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Fleur de Joie's Vignette-Fashion Show

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For Fleur de Joie. Midtown


October 24 (Takes place during Con GamesÂ)


After separating from her friends, Stesha made her way through the crowd of convention-goers towards the women's restroom. She blended in pretty well with the crowd here, which was mostly young, though there were quite a few more men than women, and she was conscious of a few looks her way. Maybe it was the hair. She'd sort of gotten used to getting double-takes for her very long, very green locks. But for the moment, she was just one more attendee, exercising a little bit of reasonably healthy hero worship for the people who kept their hometown and the whole world safe.


Despite the pinch of time, she looked over a booth or two, grinning at the comic books, toys and memorabilia on display. Once she'd done her thing and changed back, she'd have to stop by this way again and pick up some stuff for her brothers for Christmas. They were all adults, but they'd love some of this stuff. The idea of Christmas still made her feel a little nervous inside, but she was trying to work through it. She knew she'd go home, she wanted and needed to be there, but could she keep living the lie that was already difficult from a thousand miles away? And what about Derrick? She wanted him to be there too, but it wasn't fair to him to ask him to participate in her deception. Even if she'd thought he'd be able to do it convincingly, which seemed unlikely. She'd have to figure something out before the holidays, but it wasn't even Halloween yet! She still had time.


Stepping into the ladies room, she walked up to the sink and patiently played with her hair while two women who were already in there finished up and left. Finally alone, she stepped into a stall, leaving it unlocked, and touched the little chain of daisies she'd put around her wrist that morning. (Braiding flowers into her hair had just seemed unsubtle today, somehow.) A quick breathless trip through living green, and she was back in her own apartment, where her costume was neatly laid out and waiting. It was much easier to do it that way than to try and change in the bathroom, certainly!


Stesha quickly stripped to her underthings, then began putting on her costume. The green pants and shirt were easy enough, close-fitting but not the hated spandex, they were easy to move in and very resistant to damage or stains. That was important to a hero whose man activities tended to include a lot of gardening. After the pants came calf-length brown boots with low heels, enough to give her a little height without cutting divots if she had to walk or run on wet ground, and her utility belt, as she jokingly called it. It wasn't a real utility belt like the comic book Freedom Leaguers had, with a hundred useful little gadgets, it was more a toolbelt that was mostly pockets. Most of the pockets were filled with seeds and leaves and roots, the tools of her trade, though there were also spots for her wallet and cell phone. It paid to be prepared!


Those outfit pieces were all useful, but that wasn't what really made the costume a disguise. Next, Stesha pulled on the long cowled cape that completed the outfit. Dark brown like freshly turned earth, it had sleeves and buttoned across her chest, stopping just below her breasts in the front and continuing in the back to a cape that hit the back of her knees. The hood came up around her face and hid her hair, probably her most recognizable feature, and rendering her all but anonymous. With her face cast in shadow, the domino mask she used to cover her eyes completed the transition. Fully dressed, she went over to the mirror and looked at herself. She wasn't Stesha Madison, florist, anymore, not even a hint. She was Fleur de Joie, a superhero from Freedom City, and she looked pretty darn good, if she did say so herself. Grinning cheekily at herself in the mirror, Stesha did one more quick turn to check herself over, then touched her flowers again. There was a potted plant waiting in the green room at the Hall, and she didn't want to be late.

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