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It wasn't entirely uncommon for Raina's training sessions to be unconventional, really. After all, Talya had made her practice running in heels and picking locks. The immortal spy's idea of well rounded skills was, to say the least, unconventional. Still, there was something out of the ordinary for even her training sessions when she arrived to the dojo and was hustled in quickly by a robed Talya. 

 

"Excellent, you're here. Just enough time to get changed," she told Raina, shooing her towards the restroom and a gown hanging on the back of a stall and a pair of shoes. "High end society - old money." Talya volunteered with a nod towards the cosmetics before vanishing towards the door to get ready herself although it wouldn't take her long at all. She was well used to the art of the quick change. "And we've just under an hour to be gone before Erik gets back for his evening lessons to make our escape. Never ask permission for what you can apologize for in the morning... Honestly, that's terrible relationship advice. I'm rather lucky that they're quite so indulgent. I'll wait outside the door."

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"Uh, what?" Raina had no idea what was happening, but that also was not entirely unusual for her lessons with Talya. Bombshell liked keeping her erstwhile sidekick on her toes, which often meant confusing the hell out of her, then letting her make sense of what was going on while it was still happening. At least today she understood what she was supposed to be doing: getting dressed. Getting dressed was something she could do very well, and the gown just happened to fit perfectly. (The shoes did too, but that was less surprising considering they were one of Talya's favorite bribes.) A hunt amongst the cosmetics uncovered a few sparkly combs to put up her long blonde hair, while a little tasteful makeup completed the outfit. After giving herself a quick twirl in the mirror to approve her look, she pushed open the door to find Talya. "Okay, I'm ready. Where are we going?" 

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The changes to Talya were subtle but noticeable certainly to someone who was used to seeing her in a variety of different looks. This time, she'd blunted her aristocratic features with careful makeup, rounding certain features and down playing others. Her blonde hair was a few shades darker and twisted up rather than in the signature look she usually favored. She was attractive still, but not stunningly so. The most distinctive feature about her was the very, very expensive looking diamond necklace she wore that collared her neck and spilled down to fill her neckline. The dress she wore was a dark navy, again, expensive but unremarkable. Most people would notice the jewelry first and the woman second, and that was very much the point.

 

Still the smile that Talya fixed on Raina was all Talya with just a touch of mischief. "Perfect," she told Raina, holding out a small pale blue jewelry box. The diamond solitaire pendant and earrings inside would complete Raina's look while being suitable for a teenager of her age. "Just one final touch, I think. We're going to a grand gala held by mobsters. I've a favor to do for an old colleague and I rather thought it was time to start exercising your skills in the field. I think you're ready. I've never been a huge fan of Claremont's preferred tactics of ONLY training at the school's controlled environments, personally. There's a bit of chaos in the field that one can only really grow familiar with in the actual field."

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Outside in the car, Dimitri had the radio turned up. He'd heard great things about Talya's latest protege - and was looking forward to seeing her put into action. His powers and his nature, as usual, prevented him from going undercover, but he had his own ways of contributing to the evening's plan. "So this is quite interesting evening," he said to Ace in the passengers' seat. He was glad they'd brought Ace along, glad that they'd shaken Ace out of his funk in the last few years. And Talya as well. Not everyone can have a placid Russian temperament like me. "This young lady enjoys starting fires, you know. Should be good person to 'hang out' with, eh?" He winked. Ace knew that Dimitri's interest in Talya's eighteen-year-old sidekick really was just professional. 

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"As the junior member of our little club it is my duty to inform you you have aged out of it being even ironically cool to use the modern slang old friend."  He pointed out with a grin as they waited.  He'd not heard much of the nights planned activities other than that Talya felt it was time for her protege to spread her wings.  "So she tell you any of the plan?"  he inquired as talya was a bit looser with information to Dimitri in general, which was probably wise in the general case.

 

He looked down at the radio blaring with a small sigh, "I knew we should have taken my car."  he lamented because if anything said 'subtle' it was the Danger!-Mobile parked on a quiet West End street.  

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Raina lost no time in adding the accessories to her outfit, but she did take a few moments to admire herself in the mirror. It had been a long time since she'd really gotten to dress up, and it was nice to look like herself again for an evening. So much so that the idea of going to a fancy dress ball with mobsters took a minute to sink in. "Mobsters?" she asked quizzically as she shrugged into her wrap. "Are those even a thing anymore? Like with the tommy guns and the horses head in your bed and "on the day of my daughter's wedding?" She was more fascinated than concerned, though she did double-check her broom before cranking it down to pencil size and shoving it into her handbag. "That's so weird."

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"They are ever so much less glamorous than movies make out, trust me." Talya murmured as she swept Raina out with a note left behind for Erik when he returned. She guided her young charge towards the car where Dimitri and Ace waited. She gestured for Raina to slip into the back seat and followed in short order, shutting the door. "Punctual as ever, Mitya. You have my thanks for ensuring Ace arrived on time and without his usual flair." Her grin to  Ace mitigated any sting from those words as the ribbing had a definite filial air. 

 

"Now, have you met Comrade Frost and Ace Danger, yet?" She asked Raina, "Dimitri and Ace are some of my oldest friends. This, of course, is Raina," she added to the immortals in the driver's seat. "Dimitri's here to make sure that if anything goes wrong tonight that you are extracted without any issue for your reputation. Ace and I can take a few more dings, both physically and in terms of criminal complaints."

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"Yes, I am credible authority figure to American law enforcement!" exclaimed Comrade Frost in an exaggerated (maybe?) Russian accent. "What a wonderful country you have here. Come in and sit down, tell us your story. Ace and I were just discussing the weather, and not gossiping about you." He winked, shifting the car into Drive once everyone was on-board. "Ace has been boon companion. Ace, tell them how reliable you have been." 

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"Ah yes we wouldn't dare."  Ace drawled obliquely and shook his head, "We've heard so much most of it good!"  he cheered with a wicked grin aimed at Talya.  He paused for a moment at the revelation of his intended role, "Well I am ever the reliable one."  he agreed as the car pulled away from the curb, "I however am honor bound to inform you that my lovely niece has declared criminal activities as 'Off Brand' and to be avoided."  he noted adding gestural quotes to the vocal at the marketing speech he'd been fed.

 

"I'm sure it will all go smoothly it's not like Talya would bring her protege to raid that new corsican fellows gala."  Ace pointed out and looked back at Talya, "So where are we heading anyway?"

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"It's a pleasure to meet both of you," Raina said politely, smoothing her dress and folding her hands as she got into the car. Somehow the dress not only made her look the way she used to look, but feel that way as well. There was a time when Raina had used party manners, and indeed been popular enough to go to a lot of parties. Most of them were childrens' parties, of course, but she'd just been starting to come into her own at adult soirees. This pair of Talya's associates seemed plucked from Central Casting for the part of "weird dude secondary characters" for whatever heist-movie antics were planned, but it didn't hurt to be nice. "And I can extract myself from trouble with no help, I'm sure." Well, maybe not entirely nice. But close. 

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