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  1. "Oh there is plenty to hit, I am just showing restraint." Rachel rolls up off the ground to her feet brushing the dirt from her shorts. "And it isn't my Subconscious that's riled. Look, I know that I am headstrong, and blunt, and I don't always think things through. I have always needed the be the one to right the wrongs. And now that need has become I guess my purpose. I mean I know when some one feels guilty about some thing now, just from hearing them talk. I don't know what they are guilty of but I know. And All of this is making me suspicious and seeing conspiracies, second guessing everyone's motive and I do mean everyone. So That being said I will trust you guys to tell me when and who and what you want me to hit."
  2. "Really Austin? You, Fisher, Nadya, and I, even Grim, have lived here our entire, or almost our entire lives. And none of us had a clue what was going on right in front of us. But they knew who we were." She shakes her head, Wolf can tell she's getting frustrated. "We're not spares, not back up for when things go wrong? Then why did they wait on visiting us, until now? Why not when they visited Donner or the other in that gang who lived here. Come on your all smarter than that, smarter than me. I guess i'm just crazy huh."
  3. Rachel keeps eye contact with Grim and nods as the newest member of the band has his say and even starts to give him a little smile when Laurie speaks up. Rachel doesn't turn to face the extremely beautiful girl who is behind her but does look over her shoulder as she listens. Once Laurie, finishes Rachel contemplates her words for a few seconds then nods at Laurie's comments as well, then, giving Grim a pat and squeeze on his shoulder, moves from the center of the group to where Wolf is and sits down on the ground next to her where she starts petting the large puppy. "I trust his judgment, but not his motives." She takes a deep breath, lets it out." "I may have conveyed the wrong sentiment with my use of the word stray. I am not a good speaker," she shakes her head and then mumbles, "not really a very good leader either. I didn't mean to disparage anyone. Not Grim, Not you, Laurie, nor anyone else here, but in truth we are all strays, we may have been unwanted, we may have been mistakes, or accidents, and we are definitely all spares. That is just the way I see it. It doesn't change who I am or how I see myself. But it does change how I see them.”
  4. The white mustang pulled past the limo with Laurie's driver sitting in it, Rachel's silvered lenses looking at the old man who looked back without betraying any emotion, and went to the back side to park so their cars wouldn't be visible from the road outside the property. She noted with some annoyance that everyone had beaten her here. Not their fault that she had been held up by her fathers. Again. She walked up one them her footfalls covered by the exquisite sounds coming from Laurie's violin, only Wolf noticed and she only raised her head from where she lay near Nadya an empty cup of doughnut holes on the ground between them. She noted Grim sitting off by himself his face stuck in a book while Austin and Fisher were standing close by each other talking about something while listening to the music and waiting for her. She stepped around a stack of wooden pallets and into full view and strode into their midst as Laurie drew out the last note of the piece she had been playing. "Sorry I'm late." Rachel didn't explain the reason for her tardiness but continued. "It's been just about five months now since I met my real father and had this...destiny thrust upon me. All of us have similar tales to mine. We were all just normal kids, then boom suddenly we are the divine children of gods we had only heard about in classrooms or comicbooks. We have had to do a lot of adjusting to do over those months. We have learned a lot. We have had too. Personally almost since day one I have found myself getting angrier and angrier at ...everything. All of this has me wondering if my standing up for those being bullied since i was a little kid in first grade was just my way of being a bully. None of us were friends. Yes we knew each other, except for Laurie, but friends no. We became friends because of this, Because we faced a bunch of evil assholes who murdered Wolf's mother, because we fought beside one another, would have died for one another saving those kids from that swamp witch. Because we stood against a freaking horde of zombies and saved a classmate from falling to an evil which was consuming her. Things I am proud of. Proud of myself and proud of you. Proud of things none of us should ever have had to do." Rachel looks around catching each eye, even Grims who has lain the book in his lap and is watching her with hooded brows. "We are kids, they call us heroes, not because of what we do but because of the training and level of power we posses. They are gods, who for the most part have stood by while people have died, while people have been subjected to magic and demons and worse. While we ourselves have suffered. They use us. Oh look here is a crisis lets send one of the kiddie groups. It is just like those myths we are taught in English class, we are the gods playthings." She looks directly at Grim. "And yes they stick us with strays, because as far as they are concerned that is what you are Grim, a stray. It's what we all were. But worse than that they didn't give you any choice, didn't give you any preparation just here you go you run along and live and die with these guys. Toodle off now. They knew my feelings on the matter, and right now I am beating myself up because I let them do it to me. make me angry. And i took it out on you. That was wrong. For that I am sorry." She doesn't step any closer but extends her hand toward Grim. He know she has more to say to him but that she won't say it here in front of everyone, that it is for the two of them alone, that it isn't an apology and it isn't something he will enjoy hearing. Sometimes the wisdom of Odin is a fucking burden.
  5. Rachel listened as Fisher talked, she closed her eyes and leaned her head back. She felt...violent, it wasn't any sort of definable anger, not really just a desire to hurt, almost a need. Have I always been like this? "I'm in the middle of my run Fisher, I am going to finish it. I will be at the stables in about thirty minutes. Call the rest of the band have them meet us there in an hour. Band members only. You bring Grimsley. Come early if you want." She ended the call and clicked play and as the music started continued her run.
  6. Rachel glances at her arm where her phone is riding in it's sleeve, see Fisher's name and slows to a stopped and looks up and down the road before thumbing the answer slid. "What?" "I know who it is Fisher I have caller ID just like everyone else. Indulge your curiosity, what are you taking English lessons from him now? I let him know that I was not happy that Mr Syracuse foisted another of their wayward children on us again without even consulting us or giving us a choice. Which is exactly what I told them not to do if you recall. And then I asked him about his grandfather, because even you should remember that the old man had had his head caved in and then Agar simply vanished. Maybe abducted maybe not. He was involved in an unsolved murder, and i needed to know if it was going to be an issue." She sounded testy like she wanted to punch something or someone.
  7. Rachel sits back at the quiet rebuke. "I'll take that as a 'no' then." She slides her chair back and stands, "And did you actually just say whilst?" She waits to see if he will answer or ignore her. After about fifteen seconds of silence she pushes the chair back in. "Okay. We train at the old Carlton Stables, that and other things. When your finished here you should make your way there but don't go on the grounds unless some of us are there. I drive a Mustang Nadya drives an old Mercury. We need to see what you can do. Later." This time she doesn't bother waiting.
  8. Rachel held her cup in both hands and sort of moved it around swirling the contents. "Just so you understand, I am not happy with the way Mr Syracuse and Coach Fingers and all the rest of them keep dumping their strays in our band. It's nothing personal really." She takes a drink of coffee and glances at Darci, gives her a nod hello. She lens forward and looks at Grim's mismatched eyes. "My dad investigated your grandfathers murder. And your...abduction. Are those events going to be a problem for us?"
  9. The to-go cup didn't quite slam down on the table but that was still the impression Grim got as he looked up and Rachel Cooper sat down across from him, her hair pulled back into a severe short pony tail. She was wearing running shorts and matching running shoes, a tank top with of all things a unicorn with the words DEATH METAL underneath it, over a sports bra. Most of it was pink. Rachel sat back her coffee on the table she folded her arms across her breasts and looked (glared if you want to know the truth) at her newest problem. It was her weekend morning run, five miles into town from her house a coffee break at the Drip then back home. When she got to the coffee shop she saw her new band mate, Grim, sitting inside reading a book. He hadn't noticed her when she came in and picked up her coffee at the counter, usually she sat out on the terrace but she hesitated. The band had met after the dance Friday night where Fisher and Austin had explained what had happened before they were finished, Mr Syracuse had come up to them with Grimsley Algar in tow and explained that he would be joining them. Just like that. Just like Grace and Laurie before. Here deal with him see if he fits. We will be watching. Rachel remembered Grimsley from school at least a little, certainly remembered the death of his grandfather, since her dad had been one of the detectives that had worked the unsolved case. And now here he was one of them, another in a seemingly endless parade of scions, the gods little left overs, assigned to her band. Again. She took a breath and let it out. “Seventh grade English, Mrs Foster, 3rd period before lunch. I think that's the only class we ever had together. Only one I remember anyway.” She took a sip of her coffee.
  10. THE STABLES SATURDAY AFTER THE DANCE Rachel was pushing herself, lifting the maximum weights she could and doing it only under the watchful eye of the huge wolf puppy chewing in the steer bone she had brought for Wolf. The ache in her straining muscles was a welcome feeling after the uncomfortable silence that had been breakfast. When she had gotten home the house had been dark but at least there hadn't been a nightmare scene of blood and body parts. She checked on her dads both had been asleep which surprised her to tell the truth. She had figured that they would all be up waiting for her too do whatever it was dads did under these circumstances. As if these circumstances had ever happened to anyone else. But they hadn't been so she went to bed too. Saturday morning had come and she had gone down stairs drawn to the smell of fresh brewed coffee, then at the bottom of the stairs she smelled the cigarette smoke and froze. She slowly advanced to the breakfast nook and peered around the wall and saw all three of her fathers, Micheal and Vidar, sitting at the table and Robert at the bar separating the nook from the rest of the kitchen. She had started to back up when Vidar spoke. "Come and eat daughter, your father, Micheal makes a wonderful... What did you call that egg concoction?" "A Southwestern Fritatta." "Yes that, exactly. Come sit and eat and tell us of your dance Taryn," the Aesir said as he lit another cigarette. "Her name is Rachel," Robert mumbled from the bar. To say that Breakfast had been uncomfortable...not even close. The opening measures of Led Zeppelins Immigrant Song broke the silence of the stables. Wolf growled and Rachel set the barbell on it's stand then grabbed her phone. It was Billy. "Hey?" she said as she took her towel and wiped the sweat from her face. "Hey back at ya. At least your alive. is everyone else?" Her boyfriend asked covering his worry with humor. Rachel couldn't help but smile. "Yeah everyone is still breathing. But weird." "I bet, want to grab something to eat?" She looked at the screen of the phone and was surprised at the time she had been working out longer than she had thought. She glanced at Wolf who was gnawing on what was left of the bone she had brought. Yeah a bit longer than she had thought. Her stomach growled. "Sure sounds good. I'm working out at the stables Let me grab a shower then I'll pick you up. Gimme a half hour."
  11. Rachel was amazed by Billy, by his acceptance of things he couldn't possibly understand, by his ability to forgive, by his loyalty and his love. She let him lead her back to the dance and the thousand stares and the four or five glares and she ignored them all. She focused all of herself on Billy. This was his moment and she was going to spend it with him and woe be to the person or thing that got between them for the rest of this night. Whether by design or fate when they got to the dance floor the music had shifted to a slow romantic tempo and she sunk into his arms and they danced, his hands on her waist her head on his shoulder. It was perfect. Oh she knew they were doomed, their love couldn't possibly survive, if it could it would have been in the sagas written into the skein of things to come. But that was all the more reason to grab and hold on to what they could have now, hold it for as long as she could and give whatever horrible thing the norns had in store for them the fight of their lives. She, they, may not have been mentioned in the sagas, how could they have been they hadn't been born yet. But their legend would be in the next volume. She, Rachel Cooper, Taryn Vidarsdottir, would make godsdammed sure of that. For all of them.
  12. “Yes...and no. You Billy, are proving to be more complex than I was giving you credit for. And for that I am sorry.” She stepped close and took his hand but didn't hug or kiss him. “If you hadn't of bolted, there wouldn't have been any doubt in anyone's mind who I am with and who I want to be with. I didn't kiss her because it was hot. I did it because I needed everyone but especially her band to see it. And I needed her to know that if she ever messed with me or us again like she did tonight, that I would kill her.” Rachel started walking and Billy went along her words registering. “Kill her? As in dead? Really dead” The look on his face was a cross between disbelief and horror. Rachel was slowly steering them toward the Library but she wasn't in a hurry to get there. “Yes, really dead. Look she was pushing my buttons she came into the locker room before the game and kissed me. MY mind has been so in turmoil over everything lately and one of those things was all of you thinking I was gay. So yeah I was messed up and my mind wasn't on the game, then We go home I tell my dads what I told you and unlike you they don't believe me and then my real dad shows up and sent us here then she did it again felling me up with her freaking ghost hands when we went on the dance floor. All this other stuff going on Then Nadya gets up and sings that song.” Billy is just walking along his own thoughts in turmoil part wanted to just leave but part the stronger part not wanting to let go of her hand. Rachel takes a breath then continues “She sang that song and I don't know something in me responded to it. I accepted it and I looked at everything that's happened and you know what I saw? I saw you. You have been there the entire time since school started and you have been my friend and more. I thought I hated you when we were kids but that was just the only way I knew to understand those feelings. I know what I am, I know what Fisher, and Nadya, and Austin are, what Bridgette is and Donner and those guys. And I know what you are.” “Wait me?” “Look Billy, my dad is Thor's brother.” “I thought Loki was Thor's brother...” “No.. step uncle but that doesn't matter. We're Aesir we are bound by destiny and fate. And so are you. We have been bound since we were kids. I can't explain it all I don't understand it all but There's some one who can, Mr Syracuse, I'll get him to tell you how it all works. But what you need to know Is I am my Father daughter, I am Aesir and you are part of my destiny. And I love you.”
  13. The kiss did send shivers through her body but that was not its purpose. She smiled a decidedly un-Rachel like smile and leaned close so only Bridgett could hear, "That was nice and I'm glad you enjoyed it too, but I'm with Billy, and just like you are your daddy's girl I am my fathers daughter. You ever pull shit like you did at the game, or tried to do here and I will forget that I like you and I will rip your spine out through your chest. Justice, vengeance, just different sides of the same coin." Rachel spun away and started back toward where she had left Billy. And she didn't see him. Anger flared, but she tamped it down and went after him, after all he couldn't hide from her even if he wanted too.
  14. Meanwhile... Rachel watched them as the three boys headed to wherever Niles was going to take them. She had purposefully stepped away before Niles had told Fisher and Austin, just encase. With a last sigh she went back around the corner and back into the Dance alone. Coach Fingers scowled at her and she shrugged in response but neither of them said anything Nadya was still on the stage now singing a duet with Dane, and the sad thing was that wasn't even going to be the strangest or most shocking thing tonight. She looked around and spotted Billy and made her way through her fellow students to come up behind him. She slipped her arms around him pressing against his back and nuzzling his neck “Miss me?” He chuckled and twisted around to face, “Yeah I did.” He smile and it lifted her heart. Gods she didn't want to hurt him. “You get everything straightened out?” “Not quite there's a couple of more things then I'm all yours.” I hope. She looked deep into his eyes she could lose herself there she hoped she had the chance to when all was said and done. “I know everything is a whirlwind right now Billy and I know it seems that things are coming at you, at us, fast. You said that you cared for me and I believe you cause I care for you a great deal. I want to make sure you know that that what I feel in my heart for you is real.” “I know it is Rachel I've always felt this way about you and I always will. Even with everything and all that other stuff.” She still searched his eyes looking for his heart. She felt no warnings of guilt so she smiled. “Good I have to go get Laurie and send her after the boys they may need backup. Whatever happens next doesn't change anything with us I need you to understand that and that I love you.” She kissed him softly a lingering kiss that had a couple of chaperones frowning but before it got into serious violation territory Rachel stepped back and smiled at her daze boyfriend. She saw Eric and his band at the other end of the auditorium not on the dance floor that's where Lauri was. She made her way there and nodded at Eric who just smirked at her. “Laurie, I hate to spoil your evening but I need you to go after Austin and Fisher they need backup.” “Its Homecoming Cooper don't mess everyone's just night up because you couldn't perform.” said Eric and some of the others snickered. “This is band Business Eric, so butt out please. Laurie you can Text Austin he'll tell you where they are and what's going on. I have to stay here for something else and to watch over Nadya” Rachel didn't wait for a reply or to see if Laurie was going to comply instead she turned and looked at Bridgette who was leaning on the back of a folding chair a few feet away. She took a breath and locked eyes with the tall dark beauty and walked right up to her right into her space. “Just so we are on the same page I want you to know that I can give as good as I get.” Rachel reached up and snaked her hand around the back of Bridgett's neck as she stepped in close while pulling her face down to hers. Their lips met, mouths moved hands touched hips. Rachel kissed Bridgette Now the chaperones had something to worry about.
  15. Rachel cocks her head as Niles ramble then reaches out placing a firm hand on his shoulder at which he flinchs. "Relax Niles, non of us here are going to hurt you but you have to help us now. More than likely Todd has gone to whereever you first cast the spell. I need you to show Austin and Fisher where this is do you understand." Austin looked at Rachel, surprise showing, "Wait your not going?" Rachel shakes her head, "If he gets the spell cast before we stop him I may be under the influence of the same spell Nadya is. I doubt I would let anything happen to Todd in that case. We can't risk that. You and Fisher will have to go with Todd, I will go back in and send Laurie to join you and I 'll watch over Nadya. It's up to you to stop him brothers, I have faith. And don't hurt them bring them both back and the spell."
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