Time/Date :It is currently 04:27 Pacific Time on Thu Feb 21 2008.
Place : Tenement Building - Stairwell
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is foggy. The temperature is 29 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius). The wind is calm today. The barometric pressure reading is 29.89 and steady, and the relative humidity is 96 percent. The dewpoint is 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waxing Full Moon phase (99% full).
Tenement Building - Stairwell
The building's stairwell is narrow and bright and rather dull. The concrete and metal stairs wind around upwards from the ground floor to the roof, pausing in a landing at each floor, where a green metal door gives entrance to that level. It smells clean but stark, and every so often one can see a cockroach scuttering along on some insectile errand.
The door leading to the fifth floor is different from the others; it sports a keypad-operated locking mechanism to prevent those without the code from entering. A small, simple line drawing of a cockroach decorates the wall just above.
Sometime over the last couple of years, a teen girl with a poor attitude and a hair-trigger temper has grown up, and matured into a young woman. With a poor attitude and a hair-trigger temper. KL is a little over five-foot tall - no late growth spurt for her - and slimly built. She moves quickly, and is rarely still for any length of time. Her natural balance and co-ordination are clearly evident in her movement, but any hint of grace is smothered with her air of irritation, hostility and restrained aggression. She manages to turn even simple activities - like ordering fries - into not particularly subtle attempts to provoke fights.
Her mid-brown hair is now quite long, and she wears it in a long plait that falls down between her shoulder-blades, secured at the top and the bottom with wide black eather bands. She's really quite attractive, perhaps not a pin-up, but far from ugly, with a cute upturned nose and wide expressive hazelnut eyes. However, any level of appeal her physical appearance might have is swamped by the anger in her gaze and the sullen set of her mouth. She stares at people - particularly people she doesn't know - with a cold fury, as if trying to decide exactly which way to kill them.
KL has pale skin decorated in two places - on her left upper arm is a largish tattoo of something that looks a little like a bear, with its jaws spread wide and slaver falling in droplets. It has the words "No Mercy" written with gusto beneath it. On her right shoulder-blade, if visible, is a second tattoo, two-inch-square, of a winged horse. There isn't much in the way of excess flesh on her, her cheekbones are clearly visible and her bare arms have a tight musculature that speaks of regular and plentiful exercise.
She is wearing a pair of blue jeans that look brand-new, and have a designer label clearly visible on the rear, a pair of combat boots that also look new. On her upper half she is sporting a rather snazzy black leather jacket over a clean new white t-shirt.
Around her neck hangs a pendant, an oval disk made of some kind of bone. It looks like it's been decorated with carved designs, which are somewhat hard to make out on casual inspection. The pendant is hung on a leather thong.
On the back of her right hand, the legend "Be Nicer To People" is etched in black pen.
Looking at Eleanor:
From behind a tangled veil of untamed golden curls, blue-green eyes stare out and seem to shine. The girl seems to look the typical air-headed, blonde-haired sort. Pretty, with a round face, and a small, slightly upturned nose perfectly centered above a dusky rose pout. Only a spark, a flicker of something one cannot quite put their finger on, suggests there is more to this fifteen-year-old girl than meets the eye.
Standing five feet tall, give or take an inch, and a little underweight, Eleanor has a dancers build and a decidedly girlish figure with high breasts, concave stomach, wide hips and well-toned thighs. A pair of torn and faded hand-me-down jeans, a size too large, hang loosely around her hips, held in place by a black, silver-studded belt. A black and white striped, long-sleeved shirt hugs her curves and shows the visible outline of her ribs. To counteract this, an oversize grey sweatshirt is worn over the top. An illustration of a little girl in a floppy, wide-brimmed sun hat wading through a lake with a small, dark shadow trailing in the water behind her adorns the front along with the caption "F is for Fanny sucked dry by a leech."
A young girl is huddled on the stairwell to the first floor apartments, third step from the bottom, sobbing into her knees. Long, blonde curls cascade down around the sad child and obscure her face from view. But based on Zeke's description, the girl has either got to be Eleanor Bell, or her identical twin sister Abigail.
Blowing into the stairwell like a gust of wind, her plait trailing behind her, comes a slightly nightmarish version of Lara Croft. Minus the ludicrous chest. And the shorts, guns and backpack. And wearing a leather jacket and a pair of jeans. "Chr..." she begins to shout, and then notices the crying girl and slams to a halt. "Hello," she says, quietly, leaning down. "What's up? Mind if I sit down?"
The girl shrinks away instinctively, bracing herself for impact when Ms Croft comes flying in her direction. The collision never happens, however, and once the girl is sure of this, one blue-green eye opens and peeks out over her knees and the arms hugging them to her chest. "I'm not going to charge you rent to sit here." A roundabout way of saying it's okay.
KL smiles. "Hi," she says, planting her bottom on the stair, leaving about a foot between her and the other girl. "I'm KL," she says, easily. "And I'm guessing you're either Eleanor or her sister, am I right?"
The blonde somehow manages to make the look she gives KL from that one eye to be a dubious one and she nods slightly. "Eleanor," is all she offers.
"Oh cool!" The Fury replies. "I've been really keen to meet you. Zeke's told me a lot about you. What's the matter?" She cocks her head on one side, resting her own arms on her knees.
"What did he say?" Eleanor's tone is almost bitter as she asks her question, keeping her one-eyed vigil on the Ahroun.
The sound of booted feet echoes on the stairs as Chris heads down from the top floor, his phone held in his hand. As he rounds the corner of the stairs however, he pauses- KL and newpersonhedoesn'tknow. On a biiiig moon. Instantly nervous, he offers his most friendly of friendly smiles. "KL! Hey! I was just looking for you.. Who's your buddy?" He gives the younger girl the best smile he can muster on a fat moon- managing to avoid looking too leery.
"He talks a lot about you," KL says. "When he's not doing the whole, "I'm a metis, nobody would want to go out with me, I don't deserve it" heap of fucking crap." She looks up as Chris approaches. "Chris! I was looking for you. Sorry about being rude last time." She shakes her head. "Basil still gets on my fucking nerves. Any news?"
Eleanor looks up at Chris and immediately clams up. She's watching him closely. Moreover, she's watching how Chris and KL interact with each other. She sits up a little and finally opens her other eye for a better look at things.
"Not a prob, KL. He's got being an ass down to a fine art, even for all of his qualities." Chris waves a hand, very much switched into the 'do not offend the ahroun' mindset for the moment. His mannner is reminiscent of someone dealing with old, sweaty dynamite. Or perhaps a drunk and angry clown with open flies and a machine-gun in its hands. Nell is given a quick look, and he blinks a little. "Hi." He repeats for her benefit. "You're in here, so you gotta be family.. I got this wierd feeling I've met you before though.." He shakes the thought away. "Anyway. Yes. News. I took a shufti around Parry's house last night.."
KL nods, taking in the information. "This is Eleanor. She's the sister of one of the cubs. Twin. She's a friend of Zeke's, and thus a friend of the Furies." There's an edge on this that suggests that KL might be hinting something. She glances at the kin and flashes a grin, then looks back to Chris. "OK, anything unusual?"
Eleanor seems content to be quiet. She only nods in greeting to Chris and then again to KL's explanation of why she looks familiar.
"Oh! Okay, it must've been your sister I met then. Thought you looked kinda familiar and shit.. Hi. I'm Chris- I'm one of Zeke's packmates." The british raggie lifts a hand in more formal greeting, before turning back to KL, his 'business-hat' replaced once more. "Well, didn't find /much/ there- but there was another crate and a half of the wyrmjuice. And I've got the address for where it's being bottled. I think the time for more direct action is drawing upon us- after the moot, you and I should go ask him a few pointed questions. Then go check out the source of this problem; get together a pack perhaps."
The Fury Ahroun grins nastily. "That sounds like a pretty good plan." She blinks, as a thought crosses her mind. "Chris, if we go talk to him, we're almost certainly going to have to..." She glances at Eleanor, then back at Chris, raising an eyebrow to check he understands. She looks back to the kin. "Did Zeke give you the present he got for you?"
"Yes," Eleanor mutters, peering back and forth between the Garou twice before she speaks again. "I am /clued/, you know."
The boy nods to KL's words. "Yeah, I know. Which is why we'll do things /my/ way when the time comes- but don't worry. There'll still be lots of opportunity for that which you're so very good at." He gives the woman a wink and a smile. "And that you love so much. To be honest, I'm almost more interested in checking out the bottling plant at the moment; find out if this shit's being shipped out elsewhere or if it's just a private order for our friend Parry." Eleanor is given a small glance. "Being clued isn't the same as being comfortable with some of the shit we need to do." He explains gently. "Hell, some garou aren't."
KL glares at Chris. "You appear to think I'm some kind of lunatic psycho with no concept of subtlety." Her arms fold across her chest. "And yes, obviously the bottling plant is more important. But this Parry has been knowingly drugging young people in his charge. *Knowingly*. He needs to be dealt with." She pauses. "Unless he's under some weird mind-control ray, or something." She shakes her head, and looks at Eleanor. "What he said."
"Well keeping details from me isn't going to protect me," Eleanor argues. Much like a, well, moody teenager. "The way I understand it, trouble comes through the front door sometimes. I'd rather have a very good idea of what to expect if I have to witness it first-hand."
At KL's glare and words towards him, Chris suddenly goes tactically (and tactFULLY) silent for a moment, staring off into the middle distance before the talk returns to business matters. "Oh, he'll be dealt with, for sure. But we don't want to squash him before we've got every last drop of info out of him; we could use someone who can ask questions and see the truth in the answers." A sudden pause. "Hmm. Zeke can do that little trick, can't he?"
"Yes, he can," KL says. "So can Mel, and she's been in on this one before." She pauses, still staring at Chris, and then decides to let it go, looking back to Eleanor. "We're talking about having to kill someone, because letting him live is too dangerous to us. It's not pleasant, but it is necessary."
"He's a bad guy, right?" Eleanor looks first to KL, then to Chris for confirmation of this fact.
The door to the fifth floor shuts with a bit of a clatter. If anyone wonders who just came out, the whistle and rapid footfalls down the stairs should make it obvious. Yes, Mick is going on one of his mystery errands again. But when the spots the small gathering, he pauses and eyes Eleanor. "Hey... did you follow me? How did you get in here?"
"Well, either of them then. Mel for her past experience or Zeke 'cause he's one of my packies. But when he gets interrogated, we need to make sure that we do wring every last drop of info outta him." He looks across to Eleanor. "You say you're clued; so, you know that the Wyrm is the source of all corruption, right? This /asshole/ has been feeding the Strauss High football team gatorade pumped full of Wyrmtaint. It's why they've been going psychotic in regular outbursts. I'm guessing he's doing the same to the baseball team these days as well. Bastard's gonna get squashed like a bug, but we need to figure out how far back the whole plot trails."
KL nods fiercely at Chris' words. "And remember, I have the lead when it comes time for violence," she says. Then notices Mick's arrival. "Mick," she greets, standing to face him. "I presume she came in through the door. Where she's allowed to, because she's kin." An arched eyebrow. "I presume that isn't actually a problem?"
Eleanor stares at Mick for a moment. "That was Abigail. I'm Eleanor. We met a while ago. You were carrying paint. I got my face smashed into a wall." Remember? She turns her attention back to Chris and says, very plainly, "Then there's no problem. He's a bad guy, he's doing bad things and hurting people. Bad guys /should/ die."
Mick nods to KL "Yes, I know she probably came in through the door. But last I met her, she was having problems on the street, being harassed by a couple of guys from the group home she lived in. But if she's kin, there's no problem, I just didn't know she was." Calmly explained for the unwashed. Then his attention shifts to Eleanor. "Yeah, I remember. Small world after all, isn't it? Did those guys give you trouble when you got back?"
"No worries there, KL. Just remember that we don't all fight the same way when the time comes. If the entire factory is producing this wyrmshit, then let's face it, we should be in for a nice old fashioned party, eh?" The boy's eyes faintly glint at the prospect. He gives Nell another quick glance and a smile. "Nice to see a healthy attitude on the subject in one of our cousins." He comments with a chuckle, before he nods to Mick. "And hey, little-dude. Anywy, if you guys'll excuse me, I need to rush out and get some smokes before the big-moon-moodies really grab me by the balls. See y'all later."
KL nods to Chris. "See you later." She peers at Mick. "So, you saw her sitting between Chris and me, and you decided that the most likely explanation was that she was a stray normal human who'd wandered in, and who Chris and I were chatting about our secret special anti-polka dot plan to?"
Eleanor fixes her gaze on Mick again. "They did bother me again. Zeke took care of it." Try as she might, she can't stop the smile (not to mention the blush) that's creeping up on her.
Mick raises both eyebrows, in an expression of absolutely fascination. "Actually, my hearing is good, but not good enough to hear what you were talking about as I came down the stairs. But it's good to hear we have a special anti-polka dot plan. Other than that, I am slightly paranoid about our safehouse, considering we are rapidly running out of secret places to stay." That said, he nods back to Eleanor. "Glad that got sorted. If anyone bothers you again, let us know, we'll take care of it. I mean, how are we going to clean up the city and protect Gaia if we can't even keep control over the street we live in?"
KL looks at Eleanor again, just a sidelong glance, and she flashes what's probably supposed to be a reassuring smile, but comes across a little aggressively. She looks at Mick. "Yes. Important to protect your territory. Or you might lose...control."
Eleanor scratches at her face, down the rivers her tears traced down her cheeks. "Can I ask a question? It's about Zeke."
Mick meanders further down the stairs and towards the front doors. "Sorry to chat and run, but I got to make a delivery. Good meeting you all again." And with that, he's out the door... going for parts unknown.
KL watches Mick leave, and then relaxes with a sigh, leaning back against the wall of the staircase. "Of course you can ask me," she says. "And I'll try and answer to the best of my ability." She cocks her head on one side. "Especially if it'll make you feel better."
"I asked him out," Eleanor admits, "And he said he couldn't go out with me because he's Metis. The low man... If Mouse can be Fostern and Elder, why can't Zeke have a girlfriend?" The Kin crosses her arms and rests them against her knees.
KL snorts. "Because he's an idiot," she says. "Well, that's unfair. He's not really. But he has an inferiority complex about it." A pause. "It is possible that the Fury Elder might frown upon it, a bit, but I'm quite happy to take the flack for it. If he wants to, he can go out with you." She blinks. "Eleanor... his last experience... was really bad for him. I think it's ruined what little confidence he has. So you might have to work a bit for him." The corners of her mouth twitch. "He's not my type, even if I was allowed to - we're not, but he's got a good heart."
"So I can tell him that? 'KL says you're an idiot and that you should date me because she's got your back'?" Eleanor cracks a small smile. "I really, really like him. I mean, not only is he nice to me, he buys me /food/." Now that's the mentality of a starving girl if ever there was one.
"Yes, tell him that," KL says with a nod. "If he wants to. If he's just being weaselly and doesn't want to date you, but is trying to avoid saying it, I'll gut him." She shrugs. "But I think he likes you a lot. So that's probably safe. He's just shy and low on self-esteem."
Down at the main lobby there is a knock on the door. Outside is a hatted (and hooded today) Ezekiel carrying a small donut shop bag.
Eleanor suddenly breaks out sobbing again, pressing her face into her arms on top of her knees. The sound, for her, drown out the knock. "I just want him to come back! I yelled at him and I was so mean and I didn't mean it! I was just so- I was so /hurt/!"
KL ignores the knock, for the moment, and sits back down next to Eleanor, putting an arm around her. "I think I can completely guarantee that Zeke does not hold grudges after being yelled at, or being mean to." She pauses. "Did you force him to the floor, kneel over him and repeatedly punch him in the face?"
Eleanor looks up at KL, stunned out of her tears for a moment. "No." She wipes at one eye with the back of her fist. "Why? Do you think I should?"
There is silence after the knock for a time, and then a second series of short raps follow.
"Not especially," KL replies, standing up and turning, heading to get the door. As in open it, not as in rip it off its hinges. "I did. And we still get on." She pauses. "Actually, if you felt it was the right moment, he might interpret it as a sign of affection."
With KL's back turned, Eleanor fixes the Fury Ahroun with a disgusted look. Oh my God, she can't be serious. But she schools her features back to neutrality quickly.
Zeke finds the door opened and a... KL standing there. "K-KL? What are you doing here?" The donut bag is held between both hands, and he just stares at her with a kind of dumbfounded look.
"Well," KL says, with a smile. "I actually came here to talk to Chris about the 'dots. But then I ran into the girl you left in tears on the stairs." All of this is perfectly pleasant, a smile playing over her lips. "I take it the donuts are an attempt to make up for that?"
Zeke winces, eyes dropping to the floor. "I didn't know what to do," he admits quietly to KL.
Eleanor comes rushing out of the stairwell and quite literally shoves KL out of her way, if she doesn't move first, in order to get to Zeke. She throws her arms around the Metis, heedless of the donuts he brings, and presses her lips to his. Third time's the charm, right?
KL, fortunately, is aware of the onrushing kin, and steps out of the way. She looks annoyed, and then a foolish smile washes that away, itself to be replaced by a look of sadness and bitterness. "Go with the flow," she says, in a very low voice.
The donuts get dropped and Zeke gets assaulted. He stumbles as the girl reaches him, and easy as can be she gets her kiss in. The poor metis is wide-eyed yet again, and his gaze flickers nervously to KL before her words reach his ears. The only trouble is that Zeke doesn't know /how/ to go with the flow. Eventually, his arms at least wrap around her in a returned hug, and he glances down to her and offers a little kiss back, still tense and nervous.
It's about that point that Chris returns from whence he came (IE the nearest 7-11), a cigarette between his lips and a more relaxed expression on his face. This results in him blundering almost directly into Zeke and Eleanor's embrace. "Awww, now that's a kodak moment." He comments to himself, letting out a small laugh. "
Eleanor pulls away and stares up at Zeke. Very, very seriously, she informs him: "You are going out with me. Or I'm going to kick your ass. KL said I could." Well, not quite.
KL nods her head definitely, then glares at Chris, eyes hard, arms folding across her chest, daring him to say the wrong thing.
Zeke looks startled, and then looks to KL with a look of disbelief. "But..." he makes a quick switch at the last moment. "I brought donuts?" One could almost hear the pounding of his heart as nerves flood him.
"Fuck you, and fuck your donuts!" Eleanor steps back and puts her hands on her hips. "What is /wrong/ with you?!"
Chris leans against the doorframe, returning KL's glare with a far less aggressive one. He remains silent, though he gives a small smile for his own reasons at Nell's sudden outburst.
KL switches that glare onto her tribemate, moving her feet apart until she stands in a posture that might just be familiar to Zeke.
It's all a little overwhelming for Zeke, whose breath is now coming up in rapid gulps. KL's glare gets a submissive cowering out of the boy and he drops his eyes hard to the floor. "I'm sorry. I like you Nell, I like you a lot. I don't want to start anything that will end badly. I'm sorry."
There's a visible look of disappointment upon Chris's face as Zeke denies Eleanor, though he turns his head away a little to hide it as best he can, drawing on his cigarette carefully.
Eleanor takes another step back, accompanied with a loud sniffle as the tears threaten to start again. Another step, and another. Back, back, back.
KL stares at Zeke, her face a mask of disgust. She takes two steps towards him, her eyes not wavering for a second, and her jaw works slowly, before she finds the word she's after. "Coward," she says, dismissively, and then turns her back on him.
Zeke winces again, hands balling up and clenching with nerves and undirected rage. "Nell, stop." He eyes his packmate for the briefest of moments, and KL gets a glare so heated that the temperature in the stairwell might actually feel like it had a hot flash. He's panting hard now. "I- I want to try. But, I, I don't know /anything/ about this stuff Nell. Not anything but bad things. And, and if it causes either of us trouble, we have to stop. O-okay?"
The ragabash at the door relaxes a little at Zeke's words- though he remains taughtened and alert physically.
Eleanor freezes in her tracks. She stares at Zeke but she doesn't look frightened. Maybe just... surprised? "I- Is that a yes?" Slowly, she starts approaching the uncomfortable Metis again. Though he may not unnerve her, she still treats him like a spooked animal.
KL looks back over her shoulders, hope in her eyes. "Whatever happens, Zeke, I've got your back. You know I'll stand up for you." She takes a couple of steps away, but these aren't steps of anger, just leaving the spotlight for someone else for a moment.
Zeke brings a hand up to tug at his hat in nervous habit. "I think it is. So long as you're willing to, to understand that I don't know better on a lot of things. And we don't rush things, or, or push if someone higher up says no."
The heavy metal door that leads to the stairwell swings open to reveal another Glasswalker Ragabash. They're as abundant as the cockroaches on the fifth floor, really. Dressed for the chilly weather, Riley's got his hoodie on and pulled up, the wires visible from the two white earbuds securely resting in his ears. He pauses, glancing up slightly at the assembly before him, brows lifting slightly. A hand snakes into his pocket and winds down the volume.
"Y'got KL to back you up, y'got me and the rest of Vendetta. We're not about to let you get pushed around in something like this, man. That's /our/ job." Chris comments, tactfully closing the door behind him to cut off the cold air from the street and then moving around to give Nell and Zeke a bit more space, barely even noticing Riley's appearance.
"Nobody's going to tell me what to do, Zeke. I will /fight/ anybody who tells me I can't-" Eleanor closes her mouth and reaches out to snatch up Zeke's left hand. Mine. "See? Nothin' to worry about. You've got your friends." She laces her fingers with his and waits for his response.
KL has found a wall to lean against, and just gives a grunt of approval and support - hardly the most eloquent of gestures.
With the front door blocked for all intents and purposes, Riley hangs back. The interest leaves his features at the public display of affection, and his lips tighten slightly, etching the neutrality deeply into his features. He takes a few steps back and leans his back to the wall just to the side of the door and drifting his eyes closed, thumbing the volume back up as he waits for the small huddle to relocate.
Zeke glances down and gives a weak little nod. It seems the metis is giving up on the idea of trying to convince the trio otherwise. "You'll have to be patient. I, I didn't grow up learning how to do any of these sorts of things." His hand remains in her own, and his gaze is at her feet.
"So, hey, KL, why don't we go and do something somewhere.. else?" Chris comments across to the fury Ahroun with a small smile. "There's stuff and things that could occupy us, I'm sure."
"We'll learn together, eh?" Eleanor pulls Zeke gently toward her. "C'mon, I'll show you my room."
KL peels herself off the wall. "Yes," she says to Chris. "I've pushed my luck being here for long enough." A pause. "Wish me luck tomorrow, people." She smiles fondly at Zeke, though not without some sadness, and heads towards the door. And Chris.
Closed eyes slit open slightly at Eleanor's words, and focus in on Zeke's back. Riley's expression is souring by the second, and he jerks the volume off entirely as he awaits Zeke's response.
Zeke watches nervously as Chris and KL make their way to depart, leaving him feeling rather alone despite their moments ago promise to have his back. "Just for a little while. I can't stay too long today."
Pausing by the door, Chris looks back to the two of them. "Just remember, Eleanor. The moon is big tonight, so don't go making him get het up. In /any/ way." The advice is delivered in a friendly, almost joking way, but with underlying seriousness. " Why don't you two go up onto the roof? It's lovely and quiet this time of an evening. Zeke, you need me, I'll be on our link, buddy." And then he opens the door for KL, waiting for her to pass before making his own exit.
"Just until the donuts are gone, then," Eleanor promises. Though as she leads him up the stairs, she smiles devilishly, "I plan to nibble and savour every little bite. Come on. Si- Gail tells me the view is great."
With the pathway suddenly cleared to the front door, Riley slumps off of the wall, tucking his hands into his pockets and snorting at the situation. He offers a stiff nod of his head towards Zeke, and then circles his thumb back around to blast the volume of whatever he's listening to up to full, heading outside, himself.
Zeke grabs the donut bag as Eleanor begins to lead him upstairs. One last look is tossed toward Chris, the poor metis looking quite fearful, and then he's whisked away. "I brought just an assortment. Jelly, powedered and chocolate cake."
"You're so thoughtful," Eleanor's voice trails off in the stairwell as the pair head to the rooftop.
"Well, that's our good deed for today done.." Chris comments to KL as the door closes behind the two of them and Riley, before heading off in a random direction on a random task. Of randomness.