True Colors

Title: True Colors
Who: Heather and Tiago
When: September 21st, 2010
Where: Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, then Apartment 101 in Rowan Springs Apartments
What: When Tiago attempts a fashion intervention with Heather, she figures out where she knows his accent from and decides to come clean with her own identity.

===< Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop >< #402 >===
The front of the storefront is covered not in plate glass windows, but in stained glass windows of abstract blue, green, and gold swirls. The counter in the back left hand corner, with the list of coffee drinks overhead, and a chalkboard with daily specials. The back right hand corner has two small rooms, used for playing board games or table top RPGs, and a small hallway leads back to the restrooms. The front left hand side has your standard coffee house chairs and tables, for those who just want to drink their coffee and go, but to the right of that is a grouping of sofas and easy chairs where locals, many of them students, can just hang out.
»> This room has +views. «<

Heather is curled up on one of the couches with a bottled water and her laptop, along with a couple of graduate level textbooks… Microbiology and botany.

Having picked up a load of sample outfits from work with the intention of giving them to Becky, Tiago has stopped off for a quiet coffee on his way home. Dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt (both designer, naturally), he has a large oversized bag sitting beside his foot, in which lurk the 'borrowed' clothing. He had intended to just quietly pass some time daydreaming before going home to face his deadlines, but he's spotted a fashion itch which he needs to scratch, and she's sitting on one of the couches with some books. Unable to help himself, Tiago finds himself glancing at her occasionally, giving her a makeover in his mind. Suddenly, he realises that he's wandering towards her, mug of coffee in his hand. "Hello!" he says, in his distinctive Portuguese accent, a smile on his lips. "What are you reading?" Smooth.

Heather sits up, realizing she's been slouching. She gestures to the books with one hand, silver bracelets jingling. "These? Classwork and research. I'm working on a Masters in Botany…" She grins, and moves her stuff into a neater pile, making room. "Sorry, do you want a seat? I tend to sprawl every which way."

"Oh," Tiago smiles, peering down at the textbooks. "I have a couple of friends who are very interested in plants. I do not know much about it myself but they make it seem very interesting." His smile broadens as she shifts her stuff for him. "Thank you!" He steps away to grab his heavy bag, dragging it with his foot over to the couch before lowering himself into it. Now, he has to broach the subject of fashion. He's not sure how to do that without making it seem like he's hitting on her. "Your bracelets are very cool." Again, smooth.

Heather grins, "Thanks!" She turns her right arm, bracelets jingling. "I collect them. They're hand made… I get them from various places, various people." She touches a group that seem to have a darker silver than the others. "These came from a collective in India that provides microloans to get women started in business." She touches another, wider band. "This was a gift from one of my mother's old friends for my 16th birthday…" She shrugs, bracelets jingling, and grins. "I collect them."

Tiago looks at each bracelet as the girl describes them, his interest evident in his smile. "They are beautiful," he agrees, before pointing to the ones from India. "I like these especially. I have a shirt which they would look wonderful with." He pauses, realising that might sound strange without explanation. "Oh, I am a designer, I work in fashion. My name is Tiago Ferruguento." Though his is a recognisable name to fashion insiders, he's unknown to normal people so he doesn't expect that to mean anything. Turning, he unzips his bag and begins rummaging. "Here, let me show you the shirt. You will like it." Possibly.

Heather grins. "Heather Light… I'm a park ranger, and like I said, Master's degree student… Sure, I'd like to see it. It's interesting hearing other people talk about their work."

Tiago smiles when Heather introduces herself. "What a pretty name. Oh, and perfect for a botany person!" he exclaims, delighted with himself for making that mental connection. "Park ranger, that must be interesting. My friend would love you, he would talk to you about the plants for hours." He frowns as he peers back into his bag in search of the elusive shirt. "Now, let me see. I am sure I picked it up because I was going to— ah! Here it is!" Triumphantly, he plucks the shirt from the bag and holds it up so that Heather can see it. It's a rich, deep forest green, short-sleeved and clearly extremely well made. "I made this for my last collection but I ended up using something else. I have a silver version of this but this color would work better with the bracelets. They will show up more in contrast."

Heather grins, "You made this? I love the color… I've done tie-dye and batik, but never, you know, actual designing stuff." She holds the bracelets up against it, "Yeah, I see what you mean about the contrast… Do you have an email address? I've got the contact info of the collective that made these bracelets, and a couple others you might find interesting. Small artists shops or co-ops, lots of one-of-a-kind pieces." She gives you a grin, "I bet you could probably find -something- among them that you could use on the runway." And it would help people, which is a plus.

Tiago brightens at Heather's words, nodding his head enthusiastically. "I would love to get in touch with these people! Thank you! I will give you my card." He lays the shirt over his knees and begins fishing around in his pocket for said card. "I have been looking to start building up some independent contacts like that. At the label I work for, there is a woman who is supposed to source all our accessories for us but she is… eh." He waves a hand dismissively. Apparently he isn't a fan of this particular colleague. "Besides, I am much more interested in supporting smaller groups and up-and-coming artists. I know I needed all the support I could get when I started out. Ah, here," he says, locating one of his business cards. His details are on it, as well as a holographic background of transparent models wearing his clothes. It's a spook-joke that only he gets but it makes him happy.

Heather accepts the card, and smiles. "Thanks… Let me guess, the colleges tastes are predictable, and a tad on the boring side?" She looks at the card, flipping it over in her hands… then looks up at you. "Listen, my apartment is just across the way. I'm not hitting on you, I swear. But want to walk me home and I'll see what I can do about digging out some of the info?"

"So predictable! It drives me crazy. And she always uses the same big brands, never anything interesting and new. Pah," he declares, again waving his hand. His colleague makes him handy-wavey. When he rules the universe, he'll totally demote her to coffee-maker. He's busy zipping up his bag again when Heather suggests relocating to her apartment. The idea provokes an instant innocent smile, implying that he isn't uncomfortable with the idea, nor does he think he's scored. "That would be wonderful! I have a show coming up so the sooner I get in touch with these people, the better." Cheerfully, he downs the rest of his tea and prepares to follow Heather to her place.

Heather packs up her books and laptop, and swings it up on her shoulder. "It's just across the way, Rowan Springs Apartments."

===< Rowan Springs Apartments - 101 >-----——< #306 >===

The main living area is divided into three sections, half the space is a living room with sliding glass doors leading to the patio in the middle of the outside wall. A comfortable but somewhat battered brown sectional sofa is grouped around an entertainment center with a large screen TV. Her patio is filled with plants, the greenery almost hiding the view of the street outside.
The other half of the area is divided between a dining area and a small but efficiently designed kitchen complete with stove, fridge and dishwasher included. A small hall leads from the living room to a hall closet, linen closet, the bathroom and the bedroom. The walls are painted eggshell white, and the floors carpeted with a simple shag in light brown.

Bedroom……………………<B> Out……………………….<O>


Heather lets you in. "It's small, but it's mine." On the kitchen are two little plants with their own grow lamp. And when Heather walks in, they start waving little tendrils in her direction. "Yes, babies, I'm home…" She goes over, and checks the pots, "You're not hungry, you're not thirsty… did you miss me?" She holds out a finger, and the little tendrils stroke it, then quiet down again. Wait… hadn't Flora mentioned having two plants like this?

"I live in this building too!" Tiago exclaims, as they enter Heather's apartment. He hadn't said anything sooner because he had a sudden dread that Heather was going to lead him to his own apartment and… well, he couldn't figure out why someone would do that or how they would know where he lived but he did know it'd be freaky. Now that he's here, all is well and he's just amused by the coincidence. "I am number 302. You will have to stop by for coffee one day!" His smile freezes on his lips when he sees the way the baby plants respond to Heather. "Oh. They are… unusual." These are just like the plants Flora talked about. Did Heather find samples of them too? "Where… where did you find them?" He's being a bit slow on the uptake but that's not tremendously unusual.

Heather grins at Tiago impishly, "Like I told you the other day, Spook, I grew them from bits those two teen heros knocked off the plant monster." She gently guides you to a seat. "Sit, sit… it's me. Really." She reaches up, and takes off… A brown wig? One of the most realistic you've seen. The hair beneath it is bright green. "I use makeup to color my eyebrows and eyelashes."

Tiago's jaw hangs open when Heather refers to him by his codename. So much so that the Heather/Flora connection doesn't quite register in his mind for a few seconds. "How does everybody work out my secret identity?" he mumbles. Okay, Heather's only the second person to do so but still, he's probably going to have to find a way to disguise his voice when he's in costume. Colin's clever, he'll talk to him about it. When Heather guides him to the seat, he plonks down into it and watches with amazement as she reveals her true hair. "You… that is… Oh!" An impossibly wide smile breaks across his lips as he stares up at her with round eyes. "You are you! Flora! Oh! This is amazing!" He grins at her for a moment longer before his inner fashionista takes over for a moment. "Your wig is incredible."

Heather grins, "Cost me a -fortune-. Human hair, hand made, and I have to take -very- good care of it. But for three fourths of the year, my hair is impossibly colored. Green spring and summer, I'm seeing the first red streaks, I'll be a red-head in another two or three weeks… Until winter, when I'm a brunette." She sits down across from you. "I don't have blood in my veins, I have an amber-colored sap…. so I have to be careful about makeup even in winter."

Tiago listens fascinated as Heather describes what she has to do to cover up her powers. "That must be very difficult. Oh! We have a contract with a make-up company, for our runway shows. If you give me a list of the kinds of make-up you can wear, I can get it for you in bulk." He's not sure if he'll be able to write that off on expenses but either way, it's a cheaper option than buying it in stores. "I am lucky. I do not have anything I need to hide. Just my accent, I think," he adds with a grin. After a second, he realises he's still staring at Heather and breaks into a happy laugh, clasping his hands together. "Heather, this is so great. Thorn and I only just worked out each other's identities and now there is you too! I am so glad. I hate doing the hero thing alone and keeping so many secrets. Hate it, hate it. It is so much better to have someone to talk to."

Heather nods, "I've kept it a secret until now from everyone, except my mom. Mom was the first Flora… she was what they now call an Eco-terrorist. Hell, they coined the term for her and her partner, Fauna. So if I register, the government might figure out who she was and arrest her. But…" She makes a helpless little gesture. "I can't do everything on my own. I can't do a -lot- of things on my own. A satellite crashed earlier today in de la Vega park… Proton and some other heroes stopped it, so no real harm was done. But… what if they hadn't been there? I couldn't have done anything."

Heather says, "So… if I want to work with people… I have to trust them, and they have to trust me, and it has to start somewhere, and Colin revealled his identity… and I'm babbling and will shut up now."

Tiago's expression becomes more serious as he listens to Heather's story. "I remember you mentioning your mother the other day. Nobody knows about me except Colin and telling him… well, it just made everything so much better, you know? Just having someone to talk to about all the crap that goes along with what we do. And having someone to work with is the best, I love it so much." His frown deepens as Heather mentions the satellite, though he relaxes when she adds that Proton was there to save the day. As she babbles, a smile touches his lips. "No, no, I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same. Sharing who we are… it is a leap of faith. But it is a leap of faith worth making, I think. I am glad you told me, Heather, really glad," he adds genuinely. "I am the same as you, there is so much I cannot do alone. I am not the greatest in a fight, for instance, having backup makes a difference." He smiles happily. "But now we can look after each other, all three of us. And Becky too! We will be like a little Freedom Brigade!" He's joking but only because the serious possibility of teaming up officially hasn't occurred to him yet.

Heather laughs, "As long as we don't all have to have coordinating costumes. Because Colin and I, we're sticking the the green them, I'm pretty sure." She grins, "And you live just upstairs, so we can keep an eye out for each other in and out of costume." She frowns, "Like, even as Heather, or especially as Heather, I can't risk being sent to a hospital… I'm just too inhuman. One look at what color I bleed, and my disguise is shot."

Admittedly, Tiago's eyes do light up at the thought of coordinating costumes. He'd have so much fun designing those. He's fond of his own costume though and certainly wouldn't want to wear a green version of it, so he junks the idea immediately and just grins along with Heather, growing more serious when she mentions the hospital. "Then if you are ever hurt, you must come and find me. I work from home so I will be upstairs most of the time, and I always have my phone with me. I bet that Colin would be able to find a way to take care of you if you need medical help." Colin is clever so Tiago believes he can do anything. "We will always look out for each other, Heather." He smiles but it's a distracted smile, cogs whirring in his brain. "Maybe we can have regular meetings. I mean, apart from just hanging out. We can share our experiences, pool our resources, work together. Like a proper team! We can make a bigger difference together than we can apart, I think?"

Heather nods. "I don't get human diseases… but I have some unique health concerns. I… do you think Colin would be willing to act as a doctor for me? I've hesitated to ask. As far as meeting… well, I'm not the form and formality type. My parents were hippies. Still are. They run an organic orchard in Georgia and everything… but getting together and helping each other, yeah, I like the idea." Sooner or later it will occur to Tiago that you can match styles instead of just colors. After all, even though a purse and a dress might be very different articles, in different colors, people can tell if they are the same designers.

"I am certain Colin would not mind," Tiago replies. "He is a good man. He will want to help you. We could—" He pauses suddenly, checking his watch. "Oh. I have to go to work. We have a big boss coming this afternoon. I need to be there." He stands, then hesitates. "Oh, the contact details. Um… okay, I will come back later and get them from you then. And we can talk some more!" The idea appeals to him, judging by the big smile on his face. "I am happy we were able to tell the truth, Heather. See you soon!"

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