Not Even Kind Of Over


adel_icon.gif berlin_icon.gif colette_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

With an appearance by…


Scene Title Not Even Kind of Over
Synopsis Colette returns from administrative leave to the support of her teammates — and a situation that is still anything but simple.
Date March 8, 2018

The Bunker

The warm golden light of late afternoon has no place in the foyer of the Bunker. The lobby of Wolfhound's headquarters faces east and the river, so the spacious concrete-walled entryway is cast in shades of blue and gray at this hour. Outside the high windows, the sky is cast in colorful shades of blue and purple and the glittering city lights of east Rochester twinkle like orange stars against the dark silhouette of buildings. The lobby is usually empty at this hour of day, sparse black leather furniture for business guests unoccupied and the overhead lights automatically dimmed. The timing of a motorcycle's arrival outside was purposefully chosen.

The sound rises and falls, engine sputtering out. A few minutes later both sets of inner doors open, and a dark shape cuts it's way into the lobby on booted feet. Colette Demsky hasn't been in Rochester for four months. When she takes her first steps back into the Bunker, it isn't with head held high. She carries a single backpack over her shoulder, motorcycle helmet in her other hand. Dog tags are tucked beneath the blue fabric of an old, beloved scarf.

Chance is what brings Berlin to the lobby at the right time. She passes from the quarters, heading toward the lounge with a book tucked in the crook of her arm. It's a textbook, world history the cover promises, but it's well known that Berlin's education was spotty and hurried, and that she often tries to add to it.

Her feet pause when she sees someone enter. And then when she sees it's Colette, she sets the book on a nearby table and hurries over. "Colette," she calls, a small warning before she comes right up to greet her with a hug. Someone in this building is glad to see her, at least. "You're back!"

Business as usual today and Lucille is as always coming out of the training area. Her blue eyes are on the door as she exits the training center and then she sees Colette and she blinks. "Col," she smiles gently and walks over to intercept the woman. Her jogging pants loose and long sleeved shirt almost covers the purple gloves she wears that stretch to her elbow. "I'm happy to see you."

They had known each other for years now, fighting alongside each other in Utah and Colorado. Lucille was very upset to not see Colette here. Having her back, it caused her to feel that happiness again.

Strangely, Luce hasn't gone to massage her neck on her scar. The sight of Colette must be distracting her from her nervous tic of touching it. She takes note of Berlin and grins widely, "Hey Burr."

Usually empty is a guideline, a rule — not a certainty. But then, technically, Hana isn't in the lobby, she's in her office. Paused in the dim-lit doorway, making no attempt to affect nonchalance, the major stands witness to Colette's less than triumphant return. She's wearing a long-sleeved, close-fitting black suit; there was business conducted earlier in the day, and she hasn't left the office since.

She doesn't leave it now, but looks on quietly as others of Wolfhound appear to greet their returned comrade. Whatever Hana thinks of the moment remains hidden behind inscrutable, mask-like expression.

Colette stiffens against Berlin's embrace. There's an awkwardness in her posture, one foot behind the other, braced to either run or at least turn away. But Berlin's arms around Colette eventually break that tension. She sweeps her unoccupied arm up around the younger woman, giving her a firm squeeze. "Thanks Lin," Colette offers in a small voice, eyes falling shut. Up and over Berlin's shoulder, Colette looks to Lucille and her expression nervously shifts to a smile.

"Lucy", Colette offers with affirmation, "I— didn't want to cause a scene," she admits in a smaller voice. "M'sorry about all this bullshit I caused. Sorry I haven't been here…" her brows furrow together, blind eyes downcast to Berlin's shoulder.

Robyn Quinn has also been in her office, working to catch up on her reports and paper work - the extended stay away from Rochester hadn't been entirely planned, but with so many things happening it got to a point where there was little point in returning back to The Bunker when she was supposed to.

So now, here she is, dressed in her usual black ensamble, band pulled down over her eye and punching away at keys, a glass of - well, it's too early for the whiskey, so she has water instead - next to her. It's only the sound of a familiar voice - one she heard just a few days before, that draws her back out of her thoughts. That's right, today is that day.

Pursing her lips, she pushes up from her desk and makes her way out towards the entry way. She watches, standing on the periphary as she watches Lucille and Berlin greet the returning Hound. Now was as good a time as ever to make her "introduction."

"Hello, Officer Demskey."

Interupting said introduction is a sudden outburst out of— somewhere. "Cole!" It is followed by feet padding quickly as Adel breaks into a run. Their former team leader will have a few moments to prepare herself for the incoming attack hug that's about to happen. "You're back!" No longer team leader, and now the student actually outranks the teacher, but she doesn't seem to be thinking too much about that yet.

She bounces back onto her heels, glancing toward the office for a moment. Well, she's allowed to hug this 'mom in ways more than blood'. …

Not the other one, though. She suddenly spots Robyn, the person she's been avoiding so well, feels a tinge of guilt and then looks right back at Colette so she can go back to smiling without feeling awkward.

When Berlin pulls back from the hug, she doesn't go far. Like she might hover protectively around her for a bit. But Lucille's voice draws her attention that way and she smiles to her friend. "Hey Luce, look who's back." Colette might not have wanted a scene, but she's getting one. A bit of one.

She smiles when Adel comes over, too. Wendigo's missing arm, as it were, being back in place is enough to keep Berlin's mood up even when she notices Robyn there. It's an expression the SESA agent hasn't seen once on the girl since getting here. And knowing the Ferry connecting there, when Robyn reintroduces herself, Berlin leans over to explain to Colette. "We have to be professional. But she doesn't like Agent Quinn. I mean, being called it." See, Robyn, she pays attention.

That nervous smile is returned with a wide grin. At the nickname, Lucy. "I'm just happy you're back." There's no disappointment in Lucille's voice she was genuinely missing the woman. Leaning in close with a nervous look over her shoulder, everyone knew that the Major was everywhere and anywhere she wanted to be but this couldn't go without saying, she gives Berlin and Colette a look before whispering, "Next time call for backup." Because whether it's right or wrong, Wolfhound stands together. No matter what.

"Did you see your girls? Nicole?" Lucille was close to the other Nichols sister and the warmth in her voice is apparent. One big happy-quasi weird ass family they were. "I haven't seen Pippa in a bit." Then Adel is running in and Lucille can't help but smile fondly at the pair, Mom and daughter. It's such a weird mix all of their familial bonds. And then Robyn is walking out and Lucille stiffens a little. She hadn't gotten the chance to have a one on one with the SESA agent. And so she nods curtly at the woman. "Hey," She doesn't know which title to use since Agent seems to be rude. "Yea," She echoes Berlin's sentiments.

The reunion playing out before her is unsurprisingly exuberant, shadowed only by the intrusion of Agent Quinn — the intrusion of reality. It's the apprehensive look from Lucille, though, that clinches Hana's decision. She doesn't in fact hear the words spoken — isn't actually everywhere — but she doesn't really need to, either. Hana knows well enough how reunions go, the shows of solidarity that come with welcoming one back into the fold.

It's either that or discord, and there's rather little such in evidence here.

Still darkening her own doorway, Hana makes a small gesture, an open-palmed wave of her hand at hip height: carry on. Judging that they don't need her overshadowing Colette's welcome, Hana withdraws into her office, returning to the work that never ends.

The nervous look Colette was leveling at Robyn ends the moment Adel collides into her and Berlin. Colette drops her motorcycle helmet with a clack against the floor. That spare arm comes up to embrace Adel, forehead briefly bumping against her not-daughter's brow. "Hey kid," Colette says in a hush against Adel's hair, swallowing tensely and unwinding from both embraces with considerable reluctance. "Sorry, uh," Colette's expression shifts to briefly sarcastic. "Hey, sir." In spite of everything, she's proud of Adel. She doesn't need to say it, especially to Adel, someone who knows her tells better than she knows herself.

But when she unwinds Colette slips between Adel and Berlin and comes up to Lucille. Chin up and looking at Lucille, Colette reaches up and winds fingers into the front of her shirt and pulls her forward. No answer about whether she saw her sister, her niece, her partners. Just a stern stare. "Do not let me hear you say shit like that ever again." Blind eyes are intense, jaw set. "There won't be a next time, Lucille." No Lucy. "No jokes, no kidding around. If you even so much as insinuate you'd do something as fucking stupid as I did I'll— " Colette releases her grip, eyes glassy with tears. She steps back, looks away, swallows loudly.

"Thank you, Officer Beckett," is said with a bit of a weary tone. She doesn't push that particular conversation thread again, though. She's just here to see Colette's return - to observe - not to start any arguments. She crosses her arms, nodding in acknowledgement of both Adel and the glance she gets from Colette. Both of these were bridges she would have to cross more earnestly at a later point.

She wouldn't admit it, but seeing Adel hug Colette tugs the edges of her lips into a smile, glad to see that she has someone to look up to here.

When Colette takes Lucille by the collar, though, she perks up. Her SESA instincts tell her to intervene, but she feels she knows better than that. Pushing off the wall, she makes a slow approach towards the others, listening. Trying to read both Lucille and Colette - if this is a show they're putting on for her benefit, they're doing well. If it isn't, well… that was even better, from where she stands.

"Does this mean the pupil has surpassed the teacher?" Adel has to say with a grin, since Colette at least seems happy for her promption. As she unwraps herself from the hug, mostly when poor Luce is being told nooo, she gives the other woman a sympathetic look, then glances toward Agent mom and adds a easy, "I'm sure Luce meant if you would have called for back up we might have stopped you."

Adel often pulled many a Varlane, as they had called it back home. She probably wouldn't have been the voice of reason, following her teacher straight down into whatever mess she'd gotten into… but surely one of them would have.

Probably Noa.

Definitely Noa.

"Doesn't matter, it's over, punishment done, time to move on and get back to work as usual." Except for, the, not being their team leader anymore, now having an Agent who will be hovering over them. But all over, time to move on. "I look forward to giving you orders, Officer Cole." There's that cheeky grin, that seems so much like— well— probably one of her moms.

Berlin watches as Colette takes Lucille to task, her expression dropping back into seriousness. She would not have been the voice of reason, either, so the reprimand is taken as one for her, too. Lucille only voiced what several of them were thinking.

"Right, fresh start. New mission." She looks over at Adel, giving her a grateful look. Because Berlin would not have stepped in, either. Colette might not be their leader anymore, but she was still Colette. And like most of the people Berlin works with, she has a history that carries weight. "We'll have to brief you," she adds, "we might have a new wolf to hunt."

But someone said her name and she looks over to Robyn. Her expression is apologetic, and she probably means it, seeing as it's followed by a nod and not a smirk.

The grabbing of her shirt and pulling her forward is something that makes Lucille blink but she understands why Colette is so upset. But the impulsive nature of grabbing Lucille so close to her skin shows her that Colette won't be more careful in the future. So her statement stands. Though she steels her gaze though and god if she doesn't look like her father right then and there. Probably reminding Adel of the Lion of the Ryans family, "And if your emot-," she stops herself and sighs. It's not a joke or a tease. And goddamn it Robyn is right there.

As Colette makes her point Lucille takes a gloved hand to grip her shoulder and hard. Later, Col. As Colette backs away with tears in her eyes, Lucille nods her head at her with sympathy. She gets it. But if Colette thinks she can runaway and be an impulsive emotional ass without Lucille to back her up. She's got it all wrong and Colette knows it. "Exactly Adel." Thanks for the save.

"New missions yes," she flashes a grin at everyone. No harm no foul, she's learned how to fake smiles. Robyn probably wouldn't notice it but the other girls would.

Colette wheels around, squaring Adel with a withering look of disapproval. "It's not even kind of over." Voice cracking, Colette pivots her frustration to Adel. "We have an Observer here, the government could cut our one contract at any time! Then we'd have nothing! They could still throw me in prison for the rest of my fucking life! Just because Hana let me back in doesn't mean this is over."

Hands clenched at her sides, Colette trembles as she tries to pull herself back in. Shoulders square, back stiffens, and whatever comfort she'd found in the Safe Zone is bricked up behind a wall of fear and tension. Jaw tense and throat working up and down in a dry swallow, she eyes Berlin and just shakes her head. "I haven't been cleared for duty, but I'm glad you're all keeping busy."

Stepping back to where she dropped her helmet, Colette takes a knee and picks it up. Swallowing tensely, she closes her eyes for a moment as she stands, lips pressing together. Once she's standing straight again, Colette just bobs her head in a few short nods. "It's good to be back," sounds more forced than it did earlier.

At the mention of their observer, Robyn offers a little wave - professionalism yes, but people keep telling her that professionalism doesn't mean having to be an asshole. And while she doesn't feel amused in the slightest, she hopes the motion can be at least a small tension breaker, because it's clear that there's enough tension to fill the negative space in the entire Bunker.

But as Colette turns her anger on Adel, the SESA agent's brow furrows. Professionalism or not, that display rankles her a bit, hands clenching into fists as she lets it play out in front of her. She takes a deep breath, and shakes her head.

She thinks. She has to choose her words carefully for this, and knowing her and her history, luck… she won't.

"They could," she offers, quirking her visible eye. "They haven't. Sent me instead." She start making her way closer, eyes focused on Colette. "An observer. Not a jailer." As she reaches where everyone else stands, she squares her gaze with Colette. "We're all in this together now. You, me, and everyone else. So."

She offers a hand out to Colette, her posture business like, one hand help behind her back. "Welcome back, Colette."

Another glance is cast toward Agent Mom. The Observer who could very well ruin everything for them if something goes wrong, but when Adel turns back to Colette, she's less beaming and more… well, she throws both her arms around her former Lieutenant once again. Because— well— she felt like the younger woman needed a hug. She knows if she ever looked like that she would have. "We won't give them any reason to do any of that, I promise."

She won't. And she won't let anyone else either. Cause she can see how much it's upset the person she respects and trusts the most to lead the way.

"And you'll get back on active duty soon, I'm sure." And she will give her orders— She's just not hugging her about it anymore.

And with Agent Mom offering a hand, she backs off on the hug and toys with her hair, shifting over to where Berlin happens to be, offering her a little smile, that's still not as beaming as it had been seeing just how upset Colette really was.

"She's right, Colette," Berlin says after Robyn speaks, "If they wanted to get rid of us, of you, they could have. They would have. But they didn't. And they sent someone who knows a lot of us and kinda likes us." That's a thing that she probably shouldn't have said out loud, but they all know.

When Adel comes her way, she returns the smile, and reaches over to put her hand on Adel's back. Reassuringly. "We're on our best behavior," she says with a nod toward her, "and we're valuable." Otherwise, they would have come up with a way to get rid of Wolfhound a long time ago.

And then there’s that outburst and inside Lucille is smiling, Huruma would feel it for sure if she was here. Colette feels so hard, she loves it. But the projected fear and tension reads on the other woman’s face and Lucille’s brow furrows. She nods along with Berlin and Robyn, “We’ve got this, you’ve got this.” And there’s no way around it.

There’s a moment of her staring at Robyn and she dips her head, “I appreciate you taking this task, not that you had much of a choice I’m assuming.” She hasn’t addressed Robyn directly really, not since the SESA agent first arrived but now she turns the full weight of her blue eyes on the European woman. She studies her, she can see the attraction Robyn had for the woman and why. There’s something about her presence, it reminds her of the island. Of right before everything fell to shit.

Adel's arms around Colette again are welcomed a first, but it's clearly hard. What Adel, Berlin, and Lucille say clearly doesn't resonate with Colette, with the severity of the situation still in place. Exhaling a shuddering breath, Colette extricates herself from Adel and steps away from them all. That she doesn't agree is painted across her face. But she doesn't belabor the point. Maybe it wouldn't be Wolfhound as a whole that is punished at the end of the investigation. Maybe it would just be the guilty.

Tongue against the inside of her cheek, Colette looks down at Robyn's hand as she approaches her. She'd seen her at the memorial yesterday, as tense and raw now as she was then. It's been a challenging two days. Her brows furrow, expression inscrutable. Quietly, she says "If you want to do something good for us, for yourself, you'd request a transfer."

Stepping around Robyn, Colette walks away from the welcoming she'd intended to avoid, booted feet carrying herself in the same long-striding cadence Hana does when she has somewhere else to be, and a bad mood to be in wherever that somewhere is.

Robyn furrows her brow, her gaze turning cold as she watches Colette step away from them. Withdrawing her hand, fingers ball back up into fists as they fall to her side. She stares for a moment, before she turns away from the other women. "I see," she says quietly, suddenly wishing she hadn't taken up other on their advice.

"Don't thank me, Officer Ryans." She looks back at Lucille, gaze impassive. "Ever." With that, she silently shakes her head and starts her way back to her office. This is what she gets for trying to be friendly.

Shifting her head to the side, Adel can't help but press her lips together. Their Agent? Had been drinking. Their Agent? Looked downright depressed. Damnit. Why did they have to send one of her moms?? "You know, I got a thing. To do. But me and you should spar sometime, Cole. Now that you're back. I'm sure you need the exersize, spending so much time lounging about the house like you must have been doing. Probably watching TV." She's joking.

She bets Cole has kept in shape.

But then she starts to back up, looking at each of them with a smile before she turns around and… heads in the direction that Agent Mom went. Cause she should probably stop avoiding her.

Berlin runs a hand through her hair, letting out a sigh as this whole thing falls to pieces around them. People scattering, moods ruined. Hers, too, by the look of it. But once that small exhale is over, she shifts back to a blank expression and steps back to her textbook to pick it up. She's on a bit about World War II, and she would rather be reading about that than standing here feeling awkward and embarrassed.

She looks over at Lucille, though, and steps over to hook her arm though her friend's. And then she directs them both toward the lounge. They can hide there until the emotions pass.

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