Made Of Awesome


colette_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Made Of Awesome
Synopsis Helena and Colette resolve their differences with the help of delicious baked goods. Helena speaks of the future.
Date July 22, 2009

Village Renaissance Building - Rooftop

Black boots scuff hot concrete, tiny black streaks left in the wake of their sudden movements etching a semi-permanent reminder that Colette Nichols was here.

The hot sun overhead beats down relentlessly in a pale azure sky without a single cloud in sight. Rippling waves of heat come off of the hot concrete rooftop of the Village Rennaisance building, distorting the air at a distance by bending and refracting light; in a way the heat is both a punishment and an inspiration. The matchstick thin teenager's moves are sharp and forceful, sudden presses of her hand out and away from her body, followed by attempts at precise — though ultimately awkward — footwork. Ink black denim shorts cover her pale legs to just below her knees, the long and shiny chain attached to a wallet slaps against the bag of her right calf, jingling and clinking as she throws her insigificant weightr around.

Sweat rolls from Colette's forehead in constant beads, and the salty sting of it burns at her once pale shoulders, now reddened from over-exposure to the sunlight. Every time the fabric of her urban camo tanktop brushes against that tender skin, she winces, narrowing milky white and sightless eyes, teeth clenched together.

The motions aren't familiar ones, they're a handful of simple self-defense moves shown to her by an old friend. While Grace never intended for Colette to get involved in anything like this, the beginning vestiges of a lesson on how to escape from an attacker is all she can hope to mull over. Staunch determination is painted across her face as she repeats the motions again, brows creased and ink black hair matted down to her forehead with sweat.

It's a far cry from how things were just a year ago.

"Oh, god. It's way too hot up here."

Helena's words are accompanied by a drop in temperature, and the onset of a cool, but not chill, breeze. Helena stands by the door, a plastic plate in her hands loaded up with what appear to be something squarish like brownies, only they're yellow and topped with coated sugar. "I knocked on your door downstairs, but you weren't around, and thought I might check up here. I brought…" Helena fades off, it's obvious what she brought. "Hard," she notes of the moves Colette is doing, "Isn't it? Pushing yourself. I know what it's like." She pauses a moment and then says, "If I'm disturbing you, I can just head back downstairs and leave the plate in front of your door."

Distracted, Colette notices the cool air before she notices the voice, but it's the sound of Helena that causes her to quickly jerk around, both brows shooting up beyond the ragged fringe of her bangs, blinded eyes wide. She squints, in that scrutinizing way that someone with bad eyesight does when trying to read a newspaper before asking, "Hh— Hey? Uh, y— yeah I, um…" one hand sweeps her damp bangs back from her face, shoulders rising and falling quickly with panting breaths.

"S— Sorry. I, ah, it's alright. I probably needed a break, um, anyway… y'know?" Teeth tugging at her lower lip, Colette uncertainly begins edging towards Helena, her nose lifting as she catches the scent of something that isn't hot concrete and sweat.

"Did you bring — " On drawing Closer, Colette's words and motion stop in an instant, her breath hitcining in the back of her throat as if she finally saw who was standing in the doorwa to the rooftop. "It's— you." Disbelief in her voice and on her face, "I— I'm sorry I— " she's embarassed, for what looks like a dozen reasons or more. "Am I— uh— I'm in your way, I— I can like…" She starts tilting her head, scanning the rooftop, unsure of where to go or what to do. Been a while, hasn't it?

"No, hey, it's okay." Helena says promptly. "I mean, it's been a while since the last time you and I spoke to each other," A pause, and a frown. "Well, um, you-you, and not future-you, anyway. But I thought - you know, the last time, it was not my finest hour, and you're about to help us with something big, and I thought," she lifts the plate a little. "Lemon squares. I guess it's a peace offering and a thank you and an I'm sorry rolled into excellent baked goods. If that works for you."

There's something almost inscrutable about Colette's expression for a moment as she focuses on the lemon-squares. "Oh! I love lemon squares!" There's an excited chirp to her voice, for a moment forgetting who she is, who Helena is, and what she just said. "That's— That's really sweet of— " as she starts to walk closer, Colette immedpately halts dead in her tracks and opens her mouth a little, one brow arching a touch. "Wait what?"

She's quiet, long enough for the cool breeze to blow across the rooftop and disturb her messy locks of hair more so than they already are, mouth hanging open and brows furrowing as she gives that squinted look again. This time, though, it's not Helena she's trying to make out, but her meaning. "Me-me and— I'm— not sure I follow." And she follows Tamara most of the time, which makes this especially unusual.

Helena considers Colette a moment, her brow furrowing. "Why don't we sit and have some squares, and I'll explain? It's not entirely crazy. Actually it is entirely crazy, but it really happened." She gestures to her favorite spot - next to one of the potted trees that Cat had planted up here, and clambers into a seated position, balancing the plate on her knees carefully. "Sorry, big day tomorrow, and I tend to um, stress bake." Helena gives Colette a sheepish grin.

Looking awkward at Helena, Colette cocks her head to the side like a confused puppy and follows the blonde's movements across the roof as she tracks towards one of the trees. Her smile grows a bit, seeing an entirely different side of Helena than the one she earned months ago. "Um, look I— I', really sorry." Realizing she's being extra vague, she scrunches up her nose and shakes her head as she walks over to the shade of the tree. "Sorry for— you know— being a douchebag like, back then. T'you, t'Abby… I— really don't have an excuse. M'sorry."

Folding her legs beneath herself, Colette drops down into a cross-legged position, the chain of her wallet clinking and skittering over the concrete as she gently applies fingertips to her sunburnt shoulders. "I… I didn't know you were with all'a these people. I— I still don't really knows what's going on here,, just— that'm supposed'ta be here."
"It's okay." Helena says instantly. "We all make mistakes, we all act like jerks sometimes, and I'm not excluding myself. The point is you're here now, and that's what counts." She holds out the plate to Colette once she seats herself. Helena is not above pastry as a bribe. "So you don't know anything about Arthur Petrelli or him having Gabriel and Peter and generally thinking he needs to rule the world?" Surely Tamara told her something.

Uncertain for a moment,Colette's hand hovers over the plate before warily taking one of the lemon squares. When the names are dropped, Colette's blind eyes flip up to Helena and she shakes her head slowly. "N— No I— I don't even know who any of those people are, uh, I don't think?" Squinting slightly, Colette brings the lemon square up, sniffing at it inspectingly before taking a bite.

For a moment, she tries talking with her mouth full, spewing crumbs everywhere before grimacing and swallowing down the lump. "The only thing I know is Tamara wrote me a letter, it said 'They will need you soon' and had a newspaper article about the club downstairs, and had this squiggly blue and green picture on the other side. I showed it to Cat, and well— she said she knew what I was here for and what she'd need me for."

Furrowing her brows, Colette arches one of them and eyes the lemon square, taking a few more bites before adding, "I don't even know what I need to do. But— that's okay,r eally. I know everything'll work out in the end." Realizing that she's skewed a bit from her original brow-raising query, Colette's milky eyes shift back to the blonde from the lemon square. "So— you were like, confusing me with someone else or something?"

Helena takes a breath. "There's a lot to cover." She takes a bite and sets the plate down between them. "But I'll back up to what came first. Me and a bunch of other people got caught by HomeSec after Abby killed Volken. I get sent to a federal prison designed for Evolved in Moab, Utah. Phoenix busted me out, but as it happened, during the rescue…something happened, and - here's the crazy part - me and a bunch of other people got sent into a possible future, while people from that possible future got sent here. I met an older version of you, there."

"Vvvvolken?" Colette squints, "Is— uh— no wait that's Volkswagon." Her lips purse together, head shaking slowly as she listens, looking down at the lemon square for a moment as she sets it down on the dark fabric of her shorts. Looking back up, Colette huffs out a breath and rubs one hand at her forehead.

"L— Look, I— I know you guys are like… you're all into secrets and stuff here, like the Ferry guys," her teeth tug at her lower lip, "but you don't have to make stuff up so I don't spill like, spy secrets or nothin'. R— really, m'not gonna' tell anyone what I know here." Clearly, as most sane people would think, that's all shenanigans.

Helena cocks her head to the side. "I've got no reason to lie to you, Colette." she says quietly. "Ten years from now - in that future, we spent time around each other. We shared drinks, swapped stories. We had more in common than you originally thought. Both our moms died, and our fathers were - are - first class assholes, mine watching me for an ability, and yours abandoning you. You and had Tamara had built a life together - actually it was pretty amazing. I could actually understand what Tamara was saying, too." A faint grin, but then, "We're going to have to back up a lot to fill you in. You are needed, but it's completely wrong to expect you to participate without knowing what you're getting into."

Her dad. Nobody knows about him, nobody knows what he did to her, let alone what happened after the bomb. With her breath hitching in the back of her throat, Colette stares wide-eyed and in confusion, her brows furrowing together, jaw closing, eyes wandering everywhere as the lemon-square goes entirely forgotten. A life together. Ten years. It's all a little too much to handle.

Rubbing her hand over her mouth, Colette looks back to Helena blankly, just staring in her direction, though more staring through her with this distant expression on her face. "I— " It's times like this she hates the sound of her own voice, when it's so quiet and when everything hinges on what she says. "How? H— how did you— h— how can— " running her fingers through her hair now, Colette closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

"It doesn't matter." Her head bobs a few times, "how you did. Why you did." She nods slowly, then looks up with a faint smile. "If I need to know, I'm sure I'll find out." Until a hand comes to wipe at one of her eyes, it looks for a moment like she might start crying. Laughing awkwardly, somewhere between a repressed sob and a chuckle, Colette looks back down to the lemon square.

"You're a good cook." It's something honest, more so than she feels she could say on the emotional content of Helena's explanation of her future. That, there, is a wonderfully stunning surprise. She fixes the mirror.

If anyone has laid a better compliment on Helena, it's not been for a while. "Thank you," she says earnestly. "If all this craziness didn't happen, I think I would have really liked to go to culinary school. Be a chef. An Iron chef." She can't help grinning at that, though it frays a little at the edges. "The temporal physics involved were so beyond me, but it involves Evolved abilities gone haywire, which I'm sure you can see at least being possible, you know?" She seems pleased that Colette's got a good reaction to the future, but she still bites her lower lip. "You should know that the future I went to, it's not going to happen anymore…but that doesn't mean certain elements won't happen away…and you and Tamara had one of the best things about it. I'm willing to bet it'll survive temporal displacement." Everyone loves a lover, including Helena.

"You really need to know what's going on here and now, though." Helena regards Colette with a solemn expression. "You may not want to participate after you here. It's long and convoluted, and I'll try to catch you up, okay? It may be a few squares' worth of talking."

"What happens, happens." Colette manages something of an awkward smile as she reaches for the forgotten square on her shorts. "I— Really don't know if'm gonna' understand everything you're talking about. I mean, sometimes I get stuff but sometimes I don't. I know you're, like, the Phoenix people that're all over the news. I— I dunno if you're what the news says, or what you say, or somethin' in the middle." She huffs out a sigh between words, "it doesn't matter in the end. Tamara says I'm needed here, and I guess all I need to know is what I have to do. I figure it something only I can do… and the two things I do best are trip over my own two feet, and play with light. M'figuring this has more to do with what Conrad taught me than bein' a klutz… so…"

She rolls the half of a lemon square over in one hand thoughtfully. "What I want, it doesn't matter so much as where'm needed. I trust Tamara, 'cause she saved my life and— " she offers an awkward smile, face red when Helena's pretty sure she wasn't sunburnt there before. "Just point me at what I need to do, and I'll make Conrad proud."

Helena beams when Colette speaks the man's name. "You know what, they named a park after him in that future. It was kind of awesome, except knowing Conrad, he would have rather had a brand of beer named after him or something." She leans back. "I still think you need to know what kind of danger you're getting into, so let me try and give you the Cliff's Notes version." And with that, she launches into a little bit about Pinehearst, who Arthur Petrelli is, and what he's been up to as far as developing the formula and stealing people's powers.

Three lemon-squares worth of exposition, overall, and enough to make Colette rub one hand at her forehead. She looks confused, clearly not all the bits are adding up, and truthfully overwhelmed at the deluge of insanity that is the Pinehearst problem. Worst of all, after hearing about Arthur, the poor girl seems to be lacking a touch in confidence. When you're going up against a man with an arsenal like that, it's hard not to.

"He… sounds like my friend Tavisha." Colette says quietly, "he's got multiple powers too. S'not really, uh, fair." Rolling her shoulders forward, Colette closes her eyes and hangs her head. "I'unno what… all of this has to do with me, really. Or— or if what'm gonna do is right. But I trust Tamara to be right, even if I can't figure it all out… uh, kinda' like right now."

Sighing out a heavy breath, Colette looks back up to Helena with a smile. "Everything happens for a reason. S'what I think, since meeting her. Nothing happens 'cause it just happens. There's this friend of mine, he's a priest or— uh— pastor? Is there a difference?" She squints, then grimaces, "He calls it, uh, ser— nnh— serendipity? I'unno, I just," her lips crook into an awkward smile, "I just stopped worryin' about things, and just started doing lately. This… this Arthur guy sounds like an asshole, and… and m'scared. But— but I know Tamara'd never let me get hurt. So— so I know I'll be alright. Doing… uh, whatever it is I gotta' do."

"There will be a ton of people on your team, so you're not going this alone." Helena says in earnest. "And it's being headed up by someone that Conrad trusted very much. He's the one who brought her to Phoenix, and they have very similar abilities - her name is Liz. Leo - you used to know him as Alex, I think? He'll be there two, and a few of Brian, and I'm not sure if you know her - his sister, Gillian." Helena doesn't know Gabriel's Tavisha ID, or else she'd mention rescuing Gabriel.

"Yeah I just met Gillian a couple'a days ago. I showed her how t'do my light trick, she was worried about like— I dunno, lasers or something? I gave her some of the lessons Conrad gave me." Looking down at her lap, Colette folds her hands and hunches her shoulders, glancing back up after a moment.

"I… I met Liz once. After— " she bites down on her words and shakes her head slowly. "She wanted t'pick up where Conrad left off. I— I really… I don't know. I blew her off. I was pissed at everything, at the world… I just didn't want to try anymore." Breathing in a deep breath, Colette exhales slowly and bobs her head into a nod.

Staring down at her hands, Colette asks a rather loaded question. "Why d'you do this?" This is left pretty vague at first. "Fight? I mean… people don't believe you when you talk about what you do. The people on the news think you're the bad guys," she doesn't — openly — entertain the idea that the media might be right, not yet. "I just— wouldn't it be easier to just… not?"

"It would be easier." Helena admits, pulling her knees up to her chest and resting her chin on top of them. "Sometimes I want to throw my hands up, let this guy I know change my face, have the Ferrymen send me to Europe, and forget about it. When I'm tired, or afraid, or when I'm frustrated, or I feel helpless." She gives Colette a faint question. "And then I remember I shouldn't have to feel any of those things. I shouldn't have to feel tired or afraid or frustrated, or helpless. So I choose not to be, and try to make people remember that they can choose not to be, too.'

Colette keeps rolling around a colorful bracelet around one wrist, fingers pawing at colorful stones set in a butterfly shape. Her brows furrow, lips purse and it seems while she is listening, her focus seems either divided or flitting back and forth to something else. Only after Helena's done talking, does she make it clear she was, indeed, listening,

"How's that workin' out?" The question she ultimately asks in response to it, might seem loaded or sarcastic, but the girl's delivery is sincere. Has the fight been worth it? It's a hard question to put into so many words for her, and an even harder question to answer.

"Limited success." Helena admits. "But as a movement, we're still young. We'd probably have more credit if people knew some of what we've done in its most true contexts, but likely they're not going to. Most media gives us a bad rap, but we've got a surprisingly strong youth movement going out there. The more kids and teens and twenty-somethings find they have an ability, the more they start coming around to our way of thinking. But I mean - and not to sound cliche - if you'd asked our grandparents how it was going at the time of the civil rights movement, or our great grandparents during World War Two, they also had believe that if they kept going, kept marching, kept fighting, the world would be better." She laughs a little. "I sound pithy, but it's true, you know?"

It's a more honest answer than Colette was expecting. "I never thought about a lot of this stuff, not till' Abby got me wondering about, um, the Ferrymen guys. When Joseph n'I started talking about it, it started to make sense. I started realizing it was always around me and…"

Closing her eyes, Colette grimaces. Here, she echoes herself ten years gone, "I never would've thought I'd be here, where I am now. I hated myself, hated the Evolved, and hated that I was one. Now…" She laughs, "Now's pretty scary. But hopefully the day after tomorrow, maybe that'll be better."

It reminds Helena of the last time she saw Colette in the future, a tragic end to such a similar scenario. Ten years of buildup to that violence, and yet somehow everything's starting on that path now instead of then. Maybe, in a way, Edward was right about the river. This time, it's more like a train, jumping tracks.

"D'you think I should register?" It's another big question, but given who she's talking to, it's something like asking a doctor which health-care plan you should get. She grimaces, eyeing the last lemon square left on the plate with one brow raised in that silent, yours or mine expression.

"I didn't have a choice." Helena admits. "When I was captured, I was registered. You can if you want to, but the point is, it's a right that should be yours to choose, one way or the other. If you want my personal opinion, I wouldn't. It allows the government information which is a violation of your privacy. There are organizations out there who can access that information and if they so choose, go after you. And right now…well, there's that one library in Brooklyn that's been hit up twice now? And they were going with people who had registration cards."

Exhaling a heavy sigh, Colette nods her head slowly and toys with her lower lip, still eyeing that last lemon square. "M'worried about my dad and my sister — er, my adoptive dad. He— he's a cop, n'if somebody finds out m'not registered, he could lose his job or something." She doesn't sound too sure of that, to be honest. "My sister works for the that company that's rebuilding the ruins. Uh— Linderman Group?" One dark brow rises slowly, "so like, I know they do stuff with the government or something, so I just— I never had a family like this 'fore, and m'worried if I fuck up I could ruin everything for them too."

She waited long enough, and Colette snatches the last lemon square greedily, clutching in in both hands as she considers one corner. "I heard 'bout the library on the news. There was that like, serial killer that was picking people off the registry back in the winter too. So— I guess that's why'm so scared. If I wanted to go back t'school… get a GED or something, I'd have to, right? I mean, I— I can't live my whole life in hiding, or pretending I'm not what I am. There's tests now, I— " she sighs, laughing to herself, "m'sorry for bugging you about something stupid like that." For her penance, she devours half of the lemon square in a single bite. It's not much of a penance, but it keeps her quiet, at least.

"Well the thing about testing right now is that it isn't mandatory. You don't have to submit a test to take a GED course, or go back to high school, or anything like that." Helena points out, looking thoughtful. "And if you are tested, you just need to act surprised, like you had no idea that you're Evolved." She shakes her head. "It's not stupid. This fall would have been my sophomore year of college, if I hadn't run away from home and just pretended my life was fine and I couldn't do what I do." She considers a moment. "Colette - do you think a lot of Evolved kids feel like you do? Having all these questions about what they can and can't do, feeling afraid of themselves? Because the thirty-five made me really angry when I heard about it, and I can't believe those kids were alone in how they felt, even if they thought they were."

"I… I remember readin' about them in the news," Colette murmurs, "I dunno… I don't have a lotta' friends my age. Trent was older, Tamara's not really… uh… " she shakes her head slowly, "I actually don't really talk to anyone my age, 'cept the kids at the Lighthouse, but most of them are younger'n me." Quieting herself by popping the last half of that lemon square in her mouth, Colette stares off into space over the roof, the younger girl tilts her head towards Helena, brows raised and colorless eyes focused on her instead.

"When you say it like that… y'know, about hidin'… it makes me wonder if ever since I found out I could do what I do, that tryin' to be like everyone else is hiding. Tryin' to go to school, have a job, y'know, be normal is just one big joke. Like, maybe for people like us, there isn't a going back to the way things were? Not even if we play by the rules."

"I don't think that's true." Helena says immediately. "I saw what the world could become, and it can have a place for people like us in it. See, I don't think we're an aberration - I think we're…the next step. It doesn't make us any less human, but when a lot of folks look at us, they don't see the future, they see an end to who they are. I think that's at the root of most people's fear, really. But it also means we have to fight to live as we have a right to." Then, "This might sound too simplistic, but - the rules are bad. We need to make new rules. It's been done. Hell, that's the point of a lot of history. People deciding the rules - whatever they might have been - were bad, and opted to make their own, for better or for worse."

Pursing her lips, Colette closes her eyes and nods her head slowly. "I don't think I want that kind've responsibility… making a decision like that. M'too afraid to make the wrong decision about what to wear every day," her words blend into a half-hearted laugh, head tilting to the other side from where it had been. "I guess I'm just not sure where I belong. I guess… I guess'll figure it out eventually."

Flicking her focus up to Helena again, Colette's brow arches slowly. "You know… you're a whole lot nicer than I thought you'd be." Her nose wrinkles, "I— I didn't mean that like, uh, badly. I just— we kinda' got off on the wrong foot," her smile becomes a touch more earnest and less self-deprecating, "but I guess it had t'go that way. Get the bad out of the way before the good, or somethin' poetic."

For her part, Helena sniggers. "It's okay. I mean, I'm a person - sometimes I'm shitty, most of the time, I hope I'm not, I'm going to fuck up, and sometimes I'm made of awesome. It's true of everyone, for the most part, if they're trying to live their lives like decent people." She wises up a little and says with an echoing earnest - she's not all that much older than Colette - "I've seen what you can become, Colette. You're already on your way to being that person, I think. And you're going to be made of awesome."

That makes her laugh, running one hand through her hair as she slouches her back up against the pot the tree is stuffed in, raking her fingers through her messy bangs again. She still doesn't quite believe it — in the same way someone who wins the lottery suddenly feels like they're living in a fever dream — but the notion of her future being something worth looking forward to is an amazing thing to think about. Then, with a mirthful smile, Colette rolls her head to the side and looks at Helena squarely.

"Did'ja pick up any lottery numbers while you were in the future?" One black brow rises slowly, a teasing smile crossing her face, "'Cause I think that'd make the future a whole lot brighter for starters."

Helena lets out a laugh. "I wish! Naw, funny thing about the way the future works. It's always changing. We're not going to have that specific future, that's already been changed. But I have to hope we'll make a better one."

Cracking a smile and laughing, Colette eases up to her feet and brushes off the crumbs from the front of her shorts, boots scuffing the concrete beneath her feet. When she offers out a bare hand towards Helena, the young girl cracks a smile, "You need t'stop takin' everything so literally an' relax."

She nods her head towards the stairwell, tucking her hands into the pockets of her shorts. "I've beat myself up enough today," she notes with a crooked smile, "how's about we go down and abuse Cat's air conditioning, order some Chinese takeout, an' pretend we're our age for a little while?"

"You want to see me relaxed, set me loose in a kitchen! But that sounds like a plan." Helena says, rising to her feet smoothly. She holds out a hand to Colette to help her up, but the narrative eye might suggest that it's also the offering of peace, and the promise of a united front, perhaps the overture of budding friendship.

Narrowing one eye into a squint after helping Helena up to her feet, Colette begins backpedaling towards the stairwell, a crooked smile still plastered across her lips as she glances Helena up and down for a moment, thoughtfully. "I didn't bring a whole lot of anything with me when I came here," she notes with one hand beginning to rub at her chin, "what size pants do you wear?"

Helena recognizes that look, that raise of an eyebrow, and that question. She once asked Claire the same thing once.

No matter how much things change. Some things stay the same.

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