the way we were

the way we were

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one last party, a fated group of friends, and a murder. these types of situations are never easy, but add in more secrets than they can count and explosive histories between them all... will they make it out alive?

3,608 readers have visited the way we were since partially-stars created it.

Introduction

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they were an atom bomb waiting to off. a bunch of misfits, broken people attempting to make their way through life. the only thing they had in common was their love of partying, but it brought them together as friends when they first met. of course, it didn't last. friendships turned to relationships turned to bitterness turned to strangers all over again. some tried to get their lives together all over again. others let their lives fall apart even more.

after two years, they're spread across the globe. but for whatever reason, they all find themselves back in town. somebody suggests they all meet up again. for old times sake, they say, a party planned for one last hurrah. but when they arrive at the host's apartment, the host, lauren, is noticeably absent.

it's just after midnight when they find the body.

the police is called, the party having come to a sudden and unpleasant halt. as if it isn't bad enough, they all have secrets they want to hide. some of them are motives, some are illegal secrets, and some who threaten their perfectly constructed life. and the police immediately suspect foul play from within the group. the detective knows they all have something to hide, and he's determined to find out what.

the group don't know if the threat comes from within the group or not. they don't know which is better. because for all the bad blood between them, they can't wrap their head around the thought of one of their former friends killing someone. but if it's somebody else, that means that they might all be targets. but can they figure it out before the killer strikes again and without the detective finding out their secrets?


rules;

first things first, a reminder that god-modding is forbidden. god-modding typically means controlling a character without their player's permission. so when in doubt, ask. romance and violence are pretty much a given for a drama-driven rp like this, but keep it within site rules. most importantly, if things get steamy, either fade to black or bring it off site. there will be adult themes within the rp. if the content veers into uncomfortable or distressing, please PM me and we can work around it or i can ask other players to alter as necessary. please keep the drama to the ic. any issues arising among members of the rp should be dealt with over pm. reservations go in the ooc as they're easier to keep track of. real face claims only, please. characters can be as old as you like, but must be and must appear to be over 18. you have 48 hours to submit a WIP. that WIP can be a blank sheet, i just want something in to know you're still on board. you will then have 5 days after submitting your WIP to finish your character. i will grant extensions as long as you pm me. any further questions or issues, please pm me! i don't bite, promise. when reserving, i'd like your character's face claim, a 250px wide image of said face claim (don't worry if you can't find one, i'll figure something out :D), their speech colour, and a brief description of their history with the group (take a look at my character for inspiration!)

i have set up a discord server for chatting and discussing relationships! you aren't obliged to join, but trust me, it's so much easier when it comes to pming about relations!

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soren bowers - 25 - josh ramsay - icat - #4d5676

soren and lauren dated for a while when they were all still friends. but it ended badly, with lauren breaking soren's heart entirely. as a result, he hooked up with another of the group a number of times in an ill-fated attempt to get over her. then his musical career took off, and he left them all behind without ever looking back.

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rebecca cruze - 24 - emily rudd - maci-care - #D02090 & #EF86A8

Rebecca Cruze was what she would be considered the "fun/wild one" of the group, or just the ditzy blonde at times. Always doing some dumb thing whether it was a dare or to prove someone that she could do it. She was one to be friendly with most people, but she was the closest with the ones in the group. Rebecca has been known to quickly hook up with people, not caring about their gender or if they were in a relationship or not, which sometimes led to drama. Though over the years only one person really caught her heart, especially after her car accident. She quickly left town after graduating without much of a plane besides wanting to travel around and ultimately ended up settling down in London.

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Kyle Monahan - 25 - andrew garfield - wolf's bane109- #063A67

Kyle was usually the odd one out in the friend group when they were younger. He was the nerdy, know-it-all kid in class, as well as the group. He stayed that way until he graduated high-school and left to study in law, but ended up becoming a cop, and one of the best the force had ever seen. One of the first cases he had, when he moved back home, was ironically the death of Lauren, and know he has to figure out who did it and he doesn't like who the immediate suspects are..

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Erin Monahan - 25 - lynn gunn - wolf's bane109 - #800000

Unlike her brother, Erin was always one of the ones to stand out in the crowd, even back in school. While he stood in the shadows and had no social cues or skills, she had everything he lacked. From being well known to having friends, to knowing how to let loose and just enjoy life, something her brother never exactly understood. While everyone had moved away or left, Erin decided to stay in the city and become a bartender, might as well do something you were good at, and seeing how one of her skills was alcohol she figured it was her best shot. Everything was fine until the party happened, and when people started asking where Lauren went, people began to question everyone. Now Erin doesn't know if it was the right choice to have stayed, or if she should have left all those years ago.

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Joseph Parker - 26 - Cody Christian - Sunshine and Whiskey- #7F9A65

Joseph was accepted late into the group by Lauren, who listened to his background and thought he'd be a perfect addition to the group. Although his background is ultimately unpleasant, he has enjoyed being in the group, getting to know everyone and even getting to know Lauren, whom he hooked up with once while she was in a relationship. Joseph didn't graduate high school but didn't drop out, he's currently getting his GED but is unemployed. He does have a side business, which is an illegal one.

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Ashleigh Myerson - 25 - Alisha Boe - Sunshine and Whiskey - #B19CD9

Ashleigh is the socialite of the group and also the princess of the group. She has always been one of the ones to defend her friends at any cost and have spoken up whenever they were in trouble. Even if that meant mentioning who her father was or even flashing a few bills at someone. Either way, she has had the groups back more than once but doesn't hold that over their heads. No matter how many she has thought about it. After high school, she left to attend NYU to studying criminal justice and now, she's on her way to becoming a lawyer.

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Nathan Miller - 26 - Liam Hemsworth - nonconformingrole - #D6CF13

Nate was always the life of the party- he was willing to do just about anything, any time, for any reason. King of dares, Nathan has done enough stupid tasks to last a lifetime. He's having a hard time adjusting to adult life, however. He can't seem to hold down a job, can't keep a relationship for long, and just generally can't seem to get his life together.

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Arisa Winston - 24 - AnnaSophia Robb - Zodia195 - #0D5C91 -

Arisa aka Ari isn't part of the group at all. She didn't even live in the area the group lives in until she was 12 when she moved in with her aunt and uncle. Even then she was home-schooled until high school and went to private school during that time. In college she studied criminal justice, having wanting to be a cop since the age of 12. This is her first murder case. Behind her 'doll-like' appearance though is a beast who always craves justice above all else. She's fiercely protective of those she cares about, and this includes her fellow detective, Kyle since they work with the same force. Don't ever ask about her childhood though, she won't tell you a thing. Needless to say it's very tragic. Only people who know her past are her aunt and uncle and her first cousins.

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Alexander Yang - 26 - Godfrey Gao - Bayonet RPG - #4e3475

Alexander 'Lex' Yang had a hard time adjusting to life in the United States after moving to NYC from his hometown in Hong Kong. He was treated as an outsider by most until he met and befriended the members of the group. The group provided him an outlet for his frustrations growing up in an overbearing and manipulative household, an outlet which he used readily. His rebellious party life with the group continued until the day his parents met an unfortunate end. With the responsibility of raising his younger sister Lex distanced himself from the group as he tried his best to properly raise her. Two years have passed since then and now Lex has a stable job and is supporting his sister in her college studies when he gets a sudden invitation to meet with the group once more. No longer being as burdened as he was Lex decides to meet up with everyone again. A decision he may live to regret...

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Khepri Mahajan - 26 - Naomi Scott - .euphoria. - #C4A7CF

The golden girl. Khepri was always seen as the 'perfect' girl to most of the outside world, the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect girlfriend, unable to do anything wrong because of her family name even with the friends she surrounded herself with. Below the surface of this 'perfect' facade, was a girl who always dreamed of leaving her hometown and her strict upbringing and never coming back, going from place to place for as long as she could without being bogged down with anyone. At first, she stayed hoping things would fall into place but after everything that's happened to her, she couldn't do it anymore. She got as far away from the city as she could and studied at the University of Amsterdam for journalism and political science and became an on-scene correspondent. She's stationed back in New York for now and her career has plateaued, nothing has piqued her interest like the hard-hitting stories that she used to do. Until now, where she just landed in the middle of the story she has been looking for.

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 7 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze

0.00 INK

Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #D02090
xxxYoung hearts, out our minds
xxxRunnin' 'til we outta time
xxxWild child's, lookin' good
xxxLiving hard just like we should

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Rebecca kept her head on Erin’s shoulder as Erin told her not to mind the cops and to ignore them. The rest of the funeral nothing much happened and people began to leave, some tried to talk to Becca and Erin but she gave short answers, as well as Erin comforting her. “Erin… Can you walk me back to my hotel? I’m… I don’t want to go alone.” Rebecca asked as the two walked through the lobby and outside, though she was surprised when Erin offered to just come back and stay at her place, since it was closer and the two wouldn’t be lonely. Becca thought about it for a second before giving a small nod and Erin wrapped her arm around her and the two walked back to her place, she replied to most of Erin’s conversations with light mumbles and squeezing her hand in reply.

As the two finally entered the apartment, Becca quickly sat down on the couch and cuddled up in a blanket exhausted not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. She took off the scarf and the marks around her neck were a little bit more red now. “I like the place… homey feel…” She muttered as she looked around and back at Erin as she brought her a change of clothes. She kicked off her shoes and placed her jewelry down on the end table. Rebecca turned around so her back was to Erin as she took off the dress and undid her bra, before slipping on the t-shirt and sweatpants that was brought to her, as well as letting her hair down.

When Rebecca turned around, she saw Erin had already poured the two of them some alcohol. “You always know how I feel and want to cope ‘Rin.” Becca said showing a slight smile looking at the two glasses, but ultimately just grabbing the bottle and taking a swig. This was a the start to a busy night of drinking of Becca just wanting to forget.

Fast forward a couple hours, and it wasn’t long until the two got remorseful about the missed times with the group and they missed everyone, along with some mistakes. “Yeah… I missed everyone as well, you too Erin, like a lot. You were always my favorite drink specialist back then…” Becca said as she took another swig and coughing a little as the burning liquid went down her throat. She always like Erin a little bit more than someone who made her drinks, felt a little bit more than just friends. Rebecca started to blush a little as Erin said she was on her mind, looking away trying to hide her redness as she took another swig, feeling more tipsy but looser as she continued. “T-thanks…” Becca said under breathe.

The two continued to talk and Rebecca found herself staring at Erin, not really listening to what she was saying but admiring her. Her eyes started at her deep eyes but glazed across her beautiful face and defining features. Becca’s eyes rested on Erin’s lips for a little bit before something happened. Rebecca had impulsively interrupted Erin while she was talking, not entirely sure what she was talking about, but she didn’t interrupt her with words or a drink, but with her lips against hers. Becca had scooted closer and closer to Erin as the two talked and was barely a foot away when she practically threw herself against Erin and kissing her. The kiss felt like it lasted forever and like the connection she had always felt was energized and flowing. But Becca quickly backed off and apologized for what she did, not sure how Erin would react. “Oh! I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have. I acted impulsely…”


A cute small smile came across Becca’s face as Erin finally spoke up after the long pause between them, saying she didn’t mind this. Rebecca slowly looked back at Erin. Does this mean… she returns my feelings??? she thought back to herself, but not saying out loud. Rebecca instead just crawled back over to Erin and ran her hand through her hair,climbing into her lap and kissing her again, deeper and longer this time, and more than just lips.

Rebecca was then surprised when she felt Erin pull back and resist a little bit, basically saying they were drunk and shouldn’t be doing this. But… I’m not just drunk… I feel this way… she thought to herself, but Erin seemed pretty adamant on this. Rebecca crawled back and wrapped herself in the blanket as she finished her drink. “I’m sorry… I think I should just go to sleep.” Becca said as she went to lay down on the couch., but Erin quickly offered her own bed for her and that she would sleep in the guest bedroom. She wanted to decline and insist she didn’t have to do that for her, but at this point she just wanted to go to sleep and move on from her mistake.


The next morning Becca woke up slowly and with a headache. She groaned as she rolled over and got up, rubbing her head as she walked over to Erin’s bathroom. As she was washing her hands she thought about yesterday and last night, staring into the mirror. The attack on her life, the funeral service where all it did was bring Becca more down seeing everyone hurting, everyone being affected by Lauren’s death and the circumstances of it. The cops wouldn’t even release the body, had to keep it for more possible evidence. Evidence of her murder.

As Rebecca was looking into the mirror a small little bottle caught her eye, and something in her mind switched. She didn’t know why, or what made her think the thoughts that were flowing through her head, but she acted on it without much thought, not thinking about what others would think. Becca slowly walked over and locked the door to the bathroom before grabbing the bottle and digging through some more cabinets for the rest of what she would need to do what she wanted to do. No, what she needed to do.






Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #696969
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxLike they ain’t even there,
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxCuz I’m so fuckin scared,

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Hours passed, all the time Erin kept trying to check up on her and she just replied with the same answer, maybe rephrased differently; “I’m fine.” “Leave me alone.” “I’ll be out when I want to be.” and others like that. She cleaned up as much as she could after what she had done, she might not care right now, but didn’t want Erin too mad at her. It wasn’t until the door unlocked and she stepped out, as a new Rebecca

“Don’t ask me… I’m going back to my hotel. I’ll talk to you later.” Rebecca quickly said as she exited the bathroom and Erin approached her, giving her a compliment saying the new look fits her, but Rebecca just ignored it. “I don’t need you to walk me, I’m fine.” She continued as she grabbed the pile of her stuff, but still wearing the clothes Erin let her change into. On her way out Becca grabbed a hoodie off the rack. “I need to borrow this.” She said as she left some money by the table next to the door before quickly walking out.

Rebecca held tightly onto her things as she began the walk back to her hotel, not caring about what’s going on and not apologizing for the few times she bumped into people and continuing towards her destination. Usually she would be lively and talking to people, taking in her sights and maybe stopping in a store or two, but right now she just felt like she wanted to get home, well at least her empty hotel room, so she could just be alone away from everyone, she would just go back to London if she could. And the next few days Rebecca did just that, staying alone in her hotel room, only going out for food. And when her friends would try to message her and check in with her, she would reply with short messages at the start of the day and not message much until the next day when they would message her again.

It had been a few days since the attack, since the funeral service, since the night at Erin’s, and her phone rang. Becca stared at it for the first couple rings and was just gonna let it go to voicemail like all the other calls and then reply to it later via text, but seeing it was Soren this time who usually wasn’t one for phone calls, she decided to answer it. He sounded very distressed and practically begged her to come over. Rebecca had heard about the dinner party he was throwing and debating whether ongoing or not, but Soren needed her right now, and while she might not feel like caring about herself, he was still her friend.

Soren opened the door and Rebecca could tell something was wrong, something wasn’t right. She kept the same serious look on her face with a tad of sadness while she sat him down and told him she would help prep for the dinner party. She moved some stuff out of the way and seeing some medications on the counter next to the sink and sighing as moved them. But what Soren said next took most of Rebecca’s attention. The cops had questioned and thought it was Soren and brought him in because of some blackmail Lauren had on him, to force him to get back with her, along with whatever other evil ideas she would have. But there was also the information that Soren was cleared by the police after the questioning with new evidence being brought forward. People had seen Lauren after her argument with Soren, which could be someone could have seen the killer. Though Soren quickly interrupted himself as she said he needed to get dressed before people showed up and just let him excuse himself. Becca stayed in the kitchen trying to finish up everything Soren had started, but felt like she needed something more to relax, a drink. She quickly made herself a drink, but thought back to Soren and made him a drink.

As Soren came out of his room changed, Rebecca flashed a small smile and handed him the drink she prepared for him. “This should help you relax… It’s gonna be helping me.” She said as she drank hers, waited for people to show up. Hopefully this get together won’t be as drama filled like Lauren’s party...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze

0.00 INK





Erin Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #80000
xxxI scare myself
xxxWith the way that I need you
xxxThere's no one else
xxxTell me that you can feel it too


The funeral had gone by in a blur for the most part, as Erin was lost in her own thoughts. It wasn't happening, right? None of this was actually happening, and she'd wake up from some fucking nightmare and Lauren would be back, and everyone would be living their normal lives again, right? It just, couldn't be real. None of this made sense. None. This all just felt off and didn't feel right. None of it felt right. She was taken out of her thoughts when Rebecca came back from giving her small speech and mentioned something about the cops. She barely had to peer out from the corner of her eyes to see them standing there in the back. She simply sighed and looked at Rebecca giving her a small bit of advice, "Just ignore them. They're not here to bother anyone." she said softly. The rest of the service went by quickly and they sat in silence, taking in everything best as they could. After giving their small goodbyes to the others as Erin and Rebecca began to leave, Rebecca had looked at Erin and asked if she'd walk her back to the hotel. Erin thought for a moment before she spoke up, "I can, but if you want my place is open. It's closer than the hotel, and you wouldn't have to be left by yourself." she said with a small smile as she gave her offer. She had a feeling that Rebecca wouldn't accept the offer, and she'd be okay with that. All she really wanted was for Rebecca to know she had someplace safe to go to if she so desired.

Not much to her surprise, Rebecca had agreed to accompany her. Smiling in return, Erin gently kept her arm wrapped around her waist, holding her hand as they left the funeral service, and began to make their way back to her apartment. The walk back was almost silent, aside from when Erin had asked her some questions which were responded to by minor responses. Which, in turn, had made Erin feel even worse about it all. She could barely make herself feel better, nevermind someone else and it made everything else feel way worse than she could have planned. All that mattered was that she tried to be there for someone, even if her coping mechanisms weren't, the best or most healthy. After an almost entirely silent walk back to her apartment, they finally made their way past the main gate and into the complex. Erin helped Rebecca make her way up to the stairs, and onto the proper floor of the apartment, and made their way down the hallway which lead to the door of her apartment. Shuffling through her jacket's pocket for a moment, Erin finally got her keys and unlocked the door, holding it open for Rebecca to make her way in before she walked in herself and closed the door, locking it behind them. "Make yourself at home while I get everything ready." she said with a small smile when Rebecca complimented the apartment. "Thank you." she called out as she put their coats away.

Erin made her way to her room for a moment, disappearing from Rebecca's point of view as she went to go look for some clothes for them to change into. Erin changed into a pair of dark grey sweatpants, and a plain black graphic t-shirt from one of the band concerts she had been to in the past. She came back with a similar set of clothes for Rebecca to change into as she prepared the drinks. Erin turned around to offer Rebecca a drink, to only see her in the midst of getting dressed, only in a simple pair of underwear as she put on a shirt and her sweatpants. Erin simply turned back around and took one of the shots she had prepared for them, trying to calm herself down as she could feel herself turning several shades of red. After taking a deep breath and calming herself down, she turned back to see if Rebecca was done, and she finally was. A small smile creased her lips as she gestured to the drinks, they were simple start off shots, nothing fancy for now. Normally she would have been surprised by the fact that Rebecca had gone for the bottle instead of one of the shots, but all considering the circumstances, she understood and simply gave a small chuckle in return as she took one of the shots again.

After hours of random banter, and drinks, which soon turned into drunken banter and conversations Erin found herself beginning to finally feel trashed from the amount of alcohol they had consumed. Erin and Rebecca exchanged how they felt about how everything had gone down between the group, and how it split and how everyone just went about their own lives. Some leaving, while others stayed. It was something she never really liked talking about. How she felt about missing everyone, even though she kept how she truly felt about it all to herself. It wasn't anyone else's burden to bare but her own. A small smirk and chuckle escaped her lips when Rebecca gave her small piece of having missed her, and that she was her favorite drink mixer. Something she knew, but didn't entirely miss hearing, but always found it funny how it was something she always went to. "So I heard, glad that you liked them so much, even if I have improved since then." she said, her words slurring between her stuttering and taking more drinks as she talked.

Erin sighed as she sat back for a moment, looking up at the ceiling as she found herself rambling on in her drunken stupor, "Ya know...Even after you left, and after everything that happened. Not a day went by that, that you weren't on my mind. I mean, I thought about everyone and wondered what they did or were doing but..I always wondered what you were up to, ya know? Like...I didn't know if you were mad at me or not. I just wasn't sure if you ever-" she was cut off from her rambling as she had sat up some as she suddenly found Rebecca interrupting her rambling as everything seemingly stopped in time. All she knew, was that one moment she was rambling on, and then the next she had been silenced. It took her a solid minute to realize what had happened, causing her brain to almost stop as everything halted. Erin blinked in utter confusion as Rebecca moved away apologizing for kissing her on impulse. A small smile creased her lips as she chuckled, combing her fingers through her own hair as she couldn't help but blush as she tried her best to say something, anything as her brain had practically imploded. "It's okay...I-I didn't mind it. I just, wasn't expecting it, is all." she stuttered out, trying her best to piece realty back together again as her brain tried its best to work. Silently she tried to rewire her brain to say more or at least do something than just sit there in her stupid state, but the only thing that brought her back to reality was the newly added weight to her lap and caress through her hair as Rebecca got closer to her again. Erin was simply only able to blink and give a small smile before Rebecca had kissed her once more. But this time it was more intimate than before. Her heart began to race loudly in her chest as she could feel the alcohol take a hold of her and her thoughts. Normally she would have opposed, as well as wouldn't have encouraged it. But this time, if it wasn't just the alcohol speaking, Erin wouldn't entirely oppose this moment. But she could feel her resolve and her control slowly slipping away the longer the kiss went on. She didn't want things to escalate farther than they should, as the last thing she'd want to do is ruin things between the two of them, as well as become yet another person's drunken regret.

Erin found herself gently separating the two of them as she gently pushed Rebecca a few inches away by the shoulder, turning her head to the side as the kiss was broken. Giving herself a moment before she began speaking again, "I-We can't, Becca...N-not now. Not while this drunk, please.." she said as she gently caressed Rebecca's cheek for a moment as she looked in her eyes. Erin watched as Rebecca moved to the opposite side of the couch away from her, wrapping herself in a blanket. She sighed as Rebecca said she should just sleep and that she was sorry for acting like that. Erin looked at Rebecca and shook her head, insisting that Rebecca take her room and that she could just go to the guest room. No one should have to sleep on the couch, even if they were as wasted as they both were. After some coaxing, Erin helped Rebecca up the stairs to where her room was located in the apartment. After saying goodnight and making sure Rebecca would be fine, Erin left for the guest room, which was on the opposite part of the apartment. After closing the door behind her, Erin simply sighed and made her way to the bed and let her own weight and gravity simply take her down. With her face buried in the pillow on the bed, she simply closed her eyes, her mind was wracked with drunken thoughts. Maybe she shouldn't have stopped it, or maybe it was for the best? Things were going well, and as always, she had ruined things, or maybe her mind was on overactive mode. She didn't know the difference and didn't care.





Her eventual sleep was nothing of note, all she knew was that when she woke up the next morning, an immense headache overtook her. She knew this headache would last a while and only one thing would help with it. Shuffling out of the bed, her feet hitting hardwood flooring as she made her way down the hallway and into the kitchen. She quickly made a pot of coffee and after it was done she poured herself a cup of coffee. It was only when she was halfway through the coffee that she remembered the previous night. Rebecca had gone back to her place and they had gotten completely drunk. Small talk and banter had turned to the more serious side of things, which led to what had happened afterward. Erin couldn't help but be angry at herself for how things went. Things could have, no, should have ended differently. After a few more minutes of sitting in silence in her kitchen, she heard some shuffling coming from her bathroom. Her eyebrow quirked as she slowly stood up from the barstool and made her way to the bathroom, gently knocking on the door. "Becks? Is everything okay?" she asked, only to receive very passive and somewhat annoyed replies. She patiently waited outside of the room, sitting against the hallway wall, occasionally asking if Rebecca was okay every now and then. From going through her phone, checking emails and Facebook and other social media platforms, eventually, the bathroom door opened. Erin got to her feet and gave Rebecca a small smile before Rebecca told her to not talk to her or ask her why she was in there for so long.

But the sight that greeted her when Rebecca walked out was all that she needed to know. Apparently her own way of grieving wasn't the only odd one. But the immediate shift in attitude in Rebecca caused some concern. "You look good, Becca." she said with a small chuckle, which was obviously fake as she tried to ease the growing tension between them. She didn't know what she did to upset her, if her choice the prior night had this effect on Rebecca, it only made Erin feel even worse. All she was able to do was watch as Rebecca pushed past her, grabbing a few things before she left, but not without a few last words. The last she heard was that Rebecca needed to borrow a few things, and just like that, she was gone. Erin just stood in the hallway silently as she watched Rebecca leave, not knowing what to say or do. All she did was lock the door, and went back to bed. In the following days, she became more of a recluse, not leaving her apartment or going to work unless she had to. Even then she didn't go or do much, except for staying in bed and trying to sleep it off and just ignore everything that happened. If she had nothing to focus on, she didn't have anything to worry about. In a mix of drinking, sleeping, and ignoring basically everyone, she hadn't anything to worry about. She knew to cope in this way wasn't exactly healthy, but it's all she ever really knew what to do. In the days that passed, her sleep wasn't even a good or solid sleep. She'd simply lay in bed every day, and just lie there, alone to her thoughts. She knew she should have taken her medication, but it only made things worse.

With her health declining, with unhealthy coping mechanisms, it wasn't surprising that the day she was invited to a dinner party by Soren she looked horrible. Somewhat prominent dark rings under her eyes, mixed with drinking and smoking, and not eating much had caused her appearance to look unwell to say the least. She found herself getting out of bed and showering, and looking for an outfit that she simply threw together of random pieces of clothing. She texted Kyle, and had told him to make sure he got his ass to the party. She'd be running late compared to the others, and his presence wouldn't be one of major note. As well as it being a good time for her to finally let the others know that Kyle was back, she'd just have to figure out a way of making it happen. When the hours ticked by, she finally got dressed, and tied her hair up in a messy bun and grabbed a jacket and put her pack of cigarettes in the inside pocket. She texted Kyle her address to meet her at her apartment so they could walk together.

The walk to Soren's was a welcomed one. The fresh air against her skin as she walked alongside Kyle, mixed with their small talk and further catching up made everything feel as well as good as it could get. They even caught up on some of the case issues, but mainly just made quick comments on it, Kyle made sure to let her know she'd be called to the station in the next few days as they'd need some information from her as well as just to see how she was doing. As annoyed as she was, she understood the process and was wondering when her time to be interrogated from. Erin held the door open for Kyle and the two made their way to Soren's apartment. Others had already made their way there and plenty of people had filled the apartment. Making their entrance into the party less noticeable. Erin told Kyle to go get them some drinks and just hang out and not be really noticed, as she had to go talk to someone. She passed by Soren as she scanned the apartment for her real target, "I gotta talk to you later, got it?" she said as she gave him a pat on the shoulder. She wormed her way passed others, looking around the room until she finally saw who she needed to talk to. Gently patting the woman on the shoulder from behind, speaking softly, "Look, I get it if you don't want to talk to me, but...I'm sorry. Okay?" she said as she gently pulled Rebecca to the side, wanting to have some privacy between the two for a moment. "Look, I get it. I fucked up the other night and I am sorry. If I could have made things have been different, I would have. I just...I didn't..I didn't want to ruin anything between us, ya know? I just...I'd understand if you're pissed off, you have every right to be. I just want you to know I'm sorry and that I fucked up." she said softly, looking Rebecca in the eyes for a moment before she looked away to the side. Looking back at Rebecca for a moment, she'd probably regret what came out of her mouth next, but she didn't care. "Besides...I meant what I said, I didn't mind it." Erin said as she gave a small smile, but began to turn away as she figured Rebecca didn't want anything to do with her or was beginning to get annoyed.


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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The days after the memorial service weren’t that different from Nate’s every day life. While he would have been more than happy to be there for anyone and everyone in the group, is mostly seemed like no one really needed him. Sure, he was decent enough to have around if you didn’t want to be alone, but he knew his personality didn’t have enough substance to really be the kind of person you wanted around when everything in your life was going to shit. He’d never really grown up, and Lauren’s death had started to make him evaluate his life. For the first time in ages, he wasn’t happy just to have a roof above his head.

It was funny, how death could motivate someone. Nate hadn’t even particularly cared for Lauren (or so he said. They had been close enough before, and he’d cared about her as much as any of his other friends), but something about the untimely death of someone you once considered a friend was jarring, and made him really consider that, perhaps, he wasn’t getting everything he’d wanted out of life. He tried not to think about it too deeply, though. That was generally his strategy when confronted with uncomfortable thoughts and situations; ignore it, and maybe it will all go away.

He wasn’t sure this problem would go away on its own. He didn’t know what to do, though, and he sure as hell wasn’t talking to Khepri about it. He had no illusions that her solution would be any different than what she always suggested and-as much as he loved her-he had no desire to go through with her ideas. Or, at least, not the ones that involved moving in with her.

When he’d received the invitation to the dinner party, Nate had considered turning it down. He didn’t feel like he fit in with his old friends anymore, and thought it might be best if he stayed back and let them do their own thing. They’d all gone on and done something with their lives, found themselves, done something that mattered, even if just to themselves. What had Nate done? Fought with his parents? Slept on benches? Certainly nothing to be proud of. But in the end he so desperately didn’t want to end up alone, and so deeply wished to connect with them-or anyone, really-on the level he used to, that he decided to go.

He wrestled, at first, with the logistics of showing up, or if he should bring anything, and in the end decided that the likelihood of anyone expecting much of him was pretty low. Still, he didn’t want to be late, especially after arriving late to Lauren’s memorial service.

When he arrived, he wasn’t entirely sure what to think. Soren didn’t look the greatest, though Nate didn’t really expect him to be looking vibrant and happy. Rebecca’s new look was more surprising. Nate knew that Lauren’s death would affect everyone differently, and that it would likely hit Becca pretty hard, but she didn’t even look like herself anymore. Seeing her like that had him feeling worried, and a little guilty. His mind drifted back to the memorial, and how the two had barely kept it together, but he wasn't sure what help he could have been then, or what help he could be there in that moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller

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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
When he got back into his bedroom, he just flopped on to the bed and ran his hands down his face, exhaling slowly. This would be fine, he told himself. He was just stressed from this morning, that was all. Everything was fine. He was safe. Nothing bad had happened. He took a few deep breaths and got back to his feet. He changed his shirt into something a little less crumpled, ran his fingers through his hair to tidy it up a little, and put on the best smile he could manage. He still looked like shit, but he looked a little better than he had done a few minutes prior, and he looked better than he had a day or two ago. That was something, he told himself. That was a start. He smiled at Becca as he emerged from the room and she handed him a drink. “Thank you, Becca. Not just for the drink, but for this afternoon. I really needed it, and you really helped. So thank you,” he said, holding up his drink in a slight toast to her. “And loving the new look, by the way.” He added with a smirk and a raised eyebrow, before draining his drink. The burn felt good, and he left the glass beside the sink.

It didn’t take long for people to start arriving. At first, he was just aware of how tired he had to look, how people’s eyes seemed to linger on him for a little longer than he was entirely comfortable with. But then having people around him, complimenting him on how good everything smelled, people telling him how much he loved the album, people smiling back at him… it felt good. Erin clapped him on the shoulder and pressed a beer into his hand, told him she needed to talk to him later. He found himself wondering what it was about, but just drank the beer as he mingled, making his way back to the kitchen every so often to check on the food.

The alcohol seemed to be hitting him harder than usual. All he’d had to drink was the drink Rebecca had made him and the beer that Erin had given him, and he felt… odd. Like being drunk but… not. His doctor had said something about avoiding alcohol while on these medications, but… he hadn’t expected it to hit that hard and that quick. He just needed to sober up. No more drinks, he promised himself.

He spotted Nate as he came in and grinned, making his way over to him. “Nate, you came! I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages!” He gushed, wrapping the other man in a hug. “It’s so good to see you!” He said as he let go. He was sure there was something he meant to say, but it disappeared as soon as it came, and he frowned. What had he meant to say? Why were all his thoughts flying around like that?

But it didn’t last long, as his eyes landed on someone across the room. He seemed to be about Soren’s height, with short, neat dark hair, and a focused, intelligent expression. He looked strong- not like a bodybuilder, but lean and powerful. He looked vaguely familiar, but Soren couldn’t place it. “Holy shit. Nate, be my wingman,” he said, grabbing Nate’s arm and starting to pull him across the room. He stumbled a little over his own feet and had to clutch on to Nate as he regained his balance. “Woah, that’s not good,” he mumbled, mostly to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan

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ALEXANDER YANG
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Ethical Hacker | Outfit | Hex: #4E3475
There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing...

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|| Day of Lauren's Memorial ||

A week had passed since Lauren's unfortunate passing, her memorial would be held later today. During this time Alexander had spent his time going over all of the evidence that he and Khepri had accumulated. Despite the vast amount of information they were able to gather they weren't any closer to discovering any hints to who had committed the crime. There was very little Lex could do to further their investigation, there just wasn't anything there. Resigned to that fact Lex chose instead to get back into his usual routine, addressing the investigation if anything else came up.

While preparing to go to Lauren's memorial, while taking a shower, Lex heard his phone ringing on the sink. He ignored it and let the call go til it would leave a message but the phone would ring again right afterwards. Thinking it must've been important, considering not many people had his personal number, Lex exited the shower and answered the call. "Who is it and why are you bothering me?"

The voice on the other end was hurried and sounded out of breath, "Boss... You're not going to like this but..." They were hesitant to continue, not wanting to be the one to deliver the message. Lex silently waited for them to finish, feeling slightly perturbed. "...You know the lady you told us to take care of... Well she was attacked but she managed to get away... I think she ran to the memorial service for your... Friend."

Fury and anger erupted in Lex's psyche, impacting even his physical appearance. Before being overcome by these emotions Lex calmed himself down enough to talk, saying with an oddly cool but unmistakably furious voice, "Weren't you suppose to take care of it? ...Tell me exactly how she could be attacked if you were doing your job?" They replied that they were preoccupied. "Preoccupied? ...That would mean you were busy, correct? What exactly is more important than a direct mission given by me ...your Boss?" Between the silence and unintelligible mumbles from the other end Lex began to lose his patience. He knew that they wouldn't overlook any direction he gave them without a good reason, it was then that the answer was obvious. "Which branch was it? Who had overridden my order? Seconds passed until a single word escaped from the voice on the other end of the phone, the word Deputy.

Still fuming Lex ended the call with his subordinate, he knew that they didn't have a choice so he didn't question them further. While getting dressed Lex began calling his secretary. She answered the call cheerily asking, "What do you need boss?" While buttoning up his shirt Lex began to list a number of things he wanted his secretary to take care of. This list consisted of: delivering a gift to the Clarks after the memorial; expressing Lex's apology for not being able to attend due to company related issues; look into who had attacked Rebecca, as they were likely to be connected to, if not, Lauren's killer; to have a 'meeting' with his subordinate arranged; have one of his firearms placed in his car. His secretary could tell that there was something off due to the tone of his voice. She asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you? ...Have some drinks prepared perchance?"

Now fully dressed and prepared Lex laughed at his secretaries attempt at humor. Walking out into the elevator and pressing the button for the bottom floor Lex answered her, saying, "Yeah, I'll probably need it..." Lex pulled his lighter from his coat, lighting up a cigarette as the elevator started to go down. "Don't wait up for me Tina. I need to have a 'little chat' with someone..."

It took a while for his driver to arrive since there were some late minute 'arrangements' which needed to be made. Lex continued to chain smoke waiting for his car to arrive. He pulled out his phone, pondering whether or not to contact Becca or any of his 'friends'. Looking down at the new wallpaper on his phone, a picture he took while Becca was eating breakfast, a number of emotions swirling around his mind til he saw his driver park in front of the residential building.

When he reached his car and got inside he checked underneath his seat to find his Glock 45, fully loaded with four more magazines prepared. He fastened the gun into his appendix holster and clipped the magazines on the back of his belt. After he was done preparing that his driver asked him where they were going exactly. Opening up the window, Lex flicked out the remainder of his cigarette before answering the driver, saying, "Where does anyone in this city go with a gun? ...We are of course going to the 'shooting range'." The driver chuckled at this response before he started to drive to where he knew they needed to go.

Muffled sounds being emitted from the limousines trunk. Clicking his fingers Lex acted like he just remembered something. "Ah, that's right. Before we go to the 'range' we need to throw out some trash... Know any good places to do that?" The driver shook his head, knowing where they needed to go and his boss's preferred order. As the driver looked back towards he saw the cold glint in his bosses eyes, glad that he wouldn't be on the receiving end of whatever he was planning.

|| Day of Soren's Dinner Party ||

Days had passed since Becca's assault and there was no signs or information he could gather about the culprit. This frustrated Lex but he couldn't do anything about it, despite his skills and resources, just like in Lauren's case. Lex sent several messages to Pri, seeing if she was able to find out anything about the incident either. He hadn't received an affirmation yet but considering the difficulties he was having he doubted that she would've caught on to anything either.

"Boss, we'll stay nearby in case you need us... and as per your instruction we'll pay better attention than last time." Lex's eyes scanned over the subordinates he had gathered today. There was four of them, not including the driver, they were Chinese American like himself and were dressed in common New York street-wear to better blend in to their surroundings. It was a completely different group from the people who were first tasked to watch over Becca. Lex didn't want a repeat of what happened last time.

"Just stay outside near the building. Two of you have eyes on the car and each other, the driver will maintain surveillance on the main entrance. The others will patrol around the building and see if anyone goes in any other way, stay together and watch each others back." Lex had carried his gun with him since Becca's assault, not wanting to be without an answer to an unexpected incident like that again.

Lex and Soren weren't particularly the greatest of friends, especially after the incident between himself and Lauren, but he wanted to see everyone after what happened. Opening the door of the car, Lex slowly walked towards the entrance to Soren's residential building. As he was about to go inside he saw his men go into action and start following his instructions. He looked at them indifferently before the entrance closed and his view of them was obscured.

Arriving at Soren's apartment Lex knocked on the door, waiting for someone to open the door for him. A minute passed before anyone came to the door, whoever was inside must've been to busy to welcome Lex in. He began to think about whether or not he should open the door himself or wait outside for someone to answer the door. Not wanting to be rude and not being really interested in engaging in the majority of his 'friends' drama, Lex patiently waited across from Soren's door. Taking out a cigarette and lighting it up, taking a drag as he waited for someone to either open the door or arrive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang

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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #696969
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxLike they ain’t even there,
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxCuz I’m so fuckin scared,

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Rebecca barely acknowledged the sort of compliment she recieved from Soren with a nod before walking away and trying to look busy so people wouldn’t bother her, most of this was just being on her phone and avoiding eye contact. Though when people did try to come up and talk to her, either to question her new look or try to comfort and make sure she was okay, she would just blow them off. Becca did make eye contact with Nate when he arrived, but quickly turned around and turned her attention elsewhere, gazing out the window and into the streets of New York, taking a few more sips of her cup of straight gin.

Becca sighed as someone tapped her shoulder and was ready to give a snide remark about not wanting to be bothered, but when she turned around and saw Erin, she just went quiet and agreed to talk to her as Erin led her to a room for a little bit more privacy Rebecca would be lying if she said she felt bad for how she left Erin’s apartment, but it was the spur of the moment and she had been impulsive and wanted to leave. She quietly listened as the other woman talked, hearing the sincerity in her voice and the words she was saying, she knew there was truth behind them but didn’t know how to respond, especially to the apology that wasn’t needed. Even though being rejected by Erin happened before Rebecca dyed her hair, it wasn’t her fault for how she was acting, how she looked. Erin went to turn away from her but Becca grabbed her hand.

“Erin. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re fine. Nothing is ruined. It’s just complicated okay? With how eve-” Rebecca could hear a knock at the front door since it was next to the small office they were having their conversation. Becca peaked through the window and saw the build of a familiar person waiting for the door to be answered. “We will talk later. Promise” She said with an expressionless face before she excused herself from the room and went to answer the door.

When Rebecca opened it and her assumption of it being Lex was confirmed, she wanted to smile to see him again, but then remember she hadn’t really spoken to him since the few times she visited him before the memorial. “Hey Lex. Honestly surprised to see you here.” She said as she brushed her now black hair out of her face, the look Lex hadn’t seen yet. “Come on in.” Becca said as she grabbed his hand and pulled him inside, giving him a rough rundown of the set up, even seeing Soren and just making a remark about him being drunk. But when Becca saw what direction her drunk friend was going, she stopped dead in her tracks. The cop. The same cop, detective, agent, or whoever or whatever he was from Lauren's crime scene, her memorial service was now here at the dinner party.

Rebecca walked away from Lex and straight towards the cop, accidentally bumping into a few of the other patrons before getting to her destination. Usually she wouldn’t had been this so confrontational, but the liquid courage was getting to her, as well as a lot of the stress was affecting her mind. “Why are you here?” Becca said in a loud tone, a couple people turning to see what the commotion was about. “Seriously, can’t you just leave us alone for one minute without showing up and monitoring us when we’re just trying to relax? We are trying to mourn our dead friend, but you keep insisting on questioning us.” She had lightly shoved the cop, not much power behind it. Becca wasn't exactly happy with being at this party, but she definitely didn't appreciate it being crashed. She took a look around and saw now she had accidentally grabbed the attention of most people in the room, ending her gaze on Lex, almost as if to ask for help.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Alexander Yang

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Agent Cassandra Heiks
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outfit : herex|xhex: #085721
xxxGot a jail on my heart from the pessimists
xxxGot those nails in my mouth for impressionists
xxxSpent too much money on a therapist
xxxCouldn't fix me, I accepted it

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The service continued and not much caught Cassandra’s attention, outside of Rebecca Cruze having some sort of bruises and the ex-boyfriend storming out since he couldn’t hold his emotions. Cass was ready to question people but Kyle reeled her back in, saying they should let the people mourn and that they could always question them later when their minds were more clear. Cass reluctantly agreed and the two snuck out of the location with the crowd of people and headed back to the station

The following days the two didn't do much, but they did bring in Soren Bowers. Cass and Kyle let the actual officers interrogate him, but Cassandra did watch from the other side of the one way mirror. She was surprised with his reaction to the information they presented him, about what was on Lauren’s phone, enough to make their behavioral expert assume he was telling the truth, along with eyewitness reports of seeing the victim after whatever argument the two had. “Well, it seems like he’s out of the hot seat.” She said out loud, mostly to herself as the cops released Soren

Cassandra only knew about the dinner party because Kyle let it slip when the two were talking about the case after the ex boyfriend was questioned and they came up short. She would be lying if she said she wouldn’t be excited for a dinner party, plus another chance to question the other suspects out of the station. Cass was one to always regret having to interrogate someone under camera’s and people watching through a one-way mirror, people were always too uptight during those questionings and usually when they are outside of the stressful environment and more relaxed they tend to slip out information. Plus there are some things you can’t do when watched by cameras that Cass wouldn’t be against in some cases.

But Kyle quickly shut her down on coming, saying it would raise too much tension. “And you going wouldn’t? Just because you’re someone’s sibling doesn’t mean they don’t see you like they see all other cops.” Cass said, smiling a bit with Kyle’s correction of being called a cop. It was cute that he was proud to be more than just a cop, and Cass often teased him about it, purposely saying cop instead of their actual title. But she did understand where he was coming from. Atleast they had background and previous relations with Kyle, even if they didn’t know yet. “How about this. I’ll come, but stay out and scoping out the place. Better than sitting here, I promise to get the reports done tomorrow during lunch.” Cassandra said as she grabbed her jacket getting ready to leave. “Plus back-up in case things get out of control.” She said with a wink as she left the station.

Agent Cassandra was one to hate stake-out vans and never understood how people just accept a plumbing van or electrical van being sat in front of a residence for so long, or when the people who owned that residence would question why a van was in front of their house. Cass decided to take a vehicle from the repo yard to use as her vehicle for the night out, taking a honda civic with just minor damage but clean interior. “Eh, good enough.” She said as she signed out the keys and headed to the address she got out of Kyle when he finally agreed to her staking out.

When Cass arrived at the residence, she could tell she was early, which she knew she would be since Kyle gave her a rough time that they were expected to show up. Though within 10 minutes of her being there a taxi showed up and dropped off a black haired woman she hadn’t seen before, nor at the party or memorial service. But when the girl turned around she recognized her face, the best friend that was distraught, Rebecca Cruze. The girl must have been going through some rough times, especially after the attack that Cass had heard about from Kyle, and changed her look. “Interesting, definitely be something to ask about during questioning.” She commented to herself and took notes. As time went by more people showed up but no one out of the ordinary, and even eventually seeing Kyle and his Sister show up.

That was until a black car parked across the street and infront of two vehicles in front of where Cassandra was parked. She couldn’t see who it was or how many people there were until they crossed the street. Alexander Yang, and whatever associates he had, them all splitting up but Cass had no idea what they had said or what they were doing. Cass quickly took out her phone and texted Kyle.

Alexander Yang arrived, some others with him as well. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I feel something is off. You know the signal if you need me.

Agent Cassandra sent the message and went back to keeping an eye out and noting anything she felt was important, not expecting a reply from Kyle as she assumed he was busy.

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0000Erin0Monahan 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000|Kyle0 Monahan

outfit : herex|xhex: #80000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000outfit : herexxhex: #063A67

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The whole time from when they arrived at the apartment to when Erin left Kyle alone to go talk to someone, Kyle had been entirely silent. He gave small nods of agreeance and small talk, but nothing of any real consequence as he was never one for talking. The two easily slipped into the apartment and made their way in, Kyle silently trailing behind Erin as they entered the main room. Kyle watched as Erin looked around for someone specifically, but not before telling him to get some drinks and that she'd be back. Kyle knew what she was doing, he wasn't an idiot. He could tell by the look on her face and in her eyes that she needed to make something right. It was the look she always had whenever she felt guilty of something. He nodded as she went to go leave, but not before grabbed and opening a beer from the table as she made her way through the crowd of people, and disappeared from sight. He was able to see her give the drink to Soren, and then walk away and out of the main room. Disappearing entirely from any point of view he could have had. He sighed as he was left alone, simply giving small awkward nods of his head and smile as people would pass by and greet him with a small "Hey" or "Hi". He normally would have turned down the offer to go to a dinner party like this, or any social gathering for that matter. But he only agreed to go because Erin had asked him to go and he didn't want to disappoint her, so he said sure. He also knew that Cass was using this opportunity as a way of observing them from the outside as well as to make sure if anything bad happened, they'd have backup. He simply wished that everything would go well and according to plan, and that nothing would happen to ruin this small event. Even him being there would be a cause for a scene to be started if anyone noticed it was him, which he only waited for a matter of time.

Meanwhile, Erin had been in her small conversation with Rebecca after pulling her into one of the other rooms. She knew her words could either reach Rebecca and they could move on from the other night, or they could fall on deaf ears and she could be completely blown off and everything could fall apart. As much as Erin would want things to work out, she was as prepared as she would be for everything to fall apart, only deciding factor was what mood and mindset was Rebecca in today. She was entirely surprised when Rebecca said that everything was fine and that they were okay. Confirming her hopes and suspicions of things not being as bad as they could have been. After giving a small sigh, she was about to talk when a knock was heard at the door and Rebecca excused herself to go answer the door and let whoever it was in. Erin simply sighed to herself as she wanted to continue their conversation now, and let her know that Kyle was here. To explain who the cop that was always following them around was, just so she didn't freak out or make a scene out of anything. But Rebecca had already left for the door, meaning she'd have to explain later. Erin walked out of the room they had been in, and made her way to one of the drink tables, pouring herself a simple shot and downed the alcohol. The burning sensation that hit her throat was a welcomed one as she just wanted to enjoy the party, and try to have a good time with her old friends, however hard that may end up being she wasn't sure.

Meanwhile, Kyle had been alone in his corner of the room, holding two drinks in his hands. He had expected Erin to be back already, as he poured her one of her favorite drinks. But seeing as she was still gone, he simply stood there in awkward silence with two glass cups in his hands. He waited patiently for her to return, minding his own business as his phone had gone off, buzzing slightly in his jacket pocket. He checked the message, it was Cass alerting him that Lex and his men were here, or at least his men were outside of the building as Lex had entered the complex. Alexander Yang, or simply Lex, as his friends called him, was a prime suspect for some odd goings in the investigation, as well as a possible suspect. From the fact he even didn't show up to the funeral service for a friend, which was odd as well as his behavior over all of it. He had been calm and cool throughout the entire process, even far too much for someone of his skill to hide his emotions. Something that always worried and alerted Kyle as odd.

He was taken out of his thoughts when someone approached him rather suddenly, and loudly. He blinked a few times and saw it to be Rebecca, a small smile appeared on his face for a moment at first seeing her. But seeing the look on her face, as well as hearing what she was actually saying through him off-center and took him aback. He thought Erin had already told them all, but apparently she had forgotten to let them all know that he was actually Kyle. He gave her an awkward smile as he stuttered, trying to think of the correct words to say, trying his best to recompose himself and help calm Rebecca down so he could explain. Thankfully, when he looked to the side, Erin had made her way to them, probably set off by the sound of Rebecca yelling, which had gathered a few of the other's attention. Kyle gave her a silent, pleading look as his way of asking for her help.

Erin pushed past the others as she had already started making her way back to Kyle, but it was only made more urgent when she could hear Rebecca begin to yell. Only thing she could assume was that the worst case had happened and that she was already too late to stop things from happening. When she finally made her way out of the crowd of people, she was indeed correct. Rebecca was accusing Kyle of stalking them, and not leaving them alone. Erin sighed to herself as she combed her fingers through her hair as she made her way over to the ever-growing group of people. Erin had gently placed her hand on Rebecca's shoulder as she walked past, stepping partially infront of Kyle and the others. She gave an awkward chuckle as she combed her fingers through her hair once more, trying to calm herself down from the ever-growing pit of anxiety she could feel building. "Look...I know this looks bad, and will sound even way worse but. He's only here cuz I brought him here. Okay? You guys just have to let me explain, okay?" she said, as she tried her best to calm the others down as she could tell by their expressions that they weren't very happy to see one of the agents from the police department here. Out of all places, and due to her. She just hoped they'd give her the opportunity to explain everything, as things had already gotten far worse than she initially intended.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: The New Rebecca

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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When Soren hugged him, Nate was taken aback slightly. They had been friends, sure, but he hadn’t ever thought of them as particularly close. Not that he minded, of course. He returned the hug without hesitation, though anyone that saw his face would have noticed the mild confusion. Still, he smiled as Soren let him go and said a simple, “Of course I came.” As if it hadn’t ever been a debate in his mind, and as if Soren never should have questioned it. His tone was gentle, though, and not at all meant to make Soren feel bad if he doubted it. When Soren mentioned being his wingman, Nate tried to see who his friend had eyes on, but he couldn’t pick out who Soren had them walking towards. He’d never really played wingman for Soren before, and started making a mental list of his strengths as they started walking.

When Soren stumbled, Nate reached out to help him regain balance, and concern crossed his face for a moment, “Hey, maybe you should sit down for a minute.” He placed a hand on Soren’s shoulder, hoping it came off as a friendly gesture, despite how it was meant to keep the man from walking away, “Just to get your head clear. Maybe we can catch up a little?”

He was just about to lead Soren to somewhere a little calmer to sit and hopefully clear his head, when he spotted some purposeful moment out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see Becca walking towards who he now recognized as one of the detectives on Lauren’s case. She looked upset, and he knew that this had the potential to not end well. He wanted to be over there, mostly because he didn’t want anyone getting into any more trouble than they were already in, but he wasn’t willing to leave Soren alone in the state he was in. He sighed and wrapped an arm around Soren’s shoulders, a gesture that would indicate a closer friendship than they had ever had. He started leading them in the direction Rebecca was quickly moving, and he spoke quickly, but quietly, to Soren as they walked. “We’re going to try to keep things as civil as we can over here. Stay calm. Keep your hands to yourself. Try to stay quiet. If things go south I don’t want it to come back to you, okay?”

They didn’t get there until after Becca shoved the cop, and Nate shot a glance at Lex, as if to ask why the hell he didn’t stop that. Thankfully enough, Erin showed up around the same time, and Nate figured she could do more to calm Rebecca than he could. But when Becca shrugged Erin’s hand off her shoulder, he stepped beside Rebecca, saying, “You know I have your back,” His voice was low, and it he was partially speaking so as not to alarm her as he gently grabbed her hand, trying to get her to take a step back, “But we really don’t need to start anything tonight.”

What Erin said surprised him, though, and he found himself letting Rebecca’s hand slip through his. He more heard the slap than saw it, but the words that were spoked afterwards, and Becca’s reaction to them, are what really made him spring into action. He shouted, “Hey!” As he scooped Becca up by the waist, holding her up against his torso, “Stop it!” He swore as Becca kicked and flailed, “You had better have a hell of an explanation!” That was, of course, directed at Erin. He took several steps back before turning around and setting Becca down, spinning her around and grabbing her harshly by the shoulders to force her to look at him. He’d never been rough with her before, but he wanted to end this nonsense, “I need you to stop. Do you wanna hear her out, or do you wanna take a walk with me?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang

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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

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Soren wanted to protest when Nate said they should sit down. He was fine. The drink that Becca had made for him was probably just a little stronger than he'd realised and it was hitting him hard, that was all. But before he could communicate any of this, a distraction came in the form of Rebecca shoving somebody and yelling at them. At first, Soren only recognised the man as the stranger that had captured his attention, and he thought his plan to use Nate as his wingman might still be an option. But then it clicked why he looked so familiar. The man had been in Lauren's apartment that night. Soren could have sworn that he'd seen him around the station one of the times he'd been brought in for interview. Soren's mood changed instantly. Why the fuck was there a cop in his apartment?

As if Nate had read his mind, or maybe just his facial expression, he warned Soren not to say or do anything he'd regret. That didn't change the fact that one of the freaking cops had showed up to his apartment, hours after they'd ruined his day and had more or less confirmed his innocence. Had they been lying? Had they just come around to interrogate his friends?

But before he could say anything, Erin stepped between Rebecca and the cop. Soren just stared at Erin in confusion as she said she'd brought him. Why would she have brought a cop to his dinner party?

And then Soren looked between them again, and the penny dropped. Kyle. Damn, he hadn't realised Kyle was still in New York. Erin hadn't mentioned him at any stage. Or even mentioned that she was bringing him.

And then something else hit him. If Kyle was investigating Lauren's case... he knew about the photos. He knew far too many of Soren's secrets. He knew far too many of their own secrets. He couldn't risk that getting out. He couldn't. Soren didn't care if he was Erin's brother. It was only the slap that brought him back to reality and he watched the aftermath of Nate grabbing Rebecca and practically lifting her from her feet.

"I don't give a damn what the explanation is. You've made our lives hell with investigating this case. I... Erin, I'm sorry. But I can't- he can't stay. He just- He knows-" Why weren't the words coming out right? Soren felt like his heart was pounding and yet was still too slow, his thoughts racing and yet too slow to form coherent sentences.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan

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the perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#B76A81

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During it, the funeral, Khepri seemed weirdly okay. Having a wide pair of black sunglasses covering her eyes almost the entire time and flask slightly peeking out of the pocket of her black coat while keeping a stone face demeanor and wiping away the occasional tear. She had to keep it together in order to be there for everyone else; Lauren's parents, her friends, co-workers, anyone who felt like the only way to get over the fact that Lauren was murdered and her killer was still just walking around was by talking about their favorite moments with her, how she changed their lives, and how they could barely sleep because of it all. As if any of this would change anything. It was bullshit. It was all bullshit. One of her closest and oldest friends was gone and everything was worse now. Her killer was walking free, her friends were people of interest, and Lauren went to her grave without Khepri having the chance to even come clean, and now she felt like a bigger piece of shit than she usually did. But, despite what she thought. She couldn't bring herself to break the facade for anyone else. They needed this. So, she indulged them. She smiled and laughed, shared her own stories about her and Lauren, all to make those around her more comfortable with coming to terms with it all.

But, it wasn't until she finally went up the casket when she felt her body start to panic and everything began to really sink it. When she ran her hand against the hardwood surface, it felt like someone was sitting on her chest, the room began to spin, and she could feel herself getting nauseous. It felt like she hit by a bus. What was she supposed to do at this moment? What could she do? Run out of the room? Bust into tears and make a scene? Draw attention and make it about her? No, not a chance. She didn't even want anyone to see her like this. She tried to take deep breaths or get some air outside but, nothing helped and the feeling stayed until later that night when she was finally alone in her room. She let it out for bit before realizing that she had a show to put on and throwing herself a pity party and talking about her feelings wasn't going to get that done.

The days following the funeral were... chaotic and isolating for Khepri, to say the least. The day after the funeral, Khepri thought it was for the best to completely lock herself away, turn off her personal phone, and just basically vanish off the face of the Earth. Primarily because she had work to do with her list of theories and slight mental breakdown growing but also because when she wasn't glued to her computer or the notes all over her walls, she didn't even know what to say to the others. She wasn't good with grief and guilt or talking about it. And she really wasn't in the mood to try and process any of it with anyone. Not Nate, Not Chris, and definitely not Lex. She didn't need him, of all people, to think she was teetering off the deep end, again. Not that he'd notice with other things occupying his main attention, but that was fine. She wasn't angry or jealous. Why would she be? She was at her best alone. Right? At least that's what everyone else said so they could rationalize bettering their lives whether it be through throwing a tantrum towards her and just disappearing to go to LA with their band, or chasing after a girl they hadn't seen in years, or just willingly choosing to do whatever they want while throwing a certain someone to the wolves of her shitty life. All under the excuse; "Oh, she's Khepri. She can handle anything" or "She'll get over it, she's Pri."

Okay, maybe it was more than a small mental breakdown mounting but, she'd deal with that at a later time. When she wasn't supposed to be already left to go to some dinner party. But, that small fact didn't make her look away from her computer screen. She was less than 24 hours away from her report (that none of her friends still knew about but, they'd find out soon enough) and she was so close to finishing up her report to send to the teleprompters that she could taste it. She was in a rhythm about this story, something that hasn't happened in a really long time, and she wasn't going to break that for some stupid party with her high school friends who all probably secretly couldn't stand her; Lex and Becca excluded. She wouldn't even be going if it wasn't for the fact that Miss. 'Put Together' felt like she had had to in order to make everything look like she was perfectly fine. She didn't break routine, not once, no matter how much her body wanted to rest.

She went to the gym, researched, kept notes on the case, went to her therapist, kept up appearances, and acted as if nothing was wrong. And from the outside looking in, she seemed... oddly fine but, by those closest to her she knew they'd start seeing the cracks if she didn't get smarter about it. And going to this goddamn dinner, party, whatever you wanted to call it seemed like a good place to start. She'd show face, have a drink, have an actual conversation with Lex, and slip out. Easy. It was a chance to show them she was fine, no need to check-in, and another reason for them to leave her alone. Plus, who knows maybe someone would let something slip that she could use. And all she had to do to do that was get up! "You antisocial, workaholic, lazy piece of shit, get up! You have been in the room for days! You're dressed and look like a bad bitch. We have to go!" Even her nagging thought fell on deaf ears as she was finishing the last paragraph. Five minutes turned into half an hour before she finally read it over for what felt like the tenth time and finally smiled in triumph. It finally didn't sound like hot garbage. She could relax, for now. She hit send and took a deep breath. Finally getting up from her desk to slid on her knee-high black boots. She texted her driver that she was finally ready which gave her about ten minutes before he was at the front door waiting for her. And in that timespan, she caught her eyes darting back to her computer. [color#B76A81]"You know that draft was hot garbage, right? Somehow you found a way to fill twenty minutes of screentime while not saying anything of substance. Good job."[/color] No, no. It was fine. She was going to let that little voice in her head make her think otherwise. Even though fine wasn't going to get her out of this hellhole of a city...

She had ten minutes, she'd just fix a few things. What would that hurt? She'd tweak a little of the language, use a few more hard-hitting words, and then she'd be done. Then she'd go. Ten turned into thirty more minutes and now she was almost an hour later. Great. She was rereading, again and again, her acrylic fingernails tapping rapidly against the wood desk while her phone was vibrating next to her. She snapped out of it to realize the time. "Shit!" She saved the final, final draft and sent it to the editors to savage in any way they could before snatching her little baggie and tossing it in her purse and grabbing the bottle of aged bourbon she had gotten as a peace offering party gift for Soren. She hurried down to the main lobby and smiled as she silently huffed. She apologized to her driver and slid in the back before turning her attention to her phone sending out two texts to the two most important people in her life right now; Lex and her editor.

To: Lex
Sorry I've been MIA, busy w/ work. I'm on my way to Soren's now, save me a drink.

To: Rick
My notes are shit, I know. I'll fix them when I get home.

The rest of the ride was filled with wine and just trying to get herself to relax. The script would be okay, she'd stay up tonight and fix it. This was going to be a time to stop thinking about the report and Lauren and finally fucking relax. By the time, she made it to Soren's, she had some much to drink she was actually smiling. When the door opened, she grabbed her belongings and thanked her driver before walking up to the stairs. She was going to knock but, when twisting the knob she found that whoever came in last forgot to lock it. So, she just let herself in. She smiled towards Lex but was not in any way prepared for the sight that was unfolding in front of her: Nate holding onto Becca, Soren kicking the-- the detective (?!) out, Erin between everyone, and well, overall a pretty interestingly chaotic scene she had walked in on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan

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0000Erin0Monahan 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000|Kyle0 Monahan

outfit : herex|xhex: #80000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000outfit : herexxhex: #063A67

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Everything that could have gone bad, was going bad. From the mistake of bringing Kyle to the party, to the events that took place before and during the week that led up to this, and then the fact that Erin had never told them until now. She hadn't told anyone that she knew that Kyle was back. She had been so busy and by herself in the days that followed that she never once thought to tell them. Let them know what was going on and that Kyle was here, and that he was the agent that had to question a vast majority of them, or had some part in the entire investigation. One simple mistake. One simple, god damn mishap had ended in the result of this. Kyle being pushed back and harrassed by Rebecca, who was then taken to the side by Nate as he told her to calm down. She was now literally in the middle of this, and she had to play her cards right. She couldn't make any more mistakes, she had to make sure that nothing escalated further. Her eyes darted between them all, knowing full well what and how they'd react. They'd be angry, they'd have every right to be. But they had to listen, right? They'd understand, they'd have to. It was Kyle. Not only a childhood friend, but her brother. They knew him well and knew how he was, they'd have to know he wouldn't be any trouble. That they could simply listen and just let him stay. Erin cleared her throat and began to speak with as calm of a voice as she could, "It'll all make sense, but Rebecca. You have no right to just fucking push someone around like that, alright? You don't need to be such a fucking bit-" she started to speak, somewhat loudly and oddly defensively. But she wasn't expecting what came next. Whether it was Rebecca wriggling out of Nate's grasp, or the slap that came next. She almost didn't even realize what happened initially as her face paled, eyes growing wide at the initial impact of the slap. She simply stood there, mouth slightly agape as she finally recollected her thoughts. The words that had come out of her mouth before Rebecca had lashed out, came out faster than she could process them. She was just surprised about what she said as the others were. She knew full well that when she gets even the slightest bit heated, she has a tendency to say things she shouldn't, but having called Rebecca a bitch over this whole mess was one huge mistake. All of this was.

Erin rubbed her cheek silently as Nate quickly grabbed Rebecca from behind and pulled her backward. All while yelling at Erin that she better have one hell of an explanation for all of this. Her eyes darted around the room as she tried to think. Her eyes darted from Rebecca, to Nate, and then the others. Sighing for a moment as she took another moment to recollect herself, as everything that transpired happened in just a few short seconds. "First, you hit like a very small child." she rattled off, which was more or less under her breath, but loud enough for Rebecca to hear at the small distance between them. Erin took a short pause to compose herself, looking at Nate as she spoke next, "I do, if you just let me speak-" she was cut off yet again, but this time it was Soren. She quickly turned her head to look at him as he spoke. Her eyes narrowed as he said he didn't care what the explanation was, and that he had to leave. That it wasn't okay for him to stay there and that he needed to leave. He knew too much and he made their lives hell.

Her mind was a whirlwind of things as she was processing everything that happened. She took a short moment to look at Kyle, seeing how he was just blankly staring at the flood gave her enough of a notion to know what kind of mindset he was in. "Are you okay, Kyle?" she asked softly, he simply nodded his head, his voice coming out in a soft whisper, "I-I'm fine..." Kyle said, his eyes never leaving the floor as he was stuck in one of his episodes. Erin turned her head to look back at Soren. Her jaw was locked in place for a moment as her eyes closed, trying to remain calm and collected. But she had been calm for far too long, and she could feel the anger slowly rising and it was only a matter of time until it all bubbled over, and now it was just starting to show. "You know what, Soren? Fuck you." she said suddenly and coldly. The words dripping out of her mouth like poison as she approached him, keeping a small distance from them as she continued to speak, "I have been so calm and easy-going through everything. Everything." she put an emphasis on the second part, making sure Soren knew exactly what she was hinting at. "From the bullshit and break up with Lauren, to the thing with Pri and Lex, and especially when you fucking left without a word. I was there, through it all. I listened. I never once questioned anything. I was there through it all for you, and I never once left you. I never once left anyone to question what they did to deserve being walked out on." her voice and presence was growing colder and colder the longer she spoke, every word sounding more pained than the last. She could feel the all too familiar burn start behind her eyes as tears slowly trickled down her cheek, wiping them off with her sleeve. Her eyes focused on Soren for a moment before she pushed him back slightly, "I never once asked for anything in return, ever. And what did I get? You leaving without a god damn word. Just like everyone else. I never once left you or anyone else alone and I am not going to do the same to him." Erin said with an ice-cold tone, her eyes never once leaving Soren's. "So go fuck yourself, Soren."







Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks

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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
Something was wrong. This wasn’t just his meds and the alcohol messing him up, something was really, really wrong. It felt like he was suddenly under water. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. Everything around him felt false, surreal, like a dream.

Erin’s words made it feel more like a nightmare. In all the years they’d known each other, they’d never fought. Sure, she’d yelled at him for being dumb or for doing something dumb. But it had never been like this. Before, it had always been out of love, out of concern. This wasn’t. This was anger, anger that had been brewing for too long. And the worst part was?

She was right. It would have been easier if she was yelling at him about something he couldn’t control, about something that he’d been right about. But he’d just left her. He’d regretted it ever since. But he’d never actually apologized. He had just been so… angry, so hurt. He’d been willing to leave her behind with all the rest of the shit he’d been through, despite the fact that she’d been right there with him.

And he couldn’t get a fucking word out to explain himself. He was trying, trying to push through the fog, wanting to grab her and hug her and say sorry and try to make everything better. But instead, she just shoved him and he stumbled over his own feet, having to clutch on to a chair to hold himself up. He couldn’t look her in the face. He’d ruined everything. He’d destroyed it.

“Erin, I-” he managed to force out, determined to say something at least. “I’m sorry,” he slurred. He’d only just gotten the words out and the world seemed to tilt violently, before he hit the floor and everything went black.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan

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ALEXANDER YANG
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Ethical Hacker | Outfit | Hex: #4E3475
There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing...

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With his cigarette still in his mouth Lex saw the door to Sorin's apartment open, seeing one of the people he was concerned about, Becca. Since the time they last saw each other she had changed her appearance, this made Lex even more frustrated with the events that happened on Lauren's memorial, believing that this sudden change was because of the emotional state she was in after everything that has happened to her. Several thoughts began to occupy his mind, including: if only he was there with her when she was attacked, if only he could've convinced her to stay with him to protect her, and if only those men would've followed his orders and no one else.

Lex shook those thoughts out of his mind, stubbing out his cigarette on his watch face and flicking it into a nearby trashcan, walking towards Becca and taking her hand as she invited him in. While she was guiding Lex around the apartment, noting everything of importance, he remained quiet as he tried to find anything or anyone that may be suspicious. With Becca being recently attacked he couldn't take any more chances, his hands lingering near his concealed weapon as he looked around, they all had targets on their back and he would target whoever was behind this.

When Becca spotted Sorin she made a remark on how drunk he was, something which didn't surprise Lex. "I mean... This is Sorin we're talking about. Nothing new about him drinking in excess." He chuckled lightly after saying that before noticing that Becca didn't seem to hear him as she was staring in Sorin's direction. Wanting to understand what was bothering her Lex looked in the direction she was and saw the officer who had questioned him.

Becca began to walk towards that officer and concerned for her and what she may do Lex followed after her, grabbing a drink as he did. When Becca began to question the officer, who was dressed in civilian attire which made Lex question whether or not he was here undercover or for another reason, Lex's phone alerted him of an incoming message. Looking down at his phone he saw that the message was from Pri, curious as to what she had messaged him, he opened the message and read it. When he had finished reading the message, Lex looked up to see Becca push the officer. As Becca looked towards Lex he felt her need for help, sighing and walking closer to the two. He began to talk to the officer, saying "Look, I don't know why you're here and I really do not care. I believe for everyone here we should just forget about everything that just took place..."

Before he could continue Lex was interrupted by Erin, who had just walked up to us, stating that she had invited the officer and that she could explain why. Considering how close the once were and that Erin could probably smooth the situation better than him, since she seemed to personally know the officer, Lex was willing to give her the chance she needed to explain everything to everyone. While rubbing his temple with his eyes closed, Lex said to Erin, "Alright... you should probably start talking before anything else..."

Before he could finish talking Lex was interrupted by Erin. Just before Erin could call Becca a bitch the sound of someone being slapped could be heard all over the apartment. Alarmed Lex opened his eyes to see that Becca had just slapped Erin before being held back from doing anything further by Nate, who exclaimed how Erin better have 'a hell of' an explanation. Sorin, in his drunken stupor, began to say his piece before he began to hesitate between statements. Apparently whatever he was trying to say was hard for him to reveal to everyone here but Erin seemed to know what he was getting at, how close the two have been this wasn't a surprise.

After all of this had gone down Pri must've arrived as Lex saw her smiling at him. Seeing her arrive made the accumulating tension in Lex's mind slightly release, if anyone could help him better control this situation it would be her. Lex walked towards her, giving the drink he had grabbed earlier to Pri, before he whispered to her, "Here's that drink you wanted... You sure picked one hell of a time to arrive." Lex laughed a little, putting an arm around her shoulder and walking towards the main group before continuing. "Hopefully things will calm down now that we're here together... but I'm guessing that's unlikely."

By the time Lex and Pri had walked back towards the group they could hear Erin talking to the officer, calling him Kyle. It was at this moment that everything Erin was talking about began to click in Lex's mind. The officer who was investigating the group had been Erin's brother Kyle and he was here at the party for personal reasons, most likely because he was invited by Erin. Lex began to sigh as he thought that this misunderstanding could've all been avoided if Erin had just messaged everyone beforehand but he couldn't really be upset with her because she didn't have to. She didn't have any obligations towards any of them to reveal anything.

Erin, now frustrated and no longer capable of restraining herself, started to cuss out Sorin and began to express, in part, things that were bothering her. Lex could feel her pain as she expressed herself and everything she went through. When she mentioned about the situation with him and Pri, Lex couldn't help but feel the emotions he felt during that time. As Erin continued to vent Lex saw the tears begin to form in her eyes before they began to fall.

When she had finished and had told Sorin 'to go fuck' himself, Lex looked towards Sor who had approached Erin before being pushed back by her. Lex noticed there was something a little strange as Sor began to stumble back and clutch to a chair. Concerned for Sor, despite everything they went through, Lex let go of Pri and began to walk towards Sor. As soon as Sor's apology to Erin came out of his mouth he collapsed, hitting the floor with a loud thud.

Lex rushed towards Sor but was unable to grab him before he hit the floor. Kneeling down next to the unconscious Sor, Lex laid the back of his hand across Sor's head checking his temperature and was confused when Sor's skin was cold and clammy. Not wanting to panic right away Lex placed his index and middle finger next to Sor's windpipe, where the carotid artery should be located, while watching his watch as Lex attempted to take note of Sor's pulse. Lex had a hard time doing this as Sor's pulse was very weak but when he finally got a grasp of it he noticed how fast it was. It was also at this moment that he noticed Sor's lips turn blue.

"Fuck..." Lex exclaimed as he looked down at his phone, thinking about what he should do. Something was wrong with Sor and if Lex's fears were right it was most likely what had happened to Lauren. Of course this could be an overreaction on Lex's part but with Sor unconscious he didn't feel like he could take any chances. He thought about how fast an ambulance could get here and back and decided that it would be too slow. Lex decided that he would call his men up to help, messaging the two patrolling the building to come up, while trying to formulate a plan with those here with him.

"Look... everyone shut the fuck up and listen to me!" Lex shouted, loud enough for everyone in the apartment to hear him, while standing up. "Something is wrong with Sor, most likely a heart problem from what I've checked but I'm not a medical professional. If anyone here is can you please take a look at him... I would rather not act before knowing what's wrong but if no one can help in this aspect I plan on taking him to the nearest hospital as soon as possible." While looking over the crowd he started to think about what else he could do to make sure that he was as prepared to address this issue as possible, not noticing if anyone did check Sor.

Lex looked over towards Erin and Kyle, saying"I know you've gone through a lot, we all have, and we all have a lot of things that is bothering us and tearing us down. We all lost someone who was once close to us and I doubt that any of us wants to lose someone else... Say I'm overreacting or whatever the hell else you want but if I'm the one concerned for this fucking asshole then there probably is something fucking wrong... We can all continue talking out our shit later but what matters right now, this very fucking moment, is Sor."

After saying that Lex looked directly at Kyle, saying, "If no one here is capable of reversing whatever is happening to Sor, I need to know if you have a police cruiser, or sirens, anything we can use so we can transport Sor to the hospital as quickly as possible. I've got my ride downstairs in that instance we don't and can take Sor as well as our group there... and I have some men coming upstairs to help us, if needed." Lex's mind was running at a thousand miles and hour trying to think of anything else he could personally do to help but the stress was starting to get to him, he began to feel lightheaded.

Lex stumbled a bit before regaining his composure, grabbing a glass of alcohol nearby and chugging it, trying to calm himself. Now looking at Nate, who was still holding Becca, he said, "You can probably let go of her now..." With his mind still racing Lex looked towards Pri with a look that tried to convey what he was thinking. He was thinking if there was anything else that they could do and if there was anyone who could answer Lex it would be Pri. Pri was his closest friend and with everything going on he knew that he hadn't been as supportive to her as he could be. After this he knew that he needed to be there for her, and he needed to be there more for everyone, despite what they've all gone through, as well as Becca.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: The New Rebecca

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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Nate couldn’t help but roll his eyes when Erin went off on Soren. This was hardly the time or place to air past grievances, but Erin was still taking the opportunity. A lot had gone on between them, between all of them, but right now they probably all needed to just calm down and talk like adults. The whole dynamic of the group had changed since everything went on between Lauren and Soren, and it seemed that some of the emotions were finally rearing an ugly head.

He hardly even noticed Khepri arrive, but by now he was starting to consider that maybe moving with her hadn’t been such a bad idea, after all. All of this drama was exhausting, and he while he felt it was easily avoidable, he also knew that, for the most place, it wasn’t his place to butt in with his own opinions, beyond that a physical fight was a very bad idea.

When Soren hit the floor, he froze, still holding on to Becca as if to hold her back, but his grip was loose, and really he felt more like she was anchoring him than he was holding her back. He knew something was wrong, and he’d known it the moment Soren had greeted him. And now this happened. Nate felt, in his gut, that he’d only managed to make things worse. They should have sat down, or Nate should have paid closer attention. As Lex spoke, Nate shook his head. He was right. Of course he was.

Nate started racking his brain for everything that had happened since he’d arrived. He’d been with Soren, and he felt guilty for not being more attentive. He started thinking off all Soren’s behavior, everything he knew about the man. He knew what this looked like, he’d seen it plenty of times before. But he didn’t think Soren would be taking anything at a dinner party, he didn’t seem like the type. Then again, Nate was quickly coming to the conclusion that he’d never really known any of his friends very well in the first place.. Nate finally let go of Rebecca’s arms when Lex spoke to him. He’d honestly forgotten he was still holding on to her. His heart was pounding in his chest, accompanied by a terrifyingly familiar ache. He didn’t want to lose someone else, not now. Not so soon. Not like this.

“How much has he had to drink?” He mused, thinking out loud. Something wasn’t adding up, then he thought he remembered something from when he’d first arrived. He looked towards the kitchen and spotted the familiar bright orange plastic of a prescription bottle, then looked at Becca, “Soren’s on medication?” He asked her because she was right there, and because she’d already been there when he arrived. He didn’t really need an answer, though, or specifics.

Shit. He hadn’t wanted to be right, but now he thought he was. “He’s overdosing.” He said it aloud, loud enough for everyone to hear. He’d sounded so sure of himself, but then he shook his head, confidence seeming to leave his eyes, “I mean, I’m no expert, but… But this is…” He looked to Erin, as if asking her for help, or to back him up. He didn't know what to do next, but he knew that this could go from bad to worse very quickly. He and Soren had never been particularly close, but Nate still thought of him as a friend, and he didn't want to see anything happen to any of his friends.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan

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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #696969
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxLike they ain’t even there,
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxCuz I’m so fuckin scared,

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Rebecca was getting a little annoyed waiting for this cop to respond or react to her, sort of expecting something more out of the cop. When someone put her hand on her shoulder Becca quickly shrugged it off and turned to see who it was, still a bit of fire in her eyes. She was surprised it was Erin trying to calm down Becca, and she was even more surprised when she was taking the cops side, even saying she brought him here. She was shocked, this cop and his buddies were saying any of Lauren’s close friends murdered her, interrogating Soren and making him feel terrible and throwing the possible blackmail in his face. “What the fuck do you mean ‘you brought him here?’” Becca asked, not moving. She felt another presence next to her and heard Nate’s voice saying he had her back, but right now she just had her eyes on Erin.

At first Becca was listening to Erin when she said it would make sense, but then she started lecturing her about what she should and shouldn’t do. This just added fuel to Rebecca’s fire and before Erin could get the next word out Becca slapped her across the face, and then lightly pulled back from Nate. “How dare you! Look at Soren! He’s distraught, because this guy and his cop buddies interrogated him.” She shouted over Nate. Then Erin insulted her slap which set Becca off more, luckily Nate lifted up and by her waist and carried her a few more feet away from Erin before it could get ugly, entire time she was struggling and telling him to let her go.

Nate finally set her down but was still holding her in place, still a tight enough grip so she wouldn’t be able to charge Erin. “Fine. And I don’t want to go outside. I’m fine being inside. Just… me a bitch? She brought this asshole here.” Becca pleaded with Nate, a little bit of a frown but could still be seen as angry. When Soren and Erin started to argue she wanted to go back over there but Nate just whispered to her no and held her in place. As She listened she was surprised by one of the first thing’s that came out of Erin’s mouth. Kyle. This cop was Kyle. And it slowly started to make sense, that's why Erin had invited him here. Not as a cop, but as their friend.

But then Erin started going off on Soren. Erin shouldn’t be saying those things to Soren, even with all the drama, he didn’t deserve it. But Becca started to feel a little bad when she was yelling about how everyone left her and Becca just stopped struggling. It was true. Rebecca left town as soon as she could, even if everyone else stuck around while she did her senior year. She didn’t just leave town, she left the country and didn’t really stay in contact with anyone, including her.

When Soren fell Rebecca was shocked and scared, and quickly broke off Nate’s now loose grip and went to his side. “Soren? Soren talk to me, wake up.” She quickly said, choking up a little bit between her words. Then Lex and Nate started talking, explaining what was going on. “No… not you too…” Becca mumbled out. First she lost Lauren, she couldn’t lose Soren as well. She was brought out of her trance when Nate asked her about the medication. “I… Uh… He mentioned it earlier, but I think he said something about forgetting to take them or something.” Rebecca said looking sorrowful into Nate’s eyes and looking around the room, her eyes stopping on Kyle. “Wait, you’re a cop. Call this in, or something!” She shouted before turning back to Soren and tightening her grip on his hand. “Please…”





Agent Cassandra Heiks
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outfit : herex|xhex: #085721
xxxGot a jail on my heart from the pessimists
xxxGot those nails in my mouth for impressionists
xxxSpent too much money on a therapist
xxxCouldn't fix me, I accepted it

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Cassandra sat in the car with low music and taking notes on what she was seeing going on. Typical party things, people being drunk, making out on the porch swing, drunks yelling. Nothing illegal yet exactly, but even if they did start being a ruckus and disturbing the peace she would have to stay quiet as to let these people mourn and not cause any more drama for Kyle. Cass specifically took note on Khepri Mahajan arrive later than everyone else. “Looks like the whole gang showed up tonight…” She said as she took down the time of her arriving and underling some other key points for her to focus on.

Then there was a scream that made Cass sit up, as if something happened. But Cassandra didn’t want to rush in since people screaming was typical at parties so it could have just been that, but then some of the guys that showed up with Alexander Yang quickly rushed inside. Something didn’t feel right with what was going on and she was about to run inside as well when her phone went off. Not an email notification, or someone checking in on her, but a phone call from her partner Kyle. Cass quickly answered the phone and listened to Kyle, barely able to make out what was going on. “What? God damnit. Bring him outside.” She said before hanging up and quickly starting the car.

After pulling up onto the curb and honking for people to get out of the way Agent Cassandra hopped out and opened the back door for Soren, who Kyle had told him was overdosing. She dug through the trunk and quickly found the attachable police siren and attached it to the roof and hooked it up while the others put Soren in the back seat. “Whoa. I can’t fit everyone inside this dinky piece of shit. Two more people tops. I’m your best chance of getting him somewhere to live so no arguing.” Cass said as she climbed into the driver seat and waited for the others to get in. “Kyle, get a handle on this party.” She revved the engine and turned on the siren. “And be safe.” Cassandra finished flashing a smile before pulling off and speeding down the road.

Driving to the nearest hospital wouldn’t take too long, but Cassandra knew they didn’t have much more time and sped through traffic, calling in situation as well. “This is Agent Cassandra Heiks, I have a possible overdose of a suspect. Soren Bowers. 10-45C. On route to NYC Metropolitan Hospital.” At the moment traffic laws didn’t matter as she sped through lights and stop signs with her siren on and honking for people to get out of her way. “How is he doing back there?” Cass asked she rounded a corner.

When the car finally arrived at the hospital Cassandra skidded to a stop at the ER entrance where a stretcher was already waiting for them. She put the car in parked and quickly got out giving the small information she was given. “Possible overdose, also a mixture of alcohol. Was given this bottle saying this is what he was taking by some witnesses at the scene. Name Soren Bowers.” Cass quickly told them as they took Soren into the back and then turning her attention back to the two that came with her. Two suspects in Lauren’s murder, and now two witness to another suspect overdosing. “Now… what happened.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks Character Portrait: The New Rebecca

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Erin Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #80000
xxxIf I could stop the sun
xxxAnd undo all I've done
xxxI'd be that same some one knocking at your door
xxxLike The Way We Were before
Everything that had come out of her mouth after the initial push of Soren, had come out without her thinking. She just had so much pain, anger, regret, and it had all been festering. Festering for years without any outlet to expose of it. She kept how she felt to herself for years, everything that she had been put through, she had been silent. She kept how she felt about everything to herself, and never let it out. She simply kept it building, and building. It was only a certain amount of time until everything came unraveled, and it only snowballed from there. She wasn't angry at Soren, or anyone else. She was angry at herself. She let herself be pushed around and walked over by everyone for years, and never said a thing. Sure, she called people out on their bullshit after doing something stupid, like the night Soren told her about him and Pri having slept together. Sure, it was stupid and irresponsible. But she had no room to judge, and the judgment she gave was minor at best. Erin simply called him an idiot and that he should have known better, and Khepri should have known better, especially with her fiance. Erin hadn't really cared much after calling Soren out on his bullshit, and she, sure enough, called out Khepri for it as well. She told them both that it was incredibly stupid, and that if they wanted to keep things up, it was best to keep her out of it. Then when things with Lauren happened, both the cheating of both Lauren and Soren, she, sure enough, had called them out as well on that. She called them out on everything, even after the break up when Soren kept going back to Lauren, but she kept how she felt about the situation to herself and only let small amounts of frustration out whenever Soren went back to her. It was a deadly mix of alcohol, mistakes, lust, and sex and everyone knew it. But they had no right to judge as they were all guilty of something stupid, therefore they kept silent for the most part.

But even after all of that, even when Lauren and Soren finally broke up for the last time which resulted in everyone separating in their senior year, Erin was there. She was there for Soren, Lauren, Nate, Rebecca, all of them. Even Alexander and Khepri, she listened to them and heard them out, being the mediator half the time for their petty squabbles and bullshit. But just as always, she kept how she felt about everything to herself. Burying it deep and hidden away where no one could see. Everyone else had their own bullshit to deal with, and she knew it. They didn't need to hear her out, or her own issues and troubles. She was the one they came to when someone needed to vent, and she listened. Only giving her peace when it was all said and done. And now, now she had enough. After years of listening to everyone and their issues, their bullshit and problems. Their drama and so-called bad times. She was there, and she had enough. After the group split, with Soren and Khepri and Rebecca leaving without a word, with only a few of the others staying in New York, Erin had no one. She tried putting the pieces back together. Tried reaching out to them. She tried everything, but they all simply didn't want anything to do with her. Even after all that she had done for them. After every little thing, they tossed her out and left her to the curb. While everyone else was traveling the world and making a life for themselves, she groveled and made her way to where she somehow managed to end up now.

Looking where it got her, she couldn't help but scoff. Losing her friends, the ones she gave everything up for, and the one she only ever truly cared for, walked out on her. Hanging her high and dry. She expected it from some, but some hurt more than others. Such as Soren. They had been the best and closest of friends. No matter what, they had been there for each other. Through the good, bad, and the ugly, they were there for each other. Through their first heartbreak, to their stupid decisions. To being each other's first person to come out to, and know that no matter what anyone else said, they'd have each other's backs. From the petty fights they had, they always came back and apologized, to the nights where they'd travel to upper state New York and just star gaze in the middle of the woods while getting overly drunk and sharing each other's secrets and troubles. Get away from the city and others, and just talk. The two of them. So when Soren just upped and left with his band, leaving the East coast and going to the other side of the country, without a word. She had experienced pain and depression, but that was what did her in. Leaving her without a word, no explanation. Nothing. Not even a simple, I'm sorry, which would have sufficed. Hell, even a simple postcard to know he even thought about her would have been enough. But she got radio silence for years. And not just from Soren, but everyone else. Even Nate. She felt like she had been taken advantage of, and as such she began to become more closed off and reserved as the years went on. Seeing how everyone seemed to forget about her, she simply tried to not care. But she couldn't. It hurt because she cared too much, and tried to act like it didn't affect her. Act like nothing ever got to her, and pretended everything was okay. Even if she did spend years wondering what she did wrong. What had she done to make everyone leave? Was she not worth keeping around? Was she simply being used for her kindness and being there to lean on by others? Probably, but she did whatever she had to, to keep her friends together, even if it was just to keep them in her life and to know she was actually cared for by them still.

It was only when the others reached out over time, first it was Nate. He needed a place to go and a roof over his head, and seeing how after the years went on she had her own place, she let him sleep on her couch for the first few weeks. She promised him no matter what she wouldn't kick him out on the street as she knew how that was, and how bad a life like that was. They lived together for about six months when Erin had finally asked if he wanted a job. After more or less demanding he took the spot she was offering, they lived together for a few more months before he moved out and moved in with a group of friends. Having him work for her was one of the ways she could guarantee he'd stay around, and he proved to be a good worker, even if he needed a little motivation sometimes. All that mattered was that she had one semblance of normalcy again. One person, she knew she could trust to have her back, everything was gonna be okay. Eventually, Soren reached out again. At first she was hesitant due to not knowing the real reason for him reaching out to her. But after a small exchange of words, they promised to just move on and forget about it. That it wasn't that big of a deal. Even if it wasn't entirely true. His leaving hurt her more than anyone else, even Rebecca. But she refused to dwell on that.

But now, now she stood in a room with everyone back again. In one room, excluding one individual. She pushed her thoughts out of her mind as reality set in. With the mix of people yelling at Kyle, and telling him to leave, to everyone yelling at her, it was all a blur. One moment she was telling Soren to fuck off, telling her how she felt about everything. That everything that happened had hurt her, far too much. She could have said it any other time, and maybe she should have. But a match was lit, the gas have been poured, and it was only a matter of time until everything was set alight. And before she could catch a single ember, everything was set on fire as Soren stumbled backward from her shove, mumbling under his breath as he struggled to say sorry, and fell. Collapsing onto the floor. Erin watched in silence for a few seconds for any movement. After nothing happened, she rolled her eyes. He was always one for pulling things and over exaggerating. She looked around as the others quickly jumped into action, kneeling by his side. Erin nudged him with her foot, speaking up after a moment as her voice cleared and her tears were dry. "Wake the fuck up, you over dramatic bitch ass. It's not funny, Soren." she said rather harshly. But after a few minutes, she knew something wasn't right. From the way he had been acting a few moments prior, or more so the whole time. Something was off, so very off and not right. Erin quickly moved past the others, kneeling down next to him as genuine fear and worry overcame him. "Soren, c'mon." she said as she nudged him by the shoulder. Everything went silent as she only heard two words come from Lex. Everything else fell silent as the reality of the situation hit her.

"Overdose."

Just that one word, and everything came crashing down on her at once. It wasn't right, right? Soren wouldn't have done this...right? Besides, he only had a few drinks, or at least that's what she was aware of. She didn't think that a few drinks that she made would have been that much to knock him on his ass, not this hard anyway. It was when a few other ramblings came by and registered. A mixture of words went in and came out without a thought, but the ones that hit her were, overdose and medication. Everything froze in that moment. It wasn't possible, Soren wasn't on any medication, at least she wasn't aware until she looked up, seeing those all too familiar bottles on the counter. Fuck..., she thought to herself. She rifled through her jacket's pockets, trying to find them. If they were even there. Horror struck when her hands grazed through the interior of her pockets, nothing feeling anything that even resembled her own medication bottles. Only a lighter, a pack of gum and her phone. She froze in place, she knew she came with her medication in her pockets. She knew full well, she didn't go anywhere without them. So, where did they go? She wanted to move, to just get up and look for them. She had to find them. No one could know. Not now. Not in a time like this. Not after...Not this. She wasn't able to move how hard she tried. Her body just wouldn't move. Everything was frozen in place and anchored to the ground, her hand gripping Soren's arm. That all too familiar burning began forming behind her eyes as everything finally hit her like a brick wall. Why? Why would he...Why would he do this? He promised, no matter what, that he wouldn't. He wouldn't take the easy way out, not after everything that they'd bee through. And not after the time she told him that she had made a mistake...So, why now? She didn't know what came first, the waterfall of tears as she begged and pleaded with Soren to wake up, to be fine and not let this be the reality.

Her voice cracked and shattered, barely above a whisper as she yelled, pleaded, begged for him to just wake up. Wake up and call her an asshole. Let her know that she went too far, that she was wrong. Hell, blame everything on her, tell her everything was her fault. Anything at all. Just don't let this be the reality for them. Not like this. She didn't know what happened next, or hear anything as that soft, dull and numbing ring echoed throughout her head. All she knew was that she was pulled away from Soren as other came into the apartment, taking him away as she was sat down somewhere else. Everything was just a blank slate, as she sat there in silence. Not moving, not saying a thing. Her eyes were anchored down where Soren had been, and just stared. Her knuckles turned white as her face went from red and tear-stained, to pale as a ghost. Erin sat there, in an unmoving anchored state. She had done this. She did this to Soren. She yelled at him, told him to fuck off, and only pushed him away. She was responsible for this, for everything. And now, now she was responsible for everything that had happened. Everything was her fault, and she couldn't explain why. She couldn't tell them the truth about what happened at Lauren's party, and what happened there, and she couldn't tell anyone of what she did here. Everything was just one big, fucked up mistake. And it was her fault. She'd have to live with the fact that she had hurt two people she once called friends. No matter how hard she tried, no matter what she did, it was all her fault and she'd have to accept it. Erin sat there in complete silence, unmoving as she wasn't able to regain her composure, nothing would take her out of her current state. Not that she wanted to, she was responsible for the possible murder of her friend, and she didn't know how she was supposed to live with herself...








Agent Kyle Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #063A67
xxxBut I know some day I'll make it out of here
xxxEven if it takes all night or a hundred years
xxxNeed a place to hide, but I can't find one near
xxxWanna feel alive, outside I can fight my fear
Everything had happened so fast, and everything was an ultimate nightmare. He shouldn't have been there. He should have stayed at the station and continued on with his report with the investigation. They had no major leads or any proper concrete evidence to point themselves in the right direction. Everything they had was simply circumstantial and speculation for what happened that night at Lauren Clark's party. All they had known for certain, was that Lauren Clark was murdered sometime before midnight, her cause of death was known, and who the suspects were was everyone at the party. That was unless the killer had escaped and left the apartment before getting caught. Their only reasoning for ruling that out, was the all the tension and bad blood in the group. Their history, which Kyle knew far too much came into the investigation. And it just felt wrong. Knowing what he had to do, and what he wanted to do were two entirely different things. But now, now he was in the middle of an all out argument, which he half blocked out as his brain went into lockdown mode. A self-preservation mode he created for himself as a way of dealing with trauma and anything of that nature. It was one of the few things that him and Erin both shared, mainly from their past experiences with their own parents and upbringing, to his own disorder, as well as Erin's. He was only brought back down to earth when suddenly, a loud and demanding voice broke the silence.

Alexander had yelled for everyone to shut up and listen up. Blinking back into reality, Kyle looked over to see what the commotion was. His eyes widened with horror. Soren had fallen and was lying on the ground with a slowly overgrowing group of people crowding around him. At first he wasn't certain about what happened, not until Lex and Nate began searching Soren over and came to a conclusion. Overdose. That was all it took. Kyle immediately went into action, pushing his way through the crowd, kneeling next to Lex and Nate as they told him to do something. He was a cop, right? So he must have a way of helping, even getting to a hospital faster if he could. He silently looked at Lex for a moment, trying to compose himself as he tried to formulate his words properly. His eyes never meeting Lex's as he spoke, only to be looking just past him. "Yeah...yeah...I....I have someone outside who...who can get him there...there...there faster." he stuttered, fumbling over his words. One of the few things he never overcame was his stutter, especially under overtly stressful situations. Kyle immediately got to his feet, taking out his phone and speed dialing Cass. His call with her was brief as he tried explaining the situation to her, only saying that they'd need a ride to the hospital and that they'd need to lights and siren to get there.

Kyle immediately looked around, trying to figure out what to do. He knew full well they'd be able to get him there, but he'd have to stay back here and look into things. Gather clues on what happened and ask people what they saw, if anything. All over again. He knew this group was trouble, but god damn he never thought they'd possibly be involved in two potential homicides. He watched as people helped lift Soren and carry him out, a few of the others leaving as they'd be going to the hospital with him. Kyle looked around and his eyes landed back on Lex, "The car with the sirens is where my partner is waiting. Just help Soren inside and she'll take them there." he said quickly, his eyes glancing about the room. Now was his time to act, and do what he did best. But first, his eyes landed on one more person, and he felt his heart leap into his throat. Erin had been moved to a corner of the room, where she sat in silence. He knew simply by the look on her face that she was disassociating, and by what had happened and had been said, he knew it would be hard to get her to saw anything of importance. He walked over to her and knelt in front of her, gently cupping her hands in his. "Erin, I know you can hear me, so I don't expect you to say anything. But just listen, and do your best to tell me." he said softly, feeling his eyes begin to burn. She was always there for him in his episodes, rarely ever having to be there for her. But now, now he had to do something. And as much as he hated this, he knew he had to. "When..When was the last time you took your meds? And I don't mean whenever this happens, I mean actually took them when you were supposed to?" he questioned, his voice was sturdy and sure, but held some sense of sadness and genuine worry. He studied her face over, knowing full well the answer already. "Did you bring them with you?" he questioned. He waited for her to reply. Not with words, but with her hands and body language. He knew how to communicate, simply ask questions and wait for a physical reaction. Her eyes never left the floor, but her fingers tapped to a rhythm he knew all too well. It was a sign of saying yes in morse code, or better yet their own version they had. He nodded as he slowly stood up, gently squeezing her hands as he turned. He examined the rooms, and seeing two small bottles of medication on the counter.

Kyle eyed them, seeing how they were both closed. He searched more, coming across another one in a separate room. Eyeing the container, it was slightly open. The name on the bottle caused some alarm, for why was it in his room when...When it should have been in...He shook his head, picking up the small orange bottle he stuffed it into his pocket and walked back over to Erin, placing the small bottle in her jacket's pocket. He looked at her, moving close by her ear as he spoke, "Thank me later." he said lowly. He turned back around, reaching into the pocket of his jacket as he removed two latex gloves. He'd have to look for something, any real sign of what he expected was foul play...Or, what everyone was thinking. Overdose, and that Soren had done it to himself, which...Considering everything that had happened, he wouldn't be surprised if Soren resorted to that. But for now, he had a murder case, and now a possible suicide case on his hands. And neither of the options were looking good, nor was the suspect list.






Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks

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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
Soren didn’t feel anything after he hit the floor. There was no blinding light, no burning flames, no life flashing before his eyes. It was just… nothingness. And then bit by bit, sensation started to seep back in. It started with pain, an awful, dull ache that seemed to gradually spread throughout his whole body. Unfamiliar voices started to filter through, saying words that didn’t seem to make any sense. The overwhelming, almost nauseating hospital smell of antiseptic and the sensation of latex gloves against his skin.

“Come on, let me see it,” Erin begged as the tattoo artist declared he was finished. Soren leaned back slightly so she could see the geometric design on his wrist. She laughed and shook her head. “You’re such a freaking nerd. Like, the treble clef? Could you get any more stereotypical?” She teased. “I’m sorry miss ‘let’s get a tattoo right now!’ I didn’t exactly get much of a chance to put all that much thought into it,” he retorted as he pulled on his jacket. “Couldn’t have you chickening out of your birthday present now, could I?” Erin said with a grin. It took Soren a moment to realise what she’d said, but he wrapped her in a hug once he did. “Eugh, you’re such a nerd. Come on, we’re going for ramen.”

A panicked voice, cutting through for just a moment. “He’s crashing-“

He shouldn’t have driven himself here, he knew that. There was adrenaline pounding through his veins and his hands were still shaking. He’d had to blink back tears more than once to make sure he could still see the road in front of him. Sure, he’d thought it was strange that he hadn’t heard from her in a few days, but he’d been working double shifts, then playing shows on his days off, and arguing with Lauren whenever he had time to breathe. But the guilt of not even having known things were that bad had left him shaking, and he wasn’t going to let it happen again. Erin was waiting for him just inside the door of the clinic, looking tired, small, and far, far too pale. He ran to meet her and wrapped her in a bear hug, refusing to let go. “You don’t ever do that to me again, you hear?” He whispered, forcing himself to blink away the tears. “You don’t get to leave me like that. I’m not leaving you alone again.” She said something, possibly an apology, but he didn’t care. He’d nearly lost her, and he wasn’t letting her go like that.

Light started flickering through next, just for a moment or two. And then there was someone calling his name. “Can you hear me?” The voice stayed talking, and Soren thought he managed to answer at least one of the questions, but he was still far too groggy to speak, and he slipped back into unconsciousness.

It was finally happening. His heart had been pounding ever since it had happened. Ever since they’d showed up to that first meeting, ever since they’d been handed the contract, every single meeting since. Because he kept waiting for something to happen, for something to fall through again. But here he was, getting ready to leave for his flight. It didn’t feel like it could be happening to him. It felt like a pleasant dream in the middle of the nightmare. His hand hovered over his phone momentarily. He’d lost count of the amount of times that he’d gone to text Erin to tell her, or to send her a picture of his plane ticket, or annoy her about something. And every time, he remembered. Remembered that she’d known that the night with Lex hadn’t been the first time. And she’d said nothing. Then his phone buzzed with a notification to say his Uber was outside. He grabbed his bag and cases and headed down to the car, shoving his phone into his pocket without a second thought.

“Soren? Soren, can you hear me?” This time, the doctor’s voice was clearer, the light was brighter, and the pain was worse. But he felt more conscious, felt more aware of his surroundings. He was able to answer the doctor’s questions. Yes, he knew where he was, he was in the hospital. His memories of what had happened were vague. His memories from Nate’s arrival onwards were severely foggy, but he knew he’d passed out. The doctor said something about some of her colleagues from another team coming to see him in the morning.

“But,” she said with a small smile. “We’ve some people who are very eager to see you. Are you feeling well enough to see them?” She asked. He didn’t even need to ask who they were. He just swallowed a little nervously and nodded.

Setting

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Erin Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #80000
xxxAnd now I can't wait for the next time I'm alone
xxxEvery day is another long walk back to your old place
xxxAnd now I stay out late at night waiting for the sun
xxxNothing's wrong but it doesn't feel right
xxxDoes anyone ever really change?
xxxDid We Change?
xxxDid We Change?
xxxDid We Change...?


Erin didn’t remember anything that happened after she tried to wake Soren up. After shaking him, pleading and begging for him to just wake up. Call her an asshole, call her a bitch, tell her he never wanted to see or talk to her again. Say she was the worst friend he ever had and never wanted anything to do with her again. All she wanted was for him to be okay, even if he stopped being in her life because of what she said. If he was okay and alive, that’s all she cared about. She just didn’t want it to end like this, it wasn’t supposed to end like this. Not with him being sent to the hospital, and not because she fucked up. It wasn’t fair, not for Soren, not for everyone else, and not for her. He deserved better. Dying like that was too brutal and unfair. She simply sat there as she was questioned, but wasn’t able to do or say anything. She was trapped inside of her own mind and body, unable to move. Things would go dark and hazy, and sounded like she was underwater every now and then, but she never once fully blacked out. She was able to keep herself from dissociating that much. All she remembered, was being in Soren’s apartment at the party one minute, in a car on the way to the hospital next, and then at the hospital. Initially, she was going to be put in the waiting room with the others, but after Kyle managed to pull some strings, she was allowed into the room. She simply sat in the chair next to the bed that he was in after he was finally stabilized. Erin silently stared past him, hoping this was all some sort of nightmare.

Okay, look. It’s not that bad, Erin!” Soren exclaimed as he backed away from Erin who was now looking in the bathroom mirror. “Not that bad? Soren, I’m missing half a freaking eyebrow!” she yelled back at him as she looked in the mirror, hoping this was some big joke. Soren ducked out of the bathroom as he went to get something, coming back a few short seconds later. “Hey, it could be much worse, ya know?” Soren said as he gave her a small smile, trying to ease the tension. Erin looked at him through the mirror, “Soren, we have school in the morning! I can’t go walking around like this. It was supposed to be a simple notch, not the whole right side.'” Erin said angrily, wrapping her hands around the sink as she shook her head. “Last time I trust you with my hair ever again.” there was a brief moment of silence, but then the two simply began to chuckle awkwardly. Which eventually grew into a genuine and fully belly laugh between the two as they realized how overdramatic the whole situation was. “Fine, only under one condition will I forgive you, Sor.” Erin said with a small mischievous grin on her face as she grew closer to him. Soren gave her a worried look as he raised his eyebrows, taking a step back. “What does it entail, exactly? What kind of torture are you going to bring upon me?” he said with an overdramatic flare. Erin grabbed him by the face as she looked him in the eyes, “I get to dye and cut your hair for tomorrow. So, let’s get going shall we? We don’t have all day!” she exclaimed, grabbing his hands as they prepared to leave the house for their small adventure. “Oh no..” Soren simply said as he hung his head lowly, admitting defeat as he followed Erin out of the bathroom, and out of the house.

Erin? Come on, you need to get up and walk around a bit. You can’t be in this room all day. You’ve been sitting here for hours, and you haven’t drank or eaten anything since. You need to-” the nurse was cut off as Erin finally took her eyes off from Soren, who was still asleep, looking at the nurse she spoke for the first time since she stopped talking back at the apartment. “I’m fine. He’ll be waking up soon.” she said as she gave the faintest smile. The nurse simply gave her a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and left her alone to her thoughts.


It’s going to be okay, Erin. You’ll be okay.” Soren’s voice was soft and sincere as he spoke, gently rubbing her arm as she laid there. Tears streaking down her face, “It just hurts, Soren...I just wish it was over with, ya know?” she said as more tears streaked down her face. All Soren could do was be there for her, giving her words of encouragement as he did so. “Are you sure you don’t want to take a break? Cuz, I can do this in more than one session.” the artist said as he finally looked up, giving Erin another look to make sure she wanted to continue with the tattoo. Erin snapped her head back at the artist that was working on the tattoo on her upper back, “I’m no bitch. Just finish it, it’s what I’m paying you for, right?” her tone had been a little harsh, but she wasn’t going to leave with a half done tattoo, especially one as intricately done as the Eye of Providence. Soren simply rolled his eyes, “You sure you don’t want a break, Rin? They’ve been working on this for a few hours now and-” Erin shot him a glare, one he knew all too well and backed off. “Alright, alright. But do you at least want some water?” he questioned, being genuinely worried for her. “Sure, but I swear. If you do what I think you’re doing, I will kill you.” she said with a small chuckle, dropping her chin back onto the top of her hands as she let the artist go back to his work, finally getting the smaller details finished. Soren walked back over with a bottle of water, Erin gave him a small smile and as she reached for it, he opened it and splashed some in her face. Erin shot him a dirty look, giving her the bottle as he attempted to back away, she spit some in his face. Soren simply shook it off and gave her a playful glare as she chuckled.

Alright, I’m done!” the artist said as he finished and wiped away the excess ink. Soren moved over to see the results, a large smile on his face. “It looks so badass!” he said with a large smile. “I need to see it, hello!” Erin said rather impatiently as she slowly sat up, looking in the handheld mirror the artist brought over. “Holy shit, it looks so fucking good!” she gushed, looking at it from multiple angles. The artist smiled as he helped clean any remaining excess ink and wrapped it up. “Alright, it should heal within a few weeks. Come back any time to see how it’s healing.” the artist said with a smile. “Thanks so much, and how much do I owe you again?” Erin said as she reached for her wallet in her jacket. Soren grabbed her hand, pushing the wallet away. “It’s on me, consider it a graduation gift, and after everything you’ve done. It’s the least I could do.” he said with a smile. Erin looked at him in shock, knowing full well where the money he would be using came from, “But, it’s your gig and tip money for your band, I can-” Soren cut her off, handing the artist a handful of cash. “I can make up for it, with a couple more weeks of working. It’s honesty no big deal, Rin. Alright?” Erin quickly put her shirt back on and retrieved her leather jacket, and practically tackled Soren in a hug which almost toppled them both over, “You’re honestly the best, Sor. Thank you, for everything.” she said as the hug tightened, “Don’t mention it.” Soren said with a large smile as he returned the hug. “So, how about we go out for sushi then, huh? My treat?” Erin flashed a smile, Soren simply gave her a smile and nod as they left the parlor. “If you’re offering, sure.



The next group of nurses came in, gently placing a hand on Erin’s shoulder as the others checked on all of Soren’s vitals and overall status. He was stable and for the most part fine, he would be mostly clear on out from here, they’d just have to wait for him to wake up and they could see him again. The nurse looked over Erin, seeing her rather disheveled and sleep-deprived state, growing to worry for her as well. Erin wasn’t a first-timer to this hospital, nor the same staff that were attending to Soren, which only made some things worse in their case. The nurse bit her lip before she asked the following question, “I know this is probably really personal and not fully professional but, you’ve been here before...Right? A few years ago, if I can recall?” Erin looked up at the nurse’s question, finding herself gently tracing the raised lines across her left wrist. Memories slowly coming back to her as she thought on what she was asked, nodding her head as she choked back tears, “Yeah, Soren was there for me after...After I got transferred to the Medical Center down the road…” her voice cracked as those words left her lips. Erin hadn’t fully opened up about what happened that night, nor really talked about it to anyone aside from Soren. No one else knew, no one else could know about it. She didn’t want anyone to worry about her, they had their own problems to worry about, and the last thing she’d want while everyone was busy with their own issues, was to add her own issues into the mix. Something she regretted never talking about sooner before it came down to that night..

Erin noticed that things had been getting bad those past few months, it was obvious. Everyone was falling apart, and leaving. Graduation was only a few weeks ago, and with everything that had happened in such a short amount of time. Everyone else was dealing with their own issues, their own struggles, their own problems. They didn’t need her being loaded on top of that. She felt whenever she tried to talk to someone, anyone, that she was only being a bother. She had always felt like that, but this was different. Something felt off and she knew what it was. It had been months since she last took her medication routinely. Instead, she had been supplementing it by not sleeping, and just staying in her small apartment. She had no job, no real ambitions or dreams, no relationship, nothing. Her friends were falling apart, leaving at the chance the got. Khepri left for Europe for a chance at doing something she was not only good at, but loved. Rebecca soon left after graduation, not even saying goodbye or even where she was going. Everything seemed normal with them, they had just hung out the week prior and everything was like it always had been. Or at least that’s how it appeared. But without a word, Rebecca left. Erin only found out where she went after Soren said he was just talking to her. She took it as a sign that even the people she was closest to, and even the one she harbored feelings for didn’t want anything to do with her.

She felt alone, lost, confused, and forgotten. Everyone moved on without her, and they clearly had no care about her as they would have tried to get into contact with her in some fashion, right? With everything that happened in recent months, it was only fair that others had higher priorities, and that she’d fall into the background to be forgotten. She hadn’t spoken to Soren in days. If he didn’t try texting or calling her, she usually left him alone. As he had been busy with everything, with his career and band lifting off and performing gigs and shows, and whenever he had time he’d shoot her a quick text or call, she understood that. She really did. But after another lonely and alcohol-induced night of being in her head and alone in her thoughts, she didn’t even remember what happened immediately after that. All she remembered was waking up in a white room that was far too bright, which smelt of that all too familiar nauseating hospital smell of antiseptic and solitude. Erin slowly blinked in and out of consciousness as unfamiliar voices asked if she could hear them and if she knew where she was. After a few seconds, she mumbled a reply, not entirely sure of what she said, if she even said anything of consequence. The next few days had been the loneliest she had ever felt. She was transferred from the main hospital and moved to the rehab center down the block for further treatment and surveillance.

The following days were a blur, all she could remember was sitting in an almost entirely blank room, with no windows, no real furnishings as they were afraid of her hurting herself more. The days that followed were filled with her either sleeping, eating as little as she could stomach, or sitting out in the small and dingy common area of the rehab center. It had been about her fifth day there when she was given the opportunity to call someone, she tried thinking of who would even pick up. But she settled on one person, after sitting down with a phone she dialed the only number she could remember off of the top of her head and waited for it to ring. She anticipated him ignoring her call, to ignore the number and just let it go to voicemail like he had that night. But it only took three rings or so for him to finally pick up. Her voice was far too shaky and raspy as she spoke, trying to get the words out as she tried to hold herself back from fully breaking down. “I...I made a really big fucking mistake. I’m at the Clinic..I’m so sorry...” she managed to get out before she fully broke down into tears.

Erin sat in silence as she held her bandaged arm close to her upper torso, rubbing the back of her hand as she was alone with her thoughts. The thing that brought her out of her trance was the sound of the Clinic’s door opening full force as someone ran in panicked. Erin slowly looked up, and sure enough. There he was. She could feel herself looking how she imagined. Paler than usual, dark rings around her eyes, wrapping herself up in her own body in a small chair as she awaited him. She must have looked pitiful to anyone who laid their eyes on her. Erin slowly got to her feet to greet him, but was almost taken down as Soren rushed her, wrapping his arms around her all too tightly. Normally she would have pushed him off or complained that he was squeezing her. But his embrace was something she needed, something familiar and something that didn’t cause anxiety and lonesomeness to fill her entire being. To feel like she wasn’t alone in this big, fucked up world. Erin simply leaned into his hug, squeezing back as much as she could with what little strength that she had at that moment. She wasn’t sure what came first, the waterfall of tears that came from her as well as her body shaking, or her onslaught of apologies when Soren demanded she never did that again, and that she couldn’t leave him like that. She nodded between her sobs as tears ran down her face as she clung to him, refusing to let go of one of the few things that were a constant in her life. “I’m sorry, Sor. I really am. I didn’t...I didn’t mean to. I just, I felt so alone and scared and...I thought everyone would be better off if they didn’t have to deal with me, you know? I’m so sorry, and I won’t do it again, I promise.” she said as she coughed between her sobs. All she could do was agree, it was such a stupid thing to do and she knew it. She just didn’t know what else to do. She had never felt so helpless before, never like that or to act on something like that. All she knew was that she was going to keep her promise to him, only if he promised the same thing back.

----

Three weeks had passed, and Soren had finally stopped staying next to her side like a lost puppy. He kept his eye on her, but wasn’t constantly by her side, or asking what was she doing or if she was okay if she fell silent for more than a few minutes at a time. Erin normally would have been annoyed and had enough of his clingy nature, but after considering everything that had happened, she couldn’t be as mad as she would have been either. After spending four weeks in her apartment with him, she felt like they had spent enough time being around each other constantly, if they weren’t at her apartment, then they were at the studio as he practiced with his band, or were out for dinner and lunch or Central Park for picnics. Anything to keep them busy, but she knew it was to keep her from doing something reckless like that again. Erin had decided that as a way for her to constantly remember their promise, she decided on another tattoo, one with more meaning behind it. She went with Soren, not telling him what she was going to get. It was only after the tattoo was finished that he got to see the finished product. She got the Ouroboros serpent, on the inner part of her left bicep, which often was used as a sign of eternity and continual renewal of life, or in this case, the refusal to give up on it. Erin didn’t need to explain why she got it, or why that was what she decided on, the look she had when it was finished had said enough. She made him a promise, and she was going to keep it for as long as she lived. Or at least she would try her best to keep it..


Erin found herself standing in the cafeteria of the hospital, looking vacantly at a vending machine. She was only taken out of her thoughts when one of the staff asked if she was okay. Nodding and giving them a false smile she confirmed she was okay, and just lost in her own thoughts. It was the first time that she had gotten out of that room after first coming to the hospital with the others. She needed a breather, a new change of scenery, as well as to stretch her legs. After downing her cup of tap water, she tossed the styrofoam up into the bin and turned on her heels, leaving the mostly empty cafeteria. Her footsteps echoed down the hallway as she walked back to the room, but stopped in the waiting room as the others had all stood up as a doctor began talking to them. Saying how they were all allowed to see him again as he finally began to wake up. But just be sure to not entirely overwhelm him with questions and to give him enough space. Erin dug her hands into her pockets and silently shuffled behind the others as they made their way back to Soren’s room.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks Character Portrait: The New Rebecca

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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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One moment there was yelling, pleading, crying and panic; then Soren was taken to the hospital, leaving everyone that hadn’t gone with him to pick up the pieces. Or at least try to make sense of it all. It was eerily quiet, Nate thought, almost like everyone was afraid to speak. As if using their voices would break some sort of seal and unleash a curse upon them all, or maybe just make them look guilty of something.

Eventually (though it was probably only a few minutes), Kyle had to ask some questions to everyone who’d been in attendance. It was pretty standard, and Nate volunteered first. He recounted everything he remembered since arriving; looking back, he once again felt like he should have seen some of the signs sooner. He and Soren had never been close, but even Nate knew that Soren was acting strange. When Kyle was finished with his questions, Nate went and settled down next to Erin.

Neither of them said anything, and that was fine; Nate didn’t sit down beside her to have a conversation. Erin had done a lot for him, and he didn’t know how to express how much it meant to him, so he settled on trying his best to be there for her. He hadn’t always been good about that in the past, he’d often let himself get so absorbed in his own problems (whether that be money problems, parent problems, or what have you) that he didn’t think to reach out to make sure his friends weren’t struggling, too. As a child, he’d learned to ignore problems to survive. The less you confront your problems (and the problems of other’s, by extension), the less trouble you end up in. This… Had not carried into adulthood, but it was an old habit that was increasingly hard to bury.

He looked around the apartment while they sat: it was a mess, but everywhere seemed to get that way after a party, even just a dinner party. Kyle eventually sent everyone out, told them to go home, try to get some rest. That was good advice, and Nate tried to take it, but he felt so useless. He knew that what he was feeling was normal, but he just wanted to do something, to help in some way. He didn’t know what he was going to do, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep, and sitting around waiting was going to drive him insane.

Maybe the waiting was too difficult, maybe it was Nate trying to prove that he wasn’t as useless as he felt, or maybe it was the knowledge that he wouldn’t want a mess to clean up after being rushed to the hospital; but Nathan found himself sending out a few messages, getting back into Soren’s place, and cleaning up a bit. He didn’t do anything dramatic: mostly just threw out trash, washed dishes. He didn’t know where things went, and trying to figure it out felt like snooping, so he stuck to simple things, and figured leaving things out to dry wouldn’t hurt anything. At least there wouldn’t be rotting food sitting in the sink for someone to deal with. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing, and better than nothing was what Nate did best.

After a while he made his way to the hospital, most everyone else was there, just waiting. Waiting for news, or for Soren to wake up, or whatever. Nate hated hospitals. He’d been in plenty as a kid, but he hadn’t stepped foot in one in years. The waiting was always the worst. Waiting for news, for the doctor, for an x-ray, for the social worker to come and ask a few questions. He had to remind himself that he wasn’t a kid, anymore. This wasn’t his visit. They wouldn’t ask him questions, and even if they did, answering honestly held no consequence. Not this time. He didn’t really keep track of how long he sat around waiting: he spent the time fiddling with the apps on his phone, or listening to the others. He didn’t have a lot of thoughts to share, and they wouldn’t be helpful, anyway. He felt the collective weight off everyone’s shoulders when they heard they could see Soren, though. That meant that things were going to be okay. Maybe not for certain, and maybe not for forever, but for the moment, everything seemed okay.

It didn’t take long for everyone to gather up their things and start heading down the labyrinth of halls, doors, and desperation. Ultimately, their path led to hope... At least, Nathan hoped it did.

When they reached the door, a sudden nervousness hit Nate. He didn’t belong here, not really. He and Soren weren’t close. He suddenly felt like he’d been horribly overstepping this entire time, and hung back just a bit, waving everyone else into the room ahead of him. When he finally entered the room, he hovered in the back, near the door. He offered Soren a smile, but it didn’t quite come out right. He’d meant it as a reassuring gesture, but instead it looked (and felt) awkward, maybe a little strained. He pretty quickly dropped his gaze to the floor, almost as if being noticed could hurt him. He hated hospitals, and he didn’t know what to say. ‘Hey man, glad you didn’t die,’ didn’t quite feel like the right thing to say, even if it was what he felt, so he opted to stay quiet. Maybe someone else could word his feelings more appropriately. Or just in a way that was more palatable. Or maybe they wouldn’t, and that would be okay. Everything didn’t need to be spoken aloud to be true.

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Character Portrait: Soren Bowers
Character Portrait: Erin Monahan
Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan
Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze
Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks

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A Detective Investigating this murder case.

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Character Portrait: Soren Bowers
Character Portrait: Erin Monahan
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Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
Cassandra Heiks

"Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, break some hearts."

Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
Khepri Mahajan

"She's enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees." w.i.p

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
Lauren Clark

The world belongs to those brave enough to chase it.

Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
Alexander Yang

We're never promised another day

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze
Rebecca Cruze

"Let's just have some fun and forget the world."

Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan
Kyle Monahan

"One of the deep secrets in life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan
Erin Monahan

"I'm the ghost in the back of your head."

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers
Soren Bowers

it's funny how the warning signs can feel like they're butterflies

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Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
Alexander Yang

We're never promised another day

Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
Cassandra Heiks

"Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, break some hearts."

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze
Rebecca Cruze

"Let's just have some fun and forget the world."

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
Lauren Clark

The world belongs to those brave enough to chase it.

Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
Khepri Mahajan

"She's enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees." w.i.p

Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan
Kyle Monahan

"One of the deep secrets in life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan
Erin Monahan

"I'm the ghost in the back of your head."

Character Portrait: Soren Bowers
Soren Bowers

it's funny how the warning signs can feel like they're butterflies

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Character Portrait: Soren Bowers
Soren Bowers

it's funny how the warning signs can feel like they're butterflies

Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
Cassandra Heiks

"Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, break some hearts."

Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
Alexander Yang

We're never promised another day

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
Lauren Clark

The world belongs to those brave enough to chase it.

Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
Khepri Mahajan

"She's enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees." w.i.p

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze
Rebecca Cruze

"Let's just have some fun and forget the world."

Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan
Kyle Monahan

"One of the deep secrets in life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan
Erin Monahan

"I'm the ghost in the back of your head."


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