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.
All doorways in the front part of the house lead to the front hallway, a J-shaped area with the short tail starting at the stairs, the front door hitting the bottom curve, the doorless opening to the living room halfway up the long side, and the also doorless opening to the kitchen and dining room at the very top. The hall has a simple wooden floor, and decorated with a generic print of soft-colored flowers hanging on the wall to the right of the front door, and a tall table sitting under the print which serves as a place to toss keys. A closet under the stairs serves as a place to hang coats or to toss shoes.
The doorless opening to the living room is halfway up the side of the hall's J, and the word cozy might spring to mind when looking into is, as it seems to radiate comforting vibrations. A long couch sits against the south wall beneath a large bay window curtained only by sheers that manages to obscure the view in but only filters the day's light. A variety of out-of-date magazines are strewn atop a low coffee table; more neatly presented are the plethora of books filling the small bookshelves which line the eastern wall. Three chairs sit about the room, focused inward, to allow group conversations. Large floor pillows are stacked in one corner of the room, except one, which lies carelessly in the middle of the floor, apparently left out the last time it was used.
An opening in the northern end of the hallway allows access to the kitchen and dining room at the back of the house, while carpeted stairs twist up at the other end of the hall, leading to the second floor. A door at the base of the J lets out to the front porch.
Homey is the first word to come to mind when looking at the farmhouse's kitchen. Dark, wood-paneled wainscoting covers the walls to about waist height, dark beige wallpaper continuing to the ceiling. Twin refrigerators occupy the north wall, facing the large six-burner stove on the south. The kitchen counter runs the length of the eastern wall, broken only by the double-basin sink. Cabinets run above and below the counter and a twin-pane window is set in the wall above the sink. A small pantry is set into an alcove alongside the refrigerators, presumably holding the deep freezer as well as shelves of dry goods.
Some twelve feet above the floor, a large chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting the dining room and casting long shadows over the bar to the kitchen. A long table occupies the center of the dining room, three chairs setting along each side, and one on each end. On the west wall, a large window looks out on the trees alongside the western pasture. Set into the north wall is a large cabinet, its glass doors closed on shelves containing a full compliment of fine china and glassware as well as a few decorative nicknacks. On the east, a wide bar separates the dining room from the kitchen.
An opening in the southern wall allows passage to the front entryway of the house, while a sliding glass door in the kitchen opens to a clearing behind the house.
Chaser paces the length of the riverbank, a quiet and watchful presence. The approaching footsteps get her attention, however; she stops next to a bench, turning narrowed eyes toward the city.
Marcus's cab pulls up to the edge of the park, a familiar pattern these days, and the cabbie gets out to sit on his hood and eat his store-bought sandwhich while watching the water.
Chaser perches up on the back of the bench, boots hooking onto the edge of the seat, her attention still focused toward the street. She studies the driver, as she often has before, a frown clouding her features.
"... haven't figgered out all th' details yet," Bernie's voice faintly flosts across the air as she and Max wander into view, "but it'd be pretty cool t' make it work... I'll try t' 'splain it more when we get there...." She trails off as she makes out the other figures through the gloom, and adds, a little quieter, "...or maybe later, dependin'..."
Max traipses along beside Bernie, currently walking backwards with a glance tossed over her shoulder as she matches the other cub's pace. "I'm all into that causin' a commotion shit." Something in Bernie's tone causes Max to wheel around, and switch to her companion's other side, scanning the winter's early darkness. "Yeah. Remind me to tell you 'bout some slip-slide-jam-the-machine boogie I got goin' 'round the Lucky Charms box." She catches sight of Marcus before she sees Chaser and smirks, leaning closer to murmur to Bernie. "I spy with my buff-assed eye.."
Marcus eats his sandwhich with meticulous slowness, most of his attention on the silent, sliding black water. Max and Bernie's approach draw his eye, but he's unsure it's them until they get a little closer. Once he's sure, the sandwhich is all but forgotten, set aside on the hood as he brushes his hands clean. "Yo!" he calls.
Chaser's long-legged silhouette moves, detaching from the bench it perches upon. It doesn't approach, just yet.
Bernie squints a bit behind her glasses as she looks into the darkness, and flashes a grin at Max as she, too, recognizes Marcus, moments before his greeting. "Hey!" she calls back cheerfully, lifting a hand to wave. "'sup?" Wandering toward him, she murmurs to Max, "...'ll talk t' ya 'bout it later, yeah?"
Marcus still hasn't even really seen Chaser, so intent is his attention on the two appropaching Gnawers. His eyes especially seem drawn to Max, lingering there longer than on Bernie by a bit. But it's Bernie he addresses first. "What's up, little sister?"
Max grins at Bernie as their shoulders brush when she leans in. "I's gonna haunt you 'til then." Then she picks up her speed and trots over toward the cab, slipping through a gap in the fence. The car hardly sways as she climbs up onto the bumper of the taxi to settle on the hood beside Marcus. "Yo, Go-Boy. Spare a bite for the freakin' starving?" Her dark eyes twinkle a little behind her hair. She looks to Bernie queryingly.
Marcus waves a hand to the sandwhich and what's left of his single helping potato chip bag. "Help yourself," he says to Max, unable to hide a little grin.
Max immediately grabs for the potato chips and begins munching on chips. She offers one to Bernie while elbowing playfully at Marcus with her other arm.
Bernie shrugs slightly, and clambers up on the other side of Marcus to join the pair on the hood. The cab sways rather more with the addition of her weight than Max's. "The pricea Xeroxes? They're makin' me pay a dime a copy 'stead of a nickel now. So how's tricks?" she replies to Marcus, and nods across him to the other cub, accepting the chip, "Works f'r me, Casper..."
Marcus looks from one side, ax, to the other, Bernie, and back again. Still grinning faintly, he asks Bernie, "What you copyin?", even as Bernie's mention of the nickname 'Casper' brings a confused frown to his lips.
Max grins at Bernie, then hands over the bag with its remaining chips, licking at the salt on her fingertips as she looks from her tribemate to the kin between them. "Yeah. How /is/ those tricks, big boy?" She reaches up and fingers one of Marc's short dreads.
Marcus pats the hood of the cab with loving affection, his expression overly satisfied. "Tricks'r good today, Princess. Car's back, and money's rolling." The double entendre's not lost on him, though he doesn't address it with anything more than a wink.
Bernie munches the chip she was first given, but, unusually enough, sets the packet of those remaining back down on the hood after accepting it. "Oh, y'know, just stuff I found I thought was interestin'..." she replies vaguely, with a negligent gesture. "Glad t' see th' vehicle's back in workin' order..."
Max's laughter is brief and low in her throat. "Yeah. A man ain't himself if his drive train's fucked."
Marcus, not given to lewd gestures usually, makes an exception today since he's feeling so good. He checks his package, shifts in his seat, and agrees with Max by nodding and adding, "Truth, But there ain't never been nuthin wrong with my 'drive', just my 'ride'."
Max's gaze flickers downward for a moment before she smirks. "You jus' keep tellin' yourself that, Go." She looks past Marcus to Bernie again. "You two got the intros down 'n shit?"
Rina's expression lights as she catches sight of the cab--or rather, one of the people perched there. "Yo!" she calls out. "Bernie!"
Judging from her silence and that fact that what skin is exposed is turning pinker with each comment, this isn't a conversation Bernie feels like jumping in on at the moment. Having started to look through one of the pockets of her backpack, who knows for what, she glaces up almost startled at Max's question, "Wha? Oh! Yeah, um, we got that handled..." The second interruption draws her attention then, and she peers through the darkness before grinning, and waving at the approaching Rina. "Hey!" she calls brightly.
Max looks between Bernie and Marcus, brows briefly raised as Bernie and Rina exchange greetings. "Yeah?" she asks more quietly. "'n here I thought I had a corner on the intros."
Rina's smile brightens and she speeds her steps. "Hey you," she says, flashing a brilliant smile. She stops just in front of the cab, relaxed. "How ya been?"
Chaser steps out of the glade and into the surrounding meadow.
Marcus again winks at Max, his grin a little too amused. It lingers, again, and Bernie's call toward Rina gets his attention a little late because of that. Eventualy, he spies the woman, giving her a long look. Teasing Max, he says, "You losing your touch."
Bernie shrugs a little, "Not too bad, 'sa'ight mostly... how 'bout you?" An almost apologetic glance to Max, "Sorry... ran into 'im again after y'told me, y'know? Didn't mean t' scoop ya. You c'n do it again if y'like..." She grins, and straightens up a bit.
Confusion flickers across Rina's face, and she says, archly, "Am I missin' anything important?"
Max elbows Marcus a bit more sharply this time. "I touch you, you'll know it, Taxi-boy." Her gaze follows his to Rina and she, too, looks the woman over thoroughly. "Yo, Burn. Who's the chick?" She casts a half smile over to Bernie at the offer.
"The chic," Rina says as she reaches them, "is Rina. A friend. I hope." A corner of her mouth quirks upward a bit, wryly, and her eyes slide to Bernie with that mischievous smile.
Marcus flinches at the elbow, though more out of exaggerated play than actual harm. His gaze returns to Rina, who he looks over up and down. "You can introduce this one if you want," he says to Max, just as she asks Bernie who rina is. So, he adds, "Or not."
Bernie glances between Max and Rina, a little surprised, "You haven't met? Whoa. 'kay, well,... yeah, this's Rina who is in fact a friend, an' Rina, this's Max an' Marcus..."
"Any relation?" Max asks, somewhat directly. She leans forward over her knees, conserving body heat in the thin zippered sweatshirt she wears. Her gaze darts around, measuring reactions to reactions of reactions, ad infinitum.
Marcus puts on his best, most charming smile as he offers rina a hand. "Pleasure," he says.
This is an odd time for someone to be wandering down the street looking as if she just woke up, but there you have Kaz, sub sandwich in one hand, cup of coffee in another, bag slung over her shoulder. Her hair looks as if it might want to attack someone. She's so intent on the coffee that she's not really noticing much of anyone, yet.
Rina offers a crooked and charming smile, setting a paint-stained hand into the man's own.
Something catches at Max's attention and she stands up on the car's hood to peer down the street. Then, more loudly than a body her size should be able to belt, "YO! ZEE!"
Bernie glances over to Max, and nods, "....yyyeah, there're certain family ties as I unnerstand it... dunno th' 'zact fam'ly tree, come t' think of it..." She looks toward Rina, and happens to notice a form moving in the back of her field of vision. A bit of squinting resolves it into a vaguely familiar shape, "Hey... 'zat Kaz?" Max's action seems to answer it for her. "...thought so."
Marcus gives Rina's hand a gentle squeaze before he lets it go. The smile turns briefly to a grin as he draws the hand back. Max's yell makes him wince, and then smirk, as he too looks for Kaz.
Max's question causes the dark-haired beauty to purse her lips in thought. She studies the unfamiliar face for a moment, questioning; then she digs out the pendant that hangs around her neck, a little miniature of the Eiffel Tower. She toys with it briefly before putting on her mischief face again. "If Bernie was my sister," she says lightly, "I wouldn't have the hots f'her so bad." Her attention turns toward whatever has captured the rest, and a faint smile comes to her lips.
Kaz barely manages not to drop her coffee altogether, but she certainly spills some on herself. Evidently, she wasn't expecting a foghorn at this hour. "Maaaaaaaaax!" she yells, not looking at all annoyed at her own clumsiness, and breaks into a trot just briefly until she discovers that spills more coffee and slows down again. As she gets closer, she blinks. "Jesus. Hail hail the gang's all here, huh?"
Marcus can't help but chuckle softly at the sleepy Kaz. when she gets within normal speaking range, he offers his own greeting, apparently glad to see the Gnawer. "Kazaroo, you're looking goooooood."
Ordinarily, Bernie would greet and wave here, but at present she's really too busy looking wide-eyed and speechless at the back of Rina's head, and turning bright pink again. ...That... was a joke, right? Yeah... She shakes her head once, quickly, blinking. "Uh... hi, Kaz, 'sup? Haven't, uh.. seen you 'round in a bit..."
Max's gaze slides down at first Bernie's and then Rina's commentary. "Hello. Family-fuckin-ties." She turns her attention back to the approaching Kaz, mirroring a faint version of Marc's grin. "Yo... 'f'you showered, chica, whatever you mighta found, I just gotta say it wasn't me." She's already lifting her hands, palms up, in a motion of innocence that argues with her lopsided smile.
Kaz gives Max a glare, although given the grin half rising in her face, it's obvious she doesn't mean a whit of it. "Yeah, and I'm the Queen of England. Kee-rist." Snorting softly, she kicks a tire on the cab. "An' you," she adds, turning that same glare on Marcus, "Ain't I told you already? You gonna call me shit like that, you're gonna call me Kazamataz. Dammit." She drains the coffee completely, in one large gulp, and stuffs the cup in a coat pocket. She gives Rina a small grin, and then adds, apologetically, "Yeah, Bern. I been catchin' rides down t'Vegas some. Kinda half here."
Rina leans on one side of the hood, crossing both arms over her chest and glancing sidelong to Bernie. "You're blushing," she remarks.
Marcus's laugh deepens at Kaz's reaction, and he placates her with a nod and a lift of his hands, offering her a low-five. Since her hands are cuurently full, he moves a leg so she can put her food on the hood of the car. Rina gets a second, more inquisitive glance as she goads poor Bernie.
Max, standing on the hood of the car, settles back to perch against the roof, watching Kaz. Rina's comment, however, drags her gaze back to the banter between the other ragabash and the newly introduced woman. Under her breath she murmurs, "Zee, you met Rina?"
"Um. I do that sometimes," Bernie replies, proving it by going slightly pinker again. It wouldn't be fair to say she looked like a deer in the headlights, but possibly in the unexpected flashlight, at least. "So, uh, Vegas, huh, Kaz? Wha's down there?" she queries, in a completely unsubtle attempt to change the subject, or at least the focus.
Rina wets her lips, and glances toward Kaz, giving her a charming smile better suited to a Ragabash. "I think we met a couple times."
Marcus keys in on Bernie's question, leaning back against the glass of the windshield casually. "Yeah, you sharkin? Come up big at the tables?" As he asks, he settles against Max's leg, idly.
Kaz stuffs the coffee further into her pocket and tosses the sub onto the hood. She salutes Marcus in the time honored manner. Her grin only rises as Bernie flounders. "I've met Rina, yah. She's, y'know." She makes spidery finger walking motions. "She's cool." Aside to Rina, she mutters, "Cuter when she blushes, y'think?" and then explains to Bernie, "Got messages I gotta deliver. An' a couple old packmates down there."
Max idly fingers at Marc's hair again though her gaze has settled upon Kaz. "You got someplace to be?"
Bernie manages to get a bit less flustered, and nods, "Ah, cool... passed through there real quick when I was comin' up this way... liked th' lights an' all." One hand slips up through her curls, pushing them back, then adjusts her glasses, nervously.
Marcus's enjoying Bernie's discomfort a little too much, but at least he does so in the most innocent and sympathetic of ways--if that's possible. He folds his arms across his chest, trying to hide his amused smile and laugh. Max's familiar touch does not go unnoticed, and he leans a little closer, dropping his head back slightly.
"I hate Vegas," Rina murmurs. "It's a disgusting sore on the face of this nation." She glances to Bernie, then, her slow smile returning.
Kaz leans against the side of the cab. "Not just right this moment," she answers Max. "Why?" Her gaze rests on Max for a moment, but her attention is diverted, and she winces at Bernie. "The lights're the awful part. It's the parts /outside/ town that you gotta find."
Bernie shrugs a little. "...I -like- lights. Didn' like the actual city much, but lights're pretty... anyway."
Max briefly holds Kaz's gaze. "You doin' rounds?" When Kaz speaks to Bernie, Max leans in and murmurs near Marc's ear, "You got 'n /effect/ on the bitches 'round you, Go." It's a jibe, spoken grinning by the ragabash perched on the windshield.
Kaz amends, "Well, the lights, an' all the shit surroundin' th' lights. Morons upon morons upon morons." She shrugs, and glances back to Max. "Soon. I jus' woke up an' I ain't got no brain t'speak of yet."
Marcus rolls with the jibe, treating it like a compliment. he shrugs his shoulders, straightening his jacket with small shrug. "It's a talent," he says, sliding off the cab's hood. "I gotta roll. Anyone need a lift?" His eyes go to Max, first, but then make their rounds to the othjers collected.
Rina obligingly straightens, no longer leaning on the hood of the car. "Nice t'meet ya," she offers. "But I don't take rides from strangers."
Bernie watches the glance, and shakes her head a bit, "Nah, thanks. I gotta go do... somethin'. Research, tha's th' word I wanted..." She tries to rein in her curls again, which is just as effective as usual, i.e., not at all, before sliding down to the ground from the hood.
Kaz takes a step or two back from the cab, after reclaiming her sub. Since she's on the sidewalk side, she immediately starts leaning against the lamp-post. Skilled laziness, at its finest. "Nah. Got shit t'do later 'round here. But, y'know, see you out'n about an' all."
Max jumps off the cab, dropping lightly to the ground beside Kaz and turning back toward Marcus. "Strangers rock, but I got shit t'do, Go. See you later on."
Kaz doesn't extend an arm toward Max; she just shifts her weight slightly, so she's leaning a little towards her. Some of her attention is, though, on Bernie. "Research?"
Marcus looks from Max to Kaz, nodding. "Shit. Right," he says, knowingly, and nods. Turning to Bernie, he offers the other ragabash a wink. "Take it easy, little sister," he says, finally turning to Rina. "well, we'll have to remedy the stanger part, then, sometime." After another wink, he gets into the driver's side of the cab and starts it up. It disappears a few moments later after a wide turn along the curb.
Max watches Marcus drive away, then turns and steps closer to Kaz. "I dinnit 'spect you to be up 'til tomorrow." she murmurs low.
Kaz shrugs, with the ghost of a smile. "I needed food. I need food, I get up an' get it." She brandishes the sub at Max. "Second of the day, this. You want half?"
Rina's dark eyes slide toward Bernie, and she manages a wry smile. "Hey," she says softly. "Sorry."
Max tips her head fractionally. "Naw, but I'd take a bite."
Bernie nods at Kaz, "...yeah, research... lookin' into a coupla things that're int'restin' me... nothin' big or fascinatin'..." She glances sideways to Rina, "Oh.. um, 'sokay..." Her lips quirk up at the corners, "...no permanent damage..."
Kaz mutters, as she unwraps the sub, "Yeah, I'll just bet," and offers the end to Max. Bernie's explanation, such as it is, just makes Kaz raise her eyebrows, under her hair. "Coupla things, huh? Like, say, what?"
Max leans in and takes a bulging-cheeks-bite, choking a little on a sound that might have been a response that can't get past the mouthful. She turns to look over at Bernie, her gaze a bit more capricious than her elder's.
Bernie grins, and shrugs, "Jus' stuff. 'f anythin' comes of it, I'll letcha know."
Kaz snorts in amusement. "Yeah, you do that, Vaguette. I'll be hangin' on your every word."
Max again speaks around a mouthful of sub. "... mrofig beshful...borsh borsher shtorff."
Bernie thinks about that a moment, brow furrowed, and then it clears up. "Nothing special, just 'basher stuff?" she queries, looking at Max for translation confirmation.
Kaz, who was obviously attempting to mentally translate that herself, snaps a finger. "You got the prize, Bern."
Max nods triumphantly at Bernie with a chipmunk cheek grin, still chewing her bite. She leans a hip into Kaz.
Bernie mirrors the triumphant nod, and grins, satisfied. Hanging out with Matt obviously has its fringe benefits. "Yeah, tha's about th' size of it."
Rina merely listens, watching Bernie from time to time, her smile quiet.
Kaz takes a not-gigantic bite of sub, leaning slightly more into Max. "Well, I'll make a note on my calendar t'be scared outta my wits once you actually finish up with it. I mean, if it's /that/ kinda stuff."
As she finally finishes her bite, Max looks to Rina, her gaze flickering measuringly over the woman before she notes, "I's gonna go crash. There's a popcorn bomb in the Ree 'f you guys want some." To Bernie, "Come kick me when you wanna do that thing. She glances to Kaz. "You leavin' again anytime soon?"
Bernie gets the 'translating' look again for a second, and shakes her head, "Whassa 'Ree'? An' yeah, I will... worry not."
Kaz shakes her head. "Not f'while. I'll come bug y'after I do some buskin', yah?"
Kaz then adds, pronouncing it carefully, "Rialto. I showed you it a couple times, din' I?"
Bernie snaps her fingers quickly, "Right! A'ight, got it. Cool." She shifts her bag on her shoulder a bit, and glances toward the woods a moment.
Max snags a coldcut from Kaz's sub and heads off with a "Yo, Rina." and a 'mwah' in Bernie's direction.
Kaz mutters, a little warily, "That thing," and munches some more.
Rina tips her head to one side and studies Kaz quietly. "What?"
Bernie grins widely at Kaz, looking fully recovered now. "Don' worry. Won't hurt a bit..."
Kaz jerks her head at Bernie and says, ominously, "They're /planning/, Rina. I think you should hide the women and children..."
Rina smirks. "They're safe at home." She glances over to Bernie. "Which reminds me... you got a place t'sleep tonight?"
Bernie pushes her hair behind her ears, and nods slightly, "...yeah, act'ly, got sorta plans for 'bout 10:30 'round th' farmhouse, figured I'd just crash there in Bohemian Decadence for th' night. So t'night's pretty much handled. Thanks, though..."
Rina's smile quirks a little at one corner, crooked. "Mm. Anytime."
Kaz's grin flickers. "That couch ain't half bad." She finishes the sub and crinkles the paper up. Predictably, there are no trash containers within easy reach, so she stuffs it into her other coat pocket. "You guys get anywhere with Rina's kung fu grip lessons?"
Bernie glances at Rina, and shakes her head. "Act'ly, y'know, I'd forgotten 'bout that?" She looks down to her wrist, pushing the sleeve back, "Ee. Think I better go, though. See both y'guys soon? Might be 'round here t'marra."
Rina nods. "Seeya, gorgeous," she answers, a hint of warmth in her eyes.
[...and so, Bernie heads to the Farmhouse...]
Bernie pulls the front door open, and closes it behind her, not bothering to make it particularly quiet, today, though she certianly doesn't slam it. She looks a bit flustered.
Alicia peers her head out of the kitchen, then heads out curiously. Flexing her fingers a bit, she wets her lips. "Everything ok Bernie?"
"Wha? Oh! Um. Yes?" Bernie shakes her head, as if to clear it. "...'sup? Cooking or somethin'?"
"Nope, just finished cleaning up th'kitchen. But if yer'starving marvin, ah' can whip something up." Alicia steps over to the Gnawer, eyes glancing her over. "You ok? You look a bit outta it. Talk ta'me chick."
Bernie shakes her head, "Nahhh, not hungry really, thanks... Just had kinda a weird experience..." She trails off as the door opens, and glances toward it.
Steven steps inside the house, briskly rubbing his hands together.
Alicia nods her head and plops down onto the couch, crossing her legs. "Well.. ok, If you need ta'talk about anything, ah'm here for you." Her voice softens as she glances over to Steven. "Good Evening Steven-Rhya."
Steven snaps, "What's so good about it?"
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Nothing? Ah'dunno, just being polite an all sir."
Steven's eye turns toward Bernie, then back to Alicia. "Whatever," he grunts. He passes them and proceeds into the kitchen. He obviously been outside for a while, perhaps a few days, even.
Bernie smiles at Steven, and lifts a hand in a slight wave as he passes before looking back to Alicia, and shrugging a little. "Thanks..."
Alicia raises up one brow slightly as he passes by, then takes a deep breath. "There's lasagna in the fridge if your hungry sir." She calls back after him. "I made it about an hour ago."
Steven's bootfall cadence stops in it's track. "Lasagna?" There's a short pause, then his hands clap together, and he adds, "Well done, cub. Well done." Then the fridge door opens and things are jostled about.
Alicia lets out another breath, this time a faint smile hidding upon her lips. She glances over to Bernie and winks.
Steven moves things around some; finds the lasagna, presumably. "What the hell temperature should I reheat this at?" he demands from the other room. He pulls down a plate from a cupboard.
Alicia peers over her shoulder, then follows into the kitchen, a quick glance being offered to the Gnawer. "Um... I guess just warm it up for a few minutes. I just placed it in the fridge 'bout ten minutes ago. Shouldn't take that much heat."
Steven's got the pan on a counter, and is eyeing it and the oven suspiciously, as if they're in some kind of conspiracy against him. "Here," he says, waving at the lasagna. "You do this. Me and ovens don't get along."
Alicia grins a bit. "How big ah' piece ya want?" She asks, taking a spatula out of the cupboard.
Steven considers, obviously with some careful thought. "Oh. There's only so much rabbit and squirrel you can eat before you something... dead. Pretty healthy piece, I suppose."
Bernie trails behind, quietly, and leans against the doorframe a moment, watching, before heading to a drawer and pulling out a fork. She sets it on the table, and then returns to lurking beside the door.
Alicia nods and uses her plastic tool to slice a hearty piece of pasta off, then places it on a smaller plate she finds. Opening up the oven door, she slips it in. Turning on the heat, she makes a guess, then settles back a bit. "It'll warm up in a lil bit, then start cooking. Give it like maybe five or ten minutes."
Steven shrugs his shoulders at the young girl. "You're the boss," he mutters. He goes back to the fridge and grabs a beer, fumbling for a bottle opener in a drawer. "So what are you two up to tonight? Is it like Pinky and the Brain?"
Bernie nods. "Exactly," she replies, deadpan, "same thing we do every night: try to take over the world..." She smiles then, and shrugs a little. "I'd just dropped by, a few minutes before you arrived."
Alicia absently rolls her shoulders back. "Ah'm jus' cleaning up th'kitchen, an then ya'two popped in 'bout the same time. No plans to take ovah'th world as of yet."
Steven snaps the cap off the beer, and then flicks it into the sink. The opener is roughly put on the counter. "Well. That sounds nice," he says in his best patronizing voice. "It's good to be back in civilization," he offers, holding the beer aloft, before tipping it back.
Alicia mmm's slightly. "Where did your travels take you?" She asks curiously, slipping down into a chair at the table.
Bernie heads over to the fridge and pulls out a soda. Holding the door open, she lifts the can, looking toward Alicia questioningly.
Steven says "I was in Saint Claire for a while. But only to go balls deep for the holidays, pay rent, talk to my Uncle in Chicago." He shrugs. "I have two lupus packmates, and you know, it's just so much easier to interact with them using four legs instead of two."
Alicia nods her head at that, then smiles to Bernie, shaking her head. "I'd imagine. Ah'll be doing my learning ta'be a good wolf training with NightFlash hopefully soon, I'm just waiting for him to get some stuff settled or something so that he has the proper time for me."
"Yeah, we need to finish our totem quest, go to Gaia's Tears, find out why they're messed up, and return, hopefully not dead." The Fianna drinks more beer. "So, it might be a while."
Alicia continues to nod. "Gaia's Tears? Thats another Sept right? Ah'caught a lil bit of wind 'bout that here an there.... something bad happened huh?"
"Apparently." He eyes the oven, and then Alicia hopefully. Steven even smiles at her a little. It doesn't look very good on his scarred face.
Alicia glances over to the oven, her mind a whirl of thoughts. She almost forgot about it. But the scent of pasta filling the air reminded her. She stands up and heads over, opening up the door. Retrieving the plate with a hand mitten, she carries it back to him. "Voila'. Dinner is served Mon'soir."
Bernie closes the fridge, popping the top of the soda and taking a sip as she heads back toward the table.
Steven's eye closes, and he takes a long deep breath. "That's /so/ much better than eating half-buried carcass. Those wolves don't know what they're missing." He finishes his beer in one mighty go, and puts the empty on the table in front of him.
Alicia has to agree with Steven silently on that one. She passes by Bernie and squeezes her shoulder, heading to the fridge. Jerking it open, she retrieves another beer, placing it next to Steven again as he eats. "Here ya go. Save th'time o'getting up." She offers a bright smile, then heads into the living room.
"My God," Steven says, bewildered. "Someone trained /this/ one right. Hell, I might have to marry you."
Alicia bursts out laughing as she crosses into the other room.
Bernie laughs, and sips her soda again. "I don't know, I think someone might object at the 'does anyone know any reason why these two should not be joined' bit..." She starts to follow Alicia out of the room, adding, "Excuse me..."
Steven digs into his dinner with enthusiasism. He wouldn't offer much conversation.
In the front rooms, Alicia sinks onto the couch and leans back, sighing softly to herself. Stretching up her arms, she yawns tiredly, then picks up her word search puzzles again, followed by a pen.
Alicia circles a word, scratches it off the list, then goes back to hunting. Her eyes briefly lift to Bernies, then back at the paper.
Bernie wanders in from the kitchen, still sipping her soda, and leans over to looka t the word search. "...how's it going?"
Alicia mmm's. "Thing is a bitch. These are all backwards an shit. So its a lil bit more challe---" She squints, pauses, circles a word. "ging." She finishes.
Bernie grins, and plops onto the sofa. "ALways loved those things...." She glances at it, and starts to point a word out, then pauses, "...I see one. Y'mind if I point at it, or y'wanna do it alone?"
Alicia laughs and hands it over to you. "Go right ahead. Damn thing is giving me a head ache. Ah'figured ah'd jus'past th'time away while ah'was home alone an kicking it."
In the back of the house, "Is that what we're doing?" Steven asks from the kitchen. "Kicking it? I have to keep up with the lingo so Ethan won't think I'm old and decrepit."
Alicia giggles a bit. "Kicking it means to just hang out and relax. If you want, Ah'm sure Bernie and I can update you on all the newest forms of Ebonix and MTV street slang. Maybe ya can bust Ethan's grill an talk some game ya'know." She drawls off playfully.
"Kickin' it," Bernie confirms, dropping letters for just about the first time while talking to Steven, "and chillin', too, if you prefer. You really have to drop the 'g' if you're going to say it, though, otherwise it just comes out silly..." She grins, leaning back in the cushions and crossing her legs as she reaches over and points at a word, "There..."
In the back of the house, "Don't make me puke," the fostern warns. Then, presumably he stuffs his face with more lasagna. "By the way," he says through a mouthful. "This is pretty damn good."
"Thank you Steven-Rhya." Alicia replies with a bright smile on her face. "Matt an Luke loves to scarff my lasagna down the second I pull it out of the oven. Ah'figure if ah' stick 'round, no Fianna will ever go hungry."
Bernie grins, sipping her soda. "Definitely want to avoid causing regurgitation, yes. Be a terrible waste of pasta..." A slight pause as she takes another drink, and then, to Alicia, "...has Matt been around today, by the way?"
In the back of the house, "If only sheep could cook, that'd already be true," Steven muses, between bites.
Alicia giggles softly, then looks to Bernie. "Ah'think he may be working late t'night. I haven't seen him since last night actually. Why, whats up? Anything ah'can relay to him?"
Bernie snickers a little at Steven's comments, and shakes her head, "Not really; thanks, though. No big deal." She drains the rest of the soda, and glances around for the nearest trash can.
Alicia furrows her brow a bit, then nudges Bernie. "Do you need to have a girl talk? I know something's up.. its kinda showing." She looks concerned, still wondering about earlier.
In the back of the house, "Oh Christ," Steven snorts. "What the hell is this? Did I stumble into the set of Oprah somehow?"
Bernie smirks, glancing kitchenward, and shakes her head. "Completely seperate things... I'll tell you about the weirdness later." She does look a little weirded out for a moment, but shakes it off, standing to throw the can away. "Oh... there's another one, by the way," she remarks, pointing at the word search.
Alicia blinks and glances down, then circles the two that she pointed out. "Ok..." She responds, hesitant for a moment, but the tree hugger doesn't push it. She looks over to Steven and grins a bit, wryly. "I'm kinda like the cub support group of the farm house. Figured it'd give me some good practice in for the social groomings of my tribe."
In the back of the house, "If you keep it up," the elder Galliard snarks, "I'm going to start menstrating any moment." He clears his plate from the table, brushes off the detritus in the trash and then washes it a bit. He recovers his beer, then, and polishes it off too.
Bernie tosses the can away, and grins, "Now that, I'd like to be witness to..." A slight shrug as she wanders back. "I'm not quite sure what being able to read diagonally and backward qualifies me for," she comments as she sits again, "...speaking of which, 'particle,' right there..."
Alicia circles it and hmm's for a moment. "Um...count me out of that pre paid adventure there Steven, I'll stop now." Offering a quick grin to Bernie, she finally closes the book, tucking the pen behind her ear.
In the back of the house, Steven passes through the open doorway for the front part of the house.
Steven says "Well, kids. Be good. I'm going to take a shower now. Then I might feel remotely human."
Alicia wiggles her fingers to him. "Have a good one sir. Be careful of the shampoo. Ah' heard a lil new moon is plotting against me for ruining one of his pranks. Test it befo' ya use it."
Bernie nods, "Good advice, definitely...." She lifts a hand, and waves, with a uick smile.
Steven tromps upstairs, and the bathroom door closes.
Alicia giggles softly and glances to Bernie, eyes sparkling. She leans over and softly whispers. "You know what? Ah'wonder if its against the litany ta' have thoughts. But my god, ah'd die ta' see him naked jus'once. I bet he's /so/ hung."
Bernie turns bright red, clapping a hand over her mouth to stifle the laugh that threatens to escape. All that comes out is a muffled snicker, so it's fairly effective. "Oh. My. God," she murmurs once she recovers, and shakes her head. "Um! Well, if thinkin' or lookin' were matin' most everyone'd be knocked up, right? So nahhh, that's gotta be legal..."
Alicia grins widely, shaking her head, bubbling over in giggles as she leans against you. Dropping her voice, she softly says. "You gotta crush on someone, an ah'wanna know who it is."
Bernie leans back against Alicia, and shakes her head, blushing slightly. "Nuh-uh," she protests, "what makes ya think that?" With Steven's departure, her usual lack of enunciation seems to be back in full force.
Alicia grins a bit, poking you in the side a bit, tickling. "No? You sure 'bout that?" She asks. "Tell me 'bout that weirdness thing."
Bernie giggles rather girlishly, which though it may be appropriate is nevertheless uncharacteristic. "Maybe not a hund'red percent positive... but oh," her eyes widen, and she looks slightly uncomfortable, "I, um. Think maybe I got hit on. Or she was joking. I mean, she must've been joking...."
Alicia blinkblinks. "She? Woah dude... Don't go Fury on me now Bernie." She says, clearing her throat, cheeks tinting a bit as well. "She?" She asks again. "An um.. who do /you/ have a crush on? Matt right?" She asks, point blankley, not one for subtlety.
Bernie nods, eyes still wide, "Uh, yeah, she..." She blinks a few times, and shakes her head, "Fury? ...an' uh, I don't think I'm... like that..." The redness just keeps intensifying, "...um. An' anyway I said I dunno...." She glances away, eyes darting toward a random bookcase.
Alicia huffs a bit and rubs the back of her neck, cheeks reddening brightly with her own blush. "Um.. if its Matt.. an um.... if he digs ya.. yer a lucky gal." She then mutters, under her breath. "He's a damn good... kisser." Throat clear, she shifts her eyes a bit.
Bernie glances sideways at Alicia, "Oh. Um. Probably not. I mean, he prolly wouldn't. Even if it were. Which it isn't of course 'cause it isn't anyone. I don't think. ....anyway that would kinda sound like he, um, digs you, right?" She shrugs slightly, glancing over toward the kitchen door, and continues, "...so, anyway, yeah... it was really weird. I think she musta been joking..."
Alicia shakes her head. "No.. he doesn't dig me. See.. Last night we were at the farm, dancing right? We was bored, an ah'don't know what happened, but all ah'know is that the two of us were like in this lip wrestling match sent from the gods. It was like..heaven vs hell y'know? Gah.. then we snapped outta it an um.." She blushes. "I took off, embarrassed, I felt like shit." She points upwards. "Moon.. makes us kinda crazy when its full y'know. Ah'haven't seen him since."
Bernie shakes her head a little, replying quietly, "Nope... I -don't- know." She pushes her hair back behind her ear, and shrugs again, "...an' anyway I fail t' see how that'd mean he didn', anyhow. Not that it matters, 'course; I jus' don' know how all this stuff works." She looks thoughtful a second, and then suddenly stands up. "....gonna get another soda. You want one?"
Alicia furrows her brow a bit and stands up, following after her. "Sure... Anyways, you want me to explain the moon thing to you?" She offers.
Bernie passes into the kitchen and pulls the fridge door open, staring into the appliance. "Yeah, sure," she replies, looking over the various cans in her field of vision. "...an' whatcha want t' drink?"
Alicia peers over her shoulders a bit. "MMm.... Just a coke, I guess. Look, Bernie, are you ok? C'mon, talk to me. I'm worried." Her voice holds true concern for her friend as she glances over.
Bernie picks up a coke, and considers the other options a moment before taking another for herself, and bumping the door shut with her hip. "'course," she replies, with a slight shrug, "why wouldn' I be?" She hands one can over to the other cub, "So, th' moon thing."
Alicia takes the can. "I don't know, but I can feel something in the air around you. Something is eating ya up and your reluctant to talk about it." She softly says, peering into your eyes. "You sure everything ok? Or is this a none of your business Alicia thing?"
"I'm -fine-," Bernie replies, looking steadily at the other cub and using a tone that, while it doesn't exactly sound fine, strongly implies that if anything's wrong, it -is- in fact a none-of-your-business-Alicia-thing, at least at the moment. "You were going to say something moon-related." She pops the soda, and takes a drink of it.
Alicia takes a deep breath and crosses her arms, lifting her chin up a bit. "Us as Garou, are strongly tied to the phases of the moon. When its full, we get bitchy, cranky an down right mean. During the new moon, we get more relaxed and giddy. So, our ties to the beast gradually rises as the moon gets brighter in the sky."
Alicia says "The fuller the moon in the sky, the closer to the beast. It makes us more primal, we act more upon instinct then rationale."
Bernie nods a bit, "Ah, yeah. Kaz mentioned. 'm a Raggie, so I don' notice so much. We're calmer than th' resta y'all, 'pparently." She sips her drink again. "New moon thing an' all."
Alicia nods her head and toes the ground a bit. "Yah.. Being a Galliard, ah'm close ta' the beast like th'full mooner's are. Lucky ah'm a tree hugger, so ah'prolly won't flip out as much."
"Funky," Bernie replies, finishing off the rest of the can and tossing the empty into the trash. "'ll try t' keep all that stuff in mind. ...anyway, I'm kinda tired. Long day, an' all. Think I'm gonna head up an' crash. Y'mind? 'll talk t' ya in th' mornin' an' all."
Alicia nods her head and places the unopened can down, still concerned, but not pressing the issue. "Ok.. I'll be here as always if you want to hang out."
A quick nod. "Cool. Later, then." With that, the Gnawer wanders out of the kitchen, up the stairs, and out of sight.