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The Umbrella Academy: On Stranger Tides

The City of West Anne

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a part of The Umbrella Academy: On Stranger Tides, by ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ.


༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ holds sovereignty over The City of West Anne, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

147 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:


Default Location for The Umbrella Academy: On Stranger Tides
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The City of West Anne is a part of The Umbrella Academy: On Stranger Tides.

11 Characters Here

Lucien Hargreeves [4] Number One
Sven Hargreeves [4] number three
Jaime Courtney [4] Just the everyday, average, time traveling assassin.
Ronan Hargreeves [4] Number Five
Camila Hargreeves [4] "I don't owe you or anyone shit."
Marco Costa [3] "Two more years until retirement.."
Caesar [3] The Commission
Savannah Hargreeves [1] Number Six

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Uma Hargreeves Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Nathan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Savannah Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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November 4, 2019

To my dear students:

If you are receiving this letter that means I’ve passed away due to natural causes. As I’m sure you are aware, I’ve made Pogo the executor of my will as well as the one to arrange the funerary services no later than a week after my death. It is my last wish that you attend my burial.

Attached below is the passcode to the drawbridge.


Sir Reginald Hargreeves

You piece of shit.

Even in his posthumous letters, he managed to be an emotionless ghoul. Sven crumpled the letter and threw it across the room...shortly before retracting it into their hands.

They already saw the obituary in the newspaper, the black and white photographs on the Internet accompanied by shallow anecdotes, and the thinkpiece articles regarding his life as an inventor, Olympic athlete, and father to nine superheroes. Everything reeked of opportunism. It was a race to garner clicks with none of the depth. Nobody explored the experience of being an Anchor Academy student nor the ethical violations that came with weaponizing your own children.

Save for Savannah and Lucien (who they didn’t care about), the rest of their siblings left an online footprint. Everyone moved on from the academy in some form. Lucky splashed her lavish life all over Instagram. Nathan joined a rock band. Uma performed fortune readings and made sketches. Similar to Nathan, Ronan joined their own band as well. Vya...Honestly Sven didn't know what he did other than drink and hang out with Lucky's exes. After their father's death however, only Ronan and Vya claimed Reginald as their own. Everyone else either didn’t bother to post about it or did so in subtle ways.

Not that Sven would ever admit to cyberstalking their siblings.

They moved beyond the need for siblings and Anchor Academy clout. They were at peace with their nomadic lifestyle and Shisa kept them company on the days that they missed having a family. Friends were easy to come by and despite Sven's emotional emptiness, warm bodies were even easier. People sought connections regardless of what they were based on even if it meant being ghosted two weeks later.

All that mattered was that they were living their best life.

That begged the question of why they couldn't destroy that damn letter. It had been six days since it ended up in their P.O. box and they tried every method of destruction possible yet they couldn't stop themselves from restoring it each time. Whether it was ripped, burned, marked "return to sender", or ditched at someone's apartment, they reversed their decision. His words rewound in Sven’s head, mocking each failure to keep the letter shredded.

Maybe it’s worth going...for confirmation.

Reginald Hargreeves was an asshole, but he was rarely dishonest. He didn’t need to fake his death to gather everyone.

That was perhaps the reason why Sven booked a ticket to West Anne three hours after arriving home.


The trip itself did not present any trouble and strangely, that train ride was the best nap Sven had in a long time. Granted, it wasn’t saying much given their inconsistent sleep schedule but any rest was good rest. Even the long walk (Sven hated driving) didn’t faze them. Despite being gone for nearly a decade nearly everything remained the same. From the sea breeze to the chimes of ice cream carts, West Anne beckoned for its tourists to stay an extra day or week to soak the sunlight if not retire there altogether.

Anchor Academy was the only outlier. Its drawbridge proved imposing as ever and the creaking showed how long it had been since somebody crossed. Had everyone left that long ago? Or did their father decide to bunker down? Not that either options were mutually exclusive.

"You've your brother's grave and disobeyed my orders. Leave!"

Why am I here?

Sven bit their bottom lip. It wasn't too late to renege their decision. They could rewind their trek and draw the bridge back up. They could toss the letter into the ocean and go home. They could do just about anything to avoid traumatizing themself again.

Oh, but they didn't. They continued across the bridge, taking a deep breath as they set foot on the flagstone pavement.

"Good to see you again Mi-Sven. It has been far too long." Pogo emerged from Anchor Academy's center door in his red suit.

"Yeah..." Sven pressed their lips together, holding back a twinge of annoyance.

The person that stood before them was no longer the spry simian that taught them world history or strategy during Reginal's busy days. Pogo's hairs grayed at the ends and the bags under his eyes formed full wrinkles. His face drooped and even his back seemed the slightest bit hunched. Despite all that happened they didn't hate him. They just wished he had done more for them.

"Has anyone else come yet?" Sven asked, jostling their backpack back onto their shoulder.

"Ah, you are the first to arrive actually-" Pogo paused for a second-"but I believe that your mother has prepped tea and cookies if you wish to wait in the living room."

"You didn't need to do any of this you know."

Pogo shook his head.

"I'm fulfilling his last request just like you."

He gestured for Sven to head inside, glancing at the clouds looming in the distance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caesar Character Portrait: Jaime Courtney Character Portrait: Marco Costa
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Manicured nails tapped against a wooden desk as a blonde-haired woman gazed at the tall stack of papers before her. It seemed that rather than separate papers by person, whatever fool compiled this file found it more convenient to collate everything into a huge whopper that was barely sandwiched in a manila folder.

“Honestly, what am I paying these people for?!” She exclaimed before flicking one of the documents, “I asked for one person, just one, and instead I receive this.”

“Surely you can’t expect everyone to read your mind, especially with the mess you left us with,“ a muffled voice asked, leaning back in his chair.

“Oh shut it AJ. You and I both know that I’m the one holding this place together,” she snapped, tucking back a curly lock, “I picked all of the new board members. I write all the checks, and I control the timeline.”

““Correction. You have final say, but you know that the Board still expects certain things from you.”

The Handler shot him an icy glare.

“Nonetheless”-AJ straightened his tie-“”we can both agree that this matter needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. We can’t have any rogue variables running around, not when last year’s meeting...”

He trailed off as the Handler lit another cigarette. She blew a thin stream of smoke towards the fish before leaning back in her leather chair.

"Lucky for you and the rest of the Commission I've assembled a team to take care of our runway."

Red lips parted as the Handler inhaled nicotine, relishing in one of the few pleasures that the 1950s could afford her. Though she had all the money in the world, the base simply wasn’t built to accommodate the luxuries that modern life offered. Whether it was wireless Internet, color television, or spaceships, the Temps Aeternalis’ only technological achievements were the briefcase and the pneumatic systems that allowed cross-temporal communication. As much as she tried, her smartphone was useless.

“"And the prisoners?" he asked, a bubble escaping from his upturned mouth.

AJ was an anomaly even among the colorful cast of agents that the Commission employed. Though sapient animals weren’t unheard of, AJ was the first to be more than a workhorse and the first aquatic creature to be more than a lab experiment. His creator rigged a robotic body that not only sustained him but allowed him to communicate with others.

"Lila’s watching over them while analytics hashes out the details of their execution.”

If AJ could raise a brow he would have done so, but settled on rolling to his side.

““Is that such a wise idea? You know what’s at stake. If he-”

“If he what?” The Handler stood, setting her cigarette holder in its golden stand.

She walked behind him, her free hand resting on his shoulder.

“You remember who spared your life right? The one who transplanted you from that bag? I could have easily flushed you down the drain or swallowed you whole, yet out of the kindness of my heart I had our best mechanics repair your body and even reinstalled you as Vice Handler.”

Before he could open his mouth to speak, she circled back to her desk and pressed the intercom.

“Hello Joshua? Please tell the Alpha team that I’m ready for them.”

She turned towards the Vice Handler and made a shooing motion before picking up her cigarette once more.

“I tire of your defiance AJ. Begone.”

Pneumatic tubes flew through the piping of the Commission headquarters, finding their way towards the inboxes of Caesar, Marco, and Jaime. Rather than the usual pleasantries the message read simply "Come to my office." The Handler initially set their appointment for two o'clock, but deadlines depended more on her mood than a number on a clock. Not to mention that time was relative.

She sat back in her chair, thinning the folder until only a few papers remained. With Hazel and Cha Cha gone, Caesar and Marco were the best agents in the operations and Jaime well...It wasn't like he had anything better to do. Unlike Lila, he offered nothing special and his lack of ambition left a bad taste in her mouth. Oh, why couldn't Caesar have been one of those special...children (was that what they were calling them?)? The loyalty combined with the potential for superpowers would have been exquisite.

"Ah miss, Alpha team is here." A perky voice boomed from the intercom.

The Handler smirked as the three agents entered the room.

“Thank you for coming."

Her hands were steepled and her eyes entirely focused on her new team.

“Gentlemen we have traitor on our hands,” she announced, sliding over a dossier with a picture clipped to the top, “do you know this man?”


“Herb is-was-one of the operators of the Infinite Switchboard and one of our top analysts. Yesterday a briefcase was stolen and this man was nowhere to be found. I tried asking that Dot woman, but she's been playing dumb."

The Handler shook her head. “Regardless, I need the three of you to retrieve the case and stop whatever he’s planning."

Beneath the folder the coordinates were written clearly in black ink:

November 11, 2019
Anchor Academy, West Anne

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves
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Ronan Hargreeves
Number Five | Outfitx|xhex: #800000
xxxI guess I'm always gonna be the bad child
xxxI guess I'm always gonna be the mad child
xxx'Cause you will never understand my weird mind
xxxAnd to every single person here that doubts me
xxxTellin' me that they could live without me
xxx'Cause they will never understand my weird mind

If Ronan was being honest with themselves, they didn't know why they were here. They didn't know why they came back to the place that brought them nothing but torment and misery for nine-teen years of their life. Why they found themselves stood, along the curb of that old street outside of the gate that stood opposite of the drawbridge that lead to the pathway to the Academy. Ronan silently ruffled through their jacket's pocket as they retrieved a small packet of Cloves. Taking one out of the box, placing it in between their teeth as they retrieved the lighter and set it alight, taking in the mix of chemicals from within the cigarette, holding their breath as they felt it fill their lungs before exhaling. The smoke quickly whaffting away in the sea-breeze. The smell of salt and sand found its way passed their senses, taking another deep breath as they closed their eyes. They could have just left, go back to their rented out apartment in the next town over, have a few drinks before going back to The Netherlands. The only place they've been able to call home in recent years. Being back here, well...It brought nothing but anxiety. Whether it was owing it to theirself, or even their siblings, Ronan wasn't sure. But there was that constant voice in the back of their head that told them to just go. Go to the Academy. At least talk to the others, talk with Pogo, anyone. Just, don't walk away. "Don't be a damn coward!" that damned voice wracked in their brain once more, grimacing slightly. A small shiver found its way going down their spine before Ronan took another hit from the cigarette before tossing it to the ground, licking their lips. The sweet taste of the cigarette danced across their tongue as they focused on it, something familiar. Something to keep them grounded for just a moment. Anything to keep them from focusing on his voice, even with him gone...Being here alone was enough to cause memories flooding back to Ronan. But as they focused on the ocean, the crashing of soft waves, the seagulls overhead. The cars that passed by. It helped them not focus on why they were actually here.

Ronan opened their eyes once more, dark green hazel eyes scanning the foreground before them. Their hands shook for just a moment, before they formed into momentary fists. "C'mon, Ro...Just fucking get it over with. Go in, say hi. Then just leave. You don't owe them anything more..." they muttered under their breath. They were here to ensure that their bastard of a father was truly gone, that was it. Sure, there were some siblings they wanted to see. Hell, one they hadn't seen in over a decade now. Hell, what did Sven even look like now? Ronan changed a lot, so why wouldn't they have? Fuck, Sven was one of the ones they had wanted to see for the longest time, to make things right. Even if there wasn't much they had to apologize. Just...Simply showing they weren't angry with them should have been enough, right? Reaching into their back pocket as they rested against their Speedbike, Ronan took out that damned letter. Why they brought it with them, it was anyone's guess. Their eyes scanned it over once more, a small tinge of bitterness and anger slowly found itself tying their stomach in knots as they read it. A feeling of regret and guilt always found its way in when they were here, all because of him. Ronan simply crumbled it up in their fist, before tossing it into the ocean. Ronan grabbed their helmet, tucking it under the crook of their arm, they made their way across the street and over to the gate. Pausing for just another moment, Ronan took yet again another deep breath. Their hand shook slightly, before they punched in the damn code before it opened, creaking as it did so. It really had been this long, huh? Ronan pushed open the gate and began to slowly make their way across the old path, the ocean air scraping across their skin as they walked up to the old academy.

Ronan looked up slowly at the old building, their tongue glid across their teeth for a moment as they contimplated things. Shaking their head, "Just fucking do it..." they muttered, before they began walking once more. Stepping up onto the old, whethered steps as they walked up to the door. They took a moment, and knocked a couple of times against the old door, shoving their hands into their pockets as they waited patiently. For what felt like forever they waited, and waited. And waited. Until the door finally creaked open for a moment. Ronan instinctively looked through the door, before looking down as what could only be seen in a flash of fur and darkened skin closed the door for just a moment. Before opening it back up again, "Master Ronan?" came an all too familiar voice, however aged it may have been. A small smile spread across their face as Ronan looked down at the simian. He was aged, and slightly hunched over, but it was for certain the same one. The one Ronan knew all too well. "Hello, Pogo. It's been a while." they said with a smile. The aged simian smiled as he opened the door fully, ushering Ronan inside.

Ronan slowly stepped into the entryway of the Academy, their footsteps softly thudding as they entered. "You look well, Ronan." they heard the old monkey speak up once more as the door closed behind the two of them. Ronan turned their head over their shoulder, "Thank you, Pogo...You look...You look good. I'm glad to see you again." they said with a soft smile. Pogo gave them a small nod, brows furrowed slightly. "How is...Everything?" Ronan sighed slightly, looking back around the old foyre. Everything was exactly the same as they left it. Memories slowly came back as they closed their eyes for just a moment. Blinking as they snapped themselves back to reality, "Sorry...uhm...things are...Better, Pogo. Uhm...How is everyone else? Are the others here yet or...?" the old simian gave a curt nod, "That's good to hear, Ronan. Well, you're the second to arrive but uh...I think there is someone you should see first." he said with a kind smile. Ronan tilted their head for a moment, "Where...Where is she?" they asked softly. "In the kitchen, preparing some snacks for everyone's arrival."

Ronan gave him a small nod and smile, "Thank you, Pogo. For...Everything. This and...Well...You know. I'll be back to see you in a little bit...I'm...I'm gonna go say hi real quick." they gave the simian a small nod before parting ways, but not before placing the helmet in one of the empty chairs, before going through the halls and different rooms. Memories and feelings they dug deep down slowly began to resurface. As if a movie was playing out in their head. Flashbacks to Ronan and the others as children, running through the hallways and corridors. Ronan finally found themselves stepping into the small archway that lead into the kitchen. Stopping midway through the arch of the door as they saw a figure of a blonde woman busily pulling out a pan of cookies and placing it onto the table. Ronan took a short, shallow breath before they swallowed the growing lump in their throat, "H...hey mom.." Ronan managed to call out, their voice cracking half way through those two small words. The woman turned around, with a smile on her face, "Oh, Ronan sweetheart!" she chimed as her eyes rested on them. A small smile formed over their face before they found themselves wrapping their arms around the Android in a tight embrace, "I've missed you..." Ronan said softly as they rested their head along the android's shoulder. Grace smiled as she spoke, "Well, you're home now. Just in time for cookies." she said, grabbing one of the plates as she offered some to Ronan, who simply oblidged by taking one. "Oh, and one of your siblings is here. You should probably go say hi, Ronan. I have lots to do before the others arrive." Grace exclaimed as she turned and went back to baking.

"Right...Uhm...I'll see you later, okay?" Ronan turned on their heels, but not before looking at the android one last time, taking a small bite out of the cookie they took from the plethora of them. They'd need to come back for more later. Their foosteps sounded softly as they meandered throughout the rooms, before finally coming to one of the few rooms that made them uneasy. The back foire with the mantle and picture that hung above the fireplace. They hated looking at the portrait that Hargreeves had made. All false pretenses, fake emotions. None of it was genuine. Their thoughts were interrupted as they could feel a presence in the room with them. It was familiar, but faint. One they hadn't felt in a while, which, immediately caused them to recognize it. They took a small, short breath before finally turning to see the figure standing opposite them in the room. Ronan's eyes scanned over the figure, a small smile spread across their face. They looked different but, those eyes and face. Ronan couldn't mistake it for anyone else. "Hey, Sven..." Ronan started, their voice soft and low. They didn't really know what to say. It had been ten years, but, it didn't matter to them. This was one of the few people they genuinely wanted to see again. Even if the conditions were, less than favorable. "You look...You look good. I mean it." a small, genuine smile appeared for a moment, before fading away. "I uh...Trust you've been well." Ronan took another pause as their hands shook, noticing just how fast their heart was beating in their chest. Ronan bit their lip as they looked down for a moment. "God...I don't even know what I'm trying to say..." Ronan muttered, combing their fingers through their hair, "I guess I'm just trying to say...I'm sorry...I just hope you've...Been better off since...Well. I don't need to state the obvious." Ronan nervously fiddled with their fingers, a nervous tick they had picked up when they were a kid. "It's good to see you again....After all this time, Sven. I...I missed you." their tone was genuine, solemn almost. The sound of regret and guilt would have been easy to pick up on by anyone, and Ronan wasn't ashamed of that. They missed most of the others, and Sven especially. They just hoped they could make things not entirely fall apart before this shitshow even started.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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songxx outfitxx bedroom xxdialogue hex #CE7B97

Lucky picked at the hardened scab, enjoying the sensation as she tore it revealing shiny new pink skin. She’d grown fond of scars into her adulthood. For so long it felt like everything was erased like it never happened, Sven turning back the clock to restore them to their former selves. It felt like her body wasn’t ever really wholly hers, just pieces of her. A firm hand gripped her thigh, pulling her closer. She wrapped her arm around them, throwing back her head to arch her back into them; not because she enjoyed it, but because she knew they did.

“What are you thinking about?” They mumbled into her ear, burrowing themselves in her dark tresses.

She smiled softly, pushing aside her hair to see them clearly. The sunlight was still figuring it’s way into their room, not quite at the angle to reach the bed yet. Her fingers ran along their jawline, her touch soothing them back to sleep.

“I’ll tell you about it later, go back to sleep.”

They drifted back into their dreams, Lucky watching for a moment – envious of that peace. Even her sleep was restless, dark circles forever shading beneath her eyes. She slid out from the bed wrapping herself in a silken robe.

Rose was an intoxicating scent, one she always favored. The aroma filled the room as she filled the tub, pouring the rose extract generously where the spout poured into the frothing water. When she closed her eyes it was all she could sense, that heavy floral musk. Her impulse was to retract as she lowered herself into the bath, she could feel her skin reddening from the heat. That’s what the rose extract was for. She bit her bottom lip, plunging herself into the water all at once her gasp twisting into a wince. Her body tensed, holding itself in place as it acclimated.

When she was here it felt like she could forget everything for a moment – in that time as her body felt like it might be on fire battling the elements struggling to adjust so could finally have that moment of peace. Ghosts were always lurking in the corners of her psyche reminding her of what lurked in the shadows. She closed her eyes, tilting her head back and submerging herself holding herself under until she ran out of breath.

“Hey,” Their voice surprised her, a scratchy whisper. She looked over, spitting bubbles in response. “You okay? You’ve been quiet last couple days….”

Lucky nodded slowly, closing her eyes again and sinking further into the water. She waited until she heard the door close behind her latest paramour before opening her eyes again reaching for the battered bound novel that sat on a table beside the tub. Most of the book had water damage, warping the pages so that they wouldn’t lay flat swelling it in size.

She started to flip through the pages, the book opening to where she’d shoved a folded a piece of paper into the spine. Careful to unfold it so that it stayed pressed against the book and hidden should her paramour walk back in unannounced. The note was beginning to tear at the folds from the repeated motion, caught in the cycle of reading it until she felt too sick to look at it anymore, folding it furiously and hiding it away. Out of sight, out of mind – right?

To my dear students,

How could he be so cold and yet so uncharacteristically warm in the same sentence?

A closet full of pretty things with a high price tag. Each piece made her think of someone she wish she was, anyone but herself really. Maybe one day she’d put on the perfect outfit to finally become someone else. Every morning she put together who she wanted to be that day, at least for pretend. She stood there, dripping wet and naked – every thing around her tailor made yet none of it fit her anymore.

“I’ve got to go home,” She hollered from the bedroom, recognizing the sound of someone shifting in the next room followed by footsteps.

“Home?” They asked, coming into the closet. “The States you mean?”

“L.A., just outside the city.” She lied; they didn’t even know her real name. Why start being honest now?

“Did something happen?” They asked, grabbing a towel that had been strewn aside from a previous day of dress up and wrapping around Lucky. A shiver ran down her spine, prompting them to rub her arms quickly to help her warm up.

“No – not really. I guess they’re selling the house and need our help going through the things to see what they can throw out.” She didn’t even know what she was saying until the words left her mouth, the story spinning itself.

“Do you want me to come with?”

“No! – no, trust me that’ll just make it take longer. Plus you’ll end up becoming best friends with my brother which will immediately doom our relationship, so trust me it’s for the best.”

They furrowed their brow in mild suspicion before kissing atop her head gently, her hair dripping across their chest. They pushed her hair back, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her in. “Any way I can help?”

She smiled, kissing them deeply before asking sweetly – “Will you take me shopping?”


“You look nice.” Whispered the fox, following Lucky from a distance as she trudged through the Shadow Realm.

Lucky pursed her lips, avoiding eye contact forcing herself to remember the details of the door to her room in the Academy. She had been offered a first class flight instead but she didn’t want them hovering over her shoulder as she bought the ticket asking why she was booking a flight to New York City instead of L.A. Besides, she hated connecting flights from international to domestic. Even with first class and TSA pre-check it was still a pain to transfer.

“Too good to talk to me now? You rarely come visit anymore….I’ve grown lonely.”

“Maybe if you didn’t stalk me like prey every time I came in here, I’d be more inclined to keep you company.” Lucky spat, rolling her eyes. The Shadow Fox was always lurking whenever she passed through. She stopped being afraid of it a long time ago. In here she was the one in charge of the world around them.

“Well what’s a fox to do? Not much else here to keep my attention.”

“Maybe whatever you did before I got here?”

“Sleep,” It let out a cold laugh, Lucky twitching with discomfort at it’s pitch. “If only it were that simple. You don’t help much, passing in and out of here without a care in the world.”

“Sounds like a personal problem. Now go away, you’re breaking my focus.” She shooed the fox away, the shadowed creature shrinking in size to dodge her and circle around.

“Excuses, you should be able to do this in your sleep by now.”

“Jesus Christ – forgive me if I’m a little distracted. Will you just shut up please? I’ll be on my merry way and you can go back to sleep.”

“I think we’ve known each other long enough that you know that isn’t what I want.” Its tone sent a chill down her spine, looking at her with still beady eyes.

Lucky snarled,“And that’s why you’ll always be lonely.”

“I just want you to stay where your safe – isn’t that exactly what you wanted for your family?”

Lucien’s face flashed in her mind; he’d been only a voice for so long she wondered if they’d even recognize each other. She shook her head, the fox infecting her thoughts. It was an endless power struggle between them, yet they were somehow the one being who was a constant in her life. Locked away in its cage it didn’t seem so scary, though it was harder to distinguish that when it slipped into her dreams.

The door, she had to remember the door. The trim was covered in polaroid’s, her favorite pictures of her siblings and their mother. She would spend hours looking at the pictures in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep, trying to recreate her memories to feign the idea of a childhood. The door was oversized and took her full strength to move with an ornate brass knob from the original design of the house. The light always gleaned off of the warm browns of the varnish, reflecting the room in it’s surface. She could feel the hardwood beneath her feet, opening her eyes to see the door conjured within the Shadow Realm.

“Looks like that’s my cue, nice catching up.” Lucky flicked off the Shadow Fox one last time, opening the door and stepping through.

The first time she teleported through the Shadow Realm it felt like she was being spat back out into the light. She had been unconscious for over a day afterward, her body exhausted from over-exerting her power. She didn’t travel through the Shadow Realm as often as she could have, when the alternative was private jets and first class it wasn’t a downgrade in any way. If it meant some extra time lapping in luxury, why would she waste her energy on something as taxing as the Shadow Fox.

Though eventually, as always, the time would come where she’d burn some bridge or get herself in some situation that led her to the same place. She’d learned how to manifest portals in and out of the Shadow Realm with relative ease unless the Shadow Fox was especially a nuisance that day. At least stepping through the portals had become less volatile.

She stepped from the shadows into her bedroom, blinking rapidly as her eyes adjusted to the light.

There were white linens pulled over the furniture, but the plants were as lush as ever. Lucky smiled, ‘Mom’. Lucky had been to the Academy since she left, though usually just stealing an hour with mom in the kitchen or maybe rifling through her dad’s study for notes regarding his research into her powers (usually a result of a coke-fueled night leading to a spiral of resentment). She hadn’t been in her room since she left. She could tell their mom had continued to clean it, not a single speck of desk settled on any surface in the room.

She began pulling the linen from the furniture, folding each one neatly and setting it on the end of her bed. Seeking the shadows of the house, she could read Pogo lingering in the parlor watching the door and their mother in the kitchen. The other’s had yet to arrive, she wondered if any of them would even show. As if her thoughts had manifested them, the sound of the drawbridge broke her inner dialogue.

She watched as Sven emerged from the car, stunned for a moment having to catch her breath. They were the last person Lucky expected to show, though maybe for that same reason they’d be the first one to want to confirm the guy was really dead. A metallic taste filled her mouth, Lucky realizing she’d been biting her lip so hard it began to bleed. Waiting for Sven to follow Pogo into the house, she opened her window as quietly as possible hanging out as she lit a cigarette.

Sliding into the chair beside the window so that she was hidden from sight but hanging her hand out the window so the smoke wouldn’t travel into the hallway, Lucky sat like that for a while. It was another three cigarettes when she heard the sound of the drawbridge again, peaking above with caution to watch Ronan ride in on a speed bike.

“Well that’s it,” She mumbled to herself, putting out her current cigarette and tossing the butt out the window. If Ronan and Sven were both in attendance, it was free game for anyone to show. How many ghosts would she have to face today? She was already chewing on her lip again, lighting up another cigarette in defeat. Anything to keep her hands busy.

Lucky paused, looking at her phone as if it had become the enemy. If there was ever a time to call Lucien, it’d be now – though admittedly she’d never called him when she was sober. She didn’t know if she’d be able to handle him not picking up today of all days, didn’t want that hanging over her head. Against her better judgement she hit the call button, smoking her cigarette furiously to stop herself from chewing her bottom lip raw.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Sven Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Ronan Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves Character Portrait: Jaime Courtney
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Vya wasn't one for sadness. It wasn't his shade, didn't fit him. Besides, he wasn't sure sad was what he was even feeling. Shocked, definitely. But 'sad' was pushing it a little. He really hadn't thought Reginald Hargreeves would ever do them the kindness of dying.

He'd crumpled his letter up and tossed it in the trash only to dig it out the next day and read it again, chewing on his fingernails and pacing the length of his apartment. His husky, Koda, had paced with him in a show of solidarity.

Two days later he'd texted Ronan a simple: you going? and gotten an even simpler yeh as a reply. Which had pretty much sealed the deal that Vya was going. For one, he wasn't going to make Ro face it alone, and for two, he couldn't face it without Ro, so there was that.

He wasn't sure if any of the others would. He and Ronan had been the last to leave, and the only ones to really claim Dear Ol' Dad (although he had a feeling they both did it because it made it easier to pull the 'abused kid' card but that was besides the point). ((Or maybe it was just because Ro got outed and Vya couldn't let his sib go down alone.))

Besides, who else was going to go home, confirm the bastards death, deal with the will and estate and anything else? Lucien was too busy being a goddam hermit (Vya had tried calling him - about 15 times if his phone history was to be believed.) Lucky would probably laugh in the face of anyone who suggested she handle it. And Sven- no. It was him, and Ronan. He'd shit his pants if anyone else showed.

He took a shot and threw the damn letter away again.

• ♦ • ♦ •

Vya was drunk before he boarded the plane. He ordered another drink once he got settled, and spent the flight from Cali to NY playing games with a toddler in the seat next to him. His very tired mother looked very appreciative and neither of them acknowledged the fact that she 'accidentally' drank his coffee and baileys before taking a nap.

He fucked around in town for a bit, he hadn't been back to West Anne since he'd left the academy. He sent a few touristy pictures to a contact in his phone labeled '*Bee Emoji* J' and picked up a mug for him in a novelty shop and spelled out 'UNT' next to the handle. He could get the same stupid shit back home but he was traveling which made it special.

When he couldn't ignore what he was there for anymore, Vya found himself crossing that fucking drawbridge. While his PTSD didn't have shit on his siblings, it still wasn't pleasant, and he found himself wishing he could have held Ronan's attention long enough to coordinate their arrivals.

Pogo was waiting for him. Great. Vya took a swing from his flask.

"Master Vya-"

"I know my way around, I'm okay," Vya interrupted, his tone not as harsh as his words. Pogo opened his mouth, perhaps to say more, but for some reason Vya just really, really didn't want to hear it. "I need to take a walk."

He stood there just long enough to see Pogo nod his head and place both hands on a cane that was supporting him in his old age, then he fled. It wasn't about Pogo, not really, their relationship was pleasant if distant. It was about being home. The way the sea salt water smelled different on the West Coast than the East. It was about the way it felt crossing the draw bridge. It was about not being ready to enter the great hall and look into the face of a mother who hadn't aged a day since he was a child.

He didn't know where he was going at first. Why he bothered to run at all. It made more sense to go seek out Ronan (if they'd arrived yet) and a bottle of finely aged Scotch. But his feet propelled him outwards, until he was stumbling over graveyard dirt. A sad smile crossed his face as he realized where he was, and he pulled his flask from his coat again to take another drink before he climbed onto the statue and pressed his forehead against the cold metal of Ben's, preserved forever at sixteen. He wondered, briefly, if it was creepy now that he was an adult. But really, he didn't care.

"You could probably use a drink today too, huh?" Vya muttered, and let a little whiskey dribble onto the gravestone he was standing on. Find peace in the light. What a bunch of bullshit. "Don't worry, I won't let him be buried anywhere near you."

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Character Portrait: Caesar Character Portrait: Jaime Courtney Character Portrait: Marco Costa
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xxdialogue hex #351A13[/size]

Moments between missions were few and far between. Marco preferred to stay busy, idle hands and all that. He’d been pressed for something to break for too long now, obsessing over the sketches in his notebook endlessly compounding the details until it looked too real for comfort. Ceaser would probably work out to release the energy but Marco felt exercise was more of a chore – some mindless repetitive behavior that he had to do to maintain his agility rather than a release.

He rented an apartment above a soda pop shoppe, it always smelled like sweets – which only attracted the rats. He didn’t keep food around for long, usually opting for a Salisbury steak from the diner down the way instead. Every now and again he’d go to a cabinet, greeted by some fat fucker who had gorged himself on the stale box of crackers Marco had long forgotten about. Thankfully they stayed out of the bedroom, which is all he cared about. He let them live alongside him rent free so long as they respected the boundaries he’d put in place. They were around the place more than he ever was anyways.

The message came when he’d been showering, hearing the noise of the incoming capsule over the sound of water rushing in his ears. Always so fucking loud – it had undoubtedly saved his ass a couple times but still, could they not figure out a way that wasn’t so fucking loud? It had the Handler’s letterhead and her signature candor.

She was all hard angles. He’d fantasized what her skin would look like if he sliced into it slow, how the blood would look on her ever red lips. Not that he had anything personal against the Handler, just where his mind would go eventually if he spent enough time with a person. He donned his suit, shoving his sketchbook into his pocket and heading to the Handler’s office.

He let Jaime and Caeser take the lead in the office, he didn’t need to know anymore than whatever was in the folder. It was more fun if he was able to add an air of mystery, it’d been years since a real fight. He glanced at the photo, wilting with disappointment. They needed the three of them for this half-man? Marco could tell even in the photo, this man didn’t have the guts to stand up against the likes of one of them let alone three.

Marco looked to the other two, his eyes low with disinterest. Maybe between the three of them they could be back in time for dinner. Cracking his knuckles with anticipation, he nodded to the others gesturing for them to lead the way.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Camila Hargreeves Character Portrait: Lucien Hargreeves Character Portrait: Vya Hargreeves
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#, as written by Ivisbo

№. 1 || The Paladin || #D4AC0D

“Hello?” His voice was scratchy from the early morning, the cobwebs of sleep still tugging his mind back under. He’d arrived in Rio Grande a few days ago and was still adjusting to the time change. Lucien was early for this year's fishing season, so he’d promised to be on call for a new fishing crew he didn’t normally sail with. Usually his phone was lost somewhere in a coat pocket or bag, but he’d actually kept the ringer on and phone charged for once.

“Lucien,” Lucky whispered in a hush tone, as if her voice could carry down the hall and stairs, into the formal where Sven and Ronan waited. “Please say you’re on the way.”

The sun was filtering in the small window next to his bed, warming a patch across his face and giving him enough of a charge to pull himself upright. He ‘hmmmed’ into the phone at his sister, scratching a hand through salt tangled hair as he tried to sort out why the hell she would think he’d be on the way anywhere.

“Got any idea what time it is here?” He grumbled as he pulled the blinds up the window and directed himself fully into the sun's light, “Are you drunk or something?”

“What the fuck are you talking about? You better be on the same time zone as the rest of us because right now I am standing in my room. In the Anchor Academy. With Szen and Ronan downstairs.” Lucky spat as she spoke, her urgency pressed into her consonants. She looked out the window at the sound of the drawbridge lowering, squinting to make out who it was. “Didn’t you get the letter?”

Lucien let out a shaky breath, Lucky’s stressed voice seeping into his bones. Sven, Ronan, and Lucky were are back at the Academy? His mind immediately went to the the last true time the family had gathered, lowering Ben’s body into the ground while they all stood around him in matching uniforms. Lucien’s mind immediately screaming someone died again and he couldn’t stop the wave of anguish that passed over him. If Ronan, Sven, and Lucky were there, then it had to be Vya, Nathan, Uma, or Sav.

“No. No letter. I'm south for the season and I don’t have an address down here” His voice was shaking but he was trying his best to adopt that ‘Number One’ tone that meant all business. “Who was it?”

Lucky almost laughed, sinking back into the chair and massaging her temples. It was some sick irony that left it to her to break the news. The same person who had worked so hard to drive the wedge between them to deliver the final nail in the coffin. She used the butt of one cigarette to light another, wondering to herself if she’d have to go into town to buy another pack before the rest of them showed up.

“It’s dad,” She eventually sighed, watching as Vya exited the car below. “He’s dead.”

Lucien wasn’t really sure what the first feeling that washed through him was. Relief? That didn’t both him, they all knew Reginald deserved it, but it was also twinged with something like frustration. Leave it to their father to die and still make him feel like he should have been there to stop it. That haunting savior complex that only existed because of that man, what Lucien had spent the majority of his adult life running away from. Now he was washed in the hot morning sun of Argentina, half a world away, and wished he could just be there.

He was quiet for a while, glaring out the window and trying to figure out how to puzzle out his next words and the heaviness in his chest.

“You don’t have to come….” She eventually broke the silence, “I can manage the mess - who knows, maybe even Sav will show. I’ve already seen a couple of ghosts today; another one wouldn’t surprise me.”

His head was in his hands, the sunlight streaming against his bare back but doing little to comfort him. That relief turned frustration was beginning to darken to anger at his own reaction- Lucien shouldn't care this much. He’s wanted Reginald dead ever since Lucky had tugged him out of their fathers grasp. Maybe he was mad that he wasn’t the one to kill him, though Lucien had never thought of himself as a killer. Maybe he was just angry that Reginald was leaving them all to sort this shit out.

“How is everyone taking it?”

Lucky watched as Vya ran full sprint across the drive way toward the graveyard, pulling himself onto Ben’s statue and melding their foreheads together.

“Ugh....well, too soon to tell - but I guess they’re managing. You know, all things considered.” Lucky said, her face twisting into a combination of confusion and mild amusement as she watched Vya slowly unravel. “I mean, I haven’t really left my room yet so that’s just based off of first impressions from watching them through the window.”

“And you?” He paused for a moment, “You said I don't have to come, but do you want me to come?”, Do they want me to? went unsaid, but the thought was just one of those pieces he was trying to sort out.

Lucky felt her voice caught in her throat. Not because she didn’t want him to come, or maybe a part of her did - but more than that small bit of regret in that corner of her mind she just wanted to hug her brother. To actually have some sort of physical proof that he wasn’t just some voice at the other end of the phone.

“Of - Of course I do,” She stumbled over her words at first, suddenly realizing this was the first time she’d spoken to Lucien while sober in maybe years. “I know I’m not the only one either....

“Vya, he needs you.” She added, though her tone made it clear she was referring to herself.

He snorted, “Vya needs a lot of things” But he actually had a pang of longing for their weird, chaotic brother, “It would be good to see Mom and Pogo too, I’m sure this is hard on them”

Lucien stood and stretched, suddenly feeling like if he didnt act now he’d chicken out and hide with his fishing nets for a few more years.

“I'm south for the season so I gotta figure out a way back” He explained as he walked into the adjoining bathroom, already beginning to pull together a light bag, “I… well I have a vague idea of how to do it, I’ve never flown that far before”

Lucky’s brow furrowed, “Don’t you fly from Alaska to Argentina? - you know what, it doesn’t matter. Just if you can try to get here before the burial please?”

Her eyes drifted back to Vya, “I can - do my best to keep them all from spiraling out in the meantime.”

“Thank you” Lucien breathed out, “Really, thank you Lucky. I wouldn’t have known unless you called. I’m kinda proud the old man couldn’t find me in Argentina. I’ll see you when I land”

He hung up, his brain already cycling through how the fuck he was going to fly 6,536 miles without tiring. He probably should have explained to Lucky that he wouldn't be using a plane, though explaining this new growth in his power would take too much of his energy. Lucien understood the logistics, stay high above the clouds, keep the sun on him to charge up, and pack some energy bars for the flight. But the last time Lucien had flown for any length of time beyond some light power practice was six years ago when he’d skipped out on the Air Force and flown straight to Alaska.

He texted the fishing crew a vague ‘take me off the crew list’ and tossed his phone in his small pack. He’d grabbed a change of clothes, his stash of cliff bars, a couple water bottles, and his toothbrush. The small apartment he’d rented and few random belongings he’d brought would have to be ditched, but he didn’t care. Lucien hadn’t felt a drive like this to act in almost a decade and he was riding that adrenaline ever since Lucky had said yes, she did need him.

The morning was cold unless he stood in the direct sun, but his second-story apartment landing served as a great charging pad. The sky was cloudless, that burning ball that kept him alive a welcome warmth and electric pulse against his tanned skin. He stood there for ten solid minutes, a statue with his eyes closed and head tilted skyward. When he focused on it, it felt like the sun had its piercing eye on him and him alone, its light and warmth zeroed in on its favorite human.

Lucien whispered it a silent thanks, crouched, and allowed glowing tendrils of its light to bloom from his back. Hot like the glowing star itself, they shaped themselves into long feathery wing-like forms. Nothing concrete, only light manifested into power in order to keep him aloft. Similar to his shields, they pulsed with his light power and expelled in all direction, it only took a little maneuvering for Lucien to force them in a specific direction. Lucien reasoned that as long as he stayed high and allowed the sun to keep them charged, he’d have no issue reaching the Academy by nightfall.

They moved like his shields, heavy with power but light as the air itself. Lucien drove them downwards, threw himself on the balcony ledge, relished in the freefall before catching himself with a single beat of light, and aimed himself northward.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathan Hargreeves
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No. 4xx |xx#a35151

ImageIf you are receiving this letter that means I’ve passed away due to natural causes. As I’m sure you are aware, I’ve made Pogo the executor of my will as well as the one to arrange the funerary services no later than a week after my death. It is my last wish that you attend my burial...

Nathan didn't have time for this shit.

So their father had bit it? Good, it was the least the old man deserved for the shit he put them all through. Nathan would absolutely be lying if he said he didn't care though. It certainly affected him, whether he could admit it or not. There was no emotional gratification, no joy in the fact, it was more of a quiet relief. As if the shadow that hung over his head could finally be laid to rest. The childish fear of the monster under his bed was gone.

The relief was short lived though, because even in death Reginald Hargreeves couldn't stop himself from draping his expectations over his children. As far as honoring Reginalds last wishes went, Nathan couldn't even begin to fathom why it would matter. It seemed that years of solitude hadn't taught the old man anything. All of them had left eventually, a river of emotionally repressed young adults trickling out one by one until even the most loyal of them had gone. Didn't he get it? None of them owed Reginald shit, let alone a last wish.

"Fuck," he muttered, tugging at the ends of his hair as he thought it over. He didn't want to go, but that wasn't quite the truth either. Honoring Reginald was the furthest thought from his mind. But he wanted to be there, if only in some small way, to see the others. Sure, he ran into each of them every once in a while in various ways. Concerts, parties, the occasional drop-in visit. Pretending that this horrifying childhood didn't hang over every minefield of a conversation. It was easy to pretend when they were hundreds of miles away from anything remotely related to it. But this would put him right back in the thick of it. His origin story.

But why the fuck not, right? Now was as good a time as any. The band had taken a short break, nothing permanent, but the constant touring had been a mental strain and they had needed some time apart from each other before someone snapped and a real fight broke out. They were still working on the new album, just from afar while each of them sorted themselves out. Nathan could still do that, and maybe the change of scenery and good ol' traumatic memories would get the wells of creativity flowing again anyways. It was decided then...He would go.

He crumpled the letter into a tiny ball and let it fall to the floor, where it proceeded to roll under the couch to never be seen again. His first order of business was to trudge his way from his apartment to the liquor store on the corner, where he proceeded to buy the cheapest bottle he could get his hands on. Knowing himself too well, he texted the only responsible one out of the foursome that was Embers Ghost. Liz wasn't thrilled with his plans to return home, though he hadn't shared the details of his childhood with his bandmates they knew some things. Shitty father, shitty memories, lots of bad experiences. It was hard to avoid that kind of thing when half of their music centered around it.

"You really don't do anything half-way," Liz stood over him, thankfully blocking out the harsh light. He wasn't sure where he was at first, his head was buzzing and everything felt just slightly skewed. Like he was looking through a foggy window. "Nate, get up." She kicked him, and though it wasn't very hard he still groaned at the movement. He wanted to tell her to 'fuck off Liz' but he was sure she would probably punch him, hungover or not. Anyways, opening his mouth to say anything was a bad idea. He instantly felt the telltale sensation of 'oh god gonna throw up right now.'

Liz watched him struggle to stand without a word, arms crossed, clearly judging but he knew she was putting up a front. He'd picked her up off a dozen floors before too. It was just the games the band played.

"You've got ten minutes!" She called after him, as he stumbled his way to the bathroom and uphended the contents of last nights bender. The vodka he drank burned more coming out than it did going in. He felt like shit, looked like shit too, he didn't have time for a shower though so he did his best to wipe himself down with a wet towel and prayed that the cologne he sprayed on himself would cover up some of the booze smell. He had thankfully already packed before getting wasted, so he just had to grab his bags and that was that.

"Here," She handed him a stick of gum, "You smell like a bar."

He was glad he had asked Liz to drive him to the airport last night, he wasn't sure he could have managed it with the way his head spun. She didn't ask any of the questions that must of been on her mind. He was glad for that. He wasn't sure he had it in him to talk about it. Instead they just chatted mindlessly about other things, skirting around any topics that would have dampened the mood. Now that he was upright he felt a bit better. Able to actually think.

Though the anticipation of the plane ride did nothing to help the building anxiety. Now that he had a moment he wondered if the others were even going to show up. Nathan himself had contemplated ignoring the letter altogether. Pretending it hadn't even existed but that wouldn't have done him any good in the long run. No. Better to see for himself anyways. He just hoped he wasn't the only one going. None of this would be worth it if he were.

They arrived far too fast for his liking.

As he stood outside her car, preparing himself for the hell that would be TSA, she rolled down the passenger window.

"Hey," She said, "Text me if you need anything, okay?"

"I will." He promised, as sincerely as he could. Though he wasn't sure if he would follow through on that or not. He didn't like having to involve anyone in his mental bullshit more than he liked to go through it himself. But she nodded anyways, flashing him one last smile before rolling up the window and driving off. He waited until he could no longer see her car before adjusting his bag and turning towards the airport lobby.

Nathan slept for most of the plane ride, he had no choice in the matter really. He was exhausted, mentally, not that he'd done anything physically taxing. Other than being incredibly hungover - which he was sure the hostesses were absolutely aware of. Thankfully there was very little contact the whole time. He was able to sleep, and by the time he woke many, many hours later they were just cresting the last stretch of the flight.

From there it was just a matter of taking a cab. He hadn't exactly planned very far ahead. He had gotten the flight last minute, but he hadn't bothered to figure out where he would be staying. He didn't know if he could stomach the thought of staying in the academy. He was sure his bedroom was still there, a dormant ghost, likely still being religiously cleaned by Mom even after he was no longer there to make it into an absolute mess. The thought made him ache, he had missed her, and he was ready to see her again.

Once there though it finally, finally sunk in. There it was, right in front of him, the Academy in all its glory. Standing like a memorial to everything it once was. He shuddered, and told himself that he was just cold. But it was more than that. He was unsettled. Half expecting that once he stepped through those doors he'd suddenly be young again, and the time he had spent away would have all been a dream.

"Get it together man," He mumbled to himself under his breath.

His composure nearly broke at the sight of Pogo. He hadn't seemed to have changed one bit, and that left Nathan feeling further disconnected from his expectations. "Master Nathan, it's good to see you." the primate greeted him with a warmth that Nathan wasn't sure he deserved. He couldn't imagine what it must of been like, trapped here all alone for all these years with only Reginald and Mom. "Pogo..." Nathan began, coughing to cover up the slight break in his voice. "Hey, uh, good to see you too..." He itched to reach out and hug Pogo, but squished that urge down as hard as he could.

"Has anyone anyone else coming?" He asked, unsure if he truly wanted the answer. "A few of the others have already arrived yes, if you'd like I could show - " Nathan shook his head quickly, "No, no, I'm good. I just, I'm going to have a look around real quick, I'll see them all...later anyways. Thank you though..." With that said he moved past Pogo, determined to avoid the awkwardness that rushed over him.

Nothing at all had changed, Nathan wasn't sure whether that was a blessing or a curse.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caesar Character Portrait: Jaime Courtney Character Portrait: Marco Costa
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• ♦ • ♦ • ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ • ♦ • ♦ •

Jaime didn't often find time to sleep in, so when the opportunity arose he decided that sleeping was all he would be doing for the entire day. He would have gone to the bar of course, had he any reason to be there. But currently, his reason had left on a trip. He distracted himself by replying to the latest string of texts from said reason with a variety of emojis to express his undying gratitude for the sender. But not going to the bar meant Jaime was stuck floundering for something to do in his shitty studio apartment until the next mission came to him. He didn't have the mental energy to ponder on the fact that he had no hobbies outside of work and pestering a certain adorable bartender.

Unfortunately, he didn't really get the opportunity to stay in bed like he wanted. When he hears the telltale sound of that capsule coming in he feels that distinct sense of ‘here we go again.’ That seems to have taken over his life lately. The only way to get rid of that feeling has usually been to visit his favorite bartender bar and loiter till he starts to forget just how abnormal his life really is. It's easy to forget yourself when you've already gotten three or four shots in with no end in sight.

It’s not that Jaime doesn’t want to work. He likes his job - somewhat...sometimes. Okay, not really but who could blame him? It feels like he’s been doing the same old shtick since he was born. So yeah, he isn't thrilled to be dragging himself out of bed. Less thrilled even to realize that he's going to have to live through whatever condescending spiel The Handler has for him today.

Time travelling assassin shit aside, he needs a vacation.

But of course, that was asking a lot from his employers. He'd directly asked The Handler once, in a hungover stupor, and she had given him that patent half smirk and condescending laugh. Then she'd given him a brand new file and barked orders about not half-assing this one. So really, what little time he could slip in between missions was just about all the vacation he had been able to manage.

He took his time because quite frankly he had all the time in the world, and it wasn't like this job was going anywhere anytime soon. He would rather get chewed out for being a 'lazy good for nothing' than show up looking like something the cat dragged in. Eventually though he knew he'd have to stop puttering around and get his ass in gear. He wanted to get whatever this latest job was done and over with so he could return to his self-imposed moping.

"Well, this should be easy." Jaime commented, after The Handler was through telling them what they needed to know. He was sure he wasn't the only one thinking as much either.

Jaime had been on dozens of missions in his time, solo and paired, but to have three of them going after a guy like Herb was almost laughable. But there had to be a reason, otherwise The Handler wouldn't be pooling as many resources into the job. At least with Caesar and Marco there Jaime could take it easy, he had absolutely no qualms in admitting they were the powerhouses of the operation and he was likely just there to be there.

What kind of plan could a dude like that really have?

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