Surprise Bitch


brynn_icon.gif devon_icon.gif emily_icon.gif finch_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif joaquin_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title Surprise Bitch
Synopsis "Mi amor."
Date January 5, 2020

The Lathorn

It was silent.

Well almost silent, the soft sounds of Chimo's snoring can barely be heard. Curled up on the couch, the glow of the TV still shines, Emily and Finch lay in various positions of sleep. It had been a late night. A movie night, someone had suggested a horror movie. The rest of the LHK, the ones who actually lived in the building, had already trailed off to their rooms and beds.

It was almost silent.


The door opens allowing moonlight to shine in before a figure darts in and tries to shut the door without making any noise. They were sleep already? The door is closed hard caught by a wayward gust of wind blowing in from the window.


Whoever that is, tiptoes towards the kitchen.

Previously curled up against an arm rest of the couch, a yellow pajama-clad Finch springs to life with a start, kicking her legs out from her pretzel'd position - and, coincidentally, sending the pillow she'd been hugging FLYING. Not that she notices, because she's too busy reaching instinctively for Emily's shoulder beside her, to shake it regardless of whether she is actually awake already.

"Emily," she urges, as hushed as her scared excitement allows, eyes wide as they come and locked on where she saw movement for just a split second. "Emilyemilyemily it came for us."

Who let this child watch a scary movie.

Emily's eyes had flickered beneath her eyelids at the sound of the door shutting, but she ultimately stayed in place. She was exhausted after the last few days, willing to write off the sound as someone else in the very full house.

Finch, however, was not. Even before she gets to shaking her shoulder, Emily can feel her movement and opens an eye for it. "Jesus fuck," comes from her in a quiet groan. "Nothing came for us, Finch." She leans off the couch, arm stretching to the table before the television to swipe her phone off and blearily scroll for the flashlight app. "Calm down."

She sees the time and her mood sours more. A moment later, the flash ignites on the back of her phone, facing the floor.

Normally the door opening and shutting at all hours won't bring most of the LHK out of their beds. But Doodlebug alerts at the slam, which brings Brynn awake. And since she can't just listen and figure out what's happening, she does what Brian and her brothers have drilled into her over the years — she gets up, makes sure a weapon is ready if she needs it (because the middle of the night is no time to assume it's NOTHING), and motions for Doodle to lead the way.

It's dark. It's silent — though that's always the case for Brynn — and she has the flashlight in the back of her phone on as she comes down the stairs warily, seeking the source of whatever woke Doodle enough to alert instead of rolling over with a doggy huff and going back to sleep.

He'll have to insist later that he doesn't snore, obviously. Joaquin is off in dreamland half sprawled against the couch where Emily's lain down. But even he who normally is a good sleeper, startles at the sudden bang of a shutting door. The immediacy of unfamiliar surroundings and fabric against his face send another mental quaking.

It's Finch's movement that startles him. Joaquin lifts his mussed head - one side of his already pokey hair flattened to a comical angle by the sofa pillow. "Wha's happ'n'n'?" he semi-coherently mumbles around several blinks as his eyes adjust to being in the dark. He squints sleepily at Finch's excitable movement, then Emily's grumpiness, trying to decipher the situation. Survival situation it is not - at least not yet for him.

Hailey’s been busy. After spying the others watching a scary movie from up the stairs, she’s been bustling around as quietly as possible… arranging furniture, writing creepy messages on mirrors (for when they fog up), and putting together little voodoo dolls to lay on pillows. Cinderella isn’t the only bitch with rodent seamstresses.

But then someone else startles the roomies.


A look at Jim has him flying/leaping down the fire pole with a high pitched simian scream, followed quickly by the empath herself. Because she’s been planning the worst effin’ prank ever, she’s decked out in full “Samara crawled from the well” glory. “IT’S ARRIVED!!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!”

Hailey's well or ill timed prank comes as another crash can be heard in the building this time from the basement. Previously not occupied, maybe Finch was right?

As the young adults look around the main room and listen closer they don't hear more banging but instead the murmuring of voices. Coming from below, much too muffled by the floor separating them from the bottom of the building.

Would anyone dare to investigate?

The screaming sets off the goldendoodle's hackles and the growling startles Brynn so much she pauses halfway down the stairs as the dog tries to block her way forward. What in the world? He's never so much as barked at someone except in play. Her gray eyes skip up and around the main hall that she's descending into, then she nudges the dog slightly with her knee. Slapping a hand down on the light switch at the bottom of the stairs to turn on all of the main foyer and hallway lights in the hall that runs from front door back to the kitchen past the main living room, the dark haired teen pulls the weapon that was in her pocket out so that it's in her hand. Not pointed anywhere, but with Doodlebug growling, the deaf girl is very much alarmed and on edge.

While not a frequent visitor, Devon certainly isn't an uncommon face. Although, maybe at this hour it's a little unusual for him to arrive. Especially since he was supposed to have shown up an hour ago. But he'd texted, since he was tangled up in something to do with work. Now yawning, coming up to the back door with a hand trying to rub away the day’s stress, the sound of… excitement? pulls him into sharper awareness.

He's known Lance and Brynn and all their siblings for years to be the excitable kind. Noise and activity was the norm in Canada. But this, with how late it is. That's weird.

He eases himself into the house after a measured pause and a check of his holstered handgun. The back door closes just as carefully behind him, no need to further alarm anyone. Which, almost in afterthought when he sees that pair dart by, means Dev also gives a low whistle to alert Brynn, by proxy of the dog, that he's close.

Finch seems unconvinced that certain doom isn't imminent, jumping with every extra light source, person and noise that appears. Hailey's stunt has her get up and off the couch with a start, shaking where she stands and nearly toppling right back down again.

But instead, she stays frozen, staring, asking in a hushed panic, "I'm still asleep, right?"

Emily's ready to write the whole damn thing off when Jim starts shrieking. Then she's doubly ready to chalk the whole thing up to an animal moving around. Then Hailey starts screaming and she's certain if anyone was wandering about spookily, it was a deliberate act done specifically to scare people.

Then there comes the noises from downstairs.

That wasn't Hailey.

She bolts into an upright sit as the light comes on and Doodlebug growls, and the sound of the backdoor brings her head to whip around. Devon's appearance is only a small relief, her brow knitting together sharply. She'd keep her own quiet if there wasn't already shouting and whistling and growling. "No, Finch," Emily informs her disgruntledly. "You're awake, but you're fine. Just lay back down."

And then Emily's pushing herself to her feet, waving a hand for Chimo to follow even if she intends to keep Finch out of it. It's with one hand that she waves at Brynn, making a short sign after. Noises downstairs. Not Joe. Not Lance. Not Geneva. Her posture slacks as she catches sight of Hailey in her hair-raising costume finally. "Hailey, come on," she scoffs.

Leave it to the Epstein to be a wet blanket about precisely all of this.

Screaming and growling animal noises fully bring Joaquin to a jolted wakefulness with a choked squeal of his own. He never was very good with the Canadian wilderness back during wartime. Stands to reason he's definitely not gotten any better about it now. "AHHH!" he screams, tumbles off the couch in a mad, scrambling flail (likely smacking Emily on his way off, sorry Emily), and is very much running for his life for at least several feet in unfamiliar darkness.

Only to bang himself into some furniture, trip on the corner, and fall with a heavy thud that knocks his shoulder hard on the impact. "Owww," groans Joaquin as he blinks and reorients himself. Whatever, or whoever it might be, is sure to have been alerted now. Oops.

“On my mark, Killjoy,” Hailey motions to Emily. Joaquin’s reaction was much more satisfying and way more gratifying, earning the response of a cackle. Hour or so of prep? Worth it. She doesn’t care about the alertness level of whatever, whoever, it might be downstairs. Her expression blanks as she reaches out with her ability. “The rats have fled the building, danger Will Robinson, danger.

Mental note: remind Lance how useful rats can be sometimes.

Brynn gets a short hand signal, the kind Brian taught them as children. The ones they made to each other when avoiding pretend army guys while training for the war. On my six. Jim creeps ahead of her, swinging his body forward on his knuckles, quiet as a couple of moths. When they reach the door, she pauses, turning to her sister and signing Can you blend everyone into the wall or something? Like chameleons?

As the young adults near the basement door and open it with a creak (someone should really oil those hinges), the sound of a voice has become quite clear.

"…never happened."

A light chuckle and the sound of footsteps scraping against the floor and a sigh. Whoever it is doesn't seem to notice all of the racket going on upstairs,a couple of rats scurry from the corners of the room, their obvious distress at their home being disturbed made apparent to Hailey's senses. "But…" The voice is familiar for Joaquin and Hailey, though they don't get to hear more until they are silently making their way down the stairs to find a young woman with ink dark hair, leaning against the wall and staring out into space, brown eyes a little clouded as if she's seeing through a fog made manifest. "What happened to you?" A duffle bag sits at her feet and she crosses them at the ankles, dressed in sandals and a long flowing black skirt, her tank top is deep red. An assortment of bracelets lined with various crystals and gemstones jangle on her wrist as a hand goes up to loop dark tendrils of hair behind her ear.


It's their sister, Lily Adams and apparently she's in the midst of one of her episodes.

As usual, Lance was up keeping an eye on the place; he’s always been the one that gets set to watch, and with some of them watching television that means they’re vulnerable.

He got here first, and he’s standing near the spaced-out girl, glancing back at the sound as the others come down the steps.

“It’s okay, guys,” he offers over quietly, hands lifting to sign for Brynn, “It’s just Lily.”

Emily squints at the sight downstairs, lingering for a long moment on the staircase before reluctantly following after. "The fuck is Lily?" she wonders in a whisper, not brash enough to say it louder than that, it seems. She turns the bright light of her flashlight off, no less tense than before. Scary movies followed by scary happenings have her on edge, her hand shaking… but her curiosity sees her follow to learn more.

“Language, Potty Mouth,” Hailey admonishes the younger woman with a bit of a scowl. “Seriously man, can you not open your mouth without inviting the soap in?” Then a bright smile appears on her face. “Alright alright alright! More of the fam jam coming home to roost!!”

Jim, unbothered by the state of the newcomer, leaps forward, landing on Lily’s shoulder. He begins the customary grooming, making sure she’s free of lice, knits, and other yummy things.

The monkey isn’t the only one that doesn’t seem to care what sort of trance Lily is in, because only after a few little pokes into her hair, he’s displaced by a strong hug from the empath. “Lance, stop being a creepy pickle and get her bags or whatever. We need a real bed and not a laundry pile for Lily to sleep on!”

Devon is definitely going to laugh about this later. Presently he's trying to switch off second nature since the threat had turned out to not be one. He drags a hand over his face then through his hair, a heavy breath escaping him as he falls in behind Emily and the others.

Hailey's hand-signal makes Brynn nod once, sharply, and take up position on her sister's behind with a sharp movement at Doodle to silence him. The weapon she brought down the stairs with her is kept pointed at the floor, but she trusts Hailey and Jim to let them know if it's bad. She's just ready in case things come out of the dark. The hallway is brightly enough lit now that Devon's arrival brings a flicker of gray eyes to him and she merely shrugs. Maybe it's paranoia, maybe it's Brian Winter Camp Life.

And then Hailey is smiling and she manages to catch the fact that it's someone they know. As they hit the bottom of the stairs, Scooby style, her eyes widen at the sight of Lily there. Lily? She recognizes the state their sister is in, though, and warily signs, Lance… what's she on about? It's not good, in her opinion, that Lily's having a 'spell.' But mainly because maybe it means bad things have happened in their basement and she really doesn't want that to be true.

Clearly as an afterthought, Brynn holds the pistol out to Lance, barrel to the floor and fingers nowhere near the trigger guard. He can have it. He knows she doesn't like it when she has to be in a group with a weapon.

Joaquin is slow to descend the stairs, but finds his courage in the group as they discover just who's down in the basement. "Lily?" he utters, the familiar name slipping out. "Lily!" He starts to lift a hand to wave from the back of the pack, but regrets it when the throb of his shoulder reminds him of recent injury. Doesn't stop his surprise at seeing another familiar face though. "Yeah, uh, how about we get back upstairs and greet her properly?" he suggests from behind. Because creepy basements are creepy, and he's spent way too much time in them, and watched too many spooky horror movies tonight.

As everyone's gathering, Finch is left standing still near the couch, hands clasped against a clavicle and eyes wide as she looks from person to person.

When everyone filters downstairs and the panic subsides, and there's friendly conversation to boot? She exhales the breath she was apparently holding, and manages a relieved smile, even if it is over anxiously slanted eyebrows. "It's okay," she says quietly to herself, more than anyone else, "It's just a friend of theirs. It's a friend. I'll… go get them a drink."

This should scan as weird, right? Finch honestly can't tell anymore, wandering off to the kitchen in a sleepy, confused haze.

"Oh… you were lovers? How sad," Lily frowns and looks down just as Hailey moves in with the hug and lots of talking. It would appear her episode is over because she does a light gasp and blinks a few times until her vision clears. "…oh hi guys sorry…." A slow smile creeps across her face and if this place didn't have good vibes in it before, Lily brings that in spades. Tucking a bunch of dark hair behind her ears she smiles again though it's a bit of a sad one. Staring across at the wall opposite of her. Where she saw the past coming to life before her very eyes.

Lily doesn't always talk about what she sees, in this moment she chooses to relish in the fact that she's surrounded by her siblings and… new friends? Her hands come up to grab onto Hailey's shoulders as the blonde hugs her and she leans in to grip her sister tightly. "Chimo is that facial hair?" Poking fun lightly at her brother.

"I…well I thought I had dosed enough to have my ability in control. Maybe this place had too strong of an impression," that would make sense as to why she just walked in and immediately went for the basement.

"You have new friends, rad," Beaming over at the faces she doesn't know yet. Using Hailey's shoulders to help push herself up to a standing position she sways a little and leans against the wall. "Anyone want to put hot water on? I brought some good teas." She's not really conscious of the time, she just needed to… get to them. See them in the flesh, stop isolating.

Well this went quickly from positively creepy to wholesome just like that. Emily loses the tension in her posture while she lingers on the stairs, watching the embrace play out from afar, listening to what it is that Lily says. Okay, maybe the creepy isn't entirely gone.

Apparently the place was haunted. It's a good thing Finch is upstairs and didn't catch that.

"C'mon," she mumbles to Devon, looping an arm around his back to herd him back up the stairs with her. She pecks a kiss to his cheek. "I didn't think you were still coming, so I went to sleep," she explains quietly, brow creasing in a gesture of apology before she lets go of him and heads into the kitchen.

"Hey, Finch," she greets. "Everything's good. Just another Lighthouse Kid come home to roost…" Her feet are wandering, trying to remember where the pots and pans were. She doubts there's a proper teapot lurking in here, unless Finch found one in her travels. "There a big pot around here we can use for water? I guess… she brought some tea."

It's not exactly her cup of tea (har har), but she'll get out of the way of the reunion and help take care of that for sure. The end of Emily's explanation tapers off into a yawn. There goes a full night's sleep, it would seem.

Joaquin rubs at the aforementioned facial hair, partly exploring the length it's grown to and making a mental note at the same time. "Huh? Oh. This? Yeah… hey I'm practically twenty, Lily," he counters. His hand drops into a gesture for the newly returned to come closer. Said hand holds out, waiting for her to come take it. "We gotcha," he reassures in regards to hot water and tea. "Come on, the couch upstairs is way comfier than this basement." To the others he adds, "Also, you all really need some ambient lighting down here, seriously. What if someone or Joe tripped and fell, you're going to leave them in the dark?"

"Hey Crème de la Cremily," Finch replies hazily, already on her haunches while she rummages through the piled up contents of a tall cabinet in the kitchen. After some clanky re-tetrissing, she turns to make her way to the sink with a shiny pot almost big enough to look like it might warrant being cradled in both arms.

She lowers it down and sleepily rubs a palm over an eye while running the water, tension keeping her shoulders up and eyebrows concerned caterpillars. Only then does she ask, carefully, in a whisper so maybe others won't hear, "… Is this Lighthouse Kid a ghost?"

Devon shrugs acceptance of the apology as he follows Emily into the kitchen. “I'd’ve found a place to camp until morning.” As it is, that's probably still the plan, if he doesn't get chased off and sent back to the Bastion. He finds a place to hover, where he can keep a listen to what's happening in the basement as well as keep company in the kitchen.

Finch is given a grin, and Dev shakes his head. “I don't think she's a ghost. Maybe she… somehow got lost?” Which makes about as much sense as sneaking into the house and hiding in the basement. But he's sure the lighthouse can figure out what's up with one of their own.

With the mystery of whatever the hell was happening now solved — or at least as solved as she can figure out — Brynn cheerfully signs to everyone, Must be time for hot chocolate and cookies. Because when something gets the whole house outta bed and it's another sibling, clearly that means time for midnight snacks. She wrinkles her nose and waves at Lily! Then she heads back toward the kitchen, glad that it's turned out to be a normal night. (Don't laugh, this is not the strangest night we've had around here!)

“Cookies!! Hot leaf water!! Boy oh boy, count me in!” Hailey chirps as she bounds up the stairs, Jim right on her heels. She doesn’t stop at the main floor though, she goes right back up to the top floor, to her room. Perhaps it’s the multitude of people already congregated or maybe even the fact that she needs to wash off clown makeup and brush out her matted hair, whatever the reason, she doesn’t come out again until the wee small hours of the morning.

A behaviour that can only be considered classic Hailey.

“Tea?” Lance wrinkles his nose at the idea of tea, because as always he’s the complete opposite of his sister when it comes to tastes. Still, he moves to head to the kitchen as well, looking back at Lily with a sympathetic smile, “Do you have any bags or anything, need anything brought in? And yeah, we’ve picked up more people— “

He flashes her a grin, “You know us, always adopting people. Let’s get you introduced.”

Joaquin lingers only long enough to hold his hand out for Lily to take if she'd like the escort. Once the rest proceed up the stairs, he follows quietly. Some of the sleepiness returns partly from the adrenaline rush subsiding and familiar faces creating a zone of comfort. He resettles in a nearby kitchen seat. All is well once again for him.

A soft, airy smile towards Lance, "It's always more fun when there's more of us around." It felt like the old days, at the Lighthouse. That was something Lily needed.

"Just one other, outside.." Lily smiles as her family ascends the stairs and she takes Joaquin's hand and squeezes it softly, "I have just the right mix to get you right to sleep Chimo." She was different now, grown. They all were into their own hobbies, excelling in their fields. They were the future, Gillian and Brian use to say, he'll all the adults did.

Before she takes the first step up Lily turns back, and looks in the basement. Humming softly a tune that has a swing to it before she sings, "Well maybe they're right, But I'm steppin' out with a memory tonight."

A smile and a wink.

"Mi amor."

The light clicks off

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