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Nick Moreno

The Leader

0 · 1,652 views · located in New York, NY

a character in “The Lost and Found”, as played by Collapse

Description

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I was born under the name of:
Nicolas Phillip Moreno

You can call me:
Nick

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, Nick has strong leadership skills. He's confident, assertive and friendly, and in general, gets along well 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:
Nick 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, Nick 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 Nick'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 Nick 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 Nick.

Nick'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, Nick 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 Nick 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 Nick learned that Miguel and his brother, Chris were big players in a drug ring. Without going into too much detail, Nick 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. Nick 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 Nick 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 Nick, 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...

Nick Moreno's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft
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Friday, July 1st | 4:00 PM
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Nick grew up in Florida, so he was no stranger to warm weather, but after experiencing a couple of New York's brutal winters, it was always hard for him to adjust to just how hot their summers could be. Today, the temperature hadn't strayed too far from the eighty-degree mark until around three in the afternoon, and even now it was still maybe seventy-five degrees at best. Luckily, the air wasn't too heavy outside, but the basement lacked air conditioning and the couple of measly fans they had didn't do much to relieve the humidity. On days like today, Nick did as much as he could to stay out of the basement. He spent a good portion of the morning in the Upper East Side, where many of his younger and wealthier clients resided. Over the past few months, drug runs had become more enjoyable than he remembered them to be. After Brooklyn left, the basement just felt different. Savannah had joined them soon after Brooke left, and she definitely brightened things up, but it was still different. Nick tried to remind himself that different didn't have to be bad, that he could like a girl that wasn't Brooklyn and it could still be real and good, but it was hard. He had been with Brooklyn for almost seven years and none of their fights had resulted in them being apart for two months. Even if Savannah made him happy and the night they shared a couple nights back was amazing, he still struggled to let go of his past. It was something that was inevitable and it was admittedly getting easier as the days went by, but the basement reminded him of Brooklyn too much and he did his best to stay out of there as much as he could.

He returned to the basement for the first time that afternoon around three. He found Savannah and a few of the others there, and after only a few minutes of being back, he was feeling anxious. He suggested the two of them get lunch and they ended up at the same restaurant that they had lunch at the day they met. It put Nick in a better mood and reminded him of how he wasn't suffering without Brooklyn. Reminiscing about his time with her sometimes made him sad, but his relationship with her had been so volatile that it was only a matter of time before it ended permanently. Looking at the girl sitting across from him only stressed that he was allowed to move on. There were people like Savannah who didn't criticize him for every move he made and actually wanted to listen to him as much as he wanted to listen to him. What he had with Savannah... whatever it was that he had with Savannah... seemed like a healthy relationship and Nick couldn't remember the last time that he had felt that way about what he had with Brooklyn.

His plate, which once held three slices of pizza, was empty within minutes of them sitting down, and once Savannah's seemed bare, he called the waiter over for a check. Nick had been doing pretty good with sales over the last few weeks and was hoping that one of these nights, he would be able to take Savannah out for a meal nicer than cheap Italian food. If it were Brooklyn, she would chide him for wasting his money on something so frivolous when he could be saving it for a down payment on an apartment... all while she would be sitting there with a bag worth a couple hundred dollars. It wasn't like that with Savannah. She was so much less judgmental and actually seemed to appreciate him. The thought alone had him smiling as he placed a few bills into the checkbook and looked back at Savannah. "Ready to go? We should probably head back home soon, I think it's supposed to rain tonight."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft
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Lunch was nice.
She liked this, this simplicity, no hiding, like she had with her parents and Lucas. With Nick, whatever this was, was nice.
They'd finished a nice lunch at a pizza place. American Pizza was the best, she realized, it was one of the first foods she had when she reached the States. Of course they had pizza in the UK but American's like to pile it on and she was happy for it.

She spent the morning smiling, it was nice. Despite his edge, which honestly what attracted her to him initially, then his honesty, she liked this. She just wish she knew what it was. It had been a long time since Lucas, and she hadn't been able to open her heart to anyone, she didn't know if she could, but Nick, he had a way of tapping at the armor, finding the cracks, and he was slowly seeping in.

She wasn't sure if she could tell him that though.

After the waiter took their places she smiled up at him and he seemed to smile too. He hadn't done that a whole lot when they first met, and her first invited her to stay with him and his 'family'. She liked most everyone there, those one, the only other English person, and he seemed to hate her. She didn't know why, but she wouldn't let Nick know, Roman seemed to have a similar prick about him too. They were friends, at least he thought, but then this Brooklyn girl, who oddly shared the same name are her, though she went by her middle name, Brooklyn was her grandmother's name so she wanted to set herself apart, but this girl, seemed to have hurt Nick something fierce, and honestly, that's how they bonded. They both had past loves they hurt them, though Brooklyn didn't kill herself.

Image"Ready to go? We should probably head back home soon, I think it's supposed to rain tonight." Nick said, calling her thoughts back to him. She smiled at him. "I'm ready, though, I like the rain, it reminds me of home," She said, New York and London were a lot alike, though New Yorkers were a lot more upfront with their feelings. London, they would smile in your face and spit at your back, though both places had their own special stink. Sewage smelled bad everywhere.

She stood up, and placed her hand in his. "That was nice." She told them. "Lunch, out, just us, it was nice." She told him, and honestly, she wanted to know what was going to happen now. They'd spent a very lovely night together, high emotions, low inhibitions, but by the morning , she'd realized she wanted to be there, with him, curled up beside him in bed, but she didn't know what it meant for him. She hoped against hope he felt the same.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Again, Savannah was proving herself to be what Nick needed. She was so different from Brooklyn, especially in how she was rarely negative. He inadvertently smiled when she took his hand and insisted that she didn't mind the rain. He could hear Brooklyn's voice in his head, shouting at him about how they should have left earlier because she was not going to get her hair wet in the rain. That, or about how he better tell everyone to be silent, because she wanted to sleep and that was always impossible when the weather was poor and everyone flocked to the basement. He hated that Savannah reminded him of Brooklyn at all, even if it was just to compare how different they were. Brooklyn made the choice to leave him, and he deserved to let himself move on. Over the past few weeks, Savannah had proven herself to be an amazing girl and Nick hated that he continued to hold on to Brooklyn when it was clear that he needed to start a new chapter of his life.

Her voice pulled him out of his own thoughts and his smile widened as he met her gaze. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as he held the door open for her on their way out. "It was nice," he agreed. Savannah was so easy to hang out with. Even after their night together - one that Nick hadn't planned on happening but didn't regret either - things were still comfortable. He knew that they needed to discuss what went on and what they were, but he didn't feel like they needed to do it right then and there. Maybe that was the irresponsible side of him speaking. The side that Brooklyn loved to dwell over, talking about how he could never face his true responsibilities and feelings. There were countless occasions where early in there relationship, Brooklyn would berate him for not being able to tell her he loved her. After that, it went on to him not being able to step up and find an apartment for them, and before they split, he had even heard her mouthing off about him dating her for seven years and apparently not loving her enough to propose. It was true that Nick was hesitant with big decisions. He was laid back enough to prefer just letting things happen how they happened. Even in the warehouse, he only stepped into arguments when he really needed to. Savannah wasn't pressuring him in the slightest, and she hadn't really brought up their night either, but Nick knew it needed to be addressed eventually. For now, he would wait, though.

"So, what did you do all morning? Write anything you can share with me?" Another thing that Nick appreciated about Savannah was her passion for writing. He wasn't artistic in the slightest, and after reading a few of the pieces she shared with him, he was amazed at how well she could write. It was only a matter of time before one of her pieces were published or landed her some big name job and he never let her doubt that.

By the time they reached the bar, the clouds were still hanging heavy over the city but the sidewalks were still dry. He led Savannah into Finn's bar and nodded to the older man as they walked towards the back. Had Finn not been caught up in conversation with some of the other patrons, he would have stopped to say hello. Instead, the pair made their way to the back staircase and downstairs. Lennie and Alexandra were down there, and Nick offered them a small smile and a wave as they reached the floor. The two sat at the rusty table that Finn had offered him when he replaced one of the ones upstairs, eating what smelled like Chinese food. If Nick hadn't just inhaled three slices of pizza, he probably would have helped himself to whatever they were having, considering that both of the girls were normally more than generous with what they had. He wasn't hungry, but was itching to smoke. Rather than do it now, he decided to wait until Roman came back, or at least until after he hung out with Savannah for a little longer. Lately, Roman was barely in the basement and Nick knew better than to bank on his friend suddenly returning before he smoked. "Do I get to read it?" he grinned at Savannah as he tugged her towards his area of the basement.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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#, as written by Cure
His tactic in getting her to complain worked. Without missing a beat, she dove into her treacherous day at work. He knew that being a waiter or waitress wasn't easy work and they were treated terribly a lot of the times, but Brooke's stories were comical more than anything. Her dramatization of the situations, even as she told him right now, he could see her become annoyed as she rolled her eyes and scoffed through her stories. And although he was used to Brooke and her ways by now, he couldn't help by redden in embarrassment from her describing a kid as a bitch. He glanced over at the taxi driver the way a mother might when her child says something unknowingly inappropriate, hoping no one had heard.

It took them an extra twenty minutes just to get back to Finn's due to traffic. And on top of that, the driver was one of the those that drove around the entire city to rack up the meter. Roman groaned internally, knowing he should have had Brooklyn given the man the address. Every now and then, a driver would hear Roman and assume he was a tourist and purposely go in circles, thinking him unfamiliar with the area. This driver was no different, and chose to drive past the Brooklyn Bridge where it was busy with tour buses and taxis trying the same tactics. Roman leaned forward, grabbing the back of the driver's seat.

"You know we're on the other side of the city, yeah?"

The driver had a thick accent; he must have been Arabic. He looked at him and said, "No, we are very close. Almost there." And the man was persistent for quite some time before Roman detailed directions on how to actually get to Finn's. The man was clearly annoyed, seeing that he just got unlucky this time, but after glancing at the meter and seeming satisfied, he went the right way. The bad mood was set in Killens by the time they arrived at Finn's. He wasn't planning on paying for a dodgy driver on top of the extra traffic. He had to pay Giovanni back for losing last week. The fight didn't even last thirty seconds before his opponent knocked Killens out. To be fair, the guy had an extra hundred pounds on Killens, and he was a dirty fighter. There was no way Roman could have beaten him, and even if he could, Roman would have purposely turned in the match. You win too many fights, you piss off certain people.

"I'll carry the stuff, Brooke," Roman said as he begrudgingly forked over the money. The dent wasn't so bad, hardly anything if he didn't have so little to actually use for himself. But he had to save up for the next entry fee, which would likely be $200. Then he had to put some aside for Giovanni, who would probably take a larger sum out of Roman's share if he were to win the next fight. He could hear his voice now, coughing in his own cigar smoke, "You know how lucky you are to have me? I could find a guy three times your size who'll bring home more than your skinny ass." And that damn tape. He still needed tape.

"Have a nice day, sir," the driver said with a cheerful smile.

Roman rolled his eyes, turning around. Swinging the backpack over his shoulders, he was almost glad to be back to Finn's so he could lie down and hate the heat, and this damned city, and his damned life, but he remembered as he saw the bar sign with Finn's name decorated in half-working lights. He remember he still had to deal with Brooke and telling her about Savannah. Roman stacked the two boxes on top of each other and picked them up, looking over the side to see. He was sure his hands were leaving sweat stains on the cardboard. He was sure the top box would fall because his hands were shaking. As they entered through the basement door, Roman watched his steps. They would set her things down real fast and leave. He'd complain about the humidity and the fresh smell of Chinese food which was sure to aggravate Brooke, and he would offer they go out and get a cold drink. Just do something to get out of the basement long enough for him to talk about--

Killens stopped two steps from the bottom, hearing Nick's voice. Across the basement, Nick and Savannah were coming down the stairs from the other entrance, holding hands. He suddenly preferred to be driven aimlessly around New York City as the inevitability dawned on him. "Shit," he mumbled and thought in his head repeatedly. As he slowly took the next two steps to the bottom, everything came to him. He realized that in his time of remaining away from the basement, of not telling Nick about him seeing Brooke just about everyday, he also failed to mention to him that Brooke was coming back. He realized that maybe the basement in the next five minutes would become a lot more dangerous than one of his fights. Maybe, he thought, they would be so busy hating each other, that he could escape and move to the next state. Or country.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft
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"So, what did you do all morning? Write anything you can share with me?" Savannah smiled as Nick asked about her writing. She was happy he was interested. There was a lingering fear in Savannah that Nick only wanted one thing, and got it, but now, she knew that wasn't true.

When they first met, he was trying to sell her drugs. It sounds bizarre considering where they are now, but at the start she didn't trust him one bit, but then out of no where, an actual person came out of Nick, he wasn't just some dealer looking for a new client, he was any actual person with actual feelings and they were feelings that she felt herself.

He knew things about her now, her night terrors, honestly it was one of those night terrors that started whatever this one. She was tossing and turning in her sleep, whimpering out, and he was awake, the others had been either asleep or didn't care enough to come see what was wrong, but he did. He came for her, eased her out of her night terror and kept her company, he didn't press, he was just there, and that's what she needed, and eventually, she told him about her dreams, about Lucas, about their unborn child that she felt she murdered, those were the dreams that haunt her the most, the ones were Lucas was with their child, laughing and playing together and all she could do was watching, trapped on the outside of paradise.

Leading her down toward his part of the apartment, she took a seat and giggled. "Do I get to read them."
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"Only if you want to be up late." She said with a grin as she pulled out her notebook. She liked it old school, something about writing with a pen and paper, made it come more naturally then it did on a computer. She still had her old one from school, that she didn't mind sharing with the others. She was fairly certain Holly had it, she wouldn't be surprised if she did. "This new story is particularly dark, but this time, there is an actual monster, not the psychology horror like the last." She said and opened the binder and laid it on her lap. " You can read it if you like, I could actually use your opinion on it." She said and was about to hand him the binder when she heard a bit of commotion on the stairs at the other entrance. She frowned, but then laughed, thinking perhaps it was little Holly, playing or something. She adored Holly, and her a million questions, she knew the girl wasn't a child, but she was so small and child like that Savannah couldn't help but think of her that way, that and she had Makayla, who was like the den mother, but more so to Holly then anyone else. She wanted to learn more about those two, but thought it rude to ask, so soon, she was still new after all. She chuckled, dropping her hand a little. "Did you think that was Holly?" she asked rhetorically. "I don't know what goes on in that mind of hers, sometimes." she said but smiled. Sometimes, Savannah just wanted to kiss her, being so cute and being so full of infectious energy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Brooklyn didn't even think to grab either of her boxes from the trunk of the car, so she only acknowledged Killens offer with a slight nod. She wasn't the type of person to get nervous easily, but she could feel her heart beating faster as the cab drove away. She didn't know why. Brooklyn had lived at Finn's for longer than anyone else, even Nick. This was her home, and she didn't need to feel like a stranger coming back. Was it Nick? She didn't want him to have the power to suddenly make her feel so antsy, but she did. Her hands were mimicking Roman's as she wiped her palms on her denim shorts and decided that it wasn't Nick. Not exactly, at least. She wasn't scared to come back to the warehouse because Brooklyn felt like she had more of a right than anyone to be living here. It wasn't Nick. Brooklyn had gotten into far too many verbal and sometimes even physical altercations with her ex for his physical presence to scare her.

If anything, it was the idea of something changing that scared her. The basement was her home while she lived there, and along with Nick, she felt like she had some superiority over the others just because she had lived there the longest. Aside from the occasional occurrences of Alexandra trying to be the voice of justice, everyone was familiar with the area of the space that Brooklyn claimed as her own, and with her difficult personality, and knew better than to mess with either. Two months was a long time, though. Knowing Nick, he might have invited Peter Pan and all of his Lost Boys to live there since then. Even though Roman's insistence that Nick was lost without her had gotten her through those two months, now, as she carefully stepped down the steep stairwell, she was beginning to question it. There wasn't much time to think, because unlike the cab rid, her trek downstairs took less than a minute. The hot, heavy air and the smell of Chinese food hit her as soon as she stepped on the concrete ground. Her expression was blank, but her mind was racing as her eyes scanned the room. Lennie and Alex were sitting at the table. They were unsurprisingly the source of the strong food odor. If she wasn't trying confused about the unfamiliar boy sitting with them, she would have rolled her eyes at the pair for already annoying her. The boy was definitely a surprise, but she didn't focus on him too long. Even Robbie brushing past her wasn't enough to warrant any reaction when her eyes finally fell upon Nick. There was no time for her to admire Nick for the first time in two months because he was not alone. Seated next to him on his mattress was some girl who Brooklyn also couldn't recognize, but she knew one thing, and that was that that bitch was sitting way too close to Nick for comfort. Brooklyn had no idea who she was or that she meant anything to Nick, but it could have been Holly sitting with him like that and it still would have flipped her jealousy switch on.

Her first thought was to walk over to Nick and the girl who had early earned the name of "that whore" and ask her who she thought she was, but she didn't. She couldn't stop her eyebrows from raising at the initial shock of the sight, but she also knew in the back of her mind that this girl very well was a nobody, and there was nothing going on between her and Nick. She wasn't going to waste her time and energy on her, or Nick. No, Brooklyn wasn't that type of girl. As she so clearly demonstrated through her two month absence, she was not someone who chased other people, and especially not Nick. If he chose to acknowledge her, that was fine by her, but if not, oh well. She was not going to make the first move when she was doing him a favor just by moving back in.

"Bring that one over here and grab my mattress for me?" Brooklyn said, addressing Killens in a friendly tone but shooting him a daggered look. She still had no idea that Savannah and Nick were anything, but he was still going to hear it from her for not telling her that Zero and Savannah had moved in. She took one of the boxes from his hands and headed over to Makayla and Holly's corner of the basement. She used her foot to push their mattresses and boxes until they were practically on top of Cara's, to make space for her own. There was no way that she was going to set all of her stuff up next to Nick and that whore, and she didn't even want to grace him with her presence enough to go get her mattress herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Nick honestly wasn't much of a reader. He's was a school person in general and it was a struggle for him to get through books that were assigned to him, let alone read anything for fun on his free time. However, it was clear that writing was Savannah's passion, and even though at first he had only skimmed through her work so he wasn't being offensive, it only took a few pieces for him to realize that she was a great writer. Her stories were interesting and different and it made it even cooler to know that all of these ideas had come straight from her head. He wished that he had some sort of talent like that. He couldn't draw or paint, act or sing, play an instrument or write. He had been athletic growing up, but it wasn't like that brought him anything more than a few trophies when he was in grade school. It made him hope that Savannah's writing career worked out even more. If she had such a passion for something, she was already lucky, but she deserved to be successful too.

He chuckled as she explained that her new story was scary enough to keep him up at night. He doubted it. Living on the streets had allowed him to see some pretty dark things, but he was up for the challenge if she thought it was that scary. "I've got to do some runs tonight, so I'll be up anyway, but I'm sure I can handle it," he grinned as he tugged the binder on to his own lap. The sound of the basement door opening caught Nick's attention like it did Savannah's, but unlike her, he turned his head to look across the room. "We'd hear Holly from a mile away," he laughed, his gaze still set on the stairwell as he waited for the person to make there way down. First came Robbie, and then Roman, and then... Brooklyn?! Nick couldn't have been more surprised and he made that clear as his mouth fell agape. His stomach dropped and he could feel his heart beating a mile a minute. It was a good feeling more than a bad one at first. Brooklyn was back. Brooklyn was back! Savannah had been an amazing help in passing the time with, but Brooklyn was his girl. She had been his girl for seven years and having her standing only a few feet away from him again was unfathomable when only minutes earlier, he had told himself that he just needed to move on from her for good.

Her glare in their direction and refusal to even acknowledge him with a wave was what reminded him of why she had been gone for two months in the first place. He loved her and her mere presence reminded him of that, but this was Brooklyn that they were dealing with and as much as he wanted to forget every bad thing that had happened between them, he still wasn't going to accept all of the blame like she wanted him to. He had stopped himself from chasing her down so many times over the past eight weeks because as much as he loved her, their relationship was way too unstable to keep trying unless they both agreed to change. He had flaws that he needed to work on but so did she, and even in these first two minutes, it was apparent that she wasn't going to accept that. Still, he had to make some effort. Even if he wasn't going to go to the lengths he went to for her originally, he had to do something. He couldn't just sit there and say nothing and let her be her passive aggressive self, especially with Savannah sitting right next to him. Savannah! He warm skin pressed against his reminded him of how screwed he really was. Not only did he sleep with Savannah, but there were feelings there. They weren't the same as what he and Brooklyn shared, but they were something and he couldn't deny that even if he wanted to.

Brooklyn had walked in with Roman, which soon left him wondering how Killens had stumbled upon her, and why he hadn't told her. Brooklyn was not just going to come back here on her own. Between her two jobs, she made more than anyone else here and even with her extremely impulsive spending habits, he was sure she would have been able to afford some place to live. She had friends at both of her jobs who would probably let her stay with them too. He really believed what she had said, that she didn't need him as much as he needed her, and knew that Roman had to have played a part in her coming back. He couldn't ask Roman about it now. Not with Savannah and Brooklyn, as well as Zero, Robbie, Alex and Lennie, all in the room.

He and Brooklyn hadn't been facing the stairs so he nudged for her to turn around. "Uh, so that's Brooklyn," he said, speaking quietly so that hopefully, between the chatter going on at the table and Brooklyn speaking to Killens, only Savannah would hear it. "Roman didn't tell me she was coming back or else I would have warned you. Not like there's anything to be warned about, but..." he was stammering and wasn't sure what to say. "I'll be right back." He didn't know if it was wrong of him to not invite Savannah to come over so he could introduce the two of them, but he already felt the tension Brooklyn brought in with her and didn't want Savannah to be at the other end of her wrath.

He was so caught off guard by the two of them coming downstairs that he didn't even glance at Alex, Lennie and Zero as he hurried past them and towards Brooklyn. His pace slowed considerably as he watched her carelessly shove Makayla and Holly's possessions to the side to clear a space for her own. "You're back." He was stating the obvious but he didn't know how else to approach her, especially when she didn't look up despite knowing that he was hovering only a few feet away from her.

"Yup." She didn't even look up as she shuffled through one of the boxes. The clinking inside was a noise he was all too familiar with and he instantly knew that it was her treasured alcohol collection. It didn't distract him enough to not notice how short he was being with him. "Your mattress and blankets are up in Finn's apartment. I can go get them for you, if you want." He was trying to be nice but she still refused to meet his eyes as she pretended to be occupied with what was in her box. "No, Roman's going to get it for me." He nodded and paused, not sure what else to say. She wasn't giving him anything to work with and he was feeling jittery. In an impulsive and frantic move to keep the conversation moving and hopefully break the tension, he looked back towards Savannah and waved her over. "This is Savannah. She, uh, moved in a few weeks ago." Again, Brooklyn refused to look up. He hoped Savannah would come over and show her how nice she was, but he was clearly running on adrenaline to think that Brooklyn and she could ever be friends. Especially after what he and Savannah had done a few nights before, that was probably going to be impossible. Still, what else was he supposed to do when Brooklyn had showed up out of the blue? Between looking back towards Savannah, who he hoped was coming over, and looking down at Brooklyn, he met Roman's gaze for a second. That was all it took for him to give him a look telling him he was dead as soon as they were alone.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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ImageSavannah wasn't sure how she felt when the blonde woman came down the stairs. She was even more lost when Nick seemed both sore and sink at the sight of her. She could tell who that was from his look alone. This was Brooklyn, the Brooklyn, the overly cynical, impossibly critical, highly judgmental Brooklyn that left Nick empty.

At least that's what she got from their conversations. It wasn't hard to see why they were together, she was lovely, blonde, and had an aire of dominance about her that Savannah was never able to do. Savannah was always the bookworm, always watching, writing, reading, she was nothing like Brooklyn, despite how they shared a name.

Brooklyn took one look at her and seemed to make the snap decision that they would not be friends. Savannah, wouldn't let that deter her, even as she kicked over Makayla and Holly's mattresses over nearly on top of Cara's.


Well that was rude. she thought, and if they'd had been properly introduced, she would have said so, but she wouldn't be rude, She was raised to be a proper English lady.

. "Uh, so that's Brooklyn," Nick said, softly. Savannah rose her brows. He really didn't have to tell her that. "Roman didn't tell me she was coming back or else I would have warned you. Not like there's anything to be warned about, but..." He paused and Savannah knew what was coming. He was going to her, try to talk to Brooklyn, and she got a sinking feeling that he wasn't going to mention her to Brooklyn, and honestly why would he? It wasn't like they themselves talked about it. ""I'll be right back" He said and she nodded, " Yea..." She said but he was already gone.

Savannah got a lump in her throat. What did this mean? He loved Brooklyn, he didn't have to say it, he talked about her often, negative or not, he loved her. Seven years didn't just go away, especially when Nick wasn't the one to end it. Now she was back, and by the look of her, surely she probably meant to be back in all capacities.

Savannah tried to swallow the lump but it just got caught in her throat.

She realized then, and suddenly, that she didn't like Brooklyn, and she felt bad for it. Only because of how Nick reacted, he still loved her, and it only made her wonder what it meant for them.

To her surprise, Nick turned to her, and waved her over. Savannah hesitated, just a hair, but she felt it. She swallowed again, and walked over. This is Savannah. She, uh, moved in a few weeks ago." He said and Savannah smiled, It was small but genuine.

Savannah politely offered her hand. "Savannah, Savannah Stonecraft," She said, sounding as sweet and as English as she possibly could be at the moment. It wasn't intentional, the English bit anyway. She'd tried to hid her accent sometimes but she still had the English song in her words, and now that she was feeling so many confusing emotions, it only got stronger. "It's a pleasure to meet you." She said, and that was probably the biggest lie she ever told. She wanted to be nice, and kind, but Nick....she wanted Nick more[/, another dark realization that was going to keep her up at night as if she needed anything else.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Lennies eyes twinkled slightly at hearing Alex's accent and smiled while swallowing. "Your one and only." she managed to say in between bites. Pulling out the second pair of chopsticks Lennie handed them to Alex. "Here, you know how to work them right?" she joked with her eyebrow raised questionably. The basement was Lennies home and everyone that lived in it was her family whether they liked her or not. Moments like these always made her happy so she enjoyed them as much as she could. "Get much done today?"

"Plenty, and them some" she answered rather casually while waving back at Nick and Savannah who just walked in. Before she could as Alex about her day though Zero came in next and plopped himself next to Alex. "Haven't seen you two around. I would ask where you were all night, but something tells me I don't want to know."

Lens couldn't help but to laugh a little while talking a sip of her lemonade then offering Alex some. "I ran off with peter pan to never-land." she joked once more before taking a piece of chicken into her mouth. Silence filled the room a couple of minutes later when Lennies eyes landed on . . . Brooke? Whoa, wait she's back!? Lennie felt a smile begin to grow as the blonde stormed around putting her things down. Even though Lennie annoyed Brooklyn she was still part of her family and was happy that she was back.

Her smile didn't last long though when Lens remembered that Nick and Sav were also down here, she slowly slumped down a bit in her chair as if to avoid impending doom. Lenny's concerned puppy eyes began to look in between Alex and Zero swallowing her food hard. The room felt tense now and Lenny didn't really like it. "Hey Zero, why don't we go grab Brooklyn's blankets and stuff from up stairs?" she suggested.

She got to her feet quicker than you can say argument and began heading towards the steps. "We'll be right back Alex, you can have the rest." Lenny wanted Alex to come along too and felt a bit bad leaving her in the midst of a civil war that may occur but she knew that Alex was tired and shouldn't be moving around much. She needed rest and Lennie didn't want to bother her so much. "Hey Roman, come help get her things?" asked Lenny trying to get the boy who looked paler than usual out of there too.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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It took all but a split second for Brooke to size up the scene. Instead of exploding, she calmly took a box from Killens and began shoving Makayla and Holly's side of the room on top of Cara's things. Initially he was thankful that she'd remained calm, but he realized after she shot him an evil look, that she was saving her anger for later. Now was as good a time as any, he figured, to pull her aside and explain things. She probably didn't want to be in the basement anyway, but before he could do anything, Nick was beside Brooke like a child caught stealing sweets before dinner. He could tell that not in just his words alone, which were unsure, forced and stammered, but in his demeanor, that Nick was anxious. He was nervous and wanted to get more from Brooke than just a few curt sentences. Roman looked between the two of them, eyes wide, as they spoke almost formulaic; he was just waiting for someone to start shouting, it was bound to happen. In a way, it was funny to see the two of them talk again, if what they were doing even passed as talking. Watching Nick try to feed into Brooke's stubbornness, and Brooke refusing brought back memories. It was comical, really. It was enough to put a slight smile on his face and for his shoulders to relax. There was definitely still something there, he thought, but before he could praise himself for too long, Nick called Savannah over.

For the love of God.

Was Nick high? Roman didn't even glance in Savannah's direction, not caring to see what altercation was bound to happen when she came over. He set the box he'd forgotten he was holding down on the ground, along with Brooke's backpack. The growing tension jogged his memory and reminded him that he should get Brooke's things from upstairs. If not because he was probably going to do it anyway, but because he wasn't trying to stick around. As Savannah made her way over, an innate scowl forming on Roman's face, he locked eyes with Nick. And then every ounce of hope he had in making it out alive was suddenly evaporated. He wouldn't let Nick see this, though, because there were some things Nick was keeping to himself too, and it was apparent in his awkward attempt to keep a fallout from happening. Roman glared at Savannah crossing the room until his eyes met Nick's again, and he returned the same look Nick gave before giving him a tight smile that said, "Have fun."

As he left them, he saw Lennie was trying to make her way up the stairs as well. "Hey, Roman, come help get her things?" Lennie offered. Killens didn't immediately respond as he passed the couch and table. He knew Brooke wasn't going to want just anyone handling her things to begin with, and he didn't really want to be around anyone right now. "I've got it. Thanks," he said, meaning that as hint that he didn't desire help, even if he might have needed it. He doubted the mattress could be too heavy; all it would take was sliding it down the stairs. Roman climbed the stairs two at a time, ready to get out of that environment, and didn't turn back to see if Lennie and the others were following.

He went through the entrance that led to Finn's apartment upstairs. Roman questioned Finn's intelligence since he hardly ever seemed to lock it. A while ago, Roman poked fun at him about it, and Finn responded, in his thick Irish accent with, "Ye plan on stealin' something, ye crumpet-sucka?" Roman knew Finn disliked him because of his English background, of which Killens couldn't really care less, but he could only imagine what he thought of Savannah, who was almost unbearably English at times. After some searching, Roman found Brooke's things. He slid the mattress down the stairs, letting it press against his back as he slowly went down. Within the next few moments, Roman was downstairs again. He slid the mattress near Zero's side of the space, knowing the guy was quiet and wouldn't say anything, especially since he hung out with Lennie and Alex more than anyone else. Or at least that's what he deducted from the few times he actually noticed Zero. The guy was still pretty new, so sometimes Killens forgot he was even there. He didn't bother to ask Zero if it was okay to set Brooke's things here, because at this point, Zero had no choice. He did, however, look at Brooke and say, "Is okay here?" But she only ignored him in response.

Killens dropped the mattress down, followed by her blankets; Brooke could unfold them if she wanted to. Right now he didn't really care since he was too fixed on other things, like his palms which were sweating again and his body begin to ache. His breathing was short, deep and raspy as he patted his back pocket and landed on the bulge his cigarette pack left. He pulled one out and balanced it between his lips before making his way up the basement stairs and into the alleyway. Even the heat was refreshing compared to inside. The alley smelled fouly of the nearby Dumpster, but Killens couldn't be brought to care right now. All he wanted, all he really needed, was five seconds alone. He'd finish the cigarette, he thought as he brought the lighter to the other end. He would go back inside and deal with everything. He'd talk to Brooke, or let her yell at him since that's how it would turn out being. He'd deal with Nick when he dealt with Nick. He'd try to put Makayla and Holly's stuff back before they got back, because if Makayla saw what Brooke did, it would just be another fight waiting to happen. Everything would be taken care of later, he told himself. But first, he'd smoke.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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"Haven't seen you two around. I would ask where you were all night, but something tells me I don't want to know."

Taking a sip of Lennie's lemonade, Alex flipped Zero the bird in a playful manner, shaking her head. Her eyes shot up as the door to the basement opened, and one of her least favourite people at the moment, smelling of alcohol, gasoline, and weed. She grimaced at the mixture of smells. She returned to her thoughts, though it didn't last nearly as long as she would have liked before the basement door opened again and footsteps signaled the arrival of Roman.

Opening her mouth to shoot a witty crack at Roman's expense, she shut again once she spotted the blonde girl behind him. Narrowing her eyes a bit, and then widening them in a bit of shock, she reached behind her again for Lennie's lemonade. Sipping it, she intently shot her eyes between Brooklyn and where Nick and Savannah were seated. Poor Savannah. She could see it in Nick's eyes clear as day that he had just fallen for Brooklyn again, and there Savannah was. Sitting right next to him where she had been trying to gain his favour.

Then she looked back at Nick, following his gaze to Roman, who looked like he wanted to run out at any second. If this weren't happening right in front of her, between people she knew, then Alex would have considered this the best free drama entertainment she would probably ever get. However, it was people she knew personally. And she only had one thought running through her mind now.

Shit is about to get interesting.

She watched intently as Nick stood up from where he was next to Savannah, walking over the Brooklyn. She couldn't quite hear what they said, but if the tension in the room grew any more than they would all probably suffocate in it. To Alex's surprise, Nick waved Savannah over to where he was.

As Savannah, introduced herself, Alex heard Lennie off to her side. "Hey Zero, why don't we go grab Brooklyn's blankets and stuff from up stairs?"

Zero didn't so much respond as get dragged away by Lennie, leaving Alex who hissed a quick 'Bastards' at them as they practically ran upstairs with Roman, leaving Alex in the room with the trio who were causing so much tension it was tangible, and Robbie the king drunk. Though admittedly, at the thought of actually having to get up to go with them, Alex felt as though sitting down there may have been the better choice. But she was still in the room. So Alex did the only thing she could really think of.

She leaned back in her chair, kicked her legs up on the table again and crossed them, picked up the Chinese food and chopsticks, and let out a loud sigh.

"You know guys, maybe we should fix Makayla and Holly's stuff up. 'Else Makayla's going to be pissed," she said in a matter-of-fact tone, using the chopsticks to lift some of the Chinese food into her mouth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Brooklyn wanted to talk to Nick, but not here with Lennie, Alex, Robbie, the two new people there to eavesdrop. First, she needed to punch Roman in the face for not telling her that there were new people to begin with. The dark haired boy probably wouldn't be a problem. She immediately assumed that he was a typical drug addict and decided that as long as she watched her belongings around him, there wouldn't be any issues. But the girl... Brooklyn did already hate her. She was jealous and catty and she didn't no that it was with good reason, but she was irked by how close she had been sitting with Nick. Why, in a million years, would Nick think that she wanted to talk to her and more so, why was he introducing her to just Savannah and not the dark haired boy as well? It raised suspicions in Brooklyn's mind and had her glancing back towards Roman, who was now hurrying up the stairs. Lennie had said something about helping him get her things and if she wasn't preoccupied with the new girl approaching, she would have rolled her eyes. It was typical of Lennie to try to help out. She had adopted the peacemaker role of the group and was usually the one trying to help out and alleviate problems. For the most part, she was nothing but nice, but even that was enough to get on Brooklyn's nerves sometimes.

Brooklyn was kneeling on the ground, still dedicating her attention to sorting things out in one of her boxes when Savannah stepped towards her. She had half a mind to just completely ignore the girl, but even Brooklyn wasn't going to be that petty. Instead, she glanced up at her and then at her extended hand, and offered a smile. It was more icy than anything else, but Savannah didn't know her and Brooklyn doubted she would sense that. Nick, on the other hand, and maybe a few of the others who were still present, were sure to get the vibes, though. "I'm sure it is," she responded to Savannah's polite "it's a pleasure to meet you" line. She didn't acknowledge the extended hand and turned her head back towards her box. It was undeniable that it was a rude introduction, but Brooklyn couldn't have cared any less. In her mind, it was even more rude for Savannah to have set up all of her things right next to Nick's, where Brooklyn had always lived. It was rude for Savannah to be all over her ex, it was rude for Nick to invite two new people to stay in a shitty basement that was already packed, and it was rude for Killens to have kept that from her. In true Brooklyn fashion, she felt like compared to what everyone else had done to her, she wasn't acting poorly in the slightest.

She had no issues with continuing to unpack her things despite Nick and Savannah still hovering over her. She wasn't interested in speaking with them, so she wasn't going to waste her breath pretending that she was. Even when Alex spoke up, and hinted that it was wrong for Brooklyn to have plowed through Makayla and Holly's space to make room for her own, she didn't turn her head to react to the blonde. "She'll get over it," was her only response, and it was in a muttered, uninterested tone. Leave it to Alex to want to stick up for Makayla, who in Brooklyn's mind, no one gave a damn about. If she hadn't trudged Holly along into the basement with her, Brooklyn probably never would have had an issue with her. On the outside, Brooklyn made it clear that her issue with the pair was how unrelentingly loud and obnoxious Holly was, and how she felt like Makayla didn't do enough to tame that. She would never admit it, but it was more than that though. Makayla got to have a little sister, and Brooklyn didn't. It bothered her for reasons she couldn't understand, and what irked her even more was that Makayla was a good sister. Even though she was vocal about feeling otherwise, everyone knew that Kay was good to Holly. Better to Holly than any of them could be if they were actually responsible for her, at least.

The next few minutes were spent sifting through her boxes. She pulled out a couple bottles of alcohol and lined a small section of the wall with them, and then rummaged through the rest of her belongings. Killens had come down in the midst of that and had brought her mattress with him. He set it down on the opposite side of the room and asked if it was okay, and even though it definitely was not okay, she didn't respond. He was probably trying to avoid a blowout between her and Makayla, but it was too little, too late for him to try to play peacekeeper now. She allowed him to wander off before getting up, side stepping Nick and Savannah, and dragging her mattress over to new self-proclaimed new area. There was still work to be done and still a couple of boxes of things at her friend's house, but she wasn't in the mood to put it together now. Especially now when Alex and Lennie would probably try to step in and get her to at least share the space better with Holly, Makayla and Cara. The thought of Cara reminded Brooklyn of the blonde, and Brooklyn hoped that she was on her way back soon. She was the easiest roommate to tolerate and Brooklyn was already planning on dragging her out to get dinner or something, so that she could avoid being in the warehouse without looking like she was just running off alone because she was intimidated. "Where's Cara?" The question was directed to no one in particular, but she made sure her eyes landed on Alex rather than Nick and Savannah.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Savannah was doing the best that she could, but Brooklyn didn't bother to return even an ounce of kindness. She couldn't even shake Savannah's hand or reciprocate that it was nice to meet her as well. Instead, she agreed that it was a pleasure for Savannah to meet her and turned her attention back to setting up her area, as if they weren't still standing right there. He quickly shot Savannah an apologetic look. She didn't deserve to be treated that way and Nick hoped his look told her that, but he didn't have it in him to start a fight with Brooklyn when she had been back for less than five minutes. Her coming back was supposed to be a good thing. It's what he had been hoping would happen for so long, but it didn't feel that great now. There were so many emotions swirling around in his brain and he didn't know what to do. Savannah had proven herself to be an amazing friend by letting him vent to her about Brooklyn and building his emotional and mental health back up after she left. She had shown that she could be more than just a friend too. They spent a heated night together, and even on occasions like today's lunch, the atmosphere around them just suggested that there was more between them than just a friendship. But Brooklyn had been his everything for so long. He had survived without her and if she had been gone for another couple of weeks, he probably would have been able to accept that he needed to move on from her for good. Now, he was caught in the middle of both girls and he didn't know what to do or say to either of them.

When Roman, Lennie and Zero headed towards the stairs, Nick again felt inclined to say something to break the silence. At the same time, it was apparent that Brooklyn wanted no part in a conversation that involved either him or Savannah and he didn't want to give her a chance to snub Savannah's friendliness again. When Brooklyn turned her body to face away from them, he quickly mouthed "I'm sorry" to Savannah because he really was. He was apologizing for Brooklyn's attitude mainly, but also for putting her in this awkward situation. Physically, and mentally. Whatever he and Savannah were was now going to be even more challenging to figure out, and again, he had to place the blame on Roman. As the seconds passed and he uncomfortably glanced between Brooklyn, who seemed comfortable with ignoring them and claiming Holly and Makayla's territory as her own, and Savannah, who seemed unsure of how to continue, he became more sure that Roman had set this up. Nick and Roman had become like brothers after they met on the streets years ago, and it was now becoming apparent to Nick that Roman must have become jealous of Savannah. He and Brooklyn always included Roman because they had been sort of a trio. It was never odd for Roman to tag along when they hung out, but almost as soon as Savannah just the group, Roman brushed her off. It was as if he were making up for Brooklyn's attitude by not giving Savannah a chance and brushing off any attempt she made to get to know him. He didn't expect Roman to open up to her like he had, but at the same time, Nick felt like he snubbed her more than he did anyone else. Either he had been seeing Brooke all along and was taking her side in their fight, or he was jealous of Savannah. Maybe a mix of both. The suspicion was enough for him to decide that he couldn't put off talking to Roman.

When his friend reappeared, placed Brooklyn's possessions next to Zero's and then left, Nick had a good idea that he was going out to smoke. He knew Roman well enough that just judging by the look on his face, he was stressed, and that pointed towards him needing a smoke. As soon as Brooklyn got up to reclaim her mattress and drag it to where she wanted it, he turned to Savannah. "Savannah, I'm so sorry about... that. I promise she's not that bad, really. I need to go talk to Roman, but I'll be back in a few minutes. Just don't let her get to you, alright? I swear this won't be as bad as it seems." He was speaking quickly, partly because he was still incredibly anxious and partly because he needed to finish speaking before Brooklyn was back in earshot. Alex had spoken about them needing to fix Holly and Makayla's things, and it was probably an indirect way of her telling Brooklyn that they weren't going to tolerate her ruining the sisters' setup. That impending drama was one less thing Nick needed to deal with, especially when Brooklyn passively responded that Makayla would just need to "get over it". Alex would be able to handle that, he was sure, and it would hopefully reassure Savannah that Brooklyn wasn't the bully that she was already making herself out to be.

He patted his pocket and when he felt the pre-rolled joint and his lighter inside, he gave Savannah one last unsure smile and headed towards the stairs. He opted for the ones that led straight into the alley, rather than go through the bar, and found Roman outside, smoking a cigarette as he expected. "Really, man? Really? You bring her back without even warning me?" Nick was speaking calmly, but only because he was busy lighting his joint. Knowing that he would soon be high, and that there was already enough drama in the near future, were the only things keeping him from snapping at Roman. Once his joint was lit, he stepped behind the privacy of the dumpster and rested his back against the brick building wall. He inhaled deeply, knowing that it was probably going to take more than one joint for him to keep calm after whatever explanation Roman had to give him.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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#, as written by Cure
In the middle of a draw, the basement door opened and Nick appeared beside him. Roman rolled his eyes theatrically and glared at him before looking the other way. He just wanted to finish his cigarette alone and not talk to anybody. Two months of Nick's secretive behavior, pretending like nothing was happening between him and Savannah, and now he wanted to talk. What made him even more irritated than the still thick heat despite it being around five in the morning, and even more than all the drama that was bound to occur, was the fact that he knew he wasn't entirely in the right. He knew he was being childish. He could have talked to Nick as soon as things started bothering him, but for some reason he didn't. Part of it was because he wanted to mad at Nick. If he had gone after Brooke, this all could have been avoided. Savannah and his fling with her could have been avoided. And then another part of it was because, like a child, he wanted Nick to see that he was bothered. He didn't want to have to go to Nick about it because then he'd seem juvenile. What would he have said? "Hey, I don't like Savannah. Go find Brooke and get your shit together." And then a final part, which always seemed to be a factor, was because he was so protective over Nick. It was the reason he didn't like Brooke for so long because he was sure she would come and tear him away. And now it's a reason why he doesn't like Savannah, among other reasons. He figured that if Nick could be over Brooke just like that, after all their years together, then he could easily be over Roman as well. Deep down, he knew didn't need him as much as he needed Nick. And that bothered him; it still did.

"Really, man? Really? You bring her back without even warning me?" Nick said, surprisingly calm, but Killens could tell he was working to do so. The blunt in his hand only furthered his point. Roman watched him light it and inhale before saying anything. He wanted to be mad at him longer, while he stood could, because it was almost impossible to hate him, or at least not for very long. And so when there were times like these when he wouldn't mind just hitting Nick, he secretly cherished them because it made him think that maybe he didn't need Nick as badly as he did. He lived the lie a moment longer, focusing on his cigarette and refusing to meet Nick's eyes before speaking.

"Sorry," he said. "I forgot." Which was true. Small details were slipping his mind more recently, and those small details tended to have big effects, like this one. Before he could seem sincere for too long, he clarified his point. "I forgot we were telling each other stuff like that. But at least I'm not fucking her behind your back, so." He knew Nick's romantic life was really none of his business, and he likely forgot that he wasn't entitled to this since he was so used to Brooke being around. With the way Nick and Brooke carried on and Roman always finding himself in the midst of their fights, it was almost like he was dating them too. When they fought with each other, he was fighting too. So in a way, he was always a part of their relationship and even though he didn't know every single detail about them, being best friends with both of them did have an effect on what he knew and what he felt he should know.

Nick didn’t seem to pick up on Roman’s jab at his relationship with Savannah since he simply looked at him befuddled. Killens watched him focus on his joint before he finally responded, slower this time as the drug began to take effect, “Thanks, I guess? I just don't know what the fuck to do now. You know, with her and Savannah. You should've seen how nasty she was being to her already."

Roman stared at him with his mouth hanging open. Did he have to spell everything out for Nick? He couldn’t help but roll his eyes and toss his cigarette to the side. What a waste, he thought as he watched it land next to flattened piece of chewed up gum. He hardly calmed at all; he was still stressed. Looking back at Nick and seeing the worry on his face made him rethink things, despite himself. Nick’s obliviousness to his frustration only made him feel foolish and guilty. Here he was being honest with him, and Roman was acting like he was twelve. He doubted any of what Nick did was meant to bother him the way it did, and that was clear since even now he couldn’t seem to tell. Although he didn’t want to, he swallowed his pride and turned back to Nick.

“You still have feelings for her. She still has feelings for you,” he said. “I’ve been telling her you really missed her, and I didn’t bring up Savannah. I didn’t know you two would be here, so I didn’t have time to break it to her before she saw you two together. So she’s probably just hurt seeing you with her, especially after I pretty much made it seem like you were drowning in your own tears with her gone. But I saw the way you were looking at her Nick. I’m pretty sure everyone did.”

"Yeah? Well it's a lot more complicated than that now, Killens. I can love her all I want but that doesn't mean that shit changed with her. You know Brooke as well as I do." Which was true. He knew Brooke was at fault too. He couldn't really blame Nick for putting his foot down after all these years, but that didn't mean he had to agree with everything that happened afterward. Nick took a deep breath and formed his thoughts before he continued. "She's not going to change and I can't keep playing this game with her." He didn't say anything else after that, although Killens thought he was going to. It still looked like he had much more to say, but instead he just shook his head as if that would somehow get rid of whatever else was on his mind. Without word, Nick flicked his joint to the ground and made his way to the front of the alley. "Fuck, I need a drink," he said. "I'll be back down in a little if they ask..."

Roman debated following him, but after he disappeared around the corner, he settled with himself that he wasn't going to. They both needed to clear their head. Roman, well, he didn't have much to think over. The only thing he had to worry about was Brooke, and even that wasn't too worrisome since he knew Brooke wasn't going to let him get a word in anyway. There was no point in trying to open up with Nick. It was really just the basement's environment he didn't really want to go back to. With a sigh, he pulled out another cigarette, giving another try at being alone for a few moments. He just wanted to be annoyed with himself for a bit since nothing else was required of him, and so couldn't prevent him from feeling at least somewhat guilty for how things turned out. Nick and Brooke had to work this out on their own, as did Nick and Savannah, of which he wanted no part of anyway. Above him, the clouds swelled as much as they could before they'd have no other choice but to burst. There would be a storm tonight for sure.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Cara Forrester
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#, as written by Bandit
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One of the few positives to Holly's sometimes unbearably long and hard to follow stories were that they were long and hard to follow. It meant that Makayla could get away with simply nodding or giving a "wow, really?" every now and again, and it was sufficient. Most of the time, that wasn't even necessary. Holly would become so entertained by her own recollection of the events that she didn't pause to breathe, let alone see if Makayla had any response. Today was one of those days where that was coming in handy, because as they neared Finn's, the heat was making her body come close to shutting down and she couldn't bring herself to care about the stuffed animal dog or lost pair of shoes that Holly was speaking about. She would feel guilty for thinking it later, but now, she really just wanted Holly to be quiet. If she had more than five dollars on her, she would have bought Holly ice cream just to get five minutes of peace and quiet. She didn't though, and as Holly went on about her day, Makayla's mind was racing with thoughts on how broke they were.

She and Holly's soggy bathing suits in her backpack reminded her of how she had been putting off doing their laundry all week. That would be at least three dollars, or three fifty if she brought Holly, who always insisted on playing that stupid claw-grab stuffed animal game. Holly had been begging her for new sandals and Makayla knew she did need them. According to the snippet she caught, Holly had been careless enough to lose the pair Cara had purchased her, so that would be another fifteen dollars down the drain since Makayla had too much pride to ask Cara to buy her sister another pair. She needed new lingerie for work, and even though she always bought the cheap ones, that would be another twenty dollars too. Adding in the amount of weed she had gotten from Nick with the promise of paying him back, the Advil that she knew she was going to need to buy before the night was over, and the high chance that she was going to need to go to a clinic soon... Makayla knew she was screwed. It left her wanting to cry but as always, she couldn't do that. She had to force a small smile onto her face as they approached Cara by Finn's. This was her life and she was going to have to deal with it, like always. She had to be strong for herself and Holly because if she fell apart, Holly wasn't going to be able to survive either. Kay hated how it felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, but she couldn't remember a time when it hadn't felt this way.

"Hey," she offered, releasing Holly's hand for the first time since leaving Wendy's. She knew that Holly would want to share stories of their day so she let her answer Cara's question about the pool. When the blonde then asked if she wanted to get a drink, Makayla was hesitant. She needed something to numb this headache and a couple shots of vodka would do the trick, but she was also unsure if her stomach would be able to handle it. It was so easily triggered over the past few days and the thought of hard liquor was already making her queasy. Plus, she was broke and although Finn sometimes offered them free drinks, she wasn't just going to expect a handout. The reminder of how stuffy the basement was going to be made the decision for her, however, and she nodded, deciding that she would just savor the cool bar and not drink. "I'm not feeling great so I don't think I'll get anything, but we'll sit with you. You're right, it probably is bad down there." It was bad in more ways than either of the girls knew.

Makayla wanted to send Holly downstairs and actually relax with Cara for a few minutes, but she didn't know who was down there and couldn't toss her sister and the responsibilities that came with her onto whoever it was. "Holly, come," she tugged at her sister as she followed Cara in. It was happy hour, a pretty popular time at Finn's, so Makayla knew that she couldn't bring Holly to the actual bar counter. Not only did Holly have a tendency to test Finn's patience, but there weren't even three empty bar stools together. Instead, she found a vacant high top table towards the back of the place and headed towards it. On her way, she spotted Nick lingering by the bar and she didn't need to be standing right next to him to smell the amazing aroma of marijuana. That, more than anything, had her senses tingling. "I'm about to just stand next to you and get a second hand high," she laughed, nudging him as she passed by. She didn't know what had went on downstairs or that he was in a bad mood, but she also wasn't the type to try to make conversation either. It was just a friendly acknowledgement, and maybe a hint that she would be looking to share a blunt later on, before she continued with Holly to the table they had spotted. She figured that Cara was going to stop at the bar to order, and motioned for Holly to sit before doing the same. "We're not going to order anything here. Okay, Holls? Even if Cara asks, because we just ate, remember?" Maybe it was wrong of her to still have a bit of pride when they were already homeless and at the end of their rope, but she hated being so broke and desperate. Cara was always so kind and generous, but Makayla didn't like taking advantage of that. Not when she was supposed to be the one taking care of herself and Holly.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux
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ImageRobbie was still in his thoughts when he plopped on his mattress and realized how much tension was built up in the room. It also made sense as to why Roman was carrying a bunch of boxes. How long has she been here? Brooklyn was back and he couldn't help but have an impish grin sprawled across his face as he looked back and forth to the others faces, all of which showing equal confusion except for Roman who looked more like he wanted to get the hell out of the situation as fast as possible. Luckily for them it didn’t take long before the room started to empty it would make sense for him to follow suit but then again, he did come back to get some peace however doubtful that was going to be now.

"You know guys, maybe we should fix Makayla and Holly's stuff up. 'Else Makayla's going to be pissed." Alex chimed in. Robbie thought about making some snide and sarcastic remark, but figured otherwise with everything that had happened there was no need for him to dig himself an even greater hole then the one he was already sitting in with her. He was still trying to figure out a way he could make up for it though he hasn’t been able to come up with anything in particular yet and he doubted another "sorry" would matter.

Rolling the watermelon flavored lollipop to the side of his mouth a bit down, making an audible cracking sound and stood up quickly changing into a clean, well cleaner than what he was currently wearing, black shirt and throwing his jacket on his mattress. “Well, I’m gonna go have a drink,” He made his way up the staircase not before mumbling “for everyone.” As his boot hit the first step.

He took the first empty seat at the bar and laid down some cash “I will take whatever beer this can get me.” He spat out to anyone that was listening as he wrapped the stem of the candy in a napkin and pulled a cigarette from his pocket. To him the two tastes always complimented each other in the strangest way or it was just the ramblings of a mad man. Hopefully after a drink or ten he'd be able to ignore everyone and pass out without a hitch then again with his luck there would always be a hitch.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux
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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux
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Image"I'm sure it is..."
Savannah blinked. Her hand still hovering in the air, unshaken as Brooklyn walked off, clearly not wanting to have anything to do with her or Nick at the moment and at that point, Savannah wanted nothing to do with her. Nick shot her an apologetic look and Savannah ran her hand through her curly black hair as Brooklyn went off to reclaim her space.

"Savannah, I'm so sorry about... that. I promise she's not that bad, really. I need to go talk to Roman, but I'll be back in a few minutes. Just don't let her get to you, alright? I swear this won't be as bad as it seems." He said and Savannah shrugged, trying to play passive but she had gotten to her. She tried, God, how she tried to be nice, kind, friendly and polite, she knew, Nick told her how much of a...Savannah took a calming breath. She wouldn't say it. She wouldn't call a woman out of her name, it was rude and she wasn't raised that way. She wouldn't even think it, despite how much she wanted to. "Okay." was all she could manage.

She didn't want to judge the girl based on what she was told but clearly Nick wasn't lying, at least he hadn't been, because his last statement was that. A lie. He said she's not that bad, but no, she was, and she got the feeling it wasn't the end of it. So maybe she wasn't that bad. Savannah got the dark feeling, she was much worse. Nick left her, down there, with Brooklyn, the others were there but Savannah couldn't help but feel as alone as she did when she first got off the plane.

Taking a deep breath, Savannah thought, she'd try again, without Nick in the room. She walked up to Brooklyn with a smile. "Would you like some help?" She asked her, honestly. She wanted to help her, she wanted to show her that she wasn't a bad person, someone that she didn't have to hate, despite whatever it was with Nick. Savannah didn't know what was going to happen next, but she didn't want to fight. Nick would have to make a choice, and she wasn't going to make it easy by mimicking Brooklyn's attitude. "Have you any luggage, or something, I can assist you with?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrester Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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#, as written by Writer
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"Look, it's Cara!" Holly spotted the blonde from the other side of the street and soon realized that they were home. She was excited to see her, and even more so after her story to Makayla reminded her of how enjoyable hanging out with Cara was. Makayla and Cara exchanged greetings but Holly didn't even get out a "hello" before Cara brought up their day at the pool and her mind was racing to explain the day. The cold water. The kid with the Spongebob bathing suit. The strawberry scented shampoo Makayla brought to the showers. There was a white dog that they passed on the way to the pool, and a swarm of pigeons that they interrupted on their walk back. She had to tell her about Wendy's, how they were out of all of the good toys, and how she wanted to go back to Toys R Us again. There was too much for her to say and she didn't know where to start. "It was so fun, right Kay?" her sister gave her a strained smile and a nod of her head. Holly was about to start her narrative of the day's events when Cara suggested they go to Finn's. The two girls were old enough to drink, and regardless of Holly being twenty-one, she still frequented Finn's if Makayla was going. That wasn't to say that she was welcomed there, because even though Finn made an effort to put up with her, he couldn't always put up the front that the others could. All it took were a few questions that he disliked and had answered a million times - why he had an accent, why he left Ireland, why he didn't have a girlfriend and why he liked beer so much - for him to remind Makayla that she was too young to be sitting at his bar.

"Holly, come." Her sister tugged her before she could object or continue her story to Cara, and as they stepped inside, her mind had shifted from the story anyway. Finn's bar was familiar to her but her eyes still wandered whenever she walked in. It was generally the same people who frequented the place but Holly was always curious to see what company she would have for however long they stayed up there. Tonight, the bar was as crowded as it got, which left Holly with many potential conversation partners. There was a woman in her mid-thirties who caught Holly's eye first. The skimpy pink halter top she wore revealed a large skull tattoo on her bare shoulder, and upon sighting it, Holly was intrigued. She wondered why the woman had chose a skull when she could have gotten a picture of a dog or the sun instead. She was sure that she must know Roman, since his tattoos were the most remarkable thing about him in Holly's mind. Others in the basement, including her sister and Nick, had tattoos, but before she could approach the woman, her freedom was again limited by Makayla's grab. She was tugged past the lady, only briefly noticing Nick when her sister slowed her pace to say something to him, and then led them to a table. It was the most isolated table in the bar and had probably been chosen by Makayla with good reason.

She followed Makayla's direction and sat on one of the high chairs, only silent as she tried to process the loud and interesting scene around her. Makayla's insistence that they not order anything had Holly nodding, but only because she wasn't listening to what her sister was saying. Of course she was going to order something when Cara insisted! Why wouldn't she?! Holly didn't understand the type of logic and etiquette that her sister tried to adhere to. She was already dependent on Makayla, so being dependent on Cara too didn't bother her at all. She again, wasn't sure what to say first, and her eyes were frantically moving across the bar as if she were trying to settle on the most important thing to start on. "I need to tell Savannah that Nick is here!" she finally chirped, jumping off the chair and heading towards the back staircases before Makayla could do more than reach out and try to grab her.

As far as Holly knew, Savannah didn't work, and whenever Nick wasn't on a drug run, he was with Savannah. She assumed that Savannah was downstairs and must not have known that Nick was home. Aside from Savannah's interest in writing and reading- two of the very few things that Holly disliked, Holly liked her. Her accent was interesting and Holly never ran out of questions to ask her about England, especially since she humored them more than Roman did. She bounded down the stairs and skipped the last three, opting to obnoxiously jump to the floor. "Savannah!!! Nick is upstairs for you!" she shouted, before even looking to see if Savannah was there. When she did glance around, she noticed Alex at the table eating Chinese food, Zero sitting by her area, Savannah close by... and Brooklyn! Holly's exclamation probably couldn't have come at a worse time but she didn't even remember the reason for coming downstairs when she spotted Brooklyn. Zero and Savannah were probably caught off guard by how tense the basement was, but Holly wasn't aware of any sort of negative vibes present. Brooklyn was back and even if she was the one that Brooklyn was very vocal about disliking, her presence brought a wide smile to Holly's face. "I didn't know you were still alive!" she spoke, not hesitating to kneel down next to Brooklyn and throw her arms around her shoulders. "Did you know that I went to the pool today, and this is Savannah and she's friends with Nick, and she lived in Australia, and Zero is that boy." There was so much to catch Brooklyn up on, and as her eyes fell upon what Brooklyn was doing, she was glad to see that the blonde was going to be staying next to them. She didn't even notice how that had caused her and Makayla's stuff to end up knocked over and shoved into Cara's area, or how Zero was doing his best to fix it. Her mind was moving even faster than it had been at the bar, if that was possible, and before she could utter another jumbled thought to the trio, she was up, passing Lennie and taking Zero's empty seat at the table next to Alex. "Hi Alex," she beamed. She studied the Chinese food containers in front of Alex, but was still full from the meager Wendy's meal and didn't request some for herself. There was one thing she was interested in, though. "Did you get any fortune cookies?"

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrester Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond Character Portrait: Lennie Adams
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Savannah felt as if she were holding her breath, as she waited for Brooklyn to speak. It wasn't until Holly's voice sprang out from nowhere, did she breathe, even if it was only gasp a little. "Savannah!!! Nick is upstairs for you!"the young girl called, and Savannah closed her eyes, yet smiled. She looked at Brooklyn, tension evident in her posture before Holly came running over, and careening into Brooklyn with a hug. She swallowed. She could use a 'Holly Hug' at the moment, the girl was as sweet as can be, and Savannah wouldn't mind a nice big bear hug from the tiny girl.
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The girl went on 'introducing' everyone to Brooklyn. "Did you know that I went to the pool today, and this is Savannah and she's friends with Nick, and she lived in Australia, and Zero is that boy." she went on before skipping off.

"Well if you will excuse me." She said to Brooklyn and if she were honest, she was glad that Holly relayed the message so blissful unaware of the tension in the room, Savannah smiled and nodded and went off but not before chuckled. "London, England, Not Australia." She told her before going off to find Nick, wherever he may be.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrester
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Cara was not going to accept Makayla's insistence that she didn't want a drink. She had spent her entire day with Holly. Of course she wanted a drink. Even Cara, who had the patience of a saint when it came to Holly, was ready for a drink by the time that Holly passed out or Makayla returned from wherever she had went alone. No one could deny that Holly's energy and optimism was infectious but it was draining to deal with for more than a couple of hours, let alone the many years Makayla had been tasked with it. She gave her a knowing look but didn't object as she and Holly took the lead and headed inside. Cara had a feeling that Makayla's reservations with drinking had more to do with money than a lack of a desire to drink. She hated pressing the issue because she knew how uncomfortable it made Kay, and rightfully so, but she also wished that it wasn't such a big deal for her to offer help sometimes. It wasn't like Cara was asking her to accept a thousand dollar check. If she wanted to treat for dinner sometimes at a place nicer than Burger King, she didn't understand why it had to be such a big deal. Again, give her predicament, it was probably something that Cara would never fully understand.

Makayla and Holly gravitated towards the less populated back of the bar while Cara stopped at the busy counter to order her drink. It was definitely best that they sat away from the bar, since not only was it crowded, but Holly was sure to disrupt the patrons who were looking to unwind on their Friday evening. When Finn caught her eye, she ordered two vodka cranberries. Normally she went for more complicated mixed drinks - a Mai Tai, Miami Vice, flavored martini or a Sex on the Beach, but Finn's bar served beers for the most part, and she didn't want to push her luck. She also ordered a virgin Shirley Temple for Holly and left a twenty on the counter to cover their tab, as Finn already seemed engaged in a conversation with another customer by the time she found it in her purse.

She had only taken a couple of steps away from the bar when she spotted Nick and Robbie standing at the other end. It didn't seem necessary to go say hi to them. Robbie was probably already wasted and Nick was probably high as a kite. Making small talk would only make them all uncomfortable and like she wanted for Makayla, they had probably come up here to unwind as well. By the time that Cara had found the table the two girls claimed, it was now only occupied by Makayla. The door that led to the back, "employees only!" area of the bar, was left halfway open, and it didn't take much to piece together that Holly had probably run downstairs for something. Cara took the opportunity to slide Makayla's drink towards her, take the seat across from her and look Makayla over now that she had the chance to. She definitely didn't look good, and it was something more than just stress. "Kay, you really don't look like your normal self," she commented, pausing only to sip at her drink. Knowing Finn, even in the bare way that Cara did, came with its perks. The free basement space was an obvious one, and the overpowering ratio of alcohol to cranberry juice was almost as good in the moment. "I bumped into one of my old friends earlier today and he works at one of the Hilton's over in SOHO. What if me, you and Holly spend the night there tonight? Sleeping on a real bed will be nice and you can shower and relax and I'll take Holly down to their indoor pool or something." The whole "friend working at the hotel" thing was a lie, but Cara hoped it wasn't obvious. She would take the risk of her father seeing she was spending a night in a hotel if it meant that Makayla could actually relax for one night. If she said yes, Cara would end up convincing that "friend" to get them two rooms too, so she could really give Makayla the peace and quiet she needed and keep Holly away all together. She pulled the liquid through her straw faster now, knowing that if it had been so hard to get Makayla to let her buy her a drink, a night in a hotel would be nearly impossible. Still, she had to try. Something was off with Makayla and Cara liked her too much to just let it go without at least trying to dos something.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Cara Forrester
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Finn's bar didn't offer any of the peace and quiet that Nick was suddenly longing for, but it did offer free beer, and that was going to have to work for now. Patrick Finnegan, who refused to go by any name other than Finn, stood behind the bar with a younger guy who Nick recognized as the extra bartender Finn had hired for the summer. The small Irish pub was pretty crowded, which Nick would have been happy with on a good day, considering how bad business had been all winter for Finn. Tonight, he was even more happy with it, because it meant that Finn was already engrossed in some heated conversation with one of his regular patrons when Nick walked in. The middle-aged man only slid a Guinness towards Nick to acknowledge his presence and it was a gesture that Nick was grateful for. He wasn't in the mood to be dragged into one of Finn's arguments or conversations. The man was the epitome of "the fighting Irish" stereotype and had opinions so strong that Nick was sure he could spend an hour ranting about something as trivial as the weather. Not only did he not have the patience for that right now, but he assumed that Finn was already in the loop about Brooklyn's return. If Nick was like Finn's son, Brooklyn was undoubtedly a daughter to him, and would probably be the first to tell Nick he had to sort out whatever was going on with his relationship with her. Nick had just heard that from Roman and really, he didn't need either of him to tell him what he already knew. He knew he was screwed. God dammit, he knew he was really screwed.

Although Finnegan's served the purpose of a bar more than a restaurant, aside from the long bar counter, there were tables scattered about the place. They were generally just used by people who wanted to sit more privately with friends and order drinks, but Finn did have one waiter and one line cook in the back for those who wanted something to eat. The menu held your typical pub stuff: burgers, chicken fingers, fries, onion rings, and the likes. It certainly wasn't the quality of a five star restaurant but after a food beers it was bearable. Again, the fact that Finn liked Nick enough to put his tab on the house made it taste all the more better. He had eaten with Savannah only an hour or so ago, but as the Hispanic kid who doubled as the lone waiter and busboy passed by with two plates of onion rings, he realized that he was hungry again. "Mind telling 'Rique to make me a burger?" Nick said when he had caught the kid's attention. He knew Finn's line cook, Enrique, well enough to go back there and ask him to make it himself. Nick had actually met Finn by taking a job as his dishwasher and spent many days under Enrique's watch, but honestly just didn't feel like getting up. The kid nodded and hurried off, and Nick returned to the foaming beer in front of him.

The familiar voice that was quickly matched to Robbie, who had chosen a seat a few down from his, reminded Nick that Finn's wasn't the best place to go to get away from people he knew. It was following by a touch to his back and the soft voice of Makayla commenting on how much he smelled of marijuana. That brought an authentic smile to Nick's face but luckily that was all he had to respond with, since she didn't stop to chat after leaving him with the comment. Nick liked Makayla. She was independent and didn't cling to anyone, despite having the weight of keeping herself and Holly alive on her back. When Brooklyn was around, he sometimes wished that she would just let Brooklyn be Brooklyn, but even he knew that was wrong of him to expect. While he was usually okay with being Brooklyn's punching bag, he couldn't expect that of others. Makayla took a lot of shit from Brooklyn and when she snapped, it was usually very justified. Over the past two months with Brooklyn being gone, any reservations he had about her had disappeared. He saw clearly how she did try to keep Holly on a leash and that she didn't get into fights with anyone else, so if it wasn't already obvious, it was by then that Brooklyn had been the problem in that situation all along too. Especially with Roman distancing himself after Brooklyn's departure, Nick had grown to enjoy occasionally lighting up and talking with Makayla.

His burger came out pretty quickly but by then, he had already been through one and a half beers. He usually smoked more than he drank, but even his high wasn't enough to keep him calm at the mere thought of Brooklyn and Savannah living in the same space. Tonight was going to have to be a night where he doubled up on the weed and alcohol. He couldn't imagine getting through it any other way.

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn Archer Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft Character Portrait: Holly Madden Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Robbie Amello Character Portrait: Jackson King Character Portrait: Cara Forrester Character Portrait: Alexandra Decoteaux Character Portrait: Zero Diamond
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When Brooklyn asked where Cara was the first time, Alex hadn't quite been paying attention. She was rather absorbed in her own lack of thoughts that came with the exhaustion she was feeling. She glanced up when Robbie announced his departure, her eyes sliding over to where Zero was fixing Makayla and Holly's things once Robbie went upstairs. A small smile graced her lips in approval. The kid, as she fondly called him, was probably confused as all hell. It took her a moment to realise that he had came after Brooke left, as had Savannah, and so he'd never met the other blonde girl. Poor kid.

More than that, she knew she'd have to talk to Nick at some point. Not because she was of any particular importance to him, but more because he must have been stressed out of his mind at this point. With the realisation she'd had that he was still in love with Brooke, after having seen the look in his eyes when she walked into the room, she knew that he was now caught in the almighty cliche romantic trap. Torn between the girl that had once been his, and a girl who wanted to be his. He was a hell of a ladies man.

Alex could see why. She'd had her own crush on him too, after he'd agreed to take her in and let her be a part of the group. He'd been everything she considered ideal at the time. His confidence and warm friendliness had drawn her in. The fact that he was very, very attractive helped as well. Then she got over it.

When the bundle of energy and enthusiasm and words that was known as Holly came bouncing down the stairs, Alex flinched. She could very well remember the the dislike that Brooklyn had for Holly's personality, and prepared herself to verbally defend the younger girl if needed. But, to Alex's surprise (she supposed that she should give Brooklyn more credit for this), it wasn't needed.

When Holly wrapped her arms in a hug around Brooklyn and her words came flying out of her mouth, Brooklyn only quietly murmured a quick "Hey Holls" before Holly finished and moved on to her next victim. Alex.

"Hi Alex."

"Hey Holls," Alex smiled warmly. There was something infectious about Holly's smile that made it impossible for Alex to not smile around the redheaded girl.

"Did you get any fortune cookies?"

Alex's eyes quickly darted to the interior of the bag that Lennie had brought. Seeing the telltale plastic wrapper and orange-ish coloured cookie inside, she nodded. Alex reached into the bag and took one of the cookies. Handing it to Holly, she said, "Lennie got some, and we saved them just for you."

"Is Cara around?" Alex looked up at Brooklyn, now standing beside the table. Alex shrugged.

"Not to my knowledge. Probably out doing something," she answered, using the chopsticks to put a last bit of the Chinese food in her mouth before setting down the container.


In a string of luck that seemed to be endless that day, Alex's favourite dickhead walked in in the form of Jackson.

"Shit, Lex. Now that Brooklyn's back, you're gonna have some competition if you wanna sleep with me as bad as I know you do. You know I have a thing for blondes, and this just adds one more into the mix."

"Fuck off, Jackson," Alex said casually, as though it was something she said every day. Which, to her credit, it was something she said every day. She both heard and, in the corner of her eye, caught the slap. She let out an internal groan, knowing that Brooklyn was liable to slap the crap out of Jackson back. However, that didn't happen as Roman crossed the room faster than Alex could think 'What an asshole'.

She pretended to pay attention to her nails, watching the exchange out of the corner of her eye.

"Watch where you put your fucking hands." She heard Roman growl the words at Jackson. At that, she looked up, only to see Jackson be his usual asshole self.

"Shit, my bad, man. For a minute there, I thought your name was Roman, not Romeo. Don't worry, Juliet is all yours. I'm in the mood for something foreign tonight anyway." With the wink in her direction, Alex characteristically responded with her favourite means of expressing her feelings: sending her middle finger pointed at the sky. Watching Roman standing there fuming, she stood and made the few quick strides to her own neat, little living space. It was relatively organised, a few cheap but waterproof plastic containers holding her clothes, shoes, and few valuables alongside her mattress. She reached down for her bag, counting out $200 of the total amount in there. She made a mental note to set aside $500 for Makayla to help take care of her and Holly. Folding up the four $50 bills to hide them in her hand, she walked over to Roman. She placed a hand on her should to let him know he was there, and in the moment he un-balled his fist she slipped the bills into his hand.

"Use wisely," she said with a wink, walking back. She was planning on dividing up the money between everyone anyways, and had decided to reward Roman with the nice secure feeling of having money in his possession first. Setting aside more for herself, who had done the work, and Makayla, who had both herself and Holly to take care of. Not to mention cutting out Jackson and Robbie. Assholes.






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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft
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ImageSavannah searched for Nick upstairs, it didn't take very long to find him at the bar. She hesitated when she saw him. He looked so...conflicted. The woman he once loved, and if she were honest with herself, still loved, had walked back into his life, in the same way she'd left. Suddenly. She knew how much it had hurt him, and again if she were honest with herself, she knew that was part of the reason why they had the night they shared. They were both down, and wanted for the touch of someone they couldn't have, but when she woke up, she found that it was his touch she actually wanted, now she feared that made it was different for Nick, made he was hoping for Brooklyn and settled for her.

That thought, made her heart ache.

"Drinking to forget," She heard herself say as she approached him, taking a seat beside him, but a friendly distance, it was close enough that he could reach out and touch her, but far enough away to show she wasn't pressuring him into anything, a conversation, nor a relationship.Image

She noticed his meal and swallowed a sigh. Savannah wasn't a big drinker, she didn't drink when she was upset, she drank a few times, one of the times being with him, when he'd offered it too her after her nightmare, saying it would help her get to sleep, but she never drank when she was upset, that was what her writing was for.

Nick did not have such an outlet. She wouldn't bug him for it, she didn't like it, but his life was his own.

She didn't want to press him for a conversation, but she didn't want him to feel he owed her that. He didn't, He was allowed to feel whatever he wanted, even if it was for Brooklyn.

"Look, I just want you to know, there's no pressure, We never got to talk about the other night and right I don't see that happening with...everything that's happened to day." She said with a sigh. "You don't owe me anything," She told him.
"Whatever happens, you can talk to me, and I'll be objective, as always," She said, but with a heavy heart. She got the dark feel of doom looming over her when she spoke those words, and it was only because they were true. " We're still friends,Nick" She said and placed a warm hand on the one that held his beer. She smiled at him, genuinely. "No matter what, we'll always be friends."

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Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Savannah Stonecraft
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Nick was in the middle of the eating when he sensed someone sitting down next to him. He didn't look up, thinking that it was just another patron, until he heard Savannah's voice. Any time other than right now, he would have been happy to see her. Right now, not even the girl he had used as a shoulder to lean on and an ear to talk off could make him smile, though. In fact, along with Brooklyn, she was one of the last people he felt like he could talk to right now. But when she spoke, he was hit with guilt. He did owe her something. He owed her an explanation and an apology at the very least. She was right that now probably wasn't the best time to discuss their night and whatever they were, but after the weeks of listening to him go on and on about how bad Brooklyn was, he owed her some thoughts on why he couldn't just let her go now. "No, I do owe you an explanation but... I just don't have one right now, Savannah. I'm sorry." His tone was defeated and he couldn't even bring himself to meet her gaze, but he just really wasn't in the mood to snap.



10:00 PM



"Dude, why don't you stay and chill? My parents are gone for the weekend and Craig's on his way with some more beer."

"Yeah, come on, man! You just bring the bud and bail like that?"

Nick was in what was definitely the nicest apartment he had ever been in. It was the penthouse suite of one of the nicer hotels in the Upper East Side, and like many hotels in the area, it had been transformed into an apartment for people who had far too much money to blow. It was pathetic, but he could admit that he was completely jealous of the eleventh-grade kid whose parents owned the place. That's why he didn't mind wasting an hour of his night at the party filled with other bratty high school kids that he was throwing. After drinking a couple of their beers and smoking one of the joints he had sold them, he was ready to leave, though. "Sorry guys. Got a few more stops to make tonight." There were a few more attempts at getting him to stay, but by the time Nick had gotten to the door, a swarm of prim looking girls filed in and the teen boys had appropriately turned their attention to him.

In reality, Nick didn't have any more stops to make. He had left Finn's bar as soon as he finished his burger to escape the uncomfortable tension he had brought on with Savannah and Brooklyn, and made all of his deliveries early. By ten-thirty, he was back at Finn's with four-hundred dollars in his pocket. It was a great day sales-wise, but Friday and Saturday usually were. He didn't expect that much on a normal day and used his weekend sales to keep him moving through the slow week.

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