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Friday, October 26th 2018

 

With the folding bleachers tucked away in the far wall the Claremont auditorium was already an expansive chamber but the dance committee had outdone themselves for the first real school-wide social event of the semester. Some creative use of Ed Crawford's mass displacing abilities had moved temporarily shrunken potted trees indoors before regaining their full side to like the back and adjoining walls in brilliant yellow, oranges and browns. Their bows arched over each side of the stage where Susan Denning and Ricci Sharp were arguing about whether or not one could have too many amps. To the left of the entrance Martin Li was fussing over long tables supporting bowls of party mix, slices of candied apples and what was clearly a cast iron cauldron that he had to repeated assure concerned faculty members was filled only with warm spiced cider, regardless of the unnaturally coloured flames that spat up from its base occasionally.

 

The finishing touch had been a joint effort. Jessie Singh's simulation software extrapolated what the darkened skies above the Academy would have looked like without light pollution while Caitlynne-May Dixon's artfully concealed projectors placed the image on the auditorium's ceiling, space clouds rolling by in real time across a brilliant star field. Crawford had attempted to congratulate the pair of tech wizards on the effect but had hastily decided to leave them furiously making out in the server room in peace. After all, romance was in the crisp autumn air for Claremont's fall dance.

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There were at least a few advantages to being Watchdog. No one would think anything of Ashley going stag in a suit, albeit the tacky sort that high school boys were likely to wear to prom oh jesus I sounded fifty years old there. It wasn't that she had any objection to wearing dresses; several rather flattering numbers were hanging up in long-term storage in DC. But it was easier to hide weapons in suits, and from her experience with Claremont dances Ashley knew damn well she was going to go loaded for bear for this one. Especially since her protectee had a date tonight - a date that was going to require a whole lot of explaining back in DC if things escalated beyond tonight. 

 

Across the room, said ward was just finishing up with brushing her hair. Judy's dress was modest, but didn't deny she was feminine either - in light blue with a faux crop top made of lace, she did look cute, especially with the new gold necklace she'd purchased for her cross and shoes that gave her just the right amount of extra height. Walking was going to be a challenge, but she'd handled herself plenty in shoes like this before. She considered the evening carefully - what if Leroy tried something with her? Well she certainly wouldn't mind him trying to kiss her, if he was real romantic about it, she supposed; other than that, well, if he wasn't a gentleman he wouldn't have asked her out as sweetly as he did. When Ashley looked her way again, Judy was praying in front of her mirror - an opportunity Ashley took to make sure her gun was in its holster, her utility gear was in her suit jacket, and otherwise she was ready for the evening. 

 

She tried not to think about the dances of a decade ago, where Copycat had hung around the corners, watching without mingling, as students descended into superpowered fist fights and worse, and pushed those thoughts out of her head. Recapturing her high school glory days was a stupid idea - she'd never had any. When Judy was ready, they headed out together, having made plans to meet up with Leroy just outside the dance. 

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Leroy had been there several hours before the event, he and a shapeshifted Dio helping the staff set up. Their substantial powers were put to somewhat excessive use moving tables, hauling things out of storage spaces, fixing a few last-minute issues with wiring and Dio serving as an impromptu second stepladder for getting decorations onto the ceiling. After setup they ducked out so Leroy could change into something less dirty and grimy, and Dio could refine his reshaped body into something less uncanny and indistinct.

 

Leroy met the exile sisters in a surprisingly minimalist white button-up shirt, black slacks and slim, black, low-heeled sandals. When they arrived at the doors to the auditorium his forehead was creased in concentration, eyes burning intently as he threaded together a gaudy tie in the school colors of blaring yellow and eye-watering blue. His powerful hands trembled minutely, a single bead of sweat drifted down his cheek, his pupils narrowed to points as he moved for the final stroke.

 

"A-HA!"

 

 With a shout of triumph, he completed the knot, reseated the tie in its clip and affixed it to his collar. He spun on his heels at the sound of the pair's approach, his face lighting up at the sight of Judy. Springing to the side not dominated by Ashley(to whom he shot a quick nod), he offered his arm to the smaller girl, holding open the doors to the auditorium with a finger.

 

"You are wonderful, Judy, and look radiant besides," he told her, his deep, lilting voice curling around the syllables as he beamed, "I have learned in a few weeks what had eluded me for nigh-on a decade and a half. I could not have asked for a better or more patient friend." Pausing by the punchbowl, Leroy ladled out a pair of cups for Judy and himself, leaning against the table and taking in the wondrous display overhead. The sight of the stars sent a brief shadow over his face, a momentary look that was half-regret, half determination. It vanished in an instant, and he smiled warmly at Judy. "The staff have done surpassing work, preparing this place for our debut. Back home, it is rare to have an unobstructed view of the stars like this, one would have to either venture to the top of their strato-complex or fly to a nearby hill."

 

"As well, my dragon and I have scouted the hall and found the optimum sites for our dance. Earth-Prime ballroom dancing, blessedly, contains an element of planning and strategy. I trust you do not object to a Viennese waltz?" 

Edited by Ari

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Up on the rooftop, Nicole had a laptop open in front of her on a small portico table. She had on a pair of earphones, humming along the year's latest beat as her fingers typed snappily on the keyboard. Runes and magical formulae ran through the screen and reflected off her glasses. She'd been here like that for, oh, an hour or two since before the Fall dance had opened their doors to the student body and she didn't plan to leave the rooftop anytime soon. She wore a dark blue blouse and a flowing skirt that reached her knees, flats though she had heels on the ground beside her.

 

Some people liked their romances, some dancing with friends. Others liked the socializing that went on and others still just the music, the food and the drinks, non-alcoholic punch of course. Sure those things were nice, but there was something about creating and working on her craft that put a smile on her face like no other thing. In any case, there were bound to be a few or so people coming up on the roof to chill or to make-out.

 

Hopefully Bellios would dissuade anyone from the latter.

 

She reached over and patted the looming form of her armor, standing inert beside her like a six-foot plus guardian of steel and firepower. A cable, infracted with diamond-like surfaces on the inside, ran from her laptop to just under Bellios' helm, giving her half a second of future data as she checked and updated the poly-axial links floating around the armor's central dimension, working to trim the excess to increase energy efficiency and reduce blowback on her sensors.

 

Positively romantic.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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"Oh Leroy, are you going to take me out for the first dance? That's so sweet!" Beaming, she let herself be taken out onto the dancefloor. It was a slow start to the evening's festivities, which surely would have club music thumping along later, but that was just how she liked it. As she danced with Leroy, Judy lost herself in what she knew had to be just a pleasant fantasy of telling him the truth, bringing him to Jesus...and then what? she seemed to hear Ashley's voice in her head. Was she going to introduce Leroy's dragon to her father? Have him talk about the gods of his homeworld to her mother? When she thought about it she almost stumbled in her good shoes - but she was an expert at pushing these things out of her mind. "Ah almost thought Dio was going to show up with a dragon gal," she said to Leroy, her voice a little breathy. 

 

It would have been the height of unprofessionalism for Ashley to be contemplating how to shoot Leroy and get away with it, but she did entertain a few thoughts about the proper security protocols as she watched from the edge of the dance floor, angrily sipping her punch. If he pulls her into some kind of dragon crisis or secret invasion, it's my ass on the line! Plus what if they actually do fall in love? That would be really stupid...but they are teenagers. Dammit! 

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Dio

 

Nicole heard a rush of air, and then several hundred pounds of sleek muscle, bone and wing landed beside her as gentle as a feather.

 

The dragon looked faintly unreal in the weaker light, silhouetted against the sky, his eyes deep hollows in his skull that glittered spectrally. In his great clamp of a mouth hung something limp, long and dead. With all grace, Dio deposited it onto the roof and began to gnaw at one end, which action revealed it to be a mighty bough from some tree in the Wharton State Forest.

 

"Evening, runesmith," Dio said amid crackling wood and clattering leaves, "I regret I can't be useful, but my knowledge is of the higher powers, not the lower." Smaller branches and leaves shredded into the maw, the main body holding out against the great reptile's crushing jaws. This did little to improve his attitude. With a snarl he dropped his food, chewing what little he'd gotten and glaring at the building below as if his eyes could pierce the walls.

 

"Going to be fifteen years, did you know that? Fifteen years of gnawing at twigs, fifteen tours of Old Solar telling His Princeship which is his other left. I'm to lose most of my wyrmling days to this, and for what?"

 

With a deep, rattling sigh, the dragon slumped onto the roof. One blunted paw padded idly at the bough dangling by his mouth. "Where will you be, runesmith, in fifteen years? I am given to understand there are several nearby worlds quite suited to fortification and colonization. Perhaps even Nemesis itself is your aim?"

Edited by Ari

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Where once there had been nothing - no sight, no sound - suddenly there was Elizabeth, standing next to Ashley and rather pointedly following her line of sight as her illusory invisibility fell away like so many gently-rotating mirrors. She'd dressed up - a sleeveless white midi dress, flattering but tasteful, fit to her waist but softly flaring out into a more flowing fabric as it fell down her legs and faded into a soft blue. With a pair of short, white, strappy heels and her mask sitting boldly on one hip, full-size, she'd found a way to feel at least slightly less awkward in a new situation.

 

She'd also gone invisible and spent some time spying on people who'd probably been to more real school parties, of course. That had helped. And this....

 

"I think if you stare any harder you might burn a hole in one of them?" she said, having already let a silence hang just long enough to be uncomfortable. She was smiling, though; no recrimination, just curiosity and an ill-disguised love of meddling. "Are you jealous? It's okay if you're jealous. ....which one are you jealous of?"

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Nicole yelped as Dio landed on the roof. She did not hear the rush of air as her earphones were shutting off the outside noises with music. There was a second's pause as she clutched at her chest and stared bewildered at the huge monster that appeared out of nowhere, trying to identify it.

 

Then she ripped the earphones from her ears with a snort. "Stop doing that," she said with what passed for a growl from a teenage girl. "You know I can't handle jump scares."

 

She glared at the magical dragon devour the branch, but it did not seem to notice her glare and she relented. She lowered the screen of her laptop and maneuvered her wheelchair to face the dragon more fully. "Fifteen years doesn't sound like much when you're going to be living for like forever, you know."

 

More chewing and more glaring, and she sighed, reaching for her thermos to drink some more coffee.

 

"Fifteen years from now?" She dabbed at her mouth with a handkerchief. "Most companies only ask you for your ten year plan and you give some answer like your competing for Miss Universe. But really? Words of advice: don't ask that of people, especially teenagers. No one really has a clue. I have no clue."

 

"Don't know why anyone would want one. It's stifling," she said with a shrug as if taking the words from experience.

 

Nicole leaned forward, steepling her hands under her chin. She looked at Dio, contemplating him as she did a mathematical problem, eyes half-lidded under her glasses.

 

"What's gotten you into such a bad mood tonight? Your Princeship choosing to go on a date with that Southern belle and her tin-foil wearing sister instead of hanging out with you? Trust me, we're on the same boat." She placed a dainty hand on her clavicle and with a mocking smile tried on Judy's accent. "Ah do dare to declare, darlin', you and ah could be the best of friends!"

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Ashley's hands clenched briefly into fists at Elizabeth's sudden arrival, the most visible reaction to the invisible girl showing up within arms reach. "Gonna assume you're not asking if I want to do my sister," she hissed between gritted teeth. She really wasn't that mad but Watchdog probably would be getting defensive at this point, she judged. "This school is full of people who could tear her limb from limb if they really wanted to," she added, a little less heatedly. She made a little gesture with her cup, subtly pointing out various students. "That guy can punch through steel doors, and that girl does freaky magic stuff by twitching her nose. So I can sit in my dorm and wonder when she's gonna come back, or I can be here making sure she's having a good time." She smiled thinly, catching a glimpse of the shy happiness on Judy's face as she and Leroy twirled together on the dance floor. "Looks like she is."

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Red Lynx  

 

Kam surveyed the milling students with some curiosity not entirely familiar with such gatherings or the etiquette inherent.  Not wishing to give the wrong impression of his intentions unlike his roommate he had eschewed a 'date' for hte evening, this early in the year it seemed not out of place to do so given the awkward shuffling of students in small clusters around the splendidly arrayed decor.  He kept a wary eye on Leroy and Judy uncertain of hte young ladies intentions but growing more and more certain her and her sister were not precisely what they seemed on the surface.  At the very least he knew Leroy to be altogether too trusting and the young woman's intentions remained unclear while her sister seemed openly hostile.  He may not have known the extra-dimensional scion well but he'd grown fond of the ecentric youth and wished to see him neither hurt nor ill used by the altogether too mysterious pair or whatever plans they might have had for him.

 

Realizing standing on the sidelines glaring was unlikely to go unnoticed long he carefully schooled his features and made his way toward the refreshments table to draw forth a pair of drinks and perhaps find another familiar face to share with.

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Elizabeth popped an eyebrow and mostly kept herself from blushing at the accusation, but she seemed more surprised than offended. "I...no! You don't have to want to kiss her to be jealous, it's just that...I don't know, they're taking away your time, yeah? I got a little jealous when my brothers would bring home their partners, it's not that weird."

 

"I haven't been here super long, so there's a lot I don't know," she said, shrugging helplessly. It was a full-body thing, as exaggerated a pantomime as ever. "I've been getting to know people, though, and she can heal broken bones, and they cancel out science when they touch palms, and, you know, so on. I bet that the kind of people who'd put together a school like this have all kinds of stuff in place to keep students from killing each other, too. How bad do you think a dance is going to get?" She hesitated, losing a little steam on the positivity before adding, "It's my first - do I have a lot I need to worry about, or watch for?"

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Oh goddamit she thinks Watchdog knows what she's talking about! 

 

"Where I'm from, I didn't get to spend a lot of times on dates or hanging out at fancy parties with people, so there's not much I could tell you. Just keep your eyes open, stay in groups with your friends, and if you drink, don't drink much. That's how the bad sh!t gets you." She ticked off points with the fingers on her free hand, giving her advice the way she might have given advice to one of her real sisters. She considered adding but remember, if some sonofabitch tries to get you, it's not your fault, it's his fault for being a sonofabitch but decided Watchdog wouldn't be that thoughtful in her advice. Besides, she was trying to be reassuring here. "Make sure you know who your real friends are - because the ones that aren't will turn on you, just like that." She snapped the fingers of her free hand for emphasis at that point, the better to provide emphasis. 

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Micah had been wavering on attending the dance at all at first. Between his social woes at his old school, just at the time these sorts of things started happening, and his near-constant worries about his powers running amok, it wasn't something he was jumping for joy at. But Pan had been insistent. Micah's roommate had had not one, but two speeches about confidence and adventure and new experiences prepared. At which point the young Roebuck man felt that he was essentially obligated to go. Pan's enthusiasm and joy for life were infectious enough, but the young Oklahoma man had a larger-than-average sense of responsibility, which meant he'd acquiesced. Thankfully, his mother had insisted he brought all of his good clothes, which admittedly wasn't a lot. 

 

So there he stood, in a simple black suit; the jacket was a fairly standard "good for business or school dances" sort of cut, plain slacks, a nice white shirt. The tie's red-and-blue shades were dark enough it wasn't too wild, but it was still a surprising bit of color. All in all, it was a simple, classic look.

 

Of course, Micah was still quite nervous. Which meant he kept tugging slightly at his collar, not used to the feeling of a tie.

 

'Dad wouldn't have fiddled with his tie. He wore them all the time.'

 

That thought sent his mind to a dark place for a moment before he closed his eyes, took a breath, and calmed down. He opened them, the slight green glow already dissipated, and began making his way to the table with the food. There were a few tables around the edges where he could sit and eat. Maybe try to lose himself in the music...if they ever played anything with some life to it. 

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Lulu entered the gym and gawped at all the decorations and beautiful dresses on display; this dance was a lot fancier than the ones back at Houston County High! After a lot of consulting with Mrs. Harrow (including a panicked, last-minute Skype session), she'd finally settled on a floor-length cobalt blue dress thst really popped. With her red hair draped over one bare shoulder, she made quite the impression.

 

Wandering over to the punch table, the Southerner nervously got herself a glass of punch as she surveyed the room; she and Adam had talked about meeting up at the dance, but it was presented more as a meeting of friends than any sort of date.

 

Though maybe one day...

Edited by Heritage

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Veronica

 

It had never really been much of a question of whether Veronica would attend Claremont’s fall dance or not, it was a chance to try something new and experience a part of normal high school life she had not had the opportunity to take part in.  Yes she had been to a number of formal events with her family over the years, but it was not nearly the same. 

 

The bigger question had been would she give way to convention and wear something formal for the event, rather than something more comfortable.  It had taken a bit of discussion with Aunt Rachel and Prudence, and maybe even a few observations about the social expectations of the dance from Janus, but ultimately Veronica had relented and gone shopping for a evening gown.

 

The teenage Danger was dressed in a red one shoulder column evening gown which fit tightly to the curves of her athletic body.  For shoes, she had gone with red suede slingback pumps with the lowest heels she had been able to get away with.  Her long brown hair was lose and went down to her mid-back, Veronica having put far more effort into it than she typically did, given she typically had it in a ponytail. 

 

As Veronica entered the gym, she came up behind a redhead that she quickly realized was Lulu.  "Hey Louise!  You look fabulous!"

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Elizabeth managed to maintain the expression of a wide-eyed advice sponge, though she had to hide her mouth behind a drink she hadn't had a few moments before. Not that it didn't sound like good advice, but even her naivete was caught somewhere between trusting the word of a more experienced student and general disbelief that kids would find a way to get drunk and backstab at an early-year school dance. The tension left her hanging somewhere in the middle, wondering just where such advice could possibly come from.

 

There was a story here, and she wanted it.

 

"If you say so!" she said, finally. "I'm going to be pretty honest: I haven't been able to spend much time around people, because of...stuff, so I'm not used to having long-term friends. How do I tell the good ones from the ones that will turn on me?"

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"I just had a thought!" Pan floated by Micah, just a few inches above the ground. "You should try to play at one of the parties here at some point. It would be brilliant!" Oh, he was sure that Micah would protest, but hopefully it would help his self worth a bit too. Pan was dressed in simple black dress pants with a dark red dress shirt tucked into it. No jacket, he really hadn't seen the point with his rather limited funds, but he was wearing an emerald green butterfly. He had fallen for it instantly when he went shopping, and simply had to get it. 

 

Noticing that Veronica had entered, he quickly waved at her, before gently nudging Micah in the side with his elbow, sending him his normal grin. "So, any plans?" He could come up with something, of course, but he had talked Micah into coming, so it wouldn't be fair to just abandon him. Besides, he enjoyed spending time with his roommate!

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White Lioness
Àjàṣorò knew that school wouldn't be like the movies she'd seen, but she'd looked forward to the first dance. It was one of those events that she'd wanted to experience to the fullest, it seemed that fate had a different idea, however. Her father it seemed had come to an arrangement with Headmistress Summers, they chatted like old friends when they met, that Àjàṣoro could go a do tasks important to Dakana. All the time shuttling back and forwards, plus the homework she had to do to catch up, had meant she'd had little time to really settle into school life. The only person she'd spent any time with was her roommate, and whilst cordial they'd not quite yet hit things off.

 

Instead of the sparkling dress she had all picked out, she was in a simple t-shirt and skirt combination with a pair of hi-top trainers, having just got back from another mission. She should have just gone back to her room and crashed, but here she was peering into the hall wanting to have a quick look at the sparkling event before calling it a night.

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"You can't," said Watchdog, her voice firm as Ashley did her best to project the cool confidence of a sixteen year old who had seen it all. She could tell Elizabeth was smart, and maybe more watchful than some of their friends - but she'd practiced this act in the mirror enough she could almost do it in her sleep now. "The only way is time, and even then, you have to watch your back with most of them. The only reason I know I can trust Judy is because we've been through so much together." She sipped her drink, briefly tracking the Red Lynx with her eyes before returning to the conversation. She was still playing the game; keep Elizabeth from giving a damn about Watchdog without making a scene by alienating her. Unless I'm making her buy it. Ughhhh. "And I wouldn't take her into battle. Outside of here, down in the real world when you're fighting the scum of the streets, the only thing you can trust...is yourself. That's the real world - it's a lot more important than who's wearing the prettiest dress at the fall dance." Her lip curled with contempt at the very idea.

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Okay Monica, you can do this. Let’s give them something to remember.

 

With a push that she may just have put a bit too much force into – her powers were finnicky like that – Monica opened the door with a literal bang. She stepped inside, having – only partially unintentionally – drawn people’s attention now. Not only was she positively beaming, but she was doing so quite literally, her powers lighting her up and making her stand out even more.  She was wearing a sparkly golden dress, which was by no means subtle, and had used some gold makeup to really bring out that look. With a fair bit of help from her roommate, ‘cause some of this stuff had been difficult to apply on her own. A set of white-and-blue elbow-length gloves finished off her look, and also helped conceal some of the scars she wasn’t too keen about showing.

 

Her hair, which, for once, she was actually showing at its full effect, also included some golden highlights, once again lit up even more thanks to the interplay between Monica’s natural golden glow and her entire look.

 

It turned out having spent the last week or so training how to walk properly in heels had paid off, as she took her first steps into the auditorium. They also made her even taller, which together with what the Spirit of Liberty did now that she was feeling confident about this evening, made her stand out even more than her looks did already.

 

She took a look around the room, picking out who she knew already, and figuring out just whose attention her entrance had grabbed. Tonight was all about making an impression, whatever that impression would be. Now, of course she hadn’t come here with any sort of date, but she wasn’t feeling like just leaning back and letting things happen, she felt like initiating some things.

 

And as it happened, the two people closest to her were Micah and his roommate. She walked up to them, her confidence still strong and stable.

 

“Well hello there. “

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With his attention focused squarely on 1) keeping in time with the sweeping, precise motions of the dance, and 2) making small talk with Judy, Leroy seemed blind and deaf to the world around them, smiling warmly down at his partner as they swung and swirled beneath the canopy of stars. His eyes shone burning gold against the background of white, purple and blue, something seeming to flicker and pulse at the edge of the iris. The light made his scars almost invisible, even as it played and traced along the tattoos on his chest and arms beneath his shirt. He led passably well for a beginner, never missing a step, twirling Judy with the flair and self-assurance he was, justly, a frequent punchline for. When in doubt he made sure to make the signal, three alternating winks, so she could give a nudge in the right direction.

 

While the rest of the evening unfolded he kept up a regular stream of casual, easily-dropped or ignored talk. 

 

"Oh, Dio has a young sweetheart on Earth-2, but Krau is with his wing of the Defense League. Thus his foul mood tonight." He laughed the matter off. 

 

"I hope we can go for a flight sometime, Judy, the world looks wholly different from the air. So much simpler. By starlight it looks so beautiful, it breaks your heart to descend. You invent reasons to stay aloft, find yourself envying the birds."

 

"If you like, I would love to teach you about the stars, as you teach me about the faith."

 

Unusually, Leroy didn't seem interested or even aware of Monica's sudden, explosive entrance, the strong young man wholly centered on Judy, his head bent to hers and left arm holding her close.

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Adam

 

Adam was late. Not excessively, just slightly. He hated any sort of lateness. A lifetime of living on a schedule had given him a unique appreciation for promptness.  He'd been reading in his tux and totally forgot when the dance started. Luckily, he was fast. So as Monica wandered in after her rather abrupt entrance, Adam walked meekly in behind her. He was wearing a tuxedo. Nothing fancy or outlandish, with a silver vest and bow tie. His hair, or, rather, wig, was combed neatly for once.

 

With that said, the tux was effective. He looked trim, sharp, and well put together. He felt a lot less self conscious than normal, and was very glad that there was no scarring visible on his face. He felt confident, assured and calm.

 

Then he saw Lulu, and he swore his mind hit a glitch. There she was, sweet, kind, and beautiful. She was always beautiful, of course, but in the light of the dance, his feet rooted in place.

 

"Screw it, fortune favors the bold." He mumbled to himself before stepping towards Lulu.

 

He smiled his best smile and hoped it was his best, then inclined his head, doing his level best not to scan her from head to toe. "You look beautiful tonight." He managed, hoping not to sound as awkward as he felt. 

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School dances had never really been Astrid's kind of scene. In her experience they were always to restricted and bland for her tastes. Parties, real parties anyway, needed have a bit of chaos and spontaneity in them or else they'd just become utterly lifeless, and in her opinion boring as all Hel.

 

That's why she volunteered to do a performance at the Fall Dance. Claremont Academy was a weird place, sure, but Astrid figured that if the teachers had it their way the dance would be as tightly controlled and tame as possible, and she refused to let that happen. Getting the Dance committee to give the ok on her act was surprisingly easy, only requiring Astrid to prove that she wouldn't completely humiliate herself during a live performance and her swearing that no song she played would have expletives of any kind. Once that was all sorted out all she had to do was recruit some band-mates in Claremont's music department, which was easy enough since there were plenty of other students who wanted an opportunity to show off their chops. 

 

When the stage's front curtains finally pulled up and revealed most of the student body in their prom outfits, Astrid started to feel her anticipation rise up like it always did when she was about to play. This be going to be legend! 

 

Astrid had ran through a bunch of options for what she was going to wear to the dance. There was her Siouxsie Sioux goth look, 70s Alice Cooper ensemble and full-on viking armor, all which weren't exactly typical school dance attire but Astrid figured since it was close to Halloween so she might as well dress in the spirit of the season. In the end she decided to dress in her Buckaroo Banzai cosplay of a tattered grey suit and a pink-and-black regimental tie. A small part of her hoped no one would catch the reference and just think she was bucking gender norms by wearing a suit. No one needed to know that she was that much of a nerd after all.

 

All their instruments were ready and the amps were more than prepared to broadcast their tunes to the entire audience. Astrid gripped her electric guitar a with bit more force than she intended and told herself it totally wasn't because she was little nervous. 

 

Turning around to face her band-mates Astrid made her rallying speech. "Alright guys let's show them what we got!" 

 

And with that they started rocking the house with some Joan Jett .  

 

 

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Corrine arrived, late probably, but she was exhausted.  A bit dejected.  She had hoped for something, in the upcoming winter performance... and it didn't pan out.  The practice was exhausting, her limbs ached, and felt like jelly.  But she showed up.  Wearing a long, modest formal dress, violet down most of her form, that went down a ring of similarly colored flowers that partitioned a darker purple color at the bottom portion and hem of the dress.  It was not her normal bohemian/SoCal look.  Though she carried it well, her spine that statuary straight, and her hair and makeup impeccably done.

She was very good at looking together.

The only possible tell was her distant express, and the matching violet circular rimmed sunglasses.  Still she glided easily through the rest, not wishing to draw attention to herself at the moment, and having mostly enough stage presence to know how to project herself, or fade into the background.

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"Wow." Elizabeth raised her eyebrows, looking sideways at Ashley as she took another sip of her probably-illusory drink. "...that is super depressing. But, alright, only rely on yourself. Got it. Can do!"

 

Her cup dissolved into little shards of light as she quietly split in two - simultaneously standing still and moving to the side, leaving her flanked by Ashley and...herself. "I mean, I guess I make for pretty good backup?"

 

"Sure," replied the second young teen, "but I'm not really sold on ignoring pretty dresses."

 

"Right? We look great." One of the Elizabeths brushed out her skirt, grinning.

 

"We do! We should rely on ourselves, and look great in a dress."

 

Elizabeth (Elizabeth 1?) smiled, turning that smile back toward Ashley like a hundred-watt bulb. "I think you're outnumbered!"

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