Friday, May 11, 2012

Insert Classic Show Tune Here

"Howl! Seven days to the wolves! Where will we be when they come?"

"Oooooow... ssssss ..."

"Well, it's better than nothing." Jess sighed and flicked off her iPod speaker, giving Leonard a stare. He was sitting on the end of her bed, looking as studious as a skinny, ex-parasitic twin could manage. "I suppose at least you're getting the howling down..."

"Oooow." Leonard repeated, what could pass as a 'pleased' look crossing over his deformed features.
Since arriving in the Library, Leonard had truly come on in leaps and bounds. The murderous misshapen foetus was well on his way to becoming... well, if not a member of normal society, at least a being that didn't spend the majority of his life trying to chomp on people's innards. Even the casual observer could tell that now his favourite food was pizza – especially anything with lots of nice chunky meat on it.

Jess had even finally managed to achieve one of her greatest goals with her creepy little sidekick... through coercion, bribery and outright threats, she had managed to get him to wear a Nightwish t-shirt. He was getting more and more human by the day.

"OK, that'll do for now," Jess gave in. "Off you go, see if Shirley wants a fight or something." Obediently, Leonard flopped off the bed and scurried out of the room. He was still managing to get around by dragging himself on his stick-like arms – his legs were just too malformed to support his meagre weight... even though, thanks to all the pizza, he was starting to develop a little pot belly.

"He's not the only one," Jess mumbled, patting her own stomach as she settled back onto the bed. The Library gave a brief shudder. Somewhere, Jess was sure, someone else would be taking the blame. Well it's true, Jess thought, sticking her tongue out in the direction of the ceiling. We have far too many pizza parties around here and I have far too little inclination to exercise. I fit into my new outfits so that'll do.

It had been a fun day for Jess – she was always a fan of shopping, after all, and shopping with Tash and Harriet was even more fun than usual. It made things a lot more amusing that the three of them had spent half the afternoon crammed into one tiny changing room in Ann Summers, attempting to lace one another into various corsets and skimpy items of lingerie. Harriet was planning an intimate night in with her boyfriend. She and Jess had insisted that Tash come shopping with them; there could be little in life more cheering than trying on underwear all day.

Jess glanced towards the corner of her room, where the reason for its name (the Den of Sin) stood empty. She was bored, and furthering Leonard's education wasn't really what she fancied for the rest of her day. She kicked herself for forgetting to replenish her cage of kidnapped musicians... she rather fancied someone to play with and show off her new purchases, not to mention her new piercings and tattoo. She thought of her pet American back in Real Life, then sighed out loud.

"Buggeration and bollockery." Her problem? His girlfriend was visiting him. Could cause... issues.

Quite literally, thanks to the recent shopping trip, Jess was all dressed up with nowhere to go.

"Bollockation and buggery!" she groaned, then shrugged her shoulders, as if convincing herself of something. "Oh well, nothing else to be done." Pulling an enormous green hoodie over her corset that clashed alarmingly with her hair and giant purple handbag, she strode from the room.

The first room she came to was Rhia's kitchen. She listened carefully at the door, but couldn't hear any voices and she didn't want to barge straight in – nor did she want to receive a frying pan to the head for doing so. Fine. She stalked along a little further, the heels of her boots clacking loudly on the floor.

"Aha, this is more like it!" With a triumphant flourish, she marched into the nearest reading room, the fact that there was not one but three males sitting in there making her smile. All three of them looked up from various books and manga.

Jess rubbed her hands together in a very businesslike fashion."Right." She surveyed the three boys with a critical eye. "Marcus: nope, that definitely wouldn't work out, would it? Tyler: sorry love, too small. Dave... Dave..." Slowly, one eyebrow elevated itself, and Jess started to advance across the room. "Why did I never notice before..."

"Notice... what?" Dave's eyes widened and his hand twitched towards his battleaxe.

"How- aargh!" Suddenly, Jess gave a very un-seductive shriek and toppled straight into Dave's lap. "Bloody hell, Leonard!"

Sure enough, the creepy little sidekick had flung himself straight into the room and catapulted himself onto Jess's back, sending her off-balance and straight on top of poor Dave.

"Oh, come on Jess, you can pounce on men all you like, but doing it physically might get you arrested."

"Phoenixia, if you're going to turn up out of the blue, you can at least be useful and get this little bugger off me!" Jess's voice was muffled.

"I've come here to put the little bugger on you, actually," Phoenixia's sardonic voice was grim. "He got into my garden. Keep him away from me, please, or I promise you I'll find some way to never have to see him again."

"Fine, fine," Jess extracted herself from the armchair, just about managing to balance on her heels with Leonard hanging off her back. "Oh, shove up a bit." She prodded the creature into a proper piggy-back position. With indecent (or actually, considering the circumstances, entirely decent) haste, Dave was leaving the room, with a flustered goodbye.

Jess sighed and reached back around to give Leonard another poke."You are a pain in the bony ass, you know that?" Leonard gave a soft, slightly ominous hiss aimed somewhere in Phoenixia's direction... then gave a shrieky squeal.

"You look a little hot and bothered, dear," said Tash, staggering slightly as Leonard leapt from Jess onto her shoulder. "One question, why does your sidekick seem to like me so much all of a sudden?"

Jess shrugged. "You tend to order the pizzas."

"Good point," the new Librarian gave Leonard an awkward pat on the head. Jess almost expected him to purr. "Anyway, the monitors have been having a bit of a beep. Guess who's causing havoc now?"


"Remember Leonor?"

"The Sue I nearly blew up in the X Files fandom? Led to me finding Leonard? Not scared of my needle? Yeah, I remember her... wait a sec." Jess raised her eyebrows. "Isn't she in the Basement?"

"Clearly not," said Tash. "We'd put her down on the casualty list after the Invasion." She took a breath. "But apparently she wasn't interested in joining the other Sues so she wasn't taken down... she just hotfooted it out of here."

"I'll go get her, it won't take long," Jess was already halfway to the door. "Let me restock my Copyrights and I'll be on my way. What's the fandom?"

"Glee. Never seen it..."

"GLEE!" Jess gave a very high pitched shriek. "Oh my god, you have got to come with me. It's just such a fun fandom, it'll be hilarious!"

"I don't know..."

"Come on, Tash," Jess wheedled. "Everything's been so depressing around here lately. I swear, five minutes listening to the music in this fandom and you'll be grinning like Leonard at the words..." Jess paused. "M-e-a-t f-e-a-s-t."

"Meat feast?" Tyler piped up innocently. Instantly Leonard's face split into a frankly rather terrifying toothy grin, and he bounced from Tash's shoulder to the floor, scuttling at top speed from the room.

"He's going to the delivery point," Jess sighed. "Oh well, we'll be gone by then, someone else can deal with him when he finds out there's no pizza."

Within half an hour, McKinley high school seemed to have gained two new pupils. If anyone noticed that they were considerably older than the general mass of students, nobody was saying anything.

"She'll be at the Glee club meeting," Jess said confidently. "If I remember Leonor correctly, she'll have seduced someone, or at least be in the process of seducing someone. She's not very original. I'd guess she'll be aiming for Finn, Puck, or even Mr Schue if she's feeling particularly sure of herself."

"When's the Glee club meeting?"

"Um... in an hour. Can we find a French class so I can show off?"


After a brief argument, the two Agents ended up sitting in the choir room, waiting patiently for the Glee club – and the Sue – to arrive. Jess, as always when faced with a piano, was showing off. Not entirely successfully, of course, considering she was actually pretty rubbish at playing the piano. But she had plenty of enthusiasm and was, as always, very loud.

"Wow, Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my favourite songs!" Suddenly, the Agents realised they weren't alone. While Jess had been hammering the piano like it had mortally insulted her mother, Mr Schuester and the majority of the Glee club had trooped into the room and were starting to warm up.

Jess leapt up from the piano stool at once, as if it had suddenly burst into flames. Tash was already standing, scanning the assembled crowd with narrowed eyes.

"It's always great to see new members," Mr Schue continued talking, grinning his infectious grin. "Did you hear about our great performance at Sectionals? Of course you're welcome, especially with a good liking of Queen... 'Somebody to Love' is one of our specialities."

"We're not actually here-" Tash began.

"Of course we'd love to join in!" Jess interrupted. Tash shot her a look.

"Right guys, we're going to go through the dance for Bad Romance now, then we'll work on putting the vocals together," Mr Schue clapped his hands and the traditional members of the Glee club filed into place. "By the way, your names are...?"

"I'm Jess, she's Tash." Jess gave Noah Puckerman, who happened to be standing fairly close to her, a suggestive wink. "We're on an exchange from the UK." She turned to Tash and whispered, disguising herself in the general noise of the high school students warming up their voices. "I don't see Leonor anywhere. We might as well blend in and see if anything's going on. And it's Bad Romance!"

"But Jess... we can't sing."

Back in the Library, Dave was idly watching the monitors, just to make sure his fellow Brits didn't land themselves in any trouble. It wasn't turning out to be the most interesting mission he'd ever watched, though Jess's over-eager piano playing had been bizarre to say the least.

However... Dave's eyes widened as he realised that Jess and Tash were both... dancing? Could that be called dancing? It was debateable. The expression on Tash's face said quite clearly "I do not want to be here." Jess was obviously having the time of her life.

"This I have got to see! Someone watch the monitors," he called out, sprinting from the room.

"And back step-ball-change, and right step-ball-change, clap once, clap twice, and around, around, step-ball-change..."

"When we get back I'm going to eat you," Tash growled, staring at her feet and willing them to go in the right direction.

"Ah get over yourself, this is fun!" Jess giggled, waving her arms somewhat uselessly. She didn't seem to care that her feet were going in a completely different direction from everyone else's. "Wahoo!"

"OK, that's the basic dance step sorted, now let's work on layering the vocals on top... Kurt, Finn," Mr Schue sighed. "Do you mind saving it?"

"Sorry Mr Schue!" Kurt chirped, good naturedly slapping Finn's arm from around his waist. "Won't happen again... until later, anyway." He sent a lascivious wink in Finn's direction... which Finn returned.

"Now, Jess and Tash, what are your vocal ranges?"

"Um..." The two girls shot slightly panicked glances at one another.

"You know, it's probably best if we just join in and follow along, then we can work out where we're going to be," Jess bluffed. She knew perfectly well that both she and Tash's vocal abilities ranged somewhere between 'lower awful' and 'higher awful', with no impressiveness whatsoever.

"Good idea, just follow on. From the top, guys!"

"Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, roma, ro-mah-mah, gaga ooh la la... want your bad romance..." The entire Glee club burst into song, Jess and Tash bouncing along behind them as they started their dance routine.

"This is priceless," Dave murmured. He had slipped unnoticed into the room and was quietly filming as his friends stumbled their way through Bad Romance. Tash was keeping her voice low, but Jess was happily bellowing out the lyrics, taking great pleasure in the line "I want your love and all your lover's revenge." She was not entirely in tune.

With a triumphant "Want your bad roma-a-ance" the song came to a close.

"Excellent, guys!" Mr Schue clapped his hands together. "With a bit of polishing this'll be great for Regionals. Take a break for a moment."

"Jess, we have got to get out of here," Tash hissed. "There is no sign whatsoever of the Sue..."

"Yeah but things are definitely messed up around here," Jess hissed back. "Finn and Kurt? I love it, but it's definitely not canon. And Mr Schue seems a bit... wussy. He didn't even try to audition us, or anything. I'm sure that's out of character. And... look over there." She subtly gestured to the piano stool. Puck was sitting on it... and Rachel was sitting on him. The pair of them were rubbing noses like very soppy Eskimos.

"They're quite cute," Tash commented. "They're obviously mad about one another."

"Exactly," Jess raised her eyebrows. "Look at that drippy expression on Puck's face." The bemohawked bad boy of the Glee club did indeed look rather loved up. "I swear that expression has never crossed his face in his canon life."

"We're going to need a fair few Copyrights and the Sue hasn't even turned up yet," Dave agreed.

"Definitely..." Tash nodded, then jumped. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Dave grinned and brandished his camera. "I'm the new reporter for the school paper, if anyone asks."

"Oh... bollocks," Tash sighed, and got to her feet. "Right, Jess, we need to stop wasting time dancing around like maniacs and find this Sue."

Suddenly the face of Emma Pilsbury, the school's guidance counsellor, appeared at the door, smiling at Mr Schue, who jumped slightly and started to grin widely.

"Right, I'm calling an end to this rehearsal," he said, clapping his hands once again. "I've just realised I have somewhere else to be... Keep practicing, guys!"

He was out of the room within seconds.

"See!" Jess gestured towards the door. "He cares far too much about the club to be this flip about it. Even for Emma. Someone has definitely been messing with this fandom."

"Me and Dave will go back to the Library," Tash said. "You stick around here and try to find out what you can. If we pick up any clue as to Leonor's location from the monitors we'll let you know."

"Good stuff, see you soon!" Jess waved as her friends made a swift exit. She took a deep breath, then looked around the room. Most of the Glee club members had already left. In fact, as Jess paused to consider it, most of them had been very quiet throughout the whole practice. Practically two-dimensional, in fact.

Yes, the Sue had definitely been doing something... though for her not to actually be at the centre of the fandom was certainly a bizarre twist.

"So you're from England, right?" Jess looked up from her pondering to see Mercedes and Kurt, official Glee club divas, standing in front of her like a pair of sentinels.

"That's right," she put on her most winning smile and stood up in front of them. "It's a lovely place."

"Oh, I know," said Kurt, flicking a loose strand of hair out of his eyes. "I went to London last year. I could live in Harrods."

"Me too, the shoe boudoir is my heaven," Jess eagerly replied.

"So, tell us about yourself," said Mercedes. "If you're going to be part of the Glee club, we'll have to work out if we like you."

"I'm Jess," Jess shrugged. "What more do you need to know?"

"Do you realise that your hoodie clashes with your hair?" Kurt pointed out, raising one impeccably waxed eyebrow.

"Oh, yes, but it's just to keep me a bit respectable." With a flourish, Jess whipped off her hoodie to reveal her favourite black and white corset. "Didn't think this'd be appropriate wear for an American high school."

"Is it appropriate for an English one?"

"Wouldn't know!" Jess said brightly, then added under her breath. "It's been a few years since I've had the pleasure."
"Come have a drink with us," Kurt and Mercedes took Jess by an arm each and marched her out of the room, giving her just enough time to fling her giant purple handbag over her shoulder. "We'll get slushies and go watch Finn at football practice."

Jess smiled to herself. She knew she'd been accepted. Nothing like a slutty corset to impress a teenage fashion geek or two. Next step, information...

"So, how long have you and Finn been an item?" she asked. "You make a cute couple."

"Not long now," Kurt smiled widely.

"But you'd think they'd been together forever," Mercedes put in. "They just can't keep their hands to themselves!" She nudged Kurt as they joined the queue at the slushy machine.

"Was it a... sudden thing?"

"I liked him for years," said Kurt, slightly misty-eyed. "But he only changed his mind about me a couple of weeks ago. He was into girls."

"Yeah, I heard he was going out with that celibacy club girl..." Jess said slowly.

"Oh, you don't want to know about that," Mercedes laughed wryly as the trio started to meander towards the football field. "Talk about drama... she got pregnant, pretended Finn was the father... now she's left the school and apparently had an abortion."

"What?" Jess stopped in her tracks. "But she was so... what do you call it... pro life! Christian, all that stuff..."

"She changed her mind," Mercedes shrugged. "She made a new friend..."

Aha, Jess thought. She could see where this was going...

"Leonor," Kurt said, a note of reverence in his voice.

Bingo! Jess's inner voice was having a celebration.

"She joined Glee club a few weeks ago," Mercedes explained. "I don't know where she's got to today..."

"She was one of us before that, in other words totally anonymous," Kurt put in. "None of us had ever really noticed her. But she's incredible. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be with Finn... Rachel and Puck would never have got it back together and so Rachel wouldn't be out of our hair ninety percent of the time..."

"She sounds like quite a character," Jess mumbled, trying to work out her next move.

"I think you'd like her," said Mercedes with a smile. "She's great."

"Hmm," Jess muttered. True, she had found inspiration for her most recent haircut from Leonor's sweeping side fringe, and she had been wondering if a tongue piercing would suit her like it did the Sue. But no matter. "I'd like to meet her. Is it... unusual, for her to miss a rehearsal?"

"Definitely," both canon characters nodded. "She's the best singer we have, even better than Rachel."

"I should have known," Jess raised her eyebrows.

"I really don't know where she's got to," Mercedes said, perching on one of the seats in the stands. The football team were warming up on the field below. Kurt was rather distracted. "I haven't seen her all day."

"Does she live in town?" Jess was almost as distracted as Kurt, though more by the problem of find-the-Sue than the beefy bodies of the football players below – which admittedly made quite a change, though she did also admit to preferring rugby players.

"I don't know..." Mercedes began, but was suddenly interrupted by a harsh beeping from the pocket of Jess's skinny jeans.

"Excuse me a sec." Jess leapt from her seat and pulled out her Communicator. "Tash, what've you found?"

"She's gone," the Librarian sighed. "There's no sign of her in the fandom whatsoever. Get Copyrighting, then come on back."

"Aww, I was making friends!" Jess whined.


"All right, all right, I'm going."

"So she's completely disappeared?"


Jess and Tash were back in the monitor room, staring at the screens.

"She must have got wind of us," Jess sighed.

"I reckon so, you were making a lot of noise on that piano," Tash poked her gently. "I checked out some readings, though. She's been corrupting the characters-"

"Yeah, I noticed. I mean, no way in hell would Quinn have got an abortion. And much as I'd love Kurt and Finn to get together, it was never going to happen... and when I tried to flirt with Puck, he didn't even flirt back!" Jess shook her head in disbelief. "The normal Puck would never be like that."

"As I was saying..." Tash gave Jess a quick glare. "She's been corrupting the characters and using the energy from their transformations to build power for herself. She's getting stronger."

"That's never what we want to hear," Jess groaned.

"Now, all we can do is wait for her to pop up somewhere else."

"I'll be on my guard," Jess promised. "I'll get her."

"Before you do that, you might want to get Leonard," Tash commented. "He got upset when he found out there were no pizzas and may have raided Rhia's kitchen... Cristoph tossed him into an empty cage in the Basement."

"Oh no!" Jess leapt off. "What if this makes him regress? It took me so long to get him into that t-shirt..."

With a bang of the door, Jess ran off to liberate her unfortunate sidekick.

"That girl has got to get a life," Tash sighed, shaking her head.

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