No More Hyphen


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Scene Title No More Hyphen
Synopsis Tasha asks Cat about dropping the patrilineal surname from her long moniker; the lawyer offers to do it pro bono.
Date October 30, 2010

The Rock Cellar

Arriving as planned to help set up and finish painting props for the party, Tasha is dressed in her "painting clothes" — cargo pants splattered with paint, flip flops, an old "Hubert Horatio Humphrey Middle School" t-shirt, and in keeping with the night's theme, a Jack Skellington hoodie that she unzips as she enters the Rock Cellar and hangs on one of the hooks near the door.

Her arms loaded with painting supplies, Tasha makes her way to the bar to unload her baggage, then peers for Cat's tall form and makes her way to the tall brunette. "Hey, I wanted to say thanks for letting us do this here. It means a lot," she says a little shyly. "I owe you, so you know, if you want any artwork done or something, you get free Tasha labor in the future."

Seated in her customary place, that table near the wall from which she can observe the interior and events within while not having her back to the door, which also takes advantage of shadows to make her other than the focus of attention for most, Cat settles eyes on the Spawn Of Agent Smoky. Within her mind is the briefly amusing thought that in itself could be a very good Halloween disguise. As a result, a smile of short duration forms on her features as the diminutive brunette is addressed. "You're welcome, Tasha. Colette's entirely deserving." Fingers curl around a pint of some dark liquid blessed with a thick and creamy head, lifting it upwards.

"But since you offered, I may at some point conceive of some Tasha labor task." Now she's grinning. Be afraid?

"Good. I like to make sure I repay my debts," Tasha says, apparently unafraid, at least of Cat's devisings. "Actually though, I do have another favor to ask of you, one which I'll also need to repay you for. I can get the money, just probably not all up front, and if that's not okay, I'll figure something out, or maybe if you don't want to do it, you can just point me to someone who can. I won't be offended if you say no or don't want anything to do with it." Tasha babbles when nervous and realizes it, so she bites her lip and then reaches for the chair across from Cat and plants herself in it.

Her dark eyes sweep the bar, making sure no one else is close enough to overhear her words. "I need a legal name change. No more hyphen, just keeping Renard," she says quietly. "I don't know what that entails, really, and I don't want my mom to know if she doesn't need to, because it will raise questions."

That dark brew is tasted for a moment before being settled back to the table, the imbiber of it somehow not having gotten a mustache from the creamy head, as she regards Tasha with an expression which contains a hint of concern. "It can be done," Cat advises, "with few headaches, mostly matters of paperwork and a judge's approval, then the legwork of going to various agencies to make documents match the new name."

She rises from her seat and strides to the bar, leaving Tasha on her own for the length of time it takes to fill a glass with something and return, upon which event the newly acquired libation is placed before Agent Smoky's brood. It's the same thing Cat herself drinks. She never did have much reservation with the law that says twenty-one for alcohol.

Verbal commentary resumes when her seat is again filled with Cat. "I've never once charged money for legal services, and I won't be starting with you, Tasha. But I am curious what sparks this."

Like most 18-almost-19-year-olds, stout is something Tasha has little experience with, so she coughs a little after taking her first sip. "Thanks," she murmurs, in regards to both the drink and the pro bono services Cat offers. Her eyes study the foamy head of the alcohol, and her brows knit together before she speaks again.

"Delia showed me what Kaylee and Gillian had seen on June 10th — and it looks like maybe there's a raid on the Lighthouse, with Brian getting arrested and them claiming there was Refrain and drugs at the site. Kaylee I guess gets hurt trying to protect — maybe move? — some of the kids. So Eileen asked Delia to see about showing him, to see if he'd look the other way if we move the kids, clear out the site before the 8th."

Him doesn't mean Brian, of course, but Tasha doesn't name her father. "I didn't want … I thought it'd be wrong to help Delia do that, like an invasion of privacy, so I went to him instead." She takes another, heartier, swallow of the drink this time, managing not to cough. "He agreed but he asked me to do this."

Dark eyes slide away — the hurt is evident, though Tasha has at least realized — with Colette's help — there are reasons for it other than disowning. Or so she hopes.

The teen is regarded in silence as she moves her eyes away, Cat considering whether or not to address the visible hurt. It gives her flashes of dealings with the Chesterfields at that age, the people who parented her without actually being her parents due to Arthur Petrelli's machinations with that infernal serum and the people who knew about it. "Relations between parents and daughters are often difficult," she softly opines in a tone chosen to offer some modicum of comfort, "don't let this drag you down."

From there she's moving forward, letting just seconds linger after that statement. "I would hope Brian's already moved anything he doesn't want found near the children at the Lighthouse, did so long ago," Cat muses with a slight expression of disquiet, "since he knows Linderman is Company and has ties to the place. But it doesn't hurt to take additional measures."

Veering back to Tasha and her name, Cat then offers "I'll start the process on Monday, for your name." A gesture is made to the stout. "How is that?"

The younger girl gives a nod and a half smile at the consoling words, then nods again in regards to Brian and the Lighthouse. "I don't think it's real," she says with a shake of her head. "I think it's a set up. Sure, weapons, but Refrain? I think it's a set up, which I told my dad, too. Anyway, the option's there — he just needs to know where and when they're going."

She glances down at the stout, and shrugs one shoulder with a smirk. "Thick."
"It's prime stuff as beers go," Cat remarks, "stronger than most, and the creamy top is the best part for some. Enjoy it, though you'd probably be more of a wine-drinking woman." A pause, then, followed by a question. "For the paperwork, what's your full name now, and what will you want it to become?"

"I'm more of a Smirnoff's Ice girl, Cat, quit trying to make me all cultured or something," Tasha says with a grin. "They taste like Jolly Ranchers. I like the watermelon and green apple flavors best. But I guess being French and Italian, one might assume I'd be a wine connoisseur."

She takes another sip of the stout, licking her lips to clear it of the creamy top. "It's Natasha Olivia Renard-Lazzaro, the last two hyphenated. I'm just dropping the last bit. Natasha Olivia Renard will work. It's basically what I've gone by for a long time, anyway." The last bit is more to reassure herself — this is just a change in name. Right?

Eyes on Tasha as she speaks, Cat lets out a quiet chuckle. "Vodka fits a woman called Natasha. Very Russian." And she nods. "It's all good, I was mostly wondering if you were a Natasha or straight up Tasha, and if you wanted to become that." Taking another drink of her brew, she leans back in the chair and eyes the cut-off noose to be part of her costume for the evening's festivities.

Tasha shakes her head. "I go by Tasha, but … I don't know. My mom calls me Natasha, and I'm not ready to give up all my birth names just yet, you know?" It's an admission that she feels she's losing something, though she'll try to deny it from this point forward. "Thanks. I can come by to sign stuff or whatever you need on Monday. I'm over at Parsons so, you know, not far away from you."

"I know the place," Cat confirms, afterward setting the topic of names and legal work aside in favor of preparations for the upcoming event. One hand gestures around the interior sweepingly. "It's coming together well. Nicole actually thought she'd need to pay for this."

"Speaking of," Tasha says, slipping off the seat, "I should get to work — have some more painting and creating to do. Thanks again for letting us use it, and thanks for doing this for me." She glances at the drink, and her lips curve up slightly. "I don't think I can finish it, and if I do, the painting will all be crooked. Or maybe straight, which would be crooked for Tim Burton vision."

"And I should get dressed," Cat replies in rising and picking up that severed noose, "I've got some work to do in becoming Tess." Leaving Tasha to her artistic travails, she heads for the Cellar's interior where the mostly secret elevator will carry her upstairs.

It may well be when Tasha comes around to sign legal documents related to altering her name, coffee will be provided in a cup marked soup. But for now she turns her mind away from Agent Smoky and the woman who soon enough won't carry his name. Except for that lingering thought of still needing to find a really good HEPA filter.

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