on Colette's lips and both of her brows raise in expectence at that teasing question.

"Painting one of the vacant apartments. I think there's only one left. It's slower without the child labor munchkins," says Tasha, unabashed about using the Lighthouse's older kids to help get their "chores" done. She leans back against the wall that encloses the roof, resting her elbows on the ledge as she raises her brows at Colette's question, turning to look at Quinn curiously, to wait for the answer.

"If you want out of your apartment but wanna hang inside somewhere, you can come over and hang with us, too. I hope we're better company than Alberto. And we might have some Jose in the cupboard," she says, then quiets to let Quinn answer the query.

"Oh, God, Jose is the last thing I need right now," Quinn replies with a bit of a forced laugh, and instinctually the cigarette comes to her lips - at which time she remembers still has it, prompting a nonchalant toss back over the edge of the room. Cigarette? She didn't have a cigarette, you're crazy!

She chooses to address the questions out of order, saving the worst for last. "Well," she says, looking over to Tasha with a thoughtful look. "I wasn't sure if anyone was around, an' I just need t' be alone for a bit. Though I'm glad t' have the company now," she says a bit ruefully, leaning back against the edge of the roof. "An' I miss the kids too. I'm hopin' Doyle lets me teach 'em music an' such." She gives a weak shrug, turning her gaze over to Colette.

"Sorry, I didn't mean t' look so… obvious…" She lets out a long sigh, closing her eyes. "Elaine's missin'. Was grabbed by her ex while we were at open mic night last night." A hand reaches up, rubbing her temples. "I've been talkin' about it all day with Sable an' Ygraine. Eileen's lookin' into it, an' I'm sure Magnes is cookin' something up, I'm supposed t' go by his new place later with Sable. So, I came to the roof t' take my mind off it, since there's not anythin' I can do right now." She seems rather collected, if sullen, about the whole thing - it's clear she really is just unwinding at the moment.

"Elaine's— what?" Colette's eyes go wide and her posture stiffens. "Oh— my God, I— I didn't— " looking back to Tasha', Colette's saucer-wide eyes stare vacantly, in a how could we not know sort've way. Turning on her heels, Colette's sandals slap across the rooftop's concrete surface on her way over to where Quinn sits. "Wh— where was she last? Did— do you know who took her?" Colette's mind is immediately racing with images of the Institute and that horrible coffin they'd rescued Maeve and Lorraine from.

"God, I— I wish I knew where Matilda was," the young girl offers with a stutter, "I— she knows how to find people, anywhere. It— " it would help with so many things right now. "Please tell me that you guys went to the cops about this." Colette places more faith in the city's law-enforcement than most people, of course.

"He grabbed her?" Tasha's eyes are also wide, and she glances at Colette, pushing off the wall to come closer. "I know Magnes probably thinks he can handle this himself, but Colette's right… if it's this crazy ex boyfriend, you guys should go to the police. I mean, that's… that's not just fighting for a girlfriend, that's psychopathic behavior and it should be handled by professionals. He could be seriously deranged." She doesn't trust authority much these days herself, but being the child of a former cop and a lawyer, there is still some faith in the law. Just not the law as it pertains to registration and the Evolved.

"Magnes has called them, from what I've heard. If he wasn't, I was going t' after I talked to a few people." Quinn sighs, shaking her head. "I don't think it's exactly bein' advertised. I dunno who Magnes' told, but Elieen, Deliliah, Sable, an' I were with her last night…" Quinn's eyes close again, her frame tensing a bit before she continues. "She went off t' the bathroom, an' from the look a' the place when I went looking for her. It was probably James. Her Ex, the same guy who broke Sable's arm." Quinn reiterates to both.

She reaches up, rubbing her arm. "Like I said, I'm tryin' not t' think about it. The-" she pauses, looking up at Colette with narrowed eyes, remembering what Sable had said to her days previous. "I figure the Ferry's involved, if Magnes is smart, an' Eileen seem t' been movin' with a purpose last night. An' the cops are involved… I spent last night keepin' Sable calm, an' I'm not sure what else I can do at the moment. So… I'm unwidin'." Eyes cast down to the floor, another weak shrug given.

Oh God Quinn just used the F-Word.


"How— y— um— " Looking nervous, Colette takes a few more creeping steps towards Quinn, her brows furrowed and head slowly tilting to the side. "I— I'm sure if Eileen's taking care of it that, um, that it'll get handled. She's really good 'bout that sorta' stuff an' really smart. It'll— it'll be okay." Lifting up a hand to rub at the back of her neck, Colette looks back to Tasha with a furrow of her brows and a somewhat helpless expression. After a moment of exchanging that look, Colette's attention returns to Quinn.

"Where'd you hear the word Ferry?" she delicately tries to ask, "Sounds— kind've weird, right?" There's an awkward laugh from Colette, one hand still scrubbing at the back of her neck as she uneasily shifts her weight from foot to foot.

"If Eileen's involved, stuff will be okay," Tasha assures Quinn, having faith in Eileen to have the common sense that the rest of the younger Ferry people apparently lack, at least according to the Council, if Noah Bennet's words hold any truth to them. She still rankles slightly at the thought of "common sense training," but then the fact Quinn knows about the Ferry might be more evidence that the other Gun Hill residents have been a little loose with the secrets lately.

She glances at Colette, and gives a slight shrug, and smirks a little at the awkward cover-up. Her head shakes very slightly, as if to say don't even try to lie. Truly, Colette is the worst liar. Raith should give her lessons on having a poker face. Her dark eyes move back to Quinn, and she moves to one of the lounge chairs, sitting on the edge of it to listen to the answer to that question.

Quinn gives a meek laughs at Colette, shaking her head. "Sable an' Ygraine back after Sable'sarm got broken," she says quietly,s till looking downwards. "Cat," she says with distinct emphasis, "the other night when I went t' see her about some music stuff." And then her lips quirk worriedly. "I'd… heard you guys were involved, so I'm hopin' I didn't just make a total ass outta myself…" She trails off, wrinkling her nose.

Deflating with a sigh, Colette moves her hand from the back of her neck to her forehead, "We're supposed to be more subtle about this," is practically whined, and all Colette can think about is Noah's berating common sense training comment. Making a noise in the back of her throat, Colette looks up apologetically to Quinn. "If— Cat mentioned it to you then… did— she explain stuff? I mean, I— I hadn't heard anything about anyone lookin' into you or anything, I…"

There's a soft sound of uncertainty Colette manages to make on turning to Tasha, looking at the brunette for a little moral support before settling her attention back on Quinn. "When we first talked and… you said you were Registered and stuff and… you know, like— why you registered, I figured you didn't want a part've anything like this. I— I figured, you know, that— you wanted to live a normal life."

"If Cat talked to you the other night, she probably already knew you knew," Tasha says, "or just figured you were a good recruit, I don't know. So that's no big deal. I mean, she wouldn't mention it accidentally." By omission, Tasha implies Ygraine and Sable may have, and she glances at Colette with raised brows, bringing her thumbnail to her mouth to chew upon.

"So if you know what we're about… I don't know what Cat talked to you about, but, you know. You shouldn't feel like you have to join our merry crew or anything just because everyone and their brother here seems to be. Eventually, there's gonna be more people who don't know about it, who live here. You won't b the odd man out or anything. Or you know. Odd woman." Tasha rambles a little, before tugging on Colette to sit down beside her on the lounge chair.

Quinn chuckles, looking off to the side. "After I called, you know, the cops, which I still stand by, a few people took it upon themselves to alternately explain why callin' the cops to a safehouse was a bad idea, an t' let me know about the safehouse an' exactly where I was living." Quinn sighs, closing her eyes. "I went t' see Cat about something else entirely, an' she just kinda… slipped it int' the conversation, an told me there was a place for me if I wanted it."

At this point, Quinn's stopped caring, and she digs down into her bag, withdrawing a pack of cigarettes. One is pulled out and lit, a quick drag given before she looks back at the others, a half smile on her face. "I had been meanin' t' ask if that had somethin' to do with you inviting me t' move in, Colette," she says honestly, shrugging afterwards. "I may be registered, but… my reasons for doin' it don't exactly mean I think everyone should have t', among other things. Like I said last time, it should be someone's choice. An' I like t' help people, an' particularly evolved folks." Her smile widens, shrugging. "It's not somethin' I'm used t', but it sounds like a perfect fit t' me."

"That was part've it," Colette admits with a wry smile, sheepishly staring down at her sandaled feet. "I mean, I— you're friends with my friends, so it was just decent of me t'do, right? I just— got… discouraged?" There's a grimace crossing Colette's face as she admits that, looking to where Tasha is seated in that chair, then walks over to the stone railing nearby and leans her back up against it, resting her elbows on the edge.

"It ain't easy, doing what we do… an' chances are you ain't gonna' be able to have a normal life if you do get involved. It wasn't that I thought you were like, not right for us? I just… I was afraid we'd ruin a good thing. There's a lot of danger involved in doing what we do, and… I just thought it looked like you had a chance to maybe lead a normal life, and I didn't wanna' ruin that."

Tasha watches Colette walk to the railing, brows knitting with some concern for her as well as Quinn, before turning back to the Irishwoman. "It's not easy, but you know, you can being registered isn't necessarily a bad thing, and you're right, it doesn't mean you can't help or believe in the same things we do. After all, we need people who are on the grid for this sort of organization to work. People like me, for example. I'm not Evolved, but I still believe in this cause, and will fight for it, even if it's not something that is affecting me, myself and I. Though of course," and her dark eyes glance back at Colette, while a slightly shy smile curves Tasha's lips upward, "now it does, but I was willing to help even when it didn't. We're happy to have you, you know, if you have like, Cat and the other big people's blessing."

Quinn quirks her laps, arms cross over her midsection. "Trust me, I've heard about how hard it can be…" Well, she's heard stories, even if they weren't readily identified as Ferry related. Eyes open, and her gaze moves repeatedly between Colette and Tasha. "Nothin' worth doin' is easy," she says with a lopsided smile. "Music's taught me that, among other things."

She falls back with a thud against the railing, and arm reaching out for balance, and once she has it, a long drag taken from her cigarette. "This seems like the right thing t' do to me. An' not, like, some flight of fancy. I've always made an' effort t' help people, however I can. This… feels like the right thing t' do." She nods as she reiterates, looking over at Colette with a grin. "An' I can still play music. Cat's willin' to help with a label even. So, I'll get t' help in the best way, an' I'll get t' do what I love, at least for now. I can live with that." She directs a nod at Tasha. "I guess I do. Like I said, Cat brought it up… very casually. It almost got entirely lost in us talkin' about and playin' music."

Breathing out a tired sigh, Colette dips her head into a somewhat reluctant nod. She's quiet for a little bit on her way back over from the wall to Tasha's side, settling down to uninvitedly sit on the brunette's lap, crossing one leg over the other and wrapping her arms around Tasha's shoulders. A look is offered over to Quinn, brows furrowed, and Colette's gears shift just a little.

"I figure somebody's probably checking you out then, seein' if you're appropriate to really be let in on things. Knowing that Gun Hill's a place for us is already kind've a responsibility, one that you need t'be careful about. I mean, cops coming here probably wouldn't be the end of the world, we just have to be careful's all. But saying the Ferry thing out loud, I— probably slipped more'n once."

Pursing her lips, Colette looks over to Tasha, then slouches back against her lightly. "Also, part two of our trainin'… probably sometime in a couple weeks, maybe end've the month or something? If that sounds good t'you I mean, I've been so busy lately it's been hard t'get on that."

Tasha's arms go around Colette's waist and her chin finds its way to rest on Colette's bare shoulder. "It can be harder than you might guess," the teen says in a small voice, closing her eyes as she thinks of the things she saw in Canada the week before. The hanging bodies, she barely even got a glimpse of. The two agents they'd killed. Having to touch them. Keeping Kaylee from bleeding to death. Things she never in a million years had thought she'd be doing.

"But," she says, "we need all the people we can get, and I'm not gonna talk you out of it, that's for sure. We need good people, and you have common sense. Wasn't your fault if you brought the cops here. That's a logical thing to do, and you didn't know better." Tasha sighs. "I hope she's okay this time."

A hand comes to Quinn chin, the little vice she holds tapping against it. "Careful," she reiterates with a nod. "I know. I wouldn't a' said anything just now id I didn't think it, you know. Relevant." She takes to her cigarette again, exhaling a cloud of smoke through her nose. "I was surprised about Gun Hill," she says quietly, pushing away from the wall. "But it helped me understand a buncha things I do kinda wish I'd known sooner." A pause, and she looks up at Colette with a grin. "Not that it woulda kept me from movin' in."

Pulling up another piece of furniture, Quinn plops down, making she she's far enough that she's not blowing smoke at the two younger women. "You slipped up at least once," Quinn notes with a wink and a shrug before leaning back, her attention turned to Tasha. "Well, I don't think it'll be easy, at least from what I've been told. I've… heard that some people I care about've been in some serious danger before…" Again, not entirely separating stories she's heard from actual Ferry activity. "But I still think I can help, an' I'm still willing to," she says with a reaffirming nod.

Her foot taps down on the pavement, and she gives a worried smile. "Any time's fine Colette. I've been workin' at out last lesson, with some success. So that's somethin'! An' Ygraine's been makin' sure I keep practicin' an' giving me a few things t' try, so I've been at it. But! I'm lookin' forward t' out next outing."

And the last bit makes her expression downturn briefly before that worried smile returns. "She's going t' be fine, Tasha. I'm a bit worried about what Magnes might do, but… I know she's going t' be fine. I'm not going t' give up hope on that until I see her myself."

Resting her head against Tasha's, Colette furrows her brows and stares past the rooftop, silent for a while on listening to Tasha and Quinn talk. Eventually, though, Colette turns mismatched eyes to the Irish musician and furrows her brows. "Yeah, I don't much think you'll like the second lesson as much as the first…" there's a faint smile at that, a further crease of Colette's brows in worry and then a look back to the city skyline. "'Cause there's one thing I learned, workin' with the Ferry that applies to both our jobs and our abilities…"

Colette cracks a wry, almost apologetic smile, then closes her eyes and shakes her head.

"It only gets harder."

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