A lathe-turned wooden railing runs the length of the porch save where the steps are, well-worn with use. To the right of the stairs, a wide swing is suspended from the overhang which shelters this area; to the left, a small table is the centerpiece for several chairs pulled around it, all of which face out to the front yard and the fields and trees beyond. The biting cold of winter is tempered somewhat by the sheltering of the roof, but it is still enough to make the porch an inhospitable place to tarry for long. Even the low shrubs seem to avoid it, their leafless woody stems closed in tight upon themselves.
An aging screen door newly refurbished stands between the heavy inner door of the house and the outside air. Four steps lead down to the lane, a number of pots with small flower seedling carefully arranged alongside them.
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.
In another era, she might have been considered terribly attractive. As it is, she sits just on the prettier side of average. At about 5'6", the girl looks to be carrying around a hundred and sixty pounds, giving her a rather full, hourglass figure unusual for a girl in her mid-teens. She has quite a pretty face; it's a bit plump and tawny freckles are scattered across her nose and cheeks, but otherwise her complexion is unblemished, and her features are well balanced. Full lips frame almost-straight teeth, often revealed in a cheerful grin, and large, almond-shaped eyes, the irises a warm, gold-flecked shade of brown and the lashes thick and dark, peer out brightly through wire-rimmed glasses. Her mass of unruly black curls falls untamed to the middle of her back, stray strands frequently dangling before her face. It looks as though she might be wearing an almost imperceptible bit of makeup, perhaps a light dusting of gold eyeshadow and some sort of very pale peach lipstick; the only thing resembling jewelry, though, is a silvery key hanging about her neck on a dog-tag sort of chain.
Her style of dress is equally unlikely to get her on the cover of Cosmopolitan, but it wouldn't be out of place in the average high school. She's clad in a deep green tanktop of some stretchy, slightly shiny fabric, which clings to her curves, the v-neckline scooping low enough to display quite a bit of cleavage. The shirt does absolutely nothing to disguise her bustiness, in fact playing it up for a change. The hem is tucked into a threadbare pair of baggy dark blue jeans, cinched tightly around her surprisingly small waist by what appears to be a seatbelt -- the buckle even reads "GM". The frayed hems pool around the ankles of her decrepit black Docs, laced with sparkly silver laces which have also seen better days. Atop all this is a huge and ancient black leather motorcycle jacket, the cuffs of which constantly fall down over her hands. Slung over her shoulder is a bulging canvas backpack, probably military surplus, dotted with patches and pins in various colours and states of repair.
Adrian stands at 5'6" and appears to be stepping through the doorway to his teenage years. His long blonde hair is pulled back into a ponytail highlighting handsome, yet delicate features. His blue eyes seem to smile as much as his lips do. His Nordic features are difficult to miss. He is slightly tanned and keeps himself in good shape. Though not physically imposing, it seems he could hold his own in a scrap if needed. A necklace of rainbow colored links adorns his neck. The young Get is clad in 501's and a white wife beater. His clothes and face are adorned with a bloody paste of glyphs.
He's fifteen years old, but he looks twelve. His almost white-blond curls have grown back curlier and more windward than ever. With his small, too-thin body and big round eyes, he looks like a child refugee. His eyes are a brilliant blue-green shade, shocking in their color only because of how pale he is. Despite the better diet and exercise, he hasn't lost the gauntness in his frame; but he's growing. He's gained half an inch in the three months since his Firsting- Cat, v2.0, at 5' 2".
The cub wears a Catholic school uniform; a white, longsleeved button-up shirt; a warm, navy blue zip-up jacket that's a size too big to leave growing room; black slacks that fold once at the bottom; and plain white Keds. For the approaching cold weather, he has a navy fishermen's knit cap pulled over his ears (hiding his short haircut), and although it's out of color scheme, bright yellow mittens stick out of his jacket pockets. One side of the jacket is weight down with something rectangular- a box of colored pencils, if anybody asks.
A trace of ancestry seems to run through this woman's youthful attractive features. With blonde hair and blue eyes, she seems to be emblematic to her bloodline. Erika "Kansas" Christensen stands at barely five feet tall and is estimated to be somewhere around the age of thirteen to sixteen years old. Erika has a light Kansas/Missouri accent.
Flaxen-hair barely reaches the nap of her neck with her hair lightly spiked in the back with hair spray. High cheekbones rest below a set of almond-shaped eyes. Ice chiseled blue is placed to rest into the cold, empty shadows of her irises. They are seen behind a pair of thick framed, fashionable glasses. She appears to be spry and athletic, and her skin as a light luster of being tan. She has a flat chest despite that the rest of her is curvaceous and muscular. Her earlobes each display a double piercings and her right ear sporting a third near the top of her earlobe.
Erika is wearing clothes that one would often find coming out of a local teen clothing establishment. For a top she wears a Billabong long-sleeve shirt that looks a size to large. Then her bottom torso sports a pair of blue jeans. Her shoes are a pair of common tennis shoes with spikes that one would easily find in a Hot Topic store, attached to the front of her sneakers. They look to be somewhat worn in from the traffic of daily life of this young teenager.
At a little under six feet tall and wiry, Matt is trim the way a cross-country runner would be. His hair is white-blonde and short, gelled spiky. His eyes, the blue-grey of rainwater, stand out from his pale skin, the most striking part of his countenance. His hands are firm and workman-like, with scars on the knuckles from a few rows in his recent past, a motif that is echoed, for different reasons on his back. Starting at the nape of his neck, a maze of wire-thin scars trails onto his back, cris-crossing it like a road map. For the most part, they're hidden by his clothes.
Matt is dressed comfortably for the weather in a t-shirt and his ubiquitlous jacket, covered in embroidered patches from British punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Stigmasochists. Right now he's unshaven and unkempt, looking very much like he hasn't slept in a while.
Adrian looks impressed, "Woah, Hunter-Killer is so cooler then Stonehenge. I'm Galliard myself, I can't remember his name for it." He cracks his neck as he finishes his warm ups/
Kansas gives Adrian a blank glare. "It is only a name," the girl replies with a weak shrug. "A name which I am not sure I appreciate." She hops up onto the rail of the porch as she leans her back against the post. "How did your name come into being?" she asks, curiously.
Matt chuckles. "Pleased ta meetcha, Target. 'm known as Speaks-in-Circles, Heals-th'-Breach an' sometimes, Matt." He shakes a cigarette out of the pack, and lights it, the Union Jack lighter appearing from nowhere and disappearing just as quickly.
Adrian smiles a bit, "Cuz I seem to outlast everything. No matter what is thrown at me, I withstand it." He laughs a bit, "Plus I think the way he's making me work out every day, I'll have a body of stone when I'm done." He really laughs now, a good natured laugh.
Kansas looks to Matt, slightly smiling. Matt is probably the first person that she has smiled towards all day. "You think so?" she asks Adrian. "Have you practiced with others? Sparring and such?"
o/~ ...you would even say it glows, like a lightbulb! All of the other reindeer, reindeer, useta laugh'n call him names, like Pinocchio...o/~ comes drifting toward the porch in a slightly out-of-breath alto, followed not long after by the sight of Bernie, laden with several bags of groceries as she trots toward the Farmhouse. o/~ They never let poor Rudolph, Rudolph, join in any reindeer games, like Monopoly! o/~
Adrian nods to Kansas, "All sorts of stuff." He looks over at the singer.
It's like a break in the clouds over Matt's head. His face brightens, his smile gets wider, and even the smoke curls from his cigarette in a more friendly way. "Books!" He gives Kansas a 'hold that thought' gesture, and hops down a step to take one of the bags. "Start wif abs o' steel, Adrian. Body o' rock will come later. If ye want ta spar, 'elp us put t' grub away an we'll take ye ta th' barn."
Adrian nods, "Sure." He moves over to take a bag or two from Bernie.
Kansas crosses her arms while looking towards Bernie. The young Get of Fenris just simply shakes her head slightly. Then she gives Adrian a smile, as if in quiet laughter. "Skill comes first, muscles follow after." the girl says as she hops down from the porch rail.
Bernie cuts off mid-note and brightens herself at the greeting, though she was pretty bright to start with. "Matt!," she replies cheerfully, and adds, "Thanks," as he takes a bag. She lets Adrian take another, greeting the rest of the porch with a grin and a casual, "Hey. 'sup? I Come Bearing Gifts. Food, anyway." She heads up the steps toward the door, remaining bag in arm.
Matt holds open the door for everyone, ushering them toward the kitchen. "Yer welcome, a'course." Finding his hands full with the door and a bag of groceries, he realizes he can't smoke in the house. With a frown, he takes the cigarette into his mouth and winces.
Adrian looks at Matt wide-eyed as he passes by him, heading to the kitchen.
Matt follows everyone into the kitchen, swallowing. "Eugh. Lesse, what 'ave we in 'ere?" He sets his bag on the counter and rummages, setting things out to go in the fridge and pantry. "Oo. Bangers and mash. Oi forsee breakfast tamarra."
Adrian looks at Matt, "You didn't swallow that did you?"
Bernie totes her bag in and sets it gracelessly on the table with a thunk, humming the rest of 'Rudolph' to herself half under her breath as she does. "'s not fair there aren't any real catchy Hanukkah carols. I mean, you c'n only sing 'Oh Hanukkah' and 'The Dreidle Song' so many times 'fore it gets kina old..." She starts unpacking her bag, and nods at Matt. "Yeah -- you stayin' here t'night then? There's Guinness in here somewhere, too. Think -his- bag." She looks over at Adrian in indication, and adds, "Hi."
Adrian smiles at Bernie, "Hi, I'm Adrian."
Kansas looks to Bernie, not saying anything all. Nodding her head lightly, she hops up on the counter and perches there as she watches everyone else.
Matt shrugs, making a grab for Adrian's bag. "Didn't 'ave a german ta put it out wif." Reaching in he brings forth the six of Guinness as a doctor would bring forth a newborn. "Ah. there you are." While he gets a beer he smiles at Bernie and Kansas. "There's that song o' Adam Sandler's innit? An' Oi fought Oi might, if these teapot lids wear me out too much inna barn."
Bernie grins at the male cub. "Yo, Adrian," she replies, innocently conversational, and opens the fridge door with her foot in a practiced if inelegant move so she can put away the perishables. "Bernie; niceta meetcha. An' you're...?" she adds, looking to Kansas, before glancing over her shoulder at Matt, "...or should they be practicin' proper introductions? An' a'ight, but I claim the bed."
Matt shrugs, opening the Guinness with a clink-hiss. "So it's yer bed. Oi'm sleepin' in it. Proper introductions couldn't 'urt anyone. This is Adrian, known as Stone'eng, Gallaird cub o' th' Get o' Fenris, an' this is Erika Christiansen, half-moon o' th' Get as well, known in very small circles as 'Target.'" He grins, taking the malice from his jibe.
Adrian chuckles at Matt. "Where ya from, Matt? You're frickin' funny."
"Kansas, you can call me if you'd like" the young Get of Fenris replies to Bernie. She lightly taps her heels of her feet against the cabinats as she leans forward.
Bernie sticks her tongue out at Matt, but she's still grinning as she shuts the fridge again and shoves a hand toward him. "Gimme one of those. Anyway, hi, Kansas. An' don't worry, beats bein' known as K-Mart at least. I'm Bernie Rosenberg, Stomps-Th'-Wyrm-With-Steeltoed-Boots, Cliath Gnawer Ragabash, member of Trouble, an' pleasedta meetcha both. Hi."
Matt lowers his beer before it reaches his lips, and sticks his tongue out at Bernie. He passes her the beer and reaches for another. "Back atcha. Speakin' o' being in Trouble, Oi've got to get ta th' woods shortly. Told Bitter Cup I'd meet 'er ta go lookin' fer Salmon." He grins at Adrian. "M'frien', Oi am =fuckin'= funny, an' doan't you ferget it. Also from London, if th' brogue didn't give it away. Don't tell anyone. It's a surprise."
Kansas looks to Matt and lightly rolls her eyes towards the ceiling. "Of course some of us are already smart enough to know that." she replies without labeling anyone specifically. From her perch on the counter, she pushes herself off, landing her two feet on the floor flawlessly and heads towards the pantry.
Adrian smiles, "I still need to hit my run. Word reaches Jamethon that I slacked and it won't be pretty." he looks to Matt, "But you owe me a spar, boy-o." He smirks at Kansas, "I knew he was from over there, wanted to know the city, sheesh."
Matt gives Bernie a Look and opens the back door with his rump. sliding into the yard. "I'll catch up for late night practice, spirits willing, neh? Books, we can wrestle fer th' bed."
Bernie returns it, arching a brow slightly. "Oh, you know I'll kick yer ass, packmate," she claims, and sips her beer, grinning again. "...catcha later." She hops up to sit on the edge of the table, and glances at the food still on it. "Make yourselves useful and put the rest of this away, wouldja? Thanks."
A head pops around the corner of the doorway, peering in the kitchen balefully. Cat glances at every unfamiliar face with reluctance, before looking to the pantry. Which was the fastest way to get a butter sandwich and out of the room without being talked to?
Adrian heads out the door, "Nice meeting everyone." He shuts the door and jogs away.
Which might be unfortunate for the young Glass Walker cub since Kansas is currently in the pantry, searching for something for herself to snack on.
Bernie sips her Guinness, finally letting her backpack slip off her shoulder and onto the table behind her, and peers at Cat with interest. "Hey. Another one. 'sup?"
Cat draws back noticeably, staring at Bernie in blank skittishness. "Nothing," he says softly. Another sideways peek at Kansas and the pantry. He wraps his arms about his sketchbook protectively, adding "M' hungry."
Kansas pokes her head out of the pantry to get a glimpse at the new arrived cub who has just stepped into the kitchen. She gives him a dark look just as she comes out with a granola bar for herself.
Bernie, on the other hand, grins. "Cool. Just brought food." As if the array of things on the table that need to go into the pantry weren't noticable. "Make yerself useful cubs an' put some of this shit away, an' eat all y'want."
Kansas gets a startled blink, and it's almost enough to send the boy fleeing back upstairs...but Bernie gives him an order, more or less. Cat timidly goes into the kitchen, setting his book on the table and picking up some of the groceries to place them in the pantry. He waits patiently for Kansas to move out of the way. He'll wait for an hour if he has to, so long as he needn't speak.
Kansas stands in front of the pantry, looking at the boy curiously. "What's yer problem?" she asks the Glass Walker cub. She tears open the granola bar, taking a bite. Kansas is going to wait until the boy askes her to move out of the way, unless Bernie interfers then she will do it without questioning.
"You put some away too, yeah? It'll be quicker," Bernie remarks to the Get cub. It's not a question, despite the phrasing. She takes another swallow of the beer, studying the Walker cub curiously herself. "So who're you, mouse? I'm Bernie."
Cat hunches over a bit, staring at Kansas like the smaller girl will come leaping for him any second. Bernie's question distracts him, and he tilts his head a bit her way. "I'm not Mouse," he murmurs, words lacking the defiance of tone. "My name is Cat."
Boots crunching on cold gravel outside the kitchen door announce someone's arrival, and shortly Tobin steps into the kitchen, quickly closing the door behind him. He nods a greeting at Bernie, offering a quick smile along with it, then looks curiously at the two others he doesn't recognize while he readies a kettle with water.
Kansas folds her arms across her chest as she looks to Cat, inclining her head as she does so. "You don't seem like one," Kansas retorts. She still blocks the entrance into the pantry as she watches Tobin step into the house.
Bernie laughs. "Cat, huh? I was close. Niceta meetcha. Hey, Tobin." She nods a greeting at the Fang in return, before glancing over to Kansas, a flicker of annoyance passing across her face. "Kansas. I said pick up some of this shit an' put it away. That means you. Move yer ass. You c'n play dominance games on yer own time."
Tobin sets the kettle on the stove with water to boil and turns back around, eyebrows going up at Bernie ordering Kansas around. "Kansas and Cat, eh?" he says, having gleaned their names from the conversation. "New cubs?" he asks of Bernie.
Kansas gives a light huff of breath, while she narrowly stares at Cat before steping out of the way of the pantry as she picks up items from the table to put them away.
Cat seems a bit relieved at the presence of a guy, albeit a stranger. "Nice to make your acquaintance," he murmurs in reply as he edges to the pantry and puts the boxes of rice and macaroni away. A glance to Tobin. "Walker of Glass cub, Theurge," he adds.
Bernie nods at Tobin. "She's Get and he's... I dunno, but I'm thinkin' 'Not'," she remarks, gesturing at them in turn with her can of Guinness. "...thanks," she tosses absently to Kansas as the cub obeys, and she takes another sip. "Oh, 'walker. There ya go, then."
Kansas puts some of the groceries into the cabinet before she turns to the pantry. Since Bernie has done her introductions for her and that the Silver Fang already knows her name, the Get on Fenris goes on without replying to anything.
Tobin makes a soft 'ahh' sound at both Cat's introduction and Bernie's explanation. "Lots of cubs these days. Even the Fangs have a new one, Gary is his name, and he's Cat's auspice." He turns to Cat as he says this and completes his own introduction. "Like Bernie said, my name is Tobin. I'm a Cliath Theurge of the Silver Fangs."
Cat perks up noticeably, setting the last box in the pantry and quickly stepping out of the way. His eyes are on Tobin now, curious. "Theurge? Spirit talker?"
Kansas finishes putting away most of the groceries. She looks to everyone and then slips out the back door in silence.
"Oh, yeah? You training him?" Bernie inquires, curiously. "...bye, Kansas. Catcha later," she remarks, without actually looking over to the back door to do so, and shifts position, leaning back to almost lie down on the table and so she can look at Tobin while adressing him, albeit nearly upside down.
Tobin nods at Cat, grinning a little, then shakes his head at Bernie. "Not much, no, though Apocalypse and I helped him through his First Change a few weeks ago. No, I've been too busy with patrolling lately. December is my month to volunteer bawn patrol, but it'll be over soon and I should be able to start his education in a more formal manner."
Cat watches Kansas exit, and once the Get cub has departed, his posture straightens noticeably, and he picks up the remaining groceries to put them away. Box in, shuffle them around for more room, add another box... "You teach cubs?" the boy asks hopefully, glancing to Tobin from behind a curtain of bangs.
Bernie nods a little. "Oh, fun. Yeah, I oughta check up on which month I took... I know I wrote it down, but, eh." She ends up sitting up again; it's hard to drink from a can in that position.
Tobin shrugs at Cat. "I have before, though not so much in this life. In any case, it's my duty to teach my cubs what I know." He tilts his head at the Walker cub, regarding him curiously. "If your Elders are alright with it, I'd be happy to teach you, too."
He drops a box, and the last set of Macaroni goes tumbling to the floor. It doesn't break open thankfully. Cat reddens as he retrieves the box, sheepishly adding, "S-Salem-rhya put me here so that I'd learn, but, I haven't really learned a lot." He nudges the pantry with one foot. "You...really wouldn't mind?"
Bernie shakes her head a little, the grin a touch fainter, and hops up off the table, reclaiming her bag. "I'll leave you guys to work that out, I think. Gonna go look after a few things." That said, she heads out into the living room, toward the stairs.
Tobin shakes his head at the cub, grinning a little. "Not at all. Especially since Salem putting you here to learn seems to mean that anyone can teach you. In fact, we can even start now if you like." He lifts a hand in farewell to Bernie. "Good seeing you again, Bernie. Oh, and talk to Julie if you can, she'll have some news for you."
Cat watches Bernie leave, calling out "Bye" at the very last possible second. Then all his attention is on Tobin again, quiet excitement. "Could we? Oh," he mumbles, remembering something, and looking around the kitchen. "C'n you see spirits all the time too, like Lana-rhya?"
Bernie glances over her shoulder and nods at Tobin, cheerful again. "Got it. Nice seein' you, too. Later." And she heads up the stairs, disappearing into the upper reaches of the house.