The Sibling Advantage

What with the sudden knowledge of his immediate family flooding Dallas, Ivan has been put in a peculiar spot. It's really touched him, and…reminded him that he promised to spend more time with the youngest of the Fontane brood. And so, with that in mind, he has summoned the young woman other to his apartment complex, luring her over with the possibility of using the pool, or playing video/board games, and candy.

As it is, Ivan is currently engrossed in an intense match with his Playstation. A match which he is undoubtedly losing, judging by his frequent oaths and groans. Sitting upon the back of the couch, watching Ivan and plotting his death is a little black furball known as Puck. The kitten pads around carefully, biding its time.

It's hard to say which of the offered bribes was the most enticing, but really, getting to see Ivan again probably would have been enough in and of itself. Helen makes her way over a little while after the invitation has been issued, swimsuit on under her clothes just in case, sunglasses pushed back on her forehead as she makes her way up to his door. Interrupting his probably losing a video game, she raps lightly upon the door, in a little syncopated rhythm rather than a straight up knock.

"No, no, no, no!" Ivan groans, falling back against his plushy couch in defeat. The suddenness of his movement startles the kitten, which then decides to let out an indignant meow and jump off to the floor. Luckily, Ivan's series of self-depricating and inflammatory claims about justice and the mothers of the creative game designers is cut off by the sudden presence of a knock. Glancing over his shoulder, the man launches himself forward with a broad smile. "Helen!" He calls out merrily even as he swings the front door open.

Helen casts a bemused glance towards the door as she can hear strains of what's going on inside, but then, it doesn't surprise her too horribly either. By the time Ivan is heading for the door, her usual beaming smile is back in place. "Hey Ivan!" she greets cheerily in return, stepping forward to give him a sisterly hug as the door is opened. "Everything okay?" She's not too worried, but there's a quick glance around to the apartment beyond him to make sure there's no badness lurking. Just a … kitty? So cute.

Ivan has no reservations about hugging Helen to his side, quickly and warmly. "He-what? Oh! Oh, yeah, everything's fine. Well…the makers of Tekken are cheating bi-biggots, but s'all good!" It's a good, quick save. And with that, he ushers the kidlet into the apartment, closing the door behind her.

The kitten strides out from behind the couch then, blue eyes fixed upon the new arrival. It's head is erect, ears perked up with alertness as it attempts to determine exactly how to deal with Helen. Slowly, cautiously, the imperial little creature begins to prod over, letting out a tentative 'mew?'.

"Ohh," Helen replies with some understanding as Ivan explains the upset. "Afraid I can't help you with that anyway." She flashes a grin as she's ushered inside, and whether or not she notices his near slip, she says nothing. Instead, her attention is on the kitten for the moment, and she slowly moves a few steps closer before dropping into a crouch, so that she can hold a hand out, rubbing her fingers together in an attempt to call it nearer. "He's so cute," she gushes, glancing up at Ivan for a moment with a grin.

"He's not cute. He's evil. Or at least partially evil." Ivan drawls with mild amusement as he stares at the kitten. "His name is Puck. Watch your face around him, eh?" With that warning in place, Ivan side-steps the two in order to collapse back onto the couch. "So! How've you been, kiddo? I got a text message from Trey. So…he's in town now, eh? D'you know anything about that? I've still got to meet up with him soon."

The kitten, in addition to being a harbinger of bad luck and a kitten assassin, is a little attention whore. And so, when Helen summons it closer, it practically skips over to her hand merrily, pressing its fur against her fingers and practically demanding that Helen pets it.

"Aw, you're not evil, are you," Helen coos at the kitten as she obediently sees to petting it and scritching behind the ears, while she listens to the human conversation. "I'm fine. Good even. Yeah, Trey's here, isn't that great?" she beams, clearly very excited about that development. "He's crashing at our place," she explains. "We should do a family dinner or something, now that we're all here. It just feels right, doesn't it?" And further proves that Ivan will never, ever escape his siblings, ever.

"Don't fall for that adorable face! The moment you turn your back on it, it'll dig it's claws into you, I swear!" Puck is a ham. And very much male, since it gets on so exceedingly well with members of the opposite sex. Either way, Ivan's gotten over it, and his warnings and ribbings really are a manifestation of how much he loves the critter. "Ah, yeah! It feels…well, it feels weird kind of. I'm surprised you're all here, you know? I guess…" And he lets out a laugh here. "I guess that's the Fontane way. You all just missed me too much to stay away, eh?"

Between Puck hamming it up, and Ivan as well, Helen can't help but laugh at the pair of them. Only Puck gets scritches tough, since that would just be weird to do to Ivan. Half-forgetting where she is, Helen moves to sit down cross-legged on the floor, patting her knee to try to invite the kitten up into her lap. "Well, surprise was half of the point," she points out, looking back up at Ivan with an impish grin, thinking of that delightful prank she pulled when she first showed up. "I know I did," she speaks of missing him, at least half-serious there, even if it's dangerous to feed the ego. "Besides, who would keep you out of trouble?"

The kitten is all to eager to clumsily climb upon Helen's form. Ivan, once realizing that she isn't folowwing him to the couch, does a double-take when he finds the sister on the floor. "I…Aw, man. I ought to take a photo for mum's christmas cards. Get off that floor, Helen! C'mere." He calls out, a broad grin on his face. "I guess so. You guys trying to see who can get me to have a heart attack first or something, with your sudden 'surprises' and all? And that's true too. Someone's got to clean up after I'm done tearing the place up!" Beat. "But…seriously. I missed you too, squirt."

Helen just gives a little laugh as she's called over, and rather than displace the kitty entirely, she aims to carefully scoop it up from her lap so that she can carry it with her, and they can pick up where they left off once she's seated more properly on the couch. "Come on, you," she says quietly to Puck, as though he were somehow equally to blame for this. Not that she really seems to mind. "I think to qualify for a Christmas card, we'd both have to be wearing Santa hats." And the idea of the cute little kitten in a Santa had gets a grin from her. "Well now there's no need to miss any of us, because we're all here. And I can neither confirm nor deny whether there's a race to give you a heart attack," she adds with a little chuckle.

Puck mews loudly, burying itself in a nuzzle into Helen's person. Clearly, she has been granted the distinction of carrying the furball around like it's own personal servant. Ivan watches the spectacle with a distinctive sort of amusement written upon his features, and he smile warmly as the girl approaches him. "Photoshop, kid. Haven't I taught you anything? Image…reality?" And then, to illustrate his point, his brows furrow in concentration and he waves his wrist in her direction. And then, the next thing Helen will see is a flying Santa hat, plopping itself down on the kitten's furry little head. "It's malleable. Anyway, that's very true. You know? I think I'd like a family dinner of some sort."

And Helen is quite happy to be a servant to the cutest critter around, and pleased that she's been adopted by the kitty enough that she's allowed to carry it around without complaint. She watches as Ivan conjures up a Santa hat for the cat, laughing outright as it plops down on top of Puck's head. "That might almost be too cute. Oh my goodness, you are adorable," she tells the cat, reaching out to lightly tap it on its nose. "Clearly he is a Christmas Cat." More carefully than usual, she settles onto the couch, not wanting to jostle her new friend. "A family dinner would be awesome," she agrees. "It's been forever since I've seen you all in the same place at the same time."

"It's true," Ivan muses, highly bemused by the situation at hand. "That cat is a chick magnet, I swear. If only I had this information while I was young and reckless…" It is with an exaggeratedly nostalgic note that he speaks, poking fun at his own age. "Mhmm? Too be honest? I don't remember the last time we were all in the same room together. Is that sad, or disturbing, or both, you reckon?" There is a snap, and then the kitten's hat disappears, leaving the critter to indulge in cuddling with Helen with low purrs.

"Well, you might be older, but you'll always be reckless," Helen replies teasingly, as she looks up from her cooing over the kitty to flash her big brother a grin. At least she didn't call him old though. "But yeah, this is a cat who knows how to win hearts," she goes on, looking back down at the little scallywag. She frowns a bit as he goes on, considering his point. "Both, I think. Definitely time we remedy it, whatever it is. And now that we're all here, there isn't any excuse." She settles in on the couch, going back to lightly petting the purring kitty.

"Ha. You promise?" Ivan teases with a grin, reaching over so that he can nudge the younger sibling's side with his elbow. "I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't periodically find myself in trouble, eh? Ah, well. Anyway, you're right! And remedy it, we shall. So, anyway, squirt. What do you want to do, eh? Faith's out for the moment, I've a refrigerator stacked with goodies, and all the time in the world to dedicate to my favorite little sister," also, his only little sister, "So…you're call. Oh! And, any headway in the jobs department?"

"Oh, I definitely promise that," Helen replies, overemphasizing the effects of the nudge, as though Ivan might knock her over. "Though you'd better not go getting yourself into too much trouble, or you'll have to deal with me," she warns, making an 'angry face' that only lasts a fleeting few moments before it's replaced by another grin. Going back to petting Puck, she considers her options. "Well, you could show me this cheating video game of yours," she suggests with a shrug. She's really not all that good at video games, but that doesn't stop her from trying. "Nothing on the job front yet, but I … guess I kind of got distracted with everything." She shrugs again. It happens. "I'm still looking though."

"Well…alright! Let me set it up for you." Ivan gets to his feet, messing around with the console so that he can attach a second controller to offer over to her. "I've been hearing some things here and there, but one in particular really stuck out to me, you know? Well…what do you think about interning at the Dallas Dispatch? Maybe doing some reporting here and there, and…I just think it might come as a really interesting opportunity, you know? Who knows. You might like it. Would you want to give it a try, maybe? If so, I can go in and smooth out some details, give you a good name, and all that rot…"

Helen settles Puck into her lap, to free up her hands so that she can try to actually play this thing. At Ivan's offer, she brightens further, offering him a beaming grin. "Really? You'd do that for me? Wow, that'd be great, thanks, Ivan. I bet newspaper work would be really exciting, and that's a real paper and everything," she gushes, her words coming quickly as her imaginative mind goes over the idea. "I've never done anything like that before, either, not really. I had to write stuff in school, but that's different."

Ivan is setting up the games in the menu settings, and then when the screen comes up, beckoning the players to choose their characters, he automatically runs to his go-to kung fu master. His familiarity with the system means that he doesn't need to pay it much mind, and that he can grin over to Helen proudly. "Of course I'd do that for you, squirt. You're my little sister. Anyway…I'll make some calls. Talk to the people I need to see, and convince them what a great addition you'd be on their team. Because you would, I imagine. You'd be incredible, squirt."

Helen's smile turns proud and touched as Ivan tells her how good she'd be. "Thanks. Really, that means a lot to me. I'll try not to mess it up," she promises lightly, not too worried about that, all told. But still, if he's going out on a limb for her, she'll make that extra effort not to flake out on the opportunity. It takes her a moment to realize that the system is waiting for her to do something, and she looks back to the TV and then down at the controller. The character selection takes a moment, as she has to look through all the available ones, before finally picking the one she thinks looks the neatest.

"It's no problem at all. I have faith in you, Helen. I know you'll do me proud." Or at least, Ivan hopes so. Perhaps the encouragement from her will be just what she needs to find her path. In the end though, that's in the future. There are more pressing matters to deal with now. "Oh, you are so going down!" And with that laugh, there is fun to be had.

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