Ultragirl goes shopping and meets Richenda

Brief Title:
Ultragirl meets Richenda

Ultragirl Showstopper

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Hazelton Mall, Brooklyn

Suzy goes shopping, rescues Richenda from a 'wardrobe malfunction', and the pair chit-chat.

Social or Plot:


Rainy day in Brooklyn. Aside from the accent, umbrellas are the most discernible thing about the city today. But in Hazelton Mall, it doesn't matter. The rain drumming on the superstrong transparent material that makes up the roof adds a rumbling undertone and a faint grayish tinge to everything in the place, but the shopping goes on. Some people who just came in to get out of the rain even find themselves buying something. Chenda Gray's one of those, though she'd planned to come here anyway. She's in her second favorite stop for secondhand clothing, looking for some jeans that aren't soaked from the thighs down, as well as her next DIY fashion project. Redux isn't quite as trendy as The Fashion Dig, but its prices compete nicely, and it isn't quite as crowded.

Suzy bought herself a taxi-ride to get to the mall, today. No sense in getting wet by flying through the rain, after all, right? Even so, there was a need for the umbrella she's carrying, folded most of the way up now that she's entered the mall itself. The young heroine's being left alone, probably in large part because the mall's NOT uber-crowded at the moment and there just aren't enough people around that /someone/ recognizes who she is. This leaves her free to walk calmly along, 'window shopping'.

Just her luck... just as she finds something that might fit right, the changing rooms are both full! Chenda sighs and fidgets, trying to fight the chill that naturally comes with soaked denim under powerful air conditioning. Even as long as she's been in this area, her Southwestern blood can't adjust to this coast's cooler nature.

Still, she's not completely out in the cold. Just behind the long window display, sectioned off accidentally by a long rack of coats set catty-corner, is a small space where someone could get a little privacy. She's seen couples steal a few kisses in this spot, but right now it could serve a decidedly less amorous purpose. The gypsy girl slips in, quickly unlacing her red high-top tennies. She's still absorbed in this when a store employee comes out to switch out the mannequins. As unaware of the customer trying to change pants as the customer is unaware of her, she sets down her display dummy and steps to the retractable partition that separates the display from the rest of the store, sliding it open on its well-oiled tracks.

And so, when Suzy gets to the display window for Redux, she and anyone else walking by will be able to clearly see two mannequins in the window, one on the floor waiting to be lifted into place and a college-age store employee locking back the display partition so she can work. And a dark-haired girl in a black hoodie, pink tanktop, and white, black-striped underpants not too far behind them, stepping out of her jeans.

Suzy's eyes widen and she lifts her hand to her mouth to stifle a giggle, glancing back and forth to see if anyone else has spotted this. Nope, not yet. She then hurries into the store and around to from where the display can be accessed. Peeking in, she then clears her throat and says to the employee, "Excuse me... I couldn't find someone else to help me. Do you have miniskirts my size?", trying to distract and pull away the employee -- and give the girl in the striped panties a chance to finished getting dressed!

Chenda's just shaking out those used jeans to pull them on when she notices a subtle change in the lighting; it just got a bit brighter where she is. She looks up and freezes for just a second, seeing the open partition and the mall beyond the display window... and that blonde girl looking on and trying not to laugh! Her eyes and mouth grow round with near-horror, and she whirls and holds the jeans in front of her panties, blushing furiously. What a time to have someone decide to change the display!

Then the blonde girl does a surprising thing. She moves to speak with the college girl shifting the displays, drawing the employee's attention before it can shift in a more embarrassing direction. Chenda shoots the blonde a grateful look, edging to the back corner of the display for a little more privacy from the two.

The bespectacled brunette, whose nametag says she's Claire, blinks as she's interrupted, but summons a smile for the pretty potential customer. "Miniskirts? Um, let me see... I think they're over here, near the back counter," she says, leaving the mannequins and moving into the main aisle to look over the store. "Yes, over here!" And she gestures politely for the girl to follow her, moving that way.

Suzy follows along after Claire, leaving Chenda to get herself dressed - hopefully before someone else spots her in the display window. "Do you have any of those cute jean skirts...?", she asks, starting to 'rain' questions down on the store's employee to keep her well and busily entertained - and away from the display setup - for a goodly while. With her previous 'teen fashion model' career, that ended so abruptly, she knows /just/ the right questions to ask to keep the glasses-wearing woman on her toes, too!

Claire pauses at the proper rack and smiles more genuinely at Suzy. "I think so... I can't say for sure, because our stock's so transient. But I know there were some yesterday." She makes a slow circle of the round rack holding the minis, finger to the side of her nose in an odd gesture of concentration. "Oh, yes! Here are a few. I'm sorry the selection's not better..."

And back where all the trouble started, Chenda's hastily climbing into those dry jeans. They're fashionably snug, so there's some wriggling involved in getting them up over her hips and fastened.

"It's okay... but it looks like you don't have any my size", Suzy says, somewhat apologetically. Her hips and waist /are/ just a little bigger around that most girls of her general size and build... one drawback of being as muscular as she is, even if the advantage is that her legs look /really/ good when she's wearing a skirt.
"Maybe you have some of....?", Suzy asks, giving Claire something else for which to hunt... and Chenda more time to get dressed and out of the display window.

"Oh..." Claire glances at the skirts, then at Suzy's lower torso, blushing a little. "Yes, I'm sorry," she says, looking quickly around. "I'll see what I can find. We do have a lot of skirts here; I'm sure there's /something/ that'll fit you." Helpfulness mingles with the desire to make a sale, turning the young woman's manner almost obsequious, though she stops just short.

Back in the corner, Chenda finally gets those buttons done up and sighs in relief. A little snug, but that'll only make them look better when she's out and about. She catches up her tennies and slips out of her unfortunate changing spot, her sock-clad feet making no sound on the store's floor.

Suzy keeps Claire busy for a while more, finally 'settling' on a flouncy-skirted sort of sleeveless summer dress and letting the saleswoman go back to what she was doing. Even when the woman's gone, though, Suzy keeps hold of the dress she picked out, as if she's intent on buying it.
Seeing Chenda out from her little not-as-private-as-she-thought corner, she heads over that way. "Looks like you got out alive, after all!", she comments, once close enough to not need to yell to be heard. That's when she seems to recognize the girl she just 'rescued'. "Oh, hey... you're one of those girls from before, aren't you?", she asks.

Claire, not without a little relief, goes back to her duties. Hopefully she'll be able to get the window changed before the store's tyrannical owner comes out and gets mad that it wasn't done five minutes ago!

Chenda, her own jeans folded under her arm, looks up and smiles at the sight of her rescuer, though she does blush a little. "Heyo... thank you /so/ much for saving my life," she replies with palpable relief. She blinks at the mention of that moment, and blushes at the memory, her dark eyes lighting up as she recognizes the girl in front of her. "Oh... right. I was the one with the big mouth," she adds apologetically. A rueful smile crosses her face. "I guess we know now who's /really/ Underwear Girl..."

Suzy's eyes widen at that comment and she tries her best... but laughter escapes her, just the same, even though she does bring her hand to her mouth in a vain attempt to stifle it. "Well, I guess we're even, now, Stripes", she says to Chenda, playfully giving out a nickname. "I'm Suzy... but I guess you already know that", she adds, offering out a hand.

Chenda blushes, but she smiles as well. "I really didn't mean to embarrass you that time," she says sincerely, accepting the offered hand for a shake. "What Charlie said just tickled me the wrong way. I'm Chenda, and it's wonderful to meet you, Suzy, Stripes or no Stripes."

"C'mon", Suzy says, pulling out a pre-paid credit card - the one she got the last time she was in the mall, and hasn't yet used. "I'll buy you those jeans and myself this cute dress I found", she says, with a gesture towards the register... then pauses to ask, "... or were you gonna shop around some more, first?"

"I was thinking of looking for some project stuff... but I don't mind if you want to go ahead and buy this stuff. I mean, I don't want to forget and wear these jeans out of the store," Chenda says, stifling giggles of her own. "I'd have to take 'em off and throw 'em back inside and be Underwear Girl all over again. We can leave the bag at the counter and shop some more."

"I wonder what your stripey superpower'd be, Underwear Girl?", Suzy wonders, as she heads to the counter and, just as she said she'd do, pays for the jeans and the dress. "... what you mean that you're looking for 'project stuff', anyway?", she asks. Suzy's not used to creating her own fashion, when it comes to clothing - she's always bought it (or had it provided for her) already pre-made, after all.

"I'm afraid to guess," Chenda ripostes playfully, staying nearby so Claire's counterpart at the register can remove the security tag from her new jeans. But the other question, /that/ she can answer with confidence. "I sew and embroider. Not well enough to make a living as a tailor, but I can make some of my own clothes and make adjustments to ready-made ones as well. I'm not wearing any of my own stuff today, or I'd show you."

>>>>>>>> LATER AT THE MALL, ON THE SAME DAY <<<<<<<<

The rain's finally stopped, but the signs of it are puddled on the ground and still dripping from roof after roof. A few puddles even dapple the sunlight coming in from above at Hazelton Mall.

Not that Chenda minds too much. She's returned to the mall as promised, her battered purple gearslinger a little more filled than usual. Sitting on a bench in the downstairs food court, a homemade chocolate milkshake from that great cookie place in one hand, she awaits Suzy's promised arrival.

Suzy kept on with her window shopping, even doing some actual shopping along the way. She's got a few bags in one hand when she passes through the food court again, spotting Chenda as the girl waits. Heading over that way, she says, "Heya, Stripes", when she's just getting to the table, setting down the bags prior to having a seat.

Chenda glances up, stifling embarrassed giggles at the sound of her still-new nickname. "Heyo, Suzy! I was just starting to wonder if you'd succumbed to blondeness," she teases back. "Looks like you've been busy."

Suzy giggles as she sits, gesturing at the bags. "I /did/ succumb to blondness. I did more shopping, after all!", she says. "I bought a new purse, 'cause my old one's... well, it's getting old... and I wanted shoes to go with my new dress, too", she adds, eyes going to Chenda's bag before asking, "...what you got in there?"

"I was thinking of the /other/ form of blondeness, but yours was better. You remembered our meeting, after all!" Chenda smiles at the question. "Well, you asked me about what my 'projects' were. I thought I'd bring in a few and show you!" She unzips the gearslinger sitting beside her and reaches inside. "If you want to see 'em, I mean. After all, we could be shopping... or there's always another milkshake from the Shortbread Creamery, one each."

Suzy glances over at the Creamery. "That /does/ sound like a good idea, actually!", she replies, at Chenda's suggestion. "I'll be right back!", she chirps as she hops to her feet and hurries over, only to return with a pair of milkshakes, one for each of them. "Okay... whatcha got?", she asks as she sits herself back down.

Chenda watches after Suzy, stifling giggles. "And they say /I/ have a lot of energy," she muses.

The blonde is soon back, and the gypsy girl smiles gratefully, accepting the offered milkshake. "Thanks, Suzy." She takes a quick sip and sets it safely out of the way, then digs into the gearslinger. She pulls out a dust pink hoodie with black accents. The embroidery over one shoulder and across the front resembles a spider's web in black, extending down the arm to the elbow. Holding it up, she offers it to Suzy for inspection.

Suzy drinks some of her own shake, then sets it aside when the hoodie's offer to her. Taking it, she holds it up in front of her with both hands, at arm's length, turning it to see it front and back, then pulls it into her lap to look at the embroidery. "I've seen better, and I can tell the web's not part of the original design... but it's pretty cool-looking, actually", she says, her tone frank, her words apparently honest. "... wait... you did this, right? You have any training for this kinda thing?", she then asks.

Chenda blushes a little. "Well, I was in kinda a rush when I did it," she admits. "I'm not formally trained, not from a school home ec course or anything. I just learned from the costumer at the circus when I was growing up. She was always sewing cool stuff, so I sat with her when I could and picked up this much. I can't do much tailoring, though, not beyond adjusting stuff to fit."

"Well, that costumer taught you good!", Suzy says. "I've seen worse slap-patch stuff actually go out on the catwalk, before... no one can really tell it's slap-patch and won't last more than ten minutes, of course!", she adds, in a 'conspiratorial' sort of vocal tone, though she clearly doesn't see the need to whisper it. Lifting the hoodie back up with both hands, she gives it a shake, then folds it in on itself, completing the fold on her lap to hand it back over.

Chenda giggles, accepting the hoodie back. "Thanks. Charlie loves my work, but she's not a pro. Sometimes I worry she's just being wowed to save my feelings," she says, setting it beside the gearslinger. She pulls out a pair of rave jeans next, shaking them out for inspection. This pattern is more complex and much better done, vines threading around a simple Celtic cross on the left leg, growing up from the leg hem to the knee. More show themselve a little on the right leg hem and at the waistband on that side, and a perfect Celtic cross is embroidered onto the right hip pocket. "This was done six months ago, after I looked through a book on Ireland. That cross took /forever/!"

Suzy accepts the jeans, eyes wide. "Wow...", she says, quietly, looking at the patterns and the crosses and such. "You should totally sell your work... you could ask a hundred bucks... probably more... for these jeans right here, seriously!", she says, after a little bit. "... maybe two or three. This embroidery's pretty good, and the patterns are awesome.... and people /love/ this celtic cross kinda stuff. Just that right there'll spike up the price for stuff... and your stitching's gonna last, looks like. It ain't the cheap kinda stuff you see a lot of stores selling, these days."

"I've thought about it," Chenda admits. "I've seen the stuff you're talking about. But making 'em takes a long time, and the prices I'd have to charge would push people away, even if I offered to alter to fit. Most of the folks that buy this stuff want it for one or two wears, so the quality doesn't matter much." She smiles. "But thank you. I'm just glad to hear I'm doing this right."

Suzy nods her head, taking some time to fold the jeans up before offering them back over. "You definitely are, yeah... and... you can really call it designer work, 'cause it's hand-made. Get some big celeb to wear your work some, so people notice it, and you might could sell jeans like that for a grand... even if she just wants to wear 'em once or twice to show off", she says, stopping her chatter to suck some milkshake up through the straw.

"Know any big celebs?" Chenda asks teasingly. "I sure don't! I know a couple models, but they only work once in a while, and they're sure to ask why I'm sewing and not studying since they're teachers at my school." She looks back over at Suzy. "You don't know anyone looking for semi-exotic teen models, do you? Maybe I could model 'em myself."

"You could... you could try showing your stuff to people at some of the local agencies, too. There's places that stick to the same models all the time, like the vanDyne place, too. ... and I don't really hang out with any models, these days, since the agency I worked for stopped calling me after the thing at the park happened", Suzy says, a bit ramblingly, gesturing 'at random' with her hands as she speaks. "If I still had any 'ins' with that crowd, I'd help,

"It couldn't hurt to try, and I've still got a couple days before I have to be back at school," Chenda says. "And you've helped me so much already just by listening, Suzy! It's not like I can talk to the school people, they've got different priorities for me." She folds up the jeans and puts them back into the bag, then leans over and hugs the taller girl. "Thank you so much. It's so hard to get people to /listen/..."

Suzy smiles, returning the hug... then, after glancing about as if to make sure no one's listening, asks in all but a whisper, "... is everyone at your school like you? I mean... well... it's hard to say it without sounding 'mean' or something, and that's not how I wanna sound... but your aura's just like the one that guy with the tail and blue fur has..."

Chenda blinks in surprise. "Aura?" she asks softly. "I'm not sure what you mean... I know the guy you mean, but he's unusual in a lot of ways." She hesitates. "Could you... be more specific?"

"Well... his aura's yellow, just like yours is. Most people's auras are blue, and some are green. Robots are all purple-ish", Suzy explains, making a so-so sort of gesture with her hand as she describes the color of a robot's aura. "Anyway... everyone I've ever met with a yellow aura has some kinda... special thing they can do. Like the guy with the tail, his special thing's his tail and his fur... maybe other stuff, but for sure those things. Can you do anything special?"

"I think I see what you mean," Chenda replies, the Clue Light brightening her voice as well as her mind, though she's careful not to speak very loudly. "I'd rather not talk about it too much here, but you're right. I have a special thing I can do." She packs away the hoodie just as carefully as the hand-embroidered denims and zips up the gearslinger. "But it's easier to talk about stuff like that someplace else."

Suzy nods her head and gets to her feet, scooping up her bags with one hand, the milkshake with the other. "Where to?", she asks, before slurping up more milkshake through the straw.

"Well... we could do a little more shopping, if you want practical advice on do-it-yourself fashion. Or we could go someplace a little less public and talk about special things we can do," Chenda replies, mirroring Suzy's words teasingly as she slings on her pack and picks up her shake. "I'm game for either one, but it's up to you. I've got nothing pressing on the schedule today."

"I don't really need to go anywhere special to talk about what /I/ can do... not like it's anything really flashy, like lasers out of my eyes or breathing fire or anything", Suzy says. "Anyway... it's up to you, I guess. You're the one who can't talk about that kinda stuff in public, right? Whatta you wanna do?"

"Well, you're a public character, Suze," Chenda says, leaning a little closer and speaking more softly. "Me, I've had a hard time fitting into anyplace my whole life. Then I found out I was a mutant. Socially speaking, my troubles double if anyone finds out what I am. I'd rather be able to show my face in public without getting stuff thrown at me," she explains, her tone wearily frank. "So if you want to talk about anything more personal than clothes, it'll have to be someplace else. I'm sorry."

Suzy nods her head. "S'okay... if you don't wanna talk about anything here, we can go somewhere else, or we can not talk about it and keep shopping or something, too", she says. "I ain't gonna throw nothing at you, though. I never 'got' why people think someone's bad just for being different, though. It's like saying someone's bad just 'cause his skin's darker or lighter, right?"

"I dunno either, but it's what I've been living with my whole life," Chenda replies. "A little different, a lot pretty, and totally social poison." She gives Suzy a tentative smile. "We could shop and talk, if we were quiet enough about the talking. Now that lunch hour's over, the stores'll be less crowded. Just not on the main concourse. Awful acoustics there."

Suzy nods her head a little. "Probably better not to talk about it at all, even in whispers", she says, then adds, "Sorry I brought it up in public, like this."

"It's okay. It's not like we've ever seen each other anywhere else, intentionally or not," Chenda reassures. "If we're gonna talk, let's go do that. With the school being rebuilt, us students were left to our own devices. I've got a hotel room in this part of town. As long as we didn't demonstrate anything dangerous, we could go there."

"Well... I don't really hafta demonstrate, I guess. My stuff's been on TV already, right?", Suzy says. "Like I said, it's all up to you, what you wanna do", she adds, drinking more of her milkshake... and getting to the end of it. "Uh-oh... I'm out", she comments.

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