The Distant Sound of Rain


colette3_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title The Distant Sound of Rain
Synopsis Colette isn't allowed to mope. Not this time.
Date July 13, 2009

Nicole and Colette's Apartment

The distant sound of rain.

In a way, the white noise is comforting. But in a house this empty, even the slightest sound seems so magnified, so exaggerated. Rain lightly beats down on glass, running in thin rivulets that meander across the smooth surface, distorting the lights of cars outside. While the sun has set, its fading light still clings to the streets in shades of blue and gray. The red glow of taillights turn to vibrant star shaped blossoms of light, while headlights gleam a clear and colorless white against the threatening night.

Far from the windows and draped across an overstuffed armchair like a lazy housecat, a young girl stares up listlessly at the reflection of those passing lights on the apartment's ceiling. No other lights illuminate the apartment, just the pale white and red glows that alternate on the rainy street outside of the brownstone. Draped across her chest, a book has been laid open, long since having lost her attention. The stark black text on a black and white gradient reads: "Radiation, Light and Illumination. A Scientific Journal."

Languidly, she raises a hand up that had since hung limply at her side. Fingers splay as they reach out towards the ceiling, then curl closed against her palm. Thin rays of light radiate out from between her fingers, until like a blossoming flower they open away from her palm, revealing a blue-white butterfly that slowly flaps its wings.

The tiny insect flutters away from her hand, leaving a stardust trail of rainbow hues in its wake. With each change of its orientation, the young girl's fingers move and twist, like the way a puppeteer would control a doll. Eventually, the butterfly touches the ceiling, leaving a halo of light that it sheds from its lucent wings.

Ultimately, that too fades, and the butterfly breaks apart in shreds of color that fall back down towards the dark-haired girl like snowflakes. Her head turns, sending milky white eyes towards a coffee table and a folded piece of paper just out of arms reach. Simple, if effeminate, handwriting scrawls a single name on the paper; Colette.

Her eyes close, throat tightening, as she turns to look back at the ceiling before draping one bare arm over her eyes as a sigh slips out of her lips.

Silence renders as veritable shouts the scrape of metal on metal, the creak of hinges protesting a door's opening. Most people would protest the room's lack of light; yet silence pervades, interrupted only by the whisper of bare feet on carpet, the second metallic moan which accompanies the door swinging closed, the dual clicks of latch and lock.

The mental litany of who's at the door narrows itself quite quickly. Most people would actually knock and wait to be let in. It could be a petty burglar, presuming the apartment is unoccupied — but with his very own key to the lock? Not likely. The measured tread of feet across the room is also familiar — the weight, the stride, the way they fail to collide with any furniture despite the darkness all have comfortable significance.

The immediately recognizable voice is just the icing on the cake. "You're not alone," Tamara says softly, her tone light.

Eyes wide and white against the dark, Colette stares blankly in the direction of the voice, unable to discern shape and form until the intruder has drawn closer, close enough that she can determine color and form where there normally only is void. Sightless eyes drift up and down the familiar shapes, lips unable to help but do anything save for curl up into a smile.

Immediately, bare feet swing down off of the arm of the chair, down to the carpet underfoot and across to the older girl. There's no words, not really, just the brush of bare arms around Tamara's shoulders as Colette wraps them tightly around her, leaning in against her. There's something exasperated about the motions, something initially frantic but quickly calming.

Swallowing noisily, Colette presses her cheek to Tamara's, fingers winding in the fabric of her shirt at her back. For just a moment more Colette is silent, breathing in deep through her nose as she hides her face away in the older teen's far longer hair. The brush of her nose across Tamara's neck comes just before she speaks up, voice quiet and warm against hair-shrouded skin; "I know."

It's hard to admit, that despite being physically alone, Colette is never truly alone. Faith, as powerful as it is, can sometimes be a difficult thing to rely on, especially when everything else seems to be slipping through her fingers. "I— " she cuts herself off, swallows down emotion, tries to relax as she leans back, teeth pressed into her lower lip as she looks at Tamara more closely. One shaky hand rises from her back, brushing over her cheek. "I missed you." It doesn't need to be said, Tamara and Colette both know it, but there's something to be said for making the effort to vocalize the truth, as evident as it is.

The sybil folds her arms around Colette in turn, hands flat against her back; counterbalance, support. There are words, simply words unspoken, descant and harmony to the few to be voiced. They pass by as scents on the wind, remembered for their texture and tone rather than precise content; it's a whole Tamara parses as automatically as she breathes. Chin resting just lightly on the younger teen's shoulder, each exhalation ruffles a swatch of her short-cropped hair.

Colette leans back, and Tamara shifts her embrace slightly, ensuring she has the room in which to do so. The corners of her mouth tug back in the seed of a smile, rueful and knowing and gently reassuring. Tamara turns, draping one arm over Colette's shoulders, nudging her to move towards the couch. "You want to talk?" Spoken as an invitation, rather than the seeress' more ominous I have something to tell you tone — and implicitly, a suggestion that she intends to stay for a while.

It's also a surprising invitation. Often, words are considered second-hand to actions when in regard to Tamara. It's something Colette has come to learn and understand, and even appreciate. Communicating with Tamara has been like learning a new language, one with emotion, meaning and most importantly gravity to everything, a communication that does not solely rely on what can often be hollow words, but also the adamancy of deeds themselves; doing, rather than saying. That Tamara wants to talk — to listen — when words can be so difficult for her, shows that they both work hard to live in each other's worlds.

The urge down to the sofa is all it takes for Colette to start moving, one of her hands quickly finding Tamara's, fingers lacing with the older girl's before she settles back onto the ocuch, folding one leg up beneath herself as she tugs down on Tamara's hand, guiding her down to the couch at Colette's side. The younger girl slouches to the side the moment Tamara is seated, letting her shoulder come against Tamara's.

"I just got her back." In a way, it's been far longer than 'just', but too short a time to be enough. "I… I'm scared." Not that she would admit it to anyone else but Tamara, save for perhaps Judah. She's prideful, trying to be strong in a world that saps strength, where to admit her weakness like this is admitting failure. "I'm— I don't want to lose her again." Looking down to the note folded on the coffee table again, Colette's sightless eyes glass over just a touch with tears. But they, like the overwhelmed emotion in her voice earlier, are swallowed back as she turns her focus to Tamara again. Her smile says her appreciation, the squeeze of her hand around Tamara's says the rest.

Listening is itself a deed. A gift of time, attention, care. Tamara lets Colette pick her seat on the couch, then settles in obediently beside her. Shoulder to shoulder, she folds an arm around the younger girl again. The gesture is comforting, supportive; the subtleties of the sybil's expression both are and are not these things. Colette's fears are entirely foreign to her worldview, and in a fashion, it shows.

"People come," Tamara says softly, knowing the statement she makes is only cold comfort at best — and probably not even that. "They come and they go, threads splitting to weave across the tapestry. Cherish what they give you, and they're never gone, never lost. You have that gift."

It's a very Tamara answer, which is to say it's both confusing and comforting. The only difficulty in accepting it, is how hard it is to admit that the right answer isn't the easy answer, that the difficult emotional decisions aren't inherently wrong. But it's a lesson — time and again — that Tamara has taught Colette. The lesson that nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Closing her eyes, more as a vestigial reflex than out of necessity, Colette leans in to that embrace. Out of everyone who has come and gone through her life, the one sitting at her side right now has never left Colette in doubt. Even when she was half a world away, there was always some form of faith that she'd be back. It's hard to admit that, in a way, Colette can have this faith in Tamara, and no one else.

"I'm glad you came…" Her voice is still small, and Colette shifts her weight some as she talks, letting her bare arms come around Tamara's waist, drawing the girl closer and into a more relaxed embrace. But then, "Why… do you care about me so much?" It's such a sudden question, brought on by doubt and depression. Honest in her lack of an answer, but deep down she knows she doesn't really need one.

Tamara closes her eyes in turn, letting her cheek come to rest on her friend's dark hair, a puff of blown-out air sweeping across the strands. The timbre of the sigh is resigned, weary; there's a moment of silence between it and the sybil's verbal response. "I can't answer that question." Many others, in one fashion or another — but not that one. She lacks that gift.

Lifting her head, opening blue eyes, Tamara looks down at Colette. Darkness or no darkness. One finger traces down the younger girl's arm, rolls along the band of the bracelet she wears. "The beads fall away, size, shape, corners, edges; color stays. Just the color. It has to be enough 'cause it's almost all there is."

"I…" There's a breath drawn in slowly, a deep exhalation, all calming. In that breath, the tears break way and dribble from her eyelids down across her cheeks, catching that orange and fiery hue of the sunset in them for their brief existance. "I understand. You— you have as hard of a time understanding what's happened; the past." She swallows, anxiously. "As.. A-as I do understanding the future." There's a faint, nervous smile, did she get it right? Is she starting to puzzle this out? It's hard to say in her eyes.

The memory of last fall comes back quickly to Colette. Her eyes wrench shut, jaw setting slightly as she brushes her chin across Tamara's shoulder. Like so many grains of sand, or droplets of falling water, the past keeps falling away from her. Shifting again in the other girl's arms, Colette leans back just enough to look Tamara in the eyes; Colette's white to Tamara's blue and sometimes black. It's wordless, the exchange, but the understanding is there, bittersweet as it is.

Somehow, Colette still manages to smile. She moves one hand, letting it rise up from Tamara's side, lightly brushing her palm over the older girl's cheek. In the faint light of the apartment, blue blossoms in sudden color behind Colette, a pair of those tiny illusory butterflies — short lived as they are, ephemeral things of living color that break apart when too far from her, but cast a soft light on the two for just a moment.

She doesn't say anything, nothing truly needs to be said. Not when Colette leans forward, using that hand gently set to Tamara's cheek as a guide, her nose lightly brushing against the older girl's in a soft, gentle expression of affection. One that is eclipsed by the soft touch of their lips together, and quiet words that are breathed out after the show of affection. "I'll always be here to remind you."

The sybil smiles back at the younger girl, the curve of her lips affectionate, wistful, wry; bittersweet. Sometimes threads are teased apart, split to etch different marks upon the tapestry of time. It's Tamara's turn to adjust position, to lean her cheek against Colette's shoulder, comfortable, relaxed, unconcerned. Sometimes, despite all other possibilities, all other probabilities, they find themselves woven together again. Seeing this, living this, day in and day out, leaves Tamara with much less to be apprehensive about.

"I know you will."

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