Parties were fun things, it was true. And it was a given that at any given time at HQ, someone was trying to throw a party (or at least a minor bleepka boozing fest). Right now it was July, Library, and Luxury’s turn to throw a party. A birthday party, to be specific.
Library examined one of the invites with a critical eye, while her partner hovered over her shoulder fretfully. July had managed to write down the needed information (where it was [one of the smaller auditoriums] and when [“pray for Narrative to get you there at the right time“] , and what [“Trojie‘s Birthday!!!”]), in what was passingly legible writing for the fluffy haired Floater girl. In other words, Library was actually able to read it.
“I suppose that‘s good enough,” Library said, giving in.
“Whoo,” July said. “I don‘t think I‘d have been able to stand it if I'd had to redo all those.”
“You weren‘t going to be allowed to redo them.”
“What? Why not?”
“Because earlier you wanted to put glitter on them.”
July made a face. “So?”
“But it‘s shiny.”
“It would have got you lynched.”
“I could run.”
July looked away for a moment and finally gave in. “Okay. The glitter wasn‘t such a good idea. But what do we do with it?”
“Don’t include me in that, I wasn’t the one who bought it.”
“Yes, very. And while I‘m happy she‘s not here to continue bothering us, where did Luxury go? This was all her idea in the first place.”
“She said that she was going to do the cake. I guess she went to go take care of that- wait no, Lux dont't- ack!” Luxury had returned and had in a very short amount of time wrapped herself around July. “No! Underaged, damnit, underaged!”
Luxury let go, the reluctance to do so obvious on her face. “Are you sure? You look well develo-”
July squeaked. “Yes! Yes I am!”
“Ixnay!” July pressed against the far wall of the response center. She evidently had decided she had had enough groping for the time being.
“Luxury?” Library asked.
“Did you take care of the cake like you said you would?”
“Hm? Oh, yeah!” Lux said brightly. “Trojie will just LOVE it, I know she will.”
“I‘m sure she will, Luxury.” Library pulled out the list she had written out after Lux had first approached the two Floaters with the idea to have a birthday party. “Let‘s see, we‘ve got the invitations and cake, now we need to get drinks and something to eat, and I suppose we could always put on the radio for music…”
It had been impossible for either of them to say no to her idea. Library because while she often put down July’s crazy ideas, Luxury’s idea for a birthday party for Trojie was actually a good idea, and also because Luxury had nearly burst into tears when she had told the Bad Slasher that putting together a large party on short notice would be hard and they weren‘t sure they‘d be able to do it. July had been unable to say no since she had been promptly molested after Lux had proposed the idea. There was also the fact that they had already helped Pads with the yak earlier that morning, and a party, while less difficult to organize and handle, was more traditional.
“Could probably raid the general store for chips, dip, and soda, and give Leto an invite too.” July added.
“I can take care of that,” Luxury said, airily.
“Noted,” Library ticked off food and drinks on the list as Luxury left, skipping happily, a few invitations in hand. “And we need to get Trojie to the party somehow.” She frowned. That’d be hard. Trojie had declared herself once or twice not much of a party person, where July and Library could hear.
“Drag her off with us?” July suggested. She looked relieved that Lux had left.
“I don‘t think that would work.”
“Get Pads in on it?”
“That would probably be much easier to manage. We can go talk to her while we give out the invitations.”
The two girls worked their way to Pads and Trojie’s Response Center slowly, occasionally handing invites out to random agents in the hall as well as stopping by the Response Centers of friends of theirs or Trojie’s, making small talk and (in July‘s case) the occasional pointed threat about making sure to attend the party.
Eventually they finally got to the Bad Slashers' door. Pads was leaning against it, smoking one of her roll-ups and grinning ludicrously.
“Uh, heya Pads?” July asked cautiously.
“You look very happy today,” Library said.
“Damn right I am.” Pads drew on her cigarette with excessive smugness.
July thought for a moment about the possible ways that could have got the Animagus so happily out of it. “…Um, does that mean you succeeded in the cannabis quest thing?”
“No, still working on that.”
“No, Trojie binned those.”
July began to talk again. “I see. So. Lux recruited us into helping her do a party for Trojie and we‘re trying to keep it a surprise from her since Trojie really doesn‘t do parties and we were-”
“You were wondering if I would lead her into it without letting her know what was going on?”
“Yah. Would you? Please?”
“Sure. Why not? I might as well spread the love.”
This task done, July and Library left.
“Was it just me or was there-”
“No, July, it wasn‘t just you.”
“No, we‘re not going to ask.”
"I wasn't planning on asking," July said, with a hint of tact in her voice for once.
"That's good then. Well, we have one last invitation specifically for Gypsy and Katie, and then we can distribute the rest to whoever we've forgotten while we get to the auditorium, and- No, July." Her partner was staring at the Queen Anne's Lace's office door. "July, I somehow doubt that Trojie would want to see the Head of her department at her birthday party, and at any rate I somehow doubt that the Queen Anne's Lace would be interested in going. But since you seem to look so insistent on it, you can try, while I go drop this off at Gypsy's RC." Library walked off.
July knocked on the Head of the DBS's door, and, deciding that was warning enough, went in.
She immediately ran out and pushed the door closed behind her, a look of complete horror on her face. July whimpered as she patted herself down for anything that could help. Bleeprin, not enough there, the wrapper from the bleepolate she had shared with Sara a few days ago was still in her jeans pocket for whatever reason, and then she felt the nice cold metal of the neuralyzer. It was already set to the five minute mark. There was a flash.
The familiar whine it gave off was still echoing in the halls by the time Library came back.
"I don't understand at all how Gypsy manages Katie, with those alligators," she said. She gave July a brief look. "What did you do?"
"Dunno," she said, truthfully, as she pocketed the neuralyzer again.
"Well, did you give the Queen Anne's Lace an invitation?"
"Yes?" July hazarded.
Library sighed. She knocked on the Queen Anne's Lace door, but, unlike July, she had enough courtesy to wait for a response.
Come in, the Lace called after a moment.
Library went in, tugging July along.
Besides the Queen Anne's Lace being inside, there was also a Daisy.
"We were wondering if you got the invitation to Trojanhorse's birthday party?" Library asked, politely.
Yes. I wasn't aware that Agent Trojanhorse celebrated her birthday.
"It's a first time thing," July said, feeling somewhat uneasy. "Luxury decided it'd be a good idea." The Daisy was staring at her. July tried to stare back, but eventually gave up and focused on a nice spot of ceiling above the Lace.
Yes, it is. I shall do my best to try to attend.
Library and July exchanged a short look, bade the Lace and Daisy good-bye, and made their way once more to the auditorium in which the party would be held.
"I can't believe you made that work," Library said, finally.
"Made what work?" July asked. She had decided to do her best to try and not figure out why she had neuralyzed herself.
"Inviting a Flower to the birthday party. Hopefully no one is flamethrower-crazy today, that would not go well..."
The two finally got to the auditorium and went inside.
July gaped. "Whoa. Just whoa."
Luxury had more than outdone herself decorating it. The original plans had mainly comprised of drinks, chips, and music. There was a definite surplus of drinks and chips in the form of punch bowls on tables that were slightly bowled from food platters.
There were also helium balloons bobbing against the ceiling and various bunches tied on strings. And more streamers than strictly necessary hanging over the stage. Most noticeable was a giant frosted cake in the center of the stage.
"I wonder what she would have been able to do with more time to plan than just today," Library said, a hint of awe in her voice.
After a few minutes, July came out of her reverie. "I'm wondering what she needed us for." She looked around again. "Where is Lux, anyhow?"
"I don't know. Hopefully she hasn't decided to get more things, there's more than enough in here... Oh, people are arriving."
Agents had indeed begun arriving, sometime alone, but most often in pairs, and very occasionally as trios, and they began filling up the large room. Some of those that knew Trojie better had also begun piling presents on one of the auditorium chairs.
Eventually the Queen Anne's Lace and the Daisy showed up, leading to some awkward conversation for many Agents.
"I still have no idea where Luxury disappeared to," July told Library.
"Luxury? Where?" Lasa spun about, looking for the Bad Slash girl.
"We don't know, that's the problem," Library told her.
"She's the one that decorated and pretty much organized it. We were just in charge of invitations."
"Lux did this?" Gypsy gave a low whistle. "I wouldn't have pegged her for being able to do this sort of thing."
She and Sean used to do this quite a bit. The Queen Anne's Lace had managed to sneak up on the group.
A few of them jumped in surprise, with July managing to get a few feet in the air. "R-really?" July shook a bit and grinned madly.
Luxury comes into my office to talk quite a bit, especially about those days. I think she misses him.
"Huh," July said after awhile, interrupting the other Agents' musings.
"I think that's Trojie coming," Gypsy said. Just barely, they were able to make out the noise of Pads and Trojie in the hallway.
"Why aren't you telling me where we'-" The door opened, and Trojie was shoved into the entry. "Oh Glod."
"SURPRISE!" Most of the Agents in the room had manage to yell it roughly together, though there were a few straggling yells of "Surprise!" as Trojie was fully pushed into the room and Pads quickly came in and shoved the door closed before she could run out.
"I thought you said the Flowers don't do birthdays," Pads whispered into Trojie's ear.
"I said the SO doesn't do birthdays." Trojie was wearing the cracked grin of a captured animal as she was lead to the cake. "Apparently, the Lace does. And if I find out you had anything to do with this..." She didn't need to finish the thinly-veiled threat.
"Luxury did all this," Library said.
"Luxury?" Trojie looked around. "Where is she?"
Mombi shrugged. "No idea."
"Does anyone have a lighter or matches?"
Nearly everyone proffered matches to July, who took one from the closest person and began to light the candles on the cake. Someone turned off the lights.
Considering it was the PPC, the number of people actually able to hold a tune was surprising, and large, but the ones that were off key managed to turn "Happy Birthday" into an "interesting", though enthusiastic, cacophony, aided by two psychic voices.
Just as Trojie had been handed the knife to cut into the cake, Happy Birthday began again, undeniably sung by Luxury, and from inside the cake.
The top of the cake was lifted off by Katie Cray, revealing a Lux in whipped cream, holding another smaller cake.
"Oh God..." July smacked her palm against her face.
Trojie, however, merely appeared amused. "Two girls in cakes? Pads, you have competition."
"Luxury, are you wearing clothes? Please tell me you are wearing clothes, Lux?"
"Try some of the whipped cream and find out," Lux said, with a somewhat naughty grin. There was a distinct thunk in the background as one of the boys passed out.
"I'll take that as a no," Library said calmly. "Lux, put that cake do- wait, no, that'd just end in you flashing everyone." She sighed as she took her jacket off and passed it to Lux, who dressed herself in it without flashing anyone, somehow.
The party had very quickly descended into chaos: Trojie was trying to convince Pads that it wasn't necessary to take her back to their Response Center, that she had been joking; somewhere in the background Sara was trying to rouse her partner; Sparky was giving Lux a disapproving look as several other Agents tried to locate a spare pair of trousers; the two Flowers were giving no sign of any reaction at all; and Gypsy fired her shotgun into the air to try and make everyone calm down.
Half an hour later, order had been mostly restored. Lux was once again wearing clothes and was no longer covered in whipped cream, and Pads had stopped trying to drag Trojie back to their RC, though the Brit occasionally gave Trojie possessive looks and made sure that she was between Trojie and Lux at all times, though Lux seemed to be fully engaged in conversation with the Queen Anne's Lace.
"You're still nuts," Sara told July. They had been carrying on the topic of whether July was just as sane or even less sane than most Agents for awhile now.
"How am I nuts?" July sounded slightly affronted.
"The party, for one-"
"Lux organized the party! Don't blame me."
"Are those for me?" Trojie had finally noticed the pile of presents that had been put on one of the chairs.
Trojie rushed to the presents. The sugar had evidently worked its way into her system enough.
Most of the presents were various books, though the title that stood out the most was The Complete Kama Sutra. Trojie looked at the name of sender on the tag, and then at the owner of said name.
"Buwah?" July looked at her partner in disbelief. "You gave her that? I mean just- what? What?"
There were no more surprises after that, though the rainstick from Gyspy pleased Trojie greatly (and attracted interest from the Flowers when she flipped it over and over, making it show why it was called a rainstick; apparently the simulated rain sound pleased both the Lace and Daisy), the kettle from Mombi made a few Agents still on sugar rushes burst into song ("Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens-" "Okay, we get the point, no more singing!"), and several rings from Cray led to an impromptu counting of Cray's piercings ("There's at least twentyfive." "At least?" "I've lost count."). The rest was made up of chocolate and various bleepproducts.
After several hours, everyone left in a bleep induced haze, and it wasn't until July was lying on her mattress did she say outloud what she had been wondering the entire time.
"Y'know, Lux didn't say what her gift to Trojie was."
"I think it was supposed to be the party, July."
"Sure it wasn't the cake?"
For once, the Console didn't beep.