It had been quite some time since Selene Windflower had last needed to take a shower - it wasn't like she could sweat, after all. But the Mysterious Case of the Exploding Wraith (as Kaitlyn insisted on calling their last mission) had covered both agents in glitter, which Kaitlyn flatly refused to get all over the feeble shower in their RC. It had taken a fair amount of badgering, but eventually Selene had agreed to accompany her over to the washrooms.
Which didn't mean Kaitlyn was entirely satisfied. "You're going to shower wearing that?" she demanded as the vampire stepped out of her changing booth.
Selene looked down at her bathing suit. "What's wrong with it?"
"It's… you… compare and contrast, okay?" Kaitlyn waved a hand down her own front. "Bikini. Lots of skin. Easy to clean. Whereas you… sweet Nessa, would it kill you to show your knees?"
"It's all I've got," Selene said with a shrug, plucking at the neck-to-calf costume. "I've not really needed swimming clothes for… a long time." She reached up and brushed her fingers over the brass mechanisms on the side of her face. "I'm still not convinced this is a good idea."
"You'll be fine. C'mon." Kaitlyn grabbed her partner by the elbow and dragged her towards the glass door into the shower room. "I've checked, and they definitely don't use holy water."
"Oh, joy, something else to worry about. You do know how to make me feel bucksome." Selene pushed the door open and peered into the steam, her hand creeping up to the brass Key again. "Are you sure…?"
"Quit being such a wet blanket." Kaitlyn planted her hands on her partner's back and shoved, sending the vampire stumbling into the showers. "Pun intended."
Selene tensed as the hot water splashed over her, but when nothing seemed to happen she allowed herself to relax a little. "I suppose it isn't too bad," she allowed, stepping gingerly into the flow. "And it will be easier than rinsing my hair in the sink."
"That's the spirit." Kaitlyn gave her a thumbs up. "Maybe we'll even get to introduce you to soap."
"You are a very cheeky young whippy." Selene tipped her head back, letting the water run down her face. "Now hush and let me enjoy-"
"Seleeene." The word drifted through the steam, its origin invisible. "Seleeeeeene…"
The vampire peered into the fog at the vague figure across the room. "Yes?" she asked. "Do I know you?"
"Of cooourse you know me." The figure advanced through the swirling heat, coming into focus: tall and pale, her long dark hair covering one side of her face, a strange light in her eyes. "I'm youuu, Selene," she said, and grinned, baring a pair of sharp fangs.
Selene's hand whipped up to the Key. "No," she whispered, staring at the advancing apparition. "You can't be." Her shoulders trembled, the red glow of her eyes flaring up. "You can't be," she repeated, raising one shaking hand. A dull boom rattled the shower heads, as of distant thunder. "Go away," Selene ground out, "go away, go away-!"
"Selene!" Kaitlyn lunged across the room and grabbed her partner's outstretched arm. "Selene! Calm down! What's wrong?"
Selene stared unseeing over her shoulder. "They were gone," she mumbled, "I escaped them, but she's back, I'm back, I can't-"
Kaitlyn glanced back at the figure, which had come to a stop a few paces away. "Oh, take those things out, Hypatia," she snapped. "Can't you see you're freaking her out?"
The apparition cocked its head, then reached up and removed the set of cheap plastic fake fangs from her mouth. "Well, that's just silly," she said. "Like, a vampire scared of vampires? What's even with that?"
"That's clearly not what this is." Kaitlyn stepped in front of Selene and took hold of both her shoulders. "Hey," she said, shaking her gently, "snap out of it. It's Hypatia. You remember, the Arwen clone?"
Selene looked from Kaitlyn to Hypatia, then back again. The fire faded from her eyes. "You can see her?" she asked in a quavering voice. "She's not me?"
"Of course not." Kaitlyn patted her shoulder. "She just had silly costume teeth in, that's all." She shot a glare at the other woman. "Why she felt the need to follow us here to try and frighten you, I don't even want to guess."
"Hey, no fair!" Hypatia pouted at her. "I was here first. I just thought, when the vampire walked in, it'd be, like, funny. And I had the teeth in already, so…"
Kaitlyn blinked. "Why did you have vampire teeth in the shower? No, actually, forge-"
"There was this party," Hypatia interrupted, "out in New Cal, and I had like the best costume. Only I spilled the punchbowl when I tried to drink it, so I had to come and have a shower. That's called logic," she finished, fixing the shorter woman with a defiant look.
Kaitlyn sighed and shook her head. "It's called something," she muttered. "See, Selene? It was a joke. Just a silly joke."
The vampire finally tore her gaze away from Hypatia and met her partner's eyes. "It wasn't funny."
"Never said it was." Kaitlyn patted her shoulder vaguely and stepped back. "But can you stop looking so worried? It's making me want to hug you, and that's doing weird things to my head."
Selene managed a slight smile, and stepped back under the flow of the shower. "Okay," she whispered, pressing her hand over the gleaming clockwork Key. "Okay okay okay. I'm in control. I'm me. There is no other. Okay. Yes. Okay."
She closed her eyes, and for about twenty seconds stood absolutely still as the hot water tumbled over her shoulders. Then she nodded, looked at her partner, and smiled.
"Did you say something about soap? I think I'm ready to learn."