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> Working Through the Hard Times, The girls comfort each other after their scariest close calls
post Nov 30 2016, 04:41 AM
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Spy Chic V
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From: Bay Area, CA USA
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Favorite Pairing: Alex & Martin Mystery
Favorite Anime: Persona 4
Favorite Manga: Nausicaa
Favorite Comic: Generation X (early issues)
Favorite Movie: Persona 3 movies (1-4)
Favorite Book: Animator's Survival Kit
Favorite Musician(s): Michiru Yamane (Skullgirls)
Favorite Album: Castle Crashers OST
Favorite Game: Jewelion (did the art/animation)

Episodes referred to in this story: The New Jerry, Do You Believe in Magic?, Halloween, The Dusk of Dawn, and The Elevator.
This version is a bit more intimate than the FF.net version I have.
I'd do bold & underline, but it doesn't seem to work this time, so makeshift dash breaks

Penthouse Dorm- Mali U- Present day

Sam was sick with a blocked nasal passage, awake much too early, and unable to fall asleep.

Nasal spray, medicine, plenty of liquid, and tissues were helping a little, but she still had to ride out the cold. Miserable, her mind drifted to the darker side of her life experiences.

She, Alex, and Clover had countless close calls over the years, and were truly blessed to be alive. They were usually upbeat and positive due to their gifted lives. Their setbacks could get extreme, but they'd grown to be mentally tough over the years. Their first mission had been quite intense, including nearly being ejected from a space station. But it wasn't until Tim Scam's car bomb that the girls hit their first psychological setback.

Beverly Hills High School exterior- Years ago

The Monday following the capture of Scam, the girls were seated on a bench after having a light lunch outside, quietly talking.

"I'm still shook up over that car bomb," Alex said looking to Sam, then Clover.

"Same here, Alex. We were almost- assassinated," Clover said gloomily, folding her hands.

"And to think if there wasn't a random sunglasses hut out on that road... If we didn't stop there, we wouldn't even be here," Sam mused.

"I don't think it was random. That's why I went to church yesterday with Mommy," Alex said.

"Alex, you're so sweet when you talk like that," Clover said managing to smile at her close friend.

Alex giggled at that. "So? Want to come with next Sunday? It's here in Bev Hills. Really cool place. And cute guys...," she trailed off.

"I don't know. The supernatural's not really my thing," mumbled Sam.

"Oh come on Sammie. Let's try it," Clover said encouragingly.

"You just want to meet a cute boy there," Sam joked with a smirk. "OK, I'm in," she said.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali U- Present day

Sam blew her nose, and tossed the tissue into the small trashcan nearby. After drinking some water, she thought back to how they'd enjoyed going to the large, modern, lively place of worship. Though they didn't attend regularly, it was something they were glad they'd done. In the early stages of their life as spies, they were especially young and emotionally vulnerable. They lived with their parents, but unfortunately couldn't confide their fears with them, so as to keep their spy identities a secret.

After reading a bit of modern writing for her literature class, taking a trip to the restroom, and returning to bed, Sam's thoughts drifted back to another difficult experience for the three of them.

Clover's House- High school years

The night after bringing The Great Kandinsky to justice, Clover was having a dream which followed the events at the castle in Transylvania. She'd almost fallen from a suspension bridge into a moat with vicious crocodiles. Then Sam had almost been impaled on spikes that inexplicably appeared from the bridge as they tried to escape.

But what had shaken them to the core was being captured and put beneath a pendulum-style guillotine. Their wrists were chained, and Clover had to butt the side of Sam's head with her own to cause the redhead's hairpin gadget to activate. It sent out an extendable rod to turn the entire stone slab they laid upon. Sam told them to raise their chains as the pendulum swung down, breaking the chains. They then rolled off the slab before it swung back into the place where they'd been a moment before.

In Clover's nightmare, though, the slab didn't rotate, meaning the angle was wrong for raising their arms to break the chains. Kandinsky had chatted too long with them, and by the time he left and the gadget failed to help, there was no time for another plan. The blade swung ever closer to their midsections, eliciting a scream from the three of them as it swung one final time.

Clover woke up in a panic, then slowly began sobbing quietly. Neither of her parents had come to her room, so she at least hadn't screamed out loud. She almost wished she had, to receive comfort, but it would have to wait for the next day.

Sam's House- High school years

"Wow, this place is amazing!" Alex gushed as Sam opened the front door for her best friends.

Clover smiled as she entered. "Very nice. Thanks for having us over," she said.

At school that day, Clover was miserable, and had asked Sam and Alex if she could talk to them somewhere in private about a serious concern. Sam invited them to her house for the first time.

The girls went into the kitchen for refreshments, engaged in small talk with Sam's mom, and took a brief tour of the expansive home, ending with Sam's room.

"So what's on your mind Clover?" Sam asked. Alex sat in Sam's desk chair, while Sam and Clover sat on the side of her bed.

Clover recounted her nightmare, then sighed and looked down at her hands. "I called Jerry and left a message asking him to not put me on a mission til I can get through this," she added, starting to tear up.

"Oh Clover, it's okay," Sam said, holding her friend in a hug. "It was scary for all three of us," she said, recalling the vicious style of attempted execution. She rubbed her friend's back slowly. Clover took deep breaths in, and exhaled steadily.

Alex got up and sat on the other side of Clover and put an arm around her shoulders, then stroked her head soothingly. "We love you Clover. Stay brave, and we'll keep looking out for each other," she said in a tender voice.

"You guys," replied Clover. Sam and Alex let go of her, and Sam handed her a tissue. After dabbing at the tears, she accepted another to blow her nose. "I wanted to tell my parents last night, when I was so scared. But we need to keep our spy lives a secret, and I didn't want to say something by accident," she added. "Sammie, we rely on you so much. Thank you," Clover said, looking at Sam intently.

"It's my pleasure, Clover," she said warmly. "It's amazing how Jer always has the perfect gadget for us every time," she said gazing out of the large window on the far wall.

"Yeah, let's stay positive, and take one day at a time, okay?" Alex said, and held Clover's hand consolingly in both of hers.

"Okay. Thanks guys," replied Clover. "I'm going to call Jer and let him know I'm ready for missions," she said quietly.

"That's our girl," Sam said enthusiastically, adding a shoulder hug for emphasis. They shifted to small talk until Alex and Clover left a bit later.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali U- Present day

Sam closed her eyes, hoping to fall asleep. But it wasn't happening. After using nasal spray and tissue, she drank from a mug of tea Clover had left on her end table earlier. She then took some of her medicine. Sam was determined not to pass her cold to the others. But from past experience, she knew the phrase "All for one, and one for all" often included sickness for the girls. Feeling down, her thoughts drifted to a particular mission from years ago.

Girls' Villa- High school years

An entire neighborhood was transformed into zombies, who were intent upon getting the girls, Mandy, and Chucky, a young boy Clover was babysitting. Sam had encountered mummies and (friendly) aliens prior to this mission, but was no less comfortable dealing with the supernatural. Thankfully, these zombies were not of the commonly known flesh-consuming variety she'd seen in the one movie on the subject.

Even with advice from Jerry on the Compowder, her plan of dropping electrical cables down into the sewer water to disrupt the curse of the evil spirit controlling the zombies seemed far-fetched. What if the electrical shock killed everyone, or simply didn't work? If she and Alex had been thrown into the portal as Clover , Mandy and Chucky had, would WOOHP backup finally arrive to somehow make everything right?

That night after the mission, Sam's turbulent thoughts continued until they invaded her sleep in the form of a nightmare. The horrible sights and sounds of that zombie-filled sewer returned. The frightening evil spirit commanded the former innocent residents of the neighborhood to throw them into the portal, which after much resistance, they eventually did.

Sam woke up with a small sharp cry, glanced at the digital alarm clock nearby, then miserably tried to calm herself and fall asleep.

The next morning she shambled out to the kitchen for breakfast, sleep-deprived.

Alex, who was pouring some water for herself, glanced at her, her expression changing to one of concern. "What's wrong, Sammie?" she inquired.

"I... had a nightmare," Sam replied gloomily. "Had trouble getting back to sleep," she added.

"Was was it about last night?" Alex asked, as Clover joined them after overhearing them from the living room.

"Yeah. I don't know if I can handle another mission like that one," Sam said despondently.

Alex poured her a glass of water, handed it to her, then put an arm around her shoulders and guided her to the living room couch. Clover followed, with a concerned expression.

"Mm-hm," Clover said, sitting beside Sam and Alex on the enormous couch. "I didn't remember anything when I was turned into a zombie," Clover shared with them. "Thank God," she said.

"I don't like horror movies. When I saw you, Mandy, and everyone else like that, I was really scared," Sam said. " I can't imagine what it would've been like without Alex," she said.

Alex gave her a hug, then soothingly rubbed her back. An electronic beep from the other room signified that the water was ready, prompting Clover to walk to the kitchen.

"It's alright Sammie," Alex said, looking straight ahead, while Sam rested her head on on the Latino girl's shoulder. "We were all scared, but we did it. Despite the odds," she said with a smile. Alex brushed some stray hairs off of Sam's forehead and gave her a peck there.

Clover returned with two mugs, and set them in front of Sam and Alex.

"Thanks," Sam said, waiting for it to cool down before taking a sip.

"Mm, thanks," said Alex, giving Sam a shoulder hug, comfortingly.

After Clover left once more for her own mug, Alex broke the hug and looked at Sam warmly. "We've gotta keep going though, right?" she asked her friend, as she gave her shoulder a slight squeeze. "Saving people is what we do," she continued encouragingly.

"Y-yeah,"Sam replied quietly. "As long as you guys are with me," she said, finally managing to smile.

"Of course," Clover replied, as she set down her mug and sat on Sam's other side.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali U- Present day

By this time, Alex and Clover had both left the dorm for classes. Sam, confident of now not spreading her germs to them, went to the kitchen. She made oatmeal, and mixed in fruit and yogurt to cool it down quickly, then took her bowl to the living room couch in front of the TV. After she finished her breakfast and the program, she took the bowl back to the kitchen, filled it with water in the sink, then returned to her room.

She caught up on her homework and studies at her desk, despite the challenge of doing so while sick.

Then she climbed into bed, exceedingly grumpy about missing classes today. Sam loved all her classes, from learning interesting things, to the social aspect of being with others.

Her thoughts turned towards a sad event that had happened a few weeks ago. She'd gone to the funeral for her beloved late grandfather, and her thoughts had turned to how precious life is. Sam thought back to another mission.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali U- Last year

The night after the Dusk of Dawn mission, Alex was sleeping with a distressed expression, moving slightly in discomfort.

On the roof of a building, the girls faced off against the evil wizard Durlock, sucked out from a movie into reality, thanks to a WOOHP gadget. He brought his staff down, but nothing happened, causing the girls to laugh at his expense. However, a portal then suddenly opened from the concrete roof. Three purple beams of energy shot skyward, then grabbed the girls with energy claws and pulled them down to the concrete.

The good wizard, Cheston, also miraculously pulled out from the same movie, prepared to save them. Suddenly, however, an energy claw shot out and grabbed him as well, and pulled him down. Durlock confidently walked away in the air thanks to his magical powers. The girls and Cheston exchanged a few words. But the spies were soon drug by the energy claws into the swirling reddish-hued portal. With a shout of determination, Cheston broke free of his mystical constraint, shed three tears into the palm of his hand, and tossed them into the portal, the moment after it closed up.

Alex and her friends screamed, trapped in a swirling dimension with no way to return.

"Aah!" Alex screamed, panicked as she awoke in her bed.

The unforgettable moment of their mission had ended differently. In reality, Cheston's tears had fallen into the portal in time, and they miraculously emerged in magical bubbles from wherever they'd been trapped for a few seconds.

A soft knock on the door grabbed her attention. "Alex," said Clover, from the other side of her bedroom door. She opened the door to see Alex's frightened expression. "What happened?" Clover asked with concern.

"I-I'm sorry. I screamed, huh?" Alex said in a small voice. "Nightmare. Sorry," she said, tired and slightly disoriented. Sam appeared in the doorway with a weary expression. "Sorry," she repeated for Sam as well.

"Ss- okay," slurred Sam, with a girlish yawn. Clover walked in and sat on the side of Alex's bed, while Sam slowly took a seat in the office chair at the desk.

"We were in that swirly void, and we never got out," Alex explained. Clover slowly nodded, recalling the frightening event from earlier that day. "Mm-hm," Sam responded.

"Ugh, I hate waking you guys up like this," Alex confided. "It's okay," Clover responded. "Ya can't control when you have a nightmare. We're here for you," she added, arms outstretched.

Alex moved over in the bed to accept the hug. "Thanks guys," she said, tears welling up.

"Just take deep breaths. Relax," Clover advised, then held her in a warm hug. After a while, she moved one hand to the top of Alex's head soothingly.

"I'm gonna get you some Sleepy Night Tea," Sam said, who pushed herself up from the chair, and left the room.

"Thanks Sam," Alex replied, watching her go.

"You remember when Sam and I went through the same thing?" Clover asked her friend, cupping the sides of Alex's head gently with her hands. She gazed into Alex's eyes tenderly.

"Yeah. You had to wait til the next day to tell us," Alex replied, thinking back.

"We got through those times when we were younger. We'll get through this too," she said putting a hand gently on Alex's shoulder.

Sam soon returned with the tea. "Here ya go," a bleary-eyed Sam said, setting it down on Alex's end table. "You'll probably need to go to the bathroom in a while, but it'll calm you down," she added.

"Thanks Sammie," Alex said, looking at her in appreciation.

"Mm-hm," Sam mumbled. She sat on the side of the bed, gave Alex a hug, and kissed the top of her head. "I'll see you t'mrow, 'kay?" she said kindly.

"Okay," Alex said contently. Sam got up and left, giving a short wave a the doorway before exiting for her own room.

Alex and Clover talked quietly until the mug of tea was finished.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali-U- Present day

The sound of the front door closing caused Sam woke up from a nap. She got out of bed, put on slippers, and left her room. Alex and Clover were back home in the living room after a day of classes, and were chatting. Eventually, Alex's expression turned somber. "Did you hear what happened during the power out today?" she asked Clover.

"Hey guys," Sam said, causing Alex and Clover to look to her.

"Hi Sam!" Alex called out.

"Sam!" Clover said. "You doing any better?" she asked, concerned.

"A little," Sam said, keeping her distance. "There was a power out?" she asked.

"Yeah, just for a little while. I guess you were asleep," Alex said. She looked back at Clover . "Oh, I was going to say that the elevators got stuck around campus," she replied, having seen firsthand after a class in the humanities building that everyone was taking the stairs.

"I heard a couple of students were stuck in an elevator," continued Alex.

"Really? Was everyone okay?" Clover inquired.

"Yup, no one tried to get out and they were safe til it was running again," Alex informed Clover and Sam. She and Clover set down their backpacks, and sat on the living room couch.

Sam, still standing from farther away, nodded, thinking back to the elevator experience that had changed their lives.

Alex's House- High school years

Sam and Clover finally had come over to visit Alex's home, which was just as impressive as Clover's but not quite the mansion-status of Sam's.

After a brief tour and small talk, they were in Alex's colorfully decorated room, looking out her window at a beautiful view of the upscale neighborhood. After a while, though, the conversation shifted, and they looked to each other in concern.

It was now a few days after the mission with the elevator incident. The girls tried everything they could think of to escape the metal box in that skyscraper. They'd reminisced over past experiences until the car suddenly plummeted down uncontrollably. Screaming, they held hands, and verbally expressed being prepared to die.

The following nights, all three girls shared that they'd had similar nightmares; plummeting to their doom in that smoke-filled elevator.

In reality, Jerry showed up and prevented their elevator car from crashing by using a WOOHP gadget.

"Um, so how do we keep going with the whole spy thing?" Alex asked with a sad expression.

"We were completely helpless. What if Jerry isn't there next time?" Clover pondered.

"Guys..." Sam trailed off, searching Alex's eyes, then Clover's. "I'm just as scared as you," she said. They'd essentially laughed it off that night, had given Jerry kisses in thanks (that would've made an ordinary man pass out in bliss), and went off to watch a movie.

But the aftermath of not being ready for another mission was a result of the post-traumatic stress. They'd expressed these thoughts to Jerry and had seen the WOOHP psychologist the following day, but ultimately needed to work up their own resolve.

"I think... we've gotta keep going girls," Alex said in a hesitant voice. Sam and Clover looked to her with interest. "It's tough, but people out there are still going to need our help," she said smiling a bit.

"Yeah, we can't expect Jerry to randomly save us every time, so we'll do our best to avoid a situation like that ever again," Sam said, hope returning to her voice.

Clover bit her bottom lip in thought. "You're both right. If we'd given up when it first got rough, we wouldn't have saved the day all those other times afterward," she noted. Looking at her friends, she smiled, stretched out her arms until her friends moved closer, then pulled them into a firm hug.

Penthouse Dorm- Mali-U

In two days, Sam was feeling better physically and emotionally. The annoying cold had ended. She was ready for whatever life would throw at her, she hoped. One thing for certain, Clover and Alex were there for her. The three young ladies had no siblings, but had become close as sisters to each other over the years. She smiled and left the dorm room for another day.

Thanks for reading. I realize I'm many years late in doing these, but I hope some people here enjoy them.
I've got a few regular readers at FanFiction.net, so that's kept me going, despite the status of the show & fandom.

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However tough life gets, don't give up!
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