Not So Bad


colette2_icon.gif brian_icon.gif

Scene Title Not So Bad
Synopsis Colette returns to the Lighthouse and finds Brian waiting after an awkward conversation with Kameron.
Date February 24, 2009

The Lighthouse

From the outside, the Lighthouse looks as if it has had better days. The massive tower rising out of the house has fallen from its former glory. It is no longer a shining beacon, guiding wayward ships in from the lost harbor — though some may argue its purpose now is even more admirable. In its current state, the lighthouse seems to be in disrepair. Though upon closer inspection it all seems to be in the details. The paint has chipped away, leaving a discolored patterns of grays, whites, off-whites, and more grays. The occasional graffitti tag is here or there along the large building. One would notice that the doors, the windows, and the integrity of the building are all quite sound and newly repaired. The lighthouse has just been left with the look of abandonement.

Inside is a completely different story. Upon entering the main door, one will find a completely furnished and cozy arrangement. A spacious living room lined with two large blue sofa's, facing each other, a coffee table between them and several large bean bag chairs have been planted in the room. Shelves have been hung on the wall to display various different pictures of the occupants. A large bookcase is against the wall, holding a large variety of books from Dr.Seuss to the Bible, and even a copy of the Qur'an. The living room is focused on the fireplace a small black fence encloses it, the wood stocked on the bricks in front of it.

Connected to the living room is a kitchen, complete with a large rectangular table capable of seating around four on each long side and two on each end. A sink, a stove, an oven, a microwave and two refrigerators complete the look. Several low and overhead cabinets line the kitchen. At the edge of the kitchen are a pair of doors, one leading to a bedroom and the other, which has a padlock on it, leads to the basement.

At the back of the living room a glass sliding door leads out into the backyard of the Lighthouse, but just before it a staircase leads to the upper levels of the structure.

You die three times, that's pretty bad, your organization fall apart and your friends get put in a deep dark hole, also bad, one of your closest friends get kidnapped and forced to work for a pimp or whatever he was? Terrible. All of them he's managed to keep his composure. Managed to pretend being strong. But trying to tell a girl you love her and she just pat you on the shoulder…

Face slumped on the kitchen table, Brian is nursing a very large cup of apple juice. No alcohol in this house, so he drinks a shitload of applejuice. Not that it will change his temperament at all, but drinking a shitload of something is always a great idea after depression. He had pretended to leave, only to come right back once Kameron went upstairs. It's not a huge house. And quite easy to run into someone else, like Kameron, but here Brian is, in the kitchen, by himself staring at the door accompanied only by his humiliation.

It's getting to be evening. Soon the kids will need to be tucked in, and Brian will start his walk around Staten in another fruitless attempt to find any leads on Cally, Abby, or the other gazillion missing people.

It's the clink and creak of the front door unlocking and opening that stirs Brian from his sorrows, even if momentarily. First in comes Prince, claws clicking on the hardwood floor as he quickly makes a beeline for the kitchen, circling around the table Brian is in before demanding to be pat, nuzzling his nose up against Brian's midsection.

Prince is expected, but the dark-haired young woman coming in from the outside, shaking snow off of her boots isn't. The name Colette, that was familiar, but there's no mistaking the half-blind waif coming in through the door. Judah Demsky's daughter, the girl who threatened to turn Abby into Homeland Security to get her to heal that same Detective, the girl who volunteers at a soup kitchen. So much a walking contradiction as she can be.

Hesitating by the door as she starts to unzip her jacket, Colette's eyes widen, breath catching in her throat as she tilts her head to the side. It really is Brian, and he hardly looks like he's changed at all — the same really could be said for Colette too.

There's some mild differences, noticeable as she walks across the room in silence. Red highlights in the sides of her hair, tucked behind her ears, matching the same thin lines of crimson over her eyelids. Pursing her lips, Colette manages a smile and a hesitant wave of one small hand. "H-Hey, um, Brian…"

Kameron-Prince. Bwuh. What is Prince doing if Kameron is upstairs, for a split second the theory that Kameron can replicate as well flickers into his brain. Until Prince distracts him from said conspiracies. "Hey buddy." He says dully, picking his head off of the table. His hand goes to the pup's head, giving it a little ruffle. "Who took you out?" But then he's looking up from the dog, to answer his own question.

"You." Brian says bluntly, his eyes also going wide. "I— " Hmm. "You're Colette." He says quickly. "You uh, talked to my—" his what? "My Kameron." It's half question and half statement. "I..Wow." His look of shock and bewilderment finally fades away as he goes to his feet. Slapping a warm smile on his lips, he takes a few steps forward, spreading his arms out as if for a hug.


Colette's hesitance makes it obviously it's a bit early for hugs.

There's just an awkward smile instead, though she does walk over, teeth tugging on her lower lip, head shaking slowly, "I um, I know it's kind… of a dick move, um— me coming out here after… after all I did." One hand moves up to scratch at the side of her head, fingers raking through ink black hair dashed with red. "I— I don't really have anywhere else to go right now," it's a lie, the same one she told Kameron. But for now it will do in lieu of a difficult truth.

"Kameron's sweet," she adds, brows creasing just a little as she looks up at Brian again. "I— I'm sorry. I'm so sorry about— all of the stupid, selfish crap I've done, and," her eyes divert to her feet, "I'm sorry for judging you."

Colette's hesitance makes it obviously it's a bit early for hugs.

There's just an awkward smile instead, though she does walk over, teeth tugging on her lower lip, head shaking slowly, "I um, I know it's kind… of a dick move, um— me coming out here after… after all I did." One hand moves up to scratch at the side of her head, fingers raking through ink black hair dashed with red. "I— I don't really have anywhere else to go right now," it's a lie, the same one she told Kameron. But for now it will do in lieu of a difficult truth.

"Kameron's sweet," she adds, brows creasing just a little as she looks up at Brian again. "I— I'm sorry. I'm so sorry about— all of the stupid, selfish crap I've done, and," her eyes divert to her feet, "I'm sorry for judging you."

His arms drop to his side. Well okay, fine.

"Dick move? What all you did?" Brian is obviously ignorant or just forgetful of the things that Colette did. He shakes his head. "I saw you. A while ago. In Chinatown. You.." Maybe that's not best to talk about. "Well in any case, you're welcome here." The young man dictates giving a nod. " Yeah she is. " Bitter subject right now, but his words sound sincere anyway. "Sorry for?" Oh. "You judged me? Well.. No problem. I forgive you." Probably.

Colette raises a brow, and as blase as Brian seems about what's transpired before, it's a weight off of the girl's shoulders. "This— " isn't what she expected, where she expected to find Brian. "You've… really done a lot of good with yourself. I— I remember you used to get soup at the kitchen I worked at." There's a hesitant smile, and the girl moves to pull up a chair at the table, eying the glass of applejuice. "So… like, how many other kids live here?" One dark brow arches as she looks up at the ceiling, "I haven't seen anyone since I got here— except for Kameron. But she did mention a couple others when she showed me around."

Leaning up on the rear two legs of the chair, Colette folds her hands behind her head. "You… you're a whole lot nicer of a person that I used to think. It — I really am sorry if I was ever a bitch to you."

"Three. All little ones. Though we were inviting another girl your age to stay with us. She has recently.. Gone missing a little bit. " H e clears his throat idly wondering how you go missing just a little. Reseating himself, he goes to pick up his glass. "Juice?" Taking a swig of his own he goes to set it down and stand right back up to get her a glass and juice before she even answers. Everybody likes juice. "Yeah, not so long ago, huh? I guess I just want to do what God tells me to. Before I thought it was preaching and. . living in a car. Now.. " He spreads his hands to the structure around him. "I mean, I could be wrong, but I just wanna do right by Him." And so many others.

Pouring her juice whether she like it or not, he opens the large fridge and replaces the carton of applejuice, kicking the door closed. The glass is slid over to her easily along the smooth tabletop. He arches a brow at her confession, frowning a little. "I guess I can be a little rough around the edges. I'm sorry if I ever offended you." He pauses. "All our kids are Evolved. " He says abruptly, flicking a glance up at her. "Not that you have to be, to stay here. But, if you're uncomfortable around people like that. You might have a tough time."

There's a faintly crooked smile from Colette as she watches Brian get up to pour another glass of juice, her head bobbing in a quick and sheepish nod of appreciation before settling her chair back down with a clunk of the front legs. "Quiet for such a big place. Though, I guess it'll get bigger… I, heard you were in the papers and stuff. S'pretty cool." The smile, as honest as she can manage these days, creeps across her lips before the girl shifts to sit sideways in her chair, one arm hooking over the back to watch Brian on his return, shifting again as she leans forward, snatching the glass off of the table.

"You kind've weirded me out in the library once, but— " There's a shake of her head, "I think we were both different people back then." It's only Brian's last statement that really, truly warrants a reaction from Colette, even the discussion of a girl going missing seems to slip by her, but when he brings up the Evolved, it really is time for her to come clean.

"I'm not— " And not lie, which takes a revision of where that sentence was going in her head. "I used to have a problem with it. I — I used… to be really, really afraid of them, and…" Closing her eyes, the girl looks up to Brian, raising one hand as she sticks out her pointer-finger, and begins finger-painting colors right into the air in front of him. Her lips crook up into a little smile, drawing crude lines and shapes that form into a yellow sun with exaggerated rays of light, a few trees and some jagged grass. Then with one eyebrow raised, they all begin to jitter and move. The sun sets, turning into a moon, stars appear, all looking like a painting come to life.

Best to show him the harmless stuff, like Conrad taught her.

"I got really freaked out, and, this guy I know told me about someone who could help me. His name was Conrad," was, "He— was a jerk." It comes with a smile, not harsh words, "A bit… stupid jerk, and— he helped me… figure this out. And then— " She just shakes her head, the image fading away into motes of yellow light, eyes downturning to the glass of applejuice in her free hand.

"Well, I guess I was kind of.." He waves a hand at some vague gesture not really sure what word he's trying to say. "I'm sorry. I hope I don't weird you out here." He gives a little smile, folding his arms over his chest. "I should introduce you to the kids. If you're staying here, you'll be expected to help out. Obviously, the kids have less responsibilities, you.." He gives a little shrug. "Cleaning, stuff like that. We're going to try and start a garden for the kids to look after… Not a whole lot." He shrugs it off.

He gives a little grin at the colors. "Neat." He comments, sounding a tad impressed. "Bai-Chan can climb up walls, JoeJoe.. his skin is.. tough. Deflects bullets and whatnot our own little superman. And Lily, she uhh.. She can see things that people have done in the past."

Conrad. His lips draw into a thin line and he lets out a quiet sigh. He doesn't hear her talk about how stupid and or jerky he was. "Conrad was a good man." Brian says softly, averting his eyes. "He died saving my life." And that's all he's going to say about that. "So. Did Kameron show you where you'll be staying?"

There's a tilt of Colette's head as Brian begins discussing the children, "She… sees into the past?" There's a hitch in the back of the girl's throat, looking over to the stairwell for a moment, teeth tugging at her lower lip before very faintly smiling. Her fingers come up to curl around the blue scarf at her neck, tugging it all the way off to just hold in her hands, tightly. "I— I didn't know you knew Conrad." When she looks back, it's rather perplexed by this. He… he was a nice guy, all in all."

Willing to take the distraction of other topics, Colette just nods her head slowly. "Kameron showed me around, yeah. I'll try to help out, whatever you need done. I— I'm a good cook!" There's something she excels at, at least. "Or, well— I mean, I won't kill you with it anyway." Or, maybe not. "I— don't really know how good I am with kids." Her brows knit together, and then she looks back to Brian, "Wait— deflect bullets?" Mismatched eyes widen, "How— I mean— you're guessing, right? But— that's— that's awesome."

"Yeah. Poor kid. Can't control it, she's seen a lot someone as young as her shouldn't have to see, things she can't understand." He lowers his eyes in reverence for her situation and Conrad's death for a moment. "Yeah I knew him. I guess he also was kind of rough around the edges." He shakes his head. "Good guy." Brian murmurs, before looking back up at her. "I know a lot of people." He comments dully, leaning back in his chair.

His eyes go to the roses that he delivered to Kameron, the flowers which she put in the center of the table and totally not get what he was trying to do. "Kameron's sweet." He repeats once again as if she was the topic once again. Then, bullets. "Guessing?" Yeah sure, that will save him having to explain why he was with a boy and underfire. "Yeah. He's just got really tough skin. Can't be broken. No cuts, nothing."

"Lily," Colette says quietly, "I knew— know a girl like her. But she… sees the future?" Her eyes squint slightly, "She has a really hard time telling when she is, like, and remembering people. I— I was— I'm close to her. So, I mean," A little flustered, Colette runs a hand through her hair, "I might be able to help Lily a little, I kind've understand what she might be going through. I— maybe I'll talk to her sometime…"

Managing a faint smile, Colette's expression goes briefly dour as she looks to the roses, then back to Brian. The bullets, not so much important. Though Colette also doesn't quite get it, at least not in the same way Brian does. "Oh is — are you two together?" Her smile grows some, and she snorts out an amused laugh. "You seem like her type, she's all motherly an' you're like — you know, a little pouty looking." Her dark brows raise, crooked smile twisted across her lips before they part to take a sip from her juice.

"You two make a cute couple."

"Yeah. If you could help Lily that would be greatly appreciated. Everything you need will be provided here. Things that aren't necessities." He gives a shrug. "If you need help finding a good job that's safe around here I'm sure I could find something for you." The young man murmurs giving a nod at her offer to help Lily. "You got Evolved friends. Good. It's good we stick together." Though the we is quickly brushed off as the conversation makes a much more important turn.

His lips fall open for a moment. "Pouty?" His eyes narrow for a moment. "I'm not pouty." He says a tad defensively. "Well we're not, a couple, technically." That makes it sound better. Make it sound complicated and people won't think you're as much a little pussy as you really are. "I guess our relationship is kind of complicated." He lies. " But.. thank you."

Tilting her head to the side, Colette nods, "I… don't know about getting a job around here, really. This place— I mean, it's— " A shithole? The pits? Dangerous? "Scary?" There's a little bit of a laugh, her head shaking, sending messy black locks flinging around before her hand brushes some away from her blinded eye. "I'll try and talk to her, maybe… see if I can give her some pointers. Tamara'd probably be a lot better at it, but— "

"Hey, no problem. She's totally a catch though, sweet as can be, even if she's like, all fumbly and stuff." She kind of just made fun of a blind person but not seriously. "She's got like— she's just nice. I really, really was wrong about you. I'm glad, I mean— for now, that I'm here."

Leaning back in her chair again, balancing it on two legs, Colette shifts her focus back over to the stairs, "I'm probably going to head up and get my shit in my room," she does have a bit of a mouth on her, "Is it safe to leave stuff lying around? I have like— a laptop. Nobody's going to steal it, right?"

"You're safe here." Brian murmurs, or at least he thinks she's safe. "Before you know it, people around here will know that you're with me. And if you're with me, they'll leave you alone. But if you are scared, that's fine, I'm not going to force you into a strage and frightening environment." Like she isn't in one already. He gives a little nod at her giving Lily pointers. "That would be great. But remember, she is a little one." He advises before getting real distracted with the exciting topic of Kameron.

"She is." Brian mutters, staring at Colette for a long moment. He seems to be thinking before finally he makes a decision and seems to let her in. "Listen.. I got these roses for Kameron. To like.. Tell her, you know? But she didn't get it.. And.. I donno. You're a girl. How do I…" He makes a gesture as if moving in. "Umm.. you might want to keep your laptop in your room if you're not walking around. Bai-Chan grabs stuff." He says, giving a shrug.

Every bit of wryness in Colette's tone slips away when Brian mentions the roses, and the young girl's lips creep up into a smile as she shakes her head, "Aww! That's— " remarkably familiar feeling. Colette's shoulders slouch a little, lips pursing to one side as she slides a bit out of her chair, rising up from her seat to rest a hand on Brian's shoulder, giving it a squeeze.

For now, all of the topic of work and the difficulties of Staten Island are forgotten, there's far more important things on the table to discuss, as far as a teenage girl is concerned. "I— I know how hard that can be, I— " She sidesteps how she knows, "Best thing I learned? Just— be up front. I mean, I— I know it's like," there's a bit of color to her cheeks as the socially awkward girl tries to do her best to give relationship advice, "I— I had a lot of the same problem. But, like, I just had to say, you know— I just finally realized I can be dopey and suggest things, and," there's an awkward laugh, "and pretty much fail all of the time, or— or like, I could just come out and say I love you."

Ducking her head, Colette's brows raise together, partly disappearing beneath the fringe of her bangs. "It… made a lot of difference, than just hoping she'd figure it out one day, you know?" The young girl's teeth tug at her lower lip slightly. "You— I mean, I dunno, you can try what you're doing, but like— I know I can be really dense a lot so— you know— having stuff spelled out for me can help, why not Kam?"

"Yeah but.." What if he gets rejected? Frowning, he straightens up in his seat looking deeply concerned and deep in thought now. "But I really like her." He won't use the other L word for now. That's scary. "What if I scare her off? I tell her and she wants nothing to do with me and she bails out on me, and the kids?" He asks, sounding a touch worried. "I'd rather have her here and just wish the whole time rather than her missing." He says looking up to see if the girl understands. And for a moment he wonders why he is thinking it a good idea to ask relationship advice from a girl he is now the guardian of.

"I'm just scared I guess. I'm a pussy." He lays out, leaning back in his chair he lets out a grunt. "I want to do something for her. Something great.. but.." he shrugs his shoulders. "I was going to-" Best not explain how he was going to try to get her power negated so she could see. Her powers are not for him to speak of.

He shrugs off the conversation. "Eh. It's no big deal. Umm. We don't have wireless here yet, but we should soon. I'm working on it. "

There's a soft, disapproving sound in the back of Colette's throat when Brian continues, nibbling on her lower lip as she leans one arm on his shoulder, then slouches down closer to him, "Hey— " She tries to angle herself to get in his face, make sure that he's looking at her, not at the table, or somewhere else that she's prone to do when she gets wishy-washy. "Do you really think she'd bail on you? The kids?" Dark brows rising up again, Colette's expression becomes a bit softer.

""She's way too sweet for that. I— She seems like such a nice person, Bri," letting a little bit of weight off of the shoulder she leans on, Colette instead decides to lean on the table, hands folded together, half sprawled out on it like some wayward feline. "I don't think she'd do that, but…" Mismatched eyes downcast to the table, and slowly one hand reaches out, pushing Brian's glass of juice closer to him. "Maybe I could talk to her?" The question comes with a tip of her head to the side, dark bangs swishing over her blind eye, "I could— you know— see how she feels? Find out some stuff for you on the sly, and then maybe you could— " She shrugs a little, her lips creeping up into a sad smile, "See what happens?"

"No. She would never bail on the kids." Brian concurs, tilting his head to the side. "On you." He adds with a grin for good measure. He does make eye contact, though some women talking to him this closely might make him all nervous, she is certainly not one of them. He watches her coolly with a soft sigh. Shaking his head his hand goes to reclaim the cup of apple juice. "She is. She is a nice person she's the sweetest." Brian agrees, going to talk again.

But then Colette has the best idea ever and Brian visibly perks at it. "Really? You would do that? I mean.. I don't imagine how sly you would have to be. She's oblivious to my feelings or at least pretends to be. Even though I've tried to be kinda.. obvious. If you could do that, I would be very grateful. Anythin I could do for you, you name it." Brian says, looking up at her.

The smile crossing Colette's face is an honest one, happy to feel needed, to feel like she's doing something that might make a difference. Perhaps one day she'll realize she was doing that right by Judah's side, but for now, this reward is more immediate than the notion that she kept someone who was otherwise alone in his life, company.

"It's nothing, really. I — " Her eyes close partway, leaning off of Brian's shoulder as she glances back up to him. "I can't, you know, promise it'll make a difference. But— I mean, I'll try." Though at first she had considered leaving it at that, the girl's increasingly pensive expression belies her consideration of his offer.

"Just— If I do this?" Her dark brows lower, furrowing together, "Don't… don't ever ask me why I came here." She tries to hide a considerably emotional expression behind a smile as thinly painted as the lights she traced in the air. "That— That's all I want."

"If you want me to know." Brian murmurs softly, raising his gaze to her slowly. "You'll tell me on your own time. This is a safe place. As long as you're not endangering the other kids. I will protect you from whatever it is you're running from or hiding from, or whatever it is out there. I won't let it find you here." Brian says solidly, going to make eye contact with her. "I promise."

"Well.. Whenever you could talk to her. That would be awesome. And just.. let me know what she says." The young man urges going to drain the rest of his apple juice. "Looks like we have a deal, yeah?" He brings up his hand to offer it to her, to seal the deal.

Colette looks down to the offered hand, a hesitant smile creeping up as she listens to his litany about being protected. It's funny, after everything she's been through, she's more worried about who will protect Brian from the seemingly endless droves of horrible circumstances that follow people around her.

All of that, though, goes unsaid. She takes Brian's hand in hers, giving a small squeeze of a warm and soft hand. She presses that smile, making it more prevalent, more obvious against pale cheeks.


February 24th: Obtuse
February 24th: Dark Messenger
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