Parallel Convergence

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  1. [BCOLOR=transparent]//Parallel Convergence//[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Prologue: A Quiet Day[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]In our world, there are a hundred million things that are still beyond human understanding. From the Big questions about time, space, our beginning and our end, to the smallest of conundrums like why ice is slippery or how bicycles actually stay upright. All these questions still need answering.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]But that’s just [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]our[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] world.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]String theory and quantum physics has advanced far enough that many scientists don’t just believe there are other worlds, they [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]know[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] they exist, running parallel to our own. Hundreds of them. [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Millions[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] of them. What sort of questions do those worlds have? Which ones have they already answered, and what powers and forces are they exposed to that we are not?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And what exactly would happen if something crashed those worlds into ours?[/BCOLOR]


    [BCOLOR=transparent]October 14th, Wednesday, 2016[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Parrel, Massachusetts. Half a century ago, it was nothing more than a small town next to a big lake. A small tourist attraction like the hundreds of others that dotted rural New England in the US. Everyone knew everyone’s name and everyone’s business, and life was slow and peaceful, days of hard work and nights of family gatherings.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Then the brothers were born.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Thomas and John Nereci were always going to be meant for greater things. Their family was rich to start, and it was only their vacations that ever brought them to Parrel. But there was something about the land that called to them. So while they both left to realize their own greatness, it was to Parrel they returned once it had been achieved. Both had the mind of a scientist and the savvy of a business man, and through their combined efforts, Parrel has been changed forever. Gone is the small town, swallowed up by a small metropolis that has dug through the surrounding countryside, an oasis of civilization among the pine woods that surround it. One that has surged to the forefront of the academic and corporate worlds. This is the city that is at the forefront of the new burgeoning scientific age, the silicon valley of engineering and biology, the starting point of a new renaissance. All sorts have been drawn here, from those who dream to lead that charge into the future to those who have simply been swept up in the whirlwind of progress, for better or for worse.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Few knew how quickly and completely things would change in the coming months for this new city.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]None knew how terrible those changes would be.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And those who would be in any position to prevent it could be counted on your fingers. Too bad not even they knew who they were yet.[/BCOLOR]


    [BCOLOR=transparent] *[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Beep!* [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]*[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]B-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]A groan permeated the dorm room, as a hand crept out from under the covers of a bed on one side of the room to flail for the off button on the alarm. It stayed there for a few moments, its owner engaged in a battle of wills with herself to drag herself from the warm embrace of her little bed, and it was a few minutes longer till another groan sounded and the battle was won. Ruby Rose Xiao-Long slowly sat up, rubbing her eyes as she swung her feet around to rest on the floor. She stared in a sleepy haze at the calendar on her nightstand. What was today? Why was there a circle around today? Was today the day Yang got back? No, that was a few weeks ago… Wednesday… Wednesday she normally had… oh.[/BCOLOR]



    [BCOLOR=transparent]She had her psychology midterm today! She yelped as the realization hit her like a freight truck and she half fell out of the bed in a tangle of covers before she suddenly shook her head.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent][/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]Calm down me. I actually studied this time. Maybe I didn’t actually [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]understand [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]everything but I studied! And I even set my alarm early, so I’ve got plenty of...time[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent] She’d turned and looked at the clock during that internal pep talk, and the slowly building confidence that she’d been gathering shattered with a horrified gasp. Those ‘few minutes longer’ after Ruby had shut off the alarm?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Actually an hour and a half.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]OhnoOhnoOhnoOhnoOhno-” The messy half of the room that was Ruby’s became just a [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]little[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] bit messier in that half a minute she took to fly out of her pajamas and into her clothes became just a little bit messier in her rush, and she snatched her backpack off the desk and bolted out the door because holy crabapples she was late .-.[/BCOLOR]


    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ruby didn’t know yet of other worlds, but the similarities between her and another world’s Ruby were still apparent. She might not of had a team, but she was still the top of her field of study, years ahead of most students, and chasing after the example of her mother’s work in a bid to make the world a better place.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She was also god awful at most subjects outside her area of expertise, which was why after her exam she was back in her dorm room, a pillow over her face as she slowly beat her head against the headboard. Why did she have to get up late? Why did she have to sleep through her alarm? Why didn’t Professor Belleran let her make up the test later instead of trying to fit a two hour exam into one hour of work? Why did she think psychology would be a fun class? And how the [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]heck[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] was she supposed to pass now???[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]I am so going to fail this class[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The world is shocked and amazed at this revelation.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ruby’s sorrow soured into disgruntlement as the door quietly clicked shut, and she poked her head over the pillow to glower at the newcomer. “Nobody asked you Weiss.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee fortune, terror of the debate and fencing teams, and Rubys’ roommate, gave a dainty shrug in response. Her incredibly pale skin, white hair, and ice cold eyes were as much a mark of her birth as her name, marred only by the thin, jagged line across one of those eyes. Ruby always wondered how she got it, but with Weiss being, well, Weiss...“Thankfully you receive my help regardless. I [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]told[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] you that you should have set more than one alarm” she said as she walked over to her own desk and deposited her backpack there, rifling through it to find her homework. “Perhaps then you would have only [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]barely[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] failed instead of miserably.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]I woke up fine!” Ruby said with a defensive frown as she sat up. She still had the pillow in her arms, and hugged it close as she added a bit quieter with a sullen frown. “I just… didn’t get out of bed is all. there’s a difference![/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]I’m sure your grade will reflect that perfectly.” Weiss said primly as she focused on her own work. Ruby huffed and stared at her feet.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]...You could have woke me up. Its the only class we have together.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]I could have.” Weiss agreed with a calm nod. “But quite frankly? Your half of the room is still the mess it was at the start of the semester. You ignored my initial offer of study sessions. And I still think that you are [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]far[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] to be young to be attending such a [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]prestigious[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] academy, no matter what kind of… thermometer-matic-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Thermodynamic” Ruby cut off with a small glower[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]-Whatever, engine you designed, [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]if[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] you even designed it yourself. Consider this midterm your wakeup call. This school? The pressure, the prestige, the sheer effort one needs to put in to succeed?"[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The heiress scoffed[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]"You’re not ready for it.”[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The ensuing silence was heavy as Ruby stared at her roommate, Weiss ignoring her in favor of her papers as worked. The clock on the wall ticked quietly, the only sound for a few moments before Ruby finally quietly said[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“’re wrong.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]When Weiss didn’t respond, Ruby sighed and glanced over at the clock before she pushed herself off the bed. “...Well. I’m going to work. Won’t be back until lateish so leave the door unlocked, ok?[/BCOLOR]


    [BCOLOR=transparent]Right. Well… bye[/BCOLOR]




    [BCOLOR=transparent]The door slammed close just a bit harder than it needed to.[/BCOLOR]


    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ted’s Coney Island and Bowling Alley, hereafter and forevermore to be referred to only as Ted’s because no one has time to type that all out, had been around even before the Nereci’s flipped Parrel on its head. The bowling alley was a new addition, and the eponymous Ted had long passed, but his descendents still ran the place, and it did surprisingly well for itself despite the far more mainstream restaurants and entertainments that had cropped up in the city’s rise. Ruby bike skidded to a halt by the back entrance, chained up and locked before she jogged inside. The interior was cut into two halves, the restaurant and bowling alley each with their own sections, and Ruby quickly slipped through the kitchen for the bowling alley’s employee area. She’d only ever been allowed to work one kitchen shift.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She was really, [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]really[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] glad it had only been a small fire.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]One quick uniform change later and had made her way to the counter area. The restaurant was so typically coney island it almost hurt to look at, but the bowling alley was a retro and neon basked homage to the eighties, right down to the old-school arcade machines that lined one of the walls and the fact that everyone who got hired here seemed to have anything [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]but[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] normal colored hair. Up to and including… “Hey there Ciri. Sorry I’m late, I got my butt kicked by that last midterm[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Cirilla Riannon was slouched over the counter, midway through a bubblegum pop and perusing through the latest issue of Time. Platinum blonde hair hid bright green eyes, and there was one too many buttons undone than was probably proper on her uniform’s top. Ruby had worked with the girl for over a month now, but apart from the fact that she went to Vincent as well, everything else about her was a mystery. It seemed to be a running theme for people who knew her. Some say she came from old money and had run off. Others said her dad worked for the CIA or MI6, and that was why she never seemed to be strapped for cash despite working such a meager job. No one really knew.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Regardless of that, what she was for [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]sure[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] was one of the few friends Ruby had managed to make in this city, and her eyes lit up in recognition and relief at Ruby’s greeting as the magazine snapped shut. “Little Red! About time you showed up. And well thats what you get for not listening to me when I told you not to take Jackass Belleran.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]seems like [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]everyone[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] has an ‘I told you so’ for me today” Ruby grumbled as she flopped across the counter herself with arms crossed and chin hidden behind them. “My mom is gonna [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]kill me[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] when she finds out” T-T[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Aww” Ciri threw a one armed hug around Ruby “Relax. Everyone fails a couple classes on their journey to whatever degree, that just means your human.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]...Can I… get my shoes-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Shoo for five minutes I’m counseling” Ciri snapped at the blonde kid at the counter, one nasty glare enough for him to take the hint that vanished immediately when she looked back to Ruby. “And heck, just because you bombed the midterm doesn’t necessarily mean you fail the whole class. You just have to kick some serious ass for the second half, right?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She didn’t fail any classes. And… I mean, if I had only failed because I was late sure, but like, I just don’t get this stuff!” Ruby said in exasperation.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Hey, no one said this was gonna be easy little red. Not everything is going to be gears, pulleys and whatever other techno wizardry you talk about and I nod at.” Ciri said with a small smirk. “Seriously, you’re [/BCOLOR]definitely[BCOLOR=transparent] going to fail with that kind of glum attitude. you know what you need?” she asked as she suddenly jerked the hug in closer and put her free hand forward. “...A girls night out![/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]...A what?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]That actually put a small dent in Ciri’s seemingly endless confidence as she glanced down with a slightly muddled frown. “...You know, going out on the town with your friends. Which I suppose don’t specifically have to be girls but ‘a night out’ sounds far less exciting. C’mon, it’ll be fun! You, me and whoever else you know here?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Oooh. So like a guild raid in real life.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]...Yes. Exactly.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ruby slowly nodded but the frown didn’t leave her own face. “...I dunno. That seems like… not my idea of fun.” she finally said.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]That’s exactly why its a good idea.” Ciri said with a mischevious grin. “Your playing it too safe here Ruby. You’re away from home, you work enough to have [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]some[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] spending money, and this city’s got [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]plenty[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] to do for a cute single girl like yourself. You’re [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]supposed[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] to do something crazy or two when you go to college, and what better time than to make up for your first real failure of a student!"[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]... I still dunno…[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ruby.” Ciri said as she shifted the grip so she had both of Ruby’s shoulders as she stared her dead in the eye. “Have I [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]ever[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] steered you wrong?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Well there was the time-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Exactly! You’re going, and thats final. I’ll even pay! So, who do you want to invite?” Ciri said with a bright grin as she released her captive.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“O-oh, um, ok. And… well, you… Jaune and Pyrrha… not Weiss… Uhh…” she had a reaaally bad idea of how things would go of Ciri and Yang ever ended up in the same room together e_e “... and… well… I don’t think my guildmates count so uhh….[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Ciri gave a good natured sigh as she wrapped Ruby up in a hug. “Good heavens you’re helpless. Never mind, it’ll be just us two, and it was be awesome, ok?” She said as she pushed the hug back. “You won’t bail on me?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]I… I guess not-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]great!” Ciri said with a ruffle of Ruby’s hair before she let go and started to leave. “How’s after your shift tomorrow sound?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“...Sure? Do you really want to do this though, I-I don’t want to cramp your style or anything. Do people still say that or is that just something from movie-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]-Yes Ruby I'm sure and no not really but its fine. Good luck on your shift![/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And with that Hurricane Ciri was gone, and Ruby was left still trying to process what the hell had just happened before she rolled her eyes and huffed as she turned back to the counter, smiling despite herself. Ciri might have been way more personality that Ruby was ever able to handle, but she had been the one to help her get this job, and she seriously doubted she would have survived her first semester if it wasn’t for the 3rd year student there to help her along. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all-[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]...Am I allowed to ask for my shoes now?[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]oh! Sorry jaune. Uh, yea, here. You gonna lose to Pyrrha again?” she asked as she passed Jaune his shoes[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]No! Maybe. Probably. But hey, I only threw [/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent]three[/BCOLOR][BCOLOR=transparent] gutterballs last time” her fellow scraggly freshman said with a self deprecating grin. Ruby just snorted and waved him off, asking him to say hi to the redhead for her as she settled in for her shift. Strangely excited for what she was nonetheless sure was going to be a train wreck tomorrow.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]How little she knew how right she was.[/BCOLOR]
    #1 Schnee Corp Lawyer, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  2. "AZULA!"

    The shout came through for the umpteenth time, echoing down the hall to where she was. She stifled a roll of her golden eyes, splashing her face with water one last time in an attempt to wake up more fully and shutting the faucet off with one smooth motion. Reaching for a towel and her apron, she wiped the excess water away and tossed the towel into the bin. She strolled out the door, tying the apron around her as she went. As brief shifts in the morning before class went...this one was already up there on the much too loud scale.

    "What is it, Zu-zu?" She muttered irritably as she approached, ready to transition to a false smile for the customers.

    "You always tell me you're the real people person, yeah?"

    "What of it?"

    "Well, I got something just for someone like that. Unruly customer, early. Uncle's taking another order and so it's all yours."

    "...Really? You're going to drop someone like that on me? Thanks, brother. I'll remember this." She semi-sincerely ribbed. "You will pay dearly for it."

    "Careful, remember who drives you around little sis. Don't bite the hand that feeds you, right?" He smirked, proud to get one over on her like that. It was not a common occurrence. She just scowled in reply. "I'll have you know I'm up for my test in a few months! Then we'll see who's laughing." She turned, ready to go.

    "Hey now, not so fast."

    She sighed, turning back. "What?"

    "I thought I told you to not call me Zuzu."

    "Yes, yes you did. I just didn't listen." She smiled and stuck her tongue out with an admittedly bit childish "nyeh" before resuming heading up to the counter. With a bright smile, she greeted the customer. "Hello there, what exactly seems to be the probl--"

    "THIS IS THE PROBLEM!" The furious businessman shouted immediately, eyebrows furrowed as he pointed right at his cup.


    "Oh I'm sorry to hear that sir. Some of us may just now be waking up, forgive us for that." She directed some dark thoughts at Zuko. This probably wouldn't be happening if he wasn't so deadset for staying up so late and playing online with all his buddies. Airwalker101, El Boomerang, The Blind Bandit, Jet...once or twice she had played their video game. She won, of course, but she couldn't understand the widespread attraction to spending half the night mindlessly killing each other. "I can easily prepare another one for you if you desire."


    "Understood, sir." She replied extra calmly, withdrawing the right amount. "Here you go. Have a lovely day." She added, handing it over. He just turned sharply without another word, shoving the door open and dropping the coffee roughly into the trashcan. She just shook her head. "Who knew a coffee and tea shop could be so tense?" She remarked, sardonic and quiet.

    "I will get you back for that, brother! I promise!" She yelled down the hall.

    "As if!" The response came back from the break room. This time she really did just roll her eyes, leaning back and checking her phone swiftly before any other customers arrived. "At least I can take solace in the fact that tomorrow morning won't be as bad as this one."
    #2 C.T., Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  3. Well I've heard there was a secret chord
    That David played and it pleased the Lord
    But you don't really care for music, do you?
    Well it goes like this:
    The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
    The baffled king composing Hallelujah


    It seemed like a given that everyone had a song that spoke to them. One that they could listen to on end and could never get tired of. Well for the six foot mess of blonde hair and nasty scars this was his song. What was his name you might find yourself asking? It was one out of the ordinary, one that usually earned him either weird looks from his peers or boasts of admiration for having such a sick name. It was none other than Vash Nightow! As his phone laid nearby on his nightstand, Vash's hand fumbled out from under his blanket to put it on snooze. Because while he loved this song to death, he had to focus for the tasks ahead. Such as getting his sorry butt out of bed. Gripping the blanket as best as he could, Vash tossed it up and off to the side.

    Sitting up in bed now adorned in his grey sweatpants and no shirt, Vash looked at the mirror he set up on his dresser across from his bed. It had been a conscious choice on Vash's part so that he'd always see the cost that he had paid to keep on living on God's green earth. Not that he was really much of a religious man. He'd been to church once with his brother Knives. But it hadn't been a time that left the best impression on Vash. Still, there was no place for negativity this early in the morning. Sliding off the side of the bed, Vash started to make his way off to his closet and gripping both knobs on the door with his prosthetic hand and flesh and blood one, he'd slid it open to reveal his work uniform. Which consisted of a black t-shirt, matching black jeans and sneakers, and accompanying apron and hat. Pulling them off the hangers he had put them on, he made his way over to place them on the bathroom counter before it hit him as he glanced into the bathroom mirror.


    "How would you like your coffee sir or madame? Nah, nah too 19th century with madame. C'mon Vash you've been working there for months! This is daily preparation for you!" He'd scold himself as he participated in his daily mirror monologue before he got ready to get on the way to work. "Ah, I see within those beautiful simmering pools that you call eyes, you'd like one of our newest frappuccino flavor. Perhaps I could interest you in the strawberry shortcake flavor?~ Yes, yes, yes! I totally scored it that time! But what's my real goal for today?" He'd grin and crossing one finger over the other, he'd thrust it towards the mirror. "To spread the values of love and peace to everyone I meet! Even the customers who only come there to hog the free wi-fi!"

    Pleased with himself, Vash turned and quickly did the assorted things that one might do when in the bathroom and getting ready for work. Having dried himself off after a trip in the shower, Vash was about to hang up his towel and head on out now that he was dressed. But then he noticed something that simply had to be addressed! His hair wasn't in it's usual v-shape! It took quite a bit of gel but it always seemed to earn a raised eyebrow from people who were fortunate or unfortunate enough to run into Vash whether it was at work or just him strolling about his business on the streets.

    It also earned him the nickname of needle-noggin from one of his co-workers but he didn't really try to think too hard about that. Because his mom had liked his hair that way and like the song he used to wake himself up, that was enough for Vash. Speaking of which as he finally exited the bathroom once his hair was attended, he'd walk over to his phone and pulling up the contact of Knives Nightrow, he'd dial the number and pressed it up to his ear.

    "This is Knives and I'm not currently at the phone right now. Leave a message and I'll try to call you back as soon as possible."

    "Hey Knives, it's me Vash! You know, your older brother, donut-lover extraordinaire? We haven't really talked in a while and I-I know you've been busy with what you do. But if you want to come and stop by Starbucks or something, I'd be done for that! Love and Peace, Knives."

    Having left his message, Vash sighed at the lack of response from his younger brother. He understood that it had taken quite a considerable amount of money away from the money he had inherited after their mother's tragic accident to pay for Vash's injuries. But it hurt not fully being in the loop on what your little brother was getting himself into. As far as Vash knew, Knives worked at a pharmacy like CVS or something. What he did on the side besides that, he had no idea. He just hoped it wasn't anything bad. Pulling his shirt collar open so he could glance down at all he various scars-patch work on his torso, Vash wasn't sure how he couldl handle something happening to Knives.

    But he wasn't going to get to work worrying himself sick, so he'd grab his headphones and tucked them into his pocket as he started on his way downstairs. All the while trying to call his other friend, the one who aptly nick-named him Needle Noggin.

    "C'mon Wolfwood, pick up.."



    "Any particular reason for calling me so early, Needle-Noggin?" The voice on the other line asked as a smile brightened up Vash's face. He was currently living at his friend Nicholas D. Wolfwood's home until he got enough money to stand up on his own two feet and Knives certainly wasn't willing to lend a hand, not that Vash would ask for one. He didn't want to be a leech to anyone. Certainly not to his family and friends. But Wolfwood had a tendency to leave Vash with the messes he had as a result of his many parties because Vash guessed it was his good looks and experience as a preacher. Attracted all sorts of people but one thing was the same. They all made messes that Vash was stuck with to clean up.

    "Aww, you know me Wolfwood! I like to get up bright and early because it lets you see the sun creeping in through your blinds! If I woke up later than-"

    "Then you wouldn't be able to do your meditation. I know, I know! You said something about it the last time ya called me!"

    "Ooh! Ooh! I even remember exactly what I said! Ahem. I meditate diligently every morning. The subject is Life and Love. I quit after three seconds."

    "...Yeah. So, I'm guessing you called to see when I'd be home? I'm at Meryl's place. She's still mad at ya just as an fyi."

    That nearly caused Vash to drop his phone to the floor as he sat on the bottom step of the stairs. Meryl was one of the nurses that Knives had hired to treat Vash and after she came into his Starbucks one day, well the meeting wasn't exactly a match made in heaven. She recognized who Vash was and startled him enough that he nearly ended up dropping her coffee on himself. But after work the two hit off as well as Vash could with his adorably awkward self. But that first meeting still wasn't the best way for them to meet again and so Vash was supposed to be thinking of something to impress her. But until Wolfwood had reminded him, he had honestly forgotten.

    "..I bet. I've just been a bit scatter-brained is all. Let her know that I'll try and come and see her after work, okay? Which also means please don't leave a big mess for me to clan up!"

    "Heh, I'll see what I can do and no promises! Now get going Needle-Noggin! Don't let me hold you up from your job."

    Letting out a sigh Vash rose to his feet and started for the door. He was grateful at least that his Starbucks was close enough that he could just walk to it. He just hoped that Wolfwood could calm Meryl down until his shift was over and maybe he could stop by a store and buy her something nice. It'd be something at least.

    Until then however he was a free man and as such could do what he wanted whenever he wanted. So slipping on his shades and popping in his earbuds, he'd connect them into his phone and the music began to play as he continued on his way to work.

    Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
    You saw her bathing on the roof
    Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
    She tied you to her kitchen chair
    And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
    And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


    Wolfwood was having his own troubles at the moment unknown to Vash. He had gotten up off his ass and informed Meryl of what Vash had told him to say. Only this wasn't exactly what she wanted to hear as she stomped over to Wolfwood and began jabbing a finger in his chest.


    "He told you to 'calm me down??" Does that idiot think that I can't calm myself?! I'll tell you something Wolfwood, I don't know how you got yourself tangled up with someone as simple-minded as Vash Nightow! Ugh, do you at least know if he has a late shift today?"

    "Sometimes I wonder that same question myself. But the guy's nice enough. Just can't focus on the important stuff. As for his shift, pretty sure he gets off in the afternoon. Why?"

    "Because I'm going to march down to that Starbucks and show him that I can be perfectly and completely calm without him needing to ask his friend to do so." She'd say matter of factly to which Wolfwood merely nodded and turned to go take a seat on the couch in the living room.

    "Oooh boy, Vash. You've really dug yourself a deep hole now."

    As for Vash himself? Was he taking any of this seriously at the moment?

    "Who is that weirdo?" Some random passerby asked his friend as they walked past Vash and his alien-like dance moves. "I hear he works at Starbucks." "Oh, that explains it. All that caffeine's bound to knock a screw loose." "C'mon he ain't that bad." "I'm just saying someone who moves like that ain't alright.."

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  4. The cheers of a crowd. Money changing hands. Drinking. Laughter. All of this surrounded Raime, and the sheer amount of noise was staggering for such a small group. If course, all of this was drowned out by the sharp crack of a fist collusing with his jaw. The world spun for a few moments as the fighter fell with a heavy thud. Before Raime knew it, his opponent was on top of him, launching several vicious punches at his face. The world was fading. Everything was going dark.

    Fortunately, the ref saved him. The fat man serving as their referee pulled the attacker off of Raime long enough for him to get up. That's what I get for letting myself get distracted. Dammit.
    Wiping blood off his forehead, Raime put his hands back up. This wouldn't do. As the two figures squared up, they weren't exactly equals in height; Bran Raime stood somewhere around 6'4", with his opponent a good four inches shorter.

    "You ain't so tough," The still very large man said before launching another punch at Raime. He wasn't having that again. Batting the fist aside with his forearm in a swift 'parry', he took advantage of his opponent's cockiness. A side kick to the stomach. A straight punch to the nose. A reverse punch to the solar plexus. As his opponent bent over, Raime brought his knee up into his nose.

    A few moments later, he was accepting his winnings.

    As his opponent, now unimposingly being dragged out of the arena, passed him, he spoke up. "You ain't so tough." Raime downed a shot of whiskey in response to the glare the man's... wife? Sister? Gave him. Ah, well.

    Brushing his fairly long, black hair aside, the medical staff desperately tried to get at his cuts, simply being met by irritated grunts and the occasional flinch. "I see what you were doin' out there. You really had me going for a second, you bastard! 'Oh, no! He's gonna lose!' Scared the life outta me. All the money we were gonna lose!" A pleasantly plump man stepped forward and slapped Raime on he shoulder. His manager, Logan. A real prick, sometimes. A life saver, others. Raime's friend. "Bran... oh, sorry... Raime... good work out there. You showed him, eh?"

    The fighter couldn't help but smile. "Yeah, I did. Fuckin' A." His cuts bandaged, and now wearing a shirt, Raime stood and walked with Logan. His apartment wasn't far. "How much we make?"

    "A lot, lemme tell ya." Logan looked up at Raime, being well under six feet tall, himself.

    "... and with your cut, how much?" Raime raised an eyebrow. He didn't need much in the way of funds, so Logan's pay was... generous, to say the least. The man wasn't an exceptionally reliable manager.

    "Oh, uh... heh... three hundred." To which, Raime answered with a grunt. That was plenty. The two went their separate ways, Raime finding his way to a rather Spartan apartment. Little of his money went to luxury, it seemed. A couch that could fold out into a bed. A small kitchen. A T.V. In Raime's mind, what else would he need?
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  5. "Again."

    The dojo was silent and still. The only noise coming from outside, as the birdsong lent a dissonant air to the scene within.

    One the one side, dressed in a police uniform, sans the jacket a tall figure with a bokken in hand. Yellow eyes glaring patiently at the other, dressed similarly to he.

    Where he was calm and collected, the other was panting and sweaty from his extertions, pale blue eyes gleaming with steel that the other gave points for.

    But will alone would not stop him as both burst into action. The latter charging, gambling everything on the swing of his sword.

    And failed.

    When he woke up, soaked and wet it would be to the sight of his instructor, the old wolf dropping the empty bucket as he said idly.

    "That was stupid. The gatotsu is a technique that requires clarity and steel of mind. You're too emotional Tepes... A failing in a detective. Its best you find a better technique suited to you."

    Staggering to his feet, Officer Lucifer Tepes winced as one hand gingerly touched the bump around the side of his head, his other hand using the bokken as a cane as he spoke.

    "Be that as it may Fugita sir? I've come this far and sacrificed so much. I can't quit now."

    The sound of a match and then the smell of smoke was his reply as puffing away, Fugita regarded Lucifer for a long moment before shrugging.

    "As you like. Take the day off to recover. I'll let Bolas know you're unavailable today."

    Lucifer blinked, startled at the show of kindness before bowing formally to his teacher and role model in the police force where they worked.

    "Thank you sir!"

    "And Tepes?"

    Looking up expectantly, Lucifer was greeted with a flat expression as the wolf spoke.

    "Get out of my house." : l
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  6. “Oph! What a vicious right hook in the face of our women's champion!”

    “She's not going take that laying down that's for sure. OH! SHE DIDN'T! A vicious clothsline sends her opponent over the top ropes and to the cold concrete floor!”

    “You don't mess with the Forklift Lady and Sakura has found that out first hand tonight in the main event of this particular CWC PPV!”


    “Forklift Lady is trying to get up but Sakura is beating her down with some well placed foot stomps!”

    “Oh! OH! SHE CAUGHT HER FOOT! She's getting up, spins Sakura around and delivers a DDT on the cold concrete! Both beauties are knocked out cold!”

    “These women better hurry! They only have five seconds left to get back into the ring! Both women are stirring...but it seems like Sakura's first up on her feet and rolling back into the rin- is what I would have said if the champion hadn't gotten a miraculous recovery and pulled Sakura back outside to deliver a piledriver before rolling back into the ring and...”


    “And there's the bell ladies and gentlemen and Forklift Lady is still our reigning Women's Champion! What a match up! And as the final match of the card I hope you had an amazing time with us today. For those watching at home tune in tomorrow to see the fallout. Good night.”

    “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT! THAT WASN'T THE FUCKING FINISH! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DROP THE FUCKING TITLE TO SAKURA YOU DUMB BITCH!” The sound in the dressing room was deafening when the current owner of the company was chewing out the champion who for some reason seemed to have a quite calm look on her face.

    “I do not understand your problem Vinnie, I told you how this was going to happen.”

    Vinnie in response to that would slam his fist into a nearby locker. “AND I TOLD YOU NO! I'M THE BOSS! I MAKE THE SHOTS!”

    “It's a shame your shots are so lousy.”

    “WHAT WAS THAT?!” Vinnie was red in his face from all the shouting the only thing stopping assault charges from happening right now was two of his cronies was holding him back.

    “And bad hearing on top of that. Allow be to repeat myself. You put me in the final match of the card in a title match against Sakura. Poor Sakura bless her soul is really nice...but an absolute black hole of charisma in the ring. Now me on the other hand...hmhmhm...Well I am the champion for a reason you know. If I would have let her win then we would have had a riot on our hands. This is fact and you need to realize that.”

    As of now Vinnies words had devolved into incoherent roars and guttural sounds as he tried to get his point across. Honestly he literally looked like he was going to explode. “FIRED! FIRED! YOU'RE FIRED!” He shouted as his cronies dragged him out from the locker room.

    “He'll calm down...just...take tomorrow off Luvia...or something...we'll call you...” Said one of the cronies before closing the door and leaving the Women's Champion Luviagelita Edelfelt alone inside the women's locker room.

    She'd point a finger at the now closed door.


    “Vinnie needs me more than I need him and he knows it!” She shouted after not really caring if anyone actually heard her. Sigh...She really needed a shower right now.

    After she was done showering she would've dried herself off and packed her belt and wrestling gear into her duffle bag and gotten herself dressed she would've stepped out from the locker room.

    She pushed the door open and walked out. No one in sight? Oh damn look at the time, guess she had stood long in the shower. Well at least she had a day off tomorrow. Luvia knew Vinnie would calm down and realize that this was best for business. She hadn't been long with the company but the crowd had sided with her almost instantly and that was a very rare sight as far as women wrestlers went. As she was walking through the empty hallway Luvia's mind raced to the beginning of her journey and how she had left Finland to pursue a career in wrestling.

    Her parents had not been keen on the idea but they accepted her choice. It had been a rocky start but after two years of training she had finally caught on with one of the bigger indy promoters and soon enough gotten the highest belt she could've in the promotion. She grinned to herself. To feel validated by her choices in felt amazing.

    At the exit she'd give the security a courteous and a slight awkward hi as she explained she had lost track of time. As he finally let her out she'd gaze up into the starry skies.

    Tomorrow was a new day...and as a bonus she had it off.
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  7. The night before...


    The dim thud of steel meeting felt was barely perceptible underneath the background din of glasses clinking, change rattling, drunks mumbling, and the constant overlay of some catchy '90s alt-rock number that pervaded the bar, but it was a satisfying sound nevertheless. Anyone who knew how to play darts knew to listen out for that noise. It was a good measuring stick for technique; the more powerful your throw, the louder the noise was. Likewise, if your throw was weak, your dart was gonna sound like a limp noodle when it struck the board, and that meant odds were it wasn't gonna stick. Which meant you weren't gonna get any points.

    Thankfully, this particular vixen had spent enough time frequenting establishments like this one to know how to throw a decent game of darts. Which was evident as the last of her steel-tipped flechettes hit home at the very top of the board, embedding itself in the thin red-colored panel resting just beneath the emblazoned number 20 and eliciting a satisfied grin from its thrower, whose immediate response was to triumphantly pump her fist with one hand and jog over to the dartboard, plucking all three thrown darts out with one grab using the other. Her exuberance, and pretty much everything about her in general, were completely incongruous with her surroundings. The blandly-named Junior's Bar was one of the lesser-known taprooms found in Parrel's Downtown district, and with good reason-- the place was a dive, and that was putting it nicely. Frequent stomping grounds for what few shady characters the city was home to, the bar was out-of-the-way, poorly-lit, and not exactly what you'd call a friendly environment; its typical patrons were the type who hit the town at night to drink, not to have fun or engage in the nightlife. This wasn't the kinda joint you'd bring a date to. In fact, on most nights you'd be hardpressed to even see a girl within fifty yards of its doorstep.

    So when eighteen-year-old Yang Xiao Long first strutted into the place like she owned it, sashayed on up to the bar and brightly ordered a cocktail, suffice to say she drew more than a few skeptical looks from the usual patrons. And who could blame them? Yang downright prided herself on turning heads whenever she walked into a room, and this was no exception-- even if the heads in question belonged to skeevy old guys and crooks. And with features framed by a wild, curly head of blonde hair that cascaded all the way down to her lower back, a sleeveless yellow crop top that showed off her curves by starting low and ending high, and an all-black combination of a miniskirt, knee socks and garters that showed more than enough skin to highlight her toned, hourglass figure, Yang would've been disappointed if she wasn't earning herself a once-over or two. Nothin' wrong with showing it off if you had it, right? Even if "it" was just a little bit wasted on this place.

    Still, the proprietor didn't seem to care too much about checking her age when she asked for a drink, so it made for a good pitstop to get buzzed before she went to one of the funner nightclubs nearby. Besides, she had to admit the music wasn't bad; and, best of all, it stayed open late. Like, reeeeeeeally late. So whenever she was bored, didn't have to work the early-morning shift the next day and didn't feel like turning in for the night after 12, she came here. Sure, it might not've been the liveliest place around, but her darts game sure was flourishing. :|

    "Double tops. Gee, Junior, if I'm not mistaken... I think I just won myself a week of free drinks! Am I right?"

    Her voice was boisterous, enthused and just a little bit smug, tossed casually over her shoulder in the direction of the barkeep. The man in question, an obscenely tall, rugged figure who wore crimson shades and sported a scraggly beard and clenched jaw, just grunted in response, using a rag to wipe a glass at the counter as he eyed the board over the rims of his shades. Yang took that as a grunt of acquiescence, smirking coyly as she strutted her way over to the bar and pulled up a stool, her hips swaying back and forth like a metronome in alluring fashion. She offered the barkeep, unblinking and unmoving, a wink.

    "Toldja I could beat your high score. SO! Fellas! You suuuuuure you don't wanna play a few rounds? I'm getting real lonely playing all by myself!~"

    The latter part of the sentence was directed down the counter towards the patrons seated next to her, a trio of varying ages who sat drinking in silence. They weren't the most talkative bunch in the world, but they seemed okay enough for barflies; and they were among the few who didn't either undress or kill her with their eyes whenever she opened her mouth, so there was that. Still, the only response she received was a cacophony of incomprehensible grumbling, prompting a roll of the eyes from the blonde as she sighed exasperatedly and leaned forward on her elbow, propping it up on the bar counter.

    "Jeez. You guys are just a couple'a rays of sunshine, you know that?"

    She was about to say more, but her sarcasm was cut short by the sound of Junior slapping a glass down on the table in front of her, filled almost to the brim with... water. Yang eyed it for a moment, eyebrow quirked in mild bemusement as she pointed in its direction and turned her gaze up to the barkeep, who was looking quite pleased with himself.

    "Um. Real funny and all, Junior, but I distinctly remember you making the bet that if I beat your stupid darts score I'd get a week on the house, sooooo..." She made an encouraging rolling gesture with her hands, eyes that were hued an unusual lilac color very nearly boring holes into Junior's shades.

    "Never said what drink."

    The bartender's response was terse and to the point, but that didn't make it any better. Yang's initial response was to narrow those pretty purple eyes just a little bit, grip on the bar tightening slightly.

    "You know what my drink is. I order it every night."

    "I got a bad memory, blondie. Don't like it, get out."

    "What did you just say?!"

    Yang's growl was so fierce it made even the tipsiest drunk in the room look up in curiosity, and Junior slowly put the glass he was wiping down and leaned over the bar with both hands, giving the girl an infuriating smirk. Even hunched over the counter and even with Yang standing at her full height of 5'8", he had almost a foot on her in stature, and his posture loomed intimidatingly. Which wasn't to say Yang wasn't pretty scary in her own right, but she was so much smaller than he was it must've seemed like a pitbull baring its fangs at a bear to any onlookers.

    "You heard me, you b-"

    She grabbed him by his stupid bartenders' necktie, yanked him in, and slammed the base of her palm into his nose so fast he didn't even know what was happening when he crashed backwards onto his butt, instinctively scrambling up to his feet like the proud alpha he believed himself to be as he touched his stinging nose in disbelief, halfway sure it was broken. Yang, meanwhile, kicked her heel back to knock the stool she'd been sitting on away, rolling out her neck to pop the joints and cracking her knuckles menacingly. If she hadn't been drawing the whole bar's undivided attention before, she definitely was now, and she used the ensuing hush to growl her next few words.

    "Coming back to ya yet?"


    Three minutes later...

    "H-hey, let go of me! Ow ow ow ow OW! Don't touch my hair!"

    Yang whined, struggling mightily to no avail as Junior's bouncers and a few of his more loyal customers muscled her out the door, since you couldn't really get away with stuff like that when you didn't have shotgun fists and superpowers. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Junior stood behind them, sniffling behind the tissue he pressed to his nose to stem the gushing flow of blood, bellowing profanities as best he could as the door slammed behind her. "NEBER COME BAGH HERE! YOU ARE BANNED!"

    Once the dust settled and she was left alone, Yang straightened herself up, fixed the strap of her top, and... snickered. "Still wiped out your darts score, jerk."

    Knocking the big, bad bartender with criminal ties on his ass in front of all his shady friends wasn't so bad, either. Dad would be proud. Shrugging off the manhandling that followed, Yang sighed, adjusted her top's straps and started off for where she parked her motorcycle, enjoying the nighttime breeze and inhaling deeply. Whatever. It was getting late, anyway.

    The next morning...


    "...potassium... whose lime is it, anyway... zzz..."

    Nothing like darts and a bar fight to wipe a girl out. She barely managed making it back to the tea house, changing into her pajamas, brushing her teeth and crawling into bed before she crashed the night prior. Hopefully Azula and Zuko didn't mind her coming back so late... at least Iroh was old, so he probably didn't notice. Lucky for her there was nothing important she needed to do this morning, or...


    ...Oh. Right. Her, um, job.

    Yang sleepily eased her eyes open as that little tidbit of knowledge snapped her out of her unconsciousness, yawning and throwing the covers off as she stretched out on her back like a cat. Well, she was sure Azula wouldn't mind her being a little late for once, right? Besides, her work ethic totally made up for it! There weren't many waitresses who could balance six trays on their arms and hold a conversation with a customer. She wasn't one of 'em, but hey she put the effort in.

    One power shower and an equally quick hair-ruffling later, Yang dressed herself in a more modest amber button-up shirt and skinny jeans, opening a couple of said buttons down from her collar just to ditch an appropriate amount of that modesty before she slipped her waitress apron on over it and headed out down the hallway, kicking her room's door shut after her with a click. Right. Time to earn some sweet dough.


    "OooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOORder up! One pot of coffee!" she singsonged cheerfully, guiding the pot of black liquid down onto the table without knocking anything over. The customer she was serving, a haggard, gruff-looking man in his early thirties with short-cropped brown hair and a mounting stubble, grunted a laconic "Mmh." of thanks, eyes flickering up oh-so-briefly over the edge of his newspaper.

    "How ya doin' this morning, Max?" she broached with an endearing smile, pouring him a cup of the coffee she'd just served. As customers went, Max Rockatansky was actually one of her favorites; partly because of his unbelievably rad name, partly because she felt bad for the guy. It was common knowledge around Parrel that he'd lost his wife and daughter a few years back, which was bad enough in its own right; even worse, the police botched their investigation so bad a lot of people ended up getting the impression Max was the one who did it, which didn't exactly do wonders for his reputation. By the time he was acquitted and the actual cause of death was discovered (a freak accident while the family was out boating), the damage had been done-- he lost his house, his job, and almost all of his friends, and even with his name cleared the nastier of the town's youth liked to call him "Mad" Max whenever they thought he couldn't hear. Now he lived in the Lowlights and drove around in a beat-up V8 muscle car, but he still came in here every morning, and she took the chance to chat him up whenever she could. Even if it was... difficult.


    His accent was a thick Australian, though you could hardly tell with how infrequently the guy spoke.

    "Good! Get up to anything last night?"

    "Nah. Drove."

    "Oooooh. Drove where?"


    "Thaaaaaaat's great," Yang replied with a forced chuckle, already starting to lose interest. Still, she made another attempt at being friendly, raising a finger sharply as though struck by an idea. "Hey, you know... speaking of cars, I heard a new auto shop opened up in town the other day!"

    Max shook his head. "Nah. Would've heard about it."

    She rolled her eyes, but pressed on undeterred. "No, I'm positive! It comes highly wreck-a-mended."



    "Take your tip and lemme alone."

    "All-righty roo." (っ^▿^)

    Well, that was awkward. Still, an idle glance at the clock reminded her of something; Ruby was probably out of class by now! Which meant it was just about time for Yang's daily big sis heckling, or at least a little prying. The next moment she was free, she sent her younger sibling a brief text to say hi as only she could. "BOO! Hi there, cuteness!~~ How'd your boring old college paper go?"

    Some people asked if she ever got jealous of her sister, two years her junior and already attending university before she was. To those people, Yang laughed. :|
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  8. She did her best to stifle a snicker after that brief and incredibly awkward exchange, hand raising up to block her mouth and pass it off as a series of coughs instead. Sure, a fucked up police investigation had made him look incredibly shady but he had been able to prove his innocence all the way to an acquittal. Even then, his whole life was shattered. He didn't have much left after that. His muscle ride, the nickname everyone knew and few called him...and this place. Every morning without fail.

    She remained exactly unsure of why that was. She had several guesses. Even as popular as Iroh's place turned out to be, her uncle had nevertheless made sure to cultivate a homely atmosphere with each and every customer. Early on, when Iroh had served Max, it came with more than just coffee. Kindly words of encouragement and wisdom given despite the overall taciturn nature of Max's replies. That didn't even faze her uncle, who just accepted it with a calm nod and a smile. For the millionth time since she was more or less adopted by her uncle, she was simultaneously impressed and utterly curious by his ability to stay optimistic and friendly. The portly man was like a bottomless reservoir of kindness!

    Even more surprising, given how his brother...and the person she refused to call her father, carried himself. Or rather, didn't. On the rare occasions the man could find enough in himself to drag himself out of the bottle, he came by. If Ozai wasn't spewing and slurring his way through verbal insults, he was swinging and stumbling in a clumsy attempt to inflict physical pain.

    It was utterly pathetic.

    She tilted her head to the side, shooting a glance back towards the break room where Zuko was. "It was different back then." She muttered to herself. A constant reminder she gave ever so often, keeping her strong. At the time of the last serious attack, they were just children. Zuko had been seven, herself only five. Mom was cowed into submission with his threats. A cowardly woman to the end, just off and left forever not long after.

    But not her brother. He was only seven and he'd tried to take a stand. When Ozai showed his face again, Zuko had attempted to take a stand against him. For his trouble, Ozai smacked him across the face with his empty, completely drained dry bottle of Corona. Zuko dropped to the floor, head resting against the logs of their synthetic fireplace. With one hand, the much bigger Ozai kept her brother pinned.

    The other hand flipped the fireplace switch on.

    She shuddered at the memory, pulling herself out of it. "But now we're older." She finished quietly. Ozai was nothing more than a raving drunk as far as she was concerned. This was why whenever she herself served Max, she did it politely without trying to pry. She knew and could sympathize with pain. She never said as much, figuring Max was never the type for having a pity party around himself. Plus the guy kept to himself and paid, which was more than the earlier angry business man could say.

    She straightened up, pulling herself away from the thoughts as she lightning fast tapped out a text reply to her group MMS. Ty Lee was going on and on about this cute guy in her fourth period class, not minding in the least that most of Mai's replies consisted of "Mhm" and "k" and Lee continuing on, ever enthusiastically. The conversation was amusing at least. Sliding her phone away, she served the next customer swiftly and then leaned back, resting against the wall.

    "Why do you try so hard with him every time?" She asked softly towards Yang once the blonde was close enough, curious.

    #8 C.T., Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  9. [​IMG]

    He still went out in uniform. Or wore a jacket over it at least, in concession to his day off. At this point, the sledgehammer pound of the massive bump on the side of his head was downgraded to a dull, impulsive thudding of a carpenters hammer in the distance. Still there, but not so annoyingly present. It was enough to make the choice to walk instead of drive, not trusting himself to do so as he was now.

    Around in this neighborhood, there was quite a lot of local history to absorb, both related to his job as well as just as a whole. Speaking of which- He almost bumped into someone, with a shaved head and a slight twitch to his hands, due to his old drug habits as he carried a paper bag with a good smell wafting from it. He almost panicked, seeing the badge under the jacket from the near miss till he saw who it was.

    "Oh. Hello Officer Tepes."

    "Nux." He said easily with a smile, the latter shyly returning it back before peering at his head.

    "What happened to you? Were you jumped by anyone?"

    He shook his head, waving it off.

    "Training injury. Don't worry about me- Getting lunch for the Citadel?" Meaning the garage an ex-officer ran nowadays, a legend at the station. Got her arm cut off, but didn't let it interfere with her work. Later left the force to protest the actions against another legend- A good friend of hers or so they said.

    Once a cop, always a cop insofar as Lucifer was concerned. Both did good work when on the force, he saw no reason that stopped when they left. So he made it a point to keep good relations with either and it made a wonderful place to send some of the people he managed to help reform. Nux for example, a former gang member who now worked for the Citadel on a favor he asked of her.

    It made him happy, seeing others rebuild their lives. Smiling, Nux nodded eagerly.

    "Thats right! One of em forgot to bring something, so I offered to go and run for it!" Lucifer smiled, understanding as he spoke.

    "Tell Miss Furiosa and the girls I said hi."

    Nux blushed deeply for whatever reason, scurrying off quietly as Lucifer stood alone....Hmm.

    Actually, refreshment sounded wonderful right now and with his headache, he knew the place to be.

    A few minutes later...

    He entered Iroh's tea shop, already calmed by the atmosphere as he sat down patiently at a table.

    @C.T. @OrlandoBloomers
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  10. Barnable James Buchanan was unremittingly appreciative and fond of one figure in his life, whose words stuck by him. Rocky Balboa. The Rocky Balboa. Quite figuratively and literally his were words to live by. More or less specifically his iconic quote along the lines of how hard you took life's punches and kept on rolling. These words never rang truer than now, in the pitfall that was his life. Oh, do not misunderstand this simple fact. He held it against no one who hadn't merited his ire. The common everyday man wasn't at fault. His best friend Steve Rogers, who he for the record held in high favor just as well, wasn't to blame either. His platoon wasn't responsible for any of it.

    It was the big wigs, the higher ups, that'd decided to take a crap on this loyal soldier's life; they sent it to the dogs. Still, it affixed a perspective for Barnes, a different colored glass with which to view the world through. It was an alarming, shocking shift in his life. It made him jarringly aware how easy a man's life could be ruined. A smear campaign under false pretenses and a soldier's career and reputation was ruined. Simple as that, in the blink of an eye.

    The truth could not set him free, undo all the damage that had been done. Typical. Not surprising, just typical. It was politics. To what end it served? He had not a single clue. Nor did Barnes give a shit currently; he was more concerned with eking out whatever vestiges of a life he could. That was how he was rolling with life's hard punches, his own ultimate act of defiance despite it all. He'd still survive. Eventually he'd come to live, a goal he'd realize with surety.
    His new home was in Fieldspans, the dilapidated portion of Parrel. The home of the city's detritus and the unwanted. The land of the untouchables. Ironically fitting for him, the man made a pariah in the eyes of the people. More so specifically among those serving and asword of mouth spread rapidly, there was nothing Barnes could do. Another mounting adversity for him to overcome, he saw it. This was arguably nothing compared to his adventure in Syria. He'd survive it.

    He still had friends after all.

    Steve tried to help early on, lending him the keys to his modest apartment in Downtown. Not even two weeks in and he was thrown out by the landlord. Something along the lines of frightening the other tenants and such were reasons cited by the man. It was all bullshit, Barnes knew. The landlord'd been spoonfed the lies through the rumors and the gossip. Still, he couldn't be blamed. So he left without raising a fuss.

    He'd only have justified the slander against him.

    Still, he made good use of what little cash he had on hand, some of the Jacksons thrown in from Steve. A veritable sleeping bag gleaned on the cheap from a bargin outlet along with a used rain parka from the salvation army. He already had outdoorsy clothing, from his love for the outdoors and his career as a soldier. Jeans, boots, sweater, an extensive hiking pack, the whole works.

    Sleeping outside was the norm. He'd suffer it readily; nothing new in the lifes of Sargeant Barnes's.

    There were the occasions where he'd find temporary shelter in way of homeless shelters to camping out under bridges or lean-tos. Barnes never stayed too long however, preferring to remain on the move throughout fieldspans as to prevent drawing attention or the like. He'd no desire to deal with the undesirables or unwanted attention from the locals.

    But there were the few he came across that proffered shelter or supplies in goodwill, inside and outside of Fieldspans. Some he made as friends, whom he visited on the occasion.

    There was the occasional police officer who turned a blind eye to him, the kindly old man who put him up for the night, and more. There were times the routine monotony of what now amounted to his life steered him into the mindset of disgruntlement and the like against his fellow man. However, everytime he toed the line, the few good individuals' deeds pulled him back from the threshold, reinvigorating him with hope.

    The world was not all that crummy.

    As for right now, Barnes ventured beyond the limits of Fieldspans, into Vinceville. He was a most bizarre sight to behold, clearly out of his element as it were (much to his chagrin). Still, he moved fast, with purpose as he made way for a certain tiny shop that served coffee and tea...


    Among the busy bustle of the goers upon the sidewalks, Barnes stood off sidelong resting against a streetlight. His face was downturned, obscured and hidden under the worn brim of his military ballcap hat. It was purely habitual, his tendency to case various establishments in his surroundings. In this case, his target was the Jasmine Dragon, modernized in its design yet somehow inviting despite the construction's typical bland, businesslike ubiquity. The handiwork of the owner's, he'd discerned. Barnes pushed off, made his way across the street towards the building's front and sharply turned just before nearing, entering into a side street. It'd lead him around to the back door, where he'd find after testing it lightly to be unlocked.

    The proprietor of the fine establishment was a kindly old soul, generous in his profferings to others. He promised Barnes that on the sly, on occasion, he'd forget to lock the backdoor and that he'd left a stack of leftovers from the shop's supplies of baked goods.

    A rare smile broke Barnes's grim demeanor. It disappeared as swiftly as it appeared, as he opened the entry and entered with no hesitation. Maybe, just maybe he could make his way inside and retrieve the generous offerings and leave without raising any fuss. After all... he was asked that he not disturb the employees there.
    #10 Indolent, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
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  11. Ruby was in the midst of doing absolutely nothing except leaning on the counter and staring vacantly at one of the neon signs across the bowling alley. Just waiting.

    She'd gotten the text a while ago mind you, but it was against the rules to use her phone while at work unless it was an emergency and she didn't have whatever rule avoiding voodoo powers Ciri seemed to have at all times.

    Her eyes drifted to the clock of their own accord, and she winced when she saw the time and snapped her eyes back to the wall. Looking at the time just made it go slower. But on the rare night such as this where after a spurt of activity in the afternoon the whole place was just dead, it was almost impossible to look at anything else which was why she was already looking at it again gosh darnit-

    *The Longest Half Hour of Ruby's Life Later*

    Ruby sighed in relief as she unlocked her bike after her hasty exit from Ted's. A long, boring workshift after an awful day at school. With a Weiss she had to do her best not to wake up when she got back and no engineering classes scheduled for tomorrow, just english and her second day of psychology. And then her 'girl's night out' with hurricane Ciri after that. She huffed as she pulled out her phone to see what she'd missed, pretty sure that she couldn't feel any more miserable at this point-

    Oooooooooooh why did she have to tell Yang about the midterm T-T

    Its not that she didn't want to tell Yang what happened or anything, it was just... ok no that was a lie that was exactly what she didn't want to do. Ruby knew she wasn't exactly a social butterfly. She'd never been all that great at sports, and as far as she was concerned she was pretty plain looking. Ever since her first days in school though, she'd been told she was smart. Excelled, top of the class (except in english she couldn't spell her way out of a paper bag if it wasn't engineering related), a dozen little plaques or awards over the years for science fairs and excellence in academics that Summer and Taiyang had fawned over. almost seventeen years of being told how bright she was. It was a small wonder it didn't make her an too much of a braggart and and had definitely not made her a snob like a certain roommate, but it did leave her confident and incredibly invested in her school work. This was how she was going to achieve her dream. To really make a difference in the world, to follow in Summer's footsteps and create new tools to push humanity forward. University was dead set on that path.

    So when she did screw up it shook her up bad, and with all the praise she was raised on it left her seriously stressed and nervous about ever not achieving that level. What if Yang was disappointed in her for not studying hard enough, for sleeping through such an important exam?! She'd never done it those rare few times Ruby had screwed up this bad before, but this was college. University, with all the importance and prestige Weiss had been droning about earlier that day

    Even worse, what if Yang told mom?

    The mere thought was literally terrifying.

    she stared at her phone for a few more seconds of agonizing mental debate before she sent her very articulated, planned out, and psycho-analyzed response.

    'It went k'

    Nailed it.

    And with that she biked back to the dorm, well and truly ready to crash and put this day behind her for literally forever
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  12. She blinked at Azula's query when she heard it, glad the younger girl at least wasn't chewing her out for being late that morning but nevertheless a little surprised by its pointedness. Why did she try so hard with him? It wasn't really something she thought about much, she just did it. So when the question came she drew something of a blank, her initial reaction being to lean over the cashiers' counter and rest her elbows atop it, crossing her arms and pursing her lips in thought as her eyes wandered up to the ceiling lights, miming deep consideration for such a casual inquiry. The tray holding the bill for Max's order was already pushed over to the cash register to be deposited, paid in full using crinkled old notes. It was a few seconds before she gave her response proper, the quiet yet busy ambient noise of the room the only sound audible until her voice, chipper and bombastic as always, cut in over it; her ponderous expression now replaced by an impish grin and a wink.


    "Weee-eeeellllll... he's pretty cute, dontcha think? A little old for me, maybe, but he's got the whole ruggedly handsome look down to a T."

    Her tone made it clear she was being facetious, and she quirked both eyebrows a few times for emphasis, glancing back over her shoulder to surreptitiously watch the man as he hastily gathered up his belongings and prepared to leave. He kept his head low, seemingly refusing to make eye contact with anyone, and moved as quickly as he possibly could without spilling the tray of coffees he'd ordered to go. He took one with him every morning; no one really knew where he went with 'em or if he just had a major caffeine addiction to feed, but no one really bothered asking, either. Once he was gone, she sombered up a bit and turned back to face Azula, pushing off the counter with a small yawn and daintily grabbing her waitress's pencil from where she kept it tucked behind the ear as she noticed her next customer come in. Before she went to go do her thing, she offered her boss a listless shrug, cracking a smile that was less devious and more gentle to go with her next statement as she casually twirled one of many locks of blonde hair around a finger.

    "I dunno... I think someone has to try, you know? Sometimes people down on their luck just need a little lifting up. And I happen to be pre-tty darn strong."

    She flashed a grin, curling her bicep and executing a few playful flexes to show off before giving Azula a sassy "ta-ta" wave and turning to go take the new guy's order.

    "Besides, I think this place could use a little cheer to counterbalance the prince of the negativity nation himself. There is a reason I pull in twice as many tips as Zukey-Zukes does, y'know."

    Her grin grew a tad devilish at that last part, but she quickly switched it back to friendly and optimistic as she sashayed over to where Lucifer was seated, notebook in hand and leafing to a fresh page for his order. A quick glance over the man was enough to notice the uniform underneath his jacket, and the sight of it only made her smile all the more enthused, prompting a nod of approval from the bombshell.

    "Howdy, officer! If this is about the drugs, I swear they're all medicinal. But if you're just here for a little pick-me-up, well... what'll it be?"

    Her eyebrow raised a little as her eyes settled on the sizable welt on the side of his head, craning her neck to get a better look at it as she blinked twice in rapid succession.

    "Yikes. Rough night, huh? Getcha an ice pack for that?"


    Meanwhile, off in the not-so-distant future where Yang was on break and didn't have any more customers to serve, the blonde curved the corner of her lip up in a knowing smirk at the sight of Ruby's text response. "K", huh? She liked to think she knew her baby sister, and a mere "k" seemed just a liiiiiiiiiiiittle too concise from Ruby Rose to not be forced. She figured she'd be a little more enthusiastic than that about a test she actually did good on, so she pegged that white lie for what it was in a heartbeat.

    "I was young once, missy, I know what k means. That bad? Well, don't worry about it. What the heck does psychology have to do with thermodynamic engineering anyway? ;D Mom thinks you're the bee's knees and so do I. Keep makin' us proud, little sis!"

    Only a few moments passed before the message was punctuated by another, Yang's typing speed fast and furious as always.

    "PS we should totally hang out soon!! :( This town's 2 boring. You and me gotta pick a night and paint it red'n'yellow, ya dig?"

    She got that she was growing up and all, but one of the things she missed most after she left home was seeing Ruby's face every day. Part of her hoped they'd start seeing more of each other again now that they lived in the same area, but between classes and working an actual job Ruby's schedule was pretty loaded, and Yang had grown used to working full-time just to cover living expenses on her own. Sure, maybe Ruby didn't exactly need her being overprotective any more, but at this point she simply couldn't fathom not looking out for her little sis. It would've been like shaving her head, or losing an arm, or something equally atrocious.

    "PPS If anyone gives u trouble just let me know, I'll get them and make it look like an accident <3"

    She had hung out on enough college campuses to know every dorm had its resident jerk. She had her ways of dealing with people like those, tried and tested with a 99.999% success rate. She called it "punching them in the mouth".

    Oh, and while she was spamming Ruby's phone... couldn't hurt to put this out there, right?

    "PPPS I haven't been on a good date in like 2 months so if u know any college hotties be sure to tell em all about your big sis and how cool she is ;)"

    There. Now she was done.

    What? Vincent University might not've been her scene, per se, but some of the guys and girls there were sign me the FUCK up good shit go౦ԁ sHit thats ✔ some goodshit rightth ere right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self i say so thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ Good shit major cuties. And classy, to boot!~

    So, you know, no harm in a little advertising. :|

    @Saint Guillotine @C.T. @Schnee Corp Lawyer
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  13. "...Very funny." She conceded with a wry nod, quickly swiping the bill and payment. The usual form of payment, crumpled up bills. "You and him together, that'd be quite a sight." She snickered, not stifling it this time before her expression turned more serious. "Yeah, I can get that. Everyone needs a boost every once in a while. Uncle straight up embodies that idea more than anyone, even you, you bragger." She admonished sarcastically, rolling her eyes playfully at the flexing before Yang went off to service Officer Tepes, another regular customer. She greeted him as well. A quick glance at the clock and she confirmed it was almost her turn for break, which meant that--


    He stared with a shocked scowl, eyes narrowed.

    "You don't like it, dear brother?" She teased.

    "Why do I have to work with people giving me ridiculous nicknames? It's not Zu-zu or Zukey Zukes! It's Zuko." He shook his head vehemently, stepping forward and forcing a positive grin onto his face as he shoved his annoyance with the nicknames down within.

    She just guffawed. "Well, don't worry brother. I've decided that the look on your face just now was revenge punishment enough so you're off the hook from me. I just wish I had taken a picture of it." His narrowed glare back at her once more brought about a new round of laughs as she went down the hall. "Still so easy to tease, big brother. Might as well have a big red button on your chest, given how easy I can push them."

    Her playful teasing quieted down as she stumbled towards the back, catching a glimpse of the backdoor opening and the ensuing entry of one of the homeless. She racked her mind, trying to recall. Barnes something, if she remembered right. One of those men that needed a boost in hard times. Uncle Iroh couldn't resist offering when he could. The busy nature of the place paid for itself, so a little charity now and again was nothing.

    She just smirked slightly, waving at him with two fingers before turning into the break room and stepping through. She plopped down into a couch, grabbing her bag up from the floor and withdrawing her laptop. A quick opening up and powering up and she was off, searching through her email and Facebook. She only turned when she felt a hand on her shoulder.


    "Oh hello Uncle. Morning!"

    "I heard that it was a bit of a rocky start."

    "Yeah, well. Nothing I couldn't handle. I wanted to smack him but I composed myself. Control and all that."

    "Remarkable restraint. Not everyone has it." He complimented.

    "I know. Zuko passed the guy on to me for a reason. Smart move."

    "Indeed." Her uncle nodded, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Now, what was this I heard about Zukey Zukes?"

    "Oh, he just got a little grumpy in his usual manner with the silly nickname. No big deal." She brushed it off nonchalantly and grabbed her bottled water, sipping some.

    "...Hmm. Yes, I can see that. And Zuko does need more humor in his life. Perhaps I will call him this."

    Her eyes widened in surprise, but she still had the presence of mind to turn away from her laptop before she coughed up her drink, sputtering. "You...what? No way." She stared incredulously up at him. Uncle just winked, a playful twinkle of a smile on his lips. "..." She just couldn't help but grin back.

    "You're a nice man Uncle. But you definitely got a mischievous side. That'll drive him nuts."

    @Saint Guillotine @El Tigre! @OrlandoBloomers
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  14. Once branded
    you will lose everything, time after time again
    Your friends, your family, your loved ones
    They will all fade from sight alongside your very identity

    Once branded
    No cinders or embers will guide your darkness
    You will travel alone through the abyss
    for it is your destiny alone

    Once branded
    you will know the true meaning of suffering
    through the mantle of being
    the Chosen Undead
    In this world and all worlds



    Fieldspans, Parrell - October 14, 2016 - 4:55 AM

    Tomorrow is another day.

    Torin awoken, as she had every other day before it, as she will every other day after it. Morning rays had not even crept upon the weary soul, the remnants of a thunderstorm raging outside beginning to die off, nature's fury lessening with each passing a second. A growl escaped the young woman's lips, the blonde sitting in utter darkness, having fallen asleep upon her couch. Grumbling to herself, shuffling through darkness, the lithe figure switched on a light, and lo, her sapphire eyes were greeted to the industrial rot of her apartment complex. Trash littered the floor, wallpapers scratched clean off, her mattress virtually ripped in two, having vouched to now sleep upon the couch to avoid accidentally rolling upon a steel frame. Switching her television set that appeared to crawl out of the recesses of the 80s, news blared as the graduate made her way to the bathroom.

    Embarking on a hasty shower, the effeminate form got herself ready for another typical day, a lackluster expression written on her heart-shaped face. Peering closer into the mirror, running a comb through her hair, the blonde simply stared at her reflection, feeling angry seeing her own face. She could see how much time she wasted, how should could of tried even harder in the past to avoid this situation she was in. Poverty ran in her blood, from her very conception, yet to serve as a mere teacher's aid and part-time janitor to Vincent University was astounding to her family name. Of course, her parents didn't care much, but to be brutally fair, Torin herself hadn't properly talked to them in months. Hell, for all she knew, there were off in the darkest, dampest parts of Fieldspans, drinking their lives away and shooting up petite drugs that some teen-aged punk conjured having failed Chemistry a long time ago.

    Having cried her tears long ago, Torin apathetically strolled out of her room, outfitting herself into her usual attire. Wearing a mostly black sweatshirt, accented with the red text of "UNITED STATES MARINES CORP." (a gift from one of her university friends) and raggedy, snug, dark denim jeans, the fair ambiguous woman made her way out of her apartment room. As to be expected, dim lights greeted her, the occasional drunkard slumped over outside of his own room. Gently, Torin watched, her eyes catching whiff of two passionate yet soulless lovers, the two cuddled up in the midst of the halls, once again outside of their rooms.

    A pang of envy greeted Torin's eyes, wishing damnation on her landlord for implanting the new locking system on the apartment doors for the sole reason of seeing two in love locked out of their room, asleep in each other's arms.

    Venturing out of apartments, the Fielder looked left and right, raising the hood of her sweatshirt as the rain had come down to a soft drizzle. Even in this time of day, the streets of Fieldspans felt uneasy. Cloaked, hooded figures wandered, some congregating this early in the morning, nibbling away at TV-Dinners and shoddily made breakfasts. The occasional scream caught Torin by surprise, making her jump, sounds of breaking glass as a fiendish rouge sprinted down the cracked concrete. Soon, the blaring of a siren and the illumination of red and blue filled her eyes, an undercover cop parked within this heart of darkness, chasing after the criminal. For many, this seemed hectic, almost akin to living in a warzone, an entire district of people subjugated under the glory of Parrel, unjustly left and forgotten.

    For our blonde protagonist, it felt normal.

    Getting into her Oldsmobile, the uncanny, particular soul drove quietly off to Vincent University within the dead of night, classic 80s rock filling her ears, remembering the times of bliss and carelessness.



    Vincent University, Parrell - October 14, 2016 - 1:12 PM

    Paper after paper.

    For most people in Fieldspans, the mere notion of getting into Vincent without the "Black Tower Bros" (a nickname conjured by the less educated populace of Parrel) running them out was but a dream. Fielders were often looked upon wrongly and somberly, like some parasitic leach off the glory of Parrel's existence. A majority of the public scowls at those that hail from such slums, viewing them as an unnecessary evil and plague that needs to be wiped clean off the prestigious fame that this utopia has garnered. Still, Torin is a special case, even in her lowly position, she could not deny that. A professor's aid and janitor seemed petite, but to her, it was astounding.

    Leaning back in her seat, staring around the empty room, the blonde sighed in exhaustion, sipping on a cup of black coffee and nibbling on a freshly-cooked biscuit. She had not been able to eat lunch properly yet, and with about two-hundred papers sitting on her desk, what time she had left was now fully gone. Resting her head against her right hand, the effeminate, ambiguous writer carefully began to scan through the psychology tests. Her professor had been summoned for some event within Vincent, something about a concerning issue or something along those lines. Not one for such petite details, Torin began to grade through the papers, finding little amusement in them.

    Until she got to Ruby's.

    Torin, unlike most graduates, kept up with the workings of college long afterwards. With a degree in Creative Writing and heavy interest in other fields, the lowly blonde was determined to eventually become a professor at some point. So naturally, news of the young prodigy spread like wildfire, having caught the ire of the lowly, poor writer. Taking her time with Ruby's paper, a pang of disappointment crept on Torin's face, noting the beauty in the young girl's work, but noting how little time she had. Some sections were not properly answered, but the ones that were, well, was astounding to put it bluntly.

    Determined, Torin sat up in her seat, giving Ruby a plausible higher than normal grade. Putting her paper to the side, Torin whispered under her breath, continuing her work.

    "You get another shot, little Red, don't miss this time..."



    Evangeline Memorial Park, Parrell - October 14, 2016 - 5:45 PM


    Despite being in the heart of corruption that is Fieldspans, the Evangeline park had always been a favorite local for the lonesome soul of Torin. Sitting upon a bench to herself, the blonde kept eerily to herself, scribbling away a journal, munching quietly to some cheap fast-food. Her life consisted of this, a constant cycle of waking in the middle of the night, fury in her heart, wishing for change, only to fall back into the grind. She felt like some walking paradox, a dove trapped her cage, wishing to escape her frighteningly comfortable bonds.

    With a hefty sigh, Torin paused, lowering her pen and food, staring off into the artificial nature that surrounded her. A lost gaze peered into the abyss, slowly closing her sapphire eyes, breathing deeply in through her nose, a tremble coursing through her body. A feeling had run through her veins like a pestilence, a feeling she was both deathly afraid of and welcoming. A feeling that had followed her since her inception and a feeling that described her to this very day....

    The feeling of being lonely.
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  15. "Please. And a strong order of Ginger tea if you have it, chamomile if you don't." This wasn't the first time he came here with some sort of bruise or bump.

    At this point, he knew well the drinks that would sooth his pain and throat the most. The icepack was a bonus as he smiled at the waitress. He didn't really know her beyond the tag she wore but he knew one thing.

    By their fruits ye shall know them. Anyone who took time to be a kind face and word for people down, like Iroh did frequently was enough to earn his respect. So he decided to go one step ahead today, waving briefly at Azula in the background before speaking to Yang.

    "Trial and error, this wound today. I suffered a severe trial against my sensei and this is the result of my error."

    @C.T. @OrlandoBloomers
  16. Raime was more than a little hungover. He'd had a little too much to drink after his fight. Add that on to his bruised jaw, the several cuts on his face, and his unkempt beard, and he was in, appearance wise, not the best shape or mood. Despite this, he went in search of something to ease his pain. With a gruff grunt, he waved off the odd greeting or judgemental look. The fighter was truly in no mood to deal with anyone right then. All the cars driving by and honking at each other just made his headache worse.

    I need some damn coffee. The rather simple thought was accompanied by the recognition of a place that served just what he sought, though he didn't know if it'd be any good. Not that it mattered; he just wanted to ease his hangover. The man stepped inside and took everything in. He didn't like it much. Then, he didn't much like most places. Sat down promptly to await service, trying his hardest to drown all the noise out.

    @Thuro The Assassin Potato
    @Coffee people​
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  17. I am a British Assassin
    Rather proficient in fashion
    Look in the mirror, yeah, the image is dashing
    I'm sending a Templar to hell with every single ring of Big Ben's bellu

    That was the sound of a rather loud, though probably correctly annoyed, young man trying to get Shaun's attention. Shaun had turned his back for just thirty seconds to clean up a spill that the oh so perfect expresso machine had made on the back counter, the room completely empty mind you, when a git had snuck up behind him and decided he couldn't wait the two seconds it would have taken him to turn back around, or you know, speak like a normal person. Shaun pulled out his earbuds and gave the cheery company line.

    "Hello. Welcome to Starbucks."

    Same bloody line year after year. Grin and bear it.

    To make matters much worse, it appeared that this boy wasn't really much interested in the coffee at all, instead having some sort of racial slight against the British. Or something. Maybe he just didn't like Shaun's shirt. I don't know. I'd reckon it was the shirt.

    "Oy. Can I get a cup of coffee? Or is it just tea that you chaps love. I know how much the ol' mum loves the tea."

    What the hell was he on about? Had be been watching Monty Python or some of that rubbish? Well, Shaun had a job to do. He wasn't going to get in trouble again, not after last week's yogurt incident.

    "Yes. Yes we do. If you look just over my shoulder right there you'll see we have a wide range of coffee's and the li-..."

    "But what I really, really want to know," The customer continued, his accent as fake and annoying as can be, "Is do you blokes have Earl Grey Tea."


    Yes. He'd just gone there. Well. He'd brought this on himself, hopefully Shaun wouldn't get fired for the natural course of events that followed, completely out of his control.

    "Oy of course we do. But do ye think I'd sell it to you ya bloody wanker. Get the hell out of me shop before I call the village police. Out with ye. Out."

    The customers really had no response. He had been trolling, yes, but he really hadn't expected the bait to work so well. Or so scarily.

    "I'm serious. You messed with the wrong brit. I'm about to get gangsta on your ass. Now get the hell out of me shop before I bring out the bat."

    The patron left.


    "Bloody idiot." Shaun muttered. "That last part wasn't even the British stereotype."

    The shop was empty again, except for one rather battered man staggering in. Well. Maybe he should take his order or something. Or he could go back to the never ending quest to make a good expresso, something that had always eluded him and likely always would.

    Well lads, the hour is getting late. There was an entire unwritten segment that is going to have to be split in two sadly. But, at least I'm finally in the game now.


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  18. Vash had arrived at work and had just gone out on break after his boss decided that the customers and himself needed some fresh air away from Vash's overenthusiastic nature. Most people saw work as a chore and nothing more. That there was no enjoyment to be had from it. But Vash thought differently than those sourpusses!

    He loved his job! Not too many places that required manual labor like stocking at a Wal-Mart or such looked fondly upon Vash's prosthetic arm. Which he was never too fond off. It was just an unfortunate event and he'd be forever grateful to Knives for using some of his inheritance to nurse him back to health and give him a replacement in lieu of him being forced to lose his left arm and have a nasty stump there. But there were downsides to this job even for someone as eager to please as Vash. For one it wasn't Dunkin Donuts!


    Every day he passed by one such place on the walk to work. Which meant that every day he had work he'd be forced to walk past there. Or even when Wolfwood gave him drives since in his own words, Vash was a 'lousy driver', the preacher-man always took his sweet time drawing past the Dunkin Donuts. Because he know how much it bothered Vash to see people drinking their coffees and munching on a chocolate longjohn or donuts with sprinkles coated all over the top.

    Or the best ones of all. Ones filled to the brim with jam that even with the smallest nibble, you'd catch the sweet sticky taste of strawberry jam. Just the mere sight of it was enough to bring Vash to tears! Balling his hand up into a fist as tears streamed down his face, he glanced down the way at the Dunkin Donuts.

    "We're so far apart my circular confectioneries! B-But someday we'll cut the binds that keep us apart and I'll devour you with zero hesitance! So says I, Vash Nightow!" Vash sobbed as the same two people who had been watching his strange dance moves paused to stare at this odd man who appeared to be sobbing over something.

    "....You alright, pal?"

    "Am I alright? That's the question you asked me correct? I'm hard of hearing you see for when I lack the succulent taste of donuts on my tongue, my senses are the first to go! Hearing first to be exact! Oh the agony is truly terrifying! For how long could I be asked to suffer in these conditions!?"

    "..Hey man, if it's a donut you want. I can run to Dunkin Donuts and get you one. No big deal."

    "Are you nuts?! We're getting away from this guy asap!" The other fellow snapped as he grabbed his companion's hand and quickly hurried off leaving Vash on his lonesome yet again. But suddenly producing a tissue, he'd dab it at his eyes but a smile finally seemed to return to his face. "You wouldn't be the first person to call me that! But I appreciate the offer nonetheless! Hey, maybe you can come into Starbucks sometime and we can talk over one of our Strawberry Shortcake Frapuccino!"

    It was always nice to come across other people who were so willing to keep the tranquility and peace of others balanced. It was the same sort of thinking that his mother had and the same thinking she'd pass onto him. It was enough to dry up those tears of his and he'd continue spending what time he had left on his break before another customer approached. Turning to face him, Vash held up a hand and began to eagerly greet the potential patron. Only to get completely ignored. Staring blankly until the door closed, Vash's eyes narrowed. He was used to customers who he supposed weren't big fans of how nice he was, some people calling it fake as they left. Which simply wasn't true! He enjoyed this job and the benefits it brought him. But being ignored was probably one of the worst things.


    "Well friend, that's not how you show compassion.."

    Watching as the door closed behind the patron, Vash pressed his ear against the door and smirked. He had been working with Shaun for quite some time and never once did he think that he grated on the Brit's nerves! The two of them were tighter than two peas in a pod! He'd even go as far as to call them Coffee Companions! He knew exactly how to put guys like this in their place and it was always a joy to listen to. As the rude patron exited it, Vash smirked triumphantly. Annoyed by how happy Vash seemed, the man turned to face him and noticing Vash's attire, he sneered.

    "You happy about something, Blondie? How's about I knock that goofy looking smile off your face?" The man snarked as Vash quickly held up his hands. "I'm by no means a fan of violence for as the old saying goes, I've always been more of a lover than a fighter.~" The man rolled his eyes and turned to walk past Vash and nudge him with his shoulder. Not having expected the shove, Vash stumbled on his feet and falling back, he gripped onto the man's jacket by mistake. Which caused him to fall down as well and yell out in pain. "Ow! What the hell did you do that for?!"

    "Oh I'm so happy you were there for me to hold! I was falling and my hands desperately needed to grab onto something! You ended up just being the closest thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" He'd say as the man rose to his feet and angrily stomped off. Having noticed Vash's arm however, he felt there was one last jeer left in him. "Stick to serving coffee, Blondie! Unless you want to lose another arm!"


    That was enough to harsh Vash's mellow. He wasn't a fan of people giving him pity for the arm, but that didn't mean he was cool with any insults thrown his way in that regard. But as he rubbed the arm, he heard the sound of the door being pushed open again and his smile returned. There was another customer! Making his way back over, he decided he could spend the rest of his time trying to work over this customer! But not without giving a hello to Shaun. Making his way back inside, Vash smiled briefly at Raime before glancing towards Shaun and holding his arms out from side to side.

    "Shaun! My pal, my amgio, my coffee companion! It feels like it's been forever since we last talked!" When in actuality it had only been a short interim taking into account Vash's break. "How have things in here been? I could hear that the last guy you got in here wasn't all about the love and peace philosophy."

    @BarrenThin @Thuro The Assassin Potato
    #18 Chewy Rabbits, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
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  19. [​IMG]

    "Mm-hmm. Gosh. Well, sounds like Master Shifu needs a Snickers." Yang commented with a sympathetic smile, tilting her head gently to one side and nodding in comprehension. She gave her hair a casual flip with one hand, tucking the notebook back into her shirt pocket with the other, committing Lucifer's relatively simple order to memory rather than writing it down on paper. Ginger tea for Officer Tightpants at table eight; somehow Yang was fairly certain she could remember that. Jeez, this waitressing schtick was the easiest money she ever made sometimes.

    Now that bidness was out of the way, the blonde figured she might as well get a little friendly teasing in while she had the opportunity. After all, it wasn't every day you got the chance to mess with a cop :| "Not gonna lie, I'm a liiiiiiittle disappointed. When a police officer walks in with a bump the size of an egg on his skull, I expect a story just a bit more exciting than getting bonked on the head by senpai, know what I mean? You totally blew your chance to make yourself seem all dashing and heroic!" She gave a mock pout, feigning indignance pretty well for a waitress as she dramatically placed a hand over her heart and sighed deeply. "And I would've totally bought an awesome ten-minute epic about how you went into a notorious gang lord's lair single-handedly and took him and his cronies down whilst sustaining nothing more than a simple bruise, too. I might've even swooned. Oh well." :<

    And without so much as a wink to clarify she was kidding, she abruptly turned and made for the back to fetch his tea.

    The sight of a scruffy homeless guy in a ballcap picking through leftover food in the kitchen might've been enough to take most waitresses aback, but Yang liked to think she wasn't like most waitresses. In fact, as the blonde cheerfully pushed open the door to the back room and traipsed in without a care in the world, pausing only briefly in the doorframe to blink her lilac eyes a few times at the sight of Barnable getting his munchies on with their excess bread, her first response was to beam broadly, let a heartwarmed "Awwwww!~~" escape her lips and carry on with her business without so much as a second thought, rifling through the kitchen's cupboards to bring out the box of Iroh's special ginger blend. The coffee shop's proprietor was such a cinnamon roll... the precious kind. Humming to herself cheerily as she brought out two bags of the herbs for extra strength and dropped them into a teapot, she sat back on the counter while she waited for the water to boil, kicking her legs giddily as she watched Barnes go about his business for a few moments before speaking up brightly.

    "Yo, Hobo Pete! There are plenty of empty tables out front if ya wanna grab a seat, y'know. It's okay if you don't have any money. We got tap water for days, and I think I can spare a little dough to order you some tea or somethin' besides that. It'll be our little secret. Whaddaya say?"

    She figured he might appreciate spending a few hours being served in a cozy tea shop, rather than chilling in some back alley someplace out in the cold.

    @Saint Guillotine @El Tigre​
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  20. Ruby had not been so lost in her own thoughts that she had been downright startled and had careened face first into the side of a building when her phone suddenly started vibrating in her pocket.

    She had careened face first into the side of the building for completely unrelated and way less embarrassing reasons that she'd figure out once any witnesses questioned her about it =w=.

    Right after she shook off this mild concussion

    After a minute or two of looking glumly up at the dusky sky while phone vibrated off an on as it received the rest of Yang's messages while Ruby waited for her head to clear, she finally got around to actually looking at what had definitely not! caused her little accident. The first one had her staring for a few seconds before she huffed and leaned back against the building she was seated against, a small, bashful smile on her face as she shook her head. it wasn't really a surprise that Yang had her read like a book, she'd only been doing it since Ruby was born. Thankfully Yang had always used her power for good instead of evil, and between Ciri and Yang she was starting to feel a little silly about panicking as hard as she did.

    'ok wel thnx but dnt tell mom plz I dnt want her 2 worry.'

    But only a little silly because the thought of her knowing was still terrifying T-T. She scrolled down to the next message and rolled her eyes with a snort.

    'Srry my freetiem alrdy spoken 4. did u look @ guild wars 2 yet : D'

    There was of course tomorrow with Ciri but like she had thought earlier; Ruby had a few theories of how things would go if Ciri and Yang ever met each other, especially outside of work, and literally all of them were terrifying and at least two ended with at least one person arrested. The next message made her wince and then frown slightly as the connotations behind it kicked in, an indignant pout on her face as she replied.

    'I can take caer of meself Yang srsly! why evn ask that?//?/?/??'

    She was glad to know her sis always had her back and all that jazz but it got just a little frustrating when you were literally in college and your big sister was still treating you like you were twelve =w=.

    Aaaaand then that question.

    She stared for a few seconds as her face heated up in sheer secondhand embarrassment. Seriously? Why would Yang ask her that. Ruby may not be the most socially adept kid on the campus but at least she knew that about herself! She was literally the worse person to ask for advice or references or whatever about this kind of stuff! Though... well Yang had only been asking about physical attractiveness. She thought. She huffed and at least did a quick mental check to get this out of the way.

    No. Taken. Taken and no regardless. oh god no. pfft. n-no.... no. Probably no. That'd be weird. And no.

    There, that was all of Ruby's friends she knew the appearance of. All... ten of them.

    Man. she really needed to get out more. She just sent a final 'I wil' in response to the last text before she finally pushed herself back to her feet and swung herself back on her bike to head to her dorm, so she could get some neosporin on this nasty scrape she had one one cheek now T~T
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