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Gavin Dean

'I just want my daughter to have a good life.'

0 · 584 views · located in Smithbrook

a character in “Beautiful Lies”, as played by afreerobin

Description

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Image"Love doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes"

{Wait For It | Lin-Manuel Miranda }

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Name: Gavin Dean
Nicknames: Gav if you're friends.
Call him Dean and he probably won't like you
Age: Twenty-three
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Bisexual with female lean
Ethnicity: White




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"You have my eyes
You have your mother’s name

When you came into the world, you cried and it broke my heart"

{ Dear Theodosia | Lin-Manuel Miranda}


Appearance:
Gavin is your pictures perfect poster boy. He has a well toned body, wavy hair and perfectly straight teeth. Quite a heartthrob. He is of average height and weight and has crystal clear eyes. His skin doesn't seem to be marred by scars or anything else. The only real blemish he has is a birthmark on his right ankle shaped like a bird.

Secret
He got his girlfriend pregnant and she died giving birth




Image"
So be wise with me, honey
I won't be a fool no more
Yes, be wise with me, honey
I'm a fool."

{ Death & Love | Robyn Hitchcock}

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Personality: Gavin is a real sweetheart. He has a hard time saying no to anyone he loves and anyone cute. You won't find anymore more loyal. However he had a very hard time letting things go. Wrong him, or one of his friends and the odds of him forgiving you are slim. All in all he wants to seem like a father figure to people, but comes off more as an overbearing older brother.
Talents: Telling stories. He knows, lame right? Wrong. Characters, plots, twists, they just flow right out of his brain. A useful skill for someone who had a daughter that needs a orignal bedtime story every night.
Weaknesses: His daughter and Patton. If anyone brings up Patton he just...freezes. He can't bring himself to talk about her and Patty knows next to nothing about her mother.
Fears: Losing Patty. He's fears someone trying to take her away because he got Patton pregnant as such a young age.




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"And when she wraps her hand around my finger,
How it puts a smile in my heart,
Everything becomes a little clearer,"

{ In My Daughters Eyes | Martina McBride}


History:
Gavin though he met his soulmate when he was fourteen. Patton was a year younger than him, yet was in the same grade. After talking to her he found out she was smart enough to skip ahead. Hormones blooming he asked Patton to help him in his classes. His friends were a bit confused. Gavin was one of the smartest students, why did he need help? One look at Patton explained. She was beautiful. Long curly red hair, eyes like emeralds, and a constellations of freckles over her face and shoulders. For Gavin it was love at first sight. For Patton it was love at tenth sight.

For four years they dated before Gavin decided to propose. He was eighteen, young and stupid but in love. The ring wasn't much, a small silver band with a single ruby in the middle. But Patton loved it. She said yes, and kissed him. That single kiss lead to them having their first night together in bed. Both of them thought it was great, and when Patton became pregnant it was an even better suprise. They decided to have the wedding after the baby was born.

Eight months later it was time. At three in the morning Patton was rushed to the hospital. Three horrid hours passed before Gavin was delivered the news. Patton was dead, and he had a healthy, if small, baby girl.

The next few months passed in a blur. Gavin did his best to raised his daughter Patty, but it quickly became clear he couldn't do it on his own. When Patty was seven months old he packed up and moved across the country to his uncle. There Patty grew up a perfect little girl.




Image"Oh, I was missing love, oh, missing love.
I lost,
I found,
Oh, I was missing love "

{ Missing Love | PFR}

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Other:

So begins...

Gavin Dean's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Oliver Padalinski Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Piper Posey Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Tommes Harry Adergi Character Portrait: Isabella Gray Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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dialogue: #02857e | outfit: here




Alex pulled a face as he looked his reflection up and down. His shirt and trousers just seemed to make him look scrawny, and his hair was a mess- well, it wouldn't lie in the exact mess he wanted it to. He honestly would have rather stayed in the hotel room until it was time for his flight home- but this was a memorial service for Lisa. He couldn't believe she was dead. She hadn't just been popular- she'd been genuinely loved by so many people. She tutored those who struggled with school. She'd been a member of every committee going and had so often been the reason they hadn't descended into chaos. She was the one who paired up with the weird kid in the class so they wouldn't be alone or singled out by a teacher. She'd tracked down Alex after he moved away and had actually kept in contact with him- or, rather, kept messaging him, telling him about her day, and not expecting a response. And, eventually, he had messaged back.

But now, she was gone. With the police enquiry, the funeral had felt strange- nobody meeting anyone else's eyes, polite small talk the only conversation anyone made. The funeral had been strange, a mere formality. But this was voluntary, something the family genuinely wanted to do to celebrate her life. It wasn't anything religious- just something to remember her by. Had it been any other event, he would have stayed home. But not this.

His unsatisfactory appearance would have to do. Besides, most of the people there had seen him worse. He wasn't exactly the picture of health, but he'd been a hell of a lot worse the last time they'd seen him. Painfully underweight, barely able to function when sober, self-destructive, miserable... Well, okay, that last one hadn't changed that much.

He shoved his phone, hotel key, and wallet into his pocket, picking up a jacket and leaving the hotel room. As he headed for the venue, it occurred to him everyone else who could be here. Cas, Oliver, Callum... Callum. Alex still didn't like to think about him all that much. Callum had broken him and had the guts to say it was for the best. And the worst thing was, Alex had still loved him. He'd buried himself in self-destruction, because Callum had been the only person to ever stop him from completely derailing. Alex's therapist had told him multiple times that closure would probably do him good, that reaching out to Callum might be for the best. Alex had disagreed. That said, if he ran into Callum... Well, they'd just need to see what would happen. Alex was in town for another while anyway, until his parents got back from their last minute holiday abroad.

The room was starting to fill up fast, even though the service itself didn't start for another hour. There was to be a reception before and after to encourage the memory of Lisa- although Alex wasn't planning on sticking around for too long after, especially if there were a lot of familiar faces attending. He kept his head down, taking a leaflet and heading to one corner. He just wanted this to be over already.






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dialogue: #faa0fa | outfit here




They'd rebuilt the house. Somebody else lived there now and had made it their house, unrecognisable from Ellie's childhood home. Ellie was incredibly glad for that much. It made coming home so much easier- not at all like being at home. It was the town she'd grown up in, but without the painful reminders. Or, at least, most of them.

The scars wrapping around Ellie's torso were so easy to hide. They could be covered with just a dress. The fainter ones on her arms were slightly harder to cover, requiring her to wear a jacket. But even still, as she looked herself up and down, she could have easily been her old self. It was so easy to pretend that nothing had ever happened. Maybe everyone had forgotten and moved on. Maybe she could fly home in a week or two and leave this all behind for good. That thought was comforting.

As she left her hotel, she scanned the streets, watching for a familiar face. Then again, most of them were probably already at the service. She wanted to go, but she didn't want to deal with people. She was still going to be there almost an hour before the actual service or whatever it was began, but she wasn't intending on being all that social.

Nobody approached her in her short journey to the venue, something she was glad about. It was already pretty busy when she got there, which allowed her blend into the crowd pretty easily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Oliver Padalinski Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Piper Posey Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Tommes Harry Adergi Character Portrait: Isabella Gray Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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Dettie did not want to be here. This place held too many painful memories. That bench over there, she ate ice cream with here mother on the bench. Under that big tree Dettie had her first kiss. God. Being back was so strange. Every time she walked past a corner she expected Cas to swagger up to her, grinning his cocky grin. When she passed her old school Dettie could of sworn she saw Gemma waving at her.

It was too hard being here. She'd stay a week, maybe a week and a half then she'd go back to Australia. It would all go back to normal and Dettie could live her dull, boring life.

Entering the reception Dettie realized that maybe she wasn't dressed correctly. Wearing a leather jacket, skin tight ripped jeans and a shirt low enough to show the tattoo on her collar down wasn't really funeral material.

Oops.

She picked up a leaflet, skimming it. Hopefully her appearance made people leave her alone. If an old friend came up and tried to talk to her it would be so awkward. Dettie didn't exactly have any friends in Australia and Cas was the only one she ever kept in contact with.

And if Gemma or Lina wanted to talk to her...well Dettie couldn't be held responsible for what she'd do. Seeing the two girl, women now she supposed, she fell in love with would shatter her whole not caring demeanor.

Keeping a careful eye out Dettie sat down on one of the free chairs. She flipped her sunglasses down, hoping they'd hide her face a bit.

A few hours then she could return to her hotel. She could do this.





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Gavin didn't like funerals. He didn't like chatting about his dead friends to strangers. And he definitely didn't like leaving Patty alone. But he wouldn't want Patty to be here. She was barely five and did not need to see a bunch of stuff adult crying around a dead body. Plus none of his old friends even knew had a kid, excluding Lina. He couldn't lie to his cousin even if he wanted to.

He had put on a suit for this and was really regretting it. The tie was digging into his throat and the dress shoes were uncomfortable. At least the venue looked good. Gavin would hate for Lisa to be remembered in a crappy place. She deserved more than that

He crossed his legs, drumming his fingers on his knee. It was getting crowed now. What time was it? Gavin glanced down at his watch and wondered how Patty was doing in daycare.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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Hex:#D0B9A9XXXXXOutfit: funeral worthy
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Lina sat on the edge of the bed shaking her leg nervously while her hands sat on her lap, rubbing against one another. She had just came back from tour when she got the call and what was suppose to be a happy reunion with Gemma was turned sad and nerve racking. She never excepted for Lisa, the multi-tasking, lovable, softball mate to have . . . died. At least not so early in her life. Lina also didn't except to be back in her hometown so early or ever really. Deep breaths were inhaled in order to calm herself before she got up and decided to finally get dressed. Looking into the mirror Lina stared at her own reflection while adjusting her blazer. If there was one thing she could pull off it was black on black.

With her hair tossed over to the left Lina thought she was ready but when Gemma called out for them to leave she realized she wasn't. She just got all nervous again even while driving over to the funeral her hand kept squeezing the steering wheel while she tried not to look at her surroundings, only the road. But when they stopped at a red light Lina's eyes trailed off to the right to a specific corner of the street where she remembers resting against the stop sign on her way back from her first fight. She was so sore that she didn't think she was gonna make it home. Then there were those times where she'd walked that corner with Dettie or raced Gavin on their way back from school or when she'd pick her brother up late at night because he was too drugged out to make it back home. Gripping the steering wheel again she looked forward trying not to think about back then. This wasn't the time or place to think about those things and so she turned up the radio, letting the music distract her until they got there.

Standing at the entrance Lina could feel the anxiety creep up on her again. That nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach came back and twice as strong this time. "breathe, breathe, breathe ..." she mumbled softly, her hands shaking faintly but then began fiddling with the cuffs on her blazer. She didn't know if she wanted to go in anymore. She would like to see Alphie, Sage, Jasp, hell even Alex just to see if they were all okay but at the same time she wouldn't know what to say to them. She's been gone for so long and distanced herself from them before she left too. They probably would barely recognize her now since she looks nothing like the lovable jock she was back in high school.

Feeling Gemma grab hold of her sleeve calmed Lina down a bit. Enough for her to link arms with her best friend and escort her in, taking another deep breath for good measure. At this point Lina prayed that Gemma wouldn't feel her whole body shaking with each step they took. When the casket came into sight Lina let a tear or two escape but she wiped them fast. Lucky for her she was barely wearing eyeliner. The flowers were perfect and Lina couldn't help but to smile a little. It was a bit more happy than sad although it was still clearly sad because those flowers were so Lisa. Clenching her jaw to stop herself from tearing again Lina lead Gemma to a seat towards the middle since it looked like others had the same idea to sit in the back. Lisa wouldn't have wanted people being all sad at her funeral. If there is one thing Lina knew well about her it was that her favorite softball captain was one of those people who loved making others smile and she would want the same at her funeral.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Oliver Padalinski Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Angelica Rivera Character Portrait: Tommes Harry Adergi Character Portrait: Isabella Gray Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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They were running late. Though it really shouldn't have been a surprise considering Sage was knocked out drunk from smiley face blue pill and Captain Morgan rum combination. Jasper of course had been the one to clean her up though he did give her a rude awakening with a surprise cold shower which ended with Sage waking up swinging like she did every time he did this to her. Sage hated this but Jasper did mean well. She hardly ever slept and it was a miracle she managed to get more sleep than Jasper. She did comply when Jasper told her to get ready since she was sober for the time being to know that the events leading up to today had been tough on her younger brother.

It'd been a long couple nights for Jasper. He'd been booked by his Madam to accompany and older and distinguished gentleman for the evening. It wasn't entirely bad. He preferred his older customers with deeper pockets since they always seemed to spoil him and tip well. The man took him out for the night to attend a business type gathering which wasn't Jasper's first. He'd been shown off like a piece of arm candy so the man wouldn't appear single and finished the night off with his usual duties for his customer that always enjoyed booking him for such events. Once his job was finished, he went home at an ungodly hour that was normal in the city of New York before Sage as always since she was out partying and taking God knows what with her 'friends'.

The next day, Jasper had taken the liberty of packing for him and his older sister before heading to his school to inform his teachers of his short absence. He finished his day off by informing his Madam of his departure and getting a bonus of sorts by doing what he does best... Sleeping with her. The two had a rather inappropriate relationship between boss and employee. Jasper wasn't a fan of it but it gave him extra money in his pocket for the trip. Sage of course spent her time drinking and stealing from his stash of dope before Jasper got home to slip a sleeping pill into the drink he poured for her just so she'd hopefully pass out and make the flight back home peaceful and it worked.

After arguing back and forth over how to dress for the funeral, Jasper finally gave up and let Sage show up with him at the funeral in their expensive rental car. Jasper was dressed formally his own stylish flare added to it while Sage showed up wearing a not so appropriate t shirt and jeans with a flannel over it and a beanie to cover her wet hair that probably hasn't been washed for a week. They came in quietly... Well, Jasper did while Sage stumbled in having to grip her brother's arm to steady herself thanks to the drinks she was sneaking from her flask in her back pocket.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn

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Hex:#D0B9A9XXXXXOutfit: funeral worthy
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Lina was never good with names but she somehow managed to always remember the names of people she has seen around a lot so when Flora approached them she had no trouble remembering her name. Which is saying something because even now Lina can't remember half of the names of the kids she had class with. "We're doing okay," Lina answered for herself and Gemma with a slight smile and nod. A greeting to Flora.

Lina would have liked to at least greet Flora properly but something kept pulling her attention away form the girl and that was Dettie. Something about felt off. Her smile fell and it was replaced by a questioning gaze. Some may say it was more of a glare but it wasn't. For anyone who knows Lina they would know that that expression meant that something felt off to her. Something she had to think or wonder about. That look hadn't lasted for more than a couple of seconds though as Lina was brought back into the conversation, choosing not to respond to Dettie's moving on statement.

Lina nudged Gemma softly, smiling. "Yeah, I was actually thinking about doing something like that myself. Now we can do it all together." she agreed, unconsciously managing to intertwine her fingers with Gem's. For a split second though, something caught her eye in the crowd. Well, two somethings. Two heads that sported brown hair, hair that she knew all too well. One belonged to her favorite cousin in the world that she hasn't seen in about a month and the other belonged to her lovable idiot, Jasper. With a new feeling running through her, excitement Lina almost leaped out of her chair. "Uhm, hey Gem wanna go greet some old friends?" even though they were mostly her friends, Lina didn't want to leave Gemma behind because she didn't know how she'd fare by herself. She knew seeing Dettie was harder on her than it was on herself but Lina was the type to always push her own feelings to the back of her head in order to focus her attention on someone who needed it.

Looking back at Dettie, Lina adjusted her blazer and licked her lips since they felt a bit dry. "Want to join us?" Lina's eyebrow rose questioningly. Somewhere deep down she hoped that Dettie would say yes but at the same time she didn't hold her expectations that high. Of course the invitation wasn't just for her though, it was also for Cas and Flora. She would be okay if they didn't but happy if they did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn

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Flora was feeling better already. Sitting alone was just making her sadder, and the company had helped her ignore the whispers, too.

That said, the tension was palpable. Clearly there was some history between Gemma, Lina, and Dettie that Flora wasn't aware of. She felt a bit awkward for getting in the middle of whatever it was, but she decided not to mention it.

When Dettie suggested going out as a group, Flora smiled, her earlier discomfort forgotten.

"That sounds great. I'd love to catch up."

This was good. It was an opportunity to reconnect with people she wasn't close to in high school. Flora really regretted pushing everyone away as a kid, and she jumped at the chance to make up for that.

Plus, she didn't have many friends as it was.

She noticed Jasper and Sage entering and decided to join Lina and Gemma in greeting them.

"Sure, I'll come."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn

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Hex:#D0B9A9XXXXXOutfit: funeral worthy
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Having all the girls agree had put a pep in Lina's step as she made her way over to Gavin and Jasper who really weren't that far away form each other. "Gavin, Jasper!" she called out, quietly, still keeping in mind that she was at a funeral. Upon approaching them Lina noticed that she was still holding onto Gemma's hand and in a way that made her just nervous now so she quickly let go but not in a rude way or so she tried to pull off. A figure next to Jasper caught her eye but at the same time. It was his older sister and freshmen puppy crush Sage.

Lina let a gentle smile cross her features. She knew how Gavin felt about funerals and anything that had to with death so he was the first one that she hugged. She pulled him into a big embrace, one that was sure to comfort him even if a little. After pulling away Lina smirked slightly towards Jasper while looking him up and down. "You've become one snazzy bastard Jasp."

Noticing Gavin's tie being a bit too tight Lina reached out and adjusted it so it wouldn't choke her dear cousin out. "I think you should come to me next time you deiced to wear a suit." Lina tried to lighten the mood a bit but she couldn't help but to let a sad smile replace the old one. Her eyes wandered back over to Sage who she couldn't manage to even speak to at the moment and just waved. "So," she paused glancing over to the coffin that made her feel uneasy. "How are you guys doing..?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn

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Gavin looked up in time to see his favorite cousin striding towards him. He stood grinning, and opened his arms for the embrace he knew would come. It felt good to see her. If only Patty was here.

She took a step back, allowing him to get a good look at her. Lina looked good. Better. He was an only child and Lina was the closest thing he had to a sister. He couldn't help being just a bit protective over her.

He brushed off her suit comment. 'I'm a grown man Lina-Mae.' His eyes twinkled in a way they haven't for a long time. 'I've been catching your music when I can. Patty and I love it.'

Gavin grinned and let out a breath. While Lina was busy waving to some girl he gazed at her companions. There was Gemma, Callum's sister. Gavin remembered her. A sweet girl. Then Dettie. Gavin knew more than he'd care to admit about her. He wasn't too fond of seeing the girl that gave up being with his cousin.

Then, the other girl. She looked vaguely familiar though Gavin couldn't put a name to her face. Shrugging he turned back to Lina. 'I'm doing okay Lina. It's hard being here cause, well you know. But it's good it see old friends again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn

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Hex: #993333 | Outfit: x


Gemma walked with Lina towards the others. At one point, Lina had let go of her hand and she suddenly felt like she was moonwalking without a tether. She shook it off and continued their trek to Gavin, Jasper, and Sage. Sage and Gemma used to be friends. Not the best of friends, but not total strangers. Gemma gave a small wave to the group and a soft smile. There was something.. off about Sage. She wasn't... focusing? Her eyes seemed to be everywhere, but nowhere. She heard the change in Lina's voice as she talked to her cousin and she looked over to find her staring back at the coffin. There was an uneasy set to her shoulders.

She gave her friend a faint smile and turned to Sage. "Hey, Sage." She said. "How've you been?" She gave a soft nod to Jasper in greeting. He used to spend some time with Callum and Alex, but she wasn't sure if they were friends or just mutual acquaintances. Most people gravitated towards Alex. Callum was his eternal shadow. Based on how her brother had looked at Alex, at some point that had changed and they had gone their separate ways.

She searched the room for him now and she felt her heart get a little lighter in her chest. They were talking. There was hope after all. Maybe there was hope for her and Dettie? Cas was walking up to them now after leaving the group. It was obvious he was interrupting something. Something important, but Gemma couldn't quite tell what. Callum wasn't paying him any attention. Instead his gaze was hard on Alex's. Like he was searching for something.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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Hex color: #73200E
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Wow. Six years really was a long time ago. Everyone here was so different. Dettie felt a bit awkward, and gazed out at Cas. He was by Callum and Alex, probably flirting in his Cas way. That, at least, made Dettie smile.

Gemma was also looking over there Dettie noticed. God. Dettie forgot how beautiful Gemma was. She shone, like her nickname implied, as brightly as a jewel. Gemma was a amazing diamond and Dettie was a ugly, sharp stone. How in the world Dettie managed to land a girl like that was beyond her.

Then there was Lina. She was harder to describe. Like...the sun. It was hard to look at Lina and not be amazed. She just stunned you, her smile making anyone weak. Dettie almost wanted to laugh. She gave up both these girls.

But, maybe she could start again? Lina was busy with her cousin and Dettie didn't want to bother her, but Gemma was currently occupied by staring at the boys.

Dettie bit her check. No time like the present right? It only took one small step to be next to Gemma. Dettie looked down at the smaller women and gave her best smile.

'Hey Jewel. How have you been these past, uh....well shit. It's been six years. I, er, missed you. I know I didn't call or anything but...' She shrugged, 'A lot happend at once.'

Ha. Nailed it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Oliver Padalinski Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Tommes Harry Adergi Character Portrait: Isabella Gray Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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0000A L E X 0 H O L M E S 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000000 C A L L U M 0 W I L C O X
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#02857e 0 | 0 #004d00

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alex 0 | 0 callum

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talk me down | troye sivan







He knew that he'd said he'd go, but now, he was regretting that. The memorial service had exhausted him enough as was. The thought of having to deal with any more people was exhausting him enough as it was. He'd asked Callum to pick him up, but his phone had died at exactly the same moment he'd decided that. And now his phone was taking ages to turn back on. Callum would probably be here before Alex even got around to texting him. Just perfect. He'd hardly moved from the bed except to retrieve his sketchpad from his backpack that was acting as a storage for everything that wasn't clothes. The room wasn't that untidy, but it certainly wasn't an image of cleanliness. Paper scattered the floor where he'd ripped out pages that he hadn't been happy with. He couldn't put what he wanted to onto paper, and that was frustrating him a little. So, eventually, he'd just decided to start attempting to catch up on some sleep and pretend that everything that was happening... wasn't.

Callum took a deep breath as he stuck the key into the ignition of his 2011 Ford Bronco and turned it. The engine revved to life, growling hungrily for the open road. He reached out an pat the dashboard. "Sorry, pal. No roadtrips just yet. We have to go get Alex." He eyed the camera bag he had sitting in the shadows of his trunk and thought he should take it to the outing. Get pictures of Gemma, Lina... Alex.

He shook his hand and put the car in drive. He wasn't sure he wanted Alex to know about his new hobby. Not until he was any good at it. Alex was always incredibly talented art wise. Callum couldn't even draw a straight line to save his life. Even his hearts looked strange. He occasionally watched his phone as the GPS guided him to the hotel Alex was staying in. Guilt ate at the lining of his heart as he waited. It got to the point that Callum groaned and put his face in his hands, regret pressing down on his shoulders like weights. If only he had stayed. If only he had tried harder... but he had tried. He had done everything he could think of, everything the internet said to do, but Alex wouldn't listen. But he recovered, right? Yeah because you leaving pushed him over the edge. Callum stuck a hand out to lay into the horn and remembered at the last second that he was outside a hotel and not Alex's house. The car gave a soft honk causing head to turn in his direction. He lifted his hands apologetically and sat back in his seat with a sigh. He grabbed his phone from its mount on the dashboard and typed out:

Dude, we're going to be late Erased it. Wrote You gonna come down before I grow old and die alone?. Erased it. He groaned. Why was this so hard? He apologized. Alex knew how sorry he was. Maybe it was that Alex hadn't exactly said he had forgiven him. And Alex hadn't specified just what... they were exactly. Everytime his mind reverted back to before, it felt too easy. He needed to tone it down, but toned down didn't make him Callum. He tried again.

O prince up in his tower high cometh down lest we beest late for the ball. or I kicketh the bucket of old age. Sent.

The first Alex knew of his phone turning on was when it buzzed with a text. He rolled over, retrieving the phone. His stomach squeezed on seeing Callum's name. He read the text, a small smile crossing his lips at the message, but guilt stole it from his face.

Sorry, dude, really not feeling up to it. It was too brief, but what else could he say? Elaborate on his depression? Say how he'd just spent the whole afternoon asleep or drawing or staring at the ceiling? It wasn't necessary, so he wasn't going to share. He wasn't going to guilt-trip Callum. He felt bad enough for bailing on him.

Below, Callum's phone gives a happy chirp as his phone received a message. Despite the sounds, Callum's face wasn't happy. He opened the message and he sighed. He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger and reread the message. Was it because of him? Because he was the one giving Alex a ride? Maybe he could text Cas... No. If they were going to fix things. It was going to be Callum. But that didn't mean Callum wouldn't offer.

Come on, Man. Don't do this. Is it me? I can text Cas if that would help. He was completely oblivious to the real reason for Alex's sudden distance of the situation, but he felt that if Alex didn't come down, Callum might never see him again. The ache for the open road was already settling in his chest. He wasn't sure how long he could stay in this stupid little town that held so many secrets. He also wasn't sure which window was Alex's but he stared up into him as if willing his friend--his love if he was being honest--to look down. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, look out your tower. See the prince waiting for... many an hour?" He groaned. Poetry was never his strong suit.

He was watching his phone for the reply, knowing that it probably wasn't going to just be a simple reply. And, sure enough, when he read the message, he just ran a hand down his face. He couldn't even send a freaking text without hurting anybody.

No, it's not you. This morning just took it out of me, you know? He sent, staring at the screen and reading Callum's last message. He just wanted to see Callum face to face again. Here, they could talk it out again. They could talk it out in private.

This tower of mine has a lift, if you want to talk face to face. Third floor, room 347. He sent, locking his phone, but staying staring at the screen.

Callum was muttering about his lack of social skills under his breath as he waited for a reply. As soon as his phone chirped, he quickly unlocked it and read the message. His eyes read the words slowly at first and then reread them before practically jumping from his car and made his way inside. It took everything in him not to run to the elevator. As he waited, he typed a reply:

I suppose I can brave that metal beast. I better get a kiss at the top." No. No no. He erased that last part and just sent: I suppose I can brave that metal beast. They just started talking again. No need to fuck it up with his failure of a flirt. He bounced on his toes as the metal doors slowly slid open and he practically hopped inside. It was completely empty so he didn't need to worry about bothering people with his fidgeting.

The doors slid open again on the third floor and he quickly made his way to room 347. He found it and lifted his hand to knock. And dropped it. Stop being a baby He lifted his hand again, took a deep breath and knocked. He let one word escape his lips, a whisper that sounded like a shout in the quiet hall, "Alex?"

Callum's reply made him smile a little, and his eyes shifted from the screen of his phone to the door. A few moments later, the knock came. He got to his feet, casting an eye over the room. It suddenly seemed ridiculously untidy, but there wasn't much he could do about it. So he just ran a hand through his hair, and opened the door. "Hey," he said, standing back to let Callum in. "Sorry about the mess, I just... I meant to tidy up, but then I fell asleep and... yeah," he said, shrugging. God, this was so much more awkward than he'd imagined.

Callum's heart jumped when the door swung open revealing a lightly disheveled Alex. He looked like he had been sleeping before Callum had texted him. He stepped inside, his eyes sweeping about the room. It was a mess, but it wasn't any worse than the back of his Bronco. "Hey, don't sweat it. You should see the back of my truck." Was it a truck? It was definitely bigger than a car. It felt powerful like a truck... he was sticking with truck. "But what's with all the paper?" He knocked a wad of crumpled paper across the floor with his foot, landing next to a pile of shoes and a backpack bursting with clothes.

He smiled at Callum's response. They'd never been the tidiest pair, and it was kind of comforting to know that some things never changed. "Just... drawings that weren't going to work out. I was getting frustrated, hence why they're flung... literally all over the room," he admitted, running his hand through his hair again. He sighed. "Sorry for backing out, dude, I just... Like I said, I've been asleep all afternoon, and I still don't have the energy to go out and try and deal with people again. I'm just... constantly tired lately," he said. It wasn't a lie. He was telling the truth, and praying that Callum wasn't going to question it.

Callum smirked. Everything about Alex was still so... Alex it was almost like he had never left. Like Alex hadn't fallen deeper and deeper into a pit. Almost. He tried to smile more, echo his friend's from before, but it was forced and weak so he dropped it. "You alright? It sounds like you need caffeine, dude. Not more sleep." Not that he had said he would be doing more sleep. "Plus being around people might be good for you." He wasn't sure he could go if Alex didn't. He pushed the thought down. It was selfish and not how he needed to think to get Alex back.

Was he alright? That was the million dollar question. Alex just forced a grin. "Caffeine doesn't help all that much, to be honest. Trust me, I've tried." God, everything felt so forced with him. All he wanted was to sleep and everything else was just forced, just a mask to get him through life. "And I don't know- I was fine until I went out this morning and then bam, exhaustion. Do you really want me falling asleep on you?" He asked, half jokingly. Considering everything they'd been through, this felt... all wrong. Like small talk and nothing more, all while they pretended it was fine. When it wasn't.

Callum nodded as he listened, thinking of anyway to help his love--his friend. "Sounds like you're not getting enough sleep." He looked up at Alex, his eyes worried. "Do you want to talk about it? About what happened? I mean either between us, or rehab, or whatever. Sometimes.. talking helps." How many times had he heard those words from Gemma as he shut her own, too afraid to tell her of his business... of what Alex really meant to him. He chuckled again. "I mean, if you did fall asleep on me, it's not like I would mind."

Alex decided against saying that he was sleeping ten, eleven, twelve hours a night, and then napping during the day. According to his therapist, that was normal, and that it would pass as he recovered. But that wasn't happening just yet. Probably because he wasn't sticking to all of her advice.

He shook his head as Callum asked if he wanted to talk. "I... I don't know if I can. I'm still trying to get my own head around it. Coming back here, seeing everyone..." Seeing Callum... "It's all kinda brought up the memories and the feelings and... I can't deal with it right now, Callum. Especially because the only thing that brought us here is someone dying." It could have been him. It was only luck, really, that he was still alive.

Callum took a step towards Alex, sick at the lost look on his face. "Nothing is going to happen to us, Alex. What happened to Lisa was an accident." He took a deep breath. "You're getting help right? What does your.. doctor? Therapist say?"

Alex didn't know what he wanted to do. Step closer to Callum? Step away? He wanted to both, but he didn't want to do either. So he stayed where he was, ignoring the sudden pressure on his chest. He didn't want to talk about this. He didn't want to talk about his problems, not to Callum.

"It's just... standard for a recovering addict. She says that if I wasn't an addict, I'd probably be on meds, but that she thinks I'd resort to abusing them." He wasn't going to say the word. Depression. He didn't want pity, he just wanted Callum to leave so he could go back to sleep and forget that it had ever happened and just... not leave the room until he was flying back. He wasn't going to tell Callum, but he agreed with the therapist. If anyone handed him anything stronger than paracetamol, he'd be downing it in the hope of taking the edge off.

At the word "addict" Callum winced. He feared Alex had been that bad. In fact, he knew it was true, but didn't want to accept it. Without permission, a memory surfaced. Alex's eyes wide and distant as he talked about whatever his drug addled brain was thinking. At first, Callum laughed with him. Even considered joining him if he wasn't thinking about how much Gemma would kill him. Then things went downhill quickly. Their inventory was depleting more rapidly than they could sell it and Callum, for a long time, refused to believe Alex was dipping into the stash. He had been wrong. He agreed with the therapist. He wasn't going to say it though. "Alex, you need to get out of this room. Some fresh air, some laughs. Then you can come here and crash or... He paused, his brain crying out Don't do it! "You could come back to the motel with me. Crash there. That way you're not alone." And I'm not alone anymore.

No. No, Callum wasn't getting it. He couldn't actually face it. The thought of heading out to a party, where everyone else would be talking about how great their life was and how they'd gotten everything they'd wanted. And then they'd look at him and he'd either have to tell more lies or tell the truth and deal with their pity and their general disappointment. He didn't want to deal with any of them. He wanted Callum to stay here with him and just chill and forget about the outside world and all their problems, but Callum wasn't going to let him do that. Callum sounded like his freaking therapist, preaching to him when he had no idea what he was going through.

He took a step back, running a hand through his hair. Being back here, having Callum talking to him like this- it was like he was back then, back when he'd either be high or so painfully sober, when everyone was telling him what to do and what was right for him when they had no idea what he needed. "No, Callum, I can't." He couldn't even say any more than that. He couldn't elaborate. He could feel the frustration starting to build already, but ignored it, trying to suppress it. If there was one person he didn't want to lose his temper with, it was Callum.

Callum froze. He knew that look. The fear that only disappeared when he was shorting shit or shooting up. He took a step back. He needed to fix it. How could he fix it? He looked around the room, trying to think of something quick. Before Alex exploded and the radiation would hit him right in the chest. He kicked a ball of paper when he took a step back and an idea snapped into place. "Show me what you're working on?" He wasn't sure how Alex would react to the change of topic. He knew Alex probably thought he was probing and being an ass and he would rather face his reaction to that request than make the gap between them bigger. He still wished he had the strength--and permission that's very important--to cross the room and kiss him. His hands shook with the need, but he stuffed them in his pockets.

Alex forced himself to take a deep breath. And another. He was fine. He was okay. He wasn't going to have to leave just yet. Callum wasn't leaving. He nodded once at Callum's request. Then again as he moved back to the bed, retrieving the sketchpad from the bedside locker. Another deep breath. He flicked through the sketchpad, landing on the draft he was happiest with. His therapist had been encouraging him to put what he was feeling onto paper, but Alex had never been good with words. So he drew. Sometimes he just drew what was in front of him. But he drew more than that too.

He sat down on the bed, staring at the drawing. His mind picked out the flaws and he wanted to rip it up. But instead, he looked up at Callum, forced a smile, and patted the bed beside him. He looked back down at the drawing, trying to see it for what it was. He'd never seen the Grim Reaper as a bad spirit. Somebody who was just trying to do what he was supposed to, but who was portrayed as evil for that. He wondered if the Grim Reaper was an outcast too. So he'd drawn the Grim Reaper in human form. Hollow, gaunt cheeks, but bright eyes that shone from even beneath his cloak. Hands that could carry a human as easy as they could take their hand. Like him but also nothing like him. He slid it across to Callum.

Callum waited. For and explosion. For a smle. When he didn't get either, he still considered the diversion a success. He watched as Alex pulled a sketchpad from the bed and began to flip through the pages. He waited until he was given the okay to cross the room and sat beside Alex. There was a small forced smile that reminded him of all the times Alex smiled apologetically after a bad episode. He gave a small smile back, just as he would before and took the picture. His jaw dropped. It was obvious it was modeled a little after Alex, but at the same time it was a totally different person. Not a person but a concept: The Grim Reaper.

The detail was amazing, though. Almost like a photograph. He brushed his fingers over the page, careful not to smudge it. He could feel where Alex had erased and reworked the picture, the dents from pressing harder with the pencil. He closed his eyes for a moment and pictured Alex working. He had seen his work in the past, but had definitely improved. And Callum couldn't help but be proud of him. He opened his eyes and grinned. "This is crazy good, Alex. You've gotten so much better." He looked up at Alex. "Not that you've needed to improve."

The smile that Callum's compliment produced was the first fully real smile that Alex had smiled in a while. "Thanks. Drawing is a great way to avoid my family," he said, shrugging a little. Was that too personal? No, not really. Callum had seen and heard all of his problems. This wasn't anything new.

"Listen, Callum, I'm sorry. Coming back and seeing everyone and... seeing you. It's tough. You know as well as I do that I could never really deal with my emotions all that well in the first place, and I've kinda got to learn to deal with it all over again. I get angry a lot and I get anxious a lot and... I'm afraid of losing everyone again," he admitted, not making eye contact. "I'm afraid of losing you again," he added, more quietly. "So a lot of the time I just feel like... it's better not to get close to begin with." God, his therapist was going to be proud of him when she heard what he was about to say. "But... it's not the same with you. I want things to go back to the way they were. I'm not easy to deal with, though, so if you don't want to... I understand." Wow, not only had he made a decision on what he wanted, he'd also admitted to it. He was on a roll.

Callum beamed when he saw Alex's smile. His real smile. "We all have our escapes." he replied with a shrug similar to Alex's. He saw the change in Alex right before he spoke and he listened, his full attention on him. He felt heat rise to his face when he said I'm afraid of losing you again. When he finished, Callum opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. The words hadn't formed yet, they were still lost in the words Alex had spoken.

His face heated and he stammered a bit, trying to get the words out. "I--You mean--We--" he took a deep breath. "Back to how things were, how?" He tilted his head slightly to the side, his eyes soft. His heart pounded in his chest in hopes of hearing what he needed to hear.

It was unusual that Alex could talk when Callum couldn't. Maybe the therapy was working after all. As he watched him, he was reminded exactly why he'd said what he had. He was tired of trying to deny it to himself. He still loved Callum, as much as he'd tried to persuade himself otherwise. So at Callum's question, he leaned across to kiss him.

Callum's pulse thundered in his ears as he waited for Alex to answer. Please Please Please It sang. Alex's blue eyes grew intense in a way that Callum recognized and before Alex even moved, he had his answer. He leaned forward as well, his hand coming up to cup Alex's cheek softly, his thumb gliding across his cheek bone. He paused, only for a moment, building the tension and then his lips met Alex's. It was as soft and warm as he remembered, this time without the tingling of drugs burning through Alex's veins. He held himself back from being too forceful--too passionate. Not for fear of hurting Alex, but so he could speak. He needed to make sure Alex understood something if they were to move forward.

"Alex," he whispered as he pulled back slightly, laying his forehead against Alex's. "I need you to understand something." He looked up into those blue eyes that held him captive since the day they met. "I meant what I said back at Lisa's..." he didn't finish it. Death had no place in their conversation. So instead he went around the word. "I'm not going anywhere. If you want me, you have me. I've learned what it's like to not have you and I don't want to taste that life again. I made a mistake and I'm sorry, but if you're taking me back. I'm not letting you go. I will always be here for you. In the way I never was before." He leaned his head down, his lips just barely touching Alex's. "I love you, Alex Holmes."

It was everything he had been waiting and hoping for. Everything he had remembered. His skin tingled where Callum touched it, like static electricity. Even when Callum pulled away, resting his forehead against Alex's, Alex could still feel the electricity. His hand rested around the back of Callum's neck, and he couldn't stop himself from smiling, even as Callum met his eyes. The idea of having Callum all to himself, without fear of losing him... Alex wasn't so scared any more. Having Callum this close made everything feel a little better.

"Good," he replied. "Because you're not getting rid of me," he said. At Callum's words, his smile just grew. "And I love you, Callum Wilcox," he said, before closing the slight distance between them to kiss Callum again. He'd forgotten how much he'd missed it. It was almost exactly like everything his doctor had told him to avoid, because it would just get him hooked again. And she was exactly right.

He pulled away, but not too far. He couldn't remember the last time he'd grinned this much. "Well, haven't we got a party to go to? I think I'll just about be able to manage it now that I have you," he said.

Callum felt heat running through his veins at Alex's kiss. He heard his words echoing in his ears. His heart was racing--fluttering really--in his chest. He desperately wished he had his camera so he could take a picture of this moment and hold onto it forever. There was a tingling sensation on the skin of his neck and his lips. Pretty much wherever his body met Alex's. When Alex pulled back he felt a grin take form on his face. The chuckle that bubbled up from his core was practically a giggle. He was drunk on Alex's kisses and high on his touch. How could Alex have prefered drugs to the feeling of this?

He looked up at his love from under his eyelashes, the action more effective now that he wore contacts instead of his glasses. "Party? What party?" he asked huskily. He chuckled again, laying his forehead against Alex's shoulder. "Man the party. I almost forgot about it. You really want to go?"

As Callum leaned his head against Alex's shoulder, Alex rested his head against Callum's. He'd missed being this close to somebody. Not just sex, just having this kind of physical contact. Just being near somebody like this. He ran a hand through Callum's hair as he talked about the party. "Well, we both said we were going," he said. "And I don't particularly want to have to try and answer the questions of what we did while we weren't there," he teased.

Callum closed his eyes, reveling in the feel of Alex's fingers in his hair. It was comforting and the warmth of being near him was making him sleepy. Alex's teasing snapped him out of the feeling. Callum growled and turned his head, kissing the skin of Alex's neck. "Don't tempt me." He sighed happily and pulled back. "You're right though. We said we'd be there and we should. You should change." He stood, pushing back Alex's hair from his face and giving his forehead a soft kiss. "I'll wait outside your door otherwise I might distract you and we'll never get out of here." he teased.

Once Alex was finished and had whatever he wanted to take with him, Callum took ahold of his hand, and lead him down to the Bronco where he grabbed his camera bag and set it at the space below Alex's feet. As he drove towards the gathering of old friends, he had one hand on the wheel and one hand intertwined with Alex's fingers. He smiled to himself and turned on the radio, singing along to whatever song was playing for the millionth time.

The feeling of Callum's lips on his neck sent shivers down his spine again. But then Callum pulled away, and Alex sighed a little, grinning at the forehead kiss and gentle tease. He changed quickly, the change of clothes helping him to feel somewhat normal again. He couldn't believe how well things had gone. He'd pictured an argument, him exploding at Callum over something small... and it had gone the opposite. It had gone exactly as he'd wanted it to go. That didn't seem to happen all that much.

The drive to the pre-arranged spot was just as good. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this... peaceful. Callum's fingers in his, Callum singing along to the radio... He wanted to say it was like the old days, but it wasn't. In the old days, he'd either be high and singing along with Callum or babbling about something strange, or trying to recover from a hangover or general low, when he wanted to ask Callum to stop singing, because he had a headache, but didn't, because he didn't want to let Callum know how bad he was feeling.

He got out of the car, taking the supplies he'd picked up on his way back from the service with him. It was only a short walk to the site, but it looked like everyone else was already there. "Sorry we're late, guys. My ten minute nap turned into a few hours."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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Hex | Lina;#D0B9A9, Gavin;#1C6122 ||...Outfit | dude, did you, eat my popsicle?
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Lina nodded silently and watched Gemma leave her side, heading over towards Alphie. Lina knew she compete. There was a part of her that felt as if these feelings for Gemma were wrong for the simple fact that she liked her ex's, ex? If that was even a thing. But Alphie was all Gemma could see and Lina couldn't help but to feel that little sting in her chest.

Setting all of the things they brought by the fire pit she looked around to see that most of the gang was here, conversating and all that good stuff but Gavin was nowhere in sight. Whipping out her phone she sent a text to him asking him where he was and if he needed a ride.

Patty was fussy today. Gavin had meant to leave about ten minutes ago, but she wouldn't relent. Even her favorite stuffed animal wouldn't calm her down.

He was at his wits end when his phone beeped. With Patty sitting on his lap he pulled his phone out, sparing a quick glance at the name. At once he smiled. Getting a text or call from his favorite cousin always managed to lift his mood. She asked if he needed a ride and Gavin sighed in relief. He couldn't really spend any more money on a taxi. He texted her back, saying yes he did need a ride and please bring Patty a treat so she'd calm down.

Right after sending the text Lina went over to Ellie and greeted her but right as she was about to take a seat her phone vibrated in her pocket. She took it out and read the text sent from her cousin. Smiling she sent him an okie-dokie and a smiley face. Nudging Ellie, Lina smiled at her. "Hey Ellie, do me a favorite? If Gemma asks tell her I went to pick up Gavin okay? I'll be back in about ten." pecking her friend on the cheek Lina got up and headed towards her car, taking one last glance back at Gem who was talking to a distraught looking Alphie.

The air from her open window made Lina's hair dance wildly. She was playing one of her favorite songs from Andy Grammer, a new one in fact and was feeling pretty good. Maybe it was the fact that she got to spend some quality time with her cousin? Even if it was a just ride. Maybe it was because she was going to get to see her favorite little girl in the whole wide world? Okay maybe it was both of those things. About seven minutes into the ride Lina spotted the old convenient store where she use to buy snacks at when coming home from school.

Memories came flooding back and one of them happened to be when her and her little brother entered the store to get a popsicle. Andy was so eager that he accidentally knocked over a whole shelf of things. Without money to pay for those damaged items they both ran out of the store. Lina managed to toss the money for the popsicles onto the counter before running out but they laughed the rest of the way home.

Smiling to herself Lina stopped at the store real quick. She looked around and saw the same popsicles that she had once loved. Deciding to try them again she picked up three. A green one for herself, a blue one for Gavin and a red one for Patty. After she paid for them Lina was back on her way, pulling up to Gavin's house eight minutes later and knocking on the front door. Hiding the small black bag behind her back.

The door opened to reveal a tired looking teenager. She opened her mouth to tell Lina off, but a redheaded blur knocked her to the side. Patty clung to her Aunts legs and a panting Gavin followed. He waved the teen off and she went mumbling into the living room. "Hey Lina." He smiled fondly at her. "Sorry about that. The baby sitter answered. She's a sweet girl but, yknow how teens are."

From below Patty squealed. "Aunt Lina! Daddy said you were coming to visit!" The girl stepped back and fixed her aunt with a suddenly angry look. "You haven't visited in ages!"

Gavin laughed and wagged a finger at Lina. "You really upset her Lina. Hope you brought peace offerings."

Lina briefly eyed the babysitter as she left, grinning towards Gavin. "I bet."

Looking down at the little thing that clung so happily to her legs Lina couldn't help but to let the biggest smile cross her lips. Seeing Patty again really made Lina happy. This little girl was like the only thing that could make her smile no matter what. Watching Patty give her that little angry look only made her cuter to Lina as she bent down onto a knee. "Yes I know, Auntie Lina was very busy my little rugrat." she pushed a piece of the girls hair behind her ear. Looking up at Gavin with that same smile for a second as he spoke.

"Hmm, I may have something." she teased. "But first I need a hug."

Patty stood there for a moment, eyeing Lina and weighting her options. Finally she seemed to deem both a bribe and visit from her Aunt worth it. "Okay!" Chirped the girl cheerily. Tiny arms wrapped around Lina's neck and Gavin took this opportunity to snap a picture.

"Aww." He cooed. "My favorite girls."

Laughing softly Lina hugged Patty back with all she could, all while being gentle of course. She stuck her tongue out at Gavin in a joking manner when he said that they were his favorite girls followed by a, "Damn right." and another short laugh. When the little girl pulled away Lina pulled the popsicles out from the bag she kept hidden behind her. Unwrapping the red one for her Lina handed Patty hers. "Look, just like the good old days right Patty? We all have one."

Giving her a kiss on the forehead Lina stood back up and handed Gavin his. "It's not as good as a cone but it will have to do until this weekend." in other words, telling him that they were going out for ice-cream this weekend and there was nothing he could do about it. Glancing at her watch it's already been a good seven minutes and the sun was getting lower and lower. "We better get going. I brought some stuff to make s'mores and I'd be damned if they ate them without us, mostly me though." she joked, unwrapping her own popsicle and taking a few licks.

Patty gasped and grabbed the popsicle with pudgy fingers. Like any child her age she began to eat it like she hadn't had a meal in weeks. Gavin sighed as he unwrapped his own. Knowing his daughter she'd get it all over her clothes. He hated doing laundry.

"Love me some ice cream." He said in response to Lina's demand they spend time together. But hey, he wouldn't fight it. He loved spending time with Lina, and so did Patty.

"Lemme just tell Patty and the sitter goodbye. Then we can go." Pop half finished Patty looked up at her father with eyes that made his heart melt. "Patty sweetie." She titled her head and Gavin realized she looked so much like her mother. Swallowing the lump in his throat he pulled her into a one armed hug. She relaxed in it, red dripping onto his shirt. Oh well.

"I'm leaving with Lina now, okay?" Patty pulled away and Gavin braced for the waterworks. Instead she just nodded, gave them both quick hugs and skipped in the living room to find the sitter. Gavin shook his head. "That girl. I swear you're the only one who can calm her down. Earlier today she wouldn't stop crying about how I was leaving her. It broke my heart and I bet she knew it. Manipulative little thing. She gets it from her mom....God I love her."

Sighing he turned back to his cousin, finally eating his own treat. "Let's hit the town Lina."

Smiling Lina took a bite of her popsicle before responding. "Awe, it's because she knows that her auntie will always bring her daddy back safe and sound." Lina gripped his shoulder in a comforting manner before turning on her heels. "Right! Off we go!" Hopping into her car, Lina revved her engine to life until it was a low purr.

On the way back to the little gathering Lina sung her heart out to anything that came on the radio. Even the songs she didn't know. She'd just make up the lyrics as she went, laughing when they made no sense and boy did they make no sense. Upon arriving once more Lina was the first to hop out of the car feeling that same happy high she had when she first arrived with Gemma. She stretched out, her lips now tinted green a little and Gavin's blue. She took one look at him and let out a half laugh. "Dude it looks like we just raided a clowns makeup box."

Gavin shouted one last goodbye before locking his door, smiling when both teen and child yelled back. Hopping in Lina's car made him wish he had his own. Walking Patty to daycare and then to work got tiring after a while. He stuck a hand out the window as she drove, laughing at Lina's singing attempts. Though he doubted he could do better.

Once at the site Gavin was very happy he had come. He had almost forgotten how fun it was to hang around Lina. Now that Patty was older and could be left with a sitter more Gavin vowed to be around his cousin more. He always did believe family had to stick together.

He laughed at her comparison, cringing at the same time. "No way. I hate clowns. Normal make up for me please and thank you."

Laughing as she walked to the campsite Lina shook her head. "You and me both, normal make up is alright too."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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H E X C O D E: #372B3D xxxxxxx O U T F I T: x


Billie had seen some old friends and familiar faces at Lisa's memorial. Of course it had all been through tinted sunglasses but she'd still seen them. How they mingled and made awkward conversation. Occasionally she thought she could get up and join them, but she couldn't bring herself to. Her eyes had spent most the time transfixed on Lisa's coffin. Then before long she was shuffling out with her head down.

Back at her hotel room, Billie had berated herself for not saying hi. Which was probably why she was shuffling down this stone path to an old campsite. She'd gotten a text about the meet up. Billie hadn't been sure she was going to to until the last minute. She have put on her clothes and taken them off at least five times trying to make up her mind. She hadn't originally intended to reconnect with anyone whilst back in town. Seeing them all at the memorial though, it had hit her harder than she thought it would have.

Billie looked up and also saw two figures she recognized arriving. Smiling her first unforced smile of the day Billie wandered over to them. "Hey Gavin," She said to the boy with a small smile. Of course she recognized him from back in the school days. They talked a little but probably only because Billie had alright friends with his girlfriend at the time, Patton. Billie wondered briefly if they were still together. It would be nice to see Patton again. "And," Billie froze when she looked at the girl Gavin was with. Shit. She gave an awkward smile as she completely blanked on the name. She'd been so confident walking over. "... Leigh?" Billie shook her head and tried to give an apologetic smile, "Shit. That's not right is it?"

Billie looked at the ground and adjusted her clothing. Perhaps she shouldn't have come, she was more confident than she had been in high school, but people were still not her best thing. Clearing her throat, Billie kicked the ground and looked back up at them deciding to give it another go. "So um, how did you guys manage the- uh," Billie couldn't bring herself to say funeral. Or memorial. Or anything else death related. "Lisa's thing." She sneaked a quick glance over at the crowd gathering around. Oh great more people she didn't know that well and would feel awkward around.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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Hex Color:#1C6122





Gavin was still laughing with Lina when Billie greeted him. He waved, then snorted at her attempt to remember his cousins name. There was no venom in it, just amusement. 'It's okay Billie. I was always the more memorible, and good looking cousin.' He winked at Bille then slung an arm around Lina's shoulders. 'No shame Cuz. I'll always be there for you.'

He looked back at Billie and hummed thoughtfully at her question. 'It was....' His nose wrinkled as he struggled to right words. 'Hard. Lisa was an amazing person and it's weird to think I'll never see her again.' Much more somber now Gavin almost didn't notice Alex walk up. When he did finally catch Gavin's attention it was a shock. Gavin had all but cut ties with Alex once he started dealing with drugs. He and Patton wanted nothing to do with it.

Gavin glanced at Lina then at Alex. Even if their friendship had ended he could help but eye Alex up and down like a worried mother. 'Hey Alex...I'm doing okay...What about you? How you holding up buddy?'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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Hex:#D0B9A9XXXXXOutfit: night out
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Smiling at Billie, Lina shook her head. "Don't worry about it," she waved it off her smile now turning silly as her cousin stepped in, proclaiming that he was the better cousin. "It's Lina," she corrected happily then playfully hit Gavin in the chest. "and you wish. We all know whose the better looking cousin here." Lina flirtingly rose her eyebrow at Billie but in a playful manner.

She agreeingly nodded along with Gavin's words about Lisa. "Yeah, she was the best softball we ever had." she added, her voice soft. Lina sure did admire Lisa both as her captain and as a person in general. Right then Alex walked up to them and since Lina was caught up in her good mood she smiled at him. She hadn't seen Alex in a while but looking at him now he looked better than he did back then even if it was a little. Admittedly she wasn't ready to forgive him. In fact she didn't even know if she could but that didn't mean she had to be an ass because of it. "Hey Alex!" she waved, slipping her hands back into her pockets. "Looking good, I might have to steal them shoes from you man." a half laugh slipped out of her mouth. She honesty really did like those shoes of his. Maybe she'd ask him where he got them later on.

A turning head had caught Lina's attention form the corner of her eye, and when she looked it was Gemma with Dettie on the other side of the fire. Something looked off so she decided to investigate, plus she hadn't greeted Dettie yet. "Hey guys, you'll have to excuse me. I'll catch up with you guys later." politely smiling she patted Gavin on his back before excusing herself. With green stained lips Lina walked over to the pair but as she got closer she began noticing the both features on each girl. Something was up, something bad. "What's wrong?" she questioned concerned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Oliver Padalinski Character Portrait: Castiel O'Connor Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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0000C A S T I E L 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000000 O ' C O N N O R
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#FFB7EE0

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Castiel
0 0







"It's...mom. She had a heart attack in prison and..." was what sort of broke Cas's train of thought. His mind was running in all sorts of directions, he had never really lost a parent. But he knew that his best friend had twice. The slightly taller blond moved closer to her and gave the woman a hug, and didn't let go. His breathing slow, as he tried to think of what to say. "Let's get this shindig started huh?" he spoke with a smile. He was going to make her happy no matter what. He looked towards Gemma and Lina for a response. His dark eyes closed a bit as he would back up from the group hug, and smile towards her. His hands moved towards his pocket and planted themselves in there. He was ready to sit around a damn campfire and sing some shit, or maybe get drunk so he'd forget a lot. Maybe even talk to Alex and Callum for a bit. "Whadya say? Wanna get wasted my queens?" he spoke as a chuckle emitted from his mouth. Maybe high school never ended? Or at least, Cas never changed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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H E X C O D E: #372B3D xxxxxxx O U T F I T: x


When Lina and Gavin both replied somberly about Lisa's funeral Billie mentally kicked herself. Of course that was a bad question that was only going to bring down the mood. Outwardly though she nodded sympathetically. Thankfully she was saved from the awkwardly sad atmosphere she had created by Alex. Of course she hadn't turned around to confirm it was Alex but she would have recognized that voice anywhere. She supposed that he was the one friend she had truly missed in her time away, it had always felt like they'd been friends forever.

"Alex!" She said as she spun around with the warmest grin on her. Though it was wiped off the moment she spun around and actually laid eyes on her old friend. He looked, well, she couldn't put it into words. Though different would be one. He looked paler, more disheveled than before. Somehow he even looked smaller. Why? That was all she could think. Why did he look like this now? Of course, those weren't questions she could ask so instead she went awkwardly quiet not sure what to say.

Luckily there were others who could. Both Lina and Gavin jumped in to talk to Alex. Billie wasn't a fool though, she could sense the awkward air between the already. She glanced between them, wondering what kind of story was being kept from her. Luckily though it gave her time to adjust to this new vision of Alex. Time to re-group.

Once there was a gap in the conversation, Billie fixed eyes on Alex, putting her grin back on. She was still happy to see him even if he didn't quite look how she'd imagined. "I forgot to give you one of these," She said lightly pulling him in for a hug. "So tell me, what have you boys been up to post-school?" Billie asked both Gavin and Alex. Her hand still resting on Alex's shoulder in a friendly way. "You and Patton still together after all these years?" She said looking towards Gavin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Jasper McQueen Character Portrait: Sage McQueen Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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xxALEXxHOLMES
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xxxlocation: party xxxoutfit: here

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xxx"fixation or psychosis
xxxdevoted to neuroses now
xxxendless romantic stories
xxxyou never could control me"


His own grin broadened at Billie's response. However, her reaction upon seeing him made the smile slip and become much more forced. He should have expected that reaction, really. The last time she'd seen him, he'd been a young, healthy, and relatively healthy kid. And while he knew he looked better than he had done the last time he'd been home, he certainly looked worse than he had all those years ago.

Gavin spoke to fill the silence, something Alex was glad for. "Yeah, I'm doing good. Just started back into school and all that." He said simply, shrugging a little. Lina's comments returned a little bit of a genuine smile to his face. He wasn't sure if she was just avoiding talking about anything serious or not, but it did seem genuine, which was something Alex appreciated. But then she drifted away to talk to some of the girls, and Billie engulfed him in a hug. He hugged her back, his smile feeling less and less forced.

As Billie asked about Patton, Alex glanced at Gavin. Patton. Now, there was a name he hadn't heard in years. He could vaguely remember hearing something about her, but it had been in the midst of a drug-fuelled haze, so he couldn't even remember what it was. He'd lost years of his life thanks to the drugs, and there were entire sections of time he couldn't even remember. Settling back into normal life was easier said than done when you were still trying to put all the pieces back together, all while pretending that he had everything together. Apparently it was normal to feel like that and it would fade with time. That didn't stop Alex from wanting all the pieces back right then.






xxELLIExPOWELL
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xxxlocation: party xxxoutfit: here

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xxx"i'm a wanderess
xxxi'm a one night stand
xxxdon't belong to no city
xxxdon't belong to no man"
x


At Sage's response, Ellie just arched an eyebrow, grinning a little. It felt more fake than she wanted, but she was doing her best. Sage seemed a little more sober, though, which was something, even if she was as abrasive as ever. Sage laughed a little at Jasper's comment. "Yeah, college professors always seem entirely unaware that we actually have lives outside of class. Although, by the sounds of it, you're even busier than me," She replied. Sage made some comment about s'mores and went off in search of a drink. Ellie sighed and ran her hands through her hair.

"Still as much of a handful as ever, then?" She remarked lightly, nodding at Sage. When Ellie looked at her, she could hardly remember the cool older sister she had once been. She saw the woman she'd hooked up with, but... a shadow of that person. The only sign that Sage was even the same person was the teasing nickname of princess. It was hard for her- but it had to be worse for Jasper. Sage had only ever been a crush to Ellie. An unattainable teenage crush that had become something, only to be taken away by something she didn't understand. Seeing his sister damaged like this had to hurt.

She wrapped one arm around Jasper, rubbing his shoulder a little. "If you ever feel like dumping her on top of me for a night, just text me so I can hide the alcohol properly, 'kay?" She said, grinning at him. "So, how about them s'mores?" She asked. Some groups had evidently not yet heard about the s'mores, so she took it upon herself to yell over at them, "OI! S'MORES! COME AND GET THEM!" She laughed at Lina, standing up and going over to help her.

"So are you appointing yourself head chef of the s'mores or...?" She asked teasingly as she took some of the food. They hadn't gotten a proper chance to talk at the funeral, and she still wanted to catch up. "Is that what you've been doing since we last spoke, all those years ago?" She asked. She hadn't seen Lina since... probably before the fire. Or in the little space of time between her becoming conscious enough to hold a conversation and her moving away for recovery and rehabilitation and all that. Either way, it had been years ago.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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Hex color: #73200E
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Having the three near really helped. When they had her wrapped in their arms it was almost easy to just forget all the bad stuff. Dettie would of been content just staying like that all night, but eventually they broke off. 'Thanks guys...' She said, voice already sounding more like normal. Eventually the girls spread out, leaving Dettie to lean on Cas. She bobbed her head to the music Gemma put on and laughed at the sight that was Lina.

She sat sown again, this time watching Gemma go. As much as Dettie wanted the other girl by her side she knew Gemma needed a long talk with her brother. Still, dead mom or not Dettie would smack him if he hurt Gemma again.

She tore her eyes away to look at Lina now. 'Need any help Li?'






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Hex Color:#1C6122





Gavin waved Lina off as she left. Heaven knows he was glad she was being more social with the people she used to know. He hoped everything worked out over there. He grinned when he was the four person hug. Good. He wasn't the fondest of Dettie, though he didn't out right hate her, buthe knew Gemma was a good person. And Cas for the matter. All of them were good people when it came down to it.

His attention was turned back to Billie and Alex with the use of one name. When they mentioned her his whole body snapped towards them. God, why didn't he expect this? A lot of people here knew Patton. She was popular and it was idiotic to think they wouldn't ask after her. Vaguely he wondered if anyone thought it was strange they weren't side by side now. In high school they were practically joint at the hip.

Gavin squirmed. It would be so easy to tell them exactly what happened. But then there would be questions, and looks of pity everyone staring at him. And there was no way he could explain that it was his fault she died. He was the one who got her pregnant at such a young age. 'Umm....,' He said finally. 'It's....complicated. I don't really wanna talk about it...Sorry.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alphonsine Bernadette Cunningham Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Flora Sunn Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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Hex:#D0B9A9XXXXXOutfit: night out
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"Yup," Lina managed to say with the bag pinched between her teeth, giving Flora a little smile. "So are you appointing yourself head chef of the s'mores or...?" Lina turned to the voice, smiling wider but as a result having the bag fall from in between her teeth and causing her to fumble with the bag before actually catching it. She breathed out a sigh of relief both when she managed not to drop the marshmallows and when Ellie took some of the stuff. "Haha yeah, I have been training in the mountains with s'mores Yoda, you know the regular stuff." she laughed opening a pack of those fluffy clouds. In reality Lina was trying to avoid that subject. She knew people were going to ask her about that but she just wasn't ready for everyone to know about what she did just yet. For a moment Lina glanced over towards Gavin and saw a rather uncomfortable look on his face. She hoped he was okay.

Eyes back on Ellie, Lina playfully bumped her shoulder against hers. "So what have you been up to all these years?" Lina began opening up the other two packs of marshmallows as she listened. There was no doubt that Lina missed Ellie but then again it was only natural since they were so close and she hoped that they still could be. Ellie was Lina's home girl. "Need any help Li?" Her looked over towards Dettie as she nodded. "Oh! Dettie, yes! I almost forgot," she paused for a second as she struggled with the last bag before finally popping it open. "Ha, gotcha." but at last Lina had gotten distracted. "Oh yeah, sticks." she smiled sheepishly at Dettie. "Can't roast marshmallows without sticks, mind getting me some? And can you take Gavin with you for some help?" upon her last request Lina hoped that it would help Gavin get out of an awkward situation. She always looked out for her cousin.

When Gemma came over Lina couldn't help but smile at her. "Coming right up, beautiful. As soon as Dettie comes back with those sticks." with a childish grin on her face Lina plopped down in between Gemma and Ellie. She popped open her wine cooler and down about half of it then stretched her arm over Gemma's shoulders. "Wanna have a sip? It's really good." Lina asked, just her being nice as always but it really did taste amazing. Perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Gavin Dean

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H E X C O D E: #372B3D xxxxxxx O U T F I T: x


When Gavin responded that it was complicated and he didn't want to talk about Patton, Billie had to physically stop herself from face palming. "Oh, um, sorry?" She said awkwardly, not really sure how to reply. Now she remembered why she avoided socialization at all costs. Though she mentally filed that piece of information away under 'bad breakup'. She were a lesser person or just desperate for something to talk about, that would make a nice piece of gossip to bring up later. Of course she liked to believe she was above gossip however.

Luckily Alex's old friend Callum appeared and announced that people were doing smores. She flashed him a grateful smile, then with obviously forced enthusiasm she grinned at Alex and Gavin. "Smores sounds great. We should go get some!" It sounded robotic and fake even to her own ears, she didn't really do peppy but she was desperate to get away from her previous awkward question that to her still felt like it was lingering in the air and choking her.

Billie started walking over to the fire and gave Callum a polite smile. Truth be told she'd only really known him through Alex. "So, you guys still friends then? kept in touch since highschool?" Billie was beginning to wonder how many of her classmates had actually kept in touch. "And how's your sister doing?" Billie blurted out almost as a shout. She was just proud of herself for remembering that he had a sister. Her name was Gemma if Billie recalled. She looked briefly out to the fire to try and spot the red head. She was pretty sure she had red hair back then.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gemma Wilcox Character Portrait: Alex Holmes Character Portrait: Callum Wilcox Character Portrait: Billie Drummer Character Portrait: Lina Stretton Character Portrait: Gavin Dean Character Portrait: Ellie Powell

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xxALEXxHOLMES
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xxxlocation: party xxxoutfit: here

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xxx"fixation or psychosis
xxxdevoted to neuroses now
xxxendless romantic stories
xxxyou never could control me"


He had been right about hearing something about Patton, then. He still couldn't quite remember what it was, though. Still, either way, he wasn't going to grill Gavin about it- or probably even bring it up again. It was clear it was uncomfortable for him, and Alex had been asked enough uncomfortable questions lately to know how unpleasant it was. A distraction arrived in the form of what appeared to be a slightly tipsy Callum, one that made Alex grin. Billie followed them over to the fire, starting to talk to Callum. Alex sat down at the fire, glancing around at everyone there. They were all familiar faces, faces he hadn't seen in years. Some he barely recognised, some had barely changed.

There was a certain peace to the evening, everybody just sitting around talking and chilling. At the mention of a party, he'd been nervous- unsure of what exactly to expect. But he could handle this. This was everything he'd hoped for. Callum back by his side. Old friends surrounding him. And no pressure- no pressure to drink, no pressure to lie about what he'd been up to, no pressure to hide. No pressure to do anything but just... chill.






xxELLIExPOWELL
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xxxlocation: party xxxoutfit: here

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xxx"i'm a wanderess
xxxi'm a one night stand
xxxdon't belong to no city
xxxdon't belong to no man"
x


Ellie followed Lina closer to the fire, laughing at her comment. "I knew it!" She declared loudly, laughing a little. God, she'd missed Lina more than she'd realised. A lot more. In the final few days before the fire, she'd started to realise that being popular didn't necessarily mean having lots of friends. Because the minute you started to fall, they would all turn their backs to you and let you fall. Lina, Jasper, and Dettie had been some of very few truly good friends she'd had, and they'd been there for her even after her fall. And now they were here again. "Oh, you know, college. Trying to make life decisions when you can't even pick what shoes to wear out on a Saturday night," she remarked lightly.

Gemma arrived then as Ellie reached over to get a beer. Ellie smiled at her as she sat down on the other side of Lina. "I'm good, Gemma, and you?" She asked. She'd shared a couple of classes with the other girl, but couldn't say she knew her all that well. She took a mouthful out of the beer, swallowing as Lina put her arm around Gemma. Something about that troubled her, something she couldn't quite put a finger on. She drained more of her beer, suddenly wishing she had something stronger.

Her eyes lingered on Cas and the stupid jacket. Anger flared in her chest. Here, she'd have backup. Here, she'd have people who would question his actions as much as she did.

"Hey, Cas, can I ask you something?" She asked, running a finger around the top of her bottle. "That jacket looks awfully like one of Jordan's. Care to enlighten me on that?" She asked, keeping her tone light and pleasant, but not allowing it to reach her eyes. She took another mouthful out of her beer without breaking eye contact.

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