"So I hope your what-the-fuck-is-this-place spiel means it's clean, safe, and not an insane price gouge."
Bright and warm, this room is set up to enjoy a little bit of the outdoors even year-round. Tall glass panes make up most of its wall in between wood supports, providing a wide three-sided view of the garden and yard outside. As well as the inner doors leading back into the kitchens and dining room, an outer door leads out to the outdoor gardens, as well. Inside, the room is airy and green -- a plethora of potted herbs and plants hang from the ceiling, as well as ring the room in a series of narrow wooden raised-beds that provide growing space for a selection of herbs year-round.
Outside of the herb beds that ring the room, this place is designed simply to come and relax; quiet and simple, with clean stone floors and neutral-toned wicker furniture adorned with comfortable cushioning. Some of the chairs ring stone-and-glass tables for eating or conversing; a few more solitary seats come in the form of rocking chairs or netted hammock-chairs hanging from the ceiling.
It's been a hectic couple of weeks around the Commons, but things are -- marginally -- quieting down. The entrances to the grounds are no longer mobbed by reporters (though a desultory paparazzo still lingers here and there); most of the Promethean refugees have been shuttled off to various safehouses (though a number are still scattered around people's /private/ homes). Save for a distinct lack of cupcakes around the kitchens things are almost (almost!) back to what passes for normal.
And so with life easing back into its regular routine, today is for dealing with a backlog of bureaucracy: a few wicker chairs in the sunroom have been neatly arranged around a glass table (with a pitcher of water, chocolate-chip cookies, a bowl of assorted rice crackers, a platter of fruit all laid out in its center) and as one young couple is shuttled out of the room after /their/ interview, Hive is leading a new face in. He's casually dressed -- jeans faded and fraying at the hems, heavy workboots, denim button-up shirt worn open over a plain black tee. "You'll have to forgive the mess in the yard --" 'Mess' being quite a lot of ongoing construction, a new house in the process of being built, "-- we're still kind of. Rebuilding some of the -- uh. There was zombie-related -- catastrophe."
Shane is already chilling in here, tucked into one of the eeeeviller of the chairs and crunching his way through a handful of rice crackers. In contrast to Hive he's dressed kind of dapper! Dark slacks, crisp dress shirt, houndstooth vest and a neat bowtie, shiny-polished saddle shoes. The tidiest of demon-faced sharkpups. "By the standards of the city," his grin is crooooked. And /very/ (very) sharp-toothed, an excess of sharkteeth behind his blue lips, "we got through catastrophe-light, really." There's a faint whickering -- a soft flutter of gills behind starched collar. "Well, the /buildings/ did, anyway."
Steve has been sitting, a yellow legal pad covered with notes balanced on one knee, but rises now to greet the new arrival. He's wearing a long sleeve green-and-blue plaid shirt unbuttoned over a bright yellow t-shirt with a cartoonish T-rex skeleton dancing on the chest above the word FOSSIL spelled out of bones, and crisp, well-fitting blue jeans. "I can assure you the complex is rather resistant to zombies." His smile looks genuine, if less toothy than Shane's. "Welcome to our home -- please have a seat." He gestures around the table. "I'm Steve Rogers."
"That's - uh, rather good to know," Savannah stutters. She takes a resolute breath in and exhales with a smile. "Thanks, I'm Savannah," she says while looking between the individuals in the room, voice slightly less quivery now. She's wearing a mud colored tank top, dark blue skinny jeans, and a pair of orange knock-off Crocs. After taking a moment to slip into one of the chairs, she reaches for some rice crackers... but pauses partway at the sound of a crunch, and steers her hand to a cookie instead.
One of the remaining chairs has been RESERVED for Hive by the presence of a slim red laptop. He moves the computer aside to take his seat again, sinking down into it with a decided slouch to his posture. He's already introduced himself at the door so doesn't bother again, instead leaning forward to grab himself a clementine.
"Well, welcome. This is a pretty informal process -- mostly just so you can get a feel for what it's like to live here and we can get a feel for if this would all be a good fit. Have you had any experience with cooperative living before or would this be your first time?" His hands are slow, kind of shaky as he starts to peel the clementine. One long careful strip of peel. Though his eyes are focused down on the fruit he holds, his mind is brightly alert -- listening to the others' surface thoughts every bit as much as the actual spoken conversation.
"And if you haven't did you get a chance to look over our website or anything -- or should we start with the basic what-the-fuck-is-this-place spiel?" Shane crunches into the last of his palmful of rice crackers, wiping his webbed fingers off on a paper towel. One long black claw extends -- stretching out an extra inch or so -- so that he can spear a grape off the plate. Skewer it neatly, bring it to his mouth to -- also start peeling it! Tinytiny nibbles of pointy teeth.
Steve has already made a mental assessment of Savannah as she entered, the process reflexive and plenty familiar to Hive by now -- a quick evaluation of how she carries herself, her level of comfort, the presence or absence of obvious weapons. His pale blue eyes flick aside to Shane, as he resumes his seat, pressing back both his concern for the sharkpup and a powerful impulse to reach out for him. "There aren't necessarily any 'right' answers," though he conspicuously doesn't say there aren't any /wrong/ ones. "We have residents from a huge variety of backgrounds here."
Savannah manages to drop the cookie, mid-chew, onto the table. "This would be my first time." She picks up the cookie again, dusts it, and puts it back down at the sight of the claw. "Website?" A blink. <<Ugh, of course, I'm such an idiot.>> An audible sigh ensues. Her fingernails tap on the surface of the table, either jittery or nervous. "I'll be honest, I didn't really. This place was recommended. My housing /sich/ right now isn't the best so I'm really hoping to move soon, if possible." She looks directly to Shane with some amusement, "So I hope your what-the-fuck-is-this-place spiel means it's clean, safe, and not an insane price gouge."
"Who recommended us to you?" It's a light question, kind of absently curious. Hive finishes peeling his fruit, setting the clementine peel down on the edge of the table in a neatly almost-reconstituted sphere. "We do our best to keep it clean around here. Safe, I mean, it's New York. We don't have much trouble /here/ but the neighborhood isn't perfect. For Manhattan it's hella affordable, but, you know. /Manhattan/. Everything's going to be better with roommates. We have openings right now for a studio up through two bedrooms, none of the bigger units are free." Hive has a sheet of paper to pass over with this -- floor plans, pricing.
"Well, the what-the-fuck-is-this-place spiel would let you know that this place," Shane's clawed hand waves vaguely around the room at large, "is as clean as we manage to keep it. Everyone pitches in to handle maintenance of the common areas together. It's not exactly like a traditional apartment complex in that we do a bit of work to make it more of a -- community situation. It's not an actual /collective/ -- everyone still has their own private living space -- but we also have a lot of shared space like this house here, the gardens, the workshop, that are open for anyone in the community to use. We have monthly meetings -- optional but encouraged -- to make decisions about everything from if the chore structure is working for everyone to planning community activities. There's usually at least two or three meals a week, if not more, cooked in the kitchens here that anyone can feel free to come to. It's sort of designed to let you choose your own level of participation in all the community life here but -- there's almost always /something/ going on if you feel like it."
Steve's eyes track Savannah's fingers tapping on the table. << Nervous. Understandable. >> "Shane covered the long and short of it. There is definitely a very strong sense of community here, if you go in for community. It has practical benefits, too." He shrugs, settling back in his chair so that his broad shoulders do not seem to loom quite so much. "The security here is actually pretty extensive, and we clean up after ourselves fairly well after events in the common spaces." Then, with a self-conscious chuckle. "I would know, I still /live/ in the common house."
Savannah has been scanning the paper, looking through top to bottom in earnest consideration. She looks up and chuckles in turn. "I'm glad to hear that - all of that really. I'm fine with pitching in and chipping in, particularly with cooking or cleaning. And not to sound like a complete loner or anything, but plugging into a larger community would be nice." The finger tapping ceases for a few seconds then recommences. "And Matt mentioned Harbor Commons to me. I'm sorry, I didn't catch his last name. Said this place was a good one to check out, that he had friends here. Usually, I wouldn't take recommendations from people I'm not so familiar with, but I guess this is a bit of a happy coincidence. I've been rerouting my runs to this neighborhood to get a feel for the area, and this place seems friendly to," she inadvertently glances at Shane. "... those from a variety of backgrounds, and I haven't really had the luxury of finding an accepting place for more than really, six months at a time before things get - awkward." She sets the paper down in front of her and leans in towards the others. "Is there anything that you all are looking for in particular from applicants? Have there ever been any problems with former tenants here?"
Hive's eyes flick over to Shane when Savannah looks towards him, a faint twitch of smile tugging briefly at his lips. "We definitely try to be. Friendly. In terms of tenants we're mostly looking for people who actually /want/ to live in a place like this. We get a lot of people just applying because the rent is cheap for the size of places we have and the amenities there are and they just want the nice apartment and free gym access and aren't interested in the community at all. And it's not that we don't have our share of introverts, everyone definitely has different /levels/ of involved they want to be, but an ideal fit is someone who's interested in /being/ part of the community and understands that that can mean a bit of work as well."
"And not just the chores kind of work, like, living with other people /does/ have its share of problems." Shane sucks the peeled grape off his claw -- there's a twitch of discomfort that surfaces in his mind, stays there. Neve's pale face surrounded in shadow. "We've had issues before -- residents who were hella disrespectful, to the place, to other people /in/ the community, and we've had to come together to figure out how to tackle those problems when they arise. But because of people being willing to communicate and work together it's been vanishingly rare that any problems have been serious enough to ask anyone to leave. Thankfully we've never had any serious /safety/ issues from other residents. It's something we worry about --" He gestures to himself, webbed fingers flicking towards his face. "-- as you might imagine any place where there are openly mutant residents, there's always a risk. But most of our issues have been the normal living together kind. People neglecting to clean up their messes in the common areas, having rude-ass guests in the guest rooms." SHRUG.
"Cooking and cleaning are probably the most /in demand/ of common chore skills," Steve offers. Then, with a sheepish smile, "I tried to do brunch last Sunday, and it wasn't pretty." << Who knew a bit of waffle batter could make that much smoke! >> "Matt -- brown hair, green eyes, extremely dedicated to tea? Could be a different one, though, it's certainly a common enough name." He spreads his hands with a very small shrug. "To be entirely honest, I haven't been here long enough to have seen the more serious problems, in terms of not getting on with other residents. But being ready to communicate is key, I think. Aside from that, all I can think of to mention in terms of inconveniences is that the more famous and infamous of the residents here have been known to periodically attract hordes of media."
Savannah had flinched at the word mutant, but looks otherwise, much more cheery, if not more comfortable. "Well, I can imagine why there would be media," she says in return, flushing a shade of pink while looking at Steve. "And, um, yes, I think that was him? Brown hair for sure." A rather hazy mental image floats into her mind's eye. "Well, I can't promise to be perfect, but I can be considerate at the very least." She leans in towards the others. The wicker chair gives a crackling squeak. "What else needs to be done to apply?"
"The formal application you can find on the website --" Hive gestures toward the sheet of paper he'd passed across earlier, "-- and if you've submitted that /and/ had the interview it usually takes us just a couple days to get back to you about a spot. Shane can give you the quick tour before you head out of here, let you see the apartments and also the common facilities for yourself."
"Oh me shit is it my turn?" Shane's eyes blink open wider, the hairless ridge of his brow lifting. "No way it's totally Steve this time. I feel like I'm starting to sound like a brochure. Besides, maybe doing the tour guide thing will remind this lazy motherfucker to submit his own application and get out of the guest room. -- Totally nice to meet you, though, Savannah." He adds this last with a quick crooked grin.
"I will be happy to conduct the tour, and submit my /own/ application." Steve blushes fiercely. << Been a lot going on but, it's really no excuse. >> "I don't quite have the tour guide brochure thing down, but I'm confident I know where everything is. If you haven't any other questions, then...come with me." He gestures for her to follow.