Nuada Silverhand and Gloriana dub Angel as the Spring Knight. All of Angel's friends get dressed in very formal attire for the occasion. After that is a grande Fae ball supported by bards of the Spring Court. Lots of dancing ensues, of the formal kind.
The California-Spanish building known as the Hyperion Hotel was built in the 20s. Through the cast iron gates from the sidewalk is a small front courtyard with a rectangular fountain and a mythological figure holding a bowl from which water flows. Greenery frames the walls and a large set of glass double doors open into a high ceilinged lobby. Dark red carpet descends the four steps to the lobby floor and climb the two sets of stairways that lead to the second floor. The green marble floors are accented with wavy red inserts, as are the walls have a complimentary red border running their length. A set of doors identical to those of the entrance lead to a small enclosed garden.
Cream-colored pillars line two sides of the room, holding up the second-floor balconies that look out onto the lobby and creating arches. Underneath one of them is a large plate glass window that looks into the hotel office - now used as the office and nerve center of Angel Investigations. Nearby, there's a wraparound counter with dark wood paneling and a top the same color as the floor. Behind it are filing cabinets and a pair of desks pushed together. A navy blue circular couch harkening back to a 50s design sits near the back of the lobby. A large wooden, glass-doored cabinet pushed up against the wall holds a large assortment of weapons.
Outside, it's sleeting.
This is probably the most formal attire anyone's EVER seen or will see again in this hotel. Everyone is expecting their majesties tonight, and everyone's dressing for royal guests. While he received some advice not to try too hard, when he saw the ladies going for ballgowns...and these were tough ladies with superpowers, he got a tuxedo to match, so he could look like he was escorting them, particularly Buffy herself, to the event. His outfit is designed to match hers in particular, though he's mostly relying on her fashion expertise to make sure it does. Vampires can't look in mirrors, so they kinda have to rely on others for things like matching colors and how things look.
Dark blonde hair is pulled up in a simple yet elegant french twist with some curled trendrils. She'd been baffled for what one wore, before going to a vintage shop and choosing a lovely evening gown. The pale robin's egg blue is in a classic grecian drape with tiny silver beading along the neckline and capping her shoulders. She'd made sure Angel's boutineer matched, a pale blue blossom to contrast the dove gray tux with the simple bowtie. It's not a prom, so he's simple and classic in the gray and white. Silver sparkling shoes, silver and pearl drop earrings with a matching necklace, and makeup to delicately embellish, finishes the slayer's outfit. At least, of the accessories anyone can see, right?
And a few steps behind her, Faith. Dark hair loose and flowing over her shoulders, and her choice of gown? Probably also from a thrift or vintage store, but it is quite the elegant dress. Black with white patterning that accentuates the dark Slayer's form. Supported at her shoulders by a black "ring." Her arms are bare, but her left forearm has enough bangles on it she could probably use it to parry an attack if needed. Long dangle earrings glint under her hair. She's not obviously armed. Obviously.
Eva's been busy with schoolwork quite a bit and has not had as much time to spend with her non-band friends lately. However, when she heard the news about a special ceremony at the Hotel for Angel she knew she just had to make an appearance. Entirely uncertain about the correct dress code for such an event, a senior Slayer shopping trip came to the rescue. As a result, her dress is a teal ankle-length, sleeveless gown accented by silver heels. She's wearing her usual jewelry, opting to trade out the ear cuffs for aquamarine studs. She's elected to keep her hair loose, like Faith, and walks in looking more than a bit uncertain on Faith's heels. This was more exciting (and yet equally terrifying) than her prom!
Taliesin came on his own this evening. He didn't think it would be wise to sneak in with the Spring Court, since he is going to be the only Autumn representive here this evening. For once, he isn't carrying his guitar case, since the spot light isn't going to be on him after all. He's merey here to observe this momentous occasion, and perhaps write a song about it later. It's not everyday a Vampire is given the mantle of Knight.
He's dressed like a man of two worlds, wearing a rich brown suit with hints of orange. It is embroidered with an intracate pattern and there is a sheen to the material when the light hits it in just the right way. While parts of it look positively modern, the ruffled orange shirt, the long jacket and knee high boots are a nod to his more Fae heritage. For now he simply lingers off toward one wall, with an impsh grin on his lips.
Lorne has found himself a place in the back, not wanting to take away from Angel's big day. Even so, he's decked out in a red and black tuxedo that looks like it might actually kill someone... y'know, if looks could kill. The overall effect is somewhere between stunning and just slightly overwhelming, but with the darker color palette than his usual, he's probably actually going for "dramatic, yet understated." Alas, the Host of Caritas doesn't seem to know how to do much of anything too quietly.
Making her way into the space is the representative of the Wyldfae, Aster Vildrym. She moves with the ease and grace of a dancer, moving in her finery as if she wore this sort of thing every day. A feathered wrap is draped over her slim shoulders, and her long hair has been braided and swept atop her head in an elegant pile to show off her long neck, the braid afixed with a black and purple feathery fascinator... Knowing Aster, they may be her own feathers. She's escorted by a rather handsome young man in a matching tuxedo, his elfin ears faintly visible amongst his earthy brown hair. His eyes are a very vivid shade of green, and he has flowers afixed in the long braid running down his back. The body language is distinctly 'friends only', however, or perhaps 'servant and mistress'.
Spring arrives at first with a faint breeze, the promise of spring to come. While Leif is prone to simply without the hype of the special effects that most seem to require to travel, there are exceptions. Today is one of them. The potted plants that adorn the lobby suddenly grow to huge trees, and seem to multiply in a way that could be illusion or could be reality or a mixture of the above. And from the newly sprouted forest, arrives one of the Spring princes. Not so high as the Spring Lord and Lady even, but still. At his arm is Cordelia, who is be-gowned beautifully in a dress on magic and jewels that seems to radiate the fact that she too is a princess. Leif's attire is that of a mixture of suit and leather armor seemingly constructed from leaves and flowers, which are made of jewels and fabrics beyond mortal comprehensions that flow like cloth and are harder than steel. He bows politely and says, "Greetings Honored Guests. Spring has arrived." Once again he is acting as herald for the true powers of the Court.
Spring has certainly arrived for Cordelia. And with Cordelia. On Leif's arm and looking a little too excited to be solemn, she walks at the same pace as Leif. Her dress is a splendid affair, full of art nouveau-inspired touches that make her look like she might be a painting come to life, especially with her hair done up with flowers in sugar-crystal sparkling bloom, as if plucked from a dew-kissed garden. She even wears a kind of subtle tiara, perhaps to reflect that regal position, even in exile.
In violet, rose, and turquoise, with gold and darker purple, jewels all over, and arm-rings suspending winglike trails, Cordelia's attire evokes images of leaves and blossoms unfurling into full bloom, especially with the way it flutters when she moves. It's so light, yet so elaborate, but clearly tailored...and in record time, as if someone simply had the perfect garment just waiting for her to claim it. She looks around at the room and offers softer smiles at the faces she recognizes.
Following the entrance of Leif and Cordelia, a sudden breeze fills the room, filling the air with pleasant tones of fresh blossom and budding new life. With nothing more than a glinting change in the lighting, Nuada strides into the room, dressed in robes that look as though they might have knitted themselves from vines and moss, showing blossoms here and there. The circlet he wears resembles silver kelp, and his iron gray beard is even more intricately braided than ever. While his craggy features bear a serious expression, there's a certain glint in his eye. He bears a greatsword, sheathed, in his left hand.
Upon entering, he greets the room with a sweeping nod, and his voice booms throughout the room, "I, Nuada, King of Tides and High Lord of Spring, have come to anoint a new Spring Knight--yet I would surely not do so without the blessing and agreement of the Queen of Spring and All That Blooms, my most honored lady, Gloriana." He reaches up as though to help someone from a coach, and with another pulse of light, a female figure--who could never be mistaken for anything other than a Fairy Queen--stands beside him.
Her skin is fair, though her complexion is more golden than it is white. Her features are radiant, literally, while also exquisite--a vision of exactly what she is. Her hair, a richer and more honeyed shade, only serves to prove that there's gold, well, and then there's gold. Said hair falls in thick curls around her, woven into a coronet and train of flowers so intricately as to lose the eye within them. Her form is draped in a gown of blossoms and butterflies, each perched just so, as if the entire garment were held together by its own force of will, choosing to exist and be worn rather than assembled by anything so gauche as a needle or thread.
Stepping forward, just beyond Nuada, Gloriana raises her hands and says, "The blessings of Spring be upon this house and all who enter it as friends. So mote it be." Her voice rings no weaker than Nuada's, but where he booms, she speaks as though singing, a perfect fusion of power and grace.
Angel is mostly relying on the basics of proper conduct before their majesties. And the etiquette he showed the first time seemed to be well received. Though he is not a vassal yet, he genuflects to the incoming royals, showing the proper respect for those who were about to make a truly grand offer. An offer that will surely change his unlife in expected ways even he could not guess at. "Welcome once more into my humble home, your majesties." A little more attuned to the ways of hospitality this time, he has a table set up with snacks, food, wine, and other assorted treats one might find at a very formal event. Of course, it's all mortal food, but it is quality mortal food...the best Angel Investigations could come up with in the time it had to properly receive such magnificent guests as these.
Buffy Summers will carefully ease into a curtsy, head bowing in respect to the king and queen. So Buffy is an all-american girl, and a slayer... she can have manners. Honest. She'll keep quiet, and let Angel do the talking. It's his deal, after all. And if she doesn't say anything, she can't say anything wrong. Faith Lehane also curtseys. She glances at Buffy before doing so...after the incident with the pack she does not quite trust the senior slayer not to snark at the wrong person. Quiet is good. Quiet is probably best for Faith too. But there's definitely a grace to her. She's been practicing.
Eva literally does a double take as the fauna in the Hotel suddenly grows expontentially. When an actual Fae Prince appears from there, with Cordelia no less, her jaw literally drops - especially when she sees the dress. "Talk about an entrance," she murmurs to herself with awe and a newfound respect for Cordelia. However, when the King and Queen of Spring arrive shortly afterward her eyes widen like saucers. Completely speechless, she hovers near Faith and curtsies slightly as well, clearly not as well-practiced at it as her seniors.
Taliesin watches as the guests begin to enter the hotel. He memorizes each person who arrives, down to the detail of their dresses. For one day this tale will need to be told to others. When the room changes from the hotel to a room fit for Spring, he flares his nostrils. It's when the King and Queen themselves walk in, he bows to the both of them. They may not be his King and Queen, but he knows that he needs to show them equal respect. After all he is here on Autumns behalf and he would hate for word to travel to King Finvarra that he misbehaved. While he finds Gloriana to be quite beautiful, she does not compare her to his own Queen.
Lorne, still sticking to the background and making like a face in the crowd, bows deeply and murmurs quiet praise of the various gowns to those who'll listen. At one point, he does turn to Eva and say, very softly, "I guess we know who'd win in a 'goes all out for formal occasions' contest, huh? These fairies sure know how to make an event feel good'n'fancy."
The Swan Princess moves to stand near Taliesin, smiling faintly as she feels the stirring of magics, and the arrival of the various Fae nobility. She disentangles herself from Everett, her escort, and slips into a polite, if shallow, curtsey, dipping her head slightly as she does. Everett, being a mere Changeling, drops into a full bow, his long braid touching the ground before he stands upright once more. The pair remain quiet, though the girl is smiling, perhaps a bit shyly, but it's a genuine smile all the same.
Leif of course knows the exact right amount to bow to his own king and queen as he does to every other of the notables. He communicated to Coredlia without words the exact amount of curtsy she should do, then he mostly waits. He nods to those he knows personally, and by title. Such as Aster and Tailisen they'd most likely met in passing before and some party or another, though nothing that had truly stuck to memory. He seemed preoccupied with another matter, though he made sure to pay polite attention to everything.
In all honesty, it was probably Cordelia who arranged for the refreshments before she disappeared to ready herself for the event. Thank goodness for magical rings and Fairy Friends! When Leif starts bowing, Cordelia takes the cue and curtseys gracefully, almost theatrically, which is appropriate enough given her chosen profession. It's one role of many in her life, she's coming to realize. Funny how even the things that seemed to be over and done with could resurface at the most unexpected times!
Gloriana steps forward, favoring Angel with a motherly smile--motherly, yet still perfectly stunning. "We are most grateful for the kind welcome, and none should ever call a home that offers such worthy welcome 'humble,' save to honor the modesty of its keepers." Her gaze lingers on Buffy for a moment, as if considering her, but whatever she sees, her smile remains warm and she offers the currently longest-serving slayer a polite, even respectful nod... perhaps even of approval. Turning again to Nuada, she extends a hand and says, "My lord, please, let us not keep these gentlefolk waiting. Proceed with the exchange of Oaths."
Nuada, with a courtly bow to his queen, says, "I am honored to do so, my lady." He takes a position, front and center, and plants the end of the greatsword's sheath on the ground before him. "Angel, he who claims no title beyond 'Champion,' the Spring Court calls thee forth. Thine is the position of Spring Knight, if thou woudlst accept--stand forth to be counted, and swear thine Oaths before all assembled."
Angel rises, then, and steps forward, standing forth. This is a warrior's title, and now that he's being called forward, he assumes a warrior's poise. Earned by countless battles at the side of those gathered around him, many of which were fought at the side of the ladies gathered around him. "I am here, your majesty." Since Angel isn't completely sure of how to word the oaths, he'll let their majesties guide him on what to say and how to say it. At least he's familiar with archaic terms, having been alive as long as he has.
Buffy will slowly rise from that curtsy, carefully shadowed and lined hazel eyes looking up to the Queen. Still she maintains her silence, offering the most polite of smiles the slayer can manage. Then she's watching Angel, with a mix of affection, pride, and worry.
Faith Lehane also rises, but stays put, watching. She honestly looks rather like...well, she'd only need the veil to be a pretty good impression of a Grail Maiden. Except, well, not a maiden. Far from it.
Eva looks over as Lorne addresses her and nods. In a whisper that she hopes is just quiet enough not to be heard by the others, she says "Seriously. I mean, the girls helped me pick out this really lovely gown and I still feel underdressed..." With a nod toward the Royal Pair, she adds "Not that anyone could compete with that. It'd be nuts to even try." Once the King and Queen ask Angel to step forward for the actual Knighting she falls silent, moving a little closer to and just behind Faith.
Taliesin has company! He'll smile to Aster and her escort as they arrive and exchange pleasantries with them. There is not much time for chatter, as the King addresses Angel. Again he goes quiet, but he is curious to what the oath will be. How will it differ from the ones they use in Autumn? Were it not such a formal occasion, he would have brought sometime to take notes with.
Lorne winks supportively at Eva and murmurs back, "Don't worry, kiddo. When it comes to royalty, you're not supposed to feel like you can compete. If you feel under-dressed, you're probably doin' it right." Flashing that bright grin of his, he once more turns his full attention back to the proceedings at hand.
"Your gown is beautiful, don't worry for a moment." Aster says, ever so softly, smiling at Eva, her dark eyes sparkling. There's a trace of an accent there, hard to place. As far as Fae goes, she seems decidedly human, and not particularly full of herself. Everett, for his part, just nods emphatically in agreement with Aster, his eyes as big as saucers. He's never been to a Faerie Shindig before, apparently.
Leif would in truth be much more at home with the other 'lesser' fae. If it wasn't an occasion and one that he was being a herald for he'd much rather be down there, likely hitting on the bard, and complementing dresses, instead he and his escort are obligated to stand and look fantastic behind but near the monarch's. Leif's ears do sharpen, after all oaths are a big deal to the fae, and while they are bound to them they are also past masters at manipulating them. His ears are on alert for ways that the oath could be bent and twisted. Not that such an important oath is likely to be bent, but it is always good to know. He does whisper to Cordy, "These things are so boring until the parties start."
Cordelia carries herself with reserved poise and dignity, staying close to Leif and wearing a soft smile throughout the proceedings as she watches. The smile widens from time to time. This is like a dream come true! Like something out of, appropriately enough, a fairy tale. "Oh, I don't know," she whispers back, expression not once faltering, "I've always been kinda into this stuff."
Lifting the sword high in both hands, Nuada stands before Angel and raises his head. If his voice boomed before, now it seems to follow Gloriana's way of near-singing the words, though in a deep near-chant. "I ask thee once: Wilt thou accept the mantle and duty of the Spring Knight? Wit thou answer when called, doing thy duty with honor and distinction?" He takes a step closer to Angel. "I ask thee twice: Wilt thou pledge to honor the Spring Court, upholding its integrity and good name, and to defend the Balance of Powers, that the world may endure and the Cycles of Life may continue?" He lowers his hands slightly, so the blade is held directly between himself and Angel, horizontally. "I ask the thrice: Wilt thou swear to uphold and abide by the Unseelie Accords, dealing honorably with others beneath them and striving to ensure that the mortal human world never learns of the magical world, all in the service of that Balance?"
At this, Gloriana raises a hand, stepping forward. "We have consented to three modifications to the standard Oaths, clarifications of the Knight's duty. First, we decree that, should you swear this Oath, you may lay down the sword and surrender the mantle of Spring Knight at any time that you do please, and you will be honorably released from your pledge. Second, we decree that, in the service of this Oath, out of respect for your status as a Champion and past deeds, we shall never ask that you violate your personal code as a Champion while in service of the Spring Court. Third, we decree that, should you be called away into Faerie, you will never be kept there for longer than the equivalent period of twenty-four hours on Earth unless your express consent has been given in advance." She stands beside Nuada, then, and both look to Angel for his response.
Angel goes through the litany one at thing at a time.
"I ask thee once: Wilt thou accept the mantle and duty of the Spring Knight? Wit thou answer when called, doing thy duty with honor and distinction?"
"I ask thee twice: Wilt thou pledge to honor the Spring Court, upholding its integrity and good name, and to defend the Balance of Powers, that the world may endure and the Cycles of Life may continue?"
"I ask the thrice: Wilt thou swear to uphold and abide by the Unseelie Accords, dealing honorably with others beneath them and striving to ensure that the mortal human world never learns of the magical world, all in the service of that Balance?"
Angel genuflects on one knee during this process, as it is how Knights did things in the mortal world, and for the most part, the acts of the mortals of old are all he has to go on for proper behavior. He does wait till Gloriana finishes her modifications before going through the ritual responses to each of the 3 questions.
Faith Lehane watches. The Slayer nods a bit to the modifications. This isn't a normal situation. And what binds Angel does affect her. Indirectly, true, and the court already spoke of a prior claim on her loyalties. The Slayer Force, she assumes, is what they talk about.
Eva smiles at Lorne and Aster, softly replying "Thank you both. So very kind." As she then listens to the words being spoken by His and Her Highness and the responses in kind by Angel, she remains very still and quiet. The modifications to the Oaths sound logical to her, given the circumstances. The one big question remaining in her mind is what it means to be a Knight, given how little she knows of the Fae -- but that is a question she will save for later.
Taliesin looks pensive was the Oath is presented, and then sworn. Idly his finger rubs over his lips as his eyes narrow. His voice lowers and he shakes his head. "With all of these restrictions, I wonder just what it is they're going to do with Angel." However any further musings are held in because it's not something he wants to be overheard.
Lorne looks more serious as the pledges are given and promises made. He gives a supportive nod, but it's not hard to tell that he's not overly fond of such weighty matters. Even so, he remains respectful and quiet throughout the proceedings.
The Swan Princess simply raises her eyebrow ever so slightly when she hears the changes to the Oaths. There's going to be a catch in this, somewhere, she's sure... but she can't quite see it, yet. She stays silent throughout the event, her arm looped casually through Everett's, hand on his forearm, the faintest smile playing about the corners of her mouth. Everett, poor boy, just looks more and more awed as the event's going.
As soon as the oaths are given and received, Leif runs his finger over his ring. This wasn't the usual simple spell for him. It was a complicated one that he had to borrow from his court to do as well as hours of preparations. The ballroom was altered somehow, seeming MUCH larger than before. The decorations had changed, and there were now flowers, and beautiful exotic animals everywhere, Floating Fae lights. Safe to say that this was going to be an Occasion. The existing refreshments and such remained, but on long banquet tables, and were not accompanied by exotic dishes of human and Fae make, wines and spirits and teas from all over could be sampled, and, of course, a band appeared. One could not have a Fae celebration without a ball could one? All of this simply appeared in a moment, not replacing the trees but complementing them adding to the effect. Once Leif had done this he stumbled and got to a seat, "I believe you will have to find another partner and dance. My friend, that took more out of me than I thought."
Cordy, of course, stays by Leif and helps him into the chair, trying to make it as subtle and dignified as possible. It's not hard with the magic he's done. That should distract most everyone. She gives his shoulder a gentle pat and waits for all of the festivities to close, taking the opportunity to marvel at the miraculous transfiguration. So splendid! It's especially nice that the rest of the food is still there, but Cordelia is definitely trying the exotic things too. She'll just...put in a little more battle training tomorrow. Or something like that. She walks everywhere anyway, now that she's not able to orb anymore. It would make sense if fairy food didn't have calories and things like that! Besides, she trusts Leif.
With the Oaths sworn, Nuada steps to one side, extending the sword to Gloriana. The Queen of Spring draws forth the blade with both hands, her motions effortless despite its great size, and holds aloft the gleaming sword, Caladbolg, whose surface carries a faint rainbow sheen. Holding the blade high, she sings out in that clear voice, "Then we so name you Sir Angel, Spring Knight." She taps him lightly on either shoulder with the blade, then returns the sword to its sheath, still held by the king.
Nuada then extends the sheathed blade to Angel, saying gravely but with a glint in his eye, "Rise, then, Knight, and claim thy blade." He extends the sword to Angel, this time, and gives him a nod, apparently of approval.
Angel rises, and takes the offered blade after being officially dubbed the Knight. It's an interesting feeling...he feels a certain weight of magic around him that wasn't there before, probably the 'mantle' of the office he's just taken. And then with the blade in his hand...he can feel its power too. This sword would serve in defense of the Balance, and many other things too. "Thank you, your majesties."
That sword. Faith isn't a sword person, but she can't quite hide a bit of envy...that's quite the weapon Angel has there. Glad he's on her side. But as the formalities seem to be over, the black and white clad Slayer moves over to the food...and carefully avoids anything that wasn't put there by Cordelia. She doesn't want to accidentally fall under a Faerie geas.
Eva watches with interest as the Fae offer Angel the sword after knighting him. "No way, he gets a sword now?" she mumbles under her breath. The question is rhetorical, not meant for anyone's ears, but she's surprised enough that her voice might carry to those nearby. Either way, she clasps her hands in front of her and waits to take her cues as to how to act from the other Slayers in attendance. Once Faith seems feel it's okay to move over to the refreshments, Eva doesn't linger long where she was standing. Following, she takes one of the beverages so kindly provided by Cordelia and begins to sip.
Lorne applauds politely as Angel is presented to the room, and when the room is suddenly transformed into a fairy banquet hall, he's quick to follow the crowd, sample the food and drink, and otherwise join in having a good time. He pointedly remains outside the center of attention, though--today, after all, is Angel's day.
Applause is almost mandatory once Angel's presented, and Aster and her escort join in with juuuust the right amount of enthusiasm and timing so that it isn't a slight to the Spring Court or their new Knight. Her aunt taught her well, after all, and she would never dream of being less than well mannered in public. Astrid would find her and ring her neck, after all.
Cordelia does give quiet applause, and once she's sure Leif is all right, she wanders over to the others. Angel's probably busy, she figures, what with royalty and romance and...whatever, she's not involved in the Ring of Slayers. First up is this strange effervescent beverage that looks like pink champagne. She does find Lorne easily enough. "You are looking sharp today, Mister Host!" Every gesture is punctuated by her fluttering "wings".
Lorne flashes Cordy a grin, saying, "You're looking like pretty hot stuff tonight, yourself, Ms. Princess of Pylea!" It's not long, though, before he's swept up in the crowd again and becomes one with the party.
Once the Oaths are sworn and Leif has cast his spell, Gloriana smiles on all gathered, inclines her head, and then turns to walk away, vanishing into the expanse of the altered hall, presumably back away to Faerie.
Nuada lingers briefly, favoring Angel with a small smile, and says, "We shall meet again soon to discuss what comes next. For tonight, though, I suggest that you enjoy these favors--fear not, by the way, as all the food and drink here has come from human hands--and spend the night with those whom you hold dear. The time for action will come upon us swiftly, but until that time, we might as well enjoy ourselves." He reaches to clap Angel once on the shoulder, saying, "Good evening to you and yours, Sir Knight." Then, he turns to follow his lady, vanishing from view and from the Hyperion.
The Hotel is set up in a Fairy Ball mode. The High King and Queen of Spring have recently been here, and even the most unmagical of people can feel the sheer magic in the air left over from the Royal Couple passing through. Fortunately for the festivities, they also warded the place for the night so the Accords wouldn't be violated by random people walking in and seeing things they shouldn't. The recently Knighted Angel is off talking to some of the others around, of which there are several.
To see the hotel changed so completely is a very strange and unnerving thing for Fred. While she is generally used to being in San Francisco rather than LA and LA rather than Pylea, large changes can still set her a bit skittish. Especially when those changes involve Angel pledging himself to a Faerie Court. It's all moving a little fast for Fred and she's not sure how to take these changes. Plus, she has to wear a dress. A fancy one. And she likes the idea of dressing up, but she is wary of the idea of so many eyes being on her at once. It can make anyone nervous.
Luckily, Cordelia helped Fred dress shop and they came away with an appropriately 'spring faerie court' dress. It's a bright green, with some form of shimmery fabric over it, that's a slightly darker green and evokes ivy vines and flowers. Her long brown hair is curled and pulled up into some form of elaborate twist at the back of her head and she's wearing some sparkly jewelry. She looks very done up. Cordelia almost certainly helped her with it. Nervously, she comes down the stairs, grabbing onto one of the pillars and hiding behind it, peeking out to see if there's anyone else in the lobby. "A-any faeries yet?" she calls out.
There's actual danger outside and there's people probably losing their minds right now and they're all in here having a party. That makes very little sense to Charles Gunn and it's even showing on his face a little bit. No, really, he doesn't look like he's comfortable. It has nothing to do with the tux that he's wearing. It's also might be confusing where he got the tux but he's got one. Just go with it. It's probably not owned or his. Or maybe it is. Who knows.
His chosen attire comes with shoes and everything and Gunn looks more like he doesn't actually belong on the streets where he's from. In fact, it looks a little bit like he's headed for something a bit more dapper. He's lingering near the weapons cabinet and holding a drink in his hand. He may be listening to whomever he's supposed to be talking to but there's a chance that all that has gone away the moment he spots someone coming down the stairs. His attention has been stolen and the drink in his hand just sits there. He's out of words. And no pillar is going to stop him.
As Fred scans the room, she quickly spots a friendly and safe face: Gunn. Quickly, she sweeps down the stairs - something not usually used to describe the awkward genius - and moves toward the other Angel Investigations member with relief clear on her face. "Oh, Charles," she sighs and quickly moves to his side. She doesn't have a drink or something safe to do with her hands, but she moves her head about as she's at his side. "This is so weird," she tells him.
Then, as she's closer and sees his tux, sees his outfit as more than just his reassuring expression, she blinks a few times and puts a hand to her mouth. "My God, Charles. You look..." she grins. "I've never seen you in a tux before. It's lovely."
The Faeries still in attendance are actually servants of the Spring Court. They're the ones responsible for all the music and such. They don't interrupt their music playing and 'party attendance' duties. Most of them seem to have having fun just playing their music and using their magic in little ways. Some of them haven't in had a chance to mess around in the mortal world for a long time.
Gunn is still staring and still holding his drink. He only moves when Fred gets closer and it doesn't look like he's going to be looking at anything else besides her right now. Or for the forseeable future. He's really just focused on Fred for some reason. Probably has a lot to do with how beautiful she looks right now. He almost doesn't hear her say anything to him either. It takes him a moment to shake himself out of being aweslapped in the face.
"Uh." Gunn is usually not the type to not know what to say but he smooths down his suit a little bit. "Thanks. I mean, I can't even find the words, Fred. You look..." Gunn's awe inspired once over of Fred ends up with his eyes on hers. And that's it for him. That's what cements things that he's been thinking since the return from Pylea. Things that maybe could be summed up with the only word that can also be used to describe how she looks on top of everything else that's welled up inside of him. "... Wow."
The music and the magic is something that Fred is not used to at the Hyperion. Maybe some classical music from Angel, or some pop music from Cordelia, but an orchestra in the lobby? That's something quite out of the ordinary. Gunn is usually the one with a quip, or a statement. His lack of something to say is - in her mind - coming from the same thought of how strange it is to have faeries in the Hotel. However, she does blush quite a bit at his compliment. Or, perhaps his stumbling compliment. It's flattering.
"Thank you," she tells him with a grin, looking downward with a bashful expression. "It's all Cordy. She helped with the dress stuff, and the hair stuff, and the conversational 'don't talk about any of your stake propellor ideas at the party' stuff. Apparently, that's not polite conversation. You're way better at this than I am. You'll stay close, right? Make sure I don't make a fool of myself."
Dawn never got to finish her shopping trip with Lydia, but maybe their conversation did lead to Dawn picking up on her sense of style a bit, though of course her friendship with Cordelia likely helped as well, as she's looking more the teenager than the kid tonight, in a Navy blue sleeveless dress decorated in a shining metallic flowery pattern to the waist. Though, now that she's here, she isn't looking entirely comfortable either.
Angel notices Dawn looking a little uncomfortable about it all...and decides to go help the kid out. "Hey, Dawn. You look beautiful." Granted, he sounds decidedly like an older brother when he tells her that, but that doesn't mean it isn't a fact!
The Fae play all sorts of tunes, seeming to vary up their musical selection to whatever they perceive the attendees wanting.
"No, I'm pretty sure this is you." Gunn responds quietly to the Cordelia Credit Giving. Gunn is having none of that! If he wants to be impressed by Fred then by dammit he will be impressed. And everything else. While he still knows he has a drink in his hand he constantly forgets it by looking at Fred and deciding to try and hold a conversation with her. He's getting a little bit more comfortable though. Because, y'know, Fred. "You can make stake propellors? Yeah, we're about to have this conversation right now." Gunn's eyes drift for just a moment. Long enough to catch sight of Dawn. Which is good. Which means Glory hasn't gotten her. Whew.
At the moment, Fred has not noticed either Dawn or Angel at the party. She's a little discombobulated. "Well, of course it's me. I mean, I'm not some shapeshifter in a dress. Though, I have always wondered about whether shape shifters are actually able to mimic clothes, and if they are, does that mean that the clothes are actually their skin? And if that's 'actually' the case, does that make them naked all the time and we just can't tell?" She's nervous and rambling. The conversation about stake propellors brings her back to a - somewhat - normal footing. "Well, I always thought that you should be able to make stake projectiles. And if you can make projectiles, you could possibly make propellors, though that might not really make good practical stakes. It's all theoretical, really. But, it's a thought that I had. I was making up prototypes earlier. Cordy stepped on one, which is why I think she doesn't like tot alk about them."
Dawn Summers looks up to Angel, giving a smile at the compliment, "Thanks." She looks around again, still looking somewhat uncomfortable, and comments, "This isn't much like a middle school dance." Then, almost an afterthought, she says, "But the music is cooler."
"I got a Stake Launcher on my truck." Gunn is already in love with the idea of something that might be able to make spinning stakes. "I think I'm gonna' have to let you see it. Maybe you can help me make something a bit more portable?" Gunn doesn't mind talking shop with Fred in the middle of this party that is about everything but vampire slaying. "... I wonder if mini-stakes would do the same amount of damage." He's not the smart one. He's the muscle. So he's going to have to let Fred take care of thinking up that kind of stuff.
"Really?" Fred perks up at that. It may be a strange topic for a party involving the fae, but it makes the physicist feel more at home discussing things like this with Gunn. "What do you have propelling it? The problem I'm finding is that stakes just aren't very naturally aerodynamic. And if I hollow them out, like bird bones, they wouldn't have the same impact. You'd never make it through the chest to the heart, so no dusting. It's really been a balance between power and portability, you know?" She grins. "I thought about stake bullets, but they'd burn up in a gun barrel."
The Fae conveniently put a song appropriate for dancing up, and Angel actually offers Dawn a hand, "I'm fairly certain your sister won't stake me if I ask you to dance. Shall we?" If she accepts, he'll lead her to a spot in the middle of the room the Fae seem to have cleared out for such a purpose. And since it's a slow song, Dawn will not get tripped over or anything of the sort.
Gunn is much more comfortable with the chosen topic of conversation than he is with all the Fae running around or even the Fae music. The talk of killing vampires is what keeps Gunn feeling like he's not out of place in the world. "Hm." Gunn grins a little bit. "What about jus' having wooden tips? Like hollow tips? Could that work?" Gunn shrugs a little bit but smiles at the thought of being able to shoot vampires. He hasn't seen Blade but he's pretty much thinking it'd be hella' awesome.
Smiling again at the offer, Dawn takes the hand, and says, "Sure." She steps out to dance with Angel, even if it pretty quickly becomes apparent she doesn't know how. Not, at least, in any kind of proper way. She says, then, "Congratulations, by the way. You'll make an awesome Knight."
Angel doesn't actually know what he's doing all that well either. But...fortunately, perhaps, Fae music is very easy to dance to, and it's possible one or more of them may be throwing some magic around to make it less awkward then it might otherwise be. Still, a slow dance seems to go reasonably well, and nothing gets stepped on either way. "Thank you."
"Do wooden tips stake vampires?" Fred is unsure. "I thought it had to be a full wooden stake. I haven't actually tested it. But, then, it would have to be in a field situation and you don't really want to mess around with untested equipment while fighting a vamp, but then you can't really test it without the vamps! It's a real Schroedinger's Cat situation. Except the cat is a vampire. And is already dead. Or, well, undead. I guess in this scenario, it's either dead dead or undead dead. It's really something that could spin the theory on its head! Though, really," she leans forward confidentially, "the whole thing was a ridiculous theory he posed to begin with. It wasn't ever supposed to be taken seriously. Isn't that a laugh?" She glances over, finally seeing Dawn and Angel dancing to the Fae music and blinks a bit. Isn't this what Cordelia told her she wasn't supposed to do? Oh dear. "Er, so, should we dance? I feel like that's what we're supposed to do here." Yes, it's a complete 180 in the span of a few seconds, but that's Fred.
Gunn finds it much easier to keep up with Fred when she's talking because she's Fred and she's talking. He doesn't understand half of what she's saying but he's okay with that. He could listen to her speak about stuff that flies way over his intelligence rating with nothing but a smile on his face. "I'll get us a test subject. Be underdressed tomorrow night." Sounds like Gunn is willing to test this Stake Bullet theory. And then Fred is bringing up what should be happening and he realizes he didn't do the thing he was supposed to do. He holds up a finger and moves quickly to set his drink down somewhere that he won't ever be returning to. He goes right back to Fred as quick as possible and offers a hand. "May I?"
Dawn continues to dance with Angel as the song continues, with the comfortable movements as if she was dancing with an older brother or father, rather than the awkwardness that would likely result were it with a boy she liked. Spotting Gunn and Fred joining the dance floor, she gives a small wave with a grin.
The thought of testing brings a grin to Fred's face. "Sounds like a date." Trying to fight a vampire in this dress would just get in the way. That's a scientific fact. As Gunn holds out a hand, she smiles and puts her smaller one is his. "I'd like that." The pair move out onto the dance floor and then start to dance along to the Faerie music. While Fred has some natural grace, she's not used to ballroom dancing. The pair make due, but it's clear she's trying and enjoying herself as they twirl.
VERRRRY older brother. Don't get much older then 289. It feels nice for Angel to help a young girl get comfortable with the idea of dancing. And he can tell she IS comfortable, at least with this. Angel also noticed Gunn and Fred on the dance floor, and when they're turned in such a way that Gunn can see him, he gives him one of thoe approving halfsmiles. He's taking good care of Fred.
When that song ends, even though another very slow dance starts moments later, Dawn steps back and grins up to Angel, "Thanks." She does, indeed, see more comfortable with the whole thing now, though for perhaps attention span reasons alone, she apparently needs a break from dancing.
And there's a Faith. Right now, she's wall flowering. With a drink. That she's made sure didn't come from fairy...sure, it's probably safe on this occasion, but she's trusting Cordelia's supplies much more.
Angel lets Dawn go. Well, that was fun. He's done his Knightly duty there. And then he heads Faith's way, as the Fae come up with yet another appropriate song! How do they do that, anyway? They must be gifted like that. Extending a hand to the woman he may never see in such a gown again, "May I have this dance?"
Faith Lehane takes the hand. "If you don't mind protecting your feet." A grin from the Slayer. They fight together a lot, but can they dance?
Angel halfsmiles, "Oh, I think you dance better then I do." In her style, granted, but maybe with all the Fae magic around, they won't step on each other, too much. Still, Angel's quite comfortable here with Faith.
Angel is currently dancing with Faith, having escorted the Slayer to the dance floor. Fae music is somehow suiting itself to that pair. Gunn and Fred are also dancing together, currently lost in their own little world in the elegant magically transformed ballroom.
Cordy is, meanwhile, feasting upon the bounty of the Fair Folk. She has already had two glasses of whatever this effervescent wine stuff is, and she's filled her plate at least three times and emptied it all of those times, dancing between helpings. Whatever its other properties, fairy (or fairy-style) food doesn't appear to be too heavy on the constitution, and it only seems to be giving Cordelia more energy. She smiles at Fred gliding across the floor with Gunn and, when she can catch the other woman's eyes, gives her a big, bright smile and a thumbs up. It's good to see when you do something really good that has the right effect!
Despite the Hyperion looking strange and Faerie-like, there are familiar faces. The awkward physicist that Cordelia helped dress specifically for the evening is amongst the strange Faerie-folk, dancing to the music with the handsomely be-tuxed Gunn.
Fred looks quite different from her usual flower hippy self. Her dress is a bright green, with some form of shimmery fabric over it that's a slightly darker green and evokes ivy vines and flowers. Her long brown hair is curled and pulled up into some form of elaborate twist at the back of her head and she's wearing some sparkly jewelry. While the pair are certainly not professional dancers, they are certainly spinning about the dance floor, possibly discussing spinning mounted stakes. They're professionals, after all.
It warms Cordelia's heart to see something like that, especially something she had a hand in making happen. While the rest of the...everything...might have been Angel's moment, while the party might have been mostly Leif's magic...Cordy can treasure this one magic moment. Ever since coming to Los Angeles -- now San Francisco too -- she's changed a little bit, but in an important way. The joy of others is worth fighting for, worth every bit of effort to see the glorious outcome.
Improving people's lives through fashion? Definitely acceptable to Cordy.
Angel finishes the dance with Faith, and looks about for other ladies who arrived at the dance that have not been attended to yet by the new Knight. He notices one he doesn't actually know personally all that well...apparently a princess of the Fae, though he didn't get too many details about that. Something about swans? Best not to figure things out now. He could worry about that later. One of the musicians sent him a silent magic memo that it'd be a good idea to do this, so he heads her way!
The slender Fae is laughing softly, her dark eyes dancing as she regards her escort. They've already danced together twice, but as far as Aster's concerned, she dances enough during her average day to day work at the studio... Though close inspection might reveal she's, indeed, wearing ballet slippers... probably enchanted to be more comfortable for extended periods. "No, Everett, the Autumn Knight isn't here, but I'll be sure to introduce you." Their body language is friendly, but while there might be a hint of attraction from the Swanmay, the youth who's been on her arm is delightfully oblivious. As Angel approaches, she looks up from beneath dark lashes, smiling rather shyly, especially for one of the Fae.
Angel bows slightly, this is high nobility of some sort or another, he's told, and digging into terms of address from a century long ago, "May I have this dance, milady?" Well, long ago by humans standards, anyway. He hadn't expected a princess to be shy around a Knight, but perhaps there was some other reason for it. Well, he'd probably not find out.
The bow is returned with a slight nod and a widening of the smile. Her aunt has been teaching her about proper courtesy for the better part of a decade, how to acknowlege without insulting or giving too much status to the other party... The girl looks to Everett for a moment, as if to be sure he's going to be alright on his own, then leans toward him. Acute hearing might catch her murmur to stick to the mortal foods while she's gone, and then the girl is extending one slender hand toward the newly minted Knight. "It would be my pleasure, Sir Knight."
Angel then leads Aster to the dance floor. Dancing with an actual Fae might be quite an experience, considering Angel is...not great at it. But if his partner is good enough, she could probably make even someone like him look at least decent, since all he has to do is let his partner show off. He might be able to manage that. The fae musicians seem pleased at their advice being taken, and play something from Aster's mother's court, something specific to the swans, for this particular dance. They're appropriate like that.
The girl moves weightlessly with the Vampire, smiling faintly as she does. When it comes to dance, there are few better than the tall but frail seeming girl Angel's currently holding, and it becomes obvious as she begins to subtly guide the Knight's steps in time to the music, all while making it seem like he's doing the work. Until fairly recently, she'd been dating a demi-god with two left feet, so she knows both how to avoid Angel's, and make it seem like she never needed to. She speaks softly, her smile barely moving as she does, "I must be honest with you, Sir Knight. I've been keeping an eye on you for some time."
Angel is very grateful she's that damn good that she can make him look good without even trying. He seems used to conversations on the dance floor, though. He notices her tone of voice is very soft...and of course that works out fine when talking to a guy with enhanced hearing. He can hear even quiet conversation with music going just fine. "Keeping an eye on me?" He's a little curious as to the hows and whys of that. He matches her tone of voice, keeping it low.
The Fae twirls herself out away from the Knight, keeping her slim hand linked with his, pirouetting twice and coming up in a graceful arabesque, one long leg stretched out, the girl perfectly aware of where the other dancers are, avoiding running into anyone easily with the maneuver. It's technically not ballroom, but it's definitely fancy, and the way the skirts of her gown twirl, there's a reason she chose all tulle. The arabesque is held just long enough to catch attention, and then she's spinning back to Angel, not a hair out of place. "Until a few months ago, you had a soul because of what you did to a few... relatives of mine." Her smile doesn't falter for a moment, though it seems a little brittle, now.
Angel winces when she brought that up. "You're Romani? ...Sorry." He'd suffered a long time from that Curse...and that Curse in turn brought suffering to everyone around him, including the golden haired Slayer lurking about somewhere who would claim him rather firmly very soon.
"Half. My father's family." A pause, "Not everyone is happy, Sir Knight, that you have a chance at happiness. And not all the Roma would see their justice thwarted so easily." There's the slightest shrug from her slim shoulders. "I need no apologies... I just wanted to warn you before The People decided to seek retribution against you, or those who thwarted them... I have no quarrel with you. You've not harmed me or mine... A final warning," She hesitates briefly. "The Slayer's sister is in grave danger."
Angel frowns a moment, "I would hope they wouldn't try to seek vengeance against anything as strong as the Witch's Council." Because that would not end well for them at all. The Witch's Council was a ridiculously potent force in the world. "They already caused a lot of suffering. At the last dance I was at like this, at her Prom...I'd just broken up with her because the threat of Angelus was too great." As for the second point, "We're looking out for Dawn. She's under the protection of everyone here, and we're probably going to attack Glory again soon."
There's a soft peal of laughter from the Spring Knight's dancing partner, the girl regarding him from beneath those dark lashes again. "The Witches are powerful, my dear gajo, but can even they withstand a rightful call for vengeance? If that's what it comes to... And are you really so sure these shovani will protect you in the face of such a foe?" She raises an eyebrow slightly, head tilting ever so slightly, glancing to Dawn. "They aren't protecting her, after all, this Witch's Council... Not out here, at least. Not from the Knights." She twirls again, but it's much simpler, as the musical cue is much simpler.
"No. They're allies, but they generally expect warriors to take care of themselves. We're not helpless victims. All they'll do is not agree to help them, I'd think." From the Knights? "Rey's been an ally, but I've never met the other two. Is the Summer or Winter Knight likely to go after Dawn?" He hasn't had any attacks from other Knights yet.
Aster Vildrym's smile turns cryptic, "The Knights of the Fae aren't your concern." The song draws to a close, and the girl disentangles herself gracefully, dipping into a polite curtsey, her expression fey and otherworldly as she begins to move away, her footsteps silent across the dancefloor, where Everett waits with her feathered drape in hand. Some unspoken communication occured during the dance, and the girl seems to be getting ready to leave.
Angel bows slightly once more as the dance is done...and then starts wondering who the new threat he must be concerned about is. Other Knights? Well, they hadn't done anything he'd noticed yet. The possibility of the Rom coming after him again is something he'd also have to look into. After all he's been through, he's not going back to that Cursed must be apart from Buffy state. He's worked too hard. But then, there's Cordelia over there...
The girl dips slightly, so her escort can place her drape properly, the feathers seemingly gleam ever so slightly as they come in contact with her skin. Angel is granted a final nod from the Fae girl as she leads Everett toward the exit in a leisurely fashion, stopping to chat with a few people on her way out, so as to not appear rude... but there are other things afoot this night, after all.
Angel finishes dancing with Aster, and then he heads over Cordy's way. "May I have this dance?" The Fae musicians have apparently heard of Leif's apparent...interest? Friendship? Whatever with Cordy, and they actually put together a complex bit of Fae music worthy of the Courts.
Cordy freezes. She was about to start with food again after admiring Fred and Gunn, but the question kind of derails her intent. And it is Angel asking, so that's like a triple threat in all.
She remembers that time. She wishes she could forget.
But tonight, Angel seems at least to be able to manage on the dance floor, so Cordelia sets her food and drink aside, then takes the glass back up and just pounds the entire rest of the wine down before setting it back down again next to her plate. She smiles to Angel and moves with him towards the floor.
In a perhaps unsurprising turn of events, however, Cordy makes sure to lead.
Angel realizes this is NOT his expertise, and while he's been managing fairly decently tonight, most of that seems to be Fae magic somehow making everyone that little bit more graceful and eliminating unusual amounts of awkwardness. So with Cordy leading, it actually looks notably better then the other dances he'd done so far. Her skill can make up for a heck of a lot, after all!
It's a dance Cordelia enjoys. She knows how to dance, even ballroom-style, although she's not a super-expert; she knows what she's doing, though, and that counts for a lot.
"So...having a good time today?" Cordy smiles up at Angel.
And outside, it's so wintry and cold, sleet sheeting down over the city with a gloss of ice. Ironic, given the springtime fete within.
Maybe appropriate. Surrounded by all his friends like this, it's certainly the warmth of a spring day for him on the inside! The weather? Well, considering it's not even officially autumn yet, the cold weather really is starting early this year. Given what title has just been given to him, he has to wonder if this is one of those side effects of things being 'out of balance' that his majesty was talking about.
"Yeah. It struck me how blessed I really am to have to so many people around that care about me."
Cordy sighs, mostly with contentment, though there's a little trepidation crept in. Just a little. "It's like a beautiful dream," she answers, eyes wandering around the floor. It almost doesn't seem like the Hyperion anymore. For all the hotel has become more livable, more elegant through chiefly their own efforts, now it seems like it belongs in another world that can only be visited during restful sleep. "I feel like we're going to wake up soon."
"We probably will. This Ball is a gift to us, before we do what we need to do. So let's accept the gift for what it is, a special night that we'll remember for a long time." There's lots of memorable moments in a life like this, but relatively few of them will bring such pleasant memories as this one.
"You're right." Cordelia's smile returns, only having faded so slightly. The music sweeps her away, and she keeps stepping and guiding all over the floor, until they almost have returned to where they began. "Have you tried the...bubbly...wine...drink? It's really good."
"I will soon." He wonders if the Fae Wine will be of unusual potency...then again, perhaps not, or Cordelia would probably be 4 sheets to the wind by now. Unless it's magic wine, which is entirely possible. He notes the fades smile, used to Cordy's patterns by now, but doesn't comment on it. He feels a little bad for reminding her of what they're probably going to have to get back to doing tomorrow, though.
Once the dance is done, Cordy gives a little curtsey as expected. The music comes to its end, and her smile brightens even more. Reaching out, she pats Angel's chest. "It's okay," she quietly offers. "I know." Even if it wasn't stated, they're close enough. They've known each other for a long time now. Of all the people she met in Sunnydale, Angel is probably her best and closest friend still in her life.
The dance ended, Angel asks, "Where'd you get that dress?" For all Angel's knowledge of what things were worn in ages past, even he's never really seen a dress like the one Cordy's got on now. "I don't think I've seen anything like it before."
Cordelia opens her mouth and then raises a finger, winking to Angel and tapping her cheek, smiling again. "You can't ask a woman to reveal all of her secrets, y'know. You like it?" She turns, gracefully, in place. The little "wings" hanging from her arms flutter out like the butterflies the Queen had worn. "It's so light, but I'm not freezing. But I'm not burning up, either. It's kind of amazing."
"It looks amazing. Wearing something like that, you'll stop any show you go to." Or at least distract the eye of everyone there with the dress that looks like it must've either cost millions of dollars or been made by magic.
With a soft chuckle, Cordy looks down at the fabric as it settles back into place. "It's really amazing. Just a loaner, though. It feels like it was made for me. I don't know how they do it. You should've seen all the dresses. It's crazy." Even if she said she wouldn't give up her secrets, here she is talking about it. "Everybody's looking good tonight, though! I think of the people I didn't dress, Faith's is my favorite. Can't go wrong with monochrome. Good lines for her."
Then again, is giving up secrets to a guy like Angel who wears nothing but black 99 percent of the time really giving a secret to someone who can make use of it? It's not like he'll ever tell! "Faith does look amazing. And since it may be years before we see her in a ballgown again, I wasn't going to pass up dancing with her."
"We should take pictures," Cordy adds, nodding to Angel. "So people will believe us, years down the line, when we talk about it. It's kind of amazing. I was expecting her to bust out some kind of...denim cropped coat." She finds her plate of food and picks it up again, gesticulating idly with the other hand. "With like a kitten or something on the back. Wearing a tiara made of rhinestones and studs."
"Well, people surprise you. And everyone changes. The last time I was at a dance like this..." Well. It was Cordy's Senior Year of High School. "You were dancing with Wesley at the time." That event had the certain magic of tonight. But that event was also a lot more tragic, and while Wild Horses couldn't drag him away...the greater good did.
It's a bit of a tender memory for Cordelia too. She takes one of the little cakes in her fingers, delicately, then eats the whole thing in one bite. She's very neat about it; it's just slightly larger than most would be able to take with one mouthful. By the time she's done chewing, she's powered through that brief reverie. "Wonder what he's up to right now." She could bet he'd have loved to see this whole Faerie get-together.
Angel hasn't seen Wesley since he arrived. "I wish I knew. I haven't seen him. Nobody else has mentioned him either." Of course, "But if he was here, he'd probably be dancing with you next." And why not? This is a beautiful event!
For a short time, Cordy is just lost in the thoughts, in the infinite possibilities, and then just as suddenly she's back in the here and now. She smiles, a thin smile, and motions with her plate to the large table full of refreshments. "Let's take five. I want you to try this bubbly stuff. It may not be O positive, but it's definitely tasty."
The Fae Ball is a truly magical occasion. Angel was last seen talking to Cordelia for a little while after his dance with her. And yet, throughout the Fae musicians, anticipation is building. They're all waiting for something, and it hasn't happened yet. But they're all sure it will.
Eva has been walking around the whole time, not really pausing to dance. She has too much nervous energy, it's fairly evident, to settle down in one place for long. Sipping at her drink, she has made conversation with a number of people so far whenever she can catch them off the dance floor. Presently she is hovering near the beverages again as she is almost out of hers. Her eyes scan the room for anyone else to talk to, but all the guests appear occupied for the time being.
Angel notices Eva's been left out. Well, can't have that! It's his party, after all, and that means making sure everyone has fun. Including young Slayers still finding their place in the world. So Angel walks over to Eva now. "May I have this dance?" The Fae musicians seem to know whenever Angel asks somebody, and once more come up with appropriate music for this particular pair. How do they keep doing that, anyway?
Eva blinks and blushes when Angel wanders over to ask for a dance. "Uh, I guess," she says hesitantly. "You do realize I'm a singer, not a dancer. I mean, eventually I'll have to learn how to move on a stage. But this is different." She speaks all in a rush, almost tripping over her words in her nervousness. But, finally, she extends her hand to him and says "Don't complain if I'm horrid at it. You've been dancing all night, by now you must be way better than me."
Angel escorts Eva to the floor now. "Now now. You're beautiful, and I'm not going to let anyone tell you otherwise." Not even certain other vampires. And while Angel is fairly warmed up at this point, at least the music's mostly slow. "High school has dances, right? What's the next one for you?"
Eva shakes her head as Angel talks and says in a soft voice "I know we have dances, Angel, but I don't keep up with that stuff. I have practice! And track, or at least I used to." She's still not happy about quitting track, but with everything else going on lately it was hard to even keep band practice up. "I can find out, not that I'm interested in going. There's no one I'd want to take me except maybe Felix, and I don't need rumors about him and I being a thing floating around school."
Angel diplomatically doesn't bring up who she probably really WANTED to take her to a dance. It's not a wound that needs to be reopened on a magical night like this. Instead, "Are you trying to tell me a beautiful girl like you doesn't have them lined up around the corner trying to take her to the dance? I may have lost hope for my gender."
Eva lets out a laugh at Angel's flattery and just shakes her head. "If they are lined up, no one's given me the memo. Then again it could just be that I don't pay much attention to that sort of thing." As she follows him out onto the dance floor, she listens to the tempo of the music. "Well, you're the guy. So I guess you lead and I try to follow. Emphasis on the try part." There's a faint smile on her lips, though, and its obvious she really is enjoying herself tonight.
Angel halfsmiles, "I'm older then dirt, and I can see what they're passing up. Maybe I'll let Faith know so she can beat some sense into those guys who don't know what they're missing." Angel does lead, and...thankfully he's A: Warmed up and B: Dancing Slow, and C: there's Fae Magic in the air making everyone more graceful then normal. So for a moment, it's like a prom dance. He remembers only too well the last prom he was at...
Eva turns her head slightly to the side and laughs faintly. "Oh, Angel, you're too sweet. I'm not all that worried about boys now, anyways. I have to focus on training. And practice. Between those two things, I don't see a need to waste time on boys." There's something in her voice that betrays her true sentiments on the subject, but she does a good job of covering it up most of the way. As the pair dance, she lets go of those thoughts and just enjoys the atmosphere brought on by the Fae.
Angel's old enough and good enough at reading people to not believe that at all. This IS a girl that had to go through an unfortunate breakup...from a relationship that turned out to be, well, not good enough for her at all. "Shhh. You have a good heart. Sooner or later somebody's going to want it." It's only a matter of time.
Eva can't help but frown a little at the reminder. "Yeah, I know. It's just frustrating. I mean, I know I made a mistake, too, but now I don't even have a chance to fix it because he's gone whatever you wanna call the state he's in now." She lets it go after that, though, just enjoying the dance with Angel. "You're good. Or it could just be that I'm so bad I can't tell the difference," she says with a sly smirk. Must tease!
"Oh I think you're better then me. I've just got a bunch of fairies running around making their new Knight look good." He doesn't add anything about Mikhail...instead holding Eva a little closer. Almost like a hug mid dance. Which makes sense during slow dancing, really.
Eva shakes her head faintly and says "Well, I suppose I should be grateful to the fairies then. It wouldn't be as nice a dance if we were tripping over each other's feet." As he holds her close, she lays her head against his chest. "This is nice," she says softly. "Buffy's lucky." There's no envy in her voice, she's just stating a fact. "Not that I like you /that/ way, anyways," she adds with a faint smile he can't see.
Angel halfsmiles again, though she can't see it either. "Good. That means she doesn't have to give me that angry gonna stake you look for dancing with you, and we can just enjoy this." Angel is warm (emotionally, anyway) and safe, even if he's physically cool due to being a vampire.
Eva lets out a faint laugh and says "Possessive type, is she? Well. She can rest assured that I have no designs on her man. Other than friendly ones, that is." As the two dance, she goes quiet for a bit. She's thinking of /him/, naturally, but doesn't want to say anything to ruin the moment. "I'm really glad that whole big spell that happened recently worked so you can have your Happily Ever After. If anyone deserves it, you do."
Angel shakes his head, "Not as much as I'm making her out to be. She went out of her way to say she wouldn't be jealous if I'd done things when I was cursed. Still, it's not the kind of thing I'd want to put to the test." Adding, "Like you said, I worked hard for that Happily Ever After. I wasn't going to potentially ruin it by sleeping around before she got here. Didn't want to taint things."
Eva's eyes widen a bit and she looks up at him. "Wow, that's... I never really thought about it that way. But I guess when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you work towards that and you don't get sidetracked." She pauses, then goes back to looking away. "You just have to find that person, I guess that's the hard part." There's a trace of sadness in her voice, but she's trying very hard to mask it.
"That's...exactly how it is. When you find the one, well, if you ever volunteer at a rest home and ask the couples who've been married 50 years just how they managed to make it work in a world filled with divorce, they'll tell you. Love is a feeling, but it's a commitment too. The Fae around here would call it an oath to be kept. So you have to get good at problem solving. And balancing your partner's feelings with your own." Cause it can be a DAMN long, hard road. "Even a relationship like what we share isn't problem free, and it never will be."
Eva just nods at his words. "I understand. Still, it must be nice. Having that, I mean." As she continues to dance with him, she can't help but smile to herself. "You didn't have to dance with me, but thank you. It took my mind off all the craziness lately for a few minutes. Plus, I really did feel so awkward in this dress. I guess dancing kind of makes there a point to wearing it, or something." Looking up at him, she shows off her smile and says "You're such a good friend."
"I wasn't going to leave you by yourself at event like this. It's a magical time, and I wanted you to have a little piece of that magic. I get the idea these guys don't exactly put on magical Balls like this every day. Or even every year." Well, maybe there'll be one every year on the Spring Equinox, but that's a long time from now. "You look beautiful, you get to dance, I'd say you did fine."
As the dance comes to an end, Eva gives Angel one last smile. "Thank you again. I have enjoyed myself tonight, I appreciate being invited to such an important event." Once the music has changed, she steps away from him and tilts her head. "Now, I'm sure there are others waiting to have dances with the newly dubbed Spring Knight. I'm not going to hog you for any longer." Giving him a playful wink, she retreats back to the beverage table to get herself another soda. Her step has a definite jump to it now, though, so her mood appears to be improved.
It was time. Angel had danced with most everyone else in attendance, as the new Fae Courtesy had demanded he do, starting with Dawn...then going through Faith, Swan Princess Aster, Cordy, and Eva. But now it was time. The Fae Musicians seem to have been preparing for THIS moment all night. Do Fae have love ballads? You'd better believe they do! The song they've picked out has an ephemeral otherworldy nature to it, filled with love, sensuality, and...is that a fertility blessing in there? Maybe those crazy Fae didn't get the memo about vampires being sterile. Contradicting what he once told Buffy at her Prom, he says, "This time it's forever. Will you dance with me?" Neither Wild Horses nor the Greater Good will ever drag him away again. Well, not forever anyway.
Buffy Summers has watched him dance with everyone, socializing with the dull politeness that is not the Slayer he knows her to be. No, she's one for blunt speech and no small talk. Tonight she's endured both, because this is important to him. Hazel eyes look up at him, lips curving in that slightly crooked smile she saves for him. Her hand slides into his, as she presses in closer to him. "I thought you'd never ask." She murmurs. Her eyes are only for him, in this moment. That love, that's been there since she was 16.
Angel leads Buffy to the dance floor, and takes her in his arms in a way he'd wanted to do for quite some time. To make up for everything that went wrong at their Last Dance. To make it all right again. He leans down to kiss her, softly. "You were a trooper out there. I could tell waiting wasn't fun for you at all." And he's going to reward her for that later. Oh yes. Soooo many rewards. Particularly as that Fae ballad they're playing gets to one of those 'sensuality' sections. All sorts of ideas on how to reward her go through his head. And he doesn't see anyone else in the room anymore. This is her. This is the one. It's their own little world.
Some smartass Fae bard who apparently likes SFX shines some sort of light down on the couple as they dance. Impossible to tell how it was made, only that it's coming from above. Somehow.
"It's important to you, so it has to be at least a little important to me. It's how it works." Buffy, the queen of the simple sum up. "I made do. I smiled and nodded a lot." There's a flash of a grin there, as she looks up at him. Her body just moves in time with his, letting the music dictate the steps. Eyes hold his, until she moves to tuck her head against his chest.
Angel holds her oh so close, his head slightly above hers in that cuddly sort of way. He feels so warm inside, particularly as the ballad seems to hit one of those lovey parts. Despite being one of the worst dancers in the universe, somehow, in this slow dance with Buffy, he instinctively knows how to sway with her just so, synced in a way he'd never achieve otherwise. "I'm sure the Fae appreciate it. But I want you to be you." Cause that's who he fell in love with. Not the mask she had to wear to make all those wacky Fae happy.
Buffy Summers gives a soft little sigh of content, her hand squeezing his for just a moment. This is so much better than the one dance at prom... that bitter sweet, if meaningful moment is obliterated by this. She's in the arms of the man she loves. The man she can /be with/, this time. This beautiful moment, in this magic enhanced place, with beautiful music. There's a low laugh, the look from under lashes pure Buffy. "I can be polite at a party and still be me. I just internalize the eye rolls."
Angel gives some sort of part of a laugh in response. "I love you." Because that needed to be said, again. The ballad goes through one of those fertility blessing parts of the song...maybe they use the same song for all the cute couples? Huh. He loves the Buffy that makes sacrifices at parties and the one that doesn't hold back anything at all. They're all different parts of her that make up who she is.
There's an inner light that clicks on, inside the Slayer, at those words. "I love you too. Always." She says softly, unaware of the meaning of this part of the song. Which is for the best, really, because that may be the only fly in the ointment. She'll lean up, brushing the softest, barest kiss against his lips.
Fortunately, the sensual parts of the song are much easier to decipher, particular when he kisses her, and there's hints of desire running through every bit of it. It may be a formal event, and he may be holding back in what he actually does, but the feelings in his kiss and his heart will go right through anyways. Besides, this is where he wanted to be all evening long.
Buffy Summers can actually feel herself blush, breaking that kiss with a dreamy little smile. "We should save the rest for private." After all, people they know are here!
"Won't make us wait too long." But since all eyes are on them, well, if the couple is showing a deep connection, that's just another blessing for the recently dubbed Spring Knight. But for now, he'll continue with the vertical dancing, as the song croons back into the eternal deep everlasting love section of the song. For Fae, after all, love really does last forever. They managed to convey that with notes.
"You better not." There's that sass and a hint of a pout that she's always got in her back pocket to whip out at him. But there's no doubt Buffy is happy. With him and for him. If this is what he wants, the slayer will support him. She'll even wear fancy dresses and be funtionally mute so as not to offend any Fae.
This song ends, finally...and instead of going out to mingle further among the guests, Angel makes an executive decision as Knight. And that is that is time for the Knight to take his beloved upstairs. With a wave and a halfsmile at the crowd, upstairs they will go, to many Fae smirking at them.
One musician whispers to another, "Think he's been told what his Mantle actually does for him yet?" "Nah," says the other. "Let them find out the fun way. I'm not gonna spill any beans." Well, even friendly Fae can be tricksters that way. Or at least know when to keep their mouths shut for the sake of their idea of a joke.