*~*I own nothing of Valdemar, or any of the characters except Devon, Rob, Greg and Dina. Go sue someone with money.*~*

            Devon was putting the finishing touches on her makeup when her friend Greg knocked on her bedroom door. She and Greg were next door neighbors as well as friends, and had known each other since they were in diapers. That didn't mean, however, that she wanted him in her room when she wasn't ready, though.

            "I'll be ready in a minute! Go sit in your chair while you wait!" Devon shouted as she searched through the mess of makeup items on her dresser to find an appropriate eyeshadow. There was a fairly comfortable chair next to the table in her hall with a phone on it, and whenever Greg came over and she wasn't ready he sat in it.

            "I know it's here somewhere...." Devon mumbled to herself, then came up with a muffled exclamation of triumph when she found the shimmery gold she was looking for. She'd bought it especially for Halloween, for her dress, knowing it would be perfect. It was gold, true, but a very pale gold, almost matching her clear amber eyes. Greg knocked again as she finished dusting it on her eyes.

            "I said I'm almost done!" Devon growled softly, reaching for a berry lip gloss. She wanted a little color for her lips, but not too much.

            "Yes, I'm aware of what you said, as well as the fact that when a girl says she's almost ready there is still another twenty minute wait ahead of you. I am also aware that a girl who feels pressured or harassed moves faster." Greg's sweet voice floated through the door.

            "All right, but if I mess up because I'm rushed I'll have to start all over again...." Devon said just as sweetly. She smiled, almost able to see him wince. "Oh, come in. I'm dressed already, I'm just doing my makeup."

            "Thank God for small favors..." Greg mumbled as he walked in, catching the small pillow Devon had thrown at him and placing it on her bed as he sat down on the end. Devon dusted some blush on her cheeks, just enough to show over her golden tan. Softball season had ended at the end of August, but she still hadn't lost most of her tan.

            "No need to thank me, Gregory. I do these things for myself." Devon smiled as she saw him roll his eyes in her mirror. She picked up the small can of spray-glitter she'd bought and sprayed some in front of her, closing her eyes and stepping into it. She felt a slight chill as it settled on her face, neck and generous amount of exposed chest. She didn't have much of a chest, really, but the dress made her appear to have enough to pull it off.

            Devon flipped her head over and sprayed the glitter all in her hair, crunching it with her fingers as she sprayed. When she flipped her head back over and stood up straight, it was with a small cloud of glitter surrounding her. She turned around for Greg to see and stood expectantly, waiting for his opinion.

            As she waited, Devon couldn't help but notice how handsome he looked in his white suit. It was styled just like Cinderella's Prince in the Disney cartoon, gold trimming and all. With the gold crown on his head, he looked like any regal prince that had the decency to grace a Fairy Tale. She and Greg were to go as the King and Queen of Light, while their other two best friends, Dina and Rob, were to go as their nemesis, the King and Queen of Darkness. Devon wasn't sure about the other two, but she sure felt that herself and Greg were doing a fine job of imitating their chosen titles.

            "You look like you stepped out of a storybook, Devon." Greg said approvingly. Then he walked over to her dresser and picked up her glittering gold crown, setting it lightly but firmly on her head. "That's the icing on the cake, oh edible one." Greg said with a smirk. Devon laughed and punched him in the arm lightly before taking his arm and dragging him up to the mirror on her wall. She looked at both their reflections and nodded her approval. They were both regal looking.

            Devon focused on her dress; it had started a war, that dress. Her parents had been so furious with her for buying the three hundred dollar dress, that they had tried to ground her. What they hadn't counted on was her argument against such an unjust action be so well-founded. It was her own money she was squandering, money that she had spent all summer slaving on the softball fields for, so why shouldn't she spend it on what she wished? If she were being foolish, well, it was her own fault and she could kick herself for it later. She had no one to blame but herself. So, in the end, she won the argument, and was not punished on the firm belief that she would kick herself later.

            But, oh, that dress... It was more of a gown really. It was a shimmery white, almost like silk or satin, and it fell in elegant folds to her toes, barely showing the shimmery gold slippers she wore. The dress itself had long, gossamer sleeves that flowed out at the end like wispy bells, and a tight bodice that tied near the low, square neckline. Devon knew if she were any less tan than she was right now, she never would have been able to pull this dress off; the gold embroidery and trimmings alone would have made sure of that. But her, shimmering with glitter from head to toe, with the gold crown on her head, in perfect intonation with her golden hair, which was rippling down her back in shimmering waves, was the perfect picture of any person representing the Light. With Greg, tall, blonde and equally tan, standing next to her, they would be the life of the party-- that is, them and their dark counterparts, if they were as well prepared for this occasion as herself and Greg were.

            Devon came back to herself to see Greg's honey-colored eyes sparkling with mischief at her. She knew what he was thinking without his saying it. He was thinking "Daydreamer". That's what everyone called her when she lost herself in thought, which happened quite often.

            "Oh, shutup, you. We're going to be late and it's all your fault." Devon stated, pulling him toward the door. They were supposed to meet Dina and Rob at Dina's house so they could make the most dramatic entrance possible at Josh MaCanon's party. Every year, Josh threw a huge party at his house on Halloween, and a prize was given to the most creative couple, or couples. This year, The Quartet, as they were called, were hoping to win that prize.

            "All my fault? Woman, I think that glitter fused into your brain and sucked out what few brain cells remained after all those years of hair spray." Greg said, chuckling softly. Devon just looped her arm through his and propelled him downstairs. Her parents were waiting at the bottom, her mother with a regular flash camera, and her father with a Polaroid. She and Greg posed as any young King and Queen would at the bottom of that stairs, with their backs straight and their chins up, the barest hint of a commanding smile on their faces, while her parents snapped pictures wildly.

            "I'm spending the night at Dina's with Rob and Greg, so I won't be home tonight." Devon said as she kissed her mother and father good-bye. Her father handed both her and Greg a Polaroid each.

            "Have a good time, and good luck!" Her mother said as her father opened the front door.

            "We will," Devon and Greg said in unison. Both of Devon's parents smiled and waved as they walked out the door, quickly grabbing the nearby bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters stampeding up the porch and nearly running over Devon and Greg.

                                                                                                            * * *

            Rob and Dina were, indeed, a sight to behold. They both had pulled off their roles just as well as Greg and Devon. Dina had bought the exact opposite copy of Devon's dress; it was black and shimmery with silver embroidery and trim, and against her pale skin, it looked wonderful. The fine silver glitter she wore all over looked stunning on her, and made her cool, gray eyes stand out even more. The sparkling silver crown on her head completed the picture. Rob was also the prefect escort for her; they both had the same blue-black hair, but his eyes were more hazel. His costume was also a mirror copy of Greg's; it was black with silver trimmings and such, and the crown on his head matched Dina's.

            Dina's parents also came out and snapped pictures, handing us a Polaroid each, which Devon tucked into a hidden fold in her dress with the other Polaroid. After seeing that picture, Devon had to admit that the four of them were definitely going to be getting people nervous tonight. It wasn't just the costume that won the prize at the party (which was never disclosed until someone won it, and was different every year), it was how well you pulled it off. The four of them were going to be putting on quite an act tonight. They had to act perfectly regal, shooting cunning remarks at their rivals (and each other, as they were Light and Dark), and at the same time showing they were each others equals and partners, for darkness could not live without light, and vice versa.

            They had all agreed to walk to the party since it was only about two blocks away. They somehow managed to arrive in one piece, though not for lack of boisterous trick-or-treaters trying to run them over. They all took a moment to collect themselves and step into character; Devon once again linked her arm through Greg's as Dina did the same with Rob behind her. It was agreed that she and Greg would enter first since it had been Devon's idea for the costumes, and, in Fairy Tales as well as movies, Light always reigned over Dark, though they feigned equals. The better person never overstepped themselves to prove it, but it was generally acknowledged.

            Greg gave her an encouraging smile, then pressed the doorbell of the enormous house. Well, either an enormous house or a moderate mansion, Devon thought ironically. That was all she had time for, however, because the door swung open, revealing Josh, looking impeccable in his tailored suit as he posed for James Bond, with a lady on each arm.

            "Welcome to the party, Majesties!" Josh said with a deep and graceful bow. "I'm ever so delighted that you decided to grace us with your presence!" With that he stepped to the side, waving his arm expansively for them to enter.

            Devon was sure she was not imagining the sudden hush that fell over the party. As she and Greg entered, with Dina and Rob in close attendance behind them, a man with a clipboard murmured to Greg.

            "Together, majesty?" He meant, of course, the four of them. At Greg's imperious nod, he jotted something down on the pad attached to the clipboard. As Devon looked around, head held high, she saw more than a few disappointed faces. She allowed herself an inward smile, noticing that Josh was eyeing those people as well. As a man dressed as a butler (Josh's younger brother, Kane, her mind noted) gestured for them to enter the "ballroom," she turned a blind eye on everyone in the room, and started toward the ballroom with Greg, both tall and proud--and in their element.

            I think tonight might be quite the success, Devon noted as Greg swept her into a graceful, regal dance, flowing smoothly to the slow, classical song that had just begun. Just before Greg whirled her away from the entrance, she saw Josh murmuring to the man with the clipboard, and saw him furiously scratching names off as Josh scanned the crowd quickly, obviously dismissing the people who would not win. Devon couldn't help the small, self-contented smile that tugged at her lips.

            Yes...quite a success. This is only the beginning, and look how many we've knocked out of the running. She caught Dina's eye and knew she was thinking the same thing by the slight, but acknowledging smile any Queen would deliver to an equal before she, too, was whirled away.