Thrusters On Full
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise
. Her continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go… where no one has gone before!
Perched on the back of the sofa, Dawn watched the television half-heartedly as she counted down the minutes in her mind; she knew exactly how long it took to fly to the Midtown Multiplex and didn't want to be early any more than she wanted to be late. Early said desperate. Late said… well, nothing. Girl generally left if you were late. She'd found that out a few times with Melissa, which had led to much groveling.
Dawn glanced down, taking in her lack of clothes. The armor still had yet to fade on its own and her first chance to visit Emma wasn't until this weekend, so she was stuck with it for her date. Cassie hadn't seemed to mind, though, telling Dawn to just show up at the theater au natural. Hey, whatever floated the blonde's boat. It wasn't like she could carry a wallet or anything at the moment, so if Cassie wanted to play Barbie and tell her what to - and what not to - wear, she could pay for the movie. That'd teach her to be bossy, Dawn decided.
"Hey Dawn?" Dawn peered back over her shoulder, surprised to find a rather hesitant looking Janet hovering at the far end of the living room. Not literally, though. Out of the two of them, Janet was the one who preferred to keep her feet on the ground except when necessary. "I feel kinda strange having to ask your permission, since this is my house and I'm the parent here and all, but since you don't really want her around and what you want is more important than what I want when it comes to this particular issue…"
Blinking a few times, Dawn quickly deduced what 'particular issue' Janet was trying to bring up. "You want to invite Astrid over while I'm gone?"
Janet nodded. "She's clearly a troubled girl who needs a good maternal influence. I'm… probably not that great an influence, but I'm better than nothing, right?"
"I think you're selling yourself short, considering you've only been a mother for a month. And mother to a giant, puking, lesbian bug girl at that." Dawn checked the time before twisting to face her mother properly, sliding off the back of the couch to land on her feet. "I'll text you from Cassie's phone before I head back. I want to know if she's still here so I can take the long way. And by the long way, I'm thinking of a detour on the magnitude of my room by way of Vancouver."
Sighing, Cassie checked her watch for the third time. The theater's posted times were when the ten or fifteen minutes of assorted pre-movie crap began, so technically Dawn had that and five minutes to show up in… but she was cutting it awfully close for someone who was starting out on thin ice to begin with. The blonde reached up, fiddling absently with one of her braided pigtails, only to pause when a passing couple gave her a strange look. "What? Never seen a superhero going to the movies before?"
"No, pretty sure you're the first one to pull something like this." Cassie jumped and whirled, scowling as Dawn approached from behind, giggling softly. "Well, here I am. Wearing nothing but my skin and a smile, as requested. You do know I could have just thrown some sweats and a hoody on over the armor, right? Then you wouldn't have had to wear your costume to keep me from feeling like a freak."
Cassie shrugged; it had occurred to her. "But you don't have any shoes that fit, and I'm pretty sure people would freak anyways if they saw these." Taking one of Dawn's hands, she held it up for emphasis as she ran her thumb over the back of Dawn's glossy knuckles. "So isn't it just better to just freak people out and get it over with?" Perking up, she tugged Dawn towards the entrance. "Besides, who knows? They have senior discount and student discount. Maybe they'll have superhero discount."
Snorting with laughter, Dawn followed along behind Cassie obediently. "So, Star Trek
, huh? Never woulda pictured you to be the sci-fi nerd type. I'll have to introduce you to Andrew one of these days."
"I'm not a nerd, I just wanted to get out of the house for the night. If Star Trek
isn't your bag, though, we can go see Hannah Montana: The Movie
or that new Matthew McConaughey film?" Cassie smirked as Dawn gave a full body shudder at the alternatives. "Oh! Or we can go see that biography of Emma Frost that she helped write the script for?"
Dawn pondered that one for a moment and Cassie found herself genuinely worried that the dark-haired girl would take her up on the offer. Not that she had anything against Emma Frost; the woman had seemed pleasant enough when they visited Xavier's. But… well… was it really a good idea for a first date to go and see a movie about a woman who liked to run around half-naked? "Nah, seeing that once was enough. Emma sent Janet an advance copy because it turns out Janet filmed a cameo. Wasn't bad. Wouldn't have paid ten dollars to see it, though. Which reminds me. Pay the nice girl so we can go inside."
Turning to the ticket window, Cassie paused as Dawn's words sank in. Then she turned back to face the older girl. "Wait a minute. You're in the doghouse for reasons we won't go into in public, and you want me to pay for this? How does that work?"
"Uh, Ca-Stature?" Pulling her hand away, Dawn raised her arms over her head and gave a slow spin. "Where the hell were you expecting me to carry a wallet? This is my skin, remember? It doesn't have pockets."
Dawn's blue eyes went wide and then a blush spread across her cheeks. "Oh. Yeah. That woulda worked nicely, huh? I even have this nice black PVC one that would have matched perfectly. Oh well. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Two tickets for the 8:00 PM showing of Star Trek
, please. And is there a superhero discount?"
Behind the glass, the pimply teenage girl's mouth worked soundlessly and oh good God, Cassie knew that girl. They had algebra together. Now she was really glad she'd worn her mask. Not only was her secret identity safe, so was her secret sexuality. Err, not that she was ashamed of being interested in girls - or girl; Dawn seemed to be the extent of her admiration for the fairer sex. But the last thing she needed was her entire school knowing by Monday, especially if the date sucked and they decided to just be friends. Finally, the ticket girl regained her composure. "Uh… no discount? I don't think? I could go ask my manager? Please don't step on the theater if he says no!"
"...Stature? Is there something you want to tell me?" Dawn eyed her suspiciously, making Cassie squirm even though she knew she wasn't guilty of anything… at least that she was aware of. She'd stepped on a car once or twice while out with the Young Avengers, sure, but… "What have you been up to when I'm not looking? Is this why I can't find a falafel cart anymore? 'Hey! Gimme a falafel or I'll step on you!' 'Oh no! It is! GIRLZILLA!'"
Feeling the heat rising in her face, Cassie batted at Dawn until the taller girl stepped back from the window. "No, I haven't been stepping on… why the heck do you eat falafel? What's wrong with good old fashioned hot dog wagons?" Cursing herself for allowing Dawn to distract her with something so asinine, Cassie turned back to the window and pasted a smile on her face. "Two for the 8:00 PM Star Trek
, adult price please." There. She'd make up for Dawn's weirdness by not even asking for a student discount… which would require her to show her school ID card and totally blow her secret identity, so she couldn't anyways. Still. Making a three dollar sacrifice.
After receiving her criminally overpriced ten dollar tickets and handing one over to Dawn, they entered the theater's lobby. "Oh! Oh! Theater nachos!" Puppy dog eyes set to maximum, Dawn pouted and tugged Cassie towards the concession stand in the middle of the lobby. "Can we get some? Please?"
Cassie eyed the stand dubiously; the food was overpriced and the lines were on the long side to boot. "Theater nachos scare me. Do you know how many different chemicals are in that cheese? And I bet those chips have so many preservatives in them that roaches won't even touch them."
"Well yeah. That's the point. It's like hot dogs at a baseball game. It's part of the experience." Grabbing Cassie's hand, Dawn gave an impatient tug. "Come on. If we don't hurry, we'll be late for the movie." When Cassie didn't budge, Dawn gave a harder tug. "What, you'll eat hot dogs from carts that probably haven't been cleaned in your lifetime, but theater nachos scare you?"
Sighing, Cassie allowed herself to be led over to the shortest of the lines and checked the price list before peeking into her wallet. She'd have just enough for nachos and a soda, although she'd have to walk home. Stupid persuasive Dawn, with her pouty kissable lips and gorgeous eyes and… "Can I help you, miss?"
Cassie jerked a bit at the sudden address. Wow, front of the line already? She looked around wildly, noticing that none of the other lines had moved. Odd. Oh well. She wasn't going to question her good luck. "One order of nachos with salsa and cheese, and a large Coke." As the theater worker hurried off to the soda machine, Cassie turned to Dawn. "Just warning you, if you try and get me to eat them, I may throw up on you."
"Oh come on, they're not that bad." Dawn accepted the cardboard container that held both the nachos and the soda and waited for Cassie to fork over the majority of her remaining money before heading off towards Theater Six. "Tell you what, if you puke, I'll cook you lunch and dinner tomorrow."
From both stories and firsthand experience, Cassie knew Dawn was an unconventional albeit capable cook and she found herself pondering if she could sneak a finger down her throat beside a chip to make herself puke, just so she could take advantage of that offer. Beat a round of 'microwave that box' at her house. "What, no breakfast?"
Dawn licked her lips slowly before winking. "Trust me, if you end up staying over, we'll be up so late that it'll be lunch time by the time we're out of bed."
Feeling a full body blush coming on, Cassie elbowed Dawn in the ribs. Carefully, though, as not to make the taller girl drop her precious nachos and soda. After how much Cassie had spent on that crap, she was going to make Dawn lick every last drop of cheese and salsa out of the plastic tray and then check for any leftover chip crumbs. "What did I tell you, Dawn? You're not getting past first base until that one month anniversary gift is in my hands."
"Uh, I meant we'd probably be up late talking and stuff." Dawn shot Cassie an odd look as she opened the door for their theater, gesturing for Cassie to enter ahead of her. "Sheesh. Get your mind out of the gutter, pervert girl."
Oh yeah. Cassie could definitely feel that burning, full body blush going. "...I hate you. That's not what you meant and you know it."
Dawn snickered behind her, bringing her hand to rest on the small of Cassie's back and guiding her onward. "Hmm. Pervert girl. I wonder how you'd spell that, superhero-wise? With no space? Pervertgirl, all one word like Iceman? Or would it be Pervert Girl as two words, like Wonder Man? Or maybe Pervert-Girl with the hyphen, like Giant-Man?"
"Haaaaate you." Turning a corner, Cassie found herself at the bottommost row of seats in the theater. It wasn't too full, a handful of people dotted here and there, and so after spotting a nice empty section halfway up, Cassie started climbing the stairs. "C'mon. I'd like to have my way at least once on this date."
Seating herself in the middle of the theater, Cassie waited for Dawn to take a seat to her right and then grabbed the soda she'd spent precious money on, sticking it in the left-hand cup holder of her seat. Dawn pouted at that but Cassie held firm; she'd share, but only a bit. That was her soda, damnit. Hers. Thankfully, before Dawn could start wearing away at her resistance, the lights lowered and the projector behind them hummed to life. A quick message about the theater's emergency exits flashed past before fading to black, and the first trailer started.
"That's how I survived. Time and time again. That's my secret. I survived because I willed it to be. How did I survive apocalyptic fire? I simply refused to feel the flames." When there were many… When there were few… She stood alone. Solitaire: The Emma Frost Story
Armored fingers with greatly decreased sensitivity made eating with one's hands a bitch.
Dawn scowled as she looked away from the screen yet again, very carefully grabbing a chip between her thumb and index finger before dunking it in cheese and bringing it to her mouth. Tomorrow, she reminded herself. She could go see Emma tomorrow and get herself fixed. Hmm. Maybe that idea of inviting Cassie over wasn't so bright. Nah, she could always send Cassie down to the Danger Room or something to chill while she and Emma talked.
"Oh, Jim, I think I love you."
"That's so weird."
"Lights. Did you just say 'that is so weird'?"
Ooh. Green chick. Hot.
"I didn't get that part at the end."
Dawn's jaw dropped and Cassie had to forcibly stabilize her height to keep from turning the two inches tall she felt when faced with the dark-haired girl's incredulous stare. "Seriously? You've never seen Star Trek? At all? Well, at least the Original Series
or The Next Generation
?" Cassie shook her head. "Wow. I mean, I'm not into Star Trek and even I've caught the reruns. And that was before I ended up sharing a house with the biggest nerd known to man. The whole 'to boldly go' bit was part of the intro to every episode."
Oh. Well, she had warned Dawn she wasn't a Trekkie. What did the girl expect? Cassie checked her watch; it was close to 10:30 PM. Doing her best to hide a yawn, she debated what to do next. As much as she wanted to continue their date night, since things seemed to be going well enough, she was still on that good girl's schedule of being asleep by eleven at the latest so she could be up each morning for school. Dawn had made comments about her sleeping over… but was she serious, or had that been just a part of the joke dedicated to twisting Cassie around to look like the perv out of the two of them?
"Hey, wanna head back to my place?" Dawn reached over to grab Cassie's wrist, checking the time before cocking her head to the side. "Think the Red Sox are playing the Mariners tonight. I can make sundaes or something, and we can camp out, watch the game, and talk. If she's still there, having another person pissed at Astrid in the house might get Janet to toss her out faster."
Cassie pondered that. "First of all, I'm a Yankees fan. Why the hell would I want to watch the Red Sox? And secondly… wait, I was going to ask about the ice cream, but let's put that third. Secondly, why is Astrid at your place?"
Groaning, Dawn rolled her eyes before heaving a noisy sigh. "Janet's on this whole 'she's not evil, she's just misunderstood' kick. I still haven't forgiven Astrid, but as long as she stays out of my way, I won't put her through the wall again. And… okay, YES is something like three channels down from NESN. We can watch the Yankees play whoever; if the game's done already, I think they reshow it like how NESN has 'Sox in Two'. That work for you?"
"Depends." Not really. Cassie was planning to go agree no matter what. She was just in the mood to tease Dawn a bit to get back at her for earlier. "What kind of ice cream?"
Raising her hand, Dawn ticked off choices on her fingers. "Peanut Butter Cup, New York Super Fudge Chunk, ONE Cheesecake Brownie, Vermonty Python, Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace…"
Cassie arched a brow; someone was a Ben & Jerry's fiend. That was fine with her; she'd acquired a taste for the more-expensive-than-her-family-could-generally-afford ice cream when she'd joined the Young Avengers and Kate had started treating her to girls' days that included scoop shop visits. She had a particular fondness for Cherry Garcia, although… "What's in 'Imagine Whirled Peace'?"
"Caramel ice cream with toffee cookie pieces and chocolate peace signs." Dawn shrugged and raised one hand, wobbling it back and forth. "It's pretty good. Hank's got a thing for it lately. I like the cheesecake brownie better. It raises money for charity, which means the calories don't count."
Even though she was pretty sure Dawn's logic was more than a little dodgy on that one, Cassie didn't contradict her. Maybe Dawn had a second pint for her; her catsuit had been getting a little tight in the thighs as of late. "Sounds good to me. How we gonna get there? Your nachos were my subway money."
Dawn at least had the good sense to look abashed at that. "Um… I can fly you back to the house? There's a little pipe on the roof that leads into the HVAC system. It lets me come and go without having to be obvious about it. We can sneak right into the living room and scare the crap Janet when she comes up for air and there's people in her house."
"That's mean. And if she tries to sting us for scaring her, I'm hiding behind you." Shrinking down to her minimum size of half an inch, Cassie waited for Dawn to join her before raising her arms over her head. Then she hesitated, lowering them slowly. "You know, there's got to be a better way to do this. Because if I have to hang like that all the way back to your place, I think my arms might get stuck like that."
After a moment's consideration, Dawn stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Cassie. "Now put your arms around my neck and when I lift off, wrap your legs around my waist. Okay?" Cassie nodded, blushing a bit as she felt Dawn's body mold against hers. Oh yeah. This wasn't sexual at all. Again she opted to keep her mouth shut, knowing Dawn would find some way to turn her comments against her. Stupid innocence. Why couldn't she be the one with snappy comebacks and witty innuendo?
It was half past eleven and Cassie was about to fall asleep. Dawn shook her head in amusement; if the Burdicks took her offer and shipped Cassie off to the school in Cleveland, the young superheroine was going to be in for a rude shock. Running her fingers through the blonde locks she'd freed from their braided state earlier, Dawn snickered softly to herself as she watched the antics of the Griffin family. Family Guy
was one of her guilty pleasures. No matter how many times she saw the episodes, no matter how much of the dialogue she could quote from memory, it still made her laugh. "Oh, it's conjugal visit day. You know I love doing a woman in the can. Oh!"
"I wasn't aware you had the equipment for something like that, Dawn." Blinking up sleepily, Cassie reached over and poked at Dawn's lap. "Or are you hiding something under that armor that I need to know about?"
Dawn's hand shot down as a burst of pleasure radiated through her body, capturing Cassie's wrist and gently moving the blonde's hand away from her crotch. "You do remember this isn't armor in the strictest sense, right? I still feel touch, especially when someone's poking away at my, err, bits."
Sighing, Cassie turned her head away and pressed her face against Dawn's thigh. Her voice was slightly muffled by her new position, but easy enough to make out. "I should just get used to being in a continual state of blush around you, shouldn't I?"
"Hey, I didn't ask you to stick your hand between my legs." Pausing for a moment, Dawn pondered that statement. "Well I would, but you keep reminding me about that one month rule…" Cassie let out a little whimper of embarrassment and Dawn chalked up another point for herself as the blonde did her best to merge her face with Dawn's thigh. "Speaking of which, are we going to do this again? It doesn't matter as far as tonight goes; you can still camp out in a guest room for the night if you say no. I'm just kinda curious."
Rolling onto her back, Cassie kept her head in Dawn's lap as she nibbled her lower lip. "I don't know. You are a Red Sox fan, after all…" Dawn huffed and slid to the side, dumping Cassie's head onto the couch cushion as she rose to her feet. "Oh come on, I'm kidding! Of course I want to go on another date with you."
Dawn let Cassie hang for a moment before turning back to face the younger girl. "Tomorrow, since you're staying over? Janet and I are making run up to Xavier's again but I can take you back to your place before that. And when I get back, we can go visit an art gallery and maybe do dinner at Mesa Grill?"
"Sounds good to me. But you're bringing a purse this time, Miss 'I Have No Pockets For A Wallet'. Especially since I know exactly who owns that place and that it's probably on the 'no prices on the menu because if you have to worry, you can't afford it' list."
"So what, you pay for movies and shit nachos and I have to pay for extensive dinner out for us? How is that fair?"
"You do want to see me naked at some point in the future, right?"
"…I see what you did there."