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Finding Home by wickedpurrz

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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, places and situations, etc are not mine and are the property of their repective owners. All origninal characters and content are mine. No copyright infringement is intended.
Pairing: I think it's safe to just assume there will be something with all of them in one way or another.
Feedback: love the feedback, it keeps me writing! Constructive criticism is appreciated. =]
Author's Notes: This story takes place before the film happens. It took me over and won't let go so I thought I'd post it. I hope you enjoy it. Also this is just to get a feel if anyone likes it so i know to post future chapters. It is also a very WIP so edits may or may not be made to present chapters. But if i do a major edit i'll leave a note. =]
A harsh high volume jangle pierced the dark quiet of the curtained bedroom making the figure on the bed groan with displeasure. She had been having a very vivid dream involving Rob Lowe and a tub of chocolate ice cream. Her pale hand reached from the purple velvet blankets to pat blindly at the table beside the bed, knocking over an avalanche of empty soda cans. She whipped the covers off of her head with a loud curse as the phone rang for a third time. It was also knocked to the floor when she picked up the ear piece with a hard jerk.

"What!"

"Poe?"

It was the name more so then the graveled croak of a voice that broke through her fog of sleep. Only four people in the entire world called her by that name.

"Edgar?"

"Yeah."

Leni frowned at the dark green wall of her bedroom, instantly concerned. Her family members never called her apartment unless it was an emergency or a holiday. Hell, her birthday was usually forgotten.

"What's wrong, Edgar?"

"Nothing."

"Then why-"

"Listen, I just wanted to see if you were coming here this week."

She sighed softly. "I wasn't planning on it."

"James and Anna won't be here, so you could if you wanted."

She blinked. "But it's Christmas break."

"They went on some retreat with their friends, said they'd be back for New Years."

"Shit, Eddie, they're your parents."

"They're your parents too, Poe."

Leni snorted. "I've never seen the proof of it."

"You look just like Mom."

"It could be a fluke."

"Poe . . ."

"OK, OK. Tell Alan I'll be there as soon as I can, I know he worries."

"Yeah, he does. Bye, Poe."

"Bye."

She smiled as she got out of bed, knowing that of her younger brothers, Alan was the least likely to be anxious about anything. Edgar had often covered his emotions by claiming they were his twins'. She tromped into the dinky kitchen to start a pot of coffee when a face as groggy as her own appeared from the hall. She held out her arms to the other brunette who instantly cuddled against her, resting her forehead on Leni's shorter shoulder.

"Star, baby, when did you get in? I left Alex's party at one and you were still going strong."

"Four."

"Damn, girl."

"Who was on the phone?"

Leni took a sip of her coffee then winced, adding more sugar. "My little brother. Apparently my parents went AWOL for Christmas and left my fourteen year old brothers there to run the comic shop alone until New Years."

"Wow, they sound as bad as my parents were."

"Pretty damn close."

Leni nodded at the younger girl who had been a runaway before she'd taken her in. Only two years may have separated the seventeen year old from herself but she often felt like more of a mother to her then a friend and roommate.

"I'll be heading out to Santa Carla as soon as I can. Good thing A.J. closes the shop during Christmas break. I won't have to worry about covering my shifts."

A.J. Maclane was a painter who ran a small record store for extra cash. He hated the holiday frenzies people got into, said it blocked his muse. So he would close the shop for weeks at a time to avoid the 'clogging of his chi'. It was the reason he often only employed college students so that no one truly depended on his employ. Leni had worked there since she had started school two years ago. She was one of the three employees who was paid even when the shop was closed.

"Oh. Yeah, that's good." Star fiddled with her herbal tea ball, not looking at Leni when she spoke. "So, you won't be here for his party or reading The Grinch at the children's hospital? Or midnight mass with Fredrika and Alex?"

She took another sip of coffee, frowning into the cup. "Most likely I won't be back until after New Years."

"The whole two weeks? Leni, you hate Santa Carla!"

Her face was a moue of deep disgust. "Yeah, the whole place reeks of rotten fish and bad memories. It never really felt like home to me, thank God I only lived there a year."

"Then why go back?"

Star gave her the kicked puppy eyes that always sent up a flare of guilt. "Look I hate that damn town and I may even hate my idiot stoner parents but I don't hate my baby brothers. They want me there and must feel they need me or Edgar never would have called. He knows I hate that place."

Star retreated from the kitchen with her tea, not saying another word. Leni let out a loud sigh and followed her down the short hallway to her bedroom. She sat on the end of the bed she had slumped down on, pulling the covers off of Star's head. She and the free spirited teen hadn't been separated for more then a day since she had moved her in.

"Star, you can come with me, I mean I might hate the place but it is a touristy sort of town. You'd like the Boardwalk and the concerts, though not much happens in the off season. Or if you want you can stay with Fredrika, I know she'd love to have you."

Her sad face brightened instantly. "I'll go!"

Leni smiled. "Thought you might."

She got up, leaving Star to her excited clothes packing. She needed to call Fredrika and ask her about looking after her cat, Dante, and the rest of the apartment for the two weeks she would probably be gone.
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