They're gonna totally think we're a couple aren't they?

Cordova Pride 

She wanted to just.. Get Ellie out. Distract her from the fact the two vamp friends she made were kinda sorta murdering idiots. And hey, nothing like a gay pride parade to just really get your mind off things.

It was SO LIVELY even if it was the night version. Or maybe because it was the night version. If she hadn't been a vampire with super powers, she would have been mildly terrified about getting into trouble out here with all the crazy happy drunk/stoned people. As it was some lady in extremely high glittery heels had pinched her ass.

She kinda didn't extremely mind, but also no. Rude.

The ass-grabby person made a nice meal off to the side, the pair of teenage vamp-girls now prowling through the masses of people, checking out vending stalls and the dancers and floats and all that stuff. "You know I'll buy you whatever you like okay?" Savvy shouted to her friend, keeping a tight grip on her hand in case she lost the girl in the crowd.

The music was blasting, but she liked it.

There was a face-painting stall up ahead, and god she was so tempted to go full out and get some done. Did she? Or was she too much of an adult after threatening two other teenagers and telling them to get their shit together?


"C'mon, let's go get rainbows on our face!"


Maxine was so straight that when Asha mentioned kissing her or whatever it’d been - entirely not even meant seriously - she didn’t know how to process it.

She still sort of didn’t know how to process it other than be flattered!?

But she loved folks and their happiness and being who you wanted to be, and honestly just getting out here after the past few weeks was the smartest choice she’d made.

Maxine was volunteering at a face-painting stall, eyes featuring diagonal rainbows with thick eyeliner. She spotted two girls in the crowd, and invited them over with a wildly friendly grin and a wave of her hand.


Ellie didn't want to go out. She hadn't gone out much really, only to go and feed, and even then that was only a few times. Savvy even had to get blood bags to make sure Ellie didn't freak out from lack of nourishment. She just didn't feel like doing anything really, and tended just to sit in front of the TV watching cartoons and scrawling in her notebook, constantly thinking about what happened with Amy and Robbie.

To the point where Savvy had to literally drag her to get some decent clothes on (because apparently she wasn't allowed to go in her tracksuit) and then subsequently drag her to what she called a 'pride parade'. Ellie had no idea what it was, and when asked, it was something about celebrating love. With the recent knowledge she'd gathered about that subject, it was probably a good thing she went to go learn more.

Turned out love was a lot of noise and rainbows.

She was holding Savvy's hand throughout it, so they didn't get separated in the crowd, and that seemed to attract a lot of "aww!"s for some reason. It was either that or the clothes, because someone did say "You look like a little doll!" right to her face.

Savvy shouted at her first to say she'd buy whatever Ellie wanted, but really she didn't know what she'd even buy. The second shout was about getting rainbows on their faces.

Sidenote here: Ellie liked rainbows, because who didn't. But in the grand scheme of things, she found them greedy. If someone really liked rainbows, then in her opinion they either couldn't decide on one particular favourite colour, or just wanted to like all of them at once. That wasn't fair to other people's favourite colours.

Nevertheless, she hummed back and was pulled over to a little stall with a lady waving and grinning at them. Rainbow faces it was.

The girl waving to them was too far away for Savvy to pick up a scent. Not with all the others intoxicating the air, like, were those churros?? Dude, she'd totally get a churro if she wasn't like, dead.

For now, they'd stick to face-paint. Because rainbows were happy. And Ellie needed happy.

"We're gonna look super gay and adorable, kay?" she hummed happily, pulling her friend along and halting in front of the..

Oh. Oh wow this was a new type of stink.

Definitely not dog, or cat, this girl was radiating a really.. Musty woodsy scent that could have possibly made her hair curl. Savannah was never prejudiced though, and willing to give the benefit of the doubt, she sidled up to the were girl, in front of Ellie. "Hey.. You okay to do ours..? It's cool if not, we can find another stall, but these look super duper cute!" Flattery always helped right?

She waved to the little pictures set up on the table, smiling. Please, gay them up were-bush-lady.

Maxine definitely hadn’t seen an outfit like this with the suspenders before! Probably because you really didn’t see clothes like that in North Glenn, to be honest.

She picked up a brush as the girls approached (she really wasn’t artistic but lines and the like weren’t exactly hard to do), when, well. That was definitely a scent she hadn’t smelt in a short while.

Death. Vampire.

The last time it’d lingered she’d been a bear.

”Pff, of course! Come on, take a seat,” Maxine smiled, gesturing to the chairs. ”Tell me what you’ve got in mind!”

They had a pricing chart up depending on how much face paint they were talking and difficulty, ranging from $5 to $30. Most folks went for the cheap options and she hoped they would to. Less... expectations. :D

Ellie understood that they were going to look super adorable, but what on earth did super gay mean? What on earth did gay mean actually. Maybe it was just another word for cute? Well if it was anything like Savvy wanted her to be, then Ellie guessed she'd be gay then. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As they approached the wavy lady though, Ellie got a strong smell. She really didn't know what it was exactly, but it was definitely smelly. She frowned her face at it, but she'd be able to manage. Savvy moved in front and asked if they were okay to to theirs, saying they could find another stall.. which confused Ellie really. Was there something she was missing?

Well, it didn't matter, because it seemed like they were getting the rainbows done here anyway. Ellie was pulled to sit down, and she did so, but didn't let go of Savvy's hand. For some reason, she just felt like an attachment to happiness at the moment.

She hadn't even said a word since being here.

Another friendly were! Savannah relaxed, smiling back at the enthusiasm to not care they were possibly two lesbian vamps. That's the kinda acceptance thing you expected at a pride parade, and she was very much pleased.

She sat Ellie down annnd.. Guess they were still holding hands. Okii. She could cope with this.

"Mmm something super vibrant and cool!" she chirped, squinting at the pricing. How abouuuuut..

She pointed to the image of the rainbows doing the diagonal thing on the bottom of one eye, and on the top of the other, beaming. "Let's do two of those!" That'd be like $30 altogether.

C'mon Ellie you better cheer up she was spending A LOT on you. She wriggled her hand happily, beaming. "I'm Savvy, this is Ellie btw!"

The quiet girl sat down, and Maxine smiled directly at her as some sort of reassurance. So quiet compared to her friend! Girlfriend? Sister?

Who knew!

Not Maxine, and she wasn’t the type to pry either.

Her gaze followed Savvy’s finger to the art they wanted. Cute, and basically what she had on her own face, so yes she could do this!

Maxine pulled a chair to sit beside Ellie. ”I’m Max! It’s nice to see you both out here,” she said, dabbing the brush into the purple first. ”Okay Ellie, I’m going to need you to close your eyes juuuust gently,” Maxine instructed.

It wasn’t their fault but she wished they didn’t smell so bad, the poor things.

First it was something super gay and adorable, and now it was something super vibrant and cool? Ellie was just getting confused now. She didn't know what Savvy was going for, but she could trust her. She could trust her more than anyone it seemed..

Savvy introduced her to the lady, then the lady introduced herself as Max. Ellie thought Max was a guy's name, but oh well, she'd never heard of anyone called Savannah until recently. Of course, she hadn't said anything being here.. but she at least had to be courteous. "Nice to meet you too Max," she said, quietly and without much enthusiasm.

She was told to close her eyes, and that she'd do. Her eyes were shut, but she still remained a hold of Savvy's hand. She didn't want to lose her still.

Savannah beamed at Max, quite glad she no longer had to breathe because oh my lord, that smell was atrocious up close. She seemed like a lovely girl though, so it would be totally tolerated, and she even couldn't help but pay close attention to how she was doing the make-up.

Maybe she could like, do this herself next year.

"Do you live nearby?" she asked, making friendly conversation in the event Ellie wasn't a.. Too friendly herself.

She was honestly concerned about it, the way she'd turned so.. Lifeless. And she didn't know how to fix it.

For now, a gentle squeeze to her hand. It'd be okay Ellie just.. Be happy? Like a rainbow.

The girl obediently closed her eyes and Maxine would start painting, doing one eye and then the other before switching to a different colour and repeating the steps!

”Sure do! Me and my friend just moved here from the Glenn. How about you two?”

She’d have guessed they were college students from nearby, but for all Maxine knew they could be a thousand years old.

The rubbing felt funny on her eyes, almost ticklish. She had to remain still though, or else she'd have to have it washed off and start all again. She knew that from experience, with Savvy doing hers. Lots of wasted make-up at first.

Savvy asked a question about where the smelly girl lived, and Max responded saying she lived nearby, as well as asking them back. Ellie would have just left it up to Savvy.. but she understood the hand squeeze. It weirdly reminded her of when she was really young..

"We live here in a flat together. Savvy picked me up from the street," Ellie said plainly, trying her best not to move her mouth too much and disturb Max.

It was so interesting watching Max work - kinda like seeing one of those Instagram tutorials only live. She studied intensely, mentally criticizing and thinking up better ways to smooth the make-up on.

So they were from the Glenn originally, which made a lot of sense because like. Weres and woods. Totally a good set-up. Why on earth they moved to a populated area was beyond her, but she guessed Asha and her boyfriend managed.

Annnnd there went Ellie with the TMI.

"Poor thing didn't have a home and I couldn't leave her there for.. Well something worse.." It was a sheepish explanation, Savannah hoping the were wouldn't take offense to the idea of her picking up some homeless human and making them a vampire. If she even thought of it that.

Maybe she'd think Ellie was a homeless vampire and then everything would be cool!

Either way, topic change. "Big change moving from the country to hipster-gay town," she mused softly, still watching the brush strokes. Let's look at your poor choices instead, please.

The streets? As in... homeless?

But she looked so... not homeless. Why was a Vampire homeless anyway when they could just compel everyone and anyone, and the reminder of that faintly unsettled Maxine.

Savvy called her friend a ‘poor thing’ directly... in front of her. Okay Maxine, just continue painting, don’t react with a look of bewilderment.

”There’s definitely more people and so there’s more to do,” she told them, switching to another colour. ”Do you both know about how you shouldn’t go there? North Glenn, I mean.”

Just here preventing unpleasantness or maybe murder by an out of touch polar bear.

Again with the 'gay', and now alongside another word she had no idea about, 'hipster'. Why was nobody explaining these things to Ellie, please, she needed an adult.

From what she gathered about North Glenn though, it was nice, countryside, and they couldn't go there. "Are there bad guys there?" Ellie asked quietly.

Maybe it was where the bad people were. Maybe that's where she ran through to escape. In which case it was a very, very good idea not to go back there.

Unless.. they could get the others trapped there.. Hmm..

Thank you for the heads up, miss were lady. There were very many places vampires couldn't go and it was annoying and she couldn't seem to remember them all off the top of her head. Which mildly sucked coz like. She didn't want to die.

... Again.

Another hand squeeze for Ellie. "Mhm." Only not her type of bad guy, the X-Men bad guys. Just.. Weres bad guys. "Thanks for the reminder, it's hard keeping track of them all." A slightly wary chuckle, crossing the one arm she had free over her chest.

To return the favor, she spoke up after a minute. "Don't go into Cordova - but I think you guys all seem to know that one. Sucks though, it has all the cool shopping places." Lavender Heights was decidedly more.. Uh.. Well there were some cool shops, but again.

Very hipster.

Bad guys? She couldn’t say. Stupid guys who based opinions on prejudice versus personal experience? Definitely!

”Just a lot of speciesists on both sides of the spectrum who won’t hear you out,” Maxine explained to Ellie.

She worked her way across a few more colours before Savvy spoke up again. ”Yeah, I’ve heard. One of my friends got beaten up by a Margaux type,” she explained with a heavy sigh, frowning as she worked. Neaaaarly done with this one.

Not an exact explanation as to what kind of bad people were in North Glenn, but Ellie understood that it had to be completely avoided. For now.

Then Savvy started explaining that she couldn't go into Cordova, but the girl had a heartbeat, so she wasn't a vampire trying to escape the bad lady, so why couldn't she? And what was this speciesesieststs thing?

"I don't understand this conversation. Why is Max not allowed in Cordova?" Ellie said innocently, still trying to keep her face still, though it was difficult to stop the perplexed frowning.

Fuck on both accounts. Fuck to Margaux for being a bully, and fuck to her not remembering to explain to Ellie the whole shifter-vamp tensions going on. "I'm sorry.." Savannah sighed to both, pinching the bridge of her nose briefly while she thought how to politely explain.

Deep breath. Kay no, bad idea. She stifled a cough.

"It's a.. It's just people being dumb Ellie. Not understanding each other. And there's another aspect because Max is.. Something like us, but not, and I'll explain it at home kay? Can't talk about it here." Not out in public, with people milling about.

She felt mildly like a mother in this moment, which was disturbing because ew children.

Ellie was... really young. Sure, she looked it, but even mentally she couldn’t be older than what she appeared.

Honestly maybe even younger.

It was equally unsettling and maybe even a little... well. Creepy? Because she was a Vampire?

Maxine glanced to Savvy as she explained, before finishing up on Ellie’s face paint. ”Here you go,” she said with a smile, reaching over to grab a mirror and hand it to the girl.

Ellie didn't know how people couldn't understand each other. They could all speak, other than babies, but they couldn't really make decisions either. If people just talked to each other then there wouldn't be any misunderstandings.

Savvy said Max was like them as a vampire, but not a vampire. Was there another type of supernatural being she didn't know about? Maybe it had something to do with that musty smell coming from her. It intrigued Ellie, but she'd listen to Savvy and learn about it later. "Okay."

Finally Max moved back, and Ellie blinked her eyes open. A mirror was given to her and she took a peek at herself.

And then, it was like the rainbows brightened up her cloudy eyes. They widened a little, and a tiny smile grew on Ellie's face. "It's cute, thank you Miss Max," she said, closing each eye once to see how the rainbow went over it. She squeezed Savvy's hand a bit, and with a little more spring in her step she put the mirror down and hopped off the stool, pushing her there. "Your turn!"

It was super cute, and she found herself even more eager to plop her booty down in that chair and get all prettied up. Even if the gal doing it was a stink-fest - wasn't like it was her fault.

She made Ellie happy, finally, so that was a big plus in her book.

"Excitement!" Savannah squealed, shoved down by a surprisingly strong vamp-girl. She didn't need to be told to close her eyes, fluttering them shut and taking in one final breath before going eerily still.

The brush would work on her lids for a few moments, before she spoke up again. "Do you do make-up professionally, or just a hobby?" It was becoming way more popular as a hobby, in the past few years. Even Savvy was kinda in on it.

One pleased customer!

Maxine smiled warmly at Ellie’s reaction, making room for Savvy to switch places with her.

She began working the paint over her eyes and face the same way she had for Ellie. ”Hobby, I guess you could say? I’m not really a professional or anything, but I used to be into doing makeup during college.” Maxine paused, mostly for her concentration. ”Have you ever thought of going to college?” Polite way of trying to find out how old they were?

What if Maxine had one thousand year old Vampires who acted like teenagers in front of her? That would definitely be creepy.

Ellie was excited, Savvy was excited, Max was excited, all good stuff. She was a little more bouncy now, having briefly forgotten her prior situation that was making her sad. That was the magic of rainbows.

They started talking about college then, that thing that Savvy said was like school but not because you only studied a specific thing. "I liked elementary school. I didn't get to go to any other schools." Her feet waggled on the stool a little.

"I'd like to go to college to do math. I like numbers." Sometimes they seemed to make more sense to her than words.

Basically same as Savvy then, the girl not quite realizing she was being probed for information. It was kinda weird being asked like, if she considered going to college. Did she look like a non-college person?? Her outfit wasn't like.. Weird was it?

"I'm in college actually, doing photography at Lavender Heights Community. Going into second year," she hummed, smiling just faintly so as not to move her face too much.

Ellie spoke up, about wanting to go for math of all things, and it was all Savannah could take to not go 'ew'.

Math hurt her head.

But, still. If she wanted to.. "You need a job first, over summer. Then maybe I can talk to our older friends about getting you in." Surely Carmen or Beau would be able to like.. Weasel her in? Even with a high school degree?

For whatever reason Maxine wasn't even surprised Ellie would want to do math.

They seemed to be talking between themselves then, so she kept her mouth shut for a few moments, working her way across painting Savvy's face. "You could maybe-" Maxine cleared her throat, quiet and with a solemness to her words. "Convince the staff?"

With their... mind convincing abilities.

It was a sensitive subject, so Maxine watched Savvy's face closely for a reaction. Maybe that was a little manipulative considering she had her right at her mercy here, painting her face and all.

A job. Like the one Savvy had? Ellie didn't know what Savvy did at work, she just seemed to walk around carrying food and drinks for people. But it was food she couldn't eat so.. Ellie didn't get it.

At least Ellie would be able to go to college after summer, which sounded pretty cool. She liked the idea of going to school again, because from what she remembered of going to school, she liked it. She remembered she needed to be quiet in the classroom, finger on lips, etc. College didn't sound too different.

They'd just need to talk to Beau or even Carmen about it to help her go. And it seemed Max knew that too. "Is that allowed?" Ellie whispered like a child, leaning forwards between the girls.

Well okay then Max, very forward with the whole let's brainwash the college approach. Honestly it wasn't like.. An awful idea. But even still, Ellie needed to, you know. Learn some basic elementary school before going into college math programs.

Like, legit, girl. You didn't know how terrible math got past the whole 6 times 7 is 48 thing.

So uh... "Definitely not allowed," Savannah corrected with a light snort, eyes still closed. "We'll see how it goes, maybe we can get you a tutor or something." Carmen might be able to. Hmmm.. Yeah, she ask the older lady at some point for help.

Alright, that was settled. Now to just be beautified, which must be close to finished if her make-up senses held any validity.

Maxine... didn't really get that.

So Vampires could use mind tricks to get people to stop screaming, to not say things - but when it came to something more benign it was a no go? Maybe these girls were... really new to the whole thing.

"What's it allowed for then?" Maxine pressed as gently as she could, eventually pulling away from Savvy as she finished her makeup. She put the paintbrush down, glancing to the pricing chart as she grabbed the mirror for Savvy.

Thirty dollarsss.

Maxine turned back, mirror in hand, handing it to her. "Ta-da! Matching." She looked between them. Cute.

Okay, so no convincing the staff for her to get into college. That seemed like a lot to do anyway, and everyone at college seemed to have a lot more years of school than she did, so they knew a lot more than her. Would she go in to find math had changed? It must have gotten more complex..

Savvy said a tutor would be good for her. Ellie had to agree, and that actually sounded quite exciting to her. She'd be able to start learning math again. Yay!

Max asked another question about what the suggestion was used for, but Ellie couldn't answer that one. "I don't know," which was a half-hearted answer because if she thought about it, she could probably think of a few situations.

What she cared more about right now was Savvy's make up. Ellie peeked up at Savvy's face and perked up again, with another cute smile. "Yay!" she said happily. Rainbows!

What was what allowed for?? What. What was she on about???

Oh the.. Mind reading thing? Savannah suddenly felt a little wary, as it clicked she was sort of pressing her for information on it. That's what this was, wasn't it? Ellie replied before she could, though, and with nothing too revealing. Good, let's keep it that way.

Their makeup was done anyway, and she looked in the mirror finally with a happy grin. Aww! That was cute! She bobbed her head aside to let Ellie see them both reflected, and oh my god.

Twinning much?

"Thank you so much!!" Savvy squealed softly, happy enough to fish around in her purse for her wallet and cough up $30.

Ellie, you weren't washing your face off for days now okay this was a lot of money.

She hopped up, ready to peace out with Ellie. Nice were lady and all, but yeah. The questions were mildly weird so... bye???

Ellie didn't know and Savvy - who she was guessing her name was Sav...anna? Maybe? At this point - completely dodged the question. It would've been almost funny if Maxine hadn't been personally manipulated before.

Her gaze lingered on Savanna (?) as she checked her makeup, trying to be somewhat subtle about it. But the frown was there, a gentle few creases on her forehead.

"Of course. That's... thirty dollars," Maxine said, taking the mirror and putting it back away. It did look good, well, she thought so anyway. Mostly... not crooked.

Maxine would wave them off as they went to join the parade again.

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