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Everything posted by Catherine 'Kat' Barras

  1. The petite redhead shrugged. "You know, Devin, for a pair of fresh eyes, you're not that bad now. Still a massive swagger, but you're kinda nice." She offered him a genuine smile. "Not everyone's out there after the twins, just so you know." After giving it further thought, she added, "I have yet to really 'meet' Marissa though... Last time we had a talk we were..." She stopped there for a moment. "Busy." She glanced at Sean questioningly, unsure if his parents knew anything about them, but not willing to take the risk. Her hand mechanically travelled to the back of her head, a gesture she had stopped thinking about years ago. There was definitely something odd about her Shelly sherpa. One wouldn't meet those eyes every day in the street. Now if she compared with Devin's... It really was a nice day to be out. It was a big change from Brittany's inconsistent weather. Not as many squirrels over there too. She really liked the little critters. So she thought as she grabbed her glass of lemonade.
  2. Kat pinched her lips, thinking that she had already had two sandwiches before. "I'll take... a bit of everything, double size, with a side of more, please," she said with a grin. To Carolyn's surprised look, she chuckled and replied: "My 'religion' forbids me to not eat. Where I come from, there's butter involved in every meal. And lots of pork. And cider. And buckwheat pancakes. And salted butter caramel. Builds up a strong stomach, you know? Right now, I could eat a whole horse." She joined the others at the table with a full plate, listning to the banter while digging into her plate with heartfelt appetite, showing she didn't lie about her earlier words with Mrs. Cassidy. "You know," Kat said, turning to Devin with a grin, "my actual hair color isn't red." She took a sip of lemonade. Sean's head turned slowly, forkful of grilled peppers forgotten. "It isn't?" She shook her head. "I'm actually blonde, like my father." The fork completed the journey to Sean's mouth, and he chewed contemplatively for a moment. "Huh. I didn't expect that." He swallowed and took a sip of his Fresca, then regarded her with a tilted head and a half-smile. "Got any pics? I'd like to see what you look like as a blonde." "Sure." She fished out her phone from her jeans, and after a couple seconds of her fingers swiping on the screen, she showed him a picture of a younger, blonde Kat, standing on the beach by a cloudy day. Sean leaned over, eyes flicking down to the pic, up to Kat, and back. "Hmm." She was cute, either way. And Devin did have a point, sort of. The country with the highest percentage of redheads was Ireland at around 10%. For his own amusement, using Shelly High for a sample for the whole of Shelly, he'd calculated that Shelly was 13.5% redheads, making red hair far more common than the world average of about 2%. And blonde, people would less likely wonder if Kat was his sister. "I dig it." Kat lifted an eyebrow. "You do? This morning I thought I might stop dyeing them." She shrugged and put her phone down on the table, grabbing her fork but finding out her plate was already nearly empty.
  3. Champion's Field, after Noon. -ish Kat rose her eyes from her sandwich at the amused cough of her father, and her eyes followed Josh's, to Jason and Autumn's shameless embrace, and a faint smile pulled the corner of her lips. She laid back, lazily pressing her back against the tree she was sitting by, and deployed her mind web, scanning around while taking a bite of her sandwich. If Jason's here... Bingo! Sean was around too, standing next to Devin and someone who somehow felt familiar, but Kat couldn't quite put a name on that person. Devin's sister was here too, and Kat remembered Autumn's advice from last Thursday. She glanced at Tessa while her mind smoothly flew over Cassandra's presence. I guess we're missing Cade, Lilly, that guy Charlie and... Courtney's there actually... Kat frowned for a moment, setting aside the reminders of her nightmare, and her mind web broke up. "Hey, Tess." Said Tess turned to Kat at her inquiring tone. "What's up, honey?" She replied. "Think you could show me places to buy a nice dress?" That's it, Kat thought, focus on what happens after we hunt that man-stag down, and you'll be alright. Tess rose an eyebrow. "I know a couple shops in Great Falls, but why?" Kat could clearly hear what her Dad's girlfriend implied, and she grinned. Slightly. "Well," she started, "I've heard about Homecoming, and we don't have stuff like that in France, so I guess... I wanna try something new?" She paused for a moment, trying to read Tessa's expression. "Also, Sean asked me out for Homecoming. And I accepted. Least I can do for my Shelly sherpa." She took a sip off of her can of Ice Tea and stood up. "Speaking of, I'm gonna pretend I have a social life and go talk to my friends, I can see them around." Her father huffed a chuckle, amused, and handed her another sandwich before she left. "Thanks, Dad!" And she was gone. Choices, choices. Which one of her new friends was she going toward? She didn't really know. The sun felt pleasant on her face, her forearms, and there was this intermittent breeze, barely noticeable, but it was probably the best part of it. Her feet on auto-pilot brought here to where Sean and Devin stood at. From the looks of her, the third person could be no one else than Sean's sister. "Hey guys!" She said as she came around.
  4. Her phone vibrated in the pocket of her blue jeans, and she fished it out, hoping for... //My new number. For the Fellowship only, please. Jason// Kat's tongue clicked in her mouth and she shrugged, registering Jason's number in her contacts. She tucked the phone away on the backseat, her eyes wandering off to stare at the scenery behind the car's window, as they reached their destination. The car stopped in the parking lot, and Kat glared at her phone for a moment, and opened her hand, calling the phone to her, opening the car door once it slapped against her palm. At least that thing's still working. It was a nice day to celebrate the end of summer but somehow, Kat didn't feel like celebrating at all. Or rather, she felt like celebrating but for a different reason. Celebrating felt like a send-off to Hell. In truth, she was scared out of her wits, the untamed zoo of her thoughts more agitated than usual. If Kat had to describe how she felt today, she'd probably say her eye caught a lot of things, but she was unable to focus on a single one of them, her primal instincts, stirred by her recent nightmare, looking for threats everywhere. I wanna get back in the car. A strong hand squeezed her shoulder, and the French girl turned to her Dad, all thoughts interrupted by the low rumble of her stomach. A wide grin drew on Josh's features. "Let's find a place to fix that." He said, looking around for a nice spot to sit at under the trees. "You coming, honey?" Tess added after a moment, following her boyfriend, in her pastel summer dress, amidst the crowd of happy people oblivious of the darker events happening in their city. Kat rubbed a pensive hand on her stomach. Can't be helped. She took a deep breath and caught up to them, trying, for once today, to feel relaxed and actually appreciate the festive mood of the day.
  5. Morning Breathe in. Breathe out. Kat opens her eyes. The white paint on the ceiling reflects an orange, weak sunlight, quite a match for the blue and chocolate hues decorating her walls and woodwork. Through the open window can be heard the sounds of nocturnal wildlife yawning and stretching out before dusk, daring diurnal critters to an all-night party. Did I sleep all day? The teenager frowns, mechanically pushing a couple blonde hairlocks away from her eyes. --- The house is empty. Her Dad hasn't come home yet, and Tess probably went shopping. Suddenly, solitude feels oppressing, and the petite French girl opens the front door, going deep into the jungle. She has to find her friends. --- The sun has set. The wildlife overwhelms her sense with its screeches, groans, swish and rustle through exotic bushes bearing fruit never to be eaten by human beings. A bat flaps her wings above Kat's head, and for a split second, the teenager freezes, eyes darting to the obscure ceiling of branches and leaves, a shy and dim moonlight trying its best to pierce the rank foliage. The jungle bears a strong feeling of seclusion to the young and puny woman, carried by a wind of foul despair. Her heart races for a moment. --- She heard the cry. It had to be that way. As she rushes through the jungle, the complaint, definitely human, intensifies. A clearing. Ghastly spectacle. Blood. Mangled bodies surrounded by countless misshapen beasts, clad in black fur and dark, shining skin, as if covered in kerosene. Her heart stops at the sight of one of their victims, impaled on a branch, most likely the one whose cries she heard. Courtney bleeds as red as her hair. --- A thousand pairs of wicked eyes blink. It's all over now. The last offering presented itself. Kat's world is nothing but furious screeches begging for blood as the last thing she sees shines in the dim moonlight. Razorsharp fangs. --- Breathe in. Breathe out. Kat opened her eyes. The white paint on the ceiling reflected a rose, timid sunlight, quite a match for the blue and chocolate hues decorating her walls and woodwork. Through the open window could be heard the sounds of diurnal wildlife yawning and stretching out before dawn, daring nocturnal critters to an all-day party. Just a dream. The teenager frowned, mechanically pushing a couple red and coral hairlocks away from her wet eyes. She curled up under her blanket, clutching to her pillow in a desperate attempt to calm her heart down, muffling the sound of her heartbreak escaping a dry throat. --- Kat looked at her reflection in the dresser mirror, her eyes running across the celtic patterns on her naked skin. It had become a habit for the young woman, part in pride for a design she drew herself, part in wait to actually notice the changes her Dad's morning torture would eventually bring to her fragile shape. She was beginning to realize that, only now, her cheeks were losing that round shape characteristic of children, her oval features slowly growing into a brittle, thin heart-shape, most like her mother's. Talk about late puberty... Christ, I'm seventeen! It still wasn't enough for Kat. Maybe deep inside, she wanted to be marvelled at, to be noticed, and her looking like a prepubescent boy was a big obstacle only time could overcome. And she finally was getting there, as much as a couple glances at her Eve costume could tell. Her eyes caught a glimpse of gold in the pixie-ish sea of red and coral hair, still humid after her shower, framing her face under the morning sunlight. After a closer look, she let out a deep sigh. Guess I do take from both my Mom and Dad... Gonna have to dye those hair roots again, some day. --- Water paint splashed on the fabric, the brush, guided by a steady hand, lacing the colors one with another, singing in an upbeat fashion Kat's awe less than a day before. Her work was but a draft of what might take a couple weeks to picture, but the outlines were already set in discreet carbon, depicting what felt to Kat like one of the few most amazing moments in her life. Purple shimmer braving ice and fire. --- Around noon Josh quizzically glanced at his daughter in the inner rear mirror. Kat had been surprisingly silent today. "Something wrong, pumpkin?" Ugh... he knows I hate it when he calls me like that. And Tess' in here too, what's he thinking?" The petite redhead exhlaled loudly to show her discomfort at the name. Maybe I'll stay blonde... She thought. "Nothing's wrong... I..." She fell silent again. It was just a dream. "Wanna talk about your dream?" Tess chimed in. Kat realized she must have been thinking out loud. Her gaze met Tessa's chestnut eyes, watching her from the passenger seat. Kat's lips pinched into a pensive pout and she shook her head. The pretty brown-haired woman shrugged at her boyfriend as he drove the car towards the Labor Day Event.
  6. The cherry-red convertible was parked, a couple dozens steps away from the Williams' front door. Everything was silent, aside from the occasional cars driving around, and the sun wasn't so high in the sky, somewhat gliding down, above and behind the houses, to meet the horizon in a lazy fashion. The two girls were enjoying the last bits of sunlight caressing the car, leaning in the seats and sipping sodas bought on the way to Kat's place. There was no conversation going on between the two, each reflecting on how a crazy afternoon it had been. The petite redhead cast a glance at her friend, unsure about how to ask the question. The question that had been running around like crazy in her brains while Courtney drove her home. It felt good to spend some time alone with the pretty girl seated next to her. It seemed to involve a lot of sun and a lot of fun. It felt new, but not the scary new, the pleasant new. People sometimes shelter themselves within a barricade of familiar things, because familiar is good and easy to deal with. But what becomes of life when you stop making new experiences, new friends, when you stop getting surprised, hurt, amazed? Kat was starting to realize that her life had been dull, and it almost had driven her mad. Mad at herself for living such a bland life. Friends made it easier. Alice had been her anchor to the world. Alice had brought some new into her life. Some pleasant new. And now so did Courtney. And right now, Kat was confused about all this new. Where was it going to lead her? She couldn't process that much, constantly harassed that she was by the rebellious traffic of thoughts tainting her mind. The question she asked herself, and couldn't possibly ask Courtney right now, came back. Does she really like me back? Kat genuinely liked her friend. The sight of the pretty redhead rose some warm feelings of excitement, joy... and something else, much, much deeper into Kat's very guts. It's too soon. She thought. And still, Kat felt like there was more to her relationship with Courtney than just friendship. And she didn't want Courtney to answer that question, not right now. It scared her. At the same time, Kat was confused about her feelings toward Jason. Definitely not crushing on him. He's just intimidating, and I'm being shy. S'all. The lean teenager certainly had a way of creeping the French girl out. Even though what happened this afternoon was entirely Kat's fault, she still couldn't believe how discreet he had been. How could one walk so silently? The voice of her friend pulled her out of her reverie. "Hey, Kitty?" "Yeah?" Kat's unruly grey eyes lazilly travelled to her friend's face as a brief smile drew on her lips. "Not saying I don't enjoy your company, but I'm gonna need to drive myself home too..." Courtney said, a touch of dry humor easily recognizable in her voice. The French girl sniggered, grabbing the strap of her backpack. "Yeah, it's getting late... Thank you for driving me home." Her eyes met Courtney's. "It was a fun afternoon... I guess I'll see you tomorrow, then? At the Carousel?" She added, with the vivid hope of seeing her friend the next day. "Yeah, I'll be there." Her friend replied with a grin, her eyes levelled to Kat's. Yes! "Cool!" Then everything went too fast for her to compute it all at the same time. Kat had to give it a try. She leaned towards her friend, landing a soft peck on her lips, and for a fleeting moment it felt like time stopped, her heart missing a beat. And then she was already running away, toward the front door. "Byyyye!" Her brain was empty, or rather so filled with thoughts that she could not think, her heart pounding so hard in her chest it might as well have ripped itself out. The door slammed behind her, and she leaned against the solid wood, slowly slipping to the floor, her fairly pale cheeks painted in the same red she sported every other morning this week, right after the final sprint to the front door. She rose to her feet as her stomach, as well as some noise coming from the kitchen, told her it was about time she ate dinner, and she dropped her bag, all thoughts replaced by expectations of a real feast.
  7. The petite redhead raised a tentative hand and stood up. She still felt a little awkward towards the lean teenager, but the feeling couldn't beat her want, having seen her friends enjoying themselves so much. Jason briefly nodded and, an instant later, a surprised Kat began floating inches away from the ground, then farther, and farther, childish amazement quickly replacing her startled expression as she looked back at the other teenagers grinning at her. She began a very convincing moonwalk, followed by skating moves, and as Jason understood her intentions, she started accelerating, executing a perfect double Lutz followed by a death drop spin, then stopped mid-air, guided by Jason's invisible hands, to quickly dash around the spectators of her impromptu performance at a safe distance. As she began slowing down, Kat flashed the young psychokinetic a wide grin. "Oh, I wanna try something! Can you drop me?" Faint crinkles appeared at the corner of Jason's eyes, and a moment later, Kat was three feet above the ground, eyes wide in surprise. "Still wanna try something?" He asked, his voice sprinkled with dry humor. I hope no one's epileptic here... She thought for a moment. A nervous giggle was her answer, but she firmly nodded. And began falling. Rapidly. "Woooohoooo!" She yelled. And right before impact, she suddenly disappeared in a sudden burst of light, forcing everyone to cover their eyes. Her laugh rang like a trill when they opened confused eyes, staring at the delicate pixie standing with her hands on her hips and an impish smile on her face. "Okay, that was really cool!" She told Jason, still grinning wide after the adrenaline rush the fall had caused. "Thank you!" Her heart was beating loud in her ears, flushing her pale cheeks, full of dimples, with a faint pink of excitement. Again, that smile-not-smile that was, as Kat had noticed over the past few days, characteristic to the lean teenager. She couldn't quite see it on his lips, it all happened in his cold, green eyes. They simply got... warmer, and it somehow felt better than most of the smiles she had ever been given. "You're welcome," he simply replied, and so Kat returned next to her friends on light feet.
  8. "Preeeeeetty sure my Dad has a lot of these too..." The French girl nodded with a jaded pout. After all, her Dad was in the Army, he more than probably could help her with that kind of stuff. Speaking of bag... Kat had brought her backpack on the way inside, and now really felt like taking a shower. She didn't like that much smelling like grass and dirt. Her gaze wandered off to the pretty telepath standing in the room with the others, and she instinctively moistened her lips. The gorgeous redhead was quietly listening to the chatter while sipping on a soda. Kat ran a distracted hand through her hair, pensively scrutinizing the silhouette of her friend. Courtney was raising some feelings, the little pixie thought she had locked down, deep inside, a long time ago. Ugh, calm down, girl, right now you need a cold shower. "Hm, Jason, can I use your bathroom?" She asked, her backpack in hand. Cold, green eyes gazed upon her for a moment. "Upstairs, first door on the right." "Thank you!" Kat bursted out of the kitchen and started climbing the steps of the stairs when she suddenly came to a stop, realizing the sheer amount of books surrounding her. What had been culinary volumes was slowly giving place to some even more refined cultural chef-d'oeuvres her eyes could not have missed. That guy reads French? Le Misanthrope... Du Contrat Social... Les Fourberies de Scapin... Candide... La Henriade... Wait...Contes Libertins? Step by step, following a trail of books that, perhaps of all the teens gathered, except the actual owner of the books, only her French eye could have perceived, she reached the top of the staircase and kept following the crumbs of what was memories of French high school and long afternoons at the library for her. The amazing quantity of books seemed to be overflowing from a room, not far, on the left of the upstairs hall, and as she approached, the presence of books felt physically apparent, even when she closed her eyes. Her small hand grabbed the doorknob, and she entered the room, her eyes widening in amazement. There were no walls to speak off, only books, a closet, a window and a desk. A very cultured Spartan, she thought as she gazed upon what could not be a teenager's room. It was too clean. The way the sheets were arranged on the king size mattress lying at the center of the room, futon-style, would have made any maid in a five stars hotel drool with jealousy. "No way," she whispered to herself, approaching one of the gigantic shelves. Les 120 Journées de Sodome! Justine! Juliette! Zoloë! The Joy of Sex! Weird choice of porn, if you ask me... Ah! La Chute. L'Été. La Curée. La Prisonnière. Les Fleurs du Mal! Oh this is getting better and better... Les Litanies de Satan... L'Imaginaire... Bérénice... Poètes Saturniens... A childish grin drew on her lips as she read another title. Le Petit Prince! A joyful giggle escaped her throat. "It's customary to ask before entering another's bedroom." Jason's voice was neither angry nor particularly accusatory, in fact if anything carried an understated wry curiousity in it's tone as he watched the pixieish redhead from the doorway to his room. As usual, he had arrived with such a light tread the engrossed girl had not heard him. Kat looked at the lean frame of the teenager, standing in the door frame in his sleeveless teeshirt and grey sweatpants, with a fresh eye. He was full of surprises. Wait a minute... The realization of where she was standing suddenly rushed through her mind, setting her cheeks ablaze. "Oh shit..." There was no hole deep enough for her to hide in at that very moment. She just wanted to disappear, and be forgotten. Forever. This was way too embarassing. "I'm so sorry! I... I didn't realize... The..." She fell silent, her panicked eyes fluttering once more across the shelves. He just watched her for a long moment as she floundered, head tilting slightly to one side as he studied the flustered young woman with a level, intent green stare. A faint tug at one corner of his lips betokened a smile, and there might have been a flash of ancient humour in his gaze, but it was hard to be sure. "Something catch your eye?" he asked finally. She ran a trembling hand through her hair. This is so awkward... "Erm... A lot of things, actually... So... you read French?" she said in an uneasy voice as she slowly approached the door frame. "Depuis que j'ai dix ans, oui." he answered, watching her approach with his habitual calm, studying her expressions and body language intently. "Je parle plusieurs langages." "Okay, wow ! Sans mentir, c'est... surprenant !" she added, still getting closer to the door, a delicate and warm pink clearly visible on her cheeks. "Okay, c'est vraiment gênant... Je vais juste... prendre ma douche, okay? Encore une fois, je suis vraiment désolée d'être entrée dans ta chambre comme ça, je suis une terrible invitée..." She shrugged, as her unruly grey eyes, filled with shame, finally met his green. In fact, she was not ashamed of being caught in his bedroom. She had no idea until she saw him standing at the door. Then her brains had done the math. She was simply ashamed of not having realized sooner. "Mes livres ont piqué ton intérêt." he said quietly, smiling a little more, faint warmth touching his cold eyes. "C'est normal. Ce n'est pas comme si je t'avais attrapée en train de te fouiller mon tiroir à chaussettes ou en train de te rouler dans mes couvertures." He indicated the shelves, his hand brushing past her shoulder. "S'il y a un livre que tu aimerais emprunter, tu n'as qu'à demander." "Euh... Okay... J'y penserai, merci..." She swiftly slipped into the corridor, flashing him a brief smile of apology as he handed her fresh towels he apparently brought with him before catching her in his room, and made her way to the bathroom. She entered and quietly closed and locked the door, dropping her bag on the ground and leaning her back against a wall, her face on fire. I really need that cold shower...
  9. Kat Changes brought by the end of Episode 6, Act 1, validated by ST. +1 dot to Artistic Talent (Painting): new edge +1 dot to Energetics +1 dot to Transmutation
  10. Kat was sitting in the grass, not far from the barn, rewatching the movie of Jason and Devin's spar in her head. She actually had learned a lot once she had activated her super-duper Power-Vision. I probably need to come up with a better name for that... Since everyone had been so busy, she had decided to train on her own for a while, and things were going as smooth as they could be. Her field of view was darkened by the Power-Vision, but she could still see reality through the veil the hypothetic layer of subquantum was displaying under her eyes. She had disposed a wide but flat stone before her crossed legs, testing a wide variety of changes on innocent blades of grass, and analyzing her own powers by looking at her own hand. She had quickly reached the conclusion that converting energy demanded her but little effort if not none, whereas producing energy was quite tiring for her. Reshaping the stone to make it flat had helped her realize she was, or had, like a reservoir of Shine, a finite amount of energy to be spent on her powers. Reshaping objects and producing energy depleted it., converting energy did not, neither did her Power-Vision, nor her ability to know the composition of a material to a molecular level. That last one she just had discovered, while picking a stone large enough to be molded. She could hardly put names on it, but she knew what the stone she picked was made of. That stone was unique now, at least to her eyes. There were many others like it, but this one was hers. This is why the petite redhead focused solely on converting energy. She had had enough of one headache for the day, and had barely recovered from her battle of wits with the plough - thank God, at least she had had pizza! A blade of grass emitted a small column of smoke as it quickly dried, and finally took fire, while Kat turned gravity around it into heat. Funny. I have an endless reserve of gravity... She first chuckled at the thought, then literally burst out with laughter. She didn't quite know why. Was it the fact that owning gravity was a fairly stupid concept, or was it the exhilarating realization that she could do anything as long as gravity was there? She couldn't tell. "Someone's happy." Courtney sat down beside Kat, folding her legs elegantly to one side and smiling as she cocked her head at the petite girl. Her dark red hair fell almost artfully to one side as honey-brown eyes glanced around at the others, all involved in their own conversations, then back at Kat. "I've got to say, this is better than I thought it'd be. Nobody's giving me the stinkeye or even particularly thinking bad things about me. That I can tell, anyway." Crimson lips curved in a wry smirk. The French girl gave it a shrug. "Well, the way I see it, you were just part of the Project. you have as much right as Tawny has to be here. Besides, the only one you really gave hell to isn't here..." Devin's word from earlier suddenly rang through her mind. "Anyway, we're past that now." She quickly added. "Look." She grabbed a blade of grass, and dropped it on the stone. Then grabbed it again, and dropped it once more. But this time, the blade of grass was falling much slower, glowing with a faint light, until it reached the stone, drawing a genuine smile on Kat's features. "Uh." Courtney looked surprised as she watched. "You make grass glow? I mean, it's cool and stuff - pretty even - but..." Kat giggled, before explaining. "Not the point. I made it lighter! I turned the norm of the force pulling it down -it's called gravity, by the way, I read that in a book- into light! Think of the applications! I can turn it into heat, speed, sound, any kind of energy, you name it!" "I know what gravity is." Courtney smirked, laughing. "So you can affect it? That's pretty cool, alright. So can you turn sound into gravity? Or heat, then? Does it work mulitple ways?" "I... guess? I didn't try yet." She thought for a moment, then turned at her friend with an impish grin. "Try talking..." The gorgeous redhead lifted an eyebrow, and opened her mouth to speak. But instead it looked like Courtney was blowing a huge bubble of light, that flashed before disappearing. Instead, where light shone the air felt warmer, at least the way Courtney felt it on her lips. It suddenly grew colder as a loud bang resonated around them, followed by Kat's uncontrollable laughter, resonating like a trill across the fields. Courtney jumped at the sudden report, letting out a little shriek, then narrowing her eyes at the giggling little gamine. "Oh, very funny. Har de har." she huffed before laughing herself, shaking her head. "Okay, so what practical use is that trick? Scaring me out of my panties is not exactly..." she waved a hand at the place where Devin and Jason had had their epic battle. "You know?" "Well, I could produce enough decibels to kill anything that has a beating heart, if I convert enough... anything... at the same time. I could jump higher, even fly, if I do my mojo correctly." She pointed at tiny pile of ash on her stone. "I could heat something up, warm enough to make it burn. Not as spectacular as Jason's flame, but... I guess that works. I could also convert ambient heat into anything else, just to freeze something. I didn't try it yet, but I guess I could throw a rock and speed it up to the point it's as deadly as a bullet." She shrugged. "There's a ton of possibilities." "And you can also convert solid stuff, right? Like you did with the plough." Courtney's expression was thoughtful as she absently chewed on a lower lip, staring at where Lilly was practicing her free-running, eyes widening as the athletic teen went up the side of the barn like a cat up a tree. "Wow." Courtney was momentarily distracted, and both her and Kat watched the display for a moment or two. "Could you change, say, this rock into gold?" Courtney asked, returning to the topic at hand as Lilly jogged off to her pickup. Kat's lips formed a pensive pout. "I could. But I like my rock like that. Besides, converting energy doesn't ask me to even lift a finger. Repairing the plough gave me a bloody headache. Earlier I realized we have..." She squinted her eyes. "Do you play any video games? Like... World of Warcraft?" Courtney's stare was blankly uncomprehending. "Are you about to make a nerd analogy? Because it will go 'whoosh'" she motioned over her head. "Like that." The petite redhead rolled her eyes. "Fine. We have like, a reserve of Shine, and using our mojo depletes it. That's what I meant by 'not lifting a finger'. This rock didn't use to be flat. I made it flat. Now I have... less Shine? Point is, I'm pretty sure turning this stone into pure gold would take... I don't know... Are you ready to pay a whole month worth of pizza for a golden flat stone? 'Cause it's gonna make me as hungry as a marathon runner after he beat the World Record." "Kat." Courtney's tone was that of a patient adult explaining to a toddler why going potty on the lawn was not a good idea. "You turn a big enough rock into gold, and I will use it to buy you pizza for a month. With the change, I will go shopping in Milan. And maybe donate some to a worthy cause." "Okay... But I don't wanna. Last time I turned matter into something else, I didn't feel very good. Yesterday, I tried painting with my mojo. I managed to do it, but I felt like I had a bolt-on helmet afterwards." She wasn't smiling anymore. "It's like lifting a skyscraper with my own two arms. That's how difficult it feels." She stared at the stone for a while. "It's weird, isn't it? If it's energy, I can do whatever I like. But anything else, I'm almost powerless..." "Join the club." Courtney said blithely, leaning back on her hands and lifting her face to the late-summer sun. "I can read surface minds, and can link folks together, and I can read emotions and affect them a little - I mean, I can make someone less or more angry, but I can't create anger out of nothing, you know? And sometimes I can make someone do something by pushing them to obey me - but that's hard. Anything more than that and I get headaches and nosebleeds." She smiled, her eyes closed as she sunned her pale face. "I was Cookie's star pupil. His naughty schoolgirl telepath - not that he ever made use of the 'naughty schoolgirl' bit. I thought I was Queen Shit before I saw Bannon freeze a sink and the pipes in the walls, or heard that Lona could cure the sick with a touch, or Devin could teleport." The lovely redhead sighed. "I really thought I was special and better than them all, even the Jauntsens, because I had my secret power. And then Cook threw me under the bus as soon as shinier toys came along to study. And the worst part? I can't hate you guys for that. I tried. I wanted to fuck shit up for the 'Fellowship'. Even tried to get Bannon beaten up by a member of the football team once - I hoped he'd lose it and toast the guy and then everyone would tear themselves apart over it." Courtney opened her eyes, which glistened moistly as she blinked at Kat. "I'm a horrible person. And these guys? They're actually pretty cool. I'm glad they include me, even if I feel like phonier than a Chinese Louboutin." "Awww." Kat could not repress the urge to hug the pretty redhead sitting besides her, her arms sliding around Courtney's shoulders. "Don't say stuff like that. I mean... of course they're cool. But you're cool too. You're trying to change, and that's cool. I'd rather be friends with the real Courtney than with Queen Shit." Courtney sniffled, then let out a little sob as she turned in to rest her forehead on Kat's slender shoulder. "But what if the real Courtney is horrible?" she said in a tiny muffled voice. "I'm such a t-t-total bitch, all the t-time. An- an- and today I attuned to Devin and you and Cassie and people and I'm so small compared to it all." She straightened up a little, wiping her eyes and runny mascara with one hand. "I'm a senior. I always thought I'd go on to work as Cook's Girl Friday or something, but now? I don't know if I'll even live out the week." Warm brown eyes sought out Kat's. "I don't want to feel horrible, Kitty." she said, almost plaintively. "I didn't when you were with me the other day. Can we...? Can we... you know. Go somewhere out of sight and you make me feel not-horrible for a bit?" Kat's eyes widened with surprise. "Like, now?" A nervous chuckle escaped her lips, but there was softness in her eyes as she planted her gaze into Courtney's. "Listen. I'm all for fun naked stuff - hell, before Friday, it had been months since I had a good shag -" she said with a horrible grin, "but there's even better to fix your problem on the long term. I'm not gonna let you die to the hands of some weird magical murder hobo with antlers. So what, if you can only do telepathy? It's your thing, just become the best at it. Sure, maybe it's not as spectacular as teleporting or freezing water, but you heard Jason. You might be the key to us kicking that thing in the balls." She gently grabbed the pretty redhead by the shoulders and offered her a genuine smile. "You can feel emotions. If you'd just learn how to use it properly, you could be friends with anybody, just by being there for them and saying the right thing to them when they need it. Your Shine is probably the most beautiful of them all. I mean it." Courtney was speechless. She didn't say a word when the French girl grabbed her by the hand. A couple seconds later, and the flat stone was left alone with its sprinkle of burnt and not burnt grass. The two girls reappeared fifteen minutes later, the smaller one sporting a satisfied grin over pensive features. Kat turned to her friend. "You know, if you wanna... practice telepathy or... stuff, even vent a little, I'm here for you, okay?" She flashed her a brief smile and a wink, then suddenly jogged off towards Devin and Autumn, yelling: "ANY PIZZA LEFT? I'M FAMISHED!"
  11. They exploded into being in a purple flash as Devin's teleportation anchored them to one of his numerous familiar spots. It was a room, abandoned and empty. Plaster peeled from the walls and from the variety of discarded debris, several homeless had used it as a crash pad more than once. Kat hunkered down, resting her palms on her knees. She was winded and feeling like all her organs were out of place. Devin rubbed her back. "Yeah, it's like that for everyone the first time. It get easier, then fades completely... or so I'm told." "You?" She felt like she was going to hurl. "No, I think it's because it's my gift. I got the joy of waking up naked in the back yard, or in one instance Finland. Luckily, I was wearing my clothes." "Why Finland?" She stood, finally able to take in her surroundings. He shrugged. "You know, I still have no clue. This, however," he pointed to the floor they were standing on. "Is an abandoned orphanage, it's about two blocks from Tony's. C'mon." The French girl closed her eyes to prevent her world from spinning. She couldn't say her first ride had been smooth, but had to admit she had known far worse. Her eyes opened a moment later, and she cast a glance at the room around her. An abandonned orphanage, uh? "Did you ever... teleport somewhere random and end up in the middle of a crowd?" she asked as she followed him outside. They stepped out in to the busy streets of Manhattan, New York. They slid through a flimsy piece of ply wood covering a window and easily hopped the tall fence that surrounded the abandoned building. "Thankfully, no." He replied. "The random hops only lasted about a week or so, right around the time the vagisuarus tried to eat my leg. Kinda freaked me out a bit, so I think I was having dreams or nightmares... like when you're falling and you wake up with that sudden jerk of motion? Yeah, except I was jaunting out of danger... sometimes, sans clothes." "So," he said after they crossed West 138th street. "What's your story? How'd you get stuck with us?" Kat hid her grin behind a hand as she pictured the young teleporter warping around as naked as the day he was born. She remembered him showing the scar on his leg, a couple days ago, in the conference room, and realized not only him, but pretty much every other teen 'blessed' with Shine probably had a rougher two last weeks than she had. "Well," she started, "I got tatooed, but I guess pretty much everyone noticed by now. See, it's not just the arms and legs." She took a brief stop and spreaded her arms, down and to the sides. "Mom didn't quite like the idea of me spending money on a tatoo that size..." A shrug later and she was again walking by Devin's side. "She said she couldn't handle... both my bullshit and my grandma's declining health. I guess sending my grandma to the States wouldn't have been a good idea, eh?" "And then, I don't know... I don't know how I got the Shine, is it because Ms. Kyleson made Sean my Shelly sherpa? No idea... But I realized it's not that bad, I mean, I get to make new friends, I even get to visit New York!" She offered a bright smile to the young man at her side. The sights and sounds were sensory overload to the two teens. It was like night and compared to Shelly with so many people on the streets and traffic and so much going on. It was chaos incarnate and Devin seemed like he was in his natural element. The boy had not a drop of shyness to him and he managed to blend in almost seamlessly with any new environment and there was something about his outgoing personality that left a bit to be envious of for the French girl in a strange new country. "Well," he shrugged, looking down at her while also looking up at the crowd of people they were wading through. "I think it's because Coyote has a plan. He seems to be bringing those of us with gifts all to one place." He didn't seem to mind that there were so many people around that could hear him. It was New York, what Devin was saying didn't even ping on the radar as weird. "I know the Fellowship seems like a mess, but it's a lot of people really trying the best they can with a messed up situation." "My sister and I didn't treat them all very well, Courtney either. Jason is a little weird, and dangerous, Sean's a bit of shut in... Cade's got a lot going on and Cassie... well, she has this thing for being in everyone's business so you can imagine, not a lot of people are banging on her door wanting to be friends." They rounded the corner and she saw the sign that read 'Tony's Pizzaria'. “My point is, no matter how messed up things get, like my sister going all claws and fangs on Cassie or Jason folding people up like human lawn chairs... we seem to be the closest thing to family a few of us have. So, you know...” he shrugged. “If you need anything, don't be afraid to ask. Okay?” They walked in and Devin greeted the guy behind the counter with a wide smile, some humorous banter and a high five. A complete stranger and with a few words they were yammering on like they had been pals for years. He rejoined Kat and they began the wait for the pies. The petite redhead rubbed the back of her head. "Yeah... I had a talk with Sean yesterday..." She glanced at a couple clients who just entered the shop and wondered what it felt like to live in such a big city. It wasn't like Rennes was a small one, but New York... by far a bigger city than the one she grew up in. "I didn't get much detail, but sounds like Courtney gave him hell. Well, at least now it looks like she's trying to make up for it. A bit." She fell silent for a moment, her brains watching the movie of her Friday evening at Mach 3. "She's funny," Kat added after repressing the warm pink invading her cheeks. "I like her." The faint growl of her stomach cut short her reflexions as the delicious smell of pizza invaded her brains. "God, I could eat a whole horse right now..." "She's a nympho, so you're chances are pretty good," he nudged her in good humor and smirked. "Yeah, she was pretty awful to him, even before Marissa and me arrived. Then, it got worse for him, because we were like a tornado of torment in that school. Won't lie, it was kinda fun, but, ultimately, a poor choice." "Sean needs to quit being such a brat." He said flatly. "I get it, he was picked on. All I see now is the people who picked on him and the others, taking steps to mature, grow up and try and be different, if not better people. Where's he? At home, being spiteful and whiny." He mocked Sean's voice. "I don't wanna go, Courtney is mean! Wah!" "I ain't got time for shit like that," he shook his head. "We have more important things to prepare for than dealing with his crybaby bullshit. We got a world to save." She didn't like the way the conversation was turning, but had to admit he was kind of right. Well, she didn't consider facing a bully to be easy, but they sure had something way bigger going on, and not much time left to deal with it. "Sure... kill the bad guy first, then ice-cream..." Speaking of ice-cream... "How many people did Jason 'fold up like human lawn chairs'?" She wasn't sure herself if her question was serious or not, but it felt to her like the young psychokinetic was getting a bad rap. "Like... he said it himself, he's a psychopath, and I think I know how unsettling he can be... I mean, those eyes... but... what did he do to get your sister so... pissed about him?" "Just one. A guy named Liam. Don't get me wrong, the guy was human garbage, but," He raised a finger to accent his point. "That doesn't make it okay. We are not the law, and we certainly shouldn't be walking around folding people up like that. That dude is messed up for life, probably. Through Jason's own admission he is an unfeeling, uncaring, murder machine. It's not that he doesn't care, or can't, it's that he can, like he said, walk into a room and open everyone up like taun-tauns and just as casually go home and make dinner like nothing eventful happened that day." He shrugged. "Everyone is okay with that sort of behavior from someone, I guess they like the idea that he can murder without compunction, I don't know. I know my sister and I did some messed up things, but we never..." he paused, thinking of Liam. "Girl, we ain't never did shit like that, I can tell you that much. My sister is not comfortable around someone capable of those things. She's on edge, with this fear or worry that Jason is just one bad day from killing or harming one of us." He looked to Kat and offered a half smile that didn't really express much except he didn't know exactly what to say. "I mean, he says he won't, and never would, but his past actions and the things he's said have pretty much robbed him of any credibility. I keep an eye on him. I hope we're wrong and Jase is better than his actions, but I'm not really one to judge others. He did what he did, and like me, he has to live with the fallout of that. With him though, there's no remorse, no guilt, no anything... so he doesn't really feel sorry or pity for those he hurts, he just adjust his way of acting around them so he doesn't repeat the mistake. He's not sincere, he's just adjusting his act to suit a more positive outcome. Essentially, he's fake as fuck with the most sincerest of intentions." Kat didn't expect such an answer, and it did leave her confused for a while. "Okay, wow... So that makes us one big and fucked up family... what could go wrong?" She suddenly felt like changing topics. This conversation was getting too weird for her. - Well, you asked him, Kat. - I know, shut up, Kat. "Any hobbies? I like painting, playing the guitar. What about you?" She asked with a fair smile, then her gaze wandered over the shape of the young teleporter. "Sports?" Devin laughed. "Yeah, I know, that topic has 'fuck that', written all over it. No worries, and like I said, I hope I'm wrong. As for my sister, well, you'll have to ask her." He took a breath, inhaling while he thought about things. "Well, I'm a gymnast, free runner, and an artist. That's about the only things I do well besides annoy the hell out of people and deliver exotic food from around the world." They both laughed a bit. "My mom tried to get us to be child stars, so Emjay and me know a lot of little, useless skills, like we can dance, play an instrument or two," he raised a hand to amend his statement. "Not very well, I have to add. She sings, or she used to." He trailed off at that and quickly moved on. "And I also do some of the dumb shit others think is off the chain stupid. X-Games stuff, like high speed driving, snowboarding, rollerblading, the faster I'm going or the less I'm touching the ground, the better. A bit of an adrenaline junkie, I guess you could say." "That sounds like fun!" She said with a grin. "I was never much into sports... I mean, let's face it, I'm small, made school's physical education a bit of a pain in the arse, I won't lie. Well, harder target at dodgeball, but apart from that... volleyball? No thanks." She snickered, then noticed that pizza guy was waving at them, and she rubbed her hands together. "Looks like lunch is readyyyyyy!" As they approached the counter, she asked: "You said you were an artist. What kind of art do you do?" She turned to him and added with a wink: "Aside from, you know, your instrument skills?" They collected their four pies, three for the group, one for Marissa who was a human vacuum when it came to food, and they stepped out back into the street. "Mostly just pencil sketching, I can do charcoal but it's messy and my mom has a fit when she finds the dust all over, so I tend to save that for special projects." He tapped her on the small of her back. He tilted his head towards an alley way. "This way." "I thought we came from that way..." Kat leaned her head back towards the orphanage, unable to hold the two massive pizzas and still operate a single arm. "We did, but leaving is always easier than arriving." He pointed out as they walked off the busy street and into the vacant alleyway. "See arriving we don't know what's there, leaving, we can look around... and..." There was a sudden flash of purple that obscured her sight for the span of a blink, and they were back in the field, holding four pizzas. "Easy-peasy." He winked at her and the held the pies up triumphantly. "THIS! IS! PIZZAAAAAA!" Devin yelled like Leonidas.
  12. The petite redhead giggled as a thought striked her. "What's so funny?" asked Cade, next to her. "Well," Kat replied, "I need to tell Sean. I'm not entirely sure I can do it, but it looks to me like he couldn't keep up with that, if I were to use it to assemble a PC from scraps." Another giggle escaped her lips before she took a look around and realized most of the other teens were being... teens. Her gaze quickly darted back and forth between the laughing redhead, dripping with water, and the young man with green, cold eyes heading towards the cooler. And with a pout she realized she was a bit jealous. "You alright there?" The thought came from outside her head, and with a start she realised that Courtney was gazing at her from where she'd just been speaking with Jason. The petite redhead replied with a shrug and a mental groan. "I guess I arrived too late to even have a chance, eh?" There was a soft wave of sympathy and fellow-feeling from her friend. "No sense regretting what you can't change, kiddo. At least you're starting fresh. I've actually got to undo a shitload before I can even start over." Kat remembered the conversation she had with Sean the day before, and mechanically rubbed the back of her head. "Yeah, you're probably right... I still could use some ice-cream, right now..." As counterpoint to this mental exchange, her stomach suddenly produced a famished growl. "Heard that?" There was a soft ripple of mental laughter. "If you're hungry, Devin was talking about getting food. You should ask him." "Bless that guy." "I'm gonna grab something to eat." The French girl told Cade, and without further thought she wandered towards the teleporter.
  13. The petite redhead nodded to Jason's reply, her brains now working the answer out under all of its aspects. "Hey, that's funny. I can do telepathy stuff too. I mean... I don't know if I could set up a mind network yet, but I could try." Her eyes wandered off and down from his face, meeting the soft fabric of the white teeshirt, then lower, and lower, and - Oh cut the crap, stupid! - as her eyes ran away from what they were about to stare at, they fell on the tractor plough. She remembered the earlier exchange between Devin and Jason. They sure could try and repair it, scrub some rust off. It should be no ordeal with their powers - Wait a minute. "Wait a minute..." She whispered. The evening before, she had spent a couple hours trying to paint with her mojo, turning the very thin layer of air closest to her paper into an even thinner layer of paint. What if... "What if I could actually repair the tractor? Yesterday, with Sean, I tried painting with my... Okay, long story short, telepathy is a bit hard for me, but there's something else I can do that feels easier. When I talked to Sean about it, he said I was probably... manipulating fundamental forces and molecules, or even atoms. I know for a fact that I can alter how gravity applies to an object, I did it on my phone the first time, and also that I can... transmute? matter into something else. That's how I painted with my... mumbo-jumbo." She looked at the taller psychokinetic standing in front of her and flashed him a bold smile. "Maybe I could try and sweep some dust off the tractor..."
  14. Kat Ep.V Sidefiction : Power-Gaming | +2 XP Short-term Aspiration completed : Get a new PC (validated by ST) | +1 XP Yearbook sheet and signature sheet updated.
  15. Kat strolled alongside Cade and Cassandra towards the spot everyone was gathering at. It had taken them some time to actually link, so they did not make much progress apart from that. Still, the petite redhead was pretty happy with the discovery she just made, and the feeling added a joyful levity to every step she took. Jason's question interrupted whatever chatter the three of them had going on, and she took some time to reflect on it. "No issue for me, I guess. Loved it. It felt terribly good, but I don't really understand the applications it could have when fighting... Cody-Not-Cody? I'm guessing since most of us do different stuff, there is a wide and interesting range of them, but would we actually have the time to do that while, I don't know, ducking to avoid a tree?" The last bit of her question oozed with zest, but Kat's expression was serious as she asked the young psychokinetic, shooing away any distraction sweatpants, animals, wind, sun's warmth and other stimulis offered, that made her everyday life. What happened in the hospital had felt real, and scary, and Kat had long accepted the fact that all of them, including herself, were putting their life on the line. Fear is just another tool to help focus, a part of herself mused. The French girl crossed her tatooed arms on her chest, waiting for their "teacher" to formulate an answer.
  16. The French girl pointed at the different paint jars lying not far from the easel. "Hand." She said between two bites of her pizza slice. Damn this is good. "I'm too afraid of setting the paper on fire by mistake." She turned towards her painting, and the chair she was sitting on protested with a faint noise. "This is what it looks like... Telepathy stuff. What it feels like..." She glanced at her friend between two rebel locks of hair. "It's... scary." "Imagine yourself in Great Falls, busy hour, and everyone around you is full of their little problems, and all that shit just surrounds you, smashes you and..." Her voice broke for a while as her memories from Tuesday flooded in, and she fought the sudden urge to cry growing up inside her throat while trying to keep a composed face. Another bite in her pizza slice momentarily solved it. Sucking on a full, upper lip, Sean set down his slice of pizza on his plate, then slid the plate onto the edge of Kat's desk. He used a fingertip to push it further when it still seemed precariously balanced. For a variety of reasons, Sean wasn't a physically, tactilely demonstrative person, but the pain and the appearance of being overwhelmed and the smaller girl's delicate features tugged on his emotions. It still felt presumptuous after only knowing Kat for a few days, but after a moment's hesitation, Sean leaned over and gave Kat's slender shoulder a comforting squeeze. His hands might have been slim and feminine, but they had the sure strength of someone who worked with them often, and Kat leaned into the pressure. "I can understand, some," Sean said soothingly."Not 'bout being hammered by others' thoughts and memories, maybe." He took a deep breath, then let it out in a long sigh. "But walking through school or town, I see all the signals - texts, phone calls, whatever - flying by like a swarm of fireflies, practically yelling, 'look at me, look at me.'" Sean leaned back in his chair, glanced at his pizza, but left it aside for now, a wry smile curving his lips. "And despite promises to myself, I've looked. People will say anything, send anything, when they think it's private. It must be worse for you, able to glimpse inside the sanctity of their minds, but I get, a little, what you're saying." He ran a quick hand through his vibrant red hair, nodded at the painting. "It's not gonna help directly with the telepathy, perhaps, but for me at least, I've found practicing a... er, mundane skill alongside a psionic one helps. We can set up some canvases somewhere, make it safe for you to try some, um, 'hands off' painting, if it ends going, hmm, flamingly." Sean arched a brow at Kat, offering her an encouraging smile. She finished her slice, mulling on something. "Sure, what do you want me to paint?" She asked, turning to her friend, who blinked twice. "What, right now?" He replied. "Why not? Windows just finished installing, we could download some painting software, you do your mumbo-jumbo and I try to reproduce it on paper with my mumbo-jumbo. Sounds fun?" She grabbed another slice, and considered it for a split second. Then she took a bite with forced zest. She hoped he'd say 'Yes', feeling like she could use some fun of that kind. It had been a while since she didn't have a real good time with a friend, fact that her brains tried to ignore by bringing back the memories of the rather good time she spent the evening before, setting her cheeks on fire. Sean gave a rueful shake of his head as Kat started on another slice of pizza. Cade and Jase he understood, but he didn't know where Kat or Marissa or Laurie, even, put it all without getting fat. Two pieces of pizza was his usually his limit at one sitting. He glanced at his phone, checking the time. He'd intended to work more on ReGenesis, but he could do it later, maybe pull an all nighter. He was having fun spending time with Kat, and wanted to keep up her encouragement with testing her powers. "Sure, I can stick around for a while," Sean agreed with a smile. He didn't have his Wacom tablet and stylus, but he had brought over some art and music programs to load up on Kat's rig. And he could cheat. "But let's have the painting exchange be reciprocal, hmm? I do something, you try to reproduce it, then you paint something, and I try to reproduce it." "Fair!" Kat boasted around a mouth full of pizza. While Kat set up some new canvases, Sean downloaded several painting and drawing programs onto her computer. The boyish girl and the buxom boy chatted animatedly as they painted, manipulating their respective media more with their minds than with their hands. It had been a long time since Sean had been so comfortable with someone he had known for such a short while. With what Cook had revealed, it made feeling so self-conscious about his issues seem so... inane. He might not have much time left, time that was wasted feeling sorry for himself or concerned what others thought. During a lull in their conversation, Sean spun around in Kat's desk chair, watching her svelte figure speculatively as she focused on a canvas. Colour flowed across the surface under her pure concentration, hands balled into tiny fists at her sides. "Y'know, I'm your Shelly Sherpa, as it were," Sean said with affected nonchalance. "I should be showing what Shelly offers, even stuff I'm not really into. Homecoming is coming up and I dunno if you've had time to, if someone has..." He trailed off as Kat looked over her shoulder with guileless eyes. Sean blew out a sharp breath, trying to ease the tightness in his chest. His uncanny turquoise and jade eyes met her unruly grey. "I mean, if you'd like to go, I'd like to take you." --------------------------------------------
  17. Kat watched as everyone of them left the room, then followed them outside. Bracelets? Yay, gadgets... She reached Courtney's car and grabbed her backpack on the passenger seat of the convertible, before heading back inside, to the loft. Hell, she wasn't gonna change in front of everyone. And yeah, she was gonna change. Because she had a pretty good idea of the range of stuff she should be able to do, and she'd rather not scratch or burn her every day clothes. When she finally got out of the barn, she was wearing sports clothes and shoes, and began waiting outside, with the strange feeling that the day was going to be long.
  18. Kat was standing back, leaning against a wall. At first, it was for comfort, but after Cassandra spoke of what she saw, the wall was probably the only thing keeping the French girl on her feet. Her skin, barely tanned by the previous day's "sunbathing", was turning even paler as her prolific imagination made her sick with scenes of horror. "Cassie's right," she said after berating herself mentally. "If this Entering is in league with the Dark, then we need at least a bit of information on what he knows about us. I'm pretty sure he's aware of our existence, and that makes it a danger for us." She had somewhat managed to repress the shakes in her voice, but still looked at her feet, uncomfortable.
  19. "Yes." The reply came swiftly, carrying all the satisfaction Kat felt after getting something done. "I can't wait !" The sun was casting a generous and warm light upon the rather pale features of the pixie-ish French girl as they got out of Sulli's and made their way to the car, Kat carrying the box containing her computer components with the care a mother would have carrying her baby. Sean nodded, a perceivable grin stretching his lips. Soon, the two of them were back in the car, and the ride back to Shelly began. Time flew fast, busy as they were arguing about bands, as Kat did want to listen to some music while on the road. By the time they arrived at the petite redhead's place, seven rang the clock. With exasperated magnanimity, Sean had graciously allowed Kat to select some of the music on the way back to Shelly. Sean was surprised it was seven o'clock when he came to a stop outside of Kat's home. With the music and conversation, it felt like they had barely spent any time on the road. They must've taken longer at Sulli's than he thought. Kat collected her case of computer components, while Sean climbed into the back of Little Bigfoot, retrieving the computer pieces had already had, along with the few tools he would need and the computer case. It wasn't particular heavy, but between the size of the case and the size of his chest, it was a bit awkward for Sean. Kat scampered ahead to hold the door for Sean while he very carefully navigated the front steps, the small bag of tools almost sliding off the computer case box where he had balanced them. "Dad! Tess! We're back!" Kat called out. She closed the door behind Sean, who set down his burden as soon as he got inside before he managed to drop anything. He let out a deep satisfied breath. They had everything they needed for the build, nothing broken or forgotten. "That's good. You find everything you needed?" Tess called back from somewhere in the house. "Yup! And more, for a great deal, since Sean has a friend who has a computer shop," Kat explained. "We're going to bring everything up to my room and get started putting it together." "Okay." With Kat helping him, they managed to get everything up to her room in one trip. Kat cleared her desk and Sean set out all the computer components with meticulous precision. With boundless, almost cloying, curiosity, Kat stuck close to the generously endowed, intersexed computer genius as he started putting her PC together. Sean didn't consider himself a particularly good teacher, and having assembled so many PCs already it was second nature, he had to consciously slow down what he was doing so he could explain what he was doing to Kat as he did it. He was privately pleased she was taking such an interest in his explanations though, rather than being impatient to get her new PC. Still progress was going swiftly, even with testing as they went along so they would know what was causing an issue, if any. With Sean's techno-senses, it was almost trivially easy to notice if anything was going awry. It was just after eight when Sean heard his stomach audible rumble. So engrossed in assembling the computer - far more entertaining to him then putting together a mere puzzle - Sean hadn't notice how hungry he was getting. He wasn't the only who heard his stomach, Kat glancing at him in amusement. "Heh, I usually have supper much earlier..." As though his rumbling stomach was a summons, Tess rapped her knuckles against the door frame to announce her presence before peeking inside Kat's room. "I don't know if you guys have eaten yet or had plans, but I thought I should ask, just in case." "Er, I hadn't thought about it 'til just know," Sean admitted, standing up from the chair and giving his back a stretch after being hunched over the desk for the last hour. "I guess I could just order a pizza or something..." Kat's eyes shone with interest at the mention of pizza. "Pizza sounds veeeery nice indeed!" She flashed Tess an impish smile before adding: "We'll be fine." The dark-haired woman gave them a nod. "Alright, then. Enjoy your pizzas!" She replied, before closing the door. The petite redhead turned to her friend: "I take it you know which places make the best pizzas, better than I would, right ?" She fell silent for a moment, and right before Sean was about to reply: "Oh I almost forgot ! We also have to call Jason !" "Right," Sean said, straightening up from unboxing the new monitor Kat had also gotten at Sulli's. "Better to do that before pizza." Sean reached over and fished his phone from his hoodie, which he taken off before starting to assemble Kat's PC. A few flicks of his fingers, and he was dialing Bannon's home. As he listened to it ring, he took the phone from his ear and held it between himself and Kat, putting it on speaker. They could both hear the ringing tone as it went on five... six... seven times and then, just as Kat was giving Sean a quizzical look and opening her mouth to ask a question, tbe phone was picked up. "Hello?" It wasn't Jason, Sean knew right away. The voice was deeper, and had more inflection, more expressed curiousity than his friend traditionally answered with. "Hi, Mr. Ba - Gar," Sean quickly corrected himself, not forgetting, just struggling against ingrained habit. He flashed Kat a small, self-deprecating grin. "Is Jase around, now? You said he should be back after seven or there abouts." "Oh, yeah Sean. He got back a short while ago. Gimme a second and I'll get him on the line." The teens could hear the receiver being moved, some footsteps, then some murmured conversation before Jason's crisp, precise tones came from the speaker in his habitual one-word greeting. "Sean." "Heya Jase," came Sean's standard response. "I have Kat here on speaker." His usual emotive tone turned curiously neutral to Jason's ears. "She has something she wants to ask you. Not quite a favour, but, well... I'll let her ask it. You're up, Kat." Sean nodded at the slimmer, somewhat shorter redhead and held out his phone a little closer to her. "Uh, hi!" Kat said, her hand mechanically travelling to the back of her head to rub it. "Yesterday I had a chat with... Courtney, and as I learned today, you guys might be cats and dogs with her but... Well, she offered to help me with telepathy, but only if she gets to attend the training sessions with the others - I quote "I'm tired of being on the outside of the Shine group." Now, I'd really like to have her give me pointers, cuz, well, she knows what she's doing, and I also think we need all hands on deck." The flow of her request was fast, her voice clear but with a note of uncertainty carried through the microphone. "What do you say ?" There was a momentary pause before he replied, his voice coldly analytical. "Sure. She could be useful, and Devin has already expressed she's one of us. Better to include her than give her reason to work against us. Bring her along." A relieved smile flashed on the petite redhead's features for a brief moment. "Alright, thank you!" She said, and although the smile had deserted her face it could still be heard. She glanced at Sean questioningly. Sean just shrugged, trying to keep his very biased opinions to himself for Kat's sake. On one hand, Kat was new to the Weird and needed the extra help of someone who knew to catch up. On the other hand, it was Courtney. "Thanks, Jase. Seeya 'round. And get a bloody smartphone like a normal person. Even if it's only as a disguise to fit in." There was just a bare hint of resignation in the most stacked of Cassidys teasing banter. "Okay." Jason said agreeably - well, agreeably for Jase. "Want to come with me on Monday and advise me on one?" Jason could practically feel Sean's blink of surprise. His surprise was very apparent to Kat. There was a distinct moment before he could respond, but when he did, there was a wide grin on his face. "Finally! Yeah, I'd love to get you updated to the current century, Jase, even if the Cherokee is guzzling gas with all these trips to Great Falls. We'll figure out the exact details later. Kat and I haven't eaten yet, and I want to get her PC assembled and tuned up tonight. Later, dude." "Later." Blip! Sean switched off speaker and pulled up his contacts. "That's done. Now, we gotta order pizza, 'cause if it ain't on it's way in, like, ten minutes, I'm gonna see if I can survive on computer pieces, and then we'll have to drive back to Great Falls. There's only three places for pizza in Shelly, Kat, and only two deliver. Bunnee's doesn't deliver, Pizza Hut is cheap but barely... suffices, I suppose. The best pizza in town is from Alibi Lounge, if you want to split the cost." He pulled up their menu on his phone and handed it to Kat to look over. "I like The Gritz and the Cowgirl myself, but willing to try just 'bout anything, if you prefer something else. Just not pizza with Alfredo sauce. That's unnatural." She shot him a smile that was all dimples, as she replied: "So... you like cowgirls, eh ?" Her giggle rang through the room as Sean rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Okay, what about the Coyote ? I love olives!" "Sure," Sean said agreeable, "though do you mind if we switch them from black olives to green? I just prefer green." Kat waved a hand in assent and Sean called in the order, adding a side of onion rings. Then he went back to putting the PC together, elegant fingers swift and sure, keeping all the cables neat and tidy and clipped into place. Windows was installing - the most updated version Sean saved to a flashdrive - when they heard the doorbell ring, presumably their pizza. "Yeehee! Pizza!" Kat clapped her hands with childish delight as she went to leave her room and to hurtle down the stairs, only to run back up to her room and grab her wallet. Sean was staring at her, amused, as she fought with her jacket, trying to get the wallet out as fast as possible. "What?" She asked. "Pizza!" The somewhat taller redhead shook his head and stood up from the chair, grabbing his own wallet and following an impatient Kat down the stairs to the main door.
  20. "Yeah, I've been drawing and painting for ten years. I started with stick figures and then my mom made me take classes, because my stick figures were way too pretty." She snorted, then added, "I can show you when we get back." Sean nodded in agreement, and the conversation went on about Sean's games, the one he had already made, and the one he was currently working on. The two teenagers took back the short conversation they had had in Art the last Thursday from where it stopped, discussing concept arts Kat was currently looking at on her phone, commenting what Sean's new monsters could look like. Later on, the petite redhead discovered, with interest, that Sean actually did all the voices and a large part of the music for his games, and the conversation turned towards editing softwares. "Since you got this... crazy voodoo stuff, do you actually use any editing software ? Or do you crack yer whip n tell the bits where to go ?" She asked with a half-mocking grin. "A little from column A, a little from column B." Sean pursed his lips, head tilted slightly, then amended with his own self-deprecating grin. "Okay, a lot from column B, especially the last few days. I've been working on the game engine for the last two years. Not to brag, but I think it's pretty good and robust, with variable applications. I saw what Unity and Unreal were doing and made my own version. And I've programmed a modified autoencoder and a generative adversarial network to better modulate my voice for different characters. And since my little recording area in the barn isn't the best, I have to do a lot of post production stuff to clean up the music and voice work. But now?" Sean glanced at Kat sidelong, his grin widening as he made a whipcrack motion before his hand went back to the wheel and he shifted lanes in early preparation to get off the Interstate. "The software is still there, I can just exponentially make it do so much more, so much more efficiently. Look at my phone" Kat looked down at the smartphone in her hand. The concept art for something Giger-esque with too many legs faded away to be replaced by a string of black zeroes and ones on a white field. "Assume that is what the coding for any software I use looks like," Sean said. "Now, I can make it do this. Same software, just able to bend it into new shapes." The ones and zeroes, shifted, melted, tightened and writhed into new patterns and shapes. They were still strings of ones and zeroes, but were now being used like a continuous strand of paint to form gorgeous representations of Julia sets, ordered chaos. Kat blinked, just realizing it had taken her a moment to notice that the image on the phone wasn't just black and white, but was a panoply of complementary colour, which added another layer to the complexity of the coding. "It's sorta like that. Has your own psionic awakening helped you with your art? And I would like to see it when we get back." "Uh..." The petite redhead stared amazed at the screen before her eyes. "Can't tell yet. But holy shit, that's cool !" Hearing about a power and seeing it in action was totally different, she mused. "I did learn more about the... non-telepathic stuff. Remember about how I talked about molecular structure ?" Her curvaceous friend nodded, focused on the road. "Well," she went on, "I think it's waaaaaaay more than that. I have a theory, but it's batshit crazy, and needs a little bit of context." The svelte French girl closed her eyes, massaging her temples, then took a deep breath and fumbled in her bag, pulling out her notebook. "First -and I'll keep on using that term until I find a cooler one- I have three Third Eyes. One is telepathy stuff, like... your mind is unique -in several ways -" she added with a chuckle, "and I was able to tell you were in the street before you parked your car, earlier. The second one is weird to describe." She closed her eyes for a moment and turned the one she was talking about on, glancing at her friend. "Like, if I use it right now, you're like... shining, and there's this weird feeling of something all around." She turned it off and went on. "But that's not the most interesting one. The last one, from my conclusions, allows me to see when and where people do stuff related to Shine. If I focus on one of them, I can tell what they're actually doing. And that's how I discovered that I can manipulate energies. Earlier, I litterally bumped my phone off my desk and Magneto-ed it right back to my hand." Kat was getting excited just by talking about it, and she reached for her jacket, pulling out a lighter and a pack of cigarettes, before turning to Sean, doubt in her eyes. "Uh... Can I ? It's your car so... I feel like I should ask." There was the faintest crinkle to Sean's nose. "Would you mind waiting until we get to Great Falls? It's only about another twenty minutes. It's just, y'know...?" She nodded and stuffed lighter and cigarettes back into her jacket, reaching instead for a pack of chestnuts coated in chocolate from her bag, ripping the top open and stuffing a couple of these in her mouth. "These will do for now, then." She said after swallowing her snacks. "Right, so my theory is : this... other power I got is just about breaking the laws of physics, as in, the physics we're taught in high school. That's my wild guess. Hell, I changed how gravity applied to my phone for a moment, a couple days ago I tried to densify air ! That's lit !" Sean chortled at Kat's wondrous enthusiasm, his slim, strong fingers drumming on the steering wheel. "Funny you should mention breaking the laws of physics. Jason and I have been working on a grand unified theory. We suspect our psionic powers operate on an underlaying, er, layer of physical reality as we know it, a subquantum stratum, one that's more... malleable to conscious influence. We aren't breaking physics, I think, so much as being able to trick it." The two redheads leaned to the side as Sean pulled onto the curving off ramp, coming back upright as they entered Great Falls proper. Sean rolled to a stop at a stop sign, then turned right. "At a guess, it seems like like you're able to manipulate fundamental forces and molecules? Atoms, maybe?" His dark brows furrowed, considering what Kat had told and what he knew of how the powers of the rest of the Fellowship functioned. "More generalized compared to specialized like me, where I can only manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum. Broad instead of deep. Hmm." Sean had his car only for a little over a week, yet he drove through Great Falls with a sense of familiarity. He'd been going to Sulli's for years, first for video games, then for computer components, and finally to sell his own PC builds on commission. "I wonder what else you could do. Clara - she's kinda sisters with Lona - has powers sort of like yours. She's able to... kinda buff or debuff how well others can use their own powers. I wonder if you can do that too, Kat." The car parked close enough to the shop Sean had in mind, and they both got out, Kat grabbing her bag and her jacket. She pulled out a cigarette from her pack, tucking it between her lips, then stopped her motion before lighting it up. She looked left and right, then glanced at Sean with a childish grin. "Combustion ?" She had to try, after the talk they had had. She set her lighter back to the pocket where it belonged, then placed her thumb and index finger around the cigarette's tip, much like one would hold a coin to show it. With a bit of focus... There we go. She could feel the air she 'held' between her fingers, the thing she called her powers flooding her brains with molecular structures. The cigarette is the fuel, air is the oxidizer, all I need to do is to give it a little nudge... After a moment of watching Kat staring at her nose like it insulted her, Sean was about to tell her they should probably start walking, but suddenly the tip of the cigarette began glowing red, producing a thin line of smoke. Kat's hand fell to her thigh, then she took a draft. "Hey, you did it !" Sean tried, but the petite redhead seemed disappointed. She picked the cigarette between two delicate fingers, and grunted after a puff. "I was expecting a flame... So much for boasting about it..."
  21. She was lying on her bed, like a starfish, once again fiddling with telepathy while quietly digesting lunch. She was amazed at how far her perception of minds could extend to. She was currently stretching it to a rough hundred and fifty feet, but felt like she could do double, with some effort. She now made sure to be very delicate with her handling of minds, after Courtney had given her pointers, the day before. She retracted the immense web her mind had become to focus on the neighbor, the one with the oak and the squirrels. He wasn't currently home, but his wife was. Boredom, tranquility, and... was she listening to some music ? That had to be blues. The loud purr of an engine distracted her from her mind analysis, and she reinstalled her spying web, catching the familiar scent of the driver's mind. Sean. Shit, what time is it ? 2PM already ? Sean came to a gentle stop as he parked on the side of the road, then clambered out of the jacked up Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. He loved his vehicle, knicks and scrapes and all, but even he had to admit it was awfully high for someone of his modest height and was eternally grateful for the solid running boards it was equipped with. Kat could hear the knocking on the door and the soft footfalls heading towards it, recognizing the gait as Tess'. Tess opened the door to find a very striking figure standing there, a redhead with an undercut hairstyle and odd eyes, wearing a black t-shirt, faded olive cargo pants and an unzipped blue hoodie with yellow trip with 101 imprinted high on the left, that did nothing to conceal a remarkably curvaceous figure. "Hi, I'm Sean," the teenager said in a rich, sweet melodious voice, switching a heavy plastic bag holding various computer components from one hand to the other. "I'm here to see Kat. I'm helping her build a gaming rig - a computer - for her." "Oh." Tess' eyes widened in astonishment as she realized this was the boy Kat had mentioned. This was far from what she was expecting however. "Oh! Yes, of course, please, come in, Sean. I'm Tess. I'll go let Kat know you're here." The dark-haired woman went up the stairs, gently knocking at the teenager's door. "Honey ? Your friend, Sean, is here." She could hear some fumbling, and opened the door, curious. "Is everything alr-" Kat was standing in front of her wardrobe, wearing nothing but slim blue jeans, and bras. In one hand, she held a white and bronze sailor top, and in the other, a flowered blouse in chocolate tones. Tess chuckled. "The blouse will do fine..." She rolled her eyes and added : "I'll tell him you're getting ready." She was already halfway down the stairs when she heard a yelled "Thank you !", and chuckled once more. "Kat's getting ready upstairs, she shouldn't be long. Would you like anything, a drink maybe ?" She told the young boy once she reached the hall. Tess caught Sean glancing up the stairs, then hid a grin as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other with a hint of boyish impatience with the female 'getting ready' comment. That was the same, at least. "Yeah, sure, I'd like that. Tess," Sean said, still just a tad uncomfortable using an adult's name, even if Tess didn't look that much older than him. "A cup of coffee with too much sugar would be great if it's not too much trouble, but water is fine." "Oh, I can make you some coffee, no problem." With a short gesture inviting him to follow her, she went to the kitchen and proceeded to make some coffee, throwing a quick glance back at her guest. "So, you... share some classes with her ?" She asked, busy with a filter. Sean took a seat at the island, turning on the stool so he was sitting sideways to the island, so he didn't have anything 'personal' pressing into the edge or plopped on the surface. He sat his bag by the base of the stool. "We share Chemistry and Art in the morning," Sean said, trying not to feel slightly self-conscious. Tess was young, not all that much older than him or Kat. He was used to how most adults reacted to him when they knew, their obvious and not so obvious tells about what they really thought about him. Tess was being very polite and gracious that when he caught the occasional slip up and noticed the wondering in her eyes or posture, it was a little jarring. "But I've also been showing Kat around the school, making sure she knows where everything is, knows how things are done, officially and unofficially, and has the little extra bit of paperwork. That kinda stuff." The dark-haired woman turned back towards the teenager, leaving the machine to drop water onto the coffee by itself, and flashed a charming smile to the strangely shaped boy sat by the island. "How nice of you !" Of course, she already knew that, she remembered very well the conversation she had in the car with her boyfriend's daughter. "Oh, speaking of Art, did she tell you she draws and paints in her spare time ? I've seen some of it a couple days ago, and it looks pretty good." She added with an approving nod, before grabbing a mug from a cupboard, and setting it in front of Sean, along with the sugar. "You'll dose it the way you like it, eh ?" "Thank you," Sean said with a smile and nod, dumping in enough sugar that most coffee connoisseurs would call it a felony. Sean took a sip, and smile in satisfaction as the sweetness and heat of the coffee. "I didn't she drew and painted. I draw some and paint miniatures, but most of my artwork is done digitally." "Interesting," Tess murmured, making her self a cup of coffee. "Just art to share, or to sell?" "Sell, sort of. I mean, I'm on several sites. And I have done some concept art. But it's more for my roleplaying games and the video games I've made. I've done one, and am almost done with another." Sean's grin widened in private delight and amusement. "I've made a lot of progress lately."
  22. The petite redhead half-gasped, inhaling her companion’s breath in doing so, yet did not recoil, and time seemed to slow for a short second of uncertainty. Courtney could both feel and sense doubt in Kat’s reaction, but the very reason Kat chose to follow Courtney out of Bunnee’s swept it away, as the slender teen shifted her weight to one arm, moving a timid but delicate hand to the naked shoulder of the other girl. She closed her eyes and returned the kiss with piqued curiosity, exploring the shape of her lips with her own. Courtney’s mouth slightly curved into a triumphant grin as she pressed on, her palm cupping the thinly clad pixie’s cheek. She folded her legs to sit up, freeing her other hand to brush it up against Kat’s nape and slowly tilt her head backwards, and tossed a leg across the French girl’s waist, setting her knees on each side while her fingers ran along Kat’s neck and shoulder blade, summoning shivers in their wake. At this point, Kat needed to remember how to breathe, her heart racing and stealing way too much oxygen from her lungs, and as she softly broke off the kiss and opened her now fairly bloodshot eyes, she didn’t regret the sight of the crimson-haired beauty haloed by the sun who was towering her, staring at her with hungry eyes. She was in for all of it. She had been bad at catching the hints, even if she pinned that on the weed, and as she was about to voice her comment, a voracious kiss sent it into oblivion, lighting up some -if not many- red lights in the petite redhead’s mind while she laced her arms around Courtney’s neck. That’s Bannon’s regular weed. The high was doing a formidable job at keeping her breathless, as an unstoppable flow of sensory input overflowed the teen’s frail focus and blew her mind - the cherry scent of Courtney’s cherry-red lipstick as she bit on her upper lip, the floral aroma, jumbled with fruity sweetness, of her skin as her mouth trailed on her cheek, pecking here and there, mingling with the intoxicating smell of strawberry her hair released as it brushed on Kat’s nose, while Courtney’s warm lips explored her jawline, then her neck, extorting a rattling sough of gusto from the petite redhead, who buried her nose in the crimson mane, drunkenly and avidly breathing its smell. Kat’s fingers hardened on the cheerleader’s shoulder as she pulled herself closer, feeling white teeth playing with the skin of her neck, and a shiver ran along the spine of the petite redhead, feeling much like a prey being toyed with by a predator, followed by Courtney’s fingertips, dancing up the alignment of vertebrae until they stopped on the clip of her bra. Click. The sound bounced and echoed throughout Kat’s buzzing jungle-mind, and black bra joined blouse, jacket, blue jeans and sand-grey booties on the floor as Courtney pressed on her assault on the smaller teen with an impish grin, a scrupulously manicured nail tracing the outline of the tattoo on Kat’s shoulder, quickly followed by lips burning with expectation, pecking on the small dots of ink darker than midnight, in contrast with pale skin in desperate need for more sun - and more caresses. A rasping sigh lost itself in the sudden cooler breeze picking up, unable to smother the warm embers awakening in the petite redhead’s innards, as Courtney’s mouth began moving lower and lower while her hands did their magic, riding up the slender teen’s ribs, brushing against the soft and mellow skin of her humble breasts and wringing another appreciative groan inside Kat’s throat. A firm hand slowly pushed her back to lay down, two brown eyes locked into hers, glistening with hunger - Kat could hear the beating sound of her blood pulsing to her temples, could feel the heat slowly invading her cheeks, the soft fabric of the blanked under her back, the long forgotten feeling of someone else’s hands on her skin. A familiar face, framed with short and dark hair, flashed in her mind, and for a split second, she felt ashamed, then scolded herself. Why should I care about an ungrateful demanding asshole ? The thought shattered, replaced by something more raw, commanding she gave her attention to the Now. The touch felt electric, violently soft, Courtney’s lips blowing a short, smooth kiss to the tip of her nipple, causing the svelte French girl to inhale sharply, her chest heaving as her mouth opened in a silent gasp. That… was new… Take that, Erwann. And then it came back, again, and Kat ran a hand into the cheerleader’s hair, gently pulling her head closer as if asking for more. The cherry-red lips parted on the mellow, pale skin of her breast, and a mischievous tongue darted, nimbly flicking on her pink, erect tit, coaxing a doleful moan from the petite redhead, before venturing on her sternum. Courtney’s hands were roaming around Kat’s ribs, her fingers tracing the intricate lines of the Celtic patterns, so dark that they seemed to drink the sunlight. The soft caresses left shivers in their wake, hands dancing on skin in a sort of back and forth strangely mimicked by the petite redhead’s pelvis. As Courtney’s tongue traced a burning line to her collarbone, Kat lifted a knee to push on her buttocks, cupping her cheek with a hand and lacing the other arm around her back, and planted a fierce kiss on her mouth, rolling on the blanket to gain the high ground, her grey eyes darkened with lust and mischief drawing a wry smile on the crimson-haired beauty’s features. The latter didn’t expect this playful show of strength from the svelte French girl, whose body was beginning to adapt to the rough - at least in her eyes - training she endured every morning. Kat’s breathing was sharpening, matching the pace of her beating heart supplying the heat necessary to ignore the now cooler temperature of the evening. The sun was now close to the horizon, and the occasional breeze running across the area had turned into a mild but constant flow, playing with the coral locks falling before Kat’s eyes as she bent over the gorgeous body laying below hers. The petite redhead blew them off without a thought, picking another soft kiss from Courtney’s cherry-red lips. She thrilled when the other girl’s hands locked onto her waist, pulling her closer, and then began, in turn, exploring her companion’s skin, with lips reddened by kisses - and lipstick - and shivering hands, slipping those under the strap of Courtney’s red bra and pulling them off her shoulders, her mouth following the faint mark they left till it reached her breasts, venturing near her cleavage then backing off towards her neck, her lips, stretched by an excited grin, landing there a humored peck. She could feel the vibration of Courtney’s soft whimper of protest in her throat, could not ignore the warmth of the arms laced around her waist, pulling her closer and closer till her chest was pressed to the other girl’s, and a third time, she voraciously pressed her mouth onto Courtney’s, while the scent of her skin once again blew her mind in a colorful blast of floral aromas. She timidly poked Courtney’s lips with a flick of her tongue, as if asking for right of way, her breath spreading its warmth in a silent but excited giggle, and the snug barrier opened, greeting the intruder with renewed interest, Courtney’s tongue suddenly leading a heated dance while her arms released their lock around the petite redhead’s chest to get rid of the bra straps, one of her hands then sliding down Kat’s back to rest on her buttocks while the other began brushing against her belly as Kat broke off the intense kiss and took a deep breath. Delicate fingers caressed around her ombilic in concentric circles, going lower, and lower, surreptitiously sliding inside her panties, inch by inch, kindling the aroused heat overrunning the slender teen’s whole body. Kat’s stomach suddenly produced a malcontent growl, depicting how much she lusted for the crimson-haired beauty, but also reminding her that weed generally made people hungry for food. This had the effect of a cold shower on her, and the sudden change in her expression startled the cheerleader, whose fingers stopped at the very boundaries of the petite redhead’s forbidden fruit. Courtney raised an inquisitive eyebrow. Kat swore in French, and reached for her jacket, pulling herself out of Courtney’s warm embrace, and fishing her phone out. “Fuck !” She swore again, noticing the hour. “I’m. SO. Late ! My dad’s gonna kill me.” A wicked giggle chimed in her back, and she glared at the gorgeous beauty staring at her, resting on her elbow with her bra pulled down around her belly. “Oh, that is adorable.” A mischievous smile crossed the cheerleader’s features as she watched the petite redhead dressing up as fast as she could while letting go of a profusion of profanities that would make a French sailor turn pale. She sat down and adjusted her own bra, before grabbing her blouse with a frustrated sigh. A few moments later, both of them were dressed, and Courtney was slowly walking back to the car, the blanket now rolled and folded under her arm. “Hey, Kitty, I’ll drive you home.” She offered the slender teen who followed her with worry painted on her face and apparent lipstick marks on her lips. “Thanks…” The petite redhead replied, rubbing the back of her head while heading towards the passenger door, her jacket thrown over her left shoulder. “Your dad’s gonna look at you funny if you don’t do something for these,” Courtney pointed at Kat’s lips and shot her an impish grin, and a warm pink flushed the French girl’s cheeks, who grabbed a tissue and her phone from her jacket, and tried making the obvious less obvious, after sitting in the car. The Senior high school cheerleader closed the trunk, and took a couple strides, reaching the driver seat. An awkward silence floated between the two young women, broke an instant later by the taller redhead. “Hey, that was fun !” Courtney gave her a warm smile, her eyes studying Kat’s face. The statement lingered on the petite redhead, who was thinking about what had just happened, and drew a faint smile on her lips, stirring up something warm in her chest, slight reminder of the intense heat that had driven her crazy a couple moments ago. She glanced at Courtney, her grey eyes shining with appreciation and her cheeks still flushed with a charming pink, in contrast with her pale carnation. “Yeah, that was fun !” As the engine started, a wider grin stretched Kat’s lips as she added : “Guess now I know where to look for weed…” Another wicked giggle echoed through the nearby woods as the car made its way towards town.
  23. Courtney smiled, pursing her lips as her eyes roamed the intricate lines and swirls of the tattoo and the pale, pale skin it traversed. "Very nice." she said, leaving Kat unsure whether she meant the tattoo or the view. She smiled again, taking a puff of the joint then extending it towards the petite French girl as her free hand patted the blanket invitingly. "Come back over here and get some sun." The svelte French girl fell on her behind next to Courtney, grabbing the joint and drawing on it, her features painted with relaxation as she offered her now barely clad body to the sun’s warm embrace. As far as she remembered, she didn’t sunbathe often. Being a Breton, she had of course been to the sea several times, but she didn’t like sand. Sand was irritating, it got everywhere. She was definitely the indoors type, although her repeated interactions with Shelly’s youth might come to change that. Courtney sighed contentedly and leaned back on her elbows as the warm rays bathed both of the pale-skinned girls, though Kat’s skin was almost dazzlingly pale as it reflected the sunlight. A red-tipped fingernail came up lazily and traced some of the pattern on the smaller girl’s shoulder, marking the contrast between the ink and the white skin. “You should definitely get some after-sun lotion on you when you get home, Kitty.” the more mature-seeming redhead said in a soft tone as birdsong disturbed the air overhead and the caress of Courtney’s hand became a little more firm as it moved across and down Kat’s back and over her opposite hip so that the petite girl was in a half-embrace. “If I had lotion here, I could rub it on for you…” Courtney murmured wistfully. “Shame.” After a last draw on the joint - which joint was now sternly diminished compared to its original size - the petite redhead passed it on, leaning on her elbows and against the taller frame lying right by her side. Skin to skin contact didn’t bother her, focused that she was on her surroundings, her mind scanning every stimuli enhanced by the weed, the warmth of the arm crossing her back, the almost undetectable breeze that shook a couple leaves every now and then, but also the twirly backwash affecting her balance, which caused her to rely on the contact with her companion’s skin to somehow feel still. Jesus, that’s how it feels to smoke after fasting for so long. She deeply breathed in through her nostrils, her olfaction driven crazy by the smell of Nature, the dry grass, late summer flowers, dry and dusty dirt from the road, the heady scent of the dissipating joint smoke curls, and the more heady scent of Courtney’s flesh now oh so close to her face. After-sun lotion… She’s probably right… “You’re probably right… Shame…” She replied, oblivious of what Courtney implied, captivated by everything. She was aware of a faint movement from Courtney as she dragged the last puff from the shared joint then, sitting up, stubbed it out carefully on a flat stone, grinding the butt of the roll up until it was not even smoldering before laying back once more. “Well, that’s Bannon’s regular weed.” Courtney sighed, tucking a hand behind her head as her other hand continued to idly caress Kat. “To think, before the summer I had him pegged as a loser part of Sean’s loser club of loserness, tolerated only because he dealt grass. I didn’t even bother trying to read his mind, I was that convinced he was a nobody. And now, Marissa has him on lockdown and I missed my window.” “Marissa?” The French girl remembered the meeting at the bleachers, the dark-haired beauty and her radiating presence. She also remembered the hospital, and the uproar, flashes of red light, and the same girl shaking her off her fright. Marissa… and Jason ? That seemed unlikely. She took a minute to appreciate how warm the sun kept, savoring unsuspected pleasure at the heat’s caress. This seemed like a good excuse for her to plan on more tanning as long as warm days were a thing. She slightly moved on her elbows to get closer to the beautiful young woman lying by her side, pressing an arm against her companion’s skin, gently nudging her. “Isn’t she dating… that big guy… Cade?” “Looks like, sure. But she told me last Friday night to keep my hands off Bannon and he was hers.” Courtney turned slightly towards Kat, propping her head on her hand and leaning on an elbow as she spoke. “I was all set to see that as a challenge between Queen Bitches, but now we're friends so…” she gave a one-shouldered shrug.. “She might be dating Big Montana. But she's got Bannon on layaway and I pity the girl who makes a pass.” Kat’s lips pursed into something close to a pout, as she thought about what she knew so far about Marissa. Not much. “Queen ? Bitches ? Queen Bitches ?” She asked in an amused voice. “You guys own the school ?” She added, looking for facts to supply her few impressions. The answer was a soft snort, followed by a chuckle. “I guess?” Courtney said. “I don’t know how it is in the land of adorable French pixies-” and her fingers trailed up Kat’s arm almost ticklingly. “-but here the hottest girls run the social scene, and the social scene runs the school.” She sighed softly as her fingers toyed with the ends of Kat’s short hair. “I used to think that was all that mattered - and now there’s actual monsters and psychic powers and Marissa and I are friends and the Nerd Herd are kinda cool - some of them anyway.” She traced the line of Kat’s jaw with a fingertip, then gently turned the smaller girl’s face to hers. Courtney smiled slightly, leaning closer. “The world’s gone mad, Kitty.” she whispered, her breath a puff of warmth on Kat’s cheek right before she pressed her crimson lips to the surprised French girl’s.
  24. “So, you smoking, Kitty ?” Courtney asked, her eyes on the lighter as Kat passed it along. She tucked the joint between her lips, igniting the other end and pulling a long draft, exhaling a dense cloud afterwards, eyes closed. She extended her arm, offering the blunt to the petite redhead, who seized it between two slender but delicate fingers, before bringing it to her mouth, pulling an equally long draft on it. Kat closed her eyes. It had been a long time since she touched weed, and as she released the smoke, the world swayed a little. “Oh God…” She set her hands to the ground behind her, leaning back, her face to the sky, her mouth still open as she enjoyed the feelings, long forgotten, of the premises of a high she hadn’t experienced in at least a year. From her mouth erupted a giggle, turning into a short laugh, her lips stretched in an open joyful grin. She didn’t regret following Courtney out of Bunnee’s. It was like she’d almost forgotten what it was like, to have fun. She took another draft before holding it back to the joint’s owner. “Yeah…” She said, bitterness in her soft voice. She glanced at Courtney. The gorgeous redhead obviously wanted to hear more. “My ex-boyfriend… got me into weed.” The high was slowly installing itself into Kat’s jungle-mind, like a program on a computer, and her emotions began seeping around herself, acrid bitterness laced with nostalgia, carried by her will to move on and her failure at achieving it, like a breeze too weak to root out the tree of her grief. A cloud of smoke raised in the air as the joint passed from hand to hand, quickly joined by a second one. “He is- was funny, handsome, and really cool to hang out with.” “How comes he’s your ex, then?” Courtney asked, raising a curious eyebrow. She could tell by the scent of grief surrounding her companion that something had happened. The petite redhead rubbed the back of her head, smoke blurring her thoughts. It felt as if all noises around her were a tad louder, birds chirping, the distant roar of a car engine, a soft breeze caressing the foliage of nearby trees, the babil of red squirrels fooling around, an undeniably feminine voice next to her. Kat shook her head. “In France,” she explained, “when you reach 11th grade, you pick a section out of three, Litterature, Economics and Social Sciences, and Sciences. The school ultimately decides which one to put you in, according to your grades during 10th grade and what you wished. Erwann wanted Sciences, but he wasn’t working enough… way to say he wasn’t doing anything, really… So I kinda… woke him up.” Her expression told there was more to it. The joint changed hands for another round. “Then what?” Courtney asked, her curiosity piqued. This was clearly not break-up material, Courtney thought. That dude should’ve been grateful for the help. “Then he turned into a workaholic. And after that, he dared calling me out on grades when I was doing more than fine. Asshole said he worried about me painting instead of working, and was being a real bitch about it.” Kat angrily pulled a long draft from the blunt, exhaling the smoke in a long sigh, before handing it back. Courtney’s eyebrow twitched, and she came closer to the petite redhead, laying an arm around her shoulders. "Kitty, he sounds like an ungrateful, demanding asshole. Don't settle for that treatment." The svelte French girl shrugged. “We broke up last November. I’m done with it.” Something in her voice said otherwise. She was sort of afraid to share too much with someone, her experience with Erwann being a painful memory. The teen’s faith in feelings of love had been shaken. Was it worth loving someone, when they could give you so much pain in return ? Her features darkened for a moment, then she turned to Courtney, noticing only now how close she was. Her vision swayed a little, and she blinked twice. “What about you ? Any… romance-related drama?” Courtney's dark brown eyes, which had been warm and studying Kat's face, shifted away as she shrugged. "Not really, Kitty." she said offhandedly, taking back the joint and drawing on it. "I try to avoid that kind of drama in my own life." Crimson lips quirked. "It's hard to fall for someone when you can see they don't really care about you as a person." Kat rolled her eyes, those getting discreetly bloodshot. "I wish I had Shine back then..." She thought about what Courtney just said, and added, "So, nobody interesting enough to date in Shelly High?" "Depends on your tastes." Courtney smirked naughtily. "If what gets your lady-parts humming is jock farmer's sons who will either go on to college to study Agriculture or else go from graduation to work on the farm... Then there's plenty." The smaller teen made a funny face. "Nothankyoubye." Courtney chuckled, then her eyes fell on Kat's tattooed arms. The Celtic patterns were starting slightly above the wrist, then got lost under the plaid blouse after the elbow. "So, where'd you get that, Kitty ?" A scrupulously manicured nail tapped on her forearm, and as Kat turned her head to answer, the joint was being held right in front of her lips, ready to be drawn on, but Kat was getting too high for her to care about the impish grin drawn on the bustier - and thinly clad - redhead's features, and she pulled a long draft on the blunt, casting the smoke aside. "Uh... t'was my birthday gift from me to me. Took me some time to design it with the right proportions. Also, costly... Alice, my best friend, helped me afford it." Courtney raised an intrigued eyebrow. "Costly ? How much we talking about ?" Kat looked up in the sky, trying to remember. "All of it, I'd say around 2k." The cheerleader's eyebrows jumped sky high hearing the bill. "All of it ? That's expensive for just an arm tattoo..." Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, she asked, "Show me what all of it is." The petite redhead stood up, almost staggering, facing the sun, and began unbuttoning her own blouse, turning her back to Courtney. The blouse left her shoulders and joined Kat's jacket on the floor. Then the smaller teen removed her jeans, standing there in her black underwear, bathed by the sun, showing off perhaps what was Kat's most beautiful chef-d'oeuvre. She slowly spun on herself, in a dance-like manner, so Courtney could glance at all of it.
  25. //DISCLAIMER// The Ride The petite redhead’s crystalline laugh chimed along the road as she felt the wind run through her hair, warmed by the sun. Although her exuberance wasn’t the only reason for her laughter, she did enjoy this collision with raw elements - those being rather merciful on such a sunny afternoon. Lifting rather quickly from Shine and powers, the conversation had turned around Shelly High’s, quite substantial in content, rumor mill. After noticing the petite redhead’s closing features hearing what was being told about her friend Sean, Courtney had decided to change target, seeing that Kat didn’t take the mockery about the boy’s appearance really well, instead choosing to unleash the fruit of teenage boredom on the blonde reporter, Cassie, on Charlie, Autumn or Jason, to the shorter teen’s amusement. Most of those Kat didn’t really understand, given that she was completely new in the landscape and knew close to nothing about the people living here, but it was certainly fun hearing teenagers blabber about mind-boggling theories, some of these couldn’t be taken seriously even out of context. “Okay,” Courtney grinned. “This is a soft one.” She quickly glanced at her passenger. “Sean part of Anonymous?” Kat chuckled, then actually considered the rumor. “To be honest… After all that’s been going on… a real shitfest by the way… I wouldn’t even be surprised if he was.” Courtney pressed on, her grin widening. “Him hacking the NSA, the CIA… Disney???” “Why Disney ?” The petite redhead replied, giggling. "You know, I don't think they realize that they might be close to the truth." “Oh, and also, he’d be spying on everyone through Shelly’s security feed.” “Creepy…” A couple minutes ago, the Senior high school cheerleader had refueled at the pump station, and Kat had bought some snacks. She was currently busy with a bar of Snickers, and after swallowing a rather large portion of the chocolate bar, she turned to the driver. “Kay, what about Autumn?” “She’s probably a witch, or a Wiccan or whatever. Nobody spends so much time in the woods for,” and Courtney made air quotes with one hand, “reasons. Also, some say she turned down her parents when they offered to buy her a car.” She rolled her eyes and added, “Girl Scouts… Savages traipsing around with twigs in their hair and spending more time with animals than with human beings…” The petite redhead snorted first, then raised a curious eyebrow at the comment, but Courtney shrugged it off. Then, “Jason ?” A shiver ran along the spine of the bustier redhead at the thought of a pair of green cold eyes. "Smart. Cold-blooded… Well, you were there when he was talking to Cook and the other Project peeps. Deals weed, but is really cagey about it - sheriff would love to get him but hasn't found any evidence. People say rival weed dealers just disappear. I've never seen what he's thinking, and believe me I've tried. And he's, uh, gifted." She made an unmistakable gesture groinward. "Saw that with my own two eyes." Her grin was equal parts mischief and salacious. Kat rubbed the back of her head, her cheeks suddenly heating up. “Yeah… “ Something in the tone of the smaller teen raised suspicion in the cheerleader’s mind. “Yeaaaaaah ? Cmon, Kitty, spit it out.” Courtney shot her a teethful grin. “Ugh, fine. Back on Tuesday, before I left with my Dad… Jason was sittin’ there, and… these grey sweatpants, I swear… Like a plaster mold on his junk.” "Right?" Courtney grinned wide. "I swear he had no idea that every pair of female eyes in the room was looking at him sideways... Except you. You might as well have had a neon sign over your head." Half-laughing, half-growling, the petite redhead replied, "Stop it ! It's embarrassing enough to think about..." The car engaged on the Main Street, passing by the swimming pool, climbing the road to a small hill past town limits. They passed a lone house, then engaged on a dirt road large enough for a car and a half. She parked the car off the road and Kat raised a curious eyebrow, as the driver got out of the convertible and pulled a large blanket out from the trunk. “What ?” She asked, then slightly shook the rolled blanket. “Cmon, the weather’s perfect for a little sunbathing.” She shot her an impish grin. “Besides, you curious about Jason’s weed?” She added, her free hand diving between her breasts, pulling out a joint. “Nobody lurks round these parts, Kitty.” Kat chuckled, shaking her head in disbelief, then pushed the passenger door open, jumping to her feet and following the gorgeous redhead to where she was setting the blanket down, some fifty feet away from the car. She watched as Courtney set her cherry-red heels - matching her lipstick, Kat thought - aside and slowly unbuttoned her cream-colored blouse, dropping it on the blanket, revealing the red bra one could’ve guessed under the translucent fabric, then sat down, extending her long, round legs, her pale skin - it reflected golden undertones as it drank the sunlight - contrasting with the crimson skirt stopping half-thigh. She was holding the joint, waving her hand so the petite redhead could see it. She patted the blanket on her side, enjoining Kat to come and sit. “Kitty, I’m not gonna eat you.” She said with a playful wink. <Yet.> She added, her voice ringing in Kat’s mind with mischief. She then burst in laughter as a warm pink invaded the petite redhead’s cheeks, who finally decided to sit on the edge of the blanket, removing her sand-grey booties and her socks. Kat composed herself, then pulled a lighter out of her jacket, before setting said jacket next to her booties and finding a spot to sit, closer from the weed, and Courtney. Kat felt like she was entering a lioness’ lair, and she was the prey.
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