“What about this, Renee?” Jade asked, pulling navy blue dress off the rack. Septi examined it and shrugged.
“I guess I could try it,” Septi said, seriously lacking in enthusiasm as she added it to the two dreses she already had.
“Are you sure that you don’t want straps?” Mes asked a forest green dress that seemed to have a u-back, and was held together with criss-crossing straps. Septi made a face.
“I’m sure,” Septi said. “Please remember, this dance is taking place in mid-December. I will not freeze my back off because it looks nice.”
“Do you even know how to dance?” Mes asked, a suspicious look in eyes.
“I- um- no,” Septi stammered. Jade and Raram paused, watching Mes. Septi flinched slightly as Mes placed her hands on her hips, looking completely and totally annoyed.
“Renee, you’re going to a dance, but you don’t know how to dance. Explain to me how that one works, why don’t you?”
“I wasn’t planning on dancing,” Septi said, backtracking quickly. “I was going to socialize.”
“Uh-huh,” Mes said slowly. “When we get back home, I am going to teach you to dance.” Septi sighed and groaned inwardly, feeling ashamed that this sixteen year old girl could intimidate her so much.
“Jassy, is that really necessary?” she asked, returning to her search of the racks, attempting to at nonchalant.
“Yes, it is,” Mes said forcefully. “Renee, you just can’t sit around at a dance because you can’t dance.”
“Can,” Septi said, meeting Mes’s eye. “And will.”
“Not while I have breath in my body, you won’t,” Mes grumbled, offering the forest green dress to Septi. “Try it, at least. We can get you a little sweater or something to cover your back.”
“C’est impossible!” Septi siad, taking the dress. “Just so long as it’s not a granny cardigan or something along those lines.”
“No worries there,” Mes sad. “In fact, I’m a little offended that you’d think that I would do that to you, or anyone else.”
“She would be, too,” Raram muttered to Jade as she examined the dresses on her portion of the rack.
“I’d believe it,” jade said, looking sadly at a black dress. “Pity this is too small.”
“What size is it?” Raram asked, looking at the tag. “But isn’t that Nee’s size?”
“I meant my size,” Jade said, a slightly dissapointed look on her face. “A dress like this would make me actually consider going to a dance.”
“D’you remember what people said when we told them that we weren’t going to the prom?” Septi asked Jade, looking over Jade’s shoulder at the dress.
“Yeah,” Jade smiled mischeivously. “We must have been the only two students from that school to graduate without going to prom.”
“That was fun,” Septi siad, adding the black dress to her dresses to try on. “It was well worth missing the prom just to see the looks on peoples faces when we told them that we had other plans for that night.”
“So what did you two do?” Raram asked, looking extremely interested.
“We went out to eat,” Septi listed. “Then we went shopping. Tried on a bunch of stuff that we never would buy-“
“Or be seen in public wearing,” Jade cut in. “I think I still have the pictures.”
“Really?” Septi asked, counting everything she had to try on. “Dressiong room time.”
“Alright,” Mes said, barely glancing up from the rack. “Call me if there’s something that looks really good.”
“Why don’t I come, and take pics to show you?” Jade asked, following Septi in the vague direction of the fitting rooms.
“That works too,” Mes said, critically examining a fire-engine red dress.
“Okay, ‘nee,” Jade said quietly as soon as they were out of the other two girls earshot. “Are those two of your ‘co-workers’?”
“Yes,” Septi said, finding herself a stall.
“So they’re like you?”
“Kind of,” Septi said hesitantly. “They’ve got it too, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“That’s what I meant,” Jade said, leaning against the wall as she waited for Septi to come out. “Okay, I was just wondering.”
“Yeah,” Septi said, shimmeying into the black dress. “I work with them.” She zipped the zipper in the dress and glanced at her reflection in the mirror. Opening the door to let Jade see, she turned slightly to examine the back of the dress in a mirror.
“Wow,” Jade sid, staring at Septi. “That’s-“
“Snug? Itchy? A dress?” Septi supplied, cutting her off.
“It looks nice on you,” Jade finished, motioning for Septi to turn. “Although it deffinately could use some accessories.”
“Just take the picture, please,” Septi said through slightly gritted teeth. “And remember that we’ve only just started dress shopping. After this, Jassy will have me getting shoes, accessories, and makeup.”
“Good point,” Jade said, using her phone to take the picture. Septi slipped back inside the stall and quickly changed into one of the two blue dresses she had waiting. Fixing the wide neckline and twisting the tight bodice and sleeves the right way, she looked at her reflection.
“charmant,” was Jade’s only comment as a picture was taken. A red dress and the other blue dress got definate ‘no’s and Septi slipped into the green strappy dress. As she showed Jade, who praised the fit of the dress highly, she felt extremely self concious and uncovered, in a sense. When she slipped back into her jeans, she sighed.
“Well, that narrows it down,” she said sarcastically, holding onto the one blue dress and the green dress, putting the other three on the rack before heading back to where Mes and Raram were still searching.
“You’ve still got the green dress?” Mes asked, slightly startled. “I was sure that you’d have ditched it.” Septi shrugged.
“Jade, chould you please show them the pictures?” Septi asked, glancing at Raram, who looked a bit bored.
“but of course,” Jade said cheerfully, flipping open her camera phone and opening the pictures.
“Oh my gods,” Mes gasped. “Go with the green, definately.”
“I think I agree with Jassy on this one, ‘Nee,” Raram said. “The green one makes you look really good.”
“But it’s so open,” Septi protested. “I don’t know, I felt rather revealed. Open. Vulnerable.” She paused for a moment, trying to think of other adjectives.
“It wasn’t showing anyone anything that they shouldn’t see,” Mes said, crossing her arms. “and it’s good for you to be vulnerable every once in a while. You aren’t a super human, ‘Nee. Don’t even try to be one.”
“It looked really nice,” Raram added. “You looked very grown up, kind of professional, and extremely pretty.” septi sighed.
“How much is it anyway?” she asked, comparing the prices. Mes peaked over her shoulder.
“It’s also the cheeper of the two,” Mes said.
“Alright,” Septi relented. “I’ll get the dress, but you two had better pray that this isn’t a mistake.” Mes and Raram high-fived as Septi made her way to the checkout line.
It was after nine by the time Septi, Raram and Mes got back to the hideout, and all three were rather irritable. Ferinequell, who was doing paperwork found this out the hard way.
“How’d it go?” He asked, carefully setting down his pen.
“How do you think it went?” Septi asked testily. “It was dress shopping.”
“Sorry I asked,” Ferinequell muttered.
“You say dress shopping like it’s a bad thing,” Mes protested, yet again.
“That’s cus it it a bad thing,” Septi snapped as Raram walked off.
“What happened?” Ferinequell asked Septi as Mes stalked off into the kitchen.
“Mes and Raram had a little tiff over accessories. Mes wanted me to dress us, really glittery and girly. Raram was leaning towards very few accessories,” Septi explained. Ferinequell shook his head in wonder.
“It’s amazing how something as simple as accessories can drive girls insane,” he said, turning back to his paperwork. “Septi, would you mind taking a look at the newly located list? There’s a potentially hazardous mutant in southern California.”
“alright,” Septi said, setting down her bags and crossing the room to take the clipboard from Ferinequell. “Gin Saha? What’s so hazardous and problemactic about him?”
“Read his profile,” Ferinequell said, as Septi sat down on the edge of the couch opposite him.
“He’s being followed by a CAMM agent? And has had several incidents where he’s almost revealed himself to the normal people?” She asked, her eyes widening as he read.
“I’m not saying that we should recruit him, yet,” Ferinequell said. “But we ought to keep tabs on him. He’s a wild one, alright.”
“He’s trouble, from the sound of it,” Septi commented, looking up at Ferinequell. “I’m not sure I want him in the VI$C, but as CAMM is involved, we will bail him out.” Ferinequell nodded.
“I’m concerned that he could cause the larger mutant community huge problems,” Ferinequell said seriously. “He seems to be extremely impulsive.”
“‘He’s got a very strong, very well defined, mutant gene,'” Septi read. “That kind of makes me wonder about his siblings. Neither one of them has shown what their power is, assuming that they will have one.”
“Yes, those two are very promising,” Ferinequell said. “But this whole situation isn’t about them, is it?”
“No,” Septi answered. “Alright. Is that it?”
“Yes, that’s all,” he said, standing up. “I have a book that I want to finish, so I’ll see you later, alright?” Septi shrugged.
“Alright,” she said, standing up and gathering up her bags. “That’s fine by me.” As she made her way to her room, she sighed yet again. Then a though hit her and she started to giggle.
‘I get home from dress shopping with my friends to be told that I may have to chase this boy down. What a strange life I lead, where one part flows so seemlessly into the next, and it all sounds so wrong when you stop to thinkabout it,’ she thought, trying to stop laughing. Someone knocked on her door.
“Septi, you okay?” Val asked, rather hestiantly as Septi opened the door.
“Yes,” Septi said, choking back her giggles and opening the door. “Something just struck me as funny, that’s all.”
“Alright,” Val said, still looking like she thought that Septi had completely lost her mind. “Just checking. The way you were laughing, it sounded like-” she caught herself before she said anything.
“I sounded like I was insane,” Septi finished for her. Val blushed slightly, and Septi smiled. “No insanity, just a bit of hysteria from an emotionally draining day.”
“Okay,” Val said, stepping back and edging awy. “I was just checking. I’ll see you later.” With that she headed back to her room. Septi closed the door and turned to her bed, where she had dropped the bags. Quickly she hung up the dress and set the shoes and purse off to the side.
“Septi, I’m extreme.ly concerned about that loner,” Ferinequell said, making eggs the next morning as the three girls and Andy, who all had school, came into the kitchen.
“What? Has he done anything new?” Septi asked, barely hiding a yawn. In answer, Ferinequell motioned to the newspaper on the counter. Septi picked it up and began to read.
“‘College waterline explosion floods out school’?” she read aloud.
“Apparently our friend caused it,” he siad. Septi nodded, her eyes flying over the article.
“Water, huh? This does fit the pattern he’s been giving us,” she murmured, setting it down. “However, they don’t have any suspects.”
“No, but we know, don’t we? And i’ll bet you almost anything that we aren’t the only ones,” Ferinequell said, serving the eggs. “Bacon?”
“No thanks,” Septi said, sitting down. Ferinequell took the empty seat next to hers, and sighed.
“Things have changed so much since September,” he commented. Mes, Raram and Septi exchanged glances.
“Don’t I know that’s the truth,” Septi muttered. “I just wish that there would be a ‘normal’ for us.” Quickly she finished her breakfast, and brushed her teeth. Upon returning to the kitchen, she grabbed her bag and keys, and was about to leave when Mes spoke up.
“Hey, Septi, couldyou give3 us a ride?” she asked, wolfing down the remains of her food.
“Sure,” Septi said, checking the time. “But you’ll have to hurry.” Raram finished off her eggs, and ran upstairs to brush her teeth as well. Chaos, however, sat at the table, picking at his food. “You want a ride?” Septi asked him bluntly. He shrugged, looking extremely groggy.
“I don’t get why we even have to go to school,” he said. Septi blinked, surprised, and stared at him. “Pass the peanut butter.” Septi slid the jar over to him, and he smeared a nice thick layer on his toast.
“Because education’s important. If we want to convince the non-mutants that we’re not bad, we have to have the brain power to do it,” Septi said, crossing her arms.
“It ain’t that important,” Chaos grumbled through a mouthful of peanut butter.
“It’s important enough that the government wants you to have it. I’m not going to go out of my way to attract their attention, meaning that you’ll go to school, or else.” Septi gave him her best ‘do-as-you’re-told’ look and headed for the door, where Mes and Raram were waiting. “Coming?” she called back.
“Yes,” he said reluctantly, grabbing another piece of toast and smearing more peanut butter on it. He shoved it in his mouth and followed her, grabbing his backpack on his way out the door. “Nag,” he added under his breath after removing the toast from his mouth, while the others crawled into the car.