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Aberrant: Mutant High - Oil and Water [New Semester Mixer Fic]


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The Great Room, an immense lounge and games room on the first floor of the dorms, was decked out in winter and New Year's decorations. Tables lined the walls laden with enough food to feed several armies of teenage mutants, party mixer games like Twister, Apples to Apples, and even an oversized plastic picnic chess set with 14 inch tall pieces were set up in the hopes of enticing the students to actually talk to each other. An alternative rock tv music station was playing on the huge flatscreen that dominated the room, blaring out the latest Three Days Grace music video at only slightly deafening tones.

Lame.

Oneca's amber eyes surveyed the room and sighed in annoyance. Everything was powder blue and white, even the stupid little New Year's hats and noise makers. With the co-ed rooms and pretty much hands-off rules, she'd hoped for something a bit edgier, but then they'd probably let the cheerleading squad decorate.

Scratch that, there weren't any powder blue pompoms laying about.

Her own deep purple and black outfit, with it's laced-up corset, purple and black orchid nails, and matching make-up was set for a very different kind of blowout for the year. But, she'd only been her for a day or two and didn't know anyone enough yet to see if they could smuggle her off-campus for the night to a real party. So powder blue and Three Days Grace it was.

She slid onto a couch in front of the tv and flipped the channel over to the hard rock station. Disturbed's Prayer blared through the room and down the halls as she amped up the sound and settled in. Hell if I'm going to be the only one at the lame party.

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Curtis walked into the Great Room, noticing the decorations and feeling just about as disdainful as Oneca was. But really, it wasn't something he could fix, and to each their own style of decorating. He still didn't like it.

Then, not noticing Oneca, he went over to the food, feeling very hungry, but retaining the restraint to merely study what was there.

Considering that all the usual chips and like were there, plus Mac and Cheese, and a whole host of other delicious foods, Curtis expected good eating tonight.

Then, he looked over to the chess table. Heck, unlike food, no one minds if he used the pieces.

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At the lakehouse, Daniel smiled as he inspected everything for the real party. The staff meant well, but they never really let the students have a real party.

His bodysuit was reconfigured to resemble slacks and a nice shirt, both midnight black with red trim, with a golden chain only just visible around his neck. His black hair was combed back and his ever present shades were absent.

He'd spent most of the day getting things ready for the party, and with any luck his show would really impress the New students.

He nodded to the other "Conspirators" in the Party plot and then smiled. "So are we ready to get this started?"

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What the hell is this? He thought as he looked about, feeling a bit of bile creep up in his chest. The students who were assembled sat pressed against the walls or columns, whispering to each other. Even the geeks were willing to accept this party was lame.

The whole place seemed like a grave yard for where 'youthful partying' came to die.

Then, there was a glimmer of hope. His ears perked to the sounds of a holy chorus echoing through the halls... 'Prayer'. Okay, so Disturbed wasn't the most hardcore band ever, and a few of their song sucked... enough of them kicked enough ass to lead Warren walking down the hall to locate this new, and magical source of 'not-as-lame-as-this-shit' they called a party.

Oneca could feel the pressure of the couch sinking in a bit from behind her and to the side. Warren leaned over the edge and was watching the video. He;d noticed the remote in Oneca's hand despite not having a good look at her yet.

"Well, hot damn." He said almost too softly to hear over the music. "Someone with taste. About time."

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Once tilted her head back to see who was talking, her tattoo taking the chance to slither a little farther over the side of her eye and curl into a leaf-like pattern just under her lashes. Her eyes flashed over his features, taking in the line of his jaw, the fall of his hair, and the smooth tone of his voice.

So, either you're hot or you look like a reject from Darwin's Grab-bag in this school. Mark him for one on the lucky side.

Aloud all she said was, "Yeah. Someone thought they'd be able to torture us with Three Days Grace and Matchbox 20 all night long. I found the hard rock channel, which is as close to not-suck as I think their cable package comes with."

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"Looks that way." Alex grinned at Daniel as he slid the last batch of catering trays out of the thermal bag they were in and arranged them on the table. The Adonis's hair was tied back in a pony tail and he was wearing a dark pullover and jeans, though the bulky, sensible clothes he'd worn to help set things up did little to dim either his glow or his beauty. The guy could wear a bin-liner and make it look good, that was just plain fact.

He slung the bag under the buffet table and straightened up. "Now I need to go and change, then start getting my assigned rescues down here." He glanced around, curiousity in his azure gaze. "Violet's supposed to give me the names she wants me to invite. Is she still around, or has she left for Boredania on her own mercy-mission?"

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"I haven't seen her in awhile. Aradia, Sonja, Ren, Oneca, Jamie, Curtis, Jor, I'd say Jaunt but who knows if he'll show up. those are some of the list. I'll get Diana, and some of the others."

He shrugs "I haven't seen the whole list either, Maybe Revenant or that Kazuo guy. Most of the seniors are doing their own thing, so it'll be juniors and underclassmen."

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"Even the retarded get their own Olympics." Warren shrugged slightly, watching the video. "Can't blame T.D.G. for trying, right?"

He grinned slightly, it was visible, but just barely under his hair. He looked towards her, to see with whom he spoke and found himself captivated. So far since he'd been here nearly every woman was amazingly gorgeous in one way or another. It wasn't the fact that were all hot that kept captivating Warren, but how they carried that beauty. Did Oneca possess that certain 'super human' quality to her beauty? Not that he could tell, but she nothing short of exotic none the less. She was stunning. She was dressed in a lot of black. She seemed to be surrounded in an aura of despair and self-loathing. Her tattoo moved.

She was fantastic!

Much like his meeting with Violet, Warren found himself wishing he had a shadow to go hide in. He'd accidentally entered into socializing with a gorgeous woman with cleavage he couldn't seem to tear his eyes away from.

My. God. She's beautiful, she's dark. Wait, stop. Focus. Just relax, be cool, and talk. She's just a girl...

"I mean..." He found himself choking on his words as her amber eyes entranced him like he were a victim within a serpent's gaze. "They're not the breast band in the world, but Disturbed kicks far more ass than Stabbing Westward." He paused, catching his error in wording and squinted hard, trying to recover before too much damage was done. "Ever heard a Stabbing Westward CD? It left me with nothing but bad mammaries, I assure you. I couldn't break it into enough pieces."

He squinted again and looked away from her towards the T.V., the wall, the ceiling... anything but at her. Shit. Loser award goes too: 'Thank you, thank you... I'd like thank all the people at Hot Topic for making my downfall from coolness complete!' I should have stuck with retards, I had something going there...

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She lips twitched in amusement at the first slip-up, and she nearly laughed at the second.Her sides were shaking (along with other named anatomy parts), which wasn't really helping him concentrate on talking.

Once he was done making a complete ass of himself she quirked a brow and asked, "Need a cigarette after that?"

She was still smiling, though, and hadn't smacked him, so that was probably a good sign.

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"I think I might need some me-time a bit later, yes." He managed a smile. She could tell that he was about as embarrassed as any one individual could be. Big, bad, Revenant, whose brutality was legendary (in a the expanse of several acres) had found himself toppled by yet another woman of the Academy. So far they were winning: Women 2, Warren 0.

"Look, I-I'm sorry," He was attempting apologize ogling, but he found no way to formulate an excuse. "I didn't mean to... okay, I kind of did... but it's..."

He paused and looked at the T.V. He laughed a little bit, more at the situation than anything else, the redness still i nhis face. "Okay, if you were me, how would you get yourself out of this mess? I'm actually sweating here."

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She put one manicured purple-orchid fingernail to her lips and tapped it there, making a great show of thinking this quandary over. "Well.....I suppose there are three paths you could take. The first is to spend the evening as my bitch, constantly apologizing and doing what ever demeaning tasks I demand of you....."

She grinned at his expression and crinkled her nose. "I thought not."

Another tap, "The second would be to blush a lot and then avoid me for the next however many years we're stuck here before they boot us out or someone decides that a nuke is a pretty good solution to the next generation of mutants." She gave him an obvious once over as she paused again.

"Personally, I'd got with path three."

The silence stretched longer this time, until poor Warren finally got the clue and asked, "Path three?"

"Mmm." She twisted around so she could actually face him. "That's where you realize that if a woman's going to lace herself up into what amounts to a medieval torture device that also doubles as the most effective push-up bra ever made..." the grin widened and became positively wicked, "...then she wants the attention."

He'd almost relaxed when she added, "But I still get points for getting you to screw up twice in as many sentences. I'll keep them safe somewhere, 'til I need to use them."

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Curtis had gotten engrossed in a high-stakes chess game with Sasha. Despite the Russian mutant's annoyance at Curtis, he been convinced to face off in a chess match with very nice stakes. At least, as far as the next tutoring session went. Double or nothing, essentially.

Right, now... Knight to F3... and Curtis watched with amusement as Sasha flickered his gaze between moves and quietly, but frustratedly conceded. "You win. Get 1.5 times then."

Curtis shook his head. "It's double, Sasha." The reply was arrogant and perseverance. "Didn't move your knight properly at third white move. Lucky I give you that."

Curtis snapped his hand to the side, knocking the chess pieces over, drawing quite a bit of attention to the noise. "You say I'm cheating now?" he snapped.

Sasha had dug in though, and it showed on his face. "Don't need you anyway. I'm fine in Math..."

Violence was uncharacteristic of Curtis, but a moment of pure frustration led to what happened next. Fairly well practiced kung fu appeared in a snap kick launched into Sasha's groin, causing enough pain for Sasha to cry out and stagger back.

Curtis turned away and glared to Sasha and the onlookers, walking away to a corner. "Fine then, douchebag. Have it your way."

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Okay, so Phase One of Operation: Acclimatization (Lunch) was a marginal success, at least the second time 'round, on to Phase Two (Party). It was going to be like throwing Morri into the deep end of the pool, and she wasn't sure if it was going be a mistake or not. She wasn't sure if it was going to be her mistake or Morri's for that matter. But people learned more from their mistakes, right? She was going to found out.

Sonja stood outside Morri's door, hair pulled back in a high pony-tail that fell in artful tumbles of molten silver. She was dressed in a pair of stylish, knee-high boots, a pair of pants that couldn't have been any tighter without splitting, a deep, vibrant indigo sweater with a wide, plunging neckline and cut high enough to showed off enough firm midriff that her navel ring was exposed. Her long leather coat was over an arm, and her other hand held a bag full of clothes borrowed from Ari for Morri.

Well, here goes. Hope there won't end up being too much blood. Sonja took a deep breath, then knocked on Morri's door.

"Morri, hey, it's Sonja. I came to invite you to a party."

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Diana had been spending a lot of time in her room, not feeling like roaming around to much last few days, but she had ventured out a bit today, with the new semester. Daniel was down by the lakehouse, she rememberd, but at the moment, she was walking into the main room.

Moving though the room, cooling it off a bit, and while her cold was usually neutralized by Daniel's heat, he wasn't here yet, he was still in the lakehouse, so it was just a bit cold for those who were close to her as she crossed the room.

She stopped about half way though the room, to glance at the game between Sasha and Curtis, and shook her head at the outcome. "It's sort of unfair of you to play a game of chess with someone less intelligent then you, Curtis."

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Unfortunately, Curtis had had a rather tense week at points, and he wasn't feeling up to being challenged for once. "Come on, Glacia!" he growled. "Sasha's the Chess Club superstar, loads of experience, it simply was not a pushover math."

"Now, he claims I'm cheating, he's just being a fucking sore loser!"

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He conceded a grin to her storing ammunition comment. "Alright, fair enough. I guess you got me there. This time. I was just taken off guard, that's all."

His stare was almost hypnotic when he finally met her eyes again. He looked into her amber discs almost as if he was searching for something. A thought, an expression, a time or place long forgotten or perhaps a kindling of something he saw in her that she did not.

"You know, uh," He tried once more to form words while he admired her. Those amber eyes owned him it seemed. "I'm not up to much tonight and this party sucks, let's be honest. So, if uh, you know, you're uh, not doing anything I'd be willing to pay you ladies all the attention you want."

He couldn't stop looking into her eyes, she was exotic, majestic, and any other word he couldn't think up right now because that asshole Alex had his thesaurus. "I'm uh, Rev- uh," He stammered as his thoughts were mingled between her and things like breathing and higher brain functions. "Revenant, by the way."

I think.

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"Fair enough, but I still say you could beat Sasha without to much trouble." She turned her gaze to Sasha a moment, and her eyes got a bit cold. "However, you know how feel about someone claiming someone else is cheating to cheat themselves?" She leaned up close to the other student, who leaned away as the air got frigid. "It makes me think they might need to be frozen in ther tracks.. hmm?"

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Suddenly there was the slight vacuum-popping sound that accompanied Aradia's transport ability, and the mischievous teen mutant appeared, sitting cross-legged in a contemporary-looking armchair. She was dressed to kill, in a clingy black halter-top and a short, leopard-print miniskirt. There was a chunky black belt at her waist and a pair of knee-high lace-up black boots covered her calves, with a fairly impressive heel that was nevertheless wide enough to allow for plenty of pain-free dancing. She had several gold earrings in each ear, including a pair of large hoops on her main earring holes and multiple bangles on each wrist of various thicknesses.

"No need to find me, guys, I'm on furniture duty. I'm in charge of everything except the big stuff.. whoever Violet got to cover that."

She flashed a grin at Daniel and Alex, and pulled a cellphone out of the strap of her halter-top.

"Any requests while I'm on the clock, other than comfy armchairs and a couple tables to dance on?"

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"Ah, yes. The dead guy. I remember you from chat." She glanced over at the commotion being made several students she hadn't met yet and debated turning the tv up or leaving.

She made a face of annoyance. "So, powers are cool and all and it's not like it was that much of dive for me on the social totem pole, but at least if I were at home I'd be able to throw my own party. This is....I wouldn't be surprised if a clown and pony showed up later. And people actually enjoyed it."

"Don't suppose you know somewhere better to be? I could get us pretty much anywhere in a few hundred miles, but we might get in trouble when we get back." She shrugged and half-smiled again. "Could be worth it, though."

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"Morri, hey, it's Sonja. I came to invite you to a party."

The voice came through their door, muffled but distinct. Morri jerked her head up immediately and stared at the door with her glowing eyes like she might whip those bloody knives of hers out any second now so she could make stabbity with it until there was nothing left of it but splinters and shattered expectations. Of course, Morri looked at almost everything that way, so for all Kazuo knew this was her jumping for joy at the arrival of her bestest friend in the whole world.

But Kazuo wasn't taking any chances, and figured he'd better get the door before his roommie got any funny ideas.

Kazuo grunted as he got up from his desk and walked over to the door. Jerking it open, he started up with a gruff, "What?!", but only made it about halfway through that one syllable word before stopping cold.

Kazuo'd seen Sonja around and had a vague idea of who she was, but he'd never gotten to see her this close up, or looking quite this made up either. Now that he had the chance, he took it. He looked her up, and then down, and then back up again.

Finally, he met her eyes her eyes with a vague, heavily distracted half-smile on his face and said, "Holy fuckin' shit you're hot!"

As soon as he'd finished speaking, Kazuo seemed to realize what an ass he'd just made out of himself, and an instant after that he seemed to decide he didn't really give a damn, because his little half smile got real big as he look Sonja right in the eye and said, "So, what do I gotta do to get invited to this party a yers?"

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Daniel shook his head and smiled. "No I think that covers it." Thinking to the chat the other night he added. "I see what you mean about the shoulders, very nice."

He'd likely catch hell later, but he didn't touch, and he was a sixteen year old male after all.

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"Right then. I'm off to go change. Running late enough as it is." Alex grinned at Ari. "Hotstreak and I moved the big stuff, it's all taken care of. Try not to eat all the canapes." With that, he stepped out through the patio doors and took to the sky.

* * * * *

Alex burst into his dorm room like a sun-wreathed Tazmanian Devil, just barely having the the presence of mind to shut the door before throwing off his 'work' clothes while he made straight for the bathroom. Late, late, late! Bloody bastard 'dane catering company had to give me the 'back of the bus' treatment. Ahh, well. At least my hair won't take long to dry... He turned the shower on and jumped in, going for the thorough over quick approach to hygiene but still managing a fair turn of speed.

Twenty minutes later and he was about ready, dressed in a blue t-shirt with a shirt of artfully rumpled white Italian linen worn open over it. Pants of the same lightweight linen and a pair of white sneakers finished off the ensemble, and he wore his long hair loose as usual, letting it fall as it may. A couple of subtle touches of Giorgio Armani and a short gold rope around his neck, and Alexander Andrews was not just dressed to kill, he was dressed to meet them on the Other Side too. He grinned at himself in the mirror. He hadn't really dressed up since... well, before the accident, and the white went well with his glow.

Whistling a jaunty little tune, hands in pockets, he turned and left the room.

* * * * * *

The official party was in full swing now. That is to say, some people were dancing, the younger kids were having a blast with party games, and it looked like there had even been a fight as Alex breezed past the chess set with a nod to the stalwart combatants and a roll of his eyes. Now let's see... Ahh, there we go... Target at 12 o'clock.

Warren and Oneca both squinted a little as the young godling plunked down on the spare couch seat beside Oneca, smiling like the cat that ate the canary a l'orange.

"Hello, you two. Enjoying the party?" he asked with deadpan cheerfulness, then grinned slyly as he lowered his voice below the level of the music. "Or would you like to go to a real party? I mean, it's obvious you two are getting along, and I hate to spoil all this..." he gestured with one hand at the 'party' beyond the couch "... for you." He fixed them with an outrageously wide-eyed innocent stare, as though he truly believed that they would rather stay here.

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"The dead guy," He nodded. "Yeah, that's me." His smile was a bit more lose as he seemed to be getting 'used' to Oneca's... presence. He never introduced himself as 'Warren', having shunted off the need for a name of lineage when destiny had granted him a name that was truly who he was inside. It sickened him sometimes, how those around him still seemed to cling to the names of their forefathers when they'd so obviously evolved beyond them.

"Hey, if you have a way off this property, I'm all ears." He quirked an eyebrow. "We're people of action it seems, hell we could just crash a local party and get more out of it than this, maybe some cash from a dresser drawer too or something, y'know? We'll worry about the trouble part later."

"So, what's you-" He started and looked up only to squint. So much for asking her name...

He listened to Alex's sales pitch, after all that's what it was and then looked at his enchantingly lovely company. "So, uh..." He glanced at Alex for as sec, embarrassed to be asking her in front of him. "You wanna, maybe, go check this place out? If we say no I have to deal with him whining, he's my room mate."

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"Thanks, Hot Stuff."

She winked at him, and stood up, tucking the cell phone away again. She glanced around, taking measure of the room for a long moment and picking where the furniture should go for people to have places to hang out and talk, and still have plenty of room for dancing. She motioned to the corner, and glanced back at Daniel.

"Can you move that over there for me, please? I'm gonna grab the rest before people start showing."

Then she disappeared again, and over the course of the next several moments she popped in and out, each time with a piece of furniture in the spot close to where she wanted it. By the time she was done there were a couple different areas with couches and chairs for people to hang out/make out on, with a nice large area cleared in the middle for a dance floor. Tables were arranged along the edges to keep the food and drink out of the way of any teen mutant escapades that might break out, especially once alcohol got involved.

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Sonja had been expecting glaring red eyes and maybe a pair of blood-knives when the door opened, not Scarface with one eye, and her first instinct was to punch the apparition in the face. Then he made his very obvious appraisal and her second instinct was to still punch him in the face. Then he made his very succinct remark, his smile and eye very direct and the instinct changed to wanting to knee him in the balls, along with a tingle at the flattery.

But the faculty frowned on students getting thrown through walls. Besides, she remembered his fight with Revenant. She was pretty sure it would take more than one lesson for him to get it, and she still had to get Morri ready and didn't want to be late.

At least he didn't call me Barbie.

She looked down on Kazuo, her two inch heels giving her the advantage of height, her expression carefully neutral, her sheer presence filling the doorway. Huh. He made no bones about taking in the goods, but now he's looking me in the eyes... What the hell happened to his eye?

"I got two conditions. Meet them, and I'll bring you to the real party on campus. One, help me convince Morri to come," Sonja with a challenging smile, then her indigo eyes narrowed with slightly queasy curiosity, "and two, what happened to your eye?"

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Kazuo's smile disappeared pretty much instantly at Sonja's question and was replaced with the kind of hard, intimidating stare that she probably wasn't used to getting from anyone, let alone hormone-addled teenaged boys.

But that stare only lasted a moment and was quickly replaced with a shrug of indifference and an index finger pointed at the eye in question.

All he said was, "A knife".

And then he seemed to forget all about it, and took a step back, pulling the door open wide in the process. "C'mon in bijin", he said, peeling his eye away from her with deceptive ease and nonchalance and turning his back on her so he could walk back into his room, leaving the door open and Sonja the choice of coming in or not, as she pleased. "Let's get to work on condition number 2, eh?"

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For a moment, Oneca was stunned. Not only was the new guy fucking hot, but he was lit up like the star on a Christmas tree. For a girl that had only seen the sun because high-school was legally required, he was almost hard to look at. Almost. Years of dealing with Sonja and the boys that would hang around and drool for hours on end gave her the edge she needed not to stare too much at Mr. Sunshine or to end up with her tongue hanging out on the floor.

Instead, she stood up and rounded the couch, taking Revenant's arm in a proprietary You're mine for the evening way. Besides, she knew how much it hurt to get ignored just because some impossibly hot freak of nature steeped into the room. She gave Lameville one last scathing look and smiled at the Christmas decoration, "Lead on, Sunshine."

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Sonja's back stiffened and she had to force herself to not to tack a step back at the look in his eye. She had never had a boy glare at her like that before - girls yes, but never a guy.

"A Knife."

Probably deserved it... Or the other eye didn't like the competition and put in the ground.

"My name is Sonja, not benji," Sonja said with an annoyed sniff as Kazuo turned away from her. She strode in through door and brushed passed Kazuo as she stepped up Morri, a broad smile on her face.

"So, Morri, ready to try something new, tonight?" Sonja's voice was kind, but the way she held up that bag looked almost ominous to the feralling.

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'Sunshine' grinned dazzlingly at her before bounding to his feet, the lazy swirl of his golden nimbus almost as distracting as the admiring evaluative sweep of his eyes. He stepped around the couch and leaned in close so both Warren and Oneca could hear him speak quietly. Both could feel the summer-like warmth wash over them from his glow.

"Alright. Give me a thirty-count head start and head out the back." The warmth of his aura faded as he stepped away from them again, picking up a paper cup of soda and ambling away through the small throng of partygoers.

When Warren and Oneca emerged from the rear of the dorm building, Alex was leaning against the wall next to the door. "Let's go then." he said with another smile, falling into step with the pair. "We're heading down to the lakehouse." His aura trailed a faint mist as the heated air around him contacted the frigid New York winter night. He said nothing further, walking in companionable, if somewhat conspiratorial, silence alongside them.

The lakehouse was, to all appearances, dark from a distance, but as Warren and Oneca drew closer they could see that there were lights dimly visible around the heavy drapes blocking off the windows, and music was already playing. Alex led the dark-hued pair around to the lake-facing side of the house and through the patio windows.

"Here's our first two rescuees." He announced with a smile to Aradia and Daniel, then slapped palms with Hotstreak. "There, you're tagged in. Go save some poor soul's New Year." Grinning at Oneca and Warren, he said "Welcome to the ground zero for the real party. We're glad you could join us."

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Jor showed up at the party with high hopes of having some fun and those hopes were dashed cruelly when he saw the pastel decorations. Unlike his first day at the school he was no longer dressed in expensive clothes but rather in casual but fashionable attire appropriate for a real party. This unfortunately was very much not a real party, it was Ward and June Cleaver have a get-together.

His first instinct was to just turn around and walk out but he was to open his wrists if he didn't find some fun soon so he moved into the 'party' looking for anything that might be remotely considered fun or interesting. After a few seconds he did detect the sound of decent music and gravitated toward it, but discovered only a TV set to the hard rock channel.

He sank onto the couch in a funk of despair. Maybe he could sneak out and find a real party somewhere?

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Daniel nods and calmly makes his way back to the main campus, taking the aura of warmth with him. He strolls back through the halls, warming up the place and finally makes it to the room where the official party's being thrown. He spies Curtis, and more importantly for him, Diana. He quickly crosses the room to her, allowing their fields to overlap and cancel each other out. He takes a hand in his right and brings it to his lips. "Beautiful as ever, Diana. I trust you're ready for an evening of fun?"

He looked around noting who was here, and figuring he'd give it a few minutes for others to show up before heading back to the real party.

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Sonja had earned Morri's trust because she was much like Eileen: kind and patient, and didn't call her a retard. Morri knew what that word meant, and knew that she was one, but she also it was an insult. There were other bad words that people applied to her, not that it typically bothered her much. Words didn't hurt; fists hurt.

But there was something about the way Sonja was looking at her that was unsettling. Morri considered telling her no, but knew that would disappoint her. With a soft growl, she nodded uncertainly.

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Just off to the side of the couch that Jor had sunk himself into, a gash began tearing itself in the air. Like a knife wound drawn through ether, a rippling portal tore itself into reality and hung there, its edges shimmering red, just above the floor.

A young girl with short hair wearing a brown calf-length dress with large cream floral patterns on one side above the hem, and a cream knit shawl stepped through first. The dress, modest though it was, hinted at the shapeliness of her legs.

Behind her came an Asian boy who looked a little older. He dropped out of the portal with far less elegance than the girl, and only a timely hand from her kept him from spilling onto the floor. "Fucking shit," Ren cursed, straightening himself up. He was wearing a dark charcoal Arturo Calle suit, and a spankingly new white Brooks Brother's shirt beneath it. The shirt was untucked, however, the cuffs unbuttoned, and beneath the fine pant legs of the suit poked two red Nike sneakers.

"Are you okay?" Jamie asked him, unable to suppress a wry, amused grin.

"I'm fine." Ren scowled, glancing sidelong at his date. And then he chanced to see Sasha, hunched over in pain, red faced and grabbing his nuts...and looming threateningly over the Russian mutant, stood Glacia.

Ren's scowl deepened into an angry frown. If there was anyone at this miserable prison he might be inclined to call a friend, it would probably be Sasha. "Hold on..." he said, letting go of Jamie's hand and striding purposely forward.

"Glacia, what the FUCK."

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Daniel heard Ren and turned around. "Cool your jets Ren, She hasn't done anything to him, just the regular effect of her powers, which I'm balancing out by being next to her."

He looked at the Asian mutant and smiled. "Besides, if you don't behave you have to stay at this party as opposed to one that's actually worth attending."

He waited to see if he'd calm down and smiled to Jamie. "You look nice this evening."

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"Fuck off, Daniel." Ren answered crisply. His voice was thrown like a punch, so that it felt to Hotshot that he was actually being pushed back.

"Sasha. Hey, you okay?" Sasha only wheezed in answer, and Ren turned an accusing look on Glacia and Hotshot in turn. "What the fuck happened then, if Snow-white over there didn't do anything?"

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Jor stood up and watched as the new people entered. Now this was more like it. Drama and interesting people. That was better.

He walked over to Hotstreak, "So did I just hear right that there is something better going on tonight? I'm adrift in a sea of Lame in this pastel ocean."

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"Thanks, hon', you look pretty spiffy yourself," she said pleasantly to Daniel, following Ren and gripping his arm tightly. "I don't know what this is all about, but please don't get in a fight the first thirty seconds here," she whispered to him frantically. "Just stay cool." She raised her voice, giving Glacia an appraising glance. "I'd like to know the answer to that myself, Glacia," she said briskly. "What happened to Sasha and why are you standing over him like that? Has he done something to you?"

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Daniel looked at Ren and shook his head. "Suit yourself Ren." He turned to Glacia, "I'm gonna go see if Jor wants to come, and then we can be off." As he moved away Glacia's aura of cold reasserted itself as his heat aura became more pronounced.

He walked over to Jor on the couch. "Hey Jor are you as bored as you look to be?"

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"Hell yeah. Glad you guys showed up. I thought I was going to fall into a coma and not wake up for twenty years or something like that Rip Van Winkle guy."

Jor breathed a deep sigh of relief. After the fight and everything else the first day he had thought the school would be exciting and fun, then this party was making it look like he'd made a bad decision coming here but now things were looking up.

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"Awesome, you'll enjoy this. You will!" Sonja almost squealed, taking Morri's hand in excitement. "Let's get you out of your clothes..."

Sonja glanced over her shoulder, catching Kazuo pulling his eye off her ass, about to tell him to leave while she got Morri ready. But one look at his insouciant grin, and she knew she didn't want to hear his response, especially after seeing it fly right pass her face.

"What? Wait!" Sonja cried, turning back to see that Morri was already pulling her top off. "Not here Morri! Let's go into the bathroom." Not waiting for a response, and her shirt still over her face, Sonja pulled Morri into the bathroom and firmly locked the door.

Kazuo might not have been able to see anything, but he could still hear what was going on.

"Okay, now strip - I didn't mean that! Take off your clothes."

"Wow! You have amazing tone. Let's see... Try this. How about this one? This? Stop growling at me! No, we'll go with the first halter-top, almost as vivid as your eyes, and it shows off - No, take off your bra! You don't wear one with this kind of top."

"Now, pants or skirt?"

"You... have absolutely no opinion on this do you? Fine, skirt, let's show off those legs. Now, should we try to get you in some pantyhose - You know what, nevermind, just put it down. Sigh... the skirt goes on the other way. Yes, yes, I know, just, trust me, 'kay?"

"Now, shoes. Heels? Huh. That was easier than I thought. Take a few steps - Hey! See, you're a natural."

"How about a little make-up? You know what, I don't like the way you're looking at me. We'll forget about that for now, you really don't need it anyway."

"Hair, do you even own a brush? Here, sit here and I'll take care of it. Stop growling at me, you have a lot of tangles and I'm not hurting you. There, see... Are you purring? Stop pulling out the pins - they're not weapons, they keep your hair up and in place. No, I meant to leave those strands down. Trust me."

"Here, a few of Ari's bracelets, and we're done. Let's see what Scarface thinks."

Sonja opened the door, then gestured like a game-show hostess. "May I present the new - and improved - Morri!" Sonja waited a moment, then sighed. She reached back in and pulled Morri out.

"Ta da!"

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