An early-days RP. Cross loses Alan. AGAIN. 

Initial Setting

At the Conservatory.


Cross Is my kid in your tree

Cross evidently been running

<Ardette>: Who, Cross or the kid? XD

Cross my kid

Cross do i look like my kid

Cross zhe answer is no

<Ardette>: No, I mean running XD

<Cross>: oh

<Cross>: naw, cross


<Ardette>: HAH

<Ardette>: This is why I ask.

<Cross>: ah haha

<Cross>: he's on his way back to remi's 

Ardette stares at him. So much for her smoke break. "Is this a joke."

<Cross>: a little later than he intended from a visit with forbes

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: XDDD

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: GET HOME

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: Remi's trying to poke at something in a tree with his cane

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: can't reach

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: damn kids

Cross "Just because you zhink my life's a joke doesn't mean I care to clarify. Have you seen him."

"No, I haven't bloody seen him! You've lost him?" This is not so much a legitimate or relevant question as much as something that Ardette gets some sick satisfaction in saying. 

Cross eyeroll and a grin. "No, I leased him out to some Banditos."

Cross "Vhatever, you haven't seen him, zhat's cool." Time to keep running

Ardette makes an interrupted little sound in her throat and watches him bolt down the sidewalk, eyebrows raised.

<Cross>: he asked remi to watch him for like an hour please, if able

<Cross>: can pay

<Ardette>: If Ardette hears rustling in that tree when he's gone...

<Cross>: it's her problem, that's what.

<Cross>: |BU

<Cross>: |BU

<Ardette>: Free babysitting scheme, it's all an act, Cross, you /fiend./

<Cross>: no, it's not a scheme

<Cross>: but he might retroactively claim it as one and look like a clever scumbag rather than an imbecile

<Ardette>: And she'll know he's full of shit hahaha

Alan runs up to Ardette

Alan tugs on her coat

Ardette closes her eyes and sighs out a stream of smoke, because she KNOWS WHO THAT IS before she even has to look down. "Of course."

Alan "Tan?"

Cross made it back to Remi's but Alan is not there dude why

Cross I thought you were -

Cross sfasnfs that kid is a god damn miniature ninja

Ardette feels awkward smoking a cigarette in front of a kid, and it's with a pang of regret that she flicks it away to kneel down in front of him. "Help me out here, Alan. It's Alan, yes?"

Cross thanks him anyway and backtracks

Alan nods and points to himself. thinks for a moment and says "Schiesse!" in Cross's voice, makes an equal sign in the air and then makes his little synth sound "TAN!"

Alan U_U/ she should be able to get that, i mean adults are suppose to be smart right?

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: who what

<Mr_d`Aubigne>: did Alan really climb a tree and escape


Alan loves escaping

<Cross>: motherfucking tiny ninja

Mr_d`Aubigne really IS the worst babysitter. Why do people keep leaving kids with him.

<Cross>: alan

<Cross>: you stay solo and keep the hell away from the inverse ninja law, okay?

Mr_d`Aubigne 's mood plummets, if it hadn't been rockbottom already, given the past couple weeks.


Cross texts remi as an afterthought,

Cross @whateverremi'snameisonline hes a professional @ this i kno where hes gone probs

Ardette jerks back at hearing Cross' grating voice coming out of this chubby-cheeked kid; it'll take her a while to get used to the sounds. "His name, right," she huffs, and straightens up. "Well, your father isn't here. But if I know him, he will be soon..."

Cross @remietcetc srsly, i got dis

Alan points in one direction, then the next and looks up at her. which way did he go lady?

Ardette gets his meaning immediately and simply opens the door to her studio and points inside. BT

Alan raises an eyebrow at her

Alan Lady what are you getting at I've head this story before

Alan but your house isn't made up of candy

Cross time to go back to tree searching

Ardette heaves a deflating sigh and gives him a flat look. "It's warm, you don't have to dance, and you can play with the sound system." Just get inside inside you little twerp before you run away and make me feel obligated to chase you.

Alan isn't sure bout this...but dad seems to like her so....hmmmm

Alan goes inside but he's gonna keep an eye on you lady

Ardette follows him inside and closes the door, yeah, right back atcha, kid.

Ardette feels prickly and uncertain with somebody's kid in her studio, what, is he hungry? Cold? Is she obligated to fix these things? Cross, you owe me big time.

Cross waiting for Alan to reply to texts, no beeps yet

Cross runs pretty fast for a guy with short legs

Mr_d`Aubigne will be out looking for Alan regardless of Cross' text. 

Cross MAY know where he is. He didn't get any affirmative text that he's found him yet. BT

Alan gets a beep on his phone and reads it. :U eep

Alan texts back to dad




Cross ....

Ardette Was that him?

Cross why the hell would he go to Ardette's studio if he doesn't even like her. Kid you make less sense than I do

Alan puts away the phone and looks around the place :U

Cross shit wait

Cross @Remi GOT IT he's safe ty for keeping him still as long as u did

Alan A+ classy lady

Cross @remi srsly. tiny minininja

Ardette shrugs helplessly and trails after Alan. "Well! I don't suppose anything here would interest you...?"

Cross UGGGGGGGGGGGGHHG'S all the way back to friggin studio here

Alan everything is interesting to him!

Mr_d`Aubigne B(

Ardette sees him wandering towards Studio B, which is rented out for the day, so she puts her hand on the top of his head and steeeers him back to Studio A. "This way, kid."

<Alan>: would there be photos or something shiny in the studio mree?

Alan Eh what AW

<Ardette>: Well, there's the mirrors :U And framed pictures and posters and things in the hallways?

Cross well fuck you too angry driver lady.

Cross removes himself from snowbank.

Alan spins on his heel and heads back towards studio b

<Cross>: just like dad, really


Ardette What the-- HEY.

Cross studio, here we g- wait

Alan tries to stand on his tippy toes to watch \9c9/

Cross sucks down the rest of his cigarette and chucks it, probably ought to regret doing that, and /then/ gets in there.

<Cross>: he only ran because where there's a window there's a tiny kid escaping again

<Cross>: and he's not in the mood to look for carmen sandiego's long lost son

Ardette looks down at him, his nose barely reaching the ledge. She sighs and gets him a chair to stand on. "Come on, allez, up, then."

Alan looks at Ardette, then the chair, then back at Ardette. Huh. He climbs up onto the chair and happily presses his face against the glass. though the glasses get in the way.

Ardette grimaces - oh, god, the little kid-face-grease smudgemarks she'll have to clean later - and rolls her eyes, turning to lean against the ledge and watch with Alan. "First rule, Alan; never interrupt a battle that isn't yours. Never interrupt a class that isn't yours. D'accord?"

Alan looks back up at her. Yeah that makes sense! He nods and continues to quietly watch the class. Man, adults are so tall.

Alan 'u'

Cross was all out of breath and exasperated but now he's quietly procrastinating on interrupting this

<Cross>: and lucky you

<Cross>: he didn't nosebleed on your carpet Bl

Ardette nods to herself; good, some sense out of him. "Good man." They watch the class together in silence, save for the muffled voices and music and occasional laughter through the glass. It's a group of UGs who needed some proper studio space. She glances at him. " you like anything you see, right now?"

Cross glances about a little, calming down a bit and taking note of all the reflections before he decides to make a little fist and 'yess' without sound

Alan doesn't really like UGs that much...But these guys are mixing it up a bit. he makes a wavy 'eh' hand gesture. its definitely different than waltzing.

Ardette hums thoughtfully. But then her posture straightens and she squints through the glass. With a scoff she walks two paces to the door to Studio B and barks, "If your shoes hit my sidewalk, they don't hit my floors! Oh-- Don't look at me like that, you know the bloody rules; no street shoes on the marley!" 

Ardette huffs and closes the door, leaving the room silent with terror for a few seconds before they start milling about to the music again. "Second rule," she holds up two fingers to Alan, "No street shoes on the marley."

Alan 8| Whoa

Alan immediately takes off his shoes

Cross ...

Cross pauses mid-removing his own shoes to realize how damn fast both of them replied

Cross subtle click of tap shoes being set on the floor

Alan Spins!

Alan 8|

Alan 8U

Alan ooooh he in trouble ain't he

Ardette GRABS THE CHAIR to keep it from toppling over, jesus

Cross "Thought you guys heard me enter..."

Alan is sweating bullets here

Cross pulls a jaded face at Alan. really?

Cross "Vhat am I gonna say."

Ardette steps out from behind Alan and gives Cross a lethal look, crossing her arms. "Alan, will you stay here and watch the dancers for a moment?"

Alan slowly turns back to the dancers '''8|

Ardette leans down so her head is level with Alan's. "Do you promise?"

Cross 's brow furrows in a quick twitch, having this interrupted is both weird and kind of a relief? He hates doing this shit, honestly.

Alan kinda wants to see the rest of the practice so he nods very slowly.

Cross but if he's about to get out-parented by a lady who doesn't 'deal with kids' this is ... y'know what? Doesn't matter.

Cross waits to see how this hits the frying pan

Ardette gives Alan one of her rare smiles, tired but sincere. "Thank you." When she straightens up, however, Cross just gets a flat look full of I-should-straighten-out-your-insides. She walks past Cross to the front lobby leaving in her wake the bristling suggestion that he'd better damn well follow her.

Alan ""{8D shes scarier when she smiles

Cross /:',

Cross l:> he looks at Alan. He has absolutely no idea either but there's no way anybody's disobeying this lady

Cross wishes he'd left his damn shoes on and follows

Ardette turns around once they're out of view and just smacks him sharply upside the head. 

Cross welp, there go the glasses. "Oh real mature. Vhy don't you ask me vhat happened before you go getting intimate like zhat."

Ardette plants her hands on her hips. <<Do I look like I give a damn about what happened? What happened to this not being my problem!?>> she hisses.

Cross checks to make sure his nose isn't bleeding or something stupid, <<Look, you're getting the 'what happened' shit whether you ask for it or not. I need to talk to people about a friend who died, I'm not dragging Alan along for that. I get a good friend, a trusted man to watch him, he still runs away to your place. What do you want me to do? Put a fucking leash on him? Lock your doors if your so against him being here.>>

Ardette should be more sensitive; she knows one of the island's most popular neutral clubs burnt to the ground recently and probably took a few poor souls with it, but all she sees right now is a disheveled Mafia man who's toying with the livelihood of a damned kid. <<Oh? You want me to close my doors because you decide you want to play house for a week? You want me to jeapordize my business because you can't take care of your kid? What a fucking Mafia thing for you to say.>>

Cross hisses back, <<You know fucking well when to take things literally instead of intelligently, don't you. Fucking stop and listen. It's called babysitting. If you were babysitting>> not a suggestion, making a point here, <<and he snuck out of your class, would you be blaming me?>>

Alan {8|

<Cross>: sorry remi, he's not saying blame the babysitter

<Cross>: but for this exact moment that his ass needs defending, he totally is.

<Cross>: god he's still a douche after all. i was starting to worrk

<Cross>: worry

Cross a douche with feelings

Ardette crosses her arms and gives him a cold look. <<If my kid made a habit of running away, I'd seriously reconsider whether or not I should give this 'parenting' thing a try.>>

Cross cannot even - he refrains from dragging his hand across his face and stoops to recover his glasses, <<Like you'd know about parenting, your clients leave after their timeslot's over with and you're guilt-free if they get themselves lynched. It's not that I don't have time, it's that I don't think talking about late suicidal family with law enforcement is really kid-friendly.>> Not afraid to drop tactless bombs, either. He didn't drop Alan on her and walk out, which is how she's making it sound, and he's not about to be blamed for circumstance while she keeps her responsibility out of the mix but not her opinion,

Yes, he's right, Ardette's clients leave and they're out of her hands when they're out of her building. It's a life she chose, and it's one she's content with. It's Cross' own fault that he chose this one. <<Not. My. Problem. Cross. Now, you could stand to be a little more worried that a 9-year-old walked here all the way from the goddamned Purple District.>>

<Alan>: does ardette have any books around?

<Cross>: mum came in

<Cross>: back (probably)

<Ardette>: Yep, a bookshelf with some dance photography books, biographies, dance history, technical books, maybe a photo album or two


Alan *____* BOOKS

Cross makes it very clear how little she seems to be getting the point, with an eyeroll nearly big enough to knock his glasses off again <<The fuck do you think I was running for, woman? I got to Mafia district and back here in the time it took him to show up on your doorstep.>> He's still managing an even, tempered volume, but Ardette can just tell he'd rather be yelling right now.

Alan crawls over and sets up a teeny books corner.

Ardette just shakes her head. It's so like him, to make this about him, about how far he ran and why, and not about the fact that that little boy could have been picked up by a Bandito or got in the crossfire of a sidewalk battle. And fuck it all, why does she care? Her eyes flutter closed and she holds a hand up. <<I know you, Cross. Next time, I'm calling the cops.>> She walks away to go find Alan.

<Cross>: he's trying to say he /cares/ damnit 

<Ardette>: And she's just stuck on OldCross

Cross <<You don't know me.>>

Ardette glares at him over her shoulder. <<I know enough.>>

Ardette comes up behind Alan, who looks engrossed with the books. She nudges him with her toe. "Careful with those."

Cross feels stupid that he even has to say that, but then, who does? <<Pull your head out of your ass and take a look around; it's not the nineties anymore. People change.>> and she's not even ... ugh.

Alan ;,glskdhasdjl "BAKAWW!" He startles when he's nudged and almost falls flat on the little tower of books. 8|

Ardette starts at the sound - damn it, again with the sounds! - and hears the the voices in Studio B go silent for a moment... and then start back up again. She hooks a finger into the hood of Alan's coat and guides him upright again. "Careful! I said careful."



Ardette rakes a hand through her hair and lets it fall back in place. She's still feeling prickly and angry and that idiot is still standing in her lobby not wearing any shoes... deep breath... okay. She looks down at the book Alan has open and grunts. "Find that interesting, do you?"

Alan :| Slowly nods.

Ardette looks back towards the lobby where Cross still is, undoubtedly seething and wanting to break all sorts of important things over there. "Do they scare you?"

Alan "Ping." Yes. Yes they do.

Cross sighs. He doesn't want to have to lecture Alan here now that Ardette's made it clear anything he does makes him the ace of douches. He's not feeding that fire. Pointless. But Alan's actually finding it interesting here, which means he gets to leave and take Alan away from something potentially good, or stay, and continue taking a nonverbal judgement for things that really aren't relevant anymore. He raises his eyebrows at her, nono, don't mind me. You started the conversation with him.

Ardette doesn't know how she knows that means yes, but that was a positive, affirmative sort of sound and hearing that and thinking no didn't feel right. Huh. Awkward silence and the sound of pages flipping. "They don't have to." She shoots Cross a weird look and then turns her attention back to Alan. "They aren't real."

Cross "Vhat, you've never seen zhem?" he's surprised.

Ardette gives Cross a cool, challenging stare. "No. Never in my life."

Cross "Zhat's cause you don't beat up sqvares. I saw one once, und he called all his buddies in vizh zheir canes like lightning, und zhey drove a bunch of Mafia guys right ouf of zhe district!"

Cross has found option three: get involved in this conversation and avoid loitering and leaving both

Alan *_*

Ardette studies Cross from under her brows. He sounds like a Square, talking about the Mafia like that, and the tone of familiarity, of shared experience, does little more than make her feel ill at ease. "And now I think it's time for you to go back to your district." She looks down at Alan and shakes her head. "But, euh... I'm not going to chase you with a cane."

Alan :^ Sure hopes that doesn't happen. He's probably going to get a cane at home. He starts putting the books away, From biggest to smallest

Cross "Ja, she's not zhat scary," he jests. He shouldn't jest, but he does anyway. "Here, go get your shoes, ja?" dropping anger as quickly as he picked it up

Cross gets his on too

Alan '_'7

Alan Speedily gets his shoes on and heads straight for the door

Cross "Ffglklz-" NO

Cross ditches the get-hat-on plan and hooks an arm around Alan's waist "Whoaah, waitaminuteyou."

Ardette rolls her eyes, reminding herself that once Alan is out the door, he's not her responsibility anymore, he's not, and neither is Cross. Let him deal with it. She stomps her foot into the carpet and draws a line on the ground with her toe; the rest of her books all fly neatly back into place.

Cross fuck it, Alan's getting a piggyback. There. great view, little escaping

Cross sometimes, he wonders why he bothers that woman

Cross too damn entertaining. The kid thing kind of. Yeah, he can see why that happened like it did.

Ardette just stands there leaning against the bookcase as they exit without a goodbye, and she stays there until the chill from the ensuing draft dissipates. Couldn't have a moment of goddamned peace since Cross decided to look her up... She sighs and goes to clean up that smudge mark... and make sure those UGs are wearing the right goddamn shoes.

Cross puts it out of his mind for now, "Alan?"


Alan "Bloop?"

Cross "D'you... how much of zhat argument did you hear?"

Alan ._. most of it but couldn't understand a word. He makes a zipper sound.

Cross "Ja... she vas mad at me because I left you alone vhere you could get hurt."

Cross more just explaining than lecture here

Cross he's out of lecture rn

Alan {:|

Cross "And I vas vorried, because I didn't know where you'd gone, und she just - yeuch. She's a good lady but she sees zhe vorst in people sometimes."

Cross brings Alan home 

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