Situated in the center of a large, open meadow is a clustering of six trees, a flower bed, a few benches, and a plywood wall barricade. The area where the fountain was, and presumably the new fountain will be, is currently enclosed by high plywood walls. There is a door in one of the walls, firmly locked with a stout-looking padlock. The walls enclose much of the flagstone area, now, only leaving a little around the edges of the old courtyard. Scraggly hedges line one side of the courtyard, just behind some mostly graffiti-free benches and a chain link fence. Cars on the nearby street have an excellent view of the park as do any residents of the tall buildings which line the waterfront. The park is almost constantly devoid of people as its reputation for being one of the most violent and dangerous places in the city spreads.
The murky waters of the Columbia River flow swiftly along the east side of the park. Bracketing the park to the west is First Street and the city of St. Claire. A meadow surrounds the small glade.
Shall we call her Rubenesque? At about 5'6", the girl looks to be carrying around two hundred pounds, giving her a somewhat matronly version of an hourglass figure for a girl in her mid-teens. Cliche as it is, she really does have a pretty face. It's a bit plump and tawny freckles are scattered across her nose and cheeks, but otherwise her complexion is unblemished, and her features are well balanced. Full lips frame almost-straight teeth, often revealed in a cheerful grin, and large, almond-shaped eyes, the irises a warm, gold-flecked shade of brown and the lashes thick and dark, peer out brightly through wire-rimmed glasses. Her mass of unruly black curls falls untamed to the middle of her back, stray strands frequently dangling before her face. She doesn't appear to be wearing even a touch of makeup, and her only visible jewelry is a slim golden chain about her neck, bearing a small star of David.
Her style of dress is equally unlikely to get her on the cover of Cosmopolitan. A cotton tanktop, faded by age from black to merely dark grey, molds itself to her upper body; the fairly high neckline deemphasizes her bustiness, as does the huge grey flannel men's shirt which practically engulfs her. The tanktop is tucked into a threadbare pair of baggy dark blue jeans, cinched tightly around her surprisingly small waist by what appears to be a seatbelt -- the buckle even reads "GM". The frayed hems pool around the ankles of her decrepit black Docs, laced with sparkly silver laces which have also seen better days. Atop all this is a huge and ancient black leather motorcycle jacket, the cuffs of which constantly fall down over her hands. Slung over her shoulder is a bulging canvas backpack, probably military surplus, dotted with patches and pins in various colours and states of repair.
(as Heartsight) This Gnawer appears no different than the run-of-the-mill street mutt, greyish tan in color. Being thin, almost to the point of boniness, gives her the ability of slipping past clutching hands. Usually, if caught, the matted fur pulls free in clumps, aiding in escape. On the whole, Blotches looks like she just had a fight with a sheepshearing razor and a wildcat. Golden brown orbs flicker with diamond dust of ice blue, intelligence hidden within.
Beautiful, this woman isn't. Most people wouldn't even call her interesting, although there is a spark of something, deep down in there. Even so, most people would call her homely, if they bothered to call her anything at all. She's about 5'6" tall, and burly. Not fat -- It's the kind of burly that's all muscle, just not well defined muscle.
Her hair is brown, distinctly curly, and in her eyes. Constantly. The part that's not in her eyes is about shoulder length. Her eyes are distinctly odd, although it's hard to tell, given how often she hides behind her hair. They're yellow, and look almost cat-like. The rest of her face isn't offensive, just boring. The nose is a bit big -- maybe it's been broken, or maybe she was just born that way. Her chin is broad, as are her cheekbones. Classicc features for a man that don't at all work on her. Makeup, it's clear, is of very little use to this person.
"Battered" would describe her choice of clothing quite well. Grey trenchcoat, tired blue jeans, an oxford shirt hanging open, with a t-shirt underneath. Her sneakers are black, and her hat appears to have fled.
A small, leanly muscular, youthful girl of 5'2" who is recognizably Cantonese to anyone who knows their Oriental Asians. Coffee brown, slightly slanted eyes gaze out from underneath parted brown bangs, portraying a calm and intelligent mind despite a partly worn-down look. Long, dark blackish brown hair flows down to a bit past her shoulderblades, outlining the curve of her tanned, golden-tinged face. She moves with a cultured grace despite her toughened appearance, attributing most of her fitness to working on fishing docks and running around Hong Kong. Her clothes give her away to be lower class but she's cleaned up quite a bit. Underneath a warm, grey hooded sweatshirt is a navy colored t-shirt. Accompanying that are her thinning denim jeans and grey sneakers almost worn down to the last of the rubber soles.
Though mostly silent, when she speaks it is with reserve, her voice a soft alto in tone, her English accented by a mix of British and Cantonese flavor that grows more understandable as one listens. One who could easily be ignored in a crowd, she wanders with a curious air about her, quiet and observing.
Bernie is lying half-upside down on one of the benches, one leg on the seat, one hooked up over the back of the thing. She's reading a book and munching idly on miniature candy bars and the like which she keeps drawing blindly from the backpack on the ground beside her. Her black curls fall partially off the edge of the bench, and it looks like she's stuck one of the wildflowers in the meadow into her hair, just above one ear. It fails to make her look like a movie star.
Kaz is ambling along down by the river, gnawing on a Slim Jim, looking... pensive.
Yi walks alongside the galliard metis, the hood of her recently 'obtained' sweatshirt draped over her head to keep the heat in. "What did you think of Perrin, Kaz?"
Heartsight snuffles along the shore, barking at the occasional racoon hunting crawdads, and chasing cats snacking on dead fish.
Kaz shrugs, sucking some of the meat out of the wrapping. "Sounds kinda crescent-ish. No wonder Elan likes him, huh?" She kicks at a rock, glancing out of the corner of her eye at Bernie.
Ooh, kicked rock! Yapyapyap runchasepounce! The scrawny, mangy looking Heartsight charges after the rock.
Following Kaz's gaze, Yi peers also at the girl reading on the bench. If it's possible to read at this time of night, that is. She gives the metis a raised eyebrow, and motions with her head as if perhaps they should go investigate.
The sound of voices distracts Bernie from the antics of Harry Potter and friends; she lifts the battered book a bit away from her nose, and glances in the direction of the noise, blinking as her eyes readjust. No wonder she wears glasses. She flashes a quick, friendly smile at the newcomers as she notices that they're looking back, and returns to her book, fishing a Milky Way form her bag.
Kaz calls, "Kill it dead, Jules!" and tosses another one in another direction. At Yi's eyebrow, she puts both hands open, palms up, in a gesture of indecision. At the young woman's smile though, her gaze turns thoughtful, and she nods at Yi. Finishing the Slim Jim in two large bites, she turns from the river to head towards the bench.
Walking alongside, she brushes off her hood to reveal her face and hair in a more friendly fashion. The two of them stop alongside the bench and she peers briefly at the book cover before smiling and blinking down at the teenager. "Hello," she says in a greeting tone.
Heartsight chases the second rock, too, and then ends up bouncing between the two stilled stones. Of course, river mud is splattered up the mangy mutt's legs and underbelly, while her muzzle is wet from repeated snapping of jaws at lapping waves. As Kaz and Yi veer off toward the fountain and surrounding benches, the dog bounds after, barking and lightly nipping at Yi's and Kaz's dangling fingers playfully.
The book's cover declares it to be entitled 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets', and it descends toward the girl's abdomen as she's greeted. Marking her place with the candy bar wrapper, she snaps the volume shut, and sits up, pushing her curls back behind her ears, out of her face for the time being. Bernie looks the other women over again as they approach, perhaps a tad warily, but her tone as she replies is quite cheerful. "Heya. Nice night, huh?"
Well, now there's a scruffy pooch on the bench, too. Cuz of that chocolate smell permeating the teenager there. Wagging tail, wet muzzle, and snuffling nose are all over the bench, and muddy paws get footprints all over everything, and threaten Bernie's lap. Sweets, yum, hungry, gimmegimme!
Kaz, perhaps unconsciously or perhaps not, plays a little game with her hands, for Julie's benefit. And then starts chuckling quietly. "Jules! Leave the kid her candy!" There's a brief pause, and then a surprisingly warm smile is sent Bernie's way. "'Less you like weird ass dogs beggin' for stuff."
Yi laughs, the soft tone ringing through the night air in a rather empty park. "Yes, it's a nice night to walk. What are you reading?" she asks curiously, tilting her head a little as she casts a brief glance down at the sweet-toothed canine.
Bernie does give a little squeak as the dog joins her, but the reason is readily apparent, as she quickly moves the book to her backpack, where it's more likely safe from mud and slobber. That done, though, she offers the dog a hand to sniff, and goes to scritch it behind the ears. "'Harry Potter an' the Chamber of Secrets,'" she replies to Yi, "'s pretty good... and," looking to Kaz, with a bit of a grin, "I don't mind weird ass dogs, 'long as they don't try t' bite me or anythin'."
Heartsight sniffs wetly at that hand. Where is choco...ooooooohhhh, scritchies! Ears splay, and she's nearly melting down onto the bench, head settling into her lap. Oops, there goes that hind leg, thumpthumpthump.
Kaz snorts. "Ok, right, so she's in love with /you/. Dog people've gotta be ok, right?" Moving to lean against the back of the bench, she asks, "So's it any good?"
Bernie giggles a little, and continues the scritching. "Heya," she murmurs to the animal half in her lap, "you're a good," tiny pause as she glances along, and then ventures, "...girl, aren'tcha?" Like most sane people, she doesn't wait for an answer, but glances back to the humans. "What's her name? An' yeah, 's pretty good... I mean, it's prolly not gonna end up on college reading lists with Shakespeare in a hund'red years, but it's a fun read, y'know?"
The raggie stands rather loosely in front of the girl and the dog. "Dogs are great. Wolves are beautiful too," she murmurs, gazing at the girl. "Ah, where are my manners? This is Kaz, and I am Yi. She's Julie," the no-moon says as she reaches down to give the puddle of thumping fur a scritch and a pat.
"She's Julie. She ain't mine, but I've known her awhile now. She's a good kid, most of the time." Kaz's grin breaks to the surface. "I mean, except when she wants chocolate. Then she's just stubborn as all hell. BUt in a good way, y'know?" She adds, straightening so as to crack her back, "Read the first one. Kinda liked it. Gotta be in the right mood for it, though."
Heartsight is in doggy heaven, yupyup. Groangrowlgroan, pushing her head against the scritching hand of Bernie. A shiver runs the length of the mangy body as Yi adds her two cents worth, then front paws are digging at the lap in search of chocolate. Her ears perk and head lifts at the mention of her name, an empty wrapper stuck to her nose.
"It is nice to meet you, ah..." Yi adds, looking at the young girl with a friendly smile.
Bernie laughs, and pulls the wrapper off the canine's snout. "Hi, Julie. Don'tcha know chocolate's bad for dogs? You'll get," she pauses, "well, I can't remember what, actually, but I know it wasn't healthy." Looking back up, she grins, and offers one of her hands -- the one not currently scritching. "Bernie," she declares, "Niceta meetcha, Yi, Kaz. And I agree; I like 'em, but if I felt like reading Les Miserables or somethin' I don't think they'd quite do the trick."
Heartsight whines quietly, and her ears droop. Truly dejected look on the lupine features. Hell, even her tail droops. Such a sad, pitiful sight.
Kaz shakes her head. "S'posedly, it makes their stomachs explode, but it don't actually do that. Me, I think it's propaganda from humans who wanna keep all the chocolate for themselves. I've given her /fudge/ before, and she was fine, next day."
Heartsight whine/yawns, a huge parting of jaws. Pink tongue rolls out, and ears pull back, before jaws snap shut. A light rumble in her throat, Nuts did it.
Yi hunkers down and pets Julie, her eyes going back and forth from the girl to the dog and back. "So, what are you doing out in this part of the city? It is a little dark to read, isn't it?" She scritches the chocolate loving dog lightly on her ruff.
Bernie melts at the drooping, with a quiet "Awww..... I prolly gotta slim jim in there somewhere?" She glances into the bag, rummaging quickly with the hand she'd offered, and makes a face. "Never there when y'want 'em..." Pulling out a nice plain minature Hershey's, she chides the dog, "Okay, just one, but if you die don't come cryin' t' me...." She nods at Yi's comment, as she unwraps the treat deftly with one hand. All that snacking-while-reading, most likely. "Yeah, but it wasn't when I started... kinda lost track of time. And th' dark comes on gradually and all, so sometimes I don't notice for a while... and it's nie here. I like parks."
Kaz agrees, "Me too. I used t'spend a lotta time out here, with m'friends. We kinda made sure no one did stupid shit. I wanna start doin' that more again, actually."
Heartsight's eyes follow E. V. E. R. Y. move of Bernie's hand, ears swivelling and nose just-a-tracking. The tail is swinging side to side a mile a minute, and she starts getting antsy as the teenager starts unwrapping the candy bar. As if understanding her, Heartsight yips in answer.
"Not very many people in the park these days," she says softly, still scritching Julie around the ruff and gradually moving up behind to rub the furry ears before dropping her hand as she notices the lupe concentrating on the stick of jerky. "Do you live around here?" she asks the girl.
"Do now," Bernie replies, with a bit of a grin, as the wrapper falls away. "And most parks are better for a li'l solitude, y'know?" She holds the chocolate out in her hand beneath Julie's muzzle, and looks to Kaz. "What kinda things were people tryin' t' do, surf?" she queries, with cheerful interest.
Despite all the seeming excitement, the lupine Gnawer gingerly takes the candy from Bernie's hand. Unfortunately, two chomps, and it's gone, then Heartsight is cramming her nose in the open palm, sniffing wetly for any trace remains.
Kaz snorts quietly. "Oh, yeah, alla time. They don't get much hangtime, though, so gen'rally, they just swim a lot."
Yi laughs at Julie's antics.
Rising up from her stooped position, Yi gives Kaz a short pat on the shoulder. "I need to be going. I have a job at the chinese restaurant nearby." She smiles at Bernie, and reaches down with her hand to shake. "It is nice to meet you, Bernie. I hope I see you again soon. Perhaps I will find you at this park again, na?"
Bernie laughs, both at the ticklish sensation in her palm and at Kaz's reply. She pulls her hand away and wipes it on the thigh of her jeans. "Bet there's int'resting stuff t' see there if you're snorkling..." She nods to Yi, shaking with her freshly clean hand, "Sure, I bet I'll be 'round... have a good, uh, work!"
Kaz reaches up a hand to pat Yi's hand, and nods, with a small grin. "Later, Yi."
Heartsight crooooons at Yi, then rolls over and lolls around, half on the bench, half on Bernie's lap.
Yi grins, and nudges Kaz slightly, rounding the bench and giving her a quiet gaze before jogging off.
Kaz leans down to scritch the dog a bit herself. "Ain't never snorkeled there -- but I bet there's some buried treasure, or somethin'. It's the kinda stuff'd be fun t'think about."
She got soft lap. Wigglesquirm, as Heartsight soaks up the attention.
Bernie nods a bit, still aiding in the communal dog-tending. "There was a stream by the little park where I useta live, an' all sorts of cool stuff turned up there... this one's bigger, so who knows?" She glances over in that direction, thoughtfully. "Maybe I'll check it out in th' summer or somethin', if it's not, y'know, full of radioactive medical waste or anything."
Heartsight, having deposited plenty of doghair and mud on Bernie's pants, along with her scent, finally rolls off, and shakes herself from nose to tail.
Kaz snorts. "Radioactivity just gives you good bones. Tracking Julie's movements, she asks asks the dog, as if she could understand her, "You headin' out?"
Bernie nods, one side of her mouth quirking up in a slight smirk as she agrees earnestly, "Oh yeah, nice bendy ones, easy t' get outta small places..." She makes as if to brush off the mud, but apparently thinks better of it, hands moving to either side of her on the bench.
Heartsight rubs her muzzle against Kaz, then chuffs, Yes, late, sleepy. A baleful gaze is slid over Bernie once again, and a happy bark erupts from the lupe. Bye!
Kaz scruffles the lupe amongst the ears. "Later, then," she mutters, and shoots Bernie a grin. "Hey, I could do with bein' double jointed, at least."
Heartsight shakes herself once again, then darts off, barking mock ferociously at a rabbit flushed from some tall, dying weeds, gonna gitcha hopper, gonna gitcha!
Bernie grins, watching the dog lope away, and stretches a little. "That could be cool; I had this character once in a game who was double-jointed, and she got kidnapped by this sorceror, but he only tied her up and she slipped out of the bonds and," she trails off, and wraps up with, "so, yeah, could be handy. Y'know, like if any sorcerors were gonna kidnap me." She grins slightly sheepishly.
Kaz says, completely innocently, "Or just random mystical people, yeah. But it'd be cool anyway, you could be like Houdini, an' stuff. S'where're y'in from?"
Bernie waves vaguely southward, or at least what she thinks is southward, at the moment. "SoCal," she replies, "L.A. area. An' it'd be cool to be like Houdini, except for the dying-from-too-many-blows-t'-th'-stomach part...."
Kaz winces, and finally climbs over the bench to perch on the top of it, feet on the seat, elbows leaning on her knees. "Issat how he died? Who was hittin' him, anyways?"
Bernie nods, running a hand through her curls, and looking quite surprised to encounter the flower she'd stuck in them hours ago. "Yeah, 'least that's what I remember... it was before a show, an' he was pretty proud of his abs, 'pparently, and so he used to, y'know, demonstrate them by letting people punch him in teh stomach... an', been a while since I read about it, but before a show that happened with one guy, just some random guy far as I know, and either he wasn't ready yet or it was just too hard or something, 'cause he got internal injuries. An' then, I think, he went on with th' show anyhow, an' 'cause of the injuries he didn't make it outta one of his deathtrap-kinda tricks in time... think it was an underwater one."
Kaz winces, slightly, sticking her tongue out just a bit . "Man. Suck to die that way. Drownin', stuck in a box? I would way the hell avoid that like the plague. I mean, not that there's a /good/ way to die, but... That ain't one of the better ones."
Bernie makes a face, and nods. "Def'nitely. Pers'nally I'm aiming for old age, in my sleep, after makin' th' Guiness Book for birthdays..." She reaches into the backpack, and pulls out a slightly squished plastic-wrapped snackcake. "Twinkie?"
Kaz produces, from somewhere in her clothing, two Slim Jims. "Woman after my own heart. Trade y'one?"
Bernie grins broadly, and nods, swapping the hostess dainty for a beef stick, and pulling another from the depths of her bag. "Hey, all we need's some potato chips and we'd have a balanced meal. All four food groups... an' people said we never learned anything in Health class."
Kaz unwraps the Twinky, wrinkly noises accompanying it inextricably. "Yeah, no shit. Learned what /to/ do by them tellin' you what /not/ to do. 's kinda a waste, most of the time."
"Be sure to brush your teeth for a full minute, both morning and evening. Move the bristles in small circles, and floss afterward," Bernie declares, in a voice which has to be an imitation of the unfortunate teacher of that class, drawing herself up a bit, mouth slightly pursed. Dropping back into her casual mode, she takes a bite of the Twinkie, and adds, "Sad thing is, they act'lly make you pass th' whole class with a C or higher t' graduate, an' I'm _still_ an aunt already." She rolls her eyes.
Kaz snorts. "Well, it's like, all you gotta do is parrot their shit back t'm, is it any wonder most folks don't listen?" She takes a rather fierce bite of Twinky, and munches. "Plus which, it's not like anything they were talkin' about was up to date or nothin'."
Bernie shakes her head, "They weren't too far off really... but yeah, no one listens to 'em. 'specially not after th' whole toothbrush lecture." She looks at the slim jim, and wisely returns her attention to the Twinkie instead. These are nt two great tastes that taste great together.
Kaz sighs. "Well. 'Least I dropped out quickly. S'wait, did you say why you're here, or'm I just a doofus?"
Mouth full of preservative-laden goodness, Bernie gives a sort of questioning, "Mrm?" and then swallows. "Oh... like I said, just readin', really. Got all involved in th' story, kinda didn't notice it getting dark."
Kaz shakes her head. "Naw, I mean, why y'in from LA or wherever it was. Gen'rally, we ain't got random strangers from California readin' in the park." There's a brief pause while she licks her thumb of cream, and adds, "Me, I'm from West Virginia originally."
He is the terror that flaps at night, the winged scourge of evil. Could this really be.... Dark... Wing...Duck? No, just Jay. The sound of heavy footsteps echo through the park as he lets out a long yawn, stretching his arms up for a moment, cracking the joints in his back and shoulders, then smacks his lips.
Bernie doesn't answer immediately, instead regarding the half-Twinkie in her hand thoughtfully. "Y'know," she muses, "I think Twinkies have gotta be _the_ most phallic food in existence. Exceptin', y'know, intentional things..." It's hard to tell in the dark, does she blush slightly as she realises she's said that? "Um... anyhow. I dunno... why not? Mostly 'cause I got sick of traveling for a while. How come you're here?"
Kaz's smile is actually fairly warm, once the cynicism is worn away. "Mostly 'cause I got sick of travelin', actually. I was bringin' a message f'someone, and I found someone I could stick with, an' things kinda snowballed from there." She adds, after only a brief pause, "He gave me a place to crash, too. I gotta place like that, if you need one."
Jay comes upon the two after a few more stomping and thumping around. His heavy set form draped in a tight fitted shirt, baggy jeans and a over sized, dirty jacket. He doesn't look much like a bum, more like a street thug, big scary guy.
Bernie blinks once, regarding Kaz with a somewhat wary and appraising sidelong glance. Momma always said not to speak to strangers... however, apparently the woman passes muster, as the girl smiles, and nods slightly. "Thanks...might take ya up on that, act'lly... where I am, I'm 'fraid they're gonna start noticing 's unusual if I'm there all th' time." Her eyes flit toward the hulking form that approaches through the gloom, and she neglects to take the final bite of her snack cake just yet.
"Yeah, I been /there/, too. Back in Pittsburgh, they were real assholes about kickin' you out after exactly a week." She mutters, "Dipshits," before finally noticing Jay. "Yo! Jaywalker!" she calls. "C'mere."
Jay blinks slightly and rubs the back of his neck, heading over to Kaz and Bernie on lumbering strides, worn sneakers slapping the concrete. "Ey' Kaz-bo, whats da' haps?" Training his eyes, he looks he looks to the new girl, quirking a brow curiously.
Kaz explains, "Perrin kicked me out finally, so I been shootin' the breeze with Bernie here." Shooting a smile at the cub, she adds, "Kid's pretty ok, for someone that just dropped off the bus."
Bernie smiles a bit at the man, since her companion obviously knows him, and lifts a hand, wriggling her fingers at him in a bit of a wave. "Hey," she greets him, and then grins a bit at Kaz's comment, looking appreciative of the approval, though her cheerful response is, "Semi, technically... an' thanks."
"Oh yah? Coo', Dat's pretty tight I guess." Runs his fingers back through the mop of brown hair that sprawls along his face, grinning a bit. "Well... Kid, I'm Jason." He offers a huge hand down to her.
Kaz says, blankly, "Semi?"
Bernie shakes the hand, replying, "Bernie... but she said that. Hi, niceta meetcha, Jason..." She lets go, and nods to Kaz, "Yeah, semi... you know, the hugeass trucks? Eighteen wheelers? Onea those."
Kaz shakes her head suddenly, as she looks up at the sky. "Well, fuck me pink," she mumbles. "Bernie, I gotta get home -- you wanna come with, or should I just bug y'another time?"
Jay blinks at Kaz and chuckles. "Fuck you pink? I dunno. I got some blue at home...dat' coo'?" He turns his head towards the younger one, tugging on the ends of his jacket some.
Bernie laughs, leaning down to gather her backpack up. "Yeah, I could... oh, shit. Forgot I left my other bag somewhere... I gotta go get it. How 'bout I fend for m'self t'night an' I'll meetcha here t'morrow, maybe?"
Jay blinks slightly at the kid. "Ya don't gotta place ta' stay? I can hook ya up wi' a hotel or something.." He trails off, his boyscout nature surfacing.
Kaz slaps the slats of the bench, quietly. "Works good f'me. I'll see you around, then." Hopping off the bench, she slaps Jay amiably on the back, and starts heading off toward the street, fairly quickly.
(NOTE: There seems to be a missing pose or two here.)
Booted footsteps approach the fountain from the park's edge, to the west. The dark-haired girl tilts her head from time to time, trying to see into the shadows under the trees.
Jay nods his head a bit at her words and doesn't press the issue any further. "Well dat's coo'. If ya need anything, I'm sho' ya can find me or Kaz 'round dese' parts. We kinda live near by."
Bernie nods a bit, and glances down at her watch. Then she lifts her wrist up to a few inches from her eyes, pushing the cuff of her jacket back up her hand to reveal the timepiece, an inexpensive plastic digital thing which seems to have the strap half held on by duct tape. "...damn, I didn't realise it was THAT late... so where 'zactly should I look, 'round these parts?" she queries, looking back up at the man.
Jay shrugs an cants his head towards the streets. "I live 'bout three blocks down, in some shitty ass apartments. I'm in room numbah 15. Um.. I fo'got what da' apartments are called, I just call it 'da ghetto's." He grins playfully, letting his shoulders slump a bit.
"Family?" Rina asks, stepping past the circle of trees. She studies the girl with a tentative, crooked curve on her lips.
Bernie glances in the indicated direction, and nods once, grinning a bit, "Number 15, Shitty Ass Ghetto Villas, I'll 'member that." At the woman's words, she glances over, and squints a little through the darkness to see her, shaking her head. "Um... don't think so... though you kinda look like my sister Lola, so who knows?"
Jay shifts his eyes over at the familar voice, running a hand back through his hair, crossing his arms over his chest. He doesn't seem to hold the usual enthusiasm he once had when being around her. "No, just a new friend." Rumbling lightly in his throat, he clears it with a slight cough. "You looking for some trouble as usual Rina?"
Rina's tentative smile widens to a full-fledged grin. "Mmmmaybe," she answers, without looking away from the girl's face. "You lookin' for a place t'stay? New in town?" The warmth and openness don't seem usual for her sharp features, but they look genuine, at least.
"Yeah, delivered market-fresh from th' fields to your door," Bernie replies, quoting some long gone television commercial, by the sound of it. She seems to flush slightly at the steady gaze, but smiles, and still sounds cheerful. "An' I wasn't looking, 'zactly, but I think I found a couple anyhow. Serendipity!" she exclaims, adding as a sort of explanation, "...I love that word."
Rina restrains a laugh behind that crooked smile, and glances to Jay. "He hasn't been givin' you any trouble, has he?" Dark eyes slide back to the girl, mock-sober, narrowing a little. "Cause I could chase 'im off, y'know..."
Jay raises a brow, glancing over to Rina curiously. He bites his lip to keep back a comment, figuring its really too late for it anyways. "Yeeeah.... Anyways.... Ya take care now Bernie, maybe we'll catch up latah or something." Shoving his hands into his jackets, he turns, heading off from the two girls, not saying a word towards Rina, or even giving her a second look.
Rina looks after him, bemused. "I wasn't /serious/, dude. Chill."
Bernie shakes her head, "Nah, 'course not..." She breaks off as he starts to leave, tilting her head, brow furrowing, "Um... 'm I missin' something here? See ya, Jason..." Her hand floats up and adjusts her glasses slightly.
Jay waves a hand in response, letting one foot swing back, just to rocket forward and slam into a coke can, sending it hurling through the air, landing noisly within the darkness in an array of clattering.
An odd, guarded look comes to Rina's face as she watches him walk away. "Night," she offers, her expression shadowed and wary.
The shadows consume the Ahroun, swallowing him whole in a birth of darkness. Even his footsteps drift off, then fade away, leaving the two alone, with only their thoughts, and the soft hiss of the wind as it drifts through the leaves and grass.
Bernie watches after the man, looking really quite confused. "That was... odd," she remarks, eventually, capturing a stray curl behind her ear.
Rina's frown darkens a little. "Yeah," she murmurs. "Sorry. Guess he'sstill got some issues." She takes a breath, and it seems to restotr some measure of her friendliness, although the mood is a bit more subdued now. Her dark eyes return to Bernie, and the twist of her lips takes on a wry cast. "Well. C'n I at least walk you to... wherever you're stayin' tonight?"
Bernie shrugs lightly, and looks back to you, with a nod. "Sure, what th' heck. I gotta get my other bag back first, though..." A hand moves to her mouth, stifling a yawn. "Oh... hi, I'm Bernie," she adds, offering the other hand, "Which you prolly gathered since he called me that but, anyway."
Rina takes the offered hand, brief and strong, and lets go. "'S'a pleasure. My name's Rina. Where's the rest of your stuff?"
Bernie gestures vaguely streetward, "Niceta meetcha... 's over that way some. I hid it, didn't wanna be lugging it about..."
Roger steps near the area around the fountain and seems to be headed directly towards it.
Rina nods, offering a wry smile. "The hedge?" she asks, beginning to head over that way--and then pausing when she finds herself almost face-to-face with Roger.
Roger stands there a moment looking Rina directly in the eyes and stands a bit taller. For all his appearance he is an oddly well cleaned man in disheveled clothing. Obviously an odd person, most likely not the kind of person who wins friends with his stunning personality though, as all he does is grunt right in Rina's face and continues his deep penetrating glare into her eyes as his shoulders raise a bit and his lips part ever so slightly.
Rina meets that look without saying anything, although her jaw tightens a fraction. Her expression lies somewhere between wariness and defiance, a sharp, guarded set to her face.
Bernie's right eyebrow perform a feat of levitation as she watches this, and a slight smirk finds its way across her face as she comments, softly to the air, "How to Win Friends and Influence People..." She takes a few steps forward, behind Rina, and looks over the other woman's shoulder at the man, apparently more curious than anything else. Lifting a hand, she waves lightly, and says, mildly, "...Hi. Nice night, innit?"
Roger only grins ever so slightly, a hard smile only meant to show teeth and portray violent posturing and possiblities. He doesn't move his eyes from Rina's but does open them a bit wider, letting the pupils shrink slightly as more light is allowed to hit them. His voice is gruff and agitated, with an odd contrast of humor in the tone, "There are no more nice nights... only lucky ones, and that last one you die on."
"Easy," Rina says tersely. "She just got here. No need to scare her off, yet." The dark eyes don't leave his, though they narrow slightly. "We were just leavin'."
Roger nods ever so slightly, eyes remaining on their target with growing agitation on his features. "Ah... She know anything yet, then?"
Rina shakes her head minutely. "She's cool. Just a kid. Aright?" She still holds his gaze, a flicker of guardedness in her own.
Bernie glances from one of you to the other, brow furrowed again. "...so when exactly does Rod Sterling wander into the shot?" she queries, not quite masking her nervousness under the wisecrack. Staredowns and secret agent talk are creepy.
Roger nods and grins now, a warm featured obviously calmer grin... and a calculating one at that. "Alright. Just a kid... for now." With that he steps forward so that he can, with straighter posture, make an effort to look down towards Rina's eyes and growls ever so slightly at her, "Submit kin." It's whispered quietly, but with tension and force, and perhaps a subtle touch of rage behind it.
Rina's jaw tightens. Whatever he says, it certainly has an effect; she averts her face and her eyes, looking away and down, breathing hard and shallow. It's almost as if she has just been slapped; there's a thin film of anger on that guarded posture now. Clenched hands force themselves open, at her sides. With a breath and an impulse, she half-turns and tries to step past him, to continue toward the park's edge.
Roger turns and grips her arm rather gently, she could break away if she actually tried. With his other hand he grips Rina's chin and tilts it a bit, inspecting her face with narrow and hard squinting eyes. His tone suddenly becomes harder, less comical and definitely upset. "You are having... problems?"
Bernie looks from one to the other again, starting to look slightly distressed, along with the confusion. She glances off in the direction she'd earlier indicated her bag was in, perhaps considering just going off for it by herself after all, like she'd originally planned, but instead shifts her weight slightly from one foot to the other, watching again, and now quiet for the moment.
Rina draws in a quick breath, turning her face away sharply--almost taking it from his grasp. "No," she answers, her voice terse and edged. "And this isn't the time t'discuss it." She presses her lips together a moment, and then forces out a question. "You want me to come back, after?"
Roger lets her pull away as he glances towards the new cub and thinks a moment. "Yes. If you could, after you help the confused one here out. As much as I may not be good at showing it, I am actually concerned about those I'm sworn to look after, Rina..."
Rina doesn't answer--just glances to Bernie as she heads toward the hedge, letting the girl catch up and take the lead.
Bernie meets Rina's glance as the woman starts off, and then glances toward the man. She starts after Rina, turning, but not stopping, after a few steps to venture, "Uh... so, g'night..." toward the guy, confusion and a bit of creeped-outness still plain on her face. That done, she turns back around and follows to the hedge, shaking her head slightly. Man, and people think Californians are weird!
Roger nods to the new one and offers a gentle "Till next we meet..." in an odd contrast with his usual manner of voice.
"Sorry," Rina mutters as they walk toward the edge of the park. "Look, this... isn't a good place for you to drop by. The park, I mean. It's gang turf, and it's... well. People throw down here all the time.
Bernie glances briefly back toward the man again, but this time she just looks rather doubtful -- almost incredulous. "In button down shirts? A'ight, I'll grant maybe fashions are diff'rent up here'n down where I'm from, but..." she protests quietly. "If you said ex-boyfriend, that I might believe..."
Rina shakes her head, laughing a little. "Nah. Not /him/. He... doesn't usually come around here. Same kinda reason." She glances over to the girl, a wry smile tugging at her mouth. "Anyway. Sorry you wound up in the middle, twice. Now, this bag of yours."