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Generated: Feb 08, 2021 7:24 AM
Post last updated: Feb 08, 2021 7:24 AM
Won't you spare me over 'til another year?
There's no party like a Washington party- tyrians and maeves in Until Dawn
Permalink Mark Unread

Washington parties have a certain cultural cachet. Everyone knows that if Josh hosts a party, they'll regret not being there. People talk about a Washington party for months after- years, in some memorable cases. Someone usually does something they regret. If it were up to him, each party would end in a dramatic, Baachanalian climax of sex, drugs, and violence. His siblings and friends reign him in when his creative control would offend philistine sensibilities, and so instead, everyone agrees that the parties are fun. It's a delicate balance.

Parties at the lodge are the gentler, more diffident cousin of parties at the house. It's a select few of the Washingtons' dearest friends, retreating to the mountain wilderness to experience something sacred, profound, ecstatic. He's looking to have a religious experience, just a less wine-soaked one.

In theory: this is the inaugural lodge party. Hopefully it's not a major bummer. For now, it's a quiet affair. Setting up a party takes time, even one as muted and palatable as this one, so he and his sisters have enlisted some help.

"Hey, squirt, pass me the duct tape. I might have done some damage to mom's pristine antique any-tieth century lamp here."

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"Don't call me squirt, dork, at least, not this weekend. Just, give it here! I'll see if we can turn it to the wall so it, at least isn't in her line of sight. Or should we just move all the valuable up to the attic and away from breaking range? Oh god, I feel sick."

Phil, the youngest of the Washington children, even her twin, has never been to one of Josh's parties, always opting to lock her door and hide away with a pile of homework beside her, and the nervous energy of helping her brother, combined with her choice of guests, Mike in particular, is making her a wreck. 

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"Sure, munchkin. I've got a whole stable of embarrassing little sister nicknames, just let me know when to take the next out back and shoot it. Upstairs, unto the breach, everything pretty and breakable far away from little Joshy and his butterfingers, right? On it."

He begins picking up a few items that look fragile to take to the attic.

"Do I get to roast you for your crush, or is that just twin territory?"

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"Pffft, what crush, I have no crush, I am, in fact, crushless. So... shut up."

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"Philomena the Crushless, hero of Blackwood Mountain. Killing her enemies with kindness so her sister doesn't have to do it. Shutting up, your honor."

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At that point, a tall red headed boy enters carrying a box of party supplies. "And honorable she is. So tell me, Phil, have you done your extra special good deed for the day or do you still have to find time to sing to a squirrel today?"

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"Putting up with me requires saintly stores of patience, you know that. Speaking of, why don't we leave my sister to work on," he gestures vaguely, "while you put that tight bod to use carrying stuff to the attic?"

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"Careful Joshy-boy, you flirt too hard and I'll take you up on it. We both know you couldn't handle me, my man."

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Phil looks between the two, her whole head bouncing side to side as if watching a tennis match, eyes wide in confusion, suddenly remembering why she doesn't spend time with her brother and his friends.

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"Yeah, you're right," he says lazily. "There's still lots we can do that would scandalize your parents without any handling."

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Her eyes widen more, before she pointedly looks down and away, trying to focus on party prep instead of the two boys.

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He catches the look. "I think, right now, we're scandalising your baby sister."

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"Fiiine, I'll play fair. Hands off, baby sis, I promise our party will be completely PG. PG-13. Just drugs and violent imagery, Scout's honor."

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Her head snaps up, staring at her brother in a modicum of confusion and fright. "What, hands, where? I wasn't touching anything, promise!"

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"Crushless, she says. Any votes from the peanut gallery, J.J.?"

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"Hmm, well, let's see."

He takes this moment to saunter up to the blonde, entering her personal space all suave and sexy, watching her face carefully.

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She just looks up at him in confusion, not flustered by his closeness at all.

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"Who else did the little bird invite J-Man?"

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"Sam's coming with Orya- not that that's news. Pumpkin here invited, let's see...Mike Munroe, and apparently his girlfriend. And obviously Orya and Sam are bringing their tagalong straight man with them. Smaller crowd than I'm used to. See the kind of sacrifices I make for family?"

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"I didn't know you were friends with Munroe Phil, in fact, I thought you hadn't spoken to him, 'like ever'." 

He quotes her mockingly, finally cluing in to her secret crush.

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Her face turns bright red, and she knows she's been caught out.

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"There's the ticket! He shoots, he scores! Regular ol' Sherlock we got here. Hey Phil, what's with the bad taste? I thought me and O raised you better than that."

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"He's... I don't have... Fuck off Josh!" Her face turns from frustration to shock as she realises the words, or rather, word, that came out of her mouth.

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"Oh ho ho, Disney Princess has a mouth on her now, doesn't she?"

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"We should get this stuff upstairs before she starts breaking shit. I'm afraid for my life here."

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Jeremy smirks triumphantly and picks up a box of breakables. "We have the whole weekend, there's no rush."

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She opens and closes her mouth several times at the two boys before going back to setting up the house for the guests they're expecting. 

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Suddenly the front door opens, a rush of cold entering the house.

"Honey, I'm home."

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"Oh, now what are we gonna do, Jer? We forgot to make the casserole."

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Sam walks in, past whatever extended, unfunny joke Josh is telling.

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"The bitch will just have to starve."

His evident dislike for her, long suffering and well known, especially through the disgust in his evaluation of her outfit.

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"Oz!" She drops what she's doing and does a flying leap at her twin, aiming for a hug.

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"Me," begrudgingly, Orya accepts the hug, but melts into it once its happening. "Sammy, as usual, drop your shit wherever, make yourself at home, yada yada. Oh, and ignore my brother and his idiot friend, I always do."

She delivers a withering look to Jeremy over her sisters shoulder. 

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"Hello, Josh. Hey, idiot friend. Looks like you might need a hand?"

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"What am I, chopped liver? I want in on this hug."

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"Yes,"

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"and no," Phil finishes her twins sentence, before they speak together, eerily in sync.

"In that order."

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"From you? Always," he flirts lazily, anyone could tell he doesn't really mean it.

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She's used to lazy flirting from these two. She wonders if they do that when they're alone or if that would break the spacetime continuum.

"On second thought, why don't the girls go upstairs and get the rooms ready while you boys cool your heels."

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"You sure you don't want just me 'n you to go upstairs. I think it'd be plenty more fun."

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Oz detaches from her little sister, pushing the redheaded boy back easily with one hand. "Ah ah ah, little boy, backing away from the best friend, thank you very much."

She grabs both girls hands and drags them upstairs before any more banter can occur.

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Watching them go, he stares at Orya's ass in genuine interest. "Your sister may be a scary bitch, but she's a hot scary bitch."

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"I can't believe you're trying to kill me by calling my sister hot. I thought we were friends, Miah. I trusted you...with all of my deepest, darkest sexual fantasies. And you called my sister a 'hot scary bitch' in return?"

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"Who are you kidding, that is my deepest, darkest secret."

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"Gotta say, I'm hurt. I'm right here, you know, ready, willing, and able. Very able."

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"Oh, my deep sexual love for you isn't a secret Joshua. Everyone knows I'd be on my knees the second you asked."

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"Save it for the party. I don't know about you, but I want to give our guests a show."

He's pretty sure this party is going to be lame if he has to be sober, which is why he's planning on pre-gaming.

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"Fine, at least let us take a break, light up, have a little fun before your sister sending us back to the salt mines."

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"Alright, you win. Time to fold like a house of cards and chase the white rabbit."

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Meanwhile...

"So Phil, are you looking forward to tonight?"

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"Yeah... It's gonna be fun... right?" She remains secretive about her hopes for the night, blushing and shy in front of her sister and Sam.

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"It's going to be great. They won't know what hit 'em."

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"Woo! Yeah! Let's go! Party, fun, joy!" Sarcasm abounds from the darker twin.

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"Don't listen to her, Phil," although she's more in agreement with Orya on this one and they both know it, "We'll make sure this is a night they'll never forget. Speaking of, why don't we set up some activities? Ideally they won't show up drunk and we can all do something fun together."

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"What, like spin the bottle?"

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"Okay Debbie Downer, weird not in 8th grade. Maybe... Never Have I Ever or, um, I think there's a table tennis thing in the attic we could send the boys up for. Josh would go ape for beer pong."

She looks to the two other girls for instruction, it's her first party, and all she really knows is what she's seen in tv shows and movies.

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"Beer pong will be a hit. 'Never Have I Ever' can be a little risky with new people, though. We can try to set up a dance floor downstairs."

They need to make sure this goes well for Philomena's sake. Sam tries to communicate this to Orya, silently.

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Orya is already on board, she just can't let her sister know that, she has a penchant for hating when Oz babies her, so she'll have to play uninterested for now.

"She's right, that kind of game isn't really fun when you're playing with Josh, there's very little he hasn't done. He'd make a pornstar look boring."

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"Oh..." She thinks for a moment, and what they've said seems to make sense. 

"I think Jeremy brought his sound system, and there are some lights and smoke machines downstairs if we wanna get, like, crazy."

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"We want to get crazy. Should we unpack the snacks? I got your favorite."

There aren't any extra treats in there, something which she's sure will change if Josh gets near the food. That's not happening. Babysitting Josh isn't her favorite part of being friends with Orya, but it's an important duty nonetheless.

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"Yes please! Josh brought chips, chips, and more chips. Plus hash brownies. I've been so hungry."

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"That totally tracks for him."

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Food! It's mostly standard party fare, but since they're going to be here overnight, they have dinner, too. That goes in the fridge. She does not engage with the boys.

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Josh tries to engage with her! He's not in quite the right headspace for it.

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He's much less interested in the others now that he's suitably high, but he is a thousand percent more pleasant to be around.

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She is, oddly, amused by the two, much more tolerant of them when they're high, though she has to keep fighting them off of the food they keep trying to steal.

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At first, Phil is a little afraid of the boys continuing their teasing from earlier, but once it's evident they've moved on, she enjoys their company freely. She also joins in on fighting the boys off the food.

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In the midst of their casual unpacking, a frantic knock sounds at the front door.

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"I'll get it..."

Josh stumbles to his feet. He attempts to stumble to the door, but hands on the couch instead, giggling

"We forgot the costumes, Jermy..."

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Sam gets the door.

"Hey, welcome to Casa Washington. Ignore the stoners in the corner."

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"Hey Sam! Mena!" She makes an immediate beeline for her friend. "Sorry I'm early, you know how I get with deadlines."

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"Spence! It's okay, I'm glad you're here, you can save me from the company of my brother."

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"Mena! I vanna suck your blood- J.J., save me from myself. Why aren't you a monster? Monsters are good."

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"Why don't we have some snacks and get some music going?"

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"Monsters are good my dude, I guess we forgot to tell everybody else. But look, a wild Spencer has appeared!"

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"Or we could leave the boys here and hide out in one of the bedrooms for a little girl talk? I vote ditching my brother and his idiot friend by the way."

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Phil seems less keen for a moment, as if she's eagerly awaiting somebody's arrival, but realises she'd be with her brother. "I second the motion."

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Spence nudges the blonde in a notion of camaraderie. "Where you go, so goes my nation and all that."

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Upstairs it is. Actually, since right now it is just the girls, they could do a few rounds of Never Have I Ever! She wants to give Phil some taste of the parties she's seen on TV.

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Spencer, much like her best friend, has little experience with parties and is giddy at the suggestion. "Should we invite the boys for that or..."

She seems to be staring at one of the boys in particular.

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"Ugh... Fine, only for the sake of socialising you two hermits. Josh, Josh's idiot best friend, we're gonna play Never Have I Ever. You two game?"

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"Sure. You know I have ever, right? I 'have ever' pretty much anything your pretty little heads can think up."

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"And yet, evidently, you 'have never' managed cohesive English you complete and utter cro-magnon. Just go sit down on the couch dummy."

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Jer snickers at the snippy goth, whispering to his friend as he leads him to the couch, "I retract my earlier statement dude, your sister sucks ass."

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Phil plonks herself down on one of the couches around the coffee table, tapping her hands on her thighs in excitement. Spencer follows close behind her, and they immediately begin whispering among themselves.

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"My sister is an angel sent down from the Heavens to grace us puny humans with her divine grace! The other one is a demon from Hell trying to fuck with us or something, for sure. I think. Might be getting them miiixed up!"

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"I think you might. Cause the one who just called you an idiot from the land before time, yeah, she's a hell beast all right."

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Oz ignores the boys and turns to her best friend. "Join me in getting booze and shot glasses oh great and powerful Sammy?"

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"Sure."

They collect the necessary supplies for their game. Sam is pretty sure she and Orya can come up with things that'll make Spencer and Phil balk.

"So are we trying to get your sister drunk, or do we need a designated driver?"

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"I want her to have fun, but it might be hard. Maybe just tipsy enough that she feels experienced, not Josh levels of drunk. We've still got some people to show."

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"I like it. Operation Party She'll Never Forget is a go."

Back to the other girls (and Josh and his idiot friend).

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Jer notices them enter and a wide smile spreads across his face. "Heeeeey! Shots, shots, shot-shot-shot-shots, shots, shot-shot-shots!"

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"Never Have I Ever...hooked up at a party."

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"Are these all gonna be about me, Sammy? I'm flattered."

He takes two shots.

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"Please, she's obviously talking about me, don't even try fronting little boy," Jer promptly does three, not one to be outdone.

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Spencer sheepishly does one, screwing up her face at the taste of alcohol.

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Oz raises her eyes in mild surprise, but otherwise, does her shot in silence.

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"What? Who? When?!"

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"Field hockey team party, I have some semblance of a social life y'know."

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"Oh... I haven't, yet. Have to go to a party to hook up at one."

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"You should come out to the next one with me, Phil. Most parties don't check IDs at the door."

Most of the parties she goes to, anyway. Orya's kind of party is different.

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"Oooh, my turn. Never Have I Ever...been high and drunk during a job interview."

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"I'd love to! I figure, now's the time to try it all, when I can blame it on exuberant youth. Though, brother mine, that sounds stupid as hell."

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"Boo Joshy. You know I've never been to a job interview."

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"Ditto douche, you know we've got a rich dad right? No job needed."

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Spencer, again, takes a shot awkwardly, almost shamefully.

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"Woah! Talk about a surprise from the neurotic!" His eyes light up with hidden desire at her new depth.

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"Job interviews are fun! You get to flirt with someone who has to listen to you. It's like flirting with a therapist. Spencer knows what I mean, right Spencer?"

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"There was no flirting! None! I wouldn't!"

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"Chill Spence, she was accidentally high, and her interview was for that internship with the Mayor over the summer, plus, flirting isn't really her game. Don't freak her out."

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"Ignore him, Spencer. You should go next. Think of like a challenge to your creativity. You need to think of something that you've never done but that you think the rest of us have."

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"She's not stupid, twinkle-Bell. It's easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!"

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Spencer gulps nervously, then looks at her best friend and smirks almost insidiously. "Never have I ever gotten a tattoo."

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Phil's eyes widen suddenly, looking to the other's for their answer first.

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"Maaan, I need to get a tattoo. Jer, remind me to get a tattoo later"

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"I'm waiting until I can legally drink! I don't want to get a tattoo before my brain's done developing. The person we'll be at 25 is so different than the people we are now."

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"Puh-lease, I'm never marring my beautiful porcelain skin. I'm gonna be a model dontcha know?"

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Oz takes a couple shots, to the surprise of no one, they can see her tattoos, its no surprise.

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Phil, hoping no one is watching, takes a shot sheepishly.

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Sam clocks it. She's not going to embarrass Phil in front of everyone, though, so she doesn't bring it up.

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"My turn?"

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"Washingtons last. Jeremiah?"

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Jer also clocks it, and isn't as kind as Sam is. "Back up, I'm sorry, baby Washington has a tattoo? Where? Since when? Josh, you allowed this?"

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"...Philomena Daria Washington! How could you scanalie- candaprize- scandal your family like this! Shame on you! Boo!"

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"Janusson, your turn."

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"Ugh, fine party pooper, but this will come up again later. Uh. Never have I ever... Ridden a man like a bucking bronco."

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"Awww. You can ride me, Jer-bear. I go all night, baby..."

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"Get a room, you two."

She takes a shot.

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"We both know who'll be riding who my friend."

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Spencer blushes at the conversation, but doesn't drink.

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Oz, takes a shot, but it seems disingenuous to anyone looking closely at her eyes.

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Phil, having watched all of this, takes a shot, in fact, she takes three, this time more conspicuously than before, almost proud of this fact, in the face of everyone else's answers.

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And there's a knock at the door.

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Sam stands, glad for the reprieve.

"Which of the ladies of honor want to help me greet our guests?"

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With mocking faux high pitched voice, he raises his hand. "Me, me, I wanna go!"

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Oz kicks at him softly. "Shut up dork. I'll come Sammy," she stands, looping her arm through her friends and drags her off to the front door.

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"Hey, Sam, Orya. Hope I didn't miss out on much, it looks like things are already in full swing."

He carts in a case of beer, looking for a spot to stash it.

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"C'mon, I'll take that.."

They don't need more alcohol at this party. She picks a spot in the kitchen where anyone who's already stoned won't find it.

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"Nothing to miss, just idiot brother and his idiot friend being idiots, sister being weird, sisters friend being weirder, same old, same old."

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"That's still pretty cool. It's nice of you guys to throw a smaller party like this."

He comes and takes a seat next to Sam

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"Hey, Mitch. Hey Mitch. What's up."

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"I'm doing good. Thanks for having us over."

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"...Miiitchhh...you're welcome, my man."

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"Miiitchhh! It's Miiiitchh! Heyyyyy!"

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At the two idiots display, she rolls her eyes and half whispers to her friend. "Yeah, just you wait, you won't think it's nice for long."

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Phil waves jauntily. "Hey Mitch! Get here alright?"

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Spencer sips at water, nodding her greeting to the boy from the couch.

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"Yeah, wasn't a problem.The drive up was nice and quiet. How're you doing, Philomena?"

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"The going is good, ya know," she tries to come off all cool and suave and laid back, but on her, it just seems... A tad awkward.

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Jeremy honestly feels bad for the kid, she's clearly trying, and its genuinely painful to watch. He takes another shot just to try and block her out.

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"We were actually playing 'Never Have I Ever' before you came, Mitch. You want in?"

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"Sure, I'm not gonna pass it up."

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(Josh, following Jeremiah's example, is doing more shots.)

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"Orya, I think it's just you, Phil, and Mitch now."

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"Uh, never have I ever sucked a guy off behind the school bleachers," she then pointedly stares at Jeremiah, her gaze almost cruel in its mocking of him.

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He snorts, she can't embarrass him, though she's welcome to try. He does three shots, smirking triumphantly.

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Shots!

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She just shakes her head. They're going to be so drunk by the time the party actually starts.

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"Um, ladies first?"

He gestures for Phil to go first.

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Her eyes widen, and she thinks for a moment. "Never have I ever... been arrested."

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Jer smirks at his best friend, another proud indiscretion, and takes a shot.

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Another shameless shot, though she stands to grab food, she needs to start lining her stomach with carbs if this party is going to last. She says as much.

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He volunteers to help with the food; he's pretty sure Sam is the only one with a chance of keeping Josh and Jeremiah in line.

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Sam takes a shot, sheepishly.

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"You guys do all the cool stuff without me! Jer, you've been holding out on me, man!"

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"What can I say, I like to have my secrets from you, keeps it interesting."

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In the kitchen, Oz takes the chance to hide for the group for a second, snacking on a packet of chips while seated on the kitchen bench, her legs swinging childishly. "You excited for the best party of your life?"

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"Your brother throws the best parties," he demurs. He's not really impressed by this one so far; he's been to better. He's not sure how much to blame on the fact that the three Washington siblings have to share this one. He knows Orya has more fun than this, most nights.

"Everyone says so."

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"Don't get your hopes up, this isn't one of his usual bashes, and more of the guest list is Phil's than his. Should be an interesting experiment at least."

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There's an impatient knocking at the door.

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"I've got it!"

Let Orya enjoy her moment of peace; now the  real challenge begins.

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"Thank God for small mercies, it's colder than Satan's below-ground freezer out there! Hey, Sam."

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The short girl beside him covers a displeased look on her face with a moderately pleasant smile. "Hi Sam."

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"Come inside. Here, let me get your coats."

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"Hey, Philomena. How's the night going so far? Hope you haven't done anything I wouldn't do."

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"We're all holding our liquor so far, Munroe. Get over here, take a load off."

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Phil blushes and giggles, but she doesn't say anything.

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Toni barely manages not to roll her eyes at the little ditz, but she waves at the rest of the group.

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"Mike, my man, we are learning all sorts of interesting things about little Washington." 

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"She's good at this game, man, of course she is. She's a Washington."

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"Never Have I Ever. Want to play?"

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He does not need to look at Toni to know that she agrees with him on how lame this party could get if they don't do something.

Instead, he looks at the littlest Washington.

"I don't know, Phil here is so sweet, I'm sure she's not hiding anything that surprising. She's a good girl."

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"Tattoos, and riding boys, and I'm sure there's something else we don't quite know yet. Mouse is full of surprises."

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"O-kay. Very cool, interesting, scintillating, I am so enthralled. Can we please try something cool? Anyone know how to play King's Cup?" 

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"Oooh, yeah, king me! Jer, where'd we put the cards? We gotta have cards somewhere...day late, Jack of all shots...off with their heads, I say."

He stands up, tousling Jeremiah's hair. He's on the prowl for playing cards.

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Oz enters from the kitchen, having heard the commotion and her brother demanding playing cards. "Got 'em."

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Phil just giggles and twirls her hair around her finger.

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She enlists Mitch and Mike's help to move the table and clear some space while Orya and Toni work on setting up the game.

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Josh starts singing off-key.

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Jer throws his arm around his friends shoulders, joining in with an on key harmony, which blends awfully with him.

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Mike explains the rules: each rank has a different rule for who drinks, and half the fun is in seeing who's able to keep up. Privately, he's glad Josh is already on his way to drunk. It means this party is his and Toni's, now.

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Toni doesn't just set up the game, she creates a perfect circle with the cards, and she plays perfect hostess, making sure everyone has a drink mixed a little on the strong side, while Orya mostly watches, does little parts of the set up. She then watches in approval as her man takes over.

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Phil nods ecstatically, already bouncing to get to it.

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Spencer smiles at her friend, and laughs heartily at the obnoxious boys singing together.

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"So do we make up a rule for the Queens now?"

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"I'd like to suggest that when we draw a Queen, everyone drinks some water."

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Jer breaks away from the singing to add his input. "I vote not that. 'Cus that's lame. How about... Ooh, you pull that one, you lose a piece of clothing. All the best Queens are strippers."

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"I'm cool with that," he says too quickly.

"Sorry, Sam. Uh, really sorry, Orya. We probably shouldn't."

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"What do you think, babe?"

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"A four in fifty two chance doesn't sound too bad to me, unless y'all are chicken?"

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"I don't ever turn down a challenge."

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"Shots, shots, shots! Strip, strip, strip!"

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"Ugh, fine. I'm still getting water so this doesn't turn into a PSA."

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Phil looks a little afraid, but seems to buckle under the peer pressure and the need to impress, so she puffs herself up. "I'm not afraid of a little skin."

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Spencer has her eyes wide, she definitely isn't down, but she doesn't want to ruin it for anyone, especially Phil, so she just keeps her mouth shut and prays to god she doesn't pick up a Queen.

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While the prides and virgins work out their issues, Mike establishes the order.

"We'll go based on when we joined the party. Start with the Washingtons, and end with me and Toni."

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"We're still missing one."

At least one. It would be just like Josh to have invited another ten people they didn't know about. She's hoping it's just one.

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"Ugh, Alex is perpetually late, I'll text her."

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Suddenly, the front door opens without a knock, a tall blonde appearing. "Honey, I'm home!"

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"Speak of the fucking devil, bitch, you're late."

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"How was the drive up?"

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"Vvvelcome to our humble abode...I am Count...Washicula..."

He bursts into giggles.

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"Gee pretty boy, you are toasted! Got any for me? It was fine, Mitchy-poo."

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Toni smiles, finally, someone she actually likes to talk to, so she walks over and hugs the tall blonde. "Come on, we're playing King's Cup, and Queens are strip cards."

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"Definitely got something for my favorite Alex- do I know any more Alexes? Where'd it go- hey, Orya, no more stealing my stash! Oh- here it is. Party favors, Samuels. Take a look."

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"Phil, do you want to go first? I think Jeavis and Jutthead need a minute."

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"Ooh, I love a good chance to get naked in front of strangers. Gimme!" She lights up quickly with her own lighter, savouring the haze soon to fall over her.

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Phil nods happily, and picks one at random, showing the rest of the group the Jack she got. "Uh, everyone has to drink with their non dominant had, and if they're ambidextrous, they have to drink with no hands."

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"Ooh, a challenge, you Washington's really are naturals at partying, even the innocent ones."

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Easy enough! He can just spill cheap beer on himself and justify taking two shots since really, half a shot doesn't count.

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"Not sure we were supposed to take a shot on that one," she points out.

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"Me nedst...next."

He shows everyone the 7 of Diamonds; it takes him a minute to realize what the rule is.

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Everyone else is already pointing to the ceiling.

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Shots!

He nudges Jeremiah's shoulder with his face.

"Your turn, Jerm."

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Jer saunters, building the tension before grabbing a card, revealing a four. "Ladies?"

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Alex smirks as she takes her shot.

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Spencer crosses her arm with Phil's, throwing her shot back with her friend, laughing with her at their spillage.

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The rest of the girls take their shots with little fanfare.

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"You or me, Sammy-bee?"

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"Your party, your choice."

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"Alrighty then, I'll go first," she grabs a card at random and promptly pours a significant portion of her drink, a Mexican Mule, or more simply, ginger ale and tequila, into the centre cup. "First King down my dudes."

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"Looks like you're up, Sam."

Meanwhile, he's watching Philomena, who's been trying not to get caught watching him.

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She draws an Ace, showing it off.

She's doesn't force everyone else to drink much; she only takes a few sips before she stops.

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"Boo. It's my party and I'll get drunk if I want to."

He downs the rest of the shot.

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She tries not to freak at his eyes on her, following her brothers lead by doing the full shot, and she starts to get a little warm, the alcohol blanket she'd read about on Tumblr wrapping itself around her she presumes, so she takes the cardigan she's wearing off, revealing the first tank top she's warn in six months, and part of the tattoo on her shoulder blade.

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He's not sure whether she was aiming for 'cool', but he thinks the daisy undercuts it. He's a little surprised she got one at all. He thought she was too much of a goody-two-shoes for tattoos.

"Who's the artist? I was thinking of getting one. Babe? What do you think?"

He's hoping she's picking up what he's putting down, here. They can have some fun with Philomena tonight.

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She squints briefly, before picking up on his meaning and smirking, playing almost nice. "It's... cute I suppose. Very... you, Philomena. Sweet and pretty, with a subtle draping of edge."

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"Oh! I forgot I even had that, it's been forever. Um, he's this Hollywood guy, does all the tattoos for famous people, like Johnny Depp and a couple others. I can get you his number if you want, but he's a little... pricey."

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"It was so cool to watch, and yeah, I designed it, or thought of it, the guy drew it, but, yeah."

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"You should get it extended, do a full back tatt, you know what, give me a couple days, I'll have a drawing for you done ASAP," Jer runs off to find his sketchbook and start sketching, they've lost him for an unknown amount of time to the artistic part of his brain that cannot be sated without drawing the thoughts swirling through his head.

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"Mind if I take a closer look?"

He's the picture of innocence. Sweet, sincere curiosity.

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He just watches Jeremiah work.

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"Oh! Uh, sure!" She turns her back to him, slipping the strap of her tank off her shoulder to give him a better view, ostensibly of her tattoo.

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Alex walks up behind Mike to take a closer look, peering over his shoulder, and having picked up on Toni's secret meaning, she joins the set up of what will probably be the greatest prank ever. "God, that is impeccable, and I'm not just talking about the girl! The shading, the detail, that flower almost looks real!"

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"Janusson is right, you could add to this..."

He reaches out, but seems to think better of actually touching the tattoo.

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She clears her throat.

"I think it's Mitch up next?"

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"Oh, yeah. Sorry, guys."

He seems to have been somewhat distracted by the scene that was playing out in front of them.

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He draws a Queen.

"Sorry boys. I'll take one for the team."

He removes his jacket, making a show of it.

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She rolls her eyes.

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Toni laughs, looking him up and down in appreciation. Without taking her eyes off Mitch, she nudges her boyfriend. "You first, boo."

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"Anything for my cutiepie."

The cloying terms of endearment come easily, or he'd never bother using them; Toni hates them, so they serve for when they're working an angle and he doesn't have time to think.

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He draws another Ace.

"Say goodbye to your livers, because we're shooting them to high heaven in a handpie."

He lines up five shots, eyebrow quirking as he looks at Jeremiah and Josh.

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She sneers but is ready to go for when he begins, drinking with ease.

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Alex and Orya both don't even flinch at how much they have to drink.

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Spencer and Phil try very hard, and Phil seems to manage well enough, if uncomfortably, while Spencer has to stop twice to cough, she isn't good at skulling as all her friends.

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Jer remains distracted, focused on his drawing.

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"Hey, bro, you gotta drink up," Mitch says, trying to nudge Jeremiah into participating. It looks like the party is happening any minute, but they need everyone on board or out of the picture.

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"I think...this game is a trap," he says, sounding bowled over by this stunning revelation.

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Sam looks concerned, but she can hold her liquor.

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Mike makes sure to clink some glasses; it makes people feel closer together,which the alcohol only adds to. First glass with Toni (who knows exactly what he's doing), and final glass with Philomena (lingering gaze just to heighten the tension...).

"Wooo! You're up, babe, make me proud."

He kisses her (they'd both prefer the cheek, they really only make out in media sex, but you gotta play to the crowd), closing his eyes so he doesn't look at Phil while he's doing it; it's too tempting, otherwise, to gauge her reaction.

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"Oh! Yeah..." He rejoins the game, leaving his pad on the coffee table nearby, ready to drink till he passed out. 

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She pretends to lean into the kiss, but all she really wants, afterwards, is to wipe her mouth clean of him, though she can't. 

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She looks away and tries not to cry.

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Alex, now definitely in on the joke, catches the reaction and smiles.

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Toni, now free from her boyfriend's clutches, slinks about the table to grab a card, a nine, which she shows off to the group. "I'll keep it simple for those barely sober enough to function, cat."

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"Rat," is Jer's immediate response, even hindered by drugs and alcohol, his mind is sharp.

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"Damn, beat me by a millisecond, as per usual Janusson. Pat," hopefully, her obnoxious doesn't go unnoticed by the tall hot redheaded boy.

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"Hat."

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"Mmmat."

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"Bat?"

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"Can't really think of anything."

He takes a shot, and smiles at Phil.

"Sorry, you probably had a good one and I took it away from you. You can still go, if you want."

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She lets a little confidence flow through her, bolstering her words. "Oh please, we all know you know a word that rhymes with cat, I know you way too well to believe that. But there's nothing wrong with doing another shot."

She clinkes her glass against his and throws a shot back, biting off the pained look on her face from the burn, afraid it might undercut the flirting she just did.

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Oz rolls her eyes at her sister. "Lex, it's your turn."

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"Right..." She pulls a five. "Ooh, time to get the guys drunk to take advantage of them ladies. Drink up boys."

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Boys drink up.

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"I'll have you know I'm a gentleman. I won the gentleman blue ribbon in the county fair three years running."

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"I'm not. All are welcome to the Washington monument after drinks."

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"And before, and especially during. Washington monument is a slut."

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Toni sneers at their buffoonery. "Delightful, it appears we're back to the beginning. Phil?"

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She shows off a two. "I pick... Oz. You need to lighten up, sis."

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Through gritted teeth, she smiles and says "anything for you, sis," and does her shot without complaint.

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"...Josh?"

She prompts when he doesn't draw a card of his own accord.

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"Oh yeah...mine 'urn."

He giggles and tosses the card through the air.

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He catches it, wincing as he bends it slightly.

"Um, looks like an eight. Josh, who do you think should drink whenever you drink?"

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"You, since you caught it. Serendipshittery."

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She wordlessly moves the deck closer to Jeremiah. Might as well minimize drunken shenanigans from the two idiots; the goal here is to get Phil and Spencer to loosen up, not have drunk boys falling over themselves all night.

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Jer sticks his card face out to his head. "What'd I get?"

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"Another eight! Who's your lucky victim Jer Bear?"

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"Ooh, I choose... You, Pikachu," he points at Spencer. "I wanna see what the president of the debate club, and the decathlon team, and the whatever else looks like drunk as hell."

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Her eyes widen, knowing she's already in for an interesting night, given how much tequila seems like water to Jeremy so far.

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"My turn," she flashes the two she draws to the rest of them. "I choose... Joshy-boy."

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Clink. Drink!

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"I just realized we skipped Spencer. Sorry, Spence. You can go twice this round, how about that?"

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"Uh... Isn't Mitch meant to drink when Josh does? And, yeah, sure, that's uh, fine, you first though," she doesn't visibly grimace, but she had been hoping no one would notice, but she mentally shrugs it off and moves on.

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"Oh, yeah! Good looking out, Spencer."

He drinks.

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She draws another 8.

"Did Josh shuffle this deck? I pick Mitch, since he didn't get to suffer long enough."

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"Cold, Sam, real cold."

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She giggles as she grabs two in a row, flipping them consecutively. A three and a seven. She takes a shot and immediately points to the sky, followed by Phil and Oz.

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Alex and Jer, who have, at some point, begun a joke slap fight, don't notice the movement and continue.

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Toni rolls her eyes at the buffoons and points up to the roof.

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Point. He's mostly looking for chances to make eyes at Philomena.

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She points up with just a twist of her wrist. More fun to see how long it takes the others to notice.

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"Wooo!"

He tries to point up, but he's facing the wrong way.

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He coughs as he points up.

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"Oh shit!" Being the less trashed of the two, she notices Mitch's cough and points up.

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"What? Oh fuck, am I last?"

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"I think it might be Josh. Are we counting that?"

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Josh points more insistently at the floor.

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"Buddy," he wraps his arm around his friends shoulder, laughing at him. "You are my favourite moron, I promise."

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She ruffles Josh's hair affectionately. "Drink up dummy."

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He drinks up!

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Mitch draws his card, showing the King around as he pours half of his drink in the central pot.

"Sorry guys."

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"Don't be, you're contributing to the cause. We thank you for your service."

He draws next, sighing.

"Fine. Rhyme time. 'Lodge'."

He holds the nine in front of his forehead.

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"Bl- F- R... Fuck..." She immediately skulls her full drink. "Is there even a fucking word that rhymes with that shit?"

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"Dodge, hodge, podge.."

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"Dislodge."

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Spence and Toni look at each other, giggling between each other over their mental superiority of the blonde.

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"Oh shut up!"

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"Whatever, my turn," she pulls a three, then takes a long sip from her wine.

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As she drinks, Alex stumbles over to grab her next card, a seven, immediately pointing to the sky. "Remember, finger goes up Joshy-boo."

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"I know where up is. You're all posers and haters."

This time he does!

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The more sober among them

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manage this

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fairly easily, although waiting for his girlfriend ends up putting him in last this time. He drinks.

"Treachery, thy name is Salvatore."

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"Oops, sorry," she isn't sorry at all.

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She hears that false tone in the girls voice and frowns, wondering what he sees in her. The lull, though, is awkward, and she quickly brightens. "My turn!"

She shows off her five, staring right at Mike. "Gentleman?"

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He makes direct eye contact as he drinks, winking when he's done. As innuendo goes it's not really very good, but he thinks that with Phil, nearly anything would do.

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The other boys are good sports about it, mostly.

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She struggles not to look away, but does manage a semi flirty lip bite.

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Toni pointedly doesn't watch.

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He tries not to outwardly snicker, but the girl has it bad, and the both of them are genuinely pathetic.

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Spencer watches on in absolute horror, what the hell is Phil thinking? It's almost like she doesn't care he's got a girlfriend... She doesn't care he's got a girlfriend!

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Disgusted by the display, but not wanting to make a huge deal about it, Oz tries to move the whole party along. "Josh! It's your turn!"

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Josh is next! That's exciting He! He drinks a card- draws...a card...

"I see what I spy with my little eye...say hello to my little King."

He pours a full shot glass into the central cup and takes two shots.

"Half of two is one, and when's all is said and done..."

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"I'll be right back."

Sam stands and vanishes into the kitchen, with a meaningful glance at Orya.

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"Ditto, play a round without us guys, I need some water."

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"Boooooo! Okay, ten! Never have I ever..." The sound of Jeremy trails off as the two leave ear shot, a hard but not impossible feat.

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"God, tonight's gonna be a mess."

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"I'm worried about Josh and Jer. They're really far gone, and it's only going to get worse. Should we convince everyone to give up the game and do something else?"

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"The boys are old enough to handle themselves, I'm more worried about Phil. She keeps throwing herself at Mike like that, she's gonna get a clawing by Toni the hell bitch. Seriously, I'm afraid for her life!"

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"Toni wouldn't try anything while we're around. We just won't leave Phil alone with either of them...which we just did. Damn it."

They return, bearing some water to counteract the effects of the drinking game; they really don't need this night to get out of control.

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A little too late, as Spencer and Phil both look like they've had way too much to drink and are necking bottles of spirits, Spencer holding a bottle of Jaeger, Phil having gone to her fathers stash of expensive Scotch.

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"Oh my fucking god. Gimme that!" She snatches the alcohol out of her baby sisters hand, finding a cabinet to lock it in, far from the group of idiots reach.

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"Hey! Party pooper!"

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The group of idiots has forgotten the game entirely- or at least, Thing 2 has. He's currently trying to rope Alex into some kind of spontaneously choreographed dance to "show them what we've got".

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"It's okay. We can make our fun, right, Phil?"

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She giggles, fluttering her lashes flirtatiously at him. "Totally."

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Mitch sips his beer, quietly amused. The best thing about a party is that most people get more fun when they're drunk and he's not.

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He tells a bad joke or two; it works on most girls because he's cute, and he doesn't think Phil will be an exception.

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Toni casually ignores the interaction, instead focusing her attention on Mitch, chatting casually about something or other.

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Noting the brunette's lack of interest, she interprets it as a blessing, and giggles flirtatiously at Mike, though she doesn't really find the jokes very funny. She thinks he's funny though.

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She wants there to be a structure here, so there are less chances to go wrong, but they might drink less without the game.

Sam goes to put on some music, beckoning Orya over.

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Orya notices, wandering over, passing the obviously flirting pair, and the pair she did not see coming. Jeremiah and Spencer appear to be arguing... happily? About something. She catches a few words, and she realises they're debating about death of the author in the classic literary canon. What nerds. She finally reaches her friend. "What up blondie?"

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"You know your sister better than I do. Has she ever been this drunk? I'm worried about what she might do if someone isn't supervising."

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"I'm doing this thing where I'm not going to baby her, let her make her own mistakes. I thought about it, if she wants to do something dumb, she can. I am not gonna do shit. Live your own life, Sam, that's what I'm gonna do. Stop worrying so much."

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"...you're right. Sorry. Mom instinct shelved. Want to pick the music, or should we appeal to the crowd?"

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"They can suck a dick, I will play good shit, and they can shove it!" She shouts out to the rest of the party humorously, loading some good seventies rock on her iPod and playing it through the speakers.

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"Bitch!" Jer yells back, a laugh between his words.

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"Lex, lessen...leaden...let's show them how we do it. Jer is," he stage-whispers this last, "getting busy."

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He blushes awkwardly, turning to Spencer. "Please ignore him, he has very little filter, and he's a bigger idiot than usual when he's drunk."

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She tucks her hair behind her ear shyly. "It's fine, Jer."

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Alex nudges Josh, snickering at the lovebirds. "Aw, baby's all grown up."

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It's time to dance! Lex is the best friend to be drunk with because she always keeps the party fun. Jer's no fun like this, honestly, swooning over girls instead of being cool. Lex knows how to party.

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Meanwhile, Mike is finding everything Phil is saying so interesting. They're talking about...her hobbies? She likes...unicorns and rainbows? He's kind of zoning out, but he can feign interest with the best of them.

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Dance! She does like to dance, all close and dirty too.

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She isn't so much interested in those, but student council, and... well him. Those are about the only hobbies she has, but she's more than happy to talk about student council duties, and her plans for the upcoming carnival are numerous, and almost interesting.

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Almost! He wonders if Toni and Phil could have gotten along if Phil was just a little less spineless. It's almost a shame.

He asks curious, well-targeted questions. He mentions that he's got political ambitions, that one day he wants to see himself as governor of their fine state- let her read into, assume that he's imagining a future for them. Romantics eat that shit up.

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Sam tries to relax. She talks Mitch into dancing with her.

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He does, although he does steal a few glances at Toni.

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She's never heard this before! She mentions he would make a great President one day, secretly thinking what a great First Lady she, herself, would make.

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Toni wiggles her fingers at him in a show of waving good bye, not terribly fussed, though now, she has to find something new to do. She stands, making herself another drinking and beginning to wander through the house.

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Spencer continues to chat with Jer, laughing about something or other.

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Josh laughs as he tries to get Sam and Orya to dance, too. The laughter fades as Toni moves through the large cabin.

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It's filled with memorabilia and trinkets of a long family history. She spots photographs of the Washingtons, skiing equipment, and several Native American artifacts.

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She pokes at things, her fingers brushing over picture frames, walls, shelves, anything she can get her hands on, enjoying the quiet far from her very annoying 'friends'. She drops all pretence, letting her resting face reveal itself.

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The cabin reveals its secrets. It's not hard to find evidence of Orya's sports memorabilia or Mr. Washington's film career on the main floor, as the family has displayed both proudly. Nothing very incriminating on this floor, besides some much more recent evidence of Josh's drug habit(s).

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She looks closer for something she can use against the sweet blonde thing draping herself all over Mike. Toni may not want him much, but he's still her boyfriend, and that means no one else can have him.

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Inside Phil's room, she can find more than a few things to mock, but perhaps most interesting is the compatibility test hanging above the bed.

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"Seriously? What is she, twelve?" She reads it to see what she can find, something to lure her later, she can feel an evil plan brewing.

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The "Love Test", as it's called, has a penciled little heart on it, containing "MM(Michael Munroe) + PW (Philomena Washington)". Adorable! She can also see the result that Phil got: "Mostly C's. Uh oh! This is NOT going to work! He's like a crazy reckless hunk of a man and you're staying at home working on your embroidery and practicing G Minor on the piano. Give up on it! OR do something like REALLY wild. Run away from home or get a tattoo or something. Anything to attract his precious attention. I mean - it's just for luuuurve, right? So just do it!"

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She snickers to herself, though, just for a moment, she reads through the questions, answering them in her head and finds her results with Mike: "Mostly A's. Woah, you guys are obscenely perfect for each other, to a point of being scary. Are you two robots, or are you just made for each other? Where he goes, you're there with him, and what he likes, surprise! You like the same stuff! At this point, just get married already. Really, why are you bothering with this test? Go, be in love, with your perfect man, leave the rest of us to sit around with our cats. Seriously though, go get your man girl! Love like yours is precious, and happiness is right around the corner for you!

She sneers at her result, finding herself disagreeing with it endlessly, and having to restrain herself from crumpling the piece of paper into a ball. Her enjoyment of mocking Phil is ruined by this sudden sour mood, and she trudges herself back down to the rest of the party.

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-where the party has continued on in her absence. Mike has on hand on the couch, perilously close to Phil's shoulder- not touching, of course; he's a gentleman. If Phil chooses to read into such a gesture, that's her prerogative. He glances over at her arrival, offering a jaunty wave, before immediately turning his attention back to the blonde.

“Sorry, where were we?”

Mike knows exactly where they were: discussing his planned trajectory for his political career. It's insipid, self-centered garbage, but Phil eats it right up. Talking through it has actually helped him work out some of the flaws in his plan, too, so he'll call it a win even if they can't get her to play into their hands.

"Oh, right. I was giving you the grand tour of my illustrious congressional climb to the top. You're going to be grateful for being on the ground floor of President Munroe's career. What do you want, Phil? Secretary of Agriculture? Or something a little sexier?"

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Mistress to the President? She snickers inside her mind and wanders over to find someone else, maybe Josh would be worth talking to? She wonders where he's gotten off to.

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She finds him in the kitchen, giggling his head off already.

"Queen Toni has returned from her tour of the peasants! How are the upstairs, your highestness?"

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She teeters on her heels imperiously, amused by his flattery, almost smiling, but still mostly just smirking. "Almost as high as you. How goes it here it the kitchens, plebe?"

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"I'm making this shindig bearable, one puff at a time. Want in?"

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"Please, I'm begging you, save me from this mundanity. Thankfully, Mike has found someone else to listen to his inane rant, I could not sit through another rendition of 'Future President Mike Munroe's Master Plan'."

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"Why's he want to be president, anyway? Sounds like a drag to me. The Oval Office isn't a great bachelor pad. Do you have to be married, or is that just what all the Constitution fuckers think?"

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"Oh, he has research on that too. Apparently, only nine of the 45 presidents of the united states ever elected were single during their presidency, three of which lost their wives during that time. Four were already widows, one was relatively well known for being in love with his adopted daughter 20 something years his junior. Only one who remained a bachelor his entire life was James Buchanan, and people still wonder whether or not he was gay. Majority of Americans won't vote for someone they don't believe hold their values, so yeah, married, 2.5 kids, white picket fence, it's all part of the master plan."

She repeats the monologue almost entirely zoned out, staring into her drink as she sips between sentences.

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Josh thinks about this, and other valuable philosophical considerations no other person has ever thought about in all of human history, probably, with how important they feel right now...

After entirely too long, he replies, "Constitution fuckers. Who wants to fuck paper that bad? You're not one of those."

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"Agreed. You're totally right," right? The unspoken end to her sentence that no one knows might be noticeable to anyone paying enough attention, that hesitation, lack of self-assuredness that she's always displayed, lacking here on this subject. But still, she tries to laugh it off.

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Alex stumbles over to the group, interrupting them and their solemn looking faces. "Whattup party people?"

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"Alexxx! Missing your shining face. Welcome to the happiest place on Mount Washington. Take a load off."

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She drapes herself across him bodily, leaning her full weight into it. "Hey Tones."

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"Alexandra."

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"Girl-on-girl action, yay or nay? Bet Mikey boy would love that."

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She snorts a little. "Only in his dreams."

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"And mine baby."

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"Somebody get Jer in here. Gotta have some fun tonight."

Josh declines to get Jeremiah, since currently, moving around seems like unnecessary exertion.

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Alex turns like a panther towards Josh like he's prey, prowling off of his lap so she can stalk towards him more directly. "Joshy-poo, we could make our own fun, right here, right now, but..."

She waits, thrusting her chest towards him, flirting expertly, the way she always has to get what she wants, and waits, just till she knows he is held in her claws, on the precipice of actually making a genuine move on her, when she drops her eyelids suggestively towards his crotch.

"Unfortunately," she looks back up at him as she leans over, peering through her lashes, "you're not my type."

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"You're no fun," he whines, although he sounds like he's having a good amount of fun. "You're like the Miranda and all I want to be is Carrie Bradshaw. Where's my tycoon?"

He thinks about this.

"Alex, am I Big man?"

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She straddles his lap sensually, mocking him, moving like she's in a pantomime of flirting. "Well... I can only guess but from this display," she wriggles a little, though surprisingly, she's not actually touching his crotch at all, "I'm gonna say no."

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"You should take this show on the road and drive it straight off a cliff. Alexma and Touise!"

Josh laughs incredibly hard about this very clever joke he has just made; he's clearly enjoying having Alex on his lap more than might be polite, though.

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"Ha ha. Very funny," Toni has sarcasm dripping from her words as she sneers at the boy.

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Alex takes his comment in a much better humour, rolling off of him and onto the tiny brunette's lap smoothly. "Don't worry darling, he's just jealous, he can never have anything like what we do."

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That kind of feels too real but then it stops, because nothing feels real in a way that requires him to pay attention. Everything is nice and abstract and he doesn't have to really be here for any of it.

Josh kisses Alex on the neck, very gently.

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She squirms away a little on instinct, but forces herself to lean into the touch, relax into it, leaning her head away and open her neck up to him.

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"I could be your beard, you know. Really nice, manicured, well-kept. Not scraggly and shit. Any guy could make out with you and the beard wouldn't even bother him."

He kisses Alex's cheek but makes eye contact with Toni.

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"I think the point of a beard, if I did, in fact, need one, would not be for making out with dudes."

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"Are you sure? It's a lot of fun, kissing dudes. We could take the country by storm. Dudestock."

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"Sure thing buddy, soon as you achieve an IQ in the triple digits," she pushes herself off and stalks away from the two.

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Toni raises her eyebrows at Josh expectantly, waiting for him to react.

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"You win some, you lose some."

Josh grabs a few more beers for the fridge to bring to his impromptu party on the kitchen floor.

"Think she's gay, or am I just that much of a leper? It sucks when all you friends are hot and they never want to make out with you."

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"I think she's in a glass closet, dummy. Implying you'd be her beard is saying you think she's gay, a thing which anyone who has payed any amount of actual attention to her would know to be true, but she likes to pretend isn't true."

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"...huh. Gotta get that gaydar checked out. Figured you and Sam were."

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"Aside from that one time at summer camp, that'd be a no from me."

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"Awwww. Sam too?"