This mission was completed, finally, for Neshomeh's March Madness challenge. The fic is Retaken by bandgeeks101, and this takes place December 2009. It is not currently beta'd, in accordance with the challenge.
The Response Center was.... decorated for the holidays. Fairly decorated, to the point that the urple bedsheet that served to separate the RC from the rest of RC was one of the less... colorful items in the room.
It was still being decorated, in fact, going by the fact July was standing tip-toe on a stepladder, trying to place a wreath above the door. This wasn't going so well.
A small gaggle of children was standing behind the stepladder, and all but one of the small children had candy canes (the sole holdout being Kent Devilbird, whose parents, agents in the Department of Mary Sues and the Department of Implausible Crossovers, forbade their son candy, which July had learned was for good reason, some time ago).
Sally, whose hair had slowly began to gain a light blonde color, turned to one of the other older children in the group. "Do you think she'll fall?" she asked, as she took her candy cane out of her mouth.
"It's July," Shauna Yaive (the eldest daughter of two agents who refused to tell anyone which Department they worked in) said. There was a bobbling of heads, the other children agreeing with Shauna's statement.
July growled, annoyed, as she tried to straighten out the wreath. It refused to be anything but crooked (at an exactly 73 degree angle). "Look, just because I'm doing something possibly dangerous, doesn't mean I'm going to hurt myself. And besides, if I fall, I'll land on one of you little squirts."
The children backed out of the danger zone immediately.
"July," Library began, not quite exasperatedly, "I don't think we need a wreath up there. You could at least get Cordelia to do it." Library was standing next to a small Christmas tree- only somewhat taller than the blonde Agent- that was partially decorated. This was because the first Christmas tree July acquired and somehow managed to get into the Response Center had turned out to be a Flower, and despite some hard bargaining on July's part, the Douglas Fir was released after a 16 hour stand off with the DIA, despite, or possibly because of, attempted bribes. Bits of garland could still be found in the corridors.
"Look, I'm putting wreaths up on this side and the other side so Lux won't get at us with mistletoe! She's been doing it to every doorway she can manage."
"I thought it was because your mother had your family's extra wreaths sent to you. And wouldn't the mistletoe be easier to disguise in a wreath?"
"That's- ack!" At that moment, Cody had decided to enter the Response Center, running into the stepladder, making it topple at a sharp enough angle that July jumped off. The Agent glared at the dangerous DoSAT tech. "What were you trying to do, kill me?"
"Maybe." Cody looked around the RC in interest. "Sweet, candy canes!" She promptly helped herself to some off the tree.
"It's one of the things I do best," Cody said, as she unwrapped a candy cane.
"Hello, Cordelia," Library said after a moment. She was one of the few people who bothered to call Cody by her full first name.
"Hey," Cody grinned. "Why're all these kids here, did you guys kidnap them from the Nursery or something?"
July motioned at a plate of cookies on the counter, and at the decorations, once she set the wreath down on the nearest space, which was the Console. "Decorating party. They help decorate, I feed them, and the Nursery workers get to take a break from looking after Jason and the rest of... aaaaand Jason's disappeared again."
"Hey, no problem, I'll go look for him, I'm not expected in until..." Cody paused. The usual lack of anything to go by for time made it difficult for those who were part of Infrastructure. "Until something explodes and it's obviously my fault. Then Techno-Dann might be wanting me."
"Right." Library was understandably dubious.
The Console, tired of being obstructed by the wreath, decided it was a good time to shake things up.
[BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!] It was possibly Jingle Bells, as played by a tone deaf keyboardist.
July jumped a foot in the air or so, and Library moved to collect their gear. Cody and the children didn't even blink in surprise; the children because, with the exception of the Allens, they had spent most if not all of their lives near a Console, and Cody because the DoSAT technician had spent a good deal of time near loud machinery and was used to surprise starts, as she had claimed. General opinion was that Cody was actually partially deaf from said good deal of time near loud machinery. It would certainly explain quite a bit, at any rate.
July composed herself and went over to the Console, stopping the beeping. "Oh, neat. A Christmas Mary Sue."
Library went over, backpack already packed. "Oh? Because of the time of year, I take it?"
"No, because it's a The Santa Clause fic Sue."
July received a blank look.
"Oh. Right. Once again, a regrettable gap in your knowledge of pop culture. The horror. When we get back we're watching Christmas movies until even the kids get sick of it."
"Oh. No. Please." Library didn't sound especially threatened. "Will there at least be popcorn?"
The question was duly ignored.
Cody, on the other hand, grinned. "So, where am I probably gonna find Jason?"
All of the children told her, not quite all in time, due to the candy cane to mouth ratio. "The Sunflower Official's office."
"Sweet! I haven't seen that Flower yet."
July groaned to herself. "Cody?"
"If the SO asks if you know me?"
"You don't. For the love of God, say you do not know me."
"Because you're... well. You're you."
July rolled her eyes, and from behind her, Library was trying her hardest to not smile, though she was certainly amused.
"Okay! So, bratspawn-"
"-Okay, small children types, watch Cody. I'm deputizing you guys as agents under dubious pretenses."
"Hey! I'm not that bad!"
Library raised an eyebrow at her partner. "July, are you even allowed to do that?"
"Probably not, but it's all good if the Marquis doesn't find out, I'm figuring." July grinned, unrepentantly, the only response from Library to that being a small head shake.
"Of course, July, of course. Will we go in disguises for this?"
"Hrm, nah." July opened the portal into the fic.
With a final check of the bag and a last warning to the children and Cody, the two agents went through the portal.
About five seconds after, they quickly ran back through and into the response center.
Cody asked first. "Something wrong?"
"Cold! Too cold!" July's teeth chattered.
"How cold?" Cody mucked around with her pocketknife as she asked.
"North Pole cold!"
"That sounds pretty cold."
"It is," Library said. She breathed into her hands to warm them.
"So, uh, are you guys going to go back in there..?"
"Yes. After we get the disguises set up."
"Yeah. With coats."
"That is a very good idea, Library, and I love you for it."
"You're welcome, July."
Several minutes later, the disguises were programmed and the two young women went through the portal. Again.
The children looked at Cody.
Cody looked back and grinned widely.
"D'you think we could complain and get an allowance out of this from the Flowers?" Shauna asked Sally, idly. "Cos tech-uh-nick-ally we were just recruited. And Mom says agents that complain enough can get stuff outta them."
"I don't know," Sally said after a moment of sucking on her candy cane. "Library doesn't get anything extra from dealing with July."
"She should. July's silly."
Fortunately for them, July had closed the portal and was thus unable to hear the conclusion that she was silly. "Thank God for coats," she muttered.
Library nodded in general assent as she looked around at the cold, gentle, and beautiful environment that was the canon world's North Pole. It was snowing slightly, in due accordance to the words of the story.
Before July could even sputter at the double exclamation marks or the general lack of indication that the story had even begun, Library had her charge notebook out and the pen uncapped, ready to begin with the charge of double exclamation marks (punctuation abuse).
"Okay, so the one with the stupid hair is Bernard," July said, helpfully.
"I figured that would be the case, since people normally don't yell their own names."
"True, true. Well, he's Head Elf and the guy in charge after Santa in the movies. He's normally slightly sarcastic but helpful and he's confident." July's expression went slightly slack and her eyes glazed over a bit as she read the words ahead. "He's also not an angst-bucket like this fic has him be, so that's a charge."
"What is it now?"
"Santa needs to see you right now."
And with that, Bernard disappeared from the agents' view.
"Where did he go?"
"Uh, just outside Santa's office, apparently."
"Is that canonical?"
"That? Yeah. The fact that he can do telepathy and telekinesis is not. Probably."
Library gave her partner a dubious look. "Probably?"
"It's been a few years since I was able to stand watching these movies, okay?" July fidgeted.
"Christmas 2007. Jilly-bug-"
"Youngest sister. She's eight now. I think," July replied, giving proof as to the fine skills and knowledge she had accumulated being an oldest sister. "Well, that Christmas my dad had the idea of renting those movies... and well, no one got to watch TV that week because of her. Those movies, over and over and over. It wasn't as bad as the 170 hour Finding Nemo marathon from a few years before that, but yeah."
Library sighed, and wrote it down as a probable charge.
July opened a portal to drop them right outside Santa's office after Bernard went in.
The fluffy haired agent swore.
"One would think that with over two years of practice you'd manage to get it at floor level," Library commented. Unlike July who took the literal and surprising and unwanted and very uncoordinated two foot drop, Library had waited and was a bit more careful about it.
"Shaddup," July grumbled, and straightened out, though she remained on the floor. "Also, angst-bucket charge for the exposition. I mean, really? 'So he immersed himself in his work, and tried to forget about how different he really was.'" July minced. "Bernard is not an angst-bucket. None of the elves are angst-buckets-" July blinked at the words. "Oh."
"She made him a half-elf."
"Damn right, those don't exist in this canon. Also a charge for making him hate himself. He's just way older than the other elves as far as I can tell. Also, half elves would be icky."
"You wanted to see me Santa?" Bernard said walking towards the desk.
"Yes, come on in Bernard." Santa said with a small wave.
"Why is that?"
"Well, in canon, most of the elves look maybe twelve at the oldest. So that's suggesting pedophilia on someone's part."
Library blanched, and wrote down an additional charge.
"So what is so important that had Curtis running around like a chicken with his head cut off?"
Bernard said with a laugh, as he sat down on a stool opposite the most famous legendary figure of all time.
"Let's not get religious here. But yeah. Dubious claim."
Library wrote it down.
"Now that would be a sight to see." Santa said with a chuckle, " but down to business." Santa said suddenly very serious. Bernard could sense that he was apprehensive about something.
"What's going on?" Bernard asked worried because he'd never known Santa to be like this.
"Comma, comma, who's got the commas?"
"Not the author, apparently."
"I have a favor to ask."
"Anyth…" Santa held up his hand stopping Bernard.
"Let me continue. You need to hear what it is, but I need you to know that I'm asking you because you're the only one I feel I can trust with this." Santa looked at the Elf sitting across from him, he could see curiosity in his brown eyes.
"Well, at least Santa seems to be in character," July commented.
Library was checking through the backpack. "Where's the CAD?"
"Front pocket, wrapped in tinfoil."
"Why is it wrapped in tinfoil?" Library pulled it out and began to gingerly unwrap it.
"I don't know, ask Jason."
"Jason did this?
"Why didn't you stop him?"
"I was defending our oven from Trojie."
"Ow. Ergh. You okay?" July straightened up, rubbing her head from where it had bumped into a greyed out flashback wall.
Library stood up and smoothed her skirt down, after pocketing the foil in the backpack. "Yes. Are you?"
"Yeah." July picked up the notebook and pen and charged for the poor flashback segue. "Mind checking Bernard with the CAD?"
Library aimed the CAD at Bernard. "Nothing's showing on the screen."
"What?" July went over, exchanged notebook and pen for CAD, and looked it over. "Power switch is on, it's not damaged..." She pressed the buttons again. Still nothing. Not even a half hearted protesting beep. "Maybe the batteries are dead?"
"It has batteries?"
Behind them Bernard and Curtis were arguing over some sort of proposal for a law that Bernard wanted to have pushed through.
"Yeah. No idea what sort. But I bet we could find some here. Anyhow, should charge for making Bernard be a jerk to Curtis and the silly government thing."
"Umm.. Bernard what was that all about?" Bernard jumped about a foot in the air. He whirled around to find Santa standing right inside the door.
"Huh. High jump. Literal jump from surprise. Or non-literal. Something."
"I already wrote it down."
After the confrontation between Bernard and Santa, the two followed Santa into the shop.
He walked around the shop, and found who he was looking for soon enough. The elf was in the middle of badgering a couple of the elves who were there making sure everything was going smoothly, they only had about half the number of elves as usual working this time of the year.
"Wouldn't it make sense for them to keep production at the same level all year?" Library wondered idly.
"Maybe. I dunno. My guess is if you had all the toys done too early what would you do if people moved to the Naughty List at the end of the year?"
"Save the toys for the next Christmas?"
"Hmmm." July deferred in favor of watching the characters.
"Curtis can I talk to you for a moment?" he said to the young elf.
"Sure Santa what can I do for you today?" He said with a cheery smile.
"Can we talk in private?"
"Sure right this way." Curtis said as he waved Santa over to follow him into another room, which was empty of workers. "Now what is it that you want to talk about, the work is going great."
"Yes, yes, I can see that, but that's not what I want to talk about." he said interrupting Curtis. "I'd like to know what the argument you had with Bernard was about this morning."
"Oh,… that." Curtis said sitting down. "Well I guess you ought to know, especially since you've found he won't tell you."
"Yeah, I encountered that problem." Santa said as he sat down.
"Well here it goes, I'm going to give it to you in brief, if you want more you'll have to try and get it out of him." Curtis took in a large breath before continuing. "As you may have noticed Bernard looks older than most Christmas elves, this is because he is half elf. Now you may not think that is such a bad thing, but in theory it is, and in fact such unions I guess you could call them are shunned nowadays."
"Why is that?"
"Because it involves visual pedophilia?"
"I'm getting there, so hold on. Now, there has been no half-elf born for centuries, as far as we know, mostly thanks to Bernard's little personal crusade."
"Angst aside, it's a good crusade."
"But he is half-elf. What does he have against I guess you could say himself?"
"Ok, as I'm sure you've noticed us elves are very young looking to humans. Well I'm not going into details, but lets just say maybe the oldest a few of us look is maybe what? 13? And well let's just say the mother is usually human."
"Ok, I think I get the idea." Santa said.
"Well, for centuries Bernard has been trying to get it made illegal.
And with the quotation mark still missing, the two found themselves thrown back into the story's present, or to be more precise, Library found herself thrown into July and then both of them were back into the story's present.
"Could you get your shoe untangled from my hair? Please? It kind of hurts."
"Oh. Can you stop trying in that case?"
While they untangled themselves, Santa asked Bernard to bring their target to the North Pole because she was a half elf.
"Okay. Do we wait for him to muddle and angst his way there or do we just portal to Tennessee right now?" July was looking remarkably put together and composed, despite the fact that Library's right shoe was still tangled in her hair, dangling next to her face.
"It's supposed to be summer in the story, yes?"
July checked ahead. "Yes."
"Let's go right now."
"Yeah. But let's get your shoe out of my hair first."
Twenty minutes of disentangling and yelling later, the two left through a portal to the nondescript Tennessean college campus the Sue was at.
July deadpanned. "Yay. Charge for generic university. And pass me the backpack before we melt." She scrambled for the DORKS and removed the disguises. "This should do," she said. "Perfectly normal for a college."
July's uniform was currently a black shirt with the flashpatch sloppily stapled onto the sleeve after a 'minor' accident with Cody and a lighter. Library's was...
July looked at her partner's long black skirt, and the nice white blouse that could be barely seen under the black jacket that had a matching flashpatch. "Well. Mostly normal. You're overdressed." July hinted.
"I'm not wearing jeans."
There were no injuries this time, because July wisely changed the subject. "Well!" She looked around, perking up. "We've got awhile till he appears, so let's find a cafe. Or something. I want real food." July read ahead as they walked. "Okay, Ziponi's Deli it is. Sue is in there. And so is food. Hopefully it'll be good. Or at least edible. Edible is good too. And charge for this probably dragging real world locations in."
"Writer chose a small random town, which means it's probably a specific school, and the fact she named a random non franchise food place means she probably knows the place herself personally. So this is maybe a self insert or she's getting too close to real life which isn't all that good."
Library shook her head amusedly. "You're over-thinking it, July."
"So you don't want a sandwich or something that didn't come wrapped in plastic or from the cafeteria?" July was unable to not shudder.
"I didn't say that. And look, there it is."
Library passed the backpack over to July before her partner could say anything and started running. "Last one to get there pays."
"What? Hey! Come back here! Calpurnia, you cheater!"
July ended up paying for their food. While the inside of the deli was quite generic, and the sandwich was questionable in terms of its metaphysical properties in terms of existence due to its state as generic food, it was still delicious.
Library took advantage of the time to read what was happening through the words and write charges down as necessary.
Occasionally, there were mad giggles due to plotting how to assassinate the Sue, who was in view and completely and utterly unaware that she was their intended mark.
They left a few minutes before the Sue and her friends were supposed to, and staked out a spot a ways off to watch from.
"And there's Bernard again. I kind of wonder why she's staking the guy out in this fandom when there are other ones the actor's in that would be more appropriate for this sort of thing. I mean, there's classier and better ways to give the guy's character angst then this. And the elven nature thing is made up and is just silly."
Library nodded in fake assent, and wrote down two charges (Getting July to ramble incessantly and invoking nonexistent elven natures).
They watched Bernard run into the group with the Sue coming out of Ziponi's Deli.
"I'm so sorry." He stammered as he helped one of the girls off the ground.
"It's ok. No harm done." She said as she took his hand.
"No really I apologize; I should have been paying more attention to where I was walking." He said bending back down to pick up the girl's notebook.
He smiled as he handed it to her.
"You wouldn't happen to know where I could find admissions, would you." He asked.
"Yeah, actually you're heading in the right direction already. Just continue that way and the fourth building on the right has all the student services." She said pointing down the street.
"Thanks." Bernard paused, looking her in the eyes," Well I guess I better get going. And have a nice day." He said as he began to walk away.
"Hey." Bernard turned around. "What's your name?" she asked.
"Bernard." He said with a smile before walking down the street.
"Pronoun capitalization errors, missing commas, ending a question with a period, cliched run in and introduction to the Sue... Is there anything else I missed, July?"
"Not that I can tell." July paused as she reread the words. "Oh, wait, the feeling the magic in her veins thing. That's silly. And it looks like there's a switch to follow Sanya and her friend gets all stalkery, so we should probably skip that. Also, should probably charge for her being silly enough to stay in a warm state for school when she would rather someplace cooler."
"Wouldn't that depend on if she could afford to do that?"
"Hrm, true. Nevermind, I guess, though she did make it so that it's still uncomfortable for her and makes her feel out of place more."
With that, they portaled to the next chapter and day.
"Look, there's Bernard."
He turned around to find a tall redhead running towards him. He waited for her to get to him, at which point the woman gasped for air for a couple of seconds.
"Can I help you?" Bernard asked puzzled at her odd behavior.
"I'm going to guess the woman is Sayna's friend."
"How did she find him so quickly? I mean, campuses aren't that small and depending on the description the Sue gave her..."
"No idea, maybe she's just good at finding people?"
She looked up with a mischievous smile, "You most certainly can. Well as long as your name is Bernard."
"Wait how do you know…"
"So you are. Good." Beth said interrupting him, as she seemed to start contemplating a thought, dropping it only a fraction of a second later. She put the most innocent look she could muster on her face, and Bernard had the feeling she was up to something.
"I'd like to ask a favor of you" Beth said as she looped her arm around his and began strolling down the path.
July made an ominous thoughtful noise. "Hm."
"What are you hmming at?" Library raised an eyebrow at her.
"Think we'd get in trouble for recruiting her?"
It was Library's turn to make an ominous thoughtful noise. "Hm. No. I don't think we would."
The original character quickly arranged for Bernard to be the Sue's date before she ran off again.
"And now it's time for more of the Sue. Want to read ahead and skip?"
Library nodded and she did so. "Let's see, she's piled it on. She doesn't know who her natural parents were, I would assume, she was in foster care, but was adopted. Her adopted parents died tragically leaving her all alone in the world, and with nothing to her name." Library shook her head as she wrote all of it down as charges. "And of course she appears to be completely normal, mentally, besides thinking of this all because she threw a wrapper into the garbage successfully."
"People don't work like that."
Library nodded in actual agreement this time.
They portaled again, just in time to watch Bernard arrive at the Sue's dorm building.
He spotted a bench near the entrance to the dorm and took a seat, staring out over the lawns of the campus.
"You must be Bernard." A voice behind him said.
"Watch out, it's a mugger, and he's in it for your bum," July joked.
"Let's try and not invoke slash, for Trojie's sake?"
The male bit introduced himself as Carson, Beth's date, and began talking to Bernard about Sanya.
"Now I'm not being mean or anything," Carson said sitting down, "but Sanya, well she's a little strange."
"Charge for setting up someone to tell, not show how the Sue doesn't fit in."
"Really? How do you mean?"
Carson laughed, "Oh, you'll find out in good time, all in good time."
"Huh, he's a bit of a jerk."
Library read ahead. "After the double date ends, if you follow Sanya and Bernard, I'll recruit Beth. What do you think?"
"That sounds like an idea."
Thankfully, the author glossed over the dating in favor of skipping to what happened after, and July situated herself some distance away from where a park bench would appear for the Sue and angsting canon, notebook and pen readied. Library left for the dorm to follow Beth.
"Hey, Bernard, do you mind if I sit down for a bit." Sanya asked looking over at him. The Sue smiled.
"No, I could use a little break too." Bernard said.
A lot of the underbrush around this area of the trail had been sprayed to keep it clear, and it lay dieing all around. Not the most pleasant sight, but the trees were still beautiful.
July wrote down the spelling errors as a charge, and noted the unintentional moodbreaker by mentioning the dying underbrush as a charge as well.
"I don't mean to pry, but why do you stay here in the summer?" Bernard asked. He knew she should have some kind of family, even if it was adopted.
"I have no where else to go." She said lowering her head.
"Invoking sympathy for romance," July muttered, and she scribbled the charge down next to a small doodle of the Marquis de Sod. He had a nice hat.
Bernard looked over at her with a questioning look on her face.
She then told him briefly about her time in the foster care system, and what had happened to her adopted parents.
When she was done Bernard couldn't help but pity her. He also felt guilty, she was finally starting to get her feet back under her and he was going to rip it all apart.
"More angst. Bad. Maybe shoulda got whatstheirfaces for this instead." More scribbled charges. "Glitter wouldn't be too weird at Santa's workshop. Unless they administered it by enema but I'm pretty sure that's just rumors going weird."
She sighed and looked up at the stars letting her hand fall over the side of the bench. She began to absent-mindedly twirl her hand. Bernard suddenly felt magic. He couldn't explain what it was like, but he could sense it. He slowly turned his head to look at Sanya, his eyes quickly drawn to her hand. A light glow and some sparkles were coming out and the plants that were dieing were slowly turning green and blooming.
July became aware of the greenery that was growing under and around her. "....Ack. Bad plants! Bad!"
To say the least he was a little shocked, and alarmed. Her power was progressing further than he had expected, he knew he had to talk to her then.
"Yeah." She said still looking off in the distance.
"I think the people who sprayed those plants don't appreciate your making them grow."
"What?" She asked looking at him and then down at her hand and the plants. She jumped up quickly. "Wow that's odd. I didn't think plants could just bounce back that quickly." Sanya said trying to play it off.
"No they can't, not with out a little help." Bernard said, looking at her.
"Help? What are you talking about?" she said with a smile still trying to pretend she had nothing to do with it. Lately the oddest things had been happening around her. As much as she tried to stop them or rather avoid them they kept occurring.
July was too busy trying to not get enshrined by the magically growing plants to pay attention or to add charges.
"The magic you just did." Bernard said, "It's no coincidence I showed up Sanya. You have magic in you. I know you must have started to feel it already." Bernard said standing, but keeping a respectful distance.
"How would you know what is happening to me? You barely know me." She said crossing her arms.
"I know because I've been through it to."
As Bernard told Sanya about Santa Claus and the reason he arrived to find her, and made the Sue freak out, July fought to tear herself out of the plants. It was certainly giving her a reminder to be respectful to the Flowers when she retrned to HQ.
Bernard hesitated before holding out his hand to her.
"Come with me and I'll show you." he knew it was a dirty trick to get her there but he knew he was running out of time.
At the same time that July managed to free herself, the Sue and Bernard disappeared.
July had just managed to free the notebook and pen and write the charges down when Library returned. The blonde girl looked moderately triumphant.
"Went well for you?"
"Yes. I sent her on the way to Personnel before I left. And the Sue and Bernard?" Library was casting questioning glances at the green stains on July's clothes.
"At the North Pole already."
"So, what happened to your clothing?"
"...Very friendly plants."
"Well." July looked at the charges accumulated. "I think we have enough."
"We're not even to the fourth chapter, July, are you sure?"
"I think we have enough," she repeated. "We'll just get to her after she talks to Santa."
Library sighed. "Are we going to go with what we decided, then?"
"Yeah, I think so."
They portalled through, to the generic apartment the Sue was being set up in at the North Pole, catching both Bernard and Sanya the Sue unawares.
"What? Where did you come from?" Bernard moved to be slightly in front of Sanya, to protect her.
The blonde girl passed the notebook over to the brunette who grinned widely. "Sanya! Under the discretion of my authority as an Agent of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum you are charged with multiple acts of wanton criminally Sueish behavior, as well as wrecking canon! This includes, but is not limited to spelling errors, punctuation abuse and neglect to the uncommon comma, the explicit exclamation mark, and the querying question mark, giving Bernard unnecessary angst, and making him bitter, making him angsty and bitter over being a half elf when he is a full elf and not a half elf, making half elves exist in a canon where there are only full elves, implying some form of visual pedophilia through that and not implying that it is wrong because of the moral and ethical connotations there are with making it logistically okay through age but not appearance, but implying that it is wrong because the offspring from this would be outcasts, making Bernard be a constant angst-bucket of elfy angst, giving elves uncanonical or dubious and likely not canonical powers, having a poor sense for exposition and not understanding the concept of 'show, don't tell', calling Santa the most legendary figure of all time- which I guess maybe he would be to the elves but it's not a world wide thing and I guess I'll just continue on with the charge list- having Bernard jump from literal surprise, using poor methods for segueing into flashbacks and to different scenes with others as the main character, forgetting quotation marks, creating generic settings without even bothering to describe them at all, for bringing in likely real world locations that you know well to fuel your fantasy, making Ju- hey, no fair, I don't ramble incessantly-"
"Yes, you do."
"-Fine. Making dubious elven natures exist, switching between elfin and elven as descriptors, capitalizing pronouns after dialogue unnecessarily, using a cliched scenario to introduce yourself to Bernard, making things harder for yourself than it has to be by being in a warm weather state on top of never knowing your birth parents, being in the foster system, and then having your adopted parents get death by car right after you hit the age of majority to give yourself an angsty past but otherwise being psychologically healthy which doesn't really happen, using your friends and acquaintances to tell, again, not show, that you just don't belong in the normal world and to help make the readers and Bernard feel sorry for you, having glittery magic, using said magic to make dying plants grow again, entangling a PPC agent in said plants, and generally being angsty and special and annoying the hell out of us."
Library nodded. "Therefore, your sentence is death."
July dived at the Sue and Bernard before either could say anything. The elf, still under the Sue's influence, lunged to push her away from the Sue, shoving July to the ground, tackling her.
Library shot the Sue three times in the chest.
Sanya the half elf Sue went down, dead, and Bernard snapped out of it.
The Head Elf looked both disgusted and horrified as he stood up. It was quite nice in comparison to earlier.
July picked herself up quickly and pulled out the neuralyzer before Bernard could disappear. "Look over here, will ya?"
The two dragged the Sue corpse out of the building and out of the North Pole.
"Heeeeeere, polar bear, polar bears. We have some nice foooooood for you, fresh and omnomnomful!" July was being remarkably singsong, considering the temperature. "Hurry up, dammit, it's cold."
They left the corpse behind the moment they saw the approaching polar bears and portaled out.
There were three or so things vastly different in their response center when they returned.
For one, all the candy canes had been made off with.
For two, there was the smell of something delicious baking in their oven.
For three, the children and Cody were gone and instead the Bad Slash Agent Trojie was in there, using their food for baking.
"Hello. Just back from a mission?"
"Yes. But those are our eggs! And my milk! And what the hell did you do with our rum?"
"Christmas rum cake."
"You don't need a whole bottle of rum for one cake." July had learned that the hard way.
"Cody and Pads necked it before they left."