Chapter 1Disclaimer: Almost none of the characters are mine, but belong either to Joss Whedon and co., or to Showcase™ program.
After a long time, the dream came back, the long, hairless, grey shadows that came out of the deeper darkness of her room, their amphibian eyes luminously white and bulging, their long arms and hands reaching out like bizarre baseball gloves.
“Little cousin,” spoke the foremost of them, “your time of obscurity had come to an end. Come with us.”
“No!” Kenzie frantically yelled, looking around for any weapon to use against her more than unwelcome cousins. And surprisingly, unlike the first time, it was quickly found – a long, sharp-edged glaive of an axe that was leaning against her bed for some reason... Without thinking it through (something that she didn’t tend to do very often anyway) Kenzie jumped up and swung it – and the long grey shadows fled from her like dead leaves in the wind.* * *
The knocking on the door was particularly insistent and loud in the dead of the night. Actually, the knocking wasn’t particularly powerful, it was the door that was rather flimsy. “Bo? Is it you?” Kenzie hurriedly climbed off her bed and opened partially opened the doorway. “Oh! It is you!”
“Yes, Kenzie, it’s me,” Bo said with concern, looking down at her younger assistant. “Um, did you have a nightmare? And what’s with the strange hat?”
“Yes, it was just a nightmare,” Kenzie nodded, eager to agree, but far less eager to tell Bo to leave and go to bed. “And what about the hat?”
“You’re wearing it,” Bo pointed out the obvious. “And you’re supposed to be in bed.”
“It’s my nightcap!” Kenzie spoke up defensively. “Lots of people wear them! And pyjamas, and socks,” she added as an afterthought.
“Um, I wasn’t going to comment about you wearing them,” Bo said sheepishly, “I mean what you sleep in – it’s your personal business.”
“Oh.” Kenzie realized that Bo apparently was more sleepy than curious at this point and she wouldn’t be able to draw her into a longer argument-slash-discussion at this point. “Yeah. I guess it’s back to bed for us, hah?”
“Yup,” Bo nodded in relief, happy to see that her young friend wasn’t bothered by anything more than some bad dreams. But then she noticed the decisively unhappy expression on Kenzie’s face, her somewhat defensive body posture, and decided to try something else. “I know that you only a bit younger than I am, but if you’re really scared, you can sleep with me – just this time, got it?”
Thinking very carefully, Kenzie weighted the loss of her tough and independent girl rep against the possibility that she will have another nightmare of her distant relatives in the privacy of her own room... for about twelve seconds or so. “Okay!” she spoke in a far brighter tone than just moments before. “Let’s do it!”
Bo just blinked. Somehow, she presumed than Kenzie will decline, rather than accept. Having been called out on it, however, she wasn’t about to back down. “Get your things and let’s go, then,” was all that she replied, instead.* * *
“What happened?” Sedgwick hissed in concern to his partner-in-crime, Peter. “Did the girl cave in already? Not even she can be that weak-minded or cowardly!”
“And she's not,” Peter hissed back, as he finished examining his head and forehead, happy to see that nothing was actually missing from there. “On the contrary, during her stunt with V, she seems to have learned some form of self defence against such abilities of ours – crude, but effective. I am not risking another contact tonight!”
“Great,” most of anger abruptly left Sedgwick, leaving only exasperation. “I was afraid of that. We should’ve asked one of the coveys for help – they’re professionals in this sort of thing!”
“That makes two of us, then,” Peter sighed in agreement as the two doppelgangers just sat on the sidewalk, looking at the almost full moon. “But the leaders are insistent that we try on our own first – if Demorigan learns about our plans... what’s that?”
“Sounds like a moving van,” Sedgwick said, thoughtfully. “You don’t think that that’s the other half of the equation?”
“Only one way to find out,” Peter replied. “Let’s go and see.”
A misshapen cloud briefly obscured the moon; when it had passed on, both doppelgangers had vanished.To be continued...