Merope "I dunno, Mero, they're just not there." Casey shrugs. "All their stuff is still here, just not, like, them. I went out for, like, a few minutes, and when I got back, poof." He waves expansively.
Merope Merope looks around the music room that the band hasd been using as their "backstage". Like the rest of the house by this point, it was quite the mess, although at least she'd remebered to throw a cover over the piano before people started putting drinks on it.
Ras Alhague walks into the music room. "There you are! I've been looking all over this party for you. Sorry I'm late."
Merope "Ok, well, can you... Ras!" She gets interrupted mid sentence, spins, and hugs him with way too much force. "I missed you baby!"
Merope She breaks the hug. "Where WERE you, anyway? It's like, midnight already."
Merope "Oh, uh, yeah..." she remebers herself. "This is Casey, who is in Maia's band, and you... uh, you know Tyler..."
Merope Tyler is sitting on the piano's stool, quietly.
Ras Alhague makes a face at Tyler, but says "hey" to them both.
Merope "Uh... you know what, you guys played a lot already, so you know, it's fine, I'll just uh, stick some C Ds? on, and thanks and all, enjoy the party...." She attempts to steer Ras out of the room.
Ras Alhague "I missed you too," he says, giving Merope a kiss. Then (as he is steered out of the room) he waves to the guys, "see ya!"
Merope Tyler nods slowly at Ras, but says nothing.
Merope Merope and Heka's house is pretty huge. The halllway they're now in has a wooden floor (now somewhat sticky from spilled drinks) and is probably usually a bit more decorated than this, except that it looks as if a lot of valuable items have been hastily removed from their usual positions.
Merope The hallway also includes a large set of stairs. It's more of a lobby, really.
Ras Alhague "I swear I got lost trying to find you." He shakes his head. "Your parents built a labyrinth!"
Merope "Uh, yeah, I guess. It seems small after you grow up in it."
Merope "They had a lot of money, and uh..." She blinks.
Ras Alhague "Yeah, I'll bet. You'd probably get lost in Jessup, and it was bigger than this place. Lots of hallways, I swear they built that school to be like a maze on purpose. We were all lab rats..."
Ras Alhague "Oh yeah, if I had cash to burn, I'd build me a castle. Maybe not quite like this..."
Merope frowns playfully. "Are you impugning my parents taste in architecture? Man, good thing they aren't here."
Merope She looks at the floor. "Really, it is. Good thing we moved all that stuff into the basement."
Ras Alhague puts his hand on his chest. "Perish the thought! I'm just saying I'd build something different. More austere, less cluttered. Not too many things to move to the basement." He winks.
Ras Alhague "So do you guys have a service to clean this crap up, or are your parents expecting you to do it?"
Merope "I just Heka isn't letting people tear up the gardens outside.... huh? Oh, uh... I guess Camila will help us out." She puases. "Our, uh, maid. She's cool with it."
Ras Alhague "Must be nice," Ras says. "I had to pick a spoiled girl," he grins at her, then kisses her again. "Just my luck." Ras winks.
Merope giggles a little. "I'm not... ok, I totally am. I mean... my parents feel a bit guilty, I guess. They're away so much."
Merope "Aaanyway..." she says, wrapping her arms around the back of his neck, "...now that you ARE here..."
Merope leans in to kiss him.
Ras Alhague kisses Merope with gusto and passion. "Good idea," he says.
Merope Music starts up over in the living room - someone has evidently found the CD player.
Merope "Oooh, music! We HAVE to dance."
Merope grabs Ras by the arm and pulls at him in a sudden rush of excitement.
Ras Alhague "Uh, I don't dance very well... ooof!" He laughs as he's yanked. "Okay, okay!"
CD Player blasts 'Tainted Love' at full volume.
Merope pulls Ras into roughly the middle of the floor. Tyler's packing away some of the band's equipment, and around twenty or so partygoers are dancing, or at least rocking vaguely from side to side, with varying levels of enthusiasm.
Merope dances reaaaal close to Ras.
Ras Alhague proves his "I don't dance very well" statement, but at least thrashes about enthusiastically. At least he avoids stepping on Merope, or otherwise shoving her around.
Merope attempts to curtail some of the wilder arm movements by pulling his arms around her.
Merope "That's better. Come close." She goes to kiss him again.
Ras Alhague holds onto Merope tightly, and welcomes the kiss. He pulls away, breathless. "There we go, that's better." He smiles at her.
Merope smiles back.
Merope She playfully pushes him away, and then attempts to sort of sashay towards him. "Don't touch me, pleeeease, I cannot stand the way you.. TEASE....."
Ras Alhague grabs her and pulls her close. "You're the tease."
Merope She places one hand on his chest and wiggles downward, until she's about level with his waist, but then bobs back up again, laughing.
Merope "Oh, I can tease, mhmm."
Merope She turns so that her back is to him, and dances up very close. "....Tainted love..."
Merope She tilts her head to kiss him on the neck, twice. "So, where were you, huh? Was lonely without you." She pouts, still pressed up close to him.
Ras Alhague "I missed you, too. Things just got a bit... complicated." His face clouds. "It wasn't pretty." He smiles at her. "Unlike you. You're VERY pretty."
Merope She smiles at the compliment, but turns, slightly concerned. "Complicated? Tell me."
Merope She pulls away from him, slightly. "Do you mean... her?"
Ras Alhague "No, not her. Not directly, at least. Remember that guy from the Denny's? Parks? He showed up at my door tonight."
Merope stops moving for a moment. "..what happened?"
Ras Alhague "Nothing too serious. If I was worried, I wouldn't have come." He shakes his head. "I don't want to talk about it. I just want to forget tonight. Well, last night - it IS after midnight. I want to remember the night with you."
Merope bites her lip.
Merope "I just feel like I'm being watched, you know?"
Ras Alhague "You might be. Maybe we all are." He looks around, and clenches a fist in frustration. "Sometimes, I can't tell, and that bugs me most of all."
Merope She's facing him now, arms over his shoulders, rocking vaguely with the music.
Merope Merope looks around nervously. "Maybe we should go somewhere else." She whispers in his ear. "Like... for privacy."
Ras Alhague "Who knows what's already being watched? Still, yeah. Privacy is good, or at least any place that feels private. How about your basement? You said it's all cluttered with crap."
Merope "I got a bedroom. With a lock."
Ras Alhague "A bedroom?" Ras wiggles his eyebrows. "Okay. You've seen what my bedroom looks like, I'm curious what you surround yourself with while you sleep..."
Merope frowns at his eyebrows.
Merope She nods. "Okay then."
Ras Alhague "There's not going to be any secret exes up there?"
Merope leads Ras to the kitchen, where she pciks out an unopened bottle of wine. "Very funny."
Merope She leads him back out into the halway and up the stairs - two flights. "This one is me." she says, when they reach the second door on the landing.
Merope She fishes around in her little bag for a key.
Ras Alhague "I know it's after midnight, but happy birthday, Merry. I know I told you on the phone earlier, but... it's your party."
Merope "Hmm?" she says, distracted by the key hunt. "Oh yeah, happy afterbirthday to me. Thanks." She looks up and smiles, quickly. "Yay 18! I can totally, uh, vote and stuff."
Ras Alhague "And join the military. Though I'd kinda recommend against that." He absent-mindedly rubs his scar.
Merope "Yeah, uh, no chance of that."
Ras Alhague "I'd hope not."
Merope "Mind you, we'd make good soldiers, us sleepless. Could post us on endless watch, no need for sleep..."
Merope looks back at Ras rubbing his scar. "Um. Uh, sorry..."
Merope She unlocks the door. "Ras?"
Ras Alhague "Yeah?"
Merope "You want to come in?"
Ras Alhague looks at her like "duh" and says "Of course."
Merope She nods, walks in and sits on her bed, across from a large mirror. "God, I hope this dye comes out alright. This isn't really me." She waves vaguely at her Marilyn outfit.
Merope "Shut the door, would you?"
Ras Alhague "The hair kind of suits you," he says, shutting the door and flipping the lock. "But you're beautiful anyway."
Merope "You're sweet."
Merope She looks at him.
Merope "I can fly."
Merope She looks at him, steadily. "Well, mostly just hover, really. But still."
Ras Alhague He snorts. "Yeah, and I can walk through walls." He pauses. "Wait a second. You're serious? Will you show me?"
Merope "I showed Furud a few days ago, when we went to pick you up. I think you missed it, you were kind of... away from where we were." She swallows, not wishing to dredge up the memories of that particular evening too much.
Merope "I, uh... I can't do it at will. Or... well, sometimes, I can. It's...."
Ras Alhague "I'm sure it takes practice. You'll figure it out."
Merope "I think it's mostly when I can... forget myself? When I'm emotional, or distracted, or... and I just get this... feeling like, a light feeling. And then I can do it."
Merope "Sometimes it happens and I don't notice. It's happening more and more. And with all this... stuff, with Parks and Jessup and Johnstone and fucking Pol and whatever, I'm worried about whether I can still hide it."
Merope She takes a breath. "So that's my secret."
Merope "So now, I want to hear something from you, Ras. Because you're like nobody I've ever met, and with your scar and with all the Jessup stuff and after I met Cassie the other day and she was so..."
Merope She swallows. "She was... damaged, Ras."
Merope "I need to know what happened."
Merope "She was.... in a hospital? Or a prison? You... rescued her, didn't you."
Merope "Station Cassiopeia..."
Ras Alhague "Yeah, I've got a secret too... I can do something special, like your flying. It started out like you're describing - only when I was emotional, or distracted. But I figured out a way to control it - and that's how I found Cassie, yeah. She needed to be rescued."
Ras Alhague winces when she says 'Station Cassiopeia'.
Merope "Who... I mean, where... what were they?"
Merope "The... station. Was that a Jessup thing too?"
Ras Alhague "Cassie's got a talent, too. They were... using her, they had her stuck up with all these wires. I don't know who they were, I only learned enough to get her out. But yeah, I think Jessup, the station, the people watching us... it's all connected, somehow. I just can't figure out how. And I should be able to!"
Ras Alhague slams his fist against the bed.
Merope "You said they experimented on you. At Jessup."
Merope Her tone is flat - she's staring at Ras as if afraid of him.
Merope "They... want us. They want what we have." She looks sick.
Ras Alhague "They did. They do." He shudders. "I think that's probably why I figured out so much so quick. I mean, you're only starting to fly... but me and Cassie we're different, WAY different. Shit, there's no talking to Cassie any more, you saw that. They scrambled her head. At least I got out before anything like that happened."
Merope She pinches the bridge of her nose.
Merope "The principal at school, Johnstone. He knows something too. You know he got hurt after the fire yesterday? I think maybe Polaris spies on us for him... And... I need to talk to Furud, properly. He knows more than me..."
Merope "I'm scared, Ras."
Ras Alhague "You don't need to be," he says, full of false bravado. "You've got me!" He grins, trying to look more reassuring than he feels. "I'm not surprised the principal's connected to all this crap - I got a feeling about him, saw some things. It's bullshit, we're just people. They shouldn't be doing all this fucking stuff to us."
Merope "Maybe we should go find Furud. It seemed like he disappeared around when Maia and Antares did. They're probably off somewhere smooching or something."
Merope She lies back on the bed.
Ras Alhague lies down next to her. "Maybe we should. Can he do anything?"
Merope "Maybe. He knows stuff, he can tell us what to watch out for. Plus I'm going to have to learn how to control this thing somehow, in case I end up levitating in the middle of class or something."
Merope "He's been up his own ass about the star stuff half his life, so... he's the guy to talk to, you know?"
Ras Alhague "Controlling mine is kinda like zen. You know, 'clear your mind and the rest will follow' kind of stuff..."
Merope She rolls onto her side to look at him. "What... what do you do?"
Ras Alhague "Nothing as exciting as flying... I touch things and I figure stuff out. Sometimes I can see what happened around them, or what will happen... Sometimes it's pointless, but it's useful in school. I touch a test and see the answers sometimes."
Merope She looks at him. "Like, the future?"
Ras Alhague "Sometimes. It's not all that useful as it sounds. I mean, the future changes all the time. It can get overwhelming."
Merope "What do you see when you touch me?"
Ras Alhague "Everything. Nothing. I mean, I didn't see you flying, right? What does it matter what I see? I mean, almost all of it'll change by tomorrow morning."
Merope She considers this. "Maybe it's better I don't know."
Merope She shifts towards him, and kisses him, once. "Thank you."
Ras Alhague "It's definitely easier," he says, kissing her, touching her cheek. "I'll keep