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Penny stretched her legs. Finally, some peace and quiet. She loved her friends -- really, she did -- but sometimes they were too much. She'd believe the boundless energy was a side effect of the immortality and-slash-or invulnerability the others had, except that they'd still had it the one time they'd all been mere mortals.

The past week had been especially busy. With Luke and Dagr gone to Dagr's home dimension to check in on the Doc English situation, Penny and Alexia had had to pick up the slack back home and deal with everything. And everything was happening all the time. Often all at once.

Penny brought her cup to her lips and breathed in slowly the sweet smell of chocolate.

The door burst open.

Penny thought for a moment she'd burst an aneurysm, but she didn't.

It was Alexia, carrying Luke. Dagr was nowhere to be seen. Alexia set Luke down on the couch.

"Is he okay?" Penny asked.

Alexia shrugged. "Probably. Doc English's made it back to Earth. He wants revenge. Dagr stayed behind to stop his fellow Vikings from following Luke back to Earth to help with that revenge. Lucky bastard gets to have all the fun."

Alexia, as always, had the strangest definition of "fun". It was part of her charm.

"We need to stop Doc English before he does something terrible. How long has he been back?"

"Months." Luke sat up and held his head. "Dagr's sister has a punch like freight train."

"Months!?" This was bad. This was very bad.

"Yeah. Which means we can't trust anyone," Luke said.

"Except us," Alexia said. She crossed her arms and leaned a hip against the couch. "Luke's an alien, I'm an Amazon and if Doc English could get at Penny, he'd have done it last time instead of bothering with Captain Southpaw."

That made sense. "I'll get the suit." Penny paused. "What if he's gotten at Captain Southpaw again?"

"I'll take care of it," Luke said. He didn't look too happy at the prospect. Even after last year's Doc English incident, Luke still idealised Captain Southpaw.

Penny nodded. It made the most sense. Of the three of them, Luke's power set was the best suited to handling Captain Southpaw. Alexia would probably just kill him and the man didn't deserve that.


As it turned out, that was an entirely necessary precaution to take, because Doc English had indeed reached out to control Captain Southpaw again. Captain Southpaw had been trying to fight him to redeem himself and honestly Penny felt bad for him. Being mind controlled once was bad enough.

Penny threw a punch. She could almost hear Alexia complain about her form, as always, but Alexia was on the other side of the fight, holding The Fuse at bay. Penny hoped she was having fun. She'd complain if it wasn't fun. But really how often did one get to fight the East Coast Six? The novelty alone had to make it fun.

Alexia knocked The Fuse into a fire hydrant. The Fuse didn't get up. Between that and Penny taking out Silver Caster, that left five opponents. It was a good thing that included Captain Southpaw, who Luke was (if just barely) holding at bay. This would have been so much easier if Dagr had been here.

But he wasn't so Penny would just have to Deal With It TM. She wasn't that great at this sort of thing but she was still a hero.

It was being too quiet. Forked Tongue barrelled into the suit, tackling it to the ground. You wouldn't think someone with the power to emulate reptiles would have super strength and yet. To be entirely honest, Penny thought that including extinct reptiles, like fucking dinosaurs, in the power set was cheating.

While the suit was down, Archangel landed on her chest. That was just not fair! The entire East Coast team was ridiculously overpowered and there were two of them and only one of her. Archangel wasn't even supposed to be on the team! Had they changed the roster again?

Archangel tried to claw the faceplate off. This sort of mindless aggressivity wasn't how Archangel usually fought -- Penny had done her research, thank you very much -- maybe Doc English's influence was spread thin.

It'd make sense wouldn't it, to have Doc English's mind control influence get diminishing returns the more people he had under his control. Especially since Forked Tongue was also affected and mindlessly punching Penny's suit. Forked Tongue rarely ever used physically force despite the dinosaur powered super strength.

Penny released a sleeping gas and both her attackers fell to the ground unconscious. She breathed in gingerly, hoping the two hadn't damaged the faceplate's air filters. They hadn't.

Alexia had moved in closer to Doc English and Penny went in to support her.

The problem with fighting Doc English was that without the creepy mind control bullshit, he was just a normal dude, which made Penny feel bad. Both the Machine and an Amazon felt like overkill.

Until Doc English got his mind controlling hooks into Alexia.

Penny just basically curb stomped him into the ground, after that.

He was alive and he was in one piece. She was showing admirable restraint.

"Hey," Alexia said, ripping off the faceplate. It was the only way to remove the faceplate since Alexia herself -- under mind control but still -- had dented the metal hard enough that the hinges didn't work. "The homicidal rages are my thing. The bleeding-heart idealism is yours."

"sorry," Penny said. "I didn't know how else to break the mind control."

"What happened to 'true love's kiss', huh?" Alexia asked.

"True love?"

Alexia nodded and kissed Penny.

Penny kissed her back. It wasn't the first time they'd kissed, but said first time was still recent enough that every time felt like the first time.

"Let's go home and celebrate this victory properly," Alexia said.

Penny could only agree. She swept Alexia off her feet and kicked off the ground, taking off flying towards to a well-deserved celebration with her girlfriend.