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Arisa Winston

A Detective Investigating this murder case.

0 · 314 views · located in New York

a character in “the way we were”, originally authored by Zodia195, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description



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All I want in Lifex is true justice
Dark Side - Kelly Clarkson
Never Say Never - TKDz2b
Titanium - Madilyn Bailey



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F U L LXN A M E
Arisa Claire Winston

N I C K N A M E (S)
Risa

B I R T H D A Y
October 2nd

A G E
24

S E X U A L I T Y
Straight

E T H N I C I T Y
White American

H O M E T O W N
Allentown, New Jersey

H E X
#0D5C91



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S T Y L E
Even as a kid Arisa wore long sleeves and pants a lot in order to hide the bruises that were her constant companion. After moving in with her aunt and uncle, her wardrobe did have more color to it, but she remained very much a tomboy all the way through to adulthood and her wardrobe reflected that with jeans, shirts, and mostly blues for coloring. Every now and then she would dabble in other colors to fit in her surroundings more. She was never a girly girl and hardly wore make up, except for special occasions. Also, her hair is very low maintenance, it’s either down straight or in a ponytail. She keeps it long on purpose too because having it short brings up sad memories.

H E I G H T  & W E I G H T
5’4”, 125 lbs

A P P E A R A N C E
One look at Arisa and you’d never guess she was a cop or even tough for that matter. While slim in nature, she’s tougher then she looks. She’s really toned up thanks to kickboxing and being an outdoor person. In high school she was involved in volley ball and softball and has maintain an active life style. You wouldn’t know it looking at her, but she has pretty sharp senses, which come in handy when it comes to her job. This also includes a good 6th sense too. She always has a front up too that appears to be very sweet, but at work rarely smiles and can be very stoic and serious. She’s more likely to be the one to interact with people on the job between her and Kyle.



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L I K E S
Hunting - Kickboxing - Justice - Problem Solving - Working out in general - Her job - Nuts, especially pistachios - Getting the best of others

D I S L I K E S
Being Underestimated - Losing - When a case goes cold under her watch - Those who prey on others - Alcohol - Others being irresponsible - Others interfering with her job - Heat (she hates hot weather)


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P E R S O N A
Arisa is your typical tomboy. The reason for this is she never wants to feel helpless ever again, so she tries to be as touch as she’s able. She’s pretty realistic though too. She knows when something is too much for her, that is as long as her brain is in control of her actions. Once her emotions take charge though, it’s very hard to reason with her. This is something she’s trying to improve on, but it’s been a struggle since she can be very stubborn. One reason why she got into kickboxing was a way to vent her frustrations and inner demons and that has helped. Sad thing was she never realized she had been holding so much back until she joined the police force and saw the dark side of humanity once more.

Arisa loves hunting and it’s something she picked up on when she was 13 and her uncle taught her how to shoot a rifle. She’s also learned how to use a bow and arrow, but she doesn’t use that a whole lot. And unlike some people, she genuinely enjoys her job. Nothing makes her happier then to see justice served. It’s even better when finding lost children or others and returning them to loved ones. Having been good at problem solving, she prides herself on thinking outside the box too. She’s definitely the type to hold a grudge though, so don’t ever get on her bad side. Due to her past, she tends to become protective of those she cares for.


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H I S T O R I A
Arisa Winston, born Arisa Keller, had a very rough childhood. Her mother had the tendency to always fall for the ‘bad boy’ and this led her to getting involved with the ‘wrong crowd’, which would lead her to being disowned by her parents. Only person who kept in contact with her was her older sister. Her mother, named Olivia, worked several jobs to keep her afloat, and this led her to meeting Arisa’s biological father, who was married when the two started their affair. Despite all of her flaws, Olivia was a very attractive woman, and Arisa’s father, eventually became possessive of her. The affair was kept a secret and Olivia eventually had Arisa’s older sister first, named Claire, then Arisa a few years later. Arisa’s father soon turned abusive towards the three of them by the time Arisa was 2. To this day, Arisa doesn’t know the true reason behind it, but believes he had mental issues and loved having power over others. Needless to say she came to hate her father. She got in the habit of wearing clothes that hid her bruises. Her own mother turned to alcohol to forget her own misery. Despite this, she still saw Arisa’s father because he helped supported them financially. Only person Arisa could turn to was her sister, Claire, who was very protective of her and the two always shared a room in order to give each other comfort. However, tragedy would strike when Arisa was 12. Her father’s wife found out about the affair and divorced him, taking everything with her, including her children. This caused Arisa’s father to ‘snap’ and he came after Arisa, Claire, and Olivia. He killed Olivia without warning by strangling her, since it was the dead of the night and he had a key to their house. However, Claire, being a light sleeper, managed to hear his footsteps and woke up Arisa with her struggles against their father. Acting on instinct, Arisa attacked her father by throwing herself at him, jumping onto his back and hitting him in the head. This caused him to divert his attention to her and he ended up throwing her off him. Her father, pulling out a gun, aim to shoot Arisa, but Claire ended up coming between them and taking the bullet herself. This threw Arisa into a rage and she threw a glass vase at her father, knocking him out. She tried saving her sister by calling 911, but she died before the ambulance could arrive. The police were the first to arrive and everything was foggy for Arisa for the next few hours. The story did make local news and Arisa’s aunt was contacted. Seeing that there was enough physical evidence to get Arisa’s father for capital murder, she wasn’t needed at the trial, and only gave testimony through a video, with her identity anonymous since she was still a minor. The detective who interviewed her took pity on her and ended up making a great impression on Arisa and even after Arisa moved in with her aunt and uncle, the two would keep in contact and she would be the person who would inspire Arisa to become a cop herself. Arisa’s name was changed when she was adopted by her aunt and uncle and she took her sister’s name for her middle name to pay homage to her.

Life for Arisa did get better for her, with a lot of therapy sessions to help her get over her trauma, but to this day she still has nightmares. Plus she still has this inner rage towards anyone who is a predator. She took up hunting to also help get over her fear of guns. Her aunt, uncle, and first cousins are all protective of her. Wanting to help other victims like her, she did eventually go to school to become a cop and has been working in the field for a few years now. This latest case though has brought bake all the memories of her sister’s murder though and she won’t ever stop until justice is served.


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R E L A T I O N S H I PXS T A T U S
Single.

T A L E N T S
Thinking outside of the box, being thorough will investigating, Hunting, Kickboxing, and she still plays softball and volleyball for recreational purposes, especially when it comes time to have a game against firefighters. She enjoys the friendly rivalry between them.

S T R E N G T H S
Eagle eye vision, Problem Solving, Self-Defense, Sharp-shooter, Adapting, Controlling her emotions (for the most part). She has developed a sixth sense about things too.

W E A K N E S S E S
Stubborn, when emotions do take over, she’s like a beast on the rampage, but it doesn’t come out like a crazed animal, more like a vengeful silent killer. She definitely holds a grudge and when she does become consumed with something, she gets tunnel vision. She’s also very protective to the point where she can become possessive.


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So begins...

Arisa Winston's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxremember the words you told me
xxxlove me till the day i die
xxxsurrender my everything cause
xxxyou made me believe you're mine

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Soren’s day had been going pretty good right up until that moment. Beautiful Strangers had played an acoustic set on local radio, done a Skype interview or two, and arrived at the apartment in loads of time to get set up and warmed up. They hadn’t played a private show in a while, but Richard, their manager, had said the girl organizing it had seemed really eager to book them and had paid handsomely for it.

None of them had asked too many questions. They were too tired, still jet-lagged from flying back from Europe and exhausted from playing six shows in six countries in seven days. Soren wished he could say it felt good being back in New York, but since his parents had moved back to Camden and had been renting out the apartment while he’d been touring, he was waking up to an empty apartment in a city where his memories weren’t exactly the fondest. But it was worth it all to get to do this. He’d do it all over again for that feeling of stepping out on stage.

He hadn't recognized the building at first. They went in a back entrance so they could use the service elevator, which was big enough that they could get all of their gear up to the right floor in just two runs instead of four or five. But there was something strangely familiar about the hall, something Soren couldn't quite put his finger on. It was only when the door to the apartment opened and an all too familiar face stepped out that things finally fell into place.

"Hi guys! Oh my god, it's so good to see you all, it's been too long!" Lauren gushed. Soren couldn't say anything. His stomach had plummeted through the floor and apparently taken his power of speech with it. This had to be some kind of sick joke. It had to be. By the time he came to his senses, Richard was chatting away to Lauren, having propelled them all into the apartment. "You know the guys already?" Richard asked. "Oh yeah, I knew them all the way back when Soren was still mopping floors and making frappés to fund it!" She laughed. Soren's jaw clenched even as he forced a smile.

"We'd better get set up, right?" He said, taking the opportunity to go over to where a small stage had been set up for them. Richard kept Lauren occupied for a few minutes, but eventually, he heard those heels tapping over, caught a whiff of her signature perfume.

"Hello, stranger," she purred, and his jaw clenched again. He didn't look at her, continuing to tune his guitar. "Look at you all. Big stars now, even bigger than the last time I saw you," she added, placing a hand on his shoulder. He wrenched his arm away and took a few steps away.

"Are you enjoying yourself, Lauren?" He asked. "Sneaking backstage isn't good enough for you now, you have to book my goddamn band behind my back?"
"Well, it was the only way I’d get you to talk to me. And besides, you didn't seem to mind me sneaking backstage so much last time," she said. Her tone was teasing but he knew her well enough to see the venom in those eyes and in that smile.
"Because you practically force-feeding me drinks had nothing to do with it," he retorted. Her smile widened, practically dripping with venom.
"You don't have to play the show, you know. If you're really uncomfortable," she said. He shot a glance back to the rest of the band. They had to have known what was going down, but they were making an exceptional show of pretending they didn't.

Soren knew two things. First of all, she had done this to torment him. This had nothing to do with loving their music or wanting to support the band. This had everything to do with him and their history.

And second of all, walking out would be letting her win. If he walked out, she could play the pity card and drag their name through the mud. And he wouldn’t, couldn’t, do that to the others. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let her win that easily.

"Well, you've paid half upfront. Wouldn't want to waste your money now, would we?" He replied, matching that dangerous smile. Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly, enough for him to count it as a win. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to finish getting set up.”

They got their gear set up and tuned, and Lauren pointed them in the direction of a spare bedroom they could use to warm up and finish getting ready. Soren was glad that he usually took his time warming up, because every minute he was doing so was a minute that Lauren would leave him alone. He hadn’t even gotten a chance to talk to Rebecca yet, because she seemed to always be in too close of a proximity to Lauren to risk it. As they went out to start the show, he spotted Erin pouring drinks at the bar. Well. At least he had that much. Erin would back him up if Lauren tried anything, and she’d slap some sense into him if needed. Catching her eye, he mouthed “What the fuck?” before grinning.

The show went well. It was a smaller crowd than their last few shows, but the atmosphere was still good enough that for just over an hour, Soren completely forgot about Lauren. He always put his all into the show, always had. So much so that when he came off stage, some of the crowd chanting for another song, despite everybody wanting to congratulate him, he had to go back into that spare bedroom to recover for a few moments. It was a mistake. He heard somebody by the door, and knew exactly who it was without having to look up, even before she spoke.

“How is it you’re even better than you were the last time I saw you guys play?” Lauren asked, leaning against the door.
“That’s how this works. You play enough shows, you get practice, you get better. Simple process really," he said, leaning in to the mirror to fix his eyeliner.
“You’ve grown up so much,” she mused, and he could see her making her way towards him. His heart was pounding in his throat, but he felt rooted to the spot. “I’m so proud of you.” And then she was right in front of him, a hand on his cheek. He pulled away from her.
“Get the fuck away from me, Lauren. I don’t want anything to do with you.” He warned, and she laughed.
“Oh, but Soren, darling, I’ve heard you say that before,” she purred, running a hand along his arm and going to take his hand. He snatched it away, taking another step away from her.
“You’re pathetic, you know that? It’s so obvious what you’re doing. I wasn’t good enough for you when I was mopping floors and making frappes, but now that people are taking notice? You’re all over me again. It’s sad, Lauren. I’m done with you. No amount of alcohol or drugs in this world could make me want to get with you again.” Lauren hadn’t changed. He knew now she never would.

Almost an hour later, Soren was still on edge after the argument. He didn’t trust himself to drink, didn’t trust that he wouldn’t do something stupid. Staying was a bad idea. He needed to go. He headed back to the spare room to grab his coat and his gear. He opened the door, running a hand down his face- and froze.

Lauren was slumped on the floor. Soren sighed, thinking that she’d had too much to drink or had taken something, and crossed over the room to her. “Lauren?” He called, kneeling down beside her and shaking her shoulder. Something felt wrong. He went to shake her again- and it was then he saw the small pool of blood. “Lauren? Lauren?” He kept calling, panicking. Soren went to feel for Lauren’s pulse, confirmation of something he already knew. Nothing. Lauren was dead. In the doorway, a woman screamed.

He didn’t know what happened then. He didn’t know how he reacted, if he yelled out for somebody, if he just froze. But suddenly it seemed that everybody else knew. He was numb, hardly able to move, hardly able to think. He was just kneeling numbly beside her. Someone said something about calling the police. And as he heard the sirens, something awful occurred to him.

Pretty much everyone at the party knew about their history. They'd been arguing earlier. If the police started asking questions... fingers were going to be pointed his way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Arisa Winston
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Arisa Winston
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outfit : herex|xhex: #0D5C91
xxxThe search is so very long
xxxWe let it fade away
xxxThere's a ray of hope beyond despair
xxxMove on, look for the truth in this world

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New York City, the city that never slept. It was a city that Arisa had never been to, despite living close to it for a number of years before becoming a cop. For one, she had no desire to see it and secondly, she simply liked where she had been. But a job was a job and Arisa loved her job. So NYC bound she was, along with her partner Kyle. To say their assignment transition and trip to New York was memorable was true, but for all the wrong reasons. Arisa handled the trip much better then Kyle. If there was one thing she learned over the years, it was patience was a virtue. Still the travel experience did push her buttons. At least their luggage hadn't been sent somewhere else. She had tried telling Kyle these things but it had been pretty obvious there was no helping him. For her own experiences, Arisa felt she had no right to complain when she had been in worse situations, not to mention she had seen the worst in humanity too. And it was those moments that Arisa's 'dark side' showed up and it was then Kyle's turn to try to keep her calm. It was a relief when they finally reached their hotel. The place itself was more expensive then Arisa's last place, and smaller too. Still it would do until she got her own flat. As much as Arisa wanted to live in the suburbs, she knew she had to stay in the main urban area because of her job.

Arisa had been busy putting her own stuff away when she heard a knock at the door. Checking through the peep hole in the door, she saw it was her commanding officer.

"Yes sir?"

This couldn't be good. She wasn't expecting to meet her commanding officer until tomorrow. Other officers had been with him.

"Agent Winston, come with me please. There's something I need to tell you and Agent Monohan."

Nodding and making sure she had her hotel key and officer's badge, the detective followed him into her partner's room, along with her other 'tools' she took with her in case something happened, which included her gun. She stood close to Kyle as they both were told about a homicide. Well that was just great, but this was New York after all. The crime rate was bound to be through the roof here. Her ears picked up the conversation of the other officers who asked Kyle if he knew a Lauren when he was younger.

"My sister did, but I doubt it's the same person. Plenty of people with that name. Let's get going, shall we?"

For her partner's sake, Arisa hoped it wasn't the Lauren he knew. Cases could easily get messy if an officer had deep connections with those directly involved. Arisa didn't know a lot about Kyle's personal life but she did know he had a sister. Didn't he mention she was a bar tender? She didn't know much and didn't bother trying to ask because she was pretty tight lip about her own personal life. They basically only told each other where they originally came from and a little about their families. All that Kyle knew about her was she was from Allentown and grew up with her aunt and uncle, which was technically true since she was still a child when she moved in with them.

NYC traffic was horrible downtown. Even Arisa was tempted to get out of the vehicle they were in to walk to the crime scene, so it was a huge relief when the cops they were with decided to turn on their alarms. This was one thing Arisa loved about being a cop, the right to get to a place ASAP. Once there Arisa became on high alert. Doubtful they would have found a suspect, much less the culprit, but the blonde never took any chances, after facing death herself a number of times throughout her life. They took an elevator up and entered a scene Arisa was all too familiar with, confusion and distraught. People weren't used to bad thing happening to them. Looks like their had been a party, at least based on the attire of the people in the hallway. Yeah, a party was the last thing one would expect a murder, but they were more common place then one would think, crime wise at least. And this was a high class party by all appearances too. Arisa may not wear anything 'expensive', but she knew a designer gown when she saw one. Great, high class meant probably more news coverage, especially if anyone famous was connected. Arisa did not like the press. She was the one who dealt with them between her and Kyle. Thank goodness for the term "Pleading the 5th". She took that tactic a lot. Still news reporters could be like fleas, they never stopped pestering you. Arisa stopped thinking about though and focused on the task at hand when they entered a room.

Putting on a neutral face, Arisa started scanning the room and the people within it. Still, she wanted to keep an eye on Kyle too and followed him as they were led to another hallway where the crime took place. Markers were already up and a sheet was covering the body. Hopefully the coroner would arrive soon and take the body back to the station so they can do an autopsy and move from there. Arisa looked at her partner and saw his gaze linger on a few people, especially the one with tats on her. It looked like Kyle knew these people. Seeing how they were all near the crime scene, Arisa figured they were all connected to the victim in some way for that was normally the case in these kinds of situations. That or had been the first to see the body. Arisa made a note to interview each and every one of them.

Soon another officer addressed them and Kyle took a look at the body after putting his gloves on. Her confirmed the identity as Lauren Clark and that she was a friend of his sister's. Arisa felt bad for her partner and placed a hand on his shoulder for comfort. Sure, they might not have been friends, but she was still someone her partner knew and no one would expect something like this to happen. She was about to suggest he leave the room when he took it upon himself to do so. Letting her partner do what he felt was best for now. Lucky for them, she was not connected and would do her best to remain as unbiased as possible. Deciding to start interview people first, she approached two men, one with dark hair and pale skin and another who was muscular with brown hair.

"Good evening gentlemen. Apologies for intruding, but I have a few questions for you. I am Detective Arisa Winston with the New York City Police Department. We'll try to get through this as quickly as possible so you can go about your business. First, I am going to need your names, ages, connection to the victim if you have one, and what you were doing here at the time of the incident."

Arisa had on a gentle smile in order to help keep these witnesses calm. She had her trusty notepad out and was already taking down notes of their appearances. The dark hair was clearly distraught and it looked like the other one was merely comforting him. Arisa knew this was all circumstantial and not hard evidence, but she believed in writing down her own personal thoughts for it helped her in investigating. Her gut feeling was telling her that the dark haired one was deeply connected to the victim or was the first to discover her or both.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston
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Soren was completely numb. People were talking to him, he was pretty sure that one of those people was Erin, but he just... couldn't respond. Rebecca was sobbing beside him, and he couldn't even comfort her. It felt like he was watching it all from somewhere outside his body, like this wasn't really happening to him. He could hear the sirens getting closer, but he couldn't respond. They arrived, and somebody- was it Nate?- gently pulled him to his feet and led him out of the room. They sat him down and disappeared again, leaving Soren alone. The whole time, all Soren did was stare at the floor. People moved around him, some of them even tried talking to him, but he couldn't process it. Lauren was dead. She was gone, just like that. It just... didn't seem possible.

He was vaguely aware of somebody talking to him, but he only really came around once they tapped him gently on the cheek. He finally looked up at the ground to meet Erin's eyes. She was saying something about the room they'd found her in, if he'd gone back in.

"I... I went in after I came offstage, I needed a.... a breather before I went out to.... to see everyone again. Lauren- she- she came in, she wanted to talk, she wanted to... but I left." And then it hit him. It hit him so hard it felt like he'd been physically kicked in the chest. She was gone. She was dead and everybody was going to think it was him and he'd ruined things for everyone, he'd ruined things for the band- he was never going to get anywhere now-

"I didn't do it, Erin, I swear to god, I didn't, you have to believe me-" he forced out between heaving sobs, somewhere between crying and a panic attack.

Erin looked at Soren as he simply sat there in silence. The look on his face mixed with the body language, as well as the look in his eyes told her everything she needed to know. He was in his own little world, and it only took her gently patting his face to bring him back down to earth, however helpful that may have been in the moment. But sometimes the only thing that someone needs in some tough love. She sighed softly as he finally began talking, his voice was wracked with emotion and was occasionally cracking from him having cried as much as he had. Erin gently placed her hand on his knee as he continued explaining that he had gone into the room, for only a minute and in that small time frame that Lauren did come and talk to him. She sighed heavily, if the police found out that they did indeed have one final talk before she was found murdered, Soren would indeed be the first one they went after even more, and she couldn't allow that. She couldn't allow any of her friends to be found guilty of this, it was absurd anyway, right? None of them could actually be found guilty of murder... right?

She gently squeezed his leg as he began crying as she slowly stood up and sat down next to him, wrapping her arms around him as he began to cry once more. Erin could feel his entire body shake, and she could have sworn she felt his heart beating rapidly in his chest. "I want to believe you, I do. I really, really do...But...Anyone could have done it, Sor...Anyone...And I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." she said as she could feel the burn behind her eyes begin, and then finally the tears hit as she tried to remain calm in this moment. But seeing everyone go from having a good time and enjoying themselves like last time, this only caused her to be a mix of angry and entirely heart-broken. "Everything's going to be okay, Soren...I promise." she said softly as she kissed the top of his head, as well as rubbing his left arm with one hand, and his back with her other. He needed someone to help him in this moment, and she'd do her best to be there for him, just like she always was.

Soren instinctively leaned into Erin the minute she put her arms around him. The physical contact made him feel just a little calmer, a little more grounded. But Erin only said that she wanted to believe him, not that she did, and that just made it worse. Because he didn't blame her for not believing him. He probably wouldn't have believed himself. So how the hell was he going to make the cops believe him? How the hell was he going to get anyone to believe him? Goddammit, he hadn't even wanted to come to the party. He'd just showed up expecting to play the private show for some superfan, take a few pictures, make some polite conversation, maybe have a drink, and then go home. And then everything had gone wrong, and now he had ruined everything.

After a few minutes, the sobbing subsided, but he stayed where he was in Erin's arms, entirely emotionally drained and having returned to that awful, cold, numbness. "What do we do now, Erin?" he asked, not sure if he wanted an answer or not. The cops already seemed to be interviewing people, and he knew it was only a matter of time before his name got mentioned in all the wrong ways.

Erin continued trying her best to comfort him, ignoring how she felt entirely in that moment. Soren needed comforting more than she did. She held him close as he leaned into her embrace more, which only made her hold him even tighter. She finally waited until he had finished crying, and once he did she let go of her embrace slightly, which allowed him to compose himself better. Erin sighed as Soren asked what were they going to do, and honestly, she had no idea. There was nothing they really could do, except for try to remain as calm and collected as they could. "I don't know...Just try to prove that none of us did it? I honestly don't know, Sor...That's what scares me.." her voice showed evidence of being genuinely scared and uncertain. And the fact that two people walked in that didn't look like normal police officers sent a shiver down her spine. Something was unsettling about the whole thing, the fact that it wasn't just the average police officers arriving was worrisome. "No matter what...I got your back." she said as she gently held his hand. There was one thing she knew, and she wasn't going to let her friends fall for something they didn't do...If they were all innocent anyway. And she tried believing they were.

The attention of two new cops walking in, two that looked... different to the others, put Soren a little on edge. It just made the whole thing feel even more real. But it reminded him that he wasn't the only one dealing with this. He squeezed her hand. "We've got each other's back. No matter... no matter what." he said. "We'll be okay. We'll be okay," he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. He wasn't sure if he was saying it to himself or to Erin. But he had to believe it. He had to, because the alternative didn't bear thinking about.

Erin simply nodded as Soren spoke, whether it was to reassure the both of them, her, or even just himself, she wasn't sure. But she wasn't going to question it. She didn't really know what to say or do, except hold his hand and be there for him. She looked on as the officers began questioning more of them, as the people that stood out from the normal officers began examing the room and apartment. She knew what they were looking for, any sign of anytihng out of the ordinary. She watched silently for a few minutes as the male in the suit began encrouching closer, but she noticed how he simply kept to himself and was more invested in investigating than talking to anyone. She simply shook her head and looked back at Soren, "I'm going to go check on the others, see if they're okay...Think you'll be okay for a few short minutes while I'm gone?" Erin asked, genuinely concerned and wanted to make sure if it would be okay for her to leave or if she should stay. If Soren needed her to stay and comfort her longer, she would. But she just wanted to make sure that he was okay first before she left him.

Watching the police just made Soren feel even more anxious, so he turned his attention to the ground again, trying to keep himself calm. He nodded as Erin said she was going to check on the others. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll be fine," he said. Fine was probably an overstatement, but the overwhelming panic was at least gone. It appeared to have taken a chunk of his chest with it, leaving him feeling numb and empty, but it did mean that he could probably manage by himself for a few minutes. "Go on, go make sure everyone else is okay," he said, forcing a smile. He knew they both knew it was forced, but it was better than nothing.

Erin gave him as much of a reassuring smile as she could give him as she ruffled his hair slightly. "I won't be gone for too long. If you need a place to stay tonight, you know my place is yours." she gave him a reaffirming nod before she turned to go leave and see how the others were doing. Even though it wouldn't be much of a guess, seeing how things had gone from good, to bad in a simple matter of minutes. And she doubted anyone was fairing better than Soren. Erin scanned the area to see who wasn't having to give statements, and saw that Alex was currently comforting Rebecca in the corner of the room. She turned back towards Soren and pretended to vomit before she walked over to those two to see how they were doing.

He nodded as she told him her place was his if he needed it. He was more than likely going to take her up on that offer. The thought of sleeping in an empty apartment after this... he couldn't do it. He caught a glimpse of her pretending to vomit at the sight of Lex comforting Rebecca and managed a smile, but couldn't manage much more of a reaction than that. He had no idea how long he was sitting there before the female cop came over. Nate also appeared to be beside him. Had he been there even when Erin and Soren had been talking? Had he only just sat down?

The cop introduced herself as Detective Arisa Winston and didn't waste much time in getting to business. Her manner was efficient but not totally cold. Soren ran a hand through his hair and at least tried to compose himself a little. "Soren Bowers, 25. I... Lauren is- was... my ex-girlfriend," he admitted. The wave of panic crashed over him all over again, and he had to fight to at least keep himself able to talk to her. "I was just going to get my stuff to leave when... when..." He couldn't get the words out. It still didn't seem real. It felt like a bad dream he couldn't escape from, no matter how much he tried.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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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 had tunnel vision just focusing on Lauren as tears came down her face. She felt someone per her shoulder and say something to her but her attention was full on Lauren, hoping she would sit up, say something, or do anything. It wasn’t until someone separates her hand from Lauren she broke out of her trance. She looked up with watery eyes make up that was starting to get runny to see Alexander. He talked about not wanting her to get in trouble for touching Lauren and that it could point fingers at her, she nodded when he spoke about staying or heading out to get some fresh air and try to calm down until the cops arrive. Rebecca saw Erin ask Soren what happened, and then say she had to call someone and stepped out. Erin was probably calling the cops. Rebecca knew now that Lauren wasn’t coming back and that police will be coming to investigate everything. Becca was helped up by Lex and lead out of the room and towards the window for some fresh air. “Th-thank you Lex… sorry you have to see me like this.” She barely whispered out to him. “Just… Lauren. She’s dead and the last thing between us was an arguement, I feel like a terrible friend… who would do this to her…” she said as some more tears rolled her eyes.

The two head back in the hallway as the cops were called and waited. Rebecca day on the floor against the wall and had her arms wrapped around her legs as she leaned into Lex who was holding her and comforting her. She had finally stopped tearing up and crying and was mostly sniffling. She looked up at Lex for a second and gave a slight smile through her runny/ruined make up, she was happy to have someone there as she was freaking out. She might have seemed more calmed down than when she saw Lauren’s dead body laying there with Soren next to her, but internally she was still freaking out and not sure what to think. Who could’ve done this, and why? Rebecca thought to herself as she was leaning her head against Lex, him just rubbing her shoulder and saying she would be okay. While thinking all of this to herself, Rebecca had be scratching and pinching her arms as a reaction to her anxiety, nerves, and emotions taken over, it wasn’t until Lex said something that she stopped, but had already marked herself up a little.

The two sat there when the first wave of cops showed up and taped up the room, well now what was the crime scene. The cops had started questing some people but left Rebecca alone as she just continued to stare into the ground and Lex letting people know she was okay and needed a minute. But once the detectives got there she knew she would have to talk to them at some point. She lightly nudged Lex and signalled she wanted to stand up, and used him to stand up and try to get ahold of herself. Becca took a look around and saw Erin talking to Soren but couldn’t make out what they were saying, and then Erin came over to her and Lex asking if they were okay.

“Y-yeah. Just, Lauren… she’s…” Rebecca was able to get through her sniffles and recovering from crying, and not wanting to say it out loud, as if not saying it will make it not true. She heard Lex say something to Erin. She saw the two detectives come out of the room and the female went up to Nate and Soren and started asking them things. Rebecca looked back at Lex and Erin when the other detective came over to talk to the three of them, asking for some basic information, small statements. “Rebecca Wilde Cruze, 24. Friend of Lauren’s… really close friend.” She said before sniffly and tearing up a little thinking about her best friend from high school being dead. Lex and Erin gave their information while Rebecca just stared at the male detective, she felt like she knew him from somewhere but wasn’t sure. She was broken from her trance when he said asked for anything else. “Oh! Soren was in the room when I saw L-Lauren. I got emotional and started to freak out so I wasn’t sure what he was doing, sorry.” She said pausing for a second before stepping forward grabbing the detectives hand. “But Soren wouldn’t hurt Lauren. He’s not that type of guy.” She said before realizing what she did and backed up, back into Lex’s embrace. The detective thanked them and left, a little awkwardly so.

Rebecca looked over at Erin. “Ri-rght? He wouldn’t kill Lauren would he?” She asked before noticing Lex looking at Khepri. Lex quietly excused himself and asked if Rebecca would like to stay with him tonight, so she wouldn’t be alone. Becca gave a small smile and nodded before Lex walked away to check on Pri, and watched him walk away before Erin got her attention. She warned Rebecca and told her to be careful. “I’ll be fine… I just don’t want to spend the night alone. You know?” Rebecca said grabbing Erin’s hand it’s both of hers. “I promise.” She said before smiling and walking over to Pri and Lex, staying quiet to let them finish talking. “I’m ready to go when you are.” She whispered to Lex, taking his arm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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Erin Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #80000
xxxForget the horror here
xxxForget the horror here
xxxLeave it all down here
xxxIt's future rust and it's future dust


Erin nodded as Soren simply just nodded in reply to her offer for coming back to her place after. It wouldn't be much, but it was all she could really offer anyone in the moment. They were all so broken and confused, and tired. None of them knew what had happened, or why. Why was it Lauren? Why did someone have the motive to kill her out of everyone there? What would have been so bad that someone had to take another's life? She knew Lauren, and as manipulative and toxic as she was at times, she didn't deserve this. No one deserved this. Before she left she gave Soren's shoulder a gentle squeeze and then turned and left for Rebecca and Alexander. She didn't know exactly what they had been saying due to everyone talking as quietly as they could, but she figured it was about what had just transpired. No matter how strong someone was, something like this, no one was ever prepared. Things had gone so well. Aside from the small argument between Soren and Lauren earlier, everything was fine, well, as fine as it could have been. She'd make sure to talk to Soren later about it, probably tomorrow when he was in a better mindset. "Are you guys okay...?" she asked, rather rhetorical in nature, but it was the only thing she could think of to say. All she knew was that they all needed someone, and she was trying her best to keep herself together. Erin gave a sorrowful look when Rebecca began to talk, her voice low and shallow, it was obvious that she had just been crying. From either the tear-stained make-up, to the reddened eyes. She sighed softly as she sat down next to them, gently rubbing Rebecca's back as the same man from earlier slowly walked up to them.

It was obvious from the way he dressed to the badge by his hip that he was no normal cop. Police usually dress in their police uniforms, not a suit and tie. She guessed the FEDS had been called in, but why? It's not like Lauren was any person of real importance, but maybe they were needed more so than the regular officers? She didn't know, all she knew was that she'd need to give her statement, and that was it. As she looked up at him as she was finally able to get a proper look at him, something seemed familiar, yet foreign. It was weird. She couldn't exactly put her finger on it, but she saw countless people every day. She figured she had just seen him in passing and thought nothing of it in the moment. "Erin Monahan. Twenty-five. Lauren was...A good friend...She hired me as the bartender for the night." she said as she looked down for a moment, and then looked back up, "You-You don't think I poisoned her, right? You can check all of the alcohol at the bar, nothing was messed with. Besides, I have my own bar...I don't think poisoning someone would be the best way to get business, right?" she said with an awkward chuckle as she tucked some loose hair behind her ear. She cleared her throat with a simple cough as she tried to relax, and not let her anxiety take over. She looked back up as Alexander gave his information and statement, and left the two of them to do whatever he was leaving for. She gave him an annoyed look and roll of her eyes before looking back at the detective. "Anything else? I don't really remember much. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary or hear anything. All I know is that uh, Khepri had been talking to her earlier, and that they danced. That was all that I remember under I heard people scream...I was also the one that called it in..If that helps any?" she questioned, her hands were sweaty and her heart was racing. The last thing she wanted to do was lie to a cop, but she wasn't completely lying. She didn't need to tell him that she had passed out in the bathroom, and didn't remember some things in that time-frame, not like it mattered much/

The detective thanked her for their time and their statements and quickly walked away after taking some notes. He didn't say much aside from the normal routine questions, obvious that he was rather new. Erin looked back at Rebecca when they were finally alone, and offered her if she needed a place to stay, but slightly frowned when she explained that she'd be going home with Alex. She rolled her eyes, of course, he would have offered. He had a crush on Rebecca since day one, and he wasn't very subtle about it. Not like she was one to talk exactly. She simply nodded as she spoke, "Just...be careful, alright? I can't afford to lose someone else tonight..." she said as she gave Rebecca a small smile, but her eyes portrayed something else. Worry, concern, and a bit of sadness at the news of going back with someone else. But if anything happened, Erin would have a reason to lose her shit at Alex finally. She simply just gave Rebecca's hand a gentle squeeze, but not before slipping a small paper into her hand after Rebecca had clasped her hand between her's. She figured Rebecca would look at the paper later, it was simply just her phone number and a small reminder to call/text her when she wanted to talk next time. Erin silently watched as Rebecca stood up and returned to Alex and Khepri, letting them know she was ready when they were to leave. A small tinge of annoyance and possibly even jealousy slithered its way into her head as she found herself clenching her jaw in an annoyed manner. She simply just sighed and stood up and walked back over to Soren, seeing how he had also given his statement, as well as Nathan. They had been talking to the female officer that came in with the male that had asked her and the others a few questions. Erin waited for them to finish their statements, giving the blonde-haired woman a small smile and nod as she thanked them for their time and gave another small bow and apology for what had happened before she left.

Erin looked at Soren and Nathan as they sat there and gave them a small and reassuring smile, "Alright, you sad saps. Soren, you said you're coming back with me, Nate, you in or did you already decide on going with someone else? You know my offer always stands." she gave him a small smile and ruffled his hair before she helped Soren to his feet. She grabbed her jacket and put it on, feeling the pack and lighter in her pockets, she'd wait until she got outside of the complex to have another one. She needed something to calm her nerves, and if smoking didn't do it, possibly drinking until she passed out sounded like a good plan. And that would most likely be how she ended up dealing with it when they got back to her place. "Let's get the fuck out of here, shall we?" she asked as she turned and left with Soren and whoever else decided to head out with her. But before they left, she stopped by Alex, Khepri, and Rebecca. She gave them all a small nod as they passed by, "You guys know where to find us. I'll see some of you tomorrow...Hopefully." she said with another nod of her head and then proceeded to leave. That apartment was too stuffy and she needed to escape from that place. When they finally reached the bottom floor and walked out of those glass frame doors, she immediately dug into her pocket, retrieving her pack of cigarettes and lighter. Immediately, she put one between her lips as she lit it and took a very long and slow drag before she gave out a slow puff of smoke into the crisp night air. There were few things that helped her calm down, and sadly, as bad of a habit as this was, it was one of her most relied upon remedies. "Don't judge me...I've been cutting back...Sort of. Anyway, to the bar or back to the apartment? Either way, some of the good shit and drinks await us." she said as they continued down those same damn city streets that they once walked down together. Once happy and full of life and mistakes, and bad decisions. Now..Now they walked these streets with nothing but regret and brokeness...Hoping tomorrow would be a better day. That's all Erin could do, was hope. Hope that this was either all some sort of sick joke, or was all just some nightmare.








Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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Everything- and everyone- was just a blur of emotions, movement, noise. If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine it was just the natural end to a party, with people lazily making their exit. Nate almost wished he could convince himself of that. There was a natural unease that came with close proximity to the dead, and an unease of law enforcement that came from experience. Nathan was uncomfortable, and he wanted to leave, but he had to stick around to give statements, and whatever else might be needed. He silently cursed himself for not leaving sooner, if he would have left when he first wanted to, instead of trying to look for his friends, he wouldn't be stuck in a suddenly stuffy apartment with a mixture of emotionally distraught and emotionally distant people. There really wasn't a more uncomfortable combination.

He always tried his best to stay out of his friend's drama (for better or worse, really), but he couldn't help but overhear pieces of conversations, and parts of the statements being taken around him. Lauren had changed everything forever. Again. While this wasn’t her fault, because Nate highly doubted she’d sat down and asked to be killed, he couldn’t help but feel a little annoyance towards her. Of course; when things weren’t going the way she wanted, she was murdered. Now nobody would be able to stop thinking, or talking, about her. It was unfair, and Nathan knew it, so he tried to shake the thoughts from his head. No matter how he’d disliked her, he didn’t want to continue to be bitter through her death, and he certainly didn’t want to blame her for her own death. Still, it was an inconvenience.

When it was time for him to give his statement, he did so with a heavy sigh and a shrug. “I’m, uh-” He licked his lips. The questions were easy enough, but he wasn't sure of how to answer them. “Nathan Miller. Twenty-six. I was,” He paused briefly, trying to collect his thoughts. What was he to Lauren? They weren’t friends. Not anymore. He didn’t seem to acknowledge the grief rising in his throat, even if it was, in that moment, evident on his face. He cleared his throat to continue, “We were… We were friends. Well, we used to be friends. It’s a long story: we were friends in, like, high school. We got along pretty well back then, but as time went on, we both changed and, well, I haven’t really spoken to her at all in… a few years, and then she invited me to this party, and I almost didn’t even come.” He shrugged, “Anyway, I was just trying to enjoy the party, and it was nice. Live band, lots of friendly people, some old friends I haven’t seen in ages, but the whole thing was a little too... “ He made a sort of vague circular gesture with his hands, “It was just a little bit classier than I guess I’m used to. But, um, I was just getting ready to leave when I heard the commotion. Was trying to track down a few friends to say goodbye to, and I sort of just walked into…” He exhaled forcefully, shaking his head almost as a way to signify that he still wasn’t sure how to process the events of the night, “A real mess, honestly.”

Nathan realized, a bit too late, that he’d probably given much more information than anyone needed, or even wanted. He nodded when Erin told him he was welcome at her place, then he sighed, “I don’t,” He interrupted himself, shrugging, “I’ll be fine. Thanks, though.” He didn’t want to tell the truth- that he didn’t think he could handle Soren right now, nor did he particularly want to. It was going to be a hell of night with those two, and all Nathan really wanted to do was go home and get some sleep. Maybe he could make sense of what had happened in the morning. Besides, none of them needed him, they all had someone to look after them, and even if they didn’t, he was pretty sure he wasn’t anyone’s first choice to of emotional support. Or, he thought so, until he saw Lex leaving with Rebecca. He sighed, silently cursing Alexander isn't he supposed to be her best friend? and walked to Khepri’s side.

“Hey,” He said, words as gentle as the hand he placed on her shoulder, “Where are you staying?” He smiled, gently, “You’ve had a rough night, I just want to make sure you get back okay.” Then, almost as a defense he held his hands up in front of his chest, as if already conceding defeat, “I know you don’t need my help, but it would make me feel better, you know.” He didn’t know what to expect from Khepri, honestly. She was normally the one trying to insist on helping him, a point that had caused just a small amount of contention between the two of them. Still, Nate had always considered Pri a friend, and she had always only been trying to help. While he knew she would probably be just fine on her own, Nate felt that she shouldn’t be going through all of this alone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston
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0000S O R E N 0 B O W E R S 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000| E R I N 0 M O N A G H A N
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hexcode
#4d5676 0 | 0 #800000

outfit
soren 0 | 0 erin







As soon as the cop agreed to let Soren go, he went straight back over to Erin, still feeling as though he caught in a nightmare, making everything feel surreal and warped. He hated it. He knew he had a conversation with the rest of the band, but he couldn’t remember what he said the minute it left his lips. They left, and Soren found himself just sticking to Erin. He didn’t realise he was biting his nails until he’d bitten one of them so far down that he drew blood. But eventually, they left. He hoped the cold air might help snap him out of it. But instead, it just made it a little less horrible, but no less dreamlike. The smell of cigarette smoke made him look at Erin, but not to judge. He was almost tempted to ask for one. But the one small part of his brain that still remained functional reminded him that cigarettes were bad for his voice. It was almost enough to make him laugh. Everything was going to hell, and he was worried about his voice.

”I want to get really fucking drunk,” he mumbled in response to Erin’s question about what he wanted to do. ”I want to go back to yours and drink until I can’t remember… anything,” He wanted to feel numb, but not like he did now. He wanted to feel that hazy, stupid, free type of numb that he only felt when he was insanely drunk. And he needed to be somewhere that felt like home. And Erin’s was the only place he could think of that felt anywhere close to what he needed.

The crisp night city air helped relieve some of the stress she had been feeling prior, mixed with the chemicals that she was forcing into her lungs. Funny though, walking in the fresh night air while polluting her lungs with the toxic substance she relied so heavily on. She knew she should quit, but bad habits died hard and this was one of the few things she couldn’t let go. A golden amber glow flickered from her lips as she took another inhale and then coughed as Soren began to speak. She could tell by the look on his face before he even spoke, that for even a moment he considered asking her for one of her cigarettes. A smirk formed on Erin’s face as she held the small and burning object in her fingertips, “Trust me, pretty boy. This will kill you faster than the alcohol will. Best to not get hooked on this…shit.” she said solemnly as she took one last and final drag, feeling the smoke fill her lungs and throat for a few short seconds before she exhaled once more and crushed the cigarette butt under her boot as she pressed it into the concrete below. Erin smirked slightly as he said he wanted to go back to her place and just forget everything. Drink until they could forget, and hope that this was all some sort of dream.

A small chuckle exited her lips as she looked at him, wrapping her arm around his shoulder, “Trust me, we’re gonna get super fucked up. I have all of the drinks you could want. Besides, with it being just us two, means there’s even more.” she said with a small smile. She gave one more look behind them at the apartment complex, seeing Lex and Rebecca get into one of his cars and leave. Her eyes narrowed for a moment before shaking her head, “I don’t have a good feeling about those two being alone together...But what do I know? I only make terrible choices.” she started to say before her voice softened for a moment, “But what do I know? They can do whatever the fuck they want...Even if I don’t like it..” she muttered under her breath, partially loud enough for Soren to hear, but not enough for her to really care. It was obvious enough that she always had strong feelings for her friends, Soren knew first hand. Especially after something bad happened. The two simply continued walking down those streets as time seemed to linger on forever, much longer and daunting than it had prior. Any and all positive emotions had been sucked out from them, and the only real remedy they would have was from their old and trusty friend, alcohol. And plenty of it. Finally, after some time they arrived to a large, old stone apartment complex building. Erin ushered him along as they opened the metal barred gate which closed with a metallic thud and then lock as they closed it behind them. After having to walk up the first four flights of stairs, they arrived to the floor where her apartment was, being three doors down on the right side of the complex. Erin dug through her leather jacket’s pocket for a moment as she fished for her keys, “Sorry if this isn’t what you’re used to. But with this being Brooklyn, well...It’s more...Rustic? You remember, right?” she questioned as she opened the door and waited for Soren to enter the apartment behind her, and closed the door, making sure to lock it. “After all of this time...I never left Brooklyn. With the bar being so close to my childhood home as well as being in a part of the city I was familiar with, leaving would feel wrong, for me anyway.” she said casually as they made their way down the hallway. A large spiral staircase was at the end of the hallway which would lead to the spare room as well as the bathroom to the right, and to the left would be another way of getting to her room, which she decided would be in the small loft of the apartment that overlooked the living room. It was a rather large apartment, by no means was it a flat or penthouse, but it was large enough, especially for one or more people. Erin had preferred to live in a big enough space, just in the off chance if her friends ever needed a place to stay for a while, as well as being able to afford it due to her ties with her aunt and uncle. She shook her head as she walked into the kitchen that was in the adjacent room to the right, with the living room on the left end of the apartment and hallway.

Make yourself at home while I get everything set up. You know where everything is by now.” her voice called from within the kitchen, which too was spacious and rather rustic like the rest of the apartment. A large spacious room, with an old and cozy look due to the interior, which were old stone covering the walls with hardwood floors and small rugs of beige and light browns and grays. Erin retrieved a few glasses from the kitchen, as she held a few bottles in her arms, as well as a food bags of chips between her teeth as she shuffled from the kitchen and into the living room. Placing the cups and drinks and food on the coffee table that was next to the couch. “Before we get entirely too wasted, I’m gonna get changed out from this and get into something more comfortable. I’ll make sure to grab you something as well and you can get out of that outfit. You always were one for that extra look.” Erin said with a small smile as she left the room by the staircase in the living room and disappeared from view as she went into the loft for a few short minutes. She came back dressed in a plain black t-shirt and gray sweatpants, tossing Soren his own t-shirt and sweatpants. For him, she grabbed him one of her old band graphic t’s and black sweatpants. It was a wild guess that they would comfortably fit, but they’d be better than nothing. Erin sat down on the couch with one of her feet tucked under her body as she pulled out a small bag and some paper, placing them down on the coffee table as she prepared the drinks, “I don’t know about you, but I plan on more than just drinking. You can join me if you want, but it’s entirely up to you. No pressure to smoke, as always.” she said casually as she began to pour some of his and her favorite drinks. She knew how hammered he’d want to be, and she would make sure he got what he wanted, even if he would regret it the next day. She handed him a small shot glass, as she grabbed her own and held it in the air, “To all of our bad decisions. Both past and future ones. Also...I missed you, Sor...It’s good to see you again.” she said with a small smile as gave him a small side hug, placing her head against his for a moment before she gave him one more salute with the small glass and took their first shot of the night. The first of many for the two.

He didn’t much like the look of Lex and Becca leaving together either. But he didn’t comment on it, Erin seeing troubled enough by it. Rebecca was a big girl, he was sure she could handle herself. The walk back to Erin’s apartment was silent, neither of them feeling much like talking. He managed a smirk and a chuckle as Erin apologised for her apartment not being what he was used to. “Erin, I’m just back off tour, what I’m used to right now is a tiny ass van that we took shifts in driving. Maybe a not-so-terrible motel room if we’re really splashing out,” he remarked. It had been a while since he’d been back to her apartment. In fact, it was probably only the second time he’d been here, and most of his memories of the first time was Erin yelling at him over the pounding headache of a hangover after the last time he’d been in New York. After he’d slept with Lauren again.

Lauren.

Even just thinking about her felt like a kick to the chest. How could this be happening? How? How could it have happened, just like that?

Erin reappeared with drinks and snacks, dumping them on the small coffee table before saying something about getting changed and getting something for him to wear. He’d almost forgotten what he was wearing. He was perfectly comfortable as he was, but he still appreciated the change of clothes. Maybe then things would feel a little more real. Or at least, like it had all just been a terrible dream and things were like old times.

He stepped into the bathroom briefly to change after Erin tossed the clothes to him. The sweatpants were a little short, but the t-shirt was at least a good fit. He sat cross-legged on her couch as she poured them drinks. She could still remember what he liked, even after all this time.

He shrugged as she said she was going to smoke. “Nah, think I’m good, but thanks.” He managed a smile as she leaned against him after her toast, giving him a small hug. “It’s good to see you again. Wish it was under different circumstances, though,” he said, before clearing his throat. “To the worst decisions we can make.” He downed the shot, the burn in his throat welcome.

He lost track of time and shots and drinks. His head was a swirling, tilting mess, and he loved it. Everything seemed a little less terrible. Everything seemed a little more fun.

“I missed everybody, you know,” he slurred, swirling another drink in his glass. “You and Rebecca and Nate and Kyle and… well, not Alexander. Fuck him. But everyone else. I love you guys,” he said, half leaning, half falling on top of Erin and wrapping her in a hug.

The two of them had become an absolute mess of alcohol and drugs, well, Erin became the mess of the two as Soren simply stayed to the drinks. Her vision was somewhat blurry and her mind was a slush of thoughts, albeit they were somewhat blurring together. She decided to finally lay off of the smoking halfway through as she could feel the alcohol canceling out the high. What was the point if she couldn’t exactly enjoy it. By the time that Soren had spoken up once more, they had both done nothing but drink one after the other. Would they regret it in the morning? Yes, but was it worth as an attempt to forget the reality of their situation? In the moment, yes. And that was all that they cared about. Just escape reality for even just a moment, a moment of hoping this was all some sick joke.

Erin was alone in her own drunken thoughts when Soren spoke up once more, his words slurred together but not to the point of where she couldn’t understand him. At least not yet. She had years of practice, and was always one of the few people that could understand his drunk ramblings. She looked up at him when he began saying that he missed everyone, except for Alex. All she really could do was limply nod her head in agreement at his statement. That was until he leaned over and gave her a hug, which caused her to almost fall over and off of the couch, causing her to catch herself somehow and push themselves back up. All the while laughing. No matter how long they went without talking, Erin always had Soren’s back, and he had her’s. They had been childhood friends the longest in the group, and nothing would change that. “I missed you too, Soren. Hell, I missed everyone…” she retorted, her words slurred slightly, but she wasn’t entirely drunk as Soren, not yet anyway. “After everything happened, and everyone kind of just...left...First Kyle, then you...and then some of the others, it was...lonely. Sure I had Nate and Lauren, but like. We didn’t really talk that much until after a while. And you know the rest.” she said as she took another shot, the burn never really faded or became less intense, it was just that she had grown accustomed to it. Pouring herself and Soren another drink, clearing her throat as she handed a glass to Soren, she began talking once more. “As for everyone that left, I had some contact, like you. And even Khepri, but that’s...That’s different. But until today, I hadn’t talked to Rebecca since she left that day and well...Kyle...I still don’t know where he is or what he’s even doing. Doubt I ever will.” she said rather solemnly, giving herself a moment before she took the next shot and put the empty glass on the table, “You wanna make some super stupid decisions, Sor?” she asked as she slowly stood up, her legs wobbling for a moment as she regained her composure enough to see straight.

This was what he had missed the most about New York. Him and Erin getting stupidly drink and talking the real talk. Even if the conversation veered into the depressing, they were still at least talking. And things felt strange, felt dreamlike, but in the alcohol clouded way that felt good. So when Erin asked if he wanted to make some stupid decisions, he just grinned. “Abso-fucking-lutely,” he said, getting to his feet. He, however, did not regain his composure as well as Erin and stumbled, having to grab her to regain his balance. This was enough to make him crack up all over again. “What should we do? What’s the dumbest decision we could possibly make right now?” He asked. “Nope. Not the dumbest. Don’t let me text Pri.” He corrected himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxremember the words you told me
xxxlove me till the day i die
xxxsurrender my everything cause
xxxyou made me believe you're mine

Soren couldn’t remember most of what he and Erin got up to that night. In fact, the couldn’t remember much after the shot, and had no memory of their conversation about missing each other. But given the state they woke up in, and the stinging of a new tattoo on his right wrist told him that he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to remember.

He couldn’t quite remember what came first- the text about the memorial service or the police interview. Everything felt like a dream; except for the moments when everything suddenly felt like it was going to crush him, like he was drowning in the air around him. He’d been going to Erin’s when he couldn’t bear to be alone or when he needed to drown his sorrows, but she didn’t know about the panic attacks. They only came when he was alone. And besides, she was finding it hard too. She didn’t need him to worry about too. But both of those incidents had brought on an attack, one that had left him sobbing alone in his apartment. He’d agreed to attend the memorial service. And when Lauren’s parents had asked him to read one of her favourite poems, he didn’t have it in him to say no. As far as they knew, they’d broken up on relatively okay terms, and he wasn’t going to break it to them now.

The police interview had gone about as well as could be expected. He’d been honest, but they didn’t seem too convinced. But they didn’t have anything concrete, so they’d just warned him to stick around in case they needed to ask any more questions. The band didn’t have any commitments for a few weeks because they needed a break after their Europe tour. He was assured he had management on his side, but he wondered how long that would last.

He’d arrived to the hotel early to help Lauren’s parents get set up. It was Lauren’s favourite hotel in NYC, and they had some drinks and canapés out for people to graze on as they arrived. He’d had to escape to the bathroom for a breather twice already, and he’d only been here forty minutes. He’d spent the past ten minutes avoiding conversation and trying to steel himself for small talk. The reminder on his wrist wasn’t doing all that much to help. He had a vague memory of just yelling “I want an MCR tattoo” at Erin when he really dwelt on it, which explained the three short words. “We’ll Carry On.” It felt oddly poignant, all things considered. He tugged at his sleeve, his new nervous habit since he couldn’t bite his nails any more, because it was painful to do so and he kept drawing blood. He couldn’t ignore the guests anymore. He picked up a glass of something and took a deep breath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Ashleigh Myerson
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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The days between the party and the funeral blurred together in Nate's mind. There was always something to do, always seemed to be someone who needed him (he would always be there for his friends, of course, all they had to do was ask), and he had- for some reason- offered to pick up the some of the slack at the bar for Erin. Once things calmed down, he would have to ask her to never let him take on any extra responsibilities again. He felt overwhelmingly stressed, and desperately wished for his life to return to some sort of normal. His police interview had gone fine, he thought, but the whole thing made him nervous. He didn't have much faith in the police: his experiences were of them not believing him, and ignoring most of what he said. He didn't care about not being able to go far: he'd never left the city, anyway.

When he got the text about the funeral, he had honestly considered blowing it off. He and Lauren hadn't been close enough to be considered friends in a couple of years, and he knew it would feel strange to be there. He'd feel like someone showing up, pretending to be upset over something that, had he not been there the night she died, wouldn't have bothered him enough to take more than a moment out of his day. Your friends will need you there. He told himself, knowing that should have been enough to get him to agree to go without hesitation. He wondered, though, how much they really needed him. Every last one of them seemed to be doing just fine, and he felt like he was stuck in the past.

He knew he needed to go, though, and he even dressed up as much as he could. There was no way he was wearing a tie, or even a collared shirt (not that he even owned one), but he did his best to be appropriately dressed for the occasion. Everyone might have even been impressed, had he showed up on time.

But there he was, notification on his phone, barely readable through the cracked screen, Lauren's funeral starting in now. He was still a few minutes away. He started walking a little faster, and tried to take in his appearance as he did so. He had dirt all over his clothes, and a brand new rip in his pants, right on the left knee. He sighed, angrily, having really wishing his day had gone more like he'd planned it. He stopped, right outside the hotel, and tried to brush himself off; clean up a little. But he felt like he'd only made it worse. He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of the doors: his hair was a mess, he was sweaty, he looked like he'd gotten in a fight.

He tried to sneak in quietly, as he could hear that the service was begging, but he felt eyes on him as he slipped into the back row. He quickly found a seat and slouched down, as if trying to appear small. He tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone and briefly wondered if it would have been better if he hadn't come at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
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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 third agent had landed in New York only a couple days ago but quickly got to work to catch up on the case, Agent Cassandra Heiks. Her previous precinct had sent her along to help Agent Winston and Agent Monahan, but also to get her out of their hair, a couple days after they reported back about the quick murder, Cass was interested and asked to go, hasnt been anything fun for awhile for her to work with, plus she just got done being undercover. In her mind this would be an interesting and fun assignment, and she thought easy. Well that was until she got to there and saw what they were working with.

Cass had checked out all the evidence tagged by the first team, read over the statements that were taken, as well as pictures of the crime scene. She wanted to talk to the other two that she would be working miss but somehow always missed them, so she decided to dig through all the current suspect’s files and histories. Soren, the ex, who most people thought did it, but that’s too cliche. Rebecca, the best friend, first time back in the country and had a bad car accident awhile back, but she was ruled not at fault. Erin, the bartender, has am unofficial criminal record only some know about, and told the cops she didn’t do it, smart. Nathan, the deadbeat, nothing to gain, but also nothing to lose. Alexander, the rich boy, seemed to have an affair with the victim at the same time, caused the break up with the ex, maybe some sort of jealousy or fight happened. Khepri, the reporter, small fly on the publicity scene and could use the story to make herself big, and Cass doesn’t like reporters.

Cassandra tried investigating a little bit off the record, but didn’t find much so she decided to try to hunt down her fellow Agents and see what they know that isn’t written down, luckily Agent Monahan was easy to track down and assumed he would maybe stop by the service. It was mentioned in the paper the location and time so wasn’t hard to find. She decided to not show up a little late after getting herself a coffee, and sticking towards the back before noticing Kyle towards the back and trying to stay out of sight, though Cass didn’t care.

“Well, well, Look who it is.” Cassandra said as she came up from the side of Kyle and giving him a light slap on the ass. “Been awhile since we worked together. Interesting bunch of suspects we have don’t you think. Especially your sister…” She said with a smirk before leaning against the wall and starting a scan of the room. “Well, the killer always shows up at these things, come on Ky. Plus wanted to see if there’s anything else you can tell me that’s not on paper.” She replied to Kyle’s question and taking a sip of her coffee, before something caught her eye. A female had some markings on her neck, but right as Cass was going to point them out to Kyle, not sure if he saw them, the girl put her scarf back on. “That’s Rebecca Cruze, right? Next to your sister. She has some markings on her neck beneath her scarf. Your reports didn’t mention any type of injuries like that…” She mentioned to her fellow Agent. Wanting to question Rebecca, but knew this wasn’t the place or the time, maybe later. Cassandra then scanned and took note of their other suspects and the states they were in.