Turnabout/Fair Play


colette3_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Turnabout/Fair Play
Synopsis Two old friends reunite on the opposite sides of their lives.
Date July 19, 2019

To: Colette Demsky
Fri, Jul 19, 15:34
Got some free time tonight? Been meaning to follow up with you for a while now, but life is shit and time is nonexistent so you know.
Hit me back and let me know. Leaving Fort Jay early today. You're welcome to come by the studio.

It's a bit of a white lie - it's been a while since Robyn Quinn has thought to reach out to her friend and mentor of sorts. But there's been a lot on her mind as of late - a lot of late she isn't particularly thrilled, willing, or ready to talk about. But this? This is a long time coming. It has been almost exactly a year since the two of them last sat down and talked, personally and privately.

That was far too long.

While Robyn waits, she holds in hand her registration card, a finger running across the lightly embossed print on it's face. There's many things she and Colette could - and likely would - talk about. If nothing else, she needed to congratulate the photokinetic on her successful transition to the NYPD, hopefully without finding some way to accidentally insult her like she always proves to be so good at.

But as her finger runs over the word umbrakinetic, well… she imagines Colette already has an idea why Robyn suddenly wants to talk after so long, and she wouldn't be entirely wrong. For a brief moment, it leaves Robyn considering how awful it is that this is always what she ends up talking to Colette about.

Like many of the other surprisingly considerate and self aware thoughts that pop into her head, it's gone just as quickly, lips thinning as she looks up at the door in front of her.

A muffled voice is the first sign of Colette’s approach to Robyn’s. While she can't hear what Colette’s saying on the other side of the door the cadence feels like a phone conversation. Colette comes through the door with the full momentum of her walking speed, phone held up to her ear, “no exactly!”’She says excitedly to whoever is on the other end of the line. “I'll be home around dinner time. I need to drop off something to the Captain at the office but it shouldn't take too long.” Robyn can physically feel Colette’s photokinetic stare pivot to her without any movement of her eyes or her head. “Love you too, Tasha. Bye!” As Colette ends the call her head moves to position itself where her field of vision already had.

Robyn's Apartment

Bay Ridge

NYC Safe Zone

“Hey!” Colette's greeting is as cheerful as it is energetic. “So the fuck’s with this place, right? It's awesome!” She spreads her arms in a come give me a hug gesture, all the while making steady approach to Robyn.

The sheer amount of energy in Colette's arrival catches Robyn off guard. With as much dourness as she finds herself harboring at times, with as much as she surrounds herself with… it feels a bit daunting in the moment to be confronted with such energy and apparent levity. She stares off into the distance for a brief moment, letting voices and responses in the back of her head whirl into a frenzy - her strange form of collecting her thoughts.

And then she matches, with a sly and almost wicked grin as she finally looks over to the photokinetic.

“The product of too much money,” she replies nonchalantly, “and not thinking far enough ahead.” A similarly nonchalant shrug follow. “Kaleidoscope Studios should be opening soon enough, though.” Once she gets some energy to put out ads on WSZR and in the Siren, at the least. “Which is good, because New York lacks culture these days.”

With that, she moves to envelop Colette in a hug. "And what the fuck about you? NYPD? It'd be great, except it's not SESA." Yes, there's a bit of a rivalry there, but the comment is clearly meant in good fun. You know, like it is with Quinn most times the two of them talk.

Laughing, Colette shakes her head. “Yeah, we’ve gotta do actual work and not sit in a fancy IKEA all day.” She hops back a step after saying that, a taunting smile crooked on her lips. “It’s good, I actually work for Liz Harrison who — to my fucking eternal shock — turned out t’be alive. We have a good team out there, Kaylee’s with us, we’re basically the rookees. I figure it means you’n I might even wind up havin’ t’work together eventually.”

The whole time she’s talking, Colette wanders around with her hands tucked into her pockets, looking up at the walls and ceiling. It’s a meandering pace, thoughtful as it is scrutinizing. “I uh,” she looks over her shoulder to Robyn, then turns on her heel. “I heard you took in that kid from Sunstone. Parkman?” Her brows rise as her voice dips. “How’s that workin’ out?”

"It's a very nice IKEA," Robyn retorts with a grin. "Oh… Harrison? Huh." For Colette, Robyn doesn't entirely hide her feigning ignorance - even if Richard hadn't explicitly spelled out to her that Liz was alive before her return, Magnes certainly had. Kaylee is more of a surprise to her, head tilting to the side. "Well. At least I feel good knowing it's a good crew over there."

It's hard for her to hide her surprise when Colette beings up Matthew, her visible surprise giving away to a certain kind of heaviness. "Oh. I didn't realise that information was getting out there." She lets out a sigh, moving to sit at one of the couches she has in her barely furnished lobby. "I only just told Elaine a few weeks ago."

Her shoulders rise in a small shrug. "It's hard," she opines, "but I never had illusions otherwise. I'm trying my best do right by him when he's had it so rough. Still trying to earn his trust really." Looking up to Colette, she closes her eyes. "I worry sometimes I wasn't as ready as I hoped I was, but we'll see. I just want him to be happy."

Granted, most people who have known her since the war might agree she wasn't ready for this but she tries not to think about that

There’s a serious look in Colette’s eyes, downcast to the floor, brows pinched just so. Robyn recognizes it, that pensive expression. It’s always the start of something bigger. “I think it was a good idea,” is a surprising thing to come out of her mouth. “That kid— I don’t know many folks who could empathize with having a fucked up life like that. But we,” Colette looks up to Robyn and motions back and forth between them, “you’n I’ve got our fair share of fucks in the upper reaches of our lives. Y’know? You can relate t’him.”

Colette tilts her head to the side with a small rise of one shoulder, a minimalist shrug that implies that there’s some room for argument with her whole philosophy about like raising like. “How uh, is all that goin’, anyway?” Colette asks after a moment of that pensive silence again. “Elaine.” She makes a gesture with her hands as if to indicate Elaine’s silhouette. “I didn’t think you two were talkin’ anymore.”

There's a small snort from Robyn as she folds her arms. "Yeah. And I've reached the point in my life where I don't even have to try to fuck it up more. It just happens." She looks out a sigh, eyes half lidded as her own gaze slides down to the floor. "Wish I could've talked to my mum about it. 'Bout a lot of things." There's a tone to her voice, a hint that there's more there than just a daughter missing her mother, but she doesn't offer any further thoughts. "I know I can relate to him. And sometimes so does he. Like I said, it's hard, but… that's not going to stop me."

She turns on her heel, making her way over towards a lobby chair to sit back down. As she moves across the room, her shoulders rise in a dramatic shrug. "Well, I did do something to her one step removed from leaving her at the altar," is offered in a surprisingly nonchalant manner. "By all rights, 'Lainey shouldn't have ever talked to me again. I never would have blamed her." She turns back with a wide, almost cocksure grin on her face. "But we both know where we stand with each other is with each other. C'était le destin! A cosmic truth, near as I can figure it."

She quirks an eyebrow up at Colette, that grin growing just a bit. "So I guess it's going pretty good. Which is good. Something should be."

Robyn had Colette’s hopes up right about until then. Instead, she makes a soft and sustained noise at the back of her throat and crosses her arms over her chest. “Yeah,” she sighs, “I get it. Plenty of those days over here, too. I mean— nothing that’s gonna make you have t’observe me at my new job, I mean.” There’s an awkward, uncomfortable laugh there. Wolfhound was a thing.

“But like,” Colette slowly makes her way over to stand by the seat Robyn’s in, “remember when we hit the other side of the river?” She doesn’t talk about Pollepel much, and never by name. The closest she’d gotten was that night in the Brick House Memorial, and she hasn’t been back since. “Things were pretty fucked then, more’n either of us could ever really know. But it got better,” she says taking a step closer, “we got better.”

Colette spreads her hands and gestures to the lobby they’re standing in. “On a long enough timeline, your life sure looks a lot like progress t’me.” Then there’s the smile, small and hopeful, but never too much.

Robyn stares at Colette for a moment, eyes cast down at the floor of the mention of the other side of the river. She remembers that night well. "I still wonder how things might be different," she says in a quiet voice, "if I'd stayed in Quebec. That I wouldn't have done the gun running. Wouldn't know about my… mom," said with an odd amount of frustration. "Wouldn't be caught up in all the horseshit still happening behind the scenes." Because if course it's there.

She doesn't wait for there to be any opening for Colette to argue before she continues. "But… I wouldn't have a job I enjoy, I'd be working in a coffee shop with a guitar, probably. I wouldn't have 'Lainey, I'd probably still be flitting from girl to girl. I wouldn't have my friends, I'd be alone…" She trails off, looking back over her shoulder, and then back to Colette. "I wouldn't have Matthew," she adds quietly. "He hasn't been here long, but… life feels more normal. I feel more stable, when he's around.”

Falling quiet, her eyes drift back to the ground. "So I guess you're right. Progress." A small smirk forms on her lips as she looks back up. "Odds were in my favour at least. Not like the one a' me that died in the war." What? "She didn't even have a chance."

That last comment elicits a rise of one of Colette’s brows and a purse of her lips to the side as she just stares for a moment with blind eyes on Robyn’s direction. “I forgot how much like a walking Smiths album you are sometimes,” comes with a wry smile as she slaps Robyn on the shoulder then pivots on a heel using the swing of her arm as momentum, turning around and very slowly walking backwards.

“I remember your office at the Bunker. So you've gotta, what, have a full fucking bar here, right?” Colette spreads her arms from side to side. “Get me a fuckin’ drink, and tell me about how your weird curly ability is coming in. Because if you haven't been practicing I'm gonna have to call your supervisor and give them a piece of my mind.”

Drinks. That's a language Robyn can and always will be able to speak. That cocked grin only grows as she worldlessly turns on her heel and starts back towards the small first floor guest and customer kitchen. Colette can hear the rattle of keys, the first of several sounds that tells the tale of Robyn doing exactly what's been instructed of her.

Clinking glass,cracking ice, and the sound of pouring emanate from within, and after a moment, Robyn returns out with two cocktail glasses, rims salted, clouded and murky with a tinge of yellow, and jalapeno peppers withal. Her grin is even slightly wider as she offers one out to Colette. Something is amiss, clearly, from the look on her face.

It's only when Colette's fingers grasp the glass proffered to her that she finds out why Robyn is smirking In an instant the area around them is rendered black as the void, something that may be cause for concern were it not the chuckle that escapes Robyn's lips as she renders the area around them without light.

Holyshit,” tumbles out of Colette’s mouth without so much as a breath between the syllables. “I can’t— see— a fucking thing!” It isn’t fear in Colette’s voice, but bewilderment and awe. “Even in a room with the door shut and no lights on I can still see. There’s still some light getting in through some crack somewhere. But this is just…” Only Robyn can see what she’s doing, whirling around with one arm out and a drink cradled to her chest like a cross.

“This is fucking wild! How far does it go?” Colette asks sharply. “What’s your maximum range? Can you center it on a fixed point or does it emanate from you? Have you tried narrowing the area down smaller? Wider?” Now there’s no breaths between her questions, save for one before she takes a sip of her drink and then exhales a sharp whistle at the spicyness that she wasn’t expecting. “Holyshit.” This time, it’s about the drink.

"Jalapeno margarita," Robyn notes as she takes a sip of her own - she has a range of eclectic drinks she can make, but she seems particularly pleased with this one. But that's more a distraction from the now main topic at hand. She doesn't collapse the darkness, let light come flooding back in around them; instead, she lets the black linger. "Well… " Colette can't see the way her fingers curl in and out, arm still outstretched even though the drink has been relinquished, as if that were a required motion for her ability to continue functioning.

"If I remember your ability right, that means I'm absorbing all the light around us. There's none for you to see with." She speaks very matter of factly, eyes moving to Colette once more. "So far it stays on me. I… can't really measure how far because of that." SHe rolls her shoulders a bit. "But I can see. I can see in the dark now. I didn't used to be able to do that, so now I can see… I dunno. 10 meters out?"

SHe sounds uncertain because she is. Gradually, the light begins returning around them. "It's like one of those sliding light switches. Um… a dimmer switch?" And after a moment, the proper amount of light has return to the room, Robyn taking a long sip of her drink. "But that's it, that I've figured out. I'm- registered as an umbrakinetic now, but I'm not convinced that's the case.

With that, she motions to the drink she gave Colette. "I can make a maple bourbon sour if your want something sweeter."

“You can make me one after this one,” Colette says with a rise of her brows and another sip of her drink as the lights come back on for her. “Okay so like, but what else can you do? And umbrakinesis is something a thirteen year old thinks sounds metal. Shadows aren’t a thing you can manipulate, SESA’s whole hippy let people call it what they want thing is— ”

She’s getting off track.

“Anyway,” Colette throws a hand in the air, “have you done any stress testing? Seen how much light you can absorb? Because— I mean this fucking makes sense. I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time how you did that big fucking laser back before the war,” she won’t even call the Ark out by name, “and maybe it’s like…”

Colette snaps her fingers, sloshing her drink a little with the excited energy. “Maybe you’re a fucking battery!”

Looking down at her hand as she draws it back in, Robyn loses that overconfident smirk, replaced quickly with a dour sense of anxiety. "I've been scared," she admits quietly. "I don't want to… overdo it. I still can't see like I used to, and I probably won't ever again. I don't want to push too hard and risk making it worse."

Fingers flex out and in, a familiar motion in reverse. "That time was…" It took her a while to really remember that day, the joy of what she did and the immediate pain afterwards. It's plain on her face that it's not something she particularly wants to think about - she and Colette share that in common, at least. "I had Gillian and Jolene's help making light, and-" She pauses there, blinking.

Colette can see something processing from how her eyes move back and forth, up and around. Lips move, mouthing something quietly to herself. "…Wait." Her shoulders stiffens a bit. "A battery." She looks up at Colette and swallows. "You can't make light. You told me that, once." Even after all these years, that first time she and Colette really talked about their abilities is still something that sticks in her memory clear as day. Even when she doesn't particularly want it to, which likely explains why she's never gone down this thought process before.

"I- what if I didn't?" There's a reason she's been able to hack it as a SESA agent. There's a bit more detective in Robyn Quinn than people tend to realise, even if sometimes she needs a push to get there. With a sudden and renewed sense of excitement she reaches up and grabs Colette's unoccupied hand, suddenly pulling her towards the door that leads to the studio.

What if, huh?” Colette’s expression twists into a smile and she steps over to Robyn and points one finger at the tip of her nose, drink cradled in the other hand. “That panic attack I had back at Yamagato, when Dr. Mengele” she means Bella Sheridan “showed up? Remember how you calmed me down, but also stopped me from going laser-apocalypse on everything?”

Gently booping Robyn’s nose with a tap of her finger, Colette takes a half step back and cracks a smile. “It’s like you negated me, and if you’re some sort of light absorbing battery that makes sense in some kind of weird-ass way. All I’m saying is it sounds like you need to go back t’the drawing board on the understanding of what you do.” Colette intersperses her advice behind a sip of her drink, “because you thought you were walking on your feet, but instead you were walking on your hands. Hands aren’t meant for walking, so of course you injured yourself. You were doing it wrong.

Grinning, Colette sips her drink again and exhales a short, sharp breath. “Sound like Agent Quinn’s gotta go back to school.”

Robyn's expression flattens a bit as her nose Isla boopes, going a bit cross-eyed as she tries to follow Colette's finger. "You're the second person to say that," she mutters. "Julie compared it to towing a truck with my teeth, or some wild bullshit like that." That excited energy she had a moment before seems to deflate a bit, eyes looking up at Colette and then down towards the ground.

"You said you see, like, tendrils or something. Pulling light in?" Robyn looks up at the photokinetic with a quirked eyebrow. "Kinda like some sort of black holes. I wonder if I can reverse it…?" Eyes slide off to the side, chin dipping back down a bit. "I haven't tried to do much with light since… I guess it was a re-manifestion, but-" She waves a hand back and forth. "You know what I mean."

Lip purse, and she looks thoughtful for a moment."…I wonder how they did it, then." It's a bit of an oblique statement, Robyn huffing out a breath as she considers it. "It's… strange to think you understand yourself so well, just to find other wise. But I guess you're right. I gotta hit the books." Or some case files if she can do it without getting in trouble

“This,” Colette says with a slapping wave of her hand in Robyn’s direction, “coming from the other queer in the room? I feel like we’re both experts and not realizing who we are until it’s later than would be convenient, right?” One corner of her mouth crooks into a fond smile. “The fuck’m I gonna do with you, Quinn?”

What Quinn has to offer back in response is a tight smile - one genuine, at least, but with uncertainty behind it. "You think?" Her voice is flatter. "I feel like I know myself less now that I did back then." Which would make her an expert, if she was just willing to follow Colette's logic on this.

"And honestly, I think you're going to have another drink with me while I figure out my raison d'être or whatever, that's what."

Wait, isn't that what they're already doing?

"Sorry I'm such a fucking downer," she adds after a long sip of her glass. "Lots goin' on up here lately, little time to let it out in a constructive manner," said with a lazy point to her head. Mostly because she's not sure what constructive would be with all the things she still has living in her head after last fall.

“Yeah, well,” Colette grumbles as she finishes her drink with a hiss at the spiciness, “if there’s one thing I’m an expert on it’s having your head so far up your ass your can’t see daylight.” She tries to play that straight at first, but cracks a smile and splutters out a laugh, shaking her head. “God, you really are a mess, Robyn…”

Looping an arm around Robyn’s shoulders, Colette draws her over and taps her temple to Robyn’s forehead. “C’mon, let’s go drink like we’re young and regret it in the morning like we’re old.”

Just like the good old days.

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