“How is he?”
“Tired, confused, scared, but he will be okay. You did great.”
“Okay, cool so he’s kid sized again?”
“Yes you do not remember? You made a play date.”
“Yes, you said you must go to the park.”
“Huh, want to explain those?”
“Those what?” Sera asked confused. Joshua slipped his hands into hers and pulled them out from under the blanket and held them together showing the image of a Phoenix with its wings spread.
“Oh that, yeah well that’s Shi’ar.”
“Shi’ar? Is that supposed to mean something to me?”
“Um, it’s a phoenix entity that’s been in my mind for as long as I can remember, together we locked it away to keep it safe from the order when I went in for my trial but I do not remember what happened, how we were supposed to break it and she got loose when I was searching my mind to find a way to fix Ali.”
“She’s always been there?”
“Yeah, when I freed her I got the proper memories of my life back.”
“Is not that creepy?”
“When I was a kid she was always there I did not know any different. Having the comparison, I do not know.”
“I’ll let you know in a couple weeks,” Sera said tossing an arm around Joshua. “Joshie, are you naked?” Sera asked hand on the bare skin of his thigh.
“Uh.” Sera slipped her hand to the top of the blanket. “Sorry.”
“It’s alright; I suppose I should stop crawling into your bed. That thing with Poppy kinda proved it.”
“Yeah, and I suppose it’s a bit of a bad habit,” Joshua said with a smile.
“And why are you sleeping in the buff?”
“Someone threw up on me at work last night, not the most fun, I just showered and climbed into bed,” Joshua felt around the bed for a moment and pulled out the towel tossing the soggy material to the floor and hearing a slight hiss.
“Aw Lucky,” Sera said peering over the side of the bed to scoop up the kitten. It meowed softly as Sera rubbed its belly before it began to purr. “Let’s let Joshie get some clothes on and not have you too interested in his dangling bits. That might be dangerous.”
Joshua glanced at her in horror and she smiled at him as she climbed out of the bed. “I’m making pancakes.”
“Mmm that sounds good.”
“Well, come down when you’re less naked and you’ll have to tell me if I missed anything.”
“It’s only been two days. ”
“Well that’s just lovely,” Sera said setting the kitten down at the door and watching it hop slowly down the stairs until she could no longer see it. “You know what sucks?”
“What?” Joshua asked.
“I think I’m starting to like your dad.” Joshua grinned as he sat up his blanket the only thing keeping him decent.
People hate as they love, unreasonably.
The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.
It is only hope which is real, and reality is bitterness and a deceit.
Sera looked at Joshua as she looked up at the large house in the gated community on Long Island and shook her head. Climbing out of Joshua’s car she looked at it as she shut the door.
“I want your car.”
“You would need a driver’s license first.”
“But it’s so cool,” she said with a sigh stroking the black BMW.
“It’s the red leather seats is not it?”
“Yeah,” Sera said with a small smile. “So I have a date with your little brother?”
“Yes, I think I should be jealous. I mean he even gets gifts.”
“Well he gave me a panda, I thought it was only right to return the favor,” she said popped open his trunk lifting out a large stuffed lion, that would most likely be the same size as Ali.
Hefting the lion under one arm to keep it from dragging on the floor she looked at the house. “You have a pool?”
“Yeah, but you live right on the water.” Joshua shrugged. “We did not live her much except for during the summer. We had a place on the upper west side. I think you’ve been there. ”
“Once you dad was away on business.”
“Yeah, we did hang out around your place a lot,” Joshua said pulling his keys out of his pocket. Opening the door he held it for Pyra to enter first and she shook her head. Her dad had been well paid and all but this was just outrageous.
“This is me making the cartoon whistle,” Sera said seriously as Ali came pounding down the stairs followed by what she assumed was a casually dressed Lord Nova in slacks and a turquoise button down. Ali came to a halt right before them eyes widening at the lion under Sera’s hand but he had been raised to be a polite child.
“Hello miss Sera, Joshua,” he added giving his brother a hug when Joshua fell to one knee.
“Hello little guy,” Sera said smiling. “This is for you.”
Ali’s eyes widened looking at the lion and carefully took it into his arms and Joshua grinned it was in fact larger than Ali was. The child put it down and wrapped his arms around the stuffed animal and grinned. “Thank you!” He exclaimed throwing his arms around Sera who did not have a chance to bend ended up being hugged around the legs.
“You’re welcome,” Sera said smiling.
Sera took a seat in the diner and wondered where the hell Joshua was. He had not come home the night before and she had just left a message on his cell phone and shook her head. It was nearly one and she had asked him to meet her at 12:30. She was always late; this was against the natural order, yes she had gotten there at 12:40 but she had even asked the waitress to see if he had had one his fits and left. Though that usually had taken 45 minutes to an hour of lateness.
Suddenly he took a seat. “You’re late…you’re not…”
“Shh,” he said pulling his hat down around his eyes. “Just give me a minute.”
“Uh, okay,” Sera said as he hid behind a menu.
Sera looked at the guy and shrugged as a bunch of teenagers entered followed by Joshua. They were all talking, laughing, and all and all carrying around much more loudly than was necessary. They looked around, many an eye in the group lingering on Joshua before they left.
“Thank god,” the man muttered.
“Who are you telling those idiots were loud. I hate kids.”
“Ali would be so disappointed.”
“Ali’s cute and well behaved he does not count. And he’s four.”
“Who’s your friend?” Joshua asked as another gaggle of girls entered.
“No idea,” Sera said indicating for him to take a seat. Noticing he had Joshua’s menu she handed him a new one. “Did you eat?”
“No, Brad’s apparently a bad cook so I came right over.”
“Ah, over slept?”
“Not really, he wanted a kiss goodbye and well…” Joshua grinned. “So what’s the plan?”
“I have no idea. He’s supposedly staying at the hotel across the street.”
“And you are going to what? Stand outside?”
“Do I look fifteen to you?” Sera asked with a snort both of them ignoring their table guest. “Besides there’s a group of harpies out there already and eww.”
“Did not you used to do that?”
“A used to. B I did it with dignity. There were no tears, screaming, or war paint. There was a camera, notebook, sharpie and discreet locations.”
“I saw a girl with a red slash across her face,” Sera explained as the waitress finally appeared.
“French toast, bacon, two eggs fried,” Sera said. “Oh and a coke.”
“I’ll have the breakfast special.”
“How would you like your eggs sweetie?”
“Scrambled thanks, can I get coffee too?” Joshua asked with a smile.
“Sure I’ll bring you a pot, sugar. And you?”
“Pancakes, and orange juice,” he mumbled finally coming out of hiding from behind his menu. Sera and Joshua exchanged a glance and shrugged.
“Gonna stay there?” Joshua asked.
“For a while, I’m waiting for someone, sorry but I will draw attention to myself if I’m alone.”
“Okay,” Sera said with a shrug.
“So seriously how are you going to do this?”
“Well Jamie said we went to camp together.”
“Yeah okay, Sera you do not remember people from college. Were you even friends?”
“What’s his name?”
“Uh…Danny I think.”
“What, you know his name do not you.”
“Yeah, do not you actually listen to them?”
“What does that have to do with anything, I listen to hundreds of bands. I ca not remember real people let alone people I’ve never met.”
“Bah, I laugh in the face of your research, ha ha ha.”
“First, the guy’s name is Kevin.”
“Oh, I guess I was close.”
“How is that close?”
“Shut up you.”
“Okay here’s an easy one. What does he look like?”
“Uh he’s tall, black hair, I think he has light eyes, tanish.”
“Are you describing me or him? Or even Mr. Secretive right here.”
“Well when the shrieking increases in volume we’ll take a look. I did not even know they were this popular.”
“Their latest single is all over the radio and MTV. How have you not noticed?”
“Ok MTV? And duh my Ipod does not have radio. Ipod after all.”
“Do you watch tv?”
“A couple of shows,” Sera said with a shrug.
“Hey did you go to children of the elements camp?”
Sera blinked. “Yeah. You?”
“Yeah, water house, you?”
“Fire, Sera,” she said holding out a hand.
“Kevin, so why did you want to talk to me?”
“What?” Sera asked as Joshua started to laugh.
“Kevin Masterson, lead singer of Red Streak.”
“Oh, excuse me while I go over there and die,” Sera groaned as Joshua continued to laugh. “Right after I kill my cackling roommate,” she growled kicking him under the table.
“I do remember you, they called you Pyra,” Kevin said suddneldy
“You have one bonfire incident and you get a reputation.”
“Well it stuck, you are still Py,” Joshua said.
“Shut up chuckles.”
“Why did you have to talk to me?”
“I heard about your suppressor thing.”
“Look if you work for the order I will tell you what I said before. Its talent. I will not wear those things again and almost die because of them.”
Joshua broke into another explosion of laughter, tears in t he corner of his eyes as their drinks arrived. “What’s so funny?”
“I’d rather wear a pink frilly dress then work for the order.”
“I’m going to take a flying leap and say that would not happen,” Kevin said. “Especially since the Pyra I remember was a tom boy, except for the crafts. You’d kick it around with the guys.”
“Those girls were like a step up from the Stepford. Whores.”
“Yeah they were a bit slutty.”
“Did not you stop going when you were 13?”
“Yeah, that did not make them any less whorish.”
“Did not you go to camp?”
“Did not need to, I was home schooled. At least until high school,” Joshua said vaguely.
“So if you do not work for the order what do you want?”
“I have a new kind of suppressor, its registered with the order and everything though they were very irritating about giving up the form. It works way better than the other ones and such a thing would have never happened if you had been wearing one of these.”
“Why do you want to help me? The kindness of your heart?”
“I do not have a kindness of my heart thanks,” Sera said with a roll of her eyes. “Look the order tried to keep these things off the market, once I got a hold of them the rules changed. But now no one knows about them and I need a way to get the word out, you were in the right situation at the right time.”
“Have you worn them?”
“I have,” Joshua said interrupting. “They work.”
“Why have not you? Last I heard Pyra was fearless.”
“The last time I wore those things my heart stopped beating, color me crazy for never wanting to do it again.”
“Sorry,” Kevin said softly. “But you said these are different.”
“You know what a phobia is?” Sera asked.
“Yeah, a big fear.”
“Big Irrational fear. Key word being irrational okay.” Kevin nodded as Sera slid a folder over to him. “There are explanations of the trials and a dvd of some of the results to see what I mean. If you are willing you’ll get a free set and you’ll just explain where they came from and why you are willing to wear them.”
“And if I’m not?”
“I go figure out something else. This is not an offer you ca not refuse dude, it’s just an offer. You get the order off your back for your tour, and your sudden surge in popularity and I get the word out on something they tried to keep buried.”
“What do you get out of it?”
“Besides fucking with the order? I get to make a profit, and those things are good.”
“I’ll think about it, can I take these?” he said indicating the folder as their food arrived.
“Sure they are for you after all.”
“Do you have one of the suppressors with you?”
“Yeah,” Sera said pulling one out, it was a large strip of black leather that was sliced into many smaller strips except for a quarter inch at either end where the fasteners attached.
Kevin looked at it and slipped it into his pocket before beginning his food. Along with the other two as silence reigned over the table for the next few minutes.
“I should have know I would find you with a pretty girl.”
“Alex!” Kevin exclaimed.
“Hey buddy,” the man said and Sera looked up at him. He was somewhat short or as some people claimed average height wearing a Yankee’s cap and Sera grinned. In a Yankee’s jersey over a black t-shirt and jeans she wondered what he would look like during baseball season if he dressed like this in the off season.
“This is Alex, he helped me write the single that got us in the public eye and he may be becoming my new bassist.”
“Really? Is not that dangerous?”
“I am Alexander Estrada, danger is my middle name,” he laughed and Kevin rolled his eyes as he slid into the seat besides Sera.
“Besides, Jeremy is getting high again and now its messing up his playing. I did not get this far to be screwed over by someone with a Hollywood drug habit before we have even gotten to Hollywood. It’s just outrageous. He’s either going to rehab again, getting off the fucking pixie dust or he’s gone. Either way we will need a replacement.”
Sera shook her head. She had almost hoped it had been a normal drug. Pixie dust was just out there, hallucinations, seeing colors, the need for sugar, though except for the last one it was much like LSD, with out the flashbacks but like heroin with the addiction. “So this is the reason for the secret meeting?” Sera asked.
“Yeah, I did not expect to have stalkers. I warned James but I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to get out he stands out a bit.”
“That’s the blond one right?” Sera asked and Kevin grinned.
“I knew you knew who we were,” he said with a laugh, “Yes James is the blond with hair that almost drags to the floor when he plays the drums, and pale as a ghost, without full winter clothing on and his hair tucked away he will be spotted and as its much too warm for that he’s not going anywhere near here for the time being.”
“Kanja, dark blue eyes and hair?” His great great great many times great grandmother was raped by some Japanese water demon/god depending on who you ask and it left an interesting family trait. It showed up again when his mom married a water child. The norms just think he dyes his hair and his eyebrows and he wears contacts to have pupils.”
“He’s someone else I would have to discuss your product with and Alex if things go the way I think they will.”
“What about James?” Alex asked.
“He’s a null as far as anyone can tell, he should have been an air child, both his parents are, and he does move like one, but that’s about it. If he was human he would just be called graceful. So of course he makes up for it by looking like a ghost.”
“Would you like a menu?” The waitress asked noticing Alex.
“Sure thanks, and a coke,” Alex said easily taking the menu. “Wait if you do not know the other guys how do you know Kevin?”
“Oh we went to camp together.”
“Are you sure it was me and not Danny?” he asked with a grin as Sera tossed a butter packet at him. “Just what I needed, he said spreading some on his pancakes before cutting off a bite.
“Ha ha, you slay me,” Sera said and bit into some of her bacon as Joshua eyed the two of them with a smirk. He caught Alex’s eye and the man grinned.
“So Sera, I take it you are not a fan.”
“No I am I like the music and all,
“But you do not know who’s in the band?”
“No I just listen to the music. I know who’s in my favorite bands of all time and I can usually at least identify bands by face or at the very least lead singer if I see them live. You guys are not on your album covers so yeah,” Sera said with a shrug.
“I like her, she’s funny, keep us from getting a big head when you have stalkers outside your hotel.”
“Maybe they are waiting for someone else.”
“How many bands would streaks of red war paint apply to? They are probably element kids. Which means they really like you.”
“Great, I mean fans at shows are all fine and good, but my hotel room?”
“Dude be happy you are not the Beatles then there would be no escaping.”
“What about the people you stalked Py,” Joshua asked and got kicked yet again for his troubles.
“Athletes and actors, completely different, and the occasional band. I mean really.”
Alex just grinned and winked at Kevin when Sera returned to her food frowning at some syrup glazed bacon before deciding to eat it anyway. Alex returned to his menu for a moment.
Sera pulled out her cell phone, hearing the ringtone for calls forwarded from Scotoma she actually answered instead of ignoring it for the novel she was reading. “Scotoma, Sera speaking how may I help you?”
“Sera, hi, this is Kevin?”
“Oh hey Kevin! What’s going on?”
“We’ve decided to do it. The thing is we have a show in an hour at Irving Plaza.”
“I can meet you at the Plaza. I have enough for your band, when I contacted the designer he expressed a bunch to me. I have a couple of different styles but he seemed to know who you guys are so hopefully you’ll like something.”
“Great the order’s flunkies are here as well.”
“Ew, no matter I’ve been to Irving, I’ll see you in five, I guess, meet me by the bathroom.”
“No the bathroom,” Sera said shaking her head. “Oh make that ten I’m in pajamas.”
Sera climbed the stairs and went into her bedroom opening her closet and pulled out a pair of black bondage pants, and a black short sleeved button down. Heading to her dresser she pulled out a red tank top before Kevin seemed to find words.
“There’s a door in the bathroom?”
“Not that kind of door,” Sera said wiggling out of one pair of pants and into another.
“Do not worry about it, it will hurt your head, I have to hang up to get dressed I’ll see you in ten,” Sera said ending the call and tossing the phone on her bed. She had just pulled on the tank top when she noticed Lucky curled up on her dresser and she smiled at the little ball of fluff that would show up random places.
She had to remember to take him to the vet to get check out. He should be in perfect health thanks to her healing but fleas, ticks, and lice would all have survived such a thing. Though if she was honest with herself she knew if he had any of those things the house would have been over run by now.
Sitting she grabbed her jewelry box from the shelf and sat down on her bed and began placing on rings, bracelets, a black and red leather cuff and earrings. Placing a silver chain on she laughed when a pendant appeared of phoenix with its wings spread, the image of wings fading from her wrists.
Shi’ar was much more interested in checking her mind and seeing what had happened in the years since her sleep and checking on the many places that Sera had forgotten in her own mind then she was on actively talking to Sera. Mostly there would be questions here and there to clarify a thought or incident but not much more.
That and a desire to be out in the sun as much as possible were the only true changes she had noticed so far from Shi’ar’s reappearance. She had a feeling that even when Shi’ar had been hidden she had not truly been totally gone.
Grabbing a brush and pulling it through her hair it fell into flat lifeless sheets of red and black and wondered if she should go au-natural but the things Bug did to her hair were beautiful and complicated and way beyond her means without magic.
Short of washing, dying, and relaxers her hair was low maintenance. And she laughed thinking that was an interesting definition of low maintenance. Finally dressed and combed Sera focused on the bathroom of Irving plaza and the space between two sinks. Wrapping her self in illusion she left in roar of dragon fire, leaving Lucky starring at the spot she had just vacated.
She appeared in Irving and with a quick glance dropped the illusion when she saw there was no one in the bathroom. She pushed open the door and saw Kevin leaning idly against the wall and she realized this was the first time she got a good look at his face.
His eyes were dark blue, and he had the lines of a thin mustache around his face. That led to some hair growing on his chin. It was not quite a goatee but she had no real way to describe it. He had black hair, which was cut just long enough to fall into his eyes.
With a plain black t-shirt and faded blue jeans and black boots he looked almost typical to a guy you could pick up at any bar. “What?’ He asked noticing her stare.
“Nothing its just that you look more normal than I do and that feels like it should be a crime.”
“Let me explain, the moment my clothing screams rock star is the moment I need to join a monastery. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy and I plan to stay that way.”
“Okay cool.” Sera said with a shrug sliding her messenger bag to her side.
“Come on, I’ll introduce you to the rest of the band,” Kevin said with a smile.
Sera followed Kevin into an area of Iriving she had never been legally allowed into and saw a small catering spread, and someone grabbing a sandwich who’s face tickled at the back of her mind.
“Is not that…”
Kevin glanced over and nodded, “We’re opening for them.”
“Them who?” Sera asked and he laughed.
“You really pay no attention to who people are do you?”
“I went from knowing every useless detail to knowing nothing at all.”
“Every useless detail?”
“Favorite color, foods, preferred hotels when in New York okay that last one was not really useless but you get the idea.”
“Yeah, okay,” Kevin said opening the door to find a screaming match in place. A man who eerily looked like a red haired Billy Idol complete with the spiky hair and sneer, though Billy never had a smattering of freckles across his face was screaming at a man with long white blond hair pulled back into a ponytail that still hung ridiculously long especially for a male.
Another, Kanja if Sera remembered correctly looked distinctly of Asian origin even with the short blue hair and eyebrows was sitting in a seat with his hands over his face clearly trying to ignore the screaming pair.
“Every day affair?” Sera asked looking at Kevin who sighed as Sera started to pickup snippets of the screaming match.
“…fucked up. Even your playing sucks!”
“Look, it’s a fun ride, and I could stop whenever I want.”
“Then fucking stop now.”
“I do not want to stop now, do you know how bad rehab is?”
“You are an idiot!” James yelled and Sera watched his hair swing wildly from side to side before with a roll of her eyes she popped into the seat besides Kanja.
He looked up startled and stared at her before glancing up at Kevin.
“The suppressors from the file I gave you?”
“Oh, he said sitting up and extending a hand. “Kanja.”
“Sera,” She said shaking his. “Well while those two have their bitch fit you can totally get first dibs, she said pulling out about a dozen suppressors, all in different style band’s and bracelets. Some leather, some silver, some that looked like twine.
Sera sorted them out by element with a much larger portion being water since she knew that two of the members were water elements. She noticed there were no fire and hoped Adam knew what he was doing. She had no idea what the pixie addict was.
Kanja and Kevin sat at the table and peered at the water bands and Kanja picked up a solid silver cuff and slipped it on. Blinking he looked at it again.
“Are you sure these work?”
“Try something,” Sera said casually.
He lifted a hand and pointed it at a water bottle across the room surprised when nothing happened.
“Wow, these are good. I do not even feel it working; wearing the other ones was always like someone sitting on your chest. This guy is good. But tell me do I look like I belong on Themyscira?” He said waving his cuffed wrist.
Kevin frowned in confusion when Sera responded. “No sweetie, too male and you would need a matching set.”
“I suppose I would not look good in the outfit.”
“Well you have the coloring for it, as long as the blue matched your hair but the boobs? And I do not know do you have to legs for it?” She asked glancing at his cargo pants.
“Oh for shame I will never life up to the wonder of Diana Prince.”
“What?” Kevin finally asked.
“Wonder Woman. You do know who that is right?” Sera asked eyes narrowing.
“Yes, but what was all that stuff you were talking about?”
“Basic facts, read a comic book every once in a while.”
“I’m a little old for that do not you think?”
“Blasphemy,” Sera and Kanja said in unison and the looked at each other and laughed.
“Too old indeed,” Sera said with a shake of her head.
“I know has the man seen Stan Lee?”
“Uh, yeah they have a little thing like continuity. They make bloody sense damn it.”
“Crisis on infinite earths.”
“Okay that was not the best plan, but Marvel has done some bad things too.”
“The Huk, Daredevil, Electra…”
“You just had to take it to the movies did not you? That’s just cold man. Its not their fault, creative license and all that.”
“Uh guys?” Kevin interrupted having finally picked his suppressor which looked like a pooka shell and hemp bracelet.
“We have a show in thirty minutes,” He said gesturing the suppressors then back to the pair that were still arguing.
Sera looked at them and stood. She cleared her throat and walked over to them and began speaking rapidly in a high falsetto voice.
“Oh my god, you guys are like totally in Red Streak, and you are totally like the like hottest members, its like so totally awesome to see you and do you know you totally look like Billy Idol, I mean like totally from the eighties because like now he is so totally like old and that is so not cool and you like ca not be old cause you are so totally hot and so are you like with all that long hair its like so, cool you know what I mean and its so awesome and I totally ca not wait to hear you play and like whoa, and it like so awesome to be here and I so totally love you guys like forever because like you are awesome and your song I can totally like relate to you like know?”
Sera watched as halfway through her spiel their jaws dropped and they did not seem to know what to say. Smiling she waited a moment to make sure they would not resume arguing before opening her mouth again.
“Okay everyone paying attention now? Good.” The smile vanished and she glared at them both. “There are suppressors on the table sorted by element. Go slap one on now.” When neither seemed inclined to move Sera turned James around and shoved him towards the table, before glaring at Jeremy who wisely started to move on his own.
“Who the hell are you?” James finally asked peering down at the suppressors but never bothering to pick one up.
“Sera, your suppressor supplier, were not you paying attention?”
“What was that whole thing then?”
“Well it was that or hit you both until you shut up. Which would you rather?” She asked with a shrug.
“You are one frightening lady, I like it,” Kanja said with a grin.
“I’m just all kinds of crazy fun,” Sera deadpanned.
“I’ve noticed,” Kanja said as the guys chose their suppressors. “He does kinda look like Billy does not he?”
“Yeah more when he was all yelling and cursing I think he just has the sneer.”
“I am right here you know.”
“Yes, not blind, I will talk about you like this if you are here or if you are not. Makes no difference to me.”
“Kinda bitchy are not you?” James asked.
“No I am a bitch, I’m okay with that fact.”
Kevin and Kanja exchanged looks and decided it was for the best if they stayed out if this argument.
“Do you want to stay for the show?” Kevin said instead hoping to diffuse the situation when it looked like Jeremy would join in.
“Hmm, I did not really have any plans for tonight; I already fed Lucky so he’ll be fine for the night, sure why not.”
“Do you like Red Streak?” Kanja asked.
“Yeah, have the CD and everything somewhere.”
“A Kanja poster in your room?”
“Uh no I have a Spike poster in my room though.”
“I’m hurt, who’s your favorite band member then?”
“Uh? Who plays the bass again, I usually like bassist. Kindred spirits and all that.”
“You play the bass?”
“I play a lot of instruments; the bass is just my favorite.”
“I’m the bassist,” Jeremy said with a grin finally having selected his suppressor a square of wood with dark red leather ties.
“Oh,” Sera said her disinterest clear in her tone.
“You did not know what instruments we played?” Kanja asked.
“She did not even know what we looked like,” Kevin cut in. “I was sitting across from her with her talking about me and she did not know it was me.”
“Well you were in disguise,” Sera said in her defense.
“A baseball cap.”
“It was fooling your adoring public.”
“I was hiding behind the menu.”
“Oh whatever, I’m good at remembering faces, if not why the faces should be important. And really its not my fault that I can never remember anyone out of context I mean how much can you expect of me.”
“So if I was holding a microphone and singing on top of the diner table?”
“I would have figured you were insane,” Sera said with a shrug as a stage assistant entered the room.
“We need to check over your mics, the setup is almost ready for you,” he said looking at the four men who nodded.
“Come on,” Kevin led, “you can watch from the stage,” he added taking her hand and leading her to the stage area. Looking around he shrugged.
“I’m good in the pit. It gives me good vibes. I like it down there getting all messy with everyone.”
“You like the pit?” Kevin asked surprised?”
“Uh yeah, what’s the point of going to a show and not being in the pit?” Sera countered, “its just not the same. The music just does not get into you the same way it would if you were in the pit.”
“If you say so.”
“Do you have the same feeling when you practice up here as you have when you perform to a full house screaming at you?”
“Okay, you have a point.”
“The energy is just so much different. Pit people are the rabid ones, and that’s the way I like it.”
“Okay, if it gets too much for you let me know.”
“Okay I’ve done Warped pits, now those are some pits, I’ve been shot at with a fire hose by a band and gone home looking like I just escaped from Woodstock. Somehow I think I can handle it,” Sera said with a grin.
“Okay,” Kevin said with a shrug. Sera smiled and removed her bondage straps wrapping them around her waist before clipping them together. They fell slightly off her waist but there were in a much less precarious position then if she had them one in the pit when many times she had little to know control to what directions her body went in let alone her clothing.
She noticed Kevin watching this action but she simply smiled at him. Looking out at the stage she saw that the crowd was already there but in the looser pressing that happened between sets. She looked around and found a cluster near the front in t-shirts for band that she knew was very popular though she did not listen to them and assumed that was the main act that would go on after Red Streak.
“Hey,” she said jumping off the stage and walking to the surprised teens. She knew they had not seen her with Kevin so it made no difference.
“Hey,” one finally said warily.
“Do you guys like the next band?”
“Not really, they do not suck but no,” the shorter of the group answered.
“Okay, I’m really here to just see Red Streak, mind if I stand in front of you? I’ll be gone once they are done.”
The teens exchanged a look before shrugging and making a small space for Sera who jumped over the barricade easily and slipped into that space. “I know I’m a giant so if anyone wants to stand in front of me go for it.”
The teen who has actually answered Sera slipped in front of her and rested her arms of the barricade waiting for the show to start.
“So do you know the band?”
“A bit, they order stuff from my store,” Sera said realizing she had left her messenger bag in their little break room. She would have to go collect that later.
“And they got you tickets?”
“More this is a thanks for running out here with some last minute stuff for them.”
“Cool what do you sell?”
“Custom jewelry and a bunch of other things.”
“Did you make that necklace? Because its really cool.”
“That? No it’s a gift from an old friend, I have no idea where they got it.”
“It what a Phoenix?”
“Yeah,” Sera said as the lights went down and the music playing switched. She could suddenly feel the crowd surging forward and the conversation with the girls stopped. She turned towards the stage as the band walked out to smatterings of applause and cheers. While loud and a majority of the crowd it was not the reaction the main act would get and Sera realized despite their pocket of stalkers which most likely had been element children, they were still on the verge of being pushed forward into fame or back into mediocrity.
The next few months would be critical and depending how it turned would mean the first world famous fully elemental band which would be great. Though it had only been in the last twenty years or so that elements were returning to such public forums. After that incident in the 50′s they had shied away from music. It did not help that that particular artists face was still everywhere and they had been an incubus of all things. The idiot that had thought an incubus could be anything but extremely popular in their chosen field should have been slapped a couple times for their idiocy.
The incubus had probably fed on blind adoration. Something they would have received in spades for as long as they were popular. She wondered vaguely how Joshua felt about the incubus incident that had lead to the advent of suppressors though the joke had been on the order. While they worked on the active powers of Incubi, feeding was part of their nature and not an ability of any kind. They were magical creatures for lack of a better term.
And a suppressor could no more stop an Incubus from turning then it could stop a Were from transforming during the full moon. Which helped prove that despite his appearance to the contrary Kanja was more human than anything else or the suppressors would not have worked on him at all.
As the first song started she moved, sang, and enjoyed with the crowd though there were moments where she could hear Jeremy’s mistakes though they would be hard to catch to someone not used to being able to isolate any instrument. That and the fact that she had not been kidding, she had an affinity for the bass and could tell easily when something was off.
Kanja was playing guitar near her side of the stage when their performance ended and as they jumped down to shake fan’s hands, he took one look at Sera blending in the crowd and shook his head before offering her a hand to get out of the pit. She took it climbing out gracelessly and smiled at the teens who had allowed her entrance for the band’s set.
One stared at Kanja for a long moment and he handed her a guitar pick and she grinned. Looking around Sera and Kanja realized that they were the only one’s still there and quickly headed back to the room in the back. Sera entered before Kanja and slipped lifted her messenger bag, glancing inside to make sure the suppressors were still present and accounted for.
“So what did you guys think?”
“They did feel better, made playing a whole lot easier,” James said eyeing his suppressor as if he expected it to vanish at any moment.
“Yeah it did not feel like a fight,” Kanja agreed.
“Yeah I was moving a lot faster than I usually do,” Jeremy agreed.
“We will be using these, and I will keep my end of the bargain. But I think I’d like to order a couple more. Backups and all,” Kevin said and Sera nodded.
“Cool, just let me know what designs you want and you can call me or drop me an email unless you know right now.”
“Can these be made with out the suppression technology?”
“Good to know,” Kevin said vaguely thoughts clearly going a mile a minute.
“Thanks for the invite guys its been real,” Sera said after a few moments when it seemed nothing more would be said. She was still happily buzzing from the music and wondered if they had similar feelings if not stronger being the artists and noticing that none of them were sitting she had a feeling they all had an excess amount of energy.