colette_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Sister
Synopsis Colette's plans don't often go as she'd hope, and sometimes unexpected things pop up in conversation.
Date October 26, 2008

Cliffside Apartments: Felix's Apartment

It's a pleasant, airy apartment, with pale hardwood floors and high ceilings. The front door leads into a little entryway with a coat closet on the right and the door to the miniscule kitchen on the left. It then opens out into a living room crammed with bookshelves - there's barely enough room for a plain entertainment center and a dark green couch. Beyond that a short hall leads to the bathroom and two bedrooms, the second of which is more an office and spare room, judging by the desk and the weight bench stored there.

Overall, the decor is spartan at best, with little by way of personal touches. The only decoration in the kitchen is an antique icon shelved high in a corner, where the Mother of God smiles benignly at the infant on her lap. A blue glass vigil lamp burns before it. Over the doorway to the back hall is hung an officer's sabre; no mere trophy, it bears the mark of long and constant wear. There are a handful of posters and prints - mostly landscape, though a few are fencing-related.

Not far off from midnight, yet not everyone in this apartment has drifted off to sleep. A reading lamp by the sofa is left on, and curled up on the couch beneath a black and green afghan, a single girl sits otherwise in the dark, a book resting against the backs of her slightly raised legs, mis-matching socked feet poking out from beneath the blanked. She quietly turns one of the pages, the large, hardcover book a little big bigger than the span of her lap given its size and thickness. The girl's brow furrows, looking decidedly puzzled as she reads, only taking her eyes away long enough to lean to one side and reach for the steaming mug on the table, a single thread dangling out of it with a paper tab from a bag of tea still sitting within the cup.

It's a remarkably sedate time of night for Colette, but given how hard she worked at the church today, some respite is well appreciated. Curled up on the sofa, it's losing herself in a book that helps her ignore that faint pang of worry whenever Tamara is gone. She's well aware, from both how well she knows the girl, and how much Judah has said about her safety, that she shouldn't have anything to worry about, but there's just some times when she can't help it. When you care that much about someone, even the possibility of danger is just too much.

And so she reads, intently, it's not often than anything other than the disjointedly put together and confusing "House of Leaves" is what is read at night, but after the last few days, there's been a noticable shift in her appetite for understanding, in her desire to learn and make sense of the world around her. Perhaps it was how well Ygraine seemed to grasp Tamara's personality, perhaps it's how that made Colette feel inside. But, the desire is there, and at the moment, it's all she has to keep her company.

Locks have never posed a barrier to Tamara — not since her power fully manifested, at any rate. The sound of the bolt drawing back, though quiet in absolute terms, seems loud in the apartment's relative silence. The door opens, allowing the object of indirect study to enter the apartment, closing it and restoring the bolt behind her. Only after that little ritual is complete does she turn her attention to Colette, shoving the tawny hair that is a little more unkempt than typical back out of her face. Tamara has exchanged her previous blue shirt for a pine-green one, a tracery of ivory and buff threads drawing a floral pattern on the lower-left of its front; the jeans, however, are the same, and her left shoelace is again working its way untied.

The sound of the door unlocking causes Colette to jump in her seat, turning to peer over her shoulder with a look that says she was expecting Felix to be coming home, not Tamara. The unexpected guest, though, is warmly recieved, "You!" She calls out, no fear of having to wake anyone else up at this hour. Her legs sweep up off of the sofa, throwing aside the afghan as she settles her mug of tea down unceremoniously on the coffee table, sloshing it and spilling some. The book just fells to the floor with a muffled thump — the blanket between it and the hardwood floor.

Colette rushes across the living room, bare feet thumping loudly with each footfall until she's within arm's reach, throwing them around Tamara's shoulders to squeeze her tightly. It's Tamara's expectance of this that prevents Colette from sending the both of them tumbling over, "I didn't think you were coming back, not so soon anyway! I was just thinking of you," Not that she ever truly stops, "Maybe I should do that more often." For a moment in the embrace, Colette's cheek — warm from tea and comfort beneath the blanket, brushes against Tamara's, somewhat more chilled from the cool and gusty wind outside. "I was doing some reading today," There's something of a mischevious tone to her voice, "I got some stuff I wanted t'ask you."

Compensating for Colette's whirlwind enthusiasm, at least when it might pose a hazard, is as automatic as any other correction needed to keep Tamara upright and balanced. She sets her hands on the younger girl's shoulders for balance, and lets them stay there after Colette completes her greeting. "I know," the precog replies with a rather rueful smile. "Shuffle the answers and maybe you found the right card." She offers her friend another, straighter smile, then steps around the girl and makes her way into the kitchen.

There's a bit of an amused laugh at the I know, followed by a wrinkle of Colette's nose. "One of these days," she teases, "I'm gonna surprise you." One finger wags back and forth in the air as Tamara makes her way into the kitchen, "One of these days." She watches the girl for a moment, but seems content enough to let her do what she feels she has in the kitchen. While there's that very overprotective nature, she's come to learn more and more over the short time she's known Tamara, that while the girl seems to have a fog in her mind at times, she's more capable of fending for herself than perhaps anyone else in the world is.

Turning on her heels, the girl lazily makes her way back into the living room, content to keep up the conversation even at distance, "I picked up a book after visiting Judah in the hospital today," It's a subtle reminder — that Judah's still in the hospital — One she feels, given yesterday's revelation, can't hurt to give. "He probably misses you." The book she picked up lays on the floor in front of the sofa, picked up and laid out on the coffee table. The teal and purple cover prominently displaying what looks like a sine-wave with three prongs jutting out from the interior of the curves. "The book's all about people with your stuff, you know, special brain-magic?" She grins, playfully, and the playful tone sticks as she asks a rather sudden question. "Do you read books? Like, you know, for whatever?"

Tamara has a 'fog' in her mind most of the time, but associated with that fog is the capability to obtain everything she wants from the cupboards and drawers without so much as looking at them. She watches Colette instead, so much as she can see her through the kitchen doorway. "He knows the mirror," is the teen's unruffled reply. Tamara emerges from the little kitchen with a box of crackers, a glass of water, and a small towel draped over one forearm. The first two are brought over and set on the table, while she places the towel under Colette's mug to sop up the spilt tea. To the question, Tamara shakes her head, tangled blond hair falling forward again to frame her face. "They're backwards. But they're nice to have. Almost as quiet as rocks."

Colette raises one brow at the assortment of things brought in, mostly the towel. She hadn't even noticed the mess that was made when she set her cup down, so that Tamara noticed it only makes her grimace with mild embarassment. "O-Oh! Ah, s-sorry." The grimace spreads into a smirk, moving the book she had just purchased aside, having set it down in part of the spill. Activating Evolution is clearly printed on the front as she moves it away.

"Backwards?" It causes Colette's brow to lower, furrowing together, and her eyes divert to her messenger bag with a nervous bite to her lower lip. She looks back to the older girl, making space for her on the sofa as she pulls up the blanket, throwing most of it across her legs, then leaving the other half on the space between where she sits and the armrest, in case Tamara wants half. "I… Um, do you mean like, the letters and stuff?" She leans to the side slightly, just using that angle to regard Tamara from a different angle, as if that would help somehow. "I — " One hand quickly brushes her bangs away from her blinded eye, can't have that covered, "I actually picked something up for you, um," She glances over to her bag, then back to Tamara, anxiously.

Tamara doesn't respond to Colette right away — and she doesn't react to the identity of the deluged book at all. First, she settles herself in the other corner of the sofa, tucking her feet under the blanket. Then she looks at the other girl, head tilted to one side, blue eyes blinking once in mildly puzzled consideration. Is that what she means? After a moment, Tamara simply shrugs, smiling faintly. It's a valid enough explanation.

Snagging a handful of crackers from the box, Tamara crunches on a couple of them, leaving the box where Colette can reach it if she's inclined to partake. Her gaze follows the younger girl's glance to the bag, and that smile returns, though it's decidedly crooked this time. "Maybe you should keep it," Tamara says, rather gently.

There's a bit of a sinking of Colette's shoulders, both from the smile and then the words. The comment about keeping the gift makes her look away, down to her lap, fingers curling in the too-loose fabric of her paint-smeared jeans. She bites down on her lower lip, looking back over to Tamara again. "I… I didn't know you couldn't…" She furrows her brow, looking back at the bag, then reaches for her tea with an unsteady hand. Fingers wrap around the cup, and she slouches back against the sofa, looking just a touch hurt.

With a momentary silence, she peers at her own reflection in the tea, muted as it is behind the dark brew, then looks back up to Tamara. "You… you already know what it is, don't you?" It's rhetoric, clear enough in the way she doesn't leave time for a response, "Um, I… D-do you, draw or… I mean, it… it doesn't have lines or anything, the… um, the pages." She fumbles her fingers around her teacup, then shakes her head and makes a rough sound in the back of her throat, sitting forward with her forearms resting on her knees. "N-nevermind, it was a silly idea." Focus now falls to the book on the table, thoughtfully.

Tamara's free hand is set gently against Colette's arm. "It isn't," she disagrees, still speaking with that soft tone. She lets out a quiet breath, expression weary — not tired, per se, but the deep fatigue that accumulates over extended trials and tribulations. An artifact of the mind and/or soul rather than the body. "If the mirror isn't… You couldn't know different." Her tone, and the smile that accompanies the words, is apologetic.

The touch to Colette's arm, gentle as it is, seems to be remarkably reassuring. It gets her attention, immediately, and she looks back to Tamara with a still saddened expression, though not so much over the gift, but from her own inability to find ways within her own power to help. "I… just wanted to help." She smiles, faintly, "Um, you know, with… your ghosts." There's a meager growth to her smile, mostly out of pride on having a few shared terms of familiarity to communicate with. It's like learning a new language, and she's just starting to pick up the basics.

"When… when I lost Nicole, you know…" Perhaps all too well, she does, "I've — I haven't really had too many people that feel like family to me. But… but you were there, right from when I was at my lowest." Her smile grows, just a little more, but it's still bittersweet. "You've… I guess, after Judah got hurt, I… I started to realize I was taking people for granted. Just, y'know, abusing their kindness. I never showed my appreciation, and…" Her eyes divert down to her teacup. "It's a bad feeling. So, I… I wanted to do something for you, to… to help show you how much you mean to me, and maybe help you get over your…" She pauses, looking back to Tamara, "I just wanted to make you as happy as you've made me. It… It's so hard to lose family, and, and I just… if I lost you, I don't know what I'd do."

Perhaps she doesn't. But Tamara hears what could be said, and those splinters of might-be let her infer enough to fill in what are otherwise blanks. "You didn't," she tells the younger girl with a smile that turns slightly melancholy after a heartbeat. "Unless you wanted to." Almost anything is possible — and Tamara has sheltered Colette from the full truth of her nature from day one, letting her learn it slowly.

Of course, the precog may yet find herself in trouble her power cannot circumvent, but that falls under the 'anything is possible' heading. "You have," Tamara informs the younger girl, hooking her loose hair back behind her ears.

She strains to understand, so much so that it's visible in her expression, trying to puzzle out the tenses and terms in order to put them into a context she can totally understand. There's mixed relief and worry, one interleaving into the other as she waffles from one interpretation to another. Her teeth draw at her lower lip, and it's only that last lingering you have that gives her pause.

"I won't ever want to. I can't imagine anything that would make me. I — " Tamara knows what she was going to say there, those three words she can't bring herself to say in the here and now, but have always been there in the myriad of possibility. "I'd never." It's as close as she comes, there's weight with those words, weight and importance she's afraid of not having returned.

"This book," Her attention is turned away from her emotions, it's probably better that way at the moment. "It talks about seeing the future." She picks it up, settling it down in her lap as she thumbs through the pages, searching for the section on precognition. "The guy at the bookstore said it's really reliable, like, all sorts of good information and stuff." At least she hopes, "See?" She motions to words at first, then hastily to a picture instead, of an easel and canvas. "There's a guy here who could see the future in a finished painting. The image would change from his perspective, and he could see stuff from the themes. Like, if he saw a painting of a murder, he'd like — See a murder happening somewhere in the future. It sounds really cool, but," She bites down on her lower lip, "I dunno which one of these is like yours." None of them are.

"I want to learn about how you do what you do, I — I really was stupid when I didn't ask more, the day you were trying to help me understand. I… it was immature of me." Her right leg keeps bouncing up and down, anxiously. Her right hand, however, raises her slightly shaking tea cup to her lips, taking a sip from it before setting it down on the table. A drop falls on the page of her book, going unnoticed as she flips to the next page. "I didn't see anything about people who, you know, have a hard time remembering things. So, um…" She closes the book, keeping one finger in it on the page she was on, and just watches Tamara closely. "I… W-would you be okay if I asked you some stuff? Like… I — I wanted to know how far back you remembered things. Before, um, it… before it gets , uh, below the water?" She's trying.

The precog smiles faintly at Colette's assurance — as though she can imagine something which might break the younger teen's faith in her. But it is only a might, a distant maybe, and so not a great concern of the present. "Does the book know all the roads?" It's a rhetorical question, a reminder. There is more in heaven and earth…

Tamara shifts her position a bit, settling in a little more comfortably. She takes the time to eat a few more crackers, washing them down with a drink of water; she returns the glass to the table before those blue eyes refocus upon Colette. Not that Tamara's attention had ever actually left the younger girl.

At the question, Tamara runs a hand back through her hair, glancing briefly away. Towards a spot on the floor, perhaps, or just empty air; it's difficult to be certain, and a meaningless distinction either way. Her thoughts aren't on the room. "I tried." Could try. Same difference. When Tamara looks back to Colette, her expression is game-but-not-optimistic; she'll try because the other girl asks it, because it's important to Colette, but she knows all too well how the memories fall away when she reaches for them, elusive as subtle scents on the wind.

Colette's mis-matched eyes stay focused on Tamara, through the thoughtful chewing on the crackers, and into the very small and simply voiced answer. It isn't exactly how she had planned on setting up the conversation, but given Tamara's willingness to at the very least participate, Colette taking the initiative is the least she can do.

"I don't really know how long you've… how long you've seen things the way you do." Her teeth lightly draw her lower lip between them, "So, I guess that's a good spot." The book gets put away, entirely, settled down on the table as Colette scoots to the side, positioning herself just a bit closer to Tamara and curling her legs up beneath herself and under the blanket. "Do you remember your family? I… I don't mean to…" She falters, already, her confidence slipping as she thinks about the potential insensitivity of the question. "Your mom, dad?" Her dark brows knit together, "I never liked mine, they… they weren't good people. So, I mean, if you don't wanna' talk about yours because they were like that, or something, I'll understand. I just — I want to learn, about you, more than anything else."

The question is spoken, and Tamara's gaze shifts to the side again, settling on some indistinct spot in the nearby floor. She remains silent for a short while, blue eyes darkening as she reaches for what has become her most natural reference — all the many threads of what might be. Intermittently, her gaze flickers to one side or the other, as though searching for something. Which she is.

A frown slowly gathers on Tamara's brow, as the answers she knows should be there — the memories she knows everyone else can summon up at will — fail to be caught and held. It's not unexpected. But it is nonetheless frustrating. "…I don't…" Wait. Her eyes widen slightly at something that might be an answer, head tilting the other way as if to study that invisible, intangible clue from another angle. "My… sister?" Spoken hesitantly, almost as though expecting Colette to verify whether the answer is right or wrong. She doesn't, of course, but it's a measure of just how scrambled Tamara's mental functions are that she isn't very certain. Nonetheless, after a moment more, the older teen nods once to Colette, either content with or now assured of the answer.

Green and white eyes go wide immediately, breath catching in surprise before she leans in a little bit towards Tamara, "You — You have a sister?" She's quite obviously surprised, but there's a smile on her face, one broad and pleased. She reaches out a hand, matching the reassuring touch Tamara had offered before, settling her hand down on the girl's forearm with a little squeeze. "H-how old is she? Does she live in New York? O-Oh! Could we meet her!?" She gets a little over-excited, then, clearing her throat, there's just a mild and slightly nervous smile that creeps up over her lips. "Um, is… what's her name?" One brow raises slowly, inquisitively.

The onslaught of questions — those asked and not-quite-asked alike — causes Tamara to shy slightly. Not from the words themselves, but from the difficulties most of them pose. Her fingers twitch reflexively, as if to hold on to something that's threatening to slip away; the partial handful of crackers that remains has been forgotten entirely, or at least relegated to the category of 'no importance'. Her expression, that frown of concentration, doesn't so much as lighten. "K-kath," the precog says, slowly sounding out a syllable that, from her halting tone, might as well be in a foreign language. It's a name.

The effort it takes, the fringes of memory that name is on brings a frown to Colette for entirely different reasons than Tamara's. She squeezes that arm again, her thumb gently brushing along the girl's forearm, "Kath?" She watches for a moment, waiting to see if the name changes, but once there's sign that she's not recanting on it, Colette gives a nod of agreement. "Like, Kathy? Or, Is that short for Kathryn? I used to know a Katy, she called herself Kat." The girl wrinkles her nose, trying to edge away from the difficulty of the topic.

Sliding to the side, Colette's hand lifts up, and her arm moves to slip around Tamara's shoulders, giving her another light squeeze, reassuring. "It's been a while since you've seen her… hasn't it?" The young girl rests her free hand on one of Tamara's, as if to say — and in one instance she did say — It's okay, you're doing so good. But she's just too shy to make it so, in words and not actions.

"Maybe we could go see her? Or, you know, you could. I bet you can figure out right where she is without a problem." Her head tilts to the side, the possibility that Kath might be dead hasn't quite crossed her mind yet, not even in passing. "Family's important. I… I love my sister, more than…" Anything? She actually can't get herself to say it, mostly because she's not certain where certain people stack up anymore. "A whole lot." It's descriptive in its simplicity. "I bet you your sister feels the same way about you…"

The words, the questions, that refer to the past wash over Tamara, unacknowledged. Her answer isn't memory, not even the fringe of it, but the illusion thereof — and that possible moment from which 'Kath' was drawn is only a short mental hop from her absentee sister's full given name. "Kathleen," the older teen clarifies simply, leaning back into the cushions of the couch. She looks to Colette with a weary smile, now at least a little fatigued in both respects. But she hasn't called a stop to the conversation yet.

"Kathleen." Colette echoes, smiling slightly. When Tamara leans back, Colette's smile grows just a little. "I…" She isn't sure how to handle it, with the obvious struggle that's taking place in her mind. "So, you have family. That — That's a good start." Her eyes divert down to her own blanket-shrouded lap, then quickly back up to Tamara. "I'd like to meet her. I think, maybe, it'd be good for you too. I mean, you know… you have trouble, with ghosts. But not everybody else does, obviously. So, like, maybe we could be your journals?" She cracks a faint smile, "Remember all the stuff you can't, and… and we could be there for you, to share things, and…" There's an anxious swallow, "Just in case, would… I mean, would you like that? I… I don't know I just — It's hard, you know, not being able to help. I… I just want to make you happy. You deserve that."

Tamara cants her head, gazing steadily at Colette, a slow and small smile curving her lips as the younger girl speaks. But the precog chooses not to say what she might, leaving her companion her triumph of the moment. It's more important. She lifts her free hand, fingertips lightly touching Colette's face; Tamara is a fairly tactile person. She has to be, touch being the most reliable of her senses. This is now. "It… didn't work the same," the teenager states. "But it is. The road wasn't hard to find; it's the mirror."

Swallowing, it's the touch that throws Colette off-balance, cheeks turning just a bit red at the sensation. The warmth from them felt beneath Tamara's fingertips. "U-um," There's a nervous swallow, and Colette smiles, despite herself, "Yeah, being told… you know, instead of feeling it and… and remembering it," She nods, regretfully, "I wish I could do more." Her brows crease in the middle, a conflicted expression of happiness in the moment, but worry for the future always there. "It's hard…" She says in a soft voice, "Being the one who can look back, and know all the things I did wrong, or wish I could change." There's a faint smile, though, in that, "And you, you're the one always looking ahead, but can't see what she's done." Her nose wrinkles, and then she lets out an awkward laugh, a happy one though. "Maybe I should take a lesson from you, and… stop dwelling on the past. S'not like I can change it."

The older girl blinks, letting her hand return to her lap and listening quietly to Colette's words; whatever understanding she does draw from them, she doesn't relate. "Just don't get lost." Her own nose wrinkles slightly. "It's not worth sharing." So Tamara says — and she should know. She smiles, resting her cheek against the arm of the couch.

There's a brief, thoughtful snort of a laugh from Colette, and she watches as Tamara shifts her position to lay her cheek down on the arm of the sofa. She lets the arm around Tamara's shoulders relax, fingers lightly raking through the girl's wild hair as she lays down, almost absently in the touch. Then, with a gentle smile she takes the afghan in hand, grabbing the corners to pull it up over Tamara's shoulders. In doing so, she stands up from the couch, moving to stand more in front of Tamara then anywhere. "I don't mind the present too much," She says with a soft voice, not much above a whisper, "Besides, I already have enough reminders of the past." That white eye of hers, her window to what she suffered. "Thank you…" She says softly, "For everything," and leans in, very nervously, and very hesitantly placing her lips to the top of Tamara's head in an innocent gesture of affection.

"Get some sleep."

October 26th: What Do You Do with a Drunken Alex?
October 26th: Everyone is Here
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