Logs:Free Thanksgiving Dinner 2017

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Free Thanksgiving Dinner 2017
Dramatis Personae

Akio, Ambroise, Kilo, Kitsune, Nicole, Rictus, and Shu

Thanksgiving


'

Location

A rented community space


One of Fallcoast's downtown community spaces has been transformed into a banquet hall of sorts. The table cloths are plastic, the dishes and utensils are disposable, and the napkins are paper but every effort has been made to foster an environment of respect. At the entrance, each guest is given a warm hat, scarf, and mittens and the children all get a small toy. The clothing is largely culled from donations and local thrift stores but all are clean and well tended. The smells of turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie waft from the kitchen and while the decorations may be somewhat minimal the room is bright, warm, and welcoming.

There is a large buffet where people are served helpings of turkey, mash potatos, stuffing, corn, green beans, sweet potatos, and gravy. At the end there is even a choice of pumpkin or pecan pies for as long as they last. Guests are able to chose from water, fruit punch, coffee or juice to drink and there are hosts to show people to the most recently cleared and re-set spaces on the long tables that run the room. Other staff bustle about between the tables, cleaning the vacated spaces and helping those in need of assistance.

The homeless have been shuffling into the hall all evening. Happy to be out of the cold and happy to be fed. Will any of their lives be changed...who knows...but immediate requirements are the important things for now. Food. Drink. Heat.

Shu is here. The Mobile Mandarin is parked outside and the Asian chef is handing out food along with the other volunteers. She can dash off to cook more if needed.

Kitsune spent the earlier day doing some extra gathering of toys from various Toys R Us, Walmart, on and on. If really wanting to, a great many really cool toys can be gotten cheaply, allowing for even more to be gathered. Those added to the stockpile, she is quite motivated and deeply enjoying to take part in that aspect. More than several times she has to blink rapidly while giving toys out to children and seeing their happiness, once having to step away entirely... Kids.

Kilo has been looking forward to this for weeks! And somehow, by the grace of a power that be much higher than herself, she has managed to convince Rock Star Rictus into coming down and slumming it with the charitable workers! She assures him that he will lock in a place in heaven by volunteering at things like this, but right now all he's interested in is kabitzing with the old homeless guys in the corner, telling them stories of being on stage and biting the heads of bats... did he ever actually do that!? Kilo doesn't think so. But it sure makes for a good story.

Meanwhile Kilo is trading off time behind the food line to help serve and bussing tables so there is more room for everyone to be able to sit down to eat. She has on her gangster togs, tan Dickies, a white button down, white lugs an her raven-black hair in a braid, but they insisted she put on an apron, and put her hair up in a hair net so now she looks like every other hispanic food service worker. Which just totally cracks her up. But she is happy to be here helping and wants to make a difference for these people These are her people.

Rictus has never been to a charity event in his life, unless you count political rallies and protests and the occassional riot. Yet, Kilo wants him to go, and so he goes. He's dressed in his usual uniform - faded punk band t-shirt, loose back jeans, shitkicker boots, punker leather jacket. The mohawk's up, dyed black with gold tips.

He helped out for a bit, although he was sneaking bits of food even as he was helping dish it out. But then he got distracted. He started mingling with the crowd. A real, famous rock star! Eventually, he forgets about what he's supposed to be doing and he's kicked back, entertaining the guests, mingling with the crowd.

The homeless are quite happy to listen to Rictus ramble on - especially those who don't understand English. It means they aren't being kicked out of the warmth to let others in. Bit biting? That's so old school.

Shu is running low on rice so she looks around for someone to go and get some from her van. No luck. She'll have to do it herself. A wave to Kilo, since she has met her. "I'll be back in a sec."

Kitsune is all dressed up professional like.. For a Skinner anyway, so fray sweat pants and a white hoodie, hood thrown back to keep it classy. She just really is loving this, more than she would have guessed, often looking about at the others helping out, watching them do good for those in most need. Big beaming smiles all around. Batman Legos for the current child and some time chatting with them about it before parent and child head further in for food and just welcoming attitude. The next one makes her blink. Dolphin? Well yeah but. She ends up telling a few very G rated jokes while she has to search, knowing she saw one. Finally producing the wanted toy and beaming at the joy, child running in, waving the toy at people.

Ambroise moves between the tables cleaning up empty dishes and wiping down open spaces. While he may have organized the event he has turned over the actual running of the event to people better suited to dealing with the constantly shifting situations of running such an affair and has taken up the job of busing tables.

Kilo waves to Shu and then calls for the Rock Star, "Maybe Shu could use some help in between war stories. I Think she has rice in her.... 'van'." Oop! She said the 'V' Word! "Maybe on second thought, just stay here, we'll hold down the fort until she gets back!" Kilo grins at him. She doesn't want any vans to mysteriously be lost to fires and long drops off cliffs, after all. Then she looks at the toys. She didn't expect there to be as many kids here as there are and it's disheartening. She also didn't expect the smell. "You know..." She mentions to Shu. "Maybe we can put together little personal grooming kits we could give away for free so they could take showers." She's not joking at all, it's a serious idea. "They'd probably appreciate the help." She says it very quietly so as not to offend anyone. "ANYWAY!" She grins and moves back over to the tables. "Hi, have we met? I"m Kilo." She introduces herself to Ambroise, and then to the girl with the toys. "That was such a good idea -- I would have never thought to bring toys at Thanksgiving. That was incredibly sweet of you. I'm Kilo." She offers her hand to both of them.

Ambroise smiles to Kilo and gives a nod of his head to her. He's wearing a tweed jacket over a black turtleneck sweater with the sleeves of both pushed up past his forearms. In his hands he is currently holding a large rubbermaid tray willed with the remnants of a previous diner's meal. "Pleaded to me you," he says to Kilo. He glances over toward the entrance where toys are being passed out to the children and says, "They did that last year as well. I think there were a lot of things where they missed the mark with last years dinner but that certainly wasn't one of them."

Rictus looks up when Kilo's calling out to him. Help out? He grumbles to the group of old men, "Women, am I right?" But he's flashing a wolfish grin and he's excusing himself. He even grabs a couple of plates to help clear off some spaces. As he carries them back, he plucks off some uneaten bits of turkey and munches on them. Hey, free food is free food.

As Kilo introduces herself to the others, he offers a salute, himself, although he doesn't bother introducing himself. He just expects everyone to automatically know who he is. He glances at the toys, growing distracted once more, and wanders over to inspect them. "Hey, check this out!" He holds up some sort of robot, dark blue eyes dancing, almost boyish, "I gotta get me one of these. Where you fucking get it?"

Kitsune looks up after another child runs off and having soft words with the parents, complimenting the child's adorableness. She waves to Kilo rather than offering her hand as there is no way she is not having to keep wiping them down after getting snotted and such, though seems to not care a wit. "Hiya there, good to meet you Kilo, Kitsune Skinner. Umm is that..?" She motions to Rictus, unsure if it's a look alike or such. "Thanks but was the prof's idea, I just jumped in front of the line to do it. Awesome you feeding everyone." She blinks at Rictus, ohhing at it being him once she hears the voice. "Wow. I mean, that one was from R Us." She gives him a look for the language but.. These kids are on the streets, as if language is one of their problems, so says nothing.

A couple of homeless guys who haven't eaten in days tries to stop Rictus walking away with their plates but they are too late...and weak...and they watch the rocker eat their food. Shu nods to Kilo's idea about the toileteries. "Sanitary pads. No one seems to remember that homeless women menstruate too. It's a good idea. But first I'll go grab some more food from my van. It's okay, I can handle it myself."

"Ohhh, yeah. Pads, right. Wow." Kilo can't even imagine life like that. That just... gives you a whole new persepctive. She takes a deep breath, puts a smile on her face and gets back to helping with the food and stuff. She wishes people a happy Thanksgiving and is thankful herself for everything she has, no matter how ill-gotten it might be. "Rictus, is your acoustic guitar in my car? Maybe you could sing some oldies for these guys? Some nice soft stuff for dinner music?" She looks to Shu and Ambroise to see if that would be an idea they would go for.

Any homeless food-starving is completely accidental on Ric's part and he doesn't realize that anyone else would want the abandoned scraps. He's not really experienced in these sort of charity events, after all. This is his first!

"You know, that ain't a bad idea." As the two women talk about grooming kits. "Babe, I could take your car and go fucking get some shit." Ok, maybe that's a bad idea. He doesn't have a great history with vehicles. And he's already crashed her car once. Thankfully, she's distracting him with the thought of music. He brightens, dropping the toy robot.

"Yeah! Fuck, I'll be right back." And he's out, off to retrieve his guitar. Who knew charity events were so much fun!

Ambroise nods to Kilo as he carries another tray of dishes back to the kitchen for washing. "That sounds like a great idea," he says to her, "and I'm sorry I didn't think about hygiene products. I'm not quite sure how to handle that without making some people self conscious but at the same time I think it's a great idea for those people who want or need them."

Kitsune looks over at overhearing that part, soo not having considered that aspect, blinking twice in kindof a bit of horror as she imagines... Ohh she is happily distracted with talk of Rictus singing, that being pretty cool. She eeps at the dropped toy, catching it before miming bashing him in the back with it.. Then it being held up, looks for a child to be eyeing the toy, that found, she heads over and kneels down to present the rocker touched robot, telling the child how the star wanted them to have it. "Yeah that is kindof genius." Just enough to carry and then turning back to toys and tots. Time for coloring books and crayons!

Nicole has arrived.

Shu moves quickly, soon returning with containers of rice and other food. "No one remembers it" she assures Ambroise. "But it helps with their dignity and self-esteem." She does look a bit confused about Rictus playing an acoustic set. Do the homeless really want to hear 'God Is My Co-Pilot and I'm Crashing the Plane' or 'Hitler Got Some Things Right'...they're songs of Rictus', aren't they. "I'm Shu for those who don't know me. Shu Yeung. Owner of the Mobile Mandarin."

Kilo marvels at how good Kitsune is with the kids. In a moment of sheer self-indulgence she studies each and ever little child and wonders if any could be the Lil' Criminal... would he be walking now? Talking? What sort of toys would he be into... But she shakes her head hard to clear those thoughts and then agrees with Ambroise. "If you just put them out discreetly , people could take them as they need them, no pressure and insinuations being made. I think that would work jsut fine." She smiles. Now she waits to see what songs Rictus -- the pure heavy, death, acid, punk metal whatever guy thinks are oldies, and soft dinner music... this is going to be a riot!

Ambroise nods to Shu and smiles. "I'll be sure to remember for next year," he says. "Mostly I've helped out with these sorts of things in the past. This is really my first time trying to organize one of them." He nods to Kilo and says, "That's kind of what I was thinking. I mean, that's probably a little easier to say than to do but at the same time you're right. I'm sure there's a way to organize it so people who need supplies can get them without feeling judged."

Rictus grabs the guitar out of the car. He /does/ own an aucoustic. In fact, he owns quite a variety of musical instruments, and plays most of them, although voice and guitar are his forte. He also grabs a couple bottles of booze - vodka and whiskey. He heads back inside, guitar strapped across his chest, cracking open a bottle of vodka and taking a swig from it. After all, what's Thanksgiving without a little cheer?

He sets the bottles down, then plops his rear on one of the tables, tuning up his guitar as he considers song choices.

Kitsune would be near Impossible to read off of her but it's everything she can do not to go shift and come back to play with all the children as a kitty for them to chase and pet. But giving out toys works, best possible job as far as she can figure. Purel between to not pass any funk from one child to another. When there are breaks in children, she stands up and watches the food given out, belly full of heat and nutrition being the truth of keeping people going, making sure people have a little bit more time for hope. While walking back during the break and looking over what others are doing she mutters something about a 'food truck, falling off the back of a truck'. Still no more kids for the moment? She rolls eyes at her own hesitation and steps over to grab up one of the more filled trash cans, deciding to busy with that.

Into this throng of people arrives an understated Nicole. There is no fanfare, no big donation, just another body stepping in behind the counters, scrubbing hands and applying hairnet, to serve food to the masses. Another pair of hands to wash up the food containers as they are emptied, ready to receive more, or to sweep up behind the counter during each small gap in hungry people, to ensure people don't slip.

Kilo works hard, bussing tables, cleaning them down... She rolls her eyes when Ric brings the alcohol in, that not she doesn't have a flask on her, but she's an alcoholic and it's covered up at least. She does listen to hear what he plays and then sees... Nicole walk in. But she's being low key, which is appropriate and so is Kilo. She gives her bestie a smile and keeps working. It's Kitsune though that gets Kilo's full attention suddenly. What was that she said? A truck? falling off the back of a truck? Was that an accident? Or... not an accident? She watches Kitsune and looks for a time when she can hit her up alone.

GAME: Rictus spends 1 Willpower
====> Rictus to Here <========================================================
Rolled 1 Success
< 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 7 10>
===========> Presence + Expression.Singing + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 - 3 [9-Again] <====

Rictus takes another swig from his vodka, wetting his pipes. Now the fun's about to begin! Music! His true talent. Right? Sometimes. Not tonight, apparently. He starts into the song, which turns out to be "Something" by the Beatles. It's not /slow/ slow, but it's slower than most of the songs Ric sings. Perhaps that's why he... doesn't do so well.

He beams, however, thinking he's doing just fantastic. He looks over at Kilo as he sings (if that's what you want to call the sounds he's making). It /could/ be singing. But it's definitely not what people who have heard Ric truly perform might expect from him. Still, he seems to be enjoying himself, even if the crowd might not being enjoying his performance.

Shu stops serving to listen to the...ummm...musical interpretations of Rictus. She stares, wincing a little. "What is that song?" she asks one of the homeless. "Something" he replies. "I know it is something but I have no idea what. Is he playing the right notes?" Shu replies. The homeless man nods, "He is playing the right notes...just not in the right order."

Kitsune comes back in with an emptied and rebagged can to go at the end of that table. Just so happens the timing brings her aside Kilo and she gives a lifted eyebrow before shrugging. Soo was not an accident. But then she checks the time and frowns some, quite possibly figuring the odds of getting a fallen truck's truck, dispersing, moving, dumping in any real time.. Then frowns. But then she is going from waving to Nicole joining the help and noting to Ambro when close enough. "Really, thanks for doing this, kindof addicting." Ohh Rictus is starting? She double checks for more children and then begins grabbing up another trash while listening. Soo sensitive ears, she sort of twitches some and then hurries readying that trash to go out. Shu gets a look then nodding. "Think that's it." Teeth gritting.

From where she's working behind the counter, Nicole flashes a smile back at Kilo, making a little salute as well, before she goes back to her work. She doesn't even seem to mind Rictus' slightly off-key playing; as all of her friends can attest from hearing her /try/ at Karaoke, this girl is tone deaf. It's all just sound to her, and she assumes the punk is doing his usual sterling job. Sweep sweep, brush brush, serve serve. Rinse, repeat!

Ambroise flashes a quick smile to Kitsune. "Not at all," he says to her. "Thank you for helping out. All the organizing in the world doesn't do any good if people don't show up to help, after all." As he says this he carries another Rubbermaid tray full of dishes back to the kitchen where they can be washed.

Kilo just needs Kitsune for a moment. She bodily stops her, touching her arm lightly so she might know Kilo wants just a second of her time. "Just tell me..." her voice is low, very quiet, hopefully no one can over hear her. "...did someone steal it 'for' the shelter? Or did someone steal it 'from' the shelter? If it was 'from' can you tell me who?" There is a chill in Kilo's voice. Because if someone stole something from this operation... things are rapidly going to become very unpleasant for them. Meanwhile she is smiling at Rictus when he looks over at her. 'Something in the way She Moves' is a pretty romantic song.

====> Rictus to Here <========================================================
Rolled 2 Successes
< 1 1 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 8 9 >
==========> Presence + Expression.Singing + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 - 3 [9-Again] <====

Rictus wraps up the first song, beaming at his largely confused audience. Some of them recognize the song, kind of. Some don't. It's questionable in places, really, and while he gets most of the lyrics right, he gets them mixed up a bit. Still, the sentiment is there and he grins a lopsided but rather adoring grin at Kilo as he finishes up. He's missed the whole bit about stolen trucks and all that. It wasn't him!

And then he's pausing for a swig of vodka before he's launching into another song. This one's one of his, albeit a slightly slower than average one. "Rain Down", which basically compares a thunderstorm to a revolution. But it's got some interesting metaphors in it and might be ok for this crowd. And he does /better/ this time, but he's definitely not quite up to par. Perhaps he's not drunk enough.

Kitsune headbobs to Ambroise and grins, happy for the opportunity and to be doing so. She stops when Kilo touches her arm, leaning in to hear and stop overhearing. Listening she blinks and then ohhs softly, shaking her head. Looking the other way, she speaks by the tatted woman's ear. "Oh no, if someone stole from the shelter.. Yeah, no. I kindof would love to see more goods find their way to these people, they need stuff more." She shrugs some and relaxes when Rictus changes songs.

At least this song is better. Shu is handing out food again without screaming in pain and covering her ears. Slowly the lyrics seep into her brain. Wait...is Rictus encouraging a group of dejected, despondent, desperate souls to revoltution. Oh dear...there could be a war on the streets by the end of his set.

Taking a brief breather, Nicole sidles on over to the performing punk, leaning in to whisper a suggestion when the thunderstorm song is done, as well as setting a bottle of water at his feet. For whatever good it might do. Then she's back on her way to the counter, winking at Kilo in passing before getting stuck in with serving food again.

GAME: Rictus spends 1 Willpower
====> Rictus to Here <========================================================
Rolled 2 Successes
< 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 >
==========> Presence + Expression.Singing + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 - 3 [9-Again] <====

Kilo nods at Kitsune. Without saying so many words she has communicated to Kilo exactly what she wants to see happen for the good of this little operation and would perhaps even like a hand in it. Kilo is on to her! "Kitsune, why don't we get together this coming week. I have some ideas that maybe we can work together on..." Smooth Kilo. Very smooth.

Akio has arrived.

Shu glances between Kilo and Kitsune but decides she shouldn't listen or she'll hear things she shouldn't...like Rictus singing. No one should have to hear that. To make sure she doesn't hear, Shu drifts off to 'make more takeaway tubs'.

Rictus closes off his second song, which thankfully doesn't cause a riot due to all the turkey consumption that's been going off. He takes another swig from his vodka as he listens to Nicole's whisper. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cellphone, and does a quick search. He's heard the song before, but it's been a while. A quick skim and he tucks the phone away, then takes another healthy swig of booze. On the plus side, the more he drinks, the better he's playing. By the time he finishes the bottle he might sound like an actual professional musician.

And then he launches into the new song. "Someday I'll be Saturday Night" by Bon Jovi, about being down on your luck but staying positive. Not really Ric's thing - he prefers take back your luck by rising up against your oppressors - but it might be better suited for the crowd. And he does a little better this time! He even gets most of the lyrics right.

Kitsune finishes up in that area just aside Kilo while listening. That causes a happy smile and she nods, wrinkeling her nose. "Hay thanks Kilo, I would love to see what designs you come up with. Always wanted a tattoo and piercing but easy to keep putting that off." Either completely genuine or dam the girl can lie naturally. She pauses to listen to Rictus start up again then makes a bit of rounds, grabbing up trash, thanking each other helper along her way, before heading into the back. Chores to do back there too. Well other than not disturbing the singer. Shu gets accidentally side bumped for being a more petite Asian. Take that!

Nicole resumes her work behind the counter, serving up portions of whatever has been made with the food people have donated, looking particularly stylish in her hairnet and rolled-up sleeves. Still, she's no stranger to hard work, simply pitching in and doing whatever needs doing.

Having got a text to come out and help feed the homeless, Akio can't say no or he'll risk looking like the biggest jerk of all time. So with that in mind as well as always willing to meet up with Nicole, the tattooed man shows up to help. He's dressed in a simple black t-shirt, jeans and a pair of black sneakers and on his way in someone hooked him up with one of those stylish hairnets and a kick ass white apron. Moving in to stand next to Nicole he gives a polite smile to those in the mess line and nod to those working it. "So... really. No ass kicking, no dancing..." The words are spoken low and for Nicole's ears only.

Shu is toppled by the curvaceous Kitsune. It's not her fault she hasn't got the same curves! Grumbling to herself, she gets up and returns to packing up food for the homeless...many of them now deaf thanks to the free entertainment. You get what you pay for.

With this new effort to play something a little more contemporary, a few of the women in the audience smile, a couple of them toothless and actually clap for Rictus! Kilo hears and claps along with them! Gotta support the boy. She moves past Nicole with a bucket of dirty dishes and thanks her. "That was a great song -- I mean, if you were responsible. It was really nice." And then realises she's with a boy herself. "Hi I'm Kilo." she offers before finding the place to load the dishes into the washer.

Ambroise listens as Rictus works through another song, just not quite getting the emotional resonance he wants from the crowd. "Hey, do you know 'Lean on Me?" he asks before taking a sip of his coffee as the song draws to a close.

GAME: Rictus spends 1 Willpower
====> Rictus to Here <========================================================
Rolled 13 Successes for an exceptional success.
< 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 >
======> Presence + Expression.Singing + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 - 3 + 3 [9-Again] <====

The arrival of a friend to help with the work brings a smile to Nicole's face, and she leans over to kiss Akio's cheek when he settles in beside her on the service line. Nothing more flashy than that, they're here for a purpose, but she smiles again at Kilo's comment. "It seemed appropriate. Anyhow; Kilo, this is Akio - he was at that diner the night all that stuff happened," Nicole explains briefly to her bestie, then smiles again to the tattooed man beside her. "Akio, this is my best friend, Kilo. Over there on the guitar is her fiance, Rictus."

Rictus is slowly finding his groove. He's had a good bit of vodka now and he's loosening up, starting to enjoy the songs that are a bit slower, a bit more low-key than what he's used to. And then there's Kilo clapping out her support. How can that not inspire him? And so he's flashing a grin as Ambroise suggests the next song. That one he knows!

And so he strums the guitar and then launches into it. And this time, he's feeling it. It's a powerful song, after all. He looks at Kilo as he sings it, but his gaze shifts to Nicole as well, and then around the room at all the folks he doesn't know. Because they're all in this together, aren't they? That's why they're there.

And he belts out the lyrics, his voice growling but passionate. And this... this is /good/. This is /damned/ good. Apparently he's drunk enough now to pull out the stops, to just let loose, to feel the music.

With his hands covered in over sized plastic serving gloves, Akio gives a smile and a salute of greeting. "Nice to meet you and him in more of a civil environment." Finding his place in the serving line Akio gets to work then looks to Nicole. "Man, that hurts. This is the first time your bestie heard of me. I thought I was special." Mock sniffing follows as he gives the next man in a line a teasing wink of his amber eyes and continues to serve.

And that, perhaps, was Ambroise's point. They're all in this together. It's a song not just about the singer promising to be a pillar of strength for others but admitting at the same time their own frailties, promising that they are no better than the people they are offering to help and admitting that they will need help in the future. As the music begins to wash over everyone Ambroise starts to work the crowd, getting them to join in on the chorus until everyone is singing the refrain along with Rictus.

It's a Kodak moment.

Even Shu has warmed to the distinctive tones of Rictus and his impressionistic approach to singing. Usually it's a pretty poor impression but this time he chose the right song and it brought out the right reaction. Shu sings along happily, smiling at the way the homeless folk are getting into it. She doesn't even wonder how many of them will be dead before the next one of these events. And she even forgets about the monsters that prey on these poor people.

Rictus seems delighted when others begin to sing along with him, looking towards each person that joins, his dark blue eyes bright, encouraging. Yes, yes, embrace the music! He gives it his all, even adding a couple rounds of chorus to the song now that people are getting into it.

Eventually, though, he ends the song, wets his throat with some vodka, then hops up, turning towards the gathered homeless. "Friends! Does anybody here fucking /play/? This guitar, to anybody who wants to give it a shot. Don't be shy!"

As much as he loves the spotlight, it's time to share some of it. Plus, there's something he needs to do.

Kilo herself thinks of one monster in particular who should be here bussing table to atone for certain sins against homeless people. But that's a thought for another time. She can only work with what she's got and tonight they're here, safe under this room, in this warmth with food to eat and well, music to listen to! Who could knock that! Kilo grins at Rictus then blows him a kiss. He is the BEST! But then he is jumping off stage and offering the instrument to someone else. Curious! She is sure thought there will be another special someone here tonight that can play. "Don't be shy... no matter how you play or what you know, we're all friends here -- we'd love to hear you play and even sing!"

Ambroise isn't about to try his hand at playing the guitar. Encouraging the other people around him to join in singing along probably taxed his musical talents to their limits so instead he returns to cleanup duty, clearing up vacated places before hauling a badly overloaded trashcan to the dumpster.

"Kilo holds a special place in my heart," Nicole informs Akio dryly. "The 'move bodies, not move furniture' kind. You, I just like." She's keeping the language clean while they're here - there are kids around after all, but there's a sly wink for the tattooed man as she refocuses her attention on the serving of food, her attention on the homeless people being served. A smile for them, a joke for the younger ones.. it's the least she can do.

With most of the eating done, Shu starts to clean up her workstation...and then there'll be the van to clean up. She purses her lips in thought. With so many of the homeless here, maybe it's a good time to see if she can find one of those CHUDs? Outside a number of sirens can be heard going past, heading up towards where the Casino is opening.

A thin, early-twenties man, looking a bit down on his luck, with greasy hair in need of a haircut and glasses held together with tape. He clears his throat and then says, almost shyly, "I play a little..." Rictus beams at him, handing over the guitar and giving him a comradely slap to the shoulder. "Perfect! Play something for us. Something good for fucking dancing." Because that's what everyone wants to do after eating a bunch of turkey. But it's a party! At least that's now Ric sees it. A celebration of being alive, in whatever state.

Guitar handed off, he moves off, letting the young, homeless musician have the 'stage', so to speak. And he heads towards Kilo, sidling up and sliding an arm around her waist. He flashes her a lopsided grin, "Dance with me." Hell, people started singing. Maybe they'll start dancing, too. Maybe they'll get more than just a little warmth and a free meal - maybe they'll end up with a good memory, a story to tell, a reason to keep trying.

Its all just gentle ribbing from Akio and a nod is given to Nicole before he returns to helping out. As the guitar is handed off from Rictus to man in the crowd, Akio starts to clean up like Shu and the others do.

Kilo walks back past Nicole and her boy. "Oh! Wait. I do remember you. 'That' night at the diner... you, that was you!" She grins. "It's nice to see you again, and with Nicole." She beams at Akio and then at Nicole. But it's right then that Rictus walks up and slips his arms around her. She puts that tub to the side and nods to him with a smile. Because this is totally romantical. She agrees to dance.

Lifting empty food-serving pots and utensils, Nicole heads for the kitchen area at the back to scrub and wash down everything. At least she can take off the hair net, woot! She's humming along (badly) to the song being sung, seeming to be in a good mood.

====> Rictus to Here <========================================================
Rolled 1 Success
< 2 6 6 7 8 >
=====================================> Dexterity + Athletics [No Flags] <====

Shu gathers up the last of her stuff and makes her way over to Ambroise. "It is good what you are doing here, Mister Dubois" she smiles. "I don't suppose you could keep them in here all night? The streets are dangerous. Especially on nights like this. Some of them will want to go back to their 'patch'. What they consider their home. But if you can keep them here then I think that would benefit everyone. Good night, Mister Dubois." She looks around for Kilo to wave goodbye to her before the chef of the Mobile Mandarin is off on a CHUD hunt.

"I'll see what I can do," Ambroise says to Shu. "Unfortunately it will really be up to the people who own the hall, but maybe we could organize some transportation to a shelter for those people who want it. I know how cold it's going to get. That was part of the reason for all of this. It also gives us a chance to pass out some warm clothes."

Rictus beams at Kilo as she accepts his offer. He wraps his arms around her, tugging her in for a quick kiss, and then he's taking her hands, tugging her towards an area with a little more space. The homeless fellow with a new guitar hestiates a bit, but then starts playing a song, something lively, upbeat. Because people are starting to relax, to even enjoy themselves a little despite their hardships. For one night, they have a chance to relax a little, to not have to worry about if they'll make it through the night or if they'll starve, or freeze, or get mugged.

Ric grins at Kilo, taking her hands, then pulls her into a dance. It's not /great/ - he's a singer, not a dancer - but he doesn't trip over his feet or faceplant. And it doesn't /quite/ fit the music, but the effort is there. He's into it.

He looks around at the crowd, giving a laugh, "I can offer a place, too, you don't mind crashing out on couches and shit. Ain't no one gonna be cold tonight!" Then he leans in, whispering something to Kilo, giving her a wink before attempting another dance move. It's the effort that counts, right?