Some people play with their hair, knotting locks about themselves, ripping apart plaits, weaving strands together in semi-aimless paths. Others tap the ends of writing implements against their wrists or knees or hands. There are those who make noise, abbreviated snatches of sound that might be bits of melody, descant, or neither.

Ororo trots down the stairs at the rear of the house. She listens to her breath, the slap of her feet against the smooth wooden steps. While she is traveling down the stairs, she is outside, pushing a gust of warm air high, weaving it upwards in the heights. That heat is so attractive to whatever moisture it passes, capturing it by the heart and carrying that moisture higher. There, the ardor cools, and the moisture condenses, binding together in sad drops. Out of love, the drops plummet, colliding into one another. Though grouped they are insensitive and unaffectionate, oblivious to one another in their gloom. Down the drops fall, splashing into each other, only for warm air to slide past them on its voyage up and away into the heights. The drops follow, once again enraptured by the radiant air.

When Ororo enters the kitchen she finds the youngest of their little group at the table. His long, broad feet are bare upon the tile which is as cool and nearly as clean as any swept earth floor. His feet are not nearly as pink as the bottoms of hers. She puts a hand against the doorpost and removes a bit of sticky paper from between her toes. In this mansion, paper is constantly underfoot.

Ororo has entered so quietly, that the youngest does not look up from what he is doing at the table. His shirt gapes open from shoulder-to-shoulder, its edges ragged, like the collar had been cut out from it. Before him, heaped on a table, was what looked like a mound of sugar, a mound of salt, and a mound of flour. These had been spread on newsprint.

He has been teaching himself to cook, she knows. From the little experience she has with this sort of thing, she does not imagine that this particular self-tutorial will end well. She has never seen Jean measure out ingredients on newspaper. "Whatever are you doing, Piotr? Baking a cake?"

He looks up, startled, his eyes wide. His cheeks flush. "Bozhe Moi," he says, and drags his blunt fingers through his glossy hair, leaving it in spikes dusted with flour, sugar and salt. He shakes his head and after a moment says. "For the life of me...what white is the white of your hair?"