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Sara Hutchins

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JANUARY 1, 2017

11:45 Am and it was cold outside, 34 degrees F (1.1 C), so they dressed the part even though it didn't bother Sara at all and was only a little irksome for Sean. It was Sean's Birthday and Sara had wanted to bring her here to celebrate.

Fashion, Museums, Theater, things Sara thought Sean would like, hoped Sean would like. This was the kind of thing Sara had dreaded all along about having a girlfriend, having a relationship outside of just fooling around and partying. After all that was pretty much all she had ever done with her only other relationship, fuck and smoke weed.

Sean deserved more, needed more. And Sara was out of her depth in trying to figure out what that something was. She took a pull on her cigarette, at least smoking wasn't banned here, and looked across the table at Sean. She saw all the other people copping looks at her girlfriend as well and it made her vision go a little red.

The were sitting at a table outside on a quaint little cafe that Devin had recommended. The Terrace was kept reasonably warm by large braziers scattered around, the sky was clear and it hadn't rain today, yet. Being as it was New Years day the streets were mostly empty with most business and sites closed for the holiday, something Sara had faild to consider.

Strike one.

Sean was looking at a menu while their waiter was filling their coffee order.

 Sara took another puff on her cig.

"Why do you still smoke those?" Asked Sean without even looking up from the menu. "The whole because I like the taste thing doesn't really exist anymore sine your no longer addicted to the nicotine, which is what made your brain think it liked the taste before."

Sara paused and looked at the cigarette between her fingers. "I don't know, habit I guess. Give me something to do with my hands."

Sean lowered the menu and looked over at  her girlfriend a slightly wicked smirk curving her beautiful lips. "It's a nasty habit, and I can think of much better things to do with your hands."

Sara looks at Sean for a moment her face unreadable, then she smiles. "Your right babe." Sara stubs out her cigarette and watches as the waiter arrives with their coffees and to take their order.


This is an open interlude. Devin knows where they are so anyone can pop in if they want.


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Sean replied in fluid, flawless French, thanking the waiter for the coffee and ordering a pair of dishes she had never tried before, escargot and confit de canard. The waiter seemed pleased that at least one of what he had assumed to be a pair of American girls could speak French, as fluent as a native and with the voice of a sinful angel. Despite the stereotype of the snooty French waiter, Sean and Sara had seen no sign of it, the waiters being differential and polite without being obsequious - even if they weren't shy about admiring a lady.

As the waiter left, Sean sighed, inhaling the fragrance of the excellent coffee, the warmth from the cup radiating into her fingers pleasantly, even if she wasn't precisely cold. France hadn't been someplace she had thought to visit in particular, but now that Sara had surprised her with it, she was enjoying herself. While many places were closed, being New Year's day, the churches and cathedrals weren't. She wasn't particularly religious, but she could appreciate the artistry and engineering that had gone into their construction. Jules Verne was one of her favourite authors as a kid. And the Louvre was still open. With the future of the world and society as they knew it in such flux, there was something to seeing their history.

Sean could tell Sara was searching for something she would like for her birthday and was concerned about it. Telling her not to worry about it would just make Sara worry more, though. The truth was, Sean was still learning where her own interests lay. She was as interested in technology and computers as ever, but her horizons had greatly expanded beyond them as well.

"I do understand about habits though," Sean comment, nodding at the ashtray, a wisp of smoke trailing up to be torn into tatters by the wind, then tapping her cup with a long finger. "I'm still physiologically addicted to caffeine. An addiction I can break I assure you, if I put in the effort, but it's an addiction I enjoy. Unlike the smell of cigarettes." Sean smiled wryly. "I didn't mean you had to quit for my sake, I was just curious why you still did it."

It was a worry that Sean had had been before, that had arisen again when Devin accused her of slutting it up, that despite her intentions, others acceded to her whims and desires just to please her - to please the idea they had of her - overwhelmed by her presence. She had used it to her advantage here and there, to be sure, but it wasn't something she meant to do as a matter of course.

Sean's smile widened as she looked around, just the edge of the Arc du Triomphe visible down one street. "I'm a little surprised by France, hon. I was wagering on Germany or maybe one of the Scandinavian countries. I would like to see the Louvre, but how about instead of doing all the other touristy stuff, after lunch we just walk and wonder and see what we stumble on?"

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Devin was chilling in the barn playing Destiny when the Irregulars approached him.  It was rare, to say the least, to have Abel and Kia both approach him, but when Lilly walked up to he was pretty sure he'd screwed something up... somewhere.... somehow.  Now all he needed was for Sara to crash through the roof and threaten to wear his face as a mask for whatever was he'd done.

Kia explained the situation and in her own perky way made Devin feel more at ease.  He sighed in relief, which he disguised as a 'what a work load' sigh.  "Wow, Paris for Sean's birthday?  Pretty cool.  She'd asked me about a few places but she didn't mention Sean's birthday  Nice place, I liked it.  Sean'll love it."  Sometimes he had no idea how envious others were of his ability to simply go anywhere at anytime of his choosing.

Kia nodded emphatically.  "We were hoping maybe you could jaunt us all there?  You know hang with them for awhile, wish Sean happy birthday, that sort of thing.  All of us can hang out for a bit, we haven't had a lot of time together, so Abel and I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity for all of us to just sorta hill in good company..."

"...and you wanna go to Paris." Devin grinned.

"God, yes!"  Kia admitted exuberantly.  "So much culture, history, food."

"I'm game," he replied casually, stifling a laugh.  "Still have some money left over from Lilly and I going to Australia.  Paris is a great place to blow it."  Abel and Kia looked at Lilly and then to Devin.  Kia raised an eyebrow and smirked at them both.  "Oh, don't look at us like that.  Nothing is going on, it's purely sexual."

Lilly slugged Devin in the arm as he laughed and tried to escape a further pummeling.  Kia laughed and rest her hand on Lilly's shoulder.  "It's okay Lilly, we all know if he's talking... he's lying."  She shot her a wink.

"It was surfing,"  Lilly shot Devin a glare that was half serious and half playful.

Devin jaunted from where he was near Lilly and Kia to over near where their gaming table was.  "Seriously though, it was surfing.  So much fun.  I'm terrible at it, but still we had a blast.  Oh!  By the way..."  He grinned that evil grin of his.  "You guys are gonna love this."

He loudly smacked his hands together and extended his left hand.  There was a 'pop', then a 'whoosh' of air followed by a final 'boom' as the area in front of him collapsed inward and spiraled into a portal almost identical to the ones the Asheen had opened all across the world a several weeks ago.  "Apparently my node picked up a few tricks from the resonance field the portals were giving off.  I can open doors to anywhere now... how cool is that?!?"

"Fascinating." Abel finally said something.

"I know, right!?!?  I totally am."  He did a little dance in celebration of... himself.  "Party in Paris... uh... party in Paris... uh..."  He accented each 'uh' with a thrust of his hips that would have made Dr. Frankenfurter proud.  He crossed his arms and shook his head as he let out a sigh.  "Sean's gonna be so surprised.  We are such good friends, she really needs to do something nice for us in appreciation for all our awesomeness."


The Warp Gate will get you to Paris.  Around where they might be, he did give Sara travel advice so he has a rough idea where they are.


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Sara stared at the plates the waiter put down in front of them. Her own a steaming dish of French onion soup was delicious but she couldn't take her eyes off of the plates which they put in front of Sean. The duck looked and smelled wonderful but the other plate. Sara shook her head. "Really babe, snails?"

After their meal and paying the bill Sara was glad to be out on the street walking. Even dormed down people still noticed them, noticed Sean, and looked but the stares had gotten to be oppressive at the cafe'. Following Sean's advice the took to some of the side streets and just walked. While it was clear skies and the sun was out it was still cold so there were not very many people out and about on the streets that weren't home to the big attractions and motor traffic was almost non existent .

They walked arm in arm clasping hands, made small talk and window shopped. They came to a street corner and stopped dead. Across from them was a McDonald's complete with golden arches stretching into the sky. The burst out laughing simultaneously at the sight. The sound of Sean's musical laughing drew Sara in and she took her girl in her arms and kissed her.


The cat froze it's tiny paws hanging on to the edge of the garbage can, the fur on it's neck stood up straight. It raised its head up and looked behind it it's eyes growing wide as the air shimmered and a spinning disc of silver light rimmed in purple shimmered into existance. It growled as humans stepped out of the hole in space a growl which turned to a howl of fear as the warp portal closed shut, and it launched itself off the garbage can to flee out of the ally.

"Great navigating Jaunt. An alley full of garbage." muttered Alec as he nudged something unsavory out of their path. "You got any Idea where they are? Paris is a lot bigger than Shelly."

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"Hey, you're welcome to walk, dude," Devin snarked back.  "I can't go opening up warp gates in the middle of crowded streets.  Well, I mean I could, but you guys were the ones who urged me towards discretion... and let's face it, that alone is a feat of willpower for me."

"Alright," he said, sweeping his arms to the streets of Paris just several feet ahead of them.  "The flight wasn't the best, here you are, Paris.  Lock onto Sean and Sara with the Guild Chat and I'll meet up with you guys in a bit."

"Where are you going?" Kia asked.  She'd traveled with Devin in an official capacity to battle aliens, a small part of her was worried he'd strand them in Paris as a practical joke of some sort.

"Well, I figured while we were here, I'd go get Laurie, or more to the point, kidnap her from the President's cabinet.  "She'd love it here and since we've no seen each other in... well since the dance, what better time to to hang with her than in Paris with all of us.  After all, Sean is kinda her sister... thought it might be nice to invite her to her own sister's birthday trip to France."  He took a few steps away, further into the alley in case someone from the street could see him.  "Chillax, I meet up with you guys soon, my Guild Chat let's me lock onto your location, I'll find you."


Jaunt'll meet up with you guys in a bit.


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Here she was, an honest to god super-woman with a super-human girlfriend, fighting aliens and talking with beings billions of years old, and Sean could still marvel at the eccentricities of humanity. She couldn't help but laugh at the sight of those golden arches adorning a facade that was likely old before the United States was even a nation.

The tall, striking woman savoured the kiss. Sean wasn't particularly cold - though she couldn't ignore it like Sara did - but the heat of her lips was sweet. Her talk with Devin rolled around in the back of her mind, but that was a worry for another time. Today was for now, for the moment, and it was more than enough. As their lips parted, Sean sighed, her breath pluming the air.

"This was a lovely surprise, Sara," Sean murmured, giving her fingers a measured squeeze as they continued walking hand in hand, arms swinging merrily. "We never really did much for my birthday, I never really cared. It was just another day." Her smile down at the blonde at her side was fond and warm. "But it's different this time, I can't imagine why." She gave a small chuckle that could almost have been mistaken for a giggle. "Only seventeen, but it feels like my first. I'm alive, you're alive, my friends and family are alive. We've already witnessed and endured so much. Looking at it now, I can see the reasons to celebrate birthdays. New lives, new traditions, eh?"

The couple continued their meanderings, finding themselves walking through a district full of historic and architecturally significant buildings - Mansions and manors, and former mansions and manors, now museums and art galleries. Dotted among them were trendy restaurants, high-end fashion houses, and hip galleries and boutiques. Le Marais.

It didn't take long for Sean to note a peculiarity, even with full senses muted. The streets were far from busy, but there was an improbably high incidence of same sex pairs. And it wasn't just girlfriends or best bros out on the town. Sean grinned wryly. Sometimes it still felt odd to realize she was gay. There really wasn't any other way to look at it, despite any vague curiosity she might have had.

"Babe, I think we just wandered into Paris' Gay Village."


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Grinning Sara sweeps Sean into her arms and dances into the middle of the empty street. "Then let's be gay!" she laughs.

Spinning around, drawing all sorts of looks and laughs, even some applause and friendly cat calls. She held Sean off the ground effortlessly, round and round they dance to the music in Sara's head which she shared with Sean, every once and awhile Sara would do a little little skip or a jump and Sean would be afraid that Sara would fly into the air in front of the growing collection of onlookers.

Flashes of light caught Sean's attention and as the crowd went round and round she saw phones being held up taking pictures and video...

"It's my baby's birthday today! Wish her happy birthday Paris!' Sara laughed!

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  • 1 month later...

Sean's laughter twined with Sara's as she held her close, caressing her cheek with the back of her fingers. Their relationship had started with them both being outsiders, being together because there was no one else in Shelly for them. Afterwards, when Sean had become an idealized - no, not an idealized woman, but what she had thought to be and what she had thought Sara would believe to be an fantasy woman, they stayed together for the wonder and novelty of it all, and maybe due to a sense of inertia, despite having differing interests.

But the honest joy and delight emanating from Sara in this moment told Sean their relationship was no accident or mistake, wherever it may lead. She wrapped her hands around Sara's waist, her turn to whirl her in a circle, then over her head with a grace and elegance to shame an ice dancer or ballerina. For just a moment, Sean wanted to through caution to the wind and have Sara fly them off for all to see, come what may, before better sense reasserted itself.

The truth of what they were, and what that meant for the world would come out, but not today. Sean had grown used to having pics and videos taken of her, surreptitiously or blatantly. Even dormed, she was a woman of rare attractiveness and presence, and she was aware of every eye on her. There was even minor bit of calculation to it. Someday, the Irregulars would be revealed for what they were, and when some realized they had taken pictures of Savant before, she wanted them to see they were still just people too.

But those were just background thoughts regulated to a lower track in her mind when most of her attention was for the here and now with Sara. Sean returned Sara to the ground with a fluid dip, pressing her lips to Sara's forehead for a moment, then leading the pair of them in a bow and curtsy for their admirers and onlookers, garnering another round of cheerful applause and catcalls, and a few laughing comments on the strangeness of Americans.

"Best. Birthday. Ever!" Sean said, bending down to proclaim to Sara's ear alone.

Fingers entwined, and an extra strut to her stride, Sean perused what else Le Marais had to offer, hand in hand with Sara. It being Paris, passing through one shop and in a fit of whimsy, Sara bought a rich red beret and perched it on Sean's head, to Sean's bemusement. Not wanting the day to be all about her, Sean lead them next to a boutique record store, where they found out France had a lively metal scene.

Also, some record shops did double duty as Wine shops. Ah, France.

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