Three Hard Words, Reprise


colette_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Three Hard Words, Reprise
Synopsis Wanting to try and do something special for Tasha and not knowing how to show her appreciation, Colette tries simple romantic sentimentality and finds that sometimes the simplest answer is really the best.
Date May 24, 2010

The Lighthouse

Some people are born hopeless romantics, some people aspire to it.

While electricity might have never been lost more than sporadic blackouts on Staten Island's south coast, there are certain instances where lamps and light-bulbs won't suffice and the warm touch of candles are all that is required. The soft, lilting tones of a quieted radio chirp out in the background to create an undercurrent of warm tones to match the flickering golden gloe of just-right candle light.

Tasha and Colette may be sharing tighter accomodations now, might both be slobs when it comes to laundry apocalypses on the floor, but every so often one of them can rise to a specific occasion to make one night special for the other. It's the subtleties of a relationship that Colette herself has only fleetingly held in her hand, and the kiss of candlelight on wooden walls is just what she wants to set here by their glow.

Telling Tasha it was her turn to do the nightly load of laundry so all the children have clean clothes in the morning was something of a dirty lie. Colette was due to be shackled to the laundry room for two hours and shirked the responsibilities for something else entirely. A harder responsibility, and one that she rose to the occasion of. That occasion was turning a dirty, landry-strewn bedroom into the sight of something more sentimental.

By the time Colette hears creaking footsteps coming down the hall towards the bedroom door, she's anxiously adjusting her hair, running fingers through it and turning to face the doorway quietly. The bump of a hamper, the brush of Tasha's shoulder against the door to push it open; all signs that everything is going according to plan.

That plan of course is letting a likely tired young woman stumble into a candle-lit bedroom where luminous neon-red roses flicker like vegas signs around the floor, swirled like luminous fingerpainting with neon green stalks and ephemeral thorns. Colette isn't in the lazy sweats and tanktop she was wearing when Tasha went to go do the laundry, but cleaner and more ladylike clothing.

It's an unfamiliar piece of clothing, canary yellow in color and slimming, held by spaghetti straps that go over her delicate shoulders despite how they hilight the scars on both. Colette would never wear a sun dress in public, in front of anyone, but for the moment and this quirkily spontaneous moment, Colette will show a different side of herself for Tasha.

"Happy Valentine's day," is not the appropriately timed phrase to add, but the wry smile Colette offers implies some glibness to the wording. "I know— I'm a little late." Or very early, depending.

She's much more sentimental than she leads on.

Laundry, despite the fact that she throws her around the room like confetti at a parade, is actually not Tasha's least favorite task. It's mindless, sure, but mindless can be good, especially since she's had much too much to think about these days. Much of it (Colette) good, much of it (the situation with her parents and then Sable) bad.

The smaller girl is not at all dressed as becomingly as Colette. She's in black and purple pajama bottoms, these adored with Eduardo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends which clash with the green and white shamrock socks that are the last clean pair she owns — some St. Patrick's Day gift from someone who knew her penchant for socks, but kind of missed the mark. A plain gray sweatshirt completes the rather unattractive ensemble, and to make it worse her hair is in two pigtails.

She drops the hamper and stares at Colette with wide eyes, a smile curving her lips upward before she glances down at herself. "I… you look gorgeous, and I look like … Valentine's Day?" Valentine's Day of 2010 was spent in a safehouse, recovering from being mugged and nearly raped and witnessing her boyfriend accidentally kill two people — but the bad connotation is pushed aside, and she throws her arms around Colette, to kiss her with a laugh and a twirl.

That one dumb moment of sentimentality can push away those horrible memories for Tasha is something Colette may never know truly know. But the smile, the embrace and the twirl is proof enough that her choice was the right choice. Giggling enthusiastically, Colette's attention on the ephemeral roses break, and the green and red lights break apart into a flutter of colorful motes of illumination that flicker away into little more than the glow of the candles she's placed on the night stand and in the windowsill.

Bare arms loop around Tasha's shoulders and Colette presses a kiss to the brunette's cheek softly, breathing out a warm giggle against her skin. "I've got Christmas and your birthday to make up for after this," she admits with a waggle of her brows and a cheerful plucking kiss at Tasha's temple.

Sure, she's a sentimental person, but she's also thoughtful. "I don't have any like, real money. There's no stores open. So— I— I didn't really know what to get you. I— I borrowed this from Gillian, 'cause we're 'bout the same height." Though the sundress is a little breezy on Colette due to her lack of curves, unlike Gillian's more femenine frame.

"Nobody else'd ever get to see me in a dress like this…" Colette adds, pressing her nose to Tasha's cheek, then plucking another kiss before lifting a hand up to brush her palm over the opposite cheek. "Just you," Colette admits quietly, letting her lips brush over Tasha's softly. "I hope I'm not too much've a dork."

Tasha's eyes shine as she watches Colette, as if entranced by the other's words more than the beautiful ephemeral display that just flittered away like fireflies. "It's their loss… You look so beautiful, Colette. I mean, you're gorgeous in jeans and a hoodie, but this is worth a hundred boxes of chocolates and stuffed animals, and I like your roses better than any I've seen in real life," she whispers, resting her chin on Colette's shoulder.

"You are the most amazing gift I could ask for, Lettie. You're … you're Christmas and my birthday and Valentine's Day and Fourth of July and Thanksgiving all in one," she adds, turning slowly as if dancing, her hands down around Colette's waist like a seventh grade couple at the school dance.

The blush is a fierce one, a flustered red color that brightens her cheeks and feathers down her pale neck to her collarbones. Colette sways with Tasha in that embrace, moves left to right in a subtle box-step as she noses around in the brunette's temple with soft, tiny butterfly kisses. "I know this is all really new for you…" Colette offers quietly into Tasha's hair, placing a kiss to the curve of Tasha's ear, breathing warmly into it as she speaks.

"I know it can be hard to like— adjust or… you know…" There's a smile on Colette's lips that nothing can stop, a crack of good-natured happiness unlike what she's shown before. "I just… I want to be the best for you, 'cause… cause I love you, an' I don't ever want you to think that you're not like— not like the sweetest and prettiest and— and…"

Colette presses her nose to Tasha's chin, turning the shorter girl's head with the motion to kiss at her cheek. "I need you," is something she doesn't admit to people, "I… I'm sorry if I seem dumb, an' clingy and… and really overly toucha-touchy sometimes. I just I— I've never been able to… to have someone like you before." Her kiss is soft, at the corner of Tasha's jaw as punctuation.

"All I want is to make you's happy as you make me…" simpler words are rarely said in matters of love. "I haven't been this happy before," Colette admits in a tiny voice, "I haven't… I haven't known I was loved like you show me."

"You are," Tasha insists, "the best for me. You're perfect for me, and it's like someone made you to be here waiting for me, except you know I don't believe in things like that." God. Fate. Kismet. The shorter of the two stands on her toes to kiss the other's forehead, then left cheek, then right cheek, and then lips, the last softer and more lingeringly than the others.

"And I am as happy as you are… I mean… maybe not when I'm crying like a freak about my Dad and stuff, but you know. When it's not about him but about us, I'm as happy as I've … I'm happier than I've ever been." She knocks her forehead against Colette's, perhaps enough to hurt a little, and she winces and laughs. "OW. Sorry," before sombering again. Finally, a finger comes up to brush Colette's lower lip. "And I do, Colette," she whispers, then smaller yet, "I'm glad you can feel it." Since she can't quite say it.

Stepping backwards towards the candles, then sideways towards the bed, Colette's little awkward dance step on bare feet is carried out with a pixie's frame but an elephant's grace. For all her lightness and thinness, Colette has the coordination of a grisly bear after hibernation and when she stubs her toe on the bedframe the little squeak and yelp is expected.

Wrinkling her nose, she lifts that foot up off of the floor and leans her slight weight against Tasha. "I don't know when…" Colette murmurs into Tasha's hair, "but soon… sometime, I— I dunno, I'm going to want to… um," it sounds so odd in the saying, "I want you to meet my sister, and… and eventually my dad." The latter one will be harder to explain.

"I wanna' show you all'a the people that matter to me and I want them to see how sweet you are." She's overly sentimental tonight, overly affectionate, just so much Colette in the moment. Her hands smooth gently across Tasha's back, beneath her shirt as she stills any other motion. "When you do say it…" Colette abruptly whispers, letting her lips brush over Tasha's gently, "it'll be the best day ever." Simply put, no eloquent words there, but she hardly has any to give; just her heart.

Frowning at the yelp, Tasha bends her attention to Colette's foot, sitting on the bed and peering down to examine the toe before Colette's lips against her neck and her breath in Tasha's hair distracts her again. She nods to all that Colette asks, wrapping her arms around the other tightly as she feels she would nod away a yes to anything the other asks.

"I want to meet them. I … I told my mom about you… she wants to meet you. She… she didn't seem to be upset… and I know she'll love you because," she tilts her head to kiss Colette sweetly, hands curling in the other's hair, "because you're like my other half, only better. Braver."

The word braver brings to mind the words that Sable stung her so sharply with, calling her a coward and that she'd lose everything if she didn't fight for it. Tasha sits back, curling her feet on the bed beneath her as her face grows more serious. "I do, you know. I just… I've only said it once, and he left… I know it's just words, but I'm afraid that if I say it…" Tasha exhales, closing her eyes. "It's like if I give it a name, it will stop being."

There's a weak sound in the back of Colette's throat, her eyes shut and her head shakes at Tasha's words. Smiling even if her eyes are tearing up, Colette steps in front of Tasha and lifts one leg up, resting a knee at the side of her, then hands on her shoulders before a knee to the other side of her hips, coming to straddle the shorter girl's lap. Colette settles down, looping her arms around Tasha's shoulders where she sits and presses her nose to her hairline at her forehead.

"You've already said it to me," is something Colette has a tough time saying, with the hitch in the back of her throat, "you've said it in every… single kiss, every touch, every time I wake up and see you just… laying there, watching me, the way you brush my hair from my eyes…" Squeezing Tasha in her arms, Colette breathes out a more contented but still emotional sound.

"I'm terrified to meet your mom," Colette admits in a whisper as she presses her lips to the top of Tasha's head, then slouches back and leans away from the Brunette a little, fingers laced behind Tasha's neck and long, pale arms outstretched as she leans back. "Is she as scary as your dad?"

Teary brown eyes meet teary green eyes, arms looping around Colette's waist as the other looks down at her from her perch on Tasha's lap. At the insistence that Tasha has told her she loves her, Tasha shakes her head, lips parting to argue. She knows it's not the same. She knows that not saying it is withholding it, and it isn't what she wants to do.

But Colette's words make her laugh and she shakes her head fiercely. "Only if you're a defendant or a defense attorney and she's kicking your ass in court," Tasha says with a grin. "No. She's great. Even if she's telling me I have to apologize to my father, get a job and pay rent. She's amazing. You'll like her. I mean, she raised me, right?" She grins and leans to kiss Colette's cheek, then sombers again.

"There's a poem… If I weren't an art dork, I'd be a literature dork… so bear with me," Tasha whispers. "It's short, I promise, and it doesn't rhyme." She grins, and then closes her eyes, pressing her forehead against Colette's.

"If there be sorrow

let it be

for things undone…




To these add one:

Love withheld…

… restrained."

Tasha exhales, opening her eyes and reaching a hand up to touch Colette's cheek. "I don't want to regret not saying I love you." Well. There. That wasn't so hard. Tasha's eyes widen a little, surprised at the words, then grinning. She repeats them:

"I love you, Colette."

They were happy tears before and they're happy tears now when Colette's jaw unsteadies and those tears tumble down her cheeks. Brows lifting and furrowing together, Colette's expression becomes one of both disbelief and overwhelmed emotions. No one other than people she sees as family have ever told her that they love her, never with meaning like this, never in the way she has so desperately wanted to hear it said her entire life. This is different than any of that.

The gentle push backwards that comes next eases Tasha down onto the bed, with one of COlette's hands cradling the back of her neck. Pale, bare legs creep forward as she crawls on hands and knees over her love, nose pressing gently to Tasha's forehead and a hand cupped at the side of her cheek so that they're eye to eye, with dark tresses of Colette's hair dangling down around her blushing face.

"I love you too, Natasha." Colette closes her eyes, leans down slowly and lets her lips press tenderly to the girl's beneath her, fingers curling at the side of her neck, gently stroking there as she breathes out a warm, whimpering noise in the kiss. Two tears dribble down onto Tasha's cheeks from Colette's eyelids, letting her teeth tug gently on Tasha's lower lip.

"I love you so much."

Both Tasha's and Colette's tears mingle on Tasha's cheeks, and she holds the other tightly, clinging to her to keep her from slipping away as she fears everything just might. "Happy Valentine's Day," she murmurs, and Colette might think that it's the girl's penchant for being sarcastic at moments that are frightening, but in this case, it's not so.

"It's May 24th," she whispers, reaching to find the zipper in the back of the dress. "I never liked February 14th anyway…" she adds, kissing Colette's jaw as she slowly inches down the little metal tab. "When I was in first grade, Eddie Spinoli gave every girl in the class a valentine except me. It was horrible," Tasha murmurs, inching lower yet. "And in fourth grade, I threw up pink cupcakes on the school bus," she adds, pulling down a strap so she can kiss one bare shoulder, lips brushing lightly over the scars there. "And in ninth grade, I wore the same dress to the dance as the coolest girl in school and got thrown in a trash can for it." The next strap comes down, and the other shoulder is kissed. "And this year, and all those other years," she whispers, tugging the dress down, "I didn't know you."

Warm breaths, soft kisses and trembling legs are what mixes together to elicit the whimper from Colette. The story itself, of a girl with no real hope for love is something that resonates with Colette, but she isn't going to tell her own story there, her own problems with the heart because they're not as bittersweet, they're not appropriate. When the back of that sundress is unzipped, Colette feels it slouch forward off of her shoulders, all canary yellow and dangerously thin, too loose for her already.

Swallowing tightly, Colette leans her chin down, brushing it over Tasha's shoulderblade before letting lips brush warmly at the side of the brunette's neck, knowing the reaction she elicits with that touch. A soft measure of a kiss, the press of tongue across her pulse and the gentlest pinch of teeth possible that may yet still leave a tiny red dent, as if marking her territory in the bite.

"Tasha," is all she can muster for words, just a name in hissed quality when she feels that dress fall away from herself and slide down her back. Colette rolls her shoulders forward, bare hands running through Tasha's hair before she moves her kiss from the side of her neck, back to her love's lips, warmer and more passionate now than before, feverish and intoxicated. "You've got me now," she whispers into their kiss, breathing the words into Tasha's mouth.

One hand moves down from Tasha's hair, glides along her neck and lets nails gently scrape along the side of her throat. Fingers glide down over the front of her shirt, wandering hands exploring with that soft cotton intermediary before her fingers find the soft skin of Tasha's stomach, stroking there tenderly, Colette's eyes still shut as she does.

"You've got me," is whispered again with less focus on the words, more breathy and pantingly so. A thumb slides beneath the elastic waistband of pajama bottoms, brushes that curve between hip bone and abdomen, and soon finds itself joined by a wandering hand slinking southwards. "Now wha'cha gonna do?" is Colette's playful addendum, all smiles.

Tasha's clothing comes off more awkwardly than the slip of a dress, though easily enough due to loose layers of clothing too big for the slip of a girl. Both garments are flung to recently-cleaned floor, to start the new pile of clothing they'll only have to pick up to pack soon — though the dress will be returned to Gillian, its rightful owner. The candlelight flickers over Colette's pale skin, Tasha's slightly duskier, but even without that most flattering of light as Tasha's fingers interlace with Colette's.

"Anything you want me to," is the breathy answer, "as long as you want me to," is added, with a kiss beneath the other's ear, "forever."

Tasha's clothing comes off more awkwardly than the slip of a dress, though easily enough due to loose layers of clothing too big for the slip of a girl. Both Tasha's and Colette's garments are flung to recently-cleaned floor, to start the new pile of clothing they'll only have to pick up to pack soon — though the dress will be returned to Gillian, its rightful owner.

As the candlelight flickers over Colette's pale skin, and Tasha's slightly duskier skin, Tasha watches the play of golden light, finding it breathtaking. But even without that most flattering of lights illuminating Colette's form, she would find the view perfect.

"I want to paint you, for one," Tasha whispers, tracing her hand over the other's curves.

"But for now, anything you want me to," is the breathy answer, "as long as you want me to," is added, with a kiss beneath the other's ear, "forever."

There she goes, crying again. Colette's lips manage a wondrous smile despite the very raw emotion in her eyes. One arm slides behind Tasha's back, holding her love close as she rolls onto her side, lips pressed together in a feverish kiss between Tasha's words and Colette's. Colette's hand slides down to the small of Tasha's back, pressing herself close as one pale leg slips between Tasha's and Colette reaches down to draw one of Tasha's up towards herself. "Tonight's…" she breathes between the words, "all about you," Colette whispers into their kiss, noses brushing together before Colette arches her back and closes her eyes, a soft noise rising up into the back of her throat. "But you already did paint me," she adds with a smile and a laugh, her lips plucking at Tasha's, a fleeting ghost of her tongue glancing across the other girl's bottom lip.

"Orange and blue." That's not exactly what Tasha meant, but the sentiments were just as romantic back then, when they were dappled in paint and holding each other close, until the acrylic rubbed off. Smiling, teary-eyed and face blushed a deep shade of red, Colette lets her eyes fall shut as she lets out a soft, breathless sound and hides her face at Tasha's neck, nails lightly brushing over the other teen's back.

"I love you," is something Colette isn't going to be tired of saying any time soon, isn't something she's going to be tired of breathlessly admitting to the sweaty sheen of Tasha's skin any time soon, isn't something she's ever going to get tired of hearing, knowing, and feeling.

They communicate their love with words, with touches, with sounds and posture. It's a delicate beauty shared between them, but tonight feels different in so many ways.

Maybe those three words made all the difference, or the sundress;

one or the other.

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