There was quiet-- just quiet, and the gentle sound of her breathing as she slept under her pink cloud-dappled blankets. Jocelyn slept soundly in her bed in the corner of her small, cluttered room, her body sprawled in an almost unnatural position. Light snores left her lips as she laid and dreamt about nonsense. No one could possibly have the heart to disturb such a peaceful sight. That was, no one but the tall, foreboding figure that currently hovered by her bedside. A large hand came roughly down on her abdomen, stalling her snore and making it end in a struggled "ngh!"
"Wake up. You're gonna be late to school," came the less-than-amused voice of her brother.
Another groan of protest. "What the--"
"You're gonna get detention if you're late again."
She hugged her blanket closer and curled up into a ball. "Five more min--" she began before the covers were promptly torn off of her. Stefano looked down at her with stone cold eyes, their gray sheen betraying brewing anger as his teeth clenched and unclenched beneath his stubbled jaw. "Okay, okay! I'm up!" she submitted in a whimper and plopped her back up against the headboard. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and glanced at the clock on her nightstand. The red digits read 7:00 AM.
"It's too early!"
"Classes start at 9:00 AM."
"It's not gonna take me two hours to get there--!"
"I made breakfast. You wanna eat or not?"
The idea of having her brother's pancakes for breakfast spurred her from her bed. It took her an hour to shower and get dressed, along with straightening her naturally wavy hair and applying a light coat of make-up. Stefano waited for her by their small kitchen set, dressed in the navy blue uniform she was so used to seeing. A badge glimmered from its place just above his breast. "You're lucky my shift starts a bit later today," her brother placed a plate of pancakes in front of her when she sat down. "You almost missed your big trip to the museum."
Jocelyn nonchalantly poured a shit-ton of syrup over her pancakes. The viscous fluid almost overflowed from her plate. Her brother watched for a moment, his gaze betraying a hint of bewilderment before he sighed and shook his head. Stepping behind her, he turned up the volume on the small television set they had placed on the kitchen counter. The familiar voice of the channel 7 news reporter droned on and on.
"They're talking about that weirdo weirdo hackerman again?" Jocelyn muttered around a mouthful of food. That was all that people seemed to be talking about nowadays. The hacker did this, the hacker did that. They didn't even know if the hacker was serious or not. It could just be some kid pulling everyone's leg.
"Not this time. They found some goon lying dead in an alley," Stefano walked back into her line of sight and shrugged his broad shoulders. "Sheriff thinks it's gang violence. I gotta get going though, don't want to be late for work. But, Lyn," his expression softened slightly, "be careful on your way home from work today, alright?"
"C'mon Stef, I'm eighteen. I can protect myself!"
Stefano's hand came down upon her again. This time, he ruffled her hair lightly. "Still... no matter how tough you think you are, there's not a lot you can do when someone points a gun at you. Just be careful, hm?"
"Whatever makes you feel better, bro~"
Getting to school was harder than she thought it'd be. Jocelyn was already aware of Linden being in the heart of the city, though this day in particular dealt her a difficult time in the subway. All people talked about were the murders that had been occurring, along with the sudden and apparent flourish of tensions between rival gang members. She didn't care; it was same old, same old. What was there to freak out about?
The beginning of the school day was the same as other days. The students all said "here" during roll call, rose for the pledge of allegiance, remained standing for the national anthem, and then sat back down. After that, all of the students that were eligible to go on the trip to the Museum of Natural History promptly lined up and got on their designated school buses. At least the trip to the museum wasn't a long one. Nevertheless, Jocelyn definitely wasn't able to keep awake during their ride. She was lulled into a nap, going so far as to heavily lean on the poor soul that was forced to sit next to her on their journey. She might have drooled a little on said person, but how could she help it?
When they arrived, the teachers all lined up their students inside of the main lobby of the museum. After they had another roll call, the students were granted their temporary freedom to roam-- they would only need to meet up for lunch at 12 and their departure at 3. It was currently only 10 o clock. That meant that they had all the time in the world! Jocelyn wandered off in a random direction, taking a few steps towards the T-Rex skeleton positioned menacingly in the middle of the marble-floored lobby. It was so... big! And cool! And kind of ugly. "How much glue did they have to use to keep it from falling apart?" she asked out loud. Damn, if the thing was still alive, it could probably swallow her in one go! What did the inside of a dinosaur's belly look like, anyway?