All doorways in the front part of the house lead to the front hallway, a J-shaped area with the short tail starting at the stairs, the front door hitting the bottom curve, the doorless opening to the living room halfway up the long side, and the also doorless opening to the kitchen and dining room at the very top. The hall has a simple wooden floor, and decorated with a generic print of soft-colored flowers hanging on the wall to the right of the front door, and a tall table sitting under the print which serves as a place to toss keys. A closet under the stairs serves as a place to hang coats or to toss shoes.
The doorless opening to the living room is halfway up the side of the hall's J, and the word cozy might spring to mind when looking into is, as it seems to radiate comforting vibrations. A long couch sits against the south wall beneath a large bay window curtained only by sheers that manages to obscure the view in but only filters the day's light. A variety of out-of-date magazines are strewn atop a low coffee table; more neatly presented are the plethora of books filling the small bookshelves which line the eastern wall. Three chairs sit about the room, focused inward, to allow group conversations. Large floor pillows are stacked in one corner of the room, except one, which lies carelessly in the middle of the floor, apparently left out the last time it was used.
An opening in the northern end of the hallway allows access to the kitchen and dining room at the back of the house, while carpeted stairs twist up at the other end of the hall, leading to the second floor. A door at the base of the J lets out to the front porch.
Homey is the first word to come to mind when looking at the farmhouse's kitchen. Dark, wood-paneled wainscoting covers the walls to about waist height, dark beige wallpaper continuing to the ceiling. Twin refrigerators occupy the north wall, facing the large six-burner stove on the south. The kitchen counter runs the length of the eastern wall, broken only by the double-basin sink. Cabinets run above and below the counter and a twin-pane window is set in the wall above the sink. A small pantry is set into an alcove alongside the refrigerators, presumably holding the deep freezer as well as shelves of dry goods.
Some twelve feet above the floor, a large chandelier hangs from the ceiling, lighting the dining room and casting long shadows over the bar to the kitchen. A long table occupies the center of the dining room, three chairs setting along each side, and one on each end. On the west wall, a large window looks out on the trees alongside the western pasture. Set into the north wall is a large cabinet, its glass doors closed on shelves containing a full compliment of fine china and glassware as well as a few decorative nicknacks. On the east, a wide bar separates the dining room from the kitchen.
An opening in the southern wall allows passage to the front entryway of the house, while a sliding glass door in the kitchen opens to a clearing behind the house.
Whistles. Well, not quite whistles, but they don't quite sound bird-like. Add that with the soft thump of boots on the porch, and add in an upward twir? of a question as Yi pauses to open the door and look in.
The smell of fresh waffles has filled the air, and warm syrup and butter. There's a soft voice coming from the kitchen. "I never had a dream come true, -- till the day I found you. Even tho' ah' pretend I moved on. You'll always be my baby. I never found the words to say, you're the one I think 'bout each day. An I know no matter where life takes me too.. a part of me -- will be with you..." She trails off the last word with a high pitched trill, letting the final note catch in the air. Seems like the Galliard is busy in the kitchen as always.
Bernie follows Yi in the front door, humming very softly to herself, almost under her breath, hands in her jacket pockets as she wanders in behind the other Ragabash.
The twitter changes to a familiar tune. In fact, those who have ever sat on that silly Splash Mountain ride would know it by heart. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah... The Canto-Gnawer sidles towards the kitchen, grinning briefly at Bernie. Her neck sports some primitive looking jewelery too.. fishbones strung together with dark hair..that looks remarkably like hers.
"Everybody's got something, they had to leave behind. One regret from yesterday, that just seemed to grow with time. There's no use looking back, or wondering. How it could be now or not of been. Oh this I know, but still I can't find ways to let you go. I never had a dream come true, till' the day I found you.." The song breaks off into a steady hum, one thats interrupted by the zip-a-dee-doo-dah of the Cantoish one. Pausing, Alicia turns around to peer out at the two Gnawers, a smile breaking across pretty features.
Bernie chimes in with Yi, in her soft but pretty alto, "...plennya sunshine, comin' my way, zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay..." She trails off, seeing the Galliard, and flashes her a grin, waving. "Hey! Mornin'."
Yi trails with a short twitter of a bluejay (or tries to anyway) as she smiles back at Alicia and offers a small wiggle of her fingers for a wave. "Smells good," she comments. "Kind of like Nevada's mickey mouse cakes."
Alicia giggles and waves them in. "Better, I made waffles and syrup from scratch." She steps back in where she already has a plate stacked high of the yummy food, some more cooking on the stove. "Sit down an help yer'self."
Bernie's grin broadens as she saunters into the kitchen, setting her backpack down on the table. "Somedays things jus' get better an' better. Damn, that smells good. Almost worth havin' missed a proper breakfast for..."
Yi sniffs again, just savoring the aroma for the moment as she slips into the kitchen and plops into a chair. "You always make breakfast for everyone in this house?" Her eyes scan around, habitually before finally settling.
Alicia nods her head slightly with a shrug. "Uh huh, every morning. I'm almost always gone befo' they wake up anyways. Early to rise, um..early ta' shine or some shit right? I dunno... I keep myself busy." She pauses for a moment, then her eyes light up. "YOU!" She points at Yi. "Ok, great, I'm so glad to see you. I gotta pass info ta' ya."
Bernie ducks around Alicia the drastic pointer and breaks off a small piece of one of the finished waffles before dropping inelegantly into a chair, leaning back, and propping her feet up on another chair, ankles crossed. She munches the waffle-bit, and lets the other two talk.
Yi jerks back at the finger pointing, adopting a 'What? Who? Hunh?' look. But the following sentence makes her relax just a tad. After all, she's with friends. Her eyes blink at Alicia. "Information?"
Alicia chuckles and nods her head. "Mmmhmm... Yah.. I spoke to Adam,' bout Quincy and he wants to meet him to do the taint test and all that shit. Next time ya see 'em, can ya bring 'em by?"
Bernie sings, quietly, o/~ Sam! The guy from 'Quincy'... o/~ and leans further back in her chair, pushing it onto two legs, and tipping her head back to stare ceilingward, grinning for no apparent reason. Good mood.
Yi registers the message, and nods in agreement. "I will," she says after some visible relaxing of the shoulders that were stiff, paranoid little Gnawer she is. She decides to have a bite of Alicia's waffles too, though it doesn't occur to her to grab any syrup of sorts - just pluck off a chunk and have at it..somewhat daintily. Her eyes flicker her glance between the two other Groo girls and she swallows. "So is there more I should know, things happening around here?"
Alicia shakes her head slightly as she pushes the syrup and butter over. "Nothing is going on. Adam wishes for me to retell Jarred's Fostern challenge story about Arthur Island tho', since it involved NightFlash leading the battle. He wants to test my skills as a weaver of words, I think I already passed everything else he threw at me this morning. If he was anymore prouder, he would have exploded."
Bernie giggles at that. "Watch out, man! I gotta explodin' coggie, an' I'm not afraid t' use it! Man, step back, it'll be all our skins 'f y' don't...." She snickers, still staring at the ceiling. Hell, one'd almost think she were high. She shrugs then, though, and turns the grin on Yi. "Not a lot. Gonna go down an' drop in on my fam'ly in a couple weeks, I think... try an' find out 'f they're kin, or not. Gotta find out how t' do that, though. Pref'rably aside from shiftin' on 'em."
Yi nods at the news Alicia gives, smiling at the Coggie galliard with her own friend's pride for her. "Exploding Adams wouldn't be good... there'd be no one to ask about Quincy's background with your tribe." She giggles at Bernie's 'terrorist attack replay' and then looks curious. "You're going to go travel, like Nevada?" A brow arches. "Not going to come back with sunburns and handcuffs are you?" She laughs.. only the lightest hints of color lost upon her golden tinged skin.
Alicia laughs softly as she slips down into a chair, leaning back comfortably. "Sunburns and handcuffs? That sounds like Ashley to me. Goofy dork. Oh.. I kinda talked to Kaz 'bout pack stuff Bernie. Its ganna be a no go. Got too many peeps as it is, so..." She trails off. "Guess Ah'll be doing the solo thing for a bit."
Bernie giggles at Yi, and actually blushes a fair level, "...sunburns, maybe, but 'f we came back stuck in furry red heart-shaped handcuffs, DAMN we'd have a lotta 'splainin' t' do..." She shakes her head, and the grin dims substantially at Alicia's comment, her brow furrowing. "...=I= don' think we have too many people. ...I dunno, we'll see. Maybe it'll be diff'rent when you're act'ly in a position t' join an' all, yeah?"
"There's other packs too, unformed," Yi notes with an undertone of concern. "Jarred and Jamethon are still looking for members.. Joey and Junior also, if there are any takers for an investigation kind of pack. Valoran and Helen also looking to start one..." she trails to a quiet with a mild disconcerted look down to her waffle as something slips up to her mind. A moment later she looks back up, the mask of a smile on her face as she changes back towards a brighter subject and look of curiosity. "Who's 'we'?" She looks at Bernie.
Alicia nods her head and shrugs slightly. "I don't really know Joey or Junior well.. Helen literally begged me to join, and um.. I dunno 'bout Jarred an James, I think I'd drive 'em nuts honestly, me being a treehugger. I love Helen to bits, but I just don't think I'd fit into that situation...Who knows... guess time will tell."
Bernie blows a light stream of air out, just enough to disturb one of her curls, and nods. "Yeah, time'll tell. Time's lousy at keepin' its mouth shut. Damn gossip. An' we's me an' Matt, Yi; we're gonna take th' Lambretta an' stuff. Maybe stop an' see a few places on th' way... I missed 'em all on th' way up, hitchikin' an' stowin' away an' shit. So it oughta be nifty an' all."
Yi gives Alicia a wan smile. "I think you'll be a good addition to whatever pack you join. You're ..unique. And inspire more than you think you do." She shrugs lightly. "Besides, after riting, who knows what sort of things may happen. Like I told Rotem, 'The future is never certain.' Things always change around, to find new ways of settling before changing again." She turns to Bernie as she explains and nods slowly. "Well, things will still be here, Anneka and the rest of us will make sure of that." She smiles. "Take lots of pictures if you can. I've never seen the rest of America before."
Alicia nods her head slightly to Yi and Bernie, taking a few waffles for herself. Sitting down at the table, she pours the syrup and butter across the pastry stack, starting to eat. "MMm... not my best..but." She trails off, hungrily.
Bernie pops up just long enough to get herself a good plate of waffles as well before dropping back into her seat to enjoy them. "Oh, hey, yeah, pictures, I hadn' even thoughta that, yet... thanks. I haven' seen anya it either, so, y'know, it oughta be cool an' all. I'm kina excited." She munches on the waffles, and grins, "...someday, I wanna try your 'best', 'lish. Only then I might hafta die."
Yi mms in agreement, munching on the waffle with a decent amount of fervor. After a little bit, she looks up about to say something, but decides to hold it. Nothing worse than saying the wrong thing to spoil a moment.
The sutttering roar of a Harley being brought to a stop precedes Kyle's entry into the farmhouse. The Get opens the front door as if he owned it, and shuts it with enough careless force that one might call it a slam. Finding the living room empty, he moves into the doorway of the kitchen, motorcycle lid tucked under one arm.
The smell of waffles can be caught as Kyle walks through the door, as well as homemade syrup and butter. The three are at the kitchen table, talking and eating.
Yi looks up at the sound of the Harley, then blinks as the door slams and Kyle strolls in. She gazes over at the Get and offers a wave of her free hand. "Hello."
Kyle arches a scar-broken eyebrow as he looks in on the three, "Little late for breakfast?" His voice is also influenced by scarring, sounding ragged and gravelly. The half-dome of his cycle helmet lands flat down on the counter and he goes to the fridge. "Anyone buy the kids beer that I can steal?"
Bernie is lounging in her chair, feet propped and ankles crossed on another while she munches on the fresh waffles. "Hey," she greets the invading Get, with a casual wave. "'s beer in th' fridge, I'm sure, an' prolly a few Guiness in th' pantry. Enjoy th' larceny."
Alicia glances up from mid bite and smiles to Kyle. "Good morning Kyle-Rhya. You want some waffles with that beer?" She asks, motioning to the plate full of the warm grub.
Yi tilts her head at the scar on Kyle's eyebrow with more interest than necessary, but nods at Bernie's explanation of the beer. She sits crosslegged, leaning against the back wall of the kitchen on a chair by the dining table and munches quietly on her waffle which is quickly disappearing.
Toni walks in from the living room, a minute or so after the door to the porch was heard opening and shutting.
"I said beer, not tar," says Kyle as he finds himself a bottle. "And yeah I'll have a waffle." He straightens and removes the twist off cap, then frowns. "I don't know all of you." A hand covered with a fingerless glove reaches for and retrieves a waffle.
Yi looks over as another stranger crosses into the kitchen. Again, a tentative wave of her free hand at Toni and she looks back to Kyle, swallowing before introducing herself. "I'm Yi, Three-Blades, no-moon cliath of the Bone Gnawers, daughter under Grandmother Salmon." Her Canto-British intro ends with a dip of her head to the two Get in cultured politeness.
Toni answers as soon as Yi has finished. "Toni, Quiet Fury, theurge cub of the Get of Fenris."
Bernie regards Kyle thoughtfully a moment, and nods, "...I saw you, at th' Moot. But nah, I don't think we met. Bernie Rosenberg, Cliath Ragabash 'Gnawer. Hi, niceta meetcha." She flashes a bright smile, and goes back to eating her waffles instead of talking.
Kyle licks his lips as he takes in the first names, and draws them thin as Toni introduces herself. "Well, goddamned nice to meet you all. Kyle Rohan, Thunder Eater, Fostern Modi of the Get of Fenris." He eyes Toni, "Seems we're family." He crunches the plain waffle and washes it down with beer.
Yi bows her head again at the fostern Get and offers Toni a smile. Then she looks back over at Bernie. "You owe me a story, Bernie-yuf." She grins over at her fellow nomoon. "What did Elan call you after your rite? And speaking of it, the story you owe me is about your rite." She puts on a sort of mock-hurt expression, though it's fleeting. "You left without even telling me."
Toni nods her head a little at Kyle, studying him for a moment now that she knows who he is.
Kyle steps around the two Gnawers and gives Toni a more thorough looking over. "Signe got you holed up here?" He leans against the counter near the door, "For how long?"
Bernie swallows her bite of waffle before flashing the grin at the cub, as well, and giving her a light wave. "On th' contrary," she returns to Yi, "=you= left without askin' me. Tch. Blamin' me. Some people." She says it mildly, though, and the grin remains, though it fades as she goes on, making a face, "...he called me Wears-Th'-Rat. I dunno..." A shrug, "...maybe it'll grow on me 'ventually. I guess."
"Wears-The-Rat?" Yi echoes, the arch of her eyebrow telling the somewhat strange nature of the name. Compared with what she knows of Bernie anyway. She shrugs and leans slightly closer. "Well I admit I forgot about asking. Even when you were a cub, I almost felt you were cliath already," she grins. "So... why 'Wears-the-Rat' ?" She spares the two Get another glance, though keeps out of their conversation respectfully.
Kyle stands near the doorway and Toni, facing the other Get and conversing with her. The two Gnawers are at the table.
Toni answers after a moment of thought. "It'd be over a year now."
About to answer Yi, Bernie pauses, looking over to the Get cub, startled. "...damn, girl. A =year=?" She shakes her head a little, and glances back to Yi, "...mostly, 'causea, well... th' prelude t' th' main event, if y'will."
Kyle is likewise surprised, "What the fuck? Are you a total shitheel, or just being ignored?"
Yi pauses in her waffle-chewing and looks back at Toni and Kyle's conversation. Her own expression belies surprise at the length of the cub's cubhood too. Bernie's start of an explanation doesn't go unheeded though, as she nods to her and motions for a continuation. "What was the 'main event' then?"
Toni seems rather annoyed as she explains, "Signe's had problems getting someone to teach me."
Kyle runs a hand through his hair, looking peeved. "Well, do you know the Litany and how to control your shifting?"
Toni nods and answers with one word, "Yes."
Bernie holds up a finger to Yi -- a polite one -- and takes a moment to finish up her waffles. She stands, puts the plate in the sink, ducks into the pantry, emerging with one of the bottles of Guinness she'd predicted might be found within, and drops right back into her chair, feet finding their comfy resting place again. "A'ight," she begins, keeping part of her attention on the Gets' conversation, "...I'll start at th' beginning, yeah?"
Yi nods, though she slips around the Get to retrieve a Coke from the fridge before sitting back into her chair, also keeping some ear on the conversation of the Get.
Helen slips into the farmhouse from the back door, humming to herself. At the sight of the many other in the room, she arches a brow. "Hi."
Kyle's face twists into a scowl and he thumps a fist onto the counter, which shudders in protest. His voice remains remarkably even, "Okay. Here's the deal. And let me worry about Signe. Show me you know the litany. Show me you can shift. Then you're free to leave this place. Learn what you can, and hunt down teachers like they were gold, whereever and however you can. Prove you're worth a shit in the woods, and we'll Rite you or kill you if we don't think you're a Get of Fenris."
In the front rooms, There's no loud noise of cars or motorcycles to herald the arrival of Furies, just Tec opening the door and talking over her shoulder to, evidently, Megaera. "...And if she's not here we can look at the Caern."
Bernie, lounging in one of the diningroom chairs with her feet propped on another, ankles crossed, waves the hand not holding the bottle at Helen. "Hey," she greets her cheerfully, before turning back to Yi. "...so, a'ight. Elan got me, an' took me t' th' church umbra, right? An' then he talked t' me a li'l, an' gave me this piece of gum t' chew, an' it was all weird, an' I went through this whole thing where I was kina jumpin' from place to place, like in a barrel onna boat, an' in Clinton's desk in th' White House, an' in Europe durin' th' plague, an' some others, only th' whole time, I was a rat. An' then I'm somewhere else again, an' it's dark, but I'm me 'gain. Part one."
Helen's brows furrow as she listens to Kyle's blather to Toni. She raises a hand and waves it in Bernie's direction, and slinks over to the fridge; opening it, she grabs a soda and pops it open, slamming the fridge door with her hip like any efficient young woman would.
Yi blanches partly at sight of Helen, ducking her eyes away and over at Bernie while listening. She nods with the summary of the first part of the rite and cracks her Coke open with a short fizzle. "That's where he got Wears-the-Rat from then." She steals a glance back at the Fury ragabash and disguises her short sigh with a drink of the Coke.
In the front rooms, Megaera isn't saying much, just nodding or shaking her head in response to Tecmessa's words. She's scowling alot too, but thats not unusual for Megaera.
It's faint at first but sure as the moon there's someone singing outside: A girl from the sound of it, her voice high and clear and carrying the notes along like they were toys. "--And I know of a girl nearby, that lives up in a red-wood. She's been up there for two years now and that's en-ough for me. I got your pal right here, Pacific Lumber Company-- 'Cause I know Davey wins!" The song's got a fast cadence, whatever it is, suited for running which is what the girl's doing when she hops up the short stairs outside, and tugs the kitchen door open. It's Anneka, her curly, sandy hair tangled all over the place, with grass-stains all over her jeans. She's smiling, her green eyes bright and wide.
Toni listens to Kyle before saying sortly, "Signe's prefectly willing to see me Rited. It's Jamethon who asked me to stay here anyway." She may have said more, sound of other people entering the farmhouse keeps her fairly quiet.
"'zactly," Bernie replies, with a nod, and spares her beer a fleeting, smirky glance. The top pops right off, landing on the table with a little clatter, and she looks up, expression normal again, taking in the crowd. "...gettin' cozy in here. So... hey!" A bright grin for Anneka, "Supercub!"
In the front rooms, Tecmessa heads further into the living room and peers into the kitchen. "Aha." A bit louder, she calls, "Hey, Helen. You have a minute?"
Helen glances over to Tecmessa, lifting a brow. She takes a sip of her soda and inclines her head, moving through the throngs of people to approach Tecmessa. "'bout the thing in the city, huh?" she immediately assumes.
Yi looks up as Helen mentions the exact thought going through her mind. She takes another swallow of Coke and waves to Anneka before looking back from Get conversation to Bernie for the second part of the story.
Kyle looks up at the entrance of the others, bemused at the amount of activity. Still, he's on a tear and is not going to be distracted from the Get cub's fate, "Well Jamethon can fuck off. Proving you're Garou is up to you. What do *you* think you need to learn?"
Anneka's still brimming over with energy, rocking on the balls of her feet as she takes in the sight of a very full kitchen. Then she blinks at a pair of familiar voices and faces, and barges her way on over to them. "Bernie! Yi! Hi!"
There is the sweet smell of waffles that flood much of the two rooms in the farmhouse as well. Courtesy of Alicia Catering.
In the front rooms, Tecmessa says, "Rather, yes. You rather talk in here, or you want to go outside for a bit?"
Toni grips the edge of the counter tightly, "Not anything I can learn sitting around here."
Anneka ends up perched on a chair, crosslegged, near the 'Gnawer pair, tangled hair tumbled down over her eyes and grinning like a crazy person.
In the front rooms, Helen shrugs. "I don't care." In contrast to her usual demeanor, she's tense, worked up, annoyed; that much is visible.
In the front rooms, Megaera just sorta, well, looms. Arms crossed and not looking all that happy.
Kyle nods sourly at Toni, "All right, then. I'm gonna give you some numbers, and tell you how to contact the other Get what don't got phones. You get out there and get 'em to show you what's up."
In the front rooms, Tecmessa jerks her head outside. "C'mon. Let's go talk out there."
In the front rooms, Helen shrugs. "Okay."
Yi motions Anneka to the warm pile of waffles acting as centerpiece for the dining table, still listening with her main attention on Bernie.
Toni answers Kyle simple with a nod.
Bernie glances around at the crowd, and takes a sip of her drink. Geez... She focuses on Yi again, running a hand through her curls, "...yeah, that's where he got it. So. I wake up in this place, an' it's dark an' cold, an' I sit up tryin' t' adjust my eyes, an' this candlelight appraches with a woman b'hind it."
Anneka needs little encouragement. The girl is panting and though she's smiling she looks just a bit tired as well. She starts digging into the waffles, glancing over to Bernie as well.
Yi nods at Bernie, glancing towards the living room and watching the Furies go out with a short sigh. She motions briefly for Bernie to pause there, and tells Anneka. "Follow the Furies outside, and listen to Tecmessa. Tell her I sent you over for a short lesson, because you're a halfmoon, ok?" She nods over towards the front door.
Kyle reaches out and grasps Toni's shoulder with a firm hand, leaning forward and speaking with dangerous severity. "I'm serious. Don't expect to be led about. You gotta take charge of this thing. That's the way the Get do it. You been here a year, it ain't just because your teachers have been slacking. Understand me?"
Anneka sits up straight, her hair whirling and bobbing about as she looks over to the door. Energy, the cub still seems to have in abundance. She blinks twice and nods to Yi, her voice a bit quieter this time. "'kay." She pushes herself away from the table and stands, glances down at her waffle. There's about half left. "I'll be back." For all the world, this may be directed to the waffle itself, though the cub grins at her friends before making her way out front.
Toni nods her head once again. Her reply to Kyle is giving in rather clipped words, "I understand."
Yi then sips her Coke again with another quiet sigh and gives Bernie a wan smile. "Please, continue. Were you in anyplace familiar? Hurt?" The last question gets a short rise of her eyebrow.
Kyle releases the Get cub's shoulder, eyeing her with hesitant acceptance of her understanding. "All right. Now, come outside and let's go over the Litany and forms, so I can be sure you're not gonna fuck 'em up." He leads her out the front of the building, then to the barn.
Toni followers after Kyle with her normal silence.
Bernie looks somewhat relieved as the place empties out. "...no, an' yes," she replies to Yi, "respectively. I was underground, somewhere, an' seriously bruised, all over. Th' lady said, they were afraid I wasn't gonna wake up."
Yi also relaxes her innate tension from all the Garou departing on their own businesses. She can now fully swing her mind back to Bernie and her story, setting down her Coke on the table and wrapping it in her hands. Her head acquires its curious angled tilt as she listens. "Were you hurt very bad? What were you doing there, did you know? Were you 'Bernie', or like.. another person with a..." she hunts for some appropriate word...and finding none, "Bernie-cular mind?" She smiles softly. "What was the lady's name?" The questions coming forth in voice aren't like any interrogator, but rather more child-like with curiosity and eager anticipation.
Bernie hees. "'Bernie-cular mind'.... nah, I was =me=-me, not me-as-someone else, like I was me-as-a-rat. Jus' me, jacket, boots, key, curls, alla that. I was hurt... not =too= bad, just a lotta deep bruisin' an' all, sore, et cet'ra, an' she was afraid I might've broken a rib or somethin'. An' I had no idea why I was there or where there was... so I asked. Her name was Katriona, an' she said I was inna unnerground refuge, an' they found me in an alley, unconscious, like I'd been way beat up, see? But she couldn' tell me lots about th' refuge 'cause it was secret an' only people who were gonna join an' stay always could know. Only, she =wan'ed= t' talk, so I got her t' tell me some."
"Katriona..." Yi echoes, rolling the name around in her head and off her tongue a few quick times. "People have very interesting names," she says after some musing. Her gaze deepens with some concern about the bruising and broken ribs, but since Bernie is right here, telling her all this, well there shouldn't be so much worrying about it. "What was the refuge for? Why couldn't she talk about it?" She pauses, then thinks and asks, "Was she a Garou?"
Bernie grins, and nods, taking another sip. She gestures a bit with the bottle as she talks, "...yeah, 's kina unusual name, not so weird, but unusual... but she'd changed it from somethin' else when she got there. It was a refuge for... people who needed one, they said. People who hadda leave th' outside world for one reason or another, like I guess if they were bein' hunted or somethin', y'know? An' it was secret 'cause if people knew, an' talked 'bout it, it wouldn' hide 'em so well, yeah?" A pause, "..an', no... I don' think anya th' people I saw were 'rou. I mean, maybe, but... no reason t' think so. Y'know?" A pause before she goes on, "...so anyway, she said, th' guy who useta be in charge, they called Father, an' he got mysteriously sick an' was in this coma thing, an' nonea 'em could figure out why, an' she was a nurse an' th' guy who was in charge now, Gideon, he was a doctor, an' they di'n' know what was wrong. So my first though, havin' read a lotta mysteries, was, maybe Gideon's poisonin' him or somethin' so he c'n be in charge, 'cause she said he was all anal an' paranoid about security, an' that since he'd been in charge he'd been makin' things all regimented an' shit. Y'know?"
Yi nods slowly, the words of the story and Bernie's natural skipping of letters eventually melding to form proper images in her mind. "So Gideon, as leader, was running the refuge like a military camp... and you woke up there, out of nowhere." She takes a sip of her Coke and looks pensive a moment before giving in to her question. "So what happened next?"
"Bingo," Bernie replies, pointing a finger at Yi. "So, she left me alone, sayin' someone'd bring me soup soon, an' I should read or somethin', an' left th' candles for me. So I look 'round th' room a bit, an' then I figure, not gonna figure this out sittin' here, so I take th' candleabra an' head out inta th' halls. An' I find th' bathroom, 'cause I figured, I get caught out there, I c'n say I was huntin' it, an' got lost or somethin', an' just past, there's this bigger room. An' th' rooms, they all have beds an' dressers an' shit, but this one's real big an' th' stuff in it's nicer an' it even has a desk. So I go, hmm. Place t' check out."
Yi nods more enthusiastically, subconsciously leaning over her Coke as if not wanting to miss a detail. Ooh, mystery. She grins. "All those sneaking around and scaring people lessons came in good for something else, na?" She chuckles and drinks more Coke. Caffeine.
Bernie grins mischeviously, nodding. "But of course. So, I'm bein' all Nancy Drew, an' desks always have useful clues an' shit in 'em in books an' movies, right? So I start there, an' mostly it's just, like, get more clothes from Salvation Army, an' collect cans from th' Food Bank, an' stuff, y'know? But there's this one cubbyhole, an' it doesn't wanna open for me. So I convince it it really does wanna, an' there's this crumpled note in there, an' I take it out. But then, I hear someone comin'. So I put th' paper in my pocket an' close th' drawer, an' I think, where t' hide? Unner th' bed? Or there's this big armoire... but I figure th' person's far 'nough away, an' I risk duckin' out an' inta th' bathroom, instead. An' it works, an' good thing, 'cause he goes right inta th' room I jus' left."
Yi holds an interested ragabashy grin on her face, eyes glittering with the mystery and body tingling with a need for some more clues. "Did you see the man? Was he Gideon? You made it back to your room right?" Slow down Yi... just listen to the story silly girl.
"All shall be made clear," Bernie intones dramatically, and then giggles, drinking her beer. "...so, while I'm waitin', I read that note in my pocket. Sorta. The writin's messy, plus it's crumpled, ripped, stained with tears an' blood. But it's th' same writin' as th' other notes, an' the words I c'n make out are, like, 'Father' an' 'forced' an' 'damed thing!' an' stuff. So I go, ....hmmm. 's int'restin'. Does it fit with th' theory, or not? Y'know? An' I sneak back t' my room, an' I've just got settled an' started readin' this book, an' I hear someone comin' -- the same person, 'cause there's this weird scrapy noise. An' he comes in an' says hi, an' he's Gideon, an' we introduce an' stuff, an' chat."
Yi grins with an 'I knew it was him' look. She's down to the last droplets, but isn't remotely disappointed as she nods and waits for the catch. "Scrapy noise...?" she utters queringly, but dismisses it in the interests of having 'reading on'.
Bernie nods. "Scrapy noise. See, he had this old-fashioned false arm. 'cause apparently he lost one at some point. So, we chat, an' it's like... Captain, I sense he's hiding something," she remarks, doing a fair Deanna Troi imitation. "Like, he keeps wanting t' say things, an' stoppin' himself, an' he seems like somethin's really buggin' him, so after a while, I try t' Persuade him inta goin' ahead an' =sayin'= it, an' just 'fore he can, he, like, goes catatonic, an' his fake arm starts real slowly liftin' up, like he's not even doin' it, it's doin' it by itself or somethin'."
Yi ees quietly. "That doesn't sound..natural," she intones as comment. The Coke can, now emptied, is rolled about in her hands with subconscious movement to ease the excited energy of a vivid imagination.
"Yeah, well, it di'n'... =feel= right, so I reach out an' grab th' wrist, an' I get this idea, an' tell th' thing t' come offa him, 'cause I figure if it's a normal fake arm, worst case I'll be embarrassed, right? But it comes mostly off... mostly, 'cause still attachin' it are what look like these green tentacles comin' outta his stump an' goin' inta th' arm. An' he passes out." Bernie's nose wrinkles slightly, and she takes another sip.
*Crunch* The can gets a few dents in it, as Yi's eyes stare at the storyteller. Then she looks down to the dented can and almost looks apologetic. "Tentacles. Why is it always the Wyrm and tentacles?" She looks back up with a wry grin and nods. "So was Gideon a fomor? Or...?" The question mark almost breathes out in invisible smoke.
"Well, see," Bernie replies, leaning in a little, "thing is, turned out they =weren't= tentacles, as they started squirmin' their way OUTTA his arm, an' orientin' on me. Don't ask me how, 'cause they di'n' have eyes or anythin', but they were. So I tossed the arm down an' started t' shift, 'cause I di'n' know how tough they'd be. There's like sixa 'em, an' while I'm shiftin' they reach th' floor an' start slitherin' at me. So I lift my foot up and stomp down on threea 'em, an' they go =squish= unner my boot, an' stop movin'. Nice an' dead. But I'm already shiftin', so by th' time twoa th' other three get t' me, my leg's bare, an' they start burrowin' in. An' FUCK that hurt. So, I don' wanna scream, an' have someone walkin' in on me in Crinos, yeah? So instead I stomped my foot real hard again, which hurt, but kept me from yellin', an' also caught that one remainin' wormy thing unner my foot, an' it went squish too. An', note, don't ever squish things barefoot if you c'n avoid it, because I think that's the grossest thing I =ever= felt."
Yi ews along with the description and nods in sympathy. "Nothing more gross than being near squishy things. Even fish can be squishy." She chuckles softly and sits back a little now, realizing just how close over the table she's leaned. "What happened after that?" The can gets a short crunch again.
Bernie winces at the memory, "...well, that took it down t' just th' two diggin' inta my leg, at least, an' it was still hurtin' like hell, an' turnin' black an' shit, an' so I grabbed onta th' dresser for balance, an' picked up my good leg, an' stepped down on th' bitsa 'em on th' floor. I mean, worked on th' others, yeah? So I do that, an' they, like, tryin' t' escape or somethin', soom right =through= my calf an' out th' other side. But I got 'em, so they just twitch an' dangle there, dead. An' I yank 'em out, shift down, an' like collapse on th' bed there. But then, Gideon starts to come 'round again, right? So I go, you a'ight? An' he grabs th' fake arm and throws it alla way 'cross th' room, and curls up in a li'l sobbin' ball, which I think, tha's a no."
Yi nods solemnly, agreeing that men sobbing their hearts out in fetal positions are not alright. "Did you get to help him? And.. what happened to the Father figure?" Her head tilts again.
Bernie takes another sip of her drink. "....sorta. I limped over, an' I like, y'know, put my arms 'round him an' was all, there there, 's a'ight, an' all, an' there's this commotion outside, an' he flinches as this big guy comes in, an' I figure it's Father, an' yup, right in one. So he comes over an' tells Gideon, 'I know y' di'n' mean t' do it, I could feel th' thing too, an' I forgive you, 'cause I know you'll never forgive yourself.' An' they hugged, an' then, I was wakin' up again, an' Shadowclaws was with me, in th' church umbra again. The end!" She gives the best bow she can mange, sitting as she is, and grins.
Yi grins at the end of the story. "So after that grand adventure, your name is just 'Wears-the-Rat'?" The nomoon looks -almost- critical of it, but she chews her lip and thinks over it. "I suppose it could be a good name... but it doesn't tell of the rest of your rite. Well.. not that deed names have to be so full of information. But I think yours should at least have something about the squishy Wyrms, don't you?" She grins and turns to toss the slightly crunched Coke can into the the recycling bin. Clunk. Whoo, 2 points! Then she turns back and suggests out of the blue, "I don't know too much about names. But Soulcatcher and I were discussing names, and he said they should be discovered... well. That's a whole -other- story. But I think your name... should be ...mmm..." She pauses again, musing. Then a thought comes to her and she breaks out into a smile. "Stomps-the-Wyrm. Stomps-the-Wyrm...-with-Steeltoed-Boots." She laughs and points down to the very good stomping tools adorning the Gnawer no-moon's feet. "How about it?"
Bernie bursts out laughing at that, and settles down through giggles into a grin, eventually, sipping her beer before responding, "....yeah. That one, I like. I don' think y'oughta say y'don' know much 'bout names; seems like y'give 'em out pretty well, t' me." She cocks her head, considering. "Stomps-Th'-Wyrm-With-Steeltoed-Boots. Hee. Yeah, I think I like that one." Another giggle, before she adds, "...your next mission, shouldja choose t' accept it, come up with one for Matt..."
Yi grins. "So Matt can call you 'Books'... or 'Boots'. Just a letter's difference, na?" She giggles on her own and stands up in a stretch. "One for Matt? I don't know.. his elders didn't come up with a good one?" She looks over at Bernie. "I thought Fianna were very proud of the names they gave and received." She grins. "But yes, I'll think about it. If he would want a name from me, anyway." Her eyes glance outside a moment, then back at the waffles which she scoops up and proceeds to put away into the fridge. "We should be getting back to the city, na?"
Bernie finishes off her beer, and nods, feet swinging to the floor as she stands. "Yeah, we prolly oughta. An', hell, I dunno, but they di'n' give him one... at all, good or not. An' so far I haven't thoughta anythin' good..." She snickers, adding, "...I mean, for some reason he di'n' wanna go with Walks-On-Water..." The bottle finds its way to the trash before she heads toward the door with her tribemate.
Yi laughs and shrugs. "Well, like Soulcatcher said... names are important.. and they should be discovered." She smiles. "We'll find one for him, if he doesn't think up one himself. I think Walks-On-Water would have been very interesting." The two Gnawers continue chatting along as they exit the farmhouse and take a walk back to good ole St. Claire.