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Nick Moreno

0 · 1,012 views · located in New York

a character in “A New York Life”, as played by Collapse

Description

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Name:
Nicolas Christian Moreno

Nickname:
Nick

Age:
24

Birthday:
January 24th

Sexuality:

Heterosexual

Hometown:
Los Angeles, California (0-2 years old)
New York, New York (2 years old-Current)

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Personality:
One of Nick's most notable features is that he carries a very relaxed and chill vibe to him. He's not the kind of person who gets stressed out very easily, and he likes to take things as they come and deal with them in the moment. He isn't one to plan ahead or worry about details, and he often just feels like things work out in the end, so there's no use in planning for them or becoming anxious over every last detail. Additionally, he's also a pretty flexible person. He's not strongly opinionated on most things and he won't argue with people about anything that doesn't impact him in an extreme manner. Given that, Nick isn't a hard person to get along with. He usually doesn't bother people that don't bother him, and has a tendency to appreciate silence and solitude, so it would be a rare occasion that he would deserve to be called "annoying". He tends to live in his head a lot, and though he's quiet, he's often thinking a lot more than he's willing to vocalize. While he was always an average student and would never be called intelligent more than the next person, he's not brainless. He thinks deeply and has an appreciation for philosophy, poetry, and art. It's not something he often vocalizes, simply because he's not the type to go around talking about his hobbies and interests, but they're there nonetheless.

There are some things that will set him off, and the top one would definitely be people hurting the ones that he loves. He has thick skin and isn't easily riled up when people attack his own character, but he can't stand to see people hurt the people he prides himself in protecting. He definitely has those instincts to look out for and protect people, and once he feels like he can relate and connect with you, he likely views you as a friend. Even people he only knows through his sales are often people he would consider to be friends. He isn't the type of friend who will be calling you daily to check in, but there's still something to appreciate about someone who will comp your weed if he knows you're having a bad day, or who will beat the shit out of someone who's been messing with you. Nick's that kind of guy... the type who doesn't always make his love for people well-known in obvious senses, but does hold his close relationships with people high up on his priorities list.

To an extent, his personality can probably, at least somewhat, be attributed to how much weed he smokes. Growing up, he was always a lot more goofy and energetic. Aging probably took some of that away, but the weed also helps him maintain his more stoic and calm demeanor. It's not something that he minds, really, because he loves being high, but he also is aware that when he's sober (which isn't often, lately), he has a lot more energy and interest in actually being productive than he does high. He does feel like he's stuck in a phase, where he started using marijuana as a coping method, and has now stuck with it out of routine and convenience. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't an expensive habit and if he didn't feel like just laying around and eating for more than half of the day. Right now, Nick doesn't have the need or motivation to break the habit, but surprisingly, he does have attributions and goals underneath all of the nonchalance and carelessness. He's just not sure what those goals are, exactly, at this point, but he does feel like he has the potential to do bigger and better things, and he knows that cutting down on his smoking would be a good first step in figuring them out.

ImageHistory:
Nick was the product of a one night stand between two teenagers who barely knew each other. His mother was a high school senior and his father was the older brother of one of her friends, who happened to be at the same party as her one night. They slept together and thought that that would be it, but the summer after she graduated, she found out that she was three months pregnant. She had slept with various boys that spring, so it wasn't until Nick was born that a paternity test was conducted and his father's identity came to light. Neither his mother nor his father's family could afford to take care of another child, and it wasn't like either of the young adults wanted that responsibility, but his father's parents refused to see a grandson of theirs be dumped into the foster care system. They legally adopted him, and for most of his childhood, he actually thought that they were his parents. It wasn't until he was a pre-teen that they explained their true relationship to him, and though it was odd and startling for such a revelation to be revealed, and shake up what he thought was his reality, he wasn't incredibly bothered by it. It didn't change how much he cared for them.

Two years after he was born, his grandparents closed up the bodega that they owned in Los Angeles and reopened it in Brooklyn, New York, where they raised Nick. Nick's family was always a part of the working class, so he never had much, but it was always more than enough for him. He was never a kid who asked for much, and he was happy with the small group of friends he had. He was an average student in school and planned on going to community college after high school, but his grandparents both passed away, three months apart during his senior year of high school, and it wasn't something that he could recover from right away. It sent him into a depression, and that was when he turned to drugs as his vice to get by. One thing led to another, and the forty grand his grandparents had left him as inheritance was gone within two years of him losing them. He took up dealing drugs to keep up with his marijuana habit and make cash to get by too. He spent a while couch hopping from friends apartments, once his inheritance ran dry, and worked as a busy boy part time, too. Once he really started claiming ground with his dealing, however, he was making enough money to pay the rent, and have some spending money leftover. He currently prioritizes his drug dealing as his main way of making a living, but he does bounce around through other entry level jobs too, and is currently working in the kitchen of Olive Garden in Times Square.

So begins...

Nick Moreno's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver

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Thursday, November 26th, 2015 | 11:00 AM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Three weeks ago, Nick and Brooklyn had one of their weekly arguments. It wasn't abnormal, no matter how loud he yelled and how close she got to throwing one of Cara's nice wine glasses at his face. The two of them engaged in fights like that far too frequently for Brooklyn to have expected that following that, he would go and sleep with Cara. Now, she wanted to slap herself for being so dumb, for being naive enough to really believe that Nick was a loyal boyfriend. After four years together, she thought that she knew Nick better than he knew himself, but that clearly was not the case. What shocked her even more was that ir wasn't Nick, or even Cara who came clean about their little night together. It was the last person who Brooke would ever guess would be on her side - Makayla. Before that day, two weeks ago, the girls only interacted with each other through mutual glares in the hallway, and Brooklyn telling her that she was going to kill Holly if she bothered her once more. After finding out, she didn't stab Nick or Cara like she wanted to do. She never brought it up, and when Nick apologized for the fight, she smiled and pretended like everything was okay. She thought that she could pretend for as long as it took for her to figure out what she wanted to do next, but it was now two weeks since Makayla told her, she still didn't know what to do, and her patience with herself and him was wearing thin. Brooklyn wished it was as simple as just breaking up with him, and the logical part of her brain wanted to do that, but her heart didn't. As cheesy as it sounded, Brooklyn loved Nick, and it was something that she wasn't sure she could give up yet. She had never opened up to anyone like she did with him, and she was sure that if she lost this, she would convince herself to never open up to anyone else again either.

"What do you want to see tonight?" Brookyn asked, swirling her straw around in her can of soda as she peered across the pizzeria's table at Nick. It was a tradition of theirs that every Thanksgiving and Christmas, they would get a cheap dinner and see a movie. Neither of them had families to go home to anymore, and it seemed better to completely start their own tradition than to try to be traditional with just the two of them. Even now, when they were no longer living in a basement and actually had the means to have a real home cooked meal, it seemed better to just stick to what they were used to. Not only was Brooklyn not someone who would ever attempt to cook like that, but since finding out that Cara was a complete and utter slut, Brooke had done her best to stay out of the apartment as much as she could. She could pretend to not know with Nick because she had genuine feelings for him, but her old friendship with Cara was not meaningful enough for her to not come close to punching her every time she saw her. "That James Bond movie? I think that's supposed to be good," she added, pulling her gaze away from him to take a bite of her pizza.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Nick knew he had screwed up the minute he had pressed his lips against Cara's, but that intuition wasn't enough to stop him from sleeping with her that night three weeks ago. He had been so angry with Brooklyn and so tired of the constant fighting. After years of that, he needed something new to make him feel alive, and there was Cara, and he went for it. It wasn't a healthy way to cope with his anger and a bad fight, but nothing about his relationship with Brooklyn was healthy anyway and that night, he didn't care. He was feeling so reckless and out of control that if he hadn't indulged in sex with Cara, he probably would have drank himself to death or used hard drugs or jumped off a building. It had really been that bad, or at least he continued to tell himself that now... that what he had done with Cara was inevitable and the best option that was on the table that night. He wished he was able to believe it on days like this, where he was sober and hanging out with Brooklyn and completely weighed down with the guilt or knowing that he had done something very wrong. He felt like he should tell her, but he also knew that that would be catastrophic. Sleeping with Cara had been a mistake, or so he thought it had been, but if Brooklyn found out about it, Nick thought that she would never speak to him again. No excuse he had would be good enough to redeem himself and he didn't want to lose her like that.

Since that night with Cara, he tried to overcompensate by being with Brooklyn as much as possible. He would go out in the early morning or late at night when she was working to do make his drug deals, and tried to always be available to hang out. He would be the one to suggest nicer places to eat, or getting the more expensive thing on a menu, even though he didn't make enough money to actually live that recklessly. He had even gone to the extent to fill out a few job applications at retail stores in the area, knowing that the fact that he didn't have a reputable job was one of the biggest complaints on her list for him. He didn't know if it was obvious that he was doing more to compensate for betraying her, but he couldn't relax and feel comfortable around her if he wasn't trying too hard. Strangely, he preferred that volatile relationship they had before than this one.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, that one would be cool with me, but I'll see anything. Whatever you want," he smiled, her voice pulling him out of his thoughts. He had finished his two slices of pizza and can of Coke within five minutes of them sitting down, so he was just waiting on her to finish. It wasn't like he was in any sort of rush, though. They had no where else to go, and Brooklyn had said that she wanted to head back to the apartment after they ate. Normally, he wouldn't have minded but he really had been doing his best to avoid Cara as much as possible, especially when he was with Brooklyn. Cara agreed to keep it a secret, but he still didn't want to feel any more awkward or guilty than he already did. "What do you say about maybe spending the night at a hotel?" He knew it was a stupid idea. Hotel prices in the city skyrocketed on holidays like today, but he also knew that Cara was going to be in the apartment all night, hosting a little party that she would probably expect them to attend if they were there. Avoiding that anxiety was worth depleting his small savings fund if that was what it was going to take.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Brooklyn finished off the slice of pizza that she had ordered as Nick spoke. Her gaze switched between the food, to him when she looked at him imploringly. "A hotel? Are you crazy? Rent is due in a week, and you want to blow hundreds of dollars on a hotel room? Why?" Surprisingly, her voice remained calm, and actually more curious than belittling. Since finding out about Nick's affair, Brooklyn did evaluate herself. She wasn't the type of person who ever took responsibility for her actions, and she still felt like no matter what, Nick wasn't justified to step out on her like she did, but she wondered if she was really that bad of a girlfriend where she could push him to do something like that. At this point, she was over that insecure phase and didn't think it mattered even if she was that bad, but it had caused her to be a little bit softer over the past two weeks. She kept herself from snapping at him for things that normally would have pissed her off, and she spoke less in general. She wanted him to be able to tell that something was off without her having to reveal that she knew what he did. With her change came a change in the way he was treating her too, which threw off the entire normal balance of their relationship. He seemed present more, not only just physically, but mentally. She wasn't sure if it was that he was smoking less, or that he was just trying to be nicer to make up for what he did, but it was different. If she didn't know that he was doing it to compensate for cheating on her, she would have appreciated. This Nick was the kind of Nick she wanted to be with, and in her mind, if he was always like this, she wouldn't have a reason to get some angry and aggressive with him.

"Now that we have an apartment, we don't need that." Had it been a year ago when they were living in an unfinished basement under a pub, with Roman, the idea of spending a night in a hotel would have been enticing. A clean, warm bed, a nice, hot shower and the privacy would have been welcomed. Now, they had all three of those things. The apartment they shared with three other people wasn't completely private and Brooklyn was sure that everyone could hear what was going on in their room through the thin walls, but it was enough privacy for her to be content. "Didn't you say that Cara was doing something? Having Makayla and Holly over or something? We could always do that before our movie. I don't mind seeing a late night movie, and I'm sure she's ordering food in from some fancy place," she smiled, reaching across the table to squeeze his hand. "Might as well take advantage of it." She was finished with her food at that point, so she tossed her napkins, plate and empty can onto the bright orange tray it had been served on and stood up. "Let me text Roman and make sure he's okay. I haven't seen him in like, three days, honestly," Brooklyn said as she moved a few feet away to dump their tray in the garbage. It wasn't abnormal to go a day or two without seeing Roman. He didn't always come back to the apartment, especially on nights when he was fighting. Brooklyn worked late nights too, so on the days following those nights, she could sleep until three in the afternoon. Sometimes, their schedules didn't match up, and it wasn't something that was a big deal but Roman would always be someone that Brooke cared about, even if she didn't act that way.

To: Roman
are you alive?????

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester

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"Definitely not," Chanel said in response to Cara about Black Friday after the girl had promptly smashed it. For a moment, Chanel wasn't sure what Cara meant, but then it clicked. When she was a teenager, she used to make a big deal out of it and would want to get up as soon as she could so she could go shopping with her mom and aunts and cousins. It was kind of a family thing. Of course, many times her mother didn't want to get up early, and Chanel would always complain that the good sales were gone. She had never done it in New York, and quite frankly she was a little scared to, but if Cara was interested, she wouldn't have minded going. Pittsburgh was a big place, but there was a lot more in New York City. Asides from, going on her own would be pretty depressing. It'd just remind her of her not being with her parents, who she honestly did miss, but at the same time didn't want really want to be around. All in all, it was for the first that she spent tomorrow slightly hungover and in bed watching Netflix all day. "Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't know what to get. I've been pretty bad with the whole gift-giving this year."

Despite her selfish tendencies, Chanel really did like giving people presents. Maybe not as much as she liked receiving them, but there was a unique joy and pleasure she got from stressing out at the mall and trying to envision the recipient getting the gift and determining if they would really like it. Of course, this in turn only spoke to her own personality and how she was actually taking the meaning out of Christmas by making a big deal out of presents. She tended to place too much value on material things, which in turn made this time of the year quite the hassle, especially with her being such a procrastinator. Chanel was quite used to living up to her parents expectations, of people thinking very highly of her, and she wallowed in that view, but she also crashed under it. However, that wasn't going to stop her from going to five different stores only to wind up at the first one she went to to get the 'perfect present' this year, just as it didn't stop her in previous ones. One of the reasons she enjoyed present shopping was because she got an excuse to go shopping. She could finally be reckless and not get judged because everyone was making stupid purchases around this time. In a way, she shopped for herself when she went out for others' gifts. She tended to get them what she thought they needed, but she would always convince herself that it was something that they really wanted, even if it wasn't entirely true.

"So have you officially invited Nick?" Chanel said, a bit randomly. She adjusted the hat on her head, now cursing the fact that she'd even put it on. It was bound to cause frizz, and since it was made out of cotton, it was going to soak up every ounce of moisture she had it in after her frying session this morning. "I mean, Nick without Brooke, because if you did, I'd love to know how you went about that since I can't really see him not bringing his girlfriend." They walked a bit more, Chanel now remembering that she needed to pick up some gloves. She had some back at the apartment, but she couldn't find them and it was a lot easier to just find another pair that she really wanted. Useless spending was was part of the Christmas spirit anyway, and she wasn't want to kill the holiday mood, even if it meant doing so to her credit score. "And you can shut me up with this next part if you want, but I will warn you that your attempts will be useless, but...does he know you're crushing? I mean, do you know you're crushing? Like, I don't blame you. That boy is a god send with that jawline and his everything else, but...I don't know. I'm just trying to vicariously live through your slightly movie-esque love triangle to make up for my lack of a life life, I guess," she said while wiping away a fake tear. "But Brooke is really pretty too," she said after another moment. She didn't realize that she was beginning to talk just to talk, but by this point it was really too late. She had woken up a bit more, and as she rubbed her hands together, her mood was brightening a lot more, especially with prospect of a fairly interesting, albeit somewhat shallow, topic."Your roommates are actually pretty attractive, Cara. Even the heroin addict is all right from a certain light. A very dim one, but a certain light nonetheless. You know who else is really cute on our hall? Collin. His parents did good on that one. I think him and Marie are having a little fling, though, because he's been over in the morning a few times. So I guess he's off limits as well. Maybe I'll just marry my pillow or something, I don't know."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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#, as written by Writer
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{Written with Bandit}
Holly ended up only requesting toast a couple more times before agreeing to just eat her cereal instead. She was a slow eater, mostly because she got so easily distracted and ended up talking more than eating, so before she was halfway done with the bowl, the Fruit Loops had gotten soggy and she wouldn't finish it. She wasn't hungry anyway, and after a bite of Makayla's toast, she was ready to move on from breakfast as a whole. "Let's bake," she insisted, hopping off of her seat and heading towards the counter where the box of cupcake mix sat. She had chosen the Funfetti mix at the store, but they didn't have the funfetti icing to go with it, so she had to settle for plain vanilla frosting. While she preferred vanilla over chocolate, she was still convinced that someone was going to be upset that Makayla refused to buy both vanilla and chocolate icing.

Makayla had put two pieces of toast into the toaster but barely finished one piece, including the bite Holly took out of it, by the time her sister was apparently finished with eating and ready to move onto the next thing. Marijuana usually made her more tired than she already was, and that wasn't going to help her feel any less washed out today, but she couldn't get her mind off of the drug today. She didn't have energy on most days, but at least when she was high she felt lighter somehow. She would still feel tired, but it was like she didn't care as much about all of her problems. As she finished up her last piece of toast, she sent a text message to Nick, and responded to Holly. "Alright, get the eggs from the bottom shelf," she said, still eating as she nodded towards the fridge. "And then get the oil from the cabinet, and the measuring cup from the drawer over there," she continued. She knew she would have to stand up at some point to make sure that Holly didn't put the entire egg in the batter or something, but she really was really very fatigued suddenly.

To: Nick
can you hook a girl up for $5 :)? friend discount or something?

As soon as Makayla directed her to where the ingredients were, Holly began to search for them. Their refrigerator always had a good amount of food in it, but Holly knew that she was basically forbidden from touching anything that wasn't on the shelf that Makayla put their things on. It didn't stop her from occasionally testing out an organic drink that Chanel would bring home, or something cool that Marie would keep in stock, but she never did it to "steal". She just didn't seem the harm in it, especially when it never seemed like anyone else cared about money or wasting food as much as Makayla did. "How much do I pour in?" she asked, looking back towards the table once she had retrieved the ingredients.

For a moment, Makayla felt guilty for wasting money on drugs. She didn't think it was wasting money, since it was the one thing that kept her sane, but she sometimes felt like it was wrong of her to spend money on it when she could have been chipping in towards the cable bill, or offering more money to Cara whenever she looked after Holly. She didn't feel guilty enough to retract the request from Nick though, so she just set her phone back down as she looked towards Holly. "I don't know, Holls. Bring me the box."

"Are your legs broken?" she asked with a grin, though she eagerly returned to the table with the box, along with the measuring cup and the oil. Holly wasn't good academically, but even out of school, things that involved math and reading didn't go over well with her. She was definitely insecure about it, so a part of her failure was probably tied in with her overthinking things and getting nervous, but she just wasn't good at the subjects in general. Her dyslexia would make it impossible to pour the oil to the right level in the cup, no matter how hard she tried to remember and match the number up with what Makayla said, so it was easier just to have her do it for her.

"I'm tired!" Makayla groaned, shooting her sister a deviant smirk when she suggested she was being lazy by not walking over to her. "Let's take a nap and then we'll bake. I'm too tired to do this now." She expected the response that came a beat later, but it was worth a shot by trying. "Nooo, I want to make them now. They won't be ready in time for Thanksgiving if we wait," Holly objected, extending her hand to grab Makayla's arm to pull her to her feet. "And Chanel said Cara loves vanilla, so she's going to be so disappointed if we don't make them, okay?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Brooklyn was right, going to a hotel was a stupid idea. He just couldn't bare the thought of being in that apartment all night, knowing that Cara would be there and in a socializing mood. It wasn't like there was a chance that she would be out with friends, or working, or in her room all night. He knew for a fact that she was going to be there hosting at least Makayla and Holly, and that meant that it was going to be hard for he and Brooklyn to get away with staying in their room all night too. Nick trusted that Cara would never say anything, especially to Brooklyn, because everyone seemed to think that Brooklyn was the kind of girl who would knife you in your sleep if you did her wrong, but he was still nervous. Cara and Brooklyn were friends, or at least friendly, and he wondered if girl code would kick in at some point and Cara would confess to Brooklyn before he did, making her seem like the good friend and him like the horrible boyfriend. He hated knowing that someone had something that they could potentially use against him, and that made him want to talk to Cara again just to make sure she was still okay with keeping her mouth shut. If he did that, though, he knew he would feel even more guilty, because than there was no way to deny to himself that somehow this wasn't that bad, because he would be blatantly trying to hide and cover up for it. He knew that he should just come clean to Brooklyn, but that meant the relationship (and possibly his life, if she was in a crazy mood) would be over, and he really didn't want to lose her. The stress of it all made his chest feel tight and his head heavy.

"Uh, yeah, I think she might have mentioned that," he responded, rubbing the back of his neck as she brought up Cara's Thanksgiving get together. "We could do that if you want. I'm down." He was really trying not to seem distant and unsure of himself, so he smiled and returned the gentle squeeze she gave his hand, hoping that it didn't seem as forced and robotic as it felt.

When Brooklyn got up to throw out her food, Nick sent out a few texts to some of his customers who he needed to make deliveries to tomorrow, responded to Makayla's text and sent one to Roman as well. Roman was his closest friend but their relationship was never demanding. Nick rarely ever noticed when Roman didn't come home for a couple of days at a time because he wasn't the kind of friend to smother anyone. They gave each other their space, but if Brooklyn was bothered by it this time, Nick now felt like he should be too, and figured that sending a text to Roman couldn't hurt.

To: Roman
You've got Brooke worried lol u alright? Wanna catch a movie with us later? I think we're seeing spectre? And I picked up a ton of bud from my supplier last night so I'll probably light up w Makayla when I get back if you're in the mood

To: Makayla
Of course. I just refilled my supply and cara hasn't been a bitch lately lol so I don't think I'll need to store it in ur room for now but I'll drop something off when i get back. U gonna be around all day?

"Yeah, you know, I haven't seen him in a while either. He might have mentioned that he had a fight last night or the night before, but I'm not sure. I texted him too, but I doubt he's even awake at this hour," he said with a shrug as he got up and followed her towards the door to leave. When they stepped outside, the brisk fall air caught him off guard, but he didn't really mind it. His black leather jacket was surprisingly insulated, and the pizzeria had felt like a sauna anyway. "Anywhere else you wanna go before we head back?" he asked, tucking one of his hands into his jacket pocket and wrapping the other arm around her waist. He didn't have anywhere that he needed to go, but he hoped she would think of something, just to stall going back to the apartment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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"Good point," Brooklyn said, tucking her phone back into her bag when Nick reminded her that Roman was probably still asleep and wouldn't respond because of it. She couldn't cut him down for sleeping in late, because she did the same on most days. They both primarily worked at night until the early hours of the morning, so they couldn't be blamed for not being morning people. She wouldn't count on him responding, but it was one more reason for why she said, ""Nope, let's just head back," when Nick asked if she had anywhere else to go. She really didn't have anything else that she needed to do, but she also was curious to see if Roman was back and if so, what his plans were for the day. They had known each other for a few Thanksgivings, but since Nick and Brooklyn mostly did their own thing on the holiday, it wasn't like the trio had established any traditions. This was the first year that they were living in an apartment, and sort of back in the real world again, so she was curious if he had anything planned for the night. She doubted it. Roman wasn't the type of guy who acted sentimental over things like this, especially considering that he seemed to identify with his British roots, so an American holiday likely didn't hold much value to him. She didn't know that Nick had invited him to see the movie with them, but it was a thought that was in her mind too.

"Do you ever worry about him?" she began as they started walking back to the apartment. "Roman? I know he's smart and he knows what he's doing and whatever, but I feel bad for him sometimes. Like, out of the three of us, he's the one who's the most lost?" She looked at Nick as she spoke, attempting to read his facial expression. To a lot of people, Nick was hard to read. He wasn't very expressive, tended to be quiet, and frequently kept to himself. He wasn't a hermit, but he just did his own thing. He was like that with Brooklyn sometimes too, where he seemed distracted or like his head was in the clouds, but she knew him well enough to know how to see past that and sense what he was feeling. Normally, she tried not to get deep like this. She and Nick had basically known Roman for the same amount of time, and she felt like she was just as close to him as Nick was, but in different ways. She wasn't Roman's mother and Nick wasn't his father. They were equals, and academically speaking, Roman was probably superior than both of them combined, but just on a friends level, she did sometimes worry about him. Brooklyn wasn't the type of person who was maternal or worrisome to a point where anyone would actually know, but she did care about her friends. To the few people she had opened up to since leaving home six years ago, she felt like she was a good friend, and even if the concerns were usually just verbalized in her mind, she did care and worry about them. She probably would never voice her concerns to Roman, but she didn't feel weird asking Nick about it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester

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(Collaboration with BurningBridges)


Nick took a moment to answer Brooklyn, trying to figure out what she meant, and then how to respond to it carefully. Roman wasn't an unusual or sensitive subject between them, but he was a mutual friend, and Nick didn't want to say anything that would come out wrong and get back to him. He knew that Roman wasn't outrageously sensitive either, and noticing all of this planning in his head made it more bothered with himself. It was like since the night with Cara, and the guilt that came with that, he couldn't help but to overthink every interaction he had with anyone. "I think... I think he's where he needs to be. I don't like the idea of him doing that shit either, but I guess the money's worth it for him. Worth it compared to whatever he'd make in a normal nine to five job." He knew that wasn't really true. It wasn't like Roman was rolling in money, but it was how he had survived for the past few years when his side jobs didn't work out. He wanted to add what he felt was more true, that not everyone was cut out to be real estate agents or teachers or nurses, and that even if Roman was destined for a more normal career down the line, maybe he needed this time to find himself, but he didn't. He knew that she would take it as him trying to claim that she was pushing him into something he didn't want to do, because Brooklyn had been the driving force behind him even trying to apply to normal jobs.

He was content with selling drugs. He didn't see himself doing it in his 30's or 40's, but Nick was a "live in the moment" kind of guy. He hated thinking about his future or how he was wasting away his youth when he should have been preparing for his future. It was just too much for him, but Brooklyn had been on him about it since they met, and after what he did with Cara, he felt like he was making up for it by finally looking for a real job. It was painful enough for him to do it, so he wasn't going to try to be some mentor telling Roman to get his act together when he didn't have his together. "I don't know, I think he'll find his way. Moving into the apartment was a good step for him. For all of us, really."

Brooklyn nodded, knowing that what Nick had said was probably true. Brooklyn's career wasn't conventional either, but at least she wasn't risking death every night by dancing on a pole like Roman was with his fighting. At the same time, it wasn't like she had any better job options to offer him, and if that was all he had to pay his rent, she couldn't expect him to just stop because it worried her. Especially not when she had never actually said anything to him about it. It just wasn't something that would come up with the relationship that she had with Roman. They were close friends, but serious things like that rarely came up in conversation. They usually kept it light, making jabs at each other, with Roman getting under her skin and her threatening to slap him if he didn't stop. "I feel like you should talk to him about it next time something like that comes up in the conversation. Bring up Marie, or someone he's slept with, and ask if he's looking for something serious. I know twenty-one is young to settle down, but a serious relationship might make him grow up a little bit. Learning about commitment and trusting people fully, you know?" She really did start the conversation with Roman's welfare in mind, but she couldn't help but to throw the last bit in with the same serious tone and expression she had on in the beginning. She didn't want to watch Nick squirm... but she did. "If he's there when we get back, hang out with him. I think I'll see if Cara needs any help with her little Thanksgiving party. I feel like I haven't actually hung out with her in a while, we need to have some girl time and catch up," she said, smiling then. Again, she made sure that her voice remained controlled, as if she didn't know anything and wasn't intentionally saying things to get a reaction out of Nick, but her eyes lingered on his face.

He nodded slightly when she mentioned hanging out with Roman, but verbalized an, "Okay, that works," a second after she brought up how she wanted to hang out with Cara. He did his best not to show it, but his stomach was in knots. Again, he didn't think that Cara was going to say anything to Brooklyn, and it wasn't like the blondes hadn't crossed paths at all in the last three weeks to a point where this would be the first time since that night, but it still made him nervous. "Lemme hit up Roman again," he muttered as pulled his hand out of his jacket pocket and grabbed his phone. The sight of Cara's name on his phone had his heart skip a beat. He knew it was worse to act suspicious and guilty, but he didn't know what her message was going to entail. With his luck, Brooklyn would be looking over his shoulder at the exact moment that Cara decided to be a crazy bitch and send him nudes or something. Luckily, as he slid the message open, it was just an invitation from Cara to eat with them that evening. He didn't even mention it to Brooklyn, and shot back a quick response as he sent another message to Roman.

To: Cara
cool sounds good.

To: Roman
lmk

The walk back to the apartment was only around ten minutes, and when they got inside, the first person they saw was Ryan who was sitting on the couch with his computer, watching television. "Hey Ryan," Nick said, offering the guy a small wave. The two definitely weren't close but Nick tried to be as polite as possible, considering that this had been his apartment before they moved in. "Is Roman home? Or your sister?" he asked, making sure to look back at Brooklyn at the second question, to somehow signal that he was asking for her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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#, as written by Bandit
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Makayla knew that there was no way that Holly was going to let her off the hook with baking these cupcakes, and absolutely no way that that she could convince her to sleep with her over baking them. It was worth a shot, but after Holly's pleads, Makayla got to her feet. "Alright, alright. We'll make them," she said, tying her dark hair back in a pony tail. "Wash your hands," she instructed, as she did so for herself first. She looked at the back of the cupcake box, reading the directions before setting them down. Her phone was on silent mode, but she noticed the screen light up and paused in her baking preperations to read it. When she saw it was Nick, her energy level jumped up a tiny bit. Knowing that she would have her weed shortly was the light at the end of the tunnel that she needed in that moment.

To: Nick
yesssss tysm. come over whenever. my roommates are out so we can smoke in my room.

She usually felt disrespectful smoking in the apartment because of the smell. No matter how much air freshener she sprayed after doing it, she was sure that the smell was still somewhat evident. She didn't think either girl had a major problem with drugs like Cara did, and she guessed that the two smoked once in a while themselves, but she didn't want to be that horrible roommate. Today, she really just didn't have the energy to care though. It didn't even bother her that she would be doing it with Holly in the other room, although she did know that getting Holly to stay out of their room while she did it was going to be a challenge. Normally when Makayla smoked with Nick, it was before or after she worked, which meant that Cara was taking care of Holly. It was hypocritical, but she did her best to be a good influence on Holly, and through that, the girl had developed a strong dislike for drugs or drug users. It helped that both of their parents had cared more for their drugs than them, but it didn't help Makayla's case since it made it all the more essential to make sure that Holly didn't catch her smoking. Drinking was another thing. At this point, she was over hiding her drinking from Holly. She just went with the saying that as long as you're twenty-one, it's fine to drink in moderation (with "moderation" sometimes meaning a bottle of vodka straight for Makayla).

While Holly washed her hands, Makayla grabbed a large bowl from the cabinet and a spoon from a drawer. "Okay, we need a cup of water," she said as she nudged Holly aside from the sink to fill the measuring cup up with water. She handed it to Holly when she was finished, and nodded towards the bowl for her to pour it in. Makayla knew it would go ten times faster if she did it all on her own, but clearly, Holly had been excited about this and she knew she wouldn't hear the end of it if she didn't let her participate too. She moved on to crack the three eggs in a separate smaller bowl, and when Holly had poured the water into the large bowl, she took the measuring cup to refill with the oil. "Now you're going to pour the oil, the eggs and the bag of the cake mix into the bowl and stir it. It has to all be mixed together," she advised. As Holly did that, she worked on lining the cupcake tray with the cupcake wrappers they had purchased, but she couldn't stop hoping that Nick would show up sooner than later.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester

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#, as written by Lilac
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Ryan had ten minutes to himself before he heard the apartment door open. He craned his neck to the side to see who it was, but when he saw Brooklyn and Nick coming in, he leaned back on the couch. If it had been Cara, he would have cared, but he wasn't close with the two of them. Brooklyn was definitely hot enough to boast about being roommates with, but she was scary as hell, and he couldn't remember ever actually having a real conversation that extended past polite hellos and goodbyes. It wasn't like she was drastically older than him or that different, but he didn't think they would have anything in common to talk about. Plus, Nick kind of freaked him out a bit too. He wasn't scared of him, but he always seemed straight faced or deep in thought, and Ryan felt like he was the type to be protective over his girlfriend. The fact that he was a known drug dealer and user crossed off the possibility of Ryan ever wanting to actually be friends with him anyway.

He hoped that they were just going to pass through to get to their room. He would have smiled and mumbled a hello or waved, but he didn't get it that easy. Nick said hi, but continued to talk, asking about Roman and Cara, and remained standing a few feet away. "I think I saw Roman in our room, yeah," he began, partly closing his laptop screen down as he pushed it off of his lap and onto the cushion beside him. He wasn't planning on getting up or anything, but it seemed more polite to do that than to appear like he was still focused on his screen. "And Caraline? She's not here, but I'm not sure where she is exactly. I think she's out with that girl Chanel picking stuff up for dinner, but I'm not sure," he responded, hoping that that would be good enough for them to leave him alone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin

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(Collaboration with Collapse)


"Oh, okay, cool," Nick responded, nodding as Ryan explained where his sister and Roman were. Again, he figured he was probably just overthinking things again, but he felt weird storming into Ryan's room to see Roman, even though it was Roman's room too. It wasn't his room, so he felt like he would be breaking some sort of privacy rule by not asking if it was okay to go in, with Ryan sitting right there. He didn't feel comfortable with asking that either, since it seemed so unnecessary, so he just headed to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. "Want anything to drink, Brooke? We still have a few beers or I can make you a drink if you want. I think we still have some of that cotton candy vodka left..." he said, his voice trailing off as he started to rummage through the cabinets. He read Makayla's text and planned on going over, but he wanted to make sure that Brooklyn was set first, and possibly see if Roman was there too. He didn't respond to Makayla but managed to send Isaac a quick text.

To: Isaac
probably smoking in 5B in a few. buds on the house today since i'm in the holiday spirit lol. come thru if ur craving

Brooklyn didn't rush when they got into the apartment. She took off her jacket and shoes, something that she had decided was a ritual at the apartment. For years, she had desperately wanted a place to call home, and now that they had a somewhat stable living situation, she was going to take advantage of it and make it feel as homey as she could. When she thought back to rituals in her house growing up, taking her shoes off at the door was always one of them. Her mother was meticulous with things like that, and though she wasn't a clean freak like the woman, she had taken up the habit again as a way to remind herself that this could be a home for her. She listened to Nick speak to Ryan for a few seconds before following her boyfriend towards the couch. She smiled at Ryan, but didn't say anything, and turned to watch Nick as he headed into the kitchen area. "Yeah, make me whatever you made me last night. The one with that vodka and the cranberry juice, and Sprite, I think it was," she responded. It was a little early for vodka, but oh well. It was a holiday. That would be her excuse today.

"I'll be right back," she chirped a moment later as she left her place by the counter and headed down the hall and into her bedroom. She hung her coat up, placed her shoes in the corner, and then headed back out, but not into the kitchen. Instead, she slipped in Roman and Ryan's room. "Rise and shine, Ro Ro," she said in an obnoxiously cheerful, sing song voice as she gave a sharp nudge to Roman's side. She didn't care that she was basically pulling a Holly by waking him up, and doing the one thing that she would spend hours ranting about if it happened to her. She was waking Roman up for his own good. There was no use in sleeping all day when he could be hanging out with Nick, and potentially getting good life advice. Brooklyn wanted to laugh at that thought. Who was she kidding, acting like her drug dealer of a boyfriend who cheated on her had any life advice? Holly could probably offer Roman better guidance than Nick at this point. At the very least, Brooklyn could say that she was certain that Nick had just as good of intentions with Roman as she did, so she was confident that the two socializing would only be good for both of them. Nick wouldn't think it would be okay to fuck anymore hoes with Roman around, and Roman wouldn't be getting concussions in Nick's presence. She gave him one more nudge before flipping the light switch on and opening up the blinds that covered the bedroom's window. It was definitely obnoxious and if he was suffering from a hangover, it might have been a death wish, but she didn't care. "Nick wants to hang out with his favorite loser, so get dressed and go hang out with him. Unless you want to stay and hang out with Cara and Chanel and I," she said, making her way to the doorway. She knew he wouldn't want to take the latter offer, but she knew that waking him up in the manner that she did might just as easily result in him rejecting both offers and being annoyed all day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester

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They first started when he was eight, became common when he was ten, and gradually became more and more problematic afterwards. In the beginning, his nightmares were really just anxiety-induced. But now that he was rid of that part of his life, it made no sense that they kept coming back. They were no where near as frequent, or as violent, and in fact they hardly ever consisted of anything when they did happen. He rarely ever had actual dreams, and tonight--or that morning rather-was no different. For the majority of his time asleep, short as it was, he felt like he was holding his breath. His chest tightened and his nerves heightened. He felt fear without being frightened. A couple of times he was able to wake himself up, a quick gasp escaping his lips as though they were a result of him actually yanking himself awake. His heart was beating no faster from what he could tell, but it still felt the way it did before a fight; when he was on edge and uncertain. The temperature of the room also helped to keep him from drifting deeper into his slumber, bittersweet as that truth was. On the one hand he was incredibly exhausted, but on the other, his subconscious was warning him about drifting back off. While normally he would have gotten up to open the window so as to let in a nice breeze, today he did not. Instead, he lay accumulating tension in his muscles and sweat on the nape of his neck as he slept. That was until he felt something against him shortly after hearing a higher pitched voice which was undoubtedly Brooke's, but he was too disoriented to really register it right away.

He flinched at her initial touch, looking over his shoulder to see her. With a slight scowl, he curled back up, facing the wall, and tried going back to sleep. When she nudged him again, he swatted at her hand lazily and missed. Killens squeezed his eyes tighter in the hopes of getting back to sleep, but this only proved futile as in the next few seconds an abundance of light was cast on the room. Given that he wasn't sleeping that well to begin with, he probably shouldn't have been annoyed as he was, but it was that exact reason that had him in a bad mood and flinging his pillow sharply in Brooke's direction. "What the fuck?" It was clear that he was annoyed, but this didn't stop Brooke from smirking, seemingly unmoved by his frustration, and saying, "He's waiting in the kitchen, hurry up," and then leaving.

The calloused rigidity of his hands smoothed over his face as he yawned and stretched. He stayed there for another minute or so, listening to his heartbeat and the movement from outside. It was never in his favor to get up right away, let alone not on his own accord. He enjoyed just sitting and listening before actually having to get up, but it was nearly impossible to do that with the window closed the way it was. As he glared over at it, the stickiness that suctioned his shirt to his skin became more noticeable, and as he sat up with a groan, he took his shirt off, tossing it to the bottom of the bed. His senses were still heightened when he cracked the window and embraced the chill. It seemed to calm him enough to finally leave the bedroom at least somewhat less irritable, but it didn't stop him from glaring at Brooke. He hardly took note of the set up before him: Ryan on the couch and Nick doing something in the kitchen. When he found Brooke, he went over to her and looped his arm around her neck in a playful choke hold. "What'd I tell you about waking me up, huh?" he said. It wasn't uncommon for Roman to mess around with Brooke in this nature. While he mostly made verbal jabs at her, sometimes he did get physical, like now. Although his voice seemed more serious due to the fact that it was deeper with the remains of sleep lingering in his chest, he was never rough enough to actually hurt her. "Thought I told Nick to get you a leash," Roman said before finally letting her go, giving the back of her head a slight push.

Roman went to the fridge, looking inside for a moment before grabbing a leftover tomato and some beans from yesterday. After grabbing a plate, he placed a piece of toast in the toaster oven and leaned against the counter, finally pulling his phone from his pocket and seeing the seven messages he'd received. Three were from Nick and Brooke, and the other four were from Hannah, the latter of which he didn't bother reading at the present moment. Reading the messages made him smile somewhat and he waved his phone in Brooke and Nick's direction. "What lovely parents you two are," he said. Sentimentality wasn't really his thing, but the texts did get a small smirk out of him. He recalled what Brooke had said earlier when she was busy being obnoxious by waking him up; something about hanging out with Nick. He was sure that it was her doing since she was the one to come get him, and Nick would never be that pressed to hang out. That being said, he highly doubted that whatever play date she had planned didn't involve him smoking with Nick and Makayla, so he wasn't entirely sure what to say, or who to address--at least not right away. When his toast was ready, he plucked it out and began eating his breakfast. It wasn't a full meal. Had he had eggs and black pudding or even mushrooms, he would have had his full English, but for now, this would do. "I'm game," Roman said to Nick, nodding towards his phone. "When are you going?" He bit into the tomato, chewed slowly and swallowed before continuing. "So why is Brooke up my ass about hanging out with you today?" His question was directed at Nick, but he was giving a Brooke a look from the corner of his eye as he spoke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester

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Brooklyn left the kitchen and between then and the time she reappeared, he was able to put together the drink she wanted. It took every last drop of the flavored vodka they had, and he was sure that even with that, it was going to taste light to her, but it was all they had. He knew that Cara had alcohol stocked away somewhere, but he and Brooklyn were pretty good about only using their own things. Cara could say that they were bad roommates in other ways, like how they were constantly yelling or how they brought along extra, unwanted baggage, or whatever wonderfully endearing term she chose to describe Roman that say, but they didn't steal her things.

Although Brooklyn was only gone for a couple of minutes, it took Nick half of that time to make the drink, and the other half felt like it dragged on. He had positioned himself far enough in the kitchen where he couldn't see Ryan, and he knew the kid was watching television and likely didn't want to be bothered, but he wondered if he should try to make conversation. Nick wasn't overtly friendly, but it was simply because he was more comfortable in silence. He didn't know if everyone else was the same though, and if socializing was a genetic thing, Cara's brother wouldn't be like him in that matter. Luckily, Brooklyn reappeared with Roman only a few steps behind her before Nick could convince himself that small talk could somehow be a good idea in this situation. He grabbed a cold beer from the fridge and placed it on the counter, waiting to open it. He was busy smirking at the interaction that played out between Roman and Brooklyn. Their back and forth banter was always amusing, but it was just one more thing that Nick was sure would be ruined if he came clean to Brooklyn about Cara, and their relationship ended. He didn't know if Roman would choose his side or Brooklyn's, but he wouldn't blame him for taking hers. He was wrong, and there was no way to justly excuse what he did, but it was a mistake. He had to say it over and over in his head, and he still wasn't always convinced that he believed it, but it had to have been a mistake.

"Hey, she's not up your ass," he said, attempting to sound like he was truly trying to defend her, but falling a little short in the authenticity of the tone. Normally, he wouldn't have even commented on it, but this was Boyfriend Nick Version 2.0. "She just doesn't want you around to cause trouble with Cara when she gets back. Brooke's helping her with her Thanksgiving dinner thing," he reasoned, lowering his voice just a bit so that Ryan couldn't hear. It wasn't like he was saying anything bad about Cara, but the constant tension between his roommate and sister had to put Ryan in an awkward spot. "But I'm gonna head over there now, so take your toast to go if you wanna come." He looked towards Brooklyn with a smile, as he slid the drink in her direction. "I left some of my 'product' in Makayla's apartment, so I'm gonna go pick that up and try to make a few sales downstairs. Text me if you need anything, but we should be back within the hour," he explained. It wasn't the complete truth, but it sounded better than saying that they were about to go sit on Makayla's bedroom floor and get high. With that, he made a dash for his bedroom, and there he grabbed his bowl and his spare one, and a bag of marijuana from his stash, which he pocketed before returning to the kitchen. He took his beer from the counter and ended up going back to the fridge to grab one more for Makayla. "Just in case," he commented with a half-grin. "Take the last one if you think you're gonna be thirsty, because you're not getting one of these," he said to Roman, nodding towards the fridge now that his hands were full, as he began to walk towards the front of the apartment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester

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As Brooklyn left Roman's room, she considered going back in to make a comment about how much of a crybaby he could be, but she held her tongue. Waking him up when it actually wasn't that late in the day was probably mean enough for now. She continued back into the kitchen where Nick still stood. Her drink appeared to be ready on the counter, but she didn't reach for it yet. There was never a day when Brooke would turn down alcohol, but today was going well enough where she wasn't craving it. Plus, the past two weeks had entailed enough bottles of straight liquor where she was actually beginning to become concerned for her liver's health. It had survived years of intense drinking, so she knew that worrying now was futile, but finding out that Nick had cheated on her hadn't been pretty, and having to mask that anger and shock because she didn't want him to know she knew, only made her turn to the bottle more.

"Don't-!" she snapped when she felt Roman wrapping his arm around her neck, but he was too fast for her to fully object before he was pushing her head and releasing her. She scowled at him, but decided that they were even now. Or at least they were even until he made a comment about them being his parents, and her being up his ass. Of course, that was what she got for being a good friend. Though playful, they were comments she told herself she needed to remember next time she tried to be nice to Roman and help him. She made a mental note to try to get Holly in their apartment the next morning to wake him up at the crack of dawn. That, or she'd punch him the next time he came home from a fight looking like he was already on his death bed.

By that point, she was more ready for her drink, so she accepted it with a softer smile when Nick slid it to her. Only one sip in and she could tell that it was too sugary, and less vodka-y for her tastes, but she also saw the empty vodka bottle and knew that that was as good as it was going to get for now. "Pick up some vodka if you end up going out," she requested before Nick headed towards their bedroom. While he was out of sight, she picked up her drink and moved closer to Roman, getting one kick to his leg in before backing up. "That's for being an ass when I'm always a good friend to you," she challenged in a tone that was serious, but playfully so. She took another sip of the drink and followed Nick to the door after he reappeared and grabbed two beers. "Be good," she warned, though she couldn't keep a smile from finding its way to her lips before she reached up with her free hand to pull his face down to peck his lips. The smile was genuine, too. Even though in her mind, her inner monologue was running with comments about how "be good" meant "don't fuck anymore sluts", she couldn't help but to genuinely smile when looking at him at the moment. She closed the door behind him when he left, but when she returned to walking back into the apartment, she didn't acknowledge Roman in the kitchen again, and just headed into her room, where she shut the door, sat down on the bed, and tried to enjoy her drink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

0.00 INK

#, as written by Bandit
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{Written with Writer}
"I want to do that part too! Don't do it!" Holly exclaimed when she realized that Makayla was busy putting cupcake liners in the tray. She didn't put down the spoon she was mixing with, but she paused in stirring and flashed Makayla a distressed look. Baking cupcakes had been her idea, and Makayla didn't even seem to want to do it, so it only seemed fair that she should get to do most of it. She glanced over at the oven in a panic when it beeped, signaling that it had reach desired temperature and for some reason, Holly felt like that meant that they needed to hurry up. As she began to stir again, she decided to be more reasonable. "Okay, fine, you can do that, but when I finish mixing I want to pour it into each one." The batter was almost completely smooth but Holly wanted to make sure it was perfect.

Holly wasn't acting out of character today, but for some reason, Makayla felt like her own temper was unusually short. She would be the first one to say that she was a patient person, because anyone who dealt with Holly regularly had to be patient. It would be easy to be mean to her, to tell her to shut up and sit down because she was annoying, but she wasn't annoying on purpose. Being energetic and loud and ditzy was just Holly's nature and Makayla wasn't going to be one more person in her life who cut her down for a personality that she had no control over. At the same time, she was human too, and it was hard to always have the patience of a saint. Sometimes, all she wanted was for her to shut up and sit down, and if she was pushed far enough that day, she would snap and say it. She was trying to make sure that today wasn't one of those days, though. It was a holiday, and this was the first Thanksgiving that Holly was ever spending in a traditional manner.

When Makayla was very young, before she knew Holly or Holly was even alive, for that matter, she would spend Thanksgiving like a normal person, in her grandmother's apartment surrounded by food and cousins. She was seven when her grandmother was put into a nursing home, and once that happened, so did any normal celebrations. For the next thirteen years, all of her holidays were spent in her father's disgusting apartment where she would take care of Holly and any other kid whose mother happened to be sleeping with her dad, or whose parent was involved in their drug operations. Nothing festive went on, but Makayla had grown used to it. So much so, that over the past two years, when they were out on their own, she hadn't put much effort into holidays either. Money was obviously tight, and she hoped that she could convince Holly that big holidays were unnecessary because she really couldn't afford them. This Thanksgiving didn't seem harmful, though. She spent a few dollars on cupcakes but the meal was being entirely prepared and financed by Cara. Seeing the parade had wasted a couple of hours and hopefully drained a little bit of her sister's energy, so celebrating Thanksgiving this year seemed like an okay idea, especially when she reminded herself that she wanted Holly to be able to live a normal life now. She had been abused and neglected for most of her life, and now, Makayla had to make up for that.

She tried to be patient as Holly attempted to get the gooey batter into the cupcake holes, but it was hard to watch half of the batter end up on the counter, so she ended up doing most of it herself. She got the cupcakes in the oven and during the twenty minute duration it took for them to bake, she managed to get Holly to attempt the homework she had been assigned to finish over Thanksgiving break. It didn't end up going that well, but that was to be expected. Holly always got frustrated one problem into whatever she was working on and though Makayla had graduated high school and taken one year worth of college courses, sometimes the material even messed her up. It was mostly the math problems, or English assignments that heavily relied on whatever the teacher had been talking about that day in class, but sometimes, she wasn't much of a help. "Hey, hey, hey, no getting upset on Thanksgiving. Don't worry, Holl. We'll bring it over to Cara's later on. You said her brother, Ryan, is smart, right? He'll help you with it, and we have all the way until Monday to finish it, so don't worry," Makayla said, glancing back at Holly who had put her head down on the assignments on the table in defeat, as she removed the hot cupcake trays from the oven and set them on the cooling racks to cool off. Could Nick take any longer?!

As she tossed the towels that she had used in place of oven mitts on the counter, she returned to the table Holly was sitting at and took the homework off of the table. "Stop being dramatic, Holl," she said, trying to be playful as she poked her sister in the side. It spoke to how desperate she was to be able to smoke in peace, but she held onto Holly's arm and pulled her into the living room. "I'm gonna let you watch TV for a little while, alright?" Since she couldn't afford to chip in for the cable bill with Chanel and Marie, she did her best to keep Holly away from the television. It was hard, since that was probably the only thing that could keep her quiet and in one spot for prolonged periods of time, but Makayla hated seeming like she was leeching off of the other girls. "I need to do some work in my room and Nick might come over to help me, but we don't need your help, so you need to sit out here and be quiet, okay?"

Working on homework had completely ruined the good mood Holly was in, but being able to watch TV definitely brought it back up a few notches. "Okay," she responded, with an eager nod. She wasn't even listening to the part about Nick coming over, them not being help, and her needing to be quiet. She lunged for the remote, readied herself on the couch, and began to skim through the channels. "And then we have to ice the cupcakes!" she called out to Makayla, though her eyes didn't move from the screen.

"Yup, as long as you listen now, we will," Makayla responded distractedly. She had stepped away from the television area to retrieve her phone from the kitchen. She was hoping that there would be a text from Nick, but there wasn't. The desperation had her back at the front door, and she actually opened it up, hoping that she might spot him or one of his roommates in the hallway, so that she could ask them where they were. For once, luck was on her side, and he was actually heading in her direction. She couldn't hide the pleasure she was feeling as a smile appeared on her face, and she welcomed him into the apartment. "Finally!" she hissed, playfully squeezing his arm in anticipation. Speaking more loudly now, so Holly would be able to hear, she led Nick into the apartment towards her bedroom. "Holly's here too, Nick. She's going to watch TV while you help me with all of that math work I have to do, so we'll hang out with her when we're finished." Anyone aside from Holly would sense the "play along" tone that came with her words, but she knew after Holly's breakdown minutes before, between the TV in front of her, and her anti-academics attitude, there wasn't a huge chance that she would want to hang out with them to do that pretend math work.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver

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One of Isaac's favorite things about Collin was that it never seemed to really take much to cheer him up. He was generally a happy person, so this shit with his family was only a bump in the road, the rest of the day could easily be saved. He snorted at his friend's response to his joke, and then quickly dissolved into laughter. The Adderall was kicking in, and he felt great suddenly, and everything was funny. They laughed for probably a minute too long, shoved each other playfully, and then Collin was standing and Isaac grinned as he hopped up as well. "There's the Collin King we all know and love," he muttered with another playful shove towards the door.

The moment the two of them rejoined their friends, Collin was on full blast and Oliver was out of his seat in a second - like the yelling was meant to chastise him instead of excite him. Isaac arched a slightly amused eyebrow, because he couldn't imagine how difficult the last couple of minutes had been for the pair he'd left - Oliver was just a little socially awkward and Marie always seemed a bit lost on how people worked if she wasn't climbing into a bed with them. It was kind of funny, really.

"You two survive in here?" he asked as he jerked his stupid jacket off. It really was too big, and he no longer had a reason to be so dressed up. He also didn't care enough to go change, though, so the offended clothing just ended up on the couch. He rolled his sleeves back up, to look some what decent, and pulled his shirt out of his pants because really tucked-in clothing was only for when mother's visited.

Before he could make much more of a decision about his wardrobe choices, Collin was pouring shots, and Isaac found himself grinning again as he shoved passed Oliver to make it to the kitchen first, swiping a shot glass off the counter. "Hey, isn't that mine?" he asked, nodding towards the bottle of Grey Goose. He doubted it, actually, since most of his alcohol was on the floor in his room somewhere; and even if it was he would share, he was just in a playful mood.

Once the others were there with a glass in their hands, Isaac raised his high. "To making memories worth being thankful for," he toasted with a wink towards Collin, and then threw back his shot. He was already pouring another even as he dug his phone out of his pocket. It'd gone off when he'd been talking to Collin, though he couldn't imagine who was texting him. Surprisingly, it was from Nick: probably smoking in 5B in a few. buds on the house today since i'm in the holiday spirit lol. come thru if ur craving. Isaac grinned and threw back his second drink before he texted back:

To: Moreno
Fuckin awesome man


Isaac wasn't actually sure who lived in 5B, except he had gathered from his mornings with Marie that it was probably all girls. She lived there, and he figured Chanel did too because sometimes they chatted up until they parted for their respective doors. But other than that, he didn't really know. He did know, however, that he was not turning down free weed. Isaac had money, sure, but only an idiot would pass that up.

"Hey, I may have just found us something to do," Isaac mentioned, shoving his phone back in his pocket and pouring another shot. He swallowed it down before he started walking backwards out of the apartment, lifting two fingers towards his mouth in the universal 'smoking' sign. "If you're feelin' it. I'm gunna go check things out." With that he twisted around, and let himself out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin

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Nick left the apartment with a kiss from Brooklyn, but no Roman in tow. He guessed that Roman was going to shower or at least put on a new pair of clothes since he had literally just rolled out of bed, and he didn't feel like waiting. He was sure that Makayla was waiting on him, and more than that, waiting for Roman wasn't worth dealing with the awkwardness that he would feel if within those few minutes, Cara returned. It just wasn't worth it, and with the cold beers in his hand, he had one more reason to get across the hall quickly. The fact that he didn't even have to knock on Makayla's door, and that she was actually waiting for him in her doorway quickly brought a smirk to his face. He and Makayla were unlikely friends, but she was someone that he genuinely enjoyed spending time with. "Spending time" for them almost always meant smoking, but that was besides the point. She was a good customer when she had the money, and when she didn't, Nick was a good friend. Like today. She had offered him five dollars, but he wasn't going to take what he was sure was some of her last money. "Sorry, I didn't know there was a rush," he commented as she playfully squeezed his arm.

In one of Makayla's texts, she had mentioned her roommates being out, and for a slight moment, he forgot about Holly living there too. Makayla brought her up before Nick even noticed her sitting by the television. "Oh, hey Holly," Nick commented, waving at the redhead, despite seeing that she seemed pretty engulfed in whatever show she was watching. "Uh, yeah, that math stuff sounded pretty tricky when you were telling me about it. It may take a while to get it done," he said loudly, awkwardly following Makayla's lead in misleading Holly about what they were doing. Honestly, sometimes he forgot that she was sixteen. She looked that age, maybe a year or two younger, but emotionally and mentally she didn't seem like any of the teenagers he knew. He sold weed to kids a year or two younger than her, and Nick doubted that she would even know what the drug looked like. It wasn't like it was a bad thing, though. Holly wasn't stupid and she wasn't hard to be around, she could just be a lot to take in sometimes. Nick mostly knew her through when she would stay with Cara while Makayla was working, and since Holly seemed to be fascinated with Brooklyn, he ended up spending more time than he would have intended to hanging out with her. In times like this, he couldn't blame Makayla for wanting to shield Holly from knowing she used drugs and from being around them in general. She seemed too sweet and innocent to really understand why Makayla would want to use something that she had probably grown up being told was horrible.

"Smells good in here," he added in a hushed tone now as they left the room that Holly was in and headed into Makayla's bedroom. "You put together some snacks for when we've got the munchies? I never would have pinned you as being the baking sort." He sat down on the edge of one of the beds, not paying much attention to whether it was Holly's or Makayla's, as he opened up the bag of weed and focused on breaking a handful of it up slightly, to fit it into the bowl of his pipe. He tossed the bag to Makayla when he finished. "You've got your bowl, yeah? Just save some for Roman." There was a good amount of marijuana in there, so he wasn't actually concerned with her using it all, but Makayla could smoke a fair amount, so it was worth mentioning. He glanced at his phone upon receiving Isaac's text and added, "I think Isaac might come by too. That cool with you?" He had already invited him and assumed that Isaac was on his way already, so he hoped the answer was a yes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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Makayla was sure that the television would keep Holly occupied for at least fifteen or twenty minutes. She knew her sister liked Nick, but his presence probably wouldn't be enough to draw her away from the TV like Brooklyn, or Cara or Marie's would. Plus, she hoped that the math lie would be one more reason for Holly to remain seated. It was a worry she would keep in the back of her mind, but it was pushed pretty far back as soon as she watched Nick pull the drugs out of his pocket once they were in her room. He had sat down on her bed, so she took a seat on the edge of Holly's, which was only a couple of feet away from her own. Makayla wouldn't call herself an addict. She didn't think that it was possible to get addicted to marijuana. Not in the way people became addicted to coke, or heroin, or meth, at least. She used weed as a crutch to get her through her days, but she didn't feel like she was completely dependent on it. She wasn't going to rob someone just to get her fix. If she didn't have money for it, and Nick wasn't around, she would survive, just with a shorter temper. Like how coffee or cigarettes helped some people get through their days, marijuana helped her get through hers. The only difference was that one was legal, and one wasn't, but health wise and intensity wise, she didn't feel like they were very different.

She waited to answer Nick's comment about the smell of freshly baked goods, and his comment about Isaac until she had filled her own marijuana pipe with a substantial amount of the drug. "Yeah, that's fine. Just make sure he's chill, because I don't want Holly to suspect anything," she answered. Considering that she was trying to keep Holly in the living room, she hoped that it would stay with it just being Isaac. She knew that he lived down the hall with some other guys, none of whom Makayla was very close with, but she knew that Holly was always intrigued by new people. The last thing that she needed was for her room to become a party spot, because then Holly would want to be involved, and it would defeat the purpose of it all. "We just have to stop if my roommates come back. I think Marie and Chanel smoke sometimes, but I don't know for sure and I don't want to be 'that roommate', doing this in a place we're supposed to share, if they're not cool with it, ya know?" She was too distracted to make eye contact with him as she spoke, and halfway through the remark, had stood up in search of a lighter. After a minute of searching with no results, she returned to her spot on the bed and just decided to wait until Nick was finished with his own to use it to light her bowl as well. When he handed it to her, she wasted no time in taking her first puff. She smoked too regularly for her to say that it hit her right away and she was suddenly feeling euphoric, or anything like that, but just knowing that she would feel relaxed and less stressed by the time her bowl was empty made her more relaxed in itself. "And it smells good out there because Holly baked cupcakes. She's saving them for Cara's though, which brings me to the question of whether you and Brooklyn are gonna be there to eat too." It wouldn't affect her much, but she was curious because she knew about the scandalous affair between Cara and Nick. It had shocked her, when Cara told her, because she didn't think of Nick as being that kind of guy, but she supposed he had to have had his reasons. At the very least, it didn't take much to see that Brooklyn wasn't the most pleasant person, so she was sure that he knew that more than anyone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King

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Holly didn't watch television alone frequently enough to know which television station coincided with each channel number, so she spent a good ten minutes scrolling up and down through the program choices before landing on a Phineas and Ferb episode and staying there. She was easily entertained, so the cartoon had her laughing within a few minutes. She had barely noticed Makayla bringing Nick in, and surprisingly, the same went for Marie when she had come in and said good morning. Normally, she definitely would have been one of the people who Holly would have leaped off of the couch to greet. Marie and Chanel were both very nice to Holly, but Marie's kindness was always very genuine seeming. However, Holly had seen Marie yesterday, and Makayla hadn't allowed her to watch television in over a week, so the latter was winning her attention today.

When fifteen minutes passed and Marie reemerged from the bedroom hallway, now in new clothes, and came to sit with her, Holly was still emerged in the show, but definitely glad that Marie was there. She pulled her legs onto the couch and crossed them as she turned to Marie with an energetic smile. "Phineas and Ferb," she answered quickly. "It's so funny," she giggled, clutching Marie's hand with enthusiasm. "And do you see the boy with the green hair?" she continued, before pointing to the screen when Ferb appeared. "That one! He talks like Roman does. Do you know him? He lives at Cara's house, and he has the same voice as Ferb," she said, referring to the English accent. "Do you think that means Ferb was adopted, because he's supposed to be Phineas' brother I think, but no one else in their family has green hair and no one else talks like that." She had released Marie's hand and had slowly begun to turn her attention back to the show midway through her commentary, but then a commercial came on and Collin walked in, and she lost her focus once again.

Holly didn't know Collin or any of the boys from that apartment very well. Because they lived across the hall, she did see them from time to time when they happened to pass in the halls. Sometimes Holly would make a comment about a bag one of them was carrying, if she recognized a store logo, or about Collin's tattoos if he was wearing clothes that revealed them, but she didn't know him to the extent that she knew the boys in 5C. "Don't let him eat them! They're for Cara's!" she whispered frantically, smacking Marie's arm softly. Normally, she would have just said so herself even despite not knowing Collin well, but the commercial that was currently playing caught her eye, and she didn't want to speak so loudly where she couldn't hear the advertisement. When it was over, she turned back to look towards the kitchen area and was relieved to find Collin heading back towards them without a cupcake in hand.

Despite it not being a new thing, Holly was unaware of the hookup relationship that Collin and Marie had. She was always asleep when Collin was in their apartment at night to be with her. If it had ever happened where he was coming out of her bedroom in the morning and Holly was awake, Makayla would give some lame excuse about how he was there to fix a light bulb or something, that Holly would believe without a second thought. When he sat down next to Marie and rested his legs on hers playfully, Holly narrowed her eyebrows in confusion. She wanted to ask Marie why he was doing that to her, or tell Collin that Makayla probably needed his help with her math work too, since she and Nick had been in there for what seemed like a while, but her show was back on, so Holly's attention switched back to that. "Did you tell Cara to invite you to her house, Marie? We're going to have turkey," she exclaimed, though still clearly distracted by the television show.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Roman was mostly oblivious to what was going on between Brooke and Nick. While he didn't know that Nick had slept with Cara, he did pick up on how something just seemed off between the two. It wasn't until now when Nick sounded somewhat defensive (and then again somewhat not) over what Roman had said that he began to see it. It didn't seem like they were arguing as much, or maybe it was something else? He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he didn't care too much since Nick and Brooke had always had their problems. When he could, Roman tried to stay out of it, but sometimes it was hard because he did care about both of them. He only scoffed and rolled his eyes about Cara. He didn't cause trouble; it wasn't his problem that the girl was a raging bitch and he wasn't going to let her just belittle him. Right off the back, he didn't really like her, but it wasn't enough to where he would go out of his way to start conflict. He'd just stick to keeping a distance, as he usually did in an attempt to not cause confrontation. After a while, though, he got quite fed up with her, and she was one of the few people who could really bother the hell out of him; this in itself was aggravating. He couldn't give a damn about their Thanksgiving dinner, especially when Cara was hosting it and even more so when he knew he wasn't invited. He'd have to figure out what to do around that time since he didn't know who all she was inviting--if some of her equally pretentious friends were coming as well. But why is she even having it here? he wondered. Roman shook his head as he finished his breakfast; he didn't care enough to wonder any further.

The texts from Hannah were just an array of swears and letting him know he 'left his fucking jacket' and how he needed to come get it unless he wanted it to be 'in the trash where he belonged.' Normally he'd have ignored her. He would get his jacket later, as he had many, and he wasn't about to make the twenty minute trek back to her place just to get yelled out, and possibly hit, all over. Would she even still be there? Still, though, because he was in a spiteful mood now that the playfulness he was in had vanished, he decided to send a message back.

To: Hannah
tell your fam I said cheers, alright?

After he'd washed his plate and gone back to his room, his phone vibrated and Hannah's name appeared on the screen. He smirked at the 'fuck you' her message read before tossing his phone on the bed and going to take a shower. He felt gross because he'd sweat in his sleep, but also because he still had cinnamon milk residue on him. The shower was cold, as it had a tendency to be, not because the hot water didn't work (which was sometimes the case), but by his own accord. He didn't particularly care for very hot showers, although there were occasions where he preferred them, like if he was really sore after a fight. Sometimes it felt as though the heat were burning the tenderness out of his muscles. More of than not, and like now, his showers were cool to lukewarm. He always found himself to be too heat. While he'd remained in the Northeast of America since coming and didn't find the temperature to be too drastically different from London, it was still too warm for his liking. Even in the summer where it could be quite moderate in most people's opinions, Roman was usually too hot. If it ever got to be too bad, he would just think of the time he went to Florida when he was fifteen and how he was convinced that he was going to die from a heat stroke.

Refreshed, clean, and with a new pair of clothes after about ten minutes, he was ready to head out. When Roman grabbed his phone again with the intention of texting Nick to let him know that he was coming, he saw Nick's earlier text about the movie, to which Killens had never given him an answer. If he wasn't mistaken, the couple usually did their own thing on Thanksgiving, so it struck him as a little odd that he was being asked to go. His mind went straight to Brooklyn then. How she, for whatever bloody reason, thought it necessary enough to wake him up just so he could be around Nick. He didn't suppose she'd really make Nick invite him to the movies, as he imagined she'd want some private time with her boyfriend. But even for Nick, it seemed kind of odd. It could have been because they just seemed worried about him, what with having been out of the apartment for a few days without prior word. Instead of trying to play detective, he decided he'd just ask her. He could just as easily talk to Nick as well, but Brooke was more upfront, close by, and she'd retreated so quietly to her room that it was somewhat concerning. While the two of them had a playful relationship and rarely ever vocalized their worry for the other, it didn't prevent it from happening. He was sure she was okay, but still. Just to make sure. So after he grabbed the last beer from the fridge, he knocked on her bedroom door.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno

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Normally Isaac wouldn't think twice about letting himself into someones place, but it felt a little strange to just open up the door to 5B without any kind of warning. Especially since it was midday; so he checked his phone again, to make sure he had the right apartment. He did, but before he had to make a decision himself, Marie was in front of him and opening the door.

He followed in after her, smelling something baking almost immediately and hearing some kind of cartoon. He arched an eyebrow, wondering how many people had already lit up, but when the living area came into view it was only a young redhead sitting in front of the tv. He recognized her, knew her name was Holly - only because sometimes in the hallway she commented on something he was carrying (and once his Wonder Woman teeshirt) and the woman she'd been with had said her name in exasperation before a full blown conversation could start. But that was about as far as that went.

He also knew she couldn't be much older than fifteen or sixteen, so while Marie was telling the kid hi, Isaac just made his way through the apartment towards the bedrooms. One door was open, one door Marie disappeared into, and so he took his chances with the last, giving it a knock before drawing it open just wide enough to peak. He grinned when he saw Nick, and nodded to the girl whose room he was probably in. He thought her name started with a M...Michelle? No, something closer to McKenzie? He let himself in then, gently pushing the door shut behind him.

"Hey," he greeted with a grin, then glanced up at the girl. "Sorry for just, like, letting myself in your place. But yo, Nick said something about buds on the house so, ya know."

Given that they had already packed, Isaac felt a little late to the party, but he didn't let that stop him. He just picked a spot on the floor to sit between the two beds - seemed less invasive that way, if not the most roomy - and glanced around until he saw the bag of weed sitting next to Michelle-McKenzie-McWhatever. He grinned and made grabby hands like the child he definitely was (especially on Adderall). "Hit me up, girl."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver

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(Collaboration with Bandit)

"Yeah, yeah, Isaac's always chill," Nick reassured Makayla when she gave the approval for him to come. It wasn't always true, but that was usually when he was taking uppers. He didn't know if Isaac would want to mix something like that with the weed, but then again, when free weed was on the table, most people would feel compelled to take him up on the offer no matter what else was in their system. He took a hit before answering her question, about what they were doing for Thanksgiving. He thought that Makayla, out of everyone, had no way of knowing about what he had done with Cara, so he felt stupid for being paranoid and thinking that she somehow knew. If he wasn't sure of the quality of his weed, he would try to tell himself that maybe it was the weed that was making him paranoid, but this was something he had been feeling consistently for the past three weeks. "Brooke wants to eat with you guys, yeah," he began, taking one more hit, letting the smoke remain in his lungs for a good few seconds before finally exhaling. "So we'll probably stick around for a little, eat, and then head out. We always do the movies on Thanksgiving, so we're going to go see the James Bond movie that's out." A lot of the time when he was high, Nick felt more inclined to talk. Even though he was comfortable around Makayla sober, he was pretty quiet in general, and small talk wasn't his forte. Smoking opened him up to a degree, though, so just talking casually about nothing didn't feel strained. "Those cupcakes smell good, so I'll try to get her to stick around for dessert too. It's not even one and she's already drinking, so for all I know, she'll be passed out before we can even get to the theater. We're just gonna play it by ear, I guess."

Unlike Nick, Makayla tended to zone out more while high. It was what she did to relax, so that was really the only thing she wanted to do while smoking. Nick's conversation never bothered her, and didn't bother her now, but she mostly just nodded along. She wasn't going to push the topic of it being Cara's dinner, and how that would be with Brooke there because it wasn't her job to police Nick's behavior or tell him that she knew. They weren't that close, and as long as he hooked her up with free weed occasionally, Makayla would turn a blind eye to him being a murderer if it came to that, so being a cheater wasn't a huge deal. Her main goal at the moment was to get high enough where she could survive, and possibly even enjoy the rest of the day, but she knew that she needed to do it quickly. She didn't want to be doing this if her roommates came back, especially since she had left Holly to watch their television. No matter how many times they said they didn't mind Holly using it, Makayla did feel guilty when she wasn't helping to pay for it. It would only make her feel worse if she was letting Holly use it while she got high. Makayla was used to smoking quickly, and she usually took toke after toke until her bowl was empty. Sometimes it took three minutes, sometimes ten, depending on just how fast she was going. Her first bowl took five minutes, and just as Isaac came in, she reloaded it. One more couldn't hurt.

She tossed him the bag when she was finished, and spent the next fifteen minutes on the second bowl. She wanted this high to last, and she knew that once she finished this bowl, she was going to have to go check on Holly. If everything was still okay, she figured that she could get away with coming back to smoke one more. It would seem like a lot of weed for such a petite girl, in such a small amount of time, but Makayla had been smoking since she was fifteen or sixteen, and she was used to smoking a lot. She hadn't engaged much in the small talk that Nick and Isaac were in, so when there was a pause, she set her pipe down and got up from the bed. "I'm going to go check on my sister. Isaac, you should treat us to pizza since Nick covered the weed," she said teasingly. She definitely wasn't close with Isaac and had only remembered his name when Nick said in during the conversation, but when you smoked with people, it was a bit of a bonding experience. It was one that likely wouldn't extend past the duration of being high, but she didn't feel weird pushing the offer playfully. That toast from earlier wasn't going to keep her munchies at bay. Before leaving the room, she doused herself and the room in general with Febreeze, knowing that it still wasn't likely to cover the smell considering the amount they were smoking. She considered trying out some eye drops on her eyes, but thought that it was just Holly in the apartment, and Holly wasn't going to be observant enough to notice them being bloodshot.

"Dude, that girl can smoke," Nick laughed when Makayla left the room. His bag of weed was basically depleted at that point. Roman wasn't even on his mind anymore, since Nick figured he was no longer coming, but if he did, he was going to be disappointed. Nick tended to be generous when he was high, but even he knew that he couldn't get away with giving out anymore free weed at the moment. Brooklyn would kill him, and it would hurt his own wallet. "You going to Cara's too later? Pizza sounds good right about now, but I'm stoked for that turkey."

A few steps out of the room and Makayla realized that it wasn't just Holly in there. She heard voices and as she turned the corner, found Marie and Collin sitting on the couch with Holly. Fuck! She had no idea how long they had been out there or if they knew what was going on in their room. It probably wasn't a huge deal. Marijuana was much more accepted than other drugs, but it just went back to the point of Makayla not wanting her roommates to think of her that way. At the same time, in her state, she couldn't find it in her to be too bothered by it. A natural smile appeared on her face as she waved to them and then looked over at Holly who seemed consumed by the TV. "Hey Marie," she said. She knew Collin mostly just from seeing him in the apartment sometimes with Marie, but she didn't think it was necessary to specifically greet him. "Holly, let them watch the TV now. They don't want to watch this," she said as she rounded the corner and saw that a cartoon was playing on the screen. By the way that Collin was sitting with Marie, she assumed that they were trying to get cozy and she didn't need Holly getting in the way with that. "Come and ice your cupcakes, leave them be for now. Nick and Isaac and I are almost finished with our work, so I'll come help you in a few minutes," she continued, walking into the kitchen to check on the cupcakes. They really did smell good and she was so tempted to just eat one, but she knew Holly would make a big deal out of it. Isaac was going to need to order that pizza, and soon. She grabbed the icing and a knife and left them on the counter for Holly, who she turned to tell once more to get off of the couch when she heard a knocking at the door. It was only a few feet away, so she opened it without waiting for Marie to. The boy on the other side was familiar to her too as a neighbor, but she didn't know her name off of the top of her head. "Oh, uh, Marie, he must be here for you," she said, looking at the boy for another moment before somewhat awkwardly turning away and leaving him in the doorway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin

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Normally, when Isaac smoked, he got kind of sleepy and started questioning the meaning of the universe (or coming up with his own meaning of the universe). One of his friends actually had him on tape, talking about Scooby Doo and really asking the deep philosophical questions of: But, like, are the endings to Scooby Doo episodes not actually scary, because it's always people that are the bad guys? Or, like, does that make it extra terrifying because that means monsters actually do exist, but they look like you and me? Not, like, dog-people...dog...werewolves! He kind of regretted that one. A lot.

But Adderall picked his mood up, and was actually pretty safe to mix with weed, so the only side effects he ended up with was that his heart-rate slowed down a little and he was much, much more talkative. Which put him on about Nick's level. For fifteen minutes they had an easy going, quick passed conversation and Isaac choked on an inhale more than once. He was in a damn good mood - a little fuzzy around the edges, thanks to the alcohol - but much better than when he'd woken up that morning feeling like death. Still, he didn't smoke much. Mostly because Makayla (he learned her name somewhere in their chatter, but couldn't place where exactly) went through a lot of it, and he actually didn't need the high - just liked it.

When she called it quits, and mentioned pizza, Isaac's eyes went wide because that was a fantastic idea. He usually forgot to eat when he was on stimulants (especially Adderall) so he was actually glad for the munchies. Especially because he'd slept through breakfast, lunch had been canceled, and he was vaguely sure the last time he'd actually eaten was the day before yesterday. He was already digging his phone out when Makayla started spraying smell-good shit everywhere, and Isaac tried - with all the uncoordinated of being high - to doge out of the way of any of that crap. He was wearing cologne, for fucks sake, that didn't happen often and he didn't want it covered up. Even if he didn't actually have a reason to still be wearing it, at this point.

He snorted a little at Nick's comment once she left the room. "Fuck yeah she can. I'm kind of regretting the fact that I've never chilled with her before. Seems like my kinda person." He knew he had the pizza place saved somewhere in his phone...the one just around the block that usually delivered pretty quickly. He just couldn't find it. Downside of substance abusive...eventually, he got the right one, lifted the phone to his ear and gave Nick a disbelieving look. "Yeah. Right. Like Cara Forrester is inviting me anywhere. I'm ordering pizza man, you can eat or not."

Honestly, Isaac didn't interact enough with Cara to warrant having a negative-relationship with her. It wasn't like she hung out with anyone he did and purposely cut him out of things or anything like that. He just...didn't like her much. He knew where she came from, it was obvious she was of higher class than all of them, Isaac felt like the white trash he was raised in when they even shared the hallway at the same time with her, and in addition to all that - Roman talked about her, complained really, that she was a pain in his ass. The last thing that girl needed was another druggie in her face, and he last thing Isaac needed was another person telling him to get his shit together. Or that he wasn't worth her time. Which he wasn't, but still, he didn't need to be told that. So instead, he just avoided her. The only people he even knew in her apartment were Roman and Nick...both of whom he hung out with only with the addition of illegal substances. So no, not exactly 'getting invited for thanksgiving dinner' friends.

The pizza place picked up then, and Isaac rattled off everything he wanted: a large bbq lovers, a large meat lovers, a medium cheese, two breadstick orders, and four large orders of potato wedges. Enough to feed everyone (including the kid, and possibly Collin and Marie, he thought he heard Ollie's voice earlier) because that was only polite. Besides, if they didn't finish it, the three boys in 5A eventually would.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West

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Nick didn't hate dressing up or being formal, it was just that he didn't have the money to afford a lot of nice clothes. The men's section at Forever 21 and H&M treated him and his wallet nicely, and he dabbled with Urban Outfitters' sale racks on occasion too. His style just tended to be more of an urban, street style than one that was preppy or bright. With that in mind, he felt like he did good when he picked out his outfit for the night. As he straightened his shirt in the mirror, he decided that he could lose the hat at the dinner table if Cara was one of those people who cared about formalities like that, but for now, it would stay on. His hair was already dry from the shower he had gotten out of a few minutes ago, and with a spritz of the cologne he knew Brooklyn liked, he felt ready to face the night. It was a night that he wished would just consist of beer, turkey, a movie and sex, but he knew it wasn't going to be that easy. Realistically, it would be a night consisting of beer, turkey, a movie and sex, plus Cara and the extreme tension and awkwardness that came with that, small talk, listening to Cara and Roman go at it, and potentially dealing with Brooklyn being in a bad mood. She had seemed alright when he had come back from Makayla's, but that was probably just because he had been high and was oblivious to a lot of things when he was like that.

They lived in Cara's apartment so it wasn't like they needed to get a cab to this party, or even go across the hall, but Nick felt like he should wait until Brooklyn was ready before going out. Even though the kitchen was down the hall from their room, throughout the day, the smell of cooking food had made its way under their door, making Nick's feelings about going out even more mixed. On one hand, he was the kind of guy who could eat, and eat, and eat. High or not. The smell of freshly baked food had his mouth watering and he thought that if he went out there now, he could grab a roll or something when no one was looking, even if they weren't supposed to eat right away. At the same time, he knew Cara was out there, and he didn't want to be out there alone with her. It would only lead her to want to talk about that night and what they were, even though Nick knew they couldn't be anything. Not when it seemed like maybe he could get things right with Brooke for once.

Brooklyn had showered about thirty minutes before him, but was still in the bathroom primping in front of the mirror when he got out and left to get dressed in their room, and he was sure she was still in there now. He was used to her taking a while to get ready. Before work, she could take an hour or two between the makeup and the hair and all of that. He tried not to mind. About the time it took, and her job in itself, but sometimes it was hard. Especially with the smell of hot turkey basically strangling him at this point. Just as he was standing up with the bathroom as his next destination in mind, the bedroom door opened and she appeared. "There you are," he smiled, quickly following it up with, "You look good." She did. She always did. "You wanna go out and socialize? I kind of want to take you right here, but I know you'd kill me if I messed up your makeup," he smirked, one of his hands sliding around her waist as he kissed her. It was Thanksgiving, so he didn't feel bad thinking that just as much as he wanted to toss her down onto that bed, he wanted to toss a pound of turkey into his mouth.