The Sum Of All Deads


tavio_icon.jpg gayle_icon.jpg

Scene Title The Sum of all Deads
Synopsis Tavio and Gayle separate from the group to take a quick look around. Tavio finds out an answer to the zombie problem, and they run into a new cult of free love or death…

Gayle has gone on a recon mission! Or at least she's preparing for a recon mission. The mansion isn't the only place she's planning on exploring, and so where has our chirpy dancer gone? She's back at the humvee, scrunching her nose as she starts shuffling through her own bag while grabbing a few things. There's her iPod nano with the little strap to attach it onto her arm. If she's going to be going on a dangerous mission, she needs to get in the proper mindset as she already starts to bob her head to the hip hop stylings of Sammy Adams.

"~Baby… you're been drivin me crazay..~"

She's crooning a little while bobbing her head back and forth as she continues to grab a few more supplies. Baseball bat. Check. A bag of medical supplies. Check. And she pats herself down, making sure she's wearing long sleeves and a sweater along with comfortable jeans as to not get blood splattered onto her skin, for that's just groddy. Check.

By the time Tavio finally got zombie splatter cleaned off of him, he had invented a dozen new adjectives to describe the foulness caked to his person. He has mercifully had the luxury of forgetting all of them while walking the halls of the mansion in pursuit of provisions. With all the hullabaloo outside, the kitchen has been left unattended, and without giving it a whole lot of thought he has seen fit to capitalize upon this to abscond with tupperware and bags to carry his loot in. There's no telling how long this mess will last, so he's taken the liberty of bringing nonperishables as well as fresh offerings from the buffet table. Hopefully no one will notice. Gayle will likely find those crammed into wherever they'll take up the least amount of space.

Bogarting gas is a bit trickier an undertaking. Fortunately he's an old hand at this sort of thing, and has skulked his way through the compound's motor pool (because calling it a garage would be too normal, he suspects) siphoning a bit here, emptying a half-full gas can there, wiping down fuel spouts and borrowed cans to try and mask the smell as much as possible. He was stopped once, but as he carries two gas cans in each hand he was able to bullshit his way out of trouble by hefting them effortlessly and assuring that they're empty.

With her earphones on, she might not even notice him as he ambles up beside her and gently hip-checks to let her know he's there. He holds up his haul with a demonstrative flourish and a proud bounce of his eyebrows.

She definitely didn't notice. She was too lost in her world of hip hop and the latest and greatest from one from the indie scene. She pulls out an earbud as she chuckles softly and gives Tavio a nod. Gayle beams brightly and hipchecks nhim back as she takes a deep breath.

"I wasn't going to take the humvee. This requires stealth, meaning I'm on foot." she says matter of factly. "You joining me?" she asks curiously, her brows furrowed as she has also found some leather gloves whose fingers she has cut off before slipping those on. She is going for the badass chick look. Her hair is tied back in a pony tail as she scrunches her nose and purses her lips once more, tapping her own dark boots with her hand as they start to raise up until they're knee highs to give her a bit of a dextrous advantage.

"You and Matthew are better fighters than me, but if we get into a pinch, you can do a piggyback ride and I'll zip us back to the compound." she says rather cheerily.

"Naw," Tavio replies, "I know. This is for when we all make our escape. There's some food too, already got that. Probably enough to get us through to whatever." He rolls his shoulder in a lopsided shrug and then stashes the gas cans in the back of the hummer.

"An' that's me done, I got nothin' else to do 'til we meet up again." He looks toward the front yard thoughtfully and shakes his head. "Or until we gotta go rescue Matthew." He has no idea exactly where Matthew and his current object of infatuation went, but that's where the commotion was last time he checked. "Anyways, yeah, I'll come with you. I don' wanna stand around here and wait. I thought I might see if Rei was needin' a little comfort, but I think the ice cubes in her vagina are doin' my job for me. Pfft. So yeah."

He watches her fire up her magic boots with a thoughtful frown, and then shakes his head. "Nuh-uh. We don't want to use any of our powers. Rei said not to, 'cos it attracts the zombies. In fact, so far I can't think of anything doesn't attract zombies. Like…'s like how everything causes cancer or tastes like chicken.

"Where are we going?"

"Who says I'm trying to avoid the zombies? This whole area is like zombie free. I want to know why." she replies with a wry grin curling onto her lips as she lets out an amused chuckle under her breath. "As far as I see it, I'm bait. So I'm going to wander this neighborhood and see what else is around. This whole militia thing is fine and dandy, it's great that they're helping people, but like I said before, something seems off."

She takes his ghetto weapon and hands it towards him before she raises her brows. "So let's find us some zombies, survivors and go and kick some ass, yeah?" Gayle says rather cheerily as she wrinkles her nose and takes a deep breath. "As far as we know, I'm a walking zombie magnet now. SO let's get out of here and try to explore the rest of this neighborhood and why it's so zombie free.." she says matter of factly.

Tavio starts to grin impishly as Gayle explains her plan. "Matthew would shit himself," he chuckles, deciding that makes him an even bigger fan of the exercise. He sobers as he has a sudden thought.

"Hey, wait, if-if we're gonna go ahead and do that, there's somethin' I been meanin' to try since the apartment. If I'm with you, then we're both basically zombie bait anyways, so, um, I had an idea for a way we might get a better idea of…" he gets that far and realizes he can't really assure her that anything would come of the effort, and ties the thought off with "…well, maybe a direction at least, beyond 'find ever'body's parents and hope somebody tells us the answers'." He fishes out the candy skull in his pocket, in its ziploc bag.

And then she hands him a fresh bat with sharp bits jammed in. Better sharp bits than he was able to find at the school and decidedly sturdier than the makeshift weapon he lost just outside the compound. It's a mundane and homemade beatdown stick, but he looks upon it as though he'd been blessed with Excalibur or something.

"You brought it! I forgot this at the apartment! When the first one started looking a bit broke-ass I thought I better get a spare. Thanks!"

"Then let's do it when we're not in the protective boundaries of the mansion.." she says, grabbing his wrist, or at least trying to as she stalks out of the compounds. Luckily for them, there's no one guarding the gates and with it just open from having the last group of specialists and maintenance workers leave, they soon find themselves out on the streets once more.

Gayle ducks low as she scrunches up her nose as she purses her lips, looking around at the seemingly abandoned houses. The immediate area is quiet. Perhaps even too quiet considering the houses next to the mansion still have some semblance of activity. It's like this place really wasn't even touched by the shambling dead as she starts walking around once more. "Let's go to the wire barricade. That way if they gather there, we can take care of them easily without endangering any people. Like Ashley's dad said, it's time to take the fight to them."

Tavio has never had a problem with being manhandled by Gayle, and this time proves to be no exception. He staggers a bit, unprepared for her enthusiasm, but falls into step as soon as he's pocketed his strange relic. He conveys a palpable sense of being on edge as they walk boldly past the confab taking place between the Commander and his flunkies less than twenty feet away. But the big man is busy speechifying and the militia are busy lapping up every word. No one notices the 'cute little children' sneaking out through the wide-open gate.

The tension eases from him once they're clear of mansion grounds, and he stands up straight to get a really good look at the place now that he's not starving and filthy and tired from a gruelling afternoon of zombie bashing.

"Do we wanna try and move when it's dark?" he asks. "I mean, tonight. Right now we're okay on light. Just…yeah." He accompanies her to the barricade in thoughtful silence, looking skyward from time to time.

"When it's dark would be dangerous. I can't see in the dark. If there is anything wandering around and being dangerous, doing it when we can't really see would be an unnecessary risk, don't you think?" Gayle says with raised brows as she smiles cheerily and gives him a quick smooch on the cheek. Perhaps that will sate the boy for now as she purses her lips and looks at his relic candy thing with raised brows.

"That's what you wanted todo? Eat candy?" she asks curiously. "Does it give you super powers or something?" she asks, absolutely confused as to what he's doing.

Tavio grins as he's smooched, with a quizzical look because he honestly doesn't know what it was for.

"I don't wanna do anything out here when it's dark. That's what I'm sayin'. We might be stuck waiting until tomorrow morning to get outta the Casa de Crazy. And no…" His grin fades. His expression pales a little as he eyes the candy skull.

"I really don't want to eat this thing." He pulls it out of the ziploc and then studies it, turning the garishly decorated confection between thumb and fingers. Its forehead bears the name 'Mateo'. He has no idea who Mateo is, but supposes he's about to find out.

"Gotta pay the toll," he laments as he digs the edge of one of the saw blades embedded in his weapon into the heel of his palm, wincing as he cuts a deep gash in his hand.

His jaw is clenched tightly as he dribbles blood over the sugar skull, which soaks it up greedily, stained from pink to wet, glistening red before the wound has healed.

"….And down the hatch. Cover me, would you? Sometimes…stuff happens." Convulsions, fainting spells, whatever. He slowly goes to his knees and, with a miserable grimace, pops the blood-soaked confection into his mouth.

Hopefully now the hallucinatory rollercoaster he's about to endure will churn up something useful. And hopefully this time he won't ralph all over the pavement.

Gayle's eyes widen at the little trick. She blinks upon being told about the toll asshe winces, never having been one who really enjoys the blood and gore. It's amazing she hasn't thrown up atthe sight and stench of zombies already as she nods and takes a deep breath.

"Be careful, okay?" she says. And those are the last words Tavio hears before falling into unconsciousness. In the real world, his body starts to spaz justa bit, as if he's under going a bit of ecstacy as if he was touched by one of the gods himself. And in a way he is.

Soon, he finds himself in completely darkness. And ssoon, there he finds a rather well muscled teenager like himself. He's dressed in full Aztec regalia, his body muscular and strong as he proudly shows off his body as he only wears aloin cloth and an elavorate head dress and cape. He stares at Tavio, and gasp! It's a Tavio from another era. Or at least it's one of his ancestors considering the uncanny resemblance.

"You visit this space between life and death. You have called me into being. What is it you wish to know?"

The worst part is right as the power in the sugar starts to take hold, when muscle and nerve have volition lifted from them to power a frame cast from more ephemeral material but sensation remains. Tavio's mind produces the impulse to steady himself as he feels himself fall, to swallow as the thick, bloody slurry of melted sugar settles upon his tongue, milimeters away from making him gag. Sight is the first thing to go, and hearing is unreliable at best. For some reason he usually smells tequila, and this time instead of festive music lilting into his ears as if from a distance it sounds like he's underwater.

Tavio's body swallows, and holds itself more or less upright. The vertigo his soul experiences does not play out in his flesh.

There's a rush, and the scent of copper-that useless and belated warning the body offers a split second before disaster strikes. The fall ends, and it feels as if he has settled back into his skin despite being farther from it than mere mortals could ever safely go with any hope of a return trip.

He's never been sure where the light comes from. There was supposed to be a sun. He knows this. The place where he stands smells dusty, and once he saw an icon of a sun on the wall. He suspects his father's further influence at work here. Huitzilopochtli has it in mind to exile Tavio to night, and keep his claim upon daylight uncontested.

"You're new," he says to the manifestation. "Lookin' good." He sizes up his anachronistic reflection with an approving nod, and then sighs heavily as he considers his phrasing.

"What I really want is to know where to go and what to do to stop these zombies from rising. I want to know why. I want to know what I have to do to get me and my friends out of this shithole. Honestly I could be satisfied with that, but you prob'ly understand better than anybody that we ain't goin' nowhere until we solve the problem.

"Nevermind that we didn't create it in the first place. Anyways, I kinda know how this works. I don't get all the answers. Just, I dunno, tell me how I find the answers. We'll handle the solution ourselves."

While Gayle is all worrying over Tavio's spazzing and convulsing body, things are much more calm inside his mind's eye. The anachronistic version of Tavio raises his brows and chuckles softly under his breath as he purses his lips and takes a deep breath and nods. "Thank you. I am new. And I know I look good." he says with a wry grin curling onto his lips. "I hope you realize that I'm not going to tell you direct answers. That is not how things work, but I will tell you a story, a parable if you will. I have learned much from the universal unconscious, so I'll start off with an ancient story called "The Conference of the Birds."" he says with a sage nod.

There's a snap of his fingers and soon, there's a camp fire and there are logs, and he eases on down, adjusting the loincloth as to not show off his manly bits. That would be embarassing and wrong on some level. "Like many stories, this one starts off with once upon a time.."

And with that, the fire starts to raise up in the air as the sounds and images of a thousand birds can be seen.

"There was a time of great upheaval and darkness, a flock of a thousand birds suddenly caughta glimp of an image of wholness, an illuminated feather. Thus, they felt encouraged to take a long and arduous journey to find ou what amazing bird this illuminated feather belonged to."

And there's another breath as the fire wooshes and forms one bird. A great bird really flying up into the air asit screeches in it's glory. "When the illuminated feather floats down from the sky, the wisest o the birds revealed that this feather is in fact a precognition, a visionary glimpse of the SImorgh, the Great One. Oh, how the birds were buoyed up. The birds were of many different kinds: short-beaked, long-billed, fancy-plumed, plain-colored, enormous and tiny. But regardless of size, shape or hue, the birds who witnessed this sudden and evanescent sight of the lighted feather banded together. They made thunder as they rose up into the sky, all in order to seek this radiant source. They believed this sovreign creature to be so wondrous that it would once again light their darkened world once more, and thus the creatures began many a grueling quests.."

Tavio settles onto a log across from his Aztec-y self, resting his elbows on his knees and his chin upon his knuckles. His face settles into a thoughtful pout as he lifts his eyes to watch the vision in the fire. So far, he has no idea what's going on in the story. Something deep down in him might be cobbling together a theory but all he can think of, he says in a mumble.

"So it wasn't mad cow disease, it was the bird flu. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaight."

He clears his throat and ducks his head apologetically, motioning for the hallucination to continue the parable. It's surreal to see his own face with those big words tumbling out of it. He feels smarter just listening to this stuff, even though he can't make heads or tails of it yet.

Oh dears. The Anachronistic Tavio just facepalms, running his fingers through his hair as he stares back at the soccer player with a brief look of disbelief. He blinks a little and scrunches up his nose, shaking his head the entire time. He lets out a deep breath, calming himself down before he just continues the story.

"In the story, there were some birds who wander off the path and those who flee it. The birds continued to search for the fiery phoenix, that which can rise again from its own ashes back up into illumined wholeness once more. As the story says, there were once a thousand birds trying to find the feather. They eventually found seven valleys, each with it's own different barriers and challenges. The thousand birds endured increasingly hostile conditions, terrible hardships and torments, incuding horrifying visions, lacerating doubts and nagging regrets. They long to turn back. They are filled with despair and exhaustion. The creatures receive no satisfaction, rest nor reward for a very long time.."

He takes another deep breath before peering at the real mccoy. Or at least the present version. He purses his lips once more, wanting to make sure Tavio is at least paying attention to the story.

"More and more of the birds made excuses to give up. The attrition rate continuesuntil there are only thirty birds left to continue this harsh flight that they all had begun with their earnest hearts, in the quest for the essence of Truth and Wholeness in life that the illuminated feather, and beyond that, for that which can light the dark once more. Then, they found that feather, and all was made whole again. They succeeded. You need to find that feather." he says matter of factly. "That is the only way to solve this crisis."

In spite of himself, Tavio suspects he's managed to lay out the foundation for an understanding of this message. It's just a matter of sorting out the metaphors, like playing a match game with pieces that are deemed similar by arbitrary whim and context rather than factual characteristics. Or something. He takes in a deep breath and sighs it out slowly.

"We ain't talkin' 'bout a real feather, are we?" he ventures, mostly to sound it out in his head. "Got any stories like how maybe the birds did something bad once they got the feather? Did the thirty birds stay together, or fight over it?"

"That, I cannot tell you." the other says with a warm and supportive smile. "It is something you need to figure out on your own. You and your companions." he continues before letting out another soft sigh as he winks in Tavio's direction.

"And by the way, Hizugawa Rei, that Japanese swords chick, her father was a sponsor of the Japanese and Korean World Cup Soccer Teams."

Tavio pounds his knee with a fist and grunts angrily, glowering at this smug pretty bastard in the fancy getup, being all wise and secretive. Mostly he's just jealous because he can't rock that 'sageness' as convincingly. Seeing it though, he begins to hope. Maybe one day…

"I knew you were gonna say that," he mutters.

"I didn't know you were gonna say that," he says, sitting up suddenly. His gaze shifts back and forth cartoonishly as he considers a question and then asks it.

"So, like, you can't tell me about the stuff I came here to find out. That's cool. What about Rei though? Y'think she might be into us?" The manifestation looks like him, so as far as he's concerned it is him and thus has as much a stake in this the real flesh-and-blood Tavio does. "'cos she kinda got on my nerves earlier and I said som'in'… Any advice on how to get holt'a some 'a that?" Hey, he cut his palm and swallowed his own blood, he feels entitled to something he can put to immediate use. The idea that even being able to pull a clue from the ether, however incomprehensible it is at present, is beyond the reach of most simply does not occur to him.

"She likes deep and heroic guys. It makes her wet." the other Tavio says with a scandalous waggle of his brows, a coy grin curling onto his lips.

Tavio perks up a little, although the sour look remains on his face. "Seemed like she likes to bitch at people," he mutters. "Anyways, I been heroic all damn day. And I'm all kindsa deep. I'm so full of depth I could fall into myself."

He sits up, his expression bland and placid and thoughtful. He looks back and forth again, and then raises a hand to point groundward.

"Come to think of it, I just did.

"Alright," he sighs as he stands up, "While you preen your feathers I got zombie stompin' shit to do. Peace."

With that, he concentrates on trying to feel his fingers, slipping his body back on like a warm glove in the darkness, watching his altered reflection for so long as his immersion in this realm persists.

"Damn, I am one sexy bitch," he muses under his breath.

And feel his fingers he does. As he starts to awaken, there's Gayle slapping him repeatedly in the face. She's a bit panicky really as she grumbles under her breath. "This is not funny! You're like a diabetic. That thing had way too much sugar and now you're going to go intoa diabetic coma and the hospital is I don't even know where and I don't knowwhere I can get an insulin shot for you! Stupid stupid diabetic! No candy for you! None!" she says, grumbling once more as tears are rolling down her cheeks.

She was scared. She was frightened. Her new friend was spazzing and there was literally nothing she could do and so she's curled up in a little ball after that bitchslap fest to see him calming down. At least Tavio is back in his own body now.

Tavio starts to grunt and wince from the stinging slaps as he returns to consciousness, and then stops once he has full voluntary control of his body again to crack an eye open and bear a few more of those slaps with lazy amusement.

"You said all that in one breath," he murmurs in soft amazement. He reaches up to wipe the tears from her cheeks with his thumb and shushes her gently. "'s alright, babygirl. You aren't getting rid of me that easy. Somebody's gotta keep that boyfriend of yours jealous."

He sits up and wraps an arm around her, resting his chin on top of her head. "Shh. Hey, it's cool. I told you stuff happens. But I kinda got……..well, no idea yet. But maybe what I saw will start making sense later on."

He paraphrases (badly) the parable he's been given, along with a shrug to convey that he has no idea what his inner Aztec was smoking either.

"Anyway, that was some serious mojo. Let's see if it woke the zombies. I kinda want to get back to the mansion in time to steal some mouthwash." He's got a bit of blood trickling down his chin, crusted with embedded sugar crystals.

As he looks about to see if they've stirred any response from the unliving hordes he reaches down to pick up a candy skull off the asphalt, branded with the name 'Luz'. He drops that into the ziploc baggie and stuffs it into his pocket. No matter what he does, it always comes back.

There's a slight sniffle as Tavio finally returns to consciousness. She scrunches her nose as she gives the soccer player a big squeezy hug, letting out a sigh of relief. As much as she proclaims to be carefree and all that, she worries for her BFFs tremendously, the maternal urge being strong in this one.

"Don't ever do that again.." she grumbles. "That thing has way too much sugar and ifyou keepon eating it, you'll become a type II diabetic and be unhealthy. It's chronic you know." she says firmly and resolutely asshe sniffles still and gives himanother affectionate hug. Gayle sighs as she finally lets go, her cheeks flushed abright tinge of redasshemay have worried a bit too much. She listens to the parable and after abit of 'analysis' she just stares at him.

"So… you went into your own head only to be told about a story about a thousand birds looking for some magical feather. That is supposed to help us figure out the zombies? What?!?!?"

There's an exasperated flail of her arms in the air as she lets out a meep. She looks towards him and grabs somenapkins from her messenger bag, wiping away the dribbled blood and the sugar crystals on his lips. "Your dad gave you weird gifts." she admits ruefully. Still, with all that over, the moans and groans of the zombies can be heard. The shambling hordes are approaching and she grabs his hand as she starts to run in another direction. It's up and over the barbed wire fence (she can jump really high) and she startsrunning, light on her feet as she has yet to activate her powers. With her boots she's ridiculously fast already as she'll even carry Tavio if he can't keep up. "Let's get them away then make our way back to the neighborhood, yeah?"

Tavio is wholly unaccustomed to this kind of maternal pampering, but he takes to it quite easily. Momma Reyes tends to favor tough love and calm detachment when her boy's done something dangerous like this. He closes his eyes and sighs contentedly, murmuring reassurance as Gayle composes herself.

"Believe me, I ain't in a hurry to do that again. But I wanted to feel like I have a direction, y'know? Something to work with? I know what I got outta this doesn't seem like much, but it'll probably start making sense once we get on the road." If it's supposed to already be shedding insights upon his baffled and beleaguered mind, he's clearly missing a beat somewhere.

For all that he may have endured, Tavio is able to keep up without too much trouble once Gayle has finished fussing over him. He just basks in the attention, doing his best to tamp down a smug grin and look adorably pitiful instead. The paroxysms that accompanied his vision quest took a bit more out of an already taxed system, but he's not to the point where he has to default to adrenaline yet.

"Damn, girl, why ain't you playin' ball? Jumpin' around like that…"

"Because I've figured out I can leave over a house. They'd be investigating me for steroid use if I did that. Besides, I suck at basketball." No, she really doesn't. She just doesn't like having to get sweaty when it's just all girls around. At least dancing, one can still be pretty while sweating. Basketball, not a lot of prettyness there.

Still, they explore the neighborhoods as such, and they find that there's at least one hundred zombies around. There's a little meep as she puts her hand over her lips and takes a deep breath as she purses her lips until they see a bus that's sort of rocking back and forth from side to side.

As they make their way through the eerily silent neighborhoods, Tavio tries to puzzle out the vision he had. He thinks out loud, but not too loud, sharing odds and ends as he goes.

"Apparently we're supposed to find the feather, or what the feather represents. Thirty birds of all shapes and sizes out of thousands picked one place to look and found it here. It was supposed to like, give them…uh…perfection. I'm guessing that means eternal life or something. I bet it was settlers from overseas who came in and took it from the natives, and got cursed. Now the curse is happening and we're stuck in the middle of all this."

He continues to ramble along this vein, with theories that grow increasingly outlandish as their search continues to yield nothing but bad news. When they come upon the bus, he can't help but spout the first thing that comes to mind.

"'If this rig's a rockin', don't come a'knockin'. Looks like somebody's gettin' busy up in there.

"Probably not," he amends. "We better check it out."

"It's possible?" Gayle whispers with a shrug of her shoulders as she still hasn't got a clue as to what the whole parable means. It's a mystery to her as she purses her lips and tugs along Tavio as she nods. "Best to ask Pei, she should know the whole thing, I think.." she whispers softly as they eventually creep up towards the bus that's rocking to and fro.

Fortunately for them, there are /no/ zombies around. It's odd really, but as they get closer, they can start to hear what's going on. The bus is a rockin, and they really shouldn't of come a knockin. As they get closer and closer, moans and coos of pleasure can be heard from the open window as they find what seems to be an orgy going on.

Holy shit! It's the other teenagers! There's several survivors really, at least eight of them and a few are recognizable from their own classes at school. The others who aren't recognizable are presumably other kids from West Lake, and in the front stands an older man, a teacher from West Lake who served briefly as a guide for the students coming in.

He's handsome, in a dashingly evil kind of way. Think Tom Cruise. There's silver rimmed spectacles that rest on his shoulders as his eyes are closed and he's taking a deepbreath while rubbing his temples. He coos under his breath at the sounds and the stench of sex going on inside the bus as he mutters, "Mmmm. Fear is the best aphrodesiac." a coy grin curling onto his lips.

"Everyone, everyone! Can I have your attention please! Free time is over!" he says with a bright and cheery smile on his lips. A girl stops licking another girl's breasts. Another man stops mid thrust at the coitus interruptus of the teacher as they all give him their attention. Whatever's happened, the man seems to have them under his control.

"I have news from our rather heroic friend, Christian. He seems to have discovered a shelter. A wonderful place, a mansion with all the accoutrements of home." With that said, the students go wideeyed and happy as they stare at him all hopeful. "We'll be welcoming a group of refugees into our fold. There's a few hundred of them, so our group will be getting bigger!" There's cheers of excitement from the crowd.

Could he be talking about Ashley's mansion? There was a newcomer earlier that day named Christian. Odd coincidence perhaps?

There's a slight frown on the teacher's face as he places a hand over his stomach. "As your teacher who has been supposed to be guiding you, there is something I am worried about."

There's oh noes and sounds of worry from the students. They look absolutely lost now! They gasp and whine as they look towards the charismatic teacher for guidance, and he continues.

"Unlike when we're at school, I am encouraging you to love freely now. Why is that? I've determined you are all qualified to do so!" he smiles cheerily. "I take serious pride in being the teacher of such wonderful students as yourselves!"

The students cheer. a pair of girls who were all doing lesbian action hold hands and bounce happily up and down, giggling the entire time. But then, their joy is interrupted by the teacher once more. "But look outside. Look at this pitiful situation!" and nhe points towards the windows and the direction of the plumes of smoke off in the distance. For now, Gayle and Tavio aren't spotted.

"The world has become filled with the living dead who wish to bring harm to others! And most of the people who are still alive think it's okay to be only concerned with themselves! How dreadful the reality of the world is!" There's a fistpump before he places his hand over his chest.

"Excluding us, that's how everyone in the world is now! No, the world has been that kind of place for quite some time now. This tainted world… is being brought to ruin by such sinners!" he yells and the students cheer as they listen onto the mad preacher preaching.

Given his track record for the day, Tavio is surprised when he proves to be right. This rig is seriously rockin'! He breathes in and lets out a wistful sigh, clearly envious of the fleshy abandon that's got the bus (and a significant ratio of its occupants' collective anatomy) all aquiver.

"Looks like they're taking it well," he mutters to Gayle as he continues to watch, singling out Mr. Charisma as a definite bad seed. "Think he's a Scion or somethin'?" he whispers. He's not keen on gaining this fellow's notice, whatever the case.

"Maybe? He has quite a grip over them. I mean, I didn't think a teacher would be one, but you never know." Gayle whispers as she squicks as she scrunches up her nose and continues to peer through the window. "And look, Tracy Williams was right. Cedric White does have a small peen!" she says, pointing out the little peter that was in mid thrust. At least she can get some amusement from this creepy, crazy goings on.

Fortunately for them, the students are too enamored by Mr. Charisma aka Tom Cruise look a like. The girls especially cheer and let out happy little squeals at his speechifying while they let out happy little yays and give thanks for being with such a wise and awesome man such as him. And then he continues…

"But all of you are different. Still young, you've had your relatives torn from you and faced travesties that no one such as you should bear. You are the angels that will create the new world!"

There's a pain look on his features as he hugs himself, letting out another resigned sigh. "I'm just a dirty adult who can't hope to match you…" double entendre timein that. He's definitely a perv and whack out of his mind. "But, I'm begging you! I want you allto purify me of my sins! Everyone, please, guide me how! I want to see this new world you will create after this chaos! To achieve those ends as both an adult and your teacher, I am happy to take on the burden of being your leader! Now, our hearts are one! Only we can overcome the crisis with strength as a group! Let's build a new world together! Just us! And continue to grow closer…"

The students are all bright eyed and happy. There's constant applause for the teacher as they're all happy and cheering the entire time. He's definitely got some sort of hold over them. It's an interesting contrast to the adults' attitude back at the mansion. Interesting how people cope.

All with the exception of one young man sitting near the front. The teacher notices and blinks as he looks towards him, a predatory look in his eyes already.

"It's weird… What you're saying is weird. " says a teenager about sixteen years of age. Note, he was the only one not participating in the orgy as he hugs himself looking a bit frightened now as how everything is going.

With that, the rest of the group looks towards the lone boy. Uh oh

"Is everybody in this town completely fuckin' crazy?" Tavio wonders aloud-well, at a whisper- as he watches the spectacle unfold. He recognizes their classmates among the participants, musing of the two girls discovering one another, "Did I make them gay?" Evidently he's more than passingly acquainted with both girls. "Is that what girls do when you say you don't want a relationship?" he asks Gayle. "Is that how that works?" He may have unlocked a new and amazing mystery of womankind!

"Oh shit," he mutters, transitioning to deadly seriousness without any kind of graceful segue as the lone naysayer of the bunch speaks up. Tavio grimaces and shakes his head as if he could dissuade the boy from betraying himself through sheer force of will.

He's less apt to leap to conclusions here, given how naked most of the participants are. There aren't any obvious weapons, at least not in the literal and immediately deadly sense. He looks to Gayle with a shrug, curious as to her take on things.

Her eyes widen as she purses her lips, watching the group with keen interest. This is all so weird. "They're… he's… he's starting a cult. A sex cult! Of all the cults we're going to stop, we're stopping a sex cult! It's like the back… back-aye.." she really means the bacchae. "Remember in class… Mrs. Johnson's World History class, the whole back-aye thing and the may-nads all going into ecstacy with dancing and flutes and weird stuff.."

Of course, he won't remember. He wasn't in ninth grade with them. "Wait, uh, you weren't with us back then huh." she says scrunching up her nose once more as she facepalms as she looks at him with the question. She stares at him dumbfounded and grumbles under her breath. "Maybe you were too forceful, or maybe they're just experimenting. Girls don't do that when you don't want a relationship? I can tell you I have yet to have a lesbian experience." she says firmly and resolutely, bursting his bubble so that he doesn't end up planning on making a bunch of lesbians for his own amusement.

She pouts and looks a bit worried as the other boy speaks up. "We may have to save his ass…" she whispers as she starts crouching and heading towards the entrance of the bus ever so slowly. Stealthy Gayle is stealthy.

"Is there a problem, David?" the teacher asks, his brows furrowed as he looks towards the boy.

"I… I don't care about the new world or whatever. I just want to make sure my family's okay!" he says emphatically as he stands up from his seat to actually… gasp… face the mob and their new cult-like leader.

"That's fucking bullshit!" says another boy. "Who gives a fuck about family?!?!" he says. He's one of the jocks of West Lake from the looks of it. There's a letterman jacket for football and baseball proudly worn as he pulls up his pants and heads on over threateningly as there's a glint of murder and rage in his eyes. "You've been quiet the whole time! You haven't even been playin' with the girls!" he says, his fists clenched as he starts to sound like a madman.

"So shut the fuck up!" he yells, grabbing one of the girls who Tavio had fooled around with before. He lets out a maniacal laugh as he starts fondling her breasts causing her to squeal in a mixture of delight and revulsion. "If you think you were with your parents we could do something like this?!?!?"

"Hahahahah! Oh Jake, I love this!" the girl squeals, trembling and shivering as she's molested by the jock. "I love the teacher. He's our god. Let's do all we fucking want. Don't you want to fuck me.." she groans.

The other jock just cackles as they start fornicating. Details aren't really needed at this point. Still, the innocent boy just gasps, his jaw dropping before he yells once more. "This! This is what I'm talking about! This is weird! I want to see my mom and dad!"

"Oh my, what a predicament.." replies the teacher, stroking his chin as he looks towards the rest of the class who seems to be in a lustful state for violence and sex. They're egging the other two while looking towards the teacher for guidance. "What should we do with you? I just don't know.." and the teacher soon asks for the guidance for the rest of the class. "How should we deal with what he is saying? Everything he says is corrupt. Should we return him to the world of sin that is trying to rob us of our freedom? Our right to express ourselves as we wish? Or must we direct him and guide him towards the path of enlightenment and show him the rightness of our cause, our wish for freedom?"

"Why don't we just kick him out and he can fend for himself?" asks one girl. This starts getting another bit of mobmentality amongst the group. "Yeah! Kick him out! Let's drive where there's a lot of zombies and kick him out!" cries out another. "Kick him out! Kick him out!" the group starts to chant.

"Or we can bring him to his mom and dad. Surely they're dead now! We can do what we want and we can kill him and throw his lifeless body to the zombies if they get in our way.." cries out another boy. "Yeah! That's great! He's a virgin! Sacrifice the virgin!" jeers another boy.

At this, David, the one who started everything lets out a gasp of horror. He looks back towards his classmates and companions as if they're mad and he trembles. "P-please. I didn't mean it. I didn't mean it!" he flails in an exasperated fashion. Truly, Gayle and Tavio are seeing the darker side of humanity now.

It shouldn't take much imagination to piece together clues that Tavio is something of a horndog. The word 'manslut' has been used in reference to him and not been incorrect in the least. All the same, there's a time and a place for the pursuit of sensual excess and this hardly seems to be either. Yeah, the nutjob conducting this looney orchestra has to go. That the youngsters under his sway probably didn't need much coercion to descend into bacchanalia is really not the point. You can't fix everything.

It's a moot point whether he was really entertaining dreams of lesbian-ranching through irresponsible romantic behavior, because the thoughtful look on his face as Gayle corrects his misconceptions is too easy to interpret one way or the other and comically expressive. It could just as easily have been relief.

Just as moot, to Tavio, is stealth. He can't think of a subtle or quiet way to put a stop to the madness, probably because he really doesn't want to. He wants to do something stupid, and the group is at half-capacity which means there is seventy-five percent less restraint holding him back. It doesn't seem stupid right now. His best ideas never do.

He comes out from concealment to stalk up to the door with every intent of forcing it open (hopefully without damaging it) so he can climb the steps and make his displeasure known in person.

After a bit of jostling, which surely alerts the revelers in the bus to his approach, Tavio manages to carefully wrestle the door open without utterly destroying it. He reaches up to grab the handrail and hauls himself up the three steps to spin and face the assembly, clearly in a foul mood.

"What the fuck?!" he shouts, because f-bombs carry enough impact that he doesn't feel the need for a more articulate opening statement.

"Y'all already fucked your brains out or somethin'? This is stupid! You-" he looks over at their disgustingly charismatic leader and aims a gentle swat to the back of his head "-are stupid. Either that or you got some kinda reason for getting all these people killed. 'cos basically that's what'll happen here." He starts to collect his thoughts, in between heavy breaths, because he's got a day's worth of aggravation to work off and having it all at full boil has him fuming. The notion that some of the kids might be ignoring him to continue plunging away into one anothers' orifices only worsens his mood. "Yo, needledick, put that thing away. Y'all definitely been hypnotized if nobody ain't already laughed his ass off the bus."

"More from the world of the sinners!" the charismatic teacher says even as he flails and melodramatically falls onto the front seat. "They have found us, they want to corrupt me! They don't want the new angels of the new order to take it! Please! Help me!"

Gayle's eyes widen as she hears the words and smacks him in the face. She's angry. Her cheeks are red, she's huffing and puffing and she tugs at David as she tries to get him out of the way from the angry mob. She grumbles as she puts herself between the mob and David as she looks back towards them.

"Why the hell are you listening to this… this.." she doesn't even have the words to really put everything she's feeling in a coherent statement. There's rage. There's anger. There's sadness. She's a ball of mixed emotion as her cheeks turn rosy pink from the fury the has balled up inside her as she watched this travesty go on. "This perverted monster! He's your /teacher/! He's supposed to protect you! Not make you all like.." and again, she tries to come up with something. "This.." she says in an exasperated fashion before looking back towards her fellow scared teen.

"Get outside the bus. Now. We'll follow." she says firmly and resolutely.

The ballsy jock, Jake heads on over and backfists Gayle in the face. She wasn't expecting it, and even for a mortal, he's surprisingly strong. Sure she takes the brunt of the damage, but she still falls back onto her butt ashe yells at her and Tavio.

"You stupid fucking bitch! You're nthe corrupted ones! The teacher is guiding us! He wants us topurify him of his sin! And we'll purify you too if you don't get off our bus!" and he reaches back to pull a knife out, moving towards Gayle menacingly. "I'll cut you, you stupid cunt.." he yells.

Tavio doesn't give a whole lot of thought to what happens next.

At the precise instant that Gayle is stricken and sent to the floor, Tavio's skin feels too tight to contain him, and his mind's eye rolls back like that of a shark so that he perceives everything through the lens of something primal and angry. He exults in this surrender.

That Jake's neck doesn't break is a miracle. He is slammed against the interior of the bus, visiting each wall and the ceiling before being folded over the front seat. Prior to letting go, Tavio could feel the the pulse steady beneath his palm. For the second time today everything he hears sounds like it's underwater and the entire world moves at a fever pitch, all shapes and concepts disentangled from meaning. He knows someone is screaming. He's not sure if it's him until the rawness of his throat becomes apparent through the haze.

If the importance of looking angry weren't hardwired into every muscle at this moment, Tavio would smile. Sound rushes back into his ears, and meaning and form and purpose to guide the rage that needed that one brief moment of utter abandon to keep from splitting him open.

"….and YOU!!" he hisses through clenched teeth as he closes his hand over the teacher's mouth, pressing his fingers firmly enough to impress upon the deluded man's senses how dangerously close he is to losing the entirety of his face to a careless squeeze. Tavio trails off and raises his head, blinking like a puzzled bull as he realizes he can't remember what he was ranting about.

"Shut the fuck up," he settles on, coming down off an adrenaline high that has his shoulders heaving. "You've said enough." 'And so have I', thinks Tavio. His throat hurts a little.

And for the next few moments, everything moves at super slow motion for Gayle. Her eyes widen as she tries to reach out to stop Tavio from doing what he does to the jock. She moves slowly, just as the fiery soccer player unleashes his divine or at least semidivine wrath on the mortal.

It's all surreal. Not just to her, but everyone. Jake is a big guy. He can usually beat up anyone, but considering he's bloodied and bruised in the end, with Gayle's arms wrapped around Tavio's shoulders trying to hold him back, people's jaws are agape. They stare at the pair as she continues to try to pull Tavio back, scrunching up her nose while squeezing him, trying to get him to calm down.

It's then that he's talking again, pointing back towards the teacher. Gayle sighs softly as she whispers. "They're /still/ human. You can't thrash them like that." She sounds disappointed, but at least is somewhat thankful and appreciative of his own gallant if over the top actions. "He didn't hurt me Tavio. Take a deep breath, kay?" she tries to reassure him before tugging him towards the entrance of the bus. "We can't make it seem like the teacher is right.."

But alas, it's already too late. The teacher is grinning triumphantly. It's like he's glad that all this happened. That tempers flared. That someone was hurt. It only makes his points and his preaching stronger and resonate more with the young impressionable minds of the teenagers.

"/THIS!/ This is the corruption of the outside world that I was talking about! These two have come from the outside totry to stopus. To try to stop our glorious order! Out heathens! You may defile my body, but my spirit will live on through these youth!" And that's the young slut speaking before pointing towards the enamored crowd around her who cheers in triumph. Things just backfired for the pair.

David just stands dumbstruck. It seems the words have resonated with him especially after this little demonstration. "I.. I'm sorry! Teacher! Please take me back! The outside world scares me! Only you can protect us! Please!"

As one of the more ardent of the teacher's disciples takes up the cause, Tavio glares at her and takes in a deep breath as though preparing to unleash another tirade. He catches a smug look in his captive's eye and turns to stare daggers into those eyes and shake his head gently.

Awareness has returned to Tavio in a steady trickle, and only now does he realize Gayle is all but draped from his shoulders, trying to calm him down. He's literally warmer than should be healthy, his Aztlanti ichor quickened to a boil beneath his skin and screaming for blood and order. Exhaling a shaky breath, he releases the man's face and wipes his hand on Jake's jacket. With a deliberate step backward, he reaches up to tentatively touch Gayle's hand to let her know he's alright. This isn't exactly true.

This would be so much easier if the contrition he feels after being chastised by his friend were to penetrate to the core of his being. The problem is, even as he tries to admit he's wrong there's something dark and confident assuring him that he's most assuredly not. He's reasonably certain that he would lose everything if he were to confess this secret to anyone.

"What now?" he asks Gayle in a hoarse whisper.

"Out heathens! Out!" the slutty girl says once more as she along with the others look towards the teacher and Jake, tending to their wounds as best as they can. David trembles as he starts to cry. "I.. I'm so sorry. So, so sorry.." he whimpers, giving the two would be rescuers an angry glare as they continue to crowd together in the bus.

"We call this one a loss. They're too mindfucked to realize what's going on. That teacher took advantage of them. We have to just let them be lest we continue to prove his point.."

And darkness falls. Gayle looks outside as she sighs softly, taking a deepbreath as she starts tugging on Tavio before motioning towards the seemingly quiet neighboor houses near by.

"We need to find shelter. We can't go back now. Too dangerous. Have to sleep and rest somewhere else and we go back first thing in the morning.." she suggests as she starts to head out of the bus sounding rather despondent.

By the time Tavio has climbed down the steps and started to walk away from the bus, he is too emotionally drained to get upset at being called a heathen. He chuckles bitterly at a private thought: He may have saved David's life anyway, since the mob was just shy of casting him out to be food for the dead. Now everyone is safely nestled in the fold with something new to hate and fear. For some reason, it seems fitting that it be him. That kind of thing runs in the family, after all.

None of this seems that important. Genetically predisposed toward looking at the big picture, Tavio still feels restlessly driven to find the 'feather' and stop the immediate threat of the swelling ranks of restless dead. The most practical way to save the survivors of the event would be to stem that tide and let attrition do the rest. His defense against this kind of thought has been worn down, to the point where his conscience indulges in some perfunctory hand-wringing and then curls up in the corner of his mind to sulk helplessly.

"Yeah," he agrees. "Trying to get back at this hour would be suicidal. I mean, I can see pretty good when the moon's out, but it's still dark. We get lost, we probably wind up dead. Y'think there might be an upstairs apartment or something they haven't got to? So far opening doors doesn't seem to be their strong suit."

There are multiple level apartments in the area! That's always a good thing. There's a deep breath as she shivers, hearing the sounds of the restlessundead shambling about as the bus is closed immediately and drives off astheyleave. There's a group of 'them' heading towards the pair and she just puts her hand over her lips as she starts running, tugging Tavio along once more.

Gayle is tired. She's weary. And emotionally drained from everything that just happened. Still, they're surrounded in what seems to be a bad remake of "Thriller" and she spies one of the third level apartments. She squints and offers her arms to scoop up Tavio so she can jump ontothe balcony to see which apartment is empty and doesn't have rotting moving corpses around.

"Come on. I'll jump us from balcony to balcony." she whispers.

There's a lot of potential for humor that goes completely to waste given the raw state the two of them are in. Tavio just nods, and settles into Gayle's arms without a second thought.

"Do the damn thing," he whispers, his voice still sounding raw.

She'll feel him tense up as the street lights come on, soundless and reliable as well-oiled clockwork, right on time. Those are the only lights in a place that's normally dotted with the sporadic glow from windows like constellations throughout the town.

The lights that do go on don't really provide a lot of illumination. There are still many dark corners where the restless dead hide, waiting for easy prey. As she starts jumping from place to place, she'll hear moaning and groaning noises. This time, it isn't sexxorz. It's moreundead looking for a meal.

And so she hops for a while, going from apartment to apartment until they're finally back within the protection of the barbed wire. They're on the outskirts and the least protected area, but at least, they seem to have found a place that was seemingly abandoned by the former tennants for possible safety in numbers, meaning the tenants are now back at the mansion.

There's a slight smash of the window, her hand bleeding from the punch, but she at least is able to open the sliding door so they can go in. Look, there's TV! There's a couch! There's a bedroom! There's even left over food in the fridge!

"This place should do till dawn." she says, setting Tavio down as she heads towards the kitchen to wash her bloodied hand. "And how are you feeling? I know you were angry, but remember. We can thrash monsters, not other people."

Tavio returns to himself somewhat as Gayle searches for someplace habitable. He's got nothing better to do than think right now, so he settles in to do a fair bit of it. He doesn't come to any stellar new epiphanies, mostly because he's still convinced that what the consensus would call 'wrong' he regards as merely 'rather unfortunate'.

He has the presence of mind, but not the motivation, to try and stop Gayle from breaking the window to open the door. "Coulda picked the lock," he rasps as he shuffles inside and totters backwards onto the couch to sprawl and scowl in the darkness. Sure, they could turn on a light, and it might not even attract every zombie in town to them, but this suits him much better.

"When it gets hard to tell the difference," he says, "I err on the side of caution." He sets his jaw stubbornly as he looks up at her, but he can't hold to that conviction now. Looking her in the eye, he crumples and deflates, letting his head rest against the couch as if the bones in his neck had gone on sabbatical.

"I'm sorry, Gayle. I really am. I'm just kinda losin' it, I guess. We have a clear purpose and not a lot of time and all this shit keeps happening 'cos there are people crazier and stupider than I am to wade through to get there. I-" he holds up a hand and shakes his head, giving her a pleading look.

"Whatever you do, please don't lecture me. It's not that I don't know all this stuff. Anything you might say. I don't forget it all of a sudden and need to be taught again. It's just…sometimes it stops mattering so much.

"And please don't tell Matthew."

Tavio and Gayle are now in an uninhabited apartment, after their own little duet mission to see what's going on around the area. They didn't find much, but it's dark now and the shambling dead continue to.. uh… shamble about outside. Fortunately for them, they broke into a third floor apartment with food, TV and other niceties. It might be worrisome to Matthew and Pei that it's dark out and they aren't back though. Sadness.

She scrunches her nose as she chuckles and nods as she purses her lips and nods. "I wanted to punch something, especially after what happened with that teacher and his little cult. I hope that David kid is going to be all right. I know we backfired, but still, I can't help but think they're still going to make a virgin sacrifice out of him, or an example to keep the rest of the minds warped with fear and just general fucked-up-ness."

There's a soft sigh as she wraps her hand in a clean cloth before she purses her lips and flops onto the couch as she shakes her head and looks towards Tavio sympathetically. "No, you're not losing it. You're Hispanic! You guys are fiery! And feisty! It's kinda hot really." she says with a cheery smile, trying to reassure him. "We are in a sea of asshattery, superdickery and just whacko-ness. We can't make sense of things. The world is upside down. Right is left, left is right, up is down, black is white." she says with a soft sigh. "And I'm not going to lecture you, but if you wanna talk about it, no problem. And this will be our little secret. We can't have this dividing up the group even more."

Tavio shakes his head and drinks in a hiss of breath, mustering volition from a store that is rapidly dwindling away to crumbs. He sits up a little, eyes as wide and panicked as his state of exhaustion will allow.

"No fuckin' way am I letting this fuck up the group," he asserts, his voice almost venomous with conviction. He swallows an imagined lump and continues to shake his head. "No fuckin' way. Those motherfuckers aren't worth it. None of these people are worth that.

"I don't think they're gonna kill that kid though." He lets out a shaky sigh and conjectures further, sinking back into the back cushion. "He's born again. He's bought and paid for. We done gave 'em an object lesson in the evils of the world outside their fuckbus, they're tighter than ever…"

His thoughts start to stray, as a deeply rooted pragmatism finally does something constructive and derails his train of thought toward less introspective and self-recriminating territory. This will give his psyche time to rest, its underused musculature badly torn from so much exercise in so short a time.

"Well, except Lyndsay. That bitch ain't never gonna be tight again. Ol' boy Cedric's tossin' a hot dog down a train tunnel." He takes refuge in vulgarity and celebrates his continued health with a juvenile snicker.

"And it won't screw up the group. You're the son of our mom'sBFFs, so that makes you like honorary BFF or something like that. Or maybe BFF once removed."

Gayle scrunches her nose as she really doesn't know at this point while stretching her arms into the air as she lays back on thecouchandsighssoftlywhile staring up at the stucco ceiling. She hrmms and sets her hands down over her stomach after putting down the bats that they had as she hrmms for a few moments.

"Just, when we get back with the others, try to control your temper more? I have a feeling there are a lot more nutjobs out there and this was just the beginning. And try to remember the story in as much detail as you can for Pei. If anyone can figure out the meaning of that parable, it's her."

Gayle's reassurance coaxes a soft sigh from Tavio, whose weight shifts audibly upon the couch as he relaxes. "Som'in' like that," he agrees, too tired to try and sort out the particulars of that arrangement.

Her request, though, provokes a more energetic reaction, but only by comparison. He raises a leaden limb to rub at his eyes with the heel of his palm and breathes out a whistle.

"I always had anger problems," he admits. "Even growin' up. Sometimes we had to move 'cos I did somethin'. But I'm gettin' better at it. You guys make it easier. It's like, now I know somebody's got my back, it ain't quite so big a thing to let shit go when I ought to. I'm just not used to people understanding anything other than fear. You scare shit into somebody's head, it seems to stick. Doing it the nice way just makes 'em laugh behind your back.

"Anyways, I'll try. And I can't forget the stuff I see in my visions. I don't usually understand it, but I don't forget it neither."

He squints thoughtfully, eyeing the blank, dead screen of the television. "So now what? Wanna raid the kitchen? Or maybe dial out and see if one of them zombies used to be a pizza delivery guy?"

"Well, you definitely scared that guy, too bad you scared everyone else too. Still, thanks once more for standing up to me. I know you didn't need to. But you did anyway. It was awfully gallant of you." she says in response as she eases on up and beelines for the kitchen as she starts rumaging through the fridge and freezer.

"There's a t-bone here. We can split it!" she offers cheerily as she starts pulling out the steak, a few assorted frozen vegetables, and other things before raiding their pantry. "Wah! Ramen. Lots of ramen. Might as well eat what we can, bring the rest to the mansion tomorrow. Lots of canned food too. And puppy chow! Zeke will have something then." she says merrily before it's time for dinner. Woo!

"I just reacted," Tavio admits, climbing to his feet with a miserable huff. He's been aching for a chance to get some sleep since he woke up on the bus earlier today. Still, he seems to be holding up well enough as he follows Gayle into the kitchen.

"It just seemed so wrong I couldn't let it go…It's like, I didn't even know why we were there anymore. There was no goal to win, no…reason behind anything. It all kinda just narrowed down to that one moment."

Given the tirade that accompanied the beatdown and resultant chaos, it's clear that some intellectual process was happening, but his voice was raw rage and rebuke and lacked a certain Tavio-esque flair, as if it were someone else speaking. It wasn't, of course.

"Anyway, scoot over. I'mma cook this. You'll see, I'm a great cook. Gotta make dinner for momma most nights and she's a picky eater." That's not true, really. Momma Reyes praises her son's cooking to high heaven, perhaps more than it really deserves. Incidentally, the Wisteria moms would be able to tell their children stories of Rosie's infamous temper. He blames his dad, but he was stuffed into that pigeonhole by both sides of the family.

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