: And the end.
So... judging from the reviews... people really liked this story! I'm glad. I really enjoyed writing it. And Alison is going to keep showing up in basically every other story in this set.
(Since people seem to like her so much, I might have to bring her back even more.)
Stay tuned! Next is, "Because I Could Not Stop For Seo."
Enjoy and review please!
David fell asleep on the long train ride back to London.
Alison and Seo just sat there, facing one another, as the train made its way across the British Isles.
"I guess this means… your mum's going to find out you blew up the dishwasher," said Alison, as night fell around them.
Seo looked out the window. Shook her head. "She's having an overnight visit. I've got till morning."
"Overnight…?" Alison stopped. "Oh. Your parents… aren't together, anymore."
Right. Yeah. The whole… 'dad' thing. That made sense.
"They never really were together," Seo confessed. She sighed. "It's… complicated."
Alison nodded. Very, very slowly.
Like so many things about Seo. So many things that Alison didn't understand.
So many things she wanted
"What did you do to that alien?" Alison ventured.
Seo looked down at her hands. A very solemn look on her face. "Something… I shouldn't have been able to do." She looked back up at Alison. "I almost killed you, didn't I?"
"I'm sorry," said Seo. "I wasn't thinking. I was just… so scared. So terrified." She sighed. "I'm not superwoman, you know. I thought I was, but… deep down inside…" she gave a small shrug. "I guess I'll always be the villain."
Alison stared at her. Then gave a little laugh. "Right. Yeah. Because the alien monster who was kidnapping and torturing kids so he could sell them as meat was the good guy."
"That's not what I meant," said Seo. She wouldn't meet Alison's eyes. "Just… for almost killing you. And losing my temper. And… everything." A raw, bitter guilt twisted on her face, a deep, despairing pain. "My parents… they're both superheroes, you know. Real superheroes. Buffy — Mom — she saves the world pretty much every day. And my father wanders around space and time in a Police Box, stopping the universe from ending."
"You're kidding," said Alison.
Seo shook her head. She wasn't kidding. Not at all.
"I was created… using magic and genetic manipulation and spacio-temporal madness… as a combination of both of them," Seo explained. "Because of who they are. Created… to kill someone. An immortal. A Hell Goddess, named Glory." She took a deep breath. "That's… why."
And Alison realized. The super strength. The rage. The ability to manipulate everything to her advantage. That was what it was all for.
Seo wiggled her fingers. "Brain sucking," she said. Looked up at Alison. "It's called… brain sucking. It drains all the mental cohesion from your brain, leaving you trapped, alone, isolated inside your mind. Leaves you… mad. Completely mad. Glory used to do it." Looked back down at her hands. "I didn't know I could."
Alison nodded, slowly.
"I just… in that moment, when I heard what he'd done… I wanted
him to suffer," said Seo. "Not to die — to be in pain and agony. I wanted him to know what he'd put those children through. And I wanted to make sure he never, ever came free from it. I thought… he deserved it."
Alison thought this over. Then, in a soft voice, "Well, he did."
Seo looked up at her.
"I don't know who Glory was," said Alison, "or why you're so terrified of becoming her. But… I'm a human being. Hell Goddess free, completely normal human being. And I think that alien bastard got what was coming to him."
Seo bit her lower lip.
"And, anyways," said Alison, patting her sleeping brother on the head. "The hero is always the one who saves screaming kids. Not the villain. If you don't know that, you need to read more comic books."
"I'm going to lock it up," Seo decided.
Alison frowned. "Lock… what… up?"
"Everything that's Glory in me," said Seo. "Any super strength beyond Buffy's — Mom's. Any extra energy that comes with it. The brain sucking. The ability to reach through dimensions and turn a higher-dimensional being inside out. I'm locking all of that away, inside of me. And I'm never letting it out, ever again."
"Oh," said Alison.
She'd actually thought it was kind of cool, hanging out around someone who looked like she was just a normal 17-year-old, but actually had superpowers.
"Glory," Seo explained, "she didn't care. Didn't feel anything, deep down inside. She was prepared to murder a child, slowly and painfully, thirteen times over, sentencing the universe to go down in flames around her, just so she could get to her own universe and exact revenge." She wrapped her hands around her arms, shrinking into herself. "If she's inside of me… I'm locking her away… and never letting her out. Not a single little bit of her. Not even if my own life's in danger." Her lower lip trembled. "I'd rather die myself than live as Glory."
And Alison could see… something shining through Seo's eyes. Some deep childhood trauma that this was tapping into. Some horrible memory that all this was dredging up.
"I guess… after what I almost did to you… that you don't want to be my Scooby, anymore," said Seo, looking out the window.
Alison cracked up.
Seo quirked an eyebrow at her. "What?"
What could Alison even say to that? It was… everything. All of it! The fact that Seo would just assume that Alison didn't want to associate with her, because she'd rescued little kids and lost her temper with the monster who'd locked them up. The fact that she kept using the term 'Scooby' when she obviously had no idea what the hell 'Scooby Doo' even was. The fact that…
She seemed almost as lonely, friendless, and destined not-to-fit-in as Alison, herself.
"I've got absolutely no idea who you are or where you came from or why you can reprogram alien androids and can't figure out how to fix a dishwasher," said Alison. "But if you're looking for a Scooby to solve mysteries and fight against alien monsters, I'll go Scooby Doo all the way."
They stepped back, to admire their handiwork, as the first tendrils of morning illuminated the kitchen.
"Well, it sure looks
good," said Alison. She glanced over at Seo. "Does it actually wash dishes?"
Seo bent down, eyeing it suspiciously. "It either washes dishes," she decided, "or it teleports them into space. I'm not sure which."
They both spun around, as the front door opened. And a petite blond woman — who looked so almost exactly like Seo, it was a little unnerving — and a handsome-looking man in a World War II military greatcoat stepped into the flat.
Seo's eyes went wide. "Oh." She cringed. "Um… hello."
"You know," said the man, leaning against the door, as he closed it, crossing his arms. "Funny thing. Early this morning, I got this call from Archie, saying there was a crashed alien space ship right outside of Loch Lomond, with a jabbering alien who won't stop talking about the 'small blond goddess of vengeance'." His eyes twinkled. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"
"No," said Seo.
The woman — Seo's mum, Alison figured — looked over at Alison, intrigued. "Who's that?"
"My Scooby," said Seo.
Seo's mum burst out laughing.
"Well, you get Scoobies!" Seo insisted. "And Jack gets Scoobies. So why can't I—?"
Seo's mum rushed over and swept her up into a tight hug. Kissing the top of her head. "Someday," she said, "I need to explain to you why they're called 'Scoobies'."
She released Seo, then turned to Alison. Offering her a hand. "I'm Buffy," she said. "Seo's mom." She glanced back at the man standing by the door. "That's Jack. He's just… a friend."
Oh. Jack. The don't-tell-him-Seo-stole-things-from-Torchwood Jack. What was Torchwood, anyways?
"Alison," said Alison, shaking the hand. "I'm just… a friend of Seo's. You know. Just… ran into her while babysitting my brother, David, and… yep. Fast friends." She paused. Studying Buffy, carefully. "You're… the person Seo claims saves the world every day, right?"
"Yes," said Jack, as Buffy, at the same time, said, "No."
They exchanged a look.
Then Buffy sighed. "Maybe not every day," she admitted. "The major apocalypses are more like… once a month or so." She glanced over her shoulder, at Jack. "And he helps."
Alison stared at her. Then began to laugh. "You… fight aliens!" she said. "And save the world! You, Seo, Jack, her father — a whole family of alien-fighting super-people." She shook her head. "That puts my parents' whole Korjensky Family Pride thing into perspective."
Buffy visibly started at this. "Wait, Korjensky?"
From the back wall, Jack straightened, peering at Alison.
She retrieved her hand. "Oh, no," she said. "You've… heard of us." She couldn't believe what an ass her parents had made of themselves. And now, she'd met possibly the coolest family on the planet, and they
knew her parents had made asses of themselves, too!
"Uh… you… could say that, yeah," said Buffy.
Seo quirked an eyebrow at her, in question. A question Buffy stubbornly refused to answer.
"Alison Korjensky," Jack mused. He grinned at her. "And that would make your brother… no, let me guess… David Walter Korjensky?"
Alison buried her face in her hands. "Oh, God," she said. "You really have met my parents." She took a deep breath. Then headed out the door. "I'm… going to just leave, now. While I still have some dignity left."
"Come back soon!" Seo called after her, as she left the flat.
Buffy turned on Jack, the moment Alison was out of range. Her entire expression turning to one of utter and complete shock. "No."
"Yep," said Jack.
"Korjensky?" said Buffy. "The same Korjensky?!"
"David Walter Korjensky III," said Jack. "This David's great-great-great grandson. Explorer. Philanthropist. Adventurer. Founder of the Korjensky star system, and many others besides. And… a fervent believer in the strength and unifying power of the Slayer Institution."
Buffy felt a small grin pull at the edges of her face.
"I always wondered how that family became so involved with the Slayers," said Jack. He grinned at Seo, and winked. "Guess… you'll make an impression."
"Now," Jack continued, "onto some more serious matters." He went up to Seo, looking her right in the eye. "You wouldn't happen to know the whereabouts of some very dangerous items that are supposed to be locked up in my safe at Torchwood, would you?"
The next day, every single one of Buffy's dishes, run through the dishwasher, turned blue.