chapter 5 of 14
Crossover With: Star Wars, the Oz books, My Chemical Romance. Kind of. In a way.
Warning: Extreme Mary Suism.
Disclaimer: All characters who belong to Joss and co, belong to Joss and co.
Summary: post-Chosen: A group of watchers and slayers taking a creative writing class are assigned a simple lesson in author intrusion. But nothing’s ever simple when magic is -- literally -- in the air.
Mary Stu Got Harried, Chapter Five: Too Much Information
(In which we learn some fantasies can be pretty icky in real life.)
James Raleigh led an unprotesting Suzy down the same hallway she was supposed to be guarding, to a watchers quarters room that she knew to be bare and empty.
Her lack of protest was not from a willingness to go, but from sheer, dumbfounded awe. James was not real. In fact, she’d invented him just a few weeks before, for extra credit in Mr. Philips’s class. Yet there he was, his strong hand in hers, looking exactly as she’d imagined.
“Sorry to have been away so long, luv,” James said, stopping by the door.
“Um,” was all Suzy could get out, as she tried desperately to remember just how far James and the slayer played by her had gone during the course of the story. Not far, since she’d known Mr. Philips would be reading it. Hopefully this was going as the story went, not as her imagination had. Or not hopefully. Or something.
“I’ve missed you terribly.” He took her into his arms and kissed her, hard.
Releasing her, James turned and, to her surprise, produced a key that he smoothly turned in the lock. This was the moment of truth. When this fake Giles -- James Raleigh -- opened the door and discovered his quarters was unused -- had never even been furnished -- the game would be up. She spent an indecisive moment wanting to grab him away, drag him off and let him continue to be her very own watcher, never mind the reasons for him being here.
Then the door opened, and it was too late.
James glanced in, then stepped back, flashed a grin that made her knees weak, and waved her inside. Startled, Suzy looked through the door --
It was three times the size of the rooms they’d given to the band members -- in fact, it looked very much like the walls dividing this room from the two quarters next door had simply disappeared. At one end, a king size waterbed dominated a raised sleeping area. The other end was also raised, and contained a kitchen-dining area with oak cabinets and furniture. In the middle, a huge couch waited against one wall, and an entertainment center dominated by a plasma TV covered the other.
“This is ... nice.”
With a hand to the small of her back, James ushered Suzy in. “You should know -- you were the interior decorator. Your multitalented brain is one of those many things I love about you.”
“Huh,” she replied. She took a halting step to the middle of the room, as recognition hit her. This was, indeed, the room she’d designed for James Raleigh, watcher -- his room in the Pacific Watcher’s Post, on the big island of Hawaii. A place that didn’t actually exist.
What could she say? She hated cold.
“Well. It’s Saturday night, of course.” James winked at her. “After midnight, as well. You know what that means.” He turned and headed for the sleeping area, making her heart skip.
“But --” Oh, BOY. “I don’t think we should.”
“Nonsense, we do this every Saturday night.” He pulled the curtain to hide him from sight, and she heard clothing rustle.
Every Saturday night? Only once a week? That didn’t fit any of her fantasies.
“It’s there on top of the DVD player, right where you left it. Really, Suzy, I know it was a gift from you, but I do like to keep my things nicely organized.”
Slowly, she approached the entertainment center, her gaze skimming over a row of records. Beatles, Clash, Cure ... yep, all alphabetized. Then she caught sight of a colorful DVD, left just where he’d predicted.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“That’s my favorite movie!” Suzy gasped.
Behind the curtain, James chuckled. “As if I wouldn’t know that?”
A horrifying thought struck Suzy, so horrible that she almost collapsed onto the floor. Had she written it? Was it in the story? She racked her brain, and realized she had, indeed, put a mention of it into the story. No details -- they would have freaked Mr. Philips out -- but apparently details had a way of filling themselves in, here.
She pinched herself, hard. Yep. Hurt. Please, by all that’s holy, don’t let him come out --
With a flourish, James ripped the curtains open. He wore a black leather jacket that looked absolutely smashing. Along with a black garter and thigh-high hose. Which didn’t look nearly as smashing in real life as she’d imagined.
James stood there, tottering on his heels, and gave her a puzzled look. “Why, Suzy, whatever are you waiting for? The rice and the rest of the items are in the box marked ‘midnight movie’, just as always.”
“There’s something wrong,” Richard declared.
Tara took a deep breath, and refused to look into his eyes. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“For starters, you just breathed.”
“R-reflex action. Vampires do it too.” Her hands fluttered over the little table, and she
stuffed them onto her lap.
“True.” He thought of the all too real band members, and suddenly found himself
trying to remember if they’d come into contact with anything -- if anyone had touched them, or seen them touch anything. “You’re The First.”
Now, looking startled, she did look at him. “I’m not! I touched you.”
“Oh. Right.” So she had, and Richard suddenly remembered that, whether the My Chemical Romance members had touched anything or not, the First hadn’t been known for being able to conjure band instruments out of thin air. “But that doesn’t change my concern, Tara --if you are Tara.”
“Of course I am!”
“Tara who died two years ago?”
She looked away again.
“I’m not an expert on spirits. But you breathe, you knock on doors, you sleep, you smell like lilacs -- and your touch. Your touch was warm.”
She took another deep breath, and for a second he stared in fascination at her rising chest, until he realized how it must seem. He forced his gaze back up, into those wide, expressive, living eyes. “Where’s the real Tara’s spirit? How are you related to those band members?”
Her brow furrowed. “I -- I don’t think I am. I was like this before they got here.”
“You got zapped by black magic,” he murmured.
“Before that. A f-few months ago. A s-spell.”
Richard stared at her, his mind running through both good and bad possibilities. “No one could have brought you back to life -- your body was destroyed during the battle by Lake Superior.”
“I’m not -- alive. Exactly.” Raising her hand, Tara stared at it as if examining evidence. “It’s a shell. A l-living shell. Sometimes it pinches, sometimes it hurts -- sometimes it seems too big, or to s-small.”
“Tara.” Impulsively, Richard reached forward to grasp her hand. Warm, and damp. She was sweating. “It’s okay, I believe you. You can see how I could have jumped to conclusion, considering what’s happened tonight --”
Nodding, Tara squeezed his hand. “I guess it is time to tell someone.”
“Who did this to you?”