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The Russian Doll Girl (IC)

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Friday, October 1st, 2010. The Midnight Hour, 7:58 pm

Grimalkin, or rather the stunning ‘Lenya Sokolov’, sat patiently in one of the booths on the main floor, a little ways back from the dance floor. The layout and décor where a lot different than the last time she’d been here, what, two years ago? Now that she was old enough to legally drink she found little reason to hang out in the popular juice bar, but both Lenya and Eddie were underaged, so it seemed like a safe bet. The music wasn’t quite to her taste, upbeat technopop with repetitive digital bass thumping; thank God she wasn’t drinking anything harder than overpriced blueberry-pomegranate juice or else her head would be pounding by now.

In a lot of ways, this was a horrible mistake: she was engaged, Eddie was just a kid and more than likely soon to be expelled from Claremont, so his value as a source of intel was minimal, and any additional contact with him merely risked blowing her cover. She hadn’t told either Colt or Dr Archeville about this meeting, though she wouldn’t lie to them if they asked her directly. What did she hope to gain by reestablishing Lenya’s friendship with Eddie?

In all honesty, she wasn’t quite sure; part of it was the thought of Breakdown being thrown out of his team, a team which all his friends still belonged to, at least as far as she knew. She couldn’t imagine how she’d feel if that ever happened to her, God forbid that ever came to pass. The whole story about the junior prom was very disturbing; it sounded like Eddie was this close from turning to the dark side, a very real possibility in the crimefighting world. How many cases were there of a hero choosing the wrong path, even as villains had come back to the light? Of course she in no way condoned his earlier actions, but the thought of the tremendous inner turmoil he must be feeling stabbed her in the gut.

So she’d sent him an email in her Lenya persona, stating that she was back in the States for a few months and planned to visit Freedom, and was looking forward to seeing him; dshe’d played it entirely innocent, and Eddie’s reply was vague on details, but he was very clear in his desire to see her again.

She took another sip of 'money juice' and absently ran a hand through her shoulder-length blonde hair as her dark eyes scanned the entrance for Eddie’s arrival. Like her stylish Italian motorcycle jacket tossed casually over the back of her chair, her jeans and low leather boots were jet black, and the sleeves of her No Doubt T-shirt appeared to have been razored off, exposing the full length of her pale-skinned arms. It was still early, but a lot of pimple-faced club kids had already checked her out.

Yep, I’m going to Hell; a new specially-made Jewish hell just for sneaky girls like me. :roll:

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"Hey there, good looking." said a voice just over her shoulder. Lenya turned to see yet another teenage boy. It took her a second, but she finally realized who she was looking at. Physically, Eddie's looks hadn't changed, aside from the small patch of facial hair that was growing on his chin. There was something, however, in the way he carried himself that initially made him seem like a different person all together. When he walked, his gait had more of a swagger to it than the confident walk she remembered. The last time she'd looked into his blue eyes, they'd held a sort of satisfaction that you could only find in someone that was truly happy and free of wanting. Now however, they looked hungry. Like they would devour her if she'd let them. Then there was the smile that never left his face. At least that was still there, she thought, before she realized that it too was nearly entirely different. His previous smile had beamed and lit up the room. This smile was more of a sly smirk. It still held the same confidence it once had, but this new smile seemed to advertise him in an entirely different manner.

It seemed he now lacked the unquenchable happiness, and blissful innocence that had made up so much of his character. These things showed. This was not the Eddie Ozan she had once met.

But, just as she suspected, Eddie had not forgotten how to dress for an occasion. He wore a pair of fading jeans, torn at the knees. A large silver belt buckle depicting an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of spades kept the pants strapped to his thin waist. He wore deep forest green button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up that complimented the orange streaks in his hair. On his wrists were a few bracelets and bands of varying styles. Around his neck there was a pair of large headphones. Some things never changed.

"You saving this seat for anyone?" He asked, with that sly smile of his, pointing to the chair next to her.

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"Hey there, good looking."

'Lenya' turned, and for a moment Grim felt her stomach sink; if there were any doubts that Eddie had changed, they were now shattered. The young man who stood before her was leaner and had an almost feral glint in his eyes; this was an Eddie who could put innocent lives in danger, who could kill for love.

My God, he's become the Big Bad Wolf :o

With tremendous effort, the shapeshifter kept her thoughts to herself and her fears off of Lenya's happy face.

"You saving this seat for anyone?"

"Eddie! So good to be seeing you!" The Russian beauty practically lept to her feet and pinned the boy in a fearsome bear hug, then gave him a quick kiss on each cheek. "Oh, you are looking very good, my friend!" She raised a hand to her lower lip. "Ah, you've grown the soulful patch; it suits for you." She motioned for him to sit, and then sat down herself.

"So, how is school and everyone there? Is this your last year at Claremeont, or do you have yet more classes next year?"

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Eddie smiled as she stroked his facial hair. "Thanks. I like your new style. Always was a fan of leather."

"So, how is school and everyone there? Is this your last year at Claremeont, or do you have yet more classes next year?"

Eddie let out a sharp laugh, "Heh, I wouldn't know." He frowned, which was unusual for him as far as Lenya was concerned. "But then I guess you didn't hear about that. It would be my last year, if they hadn't kicked me out." From his expression, it was clear that he wasn't happy about it, but he wasn't about to dwell on it.

From the shocked look on her face, Eddie knew he owed her an explanation. It didn't bother him any. By now, he'd told this story half a million times.

Eddie leaned in, put his elbows on the table, and folded his hands together. "Okay, so it's like this: Last time you saw me, I was dating this girl. You've probably heard of Zoe, she the kind of outgoing where everyone knows who she is. Like me. Anyway, we were going out for a few months, and I was probably way to into her, but at the time, I was just enjoying life." Eddie half leaned back in his chair, and a look of defiance spread across his face. "Anyway, bitch goes and sleeps with another guy. My best friend and band mate to be exact. Has the audacity to hide it from me. Even when I knew something was wrong, and asked about it. I would've forgiven her if she told me," He made a dismissive gesture with his hand, like he was throwing away her transgressions. "But instead, she hides it. Prom rolls around. I went pretty much all out. Gave her a nice night, you know." Eddie leaned in again, "And then it happened. Right in the middle of prom, someone has the brilliant idea to crown the both of them Prom King and Queen. To add insult to injury, they play a recording, that god only knows how they got, of the two of them having sex right up on the big screen."

Eddie stopped talking, leaned back, and let the first half of the story sink in.

When he spoke again after a few moments, his voice was different, and Lenya could see that so were his eyes. Eddie suddenly looked, and sounded, like a man defeated, like a soldier who'd lost the war, like a normal high school kid with a broken heart. "I snapped, Lenya. I did probably the worst possible thing. I don't even really remember it that well. Suddenly, I'm telling them all to go @#$% themselves and then jetting. Go speeding off down the highway in the sports car I'd borrowed from the guy she slept with. Then some part of me decides it doesn't want to just let this slide. And, well, with my range of super powers, acting on enraged impulse is probably the worst recipe for disaster ever. Next thing I know, I wake up on the floor of the ballroom all bloody and with a concussion next to the wreckage of the sports car." Eddie paused, "I'm sure you can figure out how the rest of the night went." Ashamed, he looked away.

"So long story short: I didn't just wreck that car. I lost the girl, and every one of my friends. I got kicked out of Claremont, and shoved in some dinky public school down town. Yea, I basically @#$%ed up my entire life this summer." He looked back up towards his diminutive Russian friend. His eyes pleaded with her not to hate him.

"So," he began, his voice shaking, "How have you been?"

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"So," he began, his voice shaking, "How have you been?"

There was very little acting required of Grim at this point; Lenya’s mouth hung open in mute astonishment as the harrowing tale (or at least Eddie’s side of it) flopped out on the table like a big stinky sea bass. When he finished, a string of Russian expletives came tumbling out of her as she became more and more animated until she got short of breath and had to stop.

“Maybe it was good thing I'm not attending in Claremont…†:shock:

Suddenly the beautiful blonde locked angry eyes with the young man’s and she jabbed an accusing finger in his face.

“This is bad things you have done; you know this, yes? You are in school, so I have guessed no crimes are on your record, but this is-“ She slapped her hand on the table, making it jump several inches off the floor. “You are sypergyeroi! You have a most precious gift! You have good big heart!†She lunged across the table and slapped Eddie hard in the middle of his chest. "So a girl breaks it, you do this things? Oh, Eddie, Eddie…â€

Lenya shook her head and sighed as tears welled up in her eyes.

"You have made your life most hard, and yet not all is on you; this girl, this 'Zoe' is no good for you. We must find you good girl, to make the start of better things.â€

Once again Grim was amazed at the things that came out of her mouth in this form; what exactly was she implying? Was she going to play 'Yente the Matchmaker' for this juvenile delinquent in training? Or something far worse? She did, however, find this odd Russian mouthpiece to be a good way of channeling her anger and disappointment with Eddie; who knows, maybe a little tough love was just what he needed?

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Suddenly the beautiful blonde locked angry eyes with the young man’s and she jabbed an accusing finger in his face.

“This is bad things you have done; you know this, yes? You are in school, so I have guessed no crimes are on your record, but this is-“ She slapped her hand on the table, making it jump several inches off the floor. “You are sypergyeroi! You have a most precious gift! You have good big heart!†She lunged across the table and slapped Eddie hard in the middle of his chest. "So a girl breaks it, you do this things? Oh, Eddie, Eddie…â€

"Hey," Eddie responded in turn, standing up from the table to level his eyes with hers, "You think I don't know that? You think I wanted things to turn out this way? No! I got carried away. Sure. I did terrible things. That's a definite." Eddie folded his arms with a look of defiance. "But you know what? After months of doing community service and making apologies, I don't think that's the problem anymore. The problem is that it's become like a bad @#$%ing joke that you don't get to live down." Eddie was almost yelling now, which didn't make much of a difference in the crowded hangout, but the intent was there. "The problem is, that no matter how much I've done for this city, or the people in it, no one cares anymore. The only thing they see when the look at me is a teenage @#$% up that wants to be a rockstar! No one gives a damn about who I am anymore! Not even the people who called themselves my friends." The pit of Eddie's stomach held a hollow, gnawing sensation. He hated it.

Lenya shook her head and sighed as tears welled up in her eyes.

"Damn it. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell." Eddie placed both hands on their table, and leaned into it. He suddenly looked as though he was carrying far more weight than his frail yet super strong teenage frame should be able to.

"Yea, funny thing, that." Eddie looked up at Lenya with a wry smile painted across his face. Pulling himself away from the table he explained, "You know what happens when a Super Hero Rock Star turned teenage delinquent attends a school full of normal people. There are nothing but girls. In fact, I had to shoo one off just to come see you." Eddie shook his head, "I really don't think another girlfriend is what I need right now, Lenya..." His eyes begged her for help. His eyes begged a friend for help, for an idea, for anything.

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"I really don't think another girlfriend is what I need right now, Lenya..."

Well at least that was a relief. Grim pondered a number of directions to take the conversation in, but then a thought struck her: Eddie needed a friend now, not a spy in a fancy Russian package. She turned the various factors over in her head; since he was no longer attending Claremont or dating Zoe, and was in fact a pariah with the whole YF crowd, he really wasn't a good source of intel. Heck, he might want to dish more on his ex if he knew the truth. Regardless, the shapeshifter felt the benefits far outweighed the risks.

Leaning over the table, Lenya firmly grasped the young man's hand, a very serious expression clouding her lovely features.

"Eddie, you must come with me; most important things to tell you, but away from this crowd, to quieter place."

She practically dragged him into a dark corner, looking around to make sure no one else could see them.

“Eddie, I have not been full of truth with you; some things about me you do not know.†She sighed deeply. “Eddie, there is no Lenya Sokolov; never have I been to Russia, or even out of the United States. I am a fraud, Eddie; I am actually-“

And then 'Lenya' peeled away into vapor, revealing a petite leather-clad brunette in her place! "Grimalkin, of the Interceptors." She hung her head in shame. “If you wanna take a swing at me, y’know, feel free.â€

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“Eddie, I have not been full of truth with you; some things about me you do not know.†She sighed deeply. “Eddie, there is no Lenya Sokolov; never have I been to Russia, or even out of the United States. I am a fraud, Eddie; I am actually-“

And then 'Lenya' peeled away into vapor, revealing a petite leather-clad brunette in her place! "Grimalkin, of the Interceptors."

Eddie followed along and listened quietly. When Lenya revealed who she actually was, it was really upsetting. Striking a chord on his insides that he didn't like hearing. It seemed one by one all the friends he had in the world were just dropping like flies. Eddie sighed, "See, I thought I was friends with this girl named Lenya. Turns out, she doesn't really exist." Eddie had a cold hollow stare on his face, "I thought I was friends with this girl named Grim. Turns out she's actually been lying to me about who she was for the past year or so. I really was wondering why I hadn't heard from you."

She hung her head in shame. “If you wanna take a swing at me, y’know, feel free.â€

Eddie shook his head, "Sorry, I'm done taking swings at people who I thought were my friends," he said, thinking of James. Shaking his head one more time, and looking frustrated, he waved a dismissive hand in Grim's direction stood up from the table. He turned and started walking towards the doors without another word. Please don't let me walk out like this... He thought to himself

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"See, I thought I was friends with this girl named Lenya. Turns out, she doesn't really exist." Eddie had a cold hollow stare on his face, "I thought I was friends with this girl named Grim. Turns out she's actually been lying to me about who she was for the past year or so. I really was wondering why I hadn't heard from you."

Oh God, that hurts like a shotgun in the guts. :(

"Sorry, I'm done taking swings at people who I thought were my friends,"

Grim followed after him, her costume smoothly blending into an FC hoodie, jeans and combat boots as she stepped out of the shadows and laid a hand on his arm. Through a trick of glamour, she shifted her voice so only he could hear her.

"Eddie, wait. I'm sorry I lied to you, and all the kids at Claremont; I was working undercover, a real sh##y assignment that made me sick to my stomach. But that's the work I have to do sometimes; sometimes being a hero means doing stuff you don't like."

She sighed and winced her eyes in pain.

"Look, dropping my cover like this could maybe get me kicked off my team, but I did it because I want to help you, Eddie. I want the lies to stop. I want to stop just saying I'm your friend and really be your friend, because I think you can really use one right now. Just give me five minutes, okay?"

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"Eddie, wait. I'm sorry I lied to you, and all the kids at Claremont; I was working undercover, a real sh##y assignment that made me sick to my stomach. But that's the work I have to do sometimes; sometimes being a hero means doing stuff you don't like."

Oh thank god, thought Eddie.

"Look, dropping my cover like this could maybe get me kicked off my team, but I did it because I want to help you, Eddie. I want the lies to stop. I want to stop just saying I'm your friend and really be your friend, because I think you can really use one right now. Just give me five minutes, okay?"

"Look, Grim," Eddie gently lifted her hand from his arm. "These days, there really aren't too many people in this community willing to help me out, let alone give me the time of day. I really don't have time to be spending on something that's only going to turn out to be a false hope." Eddie looked her in the eyes, some of the kindness had crept back into his eyes, but it looked fragile. "That said, you can take all the time you need." He gave her a hopeful smile.

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"That said, you can take all the time you need."

Clutching her hands together, Grim drops halfway down to her knees before bouncing back up.

"Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Eddie; I really didn't want to have to tackle you in front off all these hipster kids." ;)

Taking him by the hand, she leads him back to their table, a big friendly grin on her face.

"C'mon, I'll make you a drink; these guys charge an arm and a leg for frickin' juice."

Once she gets them settled (and conjures up any non-alcoholic drink Eddie requests), the shapeshifter rubs her hands together.

"Okay, I want to run a few things by ya, and we'll see what you like and don't like. First off, can I interest you in a job? I'm opening up a used bookstore, and I'm thinking of expanding into records and CDs. Obviously, it would be after school and weekends at first, but if you want to go full-time after graduation, that would be awesome. Are you still mixing at all?"

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Eddie leaned back in the booth, sipping the frothy part of his root beer float through a bright pink squiggly straw, conjured by Grim. "See, now you're speaking my language." He lifted the long silver spoon and shoveled down a mouthful of ice cream. "What kind of records and stuff are we talking? Vinyl is a pretty large category in and of itself. And I mean of course I accept, I just wanted to know a little more about it."

Eddie scooped down another mouthful of ice cream, "And Grim? Thanks." The hungry look in Eddie's eyes that had been desperately searching for something when he had walked in was gone. Grim recognized Eddie's old, happy, content smile the moment she saw it. It seemed all he was looking for was a friend. Or maybe ice cream.

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