The Ringmaster

Avondale Woods 
#51
Things happened very quickly… too quickly to comprehend. One second her back was against the stump and Zach's hand was on her forearm. With eyes closed and power reigned in, she waited. The next moment there was a pop, a flutter of air, and she fell backwards. Eyes snapped open with a gasp as Cass stumbled to keep her footing, arms pinwheeling for balance.

She ended up on her ass in the grass. Whatever control she exerted over her power disappeared in the split second she teleported and fell. Beneath the null field, Cass huffed and caught herself. Her heart raced and mind reeled. Minerva stood by the stump some thirty feet away and she balked, disbelieving. Despite everything she'd seen, being one place and suddenly somewhere else slapped the face of reason. Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed it back with an effort.

Breathing deep as stomach acid burnt her throat, Cass let out a shuddering sigh, more exasperated than weary. Reality settled upon her and she raised her eyes meet his. Cass started to speak but words failed her. She could only breathe a laugh.

"Fuck me…" She said, then made to stand.
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#52
As if his power knew it only had second to act, Zachary had never felt the change overtake him so quickly. He could feel Cass' weight, her whole being as both a unique, separate entity and then merged with him as they shot through the pinhole he had created in the universe. They had emerged together only to split back into two parts so fast it was as if no change had ever taken place. All of this within a fraction of a fraction of a second.

Head spinning with the magnitude of their success, he let out a choked gasp that bubbled up into uninhibited laughter as he offered her a hand. "We did it. You did it Cass." How had she done it and would she consider doing it again?
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#53
 Cass fell. They both laughed. Minerva was, persistently, just one big smile. She'd run the short distance to come closer to them, and when Zachary offered a hand down to the woman, Minnie would offer hers, too. Unnecessary, probably, but it was the thought that counted! "That was so freakin' amazing!" Ignoring the fact that she was, indeed, very easy to impress - it was truly a spectacle. "How's your head?" she asked of Cass, when she could.
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#54
Breakthroughs often happened when they were least expected. This was no different for Cass. Despite how small a thing it was, reining in her power enough that Zach could teleport her was significant. It marked a milestone and as both Zach and Minerva gushed and brought Cass to her feet, she wore a stupid smile.

Cass stared at where she had been and looked down at her feet, almost as if confirming she had moved. She stared dumbly with an equally dumb smile and the experience chipped away at her sanity, but she met Minerva's eye at her question.

"Oh, it's coming." She smiled thinly and could already feel the pressure building behind her eyes.
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#55
This was an important moment for Cass, Zachary could sense that much, but he did feel a pang of regret for making her experience a not insignificant amount of discomfort to get there.

He moved just out of reach to give her space, although his fingers twitched incase she needed assistance again. "I feel like an asshole to ask, but would an ice pack help?"
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#56
 Ah, imminent headache. Minnie smiled tightly, a worried sort of expression, and nodded her head in some sense of understanding. It sucked that that had to be a side effect of her magic! Zachary at least had something he thought might help, and how appropriate it was that the guy who could freeze stuff should offer an ice pack. "I think I have some ibuprofen in my car, too."
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#57
It took Cass a moment to catch on; thinking he'd anticipated this and brought an icepack in his backpack. But she shook her head to both. "Fuck, I've had migraines all my life." Staring towards the clearing, past Zach and Minerva, Cass smirked and shook her head again. "At least I know why now." Resigned to the fact, she dug into her jacket pocket and withdrew a small plastic tube of Advil.

Measuring out handful into her palm, she took them dry and grimaced as she swallowed. Cass pocketed the tube and kept her hands in her pockets. Advil helped, not much, but it helped. She cleared her throat then and looked between the pair. "So what's next?"
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#58
He watched forlornly at the packet of asprin, face pinching to learn Cass had to rely on them habitually at this point. Zachary wiped his hands of invisible dirt, putting on a smile as best he could manage. "Let's give Cass a rest then shall we." He said, walking back to his bag of tricks.

Reaching in, he let his hand guide whatever they did next, closing around something that caused him momentary pause. He pulled it out, testing the items between fingers and thinking on the fly. "So Minerva, you up for a game?" In Zachary's fist, clacking together, was a small pile of magnets.
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#59
 Oh! Duh! Of course Cass would be prepared for life-long headaches. Minnie chuckled sheepishly, abandoning the idea of running to her car, watching with awe and minor disturbance as the other woman downed the pills without water. Whoa. What a boss.

 She nodded her head to the idea of letting Cass rest for a little while. She shuffled away from the other woman, half-minded, not wanting to be all up in her power bubble. Zach was offering a game, though! And out came his hand from his bag with the zingy clack of magnets. She grinned at him, broad and lopsided, and would offer both hands up in a pair of thumbs up. "Yeah! How do we play?"
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#60
Asking if she wanted an icepack didn't make him an asshole. Deciding that she needed a rest made him an asshole. Cass' lips pressed into a thin line as her eyes narrowed upon Zach. Minerva's nod took her aback. It stung to have them both consider her so weak. One jump and she was done; best let her sit down for a while. Fuckers.

Cass followed in their wake, relegated to a third wheel in something she organized. She wanted to curse them both out. But she got it; her power didn't play nice with others. They could practice independently while she needed another to suppress. For someone who didn't like to depend on others, it smacked at her pride. But Zach meant well.

Still smarting, she retook her place on the trunk, arms crossed and head aching. The headaches always made her edges a little sharper. "You know I'm fine, right? Don't need the kid gloves. Just hit me."
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#61
It was a testament to her character that Cass was putting on a brave face. She must have to do it often, Zachary thought, being an officer of the law. On the job she likely faced difficult situations, pushing her comfort zone each day. But here, among friends, she didn't need to act tough. Cass had nothing to prove. They already liked her, she could sit and take a breather without any judgement.

It was Minerva's turn, however, and Zachary was already impressed so far by her aptitude so far. "My hunch is that you can pick up on metal, even incased in ice, so let's try a game of catch." He slipped two magnets into one palm, transferring the others into a pocket.

He didn't forget Cass either. "Hey Cass, do you know what range your power works?" Maybe they could make this of moving targets.
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#62
 Hey, Zachary's hunch was probably right! She realized that she hadn't told either of these people about the time she'd dredged a metal ore out of a mountain without so much as a shovel!

 Cass, though, didn't seem a fan of being put in a corner. Minerva felt a slow rising sense of guilt for her insistence. She wasn't ready to be done! Maybe it was wrong of them to have been so fretful about her headache - they didn't know her body like she did. Her mouth flopped open uselessly, eager to offer something to soothe, but when nothing came out, it seemed at least Zach had the idea to just rope her in with another job. Her mouth shut and fixed into another crooked grin, watching Cass keenly.
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#63
"Six foot or so." And stepped back to give Zach room to work. Being thought of as weak still smarted and Cass fought against the need to prove herself. The army molded her, taught her to push herself. Made it clear that complaining about the load on her back or the hours on her feet just got more of the same. It didn't matter for shit if you were exhausted, you did what you needed to do. Lives counted on it. And when asked at the end if you wanted a break, better god damn say you're ready for more. Zach and Minerva didn't need to worry about her. They lived soft lives and Morgan couldn't blame them for that. She envied their imagined cherished upbringings.

"So what's the plan, Zach?"
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