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Dramatis Personae

Gaétan, Kelawini, Marcus, Nanami

In Absentia


"Long way to not be sure."


Somewhere In Maine

After a -- maybe not restful night but at least some semblance of sleep (in thankfully unneeded shifts, no disturbances over the night), morning has been an utter chaos around the cabin -- way too many people and way too many nerves and way too few bathrooms. It's becoming slightly less of a nightmare as the sky shifts from grey to pink and people start to find some vague kind of rhythm. Something like a breakfast -- nutritious and even kind of tasty -- has manifested in the kitchen under Nanami and Marcus's ministration. The former is now leaning up against a counter, scrubbing one hand against exhausted eyes, her shoulders tight and jaw tighter as she looks out the window over the sink at the lightening sky beyond.

Marcus hasn't eaten yet -- at the moment he's carefully packing away the remainder of the uncooked post-breakfast food, returning to the counter once it's been tallied to slump beside Nanami, faced in toward the room instead of toward the world outside. His mouth twists down as he looks at the stove, hands lacing together over his rumbling stomach. Some people are stress eaters and some people -- are -- not. His ankles rock outwards, weight shifting down on his rolling feet, and then back up. "Colder. Today."

Weaving in between and facilitating the distribution of food and cleanup duties alike, Kelawini seems rather at home in the chaotic press of too many exhausted and stressed teenagers. As the meal wraps up she's been poking her head into their various improvised carrying solutions and returns to the kitchen now with a scribbled inventory list. "'Ae, only gonna get colder," she agrees. "Clothes and more blankets, definitely. Good on most the use-up-able stuff for now though except toilet paper." She frowns down at her notes. "Had plenny last night."

Gaétan is just returning to the kitchen with three empty bowls collected from around the living room, mumbling a quiet excuse me at the sink as he moves to wash it -- not exactly enough of a dishes surplus here to keep them out of circulation indefinitely. "Probably -- someone's gotta go with Kavalam this time, yeah? Toilet paper's. Bulky." He frowns, too. "And clothes. And blankets. Fff."

Nanami scowls deep when Kelawini arrives. Her shoulders tighten, fidgeting slightly. "I use um up." She leans harder against the counter, her eyes narrowed. "How long we stay hea? Lotta people goin need all kine clothes but --" Her fingers curl and uncurl against the counter's edge with a quiet pop of knuckles. "Might be some cracks traded soon, keep everyone packed up like sardines." Her eyes flick to her sister at this.

Marcus's brow knits at Nanami's comment. "Why. Need more." His shrug is stiff. His long fingers tighten against each other. His eyes drift around the packed cabin, brow creasing slowly. "Need clothes. Maybe -- bags. Better --" He gestures, behind himself. "To pack. Before moving." The frown deepens. "Moving. Where."

Kelawini stares blankly at her sister, but only for a very brief moment. Then, "Oh! Aue..." Her wince is small but sympathetic. Her eyes dart over to Marcus. "Sometime you just need--more. I think we want fo send one girl wi' Kavalam this trip, eh?" She flips her piece of paper over and writes down all the items they'd listed so far, plus "tampons/pads" at the bottom. "I ain't buss nobody up," is only a tiny bit defensive. "Yet. Maybe I go wi' Kavalam this trip. But after..." Her lips compress.

Gaétan's eyes flick to the sisters, then studiously back to his dishes. "Yet doing a looootta work there." His cheeks puff out. The water runs down over his hands, fingers scrunching at the sponge mechanically without actually scrubbing the bowl he's holding. "Thought being cooped up in the dorms with everyone through lockdown was bad enough. This is too many apocalypses for one year."

"Was not interested before in the plural of apocalypse." Nanami's cheeks are flushing. Her shoulders are still tight, and she fidgets again, turning away from the window. "Where, shit. Somewhere warmer?" Her arms cross over her chest, and it's stiff. A little shaky, when she adds: "... not far from Canada. Safer, there, sounds like. Doubt this world got some mutant school."

Marcus still mostly looks blank, until glancing down at Kelawini's ongoing list. His eyes widen with understanding, head nodding slow. "Oh -- ohhhh." He stares at Nanami scrutinizingly, then looks down at his hands. Finally moves away to pick up one of the still-wet bowls and get himself some food. "Canada -- okay. Warmer -- okay. But. Home?" He sounds very uncertain. "Not sure. If possible."

Kelawini's shrug is just a little sheepish. "Canada--not so warm, but after yesterday..." She scoffs. "We best come more better if we want to get anywhere. So, no cracks, right?" This with a sigh as she tucks the shopping list into a pocket of her jeans. "I dunno nothing about--jumping into other dimensions, but we got here. Maybe...we build another bonfire?" There's absolutely no confidence behind that last suggestion, but then she snaps her fingers. "Oh! Or there's a--a--door, back by the lake in Salem Center in this world, too?"

Gaétan has still been staring numbly down at the last bowl that he's failing to wash, watching the water drip off it and down the drain, but at this it clatters out of his hands with a loud crack. He jumps, startled, and shakes his head as he turns. The water still runs, but he blinks as he reorients himself to the conversation. "Staten Island." His hand wipes against his face, leaving a trail of soap suds on his cheek. "Fuck. I didn't -- he was kind of drunk and that conversation was so weird but -- my brother made some comment. About how looking into this was the only thing that could keep people in Staten Island. It's a -- a -- a police station there. At least, in our world. Where they're looking at the portal."

Nanami stands up straighter, her scowl melting away into a wide-eyed startlement. "What? There's a way back? You got a way back? You think -- it open both ways?" She bites at the side of her mouth. Lets her gaze skip out around the cabin. Quieter: "New York -- long way, still, huh? Long way to not be sure."

Marcus's head tips one way and then the other. His eyes, too, have gotten wider at this revelation; he slumps against the counter, quiet as he clutches his bowl to his chest. "Rest of our lives here. Pretty long, too."