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And sometimes 
you learn to like it.

                          Thomas Gabriel Westfall had always hated just about everyone. He found them stupid – and told them that to their face. He’d wound up with bruises in the dozens and broken bones and found that, quite frankly, his opinion hadn’t changed of them. He didn’t get along with people and people didn’t seem inclined to get along with him. Most of his life was that way. He met one man along the way who he got along with well enough. It was no real relationship – he was the adopted child and the mother was not on the list of tolerables so the husband did his best to make up for it by feeding him Batman comics. He’d always loved Batman, even though he knew he was no hero. He liked to think of himself more as the Batman that went wrong. But we’re getting off topic. More affectionately known as Tom, he was very unlikely to befriend anyone at all.

                          This was what made Lucien Sibrel Serbanescu that much more rare.

                          He’d known from the moment that he first saw Lucien that he was going to be one of the few. At first, he didn’t quite know how to handle it. Talking to people wasn’t his strong suit - unless he was looking for a fight. But there Lucien was – young, strange, and beautiful. Tom had always found him beautiful. His eyes, his hair, the way he held himself – Tom loved it. And he knew he couldn’t have it – at least not yet. Lucien was seeing someone – a blonde guy in the Police force – and all Tom could do was sit back and wait. Wait and hope that this Elessa person wasn’t a serious lifelong candidate.

                          And, knowing that pretty head of hair so well, he was absolutely sure he’d seen Lucien entering the Aphorism headquarters. Which was odd. No one stopped him or questioned it, which led Tom to question why exactly that was. There was only really one answer – Lucien had jumped on the Aphorism bandwagon. The building wasn’t huge but it was every ounce the notorious hideout, tucked away in the middle of the city. Tom had always known where it was but he didn’t really care about getting into it. There was nothing worth breaking in to get in his mind. And sure, Red Moon was supposed to be the big bad rival gang, but he’d never really been much of one for team spirit.

                          It only really took him about ten minutes to find the blind spots in Aphorism’s security cameras and another… eh, maybe three? To figure out how to maneuver over to the building to drop down onto the decks where – bless them – there was no surveillance. Funny, he’d never thought he’d actually want to break into Aphorism. Well, there was a first time for everything.

                          Getting over to the roof of the building proved the be the hardest part. The buildings had a larger than usual gap between them to help with parking space – ‘Tch, cars…’ – but a set of telephone poles provided him with a little extra leeway and he was able to shimmy up without being sensed by a camera. (This did require a bit of timing because the street was being watched and the top of the pole did come into view on the side when it was turned at the right angle.) Once he’d gotten up onto the lowest balcony, it was easy to climb the rest of the way. He could reach some of the time and when he couldn’t, he had his grappling gun to get himself up. Figuring out which balcony belonged to Lucien was the tricky part. So he simply climbed to the highest balcony and leaned against the wall, right below the camera. Sadly, they hadn’t installed sound recording cameras. Pity for them – it might have been quite a surprise for them to look outside and see a six foot three man simply leaning against the wall with metal railing beneath his feet.

                          He had Lucien’s number dialed in faster than was probably reasonable. Tom had always been insistent on knowing important phone numbers by the number and not by where the contact was in his phone. (The list ranked Lucien as number one, the library as the second, and his favorite pizza place as the third in case he wanted a delivery.) He waited until he heard the red head’s voice on the other end and grinned. ”Well hello gorgeous.” Tom said, charming as ever. ”I don’t mean to pry but I gotta ask – what floor are you on right now?” Usually, knowing Tom, this was code for “So I’m right outside, right?” and typically meant he wasn't waiting on the curb. It was his way of throwing pebbles at windows to get someone's attention - his method was just a little more extreme than pebbles. Usually, Lucien picked up on the unspoken teasing code and figured it out pretty quickly. ”And yes, before you ask – I know you’re not in RMHQ. ...Are you in the one with the security feed on your balcony?” He sounded incredulous, as if remarking on Aphorism's parenting methods. He tutted his tongue. "Do I need to rescue a prince from his tower?" He said, humor lacing his voice. His black hair whipped around in the wind as he waited.

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α ρ н σ я ι ѕ м 1 4 6 : : н ι т м α и

      Warrick finished changing by tugging on his old army beret, the only thing he still retained from his initial days in the army. He felt very at home in it, like it encapsulated a lot of what he was about. Whether it did or not wasn’t something he actually dwelled over, the truth of the statement rendered very little importance to him.

      Rawrf” barked Clover, out in the living room.
      Hush up, girl,” grunted Warrick in return. Before living the flat he threw her a basic chew bone to see her through the day, alongside the full bowl of food and currently cold water.

      Warrick headed over to Aphorism HQ in good time. He walked at a steady pace, passing by a diner he noticed Keenan, the gang’s doctor, sitting in with some young lady or another. What the young doc’ got up to be no both to him really. He was currently more concerned with getting to his personal weapons locker at HQ. Lucien, some newer addition to Aphorism, was in charge of the main lot of weapons that they had privy to, but within one of the rooms he had been given a personal locker to temporarily store some of his personal weapons in, the ones he had his own licences for.

      They didn’t amount to much. There was a shotgun that stayed there permanently {the remnants of when he’d seen whether hunting was really such a good sport} and two pistols that stayed there on rotation. They were his personal security; should anyone try and jump him out in the streets he was much more at ease with some kind of gun than he was with any kind of knife, or even his fists. Sure he kept himself fit and strong, but that was no good against the lot who actually knew how to brawl. Currently both weapons were in the locker over at HQ on account of an over-sight of his. He’d been rushing the previous night to get back to Clover and just relax and had neglected to properly check which was where. Thankfully he arrived at the HQ with no one jumping out at his throat.

      Christmas was a time of increased crime apparently. Warrick just shrugged it off.
      No one had ever tried to steal from him so it was all fine to him. The justice system in this country was warped at the best of times. Most of them deserved it. You leave a window open; you don’t deserve to keep the jewellery you left on the table. If you cared you’d lock it up and you’d sleep with a knife under your pillow. Some people were just molly-coddled. They needed a slap to wake ‘em up.

      Warrick didn’t know that much about the HQ building. He’d never seen any floor plans and unless he was called up to see the boss-man he rarely went anywhere except the armoury and associated rooms. He grunted in tired annoyance when he didn’t pass Lucien on the way to his locker. He needed the kid to sign out some weapons for him to practice with. Training on the range was important else you got sloppy. Either that or you could probably train with blanks in certain rifles to get quick at reloading, though blanks were entirely different to handle in his opinion.

ℓ σ ¢ α т ι σ и : : Aphorism146 Armoury
ѺωӘȠ ℒ. ϨӧɱЗгș

XXXWith: Me, Myself & I
XXXFeeling: Meh~
XXXThoughts: Stupid door hurt my foot

Upon making his way back to the outside, a harsh wind whipped at him, stealing away the warmth he gathered in the diner. An angry fist shook towards the skies as Owen yelled a little, "Damn you Gods of Wind! Can you not see I'm freezing my d**k out here!?" The Gods of Wind though, did not particularly care about this mortal beings health, and blew again, even stronger. Cutting his way through the street, not bothering to use the side walk he made his way down Maple.

The echo of foot steps caught his ears, and blue eyes peeked over his shoulder. Oh s**t! That officer guy who bought him food was now stalking him! Maybe he wanted to arrest him? Or maybe he was serious about playing cops and robbers. The dumb dumb stepped on a poor kitties tale, yelping loudly, making Owen jump five feet before turning front and booking it. "You'll never catch me Copper!" Those were his final departing words as black boots hit the pavement.

After a good five minutes of running, he landed back in front of his door. A small apartment. Funny thing was; the apartment complex Owen lived in, was about, three blocks away from where Alcott was staying. They were sure to run into each other again.
"Hi-ya!" Left foot rose, knee against his chest, and went full throttle in the rectangle piece of wood. BAM! "YOUCH!!!!' What Owen forgot was, he bought a whole new lock and knob a few days ago, not needing to bust down his door anymore just to open it.

Now the idiot hopped around on his right foot, holding his left, "Raggle fraggle sniggle big shitz crapoodles monkey-punchess evil whaletooth OW MY FOOT!" Stepping on it carefully, he ripped out a pair of keys from his pocket, jamming into the hole, and letting himself inside. "Merry ******** Christmas to meee..." Mumbling, he shut the door.

A dark and mostly empty apartment welcomed him. Fingers fumbled around for the light switch, finally flipping it up, an overhead fan whirred to life. Light spilled through out the room, exposing a tidy and neat living room. A simple two seater couch was pushed up against one of the walls. Across from it was a maple wooden coffee table, with some cooking magazines spread out. Across from that, a decent sized television. Unlike other homes, he had no pictures of family lining his walls, or holiday cheer. A small wooden cabinet with glass doors sat underneath the television; more cooking videos and do it yourself books.

Slipping off the jacket he relished in the small heater that sat in the middle of the hall, blowing hot hair into the main room. Stepping into his squeaky clean kitchen he leaned against the counter, staring at one of the clocks hanging above. Pursing his lips he tapped his fingers, oddly thinking. "Should I call the guys? Maybe drop by from above?" Everyone else, just like him, was a big ol' grouch on this day. Owen however seemed to be a bit more cheery, or at least with his jokes he came across as that. It seemed that Red Moon was filled with guys who hated the holidays. Which suited everyone nicely. No one exchanged presents or stupid forced 'Merry Christmas' greetings.

Throwing his head back he groaned, slightly limping on his foot as he made his way towards his couch, plopped down and took out his phone. Fiddling with it for a good five minutes.

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I got the balls in the sackXXXX
& the crackers in
my crackXXXXXX
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                                          Keenan watched his daughter over the rim of his glass, taking a rather large drink of his mango juice. It was both tangy and sweet, which made his lips smack, but it really didn't mix well with the flavour of eggs. Pulling his lips to the side, he kept the glass in his hand, swirling the orange-yellow liquid around at eye level before putting it down. Emma was watching him with quiet curiousity - she seemed to be in a slightly better mood now that she'd gotten food in her stomach. And she damn well knew he wouldn't tolerate her attitude for much longer. Father rage was the worst kind of rage out there, and being passive-aggressive like Keenan was, it could be dangerous. He would never harm her, no, just verbally berate her with his dictionary of words. A familiar face passed him by, only giving him a glance, which he jutted his jaw to in acknowledgement. There were two doctors in Aphorism, and they're both, ironically, psychologists. Upon hearing that it would make you believe that they would be close, but they've only had a few small conversations before that. It was something that he'd always pushed to the back of his brain, and right now that kind of bothered him. If they did talk more, what if they weren't like minded? Everyone was different, even if they studied the same thing as you. It would be bad to conflict with someone else in the gang; it would make things more difficult. It was best to just stay acquaintances.

                                          Eating at a quickened pace, he finished the last of his hash browns (which had turned cold, but were good nonetheless), and chugged back the rest of his mango juice. Emma had been waiting at least 15 minutes for him to finish, and he felt maybe a little bit guilty for taking so long. "Are you done?" she asked. Her answer was a silent one, as he put his coat back on, standing up. She did the same and followed closely behind him as he went up to the counter to pay. As he was fishing money out of his wallet, she poked her head around him and had a devillish look on her face. "He was staring at your a** every time you walked by," she lied, watching the waitress' expression turn from flattery to embarrassment to anger. Keenan received a whack on the head with her note pad, which surprisingly hurt a lot. "That's not true! I was not," he whined, praying for the woman to believe him, but it was obvious she didn't. Another whack on the head, and he begrudgingly payed the woman what he owed, shooting a glare at his daughter who looked a bit too smug. Shoving her shoulder, he couldn't stay angry at her. It was a bit funny. Normally, he would get angry if someone else had said that, but he wasn't trying to get with the waitress (or any female for that matter), so it wasn't a big deal. Just embarrassing. Pushing Emma away from the counter, he sighed loudly when they got outside, leaving the stuffy environment into the open air, his breath fogging from the cold.

                                          They piled into the car and let it warm up, again, before heading home. As they pulled into the driveway, Keenan glanced at the clock and frowned. Emma unbuckled her seat belt and made to get out of the car, stopping half way when she didn't see her father getting out. "Dad? What's wrong?" she asked, raising both eyebrows. Turning his head to look at her, he gave an apologetic smile. "Think you can handle yourself for a few hours? I have errands to run. I'll be back by supper time, I promise," he explained, not really wanting to go through with these said errands but knowing he had to. It wasn't an option. "Obviously," she scoffed in fake offense, practically jumping at the chance to be alone in a house with the surround sound speakers Keenan had bought himself for movies and video games. Keenan gave her a suspicious but relieved look and nodded, handing her the house keys off of his keychain. She snatched it up and shut the door without another word, running up the stairs and letting herself in. Pulling out of the parking lot, he watched in his rearview mirror as the house became smaller and smaller. Once he was off his street and onto the main roads, his attention was back on where he was going. Aphorism 146's headquarters.

                                          Having a dingy car had its upsides - he blended in with everyone much more easily than if he had a Porsche. He slid into a parking spot just around the corner from the headquarters, walking down the sidewalk, his skin prickling from mild paranoia. He didn't know if people watched him, or followed him, but he held his breath until he slipped into the side door of the headquarters. It seemed fairly empty - no one was in the main rooms, so he wandered about, looking in the others. Still no one. The armory then? 'Ah, there's Warrick,' he thought to himself, the only help to remembering his name being that the man was in the army. Which brought to mind war. Which brought to mind Warrick. See what he did there? He'd always felt intimidated by the bearded man - he seemed to always be in a bad mood, like he constantly had a stick up his a**. He knew that Warrick was a tough nut to crack, so he didn't really bother. Keenan circled around the hallways once before finally getting the guts to enter the Armory, shoving his hands into his pockets out of nervous habit. "Uuh...", he started awkwardly, "hey, you haven't seen Vivi around, have you? I need to check in with him."

                                          _______________________________________________________________[ location: Aphorism HQ | talking to: Warrick | feeling: a bit nervous ]
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                                                  "What's the best thing about a blow job?"

                                                  It seemed like Mr. Wells didn't like what he heard. His voice seemed to crack slightly, expressing his total distraught over his supposed lost brother. Things started to go downhill from there. The negative opinions of this man bothered Lorenzo quite a bit. If this Havoc was in some sort of trouble, then how does Nikolai know? Was it brotherly senses? Or was he not letting on any information that can incriminate his person. When there was more questions he wanted to ask, Nikolai had already flipped his wallet open and discarded cash on the table. And, just like that, he bolted right out of the diner.


                                                  As a cop, if there's someone acting quite suspicious, you're supposed to do all that you can to nab the guy. In this case, Lorenzo was worried more about the man himself right now. Grabbing his parcels and shoving them into his pocket, he rushed out passed the waitress. He shouted an apology before leaving the restaurant. One of the waitresses that was working the table stumbled on over with the check, noticing the wad of cash on the table. She thumbed through the bills, counting up the total. Wow... it was her Christmas present; she walked away with about a thirty dollar tip. The cold bit at Lorenzo's skin as he made it outside. The hordes of people made it hard to find Nikolai anywhere. But, when a blonde man rushed down one of the alleyways, Lorenzo took a wild guess that it was the man he's chasing. Pushing through the throngs of the crowd, it took more than he anticipated to make it to the alley. Crossing his fingers, he hoped that he hadn't lost Mr. Wells. With luck, he was hunched over, leaning his head against the bricks. Bingo. Sprinting over, he reached Nikolai. When he stopped, he leaned over, panting quite hard. It's been a while since he had used so much energy with little he had stored up. Lorenzo reached out and placed a hand on Nikolai's shoulder, giving a slightly pressure to try and reassure him.

                                                  "Look... Sorry if I wasn't being considerate for your brother," his tone changed, trying to get away from his authoritative level as possible,
                                                  "With the lack of information at this time, there's not much the WCPD can do right now. I mean, I understand how you're feeling. If was my brothers or sister that upped and disappeared in a blink of an eye, I'd have a manhunt throughout this damn city to find them. And, don't me started if my nieces or nephews up and ran off, too."

                                                  An easy chuckle escaped from Lorenzo. Right now, he felt hot from running around in the cold winter. A tingling sensation of warmth tingled on the surface of his skin. His hot breath was turning into swirls of fog that played around their heads. This cold... this cold winter was a b***h. Removing a hand from Nikolai, he spoke once more.

                                                  "The least I can do is check for Havoc Wells in the system. There's a chance that he's been using some sort of credit card or had a run in with one of us."

"Ten minutes of silence!"

OoC ... I'm started to hate Middle Eastern history. Not for the people... but trying to remember these long, awkward names. =__=; And I'm already bad at remembering names like Susan or John.
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Nikolai was busy trying to convince himself not to vomit all over his shoes. Getting worked up like this wasn't going to bring back anything except perhaps the remains of his salad and sandwich. The male's stomach groaned at him in an irritated manner. His knuckles went white as he pressed his fingers against the wall. The tall blonde didn't seem to notice as the cop from earlier approached him. How he didn't hear the heavy panting from the man I am not entirely sure. It is possible he was not fully focused on the world around him. It wasn't until he felt the touch of a cold hand upon his wool jacket that he realized he had been followed. Surprised that the detective had followed him, he nearly jumped out of his skin. His whole body gave a jolt. At first he had actually assumed that some sort of punk was trying to take advantage of him or rob him.

Nikolai relaxed his stiffened form easing back to a relatively normal position. His lips formed a thin pale line while the other spoke. The other male seemed to be taking on a more sympathetic stance on his missing brother issue. What did he know of what was going on in his head. What was the point in trying to make him feel better. Perhaps it could only be expected from the sort of cop that stopped dining and dashing. Maybe this stranger had a sense for justice in the world.

"I don't blame you for um not being able to help you fine folks have a lot on your plat----" He was taken off guard by the male again as he said he would check for Havoc in the system. If that were the case this detective man would need some sort of way of calling him. Pulling out his wallet he grabbed a hold of one of his Business cards.

]"You would do that?" He turned to face Lorenzo some of the color coming back to his cheeks. Perhaps he would get lucky and not upchuck everywhere. He pressed the small of his back against the wall and kept his body up. The hand holding the business card lifted holding it out to the stranger. "I would appreciate it a lot. More than you know. Do you need any other information from me." He could feel his legs slipping out from under him as he spoke. His felt stomach spasm, his legs splaying out underneath him.
"S sorry I just worked myself up too much. I don't much like thinking about this sort of thing."
He attempted to explain himself from his position on the ground.

'good job Nikolai way to make yourself look like a blubbering mess around authority.' He thought cynically to himself. He probably looked like an absolute loon to the other male. If anyone in his gang saw him right now he would never be able to live this down.

my hands won't come clean no matter how I wash them
Location: Cafe
Mood: Tired
With: Lorenzo
[D]on’t [T]ake [M]e [A]way......

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"Come back here you little s**t!"

Ha! Man, people were ******** stupid-did they honestly think crooks would listen to commands?
He turned his head to steal a glance over his shoulder-the two men were still chasing him, and it only fueled him on, his heart catching in his throat. Though he was agile, he didn't have much stamina-and the two d**k holes were body builders-he knew that from observing. He wasn't going to last long, and so far, he hadn't been able to shake them off....
Oh, how lady luck loved him

He sped on, orienting to his goal-a small alley way, barely two feet across. Dear lord he was glad for his picky eating habits. He practically dove into the narrow space, scraping his cheek and chin against one of the walls and bruising his hip, but he kept on going, wriggling as they caught up. He only paused to see if htey could fit-ha!

"That's what happens when your arms are the size of ******** horses! Catch you later, a** wipes!"

He crooned and wriggled on through to the other side, only to duck the opposite way and back when he noticed them planning on running around. He waited before he wriggled through the narrow space to where he had left them, checking a bit before he ducked out and ran as fast as he could, imagining dogs on his heels. He took a running leap to a dumpster top, grabbing the railing with a small jump he began to hastily climb. Man, he loved Parkour-it helped with so many robberies. Maybe that's why they kept him on such small jobs-they knew he could get away from the cops, right?

Then again those two weren't cops, merely pawn shop owners that happened to be there....Who spends their Christmas mornings at a pawn shop? Pfft, losers.

He checked the cash in his pockets once he was sitting on the roof, safe from the searching dickwads.... Hmnn, eight hundred and forty, not bad-and for his own pockets, not the gangs. Not like they knew, and heck, he needed it more. Vexia glanced around the roof, recognizing instantly his large, green package he had hidden up here earlier.

He took it under his arm and stood up, pocketing the cash as he hopped to the next rooftop (he was glad for close alleys, it was only a foot's difference). Vexia crouched suddenly- he could see the big louts, heading back to the pawnshop, one of them with a cell in his ears. Ah, for the cops? Too bad he had temp-dye in his hair-he wasn't black haired, heh, and green contacts? To be safe, he even styled his hair differently, all slicked back with gel, and a fake scar on his forehead, a clip on plastic earring, etc etc...

Now he crept down a different ladder, and slipping through alleyways and such, and when the hospital came into sight he paused to slip into a diner, glancing around before he slipped into the bathroom.

Vexia washed his hair in the sink, black melting away into light brown, and he pulled out the contacts, slipping them into a case(you never know when you need em). He then took off his coat, revealing another, and used this one to dry his hair as much as he could, tousling it before throwing away the coat. When he emerged he was a new boy, and he glanced around before he headed out of the diner, though he did take a pause, staring at someone. An officer-he knew him.

Vexia quickly turned his head away and headed out into the harsh wind, wishing for a thicker jacket than the one he had under the decoy. HE couldn't let Lorenzo see him-sure, it was a low chance for him to be recognized, but better safe than sorry. Now, if he was in his cross dress attire....

Aaaaanyways, now he was out, the cold whipping at his head-he knew he'd catch a cold, but there was something more important to attend to....Or rather, someone.
"Hey, Vexia, how's it going?"
He looked up to the receptionist, and cracked a large grin towards her, making his way and pulling out the money, waving it a bit.

"Got my check cashed in~ Can I just let you handle it while I go see her?"
She laughed softly, my, he was always so eager, and she nodded, taking the money and already filing paperwork-she knew it by heart now, with how much he came over.
"Heh, you don't need to ask anymore hun, just go right on up~"

Vexia stalked past her, already heading to the elevators. He held the box carefully, smiling to himself when he reached the eighth floor, and as soon as the doors opened he headed out, saying hi to nurses and he recognized, but as soon as the door was in sights....

A gentle knock, a soft voice, and he was inside now, smiling lovingly.

"Hey Issie~! Merry Christmas~"

He heard a surprised squeal, and he headed over to the bed, a little girl struggling to sit up, but as soon as she did her arms were out for him eagerly. He scooped her up, lavishing her with kisses all over her face and hugging her tightly, sitting down now and snuggling her up.
"And hows my baby sis~? The docs told me thy found you a donor, and you know your big bro's gonna pay for it all real soon!"

The litlte girl giggled under all the kisses, shifting so that he didn't pull her iv out in the hug, and she felt for his face, then leaned up to kiss his cheek gently.

"Oh, I'm so glad you could come today! And ah-Vexi....your hair's wet, was it raining outside?"

"Nah, I took a shower, so that I can be squeaky clean just for you~ And guess whaaaat? Santa brought me a gift, just for you~!"

He coddled over the eight year old, and hearing her giggle and coo she felt for his face, touching his lips with a tiny hand.

"He did?! Oh, I can't wait to see-was Santa as big as they say? Was he jolly-was Rudolph there-and the others?!"

She was excited, bouncing in his lap, and he ended up laughing as he handed her the box, placing her hands over the top for her to feel.

"Haha, so many questions! I gave him milk and cookies-and even gave some to Rudolph! And he ate them all up! Next year you'll be able to see them~"

She smiled brightly up at him, more like in his general direction, and he helped her open the package. She felt inside, frowning as her little hands felt fuzz, and she pulled out a stuffed rabbit. After fingering it for a minute, guessing aloud and him giggling, she finally got the answer and she hugged it tightly, then leaned up to kiss his cheek.

"Ah, it's so soft and waaarm~! Oh, I should tell Santa thank you next year, when I see him~!"

They sat there for the hourly visit, talking and snuggling and such, but soon as visiting hours were over he left her, reluctantly, and stood outside with the doctor, speaking to him softly.

"...What do you mean the donor backed out?! They're dead-"

"The family claimed the body for religious rights, the donor had signed with a different signature and....I'm sorry, Vexia, but we can't get her an eye donor this month....as for the heart donor, she's still on the list....And you need more money-"

"I can get money-it's not a problem, just-can't you bump her to the top? Sheryl told me it's an old guy before her-well,why give him a heart if he's just gonna kick the bucket? She's eight-she....she needs it more doc, I know it's selfish, but she's been in that bed for God knows how long-four years?.....Sorry, I just....."

He sighed heavily, running his hands through his damp hair, miserable as the doctor put a hand on his shoulder, comforting without saying much-the boy had enough on his mind, he supposed.

"....I'll see what I can do, alright?"

"Thanks....I just don't want her in here for the rest of her life...."

He left the hospital now with a small sigh-a little girl shouldn't be in a hospital bed most of her life.

Outside he lingered by the door, pacing a bit. He needed more work then, more heists.... but all this small s**t was going to get him nothing! Ugh, if he could only prove to the Apho's higher ups that he was worth s**t....

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[ I] [C]an [E]scape [ B]y [M]yself.....
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α ρ н σ я ι ѕ м 1 4 6 : : н ι т м α и

      There was an eerie kind of quietness to the HQ at present. Normally it was bustling with a lot more people than this. Warrick retrieved his pistol from his locker and set it on a flat surface next to the chair he elected to sit in whilst he waited for more faces to show. He dissembled the second one whilst he did so in order to have something to do. Warrick, in a place like this, could be relatively uncomfortable with just sitting and waiting for something to happen. It didn’t feel safe.

      He heard footsteps echo quietly in the corridors outside but kept his head down, eyes on the pistol in his hands. His loosened his grip a little, ready to spring for the loaded pistol to his left in case it was trouble. Sure he was in the HQ but he’d been in safer places and still gotten shot at. There had been one time, back when he was still deployed out with Clarke, they and the other lads had been joking happily enough. They’d heard someone approaching from outside; Clarke called out, asking who they were. He said just to be sure and someone else chipped in that you never know who wanted to be in with the party. They’d just gotten back from a patrol, the danger was supposed to be out there and it was a restricted out-post, guards on the perimeter and all that. Who can blame them for feeling secure? A minute later and they’d lost two men. Some inside spy, a guy they all liked. That wasn’t even enough for that squad to buck up their ideas, even Warrick took years before he began to doubt the word ‘safe’.

      His mind relaxed when he saw Keenan walk past, on the look-out for someone, something, whatever it was that doctors looked out for. Warrick had been patched up a few times by Keenan; he wasn’t all that bad with stitches. He’d had better, but so long as it healed up he didn’t care about much else.

      Uuh…" Warrick looked up to the doorway, snapping together his gun.

      "Hey, you haven't seen Vivi around, have you? I need to check in with him.” Vivi, Venna Vicente, boss-man, whatever you called him that was their esteemed leader of Aphorism146. Warrick never called him 'boos-man' to his face, just referred to him like that in thought. Smart man, Warrick liked how he ran shop.

      I ain’t seen him.” Answered Warrick. Somehow, even after all these years in America you could still tell Warrick was a Brit, English specifically. Possibly it came from some of the times they’d been deployed alongside some of the English troops. America and the UK did like to hold hands more and more in that vague sense. Unfortunately Warrick saw the English army with the same rotten eyes that he saw the American army in, else he would’ve hopped back over the sea {on a plane in the seat furthest away from the window}.

      You actually checked ‘is office?” Grunted Warrick as he rose from his seat to place one pistol back in his locker. The other he slipped into his coat pocket. It being as bulky a coat as it was, the material didn’t give away that he was armed.

ℓ σ ¢ α т ι σ и : : Aphorism146 Armoury
ω ι т н : : Keenan

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                Assured that nothing had been stirred in his room since his last visit, Lucien stopped in the sitting room, glancing around one last time. With the curtains drawn the accommodation was dim – many Aphorism members worked during the night hours, so heavy drapery was a necessity to ensure restful sleep – but Lucien didn’t feel the need switch on any lights. He had barely lifted his hands to the uppermost button of his wet shirt when his mobile phone vibrated in his pocket, causing those digits to pause.

                For a brief second, he didn’t move to retrieve his phone, considering whether or not he really wanted to answer it. He didn’t want to speak with anyone at the moment. He didn’t want to play games with his peers or superiors. He didn’t even want to talk to Elessa.

                Finally, though, he pulled it out of his pocket and dropped his eyes to survey the number.

                Lucien had difficulty remembering numbers – or any numeric combination, for that matter – so it always took him a couple beats to place it. Since he didn’t keep things written down or stored in his contacts, he had to craft mnemonic devices for everything. Luckily, he remembered words and images more quickly, and it only took a second of translation to pick up on the keyword in the phone number.

                It was Tom.

                Thomas Westfall had an unusual tenacity when it came to maintaining contact, so much that Lucien had pretty much accepted that Tom would eventually find him regardless of where he went in Whistle City. Most people wouldn’t bother. Lucien didn’t mind it, though; it was a bit of a comfortable thing in a strange way.

                There was something a little different about Lucien’s connection with Tom, and it centered around the fact that Tom had been the first person in the country to encounter Lucien; the redhead had never confided in Tom anything especially personal, but that alone meant Tom had no misinterpretations about what Lucien was or wasn’t. Lucien didn’t act in Tom’s presence because there wasn’t any need for the mindful diplomacy. Other than Elessa, there were very few he could say that about.

                Today, however, he wasn’t feeling particularly sociable, and that disinclination stretched to include Tom just as much as Elessa.

                …Perhaps not as quite as much as the commissioner. Elessa he could disappoint. Elessa he could sting.

                What were the chances Tom would be mortally wounded if Lucien didn’t let him in? The redhead lifted the device to his ear.

                “I hope you get shot,” he deadpanned tonelessly, but it was clearly a dry jest – had he wanted that, he wouldn’t have answered his phone.

                “...Are you in the one with the security feed on your balcony?”

                “I didn’t bother to check,” Lucien answered, and a faintly bemused note crept back into his voice. “Why don’t you come inside and find out?”

                The redhead shifted his phone to press between his ear and shoulder, beginning to unbutton his shirt again. He was getting warm and dry – Thomas be damned.

                “You’re an idiot, anyway,” Lucien murmured, the removal of his shirt requiring more mental attention than typical due to his braced left hand. “You might as well be straight with the sleuthing; they’re simply decoys to distract from the actual surveillance.”

                Now Lucien had no proof of that, nor did he have any supporting evidence, but he did know one thing that was good enough for him:

                It’s what he would do.

                Venna was no idiot and Aphorism wasn’t lacking in the funds to purchase high-end equipment. He had seen cameras with lenses smaller than a ladybug, and assumed the possibility of being recorded existed within any Aphorism room, even his own. He didn’t bother trying to be stealthy about the things he did here, as it would only make him appear more suspicious.

                “I’ll be both surprised and disappointed if Venna doesn’t inquire about your visit later, but hopefully you’re not on Aphorism’s blacklist; if I end up punished for this, I’ll make sure you gets yours as well.”

                It wasn’t a threat of any sort, merely an expression of displeasure at Tom’s carelessness and the repercussions it could possibly bring. The Moonie knew well enough how meticulously Lucien played his games, and he also knew if any impromptu stunts seriously hindered the redhead’s progress he’d be extremely unforgiving about it. Since it wasn’t a problem at the moment, though, Lucien didn’t treat it as though it were.

                “Top floor. I am not a gracious host today.”

                Lucien’s ‘go-away’s were unmistakable, and that wasn’t one of them. Merely a heads-up.

                “You know very well the answer to that,” The redhead replied when Tom teased him about being a prince in a tower. Clearly he didn’t see as much humor in the analogy as Tom did, though he usually teased just as much as the other. Lucien paused to release a breath, closing his eyes briefly.

                Even though the redhead was normally relaxed and playful, these sorts of shifts were not uncommon to him when he was displeased by how things were unfolding. In a breath, he could go from completely charming and physical to reproaching all contact and company, often for no clear reason at all.

                That was how he was.

                “You just want something bigger to climb,” Lucien continued, beginning to ease. “Like a cat. But if it’s a helpless prince you want, keep looking.

                Finished with the buttons of his shirt, the young Romanian headed towards the bathroom, kicking off his shoes in the process.

                “The balcony faces west,” Lucien informed, leaning down to switch on his bathwater. For whatever reason, he preferred baths to showers, and he was still so thoroughly chilled that nothing sounded more welcoming. Steam erupted from the tub when the water heated, gushing from the faucet in a violent torrent. “The guard that undoubtedly watches the other uppermost balcony will shoot to kill, and I wouldn’t test his precision if I were you.”

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Øfficer Ʀussel ₳lcott

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Alcott watched the boy yell and run, and by instinct he knew-the boy had to be hiding something, for him to suddenly run from him. That meant that other than being a whore-perhaps he was holding drugs? This made him frown a bit, and-the boy cut through the street! Making sure no cars were around with a quick glance, he immediately followed pursuit, his hands moving to reach for his radio-oh, wait, no radio. Or cuffs-or a gun. Well, the boy was a tiny little thing, perhaps he could pin him, then call the local cops?

Perhaps that would work-he needed to see what the boy was hiding, however. Yes, he did state he was an....escort and all, but without proof it wasn't enough to throw him in jail. So he followed him, breathing hard through the cold, only to skitter to a stop when he heard a few swears, then a door slamming. He rounded the corner, staring at....apartments? Wait....he lived here, as in the street.... Sure enough, it was Miss Marple drive, and he glanced around, frowning.

"Where did he....?.....OWEN?!"

He called out, hoping he wasn't disturbing anyone as the stood there, breathing hard for a moment from his run, looking around quickly.

"Owen, you are not in trouble!"

He wasn't lying, until he caught him in the act of being an.....escort, or finding anything illegal on his properties, he was innocent until proven guilty. He didn't want Owen to be afraid of him-he was a cop, someone people would look to for protection, not in fear.

❝Yeah it's holding me, morphing me
And forcing me to strive
To be endlessly cold within
And dreaming I'm alive❞
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And sometimes 
you learn to like it.

                          Lucien didn’t seem like he was in a gracious mood, but that didn’t stop him from cracking a smile at Lucien’s unhappy jest. ”I hope you get shot.” So cold! But Tom was used to it. Lucien wasn’t always in the mood to banter, even though just seeing Lucien made his day better. (It wasn’t usually a daily occurrence, especially now that Lucien had Elessa, and Lucien wasn’t always in town.) There wasn’t any heat behind his words so Tom just grinned. ”I’ll do my best. Are you in the one with the security feed on your balcony?” Lucien sounded a little bit more amused when he replied. Tom liked to think he’d rolled his eyes, but couldn’t be too sure - phones didn’t provide too many visual cues. “I didn’t bother to check. Why don’t you come inside and find out?” ”If it’s someone else’s place, I’m telling them I’m a hired stripper and it’s your birthday.” Tom said wryly without missing a beat.

                          ”You’re an idiot, anyway. You might as well be straight with the sleuthing; they’re simply decoys to distract from the actual surveillance.” Tom made an ‘ehhhh’ noise, as if it didn’t matter. He still didn’t like getting seen on surveillance much, which kind of went without saying when you were stories off the ground. ”How much trouble do you think you’d get into if I used a scrambler on the signals?” Tom asked, more rhetorically than anything, glancing at the turning camera above his head. Not getting picked off the side of the building by a sniper was one thing, being picked off inside Lucien’s place was another. Besides, he’d never really presented himself as a threat to Aphorism or as incredibly loyal to Red Moon – he was no threat to them. He could probably outfight most of the underlings – he didn’t know about some of the bigger members though. ”Never mind, they probably wouldn’t care. Well, much.” “I’ll be both surprised and disappointed if Venna doesn’t inquire about your visit later, but hopefully you’re not on Aphorism’s blacklist; if I end up punished for this, I’ll make sure you gets yours as well.” Tom shrugged, even though Lucien wasn’t there to see him do so. ”I’ve never done anything to piss them off. I was on their recruitment list once though – they’ll know who I am. I’m sure there’s at least one inside Aphorism with intelligence.” “Top floor. I am not a gracious host today.” It wasn’t a go away. If it had been, Lucien wouldn’t have even told him what floor.

                          ”You know very well the answer to that.” Tom chuckled deeply. ”Is that a yes?” He teased, amused. He knew Lucien didn’t need any sort of protection, but that didn’t mean that Tom wouldn’t rescue him if he so much as hinted at anything. “You just want something bigger to climb,” Lucien accused. “Like a cat. But if it’s a helpless prince you want, keep looking.” Tom smiled a little. Helpless wasn’t his type. Obviously. Tom heard clunks hitting the floor on the other side of the phone – shoes. ”The balcony faces west.” Tom heard bathwater and quirked his head. ”Are you naked?” He asked, curiously surprised. It wasn’t said in a sensual way. It was more a ******** tone of voice. He and Lucien had already established that he’d never try anything unless 1] he was of age (he didn’t know that Lucien was in fact of age now), 2] he was single, and 3] he would take it seriously. He wouldn’t stand for just being a fling. ”The guard that undoubtedly watches the other uppermost balcony will shoot to kill, and I wouldn’t test his precision if I were you.”

                          Tom took a little step forward, still balancing out of the range of the camera, and sighed. ”Alright. I’m on your balcony anyways. I’ll brew some coffee – you sound cold. You go take your bath. I’ll wait in the living room.” Tom said in a final sort of way and clicked the phone shut, slipping it back into his utility belt and zipping it firmly in. He’d lost too many phones by just putting it into his pocket.

                          Just in case the camera wasn’t legitimate – it looked like it was so he wasn’t taking any chances – he waited until the camera was turned to enter the red head’s place. It was hardly decorated and barely furnished, which either indicated that Lucien didn’t spend much time here or that he didn’t like it there. Or maybe both. Lucien knew that his place was always open to him if he needed a place to crash but he rarely visited anymore. Usually it was Tom doing the visiting – like this. Fortunately, he did have the supplies for a pot of coffee so Tom got one going like he’d said he would and perused the rest of the house, not disturbing the lights or anything. He only wanted to look around. The rest of the house was mostly the same. It was generally unused, although there were a few areas that looked somewhat lived in. The couch was one of them – well, loveseat technically, but to him they were all couches – so that was where he sat down. It was a thing with cats. If you sit in one of their usual places, they’ll be less nervous around you. Tom seemed to just do it naturally. And he had said he’d wait in the living room.

                          The only time Tom left the living room was at most ten minutes after putting the coffee on to turn it off. Didn’t want to burn the place down, did he? With a pair of mugs taken down, Tom found the bathroom and knocked politely on the door. ”Coffee’s done when you get out.” He said it loudly enough to be heard over splashing water but didn’t say it to encourage Lucien to hurry. He’d shown up out of the blue – Lucien was entitled to do whatever the hell he wanted to. Tom sat on the sofa and sipped at a hot cup of coffee in the dark, waiting.

                          Like a good pet cat.

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ѺωӘȠ ℒ. ϨӧɱЗгș

XXXWith: I thought I was by myself, guess not
XXXFeeling: Frazzled
XXXThoughts: Knock-Knock jokes

A voice calling out his name was heard from the other side of the door. Straining his neck he looked up and over where the voice came from. From the sound of it, it was Officer Square. Claiming he wasn't going to hurt him. "Bullshit!" Owen called out, pouting a bit. Play time was now over, seeing that the guy actually had the nerve to follow him home. Owen couldn't even trust this guy was a real cop! Where was his badge? His gun? His beating stick? His cuffs? Alcott was super bad at playing a cop, besides the annoying remarks of being 'careful' and 'safe'. Sighing deeply he trudged over to his kitchen. "Which knife works da best? Oh yes! Trusty Butcher!" A hand grabbed the black handle, unsheathing the long fat blade. Looking at the weapon he saw his reflection, an evil grin smiling back at him.

"Hmm..." Tapping the blade to his lips he wondered how he should approach this. Maybe sneak attack him? Or use that chain thingy to open the door part way? Well, the guy was big, easily being able to break that p***y little piece of metal. Okay, opening door like a crazy person set in action. Hand was ready, on the knob, and as he swung it open Owen shouted, "Knock knock, whose there! Mister butcher coming to stab you!"
His hand lunged out, stopping short, aimed at the tip of his nose. Hot breath escaped his lips as the once goofy grin was gone. Replaced with furrowing eyebrows and narrowing blue eyes. "I don't appreciate you knock knock knocking on my door. Tell me, now, why you followed me. I don't like being surprised." The once playful tone was replaced with a hint of toxin in it. Impatiently, Owen awaited an answer.

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I got the balls in the sackXXXX
& the crackers in
my crackXXXXXX
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                                          Keenan jumped a bit as Warrick snapped the gun together. He'd always been slightly afraid of guns, which was rather surprising to some since he was tall and muscular, and often avoided the armory for that reason. It just put him on edge. Shifting his feet a bit, he shoved his hands deeper in his pockets, eyes on the ground. "I ain’t seen him." The doctor looked disheartened at that. "Really? God damn it..." he muttered under his breath, his heart beat speeding up with his nerves. He really needed to see ViVi before Christmas - let him know what was going on, and that he hadn't abandoned them. It had been weeks since he'd last seen the silver haired man. His life depended on it. His family depended on him. Keenan's mind wandered off for a moment to what Emma was probably up to, but he snapped his attention back to Warrick when he spoke.

                                          "You actually checked ‘is office?" Frowning, he looked up. "His office? Uh...no, I haven't. D'you think he'd be in there?" he laughed nervously, feeling rather stupid for not thinking to check there first. But really, the headquarters was quite large. It was difficult for Keenan to find his way around the place - so many rooms and doors that lead to new places, not to mention it also held housing for some of the gang members. It wasn't easy for someone who rarely popped in unless there was an emergency. Wandering aimlessly around the armory, he picked up random miscellaneous objects, turning them over, and inspecting them before placing them in the exact same position he'd found them in.

                                          Kicking some invisible dirt on the grown, he canted his head to the left just slightly, looking Warrick up and down. He did and didn't seem busy at the same time, so he was uncertain about asking him for a favour. Keenan didn't want to be a bother, but the worst Warrick could say was no. "Ehm.." he cleared his throat, "do you..do you think you could take me there? I mean you don't need to, I can probably find it myself if I walk around enough, but it'd be nice..." His own British accent came through a bit more thickly when he was nervous, and now was one of those moments. He wiped his clammy palms off on the inside of his pants, watching Warrick closely as he slid a gun into his coat. It was kind of sad - he didn't even know what Warrick did for a living inside the gang. Considering he liked weapons, he had to imagine it was something associated with killing, or threatening. He'd only patched up Warrick a few times, stitches mostly, and one time removing a bullet, but it seemed like the man knew what he was doing.

                                          _______________________________________________________________[ location: Aphorism HQ | talking to: Warrick | feeling: a bit nervous ]

                                          ( ooc;; crappy, post is crappy. D8 I'm sorry. /sob )
Øfficer Ʀussel ₳lcott

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Bull-eh?! Why would he think he was lying? He was an officer-he never lied! Well, not that he hadn't before-he couldn't remember, but he was sure as heck he wasn't lying-he was worried and curious. But now he knew which door it was, hearing his voice he headed over, knocking a bit more, only to blink in surprise as the door opened suddenly. As a cop he was used to surprises, but the knife caught him off guard. He wasn't listening to the other-instinct had kicked in and he reacted.

Rule one, if a blade is aimed at close range, and there are no hostages.....

Alcott rose a hand fast, smacking the other's hand while gripping it at the wrist, pulling him forward. The action he knew would jar the blade from his hand, and the moment he felt the boy's grip slack, and heard the clatter of the blade he pulled the boy towards him, only to push his arm behind his back and lean the boy forward, his own weight shoving him hard against the door, while grabbing the other wrist and holding him taunt, pressure on the back of his knees with his own.

A standard police hold for unstable citizens.

"Owen! Owen, relax-"

He tried to calm the boy down, though his firm hold didn't loosen as he spoke calmly into his ear, a gentle whisper.

"I was not following. You are not in trouble for being an...escort, alright? There was no point in running from me-you told me Miss Marple Street was on the right, and so I walked to the right. You happened to be in the same direction. And then you ran-you are not in trouble if I know your profession but hold no proof, so I assumed you were carrying drugs or a weapon, for you to run. Now that I mention it..."

He shifted his hold to one hand, holding his wrists firmly and quickly patting down his legs, back, and front, ending at his sleeves. He didn't feel any weapons or stash of drugs.

"Okay, I'm going to let you go now, do not freak out or attack me-that can get you arrested, assault of a police officer. Alright, I'm going to let go now...."

He waited a few seconds until he was sure Owen was calm before he let him go, though now he moved his foot over the blade on the ground, in case the other chose to try and grab it. Though he stood calmly behind him, he was tense and on guard, expecting some form of an outburst from the boy.

❝Yeah it's holding me, morphing me
And forcing me to strive
To be endlessly cold within
And dreaming I'm alive❞

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