Once a home to the backstage antics and off-stage life of actors from the grand Shakespearians to the slapsticks of vaudeville to the props mistresses, this broad room parallels in size the stage above it. Old and gaudy couches, chez-lounges, and rockers sit in haphazard groups about an old but functional pot-bellied stove whose smokepipe leads off into the bricking of the back wall. At one end of the room, near a sink and counter, sits a full-sized Frigidaire.
Pairs of dressing rooms lead off at each side. To one side, stairs lead up into the theater itself. Off to one side, a wide door leads into the darkened alcoves of the props and costume closets. Opposite those closets, a bricked up archway leads nowhere.
Joey is at the door. He shifts his weight to his other foot, waiting after just knocking. He waits, then rolls up his left sleeve to look...and promptly remembers he lost that watch. He counts down on his fingers, curling them into a fist. 5...4...3...2...1...Knock knock.
The metis' hair again looks as if it wanted to eat her, but her general mood is rather better today as she yells up the stairs, "It's open, and you're insane."
The door opens a crack. "Well, what do you know," Joey calls out. "Right on both counts. Original Pranksters knocking. No applause, just throw money and beer." He sidles in, waiting for Bernie behind him. "Cept for Bern, though. She don't like our commoner beers." He's smiling as he says this.
Bernie grins, following Joey in. "Hey, is it sucha crime 'f I got taste?" she protests, and lifts a hand, waving to Kaz. "Mornin'. 'sup, 'sides you now that we int'rupted your beauty sleep?"
Kaz starts to grin. "Yo, dudes." She snorts. "No, it's m'ugly sleep. Nah much, really." She levers to her feet and heads over to the fridge, but she pauses before she gets there. Glancing back at Joey, she adds, "Though I did talk t'Elan."
Joey wanders inside, looking around, and apparently liking the place. He sits on the floor for a moment, thinks the better of it, then leans back, lying flat. "Good," he says. "Knew it was gonna happen. And...?"
Bernie claims one of the couches, sitting on the back and slipping down to lie on the seat, knees hooked over the back, hair dangling over the side as she looks at everything upside down. "What 'bout?" she queries.
Kaz grabs a Coke from the fridge, and offers, "Y'all want some've any've th' shit in here, feel free." Returning to the couch, she perches on its arm. "Well. Couple things. Rotem, f'one. I jus' wanted to make sure it'd be ok with him if, in the process of events an' all, I had to cull him. Because Elan, /he/ ain't never around, an' so it's kinda my responsibility. He was fine with that, though he was like, 'Well, I should do it, since I am the boss.' I was sittin' there thinkin', 'If you're the boss, you oughta be around more,' but nevermind that." Refocusing on what she'd originally started out to say, she adds, voice a bit gravelly, "An' it ain't like I'm /lookin'/ to off the kid."
Joey shakes his head, rolling up on his side to look at Kaz. "No one's sayin' you are, Kaz." He'd shrugs, but with the way he's lying there, he would most likely fall over. "You're just prepping for the worst. Nothing wrong with that." He frowns, just a little. "And yer right about Elan, you know."
"Yeah," Bernie agrees, "'s only 'f he -still- won't get shit through his head, right? Not like you're plottin' how t' poison his breakfast or anythin'...." She sighs a little, then adds, "...an' where -is- Elan, mosta th' time, now thatcha mention it? 'cause, th' resta y'all, I see all th' time, pretty much..."
"Yeah, right, exactly. If he has his head up his ass, even after Nev takes him in hand. But the way he pisses me off, I ain't hangin' around him too much. It's just askin' f'shit to happen. An' as f'Elan..." She trails off, and then says, with a slight tinge of bitterness, "The same place the rest've my ex-packmates are. Honestly, I have no fuckin' idea where he goes. An' yeah." She looks to Joey. "I know I'm right. An' if I actually make Fostern... I think I'm gonna do somethin' about it."
Joey flops back onto his back, and grins at the ceiling. "That's good to know, and a lot better to hear out loud. Hell, until I was Rited, Elan just dropped me and Junior off at the Farmhouse, and let us sit there to cool our heels for a while."
Bernie grins at Kaz, albeit upside-down. "Yeah? Kickass. Sounds good t' me." She twists a little to look at Joey, and hmms thoughtfully. "Man, I think I lucked out, seems like everyone else got stuck with a shitload more house arrest than I hadda live through..."
Joey snorts. "Ya don't know the half of it. First few weeks I was a cub, I was the only one around and found, so Pete, when he was Elder and all, had me staying at Signe's.'
"Oh, that's where Kaz an' Yi an' all took me, too. 's where I had my house 'rest. 'cept, that was only long as it took 'em t' teach me th' lit'ny an' th' other know-this-or-else shit, an' then I gotta go wherever." The cub stretches a bit, back arching, hands pressing against the floor. "...mmph. An' I was gettin' antsy as it was. So I'm def'nitely not -complainin'- 'bout havin' rel'tive freedom, but, y'know, it's jus' seemin' more an' more unusual. Y'know?"
Kaz grins at nothing in particular. "Glad to hear it," she mutters at both of them. And then snorts. "Yeah, keepin' people stuck f'ages just fucks 'em up. It's part've Rotem's problem, I think, in addition to bein' a moron, but I also can't argue myself into persuadin' Elan t'spring him. But you an' Max, Bern, you're the guys I took over before Elan could. Joey an' Junior, I didn't have the brains t'realize I oughta've gotten 'em b'fore Elan did, at that point."
Joey yawns, opening his mouth until his jaw cracks. "I think Junior'd call it...'ffective management or something smart like that. I could wander a few times, and I did and all. But I liked it there, to a point."
Bernie nods, finds it makes her dizzy,and rotates on the sofa until she's sitting up the normally accepted way. She pulls her legs up beside her. "Yeah, 's a nice place, 's why I was there so much. An' still am sometimes, though, y'know, li'l less now..."
"Oh, yeah, I practically lived there myself for awhile, I ain't got no argument it's a good place. It's th' bein' /stuck/ there that I got problems with. Like Cam is, over the Farmhouse." Kaz shrugs.
"An' like 'lish was. 'least they loosened up on hers a -li'l-..." Bernie makes a face. "You'd think they'd 'least take her inta th' city once or twice t' see her brother, now that he showed up an' all, but no. That just sucks, 'f ya ask me."
Joey looks clueless for a moment, as he hasn't been around the Farmhouse all that much post-Cub-ness. He lifts his head up. "Uh...what's a Cam?"
Kaz explains, "Fianna cub, name of Cameron, got a much better brain than th' rest of that bunch." She stretches, a little. "Anyway, y'all want the rest of the news?"
Bernie gives Kaz rather a look, at that comment. "Hey, dis'pearances t' Oregon aside...!" she protests, and pulls her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. "...anyway. Cam's cool an' all, yeah. An', yeah, what's th' resta th' news?"
Kaz blinks, and immediately sounds apologetic. "I meant Steven, mostly. I'm, y'know, not really a fan of his. Sorry, din' mean all've 'em."
Joey drums his fingers on his stomach. "Didn't see Steven much there. Megan...seemed okay, even though Elan said to keep out of her way much. There are a few good kids in that Tribe," he admits, looking at Bernie. "'Sides the ones that don't go off ta Europe."
Kaz says, a little sourly, "Megan's got a stick up her butt, but she ain't a /bad/ person." She shrugs. "Anyway, so Joey, I bailed on Elan. He took it ok."
Bernie relaxes slightly, remarking, "Well, Big'n'Scary isn't 'zactly my first choice person t' spend a cheery evenin' with either, gotta say... an' somehow I still haven' met this Megan person, 'spite th' fact that she's s'posta be 'chargea th' Farmhouse an' all... but, y'know, th' cubs are cool. Th' boy cubs, anyhow, I kinda met this girl one, Aislinn I think? Only she was too busy t' chat, so." She shrugs a bit.
Joey stands up. "That's cool of him," Joey says. He looks a little uncomfortable about something. "I need to go take a walk. See you two later?"
Kaz picks up on that. "Yeah. You come talk when you needa," she tells him, vaguely concerned, and watches him leave. "So. Yeah. I just was generalizin' like a maroon, Bern, don' worry none."
Bernie waves to Joey as he goes, and nods a bit to Kaz, "'s a'ight, yeah, not worryin'..." She crosses her arms on top of her knees, and rests her chin atop them, glancing down with the hint of a sigh.
Kaz says, a little dryly, "Well, not worrying about /some/ things, at least."
Bernie smiles a bit sheepishly at that and moves a hand slightly, pushing a curl back. It doesn't even make it behind her ear this time. "Well, yeah, I didn' mean not worryin' 'bout -any-thin'..."
Kaz slumps onto an actual sofa cushion. Understanding lacing her tone, she says, "Yeah. It ain't /easy/, thass f'sure. But you're holdin' up ok."
"...thanks," Bernie replies, "...not always sure 'bout that. But tryin', anyway. So, yeah. There still mystical incognito Coke in th' fridge?"
Kaz says, quietly, "Well, even the strongest people need a breakdown every so often." She quirks a grin, and sits up on the sofa. "Yepyep. Th' silver bullet, an' all. So -- You'n the Park, I think I gotta tell you somethin'."
Bernie looks wary. Things people gotta tell you have this tendency to suck. "...yeah? ...a'ight. Shoot. What don' I know that I oughta?"
Kaz says. "Well. Now that I've bailed on Elan, fuckin' finally, I... Don' think th' Park Pack's gonna work, f'me. I'll still /help/, an' shit, I just ain't gonna be /pack/. 'Cause I think me an' Max an' Tim, an' Nev, if he ever meets Tim, I think we're gonna start pokin' into shit t'gether."
From the auditorium, the sound of stealthy entry is heard. Most people might miss it, but odds are in favor of the Gnawers backstage. This is the tribe that overlooks nothing. Nevada's voice pipes up from the main theater, calling out with exaggerated shyness,"Uh.. h-hello? I came for an audition.. "
And indeed, this is the Kaz that finds it hard to overlook anything. Brightening, she calls, "Auditions are downstairs. You gotta play Othello tryin' to have a conversation with Oedipus."
Bernie looks a rather odd mix of disappointed and relieved. "...okay, well, that kinda sucks, but could be worse, I guess... what kinda pack's it gonna be?" She breaks off at the voice, and smiles a bit, calling up after Kaz, "...so, y'know, jus' c'mon down an' pull up a casting couch..."
"Yo, yo, yo," the voice calls back, to his homies. "Sheeeit, I don't blame ya whitey fa dat Jocasta chick, man. Uhhhmmm-mmmMM! Yo mamma HOT, boy! Babz good ta GO! Wedja jes lookadat AZZZ! .... oh, dat's right, ya can't." Now the voice is timid, dorky. "Actually, I huh.. had a song prepared.. I, uh... "
Kaz gets an extremely fascinated expression on her face. "I'll explain in a sec," she mutters to Bernie, and then calls, "Oh, a /song/. So you're /that/ kind of auditioner. Well, allright, go ahead."
Bernie doesn't say anything for now; she's too busy laughing at Nevada's 'audition'.
That kind of auditioner can be heard to clear his throat. Nervously. Some "mimimimi" noises. Then, a low, husky voice begins. "Don't get strung out by the way I look, don't judge a book by its cover... " Footsteps approach. "I'm not much of a man by the light of day.. but by night I'm one hell of a lover!" Stomping now. "I'm just a sweet transvestiiiite!" Nevada's voice rips out, juicy. "From Transexual, Transylvaniaaaaaaaaaaaaa... uh uhh!"
Kaz slowly falls over onto her side, laughing.
Bernie manages to restrain her own laughter enough to stand up and meet Nevada at the base of the stairs. Quite innocently, she replies, not singing, "Let me show you around, maybe play you a sound?" She gestures into the room, and looks first at one of them, then the other, remarking, "...you look like you're both pretty groovy."
Kaz is too busy trying to breathe, over on the couch, to embroider on that.
The Silver State saunters and hipsways his way down, meeting Bernie with a big grin. "Or if you want something visual that's not too abysmal," he mmms in an outrageous black-bedsheets Tim Curry voice,"We could take in an old Steve Reeves movie." Unfortunately, he's wearing just jeans, beat-up shoes, and an old Weezer t-shirt. No cape. Not even thigh highs.
What a disappointment for a girl. Bernie grins back, and heads back over to her couch, plopping into the corner cushions. Too bad the next couple lines don't fit nearly so nicely. "Castles don't have phones," she remarks. "'sup, Chiapet? You got th' part, by th' way. I'll be playin' Magenta, 'course." She flips her curls with one hand.
Kaz mutters, "He'll be a strong man... honey," and levers herself upright again.
"I did?" Nevada boings a huge grin, making a girlie eeeek! Then he sobers. "Dropped in fa jus a sec ta check the place out. Word up, Kaz. Bunny. Mad Max said this ya HQ." He glances around, hands at his hips. "Pretty cool."
"You sure did, chickadee." Grin rising, Kaz adds, "Yeah, I took it over from Barlow when he bailed on it, basically. Ain't it th' shit?" Kaz seems remarkably pleased with the place. "You feel free'n invade whenever, hey?"
Bernie sings, softly to herself, but surprisingly well, "...but th' -wrong- man..." and leans back into the cushions.
"Makes me feel all drama society," Nevada says. He shoots a grin at Bernie. "I been lookin' at the outside a'this place fa years.. never knew it were so cool inside. Or that ten foot wolf monsters hung out in it."
Kaz jerks a thumb up the stairs. "Drama society 'r us. An' Barlow says there's a ghost up there, but I ain't never met her."
Bernie looks upward, "A ghost? Really? Funkalicious..." She glances over to Kaz, "Ghosts an' spirits -are- diff'rent, right? Not th' same thing. Yeah?"
"No shit?" Nevada glances up the stairwell. "How bout that. Ya got y'own angst mystery chick."
Kaz says, "Well, me, I think it's a myth, but Barlow, he seemed pretty certain. He even had a whole story about her. An' yeah," she nods, "Ghosts, they's different than spirits."
Bernie nods, satisfied. "A'ight. That's what I thought; then a while back Rotem was talkin' 'bout wantin' t' go inta th' umbra an' see ghosts an' walk through 'em, an' I was like, wait, there's not ghosts there, are there? An' even if there were they'd prolly get pretty pissed 'f ya tried t' walk through 'em, that'd be jus' plain rude."
"Story I'd like ta hear," Nevada says, and then grins. "I d'know, 'fy was a ghost, people could walk thru me anytime. Kinda kinky." He lifts an arm, eyes his broken watch. "Speakin' a kinky, I got to get gone ten minutes ago. Ah well. It ain't late if the entrance's good, right?"
Kaz chortles. "An' you got entrances t'beat the band. See y'later, Nev, definitely."
Bernie grins, nodding. "Def'nitely. Have a good time, knock 'em dead, all that."
Nevada smiles in that exhibitionist kind of way. "Thanks, Kazbo. See you botharoun." He turns, climbing up. He stops at the top step. A glance goes down over his shoulder, and he waggles a finger. "Aw yeah. Bunny, yo, remine me I wanna show ya somethin lata. I'll drop by sometime. Come up to the lab, an all that. See what's on the slab.. " He narrows his eyes. "I see you shiver with anticip -- "
Insert pause here.
"--pation! But maybe the rain.. ain't really to blame. So I'll remove the cause, but not the symptom..." And he's gone.
Kaz snorts softly. "Nut," she mutters, in a far from condemning way. "So, wait, what were you askin'?"
During the pause, Bernie softly demands, "Say it! Saaaaaay it..." and after the word's conclusion, "...good boy." She grins as he heads off, and stretches again before recurling comfortably in her cushioned corner. "Askin'? ...oh, th' Umbra thing? Jus' wan'ed t' make sure it was him gettin' confused 'bout what spirits were, umbrawise, an' not me not knowin' yet. Y'know?"
"Oh! Yeah, no, that was just him bein' wrong an' I forgot to say something. Or he pissed me off. I forget which." Kaz adds, after a moment, "I think there was some pack question, too?"
Bernie blinks. "Right! I was askin', what kinda pack y'all were gonna be. Like, purpose kinda thing. Y'know?"
Kaz brightens. "Oh, right. Well. We ain't had any real long conversations about that, but I got ideas. Given as Tim and Nev and me can all kick butt, and given as all four of us are kinda investigative types, all in our own way, I was thinkin' maybe a Magpie pack, information seekers that can beat shit up when needed. I dunno where we'd center our territory, but I bet somewhere around here wouldn't be so bad. An' if we're investigatory, we don't gotta stay /only/ to our own territory, y'know? S'long as folks don't mind." She grins, slowly. "Unless Tim persuades me it oughta be a war pack. In that case I'm way goin' for Weasel."
Bernie nods. "Magpie an' Weasel... bein' like Rat? Spirits an' all? Like Shadow Claws?" She adjusts her glasses a bit. "Sounds pretty nifty, yeah. Also r'minds me, I gotta find Tim 'gain an' get him t' kick my ass s'more," she comments, with a slightly wry smile.
Kaz nods. "Yeah. You wan' me t'babble about 'em? I know both of 'em pretty good, 'cause I've packed under both of 'em. An' as f'Tim... Well, /I/ gotta find him, too. Mebbe we can do it t'gether."
"Hey, by all means, babble 'way. How else'm I s'posta learn all this shit?" the cub asks, suddenly remembering she wanted a coke, and unfolding to head toward the fridge.
Kaz cracks her knuckles. "Ok," she says, settling into talking mode. "Magpie, well, you seen magpies, right? They talktalktalk, look like they're morons, but they ain't never gettin' caught at anythin'. Ever. An' Magpie as a Totem, well, it wants information. Alla the time. Information's one've the ways you're gonna kill th' Wyrm, an' Magpie takes that route. So that's what packs under Magpie do, is find info, an' they're helped by Magpie helpin' their sneakiness. Now, two Raggies an' two Galliards, I think we can cope with that, y'know?" Popping her own Coke open, she adds, "Weasel, he's different. He's fierce, he's pissy... He twists around himself like a freakin' Moebius strip, when he's fightin'. He's like a ferret, y'know, only bigger an' stronger. He expects people t'kick ass, an' he helps y'out, gets you quicker'n stuff. An' bein' as he's a Weasel, he expects folks not t'show fear t'th' enemy. Which don't mean you can't /feel/ it. You just don't /show/ it. There's a big difference there, which too many people don't get."
"I get that diff'rence," Bernie replies, after a moment's thought, and recloses the fridge, carrying her silver cylinder back to the couch. "I hate showin' people I'm 'fraida 'em anyhow, so, yeah, that's not that weird a concept." She grins as she twists back into a nice comfortable position, "...I think I prolly'd like Magpie better, m'self, though. Big fana knowin' shit. Anna not gettin' caught at anythin'." Slight pause, "...not that I ever do anythin' t' get caught at, 'course." She opens the soda, and takes a sip. "...so what other Totems are there, then? An', like, what'd be good for a Park pack, for 'zample?"
Kaz mutters, with a faint grin, "'Course not." Taking a swig, she considers. "There's a fuckload of Totems, and we've kinda broken 'em up into ones that're warlike, like Rat an' Weasel an' Bull an' Wolverine and stuff, an' ones that're sneaky-types, like Magpie an' Coyote an' all, an' wise ones, like Sphinx and Owl an' Unicorn an' stuff. An' ones that're mostly based on honor and things, like Stag or Pegasus or stuff like that. An' a Park Pack... Well, it depends partially on who's in the pack, an' partially what you wanna do with it. Protect th' paark an' the people in it, or kick butt an' make sure no one takes it over, or..."
"I'm thinkin' more protect an' take carea th' park an' people in it, but that'd kinda include makin' sure no one took it over, yeah? Though, doesn' look like anyone's -tryin'- ta, right now. 'least from where I sit." Bernie goes thoughtful. "...so what'd that be?"
Kaz says, thoughtfully, "Rat'd work. So'd Unicorn. Unicorn better, prolly, even if it's a weird ass thought for a buncha Gnawers -- but you got 'Licia an' Matt, so... Might work pretty good."
Bernie glances down at her soda, looking a touch glum. "I -prolly- have 'licia, an't I -might- have Matt. Lotsa people want them t' be in their packs. Matt, 'specially. So I dunno f'r sure." She takes a sip of the soda. "....so, tell me 'bout Unicorn?"
The metis blinks, and looks a bit closer. "Other than Matt being on The Long Quest, why wouldn't you have him? An' what's up with Alicia?"
Kaz seems to be focusing on one thing at a time.
Bernie glances up from the fascinatingly monochromatic can. "-I'd- tot'ly have him," she replies, "question's more 'f he wants t' be had. Last time we talked 'bout it, which was way back when he s'gested it might somethin' I should think 'bout doin', though, he didn' know 'f he'd be in it or not. 'cause he was already asked t' join other ones, an' all. But that he'd help me get it formed at least. So. I dunno. He might, or he might wanna be in some other pack. I dunno." As she speaks, she pushes a curl back, and her fingers absently stop on the way down and start fiddling with the chain around her neck a little. "An' 'licia said a while back she wan'ed t' be in it, 'f I started a pack, so like I said, prolly she'd be in it. But, y'know, she hasn't even been -allowed- in th' city for months, so she's not so inta th' park as I am, 'least not at th' moment, y'know? An' other people'd asked her, too. So, she could change her mind or somethin'. Chicken, hatched, countin', y'know?"
Kaz grins, just slightly. "Know that feeling. After all, everyone an' their mothers is countin' 'em for me already. I'll make sure not t'count 'em for you. Anyway. Unicorn. Unicorn's th' tribal Totem of th' Children of Gaia, an' it kinda follows what they're like, or rather, they follow what Unicorn's like. An' Unicorn, well, it's int' healin' an' helpin' an' fightin' th' Wyrm an' not other Garou -- Nightflash, that lupe Gaian, he wouldn't ever fight other Garou. But obviously, he -- an' Unicorn folks in general -- kick Wyrm heiny at the drop of a hat. They're just required t'help innocents and shit, which is what you wanna do anyways, yeah? An' y'also get t'do pretty good in the Umbra, 'cause Unicorn's all spiritual and shit."
*Thud* *Thump* *rollroll* *Bang* Cursing. Strong enough to make a sailor blush. *Scuffle* thumpthump. "Ow!" *rollroll*. Sounds like someone up there, alright. And someone is /not/ a happy camper, by the sounds of it.
Bernie smiles a little, and nods at that, "...well, yeah then, sounds like Unicorn'd fit a'ight..." She looks back at the can, and sighs a little, a bit depressed by the previous bit of the topic, but gets distracted from it by the tumult upstairs. "...someone's havin' a painful soundin' day," she remarks, looking upward toward the staircase, a bit concerned.
Kaz nods. "Sure would," she says, and then breaks off. "The fuck?" she yells up the stairs, a cross between concerned and annoyed.
Julie pushes the door open at the top of the stairs, and just starts kicking canned goods down. Yup, she's pissed. Somewhere in the rain of non-perishables comes a wadded up paper bag sailing. "Stupid shit!"
Kaz's eyes unfocus briefly as she thinks. Yep, it's a Gibbous Moon. "Jules!" she hollers, hopping up to start picking cans and other non-perishables up, "Where the fuck /you/ been, woman!"
Bernie ducks down in her spot in the corner of the couch, letting the back and side shield her from any potentially flying cans. A tuna tin to the head just isn't what's needed for a good day. Once it sounds like they've all safely landed, she gets up too, and starts giving Kaz a hand with the collecting. Just one hand, since she's got her soda in the other. "Hey," she greets Julie, figuring it's a safe enough greeting.
The moody youth trudges down the stairs, grumbling and grussing all the way. Julie does spare Bernie a grunt back, before cocking a sneer Kaz's way. "Tryin' t' keep the street folks alive, tha's what. Not like I've been successful." Frustration and anger simmers just below the surface of dull blue eyes.
"Ain't just you, Jules. Sure the fuck ain't just you." Kaz says this remarkably quietly. "An' you know just as good as I do, every little bit counts."
Bernie starts moving cans to more useful looking places, putting her soda down so that she can use both hands. One thing at a time is just too much of a pain.
Julie shoves a kitchen chair out of her way as she heads for the fridge. Screw it, she wants a beer, drinking age or not. "Well, if'n folks'd get their heads outta their arses an' stop disappearin' for time on end, we cou'd get better organized, an' do a better job than jus' /Every Little Bit Counts/." A slam of the fridgefrator door to punctuate her little tirade rattles the goodies inside.
Kaz says, a little edge to her voice, watching the young woman, "You ain't really one to talk, lately, Jules. But shit, I ain't into blame, not right now. What I am into is news, stuff you might wanna listen to. You wanna stop for a sec, listen for a sec, before you tear the damn place down?" The Omega Julie may remember from a year ago, the one who let the others make the plans, the one who deferred in everything, the one whose only weapon was her mouth, she seems to have disappeared in the past few months. This is a rather more confident woman, and it shows in her words and her tone.
Bernie finishes stacking cans where they seem reasonable, and runs a hand through her curls, looking for some reason somewhat distressed at Julie's little tirade. "'scuse me a sec," she says, mostly to Kaz, and disappears into the room previous visits have given her reason to expect to be a bathroom.
Julie's back stiffens at the retort, but a twist of bottle cap and deep breath ease the ire just a bit as she nods and turns around. "Yeah, I ain't one to talk." A growl, and sip of the beer before she is plunking her scrawny arse into the chair she had shoved earlier. "Okay, shoot." A glance at Bernie as she scoots off, then her attention is locked on Kaz.
The metis takes a deep breath. "F'the one thing, I've gone and Challenged Elan f'Fostern. Because, well, it's time and past time. An' we need someone other than Elan-the-hardly-here t'be takin' care of the Family. An' even before I Challenged him, I was thinkin'..." She trails off. "Ring of Fire, I love what it started out to be. An Umbral reclaimin' pack, a pack that'd help both Realm /and/ Spirit, a pack that'd be somewhere t'be /home/ in. But you know just as well as I do, Jules, it ain't worked that way. Elan's hardly ever fuckin' here. Cutter's doin' whatever the fuck Shadow Lords do, an', well, you're around more'n Elan is, but that ain't sayin' much." She adds, right after that, looking straight at Julie, "An' this is /not/ a fuckin' blame game, so don't even /start/ growlin' at me. /Listen/. Anyway, so I had a talk with Elan last night. I'm startin' up my own pack. With Max and Nevada and Little Tim. We're gonna do the kinda shit I wish I coulda done with Ring of Fire, but I couldn't, 'cause I didn't really know what I wanted, an' Elan was in the way. /Make/ it into family, make it into a pack that's lookin' for information, lookin' for ways to kick the Wyrm's tail, /while/ protectin' the people that /need/ protectin'. An' Jules, I know you're loyal t'things you put your loyalty in, but I would fuckin' /love/ to have you in this thing. Honest t'God."
Julie growls, but just because Kaz said not to. She is still fuming, but, well, it is how she is around this time of the moon, so it is hard to tell if she is fuming at Kaz, or just in general. "I was up t' m' arms in soup pots an' blanket exchanges, an' rootin' 'round for food. Gifts're fine, but they only do so much." A sigh, and a grime stained hand lifts to rub at her equally grimed face before taking a sip of the beer. "Anyway, 'bout the other thing..." Her voice sounds resigned. "I dunno. I know yer serious 'bout what yer sayin', and what it's gonna be in yer pack. But..." Yes, always a but. "Seems like ev'ry time I join a pack, it dissolves. You sure you want that kinda jinx?"
Very mildly, but still with a slight edge, Kaz says, "I didn't say you weren't doing shit, Jules, I just said you weren't around much. There's a difference." Stuffing her hands in her pockets, she regards the young woman. "Yeah," she says, with vague irony, "Dissolvin'. Right. That'd explain why Edge was around for, what, a year and a half after you joined?" Losing the irony, she says, very intently, "You ain't no jinx, Jules. You can go ahead and feel like you are one, but f'/me/, you ain't no jinx. You're a strong woman, a person that's learnin' who she wanna be, who she needs to be, findin' out how who she is now works with the individual she wanna to be. Learnin' who she /can/ be. An' I /want/ you. I want all that potential, and I f'sure want who you are /now/. Fuck, I can't even /imagine/ packin' without you around here." A little softer, she says, "I don' wanna have to."
Bernie emerges from the bathroom again, reclaims her soda, and curls up in the corner of the same couch she was sitting in earlier, without interrupting.
Julie just kinda blinks through the veil of braids hanging over her face. Hell, even Pete didn't try 'that' hard to recruit her. A glance at Bernie as she walks through the room, then back to Kaz she looks. "Um..." Yup, speechless.
Kaz shrugs. "OK, so I talk a lot. This is new?"
Julie mutters, "No," while peering into the beer bottle with one eye, the other squinted shut. A fuss and fidget, then, "I wanna think 'bout it," she quietly replies.
Kaz shrugs. Fairly quiet herself, she says, "That's cool. I tol' Elan I'd keep patrollin' an' shit, till my thing got off the ground. I ain't in no hurry. I wanna do this right, after all. So -- we got time. Jus'... Keep it in mind, huh?"
Bernie sips her soda, arms about her legs again.
Julie takes a healthy pull of the beer, then burps...get this...'demurely' behind a hand. "Yeah, I will." She even manages a faint smile.
Kaz's grin is small, but heartfelt. "Cool." After a moment, she glances at Bernie. "If you an' Alicia an' Matt don' work, by the way, I gotta tell you, we can unite this information seekin' thing with Park Protectin', Bern, 'cause you're someone I'd love to do shit with. I think I've said it b'fore, but nothin' wrong with repeatin' it."
Julie goes quiet now, dirty nail picking at the beer bottle's label, her legs stretched out under the kitchen table, her shoulders slouched. Nice slump she has going there.
Distracted from whatever she was thinking, Bernie glances up to Kaz again, and smiles, quite sincerely. "Thanks," she replies, and drains the rest of the soda from her can.
Kaz peers at her own can of Coke, that said, and says, "Huh." Apparently, from her expression, it emptied itself on its own. Tossing it into the plastic bag she uses for recycling, she grabs another one from the fridge and flops on a sofa. "So. I gotta couple other Totem suggestions for you, if you wanted."
Owen makes his way into the backroom, short-handled sledgehammer in hand and a dufflebag in the other. His tension eases a bit when he sees who all is here. "Thought I heard voices."
Bernie just sets her empty can aside for now, sticking it between two couch cushions. She glances over toward Julie, considering following her lead on the beer, but figures the chances of it being tolerable are low, and decides against it. "Sure," she replies, with a nod, "shoot, Kaz." The latest entry gets her attention, not to mention a bit of surprise. "Hey."
Julie drags her gaze to the source of Owen's voice. And there is a grunt of greeting for him. Then she is back to fuming quietly as she fiddles with her beer.
Kaz actually brightens slightly as Owen arrives, but her words are, as usual, somewhat aggressively harsh. "Heyyy, Owen, what th' fuck's up an' whatcha doin' down /here/ for?"
Owen nods to Bernie, then gives Julie a look. "Long time no see, Jules." He sets his dufflebag down, the clank of wood and metal noticeable from within. "Well, Kaz, hadn't been here in forever and a day. Just thought to come see the place that made me shave my head. Didn't know it was still in use after we had to leave."
Kaz shrugs. "I stayed away f'awhile. F'safety. But I eventually started comin' back, an' no one tol' me not to, an' it don't seem to be watched none, an' it's /comf'tble/, so... I figured, why not. I don' think I'll be makin' it no headquarters f'my new pack or nothin', 'cause th' police /do/ know about it, but it's a home, of a sort."
Julie just nods faintly in reply to Owen, then she drains the bottle with one long, noisy drink.
Bernie looks curiously between Kaz and Owen as they discuss the place. "Made ya shave your head? How'd -that- happen?" she asks.
Kaz's grin turns wicked. "Had to go into hiding. Imagine, if you will, Owen with a shaved head, and /Signe/ in /cardigans/."
Owen gives Kaz a curious look. "New pack?" He looks for a place to sit. "Some shit-fuck ratted us out of this place. Police raid. Lost a lot, not just my hair. My bike. My savings. A roof over my head. My hair..." He gives Julie another look. "Aw, come on, Julie. Come give Papa Bear some sugar."
Bernie's eyes widen slowly at that image, and she presses her lips together, completely failing to suppress the grin creeping across them. "-Cardigans-?" she asks, "....like... _Mr. Rogers_ cardigans??" She loses the battle, grinning widely, and shakes her head, then clears her throat slightly and regains composure, replying to Owen, "...well, that musta pretty much sucked."
Julie tilts her anger ridden gaze of dull blue on Owen, and lets out a burp that would make even Pete proud.
Owen gives Julie a thumbs up. "See? She loves me."
Bernie glances over to Kaz, mischeviously, "...they weren't -pink- cardigans, were they?"
Kaz evidently wanted to watch Bernie's reaction, as her grin rises a little more. "Yeah. Mr. Rogers. Not pink, no, but it was still fuckin' hilarious." Her grin fades as she nods to Owen. "Pack. I'm makin' one. Me an' Max an' Little Tim an' Nevada. An' maybe Jules here. Under Magpie or Weasel or Rat. Investigatin' stuff so we can kick its ass, later on." She shrugs. "Ring of Fire, no one was around much. We weren't doin' what we ought've been doin'."
Owen straightens up a little, idly playing with his hammer with restless energy brought on by Luna's filling face. "Weasel again, maybe? Huh. Well, glad to see you aren't idle." He pauses for a moment. "Weasel was alright."
Kaz says, with a snort, "Yeah, idle, that's me. Yo, you hear about the sewer meeting on Thursday? Tryinna get everyone that wants in t'come an an' talk about 'em. We're havin' it upstairs."
Bernie looks mildly disappointed that none of the cardigans were pink, but ah well, life's rarely perfect. Even so.... the grin spreads back across her face, and the movement of her shoulders implies a silent giggle or two.
Julie is busy being quiet, rolling the bottleneck between her hands over and over.
Kaz adds, "Jules, you got that? Thursday, an' all that?"
Julie nods faintly. "Yeah, I gottit." The label never had a chance. She is now tearing it off, shred by shred, balling each piece up and flicking them in Owen's general direction.
Owen gives Kaz a grunt. "Thursday." Paper ball bounces off his head. "I should be back by then if things go right." Another ball off the head. "What kinda... stop it... shit? Just the sewers?"
Kaz tells Bernie, quietly, "Bear. Or Fog. Or Raccoon," and then nods at Owen. "Yep, that's all. Not like it ain't enough of a problem all on its own."
Julie just continues flicking bits of label in Owen's direction. That is /not/ a mischievous grin just touching her lips, honest!
Bernie nods slightly at Kaz, making a mental note of the little list. "...so what're they like, then?"
Owen looks startled at the mentioned list. "Bear?" Swats a paper ball away. "And you're about to challenge?" He catches the next. "Julie, I'm gonna plant a big wet kiss on your face inna minute. That or fart on you."
Kaz says, "Well, Bear --" She stops. "/I/ ain't plannin' to pack under him, nimrod. I'm just suggestin' Totems t'Bern here, f'future use in protectin' the Park. Thing is Bern," she goes on, "People look down on him, I think 'cause he's connected t'th' Gurahl, but he's really into healin' an' protectin' and stuff, an' he's a strong ass motherfucker. So he'd be good f'th' protectin' part."
"Please, anything but fart. I don't think I cou'd handle yer emissions." A snort his way, and Julie flicks one more wad his way. Now out of ammo.
Kaz then goes on, "Fog's the Caern Totem, y'know? I don' think it's so good for the protectin' part, but it's good at coverin' stuff up an' hidin' it. Patience, subtlety, shit like that. I think I mostly suggested it 'cause Untouchables, they were a Fog pack."
Bernie nods a little, then stops, brow furrowing. "...A'ight: what's th' Gurahl?"
Kaz says, promptly, "Werebears. We just about wiped 'em out in the War've Rage."
Owen gives Julie a half-smile, letting the last ball bounce off him. "Thought you Gnawers could handle a stink. We Get are just all that, afterall." He looks back to Kaz. "You ain't, so what's this talk about totems, then, you damn inbred? Another pack?"
Kaz says, patiently, "Bernie. Is thinking about starting a pack once she Rites. Which oughta be soon. An' she's plannin' on centerin' it mostly around the Park. Me, I'm still talkin' Weasel, Rat, or Magpie. Her, she wants protective Totems that can kick some butt."
Julie gets up to chuck the bottle in the trash. "I can handle stink. It's the source that pukes me out." Her back turned, he can't see the snickerface she makes. When she turns around to sit down again, the grin is gone.
"Were-bears-? Cool! There other things too? Like... werelions? Or werehorses? Or.. werepigs?" The cub considers the possibilities, a bit doubtful on that last one. "An' whassa War of Rage? Though I guess most wars are based on rage one way or 'nother..."
"Oh. Cub pack. Well, careful. Bear won't get you places around these parts." Owen looks back to Julie. "You want me and you know it. Well, you can't, cause I'm too much for you. And there's a law. Don't want anymore Kazes around."
Kaz shakes her head. "No werepigs. But there's Corax, th' raven folks, an' there's Bastet, th' cat folks -- an' they got lions an' tigers an' leopards an' shit. An' there's werebears, an' also, Rat shifters. We have some truck with them, obviously. Anyways, the War of Rage, basically, we got a hardon because we thought the other Shifters weren't fightin' the Wyrm right, so we beat 'em all up an' took away their toys. Basically. Although it involved more killing than that."
Bernie considers that a moment. "...-were- they not fightin' th' Wyrm right? Like, endin' up helpin' it or somethin'?"
Julie flips him off. "I'd rather have a whole tribe o' Kazes than you stinkin' up m' air."
Kaz snorts quietly at Owen, and then shakes her head at Bernie. "Well. Not most of them. The spider shifters, /they/ were. I really don't get what the fuck the Get and the Fangs an' the Shadow Lords were thinkin' about the whole thing. All I know is, it's left matters really... Strained, between most've the other shifters, an' us."
"Oh," Bernie replies, and mulls that over a few more moments. "...we're kinda assholes, sometimes, huh?" She goes quiet again, trying to imagine how a spider shifter would work. What a weird thought.
Kaz says, vaguely glumly, "Sometimes, yeah."
Owen speaks up to Kaz. "Hey, I had nothing to do with it." He then gets to his feet, adjusts himself, and starts to head over to Julie.
Julie straightens a bit in her chair, but still remains somewhat slouched. All the better to kick Gets in the nads, if need be. "Whatchu want, UglyMug?"
Kaz admits, "This's true. You wasn't born yet, by a few thousand years."
Kaz watches this interaction with fascination, from her own perch.
Owen stops just shy of roshamboing range and scratches his chin. "Well, I could have you submit, but that would be boring. I could tie you up into a pretzel, but I might even break a sweat. So I'll just tell ya what. It's good to see you again, Julie. And I know you think the same of me. So, do I have to start being a Get to hear it? Oh, and I'm wearing a cup."
Julie says, "Cup ain't protectin' yer kneecaps, though." She gets to her feet slowly, eyeing him face to face.
Kaz says, quietly, "He Challenged afore I did, Jules. An' he won." She still seems more amused by this confrontation than anything else.
Owen just keeps a steady gaze on julie, waiting for her reaction to what Kaz said.
Julie takes a step forward, so her chin is nearly touching his chest, then she's tilting her head up to eyeball him. "I like you better bald."
Owen chuckles a little bit. "And I like you just the way you are, Julie."
Kaz's grin threatens to explode. "Damn, y'all. You realize I actually miss that fuckin' pack?"
Julie bahs, turns abruptly, then stalks away to get another beer from the fridge.
Owen makes his way back to his dufflebag, still grinning a little. "I miss every pack I've been in, Kaz. All my packmates." He opens the bag to put the hammer he's had out back into it. "Dead or alive. Something to look back on these days, anyways, when you gotta run solo."
Kaz's grin is small, but it's there. "Y'ain't solo tomorrow, thass f'sure."
Julie eyes Owen. "Why you 'gotta' run solo? Undercover work?"
Owen zips the bag back up and retakes his seat. He gives Kaz a look. "Ain't quite the same, though I appreciate it." He looks to Julie, thinks about a beer for a moment, then decides not to ask. "Yeah. you know me. I'm a real undercover kinda guy. Just I got no pack anymore. Right now, it just looks like a long string of missions instead."
Bernie watches the interaction with quiet interest. As Yogi Berra was rumoured to have said, sometimes you can observe a lot by watching.
Kaz says, quietly, "I know. But it's somethin', at least." There's a short pause, and then she asks, "So I take it you don' wanna deal with Jame-ster an' Jarred, in a /pack/ pack?"
Julie rummages around a bit, then straightens, using an elbow to shove the door shut. Owen should know better than that. Three beers in hands, one she takes to Owen, their 'guest', first.
Owen leans back in his seat, slapping his hands on both knees, then looks up to Julie as she brings him beer. "Thanks," he says as he takes it. "Kaz, to be honest, I don't know what the fuck those two are doing. I know they're wantin' to form a pack together, but I haven't heard what for, who else, what totem, nor have I even been approached." He opens his beer and takes a swig.
Kaz says, a little wryly, "Well, hey, guess what, you've got your ass in a car with 'em for however many hours tomorrow."
Julie offers the second one to Kaz, before popping the cap off her own. "Sounds like fun."
"What's tomorrow?" Bernie pipes up, this having now been mentioned several times. She eyes Julie a little, too, having been excluded from her beer distribution. Hmph. Even if it -is- probably crappy beer.
Kaz takes it, and even drinks some of it, but not all of it. "Hanford, Bern. We're goinna scout, see what's left of the Caern, see how Wyrmy it is."
Julie has the cub in mind, just not for a beer. "There's rootbeer hidden b'hind the bag o' rodent feed unner the sink," she tells Bernie.
Owen seems to be taking his time with his beer. "Yeah. What Kaz said. Scoutin'. Got some talens in the works too, hopefully."
Bernie looks as though a light has dawned. "Oh, right! I forgot 'bout that. Or 'least that it was a t'marra kinda thing. Huh." She flashes Julie a smile, and looks toward the sink speculatively. The root beer -does- have a better chance of being palatable. On the other hand, it feels a lot like being sent to sit at the kids' table. Hmm.
Kaz puts the rest of the beer in the sink. "Folks. Gotta patrol. Catch y'all later." That said, she grabs her pack and heads up the stairs.
Julie salute to Kaz as she trundles off. "Later, Dudette."
Owen nods to Kaz as she heads off. He then looks over to the cub. "Exactly how long you been around, kid?"
Julie settles back in her chair, and sips thoughtfully at the second beer. More just something to do, than actual quenching of thirst.
Bernie waves to Kaz, calling "Later!" after her, and seems to decide against any beverage at all, for the time being. It'd mean getting up, anyhow. Owen's question takes her by surprise. "Exactly?" A pause, and she glances upward, "....sixteen years, four months, eleven days; four months and five days; or about three hours, dependin' which around y'mean."
Owen smirks. "Snappy. Now, you know what I'm asking."
Bernie grins. "I like t' be thorough? 'f y'mean how long've I been a cub, though, like, since I changed, 's th' second one..." Her brow furrows slightly, "...damn, I coun'ed wrong. Four months an' -two- days. Four months an' -five- days's how long I've been in Saint Claire."
Owen takes another pull from his bottle. "Yeah. This damn scab has that affect on people, it seems. Three days and a new meaning to road rage blooms." He sets the bottle on the floor between his feet. "So, let's hear it. Name. Rank. Serial number."
Bernie whips off a quick little salute, and smiles. "Yessir. Bernie Rosenberg, sometimes called Reads-In-Darkness, Ragabash Bone Gnawer cub, niceta meetcha."
Julie is just sitting there, being a good little Garou. In otherwords, keeping quiet.
Owen raises an eyebrow. "Rosenburg? Were you Jewish or somethin'?"
Bernie looks mildly amused at the phrasing. "What, they found a cure? Yeah, I am. Not all that observant, not even b'fore all this shit, but yeah."
Owen gives a short nod. "Yous got a new religion now, holmes." He gives Julie a nod. "Bet she and alla the rest of the tribe are filling your head with it."
"One thing they got in common," Bernie replies, then puts on a weirdly TV Ad Announcer voice, "It's not just what you do -- it's who you are." She drops the voice, and grins, shrugging. "I'm practical. Things are how they are. An' yeah, I'm learnin' all th' necessary shit, fast's I can." A slight pause, "..so, -you- gotta full introduction too, that I might be honoured with th' hearin' of?"
Julie just shrugs. Yup, mood swings. A bit of reverie, beer pretty much forgotten now.
Owen smirks a little, perhaps a touch dangerously. He gets to his feet. "Owen Hollsinger. Fostern Modi of the Get of Fenris. Formerly a child of Wolverine, Fenris, and Weasel. Rited in the Sept of the Sentinel and full member of the Sept of the Hidden Walk, once the Wheel Renewed. Grandson of Ule Gathering-Storm Hollsinger, Skald and warrior of the blitzkreig then later hero of the retaking of Dresden, himself a great grandchild of Otto Dragon-Thane Von-Heising, Modi during the rise of Prussia."
Bernie blinks, and grins. "My, what a big introduction you have, gran'mama! Like I said, niceta meetcha. Which auspice's a Modi, though? 's one I haven' heard b'fore."
Owen looks over to Julie. "What exactly have you been teaching this cub? Like he can't tell right off..." He looks back to the cub. "Ahroun."
Julie smirks. "Hey, she's our tribe, if'n you want her t' know what screwed up names you give yer moons, you teach her."
Bernie smirks a little herself, but actually sits up slightly, evidentally interested. "Yeah," she says, "teach me, then! Y'got Modi for Ahroun, an' what're the other four?"
Owen gathers up his duffle bag, first finishing off the beer he was given. "Yeah. Like you'll let me start teachin' yer cubs the ways of the Great Wolf." A smirk, then he shoulders the bag's strap. "Well, anyways, just wanted to see the ol' place again, but I gotta run now."
Julie gets to her feet. "Hey, Owen?"
Owen turns briefly to Bernie. "Another time, maybe."
Owen looks to Julie before heading out. "Yes?"
Bernie looks rather disappointed. "Aw. A'ight, then..." She settles back into her comfortable relaxed position in the cushions. "Later."
Julie cants her head, regarding him through the veil of braids. "Good t' see you 'gain," she quietly intones.
Owen snorts, a half-smile on his face. "I knew you loved me." Ah, bonding. He makes his way out of the room.
Julie pshaws, watching him leave. "Egotistical arse," she mutters before turning to regard Bernie. "Don't worry, we ain't the only ones gonna be teachin' you, you'll a'ways be learnin'."
Bernie grins, and shrugs a little. "I ain't worried," she replies rather airily, "I learn shit alla time. I'm -good- at learnin'. An' yeah, I already learn from other people too. But, I figure, 'f I learn somethin' from onea us, an' somethin' diff'rent on th' same thing from some other tribe, gen'rally gonna go with our version. Be nice t' know those other words, though, for nex' time some Get gives me th' Get-style intro." She pushes her curls back from her face, using both hands.
Julie shakes her head, along with a rueful chuckle. "Yeah, gotta stroke their egos. You know how that is." She finally remembers her beer, and finishes it off before tossing the bottle in the trash. "Anyway, there's someone I gotta check on, ain't seen him in a while. Catcha later?"
"Stroke the ego, stroke the ego. It will not bite you," Bernie remarks in a silly voice, evidentally quoting someone. Implied both by the voice, and the utter lack of dropped syllables. Still grinning, she nods to the Galliard, going back to her normal tones. "Yeah, a'ight. Have fun an' all, an' seeya later." Hand comes up, waves, goes back down.
Julie rolls her eyes, and shakes her head as she turns. "You got that shit right. Don't drink alla rootbeer, an' hey, do me a favor?" She turns around again, eyes resting on the Raggie.
Bernie looks at Julie, intrigued. "Promise t' leave plennya it. An' 'f it's somethin' I c'n do, prolly, yeah. What c'n I do ya for?"
Julie nods. "There, unner the sink, like I said? That bag o' rodent food? Sprinkle some o' that 'round the baseboards an' inna corners once inna while, 'kay? An' don't mind the rats, the food's for them."
Bernie nods. "A'ight. I c'n do that. I don't technic'ly live here, but I prolly visit 'nough, so, sure." She eyes the baseboards a bit, still trying to completely get over the basic distaste for wild rats most people get taught early and well.
Julie says "Think o' it as yer rent while yer here," she murmurs, casting a uncharacteristically compassionate glance toward the shadows, before a shake of her head, and she turns to stalk up the stairs. As she hits the door, she calls over her shoulder, "An' r'member, they smell fear."
"I'm not scareda 'em!" the cub calls back, though whether that's strictly true would be hard to determine. Nevertheless, she unfolds herself and pushes out of the dent she's made in the cushions, heading over toward the sink and opening the bag. Nope. Not scared. At all. Honest.
Julie chuckles quietly to herself as she closes the door behind her. If the girl's gonna be scooting through sewers, she's gonna hafta get used to rats. Very used to them.