Log:Monsters We Are
Star arrives from Temporary Room Nexus.
It's been put off for a while between Kiss rehearsals and performances and studying for finals, but it can only be put off for so long. Star tells Sean they're going, and so they go.
It's early evening, the show closed a few days prior, her brain is as full as it's going to get from studying, and Star is behind the wheel of her pink hearse. She's been quiet for the drive, a good half hour outside town to the North, part way to Bullhead City. Topock is little more than trailer parks and a few shabbby corner stores, and the now infamous Motel 6. It is there that Star pulls in against her better judgment, parking near the office.
Sean sits in the passenger seat of the infamous pink hearse, fiddling with an origami snowflake in one hand. He runs his thumb over it lightly, tracing its patterns. He's been quiet since they left. He'd been putting it off. It wasn't that he didn't want to see Nora again; he very much did. But the idea of coming out to a trailer park full of vampires scared the shit out of him, and while he may be an excellent actor, he wasn't doing very well at hiding /this/ little bit of nervousness. When they pull into the parking lot, he sits in the car for a moments, just staring at the office. "I guess.. I could just.. go in and ask for her." It's said with all of the enthusiasm of one saying they could just go in for a root canal. But finally he takes a deep breath, and opens the door of the car.
"I'll be with you," Star says, getting out the driver's side and locking the door.
It's just after sundown, the sky still a bit light on the California side of the river. If the vampires are awake, they're just getting up. Star timed it that way. Maybe if things go South they'll still be sluggish. She has no idea if that's true, but it seems reasonable. As reasonable as anything involving vampires can.
Into the office they go, and it's as small and shabby as everything else out here, barely big enough for maybe five people on their side of the counter and another two behind it. A couple chairs are set out around a small coffeetable littered with magazines from years ago, the only furnishings for customers to be found. Behind the counter sits a sleepy-looking young man with bad acne scars and thick glasses reading a Stephen King novel
"No vaccancies," he says without looking up.
Sean seems to be willing to go along with whatever plan Star has, which is better than his plan -- which is no plan at all. Sluggish sounds reasonable enough to him, and he hopes that's the case. Once they are inside the office though, he goes up to the counter and says, "I'm here to see somebody. I know you can't give me the room number, but could you call Lenore Winters and tell her Sean's here?" He hopes that will work. It's worked in TV shows, so why not? He looks a little unsure whether or not that will be the case here.
The kid - he's only a few years older than them at best - looks up at what Sean says. That got his attention. "How d'you know Nora?" He asks, skeptical.
"She's my sister," Sean says, honestly, since he's got no reason not to be. All the kid has to do is ask for ID to figure that much out.
His beady eyes narrow behind those thick glasses, the kid manning the counter scrutinizing Sean.
"You don't look cool enough to be Nora's brother," he states. So judgy! Without looking away from Sean, he reaches over and picks up the phone, dialing quickly. He holds the receiver to his ear.
"Hey. Some kid named Sean is here. Says he's your bro--"
He hangs up. "She'll be here in a minute." His gaze then turns to Star, considering the black goth girl in silence.
"Yeah, she got all the cool genes," Sean agrees, not seeming inclined to argue with the the beady-eyed kid. So long as he gets them in touch with Nora, the kid can say whatever he wants about him. He looks a little relieved when the kid makes the call and says, "Thanks. I appreciate it." Then he moves away from the counter, turning back toward Star with a faint half-grimace half-smile.
Star offers a reassuring smile and seems about to say something when the door jingles violently as it's yanked open. Nora bursts in, followed by a shorter, curvier blonde. Both wear Painkiller jackets, confirming what all the motorcycles in the parking lot implied.
"Sean!" she exclaims, both happy and surprised as she glomps him in a hug. "What are you doing here?!"
The blonde coughs lightly, and Nora follows her gaze to the kid behind the counter. "Get lost, Rick," she practically snarls, features edging on monstrous, and Rick recoils like he's been struck, quickly scurrying in back and out of sight.
When Nora comes in, Sean smiles at her and wraps her up in a hug as well, squeezing her tightly. "I just wanted to talk. But you didn't leave a number, so I had to come and find you," he says quietly as he rests his chin on her shoulder. He glances over at the blonde a little curiously, and then back to Nora. "Sorry. I would have just called, otherwise."
Nora straightens. "This is Bee," she says, introducing the blonde as she drapes an arm around her. "Babe, this is Sean. My brother. And...?" She looks at Star, 'brow lifting.
"Star," she replies with a little wave.
"And Star. Your... girlfriend?"
"Hi Bee," Sean says when the blonde is introduced, giving her a little smile and a nod in greeting. Then he glances over toward Star. He hadn't intended to give her name, or anything about her, letting her choose what to say. He smiles a little crookedly at Nora and asks, "Bee your girlfriend?"
Star shrugs. "Something like that," she allows.
Nora smirks and gives Sean a little shove with one hand when he turns it back on her. "Brat," she teases. She gives Star a good once-over and nods approvingly, pulling Bee a little closer. "We both did good," Nora says.
Sean gives a little grin to Star and then looks back at Nora, smirking when she gives him a shove. "Hey, turnabout is fair play." He can't help but nod in agreement though. "So, um, I was wondering if we could talk.. just us, maybe? Though, if you want to do that another time, that's cool. I know I kind of dropped in on you and all." He's not really sure what to say with Bee standing right there. "But I wanted to see how you were doing, and tell you about the play, and stuff."
Nora glances down to Bee, then back. "We can talk now. She hears it all later, anyway, so go ahead. What's going on?"
Sean looks decidedly uncomfortable and glances between the three of them, and shifts slightly where he stands. Finally he says, "This was a bad idea. We shouldn't be here." He looks over to Star then and says, "We should just go home." He then says to Nora, "I'm glad you're okay. I really want you to be okay. And I'm a little scared of.. all this." He waves a little at the motel. "And uh, I got a lead in the play and it was cool." He kind of rushes through the last bit and then starts to head for the door, looking apologetically at Star.
Star frowns and rubs her face. "Sean," she says quietly. "We're here. If your sister trusts Bee, then you should, too."
Sean stares at Star for a moment, and it's clear that he really wants to bolt. Finally he turns back to Nora and says, "People are dying, and being threatened, and chased by your.. gang, and that's not you, Nora. You wouldn't kill somebody. Please tell me that you wouldn't kill somebody. Why are they attacking my friends? Why can't they leave us alone?" It all comes out in a rush and he's shaking as he says it, heart pounding, hands sweating. "I thought you said you were happy, and loved, and .. and everything seemed good. I thought you were someplace good, with good people." Or at least he'd convinced himself of that. "Why won't this Fran chick leave them alone? They don't want to join her." He stares at Nora as it all comes out in one uncontrollable blurt. He doesn't trust Bee. He doesn't know Bee from a hole in the wall. But Star drove him all the way out here. He put her in danger, too. So he lets it all tumble out.
ROLL: Sean rolls spirit for: -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 0 0 0 0 -- d)
ROLL: Sean rolls 4d6 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 1 2 6 -- d6)
Nora blinks and frowns as she listens, and when Sean is done she steps forward and hugs him, holding him close. "It's... complicated," says Nora, sounding uncertain now. "I don't always have control of myself, and Fran... Fran's hard to resist. She wants at least one kid from each of five families - she calls them the Prodigals. Anyway, one of each, to do something important. I don't really like it, but she's hard to say no to."
"You know that's not right, though, right? You can't just take people from their families against their wills and force them to do whatever she wants to do. If it's so important, why can't she just ask for help? Why can't she tell us what she needs people to do and ask them to do it? If it's not something /wrong/ then why wouldn't people help her?" Sean asks. "I know she's hard to resist. We have to help the others resist the urge to drink more every single time. And it's hard. And it's awful on them, and it's awful on us. And people are dying. If you don't like it, don't do it. Please? If this keeps happening more people are going to get hurt, and I don't want them to get hurt, and I don't want /you/ to get hurt. I know that you're a good person. You're my sister. It's.. it's why Star brought me here, really, because I told them that you're good, and that you told me you weren't going to hurt me, that you were going to make sure that I was safe. You wouldn't do that if you weren't still the person I know."
Nora releases him and steps back, wiping at her face. "You don't understand," she says, voice tiny and frail like it would get when their parents fought. "I'm not really me anymore. I'm a monster now, Sean. I do things I would never have done before. I try to be good, to be me, but it's so hard. And Fran makes it harder because she knows all my buttons and how to wind me up."
Bee steps forward to comfort her, and it's clear there's a strong bond between them. "She needs to hear this," she says to Sean. "You're right. Since Fran, things have become unstable, but she's very charismatic. A natural leader. We're afraid to cross her."
"You're not a monster," Sean says. "You're... you got addicted to the blood and it changed you, and /she/ is trying to change you. But you are still you, even if you have an addiction, even if part of you is changed. It's not all of you. You need to hold onto the parts of you that are you. That's what's going to keep you from becoming an actual monster." He steps a little closer when she steps back and he gently touches her arm. What Bee says surprises him, and he's startled out of his tunnel-vison long enough to study her. "You .. you're. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have .. I'm just scared, and I don't trust anyone right now, except Star, and her family mostly. Shit has gotten really scary really fast. But you guys have to get out from under her. She'll make you into monsters if you let her, or she might get you killed."
He then turns back to Nora and says, "I can't lose you again."
Star puts a small hand on Sean's shoulder, supportive. She's still there with him.
"I get it," says Bee. "It's all a big, scary mess, and you're right not to trust anyone. You're right that your sister's still in there and capable of good. But Nora's right, too: we're monsters. We don't have to kill, but we survive on blood, and fear tastes best. It's difficult to stop short. That beast inside us wants to kill. Every time."
She shakes her head and waves it off. "We don't have time for that now. We don't know what Fran's planning, but it's probably bad. She's trying to hide it from Bubba, because he gets really angry when it comes up. If we can get more information, we'll let you know. We can come to your window."
"He crashes at my place most of the time lately," says Star. "London Bridge Funeral Home. Second floor, third window back on the left side."
"Okay," Sean says, conceding to that. "Please. If you can find out anything, let us know." He's still shaking underneath Star's hand, stress, nerves, everything he's been barely holding together. He takes a little bit of a shaky breath and lets it out. "Try to hold on to the good parts. I know it's hard. Just.. try." It's kind of said to both of them.
Nora moves quickly to give Sean a hug, then heads for the door. Bee trails after her.
"We will," says Bee. "And I got her. We'll be okay. You guys should go before Bubba or Fran come around."
"That's our cue," says Star, and out she goes, heading for the car.
Sean doesn't linger. That warning is more than enough for him, and he's right behind Star on the way to the car.