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Dave ST

IC: SE: "The Dance!"

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"Wait here." Fisher told Austin before weaving into and through the crowd. Under the circumstances, he didn't want to bring Nadya into this. Dane was keeping an eye on her anyway at his request, so he could step in if the spell or breaking of it had an effect on her. Laurie would be around too, and he didn't want any delays clashing with Eric Donner.

Billy had been dragged by Rachel toward the stage when she suddenly stopped as Nadya started singing. He didn't even know the little freak could sing but she sounded really good. The things you never knew. Rachel had been intense...well she was always intense but after everything earlier and then her dad, her real dad she had seemed, the best way to describe it would be subdued and distracted then when Dane got up she lit up like a pissed off fire cracker and now...

Rachel was lost in the song, so many windows in her mind opened, she leaned in to Billy and slipped her hand out of his and snaked it around his waist pulling him in until they were hip to hip shoulder to shoulder. The were almost the same height so they fit together very well. They swayed together for the rest of the song Billy, not for the first time, asking himself what he had gotten involved and Rachel coming to accept the things she had doubted.

After Nadya's song was over and everyone gave the dark hair girl everyone usually made fun of a standing O, Rachel turned back into Billy's embrace. As the music started back up they danced in silence for a few moments then Rachel spoke. “Are you really okay with all of this Billy? Me being who, what I am?” “Sure I care for you I've always...”

"Sorry to interrupt." Fisher's voice apologetically broke in. "But I need to borrow Rachel for a little bit."

"Is this important?" Rachel glared at Fisher, but Billy stepped back and squeezed Rachel's arm, "It's okay babe, I'll go get some drinks then we can find a quiet corner to talk." He let go and Rachel watched him walk away then turned back to Fisher, she saw Austin a few feet away looking pensive, she frowned. "What is it Fisher?"

"I know you're going to be mad Rachel, so please keep it at a setting below 'berserker frenzy'." Fisher said, and Rachel realized from the edge in his voice, Fisher was holding back his share of it. The summary quickly followed. Rachel surprised Fisher, she didn't explode. She did put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it comfortingly. "We'll fix it Fisher, she's our sister." Then she looked at Austin who sidestepped revealing Niles standing in his shadow. Rachel started that way.

Yeah, no. Fisher was certain she was just going to be waiting for when there would be no possible witnesses.

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Niles mad to back away but Austin blocked him while also keeping his eye on Rachel. Like Fisher he had expected her to go ballistic. This quiet Rachel was slightly more frightening.

 Rachel, without saying a word took Niles arm firmly and led him toward the Auditorium exit. Where Coach Fingers was being his usual self and watching the kids like the hawk that he was. Fisher and Austin came along. “Someone needs to keep an eye on Nadya,” Rachel said.

“We got it covered,” replied Fisher. “Dane is with her on stage he doesn't know the detail or anything except that she's really buzzed he'll let us know if she freaks or anything.”

As the walked up to the doors Fingers glowered at Rachel “Where do you think your going. You know you kids aren't supposed to leave the dance.”

“Band business.”

Fingers looked at her and then at Austin and Fisher. Finally he seemed to notice the dweeb who's name he didn't recall and really didn't care about who seemed to have shrunk in on himself even more. He nodded once and stepped aside and let them out. Niles gave a pleading look at the coach as they took him outside.

They went to the side of the building where during the day some of the kids gathered to sneak cigarettes, no one was there now. Rachel pushed him up against he building his back to the wall. She held him there with slight pressure her hand resting on his chest.

“Is what Fisher tells me true?”

“I don't know what Fisher told you...” Where he found the balls to say that none of them knew but both Austin and Fisher got angrier, Fisher leans in his eyes flashing. “You know damn well what I told her.”

Niles saw...something in Fishers eyes and it wasn't imagination. Were those skulls? There was definitely pee this time.

“He told me about a spell he used on Nadya to make her his sex slave,” said Austin, “he wouldn't have come to me if it hadn't been true.”

“I know it's true but I need to hear him say it.” Rachel pressed slightly not enough to hurt but enough to make Niles feel the promise of hurt. WTF, he thought, are these guys.

“Yeah it's true all of it I'm sorry I just I … love.” he swallowed as Rachel let him go.

He slumped and both of the other scion's grabbed him and held him up still against the wall while giving Rachel a curious set of looks.

Rachel stepped back and look around taking a deep breath, she noticed the looks of her band-mates. “He feels remorse and regrets all of it. We need to find the spell and free Nadya. It will be up to her how to settle things with Niles.” She looked back at Niles.

“Did Todd help you cast the spell originally?”

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Niles clenched his fists and made a valiant stand, given the circumstances.  "I never said 'sex slave', you brutish ogre," he snarled at Austin.  "It was a love spell, I just wanted her to love me, someone to love me and quit being mean to me for a change.  It's magic, it wasn't supposed to work!  We were just two idiot teenagers chasing an idiot dream on a Saturday night after too much Cheetos and energy drinks!"

He looked to Rachel.  "Sex slave seems to be what I got instead of loving girlfriend.  Everyone always treated her poorly, both of us, so poorly.  I thought we would be happy together as a couple... it was just a dream, a fantasy... but something went wrong, aside from it actually working... she's been trying to pounce me every time we're alone.  I haven't touched her, I swear... not in that way."  He pushed his glasses up on his nose.  "There are tests to take, blood screenings, intercourse is not a avenue to simply be strolled without taking proper precautions.  I'm a bit of a germaphobe and this version of Nadya has excelled in violating my personal boundries.  His glare was intense.  "I would never hurt her.  Magic is not supposed to be real!

"So," Fisher glared back.  "This isn't your fault, right?"

"No, it is my fault,"  Niles, despite being seventy pounds of nothing, seemed quite altruistic.  "Whether magic is real or not, I still cast that spell.  This whole fiasco is on me, which is why I need to fix it!"

"Did.  Todd.  Help.  You?"  Rachel asked again.

"He did.  He's been in love with you since seventh grade.  He finds your sudden desire for that hamfisted mongoloid, Billy to be not only a poor decision, but an unfair one."  He nodded his head.  "And I concur.  He's been intense about casting the spell again ever since he witnessed how it worked on Nadya, but I refused to do it a second time for obvious reasons considering what was supposed to happen compared to what actually happened.  I was translating the notes and I think I reverse it and break the enchantment... and I can't believe I just said that... it's like we're trapped in a cheesy RPG plot on one of those online forums.  This whole thing is nuts... look, I know you hate me, I hate me right now... but if this magic stuff is really real and I screwed it up after copious amounts of study, imagine what Todd will do if he's just babbling off words I scribbled on notebook paper!"

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Rachel cocks her head as Niles ramble then reaches out placing a firm hand on his shoulder at which he flinchs. "Relax Niles, non of us here are going to hurt you but you have to help us now. More than likely Todd has gone to whereever you first cast the spell. I need you to show Austin and Fisher where this is do you understand."

Austin looked at Rachel, surprise showing, "Wait your not going?"

Rachel shakes her head, "If he gets the spell cast before we stop him I may be under the influence of the same spell Nadya is. I doubt I would let anything happen to Todd in that case. We can't risk that. You and Fisher will have to go with Todd, I will go back in and send Laurie to join you and I 'll watch over Nadya.

It's up to you to stop him brothers, I have faith. And don't hurt them bring them both back and the spell."

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He'd about had enough of Niles, but saving Nadya and preventing Todd from trying to cast the spell came first.   Austin just nodded.  It was going to be more fun to watch whatever Nadya did to him, and really she should get first crack at him.


"Come on Niles, we're wasting time.  Take us to where you first cast the spell, and if we can, we'll help you undo it."   He was hoping Fisher had a plan for that, because his was far less likely to work well for anyone.  As one they took a position just behind Niles, easily within arm's reach, and Austin silently prayed they be in time to prevent even more chaos.   One sex crazed bandmate is more than enough.   God help us all if we end up with two...

A moment later a thought came unbidden into his mind.    What a way to go though, Death by Snu-Snu....


He silently hoped that as she'd likely not been there for the casting, Nadya's presence wouldn't be required to reverse the spell.   
 

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Meanwhile...

Rachel watched them as the three boys headed to wherever Niles was going to take them. She had purposefully stepped away before Niles had told Fisher and Austin, just encase. With a last sigh she went back around the corner and back into the Dance alone. Coach Fingers scowled at her and she shrugged in response but neither of them said anything Nadya was still on the stage now singing a duet with Dane, and the sad thing was that wasn't even going to be the strangest or most shocking thing tonight.

She looked around and spotted Billy and made her way through her fellow students to come up behind him. She slipped her arms around him pressing against his back and nuzzling his neck “Miss me?”

He chuckled and twisted around to face, “Yeah I did.” He smile and it lifted her heart. Gods she didn't want to hurt him.

“You get everything straightened out?”

“Not quite there's a couple of more things then I'm all yours.” I hope.

She looked deep into his eyes she could lose herself there she hoped she had the chance to when all was said and done. “I know everything is a whirlwind right now Billy and I know it seems that things are coming at you, at us, fast. You said that you cared for me and I believe you cause I care for you a great deal. I want to make sure you know that that what I feel in my heart for you is real.”

“I know it is Rachel I've always felt this way about you and I always will. Even with everything and all that other stuff.” She still searched his eyes looking for his heart. She felt no warnings of guilt so she smiled.

“Good I have to go get Laurie and send her after the boys they may need backup. Whatever happens next doesn't change anything with us I need you to understand that and that I love you.”

She kissed him softly a lingering kiss that had a couple of chaperones frowning but before it got into serious violation territory Rachel stepped back and smiled at her daze boyfriend.

She saw Eric and his band at the other end of the auditorium not on the dance floor that's where Lauri was. She made her way there and nodded at Eric who just smirked at her. “Laurie, I hate to spoil your evening but I need you to go after Austin and Fisher they need backup.”

“Its Homecoming Cooper don't mess everyone's just night up because you couldn't perform.” said Eric and some of the others snickered.

“This is band Business Eric, so butt out please. Laurie you can Text Austin he'll tell you where they are and what's going on. I have to stay here for something else and to watch over Nadya”

Rachel didn't wait for a reply or to see if Laurie was going to comply instead she turned and looked at Bridgette who was leaning on the back of a folding chair a few feet away. She took a breath and locked eyes with the tall dark beauty and walked right up to her right into her space.

“Just so we are on the same page I want you to know that I can give as good as I get.”

Rachel reached up and snaked her hand around the back of Bridgett's neck as she stepped in close while pulling her face down to hers. Their lips met, mouths moved hands touched hips.

Rachel kissed Bridgette

Now the chaperones had something to worry about.

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Threads of Fate as heavy as chains tugged at her, pulled, insisted, and the more the hidden part of Nadya railed at and rattled them, the more the rest of her was bound tight, the enchantment suffocating her in imposed love. But the music loosened her bindings, made the chains weigh her down less.

Dane could see even if Nadya couldn't. She was on something, some rank shit. He didn't know why she hadn't come to him, he never held out on her, but he wouldn't let her ride out the horrid high alone. Nadya finished her first song and opening her eyes, began to grow agitated when she didn't see her Niles watching her, waiting for her.

"Hold up, Moonbaby," Dane said, snaking an arm around her bare shoulders. A nickname she hated from almost everyone else, Dane made it sound endearing. "You've got some serious pipes on you, girl. Niles just went to the head. You've got this party in the palm of your hand, how 'bout we give'em another round?" Dane gave a member of the band a pointed nod and deftly caught the tossed guitar and flashed Nadya his wide, earnest grin. "A duet this time."

Standing stiffly, Nadya desperately gazed across the dance floor looking for Niles, then turned back to Dane. She couldn't see how the expression on her face contrasted sharply with the look in her eyes. If he wasn't buzzed, Dane would have shivered.

"What did you have in mind?" Nadya said, returning his grin.

"Something a little old school. The theme might not be 'Under The Sea,' but Homecoming still needs a little something classic. Do you know..."

And that was how Nadya found herself singing a cover of a classic Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet, Islands in the Stream.

As the song came to an end, Nadya heard the crowd begin to murmur and jostle. She turned from Dane and her jaw dropped open at the sight of Rae-Rae kissing that bitch Bridgette. Her face lit up in wild amusement, seeing Rachel do something unexpected and unconventional, but she didn't notice the single tear trailing down her check.

"I want that. I want something real," she whispered.

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"Last time we used the science lab," Niles said, pointing Austin and Fisher.

"Why the science lab?"  Fisher just had to ask.

"Boasts the most numerous amount of fire extinguishers than any other class room in the school."  He replied simply while starting into a hurried walk.

Austin rolled his eyes and followed.  "I thought you didn't expect it to work, why were worried about fires?"

"Because," Niles said it like that more he spoke to Fisher and Austin the dumber he was getting.  The kids condescension was on par with Nadya's desire to revolt against authority.  "Whether we take it seriously or not, it is stil lan experiment and an experiment requires proper protocol, which would a copious amount and fire extinguishers and meticulous notes and planning."

The son of Poseidon looked to his friend and raised his hands up like he was choking someone.  Fisher smiled and they continued to follow Niles, both of them trying their damnest not to strangle the dorky aspiring sorcerer.

Through the darkened hallways and the echos of their foots steps rang through the halls as a sudden crash of lightning exploded across the night sky, strobbing the inside of the hall with bright white light.  All three stopped to shield their eyes from the dazzling light.  "Niles looked back to them.  "It's started.  He's started the spell!"

The two Scions realized the stakes had just grown considerably and took off down the hallway until they realized Niels wasn't with them.  He was still in the same spot pondering his last statement.  "'Spell' seems to crude an explain," he rest his hand beneath his chin and narrow his eyes in thought.  "Yes, 'incantation' seems more appropriate but would 'ritual' not suffice as well?  Certainly further study is needed as using the wrong verbiage for arcane sciences, if it truly could be a science, could result in catastrophic-"

Niles's eyes widened as Austin grabbed him and yanked him with great force down the hallway with them.

--==[***]==--

"On the wings of Anubis come the winds of Mare Nostrum!" Lightning crashed and winds swirled as papers and random debris swirled about the room the moment Austin and Fisher pushed open the large double doors to the science lab.  All the work stations had been pushed against the walls to make room for the large ritual center within the room that was made of make shift materials several candles (that remained lit despite the wind) and a pentagram drawing into the floor with what appeared to be ashes.  Through out the pentagram were a few scattered bones that appeared blackened and charred, mostly the bones that comprised the fingers.  "From the Near Delta lands to Rosetta's black sands deliver my desire unto me!"

Three balefire green wisps appeared with a sputtering sounds and danced within the confines of the pentagram as Todd muttered the incantation with his arms raised high to the wisps as they danced and floated about.  They chuckled and chortled as they danced about Todd's head.

The wind blew hard against the teens in the doorway, so hard they had to shout to hear one another.  "That's not right!"  Niles yelled while his hair whipped about.  "He's not doing it right!  He's messing it all up!  Todd you suck!  You're screwing up my notes!  Give them back!"

The floor tiles cracked and greenish light began to shine from beneath them...

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Even beholding the spectacle unfolding before him with a certain aprehension, Austin steeled himself and focused.   He'd seen this in a game before, where the cracks formed, and a Demon had come out, but improperly summoned, it didn't come to do the bidding of the summoner, but to devour them.  Drawing on the Ichor in his veins he  issued an undeniable order to Todd, hoping to silence him before he finished the full incantation.   "Don't say another word!"  

[Austin uses Overt Order on Todd]

Even as he issued this edict, he sprung into action, barreling towards Todd as fast as he could trying to get to him and get him away from the wisps.  His arms held out he slammed into Todd, his arms encircling him and diving away from the Ritual circle and the wisps, trying to minimize the injury to the mortal teenager even as they were falling away.

He held faith that Fisher could help Niles stop the spell, before the cracks grew bigger, and that hopefully nothing would actually be summoned to try to feast on the idiot he'd just tackled to the ground.

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For all the dangers and freakishness of the situation, Fisher was calm. Relatively so, with superhuman intellect and focus running down the situation. In front of them, a potential repeat of the Nekyia situation when the Band first got into the heroing business. The creatures on the other end had held off once they'd noticed Fisher and his heritage. They couldn't rely on that this time.

Step One, stop Todd and get him away. Austin, Fisher thought approvingly, was already on that. That left the issue of containment. The wisps seemed to be confined by the pentagram, but that thing wouldn't likely stop whatever eldritch evil was coming through from stepping out. What would an anime/manga protagonist do in this situation? It was hardly a silly question. The many great series carried their rivers of Japanese tales and lore, homages in their way to the Amatsukami, of whom he was a Scion. Obviously, he couldn't pull a Naruto and just create some fuinjustu masterwork to seal it back up.

But there were other ways, a more traditional option now that he thought about it. Fisher drew Comb Tooth and jabbed it forward, turning the pen into a naginata, and catching some of the flying paper. It came down into Fisher's outstretched hand, cut into strips. And Comb Tooth retracted back into a pen. Was the pen mightier than the sword? Thankfully, Fisher could have it both ways.

In swift flickers, Fisher drew the kanji. "Izanagi, father of the gods. He who brought Chikaeshi-no-okami. Bind death away from life here!" The stone from which his own pendant was made, Fisher remembered. With a toss, defying the laws of physics, the strip of paper which Fisher had inscribed his step-father's name sailed as if a rigid solid object and met the doors to the lab, slamming them shut and sticking as if glued firmly.

"Amaterasu, heavenly queen and sun! Restrain this twisted light with your own!" Another inscribed strip found its way to one point of the pentagram. "Susanoo, slayer of Orochi! Drive these monsters back!" "Tsukuyomi, moon lord! I plead for your support!" Two, third points covered. "The Seven Fortunes! Give this your blessing!" Four. And of course finally, "Izanami, mom. You owe me."

The last one came into place. Ofuda. The various talismans, amulets and other charms issued by Shinto shrines. Often they had the names of the shrines too with the kami, but Fisher Capra was a Scion of the Amatsukami and the writing was done by a genuine Relic. He WAS his own spiritual holiness for this. And he would make their bindings real. Five to cover the pentagram, one on the doors to bar the room just to be safe.

And their words glowed, a pure white compared to the sickly green cracks. White lines connecting the circle...

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The power of the gods thrummed and boomed with each of the incantations Fisher called upon.  He invoked the names of his ancestors and his ichor gave those invocations might and power to affect the World and its denizens.  His plan was, although hastily thought out, brilliant save for his one tactical miscalculation.  In Japanese culture it is the children who honor their parents and was never their place to make demands of them.  Had Fisher been a mortal and not a demigod his mother's wrath would have been lengthy and brutal.  It was not Fisher's place to made demands of the gods, let alone make a claim his mother, the goddess who gave him life, gave him power, delivered a World to him filled with magic and unlimited potential.  Oh, no, child.

Gods owed mortals, even their own children, nothing.

Austin looked up from where he'd tackled Todd to the ground.  He was laying over him and arched tilted his head to see Fisher just standing there, silently staring off into space.  "Fisher!"  Thunder exploded as heavy rain slammed loudly against the panes of glass as bright flashes of lightning provided the only illumination in the large laboratory of the school.  "Fisher!"

Austin turned to look at Todd, whose eyes were glossed over as he mumbled incoherently to himself.  When the wisps swirled and whipped about they hovered high above where he lay, straddled over Todd, as green energy crackled across the surface of the orbs Austin cursed to himself as he threw himself over Todd's gibbering body while emerald arcs of energy trailed from the orbs causing Austin to cry out in pain as the energy pulsed through his body, shielding Todd from the entities he'd summoned.  The pain was a searing jolt, like thousands of volts coursing through his veins.  The Scion of Poseidon's muscles seized and flexed under the strain of the agony he felt.  Still, he covered Todd.  A demigod might survive against the assault... a mortal stood no chance.

Fisher's breath was frozen on the icy breeze of the realm he now found himself.  It was dark, like a moonless night in a mountain range.  He was naked and the bitter chill of the arctic winds sliced into him like razor wire.  Seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours.  He wandered the land, naked and cold, starving and thirsty as the bitter frost gave rise to agonizing, crippling blisters that froze and cracked and painfully peeled from his flesh.  Cold and alone Fisher staggered and stumbled through the seemingly endless valley as hours became days and days became months.  He starved, but did not die.  He froze and felt every bit of the agony.  Yet he did not die.  He called out, even screamed for help but there was no one to hear him.  This was how Fisher lived out the rest of his days.  One century of freezing, blister ridden agony in a realm from which there as no escape.

Austin cried out in pain and Fisher snapped away from his imprisonment.  Three seconds were all that had passed and as Fisher tried to make heads or tails of the scene he found himself in suddenly he realized that while a century had just passed for him in that realm, he was right where he was moments before arriving in that awful, frozen place.  With an explosion of force the kanji displaying the might of Izanagi glowed brightly in the room like a brilliant neon glow of purest yellow.

"So be it." Boomed a disembodied man's voice.

The three orbs were pulled in towards the kanji as it faded away.  Now screams could be heard.  The orbs bent and twisted, expanding into vaguely humanoid apparitions.  They reached out in vain attempts to claw themselves away from the might of the invocations pull.  Trapped within the confines of the circle that summoned them they floated about, wailing and screaming.  The barrier that contained them, only becoming visible for brief moments as they wailed and beat upon it, began to crack and give way.  As the cracks appear the three apparitions calmed and slowed their thrashing against the walls of their prison.  The screams turned to chuckles as three pairs of beady, pinpoint greenish eyes locked upon Fisher and the smoldering back of Austin whose body was still so wracked with pain he could barely move.

In a brilliant explosion the barrier shattered and the three wispy apparitions soared off and faded upwards into the ceiling.  The room calmed and there was silence as a the soft cackle of feminine voices faded into the evening.

Fisher looked about.  Not quite sure when the Hel just happened.  His mind tumbled possibilities.  'Bind death away from life here'.  Fisher took in a breath and exhaled slowly.  "Ah, shit.  Uh, Austin, I think I made a goof."

Austin pushed himself up from the floor.  Every muscle in his body ached and still Todd seemed to mumble over and over to himself, seemingly having witnessed nothing of what had just transpired.  "Yeah... kinda figured.  It's when things go right," he managed to gasp out in pain.  "That I worry."

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One hundred years gives you plenty of time to think. Or a handful of moments to a divinely-enhanced mind. Or both, given how the experience defied mundane definitions of time. In essence, Fisher had understood what had happened to him: one hundred years of mental banishment to Jigoku, the punishment portion of the Japanese Underworld, brought about with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan - one of the frozen hells. Ironically, his own demigodly status had given him a 'light' sentence, a mere mortal lifetime.

And why? Oh, he knew exactly why. Fisher knew the culture and had read the myths. Amaterasu banishing Tsukoyomi. Parent-child strictures. Realistically, he should have simply made another invocation just like the others and everything would have been fine. But in that moment, the anger had bubbled out in a few damning words. Years of child's grief and abandonment, watching a father just slip away inside, and then the brief return, dangling a promise that never, ever would have been fulfilled, Fisher realized now.

Now Fisher could still feel the phantom frostbite knew the Amatsukami had also added in the failure of the binding for another layer to the punishment. So he turned his eyes onto Niles - was his breath still frosty? - and rasped, "Get the notes."

He'd failed here. He'd rather go back for another century of torment than fail to break free Nadya from her chains as well.

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Still wracked with pain, Austin rose shakily and slowly to his feet.   Every nerve in his body was screaming, and he stumbled, catching himself on a nearby desk.  "Ow."  The monosyllabic response underlined the pain he'd suffered, and he looked down to the Incoherent Todd, and then over to Fisher and Niles.  "Well we're all alive, so that's one for us."   He went silent for a moment, listening to Todd, and some pieces of the puzzle dropped into place.  "Well shit."

With that, he lashed out a couple times slapping Todd's cheeks before the others could stop him.  His voice became hard as he put the full force of his ichor behind his words.  "Snap the hell out of it Todd."

He looked back to Fisher.  "Someone whammy'd him pretty good.   He was likely put up to this by someone like us, or at least convinced actually doing this was a good idea."  He drew back from Todd, just in case he decided to come back at him.  He wasn't in the mood for that, and they had promised to bring him back in one piece.

 

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Todd shook his head and blinked a few times.  "A-Austin?  W-what's going on?  The hell'd you do in here?"

Niles scooped up the notes and began sifting through them and organizing them as best he could.  As Fisher tended to his bandmate, providing a little support for Austin to rest himself against Niles worked feverishly in the background until he noticed something in the dim light.  "Uh oh..." he said softly.

"Niles," Austin said through shallow breaths.  "That's not really what we want to be hearing a the moment."

"These aren't my notes guys," Niles said walking over with crackled yellow parchment that looked like it was torn from a centuries old book.  He handed them to Austin and on the top of the stack was an illustration of three young women, lovely for their time but no older than fifteen to seventeen, dressed in simple puritan outfits.  "W-what's going on here, guys?  W-who're they?"

Fisher reached down into the inside of Todd's jacket where he saw the crumbled notes rolled into a cylinder.  "Here, try these."  He skirted around giving Niles a straight up answer and opted to occupy him with something else, like freeing Nadya from her enchantment.

"Who are they?"  Austin asked softly, trying to keep it between them.

Fisher sighed and looked to his friend.  "Betty Parris, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam."  When Austin shook his head like those names didn't mean anything to him and he was certainly not in the condition for a mental or intellectual thinking session at the moment Fisher leaned in and quietly helped him out.  "The first three women who were accused and arrested in the Salem Witch Trials... guess they actually were witches."

"Aaand... we just let them lose all over Salem... does 'oops' properly cover that?"  Austin tried to joke, as pain wracked his gut.

"Personally I'd go with 'our bad', but if you wanna 'oops' we can 'oops'."  Fisher shrugged, trying to keep it light despite the whole night spiraling into a shit storm.

Austin laughed, coughed and gripped his gut.  "Ow, don't make me laugh... so, who's telling the others?"

Niles approached, his grin wide and smiles from ear to ear.  "That should do it!"  We waved the papers about joyfully.  "I did it.  I set it right.  Nadya should be fine.  See?  All's well, right?  We cool?"

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Fisher looked at Niles, but feeling tired, decided to let it go. "We cool. It's between Nadya and you now." Having left Niles with that reminder hanging, something else tweaked. "Oh, right. That book you Austin said you have. It's the Nekiya, isn't it? It belongs to Mr. Syracuse. Return it ASAP." It was an assumption, but the whole thing fit Marius' MO far too well. Giving that tome with dangerous power to people sufficiently motivated and incautious enough to use it.

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"Like Fisher said, we might be cool, but now you gotta square this with Nadya.   Good luck with that.   I'm sure Rachel will want a word if you survive that."

he shrugged, still in alot of Pain.  "Todd, you get to face Rachel, admit what you tried to do, and accept whatever consequences she levies.  Catch her in a good mood, and she might let you live."

The Salem Witches Revelation was still rattling around in his mind, the pain making things abit more difficult for him, but he knew them being loosed was bad, and grumbled softly  "Big Fuckin "Oops.""  He looked to the other boys.  "We find Mr. Syracuse so you can give him that book, and then we can all go face the music.  Maybe all the aftermath will wait until tomorrow."

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"Th-thanks for helping me out," Todd managed to Austin as he still tried to get his bearings.  "Wh-what the hell just happened."  He looked at Austin with concern.  "Are you okay?  Why are you talking like that?"

"N-Nekiya?"  Niles looked awkwardly at Fisher.  "Oh, OH!  The golden and embossed tome," he was quick to correct.  "It's... uh, was in my locker.  I was using it to translate the notes to reverse the... whatever it was that happened to Nadya."  He paused, thinking for a moment.  "Which come to think, I would have seen it when I went looking for my notes earlier..."

Everyone gave Todd a look that seemed to demand an explanation.  He swallowed hard.  "I uh, I gave to some guy with a hat.  I came here to use the spell.  He met me at Nile's locker and asked for the book.  I didn't want to give it to him, I swear, guys!  But... the more he talked, I don't know, it was weird... I didn't want to do it, but I did anyway.  I didn't want to use the papers he gave me, but I folded up the notes and came in here and used his stuff instead.  I can still hear him... man, this is so weird.  He was so convincing..."

--==[***]==--

The entire dance had their eyes locked on Bridgette and Rachel as the 'woo's' and the cheers started.  So much so that no one noticed the tendrils of pink mist Nadya exhaled, tiny plumes escaping from her lips and nostrils that gathered around her head.  The small cloud glimmered with tiny motes of silvery glitter before it dissipated into nothingness.  Nadya could feel something, or better yet, a lack of something.  It was as if someone had removed a tightly bound tourniquet from her throat and she took a deep, well anticipated breath.

No longer a prisoner in her own mind, freedom never felt so good.

At this point half the dance was still watching Rachel and her new scandal while the rest of the dance was either murmuring about or straight up laughing at Billy as his date decided his company was thrilling she figured making out with Bridgette was the better idea.  Rachel was so wrapped up in her bliss, or distraction, or... whatever her plan was (she wasn't much of a sharer... or planner) she didn't notice him turn and leave.

But dat kiss tho'.  Bridgette certainly didn't shy away in the slightest.  Passionately she returned the kiss and as the crowed began to cheer she gave them more of a show, deepening the kiss and embracing her conspirator until finally pulling back just enough to catch her breath.  Coyly she narrowed her eyes at the attractive blonde.  "Well, Cooper, y'sure know how to ruin all t'fun of flirtin', but I do enjoy how you manage to always go big..."

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The kiss did send shivers through her body but that was not its purpose. She smiled a decidedly un-Rachel like smile and leaned close so only Bridgett could hear, "That was nice and I'm glad you enjoyed it too, but I'm with Billy, and just like you are your daddy's girl I am my fathers daughter. You ever pull shit like you did at the game, or tried to do here and I will forget that I like you and I will rip your spine out through your chest. Justice, vengeance, just different sides of the same coin."

Rachel spun away and started back toward where she had left Billy. And she didn't see him.

 Anger flared, but she tamped it down and went after him, after all he couldn't hide from her even if he wanted too.

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Marius. It figured that Marius had taken the Nekiya and moved on again. Probably this time so the witches could make use of it. This situation kept on getting worse and worse. "I guess he must have been." Fisher fixed the pair with a warning stare. "Well, this is where you give me those notes, walk away, and as we said, pray your dear little hearts out the girls will forgive you."

And just as Rachel was smiling an un-Rachel smile elsewhere, Fate had Fisher smiling an un-Fisher smile. "And don't do anything stupid like this again. Just don't."

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Austin grunted in both annoyance and pain, Marius had duped them all again, and it didn't sit well with him.   He looked to Todd.  "You're welcome Todd.   I'll be alright, it's nothing for you to worry about now.  Like fisher said,  Turn over all the notes,  walk away tonight, and later you're going to apologize.   With any luck, you'll survive."   Austin's smile was far more believable, and unlike his fellows, was very him.   He meant every word, right now he wanted to get back to the dance, and Yokiko.  The rest could wait.

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It was taking a breath of fresh air after drowning for a week. Nadya had never tasted something so sweet. Freedom, after being chained by what she presumed where mumbo-jumbo words, teenaged intentions and ostracism. Mingled fury and shame welled up in her. Fury for the way she had acted, had been forced to act, all needy, over-the-top and head-over-heels, nearly every thought focused on that little dweeb Niles. And shame that she couldn't make herself stop. If anything, railing against the imposed feelings had made it worse.

She might be an unconventional redistributor of wealth and various sundries, but she had never taken someone's will. Hers had been, and it was a theft even she couldn't conceive of. Persuasion, manipulation, tricks and wiles, she could understand, and if Niles could have managed it, even using a bro manual on how to get girls, all the power to him. But this?

She could remember every embarrassing action. As much as she wanted to take a SOS pad to her brain, she'd been embarrassed before and likely, she would be again, but it wasn't She wiped at her cheek and stared curiously at the wetness on her fingers. Tears? She never cried, never real tears anyway, but these were real.

Nadya jumped when she felt a hand on her bare shoulder. Glancing around, she found Dane there, amiable, easy smile on his face. "Yuh'kay, Moonbaby? Seems like the music hit you hard there. That can be the best. Or the worse." With a causal, insouciant motion, Dane tossed the borrowed guitar back to its owner. "Sometimes, it's both."

"It's fine, I'm fine, Dane. And thanks."

Even in her heels, Nadya had to stretch up on her toes to give the son of Baldur a tender kiss on the cheek. She didn't have to say what for, Dane understood. The music had offered a surcease from the chains of ensorcelment. When she settled back on her heels with a sharp click, Nadya's jaw was tight, her grin was grim and vicious, and her silver-grey eyes glittered with the last remnants of the spell she had been released from.

"But now, I need to go speak with my 'boyfriend' and maybe, like, kill him. Or whatever's worse than kill. Decimate? Destroy? Eviscerate? Doesn't matter, inspiration is striking me, and likely going to stab him." Her voice was a low growling, animated hiss. Dane nodded agreeably as though it all made sense. "Where is the little bastard?"

"He took off with Austin and Fisher a little while ago. Dunno why." Dane waggled his blond brows. "All you fine wimmin-folk are here, 'less they wanted a sausage party."

Nadya harrumphed. "If anyone is jamming something up Niles' ass, it's going to be me. Far up enough, he's gonna choke on it."

From the stage, Nadya looked over the dance, a slight frown growing on her lips, brows furrowing faintly. None of her band save Laurie standing by Donner was in sight. Bridgette looked totally nonplussed after kissing - or was it being kissed by - Rachel, but Rae-Rae wasn't there either, the doors to the gymnasium just clicking shut.

"Love, and the yearning for it, are crazy little things, Nadya. Think on it, hey?"

Nadya stared at Dane. She wasn't sure if it was Zen/Buddhist bullshit from a hippie upbringing, a perpetual high, or if it was an mote of actual wisdom that made his words seem deep... at times. She gave him a tight, reluctant nodd then jumped off the stage, landing gracefully and on the stride towards the main doors despite her stilettos.

She had a nerd to slay. And maybe Todd too, on sheer principle.

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[Rachel]  It wasn't hard to find Billy.  He'd left the gym and simply walked down the hall a bit to separate himself from something that obviously had frustrated him.  He was walking in a sort of half circle, his hands on his waste and it was obvious he was trying to calm down.  It was, in a way, good to see that he wasn't some stoic prince charming who was always cool with everything Rachel, with her crazy life style of monster hunting and being a demigod, said and did.  It was uncool that it obviously she'd caused some friction.

As she approached he noticed her and adopted an expression somewhere between confused and irritated.  He motioned to the gym and shook his head.  "I get it Rachel, I get that you said you care for me no matter what you do, or how crazy things are.  But a little warning would be nice.  Because I'm not mad that you kissed Bridgette, I'm not, in fact... full disclosure, that was kinda hot."

His candid admission made them both smirk, reducing some of the tension a bit.  His expression solidified into serious again and he continued.  "What I don't get is why?  Whatever that was, why, why did it need to be settled to here in front of the entire school, at the dance of all places?  I just looked like a complete jack hole in front of the entire school.  I'm not a monster slaying demigod, Rae.  I have to move on from this place and do college apps, and get a career and I don't my interviewers saying 'oh, yeah, you're that guy who went viral because his girlfriend took him to Homecoming so could make out with another girl'.  This is high school, Rae.  You think these guys are gonna let that go?  Did you even think for a moment how your actions would affect me?"

[Nadya]  "I don't know, I'm guessing some sort of plasmid or radiant energy particle," Todd said to Niles as they walked down the halls.  "I didn't really get a good look at them with Austin hovering over me."

Niles didn't really seem talkative but he listened nonetheless.  "He probably saved your life," he murmured.  Niles had handed over the notes, both his and the one's Marius had supplied Todd.  His mind certainly trying to wrap around all of this, but he wasn't much luck.

"Naw, I mean, if that guy could survive it.  It probably felt like getting tased... not that I've been tased.  But look, Niles, we saw something amazing, man!  I mean, proof that there is some next level Star Trek kinda shit going on around here.  Ever since we saw Horace jump onto that garage during the summer, I knew what we saw... we saw.  I mean, that was like, what?  A ten foot vertical?  There's a story waiting to be told here Niles, we have to have each other' back."  When Niles didn't reply Todd grabbed his arm and jostled him from his scattered thoughts.  "Niles, c'mon.  You have my back?  Because we have to be there for each other man, one hundred percent, no backing down."

The soft clack of Nadya's heels announced her before she rounded the corner.  She stopped the moment she saw Niles and Todd, her arms raised he corset enhanced cleavage ever so slightly but neither of the gentlemen noticed because the daggers in her eyes had their full attention.

"You got this."  Todd patted Niles on the shoulder and swiftly bee lined it back the way they had came at a pace somewhere between swift and 'I trained my whole life for this moment'.  The squeaking of his sneakers on the floor were a dimming echos as Niles came to realize that he was finally alone with Nadya.  The real Nadya.  The vengeful, gypsy curse, he'd seen Thinner four times and after tonight sorta believed magic was a thing... Nadya.

"I'm going to go on and assume," he said weakly.  His voice was about as meek and apologetic as one could muster as fear and embarrassment gripped him.  "We're not going to the Halloween party next week?"  Yet still he arched his eyebrow inquisitively with fleeting hope that everything would be okay.

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34 minutes ago, Dave ST said:

This is high school, Rae.  You think these guys are gonna let that go?  Did you even think for a moment how your actions would affect me?" 

 

“Yes...and no. You Billy, are proving to be more complex than I was giving you credit for. And for that I am sorry.” She stepped close and took his hand but didn't hug or kiss him. “If you hadn't of bolted, there wouldn't have been any doubt in anyone's mind who I am with and who I want to be with.

I didn't kiss her because it was hot. I did it because I needed everyone but especially her band to see it. And I needed her to know that if she ever messed with me or us again like she did tonight, that I would kill her.”

Rachel started walking and Billy went along her words registering. “Kill her? As in dead? Really dead” The look on his face was a cross between disbelief and horror. Rachel was slowly steering them toward the Library but she wasn't in a hurry to get there.

“Yes, really dead. Look she was pushing my buttons she came into the locker room before the game and kissed me. MY mind has been so in turmoil over everything lately and one of those things was all of you thinking I was gay. So yeah I was messed up and my mind wasn't on the game, then We go home I tell my dads what I told you and unlike you they don't believe me and then my real dad shows up and sent us here then she did it again felling me up with her freaking ghost hands when we went on the dance floor. All this other stuff going on Then Nadya gets up and sings that song.”

Billy is just walking along his own thoughts in turmoil part wanted to just leave but part the stronger part not wanting to let go of her hand.

Rachel takes a breath then continues “She sang that song and I don't know something in me responded to it. I accepted it and I looked at everything that's happened and you know what I saw? I saw you. You have been there the entire time since school started and you have been my friend and more. I thought I hated you when we were kids but that was just the only way I knew to understand those feelings.

I know what I am, I know what Fisher, and Nadya, and Austin are, what Bridgette is and Donner and those guys. And I know what you are.”

“Wait me?”

“Look Billy, my dad is Thor's brother.”

“I thought Loki was Thor's brother...”

“No.. step uncle but that doesn't matter. We're Aesir we are bound by destiny and fate. And so are you. We have been bound since we were kids. I can't explain it all I don't understand it all but There's some one who can, Mr Syracuse, I'll get him to tell you how it all works.

But what you need to know Is I am my Father daughter, I am Aesir and you are part of my destiny.

And I love you.”

 

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