Alternate Tag to “Two’s a Crowd”

Preface

In “Two’s a Crowd,” Steed has to pretend to be his own evil twin, a really bad dude named Webster, as part of a plan to find the real identity of an enemy agent named PSEV. Through a series of unfortunate events, Emma gets sucked into Steed’s plan even though she really wasn’t supposed to be. Circumstances are such that Steed can’t reveal to her that Webster is really him playing a role, so until the last minute she remains convinced that Webster and Steed are two different people. This is very traumatic for Emma, since one of the things she has to endure is what she thinks is the sound of Webster murdering Steed. Once they’ve gotten free of the villains at the end of Act III, Steed eventually manages to convince her that he and Webster are the same guy, and that he needed to play at being Webster to work the case.

Some time ago, some of us on Tumblr had a conversation about what the [Anglo-Saxon expletive] Steed thought he was doing in “Two’s a Crowd,”  about which I wrote an analysis. Consensus from that conversation was that Emma was not anywhere near sufficiently pissed off with Steed for what he did to her, and for not trusting her enough to let her in on the plan in the first place. Emma’s cheery acceptance of what she had just gone through bugged me, so I wrote the following alternate ending, which I think is far more in character for her.


Don’t Make Emma Angry. You Won’t Like Her When She’s Angry.

(Steed and Emma have just watched the plane crash into the embassy on top of the bad guys)

Steed turned to Emma, thinking to take her hand and make their way to the back gate on the embassy grounds, and thence home. He was just about to speak when she grabbed his lapels, pulled him to her, and kissed him, hard.

Steed blinked as she released him. He hadn’t been expecting that, but perhaps it boded well.

“That,” said Emma, “is because I am so very glad that you are alive.”

Before Steed could so much as smile at her, he caught a blur of motion out of the corner of his left eye. This was followed by a blinding pain on that side of his face and then darkness.

The next thing Steed knew, he was watching a play of dark spots and sparkles in front of his vision, and wondering why the world felt upside down. After a moment, he realized he was flat on his back, and his left cheek and jaw were throbbing with pain. Emma stood looming over him, arms crossed. Steed looked up at her and attempted a crooked grin, but had to stop. It hurt too much.

He propped himself up on his elbows, then held out a hand to Emma. “Give us a hand up, then.”

In reply, she put her foot in the middle of his chest and slammed him back down into the grass. She leaned over him, resting her forearms on her thigh. Her eyes glittered, and the set of her mouth told Steed that she was very angry. She leaned in closer. Steed revised his assessment. Emma wasn’t angry. She was livid.

Emma glared at him. Steed would have squirmed uncomfortably away from that icy gaze, if he had been able to move.

“That,” she said, “was because if you ever dare play games like that with me again, I shall kill you myself.”

Emma straightened and gave his chest a final push with her foot, then stalked away towards the embassy gate. Steed tottered to his feet, watching her go. He collected his brolly and the communications set, then put his bowler back on, wincing as he tapped it into place. Gathering himself and his courage, he started after Emma. Somehow he could not bring himself to doubt that she was serious. He suspected he had a long road ahead, and a lot of explaining to do.

Originally posted on sparklywaistcoat.tumblr.com

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