spin_kick_snap: (Sprawled on Chair)
Things were still tense in the apartment today, but at least she hadn't been kicked out or disowned or whatever. Kathy'd half-expected to find all of her belongings tossed out on the street after she and Raven had gotten home for the night after a night out as Banzai and Mystique, but no. Her parents weren't actually talking to her, but they hadn't decided to evict her, either.

It just proved what everyone had been telling her: her parents had only had the power over her that she had given to them. She was pretty self-sufficient now; even if they had thrown her out, she and Raven would have been perfectly fine. What could they do to her? Ground her? She'd ignore them. Hit her? They never had before and she couldn't imagine them doing so now. Send her to bed without dinner? Fine, she'd call for delivery. A frisson from the unexpected freedom ghosted up her spine. If she were a slightly different person, this realization could have been dangerous. Good thing that she was the type of girl who defied her parents only to go be a superhero-slash-clinic nurse.

Honestly, the only real punishment she could think of that would actually affect her would be to forbid her from seeing Sarah. Her little sister meant everything to her.

No matter what was going on with the outside world, Kathy was determined to keep her safe.

[NFB, and also for [livejournal.com profile] tigerundercover if she so wishes!]
spin_kick_snap: (Hurt/Upset)
After discovering that Anders could heal the infected, the heroes of LA had been buoyed up by the knowledge that they could stop the spread of the zombie virus. Regenerator couldn't change anyone who had become of full-fledged zombie, but he was able to heal those they got to in time. It helped that the victims tended to have as much as a whole day between when they were bitten and when they turned. Stealth got word out to the populations that were most vulnerable, promising 'free and discreet care' to anyone who needed it, for whatever reason, and soon people were coming to them, either to be healed by 'Genny or two get heroes to help transport the infected back. 'Genny set up a walk-in clinic in a warehouse Stealth had procured and rather than patrolling, Banzai had started helping him there. She was fast, she was agile, she was good at calming people down--she made an excellent assistant and a new rapport sprang up between them.

They were saving lives. They were making a difference. It even made having to move back in with her family (under the guise of visiting for 'spring break') more palatable.

This rush of good feeling lasted for three days. Just three days. They knew they weren't stopping new zombies from turning, but between the people they were healing and the zombies the rest were killing, they really thought they were making a difference.

They were wrong. They were so wrong.

It was Sarah who woke Kathy up from her nap, eyes wide and a little scared. The fear alone had the bottom dropping out of Kathy's stomach; Sarah didn't do scared. She'd gone to school everyday through Seventeen territory and hadn't even flinched. "Sarah," she said, holding out a hand. "What is it?"

"Something's happening," Sarah said, going to sit on Kathy's bed and curling up against her big sister. "Something big. There was some kind of terrorist attack today--like a biological thing. People were screaming and rioting and attacking one another on Hollywood and Highland. Just out in the street in the middle of the day! Like--people ripped one another's throats out and stuff. It's all over the net--people were taking videos and running and screaming--they attacked little kids! And the way they looked--!" Sarah shuddered, hiding her face. "It was awful. Like a horror movie but for real. I watched people die. It looked like some were getting eaten."

"You shouldn't be watching this kind of stuff," Kathy said absently, stroking her sister's hair while her mind whirled. "It's just going to freak you out. Don't worry, the superheroes will fix it."

"I hope so," Sarah said, cuddling close. "Cause the videos I saw? It looked like the end of the world."

[NFB, but Kathy's going to be calling people. If you want her to call you (or want to call her), ping in and she did!]
spin_kick_snap: (Bwah??)
Kathy was finishing up the last of her breakfast when her father made an annoyed noise behind his paper. She and Sarah both glanced up quickly, meeting one another's eyes, and then turned towards him. "Everything okay, Dad?" Kathy asked, keeping her voice deliberately light as Sarah went back to her gaeran tost-u. "People in the Capitol being idiots again?" That was usually a good bet and while that might trigger a ten minute rant about politics, it would get it out of his system rather than letting it simmer all day.

"We should be so lucky," her father griped. "No, just another one of them showed up. I swear, they're worse than cockroaches in this damn city."

"Them?" Kathy asked. "What's worse? Who?"

Sarah caught her eye and rolled her eyes, signaling for her to drop it, but it was too late. The questions had been asked and her father was audibly inhaling in preparation. "Another one of these!" he said, folding the paper and thrusting it into Kathy's face. "God, LA's practically infested with them!"

Kathy choked, finding herself suddenly staring at her own face. Not entirely, thank goodness. Her mask was firmly on, her hair tightly braided and coiled at the back of her head. But there was no denying it was a picture of her, rainbows at her wrists, captured mid-bounce with two men zip-tied to a lamppost behind her. She knew exactly when that picture had been snapped, too; Saturday night, about halfway through her patrol. But she didn't remember seeing anyone besides they guys she'd busted trying to rob a convenience store--and she definitely didn't remember anyone snapping a picture of her. But there she was, on page B6, practically silhouetted against the neon lights of the city. "Dad, I can--"

Well, this is awkward )

***

On her way to the Portalocity, Kathy grabbed a copy of the daily paper and flipped to the article about her. The vain part of her still grumbled every time the paper referred to her as a guy, but still, she couldn't deny that it was useful. Her family had accepted the designation without question which meant that there was no way they'd ever link 'Banzai' with 'Kathy,' even though the hero only seemed to show up when she was in town. So, yeah. She could use this. Her plan had been to step up clandestine trips to LA to establish Banzai's presence there while her parents were firmly convinced she remained on the East Coast to keep them from getting suspicious, but this worked too.

[Establishy! This was mentioned once, off-hand in canon, which ofc meant that I had to play with it. With bonus family feels because why not?]
spin_kick_snap: (Contemplating)
After classes got out, Kathy returned to her dorm to make sure it--and she--were ready for her parents' arrival. She'd been obsessively cleaning it all week; Raven had caught her dusting the walls and the ceiling fixtures once, but every time Kathy turned around, she spotted something that wouldn't meet her parents' high standards. Her blanket wasn't straight enough. Her desk wasn't tidy enough. Her mini-fridge wasn't clean enough and was filled with treats that her mother wouldn't approve of. Kathy had never had to worry about her weight, even before her metabolism had ramped up to eleven, but her mother believed that a girl was never too young to start worrying over her figure.

Granted, Sarah was the one who had a figure to worry over, but that was neither here nor there.

Once Kathy had done everything she could to make sure her room would past muster, she sat down and started working on herself. Out came the earrings in her helix, leaving only a small pair of studs in her lobes. Off came the makeup--her mother would complain that she wasn't 'doing enough' to be pretty, but that was easier to deal with than worrying about whether it was subtle enough for her dad's approval. The tiny pair of shorts she was wearing got hung up in the back of her closet, behind the few clothes she'd kept from LA, and came a long skirt that fell below her knees and a collared shirt that wouldn't have looked out of place as a uniform from her old school.

Feeling like she'd shed the last two years of personality development, Kathy examined herself in the mirror. Hmm. Were her ends too ragged? Maybe she should have taken up the offer of a haircut yesterday.

[For me, but also open!]
spin_kick_snap: (Contortionist: Spangles 04)
Funny enough, but Kathy felt great. She'd woken up this morning still exhausted after the events of last night, but without the overbearing pressure of wantwantwant in her system. So, she was left with just the normal amounts, because even without pollen, she was a seventeen year old girl on an island filled with way too many pretty people. But she was used to that already and could ignore it at will.

There were a pile of books and homework for her extra classes that she hadn't even looked at this week, but Kathy was too tired to even think about working on them. She'd get caught up next week, on break. For now, she was going to do some yoga and continue texting her sister, who'd heard of some of the stuff that had gone down in LA last night.

OMG!!!! U kno that club i told u abt ysterday? The all ages 1? It totes got raided last nite!

Raided? For what? Kathy sent, switching positions so she could text and stretch at the same time.

Weapons bust or whatevs. Ur gunna have 2 find a new club, srry. They r soooooo closed.

Kathy grinned. Even if Club Risqué had been able to stay open, she never would have gone back. But she wasn't going to tell her little sister that. For one thing, Sarah did NOT need to know about portals. Guess so. Keep an ear out, okay? And I'll see if I can't talk to Sparkle about getting me a fake so it doesn't matter whether they check or not.

My lame sis gettin a fake?!? Omg, u r cool! Tell Flick i'm sorry i doubted him! U'll have 2 buy me wine coolers w/it or somethin!

NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

Loser. I'll tell mom & dad!

And I'll tell Flick you're a tattletale! Kathy laughed and shifted into an inverted split. Any superhero gossip I should know about

That biker-goggle guy was at the bust last nite! O the Immortal has a new name. Goes by Generator or somethin now. There's some creepy monster in venice beach but no1 knos if he's a good guy or a bad guy...

[Establishy but open!]
spin_kick_snap: (Upset)
With the possible exception of Sarah, no one in the Li family had appreciated Kathy's performance at the Talent Show--including Kathy herself, once the gremlin venom had worn off. There had been a bout of tears and hiding in Mary's special lounge, but she knew better than to think she could hide in there forever--no matter how tempting the idea was. There might have been a few minutes of trying to convince herself that she could totally live off soda and fancy peanuts until everyone who'd been there had left the island for good, but that hadn't lasted longer than four, five minutes. Tops.

As a family, they'd decided to skip the brunch--which meant that Sarah had asked about going, Kathy had given her a look of wide-eyed fear, and their parents' mutual glares had been enough to peel the paint off the wall behind her. Both sisters had spent the day in busy silence; Kathy studying and Sarah playing on her phone. Both parents had spent the day having muttered conversations in Korean, voices pitched too low to be heard except by one another, and treating Kathy to utter silence.

She'd actually never been go grateful for the silent treatment in her life. The look in her dad's eyes when they rested on her promised a lecture of the most epic proportions, once he'd gotten to the point of actually being able to deliver it.

At one point, her om had stepped out to make some phone calls, but she remained stuck under her father's flinty gaze, which kept her from even trying to start up a conversation with Sarah.

The day had passed very slowly, with a feeling of creeping dread the just got more and more acute while she waited for the other shoe to drop.

***

Mrs. Li had informed Kathy that she would be accompanying them to the airport and had proceeded to hold her hand for the entire trip there, like she was afraid that Kathy might run off at any moment to humiliate them further. When they arrived at the drop-off site, Mrs. Li exited the cab first, yanking Kathy out along with her.

"Umm, shouldn't I just stay in the cab?" she asked, while Sarah and her father pulled their suitcases out from the trunk. "So I can get back to the island? You could tell him to go as far up the Causeway as he can, with no stops, just to make sure I go straight there? Not that I wouldn't! I mean, of course I'd go right back to the school. But this way, you'd know for sure that's what happened. I mean, if you didn't feel you could..." She swallowed hard. "Trust me anymore."

Her parents said nothing. Mrs. Li finished paying the cabbie, her grip on Kathy's hand tight to the point of pain, while Mr. Li set the other suitcase down and grabbed Kathy's backpack from the back seat, where she'd shoved all the stuff she'd brought to the hotel room from her dorm over the weekend. He let her bag fall to the ground and stepped back from the curb while the cabbie pulled away. She and Sarah exchanged looks, Sarah's just as baffled as her own.

[Warning for emotional abuse and manipulation in the comments.]
spin_kick_snap: (Laughter 2)
Kathy and Sarah had managed to escape from their parents for a little while. Immediately after the school tour, Mrs. Li had declared she needed to rest and Mr. Li had announced that he needed to make a very important business call, which he'd need absolute silence for. Neither Li daughter needed to be a meteorologist to recognize that a storm was brewing, and Kathy had suddenly remembered 'that thing' she needed to fetch from her her dorm, grabbed her sister by the arm, and practically dragged Sarah out the door and down the hall.

Not that Sarah was protesting, mind. Kathy had just gotten a bit faster than she remembered.

Cut for gossip, giggles, and general sisterhood )

[Open for anyone who wants to come in, though Sarah's thread in the comments comes last chronologically. Warning for an ablest joke in the text, because thirteen year olds are the worst.]
spin_kick_snap: (Hair Over Shoulder Shy)
So, when Kathy's dad had called to inform her the family was coming out for Parent's Weekend this year, he'd put her in charge of getting them a room at the hotel. And Kathy, knowing how particular her dad could be about things, had put in a lot of thought about where they should stay and what kind of room it would be best to get them. At first, she'd considered a hotel in Baltimore proper, just to keep them away from anything crazy the island could devise over the weekend. She'd only reluctantly given that idea up when she realized that there was no way they'd be able to get a cab past the Causeway and her parents would not appreciate having to climb all those stairs just to see an on-island hotel they could have stayed in.

Then she thought about getting them a junior suite or something, just to make sure they'd be comfortable, but she knew that her mom would freak out about the price tag. The rooms weren't that expensive, but after three plane tickets, Kathy was just going to err on the side of economical. It seemed smarter. She didn't want her family thinking she didn't appreciate how much it must have cost to fly out here or that she had become careless and extravagant. The cabins had seemed really cute and would be good for privacy, but she didn't want to take one away some someone who needed it. Or have her parents run into the type of people who'd need one. Such a meeting wouldn't end well for anyone.

Instead, she'd finally settled on a basic room, but with a king-size bed instead of two doubles. Sarah could bunk with her in her dorm--which would give them time to catch up by themselves--and they could have a nice hotel room to themselves. Maybe they'd see it as a mini-vacation and her dad would stop grumbling about the expense of flying out here.

"Here's the room," she chirped, opening the door for them. "Oooh, you have a nice view through the window! I'm glad they were able to take care of that." She gave her parents a hesitant smile, it all looked good to her. The room was clean and spacious and the view really was nice. "The bed looks comfortable. I bet you'll sleep really well on it."

[Open, if anyone would have a reason to stop by? Also, tw for emotional manipulation in Kathy's thread with her parents.]

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