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IC: S1:E2 "The Fast and the Furriest"

Dave ST

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The Fast and the Furriest

Savoy State Forest...

The dried leaves crunched under the feet of Derrick and Jacob, hey walked the perimeter of their camp, putting out the morning fires and packing up for the days hike.  They had traps to check, and hopefully they caught what they'd come for.  The two men were from upstate, hunters who'd come down to the Savoy Mountains on a rumor that an old hunter had heard.  The legend of Savoy Mountain Timber had been getting told in local watering holes for years, but only one man had every seen the beast.  According to him it was fourteen feet tall, at least three tons, and had fangs the size of elephant tusks... of course, he was drunk at the time of the telling, and the spotting, so who knew, right?

A sudden ruckus alarmed them, followed by a loud yelp.  They dashed through the foliage, throwing aside branches and sliding down muddy drop offs until they stood before their trap.  "Holy, shit," Derrick laughed, in shock and awe at the sheer size of their catch.  "Look at the size of that thing."

Jacob raised his gun but Derrick swatted it down.  "The hell you doing?"

"Shootin' it, ain't that what we came here for?  T'kill it?"

"Jacob," the beast in the large cage growled at them.  It was massive, about the size of a St. Bernard.  "If we kill it, no one will believe we ever caught it.  Load it up, we'll show it off, then we'll kill it.  Dumb ass."

"Momma said not to call me that..."  Jacob lowered his head and went about securing the trap with its occupant in a surly mood.


Four days later, at Salem High...

Everyone was looking at Grace as the gorgeous blonde haired teen followed her step for step.  Dane was... well, smoking hot.  He was a Scion of Baldur, recently visited in the several days since the wax museum battle.  This guy was basically Mercedes with a penis, perfectly chiseled, muscular, toned and he had a tan right out of Maui.  That fact that he was a complete hippie and shameless stoner, didn't do much to tarnish his reputation, after all, he was hot.  She had to walk away because if she looked any longer she'd fall in love.  He gripped her wrist and with a tug that was both gentle and forceful, spun her about to face him.

"Why do you avoid me?"  His words were like a gentle song that caressed all the parts of her... she'd prefer not get caressed.  "Look, I know how it sounds... but please, I wasn't lying, everything I said is true."  She pulled away, her complexion getting more red by the moment but she wasn't sure if it was because of Dane, or everyone looking at them.  She tried to walk away again.  "Would you just listen woman?  For crying out loud!"


This scene is for Grace only.  Others may post after it's concluded.  I'll let you guys know when it's okay.


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She crossed her arms, leaning away from him. It irked her that she had to force herself into that lean, she had to think about it. "How can I trust you? You may not have lied to me, but you left out everything important." She thought of the times she'd been dissapointed by the people around, the ones that were supposed to love her. Her eyes stung as she thought on her very name, given to her by parents that gave her up her up as soon as they found out they were expecting their real child. She flung her arms in anger and almost shouted, "So why should I listen? Why should I give you a chance to hurt me again?"

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"Look, I know you have a hard time opening up to people, I get that."  He looked into her eyes and she felt as if he could see right through her.  "You've had rough time in life, I know, but you can't just keep brushing everyone aside who tries to care about you.  I don't care what your friends think, they don't know you like I do."

He grasped her hand, his touch was gentle and he smelled like a summer morning... and a bit like pot, but hey.  "When you build walls around your heart, it's true that no one can get into hurt you.  But they also can't get in to love you."  He pressed her hand to his chest, he was warm.  "Do you feel that?  I love you."  He caressed her cheek and slowly and he leaned in.  His eyes were like hypnotic, like the gods had trapped the crystal blue of the World's oceans within them.

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His hand was soft and strong, his heartbeat steady under her touch. "I -" Her voice faltered as he leaned in closer. He smelled like spring growth and summer sun. It was unfair, how good he smelled and how nice is touch was. She could feel her heartbeat skipping into syncopation and she closed her eyes to keep from becoming completely overwhelmed. She did meet him halfway though, leaning forward now, into the kiss. It wasn't difficult to let go of her anger and relax against him. When they pulled apart from the kiss, her cheeks were red again and she looked up at shyly through her lashes.

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"Cut!"  Shouted a voice from some distance away.  Mrs. Elliot stood down in the audience seating, her hands on her hips with a measure of irritation.  "What on God's green Earth?!?  Dane, Grace.... are you trying to get me fired?  I can't have you two making out in a school play!  You were supposed to rebuke his advance, remember?"

"Sorry," They both pulled away from each other, Grace shyly wiping her lip.  "But have you seen this guy lately?"

It was Dane's turn to blush as laughter caught on like wildfire among the onlooking actors and stagehands of the play, most of them laughing were the ladies.  "Chill Teacher Lady, you said make it look believable, and believe me..." He thumbed to Grace, his smile as the noonday sun.  "Senorita can smoochie."

Mrs. Elliot sighed in frustration.  "Okay, fine, let's stop here for today... you two, tomorrow... hands to yourself."

"No garauntees," Dane laughed and smiled, only itrritating Mrs. Elliot a bit more.  She scowled and pointed at him, scolding him with a gesture.  Dane looked to Grace.  "Hey, nice work Grace.  Sorry, for the whole, uh, kiss thing.  I didn'tthink you'd go all the way... I mean... you'd make it that easy. " He stumbled over his words.  "Not to say you're easy... uh... so we uh, good?"


Everyone is free to post.  You can be present during that scene, watching Grace's acting debut, or part of the play itself watching on the sidelines.  Or, at home playing video games.  Your call.  The story will commence after some RP.


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Grace laughed easily and tried to wave away the awkward. "We're fine, Romeo. You're not so bad at kissing yourself."  She walked him off center stage and a little away from their classmates. Let them think what they want. "How are you doing? Not with the play, with your new parental issues?"

Leaning against an isle chair, she crossed her arms again and watched him for a moment. "It's a trip, isn't it? Crazy as hell, or hades, or whatever, and that's on the calm days. It does have its perks, though," she said with a grin.

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"Issues?"  Dane smirked and looked at Grace like she had something on her face.  "Naw, s'all good.  Dad, like, awesome as hell.  I miss the sun and sand of Malibu, but hey, my Aunt Ida is way cool.  Even cooler that I ave an Aunt Ida, I didn't even know I had relatives."

Dane was vegan hippie.  How a guy who didn't eat meat was allowed to be an Aesir was the question of the week, but he seemed so cool about everything.  Nothing got to Dane, he was eternally optimistic and... well, bright.  "Everyone's been pretty awesome, so no complaints.  Still untested in the whole battle for the World thing though... so we'll see."

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"Well, we made it through our first one. Don't expect it to go like an action movie though." Fisher observed, joining them.

He'd been watching the rehearsal to be supportive of Grace, remembering the hurt she'd shown during the moments trying to wrestle an Underworld portal closed. He still wasn't feeling happy about the denouement, not because they'd had to smear Michael's name or that Jeff couldn't be saved or that Natalie had lost her mind - he hated those facts, but that wasn't the core issue - it was that all those things had happened and the Nekiya was still out there.

And the Godly thief would do Fate knows what with it. Give it to some other fool? Use it himself?

Darcy hadn't taken it well. With no one else, she'd focused on texting with Fisher, and visiting Natalie, running into Grace every now and then. Fisher felt happy that she had chosen him as a confidant.

There was that one part Dane said about relatives bugged Fisher. He'd been so happy to see his mother back - but he was already beginning to sense that this God-Scion business did not translate to her coming back into his life. Much less any chance of reconciliation with his dad. He didn't even have a means of contacting her! And people like Grace's divine dad....

It was just that Dane seemed genuinely happy, and to tell him the truth would have been an Eric action - ie a dick move of the highest order.

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Austin too, had been there in the audience, showing support for a member of his band as would be expected.   Hearing Fisher's comment reminded him of his own failings in the whole fight.  "Yeah, Things don't always go as planned, or ever actually."

He liked Dane, in as much as everyone seemed to.   Having done abit of reading up on the various deities, both the clean-cut stuff they'd teach in schools and the less savory versions that were denizens of the internet, he could understand how a Scion of Baldur would end up just like Dane.   He had to admit save for not having such a temper, he was very similar to his own Mythical Father. 


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This had been the crappiest week of Rachel's life, and it shouldn't have been. They had saved the world. Ok maybe not the world but certainly a good portion of Salem. And still it was the crappiest week ever.

At home something was going on. Several times Rachel walked in on her dads quietly talking only to have them suddenly stop and pretend that they weren't talking very annoying. then back at school ever time she saw Eric or one of his goon squad she just got all riled up about how they had acted at the museum. And then to top it all off there was Billy Toup. It seemed that everywhere she went he turned up. In line at the cafeteria, turning in books at the library, even at the drug store when she was buying tampons. God that was so embarrassing. And he was always nice, always said hi and always looked so damned sexy. Oh god why me.

But it was Eric Donner that had her riled up Donner was a dick. and he needed to be put in his place. And she could only think of one way to do that.

Thursday after school while everyone else was going to watch Grace in her first rehearsal for the Fall Play, Rachel was knocking on Coach Fingers office door.

"Come in" Came the gruff call through the door. Rachel opened it and leaving the door open (school policy when a female student was in an office alone with a male teacher, especially a coach).

"Hi Coach got a minute?"

Fingers looked up this was the last person he had expected to see in his office. All of the female coaches had been doing nothing but piss and whine about their star princess dropping sports.

"Heh, Cooper. No not really, practice is in ten minutes and I'm not there and now," He gestures at her, "what do you need?"

"Well coach, I want to play football."

The look on Finger's face was priceless.


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[Grace, Austin, Fisher] Grace smiled at Fisher and Austin as the approached.  "Dane, this is Fisher and Austin.  They're part of our, uh, band I guess you'd call it.  Team Newbies, sounds a bit better though..."

Dane shook their hands and greeted them.  The guy had a grip to be sure, but then again it looked like he was no stranger to Malibu athletics.  "Good to meet you guys.  Dane, Dane Summers."

"Of course it is." Grace said with a smirk.

"The Librarian dude said you guys had a tough go of it, but came out on top in the end."  He smiled to Grace as she mocked the coincidence of his last name and his father being the Norse God of the Sun.  "Chin up guys, if every day was a sunny, right?"

"You did not just..."  Fisher rolled his eyes while Grace and Austin smiled at Dane's sense of humor.  The Sun Scion smiled back with a cheesy grin.

"Look, I hate to bolt guys, but I sort of promised I'd help out with a few things at the house later today."  Dane scooped up his book bag and tossed a hand in the air as a farewell.  "We'll hook up later, nice to meet you guys."

[Rachel]  Coach Fingers was like that guy from Firefly, Jane Cobb.  Gruff and tough looking, militant and loud, but not much going on upstairs for life's planning.  The look of shock wasn't from the request, hell, that took balls and he admired that, it was because his brain couldn't handle the concept of a woman playing a man's sport.

"No," he said.  His eyes focused back into the now and he shook himself back into reality.  "Hell, no."  He looked her dead in the eyes.  "Shit, no.  Now get the hell out of here, unless you're here for pompoms and a pleated skirt, there ain't no way your scrawny, knobbly little behind is getting onto that field."

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She had expected something like that , even the profanity, still she suddenly had a strong desire to rip his head off. But she had expected that too. Instead she calmly kicked the door shut with her foot and leans onto his desk, looking him dead in the eyes at his level.

"I'm sorry coach but you do realize that it isn't against district policy nor state policy." She smiled at him. "And you do know that my father is a lawyer right.?"

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"Oh, is he now?"  Fingers glared at her and he pointed to the door.  "Donner is the only Scion on that team right now and he didn't have to run to daddy to get his way.  He earned it.  They all earned it.  You just walked through my door with a want and a threat to back it up with.  I need fighters, not whiners!"

He threw his clip board down, ever muscle the guy had flexed through his t-shirt.  "That what you're gonna do?  Cry to daddy when you get hurt?  Fine.  You wanna get the law involved, you can have your way.  I'll let you join the team, and every one of those players out there will know it's because you chose to sue your way in.  See you at practice, Cooper."

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While Rae-Rae was engaging in a bout of gender equality with Coach Fingers and the rest of the Scoobies were with Grace for her acting debut, Nadya was just driving around town in her violent yellow junker of a car. She was... discouraged from trying out in the school play. While by every reason with her talent for disguise and grift Nadya should have been an excellent actress, when she was supposed to be 'acting' she somehow only managed to be... mediocre. At best. But mainly, she was discouraged from participating because those overseeing the productions had no appreciation for improvisation. Admittedly, it might have been because Nadya never warned anyone when she was going off-script to make it 'better'. Gods! It's like they never even bother to watch Reality Television!

Someone studying Nadya from a distance with only some of the facts as she drove aimlessly around town might have thought she was suffering an existential crisis. While they had technical won their first conflict, it certainly didn't feel like it. Michael's and the Myers' reputations had been tanked to hide the reality of the Divine from the rest of Salem, which blew - Nadya knew, if not always cared, what it felt like to have a (mostly - okay, maybe more true than not, but really!) false rep hung around your neck.

Most Romani had a distrust or dislike for hospitals, and Nadya was no exception, so she hadn't visited Natalie. Besides, seeing her confined there, Nadya would have been inclined to sneak her out for a bit of freedom, but even she knew what would have been a bad idea. Michael's had been a total bummer. The Big Bad with the Book was still out there with no hint as to his intentions or where he was lurking.

And while all that was true and Nadya felt it to one degree or another, what she was really mostly feeling was excitement. The thrill of learning of her divine heritage and all that came with it hadn't worn off yet, despite the terrible things, like Zombies and Big Bads opening Hellmouths and Mercedes, encircling them. Nadya's usually mobile expression was atypically still and blank as she drove around, trying to parse all the information assaulting her senses.

Since shortly after the Not-Quite-Ultimate Showdown of Not-Quite-Ultimate Destiny, her senses had sharpened noticeably, especially over a distance - it was like having built-in binoculars, distance microphones with select sound filters, and smell-o-vision. With a bit of effort, she could listen into both sides of a phone call and read a text from across a room. Those between Darcy and Fisher were so sickeningly sweet, she was going to get a cavity and she could get a contact high just by being in the same class as Dane Summers. A little pot here and there wasn't a big deal, but dude took the West Coast lifestyle a little too much to heart.

Anyway, it was amazing for picking up gossip, she just had to wade through some of the most banal inanities go get to the juicy stuff - like suffering a slew of commercials before getting to the actual show. And if truth be told, she could get easily distracted by something distant catching her attention at the expense of something right around her.

So that was why she was driving around town, getting acclimated to the new stimuli she was now aware of, an occasionally picking up a PIN from someone at an ATM (just for practice of course). It might be questionable doing that in a car when she could get distracted by a sight or sound or smell a block away, but her reflexes were better than good and her car was old, rusty, and made of steel - the new plastic cars where the ones that had to be worried.

Still, sharpened senses or not, those hybrids were sneaky fucks with their nearly silent engines.

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As the warmth of Dane's summery presence faded through one hallway, the door on the other side of the theatre opened, as if the sun had set only to rise again. 

"Excuse me," the young blonde called out as she entered, black violin case in one hand and a leather satchel slung over her other shoulder. Dressed in pale denim capris and jacket, white sandals, and a crisp white dress shirt, she looked more like a catalog image than an actual person. "I'm looking for a 'Fisher Capra.'" Sky-blue eyes moved inquisitively from face to face as she looked at each student in turn, a friendly, expectant smile on her lips. She didn't know who she was looking for, and the librarian hadn't given her much to go on- just his assurance he'd get everyone together for the "formalities" later. ...Whatever that meant.

She wasn't keen on leaving Florida, on receiving a package full of knick-knacks from an absentee father who claimed to be a god, or on being thrown together with a group of complete strangers, but that was hardly their fault. Besides, public school should be easy, if what her mother had said was true, so she might as well make the best of the situation for now.

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Fisher turned when he heard the voice call his name. And yes, that teenage boy look started on for a few moments. But then Fisher's higher functions switched on an override with surprising speed. Darcy mattered more. Besides, Nadya had developed her own super-attractiveness, so Fisher had some inoculation already. And the breast-fondling incident in the Gollumichael saga. Since Fisher controlled his brain (somehow) then, he could do so any time.

Fisher stepped forward to Laurie. "That's me. Can I help you?"

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The bright smile turned practically mega-watt as Fisher identified himself, mingled relief and gratitude washing over her features. It was so much easier to deal with people when they were cooperative, and she'd already spent most of her first day fending off the clumsy advances of clueless boys looking to score with the new chick. Crossing the intervening space briskly, she put that line of thought out of her mind and extended her free hand toward the young scion in greeting. "Well," she half-laughed, "Maybe. I hope so. I'm Laurel, Laurel Brightman. Mr. Syracuse recommended I introduce myself to you, since apparently we're going to be in a..."  Laurie blinked, pausing for a beat as one brow formed a skeptical arch. "Band, together?"

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"Ahh." Fisher couldn't help a dramatic wink-wink as he shook Laurie's hand. "Welcome to the group, Laurel. Behind me, Grace Trinity and Austin Lange, also Band members. Rachel Cooper and Nadya Lunălescu aren't here, but I'm sure you'll meet them soon. How recently did you get your... notice?"

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Rachel stepped out onto the sidelines all decked out in a somewhat ill fitting practice uniform. The coach had been out here for a while and had obviously told the other coaches and the players...something. Everyone stopped and just stared at her, Coach Fingers didn't say anything just pointed at the bench.

As she headed that way Eric peeled off and stormed her way. He caught up to her and planted himself firmly in front of her. She hated that he was one of the only people in school taller than her but he also hated that she was as tall as she was and didn't have to look up as much as everyone else. “What the fuck are you doing Cooper?” He hissed at her through gritted teeth, his fists balled up like he wanted to hit her. Rachel stood her ground and stepped closer to him and in a clear voice that any one could hear. “I"m here to play football, Eric. I'm going to prove that your not the be all end all you think you are and that this team can be led by someone other than an overgrown bully with rocks between his ears. Scared?”

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[Nadya] The sensory input was amazing.  Nadya could hear everything, see everything, smell everything... okay that lat one was not as much of a blessing as it sounds.  She hoped for something, anything, that might lead her Band on the trail of where the Nekyia may have disappeared to, but unfortunately, she came up with nothing.

"I know, I know... she's cheated on my seven times... but that doesn't mean we can't make things work!  I love her."

"I swear, if those boys don't have their rooms cleaned by the time I get home, Child Protective Services is going to have a field day..."

"You can't triple stamp a double stamp!  You can't triple stamp a double stamp!"

"I dunno, Nadya's got herself a pretty slammin' bod.  That Cooper chick would probably break my spine with her thighs..."

Nadya stopped the car and looked around.  Then she saw Horace and Aaron sitting at one of the tables in The Drip, a coffee house that had been adopted as the hang  out for everyone in Salem who wasn't old.  They had coffee (duh), food, live bands from time to time, and in the upstairs loft they served alcohol.  It was like a place that had capitalized on everything people could want: caffeine, greasy burgers, booze, music, and pool tables.  The best part was, it was really cheap.

Darcy stopped at their table and set two plates down, burger and fries, the usual.  Horace said something to her, and she rolled her eyes.  Nadya didn't hear it, she was too busy trying to find them instead of listening, her new super senses only worked one at a time, apparently.  As she walked away he slapped her butt and she spun around angrily with her arm cocked back and fist clenched like she wanted to hit him.  He held his hands up as him and Aaron laughed about it, after a moment of apologizing she walked away with a furious haste in her step.  She stopped about half way and pulled her phone from her back pocket.  Nadya noticed they both had the same taste when it came to jeans: tight.  She read the screen and smiled giddily before thumbing out a reply and continuing on with her work.  It had to be Fisher texting her.  Ugh, the sweetness.

"Back to what we were talking about, Aaron, Cooper's got all kinds of pent up sexual aggression, she'd be a minx in the sack.  I'm tellin' ya."  Horace took a bite from his burger and said something else, but it came out more like Wookie.  It sounded close to: 'Trust me, I know women'.  Nadya had to roll her eyes at that.

Aaron fiddled with his fries, then poured a gods awful amount of ketchup onto them.  Horace quirked one a eyebrow up and stopped chewing as he watched the poor things drown in a red sea.  Offerings of potatoes smeared in the blood of tomatoes for his ever so hungry patron.  "I think she's a lesbian.  No woman is that tough, angry and fit and still likes dick.  I read it on the internet.  Besides, Eric is planning on taking her to Homecoming, and asking Nadya out will drive Mercedes mad with rage.  I don't need that drama."

Nadya was loving this.  She was sitting back in her car, popping a snack of lightly salted kettle corn (sweet and salty!  yum!) and sipping a Caf-Pow bladder buster.  "No biggie," Horace continued as Aaron sacrificed fry after fry with ravenous chewing.  "Simple solution, if Archimedes wants us all to play nice, then ask the Grace chick.  Look, Homecoming is like a month away, we got time.  Get to know her, butter her up, by the time Homecoming rolls around you got a sexy Latina chica on your arm.  Latina chicks are freaks, my man.  Wouldn't mind putting the beef in her burrito..."

A black obsidian spike slammed down onto the table between Horace's fingers.  If Aaron didn't have Horace's complete attention a moment ago, he sure as hell did now.  Aaron gripped the spike, holding it tightly and glared at his Bandmate.  "Careful, amigo.  That's my sister you're talking about."

Nadya's eyes went wide and her kettle corn missed her mouth.


[Rachel] Eric smiled and shook his head.  He shrugged took a few steps backwards, heading back to the field.  "So I'm a dick.  Boo hoo.  Whatcha gonna do?  Call daddy and sue me?"  He went off back to the huddles, putting on his helmet as he ran.  "See ya on the field, Cooper!"  As he shouted her name every player on the team looked in her direction.  There were whispers and a few points in her direction.  The coach wasn't joking, he told everyone on the team that she was only here because she threatened to sue.

"Cooper, get your knobby ass over here!" Fingers yelled from the sidelines.  She ran over and everyone she passed along the way gave her that stare.  The stare that was laced with disgust but no one has the balls to say out loud what was really on their mind.  When she arrived he pointed at the bench, he even snapped his fingers a few times when she didn't move fast enough for his sign language (no one moved fast enough for his sign language).  "Sit."  He tossed a massive three ring binder at her, at least five inches thick.  "Read it, memorize it."

Before she had a chance to really say anything at that moment he shouted, not at her, but at the field.  "Donner!  There's nothing over here for you to see!  If you don't get your head out of your ass I swear I will personally order your pom-poms and sign the paper work to have your pansy ass cheering on the real winners!  You understand that slap nut?"

"Yes, Coach!"  Eric yelled back.  He hit one of his team mates in the shoulder of his pads for laughing at him for being scolded.

"Think that's funny Ramirez?"  The Coach grabbed a helmet off the bench and waved it high in the air.  "I will personally shove this helmet down your throat and pull it from your ass if you think so.  Still wanna laugh Ramirez?"

"No, Coach!" Was the best Ramirez could come up with.

She was a bid shocked.  There were no favorites it seemed on Coach Finger's team.  "Fucking gingers.  Shit licking, potato eating," he snapped back at Rachel and saw that she'd managed to sit was still a but overwhelmed by the Coach's... intensity.  This was High School, not the NFL.  "READ!"

Then the look of rage and anger bled away from his face completely and he was calm and collected.  Hell, he was almost handsome for an old guy.  "By the way, you have to maintain a certain GPA to stay on the team, so please have your teachers review and sign this."  He handed her a document.


The rest of you seem to be doing okay in your little dialogue, so I'll leave you to it.


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Austin was as caught in the headlights as Fisher when Laurel arrived, and recovered abit faster.  Being on the swim team, and being friends with everyone male and female there, he was used to dealing with girls he found attractive and not ogling them as if he'd never seen one before.  He gave Laurie his own megawatt smile and nodded.  "Pleasure to meet you Laurie."  As Fisher'd already introduced Grace and himself, he saw no need to reiterate.  "You just missed the show."

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Laurel glanced from Grace to Austin as they were introduced, nodding politely at each of them in acknowledgement.  Well, that's odd. Her name sounds like a-

"Church," the blonde said aloud suddenly as Austin finished speaking, apparently apropos of nothing. Her eyes widened, and she immediately grimaced, scrunching up her nose. "Sorry, sorry. I was thinking that your name sounded familiar, and trying to remember where I'd heard it before. It just occurred to me." There was a brief pause, just long enough for her to realize the other girl might've taken offense. "It's a nice name, though!  Ah.  ...Not that you need me to tell you that." Exhaling, she mustered up an apologetic smile and moved quickly on to Fisher's question, although inwardly she kicked herself- it was already starting again.

"Hmm. It might've been a month ago or so."  She shrugged, scanning the room for a moment, and opened her mouth as if to say something, but thought better of it. Her lips pursed, her brows knit together, and she peered intently at their faces before finally shaking her head. "All right. I promised myself I wouldn't condemn public schools out of hand, especially on my first day, but..." Waving her free hand in obvious exasperation at the theatre, she addressed the three scions with a note of rising frustration, a near-pleading in her voice that begged for explanation. "What sort of higher educational establishment doesn't have a proper music room for their choir, their orchestra, their bands to practice, and sticks them in a theatre instead? I mean, honestly, it's better than nothing, and at least it's not something godawful like the gymnasium, but I don't even see a place for instruments! And what happens if there's a play rehearsal at the same time?!"

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Fisher processed the cause of Laurie's distress with a faintly confused look. Was this some kind of private school elitism? Then his mind put the pieces together. Pronoun trouble. She had the idea this was a musical band, and not a Band that... fought monsters. The question: how to get the clarification across? "Ok, I think there's a misunderstanding here. We're not a musical group. Let's start over. Not too long ago, your dad or mom appeared or reappeared in your life, correct? And told you some things about themselves you may have had trouble believing, right?"

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"Things that couldn't possibly be true, but as time went by you found you were different, could do things others couldn't?"  Austin chimed in.   "Well we're all abit like that, that same situation more or less, happened for all of us, and we've banded together to face what the Fates decide to throw our way."

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The reply, coming from a girl who'd initially seemed exceptionally expressive, was surprisingly flat. After a steadying breath, Laurel straightened her shoulders, continuing in the near-monotone of someone who doesn't want to discuss something.

"My father died when I was six. My mother recently decided she was tired of year-round sunshine and beautiful beaches, so she traded our house in Florida for one here in Salem. Apparently, she wants to try having four seasons. I can't imagine why." She shrugged, the undertone of irritation in her voice rising. "Before we moved, I got a letter and box of knick-knacks. So, no. No one has appeared or reappeared in my life, no one has told me anything that can't possibly be true or explained, and of course I can do things others can't. I practice."  As if to illustrate her point, she lifted the violin case she was carrying. Exhaling in an audible huff, the pretty blonde shook her head. It wasn't their fault. There was no point venting on them.

"All that aside, I was told to speak with Mr. Syracuse, and he told me to speak with you. It's been a long day already, so if you aren't musicians, I request we adjourn to somewhere I can get a decent cup of tea and you explain, clearly and with minimal insanity, what's going on. Please, and thank you."

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This was better than Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives Of..., combined! It was so soap opera that Grace had a brother - half-brother, I guess - she didn't know about. Not as good as an evil, goatee'd twin, and not as fun as if she'd found out about Grace's and Aaron's parentage before either of them had - there could have been a real Luke and Leia moment there - but it was delicious all the same.

And Eric was going to ask Rachel out?! Was that who Rachel was crushing on? The tall blonde had been keeping the secret close to her chest despite Nadya starting to nose about, though she hadn't made a concerted effort to find out who it was... yet. Personally, she'd though Rachel had better taste than that. Sure, Eric had a great bod, but Gods! He was such a douche-canoe.

Nadya giggled. Horace was clearly an idiot when it came to women, but she wondered how many others thought Rachel might be a lesbian. She hadn't considered it before. Yeah, Rae-rae's fathers were gay, but she didn't wear enough flannel or cut her hair short enough to give Nadya the vibe that she preferred. She wasn't even sure how Rachel would take the news... but she had every intention of finding out.

Thinking about pissed off women, Nadya idly mused on using wiles to get Aaron to ask her out for homecoming, just to piss of Mercedes. It would be even better to find out who she was going to ask out and ask him out first-

"Is that Nadya? Skank spying on us?"

"You're the one with the good eye, Horace, but she's the only one with a shitty, yellow car like that."

Oops! Busted! Nadya lifted her head from the rolled-open window of the car door and blinked, focusing on sight for a moment. The two boys from the rival Band were turned her way, scowling. Nadya grinned broadly and blew them a kiss, then started laughing and started her car as she saw them get up from their table, bitch clear on their lips and in her ears.

The engine was purring - okay, it sounded more like her Mercury Cougar was trying to cough up a hairball - and Nadya was about to peel out of the parking lot, when she caught the ping of a cellphone getting a text message, then another, a moment later, a phone rang. Listening closer, she heard a muffled, excited whisper of "Holy Shit! Cooper is at football practice!" and "Is Coach Fingers going ballistic?"

Trying to hear more or get a looked a smartphone - chairs and bodies were in the way or the phones were tilted the wrong way - Nadya distracted herself enough to only notice Horace and Aaron were halfway to her car. She slammed the car into gear and pulled out of the lot, chortling and giving the boys a wave.

"Thanks boys! You gossip better than the cheerleaders," she shouted at them in passing. "And Aaron? If you ask me nicely, I promise I won't laugh at the invitation. At least not to your face."

Nadya started driving back to school, pushing the limit without exceeding it - after getting busted for joyriding, she was careful with obeying the driving regs so she didn't get her license pulled. Grace and a few of the others were there for rehearsal, but really she wanted to see Rae-Rae on the field, and see if there was anything to RC + ED or if Rachel was going to knock his head off.

Considering that thought, Nadya glanced into the rearview mirror, looking for Horace or Aaron, in case they were chasing her down like a Godsdamned T-1000 or going to throw something through the rear window like it was fired from a canon or something else impossible.

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Grace blinked, then gave the girl a wry smile. "Well, I think we can figure out tea and an explination, but the level of insanity involved-" she shrugged. "That's the World for you." She waved goodbye to Dane, offering him, "We'll catch up some later, okay?"

She started walking, angling the group towards the outside exit of the theatre. "The Drip is just a couplde of blocks down, and while it's not like direct from India or England, it's decent enough tea for a conversation. Fisher, could you call the others and ask them to meet up with us there when they can?"

"So, Laurel, you got a letter and some knick-knacks?" Grace shook her head in disgust. "And here I thought Tezzy was a dick about being an absentee father. Do you happen to have those on you? I can show you some stuff to help you believe what I'm going to tell you, but if you have your 'knick-knacks' on you, they might be able to help you figure out what you can do that much faster." She was doing her best to be open and friendly with the new girl, while still bussiness enough to project confidence and reliability. It knocked your world out from under you, when you got Visited, and that was when Grace didn't have much to lose in her life anyways. From the way Laural spoke - "give public school a chance" and all that - it sounded like she had all of the American Dream to fall out from under her because of her divine heritage. And on top of that, her bio-dad didn't even bother to show up in person. Double dick.

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Nadya was a bit bummed to find that Rachel's grand entrance into  high school football was riding the bench during practice with the rest of the asthmatics and outcasts while Eric and the rest of 'roid brigade ran through plays and smacked each other on the butt repeatedly in a completely non-homosexual manner.  As practice was wrapping up she could see the Rachel was given a bit of gruff from some of the players of the team, but she ignored them.  The Coach was intense, seriously intense and even heading everyone to the showers was a lecture and speech that insulted everyone's lineage and questioned their intelligence with colorful references describing what bodily function or excretion they resembled.

About forty minutes later the ladies were joining their Bandmates at The Drip.  The two surveyed the area and quickly found Grace and the others, plus a new blonde young lady who certainly wasn't recognized as a local.  By the time Nadya and Rachel joined their friends and had sat down, Darcy was already at the table, ready to take their order with a cheery, "Hey guys!  What's up?"  Followed by a nauseating, "Hey Fisher."  With the addition of the lovely blonde new comer to their group, harmlessly sitting next to Fisher, the nervous hesitation in her voice was apparent (to Austin and Nadya anyway).  Since Fisher and Darcy had 'connected' everyone in the Band had encountered her at one point or another and were pretty much 'friends by proxy'.  From hellos in the hallway to stealing hugs from Nadya between classes (because seriously, getting Nadya to hug someone was not difficult at all, she was a hugger), to talking with Grace at the hospital, she'd become a part of their lives.  While Fisher and Darcy hadn't had any real time to hang out together, yet, due to all the recent events, it was good to see that Darcy had adopted them as friends, especially since her own friend, Natalie, had wound up hospitalized.  How she stayed perky and smiling, was anyone's guess.  They assumed it was the constant texting with Fisher, which everyone had to hear about... every moment... of every day... for the past week...

Within moments Darcy was on her way with their order with a cheery smile and suspicious glare at Laurie.  The entire misconception was almost comedic.

"Hi, I'm Rachel and this is Nadya."  Each of the ladies offered a greeting and then looked to Grace.  "So, what's up?" Rachel asked.

"Well," Austin began.  "And let me know if I skip anything, Grace," Grace offered him a thumbs up as she ticked a few thumb strokes on her smart phone.  She smirked as Darcy checked her back pocket.  "Apparently Laurie is in the Half-Blood club.  She got her visitation by mail, from a box, with a note that welcomed her to the club."

Nadya looked shocked, and that wasn't an expression she wore very often.  "Are you frickin' serious?  Just a letter and your birthrights?"

"Not even so much as an instruction book." Laurie confessed.  "Mr. Syracuse was supposed to go over all this with me, but he and Principal Taoka were in a very heated discussion when I arrived.  He asked me to find you, and you would help me to understand some of the things I would need to know until he can talk with me."

"It's pretty messed up, Laurie."  Rachel added, squeezing the lemon slice into her water as Darcy handed out everyone's drinks.  "In a nut shell-"

"Where's ma food woman!"  Nadya grumbled in a poor imitation of a surly male, glaring at Darcy as she did.  Darcy hapily replied by throwing a straw at her like a spear, harpooning Nadya in her topknot.

"It'll be ready when it's ready! " She shot back, half laughing.  "Control your Nadya guys."

"We try, but she keeps escaping the basement..."  Austin said with a smirk.  Soon the topknot straw was sailing in his direction compliments of Nadya.  Laurie had no idea, and certainly couldn't tell that these five friends barely knew each other not a few weeks prior.  With all that had gone on recently, the negative blow back of their new lives had pulled them together in the most positive outcome: they supported each other.  None of them were one hundred percent happy, but they borrowed and lent one another good times and support as needed.  One had to wonder if they were even aware of it.

"Guys," Rachel's tone brought them all back into the seriousness of the present.  "Focus up."  The way everyone gave Rachel their attention Laurie could tell that Rachel seemed to be the unspoken leader of the team, probably because she looked like she drank raw eggs and had that serious 'winning' glare in her eyes.

Fisher was the one who started from the beginning and brought Laurie up to speed.  Visitations, the Titan War, protecting the World... even the fight at the museum.  Rachel looked on, glaring disapprovingly at both Fisher for spilling their secrets to an unproven new comer, and Laurie... well, for being an unproven new comer.  Until Rachel checked her story with Mr. Syracuse, Laurie was suspect.  She was more like her divine father than she realized sometimes.

His story was very animated, like he was recounting the epic battles that took place in his anime's the nerd was all over with his gestures.  Everyone at the table got a kick out of it, sharing a few laughs here and there (except Rachel, of course).  He never noticed Darcy glaring at him as she rounded the table with everyone's food.  The fact that he quickly went silent as she approached and had nothing further to say, didn't help his case either.  Everyone got their food with a warm smile, except Fisher whose plate hit the table with a 'thud' and an icy glare.  She was even polite to Laurie, who wouldn't be?  Her smile was genuine, her looks were innocent, and she just carried herself with a dignified air... besides, it wasn't her fault Fisher was a lecherous jerk, now was it?

"Enjoy."  She said to Fisher, flat and angrily, then walked off.

"Dude,"  Austin was trying not to laugh at Fisher's misfortune, but the whole table could see how Darcy could misread it.  The best part was, Fisher had no clue Darcy was into him.  "You are so screwed."

"What's her problem?  What did I do?" He asked the table, imploring his allies to throw him a clue.

Grace was picking through her burger, shaking her head.  "We could tell you, Casanova, but you have to handle this one on your own."

"We're just friends, guys." He stated.

Nadya chewed a fry and cocked an eyebrow.  "Well, yeah... you certainly are now..."

There was a fit of back of the throat laughs, even Rachel had to let her grimace take a break in celebration of Nadya being ever so kind as to point out Fisher's cluelessness.

"You see what I have to put up with?"  He proclaimed to Laurie, gesturing to his 'friends'.

After an hour or so, Laurie was up to speed, Fisher was in trouble for something he didn't actually do, Rachel was prepared to run a completel background check on Laurie, Grace had the whole scoop at to why Darcy was mad at Fisher texted to her (and wasn't planning on breathing a word of it to him), Nadya managed not to pick pocket anyone, and Austin was able to be thankful they made it through another day without something weird happening.  So, all in all, it ended up a typical day.  Everyone was cool and Rachel was still paranoid.  Yep, welcome to Salem, Laurie Brightman... and you thought Florida was crazy...

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Rachel closed the door behind her, she wasn't sneaking in she just didn't want to see her dads right away.

"Hi Hun your kinda late." Dad Bob said as he came of the hall from the breakfast alcove. "If you haven't eaten I made beef and noodles, left it on the stove if your hungry If not mind putting it away for me. Our shows about to start."

"Yeah no problem dad, I had a burger at The Drip so I'm good." As she tried to slip by him they bumped and the red binder she held under her arm fell to the floor. "Sorry Rach my fault." Bob bent and pick it up before Rachel could, he paused in the process of handing it back to her when he saw the title on the cover. "Playbook?" He flips it open and looks at the kind of plays he remembers well from his own high school day oh so many years ago. "Why do you have this, Rachel?"

She really had wanted to pick the moment and now wasn't it. So much for wishing. "Well...I...I sort of joined the football team today”

Bob just looked at his daughter for several seconds before saying anything, and when he did speak again it wasn't to her. “Mike, you better set up the DVR!”


While Rachel explained Bob kept thumbing through the binder of football plays and her other dad Mike watched her with all the calm demeanor of the hawkish prosecutor he was. It was mike who asked the first questions and they weren't what she had expected.

“This is a bit out of left field. When school started you didn't want to do sports this year, what changed?”

Rachel froze as she tried to come up with something that wasn't a lie but wasn't the real reason. “Dad it's a long story and not something I want to get into with you guys. It's just I'm going through some changes,” both men sort of squirmed in their seats at that, “and I thought maybe I was basing my decision before on faulty information.” Neither dad really followed that Bob kept turning pages, Mike took a sip of wine. “But why football Rach? Your a track star and well football is a contact...” Bob finished his husbands thought “is a team sport. You haven't been much on team sports in the past. And then Football. Out of the blue?”

Rachel rubs her forehead. “You guys know how I am about bullying...” she started to explain about Eric the asshole before she was abruptly cut off by her dads.

Mike takes a deep breath but once again Bob blurts his uncensored thought out first. “Shit this is about Billy Toup.”

No one said anything. Mike just stared at his husband, Bob stared back and Rachel, well Rachel just stared open mouthed as the blood drained from her face making her look like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

”NO! Why would you say that? How do you know about Billy? Oh my god NO!”

Confusion on the faces of all three, Putting a hand on Bobs knee Mike tries to calm their daughter.”Honey, honey It's ok Billy just came by a few days ago. He was very nice, he wanted to apologize for all the things he had said all those years ago...”

“He's lying.” Rachel's voice was cold. As her dad had spoken she saw asshole Eric in her mind being nice to the teachers being a good kid the model of propriety and then she saw Billy toup doing the exact same thing. “He is lying. He is a mean evil violent person and don't you dare fall for his I'm reformed routine.”

She pulls out a folded piece of paper and thrusts it at Mike. It's a permission form. “I'm playing football. It has nothing to do with Billy Toup. It's something I want to do. I need your permission.”

Bob stayed silent, Mike looked at his daughter thinking about all the turmoil that went on at that age. “Ok honey, We trust you.” He signed the form and held it out for her. As she took it he held onto it a little before letting go. “Sorry if we upset you.Just remember Rachel you can always talk to us.”

“Thanks.” She replies quietly as she stands. “I have homework I need to get done,” She holds out her hand to boob, “Dad, can I have that?”

Bob closes the book hands it to her. “Sure. There are some good plays in there. If you have an questions come ask me. I did play in collage you know.”

That brought a ghost of a smile to his daughters lips as she left to go study. She had a lot to memorize after all.


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The key goes into the the keyhole. A click as the door unlocks when the key turns. Swing the door open, step in, remove the key. Close the door, lock it. Know that the house is empty. Such was the routine of Fisher's returns home. Dad was never home this soon, always 9-5 or longer. Longer happened more often than some would think: be it for actual workloads or just that Philip Capra didn't want to go back - physically or mentally - to the lonely townhouse section.

Fisher sighed and tossed his backpack on the couch, before going into the kitchen. He flipped the light on, before digging into the pantry for some mac and cheese mix. While pouring water into a saucepan, Fisher wondered what had gotten into Darcy. Everything was happy - then this afternoon she seemed pissed at him.

Like a tsundere... no, no. Darcy was not a tsundere, not sweet Darcy! Besides, tsun-tsun implied romantic interests. Which Fisher would love to see from her, but he knew she was still dealing with Natalie's condition on top of everything else. He'd meant it when he'd said they were just friends, because he wasn't stupid or heartless to assume she was ready for anything else.

And Nadya and Austin acted like they were oh so observant. While the water started heating, Fisher texted Darcy again.

Something wrong? You were upset at the Drip. Worried about you. :(

Then Fisher pulled a pen and a piece of paper from a drawer, and started sketching. Drawing had taken practice, but a possible doujinshi creator like Fisher had been determined to master the craft. And it gave him something to do as an outlet when the world pressed down on him with rotten Fates like Dad or Eric stinking Donner.

The scene from a week ago formed on paper, focused on the brighter heroic moments: Rachel crunching spartoi, her shieldmaiden body-checking another while Archimedes stood impressed, him Grace and Mr. Syracuse binding the portal shut. 

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As the gang left The Drip and began scattering their separate ways, Nadya caught the hesitancy in Grace, who seemed to be deciding whether to walk or take the bus back to where she called home for now. Nadya chewed on her lower lip, debating for a moment. She'd wanted to do some more research - it sounded better than snooping - before coming to Grace with what she'd overheard today, but decided just to dump on her and let her decide what she wanted to do with the info.

Family - whether by blood or by choice, either way was equally valid - was important, every dispersed people knew that. She'd lived in the Salem more than half her life, but Nadya remembered her earlier years in Europe, traveling alone with her father or with other bands of Romani. True, many had settled, often in their own neighborhoods or ghettos, but bigotry and hate towards the Romani was prevalent in much of Europe, though it rarely got much press - it was actually much better overall in the States, really. Regardless, the ties that bind a people, a culture, a family, even one of just two people, could lend them strength in the face of adversity, when it seemed the world just wouldn't stop kicking you when you were down.

Having had her father, Nadya didn't know what an orphan felt for family, whether they all yearned for the parents they had lost or who had given them up, or whether they completely neglected the idea of family entirely. But now, their divine parents were back in their lives. Nadya had no idea what they Aztec Gods were like, other than bloody, and if the Greeks and the Egyptians from what she remembered had family trees that could be more, um, circular, than she was entirely comfortable with, she still thought Grace should know. Family was important, but the fiercest fights could be between them too.

Nadya fell into step next to Grace, her heels bringing her eyes even with hers and nodded towards the intensely yellow car in the parking lot. "Like a ride home, senorita Gracie?"

Grace rolled her eyes at Nadya's limited command of the Spanish language, but smiled gratefully and nodded. "Yeah, thanks."

The front and rear bumpers of were dented, there were scratches here and there and rust eating around the wheel wells, but Nadya's muscle car still looked functional at least, even if it would have been laughed at during a car show. Nadya climbed in behind the wheel then leaned over to unlock the passenger door. Slipping in, Grace was vaguely surprised, not sure what she expected. The interior of the '71 Mercury Cougar was worn, there were neat, if amateur, stitches in the bucket seats, and a patterned blanket covering the back seats, but otherwise, the car was spotless. Huh.

"Where to, Gracie-Lou?"

Grace gave her directions to the house of the family she lived with until she hit her majority and she and Nadya spent the next few minutes trading snark and banter. Their talk was mostly about the newest member of their band, a seemingly real Disney Princess who claimed to be from Florida but Nadya was pretty sure she meant the Magic Kingdom at Disney World and the cluelessness of Fisher in regards to Darcy. Nadya was voting that Laurie was Aurora on basis of Blondness and the bad shit with Maleficient equating to her God Daddy, while Grace advocated for Jasmine, for the privileged upbringing and seeing being forced to marry as being forced into the war with the Titans and their minions.

"Yeah, I didn't actually want to talk about the Princess and Fisher being a dumbass," Nadya said when they had only been driving for a few minutes. Her eyes stayed on the road, save for a quick glance at Grace from the corner of her eye. "I wanted to talk about you. Or at least, something that affects you."

"Oh, really..." Grace's expression went smooth with affected neutrality, her dark eyes not quite suspicious. "What about?"

Oh, screw peeling off the band-aid, I'm just ripping it off! "Yeah, you have a brother, a half-brother at least."

Grace blinked, then stared at the spastic thief. Oddly, she had the sudden urge to tear off Nadya's eyebrow ring and had to resist it. "What?"

"You have a half-brother," Nadya repeated. "I overheard him with my divine ears." And by the Gods, Nadya actually managed to wriggle an ear, though by the expression on her face, the effort had almost caused her a stroke. "Aaron Tigrillo, Salem High's preferred DJ, lover of way too much Ketchup, and member of the Band of Psychos, is your half-brother by way of Papa Tapioca - I'm guessing. I'm pretty good at telling if someone was lying and he wasn't."

Nadya pulled to a stop outside the age-out foster home and for the first time since they had gotten in her car, turned to look at Grace directly, mobile lips curved in a crooked grin. "Surprise."

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Grace stared at Nadya for several moments, then let out a long, low sigh. "Yeah, I guess from the way everyone's talked about us, all of the gods are pretty much players, right? I've probably got dozens of half-siblings running around." Weird. She returned Nadya's grin, though it seemed a bit strained. "I don't think we're gonna be trading birthday cards and doing Christmas together, somehow. Thanks for letting me know. I'll...see you tomorrow?"

She waved goodbye but didn't really wait for an answer before turning and making her way up to the old-style farmhouse sitting back from the road. Once she heard the rattle of Nadya's car fade into the distance, she struck out onto the few acres her foster parents had behind the house. She needed time to think and it was late enough that both the main house and converted barn where most of the kids lived would be busy with dinner, chores, and the usual gossiping and bitching. She couldn't deal with it right now; there was a large tree on almost the opposite side of the property, that overlooked the Salem Woods. She climbed up into the large old branches and hung her backpack on a convenient spur out of the wood. 

A brother. Right. Should've guessed I wasn't Tezzy's only blow-by. Gotta breed them up their cannon fodder, after all. Damn it, why does this have to be so shitty? I should be thrilled to find an actual relative and all I can think is 'well, I'm probably going to end up watching my brother get massacred by monsters some day. Yay for that.' Her hands were clenched tightly in her lap, her nails digging red troughs into her skin. Why couldn't I have just been a normal orphan? Then the Trinity's wouldn't have given me up and I'd have a normal home, a normal life, and I would be worrying about stupid middle-class shit instead of waking up from nightmares where the whole damn world ended because I screwed up

"You would not enjoy a normal life, Grace. You would be bored."

Grace scowled at the the jaguar warrior perched a few limbs up from her. "I didn't ask you, Cuate. And stop snooping around in my head. It's creepy."

"Your thoughts are carried in your blood, kitten," he said, jumping lightly down to join her on the larger limb. Somehow the nickname coming from him wasn't cute at all; he saw her as a young jungle cat - deadly but naive. "Blood you have spilled in your anger at your place in life." 

He gestured to her hands and she saw a drop of red fall onto the tree bark. She uncurled her fingers and winced at the red welts where her nails had cut through. "So, what, I should be just shouting for joy because my life's all fucked up, but hey, at least I'm not bored?"

He sighed and gave her a level look. When she didn't back down, his lips twitched in the ghost of smile. She was a child, and prone to childish whining, but she did not break easily. He decided talking with her at the moment would be wasteful and incredibly annoying, so instead he jumped hard on the branch, knocking her off balance. "In your first battle, you hid behind me. That is forgivable, kitten. Once. Come, time to learn to hunt!" 

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Rachel awoke on Friday morning, she hadn't slept all that well considering the drama yesterday with her spur of the moment decision to do the football thing, her stupid misjudgment of Coach Fingers and then her dads hiding that Billy Troup... Billy "the Bully" Troup, had been to the house talking to them behind her back. She can just imagine what they said. Oh, she didn't believe the apology story for a second. After all, if that's really what he had said why hide it from her? Her dads sensed her moodiness during breakfast so the table was quiet and uncomfortable, an awkward stillness had set in so this morning everyone had decided it'd be best if they all went their separate ways for the day.

As she drove to school her anger seethed and ichor boiled. He daughter of Vidar scanned her XM Radio for the angriest metal she could find and let it blare through the speakers as she slammed her hands on the steering wheel. She drew several looks as she pulled into the parking lot of the school that morning, but she couldn't have cared less. She entered the main building about thirty minutes before the first bell. She intended to go to the library which had become the Bands hangout while at school but as she serpentined through the other kids she saw him: Billy Troup, tall, handsome, so perfect, if anyone should be a child of a god it should be him... and all it did was just piss her off even more.

Billy was talking with Todd Swain. Todd was a buck thirty and every bit the nerd he was back when Billy used to pick on him, that he was today. Tod dseemed genuinely disinterested in the conversation, much like Rachel, he wasn't buying a word of whatever Billy selling. Niles Horne, Todd Swain's only other friend in the school besides Rachel was a few paces away, ready to back up his friend with loud feminine screaming for an adult of the situation got out of hand. After all, him and Todd were tight, homies had to look out for each other. Rachel had been Todd's unofficial protector since she saved him all those years ago, and you didn't mess with Todd without messing with Rachel, that was a Salem High fact.

Without a thought as to what she was doing or what damage it might cause she marched right up to him. About a week ago, Billy had come face to face with a goddess. She seemed confused, lost in her words, but every word was a melody in his ears. She'd asked him a few questions about his friend Natalie, and afterwards, like an over used Disney cliché, she was gone. She'd raced off down the hallway, and for the last week he'd only seen her in passing. With all the bad things happening he really didn't think was wise to go asking around about people, especially one's he thought were beautiful beyond reason and just had to meet...

...well he sure as hell knew her now.

He smiled politely. It was Fate, nay, provadence that his lovely pursuit had returned to him. This would be a great time for them to talk and get to know each other. Friday mornings were always so awesome. “Hey!” He said as he noticed her approach. “I never got your na-”

Rachel grabbed him by his shirt before he finished his sentence and slammed him against the lockers, bringing her eyes to his. Her stare was like icy daggers drilling their way into his soul. "You son of a bitch. How dare you. I can't believe you had the audacity to go to my home speak to my fathers.”

A sudden spark of realization sparked in his expression. The pieces clicked into place. “Rachel?!” He said, shocked. “Rachel Cooper?!”

She slammed him against the lockers again to shut him up and regain control of the conversation that was easily going on one direction. Her strength was simply impossible. She handled him like he was weightless and thankfully had just enough control of herself to not break out any of the divine juju running in her veins. “I don't know what your game is but let me warn you," She hissed this through gritted teeth. She wanted to rage. She wanted to break this weak thing in front of her wrath all her Aesir strength and offer his pitiful life up to Hel, laying his soul to waste in the halls of the dishonored dead. But her hormones were to busy working the side of her brain that said she could work him over in other ways. God he smelled fantastic. His full lips seemed so delectable, her mind raced over several options on how she could begin to kiss him. A peck upon the upper lip, a nibble upon the lower? Maybe just dive right in for the entire entree all at once? She managed to snap herself from her fantasy by slamming him against the locker a third time. "If you go anywhere near my family, if you go anywhere near my friends, if you so much as make a joke at anyone's expense, then I swear on Odin's one good eye, this will be you!" She put her left fist into the locker the locker by his head. Her divine power found no contest in the flimsy metal and fist sized dent was driven impossibly deep into its surface. “Am. I. Clear?”

“Crystal.” Billy managed as he swallowed hard.


About ten minutes later, after the school is driven into a texting frenzy...

Everyone was waiting in the library when Rachel walked in last. The members of her band glared at her, a bit of wonderment and confusion swirling in their expressions. Even Laurie was a bit perplexed, Rachel's reputation was not living up to the legend she'd heard about.

“What?” She asked, still mildly irritated and and a whole lot of frustrated.

Not wanting to incur the wrath of Rachel, everyone let it go. Mr. Syracuse entered the library from his adjoining office, the school's office, not his secret God lair behind the book shelf. His look was a particularly disappointed one, and her icy glare didn't do much to intimidate him. “Get it all out of your system?” He asked in that ever-so-arrogant British accent of his. He finally added, “Well, I hope not.”

Coach Fingers walked out behind him but not before a very pissed off Eric Donner steam rolled his way around them and stomped towards the door. “This, is bullshit.” He said, a storm of fury arced through out his eyes. He pointed his finger at Victor and Archimedes. “That's our damned trophy and you fucking know it.”

“This ain't the classroom Donner.” Victor said calmly. He wasn't the Coach at the moment and they could all tell. He was 'on the clock'. Nothing but End of Days and Wrath of God sorts of thoughts were filling the void behind his eyes this morning. “You point that finger at me again and I'll tear your whole damned arm off and beat you to death with it. It's been decided.” Jerked his head towards the open doorway Eric was heading towards when he stopped to stab a finger at the two faculty members. “Blow.”

“My dad will hear about this, and he's not going to like it.” He stood his ground, but everyone present knew this was a one sided war.

“That a fact?” Victor looked at the red-headed teen and took a few steps towards him. “Well, don't that sound familiar. Why don't you and Cooper here start a club, you can all call your daddies and they can all come to my office and right before they sue me they can kiss my lily white ass.”

Eric stood in front of Victor Fingers, Demigod of Ares and a man who was in no mood for some punk kid's whining this morning. Eric breathed heavily, he was tense and they could tell he wanted to strike. Victor couldn't have been calmer without actually being asleep. “Do it, boy. Nothing between us but space and opportunity.”

Wisely Eric backed down and stormed out of the room. Victor just shook his head. “You kids today. Bunch of cowards. Hiding behind smart phones and social media, your parents and anything else you can find.” He snorted in derision and turned to the Band who was partially enjoying watching Eric get his ass handed to him, while also scared out of their wits at the possibility the Victor may had skipped breakfast and would come after them next. The dude was scary. “To chicken shit to fight your own damn battles. All right you piss ants, listen up. Rachel Cooper and Fisher Capra, you two are coming with me, you're excused from your classes today. We're going to Savoy Mountain, we have a beast to slay. The rest of you will stay here and remain bored to tears.”

“We're a Band, we all go together.” Rachel attempted to protest.

Victor looked at her and smirked. “I don't need all of you, just you two. You skills are valuable. If I needed Percy Jackson, a Disney Princess, a petty crook or the angry chick from The Fast and the Furious, then I'd be inviting them along, now wouldn't I? Excusing two of you from school is easy, all six and I paperwork to fill out... nope. Two is all I need. Or... you could stay behind and explain to Eric why you didn't have the balls to go after his trophy.”

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Oh Good, another pompous arrogant asshole scion, is this the fate of all male children of the gods?  The thought ran through his head even as he also realized this time the asshole was from his pantheon, and the son of THE asshole god himself, Ares.  He thought himself his father's gift to the battlefield, and was quick to fight it seemed.  Austin quickly overcame the mild fear that his fellow greek scion would get violent, and set about making sure that if he did, it was directed his way.

Of course, him pressing the "Donner button", in addition to insulting everyone, well he could read Rachel's expression and He just smiled, trying to head off any explosive outburst from her.  Two in one day would kinda be pushing things.  "Don't worry Rachel, you and Fisher go ahead and go with him.   You know how to reach us if you need real help.  Watch each others' backs and don't let him use you as bait." 

He didn't care for Victor, and didn't care if he knew. 



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The initial refusal had been instinctual, a bad habit Rachel was getting lately, acting without thought. But as Fingers did his semi explanation one thing filled her head. He needs me to kill something. I need to kill something. It was a scary thought, one which repulsed he,r and one which made her very very happy at the same time.

57 minutes ago, Austin Lange said:

  "Don't worry Rachel, you and Fisher go ahead and go with him.   You know how to reach us if you need real help.  Watch each others' backs and don't let him use you as bait."


She nodded at Austin and threw him a small smile then caught Fisher's eye and nodded to him. "Ok coach, looks like we're taking a field trip to the state park. We're all yours."

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Fisher was more than happy to see Eric get completely stonewalled by Coach Fingers. No charm now, you jerkjockhole thug. Then Fingers turned on them, and Fisher paused in that thought. But then it was clear. Another heroic Scion job - for values of heroic when Coach Fingers was involved. And... oh. Fisher's grin widened and seemed a bit more than it should be on the nerd's face.

For a moment it seemed almost creepy. "You kidding me, Coach? I wouldn't miss this for the World." Donner's desired trophy would be on Fisher's record. And maybe once Rachel worked the anger out of his system onto some monstrous beast she could explain some things. Fisher was really not pleased with being in the dark - on more than one thing.

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Nadya was eying Rachel in circumspect puzzlement, having no clue what her deal with Billy Troup was. She herself never had boy trouble! He was very pretty, a nice guy with enough of a personality that he seemed like he would be fun instead of boring. If Rae-Rae liked him, she should just ask him out instead of beating him up. Gods, she was acting just the way an eight year-old boy does toward a girl he doesn't know he likes.

Hmm, asking him out... I could arrange that. She'd thank me... afterwards. Probably.... Maybe. Would have to make sure I wasn't anywhere nearby when giving her the 411 of course... Nadya surreptitiously edged her phone over the edge of the great round table they were seated about and snapped a pic of a scowling Rachel. Then she quickly hid her phone an affected bored nonchalance when Coach Fingers came stomping in after Archie.

Nadya suppressed a shudder. If she wasn't a high-school sports star, she was still quicker and more athletic than most, yet Coach Fingers always came down on her as if she weighed an extra two hundred pounds. It was totally unfair that she got 'Finger'ed' more than almost anyone else. She tried to stay invisible and silent while Coach Fingers turned on Rachel and Fisher, she really did.

"I'm not petty..." Nadya muttered, showing what she thought was important in Victor Fingers' assessment of her.

"What was that, Moonbaby?" Victor said in a low, ominous growl as he narrowed his dark, beady eyes on her.

Nadya resisted flinching away from his attention. She was going just going to mutter a teenaged 'nuthin'' but instead refrained, her jaw setting stubbornly. "You think using smartphones and social media is just hiding. I say they are simply new weapons in our quivers."

"How progressive of you," Fingers chuckled. There should be laws against chuckles being that dismissive and insulting. "If they are, then Rhodes is beating you into the mud with them and you haven't even landed a punch yet, Moonbaby."

Nadya picked up the huge table in her small, strong hands, the heavy wood creaking under her grip and smashed it over Coach Fingers' head before he even knew what was happening. The sheer look of surprise and bafflement on his face filled Nadya with joy and she pounced on him, driving him into the ground with the leg of the table still in her hand. "Another lap! C'mon, chunky-monkey, lay off the Haagen Dazs and give me one more lap. I'll give you one more lap Coach Fingers! I'm gonna cut off your fingers and then we'll have to call you Coach Stumps"-

Nadya blinked away the pleasant thought, her chest heaving and nostrils flaring with furious, teenaged ire, but she contented herself with a sharp sniff. How the hells had Mercedes turned most of the school against her? She was hawt, had a style that was her own (mostly), was charming and likeable more than most, and yet... "Looks like they are working as weapons then, don't it?"

"Fair enough, Moonbaby, fair enough." Again, then entirely too enraging chuckle.

"So while Stretch and Nerd get to go on a field trip, we just stay here and..." This time Nadya didn't bother to hid her shiver. "... just go to class?"

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"Treat it like a sidequest.  Sometimes you have to do boring BS you don't feel like doing."  He gave her a knowing smile, communicating that he wasn't happy with this either, and nodded.  "I'm sure we can find something fun to do in the meantime."

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Grace was propped up, two legs of her chair hanging in the air and her cellphone resting in her lap. She'd ignored Coach Finger's assessment because whatever. She started up a group IM with everyone except Rachel and Fischer, typing quickly.

Don't bother, he love's the chance to put us all down. Look, let them go, then we'll cut class and follow after. We can be back up if they get into trouble with the monster or if Coach Compensating tries to pull something. Or Eric and his band decide to make a competition of it or whatever. 

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  • Matt changed the title to IC: S1:E2 "The Fast and the Furriest"
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