So Easily Thrown Away


colette_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif else_icon.gif mouse_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif rourke_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title So Easily Thrown Away
Synopsis Furniture is. Past histories and current worries are not. So these Ferry operatives find as they work to put a safehouse back in order.
Date August 21, 2010

Brick House

The Brick House was a Ferrymen safe house designed to be sealed off entirely from the outside world. An isolated location with one subterranean entrance, few open windows and no electricity save for what can be supplied by a pony generator when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the designer of the Brick House never once considered an apocalyptic storm that could dump twenty feet of snow on the city in this design.

That the Brick House smells like mildew and mold is an understatement. Respirator masks are a necessity inside until the mold has been cleared away. Up until a month ago the entire underground entrance was flooded with runoff from the storm and the melting snow and ice. Now the sealed-up and weatherproofed Brick House has been going through a series of intense renovations to clear away molded wood and drywall and air out the structure as best as possible without making it obvious on street-level what is going on inside.

For the Ferrymen, this safe house has been a low-priority facility to get working in light of other crisis and developments. But with the council solidified and a petition for more help coming from the Brick House's operators, Meredith Gordon and Andy Rourke, it means that more bodies are needed to help get everything back in working order.

Today has been no exception to this and on a cloudy day where the temperature is low for the summer months and the humid conditions inside the Brick House are bearable, help has come in many shapes and sizes. Arriving onto the ground floor from the basement entrance, Colette Nichols comes baring both gifts and help, her arms laden with paper bags of non-perishable food and her backpack packed full of hardware necessary for the repairs still ongoing. Stepping around stacks of fresh drywall on the floor, her booted feet carry her across the exposed wood floor where molded shag carpeting has been pulled away, most of her mouth and nose covered by a paper mask respirator.

"Andy!" Colette calls out into the house, the noise of footsteps not far behind her coming up the stairwell, "I've got presents!"

That Tasha is here at all is an indication of her arguing skills, since Colette thought she should stay home and recuperate more. The superficial wound at her throat will likely leave a scar, but it is no longer anything more than an abrasion now — it did more damage to her vanity than anything. The wound is covered now by a large bandage, that covered by a red and yellow scarf tied jauntily in the French style, though it's a bit disjointed from the rest of Tasha's "work clothes," a pair of overalls on top of a fitted yellow shirt, and her green Converse sneakers.

She had argued that she was going to go insane if she had to stay in at the Gun Hill apartment another day, and that she would rather be useful than rest, and somewhere in there had won the argument with her bossy but concerned girlfriend. Tasha managed to persuade Colette to let her carry a box and backpack of supplies as well. She doesn't yell up the stairs; her voice is still just a touch softer than normal, though no longer a whisper. "Ugh. It's the Bog of Eternal Stench, except… mildew, not gassy," she mutters.

Right behind Tasha and Colette is Quinn, stretching as she follows down behind them. It was her first time seeing the pair in a while, and she'd been more than willing to help when asked. To her, work clothes consisted of an old pair of jeans and a bright blue t-shirt, matched with something that to some might look unusual on the Irish woman - actual closed toe shoes, in this case an old pair of Vans sneakers, adorned with a V on the side. Over her arm is slung an old black shoulder bag, filled with her own share of supplies and a few (borrowed) tools. "Christ, it smells worse down here than it does after I burn somethin' tryin' to cook," she remarks quietly, squinting her eyes

The problem with arms full of bags — especially well-laden paper bags — is that they're obstacles to clear vision… and Colette's half-blind to begin with. The boy beside the stairwell's apex therefore finds an opportunity practically handed to him on a silver platter.

"Had presents!" Mouse calls for Andy's benefit as the taller youth plucks one brown bag from the girl's grasp. Coincidently identifying himself to Colette in the process. It's not that she doesn't still have another bag and a backpack — plus what Tasha is carrying… not the point.

Long legs step over a pile of drywall, removing his prize out of Colette's reach as Mouse pokes through the bag. "What've we got here?" A beat. "Hey, Tasha," the boy adds distractedly, with a slight wave of fingers in Quinn's direction.

It isn't Mouse's usual wont to do work — which may have something to do with why he's doing as little as possible. He's wearing a filter-mask, over gray shirt and worn cutoff shorts, a liberal dusting of drywall powder bleaching their color even further, but it's anyone's guess whether he's actually done anything productive while here.

Surprised when Mouse snatches away her grocery bags, Colette offers a startled squeak and wide, mis-matched eyes to the young Ferryman. "Mouse," Colette huffs breathlessly, "You're going to give me a heart attack!" Treading across the floor and nearly tripping over the folded up portions of the peeled back carpeting, Colette narrows her eyes at the young man on her way into the linoleum-tiled kitchenette, setting the grocery bag she still has down on the counterspace.

Clunking footfalls make their way down the stairs from the second floor and the arrival of Andy Rourke into the ground floor is without much fanfare from one of the hallways where molded drywall has been cut away. "'Ey, ey look at this, the bloody Salvation Army's come t'town." Offering a crooked smile to the new arrivals, Andy carefully pulls down his respirator over his mouth. "Upstairs is a bit more aired out, we got river-side windows open there since the sun's goin' down. Just don't use no lights or nothin'."

While Andy offers a wave to Tasha and an inquisitive look to Quinn, he's headed for the kitchenette to see what food's been brought. Not long after Andy comes in, a willowy blonde woman in paint-dappled jeans and a too large t-shirt comes strolling in from the hall, pulling on her respirator mask with a snap of the elastic and a wrinkle of her nose at the smell. Hair held back by a blue handkerchief, the fact that this woman is Else Kjelstrom is almost hard to realize.

The former up-and-coming famous musician offers a brief wave of one ring-laden hand in greeting. "We're gonna' need your 'elp down here," Else mumbles behind her mask sleepily, "all'a this mess needs t'get thrown out the back windows once we get 'em open an' then hauled out t'Andy's truck so's we can dispose've it before mornin'." All business today from two of the three operators and residents.

"Is… is Meredith going to be there?" That was the first question that Eric asked when he was invited to come help out with things, almost certainly by someone who didn't know the history he shares with the co-operator of the Brick House. He wasn't sure if he was hoping for a no, or a yes.

Thump, thump. Pause, pant. Thump, thump. One step at a time, Doyle is hauling a shop-vac along the staircase from the basement depths, panting a bit from the effort of dragging it this far. "I've got it, I've got it," he mutters to nobody in particular, a filter mask hung around his neck and a pair of work gloves adorning his hands.

"Hey, Mouse," Tasha grins back, then turns to wave at Andy and a little shyly at Else. She's met Andy but Else she's only heard of, and heard, on her own iPod as well as the radio and the like. Glancing back, she notices Doyle coming up the stairs behind her and swiftly moves out of the way. "Oh, hey, Eric," she says and darts out of the way to set down her own box and backpack, pulling a pair of work gloves from the box to push into her pocket, ready to grab once they start tearing up stuff.

"Robyn Quinn, this is Andy, and that's Mouse, and that's, um, Else," Tasha murmurs, cheeks coloring a little as she introduces Else when she doesn't know her, herself. "I'm Tasha," she adds to the singer.

Quinn is a bit surprised to hear Doyle behind her, and that grabs her attention more than the people she's just been introduced to. "Heya!" she practically shouts at him, giving a bit of a wave. "I've been meanin' t' stop by out there at the Lighthouse, but haven't had much've a chance with all the craziness lately."

Of course, then she finally realises she's been introduce, spinning back around on her heel. A wider wave is given. "Pleasure t' meet you!" she enthuses, looking between the folks who's names she's just been given. Else manges to look so not like the Else she's seen in pictures and such before that it even takes a moment to process that Else is Else// Kjelstrom//, something which brings a wide smile to the Irishwoman's face, hidden by her facemask. It takes a bit of willpower, but she's able to prevent herself from going "Oh my god!", at least not out loud. She'll definitely be trying to speak to her later, though.

"So, what can I do t' help, like, specifically?" she asks, looking around with a quirked eyebrow. It certainly looked like there was plenty to do…

"Just doin' my job, miss," Mouse informs Colette loftily, albeit with a broad grin that ruins any haughty impression he might be trying to convey. "It's what they pay me for!" A beat. "Oh, wait, I don't get paid." He hefts the bag and looks over it at the girls. "Guess I'll just have to keep this!" the boy declares, moving away from the kitchenette even as they converge upon that space.

"Pleased t'meet you, Robyn," Mouse offers belatedly to the introductee in question. "Don't let her get you in trouble, okay?" he says, tipping his head in Colette's direction. A cheerful grin. "That's my job."

It's probably timely that Mouse ducks out of sight through a doorway. The exclamation of "Oh hey, chocolate!" that filters back through it… doesn't bode well for anyone who still has to deal with him later.

Face covered with one hand in reaction to Mouse's antics, Colette's respirator hides her wry smile. Reaching into the paper bags, the brunette teen goes about removing the boxes of rice and canned goods from inside. In a way this is reminiscent of delivery trips she'd made out here whrn the Brick House was her home away from home a year ago during the remodeling of Summer Meadows. "Hey Eric~!" Colette calls out in a sing-song voice over her shoulder, waving to him with a box of pasta.

Angling brown eyes over to Tasha, Else breathes out an amused laugh as she walks over to the unfamiliar young women with her arms folded across her chest. "Hey t'you too Tasha, an' Robyn. You must be the DJ tha' Colette told me about. Sorry I got all chained down on th' Fourth, would've been fuckin' awesome t'see you workin'. So's maybe you could come on over my place sometime, we could plan somethin'? I love out at the Octagon with 'Lilah, think you've met her, 'fore." Else's accent is impossible to place, some weird juxtaposition of Scandinavian and Brooklyn all rolled into one and mush-mouthed.

"Jason," is Andy's somewhat terse greeting to Doyle, using his appropriate name rather than what Colette insists on calling him. Though as the somewhat humorless operator of the Brick House makes his way over to the girls and Eric, his attention is sliding briefly to Mouse's departure with a furrow of his brows. By the time Andy's dark eyes settle back on Tasha, Quinn and Doyle, he's rolling his shoulders into a shrug.

"Need you girls t'do some heavy liftin'. We've got moldy drywall, carpets an' furniture to get outside. There's some windows in the back on the river-side of the building," and Andy jerks a thumb over his shoulder towards a doorway, "we can just toss the shit right out the bloody window, then we gots t'drag it out t'my truck out front after it gets dark." Unlike Else, Andy's accent is straight out of London-town. Despite his street style, his accent is anything but, belying the cultured and civilized atmosphere he grew up in.

KaTHUMP. The shop vac is finally set down on the floor, and Doyle wheels it along out into the room, one hand lifting to wave vaguely at everyone as a quick smile flickers to his lips, "Hey, hey. I've got, uh, this, for cleaning and stuff, it's supposed to be good on wet things."

A hesitation, and he looks to Andy, "Is, uh, is Mere here?"

"Nice to meet you," is Tasha's soft reply to Else. "I love your stuff. It's really cool that you do stuff like… well, this, still, you know?" She gestures to the building in general. She glances at Doyle when he repeats his question, and her brows raise a little. She doesn't know the story, but clearly Eric has a crush?

"Well, I guess we should just start throwing the furniture then, huh? Then we can maybe do the dry wall, and then pull the carpet up, that way the dry wall … crumbs, or whatever, you know, we don't have to clean that up from whatever's underneath the carpet," she says, trying to think of the most efficient way to deal with the tasks at hand. "Sounds fun. Destroying shit could be cathartic." She grins.

"So does all the furniture go, or is anything a keeper?" Tasha moves to a chair to see if it's salvageable, then decides it isn't, picking it up and moving to one of the windows Andy gestured to. "FORE!" she mock-calls — the sound doesn't carry far as she's not trying to actually warn anyone, and trying to protect her still-sore throat, before she lets it go.

Quinn looks a bit surprised to be addressed by Else, giving a chuckle and a nod. "Yeah, I know Delilah. I think she's kinda sorta seeing a friend a' mine? I'm not quite sure. But I'd love t' stop by, some time for sure!" She sounds genuinely excited by this prospect. "An' no worries about not bein' able t' make it on the Fourth. There'll be other parties, I love throwin' 'em. An' isn't the Otagon out on Roosevelt? Maybe I'll give you a ring in a few days, then, I'm headed out there t' see if someplace is hirin' anyway." She's not quite sure how she avoided going 'holy crap I loved your album", but she's proud of herself for it.

With that, she turns to Andy, giving a bit of a nod, letting out a bit of a wistle. "Heavy liftin'. Looks like this is an weekend for exercise. Not that I don't need it." A nod and a laugh over to Tasha. "Yeah, I could use a good ol' time tearin' some shit down. I'm ready t' get crackin' on that any time."

"We could do a house party or somethin', our apartment's like sixty million miles too big for 'Lilah an' me." Else offers with a concealed smile before looking over her shoulder at Tasha enthusiastically hurling furniture out one of the rear windows. "God I really liked that chair too. Guess s'probably for the best, got blood all over it when I went all loopy from the Five-Ten." Dark brows shot up at that remembrance, and Else looks back to Quinn. "C'mon, you an' me can grab the moldy coffee table an' give 'er a good chuck."

While Else is headed towards a coffee table laying on its side, bottom spotted with black mold, Andy is taking a few steps over to Doyle, brows furrowed. "Nah man, she ain't here. Been gone about two months doin' some stuff for the network outta' town. Jus' us here, nobody else. Kinda' why I need the bloody hand gettin' shit done 'round here. I 'membered you were pretty handy back at the Meadows, figured this'd be a good thing, yeah?" Then, perhaps a little too nosily, Andy asks, "What's up w'you an' Meredith anyway? You like her ex-husband or somethin'?"

On the other end of the ground floor, having sidled away from the kitchenette, Colette stands in the doorway leading ot the back room where Tasha hurled the chair out the window, arms crossed over her chest and head resting against the doorframe. "You sure you're okay?" Yes, Colette is something of a worry-wort and also highly over-protective of the wounded teen.

A wistful but bitter-edged smile curves to Doyle's lips at the question, one hand lifting to rub against the back of his bald head and his nape a bit. "It… not ex-husband, but…" He shakes his head, looking away, "…let's just say it was a bad breakup. That was a long time ago, but she still — holds a bit've a grudge."

A half-chuckle as he looks back, rolling his eyes, "Women, right? Um. So what can I do to help?"

The crash of the chair on the other side earns a gleeful smile of Tasha who turns to grin at Colette. "I'm fine, Colie," she says, reaching to take the slightly taller girl's hand, and squeezing it. "I don't remember what happened and as far as injuries go, I got off practically scot-free, and it's good to be useful for the first time in a week," she insists.

She moves toward another chair, this one heavier and requiring another set of hands. "Only thing that's tricky is coming up with a story that my parents'll believe. I can't think of one, yet, and I can't keep from seeing my mom forever." She waits for Colette to get a handhold on the one side of the chair, then lifts. "My dad — he's probably easier to avoid. Unless I apologize again, I doubt he's going to come looking for me, unless it's work related, to be honest." The words are all spoken neutrally; Tasha believes she doesn't remember what happened, but her whimpers at night have matched Colette's in frequency, so there's something dwelling in her subconscious.

"Huh?" Quinn replies, a it unfocused due to the commotion around her. "Oh! I think that'd be fantastic," she replies to Else with a unseeable smirk, nodding. Following Else over to the fallen coffee table, Quinn pauses to lookn over at Tasha. "Careful you don't throw somethin' so hard you go sailin' out with it, Tasha," Quinn teases, laughing as she moves to take hold of the damaged coffee table, and with Else's help, hefts it up. "I didn't expect t' meet you here, I have t' admit. Colette had mentioned she knew you once, a bit back. It's always nice t' meet a fellow musician."

"Eh you know how it is," Else offers back to Quinn as the pair right the coffee table and lift it up. Being made of pine means its lightweight and easy for the two to lift. "I ain't done proper music for a long time, probably something like a year now, right after the CD came out. Probably for the best, y'know? All've them songs on there's because of the thing I do, anybody tell y'about that?" One of Else's dark brows lift up at the question, considering Quinn for a moment as they shuffle across the floor towrads the back rooms. "S'kind've a pain."

Else and Quinn sidle past Andy and Doyle, even as the Brit offers a solemn nod to the puppetmaster. "Yea', fuckin' women, right?" It's entirely teasing, and offered a little loudly to Else, just to get a rise from her. All Andy gets is seeing Ele balance the tabel on her hip so she can use her freed up hand to flip him off while smiling. Theirs is a simple professional relationship of profanity and vulgar gestures.

"You wanna' help the girls move the sofa?" Andy motions over to a ratty old flannel-upholstered couch splotched with green and white mold, cushions removed. "It's not heavy, jus' awkward. I gotta' run down t'the basement and get the generator runnin' so we have lights when the sun goes down. Think you can 'andle that? Oh an' if you see Mouse, make him help, a'right?"

When Else and Quinn approach the back rooms, Colette pulls Tasha gently aside with an arm around the brunette's waist so they can get the table out to the windows. "That scar could be anything, but… I dunno, I… I don't know if you should lie t'her, you know? Like, we should tell her about Sasha, tell her what actually was going on. I mean, I've got a video tape of the coffins from when we saved Maeve and Lorraine," the teen offers with a worried tone of voice.

"Maybe that'd help prove stuff, y'know? I can get the tape from my dad, maybe he can talk to her too, I mean… he's a cop, y'know? It might help for your mom to have like, another adult's perspective on stuff. Then you wouldn't have t'hide things from her…" Colette's worry isn't because of the conversatonal topic, but rather what Tasha can't converse about.

It might be time to go see Kaylee.

"Oh, I will." A grin from the puppeteer, and then Eric's walking along over towards the sofa that the girls are standing near, rolling his shoulders back and then clapping his hands together. "Right, then! Come on, girls, let's get this thing out of here…" He's completely ignorant of the seriousness of the conversation from the others. Yes, he is in fact that clueless most of the time.

Tasha's brows knit together and she gives a shake of her head. "I told her. I told her they're real, what kind of caused them, as much as I could, but you know, she's never going to be okay with me doing stuff like this," and she touches the scarf at her neck. "No matter how wrong things are. She's … she's a lawyer, so she believes in the system, right? She believes… she believes him, more than she believes me." Or at least that's how she sees it, wrong or right.

The smaller brunette squeezes Colette's shoulder as she hears Doyle calling for their help. "C'mon," she says, tipping her head in his direction. "It's fine. I mean, I'm sure most people don't ask their mommy's permission to do this. I'm a grown-up. Why should I?" The idea strikes Tasha as funny. "Eric, do you have your parent signature for today's Ferry outing? I need to see your permission slip."

Quinn joins Else in flipping off Andy - only she does it in proper UK fashion, flashing a backwards V at him with her fingers, laughing all the while. She's not quite as steady, though, breaking the gesture so she can catch the table as it slips from her hip and down towards the floor. "Can't say they have," Quinn offers with a bit more dialled down demeanour - any time someone says something like that, chances are the response isn't going to be a happy one. "Still, no harm in a little occasional jam, right?" She quirks an eyebrow at the other woman, an attempt to relay the grin that can't be seen on her face. Reaching their destination, Quinn reassesses her grip on the table and nods. "Alright. We tossin' this up an' out? Shame, it's a nice table."

"Up an' out!" Else elatedly notes with a wry smile, swinging her end of the table back to get Quinn to join the momentum before winging it out the window, not bothering to elaborate on her question of whether or not Quinn knows what she can do. Apparently that's something she's going to keep to herself for now. The table that they hurled out the window, however, sails end over end and then crashes down on concrete below, splintering into dozens of broken pieces. The blonde turns dark eyes over to Quinn and offers a broad smile with a sweep of one hand over her handkerchief bound hair. "Tasha was right y'know, s'totally makin' me feel better t'throw shit outta' window."

On hearing Doyle's call, Else turns to look back over her shoulder as she watches Andy headed towards the basement door, then flicks her attention back to Doyle. "Comin', Captain," she informs in a sing-song voice, slapping a hand on Quinn's shoulder before headed towards the doorway, on Colette and Tasha's heels.

"Eric," Colette asks on making her way to the couch, looking down at the ugly fabric and disgusting mold spots, "I got a question for you." Interjecting over Tasha's joking question, Colette moves to one end of the sofa, testing the weight and furrowing her brows at how light the wooden frame is beneath all the fabric and foam padding. "If you had like, family you cared 'bout… would you tell them about the Ferry if they were worried about you? I mean, would you risk it?"

Family is a difficult topic for Eric Doyle, and Colette isn't quite aware of just how difficult when she posits that question. "I was scared before I talked to my dad, but like, I think Tasha should tell her mom. But she won't listen t'me," Colette says with a teasing tone of voice angled to Tasha, then flicks her mis-matched eyes back to Doyle. "Maybe she'll listen t'you?" Because Colette assumes Doyle will agree with her…

An expressive roll of Doyle's eyes answers that question, and he lifts one hand, fingers dangling down and moving like two little feet approaching him. A momentary betrayal of Tasha's legs mirrors the motion, as she steps away from Colette's side to approach a few steps before he releases her to come the rest of the way on her own.

"Couch," he says, just the hint of a smile twitching to his lips. It's a twitch that fades completely as the matter of his family is pushed, and his hand drops down to the sofa's arm, just looking at Colette for a moment.

"I— I don't have any family," he finally says, a bit awkwardly, "Not anymore. It's, I mean. It's up to you. Sometimes you're beter off without them."

Tasha squeals a little as her legs move of their own volition, or really of Eric's, and she swats at him when she arrives at his side. "I was coming," she whines at him, like a teenager to their parent, though their relationship is much more equal in footing than hers with either of her parents. Especially her father.

Dark eyes slide to Colette and she gives an exasperated sigh, then moves to wrap her hands beneath the couch's bottom, stooping as she waits for the others to help lift.

"Even if she was supportive of my principles, she's not going to be okay with what we did last week, I guarantee you that. God. She was like, crying, because I was a good little citizen and registered willingly. So proud. Of the fact I did something I'm totally opposed to, and the only reason I did it was so I can forge shit, you know?" she says, her eyes down as she waits for help. "She's not going to get it, so let's just leave it?" That sounding perhaps just a touch harsher than she means, Tasha swallows, and looks up with eyes that are just a little wet, "Please?"

With the table sailing out of the window, Quinn's doing her best to peer out before it hits, wanting to see that satisfying smash and splinter when it hits the ground. She's there just in time to see it hit the ground, a smile forming on her face. "Oh, totally. Never get opportunity enough t' just break somethin' an' have it be constructive." She slap on her shoulder, bringing her back into the moment of what they're doing, has her spinning around and following after Else, and thus after Colette and Tasha.

She catches the question Colette poses, and she's ready to give her own thoughts on the matter - that if you love someone enough, and you think they'll be supportive, then it's fine. But Tasha reaction to it being pushed clams her up rather quickly, perhaps wisely. Instead, she makes her way quietly over to the couch, finding a place to grip and wait. "Hey, Doyle, how're the kids doin'?" she asks rather suddenly, a somewhat obvious attempt at changing the subject. "I miss havin' them runnin' around the building. Well, most a' them. Lance." That's all she really has to say tog et the point across, giggling and shaking her head.

A worried look is offered from Colette to Tasha, dark brows furrowed and momentarially stuck on her own way to fill the awkward silence that follows. Eric's explanation of not even having a family earns a dejected look down to her feet, and trying to lift up her end of the couch, Colette seems for a moment to be lost in a fugue of negativity on being — for only really the second time ever — on the wrong side of an argument with Tasha.

But Quinn, Quinn saves the day.

"'Course you have family," Colette takes that initiative, because if she can't help Tasha, she can help Eric just a little. "You've got Hailey an' Lance an' Juniper an' Joe-Joe an' all the kids. You've also got all've us, even if we're like the most dysfunctional family ever, n'stuff." Wrinkling her nose, Colette offers a hesitant smile and watches as Else comes over to lift up her end of the sofa, making room for Doyle to get on her side.

"She's got a'point, eh? We're like one big fucked up family, ain't we? Heck, I've not really talked much t'my ma and pa ever since I got swep up in all'a this. Kind've… feels like m'living someone else's life, an' it ain't entirely a bad one either. M'a lot happier'n I was this time last year, tha's for sure. Family's t'blame for that, even if it means m'surname's Ferry."

"Yeah, but that's a— a different kind of family," Doyle says with a shake of his head, though he does smile a little, moving over to step along beside Else and reaching to wrangle the lifting of the mold-spotted couch off the floor, "They're all doing good, although I— I mean, I don't know how to tell them that Gillian isn't coming back, at least for awhile." He sounds a bit frustrated there, and for good reason. "Juniper's helping out a lot. I don't know if I could deal with Kasha without her…"

Dark eyes hold apology for a moment for Colette alone, then sympathy for Doyle, on both the family and the Lighthouse. "I start school soon, but I can come out a couple of times a week to help if you need, Eric," Tasha says, rising so that she lifts 'with her legs, not with her back.' She's becoming less and less of a fan of Staten Island, so it's with some reluctance that she makes the offer. But the kids need to know that they are loved, that people are looking out for them.

"I can come twice a week maybe, give some art lessons to the little ones, the big ones can help do some chores while you get a break or something," she suggests.

Quinn lifts with a bit of a grunt, despite the assistance from others she's still sore from the previous day's training with Ygraine. "Family's family," Quinn quips. "Doesn't matter if it's blood or not, you know? I consider some a' my closest friends t' be more family than some a' my blood realatives." She's glancing at Else with a nod, and then over to Doyle with a smile. "I'm glad t' hear that they're doing dine. Like I said, I keep meanin' t' stop by, but things keep gettin' in the way." A glance over at Tasha, and another nod. "I was going t' offer t' do music lesson for the kids when I came by. Lord knows I know enough instruments an' theory, if any a' them are interested."

Struggling with her end of the sofa as they all get it lifted up, Colette has to switch her grip a few times as she shuffles and awkwardly winds up being on the end that has to walk backwards because that's just her luck. That Quinn and Tasha both look willing to help out at the Lighthouse seems to be a relief to Colette, though not as much as Tasha's apologetic expression, one mirrored back to the slightly younger teen from her counterpart, apologetic for even having brought it up.

"I heard that Gillian might be running the Garden… at least for a little while," Colette offers in a hushed tone of voice, her boots scuffing over the floor as she walks backwards, not really needing to look over her shoulder to tell where the door is, at least, her entire body serves as her eyes these days.

"I was making a delivery to the Hangar, heard Scott talking about it to someone. I think… I might offer to co-lead the place with Gillian. It hasn't had anyone running it in a long, long time since this girl named Jezebel ran off, apparently." There's a wrinkle of Colette's nose at that, mis-matched eyes down to the sofa she's moving, trying to tilt it on its side with everyone's help so it will fit through the doorway.

"It— erh," nearly fumbling her grip, Colette continues to nervously talk to try and fill the silence, "you guys think that'd be a good idea or like— am I even ready for that kinda' responsibility?"

Mr. Universe, Doyle is not. The sofa's awkward weight is handled as he carries it along with the others slowly, carefully, occasionally nudging against Else by accident as he does so. "Any of you'd be… more than welcome," he grunts out, "So long as you don't bring Target McLookatme with you. That kid's gonna get a lot of people killed one of these days."

He looks down the length of the sofa towards Colette, then, shifting to tilt it properly, "I think you'd do a great job. Hell, if I didn't screw up too badly, you know?"

Tasha raises her brows when Colette brings up running a safehouse. Out on Staten. Far from Gun Hill.

"Don't… don't you kind of need to live at a safehouse, if you're managing it?" she asks in a small voice. Not that she wouldn't move to be with Colette, but commuting from Staten to her college in Greenwich every day, while not impossible, is certainly a dangerous proposition. And she's liking Staten less and less every day. "I mean — you'd do a good job, and everything," she adds hastily, lest Colette think she's not supportive.

She sighs a little, as they manage to get the couch to the windows, trying to raise it awkwardly for the bomb drop.

"Eric, you did fine. You didn't do anything wrong at all, and I know we kinda … you know… volunteered you into it. You did good."

Quinn exhales a mixture of relief and exasperation. The confirmation that it's cool for her to come around and teach music is nice, but Quinn had been there for part of Doyle anger before he left Gun Hill, so the not so subtle reference to Magnes doesn't escape her notice, and a moment later she's nodding in agreement with him. "Don't remind me," she mumbles, switching to shaking her head. "I have something t' yell at him for next time I see him."

Letting that drop, she looks over at Colette with a wide grin. "I think you'd be great for that, Colette. Though, you know, it'd really kinda suck t' not have you in the buildin' anymore. You too, Tasha, an' Tamara," because Quinn naturally assumes teh two of tehm would go with Colette if she moved to handle another safehouse. There's a lopsided smile on her face, Quinn taking a moment fix her grip on the couch. At this rate, it'll just be me, Sable, Lynette, an' Toby at this rate. But, yeah. I think that'd be a wonderful idea." Never mind that she's forgetting Kaylee, and still doesn't know about Odessa.

"Yeah," Colette offers in a hushed tone of voice, "yeah I'd… need to move out've Gun Hill. I haven't decided on it yet, I mean… there's a lot of time left to think about it. I just— " there's a hitch in the brunette's voice, "I don't know if I'm meant for living in the city, I don't know if it would be safe to be out there." And as Colette says that, she turns those mis-matched eyes to Tasha. Their vision happened in a busy, industrial part of the city. The furthest anyone could go from there is the verdant forests of the Greenbelt. Whether she's sacrificing her happiness at Gun Hill for the future, or just running from it isn't readily obvious.

By now they've brought the couch into that empty back room, and Colette along with Tasha's help on her end manages to get one end of the sofa lifted up and onto the window sill. "It's… just something m'thinking about now, but— yeah. I'd want them to come with me," Colette admits with a faint smile, briefly looking over to Tasha, then back to Eric.

"You know— all that aside," there's a growing sentimentality to Colette's smile, "I think you were runnin' Gun Hill fine, Eric. But you know, I think those kids mean more than any ol' apartment building could. There's gonna' be a whole group of kids growin' up that remember you as their dad, remember you as the best family they ever had. Someone who'd be willin' t'fight for them, an' go into the ice an' the snow to rescue them."

No longer having to hoist up the sofa, Colette steps over to Eric and lays a hand on his shoulder."Gun Hill's just a building, but those kids're like… they're gonna' never forget you. An' they're like, a whole lot better for it." Looking back to the sofa, then over to Else who'se been remarkably quiet during the conversation, Colette adds, "Let's chuck something out a window and watch it break."

Once one edge of the sofa's on the sill, Doyle sets his end down to the floor at an angle and steps back to give it a moment's break, rubbing at his wrists lightly from the strain of the mold-spotted couch's weight in his arms. "They'd love it if you guys visited, actually. And I'm — I mean, I wouldn't mind either," he adds with a quick smile for the girls, "Some teaching'd be nice too, I mean, I can't teach them everything myself.

Then Colette's talking, and he looks to her with a surprised - and oddly, a little worried - expression. "I'm… not their dad, or anything," he insists with a tight shake of his head, "I couldn't— couldn't be anything like that. I'm just, I mean…" Just what? He blushes a bit, rubbing a hand over the back of his head and mutters, "I don't even know what a 'dad' would be. Let's throw something out, yeah."

Tasha nods slowly, her brows furrowing together as Colette explains her thought process. She knows there's more to it, and that word safe tells her exactly Colette's motivations. She sighs a little and nods. "I don't think it's safe here either, she whispers.

When the talk turns again to the Lighthouse and fathers, Tasha's dark eyes sparkle with tears that she hastily blinks away. She's spent too much time crying over the past week, and it hurts her throat to try to hold the tears in. "You're better than a dad, Eric," she murmurs, turning her eyes to him. "You're their friend and their champion. Any asshole can be a father. It takes someone with with compassion to be a friend."

She readjusts her grip as the couch is balanced precariously on the window sill. "Bombs away?" Her lips quirk back into their usual mischievous smile.

"Really, I just echo those two," Quinn remarks with a grin as she helps to lift the couch up into it's rather precariously placed position. "You're all worryin' too much." It's directed at every one in the room, but her gaze falls mostly to Doyle, a rather gentle smile on her face as she looks over at him. "Shut up, you. You're fantastic for them, an' that's all a… well, I guess a guardian can hope t' be, you know? You love them, an' they love you. At least, that's how I've seen it at Gun Hill, an' it's really all that matters." She starts to shrug, but when that motion begins to loosen her already sore grip, she stops, wishing not to drop it on hers or someone else's foot.

"At any rate," she begins again after a moment's silence, "Watching this shit break apart if the best part, so I totally call a spot at the window. What'a you say we get on that? Cause my hands are startin' t' hurt, an' I'm already kinda sore after the shit I did yesterday." Arms wobble, as if a timely reinforcement to her comment.

"Agreed," Colette notes with a fond smile, nodding with a jerk of her head towards the windows. She circles around behind the sofa to the end Doyle put down, and with her, Else and Quinn lifting it up, it's easy to get higher than the end hanging out the window. "Eric a great influence on those kids, an' maybe the both of us could learn t'listen to everybody who thinks we ain't half bad a little more often." There's a self-depricating smile that spreads across Colette's lips as she gives a nod to Else, who helps hoist one end of the sofa up just a little higher.

"Er'body ready?" Else asks with a toothy grin, "go'n get your seats, one time only show. Ain't often y'get t'toss a sofa out a win'ow." Behind the Brick House, where the natural slope of the earth drops off to the concrete back lot of the masonry factory's floor, all that remains of the older building this one once connected to, the drop of a full story awaits the sofa, despite street level being on the other side of the house.

Colette nods and looks over her shoulder to Eric, then Tasha, then finally returns her attention down to the couch in hand, squaring her shoulders and reaffirming her grip. "One," Colette says with a broad smile, trying to focus more on the fun of breaking something constructively as she motions for Doyle to come over and help push.

"Two," Else adds as she curls her fingers into the flannel fabric.

Eric rolls his broad shoulders, and braces his hands on the back of the couch. A smile's crooked to his lips as he looks to Colette, and says quietly and gratefully, "Maybe we both do. Thanks— you too, Tasha, Quinn. Just— I mean. Thanks."


All together as one, they push, and the sofa goes tumbling out the window, slowly going end over end through the air towards the ground.

If only the past could be so easily thrown away.

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