Then Be Happy


colette_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Then Be Happy
Synopsis After an upsetting discussion with Sable, Tasha finds reassurance from both Tamara and Colette.
Date June 28, 2010

Gun Hill Colette's, Tasha's, and Tamara's Apartment

It has been a couple of hours since Tasha left the apartment to answer Sable's text message and visit her on the roof. The actual roof-top chat lasted merely minutes, really — 20 at most — but Tasha has spent the remaining time painting one of the empty apartments in an effort to burn off some of her anger and to give her tears time to dry. The only problem, every time she stops crying, the constant replay of the conversation in her mind brings up the tears again, and it takes another twenty minutes to dry those tears. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's taken a few of those cycles to finally run out of tears, thanks to exhaustion and probably dehydration, and Tasha finally makes it into her own apartment sometime past one in the morning. The door is opened as slowly and quietly as possible, so that she doesn't disturb sleeping girls or sleeping dogs — the latter a bit trickier, due to their keen hearing. Using her phone as a flashlight, Tasha moves slowly and quietly across the living room, her ultimate goal her bedroom — she knows she'll wake Colette, but hopefully only momentarily.

The dog, as it happens, is shut into Tamara's room — if Tasha's entrance does disturb her, only Misty can know. Admittedly, one other probably has a good idea — but she isn't in her room, and whatever she knows about the other side of that door, the seeress keeps to herself. The moon is still up outside, faint silvery light leaking indirectly through a window; sitting sideways on one of the lawn chairs that serve them as furniture, Tamara was watching said window, all the way up until Tasha opens the door. The chair creaks faintly as the blonde climbs up to her feet, tracking the younger girl's progress across the room as much by the phone's backlit LCD as by her own prescience. "Wait," Tamara says, voice low and quiet in the room. "Left first."

The younger girl pauses, turning to the voice to her left by the window, and assumes it means to go talk to Tamara before heading down the hall to sleep — and talk or not talk to Colette. She hasn't decided how honest she will be about what happened on the roof. "Hi, Tamara," Tasha says, moving toward the window, glancing out and then at the blond.

"Can't sleep?" she asks. Closer to Tamara now, the light from the window is dim but strong enough to show the paint smudges on Tasha's face, along with red-rimmed eyes. There is the slightest scent of cigarette smoke, mostly obscured by the scent of paint, that lingers on Tasha's clothing. "I was just painting one of the vacant apartments," she adds, though probably doesn't need to.
Poseorder is not enabled in this room.

Moonlight paints Tamara's face pale, her hair almost colorless. She leans down to pick up a water bottle from where it sits beside the chair, folding Tasha's fingers around it. Her smile is crookedly rueful. "Were you?" the seeress asks — not in disbelief, but simple curiosity; after all, she doesn't know what Tasha has already done. "Sometimes I slept. Sometimes not," Tamara answers with a dismissive shrug. She picks a loose hair off Tasha's shoulder, dropping it to float down to the floor; sets the back of her hand against the same shoulder, fingers slightly chill where they cross the neckline of her shirt. "I'll listen, if you want," the blonde offers, speaking a little more carefully. She smiles again. "Even just about paint."

"I think you like paint as much as I do," Tasha says with a smile, glancing down at the bottle of water that has been put in her hands. She opens it and takes a long drink — the apartment she was painting doesn't have air conditioning, and she didn't bring a bottle of water with her, spontaneous decorating as it was.

"Nothing interesting really for that room — just white. Off white. Like… eggshell maybe, you'd call it, I guess," Tasha murmurs, voice not a whisper, but still quiet in respect for thin walls, if not Colette who is probably sleeping like a bear.

The only other thing to talk about, the only other thing new since Tasha left the apartment hours ago, she doesn't bring up. Instead, she tilts her head at Tamara, and touches her arm lightly, to ground her, as Colette said touch does. "Are you happy? With … with us, with the apartment, with … with me here?"

"Paint is good for some things," she tells Tasha. "Better to have it on the walls, though." As opposed to…? Tamara doesn't clarify. She glances down at the hand on her arm, for no more weighty reason than the fact of its presence and the demand it places on her attention; lifts blue eyes back to the younger girl's face, smiling gently. She brings her hands up to Tasha's face, thumbs brushing across her cheekbones, fingers resting lightly against the brunette's hair, and kisses her forehead in affectionate benediction. "You were here," the seeress murmurs; and it really is as simple as that, at heart. "Shouldn't I be?" She tilts her head to one side, brows rising in query. "Better to ask if you were those things."

The affection of Tamara reminds Tasha of Colette's affections; Tamara surely doesn't mean hers in any way other than reassurance, fondness, friendship, and it asserts Tasha's belief that Colette means the same when she offers those hugs and noses and the like to Sable — or whomever else. Tasha's eyes drop and she nods. "I am, or I can be," she murmurs, her tenses getting as complex as Tamara's.

"I could be, if …" If people didn't keep trying to make her otherwise. Her eyes dart to the hallway, glancing through long lashes toward her room, before looking back up at Tamara. "I'm glad you are. Happy with us. I can be happy, too." The 'fairness' called into question up on the roof doesn't seem to be an issue for Tamara, and that helps to reassure Tasha.

Sliding her hands back through Tasha's hair and away, Tamara bobs her head once. "Then be happy," she says, as if that were also simple — as simple as a resolution. Perhaps it can be, sometimes. Catching hold of Tasha's shoulders, Tamara turns her around so she's standing behind the younger girl, resting her chin on Tasha's right shoulder, looking past her towards the door of her room. Their room. "Go," she murmurs against Tasha's ear. "Just go and say hello." And then she lets go, fingertips pressing in the slightest of nudges forward before the blonde steps back.

There is a resolute nod at that. Just be happy. Like Nike says — Just do it. "Thanks," Tasha murmurs, turning to give a quick hug to Tamara, the water bottle sloshing as she wraps her arms around the other girl, then puts the bottle back in Tamara's hands. She smiles and turns to head down the hallway, pausing in the doorway of the dark room to pull off her sneakers by stepping on the back of one heel, then the other, before moving as quietly and lightly as she can onto the bed — she'd sleep through it, but Colette is not as hard a sleeper as she is.

Curling her fingers around the water bottle, Tamara smiles towards the dark doorway. She lingers for a moment, then returns to her chair, resuming her sideways seat with an elbow draped across the chair's back, the half-full plastic bottle couched in her lap.

With Tamara's silhouette not visible in the bedroom doorway, Colette's waking consciousness of light and its presence around her bedroom defines only one other person aside from herself. Tasha's subtle presence leaning against the bed is enough to disturb her sleep and rouse Colette to immediate wakedness, it's impossible for the half-blind girl to find anything other than momentary startle when the bed shifts like that. Some scars she wears on the outside, some scars she wears on the inside, and wake her up at the slightest shift of comfortable sleeping.

Eyes don't open right away, not for lack of wanting to see what's there, but because Colette forgets that she needs to. It's become easier over time for Colette to see with eyes closed, in a way. Interpreting the blurred shapes of color, light and dark as something analogous to natural sight that she sometimes hardly notices the difference between viewing the world through what looks like a frosted glass window, and viewing the world without depth perception.

Reaching up and over to Tasha, Colette slides her arms around the brunette's approaching waist, drawing her close and pulling her down into an embrace that — prior to the air conditioning — would've been a stifling and brief affair. No words, no greeting, not when something as communicative as a hug will suffice. A touch is easier to convey meaning with than most words, especially for Colette.

There is a long, deep breath, and Tasha's arms wrap around Colette's, lips finding neck as she buries her face against the other's skin, then exhales in a longer, shuddering sigh. "Hello," she murmurs, lips muffled by skin, as she follows Tamara's orders to say hello. She snuggles closer — it's even close enough to hug and have the comforter on top of them! — and then tilts her head to kiss Colette's cheek softly.

"Sorry to wake you, working woman. Go back to sleep. It's okay," she whispers, hand reaching up to tuck a strand of hair behind Colette's ear, moving her head to the pillow so she can watch the other girl rest.

Heavily exhaling a breath through her nose, Colette's brows furrow as she leans her weight against Tasha, eyes slowly blinking open to consider the brunette in her arms. There's a brief look to the doorway, the hall light spilling into the bedroom, then back to Tasha as Colette lifts one hand slowly and brushes her palm across the younger girl's cheek. "Hey," she breathily states, the cobwebs of sleep slowly drifting away from her, nose coming ot bury at the side of Tasha's neck after a moment, breathing in slowly the comforting smell.

Staring over at the red glow of a digital alarm clock on the makeshfit milk-crate night stand. 01:08am has Colette breathing a heavier sigh out before leaning back, letting her knuckles dust across Tasha's cheek. Eyes partway lidded, Colette shifts her body beneath the blankets, a hand moving down Tasha's back to her hip, one brow raising subtly at the texture of the clothing felt, denim does not beget sleep.

"What kept you up?" Colette asks quietly, settling down to lay on her side again, breathing in a deep and slow breath as she blinks the tiredness out of her eyes. It's only then she makes a soft, disapproving noise before asking, "and why do you smell like cigarettes?"

Only Colette would note the cigarette smell above the paint. Tasha chuckles, though it means she can't avoid all of the truth — maybe she can soften it. "I was painting one of the vacant rooms for the past couple hours. I was sort of restless," she says, lifting a hand to touch Colette's cheek. Her own, given Colette's better night vision, has those telltale smudges of paint to back up her story, as does the scent of paint on her clothes.

"I didn't really smoke. Sable and I talked on the roof and she decided we should smoke or something in some weird Bill Clinton-esque bonding ritual where neither of us actually inhale," Tasha says casually, a smirk curving her lips as she leans forward to kiss Colette's cheek again. "I'll go shower and get cleaned up though, if the shower won't keep you from sleeping. Tam's awake, so it won't bug her."
Tam's awake.

The notion has Colette's brows creasing together thoughtfully, mismatched eyes regarding the light spilling through the bedroom doorway for a moment. The suggestion that Tamara is awake at one in the morning has Colette's attention more so, at first. She does sleep — or seems to — and that Tamara chose now to be awake likely is anything but unintentional. Determining the why and what of that mystery, unfortunately, is usually outside of Colette's ability to divine.

"I'unno if I should be scared or not, at the idea of you two bonding," Colette belatedly comments, voice low and sleep still blunting her faculties some. She leans against Tasha, squeezes her tighter and implies somewhat wordlessly that she needn't leave to shower, not yet anyway.

"You okay?" is a fishing sort of question as she buries her nose into Tasha's neck again, holding her tightly in her arms, words murmured out against skin before she leans back, mimics Tasha's earlier gesture and sweeps a lock of brown hair behind one of Tasha's ears. Colette has no way to know anything is wrong, but it's the first question — of many — that she has lined up. "Did… Tamara say anything?" That's another.

The mention of being worried of them bonding pulls a snort from Tasha that becomes a giggle — one borne of exhaustion and worry and anger, but manifests in mirth that echoes Sable's laughter from earlier, if a bit less hyena-ish. "Trust me when I tell you I don't think there's any worry that we're going to bond," she finally manages, burying her face in the pillow as if to stifle more laughter. But really, it's because the tears have begun to spring up from their never-ending well.

"Tamara's fine," comes the muffled response to the second question, the first ignored. "She didn't say a lot. She offered to listen." Tasha sighs, shoulders rising and falling. "I don't think I can be friends with Sable, Colette."

There's enough things that were said by Tasha there to cause Colette to worry. Swallowing noisily, the teen rises up to rest her weight on one elbow, lifting a hand up to brush fingertips gently across Tasha's cheek and then across her cheekbone and into her hair. Her expression is a troubled one, conflicted in expression by lack of understanding. "I…" she loses her words, thoughtfully silent for a moment as she tries to puzzle her own tongue out, then looks back up to Tasha. "I don't, um… What's the matter?"

The look on Colette's face conveys that tumultous emotions bubbling around inside of her. That there seems to be a problem between the two — especially now that they're neighbors — weighs on her considerably. "You… wanna' talk about it?" Since Tamara was willing to listen, maybe it means that Tasha was willing to talk.

Tasha rolls over, tears damp on her cheeks, red-rimmed eyes more red now that she's crying again. "I … don't know," is an honest answer. She doesn't know if she wants to talk about it or not. "I don't want to make you feel bad at all, because I'm not mad at you and I trust you and I love you and I would have tried to pretend like nothing's wrong if I could but I suck at hiding anything from you…"

She takes a shaky breath and reaches to catch Colette's hand, fingers interlacing. "She wanted to know what you'd told me about her and you, and I said no, because… I didn't want her to say it wasn't like that, or to try to catch you in a lie — not that I think you lied to me! — or anything like that." She swallows hard, and closes her eyes, pushing her forehead against Colette's. "She still … I think she doesn't know how to separate your hugs and stuff from like… how she feels about you." Despite her anger, she tries to be empathetic and diplomatic.

Successful attempts at diplomacy, at least. Colette's reaction is a whined sigh and a shake of her head, leaning in to rest her forehead against Tasha's, lining up their noses and remaining in that mirrored position briefly before leaning aside and pressing a trail of kisses across one of Tasha's cheeks. "Sorry," she whispers into one of them, "sorry I… I'm like a broken faucet. Either hot or cold water an' nothing in-between." It's a clumbsy analogy, but the best that Colette can come up with.

"I didn't think she… would.. interpret it like that." Exhaling a sigh, Colette leans away from Tasha, keeps leaning until she lays on her back, lifting up one arm to drape across her eyes and then slowly move up to sweep dark bangs away from her forehead. Looking side-long to Tasha, Colette offers the younger girl an apologetic smile. "I never lied," Colette quietly explains with a smile, "I dunno if… I say everything, but I never lied. I don't even remember how I explained everything t'you about me an' Sable either." There's a crease of Colette's brows, then her attention focuses up to the ceiling distantly.

It's only then that Colette realizes something went unsaid, and while it might not be that big of a deal, it is to her. Leaning over onto her side again, Colette lifts up a hand to cup Tasha's cheek and press a kiss across her lips warmly as she whispers, "I love you too, you know I do," with her eyes shut.

"That's what I said," Tasha murmurs against Colette's lips, arms wrapping tight around the other. "I … no, I didn't think you lied. You told me things that … that would be hard to say, so I don't think you lied, ever, and I told her as much. She just… maybe it's her background, or maybe it's because of what she wants, but she interprets it the wrong way. I told her I'd tell you that it bothers her, that she doesn't want you to do that if you … if she wants you to mean it another way, but she said it wouldn't do any good." More than Tasha meant to say by far rolls out of her mouth and against Colette's cheek and neck, along with some tears.

"I … in the end I wasn't very nice, Cole. I was trying to be, but it felt like … it felt like she wanted me to doubt you, wanted me to second guess you, though she said it in a way that was like, like she was trying to make it about us, saying it wasn't fair to me and her and Tam. I told her that we — you, me and Tam — are handling things, and that she isn't happy because she didn't get what she wanted, and that I don't think I can be her friend."

She sobs once against Colette's neck, and shakes her head. "I wasn't going to tell you. I don't want to hurt you, Colette, and none of that is your fault. She just… I don't know. She thinks you think like she does," Tasha manages.

Tense from the sudden emotional turn-around, Colette enwraps Tasha in her arms, cradling her close and letting one hand come up to the back of her head, fingertips brushing firmly through dark hair. "Hey, hey," Colette practically whines out the words, squeezing Tasha close and burying her face at the side of her head in a slow press of sympathetic kisses. "Hey it— it's not like that, it's okay… it'll be okay, don't— please don't cry." Arms wrapped firmly around Tasha, Colette shakes her head from side to side, not sure how to say what she wants to say, what she thinks would make things better.

"I'm okay, I— I'm not hurt, Sable's just…" Colette doesn't have a way to properly word that, and by the time she does think of one the teen has trailed off for too long for it to be a natural answer. Squeezing Tasha again, Colette presses another kiss to the side of her head, stroking fingers through Tasha's hair. For all her worth though, there's something in Tasha's words that has Colette worried by small fractions.

"Do— do you think m'not being fair?" It's a whisper, a self-consciously asked question that tugs at the center of the one real doubt that Colette has in her life at the moment. She's not sure how to explain her feelings to herself, and hearing that outside impression has her doubint what little she thinks she does have under control.

"We're fine. I know we are, Colette. I'm … I know what you felt and feel for Tamara, and I know all the reasons why that's been hard for you, and I know you can't just stop caring about her, and you shouldn't stop caring — I mean, she's your family, too, besides the other stuff. You're doing everything that you can, and that's all anyone can ask and you and me and Tamara being okay is really all I'm worried about, which I kinda said." Breathe. Tasha hugs Colette tighter and kisses her cheek again.

"She… she said you didn't choose, but I don't see it like that. I think you're protecting both Tam and me the best you can — and this is how you can. And I'm fine with it. I want us to be safe too," she whispers, wiping her own tears and managing to staunch the tears. For Colette's sake, at least. She presses a kiss to Colette's forehead. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm seeing it the way I want to, but… I don't think I'm wrong."

Exhaling a strained sigh, Colette rests her forehead against Tasha's, shaking her head slowly in response to everything Sable implied. "She doesn't know me like she thinks," Colette whispers softly, leaning into Tasha's embrace. She's quiet for a while, just holding tasha close and keeping her arms cradled around the brunette, fingers laced into her hair, mind wandering not so much to the girl in her arms but the girl beyond, the one somewhere else in the apartment, the one that isn't being comforted right now. Colette's eyes close, teeth draw over her lower lip, and her attention drifts back to Tasha.

"She'll get over herself," is a little harshly worded in regards to Sable, but at the moment Colette has no reason to be delicate about these things. "As— as long as you and Tamara are happy, that's all that matters t'me. I… I don't know what's gonna' happen in the future, I don't know— " Colette just cuts herself off, shaking her head slowly.

"I'm gonna' figure it out, and… and I'm not gonna' let it happen." There's a weakness in Colette's voice when she says that, and emotional undercurrent that shows just how affected she still is by what she saw. "I don't want that…" she whispers, "not for any've us."

"Don't be too mad at Sable… I… she cares about you," Tasha says with some difficulty. It would be easier for her if Sable was out of their lives, but she knows that's the easy way out. "She'll find something good for herself, I hope, and maybe she'll quit worrying so much about you and me and Tamara and everyone else. Be her friend — God knows she needs them, but I'm not sure if she knows how to be just friends with someone — or with you, anyway," she adds, kissing Colette, and moving her hands to the other's shoulders, starting to massage the muscles there, to soothe her so she can go back to sleep.

She chuckles slightly, resting her forehead against Colette's again. "I had a guy friend who got accused of flirting all the time by like every girl he knew, even if he didn't like them that way, right? I told him he had to pretend the girls he wasn't actually interested in were guys — that he couldn't do anything to them that he wouldn't do to a guy. You know. If he wouldn't hug a guy, he couldn't hug the girl. If he wouldn't kiss a guy's cheek, he couldn't do that to the girl. Maybe you should do the same with her… pretend she's Doyle or something." The image gets a little giggle and Tasha nuzzles closer, deeper under the blankets.

Laughing and then groaning, Colette presses her face against a pillow and cracks up into laughter she can't quite suppress. Looking up with a side-long stare to Tasha, Colette's lips creep up into a smile against the fabric of the pillow and she snorts out a giggling laugh again and shakes her head. "That's so not appropriate," Colette notes with a bubbly laughter, "so not cool."

Wrinkling her nose and smiling, Colette reaches out and brushes her palm over Tasha's cheek, then squirms over to her and pushes the brunette onto her back, laying her weight slightly atop Tasha, stroking her nose up and down against Tasha's cheek. "I'm glad you told me…" Colette whispers against the brunette's cheek, "thank you for being honest with me."

Wrapping one arm around Tasha's shoulders, Colette's head comes down to rest on the closest one. "Thank you for… being the most understanding, an' loving girl…" there's a creeped up smile and a kiss to the side of Tasha's shoulder, followed by a brush of Colette's nose where she kissed. "I love you."

The giggles are contagious, but so are the love and affection that comes after them, and Tasha's giggles fall away as she rests her head against Colette's. She brings their interlocked fingers upward, turning the hands so that she can kiss the back of Colette's, then holds the hand to her heart.

"We keep trying to protect each other by not telling each other stuff, but I don't think it works. So I'm going to try to be honest from now on. I mean, I don't think either of us have lied, not in a really long time, not like, since maybe I lied about my Dad and stuff, but we don't always tell each other the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, right?" Tasha says, voice no more than a whisper against Colette's hair.

"I don't mean you have to tell me everything that ever happens, either, because I know sometimes you need privacy, but I'm not going to try to hide anything from you anymore, either," she adds, kissing Colette's dark hair. "I love you and trust you and I won't let anyone change that."

Just smiling to Tasha, Colette nods once and presses her nose to the side of the brunette's neck, kissing there after a moment and then squeezing the hand she's holding. Tasha's words are the perfect punctuation to a worrisome middle of the night, and while Colette's mind still wanders to Tamara's lone wakedness out somewhere in the apartment, Colette curls up close against Tasha, nodding once more and squeezing that hand one last time before nuzzling her nose down into Tasha's shoulder.

"I love you too," is whispered there, and there Colette intends to stay for as long as she can through the night. For all that she tosses and turns though, it won't be where she wakes up, but laying there in the arms of someone she cares so much for as she drifts off is peace of mind enough.

And these days, peace of mind is a hard thing to come by.

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