A/N I apologise for any mistakes I haven't corrected and anyone's characters I messed up. This is the opening of the Ball, and I really hope you like it! :)
Saph had absolutely no idea how to dance.
But that wasn't going to stop her. The Requiem Ball was in half an hour, and she was determined to be there when it started, even if it was midnight! (Why everyone thought the Aussies were first in the world was beyond her. New Zealand was way ahead of the Australians!)
The air was cold and her blue eyes were starting to droop, but adrenaline and excitement kept her awake. She hurried to change into her dress (Sapphire blue, of course) and scooped her wavy brown hair back.
Five minutes! Saph took one last look in the bathroom mirror as she went to leave and paused. The girl in the mirror didn't look like her. The girl wore her wavy chocolate curls down, for one thing, and her cheeks were practically glowing with happiness. She looked sophisticated and foreign. There was a stupid little smile on her face, but for some reason Saph couldn't wipe it off when she tried.
"Good luck," she whispered to herself in the mirror. Blue eyes smiled back at her as the door softly shut behind her.
Sparky's tree house was pandemonium.
They were in the basement, which astounded Sapphire. How did people even build tree houses this big?
She had to admit though, it was perfect for the occasion. One corner was a music station, complete with a DJ booth that she so desperately wanted too try out. Another corner was given to beanbags, couches, and generally chilling out/ being antisocial. Everyone was swarming around the buffet in the north corner. The delicious smell of irresistible food made Saph's mouth water, but she got the feeling that if anyone got food on the floor, they would be cleaning up while Sparky whipped them- probably better not to risk it.
The final corner was the dancefloor- bigger than Saph's whole house put together.
"Four minutes until the Ball!" a boy yelled as he swept past. Was that Alex Chrome? In a suit? Really?
Apparently it was, because he started zipping around, handing out little disks like the ones used in Mortal Coil. For the first time, Sapphire noticed three Rippers, silent and creepy as hell, standing in the doorway. From what she could see, the treehouse was so secure any way they wouldn't be needed.
"One minute!" she called, suddenly unable to keep the childish excitement from her voice. She was at the Requiem Ball! Her!
There were people everywhere- Sparky was setting the rules of using her place, Mith was panicking and searching frantically for her dress and several people were standing in the doorway, looking completely confused. There was a small crowd around Luci (who looked completely incredible), all squealing and cheering and hugging each other. Saph suddenly felt very small and insignificant. Among all these magical and stunning things, her beautiful dress now seemed very ordinary and plain. Compared to these powerful mages, she was nothing. What had she been thinking? She was a girl, not a ballroom dancer.
Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang.
Too late to back out now. It was midnight!
Alex leapt up onto a platform and yelled into a microphone. "Okay, the Ball has started! Get your sexy fat asses over here!"
Then, to Sapphire's complete surprise and confusion, he let fifty ducks loose.
The laugh bubbled out of her as Adra, Zath, Snow and Aisling appeared like magic- how did they sneak up on her? There was joking and dancing and cheering until Alex leaned back into the microphone. His voice boomed out into the hall as he announced; "Welcome, everyone to the Requiem Ball, 2013.
We, unfortunately, do not have our beloved Golden God here tonight. But we have me. And ducks. So... That's great.
But welcome, and enjoy yourself. There are a number of drinks and foods and snacks and shit in that room over there. Enjoy your night."
Sparky leapt up, her red dress fluttering as she playfully pushed Alex aside to yell into the mike.
"Alright then kiddies! Welcome to my precious treehouse! You break, you die!" She shouted with a gigantic smile that made Saph burst into laughter as the first song played. Always, by Frank Sinatra. What a nice song to start the dance with.
Adra was still bustling about with the make-up and hair stuff, skilfully weaving around the ducks that Zath appeared to be setting on fire. The air smelt of smoke and singed feathers, but the ducks didn't even seem to notice that they were surrounded by flames.
"The ducks are fireproof!" Alex yelled from behind Mara and Luci (Damn, where did Mara get that epic dress?).
"Ducks are fireproof my ass!" Sparky yelled, jumping up and down in an attempt to squash one.
Missy swept in and nearly tripped over Adra, who was, quite literally, rolling on the floor laughing. It fact, almost everyone was laughing freely and naturally- including Saph, to her surprise. The air was full of smoke and glitter and the music was making her heart feel lighter. She would've danced around in circles, but the ducks bustling around her feet were... kind of off-putting.
But all that energy was racing around inside her, building and multiplying and she needed to do something, so she grabbed a bowl of fruit salad, snuck up on Alex as he called for people to socialise, and dumped it on his head.
The effect was immediate and hilarious. Alex leapt into the air and spun around as Saph whistled innocently, winking at Adra out of the corner of her eye. Mith was standing in the corner, not moving but still laughing at the expression on Alex's face. He shook himself and the fruit salad slipped off him as he gestured to a Ripper. Words were exchanged that Saph couldn't hear, and then he pointed straight at her.
She turned and tried to disappear into the crowd, but the Ripper's gloved hand was on her arm and then he was dragging out into the fresh air as she writhed and kicked. Long fingers reached in and drew the disc from her pocket, plucking it away from her grasp and heading back inside.
Saph got back to her feet and muttered all the swear words she knew (Most of them directed at Alex). Luckily, her dress was undamaged. But how was she going to get back in?
Her blue slip-on shoes were silent as she crept up to the window and looked through just in time to see Adra hit Zath on the head with a frying pan.
She winced in sympathy, but Adra reached one hand out the window and helped her back in.
"Thanks," Sapphire grinned, jumping lightly on to the dance floor. "I was about to... alter... the minds of the Rippers, but this is much easier."
Adra laughed, her silver dress shimmering as she opened her mouth to reply, but Zath appeared with a visible bump on the back of his head.
If looks could kill, Adra would be toast.
"Hi Zath!" She said cheerfully, waving with one hand as the other hid the pan behind her back.
He kept glaring. "Hey Adra,"" he said sarcastically, "Did you happen to see who whacked me in the head just then?"
"Noooo..." she said warily. "I didn't!" Moving surprisingly fast for someone with high heels on, she bolted away so fast Saph saw nothing but a silver, glittery blur.
It was time for an insane plan.
"Ouch!" Saph exclaimed, quickly stepping between him and Adra. "Are you okay! I just saw that random guy hit you with a frying pan!"
She pointed at where Alex was arguing with Sparky about ducks. Their conversation seemed to involve a lot of hand gestures and stamping feet.
Zath's head swivelled around to follow her finger and Sapphire ducked into the crowd.
She weaved through the crowd and found herself near the double doors, breathing in the fresh air. Wow, it was getting stuffy in here. She was contemplating removing the roof when Duck walked through the entrance with two bottles that seemed to be emitting steam.
Next to her, Saph felt Mith tense. She hit the floor with a painful thump about two seconds before Duck poured liquid nitrogen on everyone.
The resulting hydrogen peroxide blast from Adra was cut short by an angry Sparky yelling something Saph couldn't hear. She moved closer to hear the end.
"No f***ing ducks allowed!" Sparky was scowling. "Any ducks will be set on fire by Zath!"
Saph felt sorry for the ducks as Alex herded them outside.
Mith raised an eyebrow. "Shouldn't we be dancing, not fighting?"
Saph shrugged and pointed at Luci and Zath. Their feet were skilfully moving in an intricate and fast pattern as Skittles pelted through the air. "They're dancing. Sort of."
It would be great if Alex Stone had bothered to turn up and dance with her like he'd promised, but she supposed you couldn't have everything. Annoying little git. She'd phoned him just before the ball started, but naturally he hadn't arrived yet.
Some poor, deranged lunatic had given Adra a paintball gun, which she fired repeatedly at Zath, whooping and laughing. He somehow dodged the paintballs and the Skittles flying at him with incredible grace- until a pot-shot from Adra splatted across his shoulder.
Saph quickly turned and strode off, not willing to get mixed up in that fight- and thumped straight into a boy in a brown tuxedo.
"Sorry!" she apologised quickly, backing away. Her gaze flicked up to his face and she gasped.
"Saph?" Alex Stone said in surprise. He tugged at the sleeves of his suit- wow, she'd never seen him wearing that kind of thing before. His amber eyes were uncertain and sleepy.
"Um, I know I asked you to the dance, and you called me at midnight to wake me up." He waved his phone in the air. Distantly, Saph realised Zath was playing a song. Alex drew a tired hand over his face, brushing aside his caramel hair. "So... I guess we may as well dance."
She stared at him in shock for a moment, before he stretched out his hand. A little lopsided smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she reached out and her fingers intertwined with his.
The room was warm and bright and finally, they could dance without ducks waddling around their feet. Duck, for some weird reason, had chosen to stay behind when the other ducks left. Saph hoped he could heal himself, because what Sparky had done to his neck was just wrong.
It was so calming to dance with Alex, just sway with him and watch the others. We should do this more often, she thought sleepily. A content happiness was soaking through her mind. One by one, each muscle in her body relaxed, and for the first time that night she let herself just listen to the music and enjoy the moment. It was perfect. I haven't tripped yet, she thought distantly in vague wonder. What kind of weird magic is this?
After several hours, there were Skittles across the floor, duck feathers still stuck to Sparky's shoes and the remains of the Miley Cyrus zombie thing in the corner. Both Alex Stone and Alex Chrome had disappeared, Zath was watching with amusement as a sopping wet Adra (Throwing her in the lake seemed to have ended their fight) disco danced. Missy was eating the Skittles.and chatting with Mith in the corner. Harralie and Snowlock had appeared, so fangirling over them was taking up most of Saph's time. They really were the perfect couples.
Nix, Eld and Dau had also come along- Eldau (What an awesome ship name!) were dancing together, tripping over feet and generally having a great time. The Ball was getting a little crowded, so Saph headed outside for fresh air.
The sun had sent a long ago, sinking into the ground with an explosion of soft red and purple tendrils, reaching out into the sky. The night was black and cold, light by faint streetlights as far as Sapphire could see. Somewhere on the horizon, they blended into the stars that stretched above her head in endless constellations.
She thought of the Ball, and all the people who were there. She thought of how fun, warm and friendly it had been, even when they were fighting.
It was the best night of her life, but not because of the Ball. But Saph had loved being with the people, all happy and carefree. She'd loved dancing with Alex and letting her worries slip away.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow, after having a good night of sleep, she would come back. But for now, Sapphire Iota just treasured the moment and the people she had right then, right there. She closed her tired eyes and fell asleep, underneath the streetlights and the stars.
A/N Maybe the ending makes no sense, but it's late and stuff *shrugs* I tried to keep to the comments as much as possible, but there's a few deviations :)
I'll do another one for when I came back later on :) Also, I'm going to put most of the dresses and suits on my blog (Just another thing to clog up cyberspace) in a minute :)