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Winter 2023


The elderly Asian man in the jean jacket and denim slacks might have attracted attention if he'd come into the liquor store any earlier, but it was late at night and the middle-aged clerk was obviously ready for his shift to end. He smiled at the clerk and placed the liquor and cigarettes on the counter. "Nice weather, we are having today." 

The man grunted, looked at his ID 'sorry sir, gotsta check everybody these days', then glanced at his security camera feed suspiciously for a moment before shrugging and accepting the older man's money. Still smiling, he walked outside with his bags under one arm, then walked out of view of the liquor store and into the darkness of the poorly lit streets of Greenbank. 


In between one step and the next,  he blended away and vanished, replaced by a petite Japanese teenager whose ears and tail weren't visible at the moment, her clothes now a warm wool jacket and too-large slacks. She found her friends waiting for her at the edge of a nearby alley. "It was easy," she said, cooly handing her bags to Leon. They'd wound up bringing a curious bunch along for this evening out, Leon and Luke, the best of friends, Multi-Girl who she hadn't really gotten to know well despite the year they'd spent in each other's company, and of course - Carmen. "Nobody around here," she added confidently. 

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Bernadette O’Connell was standing to one side of the group, her hands tucked in the pockets of the black New England Revolution hoodie she was wearing. The redheaded Irish teen was wearing a pair of dark jeans along with grey cross-trainers. Over the last year Bernadette had learned a lot about controlling her abilities and become more comfortable with using them and the entire “superhero” thing, even if she still felt slightly out of place.

The redhead gave a nod to Neko as the Japanese teen rejoined them. "Ah have a pair o' copies a few blocks out. They haven' seen much either." Bernadette stated with her slight Irish accent.

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"Neat." Luke grinned as he saw Neko and gave her a playful high-five, while wondering what Owain would think about their little 'victimless crime'. Whatever. It was late at night, in Jannuary, but that hadn't prevented Luke from keeping his regular, sleeveless white t-shirt and faded jeans combo, together with his battered sneakers and ballcap. Perks of being a supernatural creature in disguise, the risks of catching a cold were limited at best. 


"Did you get everything?" He snopped at the pack of goodies that Neko had managed to get from the liquor store. Himself, Luke was no smoker (well... not exactly), didn't fit with his pre-superhero ambition of making something of himself through sports, but certainly he did not disdain a drink or two.


"Awesome." He smiled at Multi-Girl. "Besides, It's not like anyone seeing us is gonna be a problem." He added, with a cocky grin on his lips, yeah, with their combined powers, it was not like a stray cop was exactly hard to bamboozle anyway. 


"So where are we headed people?" He continued enthusiastically. Himself he had a few places in town that he knew were going to be free to hang out and if push comes to shove, he could whisker everyone to his own private pocket-realm, although, well, getting shit-faced while within his own mindspace, yeah, weird things could happen.

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"You were brilliant."

Leon grinned as slipped around Neko and drew her into a hug from behind, giving her a kiss on the cheek as he held her.

He looked from Luke to Bernadette and smirked.

"Charlie would be so disappointed in us."

He chuckled, referring to their 'Young Guardians' teammate.


"Always nice to have an extra set of eyes or two."

Leon nodded to Bernadette.

"Could'a used someone like you a couple times."


"Plenty of empty buildings around."

He offered at Luke's prompt.

"Or the old railyard."

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"You've got my cigarettes, been wanting to get my hands on some," the woman towards the back of the group spoke. She was seemingly even more covered up for the weather, not that she had to as it acted mostly as disguise to hide her true looks the best that she could do with a Claremont jacket and a dark grey hoodie underneath. The only time she had worn jeans as well, the young catwoman wanting to be discrete as they want about their rather unlawful activity. Back at the dorm, placed underneath a few slightly ripped blankets was several pillows made to look like her slumbering form in the most primitive of ways possible.


Walking over to the rest of them, she'd put a hand to her hip. She wasn't always on the best terms with Neko, but she got the job done.

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Neko always seemed to have a slight smile plastered to her face, especially when she was meeting new people. She was smiling now - and showing her teeth. She tossed Carmen the pack of cigarettes she'd asked for, without the judgement most people their age might have had. It didn't surprise her that a city girl like Carmen smoked, but she didn't view it as a bad habit the way everyone else around them did. 


"Do they need -" she asked Multi-Girl, pointing to the beer bottles. She didn't know very much about the duplicates but she had bought a lot of beer, at least by her own reckoning. She'd heard Irish people liked to drink, so who knew? 

"Some place dark." she said to Leon, smiling as she slipped her arm inside his. Her big yellow eyes reflected the streetlight above with a feline glow, the four teens alone for the moment in the Greenbank street.

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Bernadette gave a small smile in return to Leon’s comment about Charlie likely being disappointed at the petty delinquency the group was engaging in. "What do ye mean 'would?' He will probably know before tha end o' the week."


The Irish redhead did not comment as the fifth member of the group spoke up, asking for the cigarettes Neko had acquired. While Bernadette had seen Carmen around campus, the two had not had much interaction.


The teen's bright green eyes focused back on Neko when she asked about whether any of her duplicates needed any of the alcohol the Japanese teen had brought along with the cigarettes. "Thanks, but they should be fine." Bernadette replied with a smile. "Besides, ah'm not completely shoore what might happen if some o' me duplicates drink an' then merge back with me."

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"Or by the end of the night..." Luke chuckled. "Chaz has a way of knowing things." Luke shrugged.


"Maybe the alcohol will compound?" Luke chuckled at the thought, when Bernadette mentioned the risk of getting her duplicate some drink. "Do they need to drink or eat by the way?" He asked


"Railyard it is then. Are we ready to get Wasted!" He continue enthusiastically, a big grin on his lips as he lead the way toward their destination. Now of course, getting a dragon properly wasted was no easy quest, but he was confident that by the end of the night they will succeed. 

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Carmen would catch the pack easily enough out of the air, hiding them away in one of the interior pockets of her varsity jacket. She had grown a habit while she still lived in Puerto Rico, hiding it away from prying eyes. It was sneaking them off of crooks or other hoodlums that tried to mess around back home. Of course, now with so many super powered beings, some of which that could read minds meant that dipping back behind the school could be a difficult task all for a lazy smoke.


"Thanks," she spoke without much fanfare for receiving it. She'd scrummage through her pockets for where she kept a small wallet. A small clip of cash was tossed back towards Neko, already having prepped to pay for it. She was more interested in drinking, something that was a bit harder for her to do considering her age. More so given her rather iconic looking look. She didn't feel the talkative type when it came to going anywhere, she didn't know the area still enough to know the best places.

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Leon grinned down at Neko, admiring her bright lit eyes.

“I love the way you think.”

He glanced up and snickered at Bernadette’s comment before outright laughing at Luke’s.

“Well then, let’s enjoy it while we can.”

At the question of alcohol and her dupes Leon smirked at Bernadette..

“Now that sounds like something I’d like to see.”

He laughed and glanced at Carmen. She was a girl of few words, but she was trustworthy. She just needed to loosen up a bit.

“To the rail yard then.”

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Greenbank's railyards were just busy enough that there was no profit in shutting them down - but not busy enough to be very populated this late at night. It was easy enough for the teens to make it over the rear fence, Neko climbing up the side nimbly before vaulting over the barbed wire at the top, landing silently and on her feet on the other side. There were a few security guards but it was easy enough, between the four of them, to give them all cover as they made their way out to an old wooden-walled warehouse that had seen better days. 


"Perfect," said Neko as she hopped up under shelter of an overhanging metal awning. She perched there for a moment, then said "We need...kanpai." Not terribly interested in American beer, which was by all accounts terrible, she had taken something for herself, and so produced a small bottle of what Raina had called 'airplane sake'. She pulled the lid off the bottle with her teeth, then raised it high to clink against the other bottles as the others allowed before tossing her head back for a drink. 

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"That might be tha case, but ah'm not so sure. I mean, if one o' me duplicates does a lot o' physical exertion an' merges back with me, I don' get more tired." Bernadette commented when Luke asked whether merging with an intoxicated duplicate might compound the alcohol in her system. "They typically aren' around long enough ta get hungry, but when I have practiced lacrosse with some duplicates, they certainly get thirsty an' drink water." The Irish teen then added.


 When the group reached the railyards, Bernadette easily leapt over the rear fence, landing gracefully on the other side, if a bit louder than Neko. Following along with the group, the redheaded teen took one of the bottles of beer and popped off the cap with her hands before clinking it against Neko's offered cheer and taking a drink herself.

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"Got it... I mean, it's not like I have to eat like an actual bus-sized lizard either..." It was pretty much supernatural stuff, magic or otherwise. "Well... almost..." He chuckled. "It's a pretty cool gift though." He smiled. 


The abadoned rail yard fence had never really been an obstacle for Luke even before getting superpowers and certainly it wasn't one now that he could easily jump over it without breaking a sweat. 


He snatched a bottle for himself, thanking Neko with a bow of the head and a mischivious smile. "Cheers people!" He clinked his drinl  with whoever wanted to.


"Now what to do... what to do..." He looked around.


"I mean it's not like we can just drink out the night... and we do have an empty bottle or two... I mean... we are gonna to in a moment..." He added, not before chugging through his own bottle pretty much in one go (the perks of having the stamina of the aforementioned bus-sized lizards).


"Spin the bottle?" He suggested.


(OOC hehe I dunno if the game is called like that in English, or it's just something like "truth or dare")

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Leon was amused at the railyard’s fence, watching as Neko gracefully vaulted it. Admittedly, he didn’t have his girlfriend’s physical strengths, but he wasn’t going to be out done. He watched with a grin as the others followed her over. Bringing up the rear he leapt up, grabbing the top of the barbwire with his left hand he briefly balanced on it in a one-handed handstand before continuing to the other side with a flip.

The rent-a-cops were doing the bare minimum to earn their paychecks, not that Leon blamed them. The railyard was only limping along commercially and everyone knew the after-hours visitors were ignored unless they started causing problems or property damage.

The warehouse was perfect for what they were looking for, tucked away amongst several identical ones. The group easily gained entry and slipped inside. Once inside, Leon grabbed a bottle and twisted the cap off.


He smiled and tapped his bottle to the others with a small clink before taking a swig. He set the bottle down and started to dig into the interior of his jacket.

“Party games, that sounds like fun.”

He grinned mischievously as he produced a small wireless speaker and set it aside for the moment to look at the others.

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Carmen was essentially a hangar on as she followed the rest of the group to the railyard, watching as a train limped away in the dimly lit dark out of the city and into the surrounding county. If she had been anything normal in appearance, Carmen would likely be just any other sort of wallflower, but given that wasn't the case, it was more like the stray cat that followed the rest of the group as they came about a fence. Another fence to jump over, the best sign that what they were doing wasn't really kosher with the rules, not that she was really caring at this point as she simply jumped over them in a small flip, not even exerting herself at all in the action. 


For her own senses, the place reeked with scent mildew and other less savory things, but their use as a group, Carmen considered it a lot better than alternatives, "Dragón," she spoke, pulling out a cigarette from her pocket and holding it out towards Luke to see if he could light it. She had no lighter to use to use and knew that the draconic young hero could at least breath fire during training classes on campus, "What game is that?"

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Neko needed some clarification about what the game and its rules were, but then nodded. "Oh, Shitsumon to chūmon, I know...this. Okay." She sat cross-legged near the bottle, hands folded in her lap, and for just a moment looked every inch a creature out of legend. Maybe it was the pointed ears, or the way her tail thumped behind her. She opened her sake and tapped it against Leon's beer, then tossed it back. For just a moment she was a girl, taking her first drink of sake under the watchful eyes of her parents. 


And then she was back with her friends and her boyfriend, smiling with her teeth. "Ready." She spun the bottle with a strong flick, spinning it on the concrete floor with a slight buzz, which eventually pointed towards Multi-Girl. 

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Bernadette was not in a rush to down the beer she had, although she was pretty certain it would take more than a few before she might really start feeling anything. When Luke made a suggestion on playing a party game, the redheaded Irish girl chuckled slightly before moving slightly so that the group was more or less in a circle.


As the group more or less agreed to the suggested game, Neko wasted little time in emptying a bottle to start them off. As the bottle came to a rest pointing at her, Bernadette looked around the group for a moment before settling on Luke. "Truth or Dare Luke?" The Irish teen asked.




"What has been the most embrassin' thing about your powers?"



"Let us look through yer phone fer a minute."


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Luke grinned as he realized that it was his turn already.


"Dare, of course." He replied confidently. 


"Let us look through yer phone fer a minute."


"Sure." He fumbled to find his definitely obsolete (and barely working) phone in the pockets. Was there a tiny droplet of sweat durnning down his brow even if he still pretended to be calm about it? Perhaps.... 


Now one minute wasn't much, but it was still time aplenty to dig  a bit into the dragon boy 'secrets'.


---- 54 seconds left on the clock --- 


"Hey Lulu!" Luke's little brother's voice saluted the boy using a nickname that the seventeen years old would have preferred was kept in the family and was quickly followed by a tirade of childish back and forth between the two (one that perhaps was expected by a kid barely in his teens, but definitely embarassing for a seventeen years old superhero). 

---- 42 seconds left on the clock --- 


Then of course there was the endless stream of cheesy romantic messages with his girl... 


--- 33 seconds on the clock --- 


"I think that we can skip my search history right?" He tried to object the vast majority of it was just what one would expect from an hormonal teenager. Although a few tutorial about various slow dances were also there, perhaps a bit more surprisingly.


--- 25  seconds on the clock --- 


"I mean I had to practice somehow. Ok?" And yet the sound files of Luke trying and failing to produce an intimidating dragon roar were definitely cringy enough... 


--- 18 seconds left on the clock --- 


... Not that the unfinished videos for his tick-tock channel were much better... (Especially the unpublished fumbles and mishaps)


--- 5 seconds to go --- 


Phey we are almost done. 


"That's not what it seems" There was definitely a reddish hue on the boy's cheecks as he tried to explain why he had a bunch of selfies, clearly shot in front of a mirror at the gym, where he posed for the camera while being very much under-dressed.




"Uh ok..." Luke ruffled the hair on the back of his neck as he secured the phone back into his pocket.

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Somehow in the time that decision to play Spin the Bottle and looking through Luke's phone, Carmen had managed to get one of the cigarettes to light by using a beat up lighter that she had found, likely lost by someone that had been through here not too long ago. With just enough inside of it, a small insignificant burst of flame came from it, the were-cat sensing the heat radiating off of it before bringing it up to the cigarette in her hands and lighting it. Tobacco filled her sense, a familiar scent that she had experience with before taking an inexperienced drag of it. The immediate feedback of it, near overpowering in its high, holding back a cough as it was almost too much for her to handle. Carmen doubted that she'd ever really be able to be any sort of smoker, but just for the time being she'd take the time to break a few school rules and attempt to smoke it. She didn't need Neko getting upset with her or something for wasting money, let alone any ridicule.


The bottle would spin once again and soon it was Carmen that would be selected, taking another drag from her cigarette that was a bit more practiced now, "FIne fine, I'll pick...."  she takes a few moments. Carmen had never really played this game before and thought the rules were a little strange to what she was used to, "Leon, truth or dare?"



"Do you get paper cuts?"




"Can you turn yourself into other people like Neko with your paper powers?"


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Leon was nearly in tears by the time Luke retrieved his phone. It took him a moment before he could actually take another sip from his own bottle.

“Aw man, I should’ve had you send me those. Perfect blackmail material.”

He grinned as he suppressed another chuckle. He watched the bottle as Bernadette as she spun the bottle. I stopped in Carmen and he watched her take another hit from her cigarette as she seemed to think.


55 minutes ago, MoonSimply said:

"Leon, truth or dare?"


Leon thought for a moment.



57 minutes ago, MoonSimply said:

"Do you get paper cuts?"


“Not that I can remember.”

He shook his head.

“It’s… it’s like it doesn’t want to hurt me if it can help it. I mean, I’ve never pushed to to see just how far it’ll go to keep from hurting me.”

He ran a hand through his hair in thought.

“But, I have been smacked on the head with a book more than once.”

He smirked.

“Maybe if it knows there isn’t any real intent to hurt me…” 

Leon gives a little shrug.

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When Leon spun the bottle it came to Neko, who smiled a little smile and lay her hands on her lap. She was pleased to be the chooser and not the chosen, particularly since there were a great many truths she had little interest in sharing with most of her friends and many she wouldn't even tell Leon. Luke's pictures had been funny, though she was glad to see she looked cute in all of them. "Okay. Bernadette." Multi-Girl had been safe enough to pick before. 




"Do you like any boys?" it was an innocent enough question, at least the way she phrased it.  





"Drink this," she offered, handing her the other bottle of sake. "All...like this," she added, miming tilting her head back as she did so. 


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Bernadette ginned at Leon as he lamented not getting copies of some of what they had found on Luke's phone. After spinning the bottle and selecting Carmen to go next, the redheaded teen had a few moments to sit back and finish her beer while Leon choose truth and answered the cat-girl’s question.


Neko was selected to go next, and the Japanese teen choose Bernadette. The Irish girl thought a brief moment before answering. "Truth."


On 2/10/2023 at 9:41 PM, Avenger Assembled said:


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"Do you like any boys?" it was an innocent enough question, at least the way she phrased it.  


"I 'like' plenty o' boys." Bernadette initially responded with a grin. But then she became a bit more serious. "But I expect ye are meanin' somethin' more than just boys I'm friends with."


"As far as boys I might be interested in….Charlie is one. He's in great shape, very focused an' confident. On the downside, his focus boarders a bit on obsession, so, he seems ta have little time fer much outside his focus." The teen finally stated with a somewhat resigned look.


She then looked back up at Neko. "Owain is pretty cute as well. Though, like Charlie, he seems ta have a rather single minded focus."

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Neko shifted where she sat, tail twitching behind her. "He doesn't-" She adopted a pained look, feeling flushed still from the sake, and said, "Owain...thinks things, because...where he is from? Not, ah, because you Irish, but..." Her cheeks were definitely flushed before she decided that Owain was going to have those pained looks in his eyes forever if nobody ever said anything. "I think he is gay." They all knew Owain pretty well and none of them had heard him ever whisper a breath of romance about anyone, though he had sometimes discussed the duty of a Christian husband to treat his wife as an untouchable jewel. "I want to tell him it is okay, but he would - just say he is not gay." 

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Leon was curious of Bernadette’s answer and chuckled when she mentioned Charlie. He took another sip as she went on to mention Owain and glanced at Neko. When his girlfriend mentioned her suspicions of Owain he paused and thought back. He couldn’t remember the other boy ever talking about ,well , anyone romantically. He gave little shrug and set his bottle down.

“It’s cool, you can count on us to be be there.”

His sister was a lesbian, but he didn’t feel the need to bring it up.

“Whatever he figures out, he’ll have support. And if any gives him trouble, we’ll…”

He gives Neko a mischievous grin as he waited for Bernadette to spin the bottle.

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Bernadette had focused on Neko when she had fidgeted after the Irish teen had mentioned Owain. When the Japanese cat-girl finally stated what she suspected about Owain’s sexual orientation, the redheaded nodded slightly. "Aye, that would make sense." She said quietly.

The teen then nodded in agreement to Leon's comments. "But your right, it is okay." Bernadette stated. "It may be it is somethin' he needs ta work out, but like Leon said, we are here ta help, however we can."

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