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Camilla Rhodes

"People think they know all the facts, in reality, they know nothing"

0 · 85 views · located in Scarmouth

a character in “Blinding Lights”, as played by Maci-Care

Description



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Everyone's out there to either be you, be with you,x or be better than you
Bad Bitch - Bebe Rexha, Ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Black Sheep - Metric
She's So Mean - Matchbox Twenty



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F U L LXN A M E
Camila Cadence Rhodes

N I C K N A M E (S)
Cammy, Camile, Cam, Cici

B I R T H D A Y
March 31st

A G E
24

S E X U A L I T Y
Bisexual

E T H N I C I T Y
English-American

H E X
#A38E8E



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S T Y L E
Camilla's style, along with the rest of Sophie's Valentine, is something she prides herself on. Since high school she wanted to be wearing something that was different from everyone else, but also bring eyes to her and keep their gaze. After going through many phases and numerous styles, she finally decided on something that was a little more simpler than what she initially thought she would need. Most of what Sophie's Valentine wears is custom made as they have certain sponsors and advertisers they keep that help bring along the money, but her look is always paired with a leather jacket, part of her signature look.

H E I G H T & W E I G H T
5'5" - 119 lbs.

A P P E A R A N C E
Before the revolution, Camilla was known to be the girl that prides herself on her look, and she knows she has it. She has the type of look that is able to draw people in and quickly get them to her bidding. In high school she knew she had to get a certain look, especially if she wanted to be in a successful band. Camilla ate very little during school, people often worried about her eating disorder, build but her Camilla keeps a serious tone on her face, though she is known to let a smile or two slip when with her friends and relaxing with her band members. She is very picky about keeping her slim look and staying fit, often running numerous times a week and even more so when it comes to eating, sticking to a strict vegetarian.

Probably the simplest and one thing that Camilla doesn't care too much about is her hair. When on stage she does like to wear it down as she learned flipping her hair and moving out of her face is something people love for a singer to do when singing, when off stage she tries to keep is up in a pony tail most of the time as it less work to deal with as well as actually fitting her serious look very well. Between both on stage and off stage there is one thing that never changes with her hair, she always has bangs, and has had them since high school. Camilla doesn't wear much make-up, along with her thinking styling her hair would take too much time, she thinks the same with make-up, but the one thing she always make she has on is he bright red lipstick.

After the start of the revolution, Camilla's appearance and that of her bands didn't change as much even under the conformity of their new superiors. Of course they couldn't be seen with anything that related to the rebels and only those symbols that belonged to the ones that wanted to suppress the resolution. Camilla fought to keep Sophie's Valentine as authentic as possible, using the argument if they kept their look more would listen to them, which was true.



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L I K E S
Attention
Rain
Flirting
Room temperature water
Being passive-aggressive
Red





D I S L I K E S
The Revolution
Energy Drinks
Being Interrupted
Winter
Pineapple on Pizza
Called a Traitor
The Cold




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ImageP E R S O N A
Camilla likes to think of herself as the perfect front woman for a band. She uses the charm she carries on her shoulder to get to where she wants and put out a positive outlook to her audience. Camilla is able to hold this appeal and keep the smile on her face even through stressful of times when on stage, often able to wing it easily and think on the spot, especially during one of their early big gigs where the venues amps weren't working so they had to do it instrumental with no back track. She knows that her looks can get her far, but not everywhere and had to learn to be charismatic to the correct people and sometimes just gotta say what they want to hear to get what she wants.

During high school and growing up, Camilla was nice to most people, not really getting on any ones bad side. Most of that changed though once she got a taste of being the center of attention. After the high school talent show, more eyes were on Camilla, and she enjoyed it, so sought out trying to be more popular and such, and with her voice and seeing how it worked for Soren, she formed her band. As she got more popular and more people following her, Camilla tended to change, becoming more about herself and her band members than the people around her, only really staying friendly with her inner circle.

When off the stage Camilla puts out a serious tone and often get's the criticism of being a bitch, often upsetting a fan or two during signings because she said something that 'hurt his feelings.' She often is sarcastic and is told to apologize sometimes due to it coming across the wrong way, though she wouldn't if it wasn't bad for public relations for her and the rest of Sophie's Valentine.

Camilla does have a soft side though, but it is only seen behind closed doors with her band mates or with other close friends that she has lowered her wall with. Her smile opens up more and her sense of humor tends to lighten up and she's able to let out a laugh. She tends to keep a wall up to other people and strangers because she knows there are people out there that only want her for position and fame, and while she enjoys this, Camilla is afraid that she won't be able to hold actual friendships because of this. Though she will probably never admit this to anyone.

Since the Revolution, and she was on technically on the losing side, Cam has realized stuff wouldn't be the same. While being labeled a traitor, her and Sophie's Valentine has avoided most punishment that others would have received, but nothing is the same. She has to more often or not defend herself against accusations, which has only soured her personality and make her detest others more. Camilla is annoyed that people just assume she choose her side and wanted to do what she did, them not knowing exactly what happened behind the scenes, but she's also a bit too proud of herself to admit defeat and being vulnerable.



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H I S T O R I A
Being a child, her parents wanted to make sure Camilla would have a good and successful life, getting her tutors for most subjects as well as private teachers for a wide range recreational activities for her to figure what she had talents in as well as get her a hobby. This is how Camilla discovered her voice and found her love for music. Her soft voice paired well with the instrumentals her teacher would put on and she was able to cover mainstream songs in her own but catchy way. After finding out about singing she dropped most of her other teachers and tutors and focused solely on music, learning how to read and write, but never able to full grasp playing instruments.

During her early years of schooling Camilla always envied the popular girls in movies and TV shows and wanted to be just like them, mostly ignoring their flaws and focusing on the lime light they always got and being on everyone's minds and set her goal to be one of those girls in high school. Once she reached high school, she quickly found a group of friends that she fit into and enjoyed the times with. After a school talent show, Camilla's singing talent quickly became well-known around school and not just around her circle of friends. After seeing how being in a band could lead to success and attention, she followed the idea and quickly formed Sophie's Valentine with two people from her close circle. It wasn't long until they began having more and more shows and got signed to do real gigs and eventually leading them to be more well-known.

Everything was great until the riots started getting worse and the resolution officially started. As they would continue to lose gigs, either to it being too dangerous or often being cancelled due to the government taking more control over things, things were looking grim and Camilla was starting to despise the revolution more and more, even though she understood why it was going on. One night after they had an actual show happen, Cam and her band were confront by some men and "persuaded" to come with them. After following them to a well guarded building and then escorted into a large conference room. They were then shown numerous pieces of blackmail, some real and some fabricated, and given an ultimatum. They can continue with their shows and gigs with the promise of them not being cancelled and even having more security so events like The Chamber III Disaster doesn't happen again, and the blackmail disappears, in exchange to only putting out lyrics that either undervalue the revolution or things that support them, but still being able to play their more popular songs; typical propaganda for the government. The other option was the files would be leaked, destroying everything they worked for and being under their watchful eye for any inciteful behavior that would lead to them being penalized.

They didn't really have a choice of what to go with, so they picked the first option, securing themselves some sort of future for the time being. The government kept up their side of the deal, but always hovering the blackmail over them incase they acted up or not according to their new rules. Sophie's Valentines gigs continued, just with a change of setlist and advertising they would put out, but along with this certain groups took notice to them, labeling them traitors to the people for the messages they were spreading. Though the government would quickly let Camilla know nothing would come for it.

The best outcome for them would be the Revolution would be put down and things would go back to normal, even though restrictions would be harsher after a revolution happens, Sophie's Valentine would more than likely be awarded for what they did. But that didn't happen. The Revolution won, the "good guys" came out on top, which wasn't good news for Camilla. Luckily, they were punished as bad some of the others that she knew on "their side" of the revolution, and were allowed to continue being Sophie's Valentine, with a promise of no longer spreading propaganda. And while this seemed nice, others didn't forgive and forget what they did during the revolution, continuing to spread word of "Traitor's Valentine."




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So begins...

Camilla Rhodes's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Lawson Character Portrait: Hatch Williams Character Portrait: Scott Feltikk Character Portrait: Ryan Joshi Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Magnolia Wrenley Character Portrait: Danika Orlov Character Portrait: Miles Caal Character Portrait: Ashleigh Barnes Character Portrait: Damien Moore Character Portrait: Blake Langston
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noah lawson
the medic - #879788 - outfit

i hear the voices when I'm dreaming
i can hear them say
carry on my wayward son
there'll be peace when you are done

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The last thing Noah wanted to do after yet another long shift was go to some awards ceremony for “significant figures in the revolution.” He’d seen enough of the revolution in person and he didn’t particularly want to be reminded of it. But Gabriel had said that they’d invited representatives from the Emergency Department after their role in things, and so Noah had agreed to go. Apparently there was going to be free alcohol and free canapes, which was at least something.

It had been six months since the revolution ended, and things were being rebuilt. They had a new government that was already implementing sweeping changes. It wasn’t official yet, but word around the hospital was that in the next few weeks, the healthcare system was going to move over to publicly funded. Public housing had already been implemented and the number of homeless people on the streets was dropping rapidly by the day. The damage caused in the rioting and fighting was long gone, just a memory.

But it was a memory that was sticking in Noah’s head. The nightmares weren’t as intense as they had been in the initial aftermath, but they were still very much there. The scar on his stomach was healed, but there were mornings he awoke and for a few seconds, the pain was still there. When he walked down the street, he was waiting for an ambush, for an explosion, for anything. The entire group of emergency med residents had stopped going to bars after work because every time a glass shattered, they all flinched and almost launched back into action.

Thankfully, the awards ceremony didn’t seem to dwell on the actual fighting too much. It seemed to be more government focused, awarding and recognising those who had protected their communities throughout the fighting. Someone who had helped smuggle people out of the fighting, someone who had created safe spaces for their community... They were in what appeared to be the last few awards when they began describing a scenario that was uncomfortably familiar.

“The next award we’d like to present is to someone who was selfless and brave on the front lines. We are deeply grateful to all of the staff of Scarmouth’s Emergency Departments who put themselves in harm’s way to save lives and minimise loss of life. But this man drew attention for his actions after he was photographed treating the wounded, even as a government soldier had a gun pointed at his head. Stories from those who served on the front lines tell us this was not the first or only such of these incidents, and that this doctor fearlessly and selflessly treated the wounded indiscriminately. Tonight, we would like to recognise Dr. Noah Lawson of SUH for his bravery and thank him for his service with the Medic’s Hero award.”

Noah glanced over at Gabriel, and the man’s small smile gave away where all this had come from. All around him, people were applauding, some even getting to their feet. Noah just wanted to climb under the table and wait until the moment passed, but he couldn’t. He managed a smile as he stood up and made his way up to the stage, taking the statuette and shaking the presenter’s hand. And then one of them smiled and said, “Would you like to say a few words, Doctor?”

Noah could feel the blood drain from his face. He instinctively looked back towards Gabriel, whose smile had slipped slightly but who nodded, somewhat encouragingly. Noah swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry as he felt what had to be hundreds of eyes on him. He wanted to shake his head and run back to his seat or possibly just straight out of the room, but everyone was watching, waiting, waiting to see if he lived up to what they expected. He knew he wouldn’t, but he cleared his throat.

“Thank you all for this aw- w- w- for this recognition.” He started. He tried remembering every single bit of advice he’d been given on how to minimise it, but his head was blank. And anyway, the rising discomfort and anxiety in his chest as he saw people glance at each other at his stammering was going to completely counteract anything he tried. He kept it as brief, knowing it was probably too short, but he couldn’t get off the stage quickly enough. And then they moved on to some other award, and eyes were finally off him.

“Noah, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise there would be a speech-” Gabriel said as Noah made it back to the table.
“It’s f-fine,” Noah said, sitting back down. The statuette was clutched so tightly in his hand it was starting to dig in, and he released it, stretching his hand a few times. He could feel Gabriel watching him for a few seconds, but his attention eventually turned back to the stage. As they announced the final few awards, Noah was restless, unable to concentrate or focus on anything around them. As the awards wrapped up, the hosts invited everyone to mingle and have a few drinks and canapes in the adjoining bar. As everyone moved, rushing to the bar at the promise of free food and alcohol, Noah slipped away, saying something about the bathroom to Gabriel. The bathroom was quiet and calm, exactly what Noah wanted and needed. He wet his hands and ran them down his face. For the half a moment his eyes were closed, he saw the barrel of the gun pointed at his face, saw his hands coated in blood- was it his own or someone else’s? He shook himself out of it, almost physically. He dug in his pockets, fishing out the pills he knew he had. There was one almost heart-stopping moment where he couldn’t feel them- and then his hand closed around the bottle. He tipped two out and swallowed them dry, taking a deep breath. And then he stashed them back in his pocket and headed back out towards the bar.


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hatch williams
the mechanic- #400026 - outfit

i wasn't born yesterday
a bloodsport but I'm a saint
it's time to consider
there are no winners

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Hatch hadn’t specifically received an invite to the awards ceremony, but an open invitation had been publicly issued for people to celebrate those who had been nominated and recognised. And the promise of free booze had been enough to lure Hatch into attending. And besides, she was curious to see the types of people who were getting recognised.

Choosing an outfit had taken her a while. She didn’t tend to get dressed up all that much and finding something she could actually stand wearing for a while was difficult. She’d contemplated a dress for a while, but nothing seemed right. And then she found the suit and everything fell into place. Roger looked confused for just a second as she stepped out of her room in heels and makeup. And then he jumped off the couch and ran towards the door.

“Not this evening, buddy.” He whined a little. “Trust me, buddy, I’d love to bring you, but don’t want to draw attention to myself. Not this evening. You look after the house for me, okay?”

By the time Hatch reached the hotel, she was fashionably late. She thought that she might have been out of luck with regards to getting a seat, but apparently the organisers had anticipated the demand as she was shown to a seat at the very back of the room. Her view of the stage was somewhat obscured, but that didn’t overly trouble her. She sat, her legs crossed, and watched the awards with some level of scepticism and interest.

They had an interesting range of awards for sure, and one thing that she noted was that the range of people that were being recognised was significantly broader than the old government would have recognised. There were people of all ages, all areas of the revolution, from all areas of the city. The focus seemed to be on bravery and loyalty, and things took a turn into the overly patriotic for Hatch. The speeches were at least kept brief and non-preachy. There were a few figures that she had heard mention of somewhere along the way, but none of them seemed to match what she imagined. One thing that struck her was the fact that none of them stood out. She'd walk past half of them in the street.

Eventually, the awards wrapped up, and Hatch followed the surge of people towards the bar. Her first priority was to get her hands on a glass of champagne, and then she turned to scan the room, seeing if there was anyone of interest to talk to. She new there had to be plenty, but scanning the room, nobody particularly stood out to her. She took a long sip of her champagne and stayed watching the room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Lawson Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Magnolia Wrenley
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5.00 INK

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I'm bad, as bad can be
So bad that it's hard to believe
Oh, what they say about me

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xxxxxxxxxOutfit ║ Hex: #A38E8E

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<3
The six months since the revolution had ended wasn’t as grand and glorious as people thought it would be. When the government finally fell and the rebels stood “victorious,” the struggle was far from over; people were still starving, still barely clinging onto life. Their motivation and faith from taking down the big bad guys had gone away, and now they had to focus on surviving and rebuilding. People called for executions and imprisonments for anyone that wasn’t on the rebels side, which included most officials and any of their cohorts; anyone who could be labeled as a traitor to the rebels. Camilla and her band were also under spotlight, but came to an agreement with the few people who stepped up to form a new council. After telling their story about being forced and threatened to do what the government said, which was the case for many people, Sophie’s Valentine was left off the hook, but once again under watchful eyes. Removing all propaganda from previous songs, and vowing to help support them going forward. The stage had changed, but the setlist was the same; Camilla and her band being told what to do and what not to do.

Camilla heard about the award ceremony happening, it was hard not to since it was the current thing being talked to by everyone. She didn’t want to go, but her bandmates and manager talked about how it could make them look for going. Cam didn’t care about the rebels and who they declared a hero and martyr but she knew it made sense to go, even if it was just to show face. Plus she had heard there would be some familiar faces and names would be going and Camilla would be lying if she said she wasn’t at least curious to see what was going on. There was also that most of these rarely went smoothly, and she was always up to see drama unfold, even sometimes getting caught up into it herself.

It didn’t take long for Cam to show up, deciding to go on her own instead of with the rest of the band. They would still be going, but she wanted some time to mingle a bit on her own and be a bit independent for the time being. She of course got dirty looks from some of the rebels, whispers of her actions, as if their actions were any more moral than hers. Everyone did what they had to do to survive, war wasn’t pretty or fair. Camilla met up with one of the council members when she arrived, well more so quickly approached and greeted by. They spoke of thanks for her coming and assurance that she and her band would be treated fairly. Cam just nodded and smiled to his face, but then rolled her eyes when he turned his back, quickly finding a place to lean up against as awards started.

Cam didn’t give much attention to what was going on on stage, but she was curious about hearing about the doctor she always heard infamously about back when she was being held captive. Dr. Noah Lawson. And what she saw was nothing of what he expected. She wondered how the government fell when him and some of the others here were the heroes “that brought down the government and led them into a new light.” Camilla was glad when they announced food and drinks would be served and quickly found her table, meeting up with her bandmates and the few people she knew didn’t want to see her executed. She mingled a bit before getting up to get a drink from the bar.

After flagging down the bartender to get a drink, she glanced across the room and quickly a face caught her eyes, and a bit surprised as well. Magnolia Wrenly. When the Revolution ended, she expected the whole Wrenly family to be imprisoned, but Magnolia came out mostly unscathed. It was told that she’s been a huge help to the council and even assisting in procuring resources from her family others couldn’t find. But Camilla wasn’t completely convinced, but she had no way of finding out, nor did she care too much. If more people were questioning why Magnolia, the daughter of Mo Wrenly, was still free, it meant less people questioning Camilla and Sophie’s Valentine. One of the only times when being in the spotlight wasn’t as good as being in the background.

Camilla turned her attention back to her martini and was taking a sip she heard a commotion to her side, and quickly catching the tail end of someone throwing their drink in Magnolia’s face. She let out a light chuckle, not because it was funny, but because she had been there multiple times, hence why she doesn’t dress in her best during these things anymore. Though watching the other patron get thrown out was a little humorous.

“What a waste of a drink.” Camilla said as she stepped up next to Magnolia. “Though you’ll get used to it. And soon enough after you return the favor by hitting them with your drink rather than splashing back, it will happen less often.” She continued, before taking another sip of her drink, turning back to the stage that was now empty with only a podium left on it. “And to think, you wouldn’t have gotten a drink splashed in your face if your father was alive and our-, his side had won. This ceremony would still be happening, Sophie’s Valentine would be on stage playing music, but instead of awards for saving people the awards would be for putting down the rebellion.” Cam turned back to Magnolia staring at her and pausing for a second. She then reached into her pocket and grabbed a handkerchief. Red with the name Sophie embroidered. “Should help a bit more than that trashy towel.” Camilla said, still no smile on her face as she left the cloth with Magnolia and walked away, swirling her drink in her hand. Another patron caught her eye, but instead of one that would make her smile, it just caused a devious curl of her lip.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Magnolia Wrenley Character Portrait: Miles Caal Character Portrait: Samar Chopra
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When Magnolia heard the pop star’s voice, her chest clenched with anticipation of her wrath. Though the heiress was no stranger to being disliked just for who she was - she wasn’t sure how much more she would be able to politely endure. Kindness had never been Camilla’s agenda, though maybe she’d just wanted to get close enough to see if Magnolia was crying. She made no attempt of smiling at Camilla’s joke that Magnolia would one day be able to stop the attacks on her by retaliating herself - as if Magnolia ever had the option of self-defense.

“And to think, you wouldn’t have gotten a drink splashed in your face if your father was alive and our-, his side had won. This ceremony would still be happening, Sophie’s Valentine….” Camilla’s words faded out after that, Magnolia repeating those same five words over and over to herself.

If your father was alive.

Her glass threatened to give under her tightened grip. It was like Camilla had triggered sleep mode, only the core functions left running but nothing really processing. It was the only way to keep the image of her father gurgling his last breath out of her thoughts. Taking the embroidered handkerchief with a look of confusion, she could see Camilla’s lips move but her mind was already elsewhere - her psyche going into survival mode.

As fast as she had come, she left - leaving behind a path of destruction and an embroidered piece of fine linen. Magnolia left seething in Camilla’s wake. She clenched the cloth before throwing it aside in anger. Her thoughts came rushing in all at once, all the things she wished she could have said - processing Camilla’s words belatedly. Wincing, she raised a hand to her temples feeling the oncoming signs of a stress headache.

‘If you only knew why he’s not alive anymore.’ She thought to herself, wishing she could ever say the words aloud. Accidentally slamming down her now empty glass harder than she intended, Magnolia offered the bartender an apologetic expression - but they were too preoccupied making drinks to even notice.

A half empty bottle of wine left on the other end of Magnolia’s eye. It was an open bar but she was well past the time of waiting between each drink. She went to walk around to grab the bottle discretely and detour to the bathroom - a familiar profile causing her to pause.

Of course Magnolia had known there was a possibility that Miles would show but she was surprised all the same to see him. She almost smiled, forgetting for a moment the disaster that was the last seven minutes. Obscured by the crowd, she couldn’t see who he was talking to - if he’d come with someone, maybe. He gave them a big smile before leaning in, Magnolia inching along the edge of the crowd trying to peek through the windows between the people to make out who was holding Miles’ attention.

‘What are you doing?’ Magnolia shook her head at herself, huffing under her breath. Insecurity was a new emotion for her, quickly thrown from the veil of adoration into being one of the most detested free people of the State. It was enough to give anyone a bit whiplash.

Plan A it was then.

Magnolia made sure no one was looking when she snuck an arm around to grab the wine. She scuttled into the bathroom making sure to hold the bottle low to obscure it along the length of her leg. There were a couple people washing their hands and adjusting their makeup in the mirror when she walked in, quickly locking herself in one of the stalls. The cork had been haphazardly pushed back into the bottle, Magnolia ripping it out and throwing it at the ground before drinking straight from the bottle. Groaning in frustration because she couldn’t scream, she angrily tapped at her PCU dialing Samar’s number. When it went to voicemail, she turned on holo so that he’d get the full visual of her misery sitting on the toilet drinking wine straight from the bottle.

“Hey, Samar.” Magnolia sighed heavily, then taking a long drink. She could hear the two who’d been at the mirror leave, emboldening her to fully submit to her self-pity. “So, in case you are thinking about bailing on me - I have locked myself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. I am not coming out either until you arrive, or until I need more alcohol.”

She considered telling him about someone throwing a drink at her, but decided instead she’d rather save it to guilt him with later in case he did end up bailing. “No one will even know you were ever here, it’s so crowded and people are drinking it’ll be like a frat house within the hour. Message me when you’re here, please - okay? Byee.”

Taking another long drink as she signed off, Magnolia slumped against the wall behind her. She had spent plenty of events just getting drunk in the bathroom before, those nights had rarely ended with grace. Maybe if she just stayed here for a while, she could make one last round in the room and just head home. No one would blame her, though the press would be sure to spin it into something if she was caught by them on the way out.

Admittedly, sneaking in an exiled radical to be her drinking buddy wasn’t the best plan. She and Samar both had their crosses to bear but both of them were worthy of praise, of celebration. Besides, most of these people knew their debts to Samar - what they owed him. He deserved his moment in the light, even if it was stolen.

Magnolia sat there for what felt like a while, or rather until the wine was finished. She used the toilet paper to dab at what remained of the drink on her dress, frowning when the residue of the drink left a shadow. As materialistic as it made her feel, she didn’t have much left from her life before. Not that she wanted to cling to those things, but she wasn’t quite ready to let go. She peeped out of the stall to double check she was alone, then quickly tossing out the now empty bottle. Using a combination of soap, water, paper towels and a hand dryer - she managed to wash out the stain. Wiping herself down with the moistened towelettes, she could still feel a bit of the residue of the drink on her skin but at least she was no longer sticky.

“Alright now, little dove.” She said to herself in the mirror, mimicking her mother’s tone and intonation. “You are a Wrenley. You will carry your head high, never let them see you falter.”

Repeating the words back to herself, they sounded wrong. It was the same speech her mother gave her every time Magnolia dared to express self-doubt. What pride was there anymore in a name so befouled? She gripped the sink as she leaned in closer to the mirror, examining her eyes intently - checking for weaknesses in her expression. Caught in her own reflection, she nearly jumped out her skin when she heard the creak of the door open. Shrinking into her own shadow, she blended into the wall behind her. The two stumbling into the bathroom didn’t even notice her, giggling as they followed one another into one of the stalls. Magnolia sighed with relief, leaning back against the wall.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Lawson Character Portrait: Scott Feltikk Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Magnolia Wrenley Character Portrait: Samar Chopra
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#, as written by Ivisbo
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Samar stared at his watch, the device lit up with the ‘replay’ command and a still of Nola’s unsmiling face. She looked truly miserable- and maybe she deserved it for thinking that going to that party was anywhere near the realm of good ideas.

He wasn’t going.

He’d told her that already- when she’d asked him in her office, when she’d ‘dropped by’ with dinner and a request for him to join, when she’d called him yesterday and slyly asked what he was wearing. He’d told her sweatpants and a beer-stained shirt and hung up. Samar wasn’t surprised she was trying to guilt-trip him now with her sad bathroom pity party. He had half a mind to call, tell her to fuck off, and get belligerent drunk here on his own.

Pulling himself up, he looked around the semi-clean living room with contempt and boredom. The tv was off- it was all coverage of the award ceremony and he couldn’t stand to see the stupid speeches and close-up shots of the cities new celebrities. Samar had watched two seconds of Noah’s awkward speech and cringed so badly he’d slammed the off button and decided the ceiling was far more interesting. Until Nola had called- which he’d ignored- and then left him the most tragic looking holo-mail he’d ever received.

“If you get alcohol poisoning in the bathroom it’ll end up on the news”, He messaged her, standing up with the audible cracking of his spine as he stretched and shuffled towards the staircase.

“Stop being so difficult - you know you’re going to be drinking yourself into a stupor either way. There is unlimited food and booze here. Just put on the suit in your closet, get your ass down here and I promise I will never ask you for a favor ever again.” Samar glared down at Nola’s message, then up at the suit bag hanging in his bedroom closet like it had been there the whole time. Which meant she’d snuck past him while sleeping (or passed out) and drug this thing up his stairs and safely in his closet without him noticing.

“You piss me the fuck off”, He replied back to her, then unzipped the bag and pulled out a modern black suit with satin lapels and a skinny tie. Of course Nola would pick him something out that looked so irritatingly perfect just on a hanger. She probably somehow knew his measurements and everything.

-----

Samar hated that he was here.

The awards were over by the time he arrived, so the majority of the guests were bustling near the hors d’oeuvres, trying to steal the attention of the overworked bartender, or mingling in groups scattered across the large room. He eyed the room with a single-minded aversion that made him want to turn around immediately and recluse back to his dark living room.

A few people might recognize him here, but he was hoping the majority were too wrapped up in the event to pay another man in a dark suit any mind. He’d seen Noah on the tv earlier, so the doctor was probably present and very much unhappy with all the attention. He was happy to see Scott tucked away in the corner, he hadn't seen him since the last day of the revolution and hadn’t been sure if he’d made it out okay. Samar avoided being noticed though, preferring to steer clear of the prescribed small talk of these gatherings in favor of tracking down the annoying little devil in his life.

“Where the fuck are you?” He whispered a message to Nola into his watch, shuffling uncomfortably and continuing to run his gaze over the crowd without making eye contact.

Samar’s phone instantly pinged back a photo of Nola standing at the bar pouting with the bartender clearly ignoring her in the background. He glanced over at the crowded bar on the far side of the room, sighed the disgruntled anger of a 70-year-old man, and made his way over.

Nola was loosely perched on a barstool, very much within the eye line of the bartender but very clearly being overlooked in favor of other guests. Samar squeezed up next to her, ignoring the irritation of the man next to him, and spun Nola’s chair towards him.

“Did you finish that entire bottle yourself?”

“Samar!” Nola said a bit louder than she intended, a look of relief washing over her expression. “Look at you! You’re so cute in your little suit!” She poked at the buttons of his jacket, her lips upturned into a smile that answered Samar’s question very clearly.

“I am not cu- no listen fuck. This is why I drink in private, this whole shit is being televised Nol” He pushed her finger away from his button and pointed over at a camera interviewing some of the guests, “You're a goddamn mess, that's my role”

Nola looked over to the camera then back to Samar before shrugging, waving off his concerns. That little voice in the back of her head repeated his words back to her, reminding herself of her obligation to her business to maintain some sort of decorum. Unfortunately, that voice was deafened by the reminder that no matter how hard she tried, their perception of her would never change. Every day was spent distracting herself from this fact by trying to help others - but she was tired. She just wanted to stop caring, even if just for a little bit.

“No one’s looking at us, loosen up. I’m just here for the optics. No one’s interviewing me - I’m not one of the good guys, remember?” Her tone was upbeat but her words hollow. Propping herself up on the bar and looking back to Samar with a mischievous expression, she gestured over her shoulder. “Now...how about you stop being a grump and go on and order us a couple drinks.”

They glared at each other for an exaggerated amount of time before he obviously caved first and leaned forward to signal for the bartender. Nola was right- the cameras were here for people like Noah and all the others that had ‘contributed their lives to the cause’. He might as well drink their alcohol, eat their food, and get what he could before he went back to doing nothing.

He ordered them two bourbons neat and a shot each, not even trying to pretend like he wasn’t ordering just to get drunk. Nola was already swaying on her stool and although he’d started the day with a beer, he’d need a lot more than that to catch up. Once their drinks were in hand, they finished off the shots quickly and he pushed her out of her seat in favor of one of the unoccupied standing tables.

“Wait - where are we going?” Nola asked while he led her from the bar, though she didn’t resist his direction she did look back at the bar with big doe eyes. Now in the thick of the crowd it was easier to blend in, but Nola still preferred the comfort of the bar. Admittedly, she felt a lot less isolated knowing Samar was there to have her back - even if it was begrudgingly.

“You clean up nice, you know.” She said with an all-knowing smirk. “You should try it more often.”

He forcibly put her drink in her hand, cheersed it, and drank almost half of his, “I have literally never worn a suit and I will not be doing it again” His eyes danced across the crowd, avoiding catching anyone's gaze but also making sure no one he knew had noticed him yet, “So are you gonna explain why you were drinking an entire bottle of wine in the bathroom by yourself at the party that you basically funded?”

Magnolia’s expression wilted, rolling her eyes dramatically as she sighed. “Do we really have to go into it?”

His glare told her that it was indeed necessary, especially given the lengths she’d just made him go through to come here with no context. She pursed her lips, already annoyed with what his response would be. "First of all, it was not an ’entire’ bottle of wine. As for the why… I mean it’s honestly a bit comical in retrospect. Someone threw their drink at me. Like I’ve only seen that in movies. It was this whole scene and they were kicked out." Magnolia looked down, biting the inside of her lip to keep the image of her father out of her mind before continuing. "Then Camilla Rhodes, you know from Sophie's Valentine? She made some comment about my dad, it was so stupid - but..."

Her sentence trailed off, Nola staring into the crowd directionless for a moment before snapping back to Samar. “But, then I drank a lot of wine and I’ve got to say - I think I need to be doing this more often.”

He hated that he wasn’t more surprised. No one was ever going to throw a drink at him, but he hated the idea of whispers behind his back and uncomfortable looks. Samar never wanted to be somewhere he wasn’t wanted. But Nola…. she’s been doing that exact thing since he’d met her. Hell, he’d even hated her, until he realized how much work she did to right her family's wrongs. But even after the revolution was over and their city was finally peaceful, Magnolia was still trying to right her name.

“Rhodes being a bitch is the thing that finally gets you to drink? Shit. You get pissed at me when I drink like that, remember that next time you're trying to take the whiskey away”, He glared into the crowd like he was glaring at the fake idol musician herself, “Out of anyone, Camilla Rhodes is the one person that should not be at an award ceremony for war heroes. I still don’t get how she didn’t end up in a cell”

Magnolia gestured to interject, grasping for the millions of intangibilities that led to her quick spiral, but the words were too hard to string together in this state. It wasn’t just Camilla, it was everything that led up to that moment that pushed her to the edge - Camilla just happily pushed her over. She shook her head, looking into her drink then back at Samar.

“Plenty of people say the same about me,” and you. Magnolia let the implication sit between them, shrugging her shoulders. She knew all too well the dirty details that bound Sophie’s Valentine to the elite. As much as the pop star was a thorn in her side, Magnolia still felt the guilt of her father's action forcing her to just take it. She finally took a drink of her bourbon, suddenly aware of the tipping scale of her blood alcohol level.

“Oo - yeah, you need to take some of this.” Magnolia poured some of her bourbon into Samar’s glass, spilling some onto both of them. She winced, mocking an apologetic expression before taking another baby sip from her drink.

He really didn’t care much for the spilled bourbon on his cuff, ignoring it in favor of his partially refilled glass. Samar was tempted to down it, toss aside tonight's issues with a few more drinks, shit-talk the guests into Nola’s ear, and then end it with a bleary cab ride home. He wasn’t exactly sure why he was second-guessing his usual charade- possibly because of the drunk sad girl in front of him, possibly because of the particular crowd he was surrounded by.

Samar had never expected to win any trophies. He’d known what he was getting himself into when he’d chosen this role, his uncle had helped him understand there was no parade for their breed of revolutionary. But standing here in the corner with Magnolia Wrenley- someone who did deserve the utmost praise- Samar felt the slight sting of jealousy. Not for some stupid piece of metal he’d throw in a box and forget, but for the comradery amongst the winners. Six months ago he’d been present at the cease-fire and tonight he’d had to sneak his way in after the main show.

"Alright", Samar finished off his drink and set down his glass harshly, "Fuck this. If I'm going to be here, I'm not sitting in the corner like some sad asshole. Come on".