Video Deteriora Sequor (executrix) wrote in jossverse_xover,
Video Deteriora Sequor

Half a Season of RtEotAS (G)

Holy cow, I made a list and I've written *ten* fics that fit the specs for this community...

Title: Half a Season of RtEotAS*
Rating: G
Pairings: None
Word Count: 892

The viewer settled down in front of the screen.

The top of the box came up. The mist swirled and cleared, and a thin, naked, terrified girl leapt out and staggered around the room. A handsome--no, really, a beautiful--young man, androgynous--unmanly--as a lower-case angel, embraced her.

The watcher froze the frame and started to make notes.

Consciously, River acknowledged that she didn’t have a brother, that she had never had a brother. And, after her last Adjustment, she no longer manifested the frank delusion that some sort of Energy Being, pursued by evil monks, had managed to turn up and retcon itself into her brother. But obviously there was something about the fraternal figure that continued to manifest itself in her dreams.

”I never married,” the man on the screen repeated, clearly irritated.
{{Interesting}} Dr. Cumberbatch thought, gazing at the holos of his grandchildren prominently displayed on his desk. {{And possibly significant.}}

Teenagers always think they’re different, don’t they? Always think they’re special? And it often causes anguish--to them, or to whomever it rebounded on. Dr. Cumberbatch’s hands were perpetually full, dealing with a group of adolescents who were, in fact, different. And special. Or, as one of River’s classmates said, a herd of freakin’ freaks.

“Too much hair!
He allowed himself a small, ironic smile as he smoothed a hand over his bald pate. Some white hair curled in a tonsure, contrasting with the gleaming brown skin above. He was glad to see that he was represented as a figure of some wisdom and authority. He wondered if the dream had been specific enough to show “Book”’s ID card (and what a transparent alias that was!) whether his own name and security classification would have appeared.

”Daddy’s coming for us!”
Dr. Cumberbatch could only shake his head at the injustice River had done to her real father--a patriot who never shrank from putting his child on the front line of the struggle. And as for the symbolic father figure! Clearly, River had structured her ideation to avoid having to witness the primal scene between the motherly courtesan and the petty patriarch.

Nor was the pretty tomboy mechanic’s pursuit of the doctor notably more successful--perhaps because of the intensity of the homoerotic feeling crackling between the girl and the Companion, and between River’s “brother” and “father” figures.

The relation between River and the mechanic also held erotic implications--and auto-erotic ones as well, in that the girl was something of a double for River. Or perhaps a splitting-off of her lost childhood (because students entered the Academy at seven), as the two girls played childish games that might ripen into maturer forms of amusement.

Soon it would be time to send River on assignments that might demand seduction. Oh, well, not for her own amusement, of course--but the subjects might be able to detect if River were unable to achieve, or at least feign, a satisfactory heterosexual adjustment.

Was River becoming too dependent on, too close to that other girl--what was the name, Marci? Dr. Cumberbatch sighed. It was hard enough keeping track of teenagers and their activities when you could see them.

On the whole, it was a positive development that the Warrior Woman, although little represented in River’s imaginarium, was overall a successful figure, and one who had achieved mature genitality, albeit with a somewhat weaker partner. Dr. Cumberbatch noted the parallelism between River’s dream-figure claiming that she could “kill with her brain” and the pilot’s boast that his wife could “kill with her pinky.”

Dr. Cumberbatch was amused to see that the hulking mercenary rather resembled River’s Classical Chinese Literature teacher, who was not quite as tall and (as far as Dr. Cumberbatch could tell) not a sociopath. He was far less amused to see the antipathy between River’s dream-self and this sturdy, masculine figure. And the repeated attacks on Blue Sun symbols showed a serious lack of gratitude toward the corporate sponsor, without whom the Academy could not draw its broad spectrum of students.

It was a very, very bad sign that River’s dream work had converted those two senior Field Agents who had addressed her class last week into sinister figures of terror. It cast doubt on the integrity of the entire process of Calling and Training, the delicate, crypto-incestuous rapport between Watcher and Slayer.

How difficult it must have been back on Earth That Was, when only one Slayer was called in each generation to stand against the enemies of The Alliance (which, of course, had always existed, under a plethora of names). What a pattern of relief and ambivalence the Potentials must have felt, as they were trained and trained but never called. And what an infrastructure of bureaucracy for one small girl. It must have been like the English monarchy at its height.

Dr. Cumberbatch scribbled a prescription. Perhaps a medication change would help River adapt. If not, there’d be nothing for it but another Adjustment.

*River the Enemies of the Alliance Slayer, of course.

I’ve got a theory, some kid is dreamin’
And we’re all stuck inside his wacky Broadway nightmare
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