Coming back to herself with a jolt, Candace squinted at the bright sunlight that was now shining and peered out from under the wide brim of the large purple hat she was suddenly wearing. Along with a complete change in attire and gloves.
There was a white high-collared dress shirt, a fancy white suit jacket with pinstripes and dark purple lapels and a a dark purple band right under her bust, obviously intended to make her torso look longer. The jacket reached her thighs with a matching striped skirt that reached just past her ankles. And... she sighed, high heels. Black and white ones. In her hand was a folded white lace parasol.
"A skirt." She grumbled, still looking herself over, "of course it's *always* a damn skirt!" Her head jerked up at a familar snort from right beside her. "David!" she breathed, relieved that she wasn't the only one experiencing this oddness.
Her cousin was indeed there as well, and looking himself over. He was now clad in an obviously tailored, well-fitting dark suit along with a matching bowler hat and dark leather gloves. A black cane with a jeweled top completed the look. Despite herself, Candace giggled. "Bowler hats aren't really your thing, Dave." He scowled. "Don't I know it." She grew serious. "What the hell is going on?" she asked, keeping her voice low. "This sure as hell doesn't look like the Science Centre." She looked around and frowned. "And where are Ashley and Tennille? You don't suppose they're here somewhere too?"
David shook his head. "I have no idea what happened or where we are..." The two of them were in among a massive crowd of people, all swarming and going amongst their own businesses.
David looked up from his examination and froze, staring openmouthed. "Dave?" Candace followed his line of sight and her own mouth dropped open as well. How the hell did she miss that?! It was pretty obvious they were on the docks after all... "Candace?" David choked, fumbling for her hand. "I'm dreaming! Or I'm hallucinating or I've completely lost it. Cause there is *no way* that I am seeing what I'm seeing!"
Floating, anchored in the water in front of them was none other than the grandest ship in the world, the claimed "Ship of Dreams", the Titanic herself.
They were allowed the luxery of their staring for a few minutes before a timid voice broke in from behind them. "Sir, Madam? The luggage has been taken aboard to your stateroom and it is time to board. The ship will be leaving in ten minutes."
The two turned to see a young woman dressed not as richly as they were, but well enough. Candace guessed this must be a maid. "Excuse me?" Candace asked. "This ship will be leaving soon, Ma'am. It is time to board." Almost in perfect timing, the ship's loud whistle blew. The two looked at eachother and grinned. "Well," David drawled, "If we're going to do this, we may as well do it right." He held out his arm. She blinked and adjusted the brim of her hat, "Are you serious? You really want to...?" He shrugged. "Why not. When are we ever going to get a chance like this again?" She paused, then laughed and hooked her arm around his. "True enough."
The two made their way through the massive crowd, followed by the young woman, who was carrying a few extra parcels, skirting easily around intended passengers and people who had just come to watch the depature of the grandest ship in the world. Finally reaching the first-class gangway, Candace looked up as they climbed, to all the people she could see already on the promenade and boat decks. "I think this is Southampton." She muttered to David.
Entering the ship on B-deck, they were greeted along with other passengers behind them by members of the crew. "Welcome to Titanic." Handing their tickets to a steward, they followed as he led them down the corridor.
Ashley grimaced and shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand. "What the hell...?" she blinked before noticing the gloves she was now wearing. Holding her hands out in front of her, she stared in amazement before giving herself a full look-over.
Aside from the pearl coloured gloves, she was now wearing a long dark skirt, a dark top made of silk with a small scarf and a long light pink coat with black designs embroidered into the collar lapels and the thick cuffs. She pulled her skirt hem up in order to see her shoes, now high heels. "Nice!" Her blonde hair was also covered by a black wool hat.
Glancing around, she was also aware that she was, more or less, alone. None of her friends were in sight, nor could she spot them in the crowd. She was startled out of her examination when she heard her name being called by an unfamiliar voice. "Ashley, darling. It's time to board. The ship will be leaving port soon and we don't want to miss it."
Ashley looked around in confusion before spotting the woman who had just been speaking. She was clutching the hand of a little girl and both were staring at her expectedly. "Uh...?" She peeked behind her, sure that they were talking to someone else, but everyone behind and around her was hurrying about in their own manner and clearly not the ones being addressed. "Ashley!" The woman called again, a small amused tilt to her lips.
The blonde took a hesitant step forward and that was apparently enough for the woman, who then smiled and turned, making her way through the crowd. Ashley continued to follow before her gaze lifted over the crowd the the massive wall of riveted black steel and she stopped, staring. "T-The Titanic?" she stuttered. "Someone's idea of a joke, no doubt." Still staring, she shook her head and hurried after the woman and little girl. "This I have *got* to see."
Reaching the second class gangway, the three boarded the floating giant and emerged onto the Titanic on the C-deck. A crew member in a blue uniform read their tickets, and directed them to the stairs leading down to the D-deck.
Tennille shook the spots from her vision and glanced down at a sudden weight in her hand. She was clutching a relatively small battered black suitcase with an intensity that seemed like whatever was in the case meant the world to her. Much like the others had, although she didn't know, she also looked herself over.
No jeans anymore. She was now attired in a long free flowing dark red skirt, a cream coloured blouse and a black jacket. A white shawl wrapped around her shoulders, a pair of battered black boots and quilted fingerless gloves completed the look.
All around her, were masses of people and they all seemed to be focused on the same general thing, most with large smiles on their faces. "Oh wow, can you believe it?" one woman beside her was asking her companion. "A chance to go to America! And on the greatest ship ever built no less!" Tennille frowned and glanced up to be met with a large wall of black steel. "Oh, no way!!"
She slowly smiled though as she examined a piece of paper in her hand, discovering it to be a ticket to none other than the Titanic. Course she could see that for herself already. Not one to pass a chance like this up, she was about to make her way to the inspection queue all third-class passengers had to go through before boarding when another thought struck her.
Glancing around, it was hard to see anyway, but she couldn't see the familiar faces of her friends anywhere in the crowd. Although it was entirely possible she was here alone, wherever here was, she bet her friends were in the other passenger classes if they *were* here. Thinking back to the Science Centre, she recalled that Ashley had gotten a second class boarding pass, so to speak, while Candace and David had both gotten first class.
Going through the inspection was mildly humiliating to her, but she endured it, and stepped onto the gangway, entering the ship on E-deck. A steward examined her ticket and directed her to the ship's stern and the cabins there.
(AN: Okay, sorry if this chapter dragged, but I just wanted to get them all actually *on* the ship. ^_^ Things will hopefully get better in the next chapter.)