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File: 1596153988467.jpg (183.95 KB, 900x1289, 364d1628edf8a29aae4dc11b5d6a99…)

Shining Light: A Time of Heroes Thread 3: Never Sleeps Edition !Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41563187[View All]

#Ask/Invite #Canon: Lost Light Universe #Era: Shining Light #Superheroes #IC

>A world never sleeps. There is always something in motion. And while one person rests, another person will be going through events that will change the very fabric of their being. So, no matter the time, a world never sleeps.

>In fact, when it's night, the world usually has the stories that are the most interesting. The moonlit confrontations next to towering buildings. Feelings pouring out under a torrent of rain by the light of streetlamps. Something as simple as a bare knuckle brawl on a prairie next to a river. There's a magic to night that can make anything seem poetic, and wonderful.

>Whether the roaring torrent of feelings was the last desperate attempt to convince somebody that they were meant to be together, or an amorous young adult in a night club attempting to explain to their would-be paramour why the mullet is objectively Superman's best haircut.

>That's the kind of world this is. Conflicts of world-ending portents, rising emotion. People crossing fists for fun, and arguments so heated that they couldn't be about anything other than the trivial.

>Both are important. Both are enjoyable.

>Welcome to Shining Light.

Wiki: the-lost-light-rebellion-rp.wikia.com/wiki
OOC: https://www.ponychan.net/rp/res/41515894+50.html
Lost Light IC: https://www.ponychan.net/rp/res/41541214+50.html
Lost Light Tales: https://www.ponychan.net/rp/res/41515262+50.html
Morning Light IC: https://www.ponychan.net/rp/res/41550358+50.html
This post was edited by its author on .
1011 posts and 838 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41564996

File: 1607007880860.png (1.6 MB, 1919x1079, Izuku_Going_To_UA.png)



>Albert supposed that made sense, even if it wasn't as safe

>but despite the fact that he probably should've left well enough alone, he couldn't consider just ignoring this if he could help

Wait, lemme at least walk with ya t' your room?

Just t' keep ya company?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41564997

File: 1607008138979.png (344.46 KB, 456x559, spark.png)

>Brooke couldn't quite hide the brief uncertain frown that crossed her face as she tugged at her hat again
>but ultimately just shrugged her shoulder, and resumed her walk
If ya want; Ah'm not gonna say no t' yer sunny company, sugah~
>she glanced at him, still fiddling with her hat as if she was having trouble finding a way to fit it on her head
But if ya ask me, you seem to be needin' some rest more than I do!

Ya don't look at yer best...

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41564998

File: 1607008400238.png (1.53 MB, 1920x1080, Izuku_thinks_Mezo_saved_their_…)

>Albert felt just a bit more anxious at Brooke's general demeanor
>he couldn't remember the last time she looked so...uncomfortable
>even while she was trying to be more cheery and upbeat, it was obvious that what had happened had an effect on her
>even if she turned that focus onto him

...ah, yeah, well...

>he reached up and rubbed at his eye for a moment, remembering how tired he felt after the events of the other day, and imagining he probably still looked it, even if he couldn't tell

I'm guessin' ya know what happened, right?

Well...I kinda ended up goin' through th' same thing not long after you did...

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41564999

File: 1607008794772.png (689.46 KB, 700x709, bored now.png)

>Brooke gained a noticeable frown, although whether it was because of Albert's revelation he too had been caught in demonic possession, of because she was still messing around with that damn hat, it wasn't immediately clear
Hm... Quite the mess that was, huh?

Ah can hardly believe this place would allow somethin' so dangerous t' happen!

>her frown deepened, gaining a slightly angrier look

Ah have it in mah rahght mahnd t' wrahte a strongly worded lettah askin' fer th' immediate firin' of that witch woman!

Ah don't see how she's t' be trusted as a teachah when she put so many of us at risk with her dangerous shenanigans!

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565000

File: 1607011099291.png (545.73 KB, 917x917, Izuku_Midoriya_school_headshot…)

>Albert couldn't really comment one way or the other if Surprise deserved to be fired, but she really screwed the pooch on this one, so to speak
>he had to imagine someone was reaming her out right about now
>but that wasn't important right now, as he demonstrated by walking closer to Brooke and placing a hand on her shoulder, giving her a reassuring smile

Th' important thing is that yer safe an' OK now.

>he paused, then tilted his head and wore a more cautious look

...how are ya now, really?

No offense, but ya look like somethin's eatin' at ya, besides what Ms. Friday did...

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565002

File: 1607011396251.png (360.09 KB, 511x500, hunting.png)

>when Albert's hand brushed up against her, there was a sudden skip
>Brooke was now just a few inches ahead of Albert, his hand missing her entirely
>while she continued speaking as if nothing happened
None taken, though Ah couldn't begin t' guess what ya mahght be referrin' to.

Ah'm just a lil' undah th' weathah, is all. Ah'd say Ah have good reason to, aftah that whole affair...

>she shrugged again

Ah just need a good night's sleep, is all~!

Ah reckon that ought'a clear away all th' cobwebs in mah head, and get me back t' shape.

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565003

File: 1607011808980.png (1.78 MB, 1920x1080, Episode_46.png)



>Albert certainly noticed that skip, considering Brooke was now suddenly out of his reach

>he'd gotten used to her using her powers like that, especially after the other day
>so it was clear even for someone as stubborn as he was that Brooke was radiating a "please leave me alone" sort of aura

...well, if ya say so...

>and while he was thinking he should probably do just that and drop the subject, part of him didn't want to leave anything off of the table

...y'know...if ya wanna talk about somethin', I'm always willin' t' listen.

Like, not even about...this exactly, but...in general, y'know?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565004

File: 1607012400227.png (289.14 KB, 533x559, very bored now.png)

>Brooke chuckled a bit
Ah nevah considered Ah couldn't, to be honest~
>she tugged down at her hat, fitting it snug around her head
Look, Ah get that yer worried, Al; Ah really do...
>but then pushed it up so it was hanging loosely on top of her head
But Ah feel perfectly fahne! Ah really, truly do!
>and then tugged it down again, but tilted it slightly so it was hanging off the side of her skull
Nothin's really botherin' me! Ah'm just tired, is all...
>and then repositions the hat back on her head, but turned around backwards
So while Ah appreciate th' concern...
>and immediately turned it forward again, her expression grimacing
>then pushed the hat up
>then back down as far as she could fit it, nearly covering her eyes with with
>she grabbed the hat with both her hands, tilting the brim upwards
>then back down
>then slightly off to the side
>until finally, she just ripped the hat off of her head
>crumpled it up between both hands, and chucked it off into the bushes nearby with a loud growl
>her breath grew heavy, Brooke taking in deep breaths as sweat started to drip down her forehead

P-Perfectly fahne...~
>she still put on a forced smile on her face
>but there was another skip, Brooke now holding her hat again and brushing the leaves off of it

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565005

File: 1607013859243.png (1.57 MB, 1920x1080, Izuku_Midoriya_after_the_licen…)



>Albert remained quiet for a few seconds after Brooke displayed that she was absolutely not perfectly fine

>her fidgeting with her hat had to be some kind of reflexive action on her part when she was upset, something he hadn't ever really noticed before
>which only made his concern that much more apparent

>he thought back to their encounter while she was possessed, to how the ghostly version of her was violently against being touched or being around people, convinced they were better off alone

>what was that based on, however?
>and how could Albert try to help Brooke without going too far and showing he knew more than he probably should?



>he took a step forward, about to reach out for her again

>but stopped, remembering a moment ago, and rather awkwardly lowered his hand

...I'm not gonna pretend I know what yer feelin' right now, but...

Whatever's upsettin' you, y' don't have t' go through it alone, y'know?

We are friends, after all. What kinda friend would I be if I didn't want t' help you?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565006

File: 1607014351557.png (689.46 KB, 700x709, bored now.png)

>the look on Brooke's face shifted rapidly in the span of a few short seconds
>there was a venomous glare directed towards Albert, and his insistence on not just dropping the subject
>but then there was apprehension, as Brooke stopped to consider the situation
>then she just looked tired, staring down at her hat as she still brushed some of the dirt off of it



>she turned, changing directions entirely without a word

>where she was heading exactly wasn't clear, or if she expected Albert to follow her

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565007

File: 1607015080289.png (730.09 KB, 1080x1080, Izuku_Midoriya_headshot_2.png)

>Albert winced when Brooke shot that angry glare his way, for a moment fretting that he was making things worse all over again
>but that moment seemed to pass, and she didn't really say anything either way to help him figure this out
>so when she started to walk away, he hesitated for just a second, before starting to walk alongside her
>until she actively told him to go away, he wasn't going to give up that easily
>if there was a chance he could help, he had to take it

Jack Hawkins!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565008

File: 1607015170344.jpg (136.38 KB, 884x810, mpc-hc64_2019-06-11_22-48-56.j…)


>Hawkins sat there in rapt attention, never more aware of the term 'captive audience' than right now. With every word that Janey spoke, Hawkins shot a nervous glance towards Annie. The nervous glance evolved into wide-eyed horror at the defamation of wrestling, followed by the dropping of the S bomb.

>Hawkins held his hands behind his back, so that nobody could see how nervously he was wringing them. Despite knowing that Annie was more than capable of defusing a...potential incident, it didn't make it any easier to sit through...

Y-yeah, it's like, a sport basically. Anybody can do those, right?

>Hawkins didn't really know much about wrestling buuuut he knew that Annie liked it, which meant he was at least somewhat honour bound to defend it.

>Though, on the note of her looking for food. While Annie was discussing how reasonable that was to do at a range, Hawkins started rummaging in a back pocket for his phone. How close were they to dinner anyway?

Arthur Goulding!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565009

File: 1607015502703.png (238.11 KB, 673x520, Thoughtful.png)


>Arthur stared. Yuri was being awfully quiet here. The mouth hanging open could be indicative of anything from admiration to nearly falling asleep. Arthur coughed and almost spoke up, when Yuri continued and the session moved on.

...Well, I'm glad you like it?

>That was a very visceral reaction. Arthur's cheeks coloured red from the praise and he fidgeted on the bed. It was nice to be praised, especially by a cute girl. The most his art ever got praised by was a burned out man some age between heartbreak and mid-life crisis.

I-i mean, I could refine it. Honestly I hadn't thought that fair ahead. If you really like it I can try to punch it up a bit to go with whatever you write? Honestly I thought we'd be spending more time deliberating.

>It was a shock, but not unwelcome. The more time spent on one concept the less time to um and ah, and then it'd be over faster. Or at least, that was the theory...

Honestly, it probably mostly needs a quality touch up. I think I'm...pretty okay with the concept and what's in the picture.

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565010

File: 1607015848162.png (289.14 KB, 533x559, very bored now.png)

>Brooke didn't seem to criticize his decision to follow her, so it seemed like he was on the right path
>they walked for a few minutes in total silence, until finally reaching the small garden area near the greenhouse
>always a popular hangout for STAR students, it was deserted at the moment due to the late hours and cold nights of the season
>not that Brooke was really thinking about that; she was pretty hardy against the cold, all things considered
>so she simply took a seat at one of the small tables, placing her hat down and staring off at nowhere in particular
>she still sat in silence for a few more seconds
>her face still told the story of someone unsure if she even wanted to talk or not
>but ultimately, she let out a small sigh, turning to Albert with a simple request:
This stays between us. OK?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565011

File: 1607016564425.png (159.88 KB, 289x480, its me.png)

>Janice quickly nodded, her face beaming with joy
Oh yes, I can imagine!

Everyone here is so wonderful, but as you said, they feel far too much like family!

I suppose I am quite happy I found my soul mate prior to coming here~!
>she stepped forward, giving Annie an encouraging pat on the shoulder
Just don't give up! I'm sure someday, you'll find your own prince charming, Annie~! Someone to fully devote yourself towards!

One would have to be a fool to not see the wonderful person that your are!
>she paused for a second, giving a light hum as she looked at Annie
Although... I still think you should do something about your attire. I don't think you'll be attracting many good men looking that...
>she frowned a bit, but shrugged her shoulders
Ah! I'm just being a worrywart, I suppose!

>as Annie and Hawkins explained to her more about wrestling, Janice just nodded along as she listened
My! Yes, that makes perfect sense!

I always knew mother was talking about things she had little knowledge about, but I never thought about it that way myself!

>another hum, then clapped her hands together

Oh! I know!
>and swiftly grabbed Annie's hands with hers
How about you introduce me to this world of wrestling, Annie~?

I can think of no better person to do so! I'm ever so curious to learn more about something so important to one of my friends!

>"Why you lookin' in the range?"

>Janice paused and blinked, taken a bit by surprise at the question
Because all of my usual machines were already out of my favored snacks. I was just looking around wherever to hopefully find some left.
>a sigh and another shrug
But, alas, no such luck...

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565012

File: 1607016649830.png (545.73 KB, 917x917, Izuku_Midoriya_school_headshot…)

>Albert followed dutifully along as they approached the greenhouse, already familiar with it as a place for privacy
>much like Brooke he was more than comfortable in the cold, so he didn't mind the choice
>once she took a seat at one of the tables, he wasted little time sitting down beside her, keeping an eye on her the entire time
>he didn't say anything for the time being, until she spoke up, which prompted an automatic nod and:

Yeah, of course it does.

>he was expecting that, and wouldn't have considered blabbing about it anyway

>which was kinda typical for his relationship with Brooke, come to think of it, but that was beside the point right now

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565013

File: 1607018489150.png (71.75 KB, 194x290, mysterious.png)

>Brooke didn't really react, outside of a short deep breath, followed by an exhale
>she glanced down at her hat, tapping her fingers over it

Look... Ah don't remembah a whole lot from what happen.

There's-... bits and pieces, but Ah don't know what Ah may have said or done while Ah mah body was bein' used by some ghost, or whatevah...

But it-...it brought back some memories Ah'd long thought Ah'd moved on from...

>she trailed off, fidgeting a bit in her seat

Ah've heard a lot of stories from some of th' othahs here, about how their powers came t' be.

Ah know you received your powers from somewhere, but... Ah'm talkin' about "true metas", Ah suppose. Mutants, lahke mahself.

Seems lahke most of 'em have similar stories. T'wasn't 'til they were around ten years old or so that they first realized it. And their powers usually start out quite small, only growin' stronger with age.

It can be quite shockin' t' some, lahke if ya accidentally set fire t' yer bed covers, or end up awkwardly hovering towards the ceiling of yer house...

>another pause, Brooke growing visibly more uncomfortable the closer she got to her point


Ah was... six. An early bloomah, you could say. That's when mah mutant power first showed up.

But... unlahke most, it seems, it wasn't-...it wasn't just a weakah version of what Ah can do now.


Ah activated it in mah sleep, Ah reckon. That's always been th' assumption, anyway.

Ah still remembah, Ah had a tummy ache th' nahght before, an' mah mothah sang t' me 'til Ah finally fell asleep...

...it was 6:23 in the mornin'... that's when Ah first used mah mutant power...

Ah remembah being woken up by-... th' sound of mah heart. It felt so loud, lahke it was right inside mah skull or somethin'...

Ah tried t' ignore it, but everythin' just felt so quiet, expect mah heart, and what Ah's latter learn, was th' sound of mah own blood rushin' up an' down mah veins.

>she slowly turned her head, looking properly at Albert

When Ah got outta bed, everythin' was already frozen. Ah sleepily made mah way to th' kitchen t' tell mah mom about these weird noises in mah ears... and she was just standin' there, frozen.

Ah called, an' Ah called; Ah shook her, kicked her, even tried stabbin' her with a fork, Ah'm ashamed t' admit... but nothin' Ah did got her t' move...

Nothin' did. Time was stopped, an' Ah had no way of knowin' why. No way of-...of undoing it.

>Brooke shrunk slightly in her seat, crossing her arms in a self-hug, her fingers brushing along her forearms like she was lightly scratching herself


Ah still don't know how long exactly Ah was stuck there... there's no real way of tellin', is there...

Ah just know Ah cried. A lot. Ah broke many things, hopin' that'd get people's attention. Ah prayed, Ah cursed, Ah begged, an'-...

An' all th' while, that noise was always there. Mah heartbeat. Mah blood.
>she frowned, her light rubbing having now turned into her nails scratching against the fabric of her clothes
...it was drivin' me crazy. Ah did things, t' mahself, that-...that Ah prefer t' just forget... just t' try an' get it all t' stop...


>another sigh

Ah collapsed by mah mother's side.

An' next thing Ah knew, Ah was wakin' up in a hospital.

Mah power nevah quite lasted nearly as long since then. Only a handful of seconds at a tahme.
>a shrug
Mental block, maybe. Ah don't know, an' frankly, Ah don't much care t' dwell on it enough t' fahnd out.

So, there ya go. That's mah story.

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565014

File: 1607020778822.png (1.78 MB, 1920x1080, Episode_46.png)

>Albert quietly listened to Brooke as she recounted what exactly was on her mind
>his eyes slowly widened as the story became more horrific, and a lot of what happened with the demonic possession made more sense
>he had already suspected the frozen wasteland was what Brooke felt when she stopped time, which would be freaky for anyone, but for that to happen to her at so young an age...
>it was only natural that it would stick with her all that time
>having already noticed the way she fidgeted with her hat, he did happen to catch the way she kept scratching at her arms through her clothing
>but that, paired with her remark about "doing things to herself" made the image of the ghostly form she took when possessed reappear in his mind, the blood coating her arms
>was that based on what really happened...?
>and was the reason she had been so certain she didn't need anyone because no one had been able to help her then?

>he was quiet for a little bit longer after she finished speaking

>then he moved one of his hands across the table, just in case she wanted to take it, before he tried to address this

...I'm sorry, Brooke...I wouldn't've even guessed y' went through somethin' like that...

>it was hard to think of the right words for this, considering just how awful the whole thing was

...is it...still scary t' use yer powers...?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565015

File: 1607021513039.png (289.14 KB, 533x559, very bored now.png)

>Brooke didn't accept the hand, remaining slightly curled up in her seat
>she took a few seconds as he posed the question, clearly needing to consider it first

Some days.

Ah can nevah quite predict just how long Ah manage t' remain in frozen tahme, y'see.

Usually about three or four seconds, but... sometahmes, it can last a few seconds longah...

An' when that happens, Ah'd be lyin' if Ah said my thoughts don't turn negative...

>she took another breath, calming herself down and straightening up in her chair

But Ah've managed t' fahnd some tricks ovah th' years t' calm mahself.

Lahke bringin' a clicky pen so Ah can count th' seconds, or even just usin' regular bubblegum an' havin' it pop.

Ah'm plenty confident in mah ability t' turn mah power on and off at will, but... well, it helps t' set a tahme limit for mahself prior t' divin' in.

>she turned away, staring off into the distance again

Ah don't much lahke bein' controlled by mah fears, y'see.

Ah trained hard t' overcome it. This is mah power, an' Ah wasn't gonna let mah brain define how Ah use it.

>another light shrug
Every now an' then, mind overcomes mattah... or somethin' lahke that...

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565016

File: 1607023377353.png (2.08 MB, 1920x1080, Izuku's_competitiveness.png)

>Albert again simply let Brooke speak, trying to imagine what it must be like to go through that
>he only went through it for a few minutes, and wasn't alone when it happened
>but to be the only person in that scenario, with the only sounds being the ones you yourself made, was a frightening thing to imagine
>he did give a bit of a shiver while Brooke kept talking, one she hopefully didn't catch
>when she finished explaining how she'd been battling this, he was quick to pay what he hoped was a compliment

Yer doin' a really good job of overcomin' your fears, if y' ask me.

I mean, yer always so confident! So even if y' slip up 'r anythin', I know you'll get it under control in no time!

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565017

File: 1607028012501.png (906.91 KB, 996x598, victory.png)

>Brooke turned to Albert, her expression quite carefully muted
>before it scrunched up as she let out a short snort, followed by a giggle
Wh-Where did that come from?

Of course Ah'll get it undah control! That was nevah in question, sugah~!
>as if to demonstrate, there was a skip
>and Brooke was now sitting on the table, closer to Albert
Confidence is but one of mah strengths~

But it's nahce t' know Ah've got your moral support too, Al~!
>she winked, leaning down to plant an orange-scented kiss on his forehead
Now, for real, Ah'm beat...!

As punishment fer gettin' me dragged out here, Ah think it's only fair Ah request that you carry me to mah room~!

Albert Patterson!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565018

File: 1607029012381.gif (2.35 MB, 498x476, tenor (1).gif)

>Albert's face flushed a bit at Brooke's light giggling, now feeling just a bit embarrassed

I-I'm jus' tryin' t' be helpful!

>he did notice her making another skip onto the table, which must've meant that she was moving past this a bit

>his face was still a bit red when she kissed him, but nonetheless he was able to respond to her request with a wider smile as he got out of his seat

Well, I suppose I can honor your request...

>which was why he unceremoniously scooped her up in his arms, already carrying her away bridal-style

Y'want me t' tuck you in too?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565019

File: 1607029562912.png (324.42 KB, 528x559, isnt it fun.png)

>Brooke made herself comfortable in Albert's arms, grabbing her hat off the table, and keeping up a strong poker face as she wasn't actually expecting him to just go ahead with it
>at the very least, she figured he'd wait for her to just hop onto his back; not a bridal carry
>but like hell was she giving him the satisfaction of catching her off guard!
>that was her job, not his!
Albert, please! Ah'm a big girl!

Ah don't need t' be tucked in anymore!


Buuut some hot cocoa before bed would be quite lovely, if yer offerin'~!

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565020

File: 1607031778728.png (59.92 KB, 244x273, We cool.png)

>as the seasons changed again, Crowley was slowly becoming acclimated to life in the big city
>as hectic and busy as it was, which combined with his superhero life meant that by the time his day was done he just collapsed in his bed - er, closet, and was dead to the world until the next day
>which wasn't too much different from life back in Arkham, just with the added feeling of more
>more people, more work, more ground to cover, more to do...
>he really wondered how Mettral could manage it

>with the weather getting cooler (only slightly, this was California after all) business at the cafe he was working at was starting to pick up

>hence why Crowley anxiously waiting at the counter as the line began to thin just a bit more, though inevitably that would change

Next please!

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565021

File: 1607032286853.png (206.52 KB, 308x309, drunken ramblings.png)

>as the curiously dressed customer approached, she'd very quickly and very suddenly slam her hand on the counter
>leaning forward, squinting her eyes behind slightly comically oversized glasses, as she began her order with:
Yeah, can I get a fuckin', uuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
>she propped herself on her elbows, leaning even further over the counter
>and getting a bit too uncomfortably close to Crowley
A chocolate kroy-santee, with a coffeeccino, aaaand do you got those tiny little cups of ice cream for dessert?

Or, I guess, it's a dessert for a dessert, right? What does that make it? A dessessert or somethin'?

I dunno, I ain't a scientist! I don't got no coffe shop diploma like some kinda fancy pants college boy like you!

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565022

File: 1607033141752.jpg (13.45 KB, 320x180, The Smile.JPG)



>learning the ins and outs of cafe lingo was not an easy task for Crowley when he first signed up

>nor was learning how to deal with unruly customers, as there were many more of those than back home
>so he had to try his best to translate what this lady was asking for while taking her seemingly-drunken barbs in stride
>which he managed to do well enough

OK! So just to make sure I had it right...

That was a chocolate croissant, a cappuccino, and one serving of ice cream?

What kind of ice cream did you want?

>not that they had many varieties to choose from

>despite this lady getting way too close for comfort, Crowley was able to keep up a relatively pleasant smile all the time
>though the corner of his mouth would twitch a little bit

<"At least she got my gender right..."

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565023

File: 1607033533523.png (17.55 KB, 128x175, I can do this.png)

>despite Crowley's perfect amicability, the rowdy woman would slam her hand down on the counter again
No! I was very clear on what I was askin'!

I said I wanted a coffeeccino! Are you tellin' me this place don't have those!?

What kinda self-respecting modern coffee shop doesn't even have a coffeeccino! Get with the times, grandpa! It ain't the 1930s anymore, and Coke doesn't have cocaine in it anymore!

Modern coffee shops gotta have modern drinks! And they're ain't nothing more modern and hip than a nice warm coffeeccino!


Also, you got strawberry ice cream? Chocolate's fine if you don't, but I'm really craving for some strawberry ice cream.

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565024

File: 1607034447101.png (107.33 KB, 254x292, It's Gonna Be One Of Those Day…)

>of course she was serious about that
>Crowley's mouth twitched again as the woman shouted in his face, as he questioned his decision-making and reminded himself that he needed some income while he was still here

We do have strawberry ice cream, Miss!

But as for your..."coffeeccino", I'll have to see what I can do. Just give me one second!

>before she had a chance to protest, Crowley darted away from the counter, moving to the back and poking his head in

>his smile dropped and he looked decidedly more stressed, but nonetheless asked what was on his mind

Um, Ms. Mareen?

Someone out here is asking for a "coffeeccino". Is...is that a thing? Can I actually do that?

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565025


>normally, Annie would be practically purring over having her ego stroked like this

>these were not normal circumstances, however
>instead, the prospect of getting buttered up by this girl of all people just left an uncomfortable, nauseous feeling in her gut especially given that she was now tacitly talking shit about Annie’s fashion sense
>but, still, Annie was trying to conceive of a way to discreetly finesse her and Hawkins out of this conversation as quickly and painlessly (hopefully literally) as possible
>a task that just got considerably harder when Janice grabbed her hand

>”How about you introduce me to this world of wrestling, Annie~?”

>”I can think of no better person to do so! I'm ever so curious to learn more about something so important to one of my friends!”

>Annie felt about ready to puke at the use of the word “friend”, but she wasn’t about to let that show on her face

>she didn’t have long to think of a way to try to non-answer the request and break this off before Janice would notice her hesitating

Uh, I’ll… see if I can find the time! Kinda busy lately, with class stuff and all – and, y’know, all the big stuff bein’ planned and my sis is a teacher, so I get dragged into helpin’ her out ‘n all.

>well, she set herself up an opening

>now she just needed to rush through it before Janey had time to start asking questions
>Annie quickly got to her feet, trying to put on a look of “casual, but oh heavens would you look at the time”

Speakin’a which, sorry to break off so soon and stuff, but me ‘n Hawkins were just hanging out for a bit and getting’ some practice in before Ash wanted me to come help her set up some training stuff for later, and she can be a real ass if I keep her waitin’, soooo…

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565026

File: 1607035964658.png (189.12 KB, 411x515, too tired to care.png)

>the woman in the back blinked, taking her focus away from something on her laptop
A coffeecci-
>then her expression flattened, clearly very quickly realizing what was going on
>she looked over at Crowley
Just tell her you'll get her order, and give her whatever.

She won't be able to tell the difference. Trust me.

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565027

File: 1607036803542.png (183.94 KB, 501x312, OK, OK, You I Can Tolerate.png)



>Crowley looked confused for a moment, but opted to just go with what she said

>so he ducked back out and returned to the counter
>a few seconds later, the order was filled, and Crowley had everything prepared on a nice tray for the hopefully-more-sober woman

Here you are Miss! One coffeeccino, one chocolate croissant, and a serving of strawberry ice cream!

That'll be 6.75 please!

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565028

File: 1607037279116.png (20.46 KB, 135x194, style.png)

>the woman wasted little time, just tossing the exact amount on the counter, clearly expecting that price
Thank you very much, college boy!
>she grabbed the tray and then... walked backwards to a nearby seat
>sitting down, she began enjoying her miniature meal
>never once removing eye contact from Crowley, however...

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565029

File: 1607043765476.png (88.81 KB, 222x300, I Didn't See Nothin', I Don't …)

>knowing there was little point in correcting her any further, Crowley just smiled as he collected the money

Have a nice day!

>of course he was left staring back at her as she somehow walked backwards and took her seat, all while maintaining perfect eye contact

>which was...unnerving, but he tried to ignore that as he went on with his work

Next please!

>though even as the next person walked up to the counter, he couldn't help but glance once or twice at where the woman was sitting, unsure of where this was going

Hi sir, what can I get you?

Yeah lemme get uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...




...your number?

>Crowley's eyebrow twitched as he much more tensely replied:

Sir, I told you the last three times, no.

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565031

File: 1607103244483.png (22.66 KB, 161x194, greetings.png)

>the mystery lady watched the situation unfold, snickering quite loudly at it
You call that game, my guy?
>she quickly stood up from her seat, waltzing over to the counter
How do you expect to get any like that!
>she lightly but firmly shoved the guy off her way
Lemme show ya how to get someone's number!

>then turned to Crowley, leaning onto the counter again

>putting on her best seductive look in her eyes, as she gently said:
Hey... the pregnancy test came back positive.

You're takin' responsibility for it.

Jack Hawkins!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565032

File: 1607103287790.png (740.45 KB, 1091x809, mpc-hc64_2019-06-11_22-49-39.p…)


>Hawkins didn't have much to say on the topic of finding love within the HIVE. Family did come into it for just a little bit...Buuuut the remaining 90% of the HIVE terrified the pants off of him so, even if they weren't his makeshift family, they were not dating material...

>At the very least, she seemed satisfied with the explanation about wrestling. Hawkins didn't sigh with relief but he was very tempted to. Instead, he watched as Janice made her entreaty to learning more about the world of wrestling. He tried not to grind his teeth.

>Fortunately, Annie reaffirmed that she was probably the only person he could actually trust around here by swiftly moving on and finding a way out. Hawkins latched onto that to ride out on like the leech he was.

Yyyeah, I'm going off to help along with that too...W-we can talk later about it some time! Being late's just...just bad manners so...

>He trailed off lamely.

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565033

File: 1607103587544.png (209.9 KB, 410x474, gentle advice.png)

>Janice pouted a little, clearly disappointed
>but no point in sulking, so she quickly smiled back at them
Of course! Please, don't let me keep you!

I should probably get going myself. Mister Magprice had something he wanted to speak to me about.
>she let out a light huff
It feels like every day, he's got some new mission for me... I am quite grateful to be of help, of course, but I hardly get any "me" time anymore!

>a sigh, followed by a smile and a small curtsy

Well, I'll leave you to it!

Please say hello to Ash for me, Annie~! Mr. Hawkins~!

>another short bow, and the girl just casually began leaving the scene

>or, well, wandering to a blind spot behind a pillar, and seemingly vanishing into thin air

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565034

File: 1607104285749.png (120.98 KB, 299x320, I-I Wasn't Thinking About Biki…)



>Crowley was already getting a tad miffed having to deal with this guy again, which meant he could only dread the woman walking back up to the counter

>which she did, and Crowley watched with uneasy anticipation as she leaned over it


>and then jolted at her remark, his face quickly heating up

>he looked over at the other customer, who was watching with more interest than he had been before, before back to her as he opened his mouth to stammer out a reply
>but he quickly caught himself, his mouth snapping shut with a click

<"No, no, keep it together! Professionalism!"

>he let out an exhale through his nose, then tried to handle this peacefully

N-Now, I have no idea what you're t-talking about! A-And you really shouldn't joke about that sort of thing!

F-Furthermore, if neither of you have anything to order, then please take a seat so other people can-

>Crowley looked past them for a moment

>only to find that no one else was waiting in line now


>not that this was going to stop him

S-So the counter is available for when other people arrive!

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565035

File: 1607105102417.png (153.75 KB, 335x462, no more fooling around.png)

>the woman pouted, glancing aside at the man
He really plays hard to get, doesn't he?
>she straightened up, turning to Crowley again
Alright then, we'll play hardball!
>her hands reached at the bottom of her shirt
Surely a gentleman will give a lady his phone number after she's shown him her-

Virn, please stop bothering my employee.
>Mareen emerged from the back room, a very flat look on her face

Oh, heya, 'Reen!
>Virn quickly waved
Well, maybe don't hire someone so cute-lookin'! Really, if you think about it, it's kinda your fault, isn't it?

>she just lightly sighed, and turned to the the other guy
Same goes for you. Learn to take "no" for an answer.

Crowley Mackenzie!CrONAHEG2cCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565036

File: 1607106075492.png (355.15 KB, 853x480, vlcsnap-2011-11-01-17h04m17s38…)

>the man in question was more watching how this was all playing out, which consisted of Crowley jolting when Virn reached for her shirt
>but when Mareen came out to break it up, the man just huffed and turned to leave

No one can take a freakin' joke...

>meanwhile, Crowley had a number of things to process at once

>the first being what he ended up blurting out:


>that this was someone he knew just made this all the more shocking

>but then he looked between her and Mareen, understanding that these two actually knew each other somehow
>but then was the realization that Virn was, indeed, a woman
>something that Crowley could clearly see, but his eyes ended up looking up and down her anyway, just in case there was some mistake
>which also meant that, going by what he knew about Virn and their last interaction, it was entirely possible she hadn't been lying


>it was at this point that Crowley's eyes rolled into the back of his head

>and he promptly fell back to the floor with a THUD

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565037

>back in the magical studies building
>the webs were being cleared away, the damages repaired, the marketable fairy mascots restored to their rightful forms, and the hell-juice was being washed out of the carpets
>but the whole issue still wasn’t exactly solved

>Jasmine may have been in charge of the school, but she didn’t enjoy having to be an authority figure per se

>so it was with no joy whatsoever that she was standing in front of the temporarily-closed magic studies building, watching the cleanup crews work, and speaking in her most “I’m not mad, just disappointed” tone of voice

Surprise… you know I love you, but you really messed up on this one.

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565038

File: 1607107128500.png (186.7 KB, 466x380, why does nothing work.png)

>Surprise felt a chill quickly run up her spine
>she did not like being on the receiving end of that particular tone of voice
>of course, she couldn't exactly argue against it
>what was supposed to be a fun Halloween prank ended up quite the disaster
It's... not mein proudest of moments, no...
>she turned to properly face Jasmine
I know, I know! I messed up!

I should never haf relied on students from outside zhe magic studies for zhis! Yes, absolutely!

Zhis whole fhing vas ein easily avoidable mistake, und I take zhe full blame for it!




>Surprise raised a finger, a more determined look quickly making itself known in her eyes
>this was a topic Surprise had wanted to approach for a while, but never quite had the right opportunity to do so
>one could argue this wasn't the best moment either, or that Surprise was only trying to maybe hopefully shift the conversation away from her mistake
>but, anyway, she continued:
Jasmine, I know zhat ultimately, you still haf to vork beneazh some stuffy board of directors, und zhat zhe STAR brass is more focused towards zheir science und vhatever; but zhis-!
>she motioned generally at the building
Zhis is ein bit too much for just one person!

Even after all zhese years, I'm still zhe only full time caretaker for zhese grounds! Mallory helps, yes, but it's still not her job, und zhe two of us can only do so much!

Every year, zhe magical studies classes grow larger, und I just don't know how much longer ve can rely on part-time help to handle everyfhing zhat goes on around here!

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565039


>Jasmine, in turn, didn’t like hearing this tone of voice from Surprise either

>it always set off her “must protect kicked puppy” instincts
>but unfortunately, now wasn’t the time for any of that

I know, I know, sorry. I agree with you, but…
… well, it’s like you said. Our directors are always more worried about the biological and man-made side of things than any magic stuff. I’ve tried to convince them to give us the resources to help you do your job, but… even just getting this wing built took a lot of office politicking.

>she paused for a moment as a worried look crossed her face

...I’m scared that if I even tried to bring this incident up to them as a reason we need to raise the magical studies budget, they’d just take it as a reason to scrap the program altogether.

>she sighed again, and looked to Surprise with that scrunched-up, brow-furrowed expression Jasmine got when she was thinking hard about something

I know you need more help, but… if we’re gonna get it, it needs to come from somewhere outside of STAR Labs.

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565040

File: 1607109563077.png (295.34 KB, 691x535, this is strange.png)

>Jasmine's kindness and thoughtfulness never failed to melt Surprise's heart
>she knew she'd understand exactly what she was talking about!
>unfortunately, Jasmine definitely had a point, and trying to leverage this incident would be incredibly risky
>Surprise furrowed her own, mimicking Jasmine as she fell into her own state of "thinking very hard"

Very well.

Zhen I'll pay for it!
>she confidently stated
If zhese eggheads von't deign handing over ein few extra paychecks, zhen I'll use mein own money to hire ein few new teachers.

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565041


>that was not a response that Jasmine was expecting, especially not so casually or confidently

I-I-! That’s- very noble of you and all Surprise, but, I really don’t think that your pay would cover that, especially since you already insist on covering our rent on the apartment and all the bills and my pets and- wait.

>Jasmine trailed off, blankly staring at Surprise for a moment

>it was true that Surprise not only covered practically all of their shared living expenses, but insisted on doing so regardless of Jasmine’s desires to pitch in
>and it’s not like they weren’t payed much for their jobs – rather the opposite actually, given that despite their current topic, STAR Academy was very generously funded
>but come to think of it (and this is where Jasmine’s face again got all adorably scrunched-up and thinky), Surprise also had a pretty big closet back home full of some very nice dresses with tags that had names Jasmine couldn’t even pronounce but which certainly sounded very fancy
>and she was also more than happy to go all-out both at home and at school for just about any and all holidays year-round, from Valentine’s to Independence Day to Halloween to Christmas
>even if Jasmine didn’t have an education in business administration, something about these numbers weren’t adding up

...Surprise? How much money do you actually have…?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565042

File: 1607112686699.png (245.66 KB, 473x483, confused but alright.png)

>Surprise couldn't help but stare and giggle a bit at Jasmine doing her thinky-face face
>it made her look like a hamster who'd just licked a lemon, and she couldn't get tired of it!
>"How much money do you actually have...?"
>Surprise blinked, snapped out of her trance and forced to think of something besides Jasmine's face
>she had to take a moment, gazing at her navel as she ran the numbers in her head
Vell, let me try und think...

I had some of mein personal savings vhen I moved in vizh you, which I zhen invested in Alligators Unlimited und Opossums For Orphans after zhe internet told me to.

So... hang on-
>with a poof of black smoke, Surprise's phone appeared in her hand
>she wasn't very good with it yet, but it was a useful tool to mess around with
Ah, here it is!
>she turned the phone to Jasmine
Zhat's mein account balance. It's not all mein money, but it's vhat I normally take from for our expenses.

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565043


>well those definitely sounded like totally respectable businesses to invest in, so it would make sense that Surprise had a decent amount of savings to her name

>but Jasmine still had her doubts that it would be enough for her to singlehandedly carry the magical studies program as she leaned in to look at the oooooohhhh GOSH that was a very large number
>and Surprise said that wasn’t even all of her money, a thought which made Jasmine’s eyes go even wider
>and she just stared
>and stared…


>suddenly Jasmine’s eyes snapped back up to Surprise

>she threw her arms up in the air, glaring at the other woman (albeit in more of an cute grumpy puffy-cheeked way than one of actual anger)

Why did you never tell me about this?! You could’ve hired people to help you years ago!! You’ve been working yourself like this for nothing?!

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565044

File: 1607114093993.png (242.72 KB, 435x480, Ill get the matches.png)

>a small jolt, Surprise not expecting Jasmine's volume to rise up that high
>she took a second to properly refocus, staring at Jasmine
>then at her phone
>then back at her with a shrug
Vhat? Is- Is this a lot?

I've alvays been so frugal vizh vhat I purchase, I just assumed I vas saving up mein money responsibly.

>she paused, bringing up a finger to her chin

...should I mention zhe "rainy day" fund as we-
>then stopped herself
OK! Getting distracted!
>she cleared her throat, laughing a bit nervously
VELL! Sooo... you say zhis is enough zhen...?

Zhat's vonderful! I, uhh... vell, don't I feel foolish~!

Ha ha! Oh vell! No use crying over spilled milk, und all zhat!
>she put on her brightest, most cheerful smile
>and reached forward, poking at Jasmine's puffy cheeks
Very good, zhen! You just leave everyzhing to your darling Surprise!

I know exactly vhere to start looking for help!

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565045


I- yes it’s a lot! It’s very a lot!

>flustered as she was, “very a lot” was about the most objective measure that Jasmine could come up with

>she couldn’t keep this energy up for very long though, and as soon as Surprise started poking at her cheeks, she let out a long exhale

I’m not mad, it’s just… do you know how worried I get, seeing you try to run this place by yourself? And now I know it could’ve been avoided this whole time…?

>another sigh, and Jasmine’s usual smile came back to her face

You can be real scatterbrained sometimes, you know that?

Anyways, just let me know when you have some leads, and we can work out all the stuff that needs to be done to make some new hires.

...hey, come to think of it?

>Jasmine glanced back at Surprise and cocked her head curiously

Why haven’t you ever talked about moving? That kinda money, you could’ve been living in some skyscraper penthouse in the city, or… I dunno, bought a mountain and hollowed it out and had your own Batcave or… I don’t know, something bigger than sharing a room in a little duplex down the street from the rec center?

Everyone!E2Vbn7o74sCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565046

File: 1607117578346.png (298.75 KB, 503x483, dont ask me.png)

>Surprised clapped her hands excitedly, feeling quite energized to start working on this right awa-
>"...hey, come to think of it?"
>she blinked, as Jasmine posed her question
>"Why haven't you ever talked about moving?"
Vhy vould I vant to move out in zhe first place?

You love zhat rec center! I couldn't ask you to leave just to move in vizh me on some fancy mansion, or vhatever, und I vouldn't vant to live somevhere vizhout you, silly!

>she let out a light giggle, but faced Jasmine with an earnest look in her eyes

Jasmine, you do so much for everyone here, und you really don't receive nearly enough of vhat you're owed for it.

If ein life vizhout ein penthouse apartment atop ein mountain, tended to by legions of servants as I bask in mein golden, hedonistic paradis of ein life...
>she shrugged
If zhat's all I'm missing in order to be by your side, und help you in und out of vork, zhen zhat's hardly even ein choice!

I'll alvays pick you, darling~!
>she grinned, followed by a snort
Besides, you said it yourself; I can be ein real scatterbrain~!

I need you by mein side too, to get me back into shape vhen I inevitably screw up!

beatCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41565047


>Jasmine stayed silent as she listened to Surprise’s answer, still looking at her with that curious expression

>and even once Surprise was finished, Jasmine didn’t respond, vocally or otherwise
>she just stood there, face completely static

>and then, seemingly spontaneously, the tears came, practically spraying out of her eyes like someone just opened a faucet in her skull

>and without a further word, Jasmine bolted forward to hug Surprise with every ounce of mom-strength in her body

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