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 Sleep-over at Fort Archer

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Gabriel Hall
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PostSubject: Sleep-over at Fort Archer    Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:16 pm

Nicole thudded a vacuum cleaner on the floor of living room, tossing the cord carelessly toward an outlet. She was trying to get the house as clean as possible for when Julian and Violet came over. Although she wasn’t much of a cook the witch could clean in the muggle fashion well enough. It was just getting up the energy to do so. And so, once a day had been agreed upon by her and Julian the cleaning had commenced. Nicole wore little more than a sports bra and a pair of shorts, with a pistol strapped to her thigh. She knew she would get sweaty and disgusting to the point of needing a shower anyway so what was the point of getting fully dressed? And even if Julian and his daughter arrived early, what she was wearing could pass for a makeshift bikini.

“Shelly! That room of yours better be cleaned up by the time I get done down here!” Nicole called up the stairs. Everywhere else had gotten hit by the cleaning spree and the living room and bedrooms were the last things that needed tending to.

“It will be!” Shelly giggled back.

At the faint sound of continued play Nicole merely smirked and shook her head. She plugged in the vacuum and set to work on the one room that had been put off until the final day. It was the most lived-in and the room most likely to get messy all over again after two seconds. Provided the woman had her way, her eventual guests would arrive to a clean if not spotless abode. Well... perhaps spotless was too much to hope for.

* * *

Nicole stepped out of the bathroom, freshly showered and dressed. The feeling of knowing both herself and her house were clean made her a little less tense about entertaining. Yet at the same time her stomach still felt like it was being twisted into knots by malevolent butterflies. She hadn’t entertained anyone – let alone anyone in Julian’s current relationship status with her – in a long time. ‘Nervous’ was an understatement.

Instead of her previous outfit Nicole was now wearing: a pair of worn and faded jeans complete with ragged pants-legs and a gaping hole in one knee; a shirt made of light red plaid material that seemed like a cross between a crop top and either a wrap or a kimono, with two long strips of cloth that could either be tied in the front or the back (Nicole had selected to tie it in back) and allowed a good two inches of midriff to show; and a single pistol strapped to her thigh like before. At present she decided to forego donning a pair of boots and just walked around barefoot. They would be here any minute now and Nicole still had a few last minute things to do.

At the small dining room table she placed two mugs and two glasses, and in the nearby kitchen started a pot of coffee just in case. There wasn’t much in the way of food to prepare that she could fix without burning all to heck. Nicole supposed with a shrug there wasn’t time to even attempt to cook, anyway. Not sure whether they would come via floo or apparition, Nicole took a chance and unlocked and opened the front door.

Turning away from the portal, Nicole slowly walked back to the living room. She combed her hair with her fingers. Deciding it was dry enough to deal with and moist enough to be pliable the witch retrieved a few accessories from her pocket and attempted to put her hair back into a messy updo. According to Lori it was known as a French twist. To Nicole it looked like a ponytail plopped and balanced on top of her head, but she supposed it wasn’t all that bad. With a playful smirk to herself the witch deliberately left a few strands out of the picture and pulled the hair back loosely for little other purpose except Julian’s entertainment.

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Calixta Harper
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PostSubject: Re: Sleep-over at Fort Archer    Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:45 pm

It had been what felt like the longest day of his life. In truth, the 12-hour shift he pulled before heading back home to Violet was quite routine -- he'd had much worse -- but he was distracted th entire day, and his boss had noticed. Needless to say, Vinzent hadn't been pleased, and had been particularly unpleasant. By the time seven o'clock rolled around, Julian wondered if he was ever going to go home, but Vinzent apparently became so fed up and disgusted by the sight of him that he dismissed Julian from his sight, practically snarling.

Julian didn't need to be told twice. Five minutes later he was pushing open the front door of his apartment building, ignoring his own front door and instead heading up the stairs to the flat above his, where an old widow lived. If it wasn't for Mrs. Simons volunteering to look after Violet when she came home from school, Julian didn't know what he'd have done. Bastian was too busy and Lori was too far away, and he didn't feel comfortable letting Violet use the Floo by herself.

"Thank you so much," he told Mrs. Simons for about the seventh time, while Violet finished collecting the belongings which had become strewn about Mrs. Simon's plastic-wrapped living room. Wicket barked at their ankles, demanding to be noticed. 

"It's no problem, sweetheart. I can use the extra money and Violet is a very sweet little thing, isn't she?" That was true, but most people would have reservations about allowing the puppy as well. Julian suspected that she enjoyed the company more than the money, having lost her husband some time ago and children that were long grown up and moved away. 

"She is. We'll see you on Monday, then," Julian said with a smile, scooping up Wicket and leading the way back down the stairs. Having suspected Zolnerowich might keep him late, Julian had packed ahead of time, so all they had to do was walk into the flat, change quickly, and pick up the bags before they went to Nicole's. 

Violet's was a backpack similar to the one she used for school, except magically enlarged to have much more space on the inside, and charmed so that it was very light. In it, he'd packed her favourite pillow and blanket, clean pj's, an outfit for the next day, her hair brush and her toothbrush, some hair ribbons and Wicket's things -- food, treats, leash, and bowls for the food and water. The front compartment held items of Violet's choosing -- her favourite toys and playthings to keep her and Shelly entertained. This he strapped carefully to her back before handing her Wicket, picking up his own overnight bag and slinging it over his shoulder.

His bag didn't require any charms, because he didn't require nearly as much as Violet did. A toothbrush and clean outfit for the next day was all he'd brought, other than the wand that was in his pocket, of course. There was the small matter of a slim package snuck underneath the clothing, but that too was fairly lightweight, although it made a rather louder sloshing noise than he'd have preferred. All that was left was the enormous bouquet of red roses that was more Violet's idea than his own -- he didn't much feel like explaining his own choice of present to Violet, and since Nicole's home-made chocolates were so good, he figured flowers were the next best thing.

"Now hold on tightly, sweetheart," Julian reminded Violet, clutching her hand firmly in his, the flowers in his other hand. "Don't let go of Wicket." A few moments and awkward sensations later, and they were standing a few feet away from Nicole's front porch, where a light was on. The sight was rather cozy -- the night sky blooming into view, the sun's rays still barely visible on the horizon, and the house silhouetted against a field of stars, looking warm and cheerful, the closed curtains casting colourful streams of light into the tidy little yard. 

Still clutching Violet's hand, Julian climbed the front steps and, taking a moment to readjust Violet's hair and his own clothes, knocked on the front door. He'd chosen a simple outfit for the night -- clean Muggle jeans, a dark grey v-neck shirt whose tight fit showed off his lean, muscular frame, and a slightly worn but very warm and soft navy blue sweater, left unbuttoned with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows. His plain black work boots finished off the ensemble, cleaned for once, but he hadn't bothered to polish them as that was a lost cause and he probably wouldn't be stomping around Nicole's house in his boots, anyway. The socks he'd picked out were nicer than the plain, threadbare ones he usually wore, so he wouldn't be forced to go completely barefoot. He was a little self-conscious about his feet, having broken his toes so many times they were a bit crooked, although in no way decrepit. 

Unsure if Nicole had been near enough to the door to hear him knock, he raised his hand uncertainly to the doorbell and rung it, just once. Of course, Wicket began to bark his head off, and so Julian tried to calm the dog before Nicole reached the door.

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PostSubject: Re: Sleep-over at Fort Archer    Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:28 pm

Nicole had just nicely poured Shelly some juice, and was just pouring herself a cup of coffee at the sound of a knock on the door. The thump-thump-thump of an eleven year old in stockinged-feet was heard almost immediately.

"I'll get it!" Shelly called to Nicole as she raced for the front door.

"Only if it's Lori or Julian!" Nicole returned, hastily setting her cup on the counter and the coffee pot back in its proper place. With one final, somewhat panicked look around the place Nicole also padded her way to the front door as swiftly as possible.

Shelly grinned wide at the sight of Julian on the other side of the screen door. Violet and her puppy were with him. "Hi, Uncle Julian! Hi Violet!" she cheered and unlocked the screen door. "C'mon in, ev'rybody!" It was only until a minute or so after that that Shelly realized she'd called Julian her uncle. Hoping he didn't mind, the girl looked up at him to gauge his reaction to the word. Some people didn't like it when she did that, but it couldn't be helped: they felt like family to her.

Nicole paused mere feet away from Shelly so as not to be in the way of their guests. She would greet them once they were properly inside.

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