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Robin waited until Fred was out at the lab as she didn't want to worry her roommate with the implicit rulebreaking that was about to occur. Briefly, she felt guilty for leaving Fred behind but the young woman was still adjusting to life in this century and Robin thought that taking her to what was sure to be a rather sketchy - and probably illegal - venue was not likely to help matters. She paused to leave Fred a brief and uninformative note before she headed for the door on quiet feet. Robin fished the tattered flyer out from her pocket - having snagged it during the last weekend in the Fens and began picking her way through the hallways towards Raina and Cathy's room. Glancing up and down the hall to make certain there were no lingering RA's, she knocked on the door.

"Hey, we should go if we want to make it. Also before anyone catches us heading off campus." As this was so very not a sanctioned field trip.

 

Edited by alderwitch

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"Ready!" Raina slipped out of her room, her backpack on her back and her broom in hand. She took a look up and down the hall as well. "Once we get a little ways out from the school, I can fly us, we'll save some time. We want to get to the mall before they close, and have time to find some good stuff to wear. No way we're gonna get in in this janky stuff." She indicated both their clothing in disgust. "Cathy, come on!" she hissed into the door. "We gotta go! And try to keep a lid on the temperature, that's a dead giveaway!" 

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"I'm stir not sure that this a really good idea, if we get caught we're in so much trouble." Cathy was a bundle of nerves and the temperature reflected it, though not quite as bad.as other times

"I'm not sure what's wrong with what I'm wearing, it's practical and functional." She was wearing her normal parka with the hood up, which she often did when she was nervious and a jumper showing two peopele.in.silhouette dancing. Any leg that could be seen beneath her long skirt was hidden underneath her sensible boots.

"Let's just do this before I lose my nerve."

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"I don't have any money for clothes but I'm fine," Robin pointed out as she stepped back to let the other girls out of the room, "I'm sure I can get in if I put my mind to it."

That sounded from her tone that it might involve intimidating who ever was at the door which while perhaps effective, might cause more trouble than it was worth. Still, she gave a phlegmatic shrug to the other two as she was less invested in the idea of clubbing - although Robin liked the idea of dancing. She fished the flyer she had dutifully gathered for their erstwhile ringleader. "It's in a warehouse along the waterfront. Can you fly all of us?" 

That last was added with more interest than Robin had displayed for the entire escapade thus far but she'd not balked at the rule breaking. Which, really, was how this had come up as Robin had expressed her willingness to shuck curfew and Raina had encouraged Robin to put that towards more entertaining pursuits than vigilantism. 

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"Money's not a problem," Raina said confidently, "at least not tonight. Merlin got us some money, and I've got a bank card and everything. He swears it was even legal except for the whole monkeys have very few legal rights thing he had to get around." Raina shrugged ignorance. "And he got us the ID cards, too. He's awesome." From Raina's backpack, Merlin raised a fuzzy arm in a thumbs-up gesture. "So we'll all get something new and actually attractive, we'll dress in the bathrooms, and we'll go. You guys can't use my makeup, obviously, but we can get that too, if you haven't got your own. It's gonna be great, and the more different you guys look from the normal, the less likely we are to get caught! Which is going to happen anyway if we don't get moving!" she insisted. 

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Hannah walked by just as she heard the conversation. As quiet as they were, she picked up the basics. In truth, she was only coming back from a study session. She turned to the girls at the door and blinked. "What's going on?" She asked innocently, quietly. She knew their conspiratorial tones meant something, if not bad, possibly at least against the rules. She didn't want to get caught if they were breaking the rules, and she really didn't want them to get caught unless it was really bad.

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Robin turned at Hannah's approach, catching the soft sound of her foot falls. She sighed, as Raina was right, they really were going to get caught if they lingered. "We're going to a party," Robin explained in quick low tones, "Because Raina thinks we should see what normal kids do for fun. She's got a point - I'm pretty sure that this really isn't anything like normal even from my limited experiences with typical teenagers. Put your backpack inside their room and come on."

Robin urged her, gesturing for Hannah to store her stuff and come along. After that little incident with Fred's statue, she considered Hannah part of their small group so she had no hesitation, "But we gotta hurry because if we hang out here any longer the only place we're going is detention for forever."

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Behind Robin and Raina Cathy came out of there room giving Hannah a what can you do kind of shrug before carefully closing and locking the door.


“Were going to the local Shopping Center, sorry Mall, to pick something suitable to wear, someone...” she gave a mock dirty look at Raina “...thinks what we’re wearing isn’t suitable.”


She gave another little shrug before finally joining the other, back into view.

“It’s going to be a fun night out.” surprisingly this one sounded pretty honest

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Hannah made a snap decision. It was time to be bold, even when she didn't quite feel it. She tossed her bookbag gently into the room and nodded. "Ready to go." She whispered in a conspiratorial tone. She was nervous, of course, as she always was, but it was important to experience new things. She'd spent so much of her life isolated that now she had a chance to live and have friends. A trip to the mall, then a party. This would be an adventure. 

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Raina looked surprised for a minute, then grinned. "Wicked. Let's get out of here." She led the way down the steps and to the foyer, keeping eyes and ears open for any sign of an encroaching RA. A quick spell momentarily disabled the emergency alarm on the back door, and then they were out of the building, near to the dumpster and hidden from students still going to dinner or the library. She'd mapped the route earlier, finding the sneakiest way from the dorm to the back gate, through a few a few bushes and behind a copse of trees Within moments they were on the outside of the imposing red brick walls, standing on the sidewalks of Bayview. "Ah, freedom!" Raina crowed. "Let's get a few more blocks over, then we'll fly. We're really going to have to squish to get us all on my broom." 

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"Are you sure that the broom will carry all of us? I can probably hold on to like the back. I mean, my arms won't give out or anything," Robin offered, a little uncertain of the physics involved - or magic, more accurately - but certain in her ability to hold on and not get dumped off the broom. She relaxed noticeably once they were no longer inside Claremont proper and onto the streets once more. "I usually just ride on the backs of busses if I can't, you know, pay for fare but whatever you guys want to do."

She added that last with her usual easy going nature. Outside of a few key, and rather obvious, issues - Robin didn't generally put up much of a fuss about most things. "I wouldn't know how to go about putting on make up if I had any but if you really think that my clothes are going to be a problem, I can find something else. It'd be nice to add another pair of jeans to what I have, honestly. I'm wearing out the knees in my last good pair." 'Good' being a rather subjective term. 

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Whilst Cathy found the whole experience a little exciting it was also a very nerve wrecking and it seemed a lot more chilly outside than when they’d left the dorms. She’d naturally stayed to at the back of the group letting those that knew what they doing take charge, though apparently it wasn’t all as planned out.

“I could carry someone else on my ice platform it’s all perfectly safe and stable. It does leave a bit of an obvious trail behind it though.” she was happy that she was able to contribute something to this whole caper.

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"I can fly." Hannah said with a shrug. "I can also make constructs if anyone wants to ride one." She considered what sort of construct that might be, before adding. "It would be nice to be able to drive." She reflected. She decided to stay quiet as usual so she could better listen for people who might catch them. Especially once they were clear. She really hoped she wouldn't get in too much trouble for this. She was glad, also, for the cash card her parents had given her before she came. They'd told her to spend it on whatever she might need at school, and she'd already bought tons of school supplies. She could justify a cute new outfit...to herself, at least.

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"Okay, Robin, you're with me, Cathy, Hannah, you get there however you want, we'll meet at that big fountain thingy at  the front of the mall," Raina decided, putting down her broom and straddling it as it began to rise slightly. "And we'll figure out jeans for you, Robin, but you're not wearing them tonight. You can't beat up the bouncer and you won't get in if you don't look sexy, so you just gotta do what you gotta do. It'll be nearly painless, I promise." As soon as Robin climbed on board, she took off, shooting up into the sky very much like a Harry Potter character. 

When the quartet regrouped in front of the fountain, with Raina's broom safely tucked behind some decorative foliage in the parking lot, Raina seized command once more. "All right," she told the others, pointing at the map like a general laying out a battle plan. "We've got three kinds of stores, the discounts, the anchors, and the good stuff." She pointed at examples as she went, then smacked her hand down on the lighted glass. "We are only going for the good stuff today!" she decreed. "Juniors stores with hot mannequins and weird ambient air fresheners is what we need right now." 

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“I’ll see you all there then.”


Creating her ice platform underneath her she took to the air taking a slightly different route from the other two so only avoid getting them all into trouble. She also kept low so not to be obvious to anyone watching the air, it was disturbing how good she was getting at this being sneaky stuff, the two R’s were obviously a bad influence on her.


She travelled at quite a clip but being use to wide open spaces found it more difficult to navigate in the city, though the grid layout help to some extent, so she arrived at the Mall slightly behind Raina. She clumped up to the fountain with snow still on her boots from her form of transport.

“Are you sure the cheaper shops not a better option? I’ve not got that much allowance to spend. And I definitely draw the line at shoplifting.”

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Hannah realized that Cathy might not have enough money to spend. She understood, what with six kids in her family. She was lucky she had the card. So she turned to Cathy and smiled. "If you see something you like, I can help." She said. She wanted her friends to have fun, and didn't want Cathy to feel left out. She looked to the other girls. "I've never quite been in a mall this big before. This should be fun." She noticed it was remarkably easier to talk around them than, well, everyone else at Claremont. Probably because they worked together to stop poor Winifred. She'd meant to ask how she was doing, but she didn't want to pry. 

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"I like that you have 'nearly' in there. Nearly painless and painless there is a kinda wide difference between," Robin pointed with amusement but she wasn't protesting so that was like progress, "People wear pants in clubs. I can wear pants, right? I don't mind if they're not baggy jeans but I'd like to know that if we do get into trouble, I'm not going to end up flashing half the club if I have to get us out of there. But its on your dime so whatever you want to do, really."

Robin turned towards the other girls as they grouped up following Raina's enthusiastic pace with her steady stroll, taking in the mall with mild curiosity, "This whole place smells funny. How do you tell the difference between 'weird' and 'normal' canned smells? Though, the pretzel place smells good, I have to admit." 

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"I already told you guys," Raina told Cathy, "Merlin's got us some money, we're set! And if you wanna get into someplace cool, you don't step out looking like you just did a photo shoot for the Sears catalogue! So come on, you'll like it." She led the way boldly into the wilds of the mall, swiveling her head this way and that, looking for prey. "I dunno, if it smells real good, it's probably pumped in. If it smells like ass, it's probably real but you don't want to figure out where it came from. And you can wear pants," she added, "but only if they're really tight, preferably leather." 

Within a couple of minutes, she'd homed in on a very boutique-looking store, one with lots of tall skinny mannequins showin off their skinny mannequin legs with clothes that were very snug and very short. "Perfect," she declared. "Everybody find a couple outfits and meet back at the changing rooms, then we'll try everything on together."

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Cathy looked suitably chastised at Raina’s, or at least Merlin’s, generous offer.

“Sorry Raina I forgot in the excitement of it all, though I try not to go to mad.”

The models on display gave her a little pause healthy living and a few of her mum's generous meals meant she had a slightly more shapely figure the other girls and she was the tallest of the lot.

“I’m not quite sure that I’m going to find anything that fit, though that blue one is nice. Do you think I could get away with showing that much leg?”

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"Sure, they're just legs. You can show however much you want to of them," Robin pointed out, as she passed Cathy - her hands still in the pockets of her beaten up jacket. She stayed close to the other girls, somewhat concerned she was going to get asked to leave if she ended up on her own. Robin certainly didn't look like she could afford much that was in here. She also wanted to see exactly how the others went about picking out their clothes to try on. The bizarre coding of sizes was a mystery to Robin as all of her clothes for the last few years had been hand-me-downs or scrounged. Shopping for something fitted was a mystery she was tackling today. "How do you tell what's going to fit you?" Robin muttered before she gave up and picked out a few things of random sizes with little regard for what they were as she followed the others back to change. 

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Hannah thought for a moment. "Well, we could ask one of the salespeople to fit you, or you could find something you like and grab a couple sizes. Ask one of the people at the changing room to let you in. See what fits best, and keep that size in mind." She headed for the tops and looked them over. Many of them looked cute, but she fretted over how much skin, or how tight, or...she shook her head. No, she was going to try to look good, at least as good as she could manage. 

Something that would suit her skin and hair, something purple. She set to looking. 

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"Absolutely show that much leg," Raina assured Cathy breezily, picking out her own choices with the ease and speed of a veteran power-shopper. "If you've got 'em, flaunt 'em. Your legs aren't fat, you've just got muscled thighs. Plenty of guys will dig the ripped look, and with the hair and the accent, you're totally exotic. We'll get you killer boots to go with." She eyeballed Cathy's size, picked two of the blue dress, and shooed her towards the dressing room before moving on to Robin, collaring her before she reached the dressing room to inspect her choices. 

"Nope, nope, nope... okay, that could be cute," Raina judged, ruthlessly sorting through Robin's armload, "but it's at least a size too big. Get it smaller, and find a strapless bra to go with it. The saleswoman will fit you for it, just don't mind the groping and you'll do fine." She gave Robin a sunny smile, obviously enjoying herself immensely, then went to tackle Hannah's clothes. 

"Now let's see, we should do something with your hair," Raina decided. "Can't do a whole lot of styling at the mall, but I've got some spray and gel in my bag, we can do a little heat style, give you some waves and get you a hair thingy to match your outfit. I'm thinking high waist but a nice flow, something bright but not neon or pumpkin... hey, look at this one!" She dove into a rack and pulled out a dress with a rather daring neckline that was close to the color of one of Hannah's constructs, though considerably more opaque. "What do you think? You love it, right?" 

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Robin looked down at the much reduced pile of clothes and then with a long suffering sigh, went back to do as she was told. She was strategic enough to listen to the most experienced on a field of battle and if this wasn't her typical arena, the same concept applied. Muttering under her breath she went to go find a sales person and a replacement top in the supposedly appropriate sizes which she collected in short enough order. Intimidating a sales lady into helping her was easier than intimidating her friend into letting her show up in the jeans and worn shirt she was currently wearing. As she cared very little for the end result, Robin reappeared in short order wearing the requested tight leather pants and a handkerchief top in a high shine material. It was knotted around her neck and around her ribs. "There is no bra you can wear with this but apparently that's the point."

The lack didn't really bother her since she'd never been overly endowed in that arena. "She says I can get away with it though. It didn't really sound exactly like a compliment." Robin added dryly as she went to lean against the dressing room door frame and wait for everyone else, her arms folded. With that much skin bare, the definition that was usually hidden under baggy clothes was clear. It wasn't any sort of classic beauty, but chiseled definition certainly appealed to some. If nothing else, it was impressive. Robin folded her arms up, her biceps flexing with the gesture. With that much skin exposed, the lighter marks of old scars against her darker skin were a lot more apparent. Across her back and shoulders were more than a few puckered lines or circles from where a knife or bullet had caught her skin. Below the hem of her shirt, the marks continued. Robin wasn't self conscious of them and they were old and faded enough to not draw a significant amount of attention in the club, most likely. 

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A little bit shell shocked at Raina’s sudden burst into shopping mode and meekly accepted the offered dress and in an almost fuge. Once in the changing room she went through the difficult process of stripping off the many layers she normally wore, then there was a few minutes more when she drew up the courage to actually put on the dress. When she was finally in a position to look at herself in the mirror the shiver she was has was as much from the excitement of all this as how she felt the cold. Finally when she felt calm enough about all this she stuck her head around the curtain of the changing room.

“Are you sure that this is a good idea?”

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Hannah stared at the neckline and imagined it on herself. It'd be nice looking, bold, daring. Not at all like her usual outfits. Yet it was her usual outfits she was trying to avoid. Escaping the usual quiet, shy girl problems she'd been dealing with her whole life. So she took the outfit, and headed to try it on. She gazed at herself in the mirror in the dressing room. It did not look like her. It was a nice purple, not too bold in color, but it hugged her figure in ways that made her a little uncomfortable. Not unflattering just, not her. She'd need makeup, which she was used to using, at least more so than Cathy or Robin at any rate.

She stepped out of the dressing room and offered a meek smile. "Um...well?" she said, forcing herself to drop her hands to her sides and pose a bit. She wasn't quite comfortable, but she could manage. 

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