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Girls (And Boys) Just Want To Have Fun (At The Pool) [OPEN]

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June 8, 2022. Claremont Academy Dorms. First Floor. After school.


Effigy and Invisigirl


BOOM BOOM BOOM. “Paperboy, get your trunks on! Pool time now!” Wilona was already bikini-ified, though it was hidden underneath loose yoga pants and a thin hoodie. All of which, obviously, were yellow/orange/red with flame designs. Because subtlety. Naomi was in a one piece with the same loose yoga pants plus thin hoodie combo over top of it. Only she was in bland grey. So what was goin’ on? It was a hotass day. Wilona was bored. And she wanted to go swimming. Swimming alone sucked ass. So she’d corralled Carmen, who was hanging out in the lobby, and started pounding on her teammate’s door. Did Wilona know a place to go swimming? You bet your ass. Did she know Luke was also in the room? Hell, no. Would she have cared if she did? Hell, no. The more the merrier.

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  • EternalPhoenix changed the title to Girls (And Boys) Just Want To Have Fun (At The Pool) [OPEN]
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Neko and Owain, for their own reasons, had been a little skeptical of the pool outing - but both had been willing to be convinced. 


Once she was firmly assured that actual immersion in the disgusting chlorinated water wasn't actually a mandatory part of the agenda, Neko had been happy to change into an outfit suitable for the pool. She wore a brightly-colored red and green floral kimono tied loosely over a one-piece bathing suit (just in case she did accidentally fall in), her bare feet padding on the carpeted floor of the dorm room as she walked alongside Owain. Her hair was back in a ponytail, her ears up and alert atop her head, her tail swishing behind her as she padded along. When she caught sight of Carmen, she gave the other girl a sharp look, but didn't hiss - despite a strong instinctive desire to do otherwise. They were all friends here, right? 


Owain was wearing a T-shirt and long shorts that went down past his knees, even though he knew the other boys would surely be wearing less. The immodesty of men's attire here was still shocking to him, just as it had been in the 1940s - what was a man supposed to think when other men just dressed like that? Not to mention ladies like Neko, who were surely shocked at such things? But talking that way got one labeled a prude by the other fellows (or rather more unkind words for it than that) and meant no parties at all; so he had made sure to dress himself modestly for the party. "Yes!" he called to the door. "There will be...snacks!" 

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Posted (edited)

Luke was lazily pretending to study, sprawled on his bed, in just a pair of faded red gym shorts, arms behind his head, eyes drifting on the page of a textbook opened in his lap, while an earbud 'kept him up to date' about a soccer match happening a continent away, which, together with the occasional banter with his roomie, was the only thing preventing the teenage boy from dozing off.


"Paperboy?" He chuckled, giving Leon a playful grin as Effigy knocked. Pool time! Yeah! He jumped up from his bed and darted at the door. 


"Hey..." He saluted Effigy and presumably Invisigirl with a wave and a wide smile.  "Pool time? Of course we are in." He added enthusiastically. "I mean... unless you two had in mind something a bit more private..." He teased. 



Edited by Nerdzul
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Even if he couldn’t hear the words,

(which really, they could probably hear her in the next building) that voice was unmistakable lately. He rolled his eyes and ran a towel over his hair just to stop it from dripping. Wrapping the towel around his waist he opened the bathroom door and half stepped out to yell at Luke. Sometimes he had to to be heard over the earbuds.

“Hey Luke, could you tell that little pain in the a-“

Leon recognized the grin his roommate gave him, but couldn’t stop him before he was across the room and yanking open the door. He clearly saw the girls as Luke greeted the two and cursed as hastily ducked back into the bathroom.

What she had been yelling about started to register. The pool? That didn’t sound half bad. In fact it actually sounded like a great idea.

Not that he would give her credit for it.

“Just tell the firecracker to give us a minute to get ready.”

He yelled from the bathroom.

“Unless they wanna see my natural bathing suit.”

That should get them to back off for a minute he thought with a smirk.

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Posted (edited)

La Puma Negra (Carmen)


Carmen's summer had been to an extent uneventful, save for one outing with a fairly well-known hero. The werecat known as La Puma had returned back to the school to stay for the week, milling about the lobby before being quickly roped into Wilona's machinations. Not that she minded it too much, thinking at least she would escape the boredom of the dorms once again with another trip, though she had a feeling as she got dressed that this was off the books. She was already familiar with such off-campus activities and knew that she'd have to keep things under the radar just a tad bit as she got dressed. No need for the heavy varsity jacket, it was already hot, and with fur over her body that would likely get her killed, regardless of the super endurance she possessed. So, she decided to go a little out of her limited wheelhouse, sporting as she came out of her dorm a floral blouse and jean shorts, hiding the plain two-piece swimwear underneath.


She'd hook on a pair of old tennis shoe before catching sight of Neko. With having had barely any words exchanged between the two, they were as fated to be in conflict with each other for what seemed like little reason. Her own tail moved straight, holding back in a hiss, with Neko appearing to do the same. Regardless she would have to be with them likely at whatever pool party this was, sneaking inside a small bag a towel and a few snacks as she waited outside the dorm room of Leon and Luke. Looking away at the mention of nudity, she'd cross her arms, "Just hurry up.... hello Luke."

Edited by MoonSimply
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Effigy and Invisigirl


Was Luke entirely blocking the door so that Wilona couldn’t poke her head in a bit? Of course not, what kind of best friend would he be if he did that? “Hoh? You that hard up, paperboy?” She had a smug little smirk on her face. “Go ahead and get some lotion and a tissue. We’ll wait a couple minutes.” She pulled her head back, but had parting words. “After all, you’re seeing a lot of girls in swimsuits today. Need you to keep it under control.” It was Naomi, paradoxically, who started giggling at that. She had already backed away at the mention of nudity. However, her art obsessed brain had turned Leon into a cartoon wolf doing the classic big eyes and AWOOGA thing while panting and it was friggin’ hilarious. Her brain added Luke next to him as a cartoon dragon doing more or less the same schtick and she started having a full on giggle fit. To the degree that she could no longer stand up.

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Oook... So there was that. Luke grinned. Not easily embarrassed, he would have to admit that he found the situation kinda amusing. He stood by the door, but didn't exactly shield his friend from the wandering eyes of anyone outside. 


"Well, if you two want the room..." He teased. 


He waved at Carmen. "Heya, they managed to drag you into this too." He smiled. "Look great by the way.


Cat-Fight! Cat-Fight. He grinned again when he barely caught the 'confrontation' between her and Neko, That would have been a show, wouldn't it? Oh well... 


He waved at the cat woman and at Owain as well, giving them too a wide smile. "Sup, you two?"


It was time to get changed though. "See you in a minute."  closed the door behind him, to slip out of his shorts and into a pair of Hawaiian swim trunks, flip flops, no shirt, a towel on a shoulder, yellow and red ball cap of an Italian soccer team on his head. 


"Anyway, I think we have been promised a Pool Party!" He barged out of the room. "Anyone wants a ride..." He offered.

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Owain made a strangled noise at Wilona's ribald teasing, his cheeks blushing a bright red that was all too familiar - they'd all seen it plenty of times. "I will be...at the pool," he said, trying to gather what was left of his dignity. "aderyn," he murmured, his form (clothes and flesh and all) seeming to collapse downward to a large black crow that abruptly flapped his wings before flying away down and out towards the Claremont pool. 


Neko gave Carmen an ears-forward glare, but seemed much less snappy than at her first meeting with the other girl. Petting a fat Persian that had appeared in her arms from nowhere in particular, she commented with a dimpled smile "Hello, Luke. Do you swim?" 

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"O'... well thank you," she spoke with a little bit of fluster. The more aggressive stance and tone that she seemed to keep dissipated when it came to talking with him, "Yes, they caught me in the lobby. I just got back from my stay at the church and well, felt like I couldn't refuse."


When Neko began to talk to Luke, her utter disdain for the fellow cat like girl seemed to erode the shy and polite look that she had given when speaking with him. Why the two of them were at odds with one another was relatively lite in details. A confrontation between the two in a busy hallway, dropped books, and natural shock at another person that appeared cat like in nature. It could all just be as well natural cat tendencies. Whatever it was, Carmen dialed herself back, refusing to be the one that started another conflict.

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Leon rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“I walked right into that one.”

He muttered to himself, sighing as he heard Naomi devolving into a fit of giggles. It was anyone’s guess what was going through her head to cause that, but he was sure it was at his expense.


Once Luke kindly closed the door he ventured into the room proper and dug out a pair of green board shorts with blue stripes running down each side.

“With a mood killer like her around it wouldn’t matter who’s there.”

He muttered as he grabbed a white tee sporting ‘Pray for the Wicked’ on the front and tour dates on the back. He slipped on a pair of black sandals and paper swarmed around him as he pulled out a towel of his own and plucked a pair of sunglasses off a shelf. The paper formed a zippered hoodie that he snatched out of the air and slung over his shoulder as he followed after Luke in to the hall.


His demeanor changed immediately as he crossed the threshold, a familiar grin appearing as he saw Carmen and Neko standing with Wilona and the still giggling Naomi.

“Hello ladies… and you.”

He beamed a smile at the girls, directing the last bit at Wilona with a small smirk. He glanced around, then at Neko.

“No Owain?”

He asked, not having seen the other boy change and fly off.

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"He is there already," said Neko, not wanting to embarrass Owain further by talking about he'd run away when things started to get bawdy. "Maybe you swim, show him how you do it." She smiled brightly as she started walking towards the pool, her tail twitching behind her as she went. "I don't really swim," she said, shaking her head, her ears twitching on top of her head at the thought. "But the water can be nice." 

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Shielding his eyes, Felix surveyed the dorm area for what would probably be the last time. Graduated already, huh? And me feeling only slightly less lost than I was when I joined. I guess, at least, I can go out in public and not make a fool of myself now- His thoughts were disrupted by the sound of multiple voices. Huh. The pool?


"Hey everyone." The young graduate - who didn't feel quite fit for the title - approached them. "Mind if I come along?" He asked. For the last time before I jump into the sea of pseudo-adulthood, at any rate. "I'd just need to grab my own swimwear."

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“With a mood killer like her around it wouldn’t matter who’s there.”


"I dunno man... I mean, the way she is teasing you..." He tossed, giving his friend a playful nudge on the chest as they were getting dressed, with the closed door hopefully shielding their conversation from the group assembled outside. 

"Hello Luke, do you swim?"


"Do I? Of course, I do, certified lifeguard here." The teenage boy grinned, it was after all a good way to earn a few bucks during the summer (plus, girls dig this kind of stuff, not that he was ever gonna bring that subject up within earshot of Muirne of course).  "Do you? I mean cats and water..." He chuckled, was he being 'racist' or something by asking though? The boy wondered. He still nodded when she confirmed that indeed she wasn't going to swim. 


"Yes, they caught me in the lobby. I just got back from my stay at the church and well, felt like I couldn't refuse."


"Made you an offer you can't refuse." Luke echoed Carmen's word in an exaggerated 'gangster' accent and pointing a finger gun at her. "Well, I'm happy that you decided to join...


The boy waved at Legatus as he joined the crowd, it was perhaps a bit weird for a graduate student to join in with kids that were still in school, but then again, he wasn't there to judge, besides, superhero work tended to make personal lives way more complex than they should and he couldn't blame the guy to still be attached to friends from school. "Heya man, sure, the more the merrier." He grinned giving the young man an high-five.


"Ok people! Let's go!"

Edited by Nerdzul
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Effigy and Invisigirl


Wilona rolled her eyes at Luke. “In his dreams, maybe. Naomi, pull it together already.”


The not invisible right this second girl wiped the tears from her eyes and stood up. “Awooga.” She said to Leon with a bright smile. This did not set her off again. She was good. Really. Okay she was obviously stifling. Corpsing like mad. She also pulled out a sketchpad and pencil (From where? A very good question.) and started furiously sketching.


“Okay. Somebody fetch-oh hey Felix-somebody fetch Owain. We’re not going to the Academy pool.” She led the way out to the front of the school, where a private bus waited. “I know a place.”


Somewhat oddly, Naomi was the first to the bus doors. Her picture was finished, but she couldn’t show it to Leon and Luke yet. She had to greet family. The doors opened for her. “Hello, Mister James.”


The bus driver was dressed as a butler. A thin older man, approaching elderly but not there yet. British, by his accent. “Hello, Miss Naomi. Port Regal, I assume?”


“Yes, please.” Naomi got on the bus. This was a plush, luxury traveling bus. It was a shame that Port Regal was not far, being in South Freedom just like Bayview and Claremont were. So it would be, unfortunately, a short trip.


Wilona was playing, of all people, was playing den mother, making sure everyone who was getting on was on. “C’mon, c’mon. Get on if you’re swimming. Or just sunning yourself, I see you Neko jeez. Seriously, somebody go grab Owain.”

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Luckily Owain had circled back when he'd realized his friends hadn't followed him, and so he and Neko were easy enough to herd into the bus. Back in his human shape, he took the seat next to Neko, hands on his lap as he watched the crowd enter. Everything will be fine. You will make sport with the young ladies and fellow gentlemen, and everything...will be fine. He still couldn't quite make eye contact with Naomi. 


Her cat vanished, Neko leaned against Owain and closed her eyes against car sickness. 

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Carmen smiled, a smile growing on her face as he exaggerated his voice, "Well... I wouldn't mind a ride over then," she says before it appeared like there was a new sort of plan of action for their travel. "O'... I guess... never mind then."


A private bus was not what she had in mind when it came to transportation, but then the luxury of the whole situation was not expected either. Puma wasn't accustomed to this sort of wealth on display, more used to old school buses that were repurposed for the school or for the mission back on the island. She would look over towards Naomi and Wilona once before looking to the driver, sighing as she got onboard. When she had been voluntold to come with them to this trip, she thought it would be far simpler, just a dip in the school pool. This instead was a crowded affair, and one that had her situated right across from Neko, arms crossed.

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On 6/13/2022 at 5:20 AM, Nerdzul said:

"I dunno man... I mean, the way she is teasing you..."


22 hours ago, EternalPhoenix said:

Effigy and Invisigirl


Wilona rolled her eyes at Luke. “In his dreams, maybe. Naomi, pull it together already.”

Leon echoed Wilona, rolling his eyes.

”Don’t encourage her.”

He sighed at his roommate before they joined the others.


22 hours ago, EternalPhoenix said:

Effigy and Invisigirl


The not invisible right this second girl wiped the tears from her eyes and stood up. “Awooga.” She said to Leon with a bright smile.

Leon smirked and grinned, not knowing Naomi’s context for the reference.

”Why, thank you.”



On 6/10/2022 at 11:10 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

"He is there already," said Neko 

“Oh? Well, his loss.”

Leon gave a silly grin.


On 6/10/2022 at 11:10 PM, Avenger Assembled said:

"Maybe you swim, show him how you do it." She smiled brightly as she started walking towards the pool, her tail twitching behind her as she went. "I don't really swim," she said, shaking her head, her ears twitching on top of her head at the thought. "But the water can be nice." 

“I can do that.”

He chuckled as he started walking with the others.

“Every try pretending to be a tiger? I’ve read that they actually like the water.”


8 hours ago, MoonSimply said:

Carmen smiled, a smile growing on her face as he exaggerated his voice, "Well... I wouldn't mind a ride over then,"


This time it was Leon elbowing Luke with a smirk.


On 6/12/2022 at 12:46 PM, secondling said:



"Hey everyone." The young graduate - who didn't feel quite fit for the title - approached them. "Mind if I come along?" He asked. "I'd just need to grab my own swimwear."

Leon turned, walking backwards.

”Sure, more the merrier, and all that. Just hurry up or get left behind.”


22 hours ago, EternalPhoenix said:

Effigy and Invisigirl


“Okay. Somebody fetch-oh hey Felix-somebody fetch Owain. We’re not going to the Academy pool.” She led the way out to the front of the school, where a private bus waited. “I know a place.”

“Not the school pool?”

He asked curiously, before pausing to stare at the bus.

”Da fu…?”

Watching her mount the steps and greet the driver (dressed like a butler?), Leon recovered himself. He followed Neko as Owain rejoined them and took the seat next to her. He frowned and looked around. With a sigh he dropped into an empty seat and gave Naomi a raised eyebrow and smirk.

”So… who did you rob to pay for this?”

He asked in an obviously joking tone.

Edited by Spacefurry
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"Hi Wilona." Felix grinned and nodded at his fellow (former) classmates, and ran off to get changed. Once ready, he rejoined the others, bright eyes sweeping over them. Wait, we're not headed to the Academy pool? Huh. I wasn't expecting that. "Uh, I'd also like to borrow a ride if one's being offered. I could fly overhead, but... I'm not terribly surreptitious... oh." A private bus. He hadn't been expecting that.


During the ride over, he looked at the two time-lost students. I hope they're okay... they both look a little stressed. He settled himself a comfortable distance away from anyone else - not wanting to intrude. Most people were more used to having (excess, to him) space around them. Whereas we never really had much room to run around, even as children.


Once they arrived, he chuckled. "Wow. You've outdone yourself, Wilona. I did not expect to come to something like this for a little hangout."

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Naomi visibly flinched at the question from Leon. “Mom and Dad.” She said more quietly than usual. Oh, right. He didn’t know. “Remember the squad trip?” Her breath got shaky and rapid. “Wasn’t Wil’s parents.” It was still terrifying. It still hurt. So to change the subject, she showed Leon her drawing of him and Luke. Straight out of her mind, it was Wolf!Leon and Dragon!Luke, going full AWOOGA. With the big heart eyes and excitedly pounding a table. “Awooga.”




“Eh?” Leon had taken her seat next to Naomi. Wilona wasn’t angry. It was just…not right. She didn’t like it. “I didn’t. Naomi made a call to James.” She jerked a thumb at the driver. “Seriously, do you guys not know she’s probably as rich as Summers?” She referred to the Headmistress, naturally. “Her dad invented a few tech widgets everything needs.” She did not say that both he and Naomi’s mother had died in the last Terminus invasion. Just would’ve made the convo more complicated.


A few minutes later, they were pulling up beside one of the Port Regal mansions. There was a pool on the other side of the wrought iron fence. Wilona stood up and shouted to be heard. “Okay, ground rules! If you can’t get over the fence, ask someone to help you! Don’t go in the main house or touch the fence, they’re alarmed and we’ll have to run away! Use the poolhouse if you need the toilet! Don’t worry about the owners, they’ve been dead for four years!” She was, naturally, referencing the last Terminus Invasion. “Now, everybody off the bus! It’s pool time!” Wilona was literally already moving. She took one step out of the bus and Libertas’d her way over the fence.

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Puma didn't seem to even blink at the idea of them using a deceased families pool. Even after a few years, she assumed that at the least someone was keeping it in some sort of care, especially since it was still under some form of surveillance. It just meant that without much worry for someone stepping into their fun private pool party. The fun for the moment was up for debate as they had only just got there, looking at the fence that stopped them from getting into the property. She'd take one look at it before crouching low and jumping up with barely even a moment in between, letting her firm superhuman athleticism do the talking as she did so without even faltering upon the landing, nor touching the fence itself.


She'd take in a deep breath, seeing the pool not too far away and beginning to walk in a march towards it, zipped bag filled to the brim with things for the secret pool party. Carmen would smirk as well, thinking that Neko couldn't possibly get over that fence with a little help. The rivalry with no real beginning and seemingly no real end would play out. She still didn't really know why they were fighting but it did feel natural to a degree.

Edited by MoonSimply
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Neko was distracted from her meditation on how a home owned by the dead might be an unwise place to throw a party, at least until she caught La Puma Negra's eye after the other girl's casual leap over the fence. She kicked off her shoes consideringly and slipped them into her bag, then walked up to the chain-link fence that surrounded the property. Folding her hands behind her back, she stepped forward and began ascending the fence as easily as one might walk up a flight of steps, tail twitching behind her as she went. At the top, she executed a neat little flip and landed on the other side. The whole time, she didn't use her hands. 


Owain looked unhappy at all this but made his own way over the fence, picking his way over with considerably more care than his acrobatic friend. Once on the other side, he was silent as he studied the scene, knuckle over his mouth. 

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"Don't encourage her."


"I'm just saying man..." Luke chuckled as he listened to the bickering between the two. 


"Well... I wouldn't mind a ride over then,"


"Sure thing let-me..." Luke was about to change and give Carmen a lift to the pool when he learned of the change of plan. Uh ok... Not that he did mind, although if they went in public it would mean that they would have to be more restrained when using powers.


"Woah..." Luke grinned as he saw the ride that was gonna bring them to the pool. "That's cool." Although, to be honest, being the subject of the generosity of his schoolmate like this made the young man feel somewhat unease, definitely unaccustomed to luxury as he was and already feeling a bit guilty that his superhero status had granted him privilege above what his 'normal' friends enjoyed. Still, the teenage dragon did his best to maintain a cheerful disposition as he choose a spot close to the two cat girls on the bus. Before they departed, he typed a message to Muirne if she wanted  to come, but unfortunately that was not gonna happen. Ok... 


He did noticed Owen hesitation and gave the young knight a playful nudge on a shoulder. "Don't worry man, it's gonna be fun."


The idea of sneaking into some dead people property was a bit weird to be honest, although it was not like Luke's first time breaking in one of the mansions up the hill, that was in another life. He waited to see if any of his friends needed help surpassing the fence and then jumped over it with a fluid movement, relying on the force from his intangible wings to carry him over the wall. 

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Felix blinked, flushing faintly as he turned to Naomi. "Oh really? Sorry about that, Naomi. I... well, never mind what I assumed. As the saying goes..." He shook his head.


As Neko moved forward to climb the fence the young man lunged forwards to grab at her, but was just barely too late to do so. "Wait! She said not to... touch the fence... dammit." He flew upwards, surveying the area to see if there were any visible alarms. "I don't see anything, but they might be silent alarms..." 


Felix turned to the others. "Are we going to risk sticking around?"

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Leon looked at Wilona and smirked.

“Really? Well I guess that makes her even more useful then you.”

He said with snark then looked back at Naomi. He caught sight of something in her expression, but couldn’t place it before she mentioned their little ‘field trip’. His brow furrowed as she brought it up and it took a moment for what she meant to sink in.

“Oh…? Oooooh…! Ssshiiiit.”

Leon had the grace to look abashed and glance away.

“I’m sorry.”

He muttered and chanced a glance at Wilona, he already knew she’d be glaring daggers at him, then looked back at the girl beside him.

“Pay no attention to me, just gonna sit here and see how much more of my foot I can fit.”

He really didn’t know much about Naomi. Wilona’s constant presence and her own shyness made it hard to talk to her sometimes. Even without that though, parents weren’t a topic he ever cared to talk about. His own having abandoned him to the uncaring system at a young age.

Still, even if he had no love for his own parents, there were others he cared about and was afraid of losing. So he could empathize.

When she showed him the picture she had doodled he was a little surprised but immediately started to chuckle and grin.

“You make it look so easy. I a little jealous.”

He leaned a little closer and gave her a conspiratorial wink and lowered his voice.

“Not that I’ll admit it in public.”

He chuckled again and leaned back.


The bus soon arrived in front of the fenced grounds of a large estate and Leon filed off the bus with the others. He eyed the fence and the grounds beyond, giving a long whistle.

“Nice. Looks like a place we woulda hit.”

He grinned at the thought for a moment then turned his attention to the others.

He watched as Carmen easily leapt the barrier and chuckled.

“Show off.”

The little rivalry between her and Neko was really entertaining sometimes and he glanced in Neko’s direction to see her reaction. He saw what she was about to do an instant before she touched the fence. The fence that Wilona had just mentioned was tied to the alarm system.


Leon’s hand snapped out and paper swarmed from his hoodie. It coalesced into a chain link fence millimeters from the real fence. The act was so swift and the cat-girl so intent, she didn’t even notice until she and Owain were already over the barrier. He let out a breath and let himself relax.

He looked up after Felix.

“It’s cool man, come on back down. Before  you call unwanted attention.”

Looking back at the others he flashed a grin and waved his hand at the paper. The fake fencing fell apart and swarmed again, reforming into. Something simple but obvious. An old fashion ladder and slide mounted over the fence, like something straight off a public playground.

“Let’s have some fun.”

He spared a glance back to James in the driver’s seat and flash himself a smirk.

“And remember, you’re an accessory.”


Once over the fence Leon turned his attention to the manor house. He had no hang ups on trespassing, dead owners or living. In this case, dead owners meant they couldn’t complain.

Besides, maybe he could take a peek inside later. Who knows what he could find hidden away in such a fancy place…

No, he wasn’t suppose to think like that anymore. But old habits died hard. Leon shook his head and turned in the direction of the pool and followed after the others. The paper slide collapsing and flowing back into his hoodie once everyone was over.

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Effigy and Invisigirl


Wilona stripped, flinging both hoodie and yoga pants poolside from mid air. “Cannonball!” She crashed down hard from almost two yards in the air, making a big splash. A proper cannonball, it was. She surfaced and flung her hair out of the way. “Man, I needed that.” She started drifting lazily, floating. Her bikini wasn’t skimpy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still a modern bikini. So anyone interested in girls could see that she was an attractive young woman with a chest that was noticeably large in comparison with her normal dressed from neck to soles state. Said hypothetical person would also notice the large collection of minor to moderate burn scars spreading out from her right hand. That right hand would have the most, followed by the arm it was attached to, then fanning out in deceasing numbers across the right side of her torso and right leg. There were virtually none on her left side, for reasons that should be obvious.


Naomi walked across Leon’s paper ladder, a big metal basin floating next to her head. It was full of wood. A big bag floated next to it. “Thanks, Leon.” She stepped off the ladder onto apparently nothing at all, and walked that way to poolside. Once there, she set herself and everything else down. “Wil? Fire please.”


“You got it.” Libertas had obviously not been deactivated, as Wilona surged out of the water (in all her bikini clad and burn scarred glory) and lit the wood on fire with the point of a finger and a little flaming beam. She cannonballed back into the water and resumed floating. Anyone paying attention would notice her right hand glowing slightly as she controlled the flames. The wood would not burn up too quickly. “Naomi’s gonna set up the grill! Cook for yourself! We’re not your momma!”


Naomi rapidly set up a makeshift grill, as if she’d done it a thousand times before. The big bag turned out to be full of mostly hamburgers, hot dogs, bread, and assorted condiments. Mostly. There were also just enough cups for everyone, and a rack that more or less fit over the burning wood. There were no actual drinks, unfortunately. She hadn’t forgotten, there just wasn’t any rom in the bag. Water from the poolhouse sink would have to do. With everything carefully set up, she took off her own hoodie and yoga pants, and sat at the edge of the pool. She dipped her feet in. “Cold.” If anything, Naomi looked smaller in just her one piece swimsuit. More vulnerable. But in contrast to Wilona, she had no visible scars.

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