(2018-09-15) Weathering the Storm
The B&B turns out to be very busy when the storm hit.

Stone Bed and Breakfast - Great Room Calaveras
Sat Sep 15, 2018 — Sat Sep 15 22:36:29 2018

A stone fireplace with a dark wood mantle is the focus of this large room, just off the kitchen and dining area. Two plush seats are in a small seating area with a small bookshelf that holds several old romance novels and a few well-read magazines. A large sectional, draped with several knit blankets, is set up in front of the fireplace, so that the television hung above the mantle can be watched in comfort.

There are people all over, some eating sandwiches. Some drinking coffee. Most of the people here are first responders. (There is even an EMT catching a brief nap behind one of the couches) Food is in a few coolers, along with bottles of water. It's been a long, muddy day for some people and the floors reflect it along with the people. Kate winces when she sees mud, but she's too tired to fuss right now.

The hazardous storm is in full force, with the constant torrent of rain and wind, the first responders of the city certainly have their hands full. Of those is Julian Walker, the Calaveras' own Warden Ranger. He makes his entrance from the dining room, his heavy work boots foreshadowing his appearance with solid thumps on the flooring. He's in full uniform, complete with his rain gear too, including a poncho which seems to have done little to ward away the rain because he looks almost completely drenched. His eyes appear somewhat sunken, reflecting the presumably lack of sleep that he and pretty much any other city responder is dealing with at the moment. On the ass end of his shift though, the stone fireplace is a welcome sight. The radio clipped to his shoulder beeps occasionally, followed by dispatch chatter and though the man cannot responsibly turn it -off-, he does dial back the volume so that it's not reverberating throughout the entire establishment.

Well there is a leak in the kitchen, not a huge one, but some moisture is showing at the corner near the back door. Katherine can't worry about that right now, there are people everywhere, most of them first responders. She passes out sandwiches, water and stops to quietly chat with people as they get settled to eat, and waves goodbye as policemen rotate in and out of the B&B. The floors are a muddy mess, but beyond a few quiet sighs, one might not even realize that she's bothered by it. Dirt can be cleaned. A crack of thunder sounds as a lull descends on the busy kitchen and greatroom, and Katherine takes advantage of it, taking a seat near the hearth with a sandwich of her own.

The B&B isn't nearly as empty as Katherine expected it to be, after all! And one of those responsible for the non-emptiness is Jessica. She's currently helping out, dressed in a white hoodie (complete with black stripes on the sleeves), black shorts, and white thick socks because feet get cold! Her hair is piled up on top of her head, and is helping by ferrying food and drinks as Kate directs. She's still in the kitchen when things calm down a bit, checking the house's foodstocks before returning to the greatroom. "They're burning through the reserves really fast." Jess relays to Kate as she rejoins the hostess at the fireplace, but stops to look in Julian's direction when the ranger enters. "Hey! You don't look very happy." She greets.

Cassius has arrived.

Julian wearily makes his way through the huddled groups of other first responders. As he passes them, many of them look up and nod in respect, some greet him, and more than a few whisper to each other then look up at the ranger with amazement and respect. Apparently, the rumor mill swirling around Julian involves his jeep and a car with a family stuck inside in a muddy sinkhole. He was able to rescue all five of them… and their puppy. But now -his- jeep is lost to the sinkhole for the time being too. The word has spread pretty rapidly amongst the other responders, all of whom have their own personal stories of rescues as well. Soaked and muddy, Julian gave up trying to keep himself from messing up the floor two rooms ago. He hasn't noticed Katherine yet, but Jessica's greeting dials him toward her and he comes to a stop a few feet away. "Long day. Seen Kitty around? I left a duffel with a change of clothes with her." He follows this up with a weak smile. "Seems like I figured I'd need it." Then he looks down at himself. "Good call, I'd say."

Katherine is dirty, with crazy hair and she has a mouth full of sandwich. It is okay that she's not immediately recognized, turned slightly away from Julian. She peeks around Jessica, wigging her fingers as she chews to clear her mouth. "Duffel is in the hall closet." She says, and her eyes move back to her sandwich before she glances at Julian again. "If you need a shower of something, you can use one of the ones in the upstairs bedrooms." She can't wait any longer, she takes another bite of her sandwich and chews blissfully. She turns to Jessica then, frowning. "Sandwiches getting low? I'll haul out the lunchmeat after I'm done trying to stuff my cheeks with food, and start making some more. The storm looks like it's hanging on, or moving slow." Another rumble of thunder makes her grin. "Just hope the bread holds out."

Maddie has arrived.

Entering through the doors of the B&B is Cassius! He….looks like shit. He's bleeding from his temple, likely from falling over or from debris hitting him in the head. Least it's not perfusely bleeding. He's completely soaked as he takes a minute to catch his breath. "That sucked…" he cracks his neck before standing ups traight, looking for Katherine or at least anyone he recognizes.

It's been a long day.

Even though Katherine has answered Julian's question, Jessica still looks from the ranger to the hostess and back, then gestures with both hands at Katherine — indicating where 'Kitty' is. "Wanna take off that poncho first? You look like you just brought the storm in here." She gestures at Julian, and moves to /intercept/ him before he floods the greatroom, as if going to help him with the drenched poncho. Of course, her only footwear being the thick socks, Jessica is careful not to get too close to the puddle at Julian's feet, so she stops about two feet away and waits to collect his poncho. She also spots Cassius coming through the main door, and turns back towards Katherine briefly. "You got another guest, Kate!"

As if she must have sensed Julian asking about her, Katherine's direction to the hall closet has Julian briefly glancing in that direction. It's almost as if he hadn't even realized his current state until Jessica points it out, but when she does he blinks several times and looks down at himself. "Oh." He follows that up with a weak chuckle as he looks back up at Jessica. "I dunno if I should risk it. I might end up in your socks this time." It's a vague reference to some inside joke and with that, Julian shoots the reporter a look. But the man relents, of course, the last thing he is interested in doing is making more work for anyone else. What he wasn't planning for was the spray of rain water that falls away from the poncho as he unceremoniously removes it. Gauging how busy Katherine is, he only spares her a quick, appreciative nod and smile before she disappears back into the kitchen. In a cave-man voice, the ranger thumps his chest and bites back a grin. "Julian need shower."

Maddie's utterly soaked, head to toe. Her dark green tank top clings to the shape of her bra underneath, hugging the skin of her stomach. She's draped in a big, baggy hoodie over that, the hood up over her damp and messy bob of dark caramel hair. It's all casual, grunge-chic; high-waisted sweatpants of a similar green hue clung up over her legs, muddy sneakers dirty and tattered upon her feet. She looks a bit like a drowned cat, eyes slitted with annoyance as she emerges into the warm room — though once she's fully inside, she lets loose a sigh of relief. "Dios mio, it is madness out there." She glances around for a familiar face, spotting Katherine's first, and then Julian's. The others get a little nod of acknowledgement, and she slips out of her shoes and sets them aside somewhere out of the way. "Thank you for inviting me, Katherine," she says, approaching the woman and pushing back her hood. "Sorry I am late; I had to help Officer Payne get my papa to the station. Safer for him to be in the drunk tank than causing chaos in your beautiful home, si?"

Kate gazes down when Jessica brings up the water, the puddle at Julian's feet earning him a narrowing of her eyes. "Just call me Kate while all these people are here, Julian. If anyone else starts calling me Kitty, there will be blood and death." She gets to her feet when Cassius arrives, frowning. "You're bleeding, and you're soaked. Did the power go out down at your place?" She points to the kitchen. "Go see Lou in there, she'll check out that cut on your head. Grab a sandwich and then we'll figure out how to get you dried off." Sandwich time is officially over." She scrubs her hand over her face and grins at Julian as she moves past him. "Weirdo." She says fondly.

Kate hears Maddie before she sees her, turning to greet her. "You're welcome. Goodness, you're soaked too. Let me find a towel, and then those who are staying can round robin for a warm shower until we're all toasty." She gestures for Maddie to come closer, giving her a once over. "You hungry? We have sandwiches, and some other foodstuffs. You tell me if you want warm or cold."

Cassius walks on by, patting Julian on the shoulder. "Julian. Good to see you safe and well." He looks to Maddie. Giving her a simple upnod in greeting, since he hasn't quite met her yet. He gives a similar treatment to Jessica. "Hi." before his eyes fall upon Kate as she stands straight up. "No…was helping people in the storm. Hit my head a little bit. This was the closest shelter." and he simply moves to see Lou, submitting himself to treatment as it were. It was a pretty gnarly gash. Thankfully, it wasn't deep. Just off the surface. But still enough to make a bloody mess.

Jessica is patient. She waits until Katherine calls Julian a weirdo, before giving him a slap on the arm. Still, she collects the rain-drenched poncho once Julian removes it, holding it up with both hands and moves past him back towards the front door, evidently so that she can shake off the excess water on the porch. Just in time for Maddie to enter, for whom she steps aside to make room. "Hey." She offers the latina a passing greeting and a smile (hoodies unite, by the way! Jess is wearing a white one), then continues on her way to do her thing. With a couple of vigorous shakes, she rids the excess water so the poncho can be brought back inside without causing a flood.

Jessica gets a smile and a nod at the passing greeting as Maddie inches by. "Hola," she says. Once by Kat, the lean latina squints down at her drenched body, as if just noticing that she is, indeed, soaked only after Katherine points it out. "… Si. I have brought a change of clothes." She has a duffel bag around her shoulder; nothing too big. It also sort of has a… herbal scent about it, especially once she drops it by her feet and unzips the top. "I could eat. Warm I think would be more appropriate, no?" She smiles at the hospitality, easily impressed by it. "Perhaps I should stop by here more often…" Her eyes wander the room.

"Hey, that's assault." Julian half-heartedly protests as Jessica swats his arm, his mouth open in mock-shock. Some of the weariness seems to melt away and he turns and heads for the hall closet, passing by Katherine in the process. As the 'weirdo' comment is shot his way, he spares the brunette a wink and clears his throat, speaking in a slightly elevated voice. "Thanks, Kitty!" Cassius receives a brief pat on the shoulder in return, though Julian's main attention is focused on his duffel bag, which he sidesteps everyone else to get to. He then heads upstairs to the showers, disappearing from sight.

"I'll get you some soup." Kate murmurs, moving toward the kitchen. When Julian calls her Kitty again, she aims a significant look to the baseball bat leaning against the wall. "I'll use that." She promises. Then he's gone for a shower and Kate pulls Maddie along with her. "Soup and some toasted cheese sound okay? I have some tomato that will go down really good." She stops by the table once then step into the kitchen, checking with Lou. "Is he going to live?" She asks, pointing at Cassius. Lou nods at Kate, picking up a sandwich and saluting before she moves to leave with her partner. "Jessica!" She calls out to the great room. "Throw another log or two on the fire, once I get some more sandwiches slapped together, we'll be back in! If you feel like getting sandwich hands, get in here!"

Cassius remains perfectly still as Lou does her thing. Clearly a high pain tolerancy as she probably starts poking around. But, then Kate wanders over. "I'll be fine." He smiles softly before focusing on the present. He ponders using the term 'kitty' to refer to Kate, but he knows that baseball bat would be over his head pretty fast. So, he says nothing. Though he does look over to Jessica and Maddie. Curious as to who they are. Friends of Kate and Julian perhaps? seem to all know each other.

Maddie blinks a little, stumbling around on bare feet as she's guided along by Kate's hand. "That sounds delicious, thank you." She looks a bit confused for a moment before asking, "Toasted cheese? This is like a grilled cheese, si?" She settles in the kitchen with Katherine, leaning against the counter and murmuring, "This place is huge," to herself.

Jessica goes and hangs up Julian's poncho in the entry foyer, along with other coats and jackets from the other responders. Making her way back into the greatroom, she pauses for a moment to see what else needs to be done, when Kate calls out instructions. "On it!" She calls back, and moves to the fireplace to pick up a log from the spare pile. Whee! One gets tossed in, then a second, followed by a few prods with the firepoker.

Kate settles Maddie down at the table, after a few moments she walks over to place a bowl of soup and a toasted cheese sandwich in front of her. "Yes, exactly like a grilled cheese. It's gooey, don't get burned." She chuckles softly, brushing the crazy hair behind her ears as she shrugs. "It's..a pain in the ass sometimes. Lots to clean." She turns to gaze at Cassius, her expression cooling a few degrees. "Do you need anything else?" She asks, pulling a bottle of water from the fridge to hand off to Maddie. "Jessica!" She turns her head to call out. "You ate, didn't you?"

Cassius remains under Lou's tender(?) care, his eyes traveling to new people who walk across that way. Though as Maddie mentions grilled cheese, his attention is grabbed. mmm…grilled cheese. Tasty stuff. But he makes no verbal comment. Then Kate speaks to him directly. "Presently, I should be alright." his smile grows warm. "Thank you for the hospitality." his eyes shift to Lou. "and the first-aid care."

It's all a bit overwhelming; Katherine's speedy hospitality, and it's left Maddie blinking and smiling in a bit of a stupor. "Gracias, gracias," she says, suddenly finding herself in a chair at the dining table with a hot bowl of soup and cheesy toast infront of her. She peers at the water as its set down too, nodding at it. She blushes a little - she's never been this waited on before. She's not used it, not on her side of the tracks. "I feel as if I should be tipping you," she admits to Katherine with a small grin. "… Jessica?" she asks then, one eyebrow quirking up as she follows Kat's gaze back into the other room. "The newspaper reporter, hmn? La periodista…"

Jessica rejoins the others in the kitchen after a couple of minutes, rubbing her hands together as she enters. "I started working on the tortillas before the big rush started… so no." She heads for the sink first to wash her hands, and after drying them with a towel, Jessica joins Katherine at the table. Her gaze follows Kate's, flashing a smile at Cassius and then Maddie. Evidently, she caught Maddie's question, because Jessica nods to the latina. "Hey. How did you know? I don't think my pictures have been posted before." She asks curiously.

Katherine rests a hand on Maddie's shoulder, laughing. "No tips. Just be ready with a fire extinguisher when I try to make some s'mores. Last time I attempted it, my clumsy hit me, and I dropped a flaming marshmallow on the floor and ..well.. we don't need to go too deeply into that." She turns to get some soup for Jessica and Cassius, setting them down on the table. "Everyone introduce yourself, and Jessica …I think I'm guilty. I told Maddie you'd be staying here during the storm." She clears her throat and moves to dunk her hands into the sink, washing the few dishes that have started to pile up. "I got a few more sandwiches made, if anyone shows up in the next half hour, they get the grilled cheese and soup special. Just because."

Cassius catches the look that Jessica gives to him, and he gives her a friendly smile in return. Oh? food?! Yes please. "Oh, thank you so much." Theeen it's time to introduce himself! "I'm Cassius Merlyn." He introduces himself to Maddie and Jessica, flashing a smile to both. "Nice to meet you." Thoug hhe chuckles at Kate's admittance.

It really doesn't take Julian that long to shower. He comes back down smelling of hospitality shampoo and soapy cleanliness and wearing civilian clothes which are made up of a snug-fitting gray tank top and a pair of fresh jeans. His hair naturally quifs upward when it's damp, with his bangs brushed back as well. One thing is for sure: his ranger uniform does him -no- justice. In the tank top, his muscular arms are exposed, as is the upper part of his chest and back. All of which is covered in tattoos, though the ones on his back and chest are partially hidden by the top. (I'll write something up on his tattoos later, I'm too lazy to do it right now!) The short version: The Marine Corps Globe, Eagle, and Anchor emblem with 'Semper Fidelis' etched across a billowing flag above it on the right shoulder. The left shoulder and upper arm marks his 2nd Recon Battalion which is more or less a flaming skull and cross oars with spread wings cutting through the center and the motto 'Swift, Silent, Deadly' triangulating each corner. The chest and back tattoos are too obscure to get a decent look at. "S'more what?" Julian announces his presence from the entranceway, shooting the girls a innocent smile, one that is far less tired-looking. He spots Maddie, his head tilting slightly. "Why, Miss Maddie, how's it going?" Pause. His expression looks a little worried. "Slim's is still standing, isn't it?" Because god forbid his preferred watering hole gets flooded or, even worse, swept away by a flash flood or mudslide.

"Kat said one would be here; and I read the paper. Small town. Just a guess, with your first name," Maddie shares, giving a small sideward nod toward Kat at her explanation, as well. She smiles, though, lips curving up into a kind expression. "I work at Johnny Slim's, we have not been getting, ah… the best press right now. But I enjoy your articles, si?" She blinks a little at Katherine's half-told marshmallow story, clearly amused by it. She breaks off a chunk of her cheesy sandwich, and dips it into her soup before taking a bite. She gives Cassius a small nod at his introduction, a small tilt of her head in response to his name. "Senor Julian," she notes when Julian comes into the kitchen, a bit of cheese on her lip as she smiles for him. "Slim's is built like a tank, si, nothing can blow over that old building. It is indomitable." Her brows lower some. "My trailer, ah. Well that is another story. I do not know how well Ash Park will do in this weather. It is all dirt, surrounded by mountains. I am worried of mudslides. But… We will see."

Jessica looks quickly between Katherine and Maddie as they each provide part of an answer to the mystery. "Ahhh, of course." Pausing she turns a mock sad glance at Katherine. "See? Not celebrity yet." Brushing that aside, the reporter lifts her head and beams, even offering a hand towards Maddie. "Jessica Combs. I'm glad someone enjoys my articles." She also looks to Cassius briefly, including him in the offering of her name. Julian's return snatches her attention, but his myriad of tattoos doesn't get as much attention as they probably should from Jessica, but at least his chest and arms do. "S'more town." Jess quips a response at Julian's question. "I just met the first person who figure out who I am."

"I told her to come up here." Katherine says to Julian, pointing him to the kitchen table as she brings a grilled cheese sandwich and some soup. "She and I got to talking one night when I went into her bar, and I quite like her." She smirks toward Jessica and shrugs a shoulder. "I'll get an autograph from you before you leave here, mark my words." She pulls out a bag of marshmallows and waves it around. "I'm making s'mores, and I might catch the place on fire." She fishes out some graham crackers and chocolate, making her way back into the great room. "Just pile those dishes in the sink when you're all finished eating." Moving to the fireplace, she picks up a poker, shifting the logs in the fireplace as the thunder outside rumbles loudly. Someones radio crackles to life, but Katherine doesn't catch what is being said. She's getting ready to roast some mallows.

Cassius gives a soft nod to Jessica and Maddie. "Nice to meet you both." he looks to Jessica. "…arn't you a reporter? I thought I heard talk about you. all good things." he smiles softly to her, before he looks to Julian as he arrives once again. "Julian, good to see you." then back to Kate. "Try not to burn the place down, yeah? But…thank you for making s'mores." back to Julian, seeing his tattoos of various meanings.

Julian grimaces at the mention of the trailer from Maddie, shaking his head. "I'm pretty sure that's a red zone, last time I checked the maps. It might not be looking good." He doesn't pull any punches, being straight up with the young latina bartender. He doesn't invade her personal bubble, but he does produce a silvery flask from his back pocket, offering it to the girl. "Kitty Leigh. You had a drink at Slim's? Why, I'm quite impressed." He leans on the island counter before climbing up on one of the stools. He starts to say something (most likely smart judging from his expression) to Jessica, but the food is slid in front of him and, well, Julian must eat. "Jesus, I don't think I've eaten in over sixteen hours." And with that, he hunkers down over his soup and begins to inhale it. Manners be damned, the man has worked himself ragged so far this weekend.

Grumbling can be heard from the greatroom before someone (Kate) calls out. "Stop calling me that!"

"You should come by Slim's sometime," Maddie suggest to Jessica with a small smile, glancing between her and Julian. "You are friends with senor Julian, yes? He is a regular, maybe you can come together. He can show all that is good about Slim's, maybe you can write up something nice for your paper, hm?" Her intentions are obvious, and she's not trying to hide it. She wants some good press for her place of work. "It is not as rough as they say. The rowdiness is, ah… Part of the charm. But for the most part? It is safe place." She spoons out some tomato soup, and sips it up. "Mmm, now that is what I like to see, thank you." She takes the flask with ease, throwing back a swig of it before passing it back and relaxing into her chair, face all warm and hazy now. "I did not bring much, but I have some… Things to smoke, if any of you are so inclined." She clears her throat a little, and shrugs. "It is legal, now," she mentions with a raise of her spoon. "I have my card."

Jessica moves to take a seat at an empty spot at the table, since Katherine has so thoughtfully put a bowl of soup out for her. She picks up a spoonful and starts to eat it, pausing only to shoot Julian an odd look. Cassius gets a bob of her head, and she gestures at Maddie with her spoon. "Like she just said, two and two." She resumes eating, but now Jess is listening to Maddie's suggestion, and a growing smile curls the corners of her lips. "Sounds like an adventurous plan. Sorry about the last article on the place though, I know homicide isn't exactly a crowdpleaser." She deadpans, then shakes her head as a 'no' to Maddie's offer of a 'smoke'. Instead, Jessica looks back over to Julian, with a tilt of her head. "Can I ask you something, Mr. Ranger Sir? I know Marines get into all kinds of risky situations, but if you see a sign that says 'Minefield', would you waltz into it?"

Kate can hear the conversation from the great room as she toasts marshmallows, her eyes sliding toward the doors as she watches the rain continue to fall. She picks up some graham crackers, smashes the gooey white stuff between it and squeezes down to melt the chocolate. She takes a bite, nods her appreciation of the sticky treat as she walks back toward the kitchen. "Listen, Julian. Just because I don't drink very often doesn't mean that I don't do it at all. I even had beer. It's still gross." She takes another bite, leaning against the counter. The offer that Maddie tosses out makes her wince for a moment, but she doesn't comment, glancing between Julian and Jessica. She mutters something under her breath, probably not very complimentary about Julian and minefields, but since there is s'more in her mouth, it might not make a lot of sense.

Cassius just keeps to his soup, listening to the conversations around him. But as a..smoke is offered to everyone, Cassius frowns, and shakes his head for a pretty obvious 'no'. He looks to Kate and Julian as they speak of alcohol. "Wine tends to taste better. Luxury drink and all." he smiles, before glancing to Jessica, simply nodding at her wo-wait, what? "Interesting question."

Julian is hunched over his bowl of soup and… what sandwich? He decked that thing in three bites already. Apparently, the spoon is too slow, so the young man takes the bowl in his palms and slurps down the rest. He lets out a satisfied sigh as he unceremoniously sets it back down on the island. "What?" Julian glances inbetween Jessica and Maddie, eyebrows up as he tries to act like he was paying full attention to their conversation just then. Wait, weed? He peers at Maddie, considering carefully before reluctantly declining. "I'll have to pass… for now. The weather isn't clear yet and I have to be back on duty in six hours." Listening to Maddie's suggestion, Julian shrugs, "Sounds like a plan to me." He holds up a finger to delay Jessica's question as he goes through a series of exaggerated motions until he's settled comfortably at the table. "You may, Miss Reporter Ma'am." The question results in Jamie looking down at his empty bowl as if he were seriously contemplating it. But when he looks up, Julian's expression is easy and smiling. "What? Of course not! I would -samba- into it." Of course, when Katherine re-enters the kitchen, the look on her face is enough for Julian to know exactly what she's about to say. Even mouthing the words 'It's still gross.' simultaneously as she does. "Did you make enough to share with the rest of the class?" His eyes are on the tasty treat in Katherine's hands.

"… You would be surprised," Maddie says wryly, sucking off the end of her spoon and waggling it in the air with a faint, humored wink toward Jessica. "You will like it, I think. Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?" She sizes her up, considering her. She glances between Julian and Kat with lingering amusement, then. "She did not even drink the whole beer," she reports. "And, si? I am the only stoner aside from the ranger?" She hums. "It is not a surprise, you enjoy nature, senor Julian."

Jessica gives Julian a playful stare, then looks over to Katherine as the hostess returns. "I knew it." She exclaims, matching Julian's exaggerated response. "He sambas in a minefield. THAT's why he won't stop calling you by your nickname! The man likes to live dangerously." More deadpan from the reporter, who shoots a wry grin at the ranger before eating more soup. Maddie's questions get her attention next; Jessica shakes her head while she swallows the soup. "I honestly can't say I've ridden a mechanical bull." She answers truthfully, but then her eyes narrow and she tilts her head at Maddie. "How exactly does that work? Is there a prize or free drink if I stay on it for a certain amount of time?"

Katherine takes another healthy bite of her s'more, staring Julian down as she chews it. "Half the fun of having a s'more is making it. So no, you have to go in there and toast your own." She gazes toward Maddie, peeking to check the status of her food. "When you're done there, you can go up to my room and take a nice steamy shower. You'll feel like a new woman afterward." She slants a gaze toward Jessica, then turns a narrow-eyed look at Julian. "Stop living dangerously, if that nickname gets picked up by anyone else, I'm going to embarrass you in front of everyone." She waggles her finger in Julian's direction, she has a lot of dirt on the man. She finishes off her s'more and winces, shoulders raising slightly as thunder rolls overhead. The lights flicker after the flash of lightning and she grimaces. "I probably should hunt up some candles."

Cassius eventually finishes his soup and he stands up to his feet, "Thank you for the soup, Kate." He smiles warmly to her before he looks to Maddie. "Mechanical bull?" He tilts his head before giving one of those looks that screams 'well, okay then.' Before he seemsto just…fall into himself. He walks to the kitchen to go and clean his bolw. Though he also seems to come back a few moments later. "It was nice meeting you, Jessica, Maddie." He looks to Julian. "Julian, good to see you again." he looks to Kate. "Thank you for the hospitality, but I need to get home. Make sure the new house didn't get totalled." and, despite the raging storm, he appears to be making his way out with a parting smile for everyone. looks like he only needed to rest for a bit.

Julian shoots Maddie an acknowledging wink and follows it up with a friendly shrug. "It's peaceful. Most of the time. That's all I want." He gestures, presumably, outside the building with his hand. "Most of the time." He repeats, letting out a somewhat heavy sigh that betrays just how tired the overworked man really is. A rumble builds in his chest that escapes his lips as a chuckle and Julian claps his hands together, leaning back from the countertop on his stool and matching Jessica's stare with his own. "Ohhh, shit." He glances at Maddie, grinning impishly. "We need to get this foreigner on the bull. As soon as this weather lets up." He holds his hands up, conceding to Katherine's rule. "Okay, okay. I am officially putting the title on the mantle for the evening." With that, he climbs down from the stool and looks toward the great room. Cassius' departure raises an eyebrow in the man, "Be careful." Then he gestures toward the great room, "I dunno about the rest of you, but I'm getting a s'more."

Cassius has left.

"Si, free drink ticket," Maddie lazily expresses to Jessica, taking a final slurping sip of her soup and finishing it off. She only ate half her sandwich; but with her lean frame, she doesn't seem like she eats much. "We will be lugging it out to the fairgrounds for Oktoberfest. If you do not feel brave enough to waltz into the minefield of Johnny Slim's, perhaps you can try it there." She glances to Katherine then, head tilted toward her side. "A brand new woman? Hopefully one with a bit more cash, and a nicer house. I bet your shower is very big, si? You should see mine; it is a coffin. Smaller, probably." She watches Cassius go with a strange look, and a lopsided frown. "That is the problem man?" she presumes, glancing to Kat before checking back in with Julian, whose words draw her back to Jessica. "You are not from Calaveras?"

Jessica turns briefly to Cassius as the man excuses herself, smiling politely with a "Nice to meet you too", although upon his departure the reporter lifts her brows at Maddie's question about his identity. Problem man? She shoots a questioning look at Kate, but is distracted by the flickering lights. "That's… ominous." Jessica mutters as she glances at the overhead lights in the kitchen. Oh well. Looking then between Julian and Maddie about this mechanical bull, perhaps a bit skeptically. "I feel like I'm going to regret agreeing to this, yet it's possibly a required rite of passage before I can call myself a local." There's a beat, as she nods to Maddie next. "No I'm from Denver, but my mom was born here and grew up in Calaveras. I guess you can say I'm here to trace my roots."

Katherine watches as Cassius departs, nodding once at Maddie. "The shower is…embarassingly big, yes." She wrinkles her nose and moves to the linen closet, pulling out sleeping bags. "Jess and I slept down here last night. Probably will again tonight. So if you.." She points at Maddie. "..or you.." She points at Julian. "..wants to sleep in my room tonight, feel free. The Chocolate room is also available as well." She lugs out a pillow and then fishes out some candles. "I'm coming back to Johnny Slim's, and I'm going to ask for a strange drink, once I figure out how Ethan made it." She makes a face as she starts to spread out the sleeping bags along the sectional. Then, being the ever helpful hostess that she is, she holds out a bent wire hanger for Julian to toast his marshmallow with. Kate eyes Jessica with a smirk, shaking her head slowly. "Hope you have an ice pack."

It happens surprisingly quickly. Julian is the first to slip out of the kitchen with the intent of roasting marshmallows and having himself a gooey snack. He found himself some real estate - someone else's sleeping bag - starts gathering what he needs to make his own s'more, sans wire hanger since that has yet to be supplied to him. The minutes tick by and by the time any one else actually leaves the kitchen to join him at the fireplace, the man is passed out, with his head propped up by someone else's pillow, laying over someone else's sleeping bag. (Fun fact: he doesn't snore.) In fact, he's making almost no sound whatsoever and his chest is barely moving. Respiratory distress OR sleeping? After almost a sixteen hour shift following a night of heavy drinking and 'musical clothing', it seems as though all that has finally caught up to Calaveras' ranger.

Jessica makes a face at Katherine's comment, and smiles wryly at the hostess. "Kate, sweetie, I'm going to guess you never cheered in school before." She holds up both hands and does an 'eeeeeaaassssy' gesture. "Gooooooo-Loser! doesn't help build hype and confidence." She again deadpans, but nonetheless finishes her soup. Rising to her feet, she takes the bowl and spoon to the sink to clean, after which she starts towards the greatroom. Before she steps out though, Jessica pauses at the kitchen door and turns to Maddie. "By the way, you're welcome to come join us after your shower; we are probably going to goof around for a bit before turning in." She offers, flashing another smile before heading towards where the fireplace is going…. only to find a Julian snoozing on her sleeping bag. What's a girl to do, but to stare, hands on hips, and look indignant? As it turns out, the girls will just sit around the fireplace and 'goof around', even with Julian sleeping right there. What he doesn't know won't hurt him!

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