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  #16  
Old 01-23-2019, 09:19 AM
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Randy jams the key in the trunk lock and wrenches on it for a moment before the trunk releases. He glances back at Billy. "Yeah, its been too long." He shakes his head and turns to stare at the half-opened trunk, "Man. Just life. I suppose its going to come out once Bea gets her nails dug into me, so might as well tell you. Mia left and took the kids. Job got downsized; had to take on contracting work. Everything's a struggle, ya know?" Randy suddenly remembers who he is talking to. If anyone knows, it is Billy. Its a good thing that it is cold old because otherwise the crimson on Randy's cheeks might be attributed to something else.

Quickly trying to recover, Randy slings the trunk open and reaches in. An instant later a case of Natural Lite beer for those who don't know ... its cheap and awful Natty Lite appears in his hands. He hands it off to Billy, who catches a glimpse of several more cases in the trunk - Randy came well-prepared it would seem. Randy then grabs a single paper bag and slams the trunk.

Turning back toward the house, he lets the silence linger for a moment, trying to figure out what to say. Finally, he says simply, "Sorry about your dad. He was always good to me. I wish ..." he trails off, clearly unsure how to finish that thought. As they reach the porch, Randy sets the bag down and reaches over to crack open the case still in Billy's hands. He pulls two cans out and offers one to Billy. "I wasn't really sure I was welcome," he shrugs as if that explains everything. "I shoulda come anyway. I don't know ... just dumb to not even go." Randy cracks open the can. If he learned nothing else from Bea, at least he learned about morning drinking.

OOCAlright Andor! I leave it up to you if Billy presses this now ... is this little secret going to be revealed in the first hour of the holiday?! or do you let it linger?
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:41 AM
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Bea enters the room, and just about everybody else leaves! A crew heads to the garage, James has a consultation with The Help, and Tom drags Ro out to the kitchen. Beatrice gives a shocked expression.

Left with her mother, Ma puts a question to Bea. "Hm? Who? Oh, Jamison. Yes, of COURSE he's coming, he wouldn't miss it, he's as much family as anyone at this point, isn't he? But you know how busy he is with all of his management and investments and... uh... business? So he'll come around later. He wouldn't miss it."

"Bella, have a seat, it's just the ladies of the family now. Let the men do all the work. For once!"


She sits down on the sofa next to her mother and motions for her sister to join on the other side. "So mom. You're feeling all right? I'm There's lots of little fibs and jabs in here, but this one was big enough, I thought I should roll for it. Rolled a 4 on Deceive under the spoiler, so that seems pretty convincing so glad we have this time to all be together! It's like, we just live a couple of towns apart, but it's SO hard to find the time, you know? It's terrible. This is just the right thing. And Bella, so sorry your boys couldn't make it. They seem to be doing well? Well enough they can't make it here. It'd be the same for Jamison, if I let him. But I MADE him find the time, you know? He wouldn't miss it, of course, but sometimes you need to set people down and straighten out their priorities."

 
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:23 PM
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Arabella nodded to her husband as he departed and settled in to share in the little talk with her mom and sister. Most of their recent interactions had been fairly superficial, so it was nice to actually sit down with them and chat. Unfortunately, she missed the subtle jabs and slams from Bea, leaving her confused in the end after seeing how her mother reacted.

Bernice seemed to sigh to herself as Bea finished up her grand proclamation that this event was all wonderful in her and Jamison's eyes, and the backhanded way Bea mentioned Arabella's children. Looking at her eldest daughter, Bernice shook her head and scolded, "I had hoped that I had raised you better than that. Didn't I always tell you that honesty was one of the most important thing? I wish that you could be straight with us for once. And... you don't always have to come out on top, you realize?"

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Old 01-25-2019, 12:24 AM
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Billy White

Billy looked down and scuffled a booted foot as he heard about Randy's family. "Sorry, man," was all he could say, though he meant it. He nodded at the simple truth of "everything's a struggle". You'd have to search far and wide to find someone who more readily agreed with that sentiment than Billy. He couldn't really think of much to say that was a comfort, though. If they weren't all gathering for Thanksgiving, he'd gladly share a beer with Randy and listen to his woes.

And...lo and behold, there was beer! Billy blinked in surprise, though he probably shouldn't have been. Randy always was a character, and exactly the type you'd expect to carry around cases of beer in the trunk. Maybe that was why Billy got along with him so much. Natural Light...well, it was no Hamm's, but it'd do.

He was broken from his repose by the sentiment about his dad. He nodded, muttering a "Thankee," and listened as Randy hesitated over a thought. Accepting the beer, he cracked it open and hoisted it to Randy in thanks, taking a sip before leaning in to listen to what he had to say. He looked a little confused when Randy confessed to doubting being welcome. Probly cause of the row between Dad an' them, he figured. Shaking his head, he said, "Naw, you'da been alright comin'. Hell, now I feel bad fer you even thinkin' y'shouldn't come."

Taking another drink, he thought about it a second, and added, "Then again, it was purty miserable. Dad wound up losin' the land, an' I never even knew it. Believe that? I ain't even found out til..." Stopping a moment, he gripped the can with both hands, face reddening at the memory, his lip curled. "We found oil, Randy. Actual oil on th' property. Thought I was saved, y'know? That's when them..." He stood up, scowling around as if expecting to find one of the bankers nearby. "That's when them sonsab*****s come with papers, sayin' th' land was foreclosed."

Taking a deep breath, he shot an apologetic look over to Randy and sat back down. "Sorry, don't mean t'get upset. It was just...hard, y'know?" He glanced over, opening his mouth to say more, but changed his mind and took another drink.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2019, 04:45 PM
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Bea leaves her mouth agape at her mother's reprisal. She has no immediate retort, Bea now has the temporary aspect of "Act your Age!", having been put in her place to talk with more familial respectwhich is itself a sort of a victory over Bea's usual stream of platitudes and sideways comments. She looks for a retreat. Her bedroom? No it's still to early. The kitchen? No, it's been colonized by Tom. Pretend to keep unpacking? No, Rowan and Lara had already helped with that, and now J.A. is having a liaison on there. All routes are blocked.

Bea has a brief instant of looking like a terrified deer in the headlights, but she soon masters herself. She crosses her legs, crosses her arms, scootches to the back of the couch, and then sits up straight. With a slight waggle of her head, all Bea can muster is "Yes mother. You're right mother. I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings." There is a moment of silence and a look from her mother suggest that this might not be sufficient. Bea goes on,

"Bella, it's been so long. I hope all of Jamison's business types aren't rubbing off on me the wrong way. Sometimes I get carried away, you know more than others. I didn't mean anything by it. I saw that you brought some food. Will you and I be working together to prepare things tomorrow?"

 
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:42 AM
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Rowan's mind was still lost somewhere when her uncle Tom approached her. What did she mean by 'I'll be back shortly.'? Should I wait here? Maybe she wants to talk to me about Nana. Can she do that? Does Nana even want any of us to know about her condition in details? Ro was so deep into her thoughts that when Tom approached her and spoke she flinched with a start and struggled to refocus her eyes on him. "Oh, uncle Tom, hi." Rowan took a moment to process what her uncle was saying to her as she allowed herself to be led into the kitchen. Wait, if I move how will Lara find me? Ro wondered. Oh, get a grip, woman, it's not like you are going to the North Pole! She immediately chastised. And stop acting like a love sick puppy!

"Sorry, uncle Tom. My mind was off somewhere else." Ro responded rubbing on her arm absentmindedly. "But I'm gonna have to say 'no' to the coffee. I'm afraid I went and did the un-American thing and converted to tea." Rowan grinned. "I mean, with all the traveling around the world, it should be no surprise really. But if you want a cup of coffee, Nana keeps some fine beans in stock." Ro started rummaging through cupboards for cups, beans and tea. Once the beverages were served she turned to her uncle to answer his question.

"It's certainly not easy. Ever since mom..." Rowan's eyes darkened at the memory of her mother's reaction to her daughter's coming out. She cleared her throat and continued. "Ever since the divorce Nana has been like a mother to me." Rowan stared off into the distance, her eyes as if searching for where her father was in the house. "And especially ever since the fight with Dad. She's been my rock. And to think that at some point in the future I won't be able to come here to a gentle smile and a welcoming embrace." Ro's eyes misted as she once again pushed through the blockage in her throat. "It's... It's hard. But... That's just my selfishness talking, really. It is true what the Dalai Lama said. The thing that is really scary is not so much death itself. But the parting with our loved ones."

Rowan took a sip of her tea. Inhaled deeply and continued. "I guess I can see why Nana wanted to gather us all here, knowing how little time she has left with us. She wants to make sure we all have someone to lean on. And we can't really have that if the family is in tethers. And with my work... She knew the controversy of it. It's not an easy path to walk. My peers ridicule me. Grants are harder to come by. Even regular folk laugh at me. But the work I do still abides the scientific tenets. I don't do fiction. I mean, before Schliemann discovered Troy, it was believed to be a myth as well." Rowan shook her head. "So... I understand why Nana wants to push us into mending fences. Family is important. If not the one you're born into. At least the one you forge on your own."

With those last words Ro straightened up, put her empty cup in the dishwasher and looked at her uncle. "I'd miss her terribly, but for whatever time we have her here with us, I'll try to make her as happy as I can. Now if you'll excuse me, uncle Tom, I think I need to clear my head. I'll be in the back yard Oh, like, I don't know... Like Lara, mebbe if anyone want's to know where to find me."


OOC@girlplay, I wonder if I could try to create a positive scene aspect/mood here as an effect of that talk with uncle Tom. Like 'Family is important' or something. Using Rapport.

I'll roll just in case and you decide what's what. Jus' lemme rooooollllll

Dice Create positive mood/scene aspect:
4df -1, -1, -1, 1 Total = -2


EDIT: NOOOOOOOOO! shakes fist Curse you, Wheaton Dice Curse!

If I am allowed to use my Determined to prove at almost all costs at least one of her new theories to get dad's approval again3rd aspect to reroll that using a fate point...

Dice Spending a fate point on reroll:
4df -1, 0, 0, -1 Total = -2




 
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:50 PM
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Tom chuckles. "You're talking to the guy who likes Belgian beer. Besides both Arabella and I like tea as well on occasion. We packed a nice green tea called Gunpowder. I think it's there. Ah yes." Tom picks out the packet and puts a tea bag in the pot. Once the tea is ready, he pours them both a cup. He drinks his tea, and shuts up and listens.
"I'm sorry to hear all that. She's been effectively a third parent to you. It's always hard to lose a parent. Especially one that's been so supportive. It was hard losing my parents.
They were two of the best people I ever knew. Oh and try not to lose heart about your work. People used to believe the world was flat."
Tom puts his hand on her shoulder. "Arabella and I are proud of you. Turned into a fine young lady. We will always care about you."
Rowan makes her exit. Tom is left in the kitchen and decides to finish his tea there. Plucks out his smartphone. Andrew gave him this model for his birthday. It's a nifty little device, and Tom wishes that he had this back in day, when he was a detective. You could use it to summon information. For example if one was curious about his sister-in-law's fiancee, one could look him and his business on the internet.

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Using investigate to create an advantage on Jameson.
Dice investigation:
4df+4 (0, 1, 0, 1)+4 Total = 6
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2019, 10:53 PM
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ArabellaBella smiled kindly to her older sister and nodded. "Of course, sis. Like old times, we'll work on it together. You know, my hubby's pretty handy in the kitchen now too, since retirement. I'm sure we'll have plenty of help, if we want it. And don't worry too much about things; I wasn't offended by anything." She almost fell silent but then had a thought. "What about tonight? Do you think anybody would want something to eat or drink? Maybe something light..."


 
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2019, 11:21 AM
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Comfort care. That's what they called it, but it was simply the acceptance of death. James was old enough to see that one could only fight for so long, and that there was a point where modern medicine could become a form of torture. "You sound like Bea," he thought ruefully, but that wasn't what he meant. We get old, and we get sick, and then eventually it's time to stop fighting. By most accounts, Mom had had a good life.

With a start, James realized that Lara was looking at him, empathy and expectation on her face. It was his turn to say something. He nodded. "I'm glad you've been here for her...I'm glad you are here for her. I hope this weekend isn't disrupting your regular life too much." He nodded again. "Thank you for everything you do." It wasn't much of an ending, he knew, but he really wasn't going to intrude much more on this woman's life. After a few more vapid pleasantries, J.A. left the room and went back to the kitchen. Sooner or later, the kitchen became the nexus of pretty much any get-together. When he entered, Tom was there...drinking tea of all things and fiddling with his phone.

"Hey Tom, I didn't see you when I came in," James said, extending his hand. "Retirement treating you all right? Listen," J.A. said, leaning in a bit. "How is Bella holding up with all this? I'm glad you're there for her." His relationship with Bella was nothing like the one he had with Bea, but he loved his little sister tremendously. She was someone that other people always wanted to protect, and James was no different.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:23 AM
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RandallRandy cracks his beer open with Billy and takes a deep swig. Randy catches a brief moment of confusion and the sentiment that he would have been welcome causes him to relax a bit. Billy sure was good at forgive and forget. Hell, he hadn't even ever mentioned the fiasco to Randy! Randy shakes his head a little at Billy stating that he felt bad. What a decent guy. How had the rift between the cousins gotten so bad?

Randy stands silently for a few moments after Billy's angry rant. Randy had known some of the details, but hearing it all from Billy directly is a bit of a shock. Unsure what to say at first, Randy takes a few slow sips of the beer. The cold air feels good in his lungs. It's a wonderful, peaceful feeling. Cold, calm nights just have this purifying quality to them. Its a good start to what is certain to be a long weekend.

Finally, Randy speaks, still gazing out into the gathering twighlight. "I gotta say, Billy, I appreciate you not holding a grudge. This is gonna be a tough weekend with all the s**t hitting all kinds of fans and its nice to know that someone in the family can let mistakes go." Randy looks over at Billy and smiles sincerely, "I apologized so many times to your Pa, but I don't know if he ever forgave me. It is a relief to know you have." Randy sighs and leans back against the house, downing the last of the beer. His arm then drops to his side and he leans his head back against the house, taking a deep breath. "I don't know if I would have forgiven me had I been in your place."

OOCOk, I don't think I can restrain with Randy's guilty aspect ... so its on!


 
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:23 PM
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"Oh hello James." Tom said, putting the smartphone away to shake his hand. The gesture surprised him. James had always seemed like a cold fish, and Tom always suspected James looked down on him. "Actually pretty happy. I see Arabella and Andrew a lot more. Jack, not so much, but he's at sea a lot with the coastguard. Been a bit of a shift in the household. Since Arabella is still working, I'm taking care of her now. I love cooking for her."
On the other question, he nods. "I think she's came to terms with it. Always so stoic, so strong." Tom chuckles. "Of course you knew that already. She would have to be, to defy the entire family to marry me." Tom then looked serious. "Be careful with Rowan. Take it slow. She's in a vulnerable place right now, and whilst Bernice's condition is the main cause, I think it's brought everything else to a head. She's a good kid."
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:16 PM
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Tom's words made his face tighten and his heart beat faster. "Goddamn Tom," he thought. With an effort, James relaxed his mouth and kept his voice civil, even friendly. "I'm glad things are good. The boys are fine men, you've every right to be proud. And speaking of the boys..." Despite his best efforts, James' voice hardened a bit, though it quickly smoothed out. "Tom, it would never be my place to offer you advice about your relationships with your kids. So I'd appreciate the same courtesy. I'm sorry I interrupted your Candy Crush." Without waiting for a reply, James turned and opened the fridge. He was neither hungry nor thirsty, but he'd managed to keep his temper in check and wanted a moment to cool off.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:05 PM
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Billy White

Billy shrugged and nodded at the praise for letting grudges go. It wasn't really that big a deal to him, far as he knew. Just family being family, was all. He took another sip and nodded again with a small smile when fan splatterings were mentioned. Yep...gonna be that kinda weekend, I figure, he thought. Again, family being family.

He nodded and waved the matter off about Randy apologizing to Dad. Taking another sip, he figured that must've been tough. Dad never really was the type to...

Wait...what? What apology?

Looking over at Randy with confusion as the guy rambled on about forgiveness, and being in each other's places, he briefly wondered if he'd missed part of the conversation while he was mulling. Jesus, he hadn't had that much to drink, yet, had he?

Finally, when Randy wound down a little, Billy gave a little laugh and shook his head, still looking at his cousin. "Randy," he asked in exasperated confusion, "th' hell you even talkin' about??"
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:38 PM
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Beatrice does nothing to break the awkward silence. She would usually not let a moment slide without a stream of anecdotes and inanities. But Mom had Bea feeling old. Bea had never gotten into knitting (macramé, on the other hand....) and yet her hands seem to struggle of their own free will for something fiddly and repetitive to do in silence.

Luckily, Bella soon breaks the silence and suggests food prep. "Oh, yes, of course, you are ABSOLUTELY right!" Bea bounces up with enthusiasm. "It isn't a holiday without something sitting out to munch on! I brought a new Kola nut mix I wanted to try, we can put that out right now. But wouldn't it be nice to have something warm? Hm, we could mull some wine and that would go great with a runny brie and a spread of roasted garlic. There's this new hardtack crisp that I've wanted to share..."

Bea scuttles back over to the kitchen. Rowan is long gone, and James is walking away as she approaches. In an almost appallingly cheery tone, she breezes through to find her bags, saying "Hup, 'scuse me Thom! Your lovely wife said you might have some suggestions? Put something snacky and warm out for the family? I haven't even said hi to half the folks yet, where did everybody go?" All the while, she is opening one cabinet then the next trying desperately to find the products she brought. It seems like some thoughtless person has put them away with a sense of logic and order.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:33 PM
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Larissa BlackAfter her talk with James, Lara double-checked the next dose of pain medication for Bernice and checked her watch again. Well, more like she checked it for the 10th time. She was warned by her instructors that being a nurse could make her OCD and she was still trying to convince herself that she was just being prudently cautious as to not give a patient the wrong dose, but it was certainly becoming a habit. Signing to herself, she decided that a break sounded nice. So, she checked on her patient briefly and then headed out to the back porch to get some air. The cold air seemed inviting, so she didn't even take a coat. At least the family wasn't cooking yet; she could only imagine that tomorrow when the oven and stoves are all going that it's going to get pretty warm. Somebody might even decide that lighting a fire in the fireplace would be a good idea. Ugh!

On the porch, she noted a chair out of place at the table and scooted it over to even it up. "Maybe I am-" she cut herself off as she noted Rowan in her peripheral vision. "OCD..." she finished the thought quietly as she smiled at the younger Smith. Was having to finish her sentence a sign of OCD? She smirked and closed half the distance to where Rowan was standing. Her arms folded over her chest - you know, against the chill of the air. "You have quite an interesting family," she said in the way of an icebreaker.

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