Goddess of the Dayspring, Am I (Part 4)
And look! Yet another original scene not present in the 2006 version of Scary Girls Need Love Too
. Aren't you proud of me? If you are, you should totally read and review because I love those things. This chapter is going to simultaneously bring about some changes for the team while restoring my ability to cannibalize the last three chapters of the original, non-Xavin version. I think that's pretty damn slick of me.
This chapter, rather than continuing off after Chapter 6 of Scary Girls Need Love Too
, takes up the larger story arc that's been running between this story and Trigamy
, specifically directly after Chapter 11
"Well, it's not much but it's our home. I, uh, don't suppose you want to hang around for a while before you head back to Vegas?"
Anya raised an eyebrow at the question before chuckling. Or at least Karolina thought the girl's name was Anya. She'd been a bit distracted by the rather spectacular display of cleavage afforded by the dark-haired girl's red corset and had missed the official introduction. She hadn't thought much of it at the time, but now Karolina was kicking herself. Conversation wasn't entirely impossible when you had no clue what the other person's name was, but anything deep was difficult. Not that Anya - or was it Anna? - seemed too interested in talking. "Not to be mean, Karolina, but where would you rather be right now: here or Vegas? If you'd asked before we left, maybe we could have worked out something with you spending the night with my girlfriend and I, but now… well, this isn't exactly a happening place to be compared to Sin City." Point. And wait, this chick had a girlfriend too? Damn. It really was true that all the good ones were taken or straight. "Besides… and I can't exactly say 'no offense' here because I'm pretty sure this is going to offend you and I'm saying it anyways… if I wanted someone to stare at me like a piece of me? I'd spend go snag a flyer from one of those guys who keep trying to get Jenny and I to go to amateur night at the club they work for." Karolina scowled, hands curling into fists as Anya let out a giggle. "And you know, the others were right. The more I think about it, the weirder it is to use that saying on you. I mean, staring like a piece of meat. But you're a vegan. Hmm. Maybe I should say that you stare at me like tofu?"
A flash of light made Karolina look down and her eyebrows shot towards her hairline as she stared at her hands, which had erupted into roiling rainbow light. While her bracelet was still on. Wow. She really had managed to supercharge - or maybe overcharge - herself today by laying around in direct sunlight for that long. Closing her eyes, Karolina forced herself through the focusing exercises that Xavin had taught her in an effort to tamp the power back down and restore her flesh and blood form. After a few very tense seconds, the dancing light visible even through her eyelids faded away and Karolina let out a slow breath before opening her eyes again. Mindful of the presence of the others and not wanting to further embarrass herself, the blonde leaned in towards the older girl. "Then I can't exactly say 'no offense' here because I'm pretty sure this is going to offend you and I'm saying it anyways… but maybe if you didn't dress like a slut then you wouldn't get attention you don't want. I mean, I'm only hu… okay, so I can't actually say that I'm 'only human', but you know what I mean."
"Right…" The way Anya drew out the word made it feel more like an entire sentence, and the look she gave Karolina had the Majesdanian feeling about as tall as Cassie had been when the blonde had disappeared under the couch in search of Kit's missing parasol. "Or maybe you could, I don't know, grow up a little and start treating other girls the way you would want to be treated? Or, if that's actually the kind of thing you're into, better than you want to be treated? Because I don't dress this way for you and I'm certainly not going to change the way I dress just because you're immature. And I really don't think I'm the only one out there who thinks that way. Just some tofu for thought." Stepping back, she raised her voice and waved at the group behind Karolina. "Nice to meet the rest of you guys. Kit, Nico, if you're ever in New York, text me and we can get together to check out some magic shops. Or if you're not and the time difference isn't too bad. I mean, it's not like getting out here is hard for me. Anyways, I need to go make Bekah cough up my taxi fee before she gets too caught up in the others and tries to weasel out of it." After shooting one last unreadable look at Karolina, Anya clicked the heels of her knee-high red leather boots together. "I'mthequeenofthecastle, I'mthequeenofthecastle, I'mthequeenofthecastle…"
Karolina watched the red-clad girl disappear in a shower of red motes of light before ducking her head, letting her long hair mask the irritated look on her face. How dare that bitch? What was wrong with the way she treated girls? Girls who walked around like that were obviously showing off no matter what they said and she was just reacting the way everyone would… right? Seriously, a red leather bustier, matching leather pants, and hooker boots? If an outfit like that didn't mean Anya wanted people staring at her, Karolina would… she didn't know quite how to finish that sentence, but it'd be something drastic. Not even bothering to look back over her shoulder - because the others had probably heard it all and Kit would be staring at her with that damnable superior smirk on her face - Karolina stalked off towards her room. "Come on, Xavin. Let's-"
A loud cough stopped Karolina in her tracks and after a moment's consideration, she decided to look back over her shoulder to see what Kit wanted. The brunette was indeed smirking at her and gesturing at… what? "Yeah, about that. I realize that Anya's tits were there at the time, but did you seriously not notice?" Notice what? Karolina looked around wildly, wondering what the hell she was missing. "Notice someone missing? Someone… green? Or black? Or… you know what? Fuck it. I don't trust you to get it no matter how many hints I give you. Xavin. You seem to be missing her. Mostly because she up and ditched your pathetic ass. She spent some time talking with Bekah and Cassie and decided to stay behind in Vegas with the Young Avengers. When the ones not sleeping with Xander go back to New York, she's going to go with them and join the team as Element. Which… not big on codenames or the hideous costume she chose, but to each their own." Karolina just stared at her in disbelief and Kit sighed. "How much plainer do I need to make this for you, Rainbow Brite? You… got… dumped…"
The unfamiliar girl blinked back.
Xander blinked again.
The unfamiliar girl blinked again.
Fairly certain that he wasn't seeing things and that the two girls who'd gone down to the pool for the afternoon had come back as three girls - Bekah and Cassie bookending a very pretty, but very unknown girl with strawberry blonde hair - Xander turned to more likely culprit and sighed. "What did you do now?"
Offering her best innocent expression, Bekah looked back and forth between Xander and the girl he had a feeling was the newest - at least to him - member of their little group. "Why do you automatically think that I'm the one who…" He raised an eyebrow and she trailed off before smiling sheepishly. "Right. Xander, this is Xavin. I had some of the Runaways come out to Vegas for the day as Cassie's date present and it turns out that she - Xavin, that is, not Cassie - is having some love life troubles. So we're going to send her back to New York with the other Young Avengers, however many that is by then, as part of this whole big scheme to get her fiancée to appreciate her. And Xavin, this is our boyfriend Xander. Kate, the third girl we mentioned, is… somewhere around here. Not sure where."
"Soaking in the tub." Xander winced as he thought back to their return to the hotel, at which point Kate had taken advantage of a mirror on the inside of the closet door to take stock of the damage before shooting him a look that could peel paint. "I may or may not have nailed her in the butt while we were on opposite teams for our last game of paintball before heading out." Bekah arched a brow at that one. "Okay, I may have." The other brow slowly rose as well. "Fine, I definitely managed to shoot her in the ass with a paintball. So she's not too happy with me at the moment. And kinda achy. I have a feeling that if you two weren't here to outvote her, I'd be sleeping on the couch tonight."
Bekah bit her lip to try and hold it in but eventually a giggle escaped. "See, now that's one of the easiest ways to tell Kate and I apart. I never complain when you nail me in the butt." Xander groaned and reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose; he really needed to find his game again one of these days. Usually he was the one delivering the punch line, not the set up man. "You see what I did there?"
Why yes. Yes he did. Xander was pretty sure that one was so obvious that a deaf Mexican could understand it. Still, there were niceties to be observed. "I see what you did there. And since she looks like she's about to cross over into 'color of a Coke can' territory, let's change the subject before poor Cassie actually manages to die of embarrassment."
"I'm sorry, I'm the shy girl. Who's still not far removed from being a virgin. I'm allowed to blush when people start throwing around anal sex jokes like they're discussing the weather. Although speaking of - and my train of thought there was 'weather', 'the elements', 'Element', so you don't think I'm crazy - there is something you should know about Xavin, Xander." Cassie nibbled on her lower lip nervously as even Bekah looked away and Xander tried to remember how many aspirin were left in the bottle in his bag. If they were both this nervous, there was no way this discussion was going to end well. Another clone, maybe? Another clone who was Bekah's long-lost love and wanted in and Cassie was fine with it? A- "Well, a few things actually. For one, she's not human. Xavin is from a species of shapeshifting aliens called Skrulls. And she's not just any Skrull, she's a Super Skrull and a prince. So she has all of the Fantastic Four's powers and-"
Xander held up a hand, cutting off Cassie. Suddenly, the probable source of his impending headache was very obvious. Still, rather than assume… "I don't suppose 'prince' is the best translation of some neutral Skrull term that they use for both genders of royalty? You know, kinda like how 'president' and 'prime minister' are for both men and women?" All three girls - or rather two girls and whatever Xavin actually was - shook their heads. "…great. Well, at least I didn't actually check her out or anything. Not that there's anything wrong with you, Xavin, it's just that I'm not Kennedy and so I don't go around checking out other women in front of my girlfriends… and you know, considering what I know now, I really don't think I should be pondering whether or not there's anything right or wrong about you period." God. Was this what life with the girls was going to be like? Because if it was, he either needed to cut and run or start investing in whoever made Tylenol. "Anything else I should know? Anything at all? Anyone else here secretly a boy or an alien or a lab bab… oh crap."
Closing the distance between them, Bekah wrapped her arms around Xander's waist and gave him a hug. "Don't worry, Cassie and Xavin know. I need to tell Kate still, but that'll give us something to talk about on our date. As for secrets… not it! Cassie, you tell him. Unless you think you can talk Kate into it."
Cassie snorted. "Are you kidding me? Kate can be so stubborn sometimes that I'm pretty sure a thunderstorm can't talk her into being wet." Bekah ducked behind Xander, peeking over his shoulder at Cassie and Xavin, causing the blonde to roll her eyes. "Fine, but you owe me. Xander, you know Anya and Jenny? Yeah. They're our teammates Wiccan and Hulkling. Or Billy and Teddy, if you want their real names. Kate originally planned this as a team outing but then three of the guys backed out and she decided to shift to a 'girls' weekend' before she remembered them. Rather than stay home, they decided to blend in so they could tag along and see Vegas too." Xander's eyes widened and then his stomach roiled as a torrent of mental images went pouring through his head. He had - subtly, of course - checked out both of the girls in questions. A lot. Anya more than Jenny because… well, Jenny was a little scary in the 'might to fun to play with but you'd spend the next few months in a hip cast' way. And they were… guys? Seriously? In the words of Giles… 'oh dear Lord'. "Erm, and only Billy - that's Anya if you're having problems keeping track - is human. Or, well, Billy's a mutant but that's close enough. Teddy is an alien like Xavin. Although not exactly like Xavin; Teddy's only half-Skrull. His father was a Kree."
That evidently meant something to Xavin, who turned to stare at Cassie in disbelief. "You are friends with Dorrek the Eighth, heir to the Skrull Empire? The prophesied savior and uniter of our shattered people?"
It meant something completely different to Xander, though. "I think I'm going to be sick."
And from here the universe splits back into two independent stories: the ongoing story of Xander and his girls will continue in Chapter 12
, while the adventures of the Runaways will be found in Chapter 8 of Scary Girls Need Love Too
and beyond. Although they will meet again and so remember to read author notes, true believers, because they are your friends.