Laughing Gassed


brynn_icon.gif chris_icon.gif rex_icon.gif seren_icon.gif



Scene Title Laughing Gassed
Synopsis No drama allowed.
Date January 30, 2020

Edge of the Safe Zone

People have been coming together in groups since the dawn of time.

Meetings, gatherings, hangouts.

But parties are by far the most nutty of all social gatherings. The levels of debauchery that can be be had, mischief, lust, jealousy and anger. The best can be brought out or the very worst in people and while there is in fact a gathering, a party happening in the basement of a seemingly abandoned building on the edge of the Safe Zone, whose to say if the young people within were at their very best or their very worst.

The beat thumps through even the foundation of the building. Darkness brought to light by numerous brightly colored lights. Reds and purples, blues and yellow. On the stage two people stand, one behind her DJ board hand held up while the other flicks at the board. Poppy's smile is bright and infectious in spite of her life the last year. Right in this moment she revels in the moment brought by the music and the lights. The second person on the stage, a handsome tan man with unruly black hair dances on the stage, biceps bulging as he manipulates the lights going off within the space eyes closed. Feet stomp on the stage as the lights change from their native colors to even brighter forms.

Turn your magic on, to me she'd say

Everything you want's a dream away

We are legends, every day

That's what she told him

The crowd is one hundred people large and the smell of cannabis, booze and BO is on the rise. A young woman shoots off plums of green smoke from her hands in the corner, hazel eyes dazzling with excitement at the freedom of being able to show off. A trio of onlookers cheer and clap as they twirl in the smoke. "Spray your gas that way!" Comes the voice of a young woman with deep blue eyes, her brunette hair is tousled and she wears a sparkling gold dress. Athena Green's black spiky heels click on the floor as she walks by, waving a manicured hand in front of her face. "For fucks sake," Rolling her eyes at the hazel eyed woman's look of hurt at the yelling, the young rich woman had much more important things to deal with. Right now it was to see a man with her favorite happy pills.

The mood here, nobody whispering of the terror attacks, unrest in the world, sickness or corporate warfare that they were all in the middle of. Instead these young people, the next generation laughed, danced, made out, threw drinks at each other. You know, the usual.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is it so Generation Y up in here, Rex whines to himself. This is not his generation, but it's one he can certainly cater to. At a glance, he doesn't stand out as too old to fit in this crowd — his lean lines and un-lined face don't mark him as being above the thirty-year mark. Still, he's hardly an unknown entity to anyone who's been to Staten in search of illicit substances.

Rex moves through the crowd with a slinky grace, dressed in his usual black with a pop of color. The color today is a gold eyeliner that flares to life now and then under the lights. He pauses to lean in to kiss the cheek of one of the dancers, and those who know the subtle dance of party or club drug selling will note the transaction take place: a few murmured words, and then his hand finds hers, and hers slides something into his pocket. And then he moves on. His dark eyes look up at the click-clacking of Athena's heels and he smirks in approval.

Does young at heart count for valid age of attendance? Seren Evans is edging closer with each year to the other side of their twenties, but they don't let a label like that keep them confined to boring. Arms snake in the air above them, skin glittered and catching in the light tossed about the space. A necklace made of glowsticks brightens their otherwise dark clothing, black tee, torn jeans with a silver chain swinging away from their side as they dance, feet spinning them about.

Their dance partner is an ethereal creature whose form is as transient as the moment they find themselves in. Standing across Seren is a humanoid presence of darkness and glittering, line-mapped constellations wrapped in purple, auroral silk shirt that shifts through tones slowly at its own pace. As the song shifts, Seren opens their eyes and grins across at their friend, their gray eyes limned with a sparkling silver. He opens his in return, and while lacking other facial features, the amber of his eyes are just as pleased as theirs.

Man, they both needed a night out like this — Seren and Baird both.

It's the party that should have brought in the new year. There are people hopping and bopping with each other, on each other, in each other, pulsating and grinding with and in contrast the the lights and music. They're having a good time. Whether from the haze, the drink, or the more elicit concoctions that are secretively passed around. Or not so secretively. Everyone and their auntie is having a good time.

And then there's Chris Ayers.

He's shown up in his barn clothes, smelling more like hard work and horses than Ms. Mary Jane or — no, the slightly sour gloriousness that is top shelf perfection clings to his breath too. Not much, there's still a keen sharpness about him that alcohol hasn't had the opportunity yet to dull.

He isn't participating in the moshpit of debauchery. Chris is hanging out at the bar. With an elbow on the countertop and a glass with a fine golden liquid in hand. The vaguest smirk rests on his face while he watches the other sinners participate in their festivities.

This is not usually her scene. Brynn has rarely, if ever, felt music the way you can feel it in this room. The lights are a bit disorienting, but it's the heavy beat that she can feel deep in her chest that drew the young brunette into the party. Black leggings topped by a maroon wide-necked sweater that bares a black tanktop strap is a casual look but it seems there's a broad range of clothes in here. Skirting the dance floor until she can get a better grasp on the ebb and flow of the surge of people, she makes her way toward the back of the room where there's sure to be a bar. No one in here looks really older than she herself is, and in the flashing neon lights, it shouldn't be too big a deal. Do they even actually have a drinking age anymore? She finally makes it to the bar and slips a note across to the bartender to order a beer without having to shout. And while she waits for that drink to show up, gray eyes marvel at the way the crowd moves in time to the beat. It's like the flow of water almost. Fascinating. She bounces a little on her feet in time to the beat, letting it dictate her movements.

"You wouldn't happen to know where my friends Vicky, Valerie and Molly have been hiding do you?" The question is poised to Rex as Athena draws close with her extra heels, eyebrows raising as she pulls something from her bra before it's palmed. She was legal now, her dad couldn't tell her what to do and he would always give her money because he felt bad about not being there. Who was winning in this world? Athena believed she was. All of her entitlement is on full display from the expression on her face.

The crowd goes wild for Baird and Seren, making a circle around the two and waving their arms to and fro. The young woman with the green smoke peers over and grins widely, scooting forward and blowing as if going to whistle but instead more of that emerald smoke billows out and blankets the floor, she's being the smoke machine.

A woman stops from her wandering near Chris, her dark eyes scan the area with open contempt. Bushy hair is pulled back into a messy ponytail and she doesn't look like the partying type either. People like her and Chris stick out like sore thumbs here. The woman's eyes slowly track to the stage and then they widened in shock and then narrow in anger at the man on the stage.

Rex's lids dip, ridiculously long lashes fanning his cheeks, no doubt taking a small peek at the amount of money in his hand to see just how much Athena's asking for. "Those three bitches have been very, very busy tonight, but I do believe I can get you in touch with them," he murmurs, his body sliding into a dance with her.

The commotion over by Seren draws his eyes that way as he slides a hand into his vest pocket. There's a slight lift of one brow one could read as derisive. But then he turns his attention back to Athena.

"That gold is fire on you, darling," Rex murmurs into her ear as his other hand catches hers for a moment. "And look, I've accessorized with you. We could be prom dates."

The attention fawned their way only spurs Seren onward in their display, Baird just as happy to comply. Grinning broadly, they laugh and spin again, the color of the glow around their neck dragging with and trailing behind them. “What do you say, Baird?” they ask, clapping their hands and gesturing forward toward the humanoid figments before them. He pauses on the toe of one shoe before spinning about, hands reaching out to grab the ribbons of light and weave them about himself as though they were real. As he rotates, the light digs into the white dots and lines on his palm, coloring them… a phenomenon that spreads up through his forearms and on through to his head and neck. Rainbow twinkles becoming him, it’s his turn to lift his hands above his head in an authoritative clap that resonates through the air surrounding him as much as it can given the ongoing music.

A burst of sparkles fans out over them… just like the green haze falls on them from above. It’s only then that Seren looks up to notice it, expression quirking in curiosity before they start to smile and let out a whoop, bouncing on their heels to pump their first for the girl before resuming their dance. It was always heartwarming for them to see others practicing their ability, and they’d certainly never seen anything like that before.

They’re a little too in the moment to be bothered with thoughts of wondering what might be in strange smoke being breathed by strangers in a crowd like this. Seren is having far too much fun to be bogged down with anything like worry.

A sore thumb is one way to put it. Chris doesn't seem to care either way. The smirk drops when the woman enters his field of vision, matching contempt with… probably boredom. It is Chris, after all. He doesn't seem to have more than apathetic humor and, fuck, just apathy in general. At least that's how it looks on the outside and that's how he likes it. So shut up.

That doesn't mean he misses the shift in expression. Nope, he saw the surprise. But first he shifts a look at Brynn, since she's come up to the bar. When the fuck did they start letting twelve-year-olds into these places? Never mind the fact that they're near enough in age, and he's definitely old enough to be a patron at an establishment of questionable legality. But shit. Kids these days, really.

Shaking his head, Chris' deadpan expression settles on the woman with the sour face. And then the man on stage. He tips his glass to his lips and takes a sip of his rich, amber drink. Then, "Fuck. If he owes you money go say something. If he cheated you somehow. Well. Still go fucking say something. Scowling's only going to make your face wrinkle up even more."

Brynn doesn't hear a thing they're talking about at the bar, obviously. She reaches back to pick up the beer that the indifferent bartender slides across to her and catches sight of Chris's expression. She offers a cheeky grin — the mild disgust as he shakes his head amuses her. Then she sidles into the crowd to dance. If nothing else, Baird is a sight she's seen before, and it's fun to watch people watch him. And he looks like he's having a blast, so his companion must be too!

A young couple holding hands while dancing not too far from Seren laugh and fall into each other, the darker skinned of the men flashes white teeth as his blonde partner snickers harder. "Troy, what the fuck's got into you?" Laughing along with him, the green smoke wafts the center of the makeshift dancefloor. More people are cheering, laughing, none of the people in the cloud seem to think its weird that they slowly have all started laughing a little harder.
"You can be my date but you are most definitely my hero, tonight." Athena dances along with Rex her movements loose and her expression bright at the prospect of just having scoring. The rest of the girls would be so excited. That is if they weren't amongst the people in the green smoke, the two scantily clad just out of their teens cackle together while leaning on each other. Eyes closed, one has tears running down her cheeks as she begins to laugh so hard. The young woman who could have been seen spewing the smoke is now nowhere in sight, it's getting a little thicker.
"Deb! Rina! You're acting like-" Athena rolls her eyes up to the roof and looks over at Rex, "Care to help me save my friends from mutant gas?" Mutant isn't said with the same distaste that Rex might feel for them internally but Athena is jealous of every single person with a ability.

Back by the bar, the indifferent bartender looks between the three leaning against his bar and not tipping and goes to wipe at a rather wet spot on the bar left by a few beers being spilled. "Thanks?" The bushy haired girl's tone is sarcastic and blunt, her expression fierce in the way that usually cuts lesser men down. She can already tell that Chris isn't one to back down from a little attitude. In another life she wouldn't have said a word to him, let along set foot in here. But…

Dark eyes go back to the stage and the light manipulator and DJ buddy. "Whiskey," She croaks out at the bartender, that part is still new. Drinking, but it helps. Her eyes dart over at Chris and then to Brynn and then back to the stage. She should walk away, yea that's what. She wasn't here to mingle, that's what she told herself.

Did she have friends?

While the music winds on Seren tilts their head back, eyes closed with a smile on their face, coming to rock to and fro with the beat of the music rather than dancing. They’ve been at this a while. Their chest rises and falls from the effort of it, clothes too dark to show the stain of sweat. Abruptly, their eyes blink open in pain as something pinches their nose, bringing them to flinch. "Hey!" they exclaim, opening their eyes to see a three-and-a-half inch tall pixie hovering in front of them, tiny hands balled into fists perched on her hips.

They could almost swear even floating in the air — even in this terrible lighting — that the tiny fae was tapping her foot in a particularly judgy fashion.

"What's got into you?" Seren croons up at the pix, brow pinching together in an upward draw while they try to fathom where in the world this is coming from. They lift a hand to rub at their nose, attention still rapt on the floating figment before them. "Seriously, Kid, what the hell?" But the floating little person dressed only in their wings and the petals of a flower with glowing, blacklit veins huffs, folding her arms in annoyance that her message hasn't been received. Seren, after all, was supposed to know better! Seren's the one in control, here!

Oblivious to this very important fact, all Seren can do is stifle a snigger, this adorably cute pixie trying to look angry just the most precious thing in the world. "Orchid," Seren pleads to the little creature. "Seriously, what—" And then they do laugh, not meaning to.

But they can't help it. The little fairy suddenly has a clownish red puff on the end of her little button nose. Then it blinks with an internal light and Seren's hands fly up to clasp their mouth, trying to stifle the single, forceful laugh that wants to make its way from them. Oblivious to it all, Baird keeps on dancing, blurring and losing tangible form to become a haze of moving light with a predominantly purple center. The tiny 'Orchid' turns and flares her fists and feet out by her sides, glaring at Baird for a little help, here but he's got none to spare.

Chris rolls another lazy look at the woman with her glower and …whatever the fuck else is going on with her. His brows tick upward a little bit when she speaks the first time. Then further the second time. Shit if there's anything worth getting choked up over. He shakes his head, tosses a look at — it was going to be Brynn, but she up and left so, "Fuck. I hate these things." The noise, the energy, the company. Take your pick.

The remainder of his drink is tossed back and the empty glass is set on the bar. At least the booze is better than across the way, out in no-man's land, if not by much. The service is just as terrible though. The empty glass is slid back to the tender's side of things, and Chris abandons his seat to find something less… fuck. Just less. Don't mind him, he's a poopy pants.

Dancing in the crowd, letting the music thrum through her feet and her chest to tell her what to do, Brynn holds her beer up high and enjoys the light show. But as the gas starts drifting downward, the young woman is wary enough to back off the dance floor again. What the hell? She glances around. No one seems bothered… but she backpedals across the dance floor and bumps into Chris — and there's genuine apology and something less like fear and more like distrust on her features. She's clearly getting out of the path of the clouds of gas. It's why she stayed on the periphery to start with. She motions 'sorry' with her hand in the center of her chest, about bumping into him.

The woman with dark eyes scoffs and takes a couple healthy sips of her booze before she puts it back down feeling the burn down her throat, traveling to her belly. Rage also blossoms there as she sets her sights on not just the man on the stage but Poppy as well.

"I'll give you fifty more bucks," Athena drags the semi willing man over to her friends who are now laying on the floor. In a fit of hysterics, "Honestly, it's like you two already got into someone's stash- wait have you two been fucking holding out on me the whole night?!" Athena looks over at Rex with a look of outrage and then.. She bursts into laughter herself, "You bitches!" The gas is filling the room and the laughter is getting louder, stranger to hear almost in unison. Poppy on stage notices something from the vibe of everyone on the floor below and lifts one of her headphones up as well as her eyebrows. The gas hadn't made it's way to the front but where it had just been there in the center of the room, it's now coming from the two corners in the back of the room.

A dark shape flints through the haze of green that's illuminated by the darker haired man who stills puts on his performance though a quizzical look is shot back at the platinum blonde young woman. "Maybe someone spiked the punch!" He shouts over the music. His head was turned so he doesn't notice the spark of light behind him but Poppy is all too familiar with that light.

And the woman who holds it. Bushy hair and dark eyes, she looks more lean. Having walked around the green gas before angling towards the front of the stage with murder in her eyes.


"You think he can replace her?!" Celeste shouts at her roommate and friend. Eyes wild and hands sparkling with white hot light. Poppy's eyes widen in horror as Celeste clashes with the man on stage, screaming at him, "You'll never have her place! You'll never have it!!"

Over by Brynn and Chris, the pair can notice that the green smoke is behind them, blowing towards them as if propelled. A dark shape can be seen in the corner of their eyes, long hair and a jovial smile. Eyes full of laughter wink before her form is swallowed up by the smoke.

Rex allows himself to be pulled thataway even before the mention of more money, and he perks up a bit. "Well, it won't be the worst I've had to do for a hirsute sort of daddy like Ulysses. So long as none of them vomit on my shoes. If that happens, I am out, darling."

He gives another side eye to Seren and the growing oddities around them, before he looks down at the ladies Athena's taken him to rescue. "Bonsoir, madamoiselles," he says, offering a hand to the one closest to him. "Please do get off the floor. I can't begin to think of what's on it. When the black light was on, it was like a fucking galaxy down there," he says, and then the giggles hit him, too.

Seren doesn't turn at the sound and sight of the spark, it's the pixie who takes alarm first. It takes reaching out and grabbing them by the ear to turn them in the direction of the encounter happening in their periphery. Their eyes widen, an odd sense of deja vu coming over them now that they suddenly notice the players involved…

That small insistent voice in the back of their mind made manifest demonstrates only disappointment when all Seren can do is laugh at the sight of it. God, was that girl really so unable to move on? Orchid's frustration mounts to a peak and with a huff, the figment flutters her wings to storm off in the direction of the stage, hoping to intervene.

She never makes it that far, fading out of existence abruptly while still midflit over someone's head in her determined path.

It's something that would normally cause a pang of distress in Seren, but the only thing that's possibly distressing to them at this point is how hard they begin to laugh, arm wrapped around their midsection as they double over, tearing up.

If it weren't for being run into, then Chris probably wouldn't have noticed the poison gas billowing up from behind. He turns, because who just keeps walking when a collision happens? That's just impolite. And while he might be an asshat at times, he's not impolite. His eyes fall on Brynn, skeptical of whatever it is she's trying to tell him, to the plumes of smoke rolling and roiling like something out of a ducking video game.

"Who the shit." Not what, but who. Because that's got to be something being done by a someone and not a something. A vague grouchiness crosses his face. He won't blame someone for being born with an extra gene, or a mutated one, or whatever the fuck it is that causes a person to have abilities like that. That would also be impolite. But he sure as shit will tell them to get it the fuck under control or…

He'll laugh.

It isn't a guffaw or a chortle, more of a sinus thing. The cousin of a snort that lives somewhere between the nasal passages and the throat. That's the sound Chris makes. And he shakes his head about it. The fuck is going on. He looks at Brynn, like maybe she had something to do with it. Except there isn't any actual blame. Or boredom. He chokes back the urge to giggle with mild success, and starts for the door before this shit gets any worse. Fuck.

At which point they're overtaken by what appears to be… a person winking made of gas? Damn damn damn! It's not Aunt Eve, but …. the giggles start. But they are silent ones, so it's only the shrugging inward and shaking of her shoulders that gives it away initially. Brynn looks up at Chris with gray eyes crinkled at the corners by the huge grin that erupts on her face. His bolt for the door is a good idea, and part of her wants to follow that example, but the playful person in the fog zips around her and makes her dizzy with that silent laughter before she manages to go ahead and stumble out of the rave.

One by one, the pair of girls allow themselves to be pulled upwards and Athena is immediately yanking the three towards the doors just up a short set of stairs. "Nope!" She shrieks in laughter, "This is fun and all but I much rather be on the drugs I know! Come on, afterparty at my place!" The prideful woman snickers and holds her side as she bangs into the door that Brynn exits, allowing the green smoke to begin to waft out. "Athena what if we found the girl and brought her-"

"You have been inhaling her way too much."

The gas in the center of the room begins to funnel out as more people stumble to the exits. A young man cackles loudly before he disappears with a loud crack from next to his friend who seems to be burping fire every time he laughs. The young woman that was spewing it can't be seen anywhere but as the smoke density lessens, so do the effects. The smoke never really got to the stage or only partway which is why Celeste is standing there with her hands sparkling and howling in laughter. "You think you can replace her, lightshows were your thing together. Hahahahaahaahhaa," Tears roll down from the young woman's eyes as Poppy looks on with her own tears running a river down her cheek. "Cel… I didn't mean-"

"Well, that was a cure for le ennui, at least, even if inhaling somebody's gas is a little disgusting," Rex says as he lets Athena and her friends lead him to the exit. His nose wrinkles, but it's still funny, and he titters another giggle. The drama by the stage makes him cast one last look over his shoulder, but it's too far to eavesdrop on, and he frankly doesn't care that much.

"So where is this after party, and will there be champagne?" he asks, trying to rise above the giggle fest once more, but his so-serious expression splits when another laugh erupts.

Wiping at the corners of their eyes, Seren has a sudden burst of clarity when they come up for air. It feels like the light is different now, somehow, and with a hard blink they rapidly shake their head and blearily take in the scene. Even laughing, people are filing out, knowing that something is off here in a way that they themself had been too far gone to properly appreciate. A deep breath in doesn't eliminate the need to giggle, but it's a much more muted thing now while they look up at the stage. They clear their throat, trying to gather their composure.

"Celeste!" Seren calls out, remembering the name just barely. "Come on, it'll be all right." All the words even come out in their intended tone, no stray giggles — but the cloud of Baird hovering nearby them swoops through the air with oranges and greens of delight that stand out against his celestial make. "Why don't you come down from there?"

Chris is among those who's finding their way out of the bar and into fresher air. Sure, those noxious fumes might be following, and he's unable to hold off the snickering and occasional — read often — fits of giggles that are well and properly hidden into the crook of his elbow. What the shit is wrong with him all of a sudden? He was fit to leave and go about his business, he wasn't even three fingers in to being drunk. Now he can't shake the gigglefits to save his fucking life.

"See if I ever go back there." It's a bold proclamation, one made through some wheezing belly laughs. He gives the building the finger before he turns away from it.



Fingers scrub at eyes and face, tug at his jacket collar like it's as much to blame as anything. Chris half trots, feeling nothing like his surly self, so far from normal and with the urge to laugh that's as fucking annoying as the anticipation when you've got the hiccups. Every time he thinks he's got it managed it rises up again, a bubble of a chuckle that leads to something altogether not right that he has to hide it in his sleeve for several seconds.

"Dad's compound!" Jackpot, cash money. "There's a shit ton of rooms and floors and he can't be in all of them." The trio of girls crack up and lead Rex down the alley to a black, barely dented Jeep. "Made him get it for my 18th," Athena feels proud of herself but that feeling also makes her laugh. "Okay lets get the fuck out of here." She turns the engine over.

Inside, Celeste hears the sound of her name on someone's lips whose voice she can't totally recall presently. Still the woman turns her head as she's laughing/crying and she claps her hands together. "Everything's fine! Right!" Hahahahah.

"Life goes on!" Hahahah.

The dark haired woman stands there on the stage screaming, gesturing with her hands. Acting out, acting in a way that Poppy nor Marigold could have ever predicted the woman could act but there also wasn't a world where Celeste's twin was murdered and taken from her. The crack in her hearts been slowly spreading since the night she heard the news and though it sounds like laughter emitting from within, to Celeste it sounds like she herself is cracking at the seams.

A face watches from the next building's roof, eyes twinkling in mischief. The young woman burps and as she does so green smoke juts off and wafts away into the night sky. She smirks and laughs softly before turning her heels and walking away.

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