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Scene Title Souvenirs
Synopsis Magnes asks Tasha about a certain flyer he found in Manhattan and Gillian comes home from Vegas with presents for all.
Date May 8, 2010

The Lighthouse

         It's lunch! The children are treated to chicken panini stir-fry, and the warm apple pie he let them all help make. So while they're all eating, he steps out into the living room, figuring he'll get a bit of business done. That's when he spots Tasha coming downstairs, and he pulls a flyer from his pocket at the foot of the steps, holding it up for her to see. "As the Daleks would say, 'explain'."

          Tasha is bundled up with an afghan throw around her shoulders, three long-sleeved thermal t-shirts layered one on top of each other, and her black, purple and green "Gir" pants. "I don't know what the hell a Dalek is," she tells him irritably, before reaching up to take the flyer to see what he's asking her about. 
          Her eyes drop to the page and then widen. "Oh, holy hell. Are you freaking kidding me," she mutters, free hand reaching up to rake through her choppy layers, leaving it even messier than it was before. Brows furrow and eyes narrow as she turns to look at him. "You didn't contact these people, did you?" There's no phone number, since lines are down, but an address for a point person — this one in Greenwich. Her eyes skim the print and she sees no mention of the name Lazzaro, though it does give her real last name — which, if someone did the research, would allow them to connect the dots.

         "No, I thought I'd ask you about it first." Magnes says in a manner that suggests he's considering it, then crosses his arms and waits. He's wearing a black long-sleeved shirt over his blue jeans and black snow boots. The shirt has the mathematical formula for general relativity written in white letters across the chest.

          "Really, dad, the tutu? God." She shakes her head angrily, cheeks flushing pink before she crumples up the flyer, crossing her arms. The ball of paper is kept in her hand as she regards Magnes — still on the penultimate step, she is now about eye-level with the taller boy. 
          "What exactly do you want me to explain? That my parents are apparently freaks who don't trust me? I am not missing, I'm simply here and not there, and if it wasn't for the weather, it wouldn't even be an issue, right? What do you want me to explain?" There's a pause. "Don't contact them, okay? I'll figure it out."

         "If you're not missing, and if it's not an issue, then there's no reason I can't take you to them so they can know you're alright…" Magnes' arms uncross and his hands slip into his pockets, staring at her as if he were calmly regarding one of the children. "Right?"

          "Take me to them?" Tasha echoes, eyes widening then narrowing. "You know, I kinda remember being told you are supposed to do what Colette and I tell you, not the other way around, mister. I'll figure out a way to let them know I'm okay, but no, I don't wanna go flying around in this snowpacolypse just to tell them that I'm okay, right? Besides, we shouldn't leave here, the kids need us and what if we got stranded out in the cold? It's not safe. While I'm sorry they're worried," she gives a little snort at that, "they're grownups, and they should realize it's safer to stay put in a snow storm and it's not my fault the satellites and everything else is frozen, right?"

"You've really mastered the art of the excuse." Magnes states as he just shrugs and slides his hands from his pockets, walking over to the couch so he can sit back and sigh. "I'll follow orders." since there's no way to contact Rebel.

Soft laughter comes from the top of the stairs, the giggling kind of conspiratorial laughter than can only emanate from teenage girls trying not to laugh. The thump and clunk of graceless socked feet proceed down the stairs from the second floor, wood making hollow report with each pair of steps descending. "Shhshh you can't say a word," Colette hisses after the bubbled up laughter, a smile crept up on her face and brows lifted, "I want it to be a surprise.".

She's looking over her shoulder to a familiar redhead plodding down the steps behind her, the both of them swathed in loose and heavy sweaters to stave off the cold, and Juniper wearing a colorful lavendar knit cap with a fluorescent pink pom-pom on top, braided yarn straps dangling past her cheeks, untied. Juniper's smile creeps up broadly, a toothy and amused smile. "It's so sweet," she practically giggles out in hushed tone, cutting herself off when she spots Magnes and Tasha on the ground floor where she and COlette are heading.

One slap of Juniper's hand on Colette's shoulder halts the teen, a dark brow lifting as she looks from Tasha to Magnes, then presses a finger to her lips in a theatrical shushing motion to Juniper. The redhead exaggeratedly rolls her eyes at Colette and mouths the words whatever teasingly before Colette starts hopping down the last few steps.

"Good afternoon," Colette announces lazily, "much better now that I'm awake and with all of you, right?" She's in a much better mood than the last couple of days following the dog attack, and she's showing no signs of hindrance from her bandaged up arm.

"I'm not making excuses, Magnes, I—" Tasha's words are cut off when she hears the giggling up above. When the two teens make it closer, she reaches out to hug Colette from the side. There's obvious tension in her posture and her face, and she nods to Juniper, a jut of her chin toward the dining room where the rest of the children eat.

"Juni, lunch is on, go ahead and go eat," she says, not unkindly, though Juniper is smart enough to figure out that means there's "grownup talk" going on — even if two of the grownups are only a couple of years older than she is. While waiting for Juniper to clear the room, Tasha gives a narrow-eyed glance at Magnes and then presses the crumpled ball into Colette's hand. "I'm apparently only worth a thousand bucks, can you believe that bullshit?" she quips, to make light of the issue, though the knit of her brows suggests she's more bothered by the situation than her words convey.

Magnes looks over at Colette and Tasha on the stairs, giving Juniper a nod to the kitchen, though he doesn't budge from his spot. He smiles when Tasha mentions only being worth a thousand bucks, then adds, "Better than getting ditched under the cover of Manhattan exploding."

"Thousand what?" Colette offers an askance look to Tasha, one dark brow lifted and green eyes a little wide before something a tiny bit more accusing and at the same time demanding is flicked towards Magnes. Colette's lazy posture seems less demanding though, in the way she slouches to the side against Tasha and wraps an arm up and around the brunette's shoulders, leaning her head to the side until it softly clunks against Tasha's. "What're you two…"

Colette bothers un clumsily unfold the crumpled paper ball with one hand, smoothing it against her flannel-clad thigh after a moment before lifting it back up and looking down at the picture. First reactions are important things, and "Awwww! Ballerina princess!" is probably not exactly what Tasha wanted to hear.

There's a huff of a sigh right after, and Colette gently clunks her head against Tasha's again and squeezes that arm around her shoulders tighter. "Oh man, your…" she snorts out a breath, then looks up to Magnes and over to Tasha. "Maybe this is good, maybe like… we can— I dunno— we should talk to Eileen sometime, I mean— " there's a shape of the flyer, then a look to Magnes before she's focused back on Tasha again. "It'd be a good excuse to go see 'em together, once the weather eases up?”

"That costume was not my idea. I don't remember it, but I'm fairly certain I never wanted to be a ballerina," Tasha asserts quickly — because clearly that's the most important issue here.

"Magnes seems to think he should bring me in to show them I'm okay. I think he just wants to make a grand easy," the shorter of the two brunettes says lightly, though she offers a smile to the other who seems less suspicious of her now. "And… what, you mean visit my father together? I … you don't want to meet him, Colette. He's…" Frustration wells up and she takes the flyer out of Colette's hands to crumple it again, a cathartic and kinetic manifestation of her anger. "He can't say he cares about me, but he can plaster my face with my name all over fucking Manhattan."

Tasha slumps, sitting on the step above where she stands and raking her hands through her hair again. "Maybe Wireless can … maybe Wireless can at least let me call them, so that they don't send out search parties. I just need to figure out somewhere to tell them where I am where they won't come trying to rescue me."

While a majority of the kids are eating lunch, there's a small amount who are unaccounted for. Either cause of eating quickly, or just saying they'd be there in a few minutes. One of those kids happens to be Hailey, who was making sure the dogs got something to eat at the same time. The dogs who get to come indoors more than before. From her perch near the window, watching the dogs eat, she suddenly jumps up in surprise, and then runs toward the door quickly.

Doesn't even say what's going on. The blast of cold air greets her, and hits some of the rest of the people too close to the door, before it manages to get closed.

"Fu— fff. It's so cold here," Gillian complains, raspy voice quiet as she leans against the door keeping the cold wind and snow out. A bag of luggage drops to the floor in front of her. She caught her curse as soon as she saw the little blonde girl. A finger goes up to her mouth as soon as the girl's mouth starts opening. "Shhhhhh. I want a few minutes before I get mobbed, okay."

But those not currently eating lunch definitely know that… She's finally home. "I have presents, just let me get settled.

"Can I have my present first, then?" Hailey immediately asks, but doesn't yell like she might have been planning.

"Yes, yes."

"What's Eileen got to do with it? And I have almost two-hundred-thousand dollars, what do I need another grand for?" Magnes asks with another shoulder shrug, eyebrow raised. His arms sprawl across the back of the couch just in time for cold air to rush over his body and induce a few brief shivers. "Gillian!" he exclaims, likely defeating the purpose of her covert whispers. He immediately leaps up from the couch, his entire body floating in the air as he moves to wrap his arms around her neck, stretched out like a human scarf attached to her.

Snorting softly and turning to press her nose into Tasha's hair at her temple, Colette gives something of a bump there and then tilts her head to the side. "Tell 'em the truth. You're staying with a friend at the Lighthouse, 'cause it's got electricity and hot running water and you're totally sharing a room with your girlfrien— I mean uh well that might be a bit soon." Colette teasingly notes, lips pursing to the side as she bumps her hip against Tasha's.

"Seriously, if your dad put these flyers out, he cares. He's just too much of a," Colette takes on a mockingly gruff tone, "serious rar cop man to show emotion," then wrinkles her nose and giggles, "because that's just like my dad too someti— "

Colette whirls around at the sound of the door opening, eyes wide and mouth open in a surprised expression. There's an amused squeak and she slinks around Tasha, wrapping her arms around the brunette's waist from behind before circling her entirely. "Jelly's home!" Colette joins the enthusiastic greeting parade with an enthusiastic one of her own.

Pushing gently away from Tasha, Colette briskly walks, skips and hops over to Gillian and then throws her arms around her waist tightly, swinging to one side and smiling cheerily as she rises up on her toes to negate the difference an inch of height and shoes make before pressing a kiss to Gillian's forehead and leaning away from her while offering an askance look to Magnes, lips crooked up into a smile.

"Why did you come home?" Colette asks with a laugh, swaying from side to side before letting her hands go from Gillian's coat, sauntering back a few steps with her hands on her hips, "it's like a billion degrees below zero out here and you have a tan you might be the dumbest girl in the world didyoubringmepresents?"

She's been in bed for a few days, now she has extra energy to burn off.

"Rar cop, that's one way of putting it. But even the cops don't like him," Tasha says with a grumble. "I … I don't know. I wish the weather hadn't gotten so bad — we could have talked to Eileen by now."

Gillian's entrance is a welcome interruption to the discussion of Tasha's problem, though Colette certainly makes it seem less dire than Magnes had. Tasha rises from the step to watch the others greet Gillian warmly, and she offers a small wave — she's only met the other woman briefly. "Did you win lots of money? Pet a white tiger? Swim around in Hoover dam?" Maybe her idea of Hoover dam is a bit off, but she's never been further west than Chicago. "Welcome home." Tasha casts a glance over her shoulder, waiting for the stampede of Lighthouse children — but apparently they're talking too loudly over their lunch to have heard the commotion in the living room just yet.

"So much for a few minutes of— ow ow watch my back I just got a tattoo," Gillian complains a bit about the hugs as she moves, bending down to pick up the bag. "I won a little, but spent most of it on gifts and shows and stuff, and yes, I have gifts for you three too," she says, well aware she's plain crazy for coming back. Just as she expected, there's a flood of kids who heard the noise, as she holds the bag in front of her and exclaims, "No squishing your presents! Some of it is breakable! Hailey, keep the dogs back until I can pass out presents."

"Did you get the dogs presents!?"

From the look on Gillian's face— no, she didn't. "I— I got Chandra a present… But there's a dozen of you, I ran out of money!" And she forgot about the dogs. Chandra won't really appreciate a new dice shaped tag to hang off his collar anyway. He's kind of a jerkcat at times.

Sitting down, she pops open the suitcase and pulls out a few items and hands them around to the adults. They were on top.

Magnes gets a set of Las Vegas approved dice, perfectly weighted and sanctioned, even, still in a package. Colette a pair of Chopper Sunglasses with Las Vegas printed on the side. And Tasha gets a coffee mug, with a view of the city. There's a couple extra coffee mug shaped wrappings on top, likely for Doyle and Brian and possibly even Sable.

And then the kids start getting theirs. M&M shirts. All colors. Some with text, most with just M&Ms. It looks like the only luggage she bothered to bring back… were presents.

"Whoa, I can use these for D12 games!" Magnes exclaims excitedly, quickly opening the package of his dice after floating back to the couch to hunch over his gift. "And hey, I was a cop for a few months, I've known enough of them to know quite a few jerks. There's especially one cop, but…" He just shakes his head, grunting a little at that.

"Oh sweet!" Colette exclaims, twirling the sunglasses around between her fingers and sliding them on over her eyes. She takes a few twirling steps away from Gillian, arms held out to her side, then toe-steps back over to Tasha as she's handed the paper-wrapped mug from Gillian. Colette wraps her arms around the brunette's waist from behind, presses her nose into the hair at the back of her head once, then leand around to stare over her shoulder and watch her unwrap the present.

"Thank you Gillian!" Colette calls out after the fact, swaying side to side with her arms around Tasha gently, cheeks flushed a soft share of red and smile broad from ear to ear. Her green eyes keep moving from all of the clutter in Gillian's suitcase down to Tasha's hands and back again. For all that she's been battered and busy over the last week, her mod seems to have remained chipper.

Tasha is probably largely to blame for her high spirits. Just a guess.

The youngest of the young adults in the room looks surprised when she's handed the mug and her brows knit and her mouth puckers into a moue as she murmurs, "Aww, you didn't have to — that's so sweet!" she exclaims, leaning back against Colette as she opens the mug. "Coffeeeee," she says gleefully. Clearly, it's a winner — the most important Lighthouse task for Tasha, aside from missions to recover delivery men in the snow, has been to man the coffee pot and making sure it's filled with fresh coffee at all times.

"Thanks so much," she says, moving away for a moment from Colette to go hug the other. "Tattoo? Can we see? or better when there's no munchkins around?" she says excitedly.

"There's one more present for everyone, too," Gillian says, pulling out a bag from the M&M store, and pulling out smaller bags. Of M&Ms. "They're personalized. They have your names on them," she explains, handing them out to the kids first. "And they each come with an M&M ornament, also with your name on them. I don't know everyone's favorite colors, but hopefully you'll like you— don't start eating them already, Justin! You can have a few a night," she tries to instruct, but they look like they want to open them and see for sure.

Juniper gets lots of red, one of the few she knew a favorite color for. Magnes gets blue (closest to purple they had). Colette gets the cute flirty green ornament, and Tasha the yellow one.

"It's lunch time, go back and finish your lunches, and then you can look at the M&Ms I got you." There is whining and sound making, but they take their shirts and M&M bags, and slowly disperse, while Gillian raises eyebrows at Colette— and specifically the arm around Tasha. "I guess Lance wasn't being delusional. He mentioned something odd on the phone." The coat comes off, and she starts to pull up her shirt, turning around to show off that very tanned back, and the bright red spot to the left of her spin, where the skin is bright and swollen from the tattoo… of a black fairy with purple wings.

"Whoa, awesome! I wish I could have gone to Vegas too. I could have kept you company. But I'm sure it wasn't completely lonely." Magnes is assuming she went alone, sitting the M&Ms into his lap, then holds the dice in his palm. "They're perfectly weighed… it's like art that only I can see…"

"Lance," Colette grumbles with a side-long stare towards the kitchen, where Lance is sitting, listening to the conversation and brightly smiling as though he were the most innocent devil at the table. Colette narrows her eyes into a squint at the blue-eyed little terror, then wrinkles her nose and sticks out her tongue, because that's totally the mature thing to do in this case. After amking a point to seem twelve, Colette turns her attention to the tacky green bauble in her hand, rolling it around between her fingers before sauntering over to Tasha, stepping beside her and just— hooking it to Tasha's sweater at the collar. It's a garish, plastic little Star Wars M&M decoration of the green M&M character as princess Leia that clearly says Colette on it.

Nodding her head approvingly, she offers Tasha a lopsided smile and shifts her weight to one foot. Green eyes divert over to Gillian, down to the tattoo, then back up again. "That— looks like it hurt a lot," Colette offers with a raise of her brows, "it's really cool though. I'm a total sissy about pain though so like— " she's underestimating herself a little, "I don't think I could ever get a tattoo."

"Someone's going to be writing more lines," says Tasha in a singsong voice. "I will not be a gossipy old busybody!" She grins, however, the tension from her descent down the stairwell completely gone. She shoves the crumpled up piece of paper into her pocket, forgetting its existence for the time being. "Thanks, Gillian. This is really sweet of you," she says, clutching her gifts with one hand, while the other goes to take Colette's somewhat shyly in front of their "boss."

"And you're not a sissy. You just get too much pain accidentally to want to get it deliberately. There's nothing wrong with that," Tasha says, hip-bumping the other before tilting her head at the fairy. "It's gorgeous and it totally suits you, Gill," she tells Gillian with a smile. "I don't have one of my own, but I've designed a few for a couple of friends. If anyone ever wants me to sketch them out something, I'm happy to."

The talk of accidental pain brings Tasha's eyes down to Colette's arm, and she frowns, glancing back up at Colette. "We should probably tell her what happened with the dog."

"Abby was good company," Gillian says, letting the shirt drop back down with a mild wince. It's an old familiar pain, and as long as she can avoid getting tackled by children, it should be gone in a few days. "It's my fourteenth tattoo. I wish everyone could have come, though. It was so nice. And then going back here… It's like jumping into Antarctica." Again.

The two times she jumped into Antarctica, she didn't have to stay.

The last present is for the Lighthouse itself, which she picks up and places on the fireplace. "This is kind of a joke, but— maybe if we think of it snowing on Las Vegas it will snow less here." A snowglobe of Las Vegas. A plastic one, with a small bubble hanging out at the top already.

"An artist, huh? We'll have to compare sketches someday— you're probably better, though," she says, looking at Tasha carefully, but not seeming to be judging based on— certain things. There might be a word or two once Magnes isn't around, though! "What dog? Did the dogs come back?"

"Colette's like the Kenny of the group." Magnes states with a helpless shake of his head. Then Gillian mentions Abby, and his eyes go wide. "Abby? Abby was in Vegas? Vegas?" He's having a minor freak out, standing up to head over to Gillian. "I, uh, what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas, right? I mean, like, oh god Vegas… No, don't tell me, I don't wanna know! I don't wanna know anything!" His presents are in his pockets now, and he sticks his fingers in his ears, heading into the kitchen. "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can!"

There's a soft noise in the back of Colette's throat when Tasha mentions the dogs, her green eyes shifting to look askance at the brunette before nodding her head once, slowly. But then Magnes is having a miniature psychological breakdown and Colette just sort've stares as he wanders away from the group, over towards the kitchen and then just— blinks. Her brows lift up, mouth moves to form the words whatever silently, and then offers a look back over to Gillian, as if apologetic for Magnes.

"Things went kinda' sideways since you left," she admits to Gillian a little sheepishly, trying to politely let focus fall away from Magnes' little breakdown. "Phones are down all across the city, this— part of Staten's the only place in the city with public electricity. Most everyone on the mainland is in shelters or safe houses. It's bad… um, we had a problem earlier in the week, a shipment going to McRae's got lost in the blizzard that hit Wednesday. So— McRae organized a search party, and me, Sable, Magnes and Tasha all got together to— " Colette squints for a moment, looking to the stairs, Sable's still asleep; lazy.. "Um, to— uh, to go look on our own."

Leaning her weight against Tasha, Colette looks down to her feet, then back up to Gillian again. "We— we found the truck after a while, but we never found the driver. We— one of the dogs was out there in the snow, it um…" Colette holds out her arm, rolling up one sleeve of her Alpaca sweater to show the bandages wrapped around her forearm from wrist to elbow, "I got bit, not bad but— m'waiting on word from McRae about rabies shot stuff."

Looking down again, Colette lowers her arm and lets the sleeve fall down to cover the bandages. "I— I'm really sorry, we should've been more careful and— I mean, I…" her eyes close and she slouches a little against Tasha. "I should've been more careful. Everyone was my responsibility, an'— " she just breathes out another strained noise of frustration, lacking the words to properly apologize for everything.

"Shhh," Tasha says, brows knitting together as she hugs the other teenager to her side. "You didn't do anything wrong, Colette. Stop blaming yourself. And that's why more than one or two of us went, right? Safety in numbers. If it was just two of us… it'd have been a lot worse." What Tasha doesn't say is if it had just been us, she wouldn't have been able to save Colette, but her face crumples and she looks away for a moment.

"Magnes was able to get the food and supplies. And he shot the dog, so it's one less we have to worry about," she continues on, her voice a tinge thicker than it was a moment before, a little lower. She swallows, and rests her cheek against Colette's shoulders, large brown eyes looking up at Gillian. "We managed to keep the kids all fed and occupied with only mild issues like a panty raid and such, so I think we did okay, don't you?" She's looking for reassurance for Colette, not herself.

"I was hoping those dogs would have frozen to death by now," Gillian says quietly, looking distraught, but not completely angry or upset. The fact that things are just getting worse why she was gone isn't helping. There's a distant look in her eyes, as she studies the snow globe on top of the fireplace for a minute. There isn't anything that interesting to mention about Abby in Vegas anyway, as Magnes exits in lalala land. His imagination is probably more interesting than the one tease of a flirt she pulled on the blonde girl.

Gathering up her bag and coat, she starts to get ready to go up to the stairs. "I'm gonna go up to my room and get settled. I heard you two were staying there." Yes, you two. There's a distinct glance at Colette, a dimpled grin… And then she lowers her voice as she moves past them to go up the stairs. The voice is low enough the kids, and Magnes, shouldn't be able to ease drop.

"You two have better washed my sheets."

She doesn't even wait to see any redness that might follow.

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