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Ada Rae Leveque


0 · 658 views · located in Baltimore, Maryland

a character in “Win Hands Down”, as played by iCakez


Full Name: Ada Rae Leveque. People mostly call her Ada. Or Rae.

Age: 22

Birthday: 6 December 1987

Appearance: Ada reaches the towering height of 5 feet and 5 inches even. She's not too worried about it. It's pretty average. She thinks...
Her average build doesn't make her very noticeable either. Ada used to be very skinny, and it's a tough balance keeping a normal weight, but she manages. While she likes to dress up for going out, you'll usually see her sporting a pair of boots, tight black jeans and a button down shirt or a crop top. It depends on the weather, really. Sometimes she has the crop top under the shirt. What a rebel. You'll rarely see her in a dress, unless she's going to a wedding. Or some other social engagement that requires formal attire. On stage it's often crop tops because they allow for movement. Sometimes she just wears a sports bra, if she feels extra confident and the sun is high in the sky. Her brunette hair is very thick and one of her great adversaries in the morning. It can be difficult to rule. Ada usually has it hanging lose and to one side. Oh, and she has a side-cut. Mom wasn't fond of that. Mom wasn't fond of.. Oh, yeah let's save that for later. Sorry mom! The only time you see her without make-up is really early in the morning, and when she wakes up too late from being out all night. Usually she has enough time to either put on make-up or fix what's on her face from the day before. Her left eyebrow is split in two places, from scars from when she was little and she fucking hates it. She always stands straight, chest pushed a little forward and her face looking up at you. There are three smiles you'll see on her face, and if you know her well enough, you'll know what they mean. There's the mischievous smile, which is crooked and tugs at the corner of her mouth - and apparently pushes her left eyebrow up as well. The second smile is bright and wide, revealing white teeth. This is what you see when she's truly having fun. It's lovely. The third one is the flirting smile. She uses it for other purposes than flirting though. She'll look straight at you, revealing her teeth - though not as much as the second smile - and sometimes bite her lip a little. This is when she's flirting or she wants you to do something for her.

Role: iCakez' main. Surprisingly tight drummer of Psychosis.

Musical Style: "What? I'm a chick. I'm allowed to do lot of pussy blasts! Wait... That came out wrong."
Ada has always been that kind of drummer who focused on being super tight. Many a bassist has been very grateful for that particular skill. She can play fast, and be extremely tight at the same time, but you can clearly hear how she's a hard rock drummer, deep down. Ada isn't very diverse either. She can't (and won't) play jazz, for example. She likes groovy beats too, but rarely gets to use them. If she tries to play rock and roll it always tends to get too violent. Her fills are usually quite simple sounding and not ultra fast, but technically demanding. They usually take her quite some time to get down, through practice. She's a fan of pussy blasts too. "Yes, that's what they're called."
Ada is always very focused on the bass and the general tone of the song. She loves playing powerful and contributes to it wherever she can. Her influences are many. So many. Lars Ulrich (because Metallica), Joey Jordison, Jimmy Sullivan, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Chris Adler, Pete Sandoval etc.... It goes on. She loves to take drummers in and frankenstein them and then spit out whatever she has absorbed. Oh, and Ada can't play any other instrument to save her life.

Instruments: Her go to kit is a Tama Starclassic. And Ada has recently discovered the more recent series of Sabian cymbals. So that cost her a fortune! She still keeps her K-Customs because she fucking loves those. Naturally, she uses to kicks, and several toms as befits a drummer of Psychosis.

Personality: Oh. Well.. Where do we start? Uh.... Drunk! Well, not alcoholic. Per say. Ada drinks a bit. More than she should.
Okay, Ada is the type of person who you can't help loving. It's so difficult to stay mad at her, even though she is often late and often a little bit intoxicated. And she doesn't give a shit about very many things. She's 22 for fucks sake! She doesn't give a shit about very many things, and always wants to party. So i essence, she is just like any other 22 year old, with daddy issues and a drinking problem - but you just can't stay mad at her. Scold her when she's late and she'll smile and hug you and all of a sudden, it's forgotten. Unless directly insulted, she won't start shit. In fact, she's always just looking to have a good time. Which usually involved alcohol. Surprise. Ada will also try to flirt with everyone. Men. Women. She doesn't care. She likes teasing too. Sometimes it can be hard to discern whether she's teasing and flirting, or just teasing. She does all this and at the same time manages to avoid revealing very much about herself, though it's clear she's sort of broken. It's just, when you talk with her and look at her, something about her distracts you from that and you forget. But that all sounds glum and sad, but she's not! She's always a party and up to no good. It is quite clear, though, that she has a constant need to be the best at what she does. Other stuff, she doesn't give a shit about. But the idea that someone else could come along and take her place, terrifies her. So Ada is always serious when they're in the studio and tries to do her best, but loves teasing and bantering and fooling around during rehearsals and jamming.

Ada has a slight accent. She speaks French, and they spoke both English and French in her home. Therefore she does have a slight accent, though more French than Canadian.


"In the frozen North!" is how she sometimes replies when people ask her where she is from. It just sounds more.. Game of Thrones-like. Canada. She's from Canada. Ada was born in December, an early Christmas present for her parents. Her mother was French and her father native Canadian. They spoke both languages in the house, but Ada was always fond of French. Her childhood was not unlike many other children's. School was okay, she didn't dislike it, nor did she like it. It was just part of life, and she's always understood how it's necessary to receive some kind of education. Things started to take a turn for the worse, though. Her father lost his job, and couldn't seem to find another. So instead of trying, he gave up and started drinking. He was never cruel to her or her mother, but he just stopped caring about them and neglected both of them. Needless to say, this does more damage to an adolescent than it does to an adult. So when she was fifteen and boys and alcohol became more interesting, she gravitated toward these things. She had started playing the drums when she was thirteen, and the people she began hanging out with introduced her to rock and metal music. This new inspiration found its way into her drumming, and she quickly fell into the hard rock scene. Ada has loved it ever since. Her father's situation did not improve however, and it continued to destroy her. But she didn't react the way you'd think. She was just rarely home except for drumming lessons and later singing lessons. Yeah, she can sing too. Actually, she went through a brief stint as a singer for a pop/rock band.

Things went from bad to worse, and she's been picked up by her parents from the police station more than once. But with a father who's main skill in life is to neglect his family and a mother who's too weak to do anything, that didn't have a very strong impact on her. Ada just chewed her gum, and raised an eyebrow before getting in the back of the car.
She wasn't worried, though. She had her eyes set on greater things. She chose to let hate weigh more than love with her parents, and quit school as soon as she could and head south. Ada couldn't count all the times she's slept rough or flirted her way to a bed for the night, only to be gone the next morning. She did this while taking the role as singer in a few bands, not for very long, but later mostly as a drummer. This paid enough for her to support her on her travels. Most recently, she's joined Psychosis and been there for quite a while (compared to her standards).

What, did you think this was a wonderful fairy tale? It's nothing anyone hasn't gone through before, right? But Ada manages. Well, she copes. She drinks to not be alone and sober when she is. She blames her father for the way she feels like half a person. "Fuck it, drinking's more fun, right?"

As evident, she is not the type of person who'll tell you her life story. Actually, she'll change the subject very quickly. "Same old, same old."


So begins...

Ada Rae Leveque's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker
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#, as written by iCakez
Whatever that fucking noise was, it had damn well stop it’s jammering right now. Ada was convinced that the sound her phone made on her nightstand was only meant to annoy her and not wake her up. Without looking she managed to grab hold of the damned thing and turn off the alarm, whereafter she with squinting eyes seized the glass next to it. She was parched. She brought the glass up to her lips and leaned her head back, savoring the liquid hitting her - “Fuck!” The glass was rolling on the wooden floor and her face was covered with the drink she had initially thought to be coca cola. Ada tasted the remnants still lingering on her tongue and frowned. “Rum and coke…” She muttered and sighed. “What a way to fucking start the fucking day. Fuck.” Well, at least now she was awake. Ada longed for a toothbrush, a couple of painkillers and a glass of water. So that was exactly what she did. For once in her life she wasn’t late when she finished her morning routine. A routine consisting of showering, fuzzing over clothes for half and hour to an hour and maybe eating a little bit and finally brushing her teeth. Now came the fuzzing. Ada settled on a crop top, a pair of ripped black jeans and her leather jacket. She didn’t exactly look like a metalhead. Much less a drummer. She looked herself over in the mirror and discovered - to her horror - that she hadn’t fixed her make-up. She couldn’t be bothered with foundation in general because she was blessed with beautiful skin. She rushed into the bathroom of her small, messy but very cozy apartment and fixed her eyeliner and mascara and eyeshadow. Time was running out for her. “This is making me late!” She screamed with frustration. Ada had been pleased with her make-up but had discovered her hair was a mess.

“Fucking…” Her swearing could be heard all the way down the stairs. “Cuntnugget, fuckshit.” Swearing had never been her strong suit. Ada hurried out the door and hailed the first cab she saw, throwing her stick-bag in and informed the driver of her destination rapidly. “Step on it.” She wondered if people actually said that or if it was just in the movies. She thought it sounded cool. Despite the driver’s best efforts, it felt incredibly slow as the went along. It wasn’t that she expected her bandmates to scold her when she was late. This wouldn’t be the first time, mind you. But it was what they didn’t say. The looks they gave her. Izzie could be verbal enough. Val was different. Sometimes Ada was sure that Val was punishing her with all manner of torture methods in her head. Not a gentle tap with a whip or a spanking, but serious medieval shit. Ada stopped that train of thought and returned to reality. Thinking always shortened a trip, she found. The cab pulled over on the road that went past the studio and Ada paid him. She pulled her things out behind her and started down the short path to the studio, shielding her eyes with a pair of aviators. Someone had already arrived and parked their cars in the lot, but she hurried straight for the door.

Following the guides to which way she should take in her fork in the road, Ada started smiling as she approached the room Psychosis would be in. The door was open and she could hear people inside, but there was someone standing, peeking in. Ada marched in and stopped behind him. He wasn’t in her band.


Zack’s morning had been very relaxed. He’d had time to make himself a protein rich breakfast and a good cup of coffee, catching his morning cartoon before he left his flat. All in all a pretty great morning, that suited him just fine. He hated stress with a passion as it was destructive to any creative process. When he had gathered his things into his car, he got in himself and started the car. It rumbled to life and carried nim through traffic toward his destination. He had left his apartment just in time. Had he left a few moments later, he would have been cursing from being so stuck in slow moving traffic. He took a sip of his coffee and sighed contently.

The Studio With No Name didn’t look like much from the outside, he thought. There were other cars there already, so Zack wondered who might be there. Thinking no more about it, he parked his car and slowly got out. He carried two of his instruments into the studio and looked at the sign that pointed him toward Sturm’s side of the establishment. Zack followed the instruction and set his things down in their room. He couldn’t see anyone else though, but heard some jamming going on in the opposite side of the building. He decided to go have a look. He reached the hall and saw Lionel standing outside what he assumed was Psychosis’ room, looking in. There was also a woman beside him, and Zack slowly approached.

“What are you standing around lurking for?” He called before he reached Lionel and whoever the woman was. She was probably with Psychosis. “Where’s Ted?” Zack added and smiled, patting Lionel on the back and nodding to the other woman before peeking into the room. Two bands in one studio… Wouldn’t have been his first choice but they would have to make it work.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Christina Kjaer Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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When Val interrupted Izzie's admittedly fun jaunt through "Gilles de Rais", Rick dropped his volume and took the opportunity to adjust his fuzz settings. Briefly he considered gluing the knobs in place like Peter Steele (shit, was he really gone?), but as quickly as the idea came he dismissed it. So absorbed was he in getting the tone that he didn't notice the audience, at least not until Izzie addressed them.

And apparently she knew one member of Sturm, too. Not too unusual, he supposed; Baltimore was only so large of a city. No doubt they had met somewhere. No doubt he would never, ever hear how they had met. Izzie just wasn't that sort of person, which was fine. Just another layer of mystery in that enigma, wrapped in a riddle, encased in a titan.


Oh, right, the visitors. The first two looked like salt and pepper. "Pepper" looked younger for his lack of a beard and height, and seemed like a guitarist, if only because the bag slung over his shoulder looked far too short for a bass. Besides, "Salt" looked much more suited to bass, or possibly bodyguard. Jesus he was big, right about Izzie's size.

"Saludos," he said, waving with a free hand. "Rick Silva."


"Lionel," the guitarist responded, trying not to feel intimidated. Psychosis clearly had years of experience on Sturm, and though Lionel wasn't the biggest fan of the brutal-tech sound, he had to admit they had honed it to a fine art.

Patience, he reminded himself. This wasn't a competition. Music never was.

Although to the newly-arrived Christina, maybe it was in one respect. "Yeah, he got lost," Lionel said, almost embarrassed on his fellow guitarist's behalf. "He should be here soon, though. I gotta watch for him." He sidled past Christina, Zack, and an unfamiliar third person, a woman who didn't look like she belonged anywhere near two partial death metal bands. He ignored her and headed back outside, guitar-bag still on his shoulder.

And just in time, for as he walked out, a green Sentra came barrelling down the road. Lionel waved, and the car slowed dramatically, put on its turn signal in time to swing into the lot. It parked next to Christina's Accord, and out came Ted, tall and lean, rumpled sport-shirt buttoned one shy of the collar. He didn't wave to Lionel until after he'd retrieved his guitar case from the back of his car and locked it back up.

"You can stop smirking now," he growled, more annoyed than malicious. "That's Christina's car, isn't it."

Lionel tried to answer, but could only laugh and gesture for Ted to follow him into the studio.

Ted sighed, then asked, "What's with all the other cars?"

"I was aboutta say," Lionel began, quickly sobering. "Short version, we got company. Long version, we got company, and one'a them knows you."

When he got no response, Lionel glanced back. Ted hadn't stopped short like some stereotype of shock, but his face had frozen in confusion. Lionel decided to put off the ride question for later on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Rick Silva Character Portrait: Christina Kjær
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#, as written by iCakez
Zack looked into the room and gazed at their gear, noting what they used. When the setting was right and the people eager to talk, he would readily engage in gear talk. A gear freak when he was allowed to be. He nodded and smirked behind his beard, fixing his eyes on the members of the band that occupied the room. He was quite impressed by the sudden flash of skill from the guitarist of Psychosis. He had no time to comment on it though, before a giant of a woman directed words at them. Zack nodded in reply and looked behind him as Christina arrived.

"You're going to tease aren't you?" He said and smirked. They knew that none of them could tease Ted with that. He wouldn't like it. At all. But maybe Christina could get away with it. If she smiled prettily while she teased it.
Zack pushed those thoughts away and returned to the situation he was currently in. []iShe's so going to tease him...[/i]

He nodded to the man who introduced himself as Rick Silva. Actually, he was the only one to properly introduce himself. Zack figured that he should just go ahead and get it over with himself, then. "I'm Zack." He started. "I play the bass for Ted." Zack fixed his eyes on the giant woman who'd mentioned the frontman of Sturm by name earlier, prior to any introduction. "I take it you know Ted?" He added and smiled.


Introductions were a little slow for her, but they got it overwith. Well, almost. The huge man from Sturm deigned to state his name and role. She watched as Rick did the same, aside from stating his role since that was evident. Ada knew that meeting Psychosis could be a little intimidating. Mainly because of Izzie, but still.

She decided to stretch out her hand and take Zack's. "Hi!" She greeted happily. "I'm Ada." His rather large hand took hers and her small one almost disappeared. Zack smiled and shook her hand. Compared to Zack, Ada was tiny. She felt more normal when looking at the newest arrival, another woman. She repeated her gesture and stretched out her hand. "Hi, Ada." She took a step towards her as she spoke. "You look lovely. Welcome to the studio!" Ada smirked. She could be very open, from time to time. And she hadn't even had her first drink yet! Haha. Hmm.

"Well..." She said as she turned away and walked into the room. "What's up?" Ada called to her bandmates, hoping that the distraction of these new people would make Izzie forget that she'd been a little late. "You all good, Rick?" her small frame approached him and she put a hand on his shoulder, leaning down. "Izzie hasn't promised to disembowel me yet, right? Did she notice I was late?" Val wasn't as approachable as Rick was, Ada felt. She was working hard on that, though. Soon they would be getting drunk together and hugging and all that. That was her goal. She wasn't going to ask Izzie for obvious reasons, so that left Rick.

Ada turned and looked at the members of Sturm again and smirked. She wanted to see how Izzie was going to interact with these guys. That was always fascinating. One of the traits Ada found fascinating and truly liked her for.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Christina Kjaer Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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In response to Ada's query, Rick craned his neck to face her and put his finger to his lips with an exaggerated "Shhhhhh." He didn't think it would be that big a deal, since they were still setting up and warming up. So long as she didn't delay that part of the process, it'd barely even affect their rehearsal. Honestly, it was hard to be mad at Ada anyhow, though after what happened to Patrick, Rick would put nothing past Izzie.

At some point Sturm's mid-sized member (Lionel, he reminded himself) had left, leaving only the big man (Zack) and the newest arrival, a petite chica somehow smaller than Ada. Given that Ada was the drummer for Psychosis, Rick had to second-guess whether Christina (for so she called herself) was the drummer for Sturm. Time would tell.

For now, back to finding the perfect fuzz tone. Again.


Ted took only a glance at the sign indicating where Sturm ought to go, and set his eyes there. Studiously he avoided a pair of eyes, but he could feel them on the back of his head. He was late, of course. Couldn't be helped now, except by getting started. He'd already warmed up some while eating his late breakfast; the easier to get started now.

Of course, if Christina would stop staring at him like that...

"Okay, I'm late," he admitted.

Whatever Christina said next, he didn't hear, as a fuzzed bass cut through from across the studio. Clearly whoever was playing it was merely testing and adjusting settings, but Ted had to admit it sounded interesting. Was that fretless? What sort of band was this "Psychosis" that would have a fretless bass and fuzz? Seemed like an odd combination.

Intriguing...oh, right, they were there to record. Ted broke back to reality just long enough to hear Christina's jibes, and promptly tried to force them out. Key word being tried.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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#, as written by iCakez
"You have that power." Zack said dramatically and smirked. He was quite a bit bigger than Christina. The kitchen blended perfectly with the rest of the studio. Not overly modern, but it had all the necessities. Fridge, small freezer, oven etc. Zack began making Christina and himself a cup of coffee. "So.." He started, but Ted and Lionel appeared in the doorway and greeted Christina. he smirked to himself. Ted was a good guy. So was Lionel. He always made sure to look people in the eye and greet them. It was good for the four way relationship that was this band.

Zack was rarely rushed or hurried upon, so he calmly and quietly handed Christina her cup of coffee and took a sip of his own. Ted and Lionel went to their room and warmed up. Since Christina had almost just landed at the studio, he figured it was fair that she was given some coffeine to get going. "So, did you go out last night or what?" He asked curiously, looking at the drummer over the mug.

Silently he reminded himself that they shouldn't let Ted and Lionel wait for too long. They did pay for their time here.


That resolved itself pretty nicely. . Ada thought to herself, giving the other band a smile before they left. Valentina had spoken up - which had surprised Ada a little bit - and reminded them all that they hadn't recorded the drums. The pressure suddenly came flooding back into her mind, and the small drummer shuddered a little bit. This was going to take another drink. While she'd enjoyed getting to know the other band, she also knew that Valentina was right. They did pay for their time here, and it wasn't exactly cheap. Actually, Ada didn't know what it cost, she could hardly remember what she had been asked to pay, but she knew recording studios were never cheap.

"I'll be right back, guys." She excused herself and quickly exited the room, hoping that her bandmates didn't notice anything odd. Silently, she cursed her insecurities as well as her face for betraying her.

In the kitchen she found the burly guy and the drummer from the other band. "Hi," she beamed, slightly more composed now. She lingered for a moment and then fished a beer out of the fridge.

"Hello," Zack mumbled in his beard. "Sorry if we occupied precious time back there. We realize that studio work isn't free, we just like to make new friends." His smile was slightly apologetic.

"Oh, don't worry. So do we." Ada thought for a moment. Technically she was pretty sure she and Rick were the only actual social people in the band. Izzie was hard to place. She decided not to say anything though. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I better get back to my guys." Ada said sincerely, before she hurried back.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Christina Kjaer
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#, as written by iCakez
He reached over the bass and seized his coffee mug, taking a sip. He’d been up early and had gotten a lot done today. It had left him with plenty of time to fiddle around, and now he was stringing up and adjusting his bass. Zack enjoyed a well-adjusted, newly-stringed bass more than most other things in the world. Some people found that weird – even other musicians. He grumbled in his beard and set the coffee down, tightening the last leg to around where he figured was the right note. He fished out the tuner and plugged it in and began tuning his bass.

A few moments later he was done. Of course, Zack knew that he’d be tuning several times today, but new strings never hurt a recording. He took the bass of the table he’d made specifically for the purpose of working on his instrument, and put it back in its case. Then, just to be sure, he got out his phone and shot Christina a text.

‘Hey. Just checking. You live?’

Zack smirked and turned, grabbed his jacket and headed for the door.

When he reached the studio, he got his things out and went inside – coffee and bass in tow. He walked into their room and offered a couple of nods in greeting, then set his bass down and sat down on an amp. It took a second and another sip of coffee to figure out that Lionel and Ted were staring at something. Or admiring? What were they doing.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Zack asked, a growing excitement spreading in his stomach.

They were staring at something in a guitar case. That had to mean either new guitar or that some improvement had been made. Either way, Zack was curious.

In her less-than-expectedly messy apartment, Ada was still fast asleep. There was a glass of rum & coke next to her bed and her clothes were sprawled everywhere. She had initially decided to go home and have a quiet night in, but as that got boring rather quickly, she had decided to go out on the town. Ada had considered asking her bandmates, but she’d remembered that she didn’t want to die. Izzy might kill her just by having her keep up with her, and Val might just kill her. Ada was even less shy when she was drunk.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker
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#, as written by iCakez
Zack chuckled and nodded as he was looking down at his fingers working on the strings. He played a series of notes that harmonized with something in his head. Something Zack had difficulty getting out through his hands. It was something he’d worked on but not told any of the others about yet – he wasn’t sure if it was stillborn or if it was a riff in the making. It was an ordinary chord progression that dropped and slammed, for the bass at least, into a deep note that’d be countered by the higher octave from the guitar. But there was something missing. Something about the state of this idea dissatisfied Zack.

He stood for a second, letting the note fade and then made a thoughtful noise. He stroked his beard with his right hand and sighed deeply. He was lost in thought and had spaced out for the moment. He registered that Ted was in the room still but couldn’t bring himself out of his own mind just yet.

He eventually decided that he would just wait and when the time was right, present it to the others and progress by their help. He had the feeling that Ted, in all his vast knowledge, could come up with something that fit both the bass and the style of the band. Zack stroked his beard one more time and discovered that he had lost his pick in there a few seconds ago. It made him chuckle as he fished it out. He threw it on top of his amplifier.

“What’s on the schedule today, Ted?” Zack asked without looking up.

He took off the bass and sat on another smaller amplifier that he wasn’t using, and opened a bottle of water.

“I think we may have to add the cost of coffee to the budget, you know.” He added before Ted could answer his first question. They were a lot of people occupying the place and they drank a lot of coffee – Zack knew for sure he held a fair share of the blame for that.

She froze in her tracks. Val had come out the door and into the hall. Ada had hoped that she would have had time to down a couple of sips of coffee before she hit the studio. As fast as she could, she threw on her usual smirk and looked as bright as possible at Val.

The way her bandmate spoke made her nervous. All of a sudden, all her fears came crashing down and plummeted somewhere in her stomach. It also made her acutely aware of just how hungry she was. She’d had a banana. She needed food. The way Val spoke made her afraid of losing her spot in the band. She knew Izzie was pretty decisive about these things. The worst part of it all? It would be entirely Ada’s own fault. None other. In the middle of all this, she realized that she had not answered Val. She had been trapped in her own head by her worries, but at the same time she was taken aback by the apparent worry Val showed. Ada wasn’t used to that. She seemed to be actually sticking her neck out for her. Somewhat, at least.

“N… A little bit.” A blatant lie. She wasn’t on the verge of throwing up, but by no means was she tip-top shape. Ada shook her head and gave her best impression that everything was fine.

She caught the way Val bit her lip in worry. She assumed it was for her and not because she was solely worried that Izzie would be mad.

“Come on, Val. I’m not a nun. We’re allowed to live a little…” Was Ada’s go-to excuse. She was frustrated with her own inability to make out what was going on in Val’s mind, and also with her own weakness and stupidity. Ada reminded herself that having this sort of crisis right now, in the middle of the hall, was not beneficial nor did it put her in a good light or either of them in a good mood.

“Sorry.. I..” She paused and then looked at Val again, smirk returned to her lips. “I’ll just tell her I’m afraid I might be pregnant.” The thought made her chuckle.

Rather than waiting for an answer (partially out of fear of what it might be), she ran a hand through her hair and passed Val and went through the door.

“Hey Izzie! I’m so sorry.” She started and refrained from running over. “I’ve been really sick all morning.” Ada threw on the most convincing queasy face she could. A moment passed as she clutched her stomach. “I fucking hope I’m not preggers.” And for a moment she considered the reality of that thought, and the worry on her face was entirely genuine. “Anyway, I’m really sorry. I know you value being on time and respect and all that..” Ada trailed off, hoping to death that Izzie believed some of it.

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker
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#, as written by iCakez
He sat on the amplifier and took a long sip of his water bottle. Zack sighed contentedly and set it down next to him when he was done. Vaguely, conversation could be heard from the hallway. His eyes followed Ted's to the tuner, where he watched how his bandmate precisely and meticulously ensured that the guitar was perfectly in tune, the display of the device showing the note of each string. Eventually, Ted answered Zack.

Zack was satisfied with the plan for the day. But then again, he usually was. He nodded at what he heard and stroked his beard - a trademark gesture. The idea of coming up with something new sat well with him. They might as well get as much out of their time here as possible. If the opportunity to create more songs and music arose, he would take it for one.

"Sounds good." He replied flatly, nodding. When Ted commented on what he had just been playing, Zack shrugged. "Yeah, it's a funny little bit I've been doodling. But let's save that for another time, hm?" His expression indicated that he was focusing on what they had at hand instead of coming up with new stuff. Zack had been in plenty of rehearsal rooms where jamming out killed practice and progress more than anything else, really. It simply smothered what was being worked on, because people started jamming new stuff they had been writing.

As Ted began commenting on the coffee they were drinking, he couldn't help chuckling. Zack liked strong coffee, personally, but even this was too much. He took another sip of water, as if to wash the imaginary taste out of his mouth.

"I was surprised it could even run out of the machine." He said. "And I do believe 'sludge' is the correct term?" A wide grin. He looked at Ted's guitar but made no comment. He would refrain from saying anything until he himself had made up his mind. Despite how silly it could sound to some, finding out whether or not you liked an instrument was a rather personal thing. Like picking your favourite pick.

The sound of her scurrying behind her had given Ada the impression that Val wasn't going to say anything. The morning had been strange enough already, as she had not expected Val to react the way she had. Alas, Val was not going to stay quiet. In fact, what she said made Ada turn slightly and give her a look that was part offended disbelief and part amusement.

Fortunately, Izzie bought the explanation. Which in this case was a word that meant 'lie'. Had she not been so nervous and hungover, Ada would have been offended at Izzie's tone. But she had neither the energy or the right, in the situation. She felt lucky to be let off the hook.

"Oh. Rick's tracking and guitars. Nice." Ada said, her usual smile back on her face. She turned on her heel but paused. She looked back at Izzie and cocked her head to the side. "Does that mean I can get pregnant?" A moment passed in silence, Ada wondering if she had been too brave with this joke. "Kidding! Not planning on that to happen. Yikes."

Ada sighed and headed toward the same chair she had occupied the day before. In the corner. In darkness. Where she would be trying to relax and not think about food. She stepped past Val. "... All what?" She asked, indicating Val's comment from before and flashing her a smirk. Ada was interested in what exactly she had meant by that. Well, she was pretty sure she knew, but she was still curious.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker Character Portrait: Christina Kjaer Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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#, as written by iCakez
"Huns?" Zack looked up so fast his beard had to settle. Confusion was plain on his face. He was not following at all. He had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but was wracking his brain trying to remember. Then he spotted the grin on Christina's face. He looked at Ted for help, but realized that his bandmate had seemingly shrugged it off.

Ah. Inside joke. At least they arrived at the same conclusion. He wasn't meant to understand what that meant.

"Ouch. Shoot through the heart." He said, as Lionel had quickly been dealt with. He was not allowed to vote. It dawned on him that he had started the chorus of a certain Bon Jovi song, whereafter his face froze as if he had been stricken with fear. As if someone had poured icy water down his shirt. He had never liked that band. Ever. When he was a young child, he had enjoyed the usual bands that every aspiring metal head listen to. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth to name the 3 most obvious ones. As with most other people he knew who shared his taste in music, it had spiraled from there. There was a few really quite strange bands out there, that he had come across in his life. Those bands that really stick out because the music is just plain weird.

"To clarify, that is not my suggestion!" He said. He really didn't want to play that. "Uh... I don't know, Descent of the Fallen?"


She wasn't getting anything out of Val. But Ada was still curious. She sat in the chair in the corner, watching her from behind her phone. She was checking her socials. A few random people who had seen her play were commenting on various photos and Tweets. It was rarely interesting, but she was caught in the trap that was social media, so she scrolled on.

Looking away from Val, she watched as Izzie had cornered Rick. She winced, remembering the few times she had been on the receiving end of that, and realizing that she was going to be so again, later. She sighed, stomach growling. Ada shifted in her seat.

"Am I allowed to smoke in here or do I have to go out?" She asked while Rick got ready. She didn't want to leave the room as she figured that would be disrespectful - especially since she had already been late. Ada smiled brightly. An attempt to ward off any anger or annoyance.

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Zack Walker
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#, as written by iCakez
She had been reading the same page over and over again. She was too distracted to keep up with what was going on. Ada felt silly because it was a comic books she was reading. With an annoyed sigh she threw the comic onto the other side of her bed. The first thing she had done after they were done at the studio and she came home, was to make a cup of coffee and sit down on her bed with a comic book. She loved playing music more than anything, but it was nice with a little time off. She didn't really know what her bandmates were doing this evening, and had been wondering if she should contact them. Ada of course had shenanigans on her mind and she had silently been wondering how to pitch an idea of a night out.

Looking over the edge of her mug, the lips that were resting on the rim pulled into a smirk. She took a sip and then set the mug down, rolling onto her stomach and reaching for her phone that was on her nightstand. Her thumbs easily found way to her contacts and found Valentina's name.

'Hey you
Watcha doing tonight? you're not sitting at home that's for sure

She pressed send right away. Ada smiled at the idea of having drinks with Val. Silently, she wondered if she was going to have drinks at all. If she didn't, it would not be Ada's fault. She didn't strike her as a woman that took ages to get ready either.

A couple of minutes later, a reply appeared: well i was gonna make a voodoo doll of you and then stick pins in it for the rest of the night A minute later, that was joined by, but thats about it hbu

With a giggle that was more girly than she liked, she replied.
Wouldn’t you need some of my hair or something?
I’m just sitting around reading. I was thinking we should go out

About forty-five minutes passed in silence. And then, finally, came the word, what.

While before she had giggled now she was laughing out loud. She could picture Val’s face as she said that.

oh come ooon!
It’ll be fun. Don’t tell me you have anything better to do

It took Valentina another half an hour to rustle up a response to that.
well maybe i do. like donuts and dead space
And then, a minute later, whatever where do you even want to go

Do you know the Anchor? I was thinking there...

Another half an hour. And then... fine okay. but only if you pick me up.

i knew you’d warm up

She spent the time between messages cleaning her apartment and laying out clothes to wear for the night. She was excited.

Zack had spent most of his time at home noodling on his bass and watching tv. The large man was considering the time they had spent at the studio so far, and whether or not he was personally satisfied with the results so far. A low rumble emitted from somewhere in the beard, giving voice to thoughts. It wasn’t an annoyed noise. It wasn’t overly pleased either, but it was somewhere in the middle. But most importantly, it was as expected. What they had managed to get done so far was what he had expected they would do. These studio things never blazed a trail of productivity within the first week, in his experience.

He set the bass down and walked into his kitchen, reached into the fridge and took out a beer. Zack was contemplating whether he should stay in or go in this evening, but couldn’t reach a decision so he would push it for now.
“Used to be a time, Zack, where this would be an easy decision.” He took a sip of his beer and sighed, pleased. At that moment, he felt older than his years. And he did not like it.

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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#, as written by iCakez
“It’s impressive how you can manage to make a drive that short, that awkward.” Ada said as she stepped out of the car. She flashed Valentina a smile and shook her head. She had not even expected the woman to put on a skirt. She had thought… Well she wasn’t quite sure what she had expected. Ada was just glad that they were there. “Come on!” She said, locking the car and walking over to Val, linking arms with her. “You look hot, whether you like it or not.” Ada started them toward the Anchor. She was well aware that this did not help how Val felt about this whole thing, and that was exactly why she did it.

“Ladies.” They were greeted at the door. Once inside, she took a quick look around the place. She saw no one she knew or anyone exceedingly interesting. So, she dragged Val toward the bar and found two seats for them. She ordered two beers without asking what the woman drank and held one up for a toast.

“Santé!” Ada said in perfect French, smirking mischievously at Valentina. Her accent got better and better, and it was rarely that her words were tinged with her accent. It happened when she was drunk, which made her wonder if it was going to come out tonight. She quickly shook the thought from her head and returned to the moment.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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There was a difference, Rick would argue, between perezoso and relajado. Perezoso meant letting life pass you by. Relajado, by contrast, was knowing when to let life pass, but also when to take control. When it was wise to speak up and when it was wiser to let the chips fall. It required restraint, yes, and a calm affectation, but more than that it required perception. Hard to seize the moment if you didn't see it, after all.

The above mishmash of Sherlock and Zen was Rick's explanation of how he noticed Izzie's momentary pause. He followed her gaze quickly to the stage; something had caught her eye there. No doubt it was the bright blue Les Paul. It certainly was something unusual. Maybe a custom job? But then its owner would have had the self-respect to get it refinished at some point. Goddam, the light was not kind to that guitar. Then again, he and his bass had been through a lot with Psychosis—to say nothing of Izzie's SG! Perhaps he should not throw stones.

Just after he ordered "Ron's Famous House Chilli[sic]", the lights began to dim. Four men took the stage, two black (trumpet? and drums) and two white (guitar and bass). After a few moments of idle noodling, they began the most famous five-beat in jazz history—maybe all music history.


Meanwhile, over at the Anchor, the talking heads were just getting warmed up. Lionel was nearly halfway through his first drink, and had somehow found himself listening to the man five drinks deeper than he (At six-fifteen! Why‽) debate fashion with Danny.

"I tell you one thing, son," the man said. "You know what I see a lot of, and I'm not sayin' you do it, but I see it a lot, and I just don't get it?"

How to ask a question, clearly, Lionel thought.

"Wuzzat?" asked the bartender, glancing aside to Lionel.

"Well," the tippler began, before taking a deep breath and apparently inhaling the only gnat in the whole damn bar. Lionel snatched his drink as the coughing fit started, just before his fist came down hammerlike on the bar.

"Careful, man!" Danny's hand came down softer but firmer on the man's wrist. "Don't overexert yourself."

Lionel looked up at the television in a vain hope the pre-game would be more interesting, then surveyed the bar again to see if anyone new turned up. He turned just in time to see a chick downing an entire beer bottle. From the look on her face, she probably needed it. Her companion seemed keen to lift her spirits, anyhow. Maybe a bad breakup. Though as he turned back to the tippler, finally ending his coughing fit, he couldn't shake the feeling he'd seen one or the other of them someplace before...

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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#, as written by iCakez
Valentina was easily the source of half her amusement. Maybe even three quarters. Rarely had she seen anyone so out of place. The fact that her bandmate studied the beer she had ordered for her so warily did not make her look more at ease. About to put the bottle to her lips and take a swig, she paused before her lips met the glass. The brunette opposite her had completed the motion Ada had not and proceeded to down the contents of the bottle in one go. Surprise evident on her face, she lingered for a moment. It seemed both of them had difficulty proccessing what had just happened. Ada snapped out of it and took a sip of her beer (finally) and set it down.

"Do you not drink at all?" She asked, clearly not prepared to believe that Valentina, a musician playing in the quite heavy end of rock, did not drink. Ada took another sip of her beer. The night was young and if this was the tempo Valentina was going to maintain, she was not sure they'd even follow the evening into its adolescence.

Then again, perhaps she's full of surprises.

"You know you can sip it? Like you do soda and.... coffee?" She spoke slowly and with raised eyebrows, as if talking to a child. Or just someone very inexperienced. "Maybe if you didn't skull back everything, the night won't be so awful." Ada grinned and winked at her. Motioning for the bartender to order another beer for Valentina, she noticed a few people sitting further down the bar. One of them quite clearly drunk and the other had drawn the short straw in sitting next to him, having to listen to his drunken rambling.

"What'll it be?" The bartender said with friendly smile, eyeing Valentina and her empty bottle.

"Another beer for my friend, please." Ada said softly, smiling back at him. The bartender paused for a moment before he nodded and brought them another beer. "Oh! Could you bring that guy down there," the bartender followed her eyes. "The one next to the really drunk guy, could you bring him a beer?"

"Sure thing." The bartender chuckled and nodded.

Ada nudged Valentina and then pushed her new beer toward her. "Isn't that the guy who is in that other band at the studio?"
At first, she had considered writing something funny on a note, but she was not quite sure if she was right. But the man looked familiar. "The guy I just ordered a beer for?"

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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It was about the middle of the third number ("Suggested by Minor Swing," according to the bandleader) that Rick put two and three together and realized the guitarist of this band was also the "Great Jazzhole" whose band was sharing the studio with Psychosis. The guitar was certainly distinctive, though its owner was somewhat less so. Despite his name, he played a pure sideman here, standing straight as a cornstalk through comps and solos alike, barely acknowledging the knowing chuckles from a few tables when his rambling solo finally resolved into "Classical Gas." Rick could have made a comment about that, but he withheld it, knowing Izzie was probably doing the same. She never pronounced judgement until she understood the subject, and for a musical performance that meant waiting until it was finished to say a word. Ted's aimless solo cast a shadow over his inventive comping, but he and the bassist traded eight-bars with a synchronicity that made Rick wonder if he had played with Ted's metal band before Barbagrande.

As the applause died, Rick scooped up a bite of the "chilli," but paused with it in his mouth on hearing Izzie's judgement. Realizing how silly that looked, he quickly closed his mouth, chewed the bite, waited for any other comment. Nothing came until after he swallowed, whereupon he had to respond: "That's it?"


"That's it, man! You gotta get it!"

"Get what?"

"Get summa that," the tippler said, using his olive-pick to indicate the yin-yang pair at bar's end.

Lionel tried to ignore him. "Did she say why?"

"She just said, the guy next to the really drunk guy, could you bring him a beer," Danny repeated flatly. "I dunno either."

"You're helpful," Lionel grumbled. "I guess I'll pay in kind and see what happens."

"You're getting her a beer?"

"He's gettin' her! Y'knowhatI'msayin', he's gettin' some—"

"—fuck up," was the only audible part of Lionel's answer.

Danny blinked. "What?"

"I said get her a Cuba Libre too."

"Fuckin' kids, quit playin' games. She wants the—"

"An' I told you to shut up," Lionel cut him off. "You do your thing, I do my thing, cool?"

"Kids," the tippler grumbled. "I'mma take a piss." He lumbered steadily away towards the sign saying "EMERGENCY EXIT."

"Don't worry about him," Danny said. "He's not that drunk yet."

Lionel grunted. "Ask her why she got me that beer."

"Only if you tell her why you're getting her a Libre when she probably doesn't do rum."

"Well, I don't do beer," Lionel retorted. "Pen?"

Danny obliged. Lionel grabbed the anchor-emblazoned napkin and scrawled under the twin hooks, "TRADE?" Danny smirked. Lionel half-hoped the game would start soon, half-hoped he wasn't getting buttered up for a rebound, half-guessed he was misinterpreting the whole situation, half-wondered how many halves would fit in his state of mind.

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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#, as written by iCakez
For the briefest of moments, her cheeks flushed a pale shade of red. She had known Valentina for a while and knew that she didn’t have the most inviting and welcoming sort of personality. Still, her remark struck something in Ada and she realized that it had actually hurt. And it had been delivered in a monotone, which was unsettling. It had been easier to handle if Val had been angry with her and shouted at her instead. It hurt and angered Ada that Valentina looked away and did not meet her eyes. What did that mean? Did that mean the guitarist regretted what she said? She reminded herself that this woman was incredibly awkward in social situations, but that didn’t help her none. So instead of starting an argument or coming up with a clever retort, she decided to not let it ruin her night. Hell, it’d take a lot to ruin her mood when they’d had a few more drinks. Not to mention, that it might actually be incredibly dangerous to annoy Valentina right now. Ada took a sip of her beer and the red left her cheeks.

“Oh my, someone could do with some good-“ She muttered under her breath, but stopped abruptly. That was exactly the kind of comment she was supposed to refrain from. Ada shot Valentina a sideways glance and in a panic her mind raced to find something to say. “You can’t sit there and tell me life is oh so great and that it’s not fucking depressing. Being human is a condition that requires a little anesthesia.”

While that statement wasn’t particularly uplifting, it was very honest and exactly how Ada saw things. She shrugged and took another sip of her beer, raising an eyebrow. “Besides, we’re in a band because this,” she gestured to their surroundings, not really caring if Val was listening to her by now or if she was going to punch her with that empty bottle she had, “This ain’t enough.”

Having prepared herself for a few moments in awkward silence, Ada instead was slipped a napkin from the bartender as well as a drink. At first, she looked confused as the man did not reveal who it was from, but merely left it in front of her. She dragged it across the bar and placed it so she could see it and read what it said. “TRADE?” A smirk appeared on her face – it was obvious who it was from now. She hadn’t expected the napkin note. Ada didn’t even get the words out before the bartender placed a pen in front of her. She looked at him and though the man looked slightly amused he also looked tired of their note-passing. Ada bit her lip and didn’t write anything. Instead she stood up and turned to leave her seat at the bar.

Maybe someone dressed in L.B Johnson-era clothes might decide to approach Val while I go talk to this guy.

“You god damn kids…” Ada was pushed back into her seat. “Why does everything have to be so,” The man gestured wildly with his hands in front of her face, causing Ada to look very confused. She recognized him by smell and by his swaying. It was the man who’d been sitting next to the napkin guy. It was unsure whether he had actually found the bathroom or if he’d relieved himself in an alley.


“No, don’t even st-“ The man waved his hands again and hiccoughed. “Start. I know, okay? I know how to say all the right things. I could pick up any woman.” More hand gestures, this time accompanied by twitches at the corner of the mouth. This man really smelled of alcohol and sweat. It made Ada wrinkle her nose.

“Listen, I was just on my wa-“

“I just don’t get why it’s that d-difficult. You should just get going!” He gestured from Ada to the napkin man and looked almost frustrated. “No effort involved anymore. He’s a good lookin’ fella, you’re good lookin’. The pair of ya.” He looked at Valentina and smiled. “The pair of those are good lookin’ too.” He gestured toward Ada’s chest.

Ada moved in her seat and began to turn her back toward the man. But as soon as she did, she felt a hand on her arm. His grip was tight and he probably couldn’t feel how hard he was squeezing her because of the levels of alcohol in his system. “Ow..” Her head whipped around. Ada wasn’t sure how drunk he actually was and if this was normal for him. He seemed like a regular and maybe this was just how he was when he got drunk.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Rick Silva
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Rick couldn't resist grinning at Izzie's expanded commentary. She sounded like a talent scout, or a producer, or a bandleader—which she was, of course. He wondered if she could have been anything else. Could she have played the sidewoman to another? Maybe not with her stature—then again, Dio had played with taller men and never lost command of the stage. He was a born frontman, with a golden throat powered by aetheric lungs that could make the stuff of Michael Whelan covers sound like Renaissance art. And Izzie, in turn, was a born leader, with a clear vision of what she wanted, a keen ear to hear what suited it, and an iron determination to leave behind that which didn't suit it.

Then again, all of that could also apply to a world-class dictator. Perhaps he ought to be more cautious. But for now, there were more important things, like talking shop.

"Good? No, I gotta pay. And talk to the bassist. Hablamos bajista, ¿clara?" 'Bassist-talk' made sense in his head, but not so much out of his mouth. Still, he would stick to it.

It didn't take long to flag down the server for the cheque, and even less time to flag down the bassist, a skinny muchacho who seemed in no hurry to leave. In their low-end discussion, neither of them noticed as the quarter's guitarist quietly made his way to the bar, to a particular young woman with fair hair and a flowing caftan dress.


For a brief moment, Lionel felt a pang of jealousy for Ted, and could not say why. That was a lie: he was jealous because Ted was at a jazz club, the sort of soporific place where people went to relax after a hard day. A bar such as the Anchor, on the other hand, was for a bit of excitement after a long day of modern ennui. Normally that was more Lionel's thing than the jazz club. But this was not a normal situation. The drunk sumbitch was not only drunk and vicariously horny, he was getting violent. With a woman.

This never ended well. Danny had seen that too, if Lionel interpreted his quick bark for "Elliot" correctly. Presumably he meant the large man edging his way through the crowd. Lionel had seen this scene a few times before. Swing and a miss, a forward pitch, then either a strikeout or an intentional walk. And sometimes that happened in the baseball game instead!

Time for a curveball. "Ayo, let her go!"

Drunk Sumbitch froze, still holding the woman's wrist, but his attention on Lionel, bleary eyes narrowed. "Why d'you care?"

"'Cause she don't want none of you, old man!"

Lionel expected that to be a serious aggro-draw, but instead Sumbitch grinned. "Whatcha gonna do about it?"

For the first time that night, Lionel realized he might have fucked up.

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Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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#, as written by iCakez
His grip was hard enough. Ada wasn't going to get out of it easily. She may be a drummer, but she also smoked and drank a lot. And the man was bigger than she was. Her skinny wrist in his clasp seemed almost like a child's. Ada didn't like the way it looked. Looking to Val for help, she realized that she wasn't going to get any. There were a few emotions flickering over her face, though most of them she couldn't quite make out. But it appeared the guitarist was conflicted. Ada wasn't completely sure why. Usually when your friends were in trouble, you helped them out. In her mind, their brief quarrel moments ago had not been so serious as to make Valentina unwilling to help her now. No, it had to be something more than that. Quietly the reality of just how uncomfortable her bandmate was in their current environment crept up on her.

But the time to dwell on that particular issue was not now, however. Ada's eyes shot back to the drunkard. She looked determined. Angry. The muscles that clenched her jaw seemed to unclench as she was about to speak. But someone beat her to it. The bartender had noticed what was going on. As had several other people at the bar. Hopefully, it would deter the drunk from continuing down the path he was on. Napkin guy chimed in as well, and for a few seconds the two of them exchanged less than friendly sentences. Napkin guy's words seemed to do very little, which surprised Ada. The drunkard was such a cliché that she had expected him to let her go, and challenge napkin guy to an exchange not in words, but in punches. Alas he did nothing but keep Ada's wrist locked in his.

"You fucking cliché." Her words rang out low but piercing. She shook her wrist. With disgust painted clearly on her face, she looked him up and down. He seemed to find her resistance amusing.

"Oh, so th-" He paused and blinked asynchronously. "The little girl speaks!"

"You couldn't pick up a five dollar hoe if you had all the meth and money in the world." Now she definitely had his attention. She half expected his grip to tighten even more around her wrist, but that never happened. Instead, a multitude of emotions seemed to wash over his face. He seemed as conflicted as Val had a few moments ago. Anger, frustration, sadness. All represented. Ada had meant what she said. Long ago she had learned that the way she presented herself in most social situations might lead some men on, and with that came those of that gender who had trouble understanding the word no. Still, it annoyed and disgusted her when men thought they could take liberties like this. After a few tense seconds his grip loosened. Perhaps it was the combination of both the bartender and napkin guy speaking up, as well as the attention their confrontation had gathered, that he seemed to back off. The emotions on his face lastly resulted in something that was somewhere between shame and frustration. All of a sudden he didn't seem so dangerous. He even seemed to shrink an inch. In the matter of a few seconds a different man stood swaying on his feet in front of her. Ada felt something in her heart. It was pity. It surprised her.

"Aaaaaah..." He let out, sticking one hand in his pocket and taking a few awkward steps back from Ada. He watched all of them and sighed, shaking his head. "You can all..." It wasn't an easy task to finish sentences.

The bartender looked to napkin guy and then back to the evening's main belligerent. "How about you go home and sleep it off, huh buddy?"

The drunkard waved dismissively. "Aach, go to hell." He let out and stumbled off toward the door.

With a puzzled expression Ada sat and rubbed her wrist. She had not expected him to turn so quickly. It didn't seem like he was such a bad guy now. But he had grabbed her nonetheless and she wasn't prepared to forget that. Turning on her stool she looked at the bartender and nodded. "Thank you." She said and flashed him a smile.

"Don't worry about it." The bartender said, shaking his head.

"What about his tab?" She asked curiously.

The big man chuckled and shook his head. "He'll be back in a few days to close it and start a new one." He said. Apparently this was not the first time something like this had happened. The bartender made it sound like this particular client sometimes did things like this but would always come back. It was a little sad.

Ada nodded and shrugged. She grabbed her drinks and stood from her stool once more. "Thank you." She said once more and then looked at Valentina. "You know... If you can play nice, you're welcome to come over and hang out with us." She pointed at napkin guy and tilted her head. "But only if you can play nice." Ada was there to have fun. Valentina didn't seem like she wanted to take part in that. With those final words, she approached napkin guy.

"Thank you." Were the first she spoke to him. Ada bit her lip and set her drinks down on the table. "So should we start over maybe? I'm Ada."

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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The woman turned, following Ted's gaze. "Who was that?"

"Friend of a friend, sorta," he responded. He sipped the Blue Moon like a buffering animation, then added, "I told you about the other band in the studio?"


"She's their bandleader."

"Bandleader," the woman snorted. "Does that mean you're a bandleader, too?"

"Not the same way," Ted responded, shaking his head. "She's...different."


"She's very exacting. It's her band. Like Maurice, but more so."

The woman scoffed. "Sounds like the kinda guy Jack and I got rid of."

"Not quite," Ted replied, sipping his beer again. "That guy, from what Jack said, wasn't nearly as good as Izzie was. Probably still is."


"Isabel Ana-Maria Martinez de la Cruz," he intoned with all the solemnity of an ancient prayer. "Isabel Martinez for short, Izzie for shorter."

The woman chuckled. "She sounds like a character."

Ted smiled too. "You're not wrong, Steph."


The front door of the Anchor slammed, and Lionel released a breath he didn't know he'd been holding. Somehow, Drunk Sumbitch had got told by a chick two-thirds his size, at a generous estimate. The fact was nothing short of astonishing.

"Awright guys, show's over." Elliot's proclamation worked like a geas. No doubt many of the conversations that started up were nervously noting how close that came to a full brawl, but they were still conversations, in the same way that a pacemaker still induces a real heartbeat. The life they brought back to the establishment was no less real for how forcedly they were induced.

Perhaps it was that change in atmosphere that had incited this lor lady to approach him. And thank him, though for what he wasn't sure. Maybe prompting a chance for them to meet? He wasn't sure, but he wouldn't complain. Talking to a cute chick was better than mulling over how close he had almost come to getting his lights punched out.

"You're a badass is what you are," he said before he could stop himself. Making a face, he held up a cautionary finger and took a healthy sip of his cocktail. "What I meant to say is nice to meetcha, Ada, I'm Lionel.

She gave him a wink and a smirk, taking a sip of her own drink as well. Now that she was sitting so close to him, and she wasn’t being semi-molested by a drunkard, Ada was sure that she had been right. He was the guy from the other band. “Likewise.” She said and leaned on her elbow on the bar. She looked down at the wood and shrugged. “Can’t afford to have rumor going around the studio that I can’t take care of myself, can I?” Ada wondered if he had recognized her as well.

“Studio,” he repeated dumbly, putting that together with that feeling of deja-vu from earlier. The realization hit him suddenly. “I thought you looked familiar! You’re one of those peeps in Psychosis,” he concluded. Chuckling to himself at the coincidence, he took a glance past her, at the stone-cold dead serious chick now talking with Danny, three empty beer bottles in front of her. “She with you, right? Somep’n happen?” he asked, indicating her with a half-nod.

His reaction was amusing, but Ada decided not to give him any stick for it not recognizing her. They hadn’t spoken much anyway and besides, she wouldn’t be offended. “Uh…” She began and looked over at Val who was now in conversation with the bartender. “She is… Was.” Ada was unsure and shrugged, but still smiled. “I’m not sure, really. She’s been miserable since the moment we got here.” She took another sip of her drink. “But she agreed to go out, so I don’t know what the deal is.” Ada returned her attention to Lionel. “She’ll come ‘round.”

I hope.

Ada had truly no idea if Val was going to ever stop being mad at her. She had never experienced Val being mad at her ever before. It was frightening, somehow. Not in the same way it was scary when Izzie got mad. No, this was different. It freaked her out. “So how are things going for you guys in the studio?” Conversation would be her best distraction from the graphic images of what Val might do to her once they left the bar. That is, she assumed she would wait that long.

“It’s alright,” Lionel said, taking a sip of his Libre. “We’re gonna start drum tracking tomorrow. Past few days have been mostly writing a new song to fill it out and recording demos.” He left out that their original plan had been to lay down drum tracks earlier that same day, before Ted started “experimenting” with an alternate bridge riff for “Under the Lash”, which was quickly turning into “Under the Uneven Time Signatures”. By the time Lionel and Zack had wrestled him back from that tangent, it was three in the afternoon. Rather than set up for only an hour of tracking, they called it early with intent to start recording tomorrow. Of course, that was granting that Ted didn’t get sidetracked something for “Defiler of the Mind,” but then again, he seemed to hold that song sacrosanct except for his own solo, ever-changing like his others.

Her eyes widened with excitement. Ada loved the grinding you did in the studio. Sure, you practiced until you had yours songs down before you went in, but there was something about recording them. She settled for nothing less than perfect, so it was a lot of work, but Ada found that she learned so much every time she went into a studio.
“Exciting!” She said, genuinely. “Here’s hoping it goes well.” Ada raised her glass, not really bothered that they had both been sipping drinks while chatting. “So are yo-” the brunette trailed off as she felt a tap on her shoulder. “Hmm?” She let out as she set her drink down and turned on her stool.

"Buy you a drink?"

Lionel blinked. Wasn't this the mopey chick Ada had brought with her? Why was she so chipper? Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Danny gesturing. Open-palm thumbs-up, tilt the hand back, then three, then throat-cut. Lionel immediately decided he hated charades. Danny made the gestures again, slower this time. Thumbs up, tilt back...drink? Three drinks? Cut-off?


Ohhhh. Great.

"Uh..." Lionel hoped he could help the situation with some half-feigned casual talk. "What's the drink?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Isabel Martinez Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque
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#, as written by iCakez
Sighing with annoyance, she turned on her stool. Ada had no patience for that drunk prick anymore. It was starting to get on her nerves, that he couldn't leave her alone and let her have a good time. Ada had gone out in the hopes of getting buzzed (potentially blitzed) and have fun with her bandmate. One of those seemed unlikely to happen so far. But when she turned and saw Val, her expression turned more curious than anything. There was a smile on her face. Val didn't look like she was on the warpath, no, instead she brought a peace offering. The way she handled the situation amused Ada, but it was also quite endearing. Val was really no good with people.

"Val," The name came out softly. Ada didn't know what to say for once in her life. On her lips was a rare smile. It wasn't flirting and it wasn't because she wanted something. It was just genuine. The way Valentina was fidgeting and messing with her skirt made her heart flutter. Ada was surprised that she had such a reaction to the woman before her, and decided to shake it off. For the past many years she'd been a fast-paced, hard-partying drummer girl with little time for genuine emotion and she was quite content with keeping it that way. There was no idea in pointing out to Val how adorable she was, as she was certain she would never forget that. And they would have to get back into the studio, and Val would still speak in her monotone and be back to her normal self. In her mind, she imagined that the fact that she was witness to the scene unfolding, was like knowing a deep and dark secret about a high-ranking politician. Ada would pay Valentina the respect of keeping it secret. As secret as possible anyway, with Lionel sitting right next to her.

Grabbing the hand that was toying with her skirt, Ada gently pulled Valentina closer. She then accepted the glass of whiskey and locked eyes with her bandmate, as if accepting the dare that was hidden in the undertones of her offer. Ada took a sip. The liquid was sweet on her tongue but burned delightfully in her throat. She liked whiskey and rum, but always faced the issue that she was skinny and would get very drunk, very fast. She held the glass up eye-level and inspected the liquid for a moment before shifting her gaze to Valentina yet again. "Apology accepted." Ada said, though no apology had been offered. Not directly, at least. The glass in her hand would be as close as she'd get and that would have to do.

"Now!" She announced and turned to introduce Lionel. "Valentina this is Lionel, Lionel, Valentina." She set the glass down on the bar. "He's in the other band at the studio." As she spoke, her mind raced to remember the name but unfortunately that was one of her flaws. Ada seized the moment while the two of them greeting each other, to look over at where Val had been sitting to see if she had been drinking any more. Three beers. She looked at her again, trying to gauge if she was drunk.
"So can I buy you another drink? Or are you good?" Ada offered her a smile, pointing past Val toward where she had been sitting. Somewhat mirroring the tone in Valentina's words from before, there was that tone as if she was daring her to have another drink.

If she hurls, what's Izzie gonna think?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valentina Diaz Character Portrait: Ted Marubini Character Portrait: Lionel Anderson Character Portrait: Ada Rae Leveque Character Portrait: Christina Kjaer
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"Nice to meetcha," Lionel said, pondering whether any of this was a good idea. Surely she had a good reason to be getting this drunk—a bad breakup came again to mind. Though perhaps there was something more going on there. They obviously had a connection; their interactions were proof enough of that. Was she in Psychosis, too? He couldn't remember anyone else in that band except the titaness frontwoman. As they resolved to more drinks, the uncomfortable feeling settled that he was interrupting something important.

Fortunately, the game was starting, so Lionel turned his attention back to that. Sometime in the fifth inning, after the ladies had at least two more rounds, Valentina announced she was going to the john. Lionel broke off from the game to watch Ada escort her more-inebriated friend off to the proper facilities, wondering how their conversation might have gone without Valentina's interruption.

Neither of them came back out. The Orioles lost. A bitter cloud hung over Lionel as he took the bus home. Back home, he stayed up a while with a tall glass of water and SyFy. It had really gone downhill since the name-change. Since when was a dragon sci-fi? Or was the "fy" for Fantasy? Who knew?

Even heavily compressed, the opening riff to "Heartwork" was inimitable, which was partly why he had chosen it for his ringtone. The number was unfamiliar. He hit the end button and cast the phone aside. Aw shit, the dragon was poking its head in the bar now. It could set the whole place alight, with all that—there was "Heartwork" again. Grumbling, he picked it up again, ready to turn it off for the night.

It was Ted.

The dragon went on mute. "Yeah?"


He frowned. "Steph?" They'd met once, enough that he recognized her soft contralto even when it was marred with distress.

"Yeah. Ted told me to call you. He's in the hospital."

Lionel sat up straight. "The fuck?"

"He hurt his hand real bad. They're working on it now, but I dunno if he's going to be able to make it to the studio tomorrow."

"Well...shit." Lionel sighed, deflating a little inside. "What happened?"

"Tripped, fell, beer glass broke in his hand."

Lionel sucked in a hissing breath. "Fuck that shit. Fuck that. God damn."

"Yeah. He also wanted me to tell you that Izzie should have the place open when you get there, and just explain to her. I might be able to stop by and get you Ted's key tomorrow. Alright?"

"I-uh...erm-Imean, sure?" Lionel didn't really know what else there was to say.

"Kay. I gotta see how he's doing."

Lionel grunted, and the call ended there. There wasn't much else to do but turn off the movie, piss, and go to bed. Which he did, in that order.


Zack was giving Lionel a ride into the studio, so Ted felt no compunctions about coming in as early as he wanted. He hadn't slept more than a couple hours with the pain in his hand. He still brought the new guitar (which still needed a name), even though he knew he couldn't play it. The doctor had demurred on when he'd be able to play again.

He left his guitar in the rehearsal studio and went to the kitchen, hoping against hope there would be some damn good coffee. Even that black sludge would be fine if he could get enough milk in it. Rather quickly, though, the difficulties of basic fine-motor tasks like getting a coffee cup left-handed became apparent. This was going to be a long day.

It was the black sludge today. Making some mental calculations based on the smell of it, he poured it to fill the cup by only a third, then would fill it the rest of the way with creamer. This plan worked remarkably well until it came time to pour the creamer. The annoying single-serve cream-cups were bad enough until one had only one hand either to hold the cup or peel the plastic cover. Unable to move his thumb for the wrapping and splint on his wrist, Ted tried balancing it between forefinger and expressive finger, but misjudged the force needed to peel it open and ended up spilling most of it on the counter.

"Dammit," Ted growled, noting that, of course, Christina chose that moment to walk in.