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Cyroa

Beach Party in Winter (IC)

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James was tired of all this cold and snow. He liked warm weather. And there were certain fun activities associated with winter; it still wasn’t his favorite time of the year. It got dreary too. Wore on people too.

He’d had enough of it. He couldn’t change the seasons, but he could certainly make some minor adjustments. And now that he had some good friends who’d enjoy the change, he’d make it happen.

A rather nice, if small, resort outside of the city was in their slow period. They were more than willing to rent the entire facility to James. A few dozen bungalows, a large pool, a volleyball court. Perfect place for a party of a couple hundred people easy. Saturday and Sunday would be pretty crowded.

Not that there would be that many at first of course. Friday was just for a smaller group. Those who knew about their powers mainly, or at least those would wouldn’t reveal anything. Some would be heroes, others not. Well, the others that is. James didn’t really have a secret life given the Family name.

James had showed up early on Friday. It took a little while for the snow to melt, the water in the pool to warm up nicely and the ground to dry. It was just like afternoon in the middle of summer, within the confines of the little resort anyway.

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"So this thing is heated, right?" Eddie asked looking at the water. He dropped a bag full of things near one of the reclining chairs on the side of the pool. He approached James and the two shook hands. Eddie in his blue and red long swim trunks, and a ratty old t-shirt with the decals long since faded away. "Thanks for the invite, man. I've been meaning to take a vacation, but it's just so hard to get away sometimes."

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James walked up and shook Eddie's hand. He was already dressed in a bathing suit and loose shirt. "My pleasure Eddie. And of course it's heated. This is me after all. I even got the jacuzzi over there running. We've got our own little patch of summer here. For the whole weekend. Though tomorrow and Sunday will have to be more careful about the whole powers things. But for tonight? We're just going to have a grand time." He pointed off to the grill and food area. "There's plenty of food and drink too. Take a load off and relax."

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"Oh don't worry, I'll be living the life this weekend. Not to mention Valentines day coming up. Still gotta plan something for Z, but hey..." The last was said more to himself than James.

"Say, this place doesn't have a bar, does it?" Eddie asked as he surveyed his surroundings. "Nothing like a cold beer and a hot tub!" He gave James a friendly nudge before he pulled off his shirt and threw it on to the rest of his things. He would soon be ready to swim.

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Mike tucked Alex's head tightly against his shoulder and silently asked, 'You ready?' before diving out of the sky at full speed only to pull up at the last second and lightly alight on the ground, his practice with high speed maneuvers having apparently paid off.

As he came to his feet in his baggy jeans and t-shirt he glanced to Eddie with a slight frown, "I don't know if that's exactly the example we should be setting." he said in a friendly if exasperated tone, despite having been several hundred feet in the air when Eddie had spoken.

He gently set Alex on her feet with one hand and slung his bag to the ground with the other smiling at James, "Wow, this is quite the set up man."

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Chris appeared from the house in green swimming shorts, shaking his head at Mike's ass stick. "Dude, set an example? Does alcohol even affects most of us? Heck, I can't drink caffeine due to my system clearing it out so quickly. I choose to set the example of responsible use!" He stopped beside the group. "Anyway, if it's not powers-only tomorrow, how you explaining the lack of cold? Patio heaters?"

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"It's not that I care about the drinking," said Mark, luckily having caught most of the conversation as he and Faith walked up down the driveway to greet the others, "but you guys don't know Mr. Summers like I do. He knows. He always knows." He looked around at that, as if the headmaster would come stumping his way out from behind a bush to heckle them. "But if we're not drinking ourselves," he said to Faith, "no harm, no foul." He smiled at her, looking very pleased with himself to have such a pretty girl on his arm. In a loose, open Freedom Friends T-shirt and very tight black athletic trunks, he looked ready to party.

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James rolled his eyes. "If you don't want to see any alcohol, I suggest averting your eyes. Because yes there is. Only various beers though. Nothing hard. There's no need to set any example here. It's just use having fun and relaxing. Most of us aren't even bothered by it. And for those that are," he shrugged. "There's only beer anyway. And technically it's not against the law...I don't think. We're not in public. No one sold it to a minor. None of that legal stuff to worry about." He waved his hand. "Not that I care anyway. As for Mr. Summers...well, there's a reason this is outside of school and there's a place to crash for everyone. He doesn't have a say here."

He nodded at Mike. "Thanks. I wanted us to have a great weekend off. Or even just a nice party for a night if you're not up for afterwards. So just enjoy and have fun. He glanced over at Chris. "I don't have much of a secret id or anything. I'm James Prophet, famous family and all that, remember? Not a big concern for me. I just set it up for the other days in case you guys need to keep stuff hidden from people not in our circle."

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"I agree with James and Chris on this one, guys." Eddie replied off-hand. "What's the point of James paying for a place where we can all be ourselves and do what we want if we can't actually do what we want? That just seems silly to me."

"And about Summers, he's the type of guy that rewards responsibility. He doesn't make a habit of crushing kids dreams either. I've had this fake ID for months now, and while Summers may know, he hasn't done anything. He's certainly had plenty of chances. But I'm responsible with it, and I think he respects that." Eddie's trademark smile played across his face. He acted like there was nothing for him to fear in the world. It may have had something to do with Mark's arrival, though. With him here, their chances of getting in trouble for just about anything were almost zero.

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Faith was finally glad to be out of this winter weather. She absolutely adored summer. It gave her a chance to wear those tennis dresses she loved so much. Though even better was the beach. She affected a simple black bikini covered by a short robe that wasn't really covering much, but was there because it matched.

"I've never drank alcohol before," Faith said with a shrug. She wasn't sure about it, but if Mark was OK with it, she would never disrespect him. "Besides, we have lots of other things to do," she grinned and gave Mark and excited hug.

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"I guess, I mean, if you like it. It doesn't smell like it tastes very good and everyone who is affected always thinks that they're impressing people who are usually just laughing at them..." Alex frowned with her usual furrowed brow of trying to understand the human condition. As Mike set her down, she landed on booted feet and began stripping off the layers and layers and layers of clothing that she'd worn to stay warm on the way over. Eventually she managed to reveal the t-shirt and jeans layer of her outfit where she paused, "This is really nice, thank you for inviting us, James."

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Mike merely shrugged at the argument he really didn't see the appeal, it really seemed like it was just for the sake of proving the could drink which seemed pretty silly to him. "Well if that's what does it for you." He says with a nod.

"So is it just young freedom and guests or are we expecting others?" he asked curiously.

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Mark gave Faith a big hug, thoroughly enjoying the moment. "Mmm. Rex was thinking about coming, but his image inducer is on the fritz. I'm sure we'll get a pretty good-sized crowd, one way or another." If he stopped to think about it, this sort of thing was exactly why he and Faith were going together. Another boy might have wondered if that was healthy, but he didn't actually stop to think about things much. He grinned down at Faith and added, "Race you to the water!" A moment later, he turned and bolted straight for the beach.

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Faith had heard about Rex, the animated anthropomorphic dog, but had never met him. It was too bad he couldn't make it. Though Faith was glad she had Mark. He was much better than anyone right now. When he took off, she was taken by surprise. She smiled and chased after him! "Hey wait for me!" she called with a laugh.

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Alex glanced around and frowned. She turned to James, asking curiously, "Erin's not here yet?"

Even as she waited to answer, her eyes took on that unfocused look as started expanding her senses outward automatically. It wasn't really that she was worried, more that Alex 'looking around for someone' covered a good deal more space than your average person.

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James just shook his and and grinned. He watched the new couple run off for the water. Personally, he gave it 3 months at most. There was always the outside chance it'd last longer, but James figured that really depended on Mark making it past that point. He gave a mental shrug. He was actually surprised Zoe and Eddie were still together on some level, though only a little. Mike and Alex...well, James knew that one was a permanent lock.

He took a step over to the large grill area. With a flick of his wrist, he sent a wave of fire into them to get it started. He had little to no experience cooking, even on a grill. But if it was just amount of burning something until a certain point, he could handle that easily enough. He glanced at Alex and shook his head. "Haven't seen her yet. But I'm sure she'll show," he said confidently.

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"Oh yea!" Eddie clapped his hands together and rubbed them back and forth. His eyes had locked on to the grill that James was beginning to heat, and he started licking his lips. "I could go for some good burger, right about now. What's on the menu, James?" Eddie approached the grill to stand off to the side, watching James work. He couldn't effectively look over the taller boy's shoulder, so he simply observed from an angle. Rolling his eyes, Eddie continued. "Man, it must've been like two hours since I last ate. I think Z's appetite is starting to rub off on me."

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Alex didn't have to extend her senses far to find Erin, that notable's always-focused consciousness was just arriving in the driveway of the resort. Erin parked her truck and put the keys in her pocket, then made her way around to the pool area where everyone had congregated. As she walked, she shrugged off the coat she'd been wearing, since it definitely wasn't necessary in the bubble of muggy summer weather. "Hey guys," she said, joining the group near James. "Nice weather for a swimming party. Anybody going in yet?" Erin looked a little uncomfortable, as usual in most social situations, but not terribly so. It was, after all, just the gang for now.

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Alex beamed at her, "Mark and Faith headed that way but I didn't want to follow until we had a few more people."

She quickly stripped down to her suit, shucking off the tshirt and jeans before stuffing them into her bag so that they didn't get lost or end up with sand kicked in them. She'd picked dark blue boy-cut bikini bottoms and paired it with a white and turqoise striped string bikini top. There weren't a lot of colors for Alex, but then, there wasn't really a lot of cloth. She paused to pull the barrets out of her hair and pulled it back into a quick braid instead as she fixed Mike with a somewhat challenging look. "'Kay, I'm ready."

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Mike was about to answer Erin but the words died on his lips as his petite girlfriend unveiled her new and much more grown up swimwear. His eye unconsciously traveled up and down her small frame and his mouth went dry before he eventually managed to croak out, "I'll get drinks." and turned to shuffle over to collect drinks for them. He quickly ducked behind the bar to quickly change into his own black swim trucks, now much tighter after his most recent growth spurt, before rejoining the girls taking a long drink of his soda and clearing his voice to complement, "New suit looks really nice Alex." with a slight blush.

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While Mike was off regaining his composure, Erin leaned down to Alex. "Hug him, dare you." she whispered in her roommate's ear, then sauntered off towards the pool with a grin, leaving the two of them alone. As she went, she shucked off her own clothes and dropped them in a pile on a beach chair, revealing the results of her own shopping expedition. She didn't make her silver two-piece swimsuit look nearly as good as Alex did hers, but the suit definitely showed off a lot of very well-toned muscles. Without bothering to check the temperature, she hopped up onto the diving board and dove cleanly into the pool. She was glad it was warm.

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James shrugged at Eddie. "There's hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. The standard grill food. All in that fridge there," he said pointing. "I was just getting it started. Figured anyone who wanted to could cook, or people would just cook what they wanted. Pick what you want and throw it on. There's certainly enough." He might get around to cooking later. But since he didn't particularly need to eat very much, he wasn't in a rush to try those unknown skills just yet.

He looked over at Alex and smiled appreciatively. Then he glanced over at Mike and resisted the urge to chuckle. He shook his head and took a step behind Mike as he returned. It wasn't like Alex couldn't read the big guy's mind with ease. But complimenting a girl were never a bad thing. It was a start for Mike, but he could do much better than that. "Mike, seriously? 'Nice bathing suit'? C'mon man. How about, 'Wow, Alex you look amazing.' Or gorgeous? Fabulous? Use those poetry and literary skills man. Speak from the heart buddy. Trust me. Compliments are a good thing," he said quietly. He continued onward and away, to let the two of them (well Mike) fumble over what they already knew to be true.

He wandered over to the pool eyeing Erin. She looked...relaxed, mostly, which he was glad to see. "Erin, glad you could make it. You definitely do the suit justice. You look good," he said honestly. He didn't want to embarrass her but she deserve the compliment. "Water warm enough," he asked, crouching down to stick his hand in, testing it.

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After seeing all of his friends entering the pool, the food was already far from Eddie's mind. "Burgers can wait. Pool now!" Eddie kicked off his flip flops and tossed them over at his bag full of things near the chair.

"Ready or not, here I come!" Eddie stepped onto the diving board. Waiting to make sure the water was clear, he ran down the length, jumped, bounced, and front flipped into the water.

After a large splash and a few moments underwater, he finally came up for air. He shook his shaggy black hair out like a dog as soon as his head broke the surface of the water, sucking in a deep breath as he did so. "Woo! I love doing that!"

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Mark wasn't interested in going swimming; for all that he'd visited Atlantis a couple of times as a kid, he'd never actually enjoyed swimming in the ocean. The pool was for swimming; the beach was for wading. And besides, while the ocean water was much warmer than it had any right to be in February, it wasn't as comfortable as the pool was probably going to be.

"Hmm," said Mark, wading in experimentally with Faith at his side, "this isn't quite as nice as I thought it would be," he admitted. Smiling at Faith, he put his arms around her, an enjoyable embrace indeed when they were both in their beach outfits. "The company is especially nice, though. Maybe we can get James to come out here later and warm up the ocean especially for us. In the meantime, it looks like we've got the beach all to ourselves." He leaned in with an easy confidence and planted a kiss on her lips.

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This was great. A sunny beach all by themselves. Well Faith didn't see anyone else coming. She and Mark would have some time to spend together alone! It had been almost a week they had been together. He saved her on Monday. It had been a great week, they spent time getting to know each other. Being in love was the greatest feeling ever. Things flew like the wind. Nothing could happen to make her feel better... And then Mark kissed her. Faith felt the world stop. She wasn't on a beach in the middle of nowhere, she was with Mark. This was their first kiss. Something she would remember forever. She softly wrapped her hand behind his neck to prolong it, never wanting this moment to fade.

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