While the party continues obliviously downstairs...
Marv: Erisa, go downstairs and rally the troops, we may have to beat a hasty retreat.
Erisa: *snaps to attention, salutes* Aye, sir! *runs off*
Nina: *sniffles* Marv, I'm so so so sorry for tonight...
Marv: *somberly* No, it's not your fault, I let you be taken. If I was watching closer...
In his head he felt Marley's roughly forcing her lips on him, and he saw Tory gripping Nina on the bed. There was a stab of anger and pain and then he looked at Nina's tear-streaked face and realized what he (and Erisa, obviously) had just saved her from.
Marv: We'll find a bathroom...
He helped her to the bathroom and she smile sheepishly before closing the door behind her. He waited patiently for a few moments, heard running water for a few moments longer, and she emerged looking much fresher than she had entered. Her hair was still mussed a bit (no fixing that in 15 seconds). Her dress was restraightened, and her makeup was dabbed away so it didn't look like she had just cried. She was the most beautiful thing Marv had ever seen in his life. He smiled in spite of himself.
Nina: What's that smile?
Marv: Well, your hair was kinda messy like that when we woke up at Dan-O's a couple weeks ago. I was just thinking that it's a great look for you.
Nina: What do you mean?
Marv: Well, combined with those sexy eyes, I rather wish that we could just enter a bedroom and never come out.
Nina: That's a bold statement to make right now, Mr. Man.
Marv: I know, I just can't help myself sometimes.
They both laughed and rejoined their friends near the front of the house to decide how to spend the remaining 90 minutes before curfew.
Kari: Wow, you guys look AWESOME! When you disappeared, we were wondering, but wow! How was it?
Marv: Oh, it was-
JD: *suddenly* Yo, Marv, you see my boy Romeo?
Marv: *jabs finger towards the steps* Upstairs with Marley. It's weird wild stuff up there man, heard Marley likes it rough.
Marv: Real rough. I'll bet she'd love a devil's 3p!
JD: Bwahahahahaha! That's hilarious, brah. You're a funny [expletive], you know that? Must be all 'em brains up there. *taps Marv's forehead*
He gave a look of approval to Marv and Nina and walked away, yelling something unintelligible to some of his teammates.
Taro: *honestly clueless* What's a devil's 3p?
Marv: *with slight desperation* Dude, don't make me answer that, 'specially not in front of the girls...
Kari: *hugs Nina* Well anyways, if I guessed correctly, one of us is a woman today!
Nina: *meekly* No, you didn't. Just a bit of a thing. We'll tell you in the car.
Kari: You can't, I'm with Taro, he drove!
Nina: Aw, well, after we escape here...
Dan-O: I have an idea. My parents said they'll let us all crash there if your parents are agreeable to the idea. They're still awake, but they'll let us just kinda hang out and sleep in the same room to ensure there's no hanky-panky.
Marv: That sounds fine to me. But I'll have to stop to get some clothes and stuff.
Dan-O: Yeah, it'll be the same with all of you, I imagine. Let's go!
They all walked out to the cars, only with Alexa trailing along behind them they were seven tonight.
Alexa: *excitedly* You guys have the most interesting nights!
Taro: So who's riding with who?
Erisa: I'm with you guys. Which means Dan-O and Alex-O go with Marv-O and Nin-O.
Taro: Why do you get to decide?
Erisa: I'll tell you what went down up there, and they'll tell them. We'll compare notes at Dan-O's and try to actually enjoy the rest of tonight.
Taro: Sounds good, let's go.
Nina: Wait, Marv, can you drive? There's no way I'll risk it. Dad said to never let anyone else drive this car but I think he'd thank me for it right now.
Marv: Alright, no problem. I was hoping for a chance to drive that car. Just wish it could be under better circumstances...
Marv and Nina pulled up with Dan-O and Alexa to Nina's house just as they finished the story.
Dan-O: *stunned* Wow, that's the awesomest and awfulest thing I've ever heard, all at once. I hope you two crazy kids learned your lesson!
Nina: Not sure exactly what we were supposed to learn, but we sure tried to learn something! Now, excuse us, we need to talk my parents into letting us go.
Marv: Huh? "We"?
Nina: Yes, let's go, Man o' Mine!
Marv sighed and walked up to the house with Nina. They entered and found her parents sitting up in their living room with their laptops on in front of them. They looked up slightly surprised and her dad stood up and walked over to them first.
Nina's Dad: *patting Marv's shoulder* I thought that curfew was 1, but it's very generous of you to get our lovely young lady back to us so early.
Nina: Oh, uh, Dad, I was wondering...
Nina's Dad: Yes? Uh oh, here it comes...
Nina: *pleadingly* Can I please stay out with my friends? Dan-O's parents said we're welcome to have fun at his house, you can call them if you'd like.
Nina's Dad: Have you been drinking? *peers into Nina's face and suddenly looks at Marv* No, no, don't answer that, I'm better off not knowing.
Nina's Mom: What's going on?
Nina's Dad: Oh, they want to go to their friend's house for the night. Have I met this Dan-O?
Marv: Well, if you want to he's in the car.
Nina's Dad: *peers at Marv* I'm not sure I've met you...
Marv: I'm Marv, uh, Nina's... Uhm...
Nina's Mom: *impatiently* Nina's boyfriend, yes, I know that! I'm going to see if we can trust this Dan-O. *bounces energetically out to the car*
Nina's Dad: Now, if you go to Dan-O's for the night, I don't want anything irresponsible going on. I can't stop you drinking, and I really hope you're smart enough not to come home preg-
Nina: *blushing wildly* DAD! I'M NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL!
Nina's Dad: No pregnancy! *pokes NIna's forehead, then looks at Marv and tries to think of an extremely embarrassing way to continue the conversation* I really hope my wife's out there saying something super embarrassing about Nina, too! And no little Marv appearances, either! even if it's a good size, no It's A Good Size Marvs.
Nina: DAD! PLEASE STOP TALKING!
Marv squirmed uncomfortably, straining to think of words that would make this situation easier to bear, but he was coming up empty. He heard Nina's dad say something else he assumed was unbearable to hear, but with the blood pounding in his ears from this new distressing situation he now faced, he couldn't hear anything he said. But Nina's high pitched voice rang clearly snapping him back to reality.
Nina: GOD, DAD, WE'LL BE FINE, WE'RE GOOD KIDS!
To Marv's surprise, he laughed as though he had heard the funniest joke in the world. Nina's mom came back in the front door cackling as madly as her dad.
Marv: This family's all insane!
Nina's Mom: *confidently* They're okay, I think we can trust them. You guys have fun tonight. smiles at them and kisses Nina on her forehead, moves to kiss Marv too, but stops right in front of his face, lips puckered* Wait, you're not my kid!
Nina's Dad: *laughing* You kids have fun, and be responsible!
Nina: *despite her massive shame* Okay, bye Dad, Mom, I love you guys.
Marv: Uh, nice meeting you, Nina's Mom and Dad.
Nina's Dad: *correcting Marv* Dad and Mom-OW!
Nina's Mom: *sucker punches Nina's Dad*
They went back out to the car and Dan-O and Alexa had stunned looks on their faces.
Dan-O: Dudette, I think your mom drinks way too much coffee...
Alexa: Way way wayyyyyy too much. *turns to Dan-O* Are we gonna make out tonight? 'Cuz that's kinda the point of having a date on Winter Festival weekend...
Aaaand, that's the conclusion of Winterfest! There will be a denouement, then we'll take a few issues to ease into our next story arc, "Problems with Peaches". Thanks for watching, and see you again soon!