L Words


colette_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title L Words
Synopsis The morning after Colette was attacked by one of the feral dogs, Sable comes to see how she is, and the two share a heart to heart.
Date May 6, 2010

The Lighthouse

It's been a rough night, to say the least. By the time morning has come and gone, it's the first time since the discovery of the lost Ferry shipment and the dog attack that Tasha Oliver has been away from the side of the one casualty had in the encounter. Upstairs and away from the children, in Gillian Childs' warmly furnished bedroom, Colette Nichols has been secluded and pampered by someone who is bearing a cross of shame that she'd never have put on her. It's that heavy emotional burden that's kept Tasha by the wounded teen's bedside, and inversely that very same burden that has driven her away sometime before ten in the morning, to let out what she's been holding in.

Colette awoke only shortly after Tasha left, and it's likely the only reason the young Oliver girl departed her side was because she was sleeping. It was that click of the door closing that roused Colette, though she hasn't gone far since. Laid out on her back, piled upon by quilts and comforters with a kerosene space heater thrumming away near the bed, she's counting cracks in the ceiling vacantly. Too rested to sleep, too sore to get up.

Only one bare arm is above those blankets, wound in gauze bandages where the teeth marks from the dog that attacked her had scraped across her skin; more scars to add to the collection. That bare shoulder of that arm bears another, more recent, scar from her own brand of heroism; a freshly healed over bullet wound across her shoulder in jagged cutting path. It's fresh enough to still be scabbed over, and it won't ever look as clean as the hidden scar on her opposite shoulder from Arthur Petrelli.

Some people get tattoos to comemmorate the past, Colette Nichols seems to collect scars. Everyone has to have a hobby.

It's an uneasy, and uncertain vigil that Sable's been holding, a vigil by proxy, a vigil at removes. A vigil motived by a strange blend of emotion that makes Sable's head spin, and her fingers fumble. Since Colette's retreat upstairs, and Tasha's near-constant presence at her side, Sable has felt no right to intrude. Brash, heedless and tactless though she may be, Sable has a sense of propriety that has more to do with duty than with social norms. She keeps watch along strained lines of sight, and with her ears, and, in her mind, with restless uncertainty.

So when Tasha finally vacates Colette's room, Sable knows, because she was paying attention. There are a few minutes where she struggles with herself. Going up there, she reasons, should not be motivated only by her own desires. But then, even the compulsion to 'do right by' Colette, to be merely a concerned friend, carries the stamp of Sable's desire, marking everything her mind handles, like ink on the fingers. The final decision is made over a point of honor: what holds her back, in the end, is fear. And she refuses to be afraid.

Sable approaches Colette's door with a step muffled by socks, her approach careful, as if trying to avoid waking anyone up. There's no real sense to the caution - just her own nervousness manifesting itself. She's wearing her usual ensemble, yet another tank top, yet another pair of cargo pants, a garment choice that hangs between monastic aseticism and simple habit. A monk's habit, haha. There is another brief moment of decision - knock or not? She settles for both. Her knuckles rap against the door frame, and then she calls, through the door. "Hey. It's me. Can I, like, come in?"

For someone dedicated to not being afraid, she sounds spooked as hell.

Sheepishly sliding her bandaged arm under the covers, as if out of some ill-placed sense of modesty for her bare shoulder. Clearing her throat, Colette shifts green eyes to the door, then glances to the radio alarm clock that's facing just the wrong angle for her to see what time it is. "Um— come— come on in?" is shakily offered as she shifts beneath those blankets, drawing the covers up over her shoulders and part of her chin, just a nose, messy black bed-head hair and a pair of green eyes poking out like some sort of quilt mole now.

It's unsurprising the condition of Gillian's room once that invitation is taken. Clothing not belonging to Gillian is scattered across the floor, rumpled jeans, slacks, a skirt, several different shirts and sweaters all surrounding a duffel bag containing some folded clothing. It's clearly obvious that neither Tasha nor Colette understand what a laundry hamper is or how to use one.

The door swings open under the force of Sable's shoulder, and she sidles in, closing the door behind her almost all the way, but leaving it not quite latched. The reason is threefold: she wants Colette to know she's not trying to really corner her, she wants Tasha to know she's not trying to corner Colette, and she wants to leave herself an easy exit. The bare ajarness of the door give her just the right mix of privacy and reassurance.

Sable's discomfort is written all over her face, which is cute, since it's not /she/ that has had a canid gnawing at her arm. Still, her stomach is a snakepit and her eyes bounce between Colette's just-visible own, and the free-range dirty laundry that is scattered hither and yon, the focal of her gaze like a pinball rattling of through a makeshift machine, the only lights and noise in her brain. She shuffles in, not quite making it to the foot of the bed. She's brought her hat with her, expressly for the purpose of wringing it between her hands, which she wastes no time before doing.

"Woulda checked in sooner," she says, voice on the intelligable side of the talking/muttering line, "But, y'know, figured best to let those as are best equipped to comfort do the comforting, eh? It's all right I'm here, eh? I mean, I won't let the door hit my ass on the way out if that's how it's gotta be. Just give the word." Its now that her eyes finally /stop/ on Colette's, awaiting either permission or banishment.

"It— it's fine." Colette offers quietly, dark brows furrowed and one hand coming up from beneath the blankets to brush a lock of dark hair away from the eye it was covering. "Tasha's… I'm not sure, maybe making me breakfast? She said something about getting a movie together for the kids downstairs too." Toying with her lower lip, teeth whiten flesh and tug nervously and Colette shifts a little to try and sit up some, keeping the blanket pulled over herself at chest level, though bare and scarred shoulders and pronounced collarbones imply it's for more than just warmth.

Offering a nervous smile once she's sitting with her back to the headboard, Colette looks down to her lap, then up to Sable before motioning with a pat of her one visible hand to the side of the bed. "She… I haven't told her about um," Colette's green eyes divert to the door, then back to Sable, "us. What— you know. That night?" There's color on Colette's cheeks, brows lifted up beyond her bangs, and a hand offered out to Sable afterward, it's a curious gesture. She doesn't look like she ants to get up, and certainly it's not to help Sable do something as simple as sit down. Maybe sometimes, she just needs a hand to hold.

"M'glad… um, that you came t'see me," Colette says quietly, her eyes tracking Sable's movement through the room.

That hand, first patting, then uplifting, receives a perplexed look. There is even a moment where Sable glances from it to Colette, as if to say 'you know what your hand is doing?'. But the motions are clear, all fogginess merely a product of Sable's own sputtering mind. She eases over and takes a seat, right at the edge of the mattress. Her smile is not so much forced as unsteady, a teetering thing prone to collapse should a bad wind blow. But she takes Colette's hand, fingers curling between hers.

"No, hon, I dunno that I recall," Sable says, corners of her eyes crinkling a little, "Whaddya think? And if that's so, you can be sure I won't say nothin'. That's surely your business, to be made hers when y'feel the time is right." Her head turns, moving to the door, a stand in for the absent other. "Not that it's not the damnedest fuckin' thing. I feel like I'm goin' crazy bit by bit, to tell the truth," she glances back to Colette, "Not that that's your concern. Puttin' things into their proper place, it's not like you /know/ me too well. And it's not like knowin' me would necessarily change a damned thing."

Sable pauses, lips quirking to one side, pensiveness tinged with consternation. "I'm sorry, by the way, 'bout what I wrote to you. I went into it thinkin' it was just a matter of, I dunno, honesty. With you. Or somethin'. I get the feelin' maybe it was selfish or somethin', which wouldn't be particularly out of what you might call my character, but certainly wasn't what I had in mind at the time. That I swear."

The patient sigh Colette gives at Sable comes with a squeeze of the hand she's holding. One brow lifts, Colette lips screw up into a smile that looks a little restrained, and the teen leans forward while hugging the blanket close to herself. Flicking a quick look to the door first, Colette leans forward and sits up a bit more, enough so that she can press her nose to Sable's forehead, then her lips in a very soft and from the temperature of her cheeks and face, warm kiss. "You're sweet," she whispers against Sable's forehead, squeezing that hand again before leaning back just a little, her bandaged arm keeping the blanket covering herself.

"What you wrote was sweet, and— the music and just…" Colette closes her eyes and shakes her head slowly, opening them only enough to regard Sable through the dark fringe of her lashes. "You were honest, and… s'more than I've been with you." There's a furrow of Colette's brows together, and her thumb comes to brush over one of Sable's knuckles. "I think… if I hadn't thought what— we had was… like, a one-night stand kinda— th— thing?" Colette's head ducks down, teeth drawing across her bottom lip and eyes casting aside, "maybe it wouldn't have been." It's not entirely a weightless implication.

"I like you," Colette offers quietly, giving that hand another squeeze, "I think it's cute that you play tough and stuff all the time, and you're actually a lot sweeter than you let on. I— you saved me back there," Colette doesn't really need to qualify where, "not a lot've people would've thrown themselves at a freaky dog for me."

Breathing in a slow breath, Colette slouches back against the headboard, green eyes uplifting to Sable's yellower ones. "You don't have to apologize for anything."

The kiss, mild as it is, makes Sable tense for a second, like a current was suddenly run through her. Her composure, what there is of it, momentarily shivers apart, as she blinks, her face clearly working against a natural inclination to make /some/ expression or other that Sable has no interest in displaying right now. She rubs her wrist against her eyes in a hasty back-forth, back-forth.

"Well, 'course it was," Sable manages to get out after a moment is spent regaining herself, "I was thinkin' you were holdin' yourself in trust for someone entirely other than, like, the assembled fuckin' parties. Some whoever that saw you and her with a house and a dog and a happily whatever after or somesuch. I didn't think t' fight destiny. Which I guess learns me, huh?" she pulls a grin into place, and it's not unconvincing. It doesn't, however, last long. Sable shifts, securing a little more of the mattress for herself, though it's far from what anyone would call an advance.

"The way I figure myself to be feelin' comes after the fact. After, let's be honest, y' sort of shot me down. Which I was initially thinkin' was really the main point for me. Disappointment, whatever. Wanting what you can't have, y'know?" Sable's eyes drop to the hand she holds, her own thumb brushing up and down between Colette's first and second knuckles, "And I dunno how much that it was maybe just that in the beginning, and if its fair to call anything that may have begun so anything else after. But… I know this. And please, forgive me for sayin' it because it ain't meant to hurt."

Sable looks up at Colette, "Every time, I'm wishin' it was me. Not what we've already done. Though, okay, sure. That too. But what strikes me is everythin' else. Wantin' to be the first to comfort you. Wantin' to get to tend to you closest. Wantin' to… shit… make you breakfast. Each time, I've wanted to and each time I gotta hold myself back because /it ain't me/. It ain't my place, by your choice. But it kills me that I can't, that somehow what's me wantin' to care for you is something I gotta not let myself do. Keep distant. Not, like, over-fuckin'-step. That what I can't but, like, think is a better sort of feelin' and impulse than most of the ones I ever get is the one I just can't, y'know… act on." A beat. "Y'dig?"

There's a soft noise in the back of Colette's throat, something gently sympathetic and chiding at the same time. The teen's brows furrow together, eyes shift to stare down at the blanket and her head tilts to the side in a slow motion that has her bangs belatedly shifting from their former position behind one ear and swishing to cover one eye, one stray lock caught on the bridge of her nose. "You're so weird," Colette offers affectionately, looking a bit conflicted by Sable's words. There's things going unsaid, that much is visible behind her green eyes as much as she tries to hide it, but she just doesn't have much of a poker-face.

"You don't have to hide from me 'cause— 'cause of Tasha. I mean, I— I get what you're sayin', it's just… you don't have to be so tip-toey around me, I ain't gonna' get all upset about the fact that you're worried about me. Heck, if you ever got hurt I'd probably be right there worrying about you and forgetting to eat an' stuff. S'just who I am."

Squeezing that hand she holds again, Colette shakes her head and smiles warmly. "You can't help caring, any more'n you can help who you're attracted to. Maybe if you're really worried about stuff, you— should talk to Tash'."

The mattress creaks a bit as Sable shifts her sitting position, her legs angling away from Colette, but only so that she can see her with less strain to her neck. The shift is a bit abrupt, and is accompanied by a similarly abrupt interjection. "Aw, hell, about what? I don' know that I trust myself, honest to God. Not neither to keep what's past properly quiet, nor to keep what's present from makin' me snarl. And that's she's sweet tempered ain't any defense. Fact is, if we could scrap it out, I'd probably end up feelin' a lot calmer by the end of it…" Sable notices what she's just admitted to, and hastily amends, "Not that I intend to start nothin'. I'm just… I dunno."

Sable's nose wrinkles, "This ain't right, either. Me comin' at you with my aches and pains, muddyin' your water when /you're/ the one that's been gnawed on like a goddamn old soup bone," there's a momentary flash, another one of those quick smiles with the crinkle around her eyes, "The fairest soup bone there ever was, to be sure," and it's gone, "It's easy 'nough to say I can just act, what… friendly? But I don't /feel/ friendly, and I'm poor at acting less than I feel, if I let m'self act at all. And… well, the truth is, if there's any chance at all, somewhere down the road, I'd rather not ruin things now by actin' the idiot."

Her second hand goes to join the first, and the clasp upon Colette's becomes momentarily beseeching, "I'm tryin' to be good, and the hardest part is tryin' for goodness's sake, rather than out of a hope that you'll see me in a bright enough light. But I don't know all my own mind, and I can't account for what moves me. There's a Spirit, sure, but there's an Adversary too, and both can take hold of a man." The moment passes, shaken from her as she shakes her head, "But that's enough of that, eh? How're you feelin'? You got any fun pills you can take, manage the pain in your poor mistreated arm?"

Pursing her lips into a somewhat thoughtful expression, Colette looks down at her lap and shakes her head slowly. Keeping one arm holding her blanket up, she releases her grip on Sable's hand and leans forward, sliding an arm around the brunette's shoulder to draw her into a tight hug. Colette's face rests against Sable's shoulder, nose pressed down into the fabric of her tanktop and embrace lingering. When she lifts her head up, she turns to bring her nose near Sable's ear and whispers "you're terminally sweet," in a teasing tone of voice.

Colette doesn't lean back, not right away, just rests her chin on the brunette's shoulder and tries to keep herself mostly covered, though the bareness of her back gives something of a chill. "I'm feelin' alright, I gots me some asprin," which is a bit sarcasticly delivered, "but good company's a lot better cure for the aches. It's not that bad, m'just not looking forward to fucking rabies shots."

Leaning back, Colette pauses in consideration of something, then just starts to lean back a little more, enough that she can look up to Sable again. "Careful, I mght be rabid," she notes softly and teasingly with a wrinkle of her nose.

Again, for all her usually casual boldness, Sable seems utterly shocked at the embrace. She has, however, long learned to strike while the iron is hot. Her arms encircle Colette and return the hug, the squeeze not quite as crushing as the one following the test and the little red window, but by no means limp. Her hands find the other girl's bare back, but don't shy away. Her head turns in towards Colette, cheek pressed against her dark hair. Yellow eyes close for the moment so, when Colette whispers, her voice and the feeling of her held close makes up the whole of Sable's world. Just for that moment.

When they part, Sable's cheeks are tinted slightly pink, and she gnaws on the inside of her cheek. The final sign of her nerves, the lift of a hand to scratch her nape, is aborted by a conscious gesture: Sable discreetly pins her own wrist. "Man, be careful with those little white bastards," the aspirin, that is, "I've seen what they can do to a man. Next thing you know, you'll be panhandlin' outside the CV-fuckin'-S, tryin' to raise up enough change to get your next fix." This is delivered with a jocularity that, while not false, is certainly offered up as an alternative to her flusteration.

The mention of rabies gets Colette a squinty look. "Don't you dare start me down that road. Ain't nothin' I can say 'bout that that won't lead t' me sayin' I ain't afraid of you bitin' me, hon. And I'm a lethal fuckin' flirt once I get started. You stand warned, y'hear?"

"A little?" Colette jabs back with a quirk of one brow, "you're a lot flirt. It's cute, though, I— wasn't really used to it." Slouching back against the headboard, Colette pulls her blankets up over her shoulders, tucks her chin behind them and covers her mouth with the comforter, watching sable behind her blanket-fort for a little bit before lifting her chin and tucking the soft fabric against her throat.

"i'm a touchy kinda' person, with— people I care about. I never used t'be real affectionate, cause've that stuff I told you about that night we uh, had some drinks. So— m' making up for lost time, but don't…" Colette breathes in slowly, then exhales a soft sigh, "don't mistake it for what it's not. I mean I— I don't know what to really tell you, 'cept that waiting around for something that might never happen ain't a way to make yourself happy, an' you're too sweet not to be happy, Sable."

Wrinkling her nose, Colette lifts green eyes up to meet yellower ones. "But right now, Tasha's all I'm thinkin' about. I— I'm happier than I've been in a long time, and she really… really cares about me, and…" she seems to have a hard time explaining things, and that realization has her teeth toying at her lower lip. "I think I l— "

A knock causes Colette to hold her words back behind her teeth. Green eyes nervously flick to the door, and when a tiny young redhead pops out from behind it, there's something of a sheepish smile offered. "Colette," Juniper offers with a lift of her brows, looking back and forth between her and Sable, "Tasha's putting on a movie for the kids," which she doesn't lump herself with of course, "come on down and watch it, she's almost done cooking you breakfast too."

There's a soft sound in the back of Colette's throat, and the teen nods her head to Juniper shallowly, then affords a green-eyed stare back over to Sable as Juniper scoots out from the bedroom. She doesn't say anything, just looks pensive and — admittedly — just the tiniest bit torn.

"I should— get dressed," Colette says quietly, hunching her hsoulders forward and brushing her chin across the soft fabric of her comforter.

For all that she was jangling nerves, and for all the damage her poor hat, lying twisted in her lap, sustained in just the first few minutes of her arrival, Sable seems unbothered by the sudden appearance of Juniper. She greets the redhead with an extended finger, and a silent 'pow'. Unabashed. When she's gone, Sable returns to Colette with slightly lifted brows. She was saying something, right?

"Sure, sure," Sable says, "I'll get out of your hair. Glad to know you're gonna be mobile again." She leans in, taps Colette's chin with the tip of her forefinger, "And don't you worry about me, one way or 'nother. What passes in my heart is far past my say-so. I appreciate the concern, though."

Sable rises to her feet, turning to sidle back towards the door. When she reaches it, she pauses, turning back to Colette. "'bout what you're thinkin'," she comments, calling back that uncompleted admission, "And this ain't to say it is or isn't so. But I wanna tell you, from experience 'n' all. What you're thinkin'," she taps her temple, "Is what every soul thinks, every damn time." Her gaze rises somewhere above Colette's head, the exact altitude of memory. "First time for me… her name was Adelaide." Sable grins, a sardonic fondness in her eyes, "Jesus, what a bitch."

The yellow eyed girl lifts two fingers in a salute, "Stay gorgeous, hon." And she's out the door.

When Sable slides out of the door, her parting words impress on Colette a furrow of the teen's brows and a slouch that seems more like she's deflating from the sigh she gives. Her skinny arms wrap around the blanket at her chest, mouth and nose press down into the soft fabric, and she just stares quietly at the print on the fabric, Sable's words echoing over and over in her head. After a moment, her green eyes wander over to the bracelet sitting on the nightstand, with rhinestone studded stray and jewelled butterfly centerpiece, then away without direction.

Colette breathes out a sigh, slides down further until she's laying down again and offers a vacant stare to the ceiling. She'll get dressed soon, she just has some more cracks to count in the plaster before she does.

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