2010-01-06: It's Good To Be Back



Date: January 6th, 2010


The early morning grooming habits of the (ab)normal human teenage female are explored in this fascinating documentary. Also, Lena tells Jade that they're moving. Again.

"It's Good To Be Back"

Jade and Lena's Sekrit Lair (aka motel room)

What a difference a full night of rest makes, particularly when that night is spent dreaming of ice-skating parties and birthday cake instead of concrete cells or being chased through a crowd. It is still technically early, the first delicate glow of daylight peeping around the edge of the drawn curtains in the motel room. And Lena is already up. She stands in front of the large mirror just outside of the tiny room that holds the toilet and shower, leaning over the counter to peer at her reflection. A small pair of scissors are in her hand, quick snips sending curls of hair drifting into the sink.

Most telling of all? The young woman is actually humming under her breath, low and husky voice carrying her through the melody of an old Sublime song.

It began as a peaceful night's rest, Jade's usual routine of sleeping with her legs half-tucked up against her body and her shoulders hunched up around her ears. But as time wore on, and REM sleep started to fade, the girl's antics became more and more restless, cue up the tossing and the turning. She was half-wrapped up in a veritable cocoon by now, with how much room the bed gave her to roll around on, her matching pink-on-pink sleeping undies as wrinkled and dishelved as her hair was by now. And then it happened…



The predictable sound of Jade falling out of her bed and being woken up in quite the unpleasant way. With a frowny-faced pout, she sits up, looking down to try and figure out why her legs didn't work. They were wrapped up in the sheets. That made sense. Through a prodigious morning-breath yawn, she eyes the clock, noting the early hour, and that the time she had to get ready for work was still quite a ways off. Grabbing onto the mattress, she begins the laborous process of pulling herself back up onto the bed.

"Leeeeeeeeeen~," Her voice is a low-pitched groan of misery. "What are you doing up? G'back t'bed."

"That sounded like it hurt," the girl at the mirror says without looking around. It's a crucial moment in the haircut, in which Lena attempts to trim her bangs just so without ending up lopsided. A couple of inches of hair have been removed all around, leaving it looking shaggy still but slightly less disreputable. Not a huge difference. Hopefully enough. Because she isn't shaving her head.

Lena too is in her jammies, but in her case that means sweatpants and sweater that fairly swim on her newly spare frame. Once she's finished trimming her hair, the scissors are set down, her shoulders are brushed off, and she pads back towards the beds to peer down at the young'un scrabbling to get back onto the mattress.

"I…don't really need more sleep right now," she says. Once Jade is positioned on the bed, Lena throws the blanket back over the other girl before climbing up beside. She lays on her side, head propped on one bare hand. "I talked to Pete last night, after you fell asleep."


It's not a pleased sound, sounding decidely unpleased at the continued noise coming from the older teen, scowling as she bunches her face up into a grimace of distaste. Even as Lena repositions the blanket for her, she buries her face under the nearest pillow, picking up the other one and blindly swatting at her motel-mate with it. She's about to take a second swing when her arm pauses, reared back and ready for assualt, freezing in that position for a brief moment.

"Mmmmwuh? Who?"

Jade's head pops up, displacing the pillow that was over it as she squints at the other girl, who insisted morning was the time to talk. Her hair was a veritable rat's nest, most of it positioned on one side of her head, making her feel, and look, top-heavy. "Who's Pete? Did you get a new guy already?" Few things could wake Jade as quickly as the promise of gossip, scrubbing the sleepies out of her eyes with her knuckles. "Wait, that's… that's… I don't know who that is."

While Lena hasn't quite reached the point of displaying undiluted amusement, she does give a chuff of laughter at the pillow-assault. She also blocks the thing with her forearm, then steals said arm over it to hold it in place and set her chin on it.

Jade may or may not be too foggy to see the small but genuinely fond smile on her lips, as she watches the younger teen.

"Pete Petrelli, I've told you about him, pretty sure." Matter of fact, Lena described him as the fellow who was partly responsible for Jade having to leave her original apartment. But…discretion is the better part of valor, so Lena doesn't mention that part. "It's not like that. He…when I was in there, in the cell, he…he can walk into people's dreams. He was the one who got word to Randy that we…we got taken. I texted him and he came by last night…so I got some good news. You awake, li'l bit? 'Cause I think you're gonna like this."

"You woke me up to talk about the guy of your dreams?"

Sounding most decidedly unhappy about this, Jade flips over from her stomach, flumping onto her back with a grump that only the freshly-awoken can make. With a bereaved sigh, as if she was giving up something great and wonderful for a mountain of crap in return, she pulls herself to a slouched sitting position, hunched forward, tugging the hem of her pink top down to cover the rest of her midsection from where it had hitched up during her impromptu trip to the floor. Reaching up to her head, she rubs slightly at the back of it with a squinty-eyed wince.

"Ouch. Pete Petrelli? Why does that sound familiar? Was he on TV or something? OH!" For the first time that morning, Jade's eyes snap open fully and she turns an expression of mild surprise on the older teen. "Petey. Yeah, I remember now. You said he was cute. Well, what is it?" Impatient as always. "Are you gonna tell me he has a hot, totally rich brother who needs a mistress? Because I'll need to brush my hair first."

"Not the guy of my dreams, the guy in my dreams. God, Jade! You're up to your neck in freaks now, remember?" It's Jade's turn to be on the receiving end of a pillow to the face, although out of consideration to sleepyhead's less than fully conscious state, Lena makes it a slow swing.

Post-attack, she sits up too and swings around to sit cross-legged, facing Jade. It's easier to maintain her smile now. Hard not to, with the other girl's irreverent attitude in fine form. But 'Leen' isn't so unaware of their proximity that she doesn't think to idly tug the wrist of the sweatshirt down over each hand. "Pete Petrelli. Senator Petrelli's little brother, yeah. The dude from the karaoke bar, you remember? The one who hit on us."

Smile very, very briefly becomes a lopsided grin. "His brother's taken but he offered us a couple of rooms in his house, if we want them. We'd have to pay a little rent, but…"

The dark-haired teen takes the pillow the to the face without so much as an attempt to block, morning reflexes not being at the height of their game. Her head jars to the side mildly under the blow, though her expression doesn't change. It seems to take a moment for the action to even register in her brain before she gives a startled blink.


Then another thought clicks and lodges into place as the older girl goes on. "So… what you're saying is… He does have a hot brother." It takes a moment, but Jade's eyes go from Lena's eyes, then down to her lips, then back up again. She won't mention the smile, else it might disappear. "A place to stay? That might be nice. And we won't be owing him so much if we're paying him. How much is- HOLD THE FREAK ON!"

Eyes wide, Jade's spin snaps straight to attention, all traces of sleep disappearing from her expression. "Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Whoa. Whoa. Aren't we hiding from the government? And this guy's a relation to a Senator!? Didn't they get you the first time by luring you somewhere?"

The older girl gives a snort that passes for amused. "Kinda old but…yeah. Stop being gross though, I'm talking about not having to stay here any longer if we don't want."

Lena certainly hadn't expected Jade to leap from 'freedom' to 'omgnofreedom'! It was good news, really it was. Her reflexes aren't currently keen enough to keep up with the rapid moodshift, which means that Jade earns a series of owlish blinks before brain catches up. "Um…" Pause. "This is kinda different. Believe me…Pete's good people. I don't think his brother is that kind of government, you know? He's the one who sang Single Ladies, that night at the karaoke bar. And hit on us, right? So, like…totally not into evil, more about getting laid. And being weird. Besides, we'd be staying with Pete, not his brother. He's like…the Swiss Army Knife of us mutants, so no one could get us there. He teleports, and sees the future, and makes people fall asleep like that…" Lena snaps her fingers to demonstrate.

But, just in case further reassurance is needed, she does move to circle Jade's shoulders with one arm. "Believe me, I'm not gonna let us get caught again. Gene vouches for Pete, Pete helps Gene…these are good guys, I promise." She hesitates a moment before adding, "So we can go whenever you want. I just…have to leave a note for Tiago at the office." In case he comes back.

"There's different kinds of government?" That statement alone made it clear just how little thought Jade had truly given to those who ran the very country she lived in. But as Lena goes on, her expression remains blank, uncomprehending. "Yyyyyyyeah, if you'll remember, I was a little 'out of it' that night, so…"

There's another yawn, thankfully this time with a hand in front to block the morning-breath stank, blinking at Lena for several moments. Reaching up, she pats the other girl on the shoulder lightly, bouncing one of her shoulders in a careless shrug. "If you say he's good for it, that's good enough for me. I hope we don't get him kicked out of his place, too. Sooo… We're gonna get the hell out of here? Like today? I gotta brush my hair."

Leaning over to the side, Jade fumbles with the side table, her hand swinging about wildly for a moment, knocking over the clock, then finally locating the hairbrush she used both before rising in the mornings and going to bed at night. With a sigh, she begins to pull it through the knots she had managed to form in only one night. "Ow, ow, ow… He can really see the future? Really? I wonder if he can tell me what I'll look like in five years. Or be like."

"Yeah…I'm sorry about that. The drug thing."

Seriously, if Lena takes the time to apologize to everyone who deserves an apology, these kids are never going to get anything done. But Jade's a special case. She's awarded a one-armed hug before the older girl slides off of the bed to go tidy the mess she's made of the sink.

"I guess it could be today, if we wanted. He said when we were ready, we just have to call him then head to this warehouse where he can teleport in and take us back to his place," Lena goes on to explain as she begins to sweep the cut hair up with her hands. "I kinda wanna see his face when we show up with a surfboard. I forgot to warn him about that…" The thought is enough to get the girl chuckling, which is an odd sound. And mercifully brief.

"I guess you can ask him if you want? I dunno if I'd wanna see what I'll be in five years. I bet you still have great hair then though. Maybe you'll be taller, too!" Yeah, that was a joke.

"There's nothing wrong with a girl being short!"

If Lena wasn't all the way over by the sink by now, and if Jade trusted her aim worth a damn, she'd have boomeranged a pillow into the back of the other teen's head. Left to her own devices on the bed, she continues pulling at her hair, grimacing with each attempted stroke. It was going to take some time, she noted as the brush got tangled enough in her hair that she could have left it there and it would have clung to her head on it's own. Glancing at the clock, she calculates how much time she has.

"It'll have to be after I get back from work. Or tomorrow morning. The hardest part will just be getting there, not like we have a ton of stuff we have to lug. You can take a taxi with our luggage and I'll follow on the scooter. …What's wrong with my board?"

Standing up from the bed, after disengaging her legs from the blanket by means of kicking, the slight-of-frame girl moves to the mirror to peer around Lena as she tugs at a stubborn knot. "Her name is Holly, by the way. Show some respect. You'll learn to love her when the weather warms up."

Lena, who can claim only average height, makes no comment. Except to flash a quick grin over her shoulder. Nyah nyah.

Someone is feeling a lot better.

The cast-off hair is dumped into the waste basket under the sink and her hands brushed off to lose the last strands. "Nothing's wrong with your board except it's like fucking huge and we're in New York," she remarks, grabbing her own comb to fluff her hair. The new cut is studied in the mirror, Lena's head turning this way and that as she tries to find a flattering angle. "I can't believe you named it. That's like…guys naming their cars." An act which the young woman always found extraordinarily weird.

After Lena's hair is styled to her exacting standards, she tosses the comb into the toiletries bag and ambles back into the room proper. "After work is fine. I can hit the office to leave Chi a note, get us packed and call Gene to let him know where we're going."

"Did you… Are you able to get high off yourself or something? Because you're throwing off some happy vibes, and I gotta tell ya, it's kinda weirding me out."

After briefly looking in the mirror at the image of her surfboard leaning against the wall by the door, Jade's shoulders bounce in a careless shrug. Now that her hair was getting close to two-thirds done, she was starting to look a lot more like her lively, glossy, shiny-coated self. A quick look down, though, revealed why she felt kind of chilly.

"Yeah, I know we're in New York, but I came up here from the Keys. I wintered in Carolina, then kept moving back up the coast. I never saw a reason to get rid of it, especially 'cause it's so expensive. I always figured I'd be back in a warmer climate someday, then I'd be missing it if I didn't have it. A good board is hard to come by, and I had over a week's pay docked for the hotel to spring for that one for me. …And every girl needs a name."

"Can't we just text Cheech? Wait, does he even have a phone?"

"Nah…I mean, Pete could do that but I was careful," Lena answers absently. She's crouched down beside the bag of clothes, riffling through it for something not slept in to wear for the day. "It's…I dunno. We talked, and…and he let me talk, I mean. Then he made me sleep and it…there was this dream. He threw me a birthday party. Everyone was there, and happy…even my family. And…" Her hands have stopped moving by this point, a small and bemused smile settling on her lips. "We went ice-skating. I'm from Miami, I dunno how to ice skate but he showed me how. It was…I dunno. Maybe he did something else, like healed my head or something. But it was nice. I feel almost normal."

A quick glance is darted at Jade, as if checking to make certain that the other girl hasn't snuck up on her during that explanation. If no attack is forthcoming, Lena resumes pulling out clean items of clothing. Black jeans, white knit sweater (stolen from Sydney), underthings…

"I'm just messing with you, Jade. I think it's kinda sweet you lugged that thing across the country…" She hesitates again, crumpling the outfit in her arms and climbing to her feet. "I don't think he does, no."

"It's is sweet. That's, like," Turning on her heel, away from the mirror, Jade cocks a hip, proping a fist on it as she gestures with her brush, adopting a valley-girl-beach-bum timbre. "Such a totally bitchin' board."

"Mnn, that sounds kind of nice…" As she finally gets back to work on the lower reaches of her hair, abandoning her faux-surfer routine, she points with her free hand towards her duffle, dumped unceremonisouly in one of the chairs, clothes spilling out of the top. "Can you hand me some pants? I was thinking we should get breakfast. You know, at that Denny's down the road? Then I can take a shower and I can scooter you to the library so you can IM that Rebel character. I'll have to go to work in like three hours, but we can hang around and make fun of the computer nerds haunting the place for a bit."

Done! At last. Turning to admire the shimmering mane of her hair, now freshly-brushed and knot-free, Jade primps and preens it, practicing a few looks in the mirror ranging from pouty to smiling, just to make sure she had it right. "Or you can do that reading thing you like to do."

Her own chosen outfit is dumped on the bed so she can dive back into the bag to find Jade-pants. "It was totally nice. I'm even kinda hungry." And that, really, is the best sign of all. The jeans are found and tossed towards Jade before Lena gathers up her clothing again.

"Sounds good. And y'know, you're gonna be begging me for help with that reading thing once you get back in school. So you better shut yo' mouth, bitch," she offers comfortably. "Bathroom's mine!"

That last is said as Lena slides past Jade and into the cubicle that holds the shower. The door is kicked shut, the lock depressed and victory claimed with a low, husky, "Ha!"

It's good to be back.

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