Four Score and 73 Years Ago

Magic Hollow Spook-tacular 
#1
Pre-Transition + costume, in case you forgot


Indra loved Halloween. It was a time for him to revel in his childish and mischievous side while also donning something ridiculous. This year he was Baberaham Lincoln. He knew that it was usually girls who dressed up in such a way, but honestly- why should they have all the fun? The party had already gotten started by the time he arrived, and it wasn't until he finally peeled off his coat that he was fully ready.

Sure, he had insecurities about the way he looked like every other human, but the beard, the hat, the little tie- all of it added to the ridiculousness of his shirtlessness for his "sexy" costume. He grinned and headed over to the refreshment table, looking for some alcohol. A little liquid courage definitely would help him feel a bit more at ease.
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#2


She didn't properly understand why she'd been invited to this. Why anyone would make a drive so far out of town to anonymously invite her. She'd puzzled over what to wear, whether to even go.

In the end, well. Here she was, amidst a flurry of costumes that mostly seemed to trend towards... much simpler and more playful than hers. As always, Agostina felt the outsider, the wall flower. She kept herself quiet, loitering by the snacks and drinks as music she wasn't much into played.

Sipping whatever drink this was (some kind of fruitless sangria?) from her plastic cup, her eyes widened at the approach of a young man donning a top hat and a beard and... no shirt.

A softly embarrassed blush, and she looked back down and moved to step away with an embarrassed "Sorry."

Apologizing for reasons even she couldn't decipher. Perhaps for being embarrassed? Or perhaps the drink was just getting to her.
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#3
The smell in the air was strange- a mix of weres and vampires with various colognes and perfumes. Indra tried not to think about it too much. A pretty lady in a renaissance dress stood near the drinks, but moved to the side and apologized as he came up. "No need to apologize. You did nothing wrong," he said cheerfully, getting himself a drink. He took a sip and moved to stand next to the woman.

"I see you're wearing purple, so you must be royalty," he said with a small smirk. "I'm not royalty, but I am a president, so we should probably stick together." He gave her a wink and waited to see how she'd react.
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#4
That was unexpectedly kind of him to even say so much, and she gave a small but grateful smile for it, and a small nod of her head.

Though... she wasn't exactly expecting him to stick around her. Agostina could hardly imagine someone so young having come just to loiter around some lone older woman. Moreso, his jesting, and that wink. Her little smile was accompanied by a subtle twitch of her brow in confusion as he made to stand next to her.

"Ah... if you think so," she acquiesced, trying to navigate what was supposed to be a social function with her limited social skills. Another glance at his bare chest before training her eyes at his face. "Are you not a cold President? It's been cooler lately."

Well done, Agostina, you've managed to talk about the weather.
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#5
The woman had piqued Indra's interest, and to him, it didn't matter if someone was several years older than him. If they were bothered by his younger age, then he'd gladly move along, but he found older people to be just as lovely and interesting as those his own age. She asked if he was a cold president, and Indra chuckled and grinned at her. "Oh, you know how men always are, right? Always warm." That was not actually the case for him. He was cold, but that was part of the reason why he was getting a drink. It'd warm him up and loosen him up and once those had hit, he'd be out dancing and moving around and he'd be plenty thankful he wasn't there in a full on Abraham Lincoln suit.

"If you want to say that I'm a cool president, I'd be down for that," he replied slyly, taking another drink from his own plastic cup. "And I could say that you're a hot, Renaissance princess."
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#6
Warm indeed. She found herself very far removed from the last time she'd pressed herself to a man's chest, and yet still able to remember the gentle way it seared.

All that thought vanished as he went on the offensive further, and her eyes widened, shocked and somewhat scandalized. Hot? Her?

But the drink was hitting her enough for her to do something other than stare; she brought the back of her hand to her lips in a nervous laugh. "Now I know for sure you are teasing me," she admonished, at least confident enough to accuse that, but failing to completely hide the smile.
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#7
Her smile that she tried to hide was charming, and Indra wanted to pull her hand away so he could get a good look at it, but some people might consider that rude. Instead, he gave a light chuckle himself as he took another drink. It was strong, and being in a happy, energetic atmosphere was making him feel slightly buzzed, though he knew it took more than one drink for him to really get comfortable.

His laugh stopped when she mentioned that he was teasing and he shook his head. "I'm afraid you have me pegged wrong," he said, a little grin pulling at the corner of his mouth, "I am not the kind of person to go around teasing beautiful people." In fact, he felt that he was generally quite nice, if you looked past the ridiculous flirting.
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#8
He was incorrigible. "Ah, how innocent," Agostina laughed again, looking down briefly to her cup, her silly dress giving a soft sway as she leaned her weight onto her other leg. "Pity all the other beautiful people then; I'm just lucky."

"Beautiful." "Hot." Undoubtedly he must have come here with a game plan, and she recognized that she was perhaps just lonely enough to play along for however long it would last. "Did you come here alone?"

He was attractive himself, she allowed herself to note, and very tall, with an ethnicity she couldn't quite place. Middle Eastern, perhaps. She took another sip, finding it within herself to refill her cup and offer him the same. When in Rome, after all.

(Even if they were not, in fact, in Rome. But an Italian could dream.)
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#9
"Lucky you're so attractive? I agree." He gave her another grin and finished off his drink. She didn't seem interested, but she was at least playing along somewhat, and that was what Indra loved best. He wasn't nearly as interested in sleeping with people as he was connecting with them in a strange, fun way. He asked if he was alone next, and he raised his eyebrows at her suggestively. "I did, actually." And he could be as self-deprecating as they come too. "Can you believe that with all my suaveness, I couldn't find a date?"

He chuckled and took the woman up on her drink offer. "I'm Indra, by the way," he finally said, raising his plastic cup to hers. "Otherwise known as Baberaham Lincoln. But just for tonight."
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#10
"Audacious," she murmured through a smile despite herself. He was suggestive; she was finding herself rather suggestible. She could blame the fact that she didn't often drink and she didn't at all socialize. All this was new ground for her, at least for likely as long as he'd been alive.

Oh god, Agostina, how young was he?

"Is that what I am to call you tonight?" she said of his costume name through another laugh, finding herself... laughing more than she ever did on a given day. To be fair, she often didn't laugh on a given day. "Sir... Baberaham," she squeezed the word out like it was a scandal. But so were the words that proceeded it.

"I am Agostina," she introduced herself, holding her hand out to him. A shame she didn't think to gift herself a title before it; it would have sounded more regal.
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#11
Indra was glad he was able to make the woman laugh. Her smile lit up her face and brought genuine happiness to Indra. He himself laughed as she asked if she was to call him Sir Baberaham. "That'll do," he laughed back, trying to stifle it enough to talk. She introduced herself then and he took her hand, leaned over, and kissed the top of it gently. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lady Agostina," he murmured, before dropping her hand and standing back to his full height. He'd never heard her name before, but it sounded really pretty. He also couldn't quite place her accent, since he was generally terrible at that.

He took another long drink out of his cup and looked around the party. "Where is your lord?" he asked, looking back to the woman. "Or lady." He wasn't straight either and didn't care to play so much into the heteronormality that the world often tried to force on everyone. "Surely you're not here by yourself, are you?"
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#12
Sir Baberaham it was then; how on Earth was this how her night was going? She felt like she was floating, likely from the drink as this shirtless youth took her hand and actually kissed it.

It was a mash of feelings; her natural and innate balking met with a tipsy sort of permissiveness. Lady Agostina was so proper it made her head whirl.

The question threw her for a moment; where was her Lord indeed? She'd lost him somewhere along the way, and with him she'd lost her faith too.

Mercifully, she would not dip so deeply into herself. She was happy, at least for right now.

"I was alone, but... I think I've just met him," she answered the question, feeling silly and younger for it as she pulled into a half smile. One more sip, in case now was the moment he decided to find himself interested elsewhere.

Goodness, what would she think of herself tomorrow.
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#13
Indra really liked Agostina. She was fun. He grinned as she said that she thought she had found her lord, and he raised his eyebrows at her again. "Oh is that so?" he said, moving close to the woman. "So I have been given a promotion? Lord President Baberaham?" He laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, and slyly slipped an arm around her waist. He didn't know if she would like that or not, so if she wiggled away, he'd know to keep his hands to himself.
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#14
Lord President. She pulled her cup from her lips and covered her mouth with her hand again so she wouldn't sputter through the laugh that followed.

But he was very close, and there was a hand on her waist that she hadn't truly expected, even if perhaps she had. Beneath the veil of laughter and joy lurked some discomfort with being so close to a stranger so soon into meeting him. And yet. What could she say? She had brought herself here. Did she truly expect to linger on for hours and be ignored and go back home having been "social"?

It was just a hand at her waist, she decided. She let him stay close and felt a little dizzy through her smile. It was the alcohol. She didn't often drink. "Seems so," Agostina answered. "I should confess I'm not much of a dancer, Sir Lord... Sir President Lord Baberaham."

Adding more titles left her giggling, good feelings smothering the uncomfortable ones somewhat. She let her free hand rest on his arm, and his skin was very, very warm, almost hot to the touch. She marveled at it.
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#15
Indra laughed with her, enjoying the additional titles that he kept receiving. It was clear that the alcohol was getting to the woman, and though Indra was maybe getting a buzz going, he was still aware of Agostina's sobriety. Or increasing lack thereof. "As long as you can move, you can dance," he said with a smile.

"Here, I'll show you." He set his own drink down and started to guide her away from the tables that she might knock into. He moved to stand in front of her and moved his other hand to the other side of her waist. From there, he gently swayed side to side, and let his hands guide her waist to sway, should she decide to move. "Nothing to it," he said with a grin.
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#16
No no no no she wanted to protest, but found herself giggling too much. He was so playful, and it was alien to her to be around someone like this and be the main focus of their attention besides.

Her waist moved in blocky, awkward movements, not at all given to the fluidity of dance, but she laughed in her embarrassment all the same. "I think you— I think you move better, Lord Sir," Agostina offered, and in a measure of clumsy imitation, moved her hands to his own waist to move him in the same way.
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#17
Indra was glad Agostina was having fun now. She'd seemed pretty bored before, and look at her now- maybe decently buzzed, going on to drunk, laughing and giggling away as she danced with a shirtless stranger. Even with a buzz going, it didn't escape him that Agostina continued to believe that she was pretty enough or a good enough dancer. Indra wasn't having that.

He shook his head and smiled. "You move damn good from where I'm standing, Lady Princess," he said, and once more gave her a suggestive eyebrow as her hands found his waist. "If at any point you wanna move your hands lower, I'd be okay with that," he said with a chuckle and a mischievous wink.
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#18
Now was the point where she'd remember herself. Pull away, apologize for doing so, but also for leading him on to interact with a woman who hid resolutely behind a wall of frigidity and solitude to guard herself from progressing this any further.

Now would be the time to do this. Now.

And Agostina didn't. Her head spun, and she gave a little huff of a laugh. He wanted to make a plaything of her; perhaps this kind of flirtatiousness was normal for him, but not for her.

"I think it would be strange if I held your thighs," she offered, and even the idea of it was ridiculous enough that the smile on her face was genuinely humored despite all her inner narrative.
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#19
Indra was flat out rejected, but that was fine. He laughed at how she worded it; appreciating her wit. "Well, you caught me," he said with a grin. And that was fine. If she was just interested in hanging out and dancing, Indra could certainly do that. He was enjoying his time with her.

But as they continued to dance, he started feeling odd. He slowed his movements down and looked back to Agostina. "Are you feeling that?" he asked, for sure that it had to be something in the drinks.
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#20
How forgiving. She appreciated that he could respect her boundaries so easily, and liked him a little more for it.

In truth she should have felt what he was feeling. But Agostina was feeling extremely tipsy, and when images of a fifteenth century Vatican court fluttered into her mind she was certain she was only giving in to the alcohol very quickly.

But she was unaware of how she began to change outwardly, as her dress seemed to tighten at her bodice and still layer itself and flare at once, its cheap velvet and rope shimmering and shifting into silk and silverwork
and brocade.



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#21
Indra stopped altogether as he noticed the woman's dress changing. "Wha-" he started, when he realized that he was also changing. His suit became full. The beard he'd had over his own felt as though it was melding together. There was no pain associated with what was happening, but it was all still very weird. He was vaguely aware of the fact that everyone around them had started shifting into some version of their costume.

"Oh shit," he said, looking down at his hands, skin now white. "Did I just become Abraham Lincoln?"
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#22
"Who?" she asked, and then in a blink of memory replaced, she was... suddenly staring at her hands, and his outfit, and then as she pulled from him, the rest of the place.

"Where... am I?" she asked, glancing about as they were very suddenly surrounded by every bit of chaos imaginable.

Animals plain and exotic and fantastical. People dressed in all manner of revealing and confusing fabrics.

"Is that... a dragon?!" she asked as she moved behind this odd looking, absurdly tall man with his absurdly tall hat.

It was not a dragon, but dinosaurs weren't really a known thing in the Renaissance.
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#23
Who? Indra was confused. How did someone not know who Abraham Lincoln was? He shook his head and was about to repeat his question when Agostina started asking where she was. "We're at the Halloween party," he said, even more confused now. It wasn't until she finally looked scared and asked if that was a dragon behind him that he even bothered to turn around and see how everyone else had changed.

This was wild. He turned back to look at Agostina. It might be better to just let her think it was a dragon. Who knew what had actually happened to her. "No, it's a dinosaur," he blurted out suddenly and his hand went up to touch his mouth. What the hell? Did he just tell the truth when he meant to lie?

He dropped his hand and looked back at Agostina. "Are you alright? Like, do you remember who you are?" This was all very weird.
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#24
Halloween party. A... dinosaur. Right. He turned to her and posed questions, and it was a convenience that she could understand what he was even saying at all, linguistically.

But other than that...

"Agostina, Countess of Forlì," she answered the question of titles most naturally to her, "and you?"

What she did know was that she had not been in this... chaotic Halloween party minutes ago. She'd been at the papal court in Rome, showing face and working political ties.
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#25
Was she kidding? Indra really couldn't tell as he looked at her. His brain was telling him that she was probably telling the truth, but honestly how could that be? He knew something weird had happened, but surely a person couldn't just forget who they were, right? He still knew he was Indra. Maybe this was all some sort of joke that he'd missed out on. Agostina still used her name- she just added a proper title to it.

So who was he? He grinned and was going to answer Indraham Lincoln, but instead he just said, "Indra Mehta, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America."

Indra stopped and blinked. Why had he said that? He hadn't even been aware before that Abraham had been the 16th president. He brought his hand up to rub his forehead. "This is all very strange."
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#26
Ah, timing. She had no idea where on Earth "America" was, though in another twenty years she might have caught wind of it. In her time.

That said, she tilted her head at all those words. "President," "United States," "America."

"I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar," she frowned ponderously, knowing she was rather well educated in geography and therefore feeling a bit frustrated for not knowing this. "Is your land close to Spain?"

In either case, he was a ruler of some kind. Perhaps he could be useful.
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#27
It was true that Indra didn't know Agostina very well, but she didn't seem like she was messing with him and just joking. And considering both of their outfits had changed, and Indra's skin color and beard, the man was now inclined to believe that she was who she said she was and she was likely very confused.

She hadn't a clue about America and Indra rubbed his forehead. This was bad. "No, it's not close to Spain," he said quietly. He wasn't exactly well versed in geography, and besides, that wasn't important right now anyway. "You're in America. Right now. This is Colorado," he explained, though he had a feeling that meant nothing to her.

"We need to figure out what's going on and change me back into an Indian and you back into the lady I was talking to before."
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#28
Well.

She has no idea what any of that was. Except perhaps "Indian," because India certainly was a place she had heard of in passing.

It had to be some sort of... terrible dream, or a nightmare, more accurately. She fixed him a squinted look. He could be some kind of nightmare guide, here to help her through this nonsense and provide the answer to some actual problem she faced in her daily life.

"Very well. Where should we start?"

She'd follow along for now.
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#29
Agostina seemed to just be going along for the ride. This made Indra even more nervous about their situation, as she didn't seem too terribly concerned about things. He knew some of his friends were supposed to be there- Cliff and Natasha- but he had no idea where they were now- not with so many people just randomly changing into their costumes. He wasn't even sure what they were supposed to have been.

"Maybe we should ask someone?" He knew it was a longshot, but maybe there was someone there she recognized who could help. "Do you see anyone who could help us?"
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#30
She had been expecting him to make a decision, but instead he foisted it back onto her. Very well.

"Perhaps we split up and convene after," she offered, glancing over the crowd and not finding anyone in particular seeming to know what they were doing.
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#31
"Yeah, that's a good idea," he said with a nod. "When you need to find me again, remember that I'm Indra and I'm dressed as Abraham Lincoln, yeah?" He didn't necessarily want to leave Agostina, especially if she was someone shot through time from the renaissance, but they definitely needed to figure this out.
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#32
"Certainly."

Hopefully soon she'd find she woke up from this mess instead.
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