Anyone know the one thing that gets better ratings than hot girl-on-girl action? The other kind of girl-on-girl action: catfights! And since I replaced John and Jubilee with Rachel and Betsy… why not? To be honest, I kinda wish I'd thought of this last time…
November 19, 2011
One of Sunnydale's Many Cemeteries
Holy crap. Was there anyone in her group who was actually normal? What next? Harmony developing telepathy? Gwen bursting into flames like that obnoxious guy from the Fantastic Four? Cordelia pondered that for a moment as she watched Willow try to stab Scott with her newly revealed claws. Suddenly, she found herself wondering what the limits of Aunt Wanda's powers were. Could she go so far as to create an X-gene in a flatscan? Because while her peers had taken Michelle's presence remarkably well, Cordelia still wasn't sure how they'd handle the particular powers she'd inherited. But if all the Cordettes were mutants too, then she could finally come out and there'd be no risk of losing her throne because to push 'muties' out, her peers would have to exile the next seven most popular girls in school too.
Something to ask in her next email, at any rate.
Well, something to ask in her next email assuming she wasn't being held by Sunnydale's finest as an accessory to murder. Utilizing her magnokinesis in her least favorite way, Cordelia lifted herself up off the ground and floated up over the fracas. Beneath her, Willow continued to bob and weave around Scott's red blasts, lunging claws-first at the man each time an opening presented itself. Watching her fight was fascinating for Cordelia; there was an inherent feral, animalistic quality to Willow's movements but at the same time, she was exhibiting distinct patterns and logic in her behavior.
Hopping back to her feet, the unknown purple-haired girl wobbled a few times before curling her hands into fists. "Okay, no more Miss Nice Mutant." The crisp British accent surprised Cordelia, but not as much as what followed. Taking two steps forward, the girl swung her right arm forward as if she was bowling, causing a series of bright violet energy pulses to race forward. One after another the pulses detonated, kicking up clouds of dirt and grass, the last one exploding and hurling Willow backwards. "Hah! And you said playing all those video games was rotting our brains! Who's laughing now, Summers?"
"Betsy, watch out!"
Raising her fisted hands, Betsy did… something… that caused a pair of glowing violet energy blades to erupt from her hands. That left her ready to meet the resurgent Willow's attack, slamming her fist-blades into the dark-haired girl's chest as Willow leapt at her and stopping her cold. "Been wanting to try that for a while now. How does it feel to lose control of your…" Betsy trailed off as Willow growled loudly, slowly bringing her hands up to grip the sides of the purple-haired girl's head. "…oh bugger."
The crack of Willow's forehead against Betsy's echoed through the graveyard.
With Betsy reduced to stumbling around and cursing loudly, Willow suddenly found herself free to move on to a new target: the young redhead who'd probably drawn Willow's attention by calling out a warning to Betsy moments ago. But before the feral girl could reach her - or Cordelia could figure out how to either diffuse the situation or help Willow without risking injury to herself - things abruptly took a turn for the strange. For no apparent reason, Scott's head jerked to one side and he let out a grunt of pain, the odd visor he wore flying off into the night. A split second later, a beam of brilliant red light erupted from his eyes, hitting the stumbling Betsy in the side. Cordelia winced in sympathy as the girl went flying; considering Michelle was down for the count after being hit with one of those blasts, it couldn't be pleasant. As Scott dropped to his knees, covering his eyes with his hands, a half-naked girl popped into existence long enough to drive both feet into Jean's chest. Backflipping, she unloaded a bolt of bright yellow energy into the older woman's chest before disappearing from view once more, Jean collapsing to the grass like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
Ah. So evidently Jean hadn't been going crazy when she'd claimed there was someone else in the graveyard with them. The only thing left to figure out was… friend or foe? Was she trying to help Willow, and therefore Cordelia and Michelle by extension? Or was she just in the mood to fight, and Jean and Scott had been the closest targets?
Cordelia looked to her right as a faint pop caught her attention, eyes widening at the sight of a three foot tall version of one of her Cordettes hovering beside her, four insectoid wings barely visible as they vibrated furiously. Raising an eyebrow, Janet gestured down at where Willow was taking advantage of the turned tides to focus her aggression on the young redhead from Jean and Scott's group. "Okay, so, Willow has claws, Michelle's actually blue, and you can fly. And here I thought I was the one keeping secrets from people." Looking back over her shoulder, Janet chuckled. "Oh wait. I was. Still, sharing time later. Want to tell me what's going on? Because if I'm going to need to kick anyone else upside the head, I want to know now. I have a curfew to worry about."
"Long story short? Visor Guy thought Michelle was someone else, Visor Guy shot Michelle, Willow got angry and stabby because of it, and then you showed up and evened things up for her."
Cordelia watched as the remaining redhead threw her hand out, freezing Willow in midair before slamming her down hard against the ground. Despite creating a decent-sized crater on impact, Willow was back on her feet a few seconds later and charging again. "We should probably end this before someone gets seriously injured, though. If I dropped back in and tried to calm Willow - which should distract Jean's Mini-Me too - do you think you could sneak up on her from behind and-"
Evidently, she wasn't the only one who thought reinforcements were the path to victory. Slamming Willow into the ground again, the redhead stood there with her arm extended, pinning Willow down as she looked over at the crypt Cordelia had previously been hiding behind. "Ivette: attack plan Lima-One."
Peeking out from behind the crypt, Ivette shook her head rapidly. "We never ran drills as anything other than the Five-in-One, Rachel. Just in case you didn't notice, I'm only the One-in-One right now. I don't know if I can-"
Rachel just sighed, twisting her wrist to roll Willow over onto her back before gesturing with her free hand and yanking Willow's right arm up into the air. "Bone claws, Ivette. Not adamantium. I'm pretty sure that between the two of us, we can take her." Emerging from her hiding place, Ivette stepped into view and… changed. Cordelia had seen the publicity photos of Emma Frost in her transmorph state and had also read that her daughters shared that power, but seeing it in person was something else entirely. Before her inspection of Ivette in the Graveyard As Diamond could get too far, though, Rachel lifted Willow into the air and threw her at Ivette. "Catch."
"Wait, I'm playing Esm-" Ivette was cut off as Willow's body slammed into hers, the blonde stumbling back a step as Willow dropped to the grass with a grunt, her eyes wide as she wheezed, trying desperately to pull air back into her lungs. "Oh. Huh. I'll be damned. Maybe when we get back, I'll try to trick her into trading spots with me in the Danger Room missions. That wasn't so hard."
Cordelia scowled. Even if Willow still wasn't her favorite person in the world, she was a Cordette these days and Cordelia looked after her minions. "Janet, get down there and help her. Go for the redhead; she seems to be the brains of the operation. I'll…" Trailing off, Cordelia watched as a white limousine rolled to a stop in front of the graveyard's heavy iron fence. A limo? And a white one at that? Given the overall income and unimportance level of the majority of Sunnydale's residents - and that it wasn't prom season - Cordelia had a pretty good idea as to who'd just arrived. And Willow was currently back up on her feet and busy trading punches with the woman's daughter. Great. "I'll go try and make nice with the woman who can turn our brains into pudding."
"…is that actually a possibility? Because if it is, I think I like my job better." Jetting forward, Janet grew larger and larger as she raced towards the redhead's back. Her wings disappeared as she reached full size and she spread her arms wide, taking Rachel's legs out from under her and causing the redhead to topple over backwards. Squirming until she was facing right-side-up again, Janet shoved Rachel off of her legs before hopping back to her feet. So, we gonna do this teenage girl style? Or mutant style?"
"Climbing back to her feet, Rachel shook her head to dislodge some leaves stuck in her hair before regarding Janet warily. "I'm guessing 'mutant style' involves powers. What does teenage gi-" The sharp crack of flesh on flesh made Cordelia wince as Rachel was rocked back by the force of Janet's bitch slap. "Oh no you didn't."
"What's the matter? Scared you can't handle someone without using your powers to cheat?" Janet raised both hands and made a beckoning gesture, which Rachel responded to with a rude gesture before charging the smaller girl. Cordelia just shook her head before turning and floating away. The green-haired girl had to admit, it was an innovative albeit gauche way to get around the fact that Rachel's powers could make her literally untouchable.
Making her way over to the gate, Cordelia came in for a landing and watched as a striking blonde in a pure white skirt suit stepped out of the limo. Turning to face her, Emma Frost's eyes began to glow blue as telepathic fingers picked their way through the green-haired girl's brain. After a few seconds, one slim eyebrow rose. 'Good evening, Miss Chase. Shall we be discussing things like mature adults? Or are you planning to adopt the same problem-solving method as your friends and attack me? Because if that's the case, we can skip straight to the part where I shut your brain off.'
Eyes widening, Cordelia shook her head rapidly. "If it's all the same to you, I'd like to talk. It's why I sent an email, after all. I make no promises about Willow. Or Janet, for that matter. Although in their defense, Scott was the one who started everything by blasting Michelle before we could explain what was going on."
The mental fingers returned and Emma's composed expression slipped for a moment to show astonishment before she regained control, the glow fading to reveal her icy blue eyes. "Yes. This 'Michelle' of yours. I can't wait to hear all about her. After I save the day and do an appropriate amount of gloating, that is." Brushing past Cordelia, Emma stalked into the graveyard, leaving the green-haired girl scrambling to keep up. Reaching where Jean lay sprawled out on the ground, Emma crouched down and pressed her fingers against the redhead's temples. Nothing happened for a few seconds and then Jean gasped and arched her back as she regained consciousness. "You can survive Erik and his Brotherhood, but not a high school cheerleader?"
"You're never going to let me live this down, are you?"
"I've already made a copy of Janet's memories so I can project them into your mind during staff meetings." Straightening up, Emma took a moment to help Jean back to her feet before clucking her tongue. "You can't even sense someone a few feet away from you and, if memory serves, your telekinesis isn't any more impressive. Remind me again why Charles bothers to keep you around?"
Shooting Emma a scowl, Jean thrust her right arm out away from her side. "Certainly not the same reason he kept you around when you were younger, Emma." Scott's missing visor came zipping out of the shadows, stopping a foot from Jean's hand before reversing course and floating over to its owner. "Now, what are we going to do about… that?"
Cordelia followed Jean's line of sight, bit her lip to try and keep from laughing, and then laughed anyway. Ivette was running around the graveyard with Willow clinging to her back, flailing and chanting 'oh God' over and over as Willow punched the side of her head repeatedly. Her path wasn't entirely random, Cordelia quickly realized: Ivette was racing from one stationary object to another, twisting at the last second and slamming her back against each in a futile attempt to dislodge Willow before moving on.
Rachel and Janet, on the other hand? Oh, they were definitely handling things 'teenage girl style'. Hair-pulling, biting, clawing, clothes tearing, the works. Cordelia shook her head; good thing station within the Cordettes wasn't based on a literal survival of the fittest or Janet might have ascended all the way to Harmony's - and now Michelle's - status by now. Although she had to admit, pulling Rachel's hair while clawing at the remains of the redhead's green tank top seemed to be yielding better results for Janet than Willow's attacks on Ivette…
"Enough!" Eyes blazing blue, Emma shot a glare in Willow's direction and the dark-haired girl abruptly went limp, sliding off Ivette's back and falling to the grass. It was then Rachel and Janet's turn to freeze as Emma turned her attention their way, guilty looks on both their faces. "You will release my… protégé… now, Miss van Dyne, or I will overwrite your mind with a copy of Nicole Polizzi's and leave just enough of you behind to scream in horror at it all."
Releasing her prey, Janet threw her hands up in the air as she slowly backed away, one hand coming up to wipe a bit of blood from her lips. "Thanks, but I like my brain just the way it is. Hey, look at the time. I've got to run. Curfew. Homework. Need to wash my hair. Something. Yeah." And then she disappeared, the faint buzz of her wings quickly fading into the night.
"…you know, I'd say 'coward' here but I wouldn't want a brain full of Snooki either."
"Idle threat, darling. I'm fairly certain such things are banned under Article Five of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Which is a joke I imagine I have to explain, given that you're a product of the American public school system. Article Five would be the clause banning torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." Shrugging off the jacket she was wearing, Emma threw it to Rachel before looking over at the crypt Michelle and the boys had been hiding behind. Were still hiding behind, even. Cordelia wasn't sure how she felt about that. On one hand? They hadn't helped out her and her friends. On the other hand? They hadn't helped Rachel and Ivette, either. "You can come out now, boys. Professor Frost has dealt with the scary spawn of Logan and the bug girl."
After a few seconds, Willow's dance partner came slinking out of the shadows with his trench coat clad friend a few steps behind him. The Cajun coward was the first to speak up. "We weren't hiding, Professor. We were just-"
"-waiting in the wings for if Professor Summers's group failed so we could contain Willow before she escaped and hurt the innocent townspeople?" Julian's attempt at excuse-making just made Cordelia sigh. Stupid, stupid boy. If he'd actually wanted Emma to believe him, he should have phrased it as a statement of fact and not a question. It was how she managed to impress her will upon the cheerleaders, after all. If their leader said it was true and appeared to believe it herself, any doubts - including those stemming from thinking they knew better, or even sometimes actually knowing better - disappeared quickly enough. But he'd screwed up. And so, given the way Emma seemed to interact with most people around her, Cordelia was anticipating a chewing out in three… two… one…
Emma let out a snort of disgust. "And I have some lovely riverside property in Brooklyn I can sell you." Pausing, the blonde thought about that for a moment. "Actually, I do." She shook her head. "Regardless, you two have got to be the worst liars I have ever met. Mister Keller, I could have sworn I taught you better."
"Yes, that's just lovely. Let's encourage all our students to be as immoral as you." Jean pressed her fingers against the purple-haired girl's neck for a few seconds before looking around. "Now what? I doubt Cordelia wants to come back to the Blackbird
with us considering we've knocked out two of her friends and chased off the third, but I need to get Betsy and the other girl-"
"-Michelle somewhere I can look them over." Pausing, Jean looked over at where Willow lay in a crumpled heap on the grass. "Is she safe to go near now?"
Nodding, Emma pointed at 'Mister Keller' before gesturing to Willow, doing the same with Rachel and Michelle. "With how fast she was healing the bruises Ivette was giving her, I assumed it was safe to treat her the way I would Logan. I shut her mind off." Cordelia let out a strangled gasp at that and the blonde turned to her, rolling her eyes. "Relax, Miss Chase. With her healing factor, I'll likely need to do it at least once or twice more before we get to our destination. Which brings us back to Jean's unanswered question: where are we going? I doubt the bed 'n breakfast I rented rooms at would enjoy being invaded by this many people, especially at this hour."
Cordelia looked over at Willow's hovering body, her mind whirling as she brought a plan together in a manner of seconds. "Step one: we get the three lumps here loaded into Emma's limo. Step two: Scott takes the boys back to whatever this 'Blackbird' you keep mentioning is." Jean opened her mouth to protest but Cordelia continued on, steamrolling over any objection she might have. "Step three: the rest of us go back to the Rosenberg house for now. Jean, that gives you somewhere you can treat Michelle, Willow, and Betsy. And keeps you near Emma, since it's pretty obvious you trust her about as far as I can throw a football." Emma and Jean exchanged looks before shrugging and nodding their agreement with Cordelia's assessment. "After you're sure nobody's going to die, we can have a sit down in the Rosenbergs' living room like the civilized people we're supposed to be and talk about why I wanted you to visit. Comments, questions, complaints?"
After exchanging a look with Scott, who frowned before mouthing the words 'your call' at the redhead, Jean nodded. "I guess that's workable. How do we get there?"
"You start by backtracking to the Bronze, and then you drive to Willow's house. What do you want from me? I just think 'I need to get to…' and let the autopilot part of my brain do the driving." Cordelia pondered that new wrinkle in her plans for a few seconds before snapping her fingers. "Keller was all up on Willow earlier. I'm sure he wouldn't mind sticking his hands into her pockets to try and find her state ID or something. Although speaking of driving places, I need to go grab my ride from the Bronze's parking lot so I don't get towed." Cordelia looked the group over before pointing a finger at Rachel. "You. Go put Michelle in the limo and come back. You're walking there with me."
Rachel looked first to Emma and then Jean - an interesting sequence given Cordelia was fairly certain Jean was the girl's mother - before returning her attention to Cordelia. "Wait, what? Why?"
Raising one hand, Cordelia began ticking off points on her fingers. "Well, I was thinking that Jean needs to stay with the hurt people. Doctor, right? And Emma needs to stay with the limo. It's her ride. Michelle, Willow, Betsy… all no-go for obvious reasons. I want someone I can talk to, so Scott's out on account of being old enough to be my dad. Remy and Julian… which one's which, by the way? Scott said their names but I don't-"
"Julian's the one with Willow."
"Keller equals Julian. I'll pretend it matters and claim I'll make a note of that. Anyway, Remy and Julian would be too busy staring at my cleavage to be good conversation." Cordelia nodded first in Rachel's direction and then at their blonde peer. "That leaves you and Ivette."
Crossing her arms over her chest, Ivette raised an eyebrow at that. "So why not me? That way, Rachel could ride in the limo and help bring your friends inside when they got to Willow's house."
Cordelia bit her lip, trying to figure out the best way to phrase things, before deciding to give in to the little devil bouncing on her shoulder. "Well, since none of my friends are around to hear me repeat what we mocked this one guy for saying? Most of the time, Ivette, I want to punch you so badly that my fist gets a boner."
"What?" Holding her fist up so Ivette could see it clearly, Cordelia slowly raised her middle finger. "Oh. Classy."
"Not at all. But hilarious and appropriate? Definitely."
Slinking out of the shadows, Victor pondered what he'd just seen. Jimmy's daughter was a beastly little thing, he thought with a chuckle. She took after him more than her own father… and that suited him just fine. His half-brother had always been a bit of a weakling. It did make him wonder, though, if Jimmy knew about her or not. Victor couldn't pick up even the faintest trace of him anywhere in the town or surrounding areas… so did he not visit because he didn't know about her or not visit because he didn't want to?
Mystique's daughter, on the other hand, had been a hell of a disappointment. Going down after a single blast from the Summers punk. Even if she couldn't shake them off the way he could, she should have at least been able to get the hell out of the way. Then again, Erik's granddaughter hadn't done anything either, just floating there watching the fight. Victor shook his head. He'd have to rub that one in when he visited Los Angeles again to report in to Red. Maybe she could come up here and light a fire under her daughter's ass.
Speaking of daughter's asses… this town was turning into a fucking buffet. Willow was a bit scrawny for his tastes but he was willing to make an exception, if for no other reason than because Jimmy would flip shit when he found out. Calling Lorna's daughter a brick house was akin to saying Seattle had a few Starbucks. Bug Girl had been cute in her own way, and Red's girl? Well, she was a shapeshifter. She could be whatever he wanted her to be. As for the X-Girls, he definitely wouldn't mind a bit of X-rated fun any or all of them. Especially the blonde and redhead, given who their mothers were…
Heh. Sex with mutants. X-rated. He'd have to use that in a joke next time he saw Red.
Idly, Victor wondered if that Ivette could get her ankles up behind her ears the way Emma had been able to when she was younger…
November 19, 2011
Rosenberg Household - Living Room
Sipping from a glass of scotch, Emma tried to wrap her mind around the rather incredible series of events Cordelia - they weren't her students and so a bit less formality was acceptable, she'd decided - had related to her. And for someone who could read others' minds and turn into diamond, incredible took some doing. "So there was a 'magic spell' on Halloween that turned everyone here into the costume they were wearing. You went dressed as Spider-Man's sidekick Black Cat, and that's why your bust is now so large-"
"Well, it was pretty impressive to start with, but yes. The girls are a bunch larger now than they were before Halloween."
"-but for some reason, your hair turned green instead of reverting to brown or remaining white. In the case of your friend Alexander, he attempted to dress as Senator Kelly, who we suspected was replaced by Mystique after the Liberty Island incident seeing as how the real Robert Kelly died at the school just prior to that point. Just as your own hair and physique were changed, his body was altered by the spell and he was essentially turned into a sixteen-year old version of Mystique, complete with blue female base form and shapeshifting abilities. He's since been hiding out as his best friend's supposed cousin Michelle because for some reason, he can't access his original body. And now you need one of us to modify the memories of Willow's parents so they remember having a niece named Michelle who came to stay with them?"
Cordelia nodded. "Pretty much. She already has a pretty solid back story written up for herself that includes the names of her mother and father - her mom is related to Willow's and is the reason they're cousins - along with an uncle, an aunt from that uncle, I think there are some cousins in there somewhere… general background stuff that Sheila and Ira may or may not know. Probably not, considering they barely pay attention to their own daughter, but better safe than sorry. We can sit down and figure out the exact details later, though, assuming you're willing to help."
Yes, that was the question, Emma mused as she took another sip of scotch. Especially considering one of the girls' friends had bitten Rachel during their little tussle. Bitten her, of all things! On the other hand, having Erik's granddaughter in her debt could prove useful in the long run. After all, there were plenty of uses for a magnokine. Not to mention that Cordelia apparently had a minimum of three other mutants under her control: a shapeshifter, a flier who could also project energy and shrink on command, and a girl who was - if Emma's suspicions were correct - likely immortal.
Emma's eyes drifted to the stairs. As it stood, Willow was potentially the least useful of Cordelia's assets but… "I suppose I should offer to reunite Willow with her father. Or grandfather. Actually, we've never managed to establish how old Logan truly is, so he could be her great-grandfather or an even more distant relation for all we know." At least Emma assumed Willow was related to Logan; if her claws and regenerative abilities weren't proof enough, her horrible social skills were fairly damning in that regard. She shuddered in disgust; hopefully Willow was at least a little more sophisticated than Logan. The man was a walking id who tended to constantly project thoughts about Jean that she would really rather not hear. "All right, let's prioritize. When do Willow's parents return? That determines how much time we have to handle everything else."
"…lovely. Very well. So we have a matter of hours to figure out what the Rosenbergs will need to be given as far as memories, come up with a believable excuse for our presence, and devise contingency plans to cover the different ways the Rosenbergs might react to their daughter's now-active mutation." Pausing, Emma shot a look over at where Jean was sitting with her chin resting on her palm. "Really? I'm sitting here talking about rewriting innocent flatscan minds, and you're not even blinking?"
Jean shrugged before blinking with exaggerated slowness. "You're the one who keeps pointing out that you're the 'superior telepath' out of the two of us, Emma. What am I supposed to do?"
Frowning, Emma pondered that. "Be indignant? Give impassioned speeches about morality, decency, and responsible use of powers? And possibly puppies?" Honestly, didn't the redhead know how their game was supposed to be played? How could Emma ignore someone and do whatever she damn well felt like if she wasn't being told what to do?
"You're confusing me with Scott, Emma. Easy ways to tell us apart?" Jean reached up, tugging a strand of red hair between two fingers. "If this isn't a big enough clue, that is? I don't wear the red glasses… I don't give speeches… I don't spend nearly as much time staring at your cleavage…"
Blue eyes met green as Emma regarded Jean curiously. "…nearly as much?"
A faint blush tinged Jean's cheeks, but she managed to hold Emma's gaze. "Some of your outfits are like a train derailing onto a highway and crushing a few dozen cars. You can't help but stare."
Chuckling, Emma stole a glance down at the cleavage being displayed by her partially unbuttoned white blouse. "Yes, they are magnificent, aren't they?"