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Nick Moreno

0 · 1,907 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: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Nick spoke before Roman got a chance too, which was more than likely a good thing, since Roman would have only given a slur of profranities if he'd been given the opportunity. Thinking Nick had nothing left to say, he turned back to Cara and opened his mouth to speak, only for Nick to beat him to it once again. Roman glared in Nick's direction, the look intensified when Nick had only been telling him something about that same damn pizza. "Great, Nick. Thank you," he said, dismissively. He told himself that he just didn't feel like dealing with Nick, especially when he was being nothing a sorrowful drunk, but again, his misled frustration was just poorly covered hypocrisy. To feel better, he ignored how often he could be a bad friend, like he was being now. It was partially out of a defense he'd built: he cared about Brooke and Nick more than he let on, and he felt that behaving in ways like now only actualized that false reality he wanted to believe. It wasn't because he was just a cold person, or at least he hoped not. If anything, it was just to keep himself from becoming too dependent. It was for his own self-validation that he was their friend by choice, not necessity. And while that was how most friendships worked, his history told him to stay on his feet, just as a precaution against bringing up old wounds which were somehow harder to heal than the ones obtained in dark alleys.

So with now, he knew that the good friend would have given up with Cara and followed Nick, reasoned that the guy hadn't done anything to him and was clearly hurting in some way. But he wasn't the good friend. He was upset with Nick out of defense for Brooklyn, presuming he knew the entire story, and since he knew that wasn't enough, told himself that Nick's drunken state made him off-putting. Even if that were true, he'd have still been in the wrong, and he would have been a hypocrite as Roman constantly evaded any problem he had through deflective behaviors. Of course, they were hardly ever as innocent as drinking one too many beers and then just getting a pizza, but the principle was still there. And to make matters worse for his character, he knew his reckless behavior caused Nick and Brooke to genuinely worry. But that wasn't his problem, he told himself to make up for the discrepancy. No one told them to worry. Apart from that, even if he had the strongest reason to leave Nick to his own accord tonight, the sheer fact that he did the same thing should have been enough reason for him to drop the drama with Cara. But, as always, he had to prove a point to himself.

So he turned back to Cara, leaning his forearm against the door, just above her head. "If you don't open this door," he began, before Nick, for the umpteenth time, interrupted him. Roman looked physically defeated as his shoulders slumped and exhaled in distress, then rolled his eyes at the helplessness in Nick's request. "The door," he began as he took a few paces over to Nick. He turned the knob slowly for the effect of emphasizing how stupid Nick was being. "Is open, Nicolas," he said condescendingly, as though he was revealing something of more shock value than the fact that the door was unlocked. Roman nudged it open just enough for it to creak open a few inches on its own and returned back to 5C where he heard Holly's voice. He wasn't sure what she was talking about, but he heard her question. Roman pressed his hand against the door to move it back as far as the chain would allow it. As his demeanor, his voice changed as he spoke to Holly and indirectly to Cara. His forced sugary and innocent tone would likely only be registered by Cara as being patronizing, especially with how it juxtaposed to cold look he was giving her. "Holly, it's Roman. Could you be a good friend and show Cara how to open the door? I think she's forgotten," he said, and then, addressing Cara with a tight smile, "Which is odd, Cara, because you said I could come tell Holly about the dog I saw earlier since you said you guys were getting one." Despite knowing of her adoration for dogs simply from her being around Cara so much, he wondered if the mentioning of a dog was a stretch. While he didn't necessarily expect her to question why the hell anyone would come over just to say they'd seen a dog, she still seemed to be in her own realm, so he wasn't entirely sure what to expect from her, but figured it was worth a try.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers
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The thing about Chanel, the thing that she always held against herself, was that she could make people feel like crap. She could air enough esteem about herself to appear too good for what someone was saying, and for the longest time, this didn't really bother her, even when she came to New York. This was mainly a precaution against the city that she initially perceived as being filled with people much cooler than her small circle in Pennsylvania, and so this wasn't necessarily the case now since she'd lived here for time and had since actively tried getting better at coming across aloof. The first time she questioned it, though, was some years back in her seminar class. The teacher, Mr. Hopkins, was a student favorite. In the final school paper where he was announced Teacher of the Year, a student had said how 'He just makes you feel like you're someone.' Which was true, Chanel realized after reading it. She figured she just liked him because he was one of the 'cool teachers,' but that didn't give him enough credit. Sitting with her clique in the back corner of the classroom, they'd always exchange knowing, unimpressed looks whenever someone spoke in class, especially if it was someone they didn't like. Chanel found herself doing this subconsciously and wondering a few times herself why Mr. Hopkins seemed genuinely interested in what the person was saying. But that, in turn, made her feel like she was missing out, and so led her to also listen to what was being said. This was only because she valued Mr. Hopkins's opinion since he was one of those teachers who was cool because he was real. He had an arrogance about him that appealed to most people, namely those who didn't feel threatened by it. He carried himself with a humble profundity, and it was that reason that people liked him so much. Because at first he was intimating. He walked around looking of importance, like the kind of person you wanted to impress, and so when he seemed assuredly intrigued by what you were saying, you internalized that and felt like you were someone yourself.

Of course, back then Chanel just figured she liked him so much because he was kind of an ass and was able to get away with it. She didn't give her character enough credit until she was already living in New York, but once she realized that, she found that she wanted to have that same effect too. She wanted to be confident without belittling. She wanted the ability of making someone feel special, especially since she lost that chance with her brother. So as Kacey spoke, she leaned forward and nodded at what she said, giving small cues of acknowledgment and short, non-disruptive commentary such as 'Oh. Idaho. That's quaint.' While she didn't expect Kacey to start break out into song about realizing her personal value and purpose in life all because Chanel was being an active listener, she hoped that the girl could tell that she was really interested in what she was saying. The other thing about Mr. Hopkins, Chanel remembered after Kacey had returned the question about her own history, was that he was a bit self-deprecating. She supposed humble was also the word, but it seemed to go past that as he just always seemed like he was not interested in himself. He didn't talk about himself often, and when he did and the students slowly realized that he was actually pretty cool outside of school too, he just seemed underwhelmed. His blase tendency toward himself and fascination for others was probably another reason people adored him so much. What was more, and it was something new that Chanel had recognized, was that she probably appreciated him more now because she felt she could relate to him more. There was a time when he was deflecting from some huge accomplishment he'd been indirectly coerced into speaking about, and it was his tone that resonated with her. He sounded a bit embarrassed, a bit guilty, as if he was taking credit for something that he shouldn't have been. And now more than ever, Chanel felt that she was constantly in that state of mind. It probably wasn't that he disliked himself, but that to feed into people's adoration of him would be dishonest in a way, because he knew there was something more, and somehow people not seeing that only made it more visible to you.

So when Chanel had to respond, she deflected some, shrugging nonchalantly. "Nah, no. I could never be a model. That's so funny that he thinks that because I wouldn't have been surprised if it was true for him. He has really nice symmetry, and you do too actually. You're like average height, so if you just wore some heels to make yourself taller, you could probably own Top Model. Or maybe not because I think this is their last cycle, which sucks because then I basically perfected my catwalk for no reason. Sorry, sorry. I get off track. You can totally tell me to shut up. My mom does it, like, all the time and she managed to not give me up for adoption, so I know it comes from a place of love. So just be like"--she did a small jig as she finished speaking--'Hey, Chanel. You're, like, talking a whole bunch' and then I'll just be like 'Yeah, you're right. Okay.' But um, yeah. Anyways, not a model. No. And story?" She looked towards the ceiling as if her life's past would be there for her to remember. For someone who had, in her own right, overcome some things, she didn't think they equated to what most people went through. She still had it good growing up and didn't really face turmoil until a few years ago. And even if she hadn't, her honest to God story wouldn't paint her as some heroine out to conquer her dreams. It'd undo itself.

"I wasn't born there, but technically I'm from Pittsburgh. My dad was in the military so we moved around a bit until I was seven, so it wasn't even that big a deal since I was so little. Uhh...I have younger twin brothers. Like, they're younger than me and they're twins. Not like they're my twins. I rode the womb solo. I went to school for a year but then dropped it because I wasn't feeling it. I, uh, came to New York a few years ago just because I wanted to start my own life. Just wanted to get out of Pittsburgh and discover something new. And so far it's been pretty great. I've gotten to meet a lot of cool people like Makayla and Holly, and you and Colton. I mainly do some freelance graphic design and hop around jobs. I'm at this coffee shop across the street right now. Might pick up something at American Eagle for the holiday season, and I've actually started thinking about making an Etsy store because I'm into, like, DIY bath and body stuff. You'll totally have to sample my stuff if I decide to go through with it though." She took a deep, dramatic breath to signify that she had completed the laborious task of talking a mile a minute without pause. "But yeah. Nothing really that special. But if you ever want to meet some new people--" she began, her hand overturned and finger pointing her away before the door opened, seemingly on its own. She saw the back of Roman disappear as the door opened some. "Uh, hello?" she said chuckling confusedly while giving Kacey an odd look.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers
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After Roman let Nick in, his plan was no more elaborate than to go inside and eat. "Sup?" he said, nodding to greet the two girls , as he walked through the kitchen and set his pizza box down on the kitchen table. "Shit, it smells amazing in here. Your place is already an upgrade from across the hall, Chanel. Cara would lure you in with this kind of smell, thinking she baked a cake or some shit, and then by the time your mouth is watering you find out it was some shitty candle or something. Apartment 5B doesn't play games like that." The small talk was unusual for Nick, but then again, he wasn't usually this intoxicated and if he was, it was usually just with Brooklyn. It then clicked to him that he had no idea what the girl standing beside Chanel's name was. Had he met her? He wasn't sure. He recalled seeing her before, earlier in the day, but he genuinely had no idea if he had introduced himself then or not, and now, he was in the mindset where it seemed better to be more friendly, and accidentally introduce himself twice, than to come off as a rude prick, ignoring a stranger. "I don't know if I actually introduced myself earlier. I know you were chilling here with Makayla when I came in, but I'm kind of drunk right now, so I can't remember if you told me your name, so yeah... I'm Nick, and I have pizza if either of you are hungry."

He left the pizza box on the table and took a few steps towards the exit of the kitchen as soon as he finished talking, as if he had something to do that he suddenly remembered. Really, all he was planning on doing was checking to see if he had left his apartment key in his new bedroom, but he had only gotten a few steps before all of his belongings in the living room came into sight, and that basically answered his original internal question anyway. "Shit, I forgot to move my stuff in," he thought out loud as he fully exited the kitchen now and approached his things. Nick didn't possess very much. He was a simple guy, for starters, and beyond that, he didn't have the money to live lavishly and indulge in unneeded things. He had enough clothes that weekly laundromat visits got him by, some hygiene products, a couple of random possessions, and aside from that, just marijuana. That had already been moved into his new bedroom, and though he already thought of this as being more of a "chill" apartment since he didn't have to hide the weed from Cara, and didn't have to deal with Brooklyn's complaints about its potency, he still planned on keeping it wrapped tightly, stored in multiple layers of containers, underneath his bed. If for no other reason, than just to keep it safe. Even with few possessions, he knew that moving his stuff in, especially while intoxicated, was going to be a pain in the ass. And that was not something that he wanted to deal with right now. No way.

He turned away from the pile of things almost as quickly as he had approached it and returned to the kitchen where the two girls still stood. "Chanel," he began, as he approached the girls once more. "Do you have cups and shit that I can use? We just used Cara's when we were over there, so I don't know if you want me and Roman to hit up Home Goods, or wherever the fuck you buy that kind of stuff, in the morning, or... what?" It was a random, and probably unnecessary question, but it was the first thing that he had thought of when he opened his pizza box and knew that he was going to be thirsty and want a drink while eating it. Brooklyn bought most of the food and drinks that they would eat, but they had always just used Cara's plates and utensils for it, so now, he was curious as to what the formalities would be regarding that here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers Character Portrait: Dinah Jane Johnson
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This girl was weird, Kacey decided, as she listened to Chanel speak, but a weird that was a good kind of weird. Quirkiness, maybe, was a better word for it, because while she seemed a little bit overly-friendly, it was in an endearing sort of way. Chanel even admitted right then that she had a tendency to talk a lot, but it wasn't annoying and it wasn't even "too much". It was simply different than what Kacey was used to, since having Colton as a roommate for a year meant that aside from the occasional banter, there wasn't too much interaction. The last few days didn't really reflect it, but on a normal day a few weeks ago, Kacey and Colton would maybe have a couple exchanges, if that, and would be on their ways. "Nah, don't sweat it," she laughed lightly, in response to Chanel saying that she could tell her to stop talking, "You're good." The girl's description of her life confirmed the idea that she was normal, and just really friendly, or at least it seemed that way. The whole "coming to New York to find yourself" concept was something that Kacey was familiar with herself, so that alone made her feel a bit more connected to Chanel than before, and knowing that she was sort of on the same tier as her, in the field of job prestige made her more comfortable as well. The freelance graphic design stuff sounded complicated, but the retail and coffee shop work made her seem like someone who actually fell in her league when it came to possible friendships and similarities.

When Chanel stopped midway through her sentence to address the now-partly open door, Kacey peered in that direction as well, but quickly diverted her attention to her phone, seeing it as a good opportunity to email back the girl from Craigslist. She read the email once, and then once again. For someone who had never lived a luxurious life, the idea of having a roommate was bothering her more than it should have. It wasn't like she hadn't lived comfortably, because she had, but she just wasn't so privileged that the idea of a roommate should have bothered her so much. It probably wasn't the idea of having a roommate, so much as to why she had to have a roommate. Needing a roommate meant that she was broke, and being broke meant that her career aspirations were becoming more and more fantasy-like, over realistic. After reading the email for a third time, she responded with her phone number and a message that read:

"Hey Dinah,

Yeah, I'm free tomorrow between 8 AM and 11 AM if you want to stop by. The address is 314 W 14th. Text me what time would be good for you.

Kacey"


After sending it, she returned her attention to what was now going on, which entailed the guy from earlier, who Kacey recalled being addressed as Nick, coming in with a box of pizza in his hand. Since Kacey didn't know him, the way he was acting now didn't seem any more out of character than him asking Makayla to smoke with him earlier, so she didn't know that he was drunk right off the bat. "Kacey," she stated, a minimal smile reaching her face as he questioned her name, though it faded quickly. Not for any real reason. She wasn't particularly offended by Nick not knowing her name, mostly because she had no grounds to be. She hadn't been formally introduced to Nick. They had not crossed paths during the short span of time that Kacey spent across the hall the night before, and though she had seen him this afternoon, when he tried to get Makayla to smoke with him, they hadn't actually interacted. Makayla had seemed perturbed by him and abruptly left with Holly, and he went off with Chanel to her room. Kacey left the apartment soon after for her second audition of the day, so she had not had a chance to get a good opinion on the guy. He seemed to be a friend of Chanel's, and maybe more, as she had guessed that afternoon. Since Nick admitted to being drunk, Kacey felt more at ease with joking around and being a bit bolder, since he was the one who was already more likely to make a fool out of himself. "And I'm not hungry, but thanks," she said, responding to his offer of the pizza. It did smell good, and with how Kacey's cravings were sneaking up on her today, she was half-tempted to go for it, but there was no need. She had lasagna she could heat up if she was really hungry, and she wasn't. These cinnamon buns were only a decoy, a way for her to eat her feelings, and she didn't need to do that through them and a slice of greasy pizza. When he stepped into the living room for a second, she looked at Chanel with a more playful expression and said, "This your boo?", only allowing the smirk to drop when Nick reappeared and began to question Chanel about whether he could use her tableware.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers
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Momentarily, she was taken aback when Nick came inside, but then she reminded herself that this would be normal now. She wasn't sure for how long, but hoped it wasn't any time when her parents came to visit her. She was now starting to regret pushing away their offers to come see her because each time they only pressed harder, and if they knew she was living with two guys, especially two guys like Nick and Roman, then there'd be problems. She guessed that if Roman wasn't there at the time that it wouldn't be as much of a problem only because Nick was far more harmless looking, and she thought he acted that way too. She only interacted with him occasionally and he seemed to give off a similar--albeit friendlier--vibe as Roman. They were both pretty chill from what she had gathered, but Nick had a natural charm about him, at least Chanel thought so. Or it could have been she was telling herself this to mask the mainly superficial reasons for why she liked him. She was really only fond of him because she thought he was attractive and he wasn't an asshole. Seeing him moping on the steps earlier was a bit of a turn off, just because it was kind of pathetic, but now it was a bit endearing. She suppressed a laugh at him announcing his intoxication, only feeling bad some time later when she realized why he was probably drunk, which likely the same reason he was this afternoon. This time was different, she figured, because he was being social and funny. To her, there was nothing wrong with being drunk, just be a fun drunk. Not the kind that ruined parties.

She'd watched him leave the kitchen, now intrigued by this peculiar side of Nick, before turning back to Kacey. At her question, Chanel quickly shook her head, twisting her face in objection. If it wasn't known that she actually had nothing against Nick himself, she probably would have come across as seeming repulsed by the idea of someone thinking they were together. In reality, though, for once, she was trying to stay out of the mess. She didn't know Brooklyn too well, but she figured it was best if she didn't come to know her through some mix up like thinking her and Nick were a thing. Then throw Cara into the situation? Things would just be even messier. No. Nick was off limits, at least until Chanel felt petty enough to toss her morals aside, but for that to happen, she'd have to be incredibly mad and incredibly provoked. Or lightly intoxicated, she thought when Nick came over and addressed her. "I do have cups and shit that you can use, Nick," she said, hopping off the counter. "Nothing's off limits, except for my wine glasses. Anything else, you can use. The cups are here," she said, opening the respective cabinet and pulling one out, figuring he wanted one and that was the reason he'd ask. "And plates are over here." She moved to the plate cabinet and pulled out a paper one. "I have regular plates too, but I got paper for last night's dinner and still have some leftovers, so yeah. Just use these until we run out. Speaking of leftovers, there's some in the fridge, but you're already taken care of, so." She nodded towards the pizza. Chanel would have taken him up on his offer, but she'd just eaten and was definitely taking Kacey up on her cinnamon rolls offer. She was now starting to see--or rather smell--what Nick had been talking about earlier. The cinnamon rolls were starting to make her mouth water, and she wondered how much longer they would take, but didn't want to ask out of fear of seeming greedy. Figuring she'd be nice and offer him one, despite them not being hers to share, she opened her mouth to tell Nick that he could have one too, but before she did, Roman came through the door. After heading straight to his room, he came back out, his hands now empty.

"Well, looks like everyone is here." Chanel smiled, unsure as to why this pleased her. "Roman, this is Kacey. She's really nice," Chanel added despite the fact that she hardly even knew the girl. "And you, of course, already know Nick," she said, smiling in each of their direction. Roman moved to the island where the pizza was, helping himself to a slice without asking. "Unfortunately," he said, giving Nick a lightly annoyed look, but she could hear in his voice a lightness to it, as if he was teasing him. He seemed far less cold to Nick than he had been to her earlier, which Chanel took as a good sign. Chanel glanced across the kitchen quickly, feeling somewhat responsible over the situation, like a hostess as a party. She wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time, even though a quarter of the party was already drunk and the second quarter seemed abysmally disinterested. She liked groups of people, and whenever she was in the loop, felt a need to take control of it. She just automatically assumed that when people came together, it was for a reason, and you wanted to keep said people together for as long as possible, even if it was clear that there was nothing more to the situation than an alignment of schedules. Chanel still wanted to prolong this interaction, likely because she wasn't close with any of them and would retreat to her room once again if everyone dispersed. "It's so cool that everyone's already here. I had one roommate who I, like, hardly ever saw," she said. "Oh, and I forgot to welcome you guys as my new roommates. I know it was kind of short notice, but still. I'm happy you're here." She wasn't exactly telling the truth, but she also wasn't lying so she figured there wasn't too much harm in the statement. That was, until Roman decided to open his mouth and ruin the moment. "Well, let's just hope that Nick doesn't get me kicked out this time." His tone was oddly cheery and noticeably tight. "Kacey," Chanel said quickly. "I think I have ice cream for those cinnamon rolls." She moved towards the fridge, glancing back at the boys. "Do you guys want any ice cream?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers Character Portrait: Dinah Jane Johnson
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Nick had spent the majority of the day out, which wasn't necessarily out of character for him to begin with, but had become a consistent pattern over the past few days. After falling into his pathetic drunken stupor on Friday, he allowed himself one morning to recover on Saturday, and then vowed that he wouldn't get like that again. He wasn't emotionally recovered and his marijuana intake had only increased after he promised himself that he wouldn't use alcohol as a coping mechanism, but at least he wasn't allowing himself to mope around and wallow in self-pity. He always had trouble escaping from himself, since overthinking seemed to be his specialty, but keeping busy had helped, at least a little bit. He made more deals over the past few days than he normally did in a week, and he pushed himself to follow up on leads for new clients and network. Money was coming in, and that was always a good thing, but it was strange not to feel forced to save it. It had been less than a week since Brooklyn had broken up with him, and yet Nick was already missing her. He missed the good things, of course, but strangely, he missed the things about her that had always led to their problems. He no longer had to hear her being hypercritical about any and everything. She wasn't waking him up at five in the morning as she stumbled into bed, smelling of liquor and perfume, after a long night at work. He wasn't chastised for smoking too much, and he wasn't made to feel like a worthless nobody for not being able to treat her to fancy dinners. It was so cliche and cheesy, but while Brooklyn had been a pain in the ass, she had been his pain in the ass, and losing that after so long definitely left him with a void. It was a void that had proven so far, to be impossible to be filled with any amount of distractions, money, or marijuana.

Since Friday, he had not tried to reach out to Brooklyn again. It seemed futile because clearly, this wasn't like any of their past fights and Nick didn't doubt that his mistake fell into the category of unforgivable things. He could try to justify, all he wanted, that Brooklyn had done some bad things to him too, like sleeping with Ryan, but by now, he had taken enough responsibility to know that his action had been the one to ignite the rest. Brooklyn wasn't perfect, and neither was he, but she had always been faithful to him until he had broken their line of trust.

His supply that should have lasted him at least another week, had been depleted earlier that morning after a few big sales, so Nick spent most of his day picking up a new supply. His supplier lived in the Bronx, which took about forty minutes to reach through the subway system. He didn't stay in the borough for very long, mostly because even though his supplier trusted him, it wasn't a relationship where either party wanted to hang out and chat. All it really was, actually, was a text message saying he was there, being allowed into the man's apartment for less than a minute where the transaction would go down, and Nick leaving with a cheap suitcase filled with drugs, and one thousand less dollars in his pocket. He was back in Manhattan by noon, and though he knew it was risky to travel with such a large amount of drugs on him, he didn't want to return to the apartment just then, and spent another few hours making some small deals, before finally returning to the apartment building again. He was so focused on how badly he didn't want to run into Brooklyn, that felt an unnecessary sense of relief when he ran into two other familiar faces: Kacey and Dinah. Dinah had contacted him a few days back saying she had found a place to stay in his building, which was cool with him, because he liked Dinah. He didn't know her extremely well, but that was easy to say about most of the people that he knew through his business. He didn't know, however, that she would end up actually moving into his actual apartment. If Chanel or Kacey had mentioned it, it wouldn't have even been surprising that Nick hadn't been paying enough attention to absorb the information, but seeing Kacey outside, talking to Dinah, was a start at linking the two together. At the very least, it would have been coincidental if Dinah knew both him and Kacey, one of his roommates, for different reasons. "Hey Dinah," he said with a wave, as he approached them with a light smile. "You never answered my text the other day, about when you were actually moving in, but I guess this answers it--that today's the day." Although he had apologized and properly introduced himself to Kacey on Saturday, after drunkenly greeting her Friday, it still wasn't like Nick was close with her at all, but he still felt the need to acknowledge her too. "Hey. How do you know you guys know each other?"

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers Character Portrait: Dinah Jane Johnson
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Location
304 W 14th Street

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Maybe today was meant to be a good day or something - Dinah wouldn't be able to say, but she was more than a bit surprised when her driver offered, without prompting, to get her second suitcase out of the trunk. She had figured that since she had to put in the work to put it in when he had picked her up, that no absolutely no fucks were given about her or her heavy bags. Look at God, some infernal voice in her head decided to exclaim and Dinah managed an appreciative lift of the corners of her mouth for the man, not particularly a smile but not the grimace she had given one of her classmates a few days ago. "Thanks," she finally stated just as she heard her name being called by an unfamiliar voice.

"Hey," she exclaimed, painting on a lighter smile as she took in the newcomer. Her driver must have sensed it was time for him to go and honestly, Dinah's attention was on the woman who had emerged from the building. "Kacey, right?" Just this suitcase, if it's not too heavy for you. Thanks" Despite not looking forward to lugging up the bag, she chose to give her new roommate the smaller suitcase. It wasn't like she wasn't used to bearing the weight anyway. "I can store them elsewhere if they start taking up room. Got a few people who kinda owe me favors right now anyway." What she meant was that she had people whose guilt about not being able to help her was exploitable and she could easily use that to her advantage, though she kept that little tidbit to herself. Still, Dinah felt like she was doing good. She wasn't being a chatterbox like Clarissa, but she found it better to fill the silence. Be a bit friendlier.

It helped that in the few seconds it took to acquaint herself with Kacey somewhat that Nick appeared out of nowhere because, despite it being small, her plump lips broadened into a much brighter and sincere smile. Sure, Dinah and Nick weren't...close friends. In fact, they were colleagues at best, colleagues who happened to get along a bit better than she would have thought when they were doing business. She liked him, at least enough to give him a real smile. "Nick, hey..." she greeted him, shifting subtly on her feet to brace herself against the cool breeze that zipped past the bustling warm bodies. "What can I say? I kinda like having the element of surprise on my side. And Kacey here is allowing me to be her new roommate, wasn't that nice?"

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Kacey Rogers Character Portrait: Dinah Jane Johnson
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"No, it's no big deal. There's space up there," Kacey said, trying to be as friendly as possible. There definitely was room in the bedroom for Dinah's room, but mostly because Kacey had spent a lot of time since she weekend, redesigning the layout that she had planned the room out in originally. During their email exchanges, Kacey explained that she didn't have any major furniture to move in, and though Kacey had originally shrugged at the thought of Dinah having to find her own way with a bed, just a day later, the building manager was hauling a bed frame and mattress out to the curb. When he explained that a tenant had left it in an apartment after their lease expired, and he was throwing it out, she went against character and called Colton down to move it upstairs and into her bedroom. It was her good deed of the year, she rationed, and she figured that it would make her look like a better roommate, all while costing her nothing.

Kacey lingered a few steps to the side, allowing Nick and Dinah to speak for a couple of minutes before Nick turned away and continued walking in the opposite direction from the building. Kacey was beyond confused on how the two of them knew each other, but she didn't bring it up immediately, as she and Dinah headed into the building. Instead, she opted to be more friendly than she wanted, and maybe, more friendly than Dinah wanted too. It just seemed necessary to get the basics down." I just moved into this room a few days back, actually, since I was on a different floor before there were... structural issues with that apartment. Like I said in the email, though, the apartment manager was tossing a bed from one of the tenants that recently moved out and left it here, so I had a friend move that up into the room yesterday for you. The mattress is thin as hell, so you'll probably want to look into getting a new one at some point... but it's livable, at least by my standards. And clearly you know Nick, but aside from him, we have two other roommates. He likes with a guy named Roman, in one of the bedrooms, and in the other, is a girl named Chanel. How do you know Nick though, if you don't mind me asking?" She was tempted to mention how the building didn't have an elevator, and how they were five flights up, but with how heavy the suitcase that Dinah was lugging looked, she figured that it would probably only put a negative spin on the mood, and opted just to start walking up, instead.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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It's Christmas Eve, and in New York City, it's a picturesque one at that. Though by now, at eight o'clock at night, the snow has let up some, for the past four hours the flakes have been falling from a sky at a steady pace. Luckily, it wasn't strong enough to delay any flights or transportation for the many holiday travelers, but it did set the mood for that picture perfect white Christmas that so many adore. Even Nick found it easier to be positive today. He knew that he hadn't made the smartest decision ever by venturing uptown earlier in the day, because it meant that unless he wanted to take the subway, he would have to cross through midtown to get home. Midtown on average days was chaotic, but on a day where the city was overwhelmed with tourists and visiting-families and people doing their last minute Christmas shopping, it wasn't a place that you really wanted to be. On one hand, it was a great place to get that "Christmasy" feel, because more frequently than ever, you would see people tossing money into the buckets of homeless people, or the open instrument cases of musicians playing Christmas songs on the sidewalk. The smell of those roasted almonds somehow smelled ten times sweeter than it did any other day of the year, and seeing people hurry from store to store with armfuls of shopping bags somehow seemed endearing, rather than frivolous, today. Normally Nick would have taken the subway because of its speed and price, but he had a couple of business stops to make in midtown anyway, so he had crossed through the Times Square area around six PM.

For the first time in a while, the crowds didn't get to him, and he actually appreciated the city's atmosphere. It didn't take long for that feeling of warmth to disappear, and not just because he had only left the house in a sweatshirt and jeans, and his ears and finger tips felt like they were on the verge of being frost bitten. By the time that he was back home, the spirit of the season reminded him that he didn't have a reason to celebrate this year. In general, since his grandparents' passing, holidays had always been a bit of a downer. When he had met Finn, Brooklyn and Roman, things had become less bleek, especially because he and Brooklyn had adopted holiday traditions of their own. This year... he had nothing. No one to celebrate with and nothing to look forward to. Though he felt cheesy admitting it, for him, it wasn't about the gifts or great home cooked meals. He actually just really appreciated having good and true companies on holidays like this, and Christmas was probably the one where not having that made the void feel larger than ever.

His backpack was a lot lighter than it had been on his way out this morning, but it wasn't empty. Inside of it was the duffle bag he had carried most of the drugs in, that was now rolled up as tightly as possible and stuffed into his bag. Aside from that, he had a bottle of Maker's Mark that he intended on giving Roman as a Christmas gift, and some snacks for when he got high later that night. It was pathetic, and he was readily aware of that, but that was his big Christmas Eve and Christmas plan: get high and eat junk food. If he was feeling bold, maybe he would order takeout later, and if he was feeling any more pity for himself than he already was, maybe he would down the bottle of whisky before he even had the chance to give it to Roman. That potential became more likely when Nick made it upstairs to the apartment and didn't find Roman in their room. He convinced himself not to stoop to the point of drinking this early, especially not when he had specifically purchased a more decent costly bottle than he normally would have, since it was supposed to be a gift. He didn't waste time in cracking their window to an extent great enough to make him feel guilty, since he was sure letting in all the cold air would hike up this month's heating bill, and lighting up a joint, however.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Colton King
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The only person that Nick was expecting to be in the apartment was Roman, so when he found that he wasn't there, Nick didn't hesitate from cracking his bedroom window open just slightly, and smoking in their room. He had originally only planned on smoking a joint, but as he got settled into his bedroom he decided to smoke from his bong tonight. Normally, rolling a joint was quicker and more efficient, since even though he was certain that everyone in the apartment knew he smoked, he still tried to be courteous about it. Roman smoked frequently enough too, and he knew that Chanel smoked on occasion, and had recently learned that Kacey used the drug too, but regardless, it was something that he didn't want to make a big deal. He didn't want everyone else's clothes and things smelling like weed, and he also hated wasting the heat by keeping the windows constantly open, so he did his best to be discrete and quick with it. Besides, as long as he was getting his high, he really didn't care how he was doing it. On nights like tonight, when he had no one to bother and nothing else to be doing, he didn't mind relaxing more and setting up the bong. He knew that it would only hurt him financially to smoke through much of his stash when he could have sold it, but tonight he didn't really care. After a while of smoking in his room, he took a break, but carried the bong out into the living room and set it down there as he called a local pizzeria and ordered for a pie to be delivered. He knew that he wasn't done completely for the night, but his stomach was definitely growling by now, and none of the food in the fridge belonged to him. Nick was usually good about being respectful of eating other people things, so that did play a big role in him opting for a delivery, but beyond that, nothing looked that enticing. He would normally eat anything, and high, that was especially true, but tonight he was craving greasy junk food, and pizza was definitely more likely to hit the spot over whatever health foods Chanel had left behind.

He hadn't gotten a call from the delivery guy saying that he was here, so that Nick could let him into the building, but when there was a knock at the apartment door, Nick just assumed it was the delivery guy. He was too high to realize that that would have been weird, given the locked main door, beyond it only being around five minutes since he hung up with the pizzeria, that was located at least fifteen minutes away. Given that the delivery guy was likely delivering on a bike and that it was snowing, it wasn't plausible that it was him at the door at all. However, Nick yelled out that he was coming and scrounged up the money he owed from his wallet in his bedroom, before returning and opening the apartment door. "Dude, thanks for getting here so quickly," Nick said, despite realizing halfway through the greeting that the guy on the other end of the door didn't have a pizza in his hands. It took another couple of seconds for it to click that that "dude" was actually Colton, the guy who lived across the hall, and that realization came expressively, as once it clicked in his mind, he grinned. "Ah, sorry, man. I thought you were the delivery guy. I ordered pizza a fuckin' lifetime ago, and it still isn't here." He shook his head as if it were a sin, before his grin reappeared once more, and he laughed at himself. "I'm stoned out of my mind though, so maybe it's just my stomach talking, y'know?"

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Colton King
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Colton spent the majority of Christmas Eve at work. He worked a double shift after another employee called out, and since their deli did a lot of holiday catering, with platters and sandwiches, there was a lot of work to be done. He worked from nearly five in the morning to eight at night, but it paid off. Not only did he make good money, just in terms of the hours he had worked, but as usual, his boss didn't fail in being a good guy. He and his wife had always been wholesome people and did well by all of their employees, so though Colton was surprised when they handed him an extra hundred dollars as a holiday bonus, he knew that he shouldn't have been. Given their track record, the generosity really wasn't all that surprising. Aside from the nice payout from the day's work, Colton didn't mind working on Christmas Eve either, because it was something to do. Holidays tended to be a good reminder of how he had been disowned from his family. While Colton had been the one to leave the nest before he got kicked out, if he hadn't left on his own will, he would have been kicked out anyway, so disowned still seemed like a fitting word. His birthday was one thing, and Colton could pretend that now having no family didn't bother him much then, but it was a bit harder to do on the big holidays like Christmas. As a young kid, he had loved Christmas just as any child would, because it meant presents and toys. As a preteen and teenager, he had grow to dislike it a bit more, mostly because he became more aware of how he was being forced to attend church and go through all of the boring religious traditions that he didn't want to have to conform to. Still, even if at the time he wanted to act like he hated the holiday, there was no denying now, that the memories of his house smelling like delicious food, and the sound of his mother's sweet voice yelling at him and his brothers to stop stealing candy canes off of the Christmas tree didn't make him miss it.

On his walk home from the deli, those memories made him feel more out of place than he had ever felt before. For the first time in a while, he wondered what the hell he was doing in New York - and in his life in general. There were so many people in the world who didn't have family at all, and here he was, refusing to reach out to his own, over reasons that he could chalk up as being stupid and petty. They weren't stupid and petty, as he had a right to be whoever he wanted to be, but did he want to live this way forever? Did he want his mother to grow old without knowing that her baby was safe and doing all right and thinking of her? He liked to think, most days, that his family had forgotten him and moved on happily with their own lives, and maybe his father had, but he couldn't even pretend that his mother wasn't a great mother. Even if he didn't want her to miss him, she was sure that she must have worried about him at least from time to time over the past few years, and he felt guilty for that alone. He wondered what they were all doing tonight, and what their plans were for tomorrow. There was so much that he didn't know about his family now. His brothers could have gotten married and started families of their own, for all he knew. Hell, if he was being really somber and honest, his parents might have been dead. Thinking about that made him feel even more guilty, as anyone would, and today more than ever, he struggled with reminding himself that they were the ones who pushed him away.

That uncomfortable itch of guilt in him somehow led him through the snow that was slowly falling from the sky, to the nearest liquor store. He knew very well that it was stupid, but something in him told him that he could relieve some of the guilt that he was suddenly feeling, if he did something good. Thinking of Chanel, at the thought of that, was one more thing that he could add to the list of things that he hated about himself tonight, but especially knowing that Kacey was out of time, he felt like she would be the only other person who he could do something nice for. It was dumb of him to think that she would still be in town, given how normal she seemed lifestyle wise, but he didn't even consider that she would be with family as he scanned the aisles of liquor that the store offered, before considering that she probably was more of a wine type of girl. The only problem with that, was that Colton didn't know shit about wine, and he had too much pride to ask the guy behind the counter for any suggestions. Beyond the pride, he also didn't want to spend that much money, and he thought that admitting he wasn't knowledgeable about the products at hand would lead the guy to exploiting him for a sale. His confused look as he browsed the wine section led the store employee over to him anyway, and after some persistent questioning, Colton admitted that he was looking for a gift for a girl he knew. "A girl, eh?" the man asked, with a thick accent that Colton couldn't place specifically, though he assumed it was from somewhere in Asia. "You won't fail with this," he continued, leading Colton over to a display in the front that housed bottles of "White Girl Rosé". Again, Colton didn't think into it enough to even really read the label or process how it might be weird to give that to Chanel, who obviously wasn't white, and more interested in just being left alone from the worker, he paid for it and left.

The apartment wasn't a far walk, and although he considered that maybe he should have purchased a gift bag or something on his way home, he knew he didn't have one in his apartment anyway, so instead of stopping there first, he headed across the hall to Chanel's apartment. His knock was answered fast enough, but by Nick, and not Chanel. Colton wasn't sure if it was Nick or the apartment itself that possessed the potent smell of weed but either way, he wasn't surprised that Nick admitted to being stoned after mistaking him for the pizza delivery man. It wasn't like Colton interacted with Nick frequently, but he had seen him around enough to not be shocked seeing him high, and really, he felt better about himself, seeing that this was the state that this guy was in on Christmas Eve. At least he wasn't the only one who wasn't snuggled up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a family singing Christmas carols. "Hey, don't give it a second thought, man. Gotta admit I'm pretty jealous that you're stoned, actually, but I won't keep you. I just wanted to see if Chanel was here. Brought her something," he explained, shifting on his feet slightly as he raised the plastic bag containing the bottle a bit.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Brooklyn had a bad tendency of justifying her own wrong actions as being right, and crucifying people for their own wrong actions without giving them even a partial benefit of the doubt. That was something that was very true tonight, when she didn't consider that maybe Roman had reason to be in the bad mood that he was clearly in. It wasn't clear in a direct sense, where his face was shaded red and there was smoke coming out of his ears, but just in how unexpectedly biting his words were. He first brought up Nick's affair with Cara, which automatically shifted Brooklyn's disposition. Had she not been so caught off guard, she might have actually struck him across the face just for that, but then he continued, and called out Makayla on needing Cara to give her free rent, and that just seemed like a low blow. It was something that probably wasn't too low for her to say, because after all, Brooklyn had a tendency of saying a lot of things that were cringe worthy, but in her mind it was easier to justify than Roman saying it. Brooklyn was the one who had to deal with Holly waking her up and touching her things and annoying her. Brooklyn was the one who had went out of her way to get Makayla and job, and a pretty good one at that! She had a right to be nasty to those girls because her actions otherwise, proved that the bad things she did could be balanced out by the good. It was like how Brooklyn felt like she could jokingly be mean to Roman, because they were on that level where there was an understanding that it wasn't serious. Roman definitely was not on any sort of level close to that with Makayla, and just by the way he said it, Brooklyn could tell that he wasn't trying to be funny or amusingly passive aggressive. He was just being an asshole, and Makayla's reaction to it showed that she interpreted it in the same way.

She waited until Makayla was gone before snatching the bottle of vodka back from his hands, and getting to her feet. "Are you kidding me?" she nearly growled, a stark change in disposition from the happier drunk she had been just minutes before. The only similarity, really, was that just as she was being a bit overly happy compared to her normal self, before, she was also being overly angry and dramatic, given the circumstances. "Go fuck yourself, Roman. I make a reference to how crazy Cara is for calling you a heroin addict, and you think it's okay to fucking rub it in my face that Nick slept with another person? And you think it's okay to criticize this girl for not being able to pay her rent? Because forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it your fucking ass that I took in at Finn's when you were just some little homeless bitch washing dishes? And fuck, wasn't it your little bitch ass that Nick and I decided to let room with us when we moved out of there? Because we didn't wanna rent a studio apartment and have to leave you for dead? Isn't that right?" Now, she was making it seem like having Roman around was more of a chore or a pity action than it really was, and it genuinely wasn't that way, but she was drunk and willing to claim that to prove her point. "But this girl who's supporting her mentally-fucking-challenged sister needs to feel like shit on Christmas Eve because you've grown a pair of balls overnight, huh? Get the fuck out of here and don't hit me up anymore." By then, it was probably pretty obvious that she was being far more dramatic than necessary, and the alcohol was definitely playing a big part in that. She had been standing just a foot or so away from him as she berated his behavior, but turned back to the table, shaking her head and stating, "that pissed me off", more to herself than to him, as she snatched her phone angrily from the counter. "You better hurry back over to your apartment. Is it your turn to get on your knees for Nick tonight, or the other way around?" she taunted, expecting him to already be on his way out, and not wanting to give him a chance to fire back at her, as she kept her eyes focused on her phone while typing out a message to someone who she hadn't spoken to in weeks.

To: Nick
Get your little fuckboy out of my apartment before I stab him

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Colton King
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Christmas Eve was turning out to be an even more random string of events than Thanksgiving was. Moving apartments and crashing someone else's Thanksgiving dinner seemed extreme, but with Kacey by his side that night, things felt more familiar and reasonable. Showing up at the door of some girl who probably didn't have a single care in the world for him, with a bottle of wine, and then finding out that she wasn't home and hadn't been home in a while, was out of Colton's character to begin with. Follow that up with him staying at that apartment with one of her roommates and smoking an enormous amount of weed with the guy, and this was definitely a holiday to go down in the books. While it was undeniably strange, Colton wasn't complaining. Considering that Nick was a drug dealer, it shouldn't have been surprising that the strain of weed that they were smoking seemed to be a good one, and Colton's high felt strong, but not in a way where he was freaking out. He was more relaxed than he had felt in a while, and that chillness made not knowing Nick unimportant as they devoured a pizza, continued to smoke, and watched television.

"Bro, I didn't know you were fucking Chanel. Nice catch, nice catch," Nick nodded in approval after breathing out a cloud of smoke. Because he smoked so regularly, it was sometimes a little bit harder to get a high that felt this authentic. Considering that he and Colton had smoked at least twice as much as Nick normally smoked a day just in the past hour, though, it wasn't all that surprising that he was feeling it tonight. Even after eating more than half of the pizza he had ordered, his munchies were still prevalent, and as he nodded towards the bong, signaling that Colton was free to take another hit if he wanted to, he stood up from the couch. "The only thing I'm gonna warn you about her, though, is that she's one of those girls who shops at Whole Foods and shit. She's probably a fucking vegan and shit, man. I don't know if that's the kind of girl you wanna tie down because, you know, those are the types that start telling you they're not gonna shave their legs or their armpits anymore, and soon enough she'll be telling you you've gotta switch to one-ply toilet paper to help save the environment and shit. All that weird hippie shit. My word of advice to you, man, is that if she's not gonna eat meat in a restaurant, then you shouldn't trust her with your meat in her mouth in bed. Fuck, she'll probably be the type who won't even wanna do that. I mean, it's your call, dude, because she is hot and shit, but I don't know if I'd take hot at that price."

"Fucking her?" Colton repeated, confused at Nick bringing that up after what had to have been at least twenty minutes of silence as they watched television. He was probably referring to what brought Colton to the apartment in the first place, with the bottle of wine as a gift, but if that was it, then it probably spoke more about how Colton wasn't close with Chanel, if he didn't even know that she was out of town. He was too high to go into that deep of a thought process to figure that out though, so he just shrugged. "I wish I was fucking her but I don't think she even wants to be friends, nonetheless whatever you are with someone when they start choosing what toilet paper you should buy. But you really think that? I don't know, I kind of feel like she'd be the kind of girl who'd be wild in bed." He shook his head when Nick offered him another hit of the bong. His high was strong enough, and as he leaned his head back into the couch, he knew that it wouldn't be smart to smoke any more right now. "Speaking of that, though- how was your girl in bed? Kacey told me that you're not with her anymore, but the blonde girl? Brooklyn? She seems like she'd be a nice catch."

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Colton King
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Roman knew good and well that what he said couldn't be justified, at least to Makayla. His jab at Brooklyn was low in comparison to the one she'd made at him, but he could reason that he was in a more irritated mood after that. With Makayla, though, he didn't really have any real defense. He'd said it nonchalantly enough to insinuate that he wasn't trying to start anything, but he was also blase enough afterwards to prove that he didn't really care regardless. Roman could tell from the way she promptly excused herself that what he'd said struck a chord, and the only regret he had following was wishing it was that easy to get Brooklyn to back off, even though Makayla didn't really need to be backed off to begin with. While he did like Makayla because she'd never done anything to bother him and seemed to always worry about herself, which he appreciated, he didn't like her to the extent to where he really felt like he owed her anything, like his sympathy or apology. What was true was true, and he didn't think it was something to get embarrassed over if it was something you agreed to. Of course, this was him rationalizing and not wanting to admit how out of line he was. It was a shortcut excuse, and one that was easy to use as he focused his attention on Brooke, who'd turn from noticeably more tolerable to noticeably more intolerable within a few seconds.

As she went on, he slowly sipped his drink, raising his eyebrow in response as her words got more aggressive. If this were an actual argument and not all around misdirection, then he would have taken her words personally, because there was no reason being called a heroine addict would hurt more than what she was saying. But this wasn't' a real argument that was happening, and he figured she was only blowing up like this because, for one, she'd been drinking, and two because he matched her. If you asked him, he would tell you that Brooke was the one who handed out the harsher of the insults and it was he who tended to stay mild because he knew how quick Brooke could snap. This was what happened when he decided to go head to head and challenge her, and was something he avoided for obvious reasons. And while he wasn't expecting this kind of backlash, he also wasn't too phased by it. The anger Brooklyn felt over his words to Makayla were phony and just overflow from what Roman had said to her about Nick. It would be a lie to say that what she was saying had absolutely no weight on him. It stirred him enough to make him roll his eyes and grumble at her, but again, he didn't take her words as personally as he normally would have. As he was brushing most of what was happening tonight aside, like his grandparents and Cara, this was no exception and was easier to do just because it had become habitual by tonight. There was a chance it would irk him more tomorrow, but not because it was something that he'd never heard before and made him overthink it. He'd had the same thoughts, worried about his place and being in the way. He didn't like owing people anything, and he proved to not always be a good friend to Nick and Brooke when he needed to validate to himself that he didn't need them, or anyone for that matter. While tonight what he'd said to Brooke didn't have anything to do with that, her words not entirely sticking did because it was something he'd heard before. Maybe not from Brooklyn or Nick, but from himself. And he'd heard and dealt with similar sentiment from other people for long enough to where it wasn't so hard to ignore. He knew he messed up and what he did was wrong, but Roman didn't like being wrong under any circumstance, and similar to Brooke, was hesitant to ever own up to it. And Brooklyn's reaction only made it that much easier to withhold any apology he already wasn't going to give.

Setting the glass on the table, he laughed beneath his breath and shook his head. He wasn't going to argue with Brooke. There was no reason to, although reason clearly hadn't sat well with him the majority of the night, so it had more to do with the fact that he was tired and not in an instigating mood. He could continue to go head to head with Brooklyn if he wanted, he could keep taking things too far, but he wasn't actually in that bad a mood, just a weird one. Although he would say he wasn't trying to hurt Brooke's feelings, which it was clear he did, he couldn't have possibly thought that something else would have happened. Brooklyn wasn't one to be consoled, and wasn't one for consoling, so he began to leave, only taking her cutting him off as a grain of salt, if that. Before he got a few steps across the kitchen, though, he stopped and looked at Brooke, her back to him and texting someone. With the intent of being more annoying than malice--though perhaps his taking so lightly of Brooke's reaction had some maliciousness to it on its own--he walked back over to her. Wrapping his arm around her from behind, he leaned down towards her, the humor clear on his tongue. "So does that mean I won't get a Christmas present from you tomorrow?" he said, only to be elbowed and pushed back immediately following, with Brooklyn saying, "Are you fucking deaf? Get out of my apartment," was none too surprising. He doubled back enough to where he wasn't touching her anymore, but was still close to her. Roman moved around so that he was more in front of her, a slight smile on his lips. "Was that Nick you were texting?" he said.

"I'm sure you'd love it if it was, wouldn't you? You always got off on being the third wheel, fucking creep." Brooklyn said. Roman gaped and frowned, feigning more hurt than he actually felt. Moving around her, now completely disregarding her kicking him out, he sat on one of the chairs and looked at her. "Yeah, you mean third wheel like what you became when Nick started fucking Cara without a second thought? I do get off on it actually. Maybe if you did too, you wouldn't be such a tight ass." He cocked his head in mock contemplation and chewed his nail. He leaned against the counter, his cheek resting against his fist as he looked at her. "Nah, that's not what a third wheel is. A third wheel is someone who knowingly intrudes on a couple. Do you know how much better off the two of us would've been without you hanging around all the time? You're annoying. You were back then, and still are today. A fucking pest, that's what you are. Now get the fuck out of my apartment. Seriously. And I hope you feel guilty for what you said to her. Holly's like, fucking suicidal tonight, like shit that I've never even seen before, and I was trying to be a good person and make this girl feel better about her life and you had to come in here and make her feel like complete shit. It's not funny and it's not cool. You're just a complete asshole." Roman nodded some, as if in agreeance, and tugged the side of his mouth back as if to say 'Oh well.' Instead, though, as he stood, he said, "Yeah, I am. And you're Mother fucking Theresa, aren't you?" His voice was light, but also tight enough for it to come across as being the insult it was supposed to be. Without saying anything else, he walked past her and finally left, only ending up in his apartment seconds later, greeted by the thick smell of marijuana. He closed the door and looked towards the living room, seeing Nick and, to his surprise, Colton. He raised his brow then, but went towards the kitchen to look for something to eat. "Hey, Nick," he said, then glancing back towards Colton, but not saying it with much sincerity, "Sorry. Forgot your name."

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Colton King
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Just as Colton brought up Brooklyn, Nick's phone, which was in his pocket, vibrated, alerting him of a text from her. The vibration against his leg freaked him out at first, given his dazed state, and he actually chuckled aloud when he realized that he had been startled by his own phone, once he pulled it out. "Dude, that's so weird. She just texted me," Nick said, his attention focused on the phone and reading Brooklyn's message, and then rereading it four more times until he could actually garner enough focus to actually process what it said. Even high, it didn't take a second thought to know that she was referring to Roman, because they didn't really share any other mutual friends, nonetheless ones that Brooklyn would feel the need to contact him over. It was weird getting a text from her after she had left him with the silent treatment for so long, and if he were sober, the significance of the text would have resonated with him a lot more than it did now. He was too relaxed and out of it to be thrilled that she hadn't blocked his number (or, had at least temporarily unblocked it), or that she clearly didn't hate him that much now, if she could stand to even just send him a text message. "Uh, but yeah, she was fucking awesome in bed, man. Like, you know how they say 'you don't know what you've got til it's gone'? I knew what I had, man, and it was amazing. That's what makes me so much more of a fuck up, because I knew how good I had it and I still blew it." Just as quickly as he had gotten somber and sentimental, and grin cracked on his face, and he added, "There aren't too many girls nowadays who are willing to go at it anywhere, any time. Brooke was the definition of a perfect woman, man. Really fucking perfect." The sober Nick would disagree with "perfect" being a word to accurately describe Brooklyn. Maybe she was perfect for him, because they were both broken and fucked up in their own ways, but she certainly had her flaws, just like he did.

He had momentarily forgotten about her text, but when his phone buzzed once more, this time with one of his clients asking him if he could deliver to him on the 26th, he recalled that he hadn't answered her. His response of "Fuck, what's up? Need me to kick his ass?" wasn't even one that was being playful, as it would probably be perceived, since Nick was obviously good friends with Roman, and would never actually want to fight him. He was out of it enough tonight that he wasn't in a fighting mood, but he also felt an innate need to protect Brooklyn, so if she wanted him to step in, he would, and his foggy mind right now made it easier for him to not even think that through. She responded almost immediately with, "If I wanted him dead, I'd do it myself. You can escort him out on your way to bring me two grams, pre-rolled into joints for me." As soon as Nick got that text, he had abandoned his search for food in the kitchen and without even considering to offer Colton an explanation, he disappeared into his bedroom. Brooklyn could call Roman a fuckboy all she wanted, but it was apparent that he wasn't the only one who could live up to that nickname, given how quickly Nick was willing to jump on the chance to win some brownie points for Brooklyn. In expert time, he weighed three grams of weed on a scale (purposely adding one more than she wanted), and rather than roll them for her, he grabbed a pipe that he knew she would usually use from his collection, and tucked it into his pocket. With Brooklyn's apartment being just across the hallway, he didn't feel the need to hide the plastic bag of weed in anything that might conceal it. When he returned to the main area of the apartment, Roman was just walking through the door, and he greeted him casually. Nick was too high to seem truly aggressive or agitated, and he couldn't switch tasks from walking to the door to acknowledge Roman right away, so it wasn't until he was already halfway out the front door that he turned back just for a second, to say to Roman, "If what I heard was true, that you were fucking with my girl, I'm gonna deck you when I get back here." He had shut the door less than a second after saying that, though, not leaving much time for Roman to answer, before crossing the hallway and knocking on the door.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Aubree Wright
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Brooklyn would gladly take being sarcastically called Mother Teresa. Just because her track record didn't point to her being very nice didn't mean that tonight she wasn't acting that way, and even if she didn't have ground to criticize someone else for being unnecessarily mean, she was going to. Today was Christmas Eve, after all, so it seemed like a given that you were supposed to drop the attitude. Clearly, Roman hadn't gotten the memo, and Brooklyn was just glad that he finally left before she spewed any more hateful words that she didn't genuinely mean. She took a seat once again, refilling her glass again with tequila before doing so, and looking through her phone aimlessly as she waited for Nick to come over. Smoking wasn't one of Brooklyn's go-to vices, since alcohol and shopping usually filled those voids, but she was already going hard on the alcohol and she had done enough shopping this week. Besides, while she would never admit it, there was a tiny little part of her that wanted to see Nick. She hadn't even crossed paths with him in weeks, and she wanted to see how distraught and in pieces he was. She wanted the gratification of seeing that he wasn't well and thriving without her, as if she was the glue that held his life together. Aside from wanting to see him for selfish reasons though, there was another small part of her that just wanted to see him to see him. To be in his presence and know, for more genuine reasons, that he was alive and at least surviving. He didn't need to be thriving, because that would mean that he was better without her, but alive and breathing would work.

Aubree's voice caught Brooklyn by surprise, mostly because she had forgotten about the girl entirely, especially now that Makayla was gone. She figured that she was the only one left up, but as the girl pranced over to her, she was proven wrong. "Yeah to both questions, but I'm going to be smoking in here, so if you're not into weed, you should probably hop back into the shower." She didn't say it in a harsh tone, more of just a matter-of-fact one. Brooklyn easily could have smoked in her own bedroom but she didn't want her room to smell like that. She knew it wasn't particularly kind to force the common area of the apartment to smell like it either, but she knew that Makayla wouldn't have a problem with it, and quite frankly, she didn't care if Aubree would. That was probably made clear, right then and there, and Brooklyn didn't feel guilty about it. Especially not when she noticed Aubree's attire, which she would admit didn't look bad on someone with a figure worth showing off like she had, but also wasn't something that she wanted to be flaunted around when Nick was coming over. That in itself was something that Brooklyn wished she didn't even think about, because she was done with Nick, and she knew that he was a pig already, so she shouldn't have been surprised anyway, if his eyes focused in on Aubree instead of her when he got there, but still... After Roman's comments, the last thing that she needed was to be reminded about how she wasn't good enough to keep her own boyfriend's attention. "She probably doesn't wanna be bothered, but if you want to tell Makayla without waking Holly up, she can light up with me if she wants. If she comes out and you're into smoking, I'll share with you too." If Makayla wasn't going to come out, then all Aubree was going to get was the second hand smoke that circulated around the room, though. Maybe it was rude, and it was definitely impolite, but Brooklyn didn't care. Now that she looked at Aubree again, what she was wearing was definitely bothering her more than she thought it was, and it seemed like that need to prove that she was better than this girl who was taller and thinner and more attractive, made Brooklyn even bitchier than she normally would have been. The fact that Roman had utterly destroyed her good mood might have played into that as well, though.

Without another word to Aubree, she went to answer the door, knowing that it was Nick before she even opened it up. Since it wasn't a surprise visit, she felt more prepared to see him for the first time in a while, especially since she had initiated it, and had given a valid reason for it, other than just wanting to see him. Still, just seeing his face did... something... to her, and it made her look past his bloodshot eyes and the very potent odor of marijuana that came off of him as she motioned for him to come inside, once she saw the bag of weed in his hand. "Did you miss the part where I asked you to roll the joints for me? You know I don't carry rolling paper on me," she said, sighing a bit dramatically, almost in a playful manner, as if she was goading a response out of him. "How much do I owe you though? It better be a full two grams. Don't jip me, Moreno." Given their most recent interactions, which weren't exactly recent, it was surprising that she was actually being playful with him. The glass of tequila in her hand was an easy excuse for that, however.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Aubree Wright
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Nick hadn't seen Brooklyn in a few weeks, so standing face to face with her felt almost surreal. Maybe he was too high, but as he stood in the doorway as she spoke, he didn't even hear much of what she was saying. All that was going through his mind was "Man, isn't she beautiful?". And she was. In pajamas and sporting a face free of makeup, she was beautiful. She wasn't any less when she was all dolled up and ready to go out to work for the night, but it was this Brooklyn that he missed the most. The one who was real and natural, in more ways than just the physical sense. He was too high to catch on to how drunk she was, but that wouldn't have mattered to him anyway. For one, it wasn't all that surprising, and two, if her being drunk meant that she was more likely to text him, than he would treat her bad habit as if it was a gift from God himself. "Come on, you know I'm not gonna take money from you. Consider it a Christmas gift."

"I don't want a Christmas gift from you. Seriously, how much do I owe you? Twenty a gram?" She pressed, thinking that that sounded familiar as something he had said before. Brooklyn wasn't a frequent smoker, but she did it when she felt the need to. Alcohol was just easier and usually more enjoyable for her, but weed gave her a different buzz that she thought would feel nice tonight. Nick wasn't even looking at Aubree, but Brooklyn was insecure, especially now after realizing for herself that Aubree was very attractive, so she jumped the gun, as if to protect herself from feeling bad if she did catch Nick looking at her. "And that's Aubree, Makayla's sister. She's getting ready for bed, as you can see, so come into my room so we don't disturb her." She didn't give Aubree a chance to insist that they weren't bothering her, if that was what she was going to do, and she purposely accentuated the "my" in her sentence, as if to remind Nick that it was no longer his room... that they were over, and it was his fault. He was the one who had lost something, not her. At the same time, she wasn't leading him into privacy out of respect for Aubree's peace and quiet because as she had made clear earlier, she didn't really care about the girl. The alcohol was the only thing that could be blamed for the stark change in how she was interacting with Nick, but right now, she wanted to reason that time had the power to heal things. Maybe she had only needed a month to heal things with him enough where one night seemed okay.

Nick was in enough of a daze that he hadn't noticed Aubree in the room at first, and even when Brooklyn explained who she was, he barely had time to process that and then offer her a wave of acknowledgment. In fact, he didn't even have time to conjure up a good answer to any of her questions, before she was leading him down the bedroom hallway that was all too familiar to him. Although he hadn't actually resided there in weeks, with how little he was at his new apartment, this one still felt like more of his home. With Brooklyn gripping his arm and pulling him towards the bedroom, it only felt more familiar. "Just take it, Brooke," he said as they walked. "And I brought you that old pipe you always liked using. Figured you'd prefer that over me rolling them into joints for you." He managed to get the glass pipe out of his pocket and handed it to her once they were in her bedroom, hoping that she would just take it all and not continue to push the payment thing. He would never take money from her. Even with Roman, he sometimes felt guilty for accepting payment. It wasn't good for his business to be handing out his product for free, and Nick knew that (and was reminded of it at the end of every month when he felt his wallet grow too light for comfort), but he had too much of a conscience. He was always overthinking things and feeling guilty, even if he didn't verbalize it, and well, when it came to Brooklyn, guilt was all that he felt when he thought of her, lately. If weed was going to be his form of payment in making things good with her again, he didn't think that giving her a million dollars worth of pot for free would even make him feel like they were even for what he had done. He knew that their relationship hadn't been healthy before he had cheated, and that, he couldn't only blame himself for, but he had fucked up big time by cheating on Brooklyn. Not only because he lost her, but because he hurt her.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Nick really couldn't complain at all, about what had happened the night before. Having sex with a beautiful girl, one who you loved so much and thought would never speak to you again, seemed miraculous in its own right. Throw in the element of spending some time after the sex to smoke with her, and you just about had Nick's perfect fantasy nailed. It was a good night, that was for sure, but that didn't mean it left Nick feeling just as giddy the next day. When he woke up around noon, he felt groggy, and more confused than he had felt in a while. Had he woken up in Brooklyn's bed, he would have been surprised, but not as surprised as he was when he realized that he had fallen asleep on the floor of... Kacey's room? He had never actually seen the inside of the girl's bedroom, and it was only after he jumped up in a bit of a panic and threw the bedroom door open, that he realized that he was still in his apartment, just not the right room. Slowly it came back to him, when he told himself that there was no way that he had "blacked out" in any sense of the phrase, considering that he hadn't been drinking, and knew his weed was good. After Brooklyn had kicked him out in the early hours of the morning, for some reason, he thought it was necessary and romantic to flood her phone with countless calls - all that had went to voicemail, either after she purposely ignored them, or just didn't see them due to her phone being on silent. Drunk on love and not alcohol, Nick must have had enough sense not to do it in his bedroom after going in there and seeing that Roman was in bed, and for some reason, he had convinced himself that an empty closed in bedroom, that wasn't his by any means, was a better spot to do this in, than the common areas that he had a right to be in. Waking up on her floor was just as strange as it sounded, and after stepping into the hallway in that panic, and then reliving the night before's events, he quickly turned back into the bedroom and did his best to straighten up the room. Luckily, it barely showed any signs of his intrusion, given that he had somehow managed to sleep on the hard ground with just one of the decorative pillows from her bed under his head, and nothing more, so after frantically searching her dresser for perfume, he found some sort of body mist that he squirted on the pillow, hoping to make it smell more familiar to her, and tossed it back onto the bed.

His typical post-sleep shower did nothing to relieve him of the grogginess that he woke up feeling. While some might associate it with how high he had been the night before, Nick smoked too regularly to feel any sort of dramatic symptoms after a long sleep. He had a headache, something that was probably just a random occurrence in itself, but as the day went on, and he got dressed and headed out of the apartment, he also felt stressed out and confused. Sleeping with Brooklyn was an amazing thing in a physical sense, and in an emotional one too, it had been good for Nick. It told him that he wasn't the worst person on earth and he did have a shot at... something? with her, but at the same time, now he wanted to know what that something was. Had that night of sex just been a "one last time" thing for Brooklyn? Was it supposed to be a mechanism to control Nick, and maybe get back at him by leading him on and then permanently cutting it off after this? Was she actually into him? Would she ever give him another chance? All of the thoughts in his head made him wish that his head just exploded, then and there. As usual, with such a restless mind, Nick knew that it would be impossible for him to do something as simple as watch television or cook a Pop-Tart, so he did what always seemed to help him, and that was walk. He walked aimlessly, with no direction in mind since he had no sales to make today. He walked through the village and into midtown, took a subway to the east side of midtown, and then back downtown, to a stop that was a few away form his normal stop, by the apartment building. Less than two hours had passed, and he still didn't feel much better, but the cold was biting at his bare hands and forced him back to his apartment prematurely. When he got inside, he found Roman in the kitchen, and offered him a typical nod that suggested nothing was wrong, despite how their last encounter had went down. "Sup, man?" he asked, rubbing his hands together and then breathing into them in an attempt and warming them up. "Got fucking cold out, out of no where."

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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By the time Nick had come into the room, Roman had still yet to pour the milk into his bowl of cereal. He'd been moving noticeably slow, mostly because he continued to zone out and forget what he was doing. He'd been in the middle of doing this when Nick had shouldered through the door, shaking Roman from his foggier state. He exhaled tiredly and nodded back at Nick as he poured the milk slowly into the bowl, rubbing his eyes. Physically, he didn't look very much different. His eyes were still unfocused enough to be detected, and he seemed not entirely present, but a passerby could reason that to being tiredness of some sort. He didn't immediately respond to Nick, and instead stirred his cereal, not having much of an appetite, and looking more so pass the bowl than actually at it. "What time is it?" he thought aloud, not really for the purpose of an answer, but just because his his sense of time was a bit off. The day seemed longer than other days, mainly because it'd started so early. The time between him waking up and now, to him, was a lot longer than it actually was, causing his slight disorientation. He looked towards the window, seeing there was still daylight, and was more confused by that. He would have expected it to be later than it looked, for it to be dusk at the very earliest.

After tuning out again, he turned back to his cereal, still mindlessly stirring, before looking at Nick again, as if for the first time. "What?" he said, a bit vacantly before shaking his head to himself, remembering what Nick had just said. "Oh, yeah, yeah. Right, right." He nodded once, in understanding, but then proceeded to continue doing so as his eyes traveled elsewhere. Roman picked up the cereal box next to him, a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and waved it some towards Nick, to show him. "Curiously Cinnamon," he said, a faint smirk on his face. He nodded again, more at the fact that he knew he probably wasn't making much of any sense, and so he clarified. "That's the, um--That's what it's called back home. I was never allowed to eat it though. Or Coco Pops. None of the fun stuff, y'know." Roman knew Nick couldn't really know, but by the end he was more so talking aloud and aimlessly. He dropped the box back on the island and leaned upward, stretching. "I'm still kind of out of it," he said, as if he hadn't made that somewhat obvious by this point. "I thought these Xans had worn off but..." He shook his head to say that they in fact hadn't, at least not completely. It was to the same effect of what happened when he had first started smoking weed. If and when he smoked at night, he would wake up the next day, feeling fine, only to gradually feel a slight buzz as he woke up more. That didn't really happen anymore, but since he'd taken the pills less than a night's worth of time before, it still hadn't totally worn off, but it wasn't as strong either. While he was moving slower than normal and was still a bit out of touch, the fact that he was moving about and even talking attested to the fact that the drugs were wearing off. For him, he also thought he was less impacted than he actually was, not only because this wasn't something new to him, but he welcomed feelings of numbness too.

Roman rubbed his hands down his face as he finished stretching and leaned over the island again, towards his cereal which he looked at disinterestedly. The cereal had absorbed enough milk to where they were starting to get a little soggy now, and being the picky eater he'd been as a child (despite growing out much of that), the softness was unsettling and unappetizing to him when he'd already had little to none of taste for anything. He collected milk onto his spoon, careful not to get any cinnamon squares, and sipped it. When he was about to ask Nick where he was coming from, Roman then remembered that he hadn't seen Nick since the previous night. With less accusation and general wonder than it normally would have required, and more passiveness, he looked to Nick and said, "Where've you been all night, mate? Had me thinking bloody murdered or what have you."

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Nick made his way to the refrigerator, preoccupied with looking through its contents to answer Roman's question about the time. He pulled out a nearly-empty container of orange juice, and shook it, as if he would somehow be able to tell if it was worth drinking. It was something that felt more customary than necessary, considering that even if the juice was bad, Nick wouldn't have known how to tell, and would have drank it anyway. With Chanel and Kacey gone now, their fridge felt more scare, and spoke more to Roman and Nick being the only occupants. It wasn't like Nick usually ate any of the girls things, but it felt odd finding a fridge that was scarcely stocked, and the things it did have in it, being more unhealthy or consisting of leftovers. "Yeah, that shit'll do that to you sometimes," Nick nodded in an understanding, nearly sympathetic manner. His head was still in the fridge, as he now wanted to find something to go with the orange juice. After a few more seconds, he realized that he was out of luck, and pulling his head out, he decided to touch upon the first few things that Roman had said first, mostly because the cereal he was talking about was all Nick needed to hit the spot now.

He took the box from the island and poured some into a bowl for himself, before realizing that now in addition to the orange juice, he needed the milk too. Back to the fridge he went, and this time, while talking. "Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the shit, man. I could eat this shit breakfast, lunch and dinner, but when I was a kid, I was all about Captain Crunch," he said as he then returned to the island to fix his bowl of cereal. Honestly, Nick had been fairly out of it himself, but in a less drug-related way than Roman had been, so he hadn't even noticed Roman seeming a bit off. Though the boys were close, they didn't have a friendship where they were constantly checking up on each other or confronting each other about their self-destructive habits. It was just one of those unspoken things, where they both knew that they cared about each other, but weren't going to go there unless the other was nearly on the brink of death. With that in mind, it wasn't unusual for Nick to brush it off in a more casual manner. "One of my guys actually gave me a huge bag of bars a few days ago. Said it was a Christmas gift for fronting him some money a few weeks ago, but I'm 99% that shit isn't real Xanax, or else I'd give it to you. I'll sell it to some college kids and let it fuck them up instead," he reasoned, a half smirk on his face indicating that he was being playful, but probably not kidding. When people would think of a stereotypical drug dealer, Nick probably wasn't the face that they would imagine. He didn't match that villainous criminal personality that they were perceived as having either, but regardless of not falling into the stereotypical image, he was a businessman, and his needs, primarily money, came before morals. He wouldn't screw over his friends (or regular clients), but if he sold some ignorant teenager a gram of weed for double the price, blatantly lying about it being some "pure strain", when he needed a few extra quick bucks, then oh well. He would fall asleep just as easily as any other night, and it wouldn't weigh heavy on his conscious. After all, he knew that even if he didn't think of himself as being a bad guy, the people who he dealt too must have suspected that he wasn't a saint, given that he made a living off of something that was illegal.

"But, uh, I actually slept over Brooklyn's last night. Weird shit, I know, man," he said, speaking with a mouth full of cereal. He knew that he could have lied and claimed to be somewhere else, because it wouldn't have been all that unrealistic, but at the same time, why would he lie to the guy who was his best friend? He didn't think there was a need to, especially since Brooklyn had made it pretty obvious that he was there to see her, when they had encountered Aubree. "And then I ended up sleeping on the floor of Kacey's room. Don't even ask why, but I was stoned out of my mind and didn't wanna wake you up when I got in. I feel like she's the kind of girl who'll notice one wrong finger print being on her door knob, so hopefully she doesn't say anything about any of her shit being out of place when she gets back."

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At the news that Nick had spent the night at Brooke's, Roman simply raised his brows in a single movement, but left it at that. He was less surprised that it happened on its own, but more surprised by the fact that Brooke allowed it. The two always had a back and forth, on and off kind of relationship, but the off had never lasted thing long before. So it was only as surprising as it could be given their own history, but by the same token, since this didn't seem to be another little off phase of theirs, it was more notable. Roman did wonder, for a second, how that happened, but just as quickly moved on from the thought. For one, it wasn't something seriously shocking, at least not to him. And two, he was in a more chilled state of mind, and nothing seemed like too big a deal to him. Something that he probably would have only given half a second glance at sober made it only that much easier to move on what Nick had just told him.

Finding out that Nick had slept on Kacey's floor the previous night got more of a reaction out of him. That was bizarre. He supposed there wasn't really too much to worry about, since he doubted Kacey would come back the day immediately after Christmas, but he could concur with Nick about the vibe Kacey gave. He hadn't really interacted with her in the past month that he'd been in the apartment, which wasn't surprising given Roman's character and how he wouldn't go out of his way to speak to anyone that wasn't Nick or Brooke. Previously, when they'd lived together, Cara fell under this list to, but not for the same reasons as Brooklyn and Nick. It went without saying, and could easily be seen just by watching his demeanor and behavior change when he was around the two, that he was more comfortable and open around them. Almost everybody else he avoided, and for many, he rubbed them the wrong way because he had a tendency to seem standoffish and rude, although this wasn't something that bothered him and he was well aware of it. He figured that if that got him his space, he was fine if people didn't view him as the world's friendliest person. With Cara, though, it was different in that he actively disliked. He didn't stand to the side and offer her side looks. While it was something he probably did in the beginning, after some time it was hard to ignore her mouth and not match her attitude. He'd be lying if he said he didn't get some amusement out of it, which would speak to why he would sometimes purposely instigate her, but the fact still remained that Cara was a special case. Apart from that, though, it wasn't strange at all that he and Kacey, who seemed to be a keep-to-herself kind of girl to begin with--something Roman was completely fine with, and even enjoyed--had interacted minimally. There were times when he went days without even speaking to Nick or Brooklyn, and while from his perspective it didn't seem like a big deal, it made even more sense to him as to why it wasn't peculiar that Kacey was still essentially stranger to him. Even with that minimal knowledge of character, though, it was almost impossible not to have some kind of impression formed. While he couldn't totally explain it, he understand Nick enough to nod in agreement about Kacey seeming like the type to notice a shift in really small details.

Despite this, Roman said simply, "Probably won't," and stirred his now soft cereal a bit more. After the off case details with Brooke and Kacey, it seemed almost expected that Roman, too, share his peculiar night, but it didn't cross his mind just then, which was strange by itself. When it didn't make much to, it seemed to come to mind, but now when there was something to trigger in his memory what had happened, it failed to come to surface. Even if he did remember, though, he probably wouldn't have said anything, not because he didn't trust Nick, but because he still would want to put more distance between last night and ever talking about so that if and when it did come up, it was essentially old and settled news. One of those instances where time seemed to sour the effect. If he said anything now, also, he'd have to again come up with some half-ass reason as to why he was not only at Cara's, but in the area to begin with. If this was more into the future, he could more easily say that he didn't remember and that it was just a weird night, which wouldn't be a first for him. What did come to mind, though, was telling Nick about something else he'd done; visiting his grandparents. Or rather, going to their doorstep after some years and fleeing again. Roman knew himself well enough to realize even that was too soon for him, as he'd been feeling a bit more raw since then. He'd have to be at least part way drunk to let go of some of his inhibitions and emotions that were attached. To say anything now would be to sentimental for him, and while Nick was his best friend, he was still used to and most comfortable with doing certain things from a distance, even if it would be more beneficial not to.

Even just thinking about it, right next to Nick, made Roman react physically, but not noticeably. It was still all in his head, but Roman felt a need to put actual space between him and Nick. And when moving to the sink to dump his newly wasted cereal down the drain didn't suffice, in a move that didn't fare any better than it did last night, he half turned to Nick, and only briefly rethought what he was going to say. Since he found out, he never told Nick that Brooke told him why they'd broken up. Of course, Roman didn't know as much as he thought he knew. He didn't know that Brooklyn had slept with Ryan, so in his eyes, it seemed that Nick was the bad guy here, and even if he did know all the details, only so much could be blamed on Brooklyn because she wasn't the one who'd cheated. It was awkward at first, but had since faded and Roman didn't really find it necessary to say anything. Even now it wasn't necessary and mostly because of what he'd said last night did he reconsider causing more damage simply for his own peace of mind, simply for the effect of distancing himself since he was feeling more openly emotional than he normally was and because of that felt a need to overcompensate and re-validate himself. When Roman got like this, even by his own accord, like now, it was almost instinctual for him to do something to push people away. While his parents were necessarily abusive, they weren't beneficial for him as a child. It was now to where the vacancy of nurturing, while it'd bothered him and still did, whenever he got the opportunity to emotionally bond with someone, he regressed. He didn't fully change his mind, though, in the end. He, as he'd done last night, simply aimed for an indirect, which was already more of his style to begin with. "Speaking of Brooke, I should probably go over there and bring her her gift. And apologize I guess," he said, turning and going to the fridge and looking for something to drink before just settling with a bottle of water. "Don't even know what for, but you know how she is," he said before ultimately 'remembering.' "Oh, right. Something about you fucking Cara. She blew up, man." Roman opened the water bottle and took a small swallow. He hadn't, and continued not to speak spitefully because he wasn't really saying all of this for spite; Nick hadn't done anything to him. He was still blase and casual, just as he'd been the entire time. "Bet she's fine now though. Yours is on the bed, by the way. Your gift I mean."

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Nick only shrugged with nonchalance when Roman brought up him sleeping with Cara. He didn't catch on to Roman trying to be icy about it, and that was honestly mostly because he didn't think that Roman had thought that the reason for he and Brooklyn's breakup had been a secret. Nick hadn't specifically told Roman the reason, because who wanted to talk about being dumped for a reason that you regretted a lot? It was embarrassing and incriminating, and though Nick knew that he deserved the heat that he felt, there was no need to relive it. He didn't owe Roman any sort of confession for his actions, and he had already assumed that Brooklyn would have told him - and likely everyone else in the world about it. Besides, when Cara had kicked them out, Roman must have heard about why they had been kicked out. Maybe it would make sense for the blonde to suddenly turn on Roman, but Nick and Cara had always been cool. His friendship with her was the only reason for why himself, Roman and Brooklyn were living in this building to begin with, so it only seemed obvious that Roman would have found out about the argument between Brooklyn and Cara, which only began because Brooklyn found out about the affair. "Really? Seems weird, 'cause she was pretty chill last night once I got over there. She smoked me out, wouldn't even let me refuse her money for it, and then we had best sex I think I've ever had with her," he admitted in a casual manner, as he shoved another spoonful of cereal into his mouth. "Good night, all in all."

When Roman continued to say that he had a Christmas gift for Nick, waiting on his bed, Nick remembered that he had bought Roman a gift too... He just couldn't remember where he had put it. It was a bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon, and though Nick was positive that he hadn't drank it the night before, he genuinely couldn't remember what he had done with it. "Sick, thanks man," he said, after he had finished chewing. "Got you something too, but I have no idea where I put it. Just a bottle of Maker's Mark, nothing too special, but yeah, give me until I finish eating and I'll find it," he said. A bottle of liquor wasn't a very sentimental gift, especially when given in such a way where Nick was being honest about the possibility of it being misplaced and not being handled with extreme care and thought, but this was Roman. Nick knew that he wouldn't care, because if he did care, it would probably weird Nick out a bit, and warrant a comment about how he didn't know that Roman had transformed into a bitch overnight. "Oh shit, you know what?" Nick said, the question more of a rhetorical one, that was said aloud just to signal that he was just now remembering something. "I think that dude Colton left a bottle of wine here last night. I'm gonna write out a note to Brooklyn and attach it to it. Will you bring it over, from me, when you go to drop off hers?" Nick couldn't even remember what had happened with Colton, and was in the mindset of thinking that Colton had left at the same time that Nick had, that night. Colton had seemed like a chill guy, and Nick doubted that he would remember bringing the wine over, but if he did, Nick wouldn't feel any guilt about claiming that he wasn't sure what Colton was talking about, and that he must have brought it back to his own apartment when he left. Taking the bottle of wine, that probably cost less than all the weed he had so generously shared with Colton before (in his defense), would make him feel even less guilty, if it won him the brownie points that he hoped it would, with Brooklyn, to ensure that last night wasn't just a one time thing. It didn't even have to be the sex that he wanted as a more frequent thing (though he certainly wasn't going to deny it, if it was offered), but just the open line of communication.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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At Nick's request, Roman cast his eyes up, in a slight, albeit elongated, thought. Part of the reason he didn't want to was because he was still feeling particularly lazy and somehow, in his mind, using his other hand to carry over a bottle of wine was simply too laborious. Now, though, he couldn't completely argue that it was the Xanax making him act strange, since he was growing more cognizant. Excluding that from the situation, more than anything, although Roman clearly wouldn't have minded just bringing it over for Nick because it in fact wasn't an extra effort, he didn't really see the point. Especially if what Nick just described about his magnificent night with Brooklyn to be true, then in his eyes, it made even less sense to not bring something over in person. Had this been two days before, Roman would understand because the two were still essentially estranged, but it was different now. Although it didn't exactly concern him either way, he didn't want to do it just because it didn't make sense to, and not because he actually didn't want to.

"No," he said casually, but a bit confused too. Roman paused for a second to say more, but when presented with a multitude of things to say and not really wanting to say them all, he digressed. "Why can't you bring it?" he asked, but more rhetorically, because it could be heard in his voice that he wasn't so much asking for the point of receiving an answer, but to make a point. If anything, he just thought, it would probably make more sense for Nick to bring Roman's gift over since he was sure Brooklyn was still mad at him. Although she was drunk at the time and he was needlessly being an asshole, he figured her reaction was kind of big, given Brooklyn's reaction standards. If not big, then at least noticeable. Sometimes it was hard to tell with Brooke how serious an offense was. Sometimes it would seem huge based on how she reacted to it in the moment, but she could end up seeming fine not very long enough. Then were times where she didn't make a fuss over something, but would seem to drag on what had happened for a seemingly unnecessary amount of time. Then there were the occasions where the reaction matched the length of time she was upset for, but the case still remained that sometimes it was difficult to pin her down. He hadn't seen his phone yet, and so hadn't viewed the text she sent him, and so he was still sure that she was made at him to some degree, but to what degree, he wasn't sure. "I mean, if you're on good terms now, then why not?"

While Nick hadn't said those words specifically, Roman had simplified that to being what he'd meant, only because that was the trend for him and Brooklyn. They were mad at each other, they had sex, they went on with their lives. While Roman understood that this case was different from the rest in that it actually seemed like an actual breakup, and the duration of the separation only validated that, after Nick's admittance, it could just be the same as it'd always been. The only difference being that this instance dragged on longer than in times past, but it still provided the same ending. So, still, to Roman it seemed odd to ask him to take the wine, seemingly for no reason other than to avoid Brooke. Of course, Roman could have asked, but when he did, he hadn't really waited for an answer, and hadn't really sought one out either. Then, though, seemingly out of no where, a small idea crossed his mind. He almost didn't say anything because it was so out of no where, but he ultimately did anyways. "Write your note or whatever and I'll bring her over here," he said, not realizing the flaw in his supposedly bright idea. The idea was that he'd 'forget' Nick's present, and let Brooklyn know that. He'd bring her back, there'd be hearts everywhere, and Roman would have officially repented for his sins. That, and things could go back to normal, which was really the main reason as to why he had any feelings toward their breakup, only because of how it affected him. Of course, oddly enough, Roman somehow found this means of action to be less tasking then simply going along with Nick and taking the bottle of wine over. Logic now, though, wasn't exactly consistent and linear as it usually was for him, so it did seem as obviously contrasting as it probably was.

After going into his room to grab Brooklyn's gift, which was simply a sweater wrapped around a bottle of alcohol, he saw Brooklyn's text. It didn't do much for him besides tell him that there was now a bigger chance that she was probably okay now. It only took him a few minutes to get ready, after brushing his teeth and all, but he still somehow managed to forget Brooklyn's Christmas gift as he left the door. He wouldn't realize until a few minutes later that he'd done this, but it would then make even more sense for why he'd end up telling Brooke to drop by his place.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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Roman's response didn't really irk him. He didn't see what the big deal was, about Roman bringing it over if he was already headed that way, but he also wasn't going to make a big deal out of it. Clearly, Nick could do it on his own. He didn't think that knocking on Brooklyn's door would possibly be a death wish anymore, but he also knew that last night was different than the many nights they had spent "making up". That wasn't makeup sex, and they weren't getting back together. At least not any time in the immediate future. Never before had Brooklyn seriously kicked him out, and never before had they spent an entire month separated, with very little contact in between. They lived in separate apartments now, which little hope in changing that. Even if Brooklyn did want him back (which Nick knew wasn't the case right now), he couldn't move back in with her. He was positive that Cara wouldn't allow that, plus, if he moved out of his room with Roman now, Roman would be forced to pay double the rent if he wanted to remain in the room on his own, and Nick knew that would leave Roman screwed over as well. Nick knew that he could date Brooklyn and not live with her, that was certainly an option... But he had to remind himself that there was no reason to even think about these options because it wasn't going to happen. They weren't getting back together because one night together didn't change an act that had severed their line of trust and communication, and their relationship. And that was why it would have been easier for Roman to just go over and give her the bottle of wine. Nick didn't want to go over there and hand deliver a gift to her, and in return, allow her to think that he was delusional enough to believe that all of their problems were worked out and that they were even friends again, when he didn't. He didn't need her to reject him over something he wasn't even intending to come off as, and that was desperate. So, he didn't answer as Roman reasoned that he wasn't going to do it, and would instead just bring her over. Instead, he just finished his cereal before dumping the bowl's excess milk in the sink, and then placing the empty bowl in the dishwasher.

Once Roman was out of the apartment, he took the bottle of rosè from the fridge, grabbed a notepad from a nearby drawer and scribbled a note on a sheet of paper, reading "That guy Colton dropped this off for you on 12/24" before carrying both items into Chanel's room and placing them on her dresser. It would have been an easy gift for Brooklyn, sure, and given that Chanel never would have known that her gift was stolen, he wouldn't have felt bad, but now the act was requiring more effort than Nick was willing to put in. Doing the right thing, and leaving the bottle for its rightful owner, seemed like the easiest option now. He then made his way into his own bedroom and after spotting the gift Roman had spoken about on his bed, he was reminded that he needed to find the bottle of liquor he had purchased for Roman, but had misplaced somewhere along the way...

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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For some reason, Nick hadn't truly expected Roman to bring Brooklyn back to the apartment, so he was surprised when he heard her female voice in the apartment, alongside Roman's. It left him panicking at first, for no good reason other than him believing that he suddenly needed to come up with a gift for her. He wondered why he hadn't just held onto Chanel's bottle of wine. Even if he hadn't wanted to give it to Brooklyn himself, he could have downed it later on when he was craving a buzz. The "White Girl" name would have made him feel pathetic if he drank it alone, that was for sure, but there was a good chance that the bottle would end up empty regardless. Now, he considered for another minute that he could give the bottle to Brooklyn who would probably appreciate it, and even if she and Roman couldn't see him from the room they were in, he would still feel paranoid about coming out of Chanel's bedroom with it. Maybe Brooklyn wouldn't assume that he was stealing from Chanel or that anything was going on there, but it would just seem peculiar, and it was that irrational paranoia that came from his tendency to overthink that made him search for Roman's gift a bit more frantically. He finally came across it and decided that Roman was going to have to wait until after the holiday was over for his gift. His girl had to come first, even if she wasn't his girl anymore. Hell, when it came to Brooklyn, she had probably never even been his girl. He didn't think that in a sense where he was assuming that she had been unfaithful to him (because just to begin with, he had no ground to stand on there), but more so in the way that a girl like Brooklyn could never really belong to anyone. Beyond being emotionally reserved, even when they were so close and intimate, she was just that kind of girl who seemed like she would always be free of anyone's control or possession. And that was one of the many things that he loved about her.

He emerged from his bedroom with Roman's gift that had now become Brooklyn's gift, a rolled joint, and a strangely nervous smile on his face as he found the two sitting in the living room. "Merry Christmas, Brooke," he said, raising the joint and bottle of whiskey into the air as a signal that they were for her, before placing them on the coffee table in front of her and sitting on one of the chairs next to Roman. "I would've done more but... you know... things have been weird... so yeah." It was the best way that he could explain that up until last night, he had believed that she resented him enough to never want to see his face again, nonetheless accept a gift from him. Guys who were truly romantic probably would have still purchased some expensive and nice gift, like a diamond bracelet or a designer bag, as an attempt at chasing down their lost love, but Nick wasn't that guy. It wasn't that he didn't want to be, necessarily, because he definitely did want Brooklyn back in that desperate sense, but he just didn't think that way, to where he would go to those extents for her when he thought she wanted nothing to do with him.

Brooklyn wasn't really trying to learn about Roman's preferences with girls as much as she was trying to annoy him, so she didn't think to pry any further on why he hadn't made attempts with his roommate. Given that Kacey was still relatively new to their floor, at least to Brooklyn, who had barely ever interacted with her, she didn't even remember Kacey being an additional roommate to ask about at the moment. "Come on, Ro!" Brooklyn groaned, using the moniker that she had only begun to use in a teasing manner after hearing Holly call Roman it one time, in complete seriousness. "My body is tired from riding your roommate all night. Get off your lazy ass and get it for me like a true gift giver would do." She sunk back into the couch more dramatically with those words, and closed her eyes as if to stress that she was truly incapable of getting up. She was forced to reopen her eyes only a few seconds later when Nick entered the room, bearing gifts of weed and alcohol. She wasn't feeling petty enough towards him to resent him for the gift, but it was worth noting that she definitely could have if she wanted to. She could have told herself that today was his chance at proving to her that he was going to treat her right, and weed and alcohol was the absolute opposite of what he needed to gift her with to prove that. This gift just made her think "typical Nick" but luckily, right now, "typical Nick" was all that her expectations were set for. Besides, it wasn't like she had gotten anything for Nick, and she liked it that way. Their time together last night, and the fact that she was even acknowledging his existence was her gift to him. "Aw, what a gentleman," she said, smiling, somewhat skeptically as she sat up more correctly and took the bottle of bourbon from the table to examine it. Brooklyn drank a lot, and she usually wasn't very picky with what she drank, but bourbon wasn't really her preferred type of liquor. Nevertheless, she wasn't going to decline free alcohol, even if she thought that Nick should have known better than to get her that.

Roman hadn't had the chance to respond or even react to Brooklyn before Nick came out of the bedroom, a joint and bottle of bourbon in hand. Roman didn't take immediate notice of the fact that this was his supposed gift until Nick had actually sat it down on the counter and he recalled that Nick had said something about getting his the exact same thing. Roman didn't visibly react to this realization, only glanced at Nick for a beat before watching Brooklyn take it in and nonchalantly accepting it. In a way to subtly tease Nick, Roman, with a sly smirk on his face nodded. "Yeah, Nicolas. How sweet of you. It almost seems like the kind of thing you'd get me." Roman's voice was light enough to show that he hadn't taken any actual offense to it, because, to him at least, there wasn't much need to. Nick was clearly trying, and Roman didn't automatically have a problem with that. He was confused about what happened to the wine, but that wasn't anything he got stuck on. Instead, he slid the bottle from Brooklyn's grasp and turned it over in his grasp. "Maybe this'll be strong enough to make you less insufferable than you already are, Brooke."

Brooklyn wasn't stupid, and though she felt like she was for not realizing the more direct link between the unexpected and unintended gift automatically, Roman's comment made it too obvious to ignore. She ignored his last comment, which normally would have warranted a slap or a kick, depending on how far she was from him, in favor of touching upon the point he had made, about the gifts. "This does seem like something you would get him," she said, still smiling, though her head tilted slightly to the side as she looked at Nick more deviously, demanding an explanation. "What did he get you, then, Ro, if this is actually supposed to be for me? And I know you two basically suck each other off, so don't even try to tell me that you don't exchange gifts." Roman's answer of, "Nick generously resupplied my collection of...personal items," as he patted Nick's shoulder was a fairly reasonable one, but Brooklyn was already in the mindset that this gift didn't belong to her. She sunk back into the couch again, and shook her head, though still, her smile was present. "I don't know why I've wasted so many years dealing with the two of you," she said, and though her voice still sounded light, even jovial to an extent, it was one of those times when it was harder to tell if she was actually joking around, or on the verge of entering bitch-mode. As usual, it was even hard for her to tell.

Nick wanted to punch Roman for basically giving him away, but he didn't think that Roman had done it with actual malice intentions. He still probably deserved the punch, since he had known Brooklyn for long enough to know that her sense of humor wasn't always as fully charged as a normal person's, and a simple joke said to her could be spun into making it seem like you had insulted her entire family line, but Nick didn't get angry over it. Though he desperately did want things to go right with Brooklyn from here on out, after their amazing night together, again, he wasn't some Romeo standing under her window at night begging for forgiveness. He wasn't going to be so uptight as to blame Roman for potentially hurting what he was trying to rebuild. "Come on, you really think I'd get Roman Maker's Mark? Roman would handle bourbon as well as Makayla handled whatever the hell she was drinking on Thanksgiving. Now that Finn's gone, you're the only person I know who can drink a shit ton of hard liquor and still be standing on both feet by the end of the night." He hoped that Roman would just play along and take the small insult to help him out as he pleaded his case. "If that's not a good enough gift, let me buy you dinner. We can order in or go out." The offer was being served to Brooklyn, but the way that Nick said it, made it a given that he wanted to include Roman in the plans as well.