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Angel

Nobody's Home

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It was a boring weekend. Nightfall was too far away. That's when Angel usually did her crimefighting deal. She could go spontaneously start a scene and get some coverage on the 11 o'clock news as she was wont to do, but she was fresh out of ideas there. She wondered when the last time she saw Moira was. Maybe it was time to give her a visit.

Hopping in her new black 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport, she sped off to see the woman of her dreams. When she got there, she found that Moira was nowhere to be found.

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The house wasn't empty, though. Angel followed some noises to the master bedroom, where she found a young woman with green hair braided around her head, apparently trying on a red evening dress. It was a pretty good fit, except that the sleeves were too long, and the hem just a bit too long as well.

Stesha was very absorbed in her self-study in the mirror and didn't even hear the front door open. Moira had gone off to pick up the lady who was supposed to be doing the alterations, leaving her to pick over herself in the mirror. She still wasn't at all sure about this date, but she figured she should make the best of it. When a stranger suddenly appeared in the mirror, she yelped. Turning to face the stranger, she wished very much that she hadn't left her knapsack in the bathroom. "Who are you?" she demanded.

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Weird, Angel thought as she found out the door wasn't locked. I'll just wait here in the living room till she gets home. Maybe I'll get something from the kitchen. Hopefully she doesn't mind.

As she walked to the kitchen, she heard a noise soming from the bedroom. Wait, her car's not here, Angel thought as her pulse quickened. Slipping off her shoes, she walked towards the bedroom, ready to kick the head off of the intruder.

When she got to her destination she couldn't believe her eyes. It was like a fairy tale just appeared. "No, who are you," Angel demanded right back.

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"I asked you first!" Stesha pointed out, her sleeves flapping. "The person who owns this house is really good friends with... ah, with the police, you'd better believe that. And she'll be back any minute now!" Belatedly it occurred to her that this could just be another friend of Moira's dropping by, but in case she was wrong, maybe a little bravado wouldn't hurt. She reached up and touched the miniature yellow sunflowers braided into her hair, reminding herself that she wasn't entirely helpless, just in a rather foolish situation.

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Was that flower thing a sign of aggression? Angel knew better than to let her guard down, but the little princess looked too cute to hurt anything. "The person who lives here isn't here," she said in a lazy stance, "I'm sure if you know who's house you broke into you'd run far far away, cutie."

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"Do I look like I'm breaking in?" Stesha demanded, waving her arms and making the sleeves flap again. They really were very long. "Do you know many people who break into people's houses and try on evening gowns that don't fit, then stand around waiting to see if a seamstress is going to show up? Because if you do, you need to start spending time with a better class of people!"

She tugged at the sleeves, which only made things worse. "As it happens, I'm a very good friend of Moira's," Stesha continued more calmly, "and she invited me here to try on a dress. That still doesn't explain who you are, though."

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Angel laughed heartily at the comment of who she hangs around with, but more at the display of frustrated cuteness. "Oh, OK, yeah, that was too good to be true." Her clothes didn't look her part, but then again, she didn't like fancy wear. Baggy jeans, boy's boxers, sneakers, and a spaghetti strap tanktop suited her fine. "Excuse me," she curtsied to the princess, "perhaps we started out on a bad foot. My name is Angel Marks. And you are?"

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Something about the name seemed really familiar, but Stesha just couldn't place it. "I think Moira might have mentioned you," she said, figuring that's where she would've heard it. "My name is Stesha. Moira's going to be back soon, she went to pick up the seamstress to do the alterations on this thing. Something about a flat tire and a bad spare. You can probably wait around and catch her if you want."

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Awesome, Angel thought, Someone who doesn't know me. Though, am I slipping? Maybe I should have went and made the news. "Glad to meet you, Stesha." Walking a bit closer, she examined the princess and her dress. "So, what kinda soiree are you going to?"

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Stesha rolled her eyes. "Blind date, God help me. Moira's setting the whole thing up because... well, it's a really long story. But she's got this friend, and she swears I'll like him. I'm not even sure I ever actually said yes, but here I am!" She gave an open-arm shrug, which lifted the entire yoke of the dress, arms first. As she got a better look at Angel, she narrowed her eyes a little. "You know, you look really familiar. Are you one of the Knights?" she guessed.

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Angel knew the horror of blind dates. They'd tell you he was nice and then you'd end up with some ponce who was more interested in his bankbook to impress you than actually doing anything. Worse yet, those pricks act like you owe them yourself afterwards. No good could come of this. Then again, the princess could come from a different social stock. She looked the part though.

"The Knights," Angel questioned curiously, "No, but I've heard good things about them. Real mysterious types though." She wondered id she should keep the princess in the dark of her real nature. Would it be rude to do so?

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"Oh," Stesha said, backpedaling quickly. Apparently Angel wasn't that kind of friend, not a superheroing friend to know about the Knights. "Yeah, they really are," she agreed. "I was reading an article on them in some magazine while I was at the dentist the other day, I thought that was maybe where I saw your picture. But that would be weird, wouldn't it?" She laughed, and it only sounded a little forced. "But still, you do look really familiar. Did you happen to get married lately by any chance?"

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"No no no no no," Angel fired off with rapid succession in an amused tone, "Not yet. Too young for that." She sighed, "OK, you might have seen me in the news a lot. I'm one of those rich idiots with no day job the media likes to pester," she snickered. "Apparently if you're rich, you're interesting. Forgive me for being evasive."

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"Oh, Angel Marks!" Stesha's face lit up with recognition. "Of course! I saw you on the Style segment of Channel 23 news last week. I didn't realize you knew Moira! Wow, small world, huh? I think I did the flowers for one of your cousins' wedding. Or maybe a second cousin, I can't remember. But it was a huge wedding. Two thousand guests, just crazy. Gorgeous, though. How do you know Moira?"

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"Very small indeed," Angel said with a look of reminiscing. The cousin Stesha was refering to was living nicely in Manhattan. For all intensive purposes, it was an arranged marriage, but they hit it off perfectly. Sometimes you get lucky.

Angel shook her head with a smile as she walked over to the bed. She remembered what went on in that bed with Moira. It was magic. "Me and Moira met at a jazz club," she said with a smile, "I'll never forget the first time I met her" She sighed happily, "We went out on an adventure that night. Doing things that heroes do." Looking Stesha up and down, she nodded, "So what's your story, princess? How did you meet Moira?"

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That got a laugh from Stesha as she turned back to the mirror, looking at Angel in the reflection. "I fell off her porch," she admitted cheerfully. "It was the middle of the night, and suddenly she walks up behind me, all covered in monster goo, and scared the bejeesus out of me. She hauled me in and helped me get cleaned up, and we made friends. I wanted to know more about what it's like to work in this city, and she told me, and it was cool. Now she's got me set up on this date, and I think she might be crazy, but the dress will be gorgeous once it fits. If it ever fits." She gave the sleeve an annoyed look. "What sorts of hero-type stuff do you do?"

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"Well, I'm a night owl, mostly," Angel said leaning back on her hands, "I do my best to try to keep Freedom's bad guys off the streets then. No real superpowers, but I got a few magical items that help me out." She shrugged, "I'm in it for the kicks and thrills, really. Making the city safer is a perk. Else I could be donating to the Help-A-Hero funds. Of which I do." Angel stopped her rambling, "So, yeah." Before she could speak again, she pulled a vibrating phone from one of her deep pockets. "Now," she said with an upward inflection of happiness, "Awesome. Be there in an hour. Kiss that pink slip goodbye while you're at it!" She looked to Stesha with a smile and took her hand. "Sorry to run out so quickly. It was nice meeting you. Maybe you, me and Moira can get together sometime? Hope your blind date goes well. Bye!" With that burst of words she quickly made her way out of the house.

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"Bye?" Stesha said uncertainly to Angel's retreating back. "Nice to meet you!" Angel may well have been out of the house by then, but it still seemed the right sort of pleasantry. Moira sure did seem to know all the interesting people in Freedom City. Stesha decided to just be grateful that she'd been dressed when Angel had wandered on in. It might be better not to change into her street clothes until Moira arrived with the seamstress. She'd keep an eye on the entertainment channels for awhile, she decided, and maybe she'd see someone she'd actually met in person for once. That would be pretty cool.

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