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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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This story is No. 3 in the series "A Brane of Extraordinary Women". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Alex is back from her 5-day trip to Hermione Granger’s world. But she's going to need everything she learned if she wants to survive, starting with finding her world's Willow Rosenberg. (Cross with BtVS, SG-1, HP, DCU...)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General
Harry Potter > General
Stargate > General > Characters: Jack O'Neill
Television > Secret World of Alex Mack, The
DianeCastleFR13200965,2702134747531,10212 Dec 1219 Jul 14No

Gamma Ray

A/N: Alex’s powers and new knowledge will make more sense if you go read the first story in this series: “The League of Extraordinary Women”. The disclaimers, spoilers, and other information are all in previous chapters.



Alex was finally on her way back home. Some Halloween. Ordinary people got a bucket full of yummy candy. She got a beach full of slimy monsters.

Once things had wrapped up at the beach, she’d had to do another press conference, this one alongside Lieutenant Lupo, and then she had flown again to that same air force base as last time to catch the chopper home.

Graham had told her that the more she flew over L.A., the more people just assumed she was doing all the flying on her own. That made her seem a lot more powerful, and it made people think she could be based hundreds, maybe thousands of miles from wherever she turned up next. It was part of Jack’s plan to further dissociate Terawatt from things like Paradise Valley and Alex Mack.

So she had a paper bag of burgers and sandwiches from Graham, and two more diet cokes. All she had to do was sit in the back of the helicopter and pig out while she got flown home.

And she needed to think about Azure Crush. Had Jo – no, Alex needed to stop calling her Jo – really turned over a new leaf, or had she just been the same angry girl, just pointing her anger at something nasty?

Boy, Az had really been angry at those clam-things. Alex wondered if there was a way to get Az to want to do the superhero thing, because Az would be pretty much like having one of Selina’s pals on hand. Maybe even Wonder Woman, not counting the magic rope and the magic bracelets and the fighting skills. And even less clothing than Wonder Woman, which Alex hadn’t really thought was possible. But a teeny bikini and no shoes beat a maillot and kneeboots for not-enough-clothing-ness. And Alex was pretty sure Wonder Woman would never in a jillion years drop her uniform and expose herself in front of a hundred cameras to brush sand out of places sand wasn’t supposed to be.

Alex would have liked to get Victor Cready on her side, but she was never going to ask him to do that. He had literally set himself on fire to try and save Paradise Valley and someone he didn’t even know named Alex Mack. She didn’t think she could really imagine how hard a decision that had to be, after he’d been in utter agony for four solid days. No, as far as Alex was concerned, Mr. Cready had earned his rest. Instead, she was going to find out when his sentencing or his first parole hearing was, and Terawatt was going to go speak for him. Maybe Jack had a role for someone with fighting experience like that. If not, surely there were good jobs at the Paradise Valley Chemical plant as a security guy. And working at the plant would mean he could always have antidote on hand, no matter what. Mr. Cready might like that.

But Alex figured she needed more superheroes out there, because those clam-things were just icky. And dangerous. And stuff like that could turn up anywhere, at any time, if you were downstream of some building cranking out weird biochemicals, or you happened to be where icky biochemicals got dumped a long time ago. She figured all those Russians who just dumped stuff in lakes and forests decades ago were really sorry now, when it was too late. She was glad Jack had three teams in Eastern Europe and Russia, because those people needed the help.

If only there were enough superheroes to have teams on call in Asia and Europe and everywhere. As it was, the United States had two superheroes on the East Coast and maybe one and a half on the West Coast. Alex wasn’t counting Azure Crush as a whole superhero yet, because she figured Az was just as likely to do something supervillain-y if the wrong person ticked her off again.

Alex wasn’t going to count Shar as a superhero until Shar was at least sixteen. Maybe older.

So now Alex had to get home, and then hide out for all day tomorrow, because she wasn’t supposed to be back from Corcoran College in just one day.

Well, she figured she could be ‘on travel’ for two days, and she’d just work on her homework and read out of her textbooks at home. And maybe she could get another section done in her computer course, because she was most of the way done. And Object Oriented Programming was making a lot more sense to her now that she was doing some of it. She was even getting some of the stuff Willow had been talking to the Bioware tech guys about.

She figured the worst problem would be Shar wanting to stay home because Alex got to.



Louis screeched into the Mack driveway. Literally.

Alex’s dad ran out and stared. “Louis! What happened to your tires?”

Louis looked around to make sure no one else was looking. Man, was he glad Alex’s dad had taken his phone call and rushed home to meet him, because Louis didn’t know how else to help Ray.

Okay, the coast was clear. He swung open his car door and let Ray puddle out to duck into Alex’s house. He sighed in exhaustion, “Someone slashed two of my tires, up on Carter Creek Road where there’s no cell reception. I couldn’t call for help. I couldn’t drive on two tires. I couldn’t hitchhike and just leave Ray like that. So I let the air out of my other tires and I drove on the rims all the way here.”

Alex’s dad led him through the house to the garage, where Ray the Puddle was waiting for them. Mr. Mack said, “It looks like you ruined an entire set of tires.”

Louis said, “Well, really just two. The other two were already wrecked. They must’ve used a freaking machete or something on the first two tires. And maybe I ruined my rims. But I can get new tires. I can’t get a new Ray.”

Alex’s dad bent down to get something out from under one of the workbenches, and he told Louis, “Good man.”

Louis blinked. He didn’t think he’d gotten any compliments from Alex’s parents before. Especially not after he nearly got them and Alex horribly killed by being a stupid loudmouthed jerk. He frowned, “I shouldn’t have taken Ray with me. There’s some GC-161 in that creek. There has to be, if it did this.”

Alex’s dad worried, “You could have been in serious trouble if you’d gone down there alone. You should have asked Alex to help.”

Alex’s dad came up with a small metal box that held… a water balloon?

Mr. Mack dumped the water balloon on Ray’s puddle, and Ray sort of spread out to get every drop of the liquid. Louis waited impatiently, and the puddle slowly pulled back together into something vaguely person-shaped.

It took a couple minutes, but the puddle slowly turned back to a silvery Ray, and then back to normal Ray. Who even still had his clothes on, even though Ray said he’d puddled right out of them in Danielle Atron’s cell down in Bakersfield.

Louis worried, “Is he okay?”

Mr. Mack sighed, “I have no idea.” He turned his head and asked, “Ray? Are you okay?”

Ray looked pretty much normal again, even if there was still some silvery tinge to some of his skin. He said, “I think so.” But he sounded a little like he was trying to gargle something. Louis didn’t think that was a good sign.

Louis winced, “Ray, I’m so sorry. I didn’t even think about you getting dosed. Again. I’m the worst friend ever.”

Ray sighed, “It’s okay. I didn’t think about it, either, and I’m the one who really needed to. I’m the one who should have.”

Alex’s dad frowned, “No, I’m the one who should have. When you asked to borrow that gear, I should have given you a grocery list full of warnings.” He said, “Ray, I want to take a blood sample right now, and see if you were exposed to the GC-161 for too long. I’m not too happy about maybe having yet another person who’s dependent on supplies of antidote for the rest of his life.”

Ray muttered, “Whatever you say. Toward the end of the drive, I felt like I was getting the hang of being silvery, but I couldn’t get it to go back to normal.”

Louis said, “He puddled up a steep hillside. And through a creekbed. And up into my car. So that’s something, isn’t it?”

Alex’s dad slowly shook his head, “I don’t know how Alex did it.”

Ray shrugged, “Maybe she was just the right age, or just the right… something.”

Louis added, “Maybe she was just really lucky.” Because some of the GC-161 stuff he’d heard about sounded really hideous.

Ray asked, “Have you heard anything about Alex’s latest op?”

Her dad nodded grim-faced. “It’s on the news.”

Louis whipped out his smartphone and pulled up the latest news footage. “Oh crap.” He showed Ray the camera footage of a giant monster-thing coming up out of the sand and getting the crap knocked out of it by Terawatt and… “What the heck is Azure Crush doing out there helping Terawatt?”

They sat in the Macks’ living room and watched CNN news footage of the battle against the giant mollusk-things. Louis made a gagging noise and muttered, “I am never eating another clam again as long as I live.”

Ray told him, “Me? I’m eating every one I can find, so there aren’t as many of ‘em out there.”

It was almost an hour before Alex’s dad walked back in. He didn’t look happy.



Alex flew back through the runoff system and popped through the secret port into the garage. Hmm, there was stuff brewing away. That meant her dad got home early and was working on something. She flew through the house and found him standing looking unhappily at Ray and Louis. That didn’t look good.

“What’s the matter?”

Everyone turned to look at her.

Ray asked, “You okay? Those giant clam-monsters looked nasty.”

Louis said miserably, “I ruined everything. Again.”

Her dad explained, “Ray was exposed to GC-161 again, while helping Louis get samples from some creek.”

“Ohhh.” Alex could guess what creek it had to be, and why Louis was doing it in secret instead of just telling the hazardous waste guys at the plant.

Ray scowled, “I fell in. Then I didn’t think about maybe turning into a silvery blob, so I kept going instead of running right back to the car. And then, after I turned into a silvery blob again, Louis just about killed himself getting me up to his car, and someone had slashed two of his tires while we were doing the sampling. He let the air out of his other tires and drove on his rims all the way here.”

“Eww.” That all sounded really bad. She flew over to a front window and peeked at Louis’s car. It looked like Louis had pretty much wrecked it to get Ray here.

Her dad frowned, “Ray didn’t get back here in time. His DNA’s altered. I’m afraid he’s going to be on antidote for good.”

She thought hard for a couple seconds and whipped out her tPhone. “Burn? It’s Tera. We’ve got another problem.” She filled Willow in on the details, and her dad added a couple more things as she talked.

Willow made a few ‘hmm’ noises which sounded sort of odd with her AutoTune on. “Okay, I think you should try the Danielle Atron approach.”

Alex gasped, “What?”

Her dad got it. “Oh! Right!” He explained to the room, “We’ll give Ray more GC-161, check his powers and his control, and give him the antidote if it’s still not favorable. Then we’ll repeat the process until we get a power set that’s workable and controllable.”

Ray gave him a weak smile. “If I could fly around, like with Alex, that’d be pretty awesome.”

Her dad frowned, “I think we just need to focus on finding a power set you can control, or perhaps one that’s low-powered enough to ignore the side effects.”

Louis groaned, “And I need to call Triple-A, and then try and explain to my dad how I wrecked the car.”

Her dad put up his hand, “I’ll take care of the second part.” He called up Louis’s dad and started telling him how Louis had saved Ray’s life because they were hiking off around Carter Creek Road when Ray got really sick, and when Louis got Ray back to the car, someone had slashed half the tires, and there was no cellphone signal, so Louis deflated the other tires and rushed Ray to the emergency room, but it wrecked the tires and the rims, but Ray was okay, so that was why her dad was paying for the tow truck.

Alex waited until her dad hung up, and then gave him a huge hug. “Thanks, dad. You’re the best.”

Louis said, “Yeah. Thanks a ton. My dad was pretty peeved at me about not taking care of my retreads. He’d blow a gasket if I wrecked a whole new set of tires plus all four rims.”

Ray told Louis, “Well, you saved my neck, so I’m chipping in on however much it costs you to get your car fixed.”

Alex said, “Me too, because you saved Ray. And you were trying to help when you were doing the sample thing.”

Louis shrugged. “It’d be nice if one of my plans went off the way I planned it.”

Alex smirked, “Besides talking your dad into hiring a booth babe for the summer conventions?”

Louis smiled happily. “Yeah, that went way better than I had any right to expect.”

Her dad carefully asked, “Is this something I should know about?”

Alex told him, “Louis had to go run a booth in the dealer’s rooms at a bunch of cons this year, like San Diego Comic Con, and he talked his dad into hiring Marsha to help him, and it went great. Except when the dancer accidentally knocked Louis into a fishpond. And when the guy in the restaurant poured orange juice in Louis’s lap. And… Well, stuff kept happening to Louis. And sometimes Marsha.” She wasn’t going to say anything about Marsha’s telekinetic neurotic ‘looks like bad luck’ thing. Yet.

So Alex changed from Terawatt to Alex and fixed dinner, and made lots of extra so Ray and Louis could eat with them. Ray called his mom and said he was out with Louis and wouldn’t be home for hours. Louis got the tow truck guy to take his car off to wherever he wanted it to get repaired. And Alex had to keep answering Shar’s questions about the giant slimy clam monsters while everyone else wanted to eat a nice dinner.

After dinner, everyone piled into her mom’s SUV, even Shar, and they drove over to her dad’s lab at the plant. Her dad had lots of carefully-locked up supplies of GC-161 and antidote, along with a dozen related chemicals, like an antidote for that GC-Divide stuff that was so awful.

Then they spent a couple hours dosing Ray with GC-161, waiting to see what it did to him and if he could get a handle on it, and then dosing him with antidote.

The first time, he turned into the silvery blob again.

The second time, he went silvery and glowed canary yellow too. He still couldn’t stop being blobby.

The third time, he went silvery and started to catch on fire. Alex slammed him with two of the water balloons of antidote before he could burst into flames like Victor Cready.

The fourth time, he didn’t go silvery, but he couldn’t stop floating everything around him in the air. Including the dose of antidote. Alex had to telekinetically grab the antidote and splash him with it.

By the seventh time, despite the tension, Shar was falling asleep in Aunt Barb’s arms. Alex talked her dad into driving Louis and her mom and Shar home, and coming back tomorrow morning to see how she and Ray were doing.

Ray called his mom and said he was hanging with Louis and they were going to work on a project for Spanish and he’d just stay overnight at Louis’s house. It took a while for Ray to talk his mom into giving him the okay on it, but he hardly ever caused trouble, so she finally said okay.

Alex waited until he hung up and pointed out, “You know, if we can’t undo this stuff and you have to take antidote every day, we probably need to bring your folks into Team Terawatt so they don’t think you’re a drug addict or something just as weird.”

Ray frowned, “I’d just like to be able to play basketball this year, you know.”

On the ninth try, Ray got electrokinesis. He couldn’t stop shooting lightning bolts out of his hands. He had to grab onto a grounded ringstand on one of the lab tables before he blasted the lab apart.

Ray muttered, “Okay, I’d like to be able to play basketball this year and not electrocute the referees.”

On the twelfth try, Ray got electrokinesis and the silvery morph too, and couldn’t stop zapping himself. Alex smashed him with a balloon of antidote as fast as she could.

She was really beginning to wonder how Danielle Atron managed, because Alex couldn’t see Danielle trusting anyone to take care of her if she was in trouble. Maybe Danielle had a floor with a little fishpond sunk in it, and just filled the fishpond with antidote before she started dosing herself. Then she could jump into it or puddle into it anytime she needed to.

A little after four in the morning, on the seventeenth try… nothing happened. Well, nothing they could see. Ray couldn’t do the silvery morph, and he couldn’t do the telekinesis, and he couldn’t do the lightning. He didn’t seem to be able to do anything. And he wasn’t catching on fire, or turning blue, or glowing purple, or anything.

Alex did a bunch of the tests her dad had set up, and she wasn’t finding anything abnormal. She even did the ‘get angry or embarrassed’ thing to see if he’d glow yellow. She finally said, “Maybe we have to wait a couple hours to see what kicks in.”

Ray yawned so wide Alex could almost see the back of his throat. “Maybe we could get some sleep. I probably gotta go to school in the morning, you know.”

Her dad had a big armchair in the corner over where he had a computer desk and a fancy ergonomic chair. Ray slipped into the armchair, Alex cuddled mostly in his lap, and they fell asleep like that, with his arms wrapped around her. It was so comfy and cozy that Alex couldn’t stop smiling, even if she was still worried about Ray.



Alex woke up when she heard someone rattling the doorknob. She flew up into the air and over the back of the armchair to duck down where she wasn’t visible.

Okay, maybe that was kind of an over-reaction, since it was just her dad. She checked her hair and then walked over to give him a hug. Even if he was in a fancy suit.

He smiled, “Everything okay?”

She nodded and used her tk to pull the clipboard full of notes over. “Trial seventeen seemed to do it. We can’t find any effects yet.”

He looked over all her notes and asked, “Did you get him to try the mind-reading and mental control things?”

She nodded, and she pointed at the spot on the last page of notes where she’d done the tests.

He studied her notes. “Well, this looks pretty promising. I wasn’t expecting a state where there are no detectable powers, though. Maybe we just haven’t given his body enough time to adapt.”

Ray yawned and clambered out of the chair. “Oh man, I need more sleep.” He walked over and yawned, “Still no powers, I think. Unless it’s something weird.”

Her dad pointed out, “It could be something as subtle as affecting one particular type of taste bud, or specific frequencies of sound detection.”

Ray shrugged, “Well, in that case, maybe I better get to school and just see if I notice anything. Can I catch a ride?”

So her dad drove Ray to the school, where his car was still sitting from yesterday, while she went silvery and took the storm runoff system back to the house. Shar was already off to school when Alex got home, so Alex could just go to bed and not worry about someone whining about having to go to school when Alex didn’t.

Okay, Alex had a huge breakfast that was mostly leftovers from last night’s dinner plus a three-egg omelet. Then she got some sleep.

The tPhone rang around lunchtime, so she got up and answered. “Tera here.”

Willow’s AutoTuned voice checked, “How’s the Terahunk?”

“Oh, please don’t start that,” Alex complained. She didn’t whine. It was really totally not a whine.

Willow said, “But Jack’s really funny when he starts talking about the Teramom and the…”

“Willow!”

“Okay. Maybe it’s not as funny when it’s you. Just remember the difference between tragedy and comedy is… perspective.” She slid into a really heavy Jewish accent. “If I get a hangnail, that’s a tragedy! The pain, the suffering… If you walk into an open sewer and die, that’s comedy!”

Okay, it was really funny the way Willow told it. Alex didn’t want to giggle, but she did. “Where’d you get that?”

Willow admitted, “Mel Brooks. The lines, the delivery, everything.”

Alex said, “Okay, we think we found a GC-161 power set which looks like nothing. So he doesn’t need antidote, because there’s nothing to deal with.”

“Ooh, that’s good. I was figuring on maybe you’d find something he could just control pretty easy.”

Alex grimaced, “None of my powers were that easy to control on the first day. Okay, the tk worked pretty well, and I didn’t have that much trouble with the lightning. Even if they went totally whacko the first time after I got dosed that I had a huge cold. That was freaky. But the silvery morph was a giant pain until I got a handle on it. Imagine going silvery and finding yourself across the street, and then realizing you went silvery without your clothes.”

“Eww,” Willow said supportively.

Alex complained, “Yeah, I was totally hoping Danielle was still at the ‘leave your clothes behind and be mega-humiliated’ stage on her morphing ability, but no luck on that.”

Willow asked, “So what do you suppose your honey’s secret superpower is?”

Alex hoped, “Maybe it’s a spidey-sense so he knows when badguys are after him. That would be useful.”

Willow said, “Yeah. What if your superpower was the ability to make all your ice cream taste like Brussels sprouts? Or the ability to make zucchini plants grow extra fast?”

Alex smiled, “I think you have that one already.”

Willow grumbled, “Yeah, I’ve got enough grated zucchini frozen in baggies to make chocolate cakes until maybe May.”

Alex smiled even more. “Well, I know where you can get rid of some unwanted chocolate cakes…”

Willow fussed, “Your dad said I needed to stop sending so many cakes to your house until he can summon up some willpower, because he loves them. He says they’re better than his mom’s chocolate cake.”

Alex told her, “Well, they are really delicious and chocolaty and moist. Betty Crocker’s probably got food spies trying to track down your secret recipe.”

Willow pretended to agree. “Yeah, I was wondering who assassinated all the Sara Lee food spies last month, because, y’know, the garbage man hates it when there’s all these dead spies in the garbage.”

Alex snickered and said, “I tell you what. I’ll pick up the chocolate cakes, hide ‘em in my room, and just not tell dad about ‘em. That’ll save him thousands of calories. He’ll probably want to thank me for protecting him from the evil chocolaty goodness.”

Willow giggled. “I think I know your dad well enough to know what he’d say if he found out you were hiding the good desserts from him.”

Alex changed the subject, because she was also pretty sure what her dad would say if he found out she was getting cakes from Willow and not sharing. “So… what’s the word on King Clam?”

Willow filled her in. “They managed to blow up two more of ‘em, but the new ones were way smaller. They think they’re gonna have to keep a seismology station there full time from now on, until a full EPA Superfund hazardous waste abatement project gets completed. I’m putting together a proposal for the Santa Monica city council that’s a giant clam ‘museum’ thing, so people can pay to see the dead giant clam corpses, and drive around one of the dumptrucks, and watch guys do hazardous waste abatement that might turn out to be extra-super-hazardous, just so they can pay the cost on the abatement, because they’ll be losing some money on the ‘no beachgoers’ thing too. Oh, and Azure Crush gave an interview where she said she’s been homeless and it was sucky and there was no way she was gonna let those things eat more homeless people, and she was gonna ask Larry Flynt to donate to the local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. So she’s pretty popular in Los Angeles right now. Maybe the thing with giving the interview in a teeny little bikini helped too, because she’s got it goin’ on. If she wasn’t all mean and a bully and a supervillain, I would totally be checking out those pictures of her all starkers.”

Alex sort of pretended Willow hadn’t said that last part. “Well, it would be pretty great if she’d decide she’d rather be a superhero, because right now there are just not enough superheroes to go around. And we need superheroes in Europe and Asia. Especially in Asia, everywhere the USSR made all those stupid ‘oh just dump it over there’ decisions.”

Willow told her, “Jack said Melvin in Tromaville looks like he might get most of his charges changed to justifiable homicide and the rest plea bargained down, and then he might get probation or something. I think Jack’s angling for ‘community service’ where Jack’s version of community service means going through a military training program and some anger management therapy, and then helping the SRI for a couple years.”

Alex said, “That sounds sneaky enough to be Jack.” She admitted, “But I’m not sure I want a superhero on my team who’s got a rep for violent murders. That’s kind of asking for people to think we’re badguys or not-goodguys or at least really suspicious. And we’ve already got that jerkhead Glenn Howard saying stuff about me.”

Willow complained, “Yeah, he’s a dork, and I checked into his background, and now he’s ruined my birthday for me forever, because he’s got the same birthday as me, he’s just a couple years older, and from now on, every time I get a great present for my birthday, I’ll be thinking ‘oh, but Glenn Howard’s probably getting an even better present for his birthday’ and that’ll ruin everything.”

Alex asked, “How can he have the same birthday as you?”

Willow casually explained, “Oh, it’s just probability theory. Any twenty-three people you randomly select out of a sufficiently large population, the odds that at least two of them have the same birthday are right around 50-50. What’s really going on is that as you increase the size of the group, the likelihood of nobody having the same birthday as anyone else in the group has to keep going down. And this is just one minus that probability, so it keeps going up. If you have more than fifty-seven people in your simple random sample, then the odds are like 99 to 1 that at least one pair in the group has a birthday in common. Maybe even a couple people with matching birthdays.”

Alex decided she was going to have to look that up, because that just didn’t sound right. 99 to 1 when you only had at most 57 out of 365 days covered? That sounded mega-weird. Even if she couldn’t imagine Willow making a math mistake like that. She jumped topics, “Well, tell Jack that if he needs Terawatt to do the opening ceremony for that giant clam monster museum, I can do it. I guess.”

Willow said, “And we’d make sure it’s not a bad day for you. Because I told Jack you were off limits on Homecoming night, and he gave me the official okey-dokey. So no last-second calls or anything. But you might get a call the next day, because I only asked him for one night, so don’t get totally plastered and have a horrible hangover the next day, which believe me is totally not of the fun, especially with tequila, no matter how yummy those margaritas taste.”

Alex frowned, “I wouldn’t! And anyway, I don’t even know what alcohol would do to me.”

Willow excitedly told her, “Well, some time when you visit me, like maybe when you’re twenty-one, we’ll do some scientific testing! Maybe with jello shots!”

Alex wasn’t sure that would be a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it would be an insane thing.

After Willow signed off, Alex dragged herself out of bed. She really felt like she needed more sleep, but she was hungry too. So she pulled her bathrobe on over her pajamas and went down to the kitchen. Then she got dinner set up in the oven with the timed start feature on the oven. Shar liked pot roast and roast potatoes, but wasn’t so big on the roast carrots, so this time Alex’s mom had some other stuff to put in with the roast and potatoes and carrots. Alex wasn’t too sure roasted turnips and parsnips were going to be a big hit, but she figured maybe if Shar didn’t know what they were, she’d eat them. And there were two sweet onions that Alex quartered and put in the roasting pan too.

It only took a couple minutes to get everything ready in the roasting pan, since she was using her tk. And she had it all in the oven before the microwave beeped that her lunch was ready. It was leftover rice and curry, and the curry had beef and peas and carrots and other yummy stuff. The curry was maybe a little blah, since her dad didn’t want to overwhelm Shar’s tastebuds. Alex just added some red chili powder and some coriander to her serving. Okay, so she liked more coriander than her mom and dad did. It made the curry taste a little more citrus-y and tangy.

She wasn’t even done with lunch when Hanna called. So they Skyped for a while. Hanna started off asking about the giant clam monsters and if they were fun to fight. Okay, Hanna would have thought they were fun to fight, even if Alex didn’t. Then they started talking about Alex’s Homecoming thing, and then how Hanna ended up on the Homecoming Court for her school, and Charlie was going to be her escort, and Cindy was helping her get a really pretty dress and making sure it was tailored just right, and how the shoes were very cute but not at all suitable for fighting in. Alex told her that there had better be lots of pictures and maybe even some video footage.

Alex knew Cindy had been really popular and a cheerleader, so when she had gone off to West Virginia with Grover, she had given up her chance to be prom queen. Alex kind of wondered if Cindy missed that. Okay, Cindy got to be with her boyfriend, and Grover was taking on-line college classes to get an undergraduate degree so maybe he could work out some kind of grad program with Jack’s scientists, but Alex thought Cindy needed to do more than just be Grover’s girlfriend and Hanna’s mentor.

By the time they were done talking, school was out. Alex had a text from Ray that he had first day of b-ball practice and he wouldn’t be over for maybe two hours. Alex hadn’t realized it, but she’d been Skyping with Hanna for like hours. But there were a ton of messages she’d missed. Graham had texted her that Santa Monica looked like it was under control. Jo Lupo had emailed her that Azure Crush said to say ‘thanks’ and ‘you’re not as big a bitch as I thought so sorry for trying to kill you with a station wagon’. Wow, that was not exactly the greatest apology Alex had ever seen. Marsha had texted her that a couple of Donna’s posse and their BFs freaked when Marsha told them Louis was over at her house all yesterday afternoon, so she was pretty sure she knew who trashed Louis’s car. Louis had texted her that he needed new tires and new rims, plus re-painting the side of the car and some detailing, but everything else was okay. Still, the car repair guys looked at him like he was an idiot for driving on four flats. Every time he went over to the repair shop, they called him ‘Lowrider’ and stuff.

Alex was busy calling people and texting people and Skyping people, so she was kind of surprised when Ray rushed into the house.

“Alex! Alex!” He couldn’t keep the grin off his face. He kissed her and smiled, “I found out what superpowers I got!”



A/N: Willow's math is correct. Look it up.
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