Niles wakes early the next morning determined to make breakfast before he has to shuffle off to work. Waffles are easy, right?
Apparently he and his stove are on entirely different wavelengths. Or he didn't read the directions in a fit of overconfidence and put them in the stove for too long. Psh. Details.
Never one to let failure sting for too long, he takes one last look at what could have been...
...then proceeds to the fridge to fix a bowl of cereal. There's no way he can fuck up cereal.
And he might as well leave the burnt waffles out, while he's at it - to show his girlfriend and sister that he made the effort to create something edible. At the very least, he'll get a laugh out of it.
Or a pity make-out from Cosette.
Off to his first full day of work.
His boss may think ripped shirts are hip, but Niles just thinks they're needlessly drafty.
Whatever. A paycheck is a paycheck - he can deal with substandard uniforms and questionable boss decisions for that fact alone.
Ari wakes sometime in the late afternoon - she's not entirely sure and doesn't particularly care. It's not like she has anything important to wake up for anyway.
She smiles wryly when she witnesses the blackened waffles still sitting on the counter-top - Niles' handy-work, no doubt. Her brother was never capable of making anything that required more than two steps to prepare/cook.
The house is entirely empty, as far as she can tell. Cosette had mentioned briefly last night that she was heading to the community gardens to harvest some seeds or something and Niles had work. Everyone was busy except for her.
Chores would keep her busy for a small time. As much as she hated them, she owed her brother and Cosette that much. Although, she's still skeptical about exposing her bare skin to the tap water after seeing that discolored waterfall just outside their house.
She shrugs in defeat and dips her hands into the soapy water to clean the dishes. If she does develop any health issues from this, she's totally blaming her brother for moving here in the first place.
Ari heads to the bistro to busk with Niles' guitar once the boredom of being alone in the house gets to be too much. If this were the city, she would have plenty of people to sway into tipping her - but Twinbrook is a different beast altogether. Parking her butt by a busy restaurant seemed like a brilliant option when she first set out, but there's no one to be found. It's like the damn town is devoid of life.*
True to her word, Cosette heads to the gardens to harvest some seeds.
She knows that it is called the "community" gardens, but she can't help feeling like she's stealing something whenever she comes here to harvest. Or that she somehow partially owns the property as she's the only person in all of Twinbrook that really cares enough to tend the garden during her visits.
When she returns home, the fog rolls in from the lowland swamps engulfing her new garden and obscuring the soil so she can't even inspect if it's rich enough to grow plants.
Worth a shot anyway. Worst case scenario - nothing grows and she feels like a failure for a few days before trying again.
She's not sure how she managed it, but Cosette breaks both the sink and toilet within two minutes. She could call the repairman, but that would cost money. Money that they don't have.
Cosette rolls up her sleeves and prepares for the long haul. She will fix these things dammit. SHE WILL FIX ALL THE THINGS... or break them further.
Ari returns home just after Niles, who she finds playing his guitar alone outside. As soon as he sees her walking up the steps toward their house, he motions with his head toward the drums - inviting her to join.
"I missed this." He says, yelling over the cacophony that they're creating.
"Me too." Ari raises her voice as much as she can over the noise, a small smile forming as they both finally start playing in harmony.
Being the only person in the house that actually knows how to cook, Cosette is stuck doing dinner-duty - not that she necessarily minds. Her father had taught her to cherish not only growing food, but having the ability to make meals out of the fruits of your labor; so to speak.
Not that tonight's dinner is any indication of that. It's store-bought macaroni and cheese, but even that isn't safe for Niles, and by extension Ari, to cook. They'd burn it in a heartbeat.
"So what did you do today?" Cosette asks.
Ari frowns. "I tried to busk to make some extra cash, but all I managed to make was five dollars from some weirdo that kept asking me to take requests."
Cosette and Niles share a look, before laughing. "Twinbrook is one of the sparsest towns in the district population-wise." Niles says. "Five dollars is probably the largest amount you'll get."
Ari raises her hands dramatically. "Busking is how I paid my rent back home."
"I could probably get you a job at the theater. It won't be glamorous, but it will get some money in your pocket." Niles offers.
Ari's frown deepens. "Thanks, but no. I'll find some other way to get cash."
Cosette laughs at her refusal. "Still not a fan of regular work hours?"
"More like not a fan of being told what do and receiving pittance pay in return."
"You're making pittance pay right now." Niles points out.
"Not forever." Ari corrects. "And I'd rather be making only little than dealing with stuffy bosses, dramatic co-workers, and having to work predetermined hours."
"Hear, hear." Cosette adds with a smirk.
Niles smiles wryly at both of them. "Thanks for the not-so-subtle dig at my life choices."
"You're welcome." Ari replies with a laugh.
*Twinbrook only has about 22 residents as of this posting, mostly because I wanted to keep the population relatively small, but also because I'm not a big fan of the pre-mades EA placed. So... yeah. The town is pretty much empty right now.
-Ari is at level 7 with the drums and level 4 with the guitar. Since there's not much to do in Twinbrook as of yet (I'm rebuilding portions of the town center), she's been mostly confined to the house.
-Niles is at level 5 with the guitar and level 2 of his job in the Music Career.
-Cosette is at level 5 with gardening and has already managed to grow one perfect plant (for her LTW), although I'm not exactly sure how that happened. As far as I know, there are no perfect seeds or harvest in the community garden... I'll have to double check that again.
Whew! Off to work on Chapter Tres.