The Not-So-Wacky Adventures of Agnes
Fandom: Care Bears (and almost anything else my wacky little mind could conceive of, really.)
Notes, disclaimers, and other flotsam: Care Bears and all related characters are the property of Hallmark/American Greetings/Those Characters From Cleveland and whoever else owns the copyrights, all of whom seriously aren't me. The Watchers' Council and all related characters are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and the ever-brilliant Joss Whedon. Frodo, Middle Earth, and all related Lord of The Rings characters belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. Saiyans, the Moon Empire, Luigi, and codemasters are, respectively, the property of Akira Toriyama, Naoko Takeuchi, Nintendo, and Mainframe Ent. Mary Sue belongs to the ages. Agnes belongs to herself. Obviously, this is meant to be terribly tongue-in-cheek and I rather hope that no one gets up in arms about this silly little trifle of a story. I just wanted to write a slightly joking reply to the scary, scary influx of Mary Sues I see out there in the world of fanfiction and, as such, this particular Mary Sue is gleaned from all of them and is not supposed to be one particular Sue in general. Comments, critique, howls of fury, and threats to summon the internet police can be directed either to my review board or my email address. Obvious trolling attempts will be posted publicly for all to mock and enjoy.
An hour into the mission, Grumpy felt that things had gone decidedly downhill.
Mary Sue wept beautifully, claiming that no one could possibly understand her pain and told them of Luigi, her first love, an Italian plumber who fought monsters on the side. They'd both died after saving the world from a mob of evil, bio-engineered mushrooms, but tragically, while Mary Sue's innate mutant powers had resurrected her, they'd done nothing for her beloved plumber.
Since then, Mary Sue had drifted through a series of relationships, trying to fill the void in her life. The current one, involving a geneticist bent on world domination, was suffering from a fairly messy breakup. Apparently, Dr. Gates just wasn't able to let go.
"Oh, why won't he leave me alone?" Mary Sue cried out dramatically. "Why, oh why was I cursed with these inhumanly good looks and this wonderful, giving nature!" She ran from the kitchen, weeping passionately, her cries and wails still perfectly modulated and musical.
"Mary Sue! Wait!" Tenderheart called out, running after her.
Grumpy remained seated at the kitchen table, not entirely sure what he was supposed to do next, and feeling more than a bit awkward. He wondered if it would be rude to get a snack while he waited for Tenderheart and Mary Sue to return.
A few minutes later, a girl walked in, whistling cheerfully. She walked straight to the refrigerator and helped herself to a soda, taking a healthy swig before looking up and seeing him. She blinked.
"Er…hi?" Grumpy said uncertainly.
The girl put her soda down and stared at him for a moment, pushing a strand of mousy-brown hair out of eyes that were an ordinary, undistinguished brown. Ordinary, in fact seemed very much the word to describe her. Ordinary, straight brown hair tied into a plain braid that framed an unremarkably angular face on a slightly gangly teenaged girl who was dressed in simple jeans and an oversized sweatshirt.
"I'm…uh…Grumpy," he said, attempting to fill the awkward pause, adding, "A…er…Care Bear."
"Agnes," the girl volunteered, finally picking up her soda and moving to sit at the table across from him. "I…think you might be looking for my sister, Mary Sue. Mystical animal manifestations are really a bit more in her line."
"Uh, yeah," Grumpy replied. "She kind've, um, ran out of here in tears a few moments ago. My friend is with her."
Agnes shook her head and rolled her eyes a bit. "Knowing Mary Sue, I'm not surprised." She took another swig of soda. "Hey, you want a snack?"
"Oh, you don't have to go to any trouble-"
Agnes shook her head. "No trouble." She got up and started rummaging through the cabinets. "You like pretzels?"
She returned with a bag of pretzels and two bananas. "Here you go. So, why are you guys visiting Mary Sue? Is she saving the universe again or did another of her boyfriends bite the dust?"
Grumpy paused in the process of peeling a banana, slightly taken aback by this girl's matter-of-fact manner. "Uh…she's got one of her old boyfriends stalking her, I think."
"The mad scientist?" Agnes shook her head. "You know…I told her that one was going to end badly. I mean, these creative types? They seem like fun at first, but they are just so darned unstable." She sighed and bit into a pretzel. "I take it that was what the weep-fest is about?"
"You…don't seem particularly concerned about this…" he ventured.
Agnes shrugged. "My sister is Mary Sue. Everyone knows her. I've spent the past fifteen years watching her do things that everyone else claims are completely impossible, including dying and coming back about, oh…" she paused to count on her fingers for a moment, "fifty-eight times? Oh, except for the deal with the vampire. But, uh, mom really doesn't like us talking about that and we've got that deal set up with the local butcher, so it's all good, really. Let's just say that very little surprises me nowadays. As long as she doesn't borrow my video games and stays out of my room? I don't really care what she does."
Agnes waved a hand dismissively. "It's all a bit complex. Basically, if this thing called the…Watcher's Council…ever calls you up and starts babbling about a Chosen One? Start running. Those creeps are nothing but trouble."
"Watcher's Council," he repeated slowly. "Got it."
"Oh, and don't go to movies with her. She…tends to get sucked into the screen and it sorta changes the story." Agnes frowned, wistfully adding, "I was really looking forward to seeing Frodo save Middle Earth, you see. Like he did in the books?"
Grumpy's instincts kicked in at that sad tone. "I guess you're a bit jealous of her, aren't you?" he said, sympathetically.
"Maybe I was, a long time ago," Agnes said, looking thoughtful, "But…really, what is there to be jealous of?" She sighed again, "Okay, so there's the obvious with her being, well, who she is…but how could I possibly compete with that? And why would I even want to? I know who I am, and it's not some goddess-like, superhero, savior…thing. I'm just…y'know…Agnes. Her mousy little sister. The one who likes computer games and geeky stuff and doesn't ever go on adventures or make waves. Half the time, I don't even think she notices I'm here."
"Agnes…I'm sure there's more to you than just computer games and geeky stuff," Grumpy said, trying to make his tone as encouraging as possible and wondering how on earth they'd managed to miss someone this lonely for so long.
She frowned at a pretzel and broke it in half. "Maybe. But…I like being ordinary. No one expects me to do anything spectacular or save the world or really act in any particular way. I can just be me. Takes a lot of the pressure off, y'know?" She looked up at him with a small, wry grin. "It's certainly a lot easier than being a half-elven, half-saiyan, half-codemaster telepath who's the long-lost heir to the throne of the Moon Empire, isn't it?"
"Well, I imagine it wo-" Grumpy paused, "Wait…that's three halves!"
Agnes actually let out a small laugh at that. "Like I said…it's all a bit complex."
"But…I mean, how is that even possible?" he asked, completely baffled.
She shrugged. "I haven't the faintest idea. Mary Sue gets around, I guess."
Grumpy blinked. "She almost doesn't seem…real."
"That's what I've been saying for years." Agnes stared intently at another pretzel for a moment before asking, "Um…do you like video games?"
"Well, I'm not really that good at them…er, why?"
"Well…I've got this neat RPG if you wanted to try it. Oh course, if…if you had other things to do…"
Grumpy smiled and stood, holding out a paw to her. "I can't think of anything I'd like to do more, Agnes."
A small, brilliant smile lit her face, making her suddenly look a lot less ordinary. "Thank you."
"No! You have to hit Start and the green arrow key to do his secret attack!"
"…ugh. That orc just kinda came out of nowhere."
Tenderheart paused outside a half-closed door and heard the unexpected sound of Grumpy laughing.
"This time, I get to play the elf."
He peeked in to find his friend and Agnes sitting side by side on the edge of her bed, staring intently at the character selection screen of a video game.
"Sure you don't wanna be the dwarf again?" Agnes asked teasingly.
"The orcs were all taller than me!"
She giggled. "Fine, be the elf." Another brilliant smile crossed her face. "Leaves the ranger wide open for me."
Tenderheart couldn't help but smile at the pair of them and pushed the door open a bit more. "Hi."
Agnes looked up. "Oh, er, hey. You…uh…you were with my sister?"
Tenderheart nodded. "Yes. She's feeling a lot better now."
"Oh, well that's good." She straightened her glasses a bit self-consciously. "Er…sorry. I stole your friend to show him this game and I guess we lost track of time. Um, I'm Agnes."
"Tenderheart. It's very nice to meet you, Agnes." He smiled. "And I don't think Grumpy is just my friend."
Agnes flushed slightly, a small, pleased grin on her face. "Thank you."
"So…" Grumpy touched her hand. "When are we getting together to do this again?"
She flushed a bit more. "Oh, anytime you like? I mean, if you don't mind…ordinary."
"I think ordinary is the best thing in the world." He smiled. "And you've still got a lot to teach me about this game."
"Anytime you like," Agnes repeated, looking very pleased.