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Laurel Ramone

"Sleep with the fishes. My mind it sleeps with the fishes,"

0 · 658 views · located in Europe

a character in “road runner”, as played by LivyGrey

Description

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β•” β•—
Intelligent | Resilient | Confident | Charismatic | Sarcastic

[ Figuring Out || SWMRS ]

”I'll take advantage while
You hang me out to dry
But I can't see you every night
Free,"

β•š ╝







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Full Name: Laurel Indigo Ramone
Nicknames: V
Age: 18
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual
Occupation: None
Religion: Agnostic
Heritage: English
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Birth Day: Feb 18th
Birth Sign: Aquarius
Home Town: Camden
Languages: French | English
School Year: 13
Character Role: FC: Luanna Perez

Family Members: Violet was an only child and besides the personalities, a very normal family. No one had re-married or divorced, it was a small family just her, her Dad and her Mum. She didn't know of any grandparents or aunts or uncles that she had- it has always been just her and her parents.
Academic Career: What academic career? Violet bunked off nearly every single day of school, bouncing over the fence with her friends to go smoke weed by the weir and play music. The only lessons she ever seemed to go to were Poetry, Philosophy and Music. You'd never see her in a lesson where it was apparent there was only one correct answer, in Violet's opinion everything is open to debate and interpretation she doesn't believe in answers- only ideas and theories, but she doesn't think you can always answer things as straightforwardly as to suggest there's only one correct answer- she just doesn't deem it possible. In a world full of so many different, individual and amazing things how can there ever be only one solution to something? Funnily enough, she didn't take much to Maths class.
Future Plans: Travel and play music- Violet has never considered anything else.
Personality: At school, Violet was that girl everybody knew of but no body knew. She lingered by herself on the school field normally listening to music or chatting lamely to people you'd call her friends but she wouldn't. A lot of people tied to get to know at her school because she had what the called; ' a badass vibe' but she just wasn't interested. She wasn't phased about having any big crazy social life, she went to parties for the booze and cigarettes but she never stayed long and everyone always asks her about this guy on a motorbike who picked her up all the time, there was a group of bikers she was known to hang around with but she has never explained that to anyone- it's because she's secretive. She likes to keep things personal which is why the pleasures of her life she keeps withdrawn and to herself. She rarely attended class apart from creative subjects like Art, Drama, Music and Literature- she never missed those lessons because she loved to indulge and entertain all the crazy ideas that always infiltrated her brain. Although she can appear quiet and withdrawn, there's a lot going on in her head- she's always thinking of a thousand different things, plotting, scheming and planning to her heart's content. Though no one really knows much about her, it's well known she likes to argue- she's known for challenging teachers and arguing her opinion, always begging to differ but in honesty 9/10 she's right. She swears like a sailor and could get a degree in being 'street smart' she knows her way around and how to get about things but it's not something she feels the need to boast. Another obvious characteristic of Violet's personality is how she swears like a sailor and is far from afraid to speak up with her opinion. She's incredibly cuddly and playful, she likes to laugh and she has a large heart- it's just reserved for a select special few. She's seemingly bullet proof as some might say and her friends have joked before she was out of My Chemical Romance song because her smile is the definition of a 'hollow point smile' and she's the pinnacle of trouble and misunderstood teenager.
Fears: Violet is as close to fearless as they come, she doesn't get caught up by a jump scare, she doesn't squeal at spiders or cower from clowns. The only thing that ever really gets to her is old men, she refuses to go near care homes, hospitals and even her own Grandfather because of this crippling fear she has of older men it was brought on by her history but she still hasn't got over it.
Quirks: She's rarely seen without a beanie on her head and has a defensive instinct to stick her tongue out to people if she can't order a sentence to retaliate verbally she also has a mechanism to mime and gesture with her hands a lot, if she's describing music to someone she'll pretend to play it or mouth the words to herself. She also tends to mouth the words to a song whilst she listens to it but without actually singing along, she does that a lot as well as sticking her tongue out when she's concentrating on something.
Hobbies: Music, everything and anything musical- she sings, she plays guitar, piano, bass, ukulele and drums. She dances and she writes song, she's completely obsessed with everything and anything to do with instruments and song. Barely a day goes by without her getting out her guitar and strumming a few chords for the group, she's always learning new songs and writing things- all her spare money goes on music books and instruments and gig tickets, it's just in her blood. She doesn't know anything else.
Passions: Music, photography, dance, art, poetry, drama- anything and everything expressive. She is also incredibly into travelling, it was her idea in the first place to run away at the end of the day.
Bad Habits: Swearing, being so laid back Violet doesn't always think twice about her speech which has revealed plenty of complications when she's trying to be impressive or professional. She just isn't capable of switching it off, the group always joke about her having tourettes or something because of it. She's also got the negative tendency of her smoking habit, she isn't addicted to cigarettes she doesn't have cravings and she has an incredibly strong will power when it came to these things regardless but she liked it, it relaxed her and she enjoyed it so why wouldn't she? Her habits of self-loathing aren't invisible and is something she would label to be one of her bad habits because of the after mass it causes and the actions that follow but she'd also class her tendency to panic attacks in the presence of old people as a bad habit.
Guilty Pleasures: Romantic movies, she'll never admit it to anyone but what really picks her up from a day is snuggling up in all her blankets in her favourite oversized sweater watching 'The Notebook' with a massive blow of ice cream or pizza. It's so clichΓ© but it's her thing, when everything else fails bad Jennifer Aniston movies are the answer
Likes: β€’ Alternative/Metal/Rock/PunkBands
β€’ Flares, Fire, Fireworks and Sparklers
β€’ Travelling
β€’ Campervans
β€’ Black Glittery Eye Shadow
β€’ Beanie Hats
β€’ Cats
β€’ Boys (And Girls) In Dr Marten boots
β€’ Vodka
β€’ Truth and Dare
β€’ Being Challenged Beyond Her Comfort Zone
β€’ Thoughtful People
β€’ Philosophy
β€’ Smoking
β€’ Protests
β€’ People who are brave enough to explore their sexuality
β€’ Kittens
β€’ Freckles
β€’ Adventures
β€’ Chips
[ Dislikes: β€’ Being held back
β€’ Food
β€’ Being told what to do
β€’ Dominating males
β€’ Aggressive people
β€’ Being asked if she misses bacon
β€’ Scabs
β€’ The smell of meat and coconut
β€’ Seeing people she loves get hurt
β€’ Sexism/Racism/Homophobia/Prejudice
β€’ Communism
β€’ David Cameron and Katie Hopkins
β€’ Beatles (Car)
β€’ The colour yellow
β€’ Bananas
β€’ Mismatching Eyebrows
β€’ 'Feature Nails'
β€’ Acronyms
β€’ Jingles
β€’ Hypocrisy
β€’ School
β€’ Bullying/violence
β€’ Clubbing
β€’ Boredom



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Appearance: 'I'm blonde naturally but that was a boring style I kicked out long ago and replaced with shock red, I dip dye my hair a lot either red into orange or pink and I have a side fringe but I have been growing out it out recently so it's kind of unobvious now. I couldn't leave my bedroom without straightening my hair or putting it up. I have ridiculously small facial features, my Mother used to describe it as having a 'pixie' face or something like that but I'm not complaining, I'd rather have no nose than a massive hook hanging off the end of my face. Some would say I wear a lot of eye make-up but I disagree, where's the harm in mascara and eye-liner? It's never hurt anyone before, apart from that I don't really bother with make-up, it's so much effort and just, no. I'm kinda tall for a woman I guess, 5,10? 5,11? Something like that, I don't care enough to check and I keep in shape. I love to wear edgy clothes- you know black, ripped jeans, long boots, studs and stuff but I have a strong feminine side and I have more little black dresses dresses then is probably good for me.'

Personality: 'I'm pretty pessimistic and I'm bitter- cold, bitchy, slutty- however you want to label me, I don't really care. Well, I don't really care about much at all really. I quite like music and jamming around with friends but I don't really have time for anyone else. I'd say I'm quite ambitious, I know what I want out of life and I plan on getting it- one way or another, so determined I guess could be put down as one of my character traits. I don't like being told what to do or rules or authority in general but isn't that really a teenager thing? No one likes to be pushed around- as far as my politics go, I'm anarchy all the way bitches- oh yeah, that's another thing, I swear a whole fucking lot. Sorry not sorry if it offends you, bitch.'

Laurel is your stereotypical thrill seeker, she's the definition of the reckless and the brave and will do anything to prove it, the reality of it is she doesn't know herself and she's trying to find it through all her outlandish behaviour and crudity but nothing is really sticking with her other than being musical. She's played or knows how to play virtually every instrument under the sun, it's why breathes' but whatever you thought of Laurel after you've seen her take to the piano bench or a mic you can't deny there's something there she's just taken a hold of and she makes it look so easy too. Another primary foundation of Laurel is her carelessness, there a few people she genuinely cares about and most of them are school friends considering she grew up with her family in a very detached manner. For those friends however, she'd do anything- she'd cut out her own lung and give it to them if she needed to because she understands other than looks and money they are all she's really got- they're the only real thing she has anymore. She doesn't have family for the credit of being truly loved which is why she clings on so desperately to attention, it's her coping mechanism to put herself in the lime light as much as possible and she does this by getting drunk, having sex, fighting and god knows what else. Everyone really knows her as the girl who pimps her clothes and struts around covered in Nirvana and Pearl Jam logos but there is a strong sense of femininity and fashionable presence about her she's described by people around school as being incredibly cool but a hard core bitch but the thing is Laurel is okay with that, she doesn't really care for people's opinions anymore she's heard so many before, it goes straight over her head. She's incredibly spunky, quirky and unique- she's hard to figure out unless she lets you into her life which is a luxury earned by few. She listens to bands no body has ever heard of and waltz through life with a cigarette between her finger tips and red on her lips.





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Perceptive || Philosophical|| Valiant || Committed || Patient

[ Smells Like Teen Spirit || Nirvana ]

She screams in silence
A sullen riot penetrating through her mind
Waiting for a sign
To smash the silence with the brick of self-control

Are you locked up in a world
That's been planned out for you?
Are you feeling like a social tool without a use?
Scream at me until my ears bleed
I'm taking heed just for you

β•š ╝





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Face Claim : Luanna Perez
Height: 5,8
Weight / Build :
Hair Colour: Red (Occasionally pink or orange tipped)
Eye Colour: Brown
Other: Laurel has a tattoo on her shoulder that is the symbol from her favourite TV shows 'Heroes' is the show's take on a DNA molecule and she has it probably six centimetres tall on her right shoulder blade. She also has a nose ring on the right side and a tattoo on her left leg of 'Simba' from the Lion King painted in the style of African art like you'd see in historical caverns and caves. She also has the words; 'I'm not afraid to keep on living' on one wrist and 'I'm not afraid to walk this world alone' on the other, both lyrics taken from a My Chemical Romance track. She's also basically never seen without a beanie.







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Mischievous || Delinquent || Wanderlust || Dedicated || Empathetic

[ She's Only 18 || Red Hot Chili Peppers ]

I'm sinking
You're wading
I'm thinking something's gotta give

Wake me up
Say enough is enough
I'm dying to live
Something's gotta give
Pull me out
Of this sinking town
I'm dying to live
Something's gotta give

Maybe I'm a fucking waste
Filling up the empty space

β•š ╝





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History: If the clue wasn't in the name, Laurel was raised by parents who would stereotypically be considered 'hippies' bandanas and circular glasses- they did the lot but Laurel grew up appreciating that and always thinking it was pretty cool. Born a rolling stone to a family of rolling stones she got used to traveling around and seeing different things and places, growing up she was exposed to a lot of stuff and sadly not all of it was good. They never stayed in one place for longer than a matter of months and this is something that still hasn't changed. Born in '97 in France, she's technically French and though she speaks the language fluently the relations end there- the majority of her blood line is English or Italian and she only lived in the country for several months. As a child she was often described as peculiar because she'd never really talk (not that much has changed now ) but she just used to follow behind her parents with an infatuating brown stare, she was also very cynical even from a young age and it wasn't surprising for her to be called 'sociopathic' by her primary school teachers but none of them really knew Laurel well enough to comment. In 2006 (aged 9) Laurel started seeing a therapist originally it was only behavioural therapy for fear that she wasn't socially developing and try and control hyper intelligence she showed as a young child, she seemed to comprehend far beyond her years but still in 2008 (aged 11) she was still seeing the same therapist but also now for anxiety problems and insomnia. By 2011 (aged 14) she'd had six different therapists and was also having to be reviewed for multiple types of depressive disorder and after 2011 there was just no chance of anything ever getting better. At the end of 2011 around Christmas time, Laurel was sexually assaulted by her 7th official therapist and it left mental scars from which she never recovered- Laurel will not associate or walk near older men, she won't communicate with them what so ever and confronted by an older man she's known to panic and breakdown but she has never in her entire life explained to anybody why.

There was never a legal pursuit because Laurel was too ashamed to tell her parents and there was the fact they were often away leaving her alone for weeks at a time, on occasions even months and when she was younger she used to wonder if they were ever coming back. That's the problem with people engulfed by their wanderlust- they rarely ever come home. So no one ever found out what she went through, she just refused to go to therapy again until they changed her therapist again by now it had been confirmed she wasn't sociopathic and she was only really kept behind anymore for her depressive disorder and anxiety problems which were apparently steadily easing.

In 2014 Laurel's 8th therapist told her if she'd come into her office today for an appointment, she wouldn't have been diagnosed with any kind of anxiety disorder and Laurel began to consider herself cured and free, she turned herself into somebody fearless and piece by piece got back the life she hadn't even got to start yet but things didn't stay that way.

This year Laurel was rushed to hospital after she collapsed due to self-induced starvation, left alone to care herself and incredibly self-conscious the incredibly delicately minded girl had developed an eating disorder and her parents rushed home and finally stopped touring the world to try and care for her a bit better but it was to late, these events all occurred two weeks ago after Laurel collapsed on school property during a sports lesson this was the girl's main reason for going through with running away, she couldn't cope with the loneliness of being at home and the four white walls always seemed to stare at her and with new inevitable chance of having to go to therapy or end up sectioned, Laurel did what she had to do and she joined what would soon become known as the 'Road Runners' and emptied her savings and her trust fund to run away taking everything she owned with her into her brave new life as a rolling stone.





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Gravity don't mean too much to me
I'm who I've got to be
These pigs are after me, after you

Run away like it was yesterday
And we could run away
If we could run away,
Run away from here

I gotta bulletproof heart
You gotta hollow point smile
We had our run away scarves,
Got a photograph dream on the getaway mile

Let's blow a hole in this town
And do our talking with the laser beam
Coming out of this place
In a bullet's embrace
Then we'll do it again

How can they say, Jenny could you come back home?
'Cause everybody knows you don't
Ever wanna come back,
Let me be the one to save you

Gravity don't mean too much to me
I'm who I've got to be
These pigs are after me, after you

Run away like it was yesterday
When we could run away,
When we could run away, run away from here

I'm shooting out of this room
Because I sure don't like the company
You stop your preaching right there
'Cause I really don't care
And I'll do it again

So get me outta my head
'Cause it's getting quite cramped, you know
Coming ready or not
When the motor gets hot
We can do it again

The papers say, Johnny won't you come back home?
'Cause everybody knows you don't wanna give yourself up
Tell the truth and God will save you

Gravity don't mean too much to me
I'm who I've got to be
These pigs are after me, after you

Run away like it was yesterday
And we could run away,
And we could run away, run away from here

And though I know how much you hate this
Are you gonna be the one to save us
From the black and hopeless feeling
Will you meet 'em when the end comes reeling?

Hold your heart into this darkness
Will it ever be the light to shine you out
Or fall and leave you stranded
Or are you gonna be the one left standing?
You're gonna be the one left standing
You're gonna be the one left standing

Gravity don't mean too much to me
Is this our destiny?
This world is after me, after you

Run away like it was yesterday
And we could run away, run away, run away,
Run away from here
Yeah, away from here
Away from here




So begins...

Laurel Ramone's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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It's 11:59 and everybody is in the van, Laurel is the last pick up and then they'll be helplessly tossed into the seas of the wild, wild, world. The stars are rolling in the sky and the moon can be seen perfectly as it reflects the light of the sun to reveal the moon at it's fullest. Laughter fills the campervan and Iggy Pop's voice lulls them into the rebellion like peaceful propaganda and someone's burning a blunt in the back and a glass dolphin and hundreds of other charms including a dream catcher and a seashell in a jar hangs from the mirror at the front above the wheel. The dusty green camper falls to a silent stop outside the house and the lights flash a few times and there's the signal. A flash of red can be seen crawling through an ajar Victorian window and a slim figure with skin the colour of the moonlight is seen dropping down from window ledge, to porch before the lithe figure jumped the last few meters and ran up to the campervan door which was swung open just in time for her to jump inside. At last the rejects were reunited and it was happening. It was 00:00 AM on the first of January 2016 and the broken hearted, reckless, brave and the damned had finally at last managed to escape, they'd done it. They'd really done it and they were doing it, they were running. Running away and not one of them looked back into the milky light pooling from a tired street lamp.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Scout was taking up way more space than she needed for her tiny frame. Her butt was on one seat and her feet on the seat next to it with her bag sitting on her knees. She was leaning back as far as she could as was comfortable, a jumper wedged between her head and the window so the shaking of the window didn't give her a concussion. She didn't recognise the song blasting out of the speakers, but her foot tapped along with the rhythm anyway as she laughed at the others. The music was only turned down slightly as they reached Laurel's road. Somebody hauled the door open for her, and the last of their little group climbed inside.

As they moved away again, on to whatever adventure awaited them, it really hit Scout what she was doing. She was finally getting away from the manipulative asshole who made her life hell. She was finally escaping his control, for once and for all. He would have no clue where to look for her, because even she didn't really know where they were going. She wasn't running to anywhere- she was just running from him. The only way he could get her now was over the phone, and she had caller ID to help with that problem. She was really free.

She had abandoned her mother- but her mother had seen how bad he treated her. It was her own fault for believing her husband more than her daughter. And besides, she was the one person that assface wouldn't lay a finger on.

She laughed a little, taking a mouthful of the juice that she'd been nursing since she left. After all, she didn't know when she was going to eat again- it could be hours, knowing this lot. She caught Laurel's eye and her grin widened, shrugging. "We're free," she said.


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"I must be out of my fucking mind," Josh muttered to himself, pulling his blanket tighter around him. He'd really considered splashing out on a hostel- after all, his parents had sent him money, and this was sure to be one of the worst nights out on the streets. But he'd worked it out and spending the money on a hostel would then mean that he would run out of money for food that much faster. And he also had taken into account the fact that there would undoubtedly be charities out tonight, giving out hot drinks and extra blankets and stuff.

And almost as soon as he'd thought that, one appeared, holding a paper cup full of steaming soup and a blanket that, while hideous, also looked lovely and warm. He accepted both with a thank you, wrapping the latter around himself and starting to drink the soup. He liked the ones that didn't try and force feed him religion or ask too many questions.

Once the soup was gone, he spread his own blanket out on the ground and rolling out the sleeping bag on top. He didn't remove his backpack, knowing that it would be insane to leave it vulnerable. He even made sure to tuck the new blanket under and around him, making it as hard as possible for anyone else to steal it. He'd met a guy a few days ago who had given him survival tips, recognising Josh as a fellow runaway. That guy had since disappeared.

He zipped up his jacket to the neck, before climbing into the sleeping bag and staring out at the street. Every night on the street, he felt like he wasn't going to sleep- and every night, he did. But the noise of the parties kept him awake, and so he just stared at his surroundings, waiting for sleep to come.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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| l a u r e l |

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Adrenaline coursed through Laurel's veins like a drug, she hung out the window for a moment leaning with her head turned up to the stars and a small grin on her lips as she thought about the escape that was about to prevail for her, her heart spun out of control with the rush of thinking about what was going to happen tonight, she felt like all her misery was already slipping through her fingers, like it'd really be gone forever- no body would make her eat, force her to lie about her feelings, the other's understood she was fucked up and it didn't try and lecture her on recovery or positivity. It was more of a do it in your own time situation, no one of them would expect anything from her or have any expectations but importantly, the most important thing to her was that she'd never have to be alone again, she'd have friends, stability and freedom.

It was everything she'd ever dreamed of.

She was staring out her bedroom window and she put her hands against the glass, breathing in the cool temperature and feeling it spread through her warm palms chilling her just slightly but in the most pleasant and refreshing way. Her palm scrunched up for a moment and when she drew it away a ghostly stain of her hand remained and she smiled gently, her lips quirking upwards in happiness and relief. She moved her hand and placed it under the wood and pushed up the white wood which opened the window with a rush of crisp air hit her and stuck into her hair, the odd snowflake catching in her hair through the window and she laughed in joy, out of nowhere a dusty van came tumbling down the street and she could recognise the hum of 'Lust for Life' by Iggy Pop even from this distance and she laughed in enlightened chorus of chuckles and she pulled her bag onto her back and chucked the other at the window. She swung her leg over the window and looked back into her room from the inside, running her gaze over the area one last time- the photos covering one wall, the drapes and curtains hanging from her room all over the place, fairy lights hanging from wall to wall and her favourite candle was still burning under the delicate vintage mirror that hung above her dresser, it was at the end of the wick and it made her laugh since it was so symbolic. She could a hand rattling the door knob and her Mother caught her eye for a long moment after she burst through the door and the hippie's eyes flashed wide but Laurel just rolled her eyes and gave her a brief wave before she tossed herself out the window and began scaling down the black rubber pipe that led down from her window.

She dropped her petit figure onto the porch roof and then leapt from the top of that to the bottom of the ground, it was a bigger jump than could be called safe and well calculated but she handled it fine and stood up quickly smirking at Jesse and Scout through the window. She grabbed her second bag and ran up to the door which Jesse swung open and just the right moment for Laurel to threw herself inside as her parents appeared at the door way but she didn't even look at them long, she tossed her body into the van and laid down in the foot space between seats for a moment as she caught her breath and shut the door and then she looked at Scout grinning widely as she brought herself together and she looked out the window for a moment as the sight of her parents under the dusty light of the street lamp began to fade away as the van raced away from all the pain she was leaving behind.

Her skin was the colour of the moonlight pooling down over the street as she gasped softly looking over at Scout irradiated with relief and liberty.

"Fuck yeah we are darlin'," She laughed throwing her head back for a moment to stare up at the ceiling as she collected herself and brought her mind together. She was free, she'd escaped at last and she looked at her rose gold watch as she sat down and looked up at Scout and Jesse grinning wildly.

"Happy new year bitches, good times from here on out right?" She announced leaning back as she pulled herself into a chair opposite Scout and she smiled at her happily. She was glowing with the joy of having escaped the suffocating atmosphere of her home life.

Hearing the song playing from the stereo upfront, Laurel began to beautifully sing along;

'Well, I'm just a modern guy
Of course, I've had it in my ear before
'Cause I've a lust for life
'Cause I've a lust for life.

Well, here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And a flesh machine
I know he's gonna do another strip tease'






| j e s s e |

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Jesse howled with laughter at Laurel's elaborate and theatrical entrance to the bus. He knew Laurel was out there and fairly 'savage' as someone from his school might humorously call her, she still managed to surprise him every time with the outrageous attitude she displayed in every day life but then again, this was no ordinary day- this was the day they all finally got out, the way they'd always wanted to.

He was beyond relief and had a spliff hanging between his lips casually as he drove and an eccentric energy radiated from his smile as they drove down the road.

"You alright red?" He called to the back looking over at Laurel with an expression of amusement. She replied with a shout of a strong curse word which she followed with the term; 'fabulous' and he rolled his eye and looked over at Scout to check she was still okay also.

At the announcement of the new year he turned grinning calmly. "Happy new year guys, here's to starting fresh," He hollered back to them light heartedly turning up the radio a little as Laurel started singing along and leaning back casually in his chair, very relaxed with his hands on the wheel. He was still a fairly new driver but he enjoyed it, it brought him peace of mind being on the road so he was perfectly calm even now when they running away from everything they'd ever known.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable

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She laughed at Laurel's response, taking another mouthful out of her juice. There was something new pounding through her veins, something that made her feel more alive than ever. As Jason glanced over his shoulder to check on her, she gave him a thumbs up.

They'll get sick of you before long.

The sudden recurrence of her self-hatred caused the smile to slide from her face. She tilted her head back to stare at the ceiling in the hopes that the others wouldn't notice. But it was true. How long would it be before they got sick of her? She was going to constantly be in their presence for the next however long. They were her friends, so they'd be nice about it for as long as possible- but the fact still remained that they would eventually grow sick of her and abandon her or kick her out. Maybe she could go home before it was too late.

But even her own family was sick of her. They probably wouldn't even miss her. Her brother hadn't spoken to her in weeks- he had his own family now. Her mother preferred her husband over her own bloody daughter. And the less said about Scout's father, the better. The only reason her friends hadn't gotten sick of her yet was because they didn't have to spend all day every day with her.

"Can we stop and get something to eat? I didn't eat much this evening because of nerves and now I'm kinda getting peckish," she asked. She wasn't that hungry at all- if anything, her stomach felt sick at the thought of her friends ditching her. But what she really needed was some alone time in the bathroom, where she could ground herself and centre herself again and reconstruct her facade. She followed her words with a mouthful of juice.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable

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At Scout's question, Laurel or as many had taken to calling her 'Red' just shrugged careless, she didn't care where they went or how they got there just as long as it was away from him but the word 'eat' struck her soul with fear. They wouldn't. They couldn't. They wouldn't.

Fuck! Her mind suddenly spiralled with anxiety at the idea of being faced with food and the temptation to eat. She could resist, she didn't need to. Calories will make me gain weight, I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't... The thoughts took over her mind like a furious hurricane but she collected herself by taking many silent deep breaths and she forced a beaming smile, her red lips perking at the corners and she nodded gently to Scout.

"Sure," The comment came out slightly dry and all her enthusiasm had been sucked out of her but she kept smiling even though it looked incredibly false and unrealistic. Laurel had always struggled very obviously with her confidence, it's why she'd taken to self-destructive habits and kept desperately trying to change herself for instance by dying her hair, not eating, decorating her clothes herself in different ways- she was always desperate to try and become somebody else and being neglected so much by her parent's well, she'd taken to neglecting herself but the effects were permanent even after she escaped and found a stable and secured environment. The therapy had done far more bad than good, especially after the trauma of last year- she couldn't bare to think about old men, therapy or food. There were three things Laurel was scared of and therapy had caused all of them.




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Jesse nodded calmly and called back to Scout without taking his eyes off of the road this time. "Yeah, of course. Where abouts do you wanna stop? Know anywhere?" He asked only really because he didn't know the area very well and couldn't recall any fast food places, restaurants or diners near by. "Should I just stop at the next one we drive by?" He suggested tiredly running his hand through his rugged and messy brown hair as they drove. He had one hand on the wheel and the other hung out the window slightly like a truck driver and there was a cigarette between his finger tips which he occasionally brought back up to his lips and inhaled from but after a few minutes he flicked it a couple of times before dropping it out the window when he knew it was out properly.

Being up front, he hadn't noticed either of the girls' slightly bizarre behaviour he was incredibly focused on the road and driving but also the music was a distraction and he kept nodding along to the album as they went but he still chatted away to them as he drove, contented and happy with the thrill of their sudden escape and new found freedom.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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She shrugged, but remembered that Jesse couldn't see her. "Next place we drive by that doesn't look like shit," she responded, injecting her voice with a little bit of enthusiasm so the others wouldn't figure out something was up. She had noticed that Laurel's response was a little... off. But her smile was still intact- so it was probably just tiredness. Or, at least, that was what Scout was going to tell herself. It wasn't because she'd upset Laurel. Laurel wasn't mad at her.

She ran her hands down her thighs and back up again, scanning the van and trying to relax a little. But now that the thoughts were in her head, her chest felt tight and she was convinced that her hands were shaking. But she had plenty of practice at pretending that she was fine. She could manage.

She toyed with the bottle in her hands, watching the juice inside slosh around. The movement of the liquid was oddly calming, as was the faint sound. She focused her attention on that and didn't allow herself to think of anything else except that. She'd gotten good at grounding herself- the others had yet to notice when she started to freak out. She'd morphed her habits into coping mechanisms- making them worse, but also making it easier to ground herself. She only brought her attention back to the van when they started to slow down.


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He wasn't going to sleep. Not yet. Sighing, he climbed out of the sleeping bag and balled it up, shoving it into the top of his backpack. There was an all-night diner nearby, he'd go hang out there for a bit. They were used to him spending time there, and he could spend the money he should have spent on that bloody hostel on food instead. He knew that the best thing to do would be to find a shitty, cheap apartment somewhere and rent it out, have somewhere permanent. But money. His own money would run out eventually, and he didn't know if his parents could afford fishing out for his rent as well. That was a discussion they needed to have the next time they spoke.

He made his way to the diner, nodding at the waitress. "Your usual, Josh?" She asked. His usual was strong black coffee and apple pie. But it was New Year's Eve- no, New Year's Day by that point. He was going to celebrate.

"Nah- gimme a double bacon cheeseburger and large fries. And a large Coke. I'm going to the bathroom to clean up a bit," he said, heading into the bathroom. In the bathroom, he surveyed his reflection. He looked as rough as he felt- not enough to be identified as homeless, but enough to give away that his circumstances weren't exactly great. He really wanted a shave and a hot shower- but the hot tap from the sink was close enough. He washed his face and ran his damp hands through his hair, trying to tidy himself up a bit. But it wasn't much good, so he gave in, heading back in and over to the counter. His food was already waiting for him, and he found his mouth watering at the sight. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a really good meal like this, and he started inhaling the food.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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After a while, Red moved to sit properly and sat next to Scout offering a girl an optimistic smile as she relaxed in her seat, her belt not fastened and her head against the window as she got her bearings a little and let the situation sink in. They wouldn't make her eat, they weren't really friends properly yet anyway- they wouldn't care enough to notice. That's what she told herself as she curled her pasty fingers with deep red tips around the fringe of her sleeve, tugging it over her knuckles and burying it in her small fists before resting her chin on her hands like a child.

"We here Jess?" She called when she noticed the van was slowing down, since she sat down she'd drawn the curtain over the window because she felt like other drivers were watching her- she knew better but it got under her bones a fair amount. Jesse called back in confirmation and she sat up grinning lightly at Scout.

"Come on then darlin' I'm bursting for the toilet and judging by the size of the menu on that window, they've got plenty to eat," One of Red's therapists had once told her that her optimism was contagious that was of course before they realised she was lying to cover up either a form of anorexia or bulimia, none of them had ever decided which so Laurel just told herself she had neither and was perfectly fine but they'd told her that her optimistic attitude was contagious and a gift tot he world- apparently it was what would get her through and to a degree, Laurel had believed him because her the more she played make believe the happier her parents seemed to be, the more chances people gave her to try and socialise and the happier she could pretend to be when she looked in the mirror but it was all so painfully fake and unrealistic and of course once everything caught up with her, her therapist ate his own words and take it all back because Laurel's attitude was far from any kind of gift but rather a form of torture but the words still stuck with Laurel as a form of motivation because at least if she couldn't be happy till she was thin, she could make everyone around her happy by giving them hope for themselves which is what she aimed to do for the others because their issues to her, seemed so much bigger and far more important.

She opened and dived out, a slight dizzy spell taking her causing her to clutch onto to the door with a strength that turned her knuckles white like sea foam but it faded quickly and she moved on before anyone else could really notice it'd even happened and then she led the way inside, pushing the door open which triggered a bell to ring above them and then she held the door for Jesse and Scout before wandering indoors. Within the diner there were two people already, one the waitress and the other a boy about their age who looked slightly rough around the edges but Laurel got the first impression that he had a kind of face but she didn't speak and instead ran off to the bathroom as to distract herself from the availability of food because the thick smell from the grill was far too much temptation.





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He glanced back at the two girls in the mirror for a moment with some concern, they both seemed slightly off but maybe it was just the anxiety and concern that came with the drastic action they'd made to runaway. They'd taken an opportunity that most wouldn't even have the guts to thoroughly consider and her understood it'd be no easier for them then it was for him and he was hurting inside in a way he couldn't explain, he felt so guilty for abandoning his Mother- she was sick, it wasn't her fault but he couldn't care for her it was too much and she broke his heart every day when she asked him who he was and what her own name was, how she'd talk to the flowers with more affection and interest than she could ever show to him and how guilty he'd feel when he'd come back from a late shift and she'd be scared when she heard him come inside. He couldn't live with it, he didn't sleep for he worked two part time jobs and tried toa attend college but then in the night after it all, in the darkest hours of the day- he had to listen out for her and make sure she didn't go astray, he couldn't risk falling asleep and missing something terrible for instance, what if she fell or walked out into the streets out of confusion?

He was so responsible for her but at the same time, he couldn't handle it anymore on his own- that's why he'd called the ambulance, his guilt and responsibility encouraged him to do that but the pain she inflicted on him and his own suffering, that's why he ran away. It was the most selfish thing he'd ever done in his life and he was terrified to admit it to anyone and he was also too proud to admit he'd ever needed help but what good would pride do him now? What did he have to be proud of?

His crime was desertion and he knew one day it'd catch up with him.

[color=navy] "Yeah, we're hear Red. You ready Scout?"
He called back, parking up the van and then letting himself out of the front after Laurel got out the back and then he held the door open for Scout whilst Laurel went ahead of them to go inside and offered her a small smile of reassurance. "You okay?" He asked. He spoke up and questioned her to try and reassure her if anything, he knew really that she wasn't and none of them were but he could assure he cared and Red did too now if he stepped up enough and the three of them, they were all each other had now anymore and his natural protective attitude and caring ways encouraged him to do just at that and care for them and support them just like he had his Mother but it'd be easier this time because they return that effort and they'd all look out for each other, he wouldn't have to handle anything on his own anymore or ever feel lonely.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Shoving the juice back into her bag, she fished out her purse and followed Laurel out of the van. She didn't miss the other girl's stumble either- but chose not to say anything, especially when she dashed into the bathroom the minute they got inside. The smell of food frying caused her stomach to grumble and she grinned. There was only one other person in there- a boy their age. But he looked a little rough around the edges and he was inhaling his food like he hadn't seen anything else in days. Then again, that wasn't anything new for teenage boys.

She climbed up onto the stool, mentally cursing her short legs, and started examining a menu. Everything looked and sounded fantastic.

"What'll it be, sugar?" The waitress asked, smiling at her. "Uh, large taco fries please. And a Sprite," she said, handing the menu over to the waitress. The waitress took Jesse's order and disappeared back into the kitchen. Scout started spinning gently on her stool. "Everything smells so good," she remarked to Jesse.


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Josh had to admit that he was somewhat surprised when he heard someone else come in- but he didn't turn around to look at them. The food was too good to turn his attention away from. And besides, it turned out he didn't have to. They took seats at the counter anyway, a few down from him. One had bright red hair and was on the shorter side, while the guy had darker hair and skin. They had to be runaways too- nobody else would be in that diner at a little past midnight on New Years Day.

Once he had his burger finished, he turned to them. "What are you guys doing here at this time?" He asked curiously. Like he couldn't guess. He just wanted to know how honest they'd be about it. "I thought everybody else was out partying, celebrating the new year and new beginnings and all that," he remarked, taking a sip out of his drink. No new beginnings for him unfortunately- just the same old daily grind. Try to stay alive and try not to get arrested. Then again, if he did get arrested, he'd have somewhere warm, safe and permanent, with free food. Hmm. It was worth considering at another time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Once inside the toilet and with the door securely locked behind her, she exhaled in relief and took a long reassuring breath and looked at herself in the mirror, self-loathing twisted in the front of her eyes as she gazed upon her own face and the edge of her figure- she looked at her skeletal shoulder blades but only noticed the ounces of fat resting on her fragile bones and her face creased with disgust. She felt the urge to punch the mirror, to destroy the image and make it all go away but as she pressed her flat hand against the glass she knew it wouldn't change a thing. There would always be mirrors around to remind her but in a way she almost worshipped them because they gave her the wake-up call she needed to stay away from the fiendish calories that made food so awful but so tempting too.

She smiled at herself.

An incredibly fake and bitchy smile like a mean girl passing through a corridor at school and she sighed as she adjusted her hair, pulling it down one side before she slipped out of the toilet cubicle and feeling collected enough to return to the main diner, she led herself out. She'd been gone only several minutes but it was too long to be casual but she doubted they'd question her- she could claim to have been freshening up anyway.

She sat down next to Scout when she came back and beamed at the two lightly and also at the stranger she'd noticed they'd began conversing with.





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Jesse ordered a cheese burger when he was asked and didn't even debate his decision- he was hungry enough for it so why not? He may as well enjoy a good meal whilst he knew it was still coming. He watched how Laurel wandered around with a slight look of concern but he didn't question her and as Scout hadn't either he figured there couldn't be a reason to worry.

Jesse looked at the guy and bore his usual charismatic smile but it was moody with an undertone of boyish attitude that you'd see in the eyes of a typical high school bad boy- which was exactly what Jesse had been for a while. "Oh, you know the clichΓ©, things went tits up, so we kicked up the roots I guess," He shrugged it lightly like it wasn't a big deal because he didn't want to admit it kind of was and he wasn't afraid to admit it to the other boy because from the looks of things, his situation was no better and Jesse doubted he'd be one to judge them for it.

Red looked at the guy curiously and smiled softly in her quirky red lipped manner. "What about you though? I mean it's just as bizarre you are here as it is we are," We are she pointed out gently. "I don't mean that badly by the way, that sounded kinda bad," She bit her lip for a moment and then shrugged it off gently dreading the moment the waitress noticed her presence and asked for an order from her but she hadn't come back yet to Laurel's relief.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Scout was going to answer the boy- but at that point, her food arrived. It smelled fantastic, and there was no shortage of meat or cheese. She started to eat and nearly moaned. "Holy crap, this is amazing," she said around her mouthful of food. "They taste like the archangels themselves made them." She said. The new boy- the one who looked a bit rough around the edges, laughed a little. In response to Laurel's question, he just shrugged.

"Same as you guys. My situation turned pretty nasty pretty fast, and I needed to get out. Been on the road ever since," he said, shrugging a little. "Looks like it's all the runaways in here tonight," he continued, laughing a little.

Scout didn't say anything, her mouth still full- but she was looking him up and down. Assessing him. Trying to figure out if they could trust him or not. He didn't come across as instantly dodgy- but what did he mean by his situation turning nasty?

"What happened?" She asked once she'd swallowed. Not that he'd tell them the truth if it was anything bad, but it was worth asking. See how quickly he came up with an answer. Scout wasn't getting any bad vibes off of him, but everybody also thought that her father was an upstanding member of society.


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"My brother managed to get both me and himself into trouble, so I legged it. Told him where to go as well," he said, shrugging a little. It wasn't a lie- it just wasn't the whole truth. He glanced at the newcomer- she was also a redhead, but far skinnier. Like, almost verging on skeletal. And he thought he was thin.

"Oh. What did he do?" The not-skeletal redhead asked. Josh just rolled his eyes. "I was living with him, and he was working a job to pay the rent. Then he fucked up monumentally and lost the job and the apartment, and managed to drag me into the whole mess. My parents are in Australia, and there's no way I can get out to them. So here I am," he said, shrugging a little. He'd told the story so much that he knew it like the back of the hand and could tell it honestly.

"I'm Josh, by the way. Josh Cook."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Laurel didn't really press for as much information about things as Scout did, she was okay just having a vague conversation- she'd never been one for prying or digging into people's personal lives, she hated it when people did it to her so she'd never do the same to anybody else unless she was really concerned or something.

"Yeah, it'd seem like that wouldn't it?" She commented passingly at his remark about them all being runaways but it made her smile gently because it was like something out of a book she'd read back home or a movie. It was the kind of things people wrote songs about- running anyway and never looking back but here they all were sitting around the bar of a diner bonding over something as simple as shit luck in life and the bad decisions they made following after it but there was nothing clouding her tonight, this was the best New Year's Eve she'd ever had though technically now it was New Year's Day- it was the best one so far because she'd never felt more free. "Shit, sounds lonely," She commented sympathetically, not out of spite and in true sincerity. She couldn't imagine ever living on her own and trying to navigate the world without some kind of companion by her side, she thought of loneliness itself as an enemy or a danger and the thought that the boy- Josh as he'd just called himself was doomed to that generally brought some sadness to her.

"Nice to meet you Josh, I'm Laurel Ramone or Red- take your pick," She shrugged with a friendly red lipped smile.




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Jesse listened to the guy with sympathy, almost as much as Laurel did but he was so hungry the food quickly became a distraction and he looked at Scout nodding in agreement after the first bite. "Oh my god yeah- you're right about that, it's perfect," Having always had to cook for himself or try to for as long as he could remember now, it was very rare he'd ever had a good meal that tasted edible but more than that was actually enjoyable and for a moment the pleasure of eating well started to numb the guilt of leaving his Mother behind and he knew she'd end up in a looney bin, asylum, institute, the can or whatever name someone might give it he knew they'd lock her away and give her scheduled dinner times, pill times, walks and therapy- he knew he'd ruined her life but it was the only hope she had anymore and she was too much of a danger to herself at home. He couldn't excuse it anymore or risk it. He sighed as the memory returned but turned to the conversation for a distraction.

"Shit, I'm sorry mate," Jesse mumbled responding like a typical guy would because he wasn't entirely capable of expressing empathy very well. "Jesse," He added after Josh introduced himself with a slight shrug before he went back to eating.

"Hey Red, you gunna order something?" He asked looking over at her trying to convince himself that Laurel didn't look quite panicked by the question.

"I'm ok. I'd only just eaten when we left," She lied softly and Jesse nodded, justifying himself by telling himself there's no reason for her to lie about that.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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"Scout," she said by way of greeting. Josh raised his eyebrows, and Scout rolled her eyes in response. "It's a nickname. My real name's Savannah, but literally nobody calls me that," she said, and he nodded. "Scout it is," he replied. He seemed honest enough, but she still couldn't bring herself to fully trust him. He had a story, but that could so easily be a lie.

"Well, I've survived this long," he said, shrugging a little. "It's just knowing how to get what you need as easily as possible- and making tough choices. Do I spend this money on a hostel tonight, or do I risk the streets? And so on and so forth." He was being very honest about this whole thing. Almost a little too much. Then again, he was probably just being brutally honest with them so that they'd know exactly what they were getting themselves into. She really didn't know what to make of him- but the others seemed to like him.

"Oh but Laurel, you need to try these. They're heavenly," she said as her friend said that she didn't want to get anything. "Seriously, here," she said, sliding the plate towards her. "You won't regret it."


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Despite his better instinct, he didn't say anything about the thin girl not eating. It wasn't his place, and besides, he didn't really know what was happening. She could be recovering from an illness, she could have just naturally been that skinny- although he kind of doubted that.

"So, are you guys going anywhere in particular? Or just going where the road takes you?" He asked. He wished that he did have somewhere to go besides the streets- but it was too late to go to a hostel now. He'd just have to find somewhere half-decent to sleep. He was always wary of shelters for fear that they'd take his name, and that the people who were looking for him would manage to find him. He could always give a fake name, but he heard that some of them wanted ID, and he didn't have a fake ID. So he just stayed away. He wasn't willing to risk being found by them- he was willing to bet that they weren't exactly pleasant people.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Laurel looked at Josh, listening politely to the conversation as it unravelled. She didn't contribute much and she almost completely missed Scout's comment to her but she smiled at her sweetly and shook her head.

"Oh no, it's ok. Don't worry- you were hungry you should eat, I can basically still taste lasagne, I couldn't even drink anything else," She lied, laughing slightly to cover up the way her body quivered at the idea of being questioned or caught out. She'd ran away because people had worked her out, that they were trying to fix her and change her- Christ, that might have even sectioned her this time. She couldn't live like that. She couldn't live with that.

They had to understand.

She used Josh's question as a change of topic and she dived at the opportunity. "Everywhere. We've got this van and some many saved up and we're not ever going to stop. All over Europe we'll travel, ain't that right Scout?" She chimed optimistically.




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Jesse's lips pursed with concern at Laurel's behaviour but she was so swift and subtle with how she moved on, he couldn't keep up and his concern was forgotten when he saw the ambition and joy flood into her expression as she began talking about Europe.

He noticed the Waitress in the corner chuckle slightly and he smiled lightly at her. "Sounds crazy when you put it like that Red. But yeah, I guess that sums it up," He shrugged to the group casually, enjoying his food with a calm smile for a moment whilst Laurel rambled away about the matter. For a girl who was clearly so troubled, he admired her optimism but he noticed Scout was a lot more down to Earth and he respected that much more. He was very good at reading people though he didn't see through Laurel's façade completely but he could see Josh was being very open and honest- he could even say he was trust worthy considering open he was being about his history.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Scout just raised her eyebrows and pulled the plate back towards her, continuing to eat. She knew that everything wasn't okay with Laurel- but, in fairness, things weren't really okay with any of them. She just nodded as Laurel said that they were going to travel Europe. "All over. Get away from all of this and hook up with some cute French boys," she said, grinning. Josh raised an eyebrow.

"Really? Europe? How much money have you guys got? Or do you all have massive families that are spread over Europe so that you'll never have to splash out on a hostel? Because, no offence, but you don't exactly seem like this is a planned thing with parental backing and funding," he said. Scout raised an eyebrow. "No, we have a campervan. We're planning on staying in that," she said. He nodded, raising his eyebrows. The more he spoke, the less wary she became. He genuinely didn't seem that bad- he came across as honest, if nothing else. "That's a good plan, actually. You guys clearly did think this through, I apologise," he said. He seemed impressed, and Scout nodded. "Trust me, we've all needed this for a long time. I've been thinking about it for months- these guys just gave me the opportunity."


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He'd underestimated them. They'd invested in a campervan, which would save them a hell of a lot of money. Okay, sure, they were also indulging on a hot meal on their first night, but it was New Year's Eve, and it could be the last one they'd see in a while. And by the sounds of things, they'd just gotten out of a bad situation. So he wouldn't hold that against them.

"If you guys want, I can give you a few tips about surviving. The fact that you've got a campervan is a brilliant start, I wouldn't recommend running away without one," he said, laughing a little. "You'll save money that way, if you're smart with petrol." Even if he never saw these guys again, he wanted them to succeed. There seemed to be a bit of driving force behind them, and he felt like they'd survive.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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"It's funny. We spoke about it after Jesse came back from a detention proper pissed off about it and everyone was just so held down by school and life- we made a joke about it, we said we should all runaway but we said it in jest- then Jesse found this van and well it all fell into place after that," She beamed happily glowing with optimism, pride and even a hint of joy. It was hardly a secret she genuinely believed this was her great escape, her fresh starting- a whole new beginning but there was still a haunting hollowness in her face and glass look over her eyes. She was sanguine but in a way which made her look delicate in a manner that was truly quite sad and she hated to know that everybody could see through her like a thin, polished pane of glass.

She ran a pale hand through her thick crimson looks and pursed her lips gently, her cat eyes turning each of her new found friends, she'd never had someone to trust but she could genuinely put all the faith she had left into these two. They'd helped her do so much in just a few months and together they'd pulled through some terrible things and made a getaway.

It was perfect.

"So, what will you do?" She asked him. "Sorry, I don't mean to pry. I'm sorry," She apologised quickly and then looked over at the waitress.

"Excuse me? I'm sorry, would it be possible to get a glass of water with ice?" She asked quietly. The waitress nodded and busied herself with the order.






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Jesse laughed at the girls' excitement but nodded to Josh. "Any advice is always appreciated, what would you say to a group of college drop outs on the run then?" He asked with a hint of humour but he was quite serious about asking for help because they had a plan but they didn't truly know how to get on out there "I mean we thought about going to countries with struggling economies because obviously their food is cheaper and everything and our money is all in an account we opened secretly and transferred all we had into except for some cash obviously so currency shouldn't be a problem," He explained shrugging his shoulders thoughtfully.

He was still more focused on eating though than the conversation, it was probably the best meal he'd ever eaten- and the milkshake he'd ordered was just as good. He liked this Josh guy- Jesse wasn't a people person but he always appreciated an honest one, he'd gone through life knowing enough liars to spot a honest man and that alone always earned his respect.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Scout finished eating as the others talked. She was simultaneously full and wanted more. The food was just that good. Talking about it just made her all the more excited- it made it seem real. It only now seemed real that she wasn't going to have to go home to her father's cruel words, that she wasn't going to have to endure him for any longer. She was free.

"I'm just planning on doing exactly what I've always done- try to survive. My parents are working on getting me out to them, but I need a visa and all kinds of other things, and the application is taking its time. So until then, I'm just trying to stay out of trouble and survive," he admitted, shrugging a little and laughing.

He was really being honest. Scout had never met anyone quite so honest, who told the truth so cleanly. He wasn't sugarcoating his words and pretending it was easy- he was making sure that they knew it wasn't going to be easy. She liked that about him- and while she didn't quite trust him, she didn't hate him either. He was better than her father. Not that her father provided high standards to live up to.


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Jesus, their plans were like a military operation compared to him leaving home. Then again, that had been the middle of the night, last minute, and he hadn't really known what was going on. Josh laughed and shook his head as Jesse asked him for advice. "Mate, considering how organised you guys seem to be, I think you need to be giving me tips. But go into supermarkets about an hour before closing time. They might have food marked down, and if you're going to eat it then and there, it doesn't matter. Look up student recipes online, they're generally meant for small budgets. Don't even dream of buying branded stuff unless it generally is better value. Places with free WiFi are blessings if you want to contact your family. And if you're really stuck for food, go out into the streets and there might be soup vans around. They're godsends."

He sighed and looked at the clock on the wall. "Listen, guys, I better go, or I won't find anywhere safe to sleep. Thanks for the chat, and I really hope you guys do good. Good luck, and don't do anything stupid," he said, signalling to the waitress for the bill.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Red listened to all the advice with a content and appreciative smile, some of it she could have guessed but thinking about student recipes, shopping late- neither of those had occurred to her for even a second and it was a very good point too. When he mentioned finding somewhere safe to sleep, her heart twanged with a sudden spasm of guilt. Wherever they were tonight, they'd be safe enough in a locked van with trust worthy friends to look out for them if something were to happen, they had food for a couple of days in the van and comforts- blankets, things from home and warmth. She looked at Jesse and he could read the question in her eyes.

Can we help him?

"We have to," She mumbled to Jesse whilst Josh had busied himself with his bill. She played with her warm red locks between two fingers, pushing the strands past each other and smiling brilliantly as always. Her sharp eyebrow quirked with the thought of doing something good, something right.






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Jesse could read Laurel like a book and when she started pulling faces before mumbling 'we have to' he knew she was right. How could they leave a poor honest guy like that on the streets? There was room in the van, the ceiling pulled up into a double, the boot was effectively one large square bed and the back seats made up one single- they could fit him in easy and for a couple of days or even if he wanted to stay, they could roll with it. It could work and he struck Jesse as a pretty simple down to Earth guy so surely it'd be wrong not to do something?

"You're right," He muttered back to her.

He leaned over to Scout and spoke to her in a considerably hushed voice. "I think Red wants to try and help him out for a while. What do you think? He asked her softly. "He might not want the help but we can offer- what do you think?" He was subtle about it because if Savannah had a single doubt about the idea, he wasn't going to push it because he didn't want to upset anyone and it was a big ask really and he could totally understand why she wouldn't like it- so that's why he asked and he wasn't 100% sure either so he was looking to her to help him make up his own mind about it.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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As Josh started busying himself with his bill, Laurel and Jesse started mumbling about something. She turned to them just as Jesse turned to her and told her their idea.

She didn't particularly want to leave him out on the streets, but her mind was telling her to be cautious. They really didn't know anything about him- but his frank honesty stood to him. And he would be incredibly useful if he was everything he seemed to be. Her human nature made the decision for her. It wasn't fair to leave somebody who had been so helpful out on the streets, not when they had the resources to give him a bed. She knew that if she heard that he'd died on the streets, she wouldn't be able to forgive herself.

"Hey, Josh?" She called. He turned around, raising an eyebrow. "We-" she started, gesturing to the three of them, "-were just wondering... Do you fancy tagging along with us for a bit? It's safer than the streets, and it'll be warm... And let's face it, we could probably use your know-how. We act smart and brave and strong and all that, but I think we need somebody who's already been through it for a bit to help us out. What do you think? You totally don't have to, we'll understand."


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He'd noticed their mutterings, but hadn't paid any attention to them. Not until Scout turned around to talk to him.

Their proposition took him aback for a moment. He thought back on what he'd said, afraid that he'd made it sound like he wanted to. But... that didn't seem to be the case. They genuinely wanted him to tag along. Scout was right- it would be safer than the streets, and he'd have somewhere to sleep each night.

But he'd also be putting them in danger. What if whoever was after him managed to track him down? He'd be putting them in danger as well as himself. But on the flipside, he'd be a lot harder to track down and would be a lot less noticeable in a group. Just a bunch of teenagers on a road-trip, that was all. The prospect of somewhere warm and safe to sleep was incredibly attractive.

"I- I'd love to. Thank you so much, I honestly can't say what this means," he said, grinning and laughing a little. No more debating about whether to spend money on a hostel or not. Somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Red smiled at Josh brightly and light heartedly, she was happy for the extra company although she was a very anxious and sceptical person- she was an incredibly sociable girl. She loved idle conversation and company, it distracted her and people in general fascinated her. She liked Josh too, she was a good, sharp judge of character and he struck her as being somebody worth while.

"Welcome aboard," She chimed jokingly running a hand through her lush red locks and letting them tumble down one shoulder like a crimson waterfall. She was proud of her hair although naturally it was blonde and she dyed it red herself, she did a good job of it and it retained it's strength, health and softness every time she touched it with colour and it was red. Laurel's thing- her quirk, it had always been the colour Red- before it was her hair, it was her clothes and now it was almost everything- her lipstick, her hair, her leather driving gloves, her favourite converse. It was something you could notice about her even from just a passing glance but she loved it- hence the name really.






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Jesse grinned dopily at the group and laughed before he looked over at Josh shrugging it off like they'd barely done anything for him, like he'd just paid him a compliment on his trainers or something. "Thank god I'm not gonna be the only guy around here," He joked casually smiling at them all. He genuinely welcomed the addition to their little group, Josh seemed nice enough and though Jesse lacked Red's charisma and social character- he was welcoming enough to company, he was just often quite moody and mysterious when the days got the worst of him. He'd probably got it from his Mother.

He wandered where she'd be by now. Would she still be travelling to a unit? Would she be checked in? Would she be with Doctors? He felt terrible for what he'd done but it was all he could do for her in the end. She let go too easily and he tried to use that thought to convince himself his hand had been forced.

He still couldn't accept or justify to himself his own actions and it kept bringing him close to a melt down every time reality dawned on him for even a split second.

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Character Portrait: Savannah "Scout" Bishop Character Portrait: Laurel Ramone Character Portrait: Jesse Fable Character Portrait: Josh Cook

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Scout grinned at him. Now that she'd seen his reaction, she was starting to believe that they'd made the right decision. "You know, Jesse, most guys love being outnumbered by girls," she said, winking at him and grinning. "Well, if you're not going to have anything, Laurel, let's get back on the road. I want to get as far away from the goddamn town as possible," she said. She wondered what the reaction would be when they discovered that she was gone. They'd probably be glad to have her out from under their feet. Her father would be glad to have her gone- although maybe he'd miss his verbal punching bag. Her mother wouldn't even miss her. They probably wouldn't even tell her brother, so he wouldn't notice. And either way, he wouldn't miss her. Nobody would.

She realised that her grin had slipped from her face as she rooted in her purse to get the money together, and quickly forced it back on her face. The others couldn't know. They'd pity her, and she didn't want that.


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He laughed at Scout's comments as his phone started to ring. "Oh, sorry, better get this," he said apologetically. "I'll be outside if any of you need me."

He didn't recognise the number, so was cautious as he answered it.
"Hello?"
"Josh, it's me."
His brother. Of all people.
"I thought it wasn't safe to call me."
"Happy new year to you too."
"Unless you're calling to tell me that I can go home, I wouldn't say it's particularly happy."
"It's still not safe."
"No shit, Sherlock."
"I'm just calling to tell you to be more careful than ever. I think... I think they might have an idea of where you are."
Josh froze, stunned into silence. How? He'd been so careful. Only ever giving fake names, never giving any ID, avoiding anywhere that did require ID... and yet they'd found him. Shit. Was it a bad idea to go with the others, then? Or was it a really good idea?
"Josh, you still there?"
"Yeah. How the fuck did they find me?"
"I don't know, man. Just be careful, okay? And you never heard from me. Don't even get in contact with mom and dad."
"Alright. Bye," he said, hanging up and running his hands through his hair. By the sounds of things, staying moving was the best idea. He fucking hated his brother sometimes.