0
followers
follow

Nick Moreno

0 · 527 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “In The Concrete Jungle”, as played by Collapse

Description

Image
Image Image


Image
I was born under the name of:
Nicolas Phillip Moreno

You can call me:
Nick

My age is:
24

I was born on:
January 24th, 1990

I was born in:
Los Angeles, CA

I have been homeless for:
9 years

Role:
The Leader


Image
People would describe me as being:
As expected by his title, Nick has strong leadership skills. He's confident, assertive and friendly, and in general, gets along well with everyone. Helpful, loyal, protective, friendly, short-tempered, defensive, sensitive
-- WIP --


Some things I like are:
  • Smoking - preferably weed, but cigarettes suffice when in public
  • Skateboarding
  • The ocean
  • Hot meals
  • Warm weather
  • Adrenaline rushes
  • Hotels

Some things I dislike are:
  • Most outreach programs
  • Expectations
  • 9-5 jobs
  • His temper
  • Cops
  • Christmas
  • His father

Fears:
Never doing anything with his life. He doesn't expect to go to Harvard or anything, but being able to get a real job and a real apartment would be nice. As much as he wants it for his future-self, he's too in love with the freedom of the streets to give it up just yet.

Dreams
In the short term, he wants to help the others get their lives in order. He sees potential in a lot of them but unfortunately, knows that most of them will end up as just another "homeless" statistic. A more realistic wish of his would be to get another tattoo, although he isn't sure where he would want it/what it would be of.


Image
I ended up here because:
Nick is the son of Emilia Perez, a flight attendant from America, and Gabriel Moreno, a businessman from Spain. The pair were both only twenty-two when they met at a bar in Madrid and had a one night stand. Emilia was only in the city for a night, since she was working and had just stopped there for a 24-hour layover, so neither of them were expecting more than just a drunk encounter that night. Four months later, after much fear and denial on Emilia's part, it was confirmed that she was pregnant.

She was not ready to raise a child and her parents couldn't afford to take guardianship of the unborn child, so seeing no other option, Emilia reached out to Gabriel. He was also not willing to alter his life in order to raise a child on his own, and if his parents hadn't gotten involved, Nick would have been put in foster care right after he was born. They, however, were thoroughly opposed to the idea of their only grandchild being put into "the system" and decided to take custody of him. They had been planning on moving to the Florida Keys to retire at some point, so Nick's arrival just caused them to do it a bit sooner than planned. He was raised by his grandparents for thirteen years and has nothing to complain about when it comes to his childhood. His family was a bit nontraditional but his grandparents took good care of him and really loved him. He never met his mother and only saw his father once or twice a year for the first eight years of his. After that, there was an argument that severed the ties that Gabriel had with his parents, which resulted in Nick being cut off as well. While he doesn't know all of the details, he does know that the fight was about the woman that Gabriel planned on marrying and how he was going to father children with her, but reject Nick.

Nick's downward spiral definitely started when he was thirteen and his grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack. Not having a real father sucked, but his grandfather had always been there to fill that role for him so losing him was a big deal. To top it off, he didn't have much time to cope before his grandmother had a stroke. It was six weeks to the date of his grandfather's funeral when she was rushed to the hospital. She survived, but the stroke resulted in the entire right side of her body becoming permanently paralyzed. It was decided that a nursing home would be best for her, so once she was sent there, Nick was placed in foster care.

He'll give you an infinite number of reasons for why foster care ruined his life, but if he was being honest, he'd admit that he wasn't exactly willing to try out the new life. He had the typical teenage angst, topped with bottled up emotions resulting from his grandfather's death and grandmother's stroke. Even if he was living in a mansion with people waiting on him, he probably would have been defiant. He spent around a year and a half in foster care, and in that time, was shuffled between six different homes. He was labeled a troubled kid and did a pretty good job at fitting that description. He'd skip school at least three times a week, never did homework, was disrespectful to his teachers and foster parents, and got involved in the wrong crowd. He decided to leave his foster home when he was fifteen, and by that point, he was not only smoking pot daily, but was the most profiting dealer at his high school. If he hadn't left on his own accord, he probably would have been kicked out or arrested within weeks.

Leaving his home life wasn't as dramatic as it seems it would be, but he never really considered anything besides his grandparents' home to be "home" anyway. He went to school and immediately after, visited his grandmother at her nursing home. She wasn't doing well and would end up dying three weeks later, but Nick knew that he wouldn't see her again. He didn't tell her that he was running away but made sure that she knew he loved her and appreciated everything she had done before him. Before leaving, he discreetly took one hundred dollars out of her bedside stand. She wouldn't be needing it, and if he had asked, she would have given it to him anyway. That money paid for his bus ticket from Florida to New York, and the couple hundred he had saved from dealing was what he planned on using to keep him afloat.

It was a bad plan, and almost as soon as he got to New York, he realized that. He didn't know anyone in the city, and the fact that it was the dead of winter didn't help in his quest to survive on the streets. Two days into his journey, he found himself accepting a bed at a shelter for runaway youth. It wasn't what he had hoped his "free" life would be like, but he had a warm bed, hot shower and two meals a day. For then, it was enough. Plus, the shelter connected him with a job at a local restaurant. Here, he met Miguel Escobar, a kid who was a few years older than himself, who was also waiting tables. The two became fast friends and Nick learned that Miguel and his brother, Chris were big players in a drug ring. Without going into too much detail, Nick agreed to join their team and not only started dealing for them, but moved in with them. About a year and a half in, he quit his job at the restaurant because the drug money was doing more than enough to help him get by. He was living well, but again, this didn't last for long.

Miguel, Chris and another friend living in the house were killed when Nick was eighteen, by Miguel's cousin. Police pinned it as a gang-related murder, but in reality, the cousin had found out that Chris had been sleeping with his girlfriend and clearly wasn't happy about it. Nick was lucky that he wasn't home, because Miguel and the friend had just been caught in the crossfire and if he were present, his fate would have likely been the same. When police showed up at the scene, a hoard of drugs were found in the house and Nick didn't even try to enter or act like he had known the guys. Again, he was homeless and dealing with the emotional trauma of losing loved ones so suddenly. By now, he had grown an emotional wall though. He knew that he had to be tough to survive on the streets, and he did.

Although he continued to sell drugs, it was more low key and wasn't giving him as much cash as he needed to get back on his feet. He managed to find a job washing dishes in the back of a small pub, Finnegan's Irish Pub. The owner, Finn, was a recently-divorced alcoholic who took a liking to Nick, and offered to let him room in his basement until he could find an apartment. He took him up on the offer, moved in with Roman, met and fell in love with Brooklyn, and over the next six years, met and welcomed other homeless youth into the basement.

I make a living by:
Drug Dealer


Image
Height/Weight or build:
6'1/Athletic build

Eye color:
Brown

Hair color:
Brown

Other:
He has tattoos on his arm.

Face claim:
Diego Barrueco

So begins...

Nick Moreno's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

0.00 INK

Location: Manhattan, NY
Date: Friday, October 16th 2015
Time: 3:00 PM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
Fall was definitely Nick's favorite season. He didn't like it in the stereotypical, teenage girl way, where he'd savor wearing sweaters and sipping on a five dollar latte. He liked fall, for a couple of reasons, but the biggest was because the weather made living in the basement bearable. Maybe it was an exaggerated feeling, because it was a big contrast to the suffocating feeling he felt living in the basement during the summer. The heat and humidity was just unbearable to him, and even if there was no fighting going on, he found himself wanting to get out more than ever when it was hot down there. It left him unable to think, and his patience usually dwindled on those nights when he couldn't even lay down on a bare mattress, with no sheets, without sweating. When he was a kid, he loved the warm weather, and coming from Florida, he thought he would be prepared for whatever type of heat New York could throw his way. Boy, was he wrong.

Now, fall felt like a fresh start, and the cool, crispness in the air distracted him from the chaos that his life was. Ironically, despite the basement being at a comfortable temperature now, Nick found himself avoiding his home just as much as he had during the summer. He wasn't avoiding the actual space so much as he was the people in it. More specifically, though he'd never say it, Brooklyn. After being with her for so many years, there was no doubt that Nick loved Brooklyn, but recently, he wasn't sure what their relationship even was. It seemed to be filled with more animosity than love, and he sometimes questioned whether it was worth it. She seemed to be convinced that he was the one mistreating her, and that she could do so much better than him. Sometimes he felt like she was right, and she deserved and could do better, and other times, he considered letting her go, just so she could see how wrong she was. She'd see that she was the one who was too demanding and shrill and drunk and realize that she was the one who needed to come crawling back to him. He was sick of being the one in that position, but he knew that Brooklyn's pride was too big. If he let her go, she would never come crawling back, even if it would kill her not to.

Today, he had a good excuse for being out of the basement for most of the day. He spent his morning making a few sales to high school kids on the Upper West Side, before taking a subway into the Bronx, where he picked up a load of fresh drugs from his supplier. While Nick had once been involved in the drug game very heavily, selling the hard drugs that could, and frequently did, kill people, he was only selling marijuana and a few other things that the high school kids were into. Adderall, ecstasy, occasionally a couple of bags of cocaine... Dealing drugs on his own, on the street level, was a lot easier than what he used to do, and he actually enjoyed the time that he had to himself every day in between deals. Besides, he made enough to get by. He didn't make enough to keep Brooklyn off of his back, but Nick genuinely was content with the money he was making. He wasn't looking to be a billionaire.

He opted for a subway stop that was one before his usual one. It gave him more time to walk and enjoy the day, as he prepared for the headache that was sure to arise when he got downstairs. Sooner than later, however, he was approaching Finn's pub, and as he pulled his backpack tighter over his shoulder, he headed through the front door. Luckily, Finn was busy with a couple of customers at the bar, and from what Nick took from the conversation, was going on his frequent rant about why Guinness was the most superior beer that existed in the universe. When he caught the older man's eye, he gave him a quick wave, but didn't halt in his path through the pub, and to the private back area, and then down the staircase that led to the basement. He hoped that everyone would be out, enjoying the nice day too, but Nick was never that lucky.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart

0.00 INK

Image
Image
Recently, Brooklyn seemed to wake up every day feeling more sick than the last, and vowing to never even sip alcohol again. That promise would be broken by the time that she managed to stand up without feeling like the world was spinning, and she was already trying to figure out what to order upstairs to combat her hangover. She could take a million painkillers and drink a case of Gatorade, but nothing killed her hangovers like more alcohol did. In her defense, she didn't spend all of her life completely intoxicated. On days like today, when she was only waking up around two o'clock, she would try to drink some water, gather a change of clothes, and go upstairs, not to the bar, but up another level, to Finn's private apartment. Brooklyn had actually lived up there at one point, and if any boundaries were set after she moved into the basement with Nick and Roman, she refused to acknowledge them. She had a membership at a gym down the block, and that was where she usually showered, but lately, she couldn't imagine waiting to shower until she got there. This was more convenient, so, Finn's apartment had become her first stop of the day, where she would shower and get ready for the day, even if like today, the day had actually started hours ago.

If she didn't have a handful of dirty clothes and toiletries, she would have went directly from blow drying her hair and putting on makeup, to the bar where she was sure a gin and tonic would help her sort out this massive headache. Instead, she headed all the way back downstairs, and luckily for everyone, including Roman, who she noticed still asleep on the other side of the room, Nick wasn't back yet. It was nearing three o'clock now, so she had been awake for almost an hour, but when she was hungover, it took Brooklyn at least two hours to fully wake up, and even then, her "awake" personality wasn't bright and cheery. Seeing Nick would have catapulted her into bitch-mode, despite her unsure about what they were actually fighting about the night before. It was all a blur, but if it came down to it, she could find something to nitpick to get pissed off about. Maybe it would be the way that he didn't tell her he was leaving this morning, even though she would have clawed his eyes out if he did actually wake her up, or how she hated how he always reeked of smoke. If she wanted to start a fight, Brooklyn always found a reason to do so.

After returning her things downstairs, and noting that she needed to bring her and Nick's things to the laundromat sometime today, she headed back up to the bar level. On her way in, she made a pit stop in the bar's public bathroom to double check her makeup. Just in case Nick did come in, she wanted to be looking good, and more importantly, not hungover. Even though he was bound to know that she had been heavily intoxicated the night before, she hated how he could use that as something against her. How she needed to stop drinking because she turned into such a horrible person, and how she wouldn't know that she wasn't being that horrible person, because she couldn't even remember what was said. Within those few minutes, Nick had walked right past the bathroom and down to the basement, and Lateefah and Holly had arrived in the bar. She was off her game, with a headache that made even the dim restaurant seem too bright, so she didn't even notice the pair sitting at a table as she found a seat at the bar. Finn came over soon enough, but the hand she held up, telling him to stop before he had even started, was basically her universal sign that she was too hungover to engage in conversation before a drink. He read it and obliged, sending a gin and tonic her way a moment later.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell

0.00 INK

Image
Image


It had been a loooooong day, just like any other. The season is autumn, which couldn't have come sooner. New York could get surprisingly hot during the summer, and that brutal East Coast winter weather would be just around the corner. Toronto could get some pretty bad winters too, so it's like he wasn't used to it. After spending almost a year on the street, Oli felt grateful that he finally had a "home" -- or at least as close to a home as he could get in his current situation. He had just met Nick last month, and gave him this basement to live in with nine other people. According to Nick, spending the entire summer in that basement was a miserable experience, so he felt like he had dodged a bullet there.

Now, what did he do on his "loooooong day"? Simple. He did whatever he could do to make a little bit of money. On the streets of Manhattan, he walked around all day long trying to find some work. Anything just for something to spend. Grateful that he didn't have any alcohol or drug addictions to blow money on, unlike his roommates. In his heart, he doesn't need those things. Money, that's my drug. After spending several hours walking on the street finding nothing, he came across an older couple moving out of there old apartment.

"Hello young man" said the woman. She seemed to already trust him. "Hey, I see you could use some help." The old man nodded, "Yeah, we're retiring and leaving this city. We're going to live in Clearwater, Florida. Moving our stuff out here isn't easy for this old geezer. Would you be willing to help? There'll be some heavy lifting, but it's an honest work. How does $100 sound?"

That was all he needed to hear. At this point, $100 sounds like a shitload of money. Any amount of heavy lifting would be worth it. While he may not be the strongest guy on the block, he can still handle it. A half-hour or so passed, and Oli could feel the sweat on his armpits and forehead. It was an honest work alright, and he was panting by the end of it. "Here you go slick," the old man said as handed him five twenties. "Spend it all in one place." said the woman. "Trust me, I don't plan to. Have fun in Florida." They waved goodbye as they took off in their UHaul truck, headed to their sunny coastal town.

Now Oliver had some green, and it wasn't the sticky kind his lowlife friends indulge in. As he was walking home, he passed by a Subway restaurant. The temptation was too great to resist. He went inside, and order himself a sandwich. Foot long, nine grain wheat ham sandwich. American cheese, pickles, jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes, peppercinis, toasted. With a side of barbecue chips and a soda. Once he finished his order, he was sure to save the remaining money for later.

Finally he made it back home, and sat down on the table to enjoy his meal. He hoped no one would try ask if they could have some. This was his, he earned that much.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell

0.00 INK

Image


Despite it being just past three in the afternoon, he still felt like it was too early. After an exhausting night kept him out until four in the morning, Roman felt like he could have slept a good two hours more. Sometimes sleeping in this late was a big deal, though, as Holly had a tendency to wake people up at ungodly early hours of the morning. This was a slight exaggeration. To him, nine in the morning was borderline satanic, and sometimes she was up earlier. Now it was quiet though, and he wanted to relish that rarity for as long as he could, so he tried to ignore the thickening pain in his back that dragged him from his sleep. He buried his face in the mattress for a few minutes before he finally realized that he wasn't going to be able to get to sleep. Roman didn't move right away though. His muscles were already clenching around the bone, tightening and demanding some type of relief. Instead he just lied still for a few moments, resting his eyes as if he could trick himself into an extra hour of sleep.

Some footsteps came back from the stairwell. Roman looked over to see who it was, and once he saw that it was Nick, he flopped back on his stomach and groaned. If it wasn't for the emptiness of his stomach forcing him out of bed, he probably would have continued lying there, holding onto the warmth his skimp blanket barely provided. Roman slept in the corner of the room, just on the other side of the dividing wall that separated Brooke and Nick's space from everyone else's. There was something comforting in being enclosed, at least for him. Perhaps there was that lacking sense of exposure. Or maybe it was something else, who knows. Although he was rummaging through his things for some pain killers, he was still just as good as sleepwalking as his eyes were barely open and his movements were sluggish and zombie like. He found two pills and swallowed them dry before stiffly pulling on a shirt.

Roman sat facing the wall for a moment the way he usually did whenever he woke up. Getting up straight after waking was disorienting and overwhelming to him. He needed at least a few seconds to just sit and come to terms with his current life situation which, admittedly, hadn't really changed in the past eight years he'd been on the streets, but the weight of everything required him to at least have a moment to himself. Silently, he dressed and went to the bathroom. When he came back out he surveyed the room; mostly empty except now Oliver was sitting at the table eating Subway. As if on cue, his stomach contracted, and he remembered his need for something to eat.

Unabashedly, he had a taste for Starbucks. Brooke was the one who got him into it, and he wasn't ashamed to admit that he actually kind of liked it. While not a big fan of coffee--tea was his hot drink of choice--he still enjoyed it enough to frequent the place here and there. They did have tea on the menu, plus they had pretty good deserts. The only thing was that they were a bit out of his price range, as most things he bought were supposed to be before he decided to ignore it. After his manager took his portion of what Roman had earned the night before, and then once Roman set aside the two hundred he'd need for the next entrance fee, he didn't have as much as he'd like. He never had as much money as he thought he deserved given what he did for a living. He could make it work if he really wanted to. Like now. If he took a few days off, maybe three, to let his body recover, and just lived off, what, just over 15% of those earnings each day between matches? He could easily save about $275 and have just as much left over by the end of the month. But that wasn't going to happen. Never did and it never would. He hated many aspects of his life, and he complained about them, but he still remained sedentary. It was as though the prospect of getting out and doing something with his life was scarier than dying out here. It was stupid. Mindless. Self-contradictory. He knew. He knew. And just as such, he chose not to know. Instead he'd pretend that he was really stuck in every way possible as it was a far easier to put blame on a system than on himself. So that was what he did.

"Done for the day?" Roman said casually, the leftover sleep placing a scratchy bass in his voice. He felt to make sure that his cigarettes were in his pocket before pulling one out and balancing it between his lip. "I think I'm about to go eat if you want to come with."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell

0.00 INK

Image
Nick had noticed Roman on his mattress, but assumed that he was passed out. The wall that separated he and Brooklyn's beds from the rest of them was thin, so he heard the shuffling as Roman got up and sorted himself out, and as Oliver came down. Nick didn't know it was Oliver from where he was sitting on his bed, but he was also sure that it wasn't Brooklyn. If it were his girlfriend, he'd already have a headache. Regardless, Nick wasn't in any rush to interact with anyone. He had around one hundred dime bags of weed, as well as a couple of bundles of pills in his backpack, and he needed to sort all of that out, especially before his luck ran out and Brooklyn did come down. He would have to hear about how he better not be packing the drugs anywhere near her stuff, because she didn't want to reek of marijuana, and how if he put this much energy into a real profession, maybe they wouldn't be in this position. Nick knew he was being just as dramatic as she could be, and he hated himself for not being able to let go off their arguments like he used to be able to do. He knew that by entertaining Brooklyn at all, when she was in one of her moods, was just a losing battle. It wasn't going to do him any good, because she'd never see his side of things, but it was also getting hard for him to deal with her snapping day after day and not doing anything. Things were simple when he believed that all of this was his fault, and that if one day he made a lot of money, she'd be the girl that he fell in love with, but he was beginning to think that this was her nature. That she was inherently hostile, and the possibility of that bothered him. Was he wasting his time in this relationship, or was he not being sympathetic to Brooklyn's needs, and the very large possibility that she was struggling with something more than just their relationship issues? He didn't know, and he was glad when Roman appeared to distract him from those thoughts.

"For the most part, yeah," Nick nodded as he snapped the large plastic container shut. Inside of it were probably five other plastic containers of different sizes, with the smallest holding the drugs, which were wrapped in one of his sweatshirts. It was a precaution he took to appease Brooklyn more than it was to protect himself from any legal consequences or anything of those sorts. He stood up, glancing to his bed, where one of the dime bags and his rolling paper sat. He was planning on smoking that, but if Roman was ready to go eat, he'd save it for later. "Alright, yeah, I'll come," he said, getting to his feet. He took only his wallet from his backpack before heading towards Roman. "Are you trying to get real food, or fast food and shit?" he questioned, not really having a preference with one over another. He was hungry, so a real meal at a cheap restaurant would be good, but so would ordering a bunch of even cheaper things from a fast food place. "Hey, Oli, Roman and I are heading out to grab some food. I'd tell you to come, but it looks, and smells, like you're already good," he said with an easy smile, when he found that the mysterious person he had heard earlier, was Oliver. He was seated across the room with a Subway sandwich that made Nick even hungrier than he thought he was before. "Let's take the alley," he suggested, once he turned back to Roman. "I owe Finn a hello, but I'm not in the mood to talk to him for three hours."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image

"I've got more of a taste for real food to be totally honest." Roman knew that it was more economical to just grab a few pretzels as he usually did, but his aching was putting him into a sour mood that didn't feel like obliging to more sensible means of action. As they exited into the alleyway, Roman shook his head with a faint chuckle. "I'm never in a mood to talk to the bastard." While they walked, he rubbed the strain out of his neck, pivoting his head from shoulder to shoulder. It reminded him of how badly he needed to look for a new place to work. He wouldn't quit street fighting. Hell, he wasn't even entirely sure if he could, but he would at least like to have another source of income that didn't require putting his life on the line. It was hard though. He probably would have, or rather should have, done it long ago, but he knew that he was in the country illegally by now. He had no form of documentation with him, and even if he did, it would have been grossly expired by this point. So inevitably there was an air of concern when it came to getting another job. He only had but so many options that could possibly pay off the books, but he still kept pushing it off. The constant tug at his back pushed him to get over this bought of procrastination though. He knew that Brooke had previously worked at the diner and that it wasn't uncommon to get paid in cash as one of the lower positions.

"Have you seen Brooke today?" he said, just as a way to make conversation until they got to their destination, which he wasn't entirely sure of yet. He would realize too late after the fact that Nick probably didn't want to talk about her given the problematic--yet not surprising--state of their relationship. The cold pushed at the emptiness of his stomach and reminded him of how desperately he craved for heat. Had he remembered to bring a jacket, the day might have been more enjoyable. But there was a breeze that blew against his skin uncomfortably, making him look around for the closest restaurant that could appease his appetite. When they came across a place that looked decent, he stopped and looked at it. It was a little diner that seemed to be going for a retro 1950's theme with a jukebox in the back, black and white checkered floors, and plump red seats. Neon script letters decorated the floor-to-ceiling windows and vintage ads lined the walls. "This is quaint," Roman said as he pointed and turned back to Nick. "This all right with you?"

When they entered and sat in a booth closer to the entrance, Roman positioned himself so that he was facing the outside. This was typically his preference as he liked people watching. It wasn't that at this point in their relationship that silences felt awkward, but he still enjoyed looking at passersby to pass the time. A Hispanic girl with long black hair tied into a ponytail and bright red lips introduced herself as Fiona, stating that she'd be serving them today. After taking their drink orders, she disappeared into the back and Roman turned to Nick.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Oliver Mitchell

0.00 INK

Image
Image

Oliver finished up his Subway. It was the most delicious piece of food he had in what felt like forever. He had longed for the old days when he was able to get a Subway on a regular basis, those days having long passed. Now he only has around $92 left, he needs to make a little more money. He hates to admit it, but maybe he could accompany Nick on one of his drug deals if it could get him a cut. Not that he would partake in doing them, just dealing them. Though, he hates the idea of being caught in a sting.

One of these days, Nick's gonna get caught. The police were cracking down on drugs harder than ever. If Nick does get caught, this whole thing would fall apart. What are the odds that Nick could rat out his customers if it reduced his sentence? More importantly, would he rat out his friends? Several of his friends partake in illegal drugs, and knowing how corrupt the police force can be, it's possible that Oliver could be arrested by association.

Nonetheless, money is money, and Oliver needs some. He saw Nick leave earlier, out to get some food from the looks of it when he saw his Subway sandwich. The next time they see each other, Oliver will tell him his interest in helping out with a deal, for a cut of course. Oliver went upstairs and into the pub. He wasn't going to order drinks, but there was some nice music playing on the radio. Currently playing was "Train in Vain" by The Clash. The entire bar was filled with drunkards and other lowlifes.

One could not believe how slow time passed when you were homeless. Even after nearly a year to get used to it, nothing about it had changed. He had no cell phone to use, that so many people these days would spend their whole days slaving over. There were hardly any forms of entertainment in the basement. Maybe one day he could change his situation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
Hanging out with Roman was easy. They were far past the point of feeling the need to make conversation just to avoid awkward silence, because by now, not much was awkward between them. They had extended past being roommates and friends, to being as close to brothers as Nick thought he'd get in anyone. With that, and the fact that both of them really preferred silence over unnecessary conversation, walks like this didn't take much effort. Occasionally, Nick would rant about Brooklyn, but it didn't happen often. For one, Nick liked to keep his problems to himself in general, and also, he knew that Roman and Brooklyn were very close friends at this point too. Though he could play the juvenile card and claim that he had known Roman first, so he was more of his friend, thus should always take his side, Nick wasn't like that. He respected that Roman was friends with both of them, and in a way, liked it. Aside from being able to hang out as a trio, he appreciated that Roman could hang out with Brooklyn too, because even if she wouldn't admit it aloud, Roman could sometimes get through to her and show her how irrational she was being.

"Brooke? She was asleep when I left this morning, and I haven't seen her since," Nick offered with a shrug. He could have went on, offered a snide remark on how he had opted against waking the beast that morning in favor of his life, and pushed on why Roman wanted to know. He didn't, though, and simply kept walking. He was really in the mood for that joint he had left home now, and the cigarette Roman was getting ready to put out had Nick craving even cigarettes at the moment. He was more of a marijuana smoker, mostly because for him, it was more accessible. He dealt the drug, so it made sense that he always had it on hand. However, when push came to shove, Nick wasn't one to turn down a cigarette if it would allow him to relax. He could have asked Roman if he could bum one off of him, but before he thought to, Roman was slowing down in front of a diner. "Yeah, this'll work for me," he agreed, following Roman inside. Aside from the fifties theme, Nick was sure that there food was just like any other diner in the area. It would likely be greasy and a bit overpriced for its quality, but good enough to hit the spot.

He fiddled with his menu, reading over each column multiple times as they waited for their server. Nick ordered a Coke when the girl came, and a few moments after she left, decided on a simple cheeseburger. He could have had more than that, maybe gotten an appetizer as well, but it wasn't in his budget today. He had dropped eight hundred dollars when picking up his supply today, and though he would make around fifteen-hundred dollars by the time he sold them all off, the payment had taken a toll on his finances. Until he started selling again tomorrow, or maybe even tonight, he would have to be more stringent about his money. That was especially true considering that he was planning on smoking a lot tonight to prevent another two-way fight with Brooklyn, and with that would come an even larger appetite later on that he would need to feed. "Why were you asking about Brooklyn? Did she say something about me?" Nick inquired, curiously rather than accusatory, after Fiona had returned with their drinks and taken their meal orders.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image

While he was incredibly picky as a child, now everything he saw on the menu jumped out at him. Of course, so did the prices, which weren't necessarily outrageous, but they sure would add up. He was already in trouble for not settling on going to one of the hundreds of hot dog stands that littered the streets of New York City. Coming here on its own was an indulgence, so he skipped the root beer float that he wanted and instead settled for water. When he tried to order off the kid's menu, Fiona only gave him disapproving look before he decided to change his mind. She attempted humor by suggesting fish and chips before Roman lied and said that he had a seafood allergy. Ultimately he ordered the chicken tender appetizer which was, admittedly, not much cheaper than the regular entrees.

Killens sunk into the seat, feeling the painkiller finally kicking in. Just as his muscles were decompressing, so was his mind. Dizzying fatigue washed over him so suddenly that he had to lean into his hand to keep upright. It wasn't necessarily a bad feeling, just abrupt, which could be disconcerting when he wasn't ready for it. As he was in the middle of enjoying the silence of his muscles, he realized that Nick was talking. "What?" he said prematurely, comprehending what Nick had said just seconds after asking. "When did I...? Oh, right. I was just thinking about how I needed a job, maybe at a diner or something, so she came to mind. She hasn't said anything about you," he told him. It might have been a half-truth, as Roman was sure that Nick had come up at some point since in the last conversation he had with her. Sometimes he had to tune her out, since it was usually about the same stuff, and because he never really wanted to hear it. "I should just steal some of your kids and get paid to do their homework or something."

Roman lazily looked towards the door when a rambunctious kid, no more than six, bolted through the doors with a man who Roman presumed to be the kid's dad trailed behind. The little boy jumped into one of the booths before excitedly going on about something that happened in school. Innately, the kid's energy made him think of Holly, and he grew drowsier. The aroma from the kitchen lifted with the music that echoed out of the jukebox and circulated through the diner. He was slowly losing his appetite, he realized. As he continued to wait, he stretched his long limbs out and yawned tiredly. "There's never enough space in these things," he said angrily, seeming to forget that he stood over 6 feet. Fiona came over for what seemed like the tenth time to refill Nick's drink and forget about his own.

"You need anything?" she said, the question seeming to be directed more at Nick than at Roman. He picked up his near empty cup and showed her. "Could I get more water?" Fiona turned to him and looked to contemplate the request before mumbling under her breath as she left, "I'll think about it."

Roman turned to Nick, smiling some. "I think she likes me," he said dryly, and after a moment, "At least you know if Brooke doesn't work out, Fiona's always here to bring you more coke."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
As Roman explained why he was inquiring about Brooklyn, Nick nodded understandingly. That made sense. Brooklyn had worked as a waitress for years, and only recently left her job. It actually coincided with her getting extra agitated. At first, Nick wondered if she had gotten fired, and that was why she was drinking so much. Waitressing had always been her "normal" job, the one that she used to hold over his head, as if she were the productive member of society, while he was the criminal. It wasn't like her job as a stripper was illegal, but obviously, societal connotations attached to it made it just as frowned upon as his line of work. Nick's opinions on it weren't much better, but who could blame a guy for disliking the fact that his girlfriend was a part of the sex industry? He never minded Brooklyn working as a waitress. She worked a lot, which he sometimes disliked, but she seemed to like it, and it wasn't like he had any control over what she did, anyway. He didn't know why she had stopped working at the diner, and whenever he asked, he always got some response about how maybe it was time for him to start pulling his weight financially, or how he shouldn't expect her to work two jobs just because he couldn't find one real one. So, by now, he had stopped asking. He knew better than to accuse her increasing drinking habits of being a motivation behind her quitting, because it was one of the things that she became the most defensive over.

When Nick had ordered his soda, he noticed the "free refills" note written on the menu, and was taking advantage of it. He appreciated the girl who was serving him, and supplying him with his much-appreciated drinks, but he really didn't put too much attention into her. In fact, he barely made eye contact whenever she came by to ask how they were doing. It was possible that she was into him, maybe even flirting, but Nick didn't notice. It sounded bad, but he had sort of trained himself not to notice. God only knew the amount of times that Brooklyn had snapped about him for checking out or flirting with a waitress when they went out to eat. In reality, he was never trying to do that, and doubted that it came across to anyone besides her that he was, but in typical fashion, he learned, and just did his best not to be anything but polite. "Eh, if me and Brooklyn don't work out, I think waitresses, strippers, probably brunettes in general and anyone with a name starting with the letter B will be off the table, dating wise," Nick returned with a small smile. If he and Brooklyn didn't work out, he was going to have to try a girl who was completely new, because if a girl seemed anything at all like Brooklyn, he knew he was going to compare the two, and the new girl would always lose. It was strange to say, considering how turbulent their relationship was, but no matter what, Nick loved her. Not in the cheesy, make believe way, where all of her flaws disappeared the moment that their eyes met each other, but just in the way that he felt like he could live with her forever, and be happy. "I guess waitresses aren't your type either," he commented, his eyes following Fiona as she helped a table on the other side of the diner. "Aside from that one night stand, that was really fucking random, no offense, are any other girls into you? You got any Ronda Rousey's where you work that're into you?" he questioned, jokingly as he absentmindedly played with the wrapper from his straw.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image

For the most part, Roman was quite good at not being emotionally provoked, at least on the surface. Many things got to him, but he tried not to let that be seen for a multitude of reasons. This time, though, he couldn't help but roll his eyes dramatically in response to Nick. So far, he had done pretty good with forgetting the whole 'Cara situation' as he liked to call it. Killens hadn't planned on telling anyone, quite frankly because it wasn't really anyone's business, but then especially after Cara just vanished. He had suspicions that what happened between them might have been the cause for her leaving, and if anyone knew about what happened, then they might suspect the same thing. Of course, it found it's way back to Nick, probably through Brooke or something. He wasn't sure, and he didn't care too much at this point since such occurrences had happened in the past, plus there was the fact that he'd gotten over the initial frustration of people knowing. Still, it wasn't his conversation of choice, but he did have to refrain himself from correcting Nick. He definitely wouldn't say that Cara was 'into him,' especially not after she ditched, but that was neither here nor there, he reminded himself, and to be completely honest, he didn't want it anywhere near him. But that was besides the point.

In the past, Roman had never really fared well with girls. Not because he didn't like them, because he did, but because he could never invest his time in them for too long. Few things excited him, but even when he did like a girl, he'd appear too disinterested for their taste and nothing would really manifest. Perhaps it was his pride or just the way he was raised where ostentatious affection wasn't a norm, but he could never really bring himself to love someone. Not romantically at least. He loved Nick, and he loved Brooke, but they had years behind them, and the love was clearly anything but romantic. It wasn't that he didn't want to, but the idea of it was daunting. There were so many expectations and ways to mess up, and he was too entitled, and selfish really, to want to compromise with anyone. Whenever a girl would come to him telling him they needed more, or that they felt like they were somehow a nuisance to him, Killens would either take it offensively or not take it all, and things would end. He knew it wasn't fair, and he knew that in all situations he was the main culprit which was why he just tended to stay away from relationships. For once, instead of being the first one to solve the problem, he was the cause of it, and that was threatening to him. Of all things, this was one he couldn't explain and didn't know how to fix, so when it was brought up, he shut down. Admittedly, it was frustrating. Sometimes he did want someone. Sometimes he did think about the future and wonder if the present him was the final version of himself. And while he wasn't totally dissatisfied with how he currently was, he didn't want to remain this way forever. He did want to have someone, or at least he thought so. Whenever he did fantasize about the possibility of finding 'the one', or hell, just anyone who could tolerate his reclusive personality, his mind would innately push it away out of discomfort.

It was just something foreign to him. It was something that seemed to come so easily to everyone else except for him, which was also something he wasn't familiar with, and something he didn't like. He was used to being good at everything and not needing help. He was used to not messing up and being a step ahead. He was used to people looking to him in awe, wondering how he did things that to him were just simple and self-explanatory. With this came a leftover resentment towards his parents that didn't have the chance to reveal itself until after he'd ran away and realized that he was never going back. Until he realized that he had nothing to lose and could hate them for sheltering him, and feeding his pride for their own benefit, and for never giving him the kind of parental love that any child would need. He was still embarrassed for running and throwing everything behind because he did have everything, or at least he could have. The thought of it made him feel weak. But whenever he did sit down and think of why he felt so ostracized when it came to certain things, mostly with displaying emotions and love, he couldn't help but look to how his parents raised him. Of all the things they led him to believe were important, all of them very formalized and objective, forming deep relationships wasn't one of them. Networking was important, sure, but asides from that people weren't really good for anything else but to help you advance in the world of competition. They were only there to be used for your own benefit and perhaps he pushed people out because of this. Because he innately wondered what he would gain from spending time with them, how they could help him, and he always came up short. In his eyes, he wasn't sure why, but part of it came back to his pride. Even still, Roman couldn't help but wonder that maybe if his parents weren't so distant, all of this wouldn't be so unfamiliar to him. Maybe of all the things that came easy to him, one of the most universal things in the world could as well. But it wasn't like that, and he didn't really like to dwell on it because it brought back many unresolved problems he had and refused to deal with because they made him feel trapped, like now.

He shuffled in the booth, everything seeming to have shrunk all of a sudden. As he sipped on his water, the liquid apparently having lost its ability to hydrate him, he smiled and rolled his eyes some at Nick's joke. "Nah," he said. "No Ronda's." The matches were overwhelmingly male. He could recall on a few occasions girls fighting, but it was never taken seriously. The girls that were there were really only there for entertainment purposes, tending to cling to whoever won that night; understandable since it was a given that that guy was getting paid, which meant they would too if they went home with him. Of course, not all the girls there were prostitutes. Many were just friends of some guy's girlfriend who knew that many of the men there were looking for a good time once the matches were over. After years in the game, it was a given that Roman had at some point spent a few nights with these girls. He had his spells where he enjoyed it, and actually looked forward to it, since it was an easy way to alleviate any loneliness without there being strings attached. Then there were other times when he'd really only do it for looks, because everyone else was doing it, and standing out in those kind of environments wasn't always the best option. It didn't bother him like it used to. Being a street fighter wasn't really just fighting. Everything else that came with the job were pretty much negatives, but he'd numbed himself to them by now, and really didn't think twice about them most of the time.

"Thank God, since they'd probably kick my ass." Not realizing he was doing so out of discomfort, he reached for the salt shaker and fiddled with it in his hands. "But you know me: more of a lone wolf. I'd like to keep it that way. I try to stay out of it anyway since I don't want some guy after my ass because I fucked his girlfriend. New York's a hell of a lot smaller when you think someone's after you," he said with a smirk, although this got him to thinking how the city really did seem like it was condensing as the years went on. He knew his growing weariness for it was more so due to his life circumstances associated with living there, but he was still sure that he was getting sick of New York. "Sometimes I think about just leaving and dropping all this shit, but I don't know where the hell I'd go, or shit, how long I'd even last. I lucked out with you, but I'm not banking on finding another overly welcoming guy to take me into his basement with open arms. That sounds weird when you say it like that, but you know what I mean." When the food finally came he turned back to Nick, wanting to deflect the conversation off of him. "Maybe that's Brooke's problem. She's probably sick of being here. I mean, who wouldn't be?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
"Yeah, I feel you on that one," Nick agreed when Roman commented on New York being smaller than it seemed. He felt that way a lot, too. When he had first moved to the city, he couldn't believe how big it was. He felt so unimportant and lost in the masses of people. When he found his place, though, he sometimes craved that feeling of anonymity. To be able to exist, but have no social responsibilities. He was closer to that now than he had been before he lived in the basement, but there were times when even what he had now felt like too much. Brooklyn was less scary than a guy who wanted to murder him for selling him bad cocaine, but Nick had that same "lone wolf" instinct as Roman. It clearly wasn't as strong, since he was able to commit to a long term relationship, but sometimes he wished that he was more like Roman. He wished that he could be content with just being with himself, and not want more, because at the moment, he didn't know if that "more", if a real relationship, was actually worth it. It was likely just because he was going through a rough patch with Brooklyn, but either way, he could at least respect Roman's position on it.

He nodded again when Roman started to speak about how he sometimes considered leaving, but how he didn't know where to go. Nick didn't even stop his nodding when Roman considered aloud that maybe Brooklyn felt that way as well. He didn't have to question the validity behind the claim, because he knew better than anyone else that it was true. It was the stem of most of his arguments with Brooklyn. She wanted more, and felt like Nick needed to step up and give that to her, but he couldn't. Like her, he wasn't great at saving money, and he also didn't make enough where saving up was actually easy. He got by better than some of the others, but he also didn't spend tons of money on things he didn't need. Brooklyn made enough that she supported herself, so Nick's money mainly went towards the drugs he had to buy to resell. He had a cheap phone that he bought money cards for whenever he had extra money, since being able to contact clients was essential for his business. Aside from that, the rest of his money went towards food and basic need items. He didn't think he was reckless with his money, especially not when being compared to Brooklyn, who was always the one accusing him of being so.

Nick took a moment to appreciate the hot food that had been brought to their table, and finish off half of the new Coke Fiona brought, before responding to Roman again. "I don't blame her for being sick of it. I never have, but you know just as well as me, man, that if any one of us could get out of here, it'd be her. She makes at least a grand a week, dude, and you know that I'm not over here complaining about how she makes her money, even if sometimes it does feel disrespectful to me as her boyfriend. If she stopped drinking and spending money on shit she doesn't need, you know she'd be able to get a nice studio somewhere around here. She says she's sick of it, but she doesn't help herself, and... I don't know, yeah, an apartment would be better than this..." He paused, taking a large bite of his burger. "But this is easier for me right now. I can't throw down fifteen hundred a month for an apartment for us, plus utilities and all of that shit, especially when I have to deal with landlords and shit when I'm dealing. She knows I'd try to pull my weight if she wanted to go fifty-fifty on something, but... I don't know. You know Brooklyn. You know how she is." How demanding and selfish and unrealistic she could be. Even if they did get an apartment somewhere, Brooklyn would complain about how it was too small, in a bad part of town, or how she deserved a guy who could pay the bills. It wasn't like he didn't want to give her that... it just didn't seem possible right now, and maybe he was being selfish too, but he was comfortable with where he was in life right now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image


Roman lazily nibbled on his food as Nick spoke, frustration settling on him as he realized that he'd completely lost his appetite. Not only that, but the sight of the food, and now the taste of it rubbing against his palate, was making him even more nauseous than he felt before. He swallowed the salty, grease-struck saliva down his throat, wondering why the act felt harder than swallowing the pills that induced his nausea. Killens looked back to Nick, trying to focus on what he was saying, but the queasiness in his stomach kept distracting him to other thoughts. Like who it was who sold him these pills. At this point, he wasn't incredibly picky with what he got, so he just jumped to whoever could get him what he needed the fastest. There had been a few times in the beginning when he'd gone to Nick for a hookup, but it didn't take long for Nick to refuse him. While undoubtedly annoying, Roman understood it. So now he just took what he could get. He knew a few people, most of them sketchy and questionable, but that was to be expected. Whenever he had a problem with whatever painkiller he was supplied with at the time, he'd blame whoever sold them to him, ignoring the possibility that he was likely a contributing factor. He took them more often than he should, and he tended to take them incorrectly. If he wasn't taking it with alcohol or weed, then he was taking it on an empty like he'd done today. This was more than likely the cause of his discomfort, and then the sub par food in front of him did nothing but aid it. Initially, the pills worked fine, but that also could have been attributed to his first supply coming from Nick. But after a while, his dependence for some type of pain-alleviating drug had increased while his tolerance had done the opposite. Inevitably, he needed more of whatever he was taking to get the same effects, but he didn't want to accidentally O.D. That fear of possibly not waking up, the same fear he had whenever going into a match knowing there was a high possibility he could be knocked out cold, and permanently, was enough to keep him at least somewhat in check. But he tried to take them as often as he could. He planned it out, and while waiting, he thought about them.

Maybe he needed something stronger. Something his system wasn't used to and wasn't trying to fight. He didn't acknowledge the very likely possibility that he had a general intolerance for the stuff. Instead he thought that maybe if he purged, this feeling would go away, but at the same time, in the back of his mind he knew that it would give him an excuse to take more. As he sipped on his water, which was now gone for the most part, he realized it was his turn to speak. "Yeah," he said with a groan that probably seemed to stem from the fact that they were talking about groan-worthy Brooke, and not the actual fact that he was starting to feel like shit. "Yeah, I know." Killens raked his brain for something valuable to say. Told himself to focus on something else, but his mind kept driving back to the situation at hand. His outward demeanor didn't accurately reflect how poor he was starting to feel. Slightly green, a little tenser and a bit distracted, but that was about it. Nothing else hinting towards the panicky, cramped sensation that he was in. He could have been psyching himself out, or he could have just been used to not showing much to reveal when he was in any kind of pain.

"Brooke is..." he said as he tried thinking of some fitting adjective and ultimately coming up short. Brooke, as a whole, was difficult. When it came to her personality and when it came to things like figuring her out, which he'd ultimately stopped trying to do a while ago, although sometimes he found himself still trying to pinpoint her. There was a time when like most of the people in the basement now, he strongly disliked her. Her confrontational personality made that easy, he knew. But he also knew that she was human, and he genuinely did believe her to be a good person despite her snarky comments and rough demeanor. He wasn't immune to her spite, though, as it was clear that Nick wasn't either. But after being on both sides of the fence, he had a feeling that any harm she posed to him wasn't malicious the way he perceived it before they were friends. Maybe it was foolish, maybe her intentions had changed as their relationship had, and then again maybe it was wrong. Still, he told himself that at this point she wasn't going to go out of her way to really try to hurt him. He knew that would also be extended to Nick. But still, knowing this, he found himself wondering on multiple occasions why she did behave the way she did, even towards him. After being friends for so long, he figured he didn't deserve any mistreatment, which now mostly came in the form of a mean jab should he anger her. It was frustrating, but it was also very involved, and at the end of the day he could really only blame himself for maintaining a friendship. But the point was that even after all the bad, there was still some good in her that prevented him from walking away. He knew, just as Nick knew, that there was some human in her, and maybe that was what fostered the excuses for some of her actions, even when they probably shouldn't be excused. There were years behind them that played a large role too, but there was also the simple fact that he did think there was something more to her that Roman couldn't really explain. Perhaps it was that lack of knowledge coupled with the good she's displayed that kept him still, but sometimes he wondered if even Brooke knew why she was the way he was. "Brooke is something. I think she knows all of this, she just..." He was quiet as he sought after the right words to use. "Chooses different avenues. I don't know."

Which was true, but also the only thing he really felt safe saying with these kinds of things. He didn't want to trash talk Brooke, which he knew Nick wasn't trying to do, but he also never really liked talking on subjects he didn't know well. And while he thought he knew Brooke well enough, he didn't know everything, and he wouldn't try to speak on it too much unless he had any real input, of which, today, he did not. Before he could get any farther into the conversation, his nausea reintroduced itself as he chewed on the chicken tender. He was eating as characteristically slow as usual, but the nearly fully plate of food was due to the fact that with each bite, he could feel his stomach cringe. His mouth had become acidic, and in one swift motion he spat the masticated chicken into a napkin before sliding out of the booth. "I'll be back," he said before disappearing into the bathroom. After five minutes he'd vomited some contents, but mostly air. It didn't take him long to situate himself since he never really allowed himself to get too preoccupied with things like this. He'd learned to move on quickly to the point that it was habitual for him to not want to dwell on any discomfort for long. So when he finally exited the bathroom, the nausea was still there in large, although some of his queasiness had gone. He sat across from Nick, reaching into his pocket before waiting for an answer. "Do you care to leave? I think this food kind of fucked me up. I'd get a sprite, but I don't feel like paying for it," he said as he pulled out exact change. Fiona hadn't come with the tab yet, understandable since the food just came out, but it was easy math to figure out how much it would cost. While he did want to leave because he was sure he could get a free soda off of Finn, he also wanted to get back so he could get to his pills.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
Nick was content leaving the topic of Brooklyn where it was, so even if Roman hadn't abruptly excused himself, he wouldn't have spoken much more on it. There wasn't anything else to say, really. Roman was right, Brooklyn knew whatever they had to say, and it was just pointless to continue ranting over. Sometimes it felt necessary to get it out, and Nick actually appreciated that Roman didn't always comment very much. They were both quiet people, but sometimes Nick liked to be the one speaking a lot, and just having someone listen. He didn't do it often, but since it was something he didn't get to indulge in frequently in his relationship with Brooklyn, it was nice to have Roman as an outlet in that respect. Only around five minutes passed since Roman left the table, but in that time Nick had managed to clean off his plate, and finish his drink too. A couple other tables had been seated since they got their food, so unfortunately for him, Fiona hadn't returned to refill his soda for what would have been the fifth time.

He wasn't paying much attention to that, though, because a minute after Roman had disappeared, a group of young guys entered. They were all in their late teens, and Nick quickly recognized them as being a group of NYU freshman students that he had started selling to the month before. He was lucky to have a fair amount of connections on college campuses in the city, because while college kids actually tended to have less money than the high school kids he sold to, a lot of them were willing to put up their last dollar for a joint over something they actually needed. Nick knew the feeling (though there was a difference between the money that these kids parents gave them regularly running out, and him actually being homeless), but being a fair person, Nick had sold to these guys with the promise that they'd pay him the next week, when their parents sent more money. Well, that week came and went, and the fifty dollars that he was owed never made its way to him. In fact, none of the boys answered Nick's calls or texts. Fifty dollars wasn't the end of the world, and losing clients was annoying, but when they tried to fuck him over to begin with, it wasn't actually a real hit to his business. It pissed him off, considering he was trying to be a nice guy and all, but he moved on. Had anyone done this to him years back, when he was heavily involved in the real drug game, they would've had their skulls bashed in, regardless of it being a small sum of money, but Nick was over that stage in his life. He thought he would move on, being seeing their smug faces enter the diner before they spotted him irked him. He wasn't going to beat the living hell out of them like he wanted to, but he'd get his money back.

"I ordered another burger," Nick said when Roman suggested they leave. It wasn't true. Fiona hadn't been back to the table once, despite Nick's plate sitting vacantly at the end of the table. "So you go on. Just leave money for your share and I'll take care of the check and all when I finish." His tone remained easy and normal, partly because he didn't want Roman to feel like there was anything going on, to a point where he would stick around, and partly because Nick actually wasn't going to get enraged over this. So long as he got his money, he'd be fine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

0.00 INK

Image
After letting out an amused exhale when Nick said he'd ordered extra food, Roman slid him his portion of the check and got up, giving Nick a departing pat on the shoulder as he left. Unlike on the way, the cool air was refreshing this time around. The crisp of the season tickled beneath his nose, but was quickly interrupted with the coming of vehicular exhaust and fresh asphalt. New York was a place of many people, sights, and--sometimes unfortunately--smells. His stomach was still unsettled as he walked back to Finn's, but inevitably he'd approached a pretzel stand, and inevitably he'd wanted one. It was one of his staples, and at this point he was sure 90% of him consisted of salt and dough. Had he not wasted money back at the restaurant, he would have indulged himself, but he wasn't entirely sure when he'd be working next, and he didn't want to use up all of his money so soon. If he was lucky, he might be able to get something small at Finn's. Like fries or something. Food was probably the best thing for him right now, as his stomach was holding nothing but the painkillers he'd taken not too long ago which were the reason for his nausea and slight vertigo. The sensation wasn't too overwhelming, as this had happened before, namely because he didn't like eating straight after waking. For once, he did wake up hungry, but had waited too long to put something in his body before the pills took effect.

When he was last in the basement, no one was really there, which was somewhat unusual. He was hoping it would be the same when he got there, but held onto his doubt the same way he held down the bile rising up his throat. When the ground took a sudden spin beneath his feet, he decided to sit down. Finn's was just a block or so away by this point, but he was convinced that if he kept going he'd vomit or succumb to the vertigo. For ten minutes, he sat and just breathed, catching bits and pieces of people's conversation as they passed. Roman reached into his pocket and lit a cigarette, wondering why he hadn't done so before. Immediately he could feel his body reacting, rewarding him for the damage he was ultimately doing to it. He picked up the habit when he was about seventeen. Or was he sixteen? It didn't matter really. He was starting to feel a bit more like himself, and as he looked in the direction of the bar, he figured he could make it, but decided to continue sitting because it was a nice day, and really he was just feeling lazy. The basement could get cramped very quickly, and although it was a place to sleep, he wouldn't really call it home; too little space for too many people with too many problems. It was why he went out when he could, just for the sake of being out really. There were obviously more people around him when he was out in the city, but the cluttered streets were a norm by this point, so they could easily be ignored, and it still felt more spacious out here--more anonymous.

As he was finishing his cigarette, a woman came and sat next to him on the bench. Although he was the only other person on it, she chose to sit closer to the middle, which was by default too close to him. He didn't refrain himself from cutting her a look, wondering why she couldn't scoot over. While he was being dramatic, and arguably just moody, he didn't think so. He liked his space and didn't understand why the woman was sitting that damn close when there was room on the side of the bench. This and the fact that he was done with his cigarette was enough to get him onto his feet and moving back towards the bar. Besides the little situation back there, the trip to Finn's was relatively solitary, and therefore relatively pleasant. The next couple of minutes to the pub passed peacefully and unbothered until he entered the slightly stuffy atmosphere of Finn's. It was no busier or emptier than it usually was, he noticed as he walked towards farthest end of the bar, a couple of seats from an older man with a scraggly beard and deep, protruding eye bags. He locked eyes with Finn and nodded him over. As he waited, he saw Kiara and Tee sitting in a both on the other side of the room. He sighed inwardly as he knew that wherever Tee was, Holly couldn't be too far, but as he glanced around, he didn't see--or more importantly--hear her. It was strange, but he didn't focus on it for too long, mostly because he didn't care, and and also because Finn had come to him. "What?"

"Can you spot me a sprite?" Roman said. Finn grumbled under his breath some before leaving and returning with a sprite. "Thanks," he said, beginning to wonder if he should've just leeched a drink off Finn instead of soda, although the former probably wasn't the greatest of choices. This made him think of Brooke, who was honestly just an alcoholic in denial, but was the reason why he half expected to see her at the bar. If she wasn't downstairs or out and about, it wasn't out of the ordinary to see her up here having a drink, although she had a steady supply for herself. This made him get off the stool after deciding to try his luck finding her. He wanted a drink because his unsettled state was putting him in a sort of mood. He'd take it with some pills to amp the effect, that was if Brooke wasn't in a stingy mood, or if she was even here. He had half the mind to ask Kiara or Tee if they knew, but he continued towards the back without doing so. As he opened the door to the basement, he was greeted with the sound of Holly's hyper, enthusiastic voice. He mentally prepared himself--which involved him trying to tune her out while he could and even considering going back upstairs--as he sipped on his sprite some more and went down the steps. First he noticed Isaac in his respective part of the basement, and Colton sleeping in his own. As Killens passed, he gave Isaac a quick nod of acknowledgement. If he'd been trying to pay attention, he would have noticed on the way down that the other voice besides Holly's belonged to Cara, but it had escaped him. "Hey, Brooke," he said as he turned the corner of the wall that separated Nick and Brook's space from the rest of the basement. He saw Holly leaning over Brooke on her bed, not unsurprisingly, but he also saw Cara trying to pull her away. What the bloody hell? Had he not spoken, he would've quietly turned around and left, but it was a bit too late for that. Instead, he recovered quickly and hovered against the wall, waiting for whatever was happening in front of him to be be finished so he could talk to Brooke, whom he was giving a look that could only be translated into "What the fuck is going on?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

Image
After Roman was gone, Nick waited a few more minutes in his booth, paid their check and thanked Fiona for the service. His interactions with her were still distant, and especially now so that Roman had pointed out that she was flirting with him, and since he had bigger issues to deal with. After she finished taking the boys' orders at their table, Nick headed towards them and casually slid into their booth, not minding as he shoved one of the kids farther in as he did so.

"Funny seeing you around here, Evan," Nick said, a relaxed smile on his face as he stretched his arms back comfortably in the booth. "Usually when my customers don't give me the money they owe me, it's because they died or ended up in prison before they could get it to me. And yet... here you are," he said with faked confusion. "I was eating lunch with my friend when I saw you mosey in here. Is this the new hangout spot or something?"

"Oh, uh, Nick, man, hey!" one of the kids stuttered. The startled expression on his face made Nick want to laugh. In all of his years dealing, Nick did think that he earned a reputation of someone to be feared, but none of the people he currently dealt to knew that side of him. In fact, no one that he kept in contact with, aside from Roman and Brooklyn, knew that he had three men's blood on his hands. It was a part of him that he swore he would never return to, but he still found it to be somewhat amusing how much of his younger, inexperienced clientele seemed to instinctively associate drug dealers with violence. Apparently, it was something that they hadn't considered when cutting him off months ago without paying him, but the terror that was evident in the kid's expression told Nick that he knew he would be getting his money. "It's weird that I would see you here, because I was just telling the guys how I needed to find out how to get your number. The thing was that my phone got lost, and I couldn't recover my contacts or any--"

"You think I'm stupid, kid?" he interjected, readjusting himself quickly to be leaning against the table with his elbows. "Because, you know, I don't fucking appreciate it when little fucking punks like you take advantage of me doing 'em a favor."

"Man, it's not even like that. I swear, I would ha--"

"You owe me one hundred dollars. I want my fucking money." His voice was much sharper now, but his facial expression transformed from being cold and hard, into a smile when Fiona passed by, likely to check up on them before a glass at another table fell, and she continued past without stopping. The group had only actually owed him fifty dollars, but Nick thought that it was necessary to double the cost now that they had tried to screw him over. It would go down as an interest sort of cost.

Although Nick had been selling to three of the boys, he focused in on Evan. He remembered him as being the leader of the pack, and yet now, his confidence disappeared and he looked more squeamish than the other two. Perfect. "I- uh... I don't have any cash on me right now. Can we meet up later? I swear I'll come through with the money."

Nick could have sworn that the younger boy's hands were shaking as he scrambled to pull out his wallet to physically show Nick that it was empty aside from some credit cards and IDs. That, along with Evan's words, had Nick chuckling sardonically. "Come on, bro. You know I'm done playing that shit with you. There's an ATM across the street. You've got three minutes." Nick didn't even need to finish the threat, because the boys exchanged glances and the one next to Evan quickly got up to allow him to exit the booth. "That's what I thought," he smirked, turning back to the two remaining boys. "So, how are you guys liking New York?"
--
Around forty-five minutes later, Nick was back at the bar, and had chosen a table away from the bar since he wasn't really in the mood for general bar conversation. He was definitely in a good mood now. Though the tough guy act had been a bit of an act, he didn't feel bad for pulling it on those kids. It wasn't like he was doing it to steal from them or intimidate them into doing anything wrongfully. He was simply getting what was owed to him, and setting an example for any of those kids' friends who he sold to. After spending a hefty sum earlier that day picking up his load of drugs, having an extra hundred in his pocket made him feel a lot better about where he stood financially at the moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Lateefah Ekwensi-Hart Character Portrait: Kiara Moore Character Portrait: Colton King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester

0.00 INK

Location: Manhattan, NY
Date: Friday, October 16th 2015
Time: 10:00 PM