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> A Mali-U Christmas Party, My final TS fic (?)
jettmanas
post Dec 13 2016, 05:00 AM
Post #1


Spy Chic II
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Member No.: 901
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Favorite Pairing: Alex & Martin Mystery
Favorite Anime: Persona 4
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Favorite Comic: Generation X (early issues)
Favorite Movie: Persona 3 movies (1-4)
Favorite Book: Animator's Survival Kit
Favorite Musician(s): Michiru Yamane (Skullgirls)
Favorite Album: Castle Crashers OST
Favorite Game: Jewelion (did the art/animation)



This is a continuation of a short fic by Ghidra for the fanart contest, which features Alex inviting herself, Sam, and Clover to Mandy's party.

Did a fanart of the party, and it (along w/the mini-fic) inspired me to write this.

I have good memories of Christmas parties, including a few in L.A. Enjoy!

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Penthouse Dorm- Mali U

At last, December 23rd had arrived. On this chilly Friday night was the unlikely Christmas party Alex had invited Sam, Clover, and herself to. A party hosted by Mandy! Sam glanced at her watch, noting that it was a few minutes before 7:30. They'd had plenty of time to get ready, and were just relaxing in the living room until it was time to go. She stood up with a smile, and picked up the two small Christmas gifts from under the front of their tree. "It's time," she said lightly.

"See ya in a few hours, Oinky," Alex said to the small, incredibly cute pig she'd been petting contently. Oinky looked up at her and grunted in assent before trotting off to her bed.

Alex picked up a gift from under the tree as well, and got her keys off the nearby end table. Clover went to the kitchen counter, where she retrieved a plate of her homemade cookies, covered with plastic wrap.

They filed out the front door, and Alex locked it up. "Ooh, I'm so excited," she announced gleefully, after putting away her keys. She wore a sporty green top, blue jeans, and comfortable brown boots. She and the others made their way down the well-lit hallway to the elevator.

"Me too. But the last party of Mandy's we went to was a disaster," replied Clover, who was dressed in a form-fitting pink top, white jeans, and stylish black boots. They reached the elevator, Alex hit the call button, and they were soon inside and on their way down.

"The fake tattoo party where Mandy fell in the pool?" Sam asked, thinking back. "Well, that was a long time ago," she said offhandedly. "Besides, this time I have a plan," she said confidently. Sam had chosen to go with a navy blue sweater, black slacks and matching shoes that night.

Alex and and Clover raised their eyebrows expectantly at this. The elevator stopped, and the doors opened to the first floor lobby. The girls stepped out, and Alex put a hand on Sam's shoulder. "You've always got the best plans. Let's hear it, Sammie!" she said excitedly.

A few groups of other dorm residents were chatting in small groups as well, walking in the same direction as the girls. Sam put her "mission face" on, and spoke in a serious tone. "Clover, you greet Mandy. Nicely," she said. "Thank her for being invited, then avoid her til we leave," Sam added.

Clover blinked, processing what she'd heard. "Got it," she replied in her "mission voice", failing to stifle an amused chuckle. Sam stopped in front of Alex, looking at her intently.

"And you..." she started seriously, then broke down into a bit of girlish laughter. Alex started to sputter in amusement at this, then composed herself once Sam did. "Same thing. But also, you're not to have any food or drinks near Mandy. No accidental trips or spills anywhere. Please," she said, thinking back to the WOOHP Christmas party. They got moving again and soon reached the dorm's rec room.

"Aye aye, Sammie," Alex replied dutifully. "Nice plan. I'm gonna be super-careful tonight," she said proudly.

Hip, mellow, electronic music drifted out to the girls as they moved past open double doors through the room's entryway. A gathering of fifteen or so dorm residents were present, engaged in comfortable conversation, thanks to the thoughtfully moderate volume of the music. Lighting was just bright enough to be functional without being harsh in the large beige room. Cozy couches were strewn about the room in various angles.

A few people looked the girls' way, and a former classmate from Fashion Design 101 smiled in recognition. The athletic, dark-skinned young man with long hair said something to his slightly shorter Caucasian friend with wildly spiky hair, and the pair walked over to them. "Clover! Sam! Alex!" he greeted them enthusiastically.

"Hey Chris! Good to see you!" Clover said excitedly. "I'm so glad Mandy invited some people from Fashion Design," she said, holding her plate of cookies before her. "Hi," Sam and Alex said cheerfully in unison. The young man next to Chris had a slightly nervous smile on his face.

"Hey," he said simply. Chris looked at him, and nudged his arm gently.

"Dennis, you okay?" he joked with his friend.

Breaking out of a dazed look, Dennis glanced at him then back at the girls. "Oh sure. Sometimes I just get a little nervous around you three since you're so beautiful. Times three," he admitted.

"Aww thanks," Alex said cheerfully. "Don't sweat it. Just treat us like anyone else, okay?" she requested lightly. Sam and Clover nodded in agreement, and Dennis smiled.

"Well, well, weelll," called out a familiar shrill voice. The girls' smiles quickly faded as they tensed up in anticipation of a harsh verbal assault.

Mandy appeared, wearing a loose-fitting white top with elbow-length sleeves, and form-fitting grey jeans. Hands on her hips, she studied the girls suspiciously. "So Alex got you all invites," she mused, warily eying the girls' outfits, gifts, and finally the plate of cookies.

"Here to poison me and my guests, Clllovah?" Mandy drawled, comically twisting her rival's name.

Clover frowned, but before she could retort, Sam gestured to her and Mandy diplomatically.

"Actually..." Sam started, buying time. "We taste tested them earlier, and they're delicious," she said happily. "In fact, I'll prove it," she added as she handed her gifts to Alex. Sam lifted the plastic a bit off the plate, grabbed a cookie, and munched on it in ladylike fashion. "Mm! Good!" she said sweetly.

Mandy shrugged, snagged a treat for herself, and nibbled it. "Hmm. You're right, these are good," she declared. "Sammie must've helped make them," she surmised proudly.

Clover's eyes narrowed a bit, but she looked to Sam, who had a pleading smile. Clover simply exhaled and looked back at the hostess. "Thanks for having us here Mandy. I'm going to set these with the other snacks," she announced politely, looking around the busy room.

Dennis, who'd been following the exchange, stepped forward, indicating the the distant snack table with a gesture. "Right over there," he informed Clover. "I'll go with you," he offered after a brief thought.

"Sure. Thanks," Clover replied with a smile. "Okay, see you guys a little later," she said to the others, leaving with Dennis.

"Oh, I should get these to wherever the gifts go," Alex said, shifting the three packages she held.

A young lady, dark-skinned with long black hair had joined Chris, and put a hand on Alex's shoulder. "Hey Alex!" the former Fashion Design classmate said in greeting.

"Erica! How are you?" exclaimed Alex. "Got my hands full," she said, unable to hug.

"Let me show you where these go," she replied, picking up the smallest of the three gifts off of the other two, which Alex still held.

Alex nodded appreciatively, then glanced back at Mandy before leaving. "See ya, Mandy! Thanks for having us!" She looked to Sam. "See ya a little later," she said, and walked off with Erica.

Mandy watched her go, looked around for any other new guests, then turned back to Sam.

"I'm impressed at you keeping Clover in line like that," Mandy said, crossing her arms.

"Well..." Sam said, considering Mandy's choice of words. "I've always been a bit of a big sister to her and Alex. Though Clover's, you know... a little older than me," she shared.

"Hm," Mandy said contently, as she put a hand on Sam's arm and guided her to the drink table. Mandy stopped a few times on the way to chat briefly with friends she'd invited to the party she threw when staying in the girls' penthouse dorm room.

Sam, not knowing them or finding much in common with them, turned to the drink table and poured herself a cup of water. After drinking a bit, she noticed Trent, dressed in a black sweater and slacks, pouring drinks for a pair of students.

Mandy stepped forward from Sam's side, looking at her intern. "Pineapple juice please," she said, then glanced at the assembled guests while waiting. After filling the red plastic cup three-quarters full, Trent waited until she looked back, and handed it to her with a smile.

"Thanks Trent," she said, and walked towards the center of the room to better oversee her party.

Flabbergasted by Mandy's politeness, Sam followed her, with her investigative instincts in overdrive.

"Mandy?" she started hesitantly.

"Hm?" Mandy questioned, looking back with an arched eyebrow.

"You- you were so polite," she said simply. "With Trent," she added with emphasis.

"Sammykins," Mandy said with a smirk. "As long as there are no disasters tonight..." she trailed off, stopping to look around carefully. "I'm feeling mellow tonight," she said, then took a sip of her drink.

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After dropping off the gifts and parting with Erica, Alex recognized Shannon, a former Fashion Design classmate who bore a passing resemblance to Sam, though with a more orange tint to her wavier hair.

"Heey, how've you been," Alex said, giving her a hug.

"Good! I haven't seen you since Fashion Design. How're you?" Shannon replied.

"I'm okay. Been getting more classes in my major; Veterinary Science," Alex said, hands clasped behind her back. "That Versailles trip was unforgettable," she added, recalling the time spent bonding with her classmates, both before and after the crisis part of it had passed.

"Yeah, definitely!" Shannon agreed. "I had a weird dream once, though," she said looking off in thought. "Me and some of the others were captured by some villain. Then you, Sam, and Clover were superheroes in sweet outfits, and we all fought these living statues!" she said waving her hands excitedly.

"That's- quite an imagination you have," Alex said with a strained smile. Honestly, she was surprised that WOOHP's Memory Eraser seemingly couldn't prevent one from dreaming of past experiences in this case.

Alex glanced over to the nearby drink table, then noticed Trent pouring coffee for a young man.

"Hey Trent!" she said, walking over to him with Shannon.

"Hiya Trent," Shannon said.

"Hmm. Apple cider please?" Alex requested. He poured the drink, handed it over, and smiled.

"Alex, glad you could make it," he said. "Shannon, what can I get you?" he asked courteously.

"Information," she said straight-faced, as if in a movie. Trent raised his eyebrows at this.

Her serious look crumbled and she snickered. "I'll have some of that coffee, thanks," she said.

"But seriously, for information..." she trailed off, accepting the quality blend in its paper cup by the protective sleeve. "Thanks," Shannon said, then thought for a moment. "Have you ever considered asking Mandy out?" she asked. Trent, who'd poured himself an apple cider, had nearly set the bottle down, but almost dropped it as his eyes bulged.

He recovered his composure, and set it down carefully. Alex looked on with interest, sipping her drink.

Trent looked around cautiously. Satisfied it was safe to speak, he looked back to Shannon.

"No. Way. Mandy's only interested in guys that are incredibly handsome and wealthy," he explained. "And I'm neither," he added.

"Hm, that's her loss. In my opinion," Alex said to them, holding her cup with both hands. "You do so much for her. She must've been yelling at you all week getting this party ready. I don't know how you can put up with her," she added.

Trent glanced around, alert for any sign of Mandy, then nodded. "It was a tough week, but she said she's not yelling at me tonight," he said. "I put up with her all this time as a test. If I can be patient with her, I think I can handle almost any boss in the workforce," he said somberly. "Her being very attractive helped a lot. Oh, and my internship ends after next semester," he added.

A few people approached the table, asking Trent what drinks were available.

"Okay, nice chatting with you Trent," Alex said.

"See ya, Alex. Shannon," he replied, turning back to those ordering drinks.

"Bye," Shannon said with a wave. She and Alex walked over to the snack table.

After dropping off the cookies, Clover got some water and contently took in the sights and sounds of the room. The nearby tree was adorned simply with white Christmas tree lights and tinsel that spiraled down around the branches. Tables were covered with decorative plastic tablecloths. There was even a sprig of mistletoe and holly hung by a string from the somewhat low ceiling.

Clover noticed Chris and Erica exchange a lovestruck gaze underneath the mistletoe before kissing briefly. Clover smiled, then scoped out the area for handsome single guys.

"Hey Clover," a voice rang out. A striking young man with short black hair and brown eyes approached her from just off to her side.

"Kevin. Good to see you," Clover replied, giving him a hug after setting her cup down on a table.

"Nice party, huh?" he asked rhetorically, looking out over the room.

"Yeah. Since Mandy and I are both Fashion Design majors, I know some of the people here. Like you," she added happily. Kevin was a student in her History of Fashion class the past semester.

"Speaking of Mandy, has she given you a hard time tonight?" he asked with a hint of concern.

"Nope," Clover said simply. "She's been busy, and I'm avoiding unnecessary drama tonight," she said.

The mellow song heard in the background finished, and the next tune that came up was of the hip, instrumental Christmas variety. The volume was lowered slightly.

"Helooo everyone!" Mandy's voice rang out. "Thank you for coming. The looosers who left town early are missing out on the coolest Christmas party around," she announced confidently. Since Christmas was on Sunday, and it was Friday night, the only ones who could attend were those who'd not left already with travel plans. "Anyways, time for the gift exchange," she said musically with an outstretched palm gesturing to the table laden with presents.

Guests chatted briefly and finished up drinks and snacks before making their way to the table, which was near the tree at the wall opposite of the entrance. Guys and gals found the gifts they'd brought and gave them to the person they'd indicated in their evites. Rather than risk unwanted gifts through the laborious process of a white elephant exchange, Mandy had asked Trent to digitally set up her preferred method weeks ago. Each guest picked an exchange partner, then the two simply brought gifts to the party. Picking one's partner was first come, first serve.

Sounds of gifts being opened and exclamations of surprise and thanks filled the room from the paired-off guests. Clover was pleased with the new pair of earbuds for music listening pleasure, and a carrying case she received from Alex. Meanwhile, Alex gushed over the beauty box set Clover had gifted her. Sam and Mandy were among the last to open their gifts, and were seated on a couch. Sam was delighted with the designer slippers she'd received, and gave Mandy an appreciative hug.

Mandy opened the small bag decorated with bells and snowflakes, parting the blue tissue paper inside. She smiled at the high-quality body wash and moisturizer she saw, and pulled them out to admire them.

"Very nice. Thank you, Sam," she said. She then pulled out a coffee mug featuring an appealing earth tone stucco design. "Ooh, I like it," she said. Mandy noticed a tag attached to the handle.

"All proceeds go to funding of Los Angeles family shelters," she read. She looked at Sam happily.

"That is very cool. Thanks so much," she said, and set the gifts aside to give Sam a big hug.

"My pleasure," replied Sam. "Don't forget to look inside the mug," she added with a smile.

Doing so, Mandy reached in and pulled out a Mali-U Cafe gift card.

"Wow, so generous, Sammie," Mandy said with a warm smile. "I'm really glad you picked me for the exchange," she said. The music shifted back to a cheery pop song, as the gift exchange ended.

"Well, I know we've had our differences over the years, but this seemed like a good chance to set things right," Sam said, hands clasped over a knee.

"You know, you're right," Mandy said, with a nod. "My problem has always been with Clover. And Alex's psycho pig," she said losing her smile in thought. Her expression lightened after looking back to Sam. "But when Clover's not around, I really don't feel like being mean to you as much. Sometimes I feel like..." Mandy said, then paused in thought a bit. "You've been looking out for me for years, protecting me from crazy stuff," she finished, stroking her chin contemplatively.

Sam smiled knowingly. Mandy had been involved in numerous missions over the years, and Sam especially had done her best to protect her, as she would anyone. Despite the stress Mandy had often caused. But she'd never forgotten Mandy's oblivious rescue at sea, when she'd jumped her jetski to crush the mind-sucking creatures that threatened her, Clover, and Alex.

Though Mandy's memory of top-secret events had been erased countless times by Jerry at WOOHP, trace elements still seemed to be present in her subconscious, Sam thought to herself, happy to be using knowledge gained from her psychology class.

"So how've you been?" Mandy asked, pulling Sam from her thoughts.

Taken aback at Mandy's uncharacteristic interest in someone else's well-being, Sam recovered from her temporary surprise. "OK, thanks," Sam replied. "I was really sick recently, and missed a day of classes. But better then than now. I'd have hated to miss the the party," she said.

"Mm hm. Glad you're better Sam," Mandy said. "Well, since I don't have a giant penthouse suite like some people..." she started, leaning towards Sam and eyeing her with a pursed lips. "I decided to ask permission to use of the rec room a while back," she said. "Next year will be our last Christmas party at Mali-U though, and your dorm suite is great for parties..." Mandy trailed off, thinking of the party she'd hosted there when she'd snagged the girls' place temporarily last semester.

"Hey, that's a great idea, Mandy. I'll ask the girls about hosting next year," Sam said. She leaned back comfortably in the couch. "So you're going to be a fashion designer," Sam said to Mandy.

"Of course," Mandy replied. And I plan on staying in L.A. if possible. "What about you Sammy?" she asked, curious.

"I've got a double major in International Relations and Physics, with a minor in Journalism," Sam said. "Been interning at an international high tech firm downtown for a while now. And started dating a guy named Dean recently that works there," she confided, putting a hand on Mandy's shoulder happily. "And I'm going for a Masters in Business Management after next year. Here, at Mali-U," she added.

Mandy blinked, visibly impressed. "Wow," she said simply. "Well, you are the smartest person I've ever met," she said with a slight shrug. "Hey, I'm going to get a drink," she said standing.

Sam stood as well, and walked with her to the drink table again. Trent was off-duty by this point, and Mandy poured herself a coffee, then looked to Sam. "Coffee?" she inquired.

"Sure, thanks," Sam replied. "Huh, no punch bowl," she noted after accepting the fragrant drink.

Mandy looked at Sam with disdain. "Puh-lease," she enunciated dramatically, holding her coffee firmly. "Punch bowls are a disaster waiting to happen. If some moron doesn't drop one, some other moron spikes it with cheap vodka or tequila," Mandy added, gesturing vaguely with her free hand. "Then you have people acting like fools, getting sick, and ruining the party," she finished, and gingerly sipped her drink. "When you host next year, it'll be nice having cocktails, wine and and all that," she said with a glint in her eyes. "But no punch bowls," she said, poking Sam in the arm with her index finger.

Sam gave a slightly goofy smile at that, and sipped her coffee. "Well, I just learned something new," Sam admitted. "Thanks, Mandy. If we can host next year, I'll certainly remember that," she said.

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After a while, the party was winding down, and small groups were exchanging farewells near the doorway. Everyone held an opened gift, and some held paper plates with leftover snacks, covered with plastic wrap. Sam, Clover, and Alex had reunited, and were chatting with a small group.

"Well, gotta get a good night's sleep for the drive tomorrow to visit family in Los Feliz," Chris said, holding Erica around the waist. "How about you all?" he asked the others.

"Same," Clover replied. "I'm driving these two to their families tomorrow, then I'm off to my mom and dad's for a few days," she added. "All our families are in Beverly Hills," she said.

"I'm visiting family in Glendale," said Dennis, hands clasped behind his back.

"Pasadena," Shannon said brightly, holding a plate of veggies.

"My parents are right here in Malibu," Erica said with a smile as Chris started walking to the exit. "Okay, good hanging out. Merry Christmas!" she called out.

A chorus of casual goodbyes were exchanged between everyone, and the girls were back on their way to their penthouse. Alex glanced over at Sam, still smiling. "Hey Sammie, couldn't help but notice how well you got along with Mandy," she said.

"Yeah, same here," Clover said with a curious look.

They reached the elevator, each carrying a gift, and in Clover's case, a few leftover snacks.

Sam sighed and pressed the call button with her free hand. "Nothing gets by veteran spies," she said with an smirk.

"Especially not at a party," Alex said with a nod. Her face lit up in realization. "Hey, no disasters!" she said happily.

"You're right. Including mission emergencies," Clover said with a relieved expression.

The car stopped gently, the doors parted, and the girls walked back to their dorm. Alex unlocked the door, and they crossed the doorway. Sam got the lights.

"I think she might really be changing for the better after I talked to her tonight," Sam said hopefully.

"Hmm, people do generally mellow out over the years..." Alex trailed off, locking the door.

"Well, I'll wait and see. But it was fun tonight," Clover said, giving each of her friends a hug after they'd dropped off their gifts and snacks on the kitchen counter. "Thanks guys," she said looking from Alex to Sam, who's each contributed to the successful night.

"Hey, thanks to you too," Alex said happily. "Your cookies were a hit," she added. Clover smiled in return.

"Alright girls. Maybe we can host next year. Goodnight!" Sam said, carrying her box of slippers with her.

"Ooh, that sounds fun! Okay, 'night!" Alex chirped, and walked off to the bathroom first.

"Yup, that sounds good to me. Have a good night," Clover said to the others, putting the cookies in the fridge. She double-checked the locks, turned out lights, and walked off to her room, satisfied and ready for the busy Christmas Eve day tomorrow.

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Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading! Feel free to reply if you feel. Most of the other fics have no reply, but I do get interaction on FanFic.net, which has been encouraging. Merry Christmas!




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Ghidra
post Dec 13 2016, 09:10 PM
Post #2


Straight from the Underground
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Group: Root Admin
Posts: 6,035
Joined: 27-January 10
From: Mandy's Room
Member No.: 1
Favorite Character:
Country: us
Favorite Pairing: Sam x Mandy
Favorite Anime: Ikkitousen
Favorite Manga: Hayate X Blade
Favorite Movie: Tenebre
Favorite Musician(s): Goblin



I'll read this when I get back home tonight. Looking forward to it.




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Ghidra
post Dec 15 2016, 05:16 AM
Post #3


Straight from the Underground
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Group: Root Admin
Posts: 6,035
Joined: 27-January 10
From: Mandy's Room
Member No.: 1
Favorite Character:
Country: us
Favorite Pairing: Sam x Mandy
Favorite Anime: Ikkitousen
Favorite Manga: Hayate X Blade
Favorite Movie: Tenebre
Favorite Musician(s): Goblin



Okay, I finally read it. Nice work. It was an enjoyable read. I liked Mandy and Sam getting along. Mandy was a little OOC, but I guess you were trying to show her mellowing out in the story. I also think I noticed a reference to something I wrote before. If so, I appreciate the nod. Overall, good job with continuing the story from the contest prompt!




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jettmanas
post Dec 15 2016, 02:26 PM
Post #4


Spy Chic II
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Group: Members
Posts: 276
Joined: 6-April 16
From: Bay Area, CA USA
Member No.: 901
Favorite Character:
Country: us
Favorite Pairing: Alex & Martin Mystery
Favorite Anime: Persona 4
Favorite Manga: Nausicaa
Favorite Comic: Generation X (early issues)
Favorite Movie: Persona 3 movies (1-4)
Favorite Book: Animator's Survival Kit
Favorite Musician(s): Michiru Yamane (Skullgirls)
Favorite Album: Castle Crashers OST
Favorite Game: Jewelion (did the art/animation)



QUOTE (Ghidra @ Dec 14 2016, 09:16 PM) *
Okay, I finally read it. Nice work. It was an enjoyable read. I liked Mandy and Sam getting along. Mandy was a little OOC, but I guess you were trying to show her mellowing out in the story. I also think I noticed a reference to something I wrote before. If so, I appreciate the nod. Overall, good job with continuing the story from the contest prompt!


Thanks! Glad you liked it. biggrin.gif Getting a reply here is great.
Yeah, hopefully I showed Mandy starting off mean, then Sam really working hard to keep her in a good mood.
Thought about alcohol at the party, but I went for realism w/dorm rec room rules.
Enjoyed fleshing out those cool classmates (esp. in Versailles) with names & dialogue too.
Couldn't have done it without you.

Now there's that cruise mini-fic I could continue... Oh, man. Not sure I can handle that...




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