Joe's Note: As BrinLondofive noted, we're getting close to a point where we'll be getting into some original territory with this story. As in, further than the version from 2009 got. Technically that doesn't occur until Laura and Willow meet face-to-face for the first time, but it'll feel that way before then because of how I'm shaping the story. This version will step away from Michelle as the focus for a few chapters at a time and do a bit of a time skip because of it, but we're not going to see a complete 'and then three weeks later' gap the way we did last time.
November 26, 2011
Chase Household - Backyard
An hour and a half later, the girls were all awake, fed, showered, and dressed. In the case of all the non-Cordelia members, the last involved donning their outfits from the night before, which had been carefully cleaned by the Chase family's servants. Having opted to eat before showering so that she could have second dibs on Cordelia's ensuite rather than using a smaller guest bathroom, Michelle was the last girl to make her way down to the living room. There she found not only her companions from last night, but also the first arrivals for what was evidently going to be a full squad gathering. Including Gwen, who quickly hauled her away so they could talk privately.
"I am really tempted to point out that emails aren't going anywhere and bug you about that look Cordelia gave me when I hugged you… but eh, that story's not going anywhere either." Frowning as her fingers flicked back and forth over the screen of Cordelia's iPad, Gwen opened the attached PDF bearing her name and began scrolling through the information it contained. Michelle had taken the liberty of reading it earlier, just in case there was anything in there that she thought might require a follow-up email from Emma to clarify. Given that she could understand most of it and Gwen was as smart as her - if not slightly smarter - she thought they were in good shape. "So, long story short is that I'm probably a mutant and my power is that I'll turn into something that's not perfectly solid?"
Michelle nodded; she too had caught that little bit of idle speculation by Doctor Banner at the bottom of the file. Evidently there were commonalities between the blonde's X-gene and the one possessed by the Frosts and someone named 'Colossus', but she had even more in common with 'Dust' and 'Husk' and 'Iceman'. And so while his limited sample size at present kept him from offering anything he was comfortable calling conclusive, Banner had enough data points available to be able to do some informed guessing. Namely, that those additional shared sequences - which weren't far removed from parts of Raven and Michelle's X-genes, as a matter of fact - pointed to Gwen sharing in certain known mutants' ability to assume non-humanoid forms while in their transmorph state. "Yer a mutant, Gweny." The blonde rolled her eyes at Michelle's terrible Hagrid impression before chuckling softly. "So… does this mean you're going to join the rest of us in the White Leather Brigade?"
As she continued to prod at the iPad, Gwen peered over the top at Michelle. "One: we kinda need my powers to activate before I can do the kind of stuff that you and Cordy and the others are doing. Two: I think Cordelia's planning to revolt and take back that thing called 'color' if the discussion going on when I showed up is anything to go by. And three: if you personally want to see me in leather? That has nothing to do with my genes and everything to do with how well you play your cards."
…and now Michelle knew that not only was Santana telling the truth about there being two girls who were interested in her, but who that second girl was. It made Gwen's recent behavior… if not totally understandable, at least slightly more so. While Michelle's sexuality was no secret, going 'hey, you like girls and I might like girls, wanna fool around to see if I actually do?' could have blown up spectacularly in Gwen's face in any one of a number of ways. The inevitable awkwardness that would have come from kissing a girl and not liking it, for instance. So when Betsy had come along and made an offer, Gwen hadn't been able to pass up the chance to get an answer to her question. Or at least Michelle was assuming that Betsy had been the aggressor; she couldn't see her friend throwing herself at anyone, much less a veritable stranger. Now that she knew, on the other hand… and knew that Michelle knew she knew… "Cordy kissed me this morning." What the fuck, brain? "She likes me too. We, uh, had a talk about a bunch of things before you guys got here."
"Oh. Well then. That explains the glare when I hugged you. And the glare when I pulled you away from the group. And… well, the glares in general. There were lots of glares." Reaching up, Gwen groaned and ran her hand through her hair before meeting Michelle's gaze once more. "Can we pretend I didn't make that comment about you, me, and leather, then? And forget all about where my hand ended up when I hugged you earlier? Because I really don't need Cordelia crushing my car into a cube because I hit on her-"
Her brain was getting stabbed with a Q-tip at some point in the very near future, Michelle decided. Because it was being decidedly unhelpful today, and seriously needed to be taught who was in charge around here. "I'm not her anything. We're not dating. We talked, and while she likes me and I like her? She's into the 'real me' but not exactly a fan of my public body, which could make dating each other kind of hard, you know?" That earned her an incredulous look and a slow nod from Gwen. "I just wanted to come clean, before we started getting into the actual flirtation portion of the program. You know, let you know where everything stands? I mean, her and I are officially just friends for the time being and she doesn't have the right to tell me who I can and can't date… but we both know that's not going to stop her from being really pissy if I date someone else. Even if she doesn't want to date me herself. Date this version of me. Whatever."
Gwen bit her lip before giving in and snickering softly, holding the iPad out for Michelle to take before crossing her arms over her chest and eyeing the redhead speculatively. "Someone I'm into likes me but not the form I usually shapeshift into. Hashtag 'shapeshifterproblems'."
"Well, there's also hashtag 'sunnydaleproblems'. She's into me, but not Xander. Considering I'm not really sure where one ends and the other begins, or what I'd do if I discovered a way to go back to the way things used to be…" Trailing off, Michelle shrugged awkwardly before frowning. "Just out of curiosity, where do you stand on that? The Xander versus Michelle thing, that is."
"There's a difference?" Okay, Gwen definitely earned herself a few points with that reply. "I mean, yeah, sure. I didn't catch on right away because I really wasn't expecting the new 'girl' to be a guy I'd gone to school with for years. But now that I know to look? You really haven't changed that much. And so… problem? What problem? Other than the one Cordelia's creating just for the sake of having one?" Yes, there was definite point scoreage occurring here. "The same with her whole 'I only like you when you're blue' schtick. Or maybe it's just 'I only like you when you're not remotely Willow-ish'. Either way, it's who you've been most of the time Michelle has existed. How can she possibly, seriously, legitimately have feelings for you… but not like who you are?"
Torn between the urge to defend her friend and a resurgence of the indignation she'd felt earlier that day, Michelle settled for simply offering another shrug in reply. "Like I said, she says that she's into the 'real me' and that the forms I take on are kinda like clothes. So according to her, me having a problem with her position is like saying my favorite dress is more important than dating her."
Gwen's eyebrow slowly rose. "Clothes? Seriously? Okay, two can play at that game. Let's turn that one back around then. I think goths look creepy as hell so I stay away from them. I don't flirt with a goth and then go 'yeah, you're awesome, but I'm not hooking up with you unless you start shopping at Old Navy like me."
"You don't flirt with goths because we have no goths."
"Well, Sunnydale High might not, but the other two high schools do. I see them at the Bronze all the time."
"Not goths, Gwen."
"What? Then… oh. Oh! Yikes." Gwen appeared to ponder that for a few seconds before shuddering and moving on. "You get what I'm saying though, right? I might have missed something, not being there to hear everything for myself and what not… but it sounds to me like Cordelia's just claiming to be into some kind of split, warped, idealized version of you. Rather than who you really are. And so you have to ask yourself, how healthy of a relationship can you possibly have with someone like that?"
It was actually startlingly reassuring to hear her own thoughts emerging from someone else's mouth, Michelle decided. Because she'd been pondering the matter ever since her brain rebooted from her impromptu make out session with Cordelia, and that was pretty much the conclusion she'd come to herself. "And how healthy of a relationship could I possibly have with… I don't know. You?"
Gwen raised her hand and began ticking off points on her fingers. "I like blue you. I like Michelle Flaherty you. I even liked you as Xander, but I never said anything because while I would have dated someone who wasn't as popular as me, I wasn't going to date someone who was constantly being an ass to my friends. I'm evidently going to turn out to be a mutant like you, so we'll have that in common on top of all the normal things we already have in common." Glancing from Michelle to her four fingers and back, Gwen grinned. "Looks like I outscore Cordelia four to two, eh? Well, as long as I don't lose a point for saying that I wouldn't mind seeing you spend more time with that curly ginger mess you debuted after our chat in your room last Sunday. Then it's only three to two."
Actually, Michelle had been pondering that sort of thing ever since the last time she'd gone poking around the 'Honks' subfolder of Willow's Harry Potter fanfic stash. "Well, first of all? You're allowed to have opinions about my looks and share them, just like if I was a normal girl. I may not like them - and I may have an opinion about your opinion - but you can share them. And second… there's a huge difference between 'I like you with this other hairstyle' and 'I'd prefer you look like someone else entirely'. I mean, hair-wise? I think you look the prettiest when you wear the low pigtails. Does me saying that piss you off?" Gwen shook her head. "All right then."
They shared a minute of companionable enough silence as Gwen slid a pair of hair ties off her wrist and proceeded to pull her hair up into the aforementioned pigtails. Once she was done, their eyes met… and then both girls began laughing. After a few seconds, Gwen sobered enough to ask another question. "So then if she's not into your outsides or even some of your insides, how did you two end up kissing? Not that I really want to hear about you and someone else, but… intelligence gathering. Don't do what she did, do what she didn't, et cetera."
"When I'm around people who know my big secret, I sleep in the blue. So I was in my 'good' look for most of our conversation. She made me switch back to this just before we kissed, though, just to prove a point. The kiss… here's some feedback you can think over before you try anything. I didn't really enjoy being tackled onto the bed and pinned down as part of a first kiss. Especially since she didn't ask me first. That's a tad bit more assault-y than I tend to like my romance. If it had been anyone other than her - or maybe you - I would have kicked the crap out of them. Still, if you're looking for a way to widen the points gap between the two of you? Don't do that." Michelle leaned against the landing's railing, the shock of green hair allowing her to easily pick Cordelia out of the mass of girls below them in the living room. "Also, keeping the ego in check afterward is important. She knew there was a theoretical second girl, so she was all 'bet you won't get it better from someone else'. That doesn't encourage me to stay, that's more… challenge accepted."
Sidling up on Michelle's right, Gwen slipped an arm around the redhead's waist. "I wouldn't know; I've never tried any of her sloppy seconds and so it's not like there's someone out there we can ask about how my kissing skills measure up next to Cordelia's." There was a momentary pause and then she bumped her hip against Michelle's. "Wanna be the first?"
…hmm. On one hand, Gwen had in fact asked for permission, unlike Cordelia. On the other hand, it was a pick-up line that made Michelle's 'can I have you?' to Buffy look positive suave. On the other-other hand - and Michelle wanted to try forming extra arms for herself one of these days, because her mother had seemingly implied that it was possible for her during one of their chats - Gwen was someone that Michelle had a lot in common with, they got along spectacularly, there was obviously mutual attraction at work… and even though she was now past the point of 'first kiss', Michelle mused, a first decent kiss would be nice. Then maybe more, if things went well. So… "Sure. Why not?"
Gwen let out a soft snicker as she used the hand resting on the small of Michelle's back to turn the redhead to face her. "Not exactly the enthusiasm I'm used to getting… but I did use that horrible pick-up line on you, so I guess it's forgivable." The two girls stood there staring at each other in companionable silence that slowly turned awkward as time stretched on, and then Gwen cleared her throat. "So, I like you and you evidently like me, but I honestly have no idea how to go about this. My only girl experience was Betsy, who was pretty Cordelia-ish about it all. Are you gonna kiss me or do I kiss you? You used to be a guy; do you want to keep that role or-"
"Not sure who actually said it, but there's a picture of Ellen floating around Tumblr with a quote that seems appropriate right about now. 'Asking who's the man and who's the woman in a same-sex relationship is like asking which chopstick is the fork'." Not to mention that Michelle's time as Xander had also generally seen her serving as the kissed rather than the kisser, leaving her with little to contribute on that front. And while her old self hadn't exactly been a paragon of manliness, it felt… odd… to admit something like that.
"I see. Michelle?"
"Fork you." And, leaning in, Gwen pressed her lips against Michelle's.
Harmony stared at the vaguely familiar brunette in front of her.
Said brunette blinked.
Tilting her head to one side, Harmony looked Kat McKee up and down before asking the first - and therefore most important, because otherwise why else would it have occurred to her first? - thing to come to mind. "So, are you bigger on the inside than the outside?"
Before the girl could answer, Cordelia's incredulous voice cut her off. "…is she… what? I just… what?"
Harmony let out an aggrieved sigh before moving to stand beside the almost bemused looking Kat, waving a hand up and down over the brunette's strangely decorated, blue strapless dress. "Her dress, Cordelia. It's supposed to be a TARDIS. You know, from Doctor Who? Even I know that." Mostly because she'd had to sit down and look up why everyone else found Dr. Hooves so funny, but given how Cordelia tended to react to anything My Little Pony-related… yeah, she was gonna keep that little tidbit to herself. "Even if you've never seen the show, though, you can't go into like… half the stores in the mall these days without tripping over some kind of merchandise."
"I know what a TARDIS is, Harm. Michelle and I have watched the show together a few times. I just don't get what the hell you were trying to do with that comment." Crossing her arms over her chest, Cordelia's brow furrowed as she eyed Harmony in… actually, Harmony wasn't quite sure what emotion it was. It kinda looked like Cordelia's 'I ate something that hates me but girls don't burp so I have to suffer in silence' face, to be honest. "I mean, was that an innuendo fail of the highest order? Because… actually, I can't think of what fetish that could mean might you have."
Oh. My. God. What was with everyone thinking she was into girls? Ever since Harmony had misread some very weird subtext between Willow and Michelle and Cordelia and come to the wrong conclusion - but a totally understandable one in her opinion - she'd been the butt of far too many jokes and snide comments. Ugh. Her friends sucked. "No! It was just a joke because the TARDIS is bigger on the inside and her dress is a TARDIS and I don't even like girls! I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that, please don't make my hair fall out, Brittany..."
Brittany just smiled serenely, her hair floating up and shaping itself into two vaguely hand-like constructs. Kinda like how she raised her hands in surrender, Harmony realized, just lazier. And it kinda made Britt look like a moose. Hehe. "Don't worry, I know you're not like that. If you were, Santana would tell me." Man, having a psychic girlfriend would be so awesome. Well, psychic boyfriend in her case. But still. Being able to strip away the lies and the niceties and the politics and know what people actually thought of her? That would rock. "Besides, weren't you going to pay me to mess with your follicles so your hair would grow in black from now on? Why would I pass up easy money like that?" Point. "Speaking of messing with hair, though… Kat. Sweetie. Honey. We need to do something with yours. That color is just so… boring. What about TARDIS Blue?"
"Pretty sure Ralphs would fire me."
"Amy Pond Red?"
"…maybe." Kat looked from Brittany to Cordelia, raising an eyebrow curiously. "So, why exactly am I here? You said it had to do with my hobby, and since we're not exactly friends… I'm pretty sure the only one you know about is cosplay. Which you mock me for. A lot."
"To be fair? It hasn't been potentially useful to me in the past. Now it is, so I'm being nice to you. To answer your question, though? Mutants. A bunch of us are. I'm sure you've heard all about it at school?" Cordelia raised an eyebrow at the shrug Kat gave her in return. "I… right, you and your friends are kinda off in your own little corner of the world. I don't think any of my girls mingle with you. In that case? Mutants. A bunch of us are. We've formed a little group and are working with Emma Frost to do a neighborhood watch sort of thing. She sent us white costumes because white's her thing. It's not our thing, though. So - being a girl who does all sorts of geeky dress up type stuff - you've officially been drafted to help us come up with better costumes. Welcome aboard. Hmm. One of these days, I should make an official Cordette welcome package with a rulebook and an explanation of benefits. Michelle, make a note of…" Trailing off, Cordelia looked around before frowning. "Michelle? Where are… oh."
Oh? Harmony followed the green-haired girl's line of sight up to where… oh! Gwen and Michelle were kissing. How positively awful. Not that she disapproved; they were totally cute together and had a lot in common, so chances were that they'd make a great couple. No, she was pissed because now she owed Santana twenty bucks. After making copies of all the relationship quizzes in her last year's worth of Cosmopolitans, Harmony had filled in a set each for three different potential pairings. Michelle and Cordelia had come back with the best results, and so betting on them had seemed like easy money. So how had… hmmph. Cordelia's fault, no doubt. No matter what she said, Harmony was well and truly convinced the girl was so deep in the closet that she was finding other people's Christmas presents.
The coffee table at Cordelia's feet rattled ominously and then Aphrodesia was throwing an arm around their leader's shoulders, hustling her out of the room. And if Cordelia didn't like girls - or at least that girl - why else would she get all grumpy and rumbly over Michelle kissing another girl? Harmony felt totally vindicated. And then she realized… with Cordelia gone and Michelle otherwise occupied, did that mean she was back in charge? Harmony looked around uncertainly. This could be her time to shine, or her time to embarrass herself. Oh, what the hell? Anything beat standing here awkwardly. "Right then. Kat. Costumes. Girls who think they can help, introduce yourselves to Kat so she knows what she's got to work with. Girls who need 'em, spread out around the room a little so-"
"Or we could wait for Cordelia to come back. Because in case nobody noticed, I didn't actually agree to this insanity. I don't know most of you, and I don't like the ones I do. So no, I'm not doing anything for anyone right now." Kat reached up to tug the neckline of her dress outward, sliding her other hand down in and pulling out… a sonic screwdriver? Flipping it end over end as she wandered across the room, Kat flopped down on the couch before thrusting her little toy out. The little blue light at the tip lit up as the thing warbled… and then the Chase's television turned on. As Harmony looked back and forth between the screen and Kat with wide eyes, the brunette smirked. "What? We can't relax while we wait?" Then she twisted her wrist, slowly rotating the sonic screwdriver, and the channel began cycling upward.
Suddenly, all the pieces started to come together in Harmony's head. Someone had cast a 'magic spell' on Halloween that caused some of them to absorb parts of their costumes. Or at least that was the story Cordelia was pushing. Harmony was willing to go along with it because, well, how else could she explain all the stripping-related memories she'd woken up with the next morning? Or Cordelia's stupidly huge breasts, or Aphrodesia's whole girl Captain America schtick? But… what if they weren't the only ones? What if it had left literal 'things' behind instead of just changing people. Things like a sonic screwdriver, for instance. Turning, Harmony grabbed the nearest convenient girl - Aura, it turned out - and leaned in as she lowered her voice. "…oh my God. What if the Halloween spell turned her into the Doctor?"
Aura just blinked owlishly. "If she was a doctor now, why would she waste time coming to high school?"
Seriously? And people called her the dumb one? "Not a doctor. The Doctor. You know, the immortal time traveler from Doctor Who? Emphasis on Doctor?"
"Don't feel bad, Aura. I'm confused too, and I'm the one she's talking about." Harmony looked over to find Kat waggling the sonic screwdriver at her. "It's a sonic-shaped programmable remote. They sell them on ThinkGeek. Also, I have really good ears. Just… thought you should know."
Oh. People called her the dumb one. Maybe people were on to something?
November 26, 2011
Chase Household - Garage
Stepping through the doorway, Cordelia snarled and made a grasping motion with one hand before whirling and flinging her father's motorcycle - untouched since his week-long 'rebel' phase several years back - across the garage. Aphrodesia dove to her left to avoid the third-ton missile, cartwheeling twice before backflipping up onto Cordelia's Highlander. Lowering herself to sit Indian style atop the hood of the SUV, the blonde raised an eyebrow. "I don't recall a tantrum like this when you found out about Britt and Tana, so it's not a problem with intrasquad romance…"
Cordelia snorted before making a pulling motion, dragging the motorcycle's mangled remains back across the floor until it was resting roughly where it had started. "Some of the girls are the reason people make dumb cheerleader jokes. You're not one of them. I'm sure you can figure out why I'm pissy right now."
"Pretty good idea, yeah. Considering that I'm totally unqualified to offer anyone relationship advice, though? I think we should probably go with my 'talk about something else to distract Cordelia from what's going on' plan." Aphrodesia pressed her hands against the Highlander's hood before spreading her legs wide, contorting her body as she slowly raised herself into a handstand that left her feet brushing against the ceiling. "I don't know why I got left out of your fun last night, and I'm not going to hold it against you. This time. But I'm not going to get left behind again. I've had the memories. I'm building the muscle I need to back them up. I only need one more thing… and that's where you come in."
As best Cordelia knew, her friends were unaware of the wide variety of firearms that her mother had hidden around the house, so that probably wasn't it. A costume? That would only be 'her' insofar as introducing Aphrodesia to Kat. The blonde could afford her own self-defense lessons if she thought she needed to take her skill set in a direction that wasn't covered by Captain America's memories. A team of minions like Captain America had these days? Fat chance Cordelia was going to give up any of hers. Then it hit her, and she felt like a total Harmony for not realizing it sooner. "I've never met the guy, obviously, but I'm pretty sure that the shield is made from like… unobtainium."
"Vibranium, at least according to what Howard Stark told him." Aphrodesia balanced on one hand, bringing the other up so she could tap her temple. "You'd be amazed how many people I… he met. Actually met, even, not just the famous Nazis he punched. FDR. Eisenhower and Bradley right before D-Day. He had some words with Patton over the whole slapping incident. He… I remember a guy with claws like Willow's. I think he teamed up with her grandfather a few times. And there were the Invaders. Did you know that Atlantis is really a thing? Prince Namor was one of the original Invaders. Stupidly powerful. Serious asshole, though."
From top to bottom? While Cordelia had limited access to a small amount of vibranium, there was no way she'd share it with Aphrodesia even if there was enough to be useful. Maybe if the blonde sold her soul to Emma Frost like the rest of them, the woman would be willing to part with some of her synthetic vibranium and Cordelia could shape it into a shield? On the subject of Captain America being familiar with important faces in history, not entirely surprising. He was… well, Captain America. Although from what she remembered of the conversation at Willow's house, chances were that Aphrodesia had seen Willow's father in action rather than her grandfather. As for Atlantis? Huh. She learned something new every day.
But while Cordelia couldn't honestly say she'd been wondering before, given that she'd barely inherited any of the Black Cat's memories… she sure as hell was now, and Aphrodesia had given her the perfect opening. "What's it like, really?" The blonde tilted her head to one side and raised - or rather lowered, given her inverted state - an eyebrow. "Horrible friend confession time? I kinda forgot about…" Trailing off, Cordelia waved a hand up and down in Aphrodesia's direction. "You. Halloween. American Dream. All of this. I mean, there weren't any visible changes. But obviously something did change for you. So… better late than never? Concerned friend time. What's it like? How are you handling it? And I don't mean when you're using it to level up your inner Xena, either. Like you said, you remember World War II. Famous people and battles. Superheroes, Atlantis, probably even the concentration camps… I thought remembering what it was like to recover from a trophy wife-grade boob job was weird. I can't even imagine what it's like to have all that floating around in my head."
Aphrodesia pondered that before flexing her arms and launching her forward off the hood of the Highlander, flipping in midair so that she landed on her feet. "Probably not as weird as it is for a ninety-three-year-old super-soldier and World War II veteran to suddenly have a brain full of high school cheerleader."
"…touché." So, avoidance it was. Cordelia could handle that. That was pretty much how anything personal in her own family was 'handled', after all. Then something occurred to her and she snickered. "Can you imagine him wandering around base offering hair and makeup tips to the women soldiers?"
"I hope he talks to Natasha. Uh, that redhead he had with him in New York. Black is technically still in because it's always in, but there are a lot of great color trends she could play with for fall and winter 2011. Midnight blue is big. And if people actually have a chance to realize that the 'Black Widow' is wearing blue, clearly she's not doing her job right…"
November 28, 2011
Chase Household - Living Room
"Hello. Mein dizbatcher says zere is problem mit deine kable."
Cursing under her breath at the all-too-familiar voice, Miriam hurried down the hallway as best she could. Both hands quickly rose to cup her breasts; quick movement was generally unpleasant enough for her, but her current outfit added that delightful risk of wardrobe malfunction as well. Reaching the top of the house's main staircase, she groaned at the sight of the absolute last person she wanted to witness any part of tonight's indignity. "Victor?" Cordelia tilted her head to the side as she studied the large man waiting on the front step. "You're working for the cable company too these days? Huh. Remind me not to let Michelle's mom hire me, then, if the pay is that shitty. Well, come on in. The problem I called about is up in my room…"
Miriam found herself waiting with bated breath as Cordelia turned and beckoned for Victor to follow her, but rather than try take her daughter up on the engraved invitation to her bedroom, the man merely looked up at her and raised an eyebrow. "She's never seen The Big Lebowski? And you people call me a savage? Pfft."
"I swear to God, Victor, if the names 'Shari' or 'Bunny' come out of your mouth at any point this evening, I will find a way to kill you." Brushing past the mountain of a man, Raven - in the form of Miriam's own twin - stalked into the house. Spotting her doppelgänger - or rather the original, since technically Raven was the copy - the shapeshifter ascended the staircase. Coming to a stop within arm's reach of Miriam, Raven tsked before reaching out and tugging upward on the neckline of the dark purple dress that Miriam was wearing. "You couldn't find something better in the closet? Just because we actually did ask for it doesn't mean we need to look like it."
Sighing, Miriam batted at the hands invading her personal space before crossing her arms over her chest. "Hey, it's not my fault that you don't have the spine to stand up to Victor. Normal identical twins don't do this kind of thing; you're the one who let him talk you into acting like Emma's brats."
Raven scoffed at that, expertly shifting to mimic Miriam's pose and presumably her expression. Presumably on the latter because, well, it wasn't as if Miriam could see her own face to compare. "Plum, this is grape: you're purple. After all, if you'd done your own dirty work, I'd be spending the night as Christina Hendricks instead of you. And before you even try and turn that around on me, Senator Kelly had a prior engagement that couldn't be avoided and so I couldn't. I do think I'll take your advice, though. I don't know how you can stand to waste a color as exotic yours on a style this pedestrian."
It was a decidedly bizarre sight, Miriam concluded, to see your own body changing in front of your eyes. Raven's hair shortened to a chin-length style similar to Cordelia's, and then the shapeshifter shook her head before growing it back out and trying something new. She cycled through a dozen or so permutations before eventually settling on a French braid. Personally, Miriam wasn't a fan of the look but it was… her body and yet not in Raven's case. And so if Raven didn't mind looking stupid, why should she care? Although while her doppelgänger was making changes… "If my fashion sense bugs you that much, why not change the dress too?"
"Eh. What's the point?" Raven looked down at herself, then at Miriam, and then down toward where Victor was still standing just inside the front door. "It's not like either of us will be wearing it for much longer."
Her response was not only loud enough to carry down to where Cordelia was standing frozen at the base of the stairs, but shock her out of her stupor. "Oh. My. God. Mom? You're going to… with Willow's uncle? And Michelle's mom?!"
Victor let out a loud bark of laughter, making his way over to Cordelia and slapping her on the ass hard. "What can I say, Magnette? I'm the best at what I do, and what I do can get kinda messy."
Before Miriam could could say anything to try and mitigate the damage, every last metal object in the foyer began to vibrate simultaneously. Hyperventilating, Cordelia's wide eyes jumped from one person to another in rapid succession as she floated up off the floor… and then she whirled around and rocked through the front door, tearing both doors off the hinges and taking part of the front wall with them as she rocketed off into the night.
Silence reigned for a few seconds, and then Victor let out a snort. "Gimme a sec to go drag the doors in, but there's no use in worrying about it now. After all, you're probably gonna have to call a repairman in the morning to fix a few other things."