Logs:Thorpe Sunday Dinner August

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Thorpe Sunday Dinner August

Polka and Passion -a prodigal returns

Dramatis Personae

Jenny, Owen, Butters, Haywood, Tank, Isabella, Theo, Amelia, Kaye, Avery, Thorpe Family

Sunday Afternoon

One of the weekly Thorpe Family Sunday Dinners


Gram and Gramps place, Fallcoast

The home of Miriam and Jedediah Thorpe: Two stories, 5 bedrooms, attic and basement, detached garage, along with a large backyard. Of course, there are the usual rooms as well: bathrooms (2), den (where Gramps escapes), and a large kitchen with a breakfast nook that opens onto a formal dining room, adjacent to the living room. The table there can extend to seat twelve, with room to put up card tables. The furniture may not be antique; but is warm, worn from a couple generations of Thorpes and their progeny. A China Cabinet and two matching buffet's line one wall, while a bank of french doors open onto a covered patio that can also be used when the weather is fine. It may get crowded, but there's always room for just one more.

Today, everything's been opened to the covered patio. There is a large built in BBQ pit (large enough for half a pig) along with a separate smaller, portable grill with burners n it. Two bench style picnic tables sit underneath the covering, looking on a large grassy area that's seen football and basketball (portable hoops), even volleyball. A small sandy area is off to one side with older but cared for swings and slides for small children. Surrounding this yard is a privet hedge, and at the beginning of summer, Gramps will put up the pool where it's shaded by the hedge.

Corn has been soaked in the husks overnight and is off on the cool side of the grill, grilling; steaks have been marinating (a few left unmarinated because..because); potatoes have been wrapped in foil and are on the grill as well - all in the effort to keep the majority of the cooking from grams' shoulders - as if!

She was busy, as always, baking: Bread, rolls,individual pies for CERTAIN PEOPLE: "Jenny, keep your hands off that till after dinner; Brodie, you, too; Tank and Owen, do I have to bring out the spoon?" There may be a few more names called out in similar fashion, but those seem to be the main culprits) comes a voice calling out the kitchen window, which looks out over the back yard.

Thorpes of all ages come in and out, throughout the afternoon bringing their own sides: salads, gelatin molds, etc. Jen's mom brought pretzel salad (which Jen eyes almost as avariciously as Gram's Pecan pie. And Peach. And Apple. Ok, just all the pies.

Gramps is at his throne, wafting the scepter that is large BBQ fork, wearing a Kiss The Cook apron. He even has a couple (large) foil wrapped items in a cooler, waiting until the right time ("Since they won't take as long to cook.") Jen's filching olives from the table where all the food and utensils rests, trying to hoard the deviled eggs but they keep getting refilled. All in all, it's a great day: yes, there's beer and wine, but also soda and juice and Sweet Tea, with or without lemon.

Ensuring that the nerd quotient of the family barbeque is being maintained, Haywood has a set of solar panels on an adjustable easel connected to a large battery. The purpose of it seems to be in powering some large fans to keep the mosquitos away and the air comfortably moving. Plugged into it as well is a bluetooth speaker with a small mp3 player sitting beside it so people can choose what they want to try and get away with in the hearing range of Gram. The nerdboy himself is wearing a black teeshirt proclaiming his welcoming of the new computer overlords, and his cargo shorts are properly full with the necessities. "Did we need to bring some more of the chairs out? I don't know who all said they were coming, nobody likes to actually push the accept button on the email invites when they go out." He seems only partly annoyed by it, having long since accepted this to be the case.

Butters is hanging out by himself, per usual. He has the violin case he usually brings with him sitting under his chair, reading something on his phone instead of socializing.

There is cake! Or at least there's more cake now. Carrying a tray of bundt cakes with her, Isabella arrives in a somewhat timely fashion. There's a bright smile as she peers towards her older brother and grins toothily. "I'm back!" she chirps cheerily, wearing her MIT enginerd t-shirt and a pair of snug fitting jeans. She seems to be in a rather chipper mood as she nose wrinkles and offers a friendly wave to the gathered group. "So there's raspberry streusel, lemon, and chocolate marble. Where should I put them?"

Butters blinks up at Isabella, giving her a rare smile and a friendly wave of his hand, before returning to his phone. He was happy to see her for both seconds he bothered to look.

Jenny pfts from her corner of the room, now near Gramps - plate of deviled eggs and olives held to her. "Woody, you know most people don't even bother with those since there's /always/ dinner here on Sundays." Besides, Grams is more of the handwritten notes of acceptance, thanks and RSVP, something that these later generations do electronically. She does offer Gramps an olive or deviled egg from time to time. At a murmur from Gramps, she nods, and plate in hand, goes to make him a large iced tea. While doing so, and about to put in some sugar, Grams appears.

Dropping off some rolls and a bowl of tiny little yellow packages. "Use these dear, it's better for him" before she heads back into the kitchen - after a quick detour towards Isabella giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Try and escape that. "Over on that table," gesturing adding "You didn't have to bring anything but it looks lovely. Go, get something to drink. I've go to head back into the kitchen." Jen, of course, uses the yellow packets for Gramps. On her way back to Gramps' side, she flicks drop drops of water at both Haywood and Butters because they're being anti social. A voice calls back from the kitchen, "Abraham, you get yourself up and give your sister a proper hug!"

Owen makes his way in, late of course, and drops off his work bag near the room entrance. He unclips the badge for the hospital from his pants and grins as he steps in, "Jenny! Gram! Grampa, I'm hungry!" bellows the retired Air Force guy - in jeans, tshirt and comfortable boots.

Pfft. Isabella would never duck and cover from a kiss from grams. She is good at aunt-kiss dodging though. She's particularly ninja about that. Still, she offers a toothy grin, "Will do!" she chirps cheerily before she sets the cakes over at a nearby table. With her hands free, she looks towards her brother before muttering into her Apple Watch. "Cortana, did my brother read my email saying I was arriving?" she asks, letting it process her question. Gotta love new fangled technology. "Cause I totes remember sending him emails cause I do need crash space." she quips before sticking her tongue out towards him.

Jenny's iced tea delivery done, another olive popped in her mouth, when Owen arrives she leaves her plate with Gramps, mock glaring at him when he starts to eat from it. then, CANNONBALL, she runs to give her Biggest Brother a hug. Of course, she has to fight for that right from some of the younger Thorpes present who come running from the sandbox (to get their hugs and then return to play). "Keep missing you when I'm on patrol and stop by the hospital. Although," winking up at him, "I have to wonder what you and Brodie are doing upstairs from me sometimes. Look...Bella's back from school. Maybe she can get the grumpmeister to be more sociable now."Jen's happy, even if Bella did escape Aunt Kisses. A sideways glance at Owen, she may not be as adept from Uncle Kisses though.

Acks at the drops of water being flicked at him, Haywood makes a grumpface. He does look over towards Isabella with a brow raised. "Did you jailbreak them already? Because I swear apple fanbois hearing you asking Cortana things would cause conniptions" He offers a grin at that, then glances over to the Jenny pouncing of Owen. "I am glad I don't have to worry about that. I'd get knocked over."

Owen grins at his little sis, hugging her. "I'm working a lotta shifts. I'm trying to cram an ER residency AND a trauma surgery residency into the same time and it's ... kinda nuts. But I just bought a boat, so I'm actually moving out of Brodie's - I Think he'll be mega, mega happy to hear that sis."

Sometimes it takes a while for Cortana to process things. With no answer as of yet, Isabella nose wrinkles and turns before she looks towards Haywood. "Well clearly, I'm still working out some kinks." she says with a hearty laugh. "But they did release it on iOS devices, so it wasn't too difficult to jailbreak. I just voided the warranty though." she says with a little pout. "Besides, if there's something I learned at school, fanbois prefer Cortana cause she's 'hot'" air-quoting with her fingers at that point.

After snagging a plateful of deviled eggs for himself, Tank perches himself near the BBQ fire, but out of Gramps current reach with that fork. "Someday. I'll take over as grill master. I swear." He's prepared to duck whatever is about to be tossed his way. "Gotta shift that one" He points, ready to duck again. At Grams threat Tank just jams an egg into his mouth and starts babbling at her in mouth-too-full-english.

"I prefer Alexa, can't go wrong with a library of Alexandria reference ya know," Haywood says with a shrug. "And anyone thinking their phone is 'hawt', " he replies also with air quotes,"definitely needs to see a therapist. Or move to Japan. There's probably an anime about it." He brain parses a moment in thought, "Wait, wasn't that the premise of Chobits? They really shouldn't have put that off button there. Friggin pervs." He shakes his head and smiles at that either way.

Grams comes back out of the kitchen for a moment, a large bowl of macaroni salad in her hands and places it on the table. Hands on hips for a moment, a warm smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eyes, she surveys the fruits of her labors: both in the kitchen and by virtue of children, grandchildren and even a couple great grandchildren out there. She takes a moment, and murmurs to Isabella a few words, while giving a quick glance towards Jenny (who's still hugging her brother).

"Take over my spot as grillmaster?" says Gramps with a wink and grin. "Please, you're still wet behind the ears," flicking a towel at Tank while flipping a couple steaks, "Some are ready for those who want...I can put the fish on any time soon," nodding down at the cooler.

Grams rolls her eyes ever so slightly at Tank and then a curious glance goes towards a new arrival: Theo. And a GIRL! Brave soul, she. But Grams returns to the kitchen for now, a pat to B ella's shoulder. She has the rest of the family to 'Grill" Theo's girl.

Grams whispers to Isabella: Ihear you're keeping time with a Cavanaugh. Just remember what happened with Jenny."

Her eyes widen as her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red upon grams' words. "We're just hanging out and Netflixing." Isabella says with a nervous chuckle before looking towards Jenny for a few moments. Surely, that's a euphemism for something, right? Right? She scratches the back of her head before she shakes her head. "No, not the AI on the OS. Cortana, the AI from Halo. She was all blue and was totally designed to give women body-issues." she offers with a sage nod. "I think the premise for Chobits was she was a robot that had her on-switch in her hoo-ha." she mutters to Haywood, putting a hand to cover her lips in case anyone is trying to lipread.

Theo arrives, as he always does, dressed to the nines. Really, it's impossible to ever catch him looking anything less than fabulous. How he does it, no one knows. But there he is, the Golden Boy fresh from nearly a decade away in NYC and returned to the family home again, even if he hasn't quite had time to come say hello to everyone again. But Sunday Dinner is still a thing 10 years later, and so he likely figured it was a good time to get re-acquainted with the fam. And he did, indeed, bring a GIRL! Arm in arm with Amelia, he's chuckling softly at some earlier joke. "Well, nothing to worry about. I mean, I haven't seen anyone in forever, but I'm sure they'll love you.", he's saying.

Owen is distracted by two kids coming in for hugs from 'Uncle Owen' and to review their booboos and scrapes. Both are pronounced fit for duty and Owen snags some food from a plate, giving Gram a hug and heading into the kitchen, coming out with two beers - one goes over to Tank, one to Gramps, and then he dips in for another himself, sipping it as he steps out.

Amelia has dressed up. Tried to dress up, that is, and it's even sort of worked, though even in a modest grey pencil skirt and a pretty sweater, she still looks... kind of geeky. Her dark red hair is pulled up in a bun, with chopsticks, and she's sort of peering over the tops of her glasses as she enters on Theo's arm. Or clutching Theo's arm, truth be told. "Uh... I hope so," she whispers, glancing up at Theo with a quirky little smile. And, it must be noted, a somewhat besotted look.

Glancing over at Theo and the arriving lady, Haywood lifts his phone and takes a quick snap to text the rest of the missing family the deets, and looks back to Isabella. "Ah that Cortana. They really shouldn't have named them the same thing, ah well." He offers a shrug, and frowns at the premise. "Well yeah, thats where the switch was, but she was a persacom, ya know Personal computer. And some of them had the tiny ones that were basically phones." He flips through tumblr tags of it and shows her the tiny one. "Darn, I left the ciders in the car. They probably are warm by now, crud." He offers a finger up hold on a second, and he offers a quick wave as he scampers off to his car at nerd jog speed.

"You say that now, gramps." Tank's swallowed those eggs and rubs his arm where the towel connected. He moves in with a plate for Gramps to be able to pull the steaks that are ready off the grill. THen a loud guffaw at Isabella. "Netflixing... riiiiiiiight." Now there's a newcomer to observe. While Theo looks -fabulous- Tanks just fine looking built and Fire Fighter Sexay. He's got the t-shirt to prove it. While he can't pick up on the whispering, he doesn't need to in order to be... himself. "Aww man. Young Lady, are you ok? Was the last thing you remember Theo holding a napkin up to your nose?"

"That is totes adorbs. I'm going to follow that tumblr." Isabella says rather excitedly as she pulls out her iPhone and starts thumbing through the apps she has until finds the right one. "Let me know if you need help!" she offers before she puts her phone back into her pocket, glancing about as she peers towards the relatives. She meanders towards the couple and beams brightly. "Hi!"

From the Kitchen, "ISABELLA - we do not use that sort of language here!" Of course, from the cheeky grin on Jen's part, it may be she knows what word Grams was referring to, but a puzzled glance was given at the wordplay between Grams and Bella.

Jen turns to see Theo and his girl arrive. "Well now" she murmurs to Owen before she slips off to get her plate from where she left it by Gramps, "Someone else to get people's attention today," as her eyes now look at the dessert table. "I want my steak medium rare, Gramps. That large one, in the corner. Chill" she toss towards Amelia, "We don't bite. Much!" chuckling.

Slipping into the chaos, Avery finds a chair in the corner to quietly gravitate to. The painfully thin woman is careful to avoid getting to close to the tables and smiles about at anyone catching her eye.

Theo blinks once or twice at all the sudden attention, then grins widely at the others. That random picture taken of him and Amelia by Haywood? Trust me, it comes out as if he'd had a full minute to pose and show his best side. He's just... lucky, that way. Tank gets an amused smile. "Cute, Tank.", he calls, and then there's Isabella coming over to say hi. "Hi yourself, long time no see... well.. anyone. This is Amelia. Amelia, this is- wait. Holy crap. Isabella? Look at you. All grown up.", he teases.

Amelia just sort of stares over at Tank with a look of bemused perplexity on her face. "I... ah." She glances up at Theo, then over at Tank. "...no?" A pause, and she whispers to Theo. "...tallness runs in your family, huh?" Well. She -meant- to whisper, it seems to come out a bit louder than intended. Others are snapping pictures, others are greeting, and a wan smile flashes, her free hand lifting to sort of waggle fingers. "...hi." It's offered in a sort of general fashion to all. "Uh. Amelia Abernathy and.. yeah. Hi."

On the way back from the cooler snagging himself a bottle of Strongbow, he places it without warning to the back of Jen's neck. After this he hurries along back towards his place at the BBQ, hopefully unscathed. Theo gets himself a thumbs up in return. "Just tryin' to be helpful!!" Amelia's confusion gets him to snicker a little. "You don't sound so sure, it's ok. We'll try not to torment you with what he used to date, or who he played doctor with. Course there was that one time..." A smack of Gramps BBQ fork across the back of his hand shuts him up with a yelp for now.

Jen's in seventh heaven, quietly moving towards the dessert table: swift, silent and.....caught by Grams as she starts to filch a piece, and Grams returns from the kitchen with a bowl of potato salad this time. "Now you all get started eating - JENNY I said after dinner! - and I have just a few more things to take care of in the kitchen. Do not wait on me." A pause, then "Teho, introduce me, please." as she also moves towards the silent Avery and drops a kiss on her head, along with a hug.

Jen drops her head, and goes to find a place to sit with her olives and deviled eggs until her steak is ready. Being So Short, compared to her Larger brothers and cousins, she sort of skulks away into the background visually sometimes.

There's that nervous chuckle and another scratching at the back of her head as she's called out. "Okay, we'll Hulu instead!" Isabella calls out, teasing back, as she snickers softly before looking at Tank. "I'm sure you hang out and Netflix with people on occasion." she says, only slightly defensively as she laughs heartily. Her attention then turns back to Theo and Amelia, giving the two a look. "Well you know what engineering school does to a girl." she offers before pulling out her iPhone to snap a pic. There's certainly odd symbols scratched onto her case, that's for damn sure.

Theo blinks in surprise as he looks at Isabella's phone, eyes lingering on it a moment. "... must.. have been a hell of an engineering school, then.", he says, sharing a Look with Amelia- but then there's Tank's teasing. "I *will* murder you, Tank!", he calls back, with a cheerful smile. Because if you can't threaten to murder family, who *can* you threaten? And then Grams is asking for an introduction, and he ducks his head. "Yes'm.", he says, and tugs Amelia over to make with the introductions.

Flinching a little at the head kiss, Avery gives Grams an apologetic smile and leaning up against one of the walls. Watching people pick on Theo puts a smirk on her face at least. He seems more comfortable with them and that makes her happy.

Returning with a couple of large bottles held awkwardly balanced in his arms, Haywood seems grumpy. "It'll take awhile to get it back to drinkable temperature. Ah well, the price of distraction." It's that local organic fancy cider at least, to counteract the cheap beers her plans not to drink any time soon. Putting them in the cooler and swirling the ice a bit to get it in proper as he follows Gram's instructions not to wait on her as he starts piling up his plate.

Amelia also turns and looks at Isabella's phone, gray eyes widening slightly as she takes it in, and then, yes, there is a knowing exchange. "Hey, um, for me it was too many nights spent working on my thesis," she tells him. "Education does that to a girl sometimes." Then there's a Grams, and up goes that quirky little smile, and a hand is offered. "It's... it's real nice to meet you, Mrs. Thorpe," she offers. Tank gets a less confused look, and then, of all things, she winks. Okay, it's awkward, but points for trying. "Um. If they're a problem, I'll know who to glare at."

And that's when her phone buzzes. Isabella looks at it and bites on her bottom lip. "Uh, work stuff." she says, giving a furtive glance before it's her turn to disappear for a bit.

"Hang out..." Tank stares at Isabella as if confused at the concept of spending time with a woman that doesn't involve sex. he even pushes his brows forward cro-magnon style a moment and scratches the top of his head gorilla-style before snickering. Then he counters Theo's threat with a good chuckle. "Uh huh... upon my death certain facts will be released!" He gives poor Amelia a brief wink with a grin. Avery gets a quick wave as well, then it's time to try to torment his sister part two. Swapping out unopened bottles for a colder one, Tank tries to freeze Jenn's brain by putting the bottle to her neck once more.

Jesus, Mary and JO..." screeching as an ice, cold bottle is put to the back of Jen's neck and then a bright red face as Gram's eyes immediately veer in her direction. Thank Goodness, Simon wasn't here as well.

Jennifer marie Thorpe - do I have to get the bar of soap?" before turning to smile warmly at Theo and Amelia, taking the younger woman's hand in hers and looking at her. "Well aren't you just the sweetest young thing. I love your hair," a hand going to touch the bun. "Please, call me Grams. I don't want to hear any of this Mrs. Thorpe business. Theo, she's lovely. At least you learned something while you were away at school."

Gramps starts to dish out steaks as they're requested, checking on the fish (fresh caught this morning) which he says "...just a few more minutes, then these will be ready."

Theo has the good grace to blush lightly at Grams' words. "Just a thing or two, yes. But they were good things to learn.", he tells her- and then spots Avery. "Will you excuse us a moment?", he asks, leading Amelia over towards his little sister. "Hey, sis. I'm glad you made it out tonight.", he says, voice going a bit softer, as well as his smile. "It's good to see you. I, ah.. wanted you to meet someone. This is Amelia Abernathy. Amelia, this is my little sister, Avery."

Kaye has been missing for five years. To clarify, she was always a troubled child. The youngest sister of Isabella and Butters, Kaye always had a temper. She was always a weird little tomboy, as well. She didn't seem to feel any sort of remorse when she got into fights at school, and she was always weirdly protective and clingy to her older siblings. At twelve she was expelled for nearly beating a bully abusing her friend to death. In turn, she was sent to a boarding school on the other side of Maine. Two years later she apparently ran away from it. Now, here she is. The girl has obviously grown up a good bit, and doesn't appear the least bit tomboyish. Dressed in a cute pink dress with a white collar, black leggings and cute shoes, she strikes quite the figure. Also, she's wearing make-up! In fact, somebody would have to look damn close to even recognize her. She slips into the room and stands back near the door, fidgeting nervously as she glances about. There's something odd in the way she watches people. Even though she's cute and dressed fashionably, there's something...intense about her movements. Something primal. Something that would set a normal person on severe edge.

Amelia seems to more or less melt in the face of Grams charm, and she perks up right away, though she does also blush. "Thank you, M... ah. Grams." She bends her head a little to let the older woman do the bun-touching (no, not like -that-), then smiles one last time before Theo is tugging her away. And over to Avery, who is smiled at hesitantly. "Ah... hi."

Grams after watching Amelia and Theo walk off towards Avery with a soft smile on her face, turns to look once again on hers and Gramps Life's work: Children, grandchildren and more. Her bright, dark eyes stop for a moment on a silent figure standing off to the side, dressed in pink, and she watches for a few moments. She glances towards Bella and Abraham (Butters) then back to this vision in pink whilst everyone else continues to mix, mingle and generally socialize. The mist of tears start to fill her eyes and then, abruptly, she heads back into the kitchen, a napkin getting tugged from a pocket to dab at her eyes.

"Well, not all of us are as straightforward as you, Tank." Isabella says, looking a bit more relaxed as she comes back from needing to do that thing that she took care of. It's then that she meanders towards Haywood, wrapping an arm around him, "I'll take some of that cider. I'm legal now and I have to admit Angry Orchard is one of my favorites, so if it's like that, this will be awesome!" she beams. Looking towards gramps, she oohs at the fish. It's what she was wanting after all. "That smells delicious." she says dreamily before she looks towards grams, noticing the impending waterworks. Before she can say anything, she looks towards the newcomer. There's a bit of recognition, and she just jaw drops. For once, she has no words.

"Hi." Avery says to Theo and Amelia both with the same restrained smile. "Nice to meet you Amelia. Are you the good influence on Theo?" She asks then looks at Theo specifically. "Where's Tristan? He's still avoiding me I think." She tells her older brother before looking back to Amelia to explain. "My other brother Tristan is my age. He's mentioned us right?"

Kaye feels the eyes on her, and she shifts nervously from one foot to the other. She watches Grams flee the room before her intense gaze lands on Bella. She clears her throat and offers a small, somewhat frightened smile. "Um. Hi. It's...it's Kaye?" She offers her introduction to the room as a whole, as if wondering if others will remember her. She takes a step or two further into the room before glancing towards the door Grams left through. "...Should I go? I don't want to cause any drama. I...I can go."

Butters finally tucks away his phone, reaching under his chair to pull up the battered violin case he always brings and rest it in his lap. He looks around, drumming the fingers of his left hand on the case thoughtfully.

Theo winces a bit at Avery's question about Tristan. ".. I don't know. I thought he'd be here.", he says, with a sigh. "Maybe he's just... running late?", he says, though he doesn't sound too certain about that. "I doubt he's avoiding you, sis. He's not the type.", he says, then, after a moment, "... I think." He then offers a wan smile. "And, yes, Amelia is the very best of influences on me.", he adds, squeezing the redhead's arm gently.

Haywoods focus seems to be on Kaye an odd mix of not sure and frowning as he starts at Isabella's arm on his shoulder and he refocuses on her with a quick shift of his expression to a smile. "This stuff tastes more apple ee. I like it." He nods a bit at that but shrugs. "Give it a few to cool down. If we had some liquid nitrogen could do it faster, but then it'd be a slushy."

"Yeah, ah, I knew Tristan from school, and.. yeah. Uh. Not that I've seen him in forever, but." Amelia blinks at Avery, possibly from trying to also place her face. "Kind of. Graduated a year ahead of my age and, anyway. I think Theo's the good influence on me. Uh. Socially and... he's wonderful anyway, and... yeah. He mentioned you, so it's real nice to finally get to meet you." She does glance at the door, but is naturally oblivious as to what's really going on.

"Apple cider slushies!" Isabella chirps after a few moments of some very uncomfortable silence. "That's totes what this calls for." clearly forcing a smile on her lips as she shakes her head and motions for Kaye comes on over. "You still can't drink, cause uh, I'm older than you, but uh, um..." There's a glance towards Haywood and then Butters. Clearly, she's not sure what else to say. "Um, go say hi to grams!" Or maybe she does?

Jen, for many reasons, wasn't around too awfully much during Kaye's youth, being off in the Army and points East in the Sandbox. So, when noticing Grams' departure to the kitchen, and impending tears, she turns to look in the direction Grams had been looking towards beforehand. Her nose twitches, a little, and she just looks. Her own gaze can be a bit intimidating at times although she does have issues with anyone taking her seriously, except perhaps, when she's in uniform. "Now, why would you want to say that?"

Gramps turns, steak hanging from the BBQ fork, hanging in midair as he looks towards Kaye. A heartbeat, "Your Grandmother will be fine, and out here to mother hen you in a moment. She doesn't like anyone to see her cry." Although it does happen frequently, those tears of joy and happiness, etc. "Now, come here, give your grandfather a hug and a kiss..after your brother and sister." And, he leaves it at that. Life goes on. No need to get knickers in a twist.

Awkward conversation! Butters thought he had heard his cue. He snaps open the violin case, pulling out the bow and looking down it towards Isabella. He nods a bit to himself, pulling out the violin and kicking back a bit more comfortably in his chair before slowly beginning to play.

"That's nice. You two are cute." Avery says with a nod and looks past them to Kaye arching a curious brow then nudging Theo's toe with one of her own. "Isn't that..." She hunts for the name leaving it there.

Kaye nods slowly to Isabella, and then hears Gramps. Her cheeks flush slightly and she glances towards the door Grams fled through. "Okay..." She also notes her elder brother's complete lack of response to her return, and her cheeks flush a bit more. She clears her throat and moves over to Grampa, giving him a light hug. She then turns and makes her way over towards her sister, looking down at her feet as she moves. She slides down into a chair next to her sister and glances up briefly, before glancing back down again. Finally she looks over at Jen. "I don't know. Been gone for a good while. No word, you know? But...I have reasons." She shrugs lightly, glancing back down, but this time at the table, trying not to make eye contact.

"Nothin' wrong with just saying what's on your mind. This is why I love the song 'First of May' so much... I'd sing it. But I hate the taste of soap." He winces at Haywoods words. "Come on man, it's not hard cider if apple is the only flavor to find, you can drink normal cider for that. Other ways to have flavor come out. Like the Honey Apple from Strongbow. Sweeter than most ciders." He holds his own up. Bear with a honey flavored cider, go figure. Eventually he stares at the mention of cider slushees... clearly unsold, but not against it yet. "Odd idea..." Then he's studying Kaye silently watching her try to work the room. A faint half smile twitched at his lips.

Theo glances over to Kaye as Avery nudges him, and tilts his head, but there's no recognition there- after all, she would have been little more than a child last time he saw her. And then, as he sees her interacting with Isabella, and the others, he does the mental family math. "... whoa. I think that's little Kaye.", he tells Avery quietly, then looks to Amelia, and gives her a sheepish little smile. "Looks like I brought you to an unexpectedly eventful family dinner, love."

Light hug, nothing. The Q forkis put down, and Gramps envelops her in a bear hug, when she tries to pull away with only a light hug. Then, he lets her walk towards the siblings. "I should be mad at you for running away , so should your Mom and Dad, and your sister and brother - and everyone else. You're still my little one though, even though I have a lot of you." Then, he lets her walk towards the siblings. Jenny just watches.

> Butters to Here <===================================================

   Rolled 6 Successes for an exceptional success.
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======================> Dexterity + Expression.Polka + 4 [No Flags] <

"Fish!" And there's another random nonsequitur from Isabella. "Is it ready yet, gramps?" she asks, still smiling sweetly as she offers a slightly awkward hug, still processing everything it seems. "So you still like that? Wait or was it shrimp? Gramps, do we have some shrimp on the barbie?" she asks, not just chugging along, bringing together words to say cause she doesn't know what else to do. "And yeah, cider. I don't think you can freeze it. Cider popsicles totes don't work. We tried it at a party back in school." And then a beat. "School? You're in it? Yes? Yeah?" she says with another soft chuckle as she grumps as the violin starts being played. She facepalms and rubs at her temples a bit before she takes a long and deep breath as she looks at Kaye. "We'll talk later. Us three. Just uh, not now, cause it's aca-awkward."

Amelia lets go of Theo's arm, but it's only so that she can reach her hand down and twine her fingers with his, leaning her head on his shoulder. "...god, you haven't seen anything. Um. Mine is... well. I just pray I don't have to ever introduce you to my Gruncle and Graunt." Whatever those are. "They're.. uh... kind of horrid. And I don't, you know, say that lightly, I know you're supposed to respect your elders, and I do. But you do have to meet my sister. Oh?! And Phil, because he's also my GM and... other reasons you should meet."

Music is part of any good family gathering, at least that is the way the Butters clan has always seen it. Perhaps not the shared desire of everyone in the Thorpe family, but rarely does Abraham Butters give them a say in the matter.

Butters hovers his bow over the strings, just sort of resting it there. He makes the faintest of notes, lifts the bow, and waits for a few moments. He does that a second time, then a third, just enough sound for those who dread polka to know it is coming.

Then finally, he sets the bow down and actually begins to play. Without it.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOIbgbURa0w&list=PLs9LIWuhvhJPjtjs2FNQlxqaSbXHwYPl9&index=4&spfreload=10) NOTE: Wouldn't let me use the link Butters provided, so went with this one)

Haywood looks up from his phone as the word GM enters his ear holes, and he glances from Amelia to Theo then back to Amelia. "What systems do you play? I've been looking for a group up here since I moved back but haven't had any luck yet. Mostly been playing via hangouts and Roll20 and all."

Kaye does return that bear hug, when it's put upon her by Gramps. She glances up and blinks at the old man, fidgeting again as she stares down at the table in front of her. "That place I was sent to was bad. I tried running away from it five times. I succeeded, finally. I was...kind of messed up after it, though. It took me a long time to get my head together and become a full person again. I...didn't want to make my family deal with a version of me that was even more fu-...messed up then I was when mom and dad sent me there..." She looks to her sister and blinks, shaking her head. "No, I'm not in school. Technically I dropped out when I got out of that place when I was fourteen. No more school." She furrows her brow a hint, then, at the mention of talking later. She nods a bit, obviously confused. Then her brother begins to play, and her eyes shift in that direction.

"Our family is...loud." Avery warns Amelia quietly. "They feel loudly at least." The thin girl seems to be the opposite and lapses into silence again as Haywood comes over and merely watches the exchanges happening all around.

Theo chuckles a bit at Avery's warning. "... and then there's the polka. Sorry, should have warned you that might happen.", he adds to Amelia, then squeezes her hand back. When Haywood approaches asking about systems, he looks a little lost.

Gramps says he didn't bring any shrimp, there maybe some in the freezer in the kitchen. If she wants to go get it from Grams. The fish is unfoiled, steaks dished out and he goes to make his own plate, sitting back with a sigh, and drinking that beer he had earlier. "Like your Grams said, serve yourselves now" and he proceeds to eat, seemingly oblivious (save for a bit of toe tapping) to the Polka music

After a few moments, Grams returns, a small package in her hands, to stand listening to him play. And yes, a toe taps and her head bobs. Grams likes polka! Still, she walks up towards Kaye and holds the package out to her, "These are your birthday cards since you've been gone. Saved them every year. You do not need to open them now. But, you do need to get up and give me a proper hug young lady." Her tears, such as they were, have been dried.

Jenny looks from Grams to Butters to Kaye and Gramps then back to Butters. Ok, all seems well with the world...for now.

Amelia hears the song of her people, and turns at once upon Haywood, perking right up. A geek! Suddenly, she's right at home, and if her smile is still an awkward, quirky thing, it's bright, now. "Oh! All of them, at some point, we're between campaigns now, but I think he's wanting to start something new. You should, you know, totally come drop by Pandora's Box. That's the gaming store near campus, the one without the coffee bar, and Phil owns it... that's my cousin. I'm Amelia, hi!"

Glancing at Avery, she smiles a little. "It's... different. I mean. I grew up with two professional writers and a big sister who became a librarian, and... well. Abernathy's. You know. This is.. nice. You guys really love each other."

Clapping! That's what she does as her big brother starts playing the music. Isabella takes in a long and deep breath as she beams brightly and reaches out to ruffle her kid sister's hair. "No worries about that. Water under the bridge and all that. When he's done, we need a selfie that I need to post on Instagram. Or maybe I should Periscope this." she muses under her breath. It seems the latter wins as she takes out her cellphone once more and starts letting the world watch Butters play a bit of Strauss. "I have a bunch of followers. They should find this interesting!" she beams.

"Haywood, and yeah I'll totally swing by Pandora's Box, as long as Hope is still inside," he says, grinning at his own mythological joke. "And yeah, there are sooo many good systems out right now. Had you seen the kickstarter for the expansion of the future one? They funded in like three days so it should have loads of goodies added." He glances over at the polka going on, but shifts back to the geekery. "I have a stack of stuff that I haven't even had the time to read the PDFs for yet, but yay for game store."

Kaye glances up when Grams returns, and she stands to take the package with a briefly quivering lip. She fights it off, though, and leans in to wrap the older woman in her arms, hugging her. "...Thank you. I'll open them tonight. I mean...really, thanks. It's good to see everyone again..." She trails off and sits again, setting the package in her lap. She taps a food idly to the music as she squints at her older sister. "I...ah. I don't have a phone to do any of that kind of stuff."

Grams sniffs, dabs her eyes once again after the hug then, goes back into the kitchen. Patting Isabella on the shoulder as he goes, and giving and admonishing look to Jenny - because she just knows Jen had plans on the pies while everyone was distracted.

The only sign that Butters is aware of his sister camera on him is a small wink he gives her after a few seconds of filming, the showmanship of looking disinterested being half of what makes the piece. At least in his mind. One foot crosses over the other as he continues to play from his seat, the toe wagging a bit in the air in keeping with his beat.

Theo blinks as what Haywood and Amelia are talking about clicks. "Oh! Right. The, ah, game.", he says, and grins at Haywood. "I told Amelia I wanted to play a Bard.", he says, cheerfully. Of course he wants to be a bard.

"This is a little overwhelming." Avery mutters looking apologetically at Theo then to Amelia offering a nod. "It was nice to meet you." She says before slipping away and starting to head back around to the front of the house.

"It's no big. I have a bunch of jailbroken iPhones. We'll get you on some uncarrier thing." Isabella quips cheerily before she turns off the app and oohs as she finally registers the Kickstarter conversation. She looks towards Theo and giggles. "Naturally, you'll be a BARD. Don't you wanna be something different like a barbarian ogre orc thingie?" she asks, seeming a bit more comfortable in her skin again. She looks towards her kid sister and raises her brows. "You have a place to stay?"

Using mythological references may just be, bar none, the fastest way to get on Amelia's good side, and she laughs at Haywood's comment like she thought it was the wittiest thing she's heard in ages. "Always. Tell him Amelia sent him and... yeah. I'll tell him to look out for you, too, it'll be great." Glancing at Theo, she adds, "Your family is awesome.. oh! Bye, Avery, um. Maybe we'll talk somewhere quieter sometime."

Kaye nods slowly to her sister, offering a small, thankful smile. She finally reaches out to begin piling a plate with food. Really, it's a huge amount of food for a girl her size. "That sounds nice, thanks. And...I have a room at this motel in town. That's about it so far, though. I only got back into town yesterday and...I wasn't really sure where to go or what to do.." The gaming conversation seems to be utterly over her head.

Jenny's attention is garnered by Avery trying to make a quick getaway. She turns in that direction, a last look at the pies, to walk over to her, murmuring quietly. Kaye's return, well in hand by other family, she just needs to make sure the rest of her people are ok. Kaye's plate does get a grin and thumbs up though - she understands the desire for large amounts of food.

You whisper ""Hey, you ok? Quite a turnout today." to Avery.

"Hey, sis- if Tris comes by, or, I see him.. I'll tell him to call you, okay?", Theo calls to Avery as she starts to head off. "Either way, I'll give you a call tomorrow, check up on things. Promise.", he offers his sister, then chuckles a bit at Amelia. "They're pretty ok, yes, I suppose.", he says, with a wink.

"Hide behind the pile of dead bards!" Haywood says shooting his hand up into the air with a chuckle. "And well, honestly it's so hard to pick depending on edition and party composition. Like sometimes you just have to suck it up and play a healer if the rest of the party is totally going to wipe without it. Had to go druid last go round, which at least is Pseudo wizardy. Managed to passwall my way onto the sorcerer's ship and we totally ambushed him." He nods at that, glad to brag of his characters awesomeness. "Tell Phil Amelia sent me, gotcha." He gives her a salute and a grin at that, glancing over to the departing Avery and offering a wave too.

The polka song comes to an end, Butters looking off after Avery with one eyebrow slightly raised. He shrugs, tucking the violin and the bow back into it's case. No encore this time.

"You can stay at my place. I'm too busy hanging out and Netflixing anyway." A lascivious grin curls onto her lips at that comment. Isabella laughs heartily afterwards as she puts her phone back in her pocket before she heads over towards her big brother, motioning Kaye to come along. "Go hug or something."

Kaye blinks at Isabella. "Um, okay. Thanks..." She doesn't really know what to say, but the look in her eyes is definitely thankful. She rises slowly to her feet to follow her sister across the room towards Butters. She might be dragging her feet a teensy bit.

Amelia lets go of Theo's hand, hesitates a moment, and then claps when the polka comes to an end. Though it might be hard to tell if she's applauding for the performance, or for its conclusion. It doesn't last too long, regardless, and she drops her hands, noting to Haywood and Theo, "I like playing fighter types. I mean, when else can I whup some backside?" She's probably watching her language around the boyfriend's family, there.

Shaking her head a little at Jenny, Avery still seems intent on slipping away with a drawn look on her face. She murmurs quietly back and breaks away.

Avery whispers "Bad ex in town, this is too much today."

Gramps jumps up after a moment, to move the last of the steaks off the grill and onto a platter. Then, he goes back to sit quietly and observe, like Grams did, the fruits of his life. Ahh, life is good, sweet. What more can you ask for than family, friends, food and, of course, polka!

Jenny's forehead furrows, and she stands with arms crossed, watching Avery leave. Whatever Avery replied to her, she keeps to herself, but the furrowing slowly fades as she returns to the heart of the family gathering and starts to eat. Again.

"I've... never actually played, myself.", Theo admits as he talks with Amelia and Haywood. "But, Amelia assures me it'll be a blast, so... how can I say no, right?"

Amelia turns, stretches up onto the tips of her toes, and kisses Theo's cheek. "You'll be great at it, probably make us all look like newbs."

"Well yeah, but anybody can learn to swing around a sword or punch stuff. Lightning bolts and fireballs raining down on your enemies? Now that's the stuff." Haywood waggles his fingers with a grin. Glancing to Theo, he raises a brow. "Well, as long as the dice treat you well it's pretty fun. Roll enough one's in a row and you'll start saying things Grams would bring out the bar of soap for. People get all sorts of superstitious and put their dice in the freezer or the microwave and all."

Butters finishes tucking the violin away, sliding it under his chair. One hand reaches into his jacket, pulling out a toothpick that he tucks into the corner of his mouth as Isabella and Kaye make their way to where he is. "Good to see you Baby K." He gestures around with one hand. "We really should talk, but right now? Nah, you know how family gossip goes." He reaches into his jacket again, pulling out a business card and offering it to Kaye. "Just me right now, by the way. The other half of the dynamic duo hasn't been in town for a while."

Her ears perk up at the mention of lightning bolts and fireballs. "Oh, tossing around lightning is awesome. Same with fireballs!" Isabella says rather cheerily as she looks back towards the grouping. "Sometimes.." and then she catches herself for a few moments and coughs, hoping to make a quick recovery. "It's the best when you get a natural 20." she says with a sage nod before looking back to her older brother. "Thank God, or she'd be upset I didn't bring her back lobster rolls from Boston."

Grams comes out, after a time, to sit with Gramps, and hold his hand. A plate, she brought with her, is picked at from time to time; but she seems happy and content, simply looking and listening. Jenny's phone beeps and she looks at it, excusing herself and going back inside the house to take the call - successfully snagging a piece of pie as she goes.

Kaye hasn't seen her brother in five years, and is handed a business card. This seems to put her off a bit, but she reaches out to take it. "Um, sure." She glances at it and slowly tucks it away, glancing sidelong at the rest of the family.

Theo chuckles, blushing faintly at Amelia's kiss- and then his wrist vibrates. He has an Apple Watch. Of course. He looks at it, and then winces. "Damn. That was faster than I thought, love.", he tells Amelia, then chuckles a bit at Haywood. "Well... I tend to be pretty good at games of chance.", he says, with a completely innocent face. As if he wasn't going to be rolling nat 20's pretty much alllll night. Stupid lucky bastard. "Unfortunately.. we have to get going. I hate to leave early, but.. I have a very early morning meeting at the Foundation tomorrow, and I really need to get some rest in. It was... actually really great seeing everyone again. Grams, Gramps, I promise, you'll be seeing me every Sunday.", he calls, and then starts to make his way towards the door. "And everyone else, too. I'd missed this."

Amelia smiles quirkly at Haywood, then turns and kind of just waves, after nodding to Theo. "Course. I've got some things to grade for Professor Kendrick, and, uh... yeah. But hey, summer session is almost over, and I get a few weeks off and. Yeah. Um. Nice to... meet people." Clutching Theo's hand (lest she get left behind?) she sort of trails out after him.

Haywood offers waves to people as they depart, finally getting around to eating his food now that nerdy diversions have disapeared. "Ah, so good..." he says between bites of steak and corn.