Astral Journey: It's Complicated

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An Alternate Universe/Elsewhere Spice Girls fic, about the narrator, Emma, a football (soccer) player explaining about the pitch accident that changed her life. Along with the main subjects, the fic also contains many other singers from the 1990s, like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Brandy Norword, and many more... all as athletes. While in the hospital, Emma begins to develop abilities to observe whenever she enters her astral form, getting information. However, this catches some unwanted attention that could hinder Emma's recovery, while putting her teammates in danger as they have begun to show similar skills. At the same time, Emma realizes that her new-bound could do more if done in a way she wants to, such as helping Melanie from her trauma.

The story is found here. It has also started to become available on Archive of Our Own.

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Tropes used in Astral Journey: It's Complicated include:
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Emma found Paul's joke funny despite being scolded for saying it.
  • Adventures in Coma Land: During her two weeks in a coma, Emma finds herself visiting Victoria at her flat, getting Melanie away from a stressful situation, going to the pitch, and even meeting Nick.
  • Annoying Patient: Downplayed version when it came to Geri, who keeps seeking out. All she just want is to see how Emma was doing.
    • Melanie, on the other hand, tries to escape as she refuses to accept that she has an issue until they had to take dramatic action.
      • Force Feeding: Melanie hooked up to a feeding tube and locked in a wheelchair in an effort to get her health back. Emma had a kinder version done to her, as she wasn't able to swallow thanks to her jaw injuries.
  • Appeal to Consequences: Victoria likely was informed about what could happen if she doesn't seek help. Melanie had to admit to some kind by coercion.
    • Melanie later realizes her eating disorder has started to control her, asking both Emma and Nick for help.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Melanie is subjected to a "mock" funeral in an effort to get her to comply with her mandated treatments. Earlier on, Emma, Nick, and Melanie all found themselves in Geri's dream. Emma notices it was her funeral, which doesn't alarm her as she did come close to death.
    • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Melanie mumbles this despite not actually dying, leading Emma and Victoria to suspect there had to be something more. It was later to stem from being subjected to the cold in order for her body to remain still during surgeries.
  • Astral Projection: Emma gains this ability.
  • Awful Truth: Melanie didn't want her parents to know about the time she almost choked to death. When her parents got Melanie's files, it was even worse causing her mum to break down.
    • Embarrassing Cover Up: Melanie tried to explain the reason for being in the psych ward was due to an error in the paperwork, likely someone with a similar name. She tells that her hospitalization was due to a cycling accident, likely while to avoid hitting someone or something. Of course, neither one of her parents brought it.
    • Never Live It Down: Melanie tries to hide about the choking incidents and being infected with worms, but Victoria doesn't keep that quiet.
    • Victoria Did What She Had to Do.
    • Rock Bottom: Pretty much there's nothing Melanie could do that point.
  • Badass Normal: Pretty much… everyone has at least one.
  • Bandage Babe: Thanks to her injuries, Emma fits this... later so does Melanie. Brandy's arm is also on the mend, while Geri is left with some burns and a broken leg.
    • Bandaged Face: Downplayed, as it's only Emma's left eye that gets this for some time.
  • Bungled Suicide: Emma notices that Victoria had cuts on her wrist and an empty pill bottle… leading to this conclusion. When she relives the moments while in that coma, Emma could see Victoria being brought in by ambulance.
  • Convenient Coma: Emma spreads two weeks in a coma, yet struggles upon waking up.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Melanie is placed in a wheelchair after her second escape attempt ended in disaster, but she's locked up in one. Considering she was admitted for an eating disorder that she refused to get treated, it's had to be that bad.
    • Kind Restraints: Pretty much what Melanie has found herself in, which also includes a stretcher.
    • Wheelchair Woobie: Subverted when it comes to Melanie, but she ends up in a wheelchair. She eventually accepts part of her problem. Victoria is also in a wheelchair thanks to the effects as well.
      • Shown Their Work: There have been cases of eating disorders getting so bad, victims are forced into wheelchairs.
  • Cool Old Guy: Nick meets this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Detail to Emma’s injuries, witnessing a friend being given a powerful electric shock. The video clip that Emma talks about could give some a clue.
    • Blood From the Mouth: Both Emma and Alanis suffer this one, they get better though.
    • Eye Scream: One of Emma's injuries, later compared to what happened after John Stapp earn his the title "the fastest man on earth". Like Stappp, Emma regains vision.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Melanie clearly doesn't want to be viewed as a victim. Emma doesn't blame for it, even willing to take the heat for what happened.
    • Emma further hammers down this point when Victoria goes off on her about Melanie. Emma knows Melanie doesn't want to be a victim, let alone be seen as one. She even tells Victoria to drop it.
  • Dope Slap: Emma wants to do to Melanie after learning about her poor health. She also wants to do this to a random stranger who brings her when Victoria and Melanie didn't want to do so.
  • Drunk Driver: This was the cause of the pitch accident.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Lampshade by Emma as Mel yells out "MELANIE JAYNE" while telling her about her health.

 Here comes the middle name, it's not going to be good!

  • Fusion Fic/Real Person Fic: Many musicians of The Nineties appear, as athletes.
  • Genre Savy: Emma seems to be aware of what is happening around her, hence her narration.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Subverted as those who get in contact are badly injured, just go ask Emma, Geri, Brandy, and Melanie for that. The "harmless" part was them being lucky to survive.
  • Homage: Emma and her teammates do talk about Japanese culture, such as film like Akira and how the elderly are respected.
    • The injuries Emma describes in the A&E were shout-outs to many medical dramas.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Victoria has this off-screen, while Melanie has two of them. Cue Hollywood Emergency Medical Response.
    • Ill Girl: Both Victoria and Melanie are admitted for eating disorders, and Emma was due to the pitch accident. This is subverted as the reasons for being in the hospital were anything but cute.
    • Ambiguous Disorder
  • Hospital Gurney Scene: Few Times
    • Near the beginning, Emma is rushed to the operation room for emergency surgery following the pitch accident.
    • In Part 2, Melanie is rushed to the A&E after suffering her first of two heart attacks. After she's sectioned, Melanie escapes the hospital and goes as far as the pitch... that was still off-limits due to the electric field, leading to an Ambulance Cut. When she attempts to escape via laundry chute, cue this again but with a busted leg and neck.
    • As Emma was talking about what was happening during her first astral projection, she witnesses Victoria being brought into the A&E, in this matter.
  • Hurt-Comfort Fic
  • Idiot Ball: Getting a poll that’s still electrified… pretty stupid. Too bad, Melanie didn't pay attention.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: A version of this includes Emma's football (soccer) kit and Melanie's tracksuit in their astral forms.
  • Legally Dead: Type 7 when it comes to Emma.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: A broken arm isn't going to stop Brandy from saving her friends.
    • Emma also doesn't let her injuries get to her, despite how serious.
  • Mass "Oh Crap": Where to start!
    • Pitch Accident
    • Melanie's health crisis
    • Attack on both Victoria and Melanie.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: Both Emma and Melanie are subjected to this. For the former, it was thanks to her injuries, while the latter had worms.
  • Mundane Luxury: Emma drinks a cup of water rather fast. Considering she had her jaws wired, she considers it a welcome change. She also wishes to eat some Spaghetti rings.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Jewel points out that Grover was named after a certain muppet
  • Nausea Fuel: Melanie having something more than a fear of choking. She also explains the measures the worms took while she was trying to starve them out.
    • Nausea Dissonance: Emma explains she seen worse. In fact, she felt the looks on the doctors' faces finding out the worms would actually cheer her up.
    • Nobody Poops: There was a reason Melanie's examination was difficult. She points out that the worms have begun to eat her stool, to which Emma simply replies "No Shit".
    • Stomach of Holding: Melanie had worms in her stomach and intestines.
    • The Symbiote: The worms started to have Melanie as a meal because of her eating habits was to get rid of them.
  • No Name Given: Emma is never mentioned, as she's the narrator.
    • This is eventually subverted in Part 9 when Geri mentions her name while tending to their cat, Grover.
    • Emma's mum is never given a name. However, being a Spice Girls fic and author has confirmed it to be Pauline, since children, even if adults themselves, often still don't refer their parents by their birth-name.
    • Ditto with Melanie's mum, Joan, step-father, Dennis, and birth father, Alan.
    • Same with Emma's dad, Trevor.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: Melanie's body was reduced to this.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Melanie was seen showering in a swimsuit, though she was in a public shower, which is common.
  • Not Quite Dead: Emma, Geri, and Brandy to a degree all get hit by an out-of-control car, which hits a lighting pole... creating a powerful discharge.
  • Plucky Girl: Emma doesn't let the pain stop her.
    • Heroic RROD: She often pushes herself so far that her body gives out at times.
  • Right Behind Me: Victoria goes off about Melanie's health taking a serious blow, and how she's lost control of it. Emma remains quiet about since she felt Melanie should open up herself. Victoria learns not just Melanie was listening.
  • Secret Keeper: Emma holds on the information about the choking incident and saving Melanie's life.
  • Sick Episode: Emma is in the hospital thanks to what happened. The same goes for Victoria and Melanie.
    • Resurrection Sickness: Emma technically dies for a few minutes before being brought to life, but she suffers seizures whenever she uses her abilities. Melanie also seems to be experiencing side-effects of her own, likely due to being close to death herself.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Emma and Melanie play a game of chess as a way for the latter to open up.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: A version of this has Emma speaking with Melanie while in their astral form, and vice-versa.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Melanie takes this approach shortly after getting sectioned after her mental illness was taking a toll on her health. She tries to escape, twice. The second time resulted in a broken leg and busted neck, which both Victoria and Emma had to talk some sense into her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Brandy may be seen as gentle lady, worried for Emma. Hence, the reason for her helping with getting both Geri and Emma to the safety despite a broken arm.
  • Wangst: Melanie slowly explains the reasons for her eating disorder developing, which Emma suspects else-wise. Later, it's discovered that Emma was right and didn't want the situation to go further. It was due to Melanie choking on some chicken bones, and Emma had to intervene. Melanie had developed a fear of choking.
    • Weight Woe: Both Victoria and Melanie admitted for eating disorders. The rib-cage of the latter was shown, along with other diseases links to eating issues.
    • Driven to Suicide: Subverted to Victoria as she survives her attempts.
  • Wouldn't Hit A Girl: David, Victoria's boyfriend, has this rule. He was the one who called for help.
    • Wife-Basher Basher: David wants to beat the crap out of the guy who attacked both Victoria and Melanie.
  • Worst Aid: Subverted as Emma is the only one who gives Melanie CPR during a choking incident, to ensure her breathing was enough for help to arrive, while the others had run for help. Melanie had passed out from choking on an unknown object. Emma was making sure Melanie had some way of breathing and allowed medics to take over.
  • You Can See Us: Jewel is able to see Nick and Melanie's astral form despite Emma being the only other one.
    • Geri later is able to hear Melanie's voice while the astral form of the latter is present, despite being Invisible to Normals.
  • You Didn't Ask: Emma thought about this but simply says to Melanie's step-father, "I thought you knew" since she didn't tell anyone.