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Field Trip-The Prelude
A blush was apparent on the young woman’s features when Cameron spoke about her always being stunning. “Two years and you still know how to bring a blush to my cheeks.” Chandi let small smile slip onto her lips and a soft laugh escape her tiny frame, “Staying in touch hasn’t always been my strong suit either…far to much of a loner’s spirit in me.” Shifting her weight Chandi threw her legs over Cameron’s own outstretched ones and snuggled closer to him, enjoying the feeling of safety that she got while with him. The heat was increasing more and more as the two old friends state underneath the trees, but Chandi was unwilling to go inside and break the peaceful feeling she had at the very moment. So often she was used to being pulled in about eight different directions and constantly moving that being on this peaceful little island away form the hubbub of New York was nice. “Would I be included in that butt-chasing category?” Chandi giggled turning her gaze to look up at Cameron, her eyes wide and held a puppy dog look to them. “After all I was always most fond of your backside Sparky.” She flashed him a bright toothy grin and allowed her human illusion to slip away, she was in company she trusted so there wasn’t a need for security.

Giving a good flick of her tail and swivel of her ears Chandi was able to hear the little noise around her much better now, and felt more comfortable and at ease. “Much better…” She sighed letting her tail swish back and forth on the sand next to her, although if any of the other team members showed their faces Chandi would slip the illusion back up. “So, now that we’ve jabbered on about what’s gone on in the past two years I’m going to cut to the chase and ask you a very personal question, what’s happened between you and AJ? She didn’t seem as welcoming with you as she did me…” Chandi trailed off feeling as if she’d been absent in her friends’ lives far to long, and wouldn’t let two years slip by between the three of them ever again.
Kei looked De up and down again a Cheshire smile crossing her features, “I see a couple things I like.” She responded easily crossing her arms over her chest, “now if you’d just turn around so I could see that ass…” She trailed off, biting her bottom lip momentarily. Playing up the hormonal woman act quite a bit more than she usually would, it wasn’t every day that a naked man was in her presence. Half-naked yes, completely naked no, and besides this guy seemed like he’d take it pretty well so she wasn’t worried about embarrassing him.
“So De, if purple wasn’t the color of choice, what was?” She questioned him, moving closer to examine the dreads; She’d always been fascinated with hairstyles like that, she used to hang out with a benny that used to have a hairstyle similar. Plus she wanted a closer look at him anyways, not that she didn’t get an eyeful earlier…

Leaning over to one side she tried to get a better lock at De’s backside, her shower completely forgotten for the time being. Maybe it was a rebound thing, since she had just recently broken things off with Marco or maybe she was just heavily attracted to this man…she really couldn’t tell, her mind was a strange, strange place most days.
“Sorry, I’ll try to behave myself…” She looked backwards at Nathaniel, “Make sure I behave myself!” She told him, “Be my conscious so I don’t tackle him right here and now.”
Before she knew it, ‘Vok was on his feet in front of her, offering his hand to AJ. As much as he was enjoying himself, he knew that if he were going to entertain the idea of sticking around this more than likely dysfunctional bunch, he would need to get to know them all. Years of experience told him that good lines of communication were key to the success of the group. Not that he had ever been a part of a particularly successful group, but this bit of knowledge had to be true. He had helped to prove the opposing theory often enough times. Taking AJ’s hand, ‘Vok smiled and said, “I most definitely agree. The best way to avoid getting shanked in the shower is to get to know your teammates. I think we should go and make all the proper introductions, that way we can move on to more private negotiations later.”
Angelee took John's hand and allowed him to lead her towards the voices in the hall. When they finally rounded the corner and everyone came into sight, AJ's jaw dropped for the briefest of moments and she started smiling widely.
"Oh Mah God. De!" she let loose of John's hand and threw her arm's around her old team mate, giving him a hug.
"Last Ah had heard of you, you were supposed ta be on tha run from a group of mad drag queens!" Stepping back, she slipped her hand back into John's and smiled at him.
"Since Ah'm sure he's already introduced himself to these folks...John, this is Nate...but we all call them De, cept some girl back home that calls him 'Big Nasty', but he's no' that bad." she squeezed his hand again and smiled at her old team mate before looking at Kei and Nate.
"Sorry Ah ran off so quick on tha beach, umm..somethan' came up...Ah didn't catch your names?" AJ smiled at them, wondering silently where the rest of their happy group was.
"Nathanial Travers." Nate said as AJ walked into the room and threw herself around De, "I was right, i'm the only one here that doesn't know everyone!" Laughing to himself, "How do you lot know each other then?" It was an obvious question and something he wanted to know, he had come here under the pretense of starting anew and getting to know new people, yet here he was right bang smack in the middle of a reunion of sorts. "Oh and purple? It kinda suits..." Offhandedly remarking to De about his hair.

-Shadow Strike
“Actually, I’m with you…I don’t know any of these people.” Kei told Nate as she propped herself against the wall again, “Kei.” She introduced herself, looking from AJ to John and then to the floor. Nate’s words had triggered something, she really didn’t know any of these people and was suddenly yearning for the strange relationship she had had with Marco.


Kei slammed the door to the small three-bedroom apartment open, throwing her purse on the counter and following it with her set of keys, “Marco!” She howled, continuing into the living room and finding no sign of her roommate/boyfriend, “Rodriguez get your ass out here!” she headed down the short hallway, knowing that he had to be in here somewhere. He had a report due for work in a couple of days and would undoubtedly be doing revisions at this point in time.
“Rodriguez, if you don’t show your face your laptop will meet an untimely death at the beach, and I’ll throw your ass out of this apartment!” Kei hollered down the hall, waiting hands on hips for a reaction, her entire stance oozing anger and annoyance.
“What?!?!” Came the irritated response two doors away as Marco appeared in the doorway, his tall frame clad only in a pair of pajama pants, and from one look Kei could tell he hadn’t been doing work at all...he’d been taking a nap.

“You did something to my beater!” Kei accused, her dark eyes smoldering as she glared at him, “Don’t deny it!” She added before he could open his mouth to protest.
“I fixed the engine.” Marco said deadpanned walking out into the hall and wrapping an arm around Kei’s waist, “You asked me to last week, after your therapy session and preliminary trial.” He dropped a kiss on the top of her head, “because it broke down on your way back, you didn’t want that to happen if you ever decided to go up to Pipeline this winter.” Kei relaxed her stance, her anger melting away.
“Oh…forgot about that.” She responded reaching her hand up to muss up Marco’s shoulder length black hair, “Guess I’m just kind of strange lately, what with the impending death sentence above my head.” Kei rolled her eyes, breaking away from Marco to go to her room and change out of her dress.

“Its not a death sentence!” He called after her, “Where were you anyways?” Marco was obviously following her down the hall, where he would stand outside her door until she decided to reemerge.
“Carly and I were just partying, ya know.” Kei told him through the crack in the door, “I’m allowed to do that, I’m a grown woman of 27. I tie my own sandals and everything.” She opened the doorway now clad in a pair of plaid boxers and a tank top.
“It would’ve been nice to know that,” Marco commented dryly, though his eyes gave away that he wasn’t upset at all, “You could’ve been out abusing poor tourists by making their tacky souvenirs explode.” He teased, as she brushed past to get to the kitchen and search out something to eat.
“Once again, I’m an adult…” Kei opened the fridge and found an apple, cutting it up and placing it in a bowl, “I wouldn’t do that. Besides, I thought you would be working on that paper of yours, not napping.”
“Wasn’t napping.”
“You have bed-head.”
“No I don’t.”
“You’re a bad liar.” Kei moved over to sit on one of the stools placed near the island in the middle of the kitchen area, “You were sleeping and you know it.” Marco sat acrossed from her stealing one of her apple slices.
“Fine, I was.” He gave her a wide smile, “Carly didn’t find you another guy, did she?” He then asked suspiciously, knowing that Kei’s best friend was renowned for finding the attractive businessmen that his girlfriend would con.
“No, I’m not that stupid. I’m on trial for that stuff.” Kei’s expression darkened for moment, “You’ve known me how long? But you still can’t figure me out.”
“Just checking.”


“ Shouldn’t have broken up with him.” She reprimanded herself, “Sure, it’s a hell of a ways away from here…but he always understood your neurotic little mind.” Kei brought her gaze back up, looking around the room.
“I’m off for a shower.” She told them, the itch she had forgotten about coming back in full force, “Be back in a few.” Kei looked at De, “And I’ll be wantin’ that towel back, later of course.”
The warmth of AJ's hand felt good to 'Vok. It was nice to have someone on the team that he already felt comfortable with. It was not a feeling that he was all that accustomed to. His heritage or his attitude often precluded him from feeling comfortable anywhere. But, with the exception of the Battle-ax, he was quickly finding his current surroundings less than horrible. The well dressed man called Nate was the only one he was unsure of. He had already said that he wasn't fond of Skrulls, but that didn't necessarily make him a bag guy. Hell, Ch'od wasn't fond of Skrulls either, but 'Vok and the big green Starjammer had been best freinds for years. Nate was the only one of the new team so far that knew 'Vok's secret, and he was eager to see what the man would do with that information.

It was funny how comfortable AJ seemed to be with everyone. Like she didn't have a care in the world. It was certainly different from the 'on edge' feeling that 'Vok usually walked around with. Maybe that was why the Skrull took to the girl so quickly...she just made it seem so easy. He let the others talk for a moment before he spoke up himself. He had to be careful when he was talking to others anyway. He had lived on Earth for quite a many years now, but his Skrull accent still reared its ugly head once in a while. 'Vok had to concentrate to keep it under wraps, not yet wanting to trust the group entirely. "I'm new around here myself. Kei and I met out in the surf...sort of. Nate was here when I first arrived. And AJ already seems to be a sucker for my animal magnetism. But other than that, I haven't had the pleasure. Nice to meet you De. I'd shake your hand, but I'd hate for you to frighten the women again. Best to just leave those hands where they are."
She smiled at Nate and Kei as John started talking. Not wanting to interrupt him, she smirked at his mention of his animal magnetism.
"Sure Tiger..whatevah.. It's nice ta meet ya Nate, for how we all know each othah...well... Chandi, De, Spark...err..Cameron and myself were all part of a team ovahseas years ago. It's odd that we'd all meet up here again, but it's a pleasant surprise, that's for sure." she winked at De, motioning towards the staircase.
"You bettah get back to ya room before Cooper comes down here and has a fit of tha vapors from seein' ya...cause darlin' Ah think ah'm about to.!"
Angelee looked towards the door for a moment as Kei took off for her shower.
"Ah think maybe Ah should go let Vicki outta my room. Care ta join me Tiger?" she looked over at John, smiling sweetly at him.
Cam chuckled at Chandi's comment about butt chasing. "Aye. Ah remember AJ and yerself always seemed tae be lookin' in that direction whenever ah turned around. Ah was startin' tae get a complex till ah realised what ye were up tae." He looked down at her as she threw her legs over him and let her illusion fall. He smiled and relaxed against her. "Just like auld times eh." he said, feeling relaxed. "Well. Almost." His smile faded a little as he thought about AJ. "Ah think she is a wee bit pissed off at me. We spent a fair bit o' time together after leaving Muir Island. About a year actually and as ye might expect we got close." He paused, his smile returning a little at the thought. "So, like ah said ah had tae sort out that bit o' trouble ah had back in London and so left her tae take care o' it. Unfortunately it took longer than ah had intended. Several months longer. And when ah got back tae AJ she had already moved on." Cam looked towards the small waves breaking on the beach below them, but his mind was much further away. "Ah tried tae catch up with her, but things just kept gettin' in the way. Ah cannae really blame her fer being annoyed." He looked back at Chandi. "Ah'm sure she just wasnae expectin' tae see me ever again, never mind here and now. Probably figured ah had changed mah mind and run off. As if." He hugged Chandi close. "Ah'm really glad yer here Princess, ah havenae had anyone ah can talk tae about this for ages."
"Well I was goin' for red luv, but it seems someone pulled a fast one on me while I was packing my bags."

De commented as Kei strolled closer. It wasn't that he enjoyed being treated like a peice of meat, but then wasn't as though he could call it unpleasant.(Ok so he did enjoy being treated like a peice of meat but he would consciously admit to it). He was making ready to say something else when AJ arrived, completely throwing herself at him for lack of a better phrase, catching him off-guard and nearly throwing him off balance. Her affections were returned with a light squeeze as he slipped an arm around the small of her back, raising a brow at her drag queen comment as she slipped back to John.

"Heard about that did ya? Yeah. Stupid blokes got all upset that I ruined their little 'Lord of the G-Strings' club. One limey git even had the gall to call himself 'Araporn'.

He wondered silently to himself how it was people always knew where he was and what he was doing. Normally he could blame family for all the stupid things that happened in his life, but even his Kin wouldn't rat him out as much as he'd been ratted out over the years. Maybe he had a tracking device in his butt. Might explain why that cute sheila had been trying to sneek a peek some moments prior. De let these thoughts run through his head as the others introduced themselves to one another, finally bringing himself back the present as Kei spoke to him.

"Well if you want I could always accompany you, give it to you once you were in the shower. Maybe even return your towel afterwards." he said to her, letting his right eye fall shut a fraction of a second sooner than his left as he 'blinked'.

He didn't press the issue any further however as she started to make her way back to her room, instead turning his attention to John as he was addressed, offering the man a friendly nod as he spoke.

"'d think they'd never seen one before. Well....perhaps never one that shade....."
“She and I did have an affliction for staring at your backside…” Chandi giggled a broad grin was still firmly placed on her face, which for the most part kind of made her look like the Cheshire cat…far more attractive then the original though. “Ripper, I leave you two alone for a few years and you’ve managed to bring your friendship to almost non-existent.” She paused to take a good long look at Cameron to see how he felt about AJ not speaking to him, “Cameron, don’t worry things be right again soon…” Chandi took one of Cameron’s hands in her own and gave it a little squeeze of reassurance. “Well if it really is almost like old times then I think I can get AJ to come around, after all she has to listen to one of her mates.” She didn’t like seeing two of her closest friends unhappy with each other, and although Chandi didn’t know the details of what might have gone on she knew it wasn’t worth ruining a friendship over. “Princess? You know I haven’t let anyone else ever call me that…just doesn’t sound right coming from anyone else.” Chandi knew that sounded silly, but somehow she didn’t like anyone else using that term of endearment except for Cameron.

Chandi looked out towards the ocean again, cursing herself mentally for letting herself go this long without seeing either AJ or Cameron. “You know Sparky, it really is almost like old times…” She mussed running her fingers of the scars on Cameron’s left arm, biting back the silly question of ‘Did it hurt?’ because Chandi knew as well as anyone that all injuries hurt. Letting out a deep sigh Chandi lifted her head up off of Cameron’s shoulder, “Our teammates are probably starting to think we’re reclusive or something.”
Having properly introduced himself to a few more of the group, 'Vok was beginning to get a feel for the team. None of them seemed to be taking the job too seriously, which suited the Skrull just fine. He never took anything seriously. Concentration and focus only made his brain hurt. 'Vok just always found it easier to go with the flow, and make it up as he went along.

Improvisation was an under rated art form anyway. 'Vok had talked himself out of more tight spots than he could remember. And now, it looked as though he may get the chance to talk himself into one. It was an opportunity that didn't come along that often, but he had to give it a shot. Confidently, 'Vok crossed his arms over his chest, and cocked an eyebrow in AJ's direction. A small curl at the corner of his mouth gave away the dangerous smile that threatened to break free. "What was that you said about letting someone into your room?"
Cam knew Chandi was right. There was no way he and AJ could remain at odds for any length of time, no matter what had come between them. He smiled and nodded as she took his hand. Looking down at Chandi's velvet fingers as she brushed them over the scar tracks criss crossing his forearm, he watched as the dappled sun light which filtered through the palm canopy overhead made the soft fur which covered her hand glisten as her fingers moved this way and that. "Ye still worried aboot they scars eh." He said as he glanced upwards, catching the look in her eye.

"Dinnae fret Princess. Remember that dragon bite ah got? Ah never let that get in the way of a good fight now did ah? Compared tae that, these are just scratches. They just look bad." He looked back down at his arms before returning to her face, smiling at the incongruity of her bright bikini against her dark fur. "If ah'm honest they hurt like hell at the time, but ah had a job tae dae. And ye should see the other guys. Ah dinnae think the licks ah got in are gonnae be healing any time soon. Ah dinnae think even vampyres can grow a new heid. Aye, they'll think twice before disturbing me when ah'm enjoyin' a dram." He chuckled, feeling more relaxed than he had in weeks. "Speaking of which ah found a grand wee pub back on Sugarloaf Key. Maybe we can head over there fer a drink sometime and ah will regale ye with the details o' the whole sorry tale, but here and now is too great a day tae spoil with such darkness."

He looked out at the wide expanse of empty beach and the ocean beyond. If he didn't know better he could almost believe they had the whole place to themselves. Turning back to Chandi as he felt her head lift of his shoulder, he joined her in her sigh. "Aye. Ah guess ye have a point there." He looked over his shoulder back up towards where he knew the base was hidden in the trees. "Just five more minutes then we'll head up and join them eh." He squeezed Chandi gently and settled back against the tree. "And meantime, ye can fill me in on how ye manage tae stay in a bikini that small..."
"Ah said Ah had ta let Vicki outta mah room before she makes a mess in there!" AJ smirked at John before addressing the others.
"Ah hope none of ya are afraid of dogs, Ah had ta bring mah girl with me. She's got a...psychic sense of sorts. She can sense thangs you've never even imagined." she smiled as she turned towards the hall and began to walk away. Getting about halfway down it, she called out to John without even turning around.
"Tiger, Ah just don't think ya can handle what's goes on behind that door." She began to sing what sounded like "Sympathy for the Devil" as she disappeared from sight.
Chandi stopped moving her hand along Cameron’s arm as she spoke about the fight(s) in which he must have gotten them. She knew he could hold his own in almost any fight and had fought with much worse then those little scratches but still that didn’t make the scars seem any less severe to the young woman. “Dragon bite? Course I remember that Sparky.” Chandi said, getting a far away look in her eyes as she thought back to when they’d fought stone dragons and Cameron had managed to get himself bit by one. “Note to self, don’t disturb Sparky while he’s having a dream, could result in losing my head.” She giggled and her eyes held a mischievous look to them now, she was most definitely enjoying the alone time she was getting with and old friend. “Deal, if your paying for the drinks and I’m in.” Shifting her weight a bit Chandi glanced down at her bikini once Cameron mentioned it, laughing softly at his question.

“How do I stay in it?” Chandi threw the question back at Cameron, wanting to make sure she’d heard him right. Five more minutes of alone time was fine with her, she wasn’t looking forward to getting to know knew people but it did make it easier with Cameron and AJ around. “Well here’s my secret…I just move very, very carefully.” Waiting for Cam’s reaction Chandi laid her head back down on his shoulder listening to is rhythmic breathing and the soft heartbeat she could hear. “That answer your question Sparky?”
Nate took a look around the room and took it all in, this was his new team, his new family so to speak, well that's what Extreme was to him, his family, his friends... his life.


The black blur dodged the energy blasts with expert ease, Shadow Strike was nearing his target, but Ranger refused to let him close, unleashing his deadly arrow blasts in quick lethal succession. Orion and Flare had already left to contain the monstrous Basilisk while Shadow Strike, Blur, Skyblazer and Centurion attempted to contain the rest of Maximum, not an easy task by any means.

It had happened only an hour ago, a massive explosion had rocked the middle of DC and Maximum had stolen the components for a bio agent that would accelerate their already formidible powers. Maximum had been the Kane to Extreme's Able for a number of years and this little turn about beat upon each other had become more of a routine that anything, though every so often Maximum would do something that would push the boundry to this precarious relationship that bit too far. After stealing the bio agent they had killed over 300 hundred employees of the chemical firm that designed the product. This time Extreme meant to stop them for good.

High above Shadow Strike, Rocketpack dueled with Skyblazer, energy blasts filled the air as the two super suited inidividuals meanted to blow each other out of the air, while Centurion battled the pyschic vampire Saber to more or less a stand still. Blur on the other hand circled the battle field trying to keep Wildlife from eating him, the shapeshifter was proving more of an annoyance than anything to the super fast hero, but he still bided his time. Shadow Strike was completely focused on his target and summed his weapon of choice, his dark sword, lashing out at the green clad villian, who deftly parried the blow. Ranger may have looked like a reject from a fantasy novel, but he was still one of the world's greatest swordsmen, and Shadow Strike knew it, which is why he wouldn't let the sword near him.

With a retaliatory swing Ranger aimed to cleave the hero's head from his shoulders roaring with rage and annoyance. "I'm surprised Shadow Strike, your leader usual ends up at the point of my sword, but I do like surprises!" Shadow Strike back flipped dodging the attack and straight into the shadow that was being emanated from a near by fountain, completely missing being struck by the sword. Most swordsmen would have been put off balance by an attack gone so completely wrong, but Ranger was not most swordsmen, he had expected such a manouver turning with it and aiming directly behind him striking down at his own shadow. He had seen Shadow Strike fighting many times and knew what his favourite place of attack was and wasn't surprised when two hands arrised from the shadow clasping either end of the blade. Shadow Strike flew up from the shadow and bringing Ranger's blade with him and throwing the villian of balance. Lashing out with two quick snap kicks he struck Ranger sharply in the face and chest knocking him back, giving him some breathing room, he hadn't expected such a counter and needed to catch his barings, something he wasn't going to get as the form of Blur deftly collided into him as Wildlife in a large serpent form threw the speedster straight into him.

Jimmy had been just a bit over confident dealing with Wildlife and had suffered for it, sprawled in pain atop Shadow Strike. Both hero's pushed themselve to their feet at Ranger and Wildlife closed in, but before either could stike a large thud resounded throughout the square as Orion and Flare returned. Orion had telekinetically carried the huge Basilisk back and simply dropped him in the square. Flare held the vial containing the bio agent and didn't seem too much worse for wear dispite being heavily pregnant. Ranger saw the growing numbers rising against him and his team and called for a tactical retreat, but this time Extreme weren't going to let them go peacefully.


Nate remebered the rest of that battle, with Orion and Flare's return, Maximum were swiftly mopped up and incarcerated, thoughas with all super villian prisons they seemed to operate a revolving door policy as it wasn't too long before they had escaped and went into hiding. He wasn't too sure why he had specifically remembered that battle as it was Ryan who had worn the Shadow Strike personna back then, but then again he had all their memories in his head, that was more than seven years ago. He remembered vividly the bond of friendship between them all, how he knew that even if in trouble any one of them had his back. He just hoped in time maybe a bond like that would develop with this lot.

"Its great to meet you all." Nate said with a smile looking at them all, each was here for their own reasons, and he wasn't about to screw their chances up, like he had done with his own. This was a fresh start with some new people, even if one did happen to be a Skrull... Though he was about to give him a chance, and by the looks of thing his actual identity wasn't a public one, otherwise he wouldn't be in human form calling himself John. He obviously knew what most people thought of his race and was decidingly keeping it to himself for now. Nate wasn't about to screw up his second chance either. "Now can anyone tell me what we're all doing here?"

-Shadow Strike
Cam couldn't help but chuckle at Chandi's answer. "Aye darlin', that it does. And ah'll be quite happy tae pay fer the drinks if ye promise tae wear the bikini. Ah remember how 'careful' ye are when ye've had a wee drink or two." He looked down at her resting against him, a broad grin on his face. Cam was equally enjoying the relaxed feeling of just sitting here in the shade talking with an old friend. "And dinnae worry aboot disturbin' me when ah'm drinkin', ah dinnae mind sae much if it's a friend." He wrapped his arm a little tighter around her, his hand falling naturally onto her hip. This made him chuckle again as he remembered an afternoon drinking session which found them in a similar position. Cam absentmindedly ran his fingers through her soft fur as he shared that thought with Chandi. "Here's tae a whole heap o' new happy memories like that one." He said as he cuddled his furry companion, glad for these few moment's peace and quiet to get reacquainted. Looking around, he let out a small sigh. "Ah guess we should head on up the hill there and be sociable eh."
"What you're doing here is standing around asking questions to which you should by now already know the answer to Travers." Valerie Cooper's irritated voice sounded from the stairwell as she descended into the lobby.
Her eyes landed on the sandy footprints on what had been the pristine floor and she glared at the group.
"You have no maid here, any mess you make, you clean up yourself. You're here basically on work release. You've got a week before your first assignment. Now get your asses to work putting away your items and getting settled in." She flipped over a chart in her hand and read it a few times.
"I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for Washington. I'll be back in 4 days. If so much as a picture frame is crooked on these walls when I return, there will be hell to pay." The leveled them all with an look full of venom before turning and walking away.
Angelee had heard Val Cooper coming down the stairs and was glad she was out of the woman's sight. Something just didn't set right with her about Ms. High and Mighty Government Official. But she kept it to herself.
She flung the door to her room open wide to be greeted by a very upset looking dog.
"Sorry...Ah held up." Vicki cocked her head at AJ as if she understood and AJ could almost swear she saw the dog roll it's eyes at her as she trotted off down the hall, giving a growl and bark as she apparently passed the group of folks milling about, and listened as she headed towards the kitchen. She heard the tell tale swing of the doggie door and walked to the window and soon saw Vicki watering the vegetation.
Looking over her shoulder, she realized she left the door open, but didn't really care. It didn't matter to her right now. Sitting down on the window seat she reached over and turned on the cd player. Soon the strains of Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" began to fill the room and she looked back towards the window. Wrapping her arms around her legs as she drew them up to her, her wings fell flat against her back as she watched the waves wash up on the beach.
She could see Cam and Chandi sitting down there still and she almost smiled. As the song came to an end, she reached over and grabbed her CDs. She needed something that wasn't so damn morose to listen to. This was just bringing her down further than she already was. She turned on the radio, not finding a CD that didn't encite some memory, and smiled as some bubblegum pop song came on the radio.
"Ahh..filler music." the smile on her face faded as she looked at the pictures on her nightstand.
The first framed one was of AJ and Lala standing on the corner of Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras about 5 years ago. Another was of her and Chandi sitting on a rock on Muir Island....and the last, was of her and Cameron. She couldn't even remember where it had been taken or when.
Silently, she got up and walked over to it, as if entranced by the photo.
Picking up the framed photo, she ran her fingertip along Cameron's features...before something in her boiled over and she took it and flung it as hard as she could towards the door, the resounding "crash" that followed making her feel marginally better.
She let out a defeated sigh and grabbed the trash can, walking over to get the glass up out of the floor before Vicki wound up with some of it in her paws.
Grabbing the broom out of her closet, she swept up the floor and made sure all the glass was disposed of. But the photo still lay on the floor, and his face was still smiling up at her.
"Stupid dumb idiot! A friggin year has come and gone and ya still can't get ovah him. Just look down there on tha beach. He's all cuddled up with Chandi, just like it's always meant ta be. Ya saw that from the beginning. " She threw the broom back into the closet and closed the door. Leaning against it, she sank to the floor and continued talking to herself.
"People've changed. Ya've found out that humans are fickle creatures and no matter what, yer never gonna fit inta this realm. Ya should have just listened to AprilRaine and Morgana and stayed. Hell, even Rhys begged ya ta stay. An' boy, did he have some eyes ta him." she smiled, the songs on the radio completely forgotten. She let her arms drape over her knees, and picked up the picture, letting it dangle from her fingertips.
"But nothin' like his. God Ah'm so stupid. Ah should have never told him Ah was fallin for him. Mah sister was so right. AprilRaine told me, never let a mortal man know he holds yer heart. He'll stomp right on it."
Dashing away a few tears that were accumulating in her eyes, she sat there on the floor, holding the picture precariously from her fingertips. Memories filled her mind and she tried to block them out, she tried to think of other things, but she couldn't. She hadn't been able to think of anything but "him" in so long, she had almost forgotten how.
It had been a rainy New Orleans night when she had been approached by Darkon yet again. This time, it wasn't to try to lure her back to him, it was more as a friend.
"You should go check this out, maybe you'll get more answers." he had said to her as he handed her the folder with the information about Twilight Cove.

Maybe he was right? Maybe she was finding out more about herself than she cared to? She was more than content to be the fun loving faery who took off her clothes and danced the night away in the balmy Delta heat. But something heavy was weighing on her heart and mind, and no matter what she tried, she couldn't get him out of it.
So she had come here, to Florida, to find a way to forget... only to be smacked in the face by everything she was trying to get away from, everything she was trying to forget. She wanted nothing more than to lick her wounds and move on with her life. He didn't give a damn about her and it was high time she quit acting like a mopy teenager and picked up the pieces and moved on.
She was unconsciencely singing along to the radio. So lost in her thoughts she didn't even realize it, she didn't realize she was crumbling the picture in her hand either.
'Vok stood halfway down the hallway, listening as Val Cooper spit her venom in Traver's direction. He had found himself on the receiving end of her spite more times than he cared to remember, and was pretty glad it wasn't him that had incited the current lecture. But still, he couldn't let the others be subjected to her winning personality all by themselves. Still looking every bit human, and speaking calmly without a hint of his natural Skrull accent, 'Vok walked back towards to entry hall. He gave Nate a friendly punch on the shoulder and smiled, "Don't sweat the wench, she's still sore somebody dropped a house on her sister. I got shanghaied into working for one of her other dismally doomed endeavors, and have regretted it ever since. Whoever thought of letting her and Mystique lead a team outta be resigned to Davey Jones locker for the rest of their naturals. Do like I do…ignore her. It’ll keep you alive longer.”

Hoping that Cooper had overheard everything he had said, ‘Vok walked calmly back down the hall with a self-satisfied expression on his face. AJ’s German Shepherd lopped past ‘Vok in the hall, sending a growl in his direction as she made a beeline for the doggie door in the kitchen. The growling didn’t really surprise him, for he knew that dogs could often sense his true identity even through his altered appearance. Dogs didn’t seem to care for deception. But he couldn’t let it bother him, for he had a faery to find. Finding an open bedroom, ‘Vok pinned his shoulder against the doorframe of AJ’s room, and casually swung his weight around it, hanging halfway into her room. She was sitting on the floor, with her hands balled tightly into fists, looking very little like the care-free woman he had been flirting with just minutes ago. Testing the waters, he said, “If this is a bad time, I could come back?”
She was lifted from her memories by a sweet sounding voice. She looked up and a smile curled her features as the picture in her hand crumbled even more.
Standing up, she looked down at her hand, gave the crumbled photo a toss into the trashcan and looked up at John.
"No, not a bad time at all. Actually, Ah think you've got perfect timing. Ah was just needin' somethin' ta get mah mind off of silliness. So, Tiger, what's on yer mind. Come on in and make yourself at home." She smiled as she dusted her hands off and took a seat on the queen size bed, crossing her legs and leaning against the headboard. The radio still played on, and AJ was slowly working out of the mood she had suddenly found herself in.
"No maid? Well hell luv, that's not gonna fly at all. Maybe I can put a call in to me Auntie and see if she can't send someone over..."

De said more to himself than to Cooper, readjusting the towel that had been loaned to him as he started heading back towards the stairs and soon after, his room. Entering the quaters he had claimed as his own he tossed the towel onto the bed and headed into the washroom to retrive and put on his boxers. Now a bit more decent than he was before, he strolled back into the main portion of his room and plopped down on the bed, scooping up the black case he had deposited there some minutes earlier. Popping it open and sitting it upon his lap, he stared down into it, letting his eyes run over the .45 caliber automatic pistol contained there. The case itself was actually of a special design making it appear to X-Ray machices as though it contained a barber's kit instead of a gun and several spare clips of ammunition.

De took the pistol from it's case and loaded it, making sure the safety was on, but not bothering to chamber the first round. Better safe than sorry after all, and over the course of his lifetime he'd been shot enough times to know just how uncomfortable an experience it was. The case was then closed once more as he slid up closer to the head of the bed, sitting the pistol down on the nightstand before picking up the small wooden box. His tongue slid out over his lips as he licked them in anticipation, his thumbs nimbly working the clasps on the front of the box. As the oak colored top was slowly raised, De let his eyes run about the contents, over a dozen assorted bottles and vials of different shapes and sizes littering the insides of the case. So many choices, so little time. But lucky for him, he knew exactly what it was he had a taste for.

One small bottle was singled out and held between his teeth as he closed the case once more and sat it on the nightstand. He then took the time to move even closer to the head of the bed, positioning himself so that the small table was easily in reach. Looking down at the bottle he almost smiled, the small glass item filled nearly to the brim with almost completely transparent pills. The top was popped and the bottle titled slightly, one such capsule falling into his free hand as his other placed its vessel on the table, it cap soon returned to it. He held the small pill between his index finger and thumb as he brought it up to eye level, marvelling at the level of clarity it held. It was almost as if nothing was there, and to be sure the human eye could easily miss the single thin whisp of what appeared to be smoke. The only visible indicator that anything was before him at all.

"Well here's to hoping I don't go blind again...."

And with that the pill was swallowed.
“It’s a deal you perve.” Chandi returned Cameron’s broad grin and giggled softly as she remembered the one and only time she’d gotten really tipsy around him. Listening to Cameron explain to her that he didn’t mind being disturbed if it was an old friend that put Chandi’s mind and ease and she made a mental note of that. “May have to get my car delivered down here if there’s a boozer near by.” Chandi mussed flipping some stray hair out of her eyes as she peeked back out towards the ocean, watching the waves crash against each other. “Most definitely, and lets hope these memories involve a pink haired woman we love so much.” She although herself to be cuddled like a giant rag doll, relaxing the safe feeling she felt while around Cameron.

Letting out a little sigh of her own Chandi knew that Cameron was right about them being sociable, after all she’d been the one to first mention it. “Yeah we should….” Chandi agreed untangling herself from Cameron’s embrace the young woman gave one last flick of her long tail before pulling the illusion of a human façade back up around her.
Cam followed Chandi's gaze out to the ocean. Truth be told he could have happily sat here for the rest of the day. He tried to recall the last time he hadn't been travelling somewhere or looking for someone. The chance to just be somewhere with no reason other than relaxation was very tempting. Besides who knew when Dr Cooper would come up with some sort of task for them to do. If his previous team experience was anything to go by, they might not get a chance to relax again for some time. With another sigh Cam followed Chandi's lead and stood up from the sand. Leaning back against the trunk of their shady palm he watched Chandi's illusion form around her once more. "Ye ken that's gonnae take some getting used tae." he said with a chuckle as her natural feline features were replaced with her human face. With a shrug of his shoulders, he pushed himself upright and took a few steps out from beneath the palms. The sea breeze which blew over the empty beach did little to ease the heat of the sun. "Who knows. With a bit o' luck Cooper will have remembered tae stock some cold beers." he said as he turned his back on the ocean and trudged up the beach quickly in order to catch up with Chandi as she started up the path to their new home.
With a sly arch to his brow, 'Vok took a step forward into the inviting confines of AJ's bedroom. Without so much as a glance, he reached out with his leg, hooked his toe around the bottom of the door and swung it closed behind him. He stood perfectly still, with his weight shifted over his back leg and his arms crossed flirtatiously in front of him. His chin was lowered to his chest as he peered out from beneath his arched brow at AJ. Slowly…methodically, ‘Vok stalked towards the bed, gaze locked on AJ the whole time. Head to toe the girl was beautiful…hypnotic. From her playful pink locks to her long sensuous legs, it was no wonder she wasn’t human. No human could entrance him in this way.

He spoke to her in a low, deep voice, as he crossed the room to her. He allowed his accent to slip just a little, letting it add a slight hiss to his voice that while not overwhelming was quite evident. He hoped it would fascinate her enough to keep the air of mystery about him. Even though he inexplicably trusted the girl, he had to keep her guessing. “I’ll tell you what’ss on my mind. I wass thinking about a night filled with you, me and the biggesst bottle of rum that we can russtle up in thiss shack.” By this time he had reached the bed and stood ominously over AJ, casting a long shadow over her small form. He uncrossed his arms, and planted a fist into the bedding on either side of her. He leaned down, continuing to speak as he made his move, “And, if we can manage to sstart our evening that way…”

But the rest of his sentence was transformed into mumbles as he nuzzled into her ear, whispering the last few syllables of his suggestive thoughts to her and her alone.

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