Official Inspections


brennan_icon.gif colette_icon.gif darla_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif grace_icon.gif harrison_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif megan_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif praeger_icon.gif novikov_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Official Inspections
Synopsis Representatives of the NYPD, Homeland Security, and the Department of Evolved Affairs all drop in on the volunteers at Summer Meadows and make their day an interesting one. In the Ancient Chinese sense.
Date December 21, 2009

Summer Meadows

Description of location, if any.

Residential roads are last to be plowed, if the city tends to them at all — which means today has been a day of shoveling snow, out here in Summer Meadows, and alternately a day of snowmen, snow angels, and snowball fights. The work is never done, it seems. Grace Matheson is in snow up to her knees, has enough snow caked on her coat that its dark blue color can barely be determined, and she's lost count of how many times some small melting lump has worked its way free of her hair only to slide down the back of her neck. That's the worst part of it all. She's one of the people armed with snow shovels this morning, working to clear off driveways and neighborhood roads before sun and cold air conspire to turn it all into so much ice.

Several others are out and about doing the same, including her housemate Scott. Still others are unloading boxes out of the back of a pickup truck, each going to a different house; donated gifts, perhaps, or some other, related item. And then there's the — pavilion? — that's been set up over an empty stretch of was-green-before-the-show, under which tables are being set up and another nearby truck holds what look like boxes upon boxes of drinks, suggesting that someone had the bright idea of the community having an outdoor lunch today. Or maybe it's just that they do this all the time; too many volunteers about for much else to work. It does seem to be a little warmer under the pavilion, in spite of the shade — maybe because there's markedly less air movement. Anyone who's been here a while can figure that's the fault of Darla Hurst, who is currently delivering fresh boxes of teabags to table of hot beverages which has become a fixture here.

Mouse is also around somewhere, no doubt "supervising" some contingent of children… where Grace won't notice.

A baseball cap (emblazoned with the familiar N-and-Y of the Yankees) isn't warm enough for Eric Doyle's head this evening, so it's been supplemented with a very long black scarf that's wound about his thick neck and lower face several times, the ends draped over his shoulders so that he no longer has a neck at all. Not that he had much of one before, mind you. A heavy, puffy winter coat with a few tears and stains on it covers his upper body - on top of a lighter jacket beneath, and his sweater under that - and he stomps along on cheap winter boots down the lane towards whatever destination he has in mind, looking like nothing so much than a wobbling bundle of fabric moving on its way.

"Winter," he mutters direly, voice muffled by layers of wool, and then he's forced to unsteadily halt as a teenager darts past him, sprinting over towards the pavilion with something or another he'd been sent to get. He sways on his feet, inertia lost, then steadies.

"Un-fucking-believable." Colette Nichols is about as ladylike as a they come at times, this is particularly one of them. "Seriously…" Rubbing one hand thorugh her hair, the cigarette between Colette's lips bobs up and down as she mutters to herself and paces back and forth in front of a four-foot high snow-bank on the street outside of the development. Buried up to all but its handle-bars in the snow, a red and white dirtbike looks to have simply been buried by the blizzard over the weekend.

"I'm not shoveling this thing out myself…" Gloved fingers wrench into fists and Colette snatches the cigarette out of her mouth and throws it down to the ice and slush at her feet, one stomp of her dark boot crushing it out. "Maybe it can sit 'till spring…" Colette murmurs, brushing her palm over her forehead as she circles around the snowbank, shoulders slouched and eyes shut, making her way up onto the sidewalk tiredly.

Dressed mostly in that black denim of her short cut jacket and skinny leg jeans, she seems a little under the weather outside of the frustrations about her abandoned form of conveyance now buried beneath snow. As Colette walks by one of the volunteers clearing off the driveway, she pauses on recognition of the dark haired woman, adjusting the brick red fabric of her scarf, nose wrinkled. "You draw the short straw?" She calls out to Grace, one brow quirked up in amusement. "Or did you just lose a bet with Scott?"

Having given her name and number to the people in charge of accepting donations and volunteers, Peyton wasn't too surprised to get the call for help due to the blizzard. It took some effort to get here, due to the snowy roads and the fact she herself is on crutches, but now she is sitting under the pavilion mixing up hot cocoa and ladeling out hot soup for the snow shovelers.

Peyton's hot-pink cast has been doodled all over and a fuzzy hot pink sock covers the would-be bare toes so they don't get too cold with no boot or shoe to keep them warm. The rest of her is clad in a black and white plaid coat, a red crocheted hat on her head with a scarf to match. In a box are kids' jackets, gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves for the families who live in the homes to take as needed, bought and brought over with the former socialite.

The Brennan children are somewhere playing with other children, likely in the company of Mouse as they arrived not long ago in the care of their grandmother - who looked at everything with high brows and tip toed through the snow with French murmurs about the state of the city and how could her son in law bring her darling precious grandchildren here - while their father was on an extended break from work. The days leading up to Christmas were busy ones as people tried to get last minute appointments in. But he had a trunk full of gifts to pop over and pass out while they had the time before everyone flew on out to have Christmas elsewhere oversea's. A couple starbucks containers of hot coffee insulated against the cold are in a box, a couple more of hot chocolate as he too heads for the pavilion. Doyle is noted but summarily dismissed, as he's been doing with Kaylee. If there wasn't a thousand inches of snow, Michelle might be out too. Maybe another day. "I got hot drinks here," He calls out to whomever's at the table. Paper cups tucked into the large box too.


"Oh shit!" This comes from Kaylee who just happened to have accidentally pelted Doyle in the back of the head with a snowball. Gloved hands slap over her mouth and her blue eyes wide as she watches the clump of snow drop from the back of his head into his collar. Of course, the blonde with her dark blue beanie low on her head, is sporting snow from recently being pelted in the head herself… more then likely by the kid that just sprinted past the puppeteer.

"Oh god.. Eh… er.. Jason." Kaylee quickly grabs up her shovel again and slogs through the snow to his side. "I am soooo sorry.. He…" She motions the direction the teen went.. "I… " She sighs arms dropping to her sides in defeat. "I'm in trouble aren't I?" She gives him a rather hang-dog look.

A bit haggled from his finals, Harrison has choosen to stay in New York City this Christmas season. He has decided that instead of focusing on his being alone he will immerse himself into as much work as he can be it volunteer or paid. Since his trip to Summer Meadows, he has found it a bit of a get away from the city and his own thoughts of the holiday blues. As he makes his way down the street to the Main Office to find Kaylee, the one person he knows the best here at the community. He wants to ask her about the event on Christmas day and person sing while Santa is bring gifts. He has his guitar slung ober his shoulder, and singing in his smoky voice, "Christmas Song". Harrison is dressed in his leather jacket, jeans, with matching scarf, fingerless gloves and beany hat.

Wrapped up in a white winter coat with a black scarf, earmuffs, and gloves, wearing black pants and boots, Megan Young's bright copper hair is a beacon against the monochrome outfit and the brilliant white snowy surroundings. The nurse has been going house to house to check on several elderly residents who aren't able to get around well in the best of conditions — which these are NOT — and a couple of families that have had sick kids. She's on her way back from those rounds, leaving her medical bag in the truck that Scott and Grace brought into the neighborhood. She goes around to the back of the truck to haul a shovel out and move up to give the shovelers a hand. She snickers faintly at Colette's holler toward other woman, calling back with a snort, "The latter!" Because there have been any number of those kinds of things going around.

Grace looks up at Colette, the slight arch of one of her own browns mirroring the teen's expression. She proceeds to prove that, however disgruntled she is at snow and the shoveling of it — might as well be back in Colorado! — she was paying more attention to her surroundings than Colette. "Your father know you've taken up smoking?" the woman counters, gravelly tones of her ruined voice dry. There's no menace even so much as implied in it, though; not Grace's job to protect the girl from her own decisions. Megan, on the other hand, is given what would be an unfriendly gesture if they hadn't spent enough time working together by now to know better — friends can get away with bickering. "There's also the minor detail that I got him but good with a snowball last time," the raven-voiced woman adds with a sly little smile.

Offering a smile to Peyton — and Brennan when he comes up — Darla claims one of the mugs of hot chocolate and studies what the good doctor has brought over. "Starbucks?" she echoes. "I'm impressed. Maybe put them on the other side of the table from Peyton — wouldn't want her to get trampled in the headlong rush." The aerokinetic grins, then sets about collecting some of the used and abandoned cups. "Lunch will be set out soon," she remarks.

Maybe a little less soon, as it happens, when the unexpected ensues. Not mischief, chaos, and shenanigans, the usual hijinks that go with being outdoors in the snow, but a lean black car which pulls up to the neighborhood gates. The man who emerges from its left rear door is neatly suited beneath a surprisingly appropriate coat; apparently looking neat isn't the whole of his consideration. With gray but thinning hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a face familiar from plenty of publicity images and interviews, Secretary Raymond Praeger of the Department of Evolved Affairs straightens his jacket unnecessarily and strides down the packed snow of the street towards the pavilion.

Sliding out of the car behind Praeger, a dark-haired man takes a few first steps with head bowed. He wraps a thickly cabled scarf around his neck, looping it and folding it. Tucked up against his throat and ears at it is, ends folded down beneath a double-breasted coast, when Alexander Novikov lifts his head he looks not entirely unlike some sort of puff-chested bird. The scarf is surely warm, but it is thick against the slim of dark wool, and there is a narrow sharpness to the features set above. Bird. It's very dignified.

He dresses like a man who does not love the cold, but has grown used to it, and the thumbs of his gloved hands hook in the pockets of his coat. He walks in pace with Praeger; his stride is easy, measured, and relaxed. His eyes are bright as they scan the pavilion, and those around it.

The snowball smacks into the back of Doyle's head, and begins to melt promptly down into his scarf as he stops dead for the second time. One hand lifts slowly to wipe it away with thick-gloved fingers, before he turns with an ominous slowness to fix his gaze upon the blonde telepath. It's hard to tell if he's serious or smiling, since half his face is swathed in scarf right now.

A hand raises, gloved, merciless, fingers opening — and Kaylee's opening as well, the shovel hitting the snow and pavement with a clang. Then it dips, and Kaylee's muscles override her will as she bends to scoop up a handful of snow in mimicry of the scooping motion of his hand. Then he lifts his hand as if to adjust his scarf, and she promptly mashes the snow into her face.

"Hi, Ethal," he greets, muffled voice cheery as ever when he's getting even, hand falling as she's released from his power, "You know, if you're that thirsty, I think there's some drinks over there."

Glancing over her shoulder to Megan, Colette crookes her jaw behind her scarf, one brow kicking up before she offers a muffled laugh and a puff of steam from the exhalation. "Yeah, that sounds about right." Tucking her hands into the pockets of her jeans, Colette rolls her shoulders and takes a few crunching steps up thorugh the snow towards Grace. "Yeah well— whatever Judah doesn't know won't kill me." Rubbing the back of her hand across a reddened nose, she slants a side-long stare away from Grace and towards the car braving the snowy streets. Colette's attention lingers on the car and the two men who get out, straightening up and looks around development, towards the pavillion— then finally noticing Doyle and Kaylee— and finally back to Grace again.

"Who're the suits?" Colette asks with a jerk of one thumb over her shoulder. "They more of Linderman's people? 'Cause I thought they already got run through the wringer on donations?" Green eyes continue to regard the pair over her shoulder, and the longer Colette watches them the less inclined she feels to consider them more prospective donors. "The old guy looks familiar…"

"Hey, Doc," Peyton says to the doctor when he arrives with his cups and coffee. He might have Starbucks, but she has marshmallows and whipped cream! Despite her broken ankle, she looks healthier than the last time the doctor saw her. Doyle's antics don't miss her attention, but at least the cold day could account for her shiver. The small action helps cement a theory she had once upon a time in a hospital.

Peyton's dark eyes slide to the car and the two men emerging from it. Those eyes narrow and she tilts her head. She's seen the one before, but politics are not her forte. "Who is that guy?" she whispers to Brennan with a nod toward the silver-haired man. "He's government or something isn't he?" This makes her nervous; she overfills one of the mugs of soup, which brings a colorful string of curse words in a louder voice than her surreptitious whispering.

"Starbucks indeed, you can kiss my cheek now and make Michelle jealous for bringing it. You can thank Marlena too, she's the one that insisted we stop so everyone could have some. It'll make the cold all that much more bearable, enjoyable and well, nothing like overpriced coffee on the holidays" Brennan turns to look over his shoulder towards the others who are gathering here and there, shoveling snow, shoveling snow at each other and the new arrival who sticks out like a sore thumb in it all. "Well I'll be damned" A hand raised and leather covered thumb scratching his right brow, Brennan looks back to Darla with raised brows then to Peyton when she asks.

"Looks like someone caught a tiger by the toe because if my eyes are wrong, and last I checked, I had 20/20 that's.. Praeger. Department of the evolved affairs coming right your way Ms. Darla." Which means Brennan's raising his brows. "This is either very good and you're gonna get some help and funding or it's about to get very bad." The Doctor in his finery that equals Praeger's straightens up as he lets his hand drop as the pair start to approach their area.

Wiping snow out of her face and flicking it away with a sigh, Kaylee gives Doyle an amused look, one side of her mouth pulled up into a smirk. "I deserved that." She admits with a barely contained chuckle. "Thanks for not making it yellow snow." Her knit gloved hand making another pass over her face to dislodge a bit more snow.

The flash of black out of the corner of her eye draws Kaylee's attention. Ooo.. new people. "Check out the suits." She murmurs softly to her portly companion, brows lifting a bit as she studies them in turn. Then she looks worried. Last time there were suits she was made to talk to them. Oh crap. Kaylee takes a few steps to the side to take her out of Darla and Grace's line of sight. Of course she uses Doyle's mass for that purpose.

As he makes his way past the Office, he peeks what might have been Kaylee out of the corner of his eye over by the Pavilion. Harrison turns and begins to make his way towards the Pavilion. He is still singing softly to himself, however has switch his tune from "Christmas Song" to "White Christmas." He does in fact see her, and suddenly stops when she begins to shove snow in her own face. The young man cocks his head to the side and says softly, "Ummmm hey Kaylee." He smirks and adds, "Hope that wasn't yellow snow I saw you just eat?"

Megan's response to the finger flipped her way is merely laughter. "You got him? Niiiice." Cuz a snowball down Scott's back is an image the redhead loves! She starts shoveling, and when the car pulls up with the suits in it, Meg doesn't really pay a lot of attention to it. She does glance, and even double-takes to stare for a long moment, then she slants a glance toward Grace. But she's silent about it, continuing to do the job she's taken upon herself. Shoveling the next driveway over from where Grace and Colette stand.

One dark brow arches. "Might when he finds out," Grace points out. But then she, too, directs her attention to the car and the people it has divulged. The shovel's blade is stamped down into the snow, her hands resting idly on its upright handle. "No, they're not with Kain," the woman muses aloud. "More's the pity. That would be Secretary Praeger, I do believe." She's not the only one who's drawn that conclusion, but she's too far away to make out Brennan's words. That, however, is something Grace sets about to fix — and a hand on Colette's coat tugs the girl along with her. "Come on. Show of solidarity," she murmurs to the teen. She won't drag Colette if the girl absolutely doesn't want to go, of course — but the expectation of her coming is obviously there.

"I do believe you're right," Darla murmurs in response to Brennan. She glances down to Peyton. "If you guys could look supportive, that would help a lot." She sets a reassuring hand on Peyton's shoulder to stem the flow of curse words. Suiting actions to her own words, the dark-skinned woman steps around the table and towards the edge of the pavilion, the better to meet the men in black suits. "Good morning, gentlemen," Darla calls for them to hear. "What can we do for you?"

Raymond Praeger steps up to stand at a courteous distance from Darla, offering her and the assembled people behind a genial smile. "Good morning. Raymond Praeger, Department of Evolved Affairs," he introduces himself, extending a hand to be shaken. "My associate, Alexander Novikov," the good Secretary continues, waving the agent forward. "I've heard a great many rumors about this 'Rebuilding Foundation', and wanted to come see it with my own eyes. It looks even better than hearsay implied, I have to say; you and your people are doing a marvelous job."

"I'm not uncivilized you know," Doyle replies with a faint chuckle beneath the scarf, glancing over to Harrison as he calls out a greeting — using his friend's real name — but then Kaylee's murmured warning draws his attention belatedly over to the 'suits' heading down the block, and he draws a step back from the direction of the pavilion.

"Ah, crap," he mumbles against wool, "They with Zarek, or— maybe I should head home."

It doesn't take long at all for the cold wind to call a flush to pale skin, with color rising to Novikov's cheeks, ears and nose. The smile he offers in answer to attention is a little too self-consciously smirkish to be quite as 'put you at ease' as Praeger's practiced smoothness. "Good morning," he says in echo of the Secretary's greeting. A hint of a Midwestern accent slightly flattens his voice. He does not have the manner of a politician, and it isn't quite a bureaucrat's blandness, either. He is alert, composed, and curious about just about everything.

His eyes linger where things change with their arrival: Peyton overfilling a mug, Kaylee sliding a few steps to the side, Doyle sliding a step back. In its own way, Megan's determined shoveling is as interesting. His quick-roving eyes stop here and there, rarely lingering.

One sharp exhalation of a breath comes from Colette at Grace's response, more of a huff than anything else. "Secretary, really?" She turns around slowly, shoulders still hunched up as she walks, hands tucked into her pockets. "Who's he the secretary of, the other guy?" No, Colette, that's not— nevermind. "He walks kinda' like a cop, actually…" One dark brow lifts up higher than the other as Colette follows at Grace's side, boots crunching in the snow. "So like, what the Department of whatever that he's involved in?"

Evident in her ignorance of current events, Colette makes the trek across the snow-scraped pavement, one footstep slipping on a patch of ice before she continues on her way towards where Praeger and his pet bird are making introductions. A finger-waggled wave is offered up towards Kaylee and Doyle, coming under the pavillion but stopping right inside the edge of the roof, her weight shifted to one foot, letting Grace take the lead.

"Supportive of… what?" Peyton whispers, then looks over at Brennan when the woman is already on her way to meet Praeger. "I mean… I'm here, I'm supporting, aren't I?" Her eyes are round but she goes back to focusing on the task at hand: currently finding some paper towels to mop up the soup from the table. She finds the roll of paper towels in the supplies and begins to sop up the soup. She nibbles her lower lip as she works, trying not to turn to stare at the newcomers.

Some people arrive in cars, some on foot. Some condensate rapidly out of still air in a churn and flux of sooty black smoke that turns in upon itself and falls away to reveal a human being.

Some ten or fifteen feet behind Praeger's left shoulder, Vincent Lazzaro falls into the latter category.

He's a shortish, baldish, italianish, stubborn-looking man in a pinstriped suit under a darker overcoat, both primly unruffled as the rest of him with what little hair he has left shaved down to a coarse shadow to match that brushed across the set of his jaw. A scar is bitten in narrow across the right side of his skull, and he is not wearing his glasses. In fact, when he appears, for half an instant he looks markedly more serious business and less likely to smile and shake hands than the more definitely corporial pair that's gone ahead of him.

He's slower to approach too, shiny shoes dragging a little across freezing concrete while the last of the dusky fog that accompanied his entry falls away from his sides like clinging dust.

"Supportive of Darla here and Grace and what's going on. I think too, to look busy and not just standing here looking pretty," Brennan points out, handing a box of coffee to Peyton. "Look busy." Before Praeger and his associate are on them. There's a nod for the two men and he's offering out coffee for them both.

Reaching out, Kaylee moves to pull Harrison out of line of sight so the people she's worried about seeing her, don't see him talking to Doyle's back. "Shh… I'm not here for the moment and no it wasn't yellow snow." Head tilts to the side to look around her personal wall, she pats the shield on the shoulder a comforting gesture, she keeps her voice at a whisper. "This is my buddy Jason.. Jason, this is Harrison. I think I told you about him the other day." Living in the same house, she more then likely told him about the kid she scared away cause she was a telepath.

"You're bundled up like the Michelin Man.. you're fine." Steady Eric. Kaylee murmurs and mentally reassures, pulling out of sight again, before turning a grin to Harrison. "Hey there. I haven't seen you around for awhile. Oh wait.. That's right. Finals." The telepath realizes suddenly or maybe she picked it from his brain. The world will never know.

Once Darla is engaged in talks Kaylee relaxes a bit, hazarding a better look at the 'suits', wiggling fingers at Colette in return from her safe distance and giving her a wink. She's been there. Then the is the appearance of someone out of….did she see that? She nudges Eric's arm and nods to the new man. "Did you see that?" She asks in a rough whisper, glancing at Harrison too, making sure she's not the only one.

While adjusting his guitar over his shoulder, he looks over at the men who seem to have everyone walking on eggs suddenly, Harrison asks Kaylee, "Sorry…did I stop by at a bad time? I wanted to talk to you about helping out for delivering the gifts for the children on Christmas." However, his question seems to fall away from his thoughts when his eyes move to Vincent and his entrance. His mouth dropping in shock or awe. He whispers, "I must have come at a bad time."

Steady, right, easy for you to say, Kaylee. Doyle slants a dour look towards Kaylee, before turning a bit to the introduction — rather pointedly keeping his back to the suits chattering with Grace — one hand half-lifting to Colette in a gesture of acknowledgement before he's facing away. No escaped Tier 3 felons here, no, not him!

"Hi," he says, a little quickly to Harrison, leaning in a bit towards the telepath then, "I'm gonna… head back to McRae's, okay?"

"I'll get you the relevant news articles later," Grace murmurs to the girl. The wave to Kaylee and Doyle causes her to glance over towards them, blue gaze becoming thoughtful. Hmm. "Why don't you go ask if your friend has a—" The words, spoken low and quiet, are abruptly cut off as Vincent makes his fashionably late and flamboyant entrance. Grace's chin lifts slightly, eyes flicking over the three government suits, suddenly a lot more concerned about their presence. "…Any insightful impressions? Nothing intrusive, just her opinions." she finally finishes. "Please." Except there's a lot less request and a lot more command in those quiet words.

Darla shakes the offered hand, gives her first name — and only that — in return: "Darla." Her eyes narrow at the sight of Vincent materializing in the rear, the edges of the pavilion's fabric roof fluttering in a mild rush of air. "Thank you, Mr. Praeger; we do what we can. Might I offer you gentlemen some coffee, or tea — perhaps hot chocolate? — while you tell us what brings you here?" Brennan's timely offer of the Starbucks box is met with a glancing, grateful smile from the aerokinetic.

The Secretary of the DoEA smiles at Darla. "A pleasure to meet you." He turns his attention to the people with her — Brennan and Peyton; holds out his hand to each of them as well. "And you also, Mr., Miss…?" Praeger waits long enough for them to reply, then accepts one of the offered coffees. "Thank you; coffee is fine for me. Actually, I was looking to speak with someone in authority here. I know your Foundation works with the Suresh Center and the Cathedral of St. John; it is my hope that you might allow my Department to contribute to these good works in some capacity."

Lacking in certain social courtesies, Novikov fails to follow Peyton's example with trying not to stare. He stares. He is unrepentant. At least he does not seem like the kind of pet bird that bites; it is not that sort of feral, beady stare. It is a bright-eyed curiosity. (He is probably the kind of bird that chirps all night in blatant defiance of diurnal rhythms.)

"Thank you," he says to Brennan, reaching with gloved hands to take the offered coffee. He glances sidelong toward movement in his peripheral vision, one dark eyebrow twitching upwards at its corner. It is not Vincent's arrival that draws his attention; the poofy, puffy swirl of smoke barely seems to register with him. It is the twist of movement from Kaylee, Harrison, and Doyle as they head away from all kinds of line of sight. He heads over to go make friends. He smiles.

Green eyes go wide and Colette jostles at Vincent Lazzaro's abrupt arrival. Open displays of Evolved abilities aren't typically the norm around here, at least not when suits are stomping around, so that earns a bit of the teen's scrutiny. Grace's request is answered by a curt nod from Colette, and even as the teen begins to break away from the group, she can't help but recognize the look of people who are posturing when she sees it. Swallowing awkwardly, Colette takes a step around one of the tables, picking up a paper cup and clicking it on the table once as she considers the coffee dispensers.

Using the seemingly innocent motion, Colette's attention focuses on Kaylee and Doyle, dark brows furrowed in her observation of the pair and the stranger with them. Her lips press into a thin, dissatisfied line, and all the tension in the air. She slinks up by where Kaylee and Harrison are, eyeing Doyle in his backpedaling. "Hey," she says quietly, resting a hand on the blonde's shoulder and squeezing a little too tightly. Kaylee, Kaylee, Kaylee, Kaylee, Kaylee! The logic stands that if Colette thinks loud and hard enough Kaylee will have no choice but to hear her. The truth is a little less convenient than that, but it's still an obnoxious static at the back of the telepath's mind.

"What'd you think of them?" Colette asks quietly, offering a nod towards Praeger and the others. "Grace was, you know, curious what you thought about them." She needs to learn a little bit about sublety in her double-speak.

"I'm pouring chocolate!" Peyton snaps at Brennan, but then she notices how everyone seems to be ducking away from the men in suits, apparently trying to keep their identities hidden. Hers? Hers has long been compromised via paparazzi pictures and tabloid magazines, cellphone videos, and the Humanis First! kidnap video that was on every news channel in the country. She bites her lip and steps forward on her crutches. She's not in charge and she's not a leader, but perhaps she can pretend to be.

"Hi, Mr. Praeger. My name is Peyton Whitney. If you wish to contribute in any way, I'd be happy to give you my contact information," she offers with a bright smile, the kind she used to give at movie premieres and club openings; the kind she didn't think she'd need again in this new life of hers.

"I'm fine, thank you," dispensed with half a smile in the face of offered coffee and various other warm beverages, Vincent remains largely quiet otherwise. His dark eyes flicker with an impassive kind of laid back scrutiny from face to face, approaching and receding alike.

Stares on the return are met with a personable tip of one brow. He's Evolved. He may even be somewhat pointedly Evolved. And when Novikov steps away to pursue several sets of turned shoulders, he nods reassuringly to those who remain in close company around Praeger. He doesn't lift a gloved hand in a makeshift hullo until other introductions have died down somewhat and he has room to introduce himself as, "Vincent Lazzaro," to Darla and Brennan.

"Dr. Harve Brennan. It is a very wonderful thing they're doing down here. Something you don't really see this day and age. Neighbors and citizens helping out side by side." He offers once his hands are clear, shaking the offered hands. "I can't wait to see this whole thing when it's finally finished." He offers a businesslike smile to Vincent.

"You leave now.. they might be suspicious." Kaylee glances past him to the men in suits again, that's when she spot Novikov coming her way. Got company coming our way. Kaylee warns her puppeteering friend before she flashes the stranger a bright smile. At least it'll be a moment or two for him to get to them. Harrison is given a reassuring smile, "You are fine. People come by often.. I just didn't want to be stuck playing hostess again.. Though looks like it's gonna happen anyhow."

The mental static and the hand on her shoulder pulls her attention to Colette. Brows lift high on her head and she gives a little nod. She leans her head down close to the teen's ear "First thought.. Cats and Canaries.." She murmurs, Colette getting a brief image of a Cheshire like cat licking it's chops as it look at a yellow canary. But then she's turning her attention back to flash Novikov a bright smile. "Hello, sir. Welcome to Summer Meadows. Anything I can help you with today?" She lifts her shovel, with a lopsided smile. "Coming to volunteer, maybe?" She gives him a hopeful look, brows lifting. "Can always use more."

What Novikov won't feel is Kaylee's mental ear tuning into what he's thinking right at that moment.

As he nods slowly, Harrison closes his eyes and yells in his mind, If something is gonna happen…tell me. I can at least protect you. He opens his eyes and looks over at Doyle and nods his head, "Yo." He takes a deep breath and looks over at Novikov and cocks his head to the side. He gives him a soft smile but refrains from saying anything. Harrison slowly moves to stand beside Kaylee.

Company? Doyle stiffens a bit at that news, though he doesn't turn to make it evident that he's doing so. He moves nice and slow as he steps along over to one of the other shovels, bending down slowly to lift it up and heft it in his hands, humming off-tune through the scarf as he steps over to go shoveling in the snow. "Harvey got devoured by the undead," he sings along with himself, "Walkin' round in some forgotten tomb… you may think there's no such thing as zombies…"

Grace glances to Peyton as she snaps at Brennan, a hint of subtle smile curving her lips. She exchanges a weighted, meaningful look with Darla at Praeger's words, then nods to the aerokinetic. "How about we give you a tour, Mr. Praeger? And then everyone else can go back to work— " Pointed glance around the pavilion, albeit more for show than substance. "— while we discuss this offer in more detail."

Darla nods to Grace, steps back around the table and gladly relinquishes the reins of the conversation to her. She sets a hand on Peyton's shoulder, squeezing gently and casting a glance at Brennan. "More volunteers are certainly welcome. Although I admit I'm curious — your arrival. How did— ?" Deliberately, she lets the question trail off so that Vincent can fill in the blank himself.

Praeger turns to Grace as she steps into the conversation, inclining his head. "Certainly, Miss…" A beat of silence, followed by apparent recognition. "Matheson, isn't it? You were at the Suresh Center, if I remember right. It would be my pleasure." He looks to Vincent, nodding towards the knot of people nearby; mingle for a bit, if you would. Then the Secretary walks out from under the pavilion alongside Grace, the beginning of the tour discernable at first but gradually fading into the city's background noise.

Fixed smile relaxing momentarily into a grin as Kaylee smiles back, Novikov ambles on over with coffee steaming before him. He slurps at it, cautious of a scald. Fuck, that's hot. Aren't you glad you're eavesdropping, Kaylee, with such a scintillating discovery to be made?

The rest of his thoughts scatter into a focused, but wide-ranging cataloguing of details. There's a hungry curiosity to the hum of his thoughts, but it lacks any malicious undertone. The primary drive is knowledge, data from which he might draw patterns. His eyes roam from one person to the next and then back again. Harrison's smile returned in kind, and Doyle's casual shoveling receives a moment's brief pause. He watches, and though something snags in the course of his thoughts, it does not quite catch and unravel into anything clear. Novikov's attention moves back, turning to Colette. "Good morning," he greets the small group. "Had your fill of snow?"

See? Suits can make small talk, too.

There's a flat laugh from Colette at Novikov's attempt at conversation, followed by an awkward smile. "Y— yeah, fill, s'cute. Hey you know we got a few extra shovels," Her brows furrow, nose scrunches up as she nods towards a truck parked nearby, "you're more than welcome to get your hands in there. Might be a good, uh, photo-op or something?" There's an obvious current of sarcasm in Colette's words and with that delivery she's casting a side-long look towards Kaylee, teeth worrying at her lower lip for a moment. Check them all out, Grace wants to know why they're here. Of course, Colette doesn't speak nearly as restrained on the intrusion as Grace had.

"I gotta get back to, ah, you know…" there's a see-saw waggle of her hand over towards the snow pile, but her eyes are focusing on Vincent the way someone might warily watch an unfamiliar dog in their periphery. "You know, menial labor?"

Offering a curt nod to Kaylee, Colette takes a step back and walks past Doyle, then pauses and turns around. "Hey, uh, Eriiii— Jason. You wanna help me shovel out my dirtbike? Over there?" She nods towards a snowbank on the other side of the lot from where Praeger and his suits are. "I'd, you know, 'preciate the help."

Taking a cautious step back, Colette walks in a cautious swagger away from the pavillion, shoulders still hunched and mouth tucked down behind the red fabric of her scarf, turning around to walk backwards and keep an eye on Doyle, both brows raised, waiting to see how he reacts.

So much for that. Peyton turns her eyes from Praeger as he gets led off on a tour to the newcomer, eyes narrowing a bit before turning to Brennan. "You look like you have things under control. I might start the long jaunt back to my apartment," she says. "Gotta get a cab or something first, I guess." She makes a face at that. It's easy to get dropped off in places like this — less easy to find a cab without calling one. She pulls her pink and glittery cell phone to start that process.

"…My evolved ability entails a near-instantaneous transition in and out of tangible existence."

Vincent explains as he would about a newly installed elevator or a specialized type of tinted glass door that he suspects the details of would bore or overwhelm, scant on unnecessary details. His right hand grasps firmly around Brennan's as he looks between them, and somehow he manages to shake, talk, catch Praeger's eye and nod near imperceptibly at the same time without outwardly conveying more attention to the Secretary than the people they're here to meet.

He seems to be warming up to them a little, at least. He's smiling more naturally, and by the time Colette has broken from the herd and summoned Erijason to her beck and call, the hard line of his shoulders has trended into an easier slope despite the forever rigid set of his spine.

For all that he doesn't look at either of them, with all the curt brush of one more tabbed file sliding into a manilla cabinet full of many, he makes a mental note to ask if Novikov got a name. "Nice phone."

"Get going, you. I can stick around. The girls want to get some time in with the other kids here first." Brennan offers to Peyton while listening in on Vincent's explanation of his ability. "Interesting. Must come in handy at times." Picking up a coffee for himself and looking to the group as others gather and he switches his attention to them.

Whether it's the thoughts or the question, Kaylee looks highly amused at something about the man in the suit. She almost looks like she's trying to figure him out just about as much as he's studying them. "Yes and no." The telepath offers brightly. "It has its moments where I wish it would just melt away, other times it's pretty fun."

Of course…. she's practically left with no back up as her closest friends desert her. Seriously? When did it become part of her resume to deal with these kinds. A part of her starts to sigh, but stops herself.

"So if it's not to get your hands dirty, what brings you and yours out to our little project?" Kaylee's head tilts a bit, giving him a smirk as she rests the end of her shovel in the snow and leans on the handle of it. "I mean… Evolved Affairs?" She gives him a pointed look. "Your types couldn't have come out without some sorta reason. Normally it's the photo op." She waves a hand in front of her as if giving a newspaper title. "Evolved Affairs gives Charitable nod to Summer Meadow's Project." She gives him a sly smile and pushes the shovel his way as she tries again, "Come on… you seem the helpful type."

As he stands with Kaylee, Harrison watches the scene unfold before him. He has never been a part of something like this yet he gives Vincent a look from far of curiousity before moving his attention before the suit in front of him. He shifts his body weight from left to right when he looks down at the snow for a moment. He looks back up slowly and whispers, "I don't think he wants to get his suit dirty."

The near-slip of Eric's name causes him to wince a little, although it is mercifully mostly hidden in the tangle of scarf and coat. The shovelful of snow's tossed on the pile, and he turns towards the call from Colette, bringing one gloved hand up in a cheery sort of wave in the young woman's direction.

Carefully not looking in the direction of the suits — especially the one talking to Kaylee — he swings the shovel up to his shoulder, shuffling off towards the girl and the dirt bike. Heavens to Murgatroyd — Exit, Stage Left! thinks the Snagglepuss in his head.

Darla looks rather amused at Vincent's technical explanation. "In other words, you turn into smoke. Nice trick." Especially since it's one she can probably deal with pretty easily if it comes to that. That makes the dark-skinned woman relax a little. She picks up an empty mug and fills it with hot water, dropping a teabag into the liquid; then Darla gestures at Brennan and Vincent. "Let's go join them over there and all be sociable, hm?" Then the suits are decidedly outnumbered!

Lifting his hands, Novikov unwraps them so that his cup remains pinned between his palms and he can wiggle his fingers at Colette. "You mean with these hands? Shovel? Me?" He matches her sarcasm in kind, variation bright and a little wry. His words answer both her and Kaylee, indiscriminately aimed. "I'm not really a photo-ops kind of guy, but I do know how to handle a shovel." You know. Once he finishes his coffee. It would be rude to just drop it.

Blowing across the surface, Novikov watches as Colette turns away to return to her drudgery. Her glance at Vincent, her arched eyebrows at Doyle: fascinating! He looks back to catch Kaylee's humor, and blue eyes narrow as he seeks the source with an inquisitive glance. "I just came out here to see what's happening," he says, no hint of falsehood in voice, manner, or mind. To Harrison, he complains with a sharpish sarcasm, "Dry cleaning bills, you know." Don't diss the suit, man.

But. BUT! Novikov reaches to take the shovel that Kaylee pushes his way and adds with a light wheedle, "I'll help you shovel if you guys tell me how things are going."

"This is going like shit," Colette splutters out to Doyle once they're out of earshot, "who the hell do these dipshits think they are rolling up in here to try and claim credit or— or— " Irrational frustration laces through Colette as she walks, one hand flailing wildly in the air animatedly. "Grace had me make Kaylee do her mojo thing on them," a finger taps at her temple, and she comes to a stop by one of the snowbanks. "I saw you get all freaked out looking, do you kow these dorks?"

Colette shifts her weight to one foot, hands on her hips, looking up at an angle towards Doyle with brows furrowed. "'Cause these guys didn't come here with reporters like everyone else did. This is totally rubbing me the wrong way, s'like when cop's would go 'round a highschool checking lockers for drugs and stuff." She anxiously keeps moving, rocking back and forth on her heels. "Oh uh…" Colette wags her hand towards what is clearly the handlebars of a dirtbike buried in the snow.

"Think you could dig that out for me while we talk?" Because Colette didn't bring a shovel with her. Conveniently.

Why does everyone make fun of her phone? Peyton's eyes flicker to Vincent as she speaks into the pink device, then pushes the red disconnect button, pushing the phone back in her pocket. She gives a wave and begins to move awkwardly on her crutches toward the other end of the street where the snow is less thick and where the cab dropped her off. "Have a good holiday," she tells Brennan over her shoulder, before focusing on one swing of her crutches and one hop of her good foot on time.

"It has, yes." Then: Ah heh. There's a falter to Vincent's professional version of sociability — a fair enough (if not entirely appreciative) cant tilting into his brows at Darla's assessment at a gradual delay. He turns into smoke.

He's tipped off balance enough to still be slow on the uptake when she gestures to the others, but eventually nods once, unease forced out of his brows in a hooded furrow when he gestures for Brennan and otherws nearby to join them. If they so desire~.

"He'd probably be better off serving soup lest he hurt himself," is remarked loudly of Novikov and his recently acquired shovel to the others as they approach. "If you have any spare aprons, I can almost guarantee he'll be safer with something more ladle-shaped."

"I've had things drycleaned.. It's expensive, but a little dirt adds character." Kaylee offers with a grin and a sharp nod, handing off the shovel. "Well.. I think I can deal with those terms. Not much to really. We've been busy." Taking a moment to turn to Harrison she motions him towards the truck with the shovels. "Can you grab us a pair of shovels?"

"Should come out here on Christmas." She states brightly. "Santa is coming to Summer Meadows." Kaylee now free of the shovel, sticks hands in her jacket pockets. She leans closer, a mischievous glint to her eyes, as if giving him some deep dark secret. "Little project of mine. Over the past several weeks we've been gathering letters from the kids in the area. We recently gave every house in the community trees.. and Christmas.. the kids will be getting a visit from Santa and get their gifts."

Kaylee straightens and grins, eyes roving over the nearby houses, "Beyond that.. thanks to many generous donations we've been making some steady progress on this place. Before long it'll look like it was never a hellhole. You wouldn't believe how many of them had broken heaters." Her smile fades at the edges as she says that.

Harrison nods slowly as he says, "Sure no problem." Harrison begins to walk over towards the truck. He shoves his hands in his pockets and begins to hum, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" while walking over towards the vehicle.

"If we weren't surrounded by feds," Doyle observes bluntly in a low mutter to Colette, the edge of the shovel driven into the snow next to the protruding handles of the dirtbike, "I would make you dig it out with your bare hands, kiddo." He wouldn't, really. Well, he probably wouldn't. She's mostly still a kid in his eyes.

"I don't know who they are," he admits, shoveling out a scoop of snow and tossing it to one side in a scattering of powder and chunks, "I need to get the hell out of here, though, before one of them gets too close a look at me. I'm not going back to prison, and I'm pretty sure that people'd get upset if I— got rid of all those guys."

If Vincent is off-balance by her observation, Darla doesn't mind it in the least. She chuckles softly at his remarks towards Novikov. "It's almost time for lunch," she points out as they step out of the pavilion and join the other group, "so that could be arranged." She offers a smile at Novikov, one which broadens with approval upon being turned towards Kaylee. Well done. It isn't a thought pitched towards the telepath, but proximity may bring the sentiment to her 'ears' anyway. "Speaking of which, I should help set up. You're both welcome to stay, of course — especially if you chip in on the work," Darla concludes with a grin. She waves briefly before moving to join the people who are transferring dishes from a couple of nearby houses to the now-prepared tables.

"Oh, well then." Novikov's manner is light and his voice is bright as he takes his shovel, turns it around, drops it so that the tip bites into the snow. He shoves it with the push of a finger so that the handle swiiings over to Vincent. "You're right." He smiles. "Why don't you shovel, instead?" Cops are better suited for manual labor, you see. I&A > IA.

"Santa?" Novikov is intrigued, his eyes lively as he catches at his lower lip with his teeth and gently bites back a smile. "Have to arrange for much coal?" he asks, mock-lowered in shared conspiracy. As she draws away, his voice lifts again, and his brow draws with a touch of concern at her fading smile. "Sometimes people can be surprisingly generous. Did you get all the heaters fixed?"

It's clear Colette doesn't really believe Doyle's threat, simply by merit of not knowing him well enough, or— even knowing what his ability is. She cracks a smile, hands still on her hips but now more in a clucking-hen pose. "Yeah well, you're shovelin' now so… thanks." Green eyes divert to far across the parking lot and to the pavillion, then back to Doyle. "I dunno, I think takin' off would be totally more screwed up than just sticking around. I mean, it's just a couple guys, but one of them is all…" She makes little explosion motions with her fingers, "poofy!" She means Vincent's ability, not Novikov… presumably.

"Look, let's just wait around for Kaylee to get done, then we can take off together." Colette chews on her lower lip, shifting her weight to one foot. "'Sides, I got something I wanna' talk to you about anyway. It's… ah… about that thing I said I was going to help you with." There's a conspiratorial raise of one of Colette's brows, her smile turning a bit more sly. "About the riot." She still hasn't let that go.

"No shortage of horseshit to shovel when you're around, Princess." Politely unruffled as ever in catching the shovel handle out of its lean with the heel of his hand, Vincent arches a brow, adjusts his grip…and hitches the spade down black into the snow. Chrunch is approximately the noise it makes.

He is mature enough to refrain from dumping the first load on Novikov's shoes.

Instead, he casts a vaguely wary glance back around after wherever Darla vanished to, distraction filling in where a second round of introductions would probably be more prudent. He'll let Alexander have the honors. Meanwhile as he shovels, his thoughts trend towards muted resentment. She said he turns into smoke. But it's so much more amazing than that! And he wasn't sure which, but one of those people back around the coffee smelled like they hadn't showered in a fucking month.

Brennan's showered. Thank you very much. He doesn't read minds though, that's Kaylee's job and instead of moving with the group, Brennan's moseying off to look for his kids.

"Oh no you don't." Kaylee pipes up, with a chuckle, as he pawns off the work. "We have a deal. You'll shovel if I tell you how things are. Not renigging on the deal are you?" She turns in the direction Harrison went and calls out. "Hey.. Harrison! Bring four shovels." Just in case he tries to pawn off the other shovel on someone else. "I believe the contractor working on the heaters is working as fast as he can, the ones not fixed, we made sure they have floor heaters."

With Vincent so close now, she studies him curiously, she can't help but ask him, "How can you be so open about what you do? It's amazing and awesome how you just seemed to show up like that.. all mysterious-like." Kaylee trails off a bit and chuckles. "You make a hell of an entrance." She compliments, sounding impressed.

Harrison turns as he hears Kaylee call out. He nods quickly and grabs four shovels…two in each hand. Harrison walks back over to the group and says to Kaylee, "Listen I just wanted to stop by and say that I would like to help with delivering presents on Christmas day. I thought it would be cool to sing and play my guitar while we went from door to door. I have a photo shoot in two hours and I need to head back. Will that be ok?" As he holds out both hands with two shovels in each hand he waits for those who need them to take them from him.

The handlebars of the dirt bike begin to become exposed with every awkward shovelful of snow taken off them, and before too long, Doyle's sweating even in this chill — given all the bundling up he's done, it's even worse than it would be. Hey, he's not exactly in the best of shape, over here!

Clang! The spade's tip hits the edge of metal as he goes off-aim at the last conspiratorial comment, and he turns his head to frown a bit in Colette's direction. Not that she can see it, but it shows around the eyes. "I told you to just let that go, seriously, just drop it, okay?"

"That's snow," Novikov murmurs, correction mild and soft as he watches Vincent. There is a faint, furrowed concern to the wrinkle of his brow. He does know the difference, doesn't he?

Sidestepping clear of any failure of maturity, he limits himself to one small sigh as Kaylee turns on him. His lips are curved upwards, however, and the cast of his mood is even, belying sound. "I would never go back on a deal made," he says. "He gets to hear your story as well, so it is only fair that he shovels." See? Totally logical. He even reaches to take one (ONE, never mind the others) shovel from Harrison, thanks murmured off-hand.

Moment of truth: shovel in hand and no better way to stall, he faces the snow … and digs into it. Whatever species of bird he is, it is one capable of digging in the snow. He turns the blade, clearing the walkway to pile snow to the side. He shovels like a Chicago boy: practiced.

Waving her hand back and forth, Colette dismisses Doyle's urgent plea as quickly as he rebuked her offer. "Look, I might have an in. If I can get you the security camera footage from the church, do you think you could point out anything that seems outta' place? You were there, and you know you didn't do it. So… if I can get the video, me'n you can go over the footage and we can figure out who actually caused everything. Then we can clear your name with Doc." Colette offers a lopsided smile, leaning to one side to peer past Doyle to Kaylee, then settles back on both feet again.

"I'm doin' this because I wanna help you, and also because m'gonna need your help once we figure out where Joseph is. I know people don't… really do much without— " Colette waggles one hand in the air, "without getting something in return? So… think of it like that, if you don't like the idea of me doing it just because I think you deserve to not be hated for something you didn't do, y'know?"

Pursing her lips, Colette leans around Doyle again to look at Kaylee, "Man she's taking a while…" the teen mumbles, teeth soon toying at her lower lip when she settles back on both feet again.

A heavy sigh sinks Doyle's shoulders, and he shuffles the spade's blade to kick off more snow from it before sinking the shovel back beside the buried dirt bike, pulling more away from the wheel. "I guess," he admits reluctantly, "I mean, Kaylee's better at that— computer stuff, you know? And I don't think the doc wants to know if I'm guilty or not."

A look back to her, then, and he snorts, thrusting the shovel into the snow and stepping over to grab hold of the handlebars and try to wrestle the bike up a bit, "Alright, alright."

Vincent looks his age and his career, put together, scarred and brusquely severe in all the right ways under a surface veneer of carefully knotted tie and attentive diplomacy. Save perhaps in his dealings with Novikov, who he looks at as if inquiring whether or not he'd like to try to pick his white, white teeth out've the white, white snow. Chrunch. The shovel digs in again.

"I'm registered. I'm proud of the advantage it allows me in my work. I know my rights, and how to defend myself against people who are less than impressed with them." Snow is flung off to the side in a neat arc, freeing up his attention long enough to squint Kaylee's way before he digs in again. "Are you of the mind that it's better to keep what you are out of the public eye?"

This is a conversation he's had before, and the process of playing one manipulative little violin string at a time is nearly instinct, now. He hardly has to think about what he's doing at all, and even has attention to spare to ask of Harrison, "You got a card or something, kid? My daughter has a birthday coming up."

"Thanks." She offers a bright smile to Harrison as she takes remaining shovels two are dropped to the side, sinking into the snow the other is wielded ready to work. "Thank for coming by.. and yeah.. That sounds great. Come by help hand out the gifts and sing." A hand gives his shoulder a soft pat. "Totally appreciate your help with anything there. It's been a hell of a production."

"Good point." Kaylee murmurs brows lifting a bit, giving Novikov an appraising look at his comments, mouth tugging into a smirk. "I like how you think." The sly comment given as a compliment, before she moves to shove the shovel into the snow.

She gives a shovelful of snow a flick as Kaylee thinks about what Vincent says. "I think it depends on the person really. You.. man, yours… I guess you can easily be open and not have to worry about Humanis First type people kicking your ass. You just go.. Poof and are gone." She gives him a bright grin, she obviously thinks that's pretty cool. "But I dunno.. I think most wouldn't be so lucky." Her shoulders shrug a bit and digs into the snow. "Just saying. Don't see many people being so open about it. Well.. except that one cop with the helicopter and stuff."

As he looks over at Vincent, Harrison stutters, "ummm…dude I am just a college kid learning my talent. Yet tha…anks." He jumps when Kaylee touches him and smiles, "Cool. Thanks…see you then." He looks around and tips an invisible hat. "Nice to have met…well you guys." Harrison turns and begins to walk down the street.

Wide-eyed and bright-mannered, Novikov seems oblivious to the malicious overtones in Vincent's gaze. He smiles at him. Surely that is not the smile of an asshole.

Tipping a wink at Kaylee, he digs into another pile of snow, getting under it to lift and turn it off to the side. He grunts, pushing along. He glances after Harrison a moment and looks to Vincent with eyebrow arched before his attention returns to Kaylee. "Get much trouble around here?" he asks between bouts with the snow, off-hand.

"Trust me it won't be any trouble," Colette says witha crooked smile to Doyle. "Kaylee might actually be able to help me, but…" there's a crook of her head to the side. "I've got this all figured out. So, trust me, when I told you I'm gonna get this done, I will." Noticing Doyle sweating up a storm, Colette grimaces and takes a step closer, reaching out to take his shovel by the haft, offering a more earnest smile to him. "Hey thanks for… I'll handle the rest."

Breathing in a slow breath, Colette holds in in for a moment, then exhales a puff of steam through the dark red fabric ofher scarf. "Go get yourself some coffee, act natural, see how Kaylee's doing and maybe try and pry her away from the suits." Green eyes angle back up to Doyle. "Trust me, leaving will just make 'em more suspicious, I'm becomin' an expert at dodgin' cops." Having a father who is one pads that tally just a bit.

"I shouldn't've let her talk me into this," Doyle grumbles a bit, glancing over towards Kaylee, and then surrenders the shovel to Colette. A nod of his bundled head, a bit of a grunt at the last, and then he turns to sidle oh-so-casually back along over towards the pavilion. Do de do. Just getting some coffee!

"Unfortunately," says Vincent, "it isn't always that cut and dried."

The hand he had lifted to wave a lazy farewell to Harrison turns in to gesture to the scar sliced in across his temple and over his ear. No comment is his opinion on Magnes and his helicopter escapades, just as it is most of the NYPD's. The clench of his jaw tightens just a little. He does not smile back at Novikov.

"If Alex were that much of a thinker he wouldn't be out here shoveling snow with us. No offense." Except there is offense, because it's a dickish thing to say. Probably won't be the last time he brushes his own dickishness off with a smile, either.

They all have a hell of a lot of manual labor left to do, and conveniently for his delicate hands, Praeger is nowhere to be seen.

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