29 – Coming Home

Her eyes were open.

His heart jumped into his throat.

‘Newbie?’

He put a hand in front of her mouth and nose.

He felt something.

The tiniest bit of warmth tickled his fingers.

His hand and his heart, went still. After the longest moment ever, he felt curls of heat against his skin.

Breath.

She screamed, and he recoiled in fear, backing up against the far wall of the morgue before he knew what he was doing. She screamed again, a deep, painful noise as though she was emptying herself out. He ran back across to her, grabbing her arms, touching her face, shaking her, anything to try and wake her up.

‘Stef! Stef! Come on!’

She thrashed under his grip, throwing herself off the drawer and onto the floor with into a pained heap.

A blue outline skimmed her curled body, growing brighter and brighter. It tried to pull away, and he saw it for what it was – her soul.

‘Don’t leave!’ he screamed, trying to grab the soul. ‘Don’t leave!’

The blue ghost of his newbie tried in vain to pull itself away from her body, eyes wide and uncomprehending, face twisted in torment, screaming like a siren, the sound of hurting his ears, his heart, his soul.

‘Gods, please don’t-‘

The screaming stopped as it seeped back into her body, and she went still, no more screaming, no more thrashing.

He slid to the ground beside her and pulled her head onto his lap.

She wasn’t moving.

She was breathing.

He pushed the hair back from her face, seeing the bullet wound gone.

With nothing better to do, he checked her pulse. It was there, strong and healthy and alive and alive and alive she was alive she was alive she was alive. ‘Stef?’

She gave no response.

‘Stef?’

Her eyes opened slowly, but looked straight past him, not focused on anything, not seeing anything.

‘Stef?’

She still gave no response.

He stood, awkwardly, lifting her as he did, unwilling to let her go for even a second. He had to hold her, to keep her there, to keep her alive, she was alive, she was alive, she was alive.

He felt his body shaking with relief, with joy, with new fears, with the cold.

He kicked open the door to the infirmary and called for the Parkers.

No response.

The infirmary was empty – they’d probably gone downstairs with everyone else. He put her onto the closest bed and wrangled her into a sitting position, her legs hanging off the side, one arm still wrapped around her as he fumbled for his phone.

Cold, stiff fingers scrolled through the phone book for the emergency number assigned to Ryan. He put it on speaker, and laid it on the bed beside her.

‘Stef?’

Still nothing.

He waved a hand in front of her eyes, and she didn’t even blink. He snapped his fingers, and she gave no response.

He checked her pulse again as the call timed out. He scowled, and tried Jones’ number.

It only took two rings for the tech to answer. ‘Curt?’

‘She woke up.’

There was silence for a moment. ‘I’ll go get him,’ Jones said. ‘He went with Darren so he could be in a system area.’

He looked into Stef’s no-one-home eyes. ‘What do I do with her? Where are the doctors, what do-?’

‘I don’t know,’ Jones said, ‘I don’t know what to do, just hold on.’

The phone call ended, and he slipped the phone back into his coat pocket. After a moment, he took his coat off, kicked it under the bed, and began to dig out medical supplies from the close cabinets, trying to keep at least one hand on her as much as he could.

He tied her hair back with a rubber band, and began to clean her face off – there was no need for her to wake up to a face covered in her own blood, brain and-

‘Gods, it’s not-’

It couldn’t be that simple. It was impossible for it to be that simple. He squeezed both of her hands for a moment, then raced across the infirmary, digging through drawers for a small instrument.

The doctors didn’t look after the agents – at least they didn’t in Queen St, some Agencies were different, but with a lack of medical recruits, Jones and the Parkers happily split the workload – Parkers worked on blood, Jones worked on blue.

Agency infirmaries were just that though – Agency, and always equipped to handle agents despite the choice of the staff.

He found the small, slim device at the back of a drawer. It looked sort of like the lovechild of an EpiPen and a calculator. A pointy end under a cap, a couple of buttons and a tiny screen. He ran back across to her, held her hand palm up, and pressed the small needle into her thumb and waited for the reading.

The screen gave him a zero reading. No blue. She had no blue in her system. He looked to the clock – it was just after one in the morning. He had found her just after four. Nine hours, give or take a few minutes. Nine hours for all of her blue to disappear.

He tossed the device onto the nearest cabinet and went back to her. She was an agent – the logical thing to do all the time was pump her full of blue, it was the first step any doctor took, it was the first thing a tech did. Blue was always the answer.

Blue wasn’t an answer if she wasn’t an agent.

A reading of zero meant she was physically human. As human as a girl with a dead planet for a heart could be anyway. Human meant no blue, meant regular first aid. Regular first aid was easy.

Her hand twitched, and he jumped. Slowly, her fingers wrapped around his thumb.

‘Stef?’

Her eyes were still dull, still unfocused, still unresponsive.

He stared at her for a moment, then slumped. This was nothing that simple first aid could handle, this was nothing that taking a pulse, applying a bandage, and kissing a scraped knee could deal with.

He hopped up onto the bed beside her, wrapped his free arm around her, and held her slowly-warming form.

Dried blood in her hair scratched against his cheek. She still smelt like the morgue. ‘Hey, newbie, it’s ok, I’m here.’

She was still, nothing more than tiny silent breaths moving her body. Her fingers stayed clamped around his thumb, holding onto it as if it would bring her back, a tether to the living world.

Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. Princesses woken with a kiss. It always worked in fairy tales. The world was magic, and grains of truth could be found in even the most stripped-down, family-friendly versions of the stories. He leaned close, and gave her a tiny kiss on her warming cheek. Her skin felt rubbery under his lips, cold, zombie-ish, dead and she remained as still as she had been, unresponsive and locked away from the world.

He held her closer, and looked to the door, waiting for people who actually knew what they were doing to come and save the day.

She moved slightly under his hands, and he heard words, soft as an exhale.

He leaned closer, his ear right next to her mouth. ‘What did you say, newbie?’

A little more movement, and more warm breath against his ear. ‘…boy germs.’

He blinked back tears and squeezed her tightly for a moment, then gently turned her so he could look at her. ‘Hey newbie.’

She blinked for the first time since opening her eyes, and focused on him. ‘Am I back?’ her voice was so faint, he had to strain to hear it.

‘You’re right here.’

Her arm moved, and he flinched at the sudden motion. With clumsy, newborn, stiff moves, she crawled into his lap, pushed her small chest against his and held him tightly. Her chin locked over his shoulder, and she went still again.

He adjusted one arm to wrap around her small waist, to stop her from slipping off the bed, the other rubbing small circles across her back.

He looked to the door again, wishing for the cavalry.

‘Where did I go?’ she asked, her voice still cracked and unsure.

‘I don’t know Stef, you’ll have to tell us.’

‘I came back.’

‘Took you long enough,’ he said, his voice cracking.

She squeezed his shoulder with her chin for a moment, then moved to look at him, her nose squishing against his. ‘Boy, why are you crying?’

‘Because you died, newbie.’

‘Sorry.’

‘Don’t apologise,’ he said, trying to wipe the tears from his eyes without losing hold of her.

She shook his head slightly at him, fished his tie out from his vest, and dried his eyes. ‘Better?’

‘We lost you.’

She shook her head again. ‘I don’t get lost, I just get…misplaced.’ She moved back a bit, took one hand away from him and pushed it to the back of her head. ‘Just the one shot?’

He nodded. ‘I’m already hating myself for asking this, but are you ok?’

‘I thought that- I thought maybe if I died, maybe it would nightmares forever, like being awake, being alive was the only thing stopping me from sliding into hell.’

‘It wasn’t?’

She clutched at his shirt.

‘Hey, hey, shh, sorry, you don’t have to-’

The door burst open and Ryan ran into the room. He made a move to let Stef go, to let Ryan grab her, but he was caught up and the agent’s wide-armed hug.

‘You need to stop doing this,’ Ryan said after a long hug. ‘Stef, you-’

‘Sorry, I’m sorry, I-’

‘Don’t be sorry, just-’

‘Don’t be dead,’ she finished, ‘I know, I know, it’s not like I do it on purpose!’

‘I know,’ Ryan said as he lifted her away, and held her, her legs dangling like a rag doll. ‘I know. I’m just glad- Stop making me lose you.’ He placed her back down onto the infirmary bed, then patted down his pockets and produced a bag of cookies. ‘I thought you might need these, since our system connection is-’

‘Where the fsck is my HUD?’ she squeaked suddenly.She waved her hand in front of her face. ‘Did I forget how to turn it on?’

He slowly raised his hand and waited for them to notice.

‘Mister O’Connor, in the back,’ the voice of Agent Jones said. Ryan stepped aside and the tech joined them, wheeling in a cart of equipment. ‘Sorry, some of this stuff was hard to find.’

Ryan looked at him. ‘You know something?’

‘Actually, sir, I’ve got a theory for a lot of this, if you don’t mind.’

Ryan helped Stef open the bag of cookies, then gave him a nod. ‘Go ahead, Curt.’

‘She doesn’t have any blue in her, none, I already tested her, otherwise she’d be hooked up to an IV.’

‘Oh gods,’ Jones said. He pulled a phone from his lab coat pocket, stared at it for a moment, then leaned heavily against his equipment cart. ‘It’s obvious, but- I never thought of that, or if I did, I dismissed it.’

‘I think I’ve missed something,’ Ryan said.

‘Nine hours, sir. Her blue was cockblocking her heart. I mean,’ he shook his head, ‘you know what I mean.’

Ryan turned back to the look at the tech. ‘Jones?’

‘Makes perfect sense, actually,’ Jones said, ‘if you think about it. We had to make the mirror subservient to her blue in order for her agent functions to operate as close to normal as they could. We didn’t think about it after that, we focused on the system side of things.’ The tech paused. ‘It’s not like we could have tested this anyway,’ he said quietly. ‘If you were a normal agent, you’d be dead, Stef.’

‘Freak one, normalcy zero,’ she said with a slight smile. She hung her head for a moment, then looked up. ‘Ok, I’m done with this for the moment. Catch me up. We still blacked out? Who did it? All that stuff.’

‘We’re still blacked out,’ Ryan said, ‘and given the scope of the blackout, we have to assume it was the blue phoenix was harmed.’

‘How many dead?’

‘Just you,’ Ryan said, ‘now none.’

So it’s blacking us out, but it’s not stripping out the muggles?’

‘Something like that,’ Ryan said.

Jones gave a polite cough. ‘I need to get back to work.’

‘Of course,’ Ryan said, and the tech left the room.

‘i-‘ Stef said. ‘I think I need to have a shower. We’ve still got lights, do we have hot water?’

Ryan nodded to her, then turned to him. ‘Do you mind if she uses your room?’

‘Sure newbie,’ he said, ‘go ahead.’

Ryan pulled Stef close for a moment. ‘Go on, we’ll catch up in a minute.’

She nodded, and walked from the room. He watched her leave, praying she wouldn’t disappear as soon as he took his eyes off her, blinked back a couple of tears, then looked around the infirmary.

‘One question and one piece of advice,’ Ryan said as he leaned against the infirmary bed beside him. ‘The advice first. She deals with this in her own time. She might seem fine now, she might seem fine later, she processes this in her own way, all we can do is be there for her when she needs us.’

‘Yes sir.’

He hopped of the bed and retrieved his jacket from under the bed.

‘Are you going to tell her how you feel?’ Ryan asked him as he slipped it back on.

‘…am I what, sir?’

‘Tell her how you feel, Curt.’

‘I already told her I’m glad she’s back, she’s taking it- I didn’t expect her to be so normal. I know she’s got some practice, and now I’ve got some idea of what you’ve been through, but-’

‘I didn’t mean that.’

He stared at the agent. ‘Sorry sir, I don’t-’

‘You didn’t leave her side. Think about that for a moment.’

He forced a quirk smirk, uncomfortable with how serious Ryan looked. ‘Confidentially, sir, I’m thinking about how my bladder isn’t so frozen anymore.’

The agent’s expression remained serious. ‘Curt.’

He adjusted his uniform. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir’

‘Stop, and think for a moment. Please, indulge me.’

He squirmed as Ryan looked down at him, so closed his eyes to escape a little just a few millimetres. Stef. Waiting for Stef. Not a good title for a play, and the worst way to spend a night. Worst way. Worse than torturing her. Worse than being tortured. Worst night of his life. Understandable. Completely understandable. She was his friend. She was his best friend. She was the best and she had died. She had left him alone. Taken away the only small bit of solid happiness in his life.

She’d left him alone. Alone where no one would indulge and nurture his closet nerdiness. Alone where there was no one to smile at him and make him feel half human, feel like a good person. No one to cling to. No one to hold to make the nightmares and memories go away.

Four nights in three weeks. Three and the “droids” incident. Three nights where he had someone to share his bed, to connect with, to fall asleep with and just hold and be held. Three nights of cuddles and hugs that rivalled any wild night he’d spent with the most talented of fae girls.

Stef. Newbie. The little hacker girl that he couldn’t live without because-

His heart skipped a beat as he opened his eyes. ‘…oh crap.’

‘Not…quite the reaction I was expecting,’ Ryan said with a small smile.

He took a step away from the agent, out of Ryan’s immediate punching range. A step away from the truth. ‘Sir, I’m not- It’s Stef, I’m not-’

‘Stop.’

He deflated, confusion and fear rooting him to the spot. ‘Yes sir.’

‘Now tell me what you think.’

He closed his eyes for a moment, and hoped his death would be quick. ‘I think I might have non-platonic feelings towards Stef.’

‘I think you’re in love with her, Curt.’

His execution stayed for a moment, he backed away another step. ‘I’m not!’

‘Curt.’

Ryan had an agent’s voice. A sensible voice. A voice that demanded an end to bullshit. He swallowed. ‘Yeah…maybe. Yeah, I think I am.’ He sank down to his knees, hands covering his face as tears came. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’m sorry! I won’t let this- Gods! I’m sorry! It’s ok, I won’t- I’m so sorry, sir. I’ll stay away from her, transfer me if you want to, but I swear I won’t-’

He fought an urge to curl in on himself, as he’d done with Petersen. If Ryan wanted to kick him to death, then he wasn’t going to-

A handkerchief was pushed into his hand. ‘Curt-’

He looked to the agent crouching in front of him, not screaming, not threatening. He had a chance. A chance to make it all go away. A chance to make his feelings disappear. ‘I didn’t mean for this to happen! I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.’

‘What makes you think I disapprove, Curt?’

The question stopped him. The answer was obvious. ‘Because it’s me?’ he said, wondering if long exposure to a blackout could impair an agent’s faculties.

‘You’re-’

‘I’m a piece of shit.’

‘You’re a good man.’

‘No, sir, I’m really not. Look at everything I’ve done, look at- Why aren’t you punishing me?!’

‘Look at how you feel about it, Curt. That’s how you know you’re a good man. If you didn’t feel guilt, if you didn’t regret what you’d done, then you’d be justified in feeling like a monster. Monsters don’t hold graveside vigils, holding out hope, that’s what good men do, that’s what you do for someone you love.’

‘Of course I love her,’ The words came so easily. So naturally. ’She’s my friend. She’s my best friend. I’m not going to ruin that just because-‘

‘Stop.’

‘Yes sir.’

‘I’ve known people who’ve ruined friendships by adding romance, and I’ve also known people who’ve had the strongest relationships because they were friends, and that the foundation, their friendship, could pull them through anything.’

‘You’re her father,’ he said, staring down at his feet. ‘Everything I’ve done aside, why would you even-‘

‘You both deserve to be happy,’ Ryan said. ‘And I think you could be right for each other. Don’t you owe it to you both to at least consider it?’

‘I don’t want to hurt her.’

‘And you still wonder if you’re a good man,’ Ryan said, shaking his head. ‘Just think about it.’ Ryan lifted the towels. ‘Come on, we should check on her.’

67 thoughts on “29 – Coming Home

    • …I pretty much starting grinning when I saw your comment, both because you were right, and because then I knew there was another person who wouldn’t hate the idea. :D

      • it didn’t occur to me that the Blue was what was keeping her dead, but i figured that nothing short of the mirror running out would keep her from coming back to life. what i find kind of hilarious, is that you as an author :P kill your character alot, so either on purpose or subconciously, you built an auto-rez onto the main character so you don’t have to keep coming up with reasons she doesn’t stay dead! xD

        i mean all agents sorta auto-rez, but now stef has Uber-rez!

        Also i would totally be asking Stef if she saw the spirit healer while she was gone, and if they made her run back to her body or if she just took the res sickness.

        • it didn’t occur to me that the Blue was what was keeping her dead, but i figured that nothing short of the mirror running out would keep her from coming back to life.
          Like Jonesy said, it wasn’t exactly something they could test. :P

          what i find kind of hilarious, is that you as an author :P kill your character alot, so either on purpose or subconciously, you built an auto-rez onto the main character so you don’t have to keep coming up with reasons she doesn’t stay dead! xD
          Oh trust me, it’s very much on purpose. Even if there are certain holes in the mythos, and I don’t know all the answers to everything, for the stuff that I have established, there are very particular ways that things work (there is some wiggle room, but it’s more like a scientific margin of error rather than subverting established rules).

          Also i would totally be asking Stef if she saw the spirit healer while she was gone, and if they made her run back to her body or if she just took the res sickness.
          Well, when she wakes up in MH, she definitely has res sickness. :P

          • I view it more as a product with a given shelf life. While in system territory, it’s constantly being renewed. Once you sever that connection, you only have a limited amount of time before the blue “goes bad” so to speak. For most Agents, the time is upwards of 24 hours (as I remember, I could be wrong) For Stef, as an experiment, her limit is a lot lower, approximately 8 hours as I recall. Which means that it only took the mirror an hour (or so) to heal from a point blank head shot.

            The only question I have, is does it use up more of the mirror each time it brings her back from the dead? or is it counted as part of Ryan’s original wish?

          • I view it more as a product with a given shelf life. While in system territory, it’s constantly being renewed. Once you sever that connection, you only have a limited amount of time before the blue “goes bad” so to speak.
            That’s a bingo!

            For most Agents, the time is upwards of 24 hours (as I remember, I could be wrong) For Stef, as an experiment, her limit is a lot lower, approximately 8 hours as I recall.
            24-36-48 hours for most other agents, depending on job, role, position and age.

            Stef’s is nine hours, but after eight she goes into withdrawal.

            Which means that it only took the mirror an hour (or so) to heal from a point blank head shot.
            Just a couple of minutes, just like we saw in MH. :)

            The only question I have, is does it use up more of the mirror each time it brings her back from the dead? or is it counted as part of Ryan’s original wish?
            Every non-agenty resurrection uses a bit of the mirror, same with healing.

          • Every non-agenty resurrection uses a bit of the mirror, same with healing.
            Another good reason to have the Blue “cock-blocking” (as Jonesy so eloquently put it :P) the mirror most of the time.

  1. Both so utterly convinced of their own undesirability…I wonder how long their relationship will have to go on before either of them believes they are in it :P

  2. Literature Mirrors Life – something I learned all the way back in the 11th grade. This is why I read your stories – for scenes like these – deep portrayals of human interaction and personality. This has been some EXCELLENT writing. Thank you. I can relate to your characters (well, not really Taylor, Mags, or the Parkers:) but I think that’s OK) I enjoy reading about the relationships growing between Curt, Stef, and Ryan.

    • Getting called out for writing a crappy fanfic author, I can understand, but…

      This is why I read your stories – for scenes like these – deep portrayals of human interaction and personality. This has been some EXCELLENT writing.
      I’m seriously shocked any time I get a compliment like this. Thank you. I’ll be over here trying to get this stupid grin off my face. :)

      I can relate to your characters (well, not really Taylor, Mags, or the Parkers:) but I think that’s OK)
      Mags and Taylor understand each other, and I think that’s the extent of people who understand them (ok, Grigori might, but that’s between bouts of trying to seduce them into a threesome :P).

      And…YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND AUTOPHILIC TWIN ANGEL DOCTORS? MOTHER OF ALL COOKIES WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? :P

      The Parkers are there to be entertaining, not to be understood. :P

      I enjoy reading about the relationships growing between Curt, Stef, and Ryan.
      Ryan’s dad to them both. Stef is mothering Curt. Curt is being Stef’s big brother. Stef and Curt could be on a collision course for shipping.

      They’re the bestest little fucked up family unit ever, and it just works. :D (Now Ryan just needs a girlfriend, and it’ll be good).

      • I read your stories for the good action and the sci-fi magic crossover, but I agree with the other poster, you capture real emotion, and the way people do actually feel and interact, brilliantly.

        And… is it bad I understand the parkers? If I had a perfectly identical twin I was in constant telepathic communication with… yeah, I could see myself being like that. (I don’t think I’d be that into sex with myself, but I think we’d probably insist on sharing any partner. Eiffel tower ftw!)

        • I read your stories for the good action and the sci-fi magic crossover
          I tried to write high fantasy when I was younger, some lame LOTR rip-off whose only impact on my work was the invention of the language where the word “Dajulveed” came from (cause it’s the only phrase I could remember, I lost all the notes, “dajulveed arn dnas – doomed to die”.

          I *need* sci-fi, I need tech, I need characters who know how to Google. :D

          I agree with the other poster, you capture real emotion, and the way people do actually feel and interact, brilliantly.
          I just try and write them like real people. *shruggle*

          And… is it bad I understand the parkers? If I had a perfectly identical twin I was in constant telepathic communication with… yeah, I could see myself being like that. (I don’t think I’d be that into sex with myself, but I think we’d probably insist on sharing any partner. Eiffel tower ftw!)
          I really, really need to give the Parkers a book. I love them, they’re weird and sexy and funny, and they do not get enough screentime. -_-

          I think it’s because they’re not perfect clones of each other, that there is the slight variance in personality that they’re happy with each other – if they were perfect, swappable, exact clones then they’d probably be looking for someone to share, if only as an experiment.

          • Stef more relatable than most real people. That probably doesn’t say very good things about my mental health :P

          • …she’s really vulnerable and unsure, and I think we can all relate to that, whether it’s current, or something we’ve felt in the past. :)

    • …it’s a fandom term, it means to essentially endorse or want a romantic relationship (there’s the ship part) between two (or more) characters.

      So, shipping Stef and Curt means you want to see cuteness and kisses and all the rest. :)

      Ships are often written as Stef/Curt, Mags/Taylor etc, and may have smush or portmanteau abbreviation – generally derived from parts of each characters name – ie, Sturt for Stef/Curt, Rags for the non!canon crack!ship* of Ryan/Magnolia, or may have a name that suits the couple when no good smush can be made of their name, for example, I use “Angelpie” to describe the Mags/Taylor ship because things like “Maylor” or “Tags” just sound silly.

      *crack!ship or crack!pairing is a term used to describe any pairing that simply doesn’t work, and is generally thrown together just for the lulz.

      (IE, Rags exists because when I uploaded some artwork to Facebook, a pic of Ryan and a pic of Mags were put together in such a way that it looked…shippy).

        • …don’t have to be canon, but still there’s a line between a pairing that works but isn’t canon, and a crack!ship.

          I mean, someone could ship Stef/Jonesy, but there’s nothing inherently incompatible about the characters, so it’s not really that cracky.

  3. “… boy germs”

    :D So full of win!

    Now send Curt down to the room with the piece of shit and let him make it a screaming piece of shit *Nods* Thank you!

    • I figured it was the best way for her to respond to being kissed. :D

      She…may need a boy germs booster shot if things keep going they way they’re going. ^_^

    • Give me a break, I didn’t know until I few weeks ago. >_>

      It was seriously never my plan to ship these two up, maybe flirt with it a bit, but then just keep them as friends.

      Then a few weeks ago, I just started to ship it, and it just worked. They’re both so fscked up that there’s really no one else for them. -_-

        • …also very annoying. -_-

          I wanted to keep her out of a romantic relationship for the foreseeable future, and then maybe pair her up with someone after some big events in the MV, and this just sorta happened. Now I’m still trying to work out the ramifications on future plots.

          I suppose at least, this evolved as naturally as it could so it doesn’t feel forced (I hope it doesn’t feel forced or contrived -_- That’s my problem with a lot of MC+1 relationships, that it just seems to be a case of pairing two people up because they’re there. -_-).

          • hat it just seems to be a case of pairing two people up because they’re there. -_-).

            isnt that how most REAL relationships start?

          • …but I’ve read a few books lately wheret the leads just seem pushed together, without any real chemistry.

          • …it was out of nowhere a few weeks ago, and I has a similar reaction to Curt (the “oh crap” one, not the “screaming and crying” one >_>). -_-

          • Thimbles and their concept may be discussed, but I don’t think they’ll get married, it’s not really consistent with either of them.

            (And given certain things, I’d like one long-term couple that are happy to stay that way. :) ).

  4. Well, it’s about time one of them figured it out! :) Now, let’s get to the part where James disappears down a dark hole for the rest of his (short) life; after all, he still destroyed an Agent, inside the walls of an Agency headquarters. Regardless of her resurrection afterwards, the Agency itself cannot simply allow someone co walk in, shoot an Agent in the face on System territory, then walk out the front door; they’d have copycats coming out of their ears all over the world as all the Agency-haters used him as a rallying call.

    An example needs to be made, and I can think of no better place to make one than on the face of James Mimosa. >:D

    • Well, it’s about time one of them figured it out! :)
      Well, better now then after the end of the world. :P

      Now, let’s get to the part where James disappears down a dark hole for the rest of his (short) life; after all, he still destroyed an Agent, inside the walls of an Agency headquarters.
      Down the rabbit hole of torture and maiming? :P

      Regardless of her resurrection afterwards, the Agency itself cannot simply allow someone co walk in, shoot an Agent in the face on System territory, then walk out the front door; they’d have copycats coming out of their ears all over the world as all the Agency-haters used him as a rallying call.
      True, but there’s two mitigating factors. Three, actually. One – it’s sosososo incredibly rare for an Agency to be blacked out. Two – most agents didn’t used to be human. Three – most agents aren’t stupid enough to leave their guns lying about in a blackout. -_-

      An example needs to be made, and I can think of no better place to make one than on the face of James Mimosa. >:D
      Over in The Basement, the suggestion was made that his intestines be pulled out (while he’s still alive of course) and have candle waxed dripped over it. >_>

      • hmm, didnt see that one, but I bet I know which rainbow hued poster suggested that…

        the problem being that intestines don’t have heat nerve endings…

        personally, they should just let the solstice know, clandestinely, about a man working with dirty fae, and where to find him.

        • personally, they should just let the solstice know, clandestinely, about a man working with dirty fae, and where to find him.
          …now I’m imagining a Solstice call centre, and all of the bored, underpaid people they’ve got working there, fielding calls about possible fae, or fae-collaborators.

          “No, ma’am, we told you last week, they’re just garden gnomes!”

          “Just because your daughter died her hair doesn’t mean she’s a changeling.”

          “No, no, we’re here to deal with fae collabortators, not gay collaborators.” >_>

          • “No no, you don’t understand, hes fae AND gay. He and his human sympathizer lover are raising a human BABY. Who knows what gay magical liebral BULLSHIT they are stuffing that poor baby with. Or what horrific rituals they might use him for. ”

            sigh, its not funny cause it could happen.

        • Naaaaaaaa it is not the heat nerve endings is it the fact that the intestines are thin enough that fresh HOT wax is hot enough to damage and start cooking the intestines… I am not talking about candle wax I am talking about paraffin wax melted on the stove in a pot. Then you force them to swallow something and as the motion does through the system it causes extreme pain :D

      • True, but there’s two mitigating factors. Three, actually. One – it’s sosososo incredibly rare for an Agency to be blacked out. Two – most agents didn’t used to be human. Three – most agents aren’t stupid enough to leave their guns lying about in a blackout. -_-

        Two of those are irrelevant: blackout bombs and guns (or, for that matter, suicide bombs) exist outside of the Agency and are available to its enemies. The third is kinda also irrelevant, since the worry here is emboldening copycats who are after agents, not after human/mirror/agent hybrids.

        Oh well, even if Ryan doesn’t see it, and decides to make the bonehead decision to let the agent-killer go, I’m confident that Mags and Taylor will have better sense, and the higher-ups will back them. There’s no way James is hiding behind Kings law here: Agent Mimosa was very decidedly not human at the time of the shooting, or, to be more precise, what James is to be executed for is not for killing Stef, but for killing an on-duty Agent during the course of her duties.

  5. Does this mean that Solstice _does not_ go after garden gnomes?

    Now I have a cunning disguise planned…

    If I can just loose about 180lbs.

    • …go after gnomes, but not the ones made of plaster that live in gardens. :P

      You’d have to lose 180lbs and all but about a foot of your height as well…

    • She has a pulse. The mirror replicates life as closely as it can. Thus, a pulse. It can’t give her a heartbeat though, because her heart was obliterated and replaced with the mirror.

    • And who says nobody else would want her???!!!!
      This is Stef, she goes by what’s empirical, and she’s never seen any evidence that she’s a wantable person, thus, she believes that she’s inherently unwanted, and that’s not likely to undergo a change.

  6. Stef Nice. Bozan like Stef. Stef’s heart Shiny. Bozan Marry Stef. Bozan nice guy.
    Bozan Star Child. Make Bozan talk like this. But Bozan Marry Stef. Curt ok too. Just no want Stef hurt. Bozan like Stef. Stef and Curt nice now. Curt bad in past, good now. If Curt not nice to Stef, Bozan upset. Dad hurt Stef, make Bozan angry. Bozan angry with James. Bozan trust Ryan, Curt fix bad man. Bozan help if needed. No more problems.
    — Bozan of the monkeys.

    • Stef Nice. Bozan like Stef. Stef’s heart Shiny. Bozan Marry Stef. Bozan nice guy.
      You’d have to ask her if she wanted to get married, but the offer is sweet. :)

      Bozan Star Child.
      What world are you from?

      Make Bozan talk like this.
      There’s nothing wrong with trading eloquence for brevity. :)

      But Bozan Marry Stef. Curt ok too.
      You’ll marry them both, or you’re ok if Curt marries her instead?

      Stef and Curt nice now.
      Well, they will be soon if she doesn’t screw things up.

      Curt bad in past, good now. If Curt not nice to Stef, Bozan upset.
      Curt would be massively upset with himself if he wasn’t nice to Stef.

      Bozan help if needed. No more problems.
      If there’s any more offers of help, this is going to turn into a crowd sourced torture session. :P

    • ((Seriously, this is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to use OOC brackets in a comment. :D

      …this was amazing. Trust me when I say I had to pop a /serious when I read it yesterday. ^_^ It’s adorable and weird and perfect. :D

      *gives plate of cookies*))

  7. …Have a crush on Curt as well as Jonesy! I can’t quite make up my mind over who is more drool worthy… The ex-bad boy just discovering a kaleidoscope of new emotions (I prefer to call these men emotional rah-turds) or the geeky hot agent dude… /sigh maybe I will just cartoon lust after both!

    PS-

    I finally registerd.

    • Woot for registering! Now you’re an official part of this craziness.

      Officialness comes with a flame thrower, a plushie phoenix and a never-ending can of spam. ^_^

      As to the choices…don’t forget Jonesy is a master planner and is often quite devious when it suits his purposes, that may be a mitigating factor (or an additional turn-on, YMMV).

  8. So, now she can shoot her dad and they can claim it’s self defense, right? Escape all that silly Fae law stuff, he shot her first, she was just defending herself.

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