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Date: Late July, 2016

Location: The Beach, Port Regal


The Atlantic might be colder than the sea that Leilani had grown up loving, but the waves held a familiar rhythm and even if the sand was darker, the beach more rocky, working it with Kimo held a certain strange familiarity. It wasn't home - not quite - but it wasn't utterly foreign either. Which, perhaps, made it an appropriate place for a not-quite impromptu celebration of sorts. At least, with having begun to shift her things out of the League headquarters and into the Dutemps building, Leilani had accepted and acknowledged that while her powers remained concerning, they weren't actually out of her control. Her good-natured nephew (Leilani couldn't call him her great-nephew still with a straight face) had been all for an evening of surfing and beach barbecue, not to mention meeting more of the super-hero community and the off-hand invitation had been extended towards the rest of those calling the castle home. 


Leilani had traded her life-guard swimsuit for an off duty alternate. With a sarong knotted around her waist, she set about setting up the wood with the intent of setting up a proper bon-fire, pausing to wave over the guests she recognized when they arrived. 


"Kimo, watch yourself, yeah? Gonna put up some bumpers," she paused in her building of the small wood tower to gesture, mounding up the sand and rock to form larger banks to provide at least a little bit of visual privacy from the rest of the stretch of the beach. "Remind me to put that back afterwards." Leilani added in a mutter as she returned her attention to stacking wood.

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Kimo walked up the beach from his own tower where he'd quickly traded out the lifeguard reds for black board shorts with a bright slash of neon green down the sides and an unbuttoned and garish floral print aloha shirt. pulling the band form his hair as he dropped his bag near the firepit and checked the cooler where the nights meal and refreshments chilled.   He steadied himself as the ground shifted around them at his aunts whim and set to examining the boards she'd managed to gather for her friends.  "Much more betta than diggin out Auntie."  he replied with a smile as he observed her handiwork.  "I get the surf goin now yea?"  he suggested and planted his feat as he moved through an almost dance like sway  abck and forth as he drew the choppy clashing waves of the shore to rolling curls more suited for their planned activities.  "So how many guys you got commin?"  he asked curiously as he looked over the sizeable stack of firewood she'd assembled, "Big party den?"

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While Kimo worked on the waves the shadows cast by Leilani's palisade began to deepen and writhe unnaturally. As though in answer to the muscular islander's question the darkness disgorged two women along with a levitating cooler. The shorter of the pair waved high over her head, all smiles. "Leilani! Hi! I know we're a little early but I thought we could help set up!"


Sporting an angular pattern with a riot of colours, the top of Kimber's two-piece swimsuit tied together in front while the bottoms laced together on either side, forming little bows. She wore large, round sunglasses that complimented the tight sides of her hairstyle despite the setting sun; where the last few errant rays caught her the gregarious arrival turned briefly translucent and tinged with blue. A pendant hung low around her neck, just barely dipping into her cleavage. Out of looser clothing she was fitter than their hostess might have guessed from their first meeting, looking like someone who enjoyed hiking and the outdoors, though it was hard not to seem slim next to her more muscular companion. Wherever they'd come from she was already barefoot but left a conspicuous lack of footprints in the sand behind her.


Leilani hadn't yet met the woman around whom Kimber had her other arm wrapped but there were only so may six foot tall, raven haired shadow witches it could reasonably be, going by reputation. The inky maw they'd stepped from settled and returned to its original state, Kimber explaining, "The others are on their way, I just hate waiting, haha! This must be your nephew, hi!" Freckles in either light brown or beryl depending on how the light caught them wrinkled over her nose as her grin managed to get either broader.

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It wasn't that long after Kimber and Tarva arrived that the sound of a car pulling up to the beach.  The sounds of doors opening and closing came from the other side of the barrier, followed by snippets of conversation and laughter.  A moment or two later Eve Martel crested the rise of the dune, trailing the rest of her friends and teammates behind.


Her shoulder-blade length hair was worn loose under a wide hat and she wore a two-piece swimsuit that, while not indecent, was probably more suited to French beaches than American shores.  What it did do was highlight her lean musculature; while it seemed that all of the Martel's heiress' time lately had been devoted to study and being desk bound it was obvious she still found time to work out, perhaps during her frequent trips to Canada.  She wore a bag over one shoulder that undoubtedly carried a book and some paperwork.


Eve smiled and waved at Kimber, Tarva, Leilani and Kimo while towels, chairs and cooking gear floated along behind the group which seemed to indicate that, for the time being, the beach was clear of unwanted eyes.

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Bouncing up the dune behind Eve was her eternal enthusiasm was Daphne. Since being invited to the beach she'd been doing hours of research on the perfect outfit, involving many beach related episode and movies. After her first outfit had be vetoed by Mother Unit for being to risque, and after hours of getting the belly button just right, she'd settled on a floral print one piece with a similar designed sarong her long Brown hair spilling out the back of a starter cap.


After pausing only briefly she bounded back down the other side of the dune and proceeded to give everyone big friendly hugs, including going briefly insubstantial to hug Kimber, having hugged everyone else before they left for the beach.


"Hi everyone it's like really great to be here!" she'd learned enough control by now not to also broadcast her excitement telepathically as well.

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Tarva had discussed her beach costume at length with Kimber, sussing out exactly what was and what wasn't appropriate. In the end, she'd chosen to dress in the style to which she was the most comfortable around so many superheroes. With her black umbrella overhead in the hand that wasn't wrapped around Kimber, knee-length poofy black dress, black stockings, and black shoes, she looked like a Victorian lady gone bathing - albeit one in deep mourning. She took off her hat and let it blow 'away' in the wind, the shadowy garment vanishing in the breeze like a puff of smoke, her black hair now loose behind her. "Hello, Leilani," she said warmly, before giving Kimo a smile as she looked him up and down. "And hello there, nephew of Leilani's. I understand you have mastered the ocean's waves to match your aunt's command of the planet's wrath, is that right? You certainly come from fine stock! I hope we won't bore you with lots of lady talk this evening." She took his hand and shook it, her grip far stronger than even her relative size would have suggested. 


"-and you're sure this is good?" The minute Eve's nod confirmed what Aquaria had been asked her on the way up the other side of the hill, she immediately pulled off her baggy white T-shirt and dropped her Bermuda shorts to the ground, exposing...well, not much from a mammalian perspective. "I'll help you unpack, then Baxter and I are GOING IN THE OCEAN," Aquaria croaked proudly to Jessie as the two of them jogged down to the beach, the big brown dog she was referring to loping along with them with an adolescent dog's energy. It was the first time she'd met some of the Surfacers below, and she gave Leilani and Kimo curious looks with big gold and black eyes that bulged out of her snouted face larger than either of them had ever seen on a human-shaped being. With her clothes off, Aquaria didn't look very human at all, not with her giant eyes, mouth, and too-long limbs that bulged with thick muscles at shoulder and hip. Her neck was as thick as Kimo's arms. "Hello!" she finally croaked, not looking self-conscious at all about her undress. "I am Aquaria Innsmouth!


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"It's okay," Jessie replied to Aquaria's offer, "I can go ahead and unpack, and you and Bax can work off some energy." She bent down and released the leash from the exuberant young dog, who looked to be about equal parts labrador, St. Bernard and dandelion puff. Baxter immediately took off down the beach, barking at a seagull and kicking up sand. Jessie was in her swimwear too, though it bore more resemblance to a warm-water dive suit than a regular swimsuit. The black would've been a good color for day, but in the gathering darkness it made her already porcelain-pale skin nearly ghostly. "We haven't got much stuff anyway." She dropped their two beach chairs next to the cooler she'd been dragging, dropped the beach bag on top of that, then took a look around at all the other guests, gave a halfhearted wave, and dug into the bag looking for towels. 

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Leilani accepted the hugs that she was offered, and provided warm greetings to all the assorted heroes as they arrived, turning a sunny smile on Eve when the leader of the DuTemps group showed up with others in tow.


"Well, we don't think its got anything to do with the family but its hard to say. Be an odd coincidence if it didn't, I suppose." She offered to Tarva with a small shrug of her shoulders. "Gonna light the bonfire," she added to Kimber as she was polite enough to warn the ghost who wasn't overly fond of flames before it started up. The Deep One drew a small blink from Leilani as the features - and nudity - were unfamiliar but not entirely unexpected. "Nice to meet you, Aquaria, Jessie. We got boards if you wanna try the surf. Lemme just get the fire started."


That said, she turned back towards the stacked wood and stretched her fingers out towards it. With a flick of her wrist, and a new found ease, the wood burst into cheerful flame, curling around Leilani's wrists and hands almost affectionately before she withdrew them. "We got all sorts of food, snacks and surf. Just need a bit of entertainment to make a proper party now."

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Returning from the shore Kimo offered a big wave to the newcomers and broad, "Aloha" as he took in the distinctly odd assortment of friends his Aunt had made.  He stared openly at the obvious supernatural attributes of the ghost and shadow witch then the casual psychic prowess of Eve and performed a baffled doubel take at Aquaria trying to place what she might be and his mind rebelling at the attempt.  Pinching his brow he smiled to Leilani, "Auntie you make some odd friend here."  he murmured and moved to plop down in the sand next to daphne, the most normal seeming, to make conversation as everyone settled in, "So You must be some kinda alien den right?"  he joked with a friendly smile as she seemed like the one person her not overtly supernatural.

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"Something like that, perhaps," supplied a final arrival, the last to cross the dune - though it didn't appear to be entirely her fault. She was hardly struggling, but even sticking to somewhat rockier areas her bare feet seemed to slip into the sand a bit deeper than they should have, as if bearing slightly too great a weight for the granular surface to easily support. It was entirely too slow for the creature she carried, certainly: the little russet manticore was too enamored with the sights and sounds of the sea to remain held, issuing brassy protests and petulant struggles until set free from the dusky-skinned woman's grasp to run free across the beach.


Indira's swimsuit was perhaps slightly more conservative than Kimber's or Eve's - to say nothing of Aquaria's - but the simple, broad two-piece in her signature purple complimented her athletic frame well, letting her body speak for itself with a minimum of silver-trimmed fuss and nicely complimented by a floral-printed sarong that she'd tied at her hip to sweep down toward the opposite knee. She completed the look with a wide and translucent lilac cloth wrapped loosely around her back and upper arms, nearly diaphanous in the wind - which was odd, for those who knew her, as it almost certainly meant the item was made of actual honest-to-goodness fabric.


"I did not mean to overhear," she smiled, a pleasantly-accented and impeccably friendly apology that none the less implied she tended to accidentally overhear a lot. "Everyone is alien to someone, I think; it is simply a matter of getting to know them."

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Even with fair warning Kimber's arm tightened around Tarva's waste as the bonfire was lit, the phantom trying not to make it too obvious that she was keeping at least a few meters of sand between her and the flames at any given time. She let go long enough to give Baxter a good scratch behind the ears when he bounded over to say hello. Avro looked like he was considering coming over to demand that attention that was rightfully his but as Kimo's wave began to take shape the manticore became far more enamoured racing up and down the shore just ahead of the tide, scorpion tail bouncing about over his  head.


Standing back up as the dog found someone else he wanted to sniff, Kimber glanced back over at the bonfire before giving Tarva a slightly sheepish look, fiddling with her pendant. "It's fine! I'm fine. Look, Jessie's by herself, why don't we go say hello?" That the socially awkward woman with the dyed hair was the furthest away from the fire was probably not lost on the Terminus expatriate.

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Daphne seemed to consider Indira’s words for a few second before adding in her cheery voice.


“Ooohhh that’s very true.” then without a trace of irony added “But also because I’m an alien!” she beamed with some pride at this revelation.


She offered a friendly hand to go with the previous hug


“I’m Daphne Celeste and I also go sometime by Miss Grue. But I promise that I’m one of the nice ones, I know there’s been some misunderstanding between our kind before. But this is my home and I hope I can convince others how great this place is.”


Without even a pause or apparently a feeling that the previous revelation was a big deal she ploughed onwards.


“I’ve just moving in with everyone else, it’s my first real home it’s all very exciting!”

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"Okay, bye!" croaked Aquaria. She turned and dropped to all fours, moving with a sudden burst of speed as those powerful back legs drove her forwards like a galloping race horse. She didn't look left or right - instead she vaulted from the shoreline far out into the surf, her strong muscles plunging her forward at least seventy or eighty feet by the standards of onlookers. She reappeared a few moments later, bellowing a brief bass triumph that echoed up and down the beach. She didn't look awkward or gangly in the water, instead powerful strokes of her limbs propelling her around fast as a jetski. After a few strokes, she ducked her head and dove beneath the water, disappearing from the view of unassisted human eyes in the darkness. 


Baxter the dog woofed happily at Tarva's approach, leaping up on his hind legs to climb up her tall frame and give her sloppy kisses. Tarva was a dog person, and had made several visits to Jessie and Aquaria's apartment after their return from space. "Hello, Jessie, I'm so glad you made it! And you brought your great hound with you! Do you want a friend, Baxter?" Tarva was always very cheerful around Aquaria and Jessie, in fact acting a bit like Kimber herself. As she spoke, a shadowy dog emerged from her shadow and began sniffing at Baxter, who woofed excitedly again and began sniffing at this new dog with great interest. He was a calm dog - much to Aquaria and Jessie's relief.


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"Hello, beings!" Comrade Frost was decidedly out of uniform in a black and yellow Hawaiian-print shirt, giant Panama hat, and floppy sandals. Walking over the dune and past the privacy wall, he waved with his free hand, the other easily holding a large plastic cooler against his torso. "I did not know what to bring, so is various liquors of various flavors inside!" By the time he reached the fireside, the cooler was practically frozen over. "Kimber, hello! You can have Tarva sample ghost liquor, eh, tell you if it has the right taste." He winked  - but at the sight of Leilani, he practically lit up, beaming like the sun that had recently set. "Leilani! Look at you! How does it feel to be free woman at last?" 

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"Hi Tarva, hi Kimber," Jessie waved back, giving them a genuine, if small, smile. "It's nice to see you guys again." She spread a blanket out over the sand, then began filling little plastic zipper bags with more sand to weigh down the corners. Baxter, who was no dumb cookie, began whiffling around the baggies for signs of sandwiches, till Jessie put him into a lay-down with a quick hand gesture. "Did you get a dog too?" she asked, looking at the shadowy dog-creature with some puzzlement. "Is it, um, real?" Her head jerked up at Comrade Frost's noisy arrival, but she relaxed when he was obviously just another party guest. "I don't know a lot of these people," she admitted. 

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"I'm glad you could make it," Leilani told Eve as Kimo began to make his introductions to the other party-goers. "Gonna be a nice laid-back sorta night, I think. Can I get you anything?" She added in question to the psychic before a familiar, thickly accented English caught her attention. 


"Dimitri," Leilani turned towards the out of uniform Comrade with a laugh, "That is such a shirt," she complimented, "Kimo take you shopping?" She teased as she took a step forward to relieve him of his cooler before it could freeze entirely solid. She gave his cheek a quick kiss. Lowering her voice so as not to point out the ghost's discomfort with the bonfire. "Think Kimber might appreciate if you stood between her and the bonfire. Don't worry about taking it down too much. We got plenty of wood." Not to mention the volcanic elemental that was more than happy to coax it back to temperature with an occasional spare thought. Her smile was bright, "Well, I wasn't imprisoned, really - but it feels real good to not be a drain on everyone's time and resources now."

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Kimo looked from the newcomer to the 'alien' at his side and shook his head with a shrug, "This city crazy."  he lamented but laughed it off rolling with the news in casual good humor after all there was a frog person capering in the surf and his Auntie was making time with the only person able to find a louder shirt than his own.  "Hey I make this look good."  he called to Leilani hearing her crack and smiled back to some of her extended acquaintances, "I s'pose you're right tho."  he agreed finally, "Hey I still new to this whole out an out superpowers thing we keep it on the down low most times back home yea?"  he offered as explanation and eyed his aunts interactions with her 'mentor' skeptically, "is it just me or is there something goin on over dere?"  he inquired with a sly smirk.  


Looking around once more he called out, "Hey Auntie dis all dem den?"  with a broad gesture to the crowd as he looked around at the sea of femininity punctuated only by the oddly dressed iceman, "Look like we gotta party den, You wanna show dem how ta ride while I get all dis onolicious?"  he suggested because clearly it fell to him to cook the meal as captain cold could hardly sit over the grill.

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"Real enough!" Kimber answered Jessie philosophically as she turned to wave to Dimitri. "And you'll like everybody and they'll like you! You already know us and Eve and Indira! Daphne just moved in and she's..." The poltergeist considered for a moment, tapping a cheekbone before deciding, "...kinda like if Indira and I had a baby but maybe don't think about that too hard. Uncle pretends to be sort of a creep but I guarantee he'll only be paying attention to one person tonight so don't worry about that." She watched their hostess greet the Russian and bounced energetically on the balls of her feet, looking up at Tarva with a grin. 


"You should get Leilani to show you how to surf," she continued to Jessie. "I bet you'd be good at it, you're all..." She made a sweeping gesture that took in the reticent woman from head to toe as if that sufficiently explained her reasoning. "And I think we're all meeting her nephew over there for the first time so that's fun! Plus he's all oiled and muscly to look at if you're into that sort of thing!" She honestly wasn't sure if Jessie was or not; her relationship with Aquaria seemed best described as platonically codependent which the Canadian could appreciate.


Distracted by the scents coming from the grill, Avro yowled in protest as the tide caught up with him, leaving him a bristling ball of wet fur and dripping quills. Complaining vocally he padded toward the fire, shaking himself dry as he went before turning his attention to the unfamiliar people present. Curiosity showing on his simian face the manticore sniffed at Kimo's sandal before butting his head into Daphne's ankle, experimenting to see who was most likely to lavish him with affection.

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“Well hello kitty!” Daphne declared giggling a little at her own joke.


Reaching down she proceeded to fuss the little creature using her psychic abilities to find just that right spot.


And it was quite a complicated mind but nothing compared to the people, for want of a better word, around her. She tried not to pry into people's mind any more, understanding now how people valued their privacy, but she couldn’t help but pick up stray though and dreams of people around her. And whilst the minds teenage mind of the College she went to were amazing they were nothing compared to those of the residents of the DuTempt’s Building.


They were minds full of laments for world(s) lost, which made Daphne a little sad as she had found exactly the home she desired, but also great love and admiration from them all. Well all except one who was a steel trap as far as stray thoughts went that made her very tempted to peek.


“If it helps any this is still a little new to me to, though everyone has been very welcoming. Even if it’s in a Wednesday Addams meets the Sisters of Mercy kind of way.”

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Out in the water, Aquaria dived as low as she could, tracing her fingers against the sand and feeling the ancient rhythms of the surf pushing her back and forth. She could hear the ancient call of the waters to one side, and knew her friends and their festival lay on the other side, and for a little while she hung beneath two worlds, the surface of the water two or three feet above her head. For the moment, she was home - even if it was a home where she would always be alone. 




Dimitri startled a little when Leilani kissed him, but then broke out in a huge smile, momentarily at a loss for words. "Ah, well, this one is actually old favorite of mine. Black makes it suitable for all occasions, especially when, ah, worn with matching tie." He looked Leilani up and down and said, more steadily, "You look beautiful. I am honored to be here with you and your friends." He gladly let the others handle the cooler of liquor, instead paying close attention indeed to Leilani. "You must promise that you will show surfing, and not just teach it," he suggested with a smile as he took up her suggested position by the fire. The heat seemed to warm him - his pale skin gradually becoming something more human. 



"Oh, they're as real as a memory," said Tarva with a laugh, reaching down and scratching the shadow-hound's head. "You should see them when I let the whole pack loose, what a mess." Baxter and the shadow-hound seemed very interested in each other, sniffing at each other until Tarva commanded the shadow-hound to lay down next to its furry comrade. The two dogs watched Jessie, their big black eyes obviously begging for a treat. Or maybe a petting. It was hard to tell with dogs. 

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"We tend to keep it on the...'down low' as well," Indira assured the young man, turning to smile out at the social antics of the others. She blinked, twice, a sort of unconscious reflex...but in the space between the blinks her eyes were solid black voids, bereft of even the reflection of the remaining light. "It is easier for some than others, I think, but that is why events like these are so wonderful. One can relax, meet new friends, and know that everyone has something in common, even if everyone is so very different."


Her smile widened a bit as she turned back, good-natured amusement colored by a tiny hint of friendly self-depreciation. "I think I will have to pass on the surfing lessons, however. A swim is tempting, once it is darker, but I am afraid surfing is not a skill I would be able to learn."

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"I know how to surf," Jessie told Kimber hesitantly, "or I used to, I guess. It's been a really long time since I tried." She tossed a couple of chunks of string cheese to the dogs and gave Tarva an unfathomable look after the explanation of the dog's relative reality. "Maybe you could surf too," she suggested to Kimber. "It wouldn't matter if you got knocked off the board or anything like that, right? I don't think Aquaria would have the patience to learn." With the blanket secured at all four corners, Jessie rose to her feet and whistled to Avro. "Hi, pretty kitty!" She tossed a bit of string cheese to him as well, and used the move as a pretense to edge a little bit closer towards the group at the bonfire without actually committing to anything. 

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"Oh, I'm not going to miss Kimo's waves," Leilani promised with easy laughter. Like some of the other ladies, Leilani had a sarong tied around her hips, over the brightly colored tankini she'd changed into after work. "'Sides, easiest way to teach is to demonstrate. At least for me. You gonna be okay here if I start coaxing folks towards the water. Don't want Aquaria to get too much a head start on the swimming."


She turned slightly, catching Jessie moving a little closer towards the fire and offered her a friendly smile, "Gonna try to get folks into the waves. Got a few boards already prepped here. Kimber, Eve... Daphne?"


Turning back towards Kimo and Dimitri, she added as Kimo started up the grill, "Long as you can multitask, feel free to fire it up."

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Kimo did a bit of a double take as he caught the emptiness behind Indiras eyes and blinked looking away to keep from staring, He'd have to work on his game face about the oddities of this kinda crowd it seemed but he seemed more startled than bothered by the aliens amongst them.  He flashed a wide smile to the young women, and shook his head, "Hey now, anyone can learn ta surf fo sho." he countered with an confident nod, "Big moke like me do it I sure you do fine."  he suggesed as he moved to fire up the grill and waved off his aunts concerns, "You lemme know when you wan' da big wave and I get you da kine."  he replied with a smirk, "Now we got nice sets fo da learners."  he pointed out and started rooting around in a cooler to see what he was grilling up, "We don't got no vegetarians or nothin right?"  he clarified as he started to put the meat to the heat.

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Still leaning his head appreciatively into Daphne's fingers, Avro made a happy yowl in Jessie's direction and speared the tossed morsel out of the air with the tip of his barbed tail. Its segments extended far enough that he was able to dangle it over head and drop the cheese into his waiting mouth.


"Ooh, well, twist my arm!" Kimber laughed before closing her eyes briefly. Drawing on the power of her dormant scythe she came a bit more real to the world herself, toes sinking almost imperceptibly into the sand. "I'll try not to cheat at it! Oh, could you look after the cupcakes, boon?" the poltergeist asked her girlfriend, batting her eyelashes for good measure.


The cooler they'd brought with them had floated its way over toward Kimo and the rest of the food before opening its lid to indeed reveal several layers of trays of cupcakes, most of them alternating between dark chocolate and robin egg blue frosting. "The ones for Leilani are on the right and Indira's are on the bottom." The former batch looked to be chocolate cake with strawberry or cherry filling erupting from the top, creating a half-dozen little volcanoes. The latter looked less like baking and more like someone's first experiments with vertical milling, vaguely cupcake shaped chunks of burnished metal garnished with polished shavings.


Kimber let the smile she was giving the taller woman turn a little more suggestive as she leaned upward on her tiptoes and pitched her voice lower. "And when I get back, liquorice whip, you can let me know how my suit looks after it gets all wet, eh?" With another laugh she jogged across the beach toward the provided surfboards, albeit keeping a wary eye on the bonfire as she went.

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