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If the mountain won't come to Mohamed... something. Alison was terrible with quotes and names.

She hadn't been to Shatterstar's apartment before, but she'd been told where it was. With Nexus portals and good directions, she'd had no trouble finding it. And a cute little mom-and-pop grocery store nearby. She'd told Windsong that she thought Star disappeared to see who would come looking for him. Since he hadn't turned up in several days, she decided to be the one looking. If she was wrong about his motivations, well, she missed him anyway so it was still worth the trip.

She bounced lightly up the stairs and juggled the paper shopping bags in her arms to free a hand to knock.
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The tiny apartment seemed too big and too empty to Alison on most days. On most days, she was the only one in it. But, for the last few days, Longshot had been home recovering from his injury and Star had been in and out to see him. The place hadn't seemed to echo quite so much as it used to. It was becoming more home-like.

Longshot was in the shower. He had been sleeping when she left to pick up a few things at a near-by market and when she'd returned he was in the shower. She left him to it as she put the groceries away.

A knock distracted her and she wandered out of the kitchen to open the door.

"John! Hello, come in." She smiled and pulled the door open wider for him and his companion to come inside. She didn't know the woman, but she baby in her arms was easily recognizable from the photos she'd seen.
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Once she had stepped through the portal, Alison had set Star's boots and swords down and rushed to drag the futon mattress out and unfold it. She got it ready as quickly as possible for Longshot, once Star brought him through. The entire time, she muttered about wanting a place with real beds.

Too twitchy to stay still, she busied herself collecting blankets for the river swimmers and setting the coffee pot and teakettle on.
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When you've lost something, the wisest course of action is to begin looking in the last place you saw it. It is with this thought in mind that Alison had set out early to the Nexus park. This was the last place she had seen Shatterstar on his own and seemed to be a familiar haunt of his. It was early and still cool when she arrived. There were a few joggers out making a circuit of the park, but no real people traffic yet. And no sign of the red-head in question.

She could wait a while. She bought a hot chocolate from the cafe across the street and then took a seat on a park bench, sipping the warm liquid and waiting. She had all day. If he didn't turn up here, she'd look elsewhere.
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It was a beautiful day for a picnic. Actually, it seemed like the Italian countryside rarely had a bad day for anything. Alison had been up, unreasonably early in her opinion, packing a large basket with food enough for a small army. She figured that was about what they had when you considered the five adults and four young children that would be in attendance.

She'd been forced to enlist Maria's help, considering her lack of cooking abilities. All she had to do was promise to monitor Longshot anytime he decided to cook something en flambé.

After that, it was just the simple tasks of corralling her husband and his faithful squire, and making a few quick calls. She even agreed to ride the horses out to the picnic site. With saddles, this time.
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It took most of the rest of the afternoon to bury the bodies of the rustlers and round up the stray horses. The animals had been penned up in a temporary enclosure until the barn could be rebuilt. The widow Jeannie assured them that she had family and neighbors who could assist her in the repairs, much to Alison's relief.

It was nearing dusk by the time they returned to town and Alison had broken away from the rest of the group to grab a quick nap before dinner.

The noise from the saloon below and the smell of food woke her earlier than her tired and sore body would have liked. She grumbled for a few moments and then remembered something that made her grin. She dug around in the bags from her trip to the mall with Rogue and eventually found what she was looking for. It took some doing to wriggle into the satin and lace confection of a dress... the corset alone was hell.

In the end, though, it was worth it to be able to bounce down the stairs in a full fledged saloon girl dress complete with lacy shawl to hide the bandage on her shoulder. Now, to find the rest of her rag-tag team of cowboys and girls...


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Alison Blaire

September 2013

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