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Gizmo

Blues Sisters [IC]

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Mara wasn't terribly subtle about checking out the fit of Ellie's pants (just to make sure she'd gotten them correct, naturally) as she finished buttoning up her shirt. "Best things are practical and functional," she agreed, shrugging on her jacket and starting in on her tie. "Besides, get to look awesome, and didn't have to risk freezing if it ended up cold. Always kind of feel bad for people in 'sexy' costumes. Lots of skin. No insulation. Know equations for heat transfer - not favorable."

She packed her discarded clothing way into her messenger bag before pulling on her own fedora and smiling a bit. "Besides. Reusable. Probably not the tie, but kind of like the hats."

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"Yeeeaaah, who goes around at night with an exposed stomach, right?" Ellie drawled as she adjusted her tie in the full length mirror on the back of the dorm room's door before casting about for the costume's socks and shoes. "Crazy people, I bet. Or people with abs that will not quit?!" She punctuated with supposition with an imperiously raised hand, striking a suitably bombastic pose. After holding it for a moment she cleared her throat daintily and finished tying the laces of the black dress shoes. "Sunglasses?"

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"Crazy ab people," Mara agreed sagely, nodding her head. "But probably for the best. If you're going to spend all night with an exposed stomach, might as well be an excellent one. Distract and shame your enemies."

One hand went up to her neck at the eyewear inquiry, little blue lights just barely visible under her shirt collar as her choker lit up and folded two sets of sunglasses into being. "Was very tempted to do things to the sunglasses before coming here," the engineer admitted, handing a pair to Ellie. "Make it easier to see at night. But didn't end up having time. Will just have to settle for looking good."

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Ellie offered Mara a pleased smirk but forewent the opportunity to go on further about her own abdominals. Tucking on arm of the proffered pair of sunglasses into the waist of her pants momentarily, she took stock of her costume piece by piece. "One black suit jacket, one pair black suit pants," she recited, tugging the cuffs of the former into place before adjusting her fedora. "One hat, black. One pair of sunglasses." Her smile turned coy as she closed the distance between them with a single smooth step and wrapped an arm around the engineer's waist and leaned down for another kiss, murmuring, "Sign here."

Before they could get too distracted, she came up for air and leaned back enough to straighten Mara's tie around the impediment of her choker. "Ready?"

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Mara flushed, the reminder that they were headed to a party full of strangers barely taking the edge off her kiss-induced cheer. "No," she admitted, pulling some hair back behind her ear. "Pretty nervous. But will be okay. And should probably leave before your friend thinks we're doing something we shouldn't. Or we prove her right," she added as an afterthought, snorting a little. "Will have to think harder next time I get you pants."

She set her shoulders, straightened her hat, and slipped on her sunglasses. "Hit it."

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"Well, I promise to get rid of the pants after the party so you won't be distracted," Ellie replied in a low voice, covering up a teasing look with her own sunglasses before opening the dorm room door to find Carly leaning against the hallway wall and glancing at her watch. "We didn't take that long."

Looking up, the cowgirl beamed. "Oh, you guys match, that's adorable! And no, you didn't," she agreed, stepping around them to lock the door again with her keycard then gesture back the way they'd come. "I just want to get there before the queue for the karaoke machine gets too long. Did you pick out a couple of songs yet?"

Hooking her arm through Mara's, Ellie started back toward the elevator. "Ugh... I wasn't really planing on singing."

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"I...don't sing," Mara added as she accompanied her girlfriend down the hall, ducking her head a little at the news that there was going to be karaoke - partly out of anticipation that they'd be prodded to join in, and partly out of anticipation of the sorts of things their ears might be subjected to.

The young heroine had an unusually wide number of skills, but she was also pretty aware of her limits; singing was.... "Play instruments - strings: violin, upright bass. Working on guitar. Haven't done any singing."

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"What? No, boo!" Carly protested, giving both suited young women a sour look as they passed the common room again on the way back to the elevator. "C'mon, you're dressed as singers, even!"

"Hey, I'm not asking you to ride the first mechanical bull we run into, am I?" Ellie retorted, giving Mara a subtle but encouraging nudge with her shoulder as the blonde reacted with trepidation.

The grin that sprang to the cowgirl's face immediately made her regret that line of argument. "Three time county champ," Carly informed them, holding up the appropriate number of fingers.

"...okay, so, bad example. Still," she retorted unconvincingly, adjusting her tie with her free hand.

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"Didn't know there were county mechanical bull-riding competitions." Mara's tone wasn't judgmental - from the sound of her voice and the raised eyebrows appearing from above her sunglasses, she seemed genuinely appreciative of the accomplishment. Granted, her head was already off and designing a mechanical bull that could very effectively throw people off, so she wasn't entirely sure how difficult the real thing was (or wasn't). "Could just tell people we can't perform without the whole band. And bet on no one else showing up in those costumes."

She gave Ellie a nudge back, feeling a little better. At the very least, if she did have to sing, it wouldn't be alone?

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"Well, it's not like it was a state fair or anything," Carly downplayed, a little less eager to discuss her rustic upbringing outside of a snappy comeback but still pleased by the appropriately impressed reaction. The elevator doors were closing as they rounded the last corner but another costumed student caught the sliding silver panels when he saw them coming. The brown duster the young man wore was a little too long for his stocky frame, but details like the suspenders, empty holster at his hip and pointedly dusty combat boots suggested a lot of work had gone into the outfit.

"Hey, another cowperson," Ellie noted as the girls piled into the elevator. "Looking good, Leonard."

"Oh, uh, thanks!" he replied in a vaguely surprised tone, removing his hand from the doors once everyone was inside and scratching idly at the patchy beard that matched the shock of red hair atop his head. "It's actually from a TV show. See, it's like a sci-fi thing in the future but a lot of the colonies on other planets are pretty poor so they dress sorta like pioneers? It... it got cancelled pretty fast but you can stream it online now, so..." His enthusiasm was replaced by awkward uncertainly partway through his explanation, leaving him trailing off and studying the descending numbers above the doors intently.

After a beat Carly spoke up, saying, "Well, I don't really watch a lot of TV, but I bet lots of people will get it?" She offered Leonard a reassuring smile, restoring some of his good cheer. Clearly he was given to wearing his emotions on his sleeve.

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"Don't really watch much tv either," Mara admitted. "Even sci-fi. Probably ironic? Kind of hard to watch. Shows either have...very bad science, or make me want to build things I probably shouldn't build. Or design." She frowned at that, the mention of space forcing her to fight down designs for faster-than-light craft she had no practical need for. She could always take Ellie for a joyride, but that seemed like a little bit...much. "But," she continued, "seem to have put effort into your costume? Should get recognized by people who've seen the show. Most important thing anyway."

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"Well, I guess so, yeah," Leonard agreed uncertainly, not sure that was really the reaction he was looking for, but at least glad his hard work was evident. "So, uh...?"

"Leonard, this is Mara," Ellie supplied in answer to the uncertainly implied question, "my girlfriend. Finally convinced her to some out to one of these things." She tried not to sound too much like she was bragging but didn't strain herself over it. There was something surprisingly satisfying about not being the single one in the elevator.

It took the red headed pre-med student a moment to process, visibly concentrating on memorizing the name before the rest of the sentence sunk in. "Oh... oh! Uh, I--" The young man's cheeks lit up to practically match his hair as he mumbled apologetically, "...can we pretend I didn't just sound like an idiot?"

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"Can't promise that," Mara honestly replied, with a touch of amusement that didn't seem to be directed at Leonard in particular - or, at least, not in any mean-spirited way. "Sort of remember everything ever, and not very good at lying. Can promise to not bring it up if I don't have to, though. Not really in any position to judge anyone's social skills, anyway?"

She glanced at him and shrugged. "Have met too many actual idiots. Pretty sure you're not one of them. I think."

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