@craescendo has written a tl;dr: moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyyyy
conceal don't feel
conceal don't feel
conceal don't feel
amos was making her mantra incredibly hard to follow.
ever since it came out, frozen was one of her favorite movies. sure she was a little older when it came around, but she couldn't help but love it. the fact that she was older helped her appreciate the musicality of the movie. the vocals, the writing, the motifs and themes, she loved it all. and of course, she did feel like a little kid when she watched it, but who didn't?
most people thought it was because she related with anna, which would be a fair assessment; looks on the bright side of things, resilient, adventurous,
was in love with someone who never truly loved her
it was fair to think that rae loved frozen because of anna. but the truth was, rae, moreso mahnh, found herself relating more with elsa.
no, rae didn't have secret magic powers and no, rae wasn't endangering an entire country she was supposed to rule.
but she did lose her parents. and once her parents were gone, she felt completely alone and out of place. she felt like no one would ever understand, like she would never belong. there were so many times that rae felt like doing what elsa did, running away, back to taiwan, so she could feel like she was where she was supposed to be.
coming to a new country at such a young age had very diverse effects for everyone. for some, it was an eye opening and humbling experience, for some it was a way to flaunt their wealth, and for rae, it made her feel like an outsider. she didn't even look like the people who were trying to parade as her "parents". she looked different from everyone around her, it made her feel like something was wrong with her.
fortunately, rae got over that mindset very quickly. once she started high school and found a place for herself, she realized how truly different everyone was, beyond skin tone and eye color.
but there would always be this voice in the back of her mind, saying that she didn't belong. that she stood out like a sore thumb.
so yea, rae fell in love with frozen. she got so used to repeating that same phrase over and over.
conceal don't feel
conceal don't feel
conceal. don't. feel.
it wasn't working.
why the heck wasn't it working?
because it was amos.
because from a very early time in their friendship, amos proven himself to be a non-judgmental figure in rae's life. from a very early time in their friendship, rae knew that amos would never harshly judge her on anything, that he would put her feelings before his own.
so no, her mantra wouldn't be working. not right then.
rae wrapped her arms around her best friend's torso as he had already enveloped her in a hug.
man am i grateful for you
rae could never express how much she loved and appreciated her best friend. he was always there for her in times of need, even when she wanted to go out for ice cream at three in the morning, the night before a final. he would drag himself out of bed and tag along with her. rae always forgot that they had only met in high school and not as childhood friends. they had grown to learn so much about each other.
and amos knew that rae could never turn down a hug.
she felt herself squeezing his torso, harder than normal. she was trying so hard not to just start sobbing. there were other people in the house, they were supposed to have a party tonight, and if rae started crying right then and there, she would want to stay in her room, curled up in her bed for the rest of the night.
thankfully, rae was used to swallowing her feelings for others' sake. she was a high school teacher after all, rae couldn't even recall all the times where she was dealing with something personal and had to not feel any of it during the day when she was with her kids. and none of her kids ever knew what was going on, they never hinted at anything being wrong.
rae stood there for a moment, hugging amos in the middle of their room.
she allowed herself to feel her own feelings
she allowed matty to have two more tears
then that was it.
at least before the party. all bets were off to how she would be after the party.
she took a small half-step back, amos' arms still wrapped around her. she continued to wipe her eyes with the heel of her hand, trying to gather the courage to look amos in the eyes.
"i'm sorry," her dark brown eyes looked up at her best friend, feeling guilt and shame. "i'm sorry we fought over him, i'm sorry i couldn't see what you were talking about, i'm sorry i ever thought you weren't just looking out for me. i'm so so so sorry,"
and she was. there were so many times where rae was convinced amos was just jealous that she had another guy that was close to her to hang out with. she thought that he saw matty as a replacement to him, which rae understood in the beginning of their relationship. but the more amos pointed out the awful things matty had done, rae continued to think amos was just trying to break them up so they could be each other's only best friends. rae hated herself for being that blind to everything.
in the past few hours she had been over examining every little bit from their four year relationship. did matty ever truly love her? if he did, when did he stop? why didn't he just break up with her then? what if that was how he loved? did he realize what he was doing was wrong?
or am i the issue?
the thought had never left rae's mind. what if it was just an issue with rae? to be fair, this was her first major relationship, but what if that was the reason? she was too sweet and nice or too boring or too innocent or too much of a pushover or too trusting?
how unloveable am i?
rae continued to force herself to look at amos, she hated that she had hurt and upset him through her being so stupid. she hated that she ever raised her voice or got upset with him over a boyfriend who ended up leaving.
Amos had never had any relationships that lasted past two months. There was just always a certain plateau that he hit at around that mark, and then his partner would start to ask if he was losing interest, and then he’d realize that he didn’t really have much interest to begin with. It was…weird, and Amos concluded, after each run, that it was just because he hadn’t found the one yet, and he kept moving on, and he kept looking.
He couldn’t begin to imagine what Raelyn was going through.
Rae had spent countless hours gushing to Amos, in person and over the phone, about Matthias— about everything about Matthias. The small things that he did, the way that he moved and the way that he smiled at her, the little things that she used as “proof” that he loved her, and those things— the bare minimum was the way that Amos saw them— were all the proof that she needed to stay. She talked to Amos about her wedding. Every time she spoke, her brown eyes lit up with the idea that she had a future.
Not even an idea, actually.
She was sure of it.
She spoke like she knew that Matty and she were going to have a future— that they had a future.
Past all of the fights, past all of the cheating, past all of the manipulation and all of the lies, Rae was in love.
Matty was not.
No one who loved anyone could do that to them. They wouldn’t cheat on them, they wouldn’t fight with hem constantly, they wouldn’t bruise them.
They wouldn’t toss them out and away like trash.
The anger that burned on his chest physical hurt his heart.
He heard Rae sniffle, and he looked down at her. Her shoulders trembled in a way that he knew could only mean that she was crying.
She stepped back slightly, wiping her eyes with the butt of her palms.
Her eyes met his, and the tears in them made him grow pale.
The acid in his heart boiled over, spilling into his stomach and sending one thought into his brain:
I’m going to kill that bastard.
“I’m sorry we fought over him, I’m sorry I couldn’t see what you were talking about, I’m sorry I ever thought you weren’t just looking out for me. I’m so, so, so sorry.”
She was apologizing for something that wasn’t her fault.
She was apologizing for being deceived, for being lied to.
It wasn't her fault.
It wasn't her fault.
“I’m so sorry, Amos.” The pain in her eyes sent a shock through his spine that swelled behind his eyes. “I really am."
He stared at her for a moment, his own eyes growing wet.
And then he pulled her tightly to his body again.
“Shh,” he hushed gently, not even trying to hold back his tears. “It’s alright…it’s alright…” He rubbed his hand against her back. “It’s fine to cry...don’t hold back.”
The anger could wait.
Matty could wait.
Rae was hurting.
“It’s just a…shitty situation,” he murmured, holding his best friend tightly. “You’ve been through so much…and I don’t want you to apologize anymore.” His voice was soft as a sympathetic tear rolled off of his cheek. “I’m not mad at you…and none of this is your fault…and I’m here for you. I will be here for you through all of this, and I’ll do anything I can for you…”
@craescendo has written a tl;dr: moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyyyy
“It’s fine to cry...don’t hold back.”
"no," she sniffled again, drying the last of her tears. "no no no. it's not worth it. if he wants to just, throw away four years of a relationship just so he can screw around with whoever, then fine. i'm not wasting anymore of my time on him. not right now."
her posture and attitude were filling with a determination rae only got after heartbreak. a strange sense of confidence she only got after being as hurt as she was right then.
after she busted her vocal cords, she found a strange kind of peace and positivity in becoming a music teacher.
in the strangest way that rae could think of, it's what was happening now.
rae's brain was always face paced. it thought quicker than most of her peers. it's the reason she went into high school early, dapne and fin couldn't keep up with teaching her. to say she was an accelerated learner would be an understatement. no, rae wasn't a genius by any means, but her brain just worked faster and she understoo things much quicker than others.
so her brain was in overdrive. it was telling her to move on. it was telling her how none of this was worth it. her brain was telling her to forget it and go enjoy this new chapter of her life.
"look on the bright side, right?" a smile made its way to her face, wanting to leave the bad mood in the past. "youuu have finally moved out! and now we can save way more money on gas because you won't have to come pick me up from my house to drive to the school! we're growing up parker, and i think we have earned our right to go have a house warming party with our new roommates!"
her smile was genuine, because despite the pain of her boyfriend of four years leaving her, she was determined to make that day a good one. because hell, it was a good day. she was living with her best friend! she was moving in with a bunch of people around their age, who she was determined to befriend. whether her new roommates wanted to or not, they would get along in some capacity. when you live in such close quarters with people, you formed a unique, interesting bond.
it was a bond that rae was looking forward to.
"do you think this outfit is good enough? is it too casual for the first house party?" she walked away from amos, over to her mirror to look at herself. "i mean i think my hair's okay like this, but i don't want to give off the impression that i'm lazy with my move-in clothes..." she tightened the ponytail on her half up-half down hairstyle, the bottom half of her hair having previously curled was now falling into more loose waves.
her eyes glanced to her best friend, looking for approval.
A wide smile spread across Kristoffer's face as his earlier howl was returned by a half-naked Atlas. If Twitter told the truth, this would not be the last time he would see that man shirtless tonight. Apparently there would be a pole-dancing competition taking place at the party later.
Chris simply shook the remaining cigarettes back in to the pack when his offer was declined.
"It's good to see you too brother. I haven't had my morning smoke yet, so I'll come back when I'm a fully-functioning human being again." Chris was not ready to interact with anything or anyone before his morning-routine was over. The routine was simple and only involved one thing, puffing on a quality Marlboro cigarette. Some people need their coffee, others heroin, his addiction was tobacco.
With certainty Chris left the living room faking a smile to anyone who crossed his path to the balcony. He barely made it outside before lighting what he commonly referred to as God's gift to mankind.
A few minutes later Chris was back to being a human again, ready to go on with his day.
The smell of tobacco followed him all the way to his room where he tossed his housecoat on to his unmade bed and slipped in to something a bit more suitable, a grey Pigalle hoodie and pair of black jeans. Comfortable, yet stylish.
Dressed and thrilled for tonights adventure he went downstairs to socialize with his housemates. Chris thought it was important to try and get to know the others, they were after all living under the same roof. Even though you got an idea about each and everyone via Twitter, nothing compared to some face-to-face action.
Chris entered the living room only to shockingly find Beatrice on top of Lucky's back. He stopped for a second and gave Lucky a humorous wink as he quietly chuckled to himself. "The sexual tension at this place is unreal." He muttered as he fell down on to the empty couch.
This certainly was one hell of an attractive group, but he hadn't really thought about someone in that way, not yet at least. Chris has always been careful when it comes to love, he's too afraid to get hurt. Whenever it got serious between him and another girl he would freak out, leaving both of them heartbroken. Nowadays he's single, but he ignores people like he's taken.
All of the sudden Lucky's question caught his attention. "Anyone else feeling frisky?"
Chris shifted his eyes towards Lucky and answered, "Well, if you buy me dinner first, maybe. I rarely give all of me on the first date though."
Chris flicked through his hair in a sarcastic bitchy manner as he looked away from the two in the couch.
"Are you teaching me to drink the American way tonight Red?"
He asked looking up towards the still shirtless Atlas.
Sure, it was a bit over dramatic, but he’d dreamed of moving out of his parents’ house since he was eighteen. It wasn’t that they weren’t good to him. They were the best. It was just time. Time for him to put himself first. Time to ensure that Maia had a bright future and time to ensure that he stopped putting his dreams on hold.
Ever since Maia came into their lives full-time, everything had changed. His older siblings had already moved out and gotten married and started their lives. Except Brody, but it was Brody and no one expected much from him. His parents needed help and it was Cameron’s responsibility to be there for them and for Maia. A decision he never regretted.
But Melissa’s death changed his parents, mostly his mom. Since then, she’d been...protective was the nicest way he could put it. But any dreams of being a firefighter were dashed when his mother forbade it. Nevermind that Brody had enlisted in the arm, Shane and Dillon both joined the police force. That was done. His mom couldn’t do anything to stop them, but him? The baby of the Lloyd family wasn’t allowed to put his life in danger.
It was easy to go along with it at first. Maia was younger and needed a lot more attention. That meant that he had to step up. He put all of his attention into Maia and the diner. Those became his only priorities. But now, things were different. His parents were getting older and having a harder and harder time keeping up with Maia and he had about a hundred bucks in his saving’s account.
Whether he had planned it, or not, he was the closest thing Maia had to a father and he wasn’t going to let her down. It was time to start looking out for both of their futures.
14th Avenue was just the beginning. He’d be starting the fire academy next week and in six months, he’d be a full-fledged firefighter.
“Yeah, Ma.” He said with a sigh as he paced back and forth in his room. It had been a few days since he’d moved out of his parents’ house and his mother was handling it as well as can be expected. She’d taken the day off at the diner, so he didn’t get a chance to see her since June dropped Ava off while he was at work.
“I’ll be by tomorrow to pick up the girls.” He said attempting to get off the phone. “Everyone has been very nice.” He said as he rolled his eyes as June unpacked a few items from boxes. He made chatting noises with his hand toward June insinuating that his mother wouldn't end the conversation. “No, you don’t…” He rubbed his eyes. “I have plenty of clean underwear, ma.” He took a seat on the floor. “We have a washing machine.” He laughed. “No, you don't have to cook...okay...that sounds great, ma. I'll pick it up tomorrow. Alright, I gotta go, June needs help with some boxes.” He waited for her to finish. “I love you, too.” He said as he hung up his phone and set it on the ground beside him.
“It’s been 4 days and she acts like I moved across the country.” He stated aloud, but not expecting a response. He picked up the instruction manual for the girls’ new bunk beds. “I have four extra screws and a random piece of wood.” He said holding them up. “I...can’t figure out where they go.” He said as he stood back up and shook the bed to check it’s stability. “How long have I been at this?”
That was the minimum amount of time that Leo figured he would need to spend out here amongst the unsavory individuals that he currently lived with in order to make the impression that he wasn't a serial killer. And no, it didn't occur to Leo that standing quietly off to the side and staring at everyone would easily negate the effects of his plan and just add fuel to the idea that he had notorious ideas or... something. Whatever it was that bitch Beatrice had put in their heads.
Look, Leo wasn't an idiot despite how it might appear at first glance. And he wasn't about to go on the group chat with people he didn't know and be like "yeah, I like illegal street races and setting shit on fire in my spare time." Seriously. Imagine how well that would've gone down if some of them ended up being fucking narcs or if there was a cop or a cop in training or something.
It was bad enough that he was living with not one, not two, but three fucking firefighters. The last thing that Leo really needed was a cop breathing down his neck, too.
And then he'd retreat back to the relative safety of his room. Granted, his room gave him a bit of a headache and mild irritation whenever he entered thanks to the messiness of his roommate, Marlowe, but that was far superior to standing out here amongst... these people.
Of course, his plan was kind of tossed to the wind when a girl approached him -- she'd brought some sweets in and had called out that they were available for anyone or something, but Leo really hadn't been listening. He'd kind of tuned her out, just like all of the other useless chatter of those around him. Any words that bounced against his ears sounded like static.
He blinked, slowly turning his head to look down at the girl as she introduced herself. No smile cracked across his face -- instead, the blank stare remained. Fuck... Leo should've smoked a joint or stepped outside for a cigarette before this. Anything that could've ebbed the tense edge that he now felt with the approach of this strange girl who introduced herself.
I really don't care.
However, luckily, his words didn't echo his thoughts -- how uncharacteristic of him, but he didn't yet know much about this girl. And hey, who was to say that he wouldn't prove to be of some kind of use to him eventually? For now, he'd try to play it civil.
"Hello," now, he cracked a smile. He held a hand out as one did because it was fucking polite. "Pleasure to meet you, Madison. I'm Leo Kavanagh." He introduced himself and it certainly did not take his roleplayer rewriting that last name a good three times because she kept misspelling it.
Leo was trying to keep the pleasant smile on his face, trying to continue to keep his tone in a happy, easygoing kind of lilt, but that bitch Beatrice just had to ruin the moment.
He glanced towards her, his gaze instantly souring as she spoke -- but Leo didn't offer any kind of response. If he had, he would most certainly have been something snappy and hissed through clenched teeth. And the last thing he really needed was to piss off Bitchtrice even more.
Seriously, if she could just hop off his dick already, that'd be grand.
Once Bitchtrice had left, Leo turned his attention back to Madison and the easygoing smile returned once more. He tried his best to be, you know, generally pleasant. And believe it or not, but Leo was actually fucking decent at that.
"Today?" he echoed. "Ahh, well welcome to the firehouse." He said, making a little gesture around with his hand. "I've been here about a week. Can't say that it's too bad -- I haven't met most of the roommates, but everyone seems cool."
He hadn't met them because he refused to come out, but alas.
And hey, now he'd talked to Madison and Beatrice had seen him, which meant that as soon as this interaction was over... Leo could retreat to his room.
Well, Havana shouldn't be a comedian that was for sure.
Everything she'd tried had basically gone into the shredder along with Mitchell's sense of humor. She wasn't making fun of him or anything, maybe he was just shy... Hav didn't really get along with shy people but that's typically because they didn't really talk to her, but like she said... with a little time she'd get this little old guy up and running in no time. Mitchell McNeil would be the new and improved Thomas The Train.
Here comes his dazzling attitude.
She wondered what his smile looked like too.
Oh, please. Not in a creepy way or anything. It's just something she envisioned with everybody, especially the stoic ones. Havana always enjoyed the stoic look, oddly enough... and don't diss her for this.
There was so much emotion behind it.
If you knew were to look... that is.
It was in every shift of their eyes, a twitch of their lips, and their reactions to anything that you might've said. And Mitch? Zero reaction. Havana could strip down to her underwear and this guy would probably just blink. Not that she believed she was a knockout or anything, it'd just be a pretty awkward situation. So who knows, maybe this guy was actually a serial killer who decided to help out with her bags.
At least she was on his good side.
She thinks anyway.
“Is there anything else I can help with, Ms. D’Arco?” The way he'd said her name almost felt a little... eh, she doesn't know what's the word she's looking for.
She had to admit though, it was kinda fun that he was sticking to the whole last name thing.
Made her feel a little special in a way.
"I was kidding about the tip thing, by the by. But I think you're free to-- Oh!" Havana put a hand up, indicating him to stay as if she was ordering a puppy around. "Stay." The girl turned on her heels to the suitcases onto the floor, letting out the smallest grunt as she lifted the thing, flopping it onto the bed and unzipping it.
Where was it... ?
"Oh, come on... don't tell me I-- gotcha." Phew, she thought she forgot them! There was somewhat of a housewarming gift in this thing too, she had to scramble around for that, Havana made a mental note to pass along the gift to her sister before she'd forgotten and it ended up going into the drawer along with her many, many clothes that were piled into all of two suitcases. To be fair, she didn't have a whole lot of belongings. Who needed unnecessary baggage when you were moving out? Most of her things went to goodwill, donated or sold somewhere on craigslist for some extra pocket money.
When Havana found out she was moving in with Bea, well... why not start fresh? A fresh start was always appreciated with Hav. Especially since some things felt like they were dragging her down a little too much.
After finding only, the greatest thing ever created, Havana held two candy packets in her hand.
What kind of candy was it you ask?
They were sweet, sour, and wait for it... spicy.
Havana's mouth is practically watering at the sight of the bite sized, red candies.
"For you, my good sir."
She waited for him to hold his hand out, and when it didn't come-- Havana gently grabbed his hand and placed the candy inside of his palm, withdrawing her hand barely a millisecond after. What? Who knew what the guy had with personal space. They didn't even shake hands. She paused, interlocking her fingers behind her back before she continued, dwelling it over for a moment.
"I don't recommend if you're a baby to spice. They're seriously, the greatest thing in Spain besides the people-- Er, well, I mean the culture is seriously mind blowingly beautiful, literally everything there is--" Havana was used to talking with her hands, almost every sentence before that was a gesture either to him, the suitcase near them, the roof, or anywhere around the room just because.
Her sentence was cut short by Havana clearly taking into the account of just how much she was talking.
She shook her head free of the rambling that was obviously happening, a rambling that was probably going to continue if she didn't shut herself up.
The slightest of color appeared onto her cheeks and she decided to divert the attention back towards, yup-- you guessed it, the candy.
"Anyway, uh...they're really good. One of a kind."
She was really passionate about this candy, okay? They probably had tons of them all over Europe, and primarily New Mexico. But oh man, was Havana so deeply entranced by these little suckers. They were heaven on earth. Wasn't there kids around here too?
Havana supposed children would enjoy her candy a little too much. Did it make her a little selfish to hide them for herself?
... It wasn't like they could handle a little heat anyway.
"There's totally more where that came from." Insert wink here. No, she was not about to wink in front of this man. That'd be a disaster, Havana definitely didn't want to see his reaction to that. He'd probably be out of here faster than she could say... well, let's be honest. Anything she probably said to him didn't really make a difference.
She felt like this dude was ready to burst through the roof and fly far, far away.
But... Hav didn't want to him to run fly off just yet. Maybe this is her chance to pull him out of the shell that this hermit crab was so comfortable being in-- at least, the shell he seemed to be in. Maybe the light in here wasn't as great as she thought and she was totally misjudging this guy.
Maybe he saw her as intimidating.
What? Havana could totally be intimidating.
Besides her clear intimidation skills, she'd like to think she was a pretty good judge of character, so there was at least a seventy-two percent chance that she was correct with psychoanalyzing one Mr. McHermit right here.
"Are you one of the... four? firefighters?" She asked, It was pretty easy to piece it all together, she knew most of everyone and their occupations from their group chat.
"Ironic you decided to live in an abandoned fire station. No?"
Although she doubted he said more than an introduction in the group chat and it reminded her to scroll through it later. Might be a little amusing to check out his responses towards everyone-- her sister, specifically, given her own views on him already.
"Aw, c'mon man. Throw me a bone. I'm tryin' here."
Blunt approach? She wasn't sure how this was gonna work out.
Raelyn never ceased to amaze him, even in the littlest things.
Even in the way that she was able to pull herself together, even though he knew that it wasn’t good for her to do it, to bottle it all up, Rae amazed him at just how well and how quickly she was able to do it— at how quickly she was able to fake like everything was alright, like nothing bothered her, and like she knew that it would all turn out okay in the end.
As he watched her dry her tears, Amos’ brows knit tighter.
He knew her change in attitude— like the flick of a switch or the change of a track— wasn’t a good sign.
He’d seen if before, but not with anything like this, and he knew what she was trying to do.
Hide it all away.
As impressive as her ability to do that was, she couldn’t hide it from him.
He was her best friend; it was kinda his job to notice when things were wrong.
“You’re right,” he agreed, voice soft. “You don’t need to waste any more of your time on him— not now, and not ever. But…Rae, if your tears are helping you, then they aren’t a waste, and it’s not…good to bottle it up and lock it inside. Dismissing it isn’t ‘throwing away the key’…” He gave her a gentle smile, putting his hand on her arm encouragingly as she pulled back from the hug. “I just worry for you, alright? I…this…isn’t something small.”
That bastard…he’s gonna know that much.
When Rae turned it back to him, trying to “look on the bright side”, Amos gave her a small smile, for her sake, though it wasn’t enthusiastic in the slightest. He was still worried for her, and he was still furious for her, and he couldn’t hide that away. “Yeah, look at us!” he said, though his tone fell a bit short of being fully genuine. “Look at us. Living together in a new place surrounded by new people…it’s a fresh start,” he agreed.
He studied her outfit as she questioned him about it. “Looks fine to me. You look amazing in whatever you wear,” he chuckled. He wasn’t exactly the fashion expert, but Rae pulled off anything that she wore.
Even that corn dog costume she tried on at that store. It was a shame that she didn’t end up buying it— it could’ve made for a great formal outfit.
He came to stand beside her, half of his reflection cut off. He smiled warmly, putting his elbow on Rae’s shoulder as if she were a table. “A fresh start,” he repeated. “We’ve been through a couple of those together, haven’t we? High school, college…” He laughed slightly. “We’ll make it through this one— you can lean on me, and I’ll lean on you. You make a great armrest, and I make a great…uh…lean-on-er, too,” he said, laughing again.
That was right. They could pull each other through, no matter what.
T L ; D R : mitchell being a mildly awkward, kind of boring, very cold grown ass man.
At Havana’s command to stay, Mitchell’s brow twitched upward.
She was telling him to stay, now? Did she want him to roll over, or sit, or speak? Was the offer of a tip the fill in for a treat? It wasn’t his preference of reward, but it would have sufficed, though not enough to get him to speak up when there wasn’t much for him to say or much that he particularly wanted to say.
She hauled one of her suitcases onto her bed, and he watched her with a certain degree of latent curiosity playing in his eyes. Was she looking for something to show him…? What was this?
She was certainly…an odd one, and that was an understatement.
She turned to him again, holding something small and red in her hand. "For you, my good sir." She stood in front of him, smiling up at him, and he looked down at her with a cold, unamused expression on his face.
He was still unsure of what to do or how to respond to any of this.
She grabbed his hand, and his brows flicked together for an instant in confusion.
She was also a confident thing. He had to grant her that much.
She placed something in his palm and yanked her hand away immediately after, and he looked down at the object in his hand, his brows knitting together.
It was something small and red.
"I don't recommend if you're a baby to spice. They're seriously, the greatest thing in Spain besides the people— er, well, I mean the culture is seriously mind blowingly beautiful, literally everything there is—“
She cut herself off, but he didn’t look up to find out why.
Cautiously, he took it between his forefinger and his thumb, and he lifted it up to inspect it closer, his thumb rubbing the bottom of the wrapper.
"Anyway, uh...they're really good. One of a kind."
Mitch’s eyes flicked back to Havana, and he noted a bit of a blush on her cheeks.
He felt like he should…
“Thank you,” he gave, pocketing the small thing.
He wasn’t one much for candy, but he wasn’t going to decline it now that she’d given it to him.
"There's totally more where that came from."
He didn’t really like the sound of that.
"Are you one of the...four? firefighters?” she asked, obviously trying to make conversation.
There were more firefighters here…? This was news to him.
"Ironic you decided to live in an abandoned fire station. No?"
He failed to see the irony. It was more of a coincidence than anything.
"Aw, c'mon man. Throw me a bone. I'm tryin' here."
Ah, so this was her asking for him to speak!.
Did fetch come next?
“I’m a fire lieutenant.” It probably didn’t mean much to her. “You’ve guessed correctly.”
He looked around her room, observing her décor.
He wasn’t one much for conversation, but he figured that he might as well ask:
“What is it that you do? Are you…a student?” His tone was still just as cold and uninterested.
There were several things that Mitchell "Lt. Hardass" McNeil was known for.
@craescendo has written a tl;dr: moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyyyy
"dismissing it isn't 'throwing away the key' ... this...isn't something small."
rae took a breath in and let it out. amos was right, this wasn't something small. it was something that crushed rae, it's not like her and matty's relationship was one that lasted two months, it was four years.
four years that she poured into someone else, four years of making excuses for his actions, four years of being open and intimate on a level rae never had been before. and for what?
rae had no idea anymore.
if you asked rae, two years ago, what was the point of being so incredibly open and vulnerable with someone? especially with the risk of them completely abandoning you and disregarding your trust? rae would've smiled and talked about "but imagine if they don't," and launch into a lecture of how a relationship is about mutual trust and respect, and how wonderful it was when someone loved and cared about you as much as she loved and cared about matty.
if you asked that question three years ago, her smile wouldn't be as bright. she would have a small discussion with you about how you should trust your partner and support them when they go through hard times. try to tell you to remember how they were in the beginning of your relationship, and say the typical "all couples have rough spots".
but if you asked her anything relating to the purpose of opening up within the past year of her relationship with matty, rae would have no idea what to say. her default was to hold out and wait for everything to get better, she didn't even realize things got as bad as they did. she never failed to give matty the benefit of the doubt, no matter how many people told her who they saw him with the night before.
it got to a point where rae wouldn't even ask matty about the accusations. there were a slap or a punch or a grab too many for rae's own good. she learned the lesson of not bringing it up with him, she understood it loud and clear.
she was just waiting for it to get better
and apparently it never did.
i wasn't good enough
rae's thoughts were disrupted when amos joined her, looking at their reflection.
no, i wasn't good enough for him.
rae had her fair share of insecurity, who didn't? of course rae had the thoughts of being worthless, being stupid, being a failure, it was a normal thought process. but in the end, she knew where she stood with the people who cared about her. sure, those people were amos and the couple that adopted her, daphne and fin, but she didn't need anyone else. did she want more people to care about? absolutely, this was raelyn clifford we're talking about, she's got a bleed heart, just waiting to love and care for whoever she could.
and her wishes were about to be answered within the next few weeks.
"A fresh start,”
rae smiled at her best friend through the mirror, grabbing onto his arm and taking a side step so they were both in view of the mirror.
she was convinced that everyone needed a friend like amos; someone who was honest with you because they cared. someone who would never talk bad about you or hurt you on purpose. someone who was a true "ride or die".
they just couldn't have amos, that was her best friend.
he took his arm out of her grasp, leaning it on her shoulder, causing rae to roll her eyes and start giggling.
"you're such a loser!" her voice bubbled into laughter, shoving his arm off her shoulder. "come on, i want to see what kind of food we've got going on for this party," she grabbed his hand and ran to the staircase.
she dragged him down the stairs to the main living space, and towards the group of people already conversing.
"hey guys!" she dropped amos' hand to give a small wave, her smile felt like it was taking up half her face.
yea, this is the feeling i deserve to have for a fresh start.
Hallelujah! Moving day had finally arrived and June couldn't hide her excitement! Not that she was trying very hard to do so in the first place though.
To be fair, up until today she had been living in a studio apartment with her five-year-old daughter in a less than safe side of town and it hadn't exactly been fun. Especially not with screaming matches and gunshots being their personal lullaby every night.
It was not a comforting environment but despite offers from a friend or two, June had been staying put, not really wanting to take the handouts or break her lease.
In the midst of unpacking and decorating the room, at least what little she could do, for the time being, June had been listening to Cam's very lengthy phone call with his mother. While it was clear that the older woman was frustrating her friend, June thought it was rather sweet that she felt the need to call and check in on him.
Plus, June couldn't help but get in a laugh here and there like when Cam made hand motions to signal his mom was talking his ear off and at the mention of new underwear. There was no way she wasn't gonna mess with him about that later on. How could she not?
As she finished hanging up the clock, which was definitely crooked due to her barely reaching on her tiptoes, she turned to face Cam. He'd been struggling with the bunk beds for a while now and she was certain that being on the phone was only proving as a distraction. If they were lucky then the beds wouldn't be a complete disaster but the way it was looking...broken bones were in their near future.
“It’s been 4 days and she acts like I moved across the country.” Cam groaned, still focused on the girl's beds.
"She just misses you. Besides, it's a mother's job to worry about her kids. That doesn't go away with age, I'm told it only increases," she said, a smile tugging at her lips. The girl tilted her head when he held up the extra pieces. Yep. Like she said, broken bones.
"About an hour. I don't think you're supposed to have extra parts. Are you sure-" she paused abruptly as her eyes traveled back up. Before she could get the words out he was already telling Twitter that he was going to climb up and check the stability himself. This was not going to end well, she was calling it now. He was going to come crashing down in the matter of-
The crash wasn't as loud as she'd expected but he definitely came tumbling down with quite a thud and June couldn't help but shake her head. "I hate to say I told you so but..." she said, walking over to help him. "Now I see why Mama Lloyd was so worried about you," she teased, watching as he looked to see where the piece went.
"Crap! I knew it! I forgot paint!" she realized as she looked at the plain wooden pieces holding the beds together. She'd planned on painting the girls' names on along with some cute designs or something but it slipped her mind when she was at the store. Not uncommon.
“A loser?” Amos echoed Rae’s words with a smile, though he tried to feign offense by placing a hand on his chest and giving a huff of mock indignation. “Well, I never— wow.” He shook his head, clicking his tongue and breathing out a long sigh as he played disappointment before he dissolved into chuckles.
“Come on, I want to see what kind of food we’ve got going on for this party.”
“Pfft, I’m the loser?” he teased lightly, laughing and rolling his eyes as his friend grabbed his hand and tugged him along behind her.
Down the stairs and to the first floor they went, a smile spreading across his face the further that Rae pulled him.
She was feigning her happiness, and she was hiding her hurt behind that smile, but…he could play along for today.
She deserved a day of playing pretend after…that, whatever that had been.
Thinking about it made his anger bite at him again, and he let out a soft sigh at it.
He could see her bruises clearly in this light, without her hand covering it, and it made him…a weird mix of sad and angry and sorry and—
He just hated to see her hurt.
When they arrived on the first floor, Amos smiled at the bustling of his new housemates around him. These were his new live-in neighbors, his new breakfast buds and midnight snack mates, his new, uh…
(He should’ve really thought of how to end his sentences before he started them.)
The room was alive with activity and noise, smiles on the faces of nearly every one that he laid eyes on.
This was…a lot of people. It was like a whole dorm situation thing going on.
It reminded him of his nights back in college— well, you know, back in college as in a year or two ago. The parties that they had in the lobbies to welcome the freshmen had this same vibe— wild activity and the happy buzz of new friendships being formed. It gave Amos a quick wave of nostalgia, and his smile broadened.
Rae tugged him to stand before the crowd, and she gave a “hey guys!” and a wave to the group as she dropped his hand.
“A wild Rae has appeared!” he teased her beneath his breath, and then he looked at the group.
“Hey!” Amos said, loudening his voice a bit for the others to hear, following Rae’s lead and giving a little wave to the lot of his new housemates.
Mood: Excited, Nervous, and pretty tired Outfit: X1 Location: Livingroom Interaction: Leo (Winona
) Mentioned: Beatrice (geminiy
Madison could be considered outgoing. She never had problems making small talk, even if it wasn't the type of conversation she preferred. It was a large part of living in the south, making small conversation with people in line and cashiers. Waving at people you know when you drive past, and keeping friendly with your neighbors even if you have them. Well, most of the time anyway. So Madison, despite the blank stare this guy was giving her, she kept a polite smile on her face. She waited patiently as he seemed to process what she said, before he finally introduced himself.
Leo Kavanagh seemed...well, in all honesty, it didn't seem like he wanted to socialize that much. In any case, she outstretched her hand and shook his, her smile brightening for a few moments. "I'm sorry to bother you, you're just the first person I stopped near." Which made sense in a way, the living room was a bit...busy at the moment. The other chatter in the room kind of mixed together, nothing sticking out that much as Madison turned her attention back to Leo, wanting to ask a few normal questions before leaving him alone when another girl approached.
A slightly confused expression crossed over her face, watching Beatrice interact with Leo like he was an alien or something. Calling him princess, but Beatrice was nice enough to her. "Yeah, nice to meet you too," Madison mumbled, waving to Beatrice as she walked off. That was rude wasn't it? Leo was just standing here not doing anything? Then again, she had just met him, maybe Beatrice and Leo had some sort of fight. Well...nevermind, it wasn't really her business. Her attention returned to Leo once he spoke, echoing what she had said.
"Yep, today," Madison smiled, nodding a little. "All my stuff is downstairs still, but I'm pretty excited. This place seems fun." Not to mention, it was one of the biggest moves of her entire life, and it had dropped her into a room full of oddly attractive people. Like seriously, were they all models or something? "I'm a little nervous though, Chicago is nothing like Charleston," She chuckled a bit, glancing to Leo for a few seconds before letting her eyes wander around the room again.
She knew this place was going to be interesting, and she still needed to recruit someone to help her get everything upstairs. Room 3 was her's, and given how this common area looked, she was excited to see what the rooms like. Of course, they probably weren't extravagant and she knew she was sharing with someone...at least if she remembered correctly she was. Madison didn't mind sharing, she has her brother had tk when they were younger. So this wasn't going to be all bad, Madison just knew it. Looking to Leo again, she smiled a bit. "Oh um, I brought some cake and cookies for for everyone, so its there if you want any."
She mentioned all of her stuff being downstairs and he briefly wondered if she was fishing to try and get him to help her carry her stuff up. If she was, she'd find herself coming up with nothing because Leo was not about to go out of his way to help her carry her stuff to her room. Did he look like someone that did menial labor like that? Absolutely fucking not, and Leo wasn't about to start now.
So he just kind of...
Ignored the comment.
Yep. Just ignored it. Maybe if he just ignored she'd forget. Well, if that's what she'd been trying to imply with that comment, anyhow. Look, Leo hadn't wanted to carry his own possessions to his room and he'd avoid the hell out of carrying them up for someone else.
"Charleston...?" He echoed back the name. "That's where you're from?" Leo asked, although it was a rhetorical question because why else would she be talking about this random town that nobody cared about if it wasn't for that being her hometown?
"Middle of nowhere type of place?" He questioned -- not that he necessarily cared, but because he was trying to figure this girl out. Leo studied her for a second, and he made a rough estimation of how he expected her to be. Probably overly friendly, bringing snacks or gifts or whatever to try and appease people that would forget her the moment she stepped out of the room, probably one of those nerdy girls back in high school -- the forgettable ones.
And after Leo's quick assumption, he decided that she probably served little purpose to him, which meant that he didn't need to try and pretend to be nice to her.
.... Except that if she was overly nice, as he suspected, he could probably get her to do his laundry.
Leo really hated messing with menial tasks such as washing his clothes or dishes.
.... Mostly because he didn't understand how, but he had no want to learn how.
"Well, everywhere is middle of nowhere compared to Chicago." Leo added as an afterthought. He was more or less done with this conversation, but he tried to keep some semblance of amicable conversation going. More so because Leo really had nothing left to do and trying to introduce himself to anyone else (which, to be fair, he absolutely wouldn't do) simply seemed like too much work.
He glanced over as two people came down the stairs, shouting hello's in an absolutely childish fashion.
This was what he had to live with, huh? A bunch of oversized toddlers screaming out their hello's because they thought that was the best way to go about introducing themselves or something? If Leo had wanted to be surrounded by kids, he would've taken a job as a stay-at-home nanny or become something dumb like a teacher.
He squeezed his eyes shut, sucking in a deep breath, and exhaled slowly to try and keep himself calm.
Leo opened his eyes again, looking back at Madison, a lazy, half-hearted smile back on his lips. "Unfortunately," he started slowly, his previously, uhh... somewhat amicable attitude falling away for a dry tone of voice. "Half of the roommates here act like children," -- he nodded his head towards Rae and Amos -- "and the other half are bitches that think they deserve the entire world handed to them on a silver platter." -- he tilted his head in the direction of Beatrice.
And yes, shh, he was being hypocritical but shhhh.
The trip back from visiting her aunt in Russia had taken a bigger toll on her than she had expected. Despite getting back 4 days ago, she still wasn't able to adjust back to Chicago's flow and time. It didn't help that she had moved most of her belongings into her studio and practically locked herself in catching up on work. Despite having a rather good amount of space to work with, her belongings bothered her to no end, making catching up even slower than her normal pace. Had it been any other weekday she could have gotten twice as much work done. But no. Her studio had to feel impossibly cramped when she was stuck behind.
Thankfully time went by quickly while she was focused on work and move-in day came quickly. No more nights having to sleep in desk chairs or on cushions on a table or floor. Well, it probably will happen every now and again in the future, but that wasn't the point. With the appearance of the apartment on 14th Avenue, she no longer had to feel bad about still living with her parents at this age. Or the back pain from sleeping on the table in the studio anymore.
Perhaps she learned her lesson about the back pain and would invest in a couch. One of those fancy pink ones to add color to the studio. Estelle considered the idea as she looked for the dress and sweater she had left out to wear. It was rather hard to find as all the clothes she had packed away were messily piled from where she had been looking for a design that got mixed in. Nevertheless, she found what she wanted and quickly got dressed in the storage room before sorting through everything and packing up. Estelle hummed as she waited for the ride she had called to help move her belongings. She would have taken her moped/scooter but not there was no way she could manage to fit anything but her and her suitcase on it. Of course, Estelle could have asked her one of her mothers to help, but she didn't want to bother them due to it being one of their few days off.
Upon spotting her ride, she quickly opened the studio doors and loaded her and her belongings into the vehicle. After making sure her moped and studio were secure, she gave the driver an address to the place she would soon be calling home. Hopefully, at least. She was approved after all, but there was no telling what her housemates would be like. Checking the time she saw that she was running behind her planned schedule much to her disappointment and shot Robyn a text asking if was already settled in, wanting help with moving in her new desk. She didn't have much furniture yet, she had been far too busy to remember to order some....like you know.....a bed. But she would make do with what she had until she saved up again.
As the driver parked the car and Estelle's excitement rose as she saw the place. Finally, a place she could call her own, plus the housemates. Her tired nerves ebbed away. She threw on her backpack and picked up her two suitcases and set them by the door before helping her driver set her furniture against the wall of the building. It wasn't much and all of it had yet to be taken out of the box. It was just two clothing racks, one mannequin, a desk, and a carefully packaged box with her sewing machine and computer. Most of it was light except maybe the desk and computer + sewing machine box and she could easily get it on her own but it would be a lot quicker with help.
Estelle managed to get the door open with minimum effort and with both her suitcases in hand. Thankfully she didn't make a fool out of herself. Or atleast hoped so. It couldn't be to embarissing right? She stepped into the living room and saw quite a few people there. Of course, she made sure to shut the door behind herself. Were her nerves eating her up inside? yes. Would she show it? Hell no. With a polite smile, she walked more inside the building and a bit closer to the crowd in the living room and main floor area.
"Hello! I'm Estelle (i don't have any relationships planned where she knows anyone yet so forgive me)" She spoke rather cheerfully, her smile never failing to leave. She managed a small wave with her suitcases in hand. "It's a pleasure to meet everyone." She paused and looked at everyone she was close to. It seemed like two girls she hadn't met before, both pretty enough for Estelle to want to ask for their numbers. And three guys were all kinda chilling and talking it seemed to her. (I'm sorry if I missed anyone or if some have moved I skimmed replies. I'm sorry.)
She did spot Ashton's head nearby the kitchen door and was tempted to call out to him, but decided against unsure if he was already talking to someone inside the kitchen. That reminded her, Robyn still hadn't texted her back and more than likely was still asleep even at this hour.
Packing. Just the word was enough to make Robyn collapse in exhaustion. If there was one thing they had learned this week, it was that packing was an absolute curse. Organizing, sorting, disassembling, packing. They began to loathe the routine of coming home and having to pack little by little over the past week. It didn't help they had taken on extra shifts at work and extra assignments for their classes to make sure the weekend was completely free. A relaxing weekend with nothing but games and spending time with Zuko sounded pleasant. Perhaps a little bit of drinking since he would need to get used to being in a building full of people.
That was the one downside of moving into the apartments. People. Robyn wasn't particularly fond of the idea of living in a building with a bunch of different strangers. Not only that but to share with a roommate. It was a new experience, and there was no telling how it would go. The nerves had been eating them up inside ever since he had signed to live there. He couldn't really just cancel either, it was the only affordable place he could find and he wanted to experience living outside of the home he grew up in.
Besides the packing and work from classes and his job, Robyn managed to keep up his streaming schedule and only made his sleep schedule even worse. Not that it was a surprise to anyone. He was always sleep-deprived. Which is how he ended up passing out right after his stream the night before-
Robyn woke up extremely confused about what was going on. His face having imprints of keys from his keyboard and back pain from falling asleep in his desk chair. His phone was going off, the alarm he set having been snoozed around 8 times. Honestly, he'd probably put t back on snooze had he not seen the text messages from a few game friends and Estelle. Robyn hastily jumped up and checked the game messages first, and upon finding nothing important moved to read Estelle's message. Fuck. The move. That was today and Robyn was already running low on energy to deal with it. Perhaps he could just move in a day late. Tell Estelle that something came up. He quickly decided against that idea as Estelle would probably kill him.
Sighing, He leaned back in his desk chair and spun around slowly as he looked around the room. Pretty much everything had been packed except the desk and set up. Oh and a few changes of clothes of course. Robyn forced themself up and got changed before tackling the task of dismantling their desk setup and packing it away. Having to take down the setup should be a crime. The thought of the possibility of their gear breaking was enough to be extra cautious with it. On a good note, Robyn did drop off the big furniture and a few boxes of stuff last night before the stream with Elliot's help. It was just the bed and some of Zuko's stuff. He also remembered seeing Ashton passed out in the room, but hadn't bothered to wake him.
Once everything was packed up, he moved it from his current room to the car he was borrowing from Elliot. Was he happy that he had to drive? Absolutely not. However, it had to be done since both Elliot and Marius (Elliot's partner) were working. Robyns faced shriveled up as he sat behind the wheel and started the car. He hated or rather feared driving. He should have insisted that someone be with him, but it felt childish. The whole point on moving out was to feel not childish. Or well part of the point anyway. He turned to Zuko and the cat just curled up in the passenger seat. Ignoring him and his antics.
After following the GPS's instructions and finding a place to park at the apartment, Robyn let go of a sigh he hadn't realized he was holding. Cars were terrifying. Unpacking could wait for the time, so he grabbed his bag and picked up Zuko in his arms then locked the car as he neared the house. Spotting Estelle's mannequin with her company's branding.
Oh yeah, I forgot to text her back......I'm going to get scolded later Robyn sighed.
Entering the house he saw a few people including Estelle were gathered in the main living room. Robyn immediently felt overwhelmed that so many people were in one area. He managed an awkward smile and wave before sneaking his way to the kitchen where he spotted Ashton. Oh thank god
"Ashton. How is life?" Robyn asked while petting Zuko to keep her calm around all the new people. Or perhaps to keep himself calm who knows. The smell of coffee caught his attention. "Coffee?" He mumbled spotting the source of the smell. Robyn then kinda frowned because both arms were currently being used as a resting spot for Zuko, who was sleeping peacefully. Meaning he couldn't make himself a coffee. No to mention that he took notice of other people in the kitchen now that he wasn't solely focused on the one person he knew. There were people everywhere it seemed.
He inspected the candy a little longer than she hoped, the longer you stared at something the higher chance you convinced yourself it looked odd-- completely losing interest entirely, and Havana waited expectantly for him to say something.
She should probably return that sentiment, and so, she did without obvious trouble.
"You're... very welcome."
Havana was now declared the Mitch whisperer and she couldn't be more happier. Alright, well as happy as she could be... which wasn't all that happy, but she was getting somewhere! That's all that mattered. She didn't want to live in a house with complete strangers-- even though she already was, Havana couldn't ever see herself not getting to know these people. No matter how broody, intimidating, or emo-ish they might seem.
Ms. D'Arco couldn't be scared off. And Mr. McNeil just had to be catching onto that right about now.
Her eyebrows rose in surprise, taking in his answer with a nod. She expected firefighter-- of course she did. She guessed it after all. But she hadn't expected lieutenant. That was a pretty big thing huh? He had to have more than a few years in his profession to get thrown up there, unless he just had the stunning personality that bypassed some rules.
"That's actually pretty cool. I wanted to be a firefighter..." She paused, thinning her lips and allowing her gaze to travel about the room before landing onto him again. "When I was five, but hey, still counts?" Havana shrugged with a strained smile. It definitely counted. Mitchell had just went through with it. A really big part of her wanted to ask if that was something he'd always wanted to do, or decided on a whim to... try out. Okay she couldn't remember how the whole firefighter thing went.
... It's been a while since she'd seen Chicago Fire.
Hav had always had this thing when she could almost guess someone's reaction, something they'd say, the way they'd act-- just off of a base meeting.
It's almost like those certain people aren't overly closed off enough to let their actual personality shine through.
What? No! That wasn't an insult.
It was a fact.
Mr. McNeil wasn't predictable. Havana wasn't exactly on edge, nor nervous. She was just... confused.
She hadn't expected him to ask about her. Granted, that's how most conversations worked but as pressing as Havana was about others, she didn't really enjoy when people pried into her own life. Especially when she had to tell him the truth about what she did for a living.
Now, Havana would preach until the day she dies that you shouldn't care what other people think of you. However, it wasn't like she practiced what she preached.
What a horrible pastor she'd be.
The brunette was silent-- for more than a few seconds, unsure of how to respond, suddenly throwing caution to the wind.
"Uh... no, I didn't do the whole college thing. Kinda thought it was a waste of time--" Havana put her hands up in defense before gesturing to herself.
"At least for me."
Probably wasn't for the best. Not to mention her parents flipped when they found out that she wasn't planning on going and moving in with her boyfriend as soon as she graduated. So, nobody said it was a good plan. And sure, maybe she regrets it sometimes. But then she remembers her reasoning.
The reason? Well, what if she spent four years gaining a degree she didn't want? Havana was too... indecisive to pick something she wanted to do and call it there. What if she changed her mind five years later? Ten years? Fifteen? She didn't see the point in wasting four years when in those four years, she could've visited Spain a hundred times over. She probably would pick a different destination to appreciate, but... you get her point.
"I'm very unemployed, but uh, I think my sister's gonna hook me up with a job soon. So, there's that..."
See! Look at the bright side.
Hav had Bea to help her look for jobs, or better yet-- grab one where she worked. All she had to do was ask and see what happens from there. He probably wasn't very interested in hearing about her views of college or the fact that she was unemployed.
He was trying though.
It was something she could appreciate. He didn't have to try. Much less talk to her. "I won't hold you any longer, as much as I believe you're oh-so-curious about little ol' me. Something tells me you'd rather be anywhere else..." Her tone wasn't full of 'oh, pity me little firefighter.' It was light-hearted, met with a smile and full of tease.
This is what Havana did.
This is how she messed around, poked fun, threw a few jokes.
Yes, Havana was playing. And Mitchell was proving to be a pretty fun toy.
More people had started to file into the living room, making an entrance by way of the stairs or the door, and Atlas couldn't suppress a grin as he took in the sight. When was the last time he had been in a room just chilling with this many people? He wasn't going to count work, that fell into a completely different category. Christmas? Thanksgiving? New Year? The last complete family gathering they had was probably a couple of years back, between most of them living in different states and Adrian always off in another part of the world with his wife. What was the last place he'd sent him a package from? Turkey? Japan? He couldn't recall. The countries always got mixed up in his brain. Maybe if he could find the package it would tell him which one it was. He'd have to look through the boxes later. It was probably in the pile by the bed or the one by the window.
Ah whatever, he would find it eventually, there were more important things for him to do now anyway. Like getting acquainted with the rest of his housemates. It was going to be nice living in a full house again, ghost town city definitely wasn't for him. Quiet nights in empty rooms was not his scene. Made the place feel too dead really and he was already starting to wonder how he had managed to last those few months he spent living in that cubby hole apartment. He was never going back to living alone again if he could help it. Speaking of helping, he needed to help himself to a drink.
Bouncing off the couch where he'd sat himself, Atlas sauntered across the room to the kitchen where a small group had gathered and winked in greeting. "Afternoon roomies. Ready to get this party started?" He asked as he made his way to the fridge and searched for the half full of brandy he had cracked open last night while up on the roof. "Cause I'm ready to dance the socks off this place." A smile lit his face when he spotted the bottle and he quickly snatched it out of the fridge and unscrewed the cap, pushing the door close with his leg. The time he had spent up on the roof with the bottle amounted to maybe a couple of minutes max but the view was stunning, even better than the one from the balcony. He could already see a lot of nights being spent up there in the near future.
"Where are the cups?" Atlas asked himself, whistling as he searched for a glass to pour his drink in, while matching names to the faces he had just seen. Unless he had gotten someone mixed up, he was certain they were Marlowe, Ashton…Gen…and the resident tea obsessed darksider. Definitely no questions about the last one. She'd made enough attempts to try and convince him that tea was good that her face was firmly etched in his mind. He made a mental note to himself to double check any drink she ever handed him in case she tried to slip him some of that stuff. He'd be damned if she converted him to the darkside, Atlas thought as he happily poured himself a full glass of pure goodness. There was no way he was ever trading in his brandy for leaf water. No siree. The tea the twins brewed him years ago was going to remain the only tea that ever touched his lips. The memory of the drink made him shudder as he closed the brandy. Never again.
Glass cradled in one hand and bottle hanging from the other, he gave a quick salute to the group. "I'll see you all later for the pole dance." He chirped as he made his way out of the kitchen. Sauntering back into the living room, Atlas placed the bottle of brandy on the table as he emptied half the glass. Ahhh. That was the stuff. Alcohol was lovely but brandy in particular always hit the right spot, no matter the time or situation. Next time Agnes pestered him to get married, he'd tell her that brandy was his only lifelong companion.
"Are you teaching me to drink the American way tonight Red?"
"You bet buddy," Atlas grinned at Chris as he set the unfinished glass down next to the bottle, "the first of many things I'm going to teach you." He was already looking forward to their night outs. Him and Chris? They were going to be epic.
As he stood up, he turned his attention to the smiling young woman he had spotted earlier, standing at the side of the room next to Leo. Like with Bea, he actually hadn't seen very much of Leo since moving in a couple of days ago. The man seemed to prefer the solitude of his room to the company of people but then again, maybe he was one of those that took a while to warm up. He'd find out soon enough with them living under the same roof and all, Atlas certainly wasn't going to just let him hide out in his room all the time and if he was determined to do that he'd just have to crash his room often or drag him out. No biggie. In the meantime, introductions.
Atlas was about to head over and greet them when he heard a voice calling out in greeting and turned to see two newcomers standing in front of the stairs, Rae and Amos. Ah well he could just greet Leo and the new girl later. "Welcome to the party!" He called out cheerfully as he made his way over, mimicking the motions of a butler as he had seen them behave in tv shows and movies, towel resting on his arm as he stopped next to them and gave a deep bow. "Atlas Reddinger at your service, monsieur and madame." France wasn't on the short list of places he had travelled to, jet setting was really more of Adrian's thing, but he was confident that he was pulling off a decent fake accent and if he wasn't, they could just laugh about it later. "Can I get you something to drink? Brandy? Rum? Coffee? Or if you would just like to take a seat and relax, perhaps our masseuse will be willing to give you a taste of her magic hands." His eyes flicked over to where Bea and Lucky were behind him. He might get into a little trouble for offering up her massage services like that without her permission but he was in a mischievous mood.
Mood: Excited, Nervous, and pretty tired Outfit: X1 Location: Livingroom Interaction: Leo (Winona
It's not that Madison was fishing for help, she was just making conversation. Not that the help wouldn't be appreciated, there were only a few big things she needed some extra hands with. The great of it was all boxes she could get on her own. She hoped someone here had a hammer though, Madison had some furniture she needed to put together. So, she let Leo off the hook for not answering, the silence hung over them for a few moments, just a few, before Leo mentioned Charleston. "Yeah, sure is," Madison nodded, looking up at him for a few moments before her eyes started wondering the room again. This was an interesting bunch, that was for sure, Madison knew this was going to be a fun place. Even if grumpy standing next to her was living with them.
"Not really middle of nowhere. Charleston is a pretty lively place. At least the area I lived in," Madison replied, brows furrowing a bit as she considered what he had said. "It's just..." She paused, and at the perfect moment, Leo mentioned Chicago making everything seem small. Her smiled brightened, "Yeah that's exactly it! Chicago isn't like any place I've ever been before, I'm excited to live here!" She spoke, shifting her feet a little as her hands came in front of her, Madison pulling at her thumb a little. She opened her mouth to say something, before someone shouting hello caught her attention. A light chuckle passed over her lips as she watched, catching a small glimpse up at his slightly annoyed expression. It shifted quicky to an obvious coping mechanism to keep himself from snapping.
Madison's brows furrowed a bit again, watching him for another few seconds before looking away. He was being nice enough to her, so it was fine for the moment. When he spoke again, he gave himself away. The annoyed tone, his view of the others..."I'll keep that in mind, thank you," Madison spoke with a slight nod. Madison would of course, wait and see how she interacted with the others before making her own assumptions. She was use to loud people, and she was use to those who thought they were all high and mighty. But, Madison was bright enough to know that surface impressions wasn't all there was to most people. Which...was also true of Leo.
"So I'm guessing there's not much peace and quiet?" She asked, looking up at him. "I moved here for school, so quiet study time is pretty important..." She added with a little murmur, reaching up to run a hand through her hair.
He wouldn’t allow himself to be bested by a children’s bunk bed. Companies often sent extra pieces all the time. That's all this was. He was sure of it. He placed his hand on the bed and gave it a little shake. It was sturdy. Crafted masterfully by the one and only Cameron Joseph Lloyd. There wasn’t anyone that could convince him otherwise.
“She just misses you.”
He glanced over toward June. “There’s a fine line between worry and smothering.” He said with a slight chuckle. “Did I mention how happy I am to be out of that house?” He said letting out a long breath. It wasn’t that bad, but it was definitely time. Time to leave the nest. Time to prove that he was a grown up. Time to prove that he’d be able to take care of Maia on his own.
Twitter and June both disagreed with his carpentry skills. He was offended. He'd always been handy. Usually it entailed lifting things and placing them where his mom or dad requested, but handy nonetheless. Had he built a birdhouse junior year and forgot to drill the hole so the birds could get in? Yes. He did, but that was a long time ago and he had followed the instructions and that piece of wood and those screws were not part of this bed. It just wasn't possible.
He placed his hands on the ladder and lifted his feet off the ground. “Listen, I know what I’m doing. You know how many toys and games I’ve put together for Maia over the years. I’m pretty sure I can handle a bed.” He gave Junie a reassured smirk as he climbed onto the top bunk. “See, it’s…”
“Oww…” Cam groaned as he bounced onto the floor of their room. He really didn't see that coming. Staring up at the bed, his eyes narrowed as he saw where the wooden plank should have been placed. “Huh…” He allowed Junie to assist him up and rubbed his head, hoping his cheeks weren’t as red as they felt. He grabbed the instruction manual in frustration and re-read through them. His eyes widened as he found what he was looking for.
“Yeah...well...they don’t have to write these damn instructions in riddles.” He said as he cleared his throat. He knelt down and lifted the mattress and placed it back on the top bunk. Grabbing the extra piece of wood and screws, he placed them in the appropriate spot and screwed it in place. “If you could wait at least a month before telling my mom about this, it would be much appreciated.” He made his way over to the ladder. “I don’t need her worrying quite this soon.”
He ascended the ladder and placed a hand hesitantly on the top bunk and pushed down. There was no way he’d allow himself to fall for a second time. He slowly crawled onto the bed. So far, so good. He looked over to Junie and flashed a smile as he laid down and rolled over staring up at the ceiling. “And yous doubted me.” He laughed. “Safe and sound.” He said as he sat up and swung his legs over the side.
“Crap! I knew it! I forgot paint.”
He hopped off the bed. “I’ll pick some up from my parents when I get the girls tomorrow.” He said as he placed a hand on her shoulder. “It’s not a big deal. We can have the girls put their handprints on it and make it their own. They’ll love it.” He smiled. “But...the bed is done and the rest of the boxes can wait.” He gave her a smirk. “Let’s go meet the rest of the house and, more importantly, have some drinks.”
@craescendo has written a tl;dr: moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyyyy
rae not-so-subtly elbowed amos at his a wild rae has appeared comment, not being able to fight off the smile she felt coming on.
it was a pretty good description of their friendship and their everyday interactions. the teasing, the hidden remarks, the eye rolls accompanied with suppressed laughter, if there was a dictionary of the different friendship dynamics and examples of each kind, amos and rae would be this dynamic's example.
rae remembered how she and amos became such good friends. no, as amazing of a story as it would be that the instant they met they became best friends, that wasn't the case. rae and amos had almost every class together her freshman year, she saw him all the time. english, algebra, biology, but she never heard him speak. the first time she ever heard him was when he would sing in choir.
throughout their classes in the beginning of the year, they had only been introduced superficially, due to how schools think their first day ice breakers will help you make friends for life. she knew his name and face, and that was it.
but about a week into her freshman year, the high school choir already had a performance set up. it was a fairly easy performance, a fairly easy song, the director said they were singing a song from last year so the majority of the choir already knew the song.
it was a good two-hour bus ride, and fate had it that raelyn clifford and amos anderson were seated next to each other. it was easy to see that rae was nervous, even if nobody knew who she was, it was written all over her face. her eyebrows were permanently knitted, she was constantly biting at her lip, her leg wouldn't stop bouncing, and if you happened to catch a peek at her phone, she couldn't decide on a song to listen to.
so when amos leaned over to whisper something to her, she jumped, before focusing on what he was saying.
"did you notice how the bus driver keeps glaring at ms hua? she told him he couldn't put on his god-awful radio music for the entire trip." rae's eyes darted to the front of the bus, catching when said bus driver would shoot a look at their director, who was none the wiser as she went over the piece they were going to perform.
her hand flew up to her mouth as she giggled, looking at amos.
and now? here they were, still whispering small comments to each other, making the other have to hide their laughter.
"welcome to the party!" rae's body turned around to see one of their new roommates come up to them. his face looked familiar from the group chat...atlas? yea, atlas was it.
she openly laughed as he mimicked a waiter, also confirming his name as atlas reddinger. not in a mocking way, not at all, it was a default mechanism for her. with her nervous/excited mood and trying to cover up her breakup emotions, it was ten times easier to make her laugh than normal.
which may not mean much because rae tended to laugh at everything anyways.
"nice to meet you, atlas!" she gave him a warm smile "i'm rae, and this is my best friend, amos!" she motioned to the boy next to her, before atlas becan to offer up drink orders.
"umm..." she had to think about it.
rae used to drink, she wasn't an alcoholic or anything like that, of course not, but she was known to get drunk on occasion. but she recently had to stop, well not had to, she chose to stop drinking. amos hadn't had alcohol in a long time, for his own reasons, and rae didn't want him to feel alone or awkward for it. so she gave it up too, it's not like it was ever a big staple in her life, she never relied on alcohol to have a good time.
"you know, if we have any kind of cola soda, i will take a can!" her eyes glanced up to amos as he told atlas what he'd have.
rae was caught off guard when atlas said something about a massage. her eyes followed his as he glanced over to the couch. a guy was sitting on the couch while a girl was giving him a shoulder massage. she let out a short, confused laugh as her head tilted to the side in confusion. she tapped amos to have him lean down so she could tell him something.
"i didn't think it'd be this kind of party," she kept her eyes trained on the two at the couch, silently letting amos know what had bewildered her.
So the girl in front of him was one of those “free spirits”.
Even in his youth and younger young adulthood, Mitchell never understood that type. It wasn’t that he hadn’t been a fan of spontaneity; on the contrary— he was always the type to go-go-go and very rarely stopped. Even so, the idea of living out his life without some kind of end goal in mind had always sounded…idiotic to him. It was idiotic to spend your life without looking at the clock or without thinking about your money, as cheerful as it may have seemed. In the end, you’d hit a ceiling, and it would all be downhill from there, and it would be only downhill until you died.
(Mitchell had never been an optimist, either.)
What a dumb mistake the young woman in front of him was making. She’d certainly regret it.
It was her life to live, he supposed, and her life to waste if she so chose.
His brows lowered slightly, a subtle acknowledgement that he’d heard what she said as he studied her pretty, young face, full of life and that overblown idea of freedom that he wished that he could somehow reverse time to get back.
“I won’t hold you any longer, as much as I believe you’re oh-so-curious about little ol’ me,” said Havana, her voice twinged with the edge that made it obvious that she was teasing him. “Something tells me you’d rather be anywhere else…”
What had given her that notion? His cold tone, or his stern eyes?
It wasn’t that he necessarily wanted to leave. (After all, he had come here to occupy his time.) In general, he didn’t really want to be anywhere, and this place fit the bill of anywhere. You wouldn’t ever catch Mitchell bouncing on his heels or jumping at the gun to do anything…at all. This didn’t mean that he disliked being here or doing whatever it was that he was doing; it was just that he found no enjoyment in anything at all, and that was his reaction to nearly everything.
He supposed that it was an easy enough mistake to make. She didn’t know him, and he didn’t really want her to.
Besides, more time here denoted more speaking, which Mitch didn’t particularly care for.
He nodded a small nod. “I’ll see you around,” gave Mitchell, voice cold and uninterested, though his left brow tinged upward to show a slight mark of expression. He turned around, making his way back over to the staircase.
His hand found the top of the railing, his brows knitting. The metal was cool against his hand, and he held onto it for a moment, not moving.
“Oh, and…,” he began, “by the way…” He turned his head slightly, looking at the dark-haired girl in his periphery.
His voice was cold as he delivered his next line:
“I appreciate the tip.”
Though it was difficult to miss, there was a slight sign of and it was truly a pleasure to meet you, too in there as well, though Mitchell, turning his head away and beginning to descend the stairs, made no motion to confirm or deny that sign.