THE SOLAR BIRDS
Created by SailorJane and Glee-chan
EPISODE 5: COLD FEET
As they returned into the lobby of the Winston Resort, they must have looked like a sad bunch. However no one noticed them. In fact, the snooty bell-hops didn't even turn up their noses when Cali shook the snow off his fur. Everyone was gathered around the information desk where Carl's father and the management was relaying information he was getting from the phone.
"There was an avalanche but it seems the snow's path changed and went down the mountain. There's no danger."
"Are you serious? You didn't see what I did!" A customer roared. "That wall of snow is coming straight for us."
"First the lift breaking, then this! You run a dangerous resort, sir!"
Mr. Marks held up his hands to silence them. "After some investigation, we've determined that the lift was tampered with by some animal... probably a bear. Sometimes freak accidents happen."
"As for the avalanche," The manager continued, "It would seem nature took care of that for us. There is no need to worry for your safety."
"Maybe not, but I didn't come here to pee my pants every five minutes! I want my money back!"
There was a general agreement to this, but Mr. Marks calmed them down again. "I can't speak for the resort, but my services will be lowered by 50% for the next few days. Please stick around and take full advantage of that."
"Discounts and coupons will be offered on our end too." The manger followed Mr. Marks' lead. "We understand that your stay has been a stressful one, but we want to make up for it. Will you allow us to do so?"
After some grumblings it seemed the greed of getting something cheaper or free peaked their interests. So safety placed aside, most of them backed down. Now that the show was over, the girls intended on traveling to their room, but a new commotion stopped them.
"It was Buddy who thought that guy was causing the accidents, not me!" Louie exclaimed.
Hotel security was dragging both boys by the collar and tossing them into the lobby. Trailing behind them was a smirking Carl, enjoying every moment of it. Now what?
"Don't throw me under the bus! You're the one who wanted to look at the security footage!" Buddy shot back, rubbing the back of his neck.
"It was a better idea than just following that kid's dad around."
Clearing his throat, the security guard silenced them. "I suggest you enjoy the rest of your visit away from staff-areas. The next time I see you two snooping around, you're out."
"It was his fault, not mine." Louie said again.
"Oh pipe down will you—"
"GUYS!" Phoebe silenced them. "Perhaps you need to cool off? There's some snow out there... why not take advantage of that."
Spotting them, the three boys left the guard and walked closer. Carl looked at their appearance and whistled a low sound from between his teeth. It was only now did Belinda realize just how awful they must have looked.
"What happened to you Bunny-Butt? Trying to ski down some dangerous slope or something?"
"Sort of." Phoebe shrugged. "We were playing around, then saw that avalanche so... uh... ran for safety in the wrong direction."
"You got lost?" Carl laughed. "How?"
"Guess I got cold feet!" Phoebe made her retort.
"Belinda and I also over-exhausted ourselves, so it took some doing to return back to the hotel." Sonia added on to the bogus explanation.
"Oh." Carl looked them over. "You know, with your blonde friend being so weak before, it was sort of stupid to go back out there to play hard."
"Don't call her stupid!" Louie muttered, but was ignored.
"I thought I was feeling better." Belinda said. "Maybe I'll just hang around the hotel for the rest of the day..."
"And tomorrow." Carl pointed at her. "I don't want to see you on the slopes until you're 100%. Being diabetic is no joke. You have to take your medicine and look after yourself!"
"I know." Belinda felt odd being scolded by a kid.
"Why don't you freshen up and hit the spa." Carl suggested. "This place was re-imagined as a relaxation get-a-way after all. Go to the sauna or get a massage! We have all sorts of girly things like that here."
"Oh! A sauna?!" Phoebe perked up.
"I'm through with sweating for the day." Belinda hated dashing away Phoebe's excitement, but felt sitting in extreme heat wouldn't feel that good.
"Then use the hot tubs." Carl gave them a compromise. "It's warm and the water massages your aches and pains."
"You just want to see her in a swimsuit!" Accused Buddy.
"Idiot, I wasn't planning on bathing with them!"
"Who are you calling an idiot?"
"I don't know, the person who can't even beat a kid in a snowboarding race!"
"What? Wait… the kid from before...that was you?" Buddy started, then pointed his finger. "I want a rematch!"
"You're on!" Carl grinned. "Meet me out there and I'll beat you all over again!"
"Take it easy Bunny-Butt." Carl waved at the girls, ignoring Buddy's red face. "Make sure your friend rests up."
"I will, Weasel-Face." Phoebe winked at him.
As the three boys left, the girls took the closest elevator off the lobby. They all wanted to wash up before they used the public hot tub, plus Phoebe had to purchase swimsuits for Sonia and Belinda anyway. In order to save time, Phoebe took her bath first, then went to the gift shop, while the other two recuperated, undressed, and took a shower together.
"I really need to clean Cali." Sonia spoke softly, hogging the warm water. "I just feel too tired."
"Did you bring his shampoo?"
"I'll help you, then. Maybe we can finish up quickly if we work together."
It was a plan, so the girls wrapped up in towels and tried to wrangle the uncooperative coyote. Even with hot water, he was tired of being wet and was having none of it. Still, he was behaved enough to allow them to do it for the most part. After cleaning him off, the girls returned back to the bath to wash the fur and wet-dog smell off of them.
"Thank you... for what you did for me out there." Belinda spoke after a long silence.
"You froze that Yeti for me, knowing I didn't have any energy left." Belinda reminded her.
"You're my team-mate… and my friend." Sonia said, and left it at that.
"Even still... I know your as tired as I am-"
"Belinda, stop." Sonia turned around so that she was facing her directly. "You mustn't feel guilty for your companions caring for you. Today you've gone above and beyond what was required of you, putting your body in serious jeopardy. I was only trying to keep up."
Smiling at her, Belinda gave Sonia a hug. Her body stiffened up, but soon small rubber gloved hands patted the top of her back delicately. When they pulled away, Belinda could tell Sonia was blushing, but was kind enough not to tease her.
They finished cleaning for the second time, dried off, wrapped themselves up in towels again, and joined Cali in the room proper. He was by the space heater eyeing them with suspicion, as if expecting them to go back out in the snow again. To his relief, the girls took a seat on Sonia's bed.
"I'm back!" Phoebe announced some ten minutes later. "Not much of a selection for bathing suits, so I hope you don't mind what I got."
It was a shame they didn't have their specially designed Solar Bird swim-suits.
"This is a snow resort. I'm amazed they sell those to begin with." Belinda watched as a bag holding Phoebe entered the room, sitting on the bed facing them.
"They have pools, hot tubs, and all sorts of water stuff here. I guess someone was smart enough to realize that people would forget to bring swimsuits." Phoebe spoke as she ruffled through the bag. "Anyway, I hope I got the sizes right. I thought two pieces would be more forgiving..."
Sonia made a face. "Did they not have swimwear that is more modest?"
"Of course they did, but it's not like I had you there to test those out. With this, you can adjust it to fit you exactly."
With that she handed Sonia a very pink polka-dotted two-piece that had a Hello Kitty logo on the left breast. Again Sonia looked displeased. Obviously she was not a fan of the ultra girly choice. Unfazed, Phoebe produced Belinda's swimsuit and handed it to her. Thankfully it wasn't embarrassing like Sonia's. It was red, with the bottoms forming a sort of skirt. Judging by the cup-size for the top, Belinda guessed that the fire-girl had a time finding anything that would work properly. Style had to take a back seat.
"I find your sense of fashion depressing." Sonia complained, but already was walking to her army rug sack, pulling out her blue waterproof gloves.
"Oh stop whining." Phoebe laughed, then bounced over to Belinda's bags. "Where are your gloves, Blindy?"
"The ones on the left." Belinda told her, eyeing the red bikini, wondering if the red color was by choice.
Changing into their swimwear, the girls wrapped up in the hotel-provided towels and left Cali to his space-heater. Phoebe was chatting about the angelic figures seen skiing, going overboard to fill the silence. If they were really there, not just a vision all of them shared, they were long gone now. Belinda knew Phoebe must have been as tired as Sonia, yet she still was bouncing about. In a way, this was her way of taking care of them, Belinda realized.
All complains for the questionable choice in swimsuits was laid to rest once Sonia and Phoebe carefully sank in the bubbling hot water of the hot-tub, each taking a minute to mentally prepare themselves for controlling their respected powers. They both looked at Belinda who eyed the pool of water carefully. Phoebe didn't want to push her, so she just silently let her electrically-charged friend work her way in on her own. She wasn't even wearing the specially controlled swim-suit Sonia had designed for her. Still, Belinda had plunged into a natural lake with her two friends before, surely a controlled jacuzzi wouldn't be nearly as dangerous.
Belinda sighed and started by dipping her sock-covered legs into the water, sitting just above the hot-tub. Phoebe smiled, knowing this was the first of her baby-steps to sinking into the water. For once, no one was talking, nor did they feel the need to say anything. Finally, even Phoebe could relax. Her eyes were shut, and she hugged the back of her neck on a rolled up towel and just enjoyed the water massage.
"Dennis hasn't contacted me. I wonder if that creature has been properly taken care of by now." Sonia just had to interrupt the silence with work-related conversation.
"I'm sure it has." Belinda didn't open her eyes. "I'm pretty sure he sent us to Lincoln Mountain because he knew there was a disturbance here. If he sent us here, then the clean-up crew probably were lurking in the shadows somewhere as well."
"You may be correct," Sonia's shifting eyes revealed a hint of distrust with their mentor.
"Don't worry," Phoebe smirked, "I'll be sure to give him some heat for this!"
Sonia and Belinda exchanged looks. Phoebe's eyes shut. She still seemed a bit annoyed by Dennis' trickery.
Running her yellow gloved hand though her hair to arrange it over her left shoulder, Belinda sighed. She didn't want their holiday to end on a sour note. Even if they had come here for business, they still had the rest of the week to enjoy. They shouldn't let one bad thing ruin the whole trip. She thought back to how Phoebe had been overly cheerful and chatty on the way to the tub and realized that perhaps some of that was needed now.
Taking a deep breath, Belinda slowly submerged her body into the hot-tub. Sonia eyed her carefully. Belinda now willfully had her unprotected skin in a body of water, still leaving her gloved hands out of the water. There were no sparks, no charge surging thought the tub. Sighing in relief, Belinda knew she could relax. Phoebe came closer to her, took her gloved hand out of the water and held Belinda's.
"Hmmm," Belinda commented on the hot-tub, "It's not as hot as I expected it to be."
With her other gloved hand in the water, Phoebe proceeded to warm up the tub.
"Ah!" Sonia recoiled a bit, "Too hot!" She proceeded to cool it off a bit.
"What's the matter sis," Phoebe teased still holding hands with Belinda, "Can't take the heat?"
After a bit of back and forth between warming and cooling the water, Belinda still being mindful of controlling her electricity, they resumed their soak. No one was thinking about Denise Knight anymore.
"Achoo!" Phoebe suddenly broke the silence with a sneeze.
"God bless you." Belinda said automatically.
Tilting her head at the expression, Sonia's mind went where it usually did when it pondered obscure cultural references. In the meantime Phoebe sniffed, but sneezed again.
"Goodness! Are you okay?" Belinda asked.
"I think so. I just hope I didn't catch a cold!"
"The common cold can only be contracted by the spread of infectious germs, not cold weather itself. Two sneezes likewise do not signal that you've contracted a virus. You would have shown other signs-"
"Has anyone ever told you," Phoebe smiled, "You sound like Alexa quoting Wikipedia?"
"Neither Alexa nor Wikipedia can compare to my intellect," Sonia smirked.
Belinda laughed at their exchange. "You better not be sick. I got to share a bed with you!"
"Unless Cali kicks you out." Phoebe pointed out. "Sorry Sonia, you might end up with a handsy blonde tonight."
"That's just as well. She already got 'handsy' with me in the shower." The water-girl spoke with a dry voice.
"Wait! She what?"
"Don't listen to her." Belinda blushed. "It wasn't like that."
"So something did happen. What?"
"Phoebe," Sonia gave a coy smirk, "I believe your imagination is painting a different picture than what occurred in reality."
"Oh, you're enjoying this! Just tell me what happened." Phoebe was blushing now. "Stop joking around, Sonia!"
"It was all very innocent. There's nothing to tell."
"Darn it, Sonia! What happened!? Belinda, why are you laughing? It's not funny! C'mon... why won't anyone tell me what happened? Sonia... not you too! Stop laughing at me! Just tell me what she did!"
Thank you for reading THE SOLAR BIRDS: COLD FEET. As stated before, I am a guest writer for SailorJane's SOLAR BIRD series. I do not own the characters or the world they live in, I'm just visiting. Unlike what the ending of this chapter might say, this isn't the end for our teenaged trio as there certainly are more to come. Please visit SailorJane's FictionPress page to read more of the Solar Birds' adventures, both before this story and beyond it.