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Good Food, Good Friends

Thunder King

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Thursday, November 28th, 3:00 PM



Mali Benjawan was excited. She'd arrived at home a couple days before and had woken up promptly in the morning to help her parents set dinner up. When she proposed bringing some friends in to eat with them, they were happy to hear it.


Her parents expressed concern with their less than traditional Thanksgiving meal and how her friends would feel, but she reassured them that her friends weren't very traditional either.


They were asked to arrive sometime in the early afternoon. Any time before six would be fine, because that's when they were planning on eating.


She wasn't sure what time they were all going to show up, but in the meantime she distracted herself by helping with food preparation.

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Blodeuwedd would face god and monster without breaking a sweat but the idea of her as Cerys having a quiet meal with one of her friends and family filled her with dread. Over the last year or so she had gotten more use to being Cerys at school but away from such an environment she was still a little nervous. Which was why see tended to seek out those situations whenever she could.

To relax herself she had spent the last couple of hours patrolling the city travelling from rooftop to rooftop keeping an eye out for trouble. Things had been quiet but the exercise had done its job and she fairly relaxed as she arrive near the Benjawan house. With merely a though her jump suit had transformed itself into a fairly conservative dress, still in it’s midnight blue, though she kept the boots. Stashing all her other equipment in a hidden compartment in the bag she carried she was ready for the meal.


At more or less the arranged time a rather demure looking Blodeuwedd arrived at the house and rang the bell.

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Mali answered the door as her parents were quite busy. They were in the kitchen, setting things up.


"Hi Cerys." She said with a polite smile. She opened the door. "It's cold out there, come on in. Have a seat." She motioned to the couch.


Mali's home was an old one. One of the old Victorian homes that hadn't been converted into a bed and breakfast. Her parents had bought it assuming they would fill it with children. There was a fireplace lit in the main room, and the furniture was comfortable and inviting.


"Mom and dad are doing some stuff in the kitchen, or they'd have introduced themselves. Sorry about that."

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Giang Trang pulled the small van she was driving into the driveway of Mail's parents' house.  The Asian teen had been allowed to borrow one of the school’s vans for the evening, seeing as most of the students had returned home for the Thanksgiving break. 


A year ago, she had not known how to drive a car, but had learned to drive from John Smith, and not just a car, but a motorcycle as well.  So much had changed for the eighteen year old over the last year, ever since the people she believed to have been her parents had taken her out of the small mountain village in Vietnam, just before she had turned seventeen. 


Thanksgiving dinner was yet another new experience for Giang, but one she was looking forward to experiencing with Mali and her family, as well as a number of her other friends and classmates from Claremont Academy. 


Tonight the Asian teen was wearing a traditional which a collar that covered about hallway up her neck.  It was white in color, with light and dark green floral patterns covering it along with light green piping around the neck and over fold that went from the base of her neck over to the right hand side of the dress.  Her long black hair was put up in a partial bun in the back, with several curls of hair dangling down to her shoulder blades.


Exiting the van, Giang locked it and then made her way up to the front door and rang the doorbell.

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Ah, Thanksgiving. over the past couple of years, with Fox gone, it has been the most awkward of holidays. Miss Vance would have some overdone meal, she and Sam would share it in silence for about ten minutes, then her guardian would leave. Actually having Thanksgiving with good company is going to be a plus.

She dresses for the weather, not particularly worried about being able to uncover her brand; if she needs to call on her powers that much, something's already gone very wrong. So, she sports a black trench coat dress with muffs, scarf, and mittens.

She checks her phone's GPS, only able to get a general location for the teleport, and walks along with Tona, hanging off her arm. The requisite lessons in their world have, of course, included lessons on how to properly escort one's date. She lets Tona take the lead, while offering directions from her phone.

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Port Royale was a good way from the urban sprawl, with many large, walled-off properties and old homes. Fortunately, that meant quite a few shadows to step into and out of, which is exactly what Tona Baudin did like it was the most natural thing in the world. It was getting to be, too, since her girlfriend didn't seem to enjoy public transport and neither of them were interested in owning their own cars.


She was in her version of dressed up, in a dark green, fitted blouse with a burgundy sweater over it, with a special touch; an orange skirt with a leaf motif picked out in different shades of red. True, there were gray stockings under the skirt and she was wearing hiking boots, but it was halfway to a dress, and that was about as far away as she was willing to go at the moment. The pair walked down the street, Tona eying the buildings and shadows with equal interest. Sam had been quite firm that bringing weapons to a family dinner was a bad idea, and the young heroine was feeling rather exposed. She'd feel a lot better once they were within Mali's home.


The girls rounded the corner and Tona caught sight of Giang. She knew the girl from an earlier adventure, but hadn't particularly been expecting. Her dress was certainly eye-catching. She leaned in close to Sam, whispering fiercely. "Should I have dressed up more?"

Edited by Raveled
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"You're asking someone who wore a suit to get pizza just last week," Sam answers, shifting from a cheerful smile to a positively sunny grin. "Don't worry so much, you look great." She gives her girlfriend a peck on the cheek, happy for what victories she's managed to get. "Besides, little steps."

She turns her attention back to the Asian girl. "I don't believe we've formally met. Tona, would you be so kind as to introduce me to your friend?"

The upper limits of Sam's ability to exude positivity and joy never ceases to unsettle. A job skill that leaked into daily life, really, as the skill of acting sunny and innocent has blended in with her ability to be more genuinely cheerful.

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"Mm, yes." Tona stepped forward with Sam, more fully into the spread of the Banjawans' porch light. "Giang, this is Sam. She can --" Tona glanced between the two other women. Should she mention Sam's superpowers? It would be a pretty big deal, but they all went to Claremont, right? "She can cheat. Don't play cards with her. Sam, this is Giang. She can do amazing things when she's in the water." It was only after the words were out of her mouth that the young woman saw the double meaning to them. "Not that. Um. I ever saw her do anything. Like that." Tona blushed and shut her mouth, staring at her feet to avoid either girl's eyes.

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Giang glanced over as Tona and Sam stepped fully into the porch light.  "Good evening."  She stated in greeting as Tona made the introductions, though the Asian teen did raise an eyebrow slightly at Tona's comments, not quite sure what to make of them.  "I believe what Tona is meaning to say that my powers include the ability to control water."


"It is an honor to meet you Sam."  Giang stated as she placed her palms together in front of her and gave a slight bow.  "I have heard others speak quite highly of you."

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Sam screws up her face and offers her girlfriend a glare. "I do not!" she protests. At least, she's never gotten caught. It's prejudice based on her old job, obviously; couldn't be anything else since she makes sure she loses often enough to be believable. Besides, cheating is a part of the game when you play poker. And it's not like she used her powers. It's training! Training!

But she can decide whether Tona gets to sleep on the proverbial couch tonight later. Giang has been nothing but courteous, and deserves the same in turn.

She slides her arm out of Tona's and meets the bow in kind. "And it is a pleasure to meet you as well, Giang. Rumors of your talents from the field are many." Presumably. Sam hasn't actually heard any, but she's pretty sure Giang has done her fair share of field work, and it would be rude to follow, 'I hear good things about you,' with, 'I've heard squat about you.' Thankfully, it doesn't sound like she's a telepath.

She rises from her bow and permits Tona to offer her arm anew. "And I must say, your cheongsam is lovely."

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As they were outside chatting, Mali stepped up to the door and opened it with a big smile. her friends were here! She grinned from ear to ear.

"Hi!" She said. "So glad you guys could make it. Cerys is already inside. Come on in, come on in." She opened the door wide and motioned for the girls to step inside. It was warm and cozy. Comfortable and relaxing.


"Find a seat, my parents will be out to say hi shortly. Sorry, but they're busy in the kitchen at the moment." She motioned to the furniture. All comfortable, warm and cozy, well upholstered chairs and couches.


"If you guys will hand me your jackets and coats, I'll put them in the closet." She said. "I'm so happy you guys are here."

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"Thank you Sam.  It is rare that I have the opportunity to wear something like this."  Giang replied to the other girl with a small smile and slight nod.  "Both of you are looking very nice as well."  She then stated, being sure to include Tona once more. 


It was then that Mali opened the door to greet them all with a wide smile.  "Good evening Mali."  Giang replied with a warm smile of her own, making her way in with Sam and Tona and then following her back to the room where Cerys was already waiting. 


"Good evening Cerys." 


Unlike some of the others, Giang was not wearing a coat, despite her dress being sleeveless. 

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"Do too cheat," Tona insisted. "Teleporting, illusions. Very cheaty." She was only half serious; there were people who used much worse things on the street everyday, and learning to see through Sam's tricks gave Tona an edge in such situations. That didn't mean she was going to let her girlfriend off the hook.

She followed the other girls inside, shrugging off her sweater and hanging it off to Mali. "Thank you. Cerys, it's good to see you. Did you bring Subito along?"

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Blodeuwedd greeted all her friend with a wide smile and a series of large hugs. THings had been a little rough at the start of the year all that they had gone through had only made their friendships stronger.


“We spent the 4th July with the family and it was... an interesting day. So we decided it would be best if he spent today with his family. Honestly I was just going to bum around Claremont if Mali hadn’t made her generous offer. I think we’re going to spend New Year together, though that might mean I have to endure two New Years...â€

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"That's not cheating. That's just playing a different game. And if they don't know what game I'm playing?" Sam shrugs. "Makes my life easier."

She enters the Benjawan residence and removes her winterwear, sporting a simple white blouse and pleated knee-length wool skirt beneath. Her hair's tied back in a ponytail, though it's still too short to fall properly, instead jutting out into bitters.

"Hey, Mali. Thank you for inviting us; it's great to be here." After abandoning the warmest of her clothes, the hugs commence. "Hi, Cerys. Glad you're here."

She stops herself from wandering, suppressing her instinct to case the house in favor of not wandering about someone's home without permission. This is a chance to spend some time off the job.

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"Mali said she was bringing friends. I hope you're all hungry." Someone said from the far room. He was a little taller than Mali, with some of the same features, her eyes for one. He wore a pair of slacks and a polo shirt. It was evident where Mali got her strength from, because there was clear muscular tone in his shoulders, though his was sleeker and less bulky. He was smiling an honest smile, clearly glad to see his daughter's friends.


"Hello." Another voice said, stepping from behind him. She was a bit shorter than Mali, and Mali's other features were obvious in her face, such as Mali's nose and ears. She was a pretty woman in her late 30s. She wore a simple dark green dress, she too was all smiles. "I'm glad to see you all here."


"Annan" He said, shaking the hands of each of the girls in turn.


"Apsari." She said, shaking the others' hands.


"Now let's see...Tona, Sam, Cerys, Giang." Annan said, ticking off each name as he nodded to each girl. "Did I get it right?"


"We've heard wonderful things about you girls. Every time Mali comes home to visit she's got new stories about all of her new, wonderful friends." Apsari said.


"Our home is yours." Annan said with a polite nod. "You are all welcome in our home. It is an honor to meet you all. Please excuse us, we are still working on dinner."


It did not need to be said, but it was clear that the Benjawans knew that Mali had left no friends behind at her old high school, and that they were grateful that she'd found so many good friends.

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Giang returned Creys' hug with a warm smile.  The Welsh teen had been among the first Claremont students that the Asian teen had gotten to know after starting at the school, when they had gone with John and Subito to the Lost World.  Since then they had shared a number of other adventures as well.


When Mali's parents came in to greet the guests, Giang turned to face them, giving a small bow in greeting before shaking their offered hands when they came to her in turn.  "It is an honor to meet both of you as well.  Thank you for your gracious hospitality."

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"Yes, sir," Sam answers cheerily, then offers a curtsy. Old school, perhaps, but sometimes old school has class. "Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. and Mrs. Benjawan. Thank you for having us. Mali's said all good things about me, I hope? Though that may be a short conversation."

It takes art, training, and a bit of madness to infuse everything she says down to the self-deprecating humor with such saccharine sunshine, and Sam is a master of all three. Especially that last one.

"Would you like any help in the kitchen?" The polite offer to make, even from someone with almost no experience in the kitchen.

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Tona watched Sam and Giang greet Mali's parents, and settled for a bow that looked more like something out of a martial arts tournament; hands at her side, feet together, back stiff, keeping her eyes on them all the time. "Thank you for inviting me into your home," she said, her tone more stilted than normal. "It's a great honor, and I swear that I won't betray it." She looked around the room, trying to keep from sizing up Mali's parents as fighters. Sometimes it was hard to remember that not everyone on this planet was a trained warrior, but from what Mali has mentioned her parents were just trying to live quiet lives.

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If there was anything odd in any of the girls' behavior, Mali's parents didn't so much as blink. "Mali's told us a lot about you." Annan said with a pleasant smile. "Good to see she's made some good friends."


"Feel free to relax, sit by the fire, put your feet up. If you'd like, Mali could show you her room. We know she's staying at Claremont, but we like her to come home from time to time, and I imagine Mali appreciates the opportunity to stop by from time to time too." Apsari said with a smile.


"Sam, I appreciate the offer, but you girls are our guests. We'll handle dinner." Annan said with a polite nod. "Dinner should be done in about a half hour."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tona held herself stiffly until Mali's parents were out of the room, and then managed to relax a touch. She made a beeline for the fire, finding it rather more comforting than the dresses and fancy house around her. Still, she realized that she should probably say something nice about Mali's parents. "Mali. You're, um. Your father looks very... capable. I would like a chance to spar with him. And your mother. Um." She inhaled, racking her brain, and then the smells hit her. Roasting meat and sugar and warm bread. Her neck craned towards the door leading to the kitchen, and she slowly began shifting in that direction. Tona shied away from the over-processed foods most of her friends enjoyed, but even she had to admit that whatever was cooking smelled delicious. "Your mother is... l'odeur delicieuse."

Edited by Raveled
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  • 1 month later...

Blodeuwedd couldn’t help but give a little smile at Tona’s efforts to engage in small talk.

“We really need to get you out among really people so you can practice your small talk. That way you’d suffer from far less l'esprit d'escalier.â€

She thought briefly about the first time they had all gone out together enjoyable, but not for the reason they went out in the first place.

“Though maybe not as eventful as some of our previous day’s out.†she turned to Mali


“So while we wait for this excellent meal do we get the full tour?â€

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