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Jake Pierce

0 · 340 views · located in Woodsdale, TX

a character in “Friends Like These”, originally authored by CharlotteV, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Jake Pierce's Story

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"Jake's not a bad kid - he's just...lonely." Annabel Whittaker, Case Worker.


Jake remembered the first time they found the clubhouse. They'd been hanging out together and were supposed to stay at the playground, but someone always took off through the little alcove of trees that had definitely looked like a forest back then. As a whole, their parental units hadn't really been made up of caring souls, but Woodsdale was a safe town...no one cared where they went, as long as they were back in time.

They'd been running along the old train tracks, laughing and chasing each other, and then there it was. Looking back, the abandoned train cart had been like stumbling into Narnia. It'd seemed so large and so magical and like it was there just for them. Now, Jake knows better. It'd probably been someone elses clubhouse at some point, because he remembered the furniture that had been in it - tons of beanbag chairs, blankets, tables, a radio. They probably could have ended up with tetanus or something but...no one ever did.

Jake had been staring at the text on his phone for a good ten minutes. It was so simple, so precise: We need to talk. Meet at the old clubhouse, 9 - Will. There were five phone numbers looping across the top of his screen, but the only one he had programmed was Xanna's, and every so often he'd see her again and he knew...he knew who the others belonged to, because really, what were the chances Will would text five people at the same time and it wouldn't be them?

He reached up slowly to pull the cigarette out of his mouth, let smoke fall off his lips and fade away against the dull colors of the sky. It was late already, getting dark. Jake didn't know where he was, didn't know if he'd make it on time. Would Will be upset if he didn't? Would the others even show? He sighed as he stared out at the vast nothingness that Texas land offered. It was warm out, he didn't even care that he was just in his boxers sitting on the balcony...and given the state of the hotel, no one else did either, most likely.

He dropped his phone on the questionable little table, rested his hand on his raised knee, and then let his gaze fall to the scars littered along the inside of his thigh. He shifted a little, searched out an empty spot, then brought the lit part of his cigarette down against his skin. It hurt, it always hurt, but there was something...good about it. He didn't go too deep, he never did with cigs because he wasn't the biggest fan of the scars they left, but right then...he needed something.

The pain, as always, brought a moan out of him, and Jake was surprised when he dropped his head back and felt it connect with something. Then there were warm hands on his shoulders, dragging down against his bare arms, a nose being nuzzled into the spot behind his left ear. "Mm," the voice said. "Starting without me?"

Jake didn't know his name. It didn't matter. He let himself be dragged off, but he'd make it to the clubhouse in time. He would.

☠☠☠☠☠☠


As Jake sat on the bus going towards town, head resting against the window, he wondered what Will would be gathering them all for. Maybe it was another ploy to fix them...to bring them back together. Jake had a feeling they were too broken...to different...some things weren't ever meant to go back together, but he sure as hell wasn't going to say that.

He hadn't seen any of them for awhile, except for occasionally passing them at school. Even Xanna...time just hadn't been right. He saw Levi, once, leaving the sheriff's station seeming mildly frustrated. He hadn't bothered to say hello, not then, because he'd been stressed and anxious.

The new, old sheriff had pulled him in to talk about Bobby's death. Jake didn't know why they were still talking about it, it'd happened awhile ago now. Brody just wanted to know how Jake had felt about his foster brother. Jake had just shrugged, said he didn't know. He and Bobby weren't close, obviously. The man had been a jackass. But there'd been eleven other kids in their house at the time, it wasn't hard to avoid him. After a really odd game of round-and-round, his case manager had finally spoken up and said that really, Brody was asking too many questions for it to just be "routine". Did Jake need therapy after losing someone 'close' to him? Probably, she'd agreed, but Brody sure wasn't going to be the one to provide it.

Jake had been so confused about it all he hadn't even thought to wonder why Levi had been there...he supposed it wasn't any of his business. Knowing that kid, he was probably helping the force out or something. Jake snorted a little to himself, then swung off the bus when his time came. It was still a bit of a walk, and it was only then that he realized he hadn't left the hotel with his pants...the ones he was wearing were close to the right color, but kept sliding down over his hips. Nice. The guy who ended up with his would probably be pissed when he couldn't get them on. That was kind of funny, actually.

The train cart didn't look that different. The grass had grown up around it, and the outside had rusted a little more, but he could still see the pictures they'd etched into the red paint...could still remember the 'secret' knock to get in. He wondered how much they had left behind. That old DVD player, some board games probably, who knew how many empty pouches of CapriSun. Posters, drawings, school stuff... He smiled at the wave of nostalgia, even lifted his fist for the familiar wrap, but at the last moment...dropped his hand. They weren't friends. Not anymore.

So he just walked inside.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney
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“Honestly I just don’t know what I am going to do with Riley.” Will was silently leaning against the wall around the corner from the kitchen listening to his Aunt Monica’s hushed phone conversation. “I mean I get it, first her parents and then that boy. No kid should have to go through, I’m an adult and I don’t think there’s any way I could pick myself back up after all that.” She went silent as the woman on the other line said something Will couldn’t here. Oh, Will? He’s the easy one. I mean of course he’s sad, but unlike Riley, he doesn’t let it bring him down, he keeps going.” Will smiled to himself as he moved down the hallway, out of hearing. Monica didn’t need to worry about Riley, Will wasn’t going to make sure she was just fine.

Will strolled into Riley’s room and opened up the blinds letting sunlight into the room, which by Riley’s pale complexion she definitely needed. “What the fuck Will?” She screeched burying herself under her blanket, where she had no doubt spent the entire day wallowing considering she had missed school again.

“Mum and Dad wouldn’t have wanted you wasting away your life.” Will replied easily as he opened up her wardrobe and starting picking out clothes.

“Mum and Dad wouldn’t have given a shit. They never gave a shit about anything I did.”

“If they never cared then why are you wasting so much time being sad about them.” Will turned his charm to high as he turned and gave her a soft look. “I just want what’s best for you Riles.”

“I know,” Riley replied, completely under Will’s spell. “I’ll go to school tomorrow.” Will then smiled, knowing before he even entered her room that she would agree to him. He then placed the outfit he had picked out for her to wear tomorrow on her chair and left her room.

XXXXXXXX


Will had sent out the texts, hoping they would all show. He wasn’t ready for this. Of course he was planning on getting the group back together like they were in the old days. They had all changed so much though, he didn’t know any of them anymore. Will knew how to make people do what he wanted, but an art form like that couldn’t be rushed. First you had to know the person, how they think? What are their goals? What do they value? Who do they hold dear? Then you had to charm them, work your way into their trust. Lastly, all he needed were a few words, and he would be able to slowly nudge them onto the path he wanted. All the while having them think they were deciding things on their own, and Will was just playing the supportive friend. It wasn’t a particularly morally sound skill, but Will was willing to get his hands a little dirty to help his friends.

This little reunion he was calling though was far too soon, but he had no choice. Earlier in the month Will had been asked to come to police station to answer some new questions the new sheriff had about Ricky’s suicide last July. Will didn’t mind answering a few more questions, especially as he was glad they hadn’t asked his sister Riley to come in, she had been through enough with dragging up past dramas. The question started to get a bit repetitive. Asking Will how he felt about Ricky getting his sister injured, what he said to Rick and even asking him if he had given Ricky the knife. All of which he had willing answered during the initial investigation.

It wasn’t until he was leaving that he saw Xanna and Seth also hanging around the station. Considering his relationship with Xanna, he couldn’t really ask her what she was doing there, and Seth was busy talking to an officer. So instead of finding out directly, Will did a bit of digging and asking around. That’s how he discovered that both of them had also been called in for question about mysterious deaths that occurred earlier in the year. A little confused about the Sheriff’s strange behaviour, he did a bit of low level reconnaissance and found out that his old friends, Jake, Leak and Levi had also all been pulled in for the same reasons. Which is when he connected the dots and decided he needed to do his little reunion a little earlier than planned.

He had Leah’s number already, and a charming guy like him, it took almost no effort to get the others’ numbers. Then he sent the texts. Jake, Levi and Leah were his definites. He already knew Levi’s feelings on catching up with the group, Jake may have changed, but Will knew the guy would jump at the chance to have his friends back, and Leah had nothing to lose, out at the old clubhouse it wasn’t like anyone from school was going to see her hanging with the uncool. Seth had been the hardest for Will to reconnect with, he could sense the walls Seth kept up, and he wasn’t nearly close enough to Seth to have him arrive at his beck and call. The other unknown being Xanna, considering how Will and her left it last he knew she wouldn’t come for him, she had changed, the only question was, did she still have her old spark of curiosity?

If Will wasn’t confidant that they all would show up, he didn’t let it show on his face. He was the perfect image of confidence as he waited there in their old clubhouse. He had always wondered in his time away from Woodsdale what happened to this place, it turned out nothing. Everything had been exactly how he remembered it gathering dust. Will had turned up early, as he had a need to be the first one there, be in control of what was discussed the entire time. Finally the first person arrived. Jake.
”Hey Jakey,” Will said, using the name he sued to call Jake when they were kids, trying to act friendly and imitate the friendship they once shared. That was his tactic for this little met-up, fake it big time.
Next through the door was Xanna. He was internally relieved, not only was that one of Will's maybes through the door, but it meant Xanna hadn't completely changed, she still had her curiosity. Though outwardly he didn’t miss a beat. ”Xann, come on in. I figured I’d wait until everyone shows to explain why I called you all hear to save me from repeating myself.”

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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"You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result," Seth had said the day Thomas Brody brought him in for questioning.

"Albert Einstein didn't say that by the way. It actually came from a Narcotics Anonymous text, published in 1981," he added as he passed by Jake and Will.

That would have prompted one or both of them to think "classic Seth" if all of them remained friends throughout the years but as it was Seth remained on an island. He isolated himself from mostly everyone, partially out of habit but mostly due to his nature to be solitary. He could function well enough in groups but he didn't need them so when the chance came about he would pull back like the tides on the beach. Still, like the tides, everything came crashing back when Will texted him some days after his interrogation.

Brody's questioning, being the new-but-already-known sheriff was pretty routine; however, he could understand Will's concern. The Asian-American felt it strange that he was being re-interrogated for a murder than happened months prior, especially when there were other deaths happening around Woodsdale. Yes his adopted mother died in his home and he may or may not have heard it so why would he want to talk about it again? Provide the same information again? Be recommended therapy for budding psychopathy (which he didn't have by the way) again? He hated his mother, but he wasn't exactly going to say "yeah fuck that golddigging bitch. Hope God takes Jackie and Jenny too!" because not only was that suspicious but as someone who lost their kid before Brody would probably slam his head on the table.

Brody's eyes bore through him, searching for something new that he hadn't already known, but Seth was already used to this. He'd brought him in multiple times in the past for vandalism and this was no different. If anything, all of this back and forth prepared him for a fruitful life of being arrested for his art. Ai Weiwei, Revok, Owen Maseko, and even Invader (Banksy was too mainstream) all got jailed for their works and became better for it.

'Cept this time Brody just wants to waste my time, he thought with distaste.

Both the text message and Brody's questions got him thinking slightly about what happened about his friends and mostly about why Brody chose them in particular. One could argue that it was his tart-induced paranoia, but things didn't happen without reason. The world operated in chaotic ways, but once he found a pattern everything made sense. The pattern here was that they'd all been friends once and some were involved in recent deaths (Seth prided himself partly on the fact that he managed to keep up to date with the news, even if there wasn't much of it), but the question was why?

"Everyone died in totally different ways, totally different times, and only like two of them are the same age. Literally nothing else is the same. Why is he pulling this shit on us now? It's like, what do you psychologists people call it? Casuitory...Correlationary..."

"Ill...usory correlation?"

"Yes!" Seth exclaimed, demonstrating one of his other few states of excitement, "it's like he's got some sort of vendetta against us or something. Seriously, I bet he didn't question any of the other kids in her class."

"Look I ain't your therapist but I think you're the one making false correlations," a bald teenager said, blowing out a smoke ring.

Seth sat back down in the lawn chair and stared at his phone. He supposed it was time to go, even if it meant seeing him again.

The departure went over smoothly (mostly because his drug dealer was high as fuck) and it didn't take much to send Seth back into nostalgia city. The burn marks, the discarded needles, and the disgusting graffiti that covered his much better graffiti from way back when. It was a shame that all he had was his sharpie. He could really make something of this canvas if given enough time. Instead they all wasted it on small things like playing board games, planning what they'd do to try and get back at Bitch Brody (or Faillison if you preferred) or trying PG drugs.

Or staying friends.

He shook the thought away as he put on a half-smirk. This was no time to be getting sappy.

"Will Evans! Xan, Jake. It's been quite a while."

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Leah glanced up as she heard Tiffany giggling. Her and Courtney were seated on Leah's bed, looking through her new phone. Though it annoyed her to no end that her friends didn't seem to understand the meaning of privacy, she didn't say anything and went back to painting her toes a royal blue, the soft sounds of music coming from the radio.

The two girls had stayed over at Leah's house the night before, though it made little sense seeing as all they did that night was stare at their phones. Another giggle caused Leah to look up again, and finally move towards the bed to see what they were looking at. "What are you two giggling about?", she asked as she leaned over to glance at her phone. They had the phone open on messages and must of been reading through her old texts, however they appeared to have stopped on a more recent text... From Will... With four unknown numbers.

"Oooo, what old club house L? Seriously, how childish is that.", Tiffany laughed as she tossed the phone back to Leah, who in turn caught it and read through Will's message. "Though it's from Will, maybe he wants to hook up. Good you lucky bitch! Every girl in class currently wants to tap that!", Courtney gushed, her eyes becoming glaze over as her imagination ran wild.

Snorting to herself, Leah glared at the message slightly. She would go, but seriously? Now she was in an extremely awkward position... Though not technically Will's fault, it didn't stop her annoyance. "Haha, Maybe.", she commented non-committally, pocketing her phone before going back to her toes.

The conversation between the two girls continued, seeming to snowball from Will to how good he was in bed, then to who the other number were and if it was a secret orgy, then the weirdest things they had both done sexually. The whole time, Leah kept quiet, humming every now and then to appear interested in the conversation while really she was lost in her own thoughts.





Tiffany and Courtney left just after 7, giving Leah sometime to relax before she had to make her way towards the old clubhouse. This relaxation consisted off studying for another hour and a half before running to get ready. Pulling on some leggings and a simple deep-sleeve vest, she pulled on her nike trainers, and pulled her hair up into a ponytail before heading out the door, car keys in hand.

Hoping into her yellow mini, Leah turned the radio on before her mind slipped away as she began the methodical task of driving. She could guess what Will wanted to talk about, his curiosity into her recent station visit and the fact that 5 other people had died around the same time as Erica... It was to much of a coincidence.
Leah Sighed, it still hurt to think about Erica, about what happened to her... Though Erica had left her, They had still been close and she had cared for the girl deeply... It was like someone was getting even for what happened all those years ago...

Pulling up in front of the clubhouse, she glanced at the building before suppressing another sigh. Time to face the people she had barely spoken to in so many years... This was not going to be pretty. Hoping out, she locked the car and moved towards the door. She could hear voices inside, suggesting that most of them had already arrived. Giving a few knocks to the door, she pushed it open and entered the room only to be greeted by 4 faces that she had only seen in passing since they all split.

She give a smirk, before greeting the room. "Nice to see you all again. So Will, darling, what was so important that it required this rag-tag team to come together again.", she questioned, crossing her arms before leaning back against the wall, glancing at each person in turn as she spoke before finally turning to face Will with a raised eyebrow.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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"Alright, that's the last of them!" shouted out Leviathan to Mr. Wilson, the owner of the only bakery in town as he hopped off the back of the truck. "Alright then, come on in. We still got lots to do. " shouted the old man back. Leviathan wiped his hands that were covered in flour on his equally powdery jeans before bending over and picking up the last box that needed to be unloaded. Earlier a bag of flour had ripped when he was taking it off the truck so things got a bit dirty but Levi didn't mind it and ended up saving most of the bag from completely being wasted. Leviathan entered the building and set the box down on top of others that were neatly stacked then gave the old man a smile.

"All done Mr.Wilson." he said as he grabbed his apron from the rack. Levi had promised the man to help him make tons of cake batter for tomorrow so all Mr.Wilson had to do was pop them in the oven and decorate plus he was paying him 100 for the day and Levi wasn't going to let that pass by. A good hour went by when his phone vibrated in his pocket alerting Levi that he had a new message. Turning the mixer off, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone reading the text. He blinked a few times before realizing who sent it.

The club house? Why did he want us to meet there? He thought as he stared down at the phone blankly before glancing at it's time reading 7:30. Levi shrugged his shoulders after deciding he'd go and pocketed his phone before finishing the last batch of cake batter and saying his good nights to the old man. On the way out Levi grabbed his helmet from the back and headed out the front to his green dirt bike that he road everywhere. It wasn't a motorcycle, no he couldn't afford that but it got him to where he needed and that's all he cared about.

When Leviathan got home the first thing he did was eat food that his mother made which was always amazing. No one seemed to be home other than his mother and he was grateful for that because he honestly didn't feel like bickering with his brother then his mind went over to his uncle. He still half expected for the drunken bastard to burst through the front door like he always did around this time but those days were gone now and so was his uncle. After eating Leviathan took a quick shower, got dressed in khaki jeans, a thin, deep red long-sleeved shirt with his black vans and headed off to the old club house after giving his mother a kiss goodbye on the cheek.



The hum of the dirt bikes engine came to a stop when Levi turned the key in the ignition and pulled it out. He stepped off the bike and pulled off his helmet looking around at the old scenery that brung back so many memories. A slight smile appeared on his lips as he ran his fingers through his hair to fix that messy hair he had from the helmet. Placing the helmet on the bikes seat Levi began to walk along the train tracks for a few minutes before actually going in since he was in the middle of memory lane at the moment.

Finally he walked over to the door that was already open and gave a slight knock on the open door just to announce his arrival. His hand rose in a slight wave to the others that were in the room as he gave a small smile. "Hey." he simply said since honestly he didn't know what else to say. He wasn't even sure he was ready to meet them all again until he walked in.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Jake didn't know what to expect, really. He'd never had any kind of reunion before. He wasn't old enough to have experienced one at school, didn't have any extended family, wasn't ever a part of any sports team as a kid. The closest thing he had to compare it to was seeing his mother on occasion but...well, at least she was always happy to see him.

Somehow, he wasn't all that surprised to see that he was the first one there. Aside from Will, of course. He smiled at the old nickname, a genuine one even if it was small, some of the tenseness dripping out of his body. He lifted his chin a bit in greeting, even said, "Sup.", before the door opened again.

Xanna. He should have guessed. They were all so vastly different but some things...some things never changed. Will would always arrive first, and Xanna would always be more curious than was good for her. He offered her a smile too, a little friendlier, before Will said they were going to wait it out. That made sense, so he busied himself with looking around, shoving his hands in his accidentally stolen jeans. They'd actually left a lot behind. Not anything terribly important or interesting, obviously, but enough it was actually kind of interesting. Like looking through an old photo album...or stepping inside of it.

There were CDs - actual CDs - and some of his old comic books. The first lighter he'd ever bought, and a collection of cigarette butts from when the smokers of their group got started. That'd been when they were older. Twelve and up, for the most part. Some of them had tried to stay together a bit during middle school it just...hadn't lasted.

He picked up the lighter with interest. It was a classic Zippo lighter and Jake had cherished it with his life. He'd spent a whole thirty bucks on it, which had felt like a hundred to him back then. Fuck, still did sometimes. He'd been so proud of it. After the silver had roughened up a bit, Seth had drawn a skull and crossbones on it. Jake couldn't remember if it'd just happened or if he'd asked, and the other side had his friends initials on it. Even Will's, because it's been right before he left. Jake couldn't even remember how it'd ended up here instead of with him.

Think of the devil long enough and he shall arrive, Jake thought idly as Seth came through the door next. He wasn't exactly sure when his little crush developed, just that one day he'd looked up at Seth - after bumping into him in the hallway, literally - and realized just how well the other teen had grown up. But really, it could have started younger than that. Jake had kind of always known he was attracted to guys so...he wouldn't be surprised. He had been bound to fall for one of his old friends eventually, and it just kind of figured that scarred tattoos, tobacco sent, and a no fucks given attitude would be exactly his type.

It wasn't that the others weren't attractive. Leah and Will looked like they belonged in a magazine, Xanna was beautiful the same way a deadly exotic animal was, and Levi just had that...'good guy who might actually beat someone to a pulp for his girl' quality about him, which added to the points he already had. But for Jake...it'd always been Seth. Which was saying something, because Jake didn't really like people. He didn't have crushes. Half the time he wasn't even that attracted to the guys he actually slept with...if he even remembered them. All things considered, Jake was probably pretty fucked up.

He sent a nod of greeting Seth's way before turning his attention back down to the lighter in his hand, flipping the lid and bringing his thumb down against the roller. It sparked twice, but then a flame jumped up. It still worked. If he was the kind of person that believed in faith and pixie dust, he'd say it was a sign - that if something that old could still work, maybe they would too. But he wasn't, and symbolism was bullshit.

Leah came next, she actually knocked, then greeted them with a smirk and some shit about how it was 'nice to see them all again'. Jake couldn't help it, he actually snorted, but didn't verbally protest. Right behind her was Levi, almost immediately actually. That made Jake pause because...they'd all shown. For the first time that day he was actually shocked by something...and maybe even a little anxious. He took in all their faces, combined with the familiar background, and shook his head as he moved to lean by Xanna. "You carrying anything?" he asked, because his pants pockets were depressingly empty. "I have a feeling I'm going to need it."

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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"Will Evans! Xan, Jake. It's been quite a while." Seth entered the little meeting place next. Will gave a have hearted smirk Seth's way at being called Will Evans. He din't mind what Seth called him, after all, he'd been called worse by people he liked a whole lot less.

Next to rock up was Leah, the one Will was closest to in the group as of recent times. "Nice to see you all again. So Will, darling, what was so important that it required this rag-tag team to come together again." Before Will could answer her though Levi made an appearance through the door, with a simple greeting.

Will marvelled at how small the hangout felt now with all five of them all grown up and fully grown crowded inside. Everything just felt smaller than it did from his memories. This was the only place they could meet though. What Will had to discus with the group, had to be done in private, where he could be sure no one would see them or overhear. Plus being back in this place, Will was sure it would be bringing back the same wave of nostalgia to everyone. Will needed to use that nostalgia to get through to them and have them trust him.

"Its weird being back here after all this time," Will said looking around at all the scattered things they had left behind. He needed to ease himself in, what he had to say wouldn't be easy. "Looks like no other kids moved in here after us."

Taking a breath and stepping forward, Will cleared his throat a little to get everyone's attention. "I guess I should start by answering your question Leah, now that everyone is here." He paused seeming looking up into the distance, trying to figure out where to start. "I think we are being targeted." That would get there attention, go big or go home after all. "I recently was pulled in for some extra questioning about my sister's boyfriend who killed himself a few months back. During which I got the impression they thought I was involved somehow." He paused letting that sink in for a moment. If Will knew anything it was the value of a well placed pause. He had something important to discus and he needed them all to listen and understand what he was saying.

"I saw Xanna and Seth also down at the police station. For similar reasons to me, which is how I made the link and discovered that everyone one of us had been questioned in the last week for old murder cases." He paused and watch each of his friends faces, seeing them remembering their own murder cases in question. "You probably all have read about the random spike in deaths and murder lately? Well, there have been five since June. One murder related to every person in this room. One hell of a coincident. Though I'm pretty sure the new Sheriff Brody, believes it to be more sinister than that. Which I mean, considerning the-" Will stopped himself. Mentally scolding himself, not everyone knew about the sinister part they had played in Allison's death. He gave a quick meaningful glance at Jake, his main accomplice.

Will took a deep breathe. This was the hard part. "Anyway. Now, if we are going to stop this and protect ourselves, we need to know who this guy thinks you killed." He paused considering if he really had to ask the next question, sighing he looked at the ground refusing to make eye contact with anyone. "And, if you did actually kill them."

The faces looking back at Will, so similar to the younger, fresher and more innocent faces he remembered. He couldn't believe he was asking them this. Yeah, they had changed but surely none of them could be capable or murder? Well, I mean there was Jake, who had done what they did to Allison, but he couldn't have killed someone without Will there pulling the trigger could he?

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Ugh. Triple Post.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Though he didn't acknowledge that he kept up with everyone, Seth wasn't exactly surprised by how everyone changed. Seth's thing was never being surprised due to how meta he was.

His eyes started with Xanna, the drug addict with eyes lined so heavily one could have mistaken her for a raccoon. Granted, he had no problem with girls who wore make-up but the growing trend of eyeliner dulled the effect it was supposed to half. Otherwise, she remained the same skinny, pale girl he remembered her being. She was the girl who exuded natural, unkempt beauty. She didn't require polish because her hair looked best half-blown and half-tangled from an unremembered (but really fun) night. She was the girl who, after all this time, still didn't know a damn thing about what happened. He never understood the reasoning behind Jake's begging as Allison and Xan weren't exactly friends, but he respected the kid enough to carry through his wishes.

And speaking of Jake, there he was in all of his pyromanical glory.

"All these years and that damn thing still works," Seth commented as he pulled out a joint and lit it under the flame Jake held out.

He turned out exactly how Seth thought he would, which was to say a social outcast that really did not look his age. He was seventeen (for anyone curious) and yet he looked like a junior and acted like a college student who had his freedom for the first time, not that Seth would know. He smoked, he drank, and he'd fuck for bus fare. It wasn't an insult by any means (it actually amused the Asian boy), yet he couldn't help but condescend him a slight bit. It was never malicious because Seth reserved that only for those who didn't measure up to his standards but the boy had something about him that made Seth want to poke fun.

Maybe it was Jake's tendency to flirt.

Next came Leah Bridge who Seth didn't want to see, but supposed would be tolerable. To think that someone would discard their friends for popularity's sake and become the very thing they set out to avoid was hypocritical as fuck. Sure, every person would be hypocrites at some point in their lives but her continued betrayal left him cold to her appearance. To many she was just pretty from her makeup and popularity but to him she was also pitiful. Hell, the fact that Allison gave her a second glance was probably an indicator of her character.

"Hey"

Changes in character seemed to be rather popular this evening as Seth's eyes skipped over Leviathan. He was a brute, but one who tried to be kind even if it wasn't in his heart. Puberty did wonders to him, although he wasn't exactly ugly in the first place and the fact that he'd seen Levi walking around town meant that Seth never quite shook the man off of his hands. He spent too much time running errands around town being the "golden boy" that everyone wanted.

"I guess I should start by answering your question Leah, now that everyone is here. I think we are being targeted. I recently was pulled in for some extra questioning about my sister's boyfriend who killed himself a few months back. During which I got the impression they thought I was involved somehow."

Right. Will Evans was here too.

Seth never liked Will because Will cared too much about the lives of others. If he were ever a parent he'd be the helicopter making sure that his only child got all the top grades, the gold stars, and no boy or girlfriend that didn't fit his ridiculous standards. He would be the future abusive boyfriend that cut his girl off from any future contact. He would be the one that would bring everyone down. The possibly Japanese boy knew that Jake hadn't acted alone that day when Allison died. He also knew that Will Evans had a way with people. That's why he stayed within the popular circles of the school and that's why neither of them could let their guard down around each other.

"Anyway. Now, if we are going to stop this and protect ourselves, we need to know who this guy thinks you killed. And, if you did actually kill them."

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Oscar Wilde," Seth spoke, blowing out smoke, "all of us have reason to lie, whether it's to cover our asses...or to prevent anyone else from becoming accomplices."

He walked toward the front of the clubhouse where Will was standing before continuing.

"I'm not saying we shouldn't reveal anything to each other but it's been far too long just to pretend it's" his eyes moved toward Xanna, "the old days again. How do we know someone isn't going to lie?"

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Location: Clubhouse
Dialogue: #7D1B7E

One by one, familiar faces filled the room. It made Xanna a little uncomfortable, mostly because she didn't know any of these people anymore, aside from Jake. And even then, she couldn't trust them. Not anymore.

She shifted in the beanbag she had chosen to reside in, her eyes darting from the newest person to arrive to the next that came to the door. Seth was first. Hearing her old nickname made part of her lips turn up into a smile, but it soon fell when Leah fell in close behind him.

Leah. The person out of their old group she felt most betrayed by. She was the only one that actually chose new friends over them. It sickened her. Yet Xanna would still defend Leah if one of her friends began knocking on her. She didn't know why. Maybe it was because she felt that only she could say something negative towards the girl. Because she actually had reason to. With her greeting she gave to everyone, Xanna scoffed alongside Jake. They were probably thinking the same thing. She acted like she cared about the two of them, but Xanna couldn't disagree more.

Finally Levi entered. She'd always had a soft spot for him. He was definitely the sweetest of the group and she had always made her heart smile. Xanna mentally shook herself from reliving the past. Things just weren't like that anymore. She huffed to herself, now wondering why she had agreed to show. It wasn't only annoying to be in the same vicinity as Leah, but it was also hurting her, to once have been so close to these people. Now they were distant strangers who she was surprised to still know even a little bit about.

Jakob addressed her and she chuckled lightly.

"Have you ever known me to not?" She questioned back. Her, not carry anything? She wouldn't be herself if she wasn't.

Xanna smirked, pulling out her green pack of Kool menthols and unhinged the top of the box revealing two pre-rolled spliffs and a small bag she'd stashed with more Xanax in case she started losing her high. In which case she was starting to get a good feel of the pills, so if this went by quick enough, she wouldn't have to worry about needing anymore. She removed a slender cigarette from the box then tossed it to him.

"Take your pick." She said cooly. She wouldn't have to worry about losing out. She was happy to share. She had plenty of ways to get more in less than an hour, delivered and all.

No one said anything to each other after that and Will now had the floor. She was sure he was happy to have his old crew back in the same space and listened to him once again. She tried hard to focus on his voice but the pills started to make her drift into her mind. She noticed that Will had skipped a part and cut off his sentence and that made her curious but she lulled on in her own head. Her eyebrows lowered when he sectioned off Jake. She abruptly stood up out of the bean bag and for a second had to regain her balance from being under the influence. Her eyes focused on William and everyone was probably surprised by the look of outrage painted on her features.

"Now wait just a damn minute!" She had said as she stood up and steadied her feet. "How can you only focus on Jakob?! I've heard about the other murders too. How do you know I didn't poison my ex? Or that Leah didn't strangle her old friend? Why did you have to zero in on him?" This room was full of too many emotions and she wasn't sure she could take it right now. She was starting to feel the walls closing in on her and it was making her anxious.

Her eyes went to Seth as he spoke his piece and one of her brows raised when he mentioned lying and stared at her. She didn't care at this point.

She roughly pushed past everyone in between her and the doorway, ready to get out of there. Xanna began pacing the track after she had lit her cigarette. Her mind going a million miles an hour.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Jake wasn't really surprised that half the group ended up with drugs being their crutch for the night. Xanna was, without a doubt, the queen of that little past time, but Jake and Seth both had their vices, and he'd been more than happy to share a lite with the other teenager before he'd slid off to stand by the one person in the room he could still call a friend. Any other day, he would have grasped at the opportunity to look Seth up and down and pop off a few sarcastically flirty lines, but there were bigger things to deal with at the time being than getting shot down.

Drugs, for example. He was more than a little relieved to see Xanna was packing, which was yet another reminder that he could always count on her. He grinned, caught the cig when she tossed it his way, and went for a xanax while he was at it. Just one, he could hardly handle more than that without curling up and falling asleep, but at the moment he could use the nerve killer. He'd pay her back, somehow, but at the time being he just stayed close and lit up, keeping the flame a little longer than necessary.

Another thing that didn't surprise him was that the clubhouse had been left seemingly empty during their time away. He'd always loved the place, but it had a...kind of vibe to it. Like it only attracted a certain type of person...it was a weird thought, given how vastly different they'd all always been from each other, but it seemed to fit. Like any 'normal' kid wouldn't be able to see the appeal...also, it was doubtful anyone elses parents were as absent as theirs had always been.

Jake was probably a little delusional, but he liked it that way. He liked that no little grubby hands had messed their shit up. He liked that it seemed like the clubhouse had just been...waiting for them.

Will's opener brought him back to the present, and he arched an eyebrow in mild disbelief, blowing smoke out in front of him. 'Targeted' sounded like an awfully paranoid word, and honestly...kind of a stretch. Sure, he knew about the spike in deaths, any kid who was on the streets did. The old waitresses at the diner down on sixth street always sat down to have a smoke with him and remind him to 'be careful', 'get home safe', 'don't let us see your name on the news, Jakey'. But...they hadn't all been murders. Some had been accidents or suicides, if he remembered correctly. Will had even pointed one out himself.

As the topic twisted over towards Brody though, Jake felt himself tense up. He knew exactly what Will was talking about - 'considering Allison' was where that sentence was bound to be going. Brody had never accepted his daughters death as an accident, but trying to pin it down on a bunch of kids was never going to stick, either. The case had driven the man out of town, and he should have stayed there. He should have left Allison buried.

Seth spoke first, in that way he did that made Jake's heart skip a little faster. It was ridiculous, really, and a feeling he aggressively shut down. He seriously did not have time for that shit. Instead, he opened his mouth to back of Seth's point - why wouldn't they lie? They weren't friends. They didn't trust each other. But before he could say anything, Xanna was on her feet.

Jake blinked at her outburst, taken aback enough he was pretty sure he even muttered 'whoa' under his breath. He'd caught the look Will had shot at him because he'd been expecting it, but he never would have guessed she'd have seen it. If he'd been any one else, he would have been thankful for her support, but instead he just felt sick. He knew, and Will knew, and pretty much anyone else knew, that there were two people in that small room capable of murder. But she didn't.

"Fuck." he muttered as she pushed her way out of there, and he stepped up off the wall, throwing a look over his shoulder on his way out. "I got her."

She hadn't gone far, just the tracks, where she was pacing angrily, new cigarette lit between her fingers. Jake pulled his own joint from his mouth, shook his head a little as he approached her slowly. "You alright over there?"

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"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Oscar Wilde," Seth replied first. With a quote of course. Will had to physically stop himself rolling his eyes, at how pretentious Seth had become. Of course a sarcastic eye roll wouldn’t help him in this situation, and wouldn’t endear him to the group so he restrained himself. He would eventually have to work Seth out of the habit he had of always saying quotes.

"All of us have reason to lie, whether it's to cover our asses...or to prevent anyone else from becoming accomplices." Will nodded along, agreeing to completely with Seth’s statement. All thought he had already had. Though he made sure to look a little surprised at the idea of each other lying. He had to at pretend he had faith in these people. They had been his closest friends and he’d do anything for them, but the people they had become he did not trust or have faith in. Though he knew that people didn’t tend to trust you, if you don’t trust them first. Or at least look like you do. "I'm not saying we shouldn't reveal anything to each other but it's been far too long just to pretend it's the old days again. How do we know someone isn't going to lie?" Seth continued to ask.

Will was interrupted before he could reply Xanna jumped up clearly wanting to have her say. Though it was mostly confused yelling, which Will didn’t really listen to, under the assumption that her outburst was a product of whatever drug she was on at the moment. Sighing and shaking his head lightly he reached out to calm Xanna. Will had always been of the opinion that Xanna could have been so much more than what she was now. He had tried to rush into fixing her last time, his emotions getting in the way. This time though he would make sure he to properly earn her trust before setting her back on the right track.

Xanna ran out before Will could say anything to calm her though. So, Will turned to Jake, expecting him to be the one to go after her. Will had kept up with who of the group were still friends, so he knew Xanna and Jake were friends. Which he was correct about when Jake headed off after Xanna, throwing the group a nod over his shoulder.

Will watched Jake go, holding his vision for a moment before clearing his throat and turning back to Seth. He hadn’t forgotten Seth’s comment about each other lying. “Seth, I’m not saying it’s the old days again.” Will said, knowing he had to agree with Seth on something, appear on his side. Plus with the way everyone had turned out, it was next to impossible to ever get persuaded into thinking it was the old days. “-But, it’s a little late to be keeping secrets from each other.” Will looked around the clubhouse being sure to look seriously and meaningfully into each person’s face.

“In Brody’s eyes, everyone here is already far more than accomplices, we are all,” He paused, biting his lip, giving the impression at what he was about to say was difficult for him to say, “Murderers.” It wasn’t that hard for him to say because he didn’t believe. Sure there had been Allison, but that, that had been defending the group, that was different. They had been kids. Will didn’t believe any of the people in front of him to actually be capable of murdering anyone.

“And, if you are worried about anyone here turning you in, if you did do it, thinking about how much easier it will be having six people covering your ass, instead of having to look after yourself.” Will finished his little speech before leaning back against the wall, crossing his arms over. The next bit was up to his old friends, would they trust him and the rest of them? After all, Will did really only want to keep everyone safe and sound.

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Seth Johnson Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney Character Portrait: Leviathan Taylor
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Leah didn't even blink when she heard Jake and Xanna make disbelieving noises, She didn't particularly care if they wanted to be polite or just make this as painful as possible, Will had dragged them all here for a reason and she would be as sickly sweet as necessary if it meant she could show support for her delusional friend. He honestly believed that they could become friends again, all because of the fact that their fucked up little past was coming to bit them in the ass.

Speaking of which, Leah felt her gaze harden as she heard the whispered conversation between Xanna and Jake, who seemed to be exchanging drugs. Sure, Leah sometimes felt guilt about leaving the group in search of revenge, but hay if staying had meant she would end up an addict then she was cool with her decision. At least she hadn't killed her bully.

Leah barely even noticed that Will had started talking, so consumed with her own vindictive thoughts. She couldn't help it, when something annoyed her she was trained to be a bitch... But then again, that had been what saved her from the torment of bullying in high school and had allowed her to climb the ranks... It had also been the thing which had caused her and Erica to split... Shaking her head vigorously, she tuned back into the conversation just in time to hear Seth's pompous little answer, and then Xanna's little freak out, which only caused her to chuckle cruelly behind her hands, watching her dash out the door and Jake soon follow her.

'They were probably going to go get high', Leah thought, wrinkling her nose in disgust. Turning her attention back to the remaining three in the room, she turned her full gaze upon Will, giving him her best unimpressed stare.

"Well that went brilliantly, though not according to plan I'll bet. Now Will, maybe before you go accusing people you haven't seen in years of murder, you should think about how they are going to respond.", she crossed her arms, looking out the door to where Jake and Xanna had vanished to. "Also, if you want people to be honest, then maybe you should tell her the truth. I know Jake didn't want her to know but seriously? If someone is really after us because of what you two idiots did back then, then she definitely need to know."

Leah sighed, this little get together was turning into more of a headache then she had originally planned."You are right though, we do need to stick together.", she commented, looking up at her friend and she couldn't help thinking that for someone so charismatic, he could be a total numpty. He was her friend though, and she would stick with him. "I have you back. I didn't kill Erica, It was my fault that she left, I had no grudge against her... If you can convince the others, then I am all for your little 'save the group' plan. But I have my doubts."

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Character Portrait: Jake Pierce Character Portrait: Leah Bridge Character Portrait: Will Evans Character Portrait: Xanna McKiney
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Location: Train tracks
Dialogue: #7D1B7E

Fumbling hands brought the cancer stick to thin lips once again. Hands that shook with frustration.

Xanna clumsily walked the exterior of the tracks, attempting to stay balanced to distract herself. She was failing miserably. Her combat boots continuously missing the metal by a few inches and she would be forced to step down again to regain herself.

How could Will accuse Jakob like that? What were the looks to her and Jakob about? So many questions rummaged through her blurred mind. Xanna glanced back when she heard gravel shifting behind her. Jakob. Of course. No one else but possibly Will would have cared enough to check on her. She sighed and hopped off the tracks to face him.

"Ya know, honestly I'm not okay. I don't even know why the fuck I'm here." She didn't feel forced to some, but it was almost as though she had been drawn to come back. A stronger feeling than her curiosity could ever amount to. She wondered in the back of her mind if it would even be possible for them to find who commit the murders before actual authorities could. She walked to Jake, standing a few inches from him. "I guess we'd better get in there,"She mumbled to him, then proceeded past him, figuring he would follow her back into the clubhouse.

She nudged past Leah who was near the door and sat begrudgingly back into the bean bag again. She looked up at Will expectantly. "So..."