Okay, I think we are all pretty much aware of the unfortunate circumstances that I faced, the first time I went to start this chapter. I curse my luck that the day I decide to update my computer is the day I lose ninety percent of a chapter that I had been struggling with for a little while. Oh well. I've been trying to get some inspiration to attack this chapter again and hopefully make it better than what I lost. Considering I'm going in with a bit more confidence than I had with the previous chapter, I'm confident that it will seem more forced and make more sense. I've been struggling with characters lately because each of the characters have more modern, realistic attributes that they stick to whereas previous ML characters have been much more flexible. Bear with me, my lovelies. I will try my best no to disappoint.
Chapter Ten: Style
Rolyn couldn't say she was completely surprised when Jocelyn strut past her, all heels and scowls as she grumbled under her breath about inconsiderate little brothers who loved to do nothing more than break their big sister's heart. The ebony haired mother of two turned her eyes skyward in search of grace and patience as she closed the door slowly and moved to follow her sister-in-law. She had a good idea why the older former Alvarez turned Mrs. Adrian Cross was in such a tizzy so she also knew it was only a matter of time before she showed her face around the villa to give her baby brother a piece of her mind.
"Out of all the inconsiderate, horrible things a brother could do to his sister," Jocelyn growled as she stomped into the open kitchen where Jason was moving about to prepare an early dinner. The sun was barely setting and lunch had not been more than two or three hours before but what with the kids' plans for the evening, they decided to have their mandatory family dinner early so there were no conflicts of schedules. "I knew you were evil Jason, but come on."
"Oh, who let the Purugly in?" Jason said offhandedly as he drizzled some olive oil into a hot skillet. Jocelyn made an indignant noise behind him and Jason couldn't help the small quirk at the corner of his mouth as he laid salmon down in the sizzling pan.
"I'll let you know I am highly offended that I was left in the dark about the get together of the century by my own flesh and blood and the only way I was informed was because my niece had to explain why she needed a reservation for eight at Sableye." Jocelyn ranted, her cheeks turning bright red as she glared daggers at her brother's back. Rolyn sighed deeply through her nose as she pulled out a bar stool from under the overhang of the kitchen island and climbed up to have a front row seat to yet another Alvarez sibling argument. "Now I'm not saying my little Mickayla isn't as amazing as they come but even I know the only friends she has in this region are her brother and god-brother."
"When she speaks the truth, she speaks the truth." Rolyn deadpanned with a wry smile and a shrug of her shoulders. Jocelyn hummed in agreement and crossed her arms tightly over her chest.
"I wish to know why I was not included on the guest list concerning this year's Untouchables reunion when it is practically in my backyard." the older woman snapped as she watched her little brother move about the kitchen without a care, completely ignoring all the venom she was spitting at him. "As an honorary Dragonite Girl, I believe I had the right to know."
"You weren't invited." Jason said simply, not even bothering to look at her. "There, now you know."
Jocelyn squawked irately before sucking her teeth at the audacity her younger sibling had to speak to her in such a way. With her jaw set, she stomped her way over towards the fridge, pulling out the drawer that opened up the freezer and pulling out the bottle of white wine she knew her brother stuck in there to chill for dinner. Jason always served white wine when he was cooking salmon.
"Hey!" Jason cried, spying her out the corner of his eye. Jocelyn ignored him as she pulled open a drawer and pulled out the corkscrew to uncork the bottle of expensive wine. "That's for dinner." Jason informed her.
"It was for dinner. Now it's for me because I need to be somewhat intoxicated to deal with your sassy ass without succumbing to the urge of letting my Arcanine burn you within an inch of your life." Jocelyn grumbled as she popped the bottle of wine open and quickly took a swig. Rolyn introduced her hand to her forehead and shook her head slowly at the sight.
"Already had that happen once, Joce. Nice try." Jason jibed turning the salmon over in the pan and considering the wine a lost cause. He'd just have to go to the cellar later and get another bottle.
"Jason." Rolyn scorned.
"What?" he whined, glancing over at his wife to see her disapproving look. He sighed deeply before speaking again, "After you're done with that wine, you can see yourself to the door. We're going to sit down for dinner soon and I don't need you here making a scene."
Jocelyn squawked again, this time, almost choking on the wine she was chugging like it was water. "You have balls Jason Sebastian Alvarez. If I wasn't so sure Mom would be bothered by it, I would have murdered you already."
"Please don't. I can't raise two teenagers on my own." Rolyn inserted quickly.
Jason huffed. "Love you too, sweetheart." he said sarcastically.
"I don't make scenes. I am the level headed, intelligent sibling. I'm also always the life of the party. Always. It was your mistake to leave me in the dark." she said haughtily as she perched herself on the bar stool beside Rolyn and let her half-finished bottle of wine rest on the granite counter top.
"I guess I'll just have to live with that regret. You know the way out, right? Rolyn, honey, show my darling big sister to the door." Jason said tersely as he took his salmon off the stove and checked on the rice he had boiling down on the back burner.
"Jason, be nice." Rolyn said firmly.
"Or what?" he chuckled.
"Or you won't get dessert tonight." his wife said flatly. "And I am not talking about the cookies May made earlier."
"Jocelyn, darling sister of mine, would you like to say for dinner?" Jason said quickly.
Jocelyn offered her fist to her sister-in-law and the other woman smirked while meeting her half way with her own balled fist.
"Should I go for sparkles or should I just tone it done a bit?" Corinne inquired as she tugged a sparkling, slinky number out of her pile of possible clothing choices for their night out. Mickayla, who was also rifling through her closet for something to wear, peeked out to examine the dress seeing as Crista was holed up in the bathroom and Jo could care less, more focused on her game of Pokémon she had been playing on her dex all evening. Not even her father's back-in-my-day-we-trained-Pokémon-for-real speech could deter her from leveling up her Flygon. It didn't matter that she had a real Flygon in a pokeball in her pocket.
"I'd say don't go full on sparkle. Tone it down but have sparkly accents like a chunky necklace or some eye catching shoes." Mickey advised with a smile and nod. Corinne nodded slowly as well as she mulled over the other girl's words.
"Genius." the oldest of the twins breathed as she began to dig through her pile of clothes with more fervor. "Jo, you should start getting ready. Do you even know what you're going to wear?"
"Does it matter?" Jo countered. "I was just going to go in this." she added as she gestured to her clothing of choice – a pair of cut off shorts and a graphic t-shirt that depicted a disgruntled Jigglypuff on it.
"No!" Corinne gasped loudly.
"You can't!" Crista added, peeking her head out of the en suite bathroom. Jo perked a brow at the younger twin, wondering how she had even been aware of the conversation. She had appropriated the bathroom as soon as dinner was over and ordered for no one to disturb her as she went about doing her hair and makeup perfectly.
"Our first time going to a club and you want to go looking like…that?" Corinne practically squealed as she gestured to the blonde. Jo narrowed her blue eyes at the purple haired girl.
"And what's wrong with the way I look, Tinkerbelle?" she grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest. Corinne held her gaze for a moment before swallowing nervously.
"N-Nothing…when it comes to every day stuff, but we're going out and that takes a little more effort, dontcha think?" Corinne tried with an anxious smile. "Mickey agrees with me, right Mick?"
"I shouldn't have to sacrifice my comfort for something as frivolous as dressing up." Jo hissed, shutting off her dex and standing to her feet. "The Summer Solstice festival was one time too many for this reunion and Mickey, agrees with me."
"Actually I think that when going out, especially to a place like a night club or a party, you should put a little more effort into the way you look, not for anyone else really, but just because it's fun and you don't want to be that one person who wants to be a wet blanket, stuck in their usual." Mickey inserted smartly as she pulled a pair of black, high-waisted shorts from her closet.
"Ha." Corinne scoffed with a haughty smirk.
"But I also believe that you shouldn't be forced into clothes you are not comfortable in because that will just make the night less enjoyable and you'll still be a wet blanket." Mickey added quickly, giving Corinne a pointed look as she pulled out a flowing green and white striped midriff tank top that had bite me scrawled across it in black sparkling calligraphy.
"HA!" Jo barked, pointing an accusing finger.
Mickey rolled her eyes. "What I'm trying to say is," she started loudly. "You can still dress up and mix up the usual and still be comfortable." she finished, offering her cousin a small smile. "I actually have a little something for you that you may actually approve of."
Mickey went into her closet and pulled out a black leather jacket that she laid down next to the shorts and tank top she had pulled out earlier. She took a step back and gestured to it and Jo moved around the bed to the other side where Mickey had laid out the clothes. Corinne joined her as well and soon so did Crista, looking over her sister's shoulder.
"Perfect." Corinne and Crista breathed.
"Jo?" Mickey pressed, poking the smaller girl in the arm.
The blonde cocked her head to the side and tapped her chin thoughtfully as the twins and her cousin watched on expectantly. Sighing the youngest Hayden sibling shrugged and hummed in approval. Corinne and Crista made identical squeals as the grabbed each other in a hug.
"It's a girl!" Mickey cried, latching onto Jo and shaking her from side to side. The aforementioned girl made a noise of disgust and shoved her cousin off of her and into the other two celebrating girls.
"I'll do your hair and makeup if you want me to." Crista sang, pinching Jo's cheek, but pulling away quickly before the blonde could slap her hand away.
"Don't push it."
"At least let me do your hair? Nothing too crazy, I promise. Girl scouts honor." Crista said firmly as she placed her hand over her heart and saluted with the other.
"You were never a girl scout." Jo deadpanned. "But fine. Nothing crazy." she sighed with a careless wave of her hand.
"Yay!" Crista cheered.
"You are going to turn heads tonight, Jo. My antisocial Metapod is blossoming into a glorious, outgoing Butterfree." Corinne whimpered as she swiped at an invisible tear. "Who knows, maybe you'll find some companionship of the male persuasion." she crooned as she went back to finding her own outfit.
"Uh, no." Jo said straight-faced. "I'm not looking for 'companionship of the male persuasion' at the moment."
"And why not?" Corinne countered. "We are in a gorgeous region that has proven to have just as gorgeous guys milling about and you're telling me you don't want to indulge in that little perk of this summer getaway?"
"That is exactly what's I'm telling you, Tinkerbelle. Boy's aren't really my thing." Jo said lowly.
"Because you are one?"
"Hey!" Jo hissed snatching up one of Mickey's many decorative pillows and chucking it at the older twin. "Watch it." Corinne ducked, narrowly avoiding getting a face full of designer silk and feathers.
"Pick it up." Mickey deadpanned as she continued to locate her own outfit for the evening. Corinne took up the pillowed and tossed it back to Jo with more force than necessary, but Jo still managed to catch it before it could hit her in the face.
"I'm not like you and the Queen of Pixie Hallow over there," Jo said gesturing to the now open bathroom where Crista had just started to curl her hair. The dark haired scoffed and rolled her eyes into the mirror as she pulled the curling iron from her hair. "I don't go looking for love. I don't really see the point especially since in two months' time, we will be outta here."
"Is that why you're keeping Cal at arm's length?" Mickey injected quietly. Jo turned a dirty glare on her that she easily ignored. "Is that also why you don't want me pursuing anything with Xander?" she questioned a little louder.
"No, I don't want you to pursue anything with Xander because he's a total prick." Jo said sharply.
"He's also your best friend." Mickey refuted.
"Well, maybe I'm not the best judgment of character. I mean I hang out with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum on a regular basis, voluntarily." she hissed pointing from Corinne to Crista. Mickey groaned and rolled her eyes in aggravation.
"I don't know why you have to be so scared all the time. My mom says you're just like your dad, you always have to have everything in order and under your control. If the variables aren't clear, you avoid it and sometimes that can make you miss out on amazing things." Mickey tried, gesturing frantically with her hands.
"I may miss out on things, but I'm always safe." Jo muttered, crossing her arms over her chest.
"But should you choose the smoothest course? One that's just steady?" Mickey pressed with a shrug of her shoulders. Jo pursed her lips indignantly and looked away. "To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing and if the Joanne Seraphina Hayden I know is as strong and fearless as she's always made herself out to be than she wouldn't stick to just being safe."
"Mickey…" Jo began sharply.
Mickayla rolled her eyes. "And I am not just saying this so you'll let me date you're best friend. I don't even know if I want that."
"Trust me, you don't!" Crista practically sang.
"You have to want more than just a standard life and this is the summer to do it." Mickey said firmly. "Instead of being guarded, let some of the guards go on vacation and live a little." the youngest of the Alvarez siblings smiled encouragingly and Jo sighed deeply.
"Okay Colors of the Wind, I'll sing with all the voices of the mountain and look just around the river bend if you guys just quit ganging up on me." Jo grumbled as she threw her hands up in defeat.
Corinne gasped before charging Jo, grabbing the outfit Mickey had pulled out for her along the way. The blonde gasped as she was suddenly grabbed by her shoulders, her arms suddenly filled with clothes, and shoved towards the bathroom. "Crista! She caved! Time to start the transformation of our little Metapod."
"Stop calling me that!" Jo hissed as she shouldered the older of the two twins. Corinne yelped and stumbled back just as Crista claimed the youngest Hayden and tugged her into the bathroom before shutting and locking the door. "Don't make me regret this!" Mickey and Corinne heard Jo call out from inside the bathroom.
"Introducing for the first time in forever, the new and improved, Joanne Seraphina Hayden, also known as our Butterfree." Crista announced loudly as slipped out of the bathroom without opening the door fully.
"Can you cut the crap?" Jo grumbled as she shoved the door open from the inside. Corinne and Mickayla who were waiting patiently gasped identically, both clasping their hands over their mouths at the supposed, big reveal. The platinum blonde rolled her eyes as she examined herself. "Come on, I don't look that different." she sighed in irritation as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"You're wearing makeup…" Corinne breathed taking a step forwards and lifting Jo's face by the chin.
"Your sister wouldn't shut up until I agreed." Jo explained with a shrug before she slapped Corinne's hand away. "It's not even a lot."
"Did you let Crista cut you hair?" Mickey inquired, picking at the ends of Jo's hair. It looked noticeably shorter and now she had bangs sweeping over one eye. Crista had trimmed her hair a bit and styled it into loose curls that looked almost natural. Behind them, Crista twirled the pair of safety scissors she had to work with and blew on them like she would the barrel of a gun.
All in all, Jo looked different. She felt different as well. Usually when she was forced to put effort into her style she would be left feeling awkward and out of her element, but right now she didn't feel too bad. She told them not to make her regret it and she didn't…yet. Along with the shorts, Crista had fetched her some green tights to put on underneath and some patent leather wedge sneakers. The only jewelry she had was a pair of studs, but she felt and looked more like a girl than she ever had.
"You look amazing Jo!" Corinne cooed as she brushed invisible dirt off the blonde's shoulders.
"I agree. I do amazing work." Mickayla sighed with an approving nod.
"Hey, I think I deserve a little credit?" Crista inserted. "But now that we have gotten our Butterfree ready to fly, I think we should get back to working on ourselves…unless you planned on going in your lounge wear." she said as she gestured from her sister to Mickey who were still clad in sweats and tanks tops.
Crista giggled as her sister gasped dramatically and immediately went back to rifling through her clothes for that perfect outfit. Mickey groaned and want back to doing the same, muttering under her breath about how easily distracted they all were and she can't believe the only person ready was the one who didn't really want to go in the first place. Crista had already finished curling her hair into cute ringlets and had her makeup done. All she needed to do now was get dressed which she admits she should have done before she did all her fragile hair and makeup work.
Jo smirked to herself as she watched her friends move about in a flurry of movement. Feeling a little smug, she hopped back into Mickey's bed and returned to her game of Pokémon while she waited. It wasn't until she got bored and switched to watching the live feed of the Gantor region Pokémon league that Crista announced way too loudly that everyone was done.
Jo sighed and tucked away her dex before standing to her feet. "Finally…" she grumbled stretching her arms above her head and popping her back.
"So?" Crista chimed. "How do I look?" she giggled as she twirled over to the blonde. Jo gave her a once over.
Crista only looked a fraction better than she usually did considering she dressed up practically all the time. Her fuchsia colored, short sleeved high-low dress clung to her in all the right places and was paired well with a pair of black platform ankle boots. She had combed out her ringlets so they looked a little more natural and fell around her shoulders nicely and she didn't wear much jewelry besides tear drop earrings and some noisy bangles Jo was already annoyed with.
Mickayla's choice of clothes matched her personality immensely. Her shirt was long sleeved and end just under her rear but it was all mesh minus the band of cloth that covered her chest and had the parental advisory label on it that Jo had seen on certain music and games. She wore leggings that were much like her shirt with strips of mesh crisscrossing down her thighs and calves. Jo was a little surprised to find that she wasn't wearing heels or even wedges, but black and silver Jasons – a pair of sneakers her mother had designed and named after her husband. Her hair was pin straight and framed her face perfectly and the only notable makeup had to have been her eyeliner. Her only jewelry was a pair of silver hoops.
Corinne was dressed in leather pants and a halter purple peplum shirt. Like Mickey had advised, she had went down the "toned down" route with sparkling accents. All her jewelry was sparkling and eye catching, from the shining, chunky looking amethyst necklace she wore with matching studs and rings to the silver sparkle covered peep toe heels Mickey had let her borrow. Her hair was tied in a high ponytail with a silver sparkle covered hair tie that reminded Jo of a really small tiara and her makeup looked pretty natural minus for the purple and silver eye-shadow.
"Okay, even I have to admit that we look hot as hell." Jo remarked with a smirk.
"Yas!" Corinne drawled while clapping slowly.
"How do you think the guys will react?" Crista inquired with a devilish look in her eyes that was all her mother's.
"We should make a bet to see whose jaw drops the lowest." Mickey chuckled as she snatched up her black clutch and made a beeline for the door. "I think Tevin's will drop the lowest considering he doesn't handle surprises very well and Corinne looks way too gorgeous to be ignored."
Corinne huffed. "I think he'll be more focused on his tomboyish little sister's sudden transformation into the enticing young woman we all knew she could be." she said, stomping down the bitterness she felt bubbling up at the mention of Tevin showing her any attention. No one really knew what happened between Tevin and Corinne, they just knew in summers past, he had shown interest.
"No, I think my brother will have all the focus on Jo." Mickey corrected with a salacious smirk.
"Stop talking!" Jo cried as she shoved Mickey roughly in the shoulder. Mickey chuckled, not missing the red tint that came to the blonde's cheeks.
Okay this was totally different than what I initially had, but at the same time it is pretty much along the same lines. I was gonna introduce some new elements about our characters, but I decided to start that subtle change that will turn this band of misfits into the close friends they were destined to be. Also I hope all of you caught those Disney references. I don't know where they all came from, but I have this headcanon that Jo is a closet Disney freak and gives people nicknames based on Disney movies and makes a butt ton of Disney references. Anyone think they can name all the movies mentioned? Thank you all for reading!
Reviews would be much appreciated.