2014-07-13 Pretty in Pink and Pleats
This scene is rated Everybody
Warning: N/A
2014-07-13
Players: Drake Ember Kitty Jean
GMed by Random Acts of Spongebob
Title: Pretty in Pink and Pleats

[*Room 104 - Ember Reynolds*]

Several aspects of this room stand out from others in the mansion. First is that there isn't much in the way of furniture. There is only a desk/bookshelf combo opposite the door, oriented so that the occupant will face anyone entering and a tall bookshelf along one the wall opposite the closet. There is a thick, articulated frame in the corner by the window containing what looks to be some kind of hammock-chair hybrid. The closet door has been removed, as well as all shelving. Only a large hand-carved wooden chest sits in the center of the closet floor. None of the items in the room are placed up against the wall, leaving space for what is likely the room's most prominent feature: The ceiling and every wall has been concealed behind an unbroken covering of LED strips. Not one inch of the original surfaces can be seen save for switches and outlets. Placed as they are, with the floor polished to a reflective brightness and small amount of furniture, these LEDs can light up the entire room to a beyond noon-day brightness with no absolutely no shadows.

**

Drake had to ask around some and do a little investigative snooping, but he's got things sorted out. Well, except for his own room. But a part of that is going to be taken care of shortly. In fact, what he's about to do will factor into that.

*Knock, knock, knock!*

The newest face at the institute waits anxiously outside room 104, his right forearm propped against the doorframe.

That the room is occupied is known by the sounds of Fort Minor and Lacuna Coil through the door. Also audible are rhythmic foot falls matched with the music and occasional repeated bit of music.

Having knocked, Drake waits several seconds for a response. None given. He squints at the door and leans in a little. His head tilts, ear hovering near the surface. Music. Feet. She's dancing! He adjusts his weight to more comfortably rest on the door with a palm, grinning to himself. He's busy attempting to identify the music, though so far it eludes him…

In the break between 'Spellbound' and whatever's next, Ember's voice rings out with a quick, "Come in, but stick to the right side of the room. Floor's a bit… well, you'll see." Then the music comes on again with 'Beat Calls'. Inside the room the wood floor has been partially covered in a mosaic of crystaline panels, some of which have vertical and horizontal bars of varying heights and angles. In the middle of them is Ember is a white tron-like bodysuit, working a series of pop & lock dance steps while keeping her eyes on the computer screen on which is a video that she is taking the steps from. Every minute or two she uses a remote to rewind the video back over the more complex moves.

Well, this could've gone much worse. Fortunately for Drake, he gets to maintain his dignity. He opens up the door and slips inside, promptly tugging it shut afterwards. And there's Tron-girl, dancing in front of a computer screen. His head tilts to the side, openly staring for several seconds before inching more to right as requested.

But he keeps his mouth shut. She's trying to do a thing. He can interrupt in a minute. He spares the occasional glance away from her to take in the relative simplicity of her room, as it contrasts to the almost impossibly technological detail. LED walls? Crystal floors? The girl likes her light-sources. But ultimately, his attention is glued to her and watching what she's doing.

"What's up, Drake?" Ember asks while rewinding the video again. She's wearing herself as 'Ember Classic' as per usual on the grounds, but the brunette hair is only a short pixie cut to stay out of the way while she works. She's breathing heavily but there isn't even a hint of sweat anywhere. She restarts the complex section and mirrors the dancer on the video, her moves are in perfect synch. What she seems to be working on is a changing pattern that moves across her bodysuit. "Got your room squared away?"

"Not exactly. They're supposed to have word on that soon, though," Drake replies. He's silent for another moment as he just watches her. Then, finally, "Doesn't that dude have, like, bones? Shouldn't physics be paying attention?"

This coming from a guy who blasts electricity from his person, to a girl who absorbs and manipulates light.

"Anyway, they'll lemme know when it's sorted out. In the meantime, I need to pick up some clothes. Something to wear besides this." His arms lift to the sides, showcasing his.. well, ratty attire. He's been wearing it for some time on the streets, and it definitely shows. "I thought I'd bring you along. Get a girl's perspective."

She tries to hold in the laugh, but a bit escapes her and tosses her body control out the window. So she stops the video and settles back on one of the small horizontal crystal bars. She finishes laughing a moment later and shrugs, "It's all in the muscle control. The best can hold the motion of their entire body against the balance of the toes of one foot. Serious skill." She listens to the rest and nods with a half-smirk, "Yeah, not a bad idea. And last time I checked I still had the qualifications you're looking for."

"That you do," nods Drake with a playful smile. "Plus, Scott told me they prefer students to go in groups. Two's enough of a group for me."

He leans off the wall and takes a few steps forward. "I figure I've got enough here for a few outfits. Maybe another one, if I take the old discount…" His hand lifts, five fingers splayed out and wiggling in indication. His smile renews with a chirpy, "Kidding~!" The hand promptly stuffs back into his pocket. "Do you need a minute to get ready or anything? I can wait for ya outside." He can't imagine she'd want to walk around town in her Tron-gear.

"Nah. Won't take a minute, really." Ember slides over the bar she was sitting on, heading towards the open closet. While the light level in the room doesn't change, it does seem to move like a river current in her wake. It thickens behind her in the doorframe like a semi-translucent curtain. With lights covering even the closet's interior walls, she is cast in silhouette against it as she pulls some clothes from the chest and pulls them on. "What kind of clothes are you looking for? Anything specific or just whatever works for the price range?"

Drake averts his gaze for the sake of modesty, despite the rippling effect the light has around her. Not to mention how he wouldn't be able to see anything through said silhouette, anyway. Still, while he may've been a thief and veritable raggamuffin, Drake maintains that he has at least enough class to not ogle a chick getting dressed.

"Not really sure. Some functional stuff, for starters. There are pools here, so I'll need to get something sea-worthy," he muses. "…And no, no Gilligan onesies, either. I wanna look /good/."

"Well, there's a few places in the town nearby, Salem Center. Got some decent shops." The light curtain in the closet doorframe reverts from its semi-fluid ripple as if evaporating, leaving Ember fully visible again now that she's 'decent' in a simple set of jeans and a Chevy t-shirt. Her hair is long again, with a set of rainbow hued braids down the left side. She snags a small backpack from inside the chest and steps out into the main room, giving Drake a wicked grin. "So… you'll want what? A burlap sack?"

Drake can tell the lightshow has dimmed, and when he hears her movement, he chances a look back to her. Yep! She's all covered. When she moves close enough, he flicks a finger at the hanging, multicolored braid with a smirk of his own. "What, is that what's hot in Paris right now? I'm not /that/ fashion forward," is his playful response.

Seeing as everything appears to be in order, he turns to open the door. He holds it for Ember, however. He's sure she'll want to lock up (assuming they do that here, he doesn't really know), but he's still being polite about it. And once she's out, he'll take his exit as well.

Ember shoots Drake a /look/ at his messing with her hair, then exits her room in Drake's wake, pausing in the doorway to hit the dimmer switch on the wall-to-wall LED stips that are her room lights. Yes, she shuts the door behind her but while there is a lock she doesn't seem to feel the need to use it. "I've got a truck, but me behind the wheel is a horrible idea. I hope you know how to drive a stick."

Drake had expected some sort of recoil or look for the flick, and the reaction she gives him is met with an oh-so-innocent smile. Though it does draw a question to mind that he hadn't considered before.

"So, hey. If all that is an illusion, do you have to keep completely concentrated in the wind to make it blow around'n stuff?," he asks, nodding to the hair in question. "Or do you make it more heavy, like you did with the bag?"

"Oh, and I figured we'd take a cab. I don't drive. At least, not legally. And I'm tryin' to be good."

They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Thankfully they also say you should look before you leap. Thus it is that a wide-eyed flaxen-covered head suddenly pokes down through the ceiling. Kitty turns to look around and make sure the cost is clear, her arm suddenly appearing as she gives the pair below her a wave, then with a practiced grace the rest of her body appears mid summersault and she lands on her feet. "And she sticks the landing!" she cheers as she turns to the judges, then to the crowd, arms up in the air, ponytail bobbing behind her.

"A bit of both, depends on what style I'm wearing and how much I can afford to ignore it. Longer hair in public requires something a bit more tangible… hold the phone!" She stops in her tracks, an arm out to maybe keep Drake out of the path of the descending Kitty. A pause to appreciate the showmanship of the landing before she applauds softly, "And speaking of tangible… or not as the case may be. How are ya, Kitty?"

They also say Ceiling Cat is watching you.

Drake does not notice Kitty, but he bumps into Ember's extended arm, his progress halted. Following her gaze, he glances up just in time to see a brunette come tumbling down from nowhere. Momentarily stunned, he looks again to Ember for guidance. Then back to Kitty, who is now preening.

Golfclap ensues.

While it's evident Ember knows this girl, Drake certainly doesn't. He remains silent for the moment, watching the newly-arrived brunette with some curiousity. Idly, a hand whisks through the black bangs hanging over his right eye, ruffling them. They simply fall back into place.

Kitty drops her arms and absently adjusts her top and skirt. "I… am fantastic. I just finished scheduling a flight physical to reup my pilot's license. I'm always so tempted to stand just above the scale and freak them out, then be like, 'What, no flying yet?' Not sure they'd get the humor though. Thinking about heading into town though, I totally broke my shoelaces on my boots, and Logan's going to want me to run tomorrow. You two up to no good?"

"Absolutely no good ever, under any circumstances. And if you can fly, I'm betting you can drive a stick?" Ember tilts her head questioningly at Kitty as she lowers her arm to give Drake his freedom again. She and Drake have just exited Ember's room to encounter the floating pixie in the hallway. Ember is wearing herself in her normal 'Ember classic' long-haired brunette with grey eyes and a bit of farmer's tan and is in a standard jeans and chevy t-shirt ensemble, while Drake is looking a bit… rag bag. Her long hair has the addition of a set of rainbow-colored braids down the left side. "As it happens, Drake just recruited me to be a female voice while he gets some clothes on him that haven't seen the wrong side of a cheese grater."

While some people are fine dressing in rags, Jean was every bit the north-eastern preppy young college student her upbringing would suggest, even now dressed in a fashionable, but comfortable ensemble with well-fitted jeans underneath a buttoned blouse with the sleeves turned back and short-heeled sandals. She was carrying her bag under one arm as she walked down the hallway towards the stairs. "What are you all up to?" she asked as she looked around the hodge-podge of a group.

Drake opens his mouth to protest the description, going so far as to lift his index finger. And then the hand drops. "Yeah, that's fair. I prefer to think of'em as 'experienced'," he purports with a sagely nod. He then cants his head with a smile. "Like she said, the name's Drake! New here! You should totally come along."

And then a wild Jean appears. His attention adjusts to the redhead, hand lifting. "Yo. 'Bout to head to the clothes store." Not that he has any idea who this girl is. But he's hardly the bashful type, so it makes little difference to him.

Kitty turns to give the mentioned male the once over. Well… it's 'classic,'" she comments as she continues with a critical eye before looking up at the newcomer with a smile. "Hi Jean! Up for some shopping?" she asks with a grin. "We're going to go turn new guy into a hipster."

Ember shudders theatrically at the word 'hipster', "Or… perhaps something that won't get him beat up on the playground?" She offers a quick wave to the older redhead. "But as said, we're off to see the clothes wizard because new guy Drake, here is in serious need of some wardrobe magic." She does a quick step forward, then allows herself to slide along the floor while turning back around to face Drake and Kitty. "Quick introductions. Drake is our new guy. Scott brought him in a couple nights ago. Drake, the sky-jumper is Kitty and this one," she brings her slide to a stop once she's closer to Jean, "is Jean. Jean is staff like Scott and the blue Doc."

Jean smirks a little bit at Kitty's comment, "Ah, a hipster. You need to find him some odd vintage things to love and hook him up with some blue ribbon." She gives Drake a warm smile, "Like she said, my name is Jean Grey, I'm a graduate of here and help out while I'm still in college nearby. Pleased to meet you," she said as she held out her hand.

Cue deer-in-headlights look. "No hipster," Drake refutes, arms X-ing out in front of himself. "I've got my own style! This is just what I wore when I," ran away? "..err, when I hit New York and things happened." And some time before that. Whatever, who's counting?

Jean gets his attention next, the hand taken into his with a gentle shake and smile to match. "Charmed. I think I've got one year of schooling here before I'm considered a graduate, m'self. Anyway, you wanna come? With the three of you, y'could probably work like a fashion committee." A glance is shot to Kitty and Ember, and a thought hits him. The three of them are dressed rather distinctive from one another, aren't they? That could make results… interesting. But while his gaze is in that direction, Kitty is offered another smile. "Nice to meet you, too, Kitty." … "But no, no hipster-stuff."

Kitty gives a little snort. "Like Logan wouldn't drink all the PBR…" she says after giving Drake a friendly wave. "It would probably get you beaten up… And you'd have to get a bicycle. How about something more metro? Pink button downs with slacks? Or we can go Hamptons on your ass and Jean can show you how to tie a sweat over your shoulders to go with some deck shoes!" She turns to give the older girl a grin.

Ember lets Kitty and Jean bounce ideas of Drake's brain while she prefers to take a moment and consider less… normal ideas. "Could be a bit more adventrous, on the other hand. Tall… hair like that, he could pull off something more cyber." While she talks, the light forms and solidified around her as a leather trenchcoat, leather pants, high boots, and mirror shades. "Or maybe steampunk?" And the solid-light illusions shift to a bomber jacket open over a victorian shirt and corset combo. "And can anyone here drive a stick, or have a different ride? I doubt my dad's work truck would fit all of us without things getting rather cozy."

Jean rubs at her forehead as Kitty continues, "Yeah, best not to touch Logan's stash. He gets upset. That's assuming you're even old enough to drink." She makes a time out gesture with her hands held in a T, "Wait a second here. Let's start with some comfortable, clean basics before we start breaking out the trenchcoats and mirrored shades. We can take one of the cars if you'd like, also."

Drake looks increasingly skeptical as Kitty continues. By the time Ember starts shifting her own clothes around, the teen has already pinched the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. "I'm not a Ken-doll, Kitty. And it's not Halloween yet, Ember. Piranhas, the lott'a ya." Despite his words, there's some obvious mirth to his tone. He's not taking them seriously.

The hand drops and he looks back to Jean. "Clean and comfortable sound about right." And it sounds like the most he could hope for at the moment. I already know one outfit I wanna put together. The rest, you guys get to help with." He starts making his way to the second floor landing, expecting the trio to follow along. Not that he knows where in specific they're headed other than the garage.

Kitty grins and claps her hands together. And remember when we get in trouble, Jean said it was OK. I'll drive!" she offers with a grin. "I seriously haven't crashed anything in like… days. And it wasn't even my fault we got shot at," she quips as they start walking. "And simulators don't count anyway."

"I certainly won't drive. We want to live, after all." But at least Ember doesn't press the issue of fashion. "As folks start to head downstairs to the front, she follows Kitty's early example and skips the stairs in favor of vaulting over the railing, turning the solid-light forms that had been her clothes into a slide underneath herself as she falls. It's not a pretty landing, but she's graceful enough to make it look like she meant it that way. "I was telling Drake earlier that there's a couple good spots in Salem Center that we can hit for him. But I'm all for the 'use Jean as a scapegoat' plan."

"Let's…not use me as a scapegoat, people. I'll drive, we can hit the mall first and get him -sensible- clothes, nothing crazy," Jean said as she calmly walked down the stairs at a modest pace, her bag hovering in the air behind her as she stretched, "Besides, I usually take the train or a bike, so it'll be good to be behind the wheel again."

Kitty turns to look at Drake as Jean announces her intention to operate the vehicle. "Now you should really start to worry," she says in a deadpan as she walks down the stairs, one-upping Ember by doing it 3 inches off the surfaces.

**

[*Bayville Mall - 1st Floor*]

The mall parking lot is rather large, surrounding the mall on all sides in a sea of grey stone with yellow stripes. The grand doors to the mall are decorated with lush landscaping, including a fountain off to the side which trickles water down every five minutes or so.

**

The drive was about as uneventful as a car trip with three active, intelligent, and mischief-minded teens could possibly be. Although Ember, as is her custom, side-stepped taking part in any discussion of radio rights by using her ipod with a set of headphones worn just over her ears. That way she could enjoy the music without ignoring the world around her. As they come into town, she can't help but take a look at Club Nightshade as they pass it, quietly wondering if it's open again.

Now, at the mall, she's walking with the others and glancing around to get her bearings. "So… I haven't spent much time around here since moving east. Is it the usual array of hopeless causes, or are there stores worth going to this side of the Appalacians?" Yes, she's a midwest snob.

Kitty shrugs. "It's a mall," she replies noncommittally. "Corporate America at it's finest, but without the grandeur of a supermall. No Rain Forrest Cafe, but we do have Spencer's. We usually head into the city for really big stuff. Or amazon, zappos… The plants are nice though, they added those like 3 years ago."

Drake has spent his time as an approachable, but not overbearing chatter. For those psychologically-inclined, seeing as he's riding in a car with three fairly unknown females, he's opted to play it 'safe' in these confines. But once they've arrived, he turns his attention to the mall itself. And, naturally, "Eh, the one back home was bigger."

But in yonder span, they shall find the beginnings of a new wardrobe for him. Something functional, but fashionable. Something… not like what Kitty was saying back at the mansion. Though with what she's saying now, his head snaps in her direction. "So you've been here a lot before? Take it we should follow you, then?"

Ember nods to Kitty, then looks back at the mall with a wistful sigh. "One thing I do miss about home… a couple times a year Mom would take me to the Miracle Mile. We'd hit every store there at least twice, especially at Christmastime." She nods to the first store that sells normal menswear and nods to it. "Looks like a good place to start. What's the budget, Drake?"

Kitty gives a little smirk as she looks off into the distance. "I've been here like 5 years," she says a little softly. "Jean longer than me," she adds as an afterthought. "We're OG and all up like that," she tries in her best thug, which isn't very convincing. "Most of the clothes places are upstairs, but there are a couple places down here. If you want to go all stylish Abercrombe's upstairs."

"Wow, really?," Drake asks, authentically intrigued. He moves a bit closer to Kitty's side, head tilted to give her an inquisitive look. "You were talking about a pilot's license earlier, and you say you've been here five years? You don't look any older than me, though." Though he doesn't come right out and ask, he's probing for some background detail.

…While trying to stay objective-oriented. Those expressive emerald eyes flit forward, then the stairs, and finally to Ember. "Lady New Face seems to have a mark already," he notes, grinning. "And, uh… it's so-so, and some change." Given a moment to fish out his wallet, he gives the proper amount of his allowance, likely with a little extra for this very purpose. After all, he did come to New York with nothing but the clothes he's wearing now. That definitely hadn't gone unnoticed.

Ember takes note of the allowance amount and nods, "Looks like that'll get a decent start. Let me know if anything catches your eyes outside of that, or if you want to keep a bit aside for a rainy day." She drops her eyes a bit as if mildly ashamed of what she says next, "I, ah, can help with extra funds as needed." She steps into the store, a simple Casual Male shop. "My dad would shop at these places. They usually have good prices for sturdy goods."

Kitty strikes an open pose. "I know, all this, and genius to boot! I really am the total package," she says, just before catching her toe and almost falling on her face. "And I dance ballet…" she adds with a reddening of her cheeks. She gets into the store and immediately starts moving around the racks, biting her lower lip in concentration as she searches.

As Ember speaks, Drake blinks his eyes at her. His smile softens a little, but he doesn't quite have the chance to say anything before Kitty fumbles at his side. His left hand instinctively moves to the girl's elbow to help catch and stabilize her. "Easy does it, dancin' queen," he muses.

Once they enter the store, however, he breaks away from the pair and steps forward. With a nimble about-face, he gestures outwardly. "Guys, what color would I look good in? A solid color. And something I'll pair with either black or white." His eyes lift momentarily in thought. "Prob'ly black."

Ember can't help but giggle at Kitty's demonstration of grace, or its close approximation anyway. But once she gets back under control she asks, "How long have you been dancing?" There is genuine interest in her voice, but only a very sly look at Drake's reflexive rescue maneuver. Instead, "Never go with a solid color for your shirt, unless you're wearing more than one. T-shirts don't have to be insane, but there should be something to break up the lines. But colors… maybe something in a charcoal or deep red?"

Kitty laughs as she shakes her head. "Greens and blues. They'll work great with your eyes. Maybe a good rust color, as a button down over a solid t-shirt. Grunge has been done though, and it's not worth being plane. Now it's about that liiiittle bit of dressed up. Looks good on a boy. Shows maturity." And if anyone knows about crushing on older boys… "I'd started when I was young, but when I first got here they found me a teacher to continue with. I actually got more into it as I got older. Ballet and jazz. It's a great counterpoint to the PE programs they have here," she says with a grin, many knowing of Logan's ideas of conditioning. "And the balance totally helps me. Outside of malls. I mean I'll never dance the met, but I love doing it," she says with a look of genuine happiness.

Drake winces a little at Ember and shakes his head. "Nono, see…" But she goes on, and he begins nodding quickly. "Yeah, like that. More than one shirt." Then Kitty chimes in, and he looks… relieved? It might have something to do with what she's saying now versus what she was saying at the mansion. In fact, it almost certainly does. "That's the idea. My old look. Classy-like, but my brand of casual. Dress shirt worn open over a tee, some sort've… relaxed-fit pants, like cargos or khakis, and sneaks." His left hand slips into his pocket, the right whisking through those bangs again, a roguish smile finding his lips. "It looks good on me. Trust me."

His head turns, shooting a look over his shoulder. "Rust, huh? Or greens'n blues? Or a red?," he recites. "No final verdict on the overshirt color, huh?"

"That look works on a lot of people," Ember's the kind that can't help but take a dig at someone, especially when they leave the door open like Drake did. But she does a quick size-up of Drake and starts pulling a few shirts, both t-shirts for under and a few short and long-sleeved button-downs in a variety of colors, including a few pink ones. She holds one of the pink ones up to Drake to check the colors. "You should try the catholic schoolboy look, too. This would work for that, the uniforms at my high school were like this." To Kitty she chuckles, "Yeah, Logan's workouts aren't much in the finesse deparement. But me, I've always prefered tap, freestyle, and pop & lock for my dancing. I don't suppose there's anyplace around here that teaches those for mid-range skill levels?"

Kitty shrugs her slender shoulders. "I'm not sure. I bet there's something though. We can look online when we get back. We're near enough the city and stuff, but it's kind of white around here," she says with a smirk. There'd be tap though I bet, at the least." Lest he get too comfortable though… "What do you think about this?" she asks as she lifts up a metallic pink shirt. "Maybe with like a mesh top underneath?"

"Don't be hatin'," chides Drake to Ember. "It's a good look."

Nevermind that he wore it seldom, and only when he was expected to 'dress up'. The rest of the time, he wore any ol' thing.

…Except, apparently, what they're now offering. The pink specifically. He waves a hand away from Ember's pink button-downs. "No. Just, no. And Catholic schoolboy? Wha?" And to Kitty and her own pink offerings, "/Hell/ no. Mesh? I didn't know you were into the grunged out metalhead look." He winks an eye at her, then inches back a step. "Pink ain't my color, girls. Just… gimme a minute to find some things, and I'll rejoin ya."

At that, he turns and bolts deeper into the store to peruse a few racks.

An impish grin is exchanged with Kitty as Ember watches their victim retreat into the depths of the store. She raises her voice just enough for it to carry in Drake's wake, "The catholic school look is classic. I know I like how my pleated skirts will never go out of style." She pauses for any reaction, then drops the teasing attitude for her normal self. "It'd be good to find a place to get back into lessons. I've been trying to stay in training myself, but that's just station keeping really. Just because I wanted to get away from Iowa doesn't mean I want to leave it all behind."

Kitty grins as she also watches him leave before returning the pink and moving around the rack to pull out blue and white stripes. "Training is one thing you'll find here…" she says a little wryly, dropping her voice to a more private tone, the going on at the school enough of a curiosity for some of the area folk. The stripes go back for a light summer plaid short sleeve. "This might work…" she says as she sets it on top of the rack. "There's always a caveat though," she says as she looks back up. "Grades have to stay up always. And any other activities you commit to have to stay committed. Past that you can explore almost anything you have potential for. It's an amazing place that way. And for some of us," she adds, her voice much lower, "it's the only place we can just be ourselves."

"I don't think a skirt would look too hot on me, either~!," Drake's voice rings out from within the store.

But soon, the teen rounds the rack near Kitty, possibly unnoticed. However, he's only able to catch the tail end, at most. It's enough to form conjecture, but not enough for him to comment on.

In other news, he has a trio of garments settled over his forearm - two green, one a rusty, possibly blood red color.

"Not interruptin' anything, am I?"

Ember gives Kitty her full attention, punctuated with small nods. "I know. I'm glad I came out this way. Everything back home was… all about keeping up appearances." A bit of quiet emphasis is given to the last word, perhaps explaining her advanced proficiency in certain areas. "But grades won't be a problem. I've been taking some tests and I'll probably be able to finish off my diploma in the next year, provided things stay more or less calm." She looks over her shoulder to grin at Drake as he comes around. All-round vision is a perk, especially when it's a very stealthy form of it. "Of course not. Just getting some advice about school work."

Kitty nods her head. "And we were trying to figure out if you would want something more knee length, or more flirty with pleats. I said pleats." She doesn't seem surprised, but a few people have seen to her situational awareness skills over the years… "While you're standing here though," she says as she grabs the shirts she'd pulled and holds them up in front of his chest. "See, the plaid would go nice with like a gray t-shirt and some jeans or Dockers. Opine at me," she says as she turns him towards Ember, holding the shirt up still.

"Aren't pleats a little dated?," smirks Drake. Those vibrant eyes flit to Ember. "That, I'm a little worried about. I've never been the best… err.. school-studies person." Largely due to a lack of application, but after so many years, it gets engrained into his mind. But as shirts are set to his chest, Drake's head tilts to try to get a good look at each of them. "Dockers are good," he concurs. "I dunno about plaid, though. Wouldn't I look kind'a lumberjack-y?"

He fidgets a little, juggling the garments he'd gathered, then holds up the two green button-ups. They're both unique, with one featuring a half-diamond pattern of leafy hues, while the other sports a more unique green with hints of gold. "What do you guys think?"

Ember sucks in her lower lip and chews on it thoughtfully as she considers the look, shooting Drake a quick, "Pleats are timeless, they're never dated." She points to the plaid with grey t-shirt, "That one with dockers and some canvas Converse. That would work. That green with gold is a good one, too, Drake. And plaid doesn't have to be lumberjack flannel, although don't let Logan hear you say anything bad about that particular look. He might glare at you hard enough to cause injury."

Kitty nods her head. "Or some vans." She drops the shirts and hands them to him before holding up a stripped one for about half a second and discarding it. "Nooope. And yeah, he gets a little touchy about his Canadian heritage," she says with a grin. "Classes shouldn't be a problem though. It's not like they expect everyone to have the same prep when they arrive. Sure, I was taking highschool classes at 13, but again: total package! And I even had pleats. What ever happened to that skirt…" she wonders as she drifts off for a moment.

"Brains, looks, and modesty, too," Drake coos playfully before attempting to tap Kitty on the nose with the end of a hanger.

His neck cranes to give a second look at the green and gold shirt, then nods. "This with a black t-shirt, matching cargos or dockers, and shoes. That'll look cool." He turns and sets the other, leafy-designed shirt aside. His eyes shift to Ember, then in the direction Kitty has departed. "Who's Logan, anyway? Haven't met him yet, either."

Now with an arm free, he lifts the deep, dark rust-hued long-sleeved button-up shirt and cocks his head in question at Ember.

Ember watches the move to nose-tap with no outward response but nods when Drake gives her the questioning look, "That'd be a good look, yeah. Just… don't wear it near any goths or Club Nightshade. No point in trying to resurrect the David Boreanaz vampire thing these days." She sniggers at the question about Logan, "You'll know him when you see him. Just remember to look down, because he's shorter than me and Kitty. Also the cigars give him away. But at the school he's our phys-ed teacher and overall trainer in all things physical."

Kitty just stares at him while the tip of the hanger goes through her nose and comes back out. "Modest, /and/ invulnerable to tickling, thank you very much. Perfect package!" She nods her head at Ember's statement. "He's a softie though. Also wants to make sure nobody hurts themselves or anything, huge on injury prevention. Really the best thing you can do with him is be sure to tell him as soon as you're feeling any sort of discomfort, or getting at all tired. He'll make sure you don't strain."

Drake promptly sticks his tongue out at Kitty in an open display of maturity. Nyeh.

"How tough could P.E. be? I'm in shape'n all," Drake concludes with a passive shrug. "Anyhoo, it just sounds like I've got a lott'a people to meet. Especially the.. err, the one who's supposed to help me with my," beat, "talents." Ororo Munroe - and that's about all he knows concerning that.

Emerald eyes shift to Ember again. "Hey, man. Buffy's awesome." He looks back to the shirt. "What, you think I'd be catnip to goths in this?"

Ember quirks one eyebrow, "That's part of the reason why I do my workouts at night. Last time I had a, ah… closed session workout with Logan I ended up flat on my face from draining myself. I'm trying to get my endurance up to keep that embarassing pass from a repeat performance." Is it working? Let's stick to the now, yeah? She nods to Drake's remark about powers training. "I haven't heard anything about getting a specialized tutor. Guess I'm a bit… hard to categorize that way. And yes, with that hair, those green eyes… you'd be catnip to them in that shirt, tight stretch jeans, and boots."

Kitty rolls her eyes. "Yes, the poor girls won't be able to help themselves, trapped as they are back in 2008…" She holds up an almost white blue. "Remember, the trick is to look like you're just casually always this awesome, not that you're going to live in your mom's basement forever. As for the rest of it, best wait to talk about it when you get back," she warns gently. "But totally don't worry about PE. He's a pushover."

"I /did/ mention that this is my normal look, didn't I?," remarks Drake aside to Kitty. But at her recommendation to stave off chatter concerning powers and such, he lets the topic shift over. "Aaaanyway, what've you two found?" He backs up a few steps to square at the two females. He has two button-ups. Picking up a couple black tees won't be difficult, nor the pants and shoes to go with it. But he adds, "No skinny-jeans."

Ember just waggles her eyebrows to indicate her agreement with the topic avoidance, but finishes with a quick, "Group study is always good. Help the new students sometime, Kitty-the-upperclassman?" But she does bring her attention to the question of the moment, namely Drake's wardrobe. "No one looks good in skinny jeans. Stretch jeans are not the same thing, though. One's legwear should always allow for maximum mobility. Like a pleated skirt. Impossible to get slowed down in one of those." She looks around the store and shrugs, however. "But I think we've tapped this place out more or less. This chain, once you've picked out your core, everything else is just variations on a theme. I said dad shopped here, never said he had a varied look."

Kitty laughs as Ember brings it back around to the pleats. "You know, usually it's the boys all clamoring for pleats and us rolling our eyes. Now suddenly I want to go all schoolgirl sheik. Maybe that was his plan," she says giving Drake a theatrically suspicious look. "You'll want to grab some shorts for the ugly hot days, and messing around. There's gym wear back at the school for running and stuff. Not sure if they replaced the football after the last time it got popped," she says cryptically, "they stopped letting me play. They said I cheated like a girl."

Drake clicks his tongue and asides to no one surreptitiously, "They're onto me."

But the topic of shorts hasn't been lost on him. "I do need to get a pair of those. Something light'n breezy, simple'n light. To offset these darker colors, y'know? I should have a couple P.E. uniforms before long, but maybe I should get something else to work out in, too. Oh, and I also need to get something swim-worthy!" He starts for the counter, glancing back to the girls, "If I missed anything you thought I should get, bring it up!" Otherwise, he'll be going through the process of buying what's in-hand now.

"Cheated like a girl, or like… well, you? I mean, someone who's so nimble she can't be tackled except by a pro? And why does it have to be Drake bringing it around to the pleats?" A quick raised eyebrow but nods to Drake, "Yep. Definitely need something to get wet in. Should be some shorts and trunks in the back corner there. Might consider getting some kind of robe, too. Never know when a robe will be useful. School's dorms have shared showers, after all. No telling how far you'll have to walk from them to your room." And she's completely not going there in her head. Actually… she pauses briefly with a small flicker of surprise crossing her face… she's actually not going there. Huh.

After Drake's last statement Kitty's eyes move not so surreptitiously towards the rack with the metallic pink shirt as her lips break into a wide grin. She runs her fingertips together evilly before looking up to see who's been watching. "We totally should… Anyway, yeah. I sort of just ran through the defense, then when they got mad at be for doing that I played the delicate flower card. Then when I ran around them they started getting more mad and I figured that continuing to play would not be in my best interest."

Drake pauses on his approach to the counter and about-faces. "Well, if they have those /here/, may as well linger!" Whatever thoughts are or are not crossing Ember's mind, he's blissfully unaware. And the same goes for Kitty. But the odds of him getting a pink shirt is terribly slim!

"Never had a robe before," he considers as he approaches the girls again. "But those can't be too hard to figure out. So swimwear first. Any thoughts there, ladies?" A glance is shot from Ember to Kitty, then back again to Ember.

"Go with trunks of some kind. Or those knee-length wetsuit pants, but they don't carry those here. We'd need to hit a sports store. But avoid anything smaller. Speedos are like skinny jeans. No one looks good in them, not even olympic swimmers." To check herself, Ember purposefully brings up the mental image of Drake in a pair of speedoes. Some details are, by necessity, artist's interpretation of course. But… nope, still nothing. She shakes her head clear and focuses on the task at hand. "I think there's a sports store in here somewhere. Maybe I should use our time here to get myself restocked as well."

Kitty shakes her head. "Not really. There are a couple shoe stores, but that's about it, and they're usually all sorts of overpriced. You pretty much need to hit the department stores." She pauses to give Ember a look after noting her head shaking, quirking an eyebrow at her in question.

"Eeyeah, no. No speedos," agrees Drake. "I was definitely thinking trunks. Just a matter of color'n design. I'm sure I can find something in here that you guys'll like…" He turns to head for the corner of the store, head perked to follow the signs. Indeed, there's a section for swimwear.

Sadly, he doesn't notice the shift in Ember's expression, or the shake of her head. His mind is pre-occupied with the task at hand. If he knew anyway, he'd likely have no idea how to take it. Probably insulted.
You are empty-handed.

Ember shrugs at Kitty and mouths 'later'. "Get something with a pattern, Drake. Bright colors." She makes herself busy by stacking up the things Drake has decided to buy, then leans against one of the display tables to relax. "So we hit the department store next?" She keeps her voice down so it doesn't carry back to Drake. "Maybe bat around the New Guy cat toy a bit more?"

Kitty just nods her head then lets it drop, settling in with another grin. "I don't know… still tempted to buy the pink shirt and slip it into his closet. I could use a drink though. There's a food court further up. Most of the upstairs stuff is all trendy and pricy, probably more than he's going to want to try and get away with on his budget. Your first few weeks at the school are a little utilitarian usually. There's usually clearance racks though, might be something cheap." She pauses before adding a soft, "I got a few bucks I can chip in too. I've been doing a few odd jobs lately."

Drake is completely unawares of the womenfolk chatting. Instead, he's pawing through the selection of swimwear. It isn't a great deal, but he's narrowing it down based on Ember's parting comment. Bright and patterned. He thinks he can manage that.

After a few moments, he's making his way back to where he'd left the others. Should they still be present, he wordlessly lifts two pairs of trunks for their scrutiny. One is a lush, oceanic blue in plaid, boxy pattern with navy trim. The other, a black-trimmed pair featuring streaks of gradient lime green. His head tilts with a cheerful smile.

Ember grins at Kitty, "Oh, I think you should do that. But not today. That's what online shopping was invented for, after all. Well, that and the 'ship as gift' button at checkout. Go with the green ones," she says before Drake lifts up the trunks from behind her. "And what kind of non-food do you want from the food court? Or maybe an actual restraunt nearby? My treat on the food." She smiles at Kitty, "Odd jobs money should be kept for the really needful things, like 'gifts' that are pink. And besides," she shrugs and looks a bit sheepish, "I've got plenty of rainy day money because of things back home."

Kitty makes a back and forth motion. "I dunno. I'd go blue. Eyes. But both are pretty decent," she says before turning back. "I just need a lemonade or something to drink. I took a bet not to drink any coke for 30 days. I don't know WHAT I was thinking. Jean will be back before too long to pick us up too."

Drake glances to the green, then the blue. "Ah, see, this is what I was talkin' about. Jean would've been the tie-breaker, here." Though his eyes redirect to Kitty. "But wait. My eyes aren't blue." He leans forward and widens them, clearly attempting to show off their vibrant hue. "Does that change your mind?"

The other subject seems more like their thing. So he won't interject there.

"That's true, and I saw some brisket tucked away in the back of the fridge. If it's not spoken for, it could be the cornerstone of a good meal back home. And Drake's eyes are green, almost the same shade as Jean's. Hence the green and black shorts." Ember grins and shakes her head at the mention of the bet. "Who got you to make that kind of sucker bet? I'd put my bet on it being Doctor Hank. Me, I could not go without my caffine."

Kitty blinks and shakes her head as she looks at his eyes again. "See! Like 4 days without soda and I'm already going mad. Mad I tell you! It's not so much the caffeine," she says abruptly back in a conversational tone, "it's all the fake sugar and crap. Gotta watch my girlish figure and all that. I'd go with the green," she adds, as if the previous reply had never happened.

Drake blinks a couple times and straightens his posture. A wry little smile is flashed to Ember, "Already know my eyecolor off-hand, huh?" Not that they aren't kind of easily one of his most recognizable features. It's an innocent verbal poke with the hint that she might be paying attention to him in 'that' way. The mirth, however, renders it impossible to tell whether or not he actually believes this.

With a sharp turn, he starts for the counter again. "Green it is! I guess the darks'll have to do for now, if Jean'll be back soon!"

Ember's expression is a mixture of 'what are you talking about' and 'well played, sir' at Drake's verbal stab about her knowing his eye color. "It's nothing special. I notice everyone's eye color. It helps out, since I need to fake mine." She knows that no one who's looking in their direction can see her face except Kitty and Drake, so to punctuate her words she drops the illusion over her eyes to show their basically invisible transparancy before replacing it a few seconds later. Quite intentionally she makes one eye identical to Drake's emerald and the other Kitty's brown. "Jean said she'd be back in about an hour, so that gives us about another fifteen minutes. Yeah, we should get all this paid for and get ready to meet her."

Kitty is not giving questioning looks, meaningful glances, or knowing smiles as she watches the interaction. "Let us know if you're over at all, we can totally cover it and make them pay us back at the school. I know people," she says with a grin. "And I'll threaten to drink a coke, and they'll be sorry then!"

Drake gives a soft laugh as Ember defends her knowledge. If nothing else, he seems to be in a chipper mood. Kitty's words are noted, but after a few moments, it's clear that he's able to cover it. How much he has left, however, is up to question. Nevertheless, he returns with a bag. "I'm good to go, ladies. Anything you wanted to do before we head out?"

Ember shrugs at the question once things are paid for and bagged up, "Nothing, really. But first priority… you go get into one of your new outfits. The cheese grater outfit is long overdue for a proper viking funeral." She shoos Drake towards the changing rooms. "And hurry." She doesn't say why, just that he should. Because she said so. Then she sits down on the edge of the same display table she rested against before, looking a bit drained.

Kitty raises her hand like she's in the classroom. "Shoelaces! There's a shoe place just down the way. I can grab a drink when we get back." She grins at Ember's suggestion. "You heard the lady. Get thee hence and change!" She waits a moment before turning to Ember, her look far more concerned as she notices the flagging energy. "Tired?"

Drake finds himself verbally shoo'ed towards the changing area. "Erk!," is all he manages before rushing off.

And thus, the teen vanishes into a changing room. Rustle-rustle.

Ember shrugs at the question once Drake has been shoo'd away. "A bit. I always get like this when it starts getting late and I can't just," she drops her voice to near-nothing, "de-skin. It's like trying to run a solar house with four-fifths of the panels covered. I'll be fine once we get home and I can recharge." She smiles convincingly, because it's something she's very good at. "But this evening has been a success. Drake seems to be feeling more human now that he's had this chance to get back to himself."

Kitty nods her head, but she looks suitably unchanged of expression. Apparently little Kitty is growing up a bit. "And you're feeling…?" she asks softly as she wonders where in the mall one could find light and privacy. Besides the icky scary bathrooms they have. "I think there may be a tanning salon…" she says as she straightens up a little bit.

Drake has run into a problem. He got a couple shirts, but nothing to really go with it, unless he puts on the trunks. And that's not gonna work. So he sneaks back out and has to do some rapid shopping, hit the register, and pop right back into the changing room.

This has the benefit of giving them a little more time for their girltalk, though!

Ember nods, "There is, but it was closed already when we got here. Besides," she shrugs one shoulder, "it's not light levels, it's exposed surface area. I'm wearing real clothes today, not my usual fake fare. There's just too much of me covered, is all. And Drake forgot to buy any pants." She perks up in good humor as her very hard to hide from vision spots his quick dash out and back to the changing room. "But once we get home, I can change into something a little more illusionary. It'll help."

Kitty nods as she sits back. "You need like… led-filled clothes that light inward," she says as she looks up at the ceiling, considering. "Or some of that super reflective stuff they use for solar. I bet Be- er, Hank would maybe have an idea. He's wicked smart that way." She turns as she breaks into a grin, "Also, you dodged the question."

Rustle-rustle.

A whole new outfit takes a bit longer to work out. Drake steps out of the changing room, still some distance away, and takes a moment to adjust his collar, sleeves, the works. A black t-shirt covers his torso with a pair of matching, fitted cargo pants upon his legs. His shoes remain the same for now, but he's wearing the green-with-gold flecks shirt as an open overshirt. His other clothes are bundled into the bag, save for the aviator shades. Those rest propped atop his head, tucked just behind his bangs in stylish fashion.

With everything in place, he starts to head towards his party again.

Ember grins at Kitty nails her square with her last remark, "Yes, I did." She takes a moment before answering. "Me? I feel very much like myself right now. It's how I've felt for almost five years now." She stands up as Drake comes out of the changing room. "You're not wrong about how the school feels better. It's a safe place for us. Only problem," she keeps her voice soft and low, "is that I find myself starting to understand how Doctor Hank feels when he meets new people." A shrug of one shoulder preceeds the follow-up, "Some things just are how they are." She turns to give Drake a good once-over and nods her approval. "Looking good, Cheese Grater. Let's go get Kitty some shoe laces."

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