Log:Caught in a Web
Saturday, April 23rd, 1994. It's late afternoon, and things are slowly starting to warm up, though with the change in weather comes some storms here and there. Today, however, it's clear if a bit windy.
It's after Spring Break, but not yet Summer, so business is a bit slow in the Village of late. Mr. Chen is alone in his shop when the gaggle of kids arrive. "Hello," he greets with aa friendly smile from his desk atop a short platform in one corner of the main room.
"Hi. I'm Esme Reed, I had called to ask for a good time to talk a bit back." Esme tells the historian and shop proprietor with approach on entry with company filing into the shop behind. It's Landon she stands on one side of, though, hand surreptitiously lacing fingers through two of his to hook with squeezing and a silent this-is-it kind of assurance for herself or him, or her general reflexes.
After looking around the shop to make sure there aren't any shoppers they're currently disturbing, she carries on, "We've come across some matters of possible issue, which got us onto the local legends idea for a piece. And I understand you've spoken to my cousin Ashley prior? I... had some questions about that, I think others are interested in hearing." Obviously. Hence the kid gaggle, "Can we start with urban or local stories of disappearances or murders that might seem strange since the town was founded, perhaps?"
ROLL: Star rolls 5d6 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 2 3 3 4 -- d6)
Landon Marchant just happens to be one of those gaggle of kids that show up. It's almost as if this were planned or several separate groups converged together in this bloody thirst for knowledge. Esme had told him that Ashly had told her that the newspaper team should probably speak with Mr. Chen, thus that's what brings him and some of the other newsies here. Wearing a white dress shirt and black slacks with a navy blazer thrown over the ensemble, he's sporting sneakers rather than Oxfords, which is usually his go-to. And then there are those dark sunglasses that shields his eyes from the late afternoon sun. It takes a moment before he removes them to fold, then tucking them into his blazer breast pocket. Seems like Esme is taking the lead here, which is fine by him. He'll give her hand a reassuring squeeze. While they all probably have many questions of their own, there's no need to badger the guy. He does lift up a hand in greeting, affirming what Esme now asks, "What she said."
It's funny how the word of mouth about these things gets around. That would doubtless explain Mona. Odds are against her having given up her espresso addiction for tea, even if she does spare a moment to eye a few posh tea tins as she filters in. She's dressed smashingly in classic weekend fare: a black pinstripe pencil skirt, a sheer silk mesh spring Gaultier print top over a cropped black strappy tank, artfully painted biker jacket thrown over the lot for a dash of Klimt-inspired abstracts. At a glance, she's just out for some weekend shopping. Were she not so focused on remaining with the cluster, and the less common look of attentiveness she's wearing along with the rest, that impression might stick. Marchant or not, she can manage a warm smile for the man at the desk, and she does, as her fingertips flicker in a graceful wave. Mouth shut, ears open. Will wonders never cease?
Mr. Chen nods slowly as Esme gives her pitch, looking from her first to the others, one by one. His gaze lingers just a bit on Esme, Landon and Cash than it does on the others. "Ms. Freeland," he confirms of Ashley. "Yes. Ah! There she is. Why don't we all retire to the tea room, hmm? Things have been quiet this afternoon."
The elderly, English-accented Asian man leads the way through an archway into an adjoining room, leaving the shields and crests and banners and suits of armor behind for a smaller, cozier little sitting room with a full-service tea station and proper English biscuits. "Help yourselves," he says with a gesture to the refreshments. "Please, make yourselves comfortable."
Star is with Mona, silent and moody as ever.
Silver is sticking to the back. Quiet and curious. Of course her camera is out. Taking a few shots up close of a suit of armor. But she moves with the group mostly. A pause here or there for a picture.
Ashley is indeed here. Sneaking up on the group in an unusually subdued fashion. Though her fashion itself, is totally hip and happening. Yep, it's that school uniform look again, soon to be made famous in 'Clueless'. Lots of yellow hued tartan, short skirts, long socks, and tiny backpacks that carry very little but look soooo cute. "Hello, Mr. Chen" she smiles, giving him a little wave before following along with the other. "I think you have to ask permission to photograph in a place of business" she whisper asides to Silver.
Hector is at the back holding Cash's right hand, the unbandaged one. His hair has mostly grown out with the unfortunate effect of looking rather like a curly mullet. He has his usual mismated earings, the big class ring on his left index finger with it's black stone, and has eyeliner and dark red lipstick on. He's opted for a Faith no More tee, the black skinny jeans patched in purple, and doc martens. They stick to the back as they follow the group. He murmurs thanks as the group is offered tea and goes to make himself some.
Jade is still following after his older sisters (by about ten and six minutes respectively) even at this age. He slips in off the street dressed in black jeans and a black tank top with an army green light jacket tied artfully around his waist by the sleeves. He smiles when he sees Mona, but he too seems to have adopted her mouth shut ears open policy.
Esme may have a bit of nerves about her given that snuck over finger-squeeze with Landon before speaking introduction, but she's pretty outwardly calm, polite, and quick with the congenial smiles. But not too bright and bubbly, they are here for serious questions, afterall, and with it being afternoon and sun up, she's not feeling that into overkill with the smiles anyway. She's been a toned down version for a while now, but it works for this setting, "Thank you. It's nice of you to entertain and answer us, I know it's not every day a bunch of kids show up like a swarm in here.
Also she's really into Courtney Love lately and is rocking a blue-schemed floral little babydoll dress that split flares with peek out hem, but on her, it's more darling than rock with her Doc Martin sandals and decorative style choker. Once inside, she helps herself to tea setting and waits for the others to settle.
"Hey!" Zane greets the man brightly, with a smile to match, lifting one hand in a minimally-moving sort of wave, and he doesn't need to be asked twice to head into the room that involves both stories and cookies. And tea, that's okay too. He's shown up along with Mona and Star, not exactly so snazzily dressed as the former. The usual Docs, ripped black jeans, and his frequent biker jacket (not painted, just kinda worn) over a silk-screened T-shirt from the school's production of The Music Man a couple years back. It's possibly a little tighter these days than it was at that point, but the design's holding up pretty well! There's quick smiles for everyone else, as well, but he has an important appointment with the offered refreshments before properly finding a seat. He does, however, add a "Thank you!" toward Mr. Chen.
If Landon notices the elder man's eyes on him, he says nothing. With one hand tucked in his pocket, the other still grasped onto Esme's, he takes a few swaggering steps into the next room, giving the offered refreshment a quick gloss over, but for over a month, it seems, he really lost his appetite for most foods.
Noting all of the other familiar faces around, he'll give a slow nod of acknowledgment to other Marchants, even if he's surprised to see them here today. He didn't send out that memo! "Tell me, Sir," He's being polite too, it's the Lucas and Landon way when they are speaking to adults, "Do you get asked questions like this often?"
Cash is glad he has talkative, nosy female relatives. He is happier hanging back with Hector. He's letting his red locks flow free and frizzy. It matches the Axl Rose chic he seems to be working today. There is a bit of a furrow in his brow and he's chewing his lip. General fretting.
Silver is dressed in a sundress and leggings. Floral all the way in hues of blue and green. The ever present camera bag over one shoulder and the camera actuall out. Ashley's comment gets a smirk and she says, "Unless it is otherwise posted, it's a public place. Of course if asked I'll stop, but this stuff is on display for a reason. It's a tourist place after all," And she lifts the camera and snaps another shot.
He waits for everyone to get a drink and snack if they wish before turning back to Esme. "On Monday evening, when the moon is full again," says Mr. Chen. "Will you take another drink?" The questioning expression is turned to Landon, Cash and Silver one by one, including each of them.
"It would be your... second? No. Your third." A tsk and a sigh. "It is good you came to me in time."
There's an arm offered at either side of Mona, one for Star, one for Zane. Something about this meeting has her uneasy, no matter how much that smile remains frozen politely on her face. Maybe a phalanx will help... if they can make it through the door to the tea room like that. It's less gallant, and more 'don't let me chicken out of this one', in the kind of subtle body language only the nearest and dearest would be able to readily translate. Talk of uneasy family secrets always twists up the girl's spine, and there is safety in numbers. There's a quick glance to Jade, her brow furrowing. Tea. We remember the etiquette for this one, right? That Landon and Esme seem to be leading the charge eases the process considerably.
It's the mention of the full moon that captures her attention, and the fashionista's eyes narrow faintly. "Is that the cycle they've been operating on?" she asks, glancing back to Jade, though her eyes flick to Cash as well in search of confirmation.
Hector freezes at Mr. Chen's question, then squeezes Cash's hand, looking up at him, brow furrowed.
Ashely will make do with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, finding a place to sit and delicately partake of refreshments. "You have a point" she admits to Silver before giving her brother an evil eye for that bandaged hand...and the Axl Rose chic. Hector gets a curious arching of a brow in a 'do you know anything about that' and 'that lipstick is far too red' kind of way. Though Mr. Chen's words soon have her interest. "Third?"
He had hoped to just be quiet. Cash shakes his head. "No." He adds, with conviction. "It would be my second, sir. I resisted the last time." His hand begins to squeeze Hector's. "Mmm...maybe it would matter with me. Maybe I won't get the call." Hopeful. He spots Ashley with her evil eye. "I cut it working." He whispers, harshly.
Esme is usually good with the calm when she's rattled, but she was //not// expecting the historian and host to start with that, let alone the idea that he... knows, somehow? Her lashes bat a few times fast and she can't help but glance down into her tea with drop of eyes. When she looks back up, she looks at Landon, then she turns a bit in her seat to look at Cash in the back of the room by Hector for a moment before answering for her own part in earnest, "I don't want to anymore. But I also do, if that makes sense, so it scares me that some of us may not have the will we want."
After she's spent a moment looking at Cash, she sits up straighter and looks back at Chen, "Cash resisted. I think I can. I tried a natural cleanse, but..." She pauses there, lets others question and comment, then seizes on her own question from context, "... if we're 'in time' does that mean there's a way to... purge whatever this is?"
Silver staves off more pictures to get herself a chai and croissant. Settling in near Star when she does finally sit. Good thing the chai is too hot or she might be snorting it at the words from Mr. Chen. Her eyes flick to the others indicated by the Historian. The nerves are obvious and she lowers her gaze with a frown. "In time?" She squeaks.
Landon is just as surprised as the others when Mr. Chen addresses those who had taken a taste, inquiring if they will do so again. It was around the time of the full moon wasn't it? Landon hadn't paid much attention to that fact, though he should have. A full moon makes people crazy and he'd lived with that sort of crazy for twelve years of his life.
He doesn't quite meet with Esme's gaze even when she turns to him. Rather, his full attention is focused solely on Chen now. He remembers the promise made to Morrison, so whether he gives into his desires, that thirst or not, he will say in a mostly firm tone, "No. We don't intend to do so." He's speaking on behalf of Lucas as well whether that's true or not. "How..." He starts, pondering on his question, before starting again, "How did you know?"
"Surely someone among you noticed the first two occured on the full moon," says Mr. Chen. "The next is Monday." He nods when Cash says he resisted the second time. "I can see it in a few of you. I know what the signs are, what to look for. It is what I truly do."
"Drinking the blood of an elder vampire three times on the full moon is how one is Turned. If it were as simple as being bitten, the undead would be everywhere." He splays his hands, as if this is obvious. "Once Turned, the only chance you have of returning to your mortal life is the death of the elder vampire."
Fashionably late is what they call it. Marianne strides in wearing an oversized leather jacket likely nicked from one of her cousins' closets. a white tank top, and ripped but not so baggy jeans, with the work boots that Cash bought her. She instinctively moves over to Cash, only spotting Zane at the last moment and giving him a slight smile - then realization hitting her all at once as she hears the conversation going on. Evidently the talk of vampires was much closer to her than she ever thought; as far as she knew, vampires were just hurting people - not trying to feed their blood to family and friends. Her face is awash with confusion and classic teen angst at once before she reaches out to squeeze Cash's hand faintly.
Cash only has his injured hand free and he pulls it away when Marianne touches it. "Sorry. It's fine. Watch the palm though." He takes her hand again, gingerly. "It'll be okay. We did good work." Then, he asks, out loud, "Can you drink twice on one full moon?"
Silver frowns worriedly at Chen's words. Now that it is pointed out, yes she does see the link. The moon. It's kind of a facepalm moment and she gives in. "She said something about next time being too late," She murmers mostly to herself. Then she looks up at the historian and says, "But we know what they are. If we refuse they'll just tear us apart like they did Brenda. They're not above threats."
Hector gives Asheley a sheepish look, then turns his gaze back to Cash for his answer. He says firmly, "If they call again, you'll resist again, right?" He doesn't really know esme outside of class, but he flashes her an encouraging smile anyway. He eyes his sister worriedly at 'too lae.' He peers at Marianne on Cash's other said and says firmly, "We'll do our best to protect our own." He blinks in surprise at Cash's question.
Wait, hold the phone, there's cake too?! Zane is quite willing to phalanx up with Mona and Star like that, as long as they're good with joining his foodward trajectory. Look, he hasn't met Fran and co; everything still tastes the way it should to him. And he's hungry! But he still chooses things carefully, 'cause one shouldn't be rude.
Some of his attention is still on the rest of what's going on, and the ratio increases as the discussion continues. He's been kind of busy, and hasn't really heard much about a lot of this. And this sounds weird. Like, weird weird. Even so, when he spots his cousin, her faint smile gets a bright one in return, and as it subsides he lifts his brows, eyes widening a little, and points at the nearby snacks. This is apparently mime for 'Cake?' The mention of people getting ripped apart makes him blink, though, and he takes a moment to stare at Silver before taking plate and cup and hopefully friends toward a table where they can sit.
Jade sits beside Zane, offering him a small smile, and he settles in with his Lapsong Souchong and a few biscuits. Despite looking like a sullen rocker wannabe, his posture is flawless, and his table manners above reproach. "How do we kill the elder vampire?" he asks politely. "I'm afraid I don't know how to deal with for-real vampires. How do we protect ourselves?"
Chen is using the v-word now, like Ashley did when she was pulled aside at the party, and Esme cuts her eyes over at that cousin for a lingering moment as well. Then her eyes go to Cash's question, then the other questions around, her breath somewhat held as she sits very still and attentive while processing how real this is now that it's hit the air. You can //know// a thing without ever really letting yourself know it at all, so she needs a moment. And it gives the others time to talk and her a moment to think and find a place to store that v-word and what they're actually being told now.
Jade, though, his question gets a sudden blink out of her because woah, vampire slaying, what? She decides to drink from her tea and bide time and thoughts.
Mr. Chen shakes his head at Cash's question. "Three separate nights," he confirms. "It must be different nights. And yes, you would do well to resist the call when it comes again Monday. You will need someone to help you, of course. If you try to do it alone you'll give in. Having drank twice, you'll find the call too alluring. Do not be alone."
He collects tea for himself. "All is not lost, however. Vampires have weaknesses that can be exploited. I will help you with a bit of knowledge now, but if you want my full assistance, resist the call on Monday and return to me after. I am putting myself at risk if you should Turn, you understand."
To Silver's concerns, while Landon doesn't like this at all, it's something that his and Lucas' 'house arrest' brings to mind. "That just means that family and friends have to help ensure that you aren't drawn out into the night, the way we've all been over the past few months. And into their clutches." This is something that he kinda had an idea that they should do to some of his rowdier Lester relatives during that time of month. "Maybe they just have to make sure that we can't, in any way, leave the house."
Jade's question garners a look from cousin to cousin. It's another look of acknowledgement at least, before he returns to Chen to see what he's gotta say about protection. Then something comes to mind, "We've seen them in text and in movies. What can we do to ward them off?"
Ashley does her best to not appear superior to those who have got themselves addicted. Didn't anyone listen to Nancy Regan when they were kids? "Maybe we should tie everyone up for the night? We can say it's a party or something and then hang out..." She glances around. "Can we use your place, Mr. Chen? The back room for a 'private' party? Oh, does it have to be three consecutive full moons or will we be doing this every month from now on?"
While the answer regarding the full moon catches her attention, Mona carefully selects a few biscuits to set on a plate while perusing the tea and trying to avoid a baffled look. Eventually, she aims for Earl Grey, though her eyes dart amongst her cohorts briefly, before her attention returns to Mister Chen. "Pardon, Mister Chen, but-" There is a brief pause. The teacup rattles slightly against the saucer she holds until her other hand stills it. "-do you mean to say that as soon as Monday, two days from now, some of those affected might be gone to us for good?" All the color drains from her face as she glances to Jade. "Thea's under house arrest." New rule she just made up.
Marianne has to watch in subtle amusement as she sees Zane eyeball the cake. She looks over toward Hector and nods. "Hey, I'm Marianne. ...Stake maker and apparent bitten-person ally." It sounds much better than introducing herself as Zane and Art's cousin again. Despite her people-watching, she is listening to the information flying past her rather keenly. None of it sounded good, none of it even sounded particularly hopeful - but where there was a will, there was a way. She smiles at Cash reassuringly. "We've uh, made stakes. Does... does garlic work on these people? Because like he," she motions to Landon, "said, we've all seen them in movies and read about them but this is real, and I mean, we could fill up super soakers with holy water... but what's really going to get them to stay away from all of us?"
Silver nods slowly at Chen's comment and settles back in her seat. She glances at Zane, feeling that stare, and colors darkly. Shifting in her seat she glances at Star and then back to her croissant. Nibbling on it without any real gusto. She doesn't have much to say.
Esme tilts her head while studying Chen once she's done sitting and collecting herself and looking around the room or into her tea while listening. She's clearly developing some new questions after he explains what he can or won't tell them until after Monday's moon, but she waits for the questions on matters of prevention and protection to be addressed first and how ongoing it will be from here on, as Ash inquired. There's nothing congenial about her other than her dress and posture now, though, those doll eyes sober as hell and worried to boot while ticking with thought.
"Not forever," Mr. Chen says to Ashley. "For some time, to be sure. Mr. Freeland will find it easier, and it will leave him faster, having only drank once. "
He looks then to Mona, quite serious and solemn. "Yes," he says simply. "I am. You must keep them close on Monday night."
Another sigh and sip of his tea. "For now, I offer you this for protection: No vampire, elder or newly Turned, can enter a home without permission. Stay in on Monday, maybe all together at one place, and they cannot harm you."
Hector loooks carefully at all those there and says, "I'm with Asheley. We should stick together, in someone's house, those who drank and those of us helping them to resist Use ropes? Duct tape? With lots of us to tackle if they get loose?" He offers Marianne his hand across cash, "Hector. The Fiance." he looks worried, "She can fly. Fran. And I think they have some kind of power to make illusions and things." He hesitates, then asks, "Mr. Chen? Are hotel rooms homes?"
"That is something," Silver says softly. Finally just setting food and drink aside and sitting back in her chair. Fiddling with the dials on her camera. "Does garlic and crucifixes help?" She asks more firmly after a moment, looking up from her camera.
When Chen tells them to group up, Landon's eyes look over to the others now. To Cash, to Silver and especially to Esme. "Understood, sir. My older brother is already acting like a body guard for us," The twins, "I'm sure he'll agree whole-heartedly to do as you say." Then another question pops in his head, "How long does it take to detox from whatever we ingested." Blood... "How long will we have to go through with this?" He's sure that Chen will be more than happy to tell them after Monday, but it's something that they've been pondering for a while now. That said, he blinks at the simple solution given them. "Just don't invite them inside?" There's a lift of his brow at this. "Alright." That's when he looks over at Mona and Jade now, "If necessary, our," The Marchant's, "place is like, well not exactly a fortress. But it's large enough to keep everyone." It also has a shit ton of windows and doors.
Mona swallows a breath, and makes her way to a seat as the answer comes. She nods once, flawlessly polite, with a clarity of gaze that suggests she is listening in all seriousness.
"We have the space," she volunteers before she actually thinks it through. "And it isn't uncommon for people to stay at the house. Especially with the excuse of the show. We have preparations to do, as yet. Rehearsal, fittings."
"You said that this..." Esme gestures with the hand to the oddity and scare of the conversation topic in general while addressing Chen, but not til she's nodded some understanding and agreement to the information and planning, "that it's what you truly do. I can only assume you've... been exposed to the knowledge on such monsters for some time and I tell you now, I am appreciative, we all are for this, especially knowing how... dire and real..."
Esme has to pause and wet her lips while posing the actual question about the very scope of all of this terrible strange, "How long has this been happening here? Is there something drawing them? I heard something about a particular evil stone in the London Bridge, for instance. Is this... something any of our parents know about, these oddities? Something specific to this area, or is this something that can happen anywhere and everywhere?" It really is kind of killing her to keep lying and evading her mother, she's not accustomed to needing to do such things and she knows it's probably starting to worry at least her own parents and twin given her oddities lately.
"I don't think so, Hector" Ashley offers about the hotel being home. "Everyone is technically invited into a hotel room at all times. Like this place." A nod to Landon about their home being big enough. "We have to be careful though. None of us actually own our homes so our parents could invite people without us knowing. Or be fooled into it. So it's only the one day of the full moon, Mr. Chen?"
Jade nods to Mona at the new house rule. Sorry, Thea. That's just the way it's gotta be. He then chimes in, "Yeah, we can have a sleepover. With duct tape and ropes, if necessary." He sips his tea. "If everyone gets through the night unscathed, it'll at least give us another month to figure out what to do about all this long term." There's just enough hardness in his tone to suggest that, yeah, he's thinking about killing the elder vampire still.
Marianne smiles and nods at Hector, wishing she could say more to the guy she's heard so much about from Cash, but it hardly seems like the time for excessive pleasantries. The fact that Mr. Chen meets their questions with a sigh and tells them to stick together makes her furrow her brow. She reaches up to rub at her forehead in frustration, especially when talk about flying and the like is brought up. "Alright. So rope it is," she mutters more to herself than anyone else.
Cash, who had his serious face on suddenly stifles a laugh and blushes. He leans over to Hector and whispers in his ear. He quickly turns to Marianne and mutters, "People who don't know me well tend to like me better. You both showed up over the holiday break and look who my friends are."
Lana came with the others, notebook in hand as always, pen in the other. Dressed in one of her favorite color schemes; black; she wears doc martin boots, a black skirt, a white man's shirt she got from someone once upon a time and a black ribbon tied around her neck as a choker. Her hair is loose and rather windswept looking. She says nothing at the moment, lingering in back, wide-eyed and attentive.
"Has anyone tried to infiltrate them to destroy them from within before?" Silver finally asks in an explosive breath. She's just staring at Chen now and ignoring the glances and looks of the others. "These creatures have been here since this town was founded. I don't know about you, but I'd like to exterminate them to the last. How many people have they put through this? How many people dead?" Her voice has a slight quiver to it, but she doesn't stutter at least. "It has to stop."
"Vampires can do many things," Mr. Chen confirms when it's mentioned Fran can fly. "Each one is different, however. One might do something another cannot. But yes, all can fly. All are faster than is natural. We can discuss their strengths and weaknesses at more length once I know you have remained free of their control. They are vaguely aware of me, but I do not wish them to know the extent of my knowledge of them. And yes, Ms. Reed, your families are connected to this, though they are unaware of the role they play."
To Silver, "...One cannot infiltrate them, Ms. Thistle. If you Turn, you are under their sway. You cannot betray them. As for exterminating them to the last? Only the elder needs be destroyed. The rest will return to mortality."
Hector blushes as Landon mentions the bodyguard thing. He gives Cash another worried look at the hotel answer, but at the whisper his eyes go wide and he blushes to his ears. Then he's giving his sister a Look, "We are not risking losing you. Please listen to Mr. Chen. It's not the answer."
"How many of them are there?" Landon decides to ask, his dark eyes staring out at Chen. "Do they... Turn a lot of people? And if so, when do they decide it's time to create a new... breed." There's this furrow to his brow and a shake of his head. He knows very little about vampires! "A new generation? Anyway, if we don't go looking for them on Monday night. They'll come looking for us, I'll assume?" Don't give them permission to enter the house. Don't give them permission to enter the house. He chants this mantra silently in his mind over and over again.
However, when discussion turns to their families, there's this curios spark in his eyes, "Our families? How are they connected, Sir? Unknowingly so."
Zane raises a hand tentatively, as if he were in class. Actually, identically to if he were in class, for those where his hand ever goes up. "Um, Mr. Chen? How do we figure out what vampire is elder, then? Do they just like... look older?" You know, wrinkles, grey hair, out of fashion clothes. "Or is that in the stuff we oughta ask on Tuesday?"
Silver rolls her eyes and looks straight at Hector with a dead expression. "I'm not going too. But I needed to ask if it was a possibility. It's not," She says with only a tiny sigh. Then she turns back to Chen and nods. "Do you know who the elder -is-?"
Jade glances at Mona, then Landon, and he tells Hector primly, "We won't leave you to die in a hotel room, unprotected." He nibbles on a biscuit, then adds, "You and Cash can come over Monday. Try not to advertise that you are doing so." He glances to Silver and Star. "You're always welcome, Spear too."
"Might those of us not-" Mona takes a moment to attempt to find the polite and proper phrasing for the question. "-currently at risk know more about these connections? Or would it be of no help in the short term, to prevent any of our friends or family from crossing over this full moon?" The tea is getting cold in front of her as she carefully sets it down. "I suspect anything that might help may be a benefit."
Glancing to Landon, she notes, "It's not our house, strictly speaking. We will have to spin a compelling tale to Mother and Father on that account." There is a brief pause. "Or does proper ownership of the property matter?" she asks, directing her attention back to Mister Chen.
"I can answer nothing further of weaknesses, abilities, histories or identities until we speak on Tuesday," says Mr. Chen. "But if you live there, it is your home. It is not, however, just your home. Keep that in mind. A vampire must be invited in, but anyone living there can give that invitation. Once invited in, they are practically invulnerable."
He frowns thoughtfully. "You are in grave danger, and drinking was a terrible mistake. You have put yourselves and your families in far more danger than you know. You've put all of us in danger, frankly. This is... not good. Be strong on Monday, however, and perhaps we can use this as an opportunity."
Lana seems very involved in trying to keep up with her note taking, too busy writing to say much, though at certain things said (like Thea being on House Arrest, and the questions her own sister asks), she looks up to them before making more notes in her book. She herself has not been exposed to drinking any blood. One might even wonder why she's here, but knowledge is power, whether it is published or not. Currently, her mind might be a bit blown... surely she's heard some of this before, but still, it is... incredibly, well, incredible.
Silver gives Jade a wan smile and nods, "Thanks," She says softly. Finally picking her cup back up and sipping from it again. "So...study slumber party on Monday, yeah? I know at least a few of us have exams. I'd be happy to help anyone who needs it." She's trying hard to be cheerful, but it is obviously forced.
"... I see." Esme does not quite see at all, but after hearing all of this from a third party and confirming a lot of information to stick together and make the reality of the situation hit, she gets what they're being told given the timing, especially with the danger factor to outside people thrown in-- survive first. Then figure out how to overcome. And this little cheerleader isn't a cheerleader, but she is an encouraging sort of spokesmodel specimen here and there given her column and peer counseling schtick. So...
The brunette teen leans forward to put her tea cup down after draining the rest of the contents politely now that it's cooled, then she rises up to give thanks with sober gratitude, "Thank you. We'll see you after the moon and let this sink in and manage where we can. Does anyone else have anything else Mr. Chen is comfortable answering given the guidelines? Otherwise, we should let him get back to the shop."
And it's damn hard to be presentation calm knowing what she knows now, but somehow, she does it.
As far as Landon can tell, this was the end of their conversation. They got all of the answers that Mr. Chen was willing to give them until Tuesday. "We don't have much time to prepare." Monday was fast approaching. Turning in full to Mona now, he asks, "So what do we tell your parents? I mean, usually, when you're throwing a party, they don't intrude. And I doubt that they'd just invite anyone into their home." His words slow down in thought now, "Unless they thought that the person in question was invited to the gathering all along." He then states what's probably on their minds, "And wherever we gather, that's where they," the Vampires, "Will come." Looking to Chen again, he will echo some of what Silver says, "Yeah. Thanks for the, uh.. information." There is this soft look of guilt on his face, but it's a similar look Lucas had given him before. One of Guilt.
Hector says quietly to Jade, "They are after us particularly. Anyone we stay with is in danger. Are you sure, Jade?" He sips his Lapsong Souchong, thinking of, then disguarding a question too dangerous to ask until Tuesday. "Thank you, Mr Chen."
"In that case, it may be wiser to choose a home in which no one lives who has currently had a drink," Mona notes quietly, drawing in a breath. "One with few residents."
"Anyone currently house-sitting for a single person with too many cats?" The smile is weak, but honest.
More seriously, she looks to Landon, and steels her spine to note, "The real problem is that if they have the power to compel you to show up in the middle of nowhere however it happened the last time, it seems 'ask me in' would be easy. We have not only five high schoolers, but Theo, our parents. Even the live-in assistants. Any of them could ask someone in, and that's without compulsion of any kind in play."
Mr. Chen does clarify before returning to his desk, "They must be freely invited. It cannot be compelled."
Cash is looking guilty and sad. "Thank you, Mr. Chen." He says, muttering it out nearly as one word. "We made some makeshift weaponry. Might save a life or slow one down. I have a trunk full of sharp objects basically. Hector has my keys. Feel free to look. Silver and Marianne know the inventory. I need to walk and think...if I don't see you soon...Monday." He lets go of his fiance and his new friend and exits in a hurry and seems to vanish.
"Amy only lives with her mother" Ashley suggests with a shrug. "Though it's not very big and she does get a little crazy herself around the full moon." Maybe more than a little. Finishing off her cake with a delicate brushing of her fingers, she smiles to the assembled teens. "We need to find somewhere though. And come up with a story for our parents. Hey, you never know, it could end up being fun. I know I'm certainly looking forward to tying up my brother." She looks over to Hector. "Unless you want to do it."
"We can hide out in the theater room with no windows to the outside. Tie us up. /Something/" Landon says to Mona in response. Though she is right. There were a lot of house staff living at the Marchant Mansion. Those too dark eyes of his scan the room. He knows where practically everyone lives. The kinds of houses they reside in. "I'll ask Morrison, he might know of a place. We could even use the factory... maybe. It's not comfortable. Not at all. It's dirty. Large, but there shouldn't be anyone there overnight. And... we're not to leave his sight, so wherever Lucas and I go, Morrison will be there with us."
Marianne quietly takes her leave without much ado, her brain full of ideas that are really leading nowhere fast at the moment - at least not until after Monday.
Zane chews on his bottom lip for a moment. "Could we just like. Figure out a way to get the other people to be not there?" he asks, looking to Jade and Mona in particular, since their place was mentioned. "Like... give people the night off," Marchant problems, yeesh, "and... get your folks to, like, go on a date somewhere?" He has possibly been watching too many sitcoms. And apparently not learned the lessons of what would inevitably happen in that context, either.
Once standing and Chen has returned to his desk, Esme is quiet while listening to the others plan where to go. She's less worried about making excuses because she has the kind of lax permissions that come with having hippie parents and being eighteen, but she's damn worried about bringing anything she wrought home or... The brunette teenager looks across the room after making a noise of 'agreement' to perhaps using an outside building, not someone's house for the lot of them. And after fixing eyes on her blonde twin, she crosses the tea room to wrap her arms suddenly around Lana to murmur, "I'm sorry."
Sorry for what? Almost unwittingly being turned into a vampire because she's stupid? Yeah, probably, given context.
"I'm still not sure about using a public building, since, you know, everyone's invited to public places as a default. But, maybe a privately owned non-home could still work" Ashley muses before shrugging. "It's not as if know anything about vampires. I don't even watch the movies. Hmm, if we ever do kill this 'elder vampire', I wonder what happens to all the turned when they become mortal again? Are they going to age decades in a second?"
Jade tells Hector, "This is bigger than you and Cash. They're after all of you. If you can't find a residence to stay at on Monday..." He sighs. "Whatever we end up doing, we're not going to turn you away. We're in this together." He finishes his tea, sets down his cup, and adds, "You're Spear's brother. I'm not going to let you just die, dude."
"Well." There is a pause. "We can consider the options for security at the house. If I thought we could purchase a place in time, I'd seriously consider it -- we're old enough -- but it takes more time than that for the paperwork."
"It needs to be a home, a proper home. Not sure that happens in two days, either."
"It might be possible to set up something with restraints, if needs be. I can cocoon somebody in fabric if I really have to."
There is an awkward pause, and then she looks to Jade, because of course she looks right to Jade on this one. "So, you up for a run to the adult shop later? Because I bet they have restraints and maybe even straight jackets, in that... " Pause. Her expression deadpans. "...back room area with all the leather."
"Star, Zane, if we do this you're totally coming, too." Because she is not doing this alone with her brother, no.
Not quite sure what to do about any of this, Lana stands mostly dumbfounded by it all. Looking about to the others, she asks cautiously, "so... who is most in danger? Who has drank the most?" Her brows knit at the bridge of her nose, creating a crease. Esme crosses to her though, wrapping her arms around her with apology. Lana returns the hug, notebook and pen held at Exme's back as she hugs. "I should have been with you..." Why? Like she could have stopped it all?
Hector blushes to his ears, "I think I'd better Ash." To Landon he says, "I'm with her. It needs to be a home. It can't be the theater or a factory or we'll have to physically fight them off. And they can fly. High ceilings advantage them." At the mention of Morrison he is suddenly very interested in his tea. Zane's idea gets an encouraging look. "Would the Funeral home work? If we can get the 'Rents to go out, Silver?" He studies Jade, "Thank you. I know how... messy things have been. I'm sorry for that." He looks sideways at Mona, "I'm happy to come help carry things." He tells Lana, "The one's who drank all drank twice except Cash."
Landon adds in at something Hector said, "We have a HOME theater." Because of course the Marchants do.
Silver's head comes up when Mona mentions the adult store. One brow quirking upwards thoughtfully. "The adult store?" Did she squeak? Then Hector has her distracted and she turns back to him thoughtfully. "I don't know...if they go out their vulnerable. If they're inside they're safer...but I don't know what to tell them to keep them from letting anyone in." She lets out a huff and a sigh and scrubs her face.
Listening to all the others talk about a 'where', Lana looks to Esme. "What about our house? You... drank." She is still having a hard time accepting this. "But, we don't have servants or anything. Just Mom and Dad and... I mean... we can probably make sure they don't answer the door or something?"
"No. It's... better this way. You ying, I yang, remember? Balance. I... a few of us have been to drink twice. I took Cash's sip so they'd let him leave without hurting him, but I'm not sure that the two drinks in the same night matter, probably wasn't any more than anyone taking a good single gulp." Esme tells Lana after staying there hugging for a moment, then pulling in a huge breath to straighten and reassure her sister after her moment of apologetic guilt release. After a lame smile, she looks over at Ashley, "You and Ash can have a competition on who ties better knots if it comes to tying me up. Also, in that case, you're probably screwed, but you know mom says to give it your all anyway."
Then there's a little shake of her head, "I don't know. If we can get them to go out together to one of those commune friend places and say we're having a get together, they might go for it. But we can't... tell them anything, so I don't... want them there if we choose that."
"Okay what iiiif... we..." Zane's eyes narrow and he eats another bite of cake while he tries to work out where that sentence is going, then almost spits it out when Mona suggests the adult store thing. Nope, swallow bite, tea. Better. "Um. I guess that'd be easier than trying to talk Sherlock into lending me like... eiiiight? sets of handcuffs or something," he allows. 'cause cops lend those out all the time. "If we had an RV or camper trailer and someone straight up moved into it, like we did a housewarming party and everything and they were gonna live there until graduation, would *that* be a home?" Don't worry about the trying to fit fifteen-twenty kids in there part.
Landon squints over at Zane, "We are not cramming ourselves into a camper trailer." Though something that Esme and the other bring up does get his attention. "I'm not sure what excuse we're going to give Theodore to even let us leave the house to spend the night at yours, but if Morrison can convince him, maybe, that he'll be there to... chaperone, then he might agree to it." He's looking between the Reed sisters now and he has to ask, "Are you both sure?"
Hector has a silent debate with himself, then asks with elaborate casualness, "Landon? How much do you plan to tell Morrison if he is coming? He might have questions about the ropes." He eyes Zane, "Man, I wishhed we'd thought of a cmper. It would have made the last few weeks easier." The thing about Morrison asking Theodore seems to have settled some other question he was going to ask, frm his expression.
Esme chews at her bottom lip in brief and turns to look at Landon with a little hitch of her shoulders, "We have pretty easy parents and with me being strange lately, they might think that I need the social time and it'd be good for us. I'll see if they want to go stay with some friends or a hotel for date night or something and propose a get together to have while they're gone. The only hitch is the short notice, but..." She pauses, "Probably okay. Easiest to house to clear out, it seems, if they want to take a night out and off."
Jade grins at Mona. "Sure," he says. He'll go into an adult store with his sister, whatever. "I always wanted a couple pairs of manacles. No reason." He pats Zane on the arm at his near spit-take. There, there.
Ashely rises from her seat and slings on her tiny backpack before making her way over to Esme to give her a tight hug. "Chen said it is down to full moons, not gulps. You'll be fine. We'll make sure of it." Then to everyone she adds, "Let me know what's happening. I should be free. And I'll try to bring some sexy muscle." She means Amy. "I guess I should get a garlic necklace. By next week, it will be the hottest thing at school." And then she sashays off.
Lana looks to Landon then to Esme, nodding at her assessment. "Exactly. Everywhere else mentioned seems so complicated or too tricky or risky and such. It just seems logistically best." To her sister she says, "we didn't get away for Spring Break or anything for our Senior Year. Can use that as an excuse to get our friends all together... You know? Maybe."
Mona doesn't look especially ill at ease with the concept of power-raiding the leather aisle at the local adult emporium. "It really is likely the best source of straight jackets on short notice." Tragically, she is likely correct. "And, yeah, fewer questions with that than asking your brother for a bunch of cuffs," she murmurs to Zane with a hint of empathy prompting a half-wince. Is there still a look of sibling conspiracy sent to Jade? Absolutely. "So, when Dad asks about the charges... uh. We may have to split this up over a couple cards."
She nods to Esme, then to Lana, considering the idea in all seriousness. "Anything we can do to help out with security, let me know? We have space and alarms, but I don't really think that's necessarily going to do us any good under the circumstances. We may be able to figure out something simple with, say, trip wires -- but if they fly? Around the windows, too."
"I mean, I don't mean this to sound as snotty as it is going to sound, but the less space for people to pair off and wander off, the better, and our house has too many nooks and crannies for that sort of thing."
"It wouldn't be *that* bad, and you can get one of those faster than a house, I think," Zane says to Landon, but he's willing to let other people handle this part if they've got solutions. He's got cake. Jade gets a smaller than usual smile for the pat, slightly sheepish, and he directs his mouth back to eating instead of talking for a while.
"Also, too many people able to invite them in," Lana adds to Mona. "From what I gather, if no one does, we won't need security... right?" She looks around, waiting for someone to correct her if she is wrong.
Landon's been spending this whole time trying to come up with something sane to tell Morrison. Mr. Chen believes them, in fact, he's the only who kept spouting off about vampires, of all things. "We tell him what we need to tell him." He says to Hector regarding Morrison. Which isn't always the complete and utter truth. "I don't know what he thinks about Mr. Chen or whether he'd believe anything the man said or not, but leave our brother to us." Speaking of Morrison. Looking down at his watch, he expects Morrison and Lucas to be showing up any time soon to pick him up. Morrison really isn't letting the twins wander of by themselves. "So. Monday at the Reed's." Though when Ashley brings up Amy, Landon has to remind, "The more people who are there, the more people that we're endangering. I think." A pause, "Unless they decide to go after our loved ones to get us to comply."
Silver gets up quietly at this point. "Let me know where we're holing up. I need to go lay down. My head's pounding," She says, pausing to squeeze Hector's shoulder before heading outside. Chai and croissant left mostly untouched.
ROLL: Hector rolls Spirit for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 1 1 3 -- d6)
Esme huges Ashley tight on her way out, then shrugs a bit helplessly at Mona-- her house is admittedly a two story piece with a big back yard, the Freelands and Reeds aren't Marchants, but they are business owners, so wandering if someone is stupid could still be an issue. But the teenager points out then, "I think we just need everyone to know that this isn't really a party and we bunker down together, follow the rules and restrain any of us that become a problem as needed. What we need more than anything is a locked home space with no adults or outside liabilities." Then she grins a little at Lana's suggestion for Spring Break compensation kind of late, "... look at you with the logical schmooze ideas."
Also she tacks on firmly to Landon with concern, "And yes, Morrison can and should come with you boys if that's what it takes to get you there."
Jade tells Mona, "We can blame it on my burgeoning interest in BDSM. At this point, would he even be surprised?" He purses his lips as he listens to Landon. "It's a fair bet they're not above threatening us with our loved ones. I mean, it would be effective, wouldn't it? We can hope for the best, but it's a very real posibility."
"Just because we don't let them into the house doesn't mean they might not try to do something to the house itself," Mona says quietly, her expression contorting in a faint wince once again. "I mean, we need to seriously consider that they may compel others to attack the house that can get in -- or even maybe set the place on fire." Her voice is almost too quiet. "I don't want to see that happen to any of us. I half wish we could send everyone affected far enough away that they couldn't get to you until after the danger had passed." She nods to Jade with a hint of amusement on her face. "Could tell him I have decided to get extra serious about how to handle Cassidy."
Hector says, “We might need to tackle them if they do get loose, so muscle is a good idea. Also the weapons trunk in case someone does invite them in." He takes a breath, "They threatened to kill our families Landon. They made us think he'd killed Cash's music teacher. All our families are under threat. I think there is a strong chance of them turning up with hostags or people glamoured to look like hostages. I think they may try to trick their way in." He considers admitting to ratting them out to Morrison, but decides the less is said about his 'handling' of him the better.”
Zane tilts his head at what Mona has to say, and eats another bite before asking, "...what *would* happen if they were all in, like, Hawaii or something that night? It'd take a while to try to come back, wouldn't it? Can vampires fly that far? Or fast enough? Or... teleport or something?"
Mona's words do nothing at all to make Lana more comfortable with the whole situation. She lets out a breath and flops into a chair. "Maybe there is no answer whatsoever then. No hope for safety." Her eyes look to Mona then as she asks, "so what do we do? What chance do we possibly have to keep the people we care about safe?"
"I.. think them trying to fire or ruin the house to get in or chase us out still kind of counts as uninvited, but who knows. This is all insane. But real." Esme knocks a hand through her hair and tousles through it with a hint of anxiety before shaking her head some and dropping her hand, "I just know... Lana and I can probably free up the house easier than others can, and putting security outside to alert will only notify us of... what Chen has said will be probably inevitable. We know they're probably coming and we don't... know that they even walk like people or..." Yeah, she's not ready to say they fly outloud or anything, she has to ease into saying strange shit aloud, regardless of knowing she's in a boat of scary, unreal shit.
"A security camera might be helpful just to monitor or see where they are, though, if you want to bring one to set up outside once the parents clear out." Esme concludes before briefly moving from Lana to latch a hug on Landon before his ride arrives, "Let me know what you guys end up telling Morrison to make this seem... kosher and I'll play the part while hosting. Okay?"
"Glamoured?" Landon asks with a tilt of his head, his eyes on Hector. "It's not like we can warn everyone, can we? Why would they believe us anyway if we tell them to stay home that night even though me and my friends are crashing over at Esme and Lana's." Some of things mentioned piques his attention, but he adds, "I think Morrison might have some sturdy rope or cord from the factory as well." He then returns to his original thought before he was distracted, "What will we do if they say drag your mother," He tells Esme and Lana, "Or Theodore or anyone over to get us to let them in. Or to get us to come out. That's something we need to prepare for. Ourselves and them. Either way," He tries to smile at Esme when she grasps onto his arm, "Morrison'll be here shortly and I'll have to break the news to Lucas." Maybe they aren't telepathic after all. Maybe. "And of course. Like we said, no one should know that we're doing this. This /isn't/ a damn party, so come Monday the entire school shouldn't be crashed outside of your place. Just so everyone knows."
"Hawaii sounds so good right now. Hell, sending people on a bunch of connecting flights to stay in the sunlight for a few days, even, but that's the sort of crazy that doesn't even work in movies."
"I don't have the answers," Mona says quietly, her brow furrowing as she gazes down into her tea. "I'm not saying to not do it. I'm saying... we should be prepared for something like that to potentially happen."
"Maybe we'll be lucky, and they won't go that far." Swallowing a breath, she slowly pushes herself to her feet, and glances to the others. "I'm going to try to figure something out, but this is the first I know about this, aside from the condition Thea's in. I think there are some cameras back at the house, and there are some in the theater department. News crew has them, too, yeah? We should pool as many as we can."
And with that, she pulls a small notebook from her purse and begins scrawling down notes of what they know, ready to head along with Zane and Star when they filter out.
Hector nibbles a cookie. "We know they can do about a five hour round trip in 20 minutes. Anyone brighter than me want to do the math on hawaii?" He makes eye contact with Landon, "You could tell him you think the bikers might be coming for everyone who took the mystery drug on Monday night and that you're worried you might be tempted, so all the people endangered are going to hole up with lots of friends to keep you from getting out and doing it again. Frame it as you know that's when the next big party is likely to be and you really, really want to stay clean and yyou think this is the best way to keep all of you from doing it. he might ask awkward questions, but it's less awkward than inviting him to a teenafe sex party. Just saying."
Esme nods small and solid to Landon, then tells everyone while reaching for the near dark-haired male's hand to do a little finger laced handswing of fondness before walk-breaking out of it, toward Lana, "If we somehow can't use my house empty, then we'll reconvene, but it should be fine. We should get home and kiss some behind, though, Lana, if we want them out of the place. You ready?"
Esme hates lying to her parents and working them over like this, but it's for protection at this point, all the way around. At least until they know more. So she looks glad Lana is ready to do it too, since it's not a common thing in their house, and she walks real close to her sister while waving to everyone on leaving, "See you guys soon. Be careful."
Lana puckers up and gives a smooching motion towards her sister, followed by a smirk. Seems she is ready. Esme might hate it, but Lana is a bit used to telling slight fabrications to her parents when necessary. She believed that what her parents didn't know would... well, it would keep her butt from getting grounded at the least. Of course, Esme didn't know of all the times she has done so in order to chase a story either, so she changes her expression to one of more regretful resignation. "I hate it too, Esme... but it's for the best." She leans her head briefly on her sister's shoulder and heads out by her side.
"We do? Okay," Zane says to Hector. Virtually everything *he* knows is what's been said here today, and he's self-aware enough not to volunteer for Hawaii math in any case. #1 there's a reason Silver tutors him in math, and #2 even if he figures out how to set up the problem, 'pretty far away' is not a recognized number and gets you marked wrong on word problems even if it's technically a true answer. He lifts a hand in a slight wave to those already departing, and works on finishing off his tea and snacks so as not to hold anyone up.
Hearing Hector out, Landon doesn't quite nod in agreement, but the other teen holds his attention enough. "Morrison had said that he'll make sure to keep us," Lucas and Landon, Morrison's brothers, "away from the biker gang using whatever means possible." He puts a lot of trust in his older brother, but if what Chen says is true, "I'll try to convince him to stay inside with the rest of us, rather than waiting out in his car," The twin's car.. "The way he tends to do."
Allowing Esme to swing their finger-laced hands in that playful manner of hers, while there's some concern in his eyes, there's also this warmth to be found there to go with the faint smile only now crossing his lips. "You be careful too." For a brief moment, his gaze flickers over at Lana as well, meaning to the both of them. Reaching for his sunglasses now, preparing to brave the bright and sunny outside world, he tells the others, "I guess we'll be seeing you later." Are they really talking about Hawaii? If they want to send people there, they got a couple of days to act.
"Take care, Landon," Jade says, and he gives Esme and Luna a nod as well. He's finished with his tea, and so he gets ready to leave with his sister, Zane, and Star. "Be safe, Hector, Cash," he says. He mentions kind of Zanewards but to no one in particular, "I bet giving them all valium would help keep them calm when the compulsion came around." What, it's his little contribution to the cause. If anyone's going to show up with drugs, it's Jade.
Hector waves to those going. Oddly enough, Hector does too, "In your place, I'd tell him as much truth as you can get away with. Just leave out the vampire part." His eyes go wide with real alarm. "Outside in the car is too dangerous." He weighs the pros and cons. Cosing his eyes, he says, "If he won't come in where it's safe... Let me help." Opening them again, "Take care, Landon. I mean that." he cocks his head at Jade, "But might it also not weaken their will power?'
Zane hms at Jade's idea about the Valium -- thoughtful noise with mouth considerately closed around what he's chewing, and at Hector's question he hms again, tilting his head and pointing at the guy while looking at Jade with an inquiring expression. He doesn't often do much in the way of drugs himself, so he doesn't really know. Still, once he swallows he's had time to get to, "But we'd still be tying them all up, right?"
Jade shrugs and says, "If they're tied up and unable to move, their willpower's kind of irrelevant, isn't it? I'll bring some ketamine, too. You fall in a k-hole, the second coming of Christ himself isn't going to get you out of your chair." He holds up a hand and says, "Strictly voluntary, of course. It's just, if the compulsion is getting too strong and they start yelling 'come in come in' we're all fucked, and if they're more mellow, they might not do that. I'm just spitballing, here."
Hector flashes a grin at Zane, "Oh, we are definately tying them up." He nods, "Okay, Jade. You definately know best.... Um, how do you feel about ball gags? If we're going shopping at the adult store I mean.""
Zane's eyes widen a bit at the ball gags thing. "I... guess that would keep them quiet?" he says, looking from Hector to Jade. This is not his area of expertise either. "But mellow if they wanna be sounds good either way." He polishes off the cake, and suggests, "We should watch movies or something. Otherwise they're just gonna be sitting there unable to move or talk and doing nothing," except trying not to panic, probably, "and that kinda sucks."
Jade says wryly, "You're reading my mind. Man, explaining the bill to my dad is going to be interesting." He nods to Zane, then. "Yeah, we should watch something light and muppety. Something to take their mind off what their compulsions are telling them to do. We'll make a night of it. It'll be fun." He doesn't sound convinced of the fun factor, but this is him trying to be positive.
Hector says, “Movies is a really good idea." He winces, imagining how this would have gone over with his mother. "Sorry about that Jade. I know this has been a lot on you even though you didn't do anythig wrong. How bad do you think this is going to get with your dad? Like, the explaining part?" He weighs options again, "That thing I said to Landon, about how to explain to Morrison, do you think it might work with you brother? Like could you sort of enlist him? For the paying for cuffs and ball gags and stuff?"”
"Maybe we can make up some kind of good excuse?" Zane is not the bsst of the grop at coming up with those, but he *does* deliver them well. "Like... something costumey?" He looks to Mona with that, and leans over a little to see what it is she's currently writing. "Yeah though, definitely something light. We could rent *actual* muppet movies, I guess? But funny and no vampires. Maybe songs."
Jade peers at Hector, then he shakes his head slowly. "No, Theo and I don't have that kind of relationship. If I came to him asking if he'd pay for cuffs and ball gags, he would tell me to bankroll my own perversion and leave him out of it." He thinks for a moment, then says, "We could probably make ball gags. Just get a bunch of tennis balls, belts, and let Mona design them. Or rubber balls, or whatever size they need to be. We could just use duct tape for the bindings, but who am I to say no to a trip to the adult store? I don't care if he sees a few ball gags on my bill. Just not, like, a dozen."
Hector smiles at Zane, and sings softly in a decent tenor, "Some day we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me...." He sighs and nods, "Ah well. Sorry aboout that Jade.... Squash balls. Tennis balls are awefully big. You wouldn't want your balls to be too big for their mouths, then no one will be having fun... Oh!" He unzips a back pack pocket and pulls out a tape, "I wrote in which bands and songs so you'll know what you'r listening to. Sorry I didn't get around to it sooner, but I didn't bring my gear when we went on the lam. I walked spear home the other day after the incident, so I made it while I was there. How's he feeling?"
Zane joins in around 'rainbow connection' and might well have gone on if Hector didn't break off. Aw. "Exactly," he says with nod, and considers Jade's thoughts for a moment. A glance at his hand, curling the fist until the end of it looks *about* tennis-ball size, and he lifts it up, opening his mouth to try to get it around that, teeth catching against the finger at the top. It does not work. "Maybe ping pong balls?" he suggests, glance at Jade and Hector, who clearly know more about these things. And have a tape! He leans over to try to peek at what's written on its paper.
Jade says, "I can get squash balls. Ping pong balls might be choking hazards." He leans over to take the offered tape. "Oh, wow. Thank you." He smiles stupidly at the mention of Spear. The infatuation is real. "He seems to be doing okay. We have fun when we hang out. Nothing gets too heavy, you know?"
Hector nods agreement with Jade, "Ping pong balls are hollow and easy to dent. Squash balls are softer on the outside, but have a dense core." It's a mix tape of old and new West coast Bands like Pansy Division, Faith no More, X, Black Fag, Circle Jerks, Offspring, etc.. The first two offerings are Pansy Division as represented by 'James Bondage' and 'Fem in a Black Leather Jacket.' He sobers, "Have you seen his face yet?" He guestures at one of his eyes. "I made him ice it and take ibuprophen, but he wasn't feeling any pain when it happened."
Zane shrugs easily enough at the ruling on balls. Neither squash, ping-pong, nor BDSM are his sports! He's interested in the tape, anyway, though he doesn't much recognize any of those names. The remark about faces, after the one about 'incidents', pulls his attention back to the pair of them, though. "What happened to Spear? Is he--" No, Jade already said he was doing okay. "Did someone hit him or something?"
Jade turns the tape over in his hands, and he says, "Those are good bands, the ones I recognize." His attention is drawn from the tape though at the mention of Spear's face. "What happened to Spear's face?" he says. He frowns. "Is he okay? What did you guys do?" So that would be a no to having seen Spear's face. He glances at Zane, then nods to his question. "Yeah, did someone hit him or something? Who do I need to destroy?"
Hector rubs the back of his neck, "The Jocks got him. Not like my kind of jock, the big football letterman's jacket kind. He ran into the auditorium and three of us scared them off, but he was pretty banged up, you know." He hisses, really angry, "Fucking cowards. There were five of him and he's so thin you know? Such pussies they need to hunt in packs because they're scared of some harmless little guy like Spear, who wouldn't hurt a fucking fly."
"What the hell?" Zane says indignantly, "Which ones? That is so not cool." Not his kind of jock either, thank you! "Good thing you guys scared them off, but seriously..." He looks to his now-empty plate, and takes an angry sip of tea. "He shouldn't have to walk around in a pack too to scare them off. That's bullshit."
"Names," Jade says. He taps his fingertips on the table idly. Oh, his voice is calm. Quite calm. He's just fucking fine right now. "I want names," he says in a tone that says 'no one will get in trouble if you just fess up' except it always means someone's going to get in trouble.
Hector is just as vehement, "No. He definately should not have to walk around in fear. It's assault... I'm sorry. I don't know their names, but maybe we can get the year book people to show us photoes? I should be able to pick out head asshole at least."
"Well, we've both got last year's yearbook somewhere, no one looks all that different this year than last year," Zane says, then pauses, head tilting. "Except Sara Walker, maybe. But she's not on the football team, so."
"I'd like you to find the names, please," Jade says to Hector. "Using the yearbook, whatever you need to do." He smiles, perfectly sunny. Then he gets to his feet. "We shouldn't keep the ladies waiting," he says. "And the sooner we're done shopping, the sooner I can check on Spear. Thank you for bringing this to me, Hector."
Hector bobs his head, "Of course, Jade. This shit needs to stop. He's so used to it he can't see how wrong it is. None of these guys looked like a Sara... Sure, I'd love to help you nail those guys. I'll drop by the yearbook room at lunch Monday."
"You'd definitely know, she got really..." Zane trails off, considering that, and shakes his head, "Anyway, I didn't mean she might be one, just, any football dudes this year are gonna look like they did last year so you could just use the book. If you wanna look before Monday or they're busy or something when you go by." A shrug. "Pretty sure Cash has one too." Didn't he sign it? Hm. He drains the last of his tea, then pushes the chair back to stand, and put his dishes wherever they appear to belong. "Okay, I guess I'm ready to go to the, um. Store."