Ari never had much foresight when it came to... anything really. She exchanged her ticket for an earlier one to Twinbrook, without warning her brother, and now she is stuck on his front porch waiting for him to return.
She stomps the cigarette unceremoniously with her shoe when the smoke can no longer be distinguished from the fog now threatening to engulf her entire being. The sensible thing to do would be to call her brother and let him know that she's here squatting on his front porch, but as soon as she pulls her phone out, it's the taxi company she dials.
"Where you goin'?" The taxi driver asks.
Ari looks around, completely out of her element in this foreign and utterly green environment. "Anywhere with alcohol." She concludes.
The taxi driver simply nods with a congenial smile that looks anything but genuine. Anyone that drinks this early in the day is bound to look like an alcoholic.
The taxi driver drops Ari off at a small bar not far from her brother's place.
It is small, unassuming, and not somewhere she would normally go - but then, this is not Elmira City and she will have to get used to these kinds of places given the town she's now in. Whatever. The inside has to be better than the unspectacular outside - and if not, she has enough money in her pocket to purchase a few drinks. Maybe through inebriation, the whole situation will be a little more bearable.
Ari seats herself in the nearest bar stool, placing her heavy suitcase on the floor next to her chair.
The bartender doesn't lift her eyes from the glass she is cleaning when she finally asks what Ari would like to drink. The drink menu is small and relatively unsurprising, but something with Molotov in the name calls to her.
"Good choice." The bartender responds with a sly side-glance. "Nothin' like setting your insides on fire to get through the day."
Ari nods with a smile, not entirely listening to the lady while she adjusts her suitcase below. It was only days ago that her apartment was robbed of everything that she held dear; she'd be damned if someone swiped her lone suitcase as well.
Ari thought the bartender was kidding about the fire. She thought wrong.
Her body was going to hate her later.
She had to give it to the bartender though; the drink certainly hit the spot.
"You aren't from around here, are ya'?" She asks as she watches Ari down her drink.
Ari smirks into her glass, setting it down on the bar with a slight laugh. "Was the suitcase not enough of a giveaway?"
The bartender shrugs. "Havin' luggage doesn't always mean you're comin' in to town. You could just as well be leavin' it."
"Good point." Ari concedes as she peruses the menu for another drink. She points to something that she can't pronounce as her new order.
The blonde bartender immediately starts concocting whatever the hell it is that Ari just ordered, the smile on her face an indication that it is another one she approves of. "So where ya' from?" She asks.
Ari watches as the bartender's brows scrunch together in confusion. "Why would you leave there for here?"
Ari taps the glass lightly with her fingernail as she mulls the answer over in her head. Why did she leave? Elmira had everything an up-and-coming musician would want at their disposal, a place to discover herself and be discovered - but that was all crushed the moment someone violated her privacy and ruined her financially.
Now she was here in Twinbrook, mooching off of her brother's kindness.
"I needed a fresh start." She finally answers, taking a sip from the cup in her hand.
"Then you came to the wrong place." The bartender says. "Twinbrook may seem like a quaint little town to escape your worries, but it's all an act. You shoulda' stayed in Elmira."
Ari frowns. "If it's so bad here, then why stay?"
"Easy to get in, tough to get out." She replies cryptically.
"Right." Ari narrows her eyes at the lady behind the bar, willing her to continue, but she doesn't. She shrugs it off as someone fucking with the newcomer, instead turning her attention back to her suitcase to fumble around for her pack of cigarettes. "Are we allowed to smoke in here?"
"Bad habit." The bartender smirks, leaning on the bar to peer at another customer entering the establishment.
"I have a lot of those. So is that a yes, or do I need to go outside?"
The new patron and the blonde share a glance before she turns her attention back to Ari. "The smoking area is outside, darlin'. And I suggest you bring your belongings with ya' - I'm closin' up shop."
Ari doesn't bother arguing with the lady that bar sign outside says they're open until 3 AM; it was getting stuffy in there - and the bartender was starting to irk her in a bad way.
She stands on the porch enjoying her cigarette and the last bit of sunlight, before she takes out her phone and dials the taxi company again. Her flight was supposed to come in around this time, so her brother is probably expecting her.
Niles greets her as soon as the taxi comes to a stop in front of his house. Ari can't help smiling at his excitement. "Hey big bro."
He pulls her into a hug. "Hey little sis." He frowns when they separate. "Our neighbor told us he saw someone fitting your description camping out in front of our humble abode earlier today."
"I went to the bar to kill some time."
"As your older brother, I feel it my duty to lecture you on not calling me and meandering around town by yourself."
"Well as your younger sister, I feel it my duty to tell you to fuck off." She smirks.
Niles laughs as he grabs her suitcase. "Stop being a brat and get in the damn house."
As soon as they enter the house, Ari is assaulted with another hug.
"Ari!" Cosette squeals. "It's been too long. How was the flight here?"
Ari grimaces. "Long. And turbulent."
Cosette nods sympathetically, leading Ari to their dining area where Niles is already seated. "Sorry to hear that."
"So what exactly happened in Elmira?" Niles interrupts.
Ari wilts pitifully as she takes a seat at the far side of the table. "Some asshole broke into my apartment and stole anything that had value."
Cosette shakes her head angrily. "I don't understand how someone could do that. Steal from someone who clearly doesn't have much to begin with."
"You still have money in the bank though right? That will help get you back onto your feet." Niles furrows his brow when his sister sinks further into her seat. She was never exactly the responsible type - but he had hoped that perhaps living on her own would have changed that. Judging by her averted gaze, that is clearly not the case.
Ari sighs heavily. "There's not much in there. Enough to help you both out with the house payments for a few weeks maybe, but not much else."
"Well - you're free to stay as long as you like." Cosette smiles.
Niles nods his head in agreement. "We have a spare room that was used for Cosette's parents when they lived with us, so there's plenty of room."
Ari grins with relief. "Thanks. Seriously. I'd be living on the streets if it weren't for you two."
Niles reaches across the tables to pat his sister's hand with a tired smirk. "No sister of mine is going to be homeless." He yawns. "I have to go in to work early tomorrow, so I think I'm going to bed."
Cosette pulls Niles back in his seat for a quick kiss goodnight. "I'll meet you in a bit. I want to show Ari to her room and make sure she's comfortably settled."
"There's no need..." Ari interrupts, but Cosette shoots her a determined glare that kills any objection she might have made. "Never mind." She corrects with a small laugh. "Lead the way."
"Sorry for the lack of... everything. My parents only left some of their furniture when they moved out and we never really had the motivation since to get this room fixed up properly." Cosette frowns.
"It has a bed. That's all I need." Ari answers.
Cosette places her hand on Ari's shoulder, squeezing it gently in a reassuring manner. "We're glad you're here. The circumstances aren't ideal, but we're glad nonetheless."
Ari smiles. "Thanks."
"Well..." Cosette removes her hand and heads toward the door. "... if you need anything, you know where to find us."
Feeling too confined in her room and not particularly tired, Ari heads outside to get some fresh air.
Twinbrook certainly offers some... intriguing sights. A green sludge waterfall is certainly something she's never seen before and makes her wary of drinking water from the tap... or showering, for that matter. Her first purchase shall be water bottles. Lots and lots of water bottles.
Her brother's drum set sits idly on the deck, begging her to play it. She settles into a rhythm with practiced ease, relishing in playing her favorite instrument and finally working off her stress and frustration.
It wasn't her drum set though; the one that she learned to play on and poured money into over the years to make it uniquely her own. Those drums were gone - likely pawned off in pieces somewhere by the asshat who had stolen them from her apartment.
But that didn't matter right now - none of it did. All that was important was the sounds that she could produce and create a worthwhile beat from.
She can put the blunder in Elmira City behind her and move on from there. Maybe Twinbrook will be better for her than she thought. She grimaces when the smell of something chemical and not altogether healthy wafts in her direction from Maker knows where. Or maybe not.
Shiny new legacy and fresh new start!
Side note: Ari and Niles are the grandchildren of Harlan and Dafne Harris, as will likely be evident from their noses and chins. Having said that, not much else besides genetics, and perhaps a few later cameos, will tie into the Harris Legacy. This is a completely new story.
(Although, Adamaris and Uther might appear at some point. I CAN'T QUIT THEM!)
I'm currently working on the Generations tab - so Ari's generation roll will be revealed once I fix that up.
Anyways - ONWARD!