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#61
Lexie

She picked up almost immediately. "Hello? Darrel?" It was her voice, unmistakably. Time for the following step...
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#62
"Lexie. How've you been? Do you have a minute?"
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#63
Lexie

"I'm okay, I guess... And sure, what's up? It's been a while, what's going on?"
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Shiny!

Player: Featherstone
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#64
So, let's hope Darrel does a great job? She was still waiting for a toilet chance, and to send that article she'd almost forgotten... Well, maybe a little rude but she could take care of the latter? She fumbled with her phone. No, her Long Island wasn't helping. Okay, I'll do it later.

She moved closer to Joshua, she lit one of her stupid cigarettes. Sometimes it just dawned on her how actually pathetic and uncool this or that was. Not in a way any irony could rescue, because... it's not like you can have multiple layers of it? Or could you? Maybe she should be more worried about werebats, or doing her job?

"So, do you get shapeshifters in NYC? Also, I think Arlene's gone..."

Was she supposed to follow them? She'd made a gesture, but then drinks were more appealing, apparently. Not that she could blame her. She wouldn't mind another drink.
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#65
Joshua edged closer to Erika, further away from Darrel so that their conversation wouldn't interrupt Darrel's call with Lexie.

"Shapeshifters? Um...no...I mean I have heard rumors but I haven't seen any evidence. New York has a legend about a group of 'Wild Men', but they are more Yeti or Bigfoot related and supposedly found in the wilderness of upstate NY."

He realized that he was starting to geek out about cryptids and paused, taking a good look at Erika to try and judge if she was in fact interested in his ramblings or was simply maintaining polite conversation. Joshua had a bad habit of pontificating for extended periods of time on Fortean phenomena and in the past had put people off because of his long winded and boring exposition. He recently decided to make a concerted effort to pay more attention to the reactions of other people as he spoke, so as to better interact with them and come off as less of a self centered intellectual.

He smiled as he watched her tap out something on her phone. She was clearly distracted or nervous, at least that was Joshua's assessment. Her fidgeting, the cigarette, the questions all suggested that despite her attempt at keeping it together, Erika was worried about something.

"Hey," he asked. "Are you okay. I mean really okay?"
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#66
"Well, things are pretty much the same for me as they were when I graduated, which might be a problem. Anyway, uh, are you still living with Jessica? Apparently I just missed her at a nightclub, and she was acting... out of character." Darrel took a breath. "And she... apparently left with someone who came off as a bit sketchy. Do you know what's going on there?"
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#67
Lexie

There was some mumbling on the other side. Talking to a roomate? He couldn't understand what she was saying, she'd probably covered her phone or something. She was back soon, anyway. "Not here anymore... Out of character?" Another mumbling interlude. "Tasha here says that "sane" would be out of character, but you might have missed a few episodes... Sorry, dunno if you like her or something, but... Weird that she's around, though, we thought she'd gone God-knows-were with those people... Not sure you want to hear the whole story?"
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Shiny!

Player: Featherstone
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#68
Oh damn, the concerned look. Was she acting weird, seriously? "I'm okay, I swear". Not that she minded it entirely, the whole someone being concerned for her thing. If Nikki had ever cared that way, for instance... On the other hand, oh please no. "I might be a bit drunk but that's okay, and there's a mail I forgot to send, guess I'll do it later, I also missed my chance to visit that toilet, you know? Do you think there will ever be guided tours to a toilet? If they become a famous haunted place, for instance? What if that happened - would visitors still be allowed to use them?". Rambling, okay. But Dar - he could be just Dar, so that'd been right anyway - was having his call and they were just waiting for his outcome, so... Rambling. She was good at it, she was good at something at least.
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#69
"Well, I've been wondering about her sanity since the day we met, but I didn't think what she's supposed to have done tonight was her brand of crazy." Darrel sighed. "She's supposed to have gotten high, and slipped into a bathroom with a man. I... didn't know her all that well, and I don't think I've seen her since the day I sold you my old laptop, but I didn't think any of that was like her. Although that was long enough ago that she could have shifted personality rather drastically... But yeah. I... guess I want to hear the whole story."
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#70
Joshua nodded, listening as Erika babbled nervously. He flashed her a winning smile and silently put and arm around her shoulders giving a reassuring hug.

Everything is alright, the hug suggested, we're in this together.

He looked over at Darrel, who was still in conversation with Lexie. Hopefully they would get some sort of lead, something they could put their energy towards and stop feeling so powerless.
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#71
Lexie

More muffled sounds. Obviously someone commenting on the other side. "Hm, do you remember where I live, right? Guess we're all done pretending to study for tonight... And this stuff's worth talking in person".
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Shiny!

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#72
She let him hug her. Reaching for welcoming comfort. So enjoyable? That drink, too strong, definitely, that made her so complacent, taking refuge in his hug more out of laziness than need. Relishing some human warmth - did she like him, at least? Guess now going to pee would kinda spoil the moment. Sartre had said something about perfect moments, although the character obsessed with those was a terrible poser. Now was she anything better?

Darrel on the other hand... how come Lexie hadn't shut him up already? Hm, "slipping in a toilet with a man" was hardly the edgiest news to justify a late-night call (how late was it? Maybe not so much. Checking, however, meant moving). They were still talking, however... Anything good coming out of that?
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#73
"I wouldn't mind coming over, but... I've got some other people with me. Would it be okay if I brought them long?" He glances back towards the apparently-couple. "If they want to come along, of course."
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#74
Lexie

"As long as they don't mind hearing about crazy culty stuff... and they're not FBI or something... okay, I'll be waiting then!"
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#75
"Okay. I'll be there. See you soon." Darrel ends the call, and turns to the maybe-couple. "So, is either of you with the FBI or anything?"
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#76
Joshua laughed, shaking his head at Darrel. "Uh no, though i expect they have a decent sized file on me.". He glanced over at Erika and upon realizing that he still had his arm around her he awkwardly removed it. "I don't think she's with the FBI either, unless she's deep, deep under cover."  Joshua smiled at Erika, hoping that she understood that he was just making a joke and not trying to speak for the woman. Turning to Darrel he inquired, "So, sounds like Lexi has a lead?"
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#77
"Oh don't worry, I'm probably on some kind of watch list too given the weird stuff I Googled for... extracurricular activities in college. Wait, actually if we're each on a watch list maybe we should worry." Darrel chuckled. "Anyway I was talking with Lexie, and... well, I'm not entirely sure how much she has. I get the feeling she's not nearly as surprised as I was to hear what Jess has been getting up to, but she doesn't seem to know where we can find her. In fact she registered surprise that Jess was anywhere nearby. She said she was... 'God-knows-where with that cult' or something along those lines. Not ominous at all, right?"

"She said I might as well come over, since she's done pretending to study for the night. She also said I should feel free to bring you two, since you aren't FBI Agents. (If you're wondering, that's why I asked.)" Darrel looked over towards Lexie's place. "It's a bit far to walk, though. I'd do it anyway if I was alone, but I'm willing to split a Lyft or an Uber if you two don't want to walk. Unless you two came in your own car?"
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Shiny!

Player: Featherstone
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#78
Whoa, so serious! As if the entire FBI talk hadn't been some sort of joke. Or wasn't it? She hadn't heard the whole conversation, but, one would assume Lexie was sort of joking. Unless she'd joined the paranoid brigade. Or there was something creepier than expected going on.

"My car's not far from here. Joshua can confirm it's a mess but not of the lethal kind, so... it does beat walking, I guess, and it's cheaper than Uber".

She disentangled from Joshua's embrace. She'd been there a little too long. Now back alone on her feet, she didn't really feel as safe. Just a physical matter, though, her drink was too strong, that did not mean she was any sort of damsel in distress. No way.

"Hm, can anyone drive and is sober?"

She scavenged in a pocket for keys, they came out together with a few crumbled receipts, a broken hairpin, and an earring she thought she'd lost, now she seriously had to tidy up... someday... her pockets and her life and everything.

"I mean, I totally can drive if I must, but, I guess someone could be better suited, given the chance...".
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#79
"I'll drive," Joshua piped up, scooping up the keys form Erika's hand. "Someone's going to have to navigate though." He nodded his heads in the direction of Erika's car and started walking, hoping that the others would follow.
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#80
Darrel follows. "I can navigate. I know where we're going. I don't know this neighborhood very well, but that's what GPS is for."
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Shiny!

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#81
Oh, great, no need to drive! Sure, she could totally drive while just a bit tipsy, but... you never know. The police, and all. Absolutely nothing about her own skills, of course.

"Fine! Let's go!"

A bit of celebratory dance wasn't a good idea. Although, they were achieving something! She headed towards the lemon-yellow Chevy, they all walked together, almost like in an adventure.
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