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 A variety of out-of-date magazines are strewn atop a low coffee table; more neatly presented are the plethora of books filling the small bookshelves which line the eastern wall.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.
A small quaint donut shop, tastefully done in blue and white. A glass case, showing a variety of fresh donuts stands at the back of the store. Standing behind the glass case, a small old woman, looking to be in her sixties, is busy with customers. A young girl, slightly taller than the old woman and looking to be around sixteen rushes back and forth through a swinging door, bringing out trays of donuts or coffee or other delicious smelling items.
A sturdy door to the south opens out onto the street. Small round metal tables have been set out near the window, '+help places' will assist you in seating.
The barn is built in the old style, a vast three level structure that is greater in height than a mere three stories, actually closer to five. Great wooden posts support the weight of the upper levels and roof, sunk into the hard-packed dirt floor of the first level like a sparse forest of regularly spaced, naked trees. The stalls and flagstones which once were here have been torn out to leave a rather open area where even crinos Garou may roam freely without fear of running into anything but the supports or the walls or the ladder at the back which allows access to the other two levels.
The first two levels are relatively open to each other, the second being only little wider than a catwalk going around all the walls but the front one, which has massive, twenty foot tall doors set into it. The third level is a true second floor except for a place cut out that allowed hay to be tossed down to the ground floor when the farm was actually worked. Now, it is a hayloft where Garou can sleep outside of the house.
An unusual sound on the streets of St. Claire in general, it's even more unusual to hear the putter-sputter of Matt's scooter in Harbor Park. Still, there he is, Leather jacket, helmet and jeans, on a vintage Silver Spider.
Bernie is sitting, or, more accurately, lying, on one of the benches around the fountain. She's on her side, propped up on one elbow, avidly reading a midsized book. Her xeroxes poke out of the backpack sitting on the ground beside her bench, and one of the flowers from the flower bed seems to have taken up residence in her hair, behind one ear.
Matt pulls up next to Bernie and plants the kickstand. His hello is muffled, but he waves, and starts to take off his helmet.
Bernie glances up, and grins, waving her free hand. "Heya!" she exclaims, admiring the scooter a bit as Matt removes his helmet. "....'s nice... where'd that come from?"
Matt hooks the helmet over a handlebar and dismounts, pleased with himself. "Originally? Manchester. Oi got it off me blister when she turned me out. 'ad ta 'ave a form o' transport other than me two plates, neh? Still an' all, 'twas mighty 'andsome of 'er."
Bernie pushes up and swings her legs down to get in a more usual sitting position. "Def'nitely," she agrees, leaning forward slightly and tilting her head to look at it better. "...so whatcha up to? Jus' goin' for a ride?"
Matt shrugs. "Mostly, an' lookin' for a good flat. Wanta go for a bit of a ride? Oi s'pect ye know the neighborhood better than Oi do."
Bernie grins wider, and nods. "Cool... yeah, a'ight, why not? Movin' outta th' Farmhouse, huh?" She moves her bookmark to the appropriate place and flips the book shut, ensconcing it and the papers within her backpack. Zipping the bag, she swings it up to her shoulder, and stands, pushing her hair back behind her shoulders.
Matt opens the seat of the scooter and puls out a second helmet, which he offers to Bernie. He responds to her question with a shrug. "Not sure yet. Oi've been savin' up me foldin' from work for a flat, an' Oi've almost got enough ta put some portraits of the queen down at the iron and /buy/ one."
Bernie doesn't take the helmet immediately, first gathering her hair back in a low ponytail using an elastic band that was around her wrist; maybe she had it up earlier. She also manages to rediscover the flower in her hair, and plucks it out, giving it an almost startled look. "...forgot 'bout that," she remarks, now taking the helmet with her other hand. She sets the blossom down on the bike's handlebars as she starts to put the helmet on, "...so where've you looked so far, then?"
"Oi noticed that, " he smiles, commenting on the flower. "Looks nice on you. Alicia's flower power must be rubbin' off. As fer lookin', Oi 'avn't really. Just came frough Kent Crossing and across the bridge. Fought Oi might find you 'ere and get a partner in crime. Besides, ye can ask me questions. Most of yer training is mental anyway."
Bernie adjusts and fastens the helmet, cheeks going a shade rosier at the compliment, and smiles. "Thanks... not sure what t' do with it, now, it'd get crushed under here... an' a'ight, though I'm not sure yet what t' ask that I haven't yet, y'know?"
Matt puts on his own helmet quickly, then takes the flower and places it gently in the compartment under the scooter's seat. "There. Ought ta be all roight then." He smiles at Bernie and climbs on the bike. "'op on then, and doan't forget yer ruck!"
"Good thought," Bernie says, with a quick smile, and slips the other, rarely used strap of her backpack over her arm so it settles squarely in place. "An' worry not, I never do..." She sets one hand lightly on Matt's shoulder as she hops onto the seat, settling somewhat gingerly in behind.
Matt starts the engine, which coughs to life in a healthy-sounding roar as Matt revs the throttle. Satisfied that all is in order, he turns his head to tell Bernie "hang on ta me waist then, and we're off!"
Even before the suggestion, the girl's begun to do just that, so that by the time Matt's half done talking she's already got both arms fairly snugly wrapped about him, chest lightly pressed against his back. "...a'ight, let's go."
Matt drops the kickstand, and the scooter lurches forward, then accelerates rapidly away from the fountain. The wind seems colder blowing past, but the freedom of riding is irrepressible. Matt seems to be staying on the paths, as he wends his way toward the street.
Matt slows down as they approach the chain link fence, navigating a path out onto first street at almost walking speed. He takes one hand off the brake briefly to give Bernie's hands a squeeze.
Bernie holds on a bit tighter with the lurching, and watches the park move past more quickly than usual as they go. As the bike slows, she gives Matt a quick squeeze in return, and smiles.
Regan Avenue East, Downtown
Red brick buildings rise, some of them crumbling from disrepair and disuse, others patched together by repairs. Graffiti covers some of the walls near street level, some rude, most crude, but the occasional drawing is meant for a lighter-hearted reaction. The graffiti becomes a colorful, almost gaudy mural at the western end of the district, an announcement of the Regan Hope Project's presence. Trash litters the majority of the gutters, from Harbor Park in the east across to just before the Regan Hope Project's domain, where the trash is less prevalent and the buildings less run-down. Small shops with apartments in the floors above them span a block here and corners there: delis, second-hand clothes, textiles, small restaurants, a grocery store. Sandwiched between the buildings are weed-choked empty lots.
Matt turns his head to ask, "Do many of our kif live around 'ere? Oi 'spect the Gnawrs moight 'ave a mickey in 'ere, neh?" He doesn't quite have to shout over the putter of the motor or the whistle of the winter wind, but is definitely using his 'outside voice.'
Bernie glances around, and nods. "Yeah," she replies, also in an outside voice, especially as her voice is carried the wrong way by the passing wind, "there's a few, Signe's place isn't too far from here, an' Jay useta live over thataway...." She indicates with a movement of her head.
Matt merges smoothly into traffic, just enjoying the ride, for the most part, and checking out the city. When they come to a stop at a traffic light, he plants a leg to support the bike and asks "So, where to ducks? Up by work? Oi could show you my glamorous job..."
Bernie oohs, and nods. "Sure, show me 'round! I promise t' be good an' not bother everyone for autographs," she teases, leaning in to talk closer to his ear. "Sounds like a good place t' start."
Matt nods, then wheels the scooter northward.
East Elson Commercial Sector and Waterfront
Motels, movie theaters with posters of scantily-clad women, and even a few posters of nudes, and bars are interspersed with stairways leading to dilapidated second stories or downwards into basements. Women saunter along the western streets of the district, around Third and Fourth Streets. In the area around Second, a profusion of graffiti markings of black knives or the words 'The Blades' are scattered along buildings and sidewalks. A little further eastwards beer cans are scattered around the entrance to one bar with, if one looks through the window, several pool tables in enthusiastic use for several hours a night and even occasionally during the day.
"Oh, aye, an' this is a noice neighborhood," Matt comments dryly. "Mebbe Oi'll get a place over th' movie parlor there..."
"Yeah, def'nitely a class area," Bernie grins, "Y'know th' Ri over there? Kaz an' Max an' all hang there a lot... so 'least it's got that goin' for it!"
Matt nods, then dips the bike like a fighter to swoop between two trucks heading north.
Medical Center, Near the Waterfront
From Riverfront Drive to Beaugregory Boulevard, the Hilliard Memorial Hospital rises, a massive building surrounded by well-tended lawns and tall trees. The Hospital spreads northwards to Hospital Drive itself; across Silver and Beaugregory from the hospital proper are research buildings and office buildings: billing offices, small medical libraries, and the rooms with classrooms and laboratories for medical students to learn and experiment. Along Riverfront, on its eastern side, food vendors have set up small stands which receive a brisk business in the noon hours, shaded under the trees lining the street. North of Hospital Drive, the administrative buildings continue, spreading another block or so north to I-90, which slashes across the city streets in an abrupt divider.
"Looks expensive," Matt notes. "Probably take a good bit o' fold out o' me skyrocket."
Bernie nods. "Short trip if y' need y'r tonsils out, though... an' there's actual green things about that aren't somethin' someone dropped, that's always nice..."
Silver-blue steel and tinted glass rises above other buildings of concrete and cement, especially to the northern end of this area, approaching Four-Leaf Clover Street. Occasionally, along the southern edge, golden sandstone replaces the other construction materials for a building or two. Courthouse Avenue marks the southern boundary of the civil sector, with city hall, the city library, and other buildings scattered across the four or five blocks from Beaugregory to Riverfront. Those buildings are but a few stories tall; the further north in the sector the taller the buildings, until they nearly approach skyscraper status.
Bernie gives a quick squeeze, "Library! I'd prolly try t' find somewhere near here, 'f I were lookin'. 'cause I'm a dork like that." She grins, not seeming terribly embarrassed about it.
Matt grins secretly, inside his helmet, and pulls the scooter out of traffic in front of the edifice. "Thought you might loike ta stop, see if they're open." He puts the kickstand down and turns the scooter off, then reaches up to unhook his helmet.
Bernie unwraps her arms from about him, and reaches to unfasten her helmet as well. "We could see 'bout book on th' constellations, maybe..." she suggests, with a quick grin.
Matt steps off the scooter, pulling his helmet off his head. Now we know why he uses so much gel--his spikes are more or less intact. He waits for Bernie to dismount, then opens the seat to retrieve the flower and stash the helmets. "Sounds 'andsome," he says stepping close and inserting the flower in her hair again. "There," he says quietly. "Pretty as a picture."
Bernie lets her hair free again after dismounting, and gives it a quick shake. One thing about those curls, they do bounce back well. She blushes a little at the compliment, but smiles, glancing around quickly to see who might be watching before leaning in and stealing a very quick kiss. "Thank you," she replies, tilting her head slightly and offering her hand.
Matt returns the kiss, and takes the offered hand, swinging it a little as the climb the marbled steps into the library.
Athena Library Front Steps
A wide expanse of marble steps sweeps down from the impressive doors of the Athena library to a wide plaza along Beaugregory Boulevard; a line of old-fashioned streetlamps marches along the sidewalk, forming a transparent border between the busy street and the granite-paved, parklike area before the library. The magnificent staircase, flanked by marble-sculpted maidens atop massive side-walls, descends almost a story and spans the full width of the building. At the top of the steps stands the library itself, a postcard from Greece in classical times. Dorian pillars front the squarish building, giving it an air of oppressed dignity amid the city's monsters of glass and steel. In the center of the steps stands the patroness and focus of that dignity--a larger-than-life sculpture of Athena, goddess of wisdom, her copper skin long since turned to verdigris.
Several clumps of people sit here and there on the steps, providing patronage for two hot-dog carts and a pretzel stand. The winter-dim light streams down from a clouded sky, and the buildings cast small shadows on the street.
Three sets of imposing double doors, made of richly-carved dark wood, stand at the top of the steps between the white pillars. The steps descend from the library's entrance to the street.
Matt grins before pushing open the double doors. "You need a moment 'o silence, Reads-in-Darkness?" he jibes.
"Hey, proper reverence as you enter my house of worship, you," Bernie orders sternly, grinning back. "C'mon. Plenny a' silence inside already."
Matt bows from the waist, then pushes open the doors for Bernie. In his best English stevedore voice, he intones, "Very well. This way, Miss."
Bernie giggles, and makes a tiny facsimile of a curtsey as she passes through. "...you're too kind..."
Athena Library, Central Lobby
The Athena Library has a classic beauty which matches the simplicity of its architecture. You stand in the main entrance lobby, on a floor of tiled marble in a checkered pattern of grey and white. High ceilings vault above you, trimmed with antique moldings; the very size of the lobby is rather imposing, and conveys a certain timeless strength. Tall, narrow windows stand in ranks along the north wall, their antique panes separated by iron latticework. Above the long checkout desk, a huge painted triptych depicts a scene of St. Claire earlier in this century.
Three sets of large, imposing double doors dominate the northern wall, leading out into the street. The main desk of the library stretches across the wall directly opposite the doors, and smaller swinging doors to either side of the desk bear the words 'Up' and 'Down'. Eastward, a large archway of carved wood leads into a reading room; through the arch you see shelves of periodicals and racks of newspapers along the walls, and many round tables of a dark, varnished wood. To the west, a similar arch leads to a long white-walled corridor with doors of varnished wood at intervals. A wooden plaque above the arch reads 'Administrative Offices'.
Bernie pauses, and looks around the vast area happily, taking Matt's hand again. "I'n'it great?" she asks quietly, "'s onea my fave libraries. Bigger'n th' one back home. Wanna look at anythin' in particular?"
Matt swivels Bernie around until he can look her in the eyes. "Oi am," he quips. Then he gives her a large wink and laughs. "Color me trainspotter. it's your stompin' ground, give me the gran' tour?"
[...which, as Matt's player had to leave, is exactly what happened. Plus, one suspects, some stolen kisses in the less popular corners of the place. Before he goes off to work a shift or two at the restaurant, Bernie gets dropped off back at the Farmhouse...]
Alicia is sitting on the couch, playing with a knife and a piece of wood. She seems to be widdling away at it, a small pile of shavings next to her. The piece of wood doesn't look like much, more like.. a mutiliated piece of tree now.
The front door opens about a foot, the toe of an old Doc Marten holding it open a moment or two before Bernie shoulders it the rest of the way open, one arm laden with more books, and the other seemingly just joining it to support them. There's a slightly battered flower stuck behind one of her ears. She pushes the door closed again with the side of her boot, and glances around. Her smile widens a bit as she first notices the other cub, with a cheerful, "Hey, hiya, 'licia..." She trails off, brow furrowing slightly, as she notices the wood. "...whatcha doin'?"
Alicia glances up to Bernie and blinks at all the books, then shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Um.. I dunno. Passing away th'time outta boredom ya'know. Just a bit of widdling." She holds it up, grinning. "Ah'figure if ah'keep at it, ah'll come up with a flute or something."
Bernie ahhhs, with a quick nod, and grins back. "G'luck, then. Y'know, y'get bored, there's craploadsa books here, even wi'out th' ones I truck in... you could read 'em." She pauses as she sets the books down, and plops onto the couch by ALicia. "Might even letcha read my holiday gift if y'r good," she adds, teasing lightly.
Alicia smirks at her. "Yah? Ya got playboy's christmas special edition or something on ya?" The Galliard teases back. "Man, ah'haven't read through a 'real' book in forever. I feel like ah'total burn out."
Bernie snickers, though she blushes slightly. "Nnnnno... Playboy, huh? An' here you were tellin' -me- not t' go Fury..." she tosses back, stretching out a bit on the couch. "Anyway. So read one, then, an' y' won't anymore, right?"
Alicia grins. "Ah'd probably lose intrest half way thru' it at this rate. Adam has me studying this Garou thang full time and its the only thing bouncing around back an forth in my head." Lightly shrugging, she stiffles a quiet yawn.
Bernie eyes Alicia thoughtfully for a moment, and shrugs once. "Mmm, maybe," she comments, glancing at her books and backpack. "I dunno, though, might be somthin' you'd like about, might even be helpful. I mean, Galliard's're s'posta have stories an' songs an' stuff right?" The stack Bernie has, incidentally, seem to deal mainly with astronomy and local nature and history, if the titles are any guide.
Alicia glances over the pile and shrugs. "Well, ah'don't think singing 'bout Christopher Columbus will win any favors at the fire pit during a moot. So, ah'll think ah'll stick ta' Garou stories fo' now. At least people like those 'round 'ere." She runs the knife along the piece of wood again, letting another sliver flake off.
Bernie shakes her head, "Nah, 's not what I meant, 'zactly, 's just good for, y'know, gettin' more research on story structures an' what works well an' all.." She shrugs, and stands again, leaving her books and bag where they are as she stretches. "Whatever," she tosses off as she wanders toward the kitchen.
Alicia quirks a brow and follows after the Gnawer with her gaze. "You ok?" She asks.
Bernie looks genuinely startled at the question, pausing in the doorway as she glances back at the other cub. Breaking into a rather large grin, she replies, "Yeah, I'm peachy. Jus' thought I'd get a cookie, an' maybe a drink. Y'wan' anythin' while I'm up?"
Alicia shakes her head and turns her attentions back to the wood and knife. "Nah. Ah'm cool, thanks tho'." She mummers. With a flick of her wrist, she snaps the blade back in, then slips it into her pocket.
Bernie nods, disappearing into the pantry and fridge for a minute or two, and returning with a few of her cookies and a can of coke. She plops back down on the couch and curls up comfortably in the corner of the arm and the back. "So," she asks between bites, "'sides torturin' dead tree flesh, 'snew?"
Alicia shakes her head. "Nada at all. Jus' doing a bit of poetry writing outta boredom. Otha'then that. Nutt'n at all. Just fucking 'round, hoping Adam stops by."
Bernie looks as though she's about to say something about that, but changes her mind, just nodding and taking a sip of her soda. "House 'rrest gets kinda old after a while, dunnit?"
Alicia shrugs. "Got no where ta' go anyways. Ah'figure Adam was jus' doing this ta' get me away from the Furies." She picks up the naked piece of wood, stripped of bark and stares at the white wood beneath.
Bernie huhs. "How come? They c'ruptin' you or somethin'?" She bites her bottom lip lightly, glancing toward the door a second, and takes another drink of her soda.
Alicia nods her head a bit and chuckles. "Well.... " She lowers her voice. "They asked me to join their tribe, they said I belong with them, not the Children."
Bernie giggles, "Damn, you -are- popular..." She nibbles on one of the cookies, thoughtfully. "Didn' know y' could switch tribes. 'We'll trade ya 'licia for Bernie anna cub t' be named later'...."
Alicia giggles also softly. "Yah.. but.. Ah'don't think ah'd be a good Fury. Ah'like boys too much." She grins a bit. "To me, its natural. I'm not into this kicking males around. I believe we are all equal and we should treat each other as such."
Bernie grins, sipping her soda. "Well, maybe 's best you're here then, huh?" SHe thinks a moment, and giggles, "...I told ya 'bout th' Rat spirit we met in th' Umbra, right?"
Alicia nods her head and smiles. "Yah, ya did. Tried ta' give him a lighter o'something."
Bernie nods, "Yeah..." She grins again, and finishes her cookies, washing them down with one of the last remaining swallows of soda.
"I haven't talked to any spirits or anything. Dante took me flying. He can grow wings. It was so cool. So we flew around the Umbra for an hour or so an he showed me the entire place." Alicia says in reply.
"Wings?" Bernie queries, eyebrows lifting, "...cool! I only got t' see a bit, near th' caern. Gonna explore more soon, I think... only maybe not alone..." She pauses, and grins, "...don't s'pose you could get away with goin' places not in th' Farmhouse on -that- side, huh?"
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Technically, he said I can't leave the farm house, but I sho'am not ganna push my luck with the Umbra."
Bernie sticks her tongue out at the Galliard. "Well, what fun are you?" she teases, and stretches a little.
Alicia grins and pops her neck a bit. "A whole lotta fun, jus' not inta' getting killed eitha. Adam doesn't have much patience for me. Ah'm sho' of it."
"Yeah, yeah," Bernie says in a 'whatever' tone, rolling her eyes to the ceiling and holding a palm toward the other cub, "Excuses, excuses." A quick grin, and she drains the soda. "He seemed reas'nably patient t' me, but I only saw him for a li'l."
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Ah'm sure if I kept fucking up, they wouldn't hesitate to waste me to make room for 'better' cubs.. like.. Aaliyah."
Bernie lifts a brow, "What, they gotta quota? An' who's Aaliyah?" She set the can aside, looking thoughtful. "You 'kay?"
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Aaliyah is this... other Coggie cub chick I just met. Ah'guess she's been hanging here for awhile. The grand dauther of some real popular tree hugger in another Sept. She's like the epitome of what a Child of Gaia is! God.. " She sighs. "I mean, everytime I opened my mouth, I felt so stupid. I mean.. I look at her and Dove, and I'm like.. God.. I'm.. just a waste." Her shoulders slump. "I'm this lil burn out druggie who got dragged into the tribe, a total urrah, and here we have.. real coggie cubs who enjoy everything about being a Garou and their tribe." She bites her lip. "I guess.. I'm jealous a bit. I mean.. I look at her as if she's competition or something."
Bernie leans over and slips an arm around Alicia's shoulders, giving her a squeeze. "You are -so- not a waste!" she exclaims, shaking her head, "an', I mean, c'mon, everyone likes you, people're all tryin' t' recruit you inta their tribes an' packs already, obviously you must be doin' well, yeah?" She pauses a moment, adding, "I mean, I kinda get th' jealousy bit, an' all, but I don't think y'gotta worry. PLus, c'mon, how fair is it if she's got, like, a two -generation- head start an' you're s'posta magically be all knowin' th' same things already?" There's another slight pause, her head tilting, "...an' what parts don'tcha enjoy?"
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Ah'don't know Bernie." She says softly, leaning into the Gnawer. "Ah'don't like my sense of freedom stripped away from me. If ah'had a choice between cleaning up my life an getting back in school, or being a werewolf, I'd choose school. But Aaliyah is like, perfect. She's polite, attentive, always has the right thing to say. Adam gave her a cool name.. Calm-Water. And look at me? I get /Pretty-Paws/. OOh, that'll strike fear in the hearts of the Wyrm or be remembered by the greatest of Garou stories. I feel like its a mocking title for me." She sighs heavily. "But the Furies only want me in th' tribe cuz ah'm a rape victem, an ah've no clue why anyone wants me in a pack." She bites her lip harder. "Maybe its cuz'ah'll be useful. Ah'could heal people all day an stuff. Ah'dunno.." She sighs. "Ah've just been dwelling on this the past week, don't know why I care, but for some reason it does."
Bernie gives Alicia another squeeze, "Oh, c'mon. Like anyone's gonna cower in fear, confronted with the ominous ranks of Calm-Water, Reads-In-Darkness, Speaks-In-Circles, or Sheep's-Clothing, either! An' let's face it... your paws -are- pretty!" This last, of course, gently teasing. "They're only cubnames anyway. We get new ones when we rite. An' then seems like all th' packs'll be circlin' t' recruit ya, even if y'got named, mm... Dances-With-Haybales! An' what -is- this Aaliyah anyhow? Auspice, I mean? She like that only when there's 'thority figures 'round, or 's she just, y'know, an 'ssential prig?"
Alicia sighs. "No.. she's a half moon, and she's just /so nice/. She's just so.. perfect." She slumps slightly. "I mean, she's all nice with me, wanting to be my friend, but at the same time, I kinda get the hint she's a bit uncomfortable. I'm so wired, so mouthy ya'know. I kinda was messing with Dove right, an I was like. "Yo, wassup my niggah?" Cuz I'm from da' ghetto right? I mean.. Niggah, means, like, yo'brotha. An she gave me this look like GASP! Oh my god I can't believe you said that! That look made me feel..well...dumb."
[...and RL claims another scene in the middle! Alas. Onward to the donut shop...]
Rina sits at one of the back tables, facing the windows. She is engaged in people-watching, sipping at a cup of coffee; her leather jacket covers the relative indecency of club gear.
Bernie wanders in from the street, a rather large and thick book tucked under one jacketed arm. Something about her is a bit different than usual, but it's difficult to place -- perhaps a slight change of outfit? Or maybe something else... She heads directly to the counter to order a chocolate iced chocolate donut, glazed twist, and coffee, without paying too much attention to the other patrons as yet.
Rina doesn't miss the arrival; a smile comes to her lips, and she abruptly leaves her table to walk up behind the girl, silent, coming close to her shoulder. "Hey," she offers.
Bernie blinks, with just a tiny start at the sudden voice. A tad warily, she glances over that shoulder to see the voice's owner, and simultaneously relaxes and goes a shade pinker. "Oh! ....hi, Rina. 'sup?" Her order ready, she pays for it, and gathers it up.
Rina's smile is crooked, charming. "Y'not staying?"
Bernie glances at her food, and the book under her arm, "Act'ly, yeah, I was, jus' lookin' for a good seat..." She cracks a half-grin, "They get pissed at me 'f I try t' eat it at th' counter."
Rina tips her head toward the back table, grinning. "I wouldn't mind some company..."
Bernie glances sidelong at the rest of the restaurant, and then nods, "a'ight... so, whatcha up to?" She wanders toward the indicated table, carefully setting down all her goodies.
Rina follows, retaking her seat, sipping at her coffee. "Not much," she answers, grinning. "Goin' out dancing tonight, I think. Gotta get away."
Bernie gets comfortable, carefully setting her book near a far edge of the table, safe from potential coffee-spills and donut crumbs. Her backpack is a bit less ceremoniously placed by her feet, and she sets the donuts side by side on her napkin before taking a sip of the coffee. "From what?" she asks.
Rina glances upward. "Home. You know. Baby wakin' up all the time, and it's not like I get much sleep /normally/." She does, in fact, look fatigued; the dark circles under her eyes don't look like Goth-fad makeup.
Bernie ahs, and nods, "Yeah, Penny wasn't doin' my beauty rest any favours just b'fore I left, either. Know whatcha mean." She nibbles her chocolate donut a bit.
Rina raises an eyebrow. "Penny?"
Bernie nods, "Yeah, P'nel'pe N'cole, my niece. My sister Lola's kid, and she an' I an' Naomi, that's my other sister, shared a room, so we shared it with Penny too..." The Gnawer shrugs a little, sipping her coffee. "'least she didn' have colic like Sam."
Rina's mouth quirks in an uneven half-smile. "Yeah. Angeline's got an ear infection, so it's been kinda rough. I been tryin' to take some of the load off Jenny..." She lowersw her eyes then, the expression growing pained, something haunted behind her eyes. "...but sometimes I just gotta get out, y'know?"
Bernie gives another slight nod. "Yeah, I know... can't take it all th' time." She shrugs a bit, nibbling more.
Rina leans forward a little, studying the girl's face. "What's goin' on, hon?" A trace of worry is in her voice, and her smile holds a flicker of bemusement, a touch of concern.
Bernie blinks, startled again... a flicker of worry flits through her eyes before she figures out what the woman means, "Oh! Nothin'. I meant th' baby stuff, that's all." She finishes the donut, and rips a bit of the second one.
Rina shakes her head minutely; a faint smile comes to her lips. "Well," she murmurs, glancing down. "Y'look good, y'know?" The dark eyes look up, then, studying the girl's face. "You get the right, or somethin'?"
"What... you mean -the- Rite? Not hardly, be a while yet, Matt's been teachin' me a lot though lately so hey, maybe not -so- long..." The cub blushes slightly, adding, "..an', um, thanks."
One corner of Rina's mouth quirks upward again. "You're very welcome," she murmurs, watching Bernie over the rim of her cup as she drinks some more coffee.
Rina studies her, and for a moment one might catch the barest flicker of something in her eyes--an intensity, something driven and wild.
Usually it's the 'rou who make the people around them nervous. But turnabout, as they say, is fair play... Bernie eats another bit of her donut with a slightly uneasy smile. "So... yeah. Where're you planning t' go?"
"Temple," Rina answers. "It's this goth club, used t'be a church... I go there a lot. Or, well, used to."
Bernie nods a little, and sips her coffee, glancing over at her book, lying forlorn and neglected upon the table. "Sounds int'restin'," she replies, "maybe I'll go look f'r it sometime."
Rina's smile is downright wicked. "Yeah?" Her voice is soft, persuasive. "Come with me t'night..."
Bernie glances sidelong at Rina for a few seconds, and then shakes her head, "...thanks... but I gotta get back, really. I promised 'licia I'd be back in a few, 'cause she's under house 'rest an' all."
Disappointment flickers through Rina's expression, but she stifles it quickly with humor, rolling her eyes. "They still doin' that shit? When are they gonna learn?"
Bernie grins, and shrugs a little, "Guess they figure it's worked thus far... anyhow I figured I'd come have my snack an' a read, an' bring 'er back a couple donuts, y'know? Maybe few f'r Matt, too, when he gets back from work. Act'ly, might just get a whole dozen.."
Rina nods, offering a smile. "I'll chip in, 'k? Don't mention my name around there, though, they, ah..." Her smile turns to something awkward, unhappy, and she glances down. "Don't like me much on the farm."
Bernie smiles, "Hey, thanks!... an' how come? Y'piss someone off?" A slight pause, and a bit tentatively, "...anythin' t' do with Steven? Seen him there a couple times, an'..." She trails off, leaving the reference to the earlier encounter oblique.
Rina presses her lips together and nods, tightly. "Yeah. It's mostly 'cause of him."
Bernie makes a face, "...sorry." Another pause, as she glances at the book again, and seems to change her mind about saying something. She polishes off the glazed twist instead.
Rina shakes her head minutely. "S'aright," she answers, looking up to offer a wry, wistful half-smile. "I'm a bad influence, see. Don't want me hangin' around Fianna cubs, luring them off to the Big Evil City." She makes a mocking little whoop-de-doo gesture with both hands.
Her eyes roll heavenward, then return to Bernie; the bitterness eases out of her smile, replaced by something far softer. "Anyway... fuck it."
For some reason, Bernie blushes a shade or two at that first comment, finishing off her coffee. Perhaps as an explanation, she remarks, "...first time I met 'im, he ordered me not t' taint th' way th' Fianna cubs act an' talk..." She breaks into a little half-smile then, a very ragabash glint in her eye, "'course, seein' as th' only one I'd met's Matt, I kinda think his speech patterns're safe from my c'rruption..." She glances at her book again, thoughtfully. It appears to be something on astronomy. "Anyway. I prolly oughta be gettin' back soon, 'fore 'licia gives up on me."
The words draw a smile, slow and stunning. "Hey..." Rina reaches out with one hand, to touch Bernie's own in a fleeting contact. "Take care, aright? Don't let them get all house on ya."
Bernie grins, and begins gathering her things again. "Doin' a'ight so far," she replies, "...doin' pretty well, act'ly, I think. Thanks." Bag on shoulder ad book in arm, she starts toward the counter again. "Was niceta talk t' ya... have fun at th' club, yeah?"
Rina rises, offering a nod. "Yeah. How you gettin' out there?"
Bernie quickly buys a random assortment of donuts, glancing back to the kin, "Mrm? Oh, was gonna go on foot. 'S how I got here." She rubs her jaw lightly, adding, "...I think I gotta carry less in my bag, though, in future."
Rina catches her lower lip between her teeth, smiling faintly. "Let me take you. We can strap your pack to the bike. I won't come past the driveway."
Bernie laughs, "I dunno, i'n't there some rule 'bout gettin' dropped off by motorbike twice in one day? I might get fined... yeah, thanks, that'd be nice, act'ly. I c'n jus' wear it, though, we don' hafta strap it on."
Rina shakes her head minutely, and digs in a pocket for a few bills. "Better if we strap it lower down... center of g thing."
Bernie shrugs, and nods. "A'ight, then. ...this keeps up, I'm gonna hafta get my own helmet..." She manages to get her book into the backpack as she talks.
Rina lifts a shoulder, and glances down. "I gotta spare," she murmurs. Then she starts walking, snagging the box of donuts as she passes, her arm snaking behind Bernie's back for a moment--almost an excuse for an embrace, but not quite. With a grin, she flips dark hair out of her eyes and leads Bernie out to the parked Ducati.
Bernie follows, stopping by the bike. She glances off to the north a few moments as she exits, and then up at the sky, almost contemplatively.
Rina holds out an arm. "Backpack?" Once the bike, driver and passenger are loaded, she pulls out from the curb. The Ducati is fast even with two passengers, and Rina is anything but conservative with its speed.
Bernie holds on; she's neither dumb nor new to being a bike passenger. With all the air rushing by so quickly, though, she doesn't bother to attempt conversation.
Rina pulls the bike to a stop at the end of the farmhouse driveway--breathing fast by then, with the excitement of speed or perhaps the effect of the girl's arms around her.
Bernie slides off the bike, and unfastens the helmet, passing it back. "Thanks," she smiles, and starts to retrieve her backpack.
Rina nods, slipping off her own helmet and shaking out her hair. She grins back, as she mounts the helmet into its spot behind her seat.
Bernie runs a hand through her curls; upside of unruly hair is it's hard to really mess it up. Backpack over one shoulder, and box of donut in the other hand, she waves, with a grin, and heads toward the porch. "Seeya!" she calls, before heading in.
Rina lifts a gloved hand, and dons the helmet again; then the bike roars away, red light disappearing into the distance.
[Bernie heads into the barn.]
Alicia waves a hand to Cindy with a smile on her face. "It was nice meeting ya Cindy. Maybe we can hang later again o'something." Reaching up, she unties her hair from the scrunchie, letting her brown and red streaked hair fall about her shoulders.
Cindy offers a quick nod of her head, "Gotcha...." Her gaze drifts to the young Galliard and she winks, "See you 'round, Ali. I'll be by to check up on you if you'd like." She grins and steps to the side as Bernie enters. The cliath moves out into the yard, followed closely by the golden blonde dog.
Bernie pokes her head in through the barn doors, glancing around as if looking for someone or something in particular. Judging from the grin when she sees the other cub, it's Alicia -- the ragabash comes the rest of the way in, bearing a box of donuts, and glances after the strangers who passes her, shooting Alicia a quizzical look. "Heya. Whozat then, an' 'sup?"
Roger offers a soft smile and a kind wave to Bernie. "I'm gonna head off Ali, feel free to tell Bernie what you like... I'm getting tired and when I get tired... well, you know what I am." he mentions this last part with a sigh and heads out.
Alicia waves to Roger and smiles. "K' Talk ta' ya laters." Her eyes turn towards Bernie. She appears to be sweaty and tired looking.
Bernie waves to Roger, offering him a donut from the box as he passes by. "'night..."
Roger stares at the offered food a moment and accepts graciously, nibbling around the edges as he steps out. "Thanks... night you two."
Alicia waves and plops down next to a haybale, leaning her head back with a yawn. "Mmm.. Anyways, that was Cindy, a Glass Walker who just got back in town from another Sept."
Bernie wanders over and plops down next to Alicia, presenting her with the box of donuts. "Havva donut," she suggests, leaning back against a bale. "She nice? An' whatcha been up to since earlier?"
Alicia wrinkles her nose a bit at the box and grins. "Nahh, its cool, thanks tho'. Anyways, she's real nice, she was born into the coggies who turned Glass Walker. Wants to talk with me more. But ah've been in here, dancing up a storm."
Bernie looks the slightest bit hurt at the refusal, but shrugs, closing hte box back up and setting it aside. "Yeah? Tha's pretty cool. I ran inta Rina at th' donut store; she 'vited me t' go t' a club with her, but I kinda figured I'd just come back here... so did she, like, get r'cruited t' th' Walkers like th' Furies wanna get you?"
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Ah'dunno. She's ganna tell me her story next time." She smiles, lifting her eyes up to the Gnawer. "So, Rina hit on ya some more? Ya'know.. ah'think Lucca mentioned something 'bout her being a slut."
Bernie shrugs, with a little half-smile, "Yeah, well, she c'd be th' Virgin Mary, she's still got one too many X-chromosomes for my tastes, I think..." She settles back against the bale a bit more, slipping down a bit, and glances up toward the ceiling of the barn, high above, with a closed-lipped but quickly spreading smile, and the hint of a sigh.
Alicia glances over at you oddly, then lifts up one brow. She wonders what your thinking. But she also wonders if she should bother asking. She usually gets 'nuff'n', or. 'I'm fine.' So, its been a useless struggle up to now.
Now, that's not fair... admittedly there's a tendency to evasion, but hardly a useless struggle. It's a moot point this time, though, as a far guess can be made from the Gnawer's next comment: "'D you know Matt's gotta scooter?"
"Ah'think so. Ah'hear 'em drive up with it all th'time." Alicia replies as she tucks her hands back behind her head, resting.
Bernie grins. "I never saw it b'fore. 's cool. How come they stopped designin' things so nifty an' started makin' 'em all borin', y'think? Cars, scooters, radios..."
Alicia shrugs her shoulders. "Ah'dunno.. ah'just keep up wi'the times, Ah'don't really think 'bout that stuff. Ah'figure evolution is in everything. People, radio's, cars, bread. Stuff."
"Yeah, but they looked so much -cooler- b'fore..." Bernie shrugs, and stands again, wandering the length of the barn in a sort of lazy slalom course, holding and half-swinging around each pole as she passes it.
Alicia hmm's and rubs at her eyes. "Ah'guess... Well, ah'm ganna take off an go to bed. I gotta get up early an stuff. Ya'know the drill, early to rise, yadda yadda."
Bernie sighs, and stop, leaning against one of the poles, arms wrapping loosely about it as she looks at Alicia, head cocked to one side. "You pissed at me or somethin'?"
Alicia blinks a bit. "No.. Not at all. Jus' that ya caught me when ah'was 'bout ta' hit the sack. Ah'mean, its what? Almost two in th' morning or something? I'm not mad at'cha Bernie."
Bernie mrms, and shrugs. "...a'ight, then. G'luck with th' gettin' healthy, wealthy, an' wise, I guess... prolly seeya in the mornin'."
Alicia smiles and nods her head. "Most likely. Not like ah'got anywheres ta' hide." Wiggling her fingers, she heads out of the barn, calling over her shoulder. "Good night sis!"
Bernie waves, leaning back against the pole as Alicia leaves, "G'night..."