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    Sean Cassidy

Everything posted by Nadya Lunălescu

  1. The delight on Nadya's face wasn't just for picturing a hive-ridden particular daughter of Aphrodite. If Fisher - and most others - thought study was anathema - another word-a-day word - to her, that was more than fine with her. And was the intent. While admittedly, her studying at school was... inconsistent at best, you couldn't pull off a good con or heist without at least some planning, even if you had to expect to adapt when things inevitably went wrong. “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” Nadya glanced back over her shoulder at the ancient arithmetician. "Just one more teensy thing, Archie, Maurice, yeah, Titanspawn, got it, but what exactly is he?" The svelte and wiry young woman perked up on her perch on the edge of the table, giving the impression of clapping excitedly without actually moving her hands. "Is he dwarf? Like an actual dwarf, not a little person? He's a dwarf, isn't he? We should at least bring him a case of beer or something."
  2. In which Eddy and Dixie talk to Ian A. A. Watson about his latest projects, including some more details on the recently-announced Trinity Continuum: Anima! Faxanadu on NES Streaming video games on Twitch More farty horns and Dixie’s Wikipedia Corner Ian reveals his middle names! We remember the rough times we had recording episode 4 How things have been in the past couple of years Ian is still a well-known shitposter Trinity Continuum: Anima The Crash Surprising inspirations Internet shit MMOs have their own language and cultural impact The Glass brain implant Different things to try in Trinity as a result The importance of media touchstones Why it’s not set during the Aberrant War M20 Victorian Mage How Ian’s evolved as a creative Interpreting Matthew’s dreams Impostor syndrome and making something with your hands LINKS: Faxanadu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faxanadu Matthew’s Twitch: https://twitch.tv/matthewdawkins Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men: https://www.xplainthexmen.com Mamoru Samuragochi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamoru_Samuragochi Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/260788/Trinity-Continuum-Core-Rulebook?affiliate_id=548232 Otherland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherland Mass Effect Franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect X-Com Franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/m20-technocracy-reloaded
  3. Nadya gave the newest member of their Band a quick once over, impish grin on her face and silvery-grey eyes alight. Chin cupped in her hands, elbows propped on the makeshift table, her hips rolled fluidly from side to side as she shifted her weight. "Don't mind Grumps over there, Dale. Grim doesn't know how to party and is now getting thrown into the deep end." Her grin widened and she flashed Grim a teasing wink. "Sink or swim time, Loquacious One." "Loquacious?" Grim drawled. His other eye was as grey and barren and unyielding as an overcast sky over a coal-mining town in winter. "I read," Nadya asserted with the slightest pout. Grim's grey eye seemed to convey extra... greyness. Nadya chuffed in irritation. "I have one of those word-a-day calendars, 'kay?" Grim's chin lowered, his gaze unwavering, as though looking at her over a pair of bifocals. Nadya rolled her eyes as she stood up and stretched. "So, I only got to February fourteenth, what about it?" Nadya sauntered lithely about the table, chunky-heeled boots barely a whisper, and sidled up to Dane. She hooked an arm through his, and reached up with the other to ruffle his blond mane. "It's a good thing you're yummy-cute and have the best herb, Burritosson." Dane smiled as though he'd just won an Oscar. "Wanna go with me, Moonbaby? We can do the couples thing like Darce and the Fishman. You'd make a foooine taco." Nadya laughed, then leaned around him to stick her tongue out at Grim. "I ain't figuring out nothing, Grim." Fisher snicked and Nadya shot him a friendly finger without looking back. "I have my costume ready to go. And yes, it is tight and super slooty. And has a hint of Salem folklore, for that little bit class. I'm going as Abigail Breslin-" "Williams," Fisher and Darcy said in saccharine synchronicity. "-Williams, one of Salem's most famous witches." Nadya's grin barred some teeth as her turned her attention towards Dale and Rachel. "And I aim to misbehave. So whaddaya say Rae-Rae, Dale, wanna join me in painting targets on our backs to try and draw out these wicked bitches?"
  4. Nadya's pencil beat a rapid tattoo on her binder, eagerly waiting for the last class of the day to end. Her page of notes had devolved into a hieroglyphic representation of some Rube Goldbergian monstrosity used to purloin... something. Nadya wasn't a particularly good artist. It might have been a document stating she owned Amazon entirely or a reverse giraffe. Her eyes were on the clock rather than her doodles. She swore she'd seen the minute hand move backwards a tick - which would have been far from the strangest thing she'd ever seen, especially recently. The bell rang and Nadya was out of the door before the chime finishing chiming, a dusk-coloured sirocco in chunky heels, her phone practically materializing into her hand. The teacher was death on students who played with their phones during class, and Nadya hadn't been about to risk having a gift from her mother taken away, even for a few hours, maybe a day. Beyond that, no phone! Shudder. Neither she nor Grimes had a shift at From Dusk Til Pawn today, and she was pretty sure the rest of the Band was free too. They'd better be, or they'd miss out on Big Fugly's broken ruby heart. It was time to talk to talk to Archie about the shards leftover from their take down of the Cherokee Spearfinger. Okay, okay, it was waaaay past time. She hadn't been hoarding them for herself. Really, honest. She'd just been... y'know, trying to see if she could figure out what to do with them on her own. Independent Study. It hadn't gone too well. Okay, it hadn't gone at all, since all her ideas about research on this stuff lead right back to Archie... which was right where she was ending up going, anyway. <We got some mats. Gotta find out where to go with them to make them into stuff. Meet up at Archie's> Nadya tapped out briskly on her phone then texted to the Band. Actually, Grimes hadn't even been there, but it would seem kinda rude and backhanded to uninvite him now, especially since she was his ride today. Can you say awkward? He could get the smallest piece of shattered ruby monster heart. When Nadya started getting close to the rather too impressive library for Salem High, she slowed her brisk pace to one more lackadaisical and aimless, them slipped inside while no one was looking. She couldn't be seen to be wanting to go to the library, even if she had been going there a lot more often as of late. She ghosted through the stacks to where Archimedes laired. "Hey, Archie! You around?" Nadya trilled lightly as she looked around for the erstwhile librarian and god. "You said come see you if I - we - wanted to start on that 'independent study' you mentioned."
  5. I was about to post or PM for details about said guy. If you had already sent me some, I'll admit to completely forgetting about them.
  6. I'll stick around. As an aside, guys, Artemis might be just a tad, a smidge really, miffed, about something that may or may not have gone missing, that in a roundabout way, if you squint really hard, could be considered the fault of someone in particular. I don't wanna name names...
  7. Nadya's lips twitched in a small smirk when Grim's eyes went back to the phone, but her pale gaze lingered on the pale scar over his eye, wondering again how it had happened. She opened her mouth to ask, but when Grim looked back up at her and nodded, proclaiming his satisfaction, she nodded back, mouth spreading in retail grin. She enjoyed browsing as much as the next girl, but the best customers were the ones who knew what they wanted and didn't dither of decision for a thousand years. You usually couldn't upsell them, but on the other hand, you could make ten sells for every dithering. "Alright then, good choice," Nadya said. "Let me grab you some of the accessories and get you rung up." Nadya disappeared behind the counter for a moment, then popped back up with a cardboard box full of electronic brick-a-brac. "Charger for the phone, phone case - do you want Minions or Bedazzled?" she said, holding up a case in either hand for his inspection, grin broad and eyes sparkling. Grim's stoic bland expression still seemed to radiate affront. "Nah, I'm kidding, I wouldn't wish these on Mercedes and her Pink Slip Amazons... well, yeah, I totally would. Here, black." With practiced motions, she slipped on the textured rubber and plastic over the phone and handed back to Grim, then began digging in the box once more. "Power-cord for the Chromebook." She plugged it into the Chromebook to make sure it fit. "Oops, not that one, this one-" She was interrupted by a rap at the cash counter. She and Grim both looked around to find László hanging his cane on the counter once more. "No, be giving the boy the newest Chromebook we are having. Same price. He is missing much, and is having much to catch up on." Nadya raised her brows in surprise. "I swear, he has hearing like, um - I don't know who the Egyptian Heimdall is, so, like, Heimdall's," Nadya whispered. The shop was quiet save for the soft skirling of violins over the speakers, but they hadn't been speaking particularly loud. "He always knows everything going on in the shop." Grim gave Nadya a muted shadow of a smile, then met László's gaze directly. "I appreciate the offer sir, but it isn't necessary. This one is sufficient." "Bah!" László waved a dismissive hand. "I am expecting more than only sufficient from my daughter, and I am thinking you are expecting more from yourself, boy." He gave Nadya an assertive, pointed nod before his eyes shifted back to Grim. "Speaking of the sufficiency, my little daughter-" "I'm not that short," Nadya huffed, putting away the two Chromebooks she had brought of for Grim's inspection and pulled out another, a little bigger than the others, and while clearly a newer model, the lid showed the scuffs of hard use or little care. She pulled out another box, slim, the corners beaten and opened it up, showing neatly arranged cords with twist ties, and styrofoam packing, leaving a perfect fit for the laptop. "-is not being sufficient to be helping me with the shop, she being often busy with other... things." Nadya blew a raspberry. "I am thinking I am needing more help. Are you being interested? You are being the growing boy still, I am seeing the signs, and I am thinking you can be using more of the money. Some of your wages, it would be going to make up the difference."
  8. "Just so. It is being best not to believing half what you are reading, and little more what you are seeing," László agreed with amiably gruff amusement, a sage nod, and a twinkle in his eye. Behind him, Nadya shook her head vehemently over her father's shoulder, trying to convey silently to Grim that her father wasn't in the know about Gods and Titans and Monsters, but Grim suspected László caught the motion, though he gave no sign of it beyond a slight curve of his mouth. The elder Lunălescu picked up his cane and swung it behind him without looking, giving Nadya a light swat on the thigh. "My milaya doch', help the boy finding the things he is looking for," László to his daughter, hanging his cane off the edge of the counter once more. "Me, and am doing the sorting of the jewels for what to sell, and what is for the keeping, so that those they are meaning much may recover them." He gave Grim another scrutinizing glance, then looked over his shoulder at Nadya. "And you, Nadezhda, be a good host and be offering him a sandwich. You are being as skinny as the rail, boy." Nadya rolled her eyes in exasperation, but when her father shifted, a demure expression came over face so quick, Grim began to doubt he had even seen the roll of eyes. She swiftly finished her sandwich, then picked up the tray. "Of course, Tată," she said docilely, and her father snorted, clearly not fooled. She skipped down the two steps from the counter area, and offered the tray to Grim. "There's egg salad, tuna, and ham and swiss," Nadya said, indicating each lightly toasted sandwich with a nod. Only one half of the tuna sandwich remained on the wooden tray. "Grab one, oh Grim one, and let's see about getting you hooked up and online." Grim hesitated for a moment then picked up the other half of the tuna sandwich and flashed the Lunălescus his reserved, understated smile. Nadya gave him a mock pout before she slid the tray back onto the counter, then beckoned him to follow her with a pair of waving fingers. "Someone has good taste. This way." Nadya led Grim to a counter at the back of the shop, what passed for the electronics section, and took the two steps up in a hop. She glanced down the glass counter top, then gave a Grim a quick, considering look that almost made him want to check his pockets to find out what was missing. Then she pulled out two transparent trays of cellphones. Strips of masking tape indicated the price range, 40-99 dollars in one tray, 100-199 in the other. Nadya walked further down the counter and leaned on it, the two steps up bringing her eyes up just a bit higher than Grim's. "What're looking for in a laptop, Grim? Video games or video editing, big screen, or just something for homework and wikipedia?" "Research and homework mainly," Grim admitted. A shrug. "Entertainment secondary, I suppose. Why?" "Dude, you are so wrong 'bout that, but I got you. I could get you a good deal on a gaming laptop. Great specs, 19 inch screen, whole buncha games on it still, but it's almost as thick as a phonebook and weighs as much as Wolf, with a battery life of about two minutes." Nadya tapped on the glass counter pointing out the beastly laptop with a biohazard decal on the lid, then she pointed to two other smaller, slimmer models, one newer than the other. "But it sounds like what you want is a Chromebook. A hundred for this one. They're perfect for surfing the net and youtube. And homework, I guess. They're kinda between a tablet and a PC. Talk to Beth at school, and she get even get Netflix working on them, probably update the operating system on the older models," "I don't have an Netflix account." "Pshaw! I don't either. Lotta people do though and don't even come close to their device limit. I can get you a password or two." She pulled out the Chromebooks for him to look at then reached and slid the trays of cellphones over between them. "And these are probably our best deals on phones. The newest stuff is practically full price 'cuz fanboys are gonna iPhone, no matter the price. The Nokias might be old, but are nearly invincible. We actually have a pair of Blackberries left, if you want buttons, then a whole bunch of touchscreens." She rifled through the cheaper tray and pushed one of the smartphones with a bigger screen to the side. "If you don't mind a crack on the screen than you can barely see unless you look at it at the right angle, we got a newer Samsung for under a hundred." Nadya tapped the wall behind her, at product hanging from pegs. "I'll even throw in an SD card for more storage. Give them a look over, I'll be right back." Nadya scooted back to the cash counter, grabbing another half of sandwich, ham and swiss this time, and her mug of coffee, then sauntered back to the electronics counter and her newest Bandmate.
  9. The pawn shop was worn, but well tended. If the industrial red and black carpet was faded and threadbare in places and the shelves aged and scratched, the floor was still swept clean and the tempered glass of the display cases was clear. The place was organized with just a hint of comfortable disarray, the commercial equivalent to a lived-in den. Several wooden bins overflowed with books marked at a dollar a piece. Instruments hanging from the ceiling by one wall weren't quite arranged by size or type. A display of carved and blown glass figures only had a semi-sense of order to it. On the other hand, the small array of guns behind the sales counter was very neatly arranged in locked display cases. The sales counter to the left of the entrance itself was raised by a pair of steps, giving anyone behind it a clear view over the entire shop floor. At the moment, sitting behind the counter was a middle-aged man, a bit on the swarthy side with raven black hair peppered with grey and several days growth of salt and pepper stubble. His bright grey eyes were sharp and incisive, but bracketed by laugh lines. If not classically handsome, he had roguish good looks that might have belonged to a Star Wars freighter pilot or in a heist film. He looked up at the ting-a-ling of the bell over the door then glanced at the rangy young man who entered. Not perceiving anything suspicious or duplicitous in Grim, László gave him a friendly a nod, but let him look around to his own content. If they boy needed any help, he would ask for it. László went back to sorting some rings and bits of jewelry in some fashion Grim couldn't determine off-hand. He noted the handle of what appeared to be a cane hanging on the edge of the counter. Grim was browsing for while, dithering on making a decision with his limited funds when he caught the sound of footsteps coming down stairs from beyond the sales counter. A young woman backed through a doorway, gracefully carrying a tray that held a plate of sandwiches and a teapot in one hand, the other holding a large mug. When she turned around, Grim realized it was Nadya... he thought. He'd never seen her looking so... domestic. Her hair was held back by a red, white, and blue kerchief, save for a few wavy locks that dangled free to frame her face. She was wearing yoga pants and an oversized Boston Red Sox sweater that slouched off one shoulder, the sleeves long enough to have cover her hands. Her fingers were free of any rings, though a small one still pierced her brow and she had a small stud in her nose. And she wasn't wearing heels, but a pair of broken-in old slip-on Sketchers. Nadya placed the tray on the counter by her father - side by side, Grim caught the family resemblance - and poured him a cup of tea. The two of them spoke him softly in a mix of at least two languages, neither of them English, before Nadya grabbed a triangular half of a sandwich and took a sip from her almost ludicrously big mug with Calvin and Hobbes on the side with the quote: 'If good things lasted forever, would we appreciate how precious they are?' She took a bite of her sandwich when she realized there was someone in the pawn shop, her eyes widening slightly when she realized who it was. If she was embarrassed being caught at work, out of her usual fashion sense, Nadya gave no sign of it, though she quickly swallowed her bite of sandwich before offering Grim a grin that was between friendly and professional. "Hiya, Grim. What brings you to From Dusk Till Pawn today?"
  10. Nadya's mobile face split in a wide grin as Grim slipped the amulet on the thong around his neck. There was a slight, questioning tilt to her head as she eyed the thong. It wasn't a common silver or gold or steel chain, or braided leather, but something else. And was that a tooth? The Stone Bitch hadn't had teeth that big. She arched a dark brow at the introverted Scion, but if wanted to say another about the tooth or where he'd been, he'd reveal in his own time. "Cu plăcere*," Nadya said with a small wave, her smile growing more amused and a bit teasing. "Gotta ask, if you met your old one-eyed dad, does he look more Hopkins or more McShane? Because I think Ian McShane does the better job, just saying, but maybe that's because can swear on Starz, but it's a big no-no in the MCU." She quickly scarfed down another donut and washed it down with the rest of her coffee, then sauntered over and tossed the box of donuts - oops, donut - on the grew wood of the weather-beaten picnic table. She took a seat, perched on the top, a planted a boot on the bench seat as she crossed her legs. "About the motives and intentions of our dieting--" "Diefic," corrected at least three of the others. "That's what I said, Deific. Our Deific folks, well, I'm with Fisher on this one. Who cares why they're doing whatever they're doing. It might matter to them, but it doesn't have to matter to us, or matter much, anyway. We find our own motivations instead of relying on theirs. And along the way, we have some fun, cuz otherwise, what's point? Oh!" Nadya bent and began digging around in her satchel. "I got something for you too, Rae-Rae. Didn't see anything Vidar-y, and not even a good copy of Thor's hammer, but it's something. Sorry, guys, vikings are the shit right now in showbiz - did any of you see Gods of Egypt? Shudder - but I swear, I'll find you all something too." "It isn't stolen, is it?" Rachel commented, more than a hint of resignation in her tone at what she was sure the answer would be. "Rae-Rae! Technically, you can't steal from a dead guy. Seriously, it's a thing. Ask museums," Nadya protested nonchalantly. "And the collection of artifacts were just dug up out of the ground, weren't even going to museums or anything. Just rich people selling them off to other rich people - Sorry, Laurie - so they can hide them in private collections and show them off to friends. They won't miss one. Or two. Besides, they're insured... Probably. Ah-hah! Here it is." Nadya leaned over from her seat on the picnic table and held out the worked and worn pendant balanced on her nimble fingers. "It's supposed to be a Valkyrie. I mean, I guess it sorta looks like Tessa Thompson, a little, but whatever. Valkyries were badass battle bitches, right? Well, you're our badass battle bitch, Rae-Rae."
  11. <I'll get there when I can> Nadya had texted Fisher back as she had been changing out of a pale grey business suit. <I'm down in Boston.> Okay, that was a tiny lie. She had been in Boston. Now, she was standing in a Dunkin' Donuts bathroom, pulling off a strawberry-blond wig and shaking out her sable hair, hints of purple still in it. She peered at herself in the mirror above the sink. Her eyes felt grainy, but her face looked fresh and clean, scrubbed free of the make-up that had made her look older. Gods, good and bad, I need more coffee. She hadn't slept since the night before the Dance and while her heritage gave astonishing stamina, the lack of sleep was beginning to take a toll. There was something off about Fisher's text. If Rae-Rae had called a meeting, she'd have texted or called them herself. Fortunately, she was close, she could beat them to the Stables. But there was something she needed to do first. She stuffed the remnants of her disguise into her nondescript bag, slipped on her short leather jacket, then sauntered out of the bathroom. The lady waiting to go next gave her a startled look - the Nadya who exited hardly looked like the Nadya who had entered. Nadya practically skipped up to the counter. "Hi! I need a box of fifty donut holes - just jelly, cinnamon, and glazed blueberry. And an extra large coffee, with, like, a ton of sugar, and if you squeeze in extra caffeine, that would be awesome." ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ "Oh, suck it up, buttercup," Nadya groused, sliding around from where she had been lurking behind the trunk of an old tree. She ignored Grim's flat, gimlet glare to stuff a blueberry glaze donut in her mouth and wash it down with a big gulp of coffee. "That lone wolf shit plays great on TV, and the edgelords eat it up in the comics, suckling on the pain of their tragic backstory, yet struggling stoically on their own, so they don't have to feel that pain again." Nadya made a fake heaving sound. "In real life, lone wolves die alone, and nobody notices. Or cares." Nadya tilted the box of donut holes towards Grim in offering, but when he made no move towards it, she just an insouciant shrugged. "No one is saying you haven't been dealt a shitty hand. But the game never ends when there's still a chance at the turn of a friendly card. And dude, you've been given a whole new hand to play." She gestured at Fisher with her coffee. "You think we're only interested in you because of your godblood? Pfft! You ain't special in that. You think I'd be friends with Fisher otherwise? Or that Rae-Rae would be besties with me? None of our Band hung together before we found out what we were, but yeah, the godblood changed things for us. Forced us to look beyond our differences, gave us the opportunity to see others in a new light. That opportunity is still there, all you - we, too, for that matter - have to reach for it." Nadya shifted, tucking the box of donut holes under her arm and nodded at the book in Grim's hand. "I don't know what all Rae-Rae said to you, but if you think you have to be a 'good' stray to stick around, don't worry 'bout it. You just have to stand by us, and Rae-Rae will fight for you no matter how 'bad' of a stray you are or how much she grumbles. Or had much shit hits the fan. Hells bells, she's family now, sorta, isn't she? A second cousin or niece or whatever, I didn't read all the viking stuff yet. Don't tell Mr. S. Family can be by blood, and can be by choice - we can be the latter, but Rae-Rae can be both, if you want it, warts and arguments and all." Grim tilted his head very slightly, viewing Nadya from a different angle. "'Sides, I seem to remember the Norse gods don't fight Reggae-rockapooloza or whatever alone. We're just at the part when the Avengers are meeting for the first time and fight. Let's skip that part - it's been done sooo many times. I mean, we don't have a pair of hunky Chrises on our team, but when it's time to throw down, we don't let any us stand alone. Oh!" Nadya juggled her coffee and the box of donut holes as she scrounged around in her satchel. "I found something I thought you'd like when I went down to Boston this morning. Catch!" Something tarnished and metallic flicked in the afternoon light and Grim didn't have to make much of an effort as it landed in his hand. "It's an artifact dug up from some old viking village. 'Spose to be Odin. I thought you'd like it." "What were you doing in Boston?" Fisher not-quite-demanded. "Things," Nadya replied blithely. "I'd have picked something up for you too - and the others - but the auction house didn't have anything, er, Japanesey." Grim fingered the old, rough, amulet, then glanced back up to Nadya, pale eye and green alike hard and unfathomable. "You think a... trinket will buy me off?" His voice was bland and cool. "A bribe to stay or an apology for your leader's words?" Nadya looked genuinely hurt, which she quickly tried to hide behind downing the rest of her coffee. "Laurie is the one who's loaded, she can offer the bribes, if that's what you want. And Rae-Rae can make her own damn apologies - I don't even know what she said to you. I was passing by and saw that and thought you'd like it. Stay or go, I'd thought you'd like something of your - oh damn, forgive me for this - something of your 'God' father. Whether you hate him or haven't made up your mind about him or whatever, it's something you can look at, feel, even if he ain't here."
  12. Nadya stalked through the hallways of Salem High, still bristling in the aftermath of her encounter with Niles. She writhed in fury and shame and not a little terror at having her mind taken from her, hate at what had been done to her, thought the hate at Niles was beginning to fade, despite her wants. There just hadn't been anything in Niles to hang the hate on beyond the act itself. He hadn't bleated out any justifications, there hadn't been a hint of gloating or boasting in subverting her desires, he hadn't even taken a bit of advantage of the situation... and that somehow was infuriating too. As she walked, she trailed her hand along the walls of lockers, fingers giving each combination lock a hard flick in passing. When she reached the gym, she paused outside, peeking through the narrow, wire-mesh windows in the doors. Her smile was bittersweet. Dane was in his element on stage. Rachel, Austin, and Fisher seemed to be having a fine time with their SOs, as was Laurie with whatever the hells Donner was to her. Normally, the embarrassment of being a fifth - or ninth in this case - wheel would just slide off her as easily as the habitual accusation thrown her way. But not tonight. Besides, with how she felt at the moment, she couldn't deal with Mercedes and her flunkazons crowing about how a slut like her couldn't even keep a boy like Niles interested enough in her that he ditched her at the Dance. One snide word and she'd do something... drastic. As exhilarating and stress-relieving that would be, it would probably wreck the Dance and the evening. Regardless of what had happened to her, her friends deserved better. Nadya left the school, her steps eerily silent as she strutted with nonchalant circumspection to her car. She put on her longcoat against the rising chill of night, though left it open, and slipped in behind the wheel. The engine of lemon-yellow '71 Mercury Cougar purred to life - or at least gave a disgruntled chuff of animation. Nadya peeled out of the lot with more speed than necessary, not even sure where she was going. Not home, not yet. Her stomach grumbled as she was passing by the Salem House of Pizza, and she slewed across the oncoming lane and zipped into the small parking lot of the restaurant and pizzeria, beating another furiously honking car to a spot right by the front doors. The door gave a little ding-a-ling as Nadya strode in and the guy - Guy, his name happened to be - manning the cash register looked up with a start. At this time of night, they weren't slammed despite their football victory, but business was still brisk, but the young woman walking towards him was certainly an incongruous sight. Dressed for prom by way of The Nightmare Before Christmas, she was gorgeous, impressively uplifted breasts not concealed by her open coat and so very out of place against the yellow walls and the orange extruded plastic of the bench seats and tables. "Are you here to order or for pickup," Guy asked after pulling his eyes from her stilettos and sleekly toned, pale leg glimpsed between folds of her charcoal grey longcoat. "Order. I need carnage. Can do you do that for me, Guy? An extra large, pile high with carnage?" "How... how do you know my name?" Was she a witch? More importantly, was she legal? Guy would have remembered ever meeting this girl before, though oddly, he thought she looked vaguely familiar. "I'm a witch, Guy. Left my broomstick in the car." At his expression, Nadya sighed, arched a brow, then pointed a finger gun at the left side of his chest. "Name badge, dude. Now about that carnage pizza?" "Oh, oh! Right. One meat lover's deluxe, that sound good?" "Double the carnage - that is, double the meat on it - and we have a deal." Guy nodded, brows raising impressed. The young woman wasn't particularly big, but she ordered what he and his buds often ordered. And he had to admit, there was something... carnivorous about her grey eyes. "One Meat Lover's, double carnage, coming right up, miss. It'll be about twenty minutes." When he told her how much it would cost, Nadya unconsciously eyed the tip jar, before shaking her head and pulling the needed cash from her wallet - her own actual wallet, even. He and his colleagues worked for those tips, and hopefully the manager or owner didn't swipe the tips from them. She forgotten to get a drink, but when she went to pay for two-liter bottle of pop she'd grabbed from the fridge, Guy waved her off with a grin, after a quick look over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching. Stepping out of the Salem House of Pizza with another light ding-a-ling, extra-large pizza in one hand, bottle of pop in the other, Nadya felt stupid. This was way too much pizza for her, and she didn't have anyone to share it with, and not enough to share if she went back to the Dance. Then she thought of someone else who was alone tonight, and who wouldn't mind finishing off a meat pizza with her. Several minutes later, Nadya pulled her car in behind the old Carlton Stables. Before she even opened the door, Wolf was bounding out to meet her. Nadya laughed giving her a hug, and scratching her behind the ears. It was a good thing she was stronger than she looked, otherwise Wolf would have knocked her on her ass. "Gods above and below, Wolfy, you're getting big," Nadya crooned. She would have changed out of her stilettos, but with Evelyn's fairygodmother trick, she wasn't sure what would happen to her original pair of shoes if she took them off. "Give me a bit to set up, and then I have a treat for you." Wolf cocked her head to the side, tongue lolling out, then cocked it the other way. Nadya ruffled the soft fur between her ears, then got moving, Wolf trotting along behind her. Nadya got a fire going in the ring of stones, then dragged out a reclining lawn chair and a heavy, somewhat musky down blanket from the stable. Then she got the pizza from the car. She cut off the top of the box to use as a plate and claimed three pieces of pizza for herself and gave the rest to Wolf. With the crackling fire and thick comforter, Nadya was warm against the rising chill of night and the season. She laid back on the lawn chair, gazing up at the silver-white of the moon and the deep shadows of the clouds. The surrounding trees rustled and rattled in the evening breeze, and Nadya almost could make out words in the sound. She might have the blood of a Goddess in her veins, but she felt anything but godly at the moment. She just felt like a trite refugee from any number of CW dramas. She wished she had something stronger than soda at hand. "Don't tell anyone I gave you people-food, 'kay, Wolf?" Nadya said. Wolf raised her head from the pizza box, more than half her share of pizza already gone to stare at Nadya. Nadya turned her and gazed back, a small grin tugging at her lips. Wolf went back to the pizza, chewing and chomping with gusto. "Yeah, didn't think you would. Well, this day went to shit. And it all start awesome. Or at least, I was made to think it had. Let me tell you about it, then we can sit here until whichever number of gods start pulling the sun across the sky again - Mr. S. could tell us, would probably expect us to know already." And Nadya began to talk, expressing her anger and melancholy and contradictory feelings to Wolf, who listened in benign - or perhaps resigned - silence. Except for one sound, drawn out and strained on the edge of audibility. Nadya stared at Wolf, face twisted in repugnant distress. "Dear gods! Wolf, was that you?!" Wolf seemed contrite, slinking away from the empty pizza box, and laying down on Nadya's other side, a paw over her snout. One of Wolf's ears twitched in apparently apology, unless it was wilting under the atrocious reek. "I don't mind sneaking you people-food, Wolfy. But cheese is off-limits. Ugh. I think I need a hazmat-suit."
  13. I'd say everything doesn't have to be Norse this and Norse that... but Norse Mythology is the one I'm most familiar with, followed by Celtic and Greek/Roman, so... Probably dwarves, if not 20 feet tall. Would have Nadya ask if they sing like the dwarves in The Hobbit, and have them counter they prefer breakdancing and hip-hop.
  14. About those trophies.... I haven't played Scion at the table, only here, so I just have the books to go on. In the books, monsters drop trophies that generally have set effects, but they don't really go into relics after play has started beyond saying you can earn them. How are you going about it in this game? You've mentioned before about getting them forged - how so? And in what way? As Relics I presume, but how many dots and can we choose what we get? Only purviews, or unique powers? But most importantly, beyond asking Archie, who do we go see about getting them forged into whatever? Do you have some NPCs planned, or are you fine with us making them up? I had the sense you had some trophy-benders in mind, so that was why I hadn't pushed it, thought you'd reveal them in your own time.
  15. Yes, yes, I have them, totally didn't forget that Mr. S was going to introduce us to a gem-carver or relic-mechanic or whatever. I guess it's up to Grim or Dave if they prefer Grim being introduced on-screen or off.
  16. Nadya glowered at Niles in near disbelief, cocking her head to the side as though to studying him from a different angle. Then she let out a bark of laughter, sharp and hard. "If I'd known you had such a big set of brass ones, I might'nt've said no in the first place, honny. No, we're not going to the Halloween party together, Niles. This is to see if you're still if you're still breathing by then." Nadya's tone was sweet, playful, but Nile caught one glance of her eyes and found his fleeting hope dashed as bad as a baby thrown in the trash on prom night. He couldn't look away from the cold, pitiless regard he saw in those moonsilver eyes. Nadya wasn't joking. He couldn't see any remorse in them, she could end him, and it wouldn't bother her. It was the scariest thing he had seen tonight. "Nadya, I didn't inten-" "Don't care," Nadya cut him off, ruthlessly. She sashayed closer and Niles backed himself to the wall of lockers. A sashay shouldn't have been able to seem to menacing. "You might be a brain, turdburger, but you really don't seem to understand what you did." "I was just trying to give us a chance." "No. You weren't." Niles' back was up against the lockers, and Nadya stepped in close, hemming him in with a hand planted to either side of his slender shoulders. He could feel her warm breath on his face. "I said 'no'. And instead of accepting it or showing a bit of persistence and working to change my mind, you caved at the first chance and forced the issue. With Gods' bedamned magic." "It wasn't like that, Nadya, I swear. We didn't think it would work," Niles protested weakly, then he straightened his spine with a contrary flair of indignation. "It's not like persistence would have paid off." "I guess we'll never know. You nuked that option into the ground." Nadya slammed her palm against a locker, denting it noticeably, then whirled away from Niles, wrapping her arms around herself before she did the same thing to his head. Or took his throat or intestines out with her fang knife. That would be too easy, too merciful for him. "It was exactly like that, Niles," Nadya continued, her voice low and dark, as she glared down the hallway away from him. "If you really didn't think it had any chance to work, you wouldn't have bothered trying to cast the spell or whatever it was in the first place. If you really didn't want it to work, you'd have broken the enchantment, or at least tried, right away, instead of waiting 'til now." She turned back to him and sighed, but her hands were still knotted into fists and stuffed into her armpits to stop them from going around his throat. "I've swindled and scammed, stolen and pilfered, and I'll do it again and again. Mostly from those who could afford the lost, or who I thought deserved to be a taught a lesson. But you and bloody Todd, what you did was worse than anything I or even Donner ever did." Niles almost gagged on the affront. "Eric Donner? That belligerent, bombastic, blustering blatherskite and thug? Worse than him?" Nadya nodded grimly. "He might beat people up, mock them, and be a general all round asshole, but we've never taken someone's sense of self, taken their volition away from them. First taste of power, and you were so preoccupied if with whether or not you could, you didn’t stop to think if you should." Niles' swallowed, starting to get a real hint of just how violated Nadya felt. And felt even worse that he had blown it with her. "Did... did you just quote Goldblum in Jurassic Park?" "I root for the T-Rex." Her brief grin baring a flash of white teeth would have done a velociraptor (movie version, not actual version) proud. "They made her, then locked her in a cage, however big. Everyone deserves their freedom until they do something that truly demands they forfeit it. Stuff is just... stuff, but freedom, and the freedom to be yourself instead of what others want you - demand you - to be, that should be inviolate." Her gaze intimated that he deserved it, or worse. "What about me?" "What about you, indeed." Nadya jutted her chin down the hallway. "Come with me." "Where?" Niles hedged with suspicion and growing dread. "Don't worry, Niles. I'm not luring out of school into the woods to disembowel you and then bury you in a deep grave." Niles was hardly reassured. "Well, I wasn't worrying about that until you just said it." "I'm just going to give you a hint of what it was like for me. Follow me." "And if I don't?" "That would completely be your own decision," Nadya gushed with saccharine and false cheer. "Just as my own decision would be stopping pretending to be so nice about this and I drag you after me, minus your kneecaps. Sense of self intact, if not your body." "Since you put it that way..." Niles followed. Terrified he might be, he could help but notice that is was very pleasant following Nadya in that dress with those heels. "You look nice, Nadya. Don't know if I actually told you that." "I look fantabulous!" Nadya boasted nonchalantly without looking back at him or breaking stride. Nadya led Niles to the weight room. It was locked, but Nadya did something with one of the animal-headed pins in her hair and the door opened as easily as if she'd used a key. She pointed imperiously at one of the benches. "Sit. There." Niles glanced at it uncertainly. He was sure he'd never actually ever been in the weight room. It smelled of stale sweat, stale protein powder, and sour testosterone derived from ignoramus meatheadicus. "Here?" "Yes." "I don't see-" Clink! A bare bar rattled onto the rack above the bench. "I-" Clink! Clank! Clink! Nadya handled the 45lbs plates with disconcerting ease. "What will this prove? How are you even-" "Humor me, Niles. Take a hold of the bar. I'll spot you." "There's over five hundred pounds on this, Nadya, there's no-" From laying on the bench, he looked up at her, pass the thrust of her corseted breasts. Her expression brooked no resistance. "I'll spot you. Now, lift." Niles shivered at the chill of her silvery eyes, then strained at the bar, knowing it would be futile. But then he heard a soft exhalation and the bar and all the weight on it came off the rack. He stared in shock. first at the bar, then the mass of plates on each side, then at Nadya. Tendons stood out in her sleekly toned arms, but it didn't seem like she was straining. "How?" "Put some effort into it, Niles. I'm just spotting you, not doing all the lifting for you." Niles arched his back, huffed and puffed and pushed up at the barbell. But as Nadya supported less of the weight, the bar inexorably sunk lower and lower. Not matter how hard he strained, how much effort he exerted, his arms couldn't resist the mass. The bar came to rest high on his chest, the pressure beginning to grow unbearable, and tears sprang from his eyes as he believed he was going to be crushed. "I don't know what you want, Nadya," Niles gasped. It was getting hard to breathe. "I... promise... I'll... never... use... a spell... like... that... again..." "I don't want your promise, Niles," Nadya said unrelentingly, looking down at him. "That would be a string between us that I would have to endure. Why would I want that?" She pursed her lips in exaggerated thought. "You know, I could just let that string snap. Seems like a lot of effort, killing you and then dumping the body. Instead I can just leave you here to be crushed by your own ego and machismo, thinking you were man enough to manage this much weight. Everyone would believe it a terrible accident. Everyone to whom it mattered, anyway." "...door..." Niles whispered through the pain. He tried to roll the bar down his body or off to the side, but Nadya held it firmly in place. "What's that? Door? Oh, it won't look tampered with. And when they find you, surprisingly, they'll find Coach Fingers' extra set of keys he keeps in his desk in your pocket." "... please..." "Nobody heard my pleas, Niles, not even myself. No matter how loud I shouted or how hard I strained, I couldn't resist the weight of want you sat on me. I could just... let go, and let you deal with this weight yourself. But I do hear your pleas." With a snort, Nadya lifted the barbell and racked it. Niles bolted up to a seating position, gasping and panting, hands going to his chest. Nadya sat at the foot of the bench, keeping a space between them. She let him collect himself, just watching him expressionlessly until he looked up to face her once more. "Worried 'bout a Gypsy curse, worry 'bout this!" Nadya reached out and with a hard thumb, traced a sigil on his forehead. It was complete nonsense. "Bam! Cursed! Next time you try to steal someone's self and will, to slave it to your own, your guts will come sliding out your slashed open taint." Niles rubbed his forehead then looked as his fingers dubiously. "I don't feel cursed." "Why would the curse give you a warning?" Nadya's smile was vicious. "You break, and it'll just happen." Nadya shook her head and snorted again, then glanced tiredly at the ceiling. "There's no curse, Niles. I believe in karma and an overall cosmic balance, even if that balance is dynamic... and sometimes needs a helping hand. Maybe you can make up for the vile shit you did, and maybe you can't and you'll be punished for it. I don't think you actually meant for things to go the way they did, but they did and I can't forgive you for it. Not now. What I can promise is if I get a hint you've done it again, I'll make that curse real. By my own hand, dude, and you won't see it coming." Niles had no doubt she meant it. He didn't even see the wicked curved knife appear in her hand and make a practice swipe towards his crotch, and he didn't when or how she put it away. "Be better, boy, and know Dane probably saved your life. Because right now, I really, really want to make the ancient Romani curse of guts-sliding-from-your-taint real."
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The music pounded in Nadya's head, in her ears, in her blood. Bumbrm! Bumbrm! Bumbrm! like brittle, rattling drums, luring her back like a seductive, terrible siren even as it drove her onward, onward, onward! Never looking back, never reflecting on the past. Her smile was wide and wild, her silver-grey eyes shining as she ground up against Rachel. Darci tried to pull away, but Nadya hauled her in tight, her hand as firm as steel handcuffs. "Let them watch!" Nadya purred/chuckled wickedly. "If your boyfriends are too scared to come claim ya with a few eyes on us, they don't deserve you." The roguish Romani girl glanced over her shoulder and Darci's, her curly tail of hair tickling Darci's nose, and noticed Niles awkwardly shuffling towards them, his eyes wide with worry and want. She licked her deep red lips invitingly. "Niley and me will take care you." Austin could hear Niles audible swallow. Niles looked up at the taller boy, looking like a green-clad deer caught in headlights. "Um, er, nooo...?" He swallowed again, then turned back to look at Nadya, who looked like a dark and delicious, wanton and wondrous fey. For an instant, Niles wondered if this was actually a really bad idea. Then he straightened his slender shoulders, tugged at his bowtie, and nodded decisively. He had wanted Nadya as a girlfriend, and now she was his girlfriend, all his. "No, I'm not." His confidence lasted for his first step towards Nadya, but her eyes and coy tongue drew him as inexorably as gravity. He didn't notice one of his circle of friends, Tim, get kneed in the balls by Acadia and collapse with a silent whimper after having the audacity to ask her to dance. He made up to the girls engaged in a faux-lesbian grind, took a deep breath to screw up his courage, then gave Nadya a gallant bow and extended his hand. "May I lead you to the dance floor, milady, and have the first, uh, dance, milady?" Niles said, a little thready. Nadya let Rachel and Darci go as though they were dead bodies and gave a gleeful little clap, almost bouncing on her heels. Nadya gave him a deep, elegant curtsy, Niles' eyes dipping to inviting cleavage enhanced by her perfectly fitted corset. Nadya took her time straightening up, then laced her fingers with his, pulling him into a kiss before stepping to his side. "I would love nothing more, milord," Nadya tittered in an atrocious posh English accent. Hands clasped, she leaned her head on Niles' shoulder, despite having a few inches on his with her heels, her hip pressed against him. Each click of her heels sounded like cracking glass. "Lead on."
  20. Nadya drove away from Evelyn's in her lemon yellow - a very ripe lemon, perhaps - '69 Mercury Cougar, surging with excitement and pique as music blared from the speakers, currently the sugariest of pop. She had a slamming dress she couldn't wait to show off to Niles, but Evelyn hadn't shown her how to do that Fairy Godmother Bead Tricktm, hadn't even mentioned it and Sylvia Sylph had just smirked. But she knew where Evelyn's was now... if it didn't disappear in some Hogwarts bullshittery. Maybe she'd be able to take a look around some time, maybe find a book on Sweet Conveniences 101. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ "No way!" Todd exclaimed. "Way!" Niles countered, nodding animatedly. "It's all real. You can see it in her eyes, she's not pretending or faking or anything. She really loves me. And when she dragged me back to her car..." "Did you nail her, Nails?" Todd asked as Niles trailed off in remembrance, a silly grin on his face. Niles shook head, collecting himself, though his face went deep red. "Everything but. She... she manhandled me. Nadya doesn't look it, but she's like, crazy strong. And I'll tell you something else - they do NOT feel like bags of sand." He knew it wasn't gentlemanly and he was embarrassed talking about it, but Niles couldn't help but give Todd some of the details and highlights of his encounter with Nadya in her car. And he ended saying too much probably, judging by how sweaty Todd was looking. "And she promised tonight was going to be even better. She had something planned." "Dude! You have to let me use the Book!" Todd pleaded, eyes wide in yearning behind his thick glasses. "You went with Nadya and that's fine - she's hot, has a bit of an edge with the thievery and slight gothiness without being scary enough that she might kill you as soon as kiss you like Bridgette. But I could get, like, Lexus or Caprice, or the head of the Pink Slips herself, Mercedes." Niles saw the dreamy look in his friend's eyes, but hesitated. He had something that Todd didn't, something that impressed Todd and others at school. He liked that feeling, and wanted to keep it for a while before possibly sharing it. "I dunno, man. Nadya wasn't with anyone, but Mercedes goes out with Eric. He'll break your face if Mercedes suddenly starts going out with you. Maybe you should make a pro and con list of the other girls in school," Niles suggested to distract Todd from asking about the Book. "It's a big decision - you don't want to mess it up. Unforeseen consequences and all that." Todd took the bait and Niles let out a private sigh of relief. Todd was at it for a while, with Niles occasional input and suggestion - he couldn't help himself - when there was a soft knock at his bedroom door. "Niles, your... friend is at the door," said his mother, disapproval strong in her voice. Niles almost stumbled down the stairs in his haste, Todd right behind him. They found Nadya standing by the front door, dressed in tight, black jeans and a faded band t-shirt, rocking on her heels in anticipation. When she saw Niles, her silver-grey eyes gleamed and her lips curved in a wide grin, which turned just a touch cynical when she saw the lumbering Todd behind him. "Hey, Niley!" she squealed, pulling him into a hug and making a point of giving him a kiss in front of his mother and Todd. Nile's mother harrumphed and walked into the kitchen with a scowl. Todd stared, still disbelieving the clear evidence of his eyes. "I thought you'd want to come with me to the game, watch Rachel kick some ass." "Uh... oh, yeah, sure, sure, we can do that," Niles stammered, flashing Todd an uncertain grin over his shoulder. "Can Todd come, too?" Nadya gave Todd a scathing once over. "I'm sure he does, often and preemptively," Nadya drawled. But when she noticed how much it mattered to Niles, she relented with a roll of her eyes and nodded. "Fine." Then she leaned in, her lips close to Niles' ear. "Just to be clear, we aren't going to the game to watch. It's to show off that you have a girlfriend. A girlfriend that cleans up real nice for the Dance. Niles blushed again at her words, then deeper when she pinched his ass and chuckled. "Let's go, dweebs." They headed out the door to Nadya's car, Nadya stopping to point at Todd then a side table. "No drink or food in my car." Todd looked down at his super-sized triple thick milkshake, still half full if runny, then back at Nadya. "I see you with food and drinks in your car all the time." "My car, my rules, and I'm the one who cleans it," Nadya countered firmly. "The drink stays, you do, Todd." Todd was going to mention when she and Niles were up to in the backseat earlier this afternoon and that one dripping milkshake wasn't going to make the difference. But seeing Nadya's glare daring him to say it, he wisely swallowed and set down milkshake. Nadya's smile was as sharp as a razor blade. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Nadya and Niles (and Todd) sat in the bleachers, way up at the back, none of them paying attention to the game. Nadya had pulled out a thick blanket from the trunk of her Cougar and she and Niles huddled under it, only their faces showing, cooing and fawning over each other. Todd couldn't only imagine what they were doing under the blanket, and from the look on Niles' face, some of what he was imagining had to be true. Todd wasn't the only one who noticed, but Nadya seemed immune to snide comments, and while Niles wasn't, Nadya got in her own cutting remarks in his defense. Todd really needed to get his hand on that Book. Nadya still seemed like the same girl - mostly - just with an ardent devotion to Niles. Nadya was coming back from the concession stand, having grabbed some snacks for her and Niles. She was passing behind the bleachers when a schoolmate was suddenly looming over her. He had a name, she was sure, but everyone called him Biff. He looked way too old to be in high school and even if he wasn't balding, it still seemed like he was. He leered down at her. "Mercedes must've told everyone you're a slut, but this is the first time there's proof," Biff growled, his eyes hungry. "How much is Niles paying you, Nadya? If I beat the shit out of him and throw him in a dumpster, can I take his slot in your slot?" Nadya carefully looked around, making sure no one was in sight, then set aside her snack and drinks. Then smiled up at Biff, her eyes glinting dangerously. Biff didn't notice, his eyes on her sleek curves shown up in tight clothing. "Biff, poor dumb, fugly Biff," Nadya cooed, emphasizing her faint accent. "You might have a foot and a hundred pounds in Niley, Biff, but you aren't half the man he is." She'd been surprised by that. Niles might be thin and barely taller than she was, but he had nothing to be ashamed about down below. Then she kneed Biff in the balls. He collapsed to the ground with a whimper, but Nadya picked him with a single hand around his throat so that he was eye-to-eye with her. Through his pain, Biff's eyes widened when he found a point of a curved knife a bare hair from his eye. "If I hear you've touched Niles, looked at him funny, or even if your shadow crosses his," Nadya said in fierce, harsh whisper, "they'll never find your body. Now, fuck off, Biff." Biff blinked and Nadya was already striding away, an extra swing to her helps, snacks and drinks balanced in her hands, humming brightly, ignoring the voice in her head saying she'd gone too far. ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Todd came back from the bathroom and found Niles and Nadya gone. He peered up over the top of he bleachers, but couldn't spot Nadya's yellow car. "Dammit!" ~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~ Nadya finished helping Niles get ready for the Dance, straightening his jacket and brushing his hair to give it a bit of flair, instead of just being slicked back. When he'd mentioned his suit being green, she'd been afraid it was going to be a mint-green travesty, but it was a dark forest green that fit him quite well. He didn't look half bad - with her on his arm, he'd look almost debonair... if he didn't have the bowtie she couldn't talk him out of. "Now it's my turn to get ready," Nadya said with a wink. "Don't worry, you've lucked out. I'm a girl who doesn't take forever to get ready. I'll be back in a minute." Niles looked around, not seeing a garment bag or anything, just Nadya's small pack that couldn't hold a pair a shoes, let alone a dress and other accessories. "But, um, how--" She silenced him with kiss, then waggled her fingers as though casting a spell. "Secret. You'll see." Nadya strutted into the bathroom across the hallway and pulled out the bead. She gave it a lingering look - she really wished she knew how to make one - then placed it on the tile and crushed under her heel. The magic swirled up and encased her in her prom dress, styling her hair in a long tail of thick ringlets that almost brushed her ass, subtle highlights of colour in the sable curls. Nadya's mouth opened in a silent scream of pain. Hands closed into tight fists, Nadya barely having the presence of mind to pull them off the sink so she didn't crack the porcelain. After a long moment she closed her mouth, panting. Her ears throbbed and she noted a several new piercings showcasing dangling earrings. But that was the small pain. Bigger pain came from her mouth and she felt something clicking against her teeth. Nadya opened her mouth and looked in the bathroom mirror. Her tongue now had what looked like a small, ruby stud. The biggest pain came lower. Nadya looked down, then brushed her hands over the cups of the corset of her dress. It didn't show, but she could feel the piercings there too. That bitch Sylvia Steelface the Sadistic Sylph had added some extra piercings somehow. She'd get her back somehow. Nadya strutted out of the bathroom, her strappy five-inch heels improbably silent and found herself face to face with Niles' mother. She didn't think Nadya was a suitable friend for her son, but she had to admit to was dressed up impressively for the dance, even if she was showing too much cleavage and leg in her opinion. But on the other hand, she seemed genuine in taking Niles to the Dance instead of making fun of him or taking pity on him. "You are not who I'd want to my son to go to the Dance with, but if you hurt my Niles, girl, I'll end you," she said with fierce, motherly threat. "If anyone hurts Niles, I'll end them," Nadya replied, and Nile's mother took a step back with the vehement threat in her tone. Then Nadya smiled and swept gracefully around her. "But now, Niles is going to have the night of his life. Don't expect him back for curfew." Nadya sauntered into Nile's room and twirled, showing off every angle. Niles could only stare as a vision of a Disney Princess from Tim Burton's most feverish dream. Dressed dark and revealing, her flesh pale and vibrant, her lips a startling deep red, the corset of her dress giving her a distinct hourglass figure. "Wow!" Dreams do come true. Watching Niles' reaction with a satisfied smirk, Nadya didn't see her faint reflection in bedroom windows screaming at her.
  21. "Do you want to be significant others?" Nadya drawled as she went back to checking herself out in her dress. She had had the good sense not to bring her own SO here in case of what had just happened... happened. Her lips quirked into a smirk. Nadya didn't precisely fault the rest of her Band - and if they wanted to tell them everything, that was on them - but they couldn't say anything about her decisions anymore. With Niles still out of the know, he was safe(r) from the realities of her otherworldly, extra-curricular activities. "Not to sound like a member of a 'No Normies Club'," Nadya said as she spun around and checked out her behind over her shoulder, then turning her silver-grey eyes on Billy and Darci. "But don't Marvel and DC have a few things to say 'bout SO's and being tied to train tracks and hung-over vats of acid and stuff? This isn't just hanging out with Angry Wonder Woman and Wolverine Nerd, this is real. The danger is real." Nadya saw the way the others were staring at her. 'Serious' was an adjective rarely applied to her. But while their SO's were all eager to stumble into their 'other' lives, hers wasn't, and she'd protect Niles as best she could from it. "What?! It is. Least my boyfriend isn't caught up in all this. I don't think threads of Fate makes as sweet an outfit as this! They probably make itchy, ugly-ass Christmas Sweaters, judging by the stories of how Gods and Goddesses act." She ran her hands down her cinched in waist and over her hips with a pleased murmur. Her eyes sparkled as Evelyn did her Fairy Godmother thing. "Can you show me how to do that? It's both awesome and convenient." And would be great for all sorts of fun, too. "Sort of like Nightcrawler. BAMF!" Nadya mimicked throwing something on the ground. "But whole new wardrobe with all the fixings instead of being in a new place." Darci glanced at the black-clad troublemaker doubtfully. "You read comic books?" "Nah. Ancient 90s cartoons... Kk, a few here and there. People turn all sorts of stuff in at the Pawn shop."
  22. 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."
  23. "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."
  24. 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.
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