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  2. Evelyn's lips twisted into a smile as Rachel began firing the questions at her. "Ah, see, now there is that spitfire and bravado I've heard so much about. It's about time if a I dare say. You're such a big ball of collective, pent up emotions. You're going to break something, dear. Either yourself or something you love if you don't get that under control." She broke off from what she was doing, assisting the gentleman with finding an appropriate suit for the evening, to now face Rachel so they could have a proper conversation. "Mr Syracuse thinks I started all of this? Well, I won't fault his logic, but I'm afraid I did not. Despite all the black and leather and cleavage, I am, believe it or not, one of the good ones." She looked away with a roll her eyes and a dismissive wave of her hand. "Well, I'm not one of the bad ones, we'll go with that." She chuckled. "Your last question second," she shook her head at Fisher who presented a blazer that was totally Fisher... so it was totally not stylish. "Sweetheart, no, just no." She motioned for one for the Sylphs to help the poor guy out and looked back to Rachel. "That answer is simple: because I don't have to. Look at all this dear, I have a business to run, I've orders to place, clients to assist. Frankly, I'm swamped. It's far easier for me to reach out to you, than to approach you in person. I'm not really the 'go out for coffee' type. Well, not the swill that passes for coffee in this little town, rather." "Hey, we make damn good coffee at the Drip, lady." Darci chimed up. She'd been standing there ever since she'd been passed up by Rachel outside her changing room, then passed up by Nadya, then passed by Rachel a second time. She was starting to feel a bit invisible but the last thing she was gonna let slide is someone insulting the pride of her workplace. "Of course you do, dear," Evelyn passively blew her off like she was invisible. "Of course you do. Now, on to the lesson, hmm? Austin, your father, the Earth Shaker. He tsunami's an island while rocking it with earthquakes. A hundred thousand people die. Is your father good, or evil?" Being put on the spot, Austin looked from his clothing selection and pondered a moment. "Why did he do it? I don't think the Gods are these perfect paragons of virtue. They have their flaws, but I want to believe that if any God would do something of that scale, they have a good reason to do so. My own biased opinion based on what I do know of him, is that my father is Good, that he'd not do something like that without cause, though I do admit to not truly knowing him." "Ah," Evelyn smiled and continued on. "So then it's a factor of personal justification? Providing he sees the act as 'good', then so it is? Or belief? You don't know him, but as long as you, or he, believe their deeds are good ones, then so they are? So then the opposite would also be true, would it not? Providing we believe one's actions to be evil, so then they would be? Whether or not they actually are or aren't, it's all about perception and belief." "Well, no, I mean... I guess." Austin wasn't really struggling with the answer, it was just one of those topics that was riddled with circular logic. "It's complicated." "So it is," the black clad Demigod agreed. "I didn't ask because I expected an end all, be all answer, sweetie. I asked because there is no answer. 'Good' and 'evil' are man made concepts of morality that help them cope with and attempt to understand the way people think because it's mankind's strongest desire to understand. It's because man knows so little despite all their 'science'. As Scions you must come to understand that not all things are as black and white as you've been brought up to understand. People who live 'good' lives have enough sin in their closets to qualify as what would be 'evil' by your very same narrow definitions. It's all very confusing." "Marius is a bastard, trust me, I use to be married to him." She said with a sneer. "Wait, what?!" Austin, Fisher and Nadya all said in unison, sharing the same tone of surprise. "Oh, yeah, by the way," Rachel motioned to Evelyn with a 'what she just said' gesture that followed up her monotone perfectly. "Surprise." She feigned shaking her hands in a surprise gesture. "Adorable." Evelyn said, unimpressed. "Point being that for all his faults, he's not evil. He's just bitter and filled with resentment over something the Gods did to punish us. And no, what certain something was is not up for discussion." For just a moment her perfect demeanor collapsed and she wore the slightest hint of an emotion in her expression. "That's not to say that he isn't going to attempt something monumentally stupid, and he must be stopped. Whatever it is my ex husband is planning, he must not come to pass, I just needed you little Scions to understand 'good' and 'evil' before you ran out into the hills frothing at the mouth to exact righteous vengeance for reasons you are, frankly, not mature enough to understand yet. The world is not black and white, good and evil. You're Scions. You're above those concepts now." Darci stepped into view, looking at everyone. "Guys, what the hell is going on? What's she talking about?" Billy nodded. "Yeah, this is really weird. This whole trying to figure things out has really snowballed since you," he pointed to Rachel. "Ripped a tailgate from a truck and Fisher took a grenade to the face and it grew back." There was an awkward silence as Darci winced at Billy exposing their investigation into the Scions. "His face grew back... not the grenade." The wicked smile of a woman who thrived on drama traced itself across Evelyn's cheeks as she looked at Rachel. She took her dress from her and walked around the counter. "I'll get this ready for you sweetie."
  3. Nadya squirmed as Evelyn cupped her chin, long nails prickling her skin. She could out-bench anyone on the football team who didn't have a God's blood running in their veins, but Nadya had the distinct impression that if she tried to jerk out out of Evelyn's grasp, she'd be leaving her jaw behind. Who said anything about love? Nadya privately replied to Evelyn, then asked herself, Who said anything about love? "My house is just fine, thank-you!" Nadya muttered, voice slightly slurred by Evelyn's hand mildly squishing her face. "Sure, it's a bit messy, but I know where everything is." Evelyn gave the Romani girl an exasperated glance as she let her go and just pointed down the hallway again. Nadya gave her a look of bemused and completely feigned innocence then trotted off down the almost cramped hallway. She eyed the racks and displays of clothing and shoes with interest and want, hands reaching out greedily before she pulled them back. Sure, she had a golden ticket, but there was a lot in this place that was catching her eye and likely Evelyn wouldn't miss a piece or three. On the other hand, Nadya wasn't sure what the property taxes were like on a Tardis-shop. When the hallway opened up into another area filled with dresses, Nadya stopped and stared. She wasn't entirely sure what a Sylph - she should probably read more of the old Greek books Archie kept suggesting - but there was not missing Sylvia, presuming this was her. Pale as milk, hair the colour of snow, with lips a faint shade of lavender and eyes a light shade of grey, Sylvia was quite the sight, almost as tall as Rae-Rae, but Abercrombie & Fitch thin, dressed in black, ripped jeans and tanktop. From what Nadya could see, she was inked in tattoos of black and dark blue all over her arms, legs, midriff - and likely more - and she swore, whenever she looked away and back, the tattoos were slightly different. Oh, and Sylvia must've had five pounds of metal piercing her face - and definitely not only there. Nadya had a nose-stud, a small eye-brow ring, and several piercings in each ear. Sylvia had more than that just in the bridge of her nose. She looked like Heroin Hellraiser Barbie. "Yeh?" Sylvia said in a bored, disinterested voice, arching a doubtful brow that chimed with all the metal in them. Her accent was sort of a mix between something Irish or Scottish and a Southern drawl. "Evelyn said I should speak with you," Nadya replied with a wide grin as she swaggered forward to the countered Sylvia was slouched behind. "She said you could help me with a dress - and shoes! - for Prom. Black." Sylvia made a show of straightening from her lackadaisical slouch, giving Nadya a contemptuous, smirking once-over, then sighed. Her snow white hair seemed to move more than it should, as if gusted by a light breeze that touched only her hair. "Ya nid tha'elp'." While Nadya tried to parse what the Hades the supposed sylph had just said, Sylvia snapped her arms over the counter and grabbed her pigtails, giving them a sharp yank. There was a puff of pink and blue sparkles from Sylvia's hands. Nadya reached up and pulled her pigtails into view - which seemed a good deal longer - then stared at Sylvia again. "Did... did you just pull my highlights out?" Nadya stammered. "Th'all dinnae doin' ya any favors, girl," Sylvia drawled, walking around the counter then circling the shorter girl, looking down her nose at her. "Lessa sea wha wi be havin' ta work wit'." ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ When Rachel found Evelyn and the girls, she found Nadya out of her ridiculous Harley Quinn getup and wearing a revealing, gossamer dress. There was a distressed look on her face as a tall, pale, stainless steel pierced woman behind her had a vicious, delighted expression on her face as she tightened the integrated corset. "Oh-ergh!" Nadya gasped/grunted around a smile. "Hey, hey, Rae-Rae," she greeted her friend. There was something like a twang that she hoped wasn't one of her ribs. "I was just teasing - you'll look great in either dress. And I would never post pics of online." Not without a good reason. Sylvia finished torturing her and Nadya flipped her ponytail over her shoulder - a single tail, smooth and straight that almost reached her ass - and glanced at herself in the tripartite mirror. Her trim waist looked almost half again as small while her boobs looked half again as big, and her legs looked nearly as long as Rae-Rae's or the sylph's. Okay, not really, but with the strappy, spikey high heels, they still looked hella long. Niles isn't going to know where to stare. "Awesome," Nadya murmured, twisting on a heel, to quirk a curious brow at Rachel when she questioned Evelyn's motives, then shrugging. "Who cares why, if we're getting sweet swag like this, Rae-Rae."
  4. "Un-freaking believable." Rachel said to her reflection in the mirror. She was angry now. Angry at Evelyn and Marius, at Mr Syracuse for not solving her problem, at her dads for grounding her, but mostly at herself for ...reasons." She drew her fist back and was about to slam it through her own face in the mirror and by default through the wall beyond, but she stopped, fist clenched so tight her hand was white from the restraint of the blood flow. Slowly she dropped the fist and unclenched as she took deep breath after deep breath. She could here her friends outside. "This is stupid" she muttered as she proceeded to get dressed back in her jeans and t-shirt. A few minutes passed and Rachel exited the dressing room and went to find Evelyn where she was helping Nadya. "I'm going with the Champagne dress, please" she said as she handed the dresses to one of the helpers, "We're all here now. And the dress is beautiful and I am very grateful, but I want to know why. Mr Syracuse said that most likely it was you that instigated all of this. Why? And why have Marius whom we consider an enemy, make the invites? Why didn't you do it yourself?"
  5. Austin was right there with Fisher in both surprise, and embarrassment. He didn't care for Darci's insult but it's honestly not like they intended to see what they saw, and he did look away. Once Fisher finished speaking, he nodded. "He's right. This was more an "Order You Don't Refuse." with both of them there, Billy asked "What was that scream about?" "Nothing that concerns you man. Nadya did something really dumb, let's leave it at that and get a move on." came Austin's quick and utterly credible reply. Without another word, the only normal guy there fell into step with the two young heroes, making their way to the men's section.
  6. Fisher blushed, then had his eyes bug out when Rachel screamed. Circumstances or not, that was so the last thing one would think of her doing. Then the awkward moments subsided and he followed Evelyn's instructions. He spun on a dime, completely turned around and marched away, like Orpheus leading Eurydice out - and he knew far better than to look back at all. When they found Billy: "Hi, Billy. Evelyn wants us going straight to the Men's Section, Billy." Before Billy could make any comment: "She's in that 'Compliance is Mandatory' mood, Billy."
  7. "Nadya!" Darci fumed, "She's in her underwear, not cool..." Nadya shrugged, "What?" Darci stepped forward towards the dressing rooms. "She was obviously embarassed by," She pointed to Austin than Fisher. "Tweedle Dumb and Dumberer over here seeing her in her underwear. You don't snap a pic of her!" Fisher pointed to himself. "Why do I have to be Dumber-er?" Darci sighed, "Because I don't know Austin as well as you guys, I'm trying to be respectful with my insults." "I appreciate that," he smiled kindly at her. "Yeah, no problem," she smiled back and set off for the dressing room. "Rae? It's Darci... I'm poking my head in, don't flail wildly..." Fisher and Austin decided to chase the rabbit. Every man knew of the ritual women had where they spent ungodly amount of hours together in a bathroom or dressing naked or at least nearly so for reasons completely unknown. Evelyn, after the antics approached Nadya and cupped her chin, twisting her head from side to side making her lips pucker. "Oh... oh, you poor dear...," she released her face and folded her arms, looking at her attire. "No, sweetie... this," she pointed a digit and waved it up and down to signify everything that was... well, Nadya. "Is not what love looks like. No. Not at all. You need to get your house in order, girl. Come dear, and you too little awkward Japanese girl." She pointed down the way to a narrow hallway. "Go speak with Sylvia, she's a sylph, can't miss her. You wan't black? Oh, I specialize in black, honey. For you," she pointed at Yokiko. "Something a little more traditional, she'll get you taken care of." She spun about and glared at Austin and Fisher. "You two... are mine. Go find Tweedle Dumbest and meet me in the men's section. By Dagda's Cauldron... you're bumbling around outside of your league, you don't deserve these women, but that's not for me to judge... least I can do make you look... less like you are now and something resembling 'presentable'. Well, go," She shooed them away. "Men's section, after you've found little Angel Face Billy." "Hmm, perhaps the champagne," Evelyn said to no one in particular.
  8. Rachel's eye widened as her cheeks flushed. She screamed in horror and embarrassment, clutching both dresses to her chest in an attempt to preserve what modesty of her remained, she covered herself and fled back into the dressing room.
  9. "Speak for yourself, Yo," Nadya said brashly as she uploaded the pics of Rachel to the cloud. "I'm the one who's gonna make it a night for Niles to remember. I'm just here for a dress and a pair of shoes that will make his nose bleed on sight." She pulled her own golden ticket from... somewhere and flashed it about between a pair of fingers. "Got me a ticket right here." Her silver-grey eyes widened at the golden motes emanating from the ticket, then she looked at Evelyn - more specifically, what she was wearing - then deeper into the shop. Trained to case a place in a moment, at her first step into the shop, she'd noticed the disparity between the size of the interior and the exterior. She stifled the urge to run through the shop to see how far it went and what all it contained. She shuffled a bit then flashed Evelyn a wide smile. "And I totally came to the right place." Nadya shot Darci an arch little grin. "Victorian Hot Topic sounds awesome to me! Any day can be cosplay day, if you want it to be. 'Sides, Niley seemed to like it. But now, I'm lookin' for something, uh... more..." Nadya waved at the red-faced Rachel, her smile widening once more, "... That - Go with the red, Rae-Rae, but get some racier underwear. I want something elegant, y'know, but way sexy." Her hands pantomimed a feminine figure closer to Mercedes than either hers or Rachel's. "And darker, definitely darker. Blacks and midnight blues or deep green." She couldn't but think about Niles, think about how she'd wow him and everyone at the Dance. She'd thought she'd only get to Evelyn's later, but well... it had been Niles' first time getting to second base, let alone further. Her grin deepened to one of private amusement. When she dropped him off at home, his mother had given her such a look of disapproval, she'd yanked Niles into a long, deep, tongue-tangling, breath-stealing kiss. As she'd driven away, she'd seen his mother's dumbfounded look go from her to her son, and heard her ask, 'Is she Jewish at least?' Nadya glanced at her Band and their plus-one's, arching a coy, questioning brow at them, clearly telling them that she was surprised they had brought others not 'in the know' while she herself had had the good sense not to. And they were questioning her ability to be circumspect? She sniffed. "I'm surprised you guys all skipped out early," Nadya said with wry amusement. "And that's not the only thing I'm surprised by."
  10. Austin took the lead and let Fisher handle Nadya. He offered Evelyn a polite smile and nodded. "Yes ma'am we did.." then he saw Rachel come out, and Nadya took her picture. He was abit shocked, Rachel actually looked female for once, then he looked away because he really didn't want to get hit by her before the dance. He'd reflexively turned and now faced Yokiko who looked at him and tried quite hard to mask a tiny smile at what happened. It was abit of comedy that must have been planned, if only by a deity of mischief. She in turn stepped up to talk to Evelyn. "We've all come to ask for your help in making the Dance one to remember." Austin, who still had his head turned smiled, as Yokiko had perfectly summed up why he'd accepted the ticket, and he was happy to hear she wanted it to be a special night too.
  11. "I don't know, I can't make up my mind. I really like both the red and the champagne," said Rachel Cooper as she stepped out of the dressing room clad only in a bra and slip, holding the aforementioned dresses up hanger held in each hand. Rachel had been trying on dress after dress for the better part of the last hour. It was just Evelyn and her, Billy having been drug off by two short stout gentlemen that Rachel thought might be dwarfs or maybe Picts, but hadn't said anything, to find him the proper suit to go with her dress. Rachel wasn't sure how that would work since she couldn't make up her mind. Maybe they had something for boys that would go with both. "For the life of me I have never had so much trouble deciding on what to wear. The Red is so bold and It fit's me so well, but there is just something so enchanting about the Champagne," She glanced back and forth at both dresses as she spoke before looking up at Evelyn. "Miss Evelyn, your the clothier, can't you...just...tell me...which..." Rachel saw all her friends from school standing with Evelyn staring at her in her slip. Her voice trailed off and she stood like a deer caught in the headlights Nadya raised her phone and snapped picture after picture, "Priceless," she said.
  12. The bell above the door jingled as the four students of Salem High slowly peered in. It was amazing that they could fell beasts in the swamps and battle harpies in the forests... but a simple boutique had them looking about with their heads on swivels, as if some great spawn of darkness was waiting in the shadows to gobble them up. None of them had ever been in her before and Rachel probably would have had a chuckle at seeing them huddled together like the Scooby Gang as they looked around at the unnaturally spacious inside. Fisher looked down as Darci took hold of his forearm unconsciously. Minor affection wasn't uncommon for her and him, they were pretty comfortable around each other after all, but she still didn't know how he felt for her and lately even the minor things seemed more. Yokiko looked around, suspicious of all she saw and stayed close to Austin. She'd had a slight bit more experience with the weirder aspect of being a Scion so the oddity of the shop didn't really surprise her too much, it was who the proprietor could be. If all this was really a trap, she wanted to be prepared. "It... seems so much bigger on the inside. Anyone else noticing this?" Darci looked around at the walls that should be smashing through into the shops on either side of the very narrow alley. "Who decorated this place? It's like a Victorian Hot Topic..." "Hey guys!" They all jumped slightly, straightening out and spinning about to see Nadya standing in the doorway behind them. Austin sighed, slightly embarrassed for all of them that Nadya got the drop on them. "Jesus, Nadya... you scared the hell out of us." They all to a second to chuckle at how foolish it all seemed, being afraid of a boutique... but stranger things had happened. Especially lately. "Um, did I miss National Cosplay day or something?" Darci asked when she saw Nadya in her red and black leather Harley Quinn get up. Fisher shook his head. "Long story..." A clap of hands came from the back and they all turned their heads to face the sudden noise. "Well, well... aren't I the popular one today." Taking her place behind the counter, Evelynn greeted them all with a welcoming smirk. "I am, as you may have guessed, Evelynn. Your friend arrived not long ago, she's trying on a few things in the back. So tell me, dears... what can I do for you today? Got my invitations, have you?"
  13. Austin sighed. "Yeah, I know the feeling. I'm going to go find Yokiko, and find some way to convince her to skip class and go there too. I just don't want to put her in a bind later on picking outfits, and if we wait till after school, well..." he trailed off. "See you there. Let me know though if there's a big issue." With that he left his bandmate and went looking for Yokiko. He wasn't surprised to find her alone, reading. "A good book?" he asked. "One I'm reading for one of my assignments." She replied with a slight smile. "You needed something?" Austin smiled. "Well not so much "Need" as "Want." I don't have any tests, or anything the rest of the day. Do you?" "No, why?" she could start to see where this line of thought was going. "I wanted to ask you to come with me to Evelyn's Boutique, now." "To keep tabs on the others of your band?" her gaze speared him and he shook his head. "Not really. I think Fisher's got that handled. I want to go so that we're not so pressed for time later, considering the rest of the Band is likely to go there after classes. I want to make sure everything goes well." "So you ask me to skip class, which I've never done, for this?" There was a cooling edge to her voice. "I've never skipped class either, if it helps illustrate how much I want this to be a great night for us both." He smiled back at her, that boyish devil-may-care smile of a young man who was being totally honest. She nodded, and began putting her book away. "Alright Austin, like you I've got no tests today also, so it's not like there's anything I'll miss here." That faint smile was there again, and it warmed his heart. It was a big ask, but he thanked the gods for his good fortune, and her goodwill.
  14. "Well, at least Nadya has kept one part of her personality." Fisher observed, shaking his head. The issue now was less of Nadya and Niles, and the horribly bad drawing she was trying to intimidate him with. More like offend with its terribleness. Maybe he should draw a version of his own, a good one, so he could give it to her and say this was how you provide an artistic threat. Possibly with some explosions in the background. Then it hit him that he'd winked at letting Rachel wander off to the Boutique, where she was feeling extra suspicious and riled. Well, it's not like it would end with a wrecked shop and dramatically shattering windows? Dammit, kamis knew it definitely could happen. Fisher suddenly got up, much more serious. "Actually, I'm going to find Darcy and head for the Boutique. Don't want Rachel running around there unsupervised."
  15. "Well, I just know what I've heard," Billy said casually, apparently willing to give up whatever his girlfriend wanted to hear. "Apparently your sexuality is on the table for discussion because of Mercedes and her little 'Amazons'," he air quoted, not understanding that they actually were amazons. "She's been blowing up your rep since before I got back, not sure why though. Not even sure why people are believing her still, I mean, you have a boyfriend. Your femininity, well..." he seemed reluctant all of a sudden to come out with the truth. "Football was really the turning point for that, but it's like you've been on a warpath lately... people think it might be pre-op hormones." The glare Rachel gave him could have melted ice. Evelyn laughed. "Dear, don't put faith in what others say, there's nothing wrong with who you are, considering the burdens you've been shouldered with." "What burdens?" Billy asked, a bit puzzled by the statement. "Not my place to say, child." Evelyn looked Rachel over, giving her a once over. "I said you were 'rough' darling, not classless or backwoods. You've the beauty, sure, but everything else is attitude, of which you've a plenty. As I said before, in Gaelic, I can't make a silk purse from a pigs ear. Meaning: I can't make you into anything you're not. There's not dress in the World that could do that... but, you're not the first shield nibbling Aesir that has come to me with a need for a make over for one event or another. Follow me." "Aesir?" Billy looked at Rachel who simply shrugged and followed. "This place is messed up..." Rachel wasn't sure where they were in the store, the place was huge! They passed through a few displays of various clothing separated by age, gender and... this was a new one for her, time period. There were outfits for all kinds of people, some apparently had multiple arms, while others had wings, maybe? Regardless her clothing seemed to sport all the latest fashions in sizes and cuts appropriate for about any strange or large mythical species. She couldn't help but smirk when Billy pulled a t-shirt off the rack and it had four sleeves. The look on his face as he tried to do the math was priceless. "Look, I'm not really good at this sort of thing..." "'Thing' being waking up every morning and spending three hours on your hair and make up so you can face your adoring public?" Evelyn smiled and turned to the racks of clothing along the walls, all resting snug in a nook surrounded by gorgeous carvings in the wood surrounding them. "Well, not everyone is. You see the reason some people have to do all that, dear, is because they have to work at being beautiful. Others, like yourself, are simply born with it and it requires a bit less work." It was one thing to hear Billy or her fathers say she was beautiful, they were close to her, and partially obligated, which meant it was hard to take at face value. Evelyn, however, was a stranger, to hear her compliment her in such a way out of hand carried with it a bit more face value. She knew she was attractive, hell, she was a cheerleader, but still, it was nice to hear. Evelyn smiled. "Rachel, dear, you're beautiful on the inside. You're brave, protective, stern, forthright and selfless. Those are beautiful qualities and they radiate from within you to those around you making others better for having known you," she selected a lovely dress from the rack and handed it to her. "That light is what makes you gorgeous in ways others will always envy. Dressing rooms are over there." She swayed her head to a narrow hallway not far from them.
  16. "Hey, I used to be a cheer leader and I am not some backwoods neanderthal bimbo." Rachel shoots back then gives Billy a scathing look, "And since when has everyone been questioning my orientation or my femininity?"
  17. Austin felt something peck his forehead and a glance up then down revealed a paper plane with a crumpled nose fluttering to the cafeteria table, something written on the wings. He frowned at it, then unfolded the paper, finding something written in Nadya's messy scrawl. Hey, los jack numb twits, I can hear you! Keep worrying about your dates and stop worrying about mine! I know what I'm doing! Under the two lines of writing was a rough doodle of a cat - or was it a racoon, maybe a fox? - holding what appeared to be two rabbits - possibly deformed miniature hippos - by the ears. It's free paw was holding a curved knife threateningly near their necks. The boys glanced up just to catch a glimpse of Nadya slipping out of the cafeteria, Niles in tow. "What was all that about?" Niles asked, slightly breathless trying to keep up with Nadya as she clackingly stalked down the hallway. "Just friends not understanding what being an outsider feels like," she growled. He didn't see the frown that crossed unknowingly across her face. Why would she think they didn't understand what being an outsider felt like? They were all the ultimate outsiders. But it hadn't always been that way, only since they found out there were godblooded. "Nor what it looks like when two outsiders finally find themselves and have fun. C'mon." "Where are we going? We're not skipping school, are we?" Niles said, heart pumping with thrills and trepidation. "We're not leaving school property," Nadya assured him with a sly smile. Yet. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ "This is the school parking lot," Niles commented doubtfully. "Technically, still school property," She countered brightly, leading him by a hand towards her lemon yellow Mercury Cougar parked at the far end of the lot. "Wh-why are we at your car?" Niles asked with rising excitement and nervousness. "Because there's less people to gawk at us and I didn't want to use the Library and bother Mr. S," she informed him, opening the driver's side door and pulling him into the back seat with a wicked grin. She caught her reflection in the side mirror and her brows furrowed. Why when she felt so giddy and was grinning did her image look like it was grimacing, the narrowed eyes so disapproving? Bah, mirror should say 'Images In Mirror Are More Scowly Than They Appear.' "Besides, this it totally part of the girlfriend experience." "It's kinda cool in here," the bewildered boy hedged, wondering if he had gone too far. Maybe he should text Todd and brainstorm... But Nadya was having none of it and Niles train of thought was derailed when she straddled him, her hands bunched tightly in his sweater, pulling his face so close to hers, he could feel her hot breath. "That's alright, the heater barely works anyway. But I know another way to warm the car up." Her lips met his as she kissed him fiercely. Niles was struggling to regain his breath, the windows fogging up as Nadya shrugged out of her coat, then paused with her shirt halfway off. "You do have a suit for the dance, right, Niley?" "Uh, ye-yeah," Niles admitted once his brain could interpret what she was saying while he stared at perk breasts encased in a racy black bra. The dark green suit he had worn to his cousin's wedding still fit. "Good," Nadya sighed in relief as she finished pulling off her top. "We're gonna leave a 'lil bit early - sorry 'bout that, guess we're skipping school some - so you have time to get ready and I have time to get my new dress. I wanna surprise you with it and so blow your innocent mind." Her silver-grey eyes glittered darkly, suggestive of what else might be blown between now and then. She could have brought Niles along to Evelyn's, but he was already being overwhelmed just having a girlfriend. It wouldn't be fair to reveal everything his girlfriend actually was and involved in, just yet. He might have a heart attack or something. Some baby steps first, before he got thrown in the deep end.
  18. "The thought had crossed my mind, yeah. Strength and Safety in numbers and all that. I have no idea what everyone else is doing, but I figured you would likely have the most normal plans." Austin smiled, his tone suggesting that what he said was a compliment. "If you're gonna watch Rachel's back someone needs to have yours." He didn't know how Yukiko would respond to it, but if she said no to it, he'd accept that, and plan a quiet dinner for the two of them.
  19. "Darcy and I are going to the Boutique after school. Between then and the dance... I don't know." Fisher said before fixing a glance on Austin. "Why, are you suggesting a double date with Yukiko?" Fisher didn't object to Austin's going out with his fellow Japanese Scion, since she was probably the most reasonable of the other band, and not just by comparison with the likes of Eric Donner or Mercedes Rhodes. Heavens forbid one of his band go out with Eric Donner...
  20. "Thankfully, yes. But if and when that happens, you are definitely getting elected to go talk her down for making that reference." Austin shrugged and finished his food. "So you're going to use the ticket too?" he asked conversationally. "At least if there's an issue, we're all taking the risk together. Do you already have plans for dinner lined up, or going straight from the game to the dance?"
  21. Fisher shook his head. "It might be, or it might not. For now, wait and see." If this was the truly wrong thing his gut said it was, the genuine red flags would pop up sooner or later. Pressing like Rachel probably just did would do no good. Besides, there was Evelyn's Boutique to visit later and the dance tonight. "I mean, it's bizarre, but not yet Nadya suddenly hovering and shouting she's Gozer the Gozarian."
  22. Sensing that Fisher was about to do something, Austin sighed. "I wouldn't go over there. I'd wait until they're not together, and then try to talk to her. I can try to talk to Niles, if you want." He met the other Scion's gaze. "Whatever that is, I really don't think it's natural, and I admit some small part of me wants to record it for later, but I know better. We need to find out what's really going on, one way or another. He found it hard to believe something hadn't happened, as he'd never seen Nadya like this before. He waited to see what Fisher thought of the idea, ready to act to help a friend. Rachel was of course doing what she felt she had to, and likely getting herself in even more trouble for it.
  23. Fisher dropped his face into his hands for a few moments as Rachel stormed out, very clearly not caring about school attendance any more. Whatever Nadya said, it had torqued Rachel into doing this - and he knew better than to ask either of them WTF? Being the thoughtful number two of this Band was more headache-provoking than tolerable, necessary as it was. And the Niles-Nadya question. Considering how Nadya had gently refused Niles days ago and then praised his courage, a turn-around on her part was not implausible. This lovey-dovey level though? Something just smelled wrong about this. Fisher needed to figure out what. Great, Nadya was rubbing off on Rachel, and Rachel was rubbing off on him.
  24. "My 'ex'," her sneer announced that first wave of cattiness had begun. Rachel knew little of other gods or pantheons, and her penchant for tact always left much to be desired. In short, all she needed was a shield to chew on and she'd be a complete Aesir. "Well, aren't you just a ray of sunshine. The simple answer is: yes, I think I can." She smiled wide, her red lips almost malicious in their intent. "I like you. Under all the ham-fisted bravado," she twirled her finger in reference to Rachel. "There's quite an interesting woman, no doubt." She took the torn ticket from Rachel and looked them over with a quirked brow, as if to imply she wasn't the least bit surprised that Rachel's would bear the mark of her distinctive, yet destructive, personality. "Yeah, they got torn," Billy chimed up, dutifully covering for his 'girlfriend's' knack for breaking things. "Hope they're still good." Evelyn folded the ticket halves over one another. A moment later she unfolded them and they were whole again. No rips or tears, and even the crease of her fold had disappeared. "Of course they're still good," she said while lying them on the countertop. "They're only purpose was to lure you here, and now that you're in my shop." Her eye narrowed evilly. "You can never leave. Frankly it was easier than I thought..." Rachel clenched her fists and scowled. Evelyn broke into a melodic laughter that left her breathless for a moment, she was fanning herself with the tickets as she tried to speak. "Oh, sweetie, I'm only kidding. You really need to lighten up. Yes, William, yes... the tickets are still 'good'. After all, they're mine, I can do with them as I please, honor them or not, as I see fit." She walked around the counter, now approaching Rachel on equal footing and realizing were it not for heels of her boots, she and Evelyn would be about the same height. She held a finger up as she stopped in front of Rachel. "However, allow me a moment to educate you on something sweetie, this one's," she presented the ticket she mended. "A freebie. You're young, new and a bit fresh to all this madness, so I'll let the fact that you spat on my invitation and, by proxy, my hospitality, slide this once. However, child, I would urge you to be more careful of what you go around breaking and destroying... one day you might break something that can not be replaced. In the future, think before you act." She shot Rachel a slate clearing wink. "Now," she placed her hands on Rachel's shoulders. "You came for answers, and a dress, yes? Marius said you were a little... 'rough', but I think we can find you something that doesn't involve camouflage or professional wrestling."
  25. At the Shop Rachel's brow furrowed at the older scion's antics and at Billy's obviously enraptured state and she knew she had to do something before the poor boy started drooling. “Billy,”she said poking him on the shoulder with a steely finger, 'Billy, eyes up here.” The young man was hormonaly challenged by the generous cleavage being displayed but the sudden pain in his shoulder and the waa waa of Rachel's voice broke through. “What?” “Billy, your going to hear things and...see things you might not understand but I'll explain it all later okay?” Billy nodded stealing another glance at he amused woman's cleavage before looking back at Rachel and answering “I don't know what your talking about Rach, but Okay.” Giving her new boyfriend...wait did I just think boyfriend... a smile she turned her attention and her sour frown back to Evelyn. “ Yeah I am Rachel Cooper and I have these," she held up the two tickets, "your ex gave them to me and my band and, well, I'd like to know why. Think you can enlighten me?”
  26. "Okay, you're in enough trouble as it is," Billy closed the door to Rachel's mustang and walked up the curb, meeting her by the hood. "You sure this is a good idea? Your dads are gonna lose their minds." Rachel scoffed, rolleing her eyes. "Yeah? So it'd be different how? In for a penny and all that, what can they do? Double ground me..." a shiver ran up her spine as she shook away the hebie geebees from quoting Nadya. She mumbled under her breath. "All Father, I'm starting to talk her. I need to hit something, soon-ish." "Hmm?" Billy perked his brow up under the impressions he'd heard something. She blew it off and simply approached the store front. "Nothing, just... well, here it is." The shops at the pier were just as she remembered them, Billy too. four rows of shops, the Drip along the northern row, was a common hangout for them. Today they looked at the eastern row, just before one met the ocean view.Rachel had been here many times before and quickly noticed that 'Evelyn's Boutique' was certainly new. A thin building that seemed like it was squished and wedged in between two other buildings where Rachel knew an alley used to be. It was nearly half the size of the other shops built in classical 'town square shops' manner of style. It was black with black and golden cloth awnings hanging over the windows to keep the sun out. On each of the two front windows on either side of the single pane glass door was gaudy, yet beautifully written was 'Evelyn's Boutique'. In each of the display windows were mannequins dressed in the latest feminine fashions that Rachel didn't particularly find herself wanting, but certainly could appreciate their quality. One wore a simple pair of leggings that fit the display perfectly with a white top cut a bit low but still keeping it classy and a pair of wedge heels that were certainly modest. The other was in simple jeans, yet they again hugged the display to show how they could easily accent a woman's frame along with an attractive black top that fell off the shoulder. Both were adorend a variety of accessories like bracelets and necklaces, all of which she noticed had intricate knot work etched into them. "I'm generally a mall guy, but this place has seems to have some nice stuff," Billy pointed to the glass. "Love that belt buckle, pretty cool." Then it dawned on her that her and Billy were not seeing the same things in the windows. "C'mon," she smiled at him, reaching out for his hand. "Let's check it out." Doubtfully her date sighed and raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "Small place, I doubt the got much." The closer Rachel got to the door the warmer she noticed her butt getting. There was a time when she would have found everything wrong with that previous statement, but now that she was the daughter of a god, it was pretty much her typical Monday. Giant wolves, child eating hags in the lake, oh, and now her ass was on fire. Yup! Monday! With a sigh she pulled her two tickets of golden foil paper out of her pocket and saw that they were now, quite alight with a soft golden aura and faint trickle of golden motes like fairy dust in every Disney movie... ever. "What the hell?" Billy mumbled. Rachel looked to him, the tickets, and back to him. "Y-you can see this? You're seeing this?" A voice echoed in the threshold where they stood. It was stern, feminine and laced faintly with am educated Gaelic accent. The door opened on its own. "He can see it. Now enter children. One mustn't linger in doorways. It's considered... rude." Gripping Billy's hand a bit tighter she crossed over the threshold, because Rachel Cooper wasn't about to be intimidated by anyone, especially some... 'Wow.' Was all her mind could form as it was paralyzed in absolute wonder and awe. The shop was huge on the inside, with a second floor in the back she could see because it had an impressively carved balcony railing. The small shop should have been smashing into the sides of the two stores on either side of it, but... it didn't. The whole place was adorned in blacks, reds, golds and silvers. Ever inch of every surface was covered in beautiful baroque carvings depicting knot work, symbols, and patters that amazed as well as hypnotized. Racks, shelves, display cases were all covered with items of obvious function and others whose functions remained quite questionable. Clothing from all periods hung from circular wooden racks, just like those one might find in an outlet store, but the carvings, the detail! The entire room was lit by old, 18th century oil lamps in the wall and from massive chandeliers, putting off way more light than it seemed like they could. "You must be, let me guess... split ends, black heads, clogged pores, dirt under the nails, jeans, t-shirt... Rachel Cooper." On the balcony stood an attractive woman in her late thirties, early forties that had the cougar look perfected. True to Archimedes's description she had a penchant for black and her lips were blood red. It didn't surprise Rachel much, most of the Scion-like people she'd met so far seemed a bit flamboyant. She was in black leather pants and a black blazer that was low enough to show that teasing line of cleavage and it seemed to shimmer like a fabric she'd never seen, as if it were sequined without the sequins. A single blood red rose adorned her lapel. Her hair was long and black, pulled up tight in a tall topknot that cascaded down her back, blending with the shadows of her outfit. All of her buttons, buckles and jewelry were silver set with black opals, several of which were in the form of ravens. Ugh," she rolled her eyes, obviously unimpressed with Rachel. "Damn you, Marius. Cuir síoda ar ghabhar ach is gabhar i gcónaí é!" She shook her head and gave them the universal gesture that she would be one moment. "I'll be right down." She turned away from the balcony, her long hair swaying with the turn on her perfect curves. "So, ditching school. You're early," Rachel gasped in shock and spun about as the woman was now standing directly behind the counter not far from them! She cracked a matronly, yet wicked smile. "Oh, stop it. That's the least of the oddities you'll find here, honey." "How did she?!" Billy looked to the balcony, then to her, then back to the balcony. "Oh!" She seemed to be alight with glee. "You haven't told him," her laugh was like freezing water you just wanted to be drowned in. "This is going to be wonderful." She leaned against the counter on one elbow, giving Billy an eyeful of cougar cleavage that Rachel caught him gawking at. She extended her leather gloved hand to them both. "Greetings, sweetie. I am Evelyn. Purveyor of exotic antiquities and homecoming attire."
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