Playing the weatherman

Who: Owen and Open
When: Early morning, around seven am.
Where: 1 maple street

Owen couldn’t really deny that the scientists were behind this now. Not when he woke up exactly the same way he had before (not in the bathtub and not hoping there would be someone else there) and with Jeremy still missing.

Strangely, the thing he missed the most was going for a run. He’d opened up his window and stuck his head out, Clarkson glowering at him balefully from a corner, the cold smacking him in the face. He could see the ground though, so maybe he could actually get outside. Maybe.

He went for the jumper he’d bundled himself in the day before (it’d been taken off him during the night, holy –crap- someone’d been undressing him) and gathered Clarkson up in his arms, hiding her against his hoodie as he made his way out and down the stairs, bypassing the doors and heading down again, towards the kitchen.

He walked straight past Jeremy’s door, because he knew he wouldn’t be there. Not now, probably not again and god, that hurt. And was terrifying all the same. He was too focused on where he was stepping to tell if there was anyone else awake or not, shuffling towards the kitchen. If the box was there, he didn't register it, too intent on getting himself out of the front hall..

He peered in the doorway of the kitchen, making a face at the psychedelic countertops again. They really would give him a headache at some point. Speaking of headaches, he was running out of advil. Keeping one arm around his bird he leant against the doorway, sighing softly and scrubbing at his face with his other hand. It’d take him a long time till he actually stopped feeling scared, if he ever did.

And mornings were the worst.

 - .

Now, Jesse was not one for interior design. Really, his idea of decorating was throwing a movie poster on the wall--maybe, and generally speaking that had been to appease Ronnie or his daughter, who were bugged by bare walls. But seriously, those were the ugliest set of bed sheets he'd ever seen. And he'd seen some ugly bedsheets. He'd woken up in places that he couldn't even remember how he'd gotten to, in weird positions with strange people and this just took the cake. Stripes? For real? And ugly colored stripes at that? He felt like a zebra was mutilated and then given to kindergartners to fingerpaint on on his mattress.

Or maybe a circus had just wandered through, and thrown up in there. That was a theory.

Really, either one was a disturbing image, and he was going to pretend he hadn't thought of it. And go eat something, because he was famished. So, he wandered out of his room, looking around and wondering why the place he'd been put into was so big. He didn't need a big place. A spark of hope lit up in the back of his mind that maybe they had done it because he'd be getting to see Ronnie and Jessie. Maybe they were here somewhere. That had him taking the spiral steps two at a time downwards, and he stopped dead when he saw some guy standing in a doorway down there. That? Was not Ronnie. Or is daughter. That was just some dude. He raised his hand to vaguely point, opened his mouth, shut it, and then re opened it to try a second time. "...sooooo....are you just some crazy homeless man that wandered in, or have I not been let in on the probably hysterical joke the creepy ass scientists have apparently played on me?"

 - .

The sight of the wrong ceiling didn't bother Bethany nearly as much as she'd thought it would. For obvious reasons, she had expected to wake up in the wrong place again. This time, though, when she got out of the wrong bed, her movements were sluggish, and a sigh slipped out. She tripped on a blanket tangled around her legs and went down with a loud thump; but she laid there, not very willing to move and see who she had been stuck with this time. That Joy woman was certainly a piece of work--at least Owen had been relatively normal, even if he was a bit twitchy.

The red carpet made her skin itch, and she forced herself to stand, smooth the front of her tank top, and head towards the staircase, just like she had the days before.

She could hear someone new today--a man, by the sound of his voice. The blonde woman slowed as she neared the bottom of the stairs, green eyes taking in the man with his back to her, and Owen standing a little bit away. Another low sigh, just a breath of air past her lips to maybe let God know she was getting tired of this. She was still a little groggy, but her movements and her voice were just as soft as always; "Good morning."

 - .

Lost in his own world, Owen was jolted out of it by the people coming down the stairs. He fought down a yelp and jumped a little, moving away from the doorway to a slightly more defensible position. Everyone was a motherfucking NINJA.

"Holy -shit-. Okay, uh. Uhm. Hi! Good morning." He tried for a smile and got something of a grimace, swallowing and holding his bird and his arm closer to himself. He had no idea who this guy was and Bethany was nice, but she was a ninja, so he wasn't totally sure. A bit twitchy was probably an understatement.

"Uhm, The latter, I think." He said, in response to Jesse. He moved back and further into the kitchen, wanting to let Bethany pass. "Scientists and all that. Although I don't know if the lease on my apartment is up so I might be homeless and not know it? Sorry." he smiled again and this time it was a little more natural. It wasn't like these people'd attack him or anything. He needed to pull himself together.

 - .

Jesse moved so he could see Bethany too. Also Not-Ronnie. Right. He'd just been stuck in another damn house, hadn't he. Fabulous. Maybe it was a group home (and wow was that ever not the best connotation to have slapped on things) so they'd just chill for a while then get released back into the wild or whatever. The world. "Good morning." he said, putting both hands up in the universal gesture of 'hey, not meaning any harm here'.

He listened to Twitchy-Guy and that feeling that maybe this was temporary and the authorities had just forgotten to mention the group home thing started to die a horrible death. "...so, just for clarity here--this isn't just a group home or something, right? The whole going home, rescued business...." he trailed it off, because he couldn't quite bring himself to say it out loud yet.

 - .

"Halfway house for lab rats is more like it," said Joy, wandering into the room and leaning on the doorway, blowing smoke out of her nose. She'd woke up to find that the two packs of smokes she'd smoked the day before were replaced, score!, and the computer, which had met with a little accident after her computer conversation with her dear sister, was nice and shiney and new, like nothing had ever happened.

"Hiya kids," she said, moving past everyone for the cabinet, barely even registering that someone new was here, more interested in finding whether the sherry had been restocked as well. "Fuck yeah," she said, finding the bottle nice and full again. "UPS showed up while we were sleeping. Anyone order a big-ass box?" She motioned with her cigarette back towards the front hall as she opened the bottle and took a swig.

 - .

"Sorta, yeah. I don't think we're in kansas anymore?" Owen asked, working his fingers through Clarkson's feathers as he did so. It was comforting, having her there.

As much as he didn't want to admit it, Joy kind of scared the crap out of him. He moved out of her way, leaning back against the wall again, keeping an eye on everyone as best he could. He didn't -know- this new guy. Of course he didn't, hence the new bit, but Owen wasn't really known for being very clever. He looked nice enough, but then again, they all did.

And Joy's mentioning of a box couldn't be good for anyone. "Uh, no? What do you mean, UPS?" He asked, peering around behind and looking down the hall.

Oh, that big assed box. He honestly didn't know how he could've missed it, but miss it he did. He really needed to work on the whole caution thing.

 - .

So! There was a ton to take in here, a lot of people, and...Jesse was feeling a headache coming on. Okay, so he wasn't rescued, Ronnie and Jessie weren't here, and he really really didn't in any way think that this was a good thing. Fuck. He gave himself a few moments, just to take everything in, and then he sighed. "Well...for clarity here, I'm Jesse." he introduced himself, walking over to the box everyone was talking about. It seemed a little ominous, even if he knew that was probably stupid.

 - ..

Joy just kind of stood back and watched. Unless the box contained either more booze or implements of mass destruction, something to really set this place on fire, so to speak, she wasn't terribly interested. "If you're looking for clarity, you're in the wrong place, Jess-ter. This place is a fucking mind trip sometimes." She didn't have too much experience with this phase of the experiment, yet, she'd already been through some seriously trippy stuff. She looked outside and saw that the snow had let up, finally. Maybe she'd have to get out and do some recon today. "I'm Joy, the Nervous Nellie over there's Owen, and the Barbie Doll's Bethany. Okay, introductions over. Who's gonna get this shit over with and open 'er up?"

 - .

Looking over, Jesse quirked an easy little half smile at Joy. "Thanks for the intros." he told her. Then he eyed the box again and shrugged. "I will." he said. "Nothing ventured, or whatever." he commented, then opened up the box. Crouching when it was opened up, he reached in after looking confused, and pulled out--a car from a toy train?

"Well, if anyone is really into model train sets, we've hit the jackpot." he commented.

 - .

Bewildered, Owen wrinkled his nose, adjusting his hold on Clarkson before shoving hismelf up to go and have a look.

"Why...would they send us trains?" he asked, frowning softly. He used to play with a train set as a kid, like most other kids did. Cars, trains, that sort of thing. But this was really weird. "Is it electric?"

Trying to get his head around the whys and wheres of how they got this bigassed box into the house without waking anyone or MOVED them around without waking anyone was giving him a headache. Rubbing at his temple, he sighed, keeping his fingers curled around on his other hand.

 - ..

Joy pulled herself closer to look over Jesse's shoulder. "Oh, I've seen those. One of the boys I dated had one of those set up in his basement." She put her arm around Jesse and gave him a smile. "It didn't last long."

She pulled out a smaller box that turned out to have little people in it. "Boy, they went all out didn't they? Little victims and everything." She took another drag of her cigarette as she moved away with the box. "And who can say why the grand and glorious Oz would send his minions trains? Maybe they're hoping we'll electrocute ourselves with it. Wouldn't that be fun?"

She found a little girl in the box who looked vaguely like Janie. Dark hair, glasses. She pocketed it for later burning before returning the box to the bigger one.

 - .

"It's electric." Jesse confirmed. He wasn't quite sure how to react to Joy, but didn't so much in the end, as she moved off to look at other things. "Anyone got anything better to do today, or is train set building a go?" he asked, looking between Joy and Owen. Owen, who he noticed was kind of holding himself strangely and he was wondering why. But then again, the guy looked skittish as hell too. So...who knew.

 - .

Nodding, Owen gave Joy a bit of a berth before heading over to peer into the box. He wasn't as cautious as he possibly could have been, because he'd never gotten a box in his experiment before. Reaching in, he pulled out one of the little trees, smiling slightly.

"Looks like the stuff my brother'd use in warhammer games." He said, tilting his head and looking into the box again. It wasn't like they actually had anything to do, and it would be a disctraction at least. He shifted his hold on his bird, making sure his gloves actually stayed on before reaching into the box again, going to pick up another piece of landscape.

"I wonder how much track we have? Would it be enough for a loop?"

 - ..

"Here we go loopty-loo... here we go loopty-la..." Joy sang as she dug through the box a little more. It was getting a bit crowded with all three of them digging in, but they were slowly making progress. She made a point to get closer to Jesse. Owen had a bit too much baggage with him to be any fun, but Jesse seemed as stable as anyone in this house. Plus he smelled kinda good. Yeah, mamma needs some action, soon. She dug around and came up with what looked like the power source for the train set, dripping a little bit of ash into the box. No cherry though, no burny. "Aha! Now we're covered if the power goes out again!"

 - .

"Definitely an electric train." Jesse said, starting to set the track pieces aside, and moving back from the box to give himself some room. She started piecing some together, which really wasn't difficult or anything. Plus, he had a daughter, he'd spent time building playsets before in his day. Granted, she was a little too old for that stuff by now, but that wasn't the point. He was quiet for a few, thinking about his daughter, wondering where she was. If she was okay. Everything. Possibly if she'd ever in a million years forgive him.

 - .

Nodding distractedly, Owen set about getting some pieces of landscape out of the box. It was kind of cool, really. He'd never had a set like this when he was a kid. Nothing electric, at least. Shifting his grip on his bird he settled her against his hip, rather amused when she just flapped at him a little. He'd been spending a lot of time with her lately and she looked pretty damn worn out. Putting one of the bridges down on the ground, he reached in for the bag of trees.

"It looks like we've got a whole city in here."

 - .

Joy stubbed out her cigarette and tossed it aside as she got down on the floor, helping put the train together while humming "We Built This City". It was kind of fun. Silly, but fun. It reminded her of playing with her... kids... In fact, Austin had one a lot like this... Oh God... Tears started welling up in her eyes and her stomach started churning. She got up quickly, her hand over her mouth, mumbling an "I'm gonna be sick" as she ran upstairs to the bathroom, just hoping she made it. Goddamn scientists... goddamn Janie...

 - .

Jesse opened his mouth and looked over, blinking as Joy ran off, then he looked back to Owen. "Er...is she okay?" he asked doubtfully, wondering at that. Because that had been weird. But then again, so had her just tossing her cigarette on the floor, and everything else in this town and so really, it was possible his definition of the word needed recalibration.

 - .

"uh, I dunno." Owen said, wrinkling his nose a little. He'd never really been able to handle knowing people around him were throwing up, because it made him feel a little sick as well. Swallowing, he shrugged, eyeing the stairs. "I hope she is. Maybe it was the sherry?" He'd had cooking sherry once and that made him feel pretty awful.

He let go of Clarkson as she nipped his arm, jerking and wiggling a little to her let clamber over the back of his jacket. Reaching in, he picked up a little mountain, turning it this way and that.

"...These are actaully pretty cool."

 - .

Jesse noticed there it was again. The weird...was it twitching? He had no idea. But Owen was moving strangely. like he'd been holding himself strangely earlier. "Are you okay?" he asked. And vaguely, he wondered just how often he was going to be uttering that phrase to people. Well...with the trauma and everything, it was likely to be 'often'. "And um...yeah, there are definitely worse things we could have found in the box. So, what's your story? If you don't mind my asking." he said, figuring getting to know people was a good course of action.

 - .

"I'm fine?" He said, slightly confused. Shrugging it off, he smiled slightly, digging around in the box for the rest of the landscape, trying not to think about throwing up or the act thereof. It took him a moment to process what he was being asked before he shifted, Clarkson climbing up and settling back in his hood, peeking out the top and playing with the back of his hair.

"Uh, I was in experiment C? Before that I didn't really do much. Uhm...what did y'wanna know?" He was probably being too obtuse again but he wasn't used to talking to people. And the only person he'd really talked to was now -gone-, so he was a bit at a loss.

 - .

"What did you do for a living?" Jesse asked. "And what was C like?" he continued. Then winced faintly, pausing as he put more track together. "If you even want to tell me, which now that I'm thinking about it, you might not. So, feel free to tell me to fuck off or mind my own business." he said easily.

 - .

Owen wasn't about to tell him to shut up. It was kind of awesome to have someone to talk to, really. SHrugging, he shifted and reached over for a bridge, inspecting it quietly as he spoke.

"I was in art school till I dropped out. I'd just quit working at Tandy. 's an electronic's store in Australia." He said, trying to ignore the familiar, strong thud his chest did when he thought of home. "Selling tv's and computer parts and stuff like that. iPods." Putting the bridge down, he reached in and pulled out a complete train stop, rather amused at the little people glued to it.

He thought for a moment before continuing, looking over at Jesse before dropping his eyes, shifting so the box wasn't directly in his way.

"We were by ourselves. From what I gather everyone had a sorta similar thing to me going on there. Lots of noise, lights going on and off, food going missing. Jeremy said something about being locked out of his bathroom." Owen said, swallowing thickly as he looked down at his hands. And yeah, he'd screwed up pretty spectacularly there.