Not Here, Not Now


colette_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Here, Not Now
Synopsis Colette expresses her wishes to involve her sister more in her life. Nicole warns her against trusting others.
Date March 26, 2010

Solstice Condominiums - Nicole's Home

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

It's the sound of a pencil tip clicking against a livingroom table. Green eyes settle on the notepad between it, dark hair in a messy fringe of bangs partly obscuring view, lips purse together thoughtfully, a soft sound rumbles in the back of a throat, and Colette Nichols is quick to attack the notepad with the tip of the pen once she's figured out what to add.

Charcoal Briquettes

"Almost done!" Calling out to the condo's spacious walls, Colette slouches back against the sofa she's seated upon, one stocking clad leg crossing over the other, the dark fabric of a pleated skirt crumpling as she does. Considering the list, Colette's green eyes wander to the ceiling, important Ferrymen business, she claimed, but equally important for an eventual trip to the grocery store tomorrow. This of course means that Nicole will need to fill out the rest of the list, and wherever she is, it's supposed to be helping finish the shopping list.

Weekends mean staying with her sister, giving Judah some space, and poorly trying to work up the nerve to talk to her sister more about the Ferry. Sure, Colette was supposed to drag her down to the Lighthouse weeks ago, but she plans a lot of things that never wind up happening. Huffing out a breath, the teen bobs one stocking clad fot up and down, toes curling at the air as her dark brows furrow and nose wrinkles.

What else do you need for a barbecue?

"Oh, god dammit," comes a curse from the bathroom. Nicole pads out a few moments later, her hair looks much like someone's rubbed a balloon over it and made it stand up all over. A blue spark dances between two fingers and Nicole sighs. "Could you just kind'a…" She pantomimes running her palms flat over her hair, but all it does is draw the strands further upward, and another curse from her lips.

"The weather is way too dry," Nicole laments as she comes to sit on the edge of the couch so Colette won't have to get up. "Damn snow. Isn't it supposed to be turning to spring?" At least her attire doesn't seem to be suffering from static cling. Not that an oversized sweatshirt from her university days and skinny jeans are prone to such things. "What in the world do you need charcoal for?"

"Barbecue." Colette states simple as she shifts up onto her knees on the sofa and comes over to kneel next to her sister, rolling forefingers and thumb together before reaching out towards Nicole's hair and — zzt — yelping and drawing back a hand to suck on her index finger. "Spring was like last week," Colette mumbles with a finger in her mouth, nose wrinkled and brow lowered, her other hand reaching out to smooth down Nicole's hair, only to have it spring back up again. There's a giggle, somewhat breathily, and Colette just drags her finger down her bottom lip lazily. "You're not gonna' get that fixed."

Sliding her legs out from under herself, Colette lands down on the cushions of the couch with a bounce, then reaches out to grab the list, dark brows lifted. "The kids at the orphanage I volunteer at are having a rough time. All the cold's bringin' out these wild dogs n'stuff, and— " She looks away, down to the list, then down to her lap. "Ah, I— I wanted to do something nice for 'em, something silly, you know? So— I thought what's sillier than grilling in the middle of winter? Brian— the guy who runs the place— has this big chefmaster grill and he's got so much barbecuing equipment you'd think he was a chef. So like, I thought… why not have a fun barbecue for the kids!"

Smiling lopsidedly, Colette leans her shoulder against Nicole's, lifting up her chin and resting it on the older woman's shoulder, green eyes up towards her sister's blue. "You should come," Colette adds, nodding her head once, "with me, when I do it. I— There's a bunch've stuff I wanna' talk to you about. It'd be easier to do it there, you know?"

Nicole nods her head slowly. "This is the place where I came to pick you up?" The subject of when is unspoken. They both know when. She shakes her head quickly, hoping her hair will snap out of its static'd mess and lay flat again. No such luck.

"Are you sure it's a good idea to be outside with the dogs prowling?" A concerned look clouds the woman's features. If her hair weren't so comical, she might manage to look as severe as she's attempting to. "Maybe you'd be better off planning an indoor luau type of thing? You know, pineapples for decoration, fake palm trees, grass skirts?"

Laughing softly to herself, Colette shakes her head. "It's not just for the barbecue. It's sort've a… I dunno, bait? The kids won't be outside when I'm cooking, my friend Jensen will be, and— you know— his gun." It's a very big gun. "I figure we might be able to lure the dogs out with food, you know? Decorate inside for the kids, cook outside, and… hopefully the dogs don't show up?" She hasn't thought this through all the way quite yet. "I— it's a work in progress!" Colette insists, throwing the list down at the table and puffing out her cheeks, brows lowered and green eyes angled up at her sister.

"Your hair's a mess…" The teen notes, reaching up to try and smooth black locks down again to little avail. There's a mild, huffed sigh and Colette's chin downturns, nose brushing against Nicole's shoulder. "I want you to work with me," she breathes out against the fabric of her sister's sweater. "I— want you to come see what I do, and I want you to work with me, be a part've my life…" Her brows furrow together and lift up, lips pursed in a subtle pout.

"You don't have to agree to do anything, I just— " Colette's eyes angle down towards Nicole's jeans, and Colette reaches out one hand, playing with a loose thread on the seam. "I want you to see, I want you to un'erstand."

That may be one of the most horrifying ideas Nicole has ever heard tumble from her sister's mouth. "You want to stand outside as bait? Did Mother drop you?" Elder sister reaches out to feel younger's for tell-tale lumps on her skull. The result leaves Colette's hair a similar mess. "Whoops! Sorry." She could stand to smirk a little less when she apologises.

Taking Colette's shoulders in her arm hands, Nicole angles the girl back enough to look her in the face, regardless of whether blue eyes come up from watching where she toys with a length of thread. "You're right. I don't understand what you do. Not completely. I understand that you do dangerous things, and that scares me, Sissy. And… I don't think you completely appreciate the position you put me in."

"I know…" Colette whispers against the fabric of Nicole's sweater, the laugh that should be there from her mussed hair faded behind the seriousness of their topic, even if she does look ridiculous. "That's— that's why I want you to see what I do, someplace you already know about, someplace where nobody's at risk." Except for her, of course.

"I wanna' show you why doing what I do means so much to me, and— and I thought maybe," she sits up a bit straighter, moving one hand from the thread at Nicole's jeans to the side of her face, gently brushing her palm over her sister's cheek, thumb stroking across her chin. "I thought maybe we could work together. You— your friends, John and Robert, they want to help too. I figured maybe— " Colette's dark brows crease together, "maybe we could help get them involved, and you could see what I do, and…" her brows crease together, head shaking slowly, "I don't know."

She hadn't thought this through very much either.

Nicole's hand comes up to wrap around Colette's wrist, though she doesn't pull her away. "You need to listen to me. Logan and Caliban aren't your friends. Don't place your trust in them. If what you're doing is important to you, and it needs to be kept secret? Don't tell them shit." There's no shock, but the muscles beneath Colette's skin jump in response to the weak current flowing from her sister and into her. Like an involuntary muscle spasm. Either Nicole hasn't noticed she's leaking electricty into her baby sister, or she doesn't care.

Fingers clench, partly voluntary and partly not, and Colette's dark brows crease together. "Why?" Obstinence is nothing surprising from her, little sister knows best is her constant mistake. "They wanted to help me rescue Joseph, they wanted to help me do all sorts of things. What— " What would Scott Harkness ask, is the better question. That much has Colette hesitating, brows still tense and expression stubbornly still before she gently works her wrist out from Nicole's grasp.

"What makes you think they don't want to help?" Colette queries, one dark brow drifting up beneath her bangs. "Did you hear something? Know something?" There's a subtle shake of her head, green eyes averting to her lap. "Manny came and rescued me with a bunch of other people, you've always told me to trust him— why's anyone else different?"

"Because I know these men better than you do, 'Letty." Nicole's frown deepens, but her eyes remain concerned even if there's a hint of annoyance there. "Manny is different. Manny's a good person. If he thinks what you're telling him is something he shouldn't know, he's going to tell you so. But men like Caliban and Logan? They're snakes." And she even likes the both of them. Considers them friends, even. "Men like Logan and Caliban… People like myself, we file away every bit of information we can get, because we might be able to use it to our advantage later."

It's the most honest Nicole's ever been with her sister when it comes to what she does. "They may be genuine, and they may want to help you in what you do, but there's a catch. There is always a catch. They'll either use what they know to get something from you later, or they'll simply turn on you when it suits them. Please stop putting your faith in men you think you know."

Nicole shifts so she can put more of her weight on the couch before her muscles start to ache too badly from the strain of keeping her steady with very little support. "Everything you've ever heard about the pies Daniel Linderman has his fingers in is true in some form or another. Don't trust him, and don't trust people who work for him." Whether she means to include herself in the blanket of that statement is up for debate.

"And your sister, Colette… When we first met, you'd gone missing. Mother sent her to me for information. She was very angry. Time's gone by, she may have calmed down about all this. Next time I saw her," Cat's voice takes on a subdued tone, "was at the assassination site. She found the body. We might be able to connect better, given that link. But… how loyal is she to Daniel Linderman? That's the most important question. We've been discussing registration and opposition to it. I don't think anyone here needs my powers of memory to recall his connection to that law."

"My— My sister's pretty close to mister Linderman. He's been good to us for a long time, I mean… he helped cure my blindness, and some of the people he works with helped us get Joseph an' me out of captivity from Doctor Sheridan too! I don't think he's necessarily a bad guy, he's just— I mean— he's like a big star right? Publicly evolved and stuff, so he's gotta do some things to keep his image, but then he lets his employees do things to help us, right? I mean— they helped us, and Mister Caliban wants to meet with the Ferry too, he says he wants to help us. Maybe we should like— " Colette wrinkles her nose, "stop looking for problems with people and looking for— "

"No on Nicole and Ivanov." Scott states as he takes a sip of his coffee, interrupting Colette, "too much of a security risk, and if I hear you bring them in anyway I'll revoke your safehouse privileges from here to eternity, you got me?" Both of Scott's brows raise slowly, "Unless someone thinks that's a good idea and outvotes Eileen and I. Right now? It's looking like a no, sorry, kid."

Tongue sliding across her lips, Colette leans back and away from Nicole, her brows furrowed and eyes focused distantly, hands moving down to lay in her lap atop the creased fabric of her skirt, fingers winding towards her lams. Nicole knows the look, one that says her baby sister's trying to be tough and not cry, though the glassy look in her eyes says just the opposite.

"Alright…" It's nt that she's feigning consent, it's that she's been battered down on the point so many times now. It hurts, the lack of trust. But what hurts more is that everyone else is probably right and she's being immature and idealistic again. Swallowing tightly, Colette just nods her head once, straightening up as she rises to her feet, lips pulled together and teeth settled on them. "I'm— I'm gonna go unpack my stuff in my room, I have— some laundry to do."

Classic Nichols deflection.

At least she isn't smoking cigarettes in the garage? Nicole stands up and pulls Colette into a tight hug. "I am so sorry, Sissy. I wish I could just say that yes, everyone can be trusted and that they aren't playing games with you, but… I can't. I love you too much to let you get hurt like that." Colette perhaps refuses to shed her tears, but Nicole doesn't. The first of them dampening her sister's hair when she buries her face there. "I protect you because I love you, and I want you to trust me. You can tell me everything you need to tell me, and I will listen. And I will keep your secrets. I promise. But I can't… necessarily get as involved as you might want me to."

Colette's stiff beneath Nicole's embrace, muscles tense and trying her damnedest to seem unresponsive to the hug. Eventually though, the bullheadedness of the teen gives way and her muscles relax, her head turns and she rests her brow quietly on Nicole's shoulder. No tears, not now, not over this. Colette just nods her head once in a slow and accepting fashion as her arms slip around her sister's waist, drawing her into an equally firm embrace before hiding her face away at the taller woman's neck, nose nudging against the feel of her pulse.

"I'm sorry…" Colette breathes out the words, though she isn't sure what for, she just feels sorry. It's like feeling guilty, or wrong, or scared. Sometimes you don't know exactly why, you just do. That sorry hangs heavy on her lips, even as she closes her eyes and makes a quiet sound in the back of her throat.

"I just wanted us to be together," is the final admittance Colette makes to her sister in that embrace, "like we used to be. Like— like when I was little." How much of that was even truthful, though, is hard to say. "I just wanted to share my life with you…" In more than just words goes unsaid, ironically.

"We are together, Sissy." Nicole sighs quietly, lifting one hand from the embrace so she can wipe away the damp from her face, the tide quickly stemmed. "It was easier when you were younger, because I was… There were no conflicts of interest. Daniel wanted me to include you. He knew - knows that you're important to me. And it was just… so much less complicated when you were just a kid."

Nicole's cheek rests against the crown of Colette's head and a second sigh escapes her lips. "I do want to see what you do," she admits. "But I also want you to be careful. I know what you're like - I used to be that way. You need to… learn to bend and compromise. We can't have everything we want. The sooner you come to grips with that, the more control you're going to have over everything." There's a soft chuckle that ruffles Colette's dark locks. "I know that sounds contradictory, but it's true. You have to learn to assess what you're given and manipulate what's there to work to your advantage, instead of try to create something that isn't there."

Maybe she was listening, maybe she wasn't, it's one of the few things Colette was always good at as a child; pretending to be oblivious. Looking up from Nicole's shoulder, the dark-haired teen smiles faintly, rising up onto her toes and pressing a kiss to the side of her cheek. It's a simple show of affection, but one that so very wordlessly explains that she's conceded their argument, and the faint smile that comes after along with the longing look of green eyes to blue indicates how heatlessly the argument ended. No more shouting and slamming doors, no more smoking in the garage.

Colette takes a step to the side, stocking clad feet touching across the floor before rising up onto her toes to try and level her height out with her sister. Their noses touch, and Colette lowers back down onto the flats of her heels with a clunk and a bob of her messy hair. "Your hair's still standing on end," she says in deflection to the whole conversation, reaching one arm up from around Nicole's waist to pluck, pluck, pluck that hair higher.

"Come on," Colette states flatly, reaching out to lace her fingers between Nicole's, "let's go wet your hair and see if that helps." Her tone's quieter but firmer than before, less the little sister whining and wanting to get her way. She's hurt, but only because life didn't turn out the way she wanted it to. Maybe it would've been easier if she'd tried to become a cop like Judah, maybe in some far off future that actually happened and sisters could share similar working environments without worrying about clashing.

Not here, not now.

But at least they still have each other.

For better or worse.

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