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    Sean Cassidy

Everything posted by Kaitlin Vandussen

  1. Kaitlin wanted to throw Warren into the lake and throw Safyre in after him. It was infuriating that he had a point. She hated bullies, but didn't understand someone being unwilling to even attempt to defend themselves. Could standing up for 3J rob her of the chance for standing up for herself, or at least being able to endure Warren? She was uncertain. "You don't have to be a dick about it," Kaitlin muttered as she crossed the kitchen and got herself a glass of water. She downed it quickly then poured herself another. Leaning against the counter, arms folded, she took her time with the second glass. "So... 3J did have a point with the pets - friends, whatever - the animals acting weird and I have been seeing things out of the corner of my eye. I'm used to the woods - it's not nerves making me imagine stuff. Warren, snark and stubborn denial aside, have you noticed... weird? Y'know, besides being at Hogwarts with magic you don't believe in all over the place?"
  2. Kaitlin stalked into the kitchen after Warren, putting the dishes in the sink with more force than necessary. Then she grunted in irritation as she moved the dishes from the sink to the dishwasher. Back home, the only dishwasher she and her father had were those with two hands. She narrowed her amber eyes at Warren as she continued her glare. "If you think we're playing games, I just want to point out you're playing them too, pushing buttons just to see what reactions you can get. Really, taunting 3J on her weight?" Kaitlin shook her head in exasperation, her blond and black ponytail bobbing behind her broad shoulders... Even if she did see his point about 3J layering up despite the unseasonably warm weather. She had wondered more than once if 3J was feeling extra self-conscious sharing a room with a girl athletic and fit as she was. Kaitlin had offered to help her exercise, but 3J had demurred. "Look, despite what you may think, spending that much time on actively playing mindgames with you would be exhausting. Now, I happen to agree that some weird shit is going on and am actually glad - well, glad isn't the right word, but you being interested too will actually be a help. You're... smart," the muscular girl admitted - it didn't even sound grudging. "So can you forget about the deadline for now and let me run upstairs to get 3J before taking off without us? Otherwise, we're just gonna be several groups trying to figure out the same thing."
  3. Kaitlin gave Warren a warning look as she placed a plate with a pair of burgers and a baked potato on it in front of him. So 3J was self-conscious about not being as thin or athletic as the others girls in Brown group, so what? As long as she didn't pass out from overheating. Warren didn't have to rub her nose in it. "Maybe..." Kaitlin commented doubtfully in regards to Warren's supposition. "But they already have people in the registry from our year. I don't see why they would omit us now just to add us in later." The athletic girl, actually barefoot and loving the unusually warm weather, went around the deck passing out her group-mates plates before sitting down with her, three burgers and two stuffed baked potatoes. Ice rattled in the pitcher as she poured herself a big glass of lemonade. "Brown group is definitely a thing," Kaitlin said, nodding at Cheshire, "though what that thing is, who knows? I didn't sound like there's a Brown Group every year. We can ask Spenser about it. Maybe there's another registry for Brown Group?
  4. Typically wearing her heart on her sleeve, Kaitlin looked as surprised as Jayce did, though instead of embarrassed she seemed more discomfited. They weren't supposed to be remembered outside of school, or noticed or whatever. Had they done something to mess up the enchantment? She didn't know about the others, but the only enduring spell she routinely cast was Pain For Gain, and that was only when she was exercising, she unwove it when out and about. The overly athletic girl also thought it was odd that Jayce seemed to stumble over their names. When they had gone to Middlebury, everyone had seemed familiar with them after meeting them for the first time. Spenser had said something about interacting with people from school outside the influence of the enchanted aura, but she couldn't remember exactly what. Something about it not working later? "Um.. hey, Jayce," Kaitlin said far from smoothly then forcing a chuckle, shooting Warren a quick, cross glance. "Heh, heh, yeah, funny, how we're all out shopping at the same time. What are the odds?"
  5. The weekend back home was bittersweet. It was glorious running and climbing through the mountains she had grown up in, reinvigorating her after a week in a new school in a new state... that was also magical. But while Ravenhurst may have made sure Kaitlin's father could support himself while she was attending the magical academy, he wasn't doing much better. Kaitlin picked him up in his drunken stupor and got him into the tub to clean himself up. While he was doing that then shuffled into his woodworking shop to get some work done under his daughter's glower, Kaitlin picked up all the empty bottles and glasses, did the dishes and several loads of laundry. Afterwards, she did a grocery run and cooked him dinner. She told him some about what it was like at Ravenhurst, but he didn't seem to believe her or was even really listening and she just didn't want to push it. But she was going to find a way to make him better, make him the man he used to be, the man that she knew was still inside him. One foot on the bottom of the cart, Kaitlin used the other to carefully propel herself and the cart down the aisles, adding things to the cart with deliberation to what they needed and cost and trying to not let the muzak drive her insane. The stipend for food felt very generous to her, but due to her experiences, she couldn't but be conservative and look for whatever deal she could. She didn't give a damn if Warren laughed at her for clipping coupons. Going to school here under the enchantment was... weird, not bad, just different. Back home, she had been one of the most athletic girls in school, if far from the biggest, until relatively recently anyway. Over the last year and half, she'd grown half a foot taller. She was taller than average now, and undeniably the buffest girl in Dubois and people had noticed the change. Billy had been one of her best friends. A year older than she was and her closest neighbor near her age, they had spent a fair bit of time together, climbing and running and horsing around. She'd been starting to crush on him a little, but things had changed as she had, especially after learning about her magic. She'd always been the quicker of the two, and while Billy had been athletic and wiry, he wasn't tall. Now, she was an inch taller than he was, and considerably stronger, and he seemed to resent her for it. It hurt. But at Middlebury High, everyone seemed to have always known her to be the most athletic and muscular girl in school, and just took it for granted. As if they had never known her as any other way, despite having never known she had existed before a week ago. Very odd and it was taking a bit to get used to, especially the way some of her part-time classmates seemed familiar with her and with prior events she wasn't aware of, but it did make blending in easier, to be sure. Humming to herself, Kaitlin came to the end of an aisle and turned her cart to go down the next.
  6. Kaitlin's face reddened faintly as Safyre left, but she gave Warren a sour glare for his laughter even as her lips twitched in keeping back a grin. "Yeah, well, you are such a city boy, I thought I'd start you off with something easy like fishing before moving up to hunting. Minnows and trout are easy." Kaitlin finished her plate and started stacking dishes and collecting the grilling tools. "Deer and boar are assholes and bears are dangerous." She nodded at Warren's plate and when he nodded back, added it to the stack in her hand. "I prefer Kaitlin or Kat to 'Hippie'. So I won't call you asshole unless you are being one, and will try to stick to Warren or whatever nickname you like, if you do the same and use my name. Fair?"
  7. "It's something, I dunno if I'd call it fun," Kaitlin admitted with a grunt and wry twist to her lips. She eyed him directly for a long moment then gave him a sharp nod. "But fair 'nough, all that you said. Even if in my experience most boys are some percentage of leering pervert..." Her wry smile was vaguely teasing, but her glittering amber eyes suggested 'or worse', "... I shouldn't've presumed, and I'm sorry. For that at least. And for all of me, if you wanna go upstairs and chat or do homework or whatever and we ain't sleeping or changing, feel free. Doesn't bother me any. Seems to me you can't be worse than Safyre when I ask about explaining some point of theory anyway. I learn better doing than reading myself." She finished her steak and another baked potato that had gone unclaimed, then started picking up any cleared dishes. "Now I have two things I want to mention. One - Why do you keep callin' me Hippie? My Dad is - was - an Army Ranger and I don't smoke weed. Most of them are scrawny and vegetarians and seem about as athletic as wet pasta despite supposedly having an outdoorsy lifestyle. I'm none of those things. And two - as you said, we aren't friends. I'm not giving you any of my fish unless I've got so much I can't eat it all." She nodded towards the lake, her expression relenting. "But I know what's it like to be hungry. I'll show how to catch and clean fish, if you want. That whole give a man a fish, feed him for an hour; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime thing... well, if you can find a river or lake that actually has fish in it."
  8. "For someone saying they should look at all sides of an argument or situation, you sure aren't giving Ravenhurt a chance, Warren," Kaitlin countered. She though Matt should have held his ground too, instead of caving and leaving, but she wasn't going to tell Warren that. She gestured at the steak he was eating with her fork. "You're getting a little from Ravenhurst, maybe you should give a little too instead of just taking, then cutting and run?" She rolled her shoulders, speared a piece of her steak with her knife, then stood up and walked over to the standoffish ocelot. Watchful for any swipes, she slid the piece of steak off her knife with a fork on the chair in front of Blue. Kaitlin hadn't even had a pet, but she liked cats. She seen cougars in the mountains around her home three times and felines were independent and could take care of themselves in the wild, even housecats could make the adjustment. She just couldn't see needy domestic dogs doing the same. Plus, for whatever reason, dogs seemed to dislike her. Fuck dogs. "I know you find all the written stuff here easy - you don't even study, bastard - but you seem to spend all your extra time working at debunking everything in front of your eyes. Aren't you exhausted yet? As far as I've seen, they haven't been trying to, you know, indoctrinate us or anything, just giving us some guidelines, no different then going to Karate or whatever and the sensei saying don't go around and pick fights. We can do fantastic things, fantastic things that can be super dangerous - don't be an asshole about it." Kaitlin gave Warren a very pointed glance. "By the way, from all I've seen, being a perpetual asshole or douchebag is more often than not a cry for attention too." Kaitlin took her seat again, though shifted around so she was facing Warren instead of looking towards the lake. "And there isn't always a knight around if you need one or not, whether you agree with what they say or not. Of anyone here, I'd think you'd know that." Her jaw was tight, but her gaze was distant in memory. She flexed an arm, bicep bulging, forearm rippling with muscle. "Because way more often then someone going White Knight or Social Justice Warrior, people just don't give a shit." Kaitlin blinked and shook her head, dispelling the memory. "But wouldn't it be nice if people did care, at least a little?" She nodded the way Siobhan, Matt, and Maria had gone. "They care, some any way, which is probably why you being an asshole to them bothers them so much."
  9. Kaitlin turned from the grill to give the girls an 'are you kidding me?' and snorted. "Old people are always saying that about the youngest generation. The old world ends all the time when someone grows up and starts making their own place it." Warren got a very puzzled look when he called Kaitlin a hippie - he might as well have accused her of being a vegan for all the sense it made to her - then a surprised one when he asked for his steak medium well. Her brow furrowed as she wondered if he had said that just to be contrary and ruin a perfectly good steak, but it seemed he was being completely honest. Weird! She'd never have thought he had anything against the sight of blood. It was just blood, everyone had, like a gallon and a half of the stuff inside them, and yeah, sometimes it leaked out. Big deal. "Uh, yeah, sure, if that's what you want, Warren. Everyone is allowed to be wrong," Kaitlin replied, resolving to cook the steak to the barest edge of medium-well. She nodded in approval at the way Cheshire and Siobhan asked for their steaks, though privately, Kaitlin still though Siobhan was some sort of vegetarian who would won day preach that animals were people and to eat them was totally not cool or something. She smirked at Warren. "Must be a boy thing." Kaitlin got her own rare steak - the biggest one due to the simple expedient of being the one who cooked them and took a seat closest to the lake, looking over the placid waters and wondering what hide below the surface. It seemed that was the case with a lot of Ravenhurst. "It's a lot like any other fancy, private school, I guess," Kaitlin claimed. "I mean, I never went to one before, so I don't really know, but judging by TV and movies. Only, one seen in a funhouse mirror. It seems normal, but there are things that just throw it off a little. Like having Alchemy class instead of chemistry. Or the janitors being animated brooms like in Fantasia, minus the arms." She looked at others who had been in Brown group for the week. "You guys saw them too, right? Someone wasn't just trying to pull a prank or something?"
  10. Kaitlin shot Safyre's back a pair of middle fingers before tromping out to the deck and taking command of the grill. Warming up the corn on the cob and baked potatoes, she cooked everyone's steak to order, which meant medium rare, maybe medium, any other way was wrong and they lose their steak. Humming contentedly to herself, she glanced suspiciously at the lake, then rolled her eyes at the other girls loitering on the deck. They were trying to be casual, but they were obviously eavesdropping. She didn't blame them, she was curious what their group monitors were saying. "Hey!" Kaitlin said, pitching her voice so it wouldn't be overheard inside the lakehouse. "What are they saying in there?"
  11. Kaitlin was clearly impressed by the arcane eye-thing Safyre and Siobhan had created, it wasn't a magic she had every done or attempted. But her broad shoulders slumped a little in disappointment too when its gaze revealed... nothing. No four-eyed frog, no nothing. Whatever had groped her in the lake hadn't felt frog-like, but who knew? "Doesn't look like there's anything here," Kaitlin agreed with 3J, taking another quick glance around before settling her amber-eyed gaze on Safyre and Siobhan. "How'd you guys know how to do that? It wasn't anything they showed us in any of the classes I've been in." At Cheshire's question, Kaitlin sniffed the air, catching the scent of charcoal and the steaks Matt had set down on the grill just before all the anticlimactic excitement. "Steaks soon, at any rate. Cheshire, right? I'm Kaitlin, most people call me Kat." Kaitlin nodded at the new girl in greeting. "I can take of the grilling the steaks Matt, if you have to look after things here." She started to move towards the patio before looking back over her shoulder at Matthew. "Hey, Matt, what with the thing Safyre thought she saw and warnings about the grounds around Ravenhurst, are there any stories about anything weird living in the lake, like the Loch Nest monsters or mermaids or something?"
  12. Kaitlin glowered at the door, cursing herself for starting at the unexpected knock. Something was happening, she was sure of that, from the way Matthew and Maria were acting beyond everything else that had occurred, but this was just silly, jumping at shadows. Stuff was getting weird, but she refused to be cowed by it. Her muscles were tensed and taut as she stalked over to the door. "To hell with this!" Kaitlin snapped. She stepped up to the door and yanked it open, balancing easily on the balls of her feet, ready to punch or kick anything on the other side and... found a girl standing there who looked like she got her clothes the same place Kaitlin did. Kaitlin blinked bright amber eyes, slowly relaxing, her balled fist hanging down at her side. "You are not a big four-eyed frog."
  13. "Baked Potato!" Kaitlin had called out over her shoulder when she jerked her foot from the water at the sudden icy cold and unexpected touch. She jumped to her feet and glared down into the small lake, trying to see what had touched her. That had been no fish or snake. They had been warned about the grounds around Ravenhurst, but had they said anything about the lake? Despite the sudden biting cold of the water and the likelihood of Warren creepin', Kaitlin considered getting her swimsuit and getting into the water and trying to find whatever it was. She had been considering a spell that would let her hold her breath for longer or breathe water... "Matt-" Kaitlin began to ask as she turned around, when Siobhan started talking about a voice and Warren bitching about his laptop. She didn't understand the technical problems he was having - the only videos she had ever played were arcade and pinball machines - but she started looking around with a frown at Siobhan's exclamations. "I didn't hear anything, Siobhan, except Warren talking at his computer." The overly athletic girl's frown deepened as she glanced back at the lake. "Hey, Matt, is there anything we should know about the lake? Because I swear-" "Now what?!" Kaitlin growled in exasperation. She was hungry and was looking forward to the steaks, and now this. Kaitlin started moving towards the dorm. "Safyre? Are you alright?"
  14. Never having spent an extended time outside of Wyoming, or even away from her father, Kaitlin clung to a routine to push away her bouts of homesickness. Up before everyone else, she took a spell enhanced run and a work out around the lake, showered, then cooked breakfast as others started waking up. Breakfast was almost invariably heavy on meat and protein, and the amount she made was inconsistent, so it was first come, first served after she ate. Not having any formal training in magic theory, Kaitlin stubbornly applied herself in classes, though she wished there was more focus on practical practice. She learned better by doing rather than by watching. On the other hand, by working on her studies and trying to stave off homesickness, Kaitlin quickly got over feeling self-conscious about her clothes and her unconventional physique. Her short sleeves strained over surprisingly muscular arms, her biceps and triceps bulging even when she was at rest and relaxed. Her build was not only impressive for a fifteen year-old girl, but would have been remarkable even for a full grown woman, or a man. The other girls in Brown group had learned that, one or two catching her accidentally in the bathroom, discovering she was built like a particularly powerful gymnast. Kaitlin had chiseled 8-pack abs, astonishingly big thighs, thick and hard with muscle, and her breasts, larger than average were very firm, jutting from noticeably developed pectorals. And while using magic against each other was expressively forbidden, Kaitlin had no compunction about using - or threatening to use - her hard earned strength to deal with any bullies or assholes. In the academic, if eldritch, setting of Ravenhurst, her physique was a rarity, and was intimidating on its own to many. Kaitlin perked up, smiling widely when she found out they could leave campus for the weekend, and could even go home. There were some hills around Ravenhurst, but the only ones worth the name were at least somewhat distant, and she missed the mountains of surrounding Dubois, as well as her father. She hopped to her feet, intending to sign out and get her weekend pass immediately, but paused after taking a single step when a question did occur to her. "Spenser, what are the rules about talking about what really goes on at Ravenhurst?" the athletic teen asked. "I mean, sure, I guess we can talk about with others not in the know, but we'll sound insane... until we show off some. Is there some sort of hush-hush rule about revealing magic to non-sorcerers?"
  15. Kaitlin stared at 3J. While is sounded like 3J thought it would work, everything around the Witch Trials Kaitlin had heard was bad, especially for any women involved. I wonder if they have another accounting of what really happened during the Witch Trials at Ravenhurts? To Kaitlin, the spell also seemed like it was as likely to actually poison the tongue or make it fall off as it was simply to make the subject unlikely to speak, going by 3J's earlier demonstration. "How about we put a pin in that for now," Kaitlin suggested, standing up from leaning against the door frame. "Safyre is hardly going to let us take a bit of her hair or blood or a nail clippings or whatever. We can probably scoop something up later and keep the spell on standby, in case she gets worse. Instead, who else wants to take a look around Campus?"
  16. Kaitlin paused, curious as to what 3J had in mind, and not at all opposed to the snotty girl being brought down a peg or three. She leaned back against the door frame, fingers laced behind her head as she eyed the red-head's book with interest. She never had a spellbook of her own until just now. She'd looked at some of the occult books at the only book store in Dubois, but nothing there had rung true to her, though some of the Eastern and Martial Art Philosophies had. With learning of the importance of fingerwork, Buddhist and Yogic mudras made a lot more sense to her now. "This is just a prank, right?" Kaitlin clarified, wondering exactly what 3J intended - and possibly considering if it might go a bit wrong like her first spell. "Nothing more serious than that? They seemed pretty serious about what they considered Combat Magic and I don't want to be kicked out on the first day."
  17. Kaitlin gave Siobhan a dubious look. The rich girl had cast that spell swiftly and easily, even reflexively as she said, and Kaitlin was supposed to believe she had never done magic before? Kaitlin used a particular spell nearly every day when she went on a run or worked out, but it felt like Siobhan used magic way more than she did. "Stuff like that?" Kaitlin asked, gesturing at the waste-basket. "No, not me at least, and certainly not daily." Kaitlin glanced, frowning slightly when she saw that Safyre was gone without answering her request. "My magic, or the magic I use anyway is more... " She pursed her lips to one side, then the other, considering, "is more physical I guess, affecting me more than others. It just seems to make more sense to me. I'm not sure how I would make ice like that." Kaitlin hefted up her bag and slung it over her shoulder. "But once you start using magic, it seems to get easier every time. Practice makes perfect I guess. Looks like we have the rest of the day to ourselves, so I'm gonna take a look around campus, see what's what and where what is. Anyone coming along?"
  18. Kaitlin was waiting expectantly for Safyre's answer - though mostly expecting a cutting remark - when something in the wastebasket suddenly caught fire. She stared like everyone else for a moment at the too rapidly rising flames before dashing towards the front door with swift, smooth loping strides and flinging it open. But she had taken no more than three strides back, intending on punting the flaming wastebin right out the door with a strong, aimed kick, when Siobhan put out the fire with a blast of frost. Narrowing her amber eyes in suspicion, the athletic girl slowed her sprint with each step, coming to a stop, when she reached Siobhan and cautiously peeked into the wastebin, but in case there was still something smoldering and a remnant of magical napalm waiting to flare up or something. Finding nothing untoward except for a lingering burnt scent, Kaitlin slid her gaze towards the bewildered girl. "Did you just say you didn't know any magic?" Kaitlin questioned in dry accusation. She nodded down at the wastebin, the frost already beginning to evaporate, the beads of water sliding down the sides. "Then what the hell was that?"
  19. Kaitlin was surprised but not disappointed that it looked like their school day was over. She had expected more on their first day, more orientation or something, but that just meant they got to look around campus on their own. Kaitlin hopped out of her chair, slung her bag over her shoulder and strode over to the box. She fished out one of the loops of strings, one coloured in earth tones of brown, green, and grey. She considered it for a moment, thinking it a stupid game, but on the other hand, her Hadouken spell had been a brute one that hadn't worked out the way she wanted while Safyre's spell had been fancy and impressive looking. She was proud of Pain for Gain, but it took hard work and time for the effects to show - it wasn't something that lent itself to cool demonstrations. Kaitlin looped the string over a strong wrist then picked up the lesson book, leafing through it quickly just to get an idea of its layout, but really she was hesitating. Finally, she took a deep breath and turned to face Safyre. "So, uh, I really liked your spell," Kaitlin admitted, grudgingly if honestly. "If you have time sometime, could you show me how you move your fingers for a spell like that?"
  20. Kaitlin gave Warren a hard look, her arms folded across her chest tensing, making hard biceps bulge and strain the sleeves of her shirts. She didn't need Battle Magic to beat the crap out of a boy or a man. She was stronger than most of them, knew how to fight, and wasn't afraid to do so in defense of herself or to make a point. She shrugged her broad shoulders apologetically at Spenser. "I'm sorry, sir. I'll try to do better. But can I ask why?" "Why what, Kaitlin?" "Why is there a rule against Battle Magic?" Kaitlin asked. "I mean, the magic itself isn't bad, it's how you use it, right? Like, learning Martial Arts, it isn't bad in itself, but it can be used for bad things, or to defend yourself. And almost anything, spell or whatever, can be used as a weapon, if you try hard enough." Kaitlin pointed at Safyre with her chin without actually looking at the standoffish bitch. "Her spell, what if she made the pencil and fancy dome appear inside someone's head, does that turn her spell into a Battle Spell, making it not allowed?" Kaitlin sighed, unfolding her arms and spread her hands. "I was just wondering why there's the rule against Battle Magic. Because of students wanting to get into 'Magic Duels' to showoff and see who's better, or does learning that type of Magic affect you in other ways, or.. or, I dunno what?"
  21. Kaitlin glowered at Warren for his - or his reflections - thoughtless remarks, and folded her arms under breasts, her flannel shirt pulling tight across her shoulders and back. She hated assholes like that, as if their opinion about how a girl should be shaped mattered, let alone sharing it freely. True, she'd never been fat. First, because of how skinny and wiry she'd been, or how poor and for her second-hand clothing, then for all the muscle she'd packed on in the last year. "If it makes you feel any better," Kaitlin said in a whisper that was meant to be heard, leaning from her chair towards 3J, "I've always thought the biggest dicks had the smallest ones." Siobhan earned herself a scowl for another reason. To the overly athletic girl, it just seemed like Siobhan reeked of false modesty, even if didn't seem like she was acting. Super rich, dresses super nice, and then claiming she didn't know magic just before saying she was able to do all these things that sounded like magic to Kaitlin, like something in a Fairy Tale. Warmth of her heart, right! Vomit! Kaitlin couldn't help but feel sudden urge to find one of Snow White Siobhan's animal friends and eat it, out of sheer principle. Game stew was great and warming on a chill night. But that was just being petty. Part of the reason for it was because one of the main reasons Kaitlin wanted to learn magic was so she could help her dad and fix his leg that medicine couldn't seem to help with and here was Siobhan claiming she fix her horse's leg with just a touch. Itjust seemed too easy in Kaitlin's eyes. To her, healing looked like a type of transformation and she had tried a direct transformation spell on herself before, just after learning she could do magic, and it hadn't gone well. It still gave her nightmares. She had learned you never got something for nothing, in magic or in life.
  22. Kaitlin woke up before dawn and slipped out of the guesthouse-come-dorm-to-the-Browns using the window. The early morning air was crisp, dew painting all the foliage. She wove her hands in a series of pseudo-mystical mudra gestures and engaged in a series of breathing exercises as she cast her bodybuilding spell. She felt the weight, the strain of the spell settle on her, in her, then went for a run around the small lake. She tried to estimate the distance as she broke her run at intervals for a series of pull-ups, pushups, and squats in a CrossFit Hero WOD (Workout of the Day), while keeping an eye on the terrain for places to climb and jump on or off of for a freerunning course. Kaitlin got back to the guesthouse with her hair plastered to her head with sweat and her sweatshirt and sweatpants clinging to her body with her exertion. Her dorm-mates were just beginning to stir and she grabbed a change of clothes and slipped into the bathroom to grab a shower before they noticed her. Being an only child, she wasn't used to changing in front of others, and while her baggy clothes hadn't completely fooled the other Browns as to her build, she was still a little self-conscious about what they would think, especially after her workout with her muscles pumped and thick veins standing out in stark relief. Still, the badly faded band-shirt with the flannel shirt over it didn't hide the breadth of her shoulders or the thickness of her arms and chest, and her patched, olive green cargo-pants were snug over her thighs. If people couldn't tell exactly how defined her was, she was clearly not overweight due to fat. While the others got ready for the day, Kaitlin made pancakes, breakfast sausages, and hashbrowns for everyone, eating her own heaping plate and doing the dishes while the other ate. She didn't seem to mind doing it, though she didn't offer to make anything different if anyone else wanted something different. If they did, they could make it themselves. In the classroom, Kaitlin was a little tentative about touching anything except for grabbing two bottles of water from the coffee service. It didn't look like any classroom she'd ever seen, except maybe in a cinematic version of Harvard or something. At Spenser's request, Kaitlin perched herself in one of the comfortable chairs, her legs crossed and hold a bottle of water in each hand balanced on her knees. She listened attentively to Spenser, not wanting to make a mistake on her first day of class. Believing herself the most untutored in Magic, except for maybe Warren, Kaitlin thought one of the others would volunteer to go first, especially Safyre, who acted like she knew so much. But when no one stepped forward, Kaitlin put one of her bottles of water on a side table and kept the other then hopped to her feet. She wasn't embarrassed about how little she knew about Magic - that was why she was here after all, to learn. "I'll go, Mister- uh, just Spenser," Kaitlin said with brusque confidence, her blond and black ponytail bouncing as she strode over to the spot Spenser had indicated, leaving her bottle of water on a table in passing. "My name is Kaitlin Vandussen, but most people back home called me Kat. As for magic, how about this?" Kaitlin took several focusing breaths then shifted into a solid martial arts stance. She made a series of motions with her hands and fingers suggesting a series of directions or arrows ↓↘→ then extended her arms towards the water bottle bottle on the table, her wrists pressed together and her hands perpendicular to the floor and shouted, "Hadoken!" A faint, translucent beam of bluish energy the width of her two hands flowed from her palms straight towards the water bottle. The beam of energy struck the water bottle, which was tumbled end over end, bounced off the back of a chair, went flipping through the air, then landed on the ground with a thump half way across the room and spun around for a bit before coming to a stop. Kaitlin frowned a moment before giving Spenser an uncertain smile. It was totally stolen from a video game - one of the saloons in Dubois had a trio of standup arcade machines - and she had expected it to hit the bottle with a lot more direct force than that, but at least her spell hadn't failed. "Er, ta-da?"
  23. Kaitlin gave Siobhan a suspicious, narrow-eyed glance as she pushed her cart through the produce section. Did she just read my mind?! If you're reading my mind, stay the fuck out! she thought fiercely, imagining a vivid, vicious pummeling. She snorted in annoyance as she studied each apple before placing them in a plastic bag. "If you want something like that, you're off hunting it yourself," she muttered with a scowl at the taller girl. Her scowl faded as they made their way through produce towards the bakery section. "Honestly, I can barely taste the difference in store-bought meat, though the grade does matter. But the best tasting meat is the meat you catch yourself." The broad-shouldered girl resisted the urge to add anything that caught her fancy to her cart, considering the rich girl's offer to cover it all, instead adamantly keeping herself to budget given them by Maria, even if Siobhan was holding onto the actual cash too. In the meat section, she kept to the cheaper cuts of meat - they might be tougher, but cook or marinate them long enough and they would taste good and fall apart in your mouth. She had to see if she could find a pressure cooker at a second-hand store. "No!" she protested when Warren tossed a pair of bags of Fudgee-Os into her cart. She grabbed them and shoved them back onto the shelf. "We don't need that garbage. Besides, cookies are easy enough to bake and cheap enough to make." They clashed again when they got to the cereal aisle. "Honey-nut Cheerios!" "Count Chocula!" "Cheerios!" "Chocula!" "Then get your own damn cart, Warren! And take your damn Fudgee-Os with you!" She tossed them with more force than was necessary against his chest, then stared at them and then back at her cart. "When the hell did you even get them back in there?"
  24. Kaitlin closely watched Maria perform the spell with interest, though not without feeling slightly uncomfortable as well. She supposed it wasn't really stealing - nobody was loosing money, the bank was insured, and anyway, banks made gazillions of dollars on other people's money - but she had been caught shoplifting when just a little girl, before she'd known was real, and only the gruff but kindly man who ran the only martial arts school in town stepping in on her behalf had stopped it from becoming something serious. Samurai Joe of Samurai Joe's Jeet Kune Do had given her a job cleaning up the dojo, which had earned her a few extra bucks to help her dad with paying bills, mostly to buy food they couldn't just hunt, as well as giving her an outlet for her all her energy in learning Jeet Kune Do. She had found in him something like an old uncle she'd never had. She returned Maria's broad grin with a scowl as the female half of their chaperones handed the money to Siobhan. She couldn't see how the rich girl could understand the value of money or what things cost, but contented herself with a sniff as she stalked over to the cart corral and pulled free a cart with a single sharp jerk. After all, they'd be sharing a dorm for who knew how many years, it was better to keep the peace over something as minor as who held the money for food. But if Siobhan tried to buy something stupid like, who knew what, a free-range, grass-fed, organic pheasant or something, she was going to make her put it back. Having never had much money, Kaitlin knew how to stick to a budget, though she wished she'd had a chance to sniff out some coupons. 200 hundred dollars could have fed her and her dad for quite some time, if without treating themselves. She'd see what she could do for her dorm-mates. But she really hoped she could hunt, especially after seeing what the 'sale' prices for meat were like here. "Hey, at least they aren't trying to magic up food and letting us buy the real deal instead," Kaitlin commented in passing, planting one foot on the under-carriage of the cart and propelling herself with the other in sure, strong pushes, up the curb and into the supermarket. Maybe spaghetti - not too expensive, can make a big pot of it and have leftovers for later... Where's the ground beef and pasta section in this place?
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