May 26, 2019 9:16 PM
Jaime discovers a masquerade.
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She also invests that extra magic into permanent grace, surprising absolutely no one. Priorities first.

 

“That was interesting.”

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Ari hands her a first aid kit.  "Good-interesting, I hope?"

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She fiddles with the first aid kit appropriately.

“I’m not a fan of the mood alteration, the pain was nice, it was minimally awkward, I’m glad to have the end result. Four out of five stars, would be dined on again.”

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"Yeah, it's pretty - noisy, at first; that mostly goes away after a few times, or at least gets ignorable."

Hana nods.  "And what was your end result?"

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“Grace. Would you mind if I tried it out?”

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"Oooh.  Yeah, come on, the ballroom's this way!"

The ballroom is, indeed, that way; it has half a wall done in mirrors and plenty of space for her to try out anything she might feel like.

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She feels like many things! Assorted bits of ballet, done largely demi-pointe and with a sort of sharp, violent delicacy to them, and snippets of abstract, beautiful, vaguely-interpretive dance without the violence and with much more delicacy, and snippets of less abstract contemporary dance done without the delicacy and with much more violence, all done without music. At one point a graceful cartwheel transitions seamlessly into a pirouette, and then transitions back into a cartwheel; at another point she starts fencing some artfully choreographed routine with an invisible opponent; at other times she seems to be perfectly conventional.

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She doesn't actually feel any different, especially when doing things she's already confident in.  But at the edges of her ability, she can just sort of...do a little more than previously.  - She can get in an extra beat in her entrechats before landing, is the most concrete thing.

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They applaud enthusiastically every time it seems appropriate, which is not infrequently.

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Jaime would blush, if that were a thing that she ever did in ordinary situations.

She eventually stops.

”That wasn’t really optimized for being a performance, but I’m glad that you enjoyed it.”

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"It was really interesting!  Watching polished routines is great, but seeing someone just kind of mess around with what they can do is a - differently cool experience.  I haven't seen anything similar before."

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“I’m glad.”

 

 

 

Time passes.

Jaime continues to be... herself, for a definition thereof resembling ‘standoffish, stoic, flippant, strongly opinionated, inclined to frequently make impossibly delicious food, mildly obsessed with keeping in peak form, and distinctly disinclined towards mass murder’.

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This (along with a cursory background check) is sufficient to convince them that it probably won't be a disaster if they continue to vamp her. After checking in with Hana's aunt to make sure she doesn't disapprove (who does her own, rather less cursory background check, which turns up a few interesting things, none of which she feels the slightest need to make her niece aware of. She does feel the need to tell her she'd be overjoyed to host-by-proxy someone with actual talent at something; keep trying, dear, you'll get there someday), they start Jaime on a regular blood-drinking schedule.

Hana leaves a few times a week for lessons and activities of various sorts. Ari mostly stays home, but sometimes drives her and hangs around town and picks up groceries and whatnot. Jaime has a standing invitation to come along on these, but they don't mind leaving her alone there once they've had the 'these are the things it's okay and not okay to touch' talk.

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Jaime mostly avoids miscellaneous activities - with a few exceptions - and sometimes accompanies them for groceries, and sometimes makes spontaneous requests for exactingly specific kinds of vinegar.

She also gets really fucking graceful, and secondarily stronger. She starts mixing it up with vague gestures at slowed aging and disease resistance and more rapid healing once she manages fifty consecutive pirouettes. 

About a hundred days after she first arrived, there’s a knock on the door.

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Ari gets it.

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A blonde woman - about six feet tall, with an unsubtle taste in makeup, broad shouldered enough that the impolite might be called to question her assigned sex at birth - is there.

She looks precisely like Jaime’s description of Alexandra.

”I believe that you have something of mine.”

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shit shit shit -

" - Uh.  Just a second."  She shuts the door with rather more force than she meant to, locks it, and runs to where Jaime is, fast enough that stopping is accomplished by sock-sliding sideways into a wall, rather than, say, slowing down of her own accord. "Jaimeyourexisatthefrontdoorwhatdowedo."

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Jaime - who is in the middle of eating cereal - slowly puts down her spoon.

 

“Don’t. What did she say, if anything.”

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"Um.  That we - had something of hers?"  She takes a few shaky breaths.  "And, just so we're clear: don't what, exactly?"

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She stands up.

“Don’t fall into a blind panic. Can you think of any reason why I shouldn’t answer the door and tell her to fuck off?”

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"You're not my real mom; I'll fall into a blind panic if I want to."  She has sort of a nervous smile as she says it, though.  "But no."

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“Then I can handle this.”

She walks in long strides, over to the door, opens it - 

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“Hello, my lovely. Were you thinking that I’d stay away forever?”

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“I was hoping that you’d been shot. Or died in a car accident. Or drowned.” 

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“You’ve always been a regular comedian, lovely, haven’t you. Would it please you to come with me, or shall I resume playing the game here? It would be so very impolite to your hosts, although of course they’ve already burned most of my goodwill in hiding you away. It’s such an interesting setting, for a game; I wonder what I might come up with.”

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