Tiffany ran through the alleyway leading to her new home. Rain was already pouring down, soaking into her already dark fur, making the colour seem darker, almost black.
She reached the door of the oddly shaped whoville apartments, and fumbled in her bag for her keys, cursing the weather.
The building she was trying to enter was on the rougher side of Whoville, its paint cracked and peeling, the light outside flickering. It was the kind of place that usually had a shady who leering from the shadows of the doorway. On the whole, Tiffany had mused, it was the best place so far, compared to the others.
Finally stumbling through the door, Tiffany leaned against it, flicking back her long fringe, which immediately fell back in front of her left eye. Sighing, she headed towards the dented, patched up tube lift. One jolting, shuddering ride later, she found herself at the landing of the 6th floor, in front of apartment number 15. The door was freshly painted purple, shining out against the cracked paint of the hallway. Running a hand through her violet hair Tiffany shook her head. Trust Jake to do that when she was out. Were all older brothers this corny?
Upon entering, she saw him sprawled out on the sofa, a splash of paint on his cheek and matted in his indigo dreds, completely asleep. The who-vision was still on, some movie involving lots of yelling and gunshots blaring on screen. Tiffany saw how tired he looked. Pulling a blanket over her brother, Tiffany turned off the WV and headed for her bedroom, stifling a curse as she stubbed her toe on one of the many boxes that were piled haphazardly around the tiny apartment, waiting to be unpacked.
Limping to her new room, she flopped down on her bed, drying her violet locks with the towel that was thrown across it. Pulling herself to her feet again, she shuffled over to her dresser, to prepare for bed. Seeing the mirror above the dresser, Tiffany gazed at the person reflected there. Her violet side fringe fell over her left eye, forming a long ringlet down to her breastbone. The rest of her hair was short and choppy, cut to different lengths, none reaching her shoulders. A long plait was the only exception, starting at the base of her neck and falling to her lower back. Her pale blue eyes shone alongside her dark hair and were highlighted by the eyeliner smudged around them.
Looking at herself in the semi-darkened room, Tiffany thought she looked almost like her-"Tiff? " a groggy voice drifted in from the main room, breaking Tiffany's train of thought. Reaching her door, she came across the form of her older brother, rumpled on the sofa, blinking blearily from sleep.
Tiffany watched in amusement as Jake tried to extract himself from the blanket tangled around his legs. He only succeeded in twisting it tighter around him, and, losing his balance, he slid off the couch and hit the floor with a thud that toppled a pile of precariously sacked boxes over him.
Tiffany erupted into peals of laughter at the sight of her brother buried underneath all their belongings half-asleep and dazed. Running forward, she helped him to his feet, still giggling at his clumsy accident.
When he finally got to his feet, Jake grinned at Tiffany through his dreadlocks, his bright blue eyes gleaming behind the fog of sleep. For no reason, he suddenly pulled Tiffany into a hug, and then laughed at her surprised expression.
"Hey Tiff, what's with the face?" he grinned at her, ruffling her hair in the way he knew she hated. "It's not like we don't ever hug, so... happy new apartment day!"
Tiffany rolled her eyes at her goofy brother " Your such an idiot" she told him, smoothing her hair, trying not to grin back at him, but failing miserably.
Jake tried to adopt a hurt expression, but gave up when Tiffany finally surrendered to her grin, which was almost identical to his own. He stretched in tiredness, his tall lanky frame towering over his little sister.
"Well Tiffy, I'd love to stay up all night and annoy you, but I have a job to get to tomorrow" Jake said as he yawned again. Tiffany nodded, then frowned slightly "which one?" she asked to her brothers retreating back.
Jake paused thinking "it's Monday, so...the new one in the mayor's office", turning, her grinned again at Tiffany "this is a great paying job, Tiff, and I think I could work my way up, we'll be able to be so much happier"
Tiffany smiled sadly at her brother; shaking her head," I think we're already happy Jake, but I'm so glad that you got this job too." she hugged Jake again, smiling into his turquoise fur. Jake smiled down at his sister. "It's just us, Tiff, so I'm gonna make sure we'll be happy" stepping back Tiffany aimed a punch at his arm, "we already are idiot."
Shaking her head, but still smiling, Tiffany went to bed. She fell asleep almost immediately, but was woken in early morning by strange music. She lay, half awake, her sleepy mind not bothering to worry were it came from, just listening. The music started violent and angry, strong and powerful, it seemed to flow through the streets and push through her half-open window. She sat up, shoving open the window completely, letting the music invade her bedroom and wrap around her. Gazing out into the night, Tiffany felt like she was the only who in the world, only her, and the music lying back down, she let it cover her like a blanket, soothing her to sleep. And the night was filled with music.
Jojo sat on his bed, back against the wall. In his hands was a jumble of wires and metal parts that he was attempting to turn into a music box. It was his most intricate experiment yet, and his patience was beginning to run out. As one of the pieces slipped again, the whole project fell from his hands, bouncing off the bed and landing with a crash on the floor. Jojo stared into space for a moment, listening to the final echo of the crash ring in his ears. Slumping back against the wall, he smacked himself in the forehead, running his hand down his face.
"Fuck it" he muttered, "just fuck it all..." struck by a sudden sour mood, Jojo flung the remaining pieces of the project at the opposite wall, which made him feel worse. Pushing off from his bed, he glared one last time at the half smashed project, before heading out the door, resisting the urge to slam it.
Storming down the hall, he was so immersed in his thoughts that he hardly noticed the small figure in front of him. That is, until he crashed headlong into it. There was a yelp, and a grunt of annoyance from Jojo. When he had brushed himself off, Jojo noticed his 78th sister, Looci rooting on the floor for her glasses. She squinted up at him "daddy?" she asked in a sleepy voice. He raised an eyebrow. Finding her glasses she blinked up at him again "oh, hey Jojo, I thought you were daddy." She giggled "you've gotten really tall. Really, really tall. You were the same size as me last year, I remember..." as Looci rambled on, Jojo rolled his eyes, yes, he knew he was tall, no its wasn't amazing. He could reach the top self of his bookshelf now, big whoop; couldn't everyone just get over it?
He was jolted back to reality when Looci asked "well anyway, why are you here Jojo?" The question rang strangely in his ears until he glanced at the clock at the end of the hall, and was taken aback slightly by the hour. It was twenty-five minutes past four in the morning; I've wasted so much time in that danm music box. He thought, before realising that Looci was still waiting for him to answer.
He had to think fast. He knew he wasn't really allowed to sneak out anymore, and he had his job tomorrow, and he knew Looci would blab on him, if he told her. She could talk the hind leg off just about anything, and would too, if you let her.
So he said what he normally said, which was nothing, and simply pointed to the kitchen, knowing it would start Looci off again. He was right.
"Ooh so you're getting a drink of water, me too! I mean, I did, I get so thirsty at night, you know? Normally daddy gets us..." she continued on this thread of speech for some time, until Jojo waved his hand in front of her face, and she realised that he had led her back to the girls bedroom.
Jojo watched as she obediently scampered off to her bed. Then he continued down the hall, rolling his eyes at his sister's ability to blather on about absolutely nothing. But thinking back on his failed project, his bad mood rose again and he scowled. Swinging out his usual window, he headed to the observatory, making a mental note to duck when he got to the door. He didn't want a crack on the head to add to his already shit mood. Music would sort it out, it always did. Music is the shorthand of emotion.