6989/Halloween In July

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Halloween In July
Date of Scene: 18 July 2021
Location: Recreation Room
Synopsis: A friendly attempt at a summertime Halloween celebration leads to awkward tension.
Cast of Characters: Jubilation Lee, Clarice Ferguson, Rogue, Noriko Ashida, Jean Grey

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Today is special. New rules have been put into effect under the authority of Jubilation Lee -- Resident Assistant. Does the Recreation Room even fall under her jurisdiction? Does anything? Good luck telling her that! In the halls leading to the Recreation Room, some kids walk away looking disappointed. Others can be seen running back to their rooms, their faces full of excitement and possibility. At the door, Jubilation Lee blocks the way. Her hair is a total mess. Makeup has been applied to make it look like she has bags under her eyes. She wears a loose-fitting bathrobe over grey pajamas. Instead of shoes, she wears two Kleenex boxes.

    "What is so hard to understand about this? It's Halloween in July! No one gets in without a costume!" she can be heard shouting. Her hand presses against the threshold of the door, stiff-arming anyone who would dare try to get in without a costume.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice is just stepping out of the elevator and into the foyer when she hears the hubub, and approaches the Rec Room, giving Jubilee a curious look, before trying to peer past her. She looks down at what she's wearing - nothing more than jeans and a shirt with a pair of boots, with noticeably a cottonball tapped to her left arm by a bandaid. Then she looks back at Jubilee. "Umm. I'm dressed as... an Xavier's student?" she tries, before flashing Jubilee a bright smile, fully expecting another glare from the other girl.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue had already been denied access to the Rec Room for not having a costume on. She has a wagon filled with snack foods that are in grocery bags tied off to keep grubby hands out of them before she can ptu them away.

She's just standing there and using hair ties and pins to stand her white and brown hair up in a weird series of buns that go up like Marge Simpson. Once she has the last one done she takes her red and white plaid flannel shirt and ties it off over her stomach before she puts her hands out to the sides.

"There." She says to Jubilee, standing in jeans shorts and a tied off flannel with her hair up in buns. "Bride of FrankenDaisy Duke. Can I go in now?" She asks with a small smile.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Three years ago, in a factory several hundred miles away, machinery combined nispero, sugar alcohols, glycerine, lecithin, polyol coating, and various natural flavors and colors. A logistics strategy brought it across state lines and extreme attention deficit put it where it happens to be today. Sloooowly, this magical product begins expanding from the pursed opening between Jubilation Lee's lips. The pink bubble grows, grows, groooooooows until it reaches critical mass. POP! Jubilee squints, a line forming across her brow.

    "I wasn't born yesterday, ya know!" she answers with some bite. "That's not gonna work. Besides, you don't even /go/ here!" Jubilee leans her head to the side so that she can inspect Rogue on her re-approach. "...Alright, that checks out..." She doesn't sound particularly impressed, but Jubes raises her arm so Rogue can walk under it. "You didn't happen to get candy, did you? I mean, there's bound to be trick-or-treaters..."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "If I did go here, it wouldn't be a costume," Clarice counters with infalible logic. "But - since you've pointed it out, as a guest I do believe that the rules state I'm supposed to be chaperoned. And Rogue's" just been voluntold as "my chaperone. Right, Rogue?" she continues, trying to duck under Jubilee's arm to get into the rec room.
    I mean - normally she could pop over somewhere and try to put some sort of costume together, if she really cared to get into the room. But normally... she could teleport. And that was unfortunately not the case - for a little bit, anyways.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue stands there with one hand on the black metal handle of the red radio flyer wagon loaded with snacks. The other hand is on her hip. She watches the Bubble Gum Judge make her appraisal of Clarice which gets a grin, followed by her own.

"Wooo!" Rogue states then, putting her free hand up in the air triumphantly. "Passin' all the tests." She says before lowering the wagon handle and preparing to pass through the Jubi-gate. She pulls the wagon on by Clarice and grins at her.

"No way, ya gotta get a costume, Sugah." She tells the Blinky one.

"Pro tip thoughh." She loud-whispers, then points at the stairs of the main staircase. "There's a supply closet under the stairs there, loaded with Holiday decorations. Ya can piece somethin' together in there." She grins again and passes by Jubilee in to the rec room.

"Lotsa candy, no worries. M&Ms and such!" She states on her way throuuuugh!

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    It won't be quite that easy. Not only does Jubilee's arm come back down immediately after Rogue, she also moves to the dead center of the doorway. Now, both hands are pressed against opposite sides of the threshold. Her eyes are locked on Clarice, unyielding. She won't look away. "What makes you think that Rogue needs a costume and you don't?" she asks pointedly. Another bubble. She sounds... well, she sounds a lot more serious than anyone might expect. It's almost like she's staring the other girl down.

    "No costume, no entry," she adds firmly.

    By now, other Xavier's kids have begun pooling in the hallway, as they are also blocked. Those who came with costumes quietly bring the others up to speed. Most of the uncostumed run off to get one.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Fine, fine," Clarice mutters, rolling her eyes widely. She backs off the doorway, idly considering just calling up to the asteroid for a teleport back home. That girl does not like her - why stay and deal with such hostility?
    ...yeah. But Rogue just gave her permission to root around in a random closet and, honestly, she's a little curious. The closet door is opened, and she starts digging around - pulling out garlands, and fairy lights, and- "Why is there a little Nightcrawler plushie in here?"
    Wait - are there Bamfs in the closet?
    The Fourth of July stuff is easiest to find - sitting there right on top, so she starts digging through that while idly formulating an idea. Not a very creative idea, mind you, but an idea.

Rogue has posed:
Once inside and behind the keeper of the Halloween Sequel, Rogue wheels the wagon over to the small kitchen area with the bar and stuffs. She starts to pick the bags of groceries up and set them o nthe counter, ripping them open and setting the contents of the bags down on to the polished granite countertops.

She can hear the conversations outside of the room though and grins at them. "Check for spiders before you put stuff on, Clarice!" The Belle shouts loudly so her voice will carry.

She pops the fridge open then and starts to put the cold stuff away firstly and foremostly. Her phone rings and she is distracted by it, of course, and stands there reading it, hip up against the counter, in her weirdly impromptu costume!

Tap tap tap tap, text text!

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko suddenly appears for inspection with a small grin and a cock of her head that flops her hair to the side.  Speaking of which, her hair has been dyed a darker blue to match the sleeves of her otherwise sky blue raglan long sleeve tee.  She's wearing some sky blue running shorts and bright yellow leg warmers.

"Beep beep!  Hey Gorgeous," Noriko nearly chirps with her eyes crinkling up softly at her smirk.  Everyone else seems to be have been ignored as far as anyone else knows (and were save for the little gust that sweeps past the others upon the speedster's arrival).

Brown eyes suddenly appear pinned to the food.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    As Clarice takes her leave to find a costume, Jubilee rolls her eyes right on back. "Take your time," she mutters. It looks like she might have more to say, but Noriko Ashida arrives, bringing a fair amount of wind along with her. "Nori!" Jubilee's attitude changes on a dime. "...That's a costume, right?" A Sophomore dressed as Abraham Lincoln breaks free from the crowd growing in the hallway. She holds a tiny, vintage boombox and a cassette. "I got here as fast as I could, Jubilee!" she exclaims, holding both items out. Jubes grins briefly at the sophomore, returns to glare at Clarice for a few moments, and then grins again at the sophomore. "Thanks, Babe-raham Lincoln!" Jubes replies as she takes the items. "I don't know how much longer Rudy could keep this up! Guard the door. No costume, no entry, no exceptions!" Jubes ducks into the Halloween In July party.

    It's set up like any other unsanctioned Jubilee-organized event -- a lot of grassroots effort and an obvious refusal of funding. Streamers, homemade posters, fake cobwebs, and so on. A freshman dressed like Borat stands on a table singing.

    They did the mash...
    He did the monster mash
    It was a graveyard smash
    (He did the mash)
    It caught on in a flash
    (He did the mash)
    He did the monster mash...

    "Thanks, Rudy!" Jubes exclaims, smiling at the kid as she scoot-scoots over. Kleenex boxes for shoes are not easy to run in! When Costume Borat hops off the table, Jubes slips a five dollar bill into the front pocket of his suit jacket. She sets the boombox on the table and pops the cassette in. It begins playing...

    I was working in the lab, late one night
    When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
    For my monster from his slab, began to rise
    And suddenly to my surprise...
    (And so on)

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Oh, com'on! Spiders?! Really?!" Clarice shouts back from her position in the closet under the stairs - but the sounds of rummaging continue, as she still digs through Xavier's holiday decorations. With the news of possible //spiders// - Fourth of July decorations really do sound like the wisest choice.
    When Clarice re-emerges fromt he closet, she has a polyester pleated flag draped over her shoulders like a cape, with what looks like - I swear to god - a red, white, and blue hula skirt tied around her waist. Spiral, hanging decorations with fireworks-explosions at the end have somehow been attached to her ears to complete the look and she strides back up to the door - flinging her arms wide while declaring, "Look! I'm an American!"
    Technically a costume - for the woman with Genoshan citizenship.
    "Go America! We're number one! We're number one! We're number one!" she chants as she attempts, once more, to stride into the rec room.

Jean Grey has posed:
Some have taken this as the best thing ever, and others as tyranny of the worst kind. Kids being kids, some in the latter group decided the appropriate response was to go and tattle.

Which is what brings Jean down, to determine what all the fuss is. She has not promised action on the subject, merely to ascertain if rules are being violated or any harm done, and perhaps more just to satisfy the complaining party that she did in fact look into it. If this wasn't summer, she might have delegated, but her daily schedule isn't nearly as onnerous when school isn't in session. Indeed, it tends to be a lot of THIS kind of nonsense, because outside of the academic semesters, the place is really not much more than a giant boarding house, a permanent summer camp. More literally so in the actual summer.

"Oh boy." She didn't expect quite the crowd she finds, when she finally makes it down.

So there's some hassle and some fuss, a lot of uproar about the whole thing from the crowd blocking the hall. Jean crosses her arms, and looks a bit thoughtful. "Jubilee, this is great, but... I'm going to say physically barring students from the rec-room is a no-no." Sounds like the inevitable set up for a hero fight, when someone decides to push the matter. "But I love the idea of a costume party in the summer. And I'm clearly underdressed. Any requests?"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue sets her phone down inside of the Rec Room and looks up to see the kid singing the Monster Mash dressed like Borat. It makes her grin and shake her head before she goes back to putting the cold foods back in to the fridge before hip-checking the door shut.

As more people are making their way in to the place, she calls out to the RA herself. "Ya did good with the decorations on such a limited budget. Ya shoulda told me this was comin' up, I woulda pitched in, some'a Remy's money." She grins softly and starts to grab bowls out of the cabinet at her knees, then sets them on the counter and pops open the bag of candies to pour in to the said bowls.

Good thing candy is always on the grocery shopping list here at Xavier's School for Questionable Dietary Habbits.

As she's pouring she can hear Jean's voice out in the foyer and she calls out to her. "Nurse costume!" With a grin to follow it from the kitchen counter space where she's dolling out the goods to anyone who wants them.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"I think it's more of an immersive suggestion than a true barring," Noriko pipes up to the headmistress without missing a beat.  "I've already helped three younger students do some macaroni mask arts and crafts and another sneak in!" she says with a genuine sunny enthusiasm.

"You know you could still pitch in some of his money," the speedster shoots Rogue on the subject of Remy's contributions.

Suddenly Noriko appears a moment later with a soda can and a straw, then another moment later next to Jubes with an array of drink options popping into her hands like Disney Genie.

"Thirsty?!"  Clarice gets a glitchy double glance.  "Scary."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    And there's Clarice again, now dressed in the Fourth of July decorations. The fireworks holiday. HER holiday. Down at her waist, Jubilee's hands have balled into two tiny fists. She begins shuffling back to the door but gets intercepted by the Headmistress. Her hands relax. "But, it's a costume party!" Jubilee protests. Her features soften, however, as her tone takes on a gentle whine instead of antagonistic. That one's reserved for Clarice. She fills her cheeks with air and lets it all out in a show of mock frustration. "Okayyyyy!"

    She again shimmies across the floor -- no traction at all in these Kleenex boxes! -- to tell Baberaham Lincoln that she can stand down at the door.

    "Good news, freeloader -- you can wear your normal clothes," Jubilee joylessly tells Clarice. Her eyebrows rise. Another bubble is blown and popped. "...Wow..." She gives the girl a quick look-over, a suggestion that she's pretending that this is her normal sort of outfit. "You got guts, I guess." Jubilee turns to shuffle in Rogue's direction to help her out with unloading.

    "I didn't even know this was coming up, Marie," Jubes replies as she reaches out to move one of the candy bowls into a more inviting position on the table. "...It just kinda came to me an hour ago." With Rogue, her tone has completely changed. Any hint of aggression is gone, like it's being turned off and on by command. Jubilee takes a deep breath and glares, again, at Clarice from across the room. "I'm..." Nori appears. "...Thirsty. Thanks!" Jubes takes one of the offered cans and takes a polite sip from the straw. But then...

    The straw comes out and Jubes begins chugging the soda angrily.

Jean Grey has posed:
Rogue's request earns a roll of her eyes, but Jean complies. And being who she is, well... it doesn't mean a trip back to her room.

With a crackling yellow-orange energy that seems to eat its way across the surface of her body, the Headmistress' normal clothes transform, or rather, are broken down and rebuilt, molecule by molecule. A familiar effect to those who've been with her in the field, but a fun bit of fireworks for some of the students who only know the VAST POWER of the Headmistress by whispered reputation. In any case, her breezy floral sundress gives way to a slimmer white skirt and blouse, with little bits of red detailing. The eventual outcome: very much a 'Halloween' style nurse costume, which is what she assumes (or KNOWS) Rogue is thinking. Yes, she even does the hat. That said, it's a crowded hallway of students, so her version doesn't endorse the Mean Girls rules for Halloween and keeps things safely PG-13.

"Good?" she asks, when she's done.

With a quick look between Noriko and Jubilee, and the latter's concession, she smiles. "It's fine to encourage people to get into the spirit, and low-effort costumes should be easy enough. I just don't want any fights in the hallway." After which, he also looks back at the remnant of the crowd. "And you lot, don't be spoil-sports. You can always just throw on a funny hat or something."

With that, she walks in, properly costumed!

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "You know. We can just talk out our issues instead of glaring them out," Clarice offers Jubilee - along with a broad smile. "You know. And grow - as people. I hear it's recommended." She makes her way into the room - and pauses, as she turns to listen to the music coming from the boombox, her head tilting curiously to one side. She makes her way closer to where Rogue stands, claiming some of the candy out of the bowl before remarking, "I mean, I know it's July, and this isn't really, //really// a Halloween party - but it's actually my first Halloween party. How does this compare to, umm, //regular// Halloween parties?" she asks.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is leaning over the counter and back on her phone by the time Jubilee comes back over to grab some of the candy bowls from near to where she is. Half the wagon is still filled with odds and ends, like Trail Mix and Doritos bags. The Belle is back on her phone and idly reading soemthing upon it when she hears Nori.

She grins without looking at her. "Maybe we'll order some Pizzas here in a bit, Remy's money can go toward that. Nothin' says Halloween part two, quite like a few big pizza piiiiieeeeees." She says Pies like Borat might!

Swipe swipe swipe, tap tap tap tap tap away at phone screen.

"You're killin' it, Jubes. Never stop never stoppin'." She tells her friend as she sees her rush past in those slippy slidey box shoes.

The glimpse of fiery power outside of the double doors of the rec room has Rogue looking over to see the end of Jean's costume transformation. She cracks a grin at the Headmistress when she stride sin to the room and straigtens up to watch. She wolf whistles, of course. "Love it. Love the power display too. Not used t'ya doin' that kinda showy stuff. "

She holds her grin for Jean before she looks over at Clarice. "You've never celebrated Halloween?" She ask, dumbfounded by this. "Jeeze, Lady. ITs the one time'a year where we're NOT wearing a costume, in my opinion."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Got it.  No fights.  I'm on patrol," which just means Noriko blips randomly to sneak up instantly on people no matter what they are doing and casually say hey once or twice before reading the room.

"What's this?"  Noriko waves the bend of her straw lazily between Clarice and Jubes, tracing the invisible (not so much so) laser tension.  "There are issues?" she asks quickly.

"This is the last thing you need."  Noriko produces a bright orange plastic jack-o-lantern, her arm extended.  "Trick or treat!-Haven't you seen tv before?"  The speedster shoots Clarice a look as if she grew up on the moon.

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilation pulls the empty soda can from her mouth and burps loudly. She doesn't even flinch. She just stares at Clarice.

    "Pizza pieeeeees!" Jubilee repeats on a dime, imitating Rogue's imitation of Borat. She tilts her head towards the other girl -- a welcome diversion from her growing irritation. "Rudy's great -- for five bucks he was going to sing all the music if we didn't find something to play. No questions asked!"

    The Headmistress's costume earns a thumbs-up from Jubilee. "And, no fights in the hallway. Got it!" she calls out. No fights. In the hallway.

    "Nothing," Jubilee mutters to Noriko. "It's fine."

    With one hand, Jubilee reaches out to reposition the candy dishes. The good one with the M&M's and such is moved to the far end of the table while the one with loose candy corn is moved in front of Clarice. Everything's fine. It's nothing.

    But then... Jubilation stares. The empty soda can is crushed in her fist. "...What did you say?" she demands. "What do you mean it's not 'really' a Halloween party?" No fights. No fights. No fights.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Hey, what's the point of all the struggles and adversities if we can't take advantage of a few of the perks, right?" Jean tells Rogue, grinning. "I officially endorse the pizza suggestion." Possibly moreso because of the 'Remy is somehow paying for it' angle. Anything to spare the school budget, or transfer some costs onto one of the more notorious perpetual freeloaders!

In the meantime, she scopes out the extant snack offerings, which end up getting re-arranged under her nose. Although it is likely impossible for her NOT to pick up on the level of tension, on some of the strong feelings at play, she does not comment. This all falls under 'young people learning to be people.' And no one is hero fighting, which seems to be her minimum requirement for things. So EVERYTHING IS FINE, in her book.

Grabbing a handful of non-shitty candy, she backs off to stand by her apparent sole adult companion in all of this chaos, who looks mostly the same as Rogue normally does aside from her hair! "So what are you exactly?"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "I - well, I went to one, actually - for my fifth Birthday," Clarice replies. "But that was in Genosha, and it was more of a novelty. 'Look at this crazy American tradition' - you know? So who's to say if we got it right. There was, umm, a big vat of water with apples in it..." She looks around curiously. "But maybe that part was something they just made up." She reaches for some of the candy corn - popping it into her mouth and chewing with a look that goes from curiosity, to mild displeasure. "...is this stuff popular?" she asks, frowning at the candy corn. Yuck.
    Towards Noriko she adds, "Honestly, I haven't watched much TV. I mean, when I was little I used to just go outside and play with the neighbors, mostly. And then- ...well. There wasn't much TV in the pens." There wasn't any TV in the pens. "And I've stayed pretty busy since the Brotherhood freed the pens."
    Her gaze shifts past Noriko, to where Jubilee now stands with a crushed can in her hands. "Well. ...it's July. And I know when Halloween is, because it's the same as my Birthday," she says simply, giving a shrug of her shoulders. Reaching a little further down the counter, she manages to get her hands on some Starbursts - and starts unwrapping one of those.

Rogue has posed:
The Borat singer is keeping things lively, even as stuff heats up a bit.5r
Outside in the yard there's a kid in that giant plastic green hamster ball rolling past two other kids who are chasing it and throwing water balloons at it.

Inside is the rest of the student body of the summer-stationed X-School, all enjoying the party.

Rogue is walking to the fridge to open the cooler beside it and grab a bottle of raspberry soda. She is listening to the others as she turns to see Jean near her now and grins at her before glancing down at herself. "I'm the Bride of FrakenDaisy Duke." She says, her hair up in a precarious 'tower' on her head. She smirks at the Headmistress. "Don't think that deeply about it. I didn't know this was happenin' today." She says as she twists the cap off of the bottle of soda and leans back on the coutner folding one arm over her stomach that her shirt is tied off above.

She sips the soda and stares at the others.... The candy corn question gets a response out of her. "I like it." She says. "But I know I'm in the minority... I got a nostalgia story attached t'the junk though..."

Another sip, her phone buzzes and she looks at it again. "I'll order the Pizzas."

Tap tap tap tap tap tap!

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Oh.  Right.  I remember," Noriko murmurs to herself just as quickly at Jubilee saying 'Nothing,' as if she really needed to recall some critical unforgettable information.

Noriko wisely says nothing as her eyes lock onto the loose candy corn dish getting moved.  She won't fall for the candy corns twice, at least not publicly.  She munches on a tootsie roll and surrenders her half bitten one immediately by angling the wand form tootsie roll toward Jubes.

Silently her eyes are caught by the giant hamster ball in some kind of disassociate daze.  "That..."  She has plenty of time in this altercation to stop anything terrible.

"You don't have to watch tv to know you don't tell people their party is fake," Noriko says with a certain measure of scrutiny, disdain, or just sleepy veiled eyes.

Jean Grey has posed:
The noise Jean makes at Rogue's explanation of her costume is somewhere between a snort and a laugh, and then a second later, another one half way between a laugh and some kind of cough. She MAY have just nearly choked on an M&M.

"Well, stupid me for not figuring THAT one out," she says, after giving another cough or three and making sure she's not dying. Who would save her, when she's the nurse?!

She also spies the students rolling past the window, following their progress a bit before looking back. "I told you." Somehow she's in on these shenanigans. "How on earth is that thing a present for Charles? But at least we're getting some use out of it. And at least he really liked the picture. Who'd have ever imagined finding something like that, just laying around in an antique shop?"

See? The old people have their own storylines!

Also, her verdict on the candy corn is made clear when her friend actually expresses fondness for it. She scrunches up her face in the most 'ugh gross' of looks possible. "It's like eating wax! How can you like that stuff?"

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Sexy Howard Hughes!" Jubilee replies to Jean, even though the question wasn't meant for her. This diversion is enough to get Jubilee's mind cranking. It doesn't take a genius -- and a genius, Jubes is not -- to know that Clarice's purple skin suggests that she's a mutant. Unfortunately, there's no telling what agonizing things Clarice might be able to do with her powers. Plus, the Headmistress is here. Jubilee reaches into one of the fuzzy pockets of her bathrobe and pulls out her Ray Bans. She slips them over her eyes and bends forward towards Noriko. She places a kiss on the other girl's cheek and swipes the remainder of the Tootsie Roll.

    "Nothing," she says before pushing the candy bowl back into its original position.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue's eyes go out to the giant green hamster ball as it rolls by past the windows. She grins at the comment from Jean and shakes her head. "At least they're exercise, right?" She asks then before sipping her soda again.

She keeps a watch on the others, seeing some more kids filter in through the doorways and straight toward the candy. "Definitely would've bought more if I'd known..." She mutters behind the glass neck of her drink bottle.

At Jean's question, about the Candy Corn and how could she like it, the Belle just smiles softly and reaches up to tap the side of her head, inviting Jean in for a peak.

When the Headmistress will assuredly get the message, she'll see a memory of Rogue sitting in front of a bowl of Candy Corn on the floor of some small house. Her real mother pouring more in to it from a bag and telling her not to eat the whole thing and ruin her dinner. It's a happy memory, but it soon flashes to a much darker one, screaming and the feelings of panic and terror. It was the night her parents vanished.

With that over, Rogue just smirks and takes another sip of her soda. "Waxy, yes, but I duno. I like'm. At least a handful or so."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "All I said was 'it's July not October," Clarice mutters at Noriko, while rolling her eyes. "Geeze. Defensive, much?"
    Her gaze lands on Jean and Rogue instead - deciding the teens are really far more effort than they're worth. "I'm going to assume that FrankenDaisy Duke is a culture reference that..." she trails off for a moment as the giant ball rolls by, "...missed on TV," she finally concludes. Because, if she's being honest, she doesn't follow any of the reference at all.

Jean Grey has posed:
Sexy. Howard. Hughes.

That's not really something you expect to hear in any context, summer Halloween party or otherwise. The fact that it comes unexpectedly from Jubilee chiming in from outside the conversation further adds to the oddity! She looks over, blinking and... "Oh, the Kleenex boxes. I get it! That's really creative." Although her expression still reads 'what in the world is any of this even.'

Back to Rogue, with confusion! Oh right, the ball. "Yeah, it's probably a decent workout, pushing that thing all over. Well, until they find a hill." And then? "At which point they're going to learn about hosing vomit out of an enclosed plastic space." Which is also a valuable life lesson!

This precedes the invitation to take a quick 'peek' into Rogue's thoughts. The details there are opaque to those not involved, but they end with Jean's expression suddenly going soft and leaning to give her friend a hug. "Aw, I'm sorry. Now you KNOW what you're getting a giant bag of for actual Halloween, right?"

The 'actual' might be a tipoff to Clarice as she joins them, that this whole event is somewhat less than perfectly traditional. "Uh, sort of," she answers, looking to Rogue for the more complete explanation, since it's her outfit. "It's two fictional characters smooshed together. One's from a book, but, yeah, I guess her look is a reference to the movie version."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    "Yeah, size four tissue boxes..." Jubilee mutters, her head turning so she can follow the path of the hamster ball as it passes by. Huh. Not the strangest thing she's bound to see today. Her attention snaps back to Clarice. "Seriously?" she demands, her voice rising a few notes. "It's obviously a mashup of three different things. Bride of Frankenstein. Daisy Duck, Donald's girlfriend. And Duke Nudem, the porno parody of the game. Jeez, don't you know anything?" Jubes scoot-scoots in her kleenex boxes closer to the candy dish and reaches in to take a piece of chocolate. Best behavior. Seriously.

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko hushes herself with a newly unwrapped dozen of tootsie rolls, building up a tell tale blob in the side of her mouth as she listens to Jubilee speak of things she wouldn't dare want anyone to know she has no clue what they are.  Have you ever seen a cow chew?  Kind of like that.

The speedster tilts her head discerningly at Rogue, "Obviously."  Since she can still apparently form words, Noriko piles more candy into her mouth indiscriminately.  She'll just stand over here, kind of supportively on the sidelines, kind of not, kind of desperately realizing she ran out of food and doesn't know what to do with her hands.  They are a restless fidgety blur as she tries to settle them a few different ways.

Rogue has posed:
The hug from Jean is accepted and her draining powers are safely turned down to allow it, something she's been working on for almost a full year now, or so she feels like it anyway. Not many at the school know about that either as she hasn't broadcast it around a lot! "Oh god, I don't wanna drown in the things." She says with a soft laugh before taking another sip from her soda bottle. She leans back against the counter then and sets her phone down. "Food is ordered, so we don't gotta just eat all the damn snacks I bought t'day..."

The talk of her outfit has her glancing down at herself and then back up. She grins at Jubes and nods toward her. "Spot on, as ever,"

"I dunno what I'm gonna go as at the party this fall, still thinkin' about that one. We did the Scooby Gang thang last fall... don't wanna copy it, but I do love me some Velma cosplay..."

A smile is given to Clarice. "We gotta catch you up on some pop culture, girl. You need t'be here for movie nights t'get that kicked off some...."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Not really," Clarice answers Jubilee, meeting her gaze while planting one hand on her hip. "We didn't watch a lot of television in the slave pens," she states flatly. "But I did learn this week that Bill and Ted travel through time in a phone booth." So maybe that counts for something? "We've started doing movie nights on the Asteroid, actually - me and Talia. You could come up. Talia has this whole list of things she wants me to see."
    Her gaze then shifts between Jubilee, Rogue, and Jean as she asks, "So - wait. Is Rogue two different characters, or three?" Her gaze shifts up and down Rogue's form before adding in bafflement, "I don't see anything duck-like. Wouldn't you need like... webbed feet, or a bill? You could get flippers. You know, for snorkeling."

Jubilation Lee has posed:
    Jubilation's head tilts back as her eyes roll dramatically. "Oh, yeah, like that's a good idea..." she replies with some sarcasm tainting her words. "You want Rogue to show up wearing flippers? She wouldn't even be able to walk properly!" Another eye roll before Jubilee begins to scoot-scoot-shuffle-shuffle across the floor in her Kleenex boxes.

    "I'm going to get more candy for the trick-or-treeting," she announces enigmatically before continuing back out the door.

Jean Grey has posed:
Being that Jean has been closely involved in that long process, all the hard work, she doesn't seem afraid of touching her friend, showing a bit of trust that Rogue can (and will?!) not randomly put her in a coma.

And she makes it out alive. Phew!

"Doing Daphne was kinda low-effort," she admits, with a laugh, thinking back to their last group costume. "All I had to do was buy a purple dress." She already has plenty of green scarves. And green everything else! "Ditto for Scott. Well-groomed preppy isn't exactly a stretch for him. Least he had to get a wig. And Jeepers fit right in. But I'm sure we'll come up with something."

As for Jubilee's misinformation, taken quite at face value by Clarice, she sighs dramatically and starts to explain. "No, see. Well, the Frankstein part is about right. He's a popular horror character, famous for his hair. And at some point they made a female version. The 'Daisy Duke' part is the uh, short-shorts and tied-off shirt look. There was a character who dressed like that. They even named those kinda shorts after her."

And then, a bit more flatly: "No ducks involved." She doesn't even acknowledge the porn parody part, because there are youngsters around! (Even if they all have the internet.)

Noriko Ashida has posed:
When Clarice mentions slave pens and them not having television, Noriko's attention slips away for a split second.  It's just a flash of discomfort?  Something or other?  Before she recalls her ease.  "Movies nig-" she might have actually sounded more interested if Jubilee didn't Kleenex sashay away.

"Okay," she says unsteadily to the plan of getting more candy.  Is she supposed to follow or let Jubilee have her space?  In a moment of weakness, the inexperienced teen's gaze skates from one woman to the next as if their reactions might clue her in to the appropriate behavior.  She wisely stays out of weighing in on all of the references Jean rattles off.

After...not long at all, Nori's curiosity gets the better of her and there's a small fissure in her cool exterior, enough to ask Clarice, "Uh.  What movies have you watched?  Which ones does she want you to watch?"

Rogue has posed:
Rogue takes another sip of her drink before setting it next to the sink on the counter. She picks up her phone and glances at the timer on the pizza delivery. She listens to the others chatting and then looks up to Jean to grin at her. "You and Scott looked pretty adorable, it's true. We should do somethin' themed like that, maybe there's another show we could look at, Kitty would have good suggestions I bet."

At Clarice, Rogue smiles softly before dropping her gaze back down to her phone. "I'm still pretty terrified'a the thought'a goin' up inta space. So... I dunno about no asteroid bases yet, t'be honest. Even if ya'll talk so highly of the damn thing."

The Belel pushes off of the counter then and walks toward the doors too, giving Nori a pat on the arm as she goes by cause she can see the Jubilee-separation-anxiety. "I'mma go meet the pizza guy out by the gate, so he doesn't gotta drive all the way up and in. They prefer it that way, I think." She states on HER way toward the doors as she waves between some of the fat kids rushing around eating candy!

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "...oh," Clarice replies to Jean's explination, still studying Rogue's costume. "I guess I'd have to see some pictures of the characters, at least, to really get it," she muses in a thoughtful tone, before turning her attention back to Noriko.
    A shrug of her shoulders is offered before she explains, "Well - we watched Princess Bride, which was pretty good, and Nightmare Before Christmas. And I went to a live showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which was weird. We're planning on setting aside a day to watch 'The Star Wars Triology.' It's apparently very important that I point out it's the //original// trilogy," she explains. "And since I'm, umm, taking some time away from the Brotherhood, I guess it won't be so hard to find the time for that. And I think there was something called... Exterminator? No! Terminator! And Indiana Jones. And... umm... what else?" She frowns in thought, before shaking her head slightly. "Talia has a list. She keeps adding to it."
    Towards Rogue she calls brightly, "The Asteroid is awesome! You're missing out! The view is amazing, the bar's always open, and you're missing out on //apple fritters// - and the waffle bar."

Jean Grey has posed:
Rogue meeting the pizza guy? "Don't end up acting out Jubilee's version!!!" she calls after.

Porn. She's referring to the porn bit.

Then Clarice gets another kind of helpless smile, knowing as Jean does that her explanations are probably falling far short. "Well, the one looked... pretty much like Rogue, I think? I've never watched the show, but I think I've seen a picture of the actress. Pretty sure that's why she did it, easy emergency costume." Pause. "Daisy Duke that is, not the bride of Franksenstein."

"That's a pretty good selection," she adds, finally, before glancing outside and... "Oh jeez, looks like they've done it." The Hamster ball. "Uh... I'll be back!" Thus she turns to scramble out to the back yard, where the darkest timeline has begun for a certain student.

She makes it two-thirds of the way before realizing she's still dressed as a (semi-sexy) nurse, with the outfit quickly transforming back as she goes!

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"There's a bar?...and apple fritters?  Do you have lots of bananas?  I mean what's the overall food situation like there?  Are there laws there or extradition treaties?"  Noriko patters off as her first response.  Priorities.

"Wait.  What is a waffle bar?"  This sounds important.  Critical to the speedster.  "And what is your gravity situation like?  Do you have people fly off of the asteroid incidents or the like?"

Noriko is suddenly gone and back with more food.  There are chips stocked up here too and other junk food, as is a Jubilee party staple.  After all, if no one else eats it, Nori will.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Well, the cafeteria is always open - people are welcome to eat as much as they need, as often as they need," Clarice answers with a shrug of her shoulders. "And there's gravity on the Asteroid. I don't really know how that works - I just know that it does," she muses with a thoughtful tone. "There's always fresh fruit. They keep it near the waffle bar, actually. You can make your own fresh waffles - and top them with blueberries, and strawberries, and whipped cream and such. There's a lot of different fixings, actually," she explains.
    "...and there's no extradition treaties. Magneto doesn't give up his people," she says flatly and simply. "Anyways. It's safe up there, and it's home - for me, anyways. For now."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko's eyes narrow slightly when Clarice describes the food facilities available on the asteroid.  "Yeah.  Doubt it could keep up with my needs," she says with a soft single laugh, and then her eyes blur toward the exit and back to make sure a certain someone doesn't catch her even seeming to enjoy herself.

But as Clarice goes on and on and gets into the toppings and Noriko is educated on such a thing as a waffle bar, the speedster's eyes actually widen subconsciously.  "Well I owe everyone here a lot.  I've never gone hungry...unless I was too lazy to feed myself," she explains in passing and in a much more relaxed manner as she continues to subconsciously drool over the idea of waffles.

"You play softball or any sports?" Noriko asks seemingly out of the blue, not giving Clarice any ant trail to follow in terms of logic.  Her attention is primarily fixed on Clarice, but does purposefully wander in a sort of vigilance ground into her from the streets.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "The Brotherhood doesn't let any of its people go hungry," Clarice counters in an amused tone. "There's always plenty of food," she promises. "I mean... we feed the Blob," she points out flatly. And really - that should say enough right there.
    Leeeeeaning over, she finally secures a little bag of M&Ms and tears it open, nibbling at the little candies idly. "I haven't really had much time for sports, personally. I'm usually pretty focused on my work - or training. I mean, I work for the Brotherhood, //and// the Genoshan Royal Guard, plus I keep the Bushwick Neighborhood Watch going, so..." She shrugs her shoulders. "Not a lot of free time, usually."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Don't have enough time?"  Noriko eyes Clarice with a shred of skepticism, demonstrating how alien other people's time management is to she-who-does-everything-in-a-snap.  "Everyone should make time for a sport or hobby or something.  I do city runs every night," she offers her absurd example up casually.

"And they make me do a metric shit ton of laundry here for bonding purposes or something and even after the entire school's laundry I have time to hit a few balls," Noriko says more out of grumpy incredulity than probably the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help her Charles.

"What kind of work do you do for them?"

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "...everyone keeps telling me to get a hobby," Clarice laments - with what sounds like a little genuine frustration in her voice. She //still// can't quite figure the whole 'hobby' thing out. But she's working on it! Honestly! She swears! "....you think I should try sports?" she asks in an uncertain voice. Would that get Mystique off her back about it? Hrm.
    "Well, I'm a teleporter - so I provide transportation to and from the Asteroid, as well as transporting supplies and relief materials to Genosha as we continue to rebuild. I run the Bushwick Neighborhood Watch, as I mentioned. And of course I help in combat situations - we recently freed a group of mutants from enslavement and transported them to Genosha where they're being looked after and helped through their recovery.
    "And as Genoshan Royal Guard, I accompany Magneto and Lorna whenever either might have need for a quick evacuation."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko smirks.  "Yeah.  Sports are just games that you can play seriously or not."  She shrugs and listens a shred more raptly when Clarice says she's a teleporter. "Plus there are tons of lame fringe benefits you can rattle off if someone wants you to be doing something more productive, like...it helps build self confidence and teamwork."  She definitely snagged that from some kind of seminar brochure once upon a time.

"Wait you guys helped free some mutants?  I don't get it."  Noriko's head blurs in a slowed down shake of it.  It's habit, living her life in frames of stop motion left behind at key moments for others to be able to react to her presence, like she forgot to slow down in the first place.  Stop motion one moment and slowed blurs the next.  It doesn't take long with all of the speedster's gearshifting, so to speak, to deduct that her natural pace of life is just much faster...that she might actually have to concentrate to slow down instead of the other way around.

"...teleporter," she murmurs to herself as if mulling over something.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "What don't you get?" Clarice asks with some puzzlement. "We're Brotherhood of Mutants. We stand against the oppression of our people," she says firmly. "It's why Magneto and the Brotherhood freed Genosha from the Magistrates - it's why they freed //me// from tne pens, there. //That,// more than anything else, in my opinion - is why the Brotherhood exists. We won't allow anyone to attack or enslave mutants without repurcussions." There's something fierce in her tone - though she glances towards the direction where Rogue had gone - in persuit of the pizzas - before modulating her tone a little.
    "Well. Though we're trying to change how we manage that. Lorna managed to convince me that when we act with excessive aggression and violence, it only breeds more fear, and more hatred, which in turn makes things worse for our kind. It's a complicated issue."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Noriko Ashida says, "Right, but you will allow them to attack /with/ repercussions, right?"  Noriko inquires as if trying to get their ideology straight, but obviously knowing Clarice knows the tone is merely a veneer.  The question seems precisely worded with a slight edge to the underbelly of it.  Not sinister.  Tentative.  She's looking for an actual answer.

"How do you /try/?  What gets in the way of just doing?  Does that mean you wouldn't have rescued those mutants?"  Noriko has stopped shoveling food into her mouth."

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "We don't //allow// people to attack mutant kind," Clarice answers a bit flatly. "It's simply- you can't always know what's coming. You can't be everywhere at once. We can't protect everyone. But if it happens, if we're aware of it... We respond." She nibbles a few more M&Ms, before adding fiercely, "Nothing would have stopped us from freeing those mutants. Mystique and I'd been trying to track down intell on the group that took them for over a month. Hopefully we've shut them down for good, but if it starts up again... We'll go after them again."
    The fire in her gaze, and determined set of her jaw eases a little as she looks down at the bag of M&Ms in her hand. "...anyways," she mutters quietly. "Like I said, the Brotherhood's changing. IT's why we're working with the X-Men now, in patroling Bushwick. It's why we're helping rebuild some of that apartments and businesses there. It's why we've been responding to Anti-Mutant protests without violence. It's taken me a while to convince others in the organization that that's necessary - and, I mean, I haven't gotten through to //everyone// yet. But it's gotten through to the people who matter."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
Something seems to slowly wind tight behind the speedster's eyes while Clarice answers.  Her gaze dulls slightly as Clarice expounds into all of the virtuous projects, someone already lost to the meaning of the words she's receiving.

"That's a huge fucking wad of bull shit propaganda.  At the riots.  No one protected that mutant who was shot, or me from that fuck.  Only Jubes.  Jubilation was there for me," and others, but no one else roasted a dude with pyrotechnic boom boom to save Nori's life.  "If I was waiting for the Brotherhood, I would have been dead.  They're too busy with their own plans.  So if that's changed?  Forgive me if a little community service isn't enough to change my fucking mind.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "It's not bullshit," Clarice counters cooly. "I mean every word of it. What happened in Bushwick last week - the Hope House fund raiser? Mystique was there, protecting mutants, and stopping the rioters with a minimum of force. Because she's changed - she's trying. And the week before that, when that anti-mutant fuck got //shot//? //I// got between him and the shooter to keep things from getting worse. To prevent that's hateful assholes from having a martyr on their hands to foment even more fear and hatred. Yeah, the Brotherhood's screwed up in the past. And no, we can't be everywhere at once. But we're changing, and that's not 'bullshit propaganda.' It's the truth."
    She let's out a heavy, frustrated sigh before adding, "There's more than thirty years of bad blood to try to... undo, though. So that shit takes time. Yeah? But Summers is willing to give us a shoot. He stood up for Mystique - to the NYPD. So maybe go ask him if he thinks it's bullshit."

Noriko Ashida has posed:
"Well this didn't happen thirty years ago or even five or two.  Oh I'm sure the Brotherhood was there.  Just not for us."  Noriko rolls her eyes when Clarice cooly delivers example after example like she's allergic to the reply no matter what the contents, not unlike the attitude possessed by many teenagers.

"Summers?"  Noriko visibly balks at the prospect.  "I'd rather not go looking for a lesson.  He might have other reasons to keep Mystique out of trouble with the NYPD.  Look.  I don't need to ask anyone.  I have the fucking nightmares to remind me of it every single night, and I don't think anything Summers can say will make any of those go away.

"Just watch it.  Don't take everything at face value," Nori says in parting just before stepping off to go mindlessly attack some cake with great prejudice.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    "Yeah, it's a //recent change,//" Clarice points out, rolling her eyes dramatically before adding, "Try Lorna, then. Or hell - even Rogue might be starting to see the difference."
    She lets out a frustrated sigh, before turning to head towards the door. "I should go see Dyani anyways," she mutters under her breath, before calling over her shoulder, "Then I'm going to the //waffle bar//." You'd think Clarice was still a teenager with behavior like this but - nope. Just a little immature.