For the Rest of Us

This is the OC story many of you have heard about, written with the intention of bringing Original Characters from many authors into one story. Many of these authors publish their stories on , but they can also be found on Deviant Art. Each character and his/her creator is listed at the bottom. Make sure to check each author out.

"Happy birthday!" Aeris groaned as she rolled onto her back. Her eyes opened to see Leo, her roommate and friend, standing over her.

"What do you want?" she managed to say, though not with much enthusiasm.

"It's your birthday Aeris!" Leo made no attempt to hide his excitement. He always loved birthdays, even if it wasn't his own. "You've got to get up."

"Why?" Aeris still wasn't fully awake.

"You've got to open presents and I'll make you breakfast and-"

"Leo!" She cut him off. Glancing at the clock it read eight AM. "I have work in half an hour. You can make me dinner after, okay?"

His ears fell flat on his head. "Fine…" With that he exited her room, leaving Aeris to prepare for work. She managed to get off of the bed and throw on some clothes. She had showered the night before and wasn't worried about one in the morning. Hell of a way to spend a birthday, Aeris thought to herself. After brushing her teeth and hair she left her room and headed for the door.

"See you later Aeris!" Leo yelled across the decently sized apartment, "don't be late coming home! I'll make you an amazing dinner!"

Aeris smiled and waved in response as she went out the door. After a quick walk down a single flight of stairs she was gone.

Leo sat perfectly still in the apartment, waiting for the sound of Aeris's car. Once he knew she was clear of the parking area Leo lifted his phone to his ear. After but one ring the other line picked up.

"Victor... Yeah, it's Leo… She's gone… yeah, now… See you guys in a bit." He hung up the phone and went to his room. Feeling under his bed Leo found a box of magazines. He pulled it out and briefly stared at the cover of one of them. Quickly, he put it down and pulled out another box. Removing the lid he revealed it was full of assorted party supplies. With a devious smile he slid the first box back under his bed and took the supplies with him into the kitchen. Leo had known all along that Aeris had work that day and that he'd have almost ten hours to himself. Or in today's case, ten hours to put together a party for Aeris.

As he was taking the assorted items and laying them on the table there was a knock on the door. Leo quickly answered it, knowing who was on the other side. When he opened the door Victor and Kat were standing there.

"Hey guys, glad you could get here so fast." Leo let the two in, giving Victor a high five and smiling at Kat. "What were you able to bring?" Victor was holding a cardboard box while Kat had a colorfully wrapped present and a paper bag.

"Just some supplies, you know, streamers, candles, a few balloons. Oh, and Aeris's present." Kat responded while placing the materials on the table next to Leo's.

"Yeah. Where are we going to get a cake?" Victor asked.

"I asked Rids to bring one. He'll probably stop with Star to pick one up." He glanced at the clock on the wall. "They should be here any minute now." Leo was shuffling through the assorted goods, separating the different supplies into piles. "I think first we should set up some streamers and stuff." He picked up a roll of the colored paper. "Hey Kat, do you think you can make the food. I have everything for a lasagna and a pizza." Leo gestured towards the refrigerator.

"Sure." She opened the heavy door. "You got what I asked for, right? None of that frozen crap?"

"It cost me a small fortune but I got everything you wanted. All of the finest ingredients from your local supermarket." Leo laughed a little as he tossed one of the paper rolls to Victor. "And you can help me spread these things around. Let's make this place look nice." Leo and Victor began to drape assorted colors of streamers across anything in the apartment that was above their heads while Kat worked diligently on her own art. The reds, blues, greens, yellows, and pinks were so dense in some areas that you couldn't see the ceiling. At one point the pair got in a fight, throwing the rolls at each other. The fight continued until Victor accidentally hit Kat on the back of her head. She turned and just as her mouth open to let loose a new form of hell there was a knock at the door. Leo quickly answered it in order to create a distraction.

He opened the door to reveal Rids, holding a massive box, and Star, holding a much smaller one. "Hey Leo." They said in unison.

"He Guys. Come on in." They did as they were told. "You can put the cake in the kitchen." Rids did as he was told and placed the cake on an empty section of the counter. He gave Kat a friendly nod.

"You must be Rids." She smiled at the Black cat. "I'm Kat."

"If you're Kat then that must be…" He looked over to the two grey cats. "…Victor, right?"

"Right," Kat glanced at the light brown feline who was observing the overly decorated apartment. "So then that's Star."

Meanwhile, Star was watching as Leo and Victor put up the last few streamers. "I don't think you two put enough of these things up. I can still see a patch of ceiling." Her sarcasm was heavy but Victor and Leo just laughed it off. Despite how awful it looked they were having fun. "So Leo, who else is coming?" She turned to him as he was searching for more goods in the mound of supplies.

"We've got a ton of people. Ronin, Shawn and Ashley, I think Xander, and two others we just met the other day. Their names were Caden and Amber. I have those two coming earlier so they can meet you guys and not feel awkward when everyone else gets here. The rest will arrive in a few hours. There were a few others too, though I can't remember them off the top of my head." He pulled two bags of balloons from the pile. "Hey, did you guys by any chance bring any helium with you?" He yelled to Kat and Victor.

"Does it look like we did?" Kat responded with a trace of sarcasm.

"Shit" The sound of his curse was both cold and uneasy.

"What's wrong?" Rids approached Leo, trying to figure out the source of the problem.

"There has to be about a hundred balloons here." Leo was just staring at the bags.

"So?" Rids responded.

"We have nothing to inflate them with." Leo tore a package open and took out a blue balloon. He examined it closely.

Rids and the others had just caught on to what Leo was saying. They would have to inflate every balloon manually. Victor addressed the sudden realization first. "Well this sucks…" He walked next to Leo and Rids and took a balloon from Leo's bag. He promptly inflated it and tied the end. "That's one done, about ninety nine to go."

Everyone took a balloon except for Kat, who was still in the kitchen, and began inflating. One at a time they finished them. Before long Star stopped, followed by Leo, then Victor, and finally Rids. They only had about twenty inflated. Each was rubbing their forward or temples in an attempt to reduce the light headedness cause by the excessive inflating. Kat just snickered as she watched the four cats suffer. Suddenly the doorbell, which all the other guests seemed to have missed, rang. Kat, being the only one not incapacitated by a headache, answered the door. She didn't recognize the two cats on the other side, but was able to guess who it was. "Amber and Caden I'm assuming?" She waved her hand towards the inside of the apartment, welcoming them in. "I'm Kat."

"Yeah, pleased to meet you." Amber smiled brightly at the friendly greeting.

"Hi," was all Caden said. They walked inside and saw the four felines agonizing over something, though they didn't know what. "What happened here?"

"Balloons happened." Rids answered. "By the way, I'm Rids." He held out his hand, which Caden took.

"Caden. Good to meet you. That's Amber." He nodded towards the amber colored cat that was following Kat into the kitchen. Rids stared at her for a moment before responding.

"Not bad… Are you two, you know, screwing?" Rids laughed at what he thought to be a clever comment. Star didn't find it funny, but instead punched him the arm.

"Jack ass!" She turned to Caden. "I'm Star. I think what he meant to ask is if you guys are going out." Her own curiosity was showing.

"Ah, no. Not from lack of trying though." Caden laughed uneasily.

"Yeah, it's alright. Women are crazy." Rids laughed again and Star punched him once more. "Here," he held up a deflated balloon, "I'm sick of these things. Why don't you help?" They all went back to work inflating balloons while Amber and Kat went back to work in the kitchen.

"So you cook?" Amber wasted no time getting to know Kat, who was more than happy to answer.

"Yeah, I work in a restaurant near our place." Kat answered, "I run the kitchen." She added.

"No kidding?" Amber voiced her doubts.

"I'm serious. It took a lot of work to get there. What about you?" Kat decided it was her turn to ask some questions.

"I just do it for fun. Used to cook a lot when I was younger." She added a gentle shrug. "So what are we cooking?"

Kat smiled as she checked on the mixer. "Pizza and lasagna. Leo picked up all the ingredients. I have the dough for the pizza here," she gestured towards the large white device that was mixing the concoction, "and I'm cooking the sauce and pasta for the lasagna over on that range." She pointed towards two large pots that were on the stove. One was boiling aggressively while the other just had the occasional bubble. The simmering sauce gave off a beautiful aroma.

"Okay," Amber began washing her hands, "What do you need me to do?"

"Just watch the sauce and pasta."

By now, most of the balloons were inflated. Another battle had started, this time with balloons, between Leo, Caden, and Victor while Star and Rids just sat and watched. It was actually rather sad. Due to the balloons' light weight and poor aerodynamics, they traveled extremely slow and had little effect on whatever they hit. In fact, the only damage they did was popping a few, and after about eight were destroyed Rids decided to speak up. "Guys, quit it!" All three stopped what they were doing and dropped what they were holding. "You're popping all of our balloons and I don't feel like inflating any more of them."

"Sorry bud. I guess we got a little caught up in the moment." Leo walked over to the table, still covered in assorted party goods. Searching through it he found large letter cutouts. He removed a number of them and grabbed a roll of scotch tape. "I guess we can set these up."

The group gathered around Leo, each taking a few letters. They worked to spell out 'happy birthday Aeris' and began to hang the necessary letters on the wall. It was a simple task though they managed to make it far more complicated. After a solid ten minutes they finished. Stepping back, there were two glaring mistakes. Star was the first to point them out. "Hey… anyone else notice that we spelled birthday and Aeris wrong?" Birthday had been spelled 'berthday' and Aeris had the 'e' replace with an extra 'i'.

"How did we do that?" Victor asked.

"With skill," Caden responded, "Nothing but skill."

As they worked to switch the two misplaced letters there was yet another knock at the door. Leo dropped the 'e' that he was holding and ran to answer it. He discovered Shawn and Ashley on the other side. "Hey guys! How's it going?"

"Pretty good," "Not bad," Shawn and Ashley answered respectively.

"Great. Where's Ronny? Wasn't he going to ride with you two?" Leo questioned.

Ashley began to step inside, "Yeah, he's grabbing the gifts from the car." As she speaking finished the sound of footsteps could be heard from the stairs.

"The least you two could do is help me with these." Ronny was awkwardly carrying two boxes up the stairwell. One was quite large while the other was small and sliding around. "Oh, hey Leo. What's up?"

"Nothing much. You guys are in time to help us finish setting up. Here, let me grab one of those." Leo took one of the boxes from Ronny and they all went into the apartment.

"Hey everybody," Shawn said as he surveyed those who had already arrived.

"Oh yeah, that's Caden," Leo said while gesturing to the light brown cat taping the letter 'e' to the wall, "and that's Amber," he added while pointing to the amber colored cat in the kitchen. "You've already met Rids and Star, right?"

"Yeah, we've met." Rids answered Leo's question.

"Okay, and that's Victor and Kat." Leo finished, pointing towards the ginger cat also in the kitchen and the grey one watching Caden work.

"Good to meet you," Victor said while turning to face the recent arrivals.

"There," Caden said while backing away from the wall. "How does that look?"

"Better," Rids commented.

"At least her name is spelled right, now." Amber called from the kitchen.

"I think she may like the other way better." Victor laughed at his own joke. Leo just gave a puzzled look.

"But her name is supposed to be spelled A. E. R. I. S., why would she like it wrong?" Amber just looked annoyed while the others giggled at Leo's expense.

When the laughter died down they all went silent. The apartment had just about every necessary decoration and besides the cooking there was nothing really left to do. They stood around, waiting for someone else to give them direction. Ronny was the first to speak up.

"So who else is coming?" The question was directed to Leo.

"Zack, Xander, Ronin, and James. I think they're all coming together. In fact, they should be here any minute." Leo checked the time. The clock read just after five PM. There was less than an hour until Aeris got home.

"Don't forget about my sister," Kat called from the kitchen, "She and Levi are taking his bike over. They should be here soon too."

"Oh yeah, those two as well. And I almost forgot about Dylan. So that makes six or seven more people." Leo nodded to show that he was sure. Just as he did the doorbell rang again.

Leo and Ronny moved to answer it. Just as they predicted, Ronin, Zack, James, and Xander were all there. Each was holding either a small box or bag. The usual greetings were exchanged and they were all welcomed in. The gifts were placed on the table while the four stared at the decorations around them. Just as Leo was about to open his mouth and attempt to start a conversation there were voices in the hall. He quickly ran to answer and see who it was and discovered two cats, one black and white and the other brown, were arguing.

"You drive like a maniac! How you have a license is a wonder to me!" The black cat was yelling at the other. "You're crazy Levi!"

The one referred to as Levi waited for a break in the yelling before adding to it. "My driving is fine! You're alive, aren't you? Please, Tyler, just quit complaining!" It was another moment before either realized that Leo was standing there watching the fight. When they finally did, they both went silent and just stood awkwardly.

"You must be Levi and Tyler. Come on in." Leo gestured inside while trying not to laugh at the seemingly random argument.

"Hey Kat!" Tyler called as she walked into the apartment. Kat responded with a quite smile. She already knew that Tyler would find a way to cause trouble.

"What's up Vic?" Levi turned to Victor, ignoring Zach, Caden, Ronin, Rids, and Shawn as they each tried to say hello. Victor responded to the attention with unease.

"Hey Levi…" After yet another moment of silence all of the greetings were exchanged.

"Okay guys, now we just need Dylan and Aeris. She should be here any minute and he is nowhere to be found. I guess all we can do now is set up for the surprise." They each agreed and began to plan out how they would surprise Aeris.

Part one is complete. I will have part two up as soon as it is finished. Until then, each of the authors listed below have their own stories and I recommend every one of them.

Until next time,

~Bogren

Character ...Creator
Leo Leonardo ...Scott R.
Aeris ...Scott R.
Caden Larson ...Bogren
Amber Connel ...Bogren
Dylan Kaunus ...LeoLeonardo-III
Rids ...ridersjet
Star ...ridersjet
Tobies ...Dreadmaster231
James ...NSSG
Shawn Roy ...yayleo
Ronald 'Ronny' Blue ...yayleo
Ashley Michelle Moore ...yayleo
Kat ...craigjoseph
Victor ...craigjoseph
Levi Sparx ...craigjoseph
Tyler ...craigjoseph
Ronin ...MintyFishBowl
Xander ...Matthias777
Zach ...ChaosCreator001