justbeingbay: ([spec] paint reality)
[personal profile] justbeingbay


The trip to the incense store had been fun and all, but between Gert's portal lag and her rising stress level over this whole Molly thing, she was glad to get back to the hideout, especially when Chase promised that it would only be another fifteen minutes until they were good to go.

Figuring this was her last chance to get herself and Old Lace energized for whatever fight was coming up, she jogged over to the guest room to fish the Diet Coke she had had the foresight to bring with her out of her bag, and to quickly change her clothes. Now that she thought of it, she really should have used that downtime to shower.

"So I figure if you come with, Nico can just do a spell to make you invisible or something," she offered Bay in between chugs of caffeine. "Or you could stick around, which is a million percent the safer option."


Bay bit her lip. "I want to come," she said. "But don't want to be, like, this burden you guys have to spend half the fight worrying about. What do you think I should do?"


"Totally your call," Gert said quickly. "But you wouldn't be any more of a burden than me or Chase if you did come. Nico and Vic have powers, but the rest of us mere normals rely on luck and the benevolent protection of our superpowered friends."

Also the dinosaur. Who maybe counted as a superpowered friend.


"And a dinosaur," Bay added. "All right, you're stuck with me. I'll run if it looks like things are getting bad."


"Cool," Gert said, nodding. "Not that I want to, like, induct you into our weird group, because honestly the long-term membership option is kind of sucky, but I'm pretty sure after daily life in Fandom for a year, you can make it through one confrontation with a dead guy. Plus it's something to add to your resume."


"I have way too many parents to join your group anyhow," Bay pointed out. "Way, way too many parents. But I think I can tough it out. And hey, it'll be great fuel for my art."


"We do have that 'vulnerable but furious' vibe going on," Gert agreed. "There's something there. Not to interfere with your artistic process, but maybe your next thing could be an eleven-year-old with superstrength punching out a zombie or something."


"Mmmmm, I dunno," Bay said lightly. "Aren't zombies kind of played out? Maybe I'll have her punching a Frankenstein instead."


"There is symbolism there," Gert granted. "At least if you ask my ninth-grade English teacher. Maniacal supervillains are born out of preexisting parts of our systemic institutions, or something."


"And Molly represents the force of youth and new ideas?" Bay said thoughtfully. "Okay, you might just be on to something."


"Yeah, maybe if working in politics doesn't work out, I can always get a job as an artist's assistant," Gert began, but she trailed off when she heard shouting from downstairs. "Wait. What was that?"

...Come to think of it, she was going to go investigate that.

Nico and Victor

"Let's try to be reasonable about this, okay?" Victor said as Nico prodded him down the stairs with the Staff of One at his back.

"The Staff of One doesn't lie," she snapped. For the others' benefit, she explained, "It says Vic's been spying for Wilder."


Bay had followed Gert toward the shouting, and now she was staring and frowning a lot.

"But -- Victor's a good guy," Bay said uncertainly, then realized she wasn't sure Gert had told the others there was one in Fandom. "I mean. Isn't he?"


"He is," Gert agreed sharply. "Nico, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but I promise, your Staff doesn't know what it's talking about."

Chase, Victor and Nico

"Yeah, Mancha's no Alex," Chase put in. "He's a solid dude. Maybe there's some kinda wacky explanation for how--"

"Yes," Victor said, looking relieved to have the support. "Nico, you have to believe me. Please."

Nico opened her mouth, clearly struggling to answer, but she was interrupted.


"Are we fighting again?" came a voice drifting in from above as pastel-colored light filled the room and Karolina hovered down to their level. "I can't leave you alone for a second, can I? Can't we all just get along?"



Gert had never been too concerned that Karolina wasn't coming back, but she was starting to remember some things that the Fandom versions of Victor and Karolina had told her about Kar's return.

"Wow, it's a Fandom doubles reunion," she muttered to Bay while Nico rushed in for a hug and the shouting was briefly put on hold. "Except we're not all weirdly older and mysteriously missing half our memory like at the actual Fandom reunion thing."


"Exciting," Bay muttered, standing well back from the reunion until she was more certain how to act. "There are all kinds of special guest stars today."

Nico and Karolina

"Oh, thank god," Nico said, rushing in to embrace Karolina. "I was sure you were dead. I was all alone, and... and I've been acting like such a complete jerk to everyone and..."

"Shh," Karolina said, hugging her tightly. "It's all right, Nico."

"But are you all right? What happened out there?"

Karolina took a deep breath. "I was about to go through with the ceremony when a Skrullos guest insulted one of the Majesdanian bridesmaids' dresses. Stupid, right? But next thing I know, the adults in both parties were fighting, and... the peace I left you guys to rebuild was completely shattered. It's so messed up. One second, everything was fine, and then..."


As Old Lace growled, Gert muttered, "Another happy ending ruined courtesy of the over-18 crowd. K, it's great to see you, but you sure you didn't bring any wedding crashers with you? Old Lace is saying there's somebody else in here."

Xavin and Karolina

"Your animal's senses are impressive," said a new voice as Xavin materialized. "Either that, or my invisibility skills need work. I am Xavin. Karolina's betrothed, remember?"

"But what's happening here?" Karolina put in. "Why are you guys all at each other's throats?"


"We're in the middle of a war of our own," Gert replied. "And Nico here claims we've got another Benedict Arnold, although I have my doubts." She nodded toward Victor. "K, meet Victor and Bay."

Nico, Victor and Karolina

"Oh, right," Nico said. "I totally forgot about Victor spying on us."

"I haven't been spying for anyone, Nico," Victor said quietly from where he had hooked up his arm into Leapfrog's main panel, but it got everyone's attentino. "Someone's been spying through me. I patched some of my cerebral components into the Leapfrog so he can trace any spyware back to the source. Anyone heard of 1822 Whispering Hills Lane?"

Nico looked up sharply. "That's my parents' old summer home. That's where they're keeping Molly?"

"Wait, someone took Molly?" Karolina interrupted. "Who did this? What are we fighting?"


Gert stared down at the chipped purple polish on her fingernails. "The past."


"Apparently somebody named Alex's dad came through time to mess with you guys," Bay supplied. "Not that it wasn't even more insanely dramatic the way Gert said it."

She waved slightly to Xavin. "Hi. Sorry about your, um, not-wedding."

Xavin, Karolina and Chase

Gert snorted at that. It was a fair critique.

"Hello," Xavin said pleasantly enough. "It is, as Karolina suggested, a possibility we had accounted for, although I must admit that I am... disappointed."

"Hang on, Xavin. Alex's dad? Alex Wilder?" Karolina interrupted, even as she took Xavin's hand as a comfort. "What does he want with Molly?"

"Your guess is as good as mine," Chase called from across the rom, "but if we're going to find out, it has to be now." He patted the side of the Leapfrog. "All aboard."


Bay followed the group toward the frog-thing, wondering what she was getting into. It was crazy, but she felt more nervous about traveling in Leapfrog than she was about rescuing Molly -- probably because whatever was going to happen with Molly was still in the future, but the ship was right there right then.

"So, this thing," she said. "It comes with parachutes, right? Maybe a bail-out button?"

Gert and Chase

"Or an ejector seat?" Gert suggested somewhat darkly, eyeing Nico.

"All that and more," Chase confirmed. "Including seatbelts, which I recommend for turbulence reasons.

"You really think we're going to even feel the turbulence with the backseat this cramped?" Gert snarked. "Pretty sure Victor and Xavin are acting seatbelts, the way we're sitting."


"Yeah, I can't even find the buckle for mine," Bay agreed. "And whoever's pocket I just practically tried to pick, I am really sorry."


"Something tells me the Kennish-Vasquez clan does separate cars for its road trips?" Gert quipped. "Here, if I lean forward, maybe someone can -- ow, Nico."


"Are you kidding? We take road trips to separate states," Bay snarked lightly, then glanced over. "Ow, what?"


Gert shook her head. "Either I just got stabbed with a seatbelt or Nico needs a manicure, that's all."

Nico and Victor

"Sorry," Nico snapped.

"This is fun," Victor said dryly.


"Totally what I imagined for my first trip to L.A.," Bay agreed. "Chase, how much further?"


"Depends on if I hit this fire hydrant or not," Chase yelled back from the front seat.

He attempted a tricky maneuver that was likely causing some flare-ups of nausea in the backseat, eventually touching down in the Minoru summer home's spacious backyard.

Sounding distinctly queasy, Chase called, "We're good."

[OOC: Preplayed with the amazing [livejournal.com profile] arsenicmauls. Follows this. NFI, NFB, OOC-OK!]


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