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I was never overly pleased with how wordy the complete original beginning of Mary Sue's story went, so I'm editing it here for length. I think I got too wordy too quickly. But I'm hiding it behind one lj-cut so you can skip it if you like, and move on to the new installment (and hopefully I won't feel the need to rewrite any more! But if something later sounds repetitive, maybe you read it in the now-discarded original draft...) Please feel free to contribute; I myself was inspired to write more after reading a marvelous retelling of Prince Caspian.

1. Time and Relative Dimension in Story

I woke up, bleary-eyed, to discover that it was 8:57 and my alarm had been trying to wake me for the past hour or so without success. Swearing under my breath, I yanked a brush through my hair, threw on some clothes, grabbed my bag and started running for my 9:00 class. My professor was not going to be happy, and I didn't think it would be wise to tell him I'd been staying up late doing vitally important research. He would probably find nothing particularly vital about knowing the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow or how to medically examine a weary knight. Truth be told, at one time I would have found nothing important about it either. Just one of the many changes to my life, this sort of self-training. If I ran fast enough, I could probably skid into class only a few minutes late. Of course, I found my path blocked by a large blue box, a retro telephone-booth thing with the helpful sign "Police Public Call Box". Oh, please no, I thought. If I ran a bit faster, perhaps...

"Mary Rose! Run!"

There was no help for it; the devilishly handsome man (Time Lord, I corrected myself) was headed in my direction at full pelt. Doubtless something nasty and earth-shattering was immediately behind. I resigned myself to Mary Rose (Mary Rose this time? Oh dear -) and stepped into the #(*$&% TARDIS. Again.

I had been doing the wrong research. Last time Discworld was followed by the Castle Anthrax. This time I was stuck with the - well, at least it was the lovely Tennant-Ten Doctor, it could have been a Dalek, but still, couldn't the TARDIS have waited until I'd gotten around to catching up Series 3? That does it, I decided. This time I'm seeing if we can go back in time in MY world and stop my idiot mother naming me Maria Suzanne. Mary Sue by any other name...

***

The Doctor slammed us into the TARDIS and began throwing switches.

"That's why I love you, Mary Rose," he said. "Always ready to move! And of course there's that lovely Rose in your name..."

I wasn't sure if I wanted to be Mary Rose (previously, I believe I had been Romarisuzanna, Mary Jane, and Spocka; I didn't bother keeping track because it was never the same). I was, however, sure that Mary Rose would be sick of the Doctor blathering about Rose all the time.

"And Mary sounds like Martha, is that it?"

He looked surprised. "Martha? Oh, no, she's gone. Got sick of hearing about Rose all the time."

"Smart girl. You know, Rose IS gone. We could get used to the idea." If this is a universe where the Doctor gets sappy, it's probably one where I have the power to make things happen. Right?

"Ah, forget Rose. You're right, she was a waste of my time. I have you here, my Mary Rose, and I'm not letting you go without a good snog." And that lovely manic David Tennant face came right at me.

Okay, this life isn't ALL bad.

--Fin--

Okay, having edited that down to a manageable size, the second installment:

2. Lena Looks Into A Fanfic

"Ms. Reiser? Ms. Reiser!"

My eyes snapped open. I was in my creative writing class, kissing the empty air.

Fortunately, I have some experience dealing with these situations. I inhaled sharply, and turned to stare wide-eyed at my professor. "Did I have another seizure?"

The professor eyed me suspiciously. "Well, I didn't notice you here until I saw you sprawled all over your desk in that very interesting position, so I must assume you did. Do you need to go to the hospital?"

"N-no, I'm okay," I managed, my face flaming. An interesting position, indeed. Though apparently it hadn't been as interesting as some of the poses I've arrived in in the past; the class's attention quickly left me to attend Dr. Schreiber's critique of someone's latest short story. I cringed a bit reflexively, then noticed Elena's beet-red face. She was looking at me apologetically. It was then that I noticed the just-closed laptop in front of her. I stared at her in disbelief. She cringed.

Later, I mouthed, glaring at her. My friend and I would have words after class.

***

"I'm so sorry, Ria! I'm so, so sorry! I thought I'd be done before you got too close! It was just so much fun to read..."

"Lena, I might be perpetually late, but it's not that hard to believe that I'll be within fifty feet of the classroom within fifteen seconds of class starting, is it? I mean..." I trailed off. Elena felt bad enough, I could tell. I sighed. "Well, next time just see about waiting till after class to get me out, huh?"

"I couldn't," she mumbled.

"What?"

"I - I've read that one before. And you were about to get captured by Daleks, and it would have been months before you could get out, and - "

"You've read that one before."

Now she was squirming.

"Elena, you're telling me you've read that before, and you know when I get within fifty feet of an open fanfic I end up IN said fanfic, and you're telling me you couldn't remember to close the friggin' window before I got there? Or are you telling me..."

She slumped in defeat. "Okay, Schreiber was looking to be dull and I was kinda curious... But hey, I had an exit prepared for you!"

"Just for that, I'm not telling. Absolutely not telling. A lady never tells."

Elena stared in disbelief. I allowed myself a small grin. Then, incredulously, she broke out laughing.

"He MUST have been good, if you're up to joking about it! So, how was it? The fic was kind of vague... uh, Ri?"

Vague. Elena seemed kind of vague at the moment. Suddenly I found myself standing in a woody place - such a woody place that branches were sticking into me and there was hardly room to move. Elena was gone; two bloody boys, a shaken little girl, and a cynical Dwarf were in her place. I stared; this was not a common place for me to land. Maria Suzanne Reiser, I told myself. I'm Maria Suzanne Reiser. Suzanne Reiser. Suzanne. Su...

--Fin--


And, because I hit a good stopping point there but still want to continue,

3. What Su Found There

"Su? Did you find your arrow?"

I shook my head, simultaneously shaking away the unnerving feeling that I'd never seen Peter before in my life. Of course I had. My brother, the High King, and of course he wanted to make me feel better about missing the bear because I had been afraid that it was a Bear instead. Letting me go after my arrow to give me that space while he, Edmund, and the DLF butchered the poor beast - that was the kind of consideration he tried to show. Of course, it was silly for me to go after the arrow when Father Christmas's quiver is always full, but it never hurts to be careful.

"Well, if her Majesty is ready to continue, perhaps we can see about reaching Caspian sometime today," said the DLF. He looked happier now than he had in a while; I suspected that beating me to the bear had salved his pride over the whole apple-shooting business.

"Su-Lu? Are you girls ready to go?" I was vaguely puzzled; somehow it felt like Edmund hadn't teased us about our rhyming nicknames ever since he grew old enough to notice. And I couldn't shake the feeling that "Sulu" could mean someone quite different. But then Lucy glanced at me, and I was able to calm again. "Of course we are."

It took a few hours for us to find a great wretched gorge in the middle of our path. It took a few minutes to discover that Lucy had gone a bit batty.

"Look! Look! Look! The Lion - Aslan himself. Didn't you see?" Her face changed completely and her eyes shone.

There didn't seem to be anyone there. "Where do you think you saw him?" I asked.

"Don't talk like a grown-up," said Lucy, stamping her foot (childishly, I thought). "I didn't think I saw him. I saw him."

It turned out that Lucy was convinced that she'd seen Aslan up the gorge, and she somehow knew he wanted us to go that way. I looked longingly at the downward route as the DLF - all right, Trumpkin - pointed out how unlikely it was that Aslan would appear in the middle of the woods, invisible to all others. I just wanted to get out of the woods, and oh -

Then I caught a glimpse of Edmund, who seemed to be deep in thought. He was turning that slight shade of red, the one that reminded me of the slightly shamefaced look he had when he was lying about Turkish Delight and White Witches.. So when Peter asked my vote, I asked to hear Edmund's first.

"Well, there's just this," he said, speaking quickly. "When we first discovered Narnia a year ago - or a thousand years ago, whichever it is - it was Lucy who discovered it first and none of us would believe her. I was the worst of the lot, I know." Ah, hence the blush. "Yet she was right after all. Wouldn't it be fair to believe her this time? I vote for going up."

Drat. He was right. And I had to admit that Lucy had always found Aslan more easily than any of us. I looked again longingly down the path. I wanted out of this beastly wood, but if Aslan wanted us to go the other way...

"I suppose there will be no getting out of these woods without Aslan anyway," I sighed. "We might as well follow our best lead." Lucy's face broke out in a smile.

Peter looked relieved at not having to break a tie. "Up we go, then."

"Flaxseed and fireballs, you ancient kings and queens don't listen much to common sense!"

***

Of course, by the end of the trip the DLF had learned to respect Aslan, and Lucy's ability to find him. Perhaps it was a trick of the light, but once I saw him, he seemed to have a bit of a smug grin on his face. I wondered why.

We made it to Caspian's camp by suppertime, and Aslan's grin grew more obvious. I was puzzled as he disappeared into the wood, unseen by Caspian's sentries. Then Caspian came out.


I realized just then how much I missed kings fighting tournaments over me.

--Fin--


So, any thoughts? (Other than tl;dr ?) Remember, I'd love to make this a shared project...
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