|It's Brittany, Bitch | Ερις (eristic) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-04-17 09:26:00
|Entry tags:||eris, tyr, uke mochi|
taking the long way around
Who: Alice & BB, then Gus.
What: BB checks up on her family.
Where: Fourth floor, then sixth.
When: Sunday, April 16.
One hand pushing off of a banana tree, BB strolled up to 405 and knocked, which struck her as weird. With all of the other things going on, wasn't it strange to not just stroll right in? But Alice's apartment was her own, and BB wasn't going to mess with that. Instead, she turned to examine the hutch, which was still a stone's throw away from her. She'd started to take a step away from the door when it opened, and BB turned back to her friend with a wide smile to see her whole and OK. She closed the space between them, sweeping Alice up into a hug.
"How're you, skittles? You OK? Your apartment in one piece?" She peeked over Alice's shoulder, seeing the normal depths of her friend's living space.
“Yeah, it’s perfectly fine,” Alice said with a sigh as she squeezed Brit back. “I didn’t even know anything weird was going on when I woke up. But then I looked at my phone and couldn’t get onto Instagram, then I tried my computer, then I saw all the network posts and looked out my door to… this.” She stepped back and looked at the hallway in all its tropical glory. “Is your floor like this too? Gus said on the message board his was different.”
BB glanced around, half shaking her head. "I mean, it's different, but it's not like this. It looks like...well, kinda like a cemetery? With altars and chalk drawings and voodoo dolls. Yeah, voodoo dolls. No idea what that's about." She slipped a hand into Alice's. "You feel up for some exploring? I told Gus I'd come up to check on him, plus I wanna see what he's freaking out about."
“Ha, yeah, let’s explore. But first, I’m grabbing some muffins. I promised Gus I’d give him some food. You want a muffin? I’ve got chocolate and blueberry; you get first pick.” She pulled on her friend’s hand, tugging her quickly into the apartment where Alice pointed at the bag of muffins on her kitchen counter as she put on running sneakers. In a green tank top and cargo shorts, all Alice needed were hiking books to really fit the adventure, but the sneakers would do. “I’m really thinking it’s time we start looking into how much the cost is for breaking a lease here.”
BB had already grabbed and taken a bite of the chocolate muffin, her stomach growling at the presentation of food with a known source. The Red Bull had done little to satiate her morning appetite; she spoke through the muffin in her mouth.
"I don't think I can afford it," she replied. "I mean, I know I've only been here for, like, two, three months? Of a year long lease. Def not getting my deposit back. At least, like, the change didn't extend into our units?" It was small consolation, but they had to look at whatever silver linings they could find. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, half-eaten muffin still held within.
"You good? Let's get going. I don't want Gus to eat half the floor if we don't get to him in time." She grabbed the bag of muffins, walking toward the front door.
“Well maybe we can pool our money together,” Alice suggested as she followed Brit out, locking her apartment door behind her before slipping her key into the pockets of her shorts. With no cell reception, she had no use to carry anything else but her key. “Maybe I can help to cover your cost if it isn’t too expensive. Should we take the elevator or the stairs? Do you know if it's safe?” Alice looked to her friend, looking out of place in the tropical oasis that had become her hallway.
BB was still devouring the muffin; she shook her head.
"Haven't tried the elevator. Let's just take the stairs; it's only two more floors." She swallowed her mouthful, ducking under the same banana tree as before, then wove her way through sugarcane. "The floor under this one looks like a giant inn; big ol' fireplace, some kegs. I tried some, it's legit alcohol, not sure what kind though. Kinda sweet, almost like beer? So yeah, looks like every floor is different. I mean, aren't you kinda curious why this is happening?" She glanced back at Alice, getting to the stairwell door. Daniel was nowhere to be seen -- BB was only slightly curious as to where he'd disappeared to -- but she held the door open for her friend to enter first. "The stairs look like they stayed the same, like our apartments.
"But think about it -- they're being picky about who lives here, we're getting weird as shit presents, and now this? I mean...what the fuck?"
“Brit, I don’t know,” Alice said with a shake of her head as they clomped up the stairs. “The dreams, the wheat, the floors. I mean, obviously something is going on. You don’t have super powers, right? Because I sure as hell don’t. So I don’t think we’re mutants or something, this isn’t like Professor Xavier’s apartment complex.”
She picked at the bandage around her thumb as she looked up the stairs. “Like, I want to find out what the hell is going on but I’m also not entirely sure this is all real. I mean, it’s not possible. There are plants growing out of my floor. It has to be like the dreams, has to be.”
BB stopped and turned and grabbed Alice's arm. Even with the remnants of the muffin in one hand, she was able to pinch Alice's parchment white skin, making a small, pink circle.
"Does that feel real? Look, skittles, I don't wanna be a bitch, but this is real. Something is happening, and it's happening to us. And I wanna know why." She rubbed her thumb over the small hurt she'd made. "Sorry, I just... It's not gonna help us to hide and pretend this isn't happening. We gotta keep with it, and there's shit to find out, OK? So let's go get my idiot brother and figure this out."
Alice shook her arm and frowned. “Hey, I’m the one that had wheat grow out of my head, remember? Believe me, I know very well this isn’t a dream. I just hope it is.” Alice continued up the stairs, not saying anything else to Brittany, her feelings hurt slightly all the while. Everyone seemed to question the whereabouts of the wheat from her head, but now Alice was the one who had to understand it was all real? But her annoyance was temporary as they reached the next floor and opened the doors to reveal a completely different layout than the previous floor they had been on. “Wow,” Alice whispered as she stopped in the doorway.
BB stepped up next to her, eyes going to the right and the left before following a giant, orange and black gate up toward the ceiling. She sniffed the air, drinking deep of the scent of incense (Gus had said something about the floor smelling weird), and she took a step out toward the fountain. That seemed to be just water, and she dipped a hand in. Turning, she spritzed Alice with a little of it.
"This is crazy. Let's go find Gusgus, I don't see him out and about."
Alice nodded but remained silent, her gaze moving over each element of the floor. Something about it seemed… comforting. She only experienced this type of sensation in a few locations: returning to her home in DC, going to New York City and hanging around her old college neighborhood. It was the sense of familiarity, the sense of returning home, but she knew next to nothing about the type of stuff surrounding them. It was Asian, but she didn’t really know from what region, and yet...
She wandered down the hall, following Brit only a little, and found her fingers tracing over the different elements that made up the wall. “Brit, I think this is what Gus was talking about,” Alice called, pointing at a wall with a number of plates that had messages on them. As much as she wanted to read, she turned her back to it all and chewed on her lip. “Yeah, let’s check his apartment…”
BB passed by the boards, eyes narrowing as she leaned in to read a few of the plates. They were legitimately secrets, and for a moment, she wondered whose and how they'd gotten there. But she nodded at Alice's idea, turning to head toward 605 and rapping on it to get Gus' attention.
Great, who was on his floor now? After he'd parted ways from Nish, Gus had gone back home, ignoring the secrets she'd been obsessing over, even crying over--dealing with a crying woman was bad enough. But dealing with a crying woman who kept insisting she knew you? That was even worse.
Grumbling under his breath, This had better be BB with cereal, he meandered to the door, opening it a margin. Seeing the familiar faces of his sister and Alice, he pulled back, quickly running a hand through his mussed hair. He had to look at least somewhat presentable since Alice had come along with BB. Only then did he fully open the door. He stepped aside in case they wanted to come inside his apartment.
“It's about time, I'm starving up here,” he complained. “And uh, hey Alice. BB didn't tell me you were coming with,” Gus’ tone lightened when he spoke to the redhead, although he shot his sister an incriminating look. There'd have to be time to gripe at her later. Meanwhile, he felt it was only right to confront the weird hallway situation of the sixth floor. “You guys didn't read those secrets, did you? Apparently they're like. Actually real. Well, according to this chick who ran up here.”
With all his strength, he was trying to not immediately pounce on the muffins the two women had brought with them, but he nonetheless spared them a longing glance.
"Not yet; why, did someone put up there that you loved wearing my Hello Kitty underwear to bed when you were three?" She held up the bag of muffins, shoving them at his broad chest. "Alice brought you muffins, now what do you say?"
“Blueberry muffins,” Alice chimed in with a smile, meeting Gus’s gaze. “Brit ate the chocolate one. Have you read any of the secrets yet?” She waved at the wall behind her, already slowly pivoting around to look at the writing again. “Is to blame for the cat infestation,” Alice read outloud. “Huh. Brit, didn’t you say there were a bunch of cats here before I moved in?”
He visibly rolled his eyes at BB’s commentary, which was nothing more than pure tomfoolery. At least, he figured it was, because trying to remember being three years old was no easy task. “Thanks, Alice. I owe you one,” Gus said to Alice with a smile, having accepted the bag of muffins from BB and already digging into the blueberry muffin. Around a bite of muffin, he shook his head no. “Nah, just didn't see the point.” He swallowed, clearing his mouth. “I don't like gossip.” Contrary to his admission, however, Gus moved into the hallway and closer to Alice. He peered at the secret she was inspecting, suddenly incredibly interested in it.
“Cat infestation? That's...just so weird. I thought this place was like. Better maintained than that. Did someone have to call the exterminator?” He frowned, glancing back at BB for an explanation. Another bite of muffin was popped into his mouth.
BB joined them, glancing at the plates. "Yeah, there was a shitton of cats just showing up in the middle of February, and you know.... You know, now that I know someone was responsible, I think I know exactly who it is." She didn't name names, though the scowl on her face said plenty regarding her opinion of the assumed culprit. Instead, she kept reading along the various plates.
"You said someone was up here freaking out, Gusgus? You know who?"
Looking at his sister from over Alice's head, Gus’ brows drew together in consternation. “Yeah, she said her name was Nisha or something. Kept insisting she knew me, but hell if I've ever seen her before. Definitely wasn't her that put this stuff up here, she was like. Super scared.” He pointed at the rows of secrets with the muffin, a few crumbs dropping down onto the floor. They'd just join the rest of the food that'd been strewn down the corridor.
“Nish,” Alice corrected as she moved down the wall, her gaze reading over the secrets without any sense of embarrassment to finding out other people’s secrets. “She’s Rafael’s girlfriend… sort of. She’s, ah, had it rough recently.”
“Oh. That sucks. I just thought she was like. You know, missing a screw or something.” He made a mental note that if he saw Rafael again, he wouldn't mention that to his face. The guy probably already knew, anyway.
every time she has a failed relationship, she thinks that it may be her fault, karma for breaking things off with her ex, and perhaps that she had lost her chance for "true love". The secret stood out to Alice and she felt her cheeks go warm, but otherwise, she made no mention of it, moving along to the next secret so as not to bring attention to it. Instead, she continued talking calmly, the floor making her feel more relaxed than she felt all day. “Was she scared of her secret being up here? Or just… everything that’s been going on?”
“Dunno, she didn't really say. Sounded like this isn't the first time that someone's spilled the beans about her.” Gus finished the rest of his muffin, dusting more crumbs onto the floor.
"It's definitely been a lot of crazy shit lately. I mean, who even has time to get to know everyone well enough to have all of this?" BB threw her arms wide, motioning at the wide board and the plates. Then she cast a sardonic look back at her brother and her friend. "I'm being serious, you guys, and I know I'm a fuckin' busybody but, jesus, even I don't have time for this many blindbox items. And I know y'all think you lead interesting lives, but I dunno who'd wanna read about any of this in TMZ..."
seriously wants Alice to notice her in a more-than-friends capacity; doesn't know why she can't be straight up with her. Alice’s eyes went wide and she stepped back, her light blush spreading over her cheeks and deepening in color. Maybe it was a misspelling, doesn’t know why she can’t be straight up. Surely it meant a he.
Alice glanced at Gus before turning away to look down the hall. “Hey, Brit, this reminds me a lot of the dream I had with Rafael. Did I tell you that? I was the grassy lady again,” she blabbered, trying to draw attention away from the wall.
He sighed, exasperated with the whole situation. The one good thing was that he was no longer hungry. He crossed his arms, biting his tongue at commenting on BB’s self admission of her own nosiness. Looking from his sister to Alice, Gus’ brows nearly hit the edge of his forehead.
“Grassy lady? Is that like, code for something?” He tilted his head, wondering what else he didn't yet know about Alice. “‘Cause I don't see anything up here about being grassy, and that sounds like the kinda secret you'd wanna keep. I mean. If I was writing the Pax Letale Clue board game or whatever, I'd include that.”
"She's not talking about flatulence, Gus," BB shot back, "though that's something you and [ Rasheph ] would know plenty about, huh? Men," BB rolled her eyes, then looked to Alice.
"No, you didn't. You had one with Rafe?? Wait, what'd he look like?" She stepped around her brother, coming back to Alice's side.
“Like himself, sort of,” Alice replied with a smile. “But his skin is glowing and his eyes are bright, he has a crazy beard and he’s in robes. But it was more or less him all the way. Super sweet and kind. He came to my house--or the grass lady’s house--and I made him tea.”
Alice touched the edge of a flower that was gathered, like an offering, and seemed at ease by all the dreams while before it had been bothering her. The hall, the incense, it was all calming. She turned her gaze to Augustus and her smile was shy. “Gus, you probably haven’t had these dreams yet,” she began, her eyes not able to meet his for long. “But we seem to be dreaming of these people, like we are these people, and we share the dreams. The first one I had, I dreamt I was this lady made out of grass and wheat, and I shared the dream with Brit. Second was with Rafael.”
“...Let me get this straight. You’re having dreams about Rafael and my sister? This isn’t code either, is it?” Gus’ face scrunched up comically, uncertain that Alice didn’t mean those kind of dreams. There was an awful lot of confusing messages being sent lately, and not all of them came from the oddness on the sixth floor. “I...I don’t have those kinda dreams. I mean. I haven’t had those kinda dreams. Not that I wanna dream about some dude I just met the other week. Or like, at all. I don’t want to dream about dudes.” The corridor suddenly felt a lot more uncomfortable than it had this morning.
"Hey, don't knock it before you try it, Gusgus," BB teased. "Maybe you'll find out something new about yourself, you know?" She glanced conspiratorially at Alice, though in all reality she was weighing her friend's reaction in turn. Had she seen BB's wish on the board, there hung as clear as day for all and sundry to see? The double female pronoun seemed to underline that it was her, unless there was another lesbian in the building that she was yet unaware of.
"But yeah. I've had one with Daniel; have you met him? He's on my floor, buff dude, total asshole jock but he's a cool guy," she quickly amended. "We were in this -- oh shit, we haven't told him about the room yet, skittles," she added, looking to Alice and in the same moment forgetting that she'd hoped Alice would suddenly understand ten years of unspoken tension, instead replacing that hope with the need to fill her brother in on all the shenanigans in the building.
"Maybe we should go in your apartment..."
Alice shrugged. “There’s no one else on this floor but us and I have a feeling whatever is going on with the floors is directly tied to that room and the dreams, so there’s no sense hiding from it.” Alice glanced around the floor again, oddly at ease with remaining there. Her senses indicated it was strange to want to remain, but she couldn’t fight the feeling of calm. And to be honest, after having such awful sleep since the first dream and the wheat, Alice was welcoming the calm.
He refused to let BB rile him up in front of Alice. It would have been fine around anyone else, but not Alice. Rather than dignifying BB's taunts with a response, he gave her a silent glare of death, one million daggers focused on his sister.
The daggers went blunt, however, at the mention of some kind of secret room. “Wait, hold up, both of you.” He looked from one woman to the other, confused but curious despite his own apprehensions. “There's some kind of special room here? Did I lie to Dad when I said this place was safe?” Special rooms, dreams about other tenants, dreams about being a grass person, none of it made any sense to him. “Can like. You guys fill me in? ‘Cause I'm kinda lost right now.” Gus rubbed at the back of his neck, waiting for an answer. Maybe the explanation would be simple. He sure as hell hoped so.
Alice turned her attention fully to the siblings and frowned. She looked to BB and gave a small shrug. “That topic is all yours, Britt,” she said quietly, her attention already drifting away to look at the various shrines on the floor.
"I don't think you lied to Dad, Gusgus," BB started, waving one hand; she still felt weird talking about this in the open hallway, as though someone might come upon them and tell them to knock it off, like children making noise amid the golden silence of a library. "I mean, how could you know? I didn't, when I signed the goddamn lease. But Daniel and I, we had this dream about a room. We were these things -- us but not us -- and we were stuck in, like, this storage place in the lobby. So we went and we found it. It's got all this stuff in it, like the things we got at the beginning of the month."
“It’s worth noting that the people who are us but not us, the things we dream about, they keep popping up in other dreams. So the person Brit was in her dream was Daniel, she was that same person in the dream with me. I was the wheat lady in the dream with her, and I was that lady again in my dream with Rafael. It’s like, a reoccurring dream cast,” Alice added, pausing before a collection of foods on beautiful plates with candles incense burning throughout. “Like we’ve been assigned roles in our dreams.”
“So like, let's pretend the room and the dreams are totally connected,” Gus said, as if he fully accepted everything he'd learned this morning. While he couldn't deny that actual changes had occurred in the building, it didn't mean he liked them. Or that he thought they were acceptable--like these dreams Alice and BB were insisting had a kind of validity to them. “Does that mean there's something in the water here, ‘cause I thought California was supposed to be about saving the earth or whatever.”
He pressed his hands to his temples, pacing a bit in the hallway as he tried his best to accept this new, strange reality. “Who is running this place? ‘Cause if they're not gonna be around, maybe like. You should go back to that closet. What if something new is in there now that the building's messed up?” Gus looked pointedly at BB, who seemed less at ease than Alice. “Am I gonna end up with these dreams, too? What are they trying to say?”
BB shrugged. "Fuck if we know, and yes, we're already going back. Daniel and I, anyway," she said, glancing at Alice. She looked back at Gus. "If you wanna come with, like if you don't believe us or something, you're more than welcome. Just... Man, more people is probably a bad idea. I don't wanna, like, be marching an army down there. We already made Stephan suspicious the last time we went to ask him about the police badge."
Gus came to a sudden stop. “Wait, you guys found some kind of freaking police badge in there? Why would that creep hoard a badge?” Unless something more devious was happening at Pax. “Look, BB, I don't wanna sound like a junior cop, but that's not normal.”
“No, Daniel got it as a gift,” Alice clarified. “That day we got all the weird gifts outside of our apartment? I got a lesbian cookbook of all things, Brit got a shark movie, Daniel got a badge and we found out from Stephan that a cop used to live here, you know, before the place was closed. We just haven’t googled the cop’s name yet or anything… and I guess we won’t be able to with the internet down.”
BB crossed her arms over her chest, shaking her head. "Nope. Right now we're just sitting pretty with our thumbs up our butts. Metaphorically speaking, Gusgus, don't hurt yourself trying to figure that one out," she added, smirking at her brother.
"You know what we could do, right now? While Stephan's gone? We should see if we can get into the room. Like. Now."
“Mmm, I think I’ll take a raincheck on that,” Alice admitted with a frown.
“Well, I’m gonna go.” Going with BB to the secret room would just prove that it possibly didn't even exist, because why would they find a secret room? This wasn't Narnia or whatever. If both of them were dreaming about glowing men and grassy women, they might’ve both been high or drunk before they went to sleep. Ergo, the entire notion of a room could be entirely made up. Regardless of all signs pointing to it actually existing (what didn't exist here at this point?), Gus stubbornly refused to believe otherwise until he saw it with his own two eyes.
Or didn't see it.
“If you want, Alice, you could like. Hang out in my place while we're gone.” His offer was followed by a small smile, meant for Alice only. “We'll be back soon.”
BB missed the strange look Gus gave her friend instead completely focused on the suggested investigation. Finding out more about the building nagged her, and she waved her brother impatiently toward the stairwell doors.
"Yeah, skittles, hopefully this won't take long. And if we find anything good, we'll bring it back to show you!"
Leaving their friend to her observances on the sixth floor, the Bernard siblings descended to the first floor.