"No, a bit closer... closer than that... come on, now, Badger, you're not even trying."
Badger421 tried yet again to straighten his glasses. "This really isn't necessary, you know-"
"Of course it is!" Neshomeh stamped one foot, scowling at the quintet. "Just look at yourselves! If you don't get some sunlight on those pale bodies of yours you're all going to die of Vitamin D deficiency!"
The Good Mod Addict mirrored the scowl. "I'm not pale," he said firmly. "I don't need to be here."
"Er..." Maxewell looked him up and down. "You kind of are, though."
The Good Mod Addict folded his arms across his chest, accidentally elbowing Calliope in the ribs. "You wouldn't say that if I was allowed to wear something other than a swimsuit."
"I'm not complaining," Calliope murmured, tugging on the strap of her own costume. "I mean," she went on, "I'm complaining about my own costume - it's cold! - but not about you lot wearing-"
"Are we really doing this?" Badger demanded. "We've been forced-"
"Speak for yourself," Maxewell chimed in.
Badger rolled his eyes. "Mostly forced to stand half-naked under a sunlamp; are we really going to start flirting with each other?"
"Are you asking for votes?" Calliope asked, grinning. "Because I am all for that."
"Um." Twistey held up a hand, accidentally knocked the sun-lamp, and winced. "Miss Neshomeh?"
Neshomeh, who had been muttering to herself while she adjusted the settings on the sunlamp, looked up with a warm smile. "It's just Neshomeh, sweetie."
"Sorry. Um. Sorry." Twistey chewed on her lip. "Sorry."
Neshomeh chuckled. "It's fine, sweetie. What's up?"
"I'm just wondering..." Twistey worked an arm out between the Good Mod Addict and Calliope and pointed across the room. "Who's that?"
Neshomeh glanced over at the hooded figure lurking in the shadows. "That's beyond our borders," she said in an ominous tone. "You must never go there, Twistey."
"Um." Twistey blinked repeatedly. "What?"
Maxewell reached across and ruffled her hair. "She's quoting The Lion King at you," they murmured. "Don't let it fluster you."
"Oh! Um... right." Twistey licked her lip nervously. "But seriously, who is it?"
"Oh, it's just hS, sweetie," Neshomeh said. "He likes to brood, you know? But he really should spend some time under the sunlamp too...!"
The last sentence was said in a raised voice, but there was no response from the shaded figure. Neshomeh rolled her eyes and turned back to the group. "Right! Let's try this one more time. Calliope, if you could just step in front of Maxewell, and Badger, if you could squeeze in a bit closer to Twistey..."