Please tell me you’re here to kill me.
The End of RE6
Revised (Meeting Mother)
((A note to you all who are following the RP on Askalicewhowentmad- this is mostly an AU, so Jeff isn’t dead, Jack never left because Dementia never made a move for Alice, and with the way things will play out… well, you’ll see. Leo’s also ~8 years old here. I’m dreadfully sorry if some of you drown in the oncoming tsunami of names, but I’m actually not. It’s supposed to be chaos here.))
That’s how long the plane flight was to New York. Dementia had convinced Minerva Stark, her sister, to send in a private plane to take them up to the mansion in New York, which she’d hesitantly agreed to.
The moment the plane came down on the runway Alice knew she was going to be a fish out of water. It looked like a miniature Concord, and the inside was as luxurious as it could have gotten without being Airforce 1, with plush leather seats, a flatscreen tv (that actually got signal thanks to the illegal signal booster that was housed in a special compartment in the cargo bay) a table at which they could eat comfortably without having to balance their food in their lap, and even a large bed in the back, which Dementia and Jack had immediately gotten to use.
What it also had was Pandora taking a nap on the couch.
She was immediately spotted by Alice when they got on the plane. In her all-black outfit, it was hard not to spot her amongst the cream decorations. Leo had walked up to her and tugged the hood to her black and grey striped sweater off of her head, causing her to yelp as the bright fluorescent light hit her eyes.
“The light! IT BURNS!” She howled sarcastically, before yanking the hood back down again, the fringe of her pixie cut red hair sticking out from underneath the rim.
The next time her hood got yanked off her head it was by Jeff, who glared at her.
“Who the hell are you?!”
“The amazing, the noble, the indisputably incredible ME!” She cackled, earning a growl from Jeff and a hand wrapped around her throat.
“ANSWER ME STRAIGHT WOMAN!”
“I AIN’T STRAIGHT, DUMBASS! I got curves, y’know!” she fired back, earning a stifled laugh from Alice.
“Tell me who you are, or I’ll strangle you.” Jeff growled again. Pandora cocked an eyebrow.
“But if you kill me, you won’t learn who I am anyway. Anywho, the name’s Pandora to you, mistress to the fine young woman over there, and Mother to Dementia. My real name’s not going around anytime soon unless you dig deep enough to find it.”
Jeff’s hand left her throat, earning a yawn from Pandora, who got up off the couch. Leo immediately pinned her back down by tackling her.
“Mummy, who’s this?”
“I’m your grandmother, little tyke.” Pandora grinned cheekily. Leo frowned.
“I thought grandmothers were supposed to be old and wrinkly!”
“Well, I’m special. You’re special, and so is your mother, Dementia.”
“That’s not my mother! Dementia’s my aunty!”
Pandora froze before looking at Alice. “You haven’t told him?!”
“He doesn’t need to know. He thinks Jeff’s his dad.” Alice replied with a shrug. Pandora scowled before turning to Leo.
“Well, I hate to break it to ya kid, but-“
“And I would MUCH PREFER if it would stay that way!” Alice hissed.
“Ally, darling, can I talk to you alone for a moment?” Pandora hissed, shoving Leo off gently. Alice shrugged before following Pandora into a separate compartment.
“WHY does he need to think he’s part of a dysfunctional nuclear family? Why can’t you just tell him the truth? You’re going to be staying with us for a week, Alice- a lot can happen in a week and you know it.”
“Are you planning something?” Alice asked suspiciously. Pandora recoiled before masking her reaction with an indifferent expression.
“No, but you know how drama follows Dementia like a plague follows the infected rat. Now multiply that by seven and add a dash of pranks, other men, visitors who also have the drama disease, and one huge mansion with loads of bedrooms to conspire in, and you’ve got a recipe for a family torn apart.”
“Who are you expecting to visit?”
“Lizzie, the guardian of a bunch of extremely powerful and dangerous artifacts known as Pieces of Eden, who also often brings her Great Dane Anastasia to play around with my Dane Sherman- and let me tell you, together they outweigh and outrun even Jeff, so I’m going to have to brief him on what to expect so he doesn’t decapitate my dog.” Alice had to stifle another giggle.
“Dogs generally don’t like Jeff- Smile, of course, being the exception, since he’s actually more of a demon.”
“Sherman loves EVERYBODY. There isn’t a bad bone in his body, and he also isn’t very easily intimidated. I’m the only thing he’s ever scared of, and that’s only when he KNOWS he’s in trouble. I’m also going to have to tell Jeff about my rattlesnake, Satan…”
“You have a RATTLESNAKE? Named SATAN?”
“He’s albino! Minerva’s Eagle Owl, Athena, found him and was about to eat him, but I thought he was just too cute to let die so I kept him as a pet. Don’t worry, his fangs are filed down to blunt ends and he generally isn’t very aggressive, except when his venom glands are starting to become a little too full- then I have to milk him.” Pandora shrugged.
“Are there OTHER dangerous animals you keep as pets that I need to know about?”
“Just my Arabian Stallion, Prometheus, but he’s usually down in the pastures or in the barn. It’s funny, ‘cause everybody in the barn calls him Meth… as in, the narcotic methamphetamine.” Alice couldn’t stifle her giggle this time, letting loose a snort of laughter that made Pandora cock her eyebrow again.
“You’re too easy to entertain, you know that?”
“You’re very silly, that’s all.” Alice replied evenly after calming down. Pandora grinned.
“”Tis my purpose here to entertain and ascertain, and hopefully not derail this train or sink this ship.” Pandora laughed, before putting a hand over her mouth. “Did I just say that?”
“Yes, you did! What ship?”
“Out of the four of you, there are three I want together and one I want with someone who is not currently on this plane… which reminds me, we’re on the runway prepping for takeoff, so let’s get Dementia and Jack out of the mile-high club and seated properly.”
“Slang for people who like having sex on planes.” Pandora shrugged.
“PANDORA!” Alice protested, turning beet red. Pandora laughed before rubbing Alice’s shoulders calmingly.
“Don’t you worry. I used to be a prude like you. Then I made Belinda- oh boy, my aversion of all things sexual didn’t last very long. I’m not afraid to talk about sex Ally, and I’m probably the only virgin on this plane. I say probably, because I’m not privy to the personal life of the pilot…”
“Wait, you’re a virgin?”
“Yeah… if Zio had it his way, though, I wouldn’t be, but I’ve been holding out on my boyfriend for two very good reasons. Bein’ a virgin kinda screws everything up in my head with Bells, who’s flat out lesbian, Vega and most of the others who are straight as rods, and Dem, who swings BOTH ways-“
“She didn’t tell you? Well, more like she’s straight with a dash of Alicesexual-“
“She’s been hitting on you since day one! I thought you were privy to this!” Pandora crossed her arms defensively and raised her eyebrows at Alice, who shook her head.
“No, I wasn’t aware… are you sure?”
“We have a mental link that gets stronger the closer she is to me. When she touches me, she’s able to send thoughts and memories to me that she’s gathered over the last few months or even years. I let her loose ONCE, just ONCE, and she gets herself locked up for two years and out and around a Creepypasta for another five- back to the point, she kinda showed me when she touched me briefly on her path to the master bedroom. She loves you and Jack more than she values her own life.”
“That’s a little odd.”
Pandora cocked an eyebrow again. “And what would you give to keep Jeff alive and happy, even if you found out he was in love with another person? You know what, don’t answer that, we’ve strayed way off topic. Where was I again? Oh yeah, visitors. Anywho, there’s Lizzie, there’s Ezio, who’s a MASSIVE playboy slash badass who flirts with everybody and everything and rides my motorcycle around when he gets the chance- not that he ever gets away with it, but you get the idea… plus, he’s my boyfriend.” Pandora smiled sheepishly before assuming a serious expression at Alice’s cocked eyebrow. “It’s to keep him away from the other girls! He’s a bad influence on everyone except me, and that’s only because I’m a worse influence. Anyway… there’s Vox, Minerva’s poltergeist, who was accused of being Jack the Ripper when he was alive and has this feud with a family that’s better left unsaid by everybody but him- and the rest of the Avengers. Tony visits almost every day, while Thor, Natasha and Clint only drop in during Sparring Saturdays. Bruce and Minerva are best buddies, and he has a permanent residence in the mansion, and I’m counting on you to keep Jeff away from him- if Dr. Banner gets upset because Jeff decided to be a dick, I’m getting stuck on cleanup duty. And of course, Good ol’ Steve Rogers likes visiting every once in a while, but his visits are irregular and not really something that can be scheduled.”
“Tell me about Dementia’s sisters- your other ‘daughters’.” Alice asked, sitting down in the plush sofa in the compartment. Pandora sat down across from her just as the plane lurched forward down the runway to take off and got flung forward into Alice’s lap.
“OW! God, I hate it when he does that! He did it to me when we took off from New York- Oh, you okay?” She hastily got out of Alice’s lap and back into the seat across from her.
“I’ll be fine, thanks for asking.” Alice droned sarcastically. Pandora smiled sheepishly.
“Sorry, I don’t really care for other people. I’m stuck in my own little bubble. My only real empathy is experienced through my daughters, mainly Marilyn and Vega.”
“I’m a sociopath.” Pandora said nonchalantly, before opening the lid to a cooler next to her seat and bringing out two bricks of sweets.
“Halva?” She offered one to Alice, who took it out of curiosity.
“What is it?”
“It’s a Middle Eastern confection- this one’s made from almonds and honey. Try it, it’s really good. ‘course, if you don’t like that, there’s triple chocolate cake in here as well. I heard you liked chocolate from Dementia, so I had it stocked.”
“Thank you.” Alice said politely, before taking a bite out of the sweet. It was both bitter and sweet, but not in an unpleasant way.
“This is actually quite good.”
“Vega made it for her husband, who might as well be addicted to the stuff. He’s actually from the middle east though, so he has an excuse for it.”
“Who’s her husband?”
“Greatest assassin of the twelfth century, Altaïr Ibn la’Ahad. She’s got a daughter by him named Lilith- I think she and Leo will get along just fine.”
“What makes you say that?” Alice asked, taking another bite of Halva.
“Lilith started her Assassin training just this month and is really excited about it. She’s excelling at throwing knives and basic offense, but she has yet to have a sparring partner on her level of experience. Leo will be perfect for her.”
“How old is Lilith?”
“Oh, six.” Pandora got a brick of Halva out for herself and took a large bite out of it, smiling as she chewed. Alice looked at her as if she’d sprouted a second head.
Pandora held up a calming hand and motioned to her mouth where she was still chewing. The moment she swallowed she answered Alice’s question.
“Dementia started at five. Lilith is well aware of what she’s getting into, however.” She eyed Alice with an unfamiliar gleam before continuing. “There’s no reason why she shouldn’t start this young.”
“She’s a child!”
“She still has her childhood. Training takes only three days out of the week, for around eight hours. She has plenty of time for playing and doing fun activities with her parents. I assure you, Alice, Lilith is in a perfectly healthy environment.”
“If you say so.” Alice grumbled, but let the subject go.
“Anyway, about Dementias sisters… There’s seven. Marilyn’s our battle medic and another guardian of the Pieces of Eden, mainly the ones that heal- the shroud and the pendant are her main priorities. She’s a nurse, so she may not like Jack digging into human organs at the table, but she’ll warm up to him. She’s pacifist and really the mother of everybody- even Vega can have her childish moments sometimes, but Marilyn is just so loving and mature that we all see her as a mother figure. She’s with Haytham Kenway, who’s currently also a permanent resident of the Mansion. Just a word of warning- Haytham has bad blood between Ezio and Altaïr, so try not to get caught up in that or you’ll be sucked into a two-millennia old feud between two very dangerous groups of people.
“Minerva Stark is our main benefactor. She’s the owner of the Mansion and the second richest sister before Sakura Sadaki-“
“The BILLIONAIRE?!” Alice exclaimed. Pandora smiled cheekily.
“Yeah, but Sakura isn’t very liberal with her money. She’s a very nice person, don’t get me wrong, but she earned that money through hard work and believes that people have to work to get to where she is in life. Even I’m not exempt from this- the income I get from doing commission work makes up 25% of the money coming into the mansion. I get a fair share of it, but most of the money goes to paying the mortgage and maintenance. Oh, and Nutella.” Her cheeky grin came back as quickly as it had left. “Apparently we spend more money on supplying my Nutella craving than on any other food in the house except Sakura’s super expensive sashimi, and she pays for that herself.”
“Yeah, we have a very rich culture in the Mansion. I make English food on Sundays, Ezio and Lizzie will come over and make something Italian on Mondays, Vega makes something from the middle east on Tuesdays, Haytham will help me make something else English on Wednesdays, Sakura will make something inherently Japanese on Thursdays, Fridays are for something new, and Saturdays are for comfort food.”
“So we’re having Italian today?”
“Yeah… wow, you really liked that Halva, didn’t you?” Pandora pointed to the empty wrapper in Alice’s hand, which she sheepishly tried to hide.
“It was pretty good…”
“Ezio makes the GREATEST Chicken Alfredo I’ve ever had- I think that’s what he’s planning for tonight. Vega and Marilyn are also pretty good cooks- you just sampled some of Vegas. I’m an okay cook, but I have a tendency of leaving things unattended which ends up with stuff getting burned to a crisp.”
“Why would you-“
“I’ve got ADHD and I HATE taking my medicine for it because it makes me crazy just before I turn into a depressed lump. Being semi-crazy all day instead of that seems like a much better alternative.”
“Semi crazy? You’re not THAT bad. Of course, Dementia’s mood swings can get pretty harsh…” Alice grumbled. Pandora smiled sheepishly.
“Yeah, I made Dementia early on in my creative writing career. She was a conglomerate of all of my negative qualities, enhanced, and served with a dash of loyalty and stubbornness. I think she turned out quite well, to be frank… much better than Bells did a few months later. I’d attempted to make a foil for Dementia- Bells loves drinking hard liquor, ESPECIALLY tequila, can’t go an hour without a cigarette- which, by the way, have to be specially imported from Russia- loves starting fights, and gets so rough in bed that most of her lovers leave the house in the garbage in chunks.”
“Sounds like she’d get along perfectly with Jeff.” Alice smiled. Pandora shrugged.
“I think they’d actually butt heads- Bells sees herself as the Alpha, and from what I hear Jeff does too. She HATES taking orders from other people, and prefers to be on top of the totem pole. Which reminds me… I have to warn you, every week we have a designated butt monkey, the victim of most if not all of our pranks, bad cooking, prototype testing, etc… and they’re usually picked at dinner on Monday. I don’t want you or Jack to be the butt monkey, so don’t do anything until I get the inside scoop on how we’re planning on picking them this week- the method changes every other week, but usually it’s something people forget until it’s too late.”
“Who did you have in mind?”
“A certain Joker ripoff…”
“What? He’s a perfectly acceptable target considering his attitude issues and behavior towards women!” Pandora protested.
“If he is a perfectly acceptable target because of his attitude, perhaps you also fit the criteria!” Alice snapped back.
There was a knock at the door before Jeff opened it up. “You two okay in here?”
“Pandora’s planning to have you-“Alice was cut off by Pandora cupping a hand over her mouth.
“Go get us some water bottles, this compartment isn’t stocked properly.” She finished for Alice. Jeff scowled.
“I think Ally was going to say something else.” He growled just as Alice wiggled out of Pandora’s grip.
“NOPE!” Pandora tackled Alice to the ground, which started up a mini catfight on the floor. Because Alice didn’t have her Vorpal blade, she was a fairly even match with Pandora considering she was pinned down most of the time.
Dementia came in with Jack close behind and proceeded to pull the two apart. “Hey, cut it out! Mom, you’re SUPPOSED to be NICE to your guests, not trying to strangle them on the floor!”
“I en’t doin’ that! She started it!”
“I most certainly did NOT!” Alice protested, burrowing herself in Jeff’s arms in an attempt to distance herself from Pandora. Neither of the girls were hurt, but Pandora seemed to be on the verge of getting a little upset.
“Mom, what happened?”
“She clamped her hand over my mouth and then assaulted me because she didn’t want me to tell Jeff something.” Alice snapped before marching out of the room with Jeff in tow.
Dementia turned back to Pandora. “Mother, what were you thinking?”
“I gave her candy first, therefore I’m justified in anything else I decide to do?” Pandora weakly tried to smile, but the tears running down her face and her scrunched up nose did little to help her seem happy. Dementia rubbed the bridge of her nose before crouching down in front of Pandora.
“Mother, sometimes I wonder how on earth you managed to drive a motorcycle all the way from Houston to New York on nothing but money you’d saved from selling paintings.”
“A leprechaun’s amount of luck and a half-assed prayer to no god in particular.” Pandora spat.
Jack helped her up off the ground. Dementia gave her a helping hand as well, but the moment her hand wrapped around Pandora’s wrist completely Pandora’s eyes widened before looking at Jack and blushing.
“I-I’ll just be in my compartment for the rest of the flight.” She shakily yanked her hand out of Jack’s grip before giving Dementia the evil eye, prompting the release of her wrist and Pandora dashing between the two out of the compartment. Jack looked at Dementia suspiciously.
“What did you do to her?”
“Who? Oh, me? Nothing, I didn’t do anything to tamper with Pandora’s feelings for you mentally. Nope, nothing of the sort.” Dementia shook her head but grinned mischievously.
“What’s with the suspiciously specific denial, Dem?!” Pandora shouted back as she moved down the plane, earning Dementia a cocked head from Jack.
“Yeah, Dem… what did you do?”
“Exactly what I just said I did- nothing.”
“Jack, I thought you said you’d never yell at me.” Dementia retorted unusually calmly.
“Persephone Hawkings, you are getting on my last nerve.”
“MINE TOO!” Pandora hollered from down the plane.
“MIND YOUR OWN GODDAMN BUSINESS!” Dementia yelled, her face flushed red with fury.
“YOU MADE THIS MY OWN GODDAMN BUSINESS!” Pandora retorted, before the sound of a door slamming could be heard.
“Dementia, I need a straight answer from you, and I need it now.” Jack persisted. Dementia rolled her eyes before looking at him.
“I tampered with her emotions towards you and may have… intentionally… made her crush on you?”
“Did you at least show her what’s underneath my goddamn mask?!”
“Of course! Gave her a healthy dose of nonchalance with it, too. She’s going to get awkward around you now.”
“What, Pandora’s never had a crush?” Jack crossed his arms defensively. The smile on Dementia’s face faded before she looked down awkwardly.
“She… she doesn’t like to talk about it. Her first love… it didn’t end so well.”
“I’ll let her tell you when she feels the need to.” Dementia crossed her arms as well, before bursting into a giggling fit, yanking Jacks mask off, and assaulting him with kisses.
“Now, I do believe we have some unfinished business to attend to…”
The plane landed soon afterwards, prompting Pandora to leave her compartment so she could get her motorcycle out of the cargo bay. Dementia eyed it suspiciously- it had no passenger car, so it would only be able to take one other passenger.
It was a sleek Japanese model, built for speed, with a blood red paint job decorated with shiruken. Jeff had given it an approving smirk before Pandora had suited up into her protective gear.
“You do know that stuff isn’t going to do much to protect you if you come off cruising at 60.” He muttered. Pandora gave him the evil eye.
“At least all of my guts will be in one place- it’s an automatic body bag!”
Dementia had to hold in her snort of laughter at Pandora’s retort.
“I got this motorcycle through a few of Sakura’s contacts across the sea when my old motorcycle decided it’d had enough with me and died. And by ‘died’ I mean fell apart on me. This thing can cruise at 200 miles per hour, easy, since I had Bells tweak the engine for me. Combined with the special lenses on my helmet which serve as sunglasses during the day and night goggles when the sun goes down, and I could very easily go that fast on the highway and not really get picked up on radar due to my lights being turned off. The po-po would think they’d clocked a low flying UFO.”
Jeff smirked at that. “Can I take her out for a spin sometime?”
“No.” Pandora replied bluntly, putting her helmet on before climbing onto the motorcycle, revving the throttle, and proceeded to do a wheelie down the ramp and sped off the runway faster than Dementia could react. Jeff looked as though he’d found the collection of knives that he’d been searching for.
“I want one.”
“Oh HELL no.” Alice smacked his arm. “Pandora’s a bad enough influence on little Leo- which reminds me… Dem, have you seen Leo?”
“I’m right up here, Mum!” Leo called from up where the ceiling was. Alice looked up to see him hanging upside down from one of the support beams.
“Leonidas Richard Liddell! You get down from there, you’ll hurt yourself.”
“No I won’t! look!” Leo twisted himself so he was hanging by his hands before letting go, hitting the floor and automatically falling into a roll to disperse his energy.
“LEO!” Alice exclaimed, running over to him. Leo stood up, dizzy but otherwise fine.
“I’m okay Mum, but did you see the cool trick Aunty Dementia taught me? She told me to be careful when I did that, however- and not to start rolling until after I hit the ground, or I risk breaking my neck.”
“That was awesome! D’ya think you can do that again?” Jeff gushed, beaming. Leo shrugged.
“I dunno, Dad… falling’s a rush, things fly by you really fast. I could try though-“
“HELL NO! You, sir, are staying down here, on the ground!”
“No buts, both of you!” She snapped at Jeff, who was about to protest as well.
“Is there a problem here?” Jack called from the doorway to the cargo hold, Dementia leaning up against him.
“Nope, not a single problem other than your girlfriend exposing my SON to reckless behavior.”
“Jack, we DO get a little reckless in bed…” Dementia traced a hand over his chest seductively with a smirk.
“That’s- that’s it! I’ve had it with you two! Come on Jeff, our ride is here!” Alice grabbed Jeff’s hand and yanked him, still daydreaming, down the runway to the black limousine that had just pulled up. Dementia stopped teasing Jack long enough to tug him down the runway as well.
A middle aged man with a trimmed beard and black hair got out, wearing a neat but unorthodoxly colored tuxedo- tan and gold. “I’m assuming you’re with Pandora?”
“The little redheaded ball of trouble that just left on a motorcycle? Yeah, we’re with her.” Jack grumbled. The man looked at him with a sharp eye before his gaze landed on Leo.
“Hey, I haven’t seen many kids around! Not since Vega had Lilith and Minnie was still a baby… it’s Tony Stark, by the way. You’re borrowing my limo. You’d better return it in one piece, because I’m staying inside of it.”
“Dementia.” Dementia reached out and took the offered hand, shaking it firmly.
“Damn, you’ve got a firm handshake. I’m guessing you’re Pandora’s daughter, and these are your friends?”
“Eyeless Jack, my boyfriend; Alice Liddell, mother of my son Leo, who just climbed into the Limo behind you; and Jeffrey, Alice’s boyfriend.”
“Can’t say I’ve met stranger folks on this runway, because I haven’t. come on in, the coolers stocked, AC/DC is playing, and my Iron Man suit is under one of the chairs. And I’m not telling you which one.”
“Wait, you’re THE Tony Stark?” Alice asked with a cocked eyebrow.
“Yes, and you’re going to be living in MY Stark Mansion up in the back hills of New York.” Dementia also cocked an eyebrow at him, causing him to revise. “Okay, it’s Minnie’s mansion, but I pay for half the mortgage!”
“More like half the entire mansion.” Dementia grumbled, taking a seat and grabbing a water bottle out of a nearby cooler.
“Shwarma?” Tony offered some to Alice, who politely declined in favor of the California Rolls Dementia offered her.
“Anything I can do to fill you in, or did Panda already debrief you?” Tony asked, reclining into his seat and crossing his legs. The Limo lurched forward, signaling that they were on the move.
“Panda?” Dementia giggled at the nickname for Pandora.
“Hey, you should have seen her when she first came to us. That muffin top? Had to go. She was really resistant about surgery, so we just put her on a crash diet of protein shakes, salad and Nutella. Which I still think was cheating on her part, but hey, it worked didn’t it? No more fat on that stomach! Anywho, that’s how she got her nickname ‘Panda’. She still kept her chubby cheeks, but I think that’s just from smiling a lot. She even has smile lines, for crying out loud! I didn’t get those until just recently.”
“Tony, you don’t exactly smile a lot.” Dementia replied with a smirk. Tony laughed.
“True that, but ever since Peps and I got engaged… I’ve never felt happier.”
“I can relate to that. Me and Alice got engaged a few months ago.” Jeff smiled, reaching into the cooler and drawing out a scotch. Tony leaned forward in his chair to snatch it.
“Er, sorry, that’s mine. It’s the good stuff, really strong and expensive. I’ll get you a glass- want yours on the rocks?”
“Sure thing.” Jeff grinned. Tony poured him a glass and handed it back with a smile on his face. Alice smiled too- Jeff had found a drinking buddy. Tony was safe- for now.
“So you two are engaged? But I thought… I mean, little Leo there doesn’t look much like you.” Tony said to Jeff, motioning with his free hand to Leo who was curled up in Alice’s lap, fast asleep.
“He’s mine. It’s… a little complicated, but let’s just say outside forces were involved.” Dementia piped up. Tony rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, and outside forces were at work when I got Minnie on my doorstep twenty years ago- which they were. I KNEW she was too hot to be mortal!”
“Minnie’s mom, who I just recently found out was Sif. I fucked a goddess and had a kid with her, and I can’t even brag about it. Life sucks.” Tony groaned. Alice had to stifle a giggle at Jeff’s dumbfounded expression.
“Minnie’s half god?”
“Minerva Stark is possibly the greatest threat to America next to Loki because of it. She’s got my high IQ, a god’s mood swings, and magic powers to boot. Loki’s gone on probation and the only way to get out of it is if he teaches her how to channel her inner powers. Weird, because last I checked their relationship wasn’t entirely platonic…”
Alice paled at the implications. “Isn’t he a little old for her?”
“Actually, he’s a little old for everyone here. Except, from what I hear, Jacky there. Weren’t you made in 1890 or something?”
“1931.” Jack muttered. Tony shrugged.
“My point is made. It would be like me dating a mayfly. Except… Minnie’s expected to live a few hundred years longer than me. Which is really weird, now that I think about it…”
“Tony, don’t over think it.” Pandora’s voice sounded from the speaker system. Jeff flinched.
“What the hell?!”
“Oh, the helmet’s fantastic, Tony. Perfect sound system, and you even downloaded my music onto it! You guys can’t hear it, can you? That’s also a new feature. Loving the tech, Tony… except the iris lenses. They spark, and it’s really painful. I’ve been flinching and blinking so much I’ve had to slow to 50 mph to prevent an accident.”
“I’ll take a look at those when I get home, but they shouldn’t be sparking. There may be an overload in the electromagnetic field due to yours interfering… I’ll have to recalibrate them to compensate. Other than that, I’m glad you liked it. That helmet’s hitting the market in three months and I wanted to make sure it worked smoothly.”
“Well, if it blows up on my head I’ll let you know from the hospital. Pandora out.” There was a distinctive click of the connection disconnecting.
“Sir, we’re entering the highway.” The driver called over the intercom immediately afterwards. Tony shrugged.
“Happy, I want you to get us to the Mansion as fast as you can. I need to take a look at those iris lenses before Pandora decides that she needs to take a look herself. She always was too curious for her own good.”
“Hence her name.” Dementia finished.
“Cover name.” Tony corrected, before taking a swig of scotch.
“Tony, I don’t give a shit.”
“Dementia! There are children in the car!” Alice protested, motioning to Leo. Dementia rolled her eyes, but Tony got a mischievous gleam in his own.
“And he’s a right little motherfucker, isn’t he?”
“ANTHONY STARK!” Alice yelped, covering Leo’s ears even though he was asleep. Tony doubled over in laughter before giving Dementia a high five.
“Priceless! JARVIS, did you get that on tape?”
“Yes, sir, I got the whole scene on video.”
“Encrypt it and send it to the Tower database. I wanna have a look at it when I get home.”
“Encryption complete, file sent.”
The intercom beeped again, signaling an incoming transmission.
“Hey Tony, did you integrate Tower Database updates into the helmet? I just saw a video of you cussing like a right figlio di una puttana and Alice freaking out.”
“Panda, I know Ezio’s giving you Italian lessons, but the cussing in another language is starting to get on my nerves.” Tony muttered.
“Hey, it’s like wiping your ass with silk! Vulgar, but soooo worth it.”
“I’m gonna mute you.”
“No can do, chief-“ Tony pressed a little button and the line went dead. Jeff had to stifle a snort of laughter.
“Was that really necessary?” Alice asked.
The line connected again, this time with video of Pandora in the helmet. It was much like the inside of Tony’s helmet, except instead of system status being displayed it was fuel tank load and speed, as well as a map.
“Tony, did you just hang up on me?!”
“I dunno, did it sound like this?” Tony pressed the button again, ending the link. This time it was Dementia’s turn to stifle her laughter.
“Tony, You’ve officially become my favorite Avenger.” She managed to comment. Tony reclined in his seat and took a swing of scotch.
“Hey, everybody likes me- except the people who don’t.”
“Which would be half the press.”
“The paparazzi can go to hell and party there for all I care.” Tony retorted.
“It’d be really boring there then. They wouldn’t know what to do if they were invited to a party.” Dementia grinned before consuming another California roll. Tony turned his attention to Jack, who simply sat quietly and observed the others, one arm lounging across Dementia’s shoulders.
“So what’s with the mask?”
“Tony-“ Dementia started to answer for Jack, but was silenced when Jack squeezed her hand slightly.
“I was born in a time where freaks were tossed around like rag dolls. I was born with black skin to two Caucasian parents, which they learned was actually Melanism. When the great Depression hit, my parents and my little sister were starving, but I… adapted. Let’s just say that emaciated corpses taste better when you know how to open them up and cook ‘em. A couple of other kids took notice of how I was the only one in my family that WASN’T starving, followed me around, and caught me butchering another corpse. They… well, they attacked me and left me for dead in the woods. My face got the worst of it. Slendy found me and issued the potion, but it didn’t completely heal up my face. Most people freak out when they see it, so I just wear the mask.”
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad. Well, Alice did flinch when she saw it… but I don’t think it’s worth hiding.” Dementia soothed, nuzzling his neck affectionately. Tony coughed uncomfortably, not used to the open displays of affection that usually accompanied Dementia and Jack being within five feet of each other.
“Do they always do that?”
“It was worse when they had a bed on the plane. I quote Pandora when I say they were ‘on the Mile High Club’.” Alice groaned.
“Hey, I’m a member!” Tony smirked. Dementia facepalmed.
“With Pepper as well, I’m sure.”
“Oh yeah, we just love having se-“
‘ANYWAY…” Alice yelped over him before he could finish. “Pandora got around to telling me about Vega, Belinda and Marilyn, but not about…” she looked to Dementia for help.
“Selen and Sakura.” She finished for Alice, who nodded in confirmation.
“Well, Selen’s one of the few Bachelorettes in the house- she’s just gives everyone the cold shoulder. She’s not exactly… human, however. Her kind, which she calls Avids- they’re from the Andromeda galaxy, outside of the realms known to the Asgard, Thor’s world. She can see the past, present, and future of everyone they touch, which is the main reason why she avoids people- for us mere mortals, it would cause our brains to shut down from the overload of information. Despite the fact that she’s REALLY old- something in the neighborhood of 30,000 years old- she’s actually quite young for her race, who mature at 50,000 years- at least, that’s what she told me. Physically she looks like a 15 year old… but she’s been on earth since the 1300s.”
“So she’s never…” Jeff had to hold in a snicker at the implication, earning a cocked eyebrow from Dementia.
“Actually, she has, Jeffrey. With someone famous, I might add.” She smirked. Jeff leaned back in his seat and took another swing of his scotch before handing the empty glass to Tony to be refilled.
“Who was it?”
“Niccholó Machiavelli, if you must know.” Dementia smirked before finishing off the last California roll, digging into the cooler for some more sushi and frowning when she came up empty.
“Tony, please tell me you had more sushi.”
“Sorry Dem, your mother was so hungry on the way down to the airport that she ate almost all of it. I swear, that woman’s going to have to go back on her old diet if she’s gonna keep that perfect figure I worked so hard on giving her!”
“Seems to me that Pandora doesn’t care about the way she looks, just as long as she’s comfortable.” Alice observed. Tony laughed.
“That statement holds true until you try to put something pink on her. She acts like the wicked witch of the west getting dowsed in water, complete with the moaning of ‘I’m melting!’! She acts like it’s dowsed in poison, with the way she eyes it. She doesn’t complain when one of her commissioners specifically requests that she uses the color in one of her paintings, though… which I find really odd.” Tony frowned. Jeff raised his eyebrows at the new information.
“Why does she have such an aversion to pink?”
“Who knows, maybe she just doesn’t want to be seen as girly. She DOES have a habit of kicking ass when it suits her- considering her other favorite hobbies are caving and horse-back riding, she’s really tough. We have a pretty large cave system under the mansion that’s accessible by rope ladder, and I have to admit, she’s a pretty passionate tour guide. ‘course, with her being a little genius too, plus her specialization in geology is a career, it’s no wonder she’s so excited when she goes down there- it’s like her own little spot in heaven.” Tony looked at Jeff and Jack with an evaluating expression before setting his own drink down and leaning forward. “She usually goes down there every day, but she only brings other people on Mondays, so if you want to take a little tour…”
“How risky is it?” Dementia asked. Tony shrugged.
“The caves aren’t tunneled into or paved with paths, so it’s pretty dangerous down there if you don’t have someone who knows what they’re doing leading you around and don’t have the right equipment. With Panda, though, the risk level is pretty minimal- on a scale of one through ten, one being as safe as a padded cell in an asylum and ten being at the top of the world trade center on 9/11, I’d put it at a three.” Alice flinched when he mentioned a padded cell, which Tony, thankfully, noticed.
“I… have personal experience with asylums.” She ground out. Tony frowned before putting a hand on her shoulder.
“We’ve all hit rock bottom at some point. That’s the thing, though- when you hit rock bottom, the only way you have to go then is up. Look around you now, surrounded by friends and about to get married, not to mention you’re in the presence of the world’s most successful billionaire. Well, one of them- Sakura’s got biomedicine and ocean exploration in her pocket, both of which give her billions every year. Stark Tech’s the best out there, though, so while she’s making money off of cures for leukemia and cancer- not to mention-“
“Tony, don’t mention the other stuff. Not now.” Dementia suddenly interrupted, drawing a scowl from him.
“My point being, you’re no longer in the asylum. That’s got to count for something, right?”
“I-I suppose it does count for something. I would have never known proper friendship or love if I had remained in the asylum.” Alice conceded.
Dementia lifted her head up to glance at Alice when she heard her mention love before catching herself. She didn’t want Alice to know about her little crush, but at the same time she couldn’t help but react when Alice mentioned the emotion that psychopaths were supposedly unable to possess that she’d felt for her for some time now.
Jack noticed her reaction and tried to soothe her, rubbing her back and shoulders gently to calm her under the impression that she was just simply stressed out.
“You okay, Dem?”
“Sweetheart, I’m fine. I’m just… don’t worry about me, okay? We have so much to look forward to- caving, swimming, art, my sisters and their most gracious hospitality… it would be just like being in an old Greek aristocrats home, except with Stark tech powering everything.” Dementia forced herself to smile, and even managed to make it seem as though the smile reached her eyes, but it was a thin veneer. Thankfully, Jack didn’t press the issue, instead opting to bring Dementia into his lap and have her wrap her hands around his neck to make herself more comfortable. She nuzzled into his chest before looking up at him with bright silver eyes, prompting him to stroke her cheek gently.
Tony cleared his throat again, prompting Alice’s and Jeff’s attention to revert back to him instead of the two lovers. “So… Sakura. Definitely not your average cherry blossom of a Japanese American woman, if I do say so myself. She’s got quite the mind, that one. She can read other peoples minds… she’s a telepath and psychokinetic as well as a genius, which comes in hand considering her… specialization.”
“Which is?” Jeff persisted, but Tony shook his head.
“Not telling. That’s for Sakura or Panda to tell you.” Tony smirked. The intercom beeped before Happy spoke.
“We’re at the Mansion, Mr. Stark. Pandora has already arrived.” The Limousine lurched to a halt, and although Dementia and the others tried look out the windows they were too darkly tinted to really see outside. Tony frowned at this, but Happy opened the door before he could ask him to lighten the tinting in the windows.
Alice woke Leo up and was the first to step out the limo, thanking Happy graciously before marveling at the mansion.
It was large and the architecture was about as modern as it got, with open windows and sharp edges. It was built directly into the mountain behind it, making it seem smaller than it actually was, but Alice wasn’t fooled- even the area sticking out of the mountain was enormous, towering over three stories high.
“Wow! Mummy, are we really staying here?” Leo gasped, clutching the skirt of Alice’s dress. Alice smiled down at her son.
“Of course. For a week! We can stay longer, if you’d like.”
“Yippee! Look, Grandma’s here!” Leo tugged Alice over to where Pandora was taking off her helmet, another motorcycle and rider parked next to her and taking off his own helmet.
“Hey guys, nice to see you managed to beat the traffic. Ezio here intercepted my path and followed me home.” She planted a kiss on the other rider’s cheek, drawing a lustful look from him. He had long, dark hair tied back with a red ribbon and deeply tanned skin, and his face was marred only by a small scar on the corner of his lips.
“Alice, Jeff, Dementia, Jack, Leo… this is my boyfriend, Ezio.”
“’Tis a pleasure to meet you all. Friends of Pandora’s are inevitably friends of mine.” He welcomed, his voice thick with an Italian accent. He reached out a gloved hand and shook Jacks and Jeffs, planting a kiss on Alice’s when he shook hers and earning a growl from Jeff.
Pandora hopped up to smack the back of Jeff’s head for growling. “He ALWAYS does that, he’s a freaking Italian noble from the fifteenth century! Cut him some slack, will ya?”
“She’s my girlfriend and fiancée! He can’t just flirt with her!” He protested. Ezio frowned.
“Is there something I have done to upset you, messere?”
“Yes. Lay off my girlfriend, or I’ll slit your throat in your sleep.” Jeff growled cockily. Ezio’s frown turned into a scowl before outright contorting in anger.
“You DARE threaten me? I am a Master Assassin, trained to kill with impunity and hide in the shadows! You do not stand a chance against me in a fight, Stronzo.”
“Guys! The testosterone levels in here are really starting to stink up the driveway, I don’t want to add your entrails to the smell too!” Pandora protested, getting in between the two killers and holding them apart with outstretched hands. Jeff glared down at the little redhead before stepping back under the intensity of her venomous glare. Luckily for him, her glare was divided between the two of them.
“And you! Zio, I thought I told you to can the chivalry for now!”
“He dares become angered at ME for being kind to a woman!”
SMACK. The sound of Pandora’s hand connecting with Ezio’s cheek made everybody flinch. “I told you to can it. NOW CAN IT!”
“Pandora!” Alice cried indignantly. Ezio simply winced, touching his cheek which was starting to flush red.
“Madonna, I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Pandora’s features softened as her hand met his cheek again, only this time it was a gentle touch.
“I know you didn’t… but Ezio, these are modern times. Chivalry is a dying and misunderstood art, after two years I thought you’d have learned that by now!”
“Guys, can we please go inside? I think it’s starting to rain.” Jack interrupted, making Pandora jump into Ezio’s arms.
“Madonna, I didn’t know you had missed me so much.” Ezio grinned cheekily.
“Don’t you make me smack you again, buster.” She hissed, trying to wiggle out of his grip but making very little progress. Ezio’s grin grew before he started pecking Pandora’s forehead and cheeks with kisses, which made the shorter redhead giggle and return with equal eagerness.
“GUYS!” Dementia protested, pulling the two young adults apart before they could go any farther.
“Come on Dem, you do worse with Jack all the time!” Pandora protested, wiggling in Dementia’s grip before eventually simply sliding out of her shirt and leaving Dementia holding it while she flung herself back into Ezio’s arms.
“I thought I said it’s going to rain.” Jack complained. Right on cue, thunder cracked through the sky and the clouds opened up.
“JANE, could you please open up the front door?”
“Yes Mistress Pandora.” The automated female voice sounded, before the glass doors opened up to admit them. Jeff narrowed his eyes as far as they could go at the name, but didn’t protest it, instead opting to follow the rest of the troupe into the mansion.
A bus driver who tried to rape a passenger at knifepoint chose the wrong victim, a court heard yesterday.
The woman, an off-duty US navy sailor, knocked the knife from his grasp, broke it in two, bit his hand, wrestled him to the ground and put him in a stranglehold between her thighs.
Having beaten him into submission, she left the bus and reported the incident to her commander.
she broke a knife in half
Pandora: Dementia, were you even TRYING to keep a low profile?