Subject: Gall Knutson had prepared for a big entrance.
Posted on: 2018-10-31 02:37:24 UTC

She burst through the doors and sashayed her way toward the crowd, grinning, fully expecting the entire room to stop and stare... only to realize about five steps in that her partner was not beside her. What the hell? She turned around and saw that he was still in the doorway, standing stock-still. With an aggravated growl, she stalked back toward him.

"Hey!" she hissed. "What gives?"

"This was a bad idea," said Derik, shaking his head. "I don't know why I ever thought this was a good idea."

Gall was confused. "What, the party?" She thought he'd been looking forward to it.

"No, no. This." His gesture included the two of them and what they were wearing—or, largely, not wearing.

His costume was fine. He was Jason Momoa's Aquaman. He didn't have the beard, but he had brushed some temporary gold highlights into his hair, which was almost the right length, and he had quite enjoyed letting Gall stencil the intricate, Polynesian-inspired fake tattoos all over his upper body. His only actual clothing at the moment was a pair of low-cut dark green leather pants. That was all fine on its own.

It was Gall's costume that made the whole thing a terrible, crass joke. It had been funny when they were planning it in the response center, but now, in public...

She wasn't wearing much on top herself, just a bandeau with a pair of pink seashells fitted to her breasts. Below, sparkling green leggings with frilly bits suggestive of fins floating around her calves. (She hadn't for one moment considered an actual dress.) She'd even wetted her hair and brushed it out until it was relatively smooth and reached to her upper back.

None of this did a single thing to hide the unmistakable bulge of her belly.

As far as she was concerned, that was the point. It was the coup de grace of the joke. Also, she was thrilled about her pregnancy, and as she'd entered her fourth month, she'd gotten a surge of energy that made her more irrepressible than ever. She was excited. She was proud. She glowed. She wanted everyone to notice.

Derik was excited and proud, too, sometimes. Mostly, and at this particular moment, he was terrified.

"Well, you can't back out now," Gall said. "Not after all the work I put in!"

He really, really wished he could, but she was right. As much as he wanted to run away, doing so would be at least as shameful as whatever attention was about to come his way.

But perhaps there was a middle road. "I'm not backing out," he said, and even took a step into the room to prove it, letting the doors close behind him. "Do you want anything? Food? Water?"

She narrowed her eyes at him in suspicion, but biology got the better of her. She tilted her head. "You know what's weird? Remember those horrible fried green goo things from last year?"

"Yes?" He wasn't actually sure he did; a lot of the latter half of last year's party was fuzzy.

"I could so demolish a plate of those right now."

Derik smiled. "I'll see if they're there." He turned to abscond.

"Ooh, and maybe if there's haggis? That's a scary Halloweenish food, right?"

He had to look back. "Really?"

Gall scowled and put her hands on her befrilled hips. "Don't you dare judge my cravings."

"Never!" He put up his hands, don't shoot, and made his escape. If he could just set her up with some snacks and then avoid her the rest of the evening, maybe everything would be fine...

(( To the people who didn't know my secret plans: Surprise! This is a thing that is happening and was never not a thing that was going to happen.

(( If he doesn't run into anyone else first, I'll send Derik over to Ix and Charlotte's thread with the food table. Due to conflicting canonicity and the convenient excuse that he was kinda blitzed, he doesn't really remember anything that happened with Ix, so that should be interesting. ∗eg∗ ))

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