Log:I Love Trouble
It has been far too long since the trio of terror has had much of a moment's peace to just unwind and catch up. With the show looming tonight, it's been chaos. Mona slipped a note under the siblings' doors somewhere in the midst of the night before to insist on an early in the day home spa day... or hour or so, before the first official performance kicks off later.
She is already in the sauna, wrapped in a towel, and looking half-melted. She is, however, smiling. Dammit. That's just not remotely right or normal, especially since it's before noon.
Jade steps in with a towel wrapped around his hips. It barely covers anything. He's never given much thought to modesty with his sisters. He's known them all his life. "I got your note," he says as he takes a seat on the wooden boards. "How are you feeling? Ready for tonight?" He's never had stage fright. He doesn't look the least bit nervous. Then again, wake and bake does make a guy relaxed.
"Sale at Joann?" Thea quips as she slides into the sauna and catches sight of the smile on Mona's mug. Jade's query is.. well, not so much ignored, but procrastinated on for now. Because that'd require her to admit just how petrified she's feeling. Her robe is slipped out of, and used to soften the seat beneath her.
One eye opens when the door does, and goosebumps prickle up over Mona's skin with the sudden draft. It doesn't seem to trouble her -- it's more like a brief relief, invigorating. The smile starts at one corner of her mouth, then crosses over to the other side right around the time her other eye opens, and she sits up by a fraction. "As the one of us who has managed to avoid being on stage since those awful dance recitals when we were kids?"
Thea gets another grin, and she can't help but giggle to herself at the inquiry. "Nah. Just nerves and... episodes of Dark Shadows intruding on the real world aside? Things have been going pretty well."
Jade settles back, letting the towel fall where it may. He's got nothing to hide. His eyes drift shut, and he says, "You'll be fine." This is probably directed at both of them. "Thea, I'm going to wear a dress to prom. I don't see the need to bother Mom and Dad with it. I hope, Mona, you'll design it for me? I have a few ideas. I want to blow people's minds. I want the jocks to question their sexuality for the rest of their lives."
The beauty of a good sauna -- and undoubtedly, the Marchants have one -- is that once the door seals shut again, it doesn't take long for any fleeting chill to vanish. And already, Thea looks to be melting into a state of relaxation. "Ohgod good idea, sis. Needed this," she murmurs as her eyes sink closed. "Jade, I'm just gonna stay here all night, you can step in for me as Aurora, right?" There's a beat, then she looks to Mona. "Should I go retail for my dress, so you can focus all of your creativity on Jade's? Because this is a thing that must happen." Her gaze slides back to her brother. "I'll cut you if you turn James off of girls, though."
"I need to show you both my sketches," Mona insists, "once you're sworn to secrecy. It involves a quick-change to dodge Mom and Father. So... you don't need to worry about Father approving of a damned thing, if you're worried about his reaction, Jade. Though, really... they will get the fuck over it either way." Her head tilts in Thea's direction, and the squint is mighty. "Do not even start with that. You know there is all the time in the world when it comes to fashion." And helpful elves she can hire if needed for a crunch. "Make them all bi, or... yeah. Bi is good." Easy for her to say.
Jade says, "I'll do my best not to turn him completely off girls, but I can't control this." The 'this' he refers to is his body, which he gestures to lazily. "Honestly, if you look back at the stuff I've done, this is nothing compared to some of my greatest hits. I mean at least it's just a dress, not like that time I tried to smuggle coke home from rehab in my coat lining."
"I mean.. chances are good that Daddy'll hear about it either way, eventually. Seems like nothing happens in this town without him knowing, in the end. But.." Thea's hand waves toward Mona. "What she said. He'll get over it. He loves you, even if he's got weird ways of showing it sometimes." Her nose crinkles. "Like locking me up and surrounding the house with a freakin' private army."
"I don't know. I mean. How long have they not minded Zane staying here?" Her eyes had started to sink closed again, but Mona arches a single brow. "I think they're starting to loosen the bridle a little, save for. Well." A sigh slips free. "You are kinda their last, best hope for grandkids." There is a pause. "Maybe that's why they don't mind. Jesus."
"You're precious to him," Jade says to Thea, his eyes still closed. "He'd do more than that to protect you." He waves a hand, adding, "I know he loves me. And hey, I might father grandkids. Just because the idea of having kids freaks me out right now doesn't mean I won't change my mind in ten years. Or fifteen. Maybe fifteen. Anyway, think of how much more relieved they'll be for those grandkids after how much of a raging queen I plan on being now."
"Mm. I mean, I'm going to focus on dance for a while, but I do want kids eventually," Thea admits, before shooting Jade a look. "I wouldn't say I'm 'precious.' I'm just one of those annoying 'Daddy's Girl' types, 'cause it seems like it makes him happy, and it maybe takes some of the focus off of.. y'know, stuff that we do that he isn't so thrilled about." Like wearing a dress to prom. When you have a penis.
Camera One leaves back to Lake Havasu - Marchant House
"In fairness, I'm sure we'd all have beautiful children, if we were into that." Mona sighs again, slowly shaking her head as her eyes fully close once more. "Guys are lucky, though. You don't have a clock ticking on it all. You could be a glorious seventy-three year old drag goddess and still have kids." There is nothing else to punctuate those words with other than a dull snort.
"Well, I'm wearing cutoff jeans and biker jacket," she says, not sounding at all like she's kidding. "And underwear as outerwear." Not kidding.
"Yeah, but you're his Daddy's girl," Jade points out. "And of course you're precious. You're my sister. You're both precious. The first time I realized I could straight up kill someone was the first time I saw you get catcalled by an asshole I wasn't sure was going to take no for an answer." He slinks down where he sits so he's resting his shoulders against the wall. So slouchy. "I'll try not to wait til I'm seventy-three. I mean I'm sure I could still have kids, but by then all I'll have left are the gimpy sperm."
"You should absolutely have at least one," Thea pushes Jade, her eyes twinkling. "If for no other reason than to give Mona the chance to design the most fabulous baby clothes in the history of fashion."
"I hereby insist on designing everyone's children's formalwear. And I will not subject anyone to those horrible lace bows Mom foisted on us unless they -- for some alien reason -- want them." Her nose wrinkles delicately. "And no Shirley Temple haircuts, god." Mona stretches her arms over her head, trying to work a kink or twelve out of her shoulders. "Kinda glad I was the family beanpole up until the start of junior year, not gonna lie there."
"I was always disappointed I didn't get a bow," Jade admits. "That should've been a hint right there." He grins and stretches, then resettles. "I'll have at least one. Dad said I might have to marry a woman for professional reasons. If so, I'll find a lesbian who needs a green card. I get my shiny new wife, and she gets to munch as much carpet as she wants in the free world. We can turkey baster it if we have to."
Thea is by no means a prude, or even straight-laced in the slightest. Still, even she can't help but to choke a little when Jade speaks so bluntly. "I have no idea why you'd need to marry a woman for professional reasons," she tells him after she's recovered her composure to a reasonable degree, "But if it comes down to that, I officially co-claim Best Man with Mona."
"You can have my bow, if you want it. I still have that thing in the costume clo-" Mona just stops right there. "You know, I should donate a lot of that crap to the theater department. Or send more of it off to the party boxes. But you can have the bow?"
"I think Father's just happy there's a guy in the picture in my case, anyway." There is a pause. "Yeah, I'm not seeing that unless there's some crazy legacy bullshit going on, and... " There, she pauses again, and her expression grows all the more serious. "You don't think this weird bloodline stuff is why, do you? The stuff Mr. Chen was talking about?"
"I'll take the bow," Jade says. "Even if I don't wear it, I'll have it, and that's the important thing." He's quiet for a moment, his brow knitting as he thinks. "I can't imagine what kind of career I'll have that'll require a wife. I'm not going to go the country club route. Bunch of boring-ass straight white men, anyway. I didn't want to argue with him, though. I don't know about the bloodline. The bloodline is one of the reasons I wouldn't have kids, to be honest. This anemia thing almost killed me. Hell, it still might. I don't want to put that on some kid."
"Yeah, but they're making advancements in medicine all the time," Thea points out quietly, sobering some at Jade's comments about the major -- and for him, nearly fatal -- drawback of being a Marchant. "I'm sure there's eventually going to be a cure for it."
"I mean, it... stands to reason that might be why the pressure's there, though. Why it's so important to him that one of us does it." Mona considers this for a moment more, then asks, "Thea, you're with James, and I'm seeing Zane now, and do we have any idea if this is one of those 'don't cross the streams' sorts of situations? Because I really fucking hope not."
"I wonder if it's the name, too," Jade says. "That's why he'd want me to marry a woman, to give him Marchant grandchildren. I don't see why Theodore can't spit out a few pups. Maybe when he does, I can relax a little." Not that he looks overly pressured at the moment. He's melted pleasantly. "Ugh, I don't know. I don't want to think about fathering kids. I just want to get to graduation in one piece."
"That," Thea voices in agreement with Jade, nodding. "Right now, just gonna focus on surviving this whole Dark Shadows nightmare, and not turning into.. whatsherface, Elvira or whatever. That is not a look I could pull off." She smirks, then looks to Mona. "Better not be, though.. I mean, who's to say where any of us will be five years from now? Not that I want James and me to split up, but I don't even know for sure what college he's looking at."
"Might be. But it's not like all women change their names these days, anyway. Or that we couldn't just, maybe have a kid on our own without marrying some guy." Mona speaks society heresy without a flinch. "I mean, they wouldn't be thrilled by that, but if anybody could pull it off with class and panache, it's us."
Thea speaks sense, and Mona knows it. It doesn't mean she's not a complete sap; there are reasons she just doesn't date. The sigh is worthy of a wince. She would never dare wear that expression in public. "I would say the same, but, like. He's perfect. Actually perfect. I would be annoyed if I wasn't happy to the point of utter stupidity."
"If there ever comes a time when gay people can get married," Jade says, "I want to marry Spear. A for-real marriage, not just the trappings like Hector and Cash are doing. I mean, it's never going to happen, but if it did. I'm just happy he's coming to New York with us. He can do whatever he wants there, you know? He could study anything."
Thea nods, worrying at her lower lip with her teeth for a moment as she looks down. She seems trifle flushed, though it could very well be the sweltering heat in here. "I feel.. whole, when I'm with James. Like, I won't lie, sometimes I feel like a complete idiot next to him, 'cause he's so smart, like brilliant smart. But he never seems like he's judging me for it; when he looks at me I feel like I'm the most perfect thing he's ever seen, and ohmigod, when he kisses me.. I feel like I could do anything. So I want it to last. Like always. It's gonna destroy me if he goes off to like.. Yale or Oxford or some other far-off school."
"Spear is genuinely one of the best people in the universe, Jade, so consider me on tap for Best-Co-Something-ing. All around." Mona swallows a breath, and crosses her arms over her chest, slumping back into the bench with closed eyes. "How the hell did we find such keepers in high school?" There's a shake of her shoulders as she laughs almost too quietly to hear. "Three totally amazing guys, and we've known them forever, and... " There's that look again, the one she wouldn't be caught dead with in public.
"Swear to God if either of you repeats this I will deny it to my grave," she quietly insists. One eye opens, conspiratorial. Suspicious.
"...we sing in the shower."
"Spear's got an amazing dick," Jade says dreamily. Then he snorts and a giggle escapes as Mona admits she and Zane sing in the shower. "Dorks," he says. "I just get serenaded by Meezer." Loudly. Every single frickin' time he steps under the spray. That cat. "Spear and I are gonna go all the way. I'm taking him to a hotel."
"I.. think James and I are gonna do it, too. Prom night," Thea reveals, her cheeks looking pinker still. Then she blinks, and stares between her siblings for long moments, back and forth. "Wait.. so you've both seen your boyfriend's.. uh." Well Jade said it plainly and easily enough, but Thea's a bit more hesitant. And ultimately, she wimps out and goes with, "Dangly bits?"
Mona giggles outright at 'dork'. "Guilty." She is. It's the shift in conversation that has her eyes creaking open again.
Now she looks really guilty. And a little incredulous, too.
"Uhm." Guiltiest word in the English language, right there.
"Seen it," Jade says without a stitch of shame, "blown it." He sweeps his hair back from his brow with his hand, and he looks rather pleased with himself. He then says to Mona, "Dude, I'm pretty sure I've seen it. We're drama kids." Sometimes you just have to change where you can, in front of whoever's there.
Thea staaaares. First at one, then the other of them. And then, slap go her hands on the bench to either side of herself, and she's shoving upward to her feet. "All right, bitches. I'm out of here -- apparently I have some catching up to do." Is she kidding? She looks.. sort of ferociously determined. Surely she wouldn't take her well-established competitive streak to those extremes, would she? But there she is, stepping toward the door.
"I think maybe kinda all those things people have thought we were doing for something like the past four years, we're suddenly doing. It's just all been this week. Like, condensed into a week. Since the sleepover." It all tumbles out of Mona's mouth in one breath, far too fast. Like what she's describing.
She's suddenly red from toes to hairline and it isn't the heat in the sauna. "What, you mean you guys didn't hear that?! Even right up against the-" Her eyes widen a fraction. "And you really really thought I was just checking on the shirts he picked out in the dressing room for a whole half hour when we were shopping in Phoeni-" Pause. "OK, that one's plausible as fuck, I'm going to shut up now."
And coils into her towel as though she hopes it might eat her.
It doesn't stop her from looking over to Jade and stage-whispering, "It's really nice, isn't it."
"NoOoOoOoOo!" she protests as Thea gets to her feet, and she makes grabby hand gestures in her sister's direction with a desperate stare. "Get in here before I feel like the town-house-whatever whore!" would probably be better to have yelled before the door was open, but such is life.
Jade gives Mona a thumb's up. Zane is Jade-approved. Take that for what it's worth. Then his shoulders shake with mirth, and there's laughter in his voice as he tells Thea, "Hold up, cowgirl. Let's talk about it some more." He then tells Mona, "No one gets to be the townhouse whore unless it's me. I'm earning the title as fast as I can."
"What? I've got the Altoids, he's got the dangly thing, what's there to talk about?" Thea asks as she pauses in the.. yes, still wide open sauna door. Cripes. Apparently even she realizes, albeit just as late as Mona did, that such topics are probably best discussed behind closed doors, so.. yeah. She closes it again.
"I need to see if you can get, like, spare knees on retainer or something. That should be something that exists, if it doesn't." Mona, still beet red, eases down from what seems as if it might have become a perpetual state of jazz hands the moment the door closes, and only then does she let herself glance over to Jade and grin a little.
"Prom is a good plan, for one thing, which really means I'm making your dress, lord above. There are, you know, considerations if that's the plan and everything."
Jade has shown zero sign of shyness or shame. Nary a blush or even a wry smile. He's stretched out, relaxed, and comfortable as can be. "I want a strapless number that's form fitting to my hips, then it flares out, kind of like a mermaid cut only a little higher. I'll be wearing stockings and heeled boots, or maybe just heels if I can find some that will fit me. I'll want to have something sexy on under it, because I totally plan on giving it up to Spear afterward. But it'll be a hotel room or something. I don't need something I have to quick change out of in a limo."
"Ohgod. Nope. I gotta.." Thea hadn't actually sat back down yet, which turns out to be for the best, since now she's fumbling for the door again. She's blushing like a fiend now, and there's no help for it. "I love you both, but I cannot be thinking about you both bumping uglies with your guys when I need to be getting into the zone for tonight." The performance. Lort. Here's hoping she manages to ditch the pink cheeks before the curtain goes up.
"I am pretty safe from dragon predation at this particular juncture," is just the way Mona puts it, still red as a box of Valentine's Day chocolates. "So I can focus on these details as needed." There is a pause, and she purses her lips thoughtfully. "Garter belt, you think? Because I think yes."
"And we can find the shoes. We can still work the iris angle, if you like. Maybe something like... bustle flower. Petals curving down over your ass."
Watching Thea, she blows her a kiss. "Just remember, you get to kiss him tonight, too!" She really is the devil.
Jade giggles as Thea cannot. He's never had any shame. Not when he was a streaking toddler, not when he was being poked and prodded and gazed upon by dozens of doctors at the hospital, not now. "I'm thinking garter belt," he says. "I totally want to work the iris angle, maybe with a few sunflowery highlights that could match Spear's irisy highlights." He thinks, then says, "I don't know if I want to obscure my ass. It'll depend on how the taut fabric frames it."
Mona watches Thea go with a sudden soberness of expression well beyond her years. "You know," she muses, "for all the years and years that people thought something was going on between Zane and me, people would have pictured, like, every possible thing we haven't even considered yet, by now."
"We're pretty fucking lucky, when you think about it. Not just, you know. All of this-" she says as she flicks a hand to indicate the sauna, and presumably the luxury of the estate as it is, and all contained therein. "-but that we found people that are amazing. Seriously amazing. And we love the hell out of them and they love us back."
"I think we can have all the irises and sunflowers and cutoff jeans and underwear on the outside we like at this point."
"After what we've been dealing with, hell yeah," Jade says. "Funny how small things seem when suddenly there are monsters and you're just trying to survive long enough to get the hell out of here. We're lucky in a lot of ways, but in a lot of ways, we should celebrate even making it to prom by wearing whatever we want. I don't know. I hope Fran's gotten the fucking hint and just fucks off. She wasn't around last full moon, so maybe she's given up."
"You're not wrong about the perspective," Mona agrees with a slow nod, easing back to start trying to turn back to a more human color. "I wouldn't count on her having gone for good. Maybe it really is just this house they aren't keen on fucking with, you think? They didn't come here to chase after the twins or Thea, so it could be?" She isn't entirely convinced on this point, but she doesn't know as much as some of the others. "Once the show is over, we should try to go back to talk to Mr. Chen again, I think. I want to see what other specifics he's willing to pass along that might help. Maybe he'd know why?"
"Has he really been that helpful?" Jade asks. "I mean, yeah, I guess he has. I just feel like he's got to have some agenda, and I don't know what it is. What isn't he telling us? Why isn't he telling it? What does he want us to do for him? Maybe I'm just not used to people outside my family and immediate circle of friends acting without expecting something in return."
"I'm sure he has his own agenda," she agrees without hesitation. "He could ask for something later. He could, I don't know, hunt vampires? Work for some rival... thing out there we've never even heard of, yet, that doesn't like them acting out any more than we do."
"In which case," Mona says a little too casually, "we're pawns, but it doesn't mean we can't be smart about it."
"I just remember he ignored me like I wasn't there when I asked how we kill the bitch," Jade says. Of course he would remember something like that. No one acts like he's not there. The spotlight loves him. "So I have to wonder just how committed is he to seeing this through? He's taught us about them, sure, but not about what to do about our bloodlines, not about how to fight back. Just a laundry list of what not to do. I understand being a pawn, but I'm not down for being lambs for the slaughter."
"I'm thinking of maybe heading over there to see what I can find out, fairly soon. Just... quietly. I have a feeling that with a dozen of us all asking questions at once, it turns into nothing but noise, and it's hard to pursue any specifics." Mona seems to finally start melting again. "Maybe the three of us can do it? Bring Spear and James and Zane. Not an epic pile-on again; just turns into a pile-up."
Jade nods and says, "Yeah, everyone has their own question and it's hard to focus. Maybe we'll get more if there's just a few of us. We can see what there is to see." He smiles a little. "Don't let my paranoia get to you, sis. He's probably a great guy, and I'm just looking for the angle because that's what I do."
"You aren't the only one thinking it; there's definitely something in it for him, or someone somehow relevant to him. Maybe he has a long grudge against this Swindon vampire?" With a sigh, she starts to heave her way back up to her feet. "Either way, not for today. Today... " The wince is definitely dramatic enough for the stage. "Spotlight."
Jade grins, and he gets to his feet, reclaiming his towel to wrap around his hips. "I better hit the shower." So Meezer can put the cat in caterwaul. "Break a leg, sis. You'll be great." He winks. "You can't help it. It's in your blood."