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Alex Moreno

0 · 389 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “New York Streets”, as played by Collapse

Description

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I was born under the name of:
Alejandro Phillip Moreno

You can call me:
Alex, Lex

My age is:
24

I was born on:
January 24th, 1990

I was born in:
Los Angeles, CA

I have been homeless for:
9 years

Role:
The Leader


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People would describe me as being:
As expected by his title, Alex has strong leadership skills. He's confident, assertive and friendly, and in general, gets along with everyone. Helpful, loyal, protective, friendly, short-tempered, defensive, sensitive
-- WIP --


Some things I like are:
  • Smoking - preferably weed, but cigarettes suffice when in public
  • Skateboarding
  • The ocean
  • Hot meals
  • Warm weather
  • Adrenaline rushes
  • Hotels

Some things I dislike are:
  • Most outreach programs
  • Expectations
  • 9-5 jobs
  • His temper
  • Cops
  • Christmas
  • His father

Fears:
Never doing anything with his life. He doesn't expect to go to Harvard or anything, but being able to get a real job and a real apartment would be nice. As much as he wants it for his future-self, he's too in love with the freedom of the streets to give it up just yet.

Dreams
In the short term, he wants to help the others get their lives in order. He sees potential in a lot of them but unfortunately, knows that most of them will end up as just another "homeless" statistic. A more realistic wish of his would be to get another tattoo, although he isn't sure where he would want it/what it would be of.


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I ended up here because:
Alejandro is the son of Emilia Perez, a flight attendant from America, and Gabriel Moreno, a businessman from Spain. The pair were both only twenty-two when they met at a bar in Madrid and had a one night stand. Emilia was only in the city for a night, since she was working and had just stopped there for a 24-hour layover, so neither of them were expecting more than just a drunk encounter that night. Four months later, after much fear and denial on Emilia's part, it was confirmed that she was pregnant.

She was not ready to raise a child and her parents couldn't afford to take guardianship of the unborn child, so seeing no other option, Emilia reached out to Gabriel. He was also not willing to alter his life in order to raise a child on his own, and if his parents hadn't gotten involved, Alex would have been put in foster care right after he was born. They, however, were thoroughly opposed to the idea of their only grandchild being put into "the system" and decided to take custody of him. They had been planning on moving to the Florida Keys to retire at some point, so Alex's arrival just caused them to do it a bit sooner than planned. He was raised by his grandparents for thirteen years and has nothing to complain about when it comes to his childhood. His family was a bit nontraditional but his grandparents took good care of him and really loved him. He never met his mother and only saw his father once or twice a year for the first eight years of his. After that, there was an argument severed the ties that Gabriel had with his parents, which resulted in Alex being cut off as well. While he doesn't know all of the details, he does know that the fight was about the woman that Gabriel planned on marrying and how he was going to father children with her but reject Alex.

Alex's downward spiral definitely started when he was thirteen and his grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack. Not having a real father sucked, but his grandfather had always been there to fill that role for him so losing him was a big deal. To top it off, he didn't have much time to cope before his grandmother had a stroke. It was six weeks to the date of his grandfather's funeral when she was rushed to the hospital. She survived, but the stroke resulted in the entire right side of her body becoming permanently paralyzed. It was decided that a nursing home would be best for her, so once she was sent there, Alex was placed in foster care.

He'll give you an infinite number of reasons for why foster care ruined his life, but if he was being honest, he'd admit that he wasn't exactly willing to try out the new life. He had the typical teenage angst, topped with bottled up emotions resulting from his grandfather's death and grandmother's stroke. Even if he was living in a mansion with people waiting on him, he probably would have been defiant. He spent around a year and a half in foster care, and in that time, was shuffled between six different homes. He was labeled a troubled kid and did a pretty good job at fitting that description. He'd skip school at least three times a week, never did homework, was disrespectful to his teachers and foster parents, and got involved in the wrong crowd. He decided to leave his foster home when he was fifteen, and by that point, he was not only smoking pot daily, but was the most profiting dealer at his high school. If he hadn't left on his own accord, he probably would have been kicked out or arrested within weeks.

Leaving his home life wasn't as dramatic as it seems it would be, but he never really considered anything besides his grandparents' home to be "home" anyway. He went to school and immediately after, visited his grandmother at her nursing home. She wasn't doing well and would end up dying three weeks later, but Alex knew that he wouldn't see her again. He didn't tell her that he was running away but made sure that she knew he loved her and appreciated everything she had done before him. Before leaving, he discreetly took one hundred dollars out of her bedside stand. She wouldn't be needing it, and if he had asked, she would have given it to him anyway. That money paid for his bus ticket from Florida to New York, and the couple hundred he had saved from dealing was what he planned on using to keep him afloat.

It was a bad plan, and almost as soon as he got to New York, he realized that. He didn't know anyone in the city, and the fact that it was the dead of winter didn't help in his quest to survive on the streets. Two days into his journey, he found himself accepting a bed at a shelter for runaway youth. It wasn't what he had hoped his "free" life would be like, but he had a warm bed, hot shower and two meals a day. For then, it was enough. Plus, the shelter connected him with a job at a local restaurant. Here, he met Miguel Escobar, a kid who was a few years older than himself, who was also waiting tables. The two became fast friends and Alex learned that Miguel and his brother, Chris were big players in a drug ring. Without going into too much detail, Alex agreed to join their team and not only started dealing for them, but moved in with them. About three years in, he quit his job at the restaurant because the drug money was doing more than enough to help him get by. He was living well, but again, this didn't last for long.

Miguel, Chris and another friend living in the house were killed that year by Miguel's cousin. Police pinned it as a gang-related murder, but in reality, the cousin had found out that Chris had been sleeping with his girlfriend and clearly wasn't happy about it. Alex was lucky that he wasn't home, because Miguel and the friend had just been caught in the crossfire and if he were present, his fate would have likely been the same. When police showed up at the scene, a hoard of drugs were found in the house and Alex didn't even try to enter or act like he had known the guys. Again, he was homeless and dealing with the emotional trauma of losing loved ones so suddenly. By now, he had grown an emotional wall though. He knew that he had to be tough to survive on the streets, and he did.

Although he continued to sell drugs, it was more low key and wasn't giving him as much cash as he needed to get back on his feet. He managed to find a job washing dishes in the back of a small pub, Finnegan's Irish Pub. The owner, Finn, was a recently-divorced alcoholic who took a liking to Alex, and offered to let him room in his basement until he could find an apartment. He took him up on the offer, and now, six years later, he managed to convince Finn into letting seven other homeless kids share the space too.

I make a living by:
Drug Dealer


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Height/Weight or build:
6'1/Athletic build

Eye color:
Brown

Hair color:
Brown

Other:
He has tattoos on his arm.

Face claim:
Diego Barrueco

So begins...

Alex Moreno's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer

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It was probably around two in the afternoon when Alex woke up. He usually preferred to be up before noon, but after Brooklyn left, he began to sleep a few hours longer than necessary. Maybe it was due to the increased amount of weed he started smoking. Maybe he was becoming depressed without her. Regardless of the reason, he was running late today and had to pass on his "morning" smoke to compensate. Alex was raised in Florida so he was used to hot weather, but New York's summer days were giving his home state a run for its money. The fact that Finn's basement had no AC didn't help, and although he had a cheap fan next to his makeshift bed, it didn't prevent him from waking up drenched in sweat this morning. Although it was late for him to be waking up, he knew that many of the others stayed out until the early hours of the morning and wouldn't be surprised if some were still sleeping.

After mumbling a "hello" to whoever was down there, he grabbed his backpack, which had been stuffed with dime bags the night before, and a change of clothes and trudged up the stairs. They led to the back of Finn's bar, right beside his storage room. The cool bar air was refreshing compared to that of the humid, musty basement. He peaked his head outside of the back area and although he couldn't see the bar owner, he could hear Finn's booming voice and notable Irish accent from somewhere. Normally he would seek him out and have a beer, but he was still in a hurry and doubted that Finn would want him making an entrance in a damp t-shirt and boxers. Instead, he took another flight of stairs up to Finn's small apartment that was situated over the bar. It was nothing more than a room with a bed, dresser, mini-fridge and microwave, and then a small bathroom, but compared to the basement, it was pretty nice. Anything was though, really, and although the hotter days made the basement less desirable, Alex was content with his living situation. Finn was nice enough to let them all live down there with no questions asked. Plus, he never complained when Alex took advantage of the shower that he had upstairs, as he did today.

After a cold five minute shower, he dressed, tossed his backpack over his shoulder and jogged downstairs. There were only a handful of customers in the bar, but Finn was apparently in a heated debate with one of them, so Alex didn't try to get in a "hello" before exiting. He was in a hurry to catch a subway uptown, where some of his younger clients would soon be finishing their day of summer school classes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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#, as written by Cure
By the time he had gone behind the bar and went through the basement's access door, Alex's spot was empty. He exhaled inwardly as he closed the doors and momentarily went to his own part of the basement. Killens had gotten back around eight AM prior, but seeing as most everyone was sleeping anyways, decided to shower and just go out for a bit. The basement air was thick and hot, making Killens want to jump in the shower again just to cool off. He was never able to get used to American weather; he couldn't imagine what it was like in the South.

Killens mumbled his "hello" to anyone who was there or listening as he sat down. He looked at Alex's side of the bed, which used to double as Brooklyn's before things fell apart. His backpack was gone; probably meant he was out doing business. Roman's side was relatively neat; there wasn't much to cause a mess to begin with. He reached in his backpack closest to the wall and pulled out his tape. Roman rotated his wrist and winced just slightly. As he applied the boxing tape, he stared at the floor, thinking. The heat in the basement wasn't the only reason it was so stuffy. Maybe it was only him, but he couldn't stand Brooklyn being gone. It just made things awkward, and Roman was pretty sure Alex was just comfort smoking as he was starting to smell more obviously like marijuana as time passed; like he wasn't trying to hide it. Roman got it; he understood. No one liked being lashed at day in and day out; to be honest, he's surprised the two of them made it so long. Had this happened a few years ago, Killens would have fine, but now it was problematic. Coming back home was a mental preparation, it was becoming exhausting, and something had to change. Maybe the break up was just long overdue, but he was in an awkward situation. He needed things back to normal before he went insane.

Roman stood up, both hands wrapped snug and took off the jacket he thought he would need early this morning. After checking his wallet to make sure he had enough, he left without word and took to the streets of New York City. Getting there took a lot less time than he expected it would. The diner brushed his skin with cool, filtered air conditioning when he went inside. He looked around for her as he glanced in his wallet once more, needlessly. He'd just gotten paid after a successful fight; although it was tiring and brutal, he made a decent amount. A girl, clearly a worker, walked by him and gestured him to follow.

"Brooke works here, yeah? Archer?"

The girl looked at him and nodded curtly, and the tight gesture made him wonder whether or not he was supposed to ask that question.

"Could I sit in her section?"

The girl, again, looked peeved, but led Roman to the other side of the small diner. After dropping a menu in front of him, she twirled around to leave and her flowery scent shocked his nose. She mumbled, "She'll take care of you shortly," before disappearing. Roman picked up the menu with one hand as he wafted the smell out from around him. The diner was surprisingly cold and he had goose bumps; his mind went back to the now fatal-seeming moment he left it in the basement. Despite this, his palms were sweating and his heart was contracting tightly. He wasn't sure whether he was nervous about seeing her, or nervous about what would happen if things went as planned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens WIP Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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The lunch rush was finally slowing down and three-thirty, the end of her shift, couldn't come any sooner. Today's shift had included tens of tables, many stiff tippers, and a toddler who thought it was amusing to pour two cups of juice onto the floor. Brooklyn's tolerance level was diminishing and although many of the tables were still filled, she was feeling relieved that she would soon be out. Although she was ready to leave the chaotic workplace, she also wasn't exactly excited to go home. For the past few weeks, she had been staying with Tracy, a fellow club dancer. The woman was a few years younger than Brooklyn, and was more than gracious about letting her sleep on her couch. However, yesterday her ex-boyfriend showed up, and if last night was any example, she doubted that she would be able to stay there for much longer. When Brooklyn and she got home from working, Tracy and the man almost immediately became engrossed in a screaming match. It had almost gotten violent by the time the building manager came up and demanded they keep it down unless they wanted the law involved. She doubted that Tracy would outright ask her to leave, but Brooklyn wasn't going to overstay her welcome, especially in an environment like that. If she wanted that type of energy, she'd move back in with Alex.

"Sweetheart, we'll take refills." Brooklyn had a tray of food in each hand but managed to tilt her head back towards the two men she had been waiting on for what felt like hours. They were the type of customers she hated more than anything. One had requested his burger be sent back because he wanted two slices of cheese on it and insisted they had only put one on. The other had called her just about every pet name in the book and didn't make an attempt to hide his lingering glances on her body. She was sure that they would be the type to tip poorly too, and although she wanted to tell them to both fuck off, she refrained.

"Of course, I'll be right over with those," she said with a forced smile. After delivering the trays of food to another table, she brought the requested drinks to the men. They were apparently so deep in conversation that they couldn't look up to thank or acknowledge her presence, but it was probably better that way. If she had to deal with the greasy old man calling her "doll", "baby" or "honey" again, she would probably punch him square in the face.

The two men seemed more desirable, though, when she realized who had just been seated in her area. Roman. What the fuck is he doing here? was her first thought. Especially now that she and Alex were over, Roman would be her favorite person from that group. They had been through a lot together and just clicked. However, Alex was enough to keep her from maintaining contact with him after the breakup. He and Alex were like brothers and Brooklyn didn't need Roman to contemplate whether he should choose her over Alex. Even though he wouldn't, she didn't want him to even consider choosing her over Alex. Alex was a deadbeat loser who had nothing going for him. Taking away his closest friend would do more damage to him than it would for her to lose Roman as a friend. While a part of her was glad to see him after so long, she also didn't want to see him here. Had her manager not been lingering on the floor, she would have told him to get lost. Instead, she headed towards one of the other waitresses who she was friendly enough with.

"Liz, take table six for me?" she asked, pretending to be busy clearing plates off of an abandoned table.

"I would, but I'm about to go on break," the girl replied with a careless shrug of her shoulder. Again, Brooklyn had to suppress her temper. She smiled back at her co-worker and once she finished clearing the dirty plates, she approached Roman.

"What th-" she stopped mid-sentence as she spotted her manager passing out of the corner of her eye. Immediately, her scowl was replaced with a smile. "What can I get f-" Once the woman was out of sight, she dropped the act and returned to her angry and annoyed self. "What the fuck are you doing here?" she snapped in a hush tone. There were tons of other places where Roman could eat at. He was here for a reason, and whatever it was, she didn't want to deal with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Fairchild Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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Every part of Kieran's body ached, right down to his bones. The dark circles under his eyes were indicative that he hadn't slept much, if at all, the night before. He had heard both Roman and Alex leave in the afternoon, but remained on his cot in the farthest corner of the room. It wasn't unusual for him to feel this way. He didn't make much money these days, not enough to support him or his expensive addiction. Most days he had just enough of The Drug to get him through the day with mild aches and pains. If he wasn't able to get his hands on any at all, he was sick with what could only be some sort of demon flu mixed with the pleasant sensation of all his organs being turned inside out and fried. It wasn't fun and for the most part that pain is what fed his addiction.

He dug around in his backpack before finding his prize, careful to keep it as hidden as he possibly could from anyone who might see. Banging up heroin was a ridiculous process that Kieran hated every bit of, but smoking it just didn't work for him a majority of the time. He noticed that his supply was low and his heart started racing. Running this dangerously low almost guaranteed that some really shitty times were coming. He frantically dug around in his bag, hoping that by the grace of God he had just missed some, but there was nothing but the small amount he had already pulled out. A bead of sweat formed on his forehead and it wasn't just the heat.

When the panic had started to form into an anxiety attack, he decided it was time to dose himself. The relief was almost immediate and he exhaled a sigh, leaning his head against the wall. He was relaxed now and the aches were gone; euphoria washed over his mind. While the lazy ecstasy of his heroin intoxication made him want to lay down and enjoy it, he knew that he had to get to work. He ran up for a quick shower, careful to avoid Finn in the process and changed into his cleanest - and favorite shirt. He really needed to do the laundry and depended on how fruitful the day was, perhaps he would have enough to get the drugs he needed and go to a laundromat.

He headed back down the stairs and pulled his guitar out of the case. It probably needed to be tuned and he needed to practice before he headed out to hit the streets. It had been a good week or two since he had had the willpower to do much of anything, even play his beloved instrument that had been with him through so much. He picked up a worn looking pick and began to strum a few chords and played a song of his, quietly as he could in an attempt not to totally wake the last few sleeping individuals. His eyes were half closed as he played, music taking him to a place that even drugs couldn't. It was in the notes that he could truly lose himself and get away from the world.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kieran Fairchild Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: David Mestan

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Sitting on a roof staring down at the street far below, David decided he was grateful for the lack of a fear of heights. The building wasn't as tall as some of the skyscrapers around, but it was high enough that if he dropped a small rock he probably would have trouble seeing where it landed. He was sitting on the ledge with his legs dangling off, hunched over with a mute expression on his face. He enjoyed the feeling of being high up, above everyone else. It made him feel like he was apart from all the problems down below and his life would pause for a moment.

A sudden gush of wind made his stomach clench; the feeling you get when you get slightly off balance on a cliff and have a brief flash of panic before realizing you won't really fall. David sat there for a little longer, watching cars and people below get on with their lives before he slipped back onto the gravel of the roof and headed for the door that lead to the stairs back down to the lobby. There was an elevator too, but there was probably a camera in there so he didn't use it. The building he was in wasn't exactly fancy though, and as far as he could tell the stairs were completely neglected. Everything was painted a white color that took on a brownish tint, and there was dirt and random rubble decorating the steps. He wasn't even sure what the place was used for, the lobby looked generic as hell and the people inside had been boring middle-class trash. Not to call the middle-class itself trash, but these were the trash of the middle-class. David was sure, whatever the business was, it was either a front for something illegal or going bankrupt. Either way no one had questioned him as he made his way to the stairwell, nor had anyone came after him during his full hour on the roof.

Now back outside he reached in his back pocket and pulled out pack of smokes, making an irritated sound when he realized there were only two left. He was the few people who never had a problem putting them down when he needed to but he liked the way it sort of calmed his nerves, and made him less irritated. He lit the cigarette and breathed in the toxic smoke, smiling a bit as he did. Something about the fact that he knew he was damaging his body actually made him comfortable instead of worried. He was in control as far as he was concerned, and as long as he was in control the damage didn't bother him. It was one of the weird things about him that he couldn't understand so he just chose not to.

He made his way back to the bar where most of them had began living. Finn was a great guy, he really was. Letting all of them have the basement to stay in was one of the kindest things he'd seen from anyone in New York as of yet, though I'm sure if too many costumers found out they wouldn't agree with his kindness. Not wanting to disturb said costumers, David finished his cigarette outside before heading inside through the back door. If you could call it a door. He had a dank little twin mattress pushed to the side with no blanket and an old coat as a pillow. Not exactly glamorous, but he preferred it to a stone floor. He collapsed on the mattress and ran his fingers through his hair, vaguely acknowledging that the basement smelled faintly of weed and there was guitar playing. Alex was probably smoking again and Kieran was here. David briefly wondered if he was alright before zoning out in a half-asleep state like he did most afternoons.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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#, as written by Cure
Roman looked at Brooke straight faced as she changed from Brooke to polite waitress Brooke in front of her supervisor, and then back to Brooke again. He looked at her for a second before beginning to grin. Roman gave her a once over before returning to make eye contact. "Cute outfit. On top of the fake smile, you actually look a bit like Barbie. Also, why do I have to pay extra for the cheese on this one? We don't do that in England." He managed to keep a straight face long enough for his spiel. Although he was nervous initially, as soon as Brooke had greeted him, especially with the way she had greeted him, he felt like nothing much had changed, which was a relief to say the least. So he decided to have a little bit of fun with her, as he's always joked about visiting her and giving her hell. He set the menu down, his face light but mischievous as it always was with her. Something about her, though, did look different. He couldn't quite tell what it was though. He lowered his voice some.

"I wanted to talk to you. About Alex. Obviously you both are a bit too content with keeping your head up your ass, so I have to intervene." In his mind, he didn't picture a sweet, sit down heart-to-heart. Especially not with her working. He'd seen her a few minutes before she got to him and watched as she served the two older men. She definitely wouldn't be in the mood for talking, and especially not about something like this. Roman was starting to regret coming; maybe now was a bad time, but it had been two months. Two months way too long. So he didn't expect a beautiful reunion between him and her, or a rejoicing moment that they would finally bring up the elephant in the room, but he was just hoping she would hear him out.

"Hear me out, okay?" he started. "Alex misses you like crazy. He's about losing his shit, and that means I am too. Look, you know he loves you. Stop being so damn cheeky, because at this point you win, Brooke. You proved your point. I'm not saying you have to go elope or anything. Just see the guy. Please. And if it doesn't work out, who knows?" he shrugged. "Maybe you and I could run off, get a cute little apartment in Manhattan and call it a day."

Even though he tried ending on a light note, he hoped Brooklyn could tell he was serious about the matter. He desperately needed her to agree to this, because if not, he wasn't sure what he would do. Sure, he stretched the truth somewhat. Alex wasn't on the floor drowning in his own tears like he was portraying him to be. But Brooke needed to hear that. He didn't think of it as taking advantage of her; they both loved each other and they were being stubborn, so he was there to make amends like he usually did. He hated any kind of conflict between the two because it always felt like he was indirectly arguing with them as well since he was so close to both of them. He looked at her.

"You say yes, and I'll take care of those pricks for you," he said gesturing towards the older men across the way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gabriella Madden Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Kimberly Kay Madden Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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It didn't take long for Roman to get to the point of his visit, but before it, he almost got Brooklyn to crack a smile. While amusing, she was tempted to reach out and smack him across the face for the Barbie reference. He could be such a little prick sometimes, but she loved it. She would never admit it, and sometimes (like now) didn't even realize it, but she appreciated the way that Roman could go back and forth with her. She was still the queen of getting the last word in, but his bantering skills came close to hers. She liked to give herself credit for it, too. When she first met Roman, neither liked each other very much, but he eventually came out of his shell. Sure, he probably had a personality before then, but she liked to believe that her impact on him was larger than it probably was.

The last person that she wanted to hear about right now was Alex, but she definitely was pleased to hear that he wasn't doing well without her. It's not like she expected anything different. She was the only thing he had going for him, and of course he was bound to realize that at some point. It was like that saying, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." It took her deserting him for two months, but now he obviously was realizing what he had lost. Good, he deserves it.

She had been able to resist smiling before, but she couldn't stop the smirk from appearing now. It was validating to know that she had been right all along, and in her mind, there wasn't a bit of doubt about how truthful Roman was being. It all made perfect sense, and while she did want to go back to Alex, she wasn't going to return just yet. She had gotten the confirmation she needed that he couldn't survive without her, but if she ran back to him now, it would look like she was desperately for him too. That was not going to happen.

"Alright, great! That'll be right out," she said, not responding to his comments as she pretended to write down an order on her notepad. This time, she made sure her tone was overly peachy to not only satisfy her manager, but also to poke fun at the role Roman was seeing her in for the first time. Being forced to smile and wait on people was definitely different from the abrasive personality she took on when she was out of the restaurant. It was one of the reasons why she had basically banned any of the others from coming to the restaurant, but she guessed that it was better that Roman show up here than at the club. If he tried to pull that one, he would be just as disowned as Alex currently was.

She headed to the kitchen and jotted down a real order this time. She knew Roman well enough to get chicken fingers and fries for him, and some food for Kim and Ella. It was a combination of not really giving a damn about the others, and knowing that they could take care of themselves, that prevented her from sending food for them too. If she had more time to think, she probably would have ordered enough for everyone but Alex, but the idea didn't come to her mind until she had already given the cook the slip.

In the fifteen minutes that it took for the food to be cooked, she only returned to Roman's table once to bring him a cup of tea. When he tried to speak, she only gave him a superficial smile and pretended as if he hadn't said a word. For the most part, it was just amusing to her, but she also didn't want to discuss Alex at work (or at all, really). When she returned a second time, it was with two carry-out bags in hand. "Chicken fingers and fries for my bitch, and food for my girls," she instructed quietly as she placed the bags in front of him. "I'm treating for lunch, which, according to our friendship rule book, means that you're stuck taking me out to dinner tonight. Meet me outside Finn's at five." She didn't give him a chance to enter before slipping away from the table and attending to other customers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Gabriella Madden Character Portrait: Kieran Fairchild Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Lana Scott Character Portrait: Kimberly Kay Madden Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: David Mestan Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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#, as written by Writer
Gabriella was more than pleased when Kimberly showed signs of life. Despite being woken abruptly and without any real reason, Kim didn't complain and complied with Ella's request for her to get up. The patience that Kimberly had for Gabriella was saintly, and although she was too used to it to recognize its significance, Ella did cherish her sister. She was her world, really. There had never been anyone who cared about and for her in the way that Kimberly did, and even if she didn't fully understand how much the older girl had sacrificed to help her, she did appreciate her. Gabriella just showed that appreciation in different ways than others would.

When Kimberly reminded her to be quiet in case anyone else was still asleep, Ella turned her attention to her surroundings. Luckily, it looked like most of the others were awake. Kieran had started playing his guitar on the other side of the room, David was laying on his mattress but didn't seem to be fully asleep, Roman and Alex were gone, and Nala had just come downstairs. Besides Axel, Brooklyn was the only one missing, but she had been gone for weeks and Ella had gotten used to not looking for her anymore. It was certainly sad not having the blonde around. Gabriella was definitely not Brooklyn's favorite person and her negativity was directed at her very frequently, but her presence in the group was still essential. While Alex was viewed as the head of the group, it had been said that Brooklyn was actually the first one to be living here. Ella didn't put much thought into most things, so she never really worried about where Brooklyn was, but she would occasionally ask Kimberly about it. Her sister worked with her, so she normally would just get a reassuring response that Brooklyn was living somewhere else and would move on with a new conversation.

While Kimberly was dressing, Gabriella moved from her mattress to her sister's. She was tempted to approach Kieran and question him about what song he was playing, or tell Nala, for probably the tenth time, about the cute dog she had seen the day before, but Kimberly addressed her first. The library definitely was not one of Ella's favorite places since reading and being quiet were probably two of the things she was worst at. "Can I go on the computers when we go?" she asked after a slight pause.

However, the next comment about being able to get ice cream after the library negated any objections that she had, and she nodded in agreement. "Did you get a lot of money at your job yesterday?" was her next question. Gabriella knew what Kimberly did for a living to an extent. She knew that she got money for dancing, but in her naive mind, she imagined it to be more like a ballet or talent show, rather than her sister half-naked, hanging onto a pole.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer

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The heavy summer air outside was nothing compared to how thick it felt below ground. Alex leaned against a pole, impatiently waiting for the next subway to come. When it finally did, he stepped on, only to find it packed like a can of sardines. All of the seats were taken, which wasn't very unusual, but there was barely enough space for him to step into the car without his arms being closed in the door. He was now wishing even more that he had smoked before leaving. His tolerance for people stepping on his feet and elbowing his sides as they tried to shimmy into the car was dwindling. He wanted to complain about the physical contact, but he was hardly a better fellow commuter. The smell of marijuana was more apparent on him lately than ever. Even though he took precautions to cover up the smell of the weed, it was difficult to do, especially when carrying a backpack full of it.

The ride took around fifteen minutes and Alex was the first out of the car when the doors finally open. He hurried up the crowded stairs and was refreshed by the air that had felt too hot minutes before. He picked up momentum as he hurried down the street and saw teenagers with backpacks casually walking past him. Their summer classes must have ended already and if he wanted to make a few sales before they left for the weekend, he needed to hurry up. Besides, the sooner he finished here, the sooner he could go home and smoke. Not only was he feeling more irritable, but he was thinking clearer than he did when he was high and like always, that meant that Brooklyn was on his mind. Every blonde that walked past looked like her. He could hear her voice, but not the bitter and angry one that was frequent towards the end of their relationship. He imagined the cheerful voice, the seductive voice, the voice of the girl that he loved. She was gone, though, and if weed was what kept her out of his mind, that was what he was going to use.

Manhattan was filled with every type of person imaginable, so in midtown or downtown, Alex never felt like he stuck out. However, the uptown area wasn't quite as diverse, especially in certain parts. As he approached one of the upscale private girl's schools, that was more apparent than ever. All of the teenagers were perfectly groomed, wearing identical uniforms and carrying an essence about themselves that suggested that they knew they were better than other people. Alex, in his worn out clothes and far from preppy style, didn't mix well. However, he wasn't selling to any girls today. His stop was a few blocks away, at a public school. There were a few kids that he always sold to and thankfully, they had stuck around and were waiting for him at the corner of the street.

The sale was quick and easy. Although the kids he sold to usually wanted to stick around and talk, Alex didn't want to look any more suspicious than he already did, and today he was in even less of a mood to socialize. Rather than take the subway back to Finn's, Alex opted for walking. It would take more time, but he stopped at a convenience store and bought cigarettes, and figured that would hold him over.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens

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#, as written by Cure
When she began to smile at the sound of Alex being lost without her, Roman was sure he had her. He was surprised how easy it was, and was prepared to leave as soon as she got off work to go back to Finn's and get the two of them back together. That, however, didn't happen and he realized that it was childish of him to even think that. Brooke continued her waitress role, pretending to put in a real order before walking away. He wasn't sure if that meant he was dismissed, but he wasn't going anywhere until he got an answer out of her; he could wait another hour or so without problem. She did return one time with a cup of tea in his hand. Despite himself, a child-like smile formed on his lips. He'd always had a sweet tooth, and being twenty didn't change anything. He opened his mouth to say something, but she only smiled at him tightly before walking away.

Roman watched her leave before rolling his eyes exasperatedly. When she returned a second time, he was again pouting. This time around he was ready to make an embarrassing scene until she complied with him, but she didn't come empty handed.

"I don't believe I recall agreeing to be anyone's bitch," he said as he stuck his hand into one of the bags and pulling out a handful of fries. They burned his tongue, but the excess salt made up for it. Brooke left with quickly after telling him to meet her at Finn's in a couple of hours, again before he could respond. He smiled to himself as he dug into his back pocket and pulled out his raggedy wallet. He figured this had been Brooke's plan all along, but being Brooke, she couldn't just comply right away. And although it was funny in this situation, it indirectly cost her her relationship. Roman wasn't entirely sure what made her like this, as he didn't know much about her past even though they had known each other for such a long time. It was almost a silent de facto that neither of them spill about their sob stories. Everyone had one; not everyone needed to know about it.

Killens dropped a five dollar tip on the table, despite Brooke picking up the tab. It was his way of saying, "I'm holding you to it" in terms of her meeting him later that evening; the fact that it was a five and they were meeting at five was merely coincidence, but he realized afterwards that it was confirming. He knew she probably wouldn't like it very much, as she didn't really believe in helping out others if there was no reward for you, but that wasn't his philosophy. He wasn't sure where she was living, or how. If not anything, it was to make up for the jackasses who seemed prone to her section.

Killens left with the two bags in hand, the bottom of them a darker, burnt brown from the grease and steam. He knew that Brooke was good at heart; he still couldn't figure out why she could be the way she was. Regardless, it probably wasn't his place. And even if it was, now wasn't the time to dwell into the abyss Brooke's unexplainable nature. He would meet her in a few hours, and hopefully things went well.

cron