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alderwitch

Party Crashers [IC]

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As the family party had gone fine, Taylor had figured that it was safe enough to have a small party at home for a few friends. Nothing big, and she didn't want to end up playing that game where they guess her waist size. Taylor was alright with never knowing how wide around she was at this particular moment. She especially didn't want to share that knowledge with anyone else much less turn it into a party game. So, the living room was a little incongruous in the Farretti home. It was still all the sleek black and red modern affair of Jack's living room. But it had a few discreet flower arrangements to soften the rather stark environs in soft blue. And there was a cake, of course.

Taylor figured that it was a good plan to enjoy cake while she still had an appetite. Chances were good that would be gone again when the baby was born. She wasn't entirely certain if Jack was off hiding in his study or if he'd snuck out while she was setting out the veggie tray. Of course, he could have waltzed right by here with his vampiric powers. That was on the list of abilities she hoped the baby never manifested. She stole a carrot from the platter and perched on the edge of the couch, waiting on the doorbell. Or the teleportation into one of the flower arrangements. One could never be certain.

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She was still a little unprepared when one of the flower arrangements suddenly began popping out more flower arrangements, rather like it was aping the guest of honor. The crowd of hyacinths hiccuped up a pot of blue and white daisies, a vase of blue roses sprinkled with baby's breath, a pot of carnations, and then a bunch of balloons before finally regurgitating Stesha as well, who was carrying a large box covered in teddy bear wrapping paper. "Hi Taylor!" she said brightly. "How are you feeling? I tried to get here a little early in case you didn't have enough decorations, but time got away from me."

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Taylor started and then watched bemused as the flower finally spat out her best friend, "Thanks. Jack may or may not be around. I imagine he'll say goodbye before he heads out but its hard to say. You've beat everyone else here but that's not really hard as I imagine Ace and Moira are going to see who can be more fashionably late. Either that, or they'll arrive together. Thanks for coming."

Taylor levitated one of the pots into her hands - no way she was going to try to bend at the waist these days - and began looking for good places to set the bright arrangement.

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Well Ace had to admit that one advantage of Taylor living with Jack was she now had valet at home. He tipped the handsome young man generously and slipped him a wink as he passed him a simple business card with his name and a number he kept for such purposes before turning to mount the stairs. He casually conversed with the doorman as he waited on the elevator and was pleased to hear he was expected. Taylor still was getting used to living in something not a 5th story walk up after all.

Arriving at the penthouse he rang the bell and pulled his own small pair of gifts from his pocket to present to the expectant mother.

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"Oh, I wouldn't miss it. I love baby showers," Stesha assured her blithely. "The baby shopping thing, well, that didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped, but this will be fun! Are you sure we can't play the candy bar in the diaper game? I think that one's hilarious." Chuckling, she went to answer the door so Taylor wouldn't have to get up. She opened the door and smiled at Ace. "Hey, we were just talking about you. Come on in, things are just getting started."

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Ace swept into the room with a smile, "My ears were burning for good reason it seems." He said with a wink. He set the gift on a convenient table and leaned in to press a quick, though likely too long for Jacks taste, kiss on each of Taylors cheeks. "I know I'm supposed to babble a bout the glow and all that but its not really my style. Suffice to say motherhood suits you, if not your lifestyle." The last with a critical eye to jacks decor.

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"I don't mind baby games, just no one's measuring my middle or they're going through a wall. Hey, Ace," Taylor pushed up to stand and give him a hug. It looked very effortless if you ignored the energy signature of her arcane powers 'help'. She gave Ace a bright smile that dimpled both her cheeks, "It's not exactly a huge party. Moira will be here too and that's really it. I didn't want to have that many people over."

Jack had seemed a little twitchy over inviting Ace but Taylor wasn't sure if that was due to Ace's ability to aggravate everyone around him or if Jack was getting even more testy about letting people in their home. Taylor rather suspected that he was having some problems with his vampiric instincts with the baby's ever increasing presence. Taylor put it out of her mind and beamed at both of them, "I have a cake and a ton of snacks. That's as far as my party planning goes."

She sighed and tapped ace on the shoulder with a friendly open palm. "Thank you for the compliment, backhanded though it may be. I promise the nursery is neither red nor black."

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Ace smiled at that, "Good to hear, dark colors can give a child a complex I hear... Speaking of which your less stylish half out and about or doing that creepy lurking thing?" He said with a barely suppressed shudder. It was one thing seeing Avenger face to face, another knowing a predator like him was stalking you. Regardless of how tame everyone else tried to pretend he was.

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In a corner of the living room, Jack watched Ace's shudder with narrowed eyes. He'd opted to just conceal himself here quietly, his misty body invisible in the wash of the apartment's heating and cooling unit, and as usual with Ace he didn't really like what he saw. It wasn't that he objected to Ace's familiarity with Taylor; he knew that was simply the way the immortal adventurer operated. It was just that sneaking suspicion that told him that it was done for his benefit, to annoy him and bedevil him, that was so irritating. But that was all right; he was used to that sort of baiting from Ace. He'd just sit here in the corner and make sure the party went on smoothly, and that none of the intruders in his family's territory went where they shouldn't. It'd be fine.

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Taylor whacked Ace on the shoulder with her palm, and rolled her eyes, "I don't know. I'm not paranoid enough to feel the need to keep tabs on Jack every minute of every day. If he's not in his study, he's probably out and about attending to work of one kind or another. Those of us that don't have a lunchbox line have to occasionally attend to things like that. Oh, speaking of which, I want you to take a look at the nursery before you go."

She gave Stesha an amused grin, "I totally think we need to make Ace play the game with the diapers, don't you?"

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"Oh, absolutely," Stesha agreed, laughing. She hadn't been quite confident enough to actually bring the materials for party games along with her, but that didn't mean she didn't have a bag of stuff waiting on her counter at home, just in case. "And you'll also be saving me from eating a whole bag of fun-size candy bars by myself, which is a service to humanity. Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back." She laid her fingers on one of the bouquets and vanished.

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Ace grinned, "Of course taylor always glad to help with decor." He said in his most flamboyant voice, a sign that going to the party had likely started another grand kids discussion with his father that had ended with more sissy comments again.

He laughed as Stesha vanished, "I'll have you know I do have like three generations of Nieces and nephews now." He said with a grin. "But I'm willing to win all your candy."

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Moira had never been to a baby shower before. She wondered what she could bring. Doing a little research, brought her across the cutest little things she could get for both the mommy-to-be and baby-to-be. She decided to go with something simple and elegant: a divine blessing. Imbuing some of her power into the child. She hoped Taylor would accept it. If not she had weekend passes to the resort of Taylor's choice. Heck she might give them both to her if it goes well enough. It was show time. She knocked on the door with a shave-and-a-haircut knock.

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"Yeah, yeah. All talk," Taylor teased the superhero, "Stesha and I both have masses of siblings. This isn't anyone's first baby shower I don't think."

Taylor stopped the teasing to glance at the door. The door knob turned and it opened under the force of the mystic's will. Eldritch power was pretty handy when one didn't feel like navigating around the house or trying to climb out of the chair. Taylor gave Moira a dimpled smile and a wave, "Come on in, Moira."

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At the knock Ace snickered, "I wouldn't be so sure of that." He said with a grin and began to stand when the tendrils of eldritch energy preempted him. He shot a wink Taylors direction as the door slid open, "You know if you rely on that for everything your never going to get your figure back."

He Waved heartily to Moira as she came in. "Welcome to the party." He said smoothly a ready smile on his lips and stood to greet her.

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Moira smiled and walked over to Taylor. Giving her a hug from the side to avoid the bun in the oven. "[divine]Congratulations,[/divine]" she whispered in her ear. This was certainly a small crowd. Stesha. Ace. Jack. Taylor, of course. But hey, small parties are nice. Moira gently touched Taylor's belly and spoke with a coo, "[divine]and how are you doing?[/divine]"

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Before Taylor could respond, a burst of machine gun fire came crashing through the big windows facing the street, the bullets ripping through Ace Danger's midsection in a shower of blood as the immortal hero staggered under the weight of volleyfire. Seconds later, there was an enormous crash from the apartment's doorway as the tough, reinforced metal shook under the onslaught of a massive explosion! The door held, barely, but was visibly pushed back from its hinges as the room plunged into a deeper darkness.

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