The old library's basement is cool, dark, and expansive. A creaky but solid set of timber-framed and open slatted stairs lead up to a solid door, behind which is the library proper. There's a second set of wider, double doors of re-enforced steel set into the basement wall that leads to the alley between Regan and Bridge street. In the center of the room is a single, long wire dangling from the ceiling with a naked light bulb fixture at its end. A beaded string turns it on and off. Stacked against the windowless brick walls are crates of old books, file cabinets, desks and tables, broken chairs, and a variety of other furniture--including some old drafting or drawing tables. The far end of the basement is enclosed by a security cage. The boxes and shelves of the cage have all been removed, and someone has also re-enforced the steel of the cage to make it stronger. Inside, there is a futon, blankets and pillows, and a couple of aluminum camp-style cots or bunks.
Compact is the word for him: wiry, maybe 5'6" in his beat-up black combat boots, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mein and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in somewhat faded blue jeans with the cuffs half walked off, along with a closely fitting green t-shirt featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; from the design and the state of the printing, it's either older than he is or really wishes it were. Sometimes when he moves his left arm, part of a tattoo peeks out beneath the sleeve's hem. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a length of ball-chain disappearing beneath his collar; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
A relatively small guy, he stands at a lean 5'8. He possesses a lean runner's frame, and carries himself as such. His sandy brown hair is worn semi long and is casually swept to the right of his face so as not to obscure his brown eyes. His complexion is a smooth white, his jawline clean shaven. He wears a pair of dark blue jeans with a light blue flannel button down and a pair of tennis shoes.
Shaggy brown hair and darker brown eyes frames this young boy's face. Justin has a slightly tanned complexion with a hint of Puerto Rican from his mother's side, Caucasian from his father's. He has a fairly lanky build that could use a bit of bulking upas he is built like a high school track runner. He wears loose fitted 'destroyed' blue jeans, simple tank tops, and worn down sneakers that are about five months in need of replacement, and during the cold, a thick green military jacket from his Grandpa. He looks like your average, ordinary American young teen that plays outside and is fairly active. Tall at five foot ten, he is a few inches higher than most his age for now.
Thick honey-blonde hair, styled in a poofy set of curls, rings this pretty blue-eyed young woman's head. She's in her late teens, and her hair's currently left down, though it's occasionally pinned up. She stands about five and a half feet tall, and is a little on the thin side of things, though not to an extreme. She dresses mostly in informal styles, from ripped jeans and tank tops to the occasional sundress.
Currently, she wears the former, her black tank top emblazoned with a large sequined red heart, and her jeans so ripped as to be nearly indecent. About half of the heart's sequins are missing. Her feet are clad in red strappy lightly-heeled sandals that have seen better days. She wears little in the way of jewelry, just a black wooden bracelet, a stainless steel and rhinestone mood ring, and (probably fake) gold earrings. When she speaks, a fairly thick Southern accent is evident.
It can take a minute to properly identify just what this canine is. To those in the know, though, his species isn't quite so vague. As a coywolf, Watcher physically resembles his coyote heritage more than his wolf as a whole. He's smaller and leaner than a wolf, with the longer ears and lighter build one would expect to see on a coyote. He's got a thick coat, though, and it lends him a bit of false bulk that usually makes him just look a bit shabby. His paws are also larger, ending with curving claws. His muzzle is a bit broader though not so heavy as a wolf but contains the same array of sharp teeth. Overall, he's a tawny grey-ticked coloration with a darker saddle. His undersides are lighter and he has yellow eyes.
After the wild and crazy night of chasing down knocking people out in alleys, Justin talked with Nick and Benedict about it at the park the next day, and is now returning to the library. Trudging his way down the stairs to the basement, he flicks a light on to turn on a few stand-alone lamps connected to a power strip that is connected to a long extension cable that happens to be strung out down the alley, tucked away and out of sight and into a building near by outdoor socket of a commercial building. Flopping down into a dirty bean bag chair he made out of duct taped bedsheets filled with styrofoam popcorn, he pulls out a Playboy and starts to flip through the pages with a bored expression on his face.
There's the click-click-click of claws on old flooring as something comes following along behind Justin. It's a wolf, but it's not. The ears are too big, fur too tawny, and a bit too lanky to look quite right. There's definitely more wild though versus signs of dog. Three-Mountain yawns in the Gnawer's wake and flops down next to the beanbag after circling it thrice. It's a graceless gesture with which he lays down but the Lupus hardly seems concerned.
More steps on the stairs not long after that -- four feet again, but human ones and not quite in sync the way a wolf's would be. Two of them belong to Felix, who has a pizza box in one hand and Lilah's hand in the other as he enters the room. "Hey, Justin," he's starting as they get down there, "...and you," he adds to the coywolf, "you want some pizza?"
Lilah waves her free hand to Three-Mountains and Justin, and notes of the pizza, "It ain't anchovy, either. It's all meaty 'n such." She pauses, then adds, "And hiya, y'all!" She fluffs her hair out a bit, then looks around a bit, though she at least tries to be vaguely subtle about it.
Peeking up at the pair of them, Justin quickly scrambles to flip the magazine over his shoulder, then pushes himself up to his feet. "Yo! Hey. Seriously, you brought pizza? That is awesome." He gives a nudge to the Uktena at his feet. "Watcher here loves pizza. What's the occasion? No one can be 'that' generous unless they want something."
The same old volkswagen from the night before putters up to the library and out climbs the most beautiful Gaian around, Henry. He closes the door with a casual kick of his left foot and then strolls down the alley to the door of the library's basement. He knocks twice and then pulls it open and steps inside. Once his eyes adjust to the change in light he offers the gathered group a smile and says, "Yo. What's up guys?"
Three-Mountains hoists up his head at the footsteps. Or was it the smell of pizza? His nose is twitching pretty profusely and there's no hiding the tongue that sweeps over his jaws. The coywolf pulls himself up onto his paws and offers the two arrivals a friendly greeting wag of his tail. The further arrival of his other packmate sets the tail to wagging faster as he whuffs in the halfmoon's direction.
"I was bored 'n' hungry an' figured it'd be fun to see what I could talk the counter chick into," Felix says, shrugging and bringing the pizza over to the others; if there's anything comfortable-looking nearby Justin he flops down onto that, setting the box within general easy reach, and tugging Lilah down into his lap. If there's nothing comfy, the floor'll do, but Justin's beanbag's gonna get leaned on. "Anyway, you're lettin' us stay here an' it ain't like we're payin' rent." Henry gets a grin and a wave of greeting.
"Psssh. We're supposed to be homeless. We don't have money to pay rent. Sides, we are family and family always lets others crash in their basements or junkyards or backyards or rooftops or backseats of their car." Justin says as he takes a slice. "Well, not my backseat. My car is a classic and no one is good enough to sleep in it, not even me. But you can sleep in Henry's car."
Lilah wastes no time in popping open the pizza box once she's settled in on Felix's lap, and she takes a nice slow inhale of that cheesy wafting goodness. Justin gets a broad smile for his family talk, and then she turns to wave over at Henry. "Dig in, dig in," she offers, although she fails to do so herself. Clearly, the pizza must be POISONED!
Henry lifts a brow as his car is offered up as a home. His eyes roam over to Felix and says, "It was Felix, right? Ehh... I guess you can sleep there..." eyes shift toward the girl upon his lap he doesn't know and back again as he adds, "But no funny business. My car is way too small and I don't want to be wiping off anyone's ass prints off the windshield except mine." He likewise doesn't move to partake of the pizza and simply plops himself on the floor, crossing his legs indian style.
Three-Mountains shifts an eye over towards Justin at mention of sleeping in the back of his car and gives a faint sniff that somehow manages to sound disappointed. It doesn't stop his creep towards the pizza box though but doesn't take any of it. At least till Lilah opens it and gives the go ahead, at which his ears prick right up and the Lupus deftly ducks his head in and pulls a slice free. Part of the topping at the point get left behind in the process without a hand to properly support the weight but the Uktena doesn't seem bothered. The slice is gone in just a few gulping bites.
Felix loosely loops his arm around Lilah's waist once she's settled, and does reach over to snag a slice of the pizza for himself. "We already got a backseat that works fine, generally, don't worry. An' front seat. Trunk an' hood in a real pinch. But thanks. An' up there's pretty good too," he adds, indicating a higher floor of the building with a tilt of his head. "Yeah, it's Felix," he says to Henry, and then with a glance to the nearly-wolf and back to Henry, "...Felix T. Sinclair, Lets-Them-Eat-Cake, Cliath Bone Gnawer Galliard, specifically. Nice t' meetcha more properly." He munches a bite of the pizza before thinking to add, gesturing with the slice at the girl on his lap, "This is Lilah."
Taking a few bites, Justin grins around the pizza. "How you get that rite name? That's almost as bad as Benny's. He's called Sugar Lips. Got the name from sucking off a Spiral using silver grills in his teeth. It's how he killed him." This is why we can't have nice things.
Lilah nods as Felix mentions her, and extends an offered hand to shake... well, anyone who should happen to take her up on it. "Yep, that'd be me. Sorry... Lilah Sinclair, kinfolk." The pizza is not poisoned, hurrah! She even takes a slice, now that there's been some offered out. "It's a pleasure to meet all y'all." The slice is quickly transferred from hand to hand, since apparently she grabbed one of the warmer slices, and then she has trouble keeping a straight face when she hears about Benny, and she definitely blushes a bit, though whether it's about that or what Felix has to say is questionable.
Henry nods his head in reply to Felix and says, "Henry Johnson or Brings-The-Peace-Between-Brothers or Peace Bringer, Half Moon Cliath of the Children of Gaia. Alpha as much as we need of Tactical Frivolity under Coyote." Glancing sideways to Justin he smirks and says, "That's a funny story. You Gnawers have a different way of going about things I guess." To Lilah he says, "Nice to meet you."
Three-Mountains listens to the proper introductions, gaping his jaws with amusement at Henry's addition. In his turn, the Lupus offers that he is The One Who Watches and Sings To The Three Mountains, pack beta, first rank moon howler born of the cat-snake-river-keeper's pups.
Felix shrugs. "Beats somea my cubnames," he says to Justin, "...Mine does, I mean. Nothin' I had's worse'n 'Sugar Lips'. Though I reckon that friend of yours sure does think outside the box." A smirk from him as well; it's hard to tell whether he believes Justin's claim about the 'how' or not. "Got mine 'cause they wanted me to figure a way to double the amount of food the local homeless shelter was gettin', long term. So I did. Bakeries were involved at one point. Anyway, I kinda like mine. Everyone likes cake." He nods acknowledgement to Henry and Three-Mountains' introductions, although the latter also gets, "Cat-snake-river-keeper?"
Patting Watcher on the head, Justin says, "Uktena. He's half-coyote which is why he looks like a Nuwisha." He smirks as he drags the lupine's head into his lap and gives it a hug about the neck. "And I'm joking 'bout Benny. He got it cuz he's a smooth talker or something. I just like to fuck widd'em. But, yeah, that is cool man. Good on you for hooking up the hobos. I can't think of anyone who hates cake, except maybe communists... and Wendigos."
"Now I got pizza, but y'all got me hopin' for cake later. That just ain't right," Lilah teases, and then smiles to Felix's story. "That name suits ya, I think. 'specially cuz you're right: everybody likes cake." She takes a bite of her pizza, nodding her approval, and then grins over at Justin's words. "*Do* communists hate cake? I reckon that's one mark against 'em, for sure, if'n it's true."
Henry nods his head along with the ongoing conversation. He offers in an aside to Felix, "Threebie is also a lupus born... they have their own ways too, you know." He cuts his eyes sideways to the lupus and grins but then continues on, "So what did you guys find out about that naked dude last night? Did he end up making it alright?"
Three-Mountains likes cake! The coywolf voices, in a matter of speaking, with a flick of his tongue across his nose. He tips his ears back at Felix's question and seems to mull over how to answer this. Justin beats him to the explanation though and he barks out a confirmation before he's hugged, a gesture that he seems to take to quiet calmly given his tribe's hardly known for the urrah-loving type. At mention of their target of the night past, he pulls his head free and huffs. The man lives, last he knew.
The Uktena explanation gets a nod from Felix, the confusion passing. "Nah, even communists like cake, they just gotta pretend to share it evenly while they mutter about the decadent West an' some dude actually stashes half of it in his palace. Or somethin' like that. Politics ain't my specialist subject." Felix snags a second slice of the pizza and grins up to Lilah, telling her in unconvincingly innocent tones, "I reckon you c'n have some cake later." He eats about half the slice while the dude from last night is discussed, and shakes his head slightly. "I ain't heard nothin', but I dunno all that many people 'round here so far. Not who'd be talkin' 'bout somethin' like that, for sure."
"Benedict, who is a kinfolk cop of your tribe, and Alicia's brother, and who is paying me to babysit, told me that they took the guy in and there was some questions about the fact they thought it was called in that he was shot, and the fact there was blood everywhere, but, the guy had no wounds." Justin sloooowly turns to look at Henry, eye squint. "But, Benedict handled it. I apologized for us being dumb kids and rookies. He got a kick out of it."
"I like cake," Lilah says brightly; it's unclear if she even caught his lack of innocence. She munches quietly on her pizza as she listens to the rest of them talk, and just ends up stuffing her mouth too full to talk. Though she does give a thumbs-up to Justin, probably for the Benedict handling? It's not entirely clear. Om nom nom!
Three-Mountains did not get his scent good, he says with a snort, too much dirt. He can still remember it. It may have been nothing. And with that much said, the Lupus ducks his head down to pull free another piece of pizza.
Henry shrugs his shoulders and says, "People are delusional all of the time. Drunk guy running naked and screaming through the streets... that stuff happens all the time, right? Couldn't let him lay there and bleed out."
"The blood actually bein' there does kinda step on the delusion theory," Felix says, giving it some thought, "I mean, 'less they don't check an' can believe it's someone else's. But it'd be a shitload of someone else's blood t' be trailin' around. Was he bleedin' bad enough to die before the cops got there? He seemed like he was doin' pretty good with the runnin' an' throwin' Justin around an' all, but, medicine, also not my thing." Serious question, looks like. A slightly less serious one as he looks sidelong to Justin, "...you're gettin' paid to =babysit=? What kinda babies they lettin' you watch?"
"Uh... this one is a Spiral Philodox one year old who was rescued from a rape farm by a black unicorn pack and given to Benedict to watch over. It's a pretty awesome story actually. You should hear their Galliard tell it. It involves a mutant Corax and a buncha hillbilly spiral kin who had a buncha wolves locked in an old bar and they were fucking 'em for breeding." Justin is hardly filtered as he talks about it. "Then a spiral pack came out here looking for it and thought they were bad ass. Called out the Black Unicorn pack and they pretty much smeared them into jelly. I mean, they got fucking three Fenrir on their team and a Silver Fang war hero. What a buncha dipshits. But anyways, kid is named Cassidy and she's kinda cute. So, when Benedict needs time away for work or getting his banging on with a lady, he has me hang out at the apartment and have full reign over his fridge and couch and then he slips me a Benjamin afterwards. I once stayed there for two months straight stuck in lupus as a guard dog when she was first rescued."
There's no missing the baring of Three-Mountains' teeth as Justin mentions what they were doing to the wolves. He doesn't make any further remarks beyond lifting his hackles and hunkering back down onto the ground.
Lilah has only crust left on her slice of pizza, alas and alack! Not that she looks disappointed; without further ado, she munches on it as she listens carefully to everyone. When Three-Mountains goes for another slice, she helpfully moves the box just slightly in his direction. She listens especially carefully to what Justin has to say about the one year old, and *that* does seem to put a damper in her pizza-enjoyment, at least for now. The other half of the crust is offered to Felix.
Henry nods his head along with Justin's story regarding Excelsior and says, "I hear they are pretty tough, though I originally wanted to get in with Blitzkrieg. I feel like I could have really toughened those pansies up." He keeps a straight face throughout this, obviously he is not kidding.
Felix's eyebrows lift at the beginning of Justin's answer, and further as it goes on. "...yeah, that sounds like a story I'd wanna hear their Galliard tell," he agrees, "Y'all got interesting shit goin' on 'round here, that's for sure." He accepts the other half of Lilah's crust and apparently has no problem finishing it off, distasteful elements of story notwithstanding.