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 A variety of out-of-date magazines are strewn atop a low coffee table; more neatly presented are the plethora of books filling the small bookshelves which line the eastern wall.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.
Matt takes in Collin's arrival without comment. His brow furrows as he's trying to remember something.
"Hidey-Ho, neighbors." Collin says to Brittany and Matt, popping open the can of coke he retrieved from the fridge. After all, if there's going to be one type of drink in the fridge other than milk or water, it's gonna be coke.
Brittany tsks at Collin. "You could use a glass, lad. Much more refined."
A soft, rhythmic thumping is audible on the edge of hearing, then silence... then more thumping, gradually louder, as Bernie comes bouncing down the stairs, backpack slung over her shoulder, curls jumping about with each little impact. As she steps into the living room, she grins at the occupants and gives a bit of a wave, but her attention at present is obviously reserved for the bookshelves, which she immmediately turns to and begins scanning avidly.
Matt finally gives in to the idea that he's not actually going to make it into the kitchen anytime soon, and flops in a chair. His head swivels toward the stairs as Bernie clomps down them, and follows her partway into the room. "Oi! Bernie," he says. "Some mates for you to meet."
Brittany drifts to a corner of teh room, finding a spot where she can adress each of those present without madly turning and spinning to each. "Quite the gathering."
"I prefer the can, refined or not. Besides, I don't wanna make more work for the people who do the chores around here if I don't have to." Collin shakes his head, then rubs his shoulder a bit. "Well. I don't think we've met." The latter is said to Matt.
Bernie glances over her shoulder at Matt, one hand lingering on the spine of one of the thicker volumes as the presence of the others seems to sink in; obviously she'd noticed people were here before, but by the slight widening of her eyes, it seems it hadn't quite registered. "Heya, Matt," she replies, slipping the book from the shelf and turning to face the room more squarely, "'sup?"
Matt nods to Collin, then turns to smile at Bernie. "'Ave a seat. Quick lesson on 'ow to introduce yoursel' to other Garou wifout gettin' slapped." His smile softens the words, but the implication remains. He turns back to Collin, offering a hand. "Oi'm Matt Fulton, Fianna, philodox cub," he glances to Miss Jefferson, "and descendant of Lugh of the Skillful Hand."
Bernie grins at Matt and complies, letting her backpack drop lightly off her shoulder an into her hand, to be gently placed on the floor as she flops rather inelegantly into one of the empty chairs, the book on her lap. She crosses her legs at the ankles and pulls them over to one side as she watches the introduction.
"Mmmn." Collin peers at Matt for a moment before he introduces himself. "I'm Collin, Silent Strider Ragabash and Cliath. I'm known by many other names as well, as all proclaim my greatness as far as the eye can see in any direction. But all that is besides the point. Nice to meet you, Matt."
Matt makes a go-ahead gesture to Bernie. "Just like that. Tribe, auspice, rank."
Bernie leans back in the chair a little, eyeing Collin with more interest and the ghost of a smirk after the introduction. "-Just- like that, huh?" she queries innocently, "...a'ight..." She grins, and continues cheerfully, in parallel, "I'm Bernie, Bone Gnawer Ragabash and Cub. I'm known by no other names, as my greatness is cunningly hidden from the eyes of the world, in th' envelope under th' mattress. But all that is beside the point. Niceta meetcha, also."
Brittany chuckles a bit at the Gnawer cub, the moves to hang up her jacket on the rack by the door. A rack that probably no-one *but* she uses.
"Fellow Ragabash!" Collin seems pleased, reaching over to pat Bernie on the side of the arm. "Good, good. We could always use more Ragabashes around here," He leans in and says, inaside to Bernie, "Because of the rest of them just don't *get* it, if you catch my drift." A solemn nod and a wink follows.
Matt sighs. "Excellent. Ye *might* try a bit more respect, 'specially if you fink the person you're introducing yoursel' to might be the sort ta push yer face through a plate glass door."
"There's plenty of those, but I allow it because she's a fellow Ragabash, and it was, well, actually sort of a good play off my own introduction. So, to that, I will give her credit. Congradulations for having impressed God for but a brief moment." He waves his hand in a most imperial fashion.
Brittany adds, "Or the person is someone of higher rank, or whose opinion you value. It never hurts to be more polite and proper. If too formal, they will not be offended, but too *informal*, and you might very well offend someone terribly. As such, err towards the side of caution."
Tilting her head slightly to one side, Bernie looks up and regards the other Ragabash, smiling at his greeting, "You th' sort t' push my face through a plate glass door? Th' God I was brought up with runs more t' boils an' deatha th' first born...." She nods at the advice, though, and shifts slightly in her seat. "A'ight," she replies, "I'll try t' r'member t' put on th' Principal voice next time..."
Matt spreads his hands. "Oi'm not sayin'... Just doan't be surprised, is all. Oi've a few bumps from my learning process." He rubs the back of his head, absently. "Besides, you can ridicule them all you want, later, when ye find they're of equal rank."
"That depends on how well you serve me," Collin intones gravely to Bernie. "But your fellow is right. You must be careful in how you adress others at times. It is a lesson all must learn. Why, this mortal incarnation of mine has been through several such trials and tribulations.. and asskickings." He ahems, then clears his throat. "But he's gotta point."
Brittany quirks a brow at Collin, but seems more intent on sinking deeply into the plushy embrace of an easy chair.
Bernie mms, nodding thoughtfully as she glances from Matt to Collin and back. She leans down and rummages one hand in her backpack a second, coming back up with a magic 8-ball. "'m I liable t' get my ass kicked if I don't watch out?" she asks the toy in all earnestness, flips it over, and shakes it a couple seconds before looking at the result. "....Signs Point To Yes. Guess it's unanimous, then." She shrugs, and returns the item to her bag, smiling again as she comments lightly, "I'll try t' be less int'restin' next time. But you -did- say like that."
Matt rubs his temple. "Oi did, oi did. Per'aps you should introduce yourself to Miss Jefferson as well. Oi'll go get the plate glass ready."
Brittany says "Actually, it's time for my patrol. Catch up with me later?"
Matt shrugs. "Fair enough. Oi'm a bit knackered from the corn anyway. Probably soon for Uncle Ted."
"Uncle Ted?" Collin peers at Matt for a moment, then shakes his he ad and looks back to Brittany. "Well, well, well. It's been a long time since I saw you lurking about. Then again, we don't tend to run in the same circles anyways, so to speak."
"Bed," Bernie translates confidently, with a fleeting grin, before she regards the other woman more seriously, and asks, "Would you like me to try an introduction on you b'fore y' go, or is there not time f'r that?"
In the back of the house, Steven heads for the fridge.
Matt says "Any road. Collin, a pleasure to meet you. Bernie, I'll probably see you upstairs if Oi'm not bo peep in Bohemian Decadence.""
Matt pushes up and heads for the stairs.
"Nice to meet you too." Collin tells Matt. "I'll probably see you around again eventually." He turns back to Bernie. "So how long have *you* been at this now?" The question is asked out of obvious, idle curiosity.
In the back of the house, Steven rummages around in the fridge. There's a twist and fizz. Then the Galliard walks out of the kitchen, closing the door before he leaves.
Bernie waves a hand after the retreating Fianna. "A'ight; just make sure y' leave some Decadence for th' resta us..." she replies brightly, "Sleep well..." She turns back to answer Collin's question, turning a bit to sit comfortably in one corner of the chair. "Mmm, guess 'bout two weeks now total, or alternatively 'most sixteen years, dependin' 'zactly which 'this' y' mean.... how 'bout you?"
"I meant, how long you've been offically a cub, and I'm assuming the 'two weeks' answered that question pretty well." Collin soon takes a drink of his soda and plops his rear down in one of the living room's many chairs. "Ahh. That's better." He starts to stretch out after setting said glass down.
Steven's wearing a fine glower for Collin and even deeper scowl for Bernie. He's holding a bottle of beer in one hand, a brand new scar running the length of his forearm. He takes a drink from the bottle and just looms in the doorway.
In turn, Collin does spot Steven. It's not like the glowering Fianna is an easy figure to miss. "Yo." He lifts his hand up.
Steven grumbles something not terribly cordial in reply -- not exactly words, per se, but a audible response none the less. His attention turns solely toward Bernie, his nose scrunched in distaste. "The fuckin' thrift shop was out of tents, I suppose," he mutters. "Sweet mother of Christ." His head shakes and he drains about half his beer in one go.
About to reply to Collin, Bernie pauses as she notices the man in the doorway scowling in... apparently at her. She blinks once as she takes in the regalia, subconsiously scooting back a fraction of an inch deeper into the chair in which she's seated, her grip on the book in her lap tightening slightly, protectively. She glances sidelong at Collin, then lifts her own hand a little, with a smile that's a rather weak imitation of her usual friendly grin, and disappears as the man speaks.
"Remember what was said about windows earlier?" Collin says in aside to Bernie. "There you go." He, however, doesn't comment other than for the moment, choosing instead to finish off his can of coke and stand up to go put it into the recycling bin. There's gotta be one around here, after all.
Steven steps aside for the ragabash. He enters the room, just so, and continues to stare at Bernie. "Who the hell are you?" he demands from her. The Fianna turns his head back toward the area Collin disappeared into, before he turns back toward the girl.
Bernie nods slightly at Collin's words, murmuring back, "Kinda got that vibe," as he stands. She takes a breath as she's addressed, and lifts her chin, swallowing a little before replying in surprisingly polite and measured tones, "I'm Bernice Rosenberg, Bernie for short, Ragabash Bone Gnawer Cub, sir. And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing, if I might ask?"
Steven rolls his good eye and sighs. He puts one hand on the bridge of his nose. "Oh Christ," he murmurs, just holding his nose, eye closed. "Another no moon rat-kid." He drops his hand, and frowns. "I am Steven Heart-of-Fury, a fostern talesinger of the Sept of the Hidden Walk, son of Wolverine, tribe of mighty Father Stag." For good measure he snarls faintly -- just barely, at the cub and then finishes off his beer with an audible "aaah" sound. He holds out the bottle. "Be a dear and fetch me another."
At the moment, Collin's wandered back towards the kitchen himself to root through the fridge a little more before making a face and shaking his head and shutting the thing. "Naaah." He steps back and starts to head back towards the living room after shutting the door.
"Well, niceta meetcha," Bernie replies, relaxing just a tad, and carefully sets the book to the side as she stands, shedding her jacket swiftly and stepping over to take the bottle. "Shall I open it for you, as well?" The polite, perfectly spoken version of her voice seems to have returned.
Steven belches at Bernie in reply, loudly, pounding on his chest with one fist. "Knock yourself out," he says. "Why the hell do the goddamn Bone Gnawers keep leaving you cubs out here?"
"I haven't been left here," Bernie replies, supressing the smirk that wants to escape at that belch until she's safely turned around and halfway to the door, "I'm just visiting. Kaz felt I could meet more people here, you see." She disappears into the kitchen, lifting one brow the merest fraction at Collin she she passes him.
Collin gives Bernie an amused grin on his way back, definitely. When he returns, he drops himself back into the chair he was seated in in the first place. "I'm sure she'll be headed back to the city soon enough. Kaz was just out here spreading the word about the sewer scouting that got done for the most part."
"Oh. Kaz." The name's more like a foul curse than a name to the Fianna. "Well, get this straight, Bernie or whatever the hell your name is: You goddamn city scum should keep clear of me and mine. Got it? I don't want you fuckers tainting the way Fianna cubs act and talk." He turns to look at Collin and narrows his eye. "So what news, anyway?"
"Unfortunately," Collin explains to Steven, "the sewers were loaded with banes. Some of them barely got out of their alive, so I'm told, and the combination of, ahem, poison gas, darkness, and tentacled-banes nearly finished off some of them, but the scouting mission had no actual casualties. It didn't take them very long to run into anything, either."
Steven's eye twitches, and he frowns more deeply. "Shit," he mutters. "Where the hell is my beer, goddamn it?"
"'Bernie' will do just fine, yes," comes the cub's voice from within the other room, among the slight noises of the fridge and it's contents as she goes about the business of replacing the beer. "And of course," she continues as she emerges, bottle in hand, "I shall endeavour to prevent my low-class idiolect from interefering with that of the Fianna cubs. It should be safe enough; I've met only one as yet. He was quite nice though, I thought. Your beer," she finishes, presenting it, her tone completely earnest throughout, expression mild and suitably respectful.
"AS long as the banes don't make me feel like I'm watching a 'Legend of the Overfiend' episode.." Collin mutters that under his breath and then peers towards the kitchen, or at least in the general direction thereof, to find out what just might be taking so long. Unfortunately, it's not likely that he's able to see much of anything from where he's seated. "I'm thinking someone should check out a few other things, like water treatment and the like, to find out if there's been any tainting to them, but that's a bit in the future."
Steven grabs the bottle away from Bernie roughly, giving her an odd look at her language. "I say we nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." He lifts the rim of the bottle to his nose and then sniffs, lightly. "So," he asks, his voice full of threat and menace, lowering the bottle to his side. "What'd you do to my beer, cub?"
Bernie heads back toward her chair as the bottle is snatched, and pauses at the question. "Well," she replies, "first I removed it from the refrigerator, and then I removed the cap with the bottle-opener that was on the table, and finally, I brought it in to you. Other than that, nothing. Is there something else I ought to have done to it?" She sits again, more lightly than before, and recrosses her ankles. She doesn't pull the book back into her lap for protection this time, but her fingertips do stroke idly over the spine.
Steven's lips curl into a tight smile. "Very clever," he murmurs. "Here." He shoves the bottle into the girl's lap. "Enjoy." He looks back at Collin then and sighs heavily. "No moons." It's a faint almost grumbled explanation, then he walks out the front door without further explanation or farewells.
"Hmph," Collin mutters, "I'm almost tempted to say I resemble that remark, but he might come back here and kick my ass for that." He peers after him, then turns back to Bernie. "Steven actually left. Without his beer. Wow. I don't think I saw *that* one coming." Yes, he's still being quiet.
Bernie smiles a bit after the Fianna, and bids him farewell with a light wave, rather less tentatively than the one that had earlier greeted him. She stays silent, head cocked just a tad, listening until she's quite sure he's out of earshot, and then grins rather smirkily, relaxing back into the chair and eyeing the beer in her hand as she softly murmurs, "Damn straight." A slight stretch, and she turns to the other ragabash, commenting, "Looks like th' windows stay intact, tonight."
"Don't push your luck. You never know who's eavesdropping, and it was his moon." Collin shakes his head, then holds his hands up, speaking seriously now. "One of the things a Ragabash has to know, and this is just in my opinion, is when to push and when not back away to the nearest exit and run like hell."
"Hey," Bernie protests, "I was just bein' glad my face didn't get introduced to anything solid; what's pushy 'bout that?" She shrugs slightly, and offers the bottle, "Y' want this? I'm not so big on beer, pers'nally." She pauses, looking at the label again, "Otherwise maybe I'll take it up t' Matt, if he's still 'wake."
"Put it back in the fridge. Someone'll drink it." Collin shakes his head. "I know you were glad, but what I meant about being careful is that you never know who's listening." He winks.
Bernie makes a face, "It'll go flat then... 's not like I c'n get th' cap back on..." Seems she's back to normal now, at least as far as speech mannerisms. "I'll jus' take it up," she decides, indicating the stairs with a slight move of her head, and sets the bottle down, pushing her stray curls behind her ears as she sits up again. "And," she adds, with a half-smile, "noted. I'll lower th' Cone of Silence."
"Good plan." Collin responds, cheerfully. "I'm sure the Fianna'll like the beer. He's Fianna, after all, and there's absolutely no question about their taste for beer. In fact, I don't think I've ever met a Fianna who didn't drink real heavily. I'd drink it, but it's not something I'm interested in doing right now. I've got too much else to do and too much else on mind and so on. You know, being God and all, I'm busy."
"'course," Bernie replies, with a quick flash of wide-eyed earnestness that swiftly dissolves back into a grin, "All that judgin' an' ineffable plannin' t' do, right? Plus, dependin' on th' tradition you wanna follow, poss'bly some farm animals t' turn into t' seduce maidens an' all. Gotta be hectic. An' of course y' just can't get good help these days, y'know?" She reaches over and gives you a friendly pat on the back of the hand. "Listen, I empathise 'bout th' stress that's gotta put you under, so tell you what, you find you need a prophet or somethin', you just let me know, a'ight? Take a bit'a th' load off. PLus, hey, I might even be 'vailable assa substitute deity, you needa a day off. Can't be havin' Th' Almighty burnin' out or anythin'."
For a moment, Collin's eyes go wide and he truly looks touched by the gesture. "I'll consider it in my infinite wisdom. The responsibilities I bear are not for just any soul, but to find someone capable of offering me the proper praise and to be the prophet of the Word of Collin would be truly a remarkable find. I wait for such a soul. Perhaps when you have grown in strength, we shall speak again." He intones this with a completely serious and solemn voice, bobbing his head at her before he cracks a grin and stands up. "I really have to get a new gimmick sometime."
Bernie manages to remain completely deadpan as she replies, "You gotta have a gimmick, if you wanna get ahead..." Then, of course, she grins back, and shrugs, "Anyhow y'seem a better deity than lotsa 'em, 'least you've gotta sense of humour, right?" She picks up her jacket and slips it back on, adding as an afterthought, "An' a brain. That never hurts." She stands as well, grabbing the strap of her backpack from the ground as she does, and swinging the bag back onto her shoulder in a practised move. As she leans down to pick up the book and bottle, she glances up at him thoughtfully. "...outta curiosity... you ever play RPGs?"
Giving Bernie a placid look, Collin replies, "The standard answer would be 'You mean, like...D&D and stuff?'. The answer to that in truth would be, 'I have, but I was never to into the scene, but I read plenty of novels based off them and so on and so forth."
Bernie smirks as she stands, "'Scene'... got visions of nightclubs with bouncers keepin' ya out if y' don't have a shiny 'nought sword or a chainmail b'kini, now... well, I like 'em, so I'm lookin' for maybe some people t' play with. Let me know if you're int'rested some time, yeah?" She looks into the mouth of the beer bottle, and shakes her head, "Gettin' flatter by th' second. I better take it up b'fore it's doin' a full on Twiggy impression." She smiles at the other Ragabash, sincerely now. "Was niceta meetcha, Oh Lord Our Collin... see you 'round?"
"Of course." Collin puffs right up, all but preening under the 'worship', really. He buffs his nails on his chest and adds, "They didn't call me the Ego That Walks Like A Man for nothing."
"Really?" Bernie fires back promptly, "...how much didja pay 'em, then?" She grins, and starts toward the stairs, pushing the unruly curls futiley back behind her ear again with the bottle-laden hand as she walks.
Laughing, Collin shakes his head, "I didn't have to pay them a damn thing, damn it. They called me that because my ego was visible from space and was a useful navigational tool for returning astrounauts, according to my tribal elder."
Bernie pauses on the stairs, crossing her arms on the banister, loot and all, and leaning over them a bit. "I like your tribal elder already," she comments. "... and what do they call you now?"
"Hah. That depends on who you ask." Collin tells Bernie, amusedly. "I've been called Cheshire, Monkeysquirrel, The Master of Posturing, and by many other names, just as the humans address me as their God through a multitude of names."
"Ahhh," the girl replies, sounding equally amused. "I, on th' other hand, am idly consid'rin' changin' my name t' Ruby Tuesday, 'cause apparently no one c'n hang a name on me... but that'd make a paradox, an'," she kicks one foot up behind her, just enough to show through the bars, "...I already got one."
"Hmm." Collin strokes his chin with his fingertips, saying, "Ruby Tuesday sounds like a thirties radio show characters, or early comic book or pulp fiction girlfriend, hoenstly. I'd avoid that. I'd have a hard time not laughing at you if you ever actually called yourself that, but that might be the point."
Bernie shrugs, not looking particularly (or, in fact, at all) bothered by the opinion. "Not t' mention I'd have th' song runnin' through my head constantly. Guess I'll just hafta wait 'til someone else comes up with somethin' that sticks, an' hope it doesn't turn out t' be mucelage..." She straightens up again, and gestures vaguely with the bottle, "I better get this up there while it still resembles proper beer, if it's not gonna go t' waste."
"I doubt he'll complain, or even notice." Collin responds, promptly. "Don't worry. Theme music is always a good thing to have, and you'll get a new name from someone soon enough. Probably more than one if you're distinctive enough. Like me." Collin's grin widens, showing teeth. One can guess where he picked up 'Cheshire'.
Bernie grins, with a quick glance upard -- not to the stairs, but to the deities... the ones not currently on the other side of the banister, that is, of course. "When I grow up," she says in a slightly breathy, little girl voice, "I wanna be like Collllin..." Dropping back to her normal voice, she continues cheerfully, "Guess I'll just hafta see what I c'n do 'bout bein' distinctive, then... but poss'bly -after- I sleep. 'S gettin' late."
"It is. You have a good sleep." Collin responds, stretching out with a yawn himself.
"G'night," Bernie replies, turning to start up the stairs again. As she heads up them, she sings in a quiet but quite acceptable voice, ostensibly to herself, o/~ Walk like a man, talk like a man, walk like a man my e-e-e-go... o/~ By the end of the line, she's only just audible, having disappeared into the upstairs hall.