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Benjamin Paterson

"I was just at this great restaurant in China..."

0 · 317 views · located in Sunny Haven

a character in “Legend of the Jade Emperor”, as played by Felidae

Description

The Rabbit

Image


Name: Benjamin Paterson

Age: 19

Gender: Male

Sexuality: Bisexual

Hair: Blonde

Eyes: Gray-blue

Height: 6'1

Weight: 129 lbs

Likes: Food, sports that get his legs moving (track, cycling, etc.), windy weather, exploring other cultures and learning different languages

Dislikes: Sitting still, school, studying, wearing hats, carrots

Relationships: Benjamin, or Benji as he likes to be called, has always had a good relationship with the pig, the sheep and the dog. He is especially close with the sheep. He tries to maintain neutrality with the rest of his family, though he tends to show dislike towards the rooster and the rat.

Personality: Benji is usually a cheerful guy, perhaps too cheerful, though his mood can change at any moment due to any reason. Benji is rather popular due to his status as the freshman ace of Sunny U's track and field team, but he has very few real friends. His sudden changes in mood keep others at a distance, as well as his tendency to overreact to insult and other provocation. Benji is rather conscious of this fact and tries to monitor himself, sometimes with success.

Benji can't stay still for more than five minutes, which makes school absolute torture. His grades are always horrible and he only managed to enter Sunny University through a sports scholarship and the influence of his family. He is often praised as the second Usain Bolt. Like Bolt, his height and uncanny speed just don't seem to match up. He hates carrots, despite being the rabbit, and will lash out at anyone who pokes fun at him for it. Also, he hates being called Benny, since it sounds too much like bunny.

Others: Much of Benji's spare time is spent traveling the world to eat food from foreign countries. His super speed makes this an easy hobby. Some of his favorite destinations include China, Italy, and France. He devours food without restraint, unless it goes against the culture of a particular place. He will often drop by the Pawprint for a taste of home and doesn't mind working a few hours if help is needed (as long as he is paid in food).

Image

So begins...

Benjamin Paterson's Story

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Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
Benji reclined in his chair, enjoying the marvelous view of the Mediterranean Sea. A salty breeze ruffled his blonde locks and breathed life into the wind chimes scattered around the outdoor cafe. Benji had learned about this place from one of the many food blogs he followed. With luxurious outdoor seating and the best chefs of southern Greece, it was very high-class. Keeping this in mind, Benji signaled to the waiter and requested another round of breakfast with as much regality as he could muster. He had planned to have breakfast at home, but after brewing a pot of coffee and finding only a bag of whole wheat bagels in the fridge, he had decided to go to Greece.

The waiter returned with his meal. Benji's mouth could barely utter a quick thanks in perfect Greek before descending upon the innocent eggs. They vanished in mere seconds. Recognizing the sensation of air rising up his throat, Benji hurriedly placed a napkin over his mouth to muffle the burp. Needless to say, it didn't help at all.

I'd better leave, he thought, feeling very self-conscious under the stares of the restaurant's other customers. Again, he signaled to the waiter and asked him for the check.

"That will be one hundred-six euros," the waiter said.

Benji nearly screamed. A hundred and six euros?! He had only brought thirty-five! Really, he should have known better, but he hadn't thought of going here until the last second. "I... uh... left my wallet at my house!" he told the waiter, rising to his feet. The waiter cried out to stop him, but Benji was already gone. He dashed away at a fast sprint, only to become a brief blur of color as he used his freakish speed to carry him back home. Upon arriving at the manor, he burst into his room and flung open his foreign currency drawer, stuffing as many euros as he could into his pockets. When he felt he had enough, he returned to Greece.

The waiter looked truly amazed to see Benji.

"Here you go!" Benji flashed a dazzling smile and handed the crumpled wad of bills to the waiter. "You can keep the change." With that, he pranced away happily. He found a nice alley to hide in before using his super speed to travel back home.

Reaching Sunny Haven, Benji slowed his pace to a light jog. He stopped near the tennis courts and pretended to look breathless, as if he had been out on a long run (which was actually the truth). He noticed his dragon brother Marcus whacking tennis balls and occasionally incinerating them with his fire breath. It wasn't the correct way to play tennis, but Marcus looked so intent on the task that Benji decided to let him be.

"I'm kind of hungry," he said to himself. All that running had drained him, even though he had just eaten. He began to walk to the Pawprint, where he knew a few of his siblings would be working.

Along the way, Benji couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching him. He suddenly whirled around and scanned his surroundings. Nothing unusual. Maybe he was just being paranoid. Shrugging, he continued his trek, but the feeling persisted. When he entered the Pawprint, he went straight to James, trying not to look too nervous. He knew the snake would take a logical approach to his worries and assure him that he was just imagining things.

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Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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Gently, he transferred the treats from one tray to the other, arranging them into presentable rows with a clean hand. James dumped the metal tray in the sink and tucked one end of the rag inside his pants pocket before he reopened a register. Usually they timed their small breaks well, but today seemed to be the exception for three people were already in line. Addressing them quickly, the Paterson was just about to finish with the last customer when Benji arrived, making a b-line toward his brother. Ever observant, it didn't take much for James to notice his nervousness but he ignored it for the moment as he finished the customer's order.

"Thank you dear." The woman replied as she dropped a few cents into the modest tip jar before taking her niece aside. The young girl's eyes were fixed on the tall Paterson, but was scolded for staring once her aunt took notice. He didn't mind, and even returned a polite smile toward her guardian. The child's absolute and silent attention was always preferable to the chatty teenagers that seem to flock to the Pawprint. Turning his attention back to Benji, he merely extended a hand to the side of the register, palm open and expecting. If the rabbit was here for anything, it would be food, and even if this place was family-run, they still had to pay for it.

Whatever unsettled Benji was none of James's concern, though he had his suspicions.

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Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
He waited impatiently, tapping his toe against the cafe's floor, as James finished serving the woman and her niece. The little girl's gaze lingered on the lighter-haired Paterson before her aunt instructed her to do otherwise. In Benji's agitated state of mind, he wondered if the girl was the watcher that had been sending chills up his spine. Yes, it all made sense. That little girl was some sort of evil spirit in human form and she was going to engulf the whole town in darkness and despair and everyone was going to die!!!

Instinctively, he shuffled forward after the woman and the child had left. James's outstretched hand greeted him at the register. Benji was so used to this occurrence that he immediately began rummaging around in his pockets and produced a few euro bills. He pressed the money into James's palm.

"Listen, James," he said, leaning in close. "I... I feel like I'm being watched. Not like someone's just looking at me, but like someone's digging two holes into my back. That kind of watched. And it's not that stalker girl from last year. I'm sure of it." His breathing quickened as he thought more and more about it. "No one knows about us, right? I mean, I was running a lot because of a trip to Greece, but I should have been too fast for anyone to see. And that little girl was all mysterious and stuff and... and what if--"

He suddenly stopped his crazed rambling to sniff the air. "Wait. I smell cake." He glared at James with accusing, blue-gray eyes. "What's going on? I thought cake wasn't served on Saturdays."

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Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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Once he received the money, James began to count the bills (because Benji never seemed to) and to convert the currency. The till was starting to look like a passport with its colourful array of bills and coins, souvenirs from the various places the rabbit had frequented. He made a mental note to switch out the money later before a Paterson gets the bright idea to take a picture and upload it. They were strange enough without their supposedly international clientele.

As he did this, James listened to Benji half-heartedly. The rabbit could talk anyone's ear off, and he wasn't as patient as the ox to remain attentive the entire time. However, with Eli's most recent vision, he began to tune in to his brother's seemingly paranoid ramblings. Ah the stalker...she was a tough one. Very strong-willed, took a lot of effort to convince her that Benji was not some Flash incarnate. James was not entirely surprised to hear the mention of Greece, what with the euros he held, but he was always dumbfounded by Benji's sloppiness.

"No one will know if we don't use them." He completely ignored the little girl comment; he was paranoid, but not to that extent. However, he was oversuspicious, and found himself wondering about the woman that was with her. How could he know that she wasn't a watcher, undercover or hired by one of the two depicted in the sketchpad? Perhaps keeping his silence was not a good idea, but the decision was still pending. Once he found more information then maybe he'll reverse his judgment. The vague statement probably did not reassure the rabbit at all, but James was not exactly designed to be reassuring. If the antsy Paterson felt watched before, he would certainly feel it now. James did not let up on his attention once Benji earned it, his gaze fixed and steely. This was the way snake preferred to deal with matters; subtle and enigmatic. He wasn't going to demand Benji to stop using his power like the rooster, but it was clear that he didn't want to draw attention to their family.

However, it seemed completely ineffective on the still starving rabbit who completely lost focus at the scent of freshly baked goods. Plainly, he replied. "Elias was probably pressured to make some." James gathered this from previous experiences, for whenever they seemed to have sudden changes to their daily menu, his various friends would visit and mainly order the addition. Most people would have forgotten such a useless fact, but not the detailed snake. "You'll have to fight for it." They were about to close in a few hours, so his friends were due to come in at any minute. What with Eli just starting to bake, there would not be enough for everyone, especially when including the biggest eater of the family.

"You're short for one." James informed, and he didn't mean one slice.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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#, as written by zen_ink
"Benji!!!" Eli smiled from the other side of the bakery display. Benji and Elias got along fantastically, as the Rabbit and Sheep of the zodiac tended to do in all their lives. As such, Benji was one of Elias' favorite people, and seeing his brother always made him rather excited and happy. The two were thicker than thieves at the best of times.

"I made chocolate cake, I figured you'd want some so I already cut you a slice. I know its not on the menu, but... some of the guys wanted it. They said they'd stop by later. Whether or not they actually do is a different story." Eli walked out from the kitchen with a decent sized slice of cake already prepared on a plate with chocolate drizzle and whipped cream for his brother. He passed it off to him and gave his trademark sheepish smile. "How was breakfast in Greece?" he asked, still smiling. He then leaned in close, assuming James was no longer paying any attention to the two of them. "Code Red.. I'm off soon, can we talk?" he asked quietly. For whatever reason, Eli actually had a feeling that Benji may have had a suspicion what the Code Red was about. Was Benji already experiencing some of the strangeness that had been befalling the Patersons lately? Were they all experiencing it..? Eli's stomach writhed. He tried to hide the faint expression of nausea that overcame him in such moments of intense and sudden anxiety. His brother knew him, though.. and Eli would have a hard time keeping anything from Benji. Not that he wanted to. The Rabbit was one of the few signs that he actually felt he could fully trust.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: James Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
"You're the best, Eli! Oh, that looks delicious," he said as his favorite brother emerged into view. Good old Elias could always cheer him up, even when Benji suspected little girls of being evil spirits. He had always gotten along grandly with Eli and it helped that the sheep was such a fabulous baker. Benji completely ignored James's comments and fixed his eyes onto the delicacy in Eli's hands. A slice of chocolate cake stood proudly on a plain platter, embellished with chocolate drizzle and whipped cream. Heaven.

"Greece was pretty awesome, though the price was outrageous. A hundred and six euros for two servings of eggs? That's almost one hundred forty two US dollars! Can you believe it?" Benji waved his arms around, emphasizing the ridiculousness of it all. He settled down enough to hear Eli say the words Code Red and immediately remembered the feeling of those eyes on his back. "Yeah, we can talk... after the cake." An uncomfortableness crept into his stomach, and it was not because of the cake. Benji knew all too well of Eli's constant visions and if Eli needed to talk in such a serious tone, there was definitely something up. With all this on his mind, he had trouble enjoying his cake. He set down his fork and pushed the plate aside.

"Alright, Eli. What's up?"

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson
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#, as written by zen_ink
Eli couldn't hold back his laughter. Part of the reason why he loved Benji so much was because of his over-the-top style of telling stories, and well.. his outrageous style of just life in general. He got so much entertainment from the way his brother subconsciously flailed his arms when telling a story. That's how enthusiastic Benji got about everything. Eli enjoyed it, he even somewhat envied it.. but he decided long ago, that surrounding himself with people similar to Benji might allow some of their lighthearted and carefree nature to rub off on Eli, and that's all Eli ever really wanted, was to be able to live a burden-free life....... a vision-free life.

"Well, maybe the reason it was so expensive is because it was a fancy restaurant, Benji! Did you even take the time to check the name of the place you were eating at?" Eli knew the rabbit never thought anything completely through and tended to be an "act first, think later" type person. It amused him; he didn't know why, but it did. Eli threw Benji another sheepish smile. "I hope the cake is alright," he started, watching Benji devour the slice. "I made it for some of the guys from school, we were hanging out at the pond in the woods earlier. So much for them stopping by....."

His brother finished his cake in record time. "Alright, what's up?" he asked in reference to the Code Red. "Oh.." Eli started, checking around to make sure nobody could overhear them. They were sitting at a pretty remote table towards the back of the restaurant, and seeing as how the place wasn't very crowded yet, mostly everyone else was congregated towards the front. Eli then noticed Sean heading out the door, and overheard him saying about how something came up. "Of course..." he thought to himself. The dog never stayed around for long; just as long as he needed to quench his boredom, and then he would be off pursuing the next better offer of plans that he had received. "Well here, look." Eli showed Benji the sketch of the shadow figures. "I told Sean and James already, I probably shouldn't have but I don't know. I was just distraught, I thought somebody should know." Eli itched his nose with the eraser end of his pencil. "Never in my life have I really had a vision that I found so... so threatening. It felt like someone was watching us - - the family I mean. And not in the good way... I was sensing malice." Eli eagerly scanned his brother's face for any facial expressions that might tell how he was thinking about what he was saying. They had been best friends since they were little, and Eli always openly shared his visions with the rabbit. It was refreshing, because Eli knew he never had to worry to much about Benji becoming consumed with anxiety in the way Eli did, because he was much better at keeping things in perspective. Eli on the other hand... well, his visions ruled his life. He frequently felt as though the visions dictated how he felt on a given day, and for how long.

He then remembered how he wasn't feeling very well. A sudden spell of vertigo and nausea overcame the concerned sheep. He swept the back of his hand across his forehead. He looked around the restaurant, beginning to feel as though he needed some air. He saw James clocking out. Eli was reminded of the time... his shift was actually coming to a close as well. He didn't want to be late clocking out as he often tended to do, which was often a result of getting distracted by his own thoughts. "Well listen.. my shift is just about over." he said, turning back to his brother. "Aiden is picking me up and we're gonna go back to the house, and just hang out for the night I guess. You gonna be around? You should join us." he asked as he packed up his things and untied his apron. The Pawprint didn't close for a few more hours yet, but the rest of the wait staff would take care of the place until close. Typically, the Patersons only ever dropped in to work a few short hours and tended not to take it as seriously as they should - - this was likely a byproduct of their spoiled nature. They were filthy rich, after all. Eli knew that the other restaurant workers had a habit of spitting some venom behind their backs too, just stuff about how they apparently didn't have any work ethic. One time, Eli had had a vision while baking, seeing two of the other workers - a young waitress named Becky and one of the older managers named Christine - in the break room, saying

I swear, I don't know how those Paterson kids are gonna make it through life, having everything handed to them like that. Not one of them knows the true meaning of hard work. They don't get what life is about for the rest of us, here on planet Earth."
--Its like you said, they get everything handed to them. You know damn well as I do none of those kids is ever gonna have to lift a finger for the rest of their lives. They're loaded."

It often made Eli question the loyalty of the people he surrounded himself with.

"Either way, let me know." he said, turning once more to his favorite brother and giving him yet another trademark smile. He did that a lot, actually. Smiled just for the sake of smiling.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson
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Taut and fully drawn, the bowstring seemed to hum with the unreleased energy. Kenneth steadied his arm, looking into the magnifying sight and lining the pin up to the target. He was shooting his custom compound bow. It was an expensive buy, made even more costly by the fact that he was left handed, but it was worth it. He pulled the trigger on the release and let the arrow fly. The missile sped towards the target with barely any arc. It landed on the bale with a satisfying thud in the center of one of the small targets he had put up.

Kenneth knocked another arrow from his quiverand pulled the bowstring back, conciously checking his form. Shoulder's down, hand's at the anchor point, arm's straight, legs shoulder distance apart, back's straight, good. After the couple seconds it took Kenneth to run through this mental checklist he aimed and shot the arrow. The projectile zoomed to the center of another target.

He brushed his fingers over the top of his quiver, making sure there were no more arrows to shoot. Finding there were none, he stepped off the shooting line and put his bow on the bowrack. Automatically he walked down the range to the target, sixty meters away, to retrieve his arrows. Usually shooting helped calm him, but today it just wasn't doing the trick. He couldn't shake the feeling of being watched.

He pulled the lightweight carbon arrows from the target after marking the holes out of habit. His score of nines and eights and the occasional ten was a bit lower than usual, but he blamed that on his unsettled nerves. He took the targets down and put them inside the storeroom. With practiced, fluid movements he took off his armguard and release and took the stabilizer and sight off of his bow, packing them in their case.

What was with him today? That feeling of being watched just wasn't going away. And it wasn't the kind of oh, I wonder how he's doing watched. It was a stalker-like, eyes-burning-holes-in-his-back kind of watched. It was probably silly, but Kenneth couldn't help thinking that it wasn't.

Problem unresolved, he left the archery range and made his way to the Pawprint. He was hungry and it was getting dark, so he needed to get home and get something to eat. Opening the door to the Pawprint, he was greeted by the familiar sights of customers and family. Kenneth made his way to the back of the shop and saw Elias and Benji discussing something. Beside the dragon's rabbit brother was a plate covered with a suspicious smear of chocolate. That could only mean one thing: Eli had made cake. Kenneth knew his brother was a genius as far as desserts went, so naturally he felt left out that he wasn't informed that cake would be on the menu. It was delicious. Perhaps some cake could make him forget the watched feeling.

Kenneth approached his brothers, smiling. He got along well with these two. He liked the sheep's innocence and sensitivity, and the rabbit was just plain fun to be around with all of his energy. "Hello, Eli and Benji. Eli, I know your shift is just about done, but do you have any more of the chocolate cake left?" he said, his belly rumbling to emphasize the question.

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
Benji stared at the sketch. Yikes, he thought. It must have been horrible for Eli to have those freaky things creeping around in his visions.

He listened with growing concern as Eli explained his vision. The sheep didn't look too well. Benji knew how hard it was for Eli to cope with all the different visions flowing into his head. And now, with this particularly foreboding vision, the rabbit could sense a new weight on his brother's shoulders. He had always relied much on instinct to carry him through life, and now his instincts were telling him something was amiss. The people of Sunny Haven were persistently curious about the Paterson family, but they wouldn't stare with the malice that Eli described and the intensity that Benji had felt. It was unlike anything that had ever happened before.

Benji tried his best to give an encouraging smile. He really did, but he wasn't sure Eli was convinced. He knew his brother was waiting for a reaction. Whenever Eli shared his visions, Benji always tried to act all happy and cheerful. He wasn't one to openly show true distress. But this time was a bit different. It didn't involve just him and Eli; this was about the whole Paterson family.

"Gosh," Benji remarked, letting out a nervous laugh. "This is really complicated, isn't it? It'd be awful if these shadow guys take over the world and wreak havoc--" He broke off as Eli suddenly paled and raised his hand to his forehead. Benji rose to his feet, frowning with deep concern. "Whoa, are you alright, Eli?"

After a few moments, his brother seemed to recover. "Well listen.. my shift is just about over. Aiden is picking me up and we're gonna go back to the house, and just hang out for the night I guess. You gonna be around? You should join us."

"Hmm, I'll think about it. I heard about this really awesome place in South Africa, so I might not be back for quite a while," Benji answered. He put on a silly grin to mask the fact that he had been sure Eli was going to collapse. The sheep didn't look like he was in the mood to be smothered with care and his mind was probably on other things, so Benji didn't pester him.

As Eli made to leave, Kenneth, the dragon of the family, came sauntering up to them. He had a wide smile plastered on his face. "Hello, Eli and Benji. Eli, I know your shift is just about done, but do you have any more of the chocolate cake left?" he asked. Benji wasn't sure, but he thought he heard the sound of a stomach growling. It made his own stomach growl.

Benji glanced at the plate he had just recently cleared, then at Eli. "If he gets a piece, then I get another one. I need the energy, since I have to go to track practice and all..." His eyes silently pleaded at the sheep's conscience.

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson
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#, as written by zen_ink
Elias Paterson

"Hmm, I'll think about it. I heard about this really awesome place in South Africa, so I might not be back for quite a while," the Rabbit smiled.

Eli kinda figured he wouldn't go for something as low key as just chilling at home; life was always an adventure with the rabbit. That was probably the biggest thing that separated Eli from his closest brother.. he hated to be out all the time. Being around people drained him. He much preferred a night in with all the creature comforts of tea, blankets, chocolate, and a good movie or video game.

Eli went over to the register to clock out of his shift. "Wait a minute... did I ever even clock in today? Why do I not remember doing that?" he thought to himself, but quickly dismissed the thought as he figured he was probably just distracted as usual when he signed in. He tossed his apron over the counter which was almost instantaneously picked up by a passing-by Becky, who took it into the kitchen with an unamused look on her face. Eli made sure he had everything... wallet, phone, notebook, check, check, check. He approached Benji once more to wish him luck on his trek in South Africa, when lo and behold Kenneth walked in.

"Hello, Eli and Benji. Eli, I know your shift is just about done, but do you have any more of the chocolate cake left?"

Before Eli could even get the chance to answer, he noticed Benji eyeballing his clean plate before he chimed in, "If he gets a piece, then I get another one. I need the energy, since I have to go to track practice and all..." Eli looked to Ken, then Benji, then back at Ken; he couldn't say no, especially not to the rabbit's face. "Oh sigh.." he thought. "Well.. I just clocked out and Aiden is probably either here, or about to be, but.... sure. I'll be right back." Eli was halted by the sound of wind chimes and oriental music - - he pulled his phone out of his pocket.

[Incoming Call - Alex Cell]

"Uh oh.."

"Eli... where are you? Your shift is supposed to be over. Or did you forget again?"

"I didn't forget sorry, I'm waiting for Aiden to pick me up, I got a ride with Sean to the Pawprint this morning so he's gonna bring me back to the house and then we're just gonna hang out for a bit." he rolled his eyes, making sure his two brothers saw.

"Hang out for a bit? Have you completely forgotten what tomorrow is? Have you all? Where are your brothers? I am quickly losing my patience. I want everyone home to begin planning for the New Year festival tomorrow. Mom and dad are flying in early this morning... they'll be here by about 7 tomorrow. Get your rumpus home."

*click*

Eli let out a big sigh. "Well that was Alex...... he wants us to go home. I completely forgot the New Year festival was tomorrow. He said mom and dad are flying in at 7 in the morning." The sheep was quickly getting exhausted. All this real world stress paired with all the psychic world stress he was simultaneously experiencing was rapidly putting him out of commission. He felt a little better ever since his nausea spell a couple minutes ago, but he definitely needed to lie down. "Let me get your cake, then I gotta go. I suggest you guys get home soon, too... I don't really feel like listening to Alex right now."

With that, he departed once more to the kitchen. Some of the wait staff didn't look too happy to see him.. they probably thought he left already and wondered why he was still even there. Ignoring them, he pulled the cake he prepared earlier out of the fridge box and cut two pretty big slices, making sure to cut Benji's extra large. He topped them with a generous helping of whipped cream, some shaved chocolate flakes, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce that he drew into an artistic design.

"Alright, here you are. Enjoy it guys." Eli smiled. "Have fun in Africa, if you're still brave enough to go despite Lord Alex's decree" he said, turning to Benji and trying to maintain his smile. Truth of the matter was, Eli missed the rabbit terribly. Sure, Benji had always been an out-and-about type guy, but they used to spend a lot more time together, especially when they were younger. He figured Benji didn't miss it anywhere near as much as he did... the rabbit was such a forward-moving person, but not Eli. Eli wished he could have it back. He struggled to hold back from letting a tear escape his eye... he didn't even know why he was getting emotional so randomly. He knew not to question it though; being out of control of his emotions was something Eli had grown very accustomed to over the years.

Eli walked out of the Pawprint and sure as day, Aiden was there parked right in front of the front door with the car running. Eli got in. "Hey hun, I hope you weren't waiting too long, I'm really sorry."

"Don't sweat it love." Aiden replied with a massive smile. Aiden's smiles had a way of making Eli melt. They were slightly crooked and deceptively large for his otherwise-petite mouth, and showcased every bit of his perfect white teeth. Aiden's smiles were a force to be reckoned with, for sure. "Hey, isn't that your brother and sister over there?"

Eli turned around, spotting Ramona and Miles on a bench outside the cafe. "Oh, yeah."

"What are they doing here? I thought Miles never worked at The Pawprint?"

"Yeah. He doesn't. I don't really know. Um, listen.. Alex is kind of on one of his crusades, so.... we might have to do a few chores when we get back to the house."

"Cool with me. What's the occasion?"

"It's just some tradition that my family has. We like to go all out for Chinese New Year. Yeah its weird, I don't even know why we do it." Of course it pained Eli to have to lie to his boyfriend but, how was someone ever to explain the real reason behind such an event? He couldn't just come right out and say "Oh hey, I'm a reincarnated sheep from the Chinese zodiac and the rest of my family are reincarnated animals as well, and we're immortal and have magical powers." Or rather he could but he'd likely land himself in the psych ward again and that wasn't something Eli was looking to do anytime soon, even though he had been praying nonstop that he might find the opportunity (and the courage) to one day tell his partner the truth. Eli wasn't the type to readily keep secrets, especially large ones. But he just didn't have a choice on the matter with this one.

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
His ears picked up a familiar ringtone. He watched as Eli answered the call with a slight look of dread. Just by the tone of his brother's voice, he knew it was Alex. Benji wasn't too fond of Alex. Okay, he didn't like Alex at all. The rooster was such a commanding person and Benji always felt constricted when in his presence. Alex just took things too seriously.

Benji heard Eli heave a sigh. His sheep brother was looking more and more exhausted by the second. "Well that was Alex...... he wants us to go home. I completely forgot the New Year festival was tomorrow. He said mom and dad are flying in at 7 in the morning."

Realization hit the rabbit like a bucket of cold water with carrots thrown in. "SHOOT! I totally forgot about that! Aw, man. And I was just talking to James." He repeatedly ran his hand through his hair before exhaling loudly. "Well, that's fine since I've already been to Morocco twice this month. It's not like I made reservations." He shrugged haphazardly and brushed the initial shock to the side. Benji's stomach growled with anticipation as Eli headed back into the kitchens for more cake.

He glanced at red-haired Kenneth. He was generally on good terms with the dragon, although he occasionally reminded Benji of the rooster. At the moment, Kenneth looked a bit on edge. Benji sensed a certain tension in the air. He knew some of that was left over from the talk of creepy visions and was sure the rest had come from Kenneth's arrival. What with the strange things that had been happening, he wasn't very surprised. The rabbit decided to inquire about Kenneth's day, but before he could say anything, Eli reappeared with cake in hand.

"Alright, here you are. Enjoy it guys," announced the sheep. Not one to dwell on serious thoughts, Benji went ahead and relieved his brother of the much larger slice. The cake looked almost too lovely to be eaten. Almost.

Before Benji began the feast, he returned Eli's smile. He briefly reflected on how he had been doing that a lot today. "Thanks, Eli! You really are the best." The cake met its doom rather quickly, disappearing into the rabbit's mouth at an unbelievably fast rate.

"Have fun in Africa, if you're still brave enough to go despite Lord Alex's decree," Eli said. The smile was still on the sheep's lips, but Benji looked up abruptly, alarmed by the underlying tone in his brother's voice. Eli sounded sad, at least to Benji, who was fairly good at identifying these things, especially when it involved his favorite brother. Why was Eli sad? Had Alex said something really mean? Had there been another really bad vision? The sheep was prone to emotional changes, but not without reason.

Benji stared as Eli left. He was aware of the whipped cream encircling his mouth and quickly licked it away. The sweetness of the cake lingered beguilingly on his tongue. The rabbit stood. Well, it was going to be a fairly nice day. Track practice was in about ten minutes and after that, Benji would be off to Africa for lunch at a small diner known for its insect-based foods. It was need rather than want that drove Benji to all the different corners of the world. The need to explore, the need to taste new and exotic foods, and most of all, the need to run.

"I'll be leaving now," he told Kenneth. With a loud and jovial laugh, he patted the redhead on the back. "See ya later, Kenny!" Ignoring the judging glares of the other workers at the Pawprint, he sped out the door towards Sunny U.

He arrived at the track five minutes late. He hadn't risked using his power for such a short distance. It would have been disastrous if anyone had seen him.

"You're late, Benny!" grunted Coach Nilson, a large, muscular man with a neatly trimmed mustache. He wore his trademark baseball cap that displayed the wear and tear of several years.

Benji immediately scowled upon being called by that awful nickname. "Sorry, Coach," he managed through gritted teeth.

"Now, don't give me that look. Go on and get changed. Or maybe you have something else you want to say?"

Benji clenched his hands into fists. No, Benji, he told himself. Do NOT lose it. It's not worth spending the energy from Eli's cake on some old fart like him. Eventually, after a staring contest with the coach, he backed down and headed to the locker rooms. He knew the coach was deliberately taunting him. He had learned from the beginning that Coach Nilson didn't view the Patersons highly. But his dislike for Benji was particular, since Benji had entered the track team on full scholarship and yet didn't even need to keep his GPA up (it was currently at 1.83 and getting lower).

After changing into active wear, Benji trotted back onto the field, where everyone else was already busy with drills. Benji halfheartedly joined them. It didn't matter whether he exercised or not; the rabbit would always be the fastest. Practice was actually really boring and Benji only attended to keep up appearances. So when it finally ended, he changed back into casual clothes as quickly as he could and bolted to South Africa.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson
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Of course when Kenneth asked for a piece of cake Benji had to ask for another one. The dragon held back a chuckle at his brother's simple eagerness to enjoy all life had to offer, including the chocolate cake. Eli agreed and went to get the cake but his phone rang. The sheep answered it and rolled his eyes. "I didn't forget sorry, I'm waiting for Aiden to pick me up, I got a ride with Sean to the Pawprint this morning so he's gonna bring me back to the house and then we're just gonna hang out for a bit." He said to the person on the phone.

When Eli hung up he said, "Well that was Alex...... he wants us to go home. I completely forgot the New Year festival was tomorrow. He said mom and dad are flying in at 7 in the morning. Let me get your cake, then I gotta go. I suggest you guys get home soon, too... I don't really feel like listening to Alex right now."

Kenneth nodded. While he seemed to get along better with the rooster than some of his other siblings he still knew that Alex could be a pain at times. Eli went and retrieved some cake before leaving. Kenneth ate the luxurious slice of heaven slowly and savored the rich bittersweet of the chocolate and the lighter, complementing flavor of the whipped cream. Before he was halfway done with it Benji said, "I'll be leaving now. See ya later Kenny!" The rabbit patted Kenneth on the back and was off.

Kenneth waved a goodbye and finished his cake. Was there a possibility that Eli and Aiden were still in the parking lot? If he could hitch a ride he would be saved a hefty walk. Fingers crossed the dragon put his plate away and went to the parking lot. Aiden's car was no longer there, much to his disappointment.

Oh well, that just meant he had to walk home. He knew that wouldn't take a short time, so he began to walk home. I hope I can get there early enough for Alex. Kenneth had no super speed like Benji. Such a power would probably far more useful than fire breathing. Super speed could transport someone somewhere almost instantly. Fire breathing, on the other hand, was a much flashier power. It couldn't be used nearby other people as much. It had little application and a semi uncontrollable nature. Kenneth was grateful for his ability, there was no doubt about that, but still, it was relatively useless given all the restrictions placed on it. It wasn't like he could breathe fire whenever he wanted. It wouldn't only give his family away, it would be dangerous.

The dragon watched as the moon rose and the stars came out. It was a clear night without a single cloud. Kenneth walked looking up at the sky, hardly paying attention to where his feet were leading him. The stars were peaceful and pure. Nothing covered them, no dishonesty, no malice, no evil. They just were. Sometimes when he was younger he thought it would be neat to be a star. He had wondered what it would be like to be disconnected from the world and just be an observer. As he got older his view had changed. Now he wanted to be part of something. He wanted to influence and change the world. It scared him sometimes. When the drive to do something hit him it was an unstoppable force that more often than not withered away into nothing. He had tried teaching other people archery, but most only did it to humor him. One time he volunteered to tutor at an elementary school but it didn't turn out too well. There were too many little kids who didn't know anything. Kenneth risked losing his patience among them, and that would definitely wouldn't be good. Kenneth was searching for a purpose in the world, but the world wasn't answering any of his searches.

As Kenneth was looking at the sky, it was hardly surprising that he tripped. It had to happen eventually. His foot caught on a flower pot and he fell face first. His nose collided with the sidewalk, immediately spurting blood. Picking himself up, Kenneth fumbled around for a tissue. Pulling one out of his pocket he clenched his nose tightly, stopping the blood. Continuing walking he surveyed himself, looking at his bloodied clothes. A large patch of red had dripped onto his green t-shirt and plenty of blood droplets had fallen onto his khaki pants before he found a tissue. Crap, Alex'll hang me for this.

It was another half hour before Kenneth got home, slowed as he was by his bloody nose. Luckily he managed to stop it by the time he reached the Patterson house. He threw all of his bloody tissue into the garbage been and headed inside. Hopefully Kenneth could sneak past Alex without the rooster noticing. Unfortunately when the dragon went into the kitchen to wash his hands Alex was in there, too. Kenneth paused, aware that he had been literally been caught red handed, as his hands were still spattered with blood.

"Hello, Alex. I'm home. Sorry about the mess," Kenneth said, trying at a feeble smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
Despite the things that had happened earlier in the day, Benji used his powers frequently in his trip to Africa. He made it half way across the Atlantic Ocean when he realized he hadn't brought a single rand with him. So, he went back and flipped through his currency drawer again. To Benji's horror, he discovered he had already spent all his rand. However, he did have an abundance of rupees, so he gathered those and ran to a currency exchange center in Africa, where he exchanged his rupees for rand (the people at the front desk gave him plenty of weird stares). Finally, the rabbit was able to head to the restaurant and have his meal.

Only, the restaurant was closed. Benji banged his head against a wall. He really hated time zone differences.

With a heavy sigh, he turned and ran home. His stomach was rumbling and he needed some food to replace the energy he had just lost from his ocean-crossing run. As he reached Massachusetts, he felt as though a hole had opened in his abdomen, creating an empty feeling where his stomach resided. He couldn't continue running, so he hailed a cab to take him the rest of the way to Sunny Haven. Luckily, he had just enough U.S. dollars to pay the cab driver. He slapped the bills into the driver's hand and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

"Benji!"

Startled by the sudden sound of his name, he looked around wildly. Eventually, he noticed a figure waving at him from a little ways down the street. As the cab drove away, the figure neared.

"Oh, it's just you, Jenna," said Benji, chuckling in relief. He didn't know why he had been so scared from someone calling out his name. Maybe it was because of the shadow people from Eli's vision. He was quite paranoid from the thought of creepy shadows grabbing at him and sucking him into the darkness in their plight to take over the world.

Jenna glared at Benji. "Where have you been?" she asked, her tone accusatory. "I've been looking everywhere for you. I waited through your entire track practice but you weren't there."

Benji smiled nervously. Jenna was an old friend. He had met her in fourth grade. Back then, Jenna had been much more free with herself, often rivaling Benji in her crazy antics. The two of them had formed a close bond of friendship as eccentric buddies. But as the years passed, Jenna became more mature while Benji remained very much the same. They were still best friends, but of a different kind.

"What're you talking about? I've just been... around," Benji murmured. He shrugged with his hands stuffed deep into his pockets. "Why were you looking for me anyways?"

"We were supposed to meet in order to work on our biology project. Don't tell me you forgot."

Benji mentally cursed himself. He had been so eager for the South Africa trip that he had completely disregarded his other commitments. "Oh. Well, uh... I forgot. Sorry," he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck. He couldn't meet Jenna's eyes. Those hard, blue eyes were probably glaring bullets at the moment.

Jenna could only release her frustration in the form of a sigh. Benji figured she was used to putting up with him, considering they had known each other for close to ten years. In high school, she had suddenly become really strong in academics, and she was the only reason why he managed to graduate high school with over a 3.0. She was also responsible for keeping his current GPA above zero, but she was too busy with her part-time job to help Benji on a regular basis.

"Okay, we can work on it tomorrow," Jenna said. She had taken out her phone and was scrolling through her calendar.

Benji almost agreed, but then remembered about the festival. He bit his lip. "Oops. Sorry, I can't do tomorrow. It's the New Year," he replied. He had told Jenna long ago that the Chinese New Year was special to the Patersons, claiming it was a longtime tradition of the family (which was the truth).

Jenna lowered her phone. "You know what?" she asked, brushing her long, auburn hair out of her eyes. Benji knew it was a rhetorical question, so he didn't bother answering. Besides, he was afraid of angering her. But Jenna simply smiled tiredly. "Marley and I can finish the project by ourselves. You go ahead and just... do whatever you do all the time."

Benji almost gasped in shock. "Really?" He looked incredulously at Jenna. She was one of those 'everyone has to pull their end of the weight' people and this kind of benevolence was unheard of from her.

"Yes, really. You can't focus on work anyways, so it can't hurt."

The rabbit resisted the urge to hop up and down like an idiot. Instead, he hugged Jenna in an unrestricted embrace. "You're the best, Jenna! I owe you one!" he exclaimed.

"You owe me more than just one," Jenna muttered, struggling to breathe as Benji hugged the life out of her.

"Yeah, about that..." Benji pulled away from the hug and thought for a moment, placing a finger on his chin. His eyes lit up when he thought of something. "I know! I'll treat you to lunch sometime."

"It's going to take you a whole year of lunches."

"Then I'll treat you to breakfast, lunch and dinner!"

"You'll be broke."

Benji pouted. "Geez. You haven't done that much of my homework... have you?" He laughed as Jenna gave him the classic what do you think? look. He was truly grateful to her for being one of his few real friends. Most people he knew only remained friendly with him because of his status as Sunny University's track star. That, and his family was filthy rich. But Jenna didn't really care about those things, although sometimes she did take advantage of Benji's surplus of money to buy herself a drink of something.

"So I guess I'll see you in bio," said Benji, turning to leave with a wave of his hand. He hesitated, then turned back around. "Hey, Jenna?"

Jenna had also been about to leave. She had just dialed a number on her phone and had the device held to her ear, so she was distracted when she acknowledged his words. "Hmm?"

Benji took a deep breath. "Could eating insects make you sick? Like, if they have poison or if they're carrying a disease or something?" he asked.

Jenna frowned as she thought. "First of all, you shouldn't go around eating insects. I know in many cultures they eat bugs, but those people would know what to eat and what not to eat. Second, why do you need to know?"

"Oh, you see, I heard about this really great restaurant in South Africa--"

Jenna held up her hand and pointed to her phone, signifying the person on the other end had picked up. Benji nodded, understanding the message. He pointed down the street towards his house and began walking away. This time, Jenna nodded. The two of them waved good-bye as Benji headed home.

Benji was still pooped from the run, so it was over fifteen minutes before he made it back to the Paterson mansion. Of course, his first destination was the kitchen. Hopefully, someone had gotten some fresh food. If not, he could always eat those bagels. He rushed past Miles, Mia, and Char and burst into the kitchen, panting heavily and eager for food. The first and only thing he saw was Kenneth, his shirt and face covered in blood. Benji screamed.

"HOLY SHIT! KENNY MURDERED SOMEONE!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ramona Patterson Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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#, as written by zen_ink
It seemed like every Paterson had decided to pour into the house at once. This was the kind of unpredictability that drove Alex up the wall. He could spend all day alone at the house, expecting somebody to come home if even just for a few minutes, and nothing. Next minute, when he's caught off guard because he has to wipe blood off his brother, everybody decides to show up.

Well, he didn't have to wipe the blood off his brother... Kenneth was an adult and more than capable of taking care of himself. It was just Alex's intrusive, control-freak nature that prompted him to do it.

"HOLY SHIT! KENNY MURDERED SOMEONE!"

There was no mistaking that enthusiasm-laced voice; Benji was home.

"Don't be silly, Benjamin. He just has a bloody nose." Alex continued to wipe, glaring the rabbit up and down. The rabbit was one of Alex's least favorite brothers... he was the epitome of everything Alex couldn't tolerate in a person. Inconsistent, forgetful, irresponsible, childish, changeable without warning the commanding Paterson thought to himself. "Listen Benjamin, now that you're home, grab a broom and get dusting. Mom and dad will be ho-"

"AT 7 IN THE MORNING, WE KNOW." Eli interjected before he could even finish. It wasn't the Sheep's nature to be snippy although he definitely could when the mood struck him, and in Eli's case, after all the stress he'd been through today, he really wasn't in any mood to conceal his frustration with his family.

Alex was multitasking, continuing to clean blood off Kenny while scanning the room for other chores that needed to be done, and making note of each of his brothers and sisters as they were walking in the door. He saw Char digging through the fridge. "Char? What on earth are you doing? We are trying to CLEAN here.... NOT make more messes. You've been out all day, you didn't think to get any food?" Alex was losing his patience. He wasn't the type to explode in a fit of rage; that wasn't his style. But something familiar was occurring... flashes of bright blue were beginning to swirl through the rooster's stormy irises. He was willing to give his siblings a chance to cooperate by their own will before he'd go all "supernatural" on them, but he didn't like how pressed for time they were quickly becoming.

For the Patersons, New Years occurred in February as opposed to the regular January date for the rest of the country. They weren't Chinese in this life, but they had been in their original lives, and that meant that the tradition carried over. As such, it was a pretty big deal for the family and even though the others were not taking it very seriously at this point, he knew that they all cared just as much about it as Alex did.

"Char: Get the party tables out of the garage, set up one in the kitchen, one on the patio and two in the back yard. Mia can help you. Mia, make sure you get the festival tablecloths and set them.

Kenny: Go upstairs and change.. then when you come back down, you can start rolling eggrolls and putting them in the fridge.

Eli: When you and Aiden are done hanging paper lanterns, I need you to start on the mooncakes. You're the only one who can bake them.

Ramona: You're on lights duty. Hang strands wherever you think they would look good; I trust your judgment.

Miles: ...........Why don't you just.. go entertain yourself in your room for the next 12 hours or something."

Alex stood watch to make sure every order had been properly received as glittering swirls of cerulean still danced through his eyes, threatening at any moment to eliminate the existence of free-will in the Paterson household and turn the family into a robotic army of cleaning mind-slaves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ramona Patterson Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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Having been alone with Ramona for the afternoon, Miles was pleased to see a full house as he entered the kitchen. Before Char headed for the kitchen, she had given him one of her quick grins to which he mirrored. If there was anyone he was related to, it would be the restless horse. Whenever it wasn't Mia, Miles was the one being dragged around, and unlike the lazy pig, the monkey did not tire so quickly. He found her entertaining to say the least, but in moderation.

Behind him, another raced for the kitchen, and by the loud exclamation that followed, it was obvious the rabbit had returned. Miles had always felt rather indifferent to Benji, as they were never really all that close. Perhaps the guy was just too nice sometimes, much like Eli; those types tend to bore the fickle monkey. As he walked past the crowd, he too noticed the blood on Kenneth's shirt, but didn't bother stopping on his way to the counter. Whatever happened, he was sure Alex was already on it. Emptying the plastic bag, Miles pulled out a few paper decorations (it was always a pain to find the old ones), a lighter, firecrackers and eggs, as he preferred his mooncake with an egg center. The square paper decorations included ones with the Chinese character for "luck" and "snake", and the rectangular strips were various wishes for the new year, such as "Happy New Year". Though they had Kenneth around, it was more precise to just use a lighter, and so Miles had grabbed one as well. Quickly, he organized his things so that everything was still in order, making sure that lord Alex would have nothing to complain about.

During this time, the monkey had been ignoring everyone. He loved entertaining sure, but there was a time and place, and right now, he didn't want to draw attention to himself. Apparently, this and the supplies he brought seemed to work, for the rooster had left him with no duties. Pleased, Miles easily hid his satisfaction as he exited the kitchen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ramona Patterson Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Simon Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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#, as written by Wrenn
Simon looked at the text Miles had sent him, and pleasure and anxiety warred within him. He was glad that his machinations were succeeding -- first with Ramona, then soon with James he was sure -- but it alarmed the secretive rat that one of his siblings had sensed his hand. Still, of all of the Patersons to discover -- or at least suspect -- his activity, it was best that it had been the monkey. Sure, Miles seemed to many to be the friendly life of the party, almost a mirror image of Sean, but where the dog was genuinely carefree and guileless, the monkey had a sinister streak hiding behind his roguish grins. Simon was fairly sure that Miles wouldn't spoil his efforts prematurely -- the curious monkey liked to understand puzzles first before he smashed them.

Slipping his phone into his pocket, Simon stood from his chair and moved to the door. He heard all of the activity down below, and although he truly felt uncomfortable in any situation like this -- a lot of activity, conversations, group interactions -- he knew how important the New Year preparations were, and knew that he had to help. Still, it took him a moment to steel himself before opening his door, like any mouse about to venture out into the open.

"Hey guys," he muttered in his quiet way, out of the side of his mouth without making eye contact. He wore slim-fitting black Levis and a zipped-up gray hoodie that covered his plain tee, a yellow that had faded from sunshine to straw. With the hood down his lank brown hair stood in stark contrast to the familiar Paterson blonde rainbow.

"How can I help?" he asked Alex, knowing it was best to assert your willingness before the rooster commanded it from you. More than anything the rat wanted to simply be back in his room, but with the choice between some simple chores and getting an earful from his pushy older brother, Simon would take the former. Still, if Alex wanted any real productivity he'd have to do a little encouragement, as Simon moved like any ennui-ridden teen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ramona Patterson Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Simon Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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Kenneth simply stared at Alex as his older brother went on a tirade. "KENNETH!!!! Finally someone is home. Where the heck has everyone been all day? Why does nobody care about tomorrow? Why am I the one to do all the chores?? I really need the others, do you know where they are? Oh god look at the time, Kenny have you SEEN THE TIME???" Alex ranted. Kenneth felt his eyes glaze over a little. He had expected this, for it was one of Alex's usual reactions to such a situation. "KENNETH!" Alex exclaimed, stepping back a few steps and startling the Dragon out of his fog. "IS THAT BLOOD? WHAT HAPPENED.."

Kenneth started to explain when Alex attacked him with a washcloth and peroxide. "Where is this coming from?? I don't even see a wound.." After some more scrubbing Alex finally seemed to settle down some. "Oh.... How did you manage this? Nevermind. Listen I really need you guys down here helping me, the house is an absolute mess."

Kenneth nodded. Eli and Aiden came in and the Sheep voiced his opinion that the house was not a mess. This temped Kenneth to laugh but he didn't want to chance aggravating the Rooster even more than he already was.

"HOLY SHIT! KENNY MURDERED SOMEONE!" a loud voice screamed. Kenneth looked over and saw Benji, who had an expression of horror on his face. Kenneth couldn't help but laugh this time. Do I really look that bad? Alex, still wiping Kenneth down, explained and repeated his mantra about cleaning and mom and dad coming home. Everyone was home now it seemed so the Rooster dished out orders, his eyes turning a threatening blue.

"Yes, sir," Kenneth said to his older brother when he received his duties. He hurried off to his room and quickly changed clothes, throwing the bloody ones in a laundry hamper. After putting on a t-shirt and sweat pants he hurried back downstairs to roll the eggrolls. Why didn't Mom and Dad give us some more time to prepare? Or did they just tell Alex and he didn't tell everyone else until now? Kenneth didn't suspect the latter was the case. If Alex had known ahead of time then they would have been working far ahead of time to keep everything in constant pristine shape.

Kenneth yawned tiredly. It was late out and he wanted to get some sleep so he could function in front of his parents. I just have to finish these egg roles and then I'll be done. Hopefully there won't be much else Alex'll want me to do. He had gotten up early in the morning since he was jolted from sleep from a nightmare of being chased. Since then he had been out in about, working at the Pawprint, going for a walk in the woods, archery, then coming home. It had been a busy day and now he wanted to sleep.

When he was done with the egg rolls he put them in the fridge. Thinking of his stomach he pulled out an apple and ate it, careful to put the core in the garbage can. Finished with that Kenneth found Alex. "Is there anything else you want me to do?" he asked, smothering a yawn with a heroic effort.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ramona Patterson Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Miles Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Mia Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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The walk home with Miles went by in a blur. Ramona was enjoying the walk home, but not as much as she was the walk to the playground. Miles wasn't talking much, like his usual self. Instead, he was glued to his phone. Ramona shrugged it off, knowing that her brother was an extremely sociable person. He was probably texting his friends or something. Although, every time she looked back at him to make sure he was catching up, he had a concerned expression on his face. Was he okay? Ramona started to feel a little bit worried, but she decided not to get into his privacy.

After stopping by at a general store to pick up a few things, the two finally made it back to the house. As Miles headed to the kitchen to put things away and do whatever he was doing, she looked around. She only saw that Alex, Elias, and Kenneth were the only ones home at the moment. Since Alex wasn't noticing her, she decided to quickly retreat up to her room. She had to write something down.

She made her way up the staircase, into her forest green-colored room. Her room wasn't anything special. It was that of the usual teenage girl. She quickly grabbed a notepad from one of the wooden cubbies where she kept books. With a ball-point pen, she started to write down a couple of things...

Anger and irritation
No control
No memory of situation
Time moves slow
Strength


She tapped her pen against the yellow paper, trying to remember if there were any more things that she felt during the Luke situation. She thought it best to write these things down now, and then add more later. Then, she could keep track of whether or not beating up Luke was a power, a dream, or if she was going insane.

Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice from downstairs.
"HOLY SHIT! KENNY MURDERED SOMEONE!"

She silently chuckled to herself, knowing that it was Benji. Benji wasn't always home, as he was usually eating out somewhere on a different continent. He was definetely an odd but interesting fellow. Since she was done writing, she dropped her notepad, and exited her room. She quickly hurried down the stairs, noticing that Char and Mia, her two sisters, were home as well. As Alex spitted out orders to everyone, Ramona watch the situation unfold from the middle of the stairs.

"Char: Get the party tables out of the garage, set up one in the kitchen, one on the patio and two in the back yard. Mia can help you. Mia, make sure you get the festival tablecloths and set them.

Kenny: Go upstairs and change.. then when you come back down, you can start rolling eggrolls and putting them in the fridge.

Eli: When you and Aiden are done hanging paper lanterns, I need you to start on the mooncakes. You're the only one who can bake them.

Ramona: You're on lights duty. Hang strands wherever you think they would look good; I trust your judgment.

Miles: ...........Why don't you just.. go entertain yourself in your room for the next 12 hours or something."


Ramona had to keep from laughing at the last part of Alex's statement. Once everybody started to go their seperate ways, Ramona headed down towards the garage to get the lights. She flicked on the lights, and headed down. She stood near the entrance, knowing her sisters would be coming down as well. Besides, she had to talk to Char. Although the two sisters were different, the popular horse was good at giving her advice in the things she knew nothing about.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson
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#, as written by zen_ink
Elias Paterson

Alex was barking out the orders as usual. He took a moment to properly address everyone, giving them appropriate jobs to carry out before the night was over. Elias was so exhausted.. he wanted nothing more than to just sleep at this point. He had been hoping that he'd get the chance to hang out with Aiden for a while but he was quickly becoming too tired even for a video game. He'd also been baking all day at the Pawprint and wasn't looking forward to donning his apron for the second time today. Realizing that Alex had completely ignored Benji in his dishing of commands, Eli turned to his rabbit brother and smirked before departing to the other room.

He and Aiden circled the living room with a box of flattened paper lanterns. "Here's good." Aiden would say, and Eli would pull one out of the box, prop it open, and then hang it from the ceiling. They did this for about fifteen minutes before the majority of the house was sprinkled with lanterns. Since this was the year of the snake, each lantern had on one side the chinese symbol representing the Year of the Snake, and on the other side was a picture of an actual snake. "Where IS James, anyway?" Eli thought to himself.

"Well that's that." Aiden tossed the empty box aside and plopped himself into one of the many fancy armchairs that were littered throughout the Patersons' living room. Visible traces of the family's wealth could be found everywhere.. from their restaurant, to their estate, to the overly-opulent decor of the house. Aiden had known by now that Mrs. Paterson was the one responsible for the majority of the interior design choices that were made in the Paterson house; the woman had great taste, expensive taste. Aiden figured that must have been where Eli got it from.

"Well I have to make the mooncakes now I guess..... I'm not going to make you help me with that, you've done way more than enough. And again, I'm really sorry that Alex is doing this. Like I said, tomorrow is a special occasion, and he gets a little nuts."

"A little?" Aiden chuckled. The comment made Eli laugh as well.

"Okay, a lottle" he smiled and brushed his hair aside.

You're the professional baker anyway... I'd probably just screw things up if I got in the way. I'll just be in your room playing Wii."

"Okay, I'll be up soon!" Eli smiled again. "It shouldn't take too long. Twenty minutes tops. I love you."

"Love you too!" Aiden smiled and headed upstairs. Eli went back into the kitchen and sighed as he unenthusiastically tied his apron. Alex was still putzing around the kitchen, doing god only knows what. Eli didn't really like people getting in his way when he was baking, and his bossy brother tended to have a very strong - and thus distracting presence. Nevertheless, he got to work on mixing dough in a rather large bowl. "Why do we even have mooncakes on the new year?? Elias wondered to himself. They're supposed to be for Autumn.... we are the worst pseudo-chinese family ever."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elias Paterson Character Portrait: Benjamin Paterson Character Portrait: Kenneth Paterson Character Portrait: Alex Paterson Character Portrait: Charlotte (Char) Paterson
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#, as written by Felidae
"Don't be silly, Benjamin. He just has a bloody nose."

The rabbit took a long time to comprehend his brother's words. When he finally did, he let out a long, "Oooooooooooh." He chuckled to himself, quite amused by the misunderstanding. "Yeah, I got it. Good ol' Kenny wouldn't murder no one." He chuckled again, pleased with his use of the double negative.

Alex got busy ordering people around in his usual, bossy way. Benji was rather disappointed to see Char get caught digging around in the fridge, for that meant the nearest food source was probably off limits at the moment. He didn't know why, but the horse never seemed to like him much. He himself had no ill feelings towards Char and had never purposefully done anything to make her mad, though he supposed not everyone could get along.

Benji stood around, waiting for King Alex's royal commands. Oddly enough, he found that he had been ignored. All of a sudden, Benji remembered that Alex had told him to dust. His pulse quickened for a moment, dreading the thought of being controlled by those glowing blue eyes simply because he hadn't heard the rooster. But Alex wasn't paying him much attention and Benji couldn't even see any dust anyways. He supposed he could walk around the kitchen in circles and sweep a broom across the tiles while whistling a tune so Alex couldn't complain either way. Or he could sneak off somewhere and not do any work. But the rabbit was hungry. He decided to grab a broom and stay in the kitchen, where the refrigerator was within reach if Alex could be distracted.

Benji caught Eli's eye and returned the sheep's smirk with a giddy smile. The sheep looked a lot better now that Aiden was with him... but he still looked thoroughly worn out. This party wasn't helping at all, what with Alex commanding everyone as if the fate of the world was at stake. He watched as Eli and Aiden left to go hang paper lanterns.

With a sigh, the rabbit found a broom in the closet and began to walk about aimlessly, swishing his broom around like a robot. As soon as Alex had his back turned, he dashed to the fridge and nabbed a bagel, stuffing the whole thing in his mouth so that no one would notice his looting of the fridge. With a sharp pang of panic, he realized the bagel was stuck in his mouth, for he couldn't chew it or spit it out. He tried to pull it out with his fingers, but it was wedged firmly between his jaws.

He ran over to the nearest person for help. The nearest person just so happened to be the dragon, who had disposed of the murder evidence changed into a clean set of clothes. He seemed to have just finished with the egg rolls.

"You've gotta help me, Kenny!" Benji tried to say, but it sounded more like, "Mmmmmnn! Mmmmnn!"

Suddenly, he wasn't too eager for Kenneth's help. Uh oh... thought the rabbit, as he had just realized Kenneth was right next to, that's right, the rooster. Benji inwardly groaned at his own stupidity and braced himself for Alex's wrath. This isn't going to be pretty.