Dead Man's Party


cat_icon.gif colette_icon.gif delia_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif else_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

kendall_icon.gif molly_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif quinn2_icon.gif sable_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

lance_icon.gif mala_icon.gif lh_paul_icon.gif

Scene Title Dead Man's Party
Synopsis Colette is treated to a surprise when what she thought was a simple Halloween party turns out to actually be her surprise birthday party, courtesy of Tasha, Quinn, Sable, and Nicole.
Date October 30, 2010

The Rock Cellar Halloween Town

This is Halloween, ev'rybody give a scream. Trick or Treat 'til the neighbours go and die of fright!

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

Many hours of artistic and menial labor have gone into transforming the typical bar atmosphere of the Rock Cellar into something more fantastical and whimsical for just this one night and this one party — “Halloween Town,” of “Nightmare Before Christmas” fame. Real pumpkins carved into jack o’lanterns flicker with candlelight and paper-mache black cats, ghosts, skeletons and goblins in the style of the Tim Burton movie lurk and leer from every corner, nook and cranny. A mannequin dressed to look like Jack Skellington greets people at the door, a skeletal hand inviting them in — that is, of course, until the employee with the invite list checks to see that there is an invite in the mortal hand of the guest entering. Purple, orange, and of course black-and-white striping make up the primary palette for the party.

The music, of course, is all Danny Elfman — Boingo and Nightmare — at least until the reveal is over, and Sable and the band can throw off the New Wave pretenses.

Of course, the there is a sign outside that says “Reserved for a private party.” The plan is that Tasha will text Nicole when she and Colette are a block away — the sign will be taken down, the party guests assembled to prepare their bellow of “Surprise,” and from the outside, the Rock Cellar will look like the venue is open to the public.

Out on the dance floor, a couple of interlopers from another dark faery tale are presently giving Elfman's music an unconventional work-out. American McGee's dark re-envisioning of Alice is held in the arms of a distinctly Gothic and malevolent-looking interpretation of a Mad Hatter. The former is Quinn, with her hair restored to its former black colouring and a blood-spattered and tattered version of Alice's attire (and a full-size version of that violent Alice's blade), while Ygraine sports tailcoat, knee-high boots, tight breeches, top hat and silver-headed cane, along with pallid skin, red-rimmed and vertically-slitted eyes, and a twisted leer baring painted-on teeth half way across one cheek.

"I wonder how much longer it'll be until Colette an' Tasha get here," Quinn muses as she taps the plastic "vorpal sword" (or at least, that's what she'd read the game called the exceptionally large fake knife she carried) on Ygraine's shoulder, stepping away from the Mad Hatter as she surveys the room around them. "I am really impressed by how Tasha got this t' turn out…" Another look over to the stage, where a single lonely man idles about, tweaking a drum set - a session drummer hired by the band for the evening, and maybe longer if he does a good enough job.

As someone who only recently watched the film, and someone who has some difficulty playing along with someone else's fantasy in performance, unless that fantasy has been incorporated into her own, Sable is not decked out in proper Nightmare fashion. It seemed disingenuous, really. She gets the sense that it's sort of a cult thing, and she doesn't consider herself a proper initiate into its mysteries.

The doesn't mean that she doesn't look creepy mind you. This is still Halloween, dammit, and she's going to be up on stage. She arrived pretty early, wanting to get a good view of the venue, a dark little figure in a tailored suit with pinstripes that do their best to accentuate her limited stature. She moves with a steady saunter that suggests she's wearing the suit as-character and as-costume, and the inverted pentagram in chalk, pale but visible on her breast pocket, furthers this impression.

A matching fedora rests, brim tipped low over her face, and she does pretty good job of looking sinister, up on stage but leaning by the wings. When Alice and the Hatter show up, she pushes the brim up a little before giving a small wave. The first, most noticeable difference are in her eyes, which have decided to take a more sanguine tone this evening. Not yellow but bright red. Unless her ability has changed suddenly, she's probably actually wearing contacts this time.

When Sable smiles at Quinn, the second difference comes to light. She grins with a set of pointed teeth. Fake, we're guessing. Hoping.

At this point, the best Delilah can do for a party like this one, is show up, plop herself down, and hope she doesn't sit too long. Despite knowing what happened in her vision, things still happen- and frankly, she'd rather not go into labor during a birthday party. She has put herself at one of the tables, preferring the seating of a chair to the booth, and for now seems very content to sit and sip at a drink in front of her.

Delilah, not quite the proponent of scary Halloween costumes- somehow she just doesn't ever get it- seems to have at least put some effort into this attempt. She's got on a horizontally black and yellow striped one-piece, a pair of filmy wings, and her hair, aptly is up in a beehive with wiry antennae sticking out. The thing about this, at least- she seems to have just sloshed fake red blood all over her front, and on her gloves and stockings, some on her face and neck.

Not just a BumbleDee, but a killer BumbleDee. Hey. She is trying. Give her that much.

Laughing upon being poked with a vorpal blade, the deathly Mad Hatter grins at Alice. "Careful with that", Ygraine cautions, before freeing one hand to tip her top hat to the devilish Sable. "Do you want to go and give the drummer a hand, Robyn, or can I get you to take a little more of the night off at the moment? I can ply you with drink as a bribe, if I have to."

Kendall heard about the party, and heard that it was Nightmare Before Christmas themed. Therefore, he had the great idea to come as Zero. He rigged a bunch of white LEDs around a sheer cloth vaguely dog-shaped, the shape formed with wire frame. He made a hat shaped like the dog's head with the orange nose shaped like a pumpkin on the end, and a nice battery pack provides the juice, strapped to his chest. "Hiya." once he's inside, he turns his lights on. Hehehe.

Tasha slips her phone into her pocket after sending the elder of the Nichols sisters a text, her arm tucked into elbow of the younger of the two sisters, her date, of course, and the guest of honor. "My mom wanted to know what color towels I want from some sale. Pink, of course!" Because their bathroom is gawdy, bubble-gum, Barbie pink.

Tasha is dressed like Sally from Nightmare, though not the crappy Disney-Store version of the costume. Not when she has friends at the Parsons School of Design! She wears a real rag-tag, motley and stitched-together dress, and she has professional-quality stage makeup to give her skin a blueish white pallor, and of course the hallmark stitches on cheeks and limbs. A wig of maroonish yarn hair hides her usual jagged brunette bob.

"Thanks for coming with me. I know I'm a Nightmare freak, but you know, we're only 18 for like another day in your case and a week in mine, and then we're 19, and then we're not even teenagers, so we should act like kids as long as we can," she says as they enter the building.

The elder of the Nichols girls doesn't know hardly any of her sisters friends. And those she does actually know she leaves be for now, so they can tune their instruments and make with the playing of music, as that is what bands are meant to do in these sorts of situations. When her ever-present BlackBerry buzzes, she fishes it out from a pocket in her dress (that she may have added to the design herself). With a small gasp, she hoists herself up onto a bar stool, giving herself height over the crowd.

"She's on her way, everyone!" Nicole calls out over the sounds of conversation. She being the guest of honour, naturally. Or at least, one would assume. Hitching up the front of her skirts, she hurries to the entrance to the Cellar to remove the sign that gives away the fact that this is a private party, and not just some random Halloween party hosted by the establishment. When she arrives back inside, she ducks behind the bar, tucking the sign away there and pulls her veil up and over to cover her face. Though its length trails past her waist. It effectively obscures her features, however. Except that the semi-sheer fabric can't hide the glowing blue of her eyes.

Kendall hears the sign, then looks around. "Would anyone mind if I made our costumes look a little more realistic when she comes in?" he asks in a loud voice, though not loud enough to be heard from outside. In the contrast of the lights of his costume and the black clothes he's wearing otherwise, it does give the illusion that he's actually the ghost dog from the movie without even using his power.

The noise of the door at the top of the stairs leading down into the Rock Cellar comes with a burst of laughter and the sound of two girls' voices. Bolting away from the bottom of the stairs, the blonde-haired and blood-spattered visage of zombie Else Kjelstrom skids to a halt on sneakered feet, giving a motion with her thumb up over her shoulder. "S'them, they're here." Both of the musician's black brows raise as she takes a step back and out of view from the door, backpedaling towards the stage, but not yet bothering to get up onto it. Instead, the tattered and cadaverous Else waits for the sound of commotion and movement to draw closer, a smile spread across blue lips.

It wouldn't be a Nightmare Before Christmas themed party without Jack Skellington. Tonight, however, the role of a tall and lanky skeleton man is played by a decidedly shorter and more humanly proportioned teenage girl. The costume looks rented, a black suit with white pinstriping with coat-tails and an oversized black bowtie shaped like a distinctively abstract bat.

White makeup didn't come with the costume, but Colette's face is chalk pale with it. Black circles are painted around her eyes, giving that comical Skellington countenance, her lips marked with black stitchmarks done in wax pencil. The only thing distinctive about the outfit is what has happened to Colette's hair. Swept back with a little bit of hair gel to keep out of her face, the chalk white coloration isn't thanks to any cosmetics or unhealthy bleaching but rather liberal application of a color-shifting photokinetic trick, one of the first she'd learned some two years ago now.

It's the same thing she did on Christmas when she was one of Santa's helpers and it helps complete the Skellington vibe.

Once Colette's at the bottom of the stairs though, there's a twitch of her brows and a parting of her lips as she looks around the bar floor, both brows lifted and a puzzled expression on her face, half ready to backpedal to the stairwell out of awkward uncertainty of what she just walked into.

This looks suspiciously like a

Both Nicole and Else's announcements that Colette's arrival is imminent have her moving from the center of the floor and over closer towards the entrance, the plastic knife stowed away up her sleeve so that she can-

And the door swings open, prompting Quinn's arms to do the same. "SURPRISE!" she yells cheerily, arms spread wide as she shouts out to her fellow photokinetic. "It's about goddamn time you got here!" she adds with a mirthful laugh as the chorus of shouts dies down.

As if sensing that coltlike kinetic energy rising in Colette, Tasha's hand on Colette's arm tightens and she giggles, waiting for the first of those assembled to yell, before she pulls out a camera and snaps a picture of the surprised look on Colette's skull-like visage.

"Happy Birthday!" she cries happily, just to remind anyone present that Colette is the birthday girl — or to make sure that they know it's Colette under the masculine suit, since neither of them are immediately recognizable as themselves.

"Yeah, everyone's here for you, there's no real club thing happening," she adds, just in case Colette doesn't realize she knows everyone in the place — well, except the drummer.

Still lacking the American penchant for noise, Ygraine actually winces a little as the shouts ring out - though she laughs amidst the din. Having allowed Quinn to move in front of her, the Macabre Hatter rests a gloved hand on her shoulder - the other touching the silver head of her cane to the brim of her top hat, saluting the most recent arrivals.

Guitar acquisition made the wait for Colette's appearance more productive than a simple disappearance into the shadows of the wings. When Sable emerges, the black Rickenbacker hangs around her shoulders, and it's with a clanging series of chords that she makes her own 'SURPRISE' announcement, a brief cacophonic added to general cacophony. Her grin is steel needle-pointed, and she rolls on up to the edge of the stage before taking off her hat and flourishing it in a bow towards Colette. All honors to the lady of the hour.

"'bout goddamn time we get our shit in gear, Quinnafin," Sable adds, pointing at her before jerking her thumb back at the stage behind her, "let's fill th' air with some real fuckin' celebration. Play it like we mean it, eh?"

Colette may get a more direct address later, but only within the proper context. Sable will get her time at the mic, where her declarations can boom, the way she prefers. Never one to waste a gesture outside the silver bounds of a spotlight.

As soon as Colette comes into the bar, Kendall yells "Surprise!" and suddenly everyone's costume looks a lot more realistic, more true to their characters. Tasha appears to be made from cloth, Nicole appears to BE a corpse, and Kendall, well, the parts of him that are black disappear entirely, and rather than just being lit up by LED lights, his costume glows entirely.

Delilah, being the stationary one, arms herself with her ever loyal camera when the warning comes, and with a 'surprise' exclamation from the pregnant girl in her chair, comes a chirpy little flash from the camera to catch Colette coming inside. Her own costume has nothing to make more real, thankfully. A person sized bee would be unpleasant!

"Wh— " is blusterily offered, followed by a look of wide-socketed shock on a suddenly more emaciated Colette's body. Long bony fingers are held up in front of herself, then lowered as she stares with blank confusion towards the cheering group. "You— it— who— " she's at a complete and utter loss for words. Kendall's illusory skills keeps Colette's flushing face from burning through even the white makeup she's wearing. Both of her hands come up to cover her face, ducking backwards with a shrinking motion of her shoulders towards Tasha.

No one has ever really done this.


"Think we may've embarrassed th' birthday girl," Else offers with a kick of one brow up, leaning back against the stage, elbows propped up on the stage behind her. She reclines back, looking up to Sable with a lopsided smile. "When're we up?" The blonde asks, part of her jawbone visible through a bleeding hole in her cheek. Kendall's sort've got a messed up imagination, it seems.

"Oh my god!" Colette finally shrieks, turning over and playfully shoving Tasha aside before turning towards the rest of the unrecognizable group. "Who— who's here!? Who do I punch!?" Snuffling, Colette lifts a skeletal hand to her cheek, rubbing at one of those empty black sockets that look comically cadaverous.

Despite her protests, she's smiling. Despite the illusions hiding it, she's also probably crying.

The doors of the Rock Cellar swing open once more, then, and a few faces that probably aren't old enough to normally be in here tumble into the main room - a trio of young people. One with black-tipped horns and red face paint as a tiny devil, another in a skeleton costume complete with plastic mask, flanking the sides of a pointy-hatted witch of diminutive aspect.

An enormous sack is carried in, bigger than all three of them, with the two boys helping to balance the unbalanced load. The three are crowing as they carry the lumpy sack in, "We got him, we got him!"

It's dumped forward, then, the burlap mouth opening up as a hand with a white-trimmed sleeve of red velvet emerges from it… and then another, bracing to the floor before pushing up. The all-concealing sack is lifted up as the figure inside awkwardly gets to his feet, and then the mouth of the sack is pushed wide and pulled down, revealing first a hat of red and white - then a round face with a long white fake beard of curls - and then the rest of a red suit, as Santa Doyle emerges from within. "Ho ho ho— where am I? Is it someone's birthday?"

After everyone's finished reacting to the illusions, Kendall drops it, and everyone returns to normal. Kendall, however, is looking a little pale, going to the nearest wall and leaning against it. Man, that was… draining. Then he just eyes Doyle. "…huh."

"Nicole. Punch Nicole," Tasha says with a grin, eyes wide as she turns to take in everyone in their now more realistic costumes. "Holy shit," she breathes, her burlap-ish face fading back to her own blue-painted countenance, giant eyes back to normal dark brown. She squeals when she sees the kids come down the stairs, and Doyle popping out of the sack.

She turns to give Colette a fierce hug and a kiss. "Happy Birthday. You deserved a party. It was Nicole's idea. The rest of us were only too happy to pitch in. And Cat let us use the venue, and the band's playing, and you should have seen your face!" She snaps photos of Doyle and the kids, then starts to take more photos of the guests.

"Hey now! No punching people! At least not until there's cake t' throw back at you!" Quinn replies to Colette with a laugh - if it hadn't been figured out who was dressed as the macabre Alice yet, the accent surely gives it away. Looking back at Sable and Else with a grin, Quinn gives a bit of a nod. "Whenever you an' Else are ready, I'm good t' go!" Of course, a cheer is given when Doyle enters in, with Lock, Shock and Barrel in tow, giggling loudly as she peers forward. "Oh lord, Jason, that's fantastic!"

Observing the events at hand, perhaps recognizable as herself only by the choice of location she occupies (that table and chair in a shadowy part near a wall which affords good view of the door and interior) and her height, Cat is clad in the dress of a condemned female prisoner in 19th century Britain. Hair is a bit disheveled, her face and skin painted to simulate a pallor of death, the ensemble completed by a traditional noose around her neck. A quiet grin is shown as Tasha says Colette should've seen her face.

She doesn't need a photo to recall the expression in future days.

Ygraine is among those staring at Doyle's arrival, a genuinely lop-sided smile twisting the painted-on toothy leer in a distinctly unsettling fashion. Then she chuckles and shakes her head, one hand sweeping aside Quinn's black-again hair to let her lean in and plant a kiss on the back of the Irishwoman's neck, in hope of provoking a shiver. "Should I be chasing you off to go and be talented at people, love?", the Briton enquires teasingly. "Or do you want to gawp at costumes a bit longer?"

"Let's stop talkin' 'bout it and start doin' it, eh?" Sable suggests to Quinn, jerking her head to the side, ushering up and into position. "A general-type rule I like t' live by, that 'n'."

Sable stoops to offer Else a hand up onto the stage. Her eyes, luminously red thanks to Kendall's efforts, find the dead glaze of the blonde rocker's own. When she speaks, her tongue can be seen flickering, split into a serpentine double fork. "Jus' so y' know," she says, as her hand waits for Else's, "it's a real fuckin' honor t' play with y'." Humility? From Sable? Who knew?

Chirpchirp. Delilah has more time to take pictures when she's not playing hostess! She laughs along as the moment progresses into a Sandy Claws cameo, complete with munchkins- those have to be some of the house kids, right? Adorable. At some point she and Tasha probably take a snapshot of the other taking a picture. Worth it. Colette seems so floored by this. It gives Delilah flutters!

No, wait, no, that's a gas bubble. False alarm. (Still, it is touching to see this. Colette did deserve it.)

Hand over her mouth and still visibly in shock, Colette is admittedly having a hard time picking her sister out of the crowd of illusory disguises. Stricken with silence in the presence of goodwill that she's relatively certain she'd never deserved in her own self-deprecating opinion of herself, Colette does little more than just stand there and gape.

Doyle's arrival as the imprisoned Santa Claus with children from the Lighthouse in tow has Colette choking back a small noise in the back of her throat. She wraps one arm around her waist, the other held close in that covering of her mouth. Her Jack-like visage is construed in an expression of the most sincere emotional turmoil, but an eyeless skeleton can't quite convey what she wants to as well as she does.

"Yeh," Else murmurs, boosting herself up to sit on the stage, then swings her legs beneath herself and pushes to stand up. "I dunno what we're doin' first. Ain't been a while since v'been on stage, but s'kind've like fallin' off'v a log or somethin'. We ain't practiced, but who needs practice, right? I hear this one's got somethin' like incredible musical genuis on her registry card. What could possibly go wrong, yeah?"

Ambling over to the mic at the center of the stage, Else wriggles with the stand, adjusts the height and offers one brow raised look over to Cat, then over to Sable and down to Quinn. "Nobody spook anybody too 'ard," Else states into the microphone as part of a sound check, her voice carrying through the bar. "'Cause I didn't bring 'nough paper towels t'clean up ol' baby Walter bein' spooked in'na birth. A'ight?"

Kendall has caught his breath, and pushes off from the wall. At this point, he walks over towards Colette-as-Jack, and grins at her. "Woof!" well naturally, Zero would be really happy to see Jack, right? "Happy birthday!"

A shiver is indeed what Ygraine gets, Quinn laughing a bit before placing a kiss on her cheek. "Yeah, looks like we're going t' play now. Looks like Colette might pass out, so I'd go help Tasha not get flattened tryin' t' catch her if I were you." Giggling, Quinn steps away from the Brit and starts towards the stage, grinning as Else starts talking over the mic. "I don't know about you, but I practiced!" she teases, very, very carefully climbing her way up on to the stage as she meanders over next to Else, tipping up and whispering the first song in her ear.

Nicole comes from around the bar with a drink in each hand as she heads for her sister, veil still in place. One glass is held out, but then quickly retracted so the other can be offered instead. Both look identical, but it can be presumed by those who know their cocktails that one is a Sloe Gin Fizz and the other is a Shirley Temple. "Happy birthday, Sissy."

Having quite literally double-taked at Else's announcement - never having met her when not in a mystic vision, and duly surprised by her sense of humour matching Sable's for subtlety and taste - Ygraine cracks a swift grin and laughs at Quinn, running a hand down her back as Mad Alice pulls away from the Macabre Hatter to go to join the zombified Else and Demon Sable on stage.

Shaking her head, the Briton stalks over to sweep off her top hat while offering Colette an extravagant bow. "Your Majesty very nearly wound up with two parties to attend on the same night. Alice over there was organising one of her own for you, too, Jack," she playfully informs Colette. "Be glad that it got cut down to just the one surprise event, eh, or we'd never have managed to close your mouth again. And happy birthday."

A chorus of little 'happy birthdays' follow as Lock, Shock, and Barrel - or more to the point, Paul, Mala, and Lance - crowd around Colette crowing their greetings. Well, Paul and Mala do. Lance doesn't crow anything, but he does sort of mutter it while trying not to smile. Enthusiasm isn't cool.

Sandy Claws - Eric Doyle - approaches with a broad grin beneath his fake whiskers, admitting as he walks over to the others, "This was totally Mala's idea when she heard about the party, I just want you to know."

Tasha reaches to ruffle the hair of the boys and bends to give Mala a tight squeeze. "You guys look so great! Thanks for coming!" she says with a wide smile, then stands to lean in and give Sandy Claws a kiss on the cheek. She also beams at Nicole, a conspiratorial wink for the Corpse Bride. "Rockin' costume, Nic," she says with admiration, reaching up to pull a stray string of yarn off her cheek — yarn sticks to makeup, unfortunately.

"I promise I won't make too much of a mess if that happens." Delilah sets her camera down after taking a picture of the kids, sitting up straight in her seat and looking up and over to Else testing her microphone.. The bee-belly on her is astounding, really- it fits her shape so well. "But I will need someone to bend over and catch if it does, so there's a better reason not to scare the fetus right out of me." Just putting that out there.

Nicole is really the only person who can shake Colette out of her stupor, and while she is being offered a drink, Colette has the far more pressing matter of throwing herself at her sister and wrapping her arms around her, burying her face against one shoulder and smudging off white makeup there. "Thank you," is whispered against her sister's shoulder, embrace as tight as it is abrupt.

Swallowing noisily, though not enough to carry over the din of the party, Colette leans back and looks up at her sister with jaw trembling and laughter working its way up through tear-laden eyes. "Oh, God I hate you all so much," is jokingly offered with exasperated laughs, Colette's black and white pinstriped sleeve lifted up to dry at her eyes, even as she sheepishly look over to Ygraine, offering a gaping smile and a shake of her head in disbelief.

Her brows lift up, looking down and around to Paul, Lance and Mala with laughter bubbling up, one hand still partly covering her mouth, finally looking up to Doyle with a slow shake of her head. "You— you guys— you guys didn't have to…" sliding her tongue over her lips, she exhales another nervous laugh, using her thumbs to try and preemptively dry her eyes so as to not smudge her white makeup any more than it already is.

Turning to Tasha, now, Colette slides out between Paul and Lance and throws her arms around her shoulders. Practically swinging Tasha in a lazy arc, Colette rises up onto booted toes and presses a kiss across Tasha's lips, her nose leaving a smudge of white on the other girl's. "You're a super big jerk for makin' me think this was just a costume party," is jokingly offered, laughter between every word before she pulls Tasha in to a tight hug, heedless of her desire to photograph everything.

"You're— you're all— " Colette looks around the group gathered, tongue flashing across her lips before just shaking her head, embarrassedly laughing and hiding her face against Tasha's shoulder. She has forgotten about her drink, for the moment.

Kendall eyes the drink in Colette's hand, then sighs. "I don't suppose I can have one too?" his birthday's not until June, tough luck. "Hope no one minded my own special touch." he grins around innocently at everyone. "Don't ask me to do it again though."

Better late than never? A couple of costumed characters slip down the stairs, one of them carrying a small package. They're not exactly dead, but Jaiden and Delia are a gorilla and banana, respectively. The redhead had tried to find a monkey costume but the rental place didn't have one that fit the large man and the banana didn't come in his size either. So he got stuck as a gorilla. "You look adorable, Jaiden, don't worry… everyone's dressed up. See? There's a bee over there!"

Looking for the gift table, the young woman peers through the crowd looking for Tasha, "I just hope there's no peanut butter jelly time jokes… I forgot the maracas."

"Fantastic entrance", Ygraine says warmly to Doyle, focusing upon him as Colette loses herself in babbling at the more important women in her life. Then the Macabre Hatter blinks and cocks her head at the latest arrivals, quite failing to hold back the laughter that bubbles out of her. "Good grief. That's… an impressive pairing…."

Taking a moment to watch Colette's continued surprise, and laugh a bit more at the minicelebration happening at the entrance, Quinn does her own tap on a mic, having retrieved her cherry red EB-0bass and slung it awkwardly over her white and blue bloodstained dress. "Not t' take away from our wonderful birthday girl's surprise, but as some of you know, we have a piecemeal band set up here tonight, unfortunately lacking in our usual bassist." Grinning, she shrugs as she plucks a few times at her own bass. "But, well… we're going t' play a few songs up here t' night, give everyone a little background music. But I picked out the first one special for Colette, mostly because I remember it was the one playing on her boombox when we met, an' I'm pretty sure I've heard her play other songs by the band. So I hope everyone enjoys it!"

"If you touch my hair I'm going to replace your shampoo with Nair," Lance threatens as Tasha reaches over towards him. He probably doesn't know what that means, he just saw it on a show once, and it sounded properly threatening. Mala squees happily as she returns Tasha's hug, "Hi!" Paul just looks properly devilish as he looks around with a smug 'we had an awesome entrance' look on his face.

Doyle gives a thumbs-up over towards Ygraine at her greeting, exhaling a laugh, "Yeah, well, I figured what the heck, you know? It's my favorite time of the year - don't tell Mala, she's convinced Christmas is the best time of the year, though." He accepts the kiss on his cheek with grace, then looks up to the stage, "Oh, hey, music!" Yes, Eric. Music.

"The what?" Jaiden sounds a little confused, his voice muffled with the gorilla mask. He came to the party because it's a party. Growing up in Australia, one never really celebrated such things, but any excuse to go out and have fun is a good one. At least it's not the stage of a burlesque show like a few days ago.

The petite "Sally" beams as "Jack" hugs her, glad that Colette isn't as bony and cold and skeletal as the character she portrays. "Happy Birthday. You have lots of presents to unwrap later. Including me," Tasha says playfully, then steps back to straighten the bat bow-tie while winking saucily in a very non-Sally-like manner.

She peers at the banana and gorilla, not sure who the two are from this distance, but she waves, hoping they are friends and the Cellar worker checked their invites.

I'll have you know, Sable has tons of taste. She's a full on snob when the mood hits. Subtlety well… that's just for people who don't want to get noticed. Best left for those not genetically brilliant. And those who do not absurdly contrive confirmations of their self-style genetic brilliance. So you can have subtle. She don't need it.

No rock star does. Sable does a quick visual check from Quinn to Else, then back at the drummer who gets a shark's grin before the rocker pops the fake teeth from between her lips and, lacking anywhere better to put it, just tosses it into a dark corner of the stage. Fun while it lasted, but someone's gotta sing.

And someone is about to. The little woman in the little suit claims the mic that quite obviously hers, due to its adjusted height. She checks the levels on her guitar, then strums and holds a chord, arpeggiating it slowly and adding a bit of reverb to give it a spooky vibe. A lead in, readying listening ears for an oncoming tune.

"I think," Sable interjects, smiling a little and glancing at Quinn while facing the audience, the posture assumed for band-patter, "that our boy had some, like, hauntin' trouble. I told 'im not t' try 'n' practice with a Warlock so close t' Halloween…" Her smile becomes a grin. "And 'course they'll enjoy it. We ain't gonna give 'em a choice in th' matter. Colette, babe," she points a finger, pistol style, at the birthday girl, "y'all light up my life, and I ain't alone. All f'r you, sweetie."

Sable lifts the hand into the air, counting in time. "A-one, a-two, a-one, two, three four…" her fingers close into a fist, pump down, and they're off. A steady flow of melody and harmony, familiar bars, familiar chords. And then, familiar words.

=I don't care if Monday's blue
=Tuesday's gray and Wednesday too
=Thursday I don't care about you
=It's Friday, I'm in love

"Oh hey! There's Tasha!" Delia says brightly, reaching out to take the gorilla's arm and tugs him along behind her. "I don't know if I've introduced you to her yet or not… She lives downstairs." Even though the place is crowded, they make room for the loose gorilla and the wayward banana picking their way through toward Jack and Sally.

"Hi Tasha, thanks for inviting me," under all of Lucille's makeup, Delia can't be seen blushing. "I guess I kind of messed up on the whole dead theme… But uhm… I'll get it right next party." She's certain that there will be one, maybe, she's hoping. Turning toward the birthday girl, the banana stretches out her hand and grins, "Hi, I'm Delia… Apartment 501… This is… I didn't know what to get you, so…" The small package is extended toward Colette as the piece of fruit's grin falters a little. Hopefully Colette enjoys bodice rippers…

Nicole laughs when Colette throws her arms around her, barely keeping the drinks in her hands from sloshing about. "I love you, too, Sissy," she murmurs into the girl's slicked-back hair. "You deserve a celebration of you." When Colette backs away again to smooch her girlfriend, Nicole gives a small nod of thanks to Tasha for her role in arranging the festivities. She then withdraws from the quickly tangled knot that's forming around her little sister, moving over to the bar to take a seat and listen to the music while nursing her drink.

Kendall notices the band starting to pick up, and so he heads over thataway. He pauses by the bar, but the barkeep just gives him a look so he doesn't even bother trying to finagle some alcohol out of him. For those new to the party, Kendall is wearing black clothes, but over that is a wire frame wrapped in see-through fabric in the shape of Zero the ghost dog, and on Kendall's head is a hat of the same forming the dog's head. Also, all along the edges there are white LEDs, and of course, Zero's nose is a bright orange pumpkin.

Huffing out an exasperated breath at Tasha's salacious comment, Colette waves one hand in the air and heelsteps backwards and then canters to the side towards Nicole, snatching up the drink from her sister's hand that she was offered, offering a look over to Kendall with one brow raised. "Dogs can't drink beer, s'bad. Even for ghost dogs," Colette explains with a wry smile. "S'good t'see you here, kid." Kendall may not be much younger than Colette, but she will get away with calling anyone younger than her kid provided they also can't beat her up. Kendall is the perfect target for such aggressions.

Making a face at the drink, Colette lifts one brow and tilts her head to the side. It's a wordless inquiry of non-alcoholic, even though she tips it back slowly and takes a sip with a wry smile. "Thanks for puttin' all've this on, Sis. I— I never had a birthday thing like this before. Not— not outside've just me'n you." Glancing back over at Tasha, Colette wrinkles her nose playfully and looks back up to Nicole.

"I gotta' go make the rounds'n stuff," mismatched eyes shift over to the stage where Sable, Else and Quinn along with their hired drummer are starting up a Cure song. Colette practically sighs all of the air in her lungs out, a huge smile spreading across her lips as she turns on seeing Delia and— a— gorilla coming over.

Seems like working the rounds starts with them!

"Hey! Yeah we've kind've passed in passin'. I think I dropped off some medical supplies down for you one morning while you were in. Didn't have time t'properly introducemyself or nothin'. It— it's really awesome that you showed up." There's a fond smile that spread across Colette's black-painted and wax pencil stitched lips. "Really, I— you didn't have t'get me anything."

Reaching down for the small package, Colette leans over to set her half-finished drink down on one of the unoccupied tables on the floor, then begins peeling at the packaging with her black and white gloved hands. "Who's King Kong?" Colette asks with a brow lifted, peeling back the wrapper of her present to—


Mismatched eyes stare vacantly at the title of the book she's uncovered, staring confusedly before looking up to Delia with one white brow lifted, lips parted and a moment of awkward silence before she breaks out into a snickering fit of laughter. "Oh my God this is so bad!"

"Pick any random page and I guarantee you'll a purple-prose-filled sex scene within the chapter on either side." Jaiden gives a sideways look to Delia, wondering about the taste of giving romance novels as gifts, but still, it's the thought that counted, right? "I'm Jaiden. Delia's Boyfriend." There. He's introduced himself.

Entering the club is none other than the Oogie Boogie man himself. He looks around the club as if he is checking it for safety before he opens the door for a little girl to walk in. Probably the youngest patron to enter the place, her hair an inky black and braided into two braids that falls past her shoulders. Dressed in a dark dress and black stockings with a collared white shirt and patent leather black shoes. It's none other than Wednesday! Except this Wednesday has light blue eyes.

"JoJo! Come on!" Molly shouts to her bodyguard and before the big burly man can stop her she's racing towards the woman she knows as Colette. "Lettie! Lettie! Lookie here!" she jumps up and down as she moves forward, waving a black box in her hands.

JoJo pushes people out of the way and catches up to Molly and puts a hand on her shoulder. "Mol, don't go to far. Your dad will have my head." A voice growls out from the costume. You can bet there's a weapon of some kind on the agent.. just where is the question.

"Shush JoJo, I haven't seen her in ages- Colette!" there she goes again, rushing off towards the birthday girl. JoJo looks down at his hands and then sighs. "This job will be the death of me." Poor JoJo.

Clapping Doyle on the arm, Ygraine grins at the big man - real teeth gleaming between painted-on ones - before peering quizzically at the banana. That voice definitely sounds familiar… but so does the song. Sable playing something she actually recognises? Wonder of wonders…. Shaking her head, she chuckles to herself, only to be distracted by the gorilla's introduction. It's enough to earn Kong a grin and a doffing of the top hat from the Macabre Hatter.

"Jaiden! Good to see you. We've met, but usually I don't have blue skin and yarn hair, and she usually is… okay, she always dresses like a boy, but she's prettier, normally," Tasha bubbles, reaching to give Delia a hug and a kiss on the cheek, blue makeup probably making yellow makeup slightly green.

Brown eyes dart to the cover of the book and Tasha snorts. "Um. I think the heat's the wrong gender, there, but I'm sure we'll find some use for it…" she quips then blinks at Molly hurtling toward Colette, then toward Oogie Boogie, brows rising slightly.

"I am not a kid." Kendall mock-scowls at Colette. "I'm going to be legal next year." well, depends on what constitutes 'legal'. Vote, die for his country, smoke, sex, buy things off the TV… yeah, 18 is great, considering he's not interested in any of those except the sex thing. At this point, Kendall notices the banana, and smirks. "Why am I suddenly reminded of sex ed class?"

"Jaiden?" Colette blurts out with a burst of laughter at his costume. "Oh man it's so good t'see you again! Delia I didn't know you knew Jaiden, that's awesome! He's like, Austrailian rambo or some shit, I totally— " woah hey oh Colette just realized she was talking about Ferrymen activities in relative public. Clamping down on her words she offers a grimace up at the two and looks down to the book with a squared stare.

"This is like the nastiest thing anyone has ever given me, but I totally know what I am going to do with it." Lunging over to Delia, Colette throws an arm around the redhead and air-kisses beside her cheek, if only to spare her banana suit the makeup smudge of her white-painted face. "Thanks, I really appreciate it."

Leaning away from Delia, Colette looks up to Jaiden with a crooked smile, only to be bowled over by little, tiny Wednesday Addams. Yelping, Colette stumbles to the side, looking down with a wide-eyed stare as she spots—

"Molly!?" There's a squeak of happiness as she recognizes the young girl she'd befriended what feels like ages ago. "Holy— holy shit Molly! How did— how did you— " find me? Yeah that's a pretty dumb question isn't it Colette?

"Oh my God best present ever!" Throwing her arms around the brunette, Colette swings Molly around and offers a look up to the sack-cloth man with her, brows furrowed. "Is— " mismatched eyes look down. "Is that your dad?"

The bright yellow makeup that's mixed into a tinge of green at the cheeks where Tasha kissed does wonders to hide the crimson blush underneath. Delia's first thought is toward the book as a gift and she shrugs, the peaked hat popping upward, taller than the rest of the crowd for the span of a second before it dips down again. "I'm uhm… Well I didn't really consider the gender… I mean… It's sort of the in thing right now, everyone that I know owns a copy. Except Lucille, but she's not really good on keeping up with stuff that isn't clothes."

Kendall's remark earns a bit of a grimace from the banana who just turns slightly toward the gorilla and murmurs an apology, "Sorry… I meant to introduce you… I just keep forgetting that you don't know everyone in the city." When Colette bursts in with recognition, the young woman grins widely and nods. "Yeah… he's.. boyfriend…" But she's already tackled by a little black-clad monster.

Kendall notices Molly coming in and acting completely opposite to who she's dressed as, and hides a smirk. "I didn't know Wednesday Addams was capable of squealing and glomping people. That's…. somehow even creepier than just lurking in the corner like always and talking about weird stuff."

Still chuckling, and again shaking her head - now at the strangely adhesive version of Wednesday Adams - Ygraine moves away from Colette and those gathered around her to head in search of a drink and a quiet seat for herself. Might as well enjoy the familiar music for as long as it lasts…

"Lettie, I've missed you! How do you mean, how did I find you? Duh!" Molly says and she jumps and down and squeezes Colette tight as she beams at the older girl. "This is my.. err.. bodyguard. My dad works for the government and he doesn't like me being alone. Yeah, he's insanely protective." Meaning.. he has no idea that Molly is conversing with a bunch of rebels!

"I bought this for you!" she says with a huge grin and she shoves the black box towards Colette. Inside, the young woman would find a black and silver choker. Very elegant but something that Colette could wear on a everyday basis if she so wished, too.

"I thought you'd love it!" she grins and waits for her reaction to the gift. Molly does look over the crowd once before settling her gaze back on Colette.

"Eyes somewhere else." JoJo says from behind Kendall. If he didn't have the mask on.. he'd be giving Kendall the death glare. Before he finally moves on and puts himself behind Molly, watching everyone for a few moments. He doesn't want to die by Matt's brain.

"JoJo! Stop being creepy, go grab a drink or something!" Molly snaps at her bodyguard but the man doesn't budge. "No cookies for you." She says and the bodyguard gasps, "But- I..- damn.."

"Molly!" The tiny little Indian girl named Mala - currently a witch - bounds over across the room towards the clairvoyant and her bodyguard, followed by Paul and Lance, who are clearly far too cool to run, although they're grinning too.

Doyle smiles past the beard, a contented expression, and then he turns to lumber along over towards the bar in search of something to drink. He's dressed like Santa, he needs some chemical aid if he has to be jolly too.

Kendall turns his stare onto JoJo. "Since when is it a crime to look at someone?" he retorts, rolling his eyes. "Trust me, I'm not interested in kids." just like Colette, Kendall would easily refer to someone younger than him as a kid.

Smirking at the hoopla and giving an appreciative glance at the band as they rock, Tasha makes eye contact with Nicole and slips off toward the kitchen beyond the bar, content to give Colette her time with her admirers.

Having a half-full cocktail in front of her hasn't stopped Nicole from speeding up the process by doing two shots of tequila, with lime and salt, while her sister mingles with her friends. She catches Tasha's eye and nods quickly, tugging her glove back on over the hand she was licking salt from. (Possibly suggestively, possibly while making eye contact with Sable.) She also tucks a curl behind her ear. That's composure, right? Right. Totally.

The band's a couple of songs in now, backing the dull rumble of people conversing out amongst the crowd, but with a last strum of guitar and beat of a drum, the set comes to an end - for now, at least. Letting out a happy sigh, Quinn's bass is slung off her shoulder and gripped in hand, the Irishwoman taking a moment to place it back on its stand before she hops down from the stage, a wide grin on her face as she ambles over towards the larger group, waving at Jaiden and Delia , and eyeing the new younger girl she hasn't previously met. "I hope everyone enjoyed the music. Don't worry, we're doin' more later!"

Jaiden and Delia make their way toward the dance floor, the banana trying her best to actually do anything but the white man shuffle while the music is playing. It's not an easy feat, especially when you have such bulk on the up and the down side of a costume. Jaiden's is a little easier to maneuver in, though the fur makes the heat almost intolerable. "We'll wait for the birthday song and then we'll make our way home, okay?" His or hers, probably his to make sure Delia doesn't die when her sister finds the state of the bathroom… and all of her makeup.

Surrounded by the music booming from the stage, Sable's voice and Else and Quinn's work on the guitar, Colette is surrounded by the unexpectedly amazing environment of a surprise party. Taking a step back just enough to try and assess the choker she'd been given by Molly, Colette slowly shakes her head and exhales an exasperated breath. "It's— Molly you didn't have to…" Colette's smile grows, and she folds up the soft fabric of the choker in her gloved hands, not wanting to get it dirtied by the white makeup all over her neck.

Tucking it into the front pocket of her pinstriped suit, Colette takes a step over and wraps her arms around Molly, squeezing the younger girl tightly. "Thank you so much Molly, it— it really means a lot to see you here. I gotta' go mingle with everyone else though, but don't go anywhere, okay!"

Beaming, Colette takes a step back and looks over to where Delilah is seated in her bee costume, offering the redhead a sheepish smile before turning her attention to the stage, watching Sable, Quinn and Else playing. There's a gaping smile, a shake of her head in disbelief. There's only two more things that could make this night perfect.

But Judah Demsky and Tamara Brooks aren't anywhere to be seen.

It just goes to prove, you can't always get what you want. But Colette's pretty sure the rest of that song says something about trying real hard.

And getting what you need.

Biting down on her bottom lip, Colette takes a step away and over to where Doyle is Clausing it up. "Hey! Big man!" There's a broad smile spread across the teen's face. "Thanks for showin' up… it— it really means a lot t'me t'see you here, Eri— Santa." Wrinkling her nose, Colette folds her gloved hands behind her back, rising up on booted toes.

"D'you get me anything?"

Big smile.

Coming through the doors from the kitchen are some of the Cellar employees, dressed like witches, carrying a four-tiered fondant cake — the bottom layer is black and orange swirls, the next black and white stripes, the next patchwork like Sally's dress, and finally, the top, a purple with the curlicue cliff, Jack and Sally walking atop of it in front of a giant yellow moon. Around the sides are Lock, Shock and Barrel, the two-faced mayor, scaredy cats and pumpkins, Zero and various little packages wrapped in spider-web ribbons, all done in frosting and fondant.

Rather than mar the top of the cake with 19 candles, there are instead two candles, a 1 and a 9 in purple and green, lit and waiting for Colette to blow them out.

Tasha follows with a proud smile and waves to the band to kick into "Happy Birthday."

"Hey, kiddo." A broad smile's mostly concealed by the white curls of fake beard, at least until Doyle reaches a hand up to tug the false whiskers down beneath his chin so his voice won't get muffled too - and so when he gets his drink poured he can actually sip from it. "Hey, I mean— any excuse to, you know, get out and about and everything…"

Then he blinks credulously at her, "Did I get you anything? Well, I don't know… maybe I should check the sack while you blow out the candles…"

Kendall sees the cake wheeled out, and grins at it. "Hey, I'm on the cake!" he exclaims brightly, flicking his lights on and off for emphasis. "Nice."

And that's Nicole's cue! Sliding down from her seat at the bar, she hikes up her skirts enough to climb up on the stage and claim one of the microphones for herself. "I know I'm not one of the terribly talented musicians we have tonight, but I'd like to lead this number myself, with your permission."

Which she doesn't wait for, because this is her show. "Happy birthday to you," Nicole sings, gesturing for the rest of the party to follow suit. Once the final note has been sung, she addresses her sister. "Make a wish and blow the candles out!"

"Oh my God.. MALA!!!!" Molly shrieks and she nearly tackles the younger girl as she hugs her. "What the heck.. how are you??" The clairvoyant grins at Paul and Lance. "Get over.. buttheads." They are all conversing with JoJo watching in the background until the cake is brought out.

"Paul, I need you to make the room deaf. Mala, push these people out of the way? let's get that cake!" Molly yells at the top of her lungs and she prepares to dash forward before JoJo grabs the back of her dress. "Molly.. no. The birthday girl gets first dibs." Then they are singing happy birthday…

Is JoJo singing? …

Unfortunate for the rest of the crowd, Happy Birthday is one of Delia's favorite tunes, especially as of late. "Happy birthday to you~ Happy Biiiiiiiiirthday dear Coleeeeette~" Her voice is horribly off key to the point of ear bleeding, it's a wonder how the gorilla can stand so close to her. "Happy Birthday to YOOOOUUUU~" The last word sounds more like a cracking yodel than anything else.

It's a really good thing people are having fun.

Quinn laughs as she steps, as furtively as she can manage over to a chair where a surprisingly large box sits, making no attempt at hiding the fact that she's singing happy Birthday along with the rest of the group - though she doesn't start back before she makes use of a very handy trick Colette had taught her only a few weeks before, Quinn lingering for a moment as the box vanishes in her hands, Quinn starting over towards the cake and the rest of the group.

Tasha's dark eyes are soft as she watches Colette, her voice actually rather good. She knows what Colette's wish is, she's sure of it, and if doubling the power of wishing makes it any more likely to come true, then Colette's wish is augmented by Tasha's own. She reaches out to take one of Colette's hands, squeezing it as she waits for the candles to be put out and wishes made.

All startle and leap is how Tasha might see Colette, and for all the preparation in the world, Colette cannot help but be surprised by the arrival of the cake Tasha has had constructed. There's a squeak, a squeal, and a look of wide-eyed excitement when she sees the elaborate fondant bring brought out. Looking askance to Eric, Colette takes a step over to him and throws her arms around his neck and shoulders, leaning in to plant a kiss to his bearded cheek that leaves a smudge of white makeup.

"You're the best Eric," Colette chirps before biting down on her bottom lip and leaning away, turning on her heels for the cake as Nicole rises up to the stage and leads everyone in singing the song that serves the purpose of embarrassing whoever's birthday it is the most. It harkens back to memories of Nicole telling wait staff it was Colette's birthday every other week at one of those chain restaurants that makes the wait staff sing and cheer like trained chimps. They got away with it for two whole weeks.

Colette turned about as red then as she is now, thankfully she has the protective layer of white makeup to hide it this time. Looking sheepish as she approaches the cake, Colette looks up to Nicole and shakes her head slowly, a stunned expression of surprise before she sidles over and looks askance to Tasha, breathing in deeply as her hand is taken, then turns and exhales a sharp breath over the candles.

When they blow out, there's a sound in the back of her mind. Gunfire, screams, crackling fire.

Please don't let it happen.

Maybe if she doesn't tell anyone, her wish will come true.

The little dark haired teenager walks up to Colette and tugs on her coat. "Lettie.. I.. if you need me to find someone for you? That's my other gift." She says softly to the older woman and she grins brightly to her. Colette is like another sister to her.. even though they haven't seen each other in forever. Molly looks at JoJo. "If you let me stay out until twelve.. I'll make you cupcakes!" JoJo snorts, "I have cake."

The banana and the gorilla hang to the back of the cake gathering crowd, just watching the rest of the people get cake before they move in. Finding Tasha and Colette again, Delia smiles and gives a little fingerwave. "We're going to head out. Thanks for inviting us… It's a really great party. Next time I'll have a better gift, I promise." Although this one did get a good laugh out of the birthday girl. "See you soon Tasha! I made some monk — " There's a quick glance to Jaiden as she grins and tries to suppress the laugh building inside of her. "Uhm… monkey bread… I'll bring some over."

Once the candles have been blown out, Nicole lifts the glass (the one with the cocktail, not a shot glass of tequila) in her hand in the air. "As we all know, Colette is one of those kinds of girls who just has to be contrary. This was evident from her very birth. Did you know that ninety-some percent of kids are born with blue eyes?" Nicole's brows arch upward as if to say did'ja know that? "Hers were green."

Teasing aside, Nicole's bright smile fades into something softer, more serious. "Our lives have taken us some pretty unexpected directions, Colette. When I first laid eyes on you when you came home from the hospital, I never could have guessed that my baby sister and I would be where we are today. Here you are now, a grown woman. You are beautiful, kind, bright, and so full of life." She falls silent for a moment, just to hold her sister's mismatched gaze and share something wholly non-verbal and secret between sisters.

The Corpse Bride takes a deep breath, shaking her head, "And I'm a sap. I just want to say that you deserve this." Nicole gestures to the people gathered to celebrate the evening. "I love you more than words can express. And for the sake of saving us both further embarrassment, I won't try." That brilliant smile returns and her glass is lifted higher. "To my dear sister, Colette. Without whom my life would be frightfully dull." Ah, there are so many ways that could be meant. "Cheers to you, Sissy."

"Cheers!" Quinn echoes as a follow up, hoping she's not the only one to do so. That would be embarrassing. Her box held precariously under one arm - which is probably noticeable enough when one isn't distracted, even if the box itself is invisible. Pulling up a seat, she plops down, box in her lap. "Whenever you've had enough cake, Colette, I have something for you!"

"See you," Tasha says softly, waving to Delia and Jaiden, then echoing Nicole's sentiments with a "Hear, hear!" Tasha raises a glass of — she's not really sure yet, nor when it got handed to her — and beaming at Colette. She doesn't make a speech but simply leans closer to Colette to kiss her cheek, her makeup smearing a bit on the white of Jack Skellington's face, and vice versa. Their character counterparts never had to deal with mixing makeup; neither, usually, do Tasha and Colette, since both tend toward the tomboy look. Chapstick doesn't leave marks.

"Love you, Colie," she whispers, then steps back to let the others clamor around the birthday girl — watching with affection for the girl who seems to be the center of so many of their lives, but especially and so blessedly, hers.

Lips pressed together tightly to keep them from embarrassingly wobbling, Colette watches her sister for the duration of the speech with watery eyes and an obvious look of surprise on her face. For as long as she's known her sister, Nicole's never been one for public displays of affection, especially of the familial variety. Kind words were reserved for behind closed doors, any affection was kept subtle, distant, unseen. Hearing her sister say something so moving.

Leaning against Tasha out of fear that a stiff wind could bowl her over at this point, Colette lifts up one hand to her eyes and wipes them dry, turning only when she notices Delia and her lovable gorilla companion making their way for the exit. There's a long pause between recognition of departure and Colette lifting a hand in parting wave. She has a lot going on, in her mind and outside, so there's bound to be some slowdown.

Looking back to the cake, then up to Nicole, Colette mouths the words Love you too to her sister as she wraps one arm around Tasha's shoulders, squeezing her tightly. There's still presents to hand out, still gift to unwrap, still songs to be played. But right now being surrounded by her friends and the people the matter most in the world to her are gift enough. At least, that's what she feels right now.

Nobody can say no to presents.

Not even Colette.

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