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How a Young Heart Really Feels


Electra

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Danica Holmes loved Valentine's Day. It was one of her favorite holidays, behind Christmas, Easter, Arbor Day, and Labor Day, so when it came up, she got very excited. A holiday all about love and friends and candy and giving gifts, what could be better? And with several decades worth of saved up extra cartoon Valentines cards, she had lots to give away! When she found out that the school was sponsoring a party this year after several years without one, well, that was just the icing on the cake.

 

A week before the big day, she could be found riding up and down the halls of the dormitories on her Segway, red and pink paper hearts dotting her black and gold shell. On every single doorway, she hung a bright pink flyer and two mini-bags of Skittles.

Valentines Party!

Saturday Night, Feb 13, 7pm, Gym

Food, Games, Music, Prizes!

And a big (good!) surprise!

School Rules are in effect

 

The night of the party, the gym was festively decorated with pink and white helium balloons, streamers, even an ice sculpture of a heart thanks to a particularly industrious ice-controlling student. A DJ setup was currently unoccupied but playing peppy music, and three whole tables of snacks and punch had been set up along the wall. Danica arrived early, along with several other students who had helped set things up, and was busy assembling a little plate of snacks. Her shell had even more hearts plastered on it now, and was edged with a fanciful lace ruffle, making her look rather like a Valentine herself.

 

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"Oh doesn't this look darling?" If there was anything Judith Claudia Cahill loved besides Jesus, her family, and maybe America, it was party planning. She hadn't quite horned in on Danica's party but she had certainly volunteered to help, throwing herself in with all the energy of a young woman who never slept and loved helping people. She'd cut the paper ribbons hanging herself, and dressed in a sparkly red dress that brushed against the ground and made her look like a bit like a prom queen. Ashley was hanging around the party somewhere but was giving all the space to her charge. 

 

"Danica, you were amazing," she told her friend warmly. "We couldn't have done this without you." She gave Danica a quick hug, then went back to work making sure there were carefully cut-out red hearts and candy treats on every table. 

 

 

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Outrider

 

El was staying on campus, having been registered a few days before. They told her she would start class in August, but to get used to campus life. Whatever that means, El thought. Many of the things they told her were completely foreign concepts, but she nodded her head just the same. I suppose all of this will become easier in time. She emerged from her room, having just taken a post-workout nap, and found the flowery note taped to her door with two bags of candy. She ate the candy, on the spot, having never tried candy ever before. Her eye popped open, and a single thought hit her brain like a lightning bolt. Sweet!

 

She brought the letter into her room, which was a storage closet temporarily arranged into living quarters. It was the most comfortable room she had ever been in, by far, and she spent much of her time just enjoying it. Hmm, a party. That does sound fun, but what is a Valentines?!

 

---

 

El showed up early to the party, and saw two students already there. She marveled at the decorations, and couldn't stop herself from smiling. So much pink! She recognized Danica, who was dressed festively. El waved, and then made a beeline for the snack table. The Skittles had done little to suppress her appetite, and she loaded up her plate with cookies and candy, then went to stand next to Danica and Judith. 

 

"Hrro, 'm Elena," she said, her mouth full of cookies, and stuck her hand out towards Judith. 

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"Judy, you look gorgeous! I love your dress!" Danica hugged her friend back, careful not to dislodge any of her decorations. "Micah's jaw is gonna be on the floor," she predicted confidently. "And that's even before the special surprise starts!" She hugged herself excitedly, then turned to see Elena walk in. "Elena! Welcome to the party!" she called enthusiastically. "I'm so glad you could come! This is Judy," she went on, gesturing to her friend, "she's a senior and she's so fun, and she's also the President's daughter which is pretty cool. Judy, this is Elena, she's brand new to Earth Prime and she has a totally radical car. We fought Omegadrones together the other day, and now she's going to go to school here!"

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"Hi there!" said Judy, giving Elena an ebullient smile. "Oh, you fought Omegadrones?" Her eyes widened, though she seemed to be more interested than afraid. Her accent was thick, from a region called the American South, or so Elena had heard. "That's amazing!" She winked at Danica and added, "Ah sure hope so, Ah don't even know for sure he's coming...but Ah wanted to make sure Ah looked mah best when he did." For Elena's benefit, she added, "Micah is a very nice senior boy Ah'm friends with, he's got very nice hair and amazing eyes, and..." She blushed faintly before adding, "Well Ah just want to look nice for him, is all." 

 

Turning back to Elena, she said, "I want you to know, this is a party for everybody. Straight, gay, or even if you're just here to have fun, we are all going to have a good time." She looked like she took that idea very seriously, and indeed she did as she turned back to Danica, "So when do we find out what this famous surprise is?" 

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Amidst the Valentine's decor Ryder Fujioka's tousled strawberry blonde hair looked especially pink as he entered the gym with a broad, dimpled grin. His light blazer had probably started off as a fairly stately black but at some point it had been nearly covered in a spray-painted burst pattern in brilliant magenta and deep violet. Under it he wore lilac henley with a white calligraphy pattern and comparatively plain black stonewash denim. Stopping just inside the door with his hands on his hips he looked about with delight. Seeing only students he knew by reputation didn't seem to deter him in the least as he walked toward the snack tables, spinning about on his heels as he went to take in all of the decorations.

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Ms. Thursday 

 

Astrid Torsten came to the party in her idea of casual attire: a denim skirt with some torn black leggings, a black band shirt with the logo 'Unleashed' proudly printed on it, and some chained rocker boots. It didn’t exactly fit the pink-and-white Valentine aesthetic going on, but she was more here to party than celebrate the holiday. Usually didn’t go to these kind of school functions in the first place. Mostly because they were kind of lame compared to the parties she’d become accustomed to. Punch and snacks couldn’t really compete with mead and roasted dragon in Asgard. Still, even all could get dull after a while and with this being her last year at Claremont, she figured it would nice to hang at the school’s get-togethers every once in a bit.

 

So far she hadn’t been proven wrong. She was super tempted to just strut right up to the DJ setup and start playing some real music for everyone to thrash to but thought better of it. Not everyone was made to listen the riotous viking cacophonies that she held so dear and she didn’t want to kill the mood. So instead of doing some party-crashing she went to the snack table, if only to check out if some fool had been bold and stupid enough to swap the punch for something more boozy. Alas, after taking a swig she found herself sorely disappointed. That was until she looked over and saw a guy with the coolest blazer she had seen in a while.

 

Never a shy sort, Astrid just went up to the dude in question and started chatting. “Hey, you’re new here, ja? Richard? Richie something?” She shrugged, fairly certainly that totally wasn’t his name. “If I messed that up you can punch me. Name’s Astrid by the way. Gotta say, your blazer is pretty rad? Where’d you get it?”

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Forever Boy

 

Pan did not look like himself as he walked in. Well, maybe he kind of did. It was his usual grin, the usual eyes and messy red hair. His clothes were different, though. Black pants, a black leather jacket, with several different buttons attached with pins all over the jacket. The only thing that really looked like himself was the lighter red t-shirt that he wore under the jacket, with a big black messily drawn smiley face, with the eyes as crosses and the tongue stuck out.

 

He looked around a second, before raising his hand to wave as he spotted his friends and teammates, quickly floating over to them. "Danica, Judy! It is good to see you!" Unusual clothes aside, he seemed very much himself. Noticing Elena, he looked up at her at and whistled, impressed. "My, you are a big one. I am Pan, pleased to meet you."

Edited by RocketLord
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Eira Katastroff walked in just behind Pan, looking dressed to kill in a denim skirt with some torn black leggings, a black band shirt with the logo 'Entombed' proudly printed on it, and some chained rocker boots. She'd told Pan that she liked Danica but she wasn't going to dress like a kid for a kid's party, she was going to dress like the woman she was and go on a real date with her badass boyfriend.

 

Then she walked in, looked at Astrid across the room, and muttered "jävlarskit" just loud enough for Pan to hear before she took a few quick steps and stepped into the nearby girls bathroom. As the doors swung shut behind her, she said another few bad words.

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Danica turned to greet Pan as he approached. "Pan! Your outfit is radical!" she enthused. "Everybody's wearing such neat clothes! And Eira, you and Astrid mat-" She trailed off as Eira veered off into the locker room. "Ooh, maybe that's not what she wanted. But all her clothes are on the computer anyway, so she'll find something cool. Pan, this is Elena, we met her the other day fighting Omegadrones, and now she's coming to school with us!"

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Before Richard (or was it Richie) had time to or even bothered to respond her questions, Astrid heard someone say something barely audible in Swedish. Immediately the redhead recognized the voice but she still spun her head to see what the heck had gotten Eira in such a fit that she'd break out the heavy-duty swear words in front of everyone. When the rocker girl saw a fleeing Eira wearing the exact same outfit sans a difference of band logo, she almost burst out laughter before realizing that would likely only make things a helluva of a lot worse rather than better. As is Astrid belted out a loud apology in Swedish and hoped Eira wouldn't feel to humilated. 

 

"Förlåt!"

 

She turned back to a hopefully not confused Richie (or was it Richard) and gave him an awkward smile. "As you can see I'm great at making friends."

Edited by Cubismo
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It was rare, if impossible to see Benny in something that was new, or not related to mechanics, or fighting. His nervous tick of wrapping his hands during lectures helped that.

 

Tonight, even if going stag, he decided to do different. A red tuxedo jacket, with a black vest, pants, a crisp white shirt, and a black bowtie, complete with glossy black dress shoes. He even shaved and got his hair cleaned up to complete the transition away from sloppy bruiser to... well positively sharp, or at least enough for him to feel such.

He glanced over at others, realizing he never really got close to them really... but then... he did kinda have a perspective that made it weird sometimes. Still he put on that easy smile under that slightly crooked nose and he made his way towards the rest of the teens, and to the refreshments.

 

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Muirne wore a high necked maroon dress, with short flutter sleeves and a skirt that ended around her knees, with some short heels in the same colour. Entering into the brightly lit lit gym she looked around in wonder at the many decorations. She smiled as she saw Elena and Danica talking to Pan. She figured she should probably reintroduce herself as Elena had only seen her in her shadowbeast form.

 

Approaching the group she smiled brightly. "Hey everyone! The decorations are lovely Danica, you must be so proud." Turning to Eleba her grin turned a little sheepish. "I'm Muirne. We met the other day but you probably don't recognize me since I was a shadowbeast the whole time. Have you been settling in well?" She just gave Pan a smile and a wave, feeling a little embarrassed about not having read the book about him that people had mentioned despite owning a copy now.

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Ryder's lazy spin turned nearly into a pirouette as he reoriented toward Astrid's voice. "Oh hey, thanks! It's Ryder. I like your boots! You must know--" His supposition was interrupted by shouted Swedish and irritated exits. "--Ei... ra... Um. I'm sure that's fine, she's just, like, high energy yeah? This way she gets to show off two outfits!" His optimistic spin on the exchange seemed genuine as he gave the redhead a reassuring thumbs up. "The jacket's a hand-me-down from when my sister was getting rid of a bunch of clothes but I did the paint later, actually! I had sort of an accident with some ball bearings and a can of paint and an electromagnet and that was a real mess but it did give me some ideas for some, y'know, alterations."

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It was into the somewhat hectic environment, in the wake of Eira's outburst, that Micah Roebuck stepped into the room, looking around in a bit of confusion. He'd gone for a somewhat less ostentatiously "western" look than at last year's Prom, but had still apparently been able to scrape enough together to look distinctive. 

 

He'd opted for something inspired by one of his all-time favorite classic movies, Tombstone. His feet jangled a bit as he walked, as he'd somehow gotten his hands on some genuine metal cowboy spurs; they were put up high enough on his black boots that they shouldn't scratch the floor. The sound echoed a bit in the space after Eira and Astrid had their exclamation-off, and probably drew attention to the young Oklahoman. He shifted a bit, clearly not entirely comfortable in his suit. He wore a black blazer and pants, complimented with a red vest with a subtle paisley pattern. The vest and old-style red tie stood out starkly against his white shirt, while the black wide-brimmed hat completed the look. 

 

Micah glanced around until he saw Judy. When he laid eyes on the daughter of the former President, they lit up, and his face split with a grin. He took a few large, jangling steps to arrive near the small gaggle of girl-folk who'd been speaking. 

 

"Judy! I'm sorry I'm late, the tie was giving me trouble. You look ni-pretty. Look pretty. You. You look pretty."

 

He was blushing. 

Edited by KnightDisciple
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Inside the girls locker room, Eira Katastroff studied herself in the mirror, what was by multiple objective metrics the best outfit she could have reasonably worn wrapped around her body. After some consideration, she reached up and wrapped her fingers through her metallic hair, pulling it up and out over her head in a series of cunningly-arranged spikes. Their blue color turned purple and pink under her touch, bringing a smile to her dark-painted lips. She reached down and snapped the hem of her skirt, the fabric immediately shifting to a bright red plaid instead of blue denim. She adjusted her T-shirt, spreading her hands over the fabric so it turned into an image of a leering skull-faced robot, then peeled off the top layer of her boots so they turned into shoes. Nodding, she stepped out of the room and stuck her arm back in Pan's, clinging to him with a smirk. "Much better." She ran a hand affectionately through his messy hair. "Hello, everyone. We heard there was a party. I heard about you," she said excitedly to Elena, "How do you like Earth-Prime?

 

Nearby, Judy smiled shyly at Micah. "Well howdy there, cowboy. You look like you're ready to rope a steer." She reached up and adjusted his tie without thinking about it, though really he looked perfectly fine. "It's real nice, Micah," she told him from close range. "You did great. And Ah figured Ah don't have a lot of these parties left...so Ah might as well look mah best." She stepped back just a little and said, "Look at everything Danica did! This place is amazing!" She reached down and put her hand by his while they talked. "This is Elena, she just came here from far away." She beamed at the boy with the sparkly shirt, adding, "Hello! Ah'm Judy Cahill. Don't you look amazing?" 

 

 

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First party at Claremont! Cool! Luke was ecstatic at the idea. Now, there a few ‘small’ obstacles to consider… Like having to come up with a festive outfit with a budget that was pretty much non-existent, not knowing what to expect from a party on a posh-er kind of school than his old one and not actually owning a suit or anything could even vaguely be passed as formal… All in all no biggie...

 

He strolled in the hall fashionably late, with a confident pace and a wide grin, in jeans, a red (faux-but no one would hopefully notice or care) leather jacket, a white athletic t-shirt underneath, with ‘Free Hugs’ printed on and a tie playfully worn as a headband. His white sneakers, well polished for the occasion, were now spray painted with streaks of intense red (whose shade probably had a name, but Luke was totally unaware about which one it was).

 

18 hours ago, Electra said:

"this is Elena, we met her the other day fighting Omegadrones, and now she's coming to school with us!"

 

"Not exactly fighting, I believe the technical term is kicking their asses." Luke interrupted enthusiastically. Joining Pan (and more importantly Danica and the group of girls).

  

"Hey... What's up?" He saluted their host. "By the way... This party is a freaking cool idea Dany. You deserve a an award if you ask me. "

 

"Elena... Judy..." He bowed his head slightly, giving them both a playful smile. "Love to see you."

 

He was about to add something else, when his eyes lingered on Miurne, she was... well... Woah... 

 

"Woah, Hey... You look awesome you know? Cool dress."  Good job Luke very smooth... He did his best to resist the impulse to facepalm.

 

13 hours ago, KnightDisciple said:

I'm sorry I'm late, the tie was giving me trouble

 

"Don't tell me, man... I could never figure those out." Luke chuckled. pointing at his tie, turned makeshift headband.

 

"Hey maybe someone can help me out, though." There was an 'innocent' smile on his lips when his attention switched back to Muirne...

 

 

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:53 AM, Electra said:

Elena! Welcome to the party!" she called enthusiastically. "I'm so glad you could come! This is Judy," she went on, gesturing to her friend, "she's a senior and she's so fun, and she's also the President's daughter which is pretty cool. Judy, this is Elena, she's brand new to Earth Prime and she has a totally radical car. We fought Omegadrones together the other day, and now she's going to go to school here!"

 

Radical? From the context that sounds like a good thing. I believe Luke or Leon has called Painkiller as such. "Oh - thank you Danica. I will be assisting in Painkiller's repair. Perhaps when she is finished, I can take you on a 'joy-ride', if you would like that," she said, pronouncing both words deliberately. She felt very comfortable with Danica, her presence was very soothing. Even in this strange new world, she felt very calmed when speaking to her.

 

On 2/11/2021 at 6:04 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

"Hi there!" said Judy, giving Elena an ebullient smile. "Oh, you fought Omegadrones?" Her eyes widened, though she seemed to be more interested than afraid.

Turning back to Elena, she said, "I want you to know, this is a party for everybody. Straight, gay, or even if you're just here to have fun, we are all going to have a good time."

 

"Yes - in my time Earth has fallen to Omega." In a rare moment of social clarity, Elena realized this may not be the time to recount the fall of Earth. "But yes, we fought hard and won a hard-earned victory. I'm glad to be accepted here so quickly - you and your classmates have been very hospitable." Perhaps I shall ask Judy later what "straight" and "gay" means.

 

On 2/12/2021 at 1:35 AM, RocketLord said:

Forever Boy

 Noticing Elena, he looked up at her at and whistled, impressed. "My, you are a big one. I am Pan, pleased to meet you."

 

More students started to arrive, and Elena started to feel her heart beat faster. I'm sensing danger, but there is none to be had here. What is going on? To Pan, clad in leather, she nodded back, her head swimming. "My puh-rents c'd burely keep m' fed," she said, shoveling cookies in her mouth. "It's just...so nice to meet everyone!"

 

18 hours ago, Kaede Kimura said:

"I'm Muirne. We met the other day but you probably don't recognize me since I was a shadowbeast the whole time. Have you been settling in well?"

 

"Uh, yes. It's good to see you again, too Muirne. I hope that we can have lunch together sometime."

 

Eira and Luke walked up to Elena, but she was already moving away quickly, her heart pounding. "Cookies make you thirsty! I'm going to get some punch!" What is going on?? You're not in danger, get ahold of yourself! She quickly poured herself a glass of punch and slurped it down, refilling it quickly. Her brow was sweaty, and she could feel the fabric of her plain blue dress, an outfit from the school's lost-and-found, tight against her skin. Is it hot in here, or what?

Edited by Lone_Star
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"I'll take a free hug," Danica told Luke, possibly crushing some of his attempt at coolness by giving him an enthusiastic hug. Danica's hugs were heartfelt but slightly uncomfortable, given the hardness of her shell plate. "Your outfit is great too! And Pan's a cowboy! This is awesome!" Even as she spoke, Danica was deftly scooting the group of classmates further down the length of the food tables to give Elena a little air and a little space. "I'm so glad so many people could come!"

 

Other students were entering now as well, mostly singles or couples, and largely sticking to the walls like teenagers at a school dance. "I hope the music is okay," Danica said, "I put a couple of playlists on my iPod and hooked it up, but there's a whole stereo thing. I'm kind of hoping some people who are good at music will help out and get folks dancing."

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Adam strode into the party with confidence. His issues made him very particular about his appearance, so he never had anything out of place if he could avoid it. He wore a tailored three piece suit, with an emerald green vest and a black tie. This wig was neatly trimmed, and he had his eyebrows on.

 

"Hey everybody. Lulu couldn't make it, had some heavy duty studying to do."

 

He saw Elena, the only other person near his height, but saw that she was clearly struggling with the situation. She was new, for one thing, and looked a bit out of sorts. He decided to leave her alone. Best not bug the new girl when she looks like she's having trouble.

 

The music was fine, he thought, not that he planned to dance.

Edited by Thunder King
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Forever Boy

 

"Ah, yes, you cannot be a rebel if you wear the same outfit as someone else, yes?" Pan looked to Eira as she returned, now wearing quite a different outfit.

 

His eyes rested on Elena, following her as she moved away with Danica. Whatever he thought of it, he kept it to himself as he instead looked at Micah. Pulling himself free from Eira for a second, he leaned in close and whispered "Good, good. Now, keep it up, yes?" 

 

Then he was back by Eira's side, quickly looking Luke up and down, his lips breaking out into that just slightly too wide smile. "Oh, you are the dragon boy, are you not? I heard you ran into some trouble with Casanova's little gang a while back. Tell me, was it as fun to put him in his place as I imagine?"

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Kendra had actually made a low key entry for once. This was due to her dress and her shoes. Breathing and walking were proving more challenging than she remembered. For the first time since she’d been at school, she was actually wearing a different outfit. The uniform was one thing, they’d convinced her to wear it after a few weeks. This, however, was something entirely different. A bright red Regency gown that looked like it was ripped right out of that era. Which in fact it was, as Kendra had been there this morning. Her shoes (bright red heels) matched perfectly, but actually dated from the Roaring 20s. She had so many clothes scattered across the past.  Mr. Pibbles, her stuffed rabbit (tied to a small red sash around her waist), had also dressed up for the occasion in a white Regency gown trimmed in lace. She sipped punch quietly and munched cookies until Luke walked in with his Free Hugs shirt. She tried to join Danica in giving him a squeeze, but was 1) too slow and 2) tripped over her shoes and ended up half tackling him instead. “Hi Luke, don’t mind if I do!” She laughed at herself as usual.

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Despite some lingering feelings of guilt with the whole Eira situation, Astrid practically lit up when Ryder gave her his actual name. "Ryder! By Odin's eye! I was no where close on that one. My bad." She gave the boy a self-deprecating smile in apology for the mix-up before setting back into easy conversation. “Eira can be pretty high-energy at times, but she’s cool. She actually has pretty good taste in music. Still, it's weird ‘cause you'd think a robot would be more chill. Or maybe its helluva appropriate." She shrugged again, deciding to leave that great mystery to the philosophers. 

 

Wanting to bring the chat back to back to getting to know the dude she was speaking with Astrid filled her cup with punch and made a toast. “Hey, here’s to happy accidents! And to cool sisters with good taste in blazers.” After taking another swig of the punch, which went down a lot easier than the last know that she knew to lower her expectations, she started to ask Ryder a couple questions in the hope of figuring what he was into. “So, you worked with Eira before? Or at least know her by reputation. You into discovering the great scientific secrets of the universe as well?”

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"It was objectively an excellent outfit," said Eira smoothly. "Astrid just has better taste than most - teenagers," she added, never mind that she would still be one for two years. "Astrid!" she exclaimed cheerfully, giving her not-quite-friend-but-certainly-comrade a cheeky grin. "Are you telling tales about me? Good!" She laughed, then paid attention to Luke. "Yes, this sounds like a story! Did you make him cry?

 

Judy blinked a few times, making sure to give Elena some space when she sensed the other girl's unease. She wanted to say that she knew exactly what it was like to find yourself in a strange place surrounded by these young preternatural beings, but of course she couldn't know exactly what was happening in her head. When Danica mentioned music, Judy snapped her fingers and said, "That's it! Come on, Micah, Ah made sure there's a guitar over there and everything..." Actually holding the cowboy's hand, she led him over to where Danica's no-fooling iPod was before finding the guitar in question. 

Standing close to him, keeping the dance floor between them and everyone else, Judy put a warm hand on his arm before she said, "Since this may be our last chance to do this...Ah thought you could play, and Ah, uh, well, Ah could sing? Ah made sure the songs Ah want are on here if you don't know them..." 

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"You got the first letter right, that's like one-in-twenty-six," Ryder told Astrid encouragingly with a short laugh. "Eira and I did some lab work together, yeah!" He cupped his hands around his mouth when the purple-and-pink haired girl called in their direction, showing holo glitter painted nails in reds and whites. "Yes! You're very interesting!" In a more modulated tone he added to Astrid, "The stuff I do is kinda less secrets of the universe and more-- Magenta!"

 

His exclamation was directed to a palm-sized robot in the shape of a praying mantis scuttling about the drinks table with a red plastic cup held aloft in her forelimbs. Rendered in glossy white and her namesake magenta the Robug froze and slowly turned her head to look at the surprised teen, managing to imply sheepishness with her triangular head. "What happened to staying in the dorm room?"

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