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Heritage

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"Hmm, no. This is Europe, darling, not America where everyone is like 'look at me, I think I am civilized but I only speak -" Smooth as butter, she switched her speech from English to the Lor dialect she spoke that she knew Pan's magic would easily translate. "<English. People are used to not understanding everyone around them at all times.>" She reached into her purse and produced something that looked roughly the size and shape of an American half-dollar, a shining silver disk that she placed on the table between them. "<Do you like it?>" she asked, just a little hesitantly. "<I made it myself while I was making my new body.>" She knew Pan didn't actually know much about technology, so she went on, "<It's a cybernetic enhancement. It is nothing that would alter your body or give you cybersenses or something like that,>" she added quickly. "<It connects to the global positioning system and monitors your heart rate and brainwaves for potential hazards. That way wherever you go, even if you are lost, I will be able to find you and know if you are safe.>" The look she gave him wasn't exactly pleading; but it was easy to guess what she hoped his reaction would be. 

 

-

 

Judy saw Micah blush and stifled a smile, the thought Boys! coming clearly through to Lulu from the force of it. It wasn't that she objected to what he had evidently been thinking about, or what she herself had been thinking about if she was totally honest with herself, but that sort of thing was definitely not going to happen on this trip, especially not with all their friends around to comment on it. When they'd placed the order but before it could come, she reached over to take Micah's hand, her grip as fever-hot as it always was, and bowed her head. With Micah there, she didn't feel a trace of awkwardness in murmuring, "Bless us, O Lord. Bless our food and our drink. Since you redeemed us so dearly and delivered us from evil, as you gave us a share in this food so may you give us a share in eternal life..." 

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Horrorshow (Cabin 1)

 

As Micah looked over the menu, Davyd slid up to Judy and flashed his friendliest smiles.  "So, I'm guessing you've never been outside of America much, not counting Claremont trips, yeah?  Will this be your first time in Europe?"

 

After placing his order, Davyd looked around the cabin, then to Adam, Judy, Lulu, and Micah. This is kinda nice, all of us in here together.  Funny, I used to not like feeling crowded in on, but now I don't mind it so much.  Wonder how much of that is the Grue in me?  Eh, its probably fine.  Oh, but...

 

"Sooo," he said at last, "I just realized, this may be a standing-room only dining situation!  Well, you all can stand, I can squeeze under Adam's bed, or stick to the ceiling," he added as two crimson tentacles shot up from his shoulders, stuck to the ceiling of the cabin, and reeled him up until he was halfway up the wall.  "I mean, this cabin's big, sure, but not that big, yeah?"

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Adam chuckled. "Not sure if I want any wine myself, but, ehhh, maybe I'll try it. I'm not even sure if I can get drunk, actually."

 

He put his arm around Lulu and relaxed. This was going to be a fun trip. "I might snack a bit on the charcuterie board, but I'll be nice about it and not devour it all myself, which I could." He gave Lulu a gentle squeeze and took a deep breath. 

 

"Wherever you feel comfortable, Davyd." he said. 

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After the food arrived and there was a lot of rather awkward adjusting, Lulu finally cleared her throat and spoke up, a little pink in the cheeks.

 

"Ah don't mean to be rude, but we're a little tight in here right now? Would some of y'all be willin' to head over to the lounge to eat? Ah hate to ask, but the room ain't all that big."

 

The room was absolutely not designed to hold five people, and the hammocks Pan had conjured up certainly weren't helping.

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Different languages. Such a strange concept that not everyone would just understand everyone.

 

Pan looked at the small coin-like device in front of him. He listened, looking at Eira, then to the small device. He picked it up between two fingers and held it up, studying it carefully.

 

<"It is beautiful,"> he admitted, as he held it up and watched the light reflect in it. <"You made it for me? To keep me safe?">

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Horrorshow (Cabin 1)

 

"Sure, sure," Davyd said, nodding at Lulu, then turned to Micah and Judy, "we can stretch our legs over in the dining car.  Or whatever it's called.  Ah, unless," he tilted his head a bit, "you two wanted to eat together, alone, in one of the cabins?"  He gave Micah a nod and smile, letting his roommate know he'd be fine with such an arrangement.  "I'm sure I can find somewhere comfy, do some people-watching, yeah?"

 

Davyd knew there would be a few awkward moments on the trip, what with him being the only one without an S.O. to share the journey with.  But there'd be plenty of time for group activities, and he by no means begrudged his friends their time alone for more intimate moments.  He could use the time alone to think about himself, his post-Claremont future, what he'd be doing with his life... or at least start doing so.  Besides, maybe he'd meet someone on this trip!  Stranger things had happened, certainly.

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Micah had silently bowed his head as Judy prayed, his hand joined to hers in the classic "prayer clasp" his parents had taught him. He'd started nibbling around when Lulu spoke up. He glanced at his girlfriend for a moment, then at Davyd when his friend spoke up as well. 

 

"You can join us for dinner, Davyd. We might take a stroll afterwards."

 

He gave his roommate a significant enough look to communicate that that was the point they'd want some space. But having Davyd there would help mask that Judy didn't really eat anything. Three people with two of them eating while talking was more activity. 

 

"I'm not sure I can eat everything anyways. Here, Adam."

 

Micah grabbed a spare plate and, using a couple of utensils, pushed some of the finger-food plate contents over to the blank plate, then handed it to their muscular friend.

 

"Y'all enjoy those. I'll flag down someone and get some help moving our other stuff."

 

Before anyone could object Micah was pushing the discrete button for service and stepping into the hall. He made sure to intercept the staff member before they entered the room, and quietly explained their request, and apologized for the inconvenience. He was all smiles back in the room, where he bent slightly and offered Judy his hand.

 

"Miss Judy will you please do me the honor of dining in the dining car?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Urquhart Castle, on the shores of Loch Ness. Wednesday, June 8th, 2021. 12:45 pm

 

No one had slept particularly well on the train, other than those who required no sleep, so the first day in Inverness was mostly spent checking into their rooms at the Royal Highland Hotel (the room arrangements were consistent with their sleeper berth accommodations), exploring the streets of the city and getting in a little light shopping at the Victorian Market. Much hearty food was consumed and beer drunk by those who felt comfortable doing so, and the conversation was lively. But eventually the fatigue of travel, combined with full stomachs and foggy heads, led most to their rooms for an excellent night's sleep.

 

Wednesday morning after a late breakfast, the Claremont graduates caught a tour bus to historic Urquhart Castle for a day's sightseeing; the majestic ruin was impressive in its own right, but also offered excellent views of the loch.

 

Lulu took in a deep breath of fresh air once she got off the rather cramped tour bus; she had to fight the urge to take to the sky for a better view of the area.

 

"Nice to finally stretch our legs!" It was cooler up in the Highlands, so today she was wearing light hiking boots, loose cut jeans, and a pink and black windbreaker.

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Eira was notably solicitous of Pan today, escorting him personally to the breakfast table and watching him with concern, but somehow seemed just a little smug in the bargain as well. She made sure to help Pan down from the bus, checking on his welfare before she looked up at the castle and said "It is a real castle, yes?" She smiled, her teeth white against iridescent gold lips. "Better than a country home built by some Georgian aristocrat with more money than good taste."  

 

"Oh my gawsh look at it!" said Judy excitedly. "A real castle!" She took Micah's hand and practically ran towards the place. "Race you there! No cheating!" She ran fast and low, pumping her arms at her sides as she went, sneakers scraping against the dust as she went. 

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Horrorshow

 

"Wish we could've seen it in its prime," Davyd replied from behind Pan, stepping down off the bus after the Forever Boy.  He'd gone a bit native, appearing to wear a wool tam and kilt in the green, black, and blue tartan created for New York City, with a blue short-sleeved shirt, beige wool knee socks, and sturdy hiking boots.  "I hear there are a lot of castles like this, all over the country, that people can buy up for cheap -- well, relatively cheap -- as long as they're willing to do upkeep and renovations.  Oh!," he suddenly snapped his fingers and withdrew his smartphone from... somewhere.  "I should ask babusya if she knows of nay good castles to check out in Ukraine, I'm sure there are tons!"

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

"I am fine," Pan protested at Eira's help, but didn't quite push her away. 

 

He walked upright, staring at the scenery before them, a smile on his lips, as ever.

 

"Ooh, that looks old. And interesting. Shall we go explore? I am sure that no one will mind if we go flying around it a bit."

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Posted (edited)

As Judy starting running towards the ruin, Lulu got caught up in the competitive spirit. "Challenge accepted, girl!" She through herself into the chase, heedless of appearance as she flailed her arms around like Phoebe from Friends, yelling all the way. She also sent a mental message Adam's way.

 

Come and check out the castle with us, hon!

Edited by Heritage
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