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Gotta go with Reika.

“Might wanna slow down, Champ. You’ll get sick,” Jane warned, the inside of her eyebrows turned upwards as she watched Vinnie gorge himself from the platter. The young woman was leaned back in her seat, absentmindedly picking at a piece of pita, popping each darkened bubble on its surface, but never bringing any to her mouth. Her eyes had been glued to the television screen just prior to it being shut off, hoping that a newscaster would appear with some breaking news about the situation. Rather, they each spewed the same script accompanied by the same video clips. Those sitting alongside her knew more than anyone at this point.

The daunting, subtle message left by Kuso seemed to settle upon the table as he disappeared through the doors. It was an invitation, almost, and Jane was certain that there were others here willing to RSVP. There had been meetings before that caused her palms to grow damp as she arrived to them, but this was different. There was not a leader to pull them in one direction or another. What happened here would be entirely their responsibility. They had to call the shots now. Literally. Jane scoffed to herself at her own sick humor.

“Better watch your drink if you go pointing fingers like that,” Jane smirked as she referenced Alice’s knack for tainting edibles, shooting a wink to the young woman. Reika’s audacity hadn’t surprised her, but it did quickly alter the mood. They each would be on the defensive now. “I think we could very easily form a case for any of us sitting here. It’s not like any of us can boast a clean RAP sheet. Aggressively pushing and shoving is just gonna cause us to act irrationally and impulsively, though.” Jane brought herself forward, placing her folded arms onto the table. “We need to structure this somehow.”
The beginning of a slow trickle of people onto the roof, each with their appearance well coordinated and with offerings in hand, had sent Claire scrambling back to the apartment to change out of her overalls. Rowan’s open door signaled that he may have come and gone since she had, but she didn't allow herself the time to check. She frantically tugged a brush through her hair, which fell back into place with minimal protest, and pulled on a pair of relatively snug high-waisted jeans. A dark leather jacket she yanked from an unpacked box topped a shirt that ended at the the bottom of her ribs. She halted her frantic movement only to glance at herself in the mirror, smoothing her palms across the front of her outfit. She felt it was simple enough to be safe. No bright colors, no hats, nothing patterned. Her final accessory was a pair of six packs of Heineken she yanked from the fridge, nudging the door closed with her foot before she slipped back out of the apartment and headed back up to the gathering.

The bottles rattled against one another as Claire slid both carriers onto the table amongst the other drinks, lifting one out for herself. She habitually brought the bottle to the side of her mouth, hooking her lower canine tooth beneath the cap and popping the seal. It was a party trick that came from necessity, as keeping track of herself, let alone a bottle opener, was a challenge for the young woman. Claire took a moment to kneel and properly greet the dog making his rounds with a generous ruffle of his fur before slipping back beside Bert. She had long since given up on the idea of a coffee refill and had rather begun aiding in getting the karaoke machine up and running, something she was relatively familiar with. That is until the social pressure in collaboration with the cold sent her scrambling into more appropriate attire.

Claire’s eyes subconsciously scanned the growing crowd, mostly shocked in how little she had interacted with any of them since her arrival. Besides Rowan, who had been forced to be much of her company over the past week. Roommate obligation. The rest of her socializing had occurred out and about, finding open stages in town or orientating herself to the new university. The undeniable scent of florals coaxed Claire from her own thoughts, her eyes falling on the source that had approached the small group. The gentleman held himself in a manner than seemed to demand poise of his company, but his smile was enough to offer enough comfort that she raised her hand outward. “Hello there, Xavius,” the corners of the young woman’s lips turned upward in a return of the polite gesture, but her eyes seemed to glint in rebellion of the formal greeting. “I’m Claire. Ellie if you’re feeling friendly. My day has actually been absolutely, brutally, unequivocally boring and oh, so uneventful. But here’s to hoping for a better night, aye? Grab a drink to help things along, would ya?” She smirked, gesturing with her own towards the table laden with bottles.
I wanna be a cool kid!

Cries of frustration spilled from apartment 3D into silence. Their source was a lanky woman tucked within the rooms, one foot planted on a window sill and the other on a nightstand that had been dragged near. She was crouched before the glass with her fingers wiggled beneath the wooden frame, heaving upward as if her life was entirely dependent on the fresh air she would be rewarded upon the window opening. Her frame was drowning under a pair of men’s branded overalls, bare toes peeking from beneath their folded hem. Long locks of blonde had been haphazardly tugged into a matching pair of buns, flyaway hairs fighting their way from beneath a bandana. Claire had seen a woman in a hardware store magazine wearing a nearly identical outfit and figured it would be the ideal choice for her day of rearranging her new furniture. They did not disclose that her body would essentially convert the pants into a greenhouse. She had taken a long moment to sympathize with the women and men who visited her parent’s home to work outdoors midsummer, all dressed in dark polo shirts that stayed tucked neatly into long pants. At last, the pane jolted upward and the young woman quickly leapt down from her perch, dropping onto her bed to spread her limbs outward in a full embrace of the February chill.

Claire had already made significant improvements to the space, with no wall left blank and greenery adorning all open areas that the sun touched. The best that the indie rock genre had to offer was spilling from the stereo that she had tucked into a corner designated for all things music, including her own keyboard and guitar. Days before, she had spotted a baby grand piano hidden within an antique store that was selling it for only a fraction of what she knew it to be worth, but the daunting task of getting it up three floors to the apartment was enough to convince her to begrudgingly leave it where it rest. Numerous boxes containing miscellaneous pieces of decor and furniture still sat propped against the walls, all sharing one thing in common. To Claire’s shock, each apparently required a screwdriver to construct. Something truly unheard of.

The young woman, whose eyes had settled on the window with a glare that dared it to make a move against her once more, suddenly rose upward back onto her feet at the change of the song. Her expression lightened into a broad smile as she slid out into the kitchen, shamelessly carrying herself to the upbeat rhythm that filled the space. Despite her ability to keep a beat, the girl’s movements were nothing to write home about. She swayed and rocked her weight between each foot, snapping her fingers along. But, really, that was all she had. Almost habitually, she continued to the coffee maker sitting atop the counter. She chimed along with the lyrics, snagging her mug from the table and tugging the pot from where it was tucked in the brewer. Claire verbalized defeat with a soft groan, however, as she held the empty container up to eye level. The inside of her brows turned upward as if willing it to fill with something containing caffeine, refusing to accept that she had already consumed the last batch that morning. She heaved a sign as she accepted defeat, placing the useless pot in the sink.

“Rowan, you here?!” She hollered, absentmindedly looking over the papers stuck to the front of the fridge. Her fingers trailed one in particular, tugging it down after realizing the date. “Aw, I forgot about this! We have to go! I think it’d be kinda cool to meet everyo-” A sudden wave of revelation crossed Claire's face, her mouth falling agape just slightly. “Oh no... I’m so sorry,” she began in a whisper, “you're probably meditating and I’m an absolute jerk. I’ll just slide this under here, okay?” She had moved to kneel beside Rowan’s closed door and was attempting to pass the flyer beneath it, mug still in hand. As the paper began to crumple against the door frame, she cringed, leaving it just outside the door with a gentle, finishing pat.

“Imma just go get some coffee, okay?” Claire turned to rush out of the apartment with her music still blaring, window still open, feet still bare, and still having received no answer from behind the door.

Claire pushed through onto the rooftop, eyes scanning the crowd for one face in particular as goosebumps immediately formed on her bare arms. She muttered something to herself about a window as she swiftly moved towards who she needed, though she was careful not to interrupt any conversations currently being held with the landlord.“Oh, Bert. Buddy ol’ pal. My faithful dealer of all things caffeinated. My main man, Bert,” She began as soon as there was an opportunity, addressing the man she had interacted with perhaps a total of three times since her arrival to Silvervale.“It seems I have not gone shopping in a few days and I’ve put myself in a predicament... So, how much money and/or physical labor would it require for me to perhaps obtain a cup of Joe?” Before the man could respond, Claire lifted her empty mug, curled her lower lip downward, and overemphasized the batting of her lashes. She probably wasn't going to mention that she had just scoured the entire apartment building for the man.
Not in the characters tab, @RedVII.

And I see you lurking, @Berlin.

March 18th, 1997

“The boys around here call it ‘The Black Lagoon;’ a paradise. Only they say nobody has ever come back to prove it.”

A screen flickered white and gray across the dark room, illuminating the cracking plaster walls adorned by peeling paint. In the center sat a bed that barely fit the space and upon it rested a sea of blankets. The dialogue coming from the television was abruptly interrupted by the cries of the alarm clock placed on the bedside table as it wailed for attention. A pair of hands erupted from the pile of fabric with a mess of blonde hair following. Ellie clambered to end the noise, though her eyes remained cemented closed.

“Shush, shush, shush,” she muttered, violently flinging herself out of the covers and aiming a blind fist at the clock, successfully ending its tyranny. The woman grumbled something fierce as she swiped the back of her hands across her eyes and instinctively shuffled directly to the coffee maker situated next to the sink in the corner of the room.

A polo shirt and pair of khaki pants completed Ellie’s outfit, as with any work day. She scrambled to tug her hair into an elastic as she turned her doorknob with an elbow, balancing a multitude of objects in her arms. Upon freeing herself, she worked to make it down the long exterior corridor lined with identical doors without dropping anything. Ellie used her chin to balance a thermos as she bounced down a neglected stairwell and to the edge of the green tinged pool at the center of the complex.

“Mornin’, Sunshine!” she chimed as she headed towards the single pool chair on the patio. A man with a face drenched in hair and whose personal hygiene was clearly suffering rested there, the woman draped across him lacking both clothing and any dignity. “It’s from last night, but I kept it in the fridge,” she spoke essentially to herself, setting a distinguishable box of Chinese food beside them. “Brought Aspirin and some water too.” She continued placing the items she was describing, despite getting no response from either of the unconscious bodies. For a moment, she paused, jutting out her chin and narrowing her eyes at them.

“Aye, Tony?” At last, both of their chests rose. She considered reaching to find their pulses, but the gamble of scabies was not one she was willing to take. Risk versus benefit.

Ellie had moved into the motel upon arriving to the city. Her initial search consisted solely of the cheapest place that would allow her to stay the longest. The bad plumbing and fear of bed bugs or being mistaken for a prostitute came free with purchase. She considered moving somewhere nicer when she snagged her job, but Tony waived rent upon the unspoken agreement that she would bring him occasional leftovers and clean up what she could of his bad decisions.

After draping a towel over the two, Ellie glanced to the watch on her wrist. “Ah, shit.” She frantically reached into her back pocket for her keys, coming up empty.

“Ah, shit!”
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