Tuesday, after the Siege of Jamaica Blvd, Cash cut his last class. He looked nervous and tense from a night of poor sleep. It's a nice, breezy day so Cash practically kidnapped Hector from the hallway and they've been at Rotary Park ever since. Cash likes being outside, near water nowadays. He's in a familiar position, lying on the hood of his beloved black Buick Regal. He's dressed in black today, as if some gothiness is bleeding over to him. His guitar, also black, is gleaming as he tunes it up. "H? Do you think I can pull off eyeliner?"
"1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 13, 21..." Felicity's walking along towards the water. Apparently, she's currently a definite yes on the eye-liner question at least for herself with a fairly heavy hand with it and a dark lip. Her bright red hair is up in a high ponytail and she's wearing a slightly beat up brown leather jacket over a purple t-shirt printed with a fractal and jeans. She's... well she's a little taller and the chest was much less prominent when he knew her, but how many puckish red heads who like reciting numbers can there be, really.
Hector has a new haircut, extremely short around the sides and back, faded smoothly up to about an inch long on the top of his head. He's wearing a black Pansy Division concert tee with a pink triangle button proclaiming 'Love is a human right.' He's in black cargo shorts today and a bit fidgety and snappish from quitting his one clove a day habit. Also the lack of sleep from guarding restrained people last night while most people slept, but he's soldering n with coffee and cola. his arms, neck and face are very tan. His legs and feet are only mildly so. He has a big class ring with a black stone on his left index finger and a small bandage circling his left ring finger. He has eyeliner and black lipstick and has recently applied purple glitter polish to both finger and toenails. This is noticeable since he has no shoes on. Right now he is sitting next to cash and tuning his guitar to match the red head's.
"You don't have to go Goth just because your with...." Then he gets it. Switching names. Switching looks. New life. "Oh! Okay, let me think." He studies Cash's profile and tries to think how he's look with eyeliner without looking at his eyes directly, "We could try it at home. You might pull off a kind of Gothy Tom Wait look, but it's hard to tell if you have the attitude to pull it off, but experimenting can't hurt." He may be taken buy he's not blind. he also has a thing for red heads and isn't as subtle as he things he is checking her out. "Is she a tourist or just someone I don't have classes with?"
Cash sits up when he hears the counting. "I know that voice." He's has an ear for these things. She slings his guitar around to hang from his back as he gets up to look at the water. His eyes widen. "Oh. Oh, fuck, man. Hector, that's Felicity." He says as if Hector is suppose to know who Felicity is. "She's a, uh, Bloomquist. We were good friends. Like, the other redhead, you know? Milkman's kids. I haven't seen her..." He starts to bound away towards the water's edge. "34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987..." He prattles off as he approaches. This was probably a good thing because Cash Freeland now isn't the one Felicity left behind. He's so /tall/. His hair was always worn long but it's cut short now. What length left on top is gelled forward. He even gained a bit of muscle, mostly in strong arms and broad shoulders. But there are familiar things. Like his freckles, brought out in the sun. The way his gaze doesn't meet hers, looking off over her shoulder. His smile, even with the steel braces adorned in red and gold, is the same. "Fibonacci. So fucking weird." And that's Cash's mouth. Same as a sailor's.
Felicity looks up as someone else chimes in and then up some more and blinks a few times. And *there's* her smile. It's like a sunbeam. Cash would be aware that she got out of SO MUCH trouble as a kid just by flashing that smile at people. She laughs delightedly. "Are we hugging? I'm not sure how you are with hugging, now? You'll have to catch me up on things. Just got back this morning. I have been given a day or two to 'think about what I've done and how I should be comporting myself' before they throw me in to school here." She glances behind him towards Hector and raises an eyebrow giving him a measuring sort of look.
Hector gives Cash a blank look, but his question is quickly answered. Then his red head is taking off after that other one. He slings his guitar over his back as well and follows at a more measured pace. Still he gives her a sunny smile of his own, complete with dimples. his is possibly as useful as hers for trouble avoiding. He gives her wave once he's close enough to be heard, "Hi. I'm Hector de la Huerta. Now I'm no longer the new kid, it looks like." His accent is pure California, Bay rather than Valley. He's only slightly taller than average, which makes his short next to Cash Freeland, but he's wide of shoulder and solidly built with swimmer and sprinter's muscles. Sort of Wolverine standing next to Sabertooth as it were, though way friendlier in both cases. "Comport yourself? I see." He gives her a wink.
"Hugs! I'm way better. I still flinch but ignore it because I like hugs. I do. And I can /say/ I like hugs and contact because I use my words far more effectively." He beams when Hector introduces himself. He leans in. "That's is my husband. I mean, is all the ways that matter. Save the law. Fucking hell, Felicity!" He hugs her now. Cash is like a dog that doesn't realize he's no longer a puppy. He'll knock you down if you aren't prepared. "I'm sorry I didn't write more. I got into the radio thing really big and then music became a focus and I can't tell you everything at once." He takes a breath and looks to Hector. "I passed Math until she moved. I struggle now." He is just beaming and bouncing on his feet.
Speaking of someone who is a comic book character - at a hair above normal height - who looks like he was drawn by a Tim Burton special? Well, no one was, but this one is out here anyway. Rotary Park, a little off in the distance, and Spear is a bit of a way away in the playground, sitting in one of the Freedom Swings. No wheelchair users are around, so probably no one is going to yell at him for being a jackass, right? He is sitting in there, scribbling furiously. Familiar voices have him meerkatting up to peer across.
Felicity laughs again and hugs Cash back tightly. "Oh, well, I could have written more, too. I always meant to, but then there was another tournament or a convention or a regatta or something. And... we'll work on the math. You absolutely *can* do the math. We'll figure it out. What class are you in?" Then she's peering around him at Hector. "Husband, huh? Innnnteresting. Though, sorry, still the new kid. I'm an old kid who has just been temporarily misplaced until now." She pouts a little. "I have, apparently, been very bad." She also waves this away and goes back to grinning up at Cash.
Hector watches Cash's excitement with real pleasure at seeing him this happy. It's been rare until recently. Spotting his younger brother he gives Spear a wave. he bellows in a voice that could probably heard above surf, "Spear! Comeay high to Felicity!" He shrugs, "Can't marry in law, but the vows are what really matters, right?" He laughs with a bit of hysterical edge, the lack of sleep showing, "Oh man, I bet your parents don't know what bad is yet." He leans in and whispers, "We're having trouble with the Painkiller biker gang. Don't go out at night. Don't let them in. Don't drink anything they give you. It's a whole thing and if they find out you are friends with us, they may hurt you."
Cash looks back at Hector, blinking. "I was going to do the pleasantry thing and then bring up the vampire problem but okay, full speed?" Back to Felicity. "I can do math with you helping, yeah. You showed up just in time for oh, shit...the Spring Musical. I auditioned and got a big part! And I'm going to USC. Got the news yesterday that I aced that audition too. And..." He pauses but still, he just blurts it out. "Why did you leave? And why are you back?"
"Are you guys finished tying each other up?" calls back Spear, and then he starts ambling on over, a bag under his arm. He waves a hand at Felicity - Thistles have been around forever, but Spear spent a good deal of his early life being flushed in various toilets by Lesters. So she might not have ever talked to him. He looks like someone imagined a goth and then just splatted it all out onto paper, except for his smile, which turns dry as Cash says that. And then he has approached them.
Felicity blinks a little at Hector. "Biker gangs... are terrorizing the city enough that going out at night is n..." There's a pause. And then she speaks carefully. "USC is awesome! I... we'll see how my acceptance letter is affected by my change in circumstances. I mean. It *should* be okay as long as I graduate, but they *could* pull it. If they don't, I'll be at CalTech, so not even that far away." There's a glance to Spear and a much smaller smile. "Hey. Umm... You're... Spear, right? If I've gotten it wrong, I'm sorry. It's been a couple years." Then she looks back at Cash again. "I left because my parents got jobs in Petaluma. I'm back because I am in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes. I'll... explain more later." Okay. She's run out of other things to discuss. "Did... you say... vampires? I mean, it makes the not out at night make more sense. Can they be distracted if you throw seeds at them?"
Hector winces at the V word. Also the tying up. still he gives his brother a jocular, "For now, but I suspect you are just getting started, Spear." Two can play the embarrass a sibling game. He rubs the back of his neck and looks sheepish, "They are angry at us for going to the cops about the stealth drugging teenagers with addictive substances thing...." He brightens, "Hey, cool! We can all hang out next fall too." He cocks his head at the seed idea, "No one has tried it, we were busy running and screaming that time they tried to kill us in the cemetery." Is he deadpan and having her or or glibly sincere. Who can tell? He's a Thistle under the skin.
Cash stares at Hector blankly for a moment and then he shakes his head and smiles. "Uh. Hector and Spear are brothers. /That/ is a long and incredibly fucked up story. We'll get to that later, yeah?" He furrows his brow. "In disgrace? I mean, that is kinda how I'd put you in the yearbook. Most Likely To End Up In Disgrace but really? We'll chat later. My aunt's shop is still there." He takes her hand and holds it. Just glowing with joy. "I've been so lonely this senior year. It's good to see an old friend. Oh. Biker-pires. For now, don't go out alone at night and don't drink weird shit on the full moon or you'll end up one of them. You gotta drink three times. I did once. Others did twice so...it's tense around here. Adults are no fucking help, by the way."
"Yep, I'm Spear," says the young man "No, I don't mind!" And then he says "You took out some guy's eyes? That's amazingly hardcore. Are you sure you're not a Lester?" His voice is bright, and for a goth? He has a huge yellow sunflower attached to his jacket, under the whole million badges from groups like The Damned. He is also not remotely the same racial background as Hector - well. Maybe half? But Hector is clearly Latinx, and Spear is clearly black "It is fucked up, let us not even worry about it. You've been lonely?" He raises an eyebrow "Dude. _Dude_." And then he says "We're all going to run away to New York. Where there's less vampires."
Felicity snorts. "I'm a girl. I do not drink anything someone I don't know hands me unless I saw them open the sealed bottle myself. And probably not even then. I'm just... this is like 'Los Vampiros' right? Not... actual vampires. And wouldn't New York have *more* vampires. If they were real and we're not talking about the Puerto Rican street gang. Which... is actually a thing in New York. Or was, at least. Anyway. I mean, *if* vampires existed. Then New York, City that Never Sleeps, with a giant homeless population and lots of transient people and a high unsolved murder rate would be where they'd want to be." She seems to be working this through both in terms of 'I have missed a coded language memo' and 'they're really discussing actual, blood drinking vampires'. But neither answer is giving her fewer vampires in New York.
Hector makes the story short, "I'm between James and the triplets. A vacation fling. Now I'm here." He stares at his brother in amazement, then simply starts laughing. They have completely different builds and skin tones, but when they stand next to each other there are subtle resemblances between the brothers. They are the same height and if one squints there is something in the bone structure of their faces. He squeezes his brother's shoulder, "you and your handsome man are running off to New York. We are going back to California, but alas, we all have to survive 'til graduation before we can flee for our lives... Oh hey, what was the thing about the London Bridge stone? Amy and Ashley mentioned it last night." He says gently, "Everyone was lonely for a while there." And some of them lost Mothers, "But you have the handsomest Marchant now, right?" He watches Felicity think, curious to see where her math ends up.
"Felicity..." Cash begins. "The best way to approach this is to not overthink it. It's a upside down Occam's razor. Except the simplest answer is yes, vampires exist. And they live just outside of town. And be careful. That's it. A bunch of us drank and it's been my private slice of bullshit since I did it." He hugs her again, suddenly but with less force. He parts and looks to the Thistle brothers. "We were all lonely, Spear. It's not a contest so don't...if we had all just talked instead of fought, glowered, spit and so on. We'd be here. Better. Quicker." To Felicity, "I was dating Spear and then I ran away and while i was gone I met Hector. He broke up with me and I was trying to move on when Hector showed up and was like, I'm a Thistle. So. I am a Thistle ho." He giggles. "I'd fuck Silver but they won't let me. I wonder if Star would hate fuck me..." He ponders ALOUD in front of the brothers. Cash hasn't changed that much. No social skills and he speaks his mind, for good, ill, or weird.
ROLL: Spear rolls finesse for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 5 1 4 -- d6)
"I've been assured it has less!" says Spear, who would believe just about anything told to him by anyone. Probably including vampires, really. He reaches them and then he offers Felicity his hand "I know, it's all bonkers. And my family didn't even start the whole thing, crazy, isn't it?" He opens his bag, and then he takes out a paper bag from inside it "Would you like a rat? I mean, sugar mouse." He then says "You know, I am like, pretty sure we could graduate elsewhere. Especially easier if we're alive to do it. Sugar mouse, Hector?" He then says "As Cash says. I mean, the other option is that we have crazy methed up bikers who decapitate people and drink their blood. Which you know, has been seen? Either they're vampires or they're maybe worse. Though Amy punched one! Amy's amazing. She's, er, totally not into me though." He regards Cash even more dryly "I was owed some time being upset." And then Cash gives the summary and Spear is nodding along in agreement and everything is fine until Cash mentions his sisters. Then he jumps on him. Or tries to. Spear has zero skills. At all.
ROLL: Cash rolls finesse for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 7 5 6 -- d8)
Felicity steps out of the way of the flying Spear which seems to be a mostly automatic thing because otherwise her brain seems to be in the process of rebooting. "Okay. One: It's like you don't even know me anymore. The first step is *always* to overthink it. Two:" there's a brief pause. "Okay, I will skip the risk and reward side of giving in and becoming a vampire because ewww. Also, who wants to live forever? Three: Cash, sweetie, I love you, but that was tactless even for you. Like *really* tactless. Somethings belong in the inside voice, as difficult as that is and you *know* I struggle with that, too. Four: We *may* have reached a Dirk Gently point in the likely vs. possible discussion. Five: I mean, I'm all for avoid crazy methed upped bikers who *think* they're vampires. Blood drinking is creepy. Six: So, what has been tried? Holy Water? Running water? Garlic? You said no on the seeds. Ummm.. Stakes, though that would probably take out meth heads or people on PCP as well, though there's always the aim problem with that one. Also rib cages are notoriously hard to make it through." She's... Well, she's correct that she's overthinking.
ROLL: Hector rolls Finesse+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 2 8 5 1 6 -- d8)
ROLL: Felicity rolls finesse for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 1 5 4 5 -- d8)
Hector stares at Cash when he gets to silver and Star. He blinks several times, then reaches up to stroke the back of Cash's neck with the tips of his fingers, gentle, rhythmic. He explains as if all of this is normal "We didn't know we were brothers. I was an only child until last December, Felicity. I am pretty sure Star would demolish you, Cash. Perhaps best not, and Silver looks like she has someone now, so best not meddle." He peers into the bag first to make sure it really is candy and nothing with real bones. "Fatal Lester magnetism....You were definitely owed time being upset, Spear."
Sudden Violence on Spear's part takes him entirely by surprise. It's not like Spear, really, and he's looking in the bag, not at his brother's face. He fails entirely to get in the way in time, unlike the night he got between Amy and Jaden at the Taco Bell lot. "You'd be fran's slave if you drank. Not fun... Oh, don't invite them in.. we really need to steal and destroy Welcome mats... Oh cool, you like Douglas Addams? We made stakes and have holey water super soakers and things, but the people with the weapons were inside when they attacked last night and we had ball gags. We also have saw blades in baseball bats in case brute force works."
Cash makes fish faces. Open mouth. Closed. Repeat. Spear's lunge would be a grand miss but Cash steps up and catches Spear before he faceplants and makes sure he's back on his feet. "Spear, I never said you didn't have a right to be upset, dude. Ever. Did I? No. Because you did. Still do. But you put up with me anyway and I'm glad for that. Even if Jade makes me want to pull my hair out half the time, I love you both and want the best. Okay? I'm sorry for the...sister cracks. I'm used to people talking shit about my sister. I just ignore it. So. Sorry. Really." He looks to Hector too as he says that. Back to Felicity. "That's why I said to not overthink it. I know you! Hector's so fucking smart and listen to him, it's not just my ramblings. Plus, you know I can't lie. I have fifty different tells." He puffs up a little. "I made the weapons with some assistance in design and manufacture. But the idea of stealing from construction sites was all me." He's so proud.
Thistles are weird, but fortunately, Spear has more or less got a fairly positive outlook on life, and it tends to slow him down even when he is trying to be the Protective Triplet "Don't touch Star, she'll _kill you_," he says to Cash, backing up what Hector says, but then Spear looks puzzled "Silver...has someone? What?" Admittedly, Spear has been hanging out with Marchants recently. This is the extent of Spear's violence. His sunflower is a bit battered, but it only loses a petal or two "...I wouldn't say anything about Ashley. She was part of my Secret Plot to get Amy made Spring King. Now I have all this plotting and nothing to do with it." He pauses, then he says to Cash "Thanks for saying that, it helps, it just, erm -" He eyes Cash "...you gonna let go of me? You don't have to. Wait, would you like a mouse -"
Felicity rolls her eyes. "Yes, but until *I* have overthought it, it doesn't count." She looks at Thistle. "Okay... I have to ask... What does one do with sugar mice? And are they real mice? Dormice? Are they cooked? Do they have fur?" Then she freezes again and her eyes go wide. "Wait. What time is it? Fu... I. Umm. May need to go. There will be catching up later. I'm at Ellen's. I wasn't actually supposed to leave the house, but they weren't going to be back for hours, but now it's been hours. Anyway. If you don't see me again, I've probably been chained something. But... I'll keep an eye out and remove all things which say welcome."
Hector laughs, "I'm just a musician who likes to surf. Silver's the really clever one." Though not clever enough to avoid drinking mystery fluids. He smiles fondly as Cash puffs up, "I had the idea to make weapons, but I wouldn't know how to use power tools." His forehead wrinkles, "One of those L twins, the ones that are both Marchants and Lesters? I forget which name goes with which. What did you think she was doing with him the night Jaden went through her window? And Ashley and I get along fine. She's even mellowed out Amy.... Oh! It's great meeting you felicity. I promise, we are actually sane."
Cash lets Spear go but not before giving him a little kiss on the forehead. "Yes, I want a sugar mouse." And when he gets an actual furry rodent coated in sugar, Cash looks simply charmed. Hector gets a little nudge. "Weapons were a team effort." He steals a quick hug from Felicity. "I'll call you!"
"I am not entirely sure, but they're in a lot of English Christmas stories," says Spear to Felicity "So it must be a real thing. No one does Christmas the way the English do! No, er, I just dipped them when I got the poor things out of the traps...we have to keep a lot of the supplies trapped to avoid mice eating the decorations." He means in the funeral home. "Wait, you mean one of them? Huh. I thought...well. That's okay then, it'll keep things...erm. On a more or less even keel." He makes a wibbly wobbly hand movement, and then he beams at Cash. Maybe all is forgiven. "Weapons, but I think we need armour - goodbye, miss!" he adds to Felicity.
Felicity gives Cash a quick hug back with a brilliant smile, then looks at Spear, then Cash, then Hector and just snorts at his statement about them being sane, but it's an affectionate sort of snort. "I... think those may be supposed to be candies shaped like mice. You know like chocolate turtles and peppermint pigs. But I could be wrong. People eat all kinds of things and the Romans thought dormice in honey were a delicacy." Blink. "Okay, I better go before I get distracted again. I'll see you all around." And then she's off.
Hector is not Thistle enough to eat a random sugar coated rodent, having grown up somewhere less... here. "I thought they were some sort of mice shaped candies too, like she said, not... mice out of traps dipped in..." He freezes, "Um Spear, did you put these directly into the canisters in the kitchen?"
"No, of course not," says Spear to Hector "Mice in the kitchen are banned. We're not cats." He pauses, then he admits "They just aren't as nice as I'd imagined they would be." He shakes his head and then ambles off with them.