Seeing In Every Color


colette3_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif simon_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Seeing in Every Color
Synopsis One person sees a rainbow where others see mist in the air, all it boils down to is a matter of perspective.
Date May 5, 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.

It's hard to imagine how someone like Kameron does it, manages to live her life without the luxury — without the necessity of sight. Even with her eyes closed, though, Colette can't truly feel the suffocating lonliness of a sightless world. Wandering around the ground floor of the Lighthouse in the dark, however, is the best simulation of blindness she can get. With all of the shades drawn, with her eyes scrunched shut and every source of ambient light — like the flashing 12:00 on the VCR — covered, she finally isn't able to see the Matisse-like swirl of colors that has become her world.

Hours ago Brian put all of the children in the Lighthouse to bed, shortly after that Judah left for Manhattan, and just ten minutes ago Tamara finally fell asleep. So, in some ways, Colette isn't entirely unjustified in her belief that the Lighthouse is empty. She's never been downstairs this late after dark, never realized that she isn't ever really alone on the ground floor. Never realized that the wiry old man she's seen skulking about the place and talking to Brian actually lives downstairs.

Nor did she ask his permission before turning off all of the interior and exterior lights while she stumbles around in the dark playing Helen Keller.

It's just one of those things she'll have to learn not to do in the future.

One source of ambient light is more iron-willed than others. Also, harder to cover with a sheet. Deckard's re-entry at the front door is virtually silent in the wake of a few sobering rounds made around the Lighthouse parameter. Brow stitched, leather jacket scuffed and saturated with the stink of cheap whiskey, to the uninitiated he probably looks more like some kind of homeless child molesting invader than a security guard on Brian's payroll. A breeze off the beach sifts in through the open door after him, further scruffing his hair and tugging at a copy of yesterday's paper spread open over a table in the kitchen until he turns the lock after himself. He's had enough practice that the process is soundless.

Meanwhile: it's awful dark in here, isnt' it? Pale eyes flicked quickly over the pitch banked thick in the entry, they're quick to take on their own chilly light, twin rings of bioluminescent blue fading gently in against a backdrop of nothing. This time when he studies the Lighthouse interior, Colette's vaguely familiar skeleton is a neat arrangement of whites and blues feeling its way around downstairs by itself. Brian's kids are weird. Then again, they're all mutants, so. He keeps quiet, long face free of judgment past a mild squint while he tries to figure out what the fuck she's doing.

It's certainly not the sound Colette hears, courtesy of the muffled din from headphones plugged into her ears that drown out much of the ambient noise of the surf outside and the creak of the building's old structural components. It's the sight of color amid the pitch blackness of the ground floor, two blurry rings of bright blue surrounded by what ammounts to something of a desert mirage in distorting waves due to the radiation Flint's stare emits.

The sound of immediate reaction is something between a strangled yelp and a hiss that a cat might make as Colette's jerky skeleton staggers back, hops to one side and trips right over one of the kitchen chairs. She ends up inverting ass-over-elbows down onto the floor with a loud thud, the chair scuttling away from where her legs brush up against it. Two hands move immediately to the back of her head, eyes wrenched shut as she groans out a line of curses more befitting of Deckard than a teenage girl.

Somewhere in her impromptu acrobatics, her earbuds went flying and her mp3 player was tossed to the side, the touch surface on the front now glowing white in the dark from the jostling. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," she repeats like some sort of backhanded mantra. The floor really does know how to say hello to the back of her head.

Aaaah. Shit. Deckard is in the kitchen almost before she's started cursing, a surge of something like guilty panic stuttering the brick of his heart into a racking stumble against his ribs that may or may not be spurred on somewhat irrationally by the booze thinning out his blood. He and his eyes are suddenly very much there, directly over her then at a crouch, reaching to steady her or help her up or see if she's okay — some erratic jumble of one or more of these things. Muscle and tendon isn't communicating well enough with his brain to have made any kind of timely decision on that account.

"Hey — it's me. It's just me. Shhh." Don't wake Brian up. Please, please don't wake Brian up. Whiskey is heavier on his hoarsely-whispered breath than it is on his coat. If he's not actually drunk, he's on the edge of being there. One hand reaches more delicately after her head, only to withdraw before it gets there. Christ, how old is she? He shouldn't be touching her at all.

"Are you okay? Your head — " She's holding it. His brows knit. He's broken one of the kids. Aaaahhh.

For a few paces, Colette uses her heels to push away from Deckard, until she gets the sound of his voice in her ears, the voice that he's heard before, one that brings back memories of gnashing teeth, blood, and lasers. Not the most pleasant of memories, but in the grand total of terrible experiences it's not too bad. "I— " her words come out shaky, not quite fully thought through, "I— I'm fine." Well, not really because her head is throbbing like a drum, but Deckard's radioactive stare is confident that at least nothing is broken. Well, nothing but her pride.

A few panting and feverish breaths later, and Colette draws herself into a sitting position. Her lips press together, the bone of her jaw working from side to side in Deckard's vision, a skeletal hand moving up to wipe at her mouth before shaky legs take her up to a wavering upright position. "You— You're uh— I'm sorry I— " one skeletal hand waves over towards the sofa.

"The— the lamp is— " Of course he probably can't see in the dark, who could? "I'll get it," she murmurs, ducking her head with one hand still cradling the back of her skull.

"It's fine. I should have knocked or — I dunno. I didn't think you'd notice." Now that she's calm, he feels distractedly over his own already bruised and now heel-jabbed ribs, right hand still braced hazily at her shoulder. It's as much to keep him from falling over out of his crouch as anything else, and at her offer to get the light, he shakes his head, which. Is a fairly futile gesture, all things considered. The push of his hand down at her shoulder when he stands is easier to interpret. He'll get it.

And he does. No muss, no fuss, straight over past the couch for the lamp. Click. He breathes out evenly for the first time since she fell, some part of him acknowledging the comfort of the lamp's warm flicker despite the fact that he doesn't register it.

The play of lamplight over his wiry frame isn't exactly flattering. He's disheveled, unshaven, inebriated. The hard lines and angles around his face have made no gains for the softening effect of alcohol, any familiarity that might exist there still obscured by radiation's heated waver.

He should probably ask what she was doing. Or maybe if she's okay again. Instead he scrubs a hand up over the bristle at his jaw and paces meanderingly, awkwardly back into the kitchen.

When the lights flick on, Colette doesn't squint her eyes in the slightest. It's when Deckard begins making his way to the kitchen that he can see why, both of them are a milky white coloration, clouded over from corneal scarring that looks like the world's worst case of cataracts. Her dark brows lower below her bangs, furrowed together as one hand goes to her hip, the other rubs the back of her head where it had impacted the floor. "You're— I remember you." Her voice is hesitant, but even sightless, her eyes seem to be following Deckard's movement across the room.

"You— you were here when," Colette looks down, one of her feet covered in a mismatched sock pokes around on the floor to find where her mp3 player went after she'd fallen over. "You— you were here like— when they guy broke in…" Trailing off some, Colette feels the iPod beneath the kitchen table, hooking a socked toe around the headphone cable as she drags it across the floor with a soft scraping sound. "I— Sorry I freaked out."

"I live in the basement." Like some kind of sewer alligator or other imaginary beast. If Deckard is bothered by the idea that there are people here who haven't actually taken note of how much time he spends loitering in the kitchen eating all the fruit loops, it doesn't show in his face and his shoulders are already slumped into their default state of defeated distraction. "Don't worry about it."

His breathing has finally slowed back into something like a normal rhythm in time for him to drop himself back down into a crouch, and onto his ass from there. There are numerous kitchen chairs avaible, just. He's been drinking and she's already on the floor, so. It seems like the place to be.

From Colette to the iPod back to Colette again, his eyes don't seem to detect anything unusual enough to be worth commenting on. The absence of color in her eyes melds seamlessly with the absence of color inherent in every aspect of his world when he has the x-ray vision turned on.

It's pretty late, and Simon is heading into the Lighthouse when most of the kids are probably sound asleep. That's why he tries to be quiet as he opens the door, which squeaks only slightly at the hinges. Walking in and bringing with him a sliver of moonlight, Simon pads across the floor for a few steps on the tips of his toes. Then he turns and closes the door behind him. It clicks shut and cloaks the entryway in darkness. Somewhere nearby, though, light shines and voices are heard.

Simon decides to investigate, so he makes his way towards the kitchen. "Hello?" he whispers, turning the corner to head into the land of missing Fruit Loops. What he sees there causes his brow to wrinkle up in confusion. "Um, why are you guys on the floor?"

Snatching her iPod, Colette looks over to the door when it opens, far more noisily than Deckard's attempt despite Simon's best attempt to be quiet — there's just something about the practice of a man used to breaking and entering. "Who the fuck are you?" Colette first spits out, sliding the mp3 player into the pocket of her jeans. Realizing that she is mostly still on the floor, even if she is kneeling, the grl pushes herself up to her feet, pushing her tongue against the inside of her cheek as her eyes narrow. "Uh— sorry I— " milky-white and blind eyes wander up and down the smear of colors that she interprets Simon's form as. "That was kind've bitchy."

Rolling one shoulder, Colette looks over to Deckard for a moment, one dark brow reaching up behind the ragged fringe of her bangs, then back to Simon again. "I fell, it happens." Her nose winkles, fingers on one hand absently picking at some of the dried paint spattered all over her jeans. "You— uh, looking for Brian? He's like, asleep." Because obviously Simon wouldn't be here for Deckard, obviously.

Wow. That was kind of bitchy. Brows lifted over a sideways look that might read as murky appreciation for any kind of Simon abuse, Deckard is slow to look back towards Scooter, and slower still to push himself back up onto his feet. If she's standing, she must not have a concussion or anything else too terrible. Right? Right.

Why does he still look hangdog then? Head dipped, glare brooding beneath the hooded level of his brows. He's been in some kind of scrap recently. Bruising is blotched purple around the side of his face and across his throat. Cuts at his lip and across his nose are healing. A more severe split at his temple is stitched shut for the time being. He spends less time intact than he does recovering, these days.

"His name is Simon." The 'he's a dickhole,' is silent but heavily implied in the way his voice grates over the introduction. He declines to elaborate on Colette's version of what happened.

Simon glances from Colette to Deckard with mild suspicion. "What the hell happened to you?" he asks Deckard, eyeing the cuts and bruises across the man's face. If the old man cared to look, he'll notice that Simon has some facial scars as well, though they are fading and not likely to be permanent. Without waiting for a response, though, because he's only pretending to care, Simon turns back to Colette.

"Sure, it was a little bitchy, but I'm sorry to have scared you or whatever." He shrugs, slips into the kitchen, and lets the door shut behind him. "I, um, actually live here, sort of. Just coming home late." He vaguely remembers the girl from his first encounter with the Staten Island Monster. Never caught her name, though.

From the gap ajar of the kitchen window, there's ann audible cough of engine, a growl of tires slithering to a halt in the sand. Headlights splash out a thin shade of yellow, diluted by distance until they cut out entirely with the retraction of a key. A motorcycle, from the sound of it.

Or, if you're Deckard and happen to have your radioactive retinas switched on, from the looks of it too, two wheels, handlebars, the sweep of metal as recognizable as the skeleton of the young man crawling off it, one long leg and then the other, slouching into a stoop to snag out a spark plug for security's sake.

Teodoro Laudani's never visited the Lighthouse before, so there is some kind of occasion. Nothing to do with the Lighthouse itself. His brain chemistry's off one end of the normal curve tonight. Setting foot on Linderman's pet orphanage all seems like the least extravagantly adventurous thing he could be doing.

Furrowing her brows, Colette tilts her head to one side, "You… do?" She seems to look like there's a hint of recognition, but the painted world she's seeing right now does little to help facial recognition. Though the sound of a motorcycle outside causes Colette's jaw to set again, blind eyes warily tracking towards Deckard as she circles around the kitchen table, just to put a little distance between herself and the door. "Jesus, it's never this busy at night," she mumbles to herself, tongue rolling over the inside of her cheek.

The voices, Deckard's and Simon's finally start to make sense to Colette, finally start to fit into blurry pieces that meet with screams, gnashing teeth and blood all tied to ghosts of the past in this place. "You— " she swallows, tensely, "you were both, like— here when that— that fucking guy showed up, w-weren't you?"

Then, realizing that Deckard had introduced Simon, and that she's been pretty much a coarse asshole to them both, stutters out something of an introduction. "Oh— I— my um— " one hand waves flippantly in the air, her cheeks reddening a bit from embarassment. "Colette." Her introduction fumbles out of her mouth like some sort of monosylabic retard, finally corrected with only the barest resemblance to proper English, "Colette Nichols— I— I'm sort've— visiting?" Yeah, that about sums that up.

"Tripped," says Deckard a tad too concisely, one eye narrowing just a twitch from his rickety post at Colette's shoulder before he throws the question back like a brick. "What happened to you?"

Where they miss out on light and color, his eyes do pick out differences in density and structural integrity. Simon has marks in his. With nowhere to be and nothing to do but walk around and make sure nobody's being assualted, raped or murdered on the Lighthouse grounds, he theoretically has all night to stand here and look irritably, defensively inquiring. Then there's the motorcycle and Teo's skeleton astride it. He straightens his spine, a grind in his hollow jaw scraping molar over molar while he turns his head to watch the bike slide to a stop. Not a good time. "I was here when the freak showed up, yeah. I've been here." And now he's…leaving and taking his whiskey breath with him, dragging back over to the basement door that branches off the kitchen like a dog trying to hide under the bed because it ate somebody's underwear. "It's just Teo."
Simon follows up with a concise response of his own. "Ran into something," he says, eyeing Deckard wearily. He shouldn't be lying, but he just really doesn't feel like talking about his recent monster incident right now. It's late and all he wants is a glass of water.

He makes his way to a cabinet that opens up to reveal an array of glasses, one of which he plucks from its place among the others. "Yeah, I do. I've been in Manhattan the past couple of days, though. I'm not always around," he says to explain why Colette may not recognize him. "It's nice to finally meet you, though. For real, not when we're being attacked," he adds, to let her know he was, indeed, at the scene of the crime that night.

Simon is heading to the fridge to get water when he hears Deckard's last words. "Teo?" he says, rolling the name around in his mouth until he realizes who it belongs to. He whirls, glares, and says, "Teo? Really? What the hell is that creep doing here?" Figures he would be friends with Deckard.

It's very mysterious, really. That creep bears no visible explanations as he walks his bones along the sandy terrain and mounts the stairs, turning his hollow-eyed skull this way and that, checking for— something that wouldn't be very dangerous if he could see it anyway. The front door creaks open under a pull of his fingers and then he tumbles into the base room.

Coincidentally, because Colette is sit-down drunk or whatever and Deckard has retreated like a wuss, the first and only person he can see is Simon. That's awkward, from the look on the Sicilian's face, which goes very still for a moment, stiff as wrought iron geometry. If he had been hoping for some sort of edifying and life-affirming experience here among his first visit to Professor F's dilapidated mansion, said hopes are effectively dashed upon this find. He can't clearly remember the last time they met.

Either with the terrorist stalking or intercepting grave-robbers. Teo can't remember very clearly. Diplomatically, he offers, "Who fucked up your face?"

"Wait, Te— " Is about as far as Colette gets before the door opens and the familiar sound of the Sicillian's voice is heard over the conversation in the room. Foregoing anything Deckard or Simon said, the blind young girl bounds up to her feet, rushing past the kitchen table towards the front door, "Teo! You're alive!" As if he would be anything but. "Oh my god! I was so worried— I went by Filatov's after we dropped you off— and— and they said you were gone, and I— I couldn't find Eileen anywhere, and Tavisha didn't know and— and— " There's a broad, gleaming smile on Colette's face, which might be a little oddly juxtaposed with a fact that Teo may not have been ready for.

The very obvious, and glaringly blind quality to her milky whit eyes.

Yet despite all of this, Colette seems to have no problems navigating the floor of the Lighthouse, maneuvering around both table and Simon to get within arm's reach of the Sicilian, throw her arms around his shoulders and rise up onto her toes, "I thought— I thought you— I— I don't— " finally realizing she's shouting and it's really late and Deckard really stinks of Alcohol — two unrelated but now very pressing facts — Colette grimaces sheepishly and drops down to her heels, fingers curled around Teo's collar, brows scrunched up into an expression that look far too emotional.

"I— uh— It's good to, you know— see you again." Teeth tug awkwardly at her lower lip as her fingers unwind from his collar, and she takes a hesitant step back, mismatched socked feet crossing over one another as she glances back over her shoulder to Simon and Deckard.

What's Teo doing here? And why does Simon think he's a creep? Good questions! Ones that Deckard isn't interested enough in hearing the answers to. The question of what happened to Simon's face is enough to make him glance over his shoulder just in case it was directed at him. Upon confirming otherwise, he fumblejangles his keys out of his jacket pocket, clicks open the lock on the basement door and sidesteps his way in. His shoulder catches on the frame with a muffled thump. Distance misjudged.

By the time Colette gets around to glancing back his way, it's only to call attention to his imminent vanishing act. A smudge of brown leather and grey scruff later, he's out of sight. The door closes quietly behind him.

For several minutes he stands there just on the other side, peering flatly through solid wood like anyone else might watch through a window. Their voices are muffled but still faintly audible.
Simon hasn't seen Teo in ages, and when he did it was mostly because the Sicilian had taken to stalking him and his sister. Though the act was totally creepy, Simon has actually kind of missed the guy over time. Except it didn't take long to forget about that. Now, Simon is just confused as to why he's here. His mouth opens to repeat the answer he gave Deckard about his facial situation, but Colette interrupts him by running up to hug Teo. Well, Mallory always said he probably hung around the High School to get close to young girls.

The young kid frowns and turns back to the fridge, leaving the two to have some time alone, while he fills his glass with that water he wanted. Deckard is not forgotten, though when Simon looks up the sneaky old man is gone. He tends to do that, and Simon wonders if he's the reason. If so, oh well.

Glass filled, Simon brings it to his lips and sips some. "Hey guys, have a good night, ok?" His hand lifts in a wave as he attempts to sidestep Teo and Colette to head for the stairs.

Aaaahug. The sort of hug that would make even the most disconsolate baby terrorist wonder that, maybe, things are going to be okay. Which is always the sort of hug that Teodoro has no idea what to do with, particularly when it's aimed out of a pair of astoundingly blind eyes; he winds up windmilling slightly, tilting in the circle of the girl's grasp, some word of astonishment hyphenating into silence at his lips.

Teo can't see her face without distance, so he winds up peering blankly at Simon, before shuttering an odd squint at the glimpse of Flint's departure. He forgets, if only temporarily, to breathe.

By the time Colette has reappropriated some sense of self-consciousness, he's in an odd, sheepish shuffle himself, flipping a hand up in salutation after the way that Simon is retreating also. Much as the teenager had, he's left wondering whether or not he had been somehow responsible for the sudden exodus, though that's only one concern among many. There's a lot of weird shit going on with kids' faces around here, tonight. "Yeah.

"I'm… ali… ragazza, what happened to you? I— your sister didn't d—" Watching Teodoro's face while his train of thought rear-ends and buckles its way up to the correct station is like watching any other trainwreck in progress, hitchy and heavily implying of rusted parts. It's probably better that Colette can't see it, when the shadows of consternation slash in on his forehead. Backward and backward through time his recollection goes.

It was a long time ago, but he remembers seeing her report card. Conrad-style. "Phhhotokinetic accident?" he guesses, haphazardly. His palm went up onto the feathered top of her head without thinking about it.

There's an impish smile that slips up on Colette's face when Teo seems to stumble around his words at her hug, and she watches with a silent — if not somewhat distant — smile as Simon takes his leave, they're always just coming and going, missing one another. When the young girl looks back to Teo, there's a scrunching of her brows, and she rolls her shoulders forward, hands jammed down into the pockets of her paint-stained jeans. "I uh— it— when they guy attacked the Lighthouse I— " teeth tug on her lower lip, and Colette shifts her weight from her red socked foot to her green socked one. "I overdid it, t— trying to save some of the kids." She smirks, faintly, "But— I did do the laser trick. Tavisha'd be proud…"

Hanging her head a little, Colette brings one hand up to her face, fingers ghosting over her eyebrows. "I— I'm kind've okay though, I mean— I can still kinda see, but like— it's weird. I— I can see even when I close my eyes. It— as long as there's a little light, I can feel where colors are, and make out— um, shapes?"

In the back of her mind, she hopes Conrad would be proud. "Felix and Nicole, they— they both want me to go see a healer, but, I know Conrad would call me a pussy." The giggles a bit at the phrase, cracking a smile, "So— I'm making lemonaid out of lemons, or— whatever the fuck that saying it." Scuffing her heel against the floor, Colette looks down, eyes wandering, before her white stare meets Teo's again with the disconcerting quality of a corpse's eyes. "I'm calling it a learning experience. I— gotta be tough, you know?"

Conrad. Deckard's blue eyes slant into a squint behind the block of the door. A few seconds later, there's the muffled click of the lock turning over and a scuff of boot over concrete stair. Dooowwwn he goes, to sober up or to finish getting drunk.

Yes. No. Y— maybe? Teo takes that under advisement: toughen the fuck up. After all, it would be graceless for him to start cringing away at the spectacle of the blind girl's eyes, given she's the one wearing them and thus venturing the world without the primary human sensory function. It's only disconcerting for a young man who's used to having all of his physicality available for his use.

One of his hands starts back to rub a forefinger over his own eyelid out of some strange sympathy, but he stops halfway through the gesture. The click of the basement door warrants an equally brief glance over, another grim line of thought ruled into his forehead. "Long as you don't forget Abigail's number after you're done with the fucking Shaolin training," he says. "I'm pretty sure Conrad would find the alternative a little too self-destructive. No need to saw down the fucking tree."

Beat's pause.

"Or I'm pushing the metaphor too far," he allows sheepishly. Teo's fingers go to scrub at the back of his skull instead, scrubbing short hairs into a porcupine bristle. He studies Colette for a moment longer. She looks— healthy? Blindness aside. "Eileen and Tavisha aren't— really around much anymore," he provides, with some difficulty. "Trouble with law enforcement and other shit."

There's a furrowing of Colette's brows, tongue rolling over the inside of her cheek. A few months ago that answer would have been satisfactory, but the life she's been forced into lately has changed things, considerably. "On— Staten Island?" One dark brow disappears behind her bangs as she asks that question, "Trouble with… law enforcement?" She squints, and looks in the direction of the basement door, head tilting to the side for a moment before making her way over the the couch.

Teo's being evasive, and there's no reason for Colette to really call him on it. "Well— if you see Tav? Gabriel? What— whatever he's calling himself?" She smirks slightly, "Just— you know— let him know I miss him?" Someone misses Gabriel Gray, will wonders never cease. "I could— I could sort've use his help figuring out this whole— seeing colors thing."

Folding her arms around her waist, Colette leans forward, drawing her socked feet up beneath her legs. "So— what're you doing out here? I— you don't live here too right? Cause— like— I can totally forgive forgetting a dude lives in the basement, but…" her nose wrinkles, "I know you a little better."

"Ah," Teo says awkwardly. Ah. He meets her steadfast regard with only a little trouble, doesn't know what he's supposed to make of that curiously confident quirk of lips that shapes her expression. "Well. You know that Gabriel Gray's a wanted supervillain across your country, si? General consensus is that one of his victim's sisters and Special Agent Ivanov put him in jail, and uh general consensus is where I'm supposed to leave things at."

While Teodoro Laudani may not be the worst liar ever, he can't have too many rivals in that particular arena.

And he knows it. The Sicilian's features crease briefly into an oddly childish grimace, and he passes a hand up in front of his face to scour some irritation from his skin in blunt, scrabbling strokes, like a dog. "Nah, I don't. I don't— know. I'm supposed to head over to Brooklyn in a few hours. It's just been kind of a fucked up week with people getting hurt, and I realized I'd never actually come up in here before even though I know some people here so I thought I'd check it out before…"

There's no good finish to that sentence, that doesn't sound unfeasibly fatalistic or else leads up to discussing a plan or peril that Teodoro isn't actually aware of yet. He's left blinking oddly in the half-light of the kitchen. "I guess I thought this place would be safe. Before I knew about the whole clusterfuck with you going blind to defend little kids against some asshats."

Colette wrinkles her nose, watching Teo with that strange, unblinking stare as she tilts her head to the side, tracking his awkward motions like some blurry impressionist painting. "Y-you're… joking, right?" Dark brows furrow together, "Tavisha wouldn't hurt— that's not even funny. He's… he's like a kitten. I mean— okay— he's a little strong, but like— he only fights in the ring. He— he's like a professional wrestler, s-sort've." Then, of course, Colette is thinking back to what Felix said to her just the other night, his anxiety and nervousness so present in his voice when she mentioned Gabriel.

There's a hissed breath, and Colette looks down at her hands, shoulders rolling forward. "He— he's… not a bad guy. I— I gave him— " her lips press together, fingers curling into the denim of her pants, head slowly shaking from side to side.

"I— I'm only here for a little while longer. Tamara's really sick, or— she— she was." It then dawns on Colette that Teo shouldn't have any idea who she's talking about. A little color flushes across the girl's cheeks as she looks up, eyes wide, "Er— I mean, she— she's just a friend of mine. Um— er— " the color continues to grow across her face. "I— she's better now, I just— I want to make sure she's up and moving around before I… go…" her brows furrow together, "home?"

That's really a good question. Which home does she go back to?

Not Demsky's, Teodoro had sort of assumed. He heard. He hears things. She'd run here for a reason, and then there was the Nichols family drama with its various and sundry complicated revelations, some of which he imagines he has not been privvy to. For whatever reason, he's always imagined that if Colette needed help from him or any of his people, her little legion of surrogate cop fathers would tell him. Never mind he's sort of on shitty terms with all of those.

Terrorist and all. Y'know.

"He did a lot of really bad shit before. No joke, signorina. I'm sorry. He's bound for prison."

He's also changed, or so goes the rhetoric that Teo gives everyfuckingbody else, but absurdly, it's with one of the only few people who acknowledged Sylar's inchoate redemption that he finds that he can't. It's for Gabriel's good as much as it is for hers. His mouth tenses around a thin line, hesitation eddying his gaze over to study the stack of shadows behind the kitchen of counter. He doesn't want to argue about that. Most of all, not with Colette.

And he's all too happy when the subject changes away from business, although the implications of it make him squint at the new color on Colette's face, trying to derive some hidden meaning from the sanguine additions to her thin cheeks. "I've met Tamara, if you mean the oracle. 'Bout yay tall. This much including the hair," and he raises a hand to the level of the seer's recalcitrant halo, despite that one would think Colette can't see, "blue eyes. Pale.

"Floats around like a bird wearing a bell that don't ring. Are you— you're not— taking her with you?"

Teo's final words are the ones that hit Colette the most. For all her youth she's finally starting to get to see when people really don't tant to talk about something, and it's clear — in some twisted sense of irony — they she and Teo don't agree on the innocence and humanity of one Gabriel Gray. "I— " she laughs, awkwardly, "you can't take smoke with you, once a fire starts to burn?" With those odd words, the white quality of her eyes and the tilt of her head, it's rather obvious Colette's perhaps spent too much time around Tamara.

"She— comes and goes as she wants to. But— I know she loves me, and— and that's all that matters in the end." There's some sort of confidence there, some serenity behind the mask of uncertainty that shows in cracks and chips in her otherwise calm facade. "Tamara's her own person, and nobody— not me, not anyone— can take her anywhere she doesn't want to be." But despite all of her serenity, there is some sadness in her eyes, some unspoken resentment that isn't fair.

Life isn't fair, really. "She'll find her way back to me, she— always does." Biting down on her lower lip, Colette stares down at her lap, fingers picking at some of the dried paint on her jeans. "I um— I'm glad you're alright, Teo. I— I was really scared when we found you. I— " she swallows, awkwardly, "I didn't know."

Not just friends, then. This much is obvious as all of the death and havoc that Eileen Ruskin has ever been willing to fight past or circumvent, the deals that Gillian Childs has broken, the loyalties that Lucrezia betrayed, the ounces of flesh that Christian took away, and all of the subtractions from Sonny's bank balance and health. It's either a minor personality dysfunction or an element of being Sicilian, the fact that Teodoro has only ever been able to measure love in proportion with sacrifice.

The blind girl has a sadness because she loves someone. That makes sense like baby's breath bouquets and singsong gerunds never have. And someday, he's also going to figure out how a troubled seventeen-year-old runaway is wiser on the subject than he is.

Maybe it is because she is a girl? "Thank you for finding me." Teo's gratitude is sudden with remembrance. He stops peering at the irregular splotch of paint on her pant leg, lifts his eyes to study the fringy frame of her lids over her white ones. He squints a moment, unsure what to do with his face, until sincerity pulls his eyes wide and wring them through a blink. "I never got a chance to say. I was told I would've died without you four, and I believe it.

"I hope— everything's going okay with your sister. That was weird as fuck with her amnesia and the politics and shit. But you look like you're doing okay. And Tamara has your back: always a plus."

"Nicole's— " Something. That's a rather difficult topic, judging from her prolonged silence, "she's better— now, er— we've been living together in Manhattan for a while. She— she's back with Daniel Linderman again, er, for her work. So— I sort've feel a lot safer than I used to." There's a hesitant smile that spreads across Colette's lips, and her eyes divert down to the floor for a moment.

"I— you don't need to thank me about— for saving you. I mean— what the fuck kind of person would I have been if I just left you there? Besides, me and Gabriel," she emphasizes the point, "both brought you in. He— he's the one that saved you, really. With his weird black smoke trick." Yes, because all of the good of Kazimir Volken is clearly emphasized in Gabriel Gray. Unfortunately Colette does not realize the truth breadth and width of her comparisons.

"I um— you know Felix?" It's not so much a question as it is disbelief, "He— was here the other day. I mentioned you and— well— he said he knew you. I— it's weird to think you two'd be friends, he's always got such a stick up his ass— " she winces, "but— he— he's a nice guy." Dithering somewhat, Colette's legs unfold and she presses her socked feet to the floor, throwing herself to her feet with a motion of her arms. "I— should probably go upstairs and get some sleep myself." Her hands tug back her bangs slowly, "You— you shouldn't be such a stranger, you know? I— could sort've use some friends…"

'Better now?' Teo looks at the girl quizzically, uncertain of what to make of that. That the woman recovered from her amnesia, or managed to escape from whomever was holding her original identity captive, or—? It's habitual, by now, to pry, but he's self-aware enough to stop before his mouth does more than hang open around a query that never makes it to words.

Not his business. "Yeah," he says, blankly. "I owe signor Gray a lot."

Though, speaking of the other categorical assholes that Teodoro knows, Felix Ivanov certainly belongs in that category. Teo's reaction to the invocation of the Fed's name has all of the subtlety of a sewer leak. Leaning his weight off the counter, he scowls so hard the lines of distaste look just short of branded into his skin. He could say, Yes, Biblically. And it wasn't a stick, but he won't: he's above that, smarter than, embarrassed by, more than slightly ashamed of.

"I'm pretty shitty at keeping friends," he admits, after a moment, regretfully. An answer for two questions in one part. "But I'll try and be around. Dormire dolc— sleep sweet. Give your girl my regards?" Teo slants another brief glance at the basement stairs, wondering what Deckard's gotten himself off to, before he looks again toward the blind girl, one hand half-lifting as if to help her steer up the stairs. That seems like kind of a bad idea. Trying that, by herself.

"I'll tell her, though— she already knows." There's a crooked quality to Colette's smile, the way one might imagine a cat would had it the ability to. Her brows relax, disappearing behind her bangs as she takes the help to get balanced, equilibrium while working in a world inspired by impressionist paintings is a bit precarious.

Pausing, she turns to look up at Teo with that colorless stare, "You know— " her lips press together into a puckered expression in that momentary pause, "I think we both kinda' suck at keeping friends…" though there's something in her expression that doesn't seem too gloomy, despite herself, "Guess that means we're a perfect match." The addendum coles with a waggle of her eyebrows, teasingly, followed by a few uncertain footsteps padding towards the stairs.

"Get some rest, Teo…" She still doesn't quite pronounce his name right, "You… really look like you could use it."

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