Grad Gifts UES Style

Donovan Hamptons House



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Jenna Donovan Siobhan Donovan Harper Donovan Chance Harper Ariel Johnson-Lowell Cooper Montgomery Preston Van de Mark

It's been two weeks and a few days since It happened. Siobhan is doing better. Physically, at least. If asked, the little hybrid will proclaim that she's doing fine mentally as well but there are those who might disagree with that. She's sporting a new tattoo, a large butterfly curving around her left side over her ribcage and coppery blonde highlights top her hair. The butterfly earned some fussing and scowling from her father ("What part of letting your body heal was unclear to you?") but it was something she needed to do to exert her control.

The second healing on her ankle worked a bit better than the first, although the dancer isn't fully healed yet. She's been moved to a compression boot for a few hours a day, and her injury is being treated like more of a strain than a break. Siobhan is still supposed to stay off her feet whenever possible, and she isn't allowed to resume dancing, or even proper training yet. Exercise she is allowed, so she isn't too grumpy about it.

The Priory did what they could to cover things and keep it quiet, but inevitable information leaked. There were too many people at the hospital, too many who wanted to feel heroic, and a few too many relieved families for the story to not leak. Fortunately, Siobhan has been sheltered and protected from the media and paps, but dodging well meaning distant friends (including Company members) hasn't been easy. As much as she loves huge parties where she can dance her ass off and be a party girl, she's glad Jenna opted to keep this one smaller than their typical.

The hybrid is not as quick or graceful as Jenna getting out of the limo. She's dutifully wearing her boot (so that she can take it off later without feeling guilty), and trying to keep most of her weight off of it. Still, once she's free of the limo, she does her own share of oohing at the house.

"Alright. This is doable."

Harper wasn't entirely pleased about the tattoo either, but he knows that she needed it, and that' what mattered. It looks hot, and as long as she's not showing it off to everyone and anyone all the time, then he's not going to fuss about it. He's been careful with her since her rescue. Not wanting to add to the damage either physically or emotionally.

But he's learned that she isn't entirely happy when he tries to help her in or out of the vehicle. Which is why she gets to exit before him.

Moving to stand behind her and allow her to lean against him if she wants to, he raises his brow a little.

"Well let's see if the keys work. Then we should call mom and dad, and see why they suddenly decided to renovate our place."

Chance waits until Siobhan and Harper are fee of the limo, then exits. He slides up behind his excited girlfriend and winds his arms around her waist. "As last minute changes go, it could be worse."


"Maybe it wasn't sudden," Chance suggests. "Maybe it was planned and sort of lost in … everything else."

Watching her cousin climb out the limo, Ariel shakes her head. Siobhan is incredibly willful, stubborn and independent. She knows Siobhan will balk at assistance unless she specifically requests it, but it is hard to not want to help her.

Instead of having a back up at the door, Ariel tosses her hair over one shoulder and slips a little less than gracefully over Preston's lap to ease out of the other door on the other side of the car. It's never made sense to her anyway why everyone always gets out of the one side of the limo.

Except in the case of celebrities, that's always where the cameras are.

It's her last weekend in the city; she leaves Monday morning. Jenna and Siobhan have spent time showing her around the city, helping her pick out colors to decorate her room, taken her shopping and talked her into getting boudoir photographs. Siobhan also attempted to give her a full wardrobe makeover, and though Ariel balked, she didn't resist every piece of clothing her cousin tossed her way. Being Siobhan's personal Barbie doll seemed to keep her cousin distracted from her own plight, so that wasn't a bad thing; even if she probably won't wear half the stuff Siobhan insisted on gifting her with.

Ariel has had fun here - and not only the night Preston took her out on the town and whisked her off to a posh hotel suite; she's looking forward to moving out here, even if things are up in the air with Preston. Right now, though she's looking forward to being able to unwind and relax this weekend.

"Come on," Ariel hooks her arm through Jenna's, playfully tugging her away from her boyfriend and toward the house. "We can admire it a lot more inside."

Cooper waits until everyone but Preston is out of the vehicle. He thought about not coming to the party, but that'd hardly be fair to Jenna. Besides which, she's really difficult to say no to.

Reaching over, he squeezes Preston's hand then slides out behind everyone else. He could've gone Ariel's route, but he's willing to wait. Especially since he's not sure who's property they've wound up on.

Catching up to Ariel, he hooks his arm through her free one and leans in to whisper, "Can I talk to you?"

Preston is glad Cooper decided to come to the party. He wouldn't have blamed his boyfriend if he wanted to sit this one out. They've talked and things are good with them, as near as Preston can tell, but he's not sure how his boyfriend is feeling or coping overall with the magic.

He sighs at Ariel's maneuver, and rolls his eyes dramatically, but he really doesn't object. Especially since he doesn't think she's trying to be seductive or teasing about it, merely seeking a way out of the vehicle that doesn't involve a bottleneck. Although, he wouldn't have objected if she were doing it intentionally either.

Catching Cooper's hand, he squeezes it in return and follows his boyfriend out of the limo. His gaze watches his boyfriend curiously as the older man leans takes Ariel's arm and leans in to whisper to her.
"You are the one in possession of the keys, Jenna. You should lead the way."

"I was just waiting for everyone to get out," Jenna tells Preston with a bright smile.

Even though she's been led a few steps away from Chance, she looks over her shoulder at him. A smile is tossed in his direction as well, and then she falls back to walk beside Shiv.

"Since our parents got us this place, then we should all go see it together, right? I might have the key, but this is a place for us for the weekend."


"But I totes claim the biggest bedroom!"

"Hey! That's not fair, I'm injured," Siobhan mock pouts. She might want to try and do things for herself, but she's not above milking her injury when she can.

She leans against her husband, preferring to use his offered support as opposed to the damn crutches. She can hobble-walk leaning on him as opposed to fighting with the crutches. "You know, the gimp is going to slow you down," Siobhan teases, giving her best friend a nudge.

"As the only married couple here," Harper teases, "We should get the largest room, but for one weekend we can give it up. So long as we don't wind up with a twin bed."

The largest room is probably at the top of the house, and you shouldn't be hobbling up and down the stairs all weekend.

"As for slowing anyone down…" Swinging Siobhan into his arms, he allows her crutches to fall to the floor as he bridal carries her toward the house.

"Can someone grab the crutches please?"

"Here I thought we weren't supposed to show you any preferential treatment," Chance teases as he kneels and gathers up the crutches. "Or does that only count when it doesn't involve sleeping arrangements and food?"

He'll trail behind the married couple and Jenna because the rental was for them after all, and the rest of the gang is just along for the party and the celebration.

"Don't forget being seated first and moving to the head of the line," Ariel points out, regarding Siobhan's injury.

She's surprised when Cooper takes her arm and blinks at his request. Mentally, she keeps telling herself that that ship has sailed and to put it all behind her, but the rest of her hasn't gotten the message. The witch still reacts to him with nearly the same intensity as she does to Preston. Maybe more with Cooper because at least with Preston she has an idea of where she stands with him, and Cooper is just a big wild card.

"Okay," Ariel breathes with a nod. "Sure."

Cooper waits until everyone else starts to move on, and shoots a look to Preston letting him know to go with the others. He leads Ariel to a nicely worked stone bench, and sits down on it motioning for her to do the same.

"Look, I wanted to apologize. For the way I reacted, for the way I've been acting. Your… abilities… are just not something I've had to deal with before. Or something that's normal to me. I acted like an ass, and I'm sorry."

Preston's catches his boyfriend's eyes, and then nods. He doesn't know why Coop is leading Ariel away, or what he's going to say to her, but he doubts it's anything bad. His boyfriend will likely tell him later and honestly, Preston wants the pair to work things out. Not only for his own selfish reasons, but because he's aware of Ariel's attraction to and feelings for Cooper.

"When it's convenient for her, she'll be a diva," Preston points out. "She learned from the best, or haven't you figured that out by now, Cowboy?"

Gasping, Jenna turns and waggles her finger at Preston. "I'm not a diva! Besides, Chance hasn't ever seen me injured…" Or ill, because she generally locks herself up when she feels a cold coming on, and uses one of Dawna's old-fashioned remedies to take care of it so that she doesn't hurt her voice.
Laughing as her brother scoops Siobhan up, she glances back over to her boyfriend. "Okay, really, this place is great. It's got a pool, and a hot tub… so what if it doesn't have tennis courts? I don't think any of us were planning on playing this weekend anyhow. It's just going to be a nice, relaxing weekend where we can just have fun. We need this after all our hard work in school, on the tour, and everything else that's happened this year."
Stepping up to the door, she unlocks it and calls out, "Hello? Donovan party is here…" Just in case there's a maid or butler waiting for them. She has no clue what her parents have in store.
"No, you're not a diva. Never," Siobhan says with a straight face. The hybrid dancer is not denying that she is and can be a terrible diva at times. Mostly when she's sick or injured, and only because she can be.
She laughs and wraps her arms around her husband's neck. Siobhan kisses him lightly under the chin. She loves it when he scoops her up and carries her. It makes her feel precious and light.
"You're just happy that it doesn't have tennis courts because that means I can't kick your ass at tennis. Yes, I could do it with one foot." The girls are really evenly matched on the tennis court, but that doesn't mean Siobhan is above a little bit of trash talk.
No one greets them at the door, but Siobhan sees a banner and streamers hanging in a room beyond the foyer. The room is at just enough of an angle that she can't read the banner, but she can see the stray large yellow balloon that comes drifting their way on the breeze kicked up by the door. "I think … our parents are up to something."
"Jenna? A diva? Never," Harper states with a laugh. He's seen his sister at her worst, and while she may not be a diva, she is a bit of a drama queen. It suits her personality though.
"We can always go to the club and play on the tennis courts there, ladies. Though I don't think you should challenge my wife just yet, sister dear. At least give her a chance to beat you fair and square."
Noting the balloon, he raises his brow. "Why don't we go to the kitchen to see if there's something we can all drink after the drive. If not, we'll bring in the luggage and you ladies can make yourselves at home while we stock up."
"Am I the only one curious about the balloon sneak attack?" Chance asks, grabbing the eager latex by the string before it floats out the door. He holds it out to his girlfriend and gives Harper a suspicious look. "Do you know something you're not sharing with the class?"
Preston, too, is wondering about that, but he's not saying anything. He's not sure about the layout of the house, but he believes the balloon might have come from the kitchen. Stepping further into the foyer and twisting his head a bit, he can see a room with cabinets and what appear to be more bright and happily colored bits of latex bouncing around.
"I, for one, am parched. I could go for a glass of water or even a soda. Maybe something a little stronger once we're all settled in for the night."
"Nope!" Jenna takes the balloon, and ties it about her wrist. She knows that it's a childish thing to do, but the helium balloon bops along behind her as she walks into the kitchen.
On the island, there's a humongous gift basket filled with food, along with two large bottles of Cristal. There are several envelopes and gift boxes included there as well.
"I'm guessing they felt bad since they got us a basket." Lifting up an envelope with her name on it, she figures it's just her parents giving them money for food. Opening it up, she stares at the paper inside of it. Blue eyes get extremely, comically huge, and she drops the envelope on the island.
"No freaking way!"
As Harper carries her into the kitchen, Siobhan is more distracted by the random balloons floating around. Some are tied to the gift basket, but others were left free floating, among the festive streamers that loop over the counter and the cabinet. It's not over done or tacky, but it's rather refreshingly cute.
It's the glittering, specially ordered banner that hangs over the kitchen sink and window that truly catches her eyes. It reads 'Welcome Home Donovans' in an elegant, colorful script. The balloons, streamers and banner scream of Dawna's special touches, when she used to make up celebrations for the kids when they were younger.
Jenna's face and reaction to the envelope draw Siobhan's attention as she reaches out and snags a balloon of her own. "What's up, Jenna?"
Once he sets Siobhan down, Harper moves over to his sister. He frowns a little at her reaction, but he gets the gist of it. He notes there are envelopes there for he and Siobhan as well, and he notes the banner.
"It looks like this is our graduation gift."
An envelope is given to his wife, and he opens his too.
"It's the deed, and title to the property. We each get a third share." The place is already furnished, which he figures was also done by their parents. From what he's seen so far, probably more by Dawna than his own mother, as everything screams 'cozy' and not 'over done'.
Another envelope is given to Chance, with a blink, and the last one to Preston.
"Are you going to be alright, Jen?"
Chance is about to ask what the specifics of the graduation gift are when Harper elaborates. His eyes go wide and he whistles.
"That's quite a gift there. Here. This whole place?" The sorcerer is obviously impressed as indicated by the way his drawl gets a bit thicker and more noticeable. "Congratulations!"
Grabbing his girlfriend around the waist he draws her in for a brief kiss. His hand slides down to pinch her backside, just a little something to snap her out of her surprise and stupor.
Brows rise when Harper hands him an envelope. Chance maneuvers himself to keep Jenna in his arms, and opens his envelope. He's honestly not sure what to expect; maybe a card and good wishes from Siobhan's and the twins' parents. Maybe a pre-nupt courtesy of Mrs. Forbes.
There's a letter from his father, and a brochure and a more detailed colorful letter that has Chance's mouth gaping slightly by the time he's done.
He did not see that coming.
"That explains the 'renovations.' " Preston makes air quotes around the word, grinning at his friends. There is absolutely no envy there. They've spent enough time here in the Hamptons since he's known them, and probably even more as kids. It's a fitting graduation gift. Something that they'll be able to share with their families.
"I think this calls for champagne, sweeties …" The actor starts to navigate and then realizes he isn't quite sure where to find champagne glasses. That's when Harper hands him his own envelope, which earns a bit of a confused frown. He knows that his parents added to his trust fund already, and though he did try to refuse it, Siobhan's parents insisted on giving him a little something for graduation - a getaway weekend at a mountain resort because, as Miss Dawna put it, "You kids don't get out of the city often enough."
Flipping over the envelope, Preston slits it open with his fingernail. There's no letter of explanation, but what there is has him stepping backwards and bracing himself against one of the breakfast bar stools. "Holy fucking hell."
"That … that theatre in Brooklyn that I told you about? That my father said he was considering investing in?"
"He bought it."
"For me."
Nodding, Jenna just stares at Chance. It means that she, Harper and Shiv will have a place to bring their kids some day. Unless her brother and sister-in-law want it all to themselves. She doesn't mind, and she'd be more than willing to just give them her share in a few years if that's the way it goes. Or gift it to her niece or nephew when they're born.
The kiss is brief, but it works to snap her out of it.
"Huh? I'll be fine. It's just wow. It's a big gift. I was expecting mother and daddy to just dump more money into our trusts but this…"
"Are you alright, Chance?"
"Glasses are likely in the cupboard somewhere by the sink, if I know mother."
"Holy crap! You own your own theatre?!"
"Ohmyfuckinggod." Siobhan stares at the envelope and it's contents but doesn't bother reading it. Harper has explained it all, and that's all she needs to know right now. "Ohmyfuckinggod!" The words are a squeal the second time and she hobbles over to her husband and best friend. Each of them gets a one-armed hug.
"Do you know what this means? We have our own place to bring our kids and have awesome family summer outings." It thrills Siobhan to no end to think of it like that. She loves summers spent in the Hamptons and now, she can give the same delights to her children when she and Harper have them.
"This is so … " Siobhan looks around and gives a bit of a frown. "Where are Ariel and Cooper?"
A few seconds later the inquiry is forgotten as she gapes at Preston.
"Holy fucking shit, Pres! You have your own theatre?!"


"I think they were off talking," Harper answers her in regards to her cousin and Cooper. He supports Siobhan's weight a little more than necessary, and pulls one of the island stools around for her to sit on.
"It does mean that, yes. We can always add on to it later if we need more room too, from the look of the documents, the property is quite large. Not as close to the beach as we're used to, but not that far away either."
"Congratulations, Pres. It's a great way to get income, once you get it renovated and rented out for shows."


"Yeah, I'm good," Chance answers Jenna, giving her a tight hug. "I'm real good." He's not sure why his father chose to present his graduation present like this, but he's not going to question it. The sorcerer isn't saying anything at the moment because he figures his announcement can wait. He doesn't want to steal Preston's thunder.
"That's pretty amazing, Pres. I never knew you were interested in owning your own theatre? I thought your big dream was Broadway?"

It's seldom that Preston can be rendered completely speechless, but this is one of those times. He keeps staring at the title paperwork and trying to find the words. It's more than the physical purchase of the theatre, it's what it means. If he ever needed clear confirmation that his father supports him in his endeavours, this is it.
"It's always been sort of an abstract thing. I figured, maybe, someday …"

With Ariel's ass in the air, and her feet hugged to his chest, Cooper returns. He calls out a hearty hello from the entrance way, then moves into the kitchen where he can somewhat see, and hear everyone else.
"Look what I dragged in. Here was the little Mermaid, just sitting on a bench. I figured I'd better bring her to the party, or Siobhan would start to worry about her."

Ariel hasn't asked to be put down, and has been giggling most of the way. She has tried to keep her head up, just to avoid the dizzy sensation of blood rushing to her head, and she does her best to look around now. Mostly, she sees the archway they just came through, and she wiggles, kicking her feet just a little. "Um, Coop? Maybe you should put me down so I can join the party?"

"You just looked sort've stunned." Jenna smiles at him, then wraps one arm around him to give him a kiss on the cheek before she breaks away from Siobhan entirely.
"Eventually. After I get married, maybe. I don't want to start thinking about kids just yet," she points out to her bestie.
"I'll help you, Pres, no matter what you need to get it all started. Well, when the summer is done and I'm not working at the restaurant. I'll help paint and pick out upholstery or whatever you need. Oh! And we can call Miss Bishop to get her to help you promote it properly if you don't want to use your dad's guys…"
"Hey guys. Welcome to our new home in the Hamptons!"


Siobhan frowns a little at the sight of her cousin's rear in the air and her body tossed over Cooper's shoulder. Cooper hasn't really interacted with Ariel since she's come to New York, not since the whole 'make-out/freak out' as it was explained to her, and she's more than a little curious - and worried - about what's going on there. Especially since she knows part of Ariel's moping and distraction has been because of Cooper.
"Yes," Siobhan says cheerily, despite her immediate worry, hoping on the stool Harper pulls over for her. "This house isn't a rental. It's ours. Our parents bought it for us. Oh, but, Pres got his graduation gift too, and it's even better!"

It's alright, Flutterbee.
"It's a huge graduation gift, and as long as it's alright with my co-owners, you are all welcome here whenever we are out here."
Harper grins, and then winks at his wife. "Unless some of us want a bit of privacy up here."
He considers for a second, then nods to Preston. "Tell them your gift, and then lets break out the bubbly. We can all take a glass and go exploring."


"Tell you later," Chance whispers in Jenna's ear. He'll probably tell them all later, but he doesn't mind keeping his gift to himself for right now. He kisses the side of her head and turns to the cupboard by the sink where the glasses were predicted to be. "I'll get glasses for all of us. I think we definitely need a toast and a first tour."
Grinning, he waves at Preston. "Go on and tell them, if you've regained your command of the English language."
The reappearance of Cooper and Ariel, with the younger witch giggling and in good spirits nudged Preston a bit from his stupor. It's a good sign that the two worked something out. He'll be happy with whatever it is, if they're comfortable around each other again.
Chance's gentle teasing gives him another nudge and Preston holds up the title. He grins broadly and announces, "I now own a theatre in Brooklyn."

"Christ, Pres, that's great news." Cooper is about to lower Ariel, but instead he moves toward Preston and kisses him soundly, keeping her body between them. When he draws back, he grins. "Congratulations."
Gently setting Ariel on her feet, he glances around.
"To all of you."


Ariel squeaks a note of protest then huffles a little. She props her chin up on her elbow as best she can at the awkward angle and taps her fingers against Cooper's back, while rolling her eyes. She's honestly not annoyed however. She's far more pleased than the situation calls for, actually.
"Congratulations you guys," Ariel says to the Donovans collectively. It's still a little odd thinking of Siobhan that way, but she is a Donovan now too. "I'm going to take you up on that visit -" She drops off in mid-sentence as Coop sets her to her feet. " -ing thing," Ariel finishes.
Turning, she reaches up and wraps her arms around Preston, giving him a tight hug. "Congrats to you too, Pres. That's awesome." Ariel presses a kiss to his cheek.

"Okay," Jenna replies. He's in a good mood, so she knows it's not anything bad.
"Good. You're welcome any time, Ariel. As long as you make sure your cousin and her husband aren't busy getting every surface in the house dirty."
Giggling, she grabs both bottles of bubbly and moves up behind Chance. She was right, the glasses are all in there. Jenna will see to it that they have a proper glass cabinet for the champagne and wine glasses later, but for now them being in the cupboard works.
"It is really awesome. Now I know that when I get too rejected, or too old on Broadway, I have a place I can call my second home," she teases playfully. "Pres will take me in. Just like a little stray kitten."


"Everyone will always be welcome," Siobhan agrees with her husband and best friend. "If there's a special need for privacy, we'll make sure to drop special hints or give specific dates and times when it's safe to come up."
"Which means, Ari, when you come out, we're going to take a week and come up. You, me, and Jenna. I'll be more mobile by then, so we can be beach bunnies, hit the tennis courts and go bike riding." She's resigned herself to the fact that she will likely miss the last leg of the tour, but that gives her time to heal properly and focus on getting ready for the fall shows.
"You men can come too, but I want to take Ariel out and show her the Hamptons."

"We can come out another week, when you ladies aren't here." Harper is already taking time off, and will be until Siobhan is more comfortable being alone. He isn't going to push for extra time right now, because he knows he wants time off for their wedding and honeymoon.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with a girl's weekend. Just don't go too wild, and no inviting strange men home."


Chance pops the cork on the bottle of bubbly and laughs. "I think you're talking to the wrong crowd, Harper." He tilts the bottle and starts pouring champagne into glasses.
After a moment, he reconsiders. "Then again, it was Jen and Shiv who brought the strippers home back in Vegas, so maybe it's a warning to be heeded." It's the first time Chance has comfortably joked about that, so it's a testament of his good mood.


Preston returns Cooper's kiss with equal soundness, and when it breaks, he peers curiously at his boyfriend. There's a question there, but he can't really ask it in mixed company.
"You realize that you're on the official list of construction help, right?" Preston tells Cooper.
"You too," Preston adds when he releases Ariel from the hug.


"I don't know what you're complaining about, Chance. I didn't have a problem with the strange men Shivvie and Jennie brought home. They were quite easy on the eyes."

"True. No bringing strippers home, girls." As though Cooper has a say in anything.
"At least not unless Pres is here with you for girl's week. That way you've got one guy that can beat the crap out of people if need be."
He smirks a little, and shrugs his shoulder at the unasked question. He's not going to say anything, but it's obvious that he and Ariel have worked something out.
"Once the tour is done, I'm all yours, sweetie. Though are you sure you want a motley crew working on your theater?"


Ariel frowns prettily. "Where would we even find strippers in the Hamptons? Do they have strip clubs out here? Isn't that a little too … low brow?" Yes, her naivete is showing again, but Ariel doesn't seem to notice or care.
She slips away from Preston and Cooper to steal one of the glasses of champagne. "Oh! I know! We could come out and have a special sort-of-but-not bachelorette party for Shiv before the wedding!"

"Montauk," Jenna replies quickly. "It's where all the low brow people hang out. Plenty of bars out there for the nightlife. It's got a lot of docks, or wharfs, or whatever they call them out there."
"Oh, that's perfect Ariel! We could host her bachelorette out here. At least, the one for her friends. Then we can have something more low-key for the older ladies that would want to attend."
Taking the champagne glasses, she starts to hand them out.
"Don't worry, Cowboy. I won't be bringing any strippers home, except the one we hire for Shiv's party, and I'll take you with me to hire him so you can veto any guy that looks like he might cause trouble."


"I get strippers?!" Siobhan bounces excitedly from her perch. "I like strippers."
She accepts her glass of champagne and leans toward Harper. He's given a sweet, gentle kiss, free hand cupping the side of his face. "No one holds a candle to you, though."
Things aren't exactly normal between them. She's still recovering from the kidnapping, and carrying a lot more scars than can be seen. There are sleepless nights, restless nights, nightmares, and worse: the night terrors she doesn't remember. Siobhan hates being left alone, sometimes the littlest sounds alarm and frighten her. Her grandmother made her some special tea and powders to aid with the sleeping, and there are blessed candles and a smooth, polished calming stone she wears on bracelet right now.
On top of that, she has residual guilt from what happened with Cooper. She and Harper haven't talked about it directly, but she's been attentive and affectionate, trying to reassure him in every way possible that she loves him and wants him and only him. There's been no sex, but her body just hasn't been up for it. Siobhan is still healing, and on top of that, before the tattoo and the highlights, which came in the last few days, she wasn't feeling in control or at all like herself.
Remarkably, the witch isn't bottling it up. She's talking to Karen of all people, but it's under the guise of discussing the wedding and seating arrangements, and the new house and decorating. The dancer knows that the times when the conversation strays, or when her mind wanders, that her mother-in-law is picking her apart and then saying the right things to nudge her into putting herself back together. Siobhan doesn't mind. It's better than trying to find someone outside who's a supe and a good therapist.

"It's your bachelorette, Flutterbee. If you want them, you can have them. Only… it'd likely be safer if you girls went out to see them instead of having anyone here." Harper is a big advocate for safety at the moment. He doesn't want strange people around his wife after what's happened. He also doesn't want to see his sister being put in a dangerous situation.
You won't be alone. You and the girls can all bunk in one room during the party. Make it like the sleepovers you used to have.


"That's a great idea, Harper," Chance hands out the remaining glasses of champagne. "It would be safer for the ladies to go to a club, or rent out somewhere and have a dancer come. That way there's no opening the house up for strangers." Chance isn't unobservant or stupid, he has noticed that Siobhan is twitchy around strangers coming near her home these days, not that he blames her. He's twitchy and wary of unusual people hanging about lately now.
"As long as you go with a reputable company and make sure the dancer, or dancers, are well vetted before hand."


"Maybe you could get your cousin to dance, Shivvie?" Preston teases. He knows that Siobhan will not be titillated with the thought of her cousin dancing, now that she knows he's related. It's also a minor tease to Jenna, because he knows she thinks Siobhan's cousin is hot. Not that he disagrees; Liam is hot.
Taking a sip of champagne, Preston waggles a finger at Jenna, "Although you're supposed to make these plans when she's not privvy to them. It'll be a lot easier to embarrass her that way."
He bumps his boyfriend with his hip and then slides his arm around him, resting his hand at the small of Cooper's back. "Oh, I fully intend on hiring a crew of professional contractors. They'll be there to do all the heavy lifting, and we'll only touch what we're allowed to touch, and what they think us untrained fat-fingered slobs are capable of doing."
"I want to be hands on with it, though. There's nothing wrong with a little elbow grease."

"We know enough dancers, I'm sure I could vet some for the party." They may not be dancers from the Company, but then again, not everyone from his Academy was so lucky as to make it to the ballet. Some have jobs as exotic dancers and strippers, some as backups for videos, and some on Broadway. Cooper rolls his shoulders in a shrug.
"I offer my assistance if they want something more private, though I'm on board for the going out idea. It would be safer, and you can always book the front row like you did for Pres and I in Vegas."
Cooper grins at Preston, and nods slightly. "I've got no problem being hands on. As long as you get the contractors for important things like the stage."

"Shiv will just have to act super surprised and pretend she doesn't know anything," Ariel chimes in. She sips her champagne and leans against the island counter. She wants to walk back over to Preston and Cooper, but it would feel weird and obvious doing it, so she stays where she is. "You can do that, right, cuz?"
She smiles brightly, blushing a bit at her next words even as she attempts to be a little bit teasing and playful. "Would they have to audition? I think that Jenna and I would have to help with that. You know, making sure they're up to Shiv's standards."
She looks over seriously at Preston. "I helped my father build our deck. I know it's not the same, but it was fun, getting hands on like that. I'm sure I can handle a paintbrush … or a broom."

"No, they're right. We could just as easily go out somewhere, then we don't have to worry about any of the stress that comes with some strange guy coming to the house." Jenna leaves Chance's side, and moves over to hug Siobhan.
"But don't worry, Shivvie. Ariel and I'll make sure you get strippers for your party somehow, alright?"
"Cooper, as much as you might want to strip for us, you know we're only going to see you as a friend, right? There won't be any mad swooning or makeout sessions just because you got naked."
Taking a sip of the champagne, she moves back to Chance and then smiles.
"We should go exploring."


Siobhan laughs and hugs Jenna in return. "I'm not worried about it, Jen. Honestly. I'll be happy with whatever you do for me, you know that?" It's sincere on so many levels. Siobhan is just happy to be alive, and grateful to be surrounded by her friends and family. Everything else is just icing.
She gives Ariel a smile over Jenna's shoulder. "I promise to act overwhelmed and surprised, even if you bring in a balloon animal artist."
"Yes, everyone should go exploring." Siobhan waves a free hand to shoo everyone out of the kitchen. "I'm going to finish my champagne, then Harper and I will explore too." She's not going to try to manage the boot and carry a glass of champagne. It's asking for trouble.

Harper rolls his eyes a little, then shakes his head. Kneeling down in front of her stool, he looks over his shoulder.
"Hop on, Flutterbee. I can give you a piggyback like old times, and you can still enjoy your champagne." He does figure that there are beds and chairs he can settle her on when he needs a break or she wants to put her foot up.
"This is our house, Mrs. Donovan, so you should be on the very first tour."


Chance looks around and shrugs, a sly smile turning up the corners of his mouth. "Why has no one asked me to strip? I do an amazing Rick Astley two-step."
Wrapping an arm around Jenna, he begins to lead her from the kitchen. "You know, for once, I don't think that Coop was offering to do the dancing."
"Yes, let's go find the biggest bedroom. Though since this is your house, I think you'll have to negotiate in the future to keep it that way."


"Speak for yourself," Preston comments. "I think I would be easily swayed to mad swooning and a make out session if Coop strips." He'd be easily swayed if Coop didn't strip but that's beside the point.
He stays where he is, beside Cooper, but does hold out a hand toward Ariel, "Come on Ariel. You can join our branch of the tour. We're the cool kids." He figures he can let the two couples get ahead of them so that they're not all tripping over each other and maybe find out what's going on with his boyfriend and Ariel.

"I wasn't."
"I could strip for you all, and I wouldn't even charge," Cooper teases. "But I know a few male strippers that I can vouch for if you want something more private. I can bring them around, introduce them in a nice public setting even. Like Purgatory. Actually, I think one of the guys dances in Abaddon on occasion, so your boss can likely vouch for him too, Broadway."
He glances over at Ariel and nods. "Sure, come play lag-behind with us. That way if they fall through any secret trap doors, we can fish them all out with a human chain, or some neat magic trick."


"I would too," Ariel mutters softly.
She circles around to where the pair is, and takes Preston's outstretched hand. "Or we can sit on the edge and point and laugh at them."

Mock gasping, Jenna spins around. "You wouldn't!"
"Well I can have it for this one weekend. Knowing my parents though, there's two bedrooms the exact same size somewhere in this house that'll be meant for the three of us." The little empath leads the way to the main room and then whispers to her boyfriend, "You can strip for me later, you know. I just don't want to show you off to everyone."


Giggling, Siobhan climbs onto Harper's back. "I'm not going to argue with an offer like this. Lead on."
The little hybrid leans forward and whispers in his ear, "Giddy-up." She figures he'll get her for that one later, but it's all in good fun and teasing.

Neighing playfully, Harper 'gallops' off after his sister and Chance. He's not really moving all that quickly. He doesn't want to jostle Siobhan's foot too much. But he's going to make this experience as fun for her as he can, because he knows she needs something like that to help put herself back together.


"Where did you want to start?" Chance asks Jenna. He takes her hand and raises it to his lips. "It's your house, and I'm just a guest. You should be the one leading the way. We can wander the first floor, or head upstairs so that you can lay claim to our bedroom for the weekend."
He waggles his brows at her. "I'll be happy to dance for you later when the party guests are gone."


"There are so many comments that could made regarding Sharper playing horse," Preston remarks. He has an amazingly straight face when he says the words and watches the couple disappear through the kitchen door.
Dropping Ariel's hand, Preston reclaims his champagne and drapes his arm around her shoulder, keeping the other one around Coop. "I really have no objections to you dancing for me, Coop. Whenever. Wherever."
Preston grins, "Though I think our hosts might not like it if you did it right now in the kitchen."

Cooper laughs, watching the two couples head out of the room. Then he turns to Preston and Ariel as he downs his glass of champagne.
"I wouldn't do it in the kitchen anyhow. It's unsanitary," he points out.
"We are having a party later. Which means that someone should call the other guests and let them know the change of venue? Unless they're already aware of everything."
Noting an additional envelope on the counter, he hands it to Ariel as it has her name on it.
"Looks like you got a little something too, Mermaid."


"If Aunt Dawna had a hand in this, the guests probably have already been given a new address," Ariel remarks. Looking around, she waves at the balloons and the banner. "Trust me, this is Aunt Dawna's extra handiwork."
She takes another sip of her champagne. "If not, Jenna won't forget for long. You have met Jenna right?" It's said with a grin, and Ariel giggles a little.
"I have something?" Curious, Ariel takes the envelope from Cooper and opens it. She reads the letter inside, and blinks at the check. "I - oh, wow. This is …" Ariel looks up at the two men, "It's from Mr. and Dr. Donovan. They're covering my moving expenses as a thank you … I didn't even do anything."
Ariel stares at the check another minute and gives a soft shake of her head. "Shiv's my family, what else would I do?" The witch isn't going to be able to accept the check. It's too much and … it's too much.

"Let's go find the bedroom."
Jenna blushes a little as she says it, because really it came out entirely wrong. "I meant, let's check out upstairs, and claim the room we want for the night. There'll be lots of time to explore every little nook and cranny, and see what surprises mother and daddy have in store for us all."
"Or maybe we'll get lucky and one of the rooms will have a private hot tub…"


Chance chuckles as he watches the color paint itself over his girlfriend's face. "I knew it. You have a one track mind, Miss Donovan. I bet you're just counting the minutes until you can get me all alone…" He playfully reaches down and pinches her backside, then gives it smack, ushering her toward the stairs.
"Let's have a look at the upstairs bedrooms, and see if you can't get lucky with a hot tub." The innuendo is entirely on purpose, though Chance is only playing around. They do have a party starting later.
"When we're done giving the place a once over, we should call the guests and give them the change of address?"

The first stop on the Harper express is the main living area. "A fireplace, and a television set into the stone above it." He sets her down on the couch, and pulls the back of it down so that she's reclined. "Great for watching movies. What do you think of the furniture, Flutterbee? I'm sure we can change out anything you don't like, but I like the blue and it's kind've cozy, don't you think?"


"I think that my mother had her heart's delight shopping," Siobhan grins at her husband. She drinks half her glass of champagne and then places it on the side table. "I think we should get Jenna's input, but I like it. It's cozy and welcoming. It doesn't feel off-putting or like you shouldn't want to relax in here."
Reaching for her husband's hand, she gives him a tug toward her. "Come on and try out his comfortable couch with me …"

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