Y00/03/25 Bellflower Concert

Cast: Apolo Sam Max Julio Crow Marta Zach
Location: Bellflower
Synopsis: Some Downtown residents visit Bellflower for a concert.

Bellflower - Bellflower

Bellflower? Why would you want to go to Bellflower? Like most of the
urban sprawl that spreads forth from Los Angeles like a slow growing
toxic mold, Bellflower has little to offer in the realms of class,
culture, or even cleanliness. Bellflower is, more than anything else, a
city of passage that is driven through by those who live south east of
Downtown into the central city. For those who do not stop (and few do)
it seems little more than an endless strip of new car lots, used car
lots and tire emporiums. However, lurking behind these major streets is
the residential areas, which are teeming with troubled children who
fail in school, dabble in drugs, and are absorbed into gangs—mere
pathetic mockeries of the dangerous tribes that populate South Central







Obvious exits:

Paramount (W) Bell Gardens - Downey (NW)

Crow makes his way down the aisle and toward the altar, occasionally stopping
one of the leaving guests that he recognizes. A few discreet inquiries
are made, but his ultimate destination still seems to be the same place.

Max is about to follow the delicious Marta out of the building, having dealt
with the issue of Zach and his tiny new pal.

Zach sits in a dusty corner of the church, a little Asian kid hovering in front
of him, staring, fascinated. Looks like the kid is wearing red lipstick.

Julio smiles at the children who offer him the presents and murmurs his thanks.

Max' remark does install some fear in the kid's eyes. He looks at Zach and Max
in a disbelieving way; 'Nah. You would not, would you?' The boy says,
hesitatingly. He puts the red finger in his mouth, licking it clean.

Apolo sidesteps a knot of people leaving to slide into the vestibule. If he's
disappointed to have arrived beyond fashionably late, the man doesn't
show it as he leans up against a bare spot on the wall, arms folded
across his chest. The Latino just watches at the moment, dark eyes
skimming over the faces that track past on their way out.

Max glances back at the child, "Where do you think that /he/ gets his red?"

Zach's pierced lips peel back from his teeth slowly, and his grimace is utterly
horrible, corpsish, as he stares at the little boy, very possibly
leaving no doubt in the kid's mind that he's quite, quite capable of
what Max just said. "He's right. Now go on back to Mummy. Keep on
painting whenever she tells you not to" he hisses.

Sam his helping everybody pack, clean up and leave, thanking and saying goodbye
to all performers, especially the little actors and actresses.

A slender young adult at the end of his teens. His fine features, bright blue
eyes and curly blond hair give him a bit of an angelic appearance.
Black blouse, black trousers, black boots with high heels are simple
but decent enough for the occassion. They make him fade somewhat in the
multitude of colored suits and dresses. His voice sounds pleasant when
he speaks, if somewhat high for a man his age.

The boy shrieks and runs of as fast as he can. Back to his parents that are at
the other side of the church.

Max has partially disconnected.

Crow heads toward the set up stage and then around it to the back. One of the
little ones is stopped in his tracks and Crow squats down to ask a
question. Following the pointing finger with his eyes, he nods and says
his thanks before heading over toward Samael.

Marta arrives from Paramount - Bellflower.

Marta has arrived.

Max seems vaguely satisfied when the child flees. One less problem for him. He
scans the crowd, spotting Apolo, then gestures to Zach to stand.
Perhaps he can fob the boi off.

Sam instantly stands still and turns around as he hears the kid shriek,
searching out it's source.

Seeing the kid with Max and Zach, running away he completely ignores or simply
doesn't notice Crow, or Apolo, and makes his way towards the crowd to
intercept the boy.

Zach watches the child yelp, pale, and run, his slitted eyes expressionless.
Tongue dabs to his wrist, then he hoists himself to his feet, head
swivelling to examine new arrivals. Apolo. A strange twist of Zach's
lips as he spots the graceful Latino, and freakboy's dark head dips as
he steps in that direction, silent, mouth pursed.

Julio watches the crowd quietly. Now that he is finished performing, he heads
to the side to find something to drink…besides the wine he was given.

Crow comes to a half and turns his head to watch Samael scurry off toward
whichever one of the munchkins is making the racket. Later then. With a
shrug that's muted by the suit hack, Crow backtracks his way out from
behind the stage.
Apolo hasn't yet stirred from his lounge by the front door. The man seems
perfectly content there, watching, not offering recognition to anyone
in particular. The dark gaze does linger on those near the alter, and
then off to the commotion with the child, but it wanders back to Crow
as he disappears.

Max guides Zach Apolowards, that's easy enough. His eyes are searching the
crowd, looking for threats or promises.

The boy finds his parents before Sam reaches him. The youth looks at them from
a distance and nods, slowly turns around and then does spot Crow. He
nods at him and approaches the man.

True, Zach's big boots carry him towards the lounging longhair by the door
anyway. He doesn't greet the man who stares around the church, nor does
he seem to expect one himself, but just stands close and silent, his
dark head bowed forwards, glittery eyes on Apolo's hands.

Max hands the sketch over to Apolo. Let it be on his hands. A quick glance in
the direction Marta departed from, but duty first, ever and always.

Crow lifts his hand to acknowledge the greeting before getting within speaking
distance. "G'evening." He wrinkles his nose and takes a glance around
before returning his gaze back to Samael. "I trust everything's been
pleasant so far?"

Sam grins apologetically towards Crow; 'Much to learn.' he replies; 'That much
is obvious. But apart from that sure.' he nods; 'It has been 'quite'
the evening with high peeks and very deep valleys. I hope the turmoil
outside was not of the same relative magnitude.' he smiles.

Apolo holds a hand out for the paper. A brief nod acknowledges Max and his
desire to move along; Apolo won't hold him here. Those eyes skip to the
paper, and then over the top to Zach, before inspecting both sides of
the sheet. A little smile curves his mouth crookedly.

Max offers a rather formal bow to the long haired young man, oddly at odds with
his own innate arrogance and heavy leather. He pulls it off though, and
it seems perfectly natural. Then he is headed for the exit.
Genuflection to the altar, a pause at the font to cross himself, then
he is off and out.

"Turmoil?" Crow asks, once again looking beyond Samael as though x-ray vision
or something is going to pop on. "Didn't see any cop cars. Seriously,
if it was nothing to get worked up about I'd call it a success." Here
he falls silent. This is where he waits to be assured there's nothing
to get worked up about.

Zach's dark sleek head raises, deepsea eyes finding the Latino's and, oddly,
softening at the edges like brittle toffee dropped into water. As Max
creeeeaks a bow, his own liptwist, pulled crooked by jewellery, matches
that of the man holding the double-painting.

'Well lets call it a success then.' Samael grins back; 'Although I think I
might be glad none of my family actually managed to show.' he adds

Julio walks over toward Samael, now with a bottle of water in hand.

Max heads out to the steps of the church, scanning the area about and below in
search of one particular person. He assumes he is too late, but still
he searches, looking for Marta.

Sam notices Julio and smiles at him; 'How would you describe this evening

Seated out on the steps of the church there is still an alarming amount of
people out and about at this ungodly hour. Marta is one of them,
smiling to passersby, waving good night to people leaving the festival,
and generally doing some girl cooing over her bouquet of flowers. She
traces her fingertips over a rose then grins up at a nun who is off for
the evening. "Goodnight, Sister Christopher." It seems highly unlikely
that this was the saucy Latina dancing with Julio earlier. The door
keeps opening and closing, and she looks up as feet pass her, knowing
enough people to confirm that she is indeed a church-going regular.

Apolo traces the tips of his fingers over the cut out St. Celilia, flaking off
glitter in clumps. When he passes the same hand through his long hair,
the red sparkly stuff leaves a trail through the dark locks. "How was
the concert," Apolo queries Zachary, rolling the picture up into a tube.

Crow looks skeptical regarding the comment about Samael's family. "Right. Well,
it couldn't have been too bad. This is a pretty decent turn out, you
know. More than I would have expected, especially considering the
length and the our. Cassius mentioned it'd been hopping along pretty
well earlier this afternoon as well."

The church ever becomes more empty as parents and children are walking out.
There's just the priest, and the elderly woman that decide they will
finish the next morning, as it is too late already.

Julio hmms, "I haven't seen the donations, but I'd say…modestly successful?"

Max spots the girl and smiles, perhaps fate supports him tonight. He makes his
way down the steps, stopped more than once by someone hoping for a
donation to a charitable cause. He stops just behind and to the side of
Marta, looking down at her.

Zach watches the trail of graceful fingers combing crimson glitter through
pretty dark hair with an air of fascination, his lips still twisted in
that same odd little expression. "I was late" he rasps in his strange
dead leaf husk of a voice "but what I saw was…" a tonguetip dabs at
the centre of his upper lip. "worth it".

Marta leans down to sniff at a honeysuckle then straightens up and goes still.
That feeling of being watched suddenly falls over her and she slowly
turns to look behind her. Uh oh. She quickly turns back and stares at
the ground. Look, gum on the pavement. Isn't that fascinating.

The boy smiles at the mention of Cassius name; 'Ah, was he here? Didn't spot
him. But then again I was backstage most of the time.' Toward Julio; 'I
don't have a clue about those. Bethany took them and will count them I

Max continues to stand there, looking down. Marta doubtless gets an excellent
look at the foot end of custom motorcycle leathers, which the
wealthiest cyclists favor for the combination of armor and style. His
self confidence is a palpable thing.

'You can be honest' Sam grins at Julio.

Crow nods pointedly. "Of course," he says with the implication that such a fact
should have been obvious. "We did our best to make sure every loose end
was tied up. Something like this you want to go off without a hitch,
you know?"

Tension, anyone? Marta sighs and adjusts her flowers on her lap, then glances
back at Max again. Her brow furrows, but she seems unable to keep back
her smile. "Can I help you?"

Apolo gestures with his new scepter. "I should go give my regards." The paper
picks out the knot of people at the opposite end of the church. "Come
along, if you wish. I won't be staying long."

The clergy has left the church and Bethany inside the office to count.

Zach's chin dips in a ghost of a nod after his eyes manage to lift from the
sparkles of bloodred stars in a dark soft sky, slipping sideways to
glance where Apolo's regal pointer indicates. He turns on a booted
heel, ready to follow in that direction.

Julio says," Well, I think they preferred my second performance to the first."
then he chuckles, "I think mostly due to Marta's performance."

Sam nods toward Crow; 'I realize and appreciate that.' he says while looking
down. He grins towards Julio; 'You did fine. You, and martha, and
Ramona-Rosa, certainly should be called the high peeks of this evening.'

Max smiles brilliantly and crouches down on the step until he is almost on a
level with Marta. "Did I not see you the other day at the Expo Center?
I think that I did, Senorina."

Marta fidgets with her flowers and gives Max a sidelong glance before nodding.
"You were fighting. Not very gentleman-like." She looks forward again
and inhales deeply. "I cannot talk to you. I am sorry."

'A sonet is always more difficult' Sam adds; 'It took them some time to get to
appreciate it. But then again, it wouldn't have been literature if it
had been easy.'

Apolo turns booted feet towards his prey, trusting that Zach will fall in
behind him like a good boy. The Latino threads his way around the last
few, lingering children and parents, before drawing up close. "Good
evening," he says, Spanish accent strong tonight.

Max arches a brow, "No? And how are gentleman supposed to fight? Bomb each
other from miles away? I was sparring with a good friend of mine. But
who would forbid you?" He gestures, indicating Marta's obviously mature
body. "I see an adult. Can you not choose for yourself, senorina?"

Two longhaired prettyboys in one Catholic church, just as well the nuns have
left. Zach follows the older man silently, his stalky gait carrying him
down the aisle behind the man to stand behind him as he greets the
three men talking. Those lingering children scatter away from him,
staring and edging behind their parents.

Marta gives him an incredulous look and waves her hand to dismiss his gesture.
"I cannot talk to you because my mother says, 'No hable a extranjeros.'
Don't talk to strangers. My cousin told me to stay away from you too.
You look like trouble." With that, she looks forward again and pats her
flowers, which will surely be reduced to potpourri at this rate.

Crow grins quickly, showing off his teeth. "Not a problem. It's nice to see
people taking initiative like this. From the looks on people's faces,
they appreciated it. I appreciated it. I can tell you Ms. Fleece very
much appreciates it." The grins goes away just as quickly as it came as
yet more people approach the group.

Max settles down a little closer to Marta, looking wounded. "Senorina, I am
trouble? I come here to make donations to this poor church, and to
enforce the peace, so that these affairs may continue to occur. But I
am the enemy? Am I so ill favoured as that?"

Sam looks at Crow again and his expression cheers up a bit; 'Thank you Sir. You
are too kind. And if there is a next time it undoubtedly will be
better.' As Apolo and Zach approach, Sam turns toward them, giving a
Apolo a respectfull (perhaps somewhat awkard) nod, even extending into
a slight bow.

Marta rubs her lips together and turns toward Max. "My cousin is trouble, so
when he tells me that someone else is trouble, I know it is bad. So,
don't make me be impolite. But I cannot talk to you. My ride will be
here. Soon," she trails off, looking down the block. She tucks a lock
of dark hair behind her ear, then rethinks that, as it was partially
blocking his view of her profile.

"Mr. Wellington. I am disappointed to see that I have missed so much of your
performance. I was looking forward to it — Zachary tells me I should
regret my lateness." A hand waves back towards Zach, and then falls
back at Apolo's side. "My father also expressed regret, but he is so..
occupied these days."

The stalkish figure behind Apolo simply nods, eeys glittering through the dark
slits of his lashes as he regards 'Mr Wellington' briefly. His injured
wrist raises to his mouth, licked at as casually as if he's checking a

Max continues to look down at Marta, idly brushing a hand over his chest so
that the gold and diamonds catch the light and flash. "So. Your wicked
cousin does not like me. I support the church, and local business,
therefore I am someone that you must avoid. I would guess that he has
taken money to marry you to an abusive dockworker. If that is what you
wish, Senorina, so be it. But I think that you have a better fate ahead
of you than being a poor fat wife with seventeen children and a husband
who drinks all his wages and then beats you."

Sam smiles back at Apolo; 'I regret you must find this church abandonned
already Sir. You certainly value your effort in paying this church a
visit, and your fathers message.' he smiles; My part in this festival
was only a small one however, and I surely did not contribute to the
performing part. This gentleman however' he beckons towards Julio; 'Was
quite breathtaking.'

Marta coughs out a gasp and raises to her feet, turning to face Max. "My cousin
loves me, and to say such things is in poor taste. Is that how you woo
women? You insult their families and speak of a miserable existence of
being fat and abused? Pardon me if I am not compelled to lift my skirt
and hop onto your lap." She clutches her flowers and steps down a few
steps onto the sidewalk. "You are very rude. I am ashamed that you give
anything to my church." With that, she starts off up the street.

"Mr. Wilder," Apolo acknowledges with a tip of his dark head, before turning
his gaze towards Julio. "Oh? What is it that you do? High praise from
Mr. Wellington is a complement indeed." His brown eyes inspect the
other Latino, beating the hollow tube of his picture against his bare
palm absently.

Max watches you depart, "The truth hurts chica. You may keep your skirts, and
Ricardo has too many masters. They are all ready to turn and destroy
him, because he is not competant to play the game he aspires to. I wish
you well. Perhaps the man you marry will not beat you."

The devilspawn behind Apolo flicks his shiny hard gaze to Julio as Samael
compliments him on his performance, and his dark head dips in a
fraction of a nod. "It was." he rasps, the flatness of his tone somehow
all wrong as he stares at the man, despite the compliment.

Crow inclines his head politely in return. "Good evening, Mr. Callas." He lifts
a hand to his mouth and clears his throat politely. "If you gentlemen
will excuse me? I need to make a phone call to check on our security
arrangements and starting dismissing people."

Marta stops and turns, staring at Max with a sort of bewildered confusion. "If
you hurt my cousin…" Her voice catches in her throat and she covers
her mouth. "If Jesus did not teach us to love our enemy I would tell
you exactly what I was thinking, Max Santos." Yeah, so there. Take that!

Max offers a grin full of wicked mischief at the departing girl. "Senorina, you
do not understand at all. I am the one that has been protecting him. He
would not last five minutes in this world given his current behaviour.
Invest your emotion in more stable relatives. Perhaps you might give up
the dance, and become a nun. The world is pain. Everything that you
care about will hurt you, and those that protect you will never be
acknowledged. Now go, before I become irritated."

Sam nods towards Crow; 'Glad to hear everything went fine. My thanks to all
your people.' He nods toward in Zacheries direction; 'Mister Julio is a
vocalist mister Callas. I'm sure you might see him perform one day in a
better concert hall then this.'

Marta smirks at Max's irritated remark, yet she turns right around and runs off
like a good little girl.

Marta heads in the Bell Gardens - Downey direction.

Marta has left.

Max scowls, but in the end he is grinning and strolling after the girl at a
casual pace.

Julio glances toward Apolo, his expression reflecting the confusion between the
words and the tone. But it's a fleeting confusion and he nods his head
as he smiles, "I am glad you enjoyed it." with a warm and gracious, and
modest tone.

Max heads in the Bell Gardens - Downey direction.

Max has left.

"Evocative" rasps Zach, in that painful-throated voice, slightly muffled by the
wrist still at his lips. Obviously the word is about Julio's
performance, his shiny eyes on the young man, but the concise
descriptor is directed at Apolo's ear.

Sam tries not to stare but does look from Apolo to Zachary and back. He smile
fades, but the frown on his forehead is almost non-existant. At Julio's
remark Sam cannot help but smile; 'He wasn't there Julio. Mister Callas
regrets he only just entered.'

Apolo doesn't miss Sam's expression; the man glances over his shoulder at his
darker shadow. The paper scepter bops Zachary right in the middle of
his forehead, a playful gesture, usually. "Knock it off. You'll just
give yourself a scar." Turning back, shaking his head slightly, "My
little brother. What can you do?" Apolo offers a rolling shrug, nods to
the departing Crow, and returns to his conversation with Julio, his
attention moving smoothly from one man to another. "No, I missed your
performance. Perhaps you'll be singing again?"

Crow steps back from the group, then turns and starts heading down the aisle
and toward the exit from.

Crow heads in the Paramount direction.

Crow has left.

Zach narrows his eyes as the rolled-up painting smacks him in the forehead,
blinking away reflexively. A few flakes of crimson glitter, dislodged
from the inside of the tube, flutter to dot his nose like tiny shiny
measles. He glowers at the older man, but the wrist drops away from his
questing tongue. Little brother? Boy, someone got all the white genes
in that family, huh?

Julio pauses and he says, "I could, of course, if people wish it." he smiles.
"This is a charitable event, so I am at the service of the patrons."

Sam doesn't dare to face Apolo's gaze, instead focusses at the floor and is
silent for a while. 'Mister Callas would be exquisite at acknowledging
talent whe he hears, or sees it Julio.' Sams wary look returns toward

Apolo waves the complement away with another gesture of his regal tube of
paper. "Oh, I am simply a dilettante, Mr… Julio? But I am always
interested in hearing local artists. If you perform someplace again and
tell Mr. Wellington, I'm sure he'll tell me."

Julio nods and then smiles, "Oh, of course. It would be my pleasure. So far,
except for this event, my performances have mostly been confined to the
University. But I have been considering some other amateur venues."

Zach's darkblue eyes slit at the blond boy who is regarding him warily. A bony
hand brushes shiny red glitter from his face, shaking the fingers to
shower the few specks into the fall of Apolo's hair. Ends match the
roots now, where the graceful Latino's own hand swept the same shiny
red through it earlier. A flare of pierced nostrils at the word

"I will make sure I will let you know Sir Callas.' Sam responds toward Apolo
with an expressionless face; 'Maybe if he reaches the concert-halls,
which should not take too long now.'

Sam grins at Julio; 'Right?'

On the backswing, Apolo catches Zach's shoulder with his bopping tube again,
though he doesn't look over to apologize. "That would be wonderful,
Julio. Thank you. Mr. Wellington knows how to get a hold of me… And
speaking of which.." A slender hand reaches into his back pocket,
pulling out thin, folded envelope to offer to Sam. "I should get
Zachary home. But we wanted to make sure to leave a donation. A good
cause and all, right?"

Julio smiles at that and he says, "Well, from your lips to.. you know the
saying. And thank you. It is a very good cause."

More glitter, dislodged to flutter over freakboy like so much bloodied
confetti. A little hiss from Zach as he takes a step back. Ain't
fraternity grand?

Sams eyes briefly search Apollo's. 'A good cause indeed mister Callas.' The
youth accepts the envellope with a gracefull bow, that does looks very
natural. 'Most considerate of you to think of that mister Callas. I
would express gratitude on behalf of this church, and the homeless as
far as I would be allowed to speak for them.' He smiles briefly but

"It is a little thing to do. Good night." Apolo bobs his head at both men, then
turns to his little, sparkle bespecked brother. "Come along, Zachary.
You're covered in glitter." Sure, Apolo is the source of that, but the
man doesn't seem to care about that. Poking the kid in his ribs with
the tube, Apolo herds him down the aisle.

'Goodnight mister Callas, Goodnight Zachary. Thank you for your visit.' Sam
greets the couple in a friendly fashion, and watches them leav. When
they turn around, a sad stare follow Zachary's. He sighs silently.

A flickflick of eyes between Julio and Sam. As he's spoken to by the other
longhaired man, Zach's lips twist around their piercings - that could
have been a snarl or a very skewed smile and he regards Apolo steadily,
his shiny eyes slightly hooded before he's prodded and poked out of the
church. Bouncing, awkward gait, glitter speckled hair over his face as
he walks. Probably can't see where he's going - maybe that's the source
of the crippled-vulture posture. He may have got those white genes, but
looks like Apolo was first in line when grace was handed out.

Apolo continues to herd Zachary like an errant and slightly screwed up lamb out
of the holy house and down the street. Some brother he is.

The bastard Lamb is duly herded. Can almost hear God sighing with relief.

Zachary heads in the Bell Gardens - Downey direction.

Zachary has left.

Bell Gardens - Downey - Bellflower

Part of the eastward spread of Los Angeles' ancient suburbia, today the cities
of Bell Gardens and Downey are less peaceful upper class neighborhood
and more cheap housing sprawled across the landscape. Attempts at
'beautification' have filtered the cities with asphault plains littered
with palm trees surrounding tacky modern architecture. Despite the
repulsive exterior, each city has a claim to Los Angeles history that
no one else can boast. The significantly smaller sprawl of Bell Gardens
hosts the Gage Mansion on East Gage Avenue, the oldest home still
standing in all of L.A. County. In brutal comparison, the significantly
larger city of Downey hosts the site of the first and oldest McDonald's
Restaraunt at Lakewood and Florence. The McDonald's is symbolic of Los
Angeles' cheap commercialism and is often the target of angry





Obvious exits:

Bellflower (SE) Commerce (N) Southgate - Lynwood (W)

Max is sitting on the stoop of an apartment talking to Marta. They aren't even
touching. Really.

Marta drops down to sit beside him, rubbing her shoulder to his. It is so
innocent, but clearly she is trying to be very… feminine. "I love to
dance. I sort of forgot myself. I think Father Cortez thought it was a
little much. Julio is a good singer, no?" She looks over at him and
smiles. "Do you like to dance?" Some might feel cruel and wrong for
putting her in such a vulnerable state. She is staring at Max with a
stupid infatuation in her eyes.

Apolo is herding Zachary down the street with carefully applied prods of a
rolled up tube of paper. No, really. Each jab sheds a fall of red
glitter on the gothling's clothing, which seems to amuse Apolo to no
end. Poke, shimmer. Grin. Poke, shimmer, grin. The latino missed his
calling as a shepherd.

Max nods to Marta, not at all minding the contact. "Julio is an excellent
singer. If father Cortez objected, it was because you reminded him that
he is also a man. I love to dance. The music, the stars, some
Sangria…I cannot think of a better way to spend the night."

Cruel and unusual herder of gothboys, yep. Zach scowls like a demon, his glower
a counterpoint to the grin on the other man's pretty face, as he
lurches along in the usual bounce-stride-hitch-stumble way, not aided
by attempting to dodge the showers of such -pretty- shiny red stuff.

Marta bites on her bottom lip and… did she just whimper? She leans closer to
Max, then suddenly her foot slips from the step and she jerks forward,
grabbing his arm to steady herself. It is then that she sees Apolo and
Zachary coming up the street. "Are those… your friends?" She keeps
her hands on Max's arm, draped around it, really.

Max instinctively catches the girl, he was an action hero in a prior life.
Carefully steadying her, he settles her back into a stable perch.
Looking out to the street he nods. "One is a friend, and the other is
more of a charitable work. Have you ever tried to save a damned soul?
It is a difficult process."

Yes, but which is which? Apolo the Goth Herder quickly tires of his game, and
smacks Zach in the chest one final time, letting go of the rolled up
drawing so the boy is forced to catch it or trample it underfoot. Two
quick steps and he falls into stride along side the other long haired
pretty boy: were they not of different races, they could easily be

Marta perks up and smiles. "I have. There was a girl that my brother was
dating. She was turning tricks and doing crack cocaine and I brought
her to Jesus Christ. Of course, then she dumped my brother and moved to
Oregon." She is petting Max's arm and smiling so wide she looks
positively giddy. "Are you warm? Do you want to take off your pants?
Uh, I mean, your jacket. Your jacket." She looks down and facepalms,
groaning. "Oh please, help me God, help me not be here right now," she
prays quietly to herself. "I meant your jacket," she repeats, looking a
lovely shade of blush right about now.

Zach fumbles that final catch, succeeding simply in unrolling Apolo's paper
crook as it prods into his bony chest at the last, sliding it across
his ribs awkwardly. Which of course, spreads more glitter down his nice
black shirt, and rubs it in. Salt in wounds, glitter in humiliation? A
little hiss through clenched teeth and he lets the reddened,
crumpled-curly paper dangle from a hand as he steps along behind his
elder, prettier-skinned lookalike.

Max is nodding agreeably until Marta offers to take off his pants. Then he
seems just slightly confused. He looks down at the snug, heavy leather
for a moment, "If I strip it all off now, I won't want to put it on
again when it is time for me to ride home."

"Stop trying to seduce all the virgins in the city, Max. It's very 1987."
Apolo's boots sound sharply across the last few feet of pavement; he
should have been too far away to have heard Marta's slip up, but the
night air carries embarrassing sounds far, it seems. The Latino pulls
up short in front of the apartment steps and cocks a hand on his hip,
which does nothing to harden that girlie-girlie air he's been cursed

Marta refrains from looking down at Max's leathers. She is not looking down. Oh
God, she looked down. She looks to the sky and rubs at her cheek. "I,
um, I meant your jacket. I am… going to go look for a hole to hide in
now." She then hears Apolo and blushes further, if that is possible.
She looks down and cowers a little, trying to summarily disappear. If
she could just melt into the stairs. It is certainly worth a try.

Max startles and straightens up, doing his best to look very right and proper.
"But Apolo, this is Ricardo's cousin. We were just talking about his
problem. He has been neglecting his mother terribly." It all sounds so
reasonable, really.

Zach silently rolls up the glitter-bestowing drawing again, brushing shiny
flecks from his chest and shaking his hand to flick more prettiness
back at Apolo. Does nothing for the others effeteness either. To be
fair, the Latino's hair is also dotted with the tiny blood-sequins,
shining in the streetlamps, as if the two have just been at a very
strange wedding indeed. His lips twist around metal at Apolo's comment,
and the boy's strange fathomless gaze flicks to Max and the blushing
girl on the steps.

Julio arrives from Bellflower - Bellflower.

Julio has arrived.

Max and Marta sit on the steps of an apartment building, rather close together.
Apolo and Zach stand at the foot of the stairs, looking up at them,
Zach covered in red glitter, Apolo less so.

Marta shooshes Max and presses her fingertips to his mouth, only then realizing
what a truly nice mouth he has. Wow, nice… mouth. She swallows and
slowly lowers her hand with a self-loathing roll of her eyes that asks,
'What in GOD'S name are you doing, Marta?!?' She sits back and retracts
all of her body parts back into her own personal space.

Julio walks along the street, obviously on his way home from the performance.

Max can't help himself, he kisses those fingers when they are in such close
proximity. His mouth is not covered with leather, after all.

"Mmhm," he mhmms. "Yes. Your concern for the soft petaled is well documented,
Max… Wait, Ricardo's cousin, you say?" Apolo turns his dark eyes on
Marta, curious now, and then crouches down to look at her from a new
angle. "Then she is distant cousin of mine too. There's some tangles in
our blood, way back when." The man sighs, expelling the air from his
lungs in a sudden burst, and then leans heavily against Zach's leg,
weary. Goth herding will wear one out.

Marta takes a moment to stare down at the fingers just kissed by Max. It is
like staring at the autograph of her favourite rock star the way she
admires her own fingers. Then she looks up at Apolo. She is Ricardo's
very good looking cousin. Clearly she has access to a shower more often
than he does. Better skin care too. She grins at Apolo then blinks. "We
are? How? Our fathers are brothers. Me and Ricardo."

Max nods seriously to Apolo. "Apparently he told the young Senorina to stay
away from me. I cannot help but think that this relates to his current
problems. He gambles far too much sometimes, does Ricardo." The finger
incident might never have happened, except that Max is still right
there, shoulder to shoulder with Marta.

Zach also squints at Marta as if those hard eyes are trying to strip away her
skin like a parcel's wrapping and see what's inside. Good heavens, if
the two long-haired men are related, and those cross-hatchings in
Apolo's lineage he mentions make him related to Marta…that means she
might be related to the freakboy! Nice. Family reunions could be
interesting. The boy slips a glittery hand down as Apolo crouches and
leans his graceful weight against one of those gargantuan boots,
walking fingers over the other's parting like a bony insect. "He speaks
of dogs. Sleeping dogs." rasps Zach, at Max, out of the blue. Odd
comment, as if a flash of something seen only by him just touched his
raspy vocal chords.

Julio turns as he notices familiar faces. He missed the whole…finger incident
and he breaks into a bright smile. He raises a hand and says, "Hey
there, Marta!"

The underlying messages between boys are lost on Marta. She is back to staring
at Max, who is apparently the most amazing thing she has ever seen.
Ever. Ever! She is leaning on him again, and even goes so far as to
rest her cheek against his shoulder clad in leather. But alas, someone
is calling her name. She sits up and looks past Apolo and Zachary to
Julio, who gets a very warm smile. "Julio. Are you on your way home?"
Or are you following Max too? Because he is so dreamy. Let's have
another look at him.

Apolo shrugs a thin shoulder and makes some dismissive gestures with spidery
fingers. "We figured it out, once. Some sister of a sister, of a
cousin, back in day. I don't even know how we figured it out. Probably
with the influence of a great deal of alcohol. I don't see him very
often these days." Another shrug, and a raise of his eyebrows, as if
this shouldn't be a great surprise to Marta.

Max says, "I begin to think that we are all related here. Not too closely, in
the eyes of the church, but close enough to be cousins, in one way or
another. Good evening Julio. I was very impressed by your performance
this evening. You and Marta make a lovely duet."

Zach falls silent after his odd raspy comment, his eyes dropping to his own
hand wandering along Apolo's parting like a bony ATAT walker on a pale
road carved through burnt fields.

Marta grins at Apolo, as if she actually heard what he said, but that is not
likely. She opens her mouth to say something to Max, but there is the
sudden and shrill sounds of a woman's cry from a window above. "Marta!
Usted esta loco? Obtenga adentro en este momento!" The girl hops to her
feet like a frantic jack-in-the-box and looks up at the window where an
angry woman hovers. "Si, mama, lo siento." She quickly waves to those
present and reaches for her flowers. "I have to go. I am sorry. Thank
you for walking me home, Max." She trots to the door, then stops and
turns around to linger a moment longer. Aw, poor girl.

Max looks up towards the window for a long moment, then calls up something in
Spanish to the effect that he hopes to see the girls uncle at the next
Knights of Columbus meeting.

Max blows Marta a kiss, full of mischief.

Julio smiles at that and he shakes his head, recognizing a certain starstruck

"Its the Catholic instance on spawning. Sooner or later, we won't be able to
turn around with smacking someone who is related to us…" There might
have been more, but the frenetic Spanish coming from upstairs
interrupts his train of thought. Apolo looks suddenly furious — how
dare anyone interject in the middle of his conversation! — but the
expression is but a blink of an eye. Smiling wryly, his gaze moves from
the window to Zach's face, his gaze contemplative.

Marta's mama gives the boys an earful as well. "Usted chicos, van a casa.
Ahora. Usted debe avergonzarse, fuera tan tarde con una nina!" Which is
bascially, you boys go home now. You should be ashamed of yourselves
for being out so late with a little girl.

Marta heads in the Commerce direction.

Marta has left.

Max sweeps an elegant bow towards the window, and expresses a wish that he was
five years older and Marta's mamma unmarried.

Zachary actually jumps as that shrill Spanish rips through the night like a
pang through a guilty conscience, though he probably doesn't understand
a word. His fingers cease briefly at Apolo's crown, then resume their
strange, jerky wander as the man looks up at him thoughtfully.

Max watches until doors and windows slam, then comes down the steps and returns
to his friends at the street.

"I'm hungry," Apolo announces suddenly, and rises to his feet in a swift
motion. Reaching under his sweater to pat his thin, nay concave,
stomach, flashing a glimpse of it to everyone standing on the street,
he adds, "Peckish. I think I'll go hunt something down to eat. Max,
Zachary. ..Ah, Mr. Julio!.. Good night." No one else, apparently, is
invited on the food run.

Julio nods and he says, "Well, I could use something, myself. Ugh, cafeteria
food." he laughs a little. "It was good seeing you again."

Max nods to Apolo, and moves as if to take charge of Zachary. Can't be left out
without a leash, you know. "Do you have a dinner plan Apolo?"

As Apolo rises, Zach crouches, as if the two are connected by some strange
weight-and-pulley system. He peers up at Apolo, his vision of the
other's face obscured by the lift of jersey as the man pinches at his
tiny waist. Stares for a long moment, then his own hand creeps to his
ribs, jabbing and poking.

Julio has disconnected.

"I have an idea," Apolo answers with a wicked grin. It's his turn to pat
Zachary's head, nails along the scalp, reassuringly. "A very nice idea.
But I should be off." The Latino backs up, separating himself from the
others smoothly, surgical sharp. With no other attempt at goodbyes, the
man's off, moving with surprising swiftness for someone with such short

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